Since I _know_ you all don’t have enough to do in your copious spare time, I give you “Chronotron”: – a flash game in which you and your past selves work together to solve puzzles.

(mu ha ha!)

posted at 12:51 pm on Wednesday, September 10, 2008 in Links | Comments (2)
  1. Laurie says:

    And just when I was being productive… turns out me and my past self make a very good team! :)

  2. chk says:

    I’m glad to hear that you’re a team player :)

you can always count on gravity

“Evidence-based Medicine”: sounds like a good thing, until you realize that sometimes collecting the data required causes more problems than it solves. These guys took this argument to an extreme:

“Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: systematic review of randomised controlled trials”:

bq. Conclusions As with many interventions intended to prevent ill health, the effectiveness of parachutes has not been subjected to rigorous evaluation by using randomised controlled trials. Advocates of evidence based medicine have criticised the adoption of interventions evaluated by using only observational data. We think that everyone might benefit if the most radical protagonists of evidence based medicine organised and participated in a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled, crossover trial of the parachute.

I’m sure they’ll get _lots_ of volunteers for the study… :-)

posted at 7:25 pm on Wednesday, September 03, 2008 in Health, Humour, Links, Science and Technology | Comments (2)
  1. Bob says:

    That article is brilliant! A bit over the top and stretched the analogy to breaking point but does make a valid point.

  2. chk says:

    Hey! you read my weblog! cool! :-)


In “an interview”: about the upcoming HBO series True Blood, I saw a nice comment from Alan Ball, the series creator:

bq. Q: Do you think kids will have that reaction to True Blood?

bq. Ball: I hope kids don’t watch this show. I hope parents know better than to let their kids watch this show.

I’m surprised (and pleased) to see a comment like this. I’m not like some extreme parents who shelter children from the world until they’re 20, but on the other hand there are some things that _should_ be saved for later. This is an HBO series, so they’re not going to hold back on the sex and violence like a mainstream (or ABC Family :) show would…

posted at 8:59 am on Wednesday, September 03, 2008 in TV | Comments Off on refreshing

The bonding gene

bq. …it’s too early for men to blame their inability to commit on a single gene, although Lucas guesses it’s an excuse that’s “certainly going to be used.”

“A study of Swedish twin brothers found that differences in a gene modulating the hormone vasopressin were strongly tied to how well each man fared in marriage.”:

(via “Diane Duane”:

posted at 7:50 am on Tuesday, September 02, 2008 in Health, Humour, Links | Comments Off on The bonding gene

yes, it’s quiet

Where’d August go?

First we were on vacation, from August 8th to 24th. When we returned, there was the inevitable work; clean and air out the trailer, wash laundry, put away the camping gear, and so on. There was a little bit of back-to-school shopping, and of course groceries. There was catching up at work (although it’s the summer doldrums, so things were relatively quiet, fortunately!)

Suddenly, it was the weekend! Grandma bought a Wii, so we went to visit on Saturday to hook it up and play games. I don’t think I’ve seen her smile that much in years :). She only played a couple of games, but she loved watching the kids. It’s impossible to get out of granny’s house early, so that was Saturday.

It rained on Thursday while the trailer was still up, and I didn’t have enough anti-freeze, so Sunday became “finish the trailer” day. I combined errands and also went to Tiger Direct to buy USB sticks for the boy for school, and two new harddrives for the main server (all those photos have filled up the old disks). Then the trailer; I winterized the plumbing and did the last bit of cleaning. Of course, I next had to re-organize the garage for winter before putting the trailer in; doing it all now means I don’t have to pull the trailer out in November to get the shovels and toboggans out :). We finished about 6pm, after which it took me a couple of hours to rehydrate; it was a hot day!

Today has been more laundry, and sorting out school uniforms, and generally preparing for the first day of school tomorrow. And I think there may be plans with CFRQ later.

I’m not sure whether I’m too busy to blog, or just tired of it, or whether I simply think nothing interesting has happened recently. I guess we’ll see in September!

posted at 11:57 am on Monday, September 01, 2008 in Personal | Comments Off on yes, it’s quiet

I hates weather forecasts

The forecast on Monday was for rain today.

The forecast on Tuesday and Wednesday was for rain on Friday. So I left the trailer up so that I could winterize the plumbing.

Today, as I’m driving to the store to get the anti-freeze, the rain begins…

(Now I have to leave the trailer up until it dries out again. At least it is supposed to be sunny and warm all long-weekend…)

posted at 1:45 pm on Thursday, August 28, 2008 in Personal | Comments Off on I hates weather forecasts

weakest link

The Weakest Link

The Weakest Link

I thought I had posted this photo a long time ago, but I can’t find it now, so here it is again. (It came up on Fairly Oddparents this morning).

I first saw this on “Bruce Scheier’s security weblog”:

(As it turns out, I had uploaded it to Gallery, but still never linked it here. Must have been distracted. Damned kids, get off my lawn! :-)

posted at 9:11 am on Thursday, August 07, 2008 in Humour, Links, Security | Comments Off on weakest link

Dr. Horrible

Neil Patrick Harris is a god of understated comedy. Nathan Fillion is a perfectly over-the-top dumb hero. I loved the first installment; waiting for the next two!

Check it out at before Sunday, after which you’ll have to pay. Of course, you should pay anyway to support the artists, but free lets you choose…

posted at 3:47 pm on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 in Links, TV | Comments Off on Dr. Horrible

No iPhone

As mentioned earlier, I’m upset (if not surprised) about the Rogers/Fido iPhone plans. I was still thinking about it, however, after looking at the calculations at “”:, it’s no longer an option for me. I’m simply unwilling to commit to giving Rogers between $2880 and $4320 (before tax!) of my hard-earned dollars (even if that would be spread over 3 years). We already spend too much on telephones around here; two cell phones and a land-line nets out to about $150/mo for us.

Now I have to decide: iTouch or EEE (or the HP EEE competitor, which alas, I don’t get an employee discount on…). Or stick with my current tactic of borrowing iPhones or BlackBerrys from my friends :-)

posted at 11:48 am on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 in Personal | Comments Off on No iPhone


Daddy: “Why is ‘bealzebub’ written on our whiteboard?”
The Girl: “I don’t know. Does it have his phone number?”

posted at 8:57 pm on Friday, July 04, 2008 in Humour, Personal | Comments Off on quote

Dr. Horrible

Coming soon to an Intertube near you:

Neil Patrick Harris! Nathan Fillion! Felicia Day! and, of course, Joss Whedon!

First episode goes live (and free!) on July 15th; second and third are each two days later, and the whole thing goes away (ok, behind a “give us money!” link) at midnight on July 20th.

posted at 4:01 pm on Wednesday, July 02, 2008 in Links, TV | Comments Off on Dr. Horrible


In reference to several recent movies, including Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull:

bq. “Suspension of disbelief does not mean ‘by the neck, until dead'”

(lifted from “Tanya’s weblog”: comments…)

posted at 3:20 pm on Wednesday, July 02, 2008 in Humour, Movies | Comments Off on disbelief

no iPhone after all?

Rogers just announced their iPhone plans; they’re hideously expensive! I was expecting Rogers to abuse their monopoly power, but I’m still a little surprised…

between $60 and $115 per month for basic voice and data. The $60 plan is 150min airtime, 400Mb data; not much really, especially if you start pushing images around. Ugh. Fido hasn’t announced rates yet, but they’ll probably be the same. So the options seem to be:

– buy an iPhone anyway, and suck it up. (That’s *three times* what I’m paying Fido for my voice plan).
– by an unlocked iPhone from the US, and only use GSM and WiFi. Lots of people are happy doing this.
– buy an iTouch instead.
– Abandon Apple; go with a “small factor” laptop instead, like the EEE or the HP/Dell equivalents. (Yes, I said Dell in my weblog!!! :)

posted at 10:44 am on Friday, June 27, 2008 in Personal | Comments (1)
  1. David Brake says:

    Well I for one am a happy Touch user. Though if I were you I would be tempted to wait for the next model of iPhone and hope that meanwhile something happens to fix Rogers’ attitude…

camping weekend

We just returned from our annual gang weekend at The Pinery. We left Thursday and came back Monday this time, because the kids’ school schedule made that easy.

The forecast was for rain rain rain all weekend, but it didn’t turn out that way! We arrived and set up in the rain, of course, but Friday was absolutely gorgeous all day. Saturday morning we woke up to rain, but we had our giant pancake breakfast anyway, and by the time everyone was sitting around stuffed the sun came out. We were scared off the beach around 4PM by a line of thunderstorms, but most of them missed us. There was a severe weather warning for Sunday night, but again, that missed us to the south. The worst weather we had was probably the major hailstorm we hit just as we passed through Kitchener on the way home!

We spent two days at the beach, and one day on a “nature hike” (really an excuse to walk to the Camp Store and buy ice cream!). The boys had a great time exploring the beach and the woods by themselves; between GPS and FRS radios, there was no danger of losing them :). The bikes didn’t get used as much as they have in past years; maybe we’ll stop carting them around, which will leave more space for other stuff in the truck.

There was some excitement, of course! Brian and Nancy’s new dog escaped on Saturday afternoon, and spent almost 24 hours running around in the woods before they finally captured him again on Sunday. We “lost” at least one boy three times over the weekend (it’s hard to get truly lost there, since there are barriers everywhere; beach, campgrounds, river, and roads). I forgot to turn off the dome lights in our truck, and so by Monday morning it wouldn’t start. I’d already used my portable power pack to recharge the trailer; apparently the lights draw more power than we thought they did (either that, or Keiran accidentally turning on the furnace drained a lot of power :). Still, no harm done; Rick gave me a boost, and I was able to start again after running the truck for several minutes.

We now know that we don’t have to spend 30 minutes back and forth with the trailer in the campsite; it turns out that the position we finally picked we could have just driven straight in :). Ah well; hindsight is 20-20, and all that! On the other hand, Michelle et al and Paul/Anita are moving a bit closer to the comfort station next year, so we might follow them and switch campsites again.

Definitely a fun time, and I’m looking forward to our road trip this summer!

posted at 2:06 pm on Tuesday, June 24, 2008 in Personal | Comments (2)
  1. Nita says:

    Was much fun – hopefully next year I’m not galavanting around the province and can actually relax…

  2. chk says:

    Yes, _that_ is likely to happen…

shoulder update

My orthopaedic surgeon is very happy with my shoulder; he thinks the joint has stiffened up nicely, and is unlikely to suffer stability problems. In his words, stiff is good; stiffness can be stretched out with physiotherapy, but looseness only gets fixed with his knives…

I have reasonably good mobility. There are certain directions I can’t move the shoulder, but since those are the “dangerous” directions, it’s all good. He says I’m unlikely to redislocate, at least in the short term, because I can’t actually move the joint into any of the stressful positions likely to cause a second dislocation. (I’m paraphrasing here).

So, I’m off to physiotherapy starting next week. If things get too loose in there, I may yet have to go under the knife, but for now, he recommends waiting.

posted at 9:17 am on Friday, May 30, 2008 in Personal | Comments (2)
  1. Trish Dickson says:

    How did you get in to see a shoulder surgeon so fast????????? It’s usually a 1-2 year wait!!!

  2. chk says:

    I went to ER at NYGH with the original injury; they referred me to the orthopedic clinic at NYGH. Nothing special…


! goes the neighbourhood)!:

I cannot possibly comment further without getting into trouble :-)

posted at 9:23 am on Friday, May 16, 2008 in Personal | Comments Off on quality

more identity management

more news that’s finally public (the announcement was probably delayed because of the EDS leak :-):

“HP and Novell Announce Migration Program for HP Identity Management Customers”:

bq. As part of an agreement between the companies, HP and Novell will jointly offer migration services, HP will resell Novell identity and security management solutions and Novell will license HP Identity Center technology.

bq. Earlier this year, HP announced it will focus its investment in identity management products on existing customers rather than selling the products to new customers. To ensure that they continue to have access to exemplary identity management solutions, existing HP customers can take advantage of this program and migrate to Novell’s industry-leading offerings. Customers who choose not to migrate will continue to be supported by HP.

Still no concrete news on how this affects me; I still have a job until October 31st, and I’m in limbo beyond that. C’est la vie!

posted at 7:30 am on Friday, May 16, 2008 in Personal | Comments Off on more identity management

We can’t watch tv anymore

It seems that our approval of a TV show is the kiss-of-death. Cancelled:

* Journeyman
* Men in Trees
* Moonlight
* New Amsterdam
* Bionic Woman
* Back to You

To be fair, other than Journeyman, these were all interesting ideas that suffered from bad writing, or bad acting, or both. I think Journeyman was a bit too unusual for main stream audiences; it would have succeeded on SciFi or another smaller network, I think.

On the other hand, renewed:

* Chuck
* How I Met Your Mother
* The Big Bang Theory
* Brothers & Sisters
* Pushing Daisies
* All three CSIs (OK, CSI:Miami deserves to die; oh well)
* Kyle XY
* The Closer

So I guess our track record really isn’t _that_ bad… :-)

posted at 6:42 pm on Thursday, May 15, 2008 in TV | Comments (2)
  1. Laurie says:

    Just caught Big Bang Theory last week for the first time – hilarious! :) Nerds are becoming very fashionable these days…

  2. chk says:

    We’ve loved that show since the first two eps. And I know more than one person who fits each of the many stereotypes they’ve displayed; Scary!

Debian / Ubuntu and OpenSSL

(See “Debian Security Advisory 1571”: and “SSLkeys”:

This seems appropriate somehow:


posted at 8:38 am on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 in Programming, Security | Comments Off on Debian / Ubuntu and OpenSSL

Oh look, a weblog!

So last Wednesday I fell down stupidly and either subluxated or dislocated my right shoulder. I spend just over a week with my right arm in an immobilizer, after which the doc said “take it off”. I’m allowed to do a lot of things, but no “arm above the shoulder” movement and no “external rotation”. The shoulder is a little sore, especially when I first wake up in the morning, but otherwise I can do stuff again!

I’ve been tinkering under the hood recently (that is why I set up this server, after all!). I’m in the process of moving a bunch of the older sites around here to use WordPress MU as the underlying CMS. It’s going well so far, so I should be able to formally move the sites in a couple more weeks. We’ve also finally upgraded Gallery to Gallery2, and there’s an Ubuntu 7.10 → 8.04 upgrade to look forward to!

I need to take more photographs. Maybe it’s time to challenge a few of my friends to 365 (a photo per day for a year)…

posted at 9:46 am on Monday, May 05, 2008 in Personal | Comments (2)
  1. Anita says:

    Yarg – that doesn’t sound fun (shoulder stuff).

    Good luck with computers (yah…whee…am so looking forward to mine).

    Photos – double dog dare you…

  2. wjr says:

    Let me know what you think of Gallery2 (and the upgrade process) – I’ve been wanting to do that for ages and just haven’t got up the energy yet.

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