Monday, November 20, 2006

We used to mock Scousers for their overuse of the word "like". "Are you startin' like??". We didn't really need to mock them as Harry Enfield did that for us. But it's more prevalent over here in North America than it probably ever used to be in Liverpool. So when someone says:

"There were like 30 people in line.."

What do you really mean? You thought there were 30 people in the line but you couldn't tell? There were 30 people in the line? There were roughly 10 or so?

Sometimes the smallest things bug me; if there were 30 people in the line, then say "there were 30 people in the line". Don't use the word "like"! It's like, so annoying!!!! :)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Give an English rugby player the ball and he'll look for someone else to pass to. Provided he doesn't drop the ball first that is! Give an All Black the ball and he'll look for the try line.

That has been the main difference for as long as I can remember. There is a large culture difference between England and New Zealand at international level - for some reason we lack the killer instinct and the ability to play free-form, open rugby when under pressure. It seems to come naturally to the All Blacks.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A while ago my cousin, Jon Ker, was involved in a climbing accident on Ben Nevis. I heard yesterday that he is due to receive (or has received?) an award for his bravery in going for help to rescue his friend.

Jon Ker - BBC Cumbria website

I haven't seen Jon in years, but I'm still proud of what he did. I can't conceive of the strength and determination required to climb mountains and then get help when injured while a friend is in mortal danger.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

I picked up a copy of Company of Heroes for the PC today. I traded in a couple of old games and there was an additional discount on new games (EB struggling for sales of PC games?). I'm installing it now, so hopefully once the little one falls asleep I'll be able to try it out. :)

Friday, October 06, 2006

This must be the coolest technology to work with:

Big World tech.

It's technology for MMPOGS, which supposedly can support millions of players. The quality of the technology just boggles my mind - I can't imagine how long it took to develop such a system. They also provide a large number of tools for creating the world - those alone would take many man years. It makes the code I work on look like childs play! I'd love to work with this kind of technology. More-so considering the company is in Australia!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I discovered a discussion forum that uses AJAX to dynamically update the browser when new posts are added. This way you don't have to refresh the browser to see rencent postings. I'd love to incorporate this feature into my WebSite Framework scripts, but I'd have to somehow create wrapper classes for using AJAX, which I really don't have time to do. I may just finish it in three years!

Monday, October 02, 2006

I noticed Volvo have a new model; the C30. For those that remember, it looks to be the modern equivalent of the 480ES, which I used to own. My 480 was quite the dog mechanically, it wasn't particularly fast, but I loved it all the same. No doubt 99% of people will say the 480 was an old fart's car and wouldn't dream of owning one. The C30 may well be a different story.

Volvo C30
Balsa - Email Client

I thought I'd try out Balsa ( - Evolution is too slow and clunky, and Thunderbird is good, but I was hoping to use something native to GNOME. Or at least as native as one can get with GNOME.

I managed to import numerous emails from KDE, but Balsa is proving to be incredibly buggy. If I scroll through each message in my inbox using the arrow keys, Balsa will hang once I've looked at say two or three messages. Every time. It's a shame as it looks like a useful, light mail client. Well not so useful if you can't view messages!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

I re-installed Ubuntu 6.06 and removed PCLinuxOS, which uses KDE. So now I need to import all my KMail emails and contacts into Thunderbird. How? Well, the FAQ says to fire up KMail..... That's all well and good but I don't have KDE installed any more? So any ideas how to import from KMail to Thunderbird without KDE installed?

Update: I found this site, which seems to work nicely for emails.

Maildir to mbox Conversion Utility

Thursday, September 28, 2006

This pretty much describes my job as a software developer, though I quite look forward to my "free" pizza when we finally meet a deadline!

Good Agile - Bad Agile

And I quote:

Back in Ye Olden Dayes, most companies approached software development as follows:

- hire a bunch of engineers, then hire more.
- dream up a project.
- set a date for when they want it launched.
- put some engineers on it.
- whip them until they're either dead or it's launched. or both.
- throw a cheap-ass pathetic little party, maybe. This step is optional.
- then start over.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Open House....

We went to an open house at the weekend around the corner from us. We like to keep an eye on the "competition" so to speak, to get an indication of what we need to do to our house to make it sellable. I originally thought this house was bigger than ours, as it's square, whereas ours has little sticky-out bits. Inside the house was incredibly tiny. The kitchen was the size of a small bathroom, and the bedrooms were boxes! The owners must be retired smokers as the furniture was at least 40 years old and the house had that horrible stale smell you can never get rid off. I first thought that maybe the owner(s) died. I know that's quite horrible to say, but anyone seriously trying to sell a house would try hard to remove the smell. Another reason for my thinking was the low price - other house (albeit) slightly bigger are listed between 240 and 260. It was listed at around CAN$225,000, which means there's hope for us yet.

I heard a funny one liner on the radio the other day.

"Politicians are like diapers - they need changing often and for the same reason."


Monday, September 18, 2006

I don't get much time to learn new technologies at home, and I've wanted to play around with Java. I did a bit of experimenting with Java Monkey Engine (Java Monkey Engine (JME)).

I also took a look at Jython today (Jython), which is a Python interpreter written in Java, instead of C. The beauty of this is that you can access Java classes directly from within Python code! Amazing!

Jython could be perfect for scripting an application/game, which is something I've been interested in for a while. I have an idea for a small two-player, turn based, stratgey game (when is any game small??), so I may just prototype some ideas in Jython and JME. I also found FengGUI, which is an OpenGL based GUI. I would only need this if I didn't want the user interface in my game written using Swing or AWT.

So much cool technology and so little time!!!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

We were planning on flying west to Alberta or east to England in the next 12 months. After today's incident at Heathrow, I wonder what security restrictions will be like then. Today passenger's are told they can only take a wallet and a key as carry-on, but they must be in a see through bag. That'll make for a really boring journey. It'll be interesting to see what the future brings - it won't be an easy journey with Emma, especially if we're not allowed to take anything into the cabin with us. No toys, no books, no music etc.So I really want to fly? No but do I really want to be confined to Ontario? No. *sigh*

Still, there must be some good in all this if flying is more secure, though flying to/from the UK or the US brings more dangers than flying to Alberta. I can't imagine Calgary has many sleeper cells.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Idea Management Engineer? I remember one of the old English prop forwards once called himself something like a Tubular Construction Engineer. What he meant to say was Scaffolder. There's a post on from someone claiming to be an Idea Management Engineer. I think he means someone who says "hey make a game where you go to this place, you're a something or other and you fight a wotsit". Made me chuckle!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Heard some sad news today that an old friend from school died while descending from the summit of Mount Everest:

Dave Sharp

Rest in peace my friend.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

I uploaded some more photos to Flickr:

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, Honda Accord, Ford Five Hundred

I drove the Sonata, Fusion, Accord and Five Hundred today. I was disappointed with the Fusion as the 4cyl was extremely noisy, much noisier than the 4cyl in the Sonata and Accord. The Sonata was decent but the 4 speed automatic put me off. The Five Hundred had the CVT and was seriously underpowered. The quality of some interior materials was questionable as well, especially on the driver's door and the dashboard. Will post more later....

Friday, March 03, 2006

Pictures from the Lake District (England)

I took some pictures while we were touring the Lake District (NW England). They're not the best pictures, but hopefully they're not too boring.

Lake District Pictures

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Paul Martin / Mr Bean?

I thought Paul Martin looked out of his depth and lost on the public and world stage. He looked like a little boy lost in a busy shopping mall; shambolic, uncomfortable and an embarassing front for Canada.

I saw a number of video clips of him meeting the general public (especially children) where he reminded me so much of Mr Bean. His movement, the way he looks from the side, the way he met people - the similarities were startling.

Is that you inside Paul Martin, Rowan?