Friday, June 29, 2012

You Like Contests? Of Course You Do.

Waaaaay back in time, back in an age when things were simpler, My Lovely Wife and I won a contest.  It was 2002, the last palindromic year we'd have for another century.  Sure, we were all still trying to understand why things weren't getting that much better with Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, but there was still a sense that everything would come together in the end with the last Star Wars movie that was already being made.

Yes, a simpler time.

My Lovely Wife entered a contest after buying a toothbrush, and low and behold, we won a week in Whistler, BC!  It was an awesome vacation.

Fast forward a few more years, and this time I entered a contest after buying some VH Honey Garlic Sauce.  Boom, won a week in Los Angeles, CA.  That was also an awesome vacation.

What do these things have in common?  That's right, I quit my job just before taking them.  But that's not what I was going for here.  No, I'm referring to the fact that we entered contests.

My Lovely Wife and I are contest enterers (holy cow, that's a word!  I thought I was making it up to be cute, but no. The world is an amazing place...).  We go through phases where we'll enter every contest we see, and then we slack off, then we repeat.  It's just a thing we do.

Why am I bringing all this up now?

Because it looks like Dara isn't the only creative person in that relationship.

The Talented Mr. Fox has created a website to bring people who enter contests together into a community.  If you like contests, I highly recommend it.  You can submit contests that you've found to the site so others can enter, and sort through contests that other people have submitted to find ones that you're eligible for.  And when you do win something (because OF COURSE you're going to win, it's inevitable!) you can share the story of your win with others.  He's even set up awards, so even if you go through a dry spell and don't win anything for a while you can still keep that feeling that you're getting somewhere.

Oh, and he's also got some actual prizes for members - so just by being a member you're already in a contest!

Check it out at, and give Mr. Fox some love.  The site is just starting, so this is your chance to get in and create a community!  You know like what it must have been like when Mr. Main built his house on a road in what would eventually become your home town and said "I'm going to name this street after me"?  Well, that's what it'll be like for you.  And maybe you can win some stuff too.  I like winning, you like winning, who doesn't like winning?  

Why are you still reading this?  Go on now.  Skidaddle.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


The last month at work has been... busy.

On the upside, my next pay will have something close to a million dollars worth of overtime on it.  Or, at least, that's how it feels.

After many late nights and many weekends, the big deadline for what we were doing was Thursday morning.  And wouldn't you know it?  It actually all paid off.  Everything was pretty darn okay as a matter of fact.  Thankfully, what happened next happened next instead of before.  Because if what happened next happened before this would be a different story.

I didn't sleep very well on Wednesday night, so I was going into Thursday feeling off.  Chalked it up to work stress and getting stuff done.  So when I started to feel less than stellar after lunch, I assumed it was just me coming down off of all the stress and nerves.  Kind of like back in school when I would push through exams, and then get that kind of weird hollow feeling when it was all over.  Though, come to think of it, that hollow feeling may have just been my brain releasing all that knowledge that I'd been building up as I wouldn't need it anymore.  Stupid quadratic equations, I'll show you!

At 4, I had a bit of acid reflux.  I bought some Tums, which helped, but didn't really make it all better.  I practically ran to the bathroom when we got home.  It was kind of like getting all the side effects of lactose intolerance without the deliciousness of ice cream first.  Robyn went to the store and I fell asleep on the couch around 5:15 or so.  I got up later and had a small amount of soup, which did not go well.  Went back to sleep.  Then I got up to go to work, because it was Friday.

Again, I figured that my upset stomach and insane fatigue was a result of coming down off of work stress.  The grogginess I was feeling on Friday morning was probably just because I had overslept, pushing my internal clock off balance again.  Stomach was still pretty rough, but I'd felt worse, so I went to work.

I made it all the way to lunch.  I know that because I went to the lunchroom with a co-worker, took two bites of a delicious pork chop My Lovely Wife had made for me that I couldn't eat the previous day, and declared myself unable to eat anything more.  I don't just give up on meals.  It's not something I do.  I've pushed mealtimes back, and I've only had light snacks instead of full meals, but I don't give up on them.  It's very un-Cho-like.

I went home shortly after that (which was kind of sucky because there were still things that I had to get done that I had to leave with co-workers) and slept for most of the afternoon.  Well, I slept when I wasn't otherwise occupied.  And by occupied, I mean releasing the demons that had moved into my guts.  I may be painting an awful picture here, but I had to live through it so I feel that you should suffer too.

And that's how I spent Friday.

This morning, I woke up a little before 6, unleashed an unholy fury, and called Tele-Care, for those of you that aren't aware, is a service offered in New Brunswick (and elsewhere too I'm told) that allows you to talk to a nurse over the phone to help you determine the severity of how badly off you are.  If you've never called Tele-Care, let me make this perfectly clear: it is a service that I believe is worth the tax dollars being spent on it, and I tip my hat to the staff that answers the phones 24/7.

That being said, it is also the most awkward experience I've had in a long time.  When I talk on the phone - which is as seldom as possible - I give as little information out as possible.  I mean it.  When I participate in customer satisfaction surveys, I'll only give a "thr", "fo" or "fi" on a scale of 1-5.  So I had to crush every impulse to say "no" when the nurse was asking me for personal information, which is very hard to do at 7:00 in the morning.

The upshot of that call was that she suggested I should probably see a doctor within the next 24 hours.

I got my stuff together to go to the emergency room, though some members of my family who shall remain nameless tried to convince me that I should just wait and go to the clinic later.  I said that I'd go to the ER and if the wait time was super long I'd leave and go to the clinic.

The waiting room was practically empty, though the triage nurse said that they'd been super busy all night.  Only waited for about 30 minutes or so before I saw a doctor.

My view on Saturday morning
I'm feeling better now, thank you.  Not great, and not normal, but better.  Diagnosis was some kind of stomach bug. I now have some pills which give me a headaches, drowsiness and dryness of the mouth.  Other side effects include a general curbing the demonic possession of my intestinal region.

What I've learned from this situation is that I'm becoming a fan of the show "The Glades", which I may re-watch some day when I can stay awake through an entire episode.  

Oh, and also that Dolly Parton's boobs are huge.  My Lovely Wife started watching "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" when I fell asleep during "The Glades".  All things considered, not a bad way to wake up.