Gray Flannel Dwarf


Post Xmas stuff

All I can say is… $1.50 for 18′ worth of tube lighting? Are you kidding me? That is awesome. I think I am gonna put the clear tubing under the rail of my balcony in a semi-permanent manner, so if I ever host some sort of party (!), I will have some nice mood lighting, year round.

Hi, look at me, I’m Marty Stewart! :P

Christmas reaped quality benefits. Besides the simple, wonderful fact that chinchin was in town, I got a few cool things, too. kewlnonutz gave me a killer gift… a set of bongos! I have been wanting bongos since about 10th grade, when I began going to a summer youth conference; The campus where this took part has/had a shop that sold imported native instruments and fed much of the proceeds back into each country’s economy. In any case, I think it’s under new management and perhaps not as ecumenical anymore, but still — it’s bongos! That rules!

I also got one of those pizza oven things you see on TV all the time now, from my grandmother. I was a little cynical about its abilities, but it’s really not bad at all. We’ll see how it holds up against my industrial strength consumption, but for now it’s handy.

My aunt gave me an assortment of Blue Man Group things. I asked them a question once, regarding how they transferred the energy from their live shows to an album… and now I know. Audio is a sonic soundscape, it’s great. Unfortunately I’ve only been listening to it in my truck… I’ll have to bring it in and play it in its entirety on the stereo system. I now know I’ve got to see them live, for sure.

Tomorrow features a trip to Wytheville with B, culminating in much New Year festivity, meeting a lot of people I haven’t seen in many years… perhaps seven years for some.

All in all, I have had a good holiday. How about you?

xiang ni, wo de ai, yao he ni…

cswiii @ 10:49 pm


A Christmas Greeting Redux

Yes, it’s now two years old, and I’ve not recorded anything — Christmas or otherwise — since, but here’s an audio Xmas greeting to all of you: Christmas – Baby Please Come Home

cswiii @ 6:10 pm

Dreams of stuff.

I can’t remember all my dreams from last night/this morning. I do remember, however, I had gone to talk w/ Dr. Ray about seminary. At one point he took me back to this lab/kitchen/something, and had me try a soda. It was something of a joke, because it was a soda of (theological) knowledge — makes me think of the fruit of wisdom, you know — I tried it. It was very bitter.

Later on in the dream, I remember I was walking down the sidewalk at night, and I heard a band of people chanting some theological formula. It was very simple; mathmatically, it was something like (x + y = z; x+1 + y+1 = z+2), continued for a long time, but I can’t remember what its significance was, theologically. For some reason, the chanting of it was kinda scary. I saw a bunch of guys coming down the street, they were drunk, and they were the ones chanting it, following me. I went around the corner of the sidewalk, they followed. I realised Dr. Ray’s house was on the corner, and it felt like the safest place. I didn’t knock or enter because it was late at night and I didn’t want to disturb him. I kinda crouched behind a lamp post, hoping they wouldn’t see me. They did, and came up. They thanked me for leading them to Dr. Ray’s house; they knew that chanting that formula would lead me to run that direction, and they wanted to know where his house was. They were convinced that Lisa Kudrow was his daughter. I told them that they were drunk and made no sense, and such was not the case. They didn’t believe me. They began knocking on the door, and I left.

There was a bit of wisdom, a line I remember hearing in the dream. In the rush to wake up this morning, initiated by my gf, however, I can’t currently remember what it was. :/

cswiii @ 12:19 pm


The 12 Days of Christmas

This year’s CPI (Christmas Price Index) is lower!

If she thinks I’m gonna buy her five golden rings, however, she’s crazy nonetheless.

cswiii @ 3:34 pm


More pro-Canada propaganda you probably don’t wanna read.

I have been on a tear of this stuff recently. Most of it is due to the fact that has been posting articles written by Richard Gwyn, of the Toronto Star, who set off a firestorm by writing a column entitled “ It’s not our fault we’re morally superior to U.S.” The backlash, of course, is here.

Anyway, this letter is somewhat similar to the one I sent to the “Canada – Switch” guy. It will probably bore you to tears, so don’t read it.

Subject: On nationalities and morals.

Hello Mr. Gwyn,

I would like to commend you, as an American, on your two recent articles on
“Canadian morality”. While I am not very familar with your columns, I ran
across these on a website, and couldn’t help but appreciate what you’ve said.

Don’t get me wrong. I generally don’t mind living in the US. I mean, for all
its bad features (which, alas, are becoming ever more prevalent), it’s still
reasonably safe, and then there’s always the prosperity thing. Truth is,
though, I’d rather live in Canada, for many of the reasons you mentioned.

Time and time again, indeed the one argument I hear from other Americans is
the “fact” that it is easy to be so prosperous in the US… and yes, I am
doing plenty well with my life and career here. However, I’d rather have
comfort in an apparent “modest” prosperity (in their eyes), than riches in a
land of vicious economic and social darwinism.

I have lived in two, very different places in the US: DC and Tennessee, the
former being my hometown and current residence, the latter being the location
of my alma mater. Now, the spoken word and musician Henry Rollins once wrote
about being “smashed to bits by the brutality of the east”. He’s completely
right, the whole eastern seaboard is utterly abrasive. It’s the place to be,
if you want to make your money, but seriously, is that really living? I had a
Russian roommate in college who recently moved up here. It only took him a
year to quickly come to the conclusion that people here “have no souls!”

Now Tennessee, on the other hand, while it still retains veins of prejudice
flecked with the plaque of hate, is still generally gregarious in nature.
People can be very friendly and helpful there. In fact, I considered staying
for good… until I realised it was quite difficult to make any sort of
living. I’ve got friends who have, very recently, come to the same conclusion
after trying it out. They’ve now moved up here.

The above text is the most easily available descriptive I can give, to
articulate the dichotomy here in the US. While it I apologise for writing
such a lengthy diatribe, I did so to illustrate contrast between what is found
in the US, and what is found in Canada.

This is not to say that Canada doesn’t have its poor towns. However, from the
time I have spent there, it has been readily apparent to me that there is
still much more of a balance that can be struck, regarding prosperity and
ethos, in your nation than mine. Now, “morality” is always a sticky word –
at least here, where it conjures up images of the Christian Right (which, as
the musician Moby has stated, “is neither”). I’ve always tended to emphasise
the need for a human “ethic” than a “morality”. But regardless of how the
word is interpreted, you’re generally correct, regarding the lack of such in
the US. At very least, prosperity and ethics do make for strange bedfellows
here. A rarity, indeed.

In any case, I’ve been looking very intently at moving to Canada in recent
months. However, with the most recent immigration laws enacted, it is quite
an unfortunate circumstance that I don’t meet the criteria that Mr. Coderre
and friends consider necessary to immigrate. It further saddens me that
Canada welcomes me with open arms, to spend my American dollars — usually
within the stores themselves — but won’t let me stay permanently, to get my
hands dirty, to help Canada prosper.

I don’t wish to come across sounding like an arrogant American who, in all his
braggadocio and swagger, feels he deserves any special treatment, in his
efforts to enter and remain in Canada, based solely on his citizenship.
Indeed, perhaps Canada truly should hold the US to the same standard as any
other country, lest some of its more unappealing traits and beliefs leach
through. But I guess, in the end, it all boils down to the fact that there is
a handful of us that believes and dreams about living in a moral nation, a
handful who is watching that concept erode here, and who truly respect our
neighbours to the North.

And yes, some of us would rather be there.

Thanks for some great reading, and thanks for taking time to read my letter.

Corey Welton.

cswiii @ 1:51 am


Conversation with a bot

<teedz> flash
<Pablo> flash is ass
<teedz> pablo: yeah, but this is funny
<Pablo> …but yeah, but this is Finland. :)…
<teedz> rotlf
ð chris/#xxxxxxxxxx is flashless
<teedz> rotfl

<chris> lol
<chris> pablo is a delight
<teedz> pablo: I never knew that Finns were a bunch of uptight pantywads.
<Pablo> teedz: sorry…
<teedz> pablo: it’s the americans who are so uptight.
<Pablo> teedz: i haven’t a clue
<chris> if I were in macos x I would have flash, but then I wouldn’t have

<teedz> pablo: typical american
<Pablo> teedz: what?

cswiii @ 3:57 pm

Threading the meme…

This one can’t be passed up. Thanks to writergeekgirl for it.

Patriotism is the rohypnol of the American public…”

cswiii @ 1:56 pm

New York Fries

When updating one of my annotations on Everything2 which is, perhaps somewhat unsurprising these days, about bits of Canadian culture, my train of thought got the best of me and I was looking up New York Fries on Google. I did so, remembering that at the “Famous Players” theatre I visited once in Toronto, the most amazing movie viewing experience I’ve ever had, there was a “New York Fries” grease joint, amongst the other fast food vendors that line the entranceway towards the wonderful stadium-style seating…

But I’m getting off-topic here.

The point of this thread is that the New York Fries in the FP Theatre sells poutine. Now, seeing that name, I figured:
* New York Fries – that chain probably originated in the US
* Their website shows poutine on their menu
Therefore: logically they also sell poutine in the US! Right?


From their website, they have franchises in the following places:

British Columbia
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia

Famous Players Theatres







“New York Fries”? Ha! They’re not to be found in the US at all, much less New York!

cswiii @ 11:00 am


train wrecks

I hate being able to forsee a train wreck, several miles down the road, and not being able to do anything to stall it.

Sometimes the train is simply moving too fast. Sometimes people won’t let you, for whatever reasons, warn the rambler down the track… and sometimes you know that, despite your screams and frantic gestures, there’s nothing you can even do to convince the rambler that the train can even hurt him.

But should that stop you from trying? I don’t know.

cswiii @ 6:22 pm


the barn

As B and I were talking the other night, the conversation inevitably led to brief musings and memories of the barn. He told me the details as to what had happened, although I’d kinda assumed this had been the result, all along. It was nice, a lot like remembering a good friend who’d passed on.

We talked about the wood runs. Really, the wood runs, even though I only participated in one or two, were one of my favourite things about going up there.

cswiii @ 9:21 pm

Standing on my balcony, I

Standing on my balcony, I looked down onto the ice-glazed snow that covered the commons area. In in the pockets of quiet air that existed between the din of motors roaring down the road, I could hear the ice and snow crackling as rainwater ran through the gulley beneath it. It was very pastoral. If my hands hadn’t been so cold, I probably coulda stayed out there quite a while.

cswiii @ 9:16 pm


All sorts of good stuff.

Met up with B last night for a beer or two… it was good times. I hadn’t ever known him terribly well in college, but I knew him well enough that we could hold a decent conversation whenever he was around… this, being at a time in my life when I was crap for being able to talk with, or to anyone but a select group of people for very long. B is “good people”, always has been.

After I got back from college, we would drop the occasional email, every once in a while; I think he emailed me first, maybe (?), which surprised me — I think it was done, in part because I was one of the few “techy” people he knew, and at the time, he’d been working on a little web presence for the outdoor-oriented, politically-minded, utilitarian sort.

A few months back, he emailed me again — he was moving up this way to try and escape, almost in an inevitable way, the inability to make a life or living down in the Appalachians. He eventually did so — and amazingly enough, had been out kayaking within a week of the move. He’s that kinda guy.

He call a few days ago, and we were supposed to meet last week for lunch, but those things kinda fell through due to the fact that we were on opposite sides of the region. Well, he was in Fairfax yesterday, and we met up for the aformentioned beers at the nearby sports bar.

Over a few Dominion Brewery lagers, a plate of babyback ribs and some heavy-duty nachos, we did a little reminiscing about the old times, caught up on old names and faces, talked about future goals, and discussed the state of the world. You know, everything under the sun. It was real enjoyable, and it’s good to see that B at least appears to be thus far enjoying his work and training. I cautioned him not to take it too seriously, that he might run the risk of burning out, but I think that he knows, better than just about anyone I know, how to strike the right balance in a situation.

I’m sure we’ll be catching up more often now.

cswiii @ 9:17 am


more music

Jeez, I would absolutely kill to see this band perform. That would be the best thing ever.

cswiii @ 5:55 pm


This song, “All My Life”,

This song, “All My Life”, has been stuck in my head since I heard it, upon waking up this morning. Even listening to the MP3 (which I found via Google to try and alleviate this situation) for what must be the third time, it won’t go away!

Done, I’m done, and I’m on to the next one!
Done, I’m done, and I’m on to the next one!
Done, I’m done, and I’m on to the next one!

cswiii @ 5:31 pm

winter karma’s gonna get you

Went to the local Giant parking lot last night, after getting the aforementioned poutine, and drove donuts around in the portions of the parking lot still covered in snow.

This morning, I noticed one of my rear tires looked a little flat. I figured that maybe because when i went home and parked up on a little bit of a snow dune, that it had just compressed the opposite tire a bit. Went to go fill it up just in case. Was looking at the tire to find the recommended pressure, when i heard the very slightest “sss-ss-ss-sss…

…looked closer and saw a little chunk of metal, about the size of a BB, stuck in the THICK part of the tread. I don’t know how long it actually was, but had to be pretty big. Just touching it pushed it in enough to stop the hissing, but I knew that this wasn’t good.

I don’t know that the hole was from all the fun in the snow — might well have been from just driving down the road. In any case, left the truck at the shop to get the tire patched, and walked across the street, took this opportunity to get coffee and read the Post at Starbucks.

An hour later, it was fixed… looked at the repair sheet. Apparently there had been two holes. Craziness.

The coffee was good, though, and I enjoyed the bit of time I had to relax this morning.

cswiii @ 2:01 pm



Ladies and Gentlemen,

I ate pizza tonight, probably too much. Then a college friend came into town, and we went out for a little while. I probably shouldn’t have eaten then, but something crazy happened.

I looked down at the menu.
I saw the light.
The clouds parted, the gate opened.

Jimmy’s Old Town Tavernnow sells poutine!

[Insert resounding, eternal choruses of "hallelujah" here]

cswiii @ 10:22 pm


You all are crazy!


cswiii @ 11:43 pm


Now comes the “asking for money” part.

Subject: Admission to cohort 3 of GW CSIA program

Based on what I have been able to glean so far, I am inclined to admit you
to the accelerated certificate program in Computer Security and Information
Assurance. I still have to see a formal application (can be done online).
If you have any questions, let me know. Otherwise, please acknowledge
receipt of this.

Xxxxx Xxxxxxx

I daresay this is a case of “I told you so”, Dr. Professor, sir. Based on your cynicism before, I must applaud your “inclined” decision to let me into this program. I found it heartily ironic that I could get into, and hold, a high-tech job for as long as I have, without any formal technology background, only to be initially tossed to the scrap pile when trying to further such education, four years later.

No, I didn’t actually send that. But I guess the contact names that I supplied him gave him earfuls of good praise.

Now we shall see if I can coax money out of one of those same people — or, at least the department/company of that person, to subsidise this education.

cswiii @ 7:10 pm


Every time I go to

Every time I go to the Outer Banks, I get this wild hair that makes me want to move there. Permanently.

cswiii @ 10:07 am