Archive for January, 2012

January 16, 2012

Made some headway in cleaning up old blogs this weekend. My Tumblr posts are basically set to go (all five of them) and I deleted dozens of old LiveJournal posts. Aaron asked if I felt bad about deleting chunks of history like that, and I really don’t, since I didn’t delete anything worthwhile. All of my posts that were nothing but copied-over Twitter updates are gone, as are most of my “Writer’s Block” posts (LJ posts a daily question, and I went on a few stretches where I would answer a month’s worth of them). 

I should have saved the Writer’s Block posts, really. Most of the questions are insipid and most of my answers were testy because I had to answer said questions, but there were a few good half-baked thoughts there that I could have fleshed out into something more for when I need ideas for this place. Like right now!

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January 13, 2012

I made a spreadsheet to track my 2012 purchases in seven categories:

  • video games
  • DVDs/Blu-rays
  • books/magazines
  • CDs/MP3s
  • theatre movies
  • internet (pay-site costs; I pretty much expect that this will amount to my monthly $10 Wrestling Observer site bill and nothing more)
  • concert tickets

I may add more categories. “Concert tickets” weren’t a part of that list when I started writing it.

Anyway, the idea is to total up how much I spend on each of these groups in a year. I buy too many books I never read, CDs I never listen to, video games I never play, and DVDs I never watch. That money could be saved for trips or home improvements or things that might actually improve my life instead of just cluttering it.

Right now, in a bit of a shocker, books and magazines are in the lead. This started with a trip to Chapters to buy some discount graphic novels, and the lead increased when I renewed my subscription to Games World of Puzzles magazine.

I would like to note that the fine folks behind that magazine, Kappa Publishing, were kind enough to send me a free magazine to replace one that I accidentally left on the plane when we went to Hawaii last fall. I’d even offered to pay but they just went ahead and gave it to me. They earned their subscription renewal with that move.

Anyway, I don’t think books and magazines will stay in the lead for long, as I’m pretty sure that I spend more money on video games than on any of those other categories. I suppose we’ll see.

I’m not sure what to do about money that was spent last year. I have tickets to four upcoming concerts that I paid for last year (Norm Macdonald, Electric Six, John K. Samson, and the Regina Folk Festival, if you were wondering), and I have Xbox points and 3DS eShop credit that I put on my account last year. The video game tally would surely be higher if I had to count all of my Rock Band 3 song purchases that I’ve already paid for. I suppose I need to document those too, in the interests of fairness.

Man, bookkeeping is HARD.

I’m not trying to use this spreadsheet to discourage myself from buying these things just yet. I need to collect data before I act on it. Having said that, I assume that forcing myself to document my stupid purchases will result in me making fewer stupid purchases to begin with.

I did a similar thing once before to back up my assertion that I more-or-less broke even on lottery tickets. I documented every purchase and every win for a year. And when I saw how wrong I had been, I didn’t buy another ticket (apart from Christmas stocking stuffers) for three years.

January 12, 2012

On Monday, I was out for an afternoon coffee break with two coworkers, Rick and Cam. Cam looks at his phone and asks “Who’s (Name Redacted)?” Rick explains that Name Redacted used to work on our floor, she retired about a year ago, right around the time that Cam had joined our floor. Then he adds “why do you ask?”

“She’s dead.”

Shock.

I didn’t get the email so I wound up reading it over Cam’s shoulder. Seems that this lady had hurt her ankle recently – maybe broke it – and a blood clot developed and it killed her. I was in disbelief. She’d retired relatively young and was in really good shape. We weren’t super close or anything, but I’d seen her just days before when we crossed paths in the mall, and she looked to be doing quite well. Coffee talk turned to discussions of people who’d died before their time. When we got back to the office, you could hear gasps and “oh my God” and “did you see this” as people checked their email.

A half-hour later, we got an email update that said she was fine. No idea where this rumour started. Even her ankle was unharmed. (Hence “Name Redacted” up there – I don’t want to attract any Googlers with poor reading comprehension skills and risk spreading the rumour any further.)

And I was mad, you know? How does something this irresponsible happen? And then I took a second, realized that this was way better than the alternative, and settled back into my day.

Meanwhile, I mentioned this incident in passing on Facebook. A coworker who I had also seen on that coffee break replied “no, James, it’s okay, I just sprained my ankle!” I thought she’d been following the emails and was making a funny. Then she sent me a picture of her bruised, swollen ankle and asked who the emails were about. So in the span of about 90 minutes, she had ACTUALLY injured her ankle, just like the fake story in the email. Ridiculous.

On the bus ride home, a punk stoner kid was loudly extolling the virtues of Rush Hour 2. I’ll take his word for it.

January 11, 2012

Hello, blog. Here’s hoping you work out better than my last five or so blogs.

Here’s the goal: to take all my old blogs, HEAVILY edit them, and combine them all into this one site. A one-stop shop for all things me.

Dear future potential employers, this should give you more than enough reason to reject my application. You’re welcome.

I’m hoping… well, mostly I’m hoping that I actually get my act together enough to see this through. But my real hope is that this process will get me back into blogging on a regular basis. I write for work every day, but it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged about my life. I used to really enjoy blogging but got out of it for a few years for a number of reasons: a lack of time, writing fatigue, personality clashes, a general sense that my life is boring and not worth documenting, the rise of social media and the fact that it’s easier to just click “Like” than it is to write something new – these have all been factors. And I suppose none of them have really changed. But I’m hopeful!

You know… hopeful despite the fact that I started this blog in 2009 and only just now wrote something.