Thursday, October 27, 2005

A New Link

If you look at the links to the right of this page, you will see a new addition. My wife Karen now has her own blog, concentrating on homeschooling, but also looking at the world through her eyes. If she can find the time to maintain it, I think you'll find it interesting.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Computer Stuff

Norton Anti-Virus decided to disable itself. Apparently some 10 months ago I failed to activate the product (or more correctly, the product failed to activate when I tried to activate it). With an unerring sense of timing, Norton decided to force the issue and disable my anti-virus protection one month before my anti-virus definitions subscription comes due. I tried the trouble-shooting program on their web site (which told me to activate my product - wow, thanks for the suggestion). And now my battles with Norton (which have been many) are over. I installed the free version of AVG anti-virus on both my machines.

I joined the community today. I've downloaded the product, which is a free Microsoft Office replacement. It actually looks pretty good. Specifically I'm interested in helping out with the Project Management tool. Looks like they are in the initial discussion phase of what they are looking for. Anyway, we'll see what I can contribute.

Incredibly busy at work today. I dealt with dozens of different issues, and thankfully a bunch of them are getting closed off. Tomorrow I'm in a 3 hour long conference call with Paris.

And tonight my stomach is bothering me. Nothing serious, but just not feeling great.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Burning a hole in my pocket

Yesterday I received a "High Five" award at work. Basically it is a recognition program. When one of the guys in the Product Line Management group was on vacation for a couple of weeks, I responded to requests for information from our account teams. Anyway, the Director of PLM was quite happy with the help I was able to provide. So, I got a phone call asking me to come to my Director's office and found my Director and the Director of PLM sitting there. They gave me a nice card and informed me that there would be a cash bonus on my next pay cheque.

Today was pay day, and Karen gave me the go ahead to spend the money, so I placed an order with CBD. The big item was a 4 volume theology by Norman Geisler. I also ordered a couple of books by John Piper.

There was also a nice surprise on Tuesday. I was off work on Monday with a cold, and went into work on Tuesday to find an invitation to a meeting with a patent lawyer. I knew I had an idea floating around in Alcatel, but I didn't know it had been approved. So on Thursday I sat down with the lawyer and we started working on the filing. It will take a couple of weeks, but I should see the cash bonus before Christmas. This is patent number 4, which is a reasonable achievement. However, to put things in perspective, some friends at church told me that his father has over a hundred patents. Basically they are something that looks good on my resume and puts some extra cash in my pocket.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Weekend Away

Look at the time and date stamp on this posting and you will wonder why I'm not at work. Unfortunately I'm home sick with a cold. So, I have some time to update my blog before I go lay down again.

This weekend I was in Kingston at the wedding of a friend of mine. I drove down on Saturday morning and checked into the Green Acres Inn. After a quick lunch at Tim Hortons I went to the Kingston Alliance Church. It's auditorium is similar to that of Rideauview Bible Chapel. Anyway, it was neat seeing Dan Kruszelnicki get married. Both the ceremony and the reception were very musical, with a lot of original compositions. My very best wishes as Dan and Catherine begin their new life together. It was a touching wedding and reception.

The reception was held at the Minos Village Restaurant. The meal was great and I had some good conversation with the folks at my table. I had been in this restaurant once before. When Bethany was perhaps 6 months or a year old, I was speaking in the Kingston area. Karen and I decided to try a little trip with the baby, and spent the Saturday night at the Best Western Fireside Inn. Big mistake. The Fireside Inn is really nice, but Bethany wasn't ready for travel! We went to Minos for supper, and we ended up eating in shifts, with the other parent walking around in the parking lot with Bethany. That night, Bethany would not go to sleep in her crib. We had a nice dessert delivered to the room, but by the time Bethany finally went to sleep, we were terrified of waking her. So we ate the dessert in the dark, whispering quietly. The next day, Bethany was fussy in the meeting, and the facility the Christians were meeting in did not have a separate room for Karen to take Bethany so she ended up taking Bethany out to the stroller and wheeling her around outside. Things have come a long way. Bethany now loves coming to church with me and even sat through my 3 hour homiletics seminar!

Friday, October 14, 2005


Last night I set a record in Master of Orion 2, with a high score of 7687. This is the best score I've hit in almost 10 years of playing this game.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Challenging Day

Well, it was a challenging day. My parents left today, which is always sad for us. Also, when my parents have visited us for a couple of days they spend so much time with the children that when they leave the children are bored and cranky. That was what it was like today. Seems all of us (including Hannah who is cutting a molar) were cranky and depressed. For Karen and myself, it is probably the fact that Hannah woke us up early and we never got back to sleep. Then after supper, Hannah climbed onto one of the dining room chairs and... fell off onto the floor. She started shrieking so I rushed and bent down to pick her up as fast as I could and... split the seam in the back of my pants. And not a little split either! Nope, this was a 10 inch long split. Of course, despite Hannah crying, the other two children burst out laughing. Hannah was OK 2 minutes later and the pants are now in the garbage. Of course, half an hour later Hannah was trying to climb onto the chairs again and wept bitterly when I wouldn't let her. No, nothing too bad happened, but hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Thanksgiving Update

My parents are visiting, but are headed home tomorrow. So, we had our Thanksgiving Supper last night. Karen made a tremendous meal, perhaps the best I've ever had. Roast fresh turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes and stuffing. Green beans with bacon, and squash with a pecan/brown sugar/butter mixture on top. Home made cranberry sauce and cranberry jelly. Pumpkin pie for dessert. It was fabulous!

My parents have been a great help to us, working on all the little things we haven't been able to get to. My Dad put up a medicine cabinet in one of the bathrooms and did a bunch of repairs. Mom fixed one of Karen's dresses and helped us catch up on laundry. This was an incredible help to us.

My Sunday School class was somewhat depopulated today, but it went OK. Some of the students didn't do the assignment, but several did really well. Tonight I preach on the last half of Romans 12.

Tomorrow we are going to rearrange some furniture, but plan to mostly have a quiet day (I hope).

On Friday I got the bonus cheque for my patent, which means it is filed, but I have to ask permission to share it. We'll see if I'm able to mention it.

Also, after 2 weeks of intermittent service, my Internet seems to be working again. Apparently the "Test Group" didn't do anything on my ticket, until I called and asked a supervisor to admit that they couldn't fix my issue so that I could sign up with their competitor. Within the same day, they ran the test and dispatched a guy to fix the problem. Apparently something blew on the DSLAM in the CO (Digital Subscriber Loop Access Multiplexer). No way that can be fixed remotely. They had to physically plug me into another card on the DSLAM.