Month: November 2011

In Reflection

This is only the second time I’ve been able to complete NaBloPoMo, but it’s the third or fourth time I’ve tried.

On the whole, it seems like an easy task: Blog once a day, every day, in November. Who can’t do that?

But on the times I’ve failed, it’s because I’ve forgotten to do it. So if we take that out of the equation, then it’s now a matter of: can I blog everyday and have someone *want* to read it.

That’s hard. At least, I think it is. In fact, looking back on this month, there are posts that *I* don’t want to read. And I wrote them. 😉

So that’s the rub. Anyone can write, but it takes more to write something someone wants to read.

And that’s a little worry I’ve had about this blog for some time. And I suspect it’s come up more than once. And not just to me, I see a lot of my friends that were all avid bloggers at one point just, kinda, change direction or drop off(and then come back only to drop off again).

And I’ve lingered here, popping my head up now and then. Usually when Tara mentions that I don’t blog a lot.

For some, twitter took over. It’s short, sweet, to the point, and only takes a minute(or less) to do. It’s easier than blogging, especially if you just want to say something like: Look at this, it’s cool! It’s called micro-blogging for a reason.

Or I could update Facebook, or Google+(whenever I remember that I have an account) or a number of other social sites. There was a time when everyone was on LiveJournal. I could update there, and people would read. Easy peasy. Now I pretty much have to do a carpet bomb of cross-posts to make sure everyone got it. And then, so what? After all that it might still not be interesting.

But you know what, I suspect I’ve hashed over this a few times, so I’ll stop now.

I’m not going anywhere.

This blog will always be here in one sense or another.

I just don’t fully know what to do with it.

As usual 😉


Because I sometimes have troubles getting started with this stuff, I’ve now turned to random stuff. Frogman is pretty random.

It also reminds me of Liam. We took him swimming for the first time in the spring. It wasn’t a long swim, but it was fun. It took some time for Liam to warm up to it, but he soon found his water legs. The next time it was a different pool. Took a little less time to warm up to it. The third time, it was a public swim(more people) and he was pretty nervous for most of it. Then, with about 15 minutes left, he just opened up. He was splashing, screaming, and just having a ton of fun. After that, anytime near the water he just loves it.

So, naturally, we enrolled him in swimming. Every week we would head to the pool and spend 30 minutes in the water. There he would float on his back, his front and (his favourite) jumping into the pool. We had a ball. And everyone at the pool knew, that with his squeals of delight and his near constant splashing, he was having the time of his life.

But just like that, it was over. But I don’t think we’ll stop it. It might not be every week, but I think we’ll try to hit the pool as often as we can.

Next to walking, I think he likes this activity the most.


I’m really bad at it.



Just tonight I got all my December plans messed up. Granted, I can usually turn to Tara to sort me out. She has a much better head for this kind of thing.

And I’ve tried to get organized. Task organizers, To-Do managers, you name it, I’ve tried most. The problem, and I now understand my Dad suffers from it as well, is that anything new is cool and gung-ho for the first week. Then, well, it starts to get old. And the week after that, I forget it completely.

I have a hard time sticking to a system. Or maybe it has a hard time sticking to me. It could be that I’m asking too much from it. I want it to be portable, customizable, easy to use, hard to forget. And I find a few of these, but again, nothing seems to stick.

Paper seems to have been the best system that stayed with me. And even then, I’ll forget to pick it up, loose a pen, whatever. So out it went too.

I’ve toyed with the idea of making my own system. But then, where’s my time?

So I’m still on the lookout.

I suppose I could use my Lotus Notes from work. It has a calendar, task list, reminders and alarms. But the same problems happens. I am a master of ignoring alarms.

Maybe it’s like smoking. Maybe I just have to want to be more organized, and find myself a simple little system and stick with it.

There’s a hope that, when I get a smartphone in February, that I’ll finally be organized.

I doubt it, but there’s hope.

Anyone have any tricks to stay organized? I’ll try just about anything 😉

Christmas Decorating and whatnot

This weekend has been full of decorating the house for Christmas. Tara really gets into it, and I’m right beside her enjoying the time.

We got the tree up, but no lights or decorations. We also have snow flakes and whatnot hanging from the ceiling. It makes for a really cool effect. We also managed to put up a few of the outside lights. They’re wrapped in garland and framing the garage door. I would have had the other lights up, but the clips I put up there a couple of years back snapped off. They looked good until I tried to use them. Too bad, it would have saved a lot of time.

Tara also has the stockings hung by the fireplace with care.

This year, I think it’ll be fun, and maybe a little frustrating, to decorate the tree with Liam. He seems to have mastered putting things in things. But then he’ll tip the thing and spill all the other things. But he still wants to be helpful, and he is, in his own special way.

The rest of the stuff we have to keep out of his reach. He likes to reach and therefore tip things. Mind you, there’s one thing he can have. My parents bought him a ‘little people’ nativity set. He can play with that all he likes 🙂

Our Christmas shopping is almost done, mind you Tara keeps telling me otherwise. 😉 This year, for each other at least, we’re keeping it simple. We’ll hit the stores after Christmas and just pick out something that we each want. This way it’ll be on sale and there’s no guessing. Some years I’m good with gifts, others, not so much. Just ask 😀

That and we’ll be on the other coast so we just have to bring stuff back and no there. We’ll have to bring a lot of stuff back, mostly for Liam though. That’ll be ok. Or it’ll get shipped to us. That’ll work too.

We’re also getting ready for our own Christmas party. We’re going to have all the kids over(big and small) and make ginger bread houses. We’ll also do a little gift exchange, and all of that has been found/purchased already.


How are your Christmas plans coming along?

Short n’ Sweet

Busy day today.

Work. Christmas decorations. Park time. Dinner with a bunch of doctors.

It was Tara’s work party tonight, and in summary; no matter how much money you make, white guys still can’t dance. Doesn’t stop them from trying(me included).

Good time though. Good food, friendly people and an open bar 😉

How was your evening?

Tweet Friday 2011-11-25

  • First snow fall and already a million accidents on the road. You know guys, wasn't that long ago we had snow… #
  • The real magic of LMFAO is their videos. Yes, I listen. They have a robot with a cardboard box head, how could I not? #
  • So a gym tale is closed on Fridays, so we're at McDonalds in Bells Corners. Kinda sucks, no ball pit 😦 #
  • Ok, new catch me kids showed up and some are playing with Liam 🙂 #

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Of Fans and Elbows

For the past few days I’ve been trying to play Left4Dead. And between 30-60 seconds into it, it freezes, then unfreezes, then freezes. Thinking that maybe it needed to be reinstalled, I did that. And no dice.

Then I tried Darwinia, a little less graphics intensive. Nope.


Pop the side of the computer off, and low and behold, the fan on the first video card…isn’t fanning. That’s not so great. Kinda defeats the purpose of a fan. The fan on the second card is working, so I swap them. Then the computer doesn’t boot. Then it kinda does, and Windows just gives me a black screen and a mouse curser. Not helpful.

So, already frustrated, I plop the install disk in and wipe/install. I’m getting good at this. I mean, just last week(or the week before) I did the same thing. And today, reinstalled what I needed, after applying a ton of updates, and tried Left4Dead again. Got to the safe house this time. Which is a lot longer than 60 seconds.

Now, I’ve got SLI off, but I might be able to use the second card as a physics card. That wouldn’t be so bad. It’s still running the game at a good size and speed, so no complaints from me.

And today was Liam/Dad Friday. But today, no swimming. Today we went to ToysRUs instead. Right after dropping Tara off at work. That’s pretty early. Before hand I grabbed a coffee and some Tim-bits for the boy(and his dad, let’s be honest here) then headed into the fray. The fray wasn’t as frantic as I thought it would be. The deals were good, and that’s what I was going for, but it wasn’t all elbows and black-eyes. It was almost, peaceful. Almost.

But I managed to get all the things from the list and out of there in less than an hour. Mind you, it felt longer than that.

Home for a nap!

And after that nap, I had to think of something to do, so it was off to a Gyms Tail(Tale?). Except, they don’t do free play on Fridays. Opps.

Off to McDonalds. And this play section kinda sucked. No ball pit. But Liam didn’t seem to mind. He was running around and screaming with the rest of them. A good time was had by all.

Then another nap, more Left4Dead, and picking Tara up from the bus stop.

It was a busy day all in all, but a good one.

And the games work, that’s important 😉

Time Killers

Everyone knows you have too much time on your hands, and I’m here to help with that. I have been a time waster for many years, and I’ve recently found a few more ways to kill time on the internet, and I thought I’d share them with you.

*Note: I cannot be blamed for loss of time/productivity/job because you read through this. I’m just providing a service.



So there you go. Enjoy the day you thought might be productive 🙂

You’re Welcome!

Santa 1: Liam 0

Tonight we thought it would be a cute idea to get the gang together to do a shoot with Santa at the local mall. Liam did such a good job last year we figured he would be fine this year.

We figured wrong. I’m guessing his eyesight hadn’t fully developed last year. This time around we tried to plop him on Santa’s lap, and he wasn’t having any of it. But, on the up side, none of the kids were. One even had a death grip on her mother.

So we did an even bigger group shot, with all the parents as well 🙂

I have to admit that, overall, it turned out pretty good. Both the photographer and Santa were in good spirits about and tried to be as helpful as they could. They just kept shooting and shooting. In the end, we got at least one good shot where everyone was at least looking at the camera 🙂

But this is only the first of probably 4 times this year Liam will be with Santa. Sooner or later he’s bound to come around 😀

Free Software

And this means really free, not just free to me because I’m a terrible pirate kinda guy.

I’ve made a real effort in the last few years to explore and use as much legit free software as possible. Mostly because:

  • most of them are awesome
  • it’s a pain dealing with unlock codes/engines

So let’s begin on this quick run through the free software that I use on a regular basis. Please keep in mind that this is all Windows based, as, well, I use Windows 99% of the time. I’d do a review on free Linux stuff, but that’s a whole other month worth of posts 🙂


I used to use UltraEdit all the time, but it’s not free. So I switched. And I have to tell you, I never looked back. It’s free, has some great additions, and does everything that I need it to do. The VM images at work all have UltraEdit, and I wish they didn’t. The search feature in NotePad++ is great and will search and search/replace through sub-directories. It also has a built in FTP client for all your online editing needs. Worth a look.


Both the client and the server. I have the server installed on my work lappy and I use it to connect to other servers(or have other servers connect to me) all over the work network. Easy to setup and use. The client is the best I’ve used since the WSFTP days. I think I started using this as a portable app, but moved to the actual install. It has a queue that you can pause/restart and has a failed transfer section where you can plop them back into the queue to reprocess. Very cool.


This is another one that I started using as a portable app but moved to the real download. It’s light and simple to use. It also keeps everything as readable XML files, so you can use NotePad++ to read them if need be. Also, I keep all the notes in my dropbox folder to sync across computers. I was using Evernote…but…oh, it’s not on Linux(or wasn’t at the time).

I guess it’s a small clone of Photoshop. But not really. However, for the majority of my image editing needs, it get’s the job done. It supports layers and outputs to a number of helpful formats. It’s not PhotoShop, but it’s also not $1000.


Hands down the best Torrent app I’ve used. It supports RSS feeds, apps(though not sure why to be honest) and remote access. I’ve been using it for the past few years and love it.

This is really a platform and a suite of apps that are designed to run on a USB key or something like it. They don’t install to Windows(but might make updates in the registry as I’ve found out). I use these all the time as they’re light and small. This covers a lot of little apps and is totally worth your while.

And that’s pretty much it for now 🙂