Bitches, Whines and Rants

A few days of missing photos

..  is due to my inability to think of something even remotely interesting or descriptive about what's been going on.  And today will be no different.

The 17th was supposed to be "in your bag", and while I thought about what I could post, the options were pretty limited: I have exactly one bag that I carry with me, and it's my backpack.  It has my laptop, my trackball, and a whack of paper (yes, the dead tree variety) related to schoolwork and bills and stuff that I should file (don't worry Holly, they've been paid).


Well, I missed a week in review last week, and I realised that echoing tech news that is already echo'd in many other places is a bit redundant.  Plus, no one ever said I was a writer, so I think I'll leave that particular thing to the professionals.

As the weather cools off in the Albertan fall, so has my cycling - from a peak of 462km in June, I'm down to 368km in September.  Assuming that I don't ride my bike to work this winter, I think this trend will continue, however it will be offset by the Hypo Half clinic that starts on the 2nd.

Sir Topham Hatt: You need to clean up your rail lines.



This is mostly targeted at parents - specifically those with toddler-aged children (or older, I guess..) who might be into "Thomas The Train".

If you don't know who Thomas is, he's this steam engine on the island of Sodor who goes about his business doing what trains do (delivering stuff, moving cars around, etc) but learns valuable life lessons along the way: learning to share, learning to be fair, being honest, and so on.

Anyhow, Sir Topham Hatt is the railway controller (and today I just learned that he used to be called "The Fat Controller") and I guess he's basically responsible for all the trains on Sodor.  A daunting task, no doubt, as Thomas seems to be set in the 50's and rail seems to be the mode of transportation of choice for most characters.  Sir T.H. owns a car, and is seen in many shows driving around in his car from station to station escorting important figures who are visiting the island.

So far so good, right?

Effing Wireless

See this?


This is a Linksys WRT54G wireless router.  You probably have something like this in your home…  Maybe not Linksys, maybe it's DLINK or Netgear or whoever.  The point is, you have something like this device in your home.  For it's size, it's reasonably complex; It'll manage multiple connections from inside your home (we'll call this the private network) from wired and wireless connection, and them go out and get stuff off the internet.  It manages assigning addresses and name resolution and all sorts of stuff for you, so that you don't need to.

The problem with this device?  It sucks.

Drivers in Edmonton

I have the pleasure of driving clear across town every morning and night (can't wait to get on the bike, by the way..).  Because of this, I've become subject to the whims of traffic situations across the city.  If there's something going on in the city, it will likely affect me.

So before I leave for work, or to go home, I do a quick search on twitter for #yegtraffic.  I've gone so far as to follow the @yegtraffic bot, and will occasionally tweet as long as I'm stopped and it hasn't been mentioned already.

Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live, Episode 1

Shared by Tim
Man, I thought this was an epic fail. I mean, really, Gordon sounded like he was either going through puberty or spent too much time screaming at the TV in his favorite pub.

I thought the food looked like ass when he was done, and the whole Flambe! thing needed to end about 15 seconds after it started.

Sorry Gordo, stick to F Word.

"Sure the show was mildly entertaining at times, but overall, the Cookalong was a trainwreck."


[Photographs: Jillian Madison]

WTF Edmonton Weather

imageI hate complaining about the weather.  I know there's nothing I can do about it, so complaining about it really does no one any good.  Sorta like complaining about gas prices - sure, you don't like them, you don't like how the oil companies are gouging you every summer, but at the end of it all, there's nothing you can do.

But when it comes to weather, I love the extremes.  Unlike my wife, Holly who loves the fall, I much prefer the winter, then the summer, then the fringe seasons.  It's simple: I can predict what I should wear, what's appropriate, the days are bound to be warm, or cold, but not opposites throughout the day.

This is especially true when I was riding my bike during the summer, where I knew I could ride to work in a pair of pants I might use for running, a T-shirt and light jacket, or maybe one layer of a long-sleved jersey.  I'll pack shorts and a T-shirt for the ride home.  The only reason for that is that there's no sunlight in the morning, whereas I'll get to bask in the warm afternoon sun on the way home.  Simple.  In the winter, I basically need to plan for 2-3 layers, and I can wear the same thing to and from work, because the temperature difference will really only be 10 or 15 degrees.

But in the spring and fall, I don't know if it's going to be below freezing in the morning, and above 20 on the way home.  I don't know if it'll be nice in the morning, and freezing rain on the way home.  It's Edmonton.  It happens here, and it usually changes quickly enough.

However, this coming week's weather is NUTS.  -37c forecasted for the weekend, and ABOVE ZERO by the end of the week.

It's Christmas, darnit, it better not get above freezing, melt off all the snow, make a snowy icy slick mess, just in time for running around the city, going to church services, family events, and hiding out in my almost-finished basement.

Oh well.  Hopefully it's not doing this in Jasper…  There's skiing to be had!