Tuesday, April 30, 2002

This Friday, I'm definitely going to be doing my part.

Let's see some supporters out there!

Monday, April 29, 2002

I have to read legal mumbo-jumbo today. As The Treehouse prepares to get going, we (the employees) have decided to invest in it ourselves rather than go to outside investors. Investing means legal documents. We've got to make sure that everything is spelled out.

I'm not at all nervous about handing over a big chunk of cash to our company. I've invested in stupider things before. Can you say, 'Timeshare'?

Sunday, April 28, 2002

I've spent the past week watching more and more people (and some of the least likely ones) jump on the hi-tech bandwagon. As I deal with more and more hardware, wires, cameras, video presentations, networks and all the wide-eyed amazement from the great unwashed that goes along with it, I am inclined to be less showy with technology. Instead of having gadgets, wires and couplers strewn across my desk and hanging around my neck like a Hawaiian tourist, I want to have things undercover. I've decided that I want to take my technological advantages underground. Behind the scenes. I'm not ready to abandon them, but I want them to be hidden behind the walls.

Wireless technology is one way to do this. Lighter, smaller gadgets are another. Multifunction devices are a third way. I'm going to do what I can to reduce my daily-use wires and gadgets as much as possible.

The tide of in-laws has receded and I am no worse for the wear. I was up late on Friday night (as expected) putting the finishing touches on Irva's presentation. The gathering took place without any altercations, fisticuffs, bruised egos or hurt feelings. There was a bit of silliness (bringing tables and tablecloths to a well-prepared banquet facility wasn't necessary) but all in all, it was a success. Pats on the back and high-fives are in order for all that helped out.

The birthday girl was pleased as punch, too, which was the most important part.

I am exporting the video clips to Quicktime movies for your enjoyment. They should be ready soon and up in the images section later.

Saturday, April 27, 2002

As I putter away at building a video presentation and the wee hours turn my mind to mush, I remind you that if you are thinking of using your computer for video or still presentations, do yourself a favor and get a Mac. They are greatly superior to a PC for this sort of thing.

Friday, April 26, 2002

I'm at a client site today upgrading a laptop and installing a router. The office is in the Grain Exchange Building, a 90 year old sandstone building in the center of downtown Calgary. There has had very little done in the way of renovations in the last 50 years. The ceilings are 12 feet tall; the heating is via steam radiators; the windows are all original. The atmosphere of the office is old-fashioned and strangely comforting. The client hasn't done too much to fix it up - a coat of paint, some 1940's vintage furniture, some 1940's vintage posters and continental maps on the wall. All in all a very pleasing effect.

If I had to have an office outside of my home, this is a place that I could easily come to every day. What a pleasant time I'm having.

Thursday, April 25, 2002

I am about to enter ... the In-Law Zone. If I'm not back in three days, come and get me.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Busy, busy, busy. And to think that in January, I was worried that I'd be an unemployed bum that would spend the daylight hours making love to the sofa.

Work as sought me out, wrapped it's loving arms around me and has begun to squeeze. I've taken on three new clients this week and had to turn down a 6 week contract. What a tremendous boost for my ego.

Monday, April 22, 2002

The weekend was eventful, and filled with events, too. I took Banana and McMonkey with me (on their best behavior) to Lethbridge for the Provincial Masters Swim Championships. I left Jenn to frantically tidy and clean the house (in preparation for her mom's big do) and prepare for the onslaught of relatives. After all, they are her relatives. Har har.

Upon our return home, I sat the kids down, pointed out how clean and orderly the house was and reminded them that we only had three days to return it to it's original state. Banana went straight to work putting cookie crumbs under the sofa cushions.

At the meet I made my expected times and even surprised myself by breaking 30 seconds for a 50m freestyle. Who knows, I may go sub-27 again someday. The Two Broads and the Torpedo were there and added to the entertainment. We were all in our rooms and asleep by 11:15 on Saturday night. Jeez, we really are a old folks swim team.

We saw a 61-year-old break the world record for 50 backstroke, shattering the existing record of 33:71 with a :32.67. I've since learned the strategy for Masters swimming - outlive your competition. If I am still on the team when I'm in my nineties, that club record for the 200m fly is mine.

Friday, April 19, 2002

If you've ever seen an Apple Newton and thought it was a good idea, have a look at what happens when an ex-Titanium Powerbook designer has a go at making a portable PC.
  • 4 inch colour touch screen
  • 256 megs of RAM
  • 10 giga byte hard drive
  • USB, Firewire and infared ports
  • wireless Ethernet (802.11b standard)
  • street price of $1500 Canadian.

They're supposed to be out in the second half of this year. Hubba hubba - I'm gonna junk my laptop.
I stil can't believe that people (including me) buy bottled water for two bucks or more per half litre.
tiny fingers is on the move. My mom's website is going to a new home that will support her online order submission form. Still a few CGI things to work out, but we're getting there.

Thursday, April 18, 2002

My next swim meet is in two days and over the past two weeks my training has totally gone to hell.

I am so dead.

Monday, April 15, 2002

It seems that I am breaking as much as I am fixing today. Crappity crap.

Sunday, April 14, 2002

There are days when being a dad fully drains the energy out of me. Some days I stare at what is before me with the eyes of a hopeless man.

I come home in the afternoon and step over a pile of boots, coats, backpacks that completely disguises the fact that the back landing has floor tiles. I hold the knowledge that no matter how few Shreddies or Honeycomb clumps are poured into the breakfast bowl and drowned in milk, there will always be several that remain behind to dissolve slowly in the bowl. I constantly pity the two lonely, wet socks that have made it to within feet of the laundry hamper. I see the plates, cracker crumbs and peanut butter jar with the knife still sticking out that is the carnage of a hastily-devoured after-school snack. I walk through the house turning off light switches, pausing only to marvel as I find one that has NOT been toggled on.

And yet, there is hope. Tonight, I went into McMonk's room, I saw a pile of CD-ROMs (that I had noted while feeding her fish earlier that day) were mostly put back into a protective travelling CD case. "She's getting it," I thought to myself. Some of this stuff is soaking in. I then thought back to a few disconnected incidents over the past few days. I remembered a day when she spontaneously complimented Jenn on dinner. Another time when she came to the door to see a friend off and gave the girl a hug and sounded genuine when she thanked her for coming to play. Yet another time when she called me in to see that she'd tidied everything off of her floor, even inviting me to look under her bed.

Putting all this together, I realize that this isn't an uphill battle. We're on the flats - it just took a lot of gentle but persistent pushing to get things rolling in the right direction.

Saturday, April 13, 2002

I was working away happily in Photoshop taking some fold marks out of a scanned photo that will be part of the big show. When I tried to save my image, up pops this dialog box.

  Inane Windows Error Message 

 How 'bout that for being obtuse? Clicking on the "OK" button does nothing, either. Time for a system rebuild, methinks.

Tabitha, this could have been you.
I'm a scanning slave today.

I promised to put together a collage of photos for my mother-in-law's 80th birthday party. Word got out that I was doing something on the computer (I'd planned to do up a something with iMovie) and now the hype for the presentation has inflated it to far outstrip what I had intended. The actual event is drawing closer (two weekends away) so I have to get something together.

Thursday, April 11, 2002

Oops. That's six Girl Guide cookies today. Good thing I went swimming last night.

Must watch that figure, you know.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

For all my mac buddies (and you know who you are), I found a good cartoon series.

I'm sure you'll find it fulfilling (sorry).

By the way, I'm grooving to the Gipsy King's rendition of A Mi Manera (My Way).

Tuesday, April 09, 2002

I'm the stuff that legends are made out of.

The pilgrimage to my house must be a hallowed thing. I can imagine the scene ... three young girls, cheeks rosy from the crisp, spring evening as they stroll along the still-snowy sidewalk. They turn down Charlebois Drive and the eldest of the three tends to walk a bit quicker, then abruptly stops at the end of a particular sidewalk and turns towards the house.

"This is the place - the funny-green one. I went up last year with a half a case. He took them all ... THEN he sent me for more!"

The two others look at her, not quite sure if this is some sort of initiation prank. The eldest one stands with a dreamy, far-away look in her eyes. After a moment, she shakes her head to banish the tantalizing image from previous years of twenty-dollar bills hastily thrust into her hands and starts up the walkway. As she approaches the steps, she asks the others, "Do you want to go first?"

The youngest, a freckle-faced 8 year-old says in an innocent voice, "Sure. I'll try first."

She lightly trips up the stairs with her cardboard box in hand and pecks at the doorbell with her finger. As she waits for the foretold response, she straightens her beret and sash. The door opens and she sees the man's face light up in the same way that her own did on Christmas morning, when she came down from her bedroom to see the pile of brightly-colored presents under the tree. Now was the time for her to recite her carefully practiced (but totally unnecessary) line.

"Hello sir. Would you like to buy a box of Girl Guide Cookies?"

Box? BOX?" I said, trying not to drool on the poor kid. "How many CASES you got?"
I am thwarted again from riding my bike. A snowstorm snuck up on me in the late morning.

Spring has sprung,
The grass has riz,
I wonder where
my bike pump is.

After two false starts (six broken spokes and 5 inches of snow), I think it's time to start commuting to work. My trusty Univega is primed and ready, I have all the gear and the outfit, so this afternoon I take to the roads.

Try not to splash when you drive past.

Monday, April 08, 2002

Clients can be frustrating. I love them when they hand me the cheque. I like them when I solve their problems. Sometimes, though, they can be challenging. Here's a true (although paraphrased) conversation.

Client: Hey, you remember that part that you told me not to buy because it was crappy?
Sean: (with trepidation in his voice) Y-y-y-yes?
Client: Well, I bought one because the salesman said I wouldn't have any problems with it. I tried to make it work and can't. Here you go (handing it to me).
Sean: Do you want me to return it?
Client: No, no, silly. Can you attach it to the corporate network?
Sean: The one that you've tasked me with keeping secure and fully functioning?
Client: Yes. When can I start using my new goody?
Sean: (sigh) I'll get right on it.
Geek and Company is gathering steam. Yet another client that wants computers and a network.

Whoo hoo!

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

One thing I hadn't counted on when I started Geek and Company - dealing with Joe Homebody's hardware is like being the doctor at a hospice. Often, people don't like hearing that their Solitaire and Web surfing machine is going to cost $300 to get it humming again.

Monday, April 01, 2002

True Tales from the Office (but not my office, thank goodness)

New on the job, You make a presentation to a group of coworkers. One of them compliments you and asks if you could add your information to their department manual. They show you the printed version and it looks like a hefty tome, well over one hundred pages. Wanting to score some points with your new boss and your coworkers, you agree and ask them to send you the electronic document so you can add your stuff.

Later that afternoon, the document arrives via e-mail. The door to the office is closed so your colleagues do not hear the muffled sobs as you look at the attachment.

The document, over 120 pages, complete with a table of contents, is in PowerPoint.

There is no god.