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Switching gears May. 11th, 2012 @ 08:29 pm
I'm biting the bullet and starting anew.

Momomoto dot com

I've been thinking about doing this for a while, but when I saw the domain was available I knew I had to spring into action.

I can't guarantee consistency, but I can guarantee posting there more often than I post here?

Boring credit card ramblings Sep. 26th, 2010 @ 10:04 pm
Here's a little bit on my credit card history:

I've been a Citibank Mastercard owner for most of my adult life. I got my first card in 1999, freshly into university. It was a Sony Citibank Mastercard, obtained more or less on a whim based on the fact that I wanted to buy a PlayStation 2 and needed some way to pay for it that didn't involve cash or debit.

Seven years later I got a letter saying that the Sony card was now owned by MBNA, and received a new MBNA card.

After about two months with that card, I realized two things: getting 1% cash back that could only be used for Sony purchases was ultimately a terrible benefit, and that I far preferred Citi's online banking to MBNA's.

So I bought a bookshelf stereo system with my remaining points and switched back to Citi, opting for their CitiEnrich card.

The card's great: no annual fee, and 1% cash back, paid out every year, to a maximum of $250 a year.

I used it quite happily until I started reliably hitting the $250 a year maximum, at which point I upgraded to the platinum-level Enrich card.

It was even better: the maximum cash back went up to $500 a year, and I got free extended warranties and price protection on everything I buy with the card, and rental car insurance, still for no annual fee.

Everything was copacetic.

Until last week, when I received The Letter.

The Letter stated that, as a result of Citi selling its credit card arm to CIBC, my account was being cancelled.

Well, how about that? I guess there are disadvantages to paying your card off every month!

So here I am, back in that uncomfortable situation where I'm strongly inclined to head back to MBNA. See, they have the closest thing to the CitiEnrich Platinum, called the Smart Cash Platinum Plus.

No annual fee, 1% cash back (3% back on gas and groceries), rental car insurance, and I think it's got price protection and extended warranty provisions as well.

The cash back is also boosted to 5% for the first six months (PROTIP: buy gift cards at the gas station for the extra cash back!)

All this to say that I'm cheesed that I have to apply for another credit card, mostly because I don't want to take the credit score hit, but more mostly because I'm uncomfortable with being forced into the greasy bosom of MBNA again.
Current Music: Death Cab For Cutie - Bixby Canyon Bridge

Summer projects: update! Aug. 19th, 2010 @ 04:31 pm
Almost a year to the day, I mentioned my wargaming table summer project.

Between then and now, I have:

  1. Taken four pieces of 3' x 2' particle board
  2. Moaned in despair at how heavy the damn things are
  3. Sealed the boards on both sides with polyurethane
  4. Moaned in despair at how warped the damn things are
  5. Backed them with cork, to cushion them and keep them from slipping around
  6. Moaned in despair at how the cork's flaking off at the edges, and torn in other places
  7. Purchased two "flock-it-yourself" kits from Lee Valley for the playing surface
  8. Moaned in despair at how it's the wrong colour and would be impossible to apply the stuff uniformly
  9. Thrilled to discover vinyl-backed flock mats available by the roll at my friendly local hobby store
  10. Moaned in despair when I overglued one of them and stuck it to the newspaper I was drying it out on
  11. Moaned in further despair when I noticed that the newspaper had a rip in it and I had glued the newspaper to the table


A quick call in to their technical support people revealed that the adhesive desticks a bit if you blot it with denatured alcohol, so I'm dutifully dabbing and peeling.

So it looks pretty good!

While originally I wanted to hinge two pieces together so that folding and storing would be easier, I don't think that that's that good of an idea after all, particularly given the weight of these sections. (Yeah, I used three "that"s in a row; suck it.) I've consigned myself to hauling them around one or two sheets at a time instead. When we have a house of our own they won't even have to go anywhere anyway, now, will they?

And wouldn't it be neat to countersink some rare earth magnets into the edges of the board, so that they stay together when you're playing? The particle board's 1/2" thick, so I'm sure I can slip a 1/4" magnet or two in there without making it more fragile.

Also, while it's great to be able to turn any smaller table into a 6' x 4' playing surface, it's even better to put that 6' x 4' playing surface on top of a larger table, so that you have room to place casualties, reserves, and certain snacks and drinks. So I'm currently on the hunt for a cheapie ping pong table.

It never ends, you know.
Current Mood: creativecreative

Post your Dock! Feb. 21st, 2010 @ 01:11 pm

Post your Dock!, originally uploaded by Momomoto.

piehead Did this way back when, and only now am I getting to doing it.

From left to right:

Finder, Preferences, Address Book, Opera, µTorrent, Mail, iTunes, Tweetie, Evernote, and the BlackBerry Desktop Manager. To the right of the break are my Applications, Documents, and Downloads folders.

I definitely take a hybrid approach to my dock. Even though I use Quicksilver to open everything, I keep a lot of frequently used things down there so I can click 'em to get at 'em.

The only ones that don't reside in my dock permanently are Evernote and BBDM. Everything else is open at all times or, at the very least, close at hand.


The State of Housing 2010 Feb. 1st, 2010 @ 09:12 pm
"I'm moving out as soon as I can."

That's what the gal I met in the parking garage said to me.

But not before telling me of the litany of issues she's had with the place since she and her sister moved in last year.

See, her apartment is just below the laundry room, and it's flooded five times due to the crappy pipes they have running above her.

And there was also that one time two weeks ago, when it flooded due to the rain.

And every so often pot wafts through the ventilation system and it's kinda weirding her out. (Actually, the parking garage smells like that every so often, too.)

This is on top of the fact that last year there was:
  • No visitor parking
  • One elevator out of four functioning for all 21 floors (and that functioning elevator was not the one to the parking garage)
  • Heating that didn't heat; cooling that didn't cool.
  • ...Oh. I see it now.
I guess that our perpetually backing-up sink (despite the backflow prevention valve they installed the week I moved in) and the broken door handle don't seem that bad after all.

Actually, I can hardly wait to move out, too.

Good thing we're saving up. But that's . . . another story.
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The Resolutions That Aren't Jan. 10th, 2010 @ 01:21 pm
Well, another year has passed by.

I had originally planned on writing down a set of New Year's resolutions, but then I realized that, well, they weren't New Year's resolutions! They were things that I had been resolving to do for months now. (Actually, most of them I thought about in October.)

Nevertheless, in the spirit of the just-ended holiday season, I'll share them. Without further ado:

  1. Drink more

    I have a bit of a problem here in the apartment: our wine cellar's quickly approaching capacity, and we're not drinking wine fast enough to counteract it.

    Normally the problem is that we've got some sort of obligation in the evening that keeps us from opening a new bottle, or we know we have an obligation the next night that would keep us from finishing the bottle off before the wine got too crappy.

    And getting to keep all those partially finished bottles of booze from our wedding isn't helping at all, either.

    I'm sure that some people would say that the problem is that I'm buying too much wine, rather than us not drinking enough wine, but those people are the enemy of fun.


  2. Eat more fatty food at home

    For all of my talk about delicious food and fine dining, there are some things that I just haven't made at home that I really should try. Pork belly and duck confit come to mind.

    Luckily, it's cold as all-get-out now so this kind of stick-to-the-ribs cooking really warms the cockles. When my turn to cook comes around again in another two weeks, hooo boy. Let me tell you. FAT OVERLOAD.


  3. Game more

    I spend far too much time faffing around at home on weeknights doing things like cleaning the house, or cooking, or playing Dungeon Crawl. (I'd play Nethack, but the OS X version is terrible.) What I really should be doing is using that time constructively to address my severe deficiencies in playing Settlers of Catan, or Dominion, or Mahjongg, or Dungeons and Dragons, or (etc. etc.) So I guess I should be calling people up more often to see if they're doing things on weeknights.

    Note that this may help me address my wine problem, too.


Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Rush - By-Tor and the Snow Dog [live]

Lariam Dreams VIII (AKA the conclusion) Dec. 9th, 2009 @ 08:53 pm
(Preamble here.)

A vermin problem (mostly bats) in the basement of our property (which is apparently a rented home now) leads us to hiring a swami to perform the extermination.

He has a special technique, what with him being a swami and all: he uses a raven. An extremely tame, friendly raven that alights upon me, worms its way into the crook of my arm, and nuzzles me ceaselessly. Also: grooms my arms with its beak, clack-clack-clack.

I tell the property owners of my excellent initiative and proactive nature, and they are a bit apprehensive. Actually, they're worried that the swami's method of pest control may contravene some animal welfare regulations and labour laws.

Instead of hiring the swami, they suggest I fill the basement in with concrete instead.
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Lariam Dreams VII Dec. 3rd, 2009 @ 07:02 am
(Preamble here.)

I'm in New York looking for a stationery store (name unknown) and end up wandering through the countless corridors, stairways, and back alleys of the NYU campus. I think the campus was partially the University of Ottawa campus and partially the product of my twisted imagination.

While searching I meet a "famous internet blogger" (name withheld to protect the innocent), to whom I tearfully admit that I love New York SO MUCH.

I never do find the stationery store.
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Lariam Dreams VI Dec. 1st, 2009 @ 09:19 pm
(Preamble here.)

Olivia and I are making popcorn with Rosie O'Donnell and Oprah's friend Gayle. We use two machines: one of them looks like a teal coffee mill, the other one is one of those brown standard-looking ones.

The popcorn it makes is that vivid, electric yellow variety that you get in movie theatres.

Rosie insists that we pop this corn to write off as a business expense.
Current Music: Frank Zappa - Absolutely Free
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Wedding photos are up! Dec. 1st, 2009 @ 07:17 am

Originally uploaded by Momomoto.

Man, we know so many pretty people.


Lariam Dreams V Nov. 29th, 2009 @ 08:12 am
(Preamble here.)

Less a quantitative dream, and more a qualitative one.

I have this vague feeling all night that I exist only to solve problems, acting as a cog in a giant machine. I receive tasks and physically feel myself move as I solve them. The action of movement is the most rewarding part of the solving.
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Lariam Dreams IV Nov. 27th, 2009 @ 07:00 am
(Preamble here.)

Olivia and I are partying in a nightclub that's all stainless steel and black glass. Closing time approaches, and the owner asks us to lock up for him, giving us the code for the security system. A white, bearded regular offers us the rest of his beer, since he can't finish it himself.

When we get ready to close the place, Olivia admits that she's forgotten the security code. I get SO ANGRY, but then I realize that I can't remember it either and calm down a bit.
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Lariam Dreams III Nov. 25th, 2009 @ 07:20 pm
(Preamble here.)

It's winter, and it's snowed two feet overnight at my parents' place. Not only that, everybody's forgotten how to drive.

(You know, now that I think of it this doesn't sound so much like a dream as reality.)

A car gets stuck in the snowbank near the house, leading to disaster. This is because there's a transport truck trying to back into the driveway to pick up old tires, but can't. A collision is certain! But then I wake up.
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Lariam Dreams II Nov. 24th, 2009 @ 08:05 pm
(Preamble here.)

I'm running around a field with lush rolling green hills, and also an electric fence, which I touch several times to try it out. I tell some horrendously bad jokes (sadly, my dream didn't mention what the jokes actually were) and then eat a stupendous triple-decker peanut butter, strawberry jam, and banana sandwich.
Current Music: The Rolling Stones - Can't You Hear Me Knocking
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Lariam Dreams I Nov. 23rd, 2009 @ 07:05 pm
(Preamble here.)

I scour high and low for a recipe that will satisfy all my cravings: oat and sausage soup. Apparently it's just, errr, oats, breakfast links, and frankfurters. But there's a recipe somewhere.
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Lariam Dreams: Preamble Nov. 22nd, 2009 @ 02:33 pm
We're back from our three-week honeymoon in India, a country with a known risk of malaria. As a result, we've been on Lariam (mefloquine) for the last month, and will be taking them for another month in order to keep the little nasties at bay.

Wikipedia has this to say about Lariam:

Mefloquine may have severe and permanent adverse side-effects. It is known to cause severe depression, anxiety, paranoia, aggression, nightmares, insomnia, seizures, birth defects, peripheral motor-sensory neuropathy, vestibular (balance) damage and central nervous system problems. For a complete list of adverse physical and psychological effects — including suicidal ideation — see the most recent product information. Central nervous system events occur in up to 25% of people taking Lariam, such as dizziness, headache, insomnia, and vivid dreams.

What was that last part again?

Vivid dreams.

Let me tell you. They aren't kidding.

The dreams I've had over the last three weeks have been likely the most fun I've had while asleep. I'm pretty sure I dreamt in colours that don't even exist. Definitely something to share while putting off looking at our wedding photos, and culling the 700-odd pictures we took in India to a more manageable amount.
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Great success Oct. 25th, 2009 @ 08:09 am
Hey everybody! I've been married for just more than a week now!

The couple of weeks leading up to the event were a bit hectic, and we didn't buy many groceries, but it's less hectic now and we're slowly crawling back to normalcy.

I predict we'll almost be ready to rejoin society juuuuuust before we leave for our honeymoon on Friday. Whoops.

Annnyway, everything happened in and around Hamilton, with the ceremony taking place at her parents' church, and performed by her uncle (yes, he is a priest). The reception took place at Maplewood: a tiny little reception hall snuggled up in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area, and surrounded by trees and waterfalls and several deer.

I'm far too disconnected to write a coherent vendor list, so I will conclude with some choice tidbits.

Choice tidbits:
  • Contrary to popular belief, there isn't always something that goes wrong on your wedding day. (Well, the food was there a half-hour late and was a bit cool, but those aren't deal-breakers, because the food itself was fantastic.)
  • The thrill of buying a large quantity of alcohol and scoring a large quantity of Air Miles pales in comparison to the relief of returning 40% of that large quantity unconsumed.
  • Do not buy shoes off of the internet until you've worn the brand and can get the size right. I cannot stress this enough. (Luckily I was able to find alternate shoes the day before we left for Hamilton.)
  • Getting your seating chart printed out on a 20" x 30" sheet at Staples and mounted on foamcore is far classier than gluing 8.5" x 11" sheets on bristol board
  • It's true: you don't really need to eat or drink much on your wedding day. My lunch was a glass of water, a single french fry, and a mint.
  • People get on the dance floor, and stay on the dance floor, if you start the dancing right after the bridal party enters (we also cut the cake and had our first dance at that point), rather than waiting until after dinner.
  • A gallery link of one form or another will be put up once we get our pictures back from the photog, the lovely and talented Heather Fritz.
  • It's very surreal attending your own wedding! All this stuff happens and then you realize it's all for you!
TL;DR version = Whee!

Current Mood: Disjointed

Summer projects Aug. 16th, 2009 @ 01:25 pm
I've had four coffees this morning (two French press, two Nespresso lattes), which I'm sure isn't all that healthy butIfeelfinethankyouverymuch.

Recently I've gotten back into Warhammer. In high school and the first couple years of university (?) I played quite a lot of Fantasy. It was uproariously fun, but I sucked at it. This time around, though, Warhammer 40,000 is what's grabbed my attention.

Why Warhammer 40k? And why now?

I can't put a finger on it. I mean, I don't have much time to dedicate to playing on anywhere close to a regular basis. And I certainly don't have the time to paint things.

But, dangit, I love rolling dice so much.

And it's given me a project.

Warhammer's supposed to be played on a 6' x 4' playing surface. One thing that has become glaringly apparent, though, is that nobody has a 6' x 4' table anywhere.

I've taken it upon myself to change that, by making every table into a 6' x 4' table.

The idea is thus: what we need is an overlay that can be placed on top of any table to turn it into a sufficiently large surface. Since lugging around a single 6' x 4' piece of anything is a bad idea, I've decided to make two 6' x 2' pieces, each folding down to 3' x 2'. Not bad.

Here's the idea:
  1. Take four pieces of 3' x 2' particle board
  2. Seal on all sides with polyurethane
  3. Back with cork, to cushion it and keep it from slipping around
  4. Flock the playing surface, to make it look less ghetto and keep figures from slipping around
  5. Fasten with piano hinges along the 2' side.
I have the feeling that, all told, it's set me back $250. Totally appropriate, given how overpriced everything in Warhammer is.
Current Music: The Beatles - Savoy Truffle

The 10 things meme (name under construction) Jul. 31st, 2009 @ 09:55 pm
Leave a comment and I will give you a letter. Then, write 10 things that you love starting with that letter. Post the list in your journal. Give out letters to those who comment in return.

I was given the letter "P" by your friend and mine, fiercekitty:
  1. Port
  2. Poutine
  3. Planning my finances
  4. Philosophizing
  5. Power Stone 2
  6. Pouss (i.e. rhymes with "grouse": the act of kissing while pouting. I guess you'd have to be there)
  7. Portishead
  8. Pinot Noir
  9. Photography
  10. Pens (fountain or otherwise)
Current Mood: recumbentrecumbent
Current Music: Flanders And Swann - Songs For Our Time
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Wine tour V: Wine Times 2009 Jul. 26th, 2009 @ 09:35 am
(Cross-posted from my post to Ottawa Foodies. So you may have seen this already.)

So our intrepid group of explorers headed down to Niagara-on-the-Lake last month for our annual wine tour. Two days, eight wineries. Well, nine, but we were making a pickup at one and didn't try any, so I'll conveniently ignore that part.

For the fifth year in a row, we booked the first day's tour with Crush on Niagara, and drove for the second day. We were told after the fact that we are officially Crush Veterans, because people hardly ever go back for a second tour. I guess we take our wine buying/designated driving more seriously than most!

Once again, we stuck to "The Bench" for our Crush tour, and went to Niagara-on-the-Lake (AKA "The Swamp") for the second leg. One of these days we'll start exploring things east of Jordan, I promise.

(LJ exclusive: it doesn't look like I did a post after the last wine tour. Sorry, internet! I'll try to find something to talk about.)

Without further ado: Cut for great justiceCollapse )
Current Mood: complacentcomplacent
Current Music: F1 Hungarian Grand Prix
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Hey Internet, Let Me Show You Some Cute Pics of Emily Haines Jul. 9th, 2009 @ 10:55 pm
Hey Internet. Long time no see.

So Metric played at Bluesfest tonight, as they usually do. But this time we were smart and not only went, but brought a camera. Behold!



There's something magical about watching Emily Haines go insane on stage.

That bard had better still be spoony Jun. 3rd, 2009 @ 07:08 am
Holy crap! How did I miss this?

Just newly dropped on Wii Ware is Final Fantasy IV: The After Years.

Bona fide sequal to the original, Yoshitaka Amano artwork and all, taking place seventeen years after the original ends.

This had better be worth my 800 Wii points.
Current Music: Clinic - 2/4

Ah, cock May. 14th, 2009 @ 06:12 pm
Here's what it takes to get me to post something in my LJ!

Looks like my complaining about buying a Flickr Pro account the month before we Rogers started handing them out for free was totally unjustified.

Starting July 1st, they're not providing the accounts for free any more.

Ah, well.

Anyway, we're going to visit friends for dinner, and I'm stuck bringing Gewürztraminer, since they're making Thai curry.

Now, I don't ascribe to the "Gewürz with spicy food" thing. I like beer or whiskey with spicy food. But at least this way I can start clearing out my back stock in preparation for the wine tour next month!
Current Music: The Rolling Stones - Indian Girl

Thought I was being responsible Apr. 8th, 2009 @ 07:27 am
I was feeling all caring and decided that it was a good idea to insure my wine collection, since I'd hate to lose the $1000 deductible should anything go wrong with it.

But apparently my wine collection isn't counted as a "collection" for insurance purposes, because I actually drink the stuff. How about that? So instead it'll be insured as part of my home contents.

And here I was being all interested in how insurance works. NO MORE.
Current Music: Ben Folds Five - Narcolepsy

It's post your desktop time Mar. 14th, 2009 @ 09:26 am
untoward made me do it!

Cut for widthCollapse )
Current Music: Wesley Willis - Larry Nevers/Walter Budzyn
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