August 29, 2003

Friday Five 2003 08 29

Friday Five for today:

  1. Are you going to school this year? - No. I went to school for far too many years. No more, I say. No more! Well, unless I win the lottery. Then I'll be a Career Student. I like the Student Life. Just not the poverty.

  2. If yes, where are you going (high school, college, etc.)? If no, when did you graduate? - Uhh... 1981 (hs), 1988 (university), 1993 (tech college)

  3. What are/were your favorite school subjects? - My best courses were my French courses. Not my major. My favorite course of all time was my Logic course. Not one of those philosophy courses. No no. Computer-style logic. Brought my college average up, baby!

  4. What are/were your least favorite school subjects? - Hmm... toughie. There are a couple to choose from, but my least favorite would have to be Introduction to Financial Accounting, which we had to take for my Computer Systems Technology program. The instructor was great, but the subject matter sucked. Brought my average down. (note to accountants: I'm glad you like this crap, 'cause someone has to do it...)

  5. Have you ever had a favorite teacher? Why was he/she a favorite?
    - My favorite teacher was Mr Sprysak, my Physics teacher in highschool. For almost every section he taught, he had a personal annecdote to illustrate it, from his time at a Nuclear facility to his summer jobs in the oil patch. He knew his stuff, and he made us laugh.

Battle CryYelp!

Oh sure. Michele at a small victory gets to stalk the plains. What do I get to stalk? See for yourself:

What Is Your Battle Cry?

Stalking along the candy store, clutching a piece of chainlink fence, cometh Michael! And he gives a mighty cry:

"I'm going to clobber you in such an unsafe manner, you will see ultraviolet!!"

Find out!
Enter username:
Are you a girl, or a guy ?

created by beatings : powered by monkeys

Posted by Squiddy at 10:26 AM | TrackBack | Comments (1)

August 28, 2003

Molluscs a-slimin'

It just occurred to me today that 10 years ago this week, my life as a student officially came to an end. I wrote my final final exam in the last week of August, 1993. Sure, I've taken a few employer-sponsored courses since then, but that's not the same as being a Poor Starving Student™.

So, what have I been doing since then? Let me take stock:

1 beautiful, funny, smart, talented wife (met 1996, married 1998)
1 wonderful, smart, mischievous son (born 2000).
1 adorable cat (born 1995, adopted 1997).
2 cars - current vehicle acquired in 1994.
2 provinces.
4 cities.
8 moves.
12 jobs (note to self: no more startups!).
120 months.
520 weeks.
3652 days.
10000+ meals (no, I don't always eat 3 meals every day).
87600 hours.
5256000 minutes.
315360000 seconds.

Update: Darren has taken stock, too...

Posted by Squiddy at 01:29 PM | TrackBack | Comments (1)

August 26, 2003

Welcome back to the Ecosystem

It would appear that N.Z.Bear over at Truth Laid Bear has fixed his scripts, and hopefully his hosting company will now allow them to run. So why don't you head over to the Ecosystem, and help SquidBlog reach the lofty heights of Slimy Molluscs, from our current Lowly Insects. All you have to do is join the Ecosystem, then make sure you have a link to me!

And hey! Maybe I'll link back to you, so it's mutual! :)

And I thought Lutefisk sounded bad...

Making my way through my daily reads, I came across this mention of surströmming on Giornale Nuovo:

"Herring fished in the near-fresh waters of the northern Baltic in spring is processed and canned, but with insufficient salt to arrest all biological activity. In the can, a process of fermentation (some might say putrefaction) takes place, which renders the contents foul-smelling but still edibly non-toxic. Apparently, the hungrily ingenious northern Swedes of yore hit upon this process as a means of economising on the use of salt."

Apparently, when it comes to food, common sense is lacking in Scandinavia.

Squid-or-Squat 2003 08 26

This-or-That is still on hiatus, so...
1. Down pillow or synthetic
2. Waterbed or traditional
3. Window open or closed at night
4. Night light or darkness
5. "natural sounds" tape or quiet
6. King Size bed or Queen Size
7. Left side or Right side
8. Comforter or blankets
9. Night cap or hot chocolate
10. Alarm clock or wake naturally

My answers are below:

  1. Down pillow or synthetic - Synthetic, baby. Can't have a bunch of ducks running around naked, just so I can have a nice pillow.
  2. Waterbed or traditional - I had a waterbed for many years. Too much of a pain, and not as comfortable as waterbed fans claim. No, I prefer traditional, thanks.
  3. Window open or closed at night - Open. A bit of fresh air helps me sleep better. Even if it's -30C outside.
  4. Night light or darkness - Shut off that damn light, will you? I'm tryin' t'sleep here!
  5. "natural sounds" tape or quiet - Good lord, why would I want to sleep in the jungle? There be lions out there!
  6. King Size bed or Queen Size - Currently a Queen Size, but we want a King. With just us, it's ok... barely. But when our three year old climbs in, and our cat...
  7. Left side or Right side - I sleep on the left, my wife on the right. And our son, *all* of the bed. And our cat? on top of one or other of us.
  8. Comforter or blankets - Depends on the weather. Cold of winter, a comforter. Spring or Fall, blankets. Summer? as little as possible.
  9. Night cap or hot chocolate - Neither. Coffee or a Slurpee®, most likely.
  10. Alarm clock or wake naturally - Alarm clock during the week, wake naturally (read: when our son wakes) on weekends.

August 22, 2003

Friday Five 2003 08 22

Friday Five for today:
1. When was the last time you laughed? - This morning. Reading a blog, just a few minutes ago. Mr. Helpful. Lots of fun. And some Trek absurdity, too.

2. Who was the last person you had an argument with? - My wife. And I'm very very sorry.

3. Who was the last person you emailed? - The admin of, to ask for their XML Amber Alert feed. I would use their javascript ticker on here, but it's buggy and only works properly in Internet Exploiter. Yecch.

4. When was the last time you bathed? - Well, that would depend on how you define "bathe". If you mean "swim", I went swimming about a month ago. If you mean "have a bath", it's been probably 10 years since I had one of those. If you mean "wash your entire body", I had a shower this morning.

5. What was the last thing you ate? - I just had a muffin with my morning coffee. A Blueberry Bran muffin. Yum.

August 20, 2003

Five Questions

Darren over at speakeasy has thrown the Five Questions meme at me. I'm to answer these - but hey, I asked for it, so...

1) How has life changed, now that you're a Dad?
I'm more cautious. I drive more carefully. I'm more aware of health issues, and I'm definitely more aware of my surroundings. With a 3-year-old, you need to know what's going on. Life has changed in many ways, but the biggest is - there's someone who depends on us completely and totally. Very sobering, that.

2) What is your experience commuting to Edmonton from Calgary?
It sucks. Really.

3) Superpowers. What superpowers do you currently possess? What superpowers would you like?

I have the ability to become completely invisible. Not literally, but certainly effectively. I always wanted to have Superman's x-ray vision. That would be cool.

4) Tell me a humourous anecdote about working with computers.
What's a computer? No, wait. Uhhh... once, I wanted to cross a bridge, and this evil troll jumped out and - oh, wait. Wrong story.

I once had to diagnose a PC that wouldn't read floppies properly. In DOS1, if you typed DIR, you'd get gobbledygook. If you tried to run a program you knew was on the floppy, it would fail. But if you typed in the program name (and extension) as it appeared in the DIR listing, it would run! For example, DEMO.EXE would show up as H@E$.@T@ and if you typed in H@E$.@T@ and hit enter, it would run.

I checked everything I could think of. I checked the connector cable to the drive, the power connector, I even *swapped* the drive out and tried another. Same thing. Tried Viruscan. Nothing worked.

Just when I was about to give up, I noticed something that didn't look right at the back of the computer. One of the motherboard power connectors was not completely pushed down on one side. I clicked it home, and powered up, typed DIR and voila! fixed!

5) What advice do you want to pass down to the next generation?
Use Sunscreen. Trust me. Oh, and there's that thing about not taking life too seriously, but don't be a jackass, either. Sober thought can be a good thing.

1DOS: the original source of Bill's wealth. An Operating System, for you young'uns that never had the pleasure of using it...
2ok, it may not have been humorous, but...

The rules: if you want me to ask you five questions, ask me in the comments below. I will give you the questions in a subsequent entry.

August 19, 2003

Squid-or-Squat 2003 08 19

Ok, I'm sorry. I can't wait for This or That to return from hiatus. So... I'm doing my own.

You can play along if you like. Or not.

  1. Lasagna or Bologna sandwich?

  2. Coke or Pepsi

  3. Coffee or Tea

  4. Apples or Oranges

  5. White or Wholewheat

  6. Foreign or Domestic wine1

  7. Chopsticks or cutlery

  8. Whole milk or skim

  9. Mango or Kiwi

  10. Automatic or manual transmission

1Note what country is "domestic" for you.

[my answers below]

  1. Lasagna or Bologna sandwich? - Lasagna, baby. Me and Garfield, we like our lasagna. Yum
  2. Coke or Pepsi - you dare mention the 'P' word around me?! Actually, I'll drink both, but I prefer the stuff from that Atlanta company.
  3. Coffee or Tea - Coffee. Although just about anything with caffeine will do in a pinch. Coffee.
  4. Apples or Oranges - Apples. Or maybe oranges. Who could choose?
  5. White or Wholewheat - wholewheat, of course. Why would I buy something that has had all the nutrition removed, and then a few vitamins and minerals added back to make it not-quite-so-useless?
  6. Foreign or Domestic wine1 - Canadian wine has come a long way. There are some excellent vintages out there. Ask your local wine merchant/pusher
  7. Chopsticks or cutlery - Yes.
  8. Whole milk or skim - We drink mostly 2%, but 1% or whole will do in a pinch. Skim is right out. Ick.
  9. Mango or Kiwi - Mango, baby! Mango! Mango mango mango.
  10. Automatic or manual transmission - Manual.

Edmonton Fringe Festival 2003

The Edmonton Fringe Festival is in full swing. Listening to CBC Radio yesterday, I heard a short interview with the cast of one of Dead Beat: A Zombie Musical, a show that would be a big hit with Michele of A Small Victory. Michele is a self-proclaimed Zombie afficionado. This is a musical about Zombies.

Show tunes and the Undead - what more could you want?

August 15, 2003

Friday Five 2003 08 15

Friday Five for today:
1. How much time do you spend online each day? - Much much too much.

2. What is your browser homepage set to? - Nothing. I know how to type, and can type URLs in quickly. All this bookmarking of easy-to-remember URLs that you use every day just adds to the decomposition of your memory. Exercise your brain daily. It'll thank you, once it remembers who you are.

3. Do you use any instant messaging programs? If so, which one(s)? - Trillian. A few friends have msn, a few have AOL, a few have Yahoo, a few have ICQ, and a bunch are on IRC. Trillian lets me talk to all of them, with a single program. Not that I talk to them much. I'm too busy reading these silly blog things.

4. Where was your first webpage located? - in cyberspace, in late 1994 or early 1995. On the servers of my first ISP.

5. How long have you had your current website? - since 1999. Although the blog part didn't start until this year. It's my wife's fault - she finally got me Hooked on Blogging

Blackout 2003

No, we don't live anywhere near the Blackout Zone. No, we weren't directly affected. We were, however, affected by the fact that our sites are hosted 2000 miles away - in the affected zone. SquidBlog came back up at 8:15am Mountain Daylight Time. That's some 18 hours after the power went off.

Michele of A Small Victory was without power until this morning, but she has written a beautiful account of her night: Darkness Falls.

The Command Post is doing a good job of covering all things Black Out, with both US and Canadian news. Check them out for a wide variety of information from lots of sources.

8:35am - Uh oh. Just tried to preview what I've written so far, server failed to respond. Power may not be stable yet for our hosts. *sigh*

8:50am - Ok, we're back again. I hope.

August 14, 2003

Heard 'in passing...'

If you're expecting, as some of our friends are, and you're tired of the stupid, rude and overly personal questions strangers ask you, here's a good comeback, found at In Passing:

"I might have to put her up for adoption, though."
"Oh, I'm so sorry. Forgive me for asking."
"But only if she turns out to be a Redskins fan. It's too early to tell right now."

--A pregnant woman and an elderly woman talking in the shoe section at Bloomingdales.

Feel free to replace "Redskins" with the sports team/band/singer/actor of your choice.

August 13, 2003

Wednesday 2003 08 13

Today is the thirteenth day of August, 2003 CE.

Our office is being moved to another building on Saturday, so by 4:30pm on Friday, we have to be packed up and everything labelled. And since my manager and my supervisor are away this week, it falls to me to make sure everything is all set and ready to go.

Oh, joy.

I hate moving. I hate it even more when it's for work, and I get to pack up all the crap in one set of cubicles, to be moved over to another set of even crappier cubicles.

At least in this crappy cubicle, I don't have people walking behind me. In the new one, I will. I hate that. Hate hate hate hate hate.

Note to those who make floorplans for offices: don't make people sit with their goddamned backs to people!


August 12, 2003

What to eat, what to eat...

Yes, this is another fun-filled Tuesday without This-or-That because This or That is still on hiatus...

So. Got in late last night, so slept in, so no lunch, so gotta buy something. What should I have? Suggestions, please. Be creative. And remember, my lunch budget is *very* limited.

Heck, just for the fun of it, suggest something local. Let's turn this into a list of cheap-but-yummy local delicacies! Preferrably things that are served quickly, and thus good for the lunch crowd.

Posted by Squiddy at 12:42 PM | TrackBack | Comments (3)

August 10, 2003

This just in...

Hot off the presses at the WeeklyWorld News:
Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction - Killer Dinosaurs!

I'm not saying they're 100% correct here, but... it would explain much, would it not? I mean, the US ain't lookin' for these babies, are they? They're looking for chemical and biological weapons, and maybe the odd nuclear warhead. These babies would be a) harder to hide and b) harder and more expensive to feed.. so, of course the US missed them!

And some people call the Weekly World News a rag...

August 09, 2003

August 08, 2003

Friday Five 2003 08 08

Friday Five for today:

1. What's the last place you traveled to, outside your own home state/country? - Hmm... last trip was Christmas 2000, to Vancouver Island with my wife and son. Good trip.

2. What's the most bizarre/unusual thing that's ever happened to you while traveling? - I was trying to cross this bridge one day when a troll jumped up and said he was going to eat me. I told him no, that's silly. Wait until my bigger brother comes along. He'd make a much more satisfying meal. The troll, an ugly bugger, and not very bright, agreed. I went on my way, and soon arrived at my destination.1

3. If you could take off to anywhere, money and time being no object, where would you go? - Right now? Australia is at the top of the must see list.

4. Do you prefer traveling by plane, train or car? - Depends. Short trip, by car. Long trip, by plane. And in Europe, medium trips by train. In North America, the rail system is a joke.

5. What's the next place on your list to visit? - Didn't I just say it? Australia. Ok, maybe not any time soon, and perhaps we'll go other places before then, but it's next on my list. This is a long way of saying, no trips planned at the moment... *sigh*

1No trolls or brothers were harmed in the making of this fairy tale.

August 05, 2003

Faulty statistics

I wish to draw to the attention of my thousands of faithful readers (ok, a handful of you) the fact that some of the free statistics tools out there, including one of the most popular, are wrong.

I give by way of example the fact that Site Meter does not track the use of the Opera browser. This is my browser of choice. No matter which version of Opera I use, Site Meter logs it as Internet Explorer 6. Blogpatrol, another free stats tool, shows about 10% of my visitors using Opera. Site Meter shows none.

Site Meter says Dave Barry's Blog has been visited close to a million times, but apparently his readers only use Internet Explorer and Netscape. That's odd. I was certain I was using Opera.

So... there are thousands of sites out there that dismiss Opera, because Site Meter says none of their users use Opera. What else does Site Meter report incorrectly?

Posted by Squiddy at 10:58 AM | TrackBack | Comments (2)

August 01, 2003

Friday Five 2003 08 01

Friday Five for Today:

1. What time do you wake up on weekday mornings? - First alarm, 06:15. Last alarm, 06:30.

2. Do you sleep in on the weekends? How late? - We have a three-year-old. We get up as late as he'll allow us to sleep :)

3. Aside from waking up, what is the first thing you do in the morning? - Curse the existence of morning. The day should start at noon. Morning should be outlawed, as the despicable beast it is.

4. How long does it take to get ready for your day? - If I actually get up with the second alarm, I have an hour until I catch my bus. Most mornings, 30 minutes... did I mention mornings should be outlawed?

5. When possible, what is your favorite place to go for breakfast? - Pancake house near our place that has a couple of aquariums. Our son loves them, and they keep him out of mischief... and the food is good, too!