Observation Society

2008-08-04 at 19-24-51

A tick of thought has been digging into my consciousness for some time. Ever since Al Gore invented the internet, we've been living in an Information Age. Without drawing too heavily on Sid Meier's work, I would have to agree, although I would argue that the age in which we live has brought us to be the Observation Society.

I'm positive the thoughts have been racing around my brain for some time, and it was the viewing of the amazing WALL-E production that brought these thoughts to the frontal lobes. Everyone pulls a different message from the film, probably a sign of an excellent production, and the message I walked away with was the separation the poor souls on the Axiom lived with. Throughout, people were separated physically by only a couple feet, but would never turn their head to look at their real life counterparts. It goes without saying, physical contact was completely out of the question.

Think about the world in which we live. A mass of people work for TheMan®, then return home to watch a few hours of quality reality television. Reality television seems to be taking the place of reality

California State declared that the 'average American' spends 4 hours each day watching television. That number is over 16% of the hours in a day. Factor in 8 hours of sleep (too high) and 8 hours for work (too low) and with the 8 hours remaining the number is half of the free time the average person has available to them

Mathematician know that almost half of people are above average

The 'average american' would rather watch people cook, renovate, interact, dance, date, compete, cope, cheat and succeed than actually do it. It is not hard to find evidence. 97.5 million paid money to vote on who should have a chance at recording an album, and 122 million picked who would dictate taxes and policy for their country. Fitness is the worst it has ever been, and more and more people are using the internet to find a mate.

Human nature re-enforces the problem. People will publish most of their lives on the internet in hopes that someone will read it and find it interesting. The desire for the cliché 15 minutes of fame roots deep within our psyche, and we re-enforce it by enabling others to have their moment.

Above reproach? I doubt it. I spent some time crafting together all these words, in hope that you would read them.


The Very Beginning

Airports Suck

The day had finally arrived, and it was time to embark across the ocean and start a two week vacation in Europe. Mike was kind enough to drive us to the airport, at a time we thought would be early enough. We arrived, confronted with the longest line in which I've stood in quite some time. Not that it mattered, as everyone got the same, designed by a midget with no arms, seat that Air Transat is known for, and given the chance to do it over again, I'd pay the extra money to ride on something where I can make it 30 minutes without being rammed by a cart.

The line was processed rather quickly, and surprisingly there were no problems at security. Once we were clear we searched for some hot food, but had to settle for some convenience sandwiches, and a cold pint before we boarded the plane.

I managed to sleep through most of the three movies and food services, but it was definitely a tight flight in the middle seat. Most of the flight my faced pressed into the seat in front of me, as there was no way my broad shoulders were going to share the back rests with the other two gentlemen. We had a non-verbal agreement, every once in a while I would lean back and they would both slump forward for a while. We all knew that there was nothing any one of us could do about our situation, but work together to make it as comfortable as possible. Everyone on the plane clapped when the pilot brought us down onto the tarmac. I wasn't sure why, as I'm pretty sure landing the plane is in his job description, but perhaps he did an exceptionally good job while I was sleeping. As soon as we had our luggage and were through passport control, Sonja's aunt Ingrid was there to pick us up.

We stopped at a lounge and picked up a couple of Heinekens. Time between beers: 10 hours 52 minutes and 51 seconds. We were told that a proper Dutch beer has two fingers of head, and if the beer is given to you without the required head, you can return it for a fresh one.

We jumped from train to tram and ended up at Ingrid's apartment just off of Waalstraat (Wall Street) on Ijselstraat. Her 'typical' Amsterdam apartment was a tight 47 meters square (just a smidgen over 500), with the balcony included in that space. There definitely isn't a lot of junk in that size of a space. The stove doubles as a countertop and shelf, the fridge is a typical size to find under a Canadian bar, a single sink in the whole apartment and a toilet stall that doubles as a shower stall all worked together to get all the needs into the small space. Pendo was a bit wary of us, not that it mattered, all we really wanted was a shower and a bed. Afterall, tomorrow we were exploring Amsterdam


A Night in Passing


The candle has definitely been burned at both ends, and it also spent some time in the oven so it barely looks like it's former self.. This morning the radio buzzed the sleep from me, and as I lay in bed contemplating a smash of the snooze, or actually liberating myself from my bed, I could not help but listen to the radio personalities chatter. Today is the first day of Summer.

Five months, twenty days and (for me) eight and a half hours into this year and I can't believe that it's summer already. We've almost reached the half way point of the year. These thoughts rolled over my foggy mind, and I couldn't help but wonder where the year has been going.

A lot has been going on, as usual. My certificate cource is completed, and I would recommend it to anyone that is looking to manage time limited endeavor to create a unique product, service or result. I learned a load from the various instructors that I had during the five and a half months it took to complete. Some of the ideas have even followed me back to the work place, and I am definitely better armed with the vocabulary to speak with other Project Managers.

Landing on the same weekend was the Company Picnic at the Zoo, as well as my Mother's trek to southern Alberta. Ma made the voyage to bring down a share of some AAA beef. The meat hasn't even spent a week in the freezer here, but already it more proved its worth. A little worry was dancing in my brain when I knew that the Mother unit was coming into town. Usually when she resides in the house, some sort of project manages to make itself happen. Bathrooms get renovated, fences get replaced, and entire buildings get painted when she's in town. Even though her generosity keeps everything moving, and more than lessens the burden of whatever we are doing, inevitably her visits cost a lot of money. Mother nature decided to throw some rain our way, so we our activities were limited to some much needed yard work, and a pile of shopping. We hit a great deal of stores down in the furniture district, until finally settling on a five piece dinette set. The dinette set is much needed, because the one I have currently is a more dangerous trap than a tree full of ninjas. The legs barely hold the top above the ground, and perhaps now my Uncle can eat dinner without running the risk of bodily harm. An evening of movies, popcorn and some chit chat even managed to find it's way into this visit, proving that we can have a visit, and just relax. Ma, I'm so proud of you.

Up coming in the next while is some camping for the weekend, some dreaded plumbing to fix a long time leak, and a pile of one-on-one meetings to straighten out some business. That stampede is coming to town again, and I'm sure the world will just zip on by until I wake up one morning and wonder what happened to July.