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November 2006
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January 2007


I re-enabled the Really Simple Syndication link on my page - thanks to engtech for pointing out it was broken. It's at the upper left, as "Subscribe to this blog's feed". A useful feature for erratic posters such as myself, lets you know via an aggregator such as Bloglines, or within IE 7, whenever I remember to collect my post-its (tm) and put something up here.

Speaking of updates, if you like Indie music, especially the Canadian scene, check out CBC Radio3. They have a great Saturday night show, as well as a podcast and on-line radio. You can set up a playlist of songs you like, or listen to ones listeners have already done, such as this one by maggieclaire.

Surrounded by fluffy white piles of....

.....Kleenex. Sorry, not snow, not this Christmas. Just getting over a nasty cold, not a nice time of year for this, but viruses don't care. Slowed me down a bit for my Christmas preparations, but I'm rolling again. Need to spruce things up a bit more than usual, as my mother arrives Friday for a few days - she's 91 but still pretty spry.

I did get the Christmas cards all out finally, some lights up outside, a few presents bought. And ideas for the rest, but still will need to wander the mall searching for inspiration. My kids know what I want (hopefully) so that's taken care of. Our routine normally is that the kids come to my place for Christmas Eve, and we have tourtiere and open stockings and some presents. Then Christmas Day they go to their mom's and repeat, and I join them after for a big dinner there.  This year my daughter's having Christmas Eve at her new apartment, food and carols and stockings and all. And she's even making the traditional family tourtiere. I wasn't aware of this recipe, it's actually via my brother's wife's side of the family, but will be yummy. I went over there today to supervise and breath germs on it just for that added touch. It was a beautiful day out (for fall not winter), sunny and +10C. Looks like a green Christmas here, as it's to be above freezing every day.

I picked up a fascinating book today, just in case I had some spare time. I was channel surfing a few days ago and paused at a willowy blond being interviewed on Charlie Rose on PBS. And stayed to listen - fascinating talk of string theory and multiple dimensions. She was Lisa Randall, a theoretical physicist from Harvard (and MIT and Princeton), discussing her theories and her book, Warped Passages. Just started reading it, going well so far, and doesn't make my brain hurt. She's good at using analogies and illustrations to explain the concepts.  On Thoughtcast there's a podcast of an interview with her, as well as a short lecture she gave in Boston.

Edit - Dec 18 - found another interesting talk on Opensource - check out the rest of the site too.

Playing games

Grabbed some good pics at the Connors Cup Improv finals. I did the first few with flash, but didn't want to be a pest during the event itself. So, I switched to the fixed 50m2006_12_02_062b m f1.8 lens, and was able to use a decent ISO at 1/60th. Worked for most shots, and also meant I could catch the enthusiasm via some blur. My daughter was in Improv since grade 9, and still helps her friend Al run the local regional games. I've been at some of the events for years. and I'm always amazed at the energy and creativity of the players. While they are competing, it's all done in a friendly way - for example,the usual cheer from the audience is "everyone, everyone, everyone!". This cup is for local teams to get a chance to compete and learn, and decide what teams to enter into the Canadian Improv Games in the spring.

Speaking of improvisation, the guys doing my neighbour's roof will need a lot of it to finish the job. Haven't seen them after the rain last week, all the materials are still under snow, and more flurries called for in the forecast. 

Nasty stuff, and some BOINC

Yesterday was a nice one to be home, and semi-retired. Nasty storm was outside, putting on the layers - rain, ice pellets, snow, more rain, more ice. My neighbour was having a new roof put on this week, seemed a little late to start, what with rain and/or snow on the way, but they did get about 1/3 done before rain Tuesday stopped them. The good news is that although there's bundles of shingles, rolls of tar-paper, and piles of tools on the roof - there's a nice layer of ice and snow to keep them all from blowing away. Luckily I'd picked up groceries and wine for me, cans of Tasty Treat for Tara. I did make sure to contact some of my working friends to remind then I was at home make sure they managed the trip in to the office OK. Being semi-retired, I got to stay in and BOINC. No, not that one, this one. I'm running the Rosetta and Einstein applications - had to use the Beta version to get CPU throttling to work (so my laptop doesn't melt). Then a pleasant evening with a glass of wine and Alias, trying to avoid the continuous CBC coverage of the Liberal leadership convention.

Semi-retirement is still mostly due to inertia. I did pass my "professional" exam a few weeks ago, after maybe 100 hours of studying.  Now, besides my many sterling qualities (including humility) I'm also an American Society for Quality Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence. ASQ - CMQ/OE . And have pumped up the resume to put a better spin on the past two years - as in building my management and process optimization skills through several volunteer positions. Whatever that means. Next step would be to actually start shopping my resume through my network of contacts - make a commitment. And end up - even if part time - getting up early, driving to work, buying and wearing a tie, dealing with office politics. And collecting bags of money for it. Not spending as much time doing my photo and artsy stuff - that I suppose would have to be done in my spare time, or wait for retirement. No rush yet to decide - off now to take pics at the Connors Cup of the Canadian Improv Games.