In the beginning, I wrote movie reviews. Then one day in September of 1998, I switched into journal mode. I believe this is has to be one of the longest continuously-running journals in the world. Because it's all about quantity, right?
GPT-4 shows sparks of "artificial general intelligence"
I find it amazing that it works and we don't know why but
to the DMV!
Today I managed to renew my driver's license on my own.
Tomorrow, incredibly, the family will be heading in three different directions by 08:00.
early March and I need a fan
It's the end of the first week of March, and I just brought out the fan to cool myself through the afternoon.
when I'm 0o64
Later this month, I'm turning 52.
can't wait for April 12!
I'll be sitting a two-hour driver's ed instruction video in Japanese.
oh, to be ƿerneburg
If history had played its cards better, my last name wouldn't be Werneburg, it would be Ƿerneburg.
Chairman daddy's long walk
Today I went for a three hour photography walk around Kokubunji.
photo day with my daughter
Today I took The Girl into Tachikawa, the nearest large (sub)urban center to our home.
talking cat film is extremely good (actually)
I have written nearly eight hundred movie reviews and the person who posted this may be one of the few who sees the concept the same way.
new camera adventure
For the past eight years I have been using an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mk II.
six weeks with a foreign object
Ever since the New Year's, when I went fishing on six separate days, I've had what I thought was a minor infection on my finger from briefly hooking myself while out on the water.
worst app in history
To date, the worst applications I have used were: SAP, the
I watch the Youtube videos of a former hedge fund manager who explains who things like financial scams and Elon Musk work.
movie review - The Gray Man
It's been a bit much at work these days, decided to switch off after ensuring the kids were feeding themselves.
frigid basketball "goal"
The Boy has a semi-portable basketball net that sits in our driveway.
movie review - Dungeons and Dragons
There's a new Dungeons and Dragons movie coming out, and it looks pretty good.
a million words
I've written 1,077,939 words on this website.
movie review - Puss in Boots The Last Wish
For movie night, we watched this sequel to the "Puss in Boots" spinoff of "Shrek 2", which came out way back in 2004.
farewall, coal industry
the hydrogen economy
Last year I made a comment on a Youtube video about the problems of hydrogen vehicles.
strangely pointless pen
I had the strange experience today of discovering that the ball point had fallen out of my ballpoint pen.
We had some friends visiting from Toronto this weekend.
to the circus!
Today we went to a 120-year-old circus.
a day on the road
Today I had to go to the clinic to get repeats on my migraine meds and the sleeping pills I some to need to get through the night.
movie review - Palm Springs
This is a movie about a young woman who becomes trapped in a "Groundhog Day" daily time loop.
hiding and seeking too hard
2023.01.05, Nichinan, Miyazaki
The kids were playing hide-and-seek today, and it all went too far.
fixing my fiction
2023.01.02, Nichinan, Miyazaki
I've now used feedback from ChatGPT to brush up the story I ludicrously submitted to a Toronto Star short-story contest twenty years ago*.
1,472 emails in 2022
It looks like the steep declines in email over the past few years are no longer possible.
the volcano is close tonight
Welcome to Kagoshima, a city on a drowned "graben"
a fishing tale
2022.12.28, Nichinan, Miyazaki
movie review - Boyz N The Hood
I watched this seminal flick from the '90s with The Boy, today.
drowning in spam
Somewhere out there is a chef named Melissa Werneburg.
15 million surplus deaths in 2020-2021 for some reason
Say, do you remember COVID-19? Those weren't the days.
This morning while taking the garbage to the pick-up site I saw and electric tuk-tuk called a "Fun vehicle".
driving in Tokyo
I've driven in Japan before but never Tokyo.
We've packed up the used heater that wasn't working properly and have bought a new one in its place.
downtown with The Girl
I took The Girl downtown today.
Internet dudes can ruin anything
This morning a Reddit user with a female name and icon posted a photo of a new aquarium that had just been set up on Thursday.
Who doesn't love blasting the planet with asteroids!
settling an aquarium
Sadly, all of Emma's three street-festival goldfish fingerlings are gone.
watching old TV
I've been watching "Star Trek Deep Space Nine", lately.
a used heater
We bought a new (used) heater and it only works on certain wall sockets and only if you let it heat very gradually.
Thanks to being the parent of a teenager, I now get to learn how much the replacement of a school window costs.
movie review - The Menu
I honestly have no idea what the fuss is all about with this movie.
re-arranged the aquarium
The Girl and I took some time to re-organize the aquarium.
email from my daughter
I had three emails from my daughter this morning.
The Girl has a new aqaurium
We went more than two years in this house without an aquarium, ending a run of about fifteen years of continuous aquarium-keeping.
the Aral sea disaster
I thought I had a handle on how bad the Aral sea ecological catastrophe really was.
This is how badly the old derailleur failed on my bike. The
pic of a red moon
This is my humble photo of the lunar eclipse.
trouble under a red moon
I left work early tonight (just past 17:00!) to get home in time to take the kids out to see the eclipse.
China's debatable population
I hadn't realized that China's population figures were questioned.
that's a punishment job
I was reviewing some old photos and was reminded of an even older event in my life.
what work used to be
I recently uncovered these old pics from my time at NikkoCiti.
I've been a fairly regular user of the social media site Twitter for the past several years.
movie review - The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
This is an infectiously chaotic story about a famous but fading movie star who is invited to the home of a Spanish billionaire for a $1 million project of unknown purpose.
could Brexit have been a mistake
I mean, for small businesses apparently yes.
fixed thumbnail images
I've noticed that the thumbnail images on this site have started to become inexplicably uneven in size.
apple vs intel chip performance
I watched a Youtube video relating the recent performance
renaming files containing a space from the Linux command line
Every year I make a book of photos from the kids' past year.
what dies with us
I follow a Reddit thread on Gen-X.
Germany's Catastrophic Gas Problem
The Germans seem to have really made a mess of their energy security.
a day fit for haircuts and curtain shopping
It was one of those days.
by all means don't send the king
It seems that the new King in the UK (my liege, since I'm Canadian) wanted to go to the next big climate conference.
The Nord Stream Mystery
This is quite interesting. Makes it seem like Nord Stream
a dinner with my wife
Mari and I found a Thai restaurant in Tachikawa and went for dinner without the kids for the first time in so long I don't honestly remember.
the inevitable Nordstream murder
I watched a run-down of several theories around who blew up the Nordstream natural gas pipelines.
This morning I was out the door at 07:15 determined to ride to Kichijoji, half of my 25km commute and something I used to do routinely.
kept him on the road
The Boy was pushing his bike pretty hard and had the chain "fall" (he can't describe it better than that, I think it skipped).
who needs boots or food when fighting on the Steppe
This fellow says that the Russians are calling up 300,000 - 1,000,000 men but they might not be able to equip them with .
why me no grammar
We met Yagu and went to The Boy's school for an open house today.
writing during a write-off
Today's a holiday in Japan but we're completing a cloud migration and I had to follow the team's progress for about five hours.
I wasn't really able to tackle my homework this past weekend but when I noticed a message from my instructor commending me on always doing my homework I redoubled my effort and got it done with around a minute to spare before our call.
must be the season of the super typhoon, yeah
Typhoon Manmadol, which is currently making landfall in Kyushu, may be the largest (geographically) in the history of Japan.
happiness is a silent bicycle
It's so, so nice to ride a bike where the chain isn't making noise and skipping all over the place.
Recently, Mari's old 650b*-based bike has been having some difficulty.
the COVID gift that keeps on giving
It's been a month since I got over the initial bout of COVID and I'm still having days where I feel just like I did: sore throat, headache, wheezing, stuffed up sinuses, can't sleep.
movie review - Everything Everwhere All at Once
On the surface, this is a sci-fi movie about a woman in her fifties that is asked by an other-dimension version of her husband to join an epic struggle to save the multiverse.
a new server for the site .. again
It's scarcely been 18 months since I last migrated this website to a new server, but I've done it again; with a twist.
Air Canada refund
Air Canada still hasn't refunded the money from the ticket they cancelled.
everyone has COVID
I've heard of three more people getting COVID in the past few days.
It looks like I'm finally kicking the after-effects of my bout of COVID.
farewell, old PC
Today I took (most of) the systems case to the local community center to dump in an all-metal recycling box.
Twistin' by the .. floor
The Girl made her own game of Twister.
hello, lost photos
I've recovered my "lost" photos from 2006.
new PC build
About 18 months ago I wrote a piece about building an old PC into a modern workstation.
farewall, lost photos
On our recent trip to Canada, I tracked down a lot of old backups because I'd discovered at some point in 2021 that I'd deleted the original images from a visit to a bamboo forest in Kyoto.
I bought a new systems case that arrived last night.
When we landed at Narita we finally got to the baggage gate some two hours after touching down.
twelve days late
We're back in Japan.
what flies and what does not
2022.08.21, 10,000 meters
I brought many of my old photo backups and some old hard drives.
I took our dear Maebh, the Kia Rondo, to the dealership to hand her over today.
I had another COVID PCR test today and yup, I'm still positive.
and then there is working remotely
2022.08.11, St. Catharines
I started working remotely, today.
2022.08.08, St. Catharines
Today I had a positive COVID PCR test.
2022.08.05, St Catharines
Mari and I went for a walk tonight, from mum's place on Linwell out to the beach at Port Dalhousie, then back over the pedestrian bridge at Royal Henley Park (odd name, I thought).
the movers are settled
2022.08.04, St Catharines
We've chosen our movers.
walking and walking
2022.08.02, St Catharines
The Girl and I went for a walk today, first to the water and then back; and then to a nearby shopping mall.
first win: the sofa
When we went to the storage unit to day I picked up my "old" home-built PC from 2018 or 2019, which contains a bunch of parts I want to take home (to Tokyo).
The three of us went out early this morning and found a bakery that was open in the neighborhood where we're staying.
to the storage unit!
Today we went to the storage unit in farthest-flung Scarborough.
We're in Toronto.
back for luggage
2022.07.29, St Catharines
We've retrieved our luggage.
survived our travels
2022.07.28, St Catharines
We're at "Grandma's" after quite a trek.
happy pi approximation day
Celebrating 22/7 (or ~3.
Recently I've been rebuilding a study tool for kanji that I accidentally nuked several months ago.
snow in thirty degree weather
It was pushing 30°C at ground level, but clearly it was cold enough for snow at ten kilometers or so.
they call them chemtrails
Condensation trails, or "contrails" are one of the first things I can remember learning as a child of a glider pilot.
end of a Dockers belt
On the weekend our family had a water-balloon fight on our street.
me brain lead
So it turns out that if you were born in North America between 1966 and 1975, there is a hundred percent certainty that you were exposed to harmful amounts of lead as a child.
35º on June 25
It's 5º in Tokyo right now with humidity of 43%.
cut down in my youth
A few years ago, my daughter was playing with my shaver.
the word of the day is 詩
On the downside my Japanese reading this weekend is on Yoko Ono.
there is something at the bottom of the sea
It's remarkable to me that we can't even find the DNA that could tell us what these are.
I watched a Youtube video about the textiles industry.
twenty years of photo CMS
I went hunting in my journal and found what I was looking for: record of when I started working on the database-driven photo manager I use.
crow chasing butterfly
Today we watched one of The Boy's basketball tournaments.
I have this growing conviction that electric cars are not the solution to our car problem.
towel day and the living is easy
I marked this auspicious day by buying books, but not Douglas Adams.
Today there was a persistent rumbling that waxed and waned in volume.
analog computers for artificial intelligence
I can barely keep up with these things. I mean, I don't th
five years after a death
My friend Kevin Atwood died five years ago.
birth of a nation
I hope the author's right that all this suffering and dest
I have learned the prefectures
Emma is studying the prefectures of Japan, so I've decided to learn them as well.
This is the tale of a young Texan who falls in with a bunch of vampires.
remind me to never swim again
movie review - Falling Down
For Movie Night, The Boy and I watched this now thirty-year-old Hollywood flick about a mentally and emotionally disturbed individual who - get this - attempts to walk across Los Angeles.
crapped on by a bird for the twentieth time
2022.05.04, Kawasaki, Japan
It's happened for the first time in nearly three years - hit with shit yet again.
I bought some Japanese whisky that turned out to be a form of Scotch.
The household is now down to just two cameras.
Today I did some work on my watches.
Toronto real estate trap
The average home in Toronto is now $1.
power shortage in Tokyo
The power generation company has announced that due to damage sustained in the large earthquake last week, the power plants in the north-east part of Japan are at maximum capacity, with zero spare.
fishing with the boy
Mari arranged a fishing trip for The Boy and me, as it's a holiday.
large quake in Tokyo
There was a large quake tonight, easily the largest I've ever experienced.
latest watch acquisition
For years, while earning barely enough to pay the bills in Toronto, I'd occasionally write about this or that "watch crush".
well-wishes for Ukraine from Canada
I live halfway around the world but I thought I'd create this token of my well-wishes for the people of Ukraine.
movie review - The Suicide Squad
This is a comic book movie based on real comic books that I have actually read*.
I've realized that the house is so cold I've developed frost-bite on my little fingers.
curious polarizer lens
I went to work today, downtown.
The Boy has a lucky break
The Boy has been accepted to a STEM program at a high school in Toronto.
is this what happened to Star Trek Discovery
movie review - What Happened To Monday
This is a movie set in a near/alternate future in which GMO's were necessitated by an ecological collapse - humanity was starving.
goodbye, Google Workspace
On the weekend, I received an email from Google that they were cutting my legacy account on Google Workspace.
running in spot
Every day I tackle a couple of items from my to-do list, sit down to work, race through lunch, site down to work again until 19:00 or 20:00, and then face the too-brief evening exhausted.
The Boy sits an exam
My son had to sit an English-language exam today, so I packed him up and we went to Kichijoji.
I bought some Japanese whisky in the grocery/drug store and it's .
the cold house
It's not cold in Tokyo, but the houses sure are.
movie review - A Quiet Place II
This is a sequel to a sci-fi thriller in which massive comets have fallen to Earth, spawning alien killing machines as they go.
waiting for an Earthquake
I find that any time there's any small shift or movement, I'm waiting to see if it's an Earthquake.
I've only been back to work for 2-3 days and already it's like I never took two weeks off.
crazily late mail
Today some Christmas cards arrived in the mail.
movie review - Nightbooks
For "movie night" we watched a film about a kid who likes to write scary movies.
movie review - Casino Royale (2006)
2022.01.08, Nichinan, Miyazaki
Today my son and I watched the first of the Bond movies to feature Daniel Craig.
dead turtles in a harbor
2022.01.07, Nichinan, Miyazaki
It will surprise no-one that we went fishing today.
movie review - Goldeneye
2022.01.07, Nichinan, Miyazaki
I watched this Bond flick with my son as part of our ongoing series.
a waterfall in Miyakonojo
2022.01.06, Nichinan, Miyazaki
We traveled to Miyakonojo in the interior of Miyazaki, today, to visit with family.
fishing once more
2022.01.05, Nichinan, Miyazaki
Today Mari drove me and the two Akios down to Kushima, to meet her uncle and board his boat.
third literary agency queried
2022.01.05, Nichinan, Miyazaki
Not having had a response from the second literary agency I reached out to in early December, I've now written to a third about my novel manuscript.
2022.01.04, Nichinan, Miyazaki
We took to the water again today, and I tried to catch larger fish rather than loading up on smaller ones as we had last time.
New Year's activities
2022.01.03, Nichinan, Miyazaki
Today we went to a shrine first thing, leaving at 08:00 to beat the rush.
daddy cleans a beach .. sorta
2022.01.02, Nichinan, Miyazaki
Today we headed out for a bit of a trip around the coast, just Mari and I and the kids.
movie review - License to Kill
Today my son and I watched our fourth James Bond movie, for the fourth actor to take on the role.
Happy new year - the 25th anniversary for this journal
Well, I can honestly say that 2021 was one of the hardest of my life.
1,573 emails in 2021
2021.12.31, Nichinan, Miyazaki
The collapse of email as a communications medium proceeds at a furious pace.
I can't believe how exhausted I became this year.
movie review - Don't Look Up
2021.12.29, Nichinan, Miyazaki
This is a satire of the handling (or lack there-of) for a dire situation in which two American scientists discover a killer asteroid that's on a collision course with Earth.
movie review - The Spy Who Loved Me
This is the third Bond movie that my son and I watched together.
deep sea fishing
I went fishing with my father-in-law today.
movie review - On Her Majesty's Secret Service
This is the second Bond film that I watched with my son.
movie review - Goldfinger
I watched this with my almost-thirteen-year-old this morning.
movie review - Gremlins
I showed the kids this '80s classic movie tonight.
built a TV stand this morning
I built a TV stand this morning.
second query letter sent
Not having heard from the first literary agent I reached out to six weeks ago, I've sent a second query to a different agency.
movie review - Green Snake
This is a Chinese-produced movie on Netflix that my daughter and I watched for "Movie Night".
today I played "Nihonjin Mitai"
A good friend has produced a card game called Nihonjin Mitai.
Our TV comes from Hi-Sense, a Chinese manufacturer that's been around for a number of years.
movie review - Anna
Burned out after another brutal week at work, I sat in front of Netflix and took a chance on this movie about a beautiful young Russian woman who winds up working for the KGB in the waning days of the USSR.
mid-night earthquake service
Yesterday I was woken at 02:00 by a modest earthquake.
my last palindrome date?
shaken at night
I was woken at 02:00 by an earthquake.
that jaclyn moriarty
I've been reading a book called "The Whispering Wars" to my daughter.
movie review - Zack Snyder's Justice League
This movie is four hours long.
movie review - Red Notice
Sometimes, Hollywood will make a movie simply by assembling a leading cast and letting them do their usual shtick.
movie review - The Amazing Spider-Man 2
We watched this one for "movie night", and I realized that I'd somehow never seen this movie.
photo books are en route
Every year, I make photo books detailing the kids' lives.
drowning at 2.4º
My mum sent this tool, which shows how different cities will look once flooded by the expected rise in sea level over the coming decades.
good e-commerce experience
I had an unusually good e-commerce experience with a company called Number Barn that lets you park phone numbers.
I bought an all-silver watch to offset my entirely dark-dial watch collection.
too stupid for a space empire
The space adventurism of billionaires gives me solace that humanity is never going to colonize space.
state of the watch collection
After receiving a generous watch gift from my brother I'm suddenly a watch collector.
movie review - Army of Thieves
Following hot on the heals of "Army of the Dead" comes a prequel about the German safe-cracker.
dinner with a friend
I had dinner with a friend tonight for the first time in so long I don't remember.
I love this new Macbook
There, I said it.
submitted a query letter to a literary agent
I've submitted a query letter to a literary agent in the UK regarding my latest novel manuscript.
queried my first agent
I got my first query letter out the door with a synopsis and the first three chapters.
I'm trying to find some reliable numbers of my new Mac's power draw, because I seem to be getting far more use out of a battery charge then I was expected.
long ride to Ibaraki
It was a beautiful day today, and the only one in the forecast for my week off that wasn’t going to be rainy.
movie review - Abominable
In this story, a girl finds a yeti cowering on the roof-top of her building.
first new computer in more than a decade
I've bought a new laptop for the first time in well over a decade.
We had a great earthquake today, a 6.
here comes a man through the window pane
This morning as with most Mondays I got an early start at work at around 07:00.
movie review - Men in Black II
This was another "movie night" viewing on Netflix.
108 to 99.8
I got a reading of 99.
tried to fix our TV
We tried to fix our TV today.
movie review - 12 Strong
This is the telling of a team of US soldiers that went into the Taliban's stronghold in Afghanistan following the 9/11 terrorist strike.
movie review - Pirates of the Caribbean
Another semi-lockdown quarantine movie review with the kids.
movie review - Goosebumps (2015)
We watched this with the kids.
movie review - The Little Things
This is the story of a detective who is sent to his former precinct in Los Angeles to complete some paperwork.
We're going through a bit of a cool spell, so my wrist has become a bit thinner.
movie review - Pets United
Once in a while my daughter and I try to watch something for "Movie Night" that turns out to be unwatchable.
movie review - Midway
My son and I watched this flick for a school assignment.
completed the first draft of my novel
By finding an hour or so per day I've managed to rewrite a novel from scratch in the course of six weeks or so.
movie review - The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf
This is an animated movie based on the excellent TV series "The Witcher".
movie review - Penguins of Madagascar: The Movie
This is a spy farce starring the penguins from the Madagascar movie which I want to say was fifteen years ago or more.
first draft of latest novel within sight
I've completed the plot for the first draft of my rewrite of a novel I first wrote from 1990 - 1994.
movie review - Knives Out
This is a whodunnit set in a mansion.
movie review - Vivo
In this film, a girl in Miami finds a kinkajou (a rare monkey thing) while on a trip in Cuba.
movie review - Hot Fuzz
This is an over-the-top cop-in-trouble movie in the vein of "Bad Boys II".
Last year I don't think Tokyo was hit or skirted by any typhoons.
scripting for site management
I use scripts to support the content management system that I wrote to create and serve this website.
the new fishing watch
I bought a new fishing watch for 2200 yen.
A couple of weeks ago I was having trouble sleeping and decided to count all the times I'd flown.
movie review - R.I.P.D.
Sometimes there are movies that seem to be grown up around the personas of the lead actors.
grapes from our yard
Someone planted a single grape vine in our yard.
second vaccination blues
Had my second vaccine shot yesterday.
I've had my second vaccination, in a small clinic in the neighborhood (Kokubunji).
saw a bat on my street tonight
I saw a bat on our street tonight.
journal live once more
I've taken my journal live again.
Just under two months ago, Mari and I switched to a low-carb diet.
maddening TV issues
We've been having problems with the sound-bar for our television dropping out all the time.
movie review - Wish Dragon
It's about a young fellow who is being raised by a single mother.
Ome is for (river) lovers
The rainy season has abruptly ended, and the temperature is north of 30°C every day.
movie review - Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
This is a sci-fi action film about a pair of agents for a galaxy-spanning government military force of some kind.
I got my first vaccination shot today.
movie review - Secret Magic Control Agency
This is an animated flick that re-purposes twenty-something Hansel and Gretel as investigators for the society of magicians that maintains order by tracking down missing peoples of all types.
I've finally finished a story I started in 2003 about how multi-cellular life got started on Earth, and added it to my little collection of sci-fi.
I've restored some of my fiction to my website.
backup strategy works (for once)
Today I discovered that something had gone wrong with the software I wrote to manage my book reviews.
well I've never been to Ome
Today I cycled up to a town called Ome in Tokyo's far north-west.
damaged my lawnmower
Having this kind of day.
movie review - Rubber
This is a movie about a pissed-off semi-sentient car tire that discovers it has psionic abilities.
a day with immigration
Today we set out at 08:30 for the pension office.
first migraine in a week
Well I made it all of six days with this new drug in my system before taking a cafergot for a migraine.
My Japanese is getting to the point where I can string together actual (spoken) paragraphs now.
two shots in the arm
Today I had two shots at a hospital of a drug supposed to prevent migraine for up to a month.
movie review - The Spiderwick Chronicles
This is a movie about a trio of siblings that move into a rambling and decrepit home of a deceased relative after the separation of their parents.
the spider-plant incident
I'd noticed recently that the little pot into which I'd transplanted my spider-plant seemed oddly full, like the soil was about to overflow the thing.
movie review - The Do-Over
This is an Adam Sandler movie.
poorly made watch
I made a watch from parts I ordered on Ebay, AliExpress, and Amazon.
yes, it must be Monday
I managed to nick myself twice with a new razor blade.
movie review - Thunder Force
I have a feeling that this movie came together due to someone owing someone a favor because I don't think it was built on an idea per se - or at least not a solid one.
parking a phone number
When I moved from Tokyo to Toronto I bought a phone number in Toronto in advance through a small Canadian company.
Over the past couple of mornings I've been going through some of my pics from the past few months.
movie review - Spider-Man: Far from Home
This is a strange version of Spider Man that has no origin story but is basically a kid in the by-now Iron Man's wake.
first night with the window open
I slept with the window open last night for the first time this year.
movie review - The Mitchells vs. The Machines
This is an animated flick we watched on "movie night".
We had an early morning quake again today.
the family that Casio together
I gave The Girl a Casio watch for her birthday.
used things doubling in value
In what is surely a sign of a stable economy, my seven year old SARB watch from Seiko is now selling for twice its original retail price - used.
movie review - Army of the Dead
This is a style-over-substance heist movie set in a fictional Las Vegas that's been over-run with zombies.
building a watch
I'm going to build a watch from parts that I ordered from Ebay in the US and Aliexpress in China.
movie review - Heroes Wanted
This is a very uneven telling of the assembly of a "B" team of agents to track down a missing nuclear bomb.
mowing the lawn every week?
And now it seems I have to mow the lawn every week.
movie review - True Memoirs of an International Assassin
This is the tale of a novelist who writes spy thrillers.
a contact by a former employer
Today I was contacted by a former employer about the possibility of training their firm on a renewed push on the work we were doing 2-3 years ago.
we forgot a rake
So I mowed the lawn in about ten minutes.
our new lawnmower
For the first time in 30+ years, I'll be mowing the lawn this weekend.
movie review - I Care a Lot
This is a movie about an elderly woman whose life is turned upside down when she's forcibly confined in a nursing home by a crooked self-employed agent who has the legal authority to make self-serving financial decisions.
movie review - Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase
This is a story of a girl who's drawn into a ghost story.
prepping for a big one
We had another earthquake on Sunday.
and suddenly it's hot
Until just yesterday we were using our space heaters on a daily basis.
welcome to spring, everyone
I'm celebrating with a nasal/chest cold, which The Girl brought home early in the week.
life two-thirds gone
Hmm, I guess I've burned off two thirds of my life expectancy.
I went to see my neurologist again today.
hello, southern Chiba
Today we went to a small city in southern Chiba prefecture called Tateyama.
happiness is a new fishing rod
Mari's bought me a birthday gift of fishing.
last week's homework
For last Tuesday, I had to write something about an interesting experience.
a camera review
The camera market is imploding fast.
a year in Japan
It's been a year in Japan as of today.
PR status here I come
I hope this unverified article is right, because it means I qualify for Japanese Permanent Residency.
so long, LastPass
I've been using a password plugin in my browser called LastPass since who knows when.
new camera bag
My beloved old camera bag has become faded, worn, stained, and shapeless.
photos deleted 13 years ago
I've discovered that I've managed to delete some ~150 or so photos from a 2006 trip to Kyoto with Mari and mum.
movie review - Gods of Egypt
This movie has a promising cast and certainly appears visually stunning, but is let down by an unengaging story in which characters behave without clear motive and no one is really very sympathetic.
checking out houses with my gal
After we'd had our bentou, we dragged The Girl into see some open houses that were freshly built in a quiet corner of our neighborhood.
checking out cameras with the girl
When my brother and I were small my mum would occasionally ask what kind of gift to get for our dad.
a surprise piano
My boss is going back to Europe for failing to deliver on a major risk project.
On October 9 I bought a video card for The Boy's PC for ¥28,000.
movie review - Johnny English Strikes Again
This is a spy spoof in which Rowan Atkinson plays a dimwitted secret agent of mostly good nature.
an animal is a moving thing
Today's word in Japanese is 動物, or doubutsu, or animal.
the square root of first is ash
I just learned the word for grey in Japanese; haiiro.
We've had several quakes in the near year I've been here.
I got lost today
I decided, around 15:30 to head west to the Tamagawa to see the river by bike.
Two weeks ago I was surprised to see plum blossoms in the neighborhood.
unseasonably warm street photography
Kokubunji isn't exactly a beautiful place but it's lively enough for a tiny city in the middle of 40 million people.
leads for a "vintage" pencil
Today Mari and I went for a walk to do some errands.
movie review - Serenity
"Take me out into the black, tell 'em I ain't coming back.
another new server for emuu.net
I've long since lost count of the many, many VM's and physical servers upon which I've had emuu.
3° in Tokyo
It's 3° outside this morning, which means it's scantly warmer indoors.
movie review - Finding ‘Ohana
This is an entertaining film that's basically "The Goonies" in Hawaii plus girls.
the 15 million year pandemic
And we think *we* have it rough.
a bird made of cheap Chinese
Some of the cheap Chinese lego-like bricks I ordered before X'mas arrived.
A few blocks from our place is a laneway that's been abandoned.
This new residence of ours is about thirty years old.
old PC finally complete
Late this summer, we went to a "recycle shop" that Mari had found online.
movie review - The House with a Clock in Its Walls
This is a spooky family flick about a boy who goes to stay with his uncle, who is something of a witch.
movie review - Papillon
This is a gritty telling of true events in mid-Century France.
sunset on a New Year's Day
We went out to see the sunset.
I was thinking back across the year and realized that I may have gotten through the year without a day lost to a migraine.
the death of email
This time last year I recorded a count of the emails I'd received through the year.
movie review - The Midnight Sky
I really wanted to enjoy this movie about a scientist struggling to resolve a global climate crisis while a space mission is returning to the ruined planet.
movie review - We Can Be Heroes
Of late, Robert Rodriguez has been making kids movies.
movie review - Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
This is a musical number about a genius inventor who is ripped off by his apprentice.
starting to feel a lot like X'mas
crowded tree Mari's done a stellar job of X'mas as with eve
jupiter and saturn
We were treated to an amazing image of the moon, Saturn, and Jupiter all crowded into a single corner of a cloudless sky at dusk, tonight.
movie review - Birds of Prey
This is a Batman spin-off, or perhaps a spin-off of "Suicide Squad", which is a spin-off of Batman.
a trio of heaters
Today I bought three heaters.
lego from China
The Girl has been playing with Lego a fair bit, but sadly we had to leave most of it in Canada so she's got way more windows than wall pieces and some of her creations have been a bit rickety.
movie review - The Matrix Reloaded
I tried showing my kids this flick for "movie night".
movie review - The Vast of Night
This film was a recommendation from a friend, and I was completely blown away.
articular disc slipped
I had to go to a dentist today because of a persistent problem in my jaw.
out of migraine meds
Well I've got three of my migraine capsules left.
movie review - The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
This is a spy story, set in the Cold War.
movie review - Animal Crackers
For "Movie Night" my daughter and I watched this one.
the trouble with pandemics (episode 334)
It looks like we have no option to get the photo books to people on time.
my annual fall from my bike
We went to Tachikawa today to get me onto a mobile phone service.
movie review - The Goonies
This is the '80s classic featuring a bunch of kids who decide to explore a house where they think some evil-doing is afoot.
movie review - The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two
Proving once again that there can't be a good movie without a sequel, this is the unnecessary follow-up to the endearing Netflix Christmas Special featuring Kurt Russell as Santa Claus.
hello kitty bank
I needed a new bank account, because the Japanese banking system is .
the trouble with mobile phones (II)
I didn't get as much done today as I wanted.
fishing in Yamanashi
Today I joined the headhunter who placed me at my current gig in a fishing trip.
another busy day
Today we set off right away for Fuchu, a city adjacent to Kokubunji.
the trouble with mobile phones
One odd wrinkle has come up in our plans to switch to a low-cost phone provider.
movie review - The Matrix
This is a classic science fiction movie from twenty years ago, before financial crises, calamitous presidencies, and terrorist strikes at the heart of the global financial industry.
a productive day
I've discovered that I've been completely exhausted.
movie review - Over the Moon
This is a kids' movie from a Chinese studio that features an ancient tale from that same country of a goddess who winds up stranded on the moon / living in association with the moon.
photo books ready to roll
I used some white corrective tape to patch up three mistakes in this year's photo books, which arrived last Sunday.
We headed off at 10:30 this morning hoping to reach a place where there's a ravine full of autumn colors, this finally being the season.
smashed my beater watch
I caught the edge of the glass on my beater watch on a surface while taking The Girl out to the park today.
movie review - E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Today we watched a movie the kids only know from memes.
Today I hooked up a small Linux device between the new TV and our even newer Internet connection*.
the grass is riz
We've been diligently watering the grass and watching for some sign of life but we were beginning to think it hadn't worked when Mari spotted tiny shoots all over the tiny yard.
Kokubunji is for lovers
This morning I carried on with the work on volume thirteen of the kids' photo books.
making hay in the sunshine
Today was a sunny day (queue the day-long migraine) so we decided by around nine in the morning to seed the yard in hopes of growing a lawn.
a day of rest
This morning I set off to find a kickstand.
buying a TV
Buying a TV has become insanely difficult.
This past week the landlord sent some gardeners, who aggressively cut back the cedars and made pollards out of the deciduous trees.
Japanese lesson no. 2
I had my second Japanese lesson tonight.
good news today
For the first time in four days, it was not raining incessantly.
prescription reading glasses
This morning Mari and I went to Kunitachi, a city in our 'hood with a name that seems to be comprised of bits of the larger cities.
first jaunt on my new-old bike
Today after a grueling day and the end of a grueling week*, I was told that Ken had left his umbrella at school and that I'd had to meet him.
sofa and beds
We've finally bought a sofa and some bed frames.
Bering land bridge idea
Ken's writing a piece for school on the Bering land bridge.
ants, getcha flying ants
Our place is (literally) crawling with what appear to flying ants.
on CEO's and civil wars
A friend posted to slack: "Andreas Liris, the CIO of Ma
rebuilding the Tokyobike
Mari's old Tokyobike now has a new set of tires and tubes, and a new front axle to replace the one I broke when attempting repairs in Toronto last year.
total aquarium kill
Mari's dad had a near total aquarium kill incident.
movie review - Enola Holmes
This is an imaginative new story about the young sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes, who defies her older brothers by striking out to find their mother, who seems quite fixed on not being found, for reasons unknown.
scary summary of the Canadian economy
In an exchange with a friend in Canada who's a lawyer and fo
shopping for a TV but buying a fire extinguisher
Today we went out while Ken was at school.
movie review - Da 5 Bloods
Every time I sit in front of a Spike Lee movie, I'm hoping for "Do the Right Thing" or "Malcolm X", and not, say, "She's Gotta Have It" or "School Daze" (which was the first of his works I saw).
yesterday's paper wasps
Mari spoke to the landlord about a nest of paper wasps that she'd spotted hanging from our bedroom balcony.
old badge, new coaster
I spotted the "badge" from the baseball hat I bought as a memento when on a week-long science trip on the west coast in 1986.
We're discussing giving up beef.
passport lost no longer
My passport went missing for a week during the move, which was a problem because I'd have to register my new address with the government.
revamping an old PC
I've mentioned that I bought an old Dell PC for about 15,000 yen (maybe $CA180).
On Sunday, we went about introducing ourselves to the immediate neighbors.
We're sleeping in the tatami room until we have beds.
high speed Internet
I imagine I'll be laughing at this post some day, but I'm pleased with the high speed of our Internet connection.
Michael's day off
Today we had plans to rent a car and do a bunch of housewares shopping.
Sunday, busy Sunday
This morning presented some challenges.
new type of home
Mari and I have been remarking to each other what a difference this place is already making.
evacuating for typhoon X
Mari's parents are evacuating in advance of typhoon X.
5,000 journal entries
I've now written some five thousand entries in this journal of mine.
cycling between homes
Needless to say, as I cycled from home to home this morning, the weather was 32°.
hello, home no. 27
As I write this, I'm looking at a pile of 33 boxes from our home in Toronto.
the lease is signed on home no. 27
Yesterday we signed our lease and forked over a fortune in fees and rent and illegal key money.
mind-bending 7nm chips
We have to buy The Boy an iPad for his school.
movie review - The Sleepover
We watched this for "movie night".
appliances issue resolved
Mari had the movers come in to do an estimate today.
Tonight we went to a "recycle shop", which is the Japanese name for a store carrying used stuff.
a partial bike commute
Our real estate says we're almost certainly going to get the place in Kokubunji.
to the dentist!
All of us went to the dentist this week.
Last night we picked up a car share vehicle* and went to a destination in Shibuya to pick up a used IKEA table and chair.
04:00 on Saturday morning
I woke around 04:00 this morning.
a used table and chairs
Mari's found a set of tables and chairs for the new house, at 1/4 the new price.
Mari told me last night that after thirty years, a law prohibiting the consumption of farmland for housing will expire.
Miyakonojo is hot tonight
Today it was 39.
advising younger professionals
After a thread on Reddit, someone sent me this query: Hello
a home in the 'burbs
We've been looking at what it means to have to pay two months' rent in deposit plus one month's rent to the (illegal!) key money plus a month's rent to the real estate agency, plus a few hundred dollars in a fee to some company to act as the guarantor.
High of 36°C and 70 percent humidity today
Today was possibly the hottest day of the year.
movie review - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
This is the tale of a young man who learns how to set up a wind-driven pump to bring up ground-water and save his family's farm in a time of drought and conflict in rural Malawi.
Toronto's tech sector
I saw another gushing article today about "Toronto's booming tech sector" and how its job growth is now greater than that of Silicon Valley.
found a suica card today
I found Suica card with a recent date on the street.
the school tour
Mari and The Boy went to the school today for a tour.
phones and banking
Mari and Ken took off at 09:00 or so to do some banking and to buy some mobile phones.
movie review - NexGen
For "Movie Night" my daughter and I watched this flick about a robot that's escaped the Evil Clutches of a boy genius who's been driven somewhat mad and then loses control of the AI he's created.
you mean a real architect
I was talking with my "dotted line" boss in Europe in our regular biweekly call on Monday.
We've now lost a couple of homes we'd wanted to rent.
the virus and efficiency
There's a joke in (seemingly endless) circulation on the Internet about how the virus and associated changes have led to more efficiency at the office.
twenty years of "progress"
Maybe as a global society we shouldn't have elevated "value extraction" into a religion, so we'd a) have some sense of shared outcomes and b) could be prepared for this.
COVID-19 in the building
On Sunday my colleagues and I at work were alerted by email that there had been two cases of COVID-19 in our office building.
The Girl has taught me something about teaching photography, as she learns.
passed a test today
I sat (and passed) a test on the cloud platform technology we're using at work.
man those CIA exams were hard
During the chat with my direct boss this past week about my "promotion" some interesting things emerged.
bound for Hachioji
Today we waited out the (morning) rain and went to Shibuya.
on Pi Approximation day
I read this poem today.
looking at places
This weekend we looked at six apartments.
one horned, one eyed, flying
The Girl was at home today with me as The Boy and Mari were off for his entrance interview and exam for a private school.
This weekend we're working through more prep for Ken's school exam.
early morning coffee run
I took The Boy out this morning on a pre-work walk.
goodbye RBC credit card
One of the pleasures of moving out of Canada is dumping your Canadian banks.
Grandma makes a save
2020.07.06, St. Catharines
Grandma's been getting weird texts from some unknown party about "E06" needing a credit card for bill payment.
and they're here!
Nearly four months after I landed on March 6, the family is here!
the final countdown
In preparation for the family's arrival, I've been shopping and cleaning.
things are tough back in Toronto
A friend of mine lost his job in Toronto in early October, just a couple of weeks before I did.
Mari and the kids are out of our apartment on The Boyilworth.
securing my email
I'm moving my mail hosting for werneburg.
farewell, Olympus cameras
Because I unloaded all of my old Minolta and Pentax gear, I only currently own two cameras.
1,000 person Zoom
Grandma was on a 1,000-person Zoom call today about social and environmental issues.
pulse oximeter at last
This past Sunday I finally took possession of my pulse oximeter.
happy father's day
One of the first things you forget about when moving to a new country (or even one where you've lived before) is the holiday schedule.
farewell, home no. 25
As part of the eternal hiring process for my current job, I had to enumerate all the places I'd lived in my life.
more stress eating
I splurged on some peanut butter last night.
I woke up to some really bad news this morning (a death).
It's 31°C and 68% humidity right now.
I (also) would like to learn more Japanese
I share my son's interest in learning the language of the country in which we'll be living.
les.net to the rescue
When I was heading to Canada nearly ten years ago, I realized that I'd need a Canadian phone number to support my job search.
The old 32spokes.
keeping the car
Looking at the situation, we've decided that we'd be walking away from too much value in light of the likely difficulty in selling the car for anything like its "normal market value" [sic].
mapping west Tokyo
We're hoping to get The Boy into a certain school in the city center, a part of the city where rents are a bit much.
unemployment in Canada
Well, as rough as the job is, and as rough as it is to migrate back here rushed and unplanned, it looks like the numbers validate my impression of Canada's fortunes.
not flying home
It's official, I'm not flying home to help pack, move, or bring the kids here.
I've found an interesting storage company in Scarborough.
goodbye 32 Spokes
I'm winding down my activities with "32 Spokes", the cycling safety advocacy group I belonged to for six and a half years.
R0 won't do what you tell it to
Just in time, the R0 value in Japan is going up again.
Today I picked up my new screen-reading glasses an I'm shocked to learn how much better my monitor is than I knew.
fishing and cycling
Today I set off fairly early on a shopping mission.
movie review - Silver Linings Playbook
This is a movie in which a man returns to the house of his parents following an eight month stay in an institution.
our next stop
Mari found some temporary accommodation options for when they arrive in early July.
the buried river
Near my place in Kawasaki, a river is driven below ground before continuing a short distance later.
porting a home phone
After writing about the VPN thing the other day, it's occurred to me that we could keep our Toronto phone number simply by bringing the tiny VOIP device and the old handset with us to Tokyo.
re-connecting with a former colleague
I've re-connected with a number of former colleagues from my last run at the life insurance firm where I am today.
the trouble with covid, episide 847
Several private schools in Japan are barring kids from other countries to enter their intake exams, or simply not having those intake exams.
One of the irritants about being mid-way between two countries is the way that national boundaries still play a part in some services like telephones and media.
slept on the main floor
I woke with a migraine coming on at 04:00, so I moved my bed down to the main floor in order to get some cooler air.
I've finally figured out where there are so many delivery motorcycles racing back and forth outside my building all night.
Tonight I went out for a bit of a walk to burn off some stress and to finally mail a letter that I've been trying to send for some time.
movie review - Mission: Impossible - Fallout
This strangely-named movie is one of the best thriller/action films I've ever seen.
laws of synthetic intelligence
I'm thinking of writing some laws of synthetic intelligence into my story.
progress on my novel
This weekend I concluded a major edit of the middle third of my old novel project.
hakubishin and me
Tonight I was out taking some photos and I ran across a masked palm civet, and introduced species that humans brought with them for some reason during prehistoric times.
thinking about mutation
I've been reading about SARS2 mutations.
tours of Kawasaki
So far, I've given three tours of my part of Kawasaki by "zoom.
We're selling our stuff in advance of the big move to Tokyo.
walking around in Japan
I've made a new photo collection.
vroom vroom v-v-v-vroom oom oom vroom v-v-vroom
I can hear the sounds of someone playing a tune by gunning the engine of some kind of high-performance motorbike.
sixty-six kilometer ride
I hopped on my bike at 13:15 and got off again 32km later.
lockdown self-haircut no 1
It's been five weeks since I last cut my hair, so after The Girl's cake singing, I had a shower and put the hair attachment on my beard trimmer.
organic crunchy peanut butter
I've been changing my mind about my local grocery store.
a home with stuff
Today a number of deliveries happened.
my new charge card
It's funny that you could be pleased to do something as trivial as activating and charging a prepaid credit card with funds but given that I had to use Google Translate every step of the way it was something.
movie review - Prospect
This is a science fiction movie about a future that feels a lot more realistic than Star Trek ever did.
When this charming millennium was still young there was in Canada a show on TV called "Corner Gas".
Yesterday I received a package of fifty disposable face masks.
I've filled five of the 100GB disks with media and other stuff from my Dropbox account.
new weight loss plan
In the interests of staying alive, I've been staying indoors every other day (at a minimum).
I'm giving up my account on "Dropbox", a cloud storage service that's been around for years but has been getting progressively more expensive and in some ways frustrating.
just got paid today
Well I just got paid today, got me a pocket full of change.
woke up saying so
I woke up from a mid-day nap by happily announcing, "I'm awake!" I then wondered aloud who I thought I was talking to.
When I spoke with Jon this morning he told me that he's been seeing people living in tents in green spaces about Toronto.
our angel fish laid eggs
Ken sent me a text early on Sunday morning (their time).
wandering the streets of Kawasaki
Tonight I hit the road because I realized I'm gaining a lot of weight.
living "under postponement"
Out for a stress walk just now, I noticed the wacky name of the neighborhood on a pole.
Years ago when I lived in Sydney it was frequent that you'd see apartment listings featuring the term "harbor views".
John Prine is no more
The other day I posted a video by Bonnie Riatt.
a very zoomy easter
This morning (my time) I joined the Masterson clan in an Easter video chat on "zoom.
There has been a noise complaint about my apartment.
the loneliness index
It's now been two weeks since I had a face-to-face conversation with anyone.
wandering along rivers
Today I went for a bit of a walk.
nothing succeeds like failure
At the end of the week I can report than both of the jobs I thought I'd saved have slipped through our fingers.
walking after lunchtime
Today I ate leftover rice and lentils with the last of my prefab fish.
first hurdle cleared
I've surprised myself by diffusing the situation at work with my staffer who was on Monday evening was talking about going to a lawyer.
lockdown in Toronto
In Ontario right now only one person may leave the house for shopping.
running out of coffee
Last night I went out to get some things prior to the impending lock-down of Tokyo.
dissertation getting read
One of the websites where I "published" the dissertation for my master's degree reports that that svelte 40,000 words has now been read 700 times.
We had planned to sell our car this summer.
movie review - Green Book
This is a movie about a tough who works as a door man in the early 1960s.
online board games
I played an online board game with one of my colleagues, today.
novelizing once again
I spent eight hours working on my old 2000-2008 era novel project.
Air travel between Japan and Canada is no more.
Tonight I did the loop through the great big cemetery near my home*.
opticrom in Japan
I use eye drops on a fairly regular basis for a couple reasons.
Almost every morning I get to see the kids.
Internet access restored
One of the irritants about this little apartment has been the Internet connectivity.
Meanwhile in Toronto, the school board has (finally!) gotten around to some semblance of a plan around distance learning.
I reached out to a friend who just moved to Vancouver with her husband in the Autumn.
Well that's the end of a month I'm sure I'll never forget.
what a Monday
I reached out to a lawyer friend in the Toronto area today.
snowing for hours
Today it snowed a lot.
getting money in Japan
I mentioned to Mari that I noticed when getting money at an ATM that the ATM had a currency button.
Today Tokyo is on a lock-down lite, as the governor dips our collective toe into the concept of a locked-down Tokyo but without all the pesky stuff about businesses closing.
health insurance card
My health insurance card arrived! Given the rotating schedule of weird, mild-cold symptoms I've had since the beginning of the month, I've been more than a bit apprehensive about strolling around a foreign country during a pandemic with no proof of health insurance.
Tonight after a grueling day I attended a "virtual drinks party" with a bunch of colleagues on our shared text/videoconferencing app, which was nice.
movie review - Sicario
This is a movie about the state of the "war on drugs", as told from the point of view of an officer from a local law enforcement agency who is drafted following a significant drug bust.
rice and lentils
I've got food coming at me from all angles.
word from St. Catharines
2020.03.25, St. Catharines
Grandma reports this experience shopping for groceries in St.
the middle manager's prayer
Once upon a time while visiting my dad's office (at which I would later hold some summer jobs) I saw a many-times photocopied sign titled "The Middle Manager's Prayer".
first week working from home
Mari had ordered a small desk and a ball chair so that I would have somewhere to sit while living in this little apartment.
laundry in high wind
I did some laundry this morning but it was far too windy to keep the stuff on the railing outside so I had to crowd myself in with drying racks all over the ~20 square meters of my apartment.
so this is Akihabara
After a bit of a slow start, I went back to Kawasaki's city center and returned my keyboard.
No sign of the fever today, so I presume that my self-diagnosis of strep throat couldn't have been too far off the mark.
I woke soon after having eventually fallen asleep; maybe at 1:30 or so.
taking the long way home
I worked from home today.
movie review - Doctor Sleep
This is the story of what becomes of little Danny from The Shining.
walking in the sun
Today I walked for about 4.
sometimes it snows in March
Early this morning I ran over to the dry cleaner's and picked up my suit.
COVID19 in Japan
If you're wondering, yes there's information on the developing outbreak in Japan.
I spent the first part of the day puzzling through the ongoing destruction of the global economy.
Today Mari and I started the day by reviewing our priorities and deciding that there was no rush in finding an apartment.
apartment has WiFi
Aha, I've figured out how to use the neutered phone that came with this studio apartment as a WiFi hot-spot.
land of constant paperwork
My day started with a trek to "mouth of the gully" to drop off my suit at a dry cleaners.
movie review - Ex Machina
This is an unpleasant movie about a reclusive genius and tech billionaire who has been dabbling in artificial intelligence androids - to make women to keep under his thumb.
moved in (pocket WiFi to the rescue)
Bright and early this morning.
a long day (part two)
I wrote about all my running around in the city but I left out one exhausting piece.
a long day
I woke at three this morning, unable to shake the jetlag.
one thing I forgot
I need inserts for new shoes or I get plantar fasciatis tears.
Today we looked at a house in the city of Setagaya within Tokyo's long border with Kanagawa prefecture.
My day was pretty full.
In my absence, Mari suggested that the kids start tending to the aquarium fish on a daily basis.
rumor and shortage
I'm preparing for tomorrow's trip.
job offer in hand
I woke up today to find that I have my job offer.
transferring phone numbers
When I came back to Canada I used a service offered by a fellow in Manitoba to acquire a number in Toronto's then newish 647 area code.
One of the final purchases to get me back in corporate form was a set of shirts for the office.
poor little chime ball
When I was a baby, someone bought a chime ball for my distraction.
the kijiji people
Today I gave away a good chunk of my old film and early digital camera gear.
leaving for Tokyo
We're leaving for Tokyo next week.
movie review - Descendants 3
OK, I've sat through two of these with the kids.
movie review - The Imitation Game
This is a telling of Alan Turing's contributions to the British war effort in the Second World War.
stealing wages from teachers
As of this morning, the government of the province of Ontario has now paid us $250 in compensation for the strike days that saw our kids at home.
so this is February?
I cycled downtown to pick up a prescription, today.
to the aquarium!
We took the kids to the aquarium today because The Girl had an annual pass that was about to expire.
movie review - The Gentlemen
This is a gangster film from the United Kingdom, cleverly told as recounting of a movie plot being pitched by somebody knee-deep in the story himself.
showed the boy how to shave
Last night at bedtime I showed the boy how to shave, since he needed it.
job offer drafted
Last night I reached out to a number of the headhunters that I'd spoken to during my time in Tokyo over the new year's, mentioning that I was still "working with" NN Life for this gig.
out of date linux nerd
Just telling myself, "You so old, you still use df -lk /volume".
movie review - Dumbo
This is a live-action kids' movie about a fellow who is trying to hang on to his family's circus.
This morning we all headed out to get some greeting cards, because in the afternoon we were to pile into poor old salt-stained Méabh and toodled up to Oakville for a surprise birthday party for uncle Scott.
flipped off in Oakville
2020.02.15, St. Catharines
We're in St.
Today The Boy's best friend came over and we carried on the long-running Dungeons and Dragons campaign with the two boys and The Girl playing.
Valentine's day lunch
With tomorrow being a PA day, meaning the kids would be home, Mari and I headed out together for a Valentine's day lunch at a Lebanese restaurant in Leslieghville.
taking the bikes for a spin
Today I took the kids outside so that they could take their bikes for spin up and down the street.
jobs in Toronto
While I wait for things to happen in Tokyo, I've been applying for roles in Toronto and the region.
happiness is a new visa
The Boy and I went downtown to pick up my spiffy new spousal visa at the Japanese consulate.
farewell, my brothers in arms
Tonight I got together with a small group from "32 Spokes", the cycling advocacy crowd in our part of town.
laid up this weekend
I've had a fairly strong bug this weekend.
strike time means entertaining boys
The TDSB teachers are on strike today, so I wound up with four 11-12 year olds playing D&D at our place.
In preparation for my departure I did our taxes today, though I can't submit them yet.
the slow road to action
I just noticed this in our councilor's latest email blast (from the 31st).
farewell to outerwear
Today one of my preparations for my likely departure was taking my ancient leather jacket and two very old blazers to the Value Village.
it's a new dawn
Every now and then I re-order my website or some part of it.
Today I learned that my daughter has somehow not watched Star Wars at nearly eight years old.
goodbye, dungeons and dragons books
In preparation for an expected move to Tokyo, I've just taken the "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons" books that we used in the 80's down to the end of our driveway for someone to pick up.
closed my corporate bank account
I've closed the bank account for my consulting business.
goodbye, former coworkers
Today I went downtown to meet an old colleague for a coffee.
TTC's presto service is nuts
I have to use the TTC tomorrow, and realized that I would have to sort out my payment card.
musings on an economy
Today I met an old colleague downtown for lunch.
movie review - Running with the Devil
This is a downer of a story about a much of mutually antagonistic members of a drug cartel that's imploding over internal strife.
doing things the dad way
When I was young I always marveled at my father's ability to get things done by refusing to make someone else's problem his own.
back in the grey
Touched down in Toronto today.
movie review - Kingsman: The Secret Service
2020.01.12, Nichinan, Miyazaki
The way this movie was advertised didn't appeal to me, somehow.
the old man and the sea
I went fishing with my father-in-law on the Philippine Sea today.
archeology in Kyushu
Today we did archeology.
today we picked strawberries in January
Today we picked strawberries.
praying at the new year
Today we went to a shrine to pray, as it's a new year.
only 8,886 emails this year
2019.12.31, Nichinan, Miyazaki
My multi-annual plan to reduce emails has continued.
oh, Fermi and your paradox
2019.12.21, Nichinan, Miyazaki
Two interesting articles on the Fermi paradox state: one, that civilization burns itself out via industrialization-fueled climate change; and two, that ignoring the discussion isn't helping us mature to the point that we can even contemplate moving into the stars.
2019.12.20, Nichinan, Miyazaki
Today I traveled from Tokyo to Miyazaki, where I met Mari and the kids.
Today was another with two good things.
movie review - The Secret Life of Pets 2
Well, in for a dime, in for a dollar.
Two good things today.
Today I met with an old classmate from Japanese courses way back when I was at NikkoCiti.
Today I decided I'd had enough of the cell-like "hotel room" in which I've been hold up at the surprisingly cheap cost of ¥5000 a night and went on a long walk.
Today I made the trek out to the south-eastern reaches of the Tokyo "ku", to visit an old friend: Satoi-san.
I had no meetings arranged today, but did some banking.
stepping back twelve years
Today I met with a fellow Canadian in the lobby of a life insurance firm where I worked when Mari and I were first living together.
an old acquaintance
This afternoon I met with an old acquaintance - a headhunter I'd met with in the frantic days before I ultimately left Japan in late 2010.
Tokyo sky tree
Today I visited Tokyo sky tree, doing the tourist thing after a day of meetings yesterday.
movie review - Spider-Man Homecoming
For a second time in as many decades, the Spider-Man movies have now been rebooted; they've started all over again.
First thing I crossed the city center from Kameido to Shinjuku to go to a book store that I knew had English-language map books.
looking for work (in the only right places)
I flew to Tokyo today to find work here.
cancelling wind turbine projects because reasons
Ontario's cancelled another wind-turbine project.
smuggling out e-waste
An interesting article in The Verge about how greed drove a "recycling" company to falsify documents in order to conceal that monitors containing mercury were being sent to Hong Kong for dismantling.
we're burning our plastic bottles
You know how you're so good about sorting plastic bottles from non-recyclable trash? It doesn't matter, they're being incinerated anyway.
quantum science for a real mind-bend
OK, I had to watch this one twice.
happy Fibonacci day!
For my math nerd friends out there.
same ol' same ol'
Today I rode up to the Bermondsey neighborhood to meet a friend and fellow unemployee.
Today I had a meeting downtown with an entrepreneur who's built a thriving software business; within a couple of years of their start they now have four products in production with different clients.
solid-state batteries are here
In this fascinating video, we learn that solid-state, eco-friendly, stable, and inexpensive batteries are just around the corner--prototypes already exist! Amazingly, storage capacity is much greater than our current batch.
movie review - Murder on The Orient Express
This is a retelling of the classic Agatha Christie movie.
movie review - Die Hard
My eleven-year-old son and I watched this in the run-up to Christmas.
on asking whether you should really be CEO
A friend in Australia passed on an article in which a corporate board member spilled the beans about the mis-allocation of millions of dollars towards management consultants who provided little value.
gitlab owns an error
Today I received a letter from the CEO of Gitlab about the retraction of a planned service that had worried the user community.
movie review - In the Shadow of the Moon
This is, at first glance, a murder investigation.
sequence 8, 13, 19, 26
Today The Boy brought home math homework that was in our opinion way above the grade six level - to provide a formula that can explain the sequence 8, 13, 19, 26.
movie review - Avengers Endgame
What a load of shit.
twenty years of this journal
I just noticed that today is the twentieth anniversary of my web journal as a daily events record, not just movie reviews and the odd news.
won't somebody think of the children
This is where my cycling advocacy stuff is taking me these days.
ate some wheat
On the weekend, I ate some wheat.
movie review - Bumblebee
This past few years sure has produced a lot of prequels and spinoffs.
farewell to summer
My summer went by in a blur of long start-up weeks.
the boy plays piano
Early in the summer, I heard Ken playing early in the mo
Over the weekend I repatriated the last of my websites.
I read a story from Calgary in which a resident has been getting endless death-threats because he pointed out that the city's bus drivers are refusing transit tickets printed in French.
humans versus the environment
It seems that the people trying to solve the Fermi paradox are increasingly coming to the conclusion that we're utterly alone in the Universe.
it was thirty years ago this month
I've just realized that it was thirty years ago this month that I returned to Ontario to start my university studies.
rats play hide and seek
So it turns out that rats can play hide and seek.
movie review - Mortal Engines
This is a splashy fun flick set in a future where cities are now mobile affairs, roaming the countryside and taking what they need directly.
what have the Romans ever done for us
Tell us, Boris!
tweeting to Gorbachev
So I wrote a tweet to Mikhail Gorbachev to thank him for getting the USSR through the Chernobyl crisis.
fun times in the US election cycle
I'm constantly amazed at what politics looks like in this brave new millennium.
movie review - Zombieland: Double Tap
This is the sequel to the only good zombie movie in recent years, "Zombieland", released a full decade earlier.
the holy shopping center
Time was, I was underemployed and adrift.
farewell to sea ice
Well, I guess within another couple of years there won't be ice in the Arctic ocean year round.
reasons to be thankful, UK edition
Watching what's happening in the UK these days certainly gives me pause.
broken ring and post - tell 311
Remember folks, when we see a broken or missing ring-and-post on the street in Toronto, we tell 311.
new contra-flow bike lane
Living in a city where people routinely are struck down in the streets by an out-of-control driving populace, it's nice to see some small signs of progress.
fishing beneath the lock
2019.08.31, Port Severn
We followed up on the tip from the camper at the lock and fished below the dam at Port Severn (which is a fish sanctuary in the spring).
2019.08.30, Port Severn
Our last full day at the cottage saw autumn-like weather, definitely time for long sleeves.
wind and lots of it
2019.08.29, Port Severn
Well the improved fishing was short-lived.
fishing in the rain
2019.08.27, Port Severn
It rained all day, today.
paddling on wye marsh
2019.08.26, Port Severn
Today we went paddling on Wye Marsh near Midland.
living the cottage life
2019.08.26, Port Severn
This was us, yesterday.
2019.08.25, Port Severn
We headed out early this morning, and while I caught only a single pike it was a beautiful time to be out on the water.
2019.08.24, Port Severn
movie review - Upgrade
This is a near-future science fiction piece in which a car mechanic who loses his wife and the use of his limbs in an assault after his automated car crashes.
that's all folks
It's been a very busy week as I prepare to take the family to a rented cottage for the following week.
second Paul, second boat
Today a fellow named Paul who is not our neighbour but rather the neighbor of a friend in Fenelon Falls took us out on his boat.
movie review - Bad Times at the El Royale
Where to start.
This weekend we had plans on Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon/evening, Sunday morning, and Sunday afternoon/evening.
happiness is a warm kettle
What does it say that a hand-me-down electric kettle made our week, this week?
killing things on my bike
I related to a friend how I'd accidentally run over a small snake on my bike, and then nearly hit a dog and he said, "At least you didn't kill a child.
amazing but obvious
Cheers to Cloudflare for taking the amazing but I have to say rather obvious step of taking 8chan off the air.
this cannot possible go skynet I mean wrong
Well, what could possibly go wrong with launching an aware military defence network that can control spy satellites? I mean yes it sounds familiar.
a rare get-together with part of my family
2019.08.04, St. Catharines
My brother and his wife are in Ontario for a wedding, so we all got together in St.
when a cyclist drives
Driving in an unfamiliar area, I was shocked to see a terribly-uneven railroad crossing immediately before us.
say, would you reboot the box under the fish tank?
Today proved that there can be times when you text your spouse to ask them to say reboot a computer system inside the aquarium stand, and it's work-related.
what happens to your credit rating when you give up an old credit card
The lore of credit ratings says that maintaining credit accounts for a long time is good, so I've always wondered what happens if you give up an old credit card.
movie review - Descendants 2
When I reviewed the Disney direct-to-whatever movie "Descendants" two weeks ago, my hasty review contained a lie.
Porter's five forces
Today I read a story about Intel's apparently upcoming ouster from Apple's lineup - pretty shocking stuff; remember MBA graduates, Porter's five forces have been established for a long time.
movie review - The Meg
My daughter loves shark attack stuff, so naturally we watched this when the chance came.
46°C in France today
So France and other European countries are setting record temperatures; in these cases I'd like to tell my kids that we did the best we could for the world but we all know that that's a blatant lie.
starting up an old project
I've decided to resume the novel project I set aside eleven+ years ago when my son was born.
riding rental bikes in Toronto
Today I rode a rental bike from Toronto's bike sharing service and thoroughly enjoyed it.
writing loveletters to politicians
Today I wrote to emails of thanks to the Toronto Mayor and the city Councillors that took the lead on the recent spate of directives to make the city's streets safer.
to what could this be referring?
The Late Show had a faux 'Wheel of Fortune' style puzzle tonight, for which I just couldn't pick a single answer.
wildlife, while there is some
So it turns out that Manta Rays can leap right out of the water into the air.
selling my work online
Today I put a manual of policy and procedures on risk management for small non-profits for sale on my "professional" website.
old memories triggered by the weather
The weather today perfectly reminded me of hunting for tadpoles and Oma's cooking, while staying with the old folks on vacation from Calgary 35 years ago.
bike sharing stations everywhere
I am happy to report that the city's parking authority is in no way fooling around with the bike-sharing project - there are bike stations everywhere, now*.
movie review - Descendants
This is a direct-to-whatever movie from Disney.
not at all a real-estate bubble
Even if you wanted to buy a place in Whitby or Brampton (or Milton!) you're now paying a 50% premium over Ottawa or Calgary or Montreal.
what does 2475 dollars get you in Toronto
I saw a (badly written) article about new apartment building
happiness is ditching a bank
I closed a credit card account of 18 years standing because of one bad call to a bank; I don't know why banks can't be bothered to solve problems for long-term clients but this just forced me to move more business to my credit union.
switching to v-brakes
I've done some math and it seems that riding a bike for the past eight years has saved me $9,000 in TTC fares.
movie review - Office Space
I watched this again after several years, and I think I've belatedly come to realize that this movie had quite an effect on me when I first saw it twenties years ago.
162cm and growing
My son's above the 98th percentile for height; I was hoping he'd avoid a lifetime of backache and poor shoe selection but no.
that's mr wernebung to you
When I called up the Canadian Red Cross to give them a new credit card number the fellow took down my name as Wernebung; I'm glad that's not how it's spelled.
the Boy's big opportunity
Our son plays tennis, and his club has just asked him to join a new youth program that will see him get a lot of exposure this summer.
in our first parade
Today all four of us rode our bikes in the East York Canada Day parade.
movie review - Asterix - the Secret of the Magic Potion
This is a charming attempt at bringing the Asterix books from many a Boomer and Gen-X childhood to the flat screen.
skunked on the Holland River
We had our fishing trip today.
opportunities to fish
We've rented a cottage for the last week in August, and have also decided to go fishing this weekend.
good news for the Danforth Avenue bike lanes project
Toronto's Infrastructure & Environment Committee has passed resolutions calling for the creation of bike lanes on Danforth Avenue.
movie review - Red Sparrow
This is the tale of a girl from a rough background who is simultaneously a ballerina and maybe also a prostitute or any way seems to be living with a gangster.
paying attention to cyber security
In a discussion on cyber security breaches, someone referenced an incident in Baltimore.
my date with Kevin
For the first time, I met a colleague I'd worked with remotely for four years - he suggested we meet as he was visiting Toronto.
caught in the rain three times in a day
I had to run some errands while at work today, then had a meeting over dinner.
the fridge that ran
Our fridge is eleven years old and won't stop running; no wonder we have an $80 hydro bill every month.
movie review - Murder Mystery
This is a good Adam Sandler movie.
flooded beach like glass
I for one welcome the flooded Woodbine beach - this morning the water was like glass and it reflected gorgeously.
your credit card don't mean nothing to me
Today I tried to add my Visa card to PayPal; I was declined, so I called the bank but was given the run-around.
bells on Danforth
Today I joined hundreds of other cyclists in riding the length of Danforth Avenue from Withrow park in the west to the Oakridge Community Recreation Centre in the east.
lotsa email from my pal Cron Daemon
The Boy was watching me struggle with my inbox, and asked who "Cron Daemon" is and why I didn't spend much time on his email.
movie review - Early Man
Some kids' movies are good enough to grab the whole audience and keep them engrossed.
shred those parking tickets
I saw a truck from one of those document-shredding services with two parking tickets on its windshield; I somehow suspect I know what'll happen to the tickets.
an sd-wan breakthrough
At work, we've made a real breakthrough with the performance of our software.
mercedes CO2 emissions are getting worse
Today I noticed that the average CO2 emissions of the fleet of cars sold by Mercedes actually got worse by 12g/km between 2016 and 2018.
crapped on in June
For the 19th time in my life, I've been crapped on by a bird.
car expenses piling up
It's amazing how quickly the car repair bills pile up when your warranty expires.
more views of a flooded beach
This is the far side of Woodbine beach: the water is receding, but the beach is still swamped.
an exploding star caused us to walk upright?
It's pretty amazing to see what we can work out these days, such as a distant supernova leading to humanity's ancestors walking upright.
flooding on Woodbine beach
Woodbine beach was largely underwater this morning, so I made a panorama pic.
the first bite is the only welcome one
I'll posit that the first mosquito bite of the season is the only welcome one.
an uber eats driver does something kind
I saw an Uber Eats driver do something kind - she got off her bike to help a blind man cross Bay street.
I bought some goop to remove a rubbery-looking streak from the side of our car only to find that the auto shop had removed it for me.
that's it, I'm off to Collision
Joining the boss today at Collision conference here in Toronto - it's a conference for startups and their investors.
our cycling advocacy group took a break and just rode for fun, today
For the first time that I can recall, our cycling advocacy group took a break and just rode for fun, today.
movie review - All the Devil's Men
This is a spy story set in the modern, post-Cold War era.
ran into my eleven year old on the street today for the first time
When I ran into my son on the street today, I realized that it was the first time I'd encountered him acting as independently as he has for the entire school year.
on this day last year a man I don't know died cycling in my neighborhood
Like me, Doug Crosbie was a cyclist and a father.
what I'd look like as a woman
Last night a colleague took a pic of me through some app that slapped a woman's 'do on me and made my features more feminine.
woodbine beach is flooded again
Thanks to high water levels and a few days of east winds, a great deal of Woodbine beach is under water again this year.
movie review - The Green Hornet
Sometimes they make a movie where they just land on a personality and a broad plot line and start rolling the cameras.
a message from the Australien government
A friend sent me this satirical "ad" for the "Australien" government.
movie review - Beyond White Space
This is a sci-fi piece about a crew that hunts space whales! The crew is comprised of various scruffy types with their own agendas.
it seems that Boeing's had a long history of cut corners
Hat tip to Adrian for the link.
movie review - In Order of Disappearance
This is the story of a snow-plow driver from a mountainous area of Scandinavia.
with the kids now 11 and 7 years old, I suddenly noticed the absence of Thomas the tank engine
I suddenly noticed the absence of Thomas the tank engine videos in our home.
kicking caffeine (again) and the headaches have improved
Having recently kicked the caffeinated coffee has had an impact on the incessant migraines I've been suffering this year.
if we allow 2° in global warming 6° is inevitable
According to the short series of videos below, it' inevitable that even a 2° rise in global temperatures, it will give rise to fully 6° in changes.
three months to fix a fender-bender
Between Sonnet insurance and Toronto Honda it's taken 3 months to fix a bumper cover; I now have to actively manage both daily.
the soaking of the year
I can't recall having gotten so wet at such a low temperature as cycling into the wind of last night's rainstorm at 5°.
April freezing rain brings May d'oh
This year in Toronto it appears that April freezing rain showers bring May well not flowers more like almost-freezing rain showers.
games of thrones WTF
I've been watching "Game of Thrones" but I've been struggling to endure the increasingly dilute signal-to-noise ratio as the writers have clearly decided to sprint this "saga" to the finish line.
freezing rain at the end of April
I rode home in freezing rain last night–I'd like to say I'm surprised but I'm not.
stolen bike part
I'm not sure why someone would stoop to stealing one of these, but it happened to me this week.
I just learned that Billy Gibbons had a band before ZZ Top.
movie review - Mile 22
It's Marky Mark vs Ip Man in a spy story that leans very heavily on violence in an un-named South-East Asian city (it was filmed in Bogota!).
the weather has finally changed
I don't know how it's taken so long this year but the weather has finally changed for the better some six months after the first snowfall.
movie review - Going in Style
This is the story of three retirees who decide to pursue a life of crime to pay the bills after they're screwed by the company for which they'd all given a life's labor.
another Easter egg hunt complete
2019.04.22, St. Catharines
Another successful Easter egg hunt this year, the bunny was credited with doing a good job with the eggs–but we only recovered 96%!
movie review - The Jackal
To catch an international assassin, the police employ an imprisoned IRA agent.
How nice it is to take a bike ride with a small child, unsteady perhaps but growing in confidence and excited to explore the world.
scranos weaponized malware
So, this Scranos is a mutable piece of malware with a great deal of capability and it's still just getting warm.
king street pilot is permanent
Every day I cross the center of Toronto's downtown via street only usable by transit, taxis and bikes - not a big idea globally but new to TO.
woe is the speeding Audi
Certain Audi drivers are going to ruin it for everyone.
cycling in freezing rain
The boss called from the western edge of the city with some urgent news.
switching database extensions in PHP
I must be the very last person on Earth to migrate a substantial PHP project from the antique mysql_ functions (which went out with MySQL 5.
I've just taken my website to a new domain.
why don't you get a job?
I hope some day when I tell my kids "Why don't you get a j
survey of character strengths
I took an online survey of my character strengths.
big rainbow trout on Toronto's waterfront
As I was riding home tonight I saw one of the regular anglers on our stretch of the waterfront.
movie review - Lockout
This is a movie in which a soldier, having been framed, agrees to travel to a space colony to rescue the daughter of the President of the US or some similar political body.
tweet your way to resolution
Two months ago, we were in a fender-bender.
movie review - The Highwaymen
Sometimes you see a movie whose premise appears to be to assemble certain actors and let them do their thing.
rapa nui statues
So it turns out the famous "Easter island" statues are only found near sources of fresh water.
time for our annual hobbling of the city's transit
Toronto has a long-standing tradition of making plans to do something about its crippled transit system, then scrapping those plans.
happy 80th, dad!
Happy birthday, dad, and thanks for everything!
farewell to my non-profit board
Tonight was my last night of service on the board of directors of Cycle Toronto, an advocacy organization with a vision of a future city that's safe for cyclists.
latest watch crush–frederique constant
Is it a bad sign that your taste in watches ranges from $50 to $900 and you can't afford any of them?
on the killing of muslims at prayer in Christchurch
Some words from a muslim on the killing of muslims at prayer in Christchurch.
cycling advocacy in Beaches-East York
I'm a member of a group of cycling advocates in my home "ward" in Toronto, "Beaches-East York" (catchy, I know).
Still feeling vindicated in riding my bike to work in some chilly conditions.
cycling on powder, cycling on ice
Second day of cycling for the year, and I've managed to fall.
hanging in my closet
I saw this amusing sign near the office:
first day back in the saddle
Back on my bike, and on day one I missed a major disruption to the subway.
yardworks we like your shovels
We use snow shovels from "Yardworks" - in the interest of product failure analysis, here are some pics of one shovel that broke.
website dropped by google when I switched to https
In September, I switched to SSL on all my websites; doing so killed all the traffic.
happy Pi day, everyone
I usually celebrate this day by returning to my bicycle for my commute.
when will this winter end?
I think this pic says it all.
movie review - Prisoners
This is a movie about two girls who are taken from their families and the efforts to bring them back, both by the police and one of the fathers.
everybody loves hypnotoad
If the fine folks who produced the Simpsons and Futurama had nothing more to say on the nature and quality of televisions shows, they need only have said this.
movie review - Polar
This is a grim flick about a semi-retired contract killer who's attempting to live out his life in the woods outside a small town.
coyote on the street tonight
I ran into a coyote on the street tonight.
movie review - John Wick
The Boy wanted to see this flick, so we did.
In 2017 I received 18,000+ emails (not including work).
watch out, moon!
The rate of major meteorite strikes on the Moon is increasing.
latest watch crush
It's been too long since I posted about my latest watch crush.
It's been a full month since I posted something to my twenty year old journal.
movie review - Avengers: Infinity War
The kids like super-hero movies, so we're watching a bunch.
movie review - F.R.E.D.I.
This is a movie about a kid who discovers a robot thing.
I'm still limping from having (probably) broken a bone in my foot.
CIA no more
Whoopsie, I seem to have forgotten to renew my Certified Internal Auditor designation.
People seemed to behave like 2018 was a bad year, but I think I had a good one.
movie review - Solo: A Star Wars Story
This is a Star Wars prequel that needless attempts to tell Han Solo's back-story.
a friend turns fifty
I had a rare get-together with a friend tonight, a few days before his fiftieth birthday.
movie review - The Christmas Chronicles
This is a charming Christmas story featuring a brother and sister who are spending X'mas eve alone (mum's working; dad's dead).
movie review - Gringo
This is the story of a corporate employee who is sent to Mexico for purposes that aren't quite what it seems.
a live turkey vulture
Today a turkey vulture landed in our back yard; I was able to get the kids to my window to see it take off.
movie review - The Dark Night Rises
This is a thoroughly unpleasant Bat Man movie with an absurd story line even by the standards of Bat Man.
the week that wasn't
November in Toronto, when you can say, "Thank god we carried the sofa down all those stairs before it started snowing".
movie review - The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
This is a series of shorts set in the Wild West of the late 19th Century.
cool text-only weather site
Quite by accident, I discovered a cool weather website that uses no graphics at all.
Our ten year old made a song with his iPad that's on par with much of the electronic music you hear today from adults.
I think I can confirm after several days of throbbing and inflammation: I've cracked a bone in my toe or foot.
For kicks, I've turned my website into a cluster running out of New Jersey and Amsterdam across two hosting companies.
movie review - End of Watch
This is the story of two men who join LA's police force in the time when the city (and continent) are being overrun by the drug trade.
farewell to AWS S3
I've figured out how to cut my spend on hosting my websites from $15 to $6.
seven point seven billion people on one page
I found a representation of all seven point seven people on one page - I had a heck of a time finding myself.
twenty years with my own domains
I registered my first domain - etherlabs dot net - on this date in 1998.
two day retreat
For the past two days, I joined a client's executive team and board on a strategic retreat that started with "What do we do as a company?" (which led to a substantial revelation) and followed that all the way to which executives would own what crucial initiatives this year, and which would follow on through the next two years.
no online gaming with nintendo for my son
My son can't play "Splatoon 2" on his Nintendo Switch because he can't find 8 paying members online.
movie review - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
2018.09.18, St. Catharines
This is hands-down the best super-hero movie I've seen.
18,000 emails in 2017
According to my inboxes, I sent or received 18,000 emails in 2017.
1.5 billion seconds old
Some time ago, I noticed that the UNIX epoch had turned 1.
the long ride
I started a new commute today, some 13+ kilometers across the city center.
movie review - Downsizing
This confounding movie begins (more or less) with a couple's decision to shrink themselves to live in an eco-friendly fashion as miniature humans in a miniature domed habitat.
all is well that ends in baboon urine
We went to "African Lion Safari" today, so naturally the car came back decorated with baboon urine.
replaced the shifters on my bike
Today I took some time out from my job search and non-profit commitments to change the gear shifters on my bike.
let's encrypt for free certificates
I've now put SSL encryption on all four of my websites.
new website for my professional profile
I've made a new website for my professional profile, featuring some case studies.
Today I read an excellent post on getting things done, by a City of Toronto executive.
daddys flabby belly
This morning our dear daughter re-introduced me to one of her friends: "This is my daddy, and my daddy's flabby belly.
"I loev you daddy keep wrking"
The Girl threw an envelope into the office this morning.
oracle cloud is unavailable
I'm jobsearching, and came across this odd warning when foll
good times and a cupcake
I had the best cupcake of my life today, from a place on Gerrard called the Hype Food Company.
movie review - Train to Busan
This is a clever zombie movie set in Korea.
CIA for five years
It's been five years since I wrapped up a year - and five hundred hours of study - toward the Certified Internal Auditor designation.
chasing the garbage truck
Both of my grandfathers were known to chase down the garbage truck and get something precious back that their wives had thrown away.
website transition is complete
At long last, I've implemented the flattening tool on risktopics.
yonder coming Putin
I wrote a folk song based on "The Midnight Special" about today's political events in the US.
wow YYZ terminal 3
I had the pleasure of picking up a friend at YYZ's terminal 3 today, such a refreshing change from the spacious and beautiful terminal 1! Honestly, how is that cramped and shoddy mess still a part of an airport that's seen growth by 15,000,000 passengers per year since 2010?
the kids are home
I can tell the kids are home: I had to wade through Japanese educational toys to get to the bathroom, where the sink was 2/3 full of soap foam.
movie review - The Drop
This is a movie in which a bartender is dragged into the underworld of crime.
on the water at 6:30
I was out on the water at 06:30 again this morning, fishing and watching the sailors, paddle-boarders, and kayakers.
our summer of fishing
Last night, I caught my first trout from Canadian waters.
movie review - Superbad
Two high school nerds attempt to throw a party.
crapped on again (yes again)
While fishing, it happened again.
stress and weight gain
I've lost nearly 3kg since a highly stressful contract ended six weeks ago.
drama on the waterfront
This afternoon I noticed a lot of sirens, and the presence on a number of helicopters.
day of the worm
I got on my bike despite the heat, and put another 15km on my bike doing chores today.
movie review - Extinction
This is a story of Armageddon; peaceful cities of citizens going through their lives in a near-future setting that seems to be getting on pretty well.
survived some flooding
There was flooding in Toronto tonight, and twitter was alive with astonishment; I couldn't help but think of the typhoons.
long point disappointment
2018.08.05, Long Point, Ontario
This morning "grandma" and I drove from Saint Catharines to Long Point on Lake Erie hoping to see the provincial park; we failed.
How It Ends
This is a movie about a handful of characters weathering the end of the world.
It feels strangely good to be back; it must be the jetlag, which is monumental.
what a difference ten years makes
2018.07.30, in the air
I left the kids with their mother in Japan, today - it's amazing to see how far they've come.
one final venture onto the sea
2018.07.28, Nichinan, Miyazaki
It was my final weekend in Japan, and Mari's uncle took us out on the water one last time.
movie review - Black Panther
The four of us went to see this hugely popular super-hero flick and I have to say I am close to the end of my tolerance for these things.
back on the water
Today we went back out on the sea with Hosoda-san for what became the Day of the Snapper.
movie review - Django Unchained
Everyone loves this thing, it's current rating on imdb on 8.
a long day on the go
We spent the night in an interesting little hotel that's next to one of the main Japan Rail station in Matsuyama.
Who built the world
Today our six-year-old daughter asked "Daddy, who built the world?
if you're ever in Matsuyama...
Tonight I ate pork uterus.
keeping desktop applications up to date
I've installed something called Glary Utilities to mind my PC's stability and security.
deep sea fishing
Today I went deep-sea fishing for the first time, and caught some unfamiliar but delicious species.
revenge of the swallow
2018.07.09, Miyakonojo, Japan
Perhaps I had it coming when a swallow crapped on me this morning.
Today, inevitably, we wound up at Disney Sea.
hello, Ghibli museum
Today we took the kids to the Ghibli museum, jetlag or no.
hello, Tokyo and your electric vehicles
Hello, Tokyo, it's been too long - 5 1/2 years! We're only passing through, but I had to comment on your electric vehicles.
movie review - Big Game
This is an ambitious movie about a young lad who's sent out to kill a reindeer with a bow and arrow as part of his "becoming a man".
After a year-long contract that saw 50-55 hour weeks every week, it's time to set aside the labor at last, and take a vacation.
some weird sin
To de-stress, I've been playing the original 1991 version of Civilization.
five years of risktopics.com
I've had this site on the go for five years, now.
black plastic is killing the planet
Wow, it turns out that black plastic is a lot worse for us than I knew.
more bike problems
I blew a tube tonight, it went off like a gunshot.
movie review - Ghost in the Shell
This is a retelling of an animated movie from several years ago, but the story lines deviate considerably.
broke another spoke
For a second time in the past month, I've broken a spoke - these new bike wheels seem to have a problem.
fracking the human being
Discretionary energy is a term used to describe optional effort that an employee might put into their job.
movie review - Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
As you can probably tell from the title of this movie, it's a sequel and not a particularly good one.
the broken spoke
A spoke broke on Friday; when I got it fixed, the mechanics told me the problem was "too much weight".
movie review - Beasts of the Southern Wild
This is a telling of the eradication of the culture of the marginal islands in the Gulf along Louisiana.
happiness is a new camera lens
In preparation for our trip this summer, I've bought a lens for my four-thirds system, a Rokinon 12mm.
movie review - Kong Skull Island
This is a re-telling of the King Kong story, but with Brie Larson along for some reason.
movie review - Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle
This is the tale of four high school kids that get swept up in an ancient video game that transports them to an in-game world of high stakes adventure.
happiness is new wheels
I'm back on my three-season bike, and the new wheels make an enormous difference! Spending four months almost exclusively on the TTC was quite a drag: I tend to pick up infections, and I certainly don't get an exercise.
time to buy worms
Finally, it's time to buy worms and go fishing!
movie review - The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Once in a while, Hollywood produces a movie where they take some stars and tell them, "Here's the plot outline, improvise.
movie review - The Spy Who Dumped Me
2018.04.15, St. Catharines
A couple of years ago I wrote one of my mini-reviews about "Jupiter Ascending", a Mila Kunis movie that eh, didn't work.
an ice storm and a felled tree
I was just sitting at my desk at home when I heard a great wrenching sound - one of the old hardwoods along the property lines between our places and the next had snapped in twain halfway up, with the crown crashing down where there are usually several cars behind a small apartment building.
movie review - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
We watched this for "Movie night".
privacy at Facebook
The recent flap about the Cambridge Analytica breach at Facebook has people talking about privacy issues pertaining to that website.
movie review - My Neighbor Totoro
Despite the many times I've seen this film over the years, I realized with a start today that I've never written one of my capsule reviews for one of my favorite flicks.
top of his class
Ken finished the winter session of his Saturday tennis classes today with a bang.
seven thousand reads for a watch review
A few months ago I wrote a review of a watch - my every day wear, a Seiko SARB 033; it's now been read 7,000 times.
Cycling to work today, my winter bike brown down: the cassette was spinning freely on the rear axle.
movie review - What We Do in the Shadows
This is a mockumentary/found-footage flick about a house (nest?) of vampires living in the modern age.
crapped on again
I discovered splat of bird crap on my shoe; my sixteenth crapping upon by our flying friends.
the planning fallacy
Today, while pursuing one of my hobbies, I discovered something called the planning fallacy.
movie review - Mute
This is a gangster flick, in which a mute bartender is dragged into the appalling underworld of a sci-fi Crapsack setting.
back on my trusty steed
With the weather suddenly (and suspiciously) nice, I hopped on my bike for work today, grinding rust off the chain and unironing my shirt.
movie review - London Has Fallen
This is an action movie, a follow-up of sorts to another with a similar title and the same bluff lead.
movie review - War Dogs
This is a movie about gun-running during the Bush administration and the massive orgy of mis-allocation of resources across the global "war on terror".
unstrangled at last
After years of substandard home network performance, I've finally taken the plunge and built a proper network at home.
skunked at 4:20
I should have realized that our anticipated ice fishing trip would be a bust when I encountered a skunk in our backyard at 4:20.
movie review - Song of the Sea
This is an animated story of a young boy who lives on a lighthouse with her father and little sister.
Valentine's day vm backup plan
I'm working on a project in which the data set is so sensitive that backups to long-term media – or outside the production network segment – aren't permitted.
Facebook is troubling
The other day, I realized that my regular use of Facebook as part of my advocating for safe cycling infrastructure in Toronto was having some negative effects.
taking a break from Facebook
And I'm done with Facebook.
three hours of sleep, 11 hour workday
I notice I'm not writing much in this aging journal; maybe it's the three hours of sleep and the 11 hour workday?
how to look silly – bicycle addition
If I ever cared about my appearance, it's not as I start pushing fifty; this is how to look silly on your bike, in the name of safety.
movie review - Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
This is a movie about a twentyish drop-out who meets a girl with some very strange dating requirements.
replaced the bracelet on my SARB033
This Christmas, I replaced the bracelet on my Seiko SARB033 with a nice leather strap - I think it looks much better, and haven't taken the watch off since.
hand-rolling backups like in the 90s
I've once again found myself hand-making a backup solution when a large organization has proved incapable of deploying a sensible solution.
getting to work in the snow, darkly
The fates just didn't want me getting to the office, today: I woke with a head cold, in a power outage, as the snow sheeted down.
We were at dinner with friends at their lovely home in Hamilton, when we had to coax The Girl into eating some meat with her meal.
frozen Niagara falls
We're going to check out the frozen Niagara falls before everything melts again, tomorrow.
movie review - Home Alone 3
So it turns out there's a third of these movies, and tonight that's what we watched.
more nerd news
2018.01.06, St. Catharines
Five years ago, I bought an external USB 3 device - two weeks after I finally have a USB 3 capable system, the external drive has died.
2018.01.05, St. Catharines
I had one of those milestone days today, where months of work on various projects comes together all at once.
coming to the Americas
I think it's really amazing that they're able to use DNA and archaeology to work out the history of ancient peoples with fair confidence these days.
unwelcome news on new year's day
We've just received word that our application for an apartment suitable for our growing family has been denied.
hackintosh no more
So my hackintosh has proven unstable - so much so I broke down and bought a Windows 10 license.
so much for peace
Yesterday I said that all was peaceful in the last work week of the year; I forgot some of the things that have to happen for year's end revenue-recognition purposes.
home again, back to work
The primary benefit of working during the Christmas break is the peace: time for documentation!
Boxing Day in Canada
Working for a US firm, as I am once again, I'm at a loss to explain Boxing Day to Americans.
driving in a winter paradise
2017.12.23, St. Catharines
Driving to grandma's house in St Kitts for X'mas we found fresh snow lining the grape vines and tree branches; beautiful.
It snowed overnight, returning the landscape to a wintry white just days before Christmas.
I've taken the plunge - I'll be installing the OSX license from my now-defunct Mini onto some generic PC gear.
goodbye, mac mini
My mac mini's up and died, and it looks like Apple wants $1,700 for another one - which ain't gunna happen.
movie review - Home Alone 2
We recently showed the kids the movie Home Alone and I stupidly mentioned a sequel.
movie review - Star Wars: Episode VIII
"Uncle Jon" and The Boy and I went downtown to see this.
the longest board meeting
The board meetings that involve the annual operations and budget reviews are always long - but this one was only 2 1/2 hours.
the price of bitcoin
Adrian in Japan sent an interesting link to the writings of a bitcoin skeptic.
those who need closure
From a Youtube video, today I learned that there are two typ
FOOSH goes the cyclist
My mum works in the medical field and shared a slideshow about FOOSH injuries - fell on out-stretched hand.
you may find yourself .. President!
Someone's made a mashup of the Talking Heads with US President Donald Trump - it's disturbingly good.
movie review - Home Alone
We watched this with the kids for "movie night".
latest watch crush
My latest watch crush is thin, square, and digital - but not smart.
It seemed, when riding this morning, that I'd timed the switch to the beater perfectly: the city had coated the streets with salt.
happiness is an old bike
I picked up the 25-year-old bike I'm using for the winter, today - I'd forgotten how light it is.
too busy for email
I was so run off my feet at my client site I didn't send a single personal or business email all day.
movie review - Tales of Earthsea
This is a (very rough) adaptation of Ursula K Leguin's novels that spanned decades of the world of Earthsea (as well as taking decades to write).
two hours of budget talks
When you sit on a board of a non-profit, there shall be annual budget reviews, and they shall be long.
Best. Tree. Ever
We skipped the expensive trees we've been getting in the Beaches, and got our best tree to date at a grocery store.
a network outage and a scramble
I had the unusual start to my day of getting to the office to find the network completely out; so I scooped up my laptop and headed home.
a year-end party
Cycle Toronto's staff and board had our Christmas/holidays/etc party tonight, out in the west end.
the neglected fountain pen
During the height of the craziness when I was doing my masters degree, my brother gave me a fountain pen.
black mountain bikes get stolen a lot in Toronto
According to an article that features my cycling advocacy non-profit, it turns out that black mountain bikes are the most stolen bikes in the city.
holy ecological crisis, Bitcoin
Wow, the global Bitcoin system is really a disaster for energy consumption.
beater bike don't go too fast
I patched up everything I could on my beater bike, a 25 year old mountain bike with extended handlebars and seat post.
an interesting day (at the office!)
My colleagues and I spent nearly the entire day working through the next version of a client's product.
movie review - Office Christmas Party
This is a delightful Christmas movie featuring an office Christmas party that gets a tad out of control.
happy Fibonacci day, everyone
It's Fibonacci day, 11/23 - derived from the sequence in the Fibonnaci series where you find each number by adding the two before.
three good things
As part of my ongoing attempts to get my migraines under control, I'm trying to recognize more good things as they happen.
Seiko's spring drive
I've been chatting with a colleague about Seiko's spring drive watches - apparently they use both mechanical and quartz components.
another long Monday
I'm taking an evening class, and I'm enjoying it quite a bit but it turns my Mondays into 9AM - 9PM affairs.
movie review - Tron
This is my second review of "Tron", some sixteen years after the last time and I presume thirty years after I first saw it.
cycling into strong wind
I rode in against a biting 30kph wind this morning, fallen leaves flapping wetly and low clouds skudding.
it's time to tune up my beater bike
The city salted the streets last week, a reminder that it's time to tune up my beater bike for the winter.
a week of green
Still no change to the migraines, but I'm prepared to stand by the assertion that the green lights are helping me sleep.
I had one of those DISC personality profiles done through an affiliate of my night school teacher.
the unsafe workplace and the body's response
Simon Sinek gives some interesting insights into how unsafe environments (such as a workplace with infighting) has a deleterious effect on our health through changing the chemical balance of our bodies.
the worm is turning on sexual harassment
It's shocking to see the sexual harassment scandals multiply, some really disappointing stuff is coming to light.
I've been on this green-light migraine therapy for only a couple of days but I'm now sure I'm sleeping better.
Tonight I am doing a Canadian first: participating in a University of Arizona study into whether green light can prevent migraines.
10,000km and what do you get
I dropped by Cycle Solutions on Kingston Road to have my rear wheel looked at; they shocked me with the news it was finished.
down the hill and up again
I met a friend for lunch, today - a feat that meant cycling first down and then up the hill to St Clair.
so this is November
It's November in Toronto, and the thick gloom has settled in nicely.
back on the bike, and counting cell-phone drivers
I counted 6 drivers operating their vehicle with a cellphone in hand as I glided past a line of 37 slow-moving cars.
environmental risks in North America
Here's an interesting video on environmental risks in North America - I hadn't known about the solar flares, wow.
green lights for a migraine study
I'm joining a study into whether nightly exposure to green light can help ward off migraines.
no cycling for a while
My latest cold has knocked me out, looks like I won't be cycling for the rest of the week.
I met with some colleagues I hadn't seen in six months - they greeted me with, "You're really turning grey!
Monday's count: 3 in 30
As I watch for phone-surfing drivers, I've never noticed someone with a passenger in the car use his phone while driving.
a glow-in-the-dark bicycle
I've put reflective tape all over my bicycle; see how it glows in the dark.
Cheers to the driver of Ontario BUDHADOG; I've seen him 5 days in the past 2 weeks, never once driving and texting.
we can have nice things
Toronto took another step toward keeping its infamous Bloor cycle lanes, today.
Today I counted 5 cell-phone holders as I passed 49 cars - and one person eating with a spoon from a glass bowl.
I counted 6 drivers Friday, in a stretch of 36 cars, who were using their phones - that's more than had a passenger.
a lightweight, secure, fast page view tracker
A year ago, I designed a lightweight, anonymous page-view counter for my website: 75,000 views later I'm sharing with the world.
ISACA article is live
I've had permission from ISACA to re-publish my article, which appeared in ISACA's Journal earlier this year (volume 5, 2017).
the chilly weather is here
Sadly, yesterday was the day that I put away the shorts and rode in my Trailer Park style cool weather track pants.
smart phone, stupid drivers
As I rode past a line of slow-moving cars today, I counted 8 drivers using their phone (out of 46 cars).
still feeling thankful
It wasn't a great day, but there's lots for which to be thankful.
crapped on again
I was crapped on by a bird again, today - for the fifteenth time in my life.
at the fair
We attended the Thanksgiving "festival" at Balls Falls.
a dinner alone
2017.10.07, St. Catharines
Mari and I left the kids with Grandma and had a rare dinner out, together.
movie review - Moana
This is the story of a girl who sets out to save her tiny Polynesian island, which is dying from creeping black plague that infects the food and eventually can be seen in the air.
giving thanks on Thanksgiving
2017.10.06, St. Catharines
It's Thanksgiving in Canada, and our little family certainly
cycling 1,650km to work
By my rough estimate, I've traveled 1,650 km getting to work and back, since I started this summer.
how to disagree
Lots of good material arising from the debates online about some cycle lanes (who'd have guessed!).
inventing the jaywalker
Recently, there was some debate on the meaning of 'jaywalking' - a term invented by the auto industry and friends.
a beautiful day for a ride
Yes, it was only 8oC this morning, but the weather was perfect for cycling: calm wind & lotsa sun.
movie review - Pixels
This is an Adam Sandler movie in which he and a (rather excellent support cast of) team fight to save the world from space invaders that have chosen the form of all our favorite '80s video games.
the annual retreat
I spent the day on Toronto's harbor islands, at the annual retreat for the non-profit board on which I sit.
my kingdom for some taurine
It's funny, that with products like Red Bull everywhere, it can be hard to find taurine in pill form for daily control of migraines.
bus tried to block me, today
When I tried to turn left from Woodbine to Cosburne this morning, a TTC driver used his bus to block me.
movie review - Megamind
This is an animated kids movie featuring a super-villain as its central character.
sober is ready when you are
The line is supposed to be "summer is ready when you are", but summer just left, and I always hear "sober is ready when you are".
meeting with old friends
For the first time in nearly a decade, I had dinner with Jon and Charlie, who I've known for 22 and 36 years, respectively.
home made granola
For the second weekend running, I've made some grain-free granola.
the Equifax breach
I've gotten questions from a variety of people about the Equifax breach, and what it means to them in terms of potential ID theft.
45km and what do you get
Today I did the ride with Cycle Toronto; 25km with a crowd of a couple of hundred people.
live global map of surface winds
My mum sent along this amazing map of the surface winds on the planet; the visuals and interactivity set a new bar.
ISACA's sent me some copies of the issue of their Journal that includes my article.
my failed ride with the TTC
On Friday, I tried to attend a talk at 08:30 downtown; but the TTC had other ideas.
Tracking Vulnerability Fixes to Production
As an IT auditor at a software company, I discovered that security vulnerabilities in our bespoke product had not been getting released to clients on a timely basis.
end of an exhausting week
It's the end of a week that began with me working past midnight and finished with me abandoning a TTC bus and walking home.
The Japanese are being a lot more patient with the North Koreans than I think I could be.
read a great sci-fi book
I've recently read a great sci-fi book titled "All Our Wrong Todays".
happiness is a new classroom
I've pulled the plug on my data science MOOC: the instruction was aimless, and the assignments uneven.
happiness is a new drive train
My 25km daily commute's been rough on my bike; after three years it was time to replace the drive train.
that 70's car
I've noticed an increase in the numbers of beige, khaki, and orange cars on the roads recently: it can mean only one thing.
Dropbox nuked my journal photos
Dropbox has decided to turn off public image sharing, even for their paying customers - reducing their value-add but not their price.
40 years of the Voyager spacecraft
From the photos in this article it seems that it was casual Friday when NASA made the golden records sent with the Voyager spacecraft.
fund raising, we're fund raising
My fundraising for the 25km safe streets bicycle ride in Toronto is $75 along, so far - thank you donaters! It now turns out that there's a free bag of roasted coffee in it for anyone who'll donate (ask me for details).
pity that Saturn cars are no more
Having had our car struck twice, I have to say I've come to appreciate what Saturn was doing with their polymer cars.
a fundraising ride
I am doing a fundraising ride to promote safe streets in Toronto.
evaluating third party cyber risk
The Investment Industry Association of Canada has issued new guidance on evaluating cyber security readiness in third parties.
well that was quick
So there are leaves blowing in the streets, and I wore a hoodie while cycling to work; it's Autumn! We went right from a long rainy "late Spring" as one friend put it, to Autumn.
a scratched car
Our beloved car has been scratched, and I'm thinking of getting it painted - time to source someone to do the work.
yakiniku in Toronto
Mmmm, Japanese "yakiniku" in Toronto.
riding on Woodbine
Today I had the pleasure of riding up the length of the new cycle lane on Woodbine Avenue - a great ride! Formerly a no-go zone on a bike due to the heavy, stop-and-go traffic, it's now easy with a wide lane between the curb and parked cars that are kept apart from the cyclist by a buffer that prevents dooring.
two skunks for two anglers
We headed out under calm, clear skies, and attempted to reproduce last week's fishing success despite the un-fishy weather.
approximately a month late for pi
pi approximation day was 7/22, I've only just thought of it today.
arrows on the streets of Toronto
I've figured out the small arrows on the streets of Toronto that point from the center of the street to the curbs.
another submitted blog post
I've been asked to submit another guest blog post for my professional work.
GMO salmon in our grocery stores
If you thought that salmon you ate was a natural organism, I hope you don't live in Canada.
Nothing quite like a fever in the warmest weather of the summer.
sick again - again!
I'm back on antibiotics again, for the fifth time this year.
back in the city, and commuting again
On my first commute through the city today, I saw a mastiff in a bike trailer (designed for kids).
lost our canoe
I've caused the destruction of our canoe.
2017.08.10, Stoney Lake
We went to the Petroglyphs Provincial Park near Stoney Lake, today.
septic tank repaired!
2017.08.08, Stoney Lake
Following a large rainstorm on the weekend, the septic tank at the cottage we're renting seemed to have filled up.
here comes vacation
We're going on vacation and my fourth sinus infection of the year just keeps getting worse.
counting the days
We leave for the rental cottage in 48 hours.
lightning without clouds or rain
July went out with a bang - thunder, that is - under sunny skies without rain.
this Trump mess is becoming distracting
Just how much money does Trump owe these Russian gangsters?
to the park!
We took Ki-kun to Tommy Thompson park for a picnic and some fishing - it was the first time he truly felt that he was in another land.
to the falls!
2017.07.29, Niagara Falls
We took Mari's nephew to Niagara Falls, as one does with visitors to Toronto - but then we did something a bit unusual.
how Russia and Trump fit together
It's always seemed that Trump and the Russian criminal syndicate/rulership had some joint concern driving their actions.
and now, a teenager
Mari's nephew is staying with us for the next three weeks; now we have a 5 year old, a 9 year old, and a 15 year old.
the ground beneath me sags
The excavation next door to us seems to be causing subsidence in our yard.
the worst kind of cyclist
Today I encountered the worst kind of cyclist: he passed me in an intersection by ignoring a stop sign.
like busy is a virtue
The job's already gotten busy enough that I'm already pining for the days this Spring when I wasn't working.
three weeks of cycling and I gain 2kg
After three weeks of cycling 23km every day I've actually gained two kilos.
movie review - The Fantastic Mr. Fox
This is a superb animated movie featuring a certain fox that decides it's time to return to old ways of pilfering the odd chicken from the farms in the area.
getting it wrong with R
I'm taking a "MOOC" on Coursera in data science.
back in Toronto and vowing to do better
Having witnessed Ottawa's mature network of cycle lanes, my resolve is doubled to do something about Toronto's unsafe streets.
de-identifying health information
I currently have a contract with a firm that "de-identifies" health information prior to it being shared with third parties such as marketers, drug manufacturers, and researchers.
It seems my drug benefits plan has expired - who knew my migraine drugs would cost $240! I found out the hard way by coming down with a migraine mid-morning while at the office while away from home.
drinking with PhD's
Tonight I found myself drinking with four Ph D's and one professor - all substantially younger than me.
Ottawa's got nice cycle lanes
I am very impressed with Ottawa's cycling infrastructure; separated lanes in green spaces and protected lanes on the streets.
the seat fell off my bike today
The seat fell off my bike as I was crossing a busy street, today.
1.5 billion seconds
Today I noticed something: we've passed through 1.
nearly struck by a truck on Bayview
A pickup driver nearly ended my life on Friday.
movie review - Your Name
This is an engrossing tale about two teens who keep waking up in each other's bodies; one boy, one girl.
movie review - Okja
This is a film about a semi-sentient animal named Okja; she's a genetically modified super-pig, larger and tastier than ever and stationed by an eccentrically-run company with a young girl in Korea.
that's a lot of tracking!
I have this browser plugin that blocks third-party tracker systems from the websites I visit.
I had lunch with two colleagues who lost their jobs the same day I did.
goodbye, greenery and quiet
Be it ever so green and quiet and perfect, my route to my new job isn't going to last.
back to work
Having lost my job in April, I was unexpectedly a part of the family's life again around the house and able to take the kids to school and so on.
the long climb
This is the route I took on my first day at the new job: a lot of climbing over nearly 14km.
movie review - Transformers
If you're going to watch a Transformers movie, let it be this one.
goodbye, first half of 2017
Goodbye, first half of 2017: you took a friend, you took my job, and you thwarted my fishing - here's to the second half.
latest watch crush
She ain't exactly pretty; ain't exactly small: she's my latest watch crush.
gaming Google news
two of four articles are spam?
video conferencing at last
If there was any upside to a two-hour conference call last night, it's that my home Internet seems to have stabilized at last.
Bells on Danforth once again
We lit out at 10 to attend the "Bells on Danforth" ride once again - this time with Mari and both kids.
200 years of the bicycle
The bicycle turns 200 this year, in fact we're only a couple of weeks away from the bicentennial of its first public use.
thank you, AK-88178
Out for a spin today, I had the misfortune of being in a "sharrow" with a driver staring at his cell phone.
privacy in this day and age
Sometimes people get emails that make it clear their personal network is known to various websites or agencies.
welcome, summer of '17
Ye gods, summer is finally here – albeit with a high of only 21C today.
another record breach
A data analytics company leaked personal information on 200 million voters.
we have no privacy
Sometimes people get emails that make it clear their personal network is known to various websites or agencies.
half a "Chantelle"
I cycled 30km today, but there's a dedicated cyclist on the CT board who cycles 70km a day - I managed nearly half a "Chantelle".
movie review - Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
This is a film about a boy who joins an unusual household full of bizarre children.
fishing on father's day
The Boy invited me to go fishing today at Tommy Thompson park - where at least the mink catch fish.
poaching tusks in Siberia
Poachers in Siberia are digging up mammoth tusks with pressurized water, making themselves rich but fouling the rivers.
another tattoo used
I've discovered that another of my old tattoo ideas was used by someone out there.
no lice on us
The kids were tested for lice, but there were no lice.
writing an industry standard
The Investment Industry Association of Canada is producing a two-document guide on evaluating cyber risk in their third party (vendor) arrangements.
lice, getcha lice
The school just sent a note telling us 24 children at the school have head lice.
ISACA article accepted
The ISACA article has been accepted.
It was nearly the end of me today when a bunny darted out as I was riding, this evening after a non-profit board committee session.
cycling with a snapping turtle
As I was on a 13km ride, I encountered a snapping turtle on a wooded path - it had the trail to itself.
movie review - I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore
This is a movie about a loser name Ruth whose home is robbed.
canoeing and reading
At 6:30 this morning, my friend Richard picked me up for a morning jaunt to Leslie Street Spit from Cherry Beach by canoe.
fixing people's bikes
I spent six hours today fixing kids' bikes at Main Square – a low-income housing complex at Main and Danforth in Scarborough.
The "fawaffle" truck was at The Kids' fun fair - a falafel sandwich not wrapped in pita but a waffle cone made of falafel.
say, that emperor has no clothes
It's funny how everyone's going around on egg-shells pretending that we don't know that Trump's just a crook.
snuck off for some fishing
I left the apartment before six this morning to do some fishing in Scarborough; it's amazing what the unemployed can do.
total party un-kill
I allowed my son's D&D group to worm their way out of their death-by-riddle from our last session.
my wife can live with me
Mari says that it's been nice having me around the house these past two months - that she thinks we'll retire well together.
that's it, I'm going fishing
I took the morning off for some fishing, but the lake's still funny.
events on Toronto island cancelled due to flooding
Our son was supposed to attend his first camp on the Toronto islands this summer - it's been cancelled due to flooding.
Covey time-management quadrants
Where oh where has the four-quadrant Franklin Covey time management system been, all my life?
goodbye, great barrier reef
So, we've killed the great barrier reef; mission accomplished.
This was a busy, busy month - a blur of interviews, meetings, phone calls until I got sick and had to take some time to recover.
first family cycle trip
The family took a cycle trip down to Tommy Thompson park today and had a fine time.
this is why I joined Cycle Toronto
A five year old cyclist died this week when he fell into traffic - this is why I joined a cyclists' advocacy group.
is that a bubble bursting
It looks like Toronto's immense housing bubble may finally have burst.
the lake has risen up against us
The boy was heroically standing at the brink as the waves came crashing in.
happy towel day, everybody - you'll need it with this rain
Happy towel day, everybody - you'll need it with all this rain.
safe harbor de-identification of health data
The health industry works with a standard called the "Safe Harbor" for de-identifying personal information.
catch of the year
It is with great embarrassment that I've finally caught my first fish of the year in late May.
describing May 2-4 to Americans
How better to describe the Victoria Day weekend to Americans than by its nickname, "May 2-4"? I was on a call with the board I've recently left, which is for a US-based professional association.
movie review - Lego Batman Movie
I don't know if this movie was strictly necessary, they covered Lego Batman in sufficient depth in the Lego Movie itself.
This is a good anime about a time in the distant future where humanity has been sidelined by its own housing and infrastructure, and now ekes out a marginal existence in the shadow of security systems that refuse to let them sufficiently travel or build to reclaim their world.
we won a three-legged-race
My wife and I won a three-legged-race - I think it was the first I'd ever run.
an ISACA article
Tomorrow's the deadline for the next issue of ISACA's "Journal".
flooding on Toronto's beaches
Lake Ontario was apparently at its highest ever yesterday, May 17 - I've put together a pic of what that looks like in Toronto.
time to regroup
Kevin's death is having an effect on my job search.
goodbye, Kevin Atwood
My musician friend Kevin Atwood has died, as humorous and sweet a fellow as you'll ever meet.
snapped my fishing rod
While enjoying a relaxing fishing jaunt, I stupidly broke my fishing rod, for the first time in my life.
five days of pain
I've had a right-side, weather-related migraine for five days.
created a job - for someone else
My habit of introducing people I feel should be working together has paid off in a job created, but for someone else.
the fun is in the doing
Once again, I'd like to quote Kurt Russell: the fun is in the doing, not the talking.
our first fish of the year
The boy caught his first fish of the year, today - a tasty 45cm pike.
fx trading and a positive attitude
Mari says it's common wisdom in the FX trading world that one must keep a positive attitude to place productive trades.
dungeons & dragons total party kill
I played D&D with my son, his two friends, and their father yesterday.
a month of unemployment
It's interesting that some things have changed so much and some so little, being unemployed for a month.
illicit help from the TTC
I had a little help catching the 502 at University and Queen yesterday on my way home.
my mind, mapped
I did a personality test of sorts, and learned I'm an odd duck.
1,500 photos of the day
Be it ever so humble, this pic of my daughter spelling a friend's name is my 1,500th "photo of the day".
busy as if I had a job
Toronto's become a city of new software ventures in the past few years.
movie review - Nice Guys
I loved this movie.
the only chart that matters
My wife's an economist by training and is now learning to become an FX trader – I keep thinking of a certain chart.
bird of prey at our window
A bird of prey suddenly arrived on our balcony, diving at a mourning dove.
new season of Archer
"Good news and bad news," I told Mari, "the new season of Archer has started.
tweeting for traffic
If you tweet updates to your website at a certain time of day, you can get a steady increase in traffic.
vice president of a non-profit board
Last night I was nominated to be the Vice President of the board of Cycle Toronto.
so this is a dentist's office
Another benefit of unemployment – I saw the inside of a dentist's office for the first time since 2014.
movie review - Sing
I wonder if any good movie ever had the word "Sing" in the title.
volunteering at school
Another benefit of having all this free time - I got to volunteer at the school for the visit of a scientist.
An unexpected benefit of being unemployed: I am meeting a lot of people.
my guide on managing third party risk
I've written a guide on managing third party risk, that is, the risk that comes with sharing your data with third parties such as service organizations.
13 years in Toronto
Last month, I passed the sum of 13 years spent living in Toronto.
4ºC and raining
4ºC and freezing rain under 30kph winds; the worst cycling! The things I endure to turn up opportunities.
PMP for five years
Today is the five year anniversary of my long slog through the PMP exam.
45km of cycling
My various meetings took me downtown twice and to the Danforth: some 45km of cycling in a day.
the boy has figured out the Easter bunny
A friend made a comment about hiding Easter eggs, within earshot of my son; this led to something unexpected.
movie review - Criminal
This is a strange and violent story about transplanting the memories of a dead spy/soldier into the brain of a death-row prisoner with a neurological condition that means he'll never have empathy and will never deviate from his life of violent disregard for society.
movie review - The Discovery
This movie centers on a small scientific team that's worked out how to prove the existence of the afterlife.
we've overclocked the kids
Trying to figure out what's happened to our kids, today, to make them so hyper and babbly.
metrics that matter
The article I placed on LinkedIn about losing my job has now been read well over 1,000 times.
a migraine in nice weather
As so frequently happens, the weather gets nice and I get a migraine.
a family day
2017.04.14, St. Catharines
Today we went to St.
The damage to my good suit is irreversible.
720 reads in 48 hours
My previous post (which was cross posted to LinkedIn) regenerated over 700 reads in under two days.
gracious in defeat
Two women colleagues described me as "gracious" today; I don't think that word means what they think it means.
I lost my job
Last Tuesday, I lost my job during a restructuring at PortfolioAid, a compliance solutions firm.
thoughts after six years
I've gathered my thoughts on exiting an executive role at a software firm after six years.
movie review - Jurassic Park III
Well, it had been almost 17 years, so I decided to show the kids this flick for "movie night".
Every other night since my ouster, I've not slept.
today was non-profit day
It's a good thing I didn't have a pesky job to contend with.
time off for good behavior
I was a mid-level executive at employer of the past six years.
cut down in my prime
I lost my job today in a restructuring that saw 4/10 members of the management team gone, among others.
movie review - The Lost World: Jurassic Park
This is one of the sequels to the stellar Jurassic Park.
precision of apathy
A colleague came by to inform another; "I care about this as much as you do - to the power of minus 100.
movie review - Predestination
This is a movie about a person involved by an agency in fighting certain crimes in the past.
my first NBA game
I attended my first NBA game tonight - we had a great time (watching the local team blow a game-long lead in the fourth quarter).
feeling thankful for a head cold's passing
I think the metaphorical back of this head-cold I've got is broken – which is good, because it spawned three days of migraines.
farewell, SIRA board
My first term as a non-profit board member ends on March 31.
the message and the medium
A former colleague on the SIRA board published this article to LinkedIn.
How to create a unique minimalist watch brand
Here's a guide to creating your own successful minimalist watch brand.
cold number twelve
I lost exact count around Christmas, but I've got cold ~12 since September building up.
-8°C on the third day of Spring
It's -8°C on the third day of Spring – it must be Toronto! That said, it's a beautiful blue day.
printer ink costs how much
Ink cartridges for our home printer are so expensive that it's the only thing people have to say about the otherwise decent printer.
changes to my website
In the past couple of days, I've brought back my book reviews, added a watch review, and made changes to speed up the site.
our day off
Beware the ides of March, your day shall be a bust if depending on the weather forecast – or so we learned this year.
unsubscribing from things
The new year is ten weeks old, and I have unsubscribed from 22 email things.
my father's new watch
I love it when people "buy into" a brand intended for a wildly different demographic - my father's new watch is a great example.
an interesting take on consulting
I've started reading Peter Block's "Flawless Consulting".
my latest watch crush
I like watches, and true to Pisces form, my interests tend to flit about like a butterly in a field of flowers.
It looks like Australia's original settlers lived without mass warfare; an interesting break with the usual pattern of human history.
a good crack at explaining the Vancouver housing bubble
I've come across a really good explanation of the Vancouver housing bubble, from SFU.
never park your bike on Duncan St in Toronto
Never park your bike on Duncan St in Toronto unless you want it destroyed or stripped.
movie review - Ex Machina
This is a story of a robotics specialist who's sent to the remote residence where his genius/billionaire boss is holed up working on who knows what.
toronto housing is becoming fun
Housing in this city is now in the lofty company of Vancouver, where you can't guess if a listing is a parody.
riding in Toronto's second winter
My ride to work started with a flat that I deemed a slow leak; I pumped it up and took off into 40kph winds at -9.
cloud hosting, not lightning fast
I did some speed testing and discovered that AWS and Google are slow at serving fonts.
blessed but unmotivated
Here's an interesting article outlining all the things Canada's got going for it, and all the nothing we're doing with the opportunity.
the ever-expanding sh*tlist
These are the 64 IP addresses that I current block on my websites.
have I adopted a Michael face?
New research suggests that we adopt a face that reflects our name - I wonder if I've got a Michael face and if so, what does it mean? Here's a link to the research.
movie review - Skiptrace
Someone decided, "Let's put Johnny Knoxville from Jackass in a movie with Jackie Chan.
claiming professional expenses in Canada
In Canada, anyone on the treadmill of maintaining professional designations gets a couple of tax incentives.
no ice fishing this year
Looks like we've lost the rest of the ice fishing season.
We were watching a hockey game, when we saw a camera angle that we couldn't figure out.
a memorable d&d session
We played d&d on the weekend, and it was a memorable session - turns out they heard "white tower" when I was saying "wight tower".
movie review - Girlfriend's Day
There's a variant of the film noir where the detective is accidental.
happiness is a plowed cycle lane
The city of Toronto's been doing a good job lately of keeping the cycle paths plowed in the dead of winter.
two and half minutes to midnight
Things continue apace - now the doomsday clock's back where it was in the 50's! Some interesting commentary on Trump in there.
replaced a strap on my beater watch
I replaced the aging NATO strap on my watch with another cheapie, this time a two-part.
now what, America
Hard to imagine that things could get this wacky, this fast, in the US - I feel for my American friends.
On Monday I appeared in a court room for the first time, for the guilty plea of the driver who knocked me off my bike.
A certain credit card issuer decided they would issue me a new card, then didn`t, but froze my existing card.
new census data
Oh boy, new census data - and my home town of St Catharines has once again bucked the trend and not show growth.
get cyber safe
The government of Canada has produced some guidance for small-medium enterprises which is a) quite good and b) surprisingly readable.
the flight of the wealthy
It looks like the wealthy are planning on pulling the plug on the US.
So it turns out there are micro-fragments of plastic in the seafood we eat; we now have that stuff in our blood.
so this is kakistocracy
For once, I find myself doing some reading about the character and intent of a US President, with some interesting findings.
migraine summary for 2017
It looks like I lost three days outright to migraines in '17, and had to take strong migraine drugs some 84 other times during the year.
I foolishly chose to take the TTC to work today; two fares ($6+) to get to work late.
riding in the snow for my son
To get anywhere in downtown Toronto, there is no substitute for a bike.
migraine prophylactics are as bad as the problem
I've said it before and I'll say it again, daily prophylactics for migraine are more trouble than they're worth.
still ukraine, still ukraine
On my son's new globe, some things never change; Crimea is still Ukraine #earworm.
movie review - Hotel Transylvania
By all accounts, Adam Sandler is a decent guy who treats people well and there's no denying that he's made his own path.
In addition to CEO fraud emails, now there's virtual kidnapping.
It's ten to five, and the sun's just going down; so good to have some sunlight in Toronto!
hello, October's shoes
Mari realized that the shoes we ordered from the US back in October hadn't come; I called the shop, they'd had them for months.
goodbye, Mr Obama
They say you bungled the American empire, Mr Obama; I say good riddance, let the US be a country again.
Farewell, civilization as we've known it.
financial industry vendor management
Today I attended an wealth management industry committee meeting in which we're looking at an industry-wide approach to managing third party risk.
The storm last night tore a piece off our building that came down and onto our car - I wonder if insurance will cover it.
Another year, another extract-transform-load project.
goodbye, little aquarium
Friends have taken the smaller of our aquariums - I know it's in good hands with a smart young lad.
ten years with this journal
I've been keeping this journal for a full decade, now! It started, I admit, with just some pencil-sketch thoughts on movie reviews.
goodbye, home phone
We'll be cutting our home phone spend from $28/month + tax to ~ $9/month by going VOIP.
mobile data overage charges
For the past few months, I've been paying $5 - $10 a month for overshooting my cellular data allotment on my mobile phone.
movie review - Star Wars: Episode VII
How better to spend X'mas eve than with a slick continuation of a movie from your childhood? In which your favorite character dies for no reason, the most iconic hero of the 20th Century is reduced to a petulant cripple, and the plot is a mess.
movie review - Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Which aristocrat will marry which daughter? Or will the zombies win out, having already over-run 95% of the UK.
movie review - Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
This is a "Star Wars" story, telling the tale of the many Bothans that died bringing Princess Leia the plans for the Death Star -- as referenced in the very first "Star Wars" in 1977.
cycling at Christmas
I cycled in to work today; the major trails away from the streets were icy, but the streets were good.
watching TV has changed
Last night I heard the audio for a show through my phone while watching the TV; I felt old.
the frozen driveway
Our steep driveway is covered in ice thanks to a new city policy towards meltwater and rainwater.
the book I wish I'd had
Ray Pompon's book IT Security Risk Control Management: An Audit Preparation Plan is the one I needed back in 2011 when I first took a service organization through an audit.
latest watch crush
I'm looking at a thin dress watch to slip under my French cuffs.
cycling at minus six
My rear shifter cable was locked up this morning due to the -6°C weather.
the flaming lips sell out
So; the Flaming Lips have lent "Do You Realize" to the latest Transformers movie.
movie review - Home
This animated kids movie is such a frenetic mess that it lost the attention of our four-year-old and we stopped watching it.
movie review - Arrival
Jon and I went to the local cinema to watch this sci-fi flick about first contact with aliens.
movie review - The Red Turtle
This is a story of a man who is shipwrecked on a deserted island.
securing your life
The New York Times recently ran a piece with practical information about protecting your online life.
movie review - Paddington
This is an excellent animated movie about an anthropomorphic, talking bear who decides to travel to London to find a home after being pushed out of his own by an earthquake.
yet another reason to patch
Today I had an illuminating call with our insurance broker and carrier about an exclusion in our errors & omissions insurance pertaining to unlicensed data and software.
here comes fascism!
The Toronto District School Board has circulated an email about escalating racism and hate in the city.
back on my steed
One round trip on the TTC is one round too many for a dedicated cyclist; I don't know how people do it every day.
damaged bike chain
I don't know how I did it, but I managed to bend two links in my bike chain.
movie review - Kubo and The Two Strings
This is a lovingly-made animated story about a boy who sets a monstrous spirit loose on the world and must walk the path of his ancestors in order to set things right.
movie review - The Boy and the Beast
This is an animated flick from Japan, about a young boy kidnapped to an alternate world (of ghosts or demons, I want to say?) who winds up living with a bluff beast of a man.
top hits these past ten days
My website's seen a predictable trickle of traffic lo these past nine - ten days.
woke up braking
I woke myself up reaching for my bike brakes, this morning.
Yesterday I saw a cyclist hanging onto the door handle of an SUV westbound on Richmond Ave at speed.
movie review - The Wolverine
This is yet another super-hero movie.
DNS subdomain discovery
This weekend, I found this interesting little tool called DNS Dumpster.
inching closer to github pages
I will achieve in time, my object all sublime, to move this website to a free platform.
lost cycling glove
An occupational hazard of cycling: losing your gloves.
journal entry 3335
They say it's quality, not quantity, but I can't count the former and I have all these posts! Three thousand, three hundred, thirty-five posts to be precisely pointless.
shaking like a leaf
It turned out that all this confusion about us being "good parents" came from both of us going to see The Girl for her night terrors.
"you guys are good parents"
Our four-year-old surprised me this morning, sticking her head into the washroom and saying, "You guys are good parents.
fintech and information risk
An article appeared in "The Investment Executive" this weekend that highlights information risk in so-called fintech.
movie review - Captain America: The First Avenger
We watched this for "movie night" with the kids.
the fish magnet's first walleye
2016.10.09, Lower Buckhorn Lake
The Boy caught his first walleye tonight.
my first crappie
2016.10.07, Lower Buckhorn Lake
I caught a lovely crappie today, a good-sized and healthy-looking specimen with good "shoulders".
fare well, beloved Gill
Gill, our 9-10 year old angel fish, has died.
movie review - Hachiko: A Dog's Story
This is the story of Hachiko, the dog who is immortalized with a bronze statue at Tokyo's Shibuya station.
on failed persons
The Basel definition of operational risk is this: "Oper
Today a coyote came to visit us.
a flat on new tires
The toll from using cheap tires has started: I'd only just had a cycle shop fix my screw-up with my chain (I missed a small guide on one of the derailleur wheels) when I had my first flat in nearly two years.
Kids' sports day
The Boy had his first tennis lesson of the Autumn, today.
new drive train
I changed the cassette and chain on my bike today; a clear case of better late than never.
movie review - John Carter
This is an update of an early science fiction story from a full Century ago.
on reputation and character
It's almost comically unfashionable to talk about things like character and reputation in today's society, but it wasn't always so.
it's been a better week
Bruised ribs or no, it's been a better week.
of trout and bruised ribs
I headed out for a bit of fishing and landed nothing but some bruised ribs.
wed men tells no tales
A friend said he had some tales from his honeymoon.
yup, quite a week
After 3 board committee meetings, 2 grant applications, and an audit, the week ended with my walk-around USB drive dying.
what a perfect day
Summer's nearly over, and I feel that I actually lived it this year, unlike the past 3-4.
what a week, 2016 edition
Missed a day due to illness yesterday; today I discover that my bike tire needs replacing; the bike shop that claimed to have the tires and tubes I wanted had neither; then the watch repair guys break my watch; then I put the new tubes in my new tires, and put those on my bike and noticed that one of the spring arms had broken on my rear brake.
Ken gave a presentation to his class on the subject of himself.
week not going as planned
Was sick all day with a sinus headache that triggered a migraine.
dangerous and fruitless fishing
The Boy and I were supposed to go fishing, but it rained and I decided to go out at sunset - this was a mistake.
no eth0 after linode moved me to kvm
Linode, my internet hosting provider, urged me to move my VM to a new infrastructure; doing so cost me 14 hours of downtime.
debating a cycle lane on the street
Tonight I attended a meeting in my neighborhood to discuss a proposed contra-flow cycle lane.
fishing no more
My fishing partner has left me high and dry, now being eight-and-a-half.
movie review - The Edge of Tomorrow
This is a science-fiction piece with a clever premise - one heroic human must re-live a day of battle with an invading alien species every day until he "wins the day" and saves our species.
UGO wallet saves an angler from a fine
A wallet app on my phone saved me from an MNRF fine this weekend.
cry the beloved economy
Canada's balance of trade set a new low today, but it's the historical context that tells the story.
Our son is really pretty amazing.
that'll teach us for going to Canadian Tire
We've been having car trouble, but something's gone right at last.
lost a trout at the last minute (again)
2016.07.27, a mountain river
I'm cursed when it comes to landing trout in western Canada - today yet another one slipped away from me.
caught the same fish on different days
2016.07.20, Salt Spring Island
I caught a fish last night, then caught it again this morning - I was embarrassed for the fish.
how to sabotage innovative projects
One of my favorite books on internal control; sorry, the only good book I've ever encountered on internal control is "Intelligent Internal Control and Risk Management" by Matthew Leitch.
hydro bill results
I've had my next electricity bill; my changes resulted in a $22 (13%) savings.
movie review - Nightcrawler
This is a movie about a thief and con-man who pushes into the TV cameraman line of work after witnessing a crew in action.
fishing in the city
It's confirmed, I've found a reliable fishing hole in Toronto.
movie review - Tangled
This is an animated telling of the Rapunzel story with some updates.
no fix for cyber security in our lifetime
An article landed in my inbox today in which an expert from Marsh was quoted as saying, "Cyber as a pervasive risk will likely not be solved in our lifetime.
a boreal owl
We've been hearing owl calls in the night for some weeks now, I think I've identified the species.
fixing the electricity bill
Looks live I've shaved $20 off my monthly electricity bill with just two changes.
a sequel to the passion of the christ
Naturally, Mel Gibson's doubling down on his widely criticized move to bring back the anti-Semetic "The Passion of the Christ" BS from the middle ages.
Trump! Let the fire burn how it will.
Some people are going to vote Trump because they want to see the elites suffer with the rest of us.
movie review - 99 Homes
This is a gripping story about a man who is evicted from his house during the Great Financial Crisis, but through a series of events winds up working for the crooks that had him evicted.
the Endor holocaust
today – jackhammer plus migraine
Indoors: me, barely hanging on with a right-side migraine.
movie review - Dredd
I wanted an action flick, and this appeared on a streaming service.
gane's law on the passage of data and meaning
Gane's Law: "Any information that must be passed through two levels of management shall be mooted by the voyage, for it shall be diluted and misconstrued.
movie review - Interstellar
This is a sci-fi movie that goes to great lengths to be pro-science and defend humanity's space record and so on but when push comes to shove it veers into mysticism.
killed a squirrel with my bike
I started the day with running down a squirrel with my bike.
a cycle lane on Bloor
Toronto city council has turned a corner, voting to install a cycle lane on the city's main, long, crowded, east-west shopping street.
the high price of civilization
Our electricity bill came to $173 for two months, up $10 because I once left the iron on for 4 hours? I can easily recall when I'd pay about $20 a month for electricity.
the baby squirrels lived
Last weekend, we discovered a squirrel's nest; we wound up with three baby squirrels in a box.
farewell shopping malls
I learned today that traffic at shopping malls has fallen by 50% since 2008.
is risk management a profession
A risk practitioner vastly senior to me posited the question on LinkedIn whether risk management is even a profession.
the problem of entitlements
Virtually every organization has the problem of managing IT asset entitlements.
squirrels in the storage shed
I was in the storage shed, and spotted some debris atop a box on the top shelf.
the edge method to puzzles
I do believe our almost-four-year old has the hang of the edge method to jigsaw puzzles.
failed your PMP exam?
long dive by a bird of prey
I saw a bird of prey take a long straight dive with its wings folded.
Something happened to the fences, railing, and steps at the property where we live.
first board meeting
If you're a member of Cycle Toronto, you can rest assured that the board is organized and energetic.
1776 steps in 23:41
Today, I climbed the steps of the CN tower with our eight year old son.
movie review - Jupiter Ascending
As much as I like Mila Kunis and suspect she deserves a break for being on Family Guy for so long, this movie was a troubled project by the (now) sisters that made the "Matrix" movies.
It is really annoying to get such a substantial tax return every year; why can't the government remember from year to year that it's over-taxing us by hundreds of dollars a month!
I did another presentation, today.
people really do plug in the USB devices they find
In case there was any question: people really do plug in the USB devices they find.
where are all the posts
Some day, I suspect that The Girl is going to ask: when you started this website, you made all kinds of posts.
officially on board
I met with the President of the board of Cycle Toronto for dinner, tonight.
silent attack of the balloons
A friend came by with some helium balloons, which The Girl promptly took to her bedroom.
evaluating a vendor's SOC-2 report
Someone asked me how to evaluate a service organization's SOC-2 report.
back in the saddle
My entire body aches, but I'm back on my bike for the commute.
I've had my bike repaired; happily, I got a small discount for being a member of Cycle Toronto.
the doctor says...
The doc says that I should get back on my bike as soon as the immediate pain is past, as it prevents PTSD.
knocked off my bike by a driver
I was knocked off my bike on the way home today by a driver who then fled the scene.
snow in April
It has now snowed every day since April Fools Day – coincidence? There was enough that we had to shovel the drive, on Monday.
Googling the quick and the dead
Google autocomplete completes a friend's name with the word "obituary"; he'd also cancelled the phone number I had.
head of state, athlete, billionaire, or drug lord
A headhunter once put it simply as he could: "What's your career trajectory, CEO, COO, or CFO?" I recoiled at the thought at the time, though I now know the answer and I'd have to put "missed" or "failed" in there somewhere.
For 04/01, we created a new password policy: whenever any password in the enterprise changed, all must be changed.
SOC-2 versus SIG
My team has been spending some time reviewing the forthcoming SOC-2 control standards.
you spin me right round
Our three year old spontaneously started singing DOA's "You Spin My Right Round" despite our never (never!) having played it for her.
Tonight while fishing (fruitlessly) at the Ashbridge's Bay marina, a large beaver paddled right by in front of me.
gave away a tail light, today
After my first Cycle Toronto board committee meeting, I found a red cycling tail light on the sidewalk.
scanning slides and negatives
Someone asked my advice on how to best scan slides and film.
skunked but loving it
2016.03.27, Port Dalhousie
Had another wonderful day of fishing to no avail, tonight.
governance and board positions
I've joined the board of Cycle Toronto, an advocacy association of city cyclists who are pushing for a safer city in which to ride.
Cycle Toronto's newest board member
To my surprise, I won the election to the board of Cycle Toronto.
first fishing trip to the rouge river
Today we went down to the rouge river to do the first fishing of the year.
scouting fishing locations
I spent half an hour or so on the way home, toodling about the waterfront scouting fishing locations.
Someone asked me today about management books I'd recommend.
migraine care in Toronto
I've just made a doctor's appointment for January 11, 2017.
Toronto vs Silicon Valley
It looks like Toronto's housing is now less affordable than that of Silicon Valley.
first day of fishing
Fished down at the marina again for an hour or so.
Laid low for two days, in my prime, just barely 45, by my fourth bug this winter.
movie review - The Big Short
This is a dramatic telling of real events that happened during the Great Financial Crisis.
movie review - The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Well, we got it over with, today.
filthy March cycling
Crowds of cyclists are already out, some two months earlier than they would have 5 years ago – thanks to infrastructure! This is what happens when you set aside some lanes and allow people to make some choices.
back on the road
First day back on my bike, and I came across two blockages on the Richmond cycle lane and maybe half a dozen on the Adelaide lane.
manual lenses on a modern camera
My birthday gift (to self) was a pair of adapters for my Olympus camera body.
my profile as a cycle toronto board nominee
As a nominee for a position on the board of directors for Cycle Toronto, here's my 'candidate profile'.
case study on advanced persistent threats
In the middle of 2015, I produced an analysis of my employer's readiness regarding risk due to "advanced persistent threats" in the cybersecurity space.
bifocals to read my pill bottle
Just in time for turning 45, I needed my bifocal safety goggles to read a pill bottle today.
crapped on again
Got crapped on by a bird again, today – my fourteenth hit (and first in three years).
our neighbor is our neighbor
It turns out that the woman who lives in the apartment downstairs from us works four buildings from me.
I've pulled out my Presto card, which I last used when moving back to Canada in 2010, for the TTC.
running for a board position
I've applied to be considered for the board of Cycle Toronto.
management consulting vs internal audit
I've just completed a three day intensive course on management consulting, which covered the twin streams of a) diagnosis and b) change management.
a three-day intensive course on management consulting
Today, I completed one of the most intensive training programs of my life.
flying west with the kids
We've been invited by my father and brother to take a vacation with them this summer.
movie review - The Grand Budapest Hotel
This is a Wes Anderson movie in which a hotelier runs afoul of the "pock-marked fascists" in the years leading up to and including WWII.
In the past few months, I've dropped three of the professional associations I'd belonged to.
four fishermen, 150 fish
2016.02.14, Lake Simcoe
Today might be Valentines Day, but two of us spent it on the ice with our sons, not with our brides.
at least five problems with security metrics
Last year, I participated in a panel on "metrics that matter" at RSA.
the risk of false brand identity
A colleague from the CMC posted some thoughts on brand based on one of Seth Godin's periodic utterances.
stay classy Toronto
First thing I saw @ 6:45 this morning was a driver hit a parked car and drive away - stay classy, Toronto.
bifocal safety googles
So it's come to this; I've bought some bifocal safety goggles, so I can see what I'm doing when I'm working with my hands on my (increasingly rare) crafts work.
movie review - Paprika
This is anime with the lid off.
giving a strip of flesh
I awoke at 4 or 5 this morning with another bloody migraine; soon I'd be mopping blood from the floor.
roundabout new year's resolutions
For the new year, a friend has decided to exercise less and pay less attention to his finances.
twenty years with a website
19 years ago today, I brought the first database-driven part of this website online.
have a good winter, bicycle
When they lay down the salt, I put away my bike.
rock and roll, dying of old age
Well, Lemmy's dead.
three with migraines
2015.12.27, St. Catharines
Asians get fewer migraines than other racial groups, and I'm hoping that that will improve my kids' outlook.
2015.12.25, St. Catharines
At grandma's in Saint Catharines for Christmas - probably for the last time, as she's planning to leave.
studying contractual and financial risk management
It's true that you get like the people you live with; I've spent a lot of time in the financial industry, and it seems I've picked up a thing or two.
a German santa told me "hajimemashite"
Today a German Santa Claus told me "hajimemashite".
Tonight I moderated a panel of experts on the role of the board in setting strategy.
moderating a panel
I moderated a panel tonight.
I won a door prize!
For the second time in forty-four years, I won a door prize, tonight.
making christmas tree ornaments
Ken and I went to "Four Cats", a local DIY arts place for kids, and made X'mas ornaments.
Vtech data breach
I sent a friend a note about the latest data breach that's in the news: Vtech.
detoured by tragedy
I was unable to cross the Don river at my usual spot due to a police barricade; they'd found a body in the river.
I got the city to change something
I managed to get the city to undo something that was inconveniencing cyclists.
more fun with my camera
I've been taking photos of people who park in cycle lanes; It seems that I'm starting to get known to that community.
graffiti mystery uncovered
I discovered hidden graffiti with the gain on my digital camera, today.
five years on the job
I've been at this job for five years, shattering my previous record – have I matured, or been institutionalized.
migraine educational session
This week, I attended an information session on enduring with migraines, which I've been doing for 40 years.
Our daughter calls this: "Checkup"
I'm constantly amazed at how difficult it is to break free of the straitjacket of the immediately urgent.
no poppy for remembrance day this year
Oddly, I couldn't find a poppy for sale this year.
what is this rodent
Ken and I came across this former rodent.
nine years on
Turns out, Mari and I forgot about our wedding anniversary again this year.
some home-made fishing lures
The Boy and I have been making wooden fishing lures, and rebuilding some old ones.
hiring for many talents
I've repeatedly been faced with the difficult task of hiring for ambiguous roles where a range of different skills are required.
yeah, I nailed that mid-term
88%, that'll do.
flickr pool on cars parked in Toronto cycle lanes
Not sure what good this will do, but I've started a flickr pool with pics with cars parked in Toronto's cycle lanes.
pumpkin pics from Hallowe'en
It's amazing what people can do these days.
breezed through a test on risk finance
I feel I did rather well on a test on risk financing tonight; in fact I think I over studied.
why ERM versus traditional risk management
I'm studying for a course on risk financing, and have a quibble with an answer "in the book".
thank you very much, Ontario driver BKDV 035
Today's run-in was with a Volkswagen, Ontario license plate BKDV 035.
collided with a taxi on King street today
I was struck by a taxi on King street today.
fishing in a river
For the first time in decades, I fished in a river.
movie review - The Wolverine
In this mean-spirited and gruesomely violent outing, super-"hero" Wolverine spends some time in Japan, hitting the usual wall of culture and language the way the rest of us do, but managing also to get nuked.
agility and risk
Dave Thomas, one of the originators of the "Agile Manifesto", gave a talk in January that explains where the Agile movement has gotten off the rails (no pun intended).
so this is Detroit!
I'm in Detroit for a conference, and had the opportunity of taking a tour around the city center.
collided with a jogger, today
I collided with a jogger, today.
movie review - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
My son's interested in these movies, so we've been slowly seeing them through.
17,500km of cycle-commuting
In the past five years, I've done about 1,750 trips to and from the office.
west is left and right is east
Looking at one of Ken's homework assignments, we saw that he'd correctly divined a pattern in a set of diagrams of blocks that grow by accretion.
movie review - The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
I thoroughly loved this story, based on an old poem, about a day-dreamer who is forced by a crisis at work to embark on a global adventure to track down a very larger than life photographer.
using a cache server to secure WordPress
Securing a website that runs on WordPress can be a challenge.
big data? no thanks
Big data - no thanks!
first fish from lake Ontario
On my fourteenth visits to the marina at Ashbridges Bay park, I landed a damn nice fish.
so that's a wood thrush
Today I learned what a wood thrush is, by having a dead bird on our balcony to identify.
a slow start to Toronto fishing
I have gone on eight separate fishing trips around the city, and not caught a thing.
movie review - Mad Max Fury Road
This is a distant sequel to the '80s Mad Max movies, which were guns-and-motorbikes romps through a post-apocalyptic Earth.
the sweet sting of the needle
Ah, the searing kiss of the tattoo needle; how I missed you.
a turtle in lake Ontario
For the first time in my life, I saw a turtle in Lake Ontario this morning as I cycled to work.
canvassing the public for signatures
Spent 80 minutes this evening collecting signatures for a CycleToronto petition.
ant colony is growing
The queen ant I found is raising a successful colony: there are now babies.
what the hell, I'll cycle to Markham
I was scratching my head for something to do, today, so I hopped on my bike and went north.
forecast so wrong, I had to buy a jacket
This morning the weather forecast said high of 29° and sunny, no mention of rain.
movie review - This is the End
This is the telling of a bunch of hot young Hollywood types who are Left Behind when the Rapture comes.
Today I accidentally shaved off my eyebrows with the assistance of our three year old.
a pike under placid water
2015.08.15, Victoria Harbour
The water was dead calm, so I paddled across the bay to a small island that's littered with fish scales, crab claws, and cormorant crap.
bats over the beaches
2015.08.14, Victoria Harbour
I was nearly home when I came upon some small bats gliding over the street – at the level of my helmet! I do love seeing bats about, it means that mosquitoes are dying, and they are beautiful in flight.
coffee for the whole office
Today, I'm taking some ice, some condensed milk, some boxes of tea bags, and some tonyo to the office.
Tonight I helped the woman after me in the queue at the grocery store find her three year old.
a take-up reel for an 8mm film projector
While cleaning out the basement of the family cottage, I found an 8mm projector.
John Cleese laughs at my alma mater
Several months ago, my mum sent me a Michael Enright interview with John Cleese.
every vacation must end
2015.08.08, Victoria Harbour
After two weeks of fighting with phragmites and hoarded junk (and a certain amount of fishing), it's time to rejoin the fray.
the other michael werneburg
I've found a few other people with my name, around the world.
helping a fellow cyclist in need
By happy chance I had my usual bike repair kit with me yesterday when I pulled up next to someone who was replacing a flat tube.
movie review - Frozen
This is a story about a princess with special magical abilities that let her control ice and snow.
how profitable are your clients?
It's taken me some doing, but I've sorted out a mechanism for determining the profitability of clients for a software firm.
let's not go blind
Let's all be careful around rural Ontario this summer kids – the giant hogweed lies in waiting.
a trailer hitch for our Rondo
We're adding a trailer hitch to our Kia, so we can take the bikes to the cottage on the weekend.
Today's the tenth anniversary of our meeting, Mari and me.
On the Ashley Madison list? Blame it on Target
It's occurred to me that if someone's name turns up on the user list at Ashley Madison, they can just blame Target.
for love of Pluto
It's fun to watch the various reactions to the new images coming back from Pluto - especially the emotionally charged ones.
And then one day your first born is suddenly solving ? - 3 = 5 by turning the equation into ? = 5 + 3.
woohoo, everyone borrow more!
Phew, the Bank of Canada just lowered interest rates – good thing we don't have a housing bubble.
a pleasant summer
A colleague is in Dubai, where it's 44° today - this morning in Toronto it was 13°.
new shifter cable
Yesterday, I installed my first shifter cable on my bicycle; it went smoothly but I'm still having phantom shifts.
reading and recovering
This weekend, while we tried to nurse our girl back to health, I picked a book on human evolution.
movie review - The Other Guys
This is a buddy-cop movie in which two jerks in the precinct take up an important case following the deaths of the actual stars.
so this is sugar beach
I accidentally discovered "Sugar Beach" today when looking for somewhere to read.
plankton develops eyes on its own
Hooray for science - we've discovered a type of Japanese-Canadian plankton that has developed eyes.
Canada day fun
We ended the day with a trip to the beach and watched the fireworks.
refreshed website look
I've retooled the site again, reducing the load time from 3½s to ½s.
stepping up to 49mm
Gotta admire a camera store that honors a four year old gift card - thanks, Henrys.
Oh, syphilitic Lousiana
Syphilis, Louisiana - say it ain't so! Well, it does say, "least common" form of death.
There is a new collection of photos, here.
In an audit of my employer's cybersecurity stance, I found things to be generally quite good.
proud owner of a new camera
Well, I did it – I've decided on the camera system that might be the last I ever by into.
geography game, and the risk of Kyrgyzstan
I found this online game where you try to put names on countries.
new chain, new cassette
After barely eight months, I'm already on my second chain and cassette.
movie review - Inherent Vice
This is a tale set in 1970 Los Angeles, in which the stoner element is strong but the old guard elements of society still remain in some force.
so it's decided
Nine years ago, I bought an inexpensive camera expecting to use it for two years.
fixing bikes in the park
This Spring, I took a bike repair course; today I put it to practice by once again repairing people's bikes.
Shakespeare in the park
Tonight I'm taking my son to see "Hamlet" in the park.
that's no way to toss your salad
Today my foot slipped on an escalator stair; my arm went up, throwing my lunch into the air.
pan-am games already getting on my nerves
Today I witnessed a cyclist take a tumble as he navigated some unannounced barriers on our route.
donated some old cameras today
I donated an antique SRT-101 and two X700 bodies and some lenses to a camera shop; they're making a mural.
volunteer bike repair
I turned up at a kids cycling event, ready to do some bike repair – but I wasn't needed.
"Don't worry, Daddy!"
Tonight while I was bathing our daughter, she saw me fretting about something and said, "Daddy, don't worry!
baby bunnies at dusk
Today's trip home was better than yesterday's - better to the tune of baby bunnies on the cycle path.
took a spill on my bike
Pinched between the ruined tracks and an oversized truck parked on the right, I took a bad bounce off of an uneven concrete rim next to the tracks and went down.
movie review - Star Trek Into Darkness
This 2013 Star Trek movie was such a mess I couldn't sit through the whole thing.
more camera porn
This time it's Sony that's caught my eye, with these fine entries.
a peer to mentor your staff
Another thing about getting older–you've got a network of peers who can serve as experienced mentors to your staff.
met an old friend for lunch, today
One of the things about getting older – you're more likely to have work contacts from twenty years ago.
the first family cycle trip
We cycled over to cherry beach and had a surprisingly chilly picnic.
a busy Saturday in June
This morning I: a. Ironed all my shirts for the week ahead
the old bait and switch
Fell for the old bait and switch last night, this time with a camera company.
cycling in a sports coat
This morning I attended an interesting seminar at MaRS, on the subject of innovation.
you work twelve hours, what do you get
Another day older, and more deeply entangled in discussions around insurance, monte carlo.
i think my daughter is a time traveler
I saw my future daughter as an adult on the street, today.
an explosion of bicycle traffic
The bicycle lanes on Richmond and Adelaide have exploded.
i've finished my bike repair course
I've finished my bike repair course, and it's made a big impact to the way I view my bike when I ride.
I attended a really strong seminar on systems thinking as an approach to change management.
late to bed and early to rise
Starting to think that years of burning the candle at both ends might be taking a toll.
canvassing on Danforth
Today I spent 90 minutes canvassing on Danforth about the cycle lane that we want to build.
lunch with smart people
Today I had lunch with one of those smart people who reflexively starts mentoring during a conversation.
bike repair stations in Toronto
A local brewery is sponsoring free-standing, self-serve bike-repair stations in Toronto.
the common law of business practice
Someone* once said this of choosing a vendor's solution base
repairing a rear wheel
Tonight in our cycle repair class we dismantled the rear wheel; really getting comfortable with this, now.
Detroit, here I come
That's it – I'm going to Detroit in October for a conference, and I'm going to enjoy it.
another workaday audit
Another visit by our service auditors this week.
a raccoon in crisis
Today's adventure began Jon with asking, "Does that look like a hand to you?
risk assessment in a nutshell
A pithy quote on risk assessment.
a fine mist, backlit by the dawn
I saw a fine mist falling, back-lit by the dawn and adrift on a gentle breeze.
of headwinds and the spring's fresh insects
I arrived at work with a mouth- and mustache-full of this year's crop of bugs.
interviewing means meeting interesting people
I'm interviewing for two jobs right now, it's a golden opportunity to meet some interesting people.
movie review - Gravity
This is a movie about an astronaut who's on a mission when debris strikes the station they're working on, trashing it and the shuttle that brought them.
what a week
Well, it's been a long week, but the family's healthy and whole, so all is well.
here come the bike repairs
As I'd hoped, there will be a full slate of opportunities to volunteer for Cycle Toronto this summer, fixing people's bikes.
tearing apart a bicycle wheel
At my cycle repair class tonight I learned how to dismantle a wheel and repack the bearings.
meeting in a discrete place
I met a friend for drinks tonight at the pub under the Strathcona Hotel.
hiring on LinkedIn
I recently posted two job openings to LinkedIn.
I'm always torn about a good-sized tax refund.
warm and pleasant at last
It's been so cool, dreary, and wet for so long that it's gotten hard to remember what sunshine feels like.
strange way to start a resume
Today I read a resume that started with the word "Competencies" misspelled.
more equipment, more
I went to Jacob's hardware for a set of combination wrenches for bike repair today; love that store.
kit flying in the spring
Emma's old enough to hold a kite string, now, so we put her to work.
back on summer tires
I've traded in my knobby 700x35's for some sleek 28's - always a happy surprise to feel the road again.
movie review - Horrible Bosses
This was a fun flick about some guys who decide to strike back against their horrible bosses .
teaching cycle maintenance
I'm only three weeks into my cycle repair course, and I've already missed a class.
And just like that, I'm back to the routine of kids with stomach bugs and meal routines.
my pilgrimage is complete
Someone at RSA called it a pilgrimage that is mandatory but that you only have to do once.
I skipped another afternoon of "keynotes" to meet with a succession of people.
2015.04.22, San Francisco
Today I decided that I'd had enough of the "keynotes" and went for another walk with my camera.
over the top in the USA
2015.04.21, San Francisco
The conference officially kicked off today, so naturally the first event was so over the top that it defied belief.
RSA Conference panel
1,200 people showed up for our panel at RSA.
wandering the hills of San Francisco
2015.04.20, San Francisco
After today's session, I went for a walk through Chinatown with my hot pink Minolta XD-11 and some black and white film.
a jet swirling contrails
2015.04.19, San Francisco
As we came over the last range of mountains I spotted another plane coming from the south (left).
heading to San Francisco
In two days, I leave for San Francisco; I'm joining a panel at the sprawling great RSA conference.
movie review - How to Train Your Dragon 2
This is a sequel to an animated movie that united Norsemen and dragons.
another cyber presentation
I was asked to present on information risk at our annual user conference, held today.
running red lights
Today on the way home from my cycle repair class I see nine cars run red lights.
the police use malware to persecute whistleblowers
And in this crap-hill 'verse, the police use malware to persecute whistleblowers.
using malware to persecute whistle-blower
A colleague passed this along.
the McNamara fallacy
It's funny how you're more likely these days to see an economist declaring the system bogus.
preparing to speak at a panel
I've been invited to participate in a panel at the RSA Conference in San Francisco this year.
hiring is tough work
I'm currently hiring for two disparate roles, and it's tough sledding.
first day of cycle repair classes
I took my first class of eight with the TDSB cycle repair program at Central Tech tonight.
an earful of pool water
I was holding The Girl in an indoor pool when she grabbed my head and forcibly squirted a mouthful of water into my ear.
on "How to avoid a breach"
I recently saw a LinkedIn post to an article titled, "Data breaches – how to effectively avoid them and manage them if they happen".
speaking at this year's RSA Conference
I've been asked to join a panel at this year's RSA Conference in San Francisco.
2015.04.02, St. Catharines, ON
It took us 3½ hours to drive the 100km to Saint Catharines today, and I was weary and grumbling upon arrival.
movie review - Limitless
This is a movie in which an experimental drug sets a very average fellow free to do great things.
an april fool's .. process manual
This year we issued a bogus process manual at work on "Accessing the stairs" for April Fools Day.
today my employer had a very good day
A competitor has announced a product that competes with something we're doing; it's welcome news.
working my way through my dissertation, still
I've posted another piece of my research findings to my other site, risktopics.
this time with feeling
Back on the bike, again.
the last stand of robin hood
I took the boy to see the farewell performance of "The Heart of Robin Hood" today.
movie review - Thor
This is a super-hero movie based on the Marvel Thor comic books, which I never read.
cutting off your nose
This article suggests that we should no longer use email, because it's not safe.
a Torontonian for one quarter of my life
I've now been here in Toronto for 11 of my 44 years.
I've noticed something: our family's withering away.
Maebh, scratched already
2015.03.15, St. Catharines, ON
We discovered that someone's struck our car and driven away without telling us.
happy Pi day, everyone
2015.03.14, St. Catharines, ON
It's 3/14 again; happy Pi day all you nerds and mathematicians.
first Ethiopian meal
Tonight I met a friend over Ethiopian food; it was the first time for both of (combined age, 84).
two day migraine
I've just been through the first two-day migraine I've had in nearly fifteen years.
winter's back is broken
And on the second day of decent weather, the count of cyclists to our office doubled to two.
back in the saddle, 2015 edition
I've finally ridden to work; a late start this year but it's good to be back on my bike.
a life 55 percent gone
Turned forty-four this week, and for the first birthday in years, I've noticed; I guess I can see fifty coming.
an ear for voices
We were listening to a Beatles song and Ken remarked, "that voice sounds like the singer from 'Monster in Paris'.
this is supposed to be cycling weather
March is usually when I get back on my bike; looks like it's not happening this week.
beyond risk-listing and the ISO31k diagram
Matthew Leitch is a risk management researcher in the UK I've leaned on more than once when I needed guidance.
movie review - The Hangover, Part 3
This is the third in the series of the "The Hangover" movies.
what the SEC thinks about information risk
As a "knowledge worker", it's important to understand how one's output is used.
kei-tra in Canada
I saw an honest-to-goodness Japanese "kei-tra" (kei truck) on Queen street tonight.
counting to and from five
Our little one can reliably count to and even down from five (and up to six).
the TTC breaks a perfect streak
The TTC really slipped up tonight; they let a whole street car full of people get to the Beaches.
ice fishing, 34 below
2015.02.16, Lake Simcoe
Today The Boy and I went ice fishing with Richard and his son.
this website is a decade old, I'll probably end it
Good ol' emuu dot net, my second website, is now ten years and four months old – and I think I might retire it.
forgetting my UNIX
I'm slipping; I went to null a file by copying /dev/null to it, and took about five seconds to remember /dev/null.
it looks like "cybersecurity" is here to stay
I'm not wild about the word "cybersecurity".
more on ISACA's certifications
I work in information risk management; there's a bevy of certifications in the field, but grandfathering is a big black eye.
like tobogganing on glass
Last weekend we took the kids tobogganing on a hill where someone would a few days later leave a lot of broken glass.
movie review - Safety Not Guaranteed
This is a quirky science fiction piece about some journalists who decide to check out a weirdo inventor who is working on a time travel device.
The Girl's almost sleeping through the night, now.
movie review - Oblivion
This is an under-rated science fiction piece about a pair of humans assigned to oversee robotic drones that patrol a quadrant of the dying Earth.
getting some sleep
Emma woke twice last night, and I slept through both events; it's the dawn of a new age.
we're on to something
Our darling daughter didn't sleep through the night - but she didn't demand that we attend to her, either.
now I've seen everything
Today I saw a driver pull up onto the sidewalk to pass a taxi that had stopped with its blinkers going.
our new mayor just obsoleted our car purchase
A month after we break down and buy our first car, TTC improvements and fare reductions occur.
some good points on points-based immigration
Canada's just changed its immigration "points system" to ramp up the import of talented (but cheap!) talent.
cybersecurity as a systemic risk in the financial industry
Outsourcing technology service arrangements carry considerable risk to both parties.
movie review - Sideways
I saw this a second time, recently, and felt that some of its shine had worn off.
on having a plan in life
Five year ago, I had the advice from an entrepreneur that to get big things done one should have a life plan.
I'm just too nice
Today I managed to convince my son that his aunt found his uncle in a pre-Internet "catalog of husbands".
my son calls Markham "Mirkwood"
After seeing some of the Tolkien movies, Ken's taken to calling Markham "Mirkwood".
the risk of time sheets incomplete
I work in an industry where records of time spent on distinct projects are required of knowledge workers.
so now it's snow tires
Don't worry about a snowy winter in Toronto this year, I've bought snow tires so it won't snow at all.
movie review - Dallas Buyers Club
This is a movie about a young man in the early days of the AIDS crisis who contracts the disease from a junkie prostitute.
R & D funding
Got a double dose of good news on our R & D funding at work, today.
One recent thing I've started doing is meeting new business contacts over a coffee or a meal.
Tonight I met with a friend whose daughter is recovering from a serious concussion.
I really am becoming middle aged
First it's car shopping, now I'm buying life insurance - no doubt about it, I'm middled aged.
doing it for himself
Ken cooked himself some hotdogs by dicing them up and frying them.
thanks for nothing, mbna
I've been using an MBNA mastercard for quite some time, but they've decided they don't want me anymore.
my son's D&D character has died
Facing an adversary both too strong and too many, The Boy's party was outgunned and simply ran out of luck.
things have come to a pretty pass
Things have come to a pretty pass when you find yourself crafting a ransom note.
o frabjous day, callooh callay
Today started out with a prescription for antibiotics, but ended with a giant bag of free wooden train stuff.
where are my sarcastic air quotes
Both kids had a fever this weekend; if you haven't dealt with a delirious six year old, you haven't lived! Whiny-chan was particularly whiny, too, as I'm sure I was at 2 1/2 with a 39C fever.
SIFMA makes the first move
Over the past couple of years, I've been watching for a "guidance note" from one of the regulators on cyber security.
dodging ice patches on my bike
Looks like the wide, rugged tires on my Surly are just the thing for dodging or riding over patches of ice.
the day of Christmas trees
I've started compiling a new section of my website dealing with the house rules for dungeons and dragons.
worst day of the year
Take a day that starts with a migraine, then add some grief from a car dealership, an auditor, and a failed hard drive.
no car after all
So it looks like we're not buying a car after all - a supposed problem came up with the warranty, so it's undone.
published with the IRM
The Institute of Risk Management has agreed to publish my dissertation to its membership.
One of the advantages of attending network events is that you meet people who make you think.
movie review - The Cabin in the Woods
This is a horror movie within a sci-fi movie about a world-wide effort by humanity to appease the old gods using a systematic approach to sacrifice.
now I own a car
At 43, I now own a car for the first time in my life; nay, it's an SUV, and we can thank parenthood.
mw, interacting with people
Today I managed to do some socializing; such a rare treat in Toronto when you're middle aged.
I've lived 16,000 days.
Mari and I realized that the eighth anniversary of our wedding ceremony on a beach in Thailand was last week.
another sale for "The Fourth Turning"
I should be on commission for the 1994 book "The Fourth Turning", I keep convincing people to buy a copy.
a day of learning to .. influence
I attended a Cycle Toronto event today, to learn how to be a better advocate for change in the city.
movie review - Monsters University
I bit off more than I could chew with this one, walking away at some point to let me son soldier on while I did some chores.
cycle toronto for a year
It's been a year since I joined Cycle Toronto; I'm marking the event by attending a day long seminar on a weekend.
pedestrian traffic accidents in Toronto
Here's the correlation between hours of darkness in the day and the number of Toronto traffic accidents involving a pedestrian.
how to create a start-up, for real this time
Today I read an article on start-ups by Paul Graham - perhaps the most important I've ever read.
happy eighth anniversary, my wife!
I spent the day with a cold, and we were nursing a sick kid for half the day only for the other one to wind up with a migraine.
Hallowe'en was fun for once
We had a ball last night with the kids for trick-or-treating.
cycling light with a backpack.
I've decided to forgo my pannier and rack, for a while, in favor of a water-proof backpack.
an experiment in risk culture programming
A large part of my duty as a risk manager is to guide the organization’s approach to risk.
found an anonymous love note on my bike
This morning I discovered that someone had left an anonymous love note on my bike.
the stinging kiss of cold rain – how I've missed you
Had my first taste of a late autumn, low temperature stinging rain tonight.
paid for my damaged bike
Today I received the check for the bike that was destroyed on September 22nd.
Michael Werneburg, MSc
I got a 79% on my dissertation, which I'm told is pretty good for the UK.
my path to a master's degree
I've just completed my master's degree, something that took 2 1/2 years.
first commute on my new bike
With a new bike, you really get what you pay for; my new Surly Cross-check is a thing of beauty.
at last, my new bike
This evening I took possession of my new bike, a Surly Cross-Check with townie handlebars.
four weeks without a bike
Four weeks ago, a movie production company's truck destroyed my bike; it's been quite an adjustment.
the dice are trying to kill my son
I've been playing D&D with my young son; I swear the dice are trying to kill his first character.
a risk practitioners uprising
I took a couple of vacation days to go to Minneapolis and join the third annual conference of the Society of Information Risk Analysts, an interesting group of risk practitioners that is putting together what seems to be not exactly a people's uprising but a practitioners' uprising in the information risk management field.
So this is Minneapolis
I’m in Minneapolis for a conference and I have to say I like it here.
500px is our neighbour
I've just discovered that the offices of 500px are half a block away, on our street.
the TTC is not good for my legs
It's now been two weeks since my bike was destroyed, and my legs and hips are constantly sore from lack of exercise.
the day my lies caught up with me
"I'm glad I didn't trust you," my wife said as I walked through the door.
movie review - The Lego Movie
This is a feature-length advertisement for all things Lego, and I found it quite entertaining.
going to Minneapolis
I'm going to join a conference on information risk management in exotic Minneapolis.
success at last with my bike
I've finally had some success with getting my damaged bike replaced; I had to resort to threats.
no progress on getting my damaged bike replaced
I've placed an order for a new bike, but no one at the movie production company will give me the time of day.
could this be our first car
It's not much to look at, but this is the type of car we're considering for our growing family.
all-city space horse
While I imagine the "Space horse" might take the award for most strangely named bicycle, it is truly beautiful to behold.
some camera gear is getting really, really good
I would never have guessed, but Sony truly leading innovation in the camera market these days.
a cyclecross frame with townie handlebars
As I get older and stop making sense, one of my highest priorities in choosing a bike is my poor old back.
scared into trying an anti-virus package for my Mac
Every time I go to a cyber-security event, I learn to be scared for safety of my home computers.
movie review - The Princess Bride
This is a movie telling of a story book as read by a grandfather to his grandson who is home sick.
what bike next
So my beloved, but somewhat underweight KHS bike is gone.
and then, in a second, my bike was destroyed
The movie "Pay the Ghost" cost me my bike today when one of their truck drivers crushed it.
the secret of life: dignity and meaning
Today I read a mission statement for life by American author & statesman John Gardner.
fun at "Jungle Cat World"
2014.09.20, Orono, Ontario
We went to bustling Orono, Ontario today and saw some of the world's last remaining 120 Amur leopards.
my odyssey on the TTC
Today I had a truly bizarre trip to work, courtesy of the Toronto Transit Commission.
applying for an award
I'm going to submit an entry for an award competition, based on my work over the past few years.
hot pink Minolta XD-11
I've received the hot pink leather kit I ordered from Japan.
a new rangefinder-style camera on the market
Mmmm, the march of progress in camera technology and design.
some monarchs at last
My son and I must have seen a dozen monarch butterflies in the city today as we rode "Bells on Danforth".
80% of the monarch butterflies I've seen this year were road-kill
Eighty percent of the monarch butterflies I've seen this year were roadkill we passed on a four km cycle trip today.
cycling to savings
I figure my bike saved me five TTC fares today; I've now saved over $3,400 in TTC fares in two years with a $700 bike.
holy crap, this is early September
I faced a 30kph headwind heading west into the city this morning, then a biting 15 kph headwind heading east again in the evening.
learning the ropes in marketing
We've been on quite a marketing roll at work, recently.
so it's meritage
Thanks to my mum's expertise, Mari and I have been "bumped out of our wine bracket" and now drink Meritage wines, which are blends that take the various excesses out of the different single-grape type drinks.
It looks like we might become the last family of four without a car, and finally join the driving set.
I told Ken, "Stop horsing around!
DaftBlogger once more
Once again, I've written a post about the thrilling world of service audits; incredibly, I keep being invited back.
yet another camera crush
Meanwhile, I've abruptly developed a new camera crush.
beautiful day for outdoors volunteering
All set for that volunteering stint with Cycle Toronto; by which I mean, I know where to be and when.
all moved in
It's nice when you're a niche software provider and you're in a like-minded neighbourhood.
"that's not how it works"
We were watching "Raiders of the Lost Ark".
I'm signed up for more volunteering for Cycle Toronto; this time, manning a booth at the last East Lynn market for the season.
stupidity again today
Today a restauranteur distinguished himself when I tried to pay with a credit card at his cash-only spot; he let me go.
to the science center!
I took the day off due to The Girl's being unwell, and spent the day with The Boy; we went to the science center (naturally).
always on the hottest day of the year
Cycled in a mad rush across the city today, getting to the hospital - it's always on the hottest day of the year.
today I pissed away $45
I mis-heard a quote at a print house: I thought I was spending $16, but it came to $60; aging does not make you wiser.
"not really, dude"
I asked Ken something today, and he told me, "not really dude.
today, the storage unit
Today we really lived it up, clearing out the storage unit for the first time in three and a half years.
men with small moustaches
Tonight Ken asked me, "why do men with small moustaches want to be bald?
a letter to the tooth fairy for his sister
Ken wrote a letter to the tooth fairy today, on behalf of his sister.
feeling rough today
For whatever reason, it wasn't until today that the news of the death of a friend a few weeks ago really hit me.
housing in a bubble
When your kids are too big an noisy for your apartment, but the housing market's gone bubbly, you must ride it out.
and now, a book project
Next up; a book project on how to get a service provider through an audit, to sell to regulated industries.
today they buried a friend
I have a nasty habit of missing out-of-town funerals; so it was again today.
edited star wars movies
At a BBQ, I learned that I'm not the only one who shows his kids the fan edited versions of Star Wars.
I've now been working for more than twenty years; I suppose it's better than to toil in obscurity than it is to loaf in obscurity.
Hardly know what to do with myself now that I'm not studying and writing for hours a day.
Toronto is nice in Augtober
It was 14ºC this morning, and so cool in the evening that the heat came on in our apartment.
my dissertation is submitted
I've submitted my dissertation; three years of work has come to this final piece in my master's degree.
dear Adobe and Microsoft...
Dear Adobe and Microsoft; I've paid for both your products, I need them to work together -- get on it!
it's the final push
I'm only days away from submitting my dissertation.
you win this round, phragmites!
I've fought to a draw with the phragmites at the cottage; after days of work with the scythe, it feels like harvesting than eradication.
movie review - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
I showed The Boy this bizarre but lovable movie about a mopey kid who wins a much-sought-after prize to tour a chocolate factory run by a famous recluse.
caught a big bass
I've never been a successful fisherman, but today I caught a 43cm/17" bass off the end of the dock.
Ken's been catching fish left and right; at this pace he'll have caught more this week than I had by the age of forty.
We're at the cottage, and it turns out that the waterfront's become infested with an invasive species called "phragmites".
so they're making another "Mad Max" movie
So they're making another "Mad Max" movie; I just hope it's not another "Prometheus".
yay, here comes ebola
There are more an more articles spreading about an ebola article in western Africa.
another cyclist hit on the streets of Toronto
A cyclist was struck by a car a few blocks from where we live; it turns out that it was our city Councillor.
what I do
Someone on LinkedIn asked why I have the title of "Director of Business Risk & Opportunity", so I wrote it all down.
a long week is over
Never buy an adjustable stem for a bicycle; that bit of advice sent me from pillar to post today until I'd fixed that mistake.
rest in peace, Brian Handy
A friend and mentor has died.
a house on fire
Tonight in the wee hours, we were woken by the sirens of fire engines; a house across the street was aflame.
happy pi approximation day
Happy Pi Approximation Day, fellow nerds; 22/7 = π.
Toronto ferry dock's
Went to see if Ken's cycling gloves were at Toronto ferry's "lost and found"; it turns out that's just a pile of junk on a sidewalk.
movie review - The Master
This is a story of a psychologically damaged veteran of world war two who returns to normal life after a stint in the care of a psychiatric ward.
the curse of camera lustin'
With just 1 income and 2 kids to feed, I'm the rare photographer who is resisting his wife's urging to buy a new camera.
dissertation draft submitted
Tonight I submitted my first complete draft of my dissertation to my supervisor in the UK.
now (zero) days without a cycling accident
I know all the young dudes gotta ride fixies with feet velcro'd in, but fer god's sake wear a helmet.
our halfling daughter
Once again, someone asked Mari, "Oh, she's your daughter?
watches rub off on people
Among the other "watch people" iin our office, one has bought the SARX017 I decided against back in the spring.
flesh-eating bacteria be damned
I had a chat today at lunch time with someone who's recovering from a fight with a flesh-eating bacterium.
slowly, Toronto is becoming cycle-ready
With the new contra-flow cycle lanes, the city is learning that cycling is a solution; no one tell the Mayors! I belong to a group that proposed and won such a lane on Dixon avenue in the Beaches Triangle.
someone who gets it
When you're lost in the midst of a dissertation, it's enormously helpful to meet someone who understands you.
putin mugs make happy
I bought some his-and-hers coffee mugs with images of Vladimir Putin for my brother and his wife.
feeling thankful for small things
The torrential rain that was coming down all night finally eased up about 1/4 of the way through my cycle commute.
a day of fishing on center island
We spent the day on center island again, this time for a day of fishing.
found by my tiny daughter
As I cycled home tonight, I heard a familiar voice cry "'addy"—the two year old had spotted me passing in a park and called me.
why me not think good
In the same book I quoted yesterday, I found this list of common problems with human cognition; it's a doozy.
now I've read everything
I found this excerpt in a business management book, today, and to be honest I believe it completely.
great ball contraption
Some people are really mechanically inclined; no surprise this lego-based "great ball contraption comes from Japan.
to Leslie Spit!
Today was our first visit to Leslie Spit so far this year.
the soaking of the year and a book on executing on strategy
Tonight it was raining so hard on my way home from work that I might as well have been cycling in the shower.
arsenic in the food, and a half-eaten baby
So it turns out that rice from the US, which we've been eating daily for years, contains way more arsenic than it should.
movie review - Coherence
During the passage of a comet, a group of friends have a dinner party.
car wax on a bike
It's not usual that I meet someone who towers over me, but one such giant taught me that you can use car wax on a bike.
ken's new bike
I took Ken up to Cyclepath on Danforth and got him a new bike.
movie review - Riddick
This is the unnecessary third movie in the "Pitch Black" series.
what a perfect day
We spent the day cycling with some friends, down to center island then up its length, then back.
no more shooting film
The repair shop wants another $60 just to get a quote on my film cameras; I guess I'm done with film photography.
young no longer
There was a time when I was young; I recognize that those days are long over.
a bike lane approved
Cycle Toronto's "32 Spokes" in Ward 32 has managed to get a contra-flow bike lane through the PWIC today.
edits, edits, edits
I'm in the final stretch for my dissertation; the endless edits and rewrites.
cyclist down (on the tracks, naturally)
This morning on the way to work I passed a fellow cyclist who was down on the street, gasping in pain.
learning at the feet of the masters
I had an interesting opportunity to learn from some talented Toronto drivers today; I assume it's a full moon? My first opportunity came with a chance to speak with a woman today while driving in Scarborough, asking if she could explain a stunt she'd just pulled.
give the cyclist a door prize!
I got doored by someone emerging from a taxi, today; I pulled out of it but it's still dangerous and annoying.
walking five kilometers for charity
I was part of a $500,000 fund-raising 5km run today.
movie review - Elysium
I was attracted to this flick originally because I learned that it featured an orbital named Elysium - just like an unpublished novel of mine.
maxalt, a migraine drug as bad as the problem it solves
It's official, I can not take the migraine drug "Maxalt" without developing chest pains and winding up in the hospital.
ruining film with a shutter problem
I picked up some film today; it looks like I've got shutter problems with both of my beloved old X-700 cameras.
weekend of LEGO
I spent the weekend playing with LEGO with my son.
another year, another AGM
Time flies when you're having fun; and so, I found myself at the annual general meeting of the institute of internal auditors.
3D yoda head for lego minifig
Our friend Michael has made our son a Yoda head for a LEGO minifig on his company's 3D printer; it looked amazing! He and I met on the street car, as I'd inadvertently left my bike locked up outside the office (mercifully, it was still there).
I shot the Kenneth A on a difficult day
The stars aligned this morning, I was able to shoot that boat with my son's name.
great people are almost always bad people
Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely; great people are almost always bad people.
The Kenneth A
Today I spotted a boat that had my son's name, "Kenneth A"; knew I should have brought a camera.
I dropped off some film and took the opportunity to fondle a digital camera (behind my film camera's back).
bring coffee or don't come home
No coffee in the home this morning; Mari's look said, "Bring coffee beans tonight, or don't come home.
bikes made in Toronto
I've noticed some new brands of bikes around, of late; it turns out there are two new bike manufacturers in Toronto.
today I "biked to work"
I joined Cycle Toronto's "bike to work" thing today for the first time; it was fun, there were hundreds of cyclists involved.
I had no idea who I'd vote for in the Provincial election; happily I've learned that someone I know is standing for the Greens.
happy towel day!!
OK, geeks, it's towel day and I hope you've got your towel with you.
progress on my dissertation
I've made quite a bit of headway with my dissertation, in part by taking a week off of work to throw myself at the thing.
Rob Ford's not all bad
Rob Ford's not all bad; thanks to him, parents are having the "drugs are bad" talk with their kids waaaaay ahead of schedule.
gluten-free beer in Japan
Mari's just discovered that the whole time I was in Japan, there were gluten-free beers available (dammit).
first barbeque of the year
We went to a barbeque today, with tonnes of great food, some wine, and some friends.
dragging out the bikes
This "Spring" has been so cold and wet that we haven't been on a joint bike ride yet.
movie review - Wreck-It Ralph
I watched this with my son for "movie night".
another semi-annual audit complete
We breezed through another semi-annual audit today.
seeing to Niagara
On Sunday we went to the beach and I noticed that I could see a lighthouse on the Niagara shore of the lake.
Our daughter's learning to speak using words, so no more waking in the night only to point at a wall and whisper "yarsh".
on coffee and batteries
Some days are full of import; some times you're just happy to remember to buy coffee and batteries.
the year's first sand-castle
We went to the beach, today.
happy mother's day (from cyanide and happiness)
I'll let this speak for itself.
there will always be cheddar in the mouse trap, baby
I've been noticing a lot of anniversaries floating around these days.
movie review - Her
This is a science fiction film about a fellow who falls in love with a synthetic intelligent that's partially resident in his "phone".
yup, it's allergy season
After days of symptoms it's clear - the temperature has hit the double digits (at last) and now it's allergy season.
consuming the blood of the young
So it turns out that we can improve the health and energy levels of the elderly by giving them blood transfusions from younger people.
another new blog post
I've written a blog post that dives into some of the results of my masters dissertation.
may the fourth be with you!
Today we went to the toy store to pick up a scooter for The Boy; incredibly, there was a line up waiting for the store to open.
and now the mosquitos
It's not enough that we're still experiencing March weather in May - now we have to contend with mosquitoes, too.
don't drop the baby!
The other day, I nearly dropped our squirmy little girl on her head; when I caught her, her hair was already touching the floor.
so I guess we'll need a new mayor
At last, we'll finally start to get over the Rob Ford era here in Toronto.
are audit reports all about marketing
I am writing a dissertation on the impacts of implementing an enterprise risk function at service organizations.
the story of my father's arrival in Canada
Here's an account from my father of his arrival in Canada in 1956.
cycling in dress socks
I was so out of it this morning I cycled to work in a pair of dress socks - it must be Monday.
red light at dawn, cyclist's .. delight
I've had a happy experience with "Outdoor Gear Canada", the distributor of the blinking lights I use for cycling.
bigger nerd than ever
I've found a way to be a bigger nerd than ever; using an RFID-proof wallet.
more fun with my dissertation
I've had some interesting results from a survey of technology service providers who had completed a third-party service audit.
return of the cold weather
I grew up in Calgary, so I don't mind winter; but enough of this 3°C and rain! It's no good for cycling, it's no good for getting around and taking care of things, and it's certainly no good for getting the kids out of the house.
simpletax.ca to the rescue
I've been back in Canada for three years, but I still haven't gotten used to our complicated tax return system.
progress on my dissertation
As part of my masters dissertation, I surveyed six firms to evaluate their experience with service audits with interesting results.
easter eggs for a toddler
It was The Girl's first Easter egg hunt with her brother, and she was lucky: her brother was a real sweetheart about sharing.
shooting my coworkers
Earlier this week, I lived out the dream of shooting my coworkers.
my annual presentation to our clients
Recently, in reading a book on strategy execution, I found a clear test of why an employer should retain you.
everyone's lived in Japan
While munching on a burger at Queen and Spadina today, I watched the people go by.
movie review - The Secret World of Arriety
This is an animated movie from Japan's Ghibli studio.
having a ball
I've done some of the most interesting stuff of my career this past week.
the ice has finally melted
At last, the winter's ice is finally gone.
more bike repairs
Last year I had a new set of handlebars put on my bike, they're "city bike" style, swept back like a pigeon's wings.
instead of kisses, I get kicks
My daughter kicked me in the throat yesterday for asking for a kiss.
Mari and the kids, gone for a month
Mari and the kids have been in Japan for the past month, and we had our final Skype chat tonight before they'd get on the plane.
a remarkable trip to work
Today as I was riding to work, I came upon a construction site where a giant crane was lifting some concrete barriers into place.
new camera crush – the Fuji XT-1
Today I managed to hold the most recent object of my camera affection, an XT-1 from Fuji.
a wallet in the street at 07:45
As I was rushing across town on my bike this morning I found a wallet lying on the street at Dundas Avenue (at Hastings).
the good thing about a masters degree
When you're an adult student doing a masters dissertation, it seems that having interested responses from authors you're citing can come with the territory.
an icy beard at -12ºC
I've been cycling all week so far, but today was the coldest day I've cycled (possibly ever).
a scarf and a bike at -11º
OK I admit, today's cycling was a bit chilly.
movie review - Back to the Future
I tried showing my son this movie but he didn't get it or think it was at all good.
a loaf in every microwave, and a cyclist in every rainstorm
I've been back on my bike for two days and have already had my first good rain storm.
cycled to work today
I took the plunge, and cycled to work in -5°C weather on roads that were mostly clear but naturally still somewhat icy.
housing in Canada
The house where my family lived from the time I was nine through eighteen was sold this year.
roofers at 08:00 on a Sunday
Good lord, guys.
emerging from winter on my bike
I rode my bike up to Danforth and Pape to pick up a suit and some shirts.
two more professional blog posts this week
This week I've made two new blog posts.
the 143 is no kind of express bus
There's a supposedly "express" bus that runs from Toronto's Beaches neighbourhood to the downtown.
new beater watch
For quite a while, I found myself torn between a rugged no-worry every day watch and something more expensive.
fleeing the winged sales baboon
Today I rid myself of a bank that doesn't understand its basic function.
so this is forty-three
I have never been told "happy birthday" as often as I was this year.
tobaggen track in our backyard
Say what you will about the constant snow and cold, we've got a pretty good tobaggen track in our backyard right now, with a nice jump and two exciting curves.
new thinking on a watch
Mari and I have decided to get a different "JDM" watch for me in Japan while she's in Japan with the kids over my birthday.
the forty-two-year-old adult boy
The Boy and I went to see the Lego movie for a second time with a coworker of mine.
latest watch crush
I've discovered a website where you can order "Japan Domestic Market" Seiko watches, and found this lovely item.
are risk registers obsolete
I founded the risk management function at PortfolioAid—a provider of technical solutions to the financial industry—just as the firm was entering a period of aggressive growth.
I took The Boy to a public meeting held by the city to look into whether they're going to build the cycle lanes we've been working for.
thinking of watches
I've been thinking of replacing the watch that died on me a couple of years ago – the bare spot on my wrist has been bugging me.
Today I signed a petition about online privacy.
writing dissertation surveys
The next phases of my dissertation is to start polling people.
The editor of the blog for which I submitted the article has now asked me to write something for him every month.
movie review - Avatar
This is a science fiction flick set in a considerably-distant future where humanity is combing the stars looking for things to plunder from planets that are already occupied by intelligent species we don't understand.
camera porn from Fuji
Ah, man, the things you see when you have neither the cash nor the time.
movie review - Under The Skin
This is a science fiction story featuring aliens that have come to Earth to harvest men.
gung hay fat choy MacKenzie clan!
At a Chinese New Year's party this past weekend I met someone who, like my mother's family, has connections to the MacKenzies of "Middle River" in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
crikey another storm
Great, another snow storm.
more blogging (ISACA)
A contact at ISACA has agreed to look at what would be a second blog post for their regular feature, "ISACA Now".
Getting a business plan down on paper is one of those substantial, cathartic affairs.
a guest blog post
Say, my guest blog post on risk & opportunity went live on the 19th.
progress on my dissertation
I've nearly completed the first draft of my literature review.
a bloody snowman
A friend in Tokyo sent me a funny image and story about a raccoon-eating snowman in the US.
Some great news today: the medication I take for my migraines has been discontinued.
a letter and a bottle
Our downstairs neighbour has to live with every bump and shout and scrape that we produce.
got an old charge reversed
It's been one of those months, where every time I turn around something's gone sideways.
tales too crummy - must be the TTC
I took Ken to a birthday party for a boy who's a day younger than him.
five minutes or forty, TTC
The TTC is under the delusion that street cars come to my stop in the Beaches on a roughly five minute schedule.
PrimeCables won't accept returns on audio-visual electronics
I bought some A/V equipment from a Canadian retailer called PrimeCables.
Just once in my life I'd like to do a passport application without it being a borderline panic.
reading at natural speed
The Toronto school system has a reading system where the kids follow graded levels, A, B, C, etc.
debit card fraud (or is it FUD)
Today I attended a seminar on securing personal data, presented by someone with experience in the credit card world at the highest levels.
TV time, again
So, I have a TV for the first time in 9 1/2 years.
credit card number compromised
Three years ago, someone stole my driver's license details and I had to go through months of getting the resulting fraudulent activity unwound.
still no TV
Having a TV mounting bracket on the wall, but no TV to hang there is a strange situation but that's where we stand.
checks lost in space
Some time back, Mari and I took our son into the branch of our local bank to open an account for him.
risk, opportunity, and the service organization
Specialist information technology services organizations play a substantial role in regulated industries such as finance.
ice and slipping
Two of my coworkers have slipped recently and injured themselves.
movie review - Snowpiercer
This is the tale of inmates of a high-speed train that is circling the Earth on a track spanning a global frozen wasteland.
hanging a TV and a concrete hammer drill
We're still waiting for our TV to arrive, but we have the mounting bracket so I put that up.
comments, I get comments
I've been getting some good comments on my website recently, including my tale of being crapped on by birds and my guide to .
a woman lying in the street, not able to breath
About a month ago, I was arriving at my street at the end of my nightly cycle commute when I noticed a woman lying in the street.
a fight on the subway
I may have stopped a fist-fight on the subway, tonight.
I've decided to renew my decade-lost habit of making new year's resolutions.
a concussion and a new phone
I recently switched to a new mobile provider and at the time turned down the phone they wanted to send me; now I've changed my mind.
We're home, and it's turned bitterly cold.
no snow at all
2013.12.27, St. Catharines
We all brought our parkas and boots and even a sled, but the snow's all melted and it's even moderately sunny - I'm not complaining, but I am overdressed.
Doctor Who has become a mess
2013.12.26, St. Catharines
Doctor Who has become a shadow of the unique and shining thing that it once was.
the work year grinds to a halt on a good note
On this, the last business day of the year, we got some very good news on a project I've been working on since February: a whopping refund from the Canadian Revenue Agency.
second secret bonus level of fatherhood
Today I made The Boy laugh milk through his nose.
owing everything to your forebears
At a staff Christmas party today, the conversation turned to philosophical questions around having kids.
Rod Ramirez, RIP
Good bye, old friend.
movie review - The Incredible Hulk
So, they've rebooted "The Hulk" movies.
movie review - Planes
This is a Pixar movie, but you can scarcely recognize the genius behind "Toy Story" and "Finding Nemo" in this abysmal straight-to-DVD release that incredibly somehow makes "Cars" look good.
dissertation's first part complete
I've submitted the proposal and research methodologies portion of my dissertation.
rationalizing our mobile phone services
The bill for our mobile phone services somehow piled up to $85 this month.
the secret bonus level of fatherhood
When The Girl was new born and colicky, I spent hours and hours singing every song I could think of to try to pacify her.
This weekend Ken and I had fun stuffing information pamphlets into mailboxes on a short one-way street in our neighbourhood this weekend.
who knew that imperial measurements could be so fun
Remember, it's three steps to a pace.
on selecting a professional designation
Here's some interesting guidance I found, from a financial regulator on the concept of professional designations.
movie review - Up
This is an excellent animated kids' movie about an elderly man who is being pressured to give up his home by callous real-estate agents.
an arrest on my street
As I was taking Ken to school this morning I noticed two police officers leading a man in handcuffs to their patrol car.
back on my bike
I was sick on Monday of last week, and wound up missing a whole week of cycling as I rode the TTC.
getting together with friends
We had the happy change of pace today in that we were invited to the home of some friends for dinner.
way to go, Toronto
Which of the following are now gone or going: a) Honest Ed's
I was in a store this week when an old song came on.
a telco does something kind
Today a telephone/communications company did something decent for perhaps the first time in history.
dancing and singing
The Girl has taken to humming and sub-vocalizing some of the children's songs that she plays from a small toy.
the new MEC logo
a flabby logo for a flabby clientele I work right next to T
my new bike seat
I'm now cycling with a seat without a 'horn'.
what ISACA needs
I belong to an IT governance, audit, and security organization called ISACA.
bouncing on Dundas
Well, it's Monday, following the classic definition; "A sunny day that follows two days of cloud and rain.
more identity theft factors
I didn't leave the house today, choosing instead to divide my time between my dissertation and the data breach / identity theft nonsense.
a new name
Due to my identity records being stolen from the website of a clueless Trust Company, I sought the advice of a lawyer.
saving the day, one latte at a time
When we sat down for breakfast, we realized that we'd both failed to make coffee.
advice on my dissertation
I've heard back from my supervisor.
new seat for sore back
I spoke with a fellow this morning on my ride to work about the unusual seat on his bike.
-5° this morning
What a day to leave the house without a toque or a scarf.
data breach at a Canadian trust company
I was seriously hoping to get some studying done this weekend.
happy November, drivers
Today someone with a mobile device in his lap decided he'd had enough of waiting at the red light and made an abrupt left turn through the intersection, despite the fact that three lanes of one-way traffic were closing in from the right.
scanning in color
I've finally figured something out with my scanner and the software I'm using.
me and "Cycle Toronto"
I've signed up with an organization called "Cycle Toronto", formerly known as the Toronto Cyclist's Union.
happy birthday, history
Happy 301st birthday, steam engine.
bad environmental news, good environmental news
First, the not so good news.
back is getting better
My back's on the mend for the first time in roughly fifteen months.
the day I came to work without pants
Today I had to face the fact that I might have a bit too much on my mind.
writing a dissertation proposal
I'm writing my first-ever dissertation proposal at the moment.
special kind of tired
I walked about 1.
fifteen years online
Fifteen years and eleven days ago, I registered my first personal Internet domain: etherlabs.
another year's audit in the bag
I'm getting to the point that the auditors spend only four hours on-site to do our SOC-2 audits.
new handlebars just fine
I can't be sure, but I believe that my new handlebars are already helping my back.
movie review - Transformers: Dark of The Moon
This is the second sequel to the splashy first from six years ago.
adopting north road handlebars
I'm in physiotherapy for lower back pain that's been plaguing me for over a year.
professionalizing IT security
Nearly a year ago, I came across a well-written piece on the state of the IT security field, and what's wrong with it.
another event, another speaker
This time it was a mutual fund industry event, and the speaker was the Ontario minister of finance.
so it's muscular
Today I learned from my physiotherapist that a long-standing discomfort I've been putting up with is not a side effect of a surgery I had six months ago, but of a lifetime of slothful lazing about in front of computers.
laid up with a migraine
I had the worts migraine of the year today.
a speaker at an industry event
Today I manned a booth at an industry event for Canadian investment brokerages.
seven year itch
Mari and I have been married for nearly seven years.
how long can a rebranding go
We put the finishing touches on a rebranding effort at work, today.
Recently on the way home from work work I saw two fights erupt on a short stretch of my route.
so the West is getting dumber
Apparently, the population of the west has seen a steady erosion of IQ test results since Victorian times (the late 19th century).
goodbye Monarch butterflies
On a recent trip with Opa, Ken was enthusiastic about seeing some Monarch butterfly caterpillars crawling on some milkweed plants.
movie review - Zero Dark Thirty
This is a fictionalized telling of the capture and execution of Osama bin Laden following the 9/11 attacks.
We had our annual penetration test last week.
times have changed (school hardening edition)
They've installed upgraded door locks at Ken's school along with buzzer systems and security cameras.
This video says it all.
tough week (two days in the office edition)
Well I only worked in the office two days this week but it felt long enough.
After nineteen years and change, I'm a university student again.
Today, Ken, his Opa, and I went to Petroglyphs Provincial Park.
and now, 12º again?
first day of physiotherapy
I've started working with a physiotherapist due to the lingering pain in my back and pelvis.
volunteering for what
Because I have so little with which to occupy my time, I'm looking at volunteering for some of the professional associations I belong to.
movie review - Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
This is the sequel to the original Transformers movie from 2007, which was entertaining.
and now, 30° plus again?
The weather has gone completely nuts.
$60 brake fix?
And that's enough of paying for bike repairs I should be able to do myself.
accepted to the master's program
I got into the graduate school program in the UK.
fixing the brakes
I didn't get around to fixing my brakes on the weekend, so I switched around the damaged brake arm from the front with one at the rear of the bike (leaving the pads backwards) and set off.
ken gets stung
It's the season for yellowjacket hornets, and even though we all know not to swat the damn things (this causes the hit insect to release fight pheromones, which attracts angry allies), I accidentally knocked one of the things while trying to wave it away.
opa's vengeance is complete
Opa and Oma presented the kids with some gifts last night.
dad's in town
My father and step-mother are in town.
I came out of the office tonight to discover that a component of the front brakes on my bike has broken.
michael werneburg, pmp, cia
Well I passed my CIA exam.
fifteen kids, one car
A car alarm sounded across the street this evening, something I haven't heard in the 21/2 years we've been here.
two days left, possibly one head cold
I feel like I've got a fever coming on.
two fishermen, five fish
Knowing that we were heading out mid-day, I woke Ken early and we headed out on the water by 06:30.
two fishermen, no fish
For some reason I got the old row-boat down to the water, put The Boy into it, and dragged him half-way across Sturgeon Bay, rowing into a steady headwind the whole way.
seven kids, six parents
We were outnumbered at a get-together this evening with Elias's family and Manami's family ('round here we identify families by the first name of the first born, for whatever reason—I suppose it was probably a protocol invented by our own first born).
"don't get fatter!"
As I was heading out the door today, my five year old son warned me, "don't get fatter!" He pointed at my thighs and told me they were getting too big.
going back to school
The results on the daily practice tests I've been doing for the CIA final exam are getting steadily better.
soaking of the year
In each of the two years since I've been back, I've fallen from my bike once and been caught in torrential rain at least once.
There's a word in Japanese, "chimpunkanpun"「ちんぷんかんぷん」.
pedialyte and tequila
It must be a Sunday afternoon when you're down to mixing tequila with expired children's electrolyte drink.
more blonde in the gene pool
My mum, our family's chief genealogist, has been contacted by someone through ancestry.
stuff getting cheaper (not everything)
In the midst of perpetually increasing costs of living, I've noticed that some things seem to be getting cheaper.
bird shit .. again
For the thirteenth wonderful time in my life, I've been shit on by a bird.
cycling in the morning
I left home before 07:00 this morning, cycling under a red dawn on streets I expected to find a good deal quieter than they in fact turned out to be.
a friend is moving to town
One of my few remaining friends in Japan has decided to leave .
In the midst of our dinner, The Boy got up and went to use the toilet.
a BBQ in Lelieville
An old friend (and former boss) had us over for a BBQ today so that our wives and kids could meet.
a five year old's taste in music
So my son likes AC/DC's "Whole Lotta Rosie".
studies .. work .. studies .. work
I've taken up the routine of leaving for the office at around 7 every morning and studying until office hours start.
keep calm shirts
It's funny how these "keep calm.
just call me Wmeburg
Ah, fer cryin' out loud.
movie review - We're the Millers
I enjoyed this movie more than I expected to.
This weekend we got Ken out on his little green bike for the first time in quite a while.
movie review - Safe House
This is a spy/action movie in which one character (played by Ryan Reynolds) is guarding a CIA "safe house" and the other (played by Denzel Washington) is one of the world's most wanted criminals.
meeting an entrepreneur
Today after work I met with a whip-smart fellow who's uncovered a business opportunity and is designing a technology solution.
rescheduled my exam
My practice quiz results still aren't where I need them to be.
We've been spending time with a succession of visitors from overseas since the middle of June.
a day off .. to study
We've got friends in town and I took the day off so that Mari, the kids, and I could get together with them.
The recent heat wave killed the dwarf plecostomus in my larger aquarium 2-3 weeks ago.
cheery new cherries
Ken and I went to the local pet store today and bought some tiny cherry barbs for the small aquarium.
again with the rain
Toronto I love you, but your weather is bringing me down.
riding with a stool sample
Emma still has some lingering effects from her illness, so I found myself riding through the city with a baby's stool sample to deliver.
fooled by the weather network
For the first time in months, I took the TTC to work today.
4 out of 5 ain't bad
I reckon I've got some four out of five of the skills outlined as "essential" in the line of work I'm moving into.
our girl's first words were a hummed tune
I think The Girl is back to normal.
CIA no. 3 is the hardest
I take back what I said about CIA #2 being difficult.
home from the hospital
And thus ends two and a half days that I'd sooner forget.
balancing work and kids
It's funny, I'm in the midst of studying things like accountability and efficiency, and dropped two and half days of work right in the midst of several projects & initiatives because one of my kids got sick.
from 1983 to 1997
The Boy and I have been playing an emulated version of the ~1983 Commodore 64 release of the original "Mario Brothers", the platform game.
and the weather has broken
For once I got really lucky with the weather.
36º water cooked my fish
I came home to the news tonight that my beloved zebra loach had died.
two more quizzes
Well, not sure what happened today, but I averaged only 63% on my two quizzes.
practice quizzes and nothing but
So I started my day with a practice quiz before work, and ended it with another after work: average score, 90%.
movie review - Avengers
Everything about the Iron Man character in these marvel movies rubs me the wrong way.
CIA: the final countdown
This time next month, I will have written and passed the final of my exams for the CIA designation.
now it's my turn .. been promoted
I'm the world's newest "Director, Business Risk & Opportunity".
movie review - Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
This is a movie that attempts to tell the tale of the Cabin in the Woods from the point of view of the supposed inbred hillbillies that terrorize the urban teenagers.
LED for the aquarium
The light over my larger aquarium is now so feeble that it's allowing brown algae to grow.
another cousin is wed
I'm quite a bit older than most of my seven cousins, who range in age from about 20 to 28.
on the debilitating smart phones
I think the smart phone is crippling us.
so long, managerial accounting
It's taken a few weeks, but I think I've rounded the corner on the managerial accounting portion of my CIA studies.
migraine with aura
One of my colleagues had laser eye surgery recently.
So we had a bit of a rainfall last night.
wiped out by a migraine
Had an awful day today.
how to avoid being C-3PO
I recently came across a bullet list of the three principle jobs of the risk manager.
audit in the summertime
It's funny undergoing a rigorous external audit just as silly season kicks in.
movie review - Watchmen
I won't belabor this: this 2009 film is the most disappointing comic book adaptation I can recall.
my brother's been promoted, too
Congratulations, baby brother.
a friend gets promoted
A lawyer friend has taken a gig that he summed up by saying, "The exposure includes things like potentially testifying to congress.
heya, Canada, happy 145th!
We spent a good deal of the day wandering along the lakeshore park.
movie review - How to Train Your Dragon
This is an animated movie set in a mythical Earth in which Norsemen of the viking era are at war with dragons.
2013 Toronto pride parade
Today we went to the pride parade on Yonge Street.
reading in the park
Recently, I've had the good fortune to be able to do my CIA reading in the park, next to the lake.
when I buy bicycle chain oil, it shall not rain
My bike's been left in the rain so much when locked up at work that the smaller steel nuts and bolts are all orange with rust.
screaming on the street
I had an unexpected experience today that saw me screaming at strangers on the street.
lost a good raincoat today
Through a tale too dull and stupid to tell, I managed to lose a good rain poncho today.
my younger brother is 40 years old
Well, time flies (who knew?).
"bird of prey"
One of the odder first words that our fourteen-month-old daughter uttered, today, was "bird of prey".
We took in some sights around the Niagara region today.
2013.06.21, st. catharines
We took Mari's parents to see the Falls today.
dining without children
On several occasions since The Boy's birth, we've eaten nice meals (cough cough, "without kids") because The Boy was fairly good with sleeping through the late afternoon-evening if we got lucky.
why did it have to be a summer cold
Sinuses throbbing, nagging cough, and sore throat.
the girl with the TARDIS tattoo
I saw a woman at the office today with a tattoo of the TARDIS from Doctor Who.
managerial accounting, here I come
This CIA study is taking me to some interesting places as a more organized version of the here-and-there studies of business concepts that I've been engaged in over the past few years.
rainy father's day
We're heading to Oakville for the traditional family BBQ there for Father's Day.
depressingly good writing
The other day, we saw a display of photography at the museum that was so good I found it depressing: I'm just not progressing in that field at all.
learning to walk
The Girl's grandparents have only been here a day, but The Girl's already benefited.
a PMI event, once a season whether I need it or not
Much to my amazement, I noticed that the PMI event I attended tonight was the first I'd been to in three months.
cramped quarters, lots of love
Mari's parents are in town.
bike fixed – off to meet "Kazu/Jiji"
So it turns out that something like 40cm of that cord that got caught in my rear gear assembly last night in the rain storm was still inside the mechanism, trapped between the gears and the wheel.
free car rental insurance
So it turns out that the new cash-back credit card gives us the car rental insurance waiver benefit without an annual fee.
that was a lot of rain
The weather forecast (when theweathernetwork.
filed a police complaint
Someone heading west-bound on Dundas this morning decided to use the cycle lane to try to overtake other drivers this morning.
Oracle SQL query not like %
I learned something from one of our more clever developers today.
depressingly good photography
Today we went to the ROM to see a photography exhibit.
apple gets it right
The other day I wrote about my dissatisfaction with Apple's support for our PC's and other equipment.
funny little thing called linux mint
We have a laptop that's perfect for our five year old to watch DVD's and downloaded stuff.
apple support fails to impress, as usual
We have a Macbook Air.
dodged a $5 bullet
Our son destroyed a brand new library book by tossing it into his backpack with a thermos bottle with the lid still unsealed.
thirty traffic signals, twenty of them red
This morning I had one of those days.
cycling 20k to a child's party
Ken and I put in another 20km round trip today, getting back up to Don Mills.
megafauna, a meteorite, and a doomed civilization
So it turns out that it's possible that a meteorite impact occurred here in North America 13,000 years ago, when the place was still largely covered in ice.
on cash-back credit cards
I was given the advice that a cash-back credit card can save hundreds of dollars on routine purchases.
back to jewelry photography
Once upon a time, I published a guide to photographing jewelry.
the fate of smart kids
Ken plays with a boy down the street who is shunned by all of the other kids because he reads at a high level (at this point, he's a year and a half ahead).
it's a small (webinar) world
Today I attended a webinar, as I frequently do.
Wordpress and nginx
So it turns out that the good folks that produce WordPress have done some naughty hard-coding of $_SERVER variables in their product.
another fine day at the science center (with our Weehoo)
It was a beautiful day.
movie review - The Place Beyond the Pines
This is a movie about two men with young sons in the same town.
movie review - Prometheus
I really wanted this prequel to the first Alien movie to recapture the dread, world-building, character-driven narrative, and over-all vibe of that original movie.
ball chair no more
Today my ball chair burst.
CIA #3 is going to be difficult
I think I said this about the previous two CIA exams as well, but this third one is going to be a killer.
back in the saddle
After two weeks of TTC due to recovering from a procedure, I am very, very happy to be back on the bike.
if I were 23 again
On an Internet forum, someone asked what advice I'd give my 23-year-old self if I could.
turkey vulture in the Beach(es)
I saw a turkey vulture drifting above the Beaches today.
weehoo and eastern kingbird
Ken and I took to the cycle paths today, heading to Leslie Spit, then up the Don Valley as far as Riverdale Park, then across to home.
So it seems that "13" tattoos are a thing now.
and yet I did nothing
On a stretch of Queen Street East I saw some unhappy things this morning.
rock, robot rock, bwamamama
Ken can make a reasonable facsimile of the synthesizer sound from this Daft Punk song.
snow, sleet, hail, and "rain, i think"
Today it snowed.
Ken and I watched an interesting video on the great extinction event that brought the Permian (and the entire paleozoic, life's first run on Earth) to an end.
just reading about .. monster trucks
Ken brought home a book from the school library that was about monster trucks.
today, I ate outdoors
Spring comes so slowly to Canadian cities! Today was the first day that was warm enough to eat outside.
the Lockwood secret
Over the past two years, I've noticed west-bound morning commuter cyclists on Queen Street deke off of Queen at Lockwood Road, which is only a block long.
accounting is more interesting than I would have guessed
In preparation for the final exam in my quest for the CIA designation, I'm reading a book on Accounting.
the new bike trailer came through
Ken and I rode to the tip of Leslie Spit today.
the Boy can play (baseball)
I took Ken to the park with the new trailer bike.
three flat tires in no time
On the way home from a PMI event last night one of my bike tires ran flat.
the center of the Earth is aglow
Apparently the center of the Earth is a super-dense ball of solid iron at six thousand degrees.
my love – hate releationship with theweathernetwork.com
Every day I go to a website for lies.
website getting smaller
I've taken all of my family and personal photos offline, leaving only stuff that's more suitable for the general public on this site.
a tale of two countries (or WTF, Amazon!)
I've been looking for a replacement plug for a Thera-band ball chair that I've got.
leveraging a CIA into an MSc
I've found a couple of master degree programs that I can do online in a year using my expected CIA certification to get a waiver on the first two years work in the degree.
bikes, bikes, bikes
After the cold weather had long since settled in this past Autumn, my boss told me that his family had a spare bike (a loaner long forgotten by a now-defunct bike shop) and that I could have it.
crapped on by a bird again (that's twelve)
I pulled out the suede coat that my mother resurrected for me recently with some repairs, and lo and behold, there was a spatter of white birdshit that must have hit me when I was cycling this week, from the looks of things.
April 20th and it's snowing
One could be forgiven for thinking this was Calgary.
PMP for a year
Wow, it's been a year since I wrote the bizarre and tricksy PMP exam.
my bike has brakes again
I've paid someone to reinstall the rear brake on my bike.
movie review - The Amazing Spider-Man
This movie features a 29-year-old actor playing a seventeen year old, in a retelling of Peter Parker's becoming Spider-Man.
muddy cycling again
Cycling in cold, wet weather tends to keep the fairweather cyclists out of the way, but you sure get muddy.
the fourth turning
It took me nearly a year, but I've finished this book at last.
CIA exam no. 2 complete
I passed another CIA exam.
young, lonely doctors
It's been one of those weeks.
it is not a race
Now I know I'm getting old.
saddle sore but riding
I have never been this saddle sore.
back on my bike
I rode my bike to work today.
Lego fails us again
After our visit to Legoland, Ken was very keen on Lego and spent quite a bit of time building models from the small kit we bought him at the site.
Toronto's legoland is not worth it
We went to Legoland today.
Toronto produces some stupid politicians
Today wasn't a day of big accomplishments for Toronto-area politicians.
I did a COBIT 5 panel today
Today I participated in a panel on implementing COBIT 5.
pigeon trapped in a window
You know how a fly will get in through an open window and be unable to get out again? I witnessed that today with a pigeon.
CIA exam no. 2 is a lotta work
I've postponed my second CIA exam by 2 1/2 weeks.
my home town and the underground railway
It turns out that my home town was the northern end of the "underground railway", something that my mum has mentioned several times over the years.
movie review - This is Forty
This is a movie about a couple who are dealing with middle age.
a good day, today
Three good things that happened today: We verified that a
lordy, lordy, look who's forty-two
Say, I've turned forty-two.
more new photos
I've started a new chapter in the ongoing photo record of the lives of our kids.
I've finally got 'round to adding some new photos to the collection from our X'mas and New Year's Eve in Miyazaki.
my gods, I finished a book
Much to my amazement, I've finished reading a book only two months after knocking off two other volumes from my embarrasingly long backlog.
something must going well
I've now been at my current employer longer than I've worked anywhere else.
To COBIT 5 or not to COBIT 5, that is the question
I have some good news about the adoption of COBIT 5: it has many improvements to the actual implementation of its contents.
code of conduct
Today I wrote my employer's "code of conduct" in a nine-hour stretch.
so much going on...
I've been burning the candle at both ends again for quite a while.
I just find this footage fascinating.
We used to have ball chairs in the apartment in Tokyo (in fact we had only two real chairs, and one was a highchair for our then-little firstborn.
Valentine's Day is for .. olives
Ken spotted a small candy jar full of the chocolate covered almonds I'd brought home for Mari.
on tesla cars
My boss drives a Tesla Model S electric (luxury) car, and gave me a lift last week.
never trust a photocopier
Here's an interesting video on why you should never trust the all-in-one photocopier/printer in your office.
birthdate all primes
I've just noticed that my birthday is made of primes, taken at the two-digit level.
100 pennies, no problem
Ken had an assignment this weekend that was timed to mark the demise of the Canadian penny: that was, to bring in 100 pennies for a charity.
30cm of snow and getting to work
This morning I had a follow-up dentist appointment at 08:30.
business books by the pound
Recently I've bought a couple of business books and found them to be much lighter & shorter fare than I'd expected.
choosing project management software
I am amazed at the variety of lousy project management software and software-as-a-service that exists today.
movie review - The Hangover, Part 2
This is a sequel to the original Hangover, which was set in Las Vegas.
larger photos on emuu.net
In recognition that the 'net has moved to a 960px standard width for websites, I've adopted that as the new long-side size of the images on emuu.
some photos of Miyazaki
I've finally got some photos scanned from our trip to Miyazaki at the end of 2012.
Three wins for the TTC in their efforts to make me late for
snowfall in the city
You'd think that Toronto would be ready in the event of snow, but this morning eveything was chaos.
so this is Saturday
We had a damn busy day, today.
seeing what we're eating
Today I finally managed to replace the too-dim 25W bulbs on the ceiling fan we installed over our dining table.
take the colleagues bowling
Today we had our Christmas party.
surprise visit (two month old story)
At the beginning of December, I had some fun taking The Girl to visit her mum.
mystery symmetrical anglefish white bumps
For the second time in the past two years, our anglefish developed odd white bumps on the side of its head.
first practice quiz of CIA exam no 2
I've read through the first two chapters of the prep book and have taken the first chapter's test.
stories of career set-backs
At the conference today the keynote speaker was making a point about learning from failure.
"Career Day" at PMI-SOC
This is how I spent my day today.
another new web design
I read a good e-book called "Bootstrapping Design" that made me realize a thing or two about the design of this website and how I might approve it.
frost in my beard
It's now cold enough that cycling to work I get a frosty beard and moustache by the time I'm at the office.
Japanese airlines grounding their 787's
Great, just great: the planes we were flying on in Japan last month have just been grounded due to safety concerns.
armed and dangerous
Cry, the beloved country.
bike brake failed me for the last time
The other night as I was cycling home in cold but dry conditions I hit the one patch of my route that's always a little different.
take it from me, life's a grand ol' time
One of my coworkers came stomping into the office today just as I'd returned to my desk with a wry smile on my face—it looks like we'll be undergoing a new round of struggles with our building management in getting our kitchen sink onclogged yet again.
On Sunday conditions were perfect for snowmen, we made a bunch of big ones, rolling up the ever-so-slightly wet snow so easily that it left bare patches of green grass.
Oh, Nikola Tesla, will you ever win
Once upon a time, in a job interview, I was asked to describe my hero, and why he was my hero.
website content management systems
So it's decided: out of ten content management systems that I've looked at, WordPress turned out to be the one that best met our needs.
jet lag with kids
Ugh, ten hours of jet lag with two small children.
Wow, just like that* we're back in Toronto.
farewell, "calamity year"
2013.01.04, Nichinan, Kyushu
Yesterday we went to a sea-side shrine to observe the new year with prayer and the throwing of small clay balls.
I drank what
2013.01.04, Nichinan, Kyushu
Today we ate at a local restaurant for lunch, a small treat from Mari's mum in honour of our departure.
we almost ate what
2013.01.03, Nichinan, Kyushu
So it turns out that when we were in Takachiho last week, we might well have been served "Japanese giant hornet" (as food that is, not as a means of assassination).
climbed a hill
2013.01.02, Nichinan, Kyushu
The family took a trip out to a place in the sticks that had outdoor tennis courts, to let the boys (aged 4-13) run off some energy.
I wonder where film cameras might have been by now
2013.01.02, Nichinan, Miyazaki
Given all of the technology that's available now, I wonder where film SLR cameras might have gone if there were still a market.
a new favourite place in the neighbourhood
2013.01.02, Nichinan, Miyazaki
There was a deep frost last night, which kept the sleeping room damn cold last night.
new year's political message
2013.01.01, Nichinan, Kyushu
There is a grass-roots movement building among Canada's first nations people that is purposefully excluding the aboriginal communities' own political leadership as a matter of strategy in order to focus on achieving results, and to take matters into their own hands.
sunrise over the new year
2013.01.01, Nichinan, Kyushu
In the pre-dawn gloom this morning, we all piled into the cars to travel to the coast to observe the first sun rise of the new year.
15k on the year's final day
2012.12.31, Nichinan, Miyazaki
I took my old bike out for a spin this morning, covering about fifteen kilometers from Mari's parents place to the sea then back inland, through a tunnel that cuts through a big rock in the middle of the valley, and then traipsing my way back.
the sea of clouds
2012.12.29, Miyakonojo, Kyushu
This morning I was picked up by my father-in-law at 06:45 for a trip up a mountain-side to see an effect for which the Japanese use the word 'unkai', meaning a 'sea of clouds'.
facebook account deactivated (again)
2012.12.28, Miyakonojo, Kyushu
I've decided to deactivate my account on Facebook again.
come here son, how does this smell to you...
2012.12.27, Miyakonojo, Kyushu
Children, so many uses.
teaching a photographer
2012.12.27, Miyakonojo, Miyazaki
I love explaining photography stuff to people just getting into the game.
sakura-jima is erupting
2012.12.26, Miyazaki, Kyushu
We returned to Miyakonojo today to the sight of Sakura-jima, Japan's most active volcano, erupting across the sky.
2012.12.26, Hyuga, Kyushu
I'm getting like my mother, telling people about a fantastic meal I once had while travelling.
movie review - Bee Movie
This is an animated movie set in a bee hive.
2012.12.25, Takachiho, Kyushu
Today we travelled with Mari's parents to Takachiho gorge in the north-west corner of Kyushu.
what's this - warm nigiri?
2012.12.24, Miyakonojo, Kyushu
What's going on, Japan? I'm gone for two years and return to find that your convencience stores have started nuking the staple "o-nigiri" rice balls? Call me a relic, call me what you will, but I believe that rice balls are a dish best served cold.
climbing a hill to nowhere
2012.12.23, Nichinan, Miyazaki
Every year-end that I've visited Mari's parents' place in Nichinan, I've climbed a steep paved road up the side of the western wall of the valley in which the property is situated.
is there a bike shop around here
2012.12.23, Nichinan, Kyushu
Today I went around the town looking for someone to help me get some air in my tires.
so .. that was the apocalypse
2012.12.21, Nichinan, Miyazaki
My flight went well, and then upon arrival in Japan things went somewhat less smoothly.
here comes the apocalypse!
Doesn't it just figure that the Mayan apocalypse lands on a Friday!
I'm still thinking about "War Horse"
This time last week I saw the play "War Horse".
It is amazing what you can do with the web development software libraries that are just sitting around today; in about two literal minutes, I added a "WYSIWYG" editor to the tools that I use to make this website.
Toronto's school board responds to the shooting
The shooting in Connecticut prompted the Toronto District School Board to put around an advisory to parents about advising children during this time.
photography hobby on hiatus
I'm looking at buy another used Minolta film camera body.
comments, I get comments
I'm getting more comments to my website these days; it's become a daily thing.
cycling in sleet
One of the hidden benefits of having lived on a foreign coast of the Pacific for five years: I'd forgotten how much freezing rain stings when you're cycling in it.
movie review - Cars
This is a much-celebrated animated movie from much-celebrated Pixar.
shooting in the US
Another shooting in the US.
movie review - Skyfall
I get the gritty tone of the recent Bond films.
cycling in the dark
First it was sweater-vests in the office, now this.
-2° and back on my bike
With the exam behind me I'm free of the need for study time on the TTC.
CIA exam 1 complete
NHL fans unite!
Some NHL fans are taking matters into their own hands with a counter-strike of their own.
a final quiz
I've taken a final 40-question practice quiz ahead of tomorrow's CIA exam #1.
killed by a prank
When I was younger I was routinely enraged by the things in the news.
no quiet like the absence of children
The apartment was so quiet overnight that I could hear, from my bed, the sound of the aquarium lights coming on in the living room.
the family is on a plane
I put my family on a plane today, they'll be gone to Miyazaki for the next month.
I've just been through a really bad three-day patch of fever, nausea, sore everything, and exhaustion.
a meal between Thanksgiving and X'mas
We'd failed to attend family functions both at Thanksgiving and Christmas, so today we split the difference and dropped in to see Scott & Sue, who hosted both of the missed events.
quiz results all over the place—not confident
2012.12.01, St. Catharines
It's been a busy twenty-four hours.
Toronto's politics are disturbingly amateur
So this week we lost our Mayor because it seems he doesn't know how to use of his position in an appropriate way.
don't look now, but I did some coding
Quite some time ago, I did a fair bit of coding.
an AGM and some stretching exercises
Today I voted at an annual general meeting.
progress with my CIA exam
I'm making some fair progress with my CIA exam studies, getting reasonably good marks even in my lowest-scoring sections.
never get off the goddamn streetcar
Today I knew I was in for trouble when I didn't see a streetcar pass the end of my street in the Beaches.
movie review - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Well, this year is turning out be really something.
so it's come to sweater-vests
There was no !(*#&$* streetcar until 08:50 this morning.
Apple, quit nagging me about iTunes...
I like many things about my Mac Mini, but iTunes sure ain't one of them.
tweaked my bike
I'm not riding my bike on a daily basis these days, having traded fun and liberty for reading on countless slow-lurching public transit vehicles.
santa claus parade
The Santa Claus parade wasn't really enough to hold The Boy's attention this year.
a perfect day for a parade
I took Kenny to see the Santa Claus parade today.
CIA is harder than PMP
I've taken two practice quizzes today for the first CIA exam, from the Gleim resources I bought.
happiness is a clean audit
I've been with my current employer for two years, as of today.
I picked up some new lenses for my glasses today.
falling glass cripples city
Tonight I stepped out of the office building to discover that downtown was once again in complete gridlock.
the apartment next to ours
I saw the woman who lives in the apartment in the building next to ours.
Fuji XE-1 envy
I walked to the camera store where I normally develop my film, to drop off a roll.
four streetcars to get home
Due to a combination of short-turns, I used a total of four streetcars to get home tonight.
Ken's school had a remembrance day event today.
what, no linkedin profile
This morning I wanted to look up a fellow who'd made a presentation at an event last week.
learning to read new words
Ken's teacher sent him home with a reader on Friday.
burned out vacuum cleaner
Since Electrolux won't support our vacuum cleaner (we brought a Japanese-bought model to Canada), I've decided to take it apart and see what I could do.
"boys and girls like to help"
The Boy helped me with making pancakes this morning, as he usually does.
thanks for the taxi ride, TTC
At the end of a long day, I missed my streetcar by about ten seconds.
500 months old
I've been back in Canada for two years as of next week, minus the time I ducked back to Japan for a month to get my family (our official arrival date was eventually January 4 or so of 2011).
end your television
We don't have a TV at home.
day of the dead
Today we went down to the Harbourfront center (ignoring the unseasonable cold) and enjoyed an introduction to the Mexican "day of the dead".
swimming in water
We've been taking the kids to "swimming lessons" recently.
lots of pedestrian injuries
My renewed streetcar ridership is paying off in that I'm getting plenty of time to study.
on the TTC again
I've relinquished the bicycle in favour of the TTC.
We went out briefly tonight for Hallowe'en, The Boy went as a pirate.
Now it's just getting tiring.
I feel safe in .. well, the Beaches
Say what you will about the Beaches, it's one of the safest areas in the city - according to this interactive map anyway.
giving me memories
Today I wearily told The Boy, "No, I don't remember the incident you're talking about.
two good presentations
Today I was slated to attend three presentations.
a fine day to "study" in a cafe
I stopped on the way home to attempt to study for my CIA exam.
long walk in the neighbourhood
We went for a long walk in the neighbourhood today.
another new website design
In keeping with my usual habit, I've once again redesigned the website.
back on Dundas street
I've given up cycling on Queen street in the mornings.
audit dry run
The audit dry run is done for the year.
another year, another spill on my bike
As I did on September 2 last year, I had a spill today while crossing wet streetcar tracks.
Louis CK on being a dad
Once again, the man is right on the mark.
dear diamond taxi of Toronto
As I was cycling to work today I passed one of your taxis, which was stopped at the curb in the right lane on Queen Street east in the Leslieville area.
movie review - Moonrise Kingdom
This is a story of two young people falling in love in a tiny island community.
movie review - Seven Psychopaths
This is an amusing story with a great cast about a struggling writer whose unstable and mercurial friend tries to draw him out.
where is the "certification" for CEO
There are so many certifications on the market today, but none are for a senior manager in a large IT department.
audit crunch time
The auditors are due for their dry run on Monday.
learning to snap!
Ken's learning to snap his fingers.
CIA exam no. 1 here I come
I've signed up for the first of my CIA exams.
slow, TTC kinda day
Having returned the car before work, I took the subway to the office.
so I said to the tattoo'd bodybuilder...
I dropped off a rental car and subsequently found myself on the subway this morning.
upgraded an aquarium
I've upgraded our little 10 gallon aquarium to a 16 gallon affair that sits in the same footprint but is 60% again taller.
2012.10.07, St. Catharines
Today we went for a stroll in the small forest of Woodend conservation area, just outside St.
thanksgiving in Niagara
2012.10.06, St. Catharines
We picked up a car today and did some errands.
hey, remember the NHL
Looks like the NHL is having some sort of strike or lockout or who gives a crap.
CIA exam 1 prep
OK fine, maybe I'll dabble in an MBA
I've decided that once I'm done with this CIA program I'll knock of the certifications do the MBA program with Heriot-Watt in the UK (distance learning).
my sister-in-law, the artist (take II)
A week ago my sister-in-law sold a painting.
think your Monday morning sucked?
My Monday morning started with the sight of someone being arrested in the parking lot of a convenience store.
movie review - Hot Tob Time Machine
You can probably understand everything you need to know about this movie from the title.
$1600 in TTC fares not spent
My records indicate that I've saved $1600 in TTC fares since late March of 2011 by cycling to work on many days.
he wants to grow up
Kenny is so keen on growing up tall that he's sworn off chocolate milk, taken to eaten broccoli and brown rice, and knows that he shouldn't have too much cola.
one CIA exam down, three to go
I've had confirmation that I'm exempted from the fourth exam in the CIA certification process.
construction outpays technology
Well it's official, the construction industry out-pays the technology field.
my sister-in-law, the artist
My sister-in-law has sold another piece to a visitor to the gallery where she's currently showing.
nazi buddhist relic is a meteorite
I think this story is the reason that the Internet was created.
the new pleco
The new pleco I got for the small aquarium has vanished.
long nights, short days
I'm putting in some long hours at the office today.
incorporating in Canada
I found some amusing guidance on who can serve as a director for federally-incorporated corporations in Canada.
autumn means long johns
Hello Autumn, let's celebrate your return—and the return of 6º weather—with cycling to work in long johns.
that 70's boy
Today Ken and I were playing with Lego and he was humming the tune from Star Wars and I thought, "What have I done to this kid?" He's living my childhood.
111.6cm and growing
The boy now towers over his classmates in his weekend Japanese school.
buying and renting a home in Toronto
I've found an article linking to a calculator for a buy-vs-rent comparison in Toronto.
Today, despite massive exhaustion, I manned a booth at an financial industry annual event.
rushed to the hospital by an EMS under threat
Last night my son had an attack of croup and needed some swift help from my inhaler and (more importantly) the city's EMS to survive.
day in a daze
Being in the emergency ward until 02:30 with a small child that's just had a brush with death leaves you a mess the next day.
movie review - Margin Call
This is a dramatic telling of the implosion of an investment bank during the (totally over) Great Financial Crisis.
more camera porn
My camera-buying days are over for the time being.
they say comfort is the enemy of greatness...
They say comfort is the enemy of greatness.
advice from my father
My father sent some advice on the constant issue of re-training.
on the beach
Today we went to the beach, and someone I wound up working on a sand-castle pretty much solo for about two hours.
a day of study
I've now officially signed up for the CIA course, the die is cast, I'm paid up.
audit season is exhausting
I don't think I've been awake past 21:30 on a single night this week.
keeping warm with a ceiling fan
I hadn't realized that a ceiling fan could be so good for your electricity bill.
movie review - Inside Job
This is a documentary about the great financial crisis, narrated by Matt Damon.
here comes Chika
In one of those weird juxtapositions, our friend Chika from Japan may be joining us, along with her husband, for Thanksgiving dinner in Niagara.
Mmmmmm, new camera I can't possibly afford.
who me, MSc
I've stumbled into an interesting option to the MBA route I've been investigating: with my upcoming CIA designation I can do an MSc.
everyone's getting certified
Everywhere I look I see people "upgrading their skills".
a new start for a tiny pleco
After the great die-off in my larger aquarium last weekend, I'm going to take a month before buying any new fish.
awoke from falling asleep
Woke at two this morning with a headache and went to lie on the sofa with a stomach full of pills.
my CIA induction begins
I've started studying for the CIA designation.
In the past, in dealing with internal audit, I often wondered at the perceived value-add of the function.
going to Tokyo
Tonight I met with a young fellow who's planning his first dose of overseas living; in Tokyo.
movie review - Despicable Me
This is an animated movie about a villain with minions, a lair, and a mad scientist.
aquarium holocaust and a new plan
I've just been through an aquarium holocaust.
movie review - The Book of Eli
This is a science-fiction story set in a near future dystopia that is looking more and more likely by the day.
To MBA or not to MBA...
Now I'm looking at online MBA and other (e.
photos from a wedding
I've finally managed to get a few pics together from the wedding of Kate and Ben some time ago.
It rained so hard last night it sounded like a bunch of people were dancing on the roof.
creeping aquarium ownership
I'm considering replacing our small second aquarium with a substantially larger one.
lost our son, briefly
The boy now rides his bike so well that it seems he thinks he doesn't need our company while away from the home.
oh my god, that new camera
Hey sexy mama, where you been all my life?
so long, MBA idea
Once again, I've looked at doing an MBA.
good at engineering not at relationships
The other day I asked a six year old friend of The Boy the following question: "Your Daddy is older than me.
movies about a crisis
I've now watched two particularly good movies on the financial crisis: "Margin Call" and "Inside Job".
everybody just calm down
Today I had the pleasure of sharing the road with a driver who basically had to have the horn going wherever he went.
taller fish tank
I'm looking at upgrading our little 40 liter aquarium to a 60 liter "tall" variety that would allow us to retain the lid and lamp and filter.
weird bike problem
The problem with my bike seat post constantly sliding down isn't getting any better.
and this is why I shaved
I shaved off my entire mustache and beard because I'd gone halfway and everyone around me told me to finish the job.
a beautiful night
We had a picnic in the back yard of some friends tonight, the weather was spot-on perfect.
apostrophes in email addresses
It turns out that you can put an apostrophe in an email address; I learned this today while corresponding with a client.
movie review - Looper
This is a science-fiction flick in which an assassin kills people sent through a chute from the future.
Yesterday I went to the bike shop to have a small bolt repaired.
java certificate issuer database "security"
It turns out that in addition to the other shortcomings of the Java environment, there's essentially no security at all on the way it controls certificate authorities.
emperor tetras play rough
One of the new emperor tetras is now swimming around with a great chunk missing from her stomach.
some new tank mates for our aquarium
I went out with Kenny to buy the lightbulbs for the new ceiling fan we had installed above the dining table.
rrrr, not again!
When shopping today, it was just one stop after another.
...and rained (so I tinkered with a vacuum cleaner)
It rained hard for two hours this morning; if we weren't caught up to the yearly average by yesterday, we are today.
and then it rained
We've had something like 20% of the rain we expected in Ontario this summer; today morning we caught up with the average.
the garden hose
2012.08.08, St. Catharines
I spent a good part of the day chasing my son around the yard with a garden hose - a substantial part of the day indeed.
african lion safari
2012.08.07, St. Catharines
Today we had a fantastic time with the kids at an outdoor zoo that encourages you to drive through various game reserves.
laid up all day (again)
2012.08.06, St. Catharines
I had a migraine that kept me in bed until after five in the afternoon; for once, my mother had a migraine on the same day.
2012.08.05, St. Catharines
We're on vacation; Kenny and I spent much of the afternoon chasing each other around Grandma's yard with a water hose.
farewell my german blue rams
My German blue rams have died, much to my dismay.
hot day to be moving
I just met our new downstairs neighbour; it's 33ºC and he's single-handedly moving his stuff into the apartment.
becoming a man again
Our son noticed that my beard is coming in again; he told me, "You're becoming a man again!
vacuum cleaner fun
The Electrolux vacuum cleaner we bought in Japan has stopped working; the local shop says repair is impossible.
We've had such bad weather that everyone heading West has had badly delayed flights.
oh my aching back
Between the new bike and new baby carriage, I'm dealing with a fair bit of back pain these days.
so I'm clean shaved
For the first time since perhaps 2004, I've shaved my beard off.
farewell to the family
After dinner, uncle Ken came for a visit to collect a forgotten pair of sunglasses.
LMT with friends and family
Today we went to see LMT perform at the Beaches Jazz Festival; it's been over 20 years since we started coming out for this band.
the whole family's around
Everyone's here, my brother, mother, and father.
crapped on by a bird, again
This makes the eleventh time I've been crapped on by a bird.
a wedding in Toronto
My cousin Kate got married today, on the tenth anniversary of their meeting in some high school related activity (in July?).
survived a weird cycling error
I cycled to work today in the rain because I have to be home at 16:30 and cannot rely on transit to make that happen.
tracking the TTC
For some reason, the TTC tracks the location of all of its streetcars, but left it to someone else to publish the information in real time.
Another perfect summer day, another perfect picnic.
center island picnic - and how to catch seagulls
We met Jon, Manami, Kii-chan, and The Chako at the ferry terminal just before noon, and spent the day at center island.
Today we attempted to take in some jazz at the Beaches Jazz Festival, but Kenny had other plans.
movie review - Madagascar
This is an animated kids movie about a collection of zoo animals that wind up being shipped off to the African island nation of Madagascar.
solving the BYOD riddle
This article presents a policy that allows employees to bring their own mobile devices to work, while at the same time avoiding the security and support issues raised.
jon and manami and little kii
My long-time friend Jon and his family are in town; naturally, I ran into them on the street on the way to work.
comedy of errors - father's day gift indeed
I bought something online that was supposed to be a Father's Day gift - it still hasn't been delivered, a month later.
not so sweet hitch-hiker
As I rounded the final corner on my ride in, today, a young fellow on a bike appeared next to me and said, "Thanks for the ride, bro.
what do they do
On top of the building next to where I work, there is a large patio used by the condo-tenants to lounge around all day.
visiting with old friends
Tonight we visited with some old friends from the first two times I lived in Toronto: Stephanie and Brian.
夏祭り in Toronto
Today we attended a "夏祭り", or summertime festival, at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Center.
Today I took Ken out on an expedition to Parliament and Carlton to a pet store for some new fish.
happiness is a new bike
What a difference it makes to ride a new bike; good-bye stiffness in the neck, hello new sore spots in the legs.
new article on bring-your-own-device at work
I've completed the article on the challenge of bringing mobile devices to work that I've been asked to write.
cupcakes and quizzes
I wanted to do some training today, so I used some quizzes and cupcakes.
I've added a raft of new photos to the site.
two offers, today
Today I was offered two opportunities: to write for an ISACA blog; and to teach in Tunisia.
finally bought a bike
I bought a bike today for about half the price of bringing my "old" bike from Japan.
the fish kill
Just the other day, I was thinking to myself - wow, it may have been six months or more since the last fish death in our aquaria.
hot as the hinges of southern Ontario
We hit a record temperature of 36°C today, and it was humid.
Kenny constantly asks me to draw things for him.
I took a test today to see if I'm a narcissist; turns out I'm devoid of all ego, an empty ghost of a man.
hearing from an old friend
Once upon a time, I wrote something on this site about my early childhood; today I heard from a friend who found his name there.
an old SRT-101 handed down (again)
A Minolta SRT-101 camera that my mother bought for my father in the early 70's was handed down to me in the 90's and is now my son's.
We had a picnic with Chinese and Korean food in the back yard of some friends, tonight - hiding from darkening rainclouds we did okay.
the boy's bike is a hit
This weekend I started teaching Kenny how to ride his first pedal-bike; by this evening he was riding unassisted.
an apartment on Craigslist - not so fast
It seems that Craigslist isn't just hookers and bogus sports tickets: scammer rings are now faking apartment ads.
fireworks of every kind
We went to see the fireworks at the beaches tonight.
"nothing is enough"
I saw a woman on Queen street with a shirt that read "nothing is enough".
cranky comments on my website
For some reason, I enjoy the odd cranky comment I get on my website - it lets me know that someone's reading.
Kenny's abilities with words and numbers are really taking off.
buh-bye Captain Jack's
I never knew anyone to eat at Captain Jack's floating restaurant in Toronto and come away with a happy tale.
working together again
Today I had the odd experience of holding a business meeting with someone I worked with fifteen to seventeen years ago.
cycling with an old chair
Today I cycled several blocks with a 40-year-old chair on the back of my bike.
the green bike is ready
I've finished repainting the bike for Kenny and have re-assembled the thing - it looks pretty damn good I believe.
never enough green paint when you need it
I've nearly painted Kenny's bike, but have hit a snag - the spray can is empty!
the half-green bike
Kenny's new bike is coming along nicely: the first coat of final paint is now half done, and I've replaced the white tires with black ones.
kenny's bike is primed
I finally finished stripping the paint off of the bike I'm rebuilding for Kenny, and have started painting the primer.
I was playing some Motörhead and Kenny said, "i like this music!
PMP reunion lite
For an informal reunion of our sixty plus PMP exam prep class, all of four people turned out - not much has changed in Toronto I guess.
finally got my bike back
After $82 and five days, I'm finally on my bike again.
dogfight at a family barbecue
We had a Father's Day barbecue today, and sadly a dog fight broke out.
bike wearing out
My faithful old bike is wearing out, after only 15 years.
my new Minolta lens
Today I took the time to walk the alleys near my office with my faithful X-700 and my "new" 35mm lens - it's reinvigorating to create.
the paper cranes auxiliary force
Today, recognizing that my wife and I have plenty of time on our hands, I volunteered our help in making paper cranes for a wedding.
so this is the economy
Even if I didn't have a colicky newborn keeping the two of us up half the night the commotion in Europe would be keeping me up.
drums and sunshine
We went to a drumming festival in Woodbine park today; 'twas brillig.
Despite unhappy past experiences, I bought a used 35mm lens for my old Minolta gear on ebay - it's arrived and it's a winner.
"i have no friends"
The Boy was looking out the window, forlorn, as his sister cried endlessly behind him.
I wanna look like mungo jerry
And here I didn't think that "In The Summertime" by Mungo Jerry couldn't get any better - and then I saw the video.
more passwords in jeopardy
On Wednesday, someone announced that they'd stolen millions of passwords from LinkedIn; today I had warnings from two more websites.
Here's the blurb I found on whether investing time in something makes sense.
one more happy birthday...
Today Kenny was forecasting some activities for next year, and said, "one more happy birthday, and i'll be five!
no, 28 is 28
We didn't get the apartment we wanted, so my commute will stay what it is.
28 becomes 16
It took me 28 minutes to cycle to work today, the first time I've timed it in over a year.
pulled pork - it must be Summertime
Well it was only about 20ºC, certainly not summer; but we had summertime food - pulled pork, hot dogs, and beef-on-a-bun.
movie review - Red
This is a movie about a retired CIA spy who is classified "RED": Retired, Extremely Dangerous.
kamil is in town
Dr Zaniewski, a friend from half a lifetime ago, made it to our place despite my instructions.
no rain last night
We had a forecast for rain last night, but it simply didn't materialize - again.
everyone's busy, all the time
People are so busy these days that making plans is becoming a matter of "What about the third weekend in June?
my good name
Wow, someone's asked me to be a reference in applying for a new venture affecting their livelihood.
Today I went to a "PMP" related "professional development day" - at $280 I think it might just have been worth the money.
I get a steady trickle of comments on this site; but for every real comment there are two anonymous 'bot spam dumps.
today's spelling words
Today's spelling words are "BANANA" and "BROTHER".
Canada's entry to keystone kops police state
Canada's following it's big brother's lead into an era of amateur police statism; it would be funny if .
my ancestors, the "children of peace"
I see from the historical records that a certain idiosyncrasy runs in the family, and I am pleased.
movie review - Date Night
A bored couple living in New Jersey head to Manhattan for a night on the town in an effort to save their stale marriage.
don't worry about the economy
Gee, these gloom and doom merchants never let up.
the Beaches was crazy today
We tried—and failed—to get together with some friends in Toronto's car-choked Beaches area today.
to the zoo!
We did our yearly trek to the zoo today as part of our "all about Kenny" weekend - our way of making up for all of the baby focus of late.
Japanese sports day
Sports day is a big event in the Japanese school year, and today we attended such an event in the Beaches.
so this is Mississauga
Today, for the first time in years, I had reason to visit Mississauga - Toronto's strictly-for-drivers "other half".
Today our firm had what turned into a rather fun test day; everyone stayed home and attempted to work from there.
ah yes, diapers
I'm struggling to get diapers right again.
the fluoride in Toronto's water
I doubt this will surprise the people who know me, but I'm starting to side with the tinfoil hat wingnuts on the fluoridation of water.
that's one yellow sticker for a boy...
Kenny's been earning stickers with happy faces every time he properly uses the toilet for a BM.
focusing and tracking
Well, "First Grandaughter" may have had a wobbly start with her eyes (I was briefly concerned that she could see at all through one eye that was bloody from birth) but she's come a long way already.
The car rental agency I deal with insists that there's nothing for me this Friday except a Fiat 500 - dang!
toronto housing prices
I looked up some figures and have come to an unsurprising conclusion: Toronto's housing prices are unaffordable.
five old cameras
2012.05.13, St. Catharines
We've been helping the family move my step-grandmother out of her condo and into a seniors residence; I've inherited some cameras.
we've fled the city again
2012.05.11, St. Catharines
Hello, Niagara, always a pleasure - especially with Spring in full bloom and the weather beyond coat warm; ahhh.
found some old photos
From time to time I find a batch of photos that somehow didn't make it to my website; today was one of those days.
soaked on my bike again
Yesterday, they forecast 20mm of rain and we had none; today "isolated showers" meant five hours of heavy rain.
no Olympus OM-D for downtown Toronto
"Downtown Camera" in Toronto "will not be carrying" the Olympus OM-D, due to worries over the financial health of Olympus.
way to go, TTC
Today at the last minute I learned that my streetcar will be unavailable until October starting tomorrow.
May the Fourth be with you
Well today was Star Wars Day so of course Kenny and I watched Empire Strikes Back.
another sign of aging
Today I had another sign that I'm getting old—our doctor doesn't remember the cold war.
cycling in the snow in late April
So we had 25°C in mid-March, and now we're having snow squalls in late April.
thoughts on the PMP exam (2012 edition)
I found the exam pretty tough; here are my thoughts on the experience and advice for exam takers.
pmp = headhunters
For the first time since I've been back in Canada, a headhunter called me.
child benefits in Canada (our government is crazy)
Applying for the child benefit program (a subsidy of $100/child under 6) in Canada is ridiculously difficult.
paying for PC support
It's come to this - I'm paying for someone to look into a wonky laptop.
what do you mean tax return
I've been so busy with the PMP exam that I've neglected the impending April 30 due date on my tax return.
I showed Kenny the 80's video "Kiss" by Prince.
if there must be trouble
Thomas Paine said, "If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
next up: hangliding
Now that that exam is out of the way, it's time to follow on a vow I made a decade ago: to try hangliding.
hello, twitter & facebook
Quite some time ago, my twitterfeed account ceased functioning (and then ceased to be).
michael werneburg, pmp
Well, it took four long hours, but I've written my PMP exam and passed.
PMP exam, here I come
I'm up to a 90% on the practice exams, and I've read as much as I physically could tolerate; I'm as ready as I'm going to be.
onward and upward
I'm up to an average of 86% on my practice quizzes for the PMP exam; with the pass/fail at 61% I'm feeling cautiously optimistic.
movie review - Midnight in Paris
We got about fifteen minutes into this when I realized that I hated everybody in it.
stormtrooper smacks his head
Kenny demanded to see Star Wars again today (I've created a four year year old monster).
It's been a while since we had a get-together with friends, but today we hosted a couple and their two boys.
I managed a 74% on my first go-through of a 409-question sample test in preparation for my PMP exam on Thursday.
Today by happy chance I met a fellow Canadian who's returned from Japan with a Japanese wife.
ghost uses the phone
I was woken in the wee hours by the sound of the phone being off the hook.
not a real dinosaur
The Easter Bunny brought Kenny a dinosaur egg toy that hatches when the egg is submersed in water.
no wind like a side wind
Had a grueling trek to the office this morning, it took fully ten minutes longer—all due to some wind.
mmmm, maple syrup
2012.04.06, Woodbridge, Ontario
It's the very end of a particularly early maple syrup season in southern Ontario this weekend, so Grandma took us to see some being made.
adding browser type to CSS
I'm working on a demo system that needs an interface overhaul, and I've found a very helpful trick.
this old bike
Despite having poured $400 into maintaining my old bike and outfitting myself with new panniers etc, I've now saved $500 by cycling.
burning at both ends
My PMP exam is set for the 19th; that's really soon.
I have a friend who calls me "Sir Spam-a-lot" because of the odd outburst of "spam" on Facebook I cause.
one month on the ttc
In order to study adequately for my PMP exam, I gave up my bike during (most of) March and "rode the rocket".
paycheque and a reference
During a break at one of my final PMP classes, five of us were having a chat about the cycle of moving from job to job.
25ºC to -2ºC
The weather's abruptly changed, with the daily highs falling from 25ºC to the neighbourhood of 8ºC.
you just didn't do it well,
Tonight we were playing with trains when one soaring three-stage bridge came crumbling down.
my Mac Mini gets a solid state hard drive
My wife's Macbook Air is basically the best computer I've ever seen; one of its strengths is its lightning fast hard drive.
that's just little shit
Tonight our son was putting several of his toys into a good-sized cardboard box that he's been using as a "barn", up-ended and covered in dinosaur drawings and his dad's attempts at writing out the set of katakana.
connecting the dots on the environment - psha!
This video explains why it's best not to connect the dots when observing climate change in its many forms.
sad news on the last day of my PMP class
Today was the last day of my PMP class, and it ended with a bit of a sad note.
the sad state of police state photography
So it's come to this: photographers preparing for photo shoots by first checking in with the police.
I've added a raft of old photos to the site, some of them dating all the way back to 2010.
tennis in a Canadian winter
So much for the Winter that wasn't: today I saw some people playing tennis.
an old short story, revisited
While debugging an issue on my website this morning, I discovered that the one short story I'd posted to the site was missing.
st. patricks day of the dead
Tonight as I made my way home through a curiously persistent mist, my route was dogged by small groups of stumbling, mumbling zombies.
new website in a week
Some things never change.
$1750 doesn't buy much rental living in Toronto
I'm still amazed at how much rents have climbed in Toronto since I left back in '05.
no class, kajiji folk
I dislike buying things through classified ads, and that did not change this week.
the fetus report
Mari's been to another check-up, and all looks well with the pregnancy.
Mmmm, gluten-free beer that's okay...
For my birthday, I treated myself to the "gourmet" burger place across the street, which turns out to have a gluten free beer.
is that the same sort of thing?
When Kenny noticed that I was transferring a small hard drive from one laptop to another, and saw that the drive being replaced was a different color and size, he studied the two objects for a moment and asked, "is that the same sort of thing?
kenny and the compass
Recently, I've been buying some camping and SHTF/eotwawki preparation gear.
words to live by
Two quotes caught my attention today: Illusions commend the
PR applications and babies
Recently, an immigrant mother with a Canadian citizen husband gave birth in a hotel because she had no medical insurance.
oh PMP, you odd duck
Today at my "project management professional" certification exam prep class, the instructor told us something that amazed me.
so this is sleet
I'd always taken 'sleet' to mean 'freezing rain' but it turns out there's a different kind, and that's what we have today.
toronto model rail society
We went to see a large permanent model train layout today in the "Liberty Village" area.
the traffic's back
Silly me, the traffic to my website hadn't budged—I'd just stopped recording most of the traffic, somehow.
moving is tough
It seems that the rental market in Toronto's gotten a lot tougher of late.
my father-in-law, the photographer
Back in 2006 or maybe 2007, I bought my father-in-law a small point and shoot 6MP camera.
parenting, Beaches style
Once in a while I worry that I don't always do or say the best thing while in parent mode; sometimes I'm reassured.
Today Kenny exclaimed, "¡aye caramba!" I don't know where he gets this um, language.
the memory game
Mari spent the entire afternoon combing through our "intended neighbourhood" looking at streets, schools, and buildings.
emuu.net traffic's collapsed
No doubt about it, traffic to emuu.
near death on the 501 Queen Street E streetcar
The Queen Street streetcar follows a very long route, a distance made worse by cutting right through the worst congestion in the city's centre.
socializing again - and planning to move
We met with some of our new friends and fellow parents-of-small-children in Leslieville/Riverside again today.
chatting with strangers - in Toronto?
It's not often that I find myself approached by chatty strangers in this city, but tonight was an exception.
oh, USS Enterprise, say it ain't so
The Americans have just sailed the USS Enterprise into the Persian Gulf - this strikes me as odd.
pj's with cuffs
Tonight as I was dressing Kenny after our shower, I realized that his latest PJ's have cuffs.
someone dares question Monsanto
It looks like some farmers are taking Monsanto to court.
oh great, it's yakudoshi
I'm now carrying a Japanese good luck symbol around, because I'm soon to turn 41, and in Japan that's very bad news.
I asked Kenny, "Do you know what tomorrow is?
autumn in Ontario
Shooting film, it's not unusual for me to be editing photos from the season prior.
catching a streetcar
I've been meaning to record a strange event from about two weeks ago: I caught a streetcar by catching up to it on foot.
amazon's support is everything they say it is
The bottom of my Kindle developed a problem where the USB port wasn't seated properly; I called Amazon and they sent me a new one.
We went to the home of some friends to celebrate the Chinese new year this afternoon.
lying for fun and profit
On Thursday night I asked Kenny if he'd sat on the toilet before going to bed.
Linda Penwarden Jewellery
For Christmas, I bought my wife a pearl bracelet that she really loves.
PMP course progressing
I had my third class in the PMP course today.
what is our currency
Today I came across an interesting explanation of what our currency holdings really are.
Mari's health card is here!
After a year and two weeks in the country, Mari's health insurance card arrived today, and will be active on the 20th.
back to the museum
It was a sunny gorgeous day, today; naturally, I took Kenny to the museum.
socializing again .. where will this end!
My cousin Kate the actress and her fiancé invited us to a p
...and even sicker
I went back to work yesterday thinking that all was better -- nope!
ugh, sick and feverish
My first cold of the year, and I'm dizzy with fever.
counting to ten
Kenny just counted the wheels on one of his toy trains and got all the way to ten without error.
skating with my family
Mari's pregnant and can't go out on the ice, and I never learned to skate*, but today we took Kenny skating.
what's this .. socializing?
Tonight we met for a potluck dinner with some friends, and friends of theirs.
We've been without home Internet service since the morning of December 23.
new year starts off right
Last night we went to a great Indian restqurant in the Beaches called Delhi Cafe.
I'm looking forward to 2012, and hopefully a break from the themes of tedium and toil that marked 2011.
must be back in Toronto
I can tell I'm back in the city of Toronto: I made a comment to a woman on an elevator and she completely ignored me.
Santa has been!
2011.12.25, St. Catharines
Kenny's not an early riser, and even the prospect of seeing Santa (or at least new presents) wasn't enough to get him up before nine!
X'mas eve in Niagara
2011.12.24, St. Catharines
We've spent the day in St Catharines at "Grandma's", where a lucky little boy opened some presents.
thank you for making the train tracks, daddy
2011.12.23, St. Catharines
The boy continues to surprise me with his improving English.
the fastest drive across the city .. ever
2011.12.23, St. Catharines
Somehow, today turned out to be the fastest drive I've ever made across the city.
taking care of my health
Turns out that I'm actually doing something right for my health.
teetering on the edge of a migraine
I woke up early with a migraine this morning and couldn't shake it - it was getting progressively worse when I tried a desperate cure.
the audit is in the bag
Our auditors just provided their favourable Section 5970 report on our hosted software solution.
flooded facebook again
I've hooked up my RSS feed to Facebook again, and managed to once again spam everyone there who knows me.
hit by a car, today
If I'm ever going to be again struck by a minivan while cycling, then let it be today's type of low-speed impact.
last minute shopping for X'mas
What do you get for the loving wonderful wife who has everything, when you're X'mas shopping at the last minute?
X'mas at the distillery district
Tonight we met Geoff and Mariko-san at the distillery district to take in the X'mas do that they're hosting.
rss can be dang finicky
It looks like my website's updates aren't getting to Facebook or Twitter again.
movie review - Cowboys & Aliens
This is, as the title suggests, a movie in which aliens trade gunfire with cowboys of the late 19th Century.
one small step for a man, one giant leap for an audit
The denouement is now done - we've negotiated a final draft of the audit report.
our first X'mas tree
We set up a Christmas tree last night, and this morning Kenny woke to find presents under it.
finished my class, got an 86%
Since I graduated from University for the last time, back in 1994, I haven't been back until this year.
what could go wrong, did go wrong
Four blocks from the office, the rear tire on my bike went flat.
so much studying, so little time
I'm not entirely sure what possessed me to go back to University at this stage in my life.
daddy, don't say 'fuck'
We piled into the car with a lot of bags, heading for Grandma's home.
the phantom lunch
An old friend missed a lunch today because his employer's email system badly delayed his inbound mail.
my first X'mas party in four years
I attended my first company X'mas party since 2007, tonight.
30 minute no-show? gotta be the TTC
It was raining pretty steadily this morning, so I decided to take the streetcar to work; stupid move.
entered a photo contest
It wasn't good enough for "1x dot com", but I've submitted a favourite pic to the "Exposure" photo contest by "Artists Wanted".
facebook gets japanese
When I lived in Japan, none of my Japanese friends and coworkers were using Facebook.
Acer, back from the dead
My beloved 2005 Acer laptop died this evening - the optical drive was making funny noises; when I popped it out and in, the system died.
too dark, too soon
I'd forgotten what it's like, living in this city in the Winter - it gets dark so soon!
Acer Iconia 6886
In my Marketing class, we've been asked to evaluate a product from humble PC manufacturer Acer.
I've finally replaced the panniers I bought in 2005; rather than get two of the slim ones as I've been using, I bought a single fat one.
cycling in the snow
It's gotten cold early this year, or anyway colder by far than it was last year at this time.
total debt by country - 2011
Now for a bit of good news about the world's largest economies; just kidding.
let the system burn, we need a new one
Our economy and civilization is clearly going through some kind of evolutionary period right now.
unexpected windfall for cycle commuters
I cycle to work, where I have a consulting contract with a client; it turns out that this allows me to discount my cycling costs.
week of TTC cancelled
I couldn't make it work - a week of transit was just too much for me.
week of TTC (day two)
Today's driver actually said, "This is my streetcar!
week of TTC (day one)
My backlog of reading is so severe that I'm taking transit this week instead of riding my bike; today the driver was a "ringer".
movie review - Where The Wild Things Are
This is an ambitious book based on the children's book by the same name.
It seems that the last time I went about uprooting all the gravel in the tank I may have upset the aquarium's nitrogen cycle.
toronto's new streetcars
We went to see the open house for Toronto's new streetcars.
I managed to remember a moment of silence, today, but that was as far as any observance went; I wish this was a national holiday.
perspective and the electricity bill
I was fretting that our electricity bill is rarely south of $50 for a month; then Mari reminded me that in Tokyo we paid $100 a month!
spread too thin
There's a chance that I've spread myself too thinly this Autumn; I'm passing out before Kenny does in the evening, then waking at 5.
now with advertisements
I've added some new advertisements to emuu.
okay, Reichmann, okay
Yeah yeah yeah, I'm not listening a blah blah blah, can't afford a camera now, not going to look (again).
it's tax time—more belt tightening
I'm an independent IT contractor, and I bill my current client through my incorporated business.
Huh. I'm hungry.
It's now possible to have English conversation of a sort with Kenny.
Mnnnm versus Mooooo
When I sing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" for Kenny, I use a cow-like lowing sound "Mnnnnnmmmm".
another book of photos
At each Christmas since Kenny was born, I've been making photo books to commemorate his year.
The boss fella spotted me on the way to work today; apparently I zipped by his car on my bike.
"thanks for the lift"
The elevators were on the blink today at the office, and the security guard was manually making them work with a key.
the new austerity program .. in our house
With a second child on the way and no health insurance for my wife, we're going to have some bills.
it's palindrome time!
I just realized that it's another palindrome date.
five year anniversary
It's been five years with my darling Mari-chan: today was the anniversary of the paperwork at the Minato city hall.
Dracula hits the town
Kenny and Mari have discovered "trick or treating".
one year, already!
Tomorrow will be the anniversary of my return to Toronto from Canada; at the time I had no job or home, and was alone.
movie review - Shutter Island
This is a story about two detectives who arrive at a psychiatric hospital on an island.
farewall middle class, we barely knew ye
Been watching some interesting vids of late, that talk about what's going on in our society and why.
didn't bomb the exam after all
So it turns out that I got the highest mark in the class on Thursday's exam.
Anonymous and Shakespeare
I met my friends Geoff and Mariko-san and two of their friends in seeing the movie "Anonymous" tonight.
the only Jew on Duncan street
Today, the "only Jew on Duncan street" came to our rescue.
bombed an exam
I never, ever know what to expect from exams when I've completed them, but being the first student to leave the room can't be good.
my first $1 US coin
Today I noticed a funny looking loony in my carry-around change; turns out it was a $1 coin from the US.
I saw a fox on my street, today
I had a special treat today; I saw a fox on our street, a beautiful thing with luscious fur and a calm bearing.
my year of bad luck
So it turns out that I'm in the middle of a two year run of "bad luck", according to Japanese lore.
manufacturer links to its retailers—at last!
You know, this is such a no-brainer that it really shouldn't have come as a (pleasant) surprise.
small town in a big city
Toronto has always had a certain anonymity to it, once you're away from certain niche populations.
free photo book for the iPad
You can now download my photo book for the iPad; and for a short time, it's free.
why Acer should quit the PC business
An assignment in my Marketing course: advise Acer on whether to buy the Hewlett Packard PC division.
a big project, winding down
I spent the entire day today working on a single document for the audit; pushing paperwork is basically my entire job now.
one face, many ethnicities
The fellow who sold me my aquarium today guessed that I was of "East European" origin; specifically, he thought maybe Serbian or Czech.
the fish swap (and aquarium creep)
Today I took our thirteen-year-old clown loach to the pet store in exchange for some smaller fish.
iPads with keyboards
In the course I'm taking, I've been watching for signs of iPad use among the ~20 year old students that make up the majority.
the TTC strikes again
It was raining pretty heavily tonight after work, and rain seems to cause delays with the streetcar.
a bully no more
I've taken steps to remove a bully that's been plaguing our lives recently.
a heated holiday
2011.10.10, St. Catharines
We set off for Short Hills provincial park just after lunch today, but never made it.
I want to come back here.
Today, Ken used a couple of phrases he's never before put together.
and now for a feast
I can't recall having had too many feasts prepared by a lawyer-in-waiting, but that's what happened today.
"what a great day"
2011.10.08, St. Catharines
"Canada is a great country," my wife said, as we hiked through the changing autumn colours.
2011.10.07, St. Catharines
It's well over 20ºC, where a week before it was 8ºC—this year's weather has been crazier than ever.
everyone hates charities on the street
So it turns out that I'm not alone in tiring of those people who pester you on the street in the name of charities.
an eight month audit comes to a close
We wrapped up the audit today, an eight month project that's now succeeded.
touring the changing colours
We hopped into our rental car and drove to Bala today on a tour of the autumn colours.
movie review - Trollhunter
This is a .
a little sad
At the grocery store, I took the shopping cart to the shed in the parking lot.
a visitor from Japan
We're hosting our first visitor from Japan: "aunt" Yaguchi Miwako.
what our son grows up, he wants to be...
When prompted with the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?", our son today answered, "Daddy.
a north wind
Our friend Yaguchi-san is visiting; sadly, her visit coincides with an extremely rare north wind and it's currently 10C.
o-kaasan, did you take your pill?
Kenny noticed Mari's bottle of pills on the table and with a certain tone asked her, "o-kaasan, did you take your pill?
are environmentalists working for the saudis
Today I saw an informal talk by a prominent Canadian author/broadcaster/journalist who made several interesting claims.
making changes to this site
I've put a password restriction on this website to make it private.
acer versus hewlett packard
In my marketing course we've been assigned a project to evaluate whether Acer should make a play for HP's PC unit.
This summer, while taking a ferry trip, we saw a parent playing a card game with a child about Kenny's age.
the eternal audit
Another long day with the auditor, this time eleven hours of systems security, hiring processes, and managing key systems.
movie review - Mary and Max
This is a movie I've returned to several times in my mind since recently seeing it.
you won't like it
The boy's cottoned to my feeble reverse-psychology ploy.
learning to skate
Kenny's going for his introduction to ice skating tomorrow, and needs some equipment.
crossing the streams
Today the bathroom door burst open as it usually does when I'm using the toilet, and Kenny marched in.
an ode to autumn
Day after day, the sky turns grey, and the leaves are crisp again.
the TTC is driving me crazy
Today the streetcar arrived after I'd been waiting for twenty-five minutes - the third such delay in a week.
my first bagel in fifteen years
This morning I ate my first bagel in fifteen years.
32 kilometer doh!
I took The Boy to Fairview Mall to see the Lego store, but the store wasn't yet open—a 32 kilometer "D'oh!
canoeing to the outer harbour
I found myself in a canoe for the first time in years, today.
two hours to travel 15 kilometers
It took me two hours to travel about fifteen kilometers today.
Summer's gone, that's for sure: already I'm cycling to work in my Autumn sweatpants, long since hopeless stained with chain oil.
saying good morning
This morning, Kenny refused to tell me 'o-hayo' (good morning).
my descent into evil
When I started my career, I often butted heads with Marketing types; now I'm training to become one.
$15 electrical engineer
Today on the way to class I spotted a sign posted by an out of work electrical engineer who would accept any work for $15 an hour.
a lost cat and a missing streetcar
As I was heading out the door this morning, I noticed that a cat had somehow gotten on our roof.
midlife crisis mobile blunder
Today I managed to wedge my foot well into my mouth.
car crush photos
Here are some pics of the car under the toppled half of the willow tree that came down during the storm last week.
blowing east and blowing west
I saw something last night I'd never seen before: a bank of low clouds blowing briskly west under a high deck that was hurtling east.
old entrance to the ROM
I have no idea why they decommissioned the old entrance to the Royal Ontario Museum - so much classier than the new one.
back-to-school special on tattoos
I passed a shop advertising "sizzling back-to-school deals!" It was a tattoo shop.
black and white butterflies everywhere
Butterflies can be maddeningly difficult to photograph - especially when you remember that you're shooting black and white film.
my toronto to pickering cycle trip
This summer I took a cycle trip to lovely PIckering, Ontario; now I have some photos to share.
pics from a play
A few weeks ago I attended a play in Hamilton with my (extended) family.
something's happening here, what it is...
2011.09.03, St. Catharines
We're visiting with grandma today, and the first thing I noticed on her street was the giant heap of household belongings.
visit to a childhood home
2011.09.03, Beamsville, Ontario
Today, on the way to the city of my birth, I visited the farm where I lived as a child.
took a spill on my bike
It's funny; I was involved in several collisions in Tokyo, but all of my bicycle mishaps in Canada have been solo.
Kenny's been saying this for a while, but there are times when he needs to keep his mouth shut.
a death in the community (aquarium)
Somehow, for the first time in my checkered aquarium keeper's career, I've lost a plecostomus.
cn tower, here I come again
Fifteen years ago, I climbed the CN Tower; not having learned my lesson, I'm climbing those stairs again.
"dream of bird shit on my head"
The #2 search that brought people to my website yesterday was "dream of bird shit on my head".
new photos from the streets of Toronto
In early July I encountered a street performance by a troupe of ladies performing atop long flexible poles.
gliding on his balance bike
We have a "balance bike" for Kenny.
a delightful dinner away from .. that sort
We had pricey pizzas for dinner tonight to celebrate my darling wife's "75th" birthday.
the phone goes dead
Curiously, the day we had two three year olds in the apartment was the day our home phone died.
working the Japanese network in Toronto
I went into a card shop for a birthday card for my wife, and found just the thing - in the section for 75 year olds.
swimming and sausages - it's a BBQ
Today my mum came up from Niagara, and the four of us headed to Newmarket for a family reunion of sorts.
osx lion upgrade fails
Today I upgraded to OSX "Lion" -- then I downgraded again.
images of our summer in Ontario
At long last, I've managed to get some photos of Kenny from this summer on web site.
ice and the great lakes: the plot thickens
So it seems I'm not the only skeptic of the theory that glaciers created the Great Lakes of North America.
more fun news from fukushima
Oh no, the Fukushima incident is making me jaded and cynical!
fukushima is still not right
A friend in Tokyo passed on some interesting sites that are collecting news on the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster.
car crushed by a tree
As we returned Geoff's tent and other loaners and did some shopping, the clear skies and strong sun gave way to dark clouds.
driven by rain (to a genuine izakaya)
It rained all day at the cottage, so we decided by early afternoon to just head home.
freshwater ferry and an inexplicable hill
Today Kenny and I spent the morning playing on the small private beach in front of the "lodge" while Mari packed.
the freshwater sea and the home of god
We're on Manitoulin island, the world's largest freshwater island and in myth the home of Manitou, the creator of the universe.
glimpses of Agawa
Today we took a train tour north of the Sault to the famous Agawa canyon, a scene of terrific beauty and dramatic vistas etc.
visiting with an old friend
I don't have many friends in Canada any more, and yet this year I've visited the homes of two friends I met nearly twenty years ago.
the failed colony among the Wendat
We visited "Ste Marie among the Huron" today, a remake of the failed French colony that was built 1200 kilometers from Quebec City near the south shore of Lake Huron.
movie review - The Hangover
This is a movie about four friends who head to Las Vegas for a bachelor party.
knots in my shoes
In a bit of a hurry this morning to get some things together before we leave on a tour 'round Georgian Bay.
2011 vacation part two begins
Tonight we're staying at my late grandfather's cottage in Victoria Harbour, Ontario and we'll be sleeping in a tent.
home again, home again
We got home this evening by train: I am so glad we didn't drive.
I've been told that there are some 46 museums in Ottawa, and I'm inclined to believe it.
the ottawa contingent
Today we took the train to Ottawa to visit with my Aunt Maureen and Uncle Ulli.
stumbling round mount royal
Today we did a fair bit of walking - more even than we wanted.
alligators and surfers
Today we got an earlyish start and went to Montreal's "Biodome".
the old city of montreal
We spent the day in Montreal's old city, today.
so this is Montreal...
We've only been in Montreal for a few hours but it's already struck us as pretty cool; but then attending a lively wedding reception helps.
and now to relax...
We're in Kingston, Ontario.
the jetlagged family
It's kind of fun being the only one in the house not severely jet-lagged; it's like being the designated driver for some drunks.
Did I ever have a strange trip in to work this morning.
meanwhile, in fukushima
Another new record-high radioactivity reading at the stricken Fukushima power plant today, according to NHK.
camping in killarney
I spent most of the day preparing for our upcoming vacation.
An old incident has been resolved at last.
a new abscess
I've now got a new skin abscess on the go.
I am not a software engineer
Someone at work sent me an interesting article decrying the absence of software engineering.
thank god for electric six
My brother and his wife were passing through town on their way to Peru today.
e-bikes, cars, and bicycles
Electric bicycles have joined the traffic on Toronto's streets, and I'm not a fan.
one thing leads to another (how rain causes hunger)
It was raining pretty hard yesterday morning.
questions, I get questions
One interesting outcome of my attempt at launching a business in Japan is that I'm still getting queries on how it's all done.
sundays are for migraines
Staggered off the couch at around one with a left side headache that felt just like a day-long weather headache.
watching the clothes go 'round
Well it must be Saturday, I've accomplished little other than laundry.
jazz in the beaches
Came home pretty burned out from work, today.
cringing in the actor van
Tonight I did some unusual things.
identity theft, episode I, chapter five
I'm off the hook for the charges and the credit check that came about from the identity theft.
who is that boy
As I was heading out the door this morning my wife called for the first time since they've been gone.
wrong again, weathernetwork.ca
I don't know why I bother with Toronto weather reports.
six hour cycle trip - to Pickering!
Today I set off at nine o'clock with the vague notion of heading east.
being with Toronto but thinking of Montreal
We're planning a trip to Montreal next month, and tonight I went out for some books about that city.
fish rescue fails
One of the wee loaches has died after all.
movie review - The Town
This is an interesting bank heist movie that takes the unusual step of showing you the back-story of the robbers.
I am not a cop
Today two fellows sharing a joint hid the thing from me as I approached on my bike -- taken for a policeman again!
I had dinner and drinks with my old boss from EDS, who's now at a firm that makes software that my employer sells.
all work and no play
With the family away, I have to fight the urge to just stay at the office all evening.
the new torchwood's here
What a crap day.
a strom has come to chicago
Mari and Kenny didn't make it to Tokyo, today.
We attempted to do as little as possible today.
I have the same thing
Gotta say, the supposed simplicity of this sentence contains some interesting concepts that the boy clearly gets.
Oh, man. Let's go home.
We went out with Kenny's balance bike again, but he had doubts.
swimming in water (for free)
Today we got out at the crack of noon and went to a swimming pool.
The boy is 101.
In teaching my son the language, I believe I've just made a milestone of sorts.
flower girls on tall stalks
Tonight by happy chance I came across a trio of performance artists swaying on tall stalks in long flower-shaped dresses.
first day of cycling
We took Kenny to Woodbine park to ride his new bike today.
cycling with the boy again (no fatalities)
We took the boy down to the beach with his new balance bike.
tonight I broke the neck of a sparrow
It started out so nicely.
Kenny's learned the meaning of the clock.
fish rescue (not too late)
Both of the tiny skinny fishes are responding well to having been plucked from starvation.
fish rescue (maybe too late)
Two of the young clown loaches in our aquarium have been struggling.
2011.07.03, Niagara Falls
This morning we set out to do two things: visit a butterfly conservatory and buy my mother some furniture.
2011.07.02, St. Catharines
The highlight of the day was the piña col^H^H^H^H playing with a water hose in the back yard.
We took Kenny down to St.
the long journey
2011.07.01, St. Catharines
Today we celebrated the anniversary of our nation's creation by sitting in traffic for three and a half hours.
aquarium wars continue
I had a scare, recently, with the condition of the Pleco in our fish tank.
it's hard to ever trust again
I've overcome my recent bad experience and have dared to trust again.
comments on my photobook
It turns out that when you ask friends to have a look at something you've made they sometimes respond nicely.
There was a terrible silence from the living room where I knew Kenny to be.
twelve hour day, and what do you get
I've come to the conclusion that running an audit from start to finish strikes me as a difficult way of making a living.
dawn of the raccoon
This morning I ran into our son's room, seized him and took him to the window to show him a mama raccoon and two kits.
photos from a celebration
Today's set of photos comes from a celebration that took place a mere three weeks ago.
Kenny's got a new bicycle on the way.
photos from a fundraiser
I've assembled some photos from a fundraiser that we participated in.
movie review - Toy Story 3
When I first saw the original "Toy Story" I wouldn't have guessed that there would be a trilogy or that I'd watch the final one with my three-year-old son.
A while ago I entered a photo book competition.
once more unto the breach, dear friends
Late this afternoon I got word from our auditor.
listen to your bicycle
As previously noted, I'm riding a fifteen year old, third-hand bicycle.
Fukushima and the US Pacific Northwest
All's well that ends with a refutation, and today it's the "35% increase in infant deaths" in the US North West.
MEC to the rescue
Last Thursday, my bike lock smashed into many pieces quite unexpectedly.
the wisdom of three year olds
Tonight at the dinner table I related a story to Mari about a sequence of events at the office that was so predictable a three year old could see it coming.
on occasion I do actually watch TV
Recently Mari and I watched a season of Doctor Who.
what's happening in Fukushima?
I was just passed a new (to me) article on Fukushima.
identity theft, episode I, chapter four
One of the member's of Toronto's 52 division's anti-fraud unit called to follow up on the mobile phone fraud incident from last month.
14 years and what do you get
Yahoo sent me a funny email on the weekend.
headhunters in Japan
For several years, it was possible for foreigners with sub-standard Japanese to make a living in Tokyo working in the financial field.
to the Zoo!
We took Kenny to the Toronto Zoo.
unsure of the benefit for using facebook
I found something interesting on the use of Facebook in Japan.
crossing the language barrier
Kenny's English is making the transition.
rental bikes in Toronto
This Spring, rental bikes appeared on the streets.
canada and japan under stress
A friend of mine pointed out a sad comparison between Canada and Japan.
another theft on the TTC
One of my coworkers bought herself a new smart phone yesterday.
movie review - Inception
Once in a while a movie comes along with a big splash and everybody raves about it, but it's actually crap.
oh, this is hockey
Kenny and I watched a bit of the first period of the Stanley Cup® final tonight.
the antics of google
A couple of days ago, Google abruptly cut off the service by which I've been hosting my emuu.
counting the dead in Japan
One of the things that's really struck me about the situation in Japan is the low death count.
It's "free bicycle" day in Toronto.
google screw me again
I had a message from Google this morning telling me that they wanted to transition the account I pay for, to some new infrastructure.
movie review - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
This is an incredibly unpleasant movie in which the terrible past of some young women who were abused by their family and the family's circle is explored.
string of migraines
I've been enduring a real string of migraines of late.
spring time is for machetes
Today I hacked at several trees on our property with a machete.
Today we joined our downstairs neighbours in going to a Korean restaurant in the Christie Korea-town.
swim-meet, shoes, and failing to rain
Our downstairs neighbours invited us to the swim-meet that their daughters were participating in.
cycling in the city
Today the weather was just about perfect for cycling.
community bulletin board
In response to a couple of recent incidents, I'm putting together a forum for people in "The Beaches"; a place for communication, basically.
fixing the brakes
I've had some sloppy responses from the front brake on my bike of late.
record heat in toronto
A record day for temperature in Toronto and much of southern Ontario today.
who wears short shorts
The first thing I saw as I cycled away from home today was a teenage girl walking up our street.
the return of doctor who
Tonight I thought to check whether the next season of Doctor Who had started at long, long, last.
USA goes to the moon .. or not
I saw this yesterday on the recommendation of a friend.
photos of collingwood
I've added some images from our recent visit to the Collingwood area together.
lousy elevator ride
The elevators in our building are notorious for their poor behaviour; today I had my first real taste of their dysfunction.
we Werneburgs are too sweet
Mari's worried that Kenny is too sweet.
doors open toronto, 2011
I've put together some photos from the "Doors Open Toronto" 2011 event.
Oma and Opa came for a visit last night, and Kenny was giddy with delight.
I am getting old
Today I took advantage of the suddenly warm weather to do some reading on the balcony outside our 8th floor office.
mutilated child corpse in syria
Today some thugs in the employment of the Syrian government dumped the mutilated body of a thirteen year old at the home of his parents.
identity theft, episode I, chapter three
The identity theft incident is over.
toronto open house, part II
Today we took in another couple of sites in the Doors Open Toronto event.
toronto open house, part I
Today I joined some fellow photographers from pentaforums.
stupid dogs and what s-h-i-t-t-y spells
You overhear things all the time when you're in a city where people speak loudly (and you understand the language).
identity theft, episode I, chapter two
Virgin Mobile called me back today and confirmed the situation: someone has used my identity to open an account with them.
identity theft, episode I
I'm the victim of identity theft.
20km in the rain
I was at Yonge and Sheppard and had to get home at Queen and Woodbine.
wow, windows 7 isn't bad
I was using a "Windows Vista" laptop at work.
a good burger joint in Toronto
Today I decided to try the burger joint across the street from the office for the first time.
water falls of Grey County
Today we all packed into our rented Civic and toured the sights of the Collingwood area.
a reunion in Ontario
We drove to Collingwood today to meet Dad and Renate today.
One of the good things about the constant rain and fog is that it's been keeping the tree pollen in check.
finally some progress
We started our attempts at toilet training Kenny quite some time ago.
photos of our first Canadian hanami
I've gotten the photos from our first Canadian hanami (flower blossom party) online at last.
I had lunch outdoors today.
living without plastic
A free weekly newspaper in Toronto known for its anxious tone ran one of those stories about the perils of plastic this week.
an orthodox christian speaks out
I was standing astride my bike today, waiting for the light.
snakes, fungi, frogs, and leeches
One of my coworkers in Japan has, like me, returned to his home country.
Toronto – Jamaica – Japan
Last night we had a chat with Mari's family on "MS Skype".
the foggy city
This is my eighth Spring in Toronto.
razor granny and digital photography
Today as I cycled up the hill on our street to start my forty-minute cycle commute, the first person I met was a granny on a "razor".
Darth Vader is following me on twitter
Today Twitter sent me this: "Darth Vader (@SithMyDadSay
hanami in Toronto
Today I left work early and met my wife, son, and mother at High Park in the west end for hanami under cherry trees donated by Japan.
approved as a sponsor
I started the day with one or two things on my mind.
the X-700 is dead
I got my test roll of film back this afternoon.
"I love living in Toronto"
This is getting out of hand.
three fishes to calm the waters
Our new aquarium has been cursed by a problem: fin-eating.
buying a Mac laptop?
We're looking for a replacement for Mari's defunct Dell laptop.
old friend, broken
When I was nineteen, my father gave me a Minolta SRT-101 with two lenses and a malfunctioning electrical system.
"rear deflector" to the rescue
Yesterday I bought one of these.
Today is "boy's day" in Japan, and Mari stayed up til 01:30 last night making cookies shaped like 'koinobori", the fish flags that fly today.
cameraleather.com to the rescue
I like to re-cover my old film cameras in new leather.
light rain my curvy yellow butt
I rode to work today, following a forecast that called for steady but light rain.
movie review - District 9
This is a science fiction story in which humans have since the early 1980's shared the planet with aliens that touched down in South Africa.
a new dawn in Canada
Looks like we've elected a new style of government in Canada.
a rainy day in Toronto
It was a rainy day today, but with a forecast that was accurate for once, we were prepared.
"come on, check it out"
Kenny's new request for participation is, "come on, check it out.
oh what a perfect day
It's been a difficult month.
what the world can learn from Japan
I found an interesting set of observations about what the world could learn from Japan.
slippage in our PR application
I've been watching a certain webpage on the CIC website that shows where my application for Mari's PR approval might sit.
all is well in Japan (almost)
The Canadian government has signalled the all-clear for Canadians in Japan.
Facebook went nuts today, taking a bunch of old things from my website and spamming all of my connections with that.
dead netbook and being green
Our netbook packed it in yesterday.
movie review - True Grit
This is a classic Western about a girl who encourages an aging US Marshall too pursue the man who killed her father.
I've got my camera back.
lost my camera
This weekend I rented a car from a sketchy agency that had to its credit only its proximity to my home.
another new home for my website
Once again, I've moved my website to a new hosting environment.
drowse and read
I read a couple of books to Kenny last night before he (and I) fell asleep.
crack this password!
It turns out that the "strong" password I've been using for my email accounts was weaker than the one I use for "everyday" websites.
cold hands, warm heart
Somehow, the day has gotten much colder as it's gone on, and I'm now facing a chilly ride home indeed.
movie review - Let The Right One In
This is a vampire movie that's actually good.
raising fund for relief in Japan
Today we joined a DIY fundraiser for Japan.
two events makes daddy something something
This morning we visited the house of some new friends to plan a fundraising affair in support of a school in quake-ravaged NE Japan.
go up to the lab and seeee whats on the slab
I've discovered something interesting about a show we've been showing Kenny.
today I did a bit of math....
It's occurred to me since I've been back that my salary is basically the same as it was in 1999.
return of the cold weather
Just when it was "Spring" and the cycle lane was clogged with traffic, the cool weather has returned.
cops are on the scene, do you know what it is that I am saying
On the way home today, the streets were packed with cyclists.
and now, a word on dai-ichi
The Canadian embassy put around another advisory today.
yes, my name is Michael Minolta
Today I picked up a beloved old Minolta X-700 from the repair shop.
kenny feeds the fish
Kenny's taken over feeding the fish in our new/old aquarium.
what a way to remember
Sick all day with a migraine again.
We had a brief visit with the Seabrights out in "Poshawa" and came home with an aquarium.
what passes for excitement round here
Mari told me last night that she's getting excited about having an aquarium again.
new aquarium coming soon
This weekend I'll be drifting around the Golden Horseshoe in an, ulp, minivan.
four hours with the auditors
We've got an audit coming up, and today was the last of several warm-up meetings that are laying the groundwork.
how bikes pay for themselves
When I bought my bike in Tokyo, I spent more than I wanted to.
when does it stop raining in Vancouver
I lived in Vancouver for a year, so I can appreciate this joke.
sponsoring your spouse in Canada
This morning I filed our application for Mari's permanent residency under the "family class".
chicadees at our feeder
At last, our bird feeder saw some use today.
the hazards of raccoon crap
I cleaned up all of the raccoon clap today, lest the boy wind up getting into it.
three million page views
I've just noticed that this website's gone past the three million page views mark.
no april fool's joke
Sadly, this is not an April Fool's joke.
american money in circulation in Canada
I don't seem to be able to go a week without some American money winding up in my pocket.
farewell March, 2011 & ghost girls at twilight
So, March is over.
I noticed Kenny standing next to the little couch-side laptop table we use.
cycling below zero
I rode my bike to work today.
My mother wrote to share some strange news about our family tree this morning.
another new site design
The amazon experiment went as expected; I racked up one referral sale in the months since I added their ads to my site.
earth hour was fun
We observed Earth Hour today, killing all of the lights and computers.
tripadvisor leaked my contact details
I just received notification from TripAdvisor.
a good photo day
Yesterday was a fun day for photography.
our phone setup is getting downright weird
Things were so much more simple in the old days.
the bank loses our paperwork
You have to hand it to Japan's bureaucrats - they made be insanely rigid and micromanaging, but they don't tend to screw around.
spring is for songbirds
One of the beauties of Toronto's late-starting Spring is the return of the song-birds.
cycling into a 5ºC headwind
Today I picked up an old bike from a friend.
the cat egg
Today we took Kenny to the beach and then along the length of the boardwalk to its western end.
our first visitor from Japan
Today we met with our first visitor from Japan; Miho-san from Mari's recent employer.
long photo triptych
I've made a photo journal of sorts for my morning commute down Queen Street to the city center.
the plume from Dai-ichi
Here's a map of the radioactive plume coming from the Dai-ichi plant in Japan.
an update from Canadian consular services in Japan
I've received another update from the Canadian consular services as follows.
bringing my wife to Canada
I am trying to sponsor my wife for permanent residence in Canada.
saw my first raccoon on the street
It seems so trivial with the things going on in our household and in the world, but I saw my first raccoon since being back.
fukushima power plant in meltdown
It looks like reactor 2 at fukushima must now be in meltdown.
movie review - Winter's Bone
This is the story of a girl in an impoverished mountain district who faces the loss of the family home - and the paying woodlot attached.
the dinosaur fanatic
Today we took Kenny to the Royal Ontario Musuem.
stay away from fukushima
This evening (Toronto time) I've had another update from
terrible news from Fukushima
Mari's been watching the news from Japan all day in a live stream.
tried curling, today, for the first time
Having just reached the tender age of forty, I'm delighted to have just knocked off a long-standing to-do item: try curling.
bad earthquake in Japan
This morning I received a warning of a terrible earthquake i
some new (old) photos
We've added a raft of photos from Mari's Fuji, some dating back to July of last year.
my mac mini's funniest moments
I use a Mac at home (and desperately wish I could use one at work).
Toronto has a comprehensive program for kid's activities, many of which are free for the parents.
new camera leather!
For my birthday, I gave myself a small gift of two new camera leather kits.
the furniture is (mostly) here
Mixed news today on our attempts at getting ourselves settled.
a fine birthday present for papa...
Today, Kenny has started sitting on the toilet when he needs to poo.
a phone, a clinic, a bank, and some screws
It was a rainy day spent on the streets of The Beaches doing errands.
money and chicken
Today I met with Mari and Kenny downtown.
kenny meets OHIP
Mari and I had a look at the bills that we've been accumulating for Kenny and decided to start the application for his health care.
like father, like son
For some reason, Kenny had an abscess develop on his skin.
the return of the film scanner
I could take no more.
the boy likes snow
There was *yet another* snowfall last night.
migraine and "race"
It looks like race* is a determining factor when it comes to migraine (in addition to gender).
new site design
Don't give me free time.
a nurse's pin and a room full of chairs
Tonight I found an RN's pin on my seat on the eastbound 504 streetcar tonight.
a raccoon in the apartment
Tonight when I got home I noticed the small cat-door that was built into the wall next to the door.
this place is cursed!
On the way to the photo lab today, I noticed a woman coming toward me stoop to pick up something.
the long way to work
The Queen streetcar was diverted north a few blocks to Gerard St.
movie review - Sherlock Holmes
This is a liberal retelling of the classic detective story, by Guy Ritchie.
one miss, two hits
Today we set out early to do some dreaded shopping.
traffic in a windy city
It took us two hours to get to my mum's place from our place, tonight.
One thing about being back in a land where you have basic fluency.
Wallace and Gromit
Tonight we introduced Kenny to "Wallace and Gromit".
migraine, bloody migraine
Laid up all day with a migraine today.
on the beach
We went to the shore today.
man with an umbrella (in his hair)
Today on the way home from furniture shopping we saw a young fellow with a cocktail umbrella in his hair.
Canada Customs is a mess
Here's a letter I wrote to my member of parliament about my recent experience with Canada Customs.
the dirty city
Kenny's figured out that Toronto is dirty.
movie review - Coraline
This is a stop-motion animated movie done in a perfect style in which two realities are tenuously connected through various cat-flaps in an old house.
a taste of home
Tonight I tried--and failed--to do an organized errand run after work.
customs issue resolved
I had an odd message from our moving company today.
Samuel Washington, RIP
I've just learned that a former colleague died two years ago when I was in deepest, darkest Japan.
having trouble releasing our goods from Customs
Everything's gone pretty well with our move, until now.
2011.01.30, Fonthill, Ontario
Today there was bright sunlight on the snow, so we headed out to see some more of the peninsula.
2011.01.29, St. Catharines
Kenny had his first Canadian birthday party, today.
tobogganing is fun
2011.01.29, St. Catharines
Today we took Kenny tobogganing for the first time.
on this, the 27th...
On this, the 27th, I went on a seven-collecting mission.
I don't understand the financial system
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't understand the financial system.
then I did something goofy
The train arrived on time this morning, but the doors refused to open.
metered Internet comes to Canada
Hooray for the government! Always there for the big telcos and their ilk.
degrees of evil
Rush Limbaugh, who I think is the American entertainer who gave Canada the nickname "Soviet Canuckistan" has finally come up with another keeper.
my brilliant old idea
2011.01.21, St. Catharines
For the past few months I've been carrying around a small bag that's suited for my netbook and a few A4 file folders.
at the japanese consulate
It looks like getting our Ontario driver's licenses will be easy.
Whenever I get the chance, these days, I tend to drowse.
"go do laundry"
The Boy and I were playing with his train set when his mum took me away from the play.
broken, cold sunrise
This morning there was a really amazing sunrise, just astonishing.
apartment hunting in Toronto
So far, I've seen some fourteen apartments in Toronto.
Today we spent the day looking for apartments.
looking for a home
Today we spent the entire day looking at apartments in Toronto.
2011.01.14, St. Catharines
We've got a lot of driving to do this weekend.
77 of your contacts....
I had an email from linkedin.
a funeral in January
2011.01.12, St. Catharines
I attended a funeral in St.
2011.01.11, Oakville, Ontario
Today was a sunny day, but the morning was unusually dark and grey.
For quite some time, I've been reading this brilliant web comics called Wondermark.
an old friend on the train
On Friday I had a happy chance meeting with a friend on the train.
first snow play time
2011.01.09, St. Catharines
Kenny got a snow jacket and mitts from his Oma and Opa for X'mas.
looking for a home
2011.01.09, St. Catharines
We spent a good part of the day looking at online listings, trying to find a place to live.
X'mas in January
2011.01.08, St. Catharines
We had a special X'mas celebration for Kenny today.
niagara weather (snowstorm)
2011.01.08, St. Catharines
Today we had quite a snowstorm.
japanese in niagara
2011.01.08, St. Catharines
When I got to St.
toronto weather (this ain't miyazaki)
This morning I was reminded of an incident last week in Miyakonojo Japan.
jetlag, nytol, and "wake-ups"
At this time of year, Tokyo and Toronto are some ten hours off-set.
welcome back, sorry about your train
Today was my first day commuting back into the city center.
Today we flew from Vancouver to Toronto.
spoiled for aquariums
Today we went to the Vancouver aquarium.
Today we took Kenny up Grouse Mountain in Vancouver.
We found Vancouver sunny for a second day.
"Opa to Oma, bye-bye"
The Boy managed to squeeze all three of his grandparent's languages into one sentence today.
fare well, Tokyo
My time in Tokyo is over.
movie review - Iron Man
I was put off by the trailers for this movie, then more so by the incredible success of it.
monkeys, too many monkeys
2010.12.30, Nichinan, Miyazaki
This morning I climbed the hill near my wife's parents' place.
2010.12.27, Nichinan, Miyazaki
Every year end, when visiting with Mari's family in Miyazaki, I've taken a pre-dawn excursion for photography.
2010.12.26, Nichinan, Miyazaki
Caught a funny typo in a document I recently created for a client.
a new aquarium
2010.12.25, Nichinan, Miyazaki
We've got a new/old aquarium set up for my father in law just in time for his 70th birthday.
X'mas in Japan
2010.12.24, Miyakonojo, Miyazaki
It's our last X'mas in Japan.
the fish lives
2010.12.22, Nichinan, Miyazaki
So it's not so easy to ship fish via courier after all.
It's our last day in Tokyo.
smuggling live fish in japan
The transport companies in Japan won't ship live fish.
I've forgotten how to be a dad
I've forgotten the routines of being a dad, and I let my wife and son down tonight.
I've forgotten Japanese
The timing of my return was intended to coincide with a performance at Kenny's day care.
I'd only been back in Tokyo for about fifteen hours when I felt my first earthquake.
back in Japan
So I'm back.
time to fly away
Woke up very ill today.
I attended a presentation of my new employer's software for a prospect today.
Kenny's not happy with me for being away for so long.
My train didn't show up this morning.
jobs in Tokyo
Naturally, now that I've left Tokyo (likely for good) I'm getting word of jobs opening up at Citi.
counting a month in Toronto
I've been back in the city for a month now, thought I
Prestocard "undercharge" & duplicate payments
My struggles with the transit system continue.
from Japan to Canada
Merry December, everyone! And with that, a fascinating look at the finances of "my two countries", Japan and Canada.
movie review - The Time Traveler's Wife
This is a superb story about a man who with the ability to travel in time.
bay-adelaide at last!
On Friday I was stunned to see that the first part of the Bay-Adelaide centre has been built.
cycling photo contest
So, I didn't win the cycling-related photo contest I entered.
tronto's broken transit system
2010.11.28, St. Catharines
Getting down to St.
2010.11.27, St. Catharines
I got a new tattoo, today.
cold day for death
On my way down to St.
baby double decker
The other day as I headed for the bus stop I noticed something odd about the baby carriage that a woman was pushing down the street.
Gloomy, this morning.
fights and tights
A superheroes league seems to be advertising in Toronto.
can't win for trying
Today I managed to save some money by doing some leg work.
toque and gloves and scarf
Windy today, and 1°C.
my dinner with Brian
I had dinner with a friend last night.
traffic, bloody traffic
I'm struggling with the train system in Toronto.
In contrast to the commentary I had the other day, today I got a compliment on my tie.
2010.11.22, St. Catharines
This weekend my mother and I went looking for the tombstones of our grandparents.
fort meyers, eh
On the Toronto subway system, you see ads for many things.
Today I bought my son his first camera.
hick town driving
2010.11.20, St. Catharines
On my way out the door this morning I glanced into a neighbour's truck and saw a beer can in the cup holder.
streets of Toronto
Toronto's streets are so different from Tokyo's!
Today was hectic.
job search update
2010.11.13, St. Catharines
One job lead is dead, and one may lead to an offer on Monday.
gluten-free pizza in Canada
Tonight Scott and I went out for pizza.
apartment searching in Toronto
Here's a quick list of things that I like about searching for an apartment in Toronto as opposed to Tokyo.
a little modesty...
I went into a business today and was greeted by an attractive young woman with a very tight and low-cut top.
free Kindle and gross commericalism
I've added a banner from Amazon across the top of most of the emuu.
transit in Ontario
Nothing drives home the excellence of the Tokyo transit system like comparing it to that of a North American city.
job search progress
So far, so good.
what's that language?
2010.11.03, St. Catharines
Got to the bus stop this morning to catch the train to the city.
credit rating in Canada
Unlike Japan, Canada has a tax-number system.
home again, home again
2010.11.02, St. Catharines
I'm back in the city of my birth.
I've touched down in Toronto, and immediately notice some differences with my adopted home of Tokyo.
2,500 journal entries
Wow, this journal is getting on.
guess which hand?
Kenny doesn't entirely get the process of asking someone to guess in which hand they're holding something.
photo challenge book
I've edited and published a photo book containing the work of some fifteen pentax photographers.
I have a beard trimmer.
Why you little!
Being a careful father, I'm raising our boy on a steady diet of The Simpsons.
Yes, we speak English
A boy at our son's day care was surprised to learn that some Canadians speak English.
why I ride
waiting in Yokohama Riding for me was about corners taken t
China's cyberattacks of Japan
During September, Japan's telcos came under a vast "cyberattack" involving a distributed denial of service attack.
flag of .. liberia
Some friends graciously gave us a denim jacket for Kenny, a hand-me-down from the son.
an example of great customer service
I have had a really pleasant example of customer service from a software firm.
a tale of two Werneburgs
I've had occasion to have both myself and my son photographed for official purposes, recently.
I had a conversation with someone who's seen his business's sales plummet 95% in the past two months.
nihongo jyouzu ni narimashita
Today I ran into one of my formerJapanese teachers.
The world is getting worse
I'm at the embassy getting my son's passport updated.
horsing around on the sofa (another old video)
Another video from this past April.
kicked square in the eye
Anyone want a slightly used 2½ year old?
outdoors weekend day III
During Silver week, there are a few holidays.
outdoors weekend day II
Today our weekend of living outdoors on the cheap continued.
charting a course through the IT industry
For many years, the information technology field had major problems to solve.
movie review - Fish Tank
This is a film set in a low-income urban neighborhood somewhere in the UK.
outdoors weekend day 1
It's a long weekend in Japan, and the hot weather has finally ended.
another cycle trip
I hopped on my bike again today, this time in the opposite direction.
Rolled my (DSLR) camera over the frame counter again, which means I've now taken more than 20,000 photos on it.
cycle trip to Yokohama
I live in Shinagawa.
mari's singing coach
Mari's jazz singing coach is, of course, a singer herself.
where on earth is hibarigaoka?
Today we went out to the country and visited a knife-wielding .
who lives in the kitchen cave?
As I took Kenny into the kitchen to pick up his two toothbrushes this morning, he pointed to the space between the washer-dryer unit and the storage room and said, "Scary" because it was dark.
green is a noun, sunny is a verb
In the Japanese language, "green" is a noun.
whiney day in Tokyo
A typhoon came to Tokyo today, possibly the worst weather I've seen in this city.
Responsible parent that I am, I'm raising my boy on a diet of "The Simpsons".
and the weather finally broke
For six or seven weeks this summer, it's been hot and humid.
dropped my iPhone
Just not been a run of good luck for me, lately.
poor man's MBA
Have had some really good advice of late from someone who's been through the business creation and capital-raising process.
an old photo set
Once upon a time, in 2003 when the world was a simpler place, I took a trip to Manitoulin island with my mother.
ghosts of Shinagawa
On my way to Japanese class today, I made some long-exposure shots of the crowd passing in Shinagawa station.
ami's dance troupe
Today we went to see Ami's dance troupe perform.
riding a steam train
Today we took a fine trip on a steam train.
my arm is healed
It's great when you've recovered from an unexpected set back, especially a health matter.
she really, really likes it
Mari came home late in the evening last night and found her belated gift of a photo book waiting for her.
In another sign of growing maturity, Kenny got it through his head this weekend that we were not celebrating his birthday but his mum's.
This weekend we celebrated Mari's birthday.
a useful trick in learning Japanese verbs
Today my Japanese tutor showed me a surprisingly effective matrix trick for learning Japanese.
learning to crawl (with a strobe)
Having had some success with product photography, I've decided to extend my ability with a strobe to personal photos.
Mari performs "The Gift"
Mari had her fourth performance, in a Jazz club in Akasaka.
Amazon S3 clients for the Mac
I've gone through all of the apps I could find for Amazon s3 and they've all let me down.
We went to the aquarium down in Yokohama again, our second visit in two months.
the family arrives
Mari's family has come for a visit.
today my wife saved my life (part three)
My arm is coming along nicely.
mirror in the bathroom
On the weekend, a forum I participate in had a "submit your photos" day.
I believe that today is the hottest day of the year to date, for Tokyo.
hooked on video
Kenny's obsessed with this "Thomas" video I found.
the boat builders
Today we took Kenny to an art exhibit that featured a DIY area for playing with some bits and pieces of beach junk.
today my wife saved my life (part two)
I went back to the hospital this morning as requested.
today my wife saved my life
Today I learned that I have a dangerous infection.
another fish lost
The constant temperature fluctuations are too much for our little 58L tank.
When Mari, Kenny and I went to a digital photography show back in March, I was handed some toy 110 film cameras.
in the death tank
Time to come clean.
managing "open with" on the Mac
It's crazy, but in the Mac's OSX there's no way of reliably managing file associations with the applications that open those files.
shaking all over
As I write this, I'm just overcoming my first-ever head-to-toe case of the willies.
search engine optimization
We launched our business website with fairly basic SEO readiness.
NikkoCiti X'mas photos
In 2007, I attended my one and only Japanese 'bounenkai' (year end party).
turning your (webserver's) frowns into smiles
Here's a trick I found suggested in a comment on a site explaining the configuration of some web server software.
our first hacker
Our website was taken offline by a hacker for about three hours this morning.
a break from the heat
Finally we've had a break from the heat.
movie review - Moon
This is an excellent sci-fi piece about a fellow who has a three-year solo work assignment on the "far side" of the moon.
Canadians like to complain about the weather.
The new track pieces that I picked up have revolutionized our train layouts.
First came the realization that I could no longer drink like I once could.
sleeping in the living room
Our bedroom has no air conditioner.
hot little fish
The weather's been uncomfortably hot lately, and one unforeseen problem is that our aquarium is overheating.
five years in Tokyo
Today marks the fifth anniversary of my original arrival in Tokyo.
Today, Joon and I went to the Man Ray exhibit at the National Art Centre.
day care video
Today I went to the day care an hour early to watch a video prepared by the teachers.
an interesting development
In reaction to my putting my photo book up on this site, I've been asked to help out with a video shoot about the streets of Tokyo.
Last night I went to the premiere screening of the movie Edonism.
selling ethical diamonds in Japan
As our intern Koki put it, "It seems that usual Japanese do not really know or care about diamond issues.
the photo book is shipping
Yay, a copy of my photo book has shipped.
petition for change in the Kimberley Process
I've come across a petition for change in the Kimberley Process.
As indicated in the small series of articles I've posted on the subject, I've found "ethical fashion" a tough nut to crack.
ethics in the diamond jewelry business (part three)
I've finished the trio of articles on ethics in the diamond jewelry business.
get your Japanese idiom and slang....
The website I use for translations isn't downright insane but it sure is given to certain quirks.
Sundays is for voting
Like some European countries, Japan confines voting in its federal elections to Sundays.