PersonalThings which are about me -- kinda. Or maybe just things I like. Or possibly things which occur to me. Who knows! We'll see how it goes.
|20040709(Personal):Whats On Your Desk Day, 2004|
And another year grinds around to the inevitable annual tradition of
What's On Your Desk Day.
Although I've been assigned a permanent desk by my employer, I'm on
parental leave right now -- leaving us with the stuff on my desk at home for
at least one more year.
Read More:Always More.
So we went off to the movies on Friday, since it was opening
night for Harry Potter III. And of course, there were previews for
upcoming movies. And since Harry Potter is a kiddies movie (well,
it is getting a bit deep for a kiddies movie, but the kiddies can follow it
so that's who it is aimed at), the trailers were for other upcoming
Including Catwoman. A trailer which included gratuitous fighting,
leather, cleavage shots, and whips.
So in the silence immediately following this trailer, I comment dryly to
Jenn, "Yeah, 'cause that's a children's movie."
And this little girl, all of five or six, in the row in front of
us turns to her mother and says, "Mommy, why did the man say that?"
We didn't hear 'Mommy's response because of the noise of the following
trailer, but the exchange amused us.
|20040211(Personal):Big Win #1|
I know it's unsportsman-like to gloat about a lopsided victory, but
lets say my Wednesday curling group built a large amount of character
in the first draw this year and so we earned this win.
So after two ends its 1-1. Third end, we take 3, and it's 4-1. Fourth end,
we steal six (we had a traffic jam in the back of the house, plus control of
the front -- the opposing skip chose to draw against the traffic jam so he'd
have something to stop against -- and amazingly slipped through a microscopic
hole and out the back). Fifth end, we steal two when his draw comes up light,
and he says "That's it, I know when I'm done."
We got lucky several times in this game -- the opposition drew us into a hitting
game, and our hit, hit-and-roll, and hit-and-stay games are all much stronger
than our draw games. That said, we all made key draws when required. We enjoyed
a couple of fluke shots -- overcurling and then rubbing back into position,
that kind of thing. The opposition couldn't really buy a break.
Call me uncooth, but I think we deserved just one like that after giving up
several so far this year.
Both leagues are going well this draw -- my Saturday group earned a
solid win against a solid team, which means that with one game in the
book we lead the standings. Because of the caliber of the team we
beat, I think it bodes well for the rest of the year. (Unlike last
draw, where we had a solid hold on last place.)
So I've been driving the wife's car for most of the last week (because mine was
in the 'Collision Center' having the wing mirror replaced). Because her car is
different from mine, I've been thinking about cars in general and some of my
biases towards them.
My wife's car as a V6, and so has about 30 more horsepower than mine does. This,
tied to the automatic transmission, makes the utilization of this extra power much
easier than does the 5-speed in my car. Translation: I tended to speed more when
driving her car. It seems almost like effortless power when compared to the
buzzy flat four in my car.
The ease with which the power was used was noticeable at the gas pump too.
Not helping is the fact that my wife's car drinks the medium grade, while
mine takes the least expensive grade.
On the other hand, we had some snow this week and I really missed the
AWD grip and capabilities and ABS that my car had, as opposed to the
FWD car I was driving. Not that I got into any trouble driving the
FWD car, mind you, just that having had the AWD for so long meant it
was something I was really used to.
If I had to choose, I would definitely give up the extra power in exchange for the AWD
The whole experience made me think that driving a car with an automatic might not be
such a bad thing -- I would be able to live with it. AWD is really non-negotiable
at this point, traction control just isn't the same thing. And while on snow and ice
ABS is more of an annoyance than a feature, it has kept me out of trouble on dry,
dusty, or wet surfaces enough that I would prefer to have it.
I think that for the next car we'll look for a car with AWD, ABS, an
automatic, and a decent amount of power. That's likely to be several
years away at this point, since the Subaru is going strong at 7 years
and my wife's car isn't paid off yet. However I see more and more
manufacturers are "getting it" when it comes to AWD -- BMW, Volvo,
and even Jaguar are joining Audi and Subaru in promoting AWD on many
of their models. Who knows, by the time we are back at the
dealership looking to buy, maybe even the American manufacturers will
Today was a bad day:
I ran afoul of a snow build up outside a drive-through ATM. I turned my wheels right,
applied the gas, and the car neatly slid left into the building -- crushing the mirror.
I can't wait to find out exactly how much this is going to cost to fix.
Update, 6 Feb 2004: $280, less than half what I thought it would. Still money I'd
rather spend on something else, though.
|20040120(Personal):Why Be Embarrased?|
I feel all special now...
All this time I've been getting spam addressed to other people on the
subject line... and now I get one personalized for me. Oooh....
And amazingly it wasn't for Viagra. It was for weight-loss.
Fortunately the spam-eater caught it. My mailbox has been almost 60%
spam since I put the eater in, back in May or June.
|20030811(Personal):eBay: an Xdroop Investigation|
Ebay fraud, or me just being a stupid newbie?
Read More:lessee the evidence, hoss
|20030730(Personal):Thats a lot of systems|
many OSs have you used for at least one hour?
Read More:my list inside
|20030714(Personal):Whats On Your Desk Day 2003|
Yeah yeah yeah, I missed Whats-on-your-desk-day 2003 by a little bit. My
excuse is that I don't have a palm pilot up to date or a calendar program
running as a routine any more, so these happy holidays sometimes slip
Like last year, I still don't have an office
desk so you again get treated to a list of what's on the desk at home.
Read More:Always More.
So just to see the reaction, I go down to the bookstore where they
are building up the hype for Harry Potter: Revenge of the Clones (or whatever)
(The Economist describes it as being
low-hype) and I'm all, Oh, there's a book now? Those movie people will
spin anything off! Anything to make a buck!
The wife isn't going to the Midnight Madness tonight, but she will
probably get a copy this weekend sometime.
|20030321(Personal):Rhetorical Sun Question # 734:|
Why is it that when I build perl on an NFS drive, the make
install phase silently fails by running through everything and
not copying anything to the destination... but when it is built on a
local drive, it works just fine?
I hate computers. Have I mentioned that?
desktop screenshot. Nothing particularly exciting -- I just thought
it had been a little while since the last one. You see the usual
olvwm on Solaris, with an older Konqueror (for some reason I can not
get any KDE newer than 3.0.4 to build at all), an xplanet, and a
minimized SunPCi window. The only real change of substance since the
last one is the use of multi-gnome-terminals instead of konsoles. I
made that change because mgt's are more configurable, and can do
practically everything from the keyboard, including opening new terminals.
Depressingly, I may have to move to Red Hat Linux in the near term --
I am already running it on my laptop, and while I don't hate it I
much prefer the sun. Unfortunately, the Red Hat installation
disagrees with the sun when it comes to things like fonts, so I won't
be able to use a sun as a display for Linux applications.
|20030217(Personal):Too Much Information|
Another lame web based survey. And yet I keep taking them.
How Republican Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Irony so thick you could stand on it.
|20030203(Personal):Ontario Man Likes Hotwheels, Cats; Says Things Are Great|
I've learned a couple of things today.
Read More:nothing to see here, move along
|20030109(Personal):Does Cadbury Have No Shame?|
It is only the ninth of January. It is TOO EARLY FOR STUPID EASTER CANDY COMMERCIALS.
Even if they are the hilarious Cadbury Egg commercials. I like the bunny making
the clucking noises -- for some reason that cracks me up. This commercial was different,
but it was pretty funny anyways. Irrelevant to that, however, it is too early to be
thinking about rabbits.
You know, we almost need another event before Easter just to break up the Christmas/Easter
Oh wait, we already have one, Valentines Day. So it is definitely
way too early for rabbits. Put the rabbit back in the hat.
Erm... when is Easter this year?...
Now here's a car
worth lusting after: the 2003 Subaru Impreza STi as europe will
receive it. Gone are the ugly bug-eye headlights, replaced with
sleeker looking component modules. The intercooler scoop has been
increased in size, and the rear wing has been made more
business-like (one of my first predictions for the 2nd year WRX was
that the car would get a larger, RS-style wing -- I never dreamed
that Subaru would put a WRC wing on it). Oh, and the car has about
40 more horsepower than the current WRX. These and other, less
visible, changes were made in response to the needs of the world
rally championship team.
Right now there is no word as to if North America will see this
fantastic looking automobile -- I'd love to see one in a white
shell... or even to drive one. One can only hope.
If you are here because of the holiday newsletter we sent out, the
pictures you were promised are finally organized.
|20021220(Personal):Some Lessons Are Learned The Hard Way|
Pop quiz for all those hackers out there: what's wrong with this
command? Besides the fact that it was run from cron in the middle of
the night as root, I mean. (Broken up into multiple lines for
readability -- it was originally issued as one monster command from
here# rsh there 'cd /projects/team/task/results ; \
for i in * ; do \
if [ ! -h /net/here/projects/team/task/result/$i ] ; then \
echo Removing /projects/team/task/results/$i ; \
rm -rf $i & \
fi ; \
done ' &
Read More:wanna hint?
|20021128(Personal):Cool Camera Product|
Here is a cool product: the Pedco Ultrapod II. You
know, one of those would sure look nice under my camera.
|20021027(Personal):An ode to *?! Sun Microsystems|
I hate computers, I really do.
Let me count the ways that my SunPCi card irritates me:
Read More:there are several.
The Quest For Music is over -- success has been achieved!
Through my first
foray into the mystical world of ebay, I got myself one
of these SunPCi jobbies -- an AMD K6-2/400 on a PCI slot. It
is a full-fledged intel-compatible computer, and only needs
a few drivers to run things like Win98, WinNT, or Win2K.
Right now I have '98 and NT loaded -- the former for USB
jobs like my digital camera, the latter for playing music
since '98 plays music at half-speed for some stupid reason.
I was going to try Win2K to see if I could get the best of
both worlds, but that will have to come later.
Here is a screengrab of the sucker in action. I'll have to
set up a more impressive screengrab showing more unix-stuff
going on, but I guess olvwm just isn't very impressive.
Maybe I'll fire up KDE or gnome... or even CDE just to prove
it is really running on a Sun.
But I have my music back, and we all know that's what counts.
Now, all I need is a subwoofer...
There exists those who believe that Microsoft is the Evil Empire,
that it has tentacles of control everywhere, that nothing happens
without Microsoft either noticing, or approving.
Today I am a believer.
Today, I went into a Zeller's in search of Hot Wheels, and while
browsing around I came upon a collection of Magic 8-balls. Thinking
that I'd amuse my wife by asking it about email clients. After
much of the typical hedging (Ask Again Later), you can
imagine my dismay when it told me: Outlook Good
(The old, correct answer was Outlook Not So Good.)
So beware, no matter how small or insignificant you think you are --
Microsoft will get you!
|20020924(Personal):Days Go By|
There's this song on the radio by Dirty Vegas called Days Go By. When I first
heard it, I didn't think too much of it. Then I saw the video on MuchMusic.
Read More:Always More.
|20020731(Personal):Number One In A Search Engine|
Today, punching empirical proof of sturgeon's law into Google, you get
my splash page as the number one hit.
Truly a dubious distinction.
There's exciting site news coming sometime. Promise.*
*(That it's coming. I make no assurances that you will find it
even remotely exciting.)
|20020709(Personal):Whats On Your Desk Day 2002|
Well, it's time for that magical day again... yes, it's Whats On Your Desk Day 2002.
This is the fifth time we've celebrated this, and as with all maturing celebrations
there are going to be changes.
Read More:Always More.
The wife and I were pulling out of our cosy little subdivision the other
day, and we passed a late model sedan parked on the side of the street.
Read More:the power of observation
One day I'm driving home from a downtown client and I get behind this
car towing a trailer.
Read More:there is absolutely no point to this article
|20020609(Personal):Another Stupid Web Page|
Something a little different this time. A page about my cats. Let's be
entirely straight-up here: this is a page, with pictures, about my cats.
|20020606(Personal):I can count|
Today's M&M count:
I wonder where the half ones come from? I usually seem to get one or
two per bag.
- 7 yellow
- 5.5 orange
- 9 brown
- 12 green
- 10 blue
- 15 red
I saw on the Discovery Network once about how the Smarties people got
through all this study to decide what new colors to add and how various
mixes of colors look in people's hands (well they were using little paper
cups with about half a dozen smarties in them, but it's the same idea).
It got me wondering if they do studies to see how pleased consumers are
with their color mixture after they sort them.
|20020429(Personal):Happy April 29|
Just in case you forgot that this
was canada. It was only last week that we had a +30 heatwave and I was almost reaching
for the air condioner.
I'm going to be a rebel and not shovel it. I hope it will be gone soon.
I can't help thinking about my new house out there with no roof on it...
I was flipping around on the TV on sunday morning, and I came upon this
guy talking about Nostradamus...
(long discussion pointing out that Nostradamus was probably refering to
the Istar river with his "histar" prophecies, not Hitler)
...more than nine in ten of Nostradamus' predictions
have no known correspondance with any historical event since his
making them. And of the rest, more than 95% of "accurate" predictions can be written off
as historical coincidences due to impossibly vague predictions. So you
see that you can't live your life by Nostradamus. He's wrong 90% of the
time. He will lead you in the wrong direction.
Now on the other hand, the Bible...
I roared with laughter and kept on flipping. Kind of amazing what
some people will believe other people will believe.
A gratuitous desktop snapshot. After months of KDE and
that laptop, it feels good to be home at last.
|20011104(Personal):Geek Test Results|
I AM 40% GEEK.
I probably work in computers, or a history
deptartment at a college. I never really
fit in with the "normal" crowd. But I have
friends, and this is a good thing.
Take the GEEK Test at Fuali.com!
|20011023(Personal):Dealing With Reluctant Systems|
This is a true story.
Read More:Cool! A Story!
just had to share this. Sometimes the best way to prove your car's
real rallying heritage is to take it out and get it dirty. There is
a forced road through the bush that takes about ten minutes off of my
daily commute, and it has been raining pretty heavilly for the last
couple of days. Today, I came home down that road at Excessive
Speed(tm), caking the car with rich, thick mud -- note the drips from
the wheel wells.
Now that's what a rally car should look like. :)
Just to show how obsessive I really am, I've put up the pictures of
my HotWheels collection for you all to
enjoy and make fun of. Partially an excuse to use the new camera,
partially excercise for my script writing muscles, partially a
chance to play with my toy cars.
Just as a secondary exercise, I am planning to add an info-box to
the left bar which will show the last five or so cars I have purchased.
Just because I can, you see.
|20010709(Personal):Whats On Your Desk Day 2001|
Yes, it's What's-On-Your-Desk-Day 2001. Since I've just
been on vacation, my desk is pretty clean this morning.
Read More:This Year's List
|20010702(Personal):And in the news|
Alright, I think I stopped buying into the international convergence of news
sites. The US has their collective news heads up their collective news asses.
Read More:insert other foot
As you are probably aware, my employer is engaged in a
mandatory shutdown for the period of 2 July through 6 July. During
this time, we are using up some of our accrued vacation time so that
the company's financials look a little more favorable to Wall Street.
So, for the purposes of matters pertaining to my employer, I am
On Vacation next week, and as a result will not be at my desk,
will not be checking email or voice-mail, will have passed the duty
pager to someone else, and will have left my BlackBerry locked up in
my desk at work. In short, I will be unavailable.
If you find something of earth shattering importance to tell me, I'll
likely be sitting on my ass somewhere, trying hard to not think about
work issues on my own time.
Actually, I didn't send this literally -- but that's about what my
notice boiled down to.
I am probably going through some kind of second childhood, but I've rediscovered
Hot Wheels cars. While Christmas shopping for my wife's cousins (who are substantially
younger than we are), I discovered the Pike's Peak Celica, and I figured that
for a buck -- why not?
Read More:leading the way!
Yeah, gratuitous screenshots today, as well. Just a little insight
into what I spend most of my day looking at. That is an xearth on the left,
and a SunPCI dominating the right screen. I used to have the SunPCi
on its own third monitor, but it displays a little 500x500 "virtual mouse
pad" (my term for it -- dunno what Sun really calls it) that does not scale
properly to the SunPCi's window resolution; as a result, the mouse slides
around on the virtual mouse pad the same way that a real mouse slides
around on a real mouse pad. With the real mouse you pick it up and
put it down on the pad again, but with this thing you have to carefully
push the mouse back and forth between the borders to generally re-center
it on the virtual pad. And it was starting to piss me off.
I am starting to get annoyed with Konqueror's inability to display
<dd> tags properly (ie the same way that Netscape shows them) so for
the next little while I am going to change a bit the formatting for these
entries, with <p> tags instead of <br> tags. We shall see how that
Read More:Larger Images Inside
Gratuitous screenshot, just because. I like the xearth rotations
which show the pacific ocean... sometimes you get an orientation which shows
almost no land. That's one heck of a lot of water.
I also like the orientations on north america which show alaska
and especially glacier bay. Sometimes it seems hard for me to believe that
we were really there, and that the memories are actually real.
As you can see, I got KDE up and going over the
weekend. There are things I don't like -- I am thinking of writing an
opinion piece for NP called Komplaints which detail some of them once
I have lived with this thing for a little while -- but overall, it is
not too bad.
I am honestly not sure at this point if I will be abandoning the
old faithful, olvwm. I am actually finding I am enjoying some of the
eyecandy tricks more than I anticipated. Having the desktop automatically
select a different image every 60 minutes is nice, as is the color blending
from the top to bottom for the space surrounding the picture.
|20000720(Personal):Whats On Your Desk Day 2000|
Well what with everything going on at the time, it looks like
I somehow forgot to celebrate July 9th. Yes, that was the third
annual What's On Your Desk Day.
So to make up for that, I've decided to celebrate it today
Read More:Better late than never.
|19990709(Personal):Whats On Your Desk Day 1999|
Today is "Whats-on-your-desk-day".
Read More:A snapshot in time
|19980709(Personal):Whats On Your Desk Day 1998|
Today there is a survey question on Slashdot
on the neatness state of your desk. In response, all the geeks our there have
been inventorying thier desks -- making today the First Annual
Read More:So, what's on my desk?
Here's a reduced image of what my desktop looks like.
Read More:What is all that crap?
|19960801(Personal):Really Cool Wheels|
Something I wrote ages ago about my car.
Read More:Ancient Hstory Again?