on this day…

December 1, 2007 under Life

…in:

1640: Portugal regains independence after 60 years of Spanish rule.
1783: Charles and M.N. Roberts ascend 2,000′ in a hydrogen balloon.
1821: Santo Domingo (Dominican Rep) proclaims independence from Spain.
1822: Dom Pedro crowned emperor of Brazil.
1887: Sino-Portuguese treaty recognizes Portugal’s control of Macao.
1913: Continuous moving assembly line introduced by Ford (1 car every 2.5 minutes).
1918: Iceland becomes independent state under the Danish crown.
1919: Lady Astor sworn-in as 1st female member of British Parliament.
1929: BINGO invented by Edwin S Lowe.
1934: Sergei Kirov Josef Stalin’s collaborator, assassinated in Leningrad.
1935: Woody Allen was born.
1939: Lee Trevino was born.
1936: Bell Labs tests coaxial cable for TV use.
1940: Richard Pryor was born.
1945: Bette Midler was born.
1947: Aleister Crowley, occultist, died at 74.
1958: Central African Rep made autonomous member of French Commonwealth.
1959: 12 nations sign a treaty for scientific peaceful use of Antarctica.
1959: 1st color photograph of Earth from outer space.
1973: Australia grants self-government to Papua New Guinea.
1973: David Ben-Gurion founding father of Israel dies in Tel Aviv at 87.
1987: Digging begins to link England and France under the English Channel.
1988: Benazir Bhutto named 1st female PM of a Moslem country.
1989: East Germany drops the communist monopoly from its constitution.
1989: USSR Pres Mikhail S. Gorbachev meets Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.
1990: British and French workers meet in English Channel’s tunnel.
1990: Iraq accepts Bush’s offer for talks.
1990: Lithauania, Estonia and Latvia hold their 1st joint session.
1991: Inaugural AIDS awareness day and the Ukranian people vote for independence.

Oh, and in 1976, I showed up on this planet. Happy Birthday to me 🙂

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the excuse

November 19, 2007 under Life

For those still following my online ramblings and unsure about my recent whereabouts, I’ll shed some light. Rest assured, I’m still vertical and breathing. I’m in the midst of finally wrapping up a freelance gig that’s gone in every direction but forward, more often than not. Thankfully, I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. But I don’t wanna jinx it and cause a deluge of scope-killing feature requests to bugger up my luck.

Gimme two seconds, folks 🙂

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i remember running virusscan for dos from a floppy on my 486

August 3, 2007 under Life, McAfee

McAfee VirusScan shield icon
Today was my last day with Desire2Learn. The past year and a half was a good experience, but I was presented with a stellar opportunity that I couldn’t overlook. Starting this coming Tuesday (Monday’s the August Civic Holiday), I will be working for McAfee as a Software Engineer in their Waterloo office. This should be a great experience and I’m totally looking forward to it.

And to all of those people who always seek my advice as to which antivirus product they should use, what do you think I’ll be recommending? 😉

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a retching good time

March 7, 2007 under Life

Here’s another excuse for a lack of posting – a GI bug that left my innards on the outside. That was a gross description wasn’t it? 😉

I’m feeling better (thanks for asking) and once I clear up a few side gigs, I’ll return with more wonderful insights about the technical world and how it impacts our lives. Perhaps I’ll even unleash an album review or two. Until then, I’ll be firing up the MySQL Query Browser while sipping the champagne of gingerales. Stay tuned.

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what is love? baby, don't hurt me. don't hurt me. no more.

February 14, 2007 under Life, love, Valentine's Day

Today’s the day that Hallmark, florists and jewellers inform you that if you do not give them money in exchange for goods to give to your significant other, then you are a horrible person. Should you happen to not have a significant other, then you are made to feel left out of the “fun”. Hollywood has had their hand in dictating the expectations of the day as well – you don’t want to be the shlub that the audience hates because you didn’t live up to the Valentine’s Day expectations, making your actions on the other 364 days of the year neglectable.

In the past, I’ve posted things about why I love Dena and the usual stuff that many people can identify with. This year, I’d like to share something that really touched my heart. For the Christmas holidays, Dena went to visit her family in Crystal Falls. One day while she was IM-ing me from her parents’ computer, she types this:

I need to update this computer. What is the latest version of firefox?

Now I love my wife, but a technical person she ain’t. In university, I tried to no avail to explain to her the benefits of copy ‘n’ paste. She would have none of it. She preferred to re-type if need be – she has since come around once she began her first job out of university and realized that retyping 200-word portions of legal documents might actually be worse than a quick CTRL+C and CTRL+V. So for her to immediately want to update her parents’ web browser was a nice to hear, but not a total shock, since she installed updates and patches on her work computer. Yet, she then wanted to tackle an expired anti-virus subscription:

I need to update the AVG here as well. Got a link for that?

Following a reboot, she sends me this message:

This computer has so much shit on it that it’s so slow. But everything is updated. What about skype now? 2.5.0.151 is the version on it now.

My wife is an updating machine. She realizes the benefit of keeping software current. We’re on the same wavelength. And that, folks, is real love 🙂

Dena Sez: Keep your apps up-to-date, biotches!

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happy 2007

January 1, 2007 under Life

Happy 2007, people!

I celebrated it by falling asleep shortly after 10PM. When you spend the holidays alone, all the holiday hoopla seems boring.

I’ll remember 2006 as the year:

  • I got a new job.
  • My mom died.
  • Dena and I bought a house.
  • I started to play hockey again.

I don’t have any vices that are bad for my health that require a resolution, I don’t think. Yet if I had to put together a plan for the 2007, it would be:

  • Get up-to-speed on home handy work skills.
  • Get Dena a proper engagement/wedding ring somehow.
  • Be nicer to people that deserve it.
  • Tell off some people that deserve it.
  • Be more sociable.
  • Continue to wrack my brain to come up with a killer app.
  • Relax a little bit.

C’mon 2007.

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the old apartment

December 18, 2006 under Life

Today is the last day that Dena and I will be renters. As of this morning, we’ll be home owners, and should be totally moved into our house by day’s end tomorrow.

Since the age of 18, I’ve lived in dorms, a student townhouse and our current apartment. Will I miss our apartment which is where we’ve been for the past 5+ years? Hell no, and here’s why:

  • Waiting on a landlord to fix anything sucks. We’ve gone a combined total of 16 days without hot water, requiring a total of two replacement hot water heaters. Apparently showering and doing dishes isn’t all that important in the eye’s of TransGlobe.
  • Mould. Our building’s air ducts are covered in the stuff. It finds its way to our outside walls. Thank goodness for Lysol wipes.
  • The gag-inducing aromatic combination of dirty socks, urinal cakes, weed, baby shit and ashtray in the building’s halls is something you’d think you get used to. But you don’t.
  • Parking lots suck. I will enjoy our new driveway and garage in that I’ll never have to fight for a parking spot again. And don’t get me started on waking up to find weird “spills” on our car and beer bottles next to our tires.
  • Sharing walls means that we share more than that. When the people across the hall have a party, we hear it clear as a bell…and it sounds like the party is in their bathroom. A couple of years ago, a woman and her son (maybe 10 years old) lived in the apartment directly below ours. Dena and I really didn’t need alarm clocks, because every morning at around 6:30AM, they’d be screaming at the tops of their lungs at each other. What they were actually saying to each other was undecipherable, but neither were obviously pleased with the other….every day! When we passed them in the stairwell, they both had a look of “help me” on their faces. Weird.
  • Communal laundry rooms are gross. You’d think that the rinse cycle would wash away any nastiness that other tenants manage to get on their clothes, but this isn’t always the case and it’s often stuck to the bottom of the washer. I also won’t miss having to horde loonies and quarters in order to do laundry.
  • The other tenants…wow! I must admit, our apartment isn’t fancy downtown loft or condo. When I found it, I was 23 years-old with $75 in my chequing account and had just moved to Kitchener to start my first job out of university. It’s depressing to think that it became “home” for the past 5+ years. In that time, we managed to get to know nobody else in the building. Most people are completely unfriendly. There is a guy on our floor that Dena and I know only as “Moosehead”; we still don’t know his name. We christened him “Moosehead” when we first noticed that he always had a two-four of Moosehead under his arm every time we saw him. He’s become cost-conscious lately, as we now regularly see him with cases of Bohemian, Lakeport and Lucky instead. He, however, is the only person in those 5+ years that’s friendly and says “hi” to us.

Dena and I are totally looking forward to home ownership.

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here's ten dollars worth of chips. you may now kiss the bride

December 11, 2006 under Life

Congratulations to this guy:

Pat

And this gal:

Pat

Pat proposed to Jen and she said “yes”. Jen, you brave brave soul 😉 This all happened a few months ago, but neither have blogged about it. Jen was the first to announce it all Internet-like, several days after the fact. Pat let the Web know 73 days later. So I don’t feel bad posting bloggy felicitations many moons after the hitchin’ was proposed 🙂

Who would’ve thought that a nice young lady hailing from Fort McMurray, Alberta who has a rabid dislike for the misspelling of her first name with an extra ‘n’, would fall for a well-read yet forever-sniffling guy from Timmins? Not I, at first blush 🙂 But after witnessing their interaction over the past couple of years, it’s obviously meant-to-be. It takes a different kind of person to comprehend Pat von Patty-Patty-Pat de la Byck. There are a few of us dudes who do, but “null” couldn’t even begin to describe of the odds of a marriage between him and one of us happening. Ummm, maybe almost null. Jen, however, is also one of the world’s few to decipher Pat’s wavelengths….and she has girl parts! It’s no wonder that she nabbed him 🙂

At this point, somebody who’s already married usually gives the couple some advice about marriage that’s peppered with a smidgen of humour. In the case of the groom-to-be, it’s usually his father who imparts hard-won experience upon him. But since Dadoo (aka: Pat’s dad – aka: Paul Byck – aka: the guy who falsely claims that I drink all of his beer) doesn’t have a blog and I do, I’ll toss in my ignoble two cents on the Interweb 🙂

Marriage is like an avocado; tough exterior, tasty innards, toxic to some species, and is the key ingredient in guacamole. Take from that what you will. Everybody’s going to tell you something profound or enlightening about marriage that’s supposed to stick to your ribs so that you carry it with you for the rest of your life:

Nothing changes once you’re married.

Everything changes once you’re married.

Continue to change your underwear daily once you’re married.

That last one about the underwear is definitely one to remember. And keep up with the steady sexin’…you just gotsta do that 😀 Cheers!

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the big three-oh well

December 1, 2006 under Birthday, Life

As of 6:36PM Eastern Time, I’ll have existed for:

3/10 of a century or
3 decades or
30 years or
360 months or
1,565 weeks or
10,957 days or
15,778,463 minutes or
946,707,779 seconds or
946,707,779,241 milliseconds or
9.46707779 × 1017 nanoseconds.

Some people greet the day that their life odometer rolls over to 30 years with anguish, depression, joy, borderline alcoholism or a combination of the aforementioned. Personally, I’ve addressed this day with one big “meh”. I’ve never been one who’s big into celebrating milestones, events or accomplishments, and I see no reason to change that. If I cure cancer or create something that benefits many people’s lives somehow, then I’ll probably have something worthy of a massive shindig. I also don’t see it as a day that I should dread, because what is there worth dreading? It’s not lost youth, because that’s ongoing always (and as, Dena says, I dress like I’m a teenager). It’s not the inevitability of giving-up-the-ghost, since that can happen any time. So I see turning 30 as no big deal.

If you’ve wished me well for my birthday, cool. If you haven’t because you weren’t aware, forgot or didn’t bother, that’s cool too.

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let the bears pay the bear tax. i pay the Homer tax.

October 20, 2006 under Kitchener, Life

Dena and I are now home owners 🙂

ReMax Sold Sign
After a couple months of MLS searches, walk-throughs, meetings and general running around, we’ve finally found a new place to hang our hats. We checked out places in other areas of Kitchener and didn’t find anything that suited us, even though we liked the area that we’re currently renting in. Out of desperation resulting from fruitless searches, we even considered looking in Waterloo and Cambridge. So it came as a surprise to us when we finally found a house that we liked and it’s barely 2 kilometres away from where we are now. It’s a happy conclusion and one we’re pleased with. I’m sure our real estate agent, who was great to work with and taught us a great deal about real estate and house construction, is pleased too since we undoubtedly drove him nuts, what with driving all over the Technology Triangle to view houses and all.

There’ll be some work to do such as painting and finishing some work around the fireplace in the rec room, but I’m starting to get excited about home automation X10 or INSTEON. Writing software for a house can’t be all that different than developing computer software, can it? 😉

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