koczij: back in the saddle

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INDEX & What it is I am thinking of today
Tuesday, October 29

Recovery = slow and steady

Just when I started feeling slightly better after the barn-burner that was the 199 Ossington Hallowe'en Shindig, a chest cold has developed in me and I'm not too keen. The party was, by all accounts, an overwhelming success. It had all of the ingredients for a blow out: intoxicants, maritals (of a non-serious nature), a huge mix of people, costumes, ear-ringing volume, temporal disorientation (thanks to daylight savings), and an incredibly aggressive - nay violent - French woman. As far as I can tell, no one was left unscathed by the night. My eyes didn't fully focus until 7:30pm Sunday. Heather's costume - Snow White - was definately my favourite (and I'm not just saying that because she's my wife), though honourable mentions go out to T-Stan for looking so damn handsome in his Canadian Air Force uniform, Paully for his typically cerebral 'Fairy Godfather' (a fairy with a suit jacket, stubble, and handgun), and 'the Digger' for his incredibly accurate and realistic take on the Amish.

Though I've settled into my beard after years of wearing it now, I still enjoy a good discussion of facial hair, and this is one of the best I've seen in a while.
...a chronicle of one Brown man's attempt to grow a beard in the post 9-11 age, and an exploration of facial hair throughout history and in current popular culture
12:09 PM |

Friday, October 25

Eric Meyer's Stereotypes is both mesmerizing and immensely gratifying. The more you play with the it, the more you want to. I saw a print version of this done in one of Bruce Mau's books. Way better when its interactive.

I'll be playing another football game tomorrow. Really keen on it. It'll be cold and wet, which will give it that authentic CFL feeling. The team I joined, midseason, need to win all of their remaining games to make it to the playoffs. The best part about the team is their (our?) name - Project Mayhem.

Tomorrow night is the 199 Hallowe'en party. I'm looking forward to a night of unhinged revelery, which is what this particular party has always provided. I haven't said this in a long time, because I rarely feel it, but Thanks God its Friday. This week has really beat the hell out of me, but I can already feel things improving.
2:51 PM |

Thursday, October 24

Thursday is garbage day in the E dot. I look forward to it. I get to empty out the messy part of the garage, unburdening us of a week or two of clutter. But, for some reason I have had an ongoing battle with the recycling guys and its really starting to sour me on my Thursday morning ritual. The TV Heather and I got as a wedding present came in a HUGE box. I mean, you could pack me and my entire extended family in it. So, when I didn't break it up at all the first time I took it out to the curb, I half expected it not to be picked up. That was a month and a half ago. There have been two more pickups since and I keep breaking this box down into smaller and smaller pieces and these guys are still refusing to take it. This week, and I swear this is true, the box is in 2' x 3' pieces (thereby meeting the standards as laid out in the Etobicoke Recycles! pamphlet) and I still found it strewn on my driveway. I think I actually swore when I saw it just now. So in two weeks time I'm going to have that box wrapped in twine, in 2' x 1.5' pieces. If it doesn't get picked up I'm going to set myself up with a lawn chair, a parka, and a laptop and I'm going to work on my front porch, so help me they're going to pick it up - I'm not giving in.

In good news, the repair of the Longbranch streetcar track has finally been completed and I can now, without having to transfer on and off of buses, take the streetcar from my front door to anywhere on Queen Street downtown. Hooray indeed.

I'm reading The Game by Ken Dryden. It deserves every accolade it has ever earned. The man is brilliant. Whether or not you love hockey, this book is required reading - he completely captures what it felt like to be living in Quebec in the late '60s and early '70s - one of my favourite periods of Canadian history. And of course, his analysis of the game and its players reads like a sociology study in its detail and insight. I'm so happy I picked it up.
9:48 AM |

Tuesday, October 22

It's been a strange couple of days. I received a letter in the mail yesterday from a Toronto law firm informing me that my former employer is demanding that I "cease and desist from displaying either on [my] website, or in any other forum or format [i.e., printed portfolio], work product produced while [I was] an employee of nurun (my former employer)". So, the corporate section of my portfolio has been ostensibly taken offline. Don't get me wrong, nurun has the right to demand I take down images that they own (they own them because that's what my contract said), its just a real shame that it all had to play out the way it did.

But, this is now a golden opportunity for me to rethink your friendly neighbourhood koczij.com and I suppose its time for me to start putting up more of the work that I do for myself. So, no promises as to when this will happen, but I see a redesign in the near future. It'll be both fun and very very good for the soul.

On the lighter side, and not to gloat too much, the Chargers are now tied for the best record in the NFL and they are now, finally, being recognized as legitimate Super Bowl contenders (or at least divisional finalists). My pie in the sky visions of the Chargers playing at home in the Super Bowl are slowly changing to cautious hope that it’s actually a possibility.

This weekend: the infamous 199 Hallowe'en Party. I have my costume ready to go and I'm, needless to say, pumped beyond words. This is one of the best parties of the year and a great way to start the 'Party Season' which will end at New Year's. Though everything always gets hectic starting now and I'm glad when it’s done, there really is no better time to connect with friends as we prepare for the time of the year where we need each other more than ever. Huddled together against the cold blast from north, we gather to stay warm.
4:13 PM |

Thursday, October 17

Ode to Joy. Netscape has less than 4% of the browser market. Read about it. It's not that I'm particulary enthusiastic about Microsoft controlling the entirety of anything, but at least there's a chance that there will only be one browser to code for some time in the near future.

On the scary side - a Canadian citizen, a man who was educated here since high school, has worked as an engineer here, and has lived here for 15 years with his family all being born here was deported to Syria by American authorities without any notice, explanation, or concern for his Canadian citizenship. And the Canadian government has not done anything about this yet. Please don't let this happen to me, anyone I know, or anyone at all. Please please please.

Further reading on the subject.
1:41 PM |

Tuesday, October 15

Talk about a non-news story. Its been almost comical how the coverage of the 'sniper' has been. There is next to no information available on these killings. Its all hyped up freakout sessions. Which I can understand if you're sitting around with some friends thinking, "Man, this sniper guy is a total psycho"... but hearing that kind of analysis out of all the news stations is a bit much. I was actually switching through channels last night when I happened upon CNN as the latest murder happened - you could see the relief, and then excitement of the newscaster (Aaron Brown) as information came in. Relief that he won't have to go over the previous murder anymore, and excitement about all the speculating he'll get to do now that someone else has been offed. This is a standard complaint about CNN Newsploitation - I just really find it shocking how much 'news' can be generated out of so little information.

Great Thanksgiving weekend. Up at the cottage for the first time since the nuptuals. Pancakes Jr. came up with us which was really nice. My mother-in-law can cook a mean turkey and I am definately well fed after three days with her.

And what would a weekend report be without a quick reference to my beloved, most precious, and once again victorious Bolts. A come from behind, with 11 seconds left, victory by one point thanks to a TD pass and conversion. Game recap. So exciting. And, more exciting than even that, I get to watch the embarrassed Raiders versus the triumphant Chargers on the TV this Sunday as ABC will be covering that game.
9:21 AM |

Thursday, October 10

I love CBC Radio.

Picture this: It's 1939 and King George VI with Queen Elizabeth (Queen Mum) is visiting Winnipeg where they are greeted at the City Hall by Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King and the Mayor and Mrs. John Queen. This meeting was broadcast to all Canadians on CBC Radio where the play by play was given by a, now, unknown reporter. You can well imagine the ensuing hilarity:
Here comes the Royal Family now. The automobile has now stopped….. Oh, there’s the King—he’s stepping out, followed by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, neatly attired in a silver coat. Mr. King is now shaking hands with the King and introducing Mr. Queen to the King and Queen and then Mrs. Queen to the Queen and King. They are now proceeding up the steps to the well-decorated City Hall, the King and Mr. King together with the Queen being escorted by Mrs. Queen. The King has now stopped and said something to Mrs. Queen and goes to Mrs. Queen and the Queen and Mr. King and the Queen laughed jovially. The King leaves Mr. King and goes to Mrs. Queen and the Queen and Mr. King follow behind...

My best friend on those early mornings after the night before.
9:55 AM |

Tuesday, October 8

Run, don't walk, to Siteway World™. Antony Hare outdoes himself, just when we thought it wasn't possible.
Read the press release!

In other news out there, justice prevails.
8:48 AM |

Monday, October 7

For the sake of some house cleaning, Ron McLean is back with the CBC, the Bolts are no longer undefeated, and Siteway World launches at midnight tonight.

Spent the weekend doing some hardcore production for the relaunch of MaRS. Watch for the launch in the coming weeks.

On the subject of relaunching: dooce is back! Congratulations to her on all the big things that have happened in her life. If you're scratching your head, catch-up on the deal with her. Also, note her cool use of css - I'm totally going to rip that off.

I played football over the weekend. I was a stand-in for a friend's team and I was mostly just a warm body on the field. But it was a really cool experience - we ran formal plays (they were even drawn out on pieces of paper) and I learned a tonne about how a defense works. The aprés football party consisted of Gord coming over and drilling a hole through my exterior wall into the furnace room so I can re-route the air intake for my furnace. The builder of the townhouses figured there was enough room in the basement for the air intake to just use basement air. But, these furnaces are built with the assumption that the air that comes in will be cold, and from what I understand a high-efficiency furnace depends on that cold air. Concerns I never foresaw having.
1:58 PM |

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