end of an era

“McAfee to buy Secure Computing”:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080922.wgtmcafee0922/BNStory/Technology/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20080922.wgtmcafee0922

bq. San Jose, Calif.-based McAfee Inc. said Monday it agreed to buy Secure Computing Corp. for $5.75 per share in cash, or about $413-million. Secure’s preferred stocks will also be redeemed for cash, adding another $84 million to the value of the deal.

That price appears to be a 25% premium on yesterday’s close; not too shabby. I should have held my 16 shares a few months longer :-).

When Secure Computing purchased Border Network Technologies in 1996, the stock was on it’s way down from almost $60, but still worth about 5 times this current sale price. After Secure closed the Toronto office in 1998 (and we formed the company that I still technically work for :-), the stock poked above $20 a couple of times before starting a long, slow slide into oblivion.

I can’t say I’m terribly sad to see them go; frankly, I’m surprised the company has lasted as long as it has. They always seemed more focused on the technology, and one thing that working at HP has taught me is that the technology is the easiest part of the job!

On the other hand, I wish all of the people there I still know continued success over at McAfee…

posted at 10:01 am on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 in Personal | Comments Off on end of an era

found money

bq. For years now, they’ve told us that we can’t afford—that the government providing healthcare to all people is just unimaginable; it can’t be done. We don’t have the money to rebuild our infrastructure. We don’t have the money to wipe out poverty. We can’t do it. But all of a sudden, yeah, we do have $700 billion for a bailout of Wall Street.

— Senator Bernie Sanders, in “an interview on Democracy Now”:http://www.democracynow.org/2008/9/22/sen_bernie_sanders_robert_scheer_and

In a fit of synchronicity, Canada is in the middle of an election where three of our four candidate parties are promising to spend money that the government doesn’t have. The Liberals claim they’ll fund with yet another new tax; the Green and NDP would just restore deficit spending.

The older I get, the more I think the libertarians may have a significant truth buried in their theology; Big Government _bad_!

posted at 7:42 am on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 in Current Events, Politics | Comments Off on found money

I hate people

Sometime during the night, someone sneaked into our campsite and stole all of our firewood. The joke was on them; they got the crap that wouldn’t light! Apparently they also hit our neighbours and stole their folding chairs, and a few other things. I had stowed our chairs under the trailer so they would stay dry in the morning dew, and I guess they didn’t see them.

During the day on Saturday, two kids walked into the middle of the roped-off “kite fliers only” area, picked up two of our kites, and were heading off the field with them. The kites were the dollar-store variety that were part of the kite decorating workshop at the festival, and I don’t really care about losing them. However, they were attached to two of my halos of real kite line, since we don’t allow mono-filament near the big kites. The worst part was that their mother was watching them STEAL OUR KITES without saying a word, until I challenged the kids. At that point, the kids put the kites back down on the ground and the three of them left, with mom scowling and harrumphing at me the whole way.

There are many individuals that I adore, but some days I hate _people_…

posted at 12:17 pm on Monday, September 22, 2008 in Personal, Rants | Comments (2)
  1. Anita Kilgour says:

    Yah. I grok.

    Stupidity with theatre neighbours. Oy.

  2. RG says:

    I wish I could say “unbelievable” but I can’t. The worst is the mom and the kids. I see the equivalent so often and wonder what the heck he/she/they think they’re teaching their kids? The parents will apparently care enough to take the kids places but then…

shooting themselves in the foot

Toronto has a problem with the “Asian Longhorned Beetle”:http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/alhb.htm and so the transport of wood, and in particular firewood, is restricted. Some areas of Toronto, including the protected conservation areas, are quarantine zones.

Because the Rouge Valley is protected, the “Glen Rouge Campground”:http://www.rougepark.com/explore/interest/campground.php, owned and operated by the City of Toronto, has a rule that firewood _must_ be purchased from the park; you are not allowed to bring your own.

Unfortunately, the wood the sell is disgusting. We bought the best bag we could find in their woodlot, and it was still so wet that my axe and knife were both covered in water droplets (the knife after I tried shaving a couple of pieces to see if _that_ would start a fire). After several attempts, including resorting to lighter fluid (something I’ve never had to do in 32 years of lighting fires!), we gave up. The only thing we could get to burn was the dry kindling we borrowed.

We borrowed the lighter fluid from our neighbours, who said that they’ve been coming to the campground all summer, and the wood is so bad that they now simply smuggle their own into the park. In other words, by selling crappy wood, the park is actually encouraging people to break the quarantine!

Fortunately I had taken our spare laptop to the party, and the girls accepted the fact that the fire wasn’t going to happen because they could watch DVDs instead. They weren’t entirely happy, mind you…

I’m going to go back tomorrow and demand a refund from the park. It’s only eight bucks, but it’s the principle…

posted at 9:06 pm on Saturday, September 20, 2008 in Personal, Rants | Comments Off on shooting themselves in the foot


Wow, September is always busy! The kids are back at school, which drags in morning practice and afternoon games, as well as curriculum presentations from the school, play dates, et cetera :).

Between the Terry Fox run and helping a friend carry stuff to an art show, last weekend was volunteer weekend. At least we stayed dry; Ike showed up on Sunday night just as we were carting jewelry and display cases to the car.

This weekend is Charlotte’s birthday party _and_ The Taste of Ajax, where the Toronto Kite Fliers are performing, so I’m off to help with both of those. The next weekend is Fall Fest at Bayview Glen, at which we are running a kite making workshop, and the weekend after that is the Toronto (international) Kite Festival, which this year is not international, and is actually part of Fall Fest at Downsview. But we’re still running a kite workshop. Hopefully some of the volunteers from BVG will come out to Downsview to work some of their mandatory community service hours…

Next weekend is also my dad’s retirement party, which fortunately is going to be a small affair. And then there’s all of the tasks that need to be done before the cold arrives, both inside and out.

At least in the old days, once harvest was finished, and winter prep was done, you could sit around and relax for a couple of months until spring. But October has Thanksgiving and Hallowe’en costumes; November has many birthdays (including mine :), not to mention Christmas shopping…

I’m not complaining, of course. All of this stuff adds up to a _good_ busy, after all!

posted at 9:33 pm on Friday, September 19, 2008 in Personal | Comments Off on september


Since I _know_ you all don’t have enough to do in your copious spare time, I give you “Chronotron”:http://www.kongregate.com/games/Scarybug/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”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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”:http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/327/7429/1459?ijkey=425457f110f8db584617b87a1eace92eaa39ff02

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”:http://www.scifi.com/sfw/interviews/sfw19397.html 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.”:http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/healthday/2008/09/01/bonding-gene-could-help-men-stay-married.html

(via “Diane Duane”:http://www.dianeduane.com/outofambit/)

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