I turned this coffee machine on one more time and what happened next blew me away…

ImageThere is a little history to this machine, it was a Christmas gift from my parents from late in the last century, all these years it has served me well.

Then this morning I went through my usual ritual of preparing my morning pot of Joe and sat down on my sofa and waited. After a few minutes I investigated why I hadn’t heard any noise coming from my beloved Brewmaster. While the clock was functioning and other lights on the machine were on, the power light was not, OH THE HORROR!!!! I tried the switch but there was no change, this was a catastrophe of first world problem proportions.

In my shock and awe of the situation I did what anyone in this modern always connected world would do, I posted a new Facebook status update and pondered what to do next. I mourned the recent loss of my French Press which would’ve been a life saver and then thought what if I just boiled some water and poured it through the ground coffee?

Fresh water was added to my kettle and soon a blue flame was heating it to a boil, the lovely sound of whistle blowing from the kettle told me the next step was at hand. I slowly poured that water into the filter basket and soon that glorious brown liquid was filling the carafe. Once in the cup how ever the coffee didn’t have it’s normal splendid taste, no this coffee tasted like swill. My craving not satisfied and drank it anyway with my breakfast.

Later while on the phone explaining all this to a friend, I tried the machine once again… then the miracle happened. The power light came on! I switched it off and tried again, thinking perhaps I was hallucinating, but no it really did turn on. I quickly refilled the filter basket with some of Nabob’s finest ground coffee and brewed a new pot. All is well in the world again, and I am thankful. I pray that my little Brewmaster lasts another 20 years, unlike those of my friends and family who’ve had to replace theirs on a few occasions.

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Is this thing on?

I had an epiphany yesterday, blogging would be so much easier for me if there were some way that I could connect my mind directly to WordPress or whatever other blogging service there was. When I’m out walking or driving, all sorts of ideas and stories come to my mind and play out perfectly and I think, “That would make a great blog post”. Yet when I arrive in front of my computer all those thoughts disappear. Obviously having ones mind connected to the internet in such away would probably open a whole new can of worms, I liken it to being able to read other peoples minds, some thoughts are probably best kept to oneself.

I’ve had some discussions with friends about this and they to have great ideas but once they get to the keyboard they draw a blank. Ideally jotting down a quick note might help, though writing while driving likely isn’t a good idea. One suggestion that came up was perhaps using a recording device of some sort and dictating the thoughts to myself. Another friend said that they needed just to write everything down and then go through all the notes until it was right, but she said it was very time consuming.

So I thought I would put it out there to you kind reader, what strategies do you use when it comes to writing?

A Look Back in Time. (pt 1)

I’ve always been a bit of a geek or whatever you want to call it. Being like most kids in the mid 70’s I was affected by the movie Star Wars. Used to play a lot of Atari 2600 games at the neighbor’s house or some Intellivision at another friend’s place. Those were the days, but alas my parents didn’t see the value in a gaming system too much money.

Then one Christmas my sisters and I got the a shiny new computer from Santa. This was a power house of a machine, a Commodore Vic 20. Oh the power of that computer (and I use that term loosely); the things you could do with 5KB of RAM. I was the cool kid on the block, well at least for a couple of months. Hours were spent typing in mystical words and numbers from “Compute Magazine” to get games and things, then having to figure out what you typed wrong when it failed to run.Commodore Vic 20

That spring, as is always the case with technology, my friends got the latest greatest thing, the Commodore 64. Soon I was left far behind in the technology race. Them with their fancy floppy drives, me stuck with a cassette drive. They had  better games, more memory, all in all it was just a better computer.

Computers left my life for a while. High school came and went, I tried University for a year but that was a bust. Then I went to NAIT and took Architectural Technology and wouldn’t you know it, they wanted us to use computers. Those were the days of DOS, none of those fancy Windows we’re all used to today. I sat there looking at the notes that were handed out typing with one finger every character on the page hoping I didn’t make a mistake.

I graduated and got a job working for a cabinet business. More computers, more learning, dreaming of owning one of these machines at home. I used to look around all the time but the prices were out of my reach. A couple of years later I was working at a different place and all the while I was reading more and more on how to build computers and practicing using them.

One day, the boss announced we were getting a new program to use but the computers would have to be upgraded. This was my chance, I convinced him I could do the upgrades and all it would cost him was the old parts. Now it wasn’t much, I had a motherboard, CPU and RAM and eventually I was able to get the additional parts I needed. Mostly used parts or crappy parts from outer Mongolia. I had an old used keyboard that weighed 5lbs, a pink and purple mouse, a 14″ Wang monitor, a cheap case and a 40MB hard drive.

It was a jalopy of a computer but it worked and it was mine. With that small of a drive I was constantly installing and reinstalling software as I needed space. I could basically have my drafting program and one game on there at a time.

As time went by I was able to purchase new parts and forever upgrade that machine, computers became my hobby. Where would it all lead?

(to be continued…)

Sharing the Beginnings of my Blogging Experience

In early 2009 I was invited to take part in a rehab group called “Bloggin After Brain Injury”. It was a pilot project developed by Occupational Therapy Professor Anita Hamilton at the University of Alberta. She had worked with the Edmonton Brain Injury Relearning Society (EBIRS) in the past and is an advocate of anything Web 2.0. In her professional experience she found that through blogging she was able to reach a vast number of her peers in the Occupational Therapy field around the world and though that perhaps people with brain injuries could also make contacts of there own using that method.

During this group I was asked to describe in detail how I got interested in blogging, so here it goes. In my early days of my recovery, (mid 2006 or so) I got bored of watching TV and turned to the Internet. I came across the website Digg,for those that don’t know,  it’s a social news website made for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the Internet, by submitting links and stories, and voting and commenting on submitted links and stories. I found all sorts of interesting stories there. It was here I came across websites that had this curious RSSsymbol.

Wikipedia defines RSS as (abbreviation forReally Simple Syndication) a family of Web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format. Now I had heard of blogs before, in fact a very good friend of mine had one. For those of you who are on Empire Avenue, I’m talking about Dups. I knew I could type the address to his blog in and check from time to time and that’s what I did. Then I came across the following video on Digg one day.

I followed the instructions and set up a google account and went to the google reader page and started subscribing to a bunch of different blogs. Now the warning given in the video is very valid, be careful, it is very easy to over do it. I know I did, but thankfully I learned a lot and discovered things I’d never otherwise have found.

I have tried starting my own blog a few times now, I enjoy writing, it just takes me forever.

Randomness…

So here goes nothing! I’ve got a few ideas for posts but for now Hello everyone. I’m needing to make dinner now, thinking of whipping something up with the chicken breast that’s thawed in the fridge. Perhaps chicken fingers with spinach salad. We’ll see how the chicklets (my 3 girls) like that.

So why a Blog?

A quick history lesson, I’ve started a couple of blogs before, they started because of a class I took once. Back in November 2005 I suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). In short, as purchaser for a major game developer I went to meet a vendor for drinks and woke up in the hospital 4 weeks later. I had suffered a seizure, fell on the back of my head and was put into a drug induced coma by the Neuro Surgeons looking after me. I had spent that month in the Neuro ICU barely hanging on to my life.

After another month being on the Neuro recovery ward, I was moved to a Rehabilitation Hospital and spent another 3 months. I basically had to learn everything over again; how to walk and talk; the list goes on. After being discharged from hospital I was lucky to become involved with the numerous Brain Injury Societies available to me in the city. One of the last groups I was involved in was called “Blogging after Brain Injury”, it was a good way to write about my experiences of the past 3 and half years. The result of that group was a view by invite only basis blog on blogger.com. I enjoyed writing but wanted some way to write both private and public posts on the same platform which led me to wordpress.com. I started brainbarfed.wordpress.com and only posted a few public posts but also started keeping a journal using the private feature.

I had intended to keep writing about Brain Injury but over the last year my wife and I separated and writing a blog wasn’t really high on my list of priorities. Now that life has become what I’m going to call the new normal, I thought I’d get a clean start on blogging as well.