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Journal Entries for December 2002
December 11, 2002
Santa's New Sleigh

Christmas in Calgary is many things, not the least of which is unpredictable... Here we are on December 13 (this picture was taken yesterday) with no snow, and average daily temperatures of about 5-10 degrees Celcius. There are still motorcycles cruising the city streets! I was fortunate enough to have my camera in my pocket yesterday as I was travelling to a job down town to catch this picture. Santa seems to have left the sleigh and reindeer at home and taken his cruiser out for a spin. On a lighter note, my accident settlement has finally been finished, and now I just have to wait for a cheque to arrive in the mail, the last page in this two-year old story. I'm quite relieved to have that over and done with, but I can't help but wonder if I did the right thing... Only time will tell though, and in the mean time the settlement couldn't have come at a better time, greatly easing some of the pressure I was feeling trying to buy presents for all my family and friends without the means to do so... That isn't so much the case now. The only other downer I've had recently was the crash of my laptop hard drive, containing thousands of pictures, diary and journal entries, work information, basically a lot of stuff I did not want to lose. What I've done now is ordered another hard drive the same as the one that crashed, and I hope to swap the controller cards to see if I can't get my files off the old drive. I have no idea if it's even possible, but we shall see. I have done this operation successfully before, however that was on a much older hard drive. This new one should arrive in about a week, as it's coming from somewhere in the States. After the exchange rate and shipping, it will end up costing about the same as the other hard drive I bought. I just hope this works! That was quite a bummer though. We have opened up a new forum on this site though, a place to chat, discuss things and answer polls. Check it out at and register your opinions. I'de like to expand it and customize it with Rob. You might also notice that there is a new web site being hosted here, Rob's. Rob and I go way back to grade 7 at NCCA where we both went to school for a number of years. We had a period of a few years since then where we lost contact, but recently we've started talking again and working on several web-based projects, such as the forum. That's one thing about guys who are friends as opposed to girls who are friends, when you have a good guy friend, you can not see the person for years and meet up with them one day and carry on as though you just saw each other the day before. Girls? That often does not happen. Anyway, enjoy the site as always, more to come of course.

December 24, 2002
'Tis the night before Christmas, and all through my house,
all the creatures are stirring, though we don't have a mouse.

Presents are being wrapped, and while this place is full of cheer,
I can't help but notice, that outside does not appear
To look like it's Christmas, not at all, in the least!
But snow or no snow, tonight -- we will feast!

Ok, so it's been a while since I've written a poem of any sort... I had to work a half day today and gave myself a good scare towards the end of it there... I had to fix a cooler light in a 7-11, and in order to accomplish this I needed to use a drill. Once I'de finished the job and the lights were all working, I brought the drill case to the coffee counter and typed up the job details into my work job-typer-into-thingie, and went to the counter to get it signed. Once that was completed, I left the store and went on to my next job. Well at this point, my obvious mistake will be staring you in the face, but my mind was anywhere but on work. It was not until the end of the day when I was back in the shop cleaning out the truck that I noticed the absense of a small, black box. CLONK! The location of the said box came and cracked me over the head, and I jumped in my van and RACED back to the 7-11. My fear, of course, with many construction-type people frequenting that store, was that someone might recognize the box and remove it from the store, a loss to the company of probably close to $200! When I pulled up to the store and walked through the front doors, the girl at the counter smiled and said, "I know what you're looking for..." She had spotted it and figured I'de be back to get it. What a relief. That certainly made my day at that point, but my big disappointment was yet to come. When I got home, my package still hadn't arrived. I started getting presents ready for wrapping and other Christmas Eve activities, when the doorbell rang. I raced upstairs to greet the UPS deliverer, and he handed me the box I'de been waiting for. Inside was a replacement hard drive for my laptop, for the old one had failed several weeks ago. I had HOPED, that with the controller card from this new one, that I would be able to start up my old drive and pull off the hundreds, if not thousands of files that existed inside and nowhere else but the old drive. My excitement was great, I'de waited weeks for this moment, my hands began to shake a little as I connected everything up. The power was on, I waited a moment, and ..... It didn't work. The problem is inside the hard drive itself, possibly in the motor mechanism directly. I may never be able to retrieve the contents of that hard drive, a loss of many irreplacable files. So that was my bit of disappointment for this day, but I am really looking forward to seeing the face of my parents and brother when they open up their presents tonight. I think I am more excited than they are, especially Blair. I got him an awesome present, one which I KNOW he will love. I suppose I could tell you what it is since there is no way he'de read this page before tonight, but since he has to wait, it's only fair that you do too! Heheheh. But I will let you all know how it goes and what I got him, and hopefully explain the signifigance of it as well. Honestly, I already have a LOT to write, but finding the time is never easy. I also had several journal entries on that old hard drive that are now lost as well... More priceless, irreplacable information. Can I say "Backup??" You're probably wondering why I didn't have backups yourself, and really I know I had no excuse, but the thing was that this hard drive that failed was only 4 months old!! I'de expect a hard drive to fail after 4 years maybe, but not four months!! Now that I have access to a DVD burner, I plan on backing up the many other thousands of files I have on hard drive -- and nowhere else -- simply because it would take hundreds of CD's to copy everything over! It would be no exaggeration to say that I have over a hundred and fifty gigs of files! Half the stuff I don't even know I have! I was cleaning out one particularly large folder the other day, and it's amazing how stuff accumulates over the years! Anyhow, I have things to do still before heading over to my parents' house. Rest asured, there will be more on this later!

December 22, 2002
Christmas is almost here! I still have to wrap presents, which will have to be done tomorrow sometime. Oh so busy! I don't even have time to write a decent journal entry! But I have added a number of new sections in the photo album, mainly under My Life, the section for December 20 - 22. Hopefully I can write a LOT more on Christmas later. I can't believe how much I still have to do!

December 5, 2002
Christmas Stress

What a day I had yesterday! It was a full day of work to begin with, and to make things more interesting, on the way back to the shop, we were driving down Deerfoot Trail and all of a sudden smoke started billowing out from unerneath the dash of our truck! We rolled down the windows and tried to pull off the road, not sure what was burning. Once we had stopped, we grabbed a flashlight and tried to see where all this smoke had come from. We were unable to see any damage, and everything in the truck seemed to work. The smoke seemed to have subsided and we decided to venture back on the road. This morning we dropped the truck off at an International truck garage and noticed that the daytime running lights were not working properly. They're looking at the truck now. Then I had a call to come and add another computer to a network, so I picked up the hardware and went to the site. Setting up the physical side of the network was easy, but the computer they wanted connected runs Windows XP Home, and all the other computers in that office are on an NT domain. Well what would you know, but Windows XP Home will not connect to an NT domain! I tried to get it to use some of the network resources but it just would not cooperate. After that I went to Ed's house because they had a blue screen of death on their computer. It turns out that their file system is corrupt and the computer cannot boot, and while I was there another friend of mine called with questions about setting up a DSL connection, and was having all kinds of browser Java errors. While on the phone with him, ANOTHER friend called and was having Java errors while trying to connect to web based chat rooms. It was one crazy day of continuous, consecutive problems. But today is better. Tonight I've got to go get my phone checked out to see why it can't send or recieve text messages, and then I'm going to visit Ed's to see if I can't fix their corrupt file system... Tomorrow evening is our company's Christmas party, and the weekend can't come too soon in my opinion. I think this weekend I am going to shut my phone off, log out of MSN Messenger and just work on all the things I've got to do at home... I have so many computers to fix right now, and build and upgrade and test and deliver... It will take all weekend just to get everything started! Those plans are, of course, subject to change without notice, but since failing to plan is planning to fail, I have to make plans before I can get things done. Now I'm just rambling, so I will put up the picture now and sign off.

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