journal · writing · photos


m. werneburg, 1998.09

These are my many articles. Given a chance, I'll hold forth on nearly any subject.

Related articles



Reviews of books, watches, and cameras.

my grandfather's funeral speech


This is the text of the speech I gave at my grandfather's funeral, along with some notes for anyone who has a speech of their own to right.

the nature of reality


I am very wise. I mean I must be, I have a website!

how I got kicked out of Japan


When I first came to Japan, I let my employer take care of the paperwork, just as many of my colleagues had done. Big mistake.

a difficult name


My last name is German in origin, and most English speakers (and spellers!) can't get it right.



I don't know much. And according to my wife, I don't parent much.



I've been interested in genealogy for many years. These are some of the interesting findings

learning from a failed business venture


At a conference in early 2013 the keynote speaker asked if someone in attendance could speak to a career setback from which they'd grown in a new direction. I rose to speak.

my struggle with migraine


Since a fall from a slide as a toddler, I've been getting migraines. This is my journal about what I'm doing about it.

a permanent family journal


I've started a permanent journal and photo journal for the family that I intend to pass down to my kids.

on management


Much has been written on management but everywhere I go - and I've worked at about twenty companies in 27 years - I see that not a lot is sinking in. Let me suggest we toss out whatever the teach in business school and get down to real management.


reader comments

i like pie and pickles but no no 1 likes

George W Bush do they........

BiN Lager

That's for sure. Well, aside from the satirists.


hey this site is great, i stumpled across it while looking for a simple maple leaf design to inspire me to great my tattoo. I was wondering if it would be alright to take some of your maple leaf ideas and alter them a bit for my tattoo? let me know anyway. Id be happy to take a picture of the finished thing if you agree and give your design credit of course :)


Yes, Michelle, please do. Next time, send me your email address!



instructions can be found at:





'Canuckistan, Truthfully?'

Let us take a second look at this for the moment

A single nation, from sea to shining sea, imbdued with the unifying aspect which it has lacked up until now...absolute unity!

We have the land to be self-sufficient. Truly!

We have a relatively small population.

We have mother nature on our side in times of conflict & tribulation.

Let us not decieve ourselves!

We must stand down the Behomoth!

A central and prominant gold maple leaf on a field of crimson...make it the banner!

Martin Warren

I don't know that I'd go as far as to call Pat Buchanen a 'behemoth'. ;)


Like a previous poster I now have 2 young boys and my parents recently brought out the old "stack O Lego" and all the parts are there but the manuals have been long gone. Any updates on the originals?

R. Babiak

No. I have the old manuals, but no way of scanning them!


Fire House 357

Do you know where I could buy that fire house 357? I looked on legos web sight.


I have no idea, Amanda. Sorry.

I've found that LEGO doesn't really hold up that well past maybe fifteen years or so. I doubt you'd find that any of the old LEGO Town stuff would still be in good enough condition even if you did find it....


Non30tattoocaffeineaustralianphotog comment

I just wanted an opportunity to ask about the readership of this site.

Are you all late 20s caffeine addicted australian tattoo hunting photographers with fucked up dreams that you want psychoanalyzed?

What the fuck?


Seems that way, little bro'.


Your website

Boy oh boy was I having a brunette moment or what took me 5 min to figure out the guestbook and they say it's just blondes who are dumb lol Anyhow enough of my rats I'm going to be short and sweet here Your site impressed me great job . Much enjoyed blah blah blah :)




Thanks, Rose. Gouod luck with your website.


I am looking for a woman from Tulsa named Debbie Sowell. Sorry to use your page this way Mike but if it worked for you maybe it will work for me too! Her parents were Homer and Ruby Tremble (or Trimble) This is NOT the Debbie Sowell who is Dean of Instruction in the Math Department at Oral Roberts.


Good luck, Leslie.


"I know this, this is Unix!" scene in J

In that scene, it WAS Unix, SGI's Irix to be precise. At one time someone posted a link to the source of the 3d file browser that was used in the movie. It was some sort of experimental VR file browser. Sure, most Unix or Unix like OSs are not like that, but then my 128mb AGP8x 3D card can render a very nice "#"

SGI's FSN - 3d Filesystem Navigator [sgi.com]. For IRIX 4.0.1 - 5.3 only.



Yup. But the scene associates that visual context with "UNIX", thereby earning at least some cringe factor. ;)


cindy chudyk

hey...i'm not actually cindy chudyk, but she was a former teaCHER (at E.L.C.S.S.) it was weird to see her name here...she IS a geography teacher....don't even ask why i was googling my teahcer.s

cindy chudyk

I won't ask, "lovely decay", I won't ask.


where's my flying car??

Johnny Rotten was wrong. There is a future and we're in it. Except it doesn't look like it's supposed to -- much more Blade Runner than Jetsons.

Oh well, at least your website's looking good, Michael.

And, if your looking for further proof that the future is now: June Jetson just died of old age. See below:

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 14 (AP) -- Penny Singleton, who brought the comic strip character Blondie to life in a popular series of films and was the voice of the mother on the television cartoon series "The Jetsons," died here on Wednesday. She was 95. ....

Ms. Singleton went on to do the voice of Jane Jetson in "The Jetsons," Hanna-Barbera's futuristic counterpart to its highly successful "Flintstones" cartoon. The show ran in prime time for just one season, 1962-63, but has been widely seen in syndication.

rob c.

Sniff. Goodbye June! I am reminded of a passage in a "Red Dwarf" sci-fi book by "Grant Naylor". In it, two characters are recuperating in adjacent hospital beds. They've been watching the Flintstones. One asks the other, "Is it just me, or is Wilma Flintstone the sexiest woman in all of time?" The other says, "I could be with Betty, but I'd be thinking of Wilma...."

Actually, that's only tangentially relevant, but thanks for your comments.



Gambling is a fun hobbie for many people. Id rather spend $500 at the casino and have a fun time then spend $500 on a stupid toy that i will get tired of in a day.

After all life is about having a good time. I don't really care much about money, i did when i was yonger. I have everything i need in life, now i enjoy gambling.

I do know all the house edges for every game. I know that Baccarat is the one game with the lowest house edge and my personal fav.

I go up with $500 or $1000 and if i lose it oh well, still had good time, but last night for example i turned my $500 into $1200 and went home. Im up down up down, and i get all the comps and free drinks. I love it. You may win you may lose, but in the end the casino has the edge.

you make it seem like if you go up to the casino you will lose no matter what, this is indeed true if you keep playing even when you are up.

Ari Yoplay

Well argued, Ari. As the song says, "Win some, lose some, it's all the same to me!"

While you don't always lose, you do often lose. And the way it gets its hooks into people is frightening. Seeing an elderly woman on assisted breathing at the slot machines left me with a lasting impression of the whole business.


Shane Faulkner....

The website you posted www.kingoffools.com is where he's working now....He's a great artist, as some of my friends have work done from him. And the other guy Dameon Rowanchilde (sp?) is another excellent artist who's working at urbanprimitive in toronto....


Thanks, Gina.



"Plonk" originated with British troops in France in World War I. It was their pronunciation of "vin blanc" (white wine) but soon came to mean any cheap wine. Note that "Rumpole of the Bailey" goes to Pomeroy's Wine Bar for "plonk."


My grandfather made wine. Dreadful stuff. Some of his 'winemaking' habits (such as upping the alcohol content with vodka) would surely have landed him trouble in some parts of Europe. He called his wine 'Chateau plonk' or something of the sort.

There were many things he did well, but by God winemaking wasn't one of them.


airline ratings

I have a page about airlines, and will probably put a link to your page. if you want to have a look at mine, there it goes:


all the best



That's a decent home page, fellow former Geography major!


Need your help

I like your work and thought you might know where I could get a pic of an all BLACK lion. I have searched the net for many days with no results and dont want to pay an artist tons to have one made. If you can help id so appreciate it



Thanks for the comment, Brian.

Not sure what you mean by a black lion. A panther or jaguar or rather a lion that is in black (I've never seen the latter)? Try the google.com 'images' search, or the altavista.com version. They're both quite good.

result 1

result 2

Good luck!


maria nadia H P

i am looking for nadia maria from sverige your DAD FAR sharif


Uh, are you looking for your daughter on my web site?


Dilbert strips

You used to have a collection of Dilbert strips on your site. I'm after a list of filenames of strips with the embedded code in the date. I have a couple of months worth. Do you have such a list? If so, I'd be very greatful if you would send it to me. I'm not after the strips themselves, only the filenames. Thanks in advance. --Jim

Hi, James;

Unfortunately, the dilbert site only seems to keep about four weeks worth of comics online. I'll forward my perl widget for retrieving them. It contains the bits that indicate where the files are stored on the Dilbert site. I think the code appears somewhere on my site, but I'm not certain where! ;)

James Smith

Whereabouts are you in Austrlia? I lived down there for a while. 'twas very good. Mmmm, baramundi and Aussie wine.



Your scheme worked!

I googled myself and found you page.

What a Great Idea.

Drop me a line.

But don't post my email please

Richard Seabright

Haha! You just posted your own email. Hang on, I'll edit it out of the message that gets left on the site when you do that. So, that's three people caught by my little autogoogling page....


Article on Dominican Republic/Haiti

It is probably better if you didnt write anything on the Dominican Republic...you are not helping our tourism which in turn causes more poverty.

If this trip caused you so much sorrow then I must warn you against visiting Haiti. If Haiti had a tourism industry then maybe it would no longer be the "poorest country on Earth".

It might be better to start looking at the politics of poverty then just at 'the poverty' itself.

If it wasnt for the European tourists we (Dominicans) would probably not have a tourism industry. We have it so good here in North America that we can't even bare the site of 'poor' people being near us not even while on vacation. Only the 5 star resorts will do so that these luxurious hubs can further shield us from the rest of the world no matter where we are.

Fior Espinal

Thanks for your comments, Fior. Actually, I think it's just that my article was poorly written. I'll re-write the thing.

What I meant to say was that an all-inclusive resort is not the way to see the country. "All-exclusive" is what they should call them.

I've rarely found people who have the kind of relaxed nature that the Dominicans have, and of course you have to admire a nation whose national pass-time is a dance. Certainly the food down there was quite good. Mmm, fresh grilled fish and really fresh coffee!


Re: the following two messages. Please forgive the duplication. I'm still somewhat new to this internet thing and I wanted to vent about Pat Buchanan. Read at your convenience and inclination. Thanks for your forum.


The duplication is okay; I have a tool to hide duplicates, and have done so with yours (and a number of others).

You're welcome to the forum. Just as long as you don't mince words, o anonymous contributor.


Maybe Buchanan has the right idea. If the US can be autarkic so can we. But the pro-American Canadian American-wannabes have it wrong. Our military policy shouldn't be some Maple Leaf auxillary of the American legions. Away with the US! Away with the UN! Forget "peacekeeping forces," mass armies, or buying friends. What Canadains need are their own nukes and means of delivering them. After all, if North Korea can do it, so can we. We have 90x her land size, 150% her population, and perhaps 30x her GDP. We have the resources, know-how, and vast areas to test. We can deal with other countries. E.g. we might trade fusion technology with the Indians to help them develop their hydrogen bomb technology while they help us with mid-range/long-range/ICBM technology. We could play states off each other. If the Indians won't deal with us, the Pakistanis might. Ditto N & S Korea, Israel & Iran, China & Taiwan.

With such weapons we can anihilate any foreign invader. We wouldn't need America's protection or UN's love. We'd have a sort of Jeffersonian/even Buchanan attitude, "Peaceful (strong peaceful) relations with all nations; entangling alliances with none." As for Quebec, the US and France are also vulnerable. We could incite sepratists movements among the Corsicans, Provencal, Basques, and Bretons. We could excite the Arab immigrants. We could tell US Hispanics that California and Texas are occupied territories and that Monticello and Mount Vernon rightfully belong to the descendants of the slaves whose labour provided the capital for the construction of such.

We Canadians don't have the guts for these endevours, but after a term or two of a president Buchanan, they will get the spur.


Wow. There's a different view of the country. Canada as powerbroker and arms dealer (well, I guess we're already arms dealers).



i'm aware that you like scorpio, but i need a design desperatley for cancer and libra together somehow.I'm having difficulty with this. If you can help that would be great. This is for lower back. I have 2 others on my left arm. Thank you.

stephanie radmore

Hi, Stephanie. Unfortunately, I don't have access to any drawing programs at the moment. I've been looking for an old copy of CorelDraw or whatnot. Don't wait on my account!


I came upon this site by mistake but enjoyed having a read. Your comments on Australia are interesting. As an Australian that has lived and worked in Canada both coasts, travelled the country extensively and continues to visit the country where I made some really good friends, I see it all the other way.

I find that Canadians and Australians are incredibly similar in so may ways, with some distinct differences. Yes we have a lot of similarities to the Brits, Scottish and Irish but that makes sense as it is our heritage. It is also our humour that allows us to bond well (a major difference between Canadians and Australians).

Essentially both nationalities come from huge countries with tiny populations, essentially living in city areas. Both countries are incredibly beautiful in different ways, with very varied landscapes. We were both colonised by Britain (in totally different ways). We both have been very heavily influenced by the US, which we both do not like.

We both are both viewed as being very safe, clean, trouble free countries, but lacking in personality (more so the case for Canada).

We are both going through the same growing pains and coming to terms with our identities. Our ethnic mixes are now some of the most diverse in the world. Toronto is now the second largest Italian city in the world, Melbourne the second largest Greek city.

We are both incredibly proud and patriotic, and sports mad—you see we think Canadians are sports mad.

We are well educated and well travelled, and have good knowledge of the world.

In relation to work—we are both very hard working nations—we tend to think Canadians are a bit too intense and very anal, but Canadians think we are too laid back and casual. At the end of the day we tend to achieve the same result.

Canadians constantly fight their close proximity to the US and being an extension of the USA—and not being recognised as their own identity.

Australians are so conscious of their isolation and being so far and insignificant to the rest of the world—they are constantly seeking recognition and attention.

The major difference between us is our sense humour and intensity. Canadians are much nmore intense in their outlooks and beliefs.

Personally I would be proud to be from either, and are both two of the best countries in the world to live.

But heh I am probably biased


Thanks for your thoughts. I'll never again think of Australians as 'laid back', now that I've worked for two Australian firms. No, sir.


I'm back!


I was organizing my fav's and clicked on your site again. I had forgotten I had visited here a few weeks ago. (Pre-alzheimers?) I re-read my post to you, and low and behold, I DID get a TATTOO!! As well as my daughter getting her eyebrow peirced (which was just plain ICKY to watch, even with me being a surgical nurse). I decided on something small, and unique to me... something that would be a constant in my life... for my tatt. It's my astrological sign of Cancer, but the glyph, not the actual crab. I had it put on my right ankle and it's about 2 cm wide. I was very excited and showed my co-workers and surgeons. Can you believe they all thought it was a sideways 69? For God's sake!!! I obviously have a wild reputation for them to ONLY think I would get something sexual, LOL!! Anyway, I love it, it is sexy, and I am very happy with it. And yes, when you get an income and back to Toronto, you must dine at Dantes.


Congrats, Lynne, I'm glad you're happy with the tattoo. I'm working once again, so I guess I've got no excuse not to run out and try this place.



We canadians know what a quarter, nickel, dime, penny, toonie, loonie, etc. is. Aussie's don't have any such names for thier coinage. For them, it's a 10 cent coin, 5 cent coin, 20 cent coin, etc. You'd figure they'd "ie" them.


Good point, Spencer. It is surprising they're not tennies and fivies. Happily, the Australians did away with the penny and don't seem to miss it. I wish we'd ditch them; I understand they cost about a cent to make, and the only reason that's true is that we make them from steel, now.

I once asked a clerk whether the Aussies didn't have 'names' for their coins, and she said, "No, that's just you Americans." (sigh)


Weird airlines


If anyone has any ideas of weird airlines that operate around the world could they email me... I already have naked air and Hooters... any others. My email is alexpoulson / at / yahoo.co.uk



alex poulson

Hmm! As another comment on this site indicates, the Australians equate the verb 'root' with 'to f*ck'. In Canada there was briefly a 'Roots' airline (owned by the people who run the clothing line). I imagine that would be interesting to an Aussie. I'm not sure if you Brits use the same slang, Alex?



Thank-you you're page really helped me with my project why does it have to be so much colder in Canada than in Hawaii.


Really.... (no, really?)


Just curious if Patti Rempel was formerly Patti Bradley of Moncton.




i happen to love that oh so brilliant piece of british comedy that is monty pythons flying circus and if you know of rowan atkinson, (well that wierd lookin' guy called BEAN, another of his works)

i believe you have one of his quotes

"drink and be merry for tommorrow you may contract a horrible skin disease"

which makes more sense in the movie's context being in the dark ages) anyway, this great series that i've been ranting about is called THE BLACK ADDER i think it's great and just wanted to inform a possible future 'Rowan' fan you don't have to email back, i just wanted to send this out into the void

check it out



Thanks for your comments. One of my favourite bits from Black Adder was in the "Black Adder Goes Forth' series, when he dodges an order for his men to go "over the top" in the trenches to their certain death. He points out that the orders are to "Catpain" Blackadder, rather than "Captain" Blackadder....


With the amount of crap you're rambling on about here, its no wonder you are unemployed.


Thanks for those brave words, anonymous Arsen.

This actually touches on something I've noticed; people tend to view unemployment in a negative light, regardless of the circumstances. It's like we equate unemployment with failure, even though many of us hate every job we take: even whole careers.

BTW, if you'd care to express a real criticism, I'd be happy to discuss anything I've said, even in my contentious political section. Meanwhile: it's "it's", not its.


life is bizarre

Interesting site, to say the least...


Thanks! Alexandrianna is a beautiful name.


S10 problem in XP


My name is Wil and i live in a small village in Holland. I worked with the S10 Photosmart scanner in Windows 98SE on a SCSI-card. I Have now a new computer with XP. I put the SCSI-card in the new computer and installed the S10 software. It doesn’t work. I found a new driver S10/S20 and it works. But now occured a problem with Photoshop 7.0. After the first scan he refused to scan again with the message An other programm is using it, but there is no programm in the background. I wonder if you hear of this problem.

Many thanks for your answer.


PS: I will return to your site to read it totally.

Willem A Kok

It doesn't sound like anything I've faced -- best contact HP directly (and good luck with that!)




Um.... I assume you mean a tattoo design with the happy and sad player's masks common to stage acting? If so, then no.


know what you say

I'm upset to hear that you put 0 out of 5 for transat. But what really pissed me off is your rumor about them hiring restaurent staff....

This is kind of an ignorant comment. Their are laws in canada about safety for the passengers. ALL canadian airlines have to train their flight attendants the same way. And if you have less than 85% in one exam, you cannot graduate from the course. You should think an read some books before making a comment like that. It is just proving your ignorance.

And by the way when you shop at WalMart do you except to buy Armani? You wanna be cheap and save a couple of hundreads, then you get what you paid for.


I'm not sure how many books one should have to read in order to relate one's experience with an airline. I'm sorry you took offence at what I wrote, but I only have my own experience to convey.

As for your 'question', I don't shop at Walmart, nor do I have any interest in Armani. But when I fly with an airline, I don't *expect* my bording pass to be taken away just because some check-in clerk accepted a few $. I do *expect* to fit in the seats. Air Transat offers neither of these.

Also, the rumour came from a former employee, I can only relate what I hear.



I arrived via a search for quotes on the topic of an impending 30th. I must say that I wished i had no come across this site as now I feel utterly unaccomplished.

Canuck, where is the Hockey, my boy? have I in some way overlooked your thoughts on the national sport or is Lord Stanley rolling in his grave as i write these words?

Outstanding site, by the way. There is something so telling about your attention to order & detail in a friendly way. Certainly a far cry from the gif-riddled abominations I & my kind foist upon our visitors.





Well, I guess there's not a lot of hockey cos I haven't played it in years and I don't have the $$ to go watch it here in Toronto.

God help us when *I* make someone else feel unaccomplished. I'm currently sitting on a year of unemployment!



I found the same zip file images a year but since my computer crash, all those images were lost. i've been also looing for the it ever since. just wanted to say thanx


Errm, yeah! A real confederacy of pirates, we are.


rand()m quote

Absolute power does not corrupt absolutely, absolute power attracts the corruptible.

—Frank Herbert