Thursday, October 01, 2015

9th Anniversary Of This Here Blog

While it certainly doesn't get the traffic that it used to, Kimota94's Place is still up and operating, 9 long years after I started it with a post entitled Misadventures in Blogland back on Oct 1, 2006.  A lot sure has happened since then:
  • I've enjoyed 7 years of retirement so far, and have never regretted getting out of the rat race at 45 for even a moment
  • I've written 8 books, starting off with 3 non-fiction before moving into the much more satisfying task of novel-writing
  • Vicki has joined me as a retiree after about 15 years of off-and-on contract work
  • Tammy's graduated from Western (and the Ivey School of Business) with an HBA, become an accountant and even lived in Australia for almost 2 years
  • We've been fortunate enough to get the best cat ever, as Jonesy joined our family a little over 3 years ago
  • I've finally tired of being a comic collector, deciding last year to begin selling off and giving away some of the 30,000 comics I'd accumulated over the course of 40+ years
  • I've managed to keep in touch with the work friends who meant the most to me from both of my last two jobs, even after 14 and 7 years, respectively
  • Life has gone on, as it always tends to do
Anyway, I'm not sure how much longer I'll continue to 'maintain' this blog, even at the reduced level I've sunk to lately, though it's already outlasted any reasonable prediction I might've made about its lifespan way back in October of 2006.  So that's something, anyway.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Blue Jays Win American League East!

My last post was about the Jays ending their 22-year playoff drought, and now, less than a week later, they've clinched their first AL East title since 1993.  It was very impressive to me that the team simply went about their business over the past week or so as all the talk about 'clinching' this and 'magic number' that began to heat up.  At one point Josh Donaldson (I think) asked one of the TV guys how many games they needed to win in order to clinch, and the commentator started to explain how the magic number involved a combination of Toronto wins and Yankee losses... only to have Donaldson say, "No, I don't care about other teams and what they do.  How many wins do we need?"  That speaks volumes about this edition of Blue Jays:  they focus on the job at hand and play hard every inning as if it were the most important inning ever.  I can so get behind a club with that kind of mindset!

With today's 15-2 win over Baltimore and resulting title clinch out of the way, the only regular season goal left to achieve for the team is finishing 1st in the American League, ahead of Kansas City.  They currently lead by 2 games, with 5 games to go, and Toronto holds the tie-breaker if the two teams finish in a dead heat.  If the Jays can finish 1st, they'll have home field advantage throughout the playoffs (for as long as they last) because the American League won home field for the World Series by taking this year's All-Star game over the National League back in the summer.  Considering how well the Jays played at home in 2015 (53-28), that could end up making a huge difference in how deep they go in their first postseason run since 1993.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Blue Jays End 22-Year Playoff Drought

I was beginning to think I might never get to see the Jays in the playoffs again, after seeing them live in Game 1 of the 1993 World Series (the last time they were in a playoff series).  However, an incredible 2015 season which saw not one but two 11-game winning streaks for Toronto has now culminated with the team clinching a postseason berth with their best performance since 1993.

Additions such as Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, Russell Martin and David Price to a roster that already boasted Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion has allowed the team to finally achieve the potential that so many have seen in them for several seasons now.  It's been a heck of a ride so far, even managing to push coverage of exhibition NHL games to the back burner during late September here in Canada.  I don't know deep they can actually go, but at least this year the Jays won't be breaking out their golf clubs after their 162nd game is over. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Hour Of The Wolf Has Arrived!

The books sat in Atlanta, Georgia for about 24 hours, and then I was hit with duty charges that I wasn't expecting, but none of that matters now: Hour of the Wolf copies are finally in the house!  I'm happy to report that I have books to sell at last, so if you're looking for one, please let me know.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Life In The Serial Killer Capital Of The World

I wasn't actually living here in London, Ontario during the 50s through the early 80s, and now I'm kind of glad that I wasn't.  This chilling Guardian article details how our lovely little city was once the serial killer capital of the world, a distinction no city would ever want to hold.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Hour of the Wolf Is Almost Here!

Over the past several days, I've finished the print draft of Hour of the Wolf, ordered and received copies in the mail, checked them over and made a few minor changes, and then placed the big initial print order for the book.  I'm not sure how quickly they'll get here, though I'm cautiously optimistic that they may show up next week.  I'm using Amazon's CreateSpace print-on-demand service as my primary printer on this project for the first time, and so far each of my experiences with them has been very positive and quick.

As you can see from the left-side bar on this blog, I've added a couple of links to the new book.  It's all set up on CreateSpace and Lulu now, so anyone who'd rather get a copy through the mail can choose between those options and order it as of right now.  I'll also be putting a version up on the Kindle store, probably tomorrow, for those who like to read eBooks.

And of course, as soon as the printed copies show up on our doorstep, I'll be getting those into the hands of any interested parties.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Nothing Good Ever Lasts: Scene Points Edition

As Tammy pointed out to me this morning, it sounds like Cineplex is soon going to be devaluing their Scene point system!  Premium tickets will soon require 1500 points and VIP 2000 points, where both had previously only needed 1000 for a ticket.

For years now, we've been building up 100 points per General Admission movie that we paid for, and then redeeming 1000 points to attend a VIP screening (usually on opening weekend) for some big budget blockbuster like Avengers or Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  The economics of it worked wonderfully, as we'd spend between $70 and $110 on 10 General Admission tickets (depending on how many cheap Tuesday shows we went to) and then redeem our 1000 points for a show worth about $20.  I sort of knew that was too good to last, and now it seems I'll soon be proven right in that assumption.

If you've got points built up right now that you've earmarked for a VIP show, you may want to use them before Nov 4.  Unfortunately for us, that rules out Star Wars Episode VII (December), Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (March 2016) and Captain America: Civil War (May 2016).  Bummer!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Introducing My Fifth Novel: Hour Of The Wolf

(Cover image by Mark Wagter,

More details to follow in August...

Friday, July 17, 2015

Awesome Post By A Mormon Lawyer On The 10th Anniversary Of Marriage Equality In Canada

This Mormon Press article is definitely worth a read, both for its thoroughness in discussing the balance Canada has struck for the past 10 years between ensuring religious freedom as well as the rights of those whom certain religious representatives often seek to subjugate, and for its calming tone toward our neighbours to the south on their own recent entry into the 21st century where marriage equality is concerned.

As Ms. Oviatt puts it, "a decade into same sex marriage, the moral fabric of Canada is as strong as ever [and] families continue to be at the heart of Canadian society."  Which of course comes as a surprise to absolutely no Canadian except those few religious extremists who lack the ability to see beyond the end of their own judgmental noses.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Uber Vs Toronto's Horribly Corrupt Taxi System

This Globe and Mail article details just how mind-blowingly bad the taxi licensing scam is in Toronto and makes a good case for why anything that destroys it, like Uber, is most definitely an improvement.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

2nd Draft Complete!

As expected, it took me less than 2 weeks to complete the 2nd draft of my 5th novel.  I'm often frustrated by how unpredictable my pace can be when I'm writing the initial draft, but at least the rest of the process always flows much more smoothly. 

The updated version of the book is now in the hands of Ernesto for edits and my brother for feedback and corrections on the stuff he helped with.  Meanwhile, I'll be doing additional minor edits of my own, as will Vicki, and then all of that will be incorporated into a 3rd draft.  It should only take about another 4 - 5 weeks before I can place a big order and actually have some copies to sell.

Things are progressing well now! 

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Finally Finished The First Draft!

It's been a long time coming, but tonight I completed the initial draft of my fifth novel.  It's still fairly unpolished, and has sections that I need to discuss with my brother Richard yet, but the entire story is now down 'on paper' and complete.  I know everything that happens, all of the characters' fates, and what it all means.  Always a really good feeling!

Details, such as the title and back cover blurb, will be forthcoming over the summer.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Brain Teasers Are Fun

Whenever I'm stupid enough to think that I'm smart, a brain teaser like this usually comes along and brings me back down to Earth:

There are 3 light switches on a wall in the basement.  One of them turns on a lamp that's up in the attic.  You can manipulate the 3 switches as much as you want, but you're only allowed one trip up to the attic to see if the lamp's on.  How do you figure out which of the 3 switches works turns on the lamp?

I thought about this for several minutes but couldn't solve it.  However, like all the best puzzles, once I saw the solution I realized it was perfect and that I could've (theoretically) come up with it, since there were no absurd assumptions or tricks involved.

Can you solve it?  Leave a comment with your solution if you have one.  I'll post the 'real' solution in a comment sometime later (though other solutions are certainly possible).

[This came courtesy of BoingBoing and The Guardian website.]

Monday, June 22, 2015

Calling Out America's Anti-Intellectualism And Its Cost

Here's a really great Psychology Today article detailing many of the ways in which the U.S. is embracing ignorance and paying a high price for doing so.