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Posted in Random Thoughts on May 24th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: The morning began with a trip to the endodontist, who did an assessment of a tooth that has been bothering me for months, and decided on the spot to do a root canal. The procedure went well, and my lower left jaw feels like it was kicked by a horse. When the throbbing subsides, I’ll have a better idea if the root canal fixed the problem. The endodontist, btw, is a genius, and pleasant to boot – he did a root canal for me some years back, and I can say I looked forward to seeing him again.

Another two hours of tv tonight, another two shows are over for the season. While working away on e-mails and such this evening, a Catholic nun who collects house furnishings for refugees came by with a driver and pickup truck, and they hauled away my chesterfield and loveseat, to be given to a needy family, I imagine. My new sofa arrives on Friday morning, with a new Kenmore washer and dryer as well. I’m hoping the Sears delivery guys will be kind enough to 1) remove the washer and dryer from the boxes in which I expect each will be delivered, and 2) haul the old washer and dryer from the basement to the driveway for me. Subsequently, Heavy G will come by, and haul said washer and dryer to the Eco Station recycling center.

I am slowly getting excited about going to Toronto to attend SLA. The conference comes to Canada once every 10 years; in 1985 it was in Winnipeg (my first time attending), and in 1995 it was in Montreal. Last year was Nashville, next year is Baltimore. This will be my 13th time attending SLA. Afterwards, I will spend three nights with my friends Jason and Brenda in Kitchener/Waterloo, return home on June 12th, then drive to Calgary on the 15th for CLA, at which I will be speaking as part of a panel on blogs and RSS. I’m still getting organized for both conferences. I have yet to prepare anything for the blog panel, and for SLA, I’ve been organizing the annual Standards Roundtable session, where 12 speakers will participate this year, with me as moderator.

Sleep, I need sleep! 🙂


Posted in Random Thoughts on February 20th 2005 by Randy Reichardt

:: Entries are few and far between of late. On the other hand, Tony is on a blog roll, so to speak, creating interesting, diverse, lengthy, and intelligent posts on various topics. It is a long weekend in Alberta, and in other parts of Canada, I believe. On Saturday morning, I rehearsed with Amelia for a concert we are performing on Wednesday, Feb 23. Last Thursday evening, I jammed with Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys’ drummer David Leigh, just the two of us. We ran through the twelve songs I’ve learned since joining the band in November, now down to two people. I’ve decided to continue playing with David as he recruits another bass player. The truth is, the practices and rehearsals in December and January were becoming more and more enjoyable, and I was having fun creating loud, angry, noisy, interesting electric music again. I don’t have a lot of fun, or to be more exact, probably don’t allow myself to let more joy enter my life. I remain too guarded.

What has happened in these practices is that the rock musician deep inside me is stirring, wanting to remerge again. I’ve played guitar for 38 years, most of it acoustic, but I’ve always felt I was an electric guitarist at heart. I hope David can find a bass player soon; he insists he has a number of candidates interested in joining up. I am impatient for progress on this front. I want to play live again and have fun.
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Merry Christmas!

Posted in Random Thoughts on December 25th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: It’s Christmas morning. Last night was spent at the Wests’ home, sharing a delicious dinner with good friends, drinking wine and singing a few Christmas carols, and exchanging gifts. Today’s events include breakfast at my friends’ home, and then later in the afternoon, going with them to their friends’ home for Christmas dinner. Calories be damned!

I wish you a very Merry Christmas, and hope you have a wonderful day as well.

Dough Nut

Posted in Random Thoughts on December 4th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: I was at Tim Hortons Donuts an hour ago, the mega-ginormous donut empire of Canada, to buy a gift card for someone for a Christmas present. I was surprised and annoyed to learn that 1) they only sell gift certificates, in packs of $5 or $10, in which one finds five $2 gift certificates, and 2) they don’t accept credit cards, only debit. WTF? Isn’t this the 21st Century?

Is there a major chain store/restaurant/whatever NOT selling gift cards, in whatever denomination you desire, save for McDonald’s, of course, which continues to use the paper gift certificates as well? Well, yes, Tim Hortons Donuts! Insanity, I tell you. Plus, I detest using debit cards – it’s a personal thing with me (I like credit cards which let me run up Air Miles…)


Posted in Miscellaneous, Random Thoughts on December 3rd 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: For the past few weeks, I’ve been feeling like the Bill Murray character in Groundhog Day. The days seem to be repeating themselves. I’ve been working on the book chapter, redesigning the STLQ web site (based on Icy Blue, a Neil Turner template), and falling as far behind as I have ever been in answering or processing work and personal e-mail. I’ve spent significant time (by choice, of course) learning the original tunes of Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys, who will be performing at the Sidetrack Cafe on Dec 14 (show starts at 8:00 pm, should be over by 8:45 pm). So to those who are patiently waiting to hear from me, thank you for being patient.

I wanted to complete the book chapter this week, and tomorrow I hope to do so. The STLQ site is working, and I can live with that. It needs further tweaking, but that can come later. I needed to clean up the presentation because it wasn’t working in Firefox. I haven’t been getting to my Y workouts, either, which is my fault, and no one else’s.

I’ve been hitting the sack after 12:30 am almost every night, and realize that I can’t keep this pace. Fortunately, I will be off work from Dec 18-Jan 3, and plan to spend a lot of quiet time in that period (despite it being Christmas season).

It doesn’t feel like Christmas, for any number of reasons. We have no snow, which suits me fine. The weather has been mild for a few weeks – the high in Edmonton tomorrow is 6C. This will change very shortly, however, as temperatures start to drop, reaching the -20s by mid-week. I don’t feel that I am being bombarded with Christmas commercials either – could be because I’m not watching much prime time tv, other than Lost and the 3 L&O’s.

It has been an interesting experience playing with the members of Hardy Drew and the Nancy Boys. Consider that my electric guitar, in a virtual kind of way, has been in its case since 1991, with the exception of a few weeks in 1999 when I worked with Capt. Nemo (gone, but never forgotten.) Ironically, the last “electric” gig I played was with the Nemos at – you guessed it – the Sidetrack. My Telecaster is running through a Line 6 Flextone amp, a very generous gift from an old friend, Paul Anderson, of Ontario, who send it many moons ago. Now, finally, it is getting some use. Certainly I hadn’t planned on playing live electric music again, but I’ve never been closed to the idea, either. This music is very different from anything I’ve played before, and not immediately accessible to the listener who is looking for melody and basic song structure. It is, however, very original, and quite challenging to perform.

I am intrigued that the decade is less than a month from being half-over, and still doesn’t have a name or identity. The Aughts, The Zeros, The Tens? What has defined this decade so far? What do you think?

This bumper sticker made me laugh today. Bed time.

Ice Cream and Krispy Kreme

Posted in Random Thoughts on September 26th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Some months ago, a story appeared in The Edmonton Journal, stating that a Krispy Kreme store would be opening in Edmonton later this summer. Summer is over, and in the location in South Edmonton Common where the Krispy Kreme store was to be built, or so we were led to believe, yet another Tim Hortons store is under construction. When complete, I think it will bring the number of Tim Hortons doughnut shops in Edmonton to 1,233. Certainly there are more important things in life, yes, and I know I don’t need to eat more doughnuts, but having tasted Krispy Kreme products in NYC and Spokane, well, they blow Tim H out of the water. Just my opinion. And Calgary has the only store in Alberta.

A few weeks ago while at SEC, I noticed a number of cars parked around a small storefront with the name, Marble Slab Creamery. Intrigued, I drove across the parking lot to discover an amazing ice cream shop. I ordered a waffle cone with strawberry ice cream, mixed in with real strawberries. When you buy ice cream, it is put on a frozen marble slab, and you can choose from a number of “mixins” to be added to your flavour. The ice cream is made in the store, as are the cones. The business began in Houston TX in October 1983. There are two stores in Edmonton, one in Calgary. What’s intriguing to me is that South Edmonton Common is not an area designed for walking traffic, being nowhere near any homes or apartments. When complete, it will have 2.3 million square feet of gross leasable area on buildout. To get to Marble Slab at SEC, you need transportation. Yet the two times I’ve been there, it’s been busy. So the word must be spreading about this place. I wonder how it will do when winter arrives?

It’s getting harder to deal with my sweet tooth. Marble Slab doesn’t serve my favorite ice cream, butterscoth, but you can choose vanilla and have the staff mix in ingredients to create different flavours. Tonight I had a strawberry milkshake – loved it, and probably absorbed way too many carbs. But life is short.