Category: Blog

Looking Back at 2017 or: Old Excuses, New Excuses

Observant readers may notice that there was no 2016 recap post. That would be an accurate observation. Truth be told I did start composing last year’s recap, but didn’t actually get around to finishing or posting it. Life sorta crept up and to be perfectly honest I’ve been a little narrow sighted over the past year. I was able to accomplish a lot this past year, almost all of it work related. I’ve found a lot of success this year, my career is growing, but I’ve also neglected myself somewhat.

The short of it is that I’m working in my field at a company where I’ve got great opportunities to make positive change, I’m living comfortably in a city brimming with cool things (that I really need to get out and experience more often), and I’m easily in the worst shape of my life. 2/3 ain’t bad.


I seriously can’t get enough of this album

Annual Look Back, 2015 Edition

It’s new years again, and you know what that means? Annual blog update!

2015 was a whirlwind, I’m sure I did more things than I can remember. It’s often the case. That’s kind of the flaw of only writing once a year. But I think it’s also a testament to just how busy I’ve been this year, even if I wanted to write I don’t think I would have had much time to. 2015 was full of things, experiences, assignments, people,  and adventure. It certainly feels like I’ve had less time in a given day, but it also feels that during this past year I’ve gotten more done in any given day than I have ever before. If 2015 could be summed up by a single word, it would be “productive”.

Let’s break it down. 

The Bridge Is Out!

While playing GTA V this evening I discovered that Windows 10 can automatically keep the last 30 seconds of gameplay while playing any game. You know what that means? Shenanigans.

2015 Approaches; resolutions, reflections, revelations

2015 is quickly approaching, so it’s time for my semi-annual list of resolutions and/or stuff I’m going to work on improving in the next year. Let’s go.

  • Take a walk each day or at least seriously consider it
  • Don’t spend too much time wearing pants
  • Maybe gain a couple kilo’s
  • Take every opportunity as a reason to give up
  • Don’t let anything get in the way of eating an entire carton of ice cream in one sitting
  • Stop being afraid of what could go wrong and just focus on butts
  • See the world through the magic of the Internet
  • Spend more time doing what really matters – Watching Netflix
  • Forget past mistakes and press on to make newer, greater mistakes
  • Stop making resolutions, just get out there and start eating cheese

Thanks For Calling Tech Support

This call may be recorded for comedic purposes
Stevenger: Thank you for contacting [REDACTED], my name is Stevenger, how can I help you today?
ManBehindSentry: yeah hi… um… my toaster won’t turn on…
Stevenger: Alright sir, thanks for contacting me. I understand that you’re having an issue with your toaster, is that correct?
ManBehindSentry: yes.
ManBehindSentry: fix it.
Stevenger: Alright no problem, we can get this sorted out for you but first I just need to ask a few questions to gather a little information.
Stevenger: Can I start by getting your first and last name, as well as your phone number in case this call is disconnected?
ManBehindSentry: *pieces
ManBehindSentry: ManBehindSentry
ManBehindSentry: [REDACTED]
ManBehindSentry: [REDACTED]
ManBehindSentry: now… can you fix the limp bread situation?
Stevenger: Thanks Tristan, I can certainly understand how your situation may be frustrating
ManBehindSentry: damn straight…
Stevenger: Alright, can I get the model of your toaster?
ManBehindSentry: sure…
ManBehindSentry: [REDACTED]
ManBehindSentry: would a picture help?
Stevenger: That’s alright sir, I can pull up all the information on your toaster from our database, just give me one moment while that loads for me
Stevenger: I’m sorry to hear that, sir. I can assure you that these toasters are designed to function for an extended period of time.
Stevenger: Alright, I’ve got the information in front of me
Stevenger: Now, you mentioned that it isn’t working? Could you give me a few more details about your issue?
ManBehindSentry: sure.
ManBehindSentry: want just the play by play?
Stevenger: That would be fine, sir
ManBehindSentry: so i wake up next to my bitch wife.
ManBehindSentry: put on some pants.
ManBehindSentry: realize they are to damn small
ManBehindSentry: so i take off the pants
ManBehindSentry: mozy on over to YOUR DAMN TOASTER
ManBehindSentry: and stick in 2 limp ass pieces of bread.
ManBehindSentry: when low and behold.
ManBehindSentry: it exploded the previous night from when i stuck a fork into it trying to get out my fucking quarter.
ManBehindSentry: now am i going to be compensated or not?
Stevenger: I’m sorry to hear about your issue, sir
ManBehindSentry: i would also like to issue a complaint… i was storeing my ammuntion in there… so the damn kids won’t get at it… kids can’t play with loaded guns… that’s just stupid i let em play with my unloaded guns.
Stevenger: Unfortunately [REDACTED] cannot be held liable for instances of misuse or accidental damage, so I am unable to offer you any further support with this particular toaster. However, I am authorized to offer you a coupon for up to 15% off your next purchase of a [REDACTED] toaster at participating retailers around the nation. Would you be interested in this offer?
ManBehindSentry: and now i have no ammo.
ManBehindSentry: can i speak to your manager?
ManBehindSentry: i ain’t accepting no coupon… until i speak to your manager first.
Stevenger: Just one moment sir, I’ll see if someone is available. Would you mind if I placed you on hold for 2-3 minutes while I looked into that for you?
ManBehindSentry: sure…
ManBehindSentry: enjoy your job while you still have it.
Stevenger: Thank you, sir, your words of encouragement are the reason I look forward to speaking with fine individuals such as yourself
Stevenger: *click*
ManBehindSentry: …
ManBehindSentry: this has been more then 2-3 minutes…
ManBehindSentry: does no one run [REDACTED]?
Stevenger: I’m sorry, your call has been discunnected. If you’d like to place a call, please hangup and try again.
ManBehindSentry: …
ManBehindSentry: BETTY GET ME MY GUN


Of all the Vlogbrothers videos of 2013, this has been the one that has resonated with me the most.

It’s the “Harvey” moment. Where it’s too soon to tell if it’s an epiphany, or a pivotal moment, but you can tell that you’ve definitely not felt worse, and things get better and better from that point on. That resonating experience that truly marks the first day of the rest of your life.

My 2 million seconds have already passed. It was when I landed back in Toronto coming home from Europe. Setting foot back down in Canada, having gained the confidence required to survive travelling abroad alone. Knowing that not only am I capable of achieving, but being filled with the ambition to actively seek that achievement. That’s my Harvey moment. That was the first day if the rest of my life.

I need a recharge

Welp. I’m back obsessing over the internet.

For a while I just assumed it was some sort of pattern of boredom/interest, but I think it’s more than that. When I get overwhelmed with real people, whether they be at my job or at university, I shut down. I get cynical. I get grumpy. I become cold, distant, and unmotivated.

Katie Salmers, Radiance in Revolution

I’ve been feeling a lot of these same things lately, and I think it’s because, like Katie, I haven’t been creating or producing anything. It’s hard sometimes, because it takes energy to create. But lately I feel like I’ve been pouring all of my energy into getting through my day, into making it seem like I don’t want to be anywhere else than at work, into making myself smile to every customer who comes into the store, into keeping myself from yelling at some of my coworkers.

By the time I get home I’m mentally exhausted. What little energy I still have left  I use to keep holding back the frustrations from the day from getting loose on my family. When asked how my day was I usually respond with, “finally over”, and when someone asks how I am I say tired. I go downstairs, and I turn myself off.

Blast of Sisterly Wisdom from the Past

Every so often I go through old documents I’ve saved and find a few gems of wisdom I’ve left for my future self to find. I had a recent hard drive failure and found one such gem scattered amongst the ruins.

From August 30, 2011

I just think that trying to lose yourself in a fictional world is…pseudo. If you think motivation will just smack you in the face one day… Consider the fact that it might not, and then what? You’ve wasted all that time. And that’s what I’m scared of, wasting time.

When Will and I went to Shambhala last year, and poor old Jenny broke down, and we started talking about hitching to Sham, I was having a panic attack. And when the car nearly started on fire, I was so nauseas… The mechanic came and picked us up and we got to his garage. And he was so nice. I paid for it and I was asking him if the car would start smoking again. This giant blonde mechanic covered in grease looked me in the eye, told me that it would be fine, and then gave me the best piece of advice I’ve ever received.

Worry about it when it happens.

For me…that’s huge. Don’t think that thinking these ideas, thinking about people…or things…or places…whatever…they’re just ideas. Don’t let them scare you. Don’t let them stress you out. And by no means let them worry you.

If anything, be thankful that you have such a mind that can think about those things and that you actually have the power to change things around you.

– Rachel Panasiuk, the best little sister I never had

I look back on these snippets and try to imagine what I was feeling and going through when these sorts of conversations took place, and look at where I am now and realize just how far I’ve come. In the two years since this conversation took place I feel like I’ve frown an unmeasurable amount. I’ve accomplished so much, I’ve got ambitions, I’ve got motivation, and I’m driven to achieve my goals. I think if Past Steve could look forward he would be proud.

I look back at Past Steve and wish I could just pat him on the back and say, “Don’t worry, it all works out.”


Gullible Heads Home

When last we left our hero he was on a train heading towards Jülich.

The train ride to Jülich was more or less without incident, until I got off the train, anyway. It amazes me that I hadn’t had any real issues carrying my pack throughout Europe up until this point, but as I was getting off the train and making my way towards the street to meet Micha I stepped into a rail embedded in the ground (you know how when a train track goes through a street and the rail is flush with the pavement but there’s that little gap?) and rolled my ankle in the gap and went straight, and hard, down onto my knees before falling to my side. I was like a 6 foot turtle and couldn’t get up. It didn’t really hurt my body so much as my pride. Thankfully there was a very helpful and concerned man behind me to helped me up. It wasn’t until Micha appeared and we went to is apartment to offload my packs that I started to realize I may have actually hurt my knee. After resting for about 15 minutes and getting up again I couldn’t bend it especially far. Thankfully it loosened up over the few days I was there, and nothing permanent seems to have happened.

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