Thursday, July 21, 2011

Set the controls for the heart of the sun

“[Gobal warming] is a scientific hypothesis and a controversial one.” (Stephen Harper, Toronto Star, September 5, 2002)

Good thing Dear Leader says climate change is a myth, or this might worry me.



Kitchener - Cambridge - Region of Waterloo
10:55 AM EDT Thursday 21 July 2011
Weather warning for
Kitchener - Cambridge - Region of Waterloo issued

Extreme temperatures and humidex values expected today.

The humid tropical air mass has arrived as expected. The strong July sun will quickly cause the mercury to soar well into the middle and upper thirties this afternoon. Combining the record setting temperatures with the high humidity in this sultry tropical air mass will result in oppressive humidex values in the low to mid forties across all of Southern Ontario by this afternoon.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Conversation of the day

I was out front watering the flowers last night.  The ten-year-old opened the door and stepped out.

V: Oh!  There you are.  Some guy called... about... something...

Me: You have got to learn to take better phone messages.

V: It was about... being president or something... of something...  It was a recording.

Me: Did he say his name?

V: Tim.  I think.

Me: Tim Hudak?

V: That's it!

Me: He wants to be Premier of Ontario.

V: Yeah!  That's it!

Me: The guy's an idiot.  He's the leader of the Conservatives.  I would never vote for him.

V: Hey!  In school I ran for the Conservatives.

Me: Yeah, and I wouldn't vote for you either.

V: Hmph.  Well, I hung up on him.

Me: Atta girl.

Build failure message of the day

[exec] [INFO] -----------------------------------------
[exec] [INFO] There are test failures.
[exec] Took 2.09 seconds to execute... Fix your tests before Joe B comes lookin' for ya!.

This is a picture I did not take...

Borrowing (stealing? liberating?) the meme...

While waiting to turn onto Northfield Drive this morning a man drove by, sporting a massive chopper moustache, tattoos all the way up his forearms, proudly whizzing along on an e-bike.

I was reminded of the muscle-bound fellas I occasionally see out walking their wives' pocket dogs.  Not the most masculine image.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Today in "Alarming log file messages"

Log->error << fn   << ": BAD NEWS -- OUT OF MEMORY.  " << eol;

Log->audit << fn << ": Lookup cache is NULL!!!  Prepare to blow UP" << eol;

Log->error << fn << ": Internal error 4" << eol;   

Log->error << fn << ": WARNING -- RGB to gray lookup is slow.  " << "Why isn't the image-server doing it?" << eol;

Thursday, July 14, 2011

They like a tough game, no rules

An acquaintance of mine recently landed a gig teaching at a local University.  He'll be teaching Sports Psychology in the fall, and there's talk of adding a Philosophy of Sports course as well.

Philosophy of Sports?  I could teach that.

First day of class: "Listen up.  I'm only going to say this once, so pay attention...  Some you win, some you lose.  See you at the final exam."

This game is easy...

8.3 million people can’t be wrong


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Commit comment of the day


Quote of the day

How the times have changed.

When I was a kid we cut up and glued together pieces of broken hockey sticks to make Sten guns.  Kids these days play with plastic battery operated everything.  Even the lingo has changed.  The girls have carrying pouches on their bikes, because they can't go anywhere without collecting pine cones, rocks, etc.  Someone often wipes out, so Band-aids are a must.  The ten-year-old had used all of hers, so the seven-year-old wanted to make sure she had restocked.

"Did you upload on Band-Aids?" she asked.

Bon Echo Provincial Park

We spent the last week and a bit at Bon Echo Provincial Park.  This was our first trip to Bon Echo, despite several years of trying to get in.  The park is quite large, with over 500 campsites, but only 132 electrical sites.  The park has a healthy population of both chipmunks, deer and mosquitos.

The weather couldn't have been better.  Sunny and dry, except for a humid day near the end of the week, with only a 30 second sprinkle of rain all week long.  The water at the main beach and the Joeperry Lake beach was warm enough to jump right in.  The beaches are nice and sandy, although the main campground beach is quite small.  The water slopes gently, which was a bit of a surprise considering the lake is almost 500 feet deep.  There are notices of swimmer's itch posted, but we showered at the beach comfort station right after swimming, and didn't have any problems.

Biking around the park is quite easy, as the main road is paved and mostly split into two separate one-way roads.  There are trails through the woods down to the beach, visitor centre and amphitheatre as well.  The campground areas themselves are fairly hilly, which is fun on the downhill but a workout on the uphill.

We arrived on the Monday of the Canada Day long weekend, and there were still some lingering yahoos in the park, so Monday night and Tuesday morning were really loud.  The park definitely attracts a different crowd during the week, though.  Tuesday through Thursday were quiet at night - quiet enough to hear an owl hooting.

One of the highlights of the park is the Mazinaw Rock.  The cliff is 1.5 kilometres long, and 100 metres high.  The sunset on the cliff face was a nice colour in the evening.  There are over 260 native pictographs on the cliff, and they're easy to spot from a canoe.  The exact age of the pictographs is not known, but it's estimated they're anywhere from 300-1000 years old.  I asked the seven-year-old if she could imaging canoeing over to the cliff and drawing something on it, probably getting yelled at by mom and dad for writing on the walls, and 1000 years later another kid is looking at it, trying to figure out what it means.  She was impressed.

We didn't do too much hiking, but we did head to the cliff top trail, for a great view over the park and lake.

Despite the park's main feature being a massive lake, we actually did quite a bit of canoeing.  Of course we paddled over to see the pictographs, but we also did the 21km Kishkebus canoe tour.  The tour travels through three lakes and a couple of small rivers, and includes a 1.5km portage around the North end of the Mazinaw Rock.  The park staff recommend doing it North to South, with the portage at the start.  We went the other way, though, to keep the wind at our backs down the length of the big lake.  The portage wasn't too bad at the end of the trip, except for the mosquito I swallowed.  Handy tip - keep a child handy under the canoe as you carry it, to swat the bugs away.

The kids were not too excited to do the portage...

We drove down to the group camping area on Bon Echo Lake and canoed around the perimeter of the lake.  Along the way we startled a couple of deer on the shoreline.

We also headed out to Joeperry Lake for a couple of day trips. There is a large island in the middle of the lake, but the water on the East side was too low to get through. The West side is weedy, but passable through to Pearson Lake, where we ran into snapping turtles and more deer. The parking lot at Joeperry Lake is a 500m walk from the water, but after the 1.5km portage it seemed pretty easy.

More photos here: