Sunday, August 29, 2004

And here's Garrett again, staring down his arch-nemesis: The Evil Singing Star (that yellow and black & white thing on the left-hand side of the shot) Posted by Hello
We've got Garrett on a strict regimen of push-ups to help keep the baby flab from getting too pronounced. Actually, Garrett is really enjoying his tummy-time everyday. If we're not careful, he'll be crawling by 3 months!!! Posted by Hello
See! There's the bear and he just can't look away! Posted by Hello
Here's Garrett in the playpen. While he looks like he's smiling at Daddy, I think it's only because Daddy is standing behind the mobile-o-bears that so fascinates Garrett. Posted by Hello

4% alcohol, 20% feathers

As a reward for helping Dave with his move, he bought me a bottle of Duckstein beer yesterday. I didn't drink it after the move as I was going to save it for this afternoon and save it I did.

I'm not a huge fan of beer. If it's lighter than a stout, I'd rather not drink it. However, this Duckstein beer was fantastic! Granted, it was $2.35 a bottle at the LCBO, but still...

I was expecting something along the lines of the beer equivalent of Boddington's Stout, which is the most foul brew I've ever tasted. Duckstein's was smooth, tasted good and contained only the faintest hint of waterfowl.

Not a bad discovery based on the fact that I only wanted to try it because it sounded like some kind of reanimated poultry.


I just finished Sudeki for the Xbox. Luckily Garrett has been rather complacent today, so I was able to have a nice relaxing game afternoon while he slept.

Sudeki has been one of the oddest gaming experiences I've had lately. It wasn't a particularily long RPG, as it only took me about 24 hours to finish. It was a game that I really wanted to finish just to have it finished and also to see exactly how it played out. Unfortunately, the conclusion of the game was pretty much telegraphed from the opening cutscene and the story just wasn't really interesting enough to warrant a game as long as it was.

A ha! I have the perfect analogy. Sudeki is the videogame equivalent to my Everest book-on-CD. It's got an interesting base that they developers could have done wonders with, but the presentation is incredibly dull. Oh well. It's over and I can just trade it in now.

That said, the graphics were amazing. At least, the environmental graphics were. It was a real treat exploring the 3 different worlds in the game.

The character design, on the other hand, was horrible at best. I don't mind cartoony characters, but this game didn't even have well designed ones. Sigh. Not only that, there was really only one memorable character in the whole game and he didn't even get really interesting till the last quarter of the game.

I did like the combat system of the game though. It would have been nice if the melee aspect was sped up just a wee bit, but otherwise the combat was pretty fun.

I'm just glad I've finished the game so I can go and work on some really good ones like Ghosthunter and Tales of Symphonia... and Fable (in 3 weeks!)

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Moving is for Chumps...

Well, Dave & Kate are now moved from their lovely 4-foot tall apartment in Aurora to a much roomier one in Alliston. I was lucky and got to their place in Aurora this morning just as the truckload of really heavy things pulled away and off to Alliston. Woo! I just coordinated the removal of all of the miscelaneous detritis from the house and helped Kate's dad better load their truck. You'd think they'd never moved in their life... I mean, James would have died of shock from the sheer amount of room available for more stuff in the supposedly 'full' truck.

I had the honour of transporting Chumpy, Dave & Kate's cat, in my car from Aurora to Alliston. Dave kept warning me that she'd howl the entire time and drive me crazy. Then I reminded him that I have a 2-month old who was (and hopefully isn't anymore) colicy. The funniest part is that aside from some initial meows when we got moving, Chumpy barely made a peep the rest of the way.

It could have been my incredibly dry Book On CD that I was listening to that knocked her out though. It's a really interesting subject matter (an Everest expedition and lots of history surrounding it) but it has got to be the dullest Book On CD I've ever listened to. I mean, they read the dust jacket, for crying out loud! Sigh.

Friday, August 27, 2004


Hee hee... I was reading the comments on EBGames about Fable and this one guy is saying that the Xbox seems to be the console of choice for RPG's...

What with Fable and KOTOR and Sudeki this year, and Jade Empire and KOTOR 2 next year. Yay. 5 RPG's on one system over the course of 3 years. It's REALLY an RPG powerhouse...

Sigh. The PS2 probably has that many RPG's (not always good) come out every month.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Sticklers Unite!

I just finished reading the fantastic book "Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach To Punctuation" by Lynne Truss. It's a great book about the uses and abuses of punctuation in modern life. It's one of the most absolutely hilarious books I've read in some time. Granted, I think that the level of humour inherent in the book depends entirely on how much you can relate to the horror felt by the author at such gems as "BOOK'S FOR SALE", "I LIKE, TO DANCE" and other lovely examples of disgusting punctuation.

I've already ordered two copies to give away for Christmas presents to the sticklers in my family. Well, maybe I'll just give one copy away and keep the other for myself.

Fantastic book though. Absolutely fantastic. Of course, I'm now even more paranoid about whether each of these lovingly handcrafted posts is gramatically correct or not. Sigh...

And here's the joke that gives the book its title, just in case you haven't heard it.

'A panda walks into a cafe. he orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air. "Why" asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes toward the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder. "I'm a panda, he says at the door. "Look it up." The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.
"Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves."
So, punctuation really does matter, even if it is only occasionally a matter of life and death.'

Leggo my Project Ego

Fable has gone gold.


That's it.

You want to move WHERE?!

The last couple nights, while watching The Daily Show, I've noticed a particularily odd advertisement.

It's for Manitouwadge. Well, technically, it's for a home development from the late 80's that is being resold at astoundingly low prices.

I just got a chuckle out of how they were trying to pitch the town to us 'sophistimicated' Southwestern Ontarians.

"Come to Manitouwadge!

We have a new hospital! [Picture of Quonset hut and a helipad]

We have lots of exciting shops! [Picture of the local Valu-Mart grocery store]

We have a new high school! [Picture of something akin to a strip-mall]

Think of the money you'll save! [Mainly because you won't have anything to do during the 10 months of winter where you're cut off from the outside world]"

Of course, all the shots they show are of lovely forests in summer. Having lived up in Thunder Bay for 4-5 years, I know that they must have had an awfully fast camera to get those shots before the snow reappeared and the air crystallized.

That said, I have to admit that I would love to move back to Northern Ontario. Heck, if Julie said yes, I'd buy one of those $36900 homes in a heartbeat, just to get away from the madness that is SW Ontario.

Now, I do wonder what on earth is wrong with that development that they have so many of the homes available. Are there no bottoms to the houses? Are they above a haunted nickel mine? Did all of the residents disappear one dark day, a la the Mary Celeste; leaving their food still cooking on the oven, bubble baths drawn, movies not returned to Blockbuster on time...

One may never know. And of course, there's the fact that you'd live in Manitouwadge and would have to attempt to spell it everytime you entered a contest or filled out a form of some kind. Yeesh.

I can't wait for Garrett to go to school at this state of the art facility!

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Garrett: Human Pincushion

Today was Garrett's 2-month visit to the doctor and was it ever an ordeal.

I feel bad for the little guy.

First he has to get 3 needles (immunization time) and then the doctor thought he might have a hernia. Thankfully our doctor is someone who actually cares about her patients so she made sure we got in to see a pediatrician today. Luckily it's not a hernia, but it could be one eventually. We just need to keep an eye on his lower abdomen and hopefully he'll be ok by the time he turns 1.

We were worried he'd have to have surgery though. I don't want my little guy to have to have surgery at such a young age!

The other thing we found out today is that what we thought was a bruise on his chest from being passed around so much isn't a bruise at all.

Nope. Much like the beloved Krusty the Klown from The Simpsons, Garrett is the proud owner of a superfluous third nipple. I knew there'd be some kind of effect from standing too close to Ol' Leaky the Microwave during that year I lived with Dave... Sigh...

Fun with baths and shirts

We were trying to get Garrett dressed this morning and he got his head stuck in his shirt.

It was one of those moments where you feel really bad for the guy, but on the flip side, he looked so funny I had to go and take a picture. Try as we might, we just could not get that shirt off his head! Of course, his rather grumpy mood and flailing about didn't help matters much either. Posted by Hello
Garrett was having a really fun time in the bath tonight. He was just going nuts.

He must have sat in his little bathtub for about 10-15 minutes, just kicking away and splashing water all over the place. He wasn't very grumpy at all while he was doing this and we just thought it was cute :)

Of course, I had to videotape it so when he's 20 I can show his girlfriend little AVI clips of Garrett splashing around in the tub, naked as a jaybird :) Posted by Hello

Compile THIS!

This is a pretty cool little program. It compiles your HTML, XML, PHP and other web acronyms so that a) your site will load faster and b) people can't just view your source code and swipe your delicate, hand-crafted code.

Of course, it's a program I'll probably never use, but it's still a cool program.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Spam spam go away

Gah. I don't know how it happened, but it seems as though I've started to fall prey to the comment spammers that have made a mockery of Taka's homepage comments. They're not too bad yet. I had the one below which may or may not be from some random visitor (go vegans!) but then today I had another one that said, "Ah Hell Yeah!" or some such nonsense and it was anonymous and likely appended to some random posting from a year ago.

It could just be random visitors but it could also be a harbinger of doom, er, spam. At least it hasn't reached the 'I like cigarettes.' craziness of Taka's comment spam.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

It's Baby Picture Day!

Last night Garrett and I spent some quiet time up in our bedroom. I was reading on the bed and I had the G-man propped up on my knees and he nodded off right quick. This is pretty much what I saw most of last night whenever I looked down from my book. Posted by Hello
Garrett doesn't like hats. About 30 seconds after this picture was taken he started freaking out and didn't stop till the hat was taken off his head. Winter should be interesting... Posted by Hello
Garrett got this wacky mat/toy contraption last weekend and he loves it. He'll whack the little toys and as long as someone comes to squeeze the little star so it plays music, he's happy. Posted by Hello
Look what we caught in our baby trap! Too bad he's not in season. We had to throw him back... :) Posted by Hello
Here's a shot of Garrett with his Great-Grandma Swanson (my mom's side) that we took last weekend at the Wager/Swanson baby shower. Yes, he's wearing a name tag with his name on it. Posted by Hello

Super Garrett Entertainment System

Julie has nobody to blame but herself...

She brought to my attention the other day that there was a garage sale occurring today which had, amongst other items, an Super Nintendo and games. Of course, at hearing this news, I had to make sure I stopped in on my way to work to ensure that no rare find was missed.

We popped over to the garage sale and while I missed the sale of the Playstation (which I did not know about) the SNES was still for sale. And sell it did... to me!

Man, did I hit the motherlode. I couldn't buy the stuff piecemeal, but here's what my $30 got me.

1. A Super Nintendo with RF adapter and AC adapter (which hopefully won't buzz when I plug it in like the one I currently have hooked up to the SNES does).

2. Two non-chewed SNES controllers (my current set seems to have been used as a teething device by its previous owners).

3. A copy of Mario Paint, complete with SNES mouse and SNES mousepad.

4. Some kind of cartridge and system cleaning kit.

A couple yawn-o-rific games such as:

5. Aladdin (woopdedoo).

6. The Jungle Book Game (woopdedoo encore).

7. Olympic Summer Games (quite apropos given the Games in Athens).

And the gems of the find, which include:

8. Donkey Kong Country (Rare game design at its most banana-filled).

9. Super Mario All-Stars (What's this? The first three Super Mario Bros. games on one cartridge? And enhanced for the SNES? Wahoo!).

10. Super Mario Kart (I'm looking forward to trying this out as my Mario Kart experience just started this past year with Double Dash on the Cube).

11. Super Star Wars (A good Star Wars game if ever there was one).

12. Super Return of the Jedi (Also not a bad SW game).

13. Super Mario World (yay).

And something I didn't even realize I'd picked up till tonight when I got home from work and checked out my haul:

14. Frickin' Zelda: A Link To The Past!!!! WOOOOOOT!

Oh, and I forgot to mention the inclusion of:

15. A Super Gameboy unit, which acts much like my GBPlayer on the cube, only it doesn't play GBA games and hooks up to the SNES instead of the Cube.

That's my haul. I'm going to sequester myself in the bedroom tonight with these treasures and regress even further into childhood than usual :) Of course, I also told Julie that this was a present for Garrett for when he grew up a bit.

I'm really getting to enjoy seeing the look of horror that comes over her face when I say things like that...

Julie did say that she was glad I only spent $30 on all that stuff instead of going out and spending a lot more on it piece-meal... and she conceded that it did make me really happy to get such a deal, so she shouldn't make a big deal about it :)

I just remember almost buying a Super Gameboy unit a year ago for about $25-30 at Microplay and deciding not to... I'm so glad I didn't!

Gotta love garage sales... This find was pretty much what I always hope, somewhere in the back of my mind, that I'll find while looking at all the other various tchochkes people insist on selling.

Woo! Now to go BBQ some steak.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Nature... In A Park!

You know Acton is small town when the local paper has the headline, on the front page no less, of:

"Nature Found In Park"

and has an extreme closeup of a snail...

Heck, here's the copy in its entirety.

"A snail makes its ponderous way across the walking path in the quiet of Willow Park Ecology Centre in Norval, where life seems so much more tranquil than the traffic which zooms by on Hwy. 7 just outside the park. The park is often described as one of Halton Hills' best-kept secrets, where naturalists visit to enjoy the undisturbed beauty of nature. "

Don't forget the stunning picture of the flower found adjacent to the snail portrait.

And if you flip deeper into the picture, you'll find the stunning expose of the dragonfly that SITS ON PLANTS! AAAAH!

Twilight Zone Time

Ok. This is creepy.

I'm sitting at my computer, with Garrett on my lap, with a desktop wallpaper of Garrett, playing a computer game with a main character called Garrett...

When will it stop!?!


If you know my culinary tastes, you probably are aware that I really, really, really like spicy food. I mean, load up the jalepenos, slather on the Frank's Hot Sauce, toss in a few habenero peppers... I like my food to be packed full of Scoville units.

That said, I also have a predeliction for Subway subs. Julie & I tend to get them about once every week or two instead of a pizza or hamburgers... if nothing else, they're better for you and they taste great too. I have my own specialty sub that I order which I call "The Gutbuster". It's just roast chicken, chopped up and then doused with whatever spicy sauce they happen to have on hand. Toss on a few jalapeno peppers and some cheese and I'm in heaven.

Well, here's my thing. Every year Subway comes out with the Buffalo Chicken sub. It's the same as "The Gutbuster" only it has Frank's Hot Sauce on it, which is sublime. The only problem is that they only have this for about a month each year. After that, the Frank's goes back to wherever it lives for the other 11 months of the year and I'm stuck having to settle with the southwest chipotle sauce, which is moderately spicy, but really has no kick whatsoever to it.

Anyway, today I went out with Julie & Garrett for a walk around town and we decided that we'd have Subway for lunch. It turns out that there's this new sub called the Baja Chicken sub. I got it and man, is it good. I essentially got "The Gutbuster" but this time with Baja sauce.

I don't know exactly what makes up the Baja sauce, but it's sort of like Frank's Hot Sauce and Ranch Dressing had a baby. It's got a great kick to it, like Frank's, but it's also nice and creamy, like Ranch... All I can say is that it's yummmmmmy. Of course, it'll only be around for a month and then I'll to go back to *yawn* Southwest Chipotle sauce, but Julie's already told me to write a letter to Subway to see if they'll keep it on their sauce board for longer.

I think she just doesn't want to hear me yammer on about how good the Baja sauce and Frank's sauce is and how it's such a shame they're not there all the time. Hmm...

Be vewwy quiet... I'm hunting pwesidents...

I just finished watching a very interesting documentary called The Hunting Of The President. It's all about the various attempts over the course of Bill Clinton's presidency to impeach or otherwise discredit him.

It's definately not a Republican-friendly film, but heck, I remember the whole Starr investigation kafuffle and thinking it was a waste of time then and I still think so now, even more so after watching this film. I will also say that the film does really go out of its way to portray the Republicans as slavering fiends from hell, bent on controlling the US and THE WORLD!!! But I do think that the core theme of Clinton being the subject of a witch-hunt does hold weight, even with the bias of the documentary.

Not only that, it reenforces my bafflement that so much time and energy could have been spent on the Whitewater scandal and the various sex scandals, all the way up to impeachment proceedings.

Now we have a whole panoply of reasons for why the current administration in Washington should be up for impeachment or some other disciplinary measure (intelligence failures, misleading the public, police state actions, outright conflicts of interest with corrupt corporations, STARTING A WAR BASED ON FAULTY AND MISLEADING INTELLIGENCE) ... and yet the media in the States balks at the mere notion of critical thinking in its press corps...

Sigh. Some things just really get my dander up. I should wash my hair more...

Must... Not... Go... On... Political... Ramble!!!

Alien vs. Predator vs. Jason Bourne

Ah... The joys of the mythical 'day off'. I decided to celebrate my impending Friday off by watching a few of the movies I haven't had the luxury of seeing yet this summer.

The Bourne Supremacy was pretty cool. It was essentially wall-to-wall action with Matt Damon either beating up people with a rolled-up magazine or driving like a maniac with a broken leg and bullet holes in him. I liked it, but I have the feeling that it's really just a filler between The Bourne Identity and the yet-to-be-made Bourne Ultimatum. Not nearly as much plot or character development in this installment as in Identity. Oh well.

After watching that I decided to see if Alien vs. Predator was as bad as I figured it was going to be. Surprise, surprise... it wasn't! I actually quite enjoyed it. The concept is essentially one of a Predator paintball course stocked with Aliens and lots of lethality. Humans are pretty much there to serve as snacks and cannon fodder. Given the fact that the movie probably had a pretty small budget and a cast of nobodies, it turned out to be rather fun to watch.

No Oscars are in its future, but AvP is definately a lot better than, oh, Jason X or other low-budget horror/sci-fi flicks of its ilk. The biggest complaint I'd seen ahead of time was a lot of forumites griping that it was only PG-13 instead of R-rated, but frankly, I don't think it really mattered. It was a little more campy than either Predator or Alien usually are, but it wasn't completely silly or anything. *shrug*

Of course, the best thing about watching movies on your computer is that if they start to get a little dull or you're just not really paying attention, you can always bust out a little Spider Solitaire and have the movie running in the corner. I ended up winning about 5-6 games in a row tonight. I should play Spider Solitaire while watching movies more often!

Well, it's after 3am and we're going to get Garrett a mobile for the crib tomorrow, so I should probably head off to bed and get a few chapters of the latest Harry Dresden behind me before slumber overtakes me.


Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Funky Flash

Here is further proof that Kerry loves Edwards. I mean, it's on the internet. It must be true!

And while I'm posting wonky Flash websites, check out this one. It uses the MS Sound Recorder as a mixing board to make a pretty funky song with the basic Windows noise files.

I didn't know I'd have to fight... your daughter!

Alas, there is a real derth of online commercial sites. By this, I mean that the old sites that used to host all the various commercials, both funny and risque, have by and large been shut down by the powers that be.

I found this cool site in my e-mail today though. It's got some funny commercials that either aren't on TV anymore or haven't been on TV yet. I personally like the Kung Phone and Typhoo commercials.

Mi mi mi mi

This is kind of neat.

You type your text into the box and the worlds greatest (and not so greatest) singers will sing it back to you.

Some of the words aren't in the database, but it's kind of nifty.

Just thought I'd toss that up for anyone's amusement.


I don't know what's going on in Sweden, but they seem to really have an itinerant fabric designer with a fascination for bugs. First I get that crazy ant set at Ikea, now this.

I picked up a cushion/pillow covered in flies today. It's crazy comfy, so I just love it, but the fact it had great big flies all over it cinched the deal.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Just release it and get it over with...

First the source code for the game gets stolen, now this.

The wunderkind at Valve released the ENTIRE SCRIPT for Half-Life 2 this week while rolling out their pre-load to cyber cafe owners. Yeesh. At this rate, even I could put together a working version of the game before its official release given all the pieces of it that have gotten leaked in one form or another.

Not that I'd be able to run it on ye olde P4, but I could sell it to street vendors in Singapore and be able to afford the upgrade :)

Pee on me, you go to solitary!

Last night was the first night Garrett slept in his crib as opposed to the cradle in our room. It's like he moved from Maximum Security to Solitary because of good behaviour.

He seemed to fare pretty well, given that he was all alone in his own room and in a bed he could actually stretch out in and not get his arm stuck in the bars.

That was the biggest problem with the cradle. He slept like the baby he is, but almost every night or even afternoon he'd invariably get his arm wedged into the bars of the cradle. Of course, if anything happened and his startle reflext was triggered, he'd whack his hand on the bars and cry, which caused him to flail more, thus getting his arm even further entangled in the bars and generally making him rather pouty.

I do kind of miss my nightly ritual of disentangling him from his prison while on my way to bed. Oh well. Now I can teach him how to turn on his crib-mounted fish tank instead!

Monday, August 16, 2004

Pretty Pictures

I added a new link on the sidebar that I really should have had there all the time.

It's the Astronomy Picture of the Day site. It's got tonnes of gorgeous shots from the Hubble Space Telescope and also from amateur astronomers. Not only are the images stunning to look at, there is a veritable plethora of information accompanying each picture for those of easily piqued curiosity.

I feel kind of bad though. I found an amazing nebula shot and it's displaced Garrett as my desktop... for now. I'm such a horrible father!

[Most guys like pictures of pretty girls on their computers. I prefer pictures of space dust. Geeky? Me? Nah. Ed.]

Saturday, August 14, 2004


Hooray for Noel!

Due to his crafty coding skillz, Notl33t actually looks somewhat decent in Firefox. I guess this means I'll have to treat him & Yvette to a day of videogames, baby noises and food... if they ever can make it out to Acton, that is :)

Not L33t. Legible in at least 2 browsers!

Babies from the sky!

Today we experienced a brief baby shower, followed by periods of gifts and a chance of yummy food.

The Swanson/Wager side of the family got together this afternoon at my uncle & aunt's place in Guelph and we got to see some people we haven't seen in a while, like my cousin Derek and his family. The cool thing is that he's living up near Alliston, which is where Dave & Kate are moving to AND he's a real estate agent. Very handy person to know in the new town you're moving to :)

My grandparents on got to see Garrett for the first time and he was spectacularly well behaved for being passed around like a hot potato. It was a gorgeous day and we had a good time.

I also finished up the leadership conference in the morning and it was an excellent experience. I can't say enough good things about the Willow Creek Leadership Summit. I am already trying to figure out how to go to it next year. I'm stoked enough that I am contemplating trying to get some people together to go to Chicago!

Yup. It was that good.

Friday, August 13, 2004

The gift that keeps on giving

Now Julie has my flu/death cold. Woo! I am such a giving husband. I share everything!

I feel bad because I brought the plague to our doorstep. Not only that, Julie can't pump herself full of 9 different sinus and cold medications due to the breastfeeding. Bleh.

Telehealth pretty much said to see a doctor if it's still around in 24 hours. We'll see. Hopefully she'll get a lot of sleep tonight and be a-ok in the morning.

Sigh. Tomorrow is our big Wager/Swanson baby shower thingy too. Go figure.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Parcel Madness!

On the Amazon shipping debacle front, I finally received my Hellboy DVD and Blood Rites book. [Hmm... I just saw that my purchases are kind of eerie. I mean, Hellboy and Blood Rites... Next thing you know I'll be ordering sacrificial goats on Amazon to complete the order. Ed.] Of course, it's the free shipment they sent me yesterday, not the one I paid for over a week and a half ago, but hey, I'm glad to have either one.

Now, do I finish reading the last 200 pages of the book I'm reading now, or do I put it down and dive into the Dresden book? Decisions, decisions...

Final (hopefully) cold update

As for my cold, I've still got a congested head and a lovely cough, but I can actually function like a normal human... more or less...

It's funny though. I can barely hear my own voice, but noises coming from outside my own head are perfectly clear. All I hear when I talk is this low hum and some buzzing in the roof of my mouth... Gotta love completely plugged eustachian tubes.

Hopefully I'll be more or less better tomorrow. Man, I don't wish this cold on anyone. Nasty stuff. At least I was able to actually hold Garrett today without fear of him melting away a la Raiders of the Lost Ark when I breathed near him...

Conference, shmonference

I actually ventured out of the house today and attended the Willow Creek Leadership Summit conference down in Stoney Creek. Unlike the last 'leadership' conference I attended in May, this one is actually very good. We're just getting the satellite uplink from Chicago, but they've done a really good job of it and I've been impressed so far with the people they had speaking.

The good thing is that while the conference is aimed mainly at pastors and the church crowd, it is also being seen by a lot of business people as well, so again, unlike the farce that was the May conference, it's full of good facts and interesting concepts. Heck, I've actually taken about 6-7 pages of notes, and I never take notes at these conferences.

Not only that, but they were interesting enough to keep my sick, doped-up-on-painkillers self not only awake but completely attentive for the whole 8-9 hours that it went for today. And I still have another day and a half to go, but I'm looking forward to it.

Tomorrow they're having the president of the University of Southern California speak as well as one of the founders of Yahoo! and another business guy. Should be neat.

The only downside of today was that I got dragged off to this horrid 'chinese' buffet for lunch. I was scared to eat the jello, that's how bad it was. Granted, it was only $6 per person, so you get what you pay for... Hopefully tomorrow we'll go to somewhere that has real food.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

The things people will do for a G-mail account...

My good buddy Tony from Sarnia has finally joined we, the ranks of the bloggers, with his brand new blog, Techie Rants.

He works at an ISP in Sarnia and will probably spend most of his time complaining about the stupid calls he gets. Should be fun :)

Oh, I'll add him to the sidebar since I'm such a nice guy.

Not l33t, now with 50% more baby pictures and 30% less disease!

I love this shirt. Too bad he's probably going to outgrow it in 3 days. Posted by Hello
Garrett is definately a lot more alert these days. He seems to like both his swing and his aqua chair a lot. Posted by Hello
Ok. I can REALLY see how Garrett looks like my dad in this picture. Freaky! Posted by Hello

Meds R Us

Well, guess who stayed home from work AGAIN?


Unlike the last few times I've had the death cold, I actually went to the doctor today and now I'm on antibiotics for the next few days. I think I actually feel worse now since I took the two pills for today than I did before, but my head feels a bit better.

I was about THIS close to going to emerg last night just because I was up all night blowing my nose and waiting for my head to burst. Thankfully my fever seems to have wandered far, far away and won't come back. If I'm lucky, I'll actually be able to go to this conference for the next few days, but I'm going to go snooze now and get lots of rest and fluids. And Jello.

Gotta love Jello. Especially if you make it with ginger ale!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Cold update

I'm feeling a bit better today. My appetite is finally starting to come back. I have had about 1/2 a package of Kraft Dinner since Sunday afternoon. That, and a lot of tylenol and water and ginger ale. Thankfully my joints aren't sore today so I no longer feel like a 90 year old with arthritis anymore.

I think the fever, which was topping out at 100.9 last night, may have finally broken for good. My head still feels like a train ran over it, but I'm somewhat lucid now. Woo!

At least I have the rest of today to relax and get better. Tomorrow I'm hoping to be able to go back to work. Man, I must be sick if I am looking forward to work :)


Of course, as I predicted, my Kill Bill v.2 and Spongebob set did indeed arrive today, while Hellboy and the Dresden book are nowhere to be seen.

I called Canada Post, but it seems that they don't know where the package is either. It was sent to the Burlington sorting facility for some strange reason, and it was scanned SOMEWHERE on the 8th, but other than that, nobody seems to know where it is.

Sigh. I'm hoping that it'll show up soon. I really want to read that book. The worst thing was that Canada Post told me I needed to get Amazon to contact them and start up a tracking file, but you can't actually call Amazon since there are no listed numbers for them anywhere. I hope they actually read the e-mail I sent them and get this sorted out.

What have I learned from this? Never have anything ship from Amazon when there is a stat holiday looming. It'll take forever to arrive!

Monday, August 09, 2004

This'd make a nice birthday/christmas present

I would LOVE to be the recipient of this shirt.

And for a closer look...

Stupid Canada Post

I'm getting really ticked with Canada Post. I had the Hellboy DVD and the latest Harry Dresden book shipped out August 1st from Amazon. According to the CP parcel tracker, it wasn't even processed till last Wednesday and while I can understand that the 2nd was a holiday, it should have gotten here by now.

I was hoping I could read that new Dresden book today while I rested. Alas, no. Of course, if my Kill Bill v.2 and Spongebob Squarepants collections arrive before the book and Hellboy, I'm going to be rather ticked...

Yeah, I like Spongebob. Sue me.

Fever dreams...

I hate trying to sleep when I'm running a fever. My mind just races and I can't shut it off. Then there are the dreams/nightmares. If they were cool scary nightmares, that'd be ok, but they tend to be very annoying instead.

Last night as I tossed and turned on the couch I was stuck in some kind of prolonged episode of American Chopper. I HATE American Chopper, but I think my brain had latched onto it since I saw a bit of it last night while trying to stay concious at work... Bleh.

Today has been alternately better and worse than yesterday. Thankfully I'm not at work, which means I can sleep when I can, but unfortunately I haven't been sleeping too much. My temperature keeps bouncing around betweek 99.6 and 100.7 F. Bleh again.

I hate the Death Cold. It's not fun. On the upside though, I did watch a lot of CSI today.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Death Cold Strikes Back

Remember the good ol' Death Cold that likes to stop off in my sinuses about once a year? Well, it looks like it's arrived today.

I felt perfectly fine last night when I went to bed. I woke up this morning with a somewhat scratchy throat and by the time work rolled around this afternoon, Julie was telling me I should just stay home. Of course, last minute coverage on a Sunday is nigh impossible to get, so I ended up at work, hepped up on Tylenol Sinus and just tried to make it through the shift.

Alas, I couldn't go home early so I just got home now. I'm going to take some Neo-Citran or Tylenol Sinus Nighttime and see if that'll knock me out. I'm going to sleep on the couch downstairs so I don't give Julie or Garrett this monstrosity of an illness. Thankfully I've booked off tomorrow so I can just convalesce at home and be right as rain on Tuesday.

Hmm... according to my thermometer, I'm running a temperature of 99.6 F... woo!

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Geek Post #99924

Can't wait for the upcoming PSP? Need to play your PS1 games on the road?

Never fear! Some geek with WAY too much time on his hands had made his own portable Playstation! Yeepers!

Of course, if you want him to build one for you, it'll cost you about $500 US, but it's still neat to see what people can cobble together on their own.
Garrett seemed to really like this sporty outfit. When we put it on him, he 'christened' it with the biggest spit-up yet! Posted by Hello
Here's Garrett with my mom, his grandma... you know the drill. This time he's actually happy...  Posted by Hello
Here is Garrett with his great-grandparents on Julie's side. The sad thing is that this was as calmed down as he got when we were trying to take his picture with them that morning... Posted by Hello

Knee Deep in the Chugs

Well, I tried out Doom 3 last night and amazingly, smoke did NOT pour from my pathetic little CPU. I do exceed the minimum system requirements, but just barely.

I was actually pretty impressed at how well it does run, given that you need a Cray to fully appreciate it. As Tycho said in his newspost on Wednesday, I believe, at the levels I'm running it at it looks like a pretty nice looking FPS, but nothing too special. If I could crank up the resolution and the Antialiasing, then I'd get the movie-quality rendering that everyone's oohing and aahing over.

My big problem with it at the moment is twofold.

1) The sound chugs. I found that I had to skip most of the cutscenes and voice recordings, conversations, etc. since the sound would loop and eventually just skip parts of conversations. After I left the game running for a bit, this did even out. I might need to clear a little bit of space from my system... I found in the past that when this happened it tended to go away after I had 10 gigs free or more. We'll see...

2) It's DARK. I know it's supposed to be dark, what with there being so many spooky scary things happening, but I'm just at the beginning and I can't see anything. It could just be my crappy monitor though. It's so out of whack with the way things are supposed to be I'm not too surprised.

So I'll probably fiddle around with Doom 3 a little bit more. I want to at least see how the monsters look before I give it the ol' heave-ho until my next system upgrade.

I'm definately NOT planning on upgrading my system now though. So far Doom 3 is really the only thing on it that is giving it a run for it's money and even it is playable. Not very playable, but it's playable. I still have about 3-4 other games on the system that I'm working on anyway and they run fine, so unless I win the lottery, no upgrade anytime soon.

Now, when Half-Life 2 comes out... :)

Camp Update

Well, I survived my camp day. It was actually a pretty good 24 hrs or so. The guy I had to look after was pretty cool and he got me walking all over the place, which is good. I got up to the camp at 7am on Thursday and by 8am he had me walking all over the back 40.

We also went for a walk up the road to look at some of the cows there and after about 45 minutes Cam drove by because someone had called the camp to let him know that he had two guests on the loose, but it was just us :)

The best part of looking after the guy was that he LOVED to go on van rides. This meant that I got to drive around all over the Bruce Peninsula, which is something I highly enjoy myself. The fun part was that I let him navigate. We'd just come to a crossroads somewhere and he'd pick which direction to go. Somehow on Thursday night we ended up in Kincardine, but that was fine since we got to walk along the beach and then we drove up past the Bruce Nuclear to Port Elgin to see the sunset. I had never seen the big wind turbines... Man, they're impressive!

I also gave him an astronomy lesson in the evening since it was such a beautiful night and he wanted to look at the stars. I do love being in the Bruce in the summertime.

On Friday we did more walking and I also let him navigate on our van ride, which landed us in Wiarton of all places. We also got trapped at the Tim Hortons because we couldn't back our van out due to the lineup for the drive-thru. Luckily someone let us out or we'd still be stuck there, waiting for someone to not zoom up behind us.

So it was good. I got lots of fresh air and exercise and also got to see some parts of the Bruce I'd never seen before. Hooray!

The only bad part is that I have to go back to work this afternoon, and yesterday was my only day off until next week and I didn't get home till after 5pm. AND I'm stuck in a conference for the last half of the week next week too. Gah! No rest for the wicked, I guess.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Why do I do this to myself?

Well, I've signed up for another tour of duty at the camp. The nice thing is that I'm going to be doing this elite mercenary one-on-one job with someone they're doing respite for.

The bad news is that I have to be on the road at 5am on Thursday and I'm not getting back till sometime Friday afternoon. The good news is that I'm being paid hourly to do this, so we'll have a good chunk of change in a couple weeks from this.

I feel bad leaving Julie home with Garrett for a day and a half. She is going to be hanging out with her relatives tomorrow night though, so as long as Garrett doesn't go completely nuts overnight, it should be fine...

I just have to remind myself that this is some good money for us in our time of need :)

Oh, I apologize for not updating or commenting on anyone's blogs since the weekend, my own included. Between Garrett, work and getting ready for this trip up to Paisley tomorrow, I just haven't spent much time near the computer.

I've pretty much been reading the comics daily and playing a bit of Spider Solitaire at 5am when Garrett is up and fussy and that tends to knock him out. Anything more is asking too much.

I will have some new pictures of the screamin' meanie to put up when I get back. In the meantime, try to figure out amongst yourselves how he was able to poop and get it on his head...

Monday, August 02, 2004

Computer Turntable

I saw a little segment on Tech TV this weekend about a sort of electronic turntable/mixing board/DJ program that you could download... but I forget what it's called and I can't find it easily in the 5 minutes I've poked around on the net so far.

Does anyone know of one that lets you mix MP3's, match beats and do funky DJ stuff on your computer? It looked really cool and I've always been interested in turntablism and just generally doing cool scratchy noises, so I wouldn't mind giving this a shot.

If I find it, I'll let you know.

[I told you I'd let you know. I found a couple, but Atomix MP3 was the one I was looking for. Come see me at the club for my next show.]

G4/Tech TV

The other thing I wanted to comment on from this weekend was that I finally got a chance to check out the 'new' G4/Tech TV on the in-law's satellite.

It's interesting. There are some of the old Tech TV shows, like Call For Help and The Screensavers which deal with general tech issues and news. That's fine.

Then there are the 3-4 different game related shows, like Electric Playground, that are aimed more at the hardcore gamer than anyone.

There are also little news blurbs that pop up here and there like the tickers on Newsworld but with game news instead.

That's cool, but here's the thing.

While someone like myself would actually really enjoy watching the new Tech TV all day long, I know that I'm by no means a majority. I mean, it's cool to see new tech news and get game coverage galore, since I don't hang out at EB anymore and can't geek out as much as I used to. This would give me somewhere I can geek out vicariously instead of watching Trading Spaces reruns.

For someone like my father-in-law though, who is interested in the techy side of things but could give two figs about games, the new style of the channel is probably a real downer. There's just too much game stuff now, and I never thought I'd ever say that.

I came to this conclusion when I turned it on at 10pm on sunday night to see a round table discussion/phone-in show hosted by three people who looked no older than 19. Even I was getting annoyed at how they were trying to jazz up the conversation by trying to act all hip and cool. They should know that their target audience is neither! Just tell us about the neat new features and such, don't try to act like having the latest video card will make us the coolest kid on the block.

Also, watching a bunch of people playing a game for 10-15 minutes was lame back when YTV used to do it on their Top 10 Arcade show back in the day. It's even lamer now. I don't mind seeing some clips of the game in motion, but I do not want to have to sit there watching some guy playing a game and having the host make idiotic comments about either the game or the guy's sucking at it.

I dunno. Maybe it's just that latent curmudgeon gene kicking in again.

I did like the half-hour 'History of Doom' program they had. Must... upgrade... computer...

Brocky Goats Gruff

We were out yesterday for dinner at Julie's grandparents' house. It was a delightful afternoon/evening of having lots of other people take care of Garrett and letting us not have to. I even got a chance to finish reading my Summer Stephen King Book, which I'd almost forgotten to do this year. From A Buick 8 was a decent King novel. Nothing too special, but it was interesting.

Anyway, I was sitting there on the deck, reading my book and as I was stroking my beard I felt a kind of pointy hair. I pulled out this hair and it was like no other hair on my beard. It wasn't very long, but it was really hard and wiry. I could have poked someone's eyes out with it, had they let me. I could have rotisseried a chicken on it, if there were really small chickens around for me to skewer with it.

It's just odd since my beard is rather non-lethal except for that one hair. Maybe I'll grow another one and be able to use it for a quill pen or something.