Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Today’s excuse is brought to you by the letter P

So I have a perfectly good excuse for not writing a proper blog posting today1.  I’ve been *working* all night!  As I mentioned the other day, I have to give a presentation for work tomorrow and I got the bright idea to use Prezi to do it.  So I spent all day at work today, plus much of this evening, figuring out how Prezi works2, making beautiful graphs3 and finding awesome photos that are free to use4.

Using a new technology to make a presentation got me thinking about when PowerPoint first came out5. Back in the day, everyone was very nervous about their presentations not working, mostly because they so often didn’t work6. At that time, it was standard practice – if you were going to be brave enough to attempt a PowerPoint presentation at all – to print all your slides out on overhead transparencies just in case the technology failed you. Seriously. Overheads.  Anyway, I was thinking about that today as I was making this Prezi presentation – I kept thinking, “What if it doesn’t work? What if the technology fails me?” I downloaded a copy so I can run the presentation even if the Internet connection cacks out, but I keep feeling like I need some other form of backup. I even briefly considered putting all my graphs & photos into PowerPoint just in case.

Anyhoo, in lieu of writing something actually substantive here on the ole blog tonight, I give you this picture which is completely unrelated to anything I’ve written, but which Zemanta7 told me to show you:

Image by anMarton via Flickr
  1. not sure what my excuse for the last several months is, but today I’m totally covered []
  2. it’s pretty easy, actually []
  3. did I mention how much I heart data? []
  4. thanks to StockXchng and Flickr advanced image search []
  5. yes, I am *that* old []
  6. typically it was the that data projector was either not compatible with the laptop and/or no one know how to work the data projector, which at the time required you to be both a PhD in engineering and a wizard. And not like “oh that guy is a technical wizard!”, but like an actual wizard. Like Dumbledore. []
  7. note to self: blog about Zemanta, notably about how Zemanta doesn’t even give you a link to Zemanta despite the fact that you just typed the word “Zemanta” five times []


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My uncle George died yesterday. Fucking cancer. He’s been sick for a while and we knew it was terminal, but I guess I didn’t realize that it would be terminal so soon, because I was shocked when my sister called to tell me. I can’t even imagine what my aunt and my cousin are going through, but I’m glad that we have a big family – I know they will have lots of support.

Other than me, all of both sides of my family live out east (either in Ontario or Quebec) and times like these I feel really disconnected. As I was telling my sister earlier, being so far away is hard. I don’t get to see family members when they are sick. And since I don’t see them often at all, it’s hard to really get that they are gone.  I mean, it’s been more than a year and a half since my granny died and I still feel like she’s going to be there when I go to Ontario.

Cribbage board

When I think about my uncle George, I think of cribbage. When I was little, we’d go to visit my aunt Eileen, uncle George and my cousin Melissa and my uncle George and my dad would play cribbage.  Which I found endlessly fascinating.  I absolutely loved the way you counted out the points, “Fifteen – two, fifteen -four, fifteen – six , and a pair is eight.”  I had no idea what they were talking about – it sounded like they were talking in another language, but all the words were English! When I got older, they taught me how to play and it was great fun – there was even a thing where if you beat someone bad enough, you got to say you “skunked” them!  I really enjoyed playing cribbage with my dad and my uncle George  as a kid – it totally made me feel like I was a grown up!

My uncle George also had a really great sense of humour. And he was just a genuinely nice person.  I wish he’d lived longer than his fifty-something years.

Image Credit: Photo of a cribbage board posted by Peter Baer on Flickr.