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Showing posts from December, 2011

Train Show

We went to a model train show in November. Mainly, okay, soley for Owl Jr.'s benefit. It was at the local community centre, the gym which usully holds weekend warriors doing some approximation of a team sport they had done decades ago in highschool playing host to enthusiasts of recreating some aspects of industrial-era mass transportation infrastructure. The hobbyists are nearly exclusively old men with beards wearing engineer's caps. Train engineer caps, to be precise. (I'm not sure if other engineers (mechanical, electrical, chemical, etc) have hats, although that could only be a boon to recruiting new blood. Just think, a solid iron baseball cap with oversized rivets for mech engies, a erlynmeyer flask breeding a hardy yeast species for industrial bread making for bioresource engineers, the mind staggers.) And some a bit younger folks who would not look amiss at a convention featuring dragons and swords and possibly magic. My kin, if you will. Or kin from a long forgo

Bunk Bed

In August, I constructed a bunk bed. Assembled. From the standard Scandinavian outlet of fine particle-board based furniture. Owl Jr had just come graduated from the crib. We made the sage decision to have Owlet and Owl Jr sleep in the same room, in a bunk bed, and leave the other room as a play room. (In actuality, now they have one tiny room for playing and sleeping, and one room with an infrequently used tent). It took me 3 hours. Or 4, depending on how truthful I want to be, and how prepared I am for humiliation. These things look so simple in the show room. Until you get it delievered in three flat boxes, each one absolutely packed with long 2x4's which look exactly alike. The wood pieces differ only slightly, by the position of the holes, by the number, by some currently indiscernible difference which you better discover before you get 80% of the way through and find that the 2x4 with the three holes on one side and two holes on the other is NOT interchangeable with the

Christmas Family Letter 2011

It was a hectic year for the Owl family. As it is every year for families with children of a certain age (where they cannot creditably threaten you with retirement homes). It ended on a very bad note, however, so let's start there. In November, Mrs. Owl's dad passed away from a heart attack. It was sudden and hit the family  hard. Mrs. Owl and her sister rushed to their mother's side, in the Phillippines, where Mrs. Owl's mom and dad spend a good part of the year. He was a well loved man , always with a song or a game for the kids. The songs were either  Tagalog or old songs that had the faint air of the Roaring Thirties and Spain. The games invariably involved the kids riding on his back. His enormous, ready smile was big enough to include everyone, just like his post dinner impromptu programme in which anyone with even the slightest talent was called upon to perform. He will be missed. Mrs. Owl had a trying time in the Philippines, and I’m glad she had her mother and

Gabriel García Márquez Denies Your Firewall Request

Your request reached me just as the sun had set, and the sound of cicadas rising with the smell of frying onions and garlic and forgotten bits of lamb from yesterdays repast. It was not my intention to ignore it, indeed, it had done the unforgivable sin of reminding me of the years and months on days and hours since I had last been vigilant, that ever dwindling and ever so important virtue which holds the Group IV IT Security and Audit together, the shield against a rapacious public and the blind, unseeing corporation. My heart is heavy, pendulous, dripping with, if not pain, then something much like it. If I were to excuse my age and the fading of my keener thoughts -- which were I an infinitely braver man, I'd have to admit was dementia --I still couldn't pinpoint why. Your request, like so many others, seem reasonable. But the corridors and cobbled alley ways of networks and protocols and Virtual Firewalls and SANs all twisting between each other and over another and no