Monday, June 29, 2015

welcoming the north, from the closet doorway

On a conference call with a customer as I type this, it is simple:
1. I stop a service (1 minute)
2. They back up their production database (35 - 45 minutes)
3. They restore their production database on a new database server (35 - 45 minutes)
4. I configure the service to look at the DB on the new DB server (1 minute)
5. I start the service (1 minute)

Needless to say, there was a lot of waiting on this one.

The month of June is slowly drawing to a close. Soon we'll be in July and then it feels like the summer will almost be over. Time seems to just get faster with each passing year.

As I am typing this I can hear V-8 singing to herself as she gets herself ready for bed. My wife is out this evening so as I am waiting for the backup/restore to take place I have instructed the children to get ready for bed and go to sleep. It seems to be working well enough so far.

If I get to bed at a reasonable hour this evening, that will make me happy, but I don't know if that will happen. There is always so much to do.

Friday, June 26, 2015

remember your p's and w's

Fourteen moths danced evocatively in the underpants of a scythe blade while a two and three quarter year old hen read nineteenth century poetry to a gaggle of baked potato skins. A silhouette named Sil wandered aimlessly in the Costco aisles looking for sturgeon elbows or motor cycle differentials. He did not find either of these.

A quagmire walked into a bar. Everyone inside felt a large amorphous thump. Subsequently, business as usual carried on.

Three fingered pentapeds qualified for the international nap tournament but were held on charges of treason. They thought sleeping for five winks would be the way to win.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

train tracks up my nose

So the kids are now all out of school. Next week we begin the routine of bringing them to the house of a friend of ours whose teenage daughter we are paying to take care of them through the summer. On June 30th G-Bot will start a two week summer school course to improve his study skills. This was not required, but we felt that he could benefit by this.

July 3rd the kids and I are going to the lake front property of a friend of ours. He doesn't have a house there, but does have a camper, so we camp it out for the weekend.

Today is a day of intermittent fasting, I last ate at 20h00 last night, so the plan is to not eat until 8h00 tomorrow morning, drinking only water during this time. This has been going well for me, though I haven't always stuck to the plan and on some fasting days, ended up eating a normal supper. No matter, since I started this routine I've lost eight pounds and have not regained any of them. I'd like to lose two more and then if I can stabilize at that weight I'd be at my desired weight.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


This past Sunday I was at the Rush concert as part of the R40 tour celebrating 40 years of Rush, this, 41 years after they started. They played songs off of multiple albums in reverse chronological order. As people filed in they took their seats; mine was on the floor of the stadium so I looked up and in one direction saw this:

While we waited for the show to start, there was an enormous panel draped in front of the stage with this projected on it:

There were some people who took dozens or hundreds of photos; I was content with just a few as I was there to enjoy the concert, not to document it. Here is one photo I took of them performing:

Behind the stage there were three screens; on the left and right, two narrow ones and in the center a large one. At various times throughout the performance, different things were displayed on the screen. I thought it was really neat when they did closeup of the band and put them on the screen. Here is a closer shot where you can see it better:

That's Alex Lifeson on the guitar and backup vocals, Geddy Lee on Bass, keyboards and lead vocals and Neil Peart on drums. Speaking of drums, here is an image of when Neil did his major drum solo:

About 5/7ths through the show they started using the laser lights and I thought they were pretty awesome:

So all in all I really enjoyed this concert. Most likely it will be the last time that Rush comes to my city; in media reports they haven't totally outruled future concerts, but they would most likely be one offs.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

three times seven times two

I really should have posted this yesterday, as it was yesterday that I reached 15340 days of existence. Apart from being the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything, this isn't a particularly special anniversary and I had no intention of celebrating it. Irrespective of my wishes, a good friend of mine hosted a poorly attended 'Welcome to Summer' BBQ at her house yesterday with an incidental sidebar of well wishes for me. It was very pleasant and almost as low-key as it can get, which is A-Okay with me.

For this trip around the sun I am going to work on 'Focus'. If I can succumb less often to distractions, or if I can stay the course rather than follow deviation after deviation, I will be pleased with the progress I will have made this year.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

wringing or winging

beating around the bush is kind of like wearing a kilt on a windy day.

There aren't two more of anything that would be used to deny those who want to paint a tree orange. I should know.

There are still more photos of the grad ball I assisted with but I haven't had the chance to upload them from my camera to my blog. Perhaps this weekend I will manage to do this.

Or not.

I am getting sleepy, but I expect I won't be soon able to get to go to bed as I am awaiting a customer's instructions to assist them with an SFTP issue they are having. It is 22h57 as I type this sentence.

I am on call this week and next which helps the pocket book as I get extra pay for it. However, there are imminent plans to hire people in other global locations which will diminish the need for this on call work. This will result in a pay cut as for the last eighteen months or so it has been fairly stable that once a month I get an extra week of on-call pay. When that stops my life will be easier as I won't have the on-call time any longer, but still, I'll have some pay to make up.

In other news, we are pretty close to filing our income taxes for tax year 2012 and 2013. It being 2015 it is probably about time we do this.

Flying a kite while painting the underside of a submarine should become an Olympic sport. I should know.

Monday, June 15, 2015

wearing a wedding band, a rock band and an elastic band

The belt that some people wear is often of the correct looseness to serve its purpose. I should know.

Do necrophiliacs know, on average, their right from their left?

Take Five.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


There isn't much to say about dental floss on a day that your house has burned down.

Fortunately, my house did not burn down, but still, I'm not going to talk about dental floss.

The eaves at the rear of my house on the south end of it was full of leaves and maple tree helicopter seeds causing it to be blocked and as such, water was overflowing the eaves coming crashing down right up against a back door to our house. There was enough rain that this water going against the door went through it. It only dribbled in and was easy to clean up, but I had had enough of wiping it up so yesterday evening I pulled out the ladder and went up there and cleared it all up.

There is more of such work to do in other places.

I hope you don't have any trouble doing your laundry today.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


My son has just completed his first year in a fairly prestigious high school, the same one I went to twenty five years ago. For the graduating class, a committee is created that prepares the graduation ball that takes place this Friday. They have been planning it for months and have asked for volunteers from the parents from all of the kids at the school, irrespective of the grade the child is in.

The actual ball preparations began last week on Monday, and my first day to go and help was on Wednesday last week. I went directly from work and assisted with some painting. In the below photo you can see that some of the 'London Calling' letters have a black outline to make the letters stick out and some don't. One or more others painted the banner and this was what was left, so I was doing the black outline.

Here's a photo showing more of that same banner.

I assisted that same night in painting a part of another partially completed banner.

Saturday I went at around 16h45 thinking, based on a schedule, that I'd be working until 21h00, but they closed up at 18h00 so I did not end up doing very much. What I did do was to cut pool noodles in half, lengthwise, to act as the ribs on the Big Ben tower being built.

Last night I went for my third time and did a lot of the painting of the London Bridge. I won't go into the detail of what parts of it I painted, but here it is:

In the foreground of the above photo, on the far right, you can see a partial view of a ladder. After I took the above photo I climbed to the top of the ladder to take the next photos.

This first one (below) shows Big Ben with the pool noodle ribs I had cut glued onto it and all of it painted a primer coat. Today while I am work, the volunteers there will be doing the finishing painting. To the right you can see the bus.

Turning clockwise we come to the pub and the bar.

The angle on this next one is odd, but I took it to show you how in the center of the gym floor they created the 'arts center' where you picked up your paint or other supplies.

And then finally the next three show how some banners are hung from the ceiling and two others are up on the far wall.

I've taken the day off work tomorrow to help get the event set up, the ball is on Friday, and then on Saturday I go back again to help take everything down.

I figure to do this every year as I really enjoy this kind of volunteering.

Friday, June 05, 2015


Palindrome odometer reading.

The light at the top resembling a seat - the passenger side seat sensor no longer works, so whether there is a person there or not, no matter the weight of the person, the car thinks there is a person there who does not have their seat belt on, whether the person sitting there is wearing it or not.

The light at the bottom, it is the 'Check Engine' light. It has been lit for perhaps as long as a year now. The car (a Grand Caravan 2005) is running just fine, so I'm not worried about this warning light.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Public Transit at 57789

I took the bus to work this morning (well, drove to a train station where I took the bus and from the bus I took the metro (what our subway is called here)) and managed to get to the bus stop at the biggest time gap and so had to wait the longest.

There are four buses that all take me to the metro from this stop, they are the 211, 405, 411 and 425.

The stop times at this stop (57789) are as follows:
211: 7h04,7h24,7h50,8h18
405: 7h09,7h29,7h51,8h12
411: 7h19,7h51,8h18
425: 7h12,7h32,7h55,8h15

If you put them in order of time, it looks like this:

    5    3    7    5    5    4    18   1    4    17   3    3
You can see that between 7h32 and 7h50 there is an 18 minute gap where no bus will come, and another 17 minute gap half an hour later, but outside of those times there is a bus every 3 to 5 minutes with one outlier at 7. This morning I managed to arrive at the bus stop very soon after the 7h32 425 bus passed, so I had to wait until 7h51 for the 411 (the 7h50 211 came in just behind the 411). If I arrive at the bus stop any time between 7h00 and 7h32 I'd catch a bus without hardly having to wait.

Now if only I can get my kids out of the house in such a time that I can get to this bus stop in that window, that would be the icing on the transit cake.