Saturday, December 25, 2004

Christmas Dining

Hannah slept well, waking only once in the night before finally starting the day at 5:30am. Bethany was up in the night, and spent part of the night sleeping on our floor in her sleeping bag.

We started our morning with Raspberry and Cream muffins, and coffee with French Vanilla cream. The kids had a good time opening their presents, as one would expect. Karen made a fantastic brunch for us. We had frittatas (egg, ham, peppers in a muffin tin), baked French toast with real maple syrup, sausages, home made fruit salad (apples, grapes, raspberries, preaches and tangerines), cheese biscuits and coffee cake.

For supper we had roast turkey with stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn and turnip casserole. For dessert there was ice cream cake and coconut crème pie.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

A Small Comfort

With all the debate over same-sex marriage, and with the current government’s headlong rush to push this down our throats, one fact gives me comfort. If Parliament can define what marriage, then a future Parliament can also redefine marriage. In other words, a future Parliament can tell a bunch of same-sex couples that the law has changed and they are no longer legally married.

Monday, December 13, 2004

A Nice Restful Three Day Weekend

I took today off work, making it a long weekend. It seems our weekends are super-busy, and having a long weekend just seemed to make it busier. Saturday I shoveled a bunch of wet heavy snow, but thankfully our neighbour loaned me his snow blower for part of it. I ended up shoveling for about 60 minutes. Saturday night was one of those nights with Hannah. I was up from midnight to 2:00am with her in my lap the whole time. She took good naps on Saturday, and I guess we had to pay the price.

Sunday was eventful for Joel, because he was running around at church and bumped into someone. He ended up with a bloody mouth and 4 loose teeth. Thankfully the loose ones are all baby teeth. But in 10 minutes he was running around again. I think its because he’s a boy.

One of Joel’s loose teeth came out today while Joel was eating a bagel. Today I shoveled more snow, but thankfully it was light. Still, it was about 75 minutes of shoveling. It seems God has an exercise plan in store for me, and it involves shoveling! Karen got out for a couple of hours to do some shopping. I also got a small order of books that I am shipping to a fellow in India.

Friday, December 10, 2004

More on Preparing for the Future

I’ve been thinking more about what to do to prepare for my next career. I’ve downloaded some stuff to play around with J2ME, which would allow me to do Java development for the Palm PDA. I’m just installing some tools and figuring out what I will need to do to if this is a course I want to pursue.

On the other hand, an opportunity opened up at work. There is a need to write some DXL scripts for the DOORS system my team maintains. I don’t have anyone who has enough free time to take this on, so I might end up doing it myself. Getting in a number of months of core DXL scripting would certainly be a marketable skill. However I would need to think about it because I don’t want to get distracted from my primary task, which is managing a team of developers.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Options for the Future

After so many years of uncertainty in telecom, I'm thinking that it will be unlikely that I'll be able to make a long term career as a software development manager in telecom. We’ve had massive downsizing just to help our companies survive. Now, lots of jobs are being moved offshore to countries with highly trained people who will work for a fraction of what I get paid. This will allow our companies to become more profitable, but of course it only helps me if I’m still working for that company. No, there are no immediate rumblings of continued layoffs, but I’m thinking that I would be foolish to think that my current position could provide a long term career for me.

So, I’m wondering what I can do now to put myself into a position where I would have the ability to work to provide for my family in years to come. A number of options come to mind:

  1. learn some of the newer development technologies. I could work as an IT Manager, but it would be nice to leave open the option of working as a programmer. The IT market in Ottawa is pretty bad right now, but it won’t always stay that way.
  2. start a business of some sort. Perhaps web based sales. I’ve got a couple of ideas, but none of them would be big enough to replace my pay cheque. I think the best they could do is supplement a lower pay cheque in a different job.
  3. move into biotech. It’s getting bigger in Ottawa. On the other hand, most of the jobs are in Boston and California.
  4. return to school part time for more training. Perhaps some training in accounting or business?

All of these options mean a short term hit in my pay cheque. On the other hand, the right option might position me well for my next 10 years of employment. While I still have my current job, I can try my best to reduce my debt load, which would pay dividends no matter what I end up doing.

Anyway, suggestions are welcome, either in the comments or by email. Thanks.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Just another weekend

I took Friday off work with a cold. I still felt quite ill on Saturday and had to cancel a sermon I was scheduled to give on Sunday. This morning, we went out to the second meeting at 11:00. I think I’m on the mend, and I will go to work tomorrow, but I’m pretty dragged out.

Hannah still shows no signs of becoming a solid sleeper. She got up at 10:30 last night (just as Karen and I were going to sleep). Karen tried hard to get her down, but with no success. Finally, I took her downstairs for half an hour, then brought her up and rocked her down. At least it wasn’t as bad as the 2 hour session I had the other night.

My new router has been dropping Internet connections. It seems to drop the connection about 5-10 times a day, which is my definition of unstable. I called the manufacturer, and have now upgraded the firmware and reset the router. Hopefully this will fix the problem. The support person said that if this doesn’t fix the problem, I should phone and ask to speak to a senior technician.

Friday, December 03, 2004

More on Protests

A fellow at work posted a message on our internal newsgroup inviting other left leaning employees to join him downtown to protest George Bush being in town. I am tempted to ask him several questions:

1) as a result of your protests, has the United States left Iraq?

2) as a result of your protests, has George Bush suddenly learned that there are people who are unhappy with his foreign policy?

3) most importantly, as a result of these protests, is Canada now in a more influential position to help modify American foreign policy?

This last question is most significant. America is more likely to listen to the countries that support them, than the countries who are content to let dictators have their way and then smugly assume our own more superiority.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Not too impressed

I’m not too impressed. I spent about $100 replacing as many bulbs as I could with compact fluorescents. Yes, they are expensive but I figured I would eventually make my money back in savings on electricity. Now I find that all of the bulbs are substandard, and the CBC is warning people that they could light on fire. Apparently the factory in China used parts that were not up to standard, and for good measure put the Underwriters Laboratory UL symbol on them without bothering to have them tested.