Blake (old posts, page 2)

I'm Soooooooo Bored.

It's 4:00 on the Friday before I leave for a week-long vacation, and all of the management-types and sales people left the office an hour or so ago. And I'm so bored, it isn't even funny. The online forum I usually read isn't being entertaining enough, and I'm not even getting deluged with email.

I suppose not doing anything isn't really a good reason to complain, but dammit, I can feel my brain dissolving, and my will to do anything slipping away. And I'm not sure why, but I can't bring myself to play a few rounds of Diablo II to pass the time. And so I sit, and mindlessly surf the InterWeeb, and chat with whomever's in the chat room, and wonder how long the construction people in the office below us will be hammering on our floor.

Hmm. Perhaps writing an entry about being bored isn't as exciting as I thought it might be. Time to switch the topic. Amy and Delphine and I are going to visit Amy's parents in Sasketchewan tomorrow morning. We'll be gone for a week, and it should be quite fun, since Amy's parents haven't seen Delphine before. (Well, they've seen pictures, but that's hardly the same.) It's tough to try and decide what we're going to take, with the added constraint that most of the stuff we use on a day-to-day basis just isn't going to fit in our luggage. (Stuff like the high chair, or the stroller, or the bed rail that keeps her from falling out of our bed, or even the play mat that she rolls around on.) What are we going to do without all the conveniences of home? And where are we going to go to hang out in a city that doesn't have a Starbucks or a Second Cup, or even a Tim Hortons? (There is a local coffee shop, but its non-smoking section wasn't separately ventilated, and noticibly smelled of smoke the last time we were there. I don't consider myself a non-smoking Nazi, but I really don't want my baby daughter exposed to a know carcinogen. That also brings up the problem of my mother-in-law smoking. It's her house, and I don't feel comfortable asking her to stop smoking, but I also don't want Del to have to breath it in. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Hopefully Amy will have some ideas, or won't care, and I'll take my cues from her.)

So yeah, I'll be without the internet for all next week. That'll be a bit of a change. I can't imagine what I'll do. Fortunately, we'll be taking the laptop, so I might get the chance to write some code on a new Palm program that I've been thinking of. With any luck, I'll still be able to blog while I'm out there. Or, at least, store up the blogs on my Palm for posting when I get back. We'll see how well it works. And I think I'll stop there, because Columbine joined chat, and he's usually interesting.

Another Long Silence.

So. I don't really have an excuse this time. Nothing much has been going on. Well, nothing other than the usual stuff. I did replace the server, since it was starting to show its age, and it's taken me a little longer than I thought it might to get everything back up and running. I have also been spending my time setting up secure IMAP so that I can check my home email from both home and work, and not miss stuff when I'm on one computer or the other. Really, I'm not even sure why I'm writing, other than to get back in the habit. I'm reading a lot of weblogs, and even commenting in some of them. I suppose that's the real reason I'm writing this. To give the backlinks somewhere to point to.

A Long Silence.

Well, I've been out of the loop for a while. In my defense, my wife had our first baby, and I took a month off to help her. You might think that I would have a lot of free time to update this poor weblog, but that's really not the way babies work. Even though taking care of a baby only takes a couple of hours per day, it's broken up into 5-minute blocks, occurring right in the middle of any task you wanted to try and perform, and so you end up only being able to do one or two things (if you're lucky!) all day. So I didn't get to work on the couple of programming projects I've been thinking about, and the house fell into a minor state of disrepair, and basically Amy and I didn't do much other than sit around and watch some Sex And The City dvds we borrowed from a friend. Well, we tried to get out of the house at least once a day, so that we didn't go stir-crazy.

In other news, I biked to work today. It went pretty well. If you get a copy of the Toronto Cycling Map, you can follow my path from Mount Pleasant Cemetery, down through Moore Park Ravine, pas the Don Valley Brick Works, out and down to Castle Frank station (I took a wrong turn on Elm), over to Sherbourne street, and down Sherbourne to King Street (on the next map), and finally along King to the big number 37. It was a fairly nice ride, but I think that the next time I try it, I'm going to stick to the roads all the way down. The trail through the ravine was steep and muddy in parts. I had to walk halfway up a hill to get out of the ravine, and I think I swallowed a bug. It was nice and shady, but I think that as long as I can get going at a reasonable speed, the wind will cool me off just as well.

Update: I took the streets going back home, and it took 2/3 the time despite being mainly uphill. (I went up Sherbourne, along Glen, over Summerhill to Welland and then back through the cemetary. The route is composed entirely of bike lanes and side streets, and after I got north of Bloor, I think I only saw about 8 cars in total. Well, until I got to Moore. Crossing Moore was a bit of an adventure, due to the volume of cars coming from the other direction.) All in all, it was a really fun ride, and I think that will be the route I take when I next bike to work.


Well, I meant to write something about turning 30 here last week, when I had the whole week off, but somehow I didn't have the time. In my defense, I watched many movies, read four books, and went to the zoo, so it isn't as if I was sitting around doing nothing. I did get some truly excellent presents from Amy. Underwear, books, and a NetMD (this one), which I've been listening to almost constantly, making various mixes of full albums (Norah Jones, and NWA), random songs (Blue Man Group), and even some BBC Radio Plays (The His Dark Materials series, which spans two minidiscs at the highest compression! 7½ hours of radio play, taken from RealAudio, through MP3 to ATRAC3-LP4). Other than the new stuff, 30 seems awfully similar to 29, which I'm sure comes as no big surprise to anyone. Um, and that's all about 30.

On to equally interesting news. I worked out again today, pushing the weights up a little from where I had them last week just to see how more weight would feel. Not so bad, so I think I'm going to use the new settings next time. After I worked out, I had a blood pressure of 127 over 85, which continues to be just fine, although we'll see what the ham I'm having for dinner will do to it. And tomorrow I (hopefully) play some squash with Andy Cain, which will be a nice aerobic workout to go with the anaerobic stuff I did this evening.

Child and Infant CPR

Yesterday Amy and I took a full-day course in Child and Infant CPR from St. John Ambulance. It was pretty interesting, and covered a wide range of topics, since they had to cover the core First Aid topics as well as the more small-person-specific stuff. It seemed to boil down to a couple of simple steps to follow for pretty much any sort of emergency. First, make sure it's safe. Second, send someone for medical help (911). Third, make sure they're breathing. Fourth, make sure they're not bleeding. The instructor had a lot of good stories, and seemed to know her stuff fairly well, which made it easier to learn from her, I think. And I am very glad that I learned the stuff, even though I hope I'll never have to use it.

More Blood.

Well, the doctor took my blood pressure, and it's gone down to 140/85, which is within the normal range, so I won't have to take any medication. Woo. The thing that I'm the most glad about, strangely enough is that I can affect my health by the things I do. It's nice to know that something as simple as working out a little, and not putting salt in the water when I boil pasta means that I don't have to take a pill. Of course, it's also kind of annoying, since now I feel that much more responsible for my health. Oh well, two sides to every coin, I suppose.


I'm going to the doctor tomorrow. The last time I was there, she told me that my blood pressure was too high, and that she wanted to put me on medication for the rest of my life. (Of course, she didn't phrase it quite that way, but I like to think I've got a certain gift for re-interpretation.) I convinced her that I have the willpower to change my lifestyle, and she agreed that I could try that for a few months and see if it made a difference. Well, my lifestyle has changed. I now get out to the gym three or four days a week, and my salt intake has dropped from its previous high level to something quite low, but I'm not sure if my blood pressure has gone down any. (I took it after my last round of exercising and it was 128/92, which is just over the high end of normal) It doesn't make things any better that I'm starting to stress about the appointment tomorrow, which is sure to drive it up. Well, I guess the only thing to do is go and get it done tomorrow, and live with the consequences. I guess my biggest concern now is whether I'll continue to live this new, healthier lifestyle if it's not making any difference to my health.

Busy busy busy.

So my company is on the virge of getting a bunch of new work, which means that I might be back on client development. But not quite yet, since there is a bunch of framework-ish stuff that I can do before that. A couple of new games, with the necessary changes to the base stuff to support them in as simple a way as possible. But before any of that, I get to make our demo project compile. That was a bigger pain than I thought it would be, since we renamed it from "PhantomGaming" to "PgCasino", necessating wide-sweeping changes in many source files, as well as different settings in the project files. But it compiles now, so in theory, on Monday, I can start implementing the new games. Should be fun.

More New Stuff.

So, I've just added the capability to update the weblog over the web. Should be a nice feature for those sad days when the SSH daemon dies unexpectedly. And it works fairly well too. I wonder how well it deals with updates? Oh, and I should also make it output the text in a nicer format, but that's all stuff for later. I've also got the XML-RPC interface working, so I can use desktop tools from work to post and modify entries.