Monday, February 27, 2006

2006 Scott Tournament of Hearts

I spent the weekend in London, at the Scott Tournament of Hearts. The John Labatt Centre is an excellent venue for curling. There's not a bad seat in the house. If you get a chance this week, check it out.

My take on the teams, from East to West:


Looked brutal in their first game loss to Quebec, but looked much better trouncing Team Canada. Had two very good ends against Team Canada, taking a four and then a three, heading to a 9-3 win. Which team will show up the rest of the week? This team can throw big weight, but if they have to do that a lot, they'll be in trouble.

Bottom Line: Not going to be there at the end of the week.

Prince Edward Island

Seemed to sleep through the beating laid on them by New Brunswick, and didn't look much better against British Columbia. Perked up a bit against Saskatchewan, but then again most teams will be beating Saskatchewan.

Bottom Line: Looking more like Gaudet's 2-9 team than her 10-1 team.

Nova Scotia

Colleen calls the best game out there. She can out-think anyone, and usually makes the clutch shot. Should have lost last night, but somehow pulled one out of the fire.

Bottom Line: Should be in the top three next weekend.

New Brunswick

Not many people were giving this team much hope going in. This team entered the Scott playdowns only because they lost the Juniors. And here they are. These guys looked very strong on the first day, opening with two wins, one on a last rock hit through a small hole. Lost by one to British Columbia, but the game wasn't really that close. Could have been some pressure playing against the favourite on the TSN game for a very young t

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Pathway to Prosperity - "What we Heard"

There are some huge changes coming in the Ontario workforce in the next 20 years, and the Colleges of Ontario have been in consultation with employers, labour, politicians, educators and citizens on training and education.

The biggest challenge will be a shortage of skilled workers. By 2020, we could be short one million workers. Consider that 50% of high school students don't pursue post-seconday education, and 9% of 20 to 24-year-olds haven't even graduated from high school, and you see that things are not getting much better.

"What We Heard" -- the first report to come from the fall 2005 Pathway to Prosperity consultations -- is now available for review and downloading at the Pathway website,

This report will be taken to the post-secondary education summit scheduled for February 23-24 in Ottawa, being co-hosted by Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Quebec Premier Jean Charest.


Google steps into the light

Google steps into the light.


The lunatics are in my hall

During the day I live in a little blue box. I have a fresh supply of water, and snacks to munch on. I am not a mouse. I am a programmer. And I think I'm getting dumber.

I thought it was having kids that knocked 20 points of my IQ, but maybe it's working in a cubicle that did it.


Who knew?

Want a faster response from your application? Hold the mouse button down on the caption bar.

I wonder if I can get this tip into our user manual...

Friday, February 17, 2006

It just gets better

As widely reported, the City of Los Angeles is upset that Grand Theft Auto has a hidden sex scene. Murder, ok. Carjacking, ok. But sex? Please, we're American!

Now prostitutes are upset. So far no lawsuit, but can that be far behind?


Hello World

Cripes, even VBScript slays Java at "Hello World".

Dog Goes Missing After Westminster Show

A dog that won an award at this year's Westminster dog show has gone missing. Apparently it escaped from a cage at the airport.

I'm sure if they look hard enough, they'll find the dog rolling in garbage and "romancing" the local strays. Everyone needs a "lost weekend" once in a while.


Italy has good taste

Five million Italians were watching Olympic curling the other day.

Now if we could only get the Americans to stop making fun of it...


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Bloggers Association

The Waterloo-Wellington Bloggers Association has a list of Waterloo area bloggers (see the BlogRoll on the left).

I don't know if I'm nearly as interesting as any of these guys, but you never know... I may be the only intermittent curling commentator in the lot.

Mission Statement

The Waterloo-Wellington Bloggers Association gathers together bloggers from Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Guelph and the townships of Waterloo Region and Wellington County in an expression of solidarity within our diverse and growing region.


Friday, February 10, 2006

ADD + High Tech == Success!

Here's an article that claims that having ADD is a benefit to working in a high-tech career.

Beats me, I couldn't get through the article. Hey, look - it's snowing!


Meet the new boss...

Same as the old boss.

I feel sorry for everyone who fell for all that "vote for change" crap. You didn't really believe it, did you?

David Emerson must feel a little unwanted these days. Even his own (new) party thinks he should do the right thing, and bail out. Not to mention his constituents, who are promising to absolutely slay the guy at the ballot box if he dares run again in his riding.

Maybe he'll just end up in the Senate, like Michael Fortier. Hard to believe there wasn't one more suitable candidate for the cabinet among the other 100 MPs.

And if that wasn't enough, to cap off the first week Stephen Harper appoints a parliamentary secretary to La Francophonie that can't speak French. Classic. I can't wait until the gay marriage stuff hits the fan...


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Mental illness of the week

This week's mental illness award goes to the Barenaked Ladies.

These guys are ill in a quirky, friendly sort of way. Kind of like the crazy uncle that you keep locked in the attic and never talk about, or the guy selling flowers outside the Beer Store.

The evidence? It's hard to pick just one or two, but Alternative Girlfriend and One Week are a good place to start.

Disclaimer: The fact that I like these guys may just be proof of my own insanity, so take that at face value.

Disclaimer #2: I am in no way intentionally violating the patent on insanity. And even if I was, I think I could plead insanity, no?

Disclaimer #3: Although this topic indirectly talks about naked ladies, nude curling was not mentioned anywhere.


Difference engine

Fancy yourself a mathematician? Perhaps you're still a child at heart. This guy is both. He's built a difference engine out of Lego.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

Astronomy Domine

Jupiter and Saturn. Oberon, Miranda and Titania. Neptune, Titan, stars can frighten.

So it looks like there's a new planet out there. Pluto's defenders are calling it a mere rock, but it's bigger than Pluto.

If this is a planet, it needs a better name than UB313.

Firefox updates itself

Firefox has updated itself for me. Cool!

I'm a little concerned about when the update was installed though...

It's the vision, stupid!

Oooh, look - Vision!


Product roadmaps

Do you have a product roadmap? How often is it updated?

The 37Signals folks say that product roadmaps are dangerous, because they set your focus on the past, not the future.

I have been known to harp about a lack of vision here at SuperMegaCorp. We do have a product roadmap, but it's not possible to substitute "roadmap" for "vision". Don't mistake one for the other.

Vision is the "Point B" and the line that gets to it from "Point A" on a whiteboard. Vision is the purpose and the plan for achieving it.

A roadmap is a laundry list of bells and whistles and things that marketing think they can sell. The farther out it goes the less likely it is that any of it will come to fruition. You want a good roadmap? Rewrite it every six months, and don't let it span more than a year.

It's not just the fear of what outsiders think - you have to worry about the people inside the building too. After a while it all starts sounding the same.

I've been hearing for years that we're going to go into new markets, Real Soon Now. We're going to start sticking to a process that works. We're going to stop rushing into coding before we know what we're building. I have an open mind. It could happen. But forgive me for saying that I'll believe it when I see it. The same goes for roadmaps. I don't believe any of that stuff right now.

Scott Berkun is on a similar theme too - Why vision documents stink.