Monday, October 17, 2011

If no one hears from me for a while

I'm probably dead or in police custody.
After murdering my classmates and teacher.

Seriously, I'm paying this man's salary?


edit: this is what low blood sugar will do to a body.



Is the only way to describe the current situation.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011



So... It's after thanksgiving now. Hope you had a good one. Unless you're some silly sort of person who celebrates thanksgiving in November.

I rode the train twice, managed to murder my arms playing kinect sports and now I have all kinds of leftovers. But I have no idea what happened to TWO WHOLE DAYS. Time should not move that quickly.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On procrastination

So, I've been telling myself for about a week that I'll get groceries "tomorrow."
Tomorrow arrived last night when I started to actually run out of food.

But here's the problem. It's eight blocks, one way,from here to the grocery stores. I don't have a car and I hate spending money.

So it's a little hard to get the groceries home on my own, especially when I'm in a starvation situation.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fire Alarms

I really don't like fire alarms.
Or noise of any sort. I say noise, rather than sound, because noise is unwanted sound. Or really any unwanted sensory information.

We had one running earlier today as tumblr will show.
I've got video of it, but I don't think I want to subject anyone to that ear-piercing wailing noise the alarms make.

This post is only tangentially related to fire alarms.
An earlier post mentioned the house fire nearby. Three alarm fire at eleven at night tends to generate a lot of noise. Emergency vehicles, the fire itself, the noise of people in nearby houses. Doors, windows, sirens. Lights, smoke.

The house that burned down was a little up the street from my own. Eventually they cordoned off the lot, and cleaned it up. News said there were two bodies found in the fire, and it was arson.
So you sort of have to wonder:
Would a fire alarm have really helped them?

They've cleaned up the lot now. There's plants and things growing there. You'd never know there had been a house.

In which I write a diatribe in response to a tumblr question

So, my dear anon, what makes a good horror movie?

My own top three consists of 28 Days Later, Alien and the first Evil Dead.

So what can we take away from that?

Suspense, Tension and a good soundtrack.

28 Days Later (and I’m spoiling something here) has that wonderful scene with this track “In The House, In A Heartbeat.” The main character sets all hell loose, you can’t actually hear 90% of the action in the scene, just a steadily increasing crescendo as 95% of the human cast dies. And just when everything seems awesome? The film throws you a curve ball.

What can I say about Alien? Let me refer you here. That scene was shot more than 30 years ago. It's still filled with tension and suspense.

The original Evil Dead? Hmm, can I find the ending on youtube? I can in fact. So here it is. The Ash you see there has just butchered his sister, his girlfriend and two of his closest friends (I may be misremembering) and then they do THAT? Ouch. Kick in the crotch for Ash there. But that's pretty standard fare. That's a decent shock.

The problem I find with a lot of recent horror is that it relies a lot on shock for all the scares. Sure, something poping out at you is going to make you jump. Don't even get me started on this 3D shit.

A decent soundtrack will go a long way to building suspense and can add to tension. Psycho? The Shower Scene? Jurassic Park (and if you watched Jurassic Park as a kid, raptors may still terrify you to this day.)

Suspense and tension will leave a lasting scare that will keep you checking your closet and make you want to turn the lights on when you get up to get a drink at two in the morning. Not making you jump, and certainly not gore.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dear Grocery Store

I do not like you.
I do not like that your aisles are too narrow, that there isn't enough space between the cashiers and the shelves to provide enough space for people to queue properly.
I do not like that your store has a persistent layer of grime and, dare I say, decay.
I disapprove of the quality of your so-called food, despite how low the prices are.
Furthermore, I do not like that your patrons seem to fail to understand that standing in a long line of shopping carts while blocking any possible way past them is not a good idea.
I'm sure, somewhere there is a fire code violation in your store.
And I hope it burns to the ground.


The Reliable Robin

Oh the weather outside is...

Actual honest to god weather! None of this, partly cloudy stuff either. Overcast, blustery, cold and wet. Proper fall weather, how I have missed you!
The leaves are changing colour, I can wear long sleeved shirts or the colour black without worrying about them sticking to my back like tape!
Fall is the second best season.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


So, I've been back in Ottawa a month. There are three things I like about Ottawa. First, at night I can actually see the stars. Not a few miserable pinpricks of light trying to compete with every streetlight in the city, we're talking constellations worth.

Second: Trees. The trees at my home in the GTA are boring, blade-leafed, straight sickly looking things. There are maple and oak trees around here, pine trees that dwarf the houses they stand in front of. The trees seem more fundamentally tree-like. I'm not exactly sure why. They just seem more like real trees.

Third: Lack of noise. I live on a bus route in the GTA. All hours, bloody buses. In Ottawa, I live at least two blocks from the nearest major road or bus route. There's next to no car traffic.
This was interrupted a while back by a house deciding to burn down. I've got pictures. Well, not exactly.

Tales From the Coffee Shop

So, keeping current with the whole writing thing.
I worked at this little coffee shop in downtown Toronto over the summer. It was open to the street, no AC and we baked stuff as well.
The coffee tasted like battery acid (purportedly, I never drank it myself) and some of the pastries we had in the display could have been used to induce blunt force trauma.

In short, we did next to no business. I still got paid, and I loafed around the back room a lot with my laptop. It was a pretty reasonable gig except for the weather.

The boss was an alcoholic and I'm pretty sure he spent most of the time high.

At least three of the other employees smoked (god I can't stand the smell of cigarette smoke.)

The "customers" we'd get? I'm pretty sure most of them weren't up to any good. Like we had these two guys come in one day. Only reason I remember it was because the girl serving people came an bugged me about it. Anyways two guys, both wearing long coats like they're extras just walked in out of a scene from the Matrix.

The one guy, much older, has grey in his hair, looks like he's some sort of addict, eyes are a little screwy, malnourished, looks older than he probably is, hood pulled up over his head. The younger guy, brown hair, blue coat, looks twitchy and nervous as all hell. I'm pretty sure he's on drugs. Keeps fiddling with something in his pocket.
They talk in the shop a while, the older fellow keep looking around and soon he's pretty nervous too. The older one actually orders coffee and drinks some of it. Which is the shocking part. This was abominably bad, horrible coffee by all accounts. super-humanly bad coffee. The younger guy bolts out of the coffee shop after they talk for a while.

That was actually a fairly horrible day. Between the rain, those two guys in the shop and then the subway? Absolutely rubbish. So here's the story there. Bloor-Danforth subway line, blocked by body. SRS BSNS.
Obviously it is not on the tracks. THANKS FOR THAT DUMBASS.
I was three hours late getting home and STARVING. (It wasn't pretty)

The worst part was of course that half the food had gone by that point.

Please allow me to introduce myself

I am a man of wealth and taste
Okay, enough of that. No better time to start a blog than at 9:30 in the morning!
So, I'm the Reliable Robin! I'm a student living in Ottawa.
One of the professors suggested that we maintain our own blogs (Hello there Roy!) as a way to keep up our writing skills when we aren't in class. Not a horrible idea!
So this is my blog. Not quite sure of what to do with it yet.

Here's a thought! INTERESTS!
Unfortunately, Blogger is very anti-photography. Well, anti-non-text entries anyways.
So photography and music have to find another place to roost. (Blog rule, minimize bird puns)
Movies, Books, Games, I suppose I could try reviewing them, though that tends to turn into pretentious opinion stuff.
If the URL didn't give it away, I'm a fan of Shakespeare. Living as close as I do to Stratford, I try to get out once a year and see some of the Bard put on at the festival there. (That's Stratford, ON)
I do photography as a pastime, literally as a way to pass the time. Don't expect anything super artistic. I really should see about setting up a place to post those. I have spent hours wandering around taking photos of anything that catches my eye. (See what I avoided there?)
I also make puns.