Friday, November 5, 2010

Wednesday in Waterloo

Puslinch-20101103-00002
'Twas a bit foggy Wednesday morning...

Spongebob money shot

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This is vaguely disturbing...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Had to decorate my office a bit

There's this window right over my desk, with frosted glass... You can see it from out in the hall where there are some stairs.
Sent from my BlackBerry.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Had to put our cat Wembly down

Shitty morning, had to put our cat Wembly down today. It wasn't just a respiratory infection bothering her, she seems to have developed cancer in her sinus and/or skull… not entirely sure because we didn't want to put her through tests and surgery.

Suc51416

Friday, October 22, 2010

Google URL "decoration" sure is annoying, how do you turn it off?

Remember when you could search for stuff in Google, select something in the results and choose “Copy hyperlink” or whatever in your browser, then paste that URL into an email or whatever?
If you do it now, you get some massive Google URL so they can track you even better than usual.
For example, if I search for “CBC” on Google, I get this instead of http://cbc.ca/ (which is what the status bar says when you hover over the link):
http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBkQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fcbc.ca%2F&ei=44HBTOmwKYSnnAevtIDVCQ&usg=AFQjCNGj-jfLDKQ8DaBg9Fe6xZdMMCRkkg
Everything except http%3A%2F%2Fcbc.ca%2F is Google being nosier than normal.
 I thought logging in to my Google account would let me turn this off, but I can’t seem to find the option that controls it, if there is one.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

City of Heroes reactivation weekend is Oct 7 - 10th

Next weekend, Oct. 7th-10th, is City of Heroes reactivation weekend, so old players can try out the new "Going Rogue" expansion.

Image001

I don't know if I'll have time to play (going to be busy with my family, but definitely not complaining!), but, um, I'm downloading the client. I still miss playing, and a bunch of my LiveJournal friends still play regularly.
Ex-calibur will live again!  Although I'll probably start someone new to try out the new content.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I really do have some great friends!

Plans are finally starting to firm up for my new career at RIM… which is good, because I start next Monday!

My friends Max and Ian have both graciously offered to let me crash at their places if I need to, which is a relief, since I didn't really want to sleep in Waterloo Park. :-)

I've only met Max in person once more than five years ago, and I haven't seen Ian in person in about eleven years. Yes I suck at staying in touch with people, but I'm certainly lucky to have such great, generous friends.

Very excited about starting the new job and moving back to Waterloo!


Monday, September 20, 2010

Cat's out of the bag: We're moving back to Waterloo so I can go work at RIM with my buddies Ian and @chezmax as a security developer.

Just tendered my resignation at Dundas; my last day will be October 1st.

A few months ago Lynette and I both had the same idea at almost the same time, that we should look at moving back to Waterloo as a sort of long-term goal. We both liked it there, we knew some folks who still lived there, and there's a fair bit of high-tech stuff going on in the area.

Literally the next day a recruiter from RIM contacted me about a Mac development job there. I mentioned this to my best man Ian (who is Director of Security Research and Response at RIM) and he suggested I apply for a job in his group.

The Mac folks weren't interested (totally understandable, my Mac development experience is really limited at this point), but the Security group apparently loved me. I went down for an interview on my vacation in August and got an offer on my birthday. :-)

RIM has a… protracted hiring process, so I've had to keep things under wraps since mid-August, which has been driving us insane and frustrating the folks I'm going to be working for. Everything is finally in place though, and we've got the house up for sale.

The next couple of weeks/months should be fairly crazy, but I'm very excited about the new job. I'm switching careers finally, moving back to a great city with some great friends in it, and making my family happier and more relaxed in the process.

And because I know you've been waiting for it: I've never been so excited about a position as I am about my RIM job.





Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Great song by Red Light District

I just heard this great song “Right Behind You” by Red Light District via @warrenellis ' The 4 AM podcast (I think you can find that on the iTunes Store, and it's free); the music is quirky and the lyrics/singing style don't really jive with the stalking theme. Great stuff!

I'm picturing @feliciaday in a video for this.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ninja font codes

One of my ex-compatriots at QNX sent me this heart-warming tale…

This talks about a buffer overrun failure on the iPhone.  Not too exciting.

However this statement from the article is golden as far as you are concerned.

When your iOS device tries to display the PDF file, that font causes something called stack overflow, a technical condition that allows the secret ninja code inside the font to gain complete control of your device.


Fonts have secret ninja codes!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

A flower after rain

Behold, for I have photographed this vine thing that we haven't managed to kill! Took these a couple of months ago after some rain.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sunday, July 18, 2010

This is a thing of beauty: Pacman Cutting Board (Sprite Stitch)

Media_httpwwwspritest_sejbg
If only I had $165 or skill with woodworking…

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Transformers convention today!

We're off to TFcon Toronto, “Canada's Transformers Collectors Convention” this morning:


Bunch of artists from the comics and animated shows, voice actors, toy dealers (original 1987 Sharkticons go for about $100, WTF) and cosplayers. The pic is concept art for a Transformers toy they've created for the con, Night-bird… doubt we'll pick one up, but it's still pretty cool that they do this.

Alex is practically vibrating with excitement.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Progress (sort of)

[Dammit, this was supposed to go in http://marooned.posterous.com/ and its Twitter feed, why did it go here? I need to learn to use the auto poster properly. :-( Dang!]

Finally some good progress last night!

I'm working through 3D Buzz's “Simple 2D Shooter” video tutorials, and started building the game they're working on. Sure it's not Marooned!, but it's going to get me up to speed on Unity. More importantly, I feel like I've finally done something useful on the way to ending up with a playable Marooned! game.

Yeah, it's not much, but it's a start.  Really looking forward to Unity 3 coming out soon, that's going to make this process even better.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Gobbler; 70s architecture at its finest (via @shacker)

Media_httpwwwlileksco_phiii
To experience the full glory of this amazing motel, click through and look at the images (and TV commercial from its glory days!).
I am stunned. Lynette and I should have gone here for our honeymoon instead of the Pokonos.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Anyone looking for a Web Developer job?

A friend of mine has a lead on “a bunch ” of web developer jobs in Toronto, working with open source software (presumably a LAMP sort of place).
Does anyone need a job like this in Toronto? 'cause I can totally hook you up.
My company could also use some additional software QA folks; any takers?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Time to focus; a bunch of crap nobody cares about

Today my “big” project is going to be focusing on what's important in my life, so I figure out how to fit it all in.

This is important because I've been feeling a lot of conflict lately between what I want to do, and what I need to do. One of the biggest drags of being an adult is the sheer amount of need to do stuff that takes up an annoying amount of time.

I'm still pining for the days of yore when I had no responsibilities and only a few need to do things. Considering the fact that I graduated in 1993, I should probably start accepting my life changes… :-P


Rather than bore everyone with a list of things that are important to me and some thinking out loud about them, I'll just make a quick list here and then do the actual work in OmniFocus. I need to get back into the Getting Things Done discipline or this will never work, and OmniFocus really helps there. Seriously, GTD and OmniFocus really seems to match my brain well and keep me moving forward on things that need to get done.


Things that are important to me right now, in priority order:

  • my Family (Lynette and Alex… even the pets, although sometimes…)
  • my Day Job (after a decade of instability and insanity, I'd like things to settle down!)
  • my Marooned! game (no, seriously, I still want to make games)
  • Exercise (need to start again, regularly, or I won't be around to work on everything)
  • Leisure (need to blow off steam!)

 marooned 

You'll probably note the lack of chores, etc. on there; the Day Job and Exercise are the only things I need to do on that list, the rest are wants.








Wednesday, June 30, 2010

G20 Toronto Black Block get green light to rampage?


A billion for security and 20,000 police can't stop the “Black Bloc” idiots from rampaging for an hour and a half… but they can beat down the peaceful protesters later.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Police attacking non-violent protesters

And here's some video showing police attacking some non-violent protesters with bikes, batons and some sort of nasty spray (pepper? mace?):


Way to go, guys.

And conveniently Parliament is out until September 20th, so this might have all blown over by then. At least, that's what the government is hoping… they've used this sort of “wait a bit, everyone will forget” technique a bunch of times.


Toronto police crush out-of-key singers

Here's how the G20 version of the Toronto police react to some peaceful protestors mangling the Canadian national anthem. Note that this is (IIRC) Queen Street, not the “G20 Security Zone” or whatever they were calling it.


Prime Minister Harper, Premier McGuinty, Mayor Miller and Chief Blair should be ashamed and should be voted out/fired as soon as possible.

This isn't my Canada.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cell service in Canada makes me angry

Hey cellular companies of Canada! You keep telling me how awesome your plans and rates are, and how you listen to your customers and give them what they want… here's what I want:

  • a website where I can actually choose what features I want on my account; stop bundling useless crap together and forcing me to take a bunch of things I don't want
  • a website where I can see what my charges will actually be; stop hiding those extra 911, “system access” and “regulatory recovery” fees (all bullshit, BTW) you like to tack on
  • a store where I can walk in, tell them what I want, and have the salesdroids be able to tell me what my monthly bill will be

I'm still undecided on iPhone vs. Android, but my requirements aren't even ridiculous or (IMHO obviously) challenging:

  • minimal voice minutes; 60 would cover me easily, I really don't use the phone much
  • reasonable data; 500MB might be reasonable, 1GB is probably lots… I'll happily use WiFi wherever it's available
  • caller ID
  • minimal texts; I use maybe 5/month now, but I might do it more with a smartphone
  • LET ME USE ALL THE FEATURES SUPPORTED BY THE PHONE; you shouldn't be able to advertise iPhone's Visual Voicemail feature if you're going to charge extra/month for it to be available

I'll suffer with your three year contracts, ridiculously complex bills and the spam you send to my phone (I used to get text spam from Rogers on a phone plan that didn't have texting enabled). Just give me what I want and I'll be a low-maintenance customer for three years.

Maybe even longer if you manage to give me the service you're selling me without “accidentally” over-billing me or doing other shady things.

Is giving your customers what they want and treating them with a little respect too much to ask?





Friday, June 11, 2010

Ants subterranean structures revealed!!!!?!


This video of an ant colony being filled with cement and then excavated is amazing; their city is complex and well designed!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mind mapping

I started messing with MindNode last night, doing some Marooned! brainstorming and planning; it was pretty useful, I think, and definitely works well when you're throwing down ideas as fast as possible without necessarily aiming them all in the same direction.

Here's the start of my Marooned! map in MindNode:

Mindnode

MindNode lets you export/import FreeMind files as well, so I grabbed it to compare. It's a Java app (ugh), but it's got a lot of additional features, and will auto-fit your items, automatically adjusting the map so nothing is overlapping. If MindNode does that, it's limited to the Pro version.

Here's the same map in FreeMind:

Freemind

As much as I hate Java apps (non-native UI! klunky widgets! the horror!), I'm going to give FreeNode a fair shake. If actually using it feels fairly fluid and straight-forward, I'll go that direction. It's certainly got more features (attach icons to nodes, for example) beyond even what MindNode Pro offers.

Choosing a Java app over a similar native app is a big step for me. Maybe one day I'll overcome my Java prejudices in the name of productivity. Eclipse is the only other Java app I don't mind using…







Wednesday, June 9, 2010

50's Empire Strikes Back

Holy cow, this is absolutely awesome:

Friday, June 4, 2010

Doing it wrong…

Apparently I need to read some docs on Posterous.com… my last post was intended to show up only on the Marooned! blog/Twitter, but it got posted in both places. And it failed to pick up my tags.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cure OCD via… bone marrow transplant

Hey, check this out:


Info about a study that seems to have cured OCD in rats by giving them a bone marrow transplant, to compensate for the mutation causing OCD.

SCIENCE!


Friday, May 28, 2010

Flickr or Picasa?

I think I have a Flickr account (for viewing stuff someone posted that was only for logged-in users), but I can never remember my Yahoo! account name. If they let me log in with, say, the email address I actually use it wouldn't be an issue.
I don't have any images up there (I think), I mostly just post them to Facebook or host them myself.
Does anybody have an opinion of Flickr or Picasa? I do have some nice photos (IMHO) that I'd be happy to share, and it's good to have a well-known spot for that sort of thing.

Suc51854

I'm not even sure I need to use a service like this yet. Then again, I seem to be using Posterous more than I expected…

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dexter, Season 4?

Anyone watching Dexter this year, Season 4?

I'm asking because looking on Amazon at the DVDs, there's now a baby in the show, or he's a dad now or something? Adding a baby or kid to a show that didn't start out with one is a sure sign that it's rapidly going down the tubes…

Dexter: Season 4

Babies don't mix with serial killers.


Today started out good…

But it sure turned out to suck. In massive FML mode right now, unfortunately.

Finally watched Dexter

Lynette and I finally watched the first episode of Dexter last night, courtesy of Zip.ca; holy crap that's awesome, why haven't we been watching this all along?! http://www.zip.ca/Browse/Title.aspx?f=clid(106365)
Instead of watching the other three episodes on the disc, we're just going to start buying Dexter seasons on DVD.
I should do the same with Farscape, but nobody will watch it with me. *sob*

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Is this thing on?

I appear to have created a Posterous account ( http://taffer.posterous.com/ ) for myself, and Marooned! ( http://marooned.posterous.com/ ), although I'm not entirely sure what I'll use them for… I haven't been blogging much lately.