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

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…


!http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2120/2475530616_4904f2883b.jpg?v=0(There goes the neighbourhood)!:http://www.flickr.com/photos/anythreewords/2475530616/

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”:http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/080516/20080516005043.html?.v=1

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

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.

catching up on movies

A recent version of MythTV added some “special” searches; 3.5 stars or more, science fiction, etc. Between TCM and AMC I’ve been catching up on movies from the various lists on the blog, as well as a bunch of other classics:

“Top 50 Movie Adaptations”:http://blog.cfrq.net/chk/archives/2006/04/28/more-movies/
“102 must-see movies?”:http://blog.cfrq.net/chk/archives/2006/04/27/102-must-see-movies/

* The Graduate
* The Maltese Falcon

“sf film canon”:http://blog.cfrq.net/chk/archives/2005/11/13/sf-film-canon/ and “AFI Tpo 50 SF Movies”:http://blog.cfrq.net/chk/archives/2008/02/15/afi-top-50-sf-movies/

* The Stepford Wives
* The Thing From Another World
* 28 Days Later


* Singin’ in the Rain
* The Silence of the Lambs
* The Adventures of Robin Hood (Errol Flynn!)
* The Odd Couple
* Harvey
* The Philadeplphia Story
* Casablanca
* Key Largo

posted at 7:02 pm on Thursday, April 24, 2008 in Personal | Comments Off on catching up on movies

Happy Pi Day!

Well, to our American viewers, anyway. To the rest of us, it’s some less exciting number :)

posted at 10:00 am on Friday, March 14, 2008 in Personal | Comments Off on Happy Pi Day!


Today I finally learned how to solve the NFS UID problem on Ubuntu.

You see, NFS normally does it’s permissions by numeric UID. If the UIDs on two different machines don’t match, then NFS permission checking doesn’t work; you don’t get access to your own files, and you might get access to somebody else’s files instead!

Ubuntu, of course, has no standard UIDs, not even for system services. So my four ubuntu boxes here each have different username <> UID maps.

Enter the ugidd package, which is an RPC daemon that runs on the client. The NFS server calls this daemon when a mount request comes in, and dynamically builds a UID map between the server and the client, based on the string usernames. As a side effect, it also seems to map userids that are not assigned on the client to ‘nobody’. In this way, the nfs server can map UIDs between systems, without the administrator (that’s me!) maintaining static map files.

The one downside is that this feature requires the user-space NFS server instead of the kernel nfs server, so performance suffers a bit. I have CPU to spare, though!

Now I can use NFS between my MythTV boxes :-)

posted at 12:56 pm on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 in Personal, Security | Comments Off on rpc.ugidd

old news

It seems the “news” has finally leaked out to the general public:

* “http://identityblog.burtongroup.com/bgidps/2008/03/hps-identity-re.html”:http://identityblog.burtongroup.com/bgidps/2008/03/hps-identity-re.html
* “http://stage.vambenepe.com/archives/171”:http://stage.vambenepe.com/archives/171
* “http://blogs.sun.com/IdentityCrisis/entry/hp_is_withdrawing_from_identity”:http://blogs.sun.com/IdentityCrisis/entry/hp_is_withdrawing_from_identity

I’m not allowed to say much in public, so I’ll link to these stories without .

posted at 9:09 pm on Tuesday, March 04, 2008 in Personal | Comments Off on old news

traffic “vapour lock”?

vapour lock isn’t really the right term, but I can’t think of a better fluid-dynamics term right now.

In the sudden torrential snowfall this afternoon, I got stuck south of an intersection for about 20 minutes, unable to move. The traffic lights were synchronized, which works for normal traffic flow, but with the snow everyone was going slowly. The net result was that:

* when the light was red to me, there was space north of the intersection for cars, but that space was quickly filled by people turning from the cross street.
* by the time the light was green to me, there was no space left on the north side of the intersection. In fact, there was no space *in* the intersection, because the turning traffic was consistently filling the intersection. So I was stuck, along with everyone else.

I finally gave up, turned around, drove all the way around the block, and came at the intersection again from the cross street :). After which I encountered another roadblock; York Mills eastbound was closed at Don Mills, because cars could not make it up the hill.

It took me 1:45 to get from my office to the school…

posted at 8:13 pm on Friday, February 29, 2008 in Personal | Comments (1)
  1. Helge says:

    The word you are looking for is “grid lock”. Streets are laid out in a grid and if you cannot get anywhere it is gridlock. Old term that’s been around since cars.


AFI top 50 SF movies

SCI-FI Wire “announced today”:http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index.php?category=3&id=48610 that AFI has picked a “Top 50” list of science fiction movies. I’ve taken their list and bolded the ones I’ve seen. I have -18- 16 movies to see to catch up!

* A.I. Artificial Intelligence
* *Alien*
* *Altered States*
* *The Andromeda Strain*
* *Back to the Future*
* The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms
* *Blade Runner*
* Children of Men
* A Clockwork Orange
* *Close Encounters of the Third Kind*
* *Cocoon*
* *Contact*
* *The Day the Earth Stood Still*
* Destination Moon
* *E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial*
* *Escape From New York*
* Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
* Fantastic Voyage
* *The Fly (1986)*
* *Forbidden Planet*
* Frankenstein (1931)
* The Incredible Shrinking Man
* *Independence Day*
* Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
* The Invisible Man (1933)
* It Came From Outer Space
* *Jurassic Park*
* *Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome*
* *The Matrix*
* *Men in Black*
* *Minority Report*
* *Planet of the Apes (1968)*
* *Repo Man*
* *RoboCop*
* Rollerball (1975)
* *Silent Running* (one of my favourites)
* *Soylent Green*
* *Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan*
* *Star Wars: Episode IV–A New Hope*
* *Starman*
* *The Stepford Wives (1975)*
* *Terminator 2: Judgment Day*
* Them!
* The Thing From Another World
* *The Time Machine (1960)*
* *Total Recall*
* *Tron*
* *2001: A Space Odyssey*
* *The War of the Worlds (1953)*
* Westworld

posted at 1:37 pm on Friday, February 15, 2008 in Movies, Personal | Comments (3)
  1. Helge says:

    A Clockwork Orange is not really a Sci Fi film. It a future film based on the book by Anthony Burgess about a foursome of British “droogs” or stoners who beat people for fun. Their main guy, played by Malcolm McDowell, gets caught, is sentenced and has to watch “deconditioning” film until he goes mad.
    The only thing fantastic in Fantastic Voyage is Rachel Welch.
    Soylent Green is a new food for all the world’s masses of people to stop everyone from starving. Guess what it’s made of? People!
    Westworld is very scary in which the story is that Westworld is a theme park a la Disney where you get to play gunslinger. A robot gunslinger played by Yul Brynner has one of his safety circuits blow and he becomes a real killer contrary to everything Isaac Asimov ever preached about Robots.


  2. Viper Pilot says:

    Clockwork Orange not science fiction?

    Erm, the government uses new scientific methods to curb antisocial behaviour. That’s an application of technology affecting mankind. That’s *pure* science fiction. You can’t really have science fiction without the science, otherwise it’s just fiction.

    Unlike, say, Star Wars which is just a western fantasy and keeps getting called science fiction simply because it’s set in space and they use blasters instead of six-shooters.

    -Viper Pilot

  3. […] sf film canon and AFI Tpo 50 SF Movies […]

419 spam

after a long drought, I added another country to my “419 spam list”:http://blog.cfrq.net/chk/archives/2004/11/07/nigerian-fraud-countries/ : Iran!

posted at 9:16 pm on Tuesday, February 12, 2008 in Personal | Comments Off on 419 spam

it’ll be lonely

The entire development team here in Toronto has been “WFRed”, HP’s fancy term for “your job no longer exists, thanks for playing”. (To be fair, HP’s process is actually quite generous; they offer everyone lots of time to try to find another job inside HP, resume services, interview skills training, and so on).

I’ve been asked to stay on, because my job has always been customer facing, and they need someone with that experience to help with the transition. I’ve always joked that I’d be the last one let go; I didn’t actually believe it though! Anyway, for a lot of different reasons, I’ve decided to accept. So while everyone else is out looking for work now, I’ll be looking for work in November.

It’s going to be a lonely 9 months. On the plus side, I don’t have to start commuting to Mississauga every day! I’ll have the ever so challenging “three flights of stairs” commute…

posted at 10:53 am on Saturday, February 09, 2008 in Personal | Comments (2)
  1. Reid says:

    There’s always Alias Research, er Alias|Wavefront, er Alias Systems, er.. Autodesk. Ya, that’s it..

    A lot of people have mellowed over there..

  2. […] not allowed to say much in public, so I’ll link to these stories without comment. 31 words posted at 9:09 pm on Tuesday, March 04, 2008 in Personal […]


The very nice wildlife guy replaced the shingles that blew off my roof in this week’s windstorm, and refused to take a tip afterwards; he said he needed the practice :).

So if y’all need wildlife extracted, I continue to highly recommend “AAA Wildlife”:http://www.aaawildlife.com/. They’re friendly and knowledgeable and professional!

posted at 9:17 pm on Friday, January 11, 2008 in Personal | Comments (1)
  1. Debbie says:

    Thanks for the AAA Wildlife pointer; I’m going to check them out…

critter central

At least it’s not raccoons; this time there are squirrels frolicking in my attic…

posted at 11:59 am on Thursday, January 10, 2008 in Personal | Comments (2)
  1. Nita says:

    Joys. I think you have to stop leaving them food and the invitations.

    Good luck, hon.

  2. Debbie says:

    Squirrels Are Evil.



* status quo
* update the weblog more often
* switch to LiveJournal
* switch to FaceBook
* become a luddite

posted at 9:39 pm on Saturday, December 29, 2007 in Personal | Comments (2)
  1. David Brake says:

    Well you could set Facebook so it automatically pulls this weblog into it then update this more often. Ditto for Facebook and Twitter. That way Facebook is updated frequently enough for your facebook friends but you don’t actually have to worry about it…

  2. Nita says:

    Long run, y’all are going to do what you want.

    There is some entertainment for those of us elsewhere for the luddite idea, but I’m voting for update more often.


* dual, built-in convection ovens
* stand-up mixer
* cookie sheets, baking pans, etc.
* oven mits

Charlotte and I are off to make some chocolate chip cookies :)

posted at 12:44 pm on Friday, December 28, 2007 in Personal | Comments Off on presents

things done today

* take boy to hockey
* get potable antifreeze from Canadian Tire
* extract trailer from garage
* fend off numerous assault strikes by lady bugs
* winterize trailer plumbing system
* remove trailer battery
* move all winter stuff to the front of the garage
* re-insert trailer into garage
* replace the contents of the garage in front of trailer
* mow the lawn
* weed-wack the lawn

Things not done today:

* finish getting all the junk out of the dining room
* Maple Story :)

posted at 5:02 pm on Sunday, October 21, 2007 in Personal | Comments Off on things done today
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