Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Email of the day

Google Translate gave up on this one…

Your manager can submit a SARF form to Naftaservice desk requesting a secure Yubi device for authentication if required.

Anybody know what this means?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Can we turn back the clock?

A couple of weeks ago, we were looking forward to the first camping weekend of the year.  Everyone was excited to be back out hiking, biking, swimming, paddling, relaxing and sitting around the campfire.  Especially the kids.  On the morning drive to school, the ten-year-old said, "I wish life had a fast forward button, so I could zoom through the day to this afternoon."

I was aghast.  A fast forward button!?!  Sure, I understand the feeling, but to me a rewind button would be worth way more.  Way way way more.

I tried to convince her that fast forwarding was not worth it.

What if you learned something today that you didn't know yesterday?

What if, at lunchtime, someone were to tell you the funniest joke you've ever heard?

What if you made a new friend?  What if it was a [yuck!] boy?!?
Maybe you'll made a difference to someone today.
Maybe you'll tell a funny joke and someone will blow chocolate milk out their nose.  Never underestimate the power of comic relief...

A rewind button would be way better.  Think of all the things you'd like to do over.

    Riding a bike for the first time.
    Jumping off the high rocks.
    Making the winning shot in a game.  [Curling, of course.]
    Standing on the podium receiving a first place medal.
    Hugging loved ones we've lost.

She grudgingly agreed that a rewind button would be good, but she wasn't going to take it without the fast forward button too.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Conversation of the day

The comedian and I were snuggling on the couch yesterday afternoon, reading through A Camper's Guide to Ontario's Best Parks.  We were looking ahead to the three parks we'll be camping in over the next couple of months.

Me: This looks cool.  At Murphy's Point they have a mine we can tour.

F: You mean, like this?  [starts doing the "mime in a glass box" routine]

Me: You have got to go to circus school…

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thank you, Lotus Notes

For what, I’m not sure… This may be Notes trying to tell me it’s sorry for taking a dump.


Special day

Somehow I missed this on the calendar.  Today seems to be "drive like an asshole" day.

I saw some really interesting vehicular manipulation choices this morning, starting with the guy who was about six inches off my rear bumper all the way into the city.  Never mind the fact that I was following four other cars, who were following a dump truck, who was following a school bus, which stops to pick up kids on the highway and then stops at the railroad tracks for a couple of minutes to see if a train is coming.

My favourite trick for tailgaters only works in the Jeep, which has the trailer brake controller.  The trailer brake controller has a manual brake button, which is used to apply the trailer brakes without applying the tow vehicle brakes.  This can be very useful if the trailer starts to sway uncontrollably.  It's also useful for scaring the crap out of a tailgater, because the Jeep's brake lights come on when the button is pressed.  The idiot on my bumper thinks I'm hitting the brakes, and then thinks twice about trying to climb over me to get one car ahead in the conga line into the city.

But, I was in the van today, and had to make do with a one-finger salute instead.

Survey fail

survey fail

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Nice gazebo you’ve got there…

Ok, Mister Law and Order, it’s time to get tough on crime, isn’t it?

The RCMP is looking into allegations that the Harper government misappropriated funds in order to lavish $50 million on a cabinet minister’s riding prior to last year’s G8 summit.

The probe comes on the heels of an auditor general’s report earlier this month, which concluded the government “did not clearly or transparently” explain how the money was going to be spent when it sought Parliament’s approval for a G8 legacy fund for Tony Clement’s riding.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pink slip fever

I noticed there seemed to be a few less smug assholes wandering aimlessly down the middle of the parking lot today, thumbing wildly.

Seems some folks have been future endeavoured.

reports have surfaced in the Waterloo area that 200 people were axed in what is believed to be only the first round of multiple layoff waves

MacGregor Point Provincial Park - June 2011


We spent the weekend at MacGregor Point Provincial Park, for our annual "Father's Day first camping trip of the summer".  The weather was spectacular - sunny and dry.  Warm enough for the kids to go swimming, and cool enough to sleep well at night. 

MacGregor was hit hard by a couple of recent windstorms.  There were many trees down along the main campground road, and on the trails.  Several trails were closed due to fallen trees.  We did take the new Rotary trail towards Port Elgin, though.  It's a nice trail, with stone dust the whole way into town.  On the way back we startled a deer near the campground gate.  She was kind enough to stop for a minute so the kids could get a good look before she jogged into the woods.

The raccoons were out in full force, as always.  One visitor in particular was quite bold, waltzing onto the campsite and up on the picnic table to sniff around for crumbs.  He left disappointed, but came back a few more times over the weekend.

It's amazing how fast the girls get into camping mode.  Two nights of staying up late around a campfire and I almost needed a bucket of water to get them out of bed Monday morning.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day

Waterloo North Hydro sent a nice letter yesterday, telling us all about the new Time of Use pricing.

They were kind enough to give me some ideas on how I could "reduce electiricty costs".

I guess they were leading by example, and turned off the spell checker to save some power.

Quote of the day

I saw an abomination in the code, and I just couldn't let it go.  I had to say something!  And I'm a prostitute!  Maybe I'm a high-end prostitute...  Some things are just off limits.

A contract software developer, on going against the typical contractor mentality of just doing whatever is asked without questioning why.

Old dog, new trick

The conversion from Microsoft developer to Web developer is going well.  I've taken to wearing the Birkenstocks daily (even in the snow).  The hemp clothing looks good on me.  I'm having a bit of a hard time smoking the clove cigarettes, but I've stopped shaving my legs entirely and I have a butch haircut.

I've even stopped pressing F3 to search in Eclipse.  The last holdout seems to be an old Visual Studio setting I had.  "Before building: Save all changes".  That was one handy little setting.  I could code all I wanted, then run, and my changes would be saved automatically.  Now, though, every once in a while, I forget to save before doing a "build" and then I lose some time trying to figure out why my JavaScript changes didn't work.

I just need to grow myself a soul patch and I'll fit right in over here.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Round and Around

There are 15 roundabouts, or "traffic circles" as they are known elsewhere, here in Waterloo Region.  There are many more on the way, as the Region tries to find faster and safer ways to move traffic.

I love the roundabout I drive through twice a day.  It has cut anywhere from five to ten minutes off my drive to and from work.  I rarely see an accident, where there would be at least one a week at the previous traffic light.

There are still people who have some learning to do, though.  I was following a car through the roundabout last week, and the driver ahead of me decided that they wanted to head North, unfortunately just after passing the exit.  Now, if this were me, I would just keep on going, because after all roundabouts are... round.  You can ride them all day long, if you really want to.  In fact, I've done this.  Not all day, but just one victory lap after missing my exit.  In my defense, it was in Stirling Scotland, and I was on the wrong side of the road rolling through my first roundabout.  But, I made it.

This driver decided to take a shortcut, and turned right.  The roundabout is not quite big enough to pull a U-turn in, and the car ended up wedged in the middle of the road, blocking both lanes.  As I zoomed off I looked in the rear-view mirror, and saw a large transport truck stopped, nose to midsection with the wedged car.  The transport driver was likely trying to decide whether to just push the car out of the way or not.

Light rail can't come fast enough...

Friday, June 10, 2011

A sign of the apocalypse?

Or a neat idea?

JSIL is a compiler that transforms .NET applications and libraries from their native executable format - CIL bytecode - into standards-compliant, cross-browser JavaScript. You can take this JavaScript and run it in a web browser or any other modern JavaScript runtime. Unlike other cross-compiler tools targeting JavaScript, JSIL produces readable, easy-to-debug JavaScript that resembles the code a developer might write by hand, while still maintaining the behavior and structure of the original .NET code.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

That's a hell of a toilet - it defends the border!

Ok, taxpayers, let's see how your government spent some of last year's border infrastructure money.

  • $274,000 on public toilets 20 km from the G8 summit site in Huntsville.
  • $100,000 on a gazebo an hour's drive away.
  • $1.1 million for sidewalk and tree upgrades 100 km away.
  • $194,000 for a park 100 km away.
  • $745,000 on downtown improvements for three towns nearly 70 km away.
And, of course, they lied about it all.

[T]he auditor general's verdict remains much the same: the Harper government kept Parliament in the dark about a $50-million G8 fund that sprayed money on dubious projects in a cabinet minister's riding.

The final report on the G8 legacy infrastructure fund concludes that the government "did not clearly or transparently" identify how the money was going to be spent when it sought parliamentary approval for the funding.

Moreover, the report criticizes the utter lack of documentation to explain how and why 32 infrastructure projects in the Parry Sound-Muskoka region in Ontario were selected to receive the government largesse.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Happy IPv6 Day!

Happy IPv6 Day!

To celebrate, I bought my fridge an IP address.  And the garden hose, too, but it’s not speaking to me lately.  It’s still pissed that I filled the pool last week…

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Some hand in hand, and some gathered together in bands

Visitor number 50,000 arrived here on Sunday, presumably from the UK.  Looking for something useful, found me instead.  No problem, just ask for a refund.


Grammar gone wild!

SuperMegaCorp hits the government ATM every year, in the form of research and development tax credits.  Part of the pain in getting these credits is writing the submission report.  For a number of years now, we've outsourced the report writing.

It's that time of year again, and the report has come back for review.  I think this sentence just about sums up the work we did last year:

We overrode a modal shown behavior on the base side that formed dialogue and created the message system between the base form and the application so that it notifies the windows a show dialogue and disables it.

How could we not get a tax credit for that?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

BlackBerry PlayBook Web Inspector

If you ever find yourself doing any web development work on a BlackBerry PlayBook, this will save you hours of time.

Damn you, Word

Open Word.   Close Word.  Crash.

Open Word. Close Word. Crash.

Open Word. Close Word. Crash.

What the…?

Attach debugger.  Open Word.  Close Word.  Crash.  Access violation!?!?  This was working yesterday!

Repair Office… … … … … …

Open Word.  Close Word.  Crash.

Fuck me running!

Open Word.  Hello, what’s this?


Uh, Yes.

Close Word.  No crash!

Open Word. Close Word.  No crash!


Now, why did I want to open Word?

A winning election strategy

The ten-year-old is involved with a Social Studies project at school these days.  They're learning about the Canadian Parliament, and what better way to do that than have an election?

The students have been grouped into parties, and each party has nominated candidates from the group for election. They're going to speak to other classes, making their case for votes.  In the end Grades 4 to 8 will vote.  My daughter won the nomination for her party, through a lengthy rock-paper-scissors battle with the other candidates.  She's standing for election as a member of, you guessed it, the Conservative party.

I will counsel her on the election tactics she'll need to follow if she wants to win.  She'll need to get some heavyweights to snatch ballot boxes and hover over voters on election day, of course.  But there's lots of groundwork to do before that.  She'll need to register some domains in the names of her opponents.  Make up some stories about them and leak them to the class newsletter and the morning announcements.  Find a few miscreants who have been sent to the office for various crimes, and appoint them to her campaign team.  Get a group ready to telephone voters on the day of the election, telling them that the polling station has been changed to the far corner of the schoolyard, near the pile of dog shit.

For her speech to the voters, she'll need to pick the most boring thing possible to say, and repeat it endlessly, no matter what rebuttal her opponents come up with.  It will be even better if there is not an ounce of truth to it.  Questions from the audience will be accepted only from planted voters.  In fact, the audience will be screened for malcontents first.  Anyone who may have shown any interest in the other candidates will be shown quickly to the door.  Finally, she should remind the voters that if she is elected, there won't be another election until Grade Five.

This could be fun...