Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Till we run out of cake!

Portal is awesome. One of the best video game endings in recent memory. That is all :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Life at the zoo


Wow, it's been all summer since I wrote in here.

So I've been camping all summer, it was great. Lots of pics up on flickr. Last trip it was 2 degrees at night and I nearly froze my ass off.

I've been cycling a lot, back and forth to work mostly. It takes me about an hour to go one way, 16km. Trying to do that 3 times a week nets me about 100km/wk. So since I started doing this consistently in August, I've lost 20lbs. I also picked up a recumbent trike, which makes the ride so much more fun and enjoyable. I think this is key to using exercise as a weight loss tool, to make it fun, and make it regular, which is why this has worked so well for me. The time I spend cycling into work is time I would have spent commuting anyway, so it doesn't feel like I've spent any time out of my day.

I actually started playing world of warcraft again. I know, it's a huge waste of time, and it seems like going back to that game is a step backwards. However, it's just a different way to waste time. Some people watch TV, some people read books, some people play xbox, some people yak on their phones. I play wow. The game itself isn't all that great, but the people I get to work together with and talk to make it an interesting social experience.

Work is crazy, like usual. The project I'm working on is winding down, so I may finally be moving onto something else soon. we'll see.

I've booked train tickets home to PEI for Christmas. I haven't been home in a year, since we didn't go there this summer, or last Christmas. I'm sure Loralei's parents will be a little upset since we're gone from the 20th to the 31st. But maybe we can get together with them in the new year. It'll be a nice train ride home, I booked a deluxe double bedroom, on the newer model train, so its nice and posh. I can spend my time at the bar car, watching the plasma tv. Also probably watch stuff on the laptop, like finishing up watching my full metal alchemist series in divx. :)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Oot and Aboot

Another great weekend. I guess I didn't write about the last couple weekends here, so I'll recap.

We went for our first camping trip this year at Bon Echo. It was great! somehow we didn't forget anything. The site was extra large, 2 minutes walk away from the shoreline, and fairly private. We went for a 5 hour hike on the abes and essens trail. We just did the 2nd loop, the 3rd would have been way too long. The bugs were INSANE. We narrowly missed being carried off and eaten by continually applying bugspray. I'm sure later in the summer it won't be so bad. We did miss the clifftop walk, but Bon Echo is relatively close, so we can come back anytime this summer.



This Saturday was Jeremy's birthday. So we headed out for some chineese food at the new hong shing, and played a new board game based on bohnanza.

On Sunday Loralei and I went to Bolt castle, in the middle of the 1000 islands. Pretty interesting. I haven't posted the pictures yet, but I think there's some good ones there. The castle was built right at the turn of the century, and has been abandoned for several years until 1970-ish, so it's in pretty rough shape on the inside. The bridge authority has taken ownership and is slowly restoring it.

We also headed out to Bushtakah to get Loralei a pair of hiking shoes, and I got a water filtration system. So theoretically now I can pump this thing and get potable water out of dirty brown lake water rife with beaver fever. We'll test it out next weekend when we go to Achray.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Open letter to CTV

I hate your ass. I'm primed to watch the season finale of Lost. Now I have to find something else to do while you air 2 hours of shitty american idol programming before the second half of the Lost finale. What was wrong with airing 2 hours of lost in a row?

Also, your commercials aired in SD widescreen format suck. please tell your advertisers to either start making commercials in HD widescreen, or in full frame. black bars at the top, bottom, AND sides is NOT cool. i pay for a gigantic widescreen, and the ad takes up maybe 1/4 of the screen. it looks bad.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Back on the fitness track

So, I've started morphing into a fatass over the past few years. I decided i should do something about it. Went back to the gym, changed my diet. started losing weight, gaining muscle. It's not actually very hard to do, you just have to keep doing it, and be patient.

I was reading this guys article, and he's had some really great results in a similar workout to what I'm doing.
-I work out at the gym twice a week for half an hour.
-I work out every muscle group.
-I do the exercise nice and slowly to maintain constant, even pressure. 2 seconds up, 3 seconds down.
-I cycle to work whenever possible, and take walks freqently.
-I avoid starchy/high-carb foods such as potatoes, pasta, rice. when possible.
-I avoid large meals, in favor of more frequent smaller meals. This gives a more even bloodsugar level during the day, and sugar crashes.
-I avoid eating for 2 hours before bedtime. if you eat directly before you go to bed, the calories mostly go straight into body fat, because your metabolism shuts down at night.
-I try to work more raw vegetables into my diet. generally the more processed something is, the worse it is for you. raw veggies are filling, refreshing, and good for you.

I'm losing bodyfat at a good rate, and rapidly gaining strength, and I hardly put in any time at all. how much benefit you see out of trying this stuff is dependent on how much of it you stick to. of course, I don't care to take all the measurements that some people do, I can actually see myself improving, and thats good enough for me.

I've gotta get rid of all this world of warcraft chubbiness I put on. :)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

so uh

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

That is all.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Flickr community

Is full of idiots. who swoon over obviously photoshopped thumbnail sized pictures. the sites supposed to be about photography damnit!

Someone explain to me how this photoshop got onto the explore page.

There's also the myriad of people who make it onto explore with 500x400 (or lower) photos. Granted, they do look good, and I realize some people would be annoyed if their work was stolen, but really. how do they get on the explore page with only a postage stamp size resolution available?

A master My bike is out

The weather finally got warm enough to pull the bike out of the basement. this is following last weeks freakish 15cm of snow. so I've been able to do my cardio outside the gym, thank god. I hate doing cardio at the gym. the only good thing about it is that you get to watch all the girls exercising. :) but the downside is that its far too hot in the gym, and there's no breeze to evaporate your sweat.

I've been trying to go to the gym 5 days a week to lose some weight. its working so far. i suppose i should start tracking how much I've lost, but I've been at for 3 or 4 weeks and I'm happy with the results.

I tried doing the gym buddy thing, but it never really works out. schedule conflicts, work, laziness, sick days. you end up waiting for the other person way too much. its cool when you have someone to talk to, but you should never end up missing a session because of someone else's schedule.

It went up to 22 yesterday in ottawa, so i decided i'd spend the day out taking some photographs. so i walked all around downtown looking for shots. found some good grafitti, a couple of small blooms, some interesting buildings, and a white water kayak compo. after all that snapping, I decided it was time to upgrade to a newer digital rebel. so i stopped in at henrys and got the XTi. I should be able to sell off my old rebel no problem, so the upgrade won't cost so much. the new one is nice, has automatic sensor cleaning, 10mp resolution, more AF points, lower noise sensor at high ISO, and faster continuous drive mode at 3 FPS.

pics are up on flickr.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I love it when a plan; or a patio set, comes together.

You can blame me for the 15cm of snow in Ottawa yesterday. I put together a patio set the previous night, thinking spring had arrived.

In other Ottawa news, I've pretty much booked the entire summer full of plans. I hopped on the Ontario provincial parks reservation website and reserved a campsite every other weekend from the last week in May to the last week in August. if it rains, or we can't make it we can always cancel and get 60% back, or transfer to someone else's name.

Work marches on. I've been hired again till October 1st on a new project at Transport Canada. Things are wrapping up nicely on the old project.

Not much else new. Oh.. Facebook is addictive. everyone and their dog is on there. I've gotten in touch with friends from as far back as highschool. amazing.

Solo Pollo

Well, I'm back from the Dominican. Pics are up on flickr.

I managed to contract the flu on the germ blender (airplane), on the way down. on top of that, all the dominican bacteria was fighting against the ottawa bacteria. It was germ warfare, and my body was the battlefield. Don't eat the pineapple. Go easy on the fresh coconut.

But other than that, it was a great time. No set schedules, except for the tours we were on. no cooking, no dishes, no chores. Just drink, eat, and lay in the sun. Lots of vitamins (vitamin ARRR!), AKA rum.

Lots of topless women there. some good, some bad. it sort of averages out. I kept trying to trick Loralei into taking my photo with topless women in the background. If shes holding the camera, I don't look like a pervert, right?

The tours were good. The safari tour was the best one, taking us up into the mountains to see a plantation. We bought some very fresh coffee, cocoa, and vanilla. Surprisingly Canada Customs had no issue with us bringing it back. Although, i hear anything made from wood is bad to bring back, so don't buy any wooden sculptures, and definitely no bongos.

The Seona island tour was a waste of money. the tour packed the catamaran too full, so it was an uncomfortable 2 hour ride to the island. then the beach was pretty similar to the beach at the resort we just left. the ride back to the mainland via speedboat was fun, with a couple of stops to feed clownfish and see some starfish.

We also did a walking tour of Higuey, the closest town to the resort. It was ok. kind of nice to see how life is away from the resorts. got to see some of the local culture, a church, some shops, etc.

Picked up some oil paintings there which we still haven't framed. they're everywhere, beautiful and cheap. smaller ones run about $10-$15 USD. the largest one we found went for $200 USD. haggling is necessary, and expected. nothing has a pricetag at the local market. Also, shop around. The shop owners are competitive and sometimes very pushy.

All in all, a really worthwhile vacation. I think we'll be going back next year.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Captain Kirk

Work gets its own post. Theres just so much crap that's going on. As Simon says, "it's more like disneyland here every day"

Several people at my work have entirely lost touch with reality. from the ex-boss who keeps insisting that every application we deploy must launch in a full screen virtual desktop, to the project manager who hasn't the foggiest idea how to run a team of anything besides oxen.

"full" desktop is a buzzword the ex-boss won't stop flogging. In actuality, he's "full" of shit. the obvious downsides to the desktop approach of deploying apps are this:
  1. if its not full screen, users get 2 start menus. AHH! confusion!
  2. if it is full screen, users lose access to all local applications. AHH! confusion!
The approach of the project has been deploying seamless applications from day 1. he has somehow brainwashed people into thinking a desktop solution is a good idea, and has no actual technical or functional backing for this.

Which leads me to the thin client devices they have at work. a limited number (25-30) of thin client devices were purchased and some were deployed to users. because of the limited functionality of these terrible little devices, full screen desktop seemed like the best solution. until they go to print, or surf the internet, etc.

windows printing subsystem is terrible. if you add drivers you can take down your servers and cause system instability. universal printing seems to work for most things, but thats still got a few bugs. the universal print driver takes the print job and directs it to the locally installed printers, on whatever client machine you're connecting with. the problem with thin client devices is that they only have 256/512mb of space on them. try to print 10 powerpoint slides and your device is toast.

Then there's internet explorer. the problem isn't internet explorer the browser necessarily. the problem is that you can put ANYTHING inside of IE. video, sound, java, javascript, activex. all kinds of bad things. not necessarily bad if any of these were used client side. but definitely bad when someone decides to surf youtube over a Citrix session, or installs some spyware rootkit, or IE hangs and pins a processor. then the user starts another session and pins yet another processor. everyone else connected to the shared server comes to a grinding halt.

So with all the problems with these terrible little thin client devices, people still haven't given up on them. they're running around wasting their time trying to make a square peg fit into a round hole. we already have a good solution. a cheap PC. its less expensive, sometimes even free! you can recycle old computers into thin client devices that don't have the same problems. the idea behind thin clients was to minimize management. well its done exactly the opposite.

On the good side of my career, I won an 80gb iPod. i took my CCEA tests last november and they had a contest on for the first 200 people to get certified. woohoo! just in time for my vacation.

I've also been interviewing for other positions with compugen, the CRA, and squires resources. squires resources is the most interesting one. they specialize in staffing people in tropical climates. mostly bermuda and the carribean. the downside is that it would be full time, and I'd probably need to commit to at least 2-3 years. The upside is I'd never see freezing rain ever again.

I could go on and on about work for days. but i'm pretty sure it wouldn't do me any good, and noone else wants to listen :) I'll post more when someone at work does something exceptionally stupid. so probably this week.

The end of an era

This might be a bit of a long entry. been putting this off for a while.

I've finally given up the waterbed. I've been sleeping on a waterbed since I was a teenager. Loralei's nagging finally got me to cave in, and get a real mattress bed. We did a lot of shopping around at mattress and furniture stores, but finally decided on one from Ikea. it had the best price, the only bedframe we liked, and the mattress was comfy.

My body has really been adjusted to the waterbed, and its doing all kinds of strange un-kinking since I'm lying flat now. I think its good, I'm not really sure. To go along with the bed, I've been trying this software called pzizz. it works suprisingly well. i was skeptical at first, but i think i'm convinced now. its sort of like a dynamic relaxation tape.

which will come in handy when im on the plan to the Dominican Republic. We're finally heading down to the carribean for our honeymoon. I'm in desperate need of a vacation after the last year of work. the wedding this year was also not exactly relaxing, so im definitely due for a break. we found a good deal on a vacation package in Punta Cana at GoTravelDirect. after much research this was the best deal available. we took the 4 star wildcard, which saves a few hundred bucks. just means they get to pick which resort we stay in. since we've never been there, it doesn't really matter much.

Probably going on a few daytrips and things. as much as i like the thought of just sitting there relaxing, my style of travel usually involves me going out and seeing all there is to see. Also a good opportunity to catch up on some DS games, and destroy my liver with copious amounts of rum. I'm trying to listen to a few pimsleur spanish lessons before i get down there so i'm not completely helpless. im sure the resort staff has a good grasp of english, but when we go to santo domingo, odds are there isn't going to be much.

I'm also trying to learn how to draw in autocad. I'm really lost. i have no idea what im doing, so if you have any tutorial links, post them in the comments. the reason im trying to do this is because i want to build my own poker table. drawing up the plans seems like a good first step. autocad will apparently tell me what angles i need to cut things at, spit out a bill of materials, basically everything. as far as building things, i have NO experience whatsoever. i never took shop class in school, so im clueless there too. if i don't lose an appendage cutting wood with a tablesaw i'll be very very lucky. Simon, this guy from work seems to know his way around autocad so I'll hopefully pick some tips up from him.

Monday, January 29, 2007

First post of the new year

Phew.

The project I've been working on for the last few months has finally launched. gone production. people actually using it for day to day work. and it does work, with a few small issues. actually fewer issues than the system it was designed to replace.

Previous to it going production it was endless weeks of scrambling around fixing things in a hurry. high stress for months, and now its all over with. supporting a production environment is somewhat more stressful in that if any issues arise it affects people in their work. however change control kicks in which means all we do during the day is figure out solutions, not actually implement them.

Finally got around to buying the Christmas gifts for myself and Loralei. Snowshoes. the new aluminum kind. we did some shopping around this weekend and found out that the ones at costco are almost the exact same model as the ones at mountain equipment co-op, but cost $100 less and come with poles. it pays to comparison shop.

Been using my bus ride to catch up on some retro games lately. playing through a bunch of GBA and DS games that i always meant to finish. riding the bus has its advantages. aside from the smelly people and crowds, its nice to just have a pre-warm bus pull up when its the middle of winter. and not having to deal with other drivers is a plus. i think the bus actually gets me downtown faster than taking the car would because of the transitway. bonus!

Other video game systems are getting some use too. I bought the burning crusade for world of warcraft. its ok. if anything I'm less addicted to wow after the expansion. I also bought a Nintendo Wii, which is pretty fun. i haven't gotten more games for it though. guitar hero 2 is on the go sometimes, along with singstar rocks. after playing singstar on new years i had to get my own copy. its a great party game, since you can pass the mic around to 8 players.

not much else going on, or at least not much i can remember.