29 Dec 2009
Cheap Irritation

We were able to rid ourselves of several items from the closets today, reducing what we have and making out place a little better due to thinning of the clutter.

Steaks for dinner, with breaded cauliflower, and all was good until the Corningware casserole broke in half while in the oven. Bit of internet research reveals that it should not go over 425°f, and that as the cauliflower was breaded with butter, the butter caused hotspots on the casserole. Rather irritating as on the bottom of the dish it says oven safe, and doesn't mention anything reference butter or oil, and as for heat it was at 400°f.. Interesting read on Wikipedia on original Corningware and the newer stuff put out with the same branding put out by World Kitchens, apparently they're now made of different material, guess the original stuff didn't break due to lack of repeat sales..

28 Dec

Yesterday was a bit of a down day, in part due to Nicole being a bit over-aggressive in cleaning and downsizing. It was okay at first, then I sort of tuned out and shut down. Wasn't happy by days end.

Today was alright, bit of a slower more organized pace, less frenzied. Went out and bought a new smaller desk from Ikea, which was a good deal at $60. Also some small items from Rona, so we can condense and fix some of the drywall. Chucked my old desk, which while nice was simply too big as we're counting centimeters now. New desk has gone into the living room, and the 2nd bedroom or den has become something of a reading room, save that we've recycled most of our books. We've placed the new desk where the fishtank was, and the fishtank went to the reading room.

Will have to call Telus tomorrow, as we've discovered there is only one jack in our place that can do DSL, all the others are phone jacks. Rather bizarre as one of the plates has two jacks, one would think that it would be split. Having them come in and change it would be cheaper than buying a wireless card for the computer.

Had fun using WorldVitalRecord's free access. Mainly for the directories and newspapers, as the census data was unimpressive. Looking further the Newspapers appears to be from a separate archive called NewspaperArchive.

26 Dec
Space Cadets

Had a nice Christmas Eve with Nicole's Oma & Opa, and then Christmas day with her parents. Couldn't gorge myself, as I just didn't have it in me. This year we did the simple thing and bought digital picture frames for everyone, and loaded pictures onto them.

Drive back was nuts, with people driving like crazy: swerving between lanes, excessive speeding and many cases of tailgating. The worst that I did was not listen to the traffic report, due to listening to a really nice scottish song on CBC Radio 2, to find out that there was a police traffic situation, so the highway was closed. It took us about an hour to move 1km. Scary part was people trying to pass on the curb.

17 Dec
At Home

Reworking the interface for the Genealogy section. Other than a slightly different look, I've been going through the code and optimizing some of it by hand. I've found in some cases I can cut the file size in half due to frames in frames, poor optimization in dreamweaver, and relics left behind in the html.

13 Dec

Celebrated my Gran's birthday today. Went to a German restaurant in the Alpen Club called Deutsches Haus, service wasn't good nor was the food (served cool), and then the server had the gal to inform us that it was a mandatory 15% tip, which was then taxed GST. However, the plus side was being able to see my family, and chat for a few hours after the restaurant.

Saw the Pixar movie Up, and can say that it is somewhat of a nasty film. For young children they may not understand some of the undertones, and find it rather fun, however for most adults it's a rather sad movie that is overplaying the emotional tear ducts

Had my work party the other day, seems to have gone well, and it marks the end of this training year (of 2009 that is). Still lots more to get done, but work will be queued up for some other day.

30 Nov
Monday is a non working day

Wow blue sky, I've forgotten that could look like. Guess the trade off for having no snow (other than the mountains), is having rain and more rain. My left foot no longer hurts, and I no longer walk with a limp.

29 Nov

I like waffles.

22 Nov
It is done

Mess function last night went well, even though it was a small number of people. I was in charge of the event, and was rather stressed throughout. Now I just have to start planning for the big mess dinner in the spring, or rather get ready to delegate responsibility for it.

Hopefully now I'll have a bit more time to do other stuff in the evening, maybe get ready for Christmas even.

19 Nov

Did the 13k ruckmarch with work, and now my body aches, my feet are swollen and I've bruised the muscle in my left foot. Nothing like walking with it down pouring and the wind blowing over 50k an hour, maybe not such a good idea to do it by the waterfront.

16 Nov
Day of Frustration

Must be a down day, or the fact that it hasn't stopped raining for the last few weeks. Went to Canadian Tire to get Winter Tires, and was not impressed, first off with the price and then second with the general lack of service. One would think if they had an appointment they would be dealt with, instead of waiting 20 minutes just to clock in. Think next time I'll just go to the dealership, at least I'll get a free coffee for the same price.

What more for my frustration. Printer we have I don't like, it's more like a glorified fax machine, except we don't fax. Next on my list, way down the way would be a multi-function laser/scanner, maybe an HP, but definitely not a Brother. Although Brother does make okay fax machines, as we use laser B&W ones at work.

Spent some time testing playstations 2's for the wife's work, and I can say I really suck at console sport games.

The rest of the day was me trying to do genealogy, all dead ends. Very frustrating. Probably should go back a do clean-up and error correction of existing data, most of the shell from the existing data came from my Great-Grandmother, which while good was more word of mouth than database material such as Census and BDM data.

8 Nov
Week in Review

Other than work, which happens pretty much every week, did a fair amount last weekend. Helped a friend move Saturday, went out with family on Sunday, helped the wife move at her work on Monday, and on Tuesday had a cooking evening. Stew worked, mock cabbage rolls didn't, but I try to learn from my mistakes, and have updated cooking instructions accordingly.

Friday I was a bit sick, and still am. Rather weird, as jaw hurts a bit plus is tiny bit swollen, and have a sore throat. If it continues on, then going to see the medics.

25 Oct
Wet Rain

Rather chill outside, while somewhat warn inside. Another work week done, they seem to drone on, someday's are productive and good, and other I have to wonder why nothing really happens, or why other people, who should be working, don't pickup the phone or answer emails on their end so I can do my work. Nice run-on sentence.

Finished transcribing the 1851 UK Census. Just have to index it in order, finish copyediting, and see if I need to split the file. Would have to split the file if I can no longer edit it in my editing program, or open it with a browser. If so it will be south-west England in one file, and the rest of the UK in the other.

4 Oct

Pretty sure I was supposed to do an update a little while back. Not much has happened in the last month: my office has moved so it's a bit bigger and has a window; cleaning and vacuuming at home, sick for 2 days with a mystery illness which I still don't know what it was, and some work on genealogy stuff.

Today I cooked a pork roast, make bread dumpling, created some austrian sauerkraut salad, and it all tasted rather good.

12 Sept
Back Online

Have a new hard drive, and am slowly getting all the archive CD's and programs loaded onto it. Will be doing a full purge of the old drive, and now have new anti-virus software that is more proactive instead of reactive (reactive didn't work very well).

More updates to follow soon.

24 Aug
Busy Busy Busy

Not too sure where to start. Have done a fair amount of preparation for my works PNE display, spent a day there on Saturday as well. Feels like I've been running around a lot, mainly with work, as last week most of my work days didn't end till 6pm (Saturday was a 14hr day).

Returned the AC unit and we bought another portable version. Same brand, several different features, overall meh as we really only had one hot week during the summer, and it was cost prohibitive.

Went up to the Okanagan during the BC day long weekend. Found the drive wasn't too bad, and trip was nice.

On a final note, tried helping someone get their computer disinfected with a virus, and then my system became infected. Took my system offline for half a week. Not very happy about it, as I was literally forced to reinstall my computer to fix the problems. Still a few issues, so I've decided it's time to upgrade by buying a new hard drive. Doing this should fix the problem, and maybe even speed up my system.

30 July
Time Off

Having my own little vacation right now. However, there's a crazy heat wave going on.
We've tried 2 different AC units so far: first was returned as it filled with water, and then the 2nd which we still need to return, has a broken bearing or something so it likes to go very high pitch.

Have being doing a fair amount of genealogical research on my mothers side, so far all has been going well. Only problem that I seem to have is sometimes following and building upon others research, in specific if there's an error, and now looking at some of the records, it could be a very big mistake.

20 July

Last night went and saw All's Well That Ends Well at the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. Entertaining, however, I must confess I enjoyed the lecture series more as I found the antics put on by Dr. Paul Budra more "fun".

Just watched 12 Angry Men. Old movie, but quite good, and a testament to the acting skill in doing pretty much the entire movie in one room.

18 July
Overdue Update

Almost been a month since my last update. Being back at work, or being away prevents one from doing updates, so a quick breakdown of the last few weeks:

We bought new patio furniture, which is very nice and was on sale. Also we bought new slip covers for indoor furniture, replaced the dining room set, which while nice were not on sale. Worked on Canada Day, and then had family over for a BBQ, where Nicole could show off her new furniture and I could do some family cooking

Started intensifying my Genealogy research on my mother's side, which is Scottish. Taking a break from doing Skuce research. Will complete the 1851 UK census hopefully this summer, and then look at something in NA (1910 US census?), however, open to suggestions on this.

Nicole's last remaining Aunt passed away, so went to her memorial in Kelowna last weekend. Then took off last week to "get away". Stayed at a place called Surf Junction, which is near Ucluelet. Although they promote surfing we only went Kayaking near Ucluelet and then went to some hot springs near Tofino. On the plus side we saw some whales, on the minus overall it didn't feel like a conventional camping vacation.
Going from the west side of Vancouver Island back to the mainland, there is a 10°C increase in temperature. Can't say I'm a fan of the heat.
I'm happy my work was willing to let me take time off, but I know I'll be playing catchup next week, and depending on what I missed I could see late nights ahead of me.

24 June

It's always nice going in to work, and having everyone ask why I'm there. Apparently I'm supposed to be on leave, so I've deferred it to a later date. In the last few days gone through over a hundred emails, had myself reoriented to the workload, figured out the time zone, unpacked most of my kit, and puzzled why there are no voicemail messages (think they might've upgraded/changed the system while I was away).

On the plus side, my little netbook has a camera built in. Nicole installed Skype and I was able to talk, with video, to my brother several provinces away the other day.

22 June
Back from the Soo

It's been about a month, and I've made it back to BC in one piece. It seemed like every evening and all the weekends were dedicated towards the course. Due to the time zone difference, waking up is a bit weird, as 6am here is the same as 9am central time.

Caught two movies on the plane back:
The Watchmen: Good movie, bit strange that they aired it on the plane, yet it's not on video yet.
One Week: CanCon. Highly recommend, however for some the content may hit close to home, as it deals with cancer and death.

Noticed on my last post that I didn't mentioned what I watched on the way out:
Gran Torino: Quite Entertaining.
Revolutionary Road: Should've picked something more interesting, found this movie quite dull and depressing. Pretty sure there are better methods of self punishment.

30 May
Crazy Week

Left BC on Monday, then flew from Toronto to Sault-Ste-Marie for the Artillery Regional Training School. Going from Toronto to Sault-Ste-Marie was interesting, as I was on a Dash-8, a small propeller plane. Going to Toronto was nice as Air Canada had onboard movies, however, they now charge money for headsets.

First two days were quiet on the course, by day 3 evenings were gone. Preparation for teaching classes, cpx prep, and relearning old material is taking all free time away, including most parts of the weekend. Finding this course quite intense, as opposed to other courses. Albeit I was able to take a nap on Saturday during the Afternoon, and slept in till 7am.

Guess the only good news is, it's only a month straight, and then it should slow down to an even pace.

Last Sunday, as I was packing to go, I went and bought myself a netbook. Didn't really need a laptop, and this can stream audio and internet video well enough. Only thing I won't be doing is playing games. On the plus side, Nicole can use it when she goes back to College.

25 May
A Week of Entertainment

It's been a bit of a bizarre week, with too many things going on at once, and not enough time to get everything completed. I find it quite frustrating, but I'll put it out of my head for a few weeks.

Went last Thursday and saw The Pirates of Penzance, at the Surrey Arts Centre, put on by the FVGSS. Found it was very well done.

Last night we finally got around to seeing the rebooted Star Trek, found it was quite gripping. I'm sure there will be a sequel, and I'm equally sure I'll go see it.

18 May
Sore Posterior

We bought new bikes, and went around Burnaby Lake. 8k in and all was good, then a screw fell out on my bike. Can say the last few kilometers worth of walking was not fun. Lesson of the day: always do a pre biking inspection and remember to bring a small bike toolkit.

16 May

It's best to ask questions when people are still living. On my to do list was asking a few relatives genealogy questions, then I just found out one of them died the other day.

When one has a plan, and say they want to do something, then one should do it.

10 May
Fun in the Sun

It's a nice 20 degrees, and I have a weekend off.

21 April

Back to working weekends. Funny that on my one day CTO I'm bored, or maybe just down. Good thing is my spirits are back up after the Hockey Game, and a very good game it was.

At some point I should start up again on the Skuce genealogy. Reasonably easy to trace as it hasn't as a name changed much since the 1500's (Tax & Parish records). Still have reams of it to go through.

15 April

All is good, not broken. Apparently the ligament between the foot and ankle is sprained. Hence the bit of pain and spectacular bruise.

13 April
Forced Couch Rest

So there we are going up to Kelowna, and we stop in Meritt for a break at the info centre. I walk to building, down some new wood chipped stairs, then down I go. Spent the weekend icing my foot, sleeping, and doing some genealogy on the wife's side (The English side is easy as O can get a number of lines back to the 1500's). Overall not particularly productive for a long weekend, however, the visit with Nicole's relatives was nice. Will have to go see the doctor, sprained the foot I think, not broken.

5 April
Hard days work

Started working in our 200sq/ft lot in the community Garden. Several hours of tilling soil, planting, and getting achy muscles. Not too sure I could be a farmer, as it seems like too much back breaking work.

31 March
Small Vacation

Had to burn off the last of my work vacation days, so took an extra long weekend. Fairly eventful, celebrated Nicole's Birthday, went to the Cherry Blossom festival at VanDusen (they're late this year), spent a day at the VPL going through microfilms and looking at items in the special collections area, and then a few days just slumming it. All in all a good weekend (except for the sickness which is still lingering).

23 March
Tired and Sick

Back from 4 days out with work, of the 3 nights I was able to get the amount of sleep I usually get in 1. Now I'm sick with a cold (or something). I was probably sick at work, however, I didn't have time to notice it. Good news is, I'm home for 2 days.

15 March

Have a weekend off. Seems a bit unnatural as I've been working most weekends for the last 4 months, save the vacation periods. Finished the Tech course I was on, more than happy as the math was numbing.

Started working on the Wife's Genealogy, and have pushed back on her mothers side 5 generations up. Now working on all the 6th generations which is bit problematic as not everyone is counted in Parish Registers, or they moved around.

3 February

It was a nice week off. Should be ready now to handle the grind, full voice mail, and over the limit email box. Spent most of the week lazing about, made it out on Saturday to the The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of UBC production's of the Sorcerer. For the price, the production was quite good.

24 January
On Vacation

Here's hoping that I have some me time.

The images for the 1916 Canadian census are no longer available, however, I was able to get in while the going was still good. They've also put up the BDM data for Ireland, however, it's not easily searchable or easy to cross reference.

20 January
Joys and Jubilation

1916 Canadian census is now available. Something good for my day off.

19 January
Crappy Weekend

It just wasn't very good, which left me overall unimpressed: naturally it was another course weekend. Unfortunately the course has left me with a lot of frustration about too many things being wrong. Adding salt to wound, the candidates had time with standards, however, many of the complaints or issues were swept aside or were told to write a memo. For a low level course, being told to essentially suck it up could help explain why the course is hemorrhaging candidates (end month may have 50% left).

Some movies:
The Break Up: Killed time, at least it wasn't too cliched.
The Wackness: Okay movie, hard to make what I think of it. Probably too slow for many people.
Vicki Cristina Barcelona: The movie made sense, but at the same did not make sense. Rather frustrating, and it didn't amount to anything. Decent pace of storytelling, but left empty at the end.

5 January 2009
ALIVE! and the holidays in review

To start... Happy Belated New Year

Worked this weekend. Went to Victoria on Friday, and it was not too much of a problem, albeit still technically on holiday. Coming back on Sunday, was horrid. Took about 2 hours back on the ferry due to the high winds, then one back high wind a rain, but the worst bit was hitting Richmond and Vancouver. It was snow on top of slush, and unfortunately I had no traction. I found out very quick that if I stopped, I would be stuck, so crept most of the way back to my workplace. Probably the worst was on the Oat St. Bridge, as a few times I had to stop, and then when I starting I was skidding. Was worried I would hit either the side of the bridge or another vehicle. Safe to say that it all worked out after driving slow for 2 hours (usually only a 1/2 hr drive). Once back unload equipment then tried to take transit. Wasn't pretty, but eventually a bus was willing to make a break for it (literally, bus was overloaded to try prevent skidding), after the bus and skytrain, I was home by 11:15pm. So it took 4+ hrs once disembarked from the ferry. BTW the stuff on the weekend was fun, lots of math.

Quick review of last week:
Drove up to Kelowna on Boxing day, drive was a bit unnerving as there were vehicles all over the ditch, on the center median, or burning, going up the Coquihala. Summer drive is about 3-4hrs, think it took about 8hrs.
Spending the week in the Okanagan wasn't too bad, somewhat relaxing, and at least helped with forgetting about work. New Years eve a quiet celebration with the wife's family. Then come new years day we drove back home. Only 1 vehicle in the ditch on the way back: an oversized SUV.

Recommendation for next year: Winter tires
Recommendation for everyone driving in winter conditions: slow down.

Next year Nicole and I are have Christmas at our house. With or without family. Hopefully that will be less stressful, as we can then have people sit down and... drink eggnog and talk.

In the theater
Four Christmases: Another holiday movie, not as bad as some, but not a holiday classic. I'm sure it'll be on cable by next Christmas