Ghost in the Machine(s)?

I guess the grem­lins are out and about tonight and wreak­ing hav­oc in our house. Not only does my Mac G5 stub­born­ly refuse to boot, but the kitchen sink has backed up. It hap­pened after I had just fin­ished cook­ing a large pot of beef stew (and sub­se­quent­ly had a lot of dirty dish­es).

A plumber is com­ing tomor­row for the sink, and I guess I’ll have to wheel this hunk of met­al up the street to the shop in the rain to get a repair. Just when we didn’t need to spend mon­ey. *sigh*

In Google Ads, Veritas

Couldn’t stop laugh­ing when a link to a news arti­cle on the Lib­by indict­ment on pro­duced the fol­low­ing jux­ta­po­si­tion of Google ads via their con­tex­tu­al search algo­rithm:Google Ads

It's Not Really as Bad as They Say

I have to admit that before we moved here, we had been warned about the weath­er. No — warned is not strong enough. It was kind of like that sign in The Wiz­ard of Oz, the one that Bert Lahr as the Cow­ard­ly Lion reads out loud: “I’d turn back if I were you!” We were led to believe that 9 to 10 months of the year, this place is under water, or it’s like Ray Bradbury’s Venus, in a short sto­ry I remem­ber read­ing as a kid. That’s the one where it rains for 10 years and then the sun comes out for only one after­noon (and a poor lit­tle girl is locked in a clos­et by her nasty class­mates and miss­es the entire event).

When we vis­it­ed in Jan­u­ary, it did in fact driz­zle for the entire time, but it was unusu­al­ly rainy that month, even for here. On the oth­er hand, after we moved here, we were lucky to have sev­er­al weeks of absolute­ly spec­tac­u­lar weath­er: dry, warm, and sun­ny every day. We went for a walk near­ly every evening, and the sun set around 9 PM.

Fast for­ward to this week­end: Despite what the fore­cast is, today was a beau­ti­ful after­noon. The sun was low in the sky, and the tem­per­a­ture was a lit­tle chilly, but not uncom­fort­able. We took anoth­er stroll along False Creek south, and Pam took some pic­tures with her new cam­era (I’ll try and post some of them on Flickr lat­er). The wid­gets on my Mac desk­top (click the thumb­nail to see a full-size ver­sion) bear this out. The web cams show what it looked like on the Bur­rard Bridge and Jeri­cho Beach. The wid­get to the left has the tem­per­a­ture (Cel­sius) and the fore­cast:

I know that there will be some rough weeks ahead when the sun shines very lit­tle, but that’s what books, movies, TV, the library, cafés (like the Wicked Café near­by), con­certs, friends over for games, sim­u­lat­ed sun­light lamps and roast­ed chicken/beef/pork/vegetables are for. For today, at least, the del­uge is just on the hori­zon, how­ev­er bad it gets.

Merry Fitzmas!

Fitzgerald on CNN
How I’ve longed to see a split-screen just like this one, of a Pros­e­cu­tor on one side with Bush and Cheney on the oth­er side. The chick­ens are com­ing home to roost. Major League indeed.

HeatherOth­er news of a more per­son­al nature: My niece Heather, who was serv­ing in Iraq, returned this week, fin­ish­ing her tour of duty at Fort Drum, in New York state. We got a call from her yes­ter­day while she was on leave from her last few weeks with the Army. We breathed a sigh of relief that she made it back in good health and ready to go on with her life. Con­trary to what we had heard ear­li­er this year, she won’t be going back. Now I say that she should get every pen­ny of com­pen­sa­tion she can get in health ben­e­fits, the GI Bill for school, first time home buyer’s etc.. The US Gov­ern­ment owes her big-time.

Not much to report on our end (and cer­tain­ly noth­ing as dra­mat­ic as those two items). I’ve been attend­ing meet­ings of the Van­cou­ver User Expe­ri­ence Group and the Van­cou­ver Weblogger’s mee­tups, as well as some talks regard­ing Ruby on Rails, CSS and AJAX at ActiveS­tate, a soft­ware tools com­pa­ny down­town. I’m start­ing to rec­og­nize some of the same faces (and per­haps am being rec­og­nized as well). Pam is deep into the STC Van­cou­ver Chapter’s Doc­u­men­ta­tion Com­pe­ti­tion (that’s her page describ­ing the com­pe­ti­tion), with the train­ing of judges tak­ing place this week­end.