story time

Hey Kimli! Why are you so anal about RTFM?

When I was in Grade 4, our teacher handed out a test. He told us to carefully read the test first before we started filling in the answers. This was also printed on the top of the page. Naturally, everyone immediately started completing it, including me .. until I got to question 9 or so, which was to “stand up and shout ‘I’m first!'”.

I’ve always been a very fast reader, and I’ve always had social anxiety. When I got to that question (first, because speedy teacher’s pet), I froze. I couldn’t do it. I scanned the rest of the questions, and they all involved making some sort of spectacle of yourself: sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star aloud, run around the room backwards, do a dance beside your desk. I was horrified. Nine-year-old Kimli was not there for any of that shit.

I read until I got to the end of the page, where the full instructions were. The test was 20 “questions” long, but the directions specifically stated you were to fill in your name and answer the first two questions, and STOP. That was it.

After the test (which I’m sure was just an excuse for “quiet” time for my teacher), he asked the class “okay, who finished the test?”. Everyone put their hand up except me. “And who DIDN’T finish the test?” My hand went up, and the class went “whaaaat” because I was the best student in the class (remember this is grade 4 so basically it meant I could do basic multiplication and conjugate things). I was the ONLY ONE who read the entire quiz and followed the instructions*. The quiz wasn’t testing our ability to sing off key, it was testing our ability to RTFM.

I never forgot that lesson, even if I only “succeeded” (test didn’t affect our grades obviously) because of extreme social anxiety.

And that’s why you always leave a note read the fucking manual.

*: I did actually complete the first 8 questions, but in pencil and I had a really good eraser. When I realized what was up, I erased my answers past #2. So the lesson here is really “RTFM and cover your tracks”.

Apologies if I’ve told this story before. My blog is nearly 20 years old with around 15 years of DAILY content, so I’ve long since run out of things to talk about.

photo bomb!

dee’s nuts

I ran out of Appropriate Nuts while baking banana bread over the weekend, so I went through the pantry in search of more. No more Johnny Goodnuts, but I did find a variety of other nuts to use in lieu. Here, at long last, are my conclusive findings on NutGate 2020:

  • Slivered Almonds: Pointless. They disappear in all the banana goodness. Might be a good way of murdering someone.
  • Hazelnuts: normally enjoyed and might have been used but the bag said “from Oregon” and there is bad shit going on down there right now so no thank you
  • Macadamia Nuts: Sadly irritating. They did not add anything to the banana bread or take from it – they were hard little balls of bland. These were raw, unsalted macadamias I had purchased accidentally when looking for a decadent snack, but the packaging insisted they were “great for baking” and you can’t lie about things like that so I kept them around. They were so disappointing that I’m beginning to suspect Hawaii has a surplus of these too-weak-for-tools, too-ugly-for-jewellery, utterly-unhealthy-which-is-surprising-for-a-nut-no-good-fats-or-anything fleshy things and decided to heat them up, cover them in salt, and sell them by the billions to all the gullible tourists from the mainland. The scheme has gone over so well that they sell them covered in chocolate, in Spam (the other Great Scam), in all kinds of “good for you and fun to eat!” “health” foods bought by Soccer Karens all over the globe, and more. I’m onto you, Hawaii. Aloha.
  • Corn Nuts: I was not allowed to use these. Ed never lets me try the salty nuts.
  • Walnuts: the only acceptable banana bread nut. I will take no further questions on this matter.

Now that you know my thoughts on this crucial matter, I hope you are put at ease. At long last, we as a nation can exhale and begin to heal.

this is not my beautiful house (anymore)

Living in Halfwack was nice – I’ll miss it.

Ed just came inside, saying “don’t go out there”. I was about to be an inch thick into the banana bread I baked this afternoon, so I had no plans to go out there or anywhere else. I grunted something non-committal (mouth full of banana bread), and heard a hurried and harried reply of “That was the biggest spider I’ve EVER SEEN! I’m gonna go take a pic of it!”

So, I gotta burn it all down. It’s a shame, because all my stuff is here. All my stuff, and the biggest spider Ed has ever seen.

Burning it now.

UPDATE: He came in to reassure me: “it’s gone, it’s gone – I killed it and the rest of them!”

Reeeeally gonna miss all my stuff and also all of British Columbia.

hoarder of obsolete tech

For marital reasons*, Ed has moved into the spare bedroom downstairs (so uh Steph and Alistair that honeymoon might have to wait a bit). We never got around to setting up any of the electronics down there (we’ve only been moved in for 29 months, give us some time), but now that the room is seeing regular action, we thought it might be a good time to outfit the room in the best technology 5 years ago had to offer.

Unfortunately, we were unable to locate the only truly essential power cord: the one needed for the TV. I checked the four separate dedicated mystery cable boxes and found everything needed for the Xbox 360, the Xbox 180, the Wii, the old broken PS2, the functional PS2, not one but two PS3s (?? where did the second one come from), and a half dozen different cheap Chinese security cameras from when we were concerned enough about safety to outfit our house in surveillance but not yet wise enough to maybe avoid the third-party bad-English no-name equipment with full access to our home network, but nothing for the TV itself. I have adapters in every imaginable format, USB extension cables so thick they could be used on the ocean floor, dongles upon dongles, a complete Pipo X9 I had forgotten about, and fourteen or so Nintendo DS systems, but no TV power cord.

As usual, as soon as something shiny caught my eye I forgot what I was doing and started doing something else. I dug out a cable for the DSi and plugged it in, happy to see that it immediately started charging. It’s tiny and so old that I can’t connect it to the internet (which, to be fair, was a problem when this thing was brand new – Nintendo didn’t immediately embrace wireless internet with open arms, and actually sold a specialty device that you needed to get online if you had any kind of internet security set up whatsoever), but it still works and will very likely play the many, many DS games sitting in Ed’s new room. I’m pretty excited about the find, and now I want to dig out my other DS systems and set them up to race. I really loved the format of the DS, and while the Switch is much more powerful, it doesn’t have that same “toss into bag and go” feel that the DS/DS Lite/DSi/DSi XL/3DS/3DS XL/New 3DS had. I would happily buy my 21st DS system if Nintendo released a new, updated version that had like .. horns, or a special smell. I’m not picky. I love buying the same device multiple times, because it’s the same as the old version but with NEW THINGS and that is very exciting.

Where was I? Oh right, cables or some shit. Anyway, I found the missing cables needed, along with the old Apple TV and a pile of remote controls. We should be able to get things set up downstairs, at which point I will kick Ed out of the room and entertain myself with old PS2 games until the world stops ending. When I’m done with those, I have my DS games to fall back on, and then some original Xbox titles. Who needs the outside world? Not me, I have old consoles with power cables. Life is great!

*: “marital reasons” = keeping a 24/7 eye on Hobbz so I don’t murder the entire household the next time I step into an ice cold puddle of cat pee with both bare feet

Between my collection of outdated MP3 players and handheld consoles, I’m going to be a fucking kingpin when the apocalypse gets to the Max Mad stage.

spice world

All jars are hung and alphabetized because I am anal retentive:

plz do not judge my kitchen. or do, i’m not your mom.

18 jars on one side, 24 on the other. All jars are labeled except for one jar full of Mystery Spice – I think it’s basil, but there was already a basil jar and it doesn’t smell the same. If anyone knows of some sort of spice rain man, send them my way.

The jars are hung with magnets. I bought some crazy strong rare earth magnets that came with exact-sized 3M sticky tape and attached the magnet to the space between the cupboard door and the goodies contained therein, and they’ve held up beautifully.

So, to do this or something similar, you’ll need:

  • Tiny jars. I used these wedding favour jars by Kate Aspen (designer jars are apparently a thing) in lieu of the insanely expensive but really cool Gneiss Spice ones. I ran them through the dishwasher before putting spices in them.
  • Magnets. Splurge and get the fancy rare earth ones, as they’re able to hold a lot of weight and might come in handy if you encounter some enterprising dwarves while adventuring. Also helpful if they come with double-sided tape for the stickening.
  • Tape for stickening if your magnets come naked
  • Spices. You probably have a lot of these already, but in a thousand different jars. Annoying.
  • Some sort of labelling system, unless you live life on the edge and spice your food all willy-nilly

Wash jars, fill jars, label jars, stick jars. Time consuming but simple, and afterwards you can look at your spice collection and admire your DIY skills and marvel at how much cumin you have.

This is my last post about spices, I promise.

staycation project #3

My vacation productivity took a rather large nosedive on Wednesday afternoon:


Meet Dorian. She’s a 2021 Vespa GTS SuperTech 300, boasting an all-new engine design and smartphone integration. There’s (finally) a USB port onboard for most of my charging needs, and a 4″ LCD screen that displays vehicle stats and GPS info. She’s lightning fast. Dorian is fucking glorious.

I hadn’t planned on upgrading my scooter. Lola is a 2008 GTS 250 IE that I bought in 2009 and have put just over 15k kilometres on. I was going to hold out for a Vespa 350 or more, but a) it’s not coming anytime soon (if ever), and b) why the fuck not. I had been idling looking at the new SuperSport models, but Ed spied an article about this one and basically sold me on it the instant he said “bluetooth” – I love me some technology. The model only comes in one colour (in Canada – I think it’s available in black overseas), but that’s okay – it’s a really pretty grey, and I think we’re going to get some decals made to make it more “mine”. There aren’t very many of these scooters in Canada let alone in the ass-end of Surrey, but you know me. I MUST STAND OUT, even if I am already standing out by virtue of who I am.

Dorian is missing a top box (and about a hundred stickers) for the time being – I ordered it when I ordered the scooter, but the entire world is delayed thanks to the apocalypse. I hope it comes soon, because I’ve already done a TON of riding and errands on her and it’s difficult to get things without storage. Lola is for sale, but in the meantime, Ed has been riding her around – we’re a scooter gang of two. I really wish we could keep her, but with two scooters and a motorcycle and two cars and 4 bicycles and a thousand reusable grocery bags there is no room in the garage. Ed doesn’t want to give up his motorcycle, so having a third vehicle to sometimes ride around doesn’t make any sense. I feel really bad about selling Lola because I assign personalities to inanimate objects, but also because she’s an awesome scooter and I’ve loved riding her for these 11 years. Don’t ask me how I’m going to react when we finally sell the Mini. It’s not going to be pretty.

So, this was my third official project of my not-a-staycation. While I’m glad she arrived when she did and the weather held out for some awesome riding, I didn’t accomplish most of my to-do list because I was out riding around. I’m back at work now. It is what it is. And hey, when my contract ends at the end of the month, I can ride around all I want! Hooray!

My relaxing week came to a crashing halt last Thursday afternoon, when my handler called me to tell me my contract was expiring and the budget to extend my pathetic existence has not yet been approved. They’re working on it, but who knows what’ll happen. Not me, that’s for sure! What an exciting year 2020 has been so far! Can’t wait to see what’s coming next!

Happy about the new scooter. Less happy about my work situation. Missing my friends and also London. Feeling like I’m stretched to the limit without actually stretching at all. How’s by all of you?

PS: wear a goddamn mask or 2020 will never fucking end ok

staycation project #2

The entire point of my not-a-staycation was to be off GitHub for as long as possible. I’ve been mostly successful with that, but Tuesday’s project required me to clone a couple of repos. I survived. Yes, I am a trooper.

I wanted to accomplish something a little more technical than spice jars, so I purchased a Raspberry Pi and a tiny monitor and built my first project:

tiny screen shows tiny music!

It was super fun and the instructions were easy to follow. I’m so pleased with my non-spice project! It’s cute and responsive and now I want a dozen Raspberry Pis so I can build ALL THE TINY FIDDLY THINGS.

In the meantime though, the additional tiny jars and magnets for the Extended Spice Remix have arrived, so I need to jar up the remaining spices. I’m also debating taking another week off. The downtime has been very good for my mental health, but the thought of going back on Monday is making the Bad Times creep back in. I don’t think I’m ready to spend that much of my vacation fund, though. Maybe I’ll space it out and take some time next month. Until then: MOAR PROJECTS!