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Journal Entries for September 2007
September 2, 2007 - 2:13 PM

Horray long weekend. Who would have thought this year could hold so much and yet still go by so quickly. I caught a glimpse of my birthday countdown this morning and it's barely a month away! For three-quarters of my morning shower I was freaking out because I thought it was my 28th coming up, but then I remembered I'm still only 26. Even so. Next year will be my 10 year graduating anniversary. Ahh so many memories. The image above is a look through a shattered pane of glass. I only had my camera phone on me at the time, but it was really the most intricate pattern.

With September officially here, I suppose it would be allright to openly accept the arrival of fall. I found my first fallen yellow leaf last week but this tree is the first yellow-turning tree that I've come across. Fall is so pretty, perhaps the one redeeming feature of the pre-season to winter. Hopefully with all this global warming this winter will be another mild one. They certainly haven't been the beasts they once were when I was little... Has the weather changed or is it merely my perspectiev?

I'm just finishing up some things here at home before heading out for the rest of the weekened to go camping with my parents and some cousins in Kananaskis. We're staying in Elkwood, the campground of my youth and many fond childhood memories. Hopefully there will be a show at the Amphatheatre both nights so that Bo and Maddy can get to see one. That was such a thrill when I was her age! They put on such excellent shows, entertaining both for young and old alike. Have a great long weekend!

September 3, 2007 - 7:42 PM
Happy Long Weekend!

Campfire Gathering

My family, Aunty Becky, Mark, Maria and I went to Kananaskis Country this weekend, where we were joined by Bo and Maddy! Apparently it just poured Thursday night and Friday, but by the time I got there on Saturday it had cleared up. My little yellow bike and I dodged the many speeding traps erected to catch long weekend speeders and managed to make it out in time to get some supper before catching the second last show at the amphitheatre called "Life at the Tree-R." The program was information packed, which you would expect from an interpretive show. The songs however seemed to be overflowing with details, though cleverly rhymed and woven, which blew right over the heads of the vast majority of the audience. There's my critique of Kananaskis 2007. On with the pictures.

Maddy helping to make Smores - her first ever

Our Blue Dishwasher

One of the cutest elements of this weekend was Maddy washing the dishes. She insisted on helping, and since the portable sink my mom brought to help her organize the food preparation / dish management for the hordes was the perfect height for her, my mom let her do the dishes.

Maddy at the park

A dilligent colorer

Batter up!

We got to play some baseball by the river, which had a huge parking lot behind into which many a fly ball flew.

Swing Batta Batta!

Swing batta batta!


Do not feed the wildlife chocolate ice cream

SOMEONE left their ice cream on the picnic table, but it didn't take very long before nature began to clean up the mess.

Cute, isn't he

Maddy gets a booboo

As we were playing by the river on the rocks, Maddy slipped and bruised her shin on one of them.


Blair and Mark had set up some sort of obylisk in the middle of the river they'd dammed up, which inevitably became the target of a game of rock tossing accuracy testing. We have here a near miss.

Blair, the Bridge Monkey

Nature Photographer

Maddy, the Little Bridge Monkey

Forest Dream - playing with some camera effects

Elkwood Amphitheatre 2007-09-02

Sunday night was the grand finale - the best of 2007 at the Elkwood Amphitheatre which featured all of the actors in the circuit performing one final show combining the best scenes and songs from their various skits. It was also much warmer this evening, making the experience both pleasant and memorable. Good times in K Country.

Elkwood Amphitheatre 2007-09-02

Elkwood Amphitheatre 2007-09-02

Elkwood Amphitheatre 2007-09-02

Lighting the way

Camping Transportation

Morning Cuddles by the Campfire

Nice Hat

Doesn't Mark have white teeth?

Doesn't Mark have white teeth? I think he is smiling - almost exploding with happiness, in every picture he snuck into this weekend! Such a fun guy to have around. I really enjoy hanging out with Mark.

Mark and Blair by the fire

Our Campfire


Maddy's main source of entertainment for the weekend

Doesn't Maria have beautiful eyes?

People getting 'Smore

Camera War

Bike trail

It was surreal watching Maddy ride her little bike down this path - because when I was her age - I rode my little red bike down the very same trail! I hope the memories she makes camping are as full and pleasant as mine are.

Mom and Dad having breakfast

Phase 10 Game

Dad reading the paper by the fire

Phase 10 Cheaters

Aunty Becky, you're holding your cards backwards... No wonder they're winning!

Hope everyone else had a wonderful long weekend.

September 10, 2007 - 6:08 AM
Another weekend come and gone. Is it just me or are they starting to fly by? I was tinkering out in the garage Saturday night and I had to light up the furnace. Such a wonderful feeling, all that hot air blowing on your face. That's the one thing I dislike about living in the basement of my house - all the heat vents are on the ceiling which makes lying on them very tricky. I can only do it for very short stints (and there's a lot of pain involved afterwards. ) But it is definitely getting colder, particularly at night. During the day when the sun is shining you can't notice it as much, but once that sun goes down boy... Watch out!

Shaw Cable has done something silly with my Internet connection - they've blocked my outgoing TCP port 25, which, for anyone not familiar with the inner workings of TCP/IP - means that I can not send out any emails. I first noticed this on Friday night but assumed it was an isolated incident (at the other end.) However last night my messages still weren't going through so I ran some other tests and found that it is definitely blocked. I phoned their tech support line and it's been escalated to their 'special' team. (I think that just means the regular guys who don't work on the weekends. :P) Hopefully they'll have it fixed today. There are a few rounds in the chamber as it were...

I also got a killer bargain this weekend on an IBM xSeries 340 server and a couple of 3Com 24 port managed switches. More toys with which to tinker... Actually, I like to think of it as getting ready for the off season - making sure I'll have lots to do through the winter. hehe I suppose one of these days I'll actually finish the new layout for this site! How exsiteing. Woo woo! *sigh* Cheap thrills for a geek.

September 11, 2007 - 11:18 PM
I am exhausted. Worked from 7am till midnight last night, 7am till 10 pm tonight, this whole week will likely follow suit. Double time can be hard to turn down... My feet hurt, my mind is mush, I want to go to bed but I can't just yet. Looks like they've fixed my email... As I walked home from the train station this evening, I couldn't help but notice that tonight was [the perfect evening.] My thermometer tells me 15 degrees but it felt warm. The wind was in a hurry this evening but it wasn't aggressive. There was just a hint of rain, a speckle here and there and [that smell] - ohh so nice. After I'd taken the garbage to the alley when I got home, I sat in one of the lawn chairs in the back yard and watched the clouds fly overhead. One after another, clusters of low, whisky clouds slid over the sleeping roofs of our houses. For brief moments as the cloudgaps allowed the twinkle of distant stars glimmered in the warm city sky. Tree leaves quivered as the branches they clung to bowed and bent with the whims of the wind passing through them. I could have fallen asleep looking heavenward except I'd have never awoken in time for work in the morning. I may not anyways.

September 20, 2007 - 12:21 AM
Motorcycle tipping caught on tape

Motorcycle tipping caught on tape

Motorcycle tipping caught on tape

Motorcycle tipping caught on tape

Motorcycle tipping caught on tape

Motorcycle tipping caught on tape

On Wednesday, September 19, 2007 at 8:03 AM three youths approached this motorcycle parked in front of 4427 Marlborough Drive. After trying to pull the bike over on it's left side, two of the youths pushed the motorcycle over onto it's right side causing several thousands of dollars in damage. This event was captured on video and can be viewed online at the following address:

A $250.00 REWARD is being offered to anyone who can successfully identify the individuals involved in this senseless act of property damage. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS or the local district office at 567-6400.

I have made a poster to the same effect which I hope to plaster around the neighbourhood. Either way, whether these three are caught or not I'm screwed. I have to pay the $500 deductible to get the bike fixed, my preferred status rates now vanish because I am no longer claim free, and even if these little punks are caught and made to pay for the damages, my rates will still be higher because of this... Which I think is total garbage. None the less, I do very much want these individuals to pay. Hence the reward offering. Somebody out there knows who did this, three kids can't keep something like this a secret for long. The question is whether or not the right information makes it to the right people. Guess how I found out about this! I got a phone call this morning at 8:18 from a police constable asking if I am the owner of a yellow Honda Firestorm motorcycle. Never the kind of phone call you want to recieve. He explained what happened and I told him I had a video camera that would very likely have captured the whole thing, which he was delighted to hear about. I left work at about noon and came home to survey the damage. I won't know for sure what the cost will end up being until it's appraised and checked out by a body shop, but based on what I've seen the kinds of parts that are damaged go for on other motorcycles - easily over $2,000. I don't need this right now. If my bike has damage I want it to be because I did something to it! — Not some punk kids. *sigh*

On a brighter note, fall is here...

Contrasting Leaf Colors

Leafy Sidewalk

Last weekend I managed to get done some work on the house that has bothered me for quite some time. The paint has been flaking off the eaves trough ever since we bought the house, and it just made it look run down. So finally, after two years of procrastination, I got out my scraper, paint brush and ladder and set out to fix the unsightly problem.

Eaves trough before...

Eaves trough after!

Paint Can

Shadow Painter

Fall marks the transition into that time of the year when the land is covered for more of the day by darkness than by light.


I actually got a pretty neat shot of the moon the other night, you can really see some of the contours of it's surface - even off a digital camera!

Dark moon

September 22, 2007 - 12:00 PM
Blue Man Group Last Night at the Stampede Corral

Have you ever felt like there was a certain inveitability in your life? As though you know something is going to happen, no matter what you do. It's a little bit like being in trouble when you're a kid and you have to wait for your mom or dad to get home to get the punishment. This was the story of my day yesterday. I knew something was going to happen, all day, and as the events unfolded it just became more and more clear that there was simply no way around it. Sure enough, as was standing on the LRT platform at the end of the day, the very thing I'd been expecting happened. It almost felt as though I knew the future in one small aspect.

When I got to my station I departed the train and hopped into a waiting Rusty. I figured I should go pick up some things from the Millers' house because I'd been meaning to for the past couple of nights but had simply never gotten around to it. About 5 minutes away from their house (as if they knew I was coming) Barb phones me to ask what I was doing [that night.] I told her I was actually on my way to her house and long story short she had an extra ticket to the Blue Man Group at the Stampede Corral and I was invited. I've always wanted to see the Blue Man Group, but never got a chance to in Vegas or Florida. It was all that I'd built it up to be in my mind and more. A great show. Humor and oozing with talent. Very entertaining. (Plus the fact that we had 7th row floor seats didn't hurt... hehe

Incidently, I fixed the Motorcycle Tipping video I'd posted here yesterday. Apparently anyone with Windows was only able to play the first 30 seconds of the file whereas anyone on Linux could watch the whole thing. As I made the video on Linux, I did not have any problems viewing it, but my Windows' using counterparts complained so I fixed it. :P Take a look. It's absolutely sick. See how the bike actually bounces off the ground when it hits? I will catch those kids.

September 24, 2007 - 6:01 PM
Lots of pictures today...

Survivors of the September 23 Hiking Adventure

Yesterday a group of us went out to Kananaskis to hike and fish but were met by a blizzard instead. Determined to reach Tombstone Lake, this group of intrepid hunter / gatherers set off despite inclimate weather and had an adventure none will soon forget. (Especially since I took a lot of pictures along the way, as you shall soon see.) From left to right: Robbie, (me), Jessica, Zoe, Bo (with Madison atop) and Blair.

The Hike Begins

Blustery day on the lake

Zoe's Rosie Cheeks

Pine Point

Hikers passing the lake

A Happy Hiker

Narrow Bridge

Winding River

Into the Wilderness

Hitch Hiker

There are no fish here, Robbie!

Blair the Weather-Watcher

Poison Hat

Pretty chilly for a bald guy...

Into the Blizzard

Snowy Trail

Warming by the campfire


Sock Bait

Robbie and Jessica

Mountainous Sky

Winding mountain stream

Snowy Mountain Path

Mountain Mist

Catch of the day\nBo snags his own finger with a fishing hook

I just missed the initial look of shock and pain as Bo snagged his own finger with a fish hook trying to put it on his line. Almost a Kodak moment!

Lakeside Snowtree

Fishing on the banks of Tombstone Lake

Going round the lake

Robbie Fishing


Mountain bowl

Farside Fishing

Beautiful Banks

Blair Fishing

Bo Fishing

Big Robbie Fisher

Maddy Boogers

Zoe Fish-face

Maddy Raincoat

Maddy Crosseyed

Maddy's been so proud of the fact she's learned to cross her eyes, and equally vocal about who taught her how to do it!

Double Deck Bo-Bus

Notice the backpack in this particular picture. There is one passenger atop Bo's shoulders, but another pair of legs dangle from the bottom of the back seat. He carried two passengers a good distance up the first couple of hills leaving Tombstone Lake! Crazy guy!

Trek through the valley

And so ends our picturesque adventure. Tune in next weekend for more! haha

The other big news from today - Maddy's bike shed it's training wheels and she can now ride a two-wheeler! (Just in time for winter, of course...) The little monster is growing up so fast! It is such a thrill to be able to watch first hand. Brings me back to my first two-wheeler, The Little Red Bike. I'll never forget the day I first learned how to ride without my training wheels, with the help of a neighbourhood friend - Chris. I also remember falling hard after a few minutes of exuberance, but kids will learn a lot from a scraped knee! September 29, 2007 - 3:01 AM
Well, it's three AM and I must be lonely... Actually I'm not, but I couldn't resist quoting that line from [that song.] Why am I up so late? Perhaps the afternoon nap I took has impared my ability to sleep normal hours. Perhaps the fact that I had to clean out the hot tub and refill it tonight meant putting in some overtime. Perhaps I have simply always been a night owl. Whatever the reason, here I am - wide awake and typing at you as we speak. My aunty Myra sent me a 'joke' the other day that I thought was fantastic. Actually, it's apparantly a true story, making it that much funnier. So therefore, I shall share this with you now without further ado.

A man goes to a party and has too much to drink. His friends plead with him to let them take him home. He says NO -- he only lives a mile away. About five blocks from the party, the police pull him over. They check his license and ask him to get out of the car and walk the line. Just as he starts, the police radio blares out a notice of a robbery taking place in a house around the block. The police tell the party animal to stay put, they'll be right back and they run around the corner to the robbery. The guy waits and waits and finally decides to drive home. When he gets there, he tells his wife he is going to bed, and to tell anyone who might come looking for him that he has the flu and has been in bed all day. A few hours later the police knock on the door. They ask if Mr. Smith is there and his wife says yes. They ask to see him and she replies that he is in bed with the flu and has been there all day. The police still have his driver's license. They ask to see his car and she asks why. They insist on seeing his car, so she takes them to the garage. She opens the door. There sitting in the garage is the police car, with all its lights still flashing. True story; told by the driver at his first AA meeting.

That'd be a hard story to top, even at an AA meeting. I recieved some sad news today, well sad in a way, maybe bittersweet would be a better way of describing the news. Our service elevator operators, Hali and Sherry at the court house, are both finished working there as of tomorrow (today.) After that, apparently the government will be taking over the operations of the service elevators. It's sad because I will miss them, but good in a way because it means the court center must be nearing completion. Although my time on this project pales greatly by comparison to that of some of the others I'm working with, it has been all I've known at Convergint and I think the change will be a bit strange as I feel quite 'settled in' there. Quite some time ago I decided I'd have a joke for Hali every time I took the South elevator - the one she operated. Many laughs later, the last joke I pulled out of the hat was the purple brick joke. The first part this morning, the second part at the end of the day as we said our "until next time's." It's kind of funny how people walk in and out of your life sometime. It would seem someone new has walked into my life. I'd almost forgotten what it felt like to be this excited at the onset of what could quite possibly be a new relationship.

September 30, 2007 - 8:07 PM
One year ago today I powered up my Web Server, the one hosting this page you are on as we speak - and since that time it has not needed a reboot once! Rock solid reliability, at least on the Web Server's part... Now my gateway - well, that's another story. The hardware has some issues and it freezes every couple of days. But very soon now I will be transferring all responsibility to a new server, a bigger and better one, that should be the end of all my computer problems! (hahaha I laugh as I say that because such things exist only in the realms of dream and fantasy, but one can always hope.) I have posted a segment of my top screen for any other geeks out there to see just how cleanly that server runs. Even with only 200 Mhz processors it is so underworked it's not even funny. How fast is that? Most new computers are 2 - 3 Ghz (Gigaherz) - this one is 0.2 Ghz.

  8:06pm  up 365 days, 12:55,  2 users,  load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00
82 processes: 81 sleeping, 1 running, 0 zombie, 0 stopped
CPU0 states:  0.0% user,  0.0% system,  0.0% nice, 100.0% idle
CPU1 states:  0.5% user,  0.5% system,  0.0% nice, 98.0% idle
Mem:   513480K av,  435268K used,   78212K free,       0K shrd,   86516K buff
Swap:  530104K av,    6288K used,  523816K free                  275492K cached

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