Sunday, November 22, 2009

Words of Wisdom

This was, interestingly enough, found on a humour site. The veracity of the words goes far beyond humour though.

Words of Wisdom

One evening an old Cherokee Indian told his grandson about a battle that was going on inside himself.

He said, "My boy, the fight is between two wolves."

That certainly got the boy's attention.

"One is evil," the old man continued. "Anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego."

"What of the other, grandfather?" the boy asked.

"The other is good," he said. "Joy, Peace, Love, Hope, Serenity, Humility, Kindness, Benevolence, Empathy, Generosity, Truth, Compassion and Faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Do we all have such wolves fighting inside us, grandfather?"

"Yes," the wise old man said.

"Then, which wolf wins the fight?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


That's how I'm feeling this week.

It's been a week away from home - except for the quick jaunt home last night to pick up a piece of equipment that I ... err... forgot at home. Whoops! Good to see Mrs. Spit and the fur-children though.

The week started with us at Marriage Encounter - not attending, but supporting. Thanks to Mrs. Oblivious, we got saddled with a couple with young children. And wasn't that fun? Mrs. Spit and I both get awkward when we're asked in a social situation "Do you have children?". This was a social situation, faith based, where the couple just came off a demanding weekend of immersive intimate communications. So we can't blame them for asking. The other side of that is that it sucks to say that no, we don't have children, and we don't want to throw a big, wet, fire blanket on top of the party atmosphere and explain that Gabriel died almost two years ago, thank you.

So this week, without intending, I've totally slacked in my blogging. Last night I had zero internet at my hotel (go figure that one out...) so I have an excuse, kind-of. Time to pick up my socks though.

So, even though I'm out enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, it's been a meh-bleh week for me. About time for me to spend some time at home, working in the office, home every night. Yeah... looking forward to that!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Snow no...

A friend has offered to take me to the mountains and teach me to snowboard.

This is daunting.

I want to learn - just ask Mrs. Spit.

Why does it take so much kit to play in the snow? (see definition 7 here, if confused by my use of the word 'kit')

I'm not too verbose this post. But I WILL post! By the power of Greyskull!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In memory everlasting

All we have of freedom, all we use or know -
This our fathers bought for us long and long ago.
~Rudyard Kipling, The Old Issue, 1899

At the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, in the year 1918, the German High Command signed the Armistice that marked the end of the Great War. Today we take time to remember those troops who have perished in war. At first it was for the remembrance of those who died in World War One - as we came to name it. Now it is
the remembrance for those troops lost in the intervening conflicts, whatever the name of the conflict. For good reason, we read the words of the poem In Flanders Field today, and remember. As our young men and women continue to fight and die in different quarters around the world, it is to us that the responsibility for remembrance falls.

For today is celebrated as Remembrance Day within the British Commonwealth. Today, we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)

Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bleh day

Yeah, it's one of those days. Nothing on the blog, feel like crud. Left work early to go home even!

I don't think it's anything really serious... going to bed now though. Preventative medicine.

funny pictures of cats with captions

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mars - an alien place

Not much to say today.

Check out these photos and descriptions of Mars.

Isn't science cool?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The mark of a humble man

A couple of years ago, after I had heard that Brandon Sanderson was going to be the author of record to finish the Wheel of Time, I picked up and read his first novel: Elantris. I knew after reading this excellent work that Brandon was an author worth the name, and from then I looked forward even more to the release of the next Wheel of Time (WoT) novel.

Not only is Brandon a published author of several books (Elantris, Mistborn Trilogy, Alcatraz Series, Warbreaker) but he is personable and more than a little bit humble. When I sent an email to the contact listed on his website, I expected it to make it to him but that was as far as the interaction went - or so I thought. When I received an email reply from him directly, I was pleasantly surprised.

Now, given that he's being... overwhelmed? with new fans as a result of WoT, this might be one aspect of his life that has to change out of necessity. Not only does he write WoT, he also continues writing his own creations - he released a new Alcatraz novel just over a month ago!!! To top that seemingly crazy strategy off, he also instructs creative writing - fantasy of course - at Brigham Young University.

Coming back to humble, here's the quote that inspired this whole post today, taken from his blog posting of today where he talks about his involvement with WoT - particularly in light of The Gathering Storm smashing its way to the top seller on multiple book seller listings.

Beyond that, the strength of this book is directly tied to the excellent storytelling that came before it. It doesn't take much experience with construction to realize that the foundation of a building is far more important—structurally—than the roof. Robert Jordan's skill with worldbuilding, characterization, and plotting was amazing. Working on these books has only increased my respect for his abilities.

None of you ran out to get the book because of me. My job was, and continues to be, to stay out of the way and let you enjoy the story that Robert Jordan wanted you to have. I am honored and humbled that so many of you have enjoyed the book. Thank you for what you have done in giving me a chance to prove myself to you.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Who is surprised?


Yeah, scary, I know. Right now the focus of the world is focused in the area of the 'stans' pretty heavily. The spectre of the Taliban and al Qaeda has been brought into the news media's top sheet quite often in the past several years.

Now, the ever lingering question is this:

We know that many of the leadership escaped from Afghanistan into Pakistan. We know that Pakistan is ostensibly a partner with western nations in the attempts to eradicate these leadership elements. We have seen Pakistani forces engaged in operations against the 'tribal regions' where these two groups are supposed to be hiding out. Why are we not seeing results after years of effort on the part of several governments?

Perhaps the reason is the one we don't want to think about. They are in cahoots with the Islamabad government - or at least elements within it. And guess what? That's exactly what a French (as in France, not Quebec) author is saying. "The central government has lost control of certain elements of the army and the ISI, an intelligence service that no longer has the trust of its foreign partners."

Or, as Charles Dudley Warner put it in the 19th century:
Politics makes strange bedfellows

Plus ca change, plus ca change pas.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Line 'em up!

Sometimes, when people ask me what kind of books I like to read, I get a strange look at my answer: science fiction and fantasy.

Sure, I have enjoyed books from many genres, but SF/F keeps drawing me back in. I enjoy the alternate times, alternate worlds, potential futures, and of course, completely made up environments where magic is real and the quests epic.

Sometimes, when the stars are aligned, the tea leaves read, and everything else comes together at the right time and the right place, the general public gets a head's up that there is something other than "general fiction" available at the book store. I refer, of course, to the dreaded best-seller's list. So imagine my delight when I heard that my newest read will be shown as having dethroned the less than stellar Dan Brown formulaic fiction from the top of the NYT Bestseller list.

Yes indeed, The Gathering Storm debuts at number 1. Just goes to show you, there are a lot of us fans of fantasy out there! ;-)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Too cool... go to school!

Not much to write about, but Mrs. Spit tells me that I'm a slacker if I don't do SOMETHING.


So I present to you, tacit evidence why kids need science. And yes, I've been called a nerd most of my life! :-)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Now that we're done with the folly that is Halloween, we approach Remembrance Day.

On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, we remember. We take a moment of quiet in a ceremony that started as a result of the Great War - what we now call World War One - but which has grown to encompass the losses in all military conflicts.

Whether or not you be British, this presentation is ubiquitous in it's truth and scope regarding the young soldiers, sailors, and airmen that our governments send into harm's way.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Write then!

Did you know that November is National Novel Writing Month?

Truly... how did you get by without knowing that? Then again, seeing as how I have lately had problems writing a couple pithy comments into a blog, I'm not sure I'd want to attempt a 50,000 word novel! Almost 1700 words... PER DAY?!? Yikes...

I have a friend who is over 3500 words this weekend already. But then again, she's been planning this work for at least a month now. Plans... creative writing needs plans!

If you're curious, here's the location link for NaNoWriMo.