And I’m back from luddite land…

I’ve spent the last four days or so — however long since the last time I posted — offline, since my laptop finally died after so many years of great service. I was pleasantly shocked by how cheap desktops are and picked up a quad-core machine with a big upgrade of memory and drivespace and it cost me a fraction of any computer I’ve owned in the past.

Quickly going over the last few days, first of all, my boat is doing great… although my fiberglass work is attrocious, it is still fitting together. I’ve learned a lot with this project, and already have my next boat all designed in my head. If I do that, I’ll put together a nice set of plans and instructions that address some of the difficulties I’ve had on this one, and hopefully will produce something that’s an ideal project for a first time boat builder.

motorboat-1 motorboat-2

motorboat-3 motorboat-4

The boat has since been moved outside (hope it doesn’t rain) to keep the stench of the fiberglass — which sadly I have gotten in my hair — outside. I’m not sure how much more fiberglass I’m going to do on it — I think I may sand it down next and paint it and see where I’m at in terms of waterproofness. The paint job (and you can see my plan in the pictures in rough pencil) is going to be inspired by fifities hot rods… I also need to build a roof rack for it so I can take it down to the lake on the top of the truck.

When I picked up Nefarious at the airport on Sunday — her plane was an hour late so I had plenty of time to stare at people — I was amused at the many (exclusively Asian) people who were dressed up in SARS-style face masks. Somehow I doubt that pig flu can be defeated in this way… not that I think there’s a whole lot of pig flu in the air. I was thinking about starting a new blog — to join my army of unattented projects I suppose — called “plague a day” in which every day I’d post a story of past pestilence (every one worse than pig flu of course) to put life into context.

face-masks-1 face-masks-2

If you read Caitlin’s blog, you already know about our good ol’ days fireworks party (it’s funny because I think the last time that I launched so many fireworks was at this same location, at a BMEfest years back) and our new diminutive garden (with a wonderful little gnome)… And speaking of BME, check out the great quilt she’s making (taking over a project started ages ago) from many of my old t-shirt designs.

And at High Park I saw this grody cat fish. Grody enough to keep from posting the picture at full size… The water is so terrible I can’t imagine how toxic its flesh is. It was quite active and alive, but its behavior seemed “off” so I’m not sure if it’s got long to live.


Other than that, I spent today at the hospital… Outside of dealing with the neuropathic issues, they’re trying to figure out why I have elevated CK levels. I don’t think I was bitten by a poisonous snake, nor do I think I have muscular dystrophy (fingers crossed), so it’s still a mystery. Anyway, it’s going to take me a few days still to get this computer properly set up.


  1. rosie wrote:

    I’m sure most people who have spent extended periods of time in East Asia will have encountered this phenomenon. If you have a cold, or will be in an environment where other people may be sick, then you often wear a mask to avoid getting sick or spreading your germs. This is born of a culture of never missing class or work — in China and in Taiwan I was told by several teachers at the beginning of semesters that unless we were actually delirious with fever or in a coma, we would be expected to come to class. Also confirmed by the doctors I saw whenever I was sick in Taiwan, who never issued sick notes but told me to be sure to wear a face mask so as to avoid contaminating others.

    If there’s a load of flu going around, be it swine or otherwise, then a lot more people will be susceptible to reverting to their old mask-covered ways!

    Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 8:02 pm | Permalink
  2. Em wrote:

    There’s something like 190 cases of pig flu here (in Japan) and people are FREAKING the fuck out like zombies have hit. All the stores are sold out of masks, schools and offices are being shut down and anyone who so much as coughs in public is being stared at like they’ve got plague. People are being told by their offices in some cases that they are forbidden to visit the Kansai region (where the most cases have been found) as well as overseas until the thing settles down.

    it’s all pretty stupid, but Japanese people are sheep and it’s a wonder anything amazing ever comes from this country.

    Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 8:19 pm | Permalink
  3. siobhan wrote:

    My mom has a rare disease called dermatomiositis. Her CK levels are always elevated. Besides her, I’ve never even met anyone who knew what ck levels are.
    Also, just like Rosie said, it was so common to see people wearing masks in Taiwan and so not acceptable to call in sick to work. Even though I’ve been back in Canada for almost two years and have paid sick days, it’s still hard for me to get over the Taiwan mentality that was instilled in me.

    Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 9:56 pm | Permalink
  4. p7tms wrote:

    CK levels? When did you get Calvin Klein in your system?

    Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 1:00 pm | Permalink
  5. p7tms wrote:

    p.s. where I used to live I would go fish from time to time (susquehanna river) and well, you know the fish aren’t worth catching when you see the sides of the “beach” covered with dark orange and white foam (that strangely did not move when the current would be strong)

    Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 1:02 pm | Permalink
  6. Curious Moth wrote:

    Aww, poor catfish :(

    Wednesday, May 20, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Permalink
  7. treyci wrote:

    wow. that catfish is seriously pretty heinous… i feel terribly sorry for the poor thing.

    and i have to comment about the susquehanna river – i used to live close to there – i wouldn’t fish it but it’s not that bad anymore.. there has been some major cleaning up in the past few years…

    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:08 pm | Permalink
  8. PB wrote:

    CK levels? When did you get Calvin Klein in your system?

    Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 9:09 am | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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