Friday, July 06, 2007

This week in review

[unedited for your proofreading enjoyment]

Well the 168 hour period that began a couple hours from now last week is almost up, so I should get to posting, before it's too late and this is old news. The weekend started like any other. I was sitting at home doing nothing on a Friday night, in anticipation of doing something on a Saturday. Well, not completely nothing. I typed up an email in order to make sure I didn't show up late for Saturday's early afternoon of mayhem. Then I sat glued to my computer waiting for the reply. Actually, I don't remember what I did. Maybe I wrote another email. Who knows?

Anyway. I was told to show up at 10:30. I was planning on showing up late, but decided not to, since one of the participants is rather quite punctual, and seems to get visibly irate in the presence of minor delays which could turn out to be very inconsequential even in the short term. I had forgotten about his girlfriend, however, who isn't quite as punctual. In fact, before the early afternoon of mayhem, I hadn't met her. I showed up a minute late, and was worried that the car would have left without me. It turns out that 3 out of 5 of us weren't even there yet. Sooner or later everyone showed up and we were on our way. Three of us were jammed in the back seat of a Honda Civic, and I got stuck in the middle, which meant that my legs were squeezed tightly against each other. In a way that was a blessing, since I had consumed a large coffee in my way there.

We arrived at Sandbanks at around 12:00. We sat around for a bit, and then threw the football around, until such time is a tried to catch the football with the tip of my finger rather than the palm of my hand (well hands, I guess). I decided that throwing the football around wasn't fun anymore. My friends decided the same. What power I wield, I never knew! We sat around a bit more, absorbed some sun, and then decided to toss the frisbee around for a while. This I could do with one hand, mostly. It was rather windy, however, and after some time, I was having a difficult time getting the frisbee to go where I wanted it to (other than that, they were great shots). The person that I was playing had very good aim, though pretty much all of his throws were on the ground, and rolling sideways by the time they reached me. We decided to switch positions, and magically, we also switched errors. Moments later, we decided that playing frisbee was also boring. We sat around some more, and headed for home at about 3:00. Perhaps 15 minutes into the ride, it began to rain quite heavily, so we had picked a good time to end the mayhem.

The rest of the day was spent doing not much at all. I started a blog post, but my finger got the better of me, so I saved the draft, and haven't touched it since.

On Sunday, I went to Ottawa with an old roommate (who is from Ottawa) to celebrate Canada Day. Among the things I did to celebrate was drinking enough beer so that I could bend my finger without it hurting, and also enough that that seemed like a good idea. Other things included taking a ridiculous number of photos with my recently acquired digital camera, walking around listening to a friend of the roommate complain about what clearly appeared to him as some sort of fascism regarding the manner in which Ottawans were expected to celebrate the initialization of their country, and watching the fireworks under the watchful eye of our apparently fascist overlord's servants, the RCMP. We killed a bit of time, and eventually made it back to my roommates house. I think I lost five dollars somewhere in there.

The next day we headed back to downtown to do some touristy stuff. We had intended to go to the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, but it was closed, so we went to the Modern Photography exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada instead. Highlights of the Gallery included a giant sculpture of a spider (which was inspired by sculptor's mother. How flattering.) and a number of photographs that were similar in style and content to some of my own (not that I'm trying to draw any comparisons about my photo skills). Also amusing was the fact that taking photographs was not allowed at the photography exhibit, while it was elsewhere in the museum (not everywhere else mind you). We ate lunch, made our way back to his house, and eventually drove back to Kingston, mostly taking back roads.

On Tuesday, the swelling in my finger had gone down enough that I was getting some movement back. Accompanying that movement, however, was a clicking feeling that I'm pretty sure wasn't there last week. I decide that this warranted a visit to the doctor. She decided that it warranted a visit to the X-ray department at the local hospital, and so I spent a good part of Tuesday afternoon waiting around for X-rays. I also finally made it back into the gym.

Not much happened on Wednesday, except that I weighed myself for the first time since April, which is also the last time that I went to the gym before Tuesday. Turns out that, after all that laziness and bad eating, I actually lost weight.

Thursday, nothing really to report.

Today, while walking to school to run some errands, I ran into a Japanese friend. She didn't think much of Kingston's 10 minute Canada Day fireworks display. I told her that Ottawa's was 20 minutes. You could tell that she didn't want to hurt my feelings by telling me what she thought of that. She told me that they're usually an hour in Japan. Oh I see. Come to think of it, 20 minutes is kind of lame for a fireworks display in the nation's capital on the day which is supposed to celebrate the birth of the nation. Municipal governments can't necessarily afford to put on huge displays, but if the city of Hamilton (yes, it's my hometown, but I'm under no illusions) on it's own can afford a comparable display, then I would think the feds could have given us a whole lot more than a local government could. In any case. I had to main orders of business on campus today, both of which involved paying fines of some kind. The library's fine extraction system was malfunctioning, so I didn't pay that one. I was going to pay a fine at the doctor's office, but I decided to try dispute it instead. It was a pretty hard sell too. First off, the women didn't come across as someone who was easy to bargain with. I blamed it on a dead watch battery. I showed up for the appointment when my watch said that I was supposed to. According to their records, though, I was on time for another appointment earlier on the same day as the missed appointment. Why was the watch a factor for the second and not the first? Not only that, but the appointment was a long time ago. Why didn't I come in within a week or two to dispute it? Nevertheless, in the end, I was successful.

I returned home, and kept myself busy trying to gain some insight into an open problem from my thesis. I looked at a related paper that I had picked up quite some time ago, and realized that, even though the main result of the paper is rather complicated, parts of it are simple enough to cover almost everything in a special case of the open problem, the few things that it doesn't cover can be dealt with separately (vague enough for you?). It doesn't actually solve the open problem, though it does make another more central open problem "easier" to solve. And that's not nothing.

And, to end the excitement of the day, I got a call from the doctor's office regarding X-rays. It turns out that I fractured my finger. I've been instructed to splint the finger, or else tape it to the one beside it (or is that the same thing?) for at least 3 weeks. Currently I'm doing the latter, which means that two of my left hand fingers are pretty much useless for typing, which makes typing a bit difficult (though clearly I'm getting a lot of practice with 6 finger typing). So, until this thing fixes itself, blog posts will be short, if they happen at all. I'll save my typing energy for electronic forms of communications that are more interactive.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Having the idiotstrings link in your gmail 'status' is great--it reminds me of your blog. thx