I've noticed that my logs have been getting rather stale. So, since I'm on a plane I thought I would actually devote some decent time to this particular entry.
Well it has been a busy last few days. The other night I went out for my friend's b-day. He invited me and some other friends to first celebrate with his parents and girlfriend in the South-End. This is a rarity in itself because I usually have to travel for 25-30 minutes to go see him in the city. I now only had to travel 5. I have met his family before but forgot what wonderful parents he has. His
mom is very French Canadian and cooks accordingly spectacular.
After dinner, Nick (my friend), his g/f, Dave & Emily, Chris and myself headed downtown for some drinks. I left the car at my place and got into Chris' car so I wouldn't have to drive after drinking.
We arrived at an Irish pub downtown with a live band on a Friday night. The place was pumpin' to say the least. The band even did a cover "extra-Irish-style-violin-and-all" of Hous of Pain's "Jump". It was amazing to say the least. I wish I got their name so I could invite them to the Blarney Stone in Vancouver.
I knew the bar manager/bar tender from high-school. He provided me with many a free pint of Guiness which was a wonderful treat. I know several bar tenders/managers in Vancouver, but I have never had such treatment. I guess it goes to show who your friends REALLY are. He picked up the tab for the whole party of us and got the b-day boy very intoxicated. (Thanks again Ryan).
The following few days I spent "chilling out" at home w/ mom, dad, and my brother. Watching him play SOCOM: Navy Seals online for his PS2. I have to admit, he is quite good at it.
So, I went to bed at 0230H this morning and woke up at 0600H to catch my flight at 0800H. As the plane pulled onto the tarmac, I watched little eddies of snow and salt whip around on the assphalt as the bits finally escaped the grasp of the engine's gust only to settle a few feet from whence they became airborne.
The take-off was as awe-inspiring as ever. Honestly it never ceases to amaze me how this huge tin-can manages to get off the ground. I even understand enough physics to explain it, but it still leaves me jaw-dropped every time.
The ascent was typical. A beutiful view of the semi-crystalized Ottawa River at dawn, the cotton-ball like clouds, and the glistening of moisture on the wings were all welcome signs as we approached cruising altitude of 30 000ft.
I believe that the feature film is about to start. I hope the oncoming day in Vancouver will be as pleasant as it started out in Ottawa.
The plane landed safely and rather long day was as great as it began. I got back, played Santa Claus by distributing gifts to those friends that regularly do a gift exchange with me.
All you can eat lunch was @ Shabusen. This is nice since it is right across the street. A bunch of Sushi later, and whammo... I basically passed out for 3-4 hours. It was great I needed a nap. I woke up in time to watch my friend Dave play some Tony Hawk 4. Drinks @ Monsoon at about 2230H. Just stayed for a short while.
Came back and started watching 24 Hours. It is apparently a series that was on TV. I don't watch a lot of TV any more so it was rather intriguing. Good show. (on DVD so we have the whole season at our disposal. Each episode last 1 hour in REAL TIME).. this feature is kinda neat. (commercial free though which is even better)
Now just catching up on some mail with the TV in the background.
Well, the last 24 hours have been a complete blur. I woke up at 0530H yesterday morning so that I could prepare for a business meeting w/ some business associates in Ottawa.
After writing down some notes, I figured I should probably have a shower so that I don't offend potential co-workers with my foul stench. I ran into my mother heading off to work at 0615H. She informed me that there was no running water. GREAT! So I called the maintenance facility in Ottawa to have them inform me that there was a broken water main. The city operator kindly infomed me that there was no ETA on the fixation of the water.
I decided that my best bet was to continue to prepare for the meeting and then try and have a shower before I left. At 0830H I decided that I should go have a shower at a gym somewhere near the site of my meeting. So I packed a towl, some soap, shampoo and my razor and headed off. I stopped at the Sportsplex in Nepean and convinced the nice girl behind the counter to let me use the facilities free of charge. :)
Meeting was scheduled for 1000H. Long story short, they were both a no-show. I was less than amused considering I had gone through considerable effort to get there in a presentable fashion.
After returning, I did a little bit of boxing day shopping w/ my bro's. A friend of mine from high-school picked me up for a little high-school re-union. It was nice to see some faces. Some people I hadn't seen in 4-5 years. It was great fun, well minus the 80's night. Don't get me wrong. I like some 80's tunes, but it just reminded me too much of 1st year university @ "The Pit".
Arrggg... so now I'm slightly hung-over and could really use some good bacon & eggs.
Fun through-and-through though.
So here I am on early Christmas morning drinking w/ my bro's. It is pretty funny. My bro from Montreal is totally making a fool of himself, but he is really entertaining and humorous to say the least.
He brought his cat with him too. I wonderful orange tabby. We gave him a bunch of cat-nip and laughed our asses off watching the cat trip-out on the floor.
We had Christmas here a day early since my Mum has to work tomorrow morning. (She's a nurse). So we went to mass at 2300H and then we came back and opened our gifts at 0030H or so and had a few drinks. Here we are at
nearly 0400H and I'm starting to get tired.
I got a lot of nice gifts from my parents and brothers. They are both awesome.
I think they both need to grow up quite a bit, but especially the one who is 21. :) I guess it will come with time.
Well I met with my old boss and mentor "Doug" earlier this week. He gave me some good advice for my job search. He suggested looking into real-time biological/medical fields as well as real-time military/defence fields. By keeping with real-time systems, I will be able to apply my skills back to the networking field once it gets kick-started again.
Other options include "go to China", to become a liazon between the western world and the far East. This idea has already been proposed by my other wise friend. He suggested going to India. Hmm. Looks like I may be going on a trip soon. :)
Well, I've turned into a slug recently. Mostly staying at home with my bro. Surfing/Emailing & Reading. I got up today at 2030H and will probably not go to bed for quite a while. I'm gonna be really messed up when I go home to Van. I miss my friends and "home" there already.
Oddly enough, a vacation to my parent's place isn't quite the same as the vacation i had in Thailand. :)
Well, I cleaned up the basement (most of it anyway), today with the help of my brother. We put his big 27" flatscreen tv up on the tv stand, and properly distangled the mass of cables that were lying on the middle of the floor. The place now looks more like I remember it. "Clean".
Aside from the burn holes in the carpet from dropped cigarettes, things look like they did a few years ago.
I also went into the freezer to look for something to heat up for a midnight snack. All I could find were pack, upon pack of bacon. Seriously, 4 packages of bacon. What the hell? Do we really NEED that much bacon at once. Only 3 people live here now. I'm just visiting. in the fridge i found an open pack of bacon and tub upon tub of margerine. Holy! I think there were 4-5 of those.
My mother has obviously forgotten that 2 of us have moved out and she no longer needs to purchase food for all of us. :)
(sigh) Perhaps I'll clean the fridge tomorrow.
Well after being back in Ottawa and now on "Vancouver" time still. My body hasn't yet bothered to want to change to the local time zone. I went to bed at my "typical" Vancouver time of 0400H (0700H EDT). Wonderful to go to bed as the sun is rising and then to awake at 1600H to your buddy from high-school calling.
Shortly there after I got dressed up to go downtown to the Chateaux Laurier to have drinks with my relatives. (Nothing like beer at 5:30 pm for breakfast). Then off to "Fridays" on Elgin Street. Relatively fancy 'steak' house, much more so than the keg, but probably less so than Gotham (never been).
Anyways. Good food. Some good wine and a great time catching up with my relatives. Some of my cousins are growing up so fast. It is crazy. (I am the oldest of my generation).
Now I'm stuffed full of roast-beef and potatoes and yorkshire puds. (TimE: I told my Grandmother about the puds on the BBQ, she thought that was awesome. I think her exact words were: "That's an excellent idea.")
Anyways. I hope everyone else is preparing for their holiday or enjoying it already.
So here I sit back in the national capital region. Its really nice being back home with the family although I'm sure things will get on my nerves eventually.
My brother has made a complete mess of the basement with his big-ass TV and big-ass surround sound system. He has the whole thing set up so close to the TV that you are bound to go blind. I found some (apparently) day-old fries on the floor and the place was littered with chip-bags, pepsi and beer cans.
Generally speaking it looks like my university dorm room after a party. According to my Mom, the basement looks like this on a daily basis.
Enough for now.
Well, I met with a guy I used to work with. He is a super great guy, loves to mountain bike on the North Shore and is a hard-core programmer. We have now nick-named him "The Oracle" (from "The Matrix"), since everyone at work would go to him at work for advice on how to do something. His answer was always mysteriously simple-Just like the Oracle.
I was mentioning about "this" company and "that" company and what kind of job I wanted.
His advice: "Chris, get a job".
He meant that in a, get ANY job kind of way. So simple, yet so true. My other friends have been telling me that for weeks. For some reason though when the Oracle tells you something, it makes you feel like "crap" for being so stupid and NOT listening to your friends.
I was a little saddened by the news, but the Oracle did pay for my lunch. (Thanks). It made me feel "right as rain".
I have a new mission when I return in the new year. (Get ANY job).
Well, I'd really like to know what the hell happened to the last few days. The truth is: "I really don't know".
I've been reading, writing code and working hard. On Monday I also managed to go hang out with some friends. I don't know why I haven't been updating this. I guess I've been too busy.
Here are a list of books on my current "reading list"
1. Programming Pearls by Jon Bently of AT&T Labs. I borrowed the first edition of this book from a friend. (1986/1989).
2. The Practice of Programming by Brian W. Kernighan and Rob Pike.
3. Understanding the Linux Kernel by Daniel P. Bovet and Marco Cesati.
I haven't read any of the second one yet, but I'm about 70 pages into both of the others. I never realized how much my courses at university taught me until I go back over the material.
Also a friend of mine. I'm not sure if he wants his name published, oh what the hell. Toby wanted me to let you all know that his ass was very visable at a party hosted at our place a few weekends ago. The theme was definately "ass". Sorry, no pictures of this event were captured. :)
So, there I was...
I had a few people over for a little gathering to celebrate the new place. (finally)
Lots of wine and beer was consumed. Lots of cheese, crackers and fruit was eaten.
Pickled substances gallore.
All in all a pretty good turn-out.
Thanks very much for the gifts everyone. The place will be much warmer with them.
....after the last of our guests left, I resumed with the coding where I left it off hours earlier, but cleaned it up in a hurry, checked some stuff in and sent a note off to an interested party to help debug some small errors...
Got to bed late, woke up even later... what else is new.
Argh. The mountain of dishes I must soon contend with :)
So I arrive home at just after midnight and the house is in complete dis-array.
I wanted to wire-up the house w/ a switch and put some more of the
"computer mess" into the closet, but I accidentally nudged the "external
l2 cache" trying to put some RAM back into the thing... and the whole
thing would not reboot, and I didn't know why....
As I was about to investigate matters further, the phone rings. My ride is waiting upstairs. It's beer time for all those ex-employees at my former company. I took off wihtout fixing the network but not before writing a quick note on the whiteboard indicating that "The internet is broken". :)
After much bitching and 3 Guiness and a beef-dip later, I arrived home to the mess. I had to figure out what was wrong w/ the firewall, fix it. (remove the L2 cache and turn it off in the BIOS) Undo the network, set it back up to now go through the switch so I could place a second box into the closet.
Now to get the whole house rigged up on 100 BaseT (hopefully switches). I also have secret plans for a WAP or two.
Well I haven't posted in so long because I have been busy setting up the network and more machines to run on it. (HOORAY!) I'm preparing for the eventual deployment of a real rack in our closet and will hopefully house much of rick's gear as well as much of my own.
I worked on getting dhcpd setting correct and then investigated a new BSD kernel and other goodies. I'm talking to the chief and grand master of BSD, TimO. I don't think he approves of my haXory, (for security reasons) and I'm glad he pointed that out.
I'm now weighing the pro's and cons. I don't know if it is really worth the extra day or two of trouble when I have things pretty stable right now.
(oh, and TimO if you are reading this, the mysterious signal 11 came back again... must be a problem w/ one of the 32Mb RAM chips... or something else for that matter)
The grand plan is to have a 'large' server to boot from (hardware RAID support) and have tiny, fanless boxes in our rooms and will finally rid us of the constrant "drone and hissing" of the fans and spinning disks.
So I went to see the new James Bond tonight. Ms. Berry was terrible. I didn't really like the film. It was entertaining, most of it was more than un plausible. You know kids these days though. It seems most of them either don't understand "science" or don't want to, or just plain don't give a rats ass.
On my way to the movie. (I decided to take a mini-bike to get some exercise and save myself the $2 fare downtown and the $2 fare back).
I was headed along Granville Bridge when my pant leg got caught in the front sprocket, between the chain and the gear. No problem I thought, I stopped and then remembered. On a kids bmx, you can't peddle backwards (as this just locks the rear tire) to undo this mess, so I had to peddle forwards (or rip my pants) to get out of this mess.
Crisis averted. So now, I'm headed down the bridge towards the Seymour exit. I hit a small bump and the chain comes off. No problem I think to myself. I'm almost there; I'm going down-hill so I won't need to peddle for a while and I can fix it when I stop.
... stop... RIGHT! See earlier statement (no chain == no brakes).
Panic doesn't start to set in, until I actually hit Drake. I realize I'm going quite fast and that there is a red-light.
No problem! Drag your foot. I'm used to this from roller-blading. :)
Fix chain, get back on, crisis averted!
Heading through Davie (on Seymour), peddle fast to make it through the light, when all of a sudden I managed to perform one of the most elegant maneuvers on a two-wheeled vehicle. Yes, that's right, a wonderfully performed aerial. (No hands-summer-saults). Free from the toils of gravity I watched as the bike became air-borne above me. Flying like myself in a bird-like fashion.
This brief moment in time was shattered relatively abruptly, like waking up to a fire-alarm. My body slams into the ground and the bike slams into me. Some guy on the street corner talking into his cell phone manages to yell out to me. "Are you ok?".
Well I guess I could say at that point, I will "Die Another Day".
aerials comleted: 1 full rotation of 180 degrees, hight about 4 feet. (no insane stunt bonus)
Injuries: Flapper on tip of right ring finger. Small cut on right palm. Huge bruise to the left kidneys. (I think the handle-bars got me here)
Damage: Bike: none, but needs chain tightening. Clothes and other belongings: none.
Well, I just got this in the mail and did some research to see if it is true.
It does indeed seem to be fact. Sean Penn wrote a letter to the big W. on October 18, 2002 and had it printed in the Washington Post for $56K. :)
Perhaps many of you knew about this. I've probably just had my head in the sand for far too long.
Today was spent reading, writting and meeting a client that never showed up. :)
Had some good dinner at Stephos. Yummy! And met some cool peeps downtown.
Well I forgot to mention some interesting facts about the dinner party that I hosted here on Friday. We got to the point of doing "silly things".
For once, this was non drug-induced. :)
So I tried to, and successfully managed to fit a whole tomato in my mouth (without squashing it too badly) and then managed to chew it. (gagging only occaisonally). Toby's girlfriend, Michelle attempted the same stunt although much more intoxicated than I, pulled the mushed object out of her mouth right before declaring: (and I quote)
"I can put it in there,
I can suck on it,
I can blow on it,
But I can't eat it"
(heh) Good one Michelle!
The next day, I got up late found a barbie for the dinner party I was headed to the following night.
Theme: "Blonde is beautiful" ... puzzled? No, this is a piece of cake! Made some smoked-oyster h'or d'oeuvres put them on a plate with blonde barbie head picked up from the good 'ol Salvation Army. :)
Made some smoked salmon ones as well. These were set out in front of a headless barbie spread eagled on the plate. I saw the humour in it. As did most otheres. :)
Pics of my crackers should be up soon. Along with the mouse in the trap. (Don' worry I won't forget)
Today is likely to be a busy day. My contract is done, so a document will be chaning hands for a cheque (hopefully). I am also suposed to meet a client who is flying in from NZ. :) Time for some Z'zzzzsss.
Got caught up on my sleep today. Read some .asp code and worked on the last of the document to finish up a 2 and a half week contract. Nothing much of interest happened today.