Year: 2005

Gettin’ in the spirit of things

Not a lot of updates lately, there's been a lot I've wanted to talk about, but there doesn't seem to be enough time in a day anymore to do everything I want to do. With the year wrapping up I'm going to try to get a few end-of-year posts out (best movies, best comics, best things of 2005, and maybe even a little look forward to 2006). Today's is “Why Ryan probably thinks I'm gay”, or how my baby girl changed my life.

I knew the moment that I laid eyes on that floppy little battered up face that she was the most profound thing to have happened to my life up until that point, and that the struggle Char had gone through for 12 hours had made us closer as a couple, but I wouldn't know until months later just how much Kaylin would mean to me.

In the beginning I loved her, you have to, it's your one job. You hold her, cuddle her, rock her, talk to her, and coo over her, but it's all one-sided. Sure she would grab my finger, and open her eyes, and occasionally “smile”, but everything there was instinct. There are elaborate scientific names for why she grabs your hand, or why her feet move a certain way, or why she falls asleep on your chest…but most of it is unconscious.

It's this last two months that she's become my favourite person in the world (next to her mommy of course). I look forward to going to bed just because I know I'll be awake sooner. It's like every night is Christmas eve, and you know that the next morning there's a big ole whack of Matchbox cars waiting for you under the tree.

She's just awesome. She smiles all…the…time. She giggles now (which is just about the most awesome sound in the world). She grabs for my hand, feels my beard, and even giggles when her feet rub on my prickly face.

Every day she makes a different sound. She mimicks us, one day you'll stick out your tounge and blow at her, and two days later she's making the same sound. If you laugh at something she does, you can rest assured that she'll do it again. She goes through her repetoire of sounds, and then throws in one that she hasn't made in a couple of days just to “change it up”. She reaches out with her tiny hands to touch every surface she can, and will often absent mindedly scratch her head in the cutest way possible. She sqeals with delight when she sees herself in a mirror and giggles hysterically when we play the “boo” game.

She's so cuddly, and I just love to hug her. She loves to hang out in my “daddy nook” (the crook of my left arm), and will sit in my lap for half an hour as we play X-Box (okay, I play X-Box, she plays with her linky-doo's).

A couple of weeks ago we went to Tim and Nikki's daughter Sofia's first birthday party. Kaylin was in a really bad mood and didn't want to be touched by anyone other than Char or I (and even that was tenuous at best).

It was really stressful as we did the “daddy bounce” and the “mommy sway” upstairs in Tim and Nikki's bathroom, trying to get her under control. She eventually did calm down, although a mere look from someone else was enough to send her into that abject look of sadness that all babies have which says “back off, I'm gonna blow”.

I have to admit that when I was sitting downstairs and she was snuggled up in my lap, happy however tenacious that contentment was, I was secretly glad that she felt safe with me.

Everyone says it gets better, but that's the thing…I don't want it to get better. I love the gummy smile, I can't imagine it with teeth. I love how cuddly she is, and don't want her to push me away. I love the squeals of delight, and don't want to hear them turn into “NO's” of anger.

I just wish I could take every moment of time with her in some ziplock bag of life and flash freeze it. Then whenever I wanted a “hit” of baby Kaylin, I'd be able to pull a bag out, microwave it on high for 2-4 minutes, and dive into the goodness.

I know that in the next couple of days I'm going to get a one-word email from Ryan that says “gay”, and you know what? I'm okay with that.

Happy Birthday Dad!

My dad turns the bit 6-oh today, amazing considering he doesn't look a day over 70! (I kid, I kid). He's still in great shape if you don't count the rickety old knee, the busted up wrists, the crippled back, and the countless aches and pains that go with being a “senior citizen”…but HEY, he gets to save 20% off at Shoppers Drug Mart twice a month now, that's gotta count for something.

My sister and brother-in-law threw a party for him this weekend, so Char, Kaylin and I made the trek down to London, our first big trip, and our first overnight stay with the Kegger (for those not “in the know”, Kaylin's full name is Kaylin Elizabeth Garside…or K.E.G.). She travelled really well, sleeping the entire two hours down to London, and sleeping fairly well in my old bedroom (she was a little overwhelmed all weekend, and she had some restless sleep, but she did well).

We went over to Ryan and Kari's on Saturday night, where Kaylin and Paige got to hang out, there's a couple of awesome shots of Paige and Kaylin on the couch together. Paige is soooo big now, it's awesome to see where Kaylin will be in another 14 months, but I have to admit I enjoy the baby stage too. She's so portable right now, and her poop doesn't reek to high heaven.

On Sunday my dad and I started to install new closet doors in the front hall, but we had to get ready to leave because the party was at 2, and my dad had no idea about it…so Char and I made up excuses about how Kaylin was getting cranky, and we'd better hit the road. Mom made an excuse to get dad to go shopping with her, but first they were going to stop by my sister's.

Char and I got there late, around ten after two, and pretty much everyone was already there. When my dad arrived I think he was pretty shocked to see everyone gathered as we had all made excuses as to why we couldn't see him…I have a feeling he was starting to feel like nobody was going to recognize his birthday…mission accomplished!

It was awesome to get to see everyone, and Kaylin was passed around like a bowl of chips…which she didn't seem to mind too much until a couple of hours in when she had a little melt-down…luckily we took her into Chris and Annette's bedroom where Kaylin calmed down and started chatting with us quietly in her little girl voice. She was good to go after that and we went back to the party.

We also got to meet Kaylin's cousin Keira who's two weeks younger than the Kegger. She's shorter than Kaylin, but she'd give her a run for her money in the weight class I'll bet. The two of them were pretty cute together, and it's amazing what a difference those two weeks make. Just seeing pictures of Kaylin from two weeks ago makes me realize how much she's changed.

Dad got a ton of cool gifts (including a 4-in-1 laser level/stud finder/estimator/wire finder that I'm totally jealous about).

We left around 6, and Kaylin talked to us almost to Woodstock, where she finally settled down and fell asleep. We got home around 8:15, and she slept until about 11, when we woke her up to change her diaper and get her ready for bed.

It was a fun weekend, and I'm pretty sure dad had a pretty good time. I got a few great pictures of dad holding Kaylin, for what was apparently his first time!

He may be old and rickety, but he's still my dad. Happy birthday you grizzly old bear (mind you even though they have a computer, my folks haven't hooked themselves up to this “interweb” thing that the kids are all crazy with…so he may never see this).

Cutie Patutie!

Brian is pretty busy these days, so I thought I should step in and get some new pictures of our sweet girl up for all of you to see. Check out the gallery for new pics!!

Kaylin is doing so well. She's growing like a weed while maintaining her slim, girlish figure. Some of her 3-month sleepers are getting a little short! She's cooing lots, smiling all the time and can even touch her toes! (OK, I have to pull her toes up to her hands, but she still enjoys hanging onto them like a little monkey)

We're looking forward to Kaylin's first Christmas – but don't tell her about the whole “gift” thing. We're keeping that a secret for at least one more year. Instead, we're just going to wrap up some of her current toys and give them to her…just kidding! That's just mean (but frugal, don't you think?)

Char

Big time lottery winner!!!

Well friends, I paid the idiot tax this week and finally my ship came in. Yep, after a dozen or so years of playing the numbers, after untold countless hours of figuring out odds, making sure that my system was flawless, and ensuring that I never missed a lottery drawing, I'm a big winner. Before you even ask, no I won't give you any of my winnings, and I'm not interested in investing in your burgeoning beet and horseradish farm.

I got 4 out of 6 numbers on the 649 this weekend and I am now the proud owner of $76.00! Yup, seventy six loonies, thirty eight twonies, or fifteen fivers and a loonie.

I'm at a loss for words really, I mean that much money is likely to change a man. I wonder if I should quit my job so I can spend more time with Charlene and Kaylin? At the very least Char won't have to go back to work, so we've got that going for us. I need to figure out how to make this money work for us.

Know anybody with a burgeoning beet or horseradish farm that they need investors in?

In the meantime, a random picture of Kaylin from the weekend…because I love you all so much.

The chicken and the candy

Kaylin had her first Halloween tonight on Tansley Ave, and let me just say…new neighbourhoods kinda suck when it comes to All Hallow's Eve! We maybe got 30 kids tonight, and our first one didn't come until quarter after six. Compare that to Toronto, where we had kids from 4:30 on…and dozens and dozens of them!

There are a lot of babies in this neighbourhood though, so I'm sure that's got something to do with it. A lot of the kiddies out this year were just their parents carrying them around to friends in the neighbourhood. That's what Kaylin, Char and I did for the most part as well as we went over to Jay and Jill's and Philip and Sharon's. I took Kaylin around the corner to see Donnie, Sarah, and Tasha, who was dressed up as a Chilli Pepper.

By the time we got down the street though, Kaylin was out like a light. Donnie set Tasha and Kaylin up for a photo op, and he got some hilarious shots of Kaylin sleeping on Tasha's shoulder while the little chilli pepper held Kaylin's little chickeny hand.

We gave away comics which were a huge hit, as well as chocolate and some various other candies, but we've got a ton of stuff left over. Still, it was fun to hang with the neighbours, and halloween on Tansley will just get better in the future.

Pics Pics Pics!

A few people have asked for more Kaylin pictures. Well, twist our rubber arms! We’d love to share some snapshots of our sweetie pie with you.

Check out the Photolog for a few images of Kaylin taken over the past few weeks.

By the way – she turned two months old on October 16th! Some of her newly acquired skills and talents include smiling, cooing, lifting her head while on her tummy, holding and shaking a rattle, and driving a stick shift (OK, I made that last one up to see if you were paying attention). We’re so very proud of our little angel!

Char

What is this chicken of which you speak?

I've been meaning to flip up my style for ages and haven't gotten around to it, but I decided that tonight was the night. I wanted something bright, something sunny, and something that is foreshadowing…what does it foreshadow? The chickens are coming, that's all I can say.

With the CSS styles that I've applied to the site, changing the style is so easy that it's almost child's play. Tonight I spent about 30 minutes putting together the images, and another few minutes hacking together a style sheet. Within an hour I had totally changed up the site.

I'm planning on adding a style switcher so that you, my loving end user, can choose which style you love and make that your default. I just need to work out the bugs in some of my older styles.

I'll also be updating the style again in December with a fun Christmas theme which I made last year but never actually installed, and in January with an All New Comics theme. Who knows, maybe I'll make it a monthly thing!

…and yes, I'm going to bring back the “Now more fun than a bucket of rattlesnakes” theme as well!

Today I married my best friend

Four years ago today Charlene and I got married at the Inn on the Park. It's kind of cliche to say that I got married to my best friend, but it's true. She's the love of my life, the receiver of comic books, the light for my soul, the bearer of lightsabers, and the mother of my child. All in all, she's a pretty cool gal, and I'm glad she said yes on that cold February eve (edit, Charlene reminds me that it was a February afternoon when I popped the question on a hillside mountain on her first ski-trip…by the way, never propose to a woman on her first ski-trip…it ends up causing what she referred to as “engagement bruises).

This has been a crazy 12 months. This time last year we were living in a friend's basement, preparing for our cruise and going out to Ajax to pull some cruise wear out of the storage facility. We were pretty much free and clear, most of our savings were in place for the house, we had a little bit of extra cash, and other than worries that our house would be delayed yet again, we didn't have too many cares in the world.

A couple of months later we moved into our new house and shortly after that Charlene found out she was pregnant. Now that little bundle of joy lies in the other room with her mom, growing at an amazing rate and getting to be more fun to be around every single day.

One of the cool things that Char's childhood friend Anne did for us at the wedding was to put an envelope at each table with a questionairre, asking things like where I would be working (at the time I had been through 4 jobs in 18 months), where we would be living, how many pets we would have, where we would vacation, and what we would do for our anniversary.

This year's was dead on. Table 4 said we would be sitting around the house staring into our new baby's eyes and being amazed at how much love we could feel. (All right, we did manage to take the little bundle of joy out for dinner with us earlier in the evening, but it was pretty much spot on).

The place we got married at was recently converted into condos at Leslie and Eglinton. The restaurant where we went on our first date is closed. We however, just keep going and going and going.

All New, All Comics, All Canadian

So the dilemma I posted on here a few weeks ago about buying comics online was a little bit of a tease. For about six months now I've been looking into the feasability of opening a comic store online. I've been checking the competition, and seeing what's going on out there. I tried to buy comics from places online and looked into everything from the time it took to get stuff to the amount charged for shipping. In the end I decided that it was a market that I need to get into…so I did. Last month we launched “All New Comics“, your Canadian source for online comics.

I've already got about a half dozen folks signed up to get their monthly comics through me, and I expect more in the future. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to make the distributor's minimum monthly order, but I doubled it in month 1 (which will start next month because of the way that comics are ordered), and I'm on pace to triple it in December.

I've gotten my first shipment in although it was just a little one this week. Next week looks to be much bigger, and things will get larger every week after that.

We have an ever growing list of inexpensive graphic novels online, and our regular pre-orders for December are on track for later this week, when customers can come to All New Comics and pre-order their comics for December…and save 20% off the cover price.

Here's where I need your help, my loyal readers of Chronicology. Most people who have fallen out of comic collecting still love comics, but hate trekking all the way to a comic store, it's a dichotomy which sometimes prevents us from actually buying comics. I want to serve that market. Get your friends, family and enemies to contact me with their a list of comics they would like to get every month and I can set them up at All New Comics with good discounts, awesome packing, and the assurance that they will never again miss out on the greatness that is comic books.

It's the least I can do. If you recommend someone, tell them to let me know and there'll be a little something in it for you too!

All New Comics. All New, All Comics…All Awesome!

Ten years…how time flies when you’re having fun

TSN.ca has been online for 10 years today. I remember where I was on this day back in 1995, in a Seneca College computer lab registering for the site for the first time. I logged in, looked around, and promptly got frustrated enough to not take another look at the site for about a year. See, there's this thing called “usability” which we just didn't know about in the dark ages, and rather than go right to the NHL page to get NHL info, you had to click on “Playing Field”, and then click on “NHL”.

Wayne, the guy who hired me at TSN used to preach about “the rules of three”, which stated that whatever information you were looking for should be no more than three clicks away. The original site definately didn't live up to the rule of threes.

There was no such thing as “persistant login” back in 1995, you logged in to every gateway you wanted to get into. Tables were a new invention, images were still pretty fresh. In '95 I had a 14.4k connection that got me on Lynx at home, I had to go to school to see images on the internet, but even then, that primative web hooked me.

While I was going to school for Television Production, I taught myself how to build websites and how to manipulate audio so I could get it on the internet. It was that experience which got me the job at TSN.ca in 1997.

I love the internet more than ever today, it's my passion, and I know it's my true calling in life. I rarely get the desire to play in the TV and movie landscapes anymore, but I'm always itching to start another website or build a better product online.

I've been at TSN.ca 8 and a half years now, with an 18 month leave of absence. I learned a ton in that 18 months, but I wanted to come back to the place that it all began for me. The people I work with are fun to be around, and work well under pressure…although that pressure is usually pretty light, after all, if we do everything absolutely wrong, nobody will die.

Congratulations TSN.ca. You've come a long way baby, and I can't imagine a place I'd rather be right now.