death by bouncy ball?

I almost peed myself laughing while reading “On The Ball”: over at “defective yeti”:

bq. One moment we’re merrily boinging up and down, the next we’re laying there with dazed looks on our faces, I sprawled cockeyed against the wall, The Squirrelly several feet away on his back, looking like two guys waking up on the morning after a particularly enjoyable bachelor party.

posted at 8:08 am on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 in Humour, Links | Comments Off on death by bouncy ball?

Civic Duty

I don’t know if it was TV or radio, but a recent ad stated essentially:

bq. On June 28th, you have a choice. On June 29th, you don’t.

I’ve marked mine; have you?

posted at 5:45 pm on Monday, June 28, 2004 in Politics | Comments Off on Civic Duty


My eyeglasses are safe — at the bottom of Elbow Lake.

A deerfly landed on my face while I was out in a canoe. I swatted at it, and my glasses went flying…

Other than that, I had a fabulous vacation. More later :)

posted at 12:14 am on Monday, June 28, 2004 in Personal | Comments Off on Oops!

Two Things

via “Ned Batchelder”: I was reading about the “Two Things”: meme (as in:

bq. For every subject, there are really only two things you really need to know. Everything else is the application of those two things, or just not important.

Anyway, I laughed out loud at one of the entries, so I decided to share.

The two things about cosmology ((by Dennis Moore):
1. Time exists so that everything doesn’t happen all at once.
2. Space exists so that everything doesn’t happen to you.

posted at 11:05 pm on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 in Humour | Comments Off on Two Things

Camping Stuff

Shopping for camping stuff is _fun_, even with two rambunctious children in tow. We’ve got almost everything on the essentials list now; we’ll see how much of the non-essential stuff is actually essential when we get there, I guess :-)

posted at 8:30 pm on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 in Personal | Comments Off on Camping Stuff

When Good Discs Go Bad

So they’re finally getting around to _testing_ digital recordable media: – Burning Questions: When Good Discs Go Bad

bq. “We’ve found the quality varies, depending upon the type of dye used to make the write-once discs and [on the] the manufacturer,” reports Byers. Even discs from the same manufacturer, with the same brand, can test differently, Byers adds. “But there was more of a significant difference when you compared discs between manufacturers,” he explains.

But this news is even more discouraging:

bq. “One thing we’ve found in compatibility testing [of DVD-R and +R media] is that it’s a relationship between a specific brand of media and the manufacturer of the hardware,” observes Byers. “There was no one drive that played every single type of compatible media, and there was no one media brand that played perfectly in every drive.”

bq. And, he adds, sounding as frustrated as any consumer might, “You can’t say there’s a clear, delineated set of reasons as to why.”

Reminds me of floppy drives, which had alignment issues that could often prevent disks written on one drive from being readable on another.

Tape is still a reliable form of long term storage, but tape drives (and/or tapes!) are still very expensive. I’m beginning to think that the best method of backups these days is a big “JBOD(Just a Bunch Of Disks)”: or “RAID(Redundant Array of Independent Disks)”: server; hard disks _are_ reliable…

posted at 9:39 am on Wednesday, June 16, 2004 in Science and Technology | Comments Off on When Good Discs Go Bad

pessimist optimist realist

“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist waits and expects it to change. The realist adjusts the sails.”

(Seen at adventure journalist : the notebook)

posted at 11:31 pm on Sunday, June 13, 2004 in Odd | Comments (1)
  1. gina says:

    that is a spot on saying…or whatever it is. SPOT ON! Could’t be better!

Wrap Hell: The World’s Craziest Gift Wrap!

The makers of “T-Shirt Hell”: have now brought us “Wrap Hell”:

There are people I would give this stuff to… :-)

posted at 10:32 pm on Sunday, June 13, 2004 in Humour, Links | Comments (1)
  1. Debbie says:

    Oh dear lord, I LOVE THIS SITE!!!!! Thanks for the link.


Yes, we were away for a week; I’m pretty much caught up on the electronic world again. Laundry, however…

posted at 10:32 pm on Sunday, June 13, 2004 in Personal | Comments Off on Away

More Stuff That Every Gamer Needs

Just in case you ever wanted to know, “The Straight Dope”: brings us:

When the zombies take over, how long till the electricity fails?

bq. How long the power supply would last in the most critical zombie situation depends on two key factors %u2013 first, how long a given power plant can operate without human intervention, and second, how long before enough power plants fail to bring down the entire transmission grid. I’ll ignore the side issues of whether the zombies would want to try to run the power plant themselves, or if they would be a union or non-union shop.

(If you’re lazy, the answer appears to be that:

bq. within 4-6 hours there would be scattered blackouts and brownouts in numerous areas, within 12 hours much of the system would be unstable, and within 24 hours most portions of the United States and Canada, aside from a rare island of service in a rural area near a hydroelectric source, would be without power. Some installations served by wind farms and solar might continue, but they would be very small. By the end of a week, I’d be surprised if more than a few abandoned sites were still supplying power.

posted at 8:33 pm on Sunday, June 13, 2004 in Gaming, Links, Odd | Comments (1)
  1. David Brake says:

    My favourite part: “…cease power delivery altogether to areas of highest zombie density. After all, it’s not like the zombies need light to read or electricity to play Everquest…”

    (I dunno about that – mightn’t Everquest be the reason they became zombies in the first place?)

The Nighttime Animals Save the World

lumpley games: the Nighttime Animals Save the World

This looks like a fun, simple game to introduce kids to both role playing and strategy. Like all of the best methods, it is teaching, thoroughly disguised as play :)

We’ll have to try it sometime!

posted at 7:46 pm on Sunday, June 13, 2004 in Gaming | Comments Off on The Nighttime Animals Save the World

Apple Introduces AirPort Express

Ok, everone else is linking to the new Apple AirPort Express, but I will too because it really is a neat gadget. It’s not just a wireless stereo connection, or a wireless printer connection, or a wireless base station; it’s all three in one. Not only that, but it will also automatically build a mesh network with another Airport Express or Airport Extreme, either to extend the range of your existing wireless, or just to avoid stringing ethernet cables around.


posted at 5:03 pm on Sunday, June 13, 2004 in Links, Science and Technology | Comments (1)
  1. Michelle Levesque says:

    Uh oh. Now I want one.

Hostile Movie Theaters

Nelson’s Weblog: guestblog / marc / movie-theaters

bq. It would certainly be cheaper to buy the movie on DVD and own it forever, than to watch it once for nearly twice the price; the popcorn would be better, cheaper, and faster, and could be topped with real butter instead of “topping”; the water would be tastier, colder, and available for $1.49 per 100 cubic feet; and the talking would be sanctioned or actionable. Plus, no ads. It’s no wonder home theater is booming.


There’s a chain up here (Rainbow Cinemas) that is cheaper, but it still makes our family-of-four trip to see Shrek 2, for example, well over $40 by the time you add popcorn and drinks…

posted at 4:32 pm on Sunday, June 13, 2004 in Links, Rants | Comments (1)
  1. Jeff K says:

    A good home theatre is not just $24/movie for the disc, you need to spend about $5,000 to $10,000 on equipment too (I recommend it, and go for the high end).

Meta Efficient

This could be interesting reading… Meta Efficient: A Guide To the Most Efficient Things in the World (and an “RSS Feed”: is available!)

posted at 12:59 am on Sunday, June 13, 2004 in Links | Comments Off on Meta Efficient

Simple Page Editors

I’m currently using “Whisper”: for the static content around here, but I tripped over “EditThisPage”: the other day, and it looks useful also.

More and more of these things are cropping up, probably as a backlash against how complicated (and fragmented!) the Wiki space is getting…


posted at 2:11 pm on Friday, June 04, 2004 in Links, Site News | Comments Off on Simple Page Editors

More Comment Spam

I’m not the only one:

* kasia in a nutshell: All the traffic spam that a website gets
* “Confessions of a G33k: Live capture comment spammer logs”:

and so on…

posted at 2:04 pm on Friday, June 04, 2004 in Security | Comments Off on More Comment Spam

comment spam

Some idiot script kiddy wiped out our bandwidth again today. He could have an automated tool, or he could be doing it manually. He’s trying to post comment spam to, but he’s repeatedly fetching pages over and over again (presumably to see if his comments are getting published or not).

The problem is that David’s pages are large (and getting larger all the time); an average of 200Kb each. So this spammer has single-handedly downloaded at least 70Mb of data today!

It’s one thing to try to abuse my server to get a site ranked higher in Google. It’s another thing entirely to waste _my_ bandwidth in the process!,, and just made it into the blackhole list…

posted at 1:18 pm on Thursday, June 03, 2004 in Security, Site News | Comments (4)
  1. David Brake says:

    I was kept busy removing the comment spam this created on the other end today as well (unfortunately, the script kiddies are starting to randomise their IP addresses and choose from long lists of URLs so IP address or URL blocking is less effective). Makes me think the only long-term solution to comment spam may be one of these type in the numbers from an image plug-ins. Though apparently determined spammers are actually doing it by hand! AARGH!

  2. joy says:

    What about comment moderation in WP?

  3. Harald says:

    I’m using WP, and (as you can see) comment moderation is working.

    David’s still using MovableType, and his weblog is quite popular…

  4. I would recommend you setup some type of image number system so bots can’t spam!

First WP Problem

WordPress apparently doesn’t let me (easily) put fake HTML tags in my posts, even if I use HTML entities like < — it seems there’s a double decode going on.

(To get that to appear I had to type & amp ; amp ; lt ; (without the spaces).

I like to do things like <grin> in my posts…

*Update:* it looks like the problem is the fixEntities() function in the textile2 plugin…

posted at 10:27 pm on Wednesday, June 02, 2004 in Site News | Comments (2)
  1. Reid says:

    So did you fix the plugin and send the changes upstream?

    Can you tell I am browsing your site-related entries to see how the whole WordPress thing went? :-)

  2. Harald says:

    No, my WordPress Fu isn’t good enough yet; I’m still working around the problem.

Canadian Politics


Quebec has 75 seats in the House of Commons. Quebec has the Bloc Québécois, a Federal party that really serves Quebec interests over those of the country (if you believe their critics, anyway :-).

Ontario has 106 seats in the House. I think we should form and elect the Ontario party and get _our_ special interests taken care of at the Federal level…


I thought I was being funny, but then I went digging around on the “Elections Canada”: website, and found that “The Ontario Party of Canada” does/did exist, but lost their eligibility to be registered. I found a “canoe article”: describing the party and its brief history.

I guess I’m not as original as I thought :-)

posted at 10:10 pm on Wednesday, June 02, 2004 in Current Events | Comments (3)
  1. Greg Wilson says:

    There already is a party in Ottawa that represents Ontario’s interests at the expense of those of the rest of the country: the Liberals.

    — Greg “I’m from the West, eh” Wilson

  2. Jeff K says:

    The Liberals *are* the Ontario party. I have relatives in Alberta, and they tell me this. Actually, I’ve started to notice that any region that has oil contains people who think all the money from oil is theirs.

    This is problematic because Calgary is in Alberta and Alberta is in Canada, and the companies making all of the money are *public* (that is, world-wide), and oil companies are some of the most widely held stocks. In my experience (so far), oil company shareholders are not being as badly reamed as say, tech stock folks. Hm, I was going somewhere with this. Oh well.

  3. JitterbugP says:

    Maybe not right now, but 20 some years ago the Government of Canada (Trudeau) decided we should have a made in Canada energy program. It was called the National Energy Program and it devistated the whole economy in Alberta. I doubt any tech stock had to endure this.

Most Americans are not meeting their dietary needs for calcium

From Most Americans are not meeting their dietary needs for calcium

bq. According to government surveys, 70 percent of girls and 60 percent of boys ages 6-11 do not meet current calcium recommendations. Likewise, about 90 percent of teenage girls and adult women and 70 percent of teenage boys and adult men don’t meet daily dietary recommendations for calcium. And for those of us over age 50, less than 15 percent meet our daily dietary calcium recommendations.

bq. One reason of this poor showing is the relatively large amount of calcium recommended for teens and adults: 1,300 milligrams per day if you’re between the ages of 9 to 18, 1,000 milligrams per day if you’re between 20 and 50 years and 1,200 milligrams per day for those over age 50.

Those stats are higher than I expected, and I have to wonder if the RDIs are a little high? I can’t see how humans could have evolved to consume these levels of calcium, as they weren’t available before the advent of agriculture. On the other hand, we’re growing much larger humans than we used to, which requires higher mineral intakes…

posted at 11:37 pm on Tuesday, June 01, 2004 in Health | Comments Off on Most Americans are not meeting their dietary needs for calcium
Next Page »