"Keep a Journal: How else are you going to get a good look at who you were?"

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I'm tired, I really am...but I just can't sleep.  Have a lot of grist in the mill, I guess.

Saw Paul yesterday.  He's down from Whitehorse visiting family here in town and out on the Island.  We went to see "Iron Man II"; 'cause he hadn't seen it yet.  Then we came back here and were met by my daughter Coral who had a somewhat unusual request:

"Dad, do you have The Trouble With Tribbles?  We're studying it in English class."

Confession time:  I managed to get a complete set of Paramount classic video VHS cassettes of Star Trek: The Original Series.  Me and the kids watch them on rainy Saturdays when there's nothing good on TV.  My personal favorite episodes are "Balance of Terror" and "Devil in the Dark".

So we watched "the Trouble with Tribbles".  I am not sure when this came up, but afterward Jeff Dunham's work was mentioned, and Paul admitted he's never seen the Comedian/Ventriloquist.  So, of course, we hauled out "Arguing with Myself" and had a good laugh.

Paul and I spent the remainder of the time catching up and discussing recent events...in my life, mostly.  I expressed my disappointment in not going to Alberta to begin my new life and career.  Also discussed was the decision to delay filing the divorce papers another six months while the Ex gets her final course work for her new career.  I will add in passing that Karen Li, the single mom that Colin and I went to Disneyland with a month or two ago, is a Medical Lab Tech, and she expressed some doubt that L's future prospects for employment in that field would be as forthcoming or as profitable as L herself believes.  But, that's none o' my bizness.  I'm filing the paperwork as soon as she's done her course.  After that comes my share of the communal property - assuming the house has any monetary value whatsoever by that time...let's face it; the bottom hasn't dropped out of the housing market yet, but it's going to.  I just hope I'm able to get out in time...I've got plans for all those mortgage payments I made all those years buying Our Happy Home...and I want that money back.

I've often thought on how, if dame fortune had happened to grant me a substantial lump of wealth, I probably wouldn't have a clue what to do with it.  I've really got no reason at all to desire any more money than I need to cover my basic expenses.

Until now.

I've got my reason.  If I won the Lottery today, I know exactly what I'd do with the winnings; or, at least, a portion of them.  I would help Keith make his dream come true.  A first-class wish fulfillment.  He's got an idea that works, and he has certainly put in the effort to make that idea a reality.  However, like any fruit of a determined individual's labor, this one may die on the vine due to lack of fertilizer.  It IS a good idea, both in theory AND practice...and it's not going to make any real money unless and until he can duplicate it several times over in a bigger market.  I want to be there to see it happen.  I want to contribute whatever I can.  Even if it fails, the effort will be worthwhile.

Speaking of worthwhile endeavors...

I bought a piano.

Okay, it's not a real piano.  I don't have near enough room in here for one of those.  It's a Casio ToneBank 100.  An electric piano with full-sized keys and everything a beginning music student needs to begin learning to play...including a headphone jack so you don't bother people while you're practicing.  Lessons are not a problem.  Google "free online piano lessons" sometime and you'll see what I mean.  I'll start with the basics and then move onto the LDS hymnal; if my ambition and ability are equal to the task.  Now I'll have something else to do when I get home from work besides watch Discovery Channel and spend my time FaceBook - ing.

Speaking of time spent...I had hoped to spend my time this weekend fixing my car.

The VW has been remarkably problem free...for a VW.  Thus far, the only major breakdown has been the starter; which I suspect was the original unit from the car's manufacture some 13 years ago.  Typical of a VW, when the starter went (with much smoke and fanfare), it took the horn fuse and possibly the headlight switch with it.  The headlights still work, but I can't turn them on unless the ignition is engaged, so I'm pretty sure the starter's death throes caused a short in the dash wiring somewhere.  The horn still doesn't work.  The starter itself I replaced in Lordco Auto Parts' parking lot.  The starter mounting bolts pass thru the engine mount and you have to jack the engine and transmission up in order to thread the bolts into the new starter.  Guess what I didn't remember to bring with me from home?  I used the tire jack, and discovered there was a notch built into the bottom of the transmission bell and engine block that exactly matched the shoe on the tire jack.  Coincidence?  Or provident engineering?  Either way, it got the job done.

What I had hoped to remedy this weekend is not so much a failure as an annoyance.

There is a tendency for VW to engineer their cars well...but cut corners on parts that don't stand out.  Take the oil pump, for instance: there is a little metal mesh filter on the end of the oil pump pickup that has a tendency to...well, dissolve gradually until bits of it - you guessed it - end up getting sucked into the pump intake.  When this happens, it can temporarily, or even permanently, cut off the oil flow to the engine.  Now, there is a pressure sensor on the oil circuit that will light up a telltale on the dashboard and start ringing a very annoying buzzer in time with the flashing warning light.  If this alarm comes on and stays on, it means that there's no oil pressure in the engine and that, in turn, means the engine will shortly eat itself.  Fortunately...or perhaps UN - fortunately, the alarm on mine is intermittent.  This means that something is blocking the oil flow only some of the time.  The proper fix in this case is to pop off the oil pan and dismount the oil pump and clean all the crud out of the pickup pipe.  This may even call for replacing the pump if enough shmutz has been drawn into the pump itself.  The problem lies not in the time or expense involved, but in the fact that there are no shops specializing in VW in the South Surrey area anymore.  BowWow auto parts closed down their franchise here in North Delta and it was taken over by an independent outfit a year or so ago.  They still have some of BowWow's inventory of VW sundries left, but they liquidated most of it.  Still, they can order stuff in for me...for a price.

Sigh.  Should have planned ahead.  Oh well, there's always next weekend, if the weather holds out.

And Now:  A Public Announcement.

No matter how tempted you might be, no matter how much you may enjoy the "horror" or "slasher" or "fangoria" film genre(s)...do NOT go to see "The Human Centipede".
I shall explain:

There is a KeenSpot website called TrailerStation.  They play movie trailers 24/7.  Nearly all of the trailers are preceded by an MPAA warning flash screen letting you know what the movie is rated and who the appropriate audiences are.

There's a glitch in the video stream.
The trailer for Disney Earth: Oceans documentary came on and then ended...and then the trailer for The Human Centipede started up - without the MPAA warning.  The beginning looks harmless enough (kinda like the beginning of the trailer from Hostel, or perhaps Bordello of Blood).  It soon moves onto a series of brief, flashing, jump cuts with some VERY disturbing images...But that's not the problem.

The Problem is that I had one of those rare moments of insight in which I suddenly knew the entire plot of the film JUST from the contents of the 30 second trailer!!  One of the few moments in my life when I REGRETTED being smart enough to Figure It All Out was when that particular realization hit me.  GAHHH!  Also, EWWWW!!

Unsee (v) 1.To erase the act of seeing something; to erase the memory of having seen something, or otherwise reverse the effect of having seen something.

I wish...oh, how I wish.

On the other hand...TrailerStation is also playing the trailer for an indie comedy film called Kickassia.  Kickassia is an almost perfect "light" offering to offset the "DARKNESS" of The Human Centipede trailer.

Seriously kids, don't see it, it'll mess you up.

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