Wednesday, January 31, 2007


A double Hallelujah today:

First, it isn't January! yes! Happy February, and happy birthday to our dear Ms Traci, dog (and Canadian) rescuer.

And second, 2-3 weeks of surprisingly intense writing/researching have come to fruition. Check out the byline on the latest posting on this website. I'm can't say (yet) that I'm happy with the results but I am definitely happy that the article is written.

The funny thing is, it's not especially long or detailed, and it was considerable work. One is reminded of the quote by Twain, "My apologies for the length of this letter -- I don't have time to make it brief".

Monday, January 29, 2007

Phraseology, eh?

From the back of a Clearly Canadian mineral-water bottle. The example actually made me laugh out-loud.

Give'er n. 1: Canadian colloquialism indicating a desire for something to be put into action. e.g. "Just pop the clutch and give'er"

I miss home sometimes.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Resolution 1 January 0

One of my (unstated) goals was to start a technical blog. This is a semi-pro endeavour and a far cry from the chaos and mayhem here at CC HQ.

Like most fields, there are computer science blogs that have become "must-read" websites for us in the discipline. Though many of the authors also write books, the blogs have elevated some of them to rock-star status. That goal is a bit lofty for me, but it would be nice if I was eventually quoted/linked by one of the premier sites.

Longtime readers know that I have transformed the art of mainstream blogging, but do I have "game" when it comes to tech writing? We'll see. If you are interested (and you may not be for long), it is called Code To Joy.


ps. January has been trying to hold me back all month, hence the score. Take this you wretched month! Ha HA!

And The Winner Is...

Enrique won a split-decision last night! His opponent was slightly taller and heavier but after a tentative start, Enrique came right at him, reminiscent of Roberto Duran's old style. Enrique was more disciplined than Duran, though, and only rarely hinted at a wide-open brawl.

His opponent had a large cheering contingent but we tried to make up for it. By the end of it, I felt that Enrique had won but naturally there was a bias. But in the end, after 3 rounds, by a 2-1 decision: E in the blue corner! I think the dissenting judge was in fact the other guy's sister.

Congrats! It was a great night.... Enrique came out to see friends and family afterwards and he was (understandably) stoked. I wonder if he slept last night.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Tying the Knot

There's a lot of wedding action going on lately....

Today is my folks' anniversary. Happy Anniversary!

January 26 is quite a day. Some icons have been born on this day, including Wayne Gretzky, Eddie Van Halen, and (in my world) Mozart. (Mozart was probably Jan 27 but time was such an in-exact science back then, eh?). Three dudes who are synonymous with their craft.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Another Brick in the Wall

I just realized that the first indoor tri is in 2 weeks or so. Gah!

I picked the "long" course so that I would train more. Unfortunately, I feel into a time-warp so it's crammin' time.... I haven't been on a bike in 4 months!

Tonight I did a brick -- a tri term for a bike-run workout. No one knows the word origin for sure, but it is believed that the "br" comes from "bike-run" and that "brick" is fitting because it's a "hard" workout.

8.25 miles on the bike and a 5 mile run. Not fast, but not bad either...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Smackdown (Corrected)

Editor's note: the match this weekend is in fact a Muay Thai (kickboxing) bout, not MMA. If boxing is checkers, then Muay Thai is Backgammon.

If y'all know Enrique here in StL, then listen up: he's in a martial-art match this weekend! This is finally it: a real bout (not an exhibition).

For those who don't know, MMA (aka UFC) is basically a combination of kick-boxing, wrestling, and a variety of marital arts. As one wag put it: MMA is chess to boxing's checkers. (Though violent it has moments of true beauty and surprising sportsmanship. Unlike boxing, there is no shame in calling "uncle" when in a submission hold -- esp. considering your arm or leg is about to be broken.)

Everyone who knows Enrique knows that he is passionate about training. He's a student, a teacher, a gent, a warrior, and not bloody likely to see me in the octagon against him.

Email me (or him) for details...

And for Enrique, I wish him Wensei-Wabe-Wanabi: will it, wage it, win it.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

2007's Stock Is Going Up

Here's the ingredients for a great weekend:

-- a fun lunch with Jennifer/JAK at House of India, with a random run-in with BryGuy and KimPossible

-- a big 3-0 bday bash at The Melting Pot (fondue place) with Jess/Judgie and her crew, with the soundtrack of the evening being the 1980s hit "Final Countdown"

-- a wonderful brunch with Fred, Stacey, and the ever-adorable Liv

-- monstrous progress on a writing assignment for work

-- add some gym and piano to taste, sprinkle heat and car electricity on top

2007 is getting better....

Till Laser-Removal Do Us Part

I'm a fan of various ways that people get married and esp. how marriage proposals are made. There are often great stories in such moments.

I heard one about a friend-of-a-friend on Friday: the guy, a tattoo-artist, had a tattoo done on his arm. Yes, you guessed it: "will you marry me?". He unveiled it at a romantic dinner. Quite a gamble, n'est-ce-pas?

She said "yes". No word yet on whether they will ask the guests to RSVP with ink of their own. Though I think he should get "She said yes" on his other arm.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A New Blog In The Family

Wow.... There's a new blog on the web.

Introducing: my sister's blog!

Check it out...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Back in Black

Herbie (the car) has had the battery replaced, and the maintenance crew at the apartment changed the thermostat, so we return to our usual level of webcasting excellence here at CC HQ, basking in a balmy 68 F.

I have taken on a writing assignment for work, which is not making much progress, due to the delays of real life. This is the source for much of the stress latent in the other posting. But once I make some headway (tonight?!), and get a few good workouts in at the gym, life will be Grand once more.

Many thanks to Traci who has been fantastic through all this...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Impulsive Reflection on 2007

Our hero writes again from Traci's, who is drafting a lease and rental agreement (and duly so).

Woke up Tuesday am... apartment had power but it was 53 F.

Car wouldn't start. Taxi to work.

Mercifully, the car started later in the afternoon, but the apt was 45 F. That's about 7 C.

2007 had better start getting a whole lot better for me and others, or I'm returning to last year. I will spare readers profanity but this was not a fun day.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Dean K revisited

This dispatch is from CC HQ, where there is light and it's 68 F....

I've written on Dean Karnazes in the past. He's a freak. He did 50 marathons in 50 days in the fall of '06, starting with Missouri's own Lewis & Clark (which was walked by many friends).

I knew that he eats everything when he runs (cheeseburgers, pizza, sundaes), but I didn't know that he keeps a super-strict diet when not on the road/trail. It makes perfect sense though: this is how he stays buff and, especially, enhances positive-reinforcement for running. Imagine eating salad for 2 days and knowing that you can eat junk once you hit the road. Brilliant... No wonder he runs for so long.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

On The Road Again

Your humble cyber-scriber writes from T-Dog's yet again. No, it isn't car trouble: it's a power outage back at CC HQ. The timing is not great, but I'm grateful (greatful?) to be sharing home and hearth with Traci.

peace out from Olivette

Random Holiday Memories #1

Some random thoughts...

My friend Phil and I go back until about 2 years old. He and his lovely wife, Tanya, have a child, Erika, who I met while back home. It's pretty wild to see an old chum enter a whole new stage of life.... esp. since I am happily frozen (spiritually, emotionally, grammatically) in 1988!

My cousin, Richard, is the Indiana Jones of the family. He has been to Korea, Britain, Greece, and, in 2006, Egypt. He regaled us with stories of his adventures. Double-the-fun: he's a high-school teacher and his trip are often as chaperone, which amps the hijinx factor.

Biggest regret: not hearing my bro-in-law, Dave, play guitar. He's very good. Though we had a fun day at Christmas.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Seinfeld, Live

I saw Jerry Seinfeld at The Fabulous Fox Theatre last night. It was overpriced and we sat in the nosebleeds, and yet it was completely worth it. Hilarious.... A true master at work. Though I do think George Carlin should get a residual royalty check (Carlin's act pioneered "everyday things", I think....).


ps. A downer at the end of the night was more car woes... I think a frozen starter/solenoid or possibly a old battery that doesn't have enough chutpzah to turn a cold engine. gah! Writing this blog entry at T-Dog's Bed and Breakfast

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Announcing micro-posts

The Canadian news magazine, Maclean's, did a complete redesign last year. One new feature is the apostro-leaf. The apostrophe in the title is a maple leaf; they claim that each month it will be different.

Using that as inspiration, this blog announces the micro-post: a rotating tagline as the title. As more and more people set their home page to be this blog, it is becoming a portal to the Internet. With the "micro-post", people can enjoy a little news blurb more often, quenching their thirst for CC updates. An added bonus: the micro-post will change at a random schedule: who knows when the next bite will show up?!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

It's Knot Magic

Here is an interesting article: ancient Incan strings/ropes may have been a form of writing.


Yet, if centuries of scholarship are to be believed, the Inca, whose rule began 2,000 years after Homer, never figured out how to write. It's an enigma known as the Inca paradox, and for nearly 500 years it has stood as one of the great historical puzzles of the Americas. But now a Harvard anthropologist named Gary Urton may be close to untangling the mystery.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Cupid Went Down To Georgia

Some dear friends had a much better New Year's than I...

BryGuy and his delightful flame, Ms C, went down to balmy Georgia, and came back all smiles. They are gettin' hitched! Rejoice!!!!! This is fantastic news.

I Fold

I have uninstalled an "online poker" game from my computer. It was a game to play the ubiquitous Texas Hold Em on the net (for fake money).

This is very good news for me, blog fans, and the other players online, who might start winning again.


ps. I whole-heartedly recommend spontaneous, impulsive un-installation of software. Think about your time-killer, then delete it!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Year of the Captain

Due to illness, I have been remiss in writing about goals for 2007.

However, now, as I look around, it's just you and I in this giant ballroom. The faux-resolutioners are gone. There's nothing here but a mess of plates and wine glasses; streamers and balloons lay scattered on the floor; a tattered "Happy 2007" banner hangs awkwardly from the ceiling. You can hear echoes reverberating through the place as the band packs their equipment onto the bus.

Since the poseurs are gone, let's get serious, shall we? None of these "I'd like to lose weight" vagueries. No "I might volunteer for some non-determined charitable cause". Let's get down with some serious accountability and realism.

Here are mine:

-- Finish the 1/2 Ironman triathlon in Mattoon, IL, Sept 07
-- Complete a full marathon without walking
-- Figure out how to post "What I'm Reading" on blogspot and keep it active: at least a book a month (on top of tech books and the zillion magazines)
-- Learn at least one song (on piano) a month. No longer than a week straight without playing.
-- Get back to Europe and/or Paris.

and yours? They don't have to be anything like mine: just share 'em!


ps. Bonus points if I do the 1/3 Ironman tri in Aug 07 and then the 1/2. I think I can do the 1/3 but both fitness goals listed above are definitely outside my comfort-zone. And yet possibly achievable. We'll see.


Pro sports can differ greatly in finding the "Next One" -- the next prodigy. Football's talent pool is college; baseball's pool is Latin America.

Hockey's talent tool is comprised of "the junior leagues": amateur leagues for kids of ages 17-19 (roughly). This is real hockey: testosterone-fueled offense and, at times, intense "discussions" with the gloves off.

The biggest stage for these kids is the World Junior Championships. Canada is almost always in the finals, but the late 1990s, we lost our way, often losing to Russia (very bad) and once to the USA (much, much worse).

But universe is starting to correct itself, and 2007 is starting off right... Canada won its 3rd straight championship on Friday (over Russia, no less) !

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Comparing Bricks and Clicks

I went to Blockbuster this weekend.

They carry season 2 of The Office but not season 1. Strike.

I rented season 2 only to find out that there are only a few episodes per disc. Strike (ok, against me for thinking that they put entire seasons on one disc).

I could have gone to their website, but instead tried Netflix. I tried searching for 5 titles, getting increasingly esoteric from my art-house days (has anyone seen Tous Les Matins Du Monde -- anyone, anyone?). They had all of 'em.

Strike. See ya Blockbuster!?! I never thought I would subscribe to Netflix but this was impressive.... I also saw a spot on them on 60 Minutes -- the power of pseudo-advertising?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Original Arch-Rival

It was a great marketing campaign back home. Generally, people were very responsive to the CaptainCanuck brand -- I coerced some to even set their browser defaults to be the blog. Everything was going great... Part of me couldn't wait to get to StL in 07 and write. After all, I have fans in 2 countries who would be turning to me for guidance in the new year: resolutions, fitness tips, philosophy -- you name it.

Then the cold, and then the flu, and now the malaise. I'm in a colossal struggle with a foe far worse than the nefarious Jim G. It is a virulent strain of complacency. Though I feel much better and am reasonably rested, I am hacking/coughing constantly and couldn't care less about writing, exercise, or music. Not good.

This is how is starts... Sickness is a great excuse for a few days but then the days turn into a week and then it is just a "bad month". I always straighten the course after a couple of months but there's too much at stake for a layoff like that this time....

So I sat at the keyboard (piano) tonight and just played something: anything. Just fun stuff. And I sit here now writing a blog entry. Neither profound, nor amusing, but something.

And in so doing I have just driven my elbow into complacency's gut, in an attempt to free myself from its grip.

This weekend: the gym, the resolutions, and a new blog. The CC brand catapaults into the new year!

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Proverbial Blank Slate

It was good to be home and good to be back. Sadly a wicked combo of cold/flu made the trip iffy, but no worries in Zee Grand Schemen....

I had hoped to write about the new year, both from a personal standpoint, and for the future of the blog. Alas, today's not the day for that.

Happy New Year! We all have a giant, blank canvas in front of us with tons of fingerpaint... What will we draw this year?

Back in the USSA

(sung to the tune of the Beatles song)

Flew in from Charlottetown BOAC
Didn't get to bed last night.
On the way a paperbag was on my knee,
man, I had a dreadful flight.

I'm back in the USSA
You don't know how lucky you are boy

Been away so long I hardly new the place
Gee I have to clean my home.
Leave it till tomorrow to unpack my case,
Honey I'll lie here and groan.

I'm back in the USSA