Sunday, March 23, 2008

Who Are You?

A couple of years ago I posted about an online tool I liked. Through a nifty online connection this week, I dug back into it. The Personality Type Quiz is simple and smart, letting you find your Myers-Briggs type with four quick choices and then exploring the implications of your type. I'm a solid INTP, meaning that I tend to be (quite accurately):
"quiet, independent, and private; logical and unemotional; creative, ingenious, and innovative, global thinkers; curious and driven to increase their competence; casual, and adaptive; nonconforming and unpredictable."
My list of suggested careers and the advice on how to love me (it's not easy, apparently) seem pretty close, too. Googling INTP yielded all kinds of interesting things -- this INTP profile literally had me laughing out loud and shaking my head at how spot-on it was for me, like reading a psychoanalyst's report on me after five years of intensive therapy.

A lot of people make fun of these quizzes as being glorified horoscopes, but I think they're good tools to get you reflecting about who you are and how you're perceived. Last time, Heather and I found out that our Myer's-Briggs types are the exact opposite. We still manage to get along fine, and it was also interesting to note that her type is the most common one and mine is quite rare. So I'm the freak.

Anyway, I thought I'd copy Marc's idea to get some involvement here -- a bit of an assignment for you to join the fun.

Update: A running tally of willing participants so far...
  • Me: INTP, scarily accurate
  • Heather: ESFJ, bang-on
  • Tannis and Pearl: INFP, and both mother and daughter see it as a good match
  • Larry: ISFJ, which he didn't think was a good match (based on the profile in the quiz), but this sounds like a very accurate description to me
  • Anonymous Lurker: ENTJ, self-reported as "painfully accurate", and as she has now privately de-lurked, we can vouch for the "external" accuracy as well
  • Jason: ISTP, ISTJ, INTJ? We couldn't figure it out last time, and still can't -- perhaps a complex personality crossing conventional boundaries.
  • My mom: INTJ, looks like a spot-on match, capturing her creativity, competence, and a bit of her combative side
  • Esther: Feels like an ISTJ, but might look more like an ESTJ to others, maybe especially in the working world?
  • Kaili: ESFJ, which she says is "right on the nail" ...and interesting to note that her man Robin is the same, shooting big holes in the "opposites attract" theory
  • Crystal: ISTJ, which she thinks is pretty close, and her husband is solid INTJ, The Scientist -- pretty similar types.
  • Gwen: ISFP "The Artist", which rings true for her (and I agree)
  • Nicole: ENFJ, which sounds just right to her (and to anyone who knows her, I suspect)
  • Lesa: ISFJ, and sadly I don't know her well enough to comment on the accuracy...I might have thought more extroverted
  • Bill: ENFP, which suggests the exact careers he's successfully pursued, so it can't be too far off
  • Plett: After trying on ISTP, settled on INTP (same as me?!), although I thought ISTJ might fit ok too. Another cross-type sort of fella.
  • Angella: ENFJ, which she agrees with, and she may need to follow her calling to be a journalist.
  • Evan: INTJ, "The Scientist", which should make sense considering she just got her PhD after years of research.
  • Garth: ENFJ, joining a few other fun-loving extroverts on the list (he says it is spot-on).
  • Andrew: INTP, same as me, and after getting to know him over a year or two (and many a beer), it doesn't surprise me.
  • Marj: ENFP, and the profile looks very accurate, especially the good stuff.
  • Ang: ENFP, just like Marj, which I never would have thought of before...but it makes sense (three of my favourite people in the world are apparently ENFPs). But what about Steve-O?
  • Jess: INTJ, and it sounds like that's been consistent for her (she says, "INTJ, as always").
  • Lisa: INFJ, which she says has parts that are "scarily dead-on", and I thought the work part was exactly her.
  • Nada: INFP, same as Tannis, and they both think it's a pretty good match.
  • Lorne: ESFP, which I predicted accurately beforehand -- Lorne has a very strong sense of who he is and this is it.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


The best Christmas gift any of us got this year was Ella's double-12 domino set. We thought it might be a bit "old" for her, but figured she'd get into it eventually. We were wrong about the timeline -- she's turned into the total domino maven, requesting endless rounds of Mexican Train, and almost always finding takers. She seems to win more than her share of games too, but she's a fantastic sport when she doesn't. When I lose more than two games in a row, I break out the Darth Vader theme song and march around carrying the offending winner upside down, unless it's Tannis -- it's how I model my personal brand of sportsmanship. No cable TV for us this winter, so we did more stuff like dominoes and Cadoo.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

iPod Game

Nicole tagged me with a silly web game where you match up songs from your iPod on shuffle with some questions -- kinda fun. Richard
and Tannis played along with some nifty results. I put my full set over on my neglected song blog, but I thought these were the highlights:

What does your love life look like next year? Don't Fake This, Chevelle
-- Wasn't Meg Ryan such a babe in "When Harry Met Sally"? I'm just sayin'.

What do you say when life gets hard? Float On, Modest Mouse
-- Surprisingly accurate for me, and the song is actually about rolling with life's punches. One of my favourites, in the perfect slot.

Song that reminds you of good times? Been Caught Stealing, Jane's Addiction
-- No, no klepto memories. I love this one, both for the song itself and the memories. I was listening to this a lot in the early '90s, during a time when I cemented my closest friendships, and many of them were glued together by a shared love of music like this.

What do you think when you get up in the morning? Send the Pain Below, Chevelle
-- This is maybe just a little too close to home. I'm not a morning person, I haven't been getting enough sleep, and...yes, this one is exactly right.

What song describes your ex? Scum of the Earth, Rob Zombie
-- I swear I did not cheat the game to get this tidy little link-up. The last girlfriend I had before Tannis was the infamous Tabitha in Niverville, and she really was a challenging young lady...but this one would have been too harsh for all but the most hated exes.

The song that best describes the prime minister? Dragula, Rob Zombie
-- Those sunken eyes, the toothy fake-smile...I can see it. Stephen Harper's always creeped me out.

What is your state of mind like at the moment? Losing My Religion, REM
-- A current spiritual crisis? Nah, but this type of over-analyzing introspection isn't too far off for my usual state of mind.

I'm not going to tag anyone, but feel free to play along too.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Time Capsule and The Film Experiment

We got this photo developed today. How's that, you say? I know, currently-six-year-old Ivy looks about one year old. A couple of weeks ago I found two old films in a box of junk. One of them turned out to be Ivy's from a camera she got in in a Rice Crispies box -- not the greatest photographic find.

However, the second roll was apparently from my first Minolta SLR at least five years ago, an XG-M if I remember right. Not sure why I never bothered to develop the film, but it sure was neat getting a little blast from the past like that, especially as a surprise. Can't believe how much that kid has grown up since then. I think this was from a trip to Big White; looks like it might be taken in the Happy Valley Lodge, but I can't quite figure out when exactly (this was in the olden days before the blog became my offboard memory.

At the same time, I developed my first roll of film since my Luddite Declaration a couple of weeks ago. Since deciding to get back into it, I had two setbacks: Eric's Photo Lab in town decided last week that they're not developing film any more, and one of the two lenses I got on eBay has weird spiderwebby lines inside it. But...getting this roll of film back today erased any disappointment. Our digital camera is all right, but seriously, the image quality of the photos is astounding compared to prints from digital. These two photos are bad digital recreations of the excellent prints because I don't have the gumption to fight with our scanner right now, but get the picture.

For those of you who know Marj's family, doesn't that top-left photo of Ivy and Ella look like it might be Jen and Katie about 20 years ago? Suuuper cute. Also, Tannis is gorgeous, Ezra's such a turkey, Imogene's a doll, and Angelo looks like one of those movie-star dads you might see on Entertainment TV.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tokyo Police Club

Found a good blog about local live music a few weeks ago, which has so far allowed me discover the awesome shows that I've already missed. Ugh. However, it also helped me find out that Tokyo Police Club is playing The Habitat in May. It's a cool Canadian band I had heard last year and then forgot about, but the upcoming show got me digging into some of their excellent music. Their U.S. label offers the free mp3 for In a Cave, an amazing song from their upcoming album, and the band's got a bunch of videos and songs on their site as well. Worth a listen, for sure.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Eidse Family Visit

Angelo and Esther and Imogene came to see us this weekend. We kept things on the down-low, spending lots of time just hanging out with the kids and enjoying each other's company. As you can see from the 18 seconds of riveting action footage below, Imogene and Ezra were the center of attention and we got a great kick out of watching them interacting in their own way.

Angelo and I snuck out for a couple of mountain bike rides and consumed some excellent beer he brought, which is a combination made in heaven. We also had a great session in Penticton, going for coffee, then hitting the Hooded Merganser for lunch and taking full advantage of their hotel's pool. Good times, good livin'.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

1970 Mini Trail

I've been watching this Honda Mini Trail on eBay for a week or so, but not because I plan to buy it. I just love the nostalgia -- it's pretty much the exact model of mini-bike I had at five years old, except fully restored and looking awesome. I'm also fascinated by the obvious demand for these little wonders, because years ago I dreamed up a vague business plan to collect old Honda mini-bikes, restore or repair them and sell them like this. At the time I wasn't sure whether I could make any money at it, but with a few hours left in the auction, this one looks to be going for close to $3500. It might have been worth about $200 brand new in 1970, and it could now be worth three times as much as the much fancier 2008 model. But guess which one I'd rather have?

Update: Now I want to buy a 1975 MR50, for a much more reasonable price. We had one of these too, and it was one of the coolest mini-bikes ever.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sprung Spring

Yes, this is Ezra eating his first grass of the season. I'm thinking it may be a favourite hobby of his throughout the summer, along with eating sand. Probably chewing sticks too.

The first crocuses of the season popped up in the first few days of March, a fully two weeks before they appeared last year...and they're gorgeous. I need to free up some time to take some more outdoorsy photos as things get more beautiful around here.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Parenthood Perspective

A younger single friend of mine from work is currently touring around the Caribbean in a sailboat with his parents and sisters; enjoying some outrageously good livin'. He asked me last week about life as a dad with a pack of kids, in sharp contrast to his freewheeling life of leisure (although technically he is still working remotely). My response to that part:
"Burgeoning family life is mostly great. It requires using different measures of success and happiness though, because it's SO not all about my pleasure or self-actualization. I'm sort of embarrassed to admit that it has been a difficult 6-year journey for me to really internalize that. It would be easy to focus on the less-awesome parts of parenthood and wallow in self-pity, but it really is a matter of perspective. Our day-to-day life is relaxed, full of the sorts of quiet richness and joy that I wouldn't have valued at all a decade ago. And I still get to do the things I enjoy for myself, just not as often as I might otherwise choose to."
Having a baby again has really made this point clearer for me, despite the fog of relative sleep-deprivation. When I think about the quality of my life, the key question is still "compared to what?" We're sure not sailing around the Bahamas, but dwelling on that kind of thinking is the opposite of thankfulness...and a recipe for misery. Anyway, I find it useful to reflect on these things. (photo credit to my mom)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Riding and Reading

Our little girl is growing up so fast these days, to the point where "little girl" isn't going to be the appropriate label any longer. She's adapting so well to the big sister role, helping Ezra figure out his world and never begrudging the attention paid to him. With Ivy in school most days, she's had to be very independent and patient, and she's stepped up in a big way.

These two short video clips are from today and yesterday, with the first showing her first independent biking with no help to start or stop. Of course biking is kinda my thing, so parental pride fully bubbles over. The second short clip is her reading a book Ivy had been helping her with. They play school a lot, and Ella is going to have a major head start in fall.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Local Bounty

I keep forgetting to post about Tannis's awesome new blogging project, Local Bounty. She's assembling a collection of profiles and contact information for farmers and and other food producers in and around Summerland, BC. The Okanagan really does offer a bounty of local food, and I love the focus of the site. She's already covered a bunch of my favourite spots: The Apple Barn, Green Hills Organic Farm, and the Stinging Bee Honey Farm.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Luddites Unite

I've been researching mid-range digital SLR cameras for about a year now, and more recently started tracking interesting models on eBay to see if I could pluck out a bargain. On the day I noticed that Cousin J bought an incredibly kick-ass 2008 Nikon D300, I instead won an auction for a 15-year-old lens for a Minolta X-700, my old manual film camera. That's right -- no digital, no auto-focus, no motor drive -- basically just a heavy metal box for film that you mount lenses to. The lenses don't even zoom.

So yes, I'm a Luddite, and I'm cheap...but there's a source of happiness hidden in the madness. Shooting with that old Minolta this week was pure joy, and the last couple of rolls of film I put through it yielded wonderful results. Those old glass and steel lenses let in a lot of light and don't mess up what you see with your eyes. They feel good in your hands, solid and vintage and old school.

But I think there's something else going on here, and it has more to do with time. It's great to see your digital photos immediately, deciding what to keep or delete on the spot. Almost everything about this old stuff is slow -- winding the camera between shots, turning the ring back and forth to focus, adjusting the exposure settings one at a time, and then waiting to fill up the film before finally getting it developed. It slows me down in a good way. Like slow food vs fast food. I ride my bike over to Eric's Photo in town instead of speeding digital uploads to Future Shop. Deferred gratification is out of style, of course, but I'm rediscovering the pleasures of anticipation. I'll get a new camera eventually, but I hope it doesn't make me forget.

Unfortunate Update: This week Eric's Photo Lab officially stopped developing film. Seriously. Methinks this backwards hobby of mine may get harder and harder to pursue. In other news, the lens I got on eBay has "lens fungus", which may or may not affect the images. I also got a brand new one that was a lot more expensive, so I may just keep that one's a super sweet 135mm f/2.8 and weighs a ton.

Update 2: The guy I bought the lens from gave me a full refund and let me keep it. After developing photos taken with it, it appears that the cracks/lines/fungus/whatever don't affect the pictures at this point. So, good news on that one.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Skating Season Winding Down

With highs of 14 and sunshine forecast for this week, I think it's safe to say that skating season is kinda over. Myron and I played hockey Friday night, but that's probably it for me. I thought I'd throw together a few of the last little video clips as a goodbye to a great skating winter. This medley's got Ella pushing Sloane in the stroller, me messing around on the Dueck rink, bits of Ivy's big skating club finale at the arena, and I think a short clip of Ivy trying out her sweeeet new bike (not skating, I realize, but a symbolic transition into spring).

This evening I went for a great ride on Rattlesnake Mountain and found it to be in excellent condition (aside from the brand-new clear-cut through the middle of the trail half-way in...grrrrr), so let the fun begin.

Oh, and in the clips of Ivy's skating show, she's the one with the helmet. I was the ogre who insisted on safety, not realizing that every other kid in her group was going without one for the show (despite having worn them for every other class). Sigh. Maybe I'm just a tiny bit over-protective. It didn't seem to ruin it for her at least -- she was thrilled with the whole thing.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Skis and Vines

I thought this article from a paper in Edmonton captured some cool stuff about visiting the Okanagan this time of year: Skis and vines make a perfect pairing. The author stayed right here at the Summerland Resort, where my folks stayed on the weekend.