Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Other M

Just got the newly-released Metroid: Other M today. The graphics are pretty incredible. So far, it is a combination of platform game and first person shooter. It's pretty innovative.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Yappy Smurf Day flew tree.
Snappy turf way shoe flea.
Sappy Earth bay leer GDad.
Nappy worth pay chew knee!

Fan Benny Moore!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

School Supplies

We bought school supplies today. I was reminded, rather suddenly and forcefully, of this comic strip.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


In the year of 39, assembled here the volunteers....

This is my last weekend in my thirties.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Foto Phriday - Charged Up

Brother 1 reports that 4-year-old niece was playing with her magnetic letters in the bathtub yesterday when she called for his help.

"Daddy, is this how you spell 'batteries?'"

Brother 1 reports that Niece is a "freaking genius." I'm not biased at all when I tend to agree.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Turnabout Is Fair Play

Now I can control the radio waves.

When I got in my car to return from a lunch meeting, the CD in the player started playing the dulcet tones of a local bluegrass band. The song was an original number about some local towns and geographic features. I listened for a few moments, and the music reminded me of the classic tune, "Moon River." I shut off the CD and started to hum "Moon River."

A few minutes later, I bored myself with my humming, so I turned on the radio. The local public radio station to which I subscribe was playing their midday music lineup. Just as I turned on the radio, a very jazzy version of "Moon River" started up.

Take that, CIA!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Expense

The door to my side of the car hole got very heavy last night as I was pulling it down.  There was a loud noise and the sound of things falling over.  Since I really couldn't do anything about it, I let it be.

This morning, as you may have guessed, the spring was gone.  Nowhere to be seen.  Now I get to park outside until I can get this fixed.  I hereby declare that this is NOT an appropriate use of our emergency fund.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Last Day of Summer

Son's school starts tomorrow. It is the Last Day of Summer. Time for studying and such.

Monday, August 23, 2010

And Speaking Of...

...growing like a weed, here's a picture of a flowering weed growing right at the curb by RoBet's parents' house.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Growing Like a Weed

Little RoBet is able to hold her head up (mostly) by herself. She's also grabbing the little hanging things over her music chair. The speed at which they gain these abilities is astounding.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Since the strange events of last year, I've been a little more assertive on managing my career options. A few months back, I found a situation where a director was losing two people at the same time. This director was someone with whom I'd worked in the past, and whose team worked on projects that I found to be fascinating. The loss of those two people wasn't due to burn-out, but rather promotional opportunities for them both.

I applied, and through the magic and quick speed of corporate HR, I am pleased to announce that I will be moving back downtown from Tidy Suburb of Far Away. This will provide me with some new challenges in an environment that I like and with subject matter that I enjoy. I will, of course, miss the people with whom I've developed strong working relationships, but, mirabile dictu, many of my projects over the next couple of years will involve exactly those people. Hooray!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Foto Phriday - Phunny Math

I've already talked about the green waterless No-Flush(TM) urinals at our office building. Here's a photo of a portion of the instruction sign posted near the thing. Notice the claim that it saves about 45,000 gallons of water per year.

Let's do some math, shall we?

(45,000 gallons/year) x (1 year/365 days) x (1 day/24 hours) x (4 quarts/gallon) x (1 flush/quart (est.)) = ~20.5 flushes/hour

So, assuming that my estimate of 1 quart of water per flush is pretty accurate, then the replaced loos would have had to have been flushed every three minutes, all day, every day of the week in order to achieve the claimed savings. Of course, the "approximately" in the claim could be translated to "within three orders of magnitude," but that would be silly.

This building has a fairly traditional 8-hour workday, but the start times are staggered. Let's assume that the bathrooms are in steady use from 7:00am through 5:00pm. So then, if we need to compress the flushes from 24 hours to 10 hours, that means that we'd need to flush about 49 times per hour. Not likely.

Marketing strikes again.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


The whole marriage debate (Google it if you haven't been inundated in this already.) reminds me of why I adore Miss Manners. I'm paraphrasing here, so others with an English degree, please forgive the quotes.

"The only reason I would be concerned with your romantic attachment status is so I know what other name, if any, to put on my dinner invitation to you. Writing 'and guest' is impolite and imprecise."

To those that want to argue the finer theological points of marriage, have at it. Your internecine struggles should stay just that. Keep in mind though, that manners do still count, no matter what our "role models" on talk teevee or talk radio demonstrate.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Camel Squishing

Me squishing a camel at the Toronto Zoo in sunny (and very hot) Canada.

I found two versions of this poem by Ogden Nash. I'll need to check my printed copy on the bookshelf.

The Camel has a single hump,
The dromedary two,
Or is it just the other way,
I'm never sure -- are you?


The camel has a single hump;
The dromedary , two;
Or else the other way around.
I'm never sure. Are you?

Also, check out this pic at ahistoricality.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The British Are Coming

This is a brief video of the prelude to the Revolutionary War battle re-enactment we saw while we were on vacation in sunny Canada.

This fife and drum corps is made up of high school boys from the greater Niagara area. They were quite good, and I'm sure they were quite warm in those outfits at 2:00pm on July 31.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Two Dreams

I woke up with a pounding headache around 4:00 this morning. It dissipated for a while, but it's back now. Sometime, on one side or another of the 4:00 awakening, I had two dreams.

In the first one, my grandboss was holding court on a raised dais. He was telling the masses the details about how his grandboss had just retired. As he made eye contact with me, he stopped and muttered, "I don't know why I'm talking to you. You don't care; you're not a caring person." I started to respond, but decided that it was ultimately futile.

In the other dream, an old woman had recruited me into an organization that was fighting on the side of the light against some evil shadow organization. We met up at night at a small roadside fruit stand that is down the road from my dad's house. After a few moments of planning, the Phoenix, the leader of the evil orgranization, called the old woman's cell phone. He said that he would be arriving in a few seconds to destroy her. She ran out of the fruit stand just as his car arrived, and he drove after her as she ran down a dirt road. I escaped the other way and had a crisis of conscience about abandoning her.

I still have a headache.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


GPop is taking Son clothes shopping for school right now. I love my son, but shopping for clothes with him could possibly lead me to violence.

Laughing, singing, dancing, grinning, morons!
And while we're on the subject!
Kids! They are just impossible to control!
Kids! With their awful clothes and their rock an' roll!

The new thing is these skinny jeans. I suppose they look OK on skeletal androgynes, but my son has a little bit of substance, and he's trying to wear them. While not precisely the sagging look, his underpants do ride up past the belt line of these pants. Also, he claims that ONLY these skinny jeans can be worn with his new school shoes, because the shoes are meant to be worn in such a way that the jeans get tucked into the shoes.

I'm going to have another ulcer before this is all over. I can already feel the bile rising.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Storms

The heat wave should break with these storms. The weather's been hot enough to cause some trouble.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Rick, Lime

Try this Prozac or Zanax, they say,
To help us all get through the day.
But the big pharma scheming
Just left us faux-dreaming.
Mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Recent Son Quote

"If you say yes, I'll stop asking."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vacation Photos #237

This is a Canadian thermostat.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

When What to my Wandering Mind Should Appear?

I was in a meeting yesterday to discuss some enhancements to one of the applications on our consumer web site. One of the discussions was around the color scheme of the application, and how some of the colors don't lend themselves to quick understanding of the functions at hand. For example, on one screen, the two tabs at the top are light green and light grey. The user isn't certain whether green or grey is the active tab, so our goal is to improve usability by bringing the color scheme in line with our more contemporary corporate standards.

While the arguments were going on, my mind wandered a bit. I started to think about how colors are represented in HTML. One representation is the English word to describe the color. For example, I could tell my browser to render this phrase in bold red, or this one in italic green. However, this only gives us a few more colors than we remember from our big 64-pack of Crayola crayons that some kids had, while I had the Prang brand 8-pack. My mom was an elementary school teacher when I was a kid, and the teacher supply stores sold Prang. I always lusted after the crayon sharpeners in the Crayola 64 box, but back to topic.

Another way of representing color in HTML is using an ordered triplet of values that represent the amount of red, green, and blue to be painted on the object in question. These values are represented by hexadecimal values: 0=0, 1=1... 9=9, 10=A, 11=B... 15=F. The values can range, in traditional decimal, from 0 to 255, which in hexadecimal is represented by 00 through FF. So, in real mathematical ordered triplets, the decimal values 25, 128, and 217 would be written as (25, 128, 217). You may remember something like this in the ordered pairs you used to draw lines on a coordinate plane in high school geometry. In HTML's hexadecimal representation of the same values, you'd see this as #1980D9. The # indicates that the values coming up are a special hexadecimal value, and the browser knows to break apart the characters into chunks of two. The color represented by our randomly selected values before is this.

So I started to think. What six-letter words exist in the English language that contain only the letters A through F? What colors would they represent in HTML?

At the 10-minute break, after I visited the men's room, I downloaded a file of words used as the dictionary in Unix-like operating systems, and used this script to find the words.

if($_ =~ m/^[A-Fa-f0-9]{6}$/) {print;}

The resulting list was pretty short. In alphabetical order, they are:

Here are the colors.


I'm not sure there's any intrinsic meaning to this, but it was an interesting exercise.

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Sun - It Burns!

Normally, I use Lestat de Lioncourt strength sunscreen, because my usual skin tone is "translucent." I managed to avoid sunburn all through vacation, but when we got back, I had to mow the lawn. I sprayed myself down, but my sock must have fallen a bit after the spraying, because this patch appeared on my leg.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Going to the Theater

GPop is staying home, and I'm going with Eggbert and Marcot to the theater. GPop was going to take Son to see a concert tonight, but, as mentioned before, Son is at GPop's parents.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Getting Ready to Go Back to Work

Day after tomorrow. I still owe you pictures.

Friday, August 6, 2010

What To Do

With Son away, GPop and I looked for some things to do. Dave mentioned in a comment the other day that I shoud watch a movie with subtitles.

We watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Wild.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Son Away

Son is spending some time at GPop's parents' house. GPop and I have several days to ourselves. It's been a while since that happened.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Home Again


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

And Today, In Canada...

We will see the Toronto Zoo and the Royal Ontario Museum.

Nous allons voir le Zoo de Toronto et le Musée royal de l'Ontario.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Today's Plan

We're planning on Casa Loma and the CN Tower.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Today's Journeys

We visited the Ontario Science Center today.  There was a Harry Potter exhibit traveling  through. 


More to follow, but we saw a re-enactment of a Revolutionary War battle today as narrated by a Canadian. I'm afraid the good guys lost.