Category Archives: Life with Jeff

Toy Run

Motorcycle Toy Run (Benefits Salvation Army I think?)

I’m going to try to do two of these this year.

The first is Quesnel’s.  Sunday September 7th.  Starts at Sylvia’s Cafe and finishes at the Quesnel Museum.

The second is Prince George.  Sunday September 28th.  Need more details.

This is mostly just a reminder to myself, but if anyone is intersted in riding with me, just drop me a line.

These should be fun.  I’ll be trying to get together with Greg and Kate in PG for the PG one.  Maybe they’ll come down for this one.  My motorcycle instructor, Ian, whom I rode the Poker Ride with is planning on doing both as well – and has offered to caravan up to PG with me that sunday.


Ankylosing Spondylitis?

It may be.

What, you may ask, is Ankylosing Spondylitis?  A new type of bug?  A bacteria growing in my toilet?

Nope.  It’s none of these silly things you never thought it was.

AS may however be the answer to why I’ve been having recurring rectal bleeding for the last few years, and recurring back pain for the last 8.

My physician recently did some blood tests and x-rays of my back.  He found that I have sacroiliitis, an inflamation in the sacroiliac joint. This may be the result of several years of Ankylosing Spondylitis.  (See, you know I wouldn’t leave you without a link to follow)

Now – from what I can tell, AS is uncurable,  degeneritive, and causes chronic back pain and deformity of the spine.  It sounds bad.  It is an autoimmune disease, and responds well to immunosuppresants – as long as the patient doesn’t develop any infections while on them.

It can cause injury if a patient with advanced spinal rigidity falls or has an accident, as the spinal cord is more easily damaged in a rigid spine – however, that is an advanced case.

I need to see a Rheumatologist to properly diagnose me – and really, I’m going to be doing the same things I’m doing now, but with different drugs so I sleep better at night and bleed out my anus less.  Sounds good to me. (Or I won’t have it, and that’ll be even cooler – unless they invent something worse for me to have!)

It could cause problems down the road, but it seems to be a slow acting disease, so I’m unlikely to see immediate worsening of symptoms.  I guess the downside is that I’m already 8-10 years into it, as it’s visible on an x-ray.  But hey – we take what we get right?

Anyway – doubtless more to come on this topic as I find out more.

A “Modest” Proposal

So.  I proposed to Samantha weekend before last.  Saturday July 12th, for the record.

She said “yes”.  Whew!

So – now we’re planning a wedding.  I remember doing this before – it’s full of suck.  But there is lots of good stuff involved too – and I’m really, really excited.

I’ve always been a fan of “elegance”.  I like nice things – even if they’re unobtainable.  So this wedding will be Sami’s chance to shine – she’ll be a queen of elegance for the day (well, even more so than she already is) – but I want to be a suitable accessory to her.  I want to look as dashing as I possibly can, in hopes of somehow convincing our wedding guests that I deserve to stand next to her.

I’m looking for a tailor now to alter some clothes or make them from scratch.  I need prices, and sources.  I have ideas of what I want to wear, but I need to try stuff on and see what it’s like.  I have some work ahead of me I think.

What I want to wear is:

  • A Morning Coat (preferably in oxford grey)
  • Double-Breasted Vest (with high collar)
  • High-peaked wingtip or foldover collar shirt with removable collar in white. Possibly blue and white striped, with french cuffs in white.
  • Ascot or Silk-Puff Tie
  • Appropriate striped trousers
  • Fancy Socks
  • Balmoral boots with white tops.
  • Maybe white spats.
  • Black or White Gloves
  • A top hat or bowler.  I’ve found a nice bowler, so I’ll see how a top hat looks somehow.

Sometime soon I’ll try and put some pictures up on here to describe better what my words are lacking.  I’ve been doing research into what a groom traditionally should wear, and it sounds like what I have picked out is very traditional.

Any input is appreciated.

Oh, and I guess I’ll have to arrange rental stuff for my groomsmen.  Scott and Josh have agreed to dress up fancy with me and get me to the altar on time, so I have to find affordable options for them, since I’m too cheap to get their stuff too.

Although, I’ll be buying their gloves, their ties and possibly some other accoutrements.

Oh, PS.

We don’t have a date yet, but we’re aiming for January 30th, 24th or 17th of 2009 – depending on hall rentals and whatnot.


What is PMOG you may ask.

I would answer thusly.

“That is a very good question. According to their website it is a ‘Passivley Multiplayer Game’, but the real truth goes a little deeper than that. Allow me to give you a link to where you can get it, and then I will discuss it further below.”

Perhaps the first interesting look at PMOG should be this webcomic detailing in sort of poetic form the descent of one into the PMOG world. That is to say, the underground of the internet in the real world.

You can find the original sized comics at

Here is the general idea. First, you install a firefox toolbar. This “voluntary spyware” tracks your surfing history and you begin to gain coins and whatnot passively, while you surf normally. You can easily turn it off or on, and change lots of it’s settings.

Now that you have your toolbar enabled, you can “find” things that other people have placed on the internet. For example, I’m going to place a crate on my website with some coins in it. If you are the next “pmogian” to come along, you will see a crate pop up, and you can choose to take what is inside.

So, it’s sort of like a treasure hunt, right? Yep. It’s also a little more.

Pmogians can leave missions on websites too. Missions (should you choose to accept them) take you on a guided tour of the internet, linking from page to page. I’m going to build one based on my linked blogs on the sidebar.

Portals, when you see them, mysteriously take you to another website. Why? Well, you’d have to ask those who dropped them. Sometimes it might be because they like another site better, and want to let other pmogians know. Sometimes it could be because they just want to cause mischief. ;)

I haven’t figured out lightposts yet. Their description says “Lightposts light up the areas between web sites. They make visible connections that were dark before.” Ah, I see. If I read a little further it tells me that lightposts are required to make missions. Neat.

Mines can be dropped on websites, and when you step on one they take away some of your datapoints (coins).

Armour can be worn to protect against mine attacks.

Coins/Datapoints are collected at each new site you go to. (Each day, or ever, or something. I’m not quite sure. I’ve found a way of farming them, and in only a day and a bit have collected over 600 of them. Since I’m using firefox I do a search in google and go along and open every link in a new tab. I do this for as many as I have patience for and then close all tabs and start again! Whew! Internet surfing at speed!

Now, depending what you do there are different factions you will be joined to. Bedouins for example are known to wear armour to protect themselves. Vigilantes foil others mischief by placing St. Nicks on their profiles, blocking them from doing their next action. There are others, fly over to to see what they are like.

Feel free to come along and join me. My username is Suprspi, and I’d be happy to have you as an acquaintance. Or just take my mission and see what I like best on the internet in the world of blogs, comics and random stuff.

I should mention that I found this game, like so much other cool stuff I’ve found on the internet, from Wil Wheaton. Will is also playing PMOG, but I don’t know his name yet. This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen on the internet in a long time, and I really encourage you all to check it out.


**This post deals with events that might be traumatic for some people, notably miscarraige. You have been warned.**

One of the webcomics I read regularly is Ctrl-Alt-Delete. It’s a comic about gamers, and is usually funny, often ironic, and occasionally, very emotive. Is that the right word? This is a post about the latter, one comic that struck a particular chord with me.

Cut added for those who’d prefer not to read the rest of this post.

Continue reading

Allowed to Ride!

Born to be wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiild!

I passed my Motorcycle Skills Test today.  That means I have had the supervisor and skill restrictions removed from my licence.  I can now legally exceed 60 km/h and drive without a supervisor.

I have my drivers test on Thursday at 10:15am.  I need to get some practice in before then – I’m hoping this head cold pulls a vanishing act.

I’m still hoping to take a motorcycle course sometime soon.  This can get me commuting though.  Props to all those who gave me a hand with practice time etc. when I needed it!

Yes, I am a geek.

Today I managed to get PGP encryption working with my gmail account. I had to install WinPT and PGP on my computer and generate a key pair. I have a private key, and a public key. I encrypt things with my private key, and anyone who has my public key can decrypt it. Decrypting it also proves that it was my private key that encrypted it – so if you got encrypted email from me you would know that it was me that sent it.

To get it to work with my gmail I had to install firegpg, which you can get at the link.

This is what a block of PGP encrypted text looks like.

Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


So you can see, it’s not readable. The following text is a decryption from that email.
This is a test of PGP.–
– The Family Blog
– My Fitness Blog

“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.”
– AA Milne

“The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.” – Douglas Adams

In case anyone is geeky enough to want to exchange encrypted email with me, this is my public key:
pub 1024D/E6707F9E 06/05/2008 Jeff Closs <>
Primary key fingerprint: C60F 0789 3667 C363 193B EFA7 5CCF 483F E670 7F9E—–BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK—–
Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32) – WinPT 1.2.0


So, there we go. My geekery for the day. If you have any questions, feel free to comment away.