Is that a Mountain Lion in my Bedroom?

So my last blog entry had me trying to convince myself not to buy a new computer. I needed strong convincing.

Then I thought about it. By waiting, sure I could set aside the money… Sure I could get by with my poor, falling-apart Dell. By waiting, however, I’m inching closer to a newer shiner iMac (expected anytime between tomorrow and never). I’m suffering for no real reason. Why not get an iMac now, start transferring over my life. Start all the projects I’l get to “when I get a new computer”?

In short, I bought my Mac. It’s like a 15-year dream finally come true.

iMac on the bus

Who says iMacs aren't portable?

Let me tell you, few things are as joyous as the moment when I plugged it in and that screen lit up. It was magic, enhanced by all 27 inches of screen.

I’ve lugged all kinds of stuff on a bus before. Faux Christmas trees, giant pencils. Mannequins. Other computers. Bringing a new iMac box on the bus turns heads. It starts conversations. It could seat two, if two people had to sit on the box.

So what have I done with this new bad boy? Well, mostly I have been configuring settings and installing updates. I’ll be upgrading to Mountain Lion the moment I get my download code. I’ve also started trying to iron out all the annoyances with my iTunes library. That’s going slowly.

So big, I can't fit it all in one picture

So big, I can't fit it all in one picture

A few things I’ve noticed:

  • This screen looks far bigger in my room than it does at the store
  • I’m far more productive (at least so far) on a desktop than a laptop
  • Everything runs smoothly – I had indeed been suffering
  • I’ve barely touched my poor iPad in the last 24 hours

105 – New Glasses Ordered Online

Last weekend, the Ottawa edition Metro had a cover wrap ad that said, “get your free glasses!” at ClearlyContacts.ca. My initial reaction to shopping for glasses online was wondering how it would even work. Glasses, I would expect, are something that you really need to try before buying. They’re like jeans, strawberries, and puppies – something that requires some form of interaction before making a purchase.

But free?

How can you argue with free? I went to the site and chose one of the first frames I saw, not because they were amazing, but because I wasn’t too keen on scrolling through pages upon pages of glasses. The ones I chose seemed to be for average male heads, though I could have checked the dimensions against mine. Again, too much work at that particular moment.

I put in the prescription that I got back on January, but hadn’t yet filled (my optometrist did give me the option of getting it filled), and clicked “next.”

201009_06_01 - Measuring Pupil Distance

Pupil distance required. Pupil distance? This little number, which wasn’t on my prescription, is required to make the lenses. The site has a printable ruler that’s supposed to help you measure it. It’s not an easy thing to do yourself.

Two days later, A little box arrived at home. That was fast!

201009_06_02 - Clearly Contacts

I quickly opened the box, where I found a sparkling, new pair of glasses in a hard case, a soft case, and sunglasses that can fit over the glasses (helpful whenever I get to driving). It was a much more robust package than I was expecting!

Importantly, the glasses work! I remember the last pair I got a few years back felt too strong. It took well over a year before I got used to them. These feel almost the same (the prescription wasn’t all that different). These glasses fit well and feel great.

201009_05_11 - Me Again

The only thing is that when I move my head and look to the very edge of the lens, there’s this weird effect that reminds me of moving a camera in a videogame. It’s subtle, and only really happens sometimes. I think maybe the pupil distance was a bit off when I measured.

This experience has opened the option of getting glasses online. I might have spend more time looking at frames, but the ones I chose are pretty good! I’m pretty sure I won’t have to worry about it for another 2 to 3 years, unless I just want a new pair.

201009_05_03 - New Glasses

(Thanks to Susma Dhakal for taking my outdoor pictures above!)
(I got the glasses for free by taking advantage of a promotion, though I did pay for shipping. Clearly Contacts did not solicit my opinion)

Here’s a few other pictures from Sunday:

201009_05_04 - Brother and Sister

201009_05_06 - Lawn Mowering

201009_05_07 - Bittermelon

201009_05_12 - Weed Whacking

104 – Death of the 24-Hour Metro

200602_10_07 - Nice Bananas

A strange event occurred recently. The 24-hour sign at the local Metro was suddenly replaced with an hours of operation sign. 7AM to Midnight? That’s much more like 17-hours a day than it is 24, a practice the grocer started a whopping 6 years ago, back in it’s days when it was known as Loeb (see a photo taken some 4.5 years ago, when two friends and I had a sudden desire to make Banana Pancakes).

I’d often wander in there at outrageous times during the night, forced to walk through the exit door with “DO NOT ENTER” stickers. Grocery shopping at 2:30 in the morning was probably the best time to do so. The strawberry yogurt bowls from the day before were marked down, leftover bits of baked goods offered together for next to nothing, and aisles were impossible to walk down as graveshift personnel blocked them with palettes of food, ready to be stocked. You rarely had to worry about any in-a-hurry soccer moms narrowly avoiding ramming into you with a cart filled with Activia and juice boxes and Cheesestrings. The only downside was that there was never any chocolate milk in the cooler when it was on sale. And the Deli was closed. And you could not buy gift cards after 11PM. But everything else was awesome.

And then there was The Guy. I can count the number of times on one hand he wasn’t working the express checkout lane (which I guess was only express during the day, since at night, you would have to use it, even if you have 11 items) during my visits. I had made up his entire backstory as a sci-fi lovin, Apple-product totin’, PC gamin’, quasi-Christian who Skypes his German parents from his living room. furnished with an eclectic mix of furniture (half form Ikea) and a cat. Rain or moonlight, healthy or sick, he was there.

When I first found out about a reinstated closing time, I wondered what he would do. Would he join the rest of his Metro cohorts and work during the day? What would happen to his sleep schedule? Does he sleep at all? Would he find another job that we can work from 11PM to 7AM, perhaps one where he wouldn’t need a heat lamp to keep him warm during the winter or interact with suburban youth looking to satisfy hunger in the wake of smoking marijuana cigarettes?

He was working when I stopped in after work this evening. I didn’t want to be just like everyone else, who I imagine have asked about how to buy vegetables and frozen pizzas at 4 in the morning, and why the store is no longer 24-hours. For the first time that I can recall, he was wearing a name tag. It was one of life’s big reveals. I felt the same sense of satisfaction that I imagine every woman did when Big’s real name flashed across the screen at the end of Sex and the City (which was also a 6-year event). I did not feel the sense of disappointment I felt when Mrs. Petrelli casually used The Haitian’s real name on Heroes.

24-Hour grocery shopping was a grand experiment, one that probably didn’t eventually work out too great economically… at least not in my particular neighbourhood. And while it didn’t spawn too many stories like I imagine the poor people who work 24-hour Wal-marts at night get to tell their loved ones, I will miss 3AM shopping within walking distance of my home. Especially when I crave Bagel Crisps.

089 – It’s like walking into your bedroom only someone else’s stuff is there. And they repainted.

200909_27_01 - Hiya Pal

200909_27_02 - Maintenance

200909_27_03 - Ricki's

200909_28_01 - Seated

Yesterday, I was at the mall when I was greeted by Mickey Mouse! I thought it was nice that Mickey was around the mall, especially since the store that replaced Disney had opened the day before. And that escalator that would take me there! It has been broken for a long time now. Just like The Bay with its broken door that doesn’t open, Bayshore is kinda slow at fixing things. And then I eventually made it up and saw the new, open-for-business Ricki’s. Walking in, I felt like it was familiar, but not. The pillars, now plain white, the ceiling, now way low, the wall bays now squarely recessed into space-maximizing walls… and a huge company logo where the projected screen once displayed Hannah Montana music videos and The Little mermaid singalongs. I’ll have to go in and tell them to enjoy the scent of Subway bread and horrible fat vat smell when KFC cleans out their reserves. Oh, and that the place is haunted.

And pictured above is a guy who was rapping beside me.

081 – Disney Day Four

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On the first night, we checked out Downtown Disney, but only really went into a place to eat. Today, our first down day, we decided to take to the shops and, in a nutshell, spend a ridiculous amount of money. The stores here are crazy awesome! The World of Disney Store, the biggest character store in the world, is easily 20x the size of my store at home. If not more. And despite the heavy traffic, it was still very organized and neat looking. Imagine how many hours they get! And the stitch outside likes to spit on people. Not surprising…

Also, our store has been starting to get products made of recycled materials, reusable bags, organic cotton shirts, and the like. The same lines of product are here too. With cooler designs!

The candy store is amazing as well. I couldn’t decide what to get because I wanted it all. Disney gummies are seriously the best ones I’ve had ever. If there are any pockets of space in my luggage (ha!), then I’m filling it with candy.

Another amazing store is the Holiday store – all Christmas 365 days a year. Unfortunately I dont’ want to bring back anything breakable, so everything stayed there. But it’s pretty cool. You could get a monorail set for the tree, instead of the more traditional train set. But It doesn’t say “Por Favor Manténgase Alejado de las Puertas” (the monorail says to stand clear of the doors in english and spanish). If it did, I would seriously ship one home.

We had also checked out the Boardwalk, but sillily did so in the morning when it’s pretty dead. Will have to scope out later at night – Jellyrolls, amirite?

I think this was also a swimming day. I can’t remember, but I’m starting to get used to pools.

AND PINS. Stupid Pin Store.

040 – Maple Music is the Simon Wilcox to my Tulip Festival

I love Maple Music. For the uninitiated, is a little online music retailer – one that specializes, or at the very least exclusively distributes Canadian music. Arrogant Worms, Billy Talent, Jill Barber, Sarah Slean <3. On top of music, they also have some merch: hoodies, posters, autographs, and even concert tickets.

I also love how my spell check doesn’t know the words Slean, merch, nor hoodies.

Anyway, I’ve made two orders with them so far, and they’re just awesome! The prices are what I’d call reasonable, at least prices that would sway me to buy stuff if I were at HMV or something like that. I bought Simon Wilcox’s newest, The Charm and the Strange and Kinnie Starr’s Anything. A few years back, I bought Simon Wilcox’s second cd, Smart Function, in part because the listening station had it and I was impressed (and in part because it’d give me something to see at Tulipfest). So a follow-up cd was a no brainer for me. Smart Function is a work of art. A slightly dark, highly-energized, low energy (if that makes sense) work of art. Kinnie Starr, I had heard a couple of tracks that I love (including the La Le La La that I had already purchased through iTunes), so I figure I’ll like the rest.

Sorry for all those brackets.

Anyway, I bought the cds thinking they’d take a good week to arrive (as indicated by my shipping method). I got them two days later. W00t!

And so far, I’m loving the Simon Wilcox. It’s actually pretty rare for me to buy a cd that I don’t like, even if I haven’t heard it before. Kinnie Starr is still in the shrink wrapping, but I guarantee that’ll change soon. Funny story about Simon Wilcox – after I bought her cd a few years back, I saw her at the Tulip Festival. She was wonderful! I remember Vivi thinking all of her songs sounded the same. I digress! After she performed, she went to the signing tent. And I hadn’t brought my cd jacket! I went in line anyway to meet her, and she was so nice, and enjoyed my little story of having bought her cd, but not having the jacket. I need to get it signed someday.

MyMusic.com is another Canadian music retailer, but they have all kinds of artists – it’s CD Warehouse’s online store (or at least they’re affiliated somehow, I think). I haven’t bought anything from it; while there’s lots that separates it from Maple Music, I prefer Maple. Though the idea of having a Desert 5 list is pretty awesome.

So yes, the whole point of this entry: Maple Music, brackets bad – at least for those who buy music and read, respectively. But seriously, who buys music and reads these days?

I miss the concert series at the Tulip Festival.