Monday, September 29, 2008

Spam subjects of the day

I don't think these came from the same sender...

"Male Enhancement Reviews"
"Surprise her with the nicest bag in town"

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Working the help desk

Urgent support call just came in. The caller asked, "how do I copy one file into 900 sub directories?"

Raymond Chen to the rescue.

In c:\temp\data I have a test.txt file.

I have these directories:

c:\temp\test\1
c:\temp\test\2
c:\temp\test\3

[I stopped at 3, rather than simulating the 900 directories as called for]

In c:\temp\test I did this:

for /f "delims=" %i in ('dir /ad/b/s') do copy c:\temp\data\test.txt %i

and it put the test.txt file in each of the numbered sub directories.

Thanks, Raymond. If this works well, my wife is happy. If it doesn't, I have someone to blame. :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Great Gig in the Sky

Regular readers (heck, even those of you who are irregular) may recognize many post titles from Pink Floyd songs. Recently, I used Remember a Day, an ancient Floyd song.

Here's David Gilmour, performing Remember a Day as a tribute to Rick Wright, who passed away last week.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Take all your overgrown infants away somewhere

Ruth starts chucking knuckles. Allow me to sum up.
"They've maligned our leader, told lies about our policies, spread false rumors about infighting in our ranks, and even boasted about interfering in our leadership selection process."

"As prime minister he's a megalomaniac."

"All through this administration, from Rona Ambrose through Maxime Bernier to Gerry Ritz, Harper's government has shown staggering incompetence."

"Harper isn't even a good economic manager: it took Chretien/Martin four budgets to eliminate the deficit left behind by Mulroney, but it took Harper/Flaherty only three budgets to bring us back to the brink of deficit."

"Harper has done plenty to change the character of Canada. He killed the best hope for aboriginal Canadians that we've ever had. He destroyed a brilliant day care program. He killed off productive, necessary, low-cost institutions like the woman's legal resource center. He slashed funding for the arts and NGOs. He killed the gun registry program. He created a phony youth crime crisis and passed legislation to put more people (especially more young people) in jail, and for longer periods. He extended our military involvement beyond what it was originally intended for - a temporary peacekeeping mission - into a full scale military occupation with a dubious US agenda."

"A majority would also allow Harper to wiggle out of the several scandals that are hanging over him him right now: Massive campaign spending fraud in the last election, resulting in a reprimand from Elections Canada, resulting in PMO interference in the civil service; a former Foreign Affairs minister with a history of reckless disregard for confidential papers and a girlfriend with mafia ties; the attempt to buy the vote of a dying Liberal MP; the previous Tory prime minister admitting to taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from an arms dealer, with tens of millions of dollars in bribes still unaccounted for."

"All that's just off the top of my head. The summary is: This is a bad government. It's incompetent, and its values do not reflect those of most Canadians. It is led by a man who has no scruples and a very, very big hidden agenda."


Ruth, I'm right behind you.

Need more ammo?

Fear-mongering attack ads aren't attractive. How about telling me what you would do, instead of lying about what the other guy would do?

Cancelling the bye elections cost us $3.5 million. Strangely enough, at the time the election was called most people had the Conservative candidate running in third place in Guelph.

And remember this?

"Fixed dates stop leaders from trying to manipulate the calendar" - Stephen Harper, May 2006


The orgy of spending leading up to the election call was sickening. They spent money on a Nova Scotia UFO sighting commemoration. Can you imagine the disgust that would have been dripping out of Harper if a Liberal government in its last days were to dump money on a UFO plaque?

These guys have jacked government spending to the highest level in Canadian history, and what do we have to show for it? In such a short time they've gone from a $12 billion surplus to a deficit. They cut the GST instead of income taxes. They pissed all over the Liberal idea of tax breaks for RESP contributions - what were the Liberals thinking, trying to help families? That's not in the Conservative agenda.

These guys have the balls to call themselves "Conservative"? Time for a name change.

No matter what sweater you put on him, this clown doesn't deserve another shot.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Blue Man Group

I saw the Blue Man Group in London last night. I wasn't sure what to expect, since I didn't know much about the group, but I was impressed. It was a good mix of music and humour, with some fascinating visual and lighting effects thrown in.

The show had a lot more snarling guitar in it that I thought it would, which mixed well with the synthesizers and percussion played by the three blue guys. The show was dominated by themes of isolation and masks. Characters on the video screen were texting messages from one apartment to the next, and wearing one mask to go out in the daytime, and removing it at night only to reveal a different mask.

The highlight of the show for me was an absolutely thundering version of Pink Floyd's One of These Days. Pretty much the last song I'd expected to hear, but it had the arena shaking. The encore of the Who's Baba O'Riley was also well done.

Conversation (and bonus Quote) of the day

At the board meeting the other night, the discussion of insurance came up. Someone pulled out a floppy disk with the pertinent information on it, and handed it to the guy with the laptop in front of him.

Scott (guy with laptop): I don't have a floppy drive in this laptop.

Dave: I can take that. I have a three and a half inch floppy at home.

Bob: Dave, nobody wants to hear about your three and a half inch floppy.

[laughter]

Colleen: Oh, Bob, you're just jealous.

And the quote of the day comes from my seven-year-old. I don't know what they're teaching the kids in school these days, but she's a little rainbow warrior. When we were cutting down the tree on Monday night, she said to me, in a very serious voice, "You know Dad, if you cut down a tree you've got to plant another one. You've GOT TO."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Will you help me to carry the stone?

Somehow, I found myself getting talked into joining the Board of Directors at the Elmira Curling Club last night. I'll be a Member at Large. I think they just wanted a member with a large member to be a member at large. Ahem...

Anyway, the sand is raked. The compressor is on. The first flood was finishing as I arrived at the club last night. Three floods are scheduled for today, then paint, a couple more floods, and everything will be ready for the first rocks to be thrown two weeks tonight.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm still awake against my will

Four hours of sleep last night. Not good.

First, I spent all evening in the back yard, with an axe and a chainsaw, so I was already tired when I fell into bed at 10:00.

I was almost asleep when the howling began. A half-dozen coyotes were howling at the moon, or whatever it is coyotes howl at in the middle of the night, and that kept me up for an hour.

I was almost asleep again when the dog had a seizure. She's had epilepsy for years, and about once a month she has a seizure. They always happen in the middle of the night.

Once the dog settled down, I tried to get back to sleep. Half an hour later, I was nearly out when she had another seizure.

Next, youngest daughter decided she needed a drink of water, and that she didn't want to sleep alone. I tucked her in with all of her favourite stuffed animals, and plopped back into bed myself. 2:30am.

And up at 6:00 for the morning dog walk.

Hurricane Ike strikes Elmira

Earlier this summer, we were sitting in the shade on the new patio, sipping frozen mango mojitos and watching the kids play in the sprinkler. The wind was softly blowing the leaves of the maple tree. I remarked that this year we would have a lot of leaves to rake. The last couple of summers were hard on the maple. It caught the maple fungus one year, and last year was really dry. This year, it made up for it, with tons of new growth.

When we moved in, there were two maple trees in the back yard. Each one was about two inches in diameter, and they were staked up to hold them in place. One tree grew much faster than the other, but one summer its trunk split and bugs got in. Then it started to rot, and we had to take it down. The other tree kept on going though, and by now it's up to about sixty feet.

New growth brings weight, however, and Sunday night's arrival of Hurricane Ike came with wind. Lots of wind. We survived this summer's downburst, or mini-tornado, without losing a single leaf. Sunday night was different. The wind wasn't as strong as we'd seen at other times, but it was sustained, and at about 10:30, the first branch gave way.

From Hurricane Ike


Our bedroom window was open, and only about ten feet from the tree, but all we heard was a thump. Then the phone rang. The next door neighbour was letting his dogs out, and saw leaves covering his deck, where leaves should not be.

I went outside, and the two of us hauled the branch off the fence. It was over thirty feet long, and about six inches thick. I went inside, took off my raincoat and was just climing into bed when the second branch came down. Back outside, and we yanked the second one off the fence.

No more came down on Sunday, but last night we took the third of the four main branches down. There wasn't much left of it, and I was worried it would fall on the kids.

From Hurricane Ike


Now all that's left is one big branch, leaning ominously over the fence. That'll come down shortly, but we'll leave that to the professionals.

So, I'm in the market for a new, fast-growing tree. One that can withstand a bit of wind.

On the plus side, I did manage to use a chainsaw for twenty minutes without severing a limb. And it's good to have a neighbour with a chainsaw, a wood stove and in-laws with a pit into which we could dump copious amounts of branches. And I suppose I won't have to rake much this fall.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm wasted and I can't find my way home

James Bow suggests taking a little pause for the cause, or pause from the cause I guess, to come up with a list of essential music.

Here's mine (in playlist order):

1. The Wind Cries Mary - Jimi Hendrix
2. Powderfinger - Neil Young
3. Gimme Shelter - Rolling Stones
4. Once in a Lifetime - Talking Heads
5. Fortunate Son - Creedence Clearwater Revival
6. Copperhead Road - Steve Earle
7. Tunnel of Love (live, from "Alchemy") - Dire Straits
8. In the Midnight Hour - The Commitments
9. Can't Find My Way Home - Blind Faith
10. The Heart of the Matter - Don Henley
11. The Rain Song - Led Zeppelin
12. Twilight Zone - Golden Earring
13. Don't Fear the Reaper - Blue Oyster Cult
14. Comfortably Numb (live, from "Pulse") - Pink Floyd

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Conservative election platform is released

And Stephen Harper is forced to apologize...

The Conservatives have stepped in it with an ad on their website showing an animated bird pooping on Liberal Leader Stephane Dion's shoulder. Harper acknowledged the ad was 'tasteless and inappropriate'

I haven't heard a single Conservative ad that wasn't tasteless and inappropriate. I also haven't heard a single Conservative ad that tells me what they would do if reelected.

I guess this is the party platform - "elect us and we'll shit on you".

Monday, September 08, 2008

Staring into my crystal ball

You didn't know I had a crystal ball, did you? Too much information? Anyway...

James Bow has a federal election pool going.

I see the "not a leader" attack ad bullshit working, unfortunately, but Harper still scares enough of the sane people in the country to deny him the majority he needs to totally destroy things.

Here's my guess:

Conservatives: 148
Liberals: 90
BQ: 42
NDP: 27
Green: 0
Independent: 1

Voter turnout: 58%, to be the lowest ever.

Green is the colour

I saw the first election sign this morning, on my way into work. It was for the Green Party.

It was planted in the grass at the side of the road on the way out of Elmira. Standing next to the sign was a guy in a suit, waving at the cars. I suppose he's the candidate.

By this afternoon, I think that sign will have some company.

Word of the day

Today's word is "Googasm".

That's what happens when people get all excited about a new Google product, such as the recent Google Chrome.

As the linked article says, "It's a f***ing web browser".

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Long Point Provincial Park - 2nd visit


We spent the long weekend at Long Point Provincial Park, for the second year in a row. The weather could not have been better this year. High 20s, low humidity and warm water.

Somehow we didn't manage to take any photos, so last year's will have to do.

Rest assured - the beach looks the same. Still sandy. The water is still shallow, although this year my seven-year-old could make it out to the second sand bar. Not much to see on the bottom out there, just a few shells.

The sky was moonless, and both Saturday and Sunday nights we wandered down to the beach before heading to bed. The stars were incredible. The only light came from a few flashlights, and the massive drilling rig offshore, that was lit up like a Christmas tree.

Now it's less than a month to curling season, and I've already started getting the trailer ready for winter. Time to start planning next year's camping trips...