Thursday, July 29, 2010

You lock the door and throw away the key

Like most reasonably big software companies, we have a bunch of testing rooms scattered around the building.  For some reason, many of these are locked.  Access is restricted to the testers (and one or two lucky developers).

This leads to the uncomfortable situation where developers beg testers to let them in.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Killarney Provincial Park

From Grundy Lake we headed over to Killarney Provincial Park.

Killarney doesn’t have any electrical sites, but we managed to run the fridge on propane and were careful with the battery usage.  It was just like real camping…

Killarney is such a beautiful park.  We hiked the Granite Ridge trail, which starts right across the road from the park gate.  There were a few places we had to help the six-year-old up over the rocks, but the view from the top was well worth it.  She was comforted with a huge haul of blueberries at the top, which also helped.







The best way to see Killarney is by canoe.  We paddled down to the end of George Lake, across a small portage, down to the end of Freeland Lake, and over a longer portage into Killarney Lake. 








Lots more Killarney photos here:

Grundy Lake Provincial Park - 2010

We spent a week at Grundy Lake Provincial Park and a few days at Killarney Provincial Park last week.  The parks are a good pair to do together, as they’re only a little over an hour apart.

The water at Grundy was so warm - the girls were swimming every day, and they especially enjoyed the jumping rocks - a series of cliffs to jump off.  The smallest was about 6 feet, the medium was about 10 feet, and the large was about 15 feet high.






Grundy was home to a pair of trumpeter swans a few years ago, but the male was found dead with a broken wing.  The female has returned with a new mate, and they have a young one now.  The family is very used to people, and they don't seem to mind cruising close to shore.





We saw quite a bit of wildlife from the canoe on this trip.  One evening we were following a beaver around the edge of the lake, when we heard something on shore.  It was a raccoon, snacking on something at the edge of the water.

We drove down a park road to Pakeshkag Lake, and paddled from there across a small waterfall (well, lifted the canoe over the waterfall), to the end of the lake.  There is a portage over railroad tracks at the end, which we struggled over.  On the way back, we cut through the tunnel under the tracks.  That was a much better way to go.  This end of the park is beautiful, and very quiet. 


We had a picnic lunch and a swim before heading back.  Somehow, we were quiet enough to see a deer at the edge of the lake, and some kind of freaky bird.  Anyone care to take a guess what this was?



Lots more Gundy Lake photos here:

Friday, July 23, 2010

Prognosis negative

Consider this bad scenario.

The “build starting in 30 minutes” email comes out.  Developers scramble to jam their changes in.  A last minute local build is done, to make sure everything is ok before committing.

And… the build fails.

I think a cat shit in my sandbox…

Guitars with laser beams

Yes, laser beams.

And they sound awesome.

Now I just have to figure out how to win that damn lottery…

Stats is for losers

I don’t understand why it’s such a mystery that the government wants to get rid of the long-form census.  When you have a “science” minister who doesn’t believe in science, why would you believe in statistics?

Statistics, strangely enough, was quite enjoyable for me – it’s where I learned about probability when playing “Hooks, Crooks and One-eyed Jacks”.  I think that teacher is making a living in Vegas these days…

Friday, July 09, 2010

Letter to Harold Albrecht, MP

Dear Harold,

Thank you for your letter of congratulations sent to my daughter, on her gymnastics achievements this year.  It was especially touching to see the spelling mistake included in the letter.  She loves looking for Easter Eggs like this in official correspondence.  On a related note, if you are looking to hire a nine-year-old student who is a reasonably good speller, she’s available when we’re not camping this summer.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

We interrupt our regularly scheduled heat wave…

… for some curling news.

In some parts of the world, it’s winter.  And when it’s winter, you can curl outdoors.

260 curlers in New Zealand are getting ready to play on 33 sheets of ice.  Each team will play four 21-end games.

Sounds like a blast.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Never trust an executive who has someone else send emails on his/her behalf.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Awenda Provincial Park

We spent a few days at Awenda Provincial Park last week.  The first couple of nights were quite chilly, with the temperature down around nine degrees, but after that it warmed up nicely.  The cool temperatures made for some nice biking, which is one of Awenda's best features.  We did the entire loop of the Bluff trail.  There are some rough and hilly parts to the trail, with rocks and roots providing a challenge.  We stopped partway along to go down the Nipissing trail staircase to the beach.  The park guide says there are 155 steps, so of course the kids had to count.  They were mortified to discover that the actual count is 162.  I think they'll be writing letters to get this corrected.  We also hiked the Dunes/Homestead trail, which ends up on a huge sand dune that is covered in a huge patch of poison ivy.

Friday was a great beach day - very sunny and warm.  The water was surprisingly not bone chilling, especially in the shallow coves at the end of the main beach.  My six-year-old was floating on her boogie board when it flipped over (I may have had something to do with that).  The board flipped
her off and whacked her in the mouth, knocking out a (already very loose) tooth.  The tooth sank to the bottom of Georgian Bay.  I stood in place while she headed for shore, shrieking, "My tooth!  My tooth!  My tooth!"  The nine-year-old grabbed her goggles and quickly swam out, dove down, and retrieved the tooth off the sandy bottom.  The tooth fairy came twice this week, once for each kid.  It has been raining teeth in our house lately...

More photos here: