Friday, November 29, 2002

Lord of the Ringa-ding-dings

My special-extended-extra-super-duper DVD version of the LOR package arrived in the mail today. Muuuussstt. Reeessiisstt. I got some STC judging to finish for tomorrow... Must. not. check. out. special. features!

As usual, Lightspeedchick sums up my life with this little toon from Dork Tower. When I was deeper into the comic book scene (and had more disposable income), I was like this.

Hells Bells... I'm still like that. I just don't have as much money anymore.
The Storm Before the Calm

First off: thanks to everyone who has contacted me in the past couple of weeks after reading the blog (especially you Nancy. What a surprise!). True... things haven't been going great lately, but I think the Gods are just tearing everything away so that I'll be ready for a new transformation in the new year. I hope this new transformation involves a sexy car of some kind...

*ZOT!* Okay! Okay! Just kidding!

My bud AJE gave a kickass presentation on marketing yourself on Tuesday, so I've been spending the last three days working on that. I've got a new professional site designed and I'll be reserving a domain name and getting a webhoster. I've been rethinking the design of my CV and cover letter. And I've been planning a new strategy for getting contract work.

Yep... after 3 years of full-time work, I've decided to give the contracting biz another try. Previously, I had been a freelancer for four years (which I gave up to work at Toon Boom). I don't know if there are any contracts out there, but with all the people getting laid off, there's got to be work left lying around for contractors to pick up (I hope).

It's always been a secret dream of mine to own my own Publishing House. I would have a staff made up of some very cool technical writers/editors who would be working on various contracts (and supporting each other with editing). We'd have a house in NDG (near Monkland or Sherbrooke) where we could receive clients and where all the writers could work (and of course, all the computers would be wired together for some kickass online gaming at night!).

In addition to writing documentation for clients, our writing staff would spend 1/4 of their billed time writing their own books, which we would then publish.

Doesn't that sound like fun?

Sunday, November 24, 2002

Slaving away

I've been working on a satirical piece on the Racial Profiling going on at the Canadian border by our Scaredy-Cat buddies to the south. I keep Posting it (not Publishing), Publishing something else in the meantime, and then re-pasting it back into blogger. I've taken it completely offline until I'm satisfied with it.

I'm suffering from NaNoWriMo envy nowadays... Oh sure, I know I could've signed up for it. I had plenty of people trying to encourage me in that vein. But I knew I wouldn't stick to it and besides, being out of work, I didn't want to get too distracted by other things.

But as I read the blogs of folks involved in NaNoWriMo, I can't help but feel some writer's envy. These people are living the Great Canadian Novel. They have set themselves a goal, finding the time, and getting a book out of it.

I have always maintained that the most difficult thing about writing a book isn't the writing, but the finishing of what you started. For every 10 published books, I'm sure there are millions of unfinished manuscripts garnished with coffee cup rings and various crinkles and wrinkles from being stuffed until piles of other responsibilities and distractions of the day.

My hat's off to you. Congratulations on beating the curve and actually finishing what you started almost 30 days ago. You have achieved a Writer's Milestone. And I envy you.

Friday, November 22, 2002


Moons of Mars... I haven't gotten that drunk in quite a while. That's what happens when you go to a Domaine party where the beer is free all night. And someone took a picture of me doing my best (dubious) imitation of Tom Jones complete with hat, microphone, and adoring fans.

That one's going to haunt me. Yikes.

Still.... It was fun.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Finally... some good news!

It's official and semi-official: I'm going to be in the Toronto Storytelling Festival in February.

I applied for the festival this summer, sending them one of my CDs and I waited to hear back from the selection committee. I received a letter from them in October saying that, while I had not been selected to perform in the festival, I was selected as a Reserve Teller. That means that if any teller backs out of the festival, I'll be selected to replace him/her. Not bad, really.

At the same time, I've been selected by our local Guild of Storytellers to be part of a group of four tellers who will do a 45 minute performance in the festival. So I'll definitely be telling one story with the other tellers and I might be doing a show by myself if I get picked as a Reserve Teller.

Toast: find us a good pub in February and we'll have some pints!

Tuesday, November 19, 2002


As you might have constituted from the sporadic blog posts, I've been going through a bit of a bad patch lately. Work has dried up. Sympatico's been a pain. And now the heaters in my pad aren't working that well. Brrr... it's cold!

But now I just got off the phone with an old friend (who I haven't heard from in awhile) and she has just told me to fuck off (I'm paraphrasing). This is not boding well.

While recovering from the shock of this sudden event, I'm thinking that I've managed to piss off quite a few people this year. Two former friends are so angry, they don't ever want to hear from me again. What was once a close friendship has now cooled to a more casual acquaintance. A romantic tie has cooled to a friendship.

Over the space of a lifetime, you'll have lots of friends who come and go. Sometimes you screw up. Sometimes the other one screws up. Sometimes no one is responsible. It's normal.

But I've been having most of these clashes over a more intense period of time (like in the past four months). I'm not sure what destructive pattern I've been following that has brought all these things on, but it's got to stop. I can't take it. I'm starting to be so afraid to do anything for fear of destroying something else. It's no way to live, but I'm not sure how to make it right.
Missing Graphics

The reason why there are all these holes in my blog is related to my having to retire the jdhickey email addy at Sympatico. In renaming that email addy, it also renamed my main website. Drat. Consequently, all the links to the graphics are broken. Drat.

I'm trying to fix this with Sympatico. I'm currently on hold. La-de-dah.

My life is not really centered around my dealings with spammer and Sympatico. It just seems that way. I'm really a well-rounded individual.

No... I don't mean well-rounded in a fat kind of way. Drat. Still on hold. La-de-dah.

I'll come up with something better soon. Stay tuned.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

The end of the jdhickey era at Sympatico

After getting over 3000 Undeliverable Mail emails (in the past 3 days) from the lastest spam trick to plague my Inbox, I have decided to retire the address. I was going to wait until the end of the month to do this, but the sheer magnitude of incoming emails has made me change my mind.

But I gotta wonder... If I'm getting over 3000 Undeliverables in 3 days, how many of these emails actually made it to people and how many people actually responded to this despicable spam?

Doesn't sound like a marketing strategy that produces much potential profit to me... If anything now, even if I were to get a Spam message for a product that would interest me, I would'nt give them my business because they spammed me in the first place.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

The New Improved Spam

It looks like I'll have to abandon or rename my Sympatico email addy. It looks like my Sympatico addy has been distributed to some kind of spam list and I'm getting spammed something awful.

So what's new about that, you say? We all suffer from somekind of spam filling our Inboxes, right? Sure... I get my own bits of spam and through filters, I get to avoid most of it.

But what's new about this kind of spam is that the spammers are using my Sympatico address in the From field and all the messages that bounce back and appearing in my Inbox.

So far, I've gotten over 500 bounced messages from all over the world. When I look at these emails, my Sympatico address is in the From field, so it looks like I'm the one sending these messages.

At first, I though maybe a virus had worked its way into my system and was sending messages out using Outlook. However, I don't recognized the address that are bouncing back, so they're not from my address book. I checked my Sent folder (both on my system and on the Sympatico email server) and nothing unusual is being sent out from there.

So I guess some slimeballs are just using my email address to front their Spam operations. This means then that I'll have to change my main Sympatico address to something else. Drat. This is the address I used on all my business and official business. Drat!

And of course, how long will I be able to use this address before the Spammers find it and use it all over again? I don't suppose we could convince Dubya that Spammers are linked Al-Queda, could we?

Monday, November 11, 2002

A moment of silence

In rememberance for today, the 11th month, the 11th day, on the 11th hour.

Sleep well, our fallen heroes. Our prayers, thoughts, and thanks are with you.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

That's what you get for being lazy

I spend yesterday afternoon being all cultural and reading Shakesheare's The Tempest with a few other friends. At the end of it, I had no idea what was going on in that story.

I had told a couple of friends that I saw at Hurley's pub the night before that I would be showing up at Hurely's again on Saturday night. But since I had gotten back home from the Shakespeare reading at 10:45 pm, I figured I wouldn't get to Hurley's until almost midnight. I was tired anyways, so I headed off to bed.

Stupid, stupid move.

My friend Erick emails me this morning and tells me that the members of Great Big Sea, who were playing the Spectrum that night, showed up to Hurley's after the concert and played a set with the local band (Solstice: Pat and Jonathan).

*much cursing and foul language ensues*

That's what you get for not hauling your lazy butt out to the pub where it belongs on a Saturday night.

Friday, November 08, 2002


Something's happened to my template today, but it looked fine last night. I hope that it's blogger having a bad day and this is only temporary.

I hope.

Update: Okay... something got corrupted in my template which screwed everything up. Although I liked BlogBack, the code for it disappeared from the template. Let this be a lesson to all of you to backup your templates!

Drat... So now I've gone with Haloscan for my commenting system. Feel free to re-enter all the comments that were lost in the fix-up!

Thursday, November 07, 2002

No Show

Sorry about missing the Yulblog meeting last night. I was co-leading a Samhain ritual with some friends and it ended later than I thought it would.
Not only that, but I was exhausted when it was done.

I was chatting with the King of Canada (although he was strangely broody) about mental/emotional states during ritual and found that we have opposite reactions to it.

If you were to put me in front of a crowd and told me to entertain them (maybe in a theatrical play sort of way), I would be fine with. But if you ask me to lead a ritual or be responsible for the running of it in someway, I tend to go completely blank and I cannot focus on what I'm doing. The King, on the other hand, feels completely relaxed in ritual while if placed on stage, he believes he would get stagefright.

I had been practicing what I would say and do all day yesterday, so I was able to do my bit in the ritual fine, but it's a struggle that I don't experience in my theatrical forms of self-expression.

I'm not sure why this is, but it may be because I'm in a sacred space and I feel like what I say and do are more powerful and might have less leeway for adlibbing than a play does.

Maybe I'm just afraid of getting divinely zotted by doing something incorrectly. I probably just watch too much Buffy/Angel.
But seriously, I know I won't be zotted by the Divine just because I keep knocking over the candle in the North quarter (which I kept doing last night with alarming consistency). It's intention that matters, not the precision of the performance.

I don't know what it is about sacred space that has turned me into such a perfectionist.

Monday, November 04, 2002

Long Live Adoring Fans

(due to popular complaint, the boobies on this page have been reduced to a link)

When I started the Pooh Logs ever so long ago, I'll admit I hoped that I would amass a plethora of fans and readers (and I have, thanks!).

But little did I realize that this new-found fame would translate into a showering of gifts coming in from far and away. At first it started small. A trinket. A ring. A rubbery man astride an equally rubbery horse. A kind word whispered upon the wind.

But who knew that one day I would receive such a gift from an adoring fan that remains, frustratingly, anonymous? How cruel you fates are! How cruel!

Still... there's something to be said for such a trophy. Go me!

(thanks to theseboobiesaretoast for supplying me with the paper and pen)

Sunday, November 03, 2002

Ottawa Sojourn

My Ottawa sojourn soon draws to a close as the 14th Annual Storytelling Festival draws its last breath. I saw some fantastic storytelling yesterday at the National Library of Canada, topping it all off with a grandiose storytelling concert at St. Andrew's Church. This concert was taped by the CBC, but I'm not sure when they are going to air it (I'll find out today).

I had a great conversation with Kevin MacKenzie, a storyteller from Alberta. He gave a workshop on telling stories to pre-schoolers that explained many techniques and theories behind child development and how they relate to storytelling. Kevin travels all over the country telling stories and giving workshops. Although the money is tight, it sounds like a fantastic way to live.

So today, I'll be attending the story sessions entitled: Lake Nipissing's Ghosts, Through the Unknown, Remembered Gate, and it's a toss-up between Celtic Shadows and Between Fact and Fiction. Although, I'll have to sneak out early from the 4 to 5 pm show to make sure I get to my train on time.

I've managed to drop-off a few of my CDs and I have made an unofficial application for next year's Ottawa Festival. It's been a fantastic three days (thanks to Kerri who acted as tour guide on Friday!) and it's given me plenty of wisdom encouragement as I develop my skills as a storyteller.