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In a late-night appearance in the East Room of the Imperial Palace, Lord Vader declared that “justice has been done” as he disclosed that agents of the Imperial Army and stormtroopers of the 501st Legion had finally cornered Kenobi, one of the leaders of the Jedi rebellion, who had eluded the Empire for nearly two decades. Imperial officials said Kenobi resisted and was cut down by Lord Vader's own lightsaber. He was later dumped out of an airlock.

http://www.galacticempiretimes.com/2011/05/09/galaxy/outer-rim/obi-wan-kenobi-is-killed.html#

“For over two decades, Kenobi has been the Jedi rebellion’s leader and symbol,” the Lord of the Sith said in a statement broadcast across the galaxy via HoloNet. “The death of Kenobi marks the most significant achievement to date in our empire’s effort to defeat the rebel alliance. But his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that the rebellion will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad.”
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yegads...the winging!

Called Rogers to cancel Internet as of the 24th. There was the predictable "why" type questions, fine, they want to keep me.

"I'm getting over 3 times the bandwidth at 3/4 the price, and you can't compete with that"
"Who says!" (really...is this grade school?)
"Well, my assumption"

What I didn't add, but should have ... "and the conversation I had with you 8 months ago where I told you I would jump ship first change I got unless they magically matched service"

Then, when I told them it was too late, and I had already signed up for Teksavvy, was this gem.
"Well I don't think it's very fair to not give me a chance, but fine"

Dude...we (by which I mean Rogers sales dept. and me) had this conversation 8-10 months ago. I told them flat up I was leaving just as soon as Teksavvy cable was available to me.
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Woooo!

Teksavvy offers cable service to my new house location, something they just patched in 2 weeks ago.

I have to buy the modem instead of rent...but so what, and they do charge an activation fee. Cheaper service however, and over 3 times the bandwidth cap (with an unlimited bandwidth plan if I decide I want that).

This caught me off guard, so I am digesting the option before calling Rogers and telling them to sod off with their stupid low bandwidth limits. Anyone using Teksavvy cable? Is it everything it's cracked up to be?

http://teksavvy.com/en/res-internet.asp
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On top of everything else, my car lease is up in June, so I also get to start going car shopping. I'll probably do that during the 2 weeks I have already taken off work.

That's ok though...car shopping is kind of fun, and apparently Honda will give me a 1% financing discount if I stay with them (a natural move, they want to keep me), meaning my next lease could be reasonably economical too. I'll probably stick with another civic, I've been pretty happy with this one.

Looking at colour options...I am tempted to get a white one next time, but I'm not sure if that will look too grungy too quickly.
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Memphis the musical was the winner of the 2010 best musical Tony award
http://www.memphisthemusical.com/

This Thursday at the coliseum at 7:00, the stage version is showing on the big screen, professionally filmed (similar to what they did a year or two back with the final presentation of Rent). It just became the highlight of my week. A very small segment of people reading this would be interested (kabarett?), and if you are, I'd love it if you joined me, though be advised, tickets are $23 (a lot for a movie, a little for a Broadway show, so depends how you look at it). I realize this does not sell itself as an idea to many people.

Thank you pezchica for pointing this out to me.
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They took my bench!

It would seem the previous owners have moved out of their place. When they went, they took the garden bench that was by the front walk. It was an assumption on my part that it was part of the house, but really, it's no different than a patio table, just an outdoor piece of furniture. I don't think it counted as a "fixture".

Just as long as they left the drapes (which *were* in the agreement of sale)

In other news, I finally got out to contra dance again, first time since....October I think. As usual, it was the most fun anyone can have while vertical, and my legs and butt are sore.
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I feel at this time, I would like to comment on my diet.

Of late, some of my friends have taken some radical dietary shifts, in some cases very radical. I had a lot of dismissive suspicion at first, but I also did a little digging to learn some of the basics behind it. I am not inherently sold on every single aspect I have been told, but on some of them, I have learned enough to really change my thinking in regards to some food sources.

Now I don't have the lifestyle to adopt the diet they did (the previously unknown to me paleo diet) as it requires quite a lot of home planning and food prep. I don't have the time to devote to the personal food prep effort. I also am still unconvinced by some of the principles of the paleo diet. However I am convinced by certain sub-components of it, and some of the principles it's trying to address.

So this is what I did (or attempted to do)
-Cut out sugar. Nearly entirely. Here, I am referring to sucrose, and fructose except where it is found in fruit. However I did also lower my fruit intake a bit (not drastic). In places, it's hard to make this principle total, as sugar is found EVERYWHERE, but I can get very very close.
-Lower carb intake. To be clear here, I used to eat a LOT of carbs in the form of cereals, bread, and pasta, so this isn't hard. Bread is now limited, and I went ahead and used up my granola, but I didn't replace it.
-I didn't take a lot of steps on lowering my lactose intake until recently (let me add, raw yogurt is awesome!). I still eat products with lactose, but they have lower levels than many.
-increased vegetables - quite a bit, though I am still working on expanding the variety.
-increased meat, but mostly only the raw kind I cook myself, not the prepared kind, in prepared gravies, or on prepared food...etc... I have used my bbq more in the past month, than I have since I moved in to Woodridge, and possible *ever*
-Increased fat. I haven't gone willfully crazy here, but I am no longer getting skim milk, or 0% yogurt (the raw stuff which I have now is at it's natural fat level, can't remember what that is, something like 3.5-4.0%). I dash on olive oil on my salads, and the meat itself has fat as well.

The result? Actually, let's discuss the goal first. Why did I even start this. In a word, energy. For quite some time now I had been low energy, listless, yawning all the time. This was the number one thing I wanted to adjust. I also wanted to adjust the extra body fat I was carrying (particularly on my pecs), and yes, that was a pure vanity choice, and it doesn't particularly bother me that I was using that as a motivator. Energy was the big one though.

Ok, the result?
-around 10 pounds lost. This is also with less gym time mind you, as the house hunting got in the way of my gym schedule (which is starting to return). Before you ask, no it's not muscle loss. Now that I am back to the gym, I am still at the progress level I left off at. As mentioned, this is a secondary note. The number itself is unimportant (though it came with increased trunk flexibility, which is nice).
-Energy - yes please. In an interesting distinction, it doesn't help sleepiness. If I don't get enough sleep at night, I am sleepy the next day, but that's a different thing than body energy and tiredness. I have *way* more energy, most notably when I have had a protein rich meal.
-Habit of food prep - I was a big one for opening a box and putting it in the microwave. Now I am chopping up more salads, making my own breakfast combos (today, some frozen berries, raw yogurt, slivered almonds, unsweetened shredded coconut, and flax seeds, yum), cooking my own meat (instead of reheating), and I could see taking this to new directions as well.
-Skin - This was unexpected. I used to have a big problem with dry peeling skin on my hands and feet. Not just a bit dry, but patches peeling away. Now, you have to search for any evidence that my skin was like that. There are one of two spots you can find where you can see the after effects of that condition, but by and large, my skin looks amazing.
-Eyes - Someone had to point this out to me, but it's true. My eyes are whiter. Seriously, the white of the eyes is a more striking and consistent white.
-Back - My back, which had been more of a problem in the last 6 months or so, has finally improved some. I feel it a bit when I first get up in the morning, or after a gym session, but it's finally affecting me less on a day to day basis.
-Teeth - My teeth feel like they stay cleaner. It's hard to know for sure, because I started this well after my last cleaning, but I had a cleaning this week, so I am curious to see if it makes a difference by next cleaning.
-sugar free peanut butter - despite trying twice, I finally developed a taste for "just peanuts" peanut butter, and now actively prefer it.
-I've also not felt remotely sick, though that may just be coincidence (I am not actually thinking I am not immune, but I may or may not be less vulnerable to infection, who knows)

I discussed it all with my doctor, and we did blood pressure tests and so forth. All was great, and he thought it was a great idea. He wished more people would cut back sugar, but it's so hard to convince people of that, as it seems so hard. I don't have the wherewithall to track and balance every item I put in my mouth, but as a general guideline, no sugar, less carbs, more veggies, enough protein, and don't stress about moderate fat levels, has done very very well for me. The better skin, and more energy alone is all the reason I need to justify it.

The other notable shift I may make soon is a new mattress. I noticed I slept much better in India at my hotel, than I do at home. I am not sure, whether because of age, or just by its nature, that my old mattress is the right one for me.
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Is it bad when you are chatting to your manager on MSN, he asks you to come chat in in his office, and you type "be there in a sex".

Whose idea was it to put 'X' next to 'C' on the keyboard.
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So...what can you say about that. I'm still reeling.

-A Conservative majority (which I hate, but I am avoiding the hyperbole I hear from some people of an inevitable totalitarian police state. I mean....really?)
-A strong NDP official oppoisition, representing almost all of Eastern Canada
-The Bloc crushed, losing official party status
-Elizabeth May wins a seat, being the first elected Green party member, and probably guaranteeing that she will at least be in the next leader debates.
-Ignatieff and Duceppe both lose their seats. Ignatieff says he will stay on as leader, so long as the party wants him. Somehow, I am not sure that's happening. I wonder if this will be Trudeau or Rae's ascendancy for the Liberal leadership.

While I hate that the Cons got a majority, I don't think this will mean some of the things people fear. I don't think he will repeal gay marriage, or move to outlaw abortion, because it will mean political suicide in 4 years. Yes, there will be corporate tax cuts, and other tax cuts besides, yes some social programs will suffer, yes the NDP will pound their chest, and loudly say they cannnot support this budget, and it won't make a lick of difference. At the same time, the extinguishing of the Bloc could also bolster the confidence of foreign investors, and May's voice will be a welcome addition to the house.

Like it or lump it, at the very least we have a political landscape that will stay largely intact for at least 4 years. There is a small chance that with the majority, Harper might just relax his iron grip a little, and the house can get to some actual governing. Overly optimistic? Perhaps, however we are rather forced to try and make the best of what we have.
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Who is holding a election night coverage party?
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Save me.

My company is playing coverage of the royal wedding in our training room.

I'm sorry...I don't care. I really really don't. I wish them well, they look like a lovely couple, I hope they will be happy and fulfilled and as in love when they are old and grey as they are now. People get married every day though.

Yes, I suppose we are talking about our next king and queen here, but you and I both know that this is a ceremonial relationship only, and in any case, won't make a difference for many years. Our governor general is in attendance, I will let him pass on my best wishes while I get on with my Friday.

Maybe I just need a coffee. :)
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There's a dog visiting the office tomorrow!

Of course...I can't interact with it, it's a working dog trained to sniff out insects apparently, but it will be visiting every cube and room of our office.

puppy!
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Everything is signed off by the seller and myself (ie: inspection, financing, etc...), and I also officially have a mortgage as of today.

All that's left is for the lawyer to do her mojo, and sign a whole lot of papers in a few weeks (and bring in a check with a higher than average number of digits on it).

and of course...pack and move.

Yesterday I passed off most of my sca garb to what hopefully will be a good home. I kept a few items, my shoes, my hat, a few linen undershirts that I would totally wear on a summer day just because (they are so comfy). My single fanciest SCA outfit has to be tossed though, It was in a box that unbeknownst to me got wet on the bottom. The outfit is afflicted by mold, and I won't even try and save it. I will also be passing some unused fabric off to Helen today (from whom I got it in the first place on the theory I'd be making more outfits).

I'm a bit uncertain what to do with the plates/bowls/utensils set I had for the sca. It was always a bit of a mishmash set. I probably won't see any need to keep it beyond perhaps one or two nice cups.

Getting rid of my SCA stuff feels weird, but not for the reason one may expect. I actually don't miss the sca at all, not even a little bit. I am doing many other things now, and that particular game just seems like an echo of my history now. I do however miss some of the people. I miss meeting various out of town people, I missing the after party when we were back in jeans and having a beer in someone's living room, I miss the inevitable Sunday brunch the next day before everyone parted ways. Those were always my favourite parts.
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All right, I now have a van, and a 16' truck booked for Victoria day. As truck space goes...that's loads of space I think. That and 2 vans should be 1 trip for sure.

I have it for the whole day, but mainly because they offered me a full day rental for half day price, and the pick up/drop off is in Bell's corners, so that's perfect.

So some people have offered, but I will cheerfully accept more muscle power on the day. I'll have to score some of the traditional beer and pizza for the day. I think I may make a Facebook event too (and not everyone reads here in any case). I know it's the May 2/4 weekend (except May 24 is actually Tuesday, but whatever), and many people may be travelling/cottaging, whatever. That's fine. I'm not sure what the magic number would be, but another 2-4 would be handy.

What an adventure. I've started packing actually. I kind of viewing like breaking the seal. I have started. Once started, it's not had to continue. I figure 1 or 2 boxes anytime I have spare time at home would go a long way. There will be some big stuff on the weekend of 21-22, like disassembling the bed, dining room table, etc..., but it'll be good to have most/all boxes done by then.
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Dear Minto:

Thank you for advising me of the rent increase you are levying on my unit.

I don't care.

Sincerely, Mike.
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So I think I have some aspirations of moving without hiring movers. The real estate agency actually gives customers a free van for a day (not a cube van, but still a van), which I have booked for Victoria Day. The JAD have (I think) offered their van to the cause as well. So I guess I would like to ask people who may be willing to lend a hand on Victoria day, May 23rd to help me move. This will not be a complete most likely, vans aren't big enough for some of my bigger items (couch, beds, patio table, not sure about book cases), but I will either get a cube van, that day if there are enough hands, or maybe the following weekend. Still trying to work out the details.

I am curious in general then, if you are game to lend a hand on May 23rd, and/or the following weekend, and also if you have a van yourself, that's bonus points. I will trying to trim down a lot of stuff (it's amazing the number of things that moved from Lilibet that I simply never touched in 2 and a half years).

The 23rd will be a multiple trip kind of day, unless I got the person power to justify getting a cube van as well. It's mainly because I get a free van, and it's a stat holiday that I picked that day. A lot of stuff can fit in vans, but they would still fill up fast.

Time to go purge more boxes and garbage. It's good to have a reason to do so...but I kind of just want to sit and watch more episodes of Amazing Race on youtube and/or go outside for another walk.
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So the house just got cheaper. The condo fees have a special assessment at the moment, however it's included in the advertised condo fee. So in theory, in January 2013, my condo fees will go down (in theory).

At least it's not an extra surprise.
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Wow. The NDP are surging in polls. Depending on the poll you read, they are getting very close to the Liberals in terms of popular support, and one polling firm put them as dead even today (24.7%). The specific numbers are very poll dependent, and really reflect how you can't rely on polls too heavily, but it's clear Layton is doing doing better since the debate.

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