Rumblings, Ruminations, and Retrospectives

Musings from the mind of the Beast.

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Sitting Around The Campfire, Telling Ghost Stories…

… as requested by a Twitter follower.

I used to work for the local phone company. Except, like most providers these days, they’re so much more than a “phone” company – also providing cable TV and internet services.

I worked in an arm of the company focused on I.T. and providing web hosting, email, and server hosting to end clients. We worked downtown, in an older part of the city called The Exchange District. The area is full of old buildings and some pretty nice architecture.

My job regularly required us to work a lot of overtime, as business couldn’t afford to take outages during the day. We instituted an overnight shift and that required us to be on-site, downtown, and after hours.

One of my co-workers was on the night shift, and when we came in for the day shift, he was kind of odd. He’s a hell of a nice guy, but I’ve never seen him so happy to see humans before in my life. He was sitting in his cubicle, a cricket bat (brought in as a decoration by another co-worker) at the ready.

“Cheesie (our nickname for him), what’s with the cricket bat?”

And so he told us the story.

As he was working over night, sitting in his cubicle, he wasn’t sure what was going on but as he sat there, he said he had a moment where he heard the ringing, jingling sound of metal banging together, like keys being shuffled. Except that it wasn’t like someone shaking a key chain, it was rythmic, like someone was walking with keys attached to their belt and the ring of keys was bouncing off their hip as they walked.

Ka-chink. Ka-chink. Ka-chink. Ka-chink. Ka-chink.

The sound was close at first, but then it slowly got quiter, as if the person was walking away. Only thing is, it was 2:30 in the morning and no one else was in the office.

Cheesie grabbed the cricket bat, and started walking around the office, checking to see if anyone was there, or if someone was playing tricks on him. As he was walking around, he heard the main door open and shut, and then the sound of the keys was gone. Cheesie completed his circuit of the office, but he couldn’t find anyone. Nothing was disturbed. He got to the door and checked the lobby, but no one was there. He pushed the elevator button, but it was still on our floor.

There was nobody there.

As he’s telling this story, some of us are givig him the gears, not believing him. Some of us were freaking out, and others were leaning in closer to hear more. The only possible explanation – as much as we did or didn’t want to hear it – was a ghost. Nothing else could add up. There’s no way it could have been a person playing tricks – the office is big enough that if someone was just walking around jingling keys, they would have been spotted in an instant.

But how was it possible?

Our team began a “man hunt”, looking for any way this could be explained. We started looking up local legends, as Winnipeg apparently has a history of ghosts and such.

As it turns out, there is a local legend that states the building we worked in – dating back to the late 1800’s – was a former warehouse. We knew this to be true, we saw the building as it was being renovated in prep for our group moving into the building. The upper floors were the warehouse and storage areas, while the first two floors were the retail and office areas. The legend has it that one of the employees – a man that did a lot woodworking and assembly – had died in an accident with some machinery, and that his ghost continues to walk through the building.

So then it became my turn to work the night shift. The shifts were a week long at a time. I was freaked out. I didn’t want to have a run in with a ghost. I was literally scared the entire time I was there. I had the cricket bat at my desk just in case.

Monday night, everything went well, no ghosts. Tuesday was the same. Wednesday night there was no action, but by this time, I’m super stressed, I’m not getting anything done. Not a fun time.

Thursday night comes along, and things are going well a few hours into the shift. But I’m on high alert, and at 2:00 AM I thought I heard some noises. Banging, like someone had dropped something heavy. I quickly grab the cricket bat and look aroud, but there’s nothing to see. I couldn’t find anything.

I go back to work, and a half hour later at 2:30 AM, there it is.

Ka-chink.

Ka-chink.

I grab the cricket bat and whirl around. No one is there.

Ka-chink.

Ka-chink.

I get up and start walking around the office, but I don’t see a thing. No one is there.

Ka-chink.

Ka-chink.

Ka-chink.

I follow the sound to the far end of the office, but just before I get there…

THUNK.

The outside door to the lobby closes.

BUT I NEVER HEARD IT OPEN.

More banging.

Ka-chink.

Ka-chink.

Banging.

Ka-chink.

Ka-chink.

THERE IS NO ONE THERE.

I blow through the door and check the stairwell. Nothing. Check the elevator. It’s still on my floor, so no one has used it to go back downstairs.

THEN…

I hear what sounds like two women GIGGLING coming from the vents above me. From the VENTS. Thing is, the floor above us is not occupied. No one is there. There’s ghosts fucking playing with me!

Then, it all goes quiet. Not a peep. no banging, no keys, no doors, no giggling. Nothing.

So now I have to go back to my desk and sit there for another five and a half hours, trying not to shit myself.

I think I’ve just started believing in ghosts!

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Progress

So, it’s been a while since I’ve updated this thing. I’m going to try and remedy that, really, I am. I should be posting a lot more. Otherwise, why have the damned site?

Life’s been busy, as I’m sure it is for everyone at most times. Work’s been hectic, plus boot camp (the reason for this post!), helping out with dog agility, getting ready to go to Toronto this week (can anyone say TRANSFORMERSCON?!?!), and the myriad of other things that go on in our lives from day to day.

But, I won’t bore you with kvetching about the trials and tribulations about my life. I wanted to write to you today to let everyone know how things are going with boot camp and the whole weight loss thing.

We wrapped up the Biggest Loser competition back at the end of May, and while we didn’t win the competition, all four of us have seriously improved our lives. I think after the competition, we all kinda had a week or two of “wow, this thing is finally over!” and things were different. That’s not to say that we all of a sudden went from eating really well to eating McDonald’s every day, but things like eating 3 or 4 times a day instead of 5 or 6, drinking less water… it all adds up.

We’re still losing weight, but it’s not as fast as it was at the start. I guess that’s why it’s said that this is a lifestyle change, not a “diet”. You can’t to it in spurts – you have to keep at it every single day.

But regardless whether it’s coming off in droves, or it’s coming off in drips, the point is, it’s coming off, and that’s the most important thing.

Stephanie is doing amazing. She’s well over the 40 pound mark, closer to 50, I believe. Feeling, looking,  and just living so much better. I’m so proud of her.

Me? I just hit the 75 pound mark. My back is no longer sore. All those little things – going for a walk, mowing the grass, standing in line at a concert, or going shopping – now all pain free, and my quality of life is just so much better. I now don’t hesitate at doing those small things like I did before because of the pain. Things are just so much better.

Stephanie keeps saying it’s a small miracle, and really, it is.

If you guys want an endorsement of any kind, here it is. Thank you so much to Jason at Winnipeg Adventure Bootcamp. His meal plans and nutritional advice, plus his fun (yet tough) workouts have done so much to help us turn around. No gimmicks here folks. Just eating right and working hard, and Jason is top-notch when it comes to providing you that information and kick in the ass, as well as support when you need it. Highly recommended for anyone who needs it!

I’ll be back with TransformersCon report after the weekend!

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2006 Has Come and Almost Gone

Wow.

It’s the end of the year already.

Well, not quite, but as the juggernaut that is Christmas stands before us just a few days away, we start to think of the year past and the year ahead.

2006 has been quite the year for me. I started a new job, moving from MTS to Great-West Life. I bought a new house in Charleswood, making more room for my family and pets. I sold our first house. I’ll never forget that house. There were some good memories there. In the biggest event of the year, and my life, I got married to my bun Stephanie.

In 2006, I made new friends, and rekindled old friendships. I got to spend time with old colleagues from MTS. I spent more time with my family. For a short time, I re-entered the music scene.

It’s been a big, but busy year, and for the most part, everything was great. Everyone has their ups and downs, but this year was failrly good to us.

Take a moment to think about all the good things that happened this year, and use that to push yourself foward into 2007. Get better. Aim higher.

Merry Christmas to everyone and best wishes to you all in 2007.