September 29, 2008

Update for September 2008

I am here. I'm ashamed of leaving such a long time between entries. Here's a quick update:

Finally back with a previous employer after two years of floundering. Yay! Different department than before, and much much better than before. I'm enjoying my job, and the people I work with are great, too.

Kids are fantastic! Alexander is in Grade Three now, and doing very well, and Audrey is still going to the day home she's been in for the last three years. Brenda, the woman who runs the day home, is fantastic and Audrey loves it there.

Other than work and the kids, I hang out with friends, and am enjoying getting things back on track. Feel free to email me or phone me, those who have the number :)

And yes, one of these days (maybe now?) I will start regular updates.

July 19, 2006

Stampeding with Alexander

Last Thursday, Alexander and I spent the day together, washing the car, playing with the cat, and wearing out our feet a the Calgary Stampede. We both had a great time. Read on for more:

I picked Alexander up at 8:30 in the morning, and we made our first stop at a wand wash car wash, where Alexander washed the car - although I did have to help him hold the pressure wand, or it might have knocked him over!

After that, we headed to my place so he could see Skitz, I could find my hat, and we could pick up sun block. Skitz was very happy to see Alexander, as always.

We then walked to the LRT and took the train to the Stampede grounds. I piggy-backed Alexander for about 6 of the 8 blocks to the train station. We arrived at the grounds at 11:30, and headed to the Kid Midway. We tickets and jumped on some rides, wandering from ride to ride while Alexander decided which would be best. At about 1:15, we decided to see what else was about (with a promise to Alexander that we'd come back to the rides again), and headed out.

We found the Canadian Forces display, which included a Leopard C2 tank, an LAV III armoured personnel carrier, a G Wagon Light Utility Vehicle, a CF-18 Hornet fighter jet, and a CH-146 Griffon helicopter. Alexander thought they were all pretty cool, but really wanted to see the helicopter. I got some great shots of him at the controls of the copter, as he chatted with the pilot. She was very pleasant and answered all of his questions.

We then headed into the Roundup Centre, and watched the SuperDogs perform to a very enthusiastic crowd. The dogs were amazing! Alexander loved it, and I'm surprised he could talk afterwards, he cheered so loudly - something that was encouraged by the host.

We then headed back to the Kids Midway, I bought more tickets, and we went on more rides - but this time, Alexander found a ride buddy, Kyla. She was sitting beside Alexander on one of the rides, and they talked and had a great time, and decided they should go on other rides together, which they did, and had a wonderful time! And then, it was 4:30! and time to go home. By the time we took the LRT and walked (with Alexander on my back again) back to my car, it was 5:25, so I drove him home, and he apparently slept very very well that night. I did, too...

May 24, 2006

Update for 2006 05 24

After a long long absence, here is an update:

1) It's official - we have split permanently.
2) Alexander is 6, smarter than any other 6 year old in the world, and an all around great kid
3) Audrey is 2, happiness and sunshine and entered the "Why?" stage last week.
4) Work sucks.

And thus, life goes on...

Posted by Squiddy at 07:50 PM | TrackBack | Comments (2)

March 27, 2006

Time flies

My son turned 6 on Friday. Six! How can this be?

He's a great kid, and interested in everything. He enjoys kindergarten, most days, and loves the Day Home. And the thing we're proudest of is that he's a wonderful big brother, and takes great care of his sister!

PS: She'll be two in a month!

Posted by Squiddy at 08:44 PM | TrackBack | Comments (2)

January 30, 2006

Personal Update

Contrary to rumour, I'm still here. I'm very sorry for the long long absence.

1) My wife and I have been separated for some time now, and I had no wish to write about this. Still don't, but thought I'd let you know at least part of what is going on.

2) working two jobs, and coordinating time with my kids, which doesn't leave much time for anything else.

Posted by Squiddy at 07:20 PM | TrackBack | Comments (1)

December 08, 2005

Ack! Phhbbbbt!

My apologies! I had planned to make a strong return to blogging, and all hell broke loose!

1) My wife has been in-and-out of hospital repeatedly over the last two months (mostly in) - she's ok, and out now, but we were worried for awhile.

2) I've got some other personal things which I may talk about in the future, but not right now.

Anyway, an update: my wife is ok, and making a careful return to work. The kids are great - Alexander loves kindergarten, and both of them love their dayhome. Brenda is amazing - lots of kids there some days, but she keeps them organized and active and in line.

Going through the Christmas stuff recently, my wife found the stuffed Frosty the Snowman that someone gave us last year. It sings when you squeeze its hand. Audrey loves it, but after awhile it gets annoying, so we took the batteries out - not when she was around. In the morning, she discovered it didn't work, got very upset, stormed into the kitchen and grabbed a screwdriver and proceeded to try to open the battery compartment. -- She's 19 months old.

October 30, 2005

Squid Update

Gosh! It's been so long since I wrote an update, I can't remember how to do this!

1) Working at night (full time) and trying to get a technology support consultancy off the ground during the day. Doesn't leave a lot of time for anything else.

2) Alexander is in kindergarten, and loves it. He starts at 9am, and is done at 11:45am, at which time I pick him up and take him to the day home, where he spends the rest of the day until picked up by his mom after she gets home from work.

3) Audrey is 18 months old now (wow! time flies) and spends her days at the day home. The woman who operates the day home is wonderful, as are her husband and two children, who are young adults.

4) my wife is working as webmaster for a large institution here in the city - it's interesting work and she loves it.

5) Skitz is Skitz - he's 10 years old now, and slowing down - and he's bigger than ever, and resists every diet I put him on. He's 17 pounds, but the vet wants him to weigh 12-13 pounds. The kids, of course, adore him, and he adores the kids, and is great with them.

There. An update. And I hope to get back into the swing of things, now that the archives are all transferred and available. Still need the occasional tweak here and there, but most of them are done...

UPDATE: Please note - trackbacks were lost - unfortunately, the WayBack Machine is not able to get into Movable Type trackbacks, because robots.txt keeps it out of cgi. Comments, however, have been retained in their entirety, with the exception of some 5 spam comments that eluded me before.

September 17, 2004

Silence Broken / Quick Update

Hi all.

Please forgive the long long silence, which had numerous causes, not least of which is that I'm a lazy slob, and couldn't think of anything to write about. The best reason for recent silence, however, is that we have moved into a new home and have been busy setting it up and getting ready for Audrey's baptism.

Move went well, and we are now living in a 4 year old two-storey porch-front Victorian style home, after three years in the place-formerly-known-as-home. The main floor and the upper floor are pretty much set up, but the basement is half-done - that is, the computers are set up and the kids' play area has a carpet and their toys are there. The other half is filled to overflowing with boxes of books and other things we haven't unpacked.

Audrey's baptism was wonderful - and we had two weeks to get our house ready for some 50 guests. The baptism was great, and everyone had fun afterwards in our new home.

I will let Karen write more on all this, as she does a much better job of these things. Suffice it to say, we are here, we are well, and we are happy!

Posted by Squiddy at 02:44 PM | TrackBack | Comments (1)

June 28, 2004


No matter what happens in the next few hours, I can cheer about it or complain about it, because I voted.

If you didn't vote... shut up!

Posted by Squiddy at 07:20 PM | TrackBack | Comments (4)

April 27, 2004

Here she is!

Audrey Elizabeth
April 26, 2004 at 7:36pm
6lbs 8oz / 2970g
19.5" / 50cm

and absolutely perfect... mother and daughter are doing great, and big brother Alexander was very happy to meet his new baby sister!

Posted by Squiddy at 10:52 AM | TrackBack | Comments (3)

January 06, 2004

December 25, 2003

December 18, 2003

Number Two

I hereby break my rather lengthy silence to announce:

We are expecting our second child, late April or early May! We're very excited, especially our son, who will be 4 in March: he keeps shoving his face in my wife's belly and talking to the baby through her bellybutton!

Everything is going well, apart from morning sickness - more than she'd hoped, but less than last time. She's had a couple of ultrasounds now, and the baby is doing great, no signs of any problems, so a good deal of tension has been lifted.

The ultrasound tech on Tuesday also told us, with an "I can't be 100% certain", that she thinks it's a girl... wow! This is going to be very different for us, after Alexander!

Did I mention that we're all very excited?

Posted by Squiddy at 11:29 AM | TrackBack | Comments (3)

November 15, 2003

Update 2003 11 15

Yesterday was bad and good:

bad: took my wife to emergency with problems due to her asthma.

good: fastest trip ever - we were in and out in 2.5 hours.

bad: Alexander had one of those days - tantrums upon tantrums. Ack!

good: new employer called. Expected start date: November 24th. A week later than originally thought, but still, a start date.

November 13, 2003


Again, a period of blogging inactivity. My apologies. It's been a sucky two weeks.

October 25: Brent, my wife's best friend, and a good friend to me, also, passed away.

October 29: Final day of my contract position. No new contract in sight. Drive the 300 kilometres home through a Prairie Blizzard, to arrive late for prayer vigil for Brent.

October 30: Pallbearer for Brent's funeral. An honour, but not a joy. Previous experience as pallbearer was in 1983, for my grandfather. Also an honour but not a joy.

October 31: Had a wonderful third Halloween with our son, despite bitterly cold temperatures. He went as Buzz Lightyear, in a costume made by my mother-in-law.

November 3: Alexander comes down with a cold. Doesn't sleep. My wife doesn't sleep. I don't sleep. This lasts three days.

November 7: Informed by aquaintance that a job is being offered. Accept job, details to come on start date - expected start date week of November 17. Details to follow.

November 8: Go to my wife's cousin's second birthday party. 6 year old cousin is sick, with some dreadful viral infection that my wife's aunt and uncle failed to warn us about.

November 10: In evening, my wife and my son start showing signs of virus that had afflicted aforementioned cousin. Much fun and fever and vomiting.

November 11: My wife's birthday. Much fun, fever and vomiting. A good time was had by all.

November 12: Son's fever peaks, and finally breaks in the wee hours.

Today: Wife still ill, son recovering but grumpy. Finally regains appetite. Has lost 1.5 of his 29.5 pounds. Still no official word on start date of new employment.

Posted by Squiddy at 10:52 PM | TrackBack | Comments (2)

October 27, 2003

Rest in peace, my friend

My wife met her best friend 31 years ago, in Grade 1. I met him 7 years ago, shortly after meeting my wife, and he quickly became my friend, too. Brent was first diagnosed with liver cancer 11 years ago. Yesterday his battle came to an end as he passed away in his sleep, at age 36.

Posted by Squiddy at 12:55 PM | TrackBack | Comments (2)

September 05, 2003

To Karen

Happy Anniversary

Thank you for five wonderful years.
Love, Michael

Posted by Squiddy at 10:46 AM | TrackBack | Comments (2)

June 27, 2003

Monkey Work

Today's big project:

Put together the binders with all the information the new developers will need when they start on July 2nd. Great. I'm officially a monkey. Eight years of web application development experience, and I'm doing crap like this, and tech support?

PLEASE, somebody offer me a development job. *please*

June 26, 2003

100 things about me

Well, everyone else does it, so... here goes:

    100 things about me:
  1. I'm a geek.
  2. I'm 40.
  3. I've been married since 1998.
  4. My wife is also a geek (but a very talented artistic geek, unlike me)
  5. We have a son, born in 2000.
  6. We have a cat.
  7. We are owned by said cat.
  8. I was born in a small village near Prince George, in central British Columbia, Canada, in 1962.
  9. I lived there on and off for about 7 years.
  10. I lived in Cleveland, Ohio for a year.
  11. I lived in Lagos, Nigeria for 2 years.
  12. I lived in Menzel Bourguiba, Tunisia for four and a half years.
  13. I have lived in Alberta, Canada, on and off.
  14. I lived in Southern Ontario, Canada for a total of two years.
  15. I have visited 29 countries - wanna know which? ask me.
  16. I haven't been out of Canada since 1985.
  17. I have three brothers.
  18. I have two sisters.
  19. My car is a piece of crap (shhh! don't tell it I said that!)
  20. I bought my first computer in November 1981.
  21. I have a small collection of obsolete computers.
  22. I have a small collection of old cameras.
  23. I'm a Web Application Developer.
  24. I love lasagna.
  25. I love chili.
  26. My wife makes damn good chili
  27. I love to read.
  28. I will read almost anything.
  29. I prefer SF and Fantasy.
  30. One of my friends is a Fantasy author.
  31. I like lots of music.
  32. I will listen to almost anything.
  33. I will not listen to rap, hip hop, and anything related to them.
  34. I find most C&W annoying.
  35. I played Little League baseball for two years (9 to 11).
  36. I don't consider baseball to be a spectator sport.
  37. I love hockey, but won't watch NHL hockey now, because the players are overpaid primadonnas, and quite frankly, the quality of hockey has fallen dramatically.
  38. Junior Hockey is still fun to watch.
  39. I watch CFL football sometimes.
  40. I hate NFL football.
  41. I hate everything about basketball.
  42. I like to golf, but don't get on the course much.
  43. I think it's hilarious that for a long time, was actually owned by the Potato Growers of Alberta.
  44. I can be opinionated.
  45. I can be absentminded.
  46. I am Master of the Understatement (see point above)

Ok, it isn't quite 50 so far... give me time, I'll work on it...

May 30, 2003

More insane yumminess

Wed: forgot lunch, so $2.99 for a "half-lasagna [with meat sauce] and 16 oz soft drink [Coke]" from the Food Court.

Thur: same as Tues, only yoghurt was Lemon.

Today: one sandwich like yesterday, plus 3 pieces of leftover yummy fried chicken, with Strawberry Yoghurt.

And thus endeth the weekday lunch menu.

May 27, 2003

Just for the record...

Lunch today:

- Safeway's ham, mock chicken and medium cheddar on Dempster's whole grain bread.
- Safeway's LucerneĀ® Low Fat Fruit on the Bottom Kiwi-flavoured yoghurt.


(ps: don't say I never blog anymore!)

Posted by Squiddy at 12:59 PM | TrackBack | Comments (5)

May 05, 2003

Another silence broken

There you go - that terrible blank space is gone now!

Yes yes, I know. I'm being very bad, and not updating daily, if not hourly, like some people on this planet. We have
things to do. You know... life.

So, what have I been doing since my last update? Here:

Work: work is going well - I'm maintaining an old icky NT4 website that uses SiteServer 3 for content management...
or should I say, manglement. Thing is a monster! Well, that's ok, I get work... :)

I'm maintaining this dinosaur while the rest of the team builds the new Win2k/CMS/Plumtree system to replace it.

Home: Alexander is very three, and keeps his mom exhausted. He's a good kid, really, but he's three. Yikes!

Play: play? what play?

Pizza: whenever I can get it.

Posted by Squiddy at 09:19 AM | TrackBack | Comments (2)

April 17, 2003

Long Silence Broken...

My apologies for the long silence, but I've been busy busy busy.

I started a seven month contract on April 2, 2003. It's a good job, and I'm enjoying it. There's a possility of other opportunities when it's over, but nothing definite right now.

Oddly enough, I thought this one was a long shot, since it's mostly on the systems side, supporting an old NT4 Server/SiteServer 3.0 web installation while the team builds a new Win2k/CMS replacement for it. Apparently, nobody
more qualified applied, so I got the job! I'm not complaining! Nope! Not me!

It took too damned long to get...

In the meantime, I'm still looking for other stuff, because seven months isn't very long, in the grand scheme of things.

Need a web developer, anyone? :)

Posted by Squiddy at 11:44 PM | TrackBack | Comments (1)

February 14, 2003

To my wife...

I don't say it enough. I hope you know it.

I love you.

Happy Valentine's Day

Your devoted husband...

February 03, 2003


Just heard from Kevin - the client has, due to undisclosed circumstances, had to put off the decision until February 17th. This, of course, is yet another example of how large corporations don't give a crap about employees or - even more so - contractors. Gosh! Have to wait an extra few weeks before you get income? Too bad! But we expect you'll be there when we finally get around to making a decision, right? You won't go get something else in the meantime, right?

I'm sick of this - employers don't care. And they wonder why employees don't feel any loyalty to them anymore...

January 26, 2003

And waiting...

and waiting...

I wish decision-makers would understand how much stress their delays put on people... *make* your decision, tell Kevin, and he can tell me.

DO it.

Thank you.

January 24, 2003

Still waiting...

The board is meeting right now - hopefully, we'll know very soon, so we can actually get stuff ready if it's a go, or abandon plans already made, if it's a no.

I hate waiting... it's a terrible terrible thing, and should be outlawed!

"All decisions to be made immediately. No exceptions!"

January 20, 2003

Bad news... and good... (maybe)

Bad news, first...

On Friday, the organization I interviewed with on December 20th finally got back to me... "Thank you for your interest, but we've decided to go with another candidate..."

I asked if I could have some feedback on the interview, to see why I didn't get it. The woman who called said she'd pass the request on to the interviewers, who would call me if they could (or words to that effect). My wife interprets this to mean "Yeah, right..."

and now the good (maybe):

An old friend has a short-term but well-paid and very interesting contract possibility for me - have to wait, though. He thinks he'll know for sure by the end of the week... if it goes, it'll involve travel to exotic places, and warm sunny climes!

Cross your fingers, folks...

January 01, 2003

Lots o' Stuff

Well, here we go. Mega New Year Catch Up Entry:

1) We eventually got our kitchen/office floor replaced. It took awhile, and was a fun-filled adventure!

- Dana, the maintenance supervisor, eventually showed up and determined the lino did need to be replaced. Jay, the guy who did it, showed up two hours late, started ripping out the old stuff, determined that the crappy particle-board floor was still wet at the edges, and couldn't put the new floor down that day. Had to come back the following day. No problem. He shows up an hour late the next day, and starts working away. We have to leave. We get back, the floor itself is down, but the new kickboards under the cupboards are falling off...

- A week later, Dana comes back, inspects, determines the job is inadequate. Calls us later that day, to set up an appointment for Jay to come back on Saturday morning at 10am, to finish the job. At 3pm on Saturday, I call the office and leave a message that he has not shown up. On Monday, Dana calls to ask if Jay had called us on Saturday (according to Jay, we had, and had told him it was inconvenient for him to come). Finally, on the Wednesday, Jay shows up at 9am as scheduled, and 20 minutes later, the new kickboards are up and the metal strip between the carpet and the lino is in place and he's gone.

2. Karen, Alexander and I have all been sick with nasty bugs that just will not go away. Mild fever that occasionally spikes for no apparent reason, then goes away. Cough. Chills. Aches. You know, the fun flu bugs that have been going around. *cough* *cough*

3. The Friday Before Christmas: I get a job interview. Finally. Seemed to go very well, and the job is perfect for me, but we won't hear back until the first week of January (next week, I presume). ACK!

4. New Year's Eve at home. I watched TV. My wife worked on her blog. Our son slept. All in all, a rockin' good time.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

November 08, 2002

Water, part 2

The water tank was replaced no problem. On Monday, Mike the Maintenance Guy came back to finish up the install. He also fixed up a couple of little things around the house that have been bugging me.

I pointed out the big bulge in the linoleum in the kitchen - a couple inches wide and four feet long, where the lino has obviously come unglued. He said he'd talk to the office, but suggested I call as well, which I did.

Tuesday afternoon, when I hadn't heard anything, I called again. Jacquie said the company's maintenance supervisor would be by on Wednesday after 1pm to inspect the damage, but would phone first.

Wednesday comes and goes, no call, no maintenance supervisor. Thursday at 3pm, Jacquie calls again to apologize, and says Dana, the maintenance supervisor, will call me to arrange a time for him to come by. At 4:30pm, he calls, and we arrange for him to come by between 1 and 2pm today. I'll keep you posted...

November 02, 2002

OK, we're cursed. We must

OK, we're cursed. We must be. Or maybe this place is, I don't know which.

I took my shower, then got Alexander dressed, and we went downstairs while Karen had a shower. I got downstairs and heard an odd noise from the kitchen. It sounded kinda like the white noise static crap that the baby monitor makes when the transmitter is turned off, only not as harsh. I walked into the kitchen to investigate, and into a half-inch of water!

Yep. The water heater got too old and decrepit to go on, and sprung a leak, about a foot from the top. I shut off the main valve, and called the office. Mike the Maintenance Guy came right away. He started draining the tank, and bypassed it so we at least have cold water (did you know that washing your hands in winter-cold water is *invigorating*?) and has gone off to find a new tank. He assured us it will be done today. Thank goodness for uneven floors - the water went into the kitchen, and *not* into the office. Karen and Alexander have gone off with Grandma and Boppa, and I'll catch up with them later, I hope...

October 27, 2002

Carpentry 101

What did we learn today?

We learned that shelving made of hollow wood does not cut as well as solid wood!

What else did we learn? Power Tools are Fun! (actually, I already knew that, but...)

We also learned that cats do not like power tools. Even when they're in another room. Skitz may be middle aged, but he can still *MOOOOVE* when he wants to! Wow!

So - yesterday we went to Ikea and bought 3 wooden toyboxes for Alexander, which Alexander "helped" me put together. He loves to help, and hammering screws with a toy wooden mallet is almost more help than I can handle! He's cute, so what can we do? :)

The aforementioned shelves got trimmed today, so we can finally return the borrowed saw, and when we get back from Grandma and Boppa's house, we'll install them in the office. About time, too... but I have nobody to blame for the delay but myself. Yet again. *sigh*