Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Johnstone House

This is the Johnstone House. May, 2004, I took possession of this townhouse with the intention of living here a couple of years and then moving on to bigger and better things. The most alluring thing about the place (beside the fact that we could afford it!) was that the entry faces away from the street. Carrying groceries in can be a pain but it's worth it.

The kitchen is far from ultra-spacious but what it lacks in space it makes up in lack of counter-space.

My only complaint about the dining room is that the floor is carpet.
NOTE: We elected not to keep the For Sale sign in the window.

I took these pictures when Kim and I finally got the chance to look the place over together. At the time, I'd thought that they were decent pictures. What the hell was I thinking?

This is a great closet-shot of the computer room.

NOTE: Realtor's leg sold separately.

Another prize-winning shot. This time, of the bathroom sink. I could really do something as a professional photographer.

A fairly innocuous laundry room, until you realize that the Flame-Master furnace is older than I am and more likely to spew deadly toxins. (much more likely)

The best part about Nick's room is that he has about three acres of closet-space. This comes in handy with the baby moving in.

The Master bedroom is a little bigger than the other rooms but not by a whole lot. Still, for sleeping, it's aces!

Cute Nick-picture aside, this picture really shows the power of my photographic skills. This is the living room as it would look from the light fixture (if we had a light fixture in the living room.)

This shot shows off the spaciousness of the living room, not to mention the neighbour's house.

And this is the tree that we see when we look out the window. Trust me, it's the same tree.

Next, I'm going to post more pictures! Pictures of the house filled with our stuff!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Software Development

This one's partially for Earl. At the very least, he pretended to want to know what it is that I'm working on. Well, to appease him and the inborn desire to be understood, I will explain.

The problem is this: Pro/Engineer is the CAD software that my Engineering firm uses. It has a lot of automated things, like the creation of a PDF representation of the drawings the engineers and designers create.

There is a problem with the way that Pro/E creates the file, though. The size for the first page is automatically given to all ensuing pages. This is not a problem as long as all of the pages are the same size. We at Sperry Drilling Services use a standard letter-sized page for Bills of Material, which are generally page 2 and beyond.

So, the PDF that is generated looks like this:

What I have been doing is going through the file and finding the topmost mark and the rightmost mark made in the postscript file (which is the transitional file that Adobe takes and turns into a PDF.
I make the pagesize as large as the furthest distance right and up, and that crops the pages so that they are correct.
The next challenge is dealing with the bottom margin. I'm still working on it but it looks like I'm going to be shifting everything down as far as the distance from the bottom-most mark to the bottom of the page.
Given that the test postscript file I have is 589,000 lines long, I'm also learning a lot about the efficiency of certain algorithms.

Fun, huh?

Saturday, August 20, 2005

How did I get so behind - or Schrodinger's catsup

I will be the first person to admit that I haven’t been keeping up with my blogging. I’ve been doing a lot of things, and I haven’t been taking the time to write them down. So here’s a somewhat-brief recap of the events of the past month or so.

Folk Fest

“The Thrill on the Hill” was just as good this year as any I’ve been to (granted, I’d only been to two previous). Jim Byrnes is amazing. I had only known that he was supposedly a great musician with a part on Highlander: The Series (At least it wasn’t Highlander: The Raven – that show sucked almost as bad as Mortal Kombat: The Series, which was even worse than Mortal Kombat: Annihilation). Turns out, he rocks. Or Blueses, anyway. I made a point of listening to him a couple of times. Another person that impressed me was Ruthie Foster. She sounded like she belonged in the era of Aretha Franklin or something. The programme agreed with me. But I disagreed with a different part of the programme. She didn’t sound anything like Ella Fitzgerald. But I guess they wanted to make her sound enticing. They should have just gone with the truth instead of the standard female-singing comparison. That’s like comparing a playmaking forward to Gretzky, or someone with a hard shot to MacInnis. It just happens too much. Then again, I didn’t hear Ruthie Foster sing “I’ve got a crush on you” (not that she sang it but that’s the Ella Fitzgerald song that’s left the biggest impression with me.)
There were a lot of other really good performances and the whole weekend was a lot of fun.

Full-time Dad

Over the last four weeks, Kim’s parents were in Nova Scotia. Yeah, I know, “Big deal,” right? Well, it changes a lot of things in my life. First, Nicholas normally spends a lot of time over at Gramma and Grampa’s house and there is a lot less Nicholas-time for me. These past weeks have been a great experience. I love spending time with Nick. He’s got a lot of energy and that’s given me a lot too. That said, it was nice to go out with my wife yesterday.

Happy Anniversary, happy anniversary, happy anniversary, HAAAAAAAAAppyanniversary!

52 weeks ago, today, I was, at this time, in the parking garage at the airport, trying to decide between Monaco and marriage. Just kidding – HA! But I was at the airport. I was renting the car that we drove around in for the rest of the day. I know that our first wedding anniversary isn’t until tomorrow but 52 weeks of marriage actually sounds pretty impressive too.
Here’s to another 3900 weeks of marriage!


Aside from the one scare (see Wake-up Call), the baby has caused very little anxiety. Now, however, is the time when I will start to worry. (Word rejected “anxietize”)
At any time, this baby could potentially come screaming into the real world and be there. I’m not saying I don’t want it to happen – far from it – but it’s weird to think that it’s just in there, maybe a centimeter away from fresh air (if you go straight through the stomach, anyway) and that it’s a fully-developed person-type in there. It’s just getting fatter. (Kim says it’s insensitive to call the baby “it” but I’m not going to spend my time saying “they” or “them” until I know. This is not, after all, Schrödinger's baby. It is either a boy or a girl, not both. (Unless it is… hmm…)


I had my bike stolen. This makes what, now, seven? Fuck.
It’s not even so much the loss of the bike (okay, so it’s a lot of that too) it’s the fact that someone would open my gate and come into my yard, navigate the turd-bombs, picnic table and assortment of plastic chairs, for the sole purpose of taking a flat-tired, broken-sprocketed, squeaky-chained, no-brake-having bike. You’d think that after they found the bike in such a state of disrepair, they would have just leaned it up against the fence, maybe left a note that said “I’m sorry your bike sucked. It wasn’t worth stealing.” And carried on. But the persistent buggers did all this work, realized the bike was broken down and, I guess, decided to pay me back by depriving me of my bike. The most embarrassing thing about it is that I didn’t even notice. Kim said she’d thought that it wasn’t there A WHOLE MONTH before that, but that she’d thought I’d taken it to my parents’ or something like that. Man, I suck.


I just finished Wolves of the Calla. Wow. They just keep getting better. I was reluctant to start this one because Wizard and Glass was so good and it didn’t seem like it could get any better. Was I wrong… Jake Chambers is an amazing character. Probably the best one in the series. It’s nice to see that they just keep going back into the “real” world (our world). That’s one thing that impressed me the most about the series is the interaction between the two (or more) worlds. The constant coincidences, I think, must require an incredible eye for detail. So yeah, read the Dark Tower series, even if you’re not enjoying The Gunslinger. It’s worth it.


Jack doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going, lately. Last week, we took Jack for four HUGE walks over four days. We’re talking more than an hour at each walk. Then came this past week, where we’ve had little time or energy for such things. Then we took him for another huge one yesterday. We’ll get him out again today.


I can’t honestly say why, but I’m learning Calculus again. I guess it’s good for me… maybe. Anyway, there’s a theory by some greek guy (I can’t remember his name and I’m stuck at work, away from my calculus book) – anyway, this theory says that if a man is at one side of a room, he can never reach the other side because he will cross half the distance, and then he will cross half that distance, and then cross half that distance, again and again and never quite reach the other side. Of course, this is a bunch of horse-feathers, even though it seems to make sense. If he’s always crossing half of the distance, how will he ever get there? This, of course, discounts the notion that the time intervals that it takes to cross half the distance keep decreasing until they’re so close to zero that it’s inconsequential – and that’s the point that the contact with the wall is made.


However, I was thinking about this idea and I think it would be a neat concept, maybe a room exists where this greek guy was right and each period of crossing half of the distance seems to take the same amount of time, and a guy crossing the room lives an eternity in the seconds that it takes to cross a millimetre. I don’t know what would happen after that guy finally touched the wall – maybe he’s insane, maybe he dies – hmm… something to think about anyway.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Hockey Cancelled Due To Pansy Participants. Next Week Cancelled Due To Pedicure

I started playing street hockey again a couple of weeks ago. I had a blog post almost completed and ready to go up, extolling the virtues of the stick and ball. Then I got busy at work and completely forgot about it. To keep a long story less long, I love playing street hockey. It’s been a staple of my life for far too long. The first night of this latest game, it didn’t look like anyone would want to show up. It was cold, it was raining and I was worried that my mad-dash purchase of new shoes during my lunch break that day would have been in vain. However, to paraphrase Kellen Winslow, “I’m a soldier.” And I’m not the only one. Ten or twelve of us non-military military-types trudged about the hockey rink, chasing the ball that skidded to a halt in the puddle that half-submerged it. I thought to myself at that point, ‘these guys are hardcore. This is awesome.’ I continued to enjoy myself over the next couple of weeks, running around, hitting the ball, running some more, turning around. You know, the kind of things that make a man a man. Then it came. Tuesday fell right in the middle of a crappy streak of weather (the streak in which we’re embroiled at the time of this writing). I didn’t figure there would be any chance of a cancellation. That, coupled with the fact that I had heard nothing about any stoppage, propelled me out the door at 6:30, for the weekly game.

I waited. Rob showed up. We waited. We tried, through Rob’s crappy cell problems, to call the guy who put the game together. It didn’t work. So, we went home. I don’t want to say the evening was a waste because I had a good evening. A little programming, coupled with some family time, helped soothe my broken heart but the bitterness is still there. I’d looked forward to that game all day, and Rob’s pansy friends couldn’t make it out because it was raining.

Go get a pedicure, boys. Then when you play in sandals, we can appreciate your toenails.