Thursday, May 31, 2007
It seems that dropping celebrities' names definitely brings hits, though the way I tend to drop names it's not the sort of thing that encourages people to stay. Yesterday's post brought one hit from someone searching for a certain rock star, and I also just got a hit from another Ottawa-area searcher (perhaps the same one; same ISP, anyway) who was looking for info on the dishonourable member for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke. The former was very short (registering zero on Sitemeter's clock) while the latter lasted 45 seconds. I guess if I want meaningful traffic, I'll have to have something that encourages people to actually stay.
Nevertheless, I'm going to drop one more name in this post- the band Agile Like This. They're playing tonight at the Circus Room, and they're friends of mine, so I'm going to check out the show.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The actual work site is at Muskoka airport, which is remarkably busy this time of year. Most of the traffic has been single engine piston aircraft, but there have been a couple of business jets as well, perhaps owned by the various celebrities (Cindy Crawford, Eddie Van Halen, etc) who are reputed to have cottages in this area. The bins we've been provided with are supposed to be closed to avoid attracting bears and seagulls, but they don't have lids, so the possibility exists that a bear will show up and devour some celebrities as they get off their Learjets. While I certainly don't wish Ms. Crawford or Mr. Van Halen any ill, there's a part of me that wants this to happen (for purely selfish reasons; if this were to happen our company would likely be bankrupted by the ensuing lawsuit, and I'd be able to go on EI to search full time for a better job).
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
And you've got to see this video:
Make sure you watch the whole thing- you'll be amazed at how it ends. Certainly not your typical nature video.
Monday, May 28, 2007
There was bad news today, but it didn't affect me. The Human Sawmill and the Norfolk Dude park their cars in the church parking lot near the office (with permission; the company has an arrangement with the church). Well, it seems that this morning someone broke into ND's car, and started to have a go at HS's. Apparently nothing's actually been stolen; the CDs in ND's car were gone through but none were missing. I guess in a sense that's adding insult to injury- not only does he get his window broken, but his musical taste insulted as well.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
In a little while I'm headed off to CL and DL's place for breakfast, then to the NDP executive meeting this afternoon. I'll probably have to leave almost immediately afterwards.
My neighbour across the hall told me yesterday that his roommate has a Chinchilla, and that this week when the landlord was over fixing something, up on a step ladder, he came down and was startled to see this creature staring at him. He asked, "is that a mouse?" I guess, though, that if your landlord doesn't know what a mouse looks like it's a good thing.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Furthermore, I have to leave for the next project Sunday evening at 5:30 PM for a 3 hour drive, and before that I have an NDP meeting. I am hanging out with Ms McD for a while this afternoon, and later with Ms P. Next week I'm helping the Ps move. But most of my weekends are like this, really. I need to do something to change my routine, that's clear.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Fuck I hate my job.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
See, this seems to happen every time I'm working in the field. The first couple of days I feel like utter shit, thinking about my failures that led me to be a 37 year old waste auditor when if I'd played my cards right when I was younger I'd be a university professor by now. And now that opportunity is gone. That fact was made clear to me just under five years ago, when I mused about trying to get back into graduate school, this time in science (which is where I probably should have been all along, but I began grad studies in philosophy because my marks were better in that subject at that time). My dad pointed out that by the time I could get a PhD I'd be in my forties, and competing for jobs with people in their late twenties. And as a professor and sometime department chair, my dad is well aware of the fact that departments generally want to make a long term investment, and therefore prefer to hire people who are younger than me. Which means, in lay terms, that I've blown it. So what to do now?
At the time, my dad suggested that I should try teaching high school. I've definitely considered that, but am discouraged by the fact that the one person I know who actually does it thinks that my temperament is ill-suited to that job, and I daresay she's right. I don't cope with stress that well, so that option is probably out.
I enrolled in the environmental technology programme in the hope of being able to find a job that at least justifies my existence, which is more than can be said for most of the jobs I'd done before now. But frustratingly, I'm actually a lot less happy than I was in some of the utterly meaningless call centre jobs I did in the past. Maybe it's the particular job I'm in, but the previous job I had was even worse. And doing market research is a lot like collecting welfare- you get a cheque, but don't really accomplish anything to make the world better.
I'm still checking the job boards for something in the same field, but it's getting more and more discouraging, and I have to admit that I've been looking less of late. Hardly anyone I've applied to has so much as called me. Many times I've seriously considered another career change. The most likely escape route for me would be to go into adult education, which would be a lot less stressful than teaching high school. The main thing that worries me is that it would probably be a one way trip; if I were to quit working in the environmental field, go back to school to be an adult ed teacher, and not find a job (or hate it even more than this job) I'd probably have little chance of getting back into this field even at the menial level I'm at now. So my level of desperation would have to increase to push me to make such a change at this point.
But oh well, I'll probably feel a bit less lousy later in the week; it always happens as the weekend approaches. Unfortunately, I'm looking at yet another truncated weekend, since I'm likely to be sent out to Bracebridge on Sunday evening. And if things go really badly this week it's possible (though not probable) that we might not leave till Saturday, which would not please me at all.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Wednesday wasn't too bad; the materials were collected within Pembroke and there wasn't that much- we were done by 3 PM. On Thursday we collected over a metric ton of materials from the curbside in Petawawa. It was also very badly sorted; presumably the folks in Petawawa think that conservation is part of the dreaded peace agenda and thus something to be avoided.
On a (slightly) happier note, the new van seems to be working okay. It is much quieter and smoother than the shitmobile, though its instrument panel seems to be a bit wonky (the speedometer and oil pressure gauge jump around in a disconcerting fashion for no apparent reason). We had both vehicles, and the difference is like night and day.
The Human Sawmill's girlfriend was with us on the audit. She did a fine job, but on Friday she was feeling ill, culminating in her passing out. I imagine the bosses will be privately thinking "that's what we get for hiring a woman". It is, of course, beyond them to think of a better explanation like, say, "that's what we get for working our people too hard".
One thing that strikes me about Pembroke in particular is that it's a pretty damn desolate place. The entire city resembles a small part of the downtown of a real city; imagine downtown Kitchener, or the strip along Main Street in Winnipeg, but with smaller buildings. The same kinds of businesses dominate (pawn shops, tattoo parlours, etc). It's maybe a bit cleaner, but it looks almost deserted. And there's nothing but a few blocks of residential housing around it. Furthermore, the area is represented in Parliament by the despicable Cheryl Gallant, whose character is admirably summed up by this:
Sounds like a real charmer, eh? Of course, her type is a dime a dozen in the federal Conservative party.
She is largely viewed as one of the strongest social conservative in the House of Commons, and is a popular figure among the Christian Right, yet has occasionally drawn the ire of opponents. In 2002, she was accused of making anti-gay remarks to then Minister of Foreign Affairs Bill Graham, when during a heated exchange, she kept interrupting "Ask your boyfriend" or "How's your boyfriend?" Graham's sexual orientation has been occasionally the subject of rumours, though he is married to a woman, with children. Gallant later apologized for her remarks.
During the 2004 election, a controversy erupted when Gallant compared abortion to the beheading of Iraq war hostage Nick Berg. The Conservative Party then announced that she was suffering from laryngitis, and after this, she did not appear at some scheduled debates. Her opponents criticized this as a move to avoid criticism of her comments.
The guy from the MRF told us that two of his employees have committed suicide in the last year. I guess the combination of working in a MRF and living in Pembroke is too much for some people.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Monday, May 14, 2007
Today I have to be at work in just under an hour, because it turns out that they need me in Toronto after all. So I have to get my sleep-deprived body down to the office for 6 AM, drive the shitmobile to the Big Smoke, finish the audit, drive back, then get ready for my departure for Pembroke tomorrow. Loads of fun (not!) Oh well.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Unfortunately I have to be at the office at 6 AM tomorrow to drive to Toronto for the last day of the audit. Which sucks, but I guess that's the way it goes. The rest of the week will be spent in Pembroke, which may suck as well owing to the long hours that this project is likely to entail. But oh well, that's life.
And you have to read this. The soul you save may be your own.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
I've slept rather poorly for the last few days; my sleep was interrupted a number of times by weird dreams. In one of these I met someone who I haven't seen in around eight years; I'm rather curious as to what has actually become of him.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Apparently we'll have a second vehicle for the trip, by the way. It's a large cargo van, apparently an insurance writeoff. Somehow I have a feeling that this vehicle won't be entirely trouble-free either.
It was a short day, so for the heck of it I took the TTC downtown. I didn't do much, except eat, but it was a nice change from sitting in my hotel room and surfing the net.
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
On a whim I picked up a copy of Roger Penrose's The Road to Reality. I'm enjoying it, though some of the material is a bit over my head. Maybe repeated readings will be necessary.
Another vibrator showed up in the trash today (a much more mundane model than the two we got in Wellington County the week before last).
Saturday, May 5, 2007
I spent the last two days in Toronto, doing the usual crap. Today I'm going back there with Ms McD and the people she boards with, for the big pot rally at Queen's Park. Should be fun.