Damn Your Hide, McSweeney's

"Well-written, but we're going to pass, I'm afraid..."

The Four Stages Of Poetry


Your oppressive regime
Paints your face black
I am a slave to your whims
I want my PS2 back


hands reach my sensitive Y
a gentle


finds me

(thank god
my father
paid for
the abortion)

In the morning light
Horus stills his breath
Amaterasu recedes beneath her pillow
Each feigns slumber
Though Montréal bustles
In the morning light
The Mythological Cycle begins anew
And Sisyphus sighs
Because the first to rise
Has to make the coffee
In the morning light

the nurse who bathes me
modestly tries not to look
at my erection


100 Things About Me (34-66)

34. I was a college radio DJ. I played the Friday 4pm-6pm shift for 5 people in the cafeteria.
35. I was one of 5 editors for my college literary journal. It was called "Arcady: The Swimfruit Edition"
36. I was also a cartoonist for the college weekly. This was before everyone used clip-art for their comics. I can hardly draw a lick but I guess it was either me or whitespace.
37. I watched about 40 or so Canadiens games on TV last season. I went to one at the Bell Centre. I plan on watching 50+ this year.
38. I had an operation when I was 5 to insert a tube into my ear canal. My ear was not draining properly and it was causing me frequent ear infections. It was removed when I was 12.
39. I've done improv with the guys from Fubar. (That's a popular movie in Canada.)
40. I know how to use a metalworking lathe. Those things scare the hell out of me.
41. I was in my high school choir. I am very tone deaf so this ended after 2 years. I'm not a big fan of singing.
42. I lived in Ottawa for 4 months on 2 occasions working as an intern at Nortel (as a co-op student for those who know what that means).
43. While living in Ottawa I went to a performance art show. There I saw my first theremin, a painting robot, a guy reading spoken word while wearing a hazmat suit and wondering how much drugs were involved in the production of the whole affair.
44. Whenever my wife and I travel, we buy a lithographic print from 1875-1910 (ish)depicting a landmark of that town. We have 5 pieces so far.
45. The first time I played ADnD I fought a skeleton, broke my sword and survived. I didn't play again until 3rd edition came out.
46. My bachelor's party was a trip to a paintball field with my friends. We were all too exhausted to do anything but try to stay awake at the strip club that evening (I swear!).
47. When people say weird things, I try to imagine it as the title of their autobiography. "I Can't Talk, My Mouth Is Full Of Hot Dog". Yep, that fits...
48. I have 2 pictures on my desk at work: one is from my wedding day and the other is of my 2 kids from just after Sara was born.
49. I don't believe that kids should be lied to about Santa. I think I will get into trouble with my wife one day.
50. I drink at least one cup of tea each day at work. I can't stand coffee.
51. I love to go canoe camping. Having to canoe to your site is just too much fun. The longest I've ever been camping is 4 days, 3 nights. I'd like to go for a full week someday.
52. I am really starting to get into DragonForce. Is it that they kind of sound like Metallica of old? That they put video game music in their guitar solos? That their lyrics sound straight out of a generic fantasy book? Do they exist solely for my entertainment?
53. I will download songs of the internet and if I like it enough, I will buy the album on iTunes (but I'll use the higher bitrate files I downloaded).
54. I bought an 8-bit album online for 5 bucks and it was so cool. 8-bit music is music made from specific consoles (or more generally "chiptunes"). The album I bought was by Bitshifter using the Gameboy audio card.
55. I can't stop playing Guitar Hero II. I should beat Hard sometime this month. Expert frightens me.
56. I love old maps. We have a set of 6 old maps of Montreal/Quebec/North America in our living room. I would love a print of the the first Mercator projection map. It's gorgeous.
57. I prefer the light from the newer fluorescent bulbs. It's much whiter.
58. Someone once told me this and I believe it to be true: Squirrels are rats with good PR.
59. If you don't like Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, I'm afraid we will never really be friends.
60. We swapped my old set of Energy speakers for smaller, less visible ones when we moved. They sound ok but my Energy speakers sounded great. I could probably use a sub-woofer whereas I never missed it with the Energy set.
61. I get easily fixated.
62. Blackjack is the only game I will play in a Casino. I am still lifetime positive.
63. There is no optimal solution for storing photos on a Mac. iPhoto eats HD space and won't back up metadata, Aperture is sloooow, Lightroom won't import movies (wtf?).
64. I own the full Robotech series on DVD. It actually holds up better than 90% of the stuff I used to watch as a kid.
65. I have a birthmark under my right armpit. My brother has the exact same mark. My son does not.
66. The PVR set to always record the following shows: 30 Rock, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Flight of the Conchords. Everything else is my wife's idea.


100 Things About Me (1-33)

Ok, I might as well do this one.

1. I'm not sure I can come up with 100 things of note.
2. I've been inside the White House. It was a tour.
3. I've sat in on English Parliament while it was in session. It was both dull and cool.
4. I've walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. The towers are made of stone.
5. I've walked across the Golden Gate Bridge. That sucker is long.
6. My family says I could read at the age of three. I don't believe them.
7. I have stories that I love to tell. I think I'm an ok storyteller. I wish I was better.
8. I can't breathe solely out my nose because of the way my head is constructed. It causes me a lot of problems.
9. I always lose weight on vacations. I need a new job.
10. I have written a book but only the first half has been revised.
11. I like it when my kids fall asleep on me. One at a time, please.
12. I love board games. Not Monopoly, Cities & Knights of Catan.
13. I expect to get at least one bingo in every Scrabble game I play.
14. I was in a Scrabble tournament with three former World Champions: David Boys, Joel Wapnick & Adam Logan. (They all go to the Montreal Scrabble Club. I never came close to playing them.)
15. I don't understand people who buy Apple products new when the refurbished ones are, like, 20% cheaper and just as good.
16. Escalators are not made to be walked up. Look at the height of each step in every staircase ever made. Now, look at the step height on an escalator. Case Closed.
17. I like nerdy, goofy jokes. One atom says to another, "I lost an electron!" "Are you sure?" "Yes, I'm positive!"
18. I used to have a Quebec Explosives Permit. My first physics job was working for an explosives company.
19. I have Secret clearance with the Canadian Government (The three levels are Confidential, Secret and Top Secret). I'm not joking.
20. I'm allergic to cats. So is my wife. Otherwise, we'd have one.
21. M.I.A. is the only musician I will still keep close tabs on.
22. I once vowed to learn to play Master of Puppets on the guitar. I'd say I only learned about 15% of it.
23. 3.14159265357989 is as far I can go.
24. I think Paul Dirac is amazing. The Dirac Delta function is an awesome math hack.
25. I played Metroid so often I started trying to finish it as fast as possible. My record was 1 hour 13 minutes. The record verified time is 17 minutes and change.
26. I can listen to a song 1000 times and still not have the lyrics memorised.
27. Me and my neighbour in Vancouver used to play Thomas Gradin vs Richard Brodeur, 1-on-1 hockey.
28. I wish I could bring out my Lego but it's still a choking hazard.
29. It makes me feel old when Ben tries to use the Gamecube controller like a Wii controller by waving it around. "You mean you have to use your hands?!" "That's like a baby's toy!"
30. I created the Wikipedia "Perfect Strangers" page (which is now a disambiguation page).
31. Maxwell's Equations are the best equations.
32. I very much look forward to the day a child does not wake either me or my wife up on the weekend. I'm guessing we have at least 8-10 years to go.
33. Grimlock was my favourite Transformer character but Astrotrain was my favourite toy (my neighbour had one).



Last year I decided to start a little tradition for myself. On my birthday (or as close as is feasible) I would edit one wikipedia article. I wouldn't just correct some typos, either. I would re-organize, clean up, and polish to a shine any existing article of a reasonable size that badly needed editing.

2006's selection was Blaise Pascal's entry and I'm happy to see that most of my structural changes and language work is mostly intact. The page has evolved quite nicely and remains fairly readable. Unfortunately, it also seems to have been my last edit. I'm a big slacker...

This year, I was just going to wander around the "wik" I am wont to do but I wondered if someone else might find a more worthy candidate, a page that is pretty sizable and in total chaos, a page that needs a serious overhaul and streamlining. In that spirit, I've opened up the comments. Oh, yes, I went there. (hmm, that was the "Oh, no, you di'int!" of 2000 which in turn was the "Oh, snap!" of 2005.)

So post a wikipedia page that you come across in the nest week or so that you think could use some elbow grease and if it tops whatever page I flag in work needed, I'll get down on it (you know, that video makes me think I need to update my video drivers).