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.

Friday, April 10, 2009


There are so many things worth saying, I know that now.  I look at other people's content (famous people) and I find it hard to believe that I censor myself so completely.

I have been feeling a need to write about my mom, lately, and I've been holding back.  It seems kind of silly, now, though, reading about a guy farting while working out.

There are so many things I want to say about mom.  So many wonderful things she's done for me, for other people. Quite a few not so wonderful things.  Let's face it, we've all got those -- we're human. 

I like to think the positives outweigh the negatives for mom.  Then again, I like to think the same for most people.

My aunt shared a memory that her son had of mom, when she was here for the funeral.  He and his sister had very sharp recollections of mom singing to them when they were younger.  It really resonated with me because mom singing was a constant throughout my childhood. 

She liked Ella FItzgerald.  She liked BIllie Holliday.  She liked the Beatles.  She liked Barbara Streisand and Melissa Manchester.  She liked Aerosmith.  She liked the Band and the Traveling Wilburies.

Through her appreciation of music and her love of singing, mom opened doors for me.  When I'm happy, I sing.  Sometimes, I have a hard time keeping a filter in place at work.  I'm sure notes have squeaked out here and there, and it's all mom's fault. 

Mom was a very protective woman.  I'll always remember how a friend of hers promised me a job and when she didn't come through, mom kinda snapped.  I won't say that it ended their friendship but it did change things.

I needed mom, a lot.  I'm sure that everyone could say that, but it doesn't make it less true.  I'm a momma's boy and I feel no shame in admitting that.

Mom was second-mom to a lot of friends.  Not just my friends, but my sister's friends and my brother's friends, too.  Simon, who lived with us for a time, was welcomed into the room with the family during the funeral and I was certainly glad to have him there.  He certainly feels like a second brother to me, sibling rivalry and all.

Since mom passed, I've been trying to plough straight ahead, as if nothing has changed.  For the most part, I've done a pretty good job of it, but I will admit that I've been feeling more temper and less patience, lately.  I'm hoping that getting all this off my chest will take some pressure off and help me be the husband and father I want - and need - to be.

One more thing to say, and then I'll leave off this morose piece of text:

Kyle and Erron, I don't talk about her much, because it's sure to bring tears to my eyes, but I need you guys to know that Katie is never far from my thoughts.  All I need to do is to look at the light in NIck and Lilly's eyes and know how lucky I am to have them. 

I want to extend to the both of you my love, my admiration, and my condolences.  Also, I want to congratulate you on your upcoming move.  Hopefully, we won't have to wait so long between visits, any more.

Okay, that's all.  I'm done for now.  Until more later on.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Monday Musings

I'm working again, tonight.  I figured it would be good to keep up what I started last night.

I'm trying to lower a different kind of complexity in the same class I was working on last night.  Basically, the thing kicks your ass for having too much in one class.  I'm making progress, but this thing is mucky.  I've factored it out, so far, into two new, specialized classes, two utility classes, and it looks like I'm going to create another specialized class - or maybe a util for the specialization.


I've been pretty lucky with the Tim Horton's contest.  I'd say about a third of my coffee purchases have borne additional fruit, by way of free coffees and donuts.


Trying not to get distracted by the lure of taking a break.  Really.  I'm trying, progress is happening, albeit very slowly, but the siren call of Jarome Iginla and the fantasy world of pucks and sticks calls me.


Why, oh why, is there a method in the User dao where all it does is call a method from a different Dao?  How does that help anything?  Especially me?


I tried a new way of drinking tea, tonight.  I frothed up a milk/sugar combo and then poured the tea into that.  It was some tasty vanilla green tea.


I have finished my refactorings.  Now I need to get them into Eclipse, make sure all my files are green, make sure the project still works as expected, and likely update unit tests.

Good night.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Sunday Night Waits

I'm in at work on a Sunday night, spending most of it trying to debug search functionality that won't work. 

Actually, I'm spending most of the time waiting for my code to deploy on the application server.  Seemed like a good time (five minutes or so at a pop) to update the ol' bloggeroo.  This entry is likely to be very scattered, very unfocused, and, probably, something that Dylan would call "Not very good."  Fortunately, there have been bad blog posts on this site before and the internet hasn't burned my blog down yet.


A father, on his death-bed, tries to make his child understand that he's done terrible things.

"I'm no angel," he says to the young adult.

"That's all right, dad.  They don't have balls.  Anyway, last I heard, one of them was running Hell.  Who'd want someone like that for a father?"


Fictional writing has been a luxury I cannot afford so much, lately.  It's been work, work, work, without much time for anything.  Unfortunately, writing is usually the first thing to go.  It's so much easier to turn on the tube, turn off my brain and lose myself in someone else's creation.


I have started a contract where my work was to be mainly in design.  From there, there was to be an opportunity to construct code from the beginning of a project all the way through.  Instead, I find myself at work, at 11:41pm on a Sunday, wading through thousands of lines of code, trying to find a place where I went wrong. 


It's getting to a point, tonight, where coffee isn't enough.  I'll have to make more, to keep myself going, but there comes a point where you just have to shut off and go to sleep, doesn't there?  Maybe not.  Maybe I just don't like waiting.


Mom bowled in a league.  People who don't know my mom can say, "Oh yeah?" and not really mean it.  People are in bowling leagues.  They bowl with friends and it's no big deal. 

You can definitely tell the people who know the kind of person my mom was by how they react when I tell them about the bowling.  Their eyes pop and I'm met with incredulity.  I think Auntie Anne was the most surprised. 


The thing that reminds me most about my mom is the feeling of warm glasses on my face.  When I first got my glasses, mom would always wash them in warm water before I left for school.  I could feel the warmth coming off of them and that was relaxing on my eyes.  Feels like love to me.


12:30am, and I've finally managed to pinpoint the location of the problem.  Unfortunately, fixing it put the complexity of my favourite piece-of-crap method over the top for complexity again.  So, I've refactored some more, and I am once again waiting for my application to deploy. 


Nick has the best sense of humour in the world.  I don't have to look at him and say, "D'you get it?" I just know he does. 


Remember, no drinking this week.  It's dry week, leading up to Easter.  It's so that we can know what it was like for Jesus and the other prisoners up on the crucifixes.  I wanted to use crucifices, but LiveWriter assures me it's not a word.


Apparently, two of the top linebackers, heading into the NFL draft, have tested positive for steroids.  Their management firms vehemently deny it, and no official word has come out about it.  Linebackers.  Hm.... do you think that maybe some team that needs a linebacker, but doesn't draft early enough to get one of these guys, maybe spread word (subtly, of course) in the hopes that one of the dudes would fall to them?  Shades of Warren Sapp are clouding this entire situation.


The code works.  It's 1am.  Earned myself a tidy sum for the weekend's work.  Off I go, to jot down my hours, and then head home.