January 2004

Cup of Soup

Wed, Jan 7, 2004


Networks and I never really ever got along. We have one of those love-hate relationships; I appreciate what they do and use their particular brands of magic all the time, but I find the process of getting it to happen extremely frustrating and disagreeable. I have set up many small networks in my day, and not once has it ever worked on the first try. You would think that after this much practice I would be able to do it right, but I think the networking gods take sadistic pleasure in seeing me struggle.

My very first attempt was just getting the modem in my brand new computer to connect to this new thing called the "internet". Some peculiar resource conflicts thwarted that aim for a few days. Then came the ad hoc network in residence in my first term at university. The modem again seemed to conflict with my network card and delayed my participation for a day or so. In second term, it was discovered that my card could no longer properly send data, disconnecting me from the residence network. Then came a connector that refused to work, a card that refused to update it's connection information, a card that refused to participate at all, an improperly wired cable, a broken cable, and then internet connection sharing that wouldn't share.

So, when I got a wireless networking router for Christmas, I knew I had an adventure ahead of me. The first day was spent wondering why the router claimed defection whenever I connected a hardwired-machine. That problem mysteriously disappeared late that evening and has been fine ever since. The second day was spent trying to set up all the necessary security and permissions such that this website would still function properly and the rest of the network sufficiently protected, which involved network cards again refusing to update their connection information, persuading hours of R-rated monologues from yours truly. The third day was spent trying to figure out why every wireless connection would drop and reset every seven seconds or so.

I am now at the point where, with only two hours of sleep last night, I have the wired connections working, and a stable wireless connection up and running, but it will only do so if it is not hooked up to the internet at the time it was connected. Since I don't want to disconnect this website every time I boot up my desktop machine, I expect I will have many more R-rated rants and soliloquies before figuring out the solution to that last peculiar problem.

Until then, expect periodic downtime of this site and don't joke about the irony in the fact that there so many cables and wires strewn about my room as I try to complete a wireless network. Trust me, it's not as funny as you think it is.

Thu, Jan 15, 2004

Swimming, Swimming, In My Hockey Pool

I joined my brother-in-law's hockey pool this season just to try my luck, and immediately predicted that all of my players would be cursed and go down in flames and I would end up in last place.

The first part is mostly true, but somehow I stormed ahead and led the pool by a sizable margin for much of the season thus far. I took the sentimental strategy drafting players like Nieuwendyk, Yzerman, Roberts, Lidstrom, and Niedermeyer. Age-old guys, but warriors in their own right, and they have done me well. (It didn't hurt that I added Pavel Datsyuk along the way.)

Numerous injuries over the past three weeks have decimated my team. I currently have six out of a total 18 players out of the lineup; that's a whole third of my team sitting on the sidelines. Last night, I was forced to make a trade to try to swing things back my way, and for lack of better things to talk about, including digging my car out of the snow this morning, my team - the Sputastic Spuds - have issued the following press release:

Spuds-Czechs Perform the Original 6 Tango

CYBERSPACE - The Sputastic Spuds and Finnish Czechs hammered out a shocking deal last night that sent franchise player and future hall-of-famer Steve Yzerman to Finnish in exchange for the versatile winger Mike Knuble.

"It was a tough decision," lamented Spuds GM the Sputastic SPU. "We're all sad to see Stevie go, but it was a decision that had to be made."

The all-star centreman was emotional during his departure. "My days with the Spuds have been the greatest of my life. No doubt. Detroit sucks compared to Sputastic."

The deal bringing in Knuble was a move in attempt to thwart the Spuds downward spiral. Sputastic has lost 13.5 points since the Festivus began, dropping from a record-high score and slipping to 3rd place. The Spuds are currently with six regulars out of the lineup. Numerous injuries and an overabundance of turkey and stuffing are to blame.

Fighting back tears, Yzerman conceded that he understood management's decision. "Langenbrunner has been out for a long time now. He had knee surgery in early December, but we decided to wait for him and welcome his return come Christmastime. Then he goes out and catches pneumonia. I guess he never listened to his mother when she told him to bundle up against the cold. Frankly, we feel betrayed by his lack of discipline, and for his lack of respect for his mother."

Yzerman departed claiming that he will always be a Spud at heart, and may even give a lack-lustre performance for Finnish just to prove it. "If I can't play for Sputastic, than it's not really worth putting in the effort."

Replacing Yzerman at centre, the Spuds have called up Mississauga-native Jason Spezza, who started the season with the Spuds but has spent the past month in the minors. "I really wasn't up to par back then, but I've worked hard to come back and show them my worth. I'm confident that I can go out there and give my 100%".

Asked if he was willing to give 110%, Spezza beat the ignorant reporter with Jeremy Roenick's blood-soaking and tooth-collecting towel and told him to feck off and take some math lessons.

"The injury bug does concern me, though," Spezza continued. "I mean, a lot of our guys have been going down lately. I'm confident, though, that I can go out there and get injured just like the rest of them. I don't want to be left out, or anything. Otherwise, people will start to compare me to Jonas Hoglund."

Spezza surmised he would be able to get injured faster than anyone else on the team, and even toyed with the idea of experimenting with new and innovative injuries. "I'm thinking of trying out an aneurysm, or chronic inner-ear imbalances."

- With files from spudles.com

Wed, Jan 21, 2004

Winter Woes

This being the first winter where I've owned a car (rather than just pilfering other people's cars from time to time) I've learned a bit about the weariness of winter. I was already well aware of the dangers of driving through ice and snow, but having my own car parked in the driveway has brought a few other issues to mind.

For instance, leather seats may look sleek and sexy, but they're very cold on chilly winter mornings, and your butt gets numb very quickly trying to warm them up. As well, nothing works up a good smelly wintery freezing sweat like scraping ice off of your windshield, particularly when you're already late for work.

One of the worst winter effects, however, is simply how bloody filthy everything gets. My poor car sits there covered in grime, it's snazzy cobalt blue struggling to shine through, and there's nothing I can do about it because attempting to wash it will simply turn my car into one giant ice cube.

On the bright side, my license plate is pretty filthy too, so maybe I can sneak a few free rides on highway 407...

Mon, Jan 26, 2004

Call Me Butterfingers

On Sunday I was fortunate enough to be able to go to the Toronto Maple Leafs' Skills Competition. We had great seats - front row balcony right at centre ice - and were treated to a great show.

As is the case at most sporting events, lots of free stuff gets thrown into the stands. At this event, they were throwing little Carleton bears; miniature versions of the team mascot. Fortune shone on me, as the giant slingshot fired one precisely in my direction. I got ready for the catch, prepared to trap that little poofball in my grasp, and completely failed to predict how bouncy those things are.

It glanced my wrist and shot off to the right, hit the glass wall behind me, bounced off of the seat next to me and went right over the railing and plummetted to the lower bowl below.

If I was wearing my goalie's trapper, maybe I would have had that sucker.

Thu, Jan 29, 2004


In a fit of crazed nostalgia, I have rediscovered one of the pioneer pages of the Internet. A sample of early '90s cyberspace, when web designers were college kids drunk on Jolt cola, and shaping the World Wide Web as we know it from their parents' basements. So, really, not much has changed since then, but today's graphics are better.

A revolution in web humour: The Really Big Button That Doesn't Do Anything.

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