Saturday, May 30, 2009

Ethics, Technology and Speculation

In recent years I’ve been looking into a great deal of science fiction novels, particularly speculative pieces. A great deal of this can be attributed to my grade twelve English teacher, Mr. Jamieson, who reminded me of the magnificence of Ender’s Game as well as introducing me to the work of Heinlein.

Last week I indulged my hunger for sci-fi by picking up Robert Sawyer’s Mindscan and Tesseracts 10 (I bought an anthology? Who does that?). I am enjoying both books completely and am quite glad that I haven’t made a waste of my money. They certainly make me feel good about the state of Canadian sci-fi (Sawyer and the authors featured in Tesseracts are all Canadian). Sawyer in particular has me impressed. I’ve read a few novels by him in the past and the sheer depth of his storytelling is astounding. He rigorously explores morality and technology as well as their points of intersection while crafting a vibrant narrative populated with an array of very convincing characters. All of his work is meticulously researched with many of his books bearing several pages offering mention of the people and organizations from which he got his information. I don’t even mind that Mindscan is written in first person, something I find tedious in most other novels.

I have come to realize that I have been saying that my friends have been sucking without specifying which ones. To clarify, it was a select group from my area who had thoroughly aggravated me with their inability to mobilize and venture to the theatre to see Wolverine. Those involved have since stopped sucking and seen the movie with me. I apologise to any I have caused undue anxiety through my careless diction. 

Also, Wolverine was cool. That is all.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

If Only There Were More Injured People Around...

I am now certified in first aid and CPR. I believe this will help me strike a nice balance between the people I injure and the people I fix. Yay for neutrality!

The first aid course was rather amusing. There was a good group of people and one was even there so had could be on the Waterloo campus response team. He’d even been part of the disaster simulation that my friend Alexander J. Dolan ran. Good times were had by all and now I’ve got something new to put on my resume.

In anime news, I’ve completed I, My Me! Strawberry Eggs. It wasn’t as horribly emasculating as the last time I tried to watch it. Perhaps it is because I have become more in touch with my feminine side. Perhaps it is because the first episode back was entirely about boobs. We may never know. Also I’ve managed to acquire a copy of the Girl Who Leapt Through Time. It made me very happy. It would also make me happy if my friends stopped sucking enough to see Wolverine with me. Friends: PLEASE STOP SUCKING!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Beard, In Memoriam

I had a job interview for a Camp Leader position at the Petrolia community centre on Thursday. In an attempt to look like someone who does not feed on small children, I took a razor to my good friend beardy. Now this is certainly no big loss; I’m fairly certain I could have it back in a week or two if I wished. The trouble is that now I have so much more area to cover when I shave until I do decide I want it back. Oh, the world of facial hair is full of joys and pains!

I do believe the interview went fairly well. I decided to make myself all fancy so I threw on my fancy pants and tied back my hair. Dressing for success is awesome! When I got there the first thing I was asked to do was to construct a craft. It was a little weird being in those fancy clothes and then being asked to play around with crayons and construction paper but I was really too excited by the fact that they had pipe cleaners. I made an awesome little bug thing, mostly out of pipe cleaners, and stuck some googly eyes on it. I was rather pleased with myself. The rest of the interview was a series of pretty basic questions about myself and my experience (nothing abstract like “If you were a retrovirus, which would you be and why?”). Getting this job would be nice; manual labour sucks! Actually it’s not so bad now but by the time summer is in full swing I’ll be wishing it gone.

In other news, I still haven’t seen Wolverine. I’m beginning to think my friends suck.

Dear friends,
                       Stop sucking!
Travis T

Friday, May 8, 2009

Gotta Catch 'Em All! Ice Beam Edition

The following is a story of my adventures with Pokémon yesterday. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, just assume I’m awesome.

For a while now I’ve been playing Leaf Green for a while in an attempt to catch Raikou. Since he moves around and I can’t track him until I’ve seen him once, I’ve been running around in one area hoping that it will come to me. While I still haven’t come across Raikou, I’ve managed to raise one of my Pokémon to level 100 (soon to be two) and yesterday I found some things that have made this entire venture worthwhile. As I was combing the grass in hopes of finding Raikou, I came across a shiny Mankey. Absolutely delighted, I proceeded to catch it. Later on I happened upon a shiny Sandshrew. I caught myself two shinie4s in one day! I named my Mankey Bruce after Bruce Banner (The Hulk) since it’s green. However, it has come to my attention that it’s a female. I do believe a name change is in order. Perhaps I should name it Jennifer after She-Hulk?

Anyways, that is my Pokémon story. Now for a story that a broader audience (though not necessarily the one that reads my blog) can appreciate. Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, CEO of Research in Motion, has made several bids to buy NHL teams and bring them to Southern Ontario. Each time he has been shut out by the league. Most recently he has tried to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes who are trying to file for bankruptcy. The league’s convenor, Gary Bettman, has made statements saying that he is against the purchase and that the NHL will do what they can to stop it. He claims that it just wouldn’t be fair to the fans in Phoenix if Balsillie moved the franchise to Southern Ontario.

Wait… What fans?

An organization with a solid fan base should not be going bankrupt when others in the league are selling out every game. Moving the team from Winnipeg (the team used to be the Jets) to the middle of a desert was a poor move to begin with. A team that was selling out before the move is now strapped for cash and still Bettman is trying to keep it out of Canada. The fact of the matter is that Bettman is trying to keep Canada’s game out of Canada. Despite the overwhelming success of all Canadian teams he clings to the idea that it’s better to Americanize the NHL, even going so far as to mention the possibility of removing the Coyotes from the NHL should they fall into Balsillie’s hands. Since there is no clear economic prerogative, I can only conclude that Bettman either hates Canadians or just hates Balsillie. I’m more inclined to believe the former.

For those interested, check out Seriously, what desert needs a hockey team?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Pretentiousness Stat Has Increased By 5

Earth-shattering news: I, Travis Timothy Thomson, am now officially an arts student. This may come as shocking news to those who have known me for a while (my high school physics teacher was certainly surprised) but I think it is for the best. I will undoubtedly become the butt of many jokes from my friends in math but I’ll take consolation in the fact that I’ll have so much more free time than them.

I must say I feel like an island of calm amidst all the drama that seems to be swirling about. I feel most fortunate at the moment. This is a non-transferable fortune though; the problems around me will have to find their own resolutions. So for now I can only hope that all these problems solve themselves in ways amusing to me. Maybe something involving Neil Patrick Harris, he’s an amusing guy.