Thursday, April 27, 2006

Lousy writing, awesome music, and moving.

For the last couple of days, I've been marking papers written by people who are going to be teachers next year (a mix of elementary and secondary), and you know what? These people can't write for shit! Granted, a few of them have been out of an organized scholastic environment for a few years, and some of them didn't do a lot of writing in their undergraduate career, but come on. You don't "loose" your keys, you can't eat Big Macs "everyday," and for crying out loud, run the damn thing through a spell-checker so that monstrosities like "though tabout" get caught. (Don't even get me started on all the rogue apostrophes out there.)

Because I was so enamoured with the song "R.J." off Miles Davis' 1965 LP E.S.P., I... ahem... acquired the entire album. And it's good. Reeeeeeeeeeeal good. His mid-'60s quintet, with Herbie Hancock playing a sublime piano, was among his last dalliances in straight-ahead jazz before getting into jazz-fusion in the late '60s, beginning with the inimitable Bitches Brew. E.S.P. is melodic and thoughtful, yet challenging at the same time; it's tough to balance a great listening experience with something that, should you want to engage it more fully, sets your mind afire. But hey, that's Miles for ya.

I get the extreme pleasure of moving all my stuff down the highway tomorrow. It's going to be one exceedingly long-ass day, and I'm going to hurt all weekend. I'm making two trips, though — the first is with the big truck for the bulky stuff, and the second will be with my car for things like clothes, CDs, and my Captain & Tenille Collector Plates.

God damn, I hate moving.



Aside: What's that on your head? (Click "Profile" to contribute! Fun!)



Aside: I'm moving (obviously), so I'm going to be a bit out-of-touch until Sunday, when Rogers is supposed to be installing my phone/internet/cable. If you need to contact me, please do so by telegram, candygram, or strip-o-gram.

Good ol' keyword searches.

In perusing the latest hits on this ol' blog from Statcounter, something very interesting came up. Apparently, somebody around the Sarnia area (who has Xcelco as their ISP) found my blog by putting the words Waterloo physics education blog Tigers into Google.

Somebody out there knows me to a T. Who are you, mystery Lambton County-ite?

Monday, April 24, 2006

This is how a right-wing blog works.

Pursuant to what I wrote earlier today. If learning how a particular American neoconservative, who claims to support free speech and all that jazz, carefully prunes her blog to take out dissenting viewpoints interests you, read on here. Otherwise, have a lovely evening.



I posted a couple of comments on a conservative blog called Woman Honor Thyself a few days ago, and when I checked back later, one of them had mysteriously disappeared. "That's odd," I thought. "I was sure I wrote two things."

Today I made another comment which mysteriously disappeared as well. "Well now, this is getting downright odd," I mused. However, as I'd only written what vanished an hour previous, I thought I might as well just try posting it again... and, lo and behold, it vanished again.

You might be thinking, "What on Earth did you write that would cause it to be scrubbed off a blog comment page? It must have been pretty vile." Well, Dear Reader, I assure you it was nothing of the sort; on this blog entry, my comment was, "Your numbers seem arbitrary and hazy, and you don't cite your sources. Also, I find it odd that the words Islam, Muslim and Arab are intentionally misspelled or have hyphens in them." These were the words that vanished.

Being the logical type — they don't give out Physics degrees to people who don't have inventive and thorough problem-solving skills, you know — I decided to do a little experiment. "Because these things are vanishing within a matter of minutes, they must be filtered out through some sort of filtering-type device," I decided. "Let's see what gets caught."

Here's the third thing I posted with the I-, M- and A-words in them — remember, the previous two were snuffed out with nary a trace. This was at 4:43 pm (all times Eastern):


By 5:10 pm nothing had been snuffed out. "This is mildly disconcerting," I said to a friend of mine. "It's not taking the bait. What if I'm wrong?" I then came to the conclusion that maybe the comma made a difference:


I went off and did something else — burned an American flag, probably — and came back at 6:42 pm. Success! Both my comments were gone.


Flushed with that success, I decided to individually try each of the words. Here's what I posted two minutes later:


What's this? "Comment moderation," all of a sudden? Oooooh, all because of the dastardly A-word. Now this woman has to vet all her comments, just because of lil' ol' me. I feel so special.

At that point, I went to dinner with a friend. I came back at 8:32 pm to find this:


I guess she isn't going to play that game. At any rate, what I figured happened was that her blog was set up to catch the three words I'd tried out (and perhaps more), so that search engines wouldn't be able to find her blog should a proper spelling of Islam, Arab or Muslim be used. In conclusion, after I started pestering her, she decided to start moderating her comments.

While typing this, I decided to give it one last whirl. I'd decided to give the I-word a try, but this comment seemed to be stuck in being "moderated". Lo and behold, though, there was something below what I'd last typed which had made it through alright, ostensibly because "kevin" agreed with the woman who runs the site ("Angel"):


As you can see, I decided to rebut the numbers she'd cited at 9:11 pm. My previous comment, stuck... my current comment, stuck... but kevin sailed right through. Funny how that works. (Update: as of 9:27 pm, this screen has not changed. I'm still stuck in limbo, but kevin's opinions have been disseminated to the world.)



At any rate, here's the moral of the story: if you claim to support free speech, and if you claim to be "obsessed with knowledge," as the owner of this blog states (amidst a few spelling mistakes), don't snip out opinions of people whose only transgression is disagreeing with you.

If you disagree with something I say, tell me about it. Let's discuss it, share ideas (in a civilized manner), and learn a little bit about where the other is coming from. But, to use an O'Reillyism, don't be a "coward" and run from dissent. That's what Dubya does.

Minimal sleep, procrastination, and cheerleaders.

For no particularly good reason, I went to bed last night at 2:30. This would not usually cause me much trouble these days; as a graduate student, my schedule is exceedingly flexible. (Besides, I'm most productive past midnight anyway.) However, silly me, I said I'd fill in at CFRC for the early-early-morning show, from 7 to 8. On the plus side, I got to play prog-rock to my heart's delight; I whimsically mixed in a couple of surprises, such as a cut from a 1965 Miles Davis album ("R.J.", off E.S.P.) and a song on which I played drums. On the negative side, I had to get up at 6. We'll see how long I go today before completely zonking-out; I'm guessing 3:30.

Originally, a friend of mine from Toronto was to come up Saturday and go home sometime Sunday, and I was to spend all day today at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. However, both of those events fell through for various reasons, and I was left with two full days of extra time on my hands. With a stack of papers to mark and revisions to do on my thesis, you'd think I'd be all over them like Bill O'Reilly on a Democrat. Whoops! You're wrong.

Speaking of conservative fuckwits... well, there are a lot of conservative fuckwits out there. I've gotten into the habit of occasionally reading a couple of blogs written by Americans who paint themselves the reddest-of-red, which is a curious colour to be associated with the Republican party, given red's past association with communism. At any rate, there are a lot of people out there who actually, honest-to-god, believe things that Fox News tells them.

(I know, I know. Feel free to take a minute and wrap your brain around that little nugget of trivia.)

From what I've seen, they all gleefully pat each other on the back, spout off lies about liberals, and invariably have their blogs festooned with red, white and blue banners of all shapes and sizes (but mostly large and flag-shaped). If you watch the Colbert Report, you know he does a nice job in satirizing that chunk of the American population... at the same time, though, it's bittersweet, because you know that people like that actually do exist.

Consider this for a moment, though: if someone were to mention the phrase "American Spirit," what comes to mind? For me, adjectives like "forthright," "bold," "adventuresome," "independent" and "eager" emerge. These are fine attributes, to be sure; people who embody these qualities who spring to mind readily include people such as Thomas Jefferson, Rosa Parks, and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon from The Simpsons.

The three people mentioned above also possess another quality: humility. T.J. was sort of a quirky guy, but was above all grounded; R.P. was a quiet bastion of unbelievable strength in the face of adversity; A.N. dutifully works the Kwik-E-Mart in order to make a better life for himself and his family. They're less concerned with how others perceive them and more focused on getting the job done.

The danger arises when people get completely wrapped up in the idea of Being American. It's all well and good to be proud of your countrymates, and be proud of the things you've accomplished together as a nation (the birth of modern democracy being a lovely example)... but when that pride turns to belligerent, cocky braggadocio, I'm sorry, you've gone a bit too far.

A chief component of this mindset is a lack of critical self-examination. I find that those who are the most rah-rah cheerleaders may think they look at themselves critically, but in the end it just ends up being a superficial pat on their own back, and a fresh set of Stars and Stripes lapel pins get affixed. They lash out at the "Blame America First" crowd... without ever thinking that, y'know what, the US might just be a little tiny bit to blame for, well, something.

I think this is as good a time as any to end this observation. If anyone who paints themselves neoconservative happens to come across this, I'd appreciate their (civilized) opinion on this perspective. But I'd hope they do the same thing I do when I get riled-up with their outlandish claims: go away for a while, simmer down, think things through, and formulate a reasoned argument. (Lord knows there's too little of that going on south of the 49th these days.)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Food for thought.

In an exceedingly interesting essay by Gore Vidal, called "President Jonah (redux)", he quotes Morris Berman, a professor of sociology at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, who draws an interesting parallel that cuts across 1600 years:

We were already in our twilight phase when Ronald Reagan, with all the insight of an ostrich, declared it to be "morning in America;" twenty-odd years later, under the "boy emperor" George W. Bush (as Chalmers Johnson refers to him), we have entered the Dark Ages in earnest, pursuing a short-sighted path that can only accelerate our decline. For what we are now seeing are the obvious characteristics of the West after the fall of Rome: the triumph of religion over reason; the atrophy of education and critical thinking; the integration of religion, the state, and the apparatus of torture — a troika that was for Voltaire the central horror of the pre-Enlightenment world; and the political and economic marginalization of our culture.

I'd never heard things painted quite this way before, but it certainly does give us pause.

Ancient Greece, the Enlightenment, the American Revolution, and the French Revolution... these four events/cultures arose out of open discussion and collaboration, hammering out a new vision of society on the fly. Post-1979 Iran, a culture and country which has (in my biased, westernized view) taken giant leaps backward, has stifled debate and led itself down a very dangerous road indeed.

Do we see shades of this happening with Steve Harper trying to muzzle what the media say about him, too?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Transparency in government.

The editor-in-chief of the London Free Press (it's a Sun publication these days, but don't hold that against it... it was independent for many, many years and was the paper I read growing up), Paul Berton, wrote an interesting piece on Steve Harper's attempts to control the media.

Berton's right, the media really are fascinated with themselves. However, being a media junkie of sorts, this sort of issue piques my interest. Steve doesn't have a history of working too well with other people — Preston Manning can, and has, attested to that — and his "my way or the highway" approach will only get him so far before people start turning off.

If you're trying to earn a majority in Parliament, Steve, I'd say that shrouding your party in fog is probably not the best way to go about doing things.



My brother turns 31 today. What an old man!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Stupidity Watch #2.

(The first instalment of Stupidity Watch was more or less unofficial. I think I'll try to make it a regular occurrence, as public stupidity permits.)

Topic: Vanity licence plates
Date: Monday, April 17
Location: Highway 401, between Guelph and Milton

Because taking pictures while driving is somewhat difficult, I couldn't get a clear shot of this woman's plate. (I did notice it was a lady driving.) However, believe me when I tell you that it read CLEAVAGE.

cleav·age n.
1. a : the quality of a crystallized substance or rock of splitting along definite planes; also : the occurrence of such splitting b : a fragment (as of a diamond) obtained by splitting
. . .
5. the depression between a woman's breasts especially when made visible by the wearing of a low-cut dress

So, either this woman is (a.) a geologist, or (b.) really, really open about the depression between her breasts. Either way, if you happen to be a passenger in a car on the 401 and you see this woman driving, show her a different kind of cleavage by giving her a pressed ham.

Aside: the technical term for breast cleavage is "intermammary sulcus." I wish I was making that up.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The many faces of Kenny Rogers.

This past offseason, the Tigers got a pitcher by the name of Kenny Rogers (stats here). He's been a mostly-solid pitcher since the early '90s, spending most of his time in three different stints for the Texas Rangers. However, every time I saw an action photo of him doing his thing, something always struck me as peculiar:

When he throws the ball, he always has a ridiculous look on his face.

Mind you, if I was chucking a baseball at 90 miles an hour, chances are I'd be putting my all into it and wouldn't care about how my face looked, either. (I'd probably fall to the ground screaming in agony as my arm separated clean from my body, but that's an altogether different issue.) Nevertheless, "The Gambler's" mug always wears a goofy expression... so I decided to put a little Greatest Hits collage together. Enjoy.

(Click on the photo for a larger version.)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A message to all the college radio station DJs.

STOP
PLAYING
JEFF
BUCKLEY

NOBODY
LIKES
IT
BUT
YOU

Being a college radio station DJ myself (for the next few days or so), believe me when I tell you that, when people don't listen to their campus radio station (and they often don't), Jeff Buckley is one of the prime reasons why. The people who like him are music snobs who usually get their own college radio station shows so they can play Jeff Buckley for other college radio station DJ music snobs. If you think college radio stations are only for other college radio station DJ music snobs, then you're too much of a music snob to be a college radio station DJ.

But I don't. So I'm not.

In conclusion, stop playing Jeff Buckley. Do it in the privacy of your own home. But don't subject the rest of us to his pre-emo wailings. C'mon, there had to have been a reason for him to die young.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Impeachment, odd crawling habits, and letter-writing.

Here's a great idea: if you're American, and you think there's grounds for Dubya to be impeached, make a big sign showing your displeasure and put it somewhere prominent, like a highway overpass. I read my StatCounter logs, I know there are some south-of-the-49th'ers who'll read this. I'm a big fan of socially-constructive graffiti... besides, what else are cave-paintings than some knuckle-draggers' "tagging" of an otherwise-empty rock wall, anyway?

This weekend I got to see my niece for the first time since Christmas and, lemme tell ya, this kid has grown since then. Of course, she was just past 7 months then, and now she's over 11, which means that I haven't seen the last 36% of her life (ouch!). She crawls sorta weirdly — she tucks her left leg in, sticks her right leg out, and uses that, plus her hands, to scoot very effectively across hard surfaces. Yeah, it's a terrible description... but it's something that you wouldn't imagine would ever work until you see it yourself.

I got an Easter card from my grandma recently (I didn't even realize they made such a thing, but I guess Hallmark has its fingers in pretty much every holiday-pie these days), and inside it was a letter she'd written about various goings-on in rural Enniskillen Township lately. We occasionally write letters back and forth (as described in a funny-ass film lately, "Think of it as a... 'paper e-mail'!"), and I'm going to return the favour this evening.

...which got me thinking: I love getting mail, and it's been years since anyone except my grandma sent me an honest-to-goodness letter. Who wants to be a penpal with me? Drop me an email (my address is the five characters before the ".blogspot.com" of this site, an @ sign, and "qlink.queensu.ca" to end it off) with your paper-email-address, and I'll send something to you. I promise!

Penpals! (Track #1 here! Yay, old-school Sloan!)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Stephen Harper is a slippery little shit.

Well, we're almost done Month #3 of the Harper government, and it looks like ol' Steve wants to control the media as much as his good buddy George does south of the border.

Aside: Peter McKay had a meeting with Condoleezza Rice today, and he was so happy afterward he sounded like he'd just gotten the hummer of his life behind those giant wooden doors. "Oooooh, Condi, you're just as smart as I always dreamed you'd be!" I wish I was exaggerating that quote, but it's actually pretty bang-on what he said.

Canadian politicans have always been pretty open with the media; scrums in the marble-lined foyer of the Centre Block, in front of those stairs up which Chretien used to sprint all the time, are a Canadian tradition dating back decades. I like 'em.

Whoops! I guess Steve doesn't.

A few weeks ago, he took flak for only making his cabinet ministers available to the media at certain times, and for generally being standoffish when it came to talking to the press gallery. This week, though, there was some great footage of him "taking questions" from a room full of reporters, some of whom had duitfully lined up at one of the microphones.

However, instead of addressing the queue o' reporters, he called on this guy, Tim, who was standing at the back of the room. After making his remarks, Steve asked, "Tim, do you have any questions?"

The reporter at the front of the queue was livid. "You mean, you're going to let him ask a question instead of us who have been lined up here for fifteen minutes?"

Steve ignored her and addressed his buddy again. "Tim, any questions?" The rest of the reporters in the room immediately started to raise hell; only after a protracted squabble did Steve ask the woman leading the queue if she had a question.

Tonight on the CBC, Nazional National Post columnist Andrew Coyne acted as Steve's apologist. "You know, this might be a good thing. [Steve] is just trying to get his message out as best as possible." Well, Andrew, has it ever occurred to you — a member of the media, no less — that there may be other things Canadians need to know from their Prime Minister other than "his message"?

The American media was afraid to ask any anti-Bush questions for years after 9/11; I understood the first few weeks, but it took Rep. John Murtha's angry outburst only a few short months ago for the media to actually hold Cheneybush's feet to the fire on... well, anything. I just don't want us to go down the same path.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

That stuff costs money.

I really should carry a camera around with me at all times just to document the never-ending maelstrom of stupidity that swirls around this civilization. Today's flavour apparently happens to be "leaving a vehicle's engine running whilst running inside a house or establishment to conduct a short transaction of some variety."

This is a pretty common thing to do, I noticed, in Timmins. Then again, if it's -35°C outside and you shut off your car for two minutes, it might just turn into a block of ice. But if it's 7°C and sunny on an April morning in Kingston, there is no need to leave your giant behemoth of a pickup truck running, with nobody in it, as you chat up the guy jockeying the cash register at some effin' local convenience store while you buy a coffee, paper or, god-forbid, cigarettes.

(Kudos to those of you who picked up the Clerks reference there.)

Yet, on my way home, not only was another car running with nobody in it, sitting there, forsaken by its owner... it was on the sidewalk. The damn thing was covering 3/4 of the sidewalk, all tilt-y, running away happily as (presumably, as the house in front of which it's parked runs a small day-care) mom was inside talking to someone about biker gangs and their murderous ways.

Listen, people: if you're going to be idling your engine for more than ten seconds, it will save you gasoline to turn it off and restart. In case you haven't noticed, a litre of that stuff costs about a dollar these days, so it's not like they're giving that shit away for free. Besides, do we really need to pump another pound of CO2 into the atmosphere while you do whatever it is you're doing? Hell, why not let the sucker run all day in the parking lot at work?

Monday, April 10, 2006

It's an address-changing blitzkrieg.

Lord knows that, when you're a nomadic UW co-op student, you get good at uprooting your life every so often. Part of this is telling all the people that send you stuff to send you stuff at your new place. (Or, you could've done as I did as an undergraduate, and just had everything important forwarded to your parents' house. But I'm a big boy now, I can have things sent to me.)

It's a giant pain in the ass, changing everything... advising your banks, employer, credit cards, magazine subscriptions, schools, bookies, cockfighting trainers, art dealers, dry cleaners, pedicurist, push-broom rebristler, upholsterer, downholsterer, and the Ministry of Transportation (although I'll get to keep my cool "gangsta-ish" licence photo, thankfully).

Nevertheless, it's something that has to be done. I still don't know my new postal code and phone number off by heart, even though I've said/typed/read it dozens of times so far. Stuff like this takes ages to stick, because it's a random fact, as opposed to something connected to something else (which I'm actually pretty good at remembering).

This is, of course, the complete opposite of the case of my brother. If you tell him one random fact, phone number, postal code, address, or anything else like that, he will never forget it as long as he lives. He's pretty amazing that way. He can also eat incredibly large quantities of food, and remain exceedingly slender. (Yes, you may go ahead and hate him. He's still a pretty good guy, though.)

So, in conclusion, I have a new address. That is all.

All the good ones are taken.

Or gay.

Prove me wrong. I dare you.



You see, here's the thing about being a guy.

Because we're usually the pusuers, the initiators, the people who have to start things in this ridiculous courtship dance, it's us that have to take the risks, make the first moves, and stick our pride out there on the line. (I'm generalizing, of course, but I think it's a fair one to make.)

And we usually get burned.

But yet, we're dumb enough to go out there, time after time, and get our asses handed to us repeatedly.

Why is this? Why do I bother, really? I just shouldn't even try, that's what I shouldn't even do.

This is stupid.

Just because we can pee standing up and we happen to control the majority of the countries and the money in this world doesn't make my life much easier.

(Well, the peeing-standing-up thing is pretty sweet. But other than that, this blows.)

I'm checking out. Seeya.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

I'm just basically in ecstasy.

My thesis revisions are going at a snail's pace. I haven't had the faintest whiff of romance in months. Things are starting to break on my car. So, why do I have an erection 24 hours a day these days?


The Tigers are completely dominating their opponents.

They've won their first four games, and are kicking the stuffing out of Texas tonight (leading 7-0 in the 7th as I type). They've hit 17 home runs in four-plus games, Chris Shelton is batting over .700, nobody's made an error yet, and Tiger starting pitching has given up three (3) walks over five (5) games.

If none of that made sense to you... they've scored 39 runs so far this year, and their opponents have scored 12. Which is very good.

I'm a happy guy.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Retaking the Big Smoke.

I make my triumphant return to The Greatest, Like, City In The, Like, Universe at the end of April. And, I dare say I'm looking forward to it.

It's not that Kingston hasn't been a lot of fun — my liver can surely attest to that — but I just get the feeling that things are, well, stagnating a bit. I'm still meeting great new people and having a blast, to be sure. But I get the sense that, as far as new and exciting discoveries are concerned, K-Town and I are pretty much at a standstill.

That's not always a bad thing, though. It's nice to be comfortable in a location, knowing where things are, how to get around, and being able to attach meaning, through many shared experiences, to various places.

This city "fits" me, I've been able to determine, and fits me quite well. I didn't grow up in a big city, and hence don't need the constant neon stimulation that those people seem to require allthetime allthetime ohmygod allthetime. All I ask for are a clutch of cozy pubs, a good live music scene, and interesting and exciting people; Kingston (by virtue of its historical nature, location between Toronto and Montreal, and strong student population respectively) succeeds nicely in all those categories.

Someone asked me yesterday if I'm looking forward to going back to Toronto, and I hesitated a bit before saying, "Sure." Having lived in a bunch of different places — a tiny town near Sarnia, various places in Waterloo and Toronto, and stints in Deep River, Calgary, and London, Ontario — I've found that I can pretty much live anywhere. Every place has pros and cons, and I'm generally pretty easy to please.

What matters more than any kind of amenities or attractions, though, are the people you hang out with wherever you live. Part of the reason I've been easily-pleased, as far as living locations go, is the fact that I've managed to seek out (and find) great people everywhere I've lived. I'm bringing a few Queen's-folk down to TO with me, and I think they'll fit in quite nicely with the people I already know in Toronto.

Who knows? Maybe my liver won't be able to rest easy for quite a while yet.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

There's joy in Tigertown.


This kid's name is Joel Zumaya.

He's twenty-one years old.

He can throw a baseball a hundred god damn miles an hour.

His curveballs make hitters' knees buckle.

He made his major-league debut yesterday.

He struck out 3 in two innings of work.

The Tigers won, 3-1.

Remember that name: Joel Zumaya.

You're gonna hear it a lot more in the future.

And not just from here.

Erudite, urbane, and worldly.

I have a shelf full of books by classic authors.

My Mozart collection numbers in the dozens of albums.

I attend public lectures by leading scholars on matters ranging from Mongolian banking practices to the rise and fall of the Byzantine empire.

But nothing, repeat nothing, gets me to laugh as hard as old episodes of Jackass. Tonight was the one where the three people had a milk-drinking contest, to see who could drink a gallon (approx. 4 L) of it the fastest. I was amazed at how much, and how frequently, the participants (including a woman who I'd never seen before, and who turned out the eventual winner) vomited.

God bless you, Johnny Knoxville.


* My books are all for colouring, my CD collection is dominated by Whitesnake and Stryper, and an older boy told me about Mongolia and Bizant Byzint Bizort Turkey.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

It was a silly, silly night.


Sometimes I really do feel like Will Ferrell's character, Frank the Tank, in Old School. I'm younger than Frank was, to be sure, but we both had a lapse in postsecondary school enrolment, and are (to an extent) enjoying being idiotic early-twentysomethings again.

I'm not entirely sure what Frank is doing on the left, but on the right that's me drinking part of a whiskey sour through a straw out of a contraption called a "Beer Bra," presented at last night's Golden Words Science Fair. As you can see, the wearer (a gentleman) is also enjoying a drink, suckling from the other faux-teat; it appears to have sprung a leak, though.

I'm going to miss this place, and the people in it, when I return to the Big Smoke. Sure, crazy times will ensue... but there's just something about being a knuckleheaded university student that gives one the leeway to do really, really ridiculous things. As the saying goes, "Everyone experiments a little in college" — nobody ever says, "Everyone experiments a little as a corporate accountant," or "Everyone experiments a little in their early 40s."

...not that I'm anywhere close to my 40s. (Honest.)