Sunday, January 25, 2009

Barack Obama is the new POTUS

On Tuesday Barack Hussein Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States of America. Back in April I wrote this post. At the time I said I thought he had a chance of winning the election and now he has won and been sworn in. I don't speak much of politics on this blog. The purpose of this blog is to document what is going on in my day to day life. I am not a politician so I don't see much point in discussing politics here.

If you asked most black people (myself included) as recently as 5 years ago if we thought it was possible that a black person would be elected president in their life times the answer would be no way. I am a fairly optimistic guy but I just didn't see the concept of a black president as possible. I am not saying the whole country is racist because I don't believe it is. However I did figure that the percent of citizens who are racist was large enough to prevent this from ever happening. Well Barack proved me and a hell of a lot of other people wrong.

I listened to most of the proceedings on my computer at work. However, when he was about to be sworn in I went downstairs to the main lobby of my building (First Canadian Place) to watch it on the jumbo screen. There were hundreds of people there. I was very surprised by the crowds.

I don't know if I really have much more to say. I just wanted to say congratulations to the new president and wish him luck because he certainly has his work cut out for him.

That's it for this week.

Next week ... Issues at work and procrastination.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Mid Season TV

As i have mentioned many times before I am a big TV fan. This week is when a lot of my favorite shows are finally coming back. I start with the biggest one first.

LOST

After an incredibly long lay-off, what I think is the best drama on television is finally back. This is my review of last season. Simply put I thought last season was the best season since the first. I have very high expectations for the upcoming season. The producers have announced that the show is ending next year so really there are only about 36 episodes left in this show. It means that a lot of loose ends are going to have to be tied up this season. I am so glad that I stuck it out with this show. I know a lot of people jumped off the wagon at the end of season two and beginning of season 3. So much has happened since then and the writers and producers have really made an attempt to address these concerns.

HEROES

This show is coming off of two back to back incredibly stupid seasons. I am very close to giving up on it. The decision making of the characters is beyond stupid and it is just very difficult to understand the motivations of any of the characters. The show comes back in early February but I am not exactly dying with anticipation for the return of this show. I will watch it because at this point i am too invested to pull the plug but my guess is that if there are not drastic improvements this show will not be around next year.

24

This show started last week. And so far it is pretty good. They have shown 4 episodes plus the TV movie that aired in the fall. There have been some pretty drastic changes so far. This has always been a show that had no problem with the concept of killing supporting characters but they may have gone to far this time. Basically there are only 4 characters back this season from previous seasons. The characters are also working outside of the government and the concept of 4 people against the government and the terrorists may be a little too much to swallow for me.

Battlestar Galactica

I am a huge fan of this show. I have seen every episode multiple times. My only real beef with this show is that the network likes to put to much time in between seasons. They have split the last 2 seasons into 2 ten episode mini seasons. I know they do this because it is the most popular show on the sci-fi network but it really pisses off the fans to have to wait a year between mid season breaks. That being said the first of the last ten aired 2 days ago and it was really good. There were a few really good twists and a supporting character died. It's always good when a show is willing to part with a supporting character because it lets the viewer aware of the seriousness of the situation the characters are in. A show can kill too many characters (see 24 above) but i think BSG has handled death very well.

Smallville

Another of my favorites. As everyone knows I am a huge comic fan. This season the show has new writers and they have made a real effort to use as much of the DC comics library as possible. Rumor has it that this is the last season and if so i must say they are really going out on a high note.

Prison Break

This show doesn't come back until spring. It has also been announced that the episodes airing in spring will be the last. I like the show but as i mentioned in an earlier post this show really should have ended 2 seasons ago.

That's it for this week.

Next week ... Barack Obama

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Books

So I have actually been meaning to write this post for weeks. For 2008 the jobs i have worked have allowed me to take the bus to work as opposed to driving. Since I don't like to read the free magazines or newspapers available i have been making use of the library. I have read more books in the past year than in the previous 10. Below is a list of the books i have read, it is in comma separated format. If it is difficult to read copy and past in to a notepad file. Name the file something.csv and open it in MS Excel.

Title,Author,Subject,Month,GoodBad
Echo Park,Michael Connelly ,Cop,April,Good
Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks,Mick Foley,Biography,April,Good
The Third Option,Vince Flynn,Spy,April,Good
Hitman : my real life in the cartoon world of wrestling,Brett Hart,Wrestling,August,Good
The Vixen Diaries,Karrine Steffans,Biography,Feb,Bad
"A Time for War, A Time for Peace (Star Trek)",Keith R. A. DeCandido,Sci-Fi,Feb,Average
Superman: The Never-Ending Battle (Justice League of America),Roger Stern ,Comic,Feb,Average
Transfer of Power,Vince Flynn,Spy,Feb,Good
The Broker,John Grisham,Law,July,Average
Crime beat : a decade of covering cops and killers,Michael Connelly ,Cop,July,Bad
The WrestleCrap book of lists!,R. D. Reynolds,Wrestling,July,Bad
Hollywood Tough (Shane Scully Novels),Stephen J. Cannell,Cop,July,Good
Act of treason,Vince Flynn,Spy,July,Good
Protect And Defend,Vince Flynn,Spy,July,Good
*52,Greg Cox,Comic,June,Bad
Separation of Power,Vince Flynn,Spy,June,Good
Executive Power ,Vince Flynn,Spy,June,Good
Memorial Day,Vince Flynn,Spy,June,Good
Consent to kill,Vince Flynn,Spy,June,Good
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Death in Winter,Michael Jan Friedman,Sci-Fi,Mar,Average
The Death of WCW: WrestleCrap and Figure Four Weekly Presents . . .,R. D. Reynolds,Biography,March,Average
"Juiced : wild times, rampant 'roids, smash hits, and how baseball got big ",Jose Canseco,Biography,May,Good
Ric Flair: To Be the Man,Ric Flair,Biography,May,Good
The tin collectors,Stephen J. Cannell,Cop,May,Good
Three shirt deal : a Shane Scully novel ,Stephen J. Cannell,Cop,May,Good
The Stone Cold Truth,Steve Austin,Biography,May,Good
Term limits,Vince Flynn,Spy,May,Good
Blood work ,Michael Connelly ,Cop,September,Good
The poet   ,Michael Connelly ,Cop,September,Good
The appeal,John Grisham,Law,September,Bad
A darkness more than night,Michael Connelly ,Cop,September,Good
"It's no secret : from Nas to Jay-Z, from seduction to scandal, a hip-hop Helen of Troy tells all",Carmen Bryan,Biography,October,Good
"Physics of the impossible : a scientific exploration into the world of phasers, force fields, teleportation, and time travel",Michio Kaku,Science,October,Good
At first sight : a novel of obsession,Stephen J. Cannell,Mystery,October,Good
Off the books : the underground economy of the urban poor,Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh,Social Science,November,
The Lincoln lawyer,Michael Connelly ,Law,November,Good
Donnie Brasco : unfinished business : shocking declassified details from the FBI's greatest undercover operation and a bloody timeline of the fall of the mafia,Joseph D. Pistone,Biography,November,Good
Resistance (Star Trek),"Dillard, J. M. (Jeanne M.)",Sci-Fi,November,Average
Extreme measures,Vince Flynn,Spy,November,Good
American project : the rise and fall of a modern ghetto,Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh,Social Science,October,Average
"Gangsters and goodfellas : the mob, witness protection, and life on the run ",Henry Hill,Crime,December,Average
Before dishonor (Star Trek),Peter David,Sci-Fi,December,Average
The burglar on the prowl ,Lawrence Block,Mystery,December,Good
The brass verdict,Michael Connelly ,Law,December,Good

That is a total of 45 books. Most of these are novels but I have been trying to add in some more non-fiction over that past few months. My new favorite author is Vince Flynn. I have read all nine of his books this year. His writing is pure adrenaline. Reading the books is like watching an action movie. He puts out a new book every year and I can't wait until the next one.

Another Author i like is Michael Connelly, I have read 7 of his books this year and they were all great. Most of his books are crime related and characters from differnt novels interact. It's really cool when the main character from a previous novel turns up as a supporting or bit character in a new novel.

My goal is to get 50 books read in 2009. It might be tough because that would be damm close to a book a week. But i am going to give it a try.

Next week ... Crazy at work.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Goals and resolutions for 2009

Well, it's 2009 and that means it's time for reflection. To do that lets look back at last years resolutions

"At the beginning of 2008 I weighed 210 lbs. My goal is to be between 180-185 by the beginning of 2009."

On January 1 2009 my weight was exactly 185 pounds. So on the surface of it would appear that this is a success. However, i am only putting it as a mild success. I am without question in the best shape i have been in in at least 7 years. I haven't weighed this little since high school. That being said there is still room for improvement. I am much toner but i could be better. Also, i have reached a bit of a plateau in improvements in the last four months. In that time my weight has fluctuated between 183 - 187. I am going to be changing my workout routine my hope is to really hit it hard for the next 4 months and see what results i can get.


"My next goal is about my career. Basically I want progress. I am not really sure how to define and describe this. It's not just money, although I would be lying if I said that is not part of it. I want to be in charge of larger projects as opposed to just being a worker on them."


Well, I got a new job 8 months ago so this seems to be a success. I am still part of a team but i am responsible for leading a variety of projects. As such i am saying this a success.

"The biggest change for me in the upcoming year is going to be my marriage. However, this is not a resolution and I am not sure if I view the success of my wedding or marriage as a goal."

I am 4 months in and i have no complaints.

2009 Goals

1) weight Loss

I had hoped this would be the year where I would have no weight resolutions. As mentioned above I am close but I am not quite there yet. In terms of weight I think I would like to lose 5-10lbs. Also, just generally tone up overall.

2) Education

I graduated from York University in Spring 03. I graduated from Seneca College in Spring 04. In summer 06 i took a course in MS SQL Server but it was not a certificate program. It's 2009 now so the education portion of my resume has been essentially stagnant for almost 5 years. I hope to change that this year. There are two certifications i am considering for this year. The first is the Project Management Professional (PMP). My actual job title is already project manager. So obviously I don't need this certification to do my job. However, I do think this is a certification that will be nice to have. It is clearly not a deal breaker, by that i mean it is not something that will ultimately determine whether or not a get a job or a promotion. However, it does not require a huge commitment from me or a large financial commitment. So, I am going to pursue it.

The next certification that i am interested in is the Canadian Securities Course. I work for a financial institution. Again since I already have the job this is obviously not a mandatory certification. I work in marketing and of the 11 people in my department only 1 other person has it and she only got it 3 weeks ago. That being said I think i like working for a bank. While i don't ever want to be a trader having the CSC on my resume would show that i have general understanding of finance that might set me apart from others applying for the type of jobs I would be interested in.

3) Blogging

Now i will deal with the elephant in the room. My blogging has taken a dramatic drop in the last few months. I have no good excuse for it so I won't make a bad one. in 2008 I wrote 38 blog posts as opposed to the 49 I wrote in 2007. I will just say that in 2009 I intend to get closer to that first number again.

That's it for this week.