Friday, June 26, 2009

Exit, Stage Left

Well, Google, Blogger, Bloogle, gogger, whatever, it's been swell. It's time, however, for In The Now to move on to happier horizons.

Thankfully, the kind people at Bisonweb Inc. have graciously agreed to host In The Now.

You can visit us at our new home.

Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Possible New Revenue Streams

In The Now: Brought to you by
  • Agnostics - whether you believe it or not.
  • The Yakuza - Because your left pinkie is basically useless, anyway.
  • - you won't believe it - cynics.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Your Recommended Dose

In these times of not only economic uncertainty, but uncertainty on a moral, ethical and societal plain, it is good to know that there are people who are willing to discuss, in an open forum, weighty issues that have severe impact on the world around us.

Violent Aggression is a podcast put together by four of us:
Cliff (from Peer Pressure Works)
James (from Feelings of White)
Vlad (from the Analog Coast)
And yours truly (from here and here)

There are no set rules, no hidden agenda (the agenda is actually on the table in front of us, out in the open like a band's set list).

We tackle weighty issues, interpersonal relationships, the employment issue, drugs, the influences of technology on society, and, at one point, there's a very poignant and loving intervention, where I try to turn the tide of one young man's life from violence and hate to a more positive, loving one.

There are moments of levity - moments where we discuss television shows. It can't all be serious and weighty stuff - who'd want to listen to that? And there's certainly some levity - oh, we're comical, all right.

So come on, come give us a listen. If you do, you probably won't regret it.


I love children. I have two, and a third is coming very soon. This particular show, however, tackles issues that are for "Big Ears" and not "Little Ears". I would recommend that anyone under the age of 18 not listen to this. I know my children won't.

Also, you will probably not want to listen to this out-loud at work. There are some heavy and controversial issues that are not appropriate for a work environment.


Try it. You might just like it.

Violent Aggression

Friday, June 12, 2009

Point(less?)-form Updates

I've felt the motivation to post something here. I really have. But I've been over-employed and then under-employed, both of which serve to kill a man's best intentions.

Quick updates:
  • Baby's cookin' just fine. 36 weeks in. Projected due date is 40 weeks, so really, it could happen any time and be an okay pregnancy.
  • The "boy-name" is still Finnegan Tate. The "girl-name", which I was happy to keep as Molly Bea is now up in the air.
  • I'm working for a company called EbOWorld. I'm filling a contract they have for some Ruby on Rails application development. So far, so good. I'm liking Rails a lot.
  • Met the guy who does today. He's an Edmonton guy and a good guy. If you're using (Guth, I'm looking at you), knock it off and go to Seriously. Do it.
  • Hopped on the bike to get to work a couple of times this week. Not this morning. I was going to, but fates collided and I was up early enough to go downtown and play hockey at the YMCA. My legs were tired and sore, but the real damage was to my left shin. I'm sorry, lefty. I'll consider wearing pads from now on.
  • Big fire at the Rapid Apartment complex. For those of you Leducies, yes, that's where "George's" used to be. An institution is razed to the ground one late spring evening. Totally shocking to me.
  • I now have a facebook username. You can reach me at I don't understand the significance, but if it's anything like all the other facebook things that have come along, I'm sure that I'll wonder how I ever did without it very soon.
  • I'm thinking about a story written completely within the correspondence between two people who never actually meet. I'm sure it's been done before, but the idea has piqued my interest. The idea that you can probe people's motivations, their relationship, without ever being able to come out and say it. And talk about unreliable narrator... Everything's below the surface. Dunno, I have to get better at letter-writing, if I'm going to pursue this.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Sunday Night re-dux

So, the last time I was working late on a Sunday night was because the powers-that-be asked me to work a weekend and the weekend was too full to accommodate it with day-time working.  Mostly because of a long afternoon spent with my family, my sister, and her son.

Here, we come to another weekend where they have asked me to work, and I spent the day with my family, my sister, and her son.  Today was a hot day, out in the sun, and we celebrated that heat by assembling most of the new swing set my children received as an Easter gift.

I say most of, because this thing is an unholy monster that consumes entire afternoons with no remorse.  Add to that a missing carriage bolt, a couple of misused pieces of hardware and the fact that we could not get the entire thing together in eight hours, and you have a man who has to go in to work as his children are getting ready to go to bed.

So, I figured I'd share another fun night with you.  Today, the problem is that a page with a WYSIWYG editor is not saving the data we want it to.  I need to get this done tonight so that they can test it tomorrow and demo it on Tuesday.  Will I be done?  I don't know.  Let's find out!!!


I will be participating in my first podcast on Saturday.  If any of you (who won't be participating in the same podcast) have any ideas you think would be cool, send 'em on (unless they're proprietary, or you're hoarding ideas, or charging money.  If any of those are the case, you can keep your high-fallutin' ideas).  I have some thoughts percolating in the back of my noggin but it would be nice to hear what you want to hear.  I will, of course, link to the podcast from this blog, and the main site (the completely-neglected )


The latest episode of Dollhouse, apart from being the best episode yet, completely took me by surprise.  When I heard Wash was on it, all I could think was 'Yeah, it'd be funny if he were Alpha, but Alpha didn't have those love handles.'  I didn't know he was so in-shape.  And handy with a razor, to boot.


We got the entire series of Angel off of Amazon for 57 dollars, American.  I don't know what that translated to on the day that we bought it (I don't know what it translates to now) but I know that some SEASONS of some series cost that much, so I wasn't going to quibble too much.  I love the first season for its almost Film-Noir feeling as much as I love the later seasons for their Superhero-Team feeling.  Poor Fred.  Poor Wesley.  Ah well...


It doesn't appear that the servlet request path is being set properly, which seems silly to me, so I'm going to change that.  That might be all that's standing in the way of actually getting this working.  Then I have to implement a little more server-side validation and I might be able to kiss this pig good night.


I'm planning a story that I really want to write, right now.  I may have mentioned this story before.  It involves a man who loses his daughter and leaves his severely-injured, and maybe-dying wife for another world.  I'm fleshing out the concepts, the high points, and the relationships.  But mostly I'm not.  I'm disappointed by how little I write, now, but I guess it's mostly part of being a full-time worker, a father, and a husband.  You take the time you can.


I plan on doing a blog post about the draft.  I don't plan on assigning any grades.  I don't watch college football.  I listen to what other people say about the college players, and I read what I can when I can.  I like to see attempts to fill holes, or find out what a guy's strengths are, after the team has drafted him.  I'll give my impressions on the Texans' picks, though.  Another day.


Half-way into my second double-double, it's seven minutes to midnight.  I've found the problem.  There is a method to let the program know if this is a save request.  The problem is, it checks the url that the page forwarded from, and the url it's checking doesn't exist in web.xml, which means that it can't ever be that value.  So, in the present case, saving is impossible.  Don't worry, I made some changes, and now I'm going to check and see if they helped.  I'll let you know how it turns out.


What happens when you're a computer programmer and you spend an entire day out in the sun without sunscreen, turning wrenches and screwdrivers?  You burn the hell out of your neck, and your hands get achey and weak.  This sucks.


Lost in the wake of the posthumous fawning over Heath Ledger is the job Aaron Eckhart did portraying Harvey Dent.  I thought he was fantastic.  And creepy-looking.


So, tonight's work ends after two hours.  I have good diagnosis of the problem, but the server has run out of memory, so I cannot work anymore.  One of these days, I'll have to figure out how to restart the server.  Can't do it yet, though, so I'm stuck.

Good night, Internet, and we'll talk to you another time.

Monday, April 20, 2009

ABC This is Me!

So, I received a survey thingie on the Book of Face, the other day.  I have an incredible weakness when it comes to survey thingies.  Thing is, if I have it on the Book of Faces, I don't generally put it here.  So, I decided to put it here, too.  One day, I'll get to the point where I only put it here, and link it to the Book of Faces, but until then, here is the dramatic second posting of my double-post:

ABCs of Liam

A – Age: I mostly prefer the Age of Apocalypse. If you want to know how old I am, I'm 100000 in binary, for the next four days.

B – Bed size: Too small. Little creatures (chilluns, puppies) are always migrating in and out, and the tiny sliver I get usually has me teetering on the brink of falling to the floor, which isn't safe, because there's usually a toy down there with sharp edges and lead paint.

C – Chore you hate: They don't call 'em chores because you love to do 'em. My least favourite would be laundry. It's not very work-intensive, as the machines do most of the work (as they should!), but you have to stay on top of it, and the machines are downstairs, the laundry is not in your face (as dishes are) and if you don't keep up, next thing, you're wearing purple-striped golf pants and an Iron Maiden tour shirt (probably Live After Death or Somewhere On Tour) because everything else is dirty, even the khakis you tried to get a couple more months out of by stitching the crotch with neon green thread, but didn't THAT turn out to be a mistake, because there was a reason they were torn in the crotch in the first place, and when that stitch stretches, it's just about the only thing anyone can see when you're sitting in front of them.

D – Dog's Name: J.D., Sasha, Jack, Caine <snif>

E – Essential Start-Your-Day items: Phone, wallet, iPod. Glasses should be on that list, and despite my best efforts, I can't get them on there. I hope that section of memory is not ROM.

F – Favourite Colour: Green. Ever since I was a little, little boy. I THINK it started out as red because my first blanket was red, but I'm a spring boy, and spring is green.

G – Gold or Silver: Gold for my medals, silver for my apparel, thank you very much.

H – Height: Just enough under six feet that Kim can give me a hard time about lying to her every time the issue of height comes up. I'm sure she'll have something to say about this when she gets around to reading it.

I – Instruments you play(ed): I played Piano through two years of lessons, and countless sessions of In The Mood. Also, I plunked around on House of the Rising Sun, which Cliff would have a good time recalling, if he were still on Facebook. I don't want to turn this into a rant, but why the hell is Cliff off Facebook, anyway?

J – Job Title: President and Grand Poobah. Systems Analyst. Director. Software Engineer. Programmer. Dad. Hey, guy, can you?.

K – Kid(s): I was going to say that I didn't believe in kids, but that's not fair, since I saw them just yesterday. I have two children, one fetus and high, high hopes for each and every one of them.

L – Living arrangements: I can't say that this makes much sense to me. We have a 1.5 storey house in Mill Woods, which we bought in 2006, shortly after I started at Intuit. All person-types live upstairs (in the half-storey), over two bedrooms. Those rooms are very big and accommodating for a family of four. We're examining options about where to put the spud when it's old enough to want its own room. We have two bathrooms, though the one upstairs is sadly underused. It's my favourite, though, because there's a gameboy for long-term stay. Our kitchen is the selling-feature of the house (it was for us, anyway). It's huge, as it incorporates kitchen and dining room into one. We have an office, where our mess winters. We have a playroom, though it's been officially renamed to “Homeschool room”. Our basement is where I play xbox and Kim has her scrapbooking stuff. Also, the laundry resides there.

M – Mom's Name: This is the stupid one. Mom's name? Who cares? My mom's name is Peggy. I don't think it's stupid because it wants to know about my mom, I think it's stupid because you should want to know more about my mom than her name. Sorry, I'm a little sensitive on this subject, lately.

N – Nicknames: Baldy, Lum, Lumpy, “Late for dinner” (aren't people just so witty?)

O – say can you see my eyes: Okay, this one might be dumber than Mom's Name. I can't see your eyes, it's an internet meme. I can see the screen. I can see your “i”s.

P – Pet Peeve: Stubborn ignorance, apathy, entitlement, people who criticise authors who don't put things out on a regular schedule.

Q – Quote from a movie: It's hard to come up with one that does justice to movies. Dune quotes keep coming to mind. “Are you suggesting that the king's son is an animal?” “I'm suggesting that the king's son may be something more.” ; “Tried and failed?” “Tried and died.” And of course there's the obligatory Flash Gordon quotes. “Must be some planet you men come from.” “Not too bad.”; “Gordon's ALIIIVE?!” ; “Fly, my hawkmen! Let this be known forever as Flash Gordon's day!” Which begs the question. Do they have a state holiday in Voltan's kingdom called Flash Gordon's Day? Is there a Santa Claus equivalent of Flash who brings presents to good kids and blasts bad kids to atoms?

R – Right- or left-handed: Left-handed in most that I do. Righty for hockey and baseball.

S – Siblings: Sean is my older brother. He is an electrician, but don't try to peg him down with your definitions based on employment. He's also one of the smartest guys I've ever met. Meghan is my little sister. She has a son named Preston. Meghan is the strongest person I know.

T – Time you wake up: When I wake up, I stumble out of bed and head downstairs to get ready for work, which necessitates my return upstairs as I forget my clothes, then I forget my phone, then I forget my glasses or whatever. Then I stumble out of the house and wait at the bus stop for the trip to work. I usually just see the bus before I realize whatever it is that I've forgotten (glasses, phone, wallet, backpack with the computer, whatever...)

U – Underwear: Generally, yes.

V – Vegetable you dislike: Well, there's that one turnip that was looking at me funny, last week.

W – Ways you run late: Forgetting things at home is the most usual culprit for this. Trying to drag screaming kids out the door to a place they want to be but don't actually want to go to (you'd have to be a parent to understand what I mean by this, I think) is probably second.

X – X-rays you've had: Doctor Yue (I think that was his name – he didn't have Imperial conditioning, though) once had me get my back X-rayed because he thought my back pain meant that I'd broken my back. Surprise, surprise, it wasn't.

Y – Yummy food you make: I eat yummy food.

Z – Zoo favourite: I prefer that animals stay where they are and I try to eat them. Just kidding. I was a big fan of the capybaras and the ever-peeing elephant.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New story snippet

This is very rough. Some context: Jon's wife and daughter just died. He's found a way to look in on some fantastical world and now he wants to go there.
By some as-yet unexplained way, he's found the ability to negotiate with some form of gatekeepers.


"She's gone," Jon said, not meaning his wife. "They're both gone. I don't want to be here, any more."

"You could join us," the male voice said, doubtful.

"But you will not," said the female. "The price is far too high."

"What is the price? How can you know I will not pay?"

"Redemption is the price, Jon. You must atone for all you have done in your life."

"Come to terms." They were alternating sentences, each speaking in one ear only. It was making Jon dizzy, just listening to them.

"Accept responsibility."

"Others have accepted the burden before, but none have borne the strain."

"The strain?" Jon was getting impatient to be on with it.

"The guilt. No one is pure."

"No one."

"When confronted with the naked truth of the things they have done, all have turned away - closed their eyes to the truth."

"In doing so, they were spared the pain."

"In doing so, they were spared the guilt."

"In doing so, they died."

Jon swallowed. He only half-believed this whole thing was happening, but if it was real, it was a guarantee that he'd get to leave his life behind. Either for the Other, or for the afterlife. It was truly a case of having nothing to lose.

"I'll do it," Jon said. "I have no regrets, so this should be simple. What do I do?"

"It is simple."

"It is not easy."

"Just watch."

"Do not turn away."

"Do not close your eyes to the truth."

And then it started.