• What he should have said: “No honey, I’ve got this.”

    Instead, Jon Reyes–a probably soon-to-be former cabinet minister in Manitoba took two thoughts that should never be said together and definitely should never be said together on social media and… put them on social media

    Just in case he smartens up and the tweet goes poof:

    Even after a 12 hour night shift at the hospital last night, my wife still has the energy to shovel the driveway. God bless her and all our frontliners. Time to make her some breakfast.

    I mean I get it. I really do. He’s proud of his wife, and the work she’s doing. Apparently, that includes in the driveway, but whatever. It works for them, so I mean I’m not about to complain too loudly.

    But, and here’s the thing–not now, not here, and not by him. For starters, it’s 2022. All tweeting about his wife shoveling snow does–besides make him look like an ass–is cheapen the whole “frontliners” thing. Which, I mean, he’s a politician so it’s pretty cheap to begin with.

    Speaking of, he’s a politician–and a conservative one at that. You just… no. Why? Did no one talk him out of it? Doesn’t he know conservatives are supposed to be super duper sexist, and so that’s the way somebody somewhere will read that? Didn’t somebody, like, consider warning him? You just don’t say stuff like that if you’re a conservative politician. Come on, John, you know this.

    Doing, or saying, absolutely nothing at all would have probably been a better option for Reyes, I’d think. Keeping his trap shut couldn’t have been more dumb, at any rate. Better still? Getting out there himself–or paying some poor shmuck to get out there on his behalf–and get it done before his wife gets home. You know, like most common folk. But if that’s not an option because politician, then yeah, silence works.

    Cool. Your wife’s a frontline worker. Awesome. And you’re proud of her. Amazing. I’m happy for you. So get up off your butt and clear your own damn drive so she doesn’t have to. *Then* make that breakfast for her. But whatever you do and however dumb that thing is, keep it the hell off social media. Especially if you’re a conservative. That’s just dumb.

  • Life causes cancer, booze edition.

    So today I learned a few things, mostly work related. But over the weekend I learned a little bit more of my life is a lot less cancer free than I thought it was.

    It’s not a secret, but it may as well be. Few Canadians know the truth, and few may want to hear it: Alcohol, any amount of alcohol, can cause cancer. There is no safe amount, and the calls to inform Canadians are growing.

    “Even drinking one drink a day increases your risk of some cancers — including, if you’re a woman, breast cancer — but also cancers of the digestive system, the mouth, stomach,” said Tim Stockwell, a senior scientist with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at the University of Victoria.

    So, what it comes down to is the following non-exhaustive list of things may or may not, but probably will, cause cancer.

    On the bright side, I may have stumbled on the cure for cancer. Outlaw drinking, outlaw smoking, require your network be entirely wired, go back to using landlines, and don’t actually *do* anything. Since that’s not likely to happen, I think I’m going to go make me a drink. Or several.

  • If you’ve already said yes to the vaccine, don’t say no to the label.

    I’m trying to minimize the Covid posts on here, but this needs to be said. I don’t get people. You’ve already said yes to the vaccine. You’ve probably–hopefully–already gotten two of them. If one of them was Astrazeneca, you’re already mixing and matching vaccines (we’ve been staying away from AZ as second doses up here for, oh… about 8 months or so now). So why does hearing the name Moderna suddenly make you run for the hills?

    As Ontario rolls out COVID-19 booster shots, some pharmacies are reporting that people are walking out after being informed that they would be receiving the Moderna vaccine rather than Pfizer’s.

    Justin Bates, who is the CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists Association, says he’s hearing from pharmacies that around half of people are refusing to take Moderna.

    “I think there’s a lot of education that pharmacists have to do in other health care providers to demonstrate that (Moderna) is equal to Pfizer. It’s safe, it’s effective,” he told CTV News on Friday.

    I’m the first to admit I’m not a medical expert–I fix the technology the medical experts use to store, access and probably accidentally delete your records. But because I’m not a medical expert, I’m going to be listening to what the hell the medical experts say. And the medical experts I see moving their lips are saying an MRNA vaccine is an MRNA vaccine is an MRNA vaccine. So rather than shop around for a label you like (really, you only have two options), take the one that’s offered and be happy the most you’ll come down with if you get on-nom-nomicroned is a cold.

    Sure, if you’ve already got 2 Phizer, maybe it makes sense to prefer to get your third the same brand. And if Phizer’s offered to you, then you’re laughing. If your first dose was Astrazeneca, then you’re already mixing and matching whether your second was Phizer or Moderna, so you’re losing nothing. In either case, if the answer to “Phizer please” is “no”, the answer to “no” is not”then I’ll take my arm elsewhere”. Not if you actually want the third vaccine, at any rate.

    Maybe someone can explain it to me in simple terms. Like, what is it people prefer–besides the label–about one over the other? Is it the very, very slightly different recipes, which you probably can’t explain without a medical degree? Is it the fact one brand is known for Viagra while the other… well, isn’t? Educate me.

    Full disclosure: All 3 of mine are Moderna. That was not by design–that was just what was offered when I went, and I don’t care. If any one of my doses had been Phizer, I’d still have my 3. Because, again, an MRNA vaccine is an MRNA vaccine is an MRNA vaccine. that’s not my opinion. that’s the opinion of people who do this for a living. Would you question my opinion if I told you your 10-year-old computer wouldn’t run the latest Call of Duty game very well? Okay, bad question–you probably would. But you’d be wrong. The difference is your choices then would be fork over the cash for a respectable machine or don’t play the latest Call of Duty.

    You’ve already said yes to the vaccine. You know your getting boosted. You booked your appointment, showed up, probably taken tomorrow off work in case it knocks you on your ass–I did, and I’ve never had any real major side-effects. You’ve decided you’re doing this. don’t change your mind because of what the label says. It’s essentially the same thing. Get the vaccine. And while you do that, I’ll find something not covid related to write about. Screw you, Covid.

  • Norton Crypto? How about Norton No-No?

    Everyone knows who/what Norton antivirus is, or should by now. that’s the program you end up uninstalling within 20 minutes from setting up your computer, only to call me a month later because you’ve been infected with all the things. and I mean I get it. Norton sucks, so I’ll probably help you uninstall it–but in my case, I’m installing something else in its place and you don’t get to say no, because I don’t want that phone call.

    what you may not know is Norton’s been getting kind of a little desperate in recent years. I mean, when your software’s known more for making a system unstable than detecting/preventing infections, that happens. So Norton does what most desperate companies do–jump on the nearest bandwagon what looks like it might be going somewhere. That nearest bandwagon? Crypto, apparently.

    Most people have probably at least heard the word cryptocurrency, even if they haven’t the slightest idea what the hell it is–I mean, it’s been in the news on and off for a few years. For those of you who live under a rock, let me educate you.

    A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. Many cryptocurrencies are decentralized networks based on blockchain technology—a distributed ledger enforced by a disparate network of computers. A defining feature of cryptocurrencies is that they are generally not issued by any central authority, rendering them theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.

    Which, roughly translated, means crypto is that thing you buy when you’re mad at the government for no good reason and still want to play in the stock market.

    And because Norton wants to stay relevant, Crypto is apparently its next best thing.

    Norton Crypto is a feature made available in Norton 360 which you can utilize for mining cryptocurrency when your PC is idle. Currently, Norton Crypto is limited to users with devices that meet the required system requirements.

    Yep, sounds trustworthy. But at least now you know Norton won’t just be consuming your system resources while you’re using it.

    PS: I’m still uninstalling it from every computer I’m allowed anywhere near. You may think crypto’s the best thing since sliced bread (we will agree to disagree), but Norton is still objectively terrible. A Norton program that offers to mine crypto for you? I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

  • Do you still own a blackBerry? all 3 of you probably need a new phone, like, tomorrow.

    So. today I learned. I thought BlackBerry was dead ages ago-usually, a sign something’s not long for this world is when my former employer, Nova, takes an interest in it. Nope, turns out it’s still kicking–until tomorrow, when pretty much anything not running Android goes splork.

    I’ve never owned or used one, though I knew a couple people who did–10 years ago. And my former employer kept a couple around as testing devices for one particular customer who spent most of their time absolutely convinced blackBerry was still the gold standard (they were lawyers, so I mean come on). But aside from that, it didn’t occur to me they still had any significant market share. But, I mean, them flipping the switch that breaks the phones tomorrow I guess proves they do. Or did. Or thought they did. That the decision makes headlines is a slow news day, I guess? I mean, at least it’s not another goddamned Covid story.

    BlackBerry was cute, for its time. Its time was about 15 minutes 10 years ago, though. And now, the 3 of you who still have one have no excuse. So what’ll it be? Apple or Google? Sorry, no one has a landline anymore either.

  • Any autotune is too much autotune. Change my mind.

    Or, you know, agree with me. Whichever–I’m easy.

    There are two universal truths that are still unchanged in 2022.

    • 1. We will always have autotune.
    • 2. Autotune was invented by the devil to trick people who can’t sing into believing they should even try.

    When you’d rather buy the album than listen to it live, because you know the artist is absolutely useless live, that’s too much autotune. When your choices are understanding the lyrics or making your ears bleed, that’s too much autotune. And when you want an excuse to mock autotune while demonstrating the entire reason autotune is bad for anyone who isn’t a software engineer, the song you turn to is called “Too Much Autotune”. And because I love me a good parody, well, of course I’ll demonstrate.

    TL; DR: Autotune is evil, unless you’re using it to mock autotune. Then, and only then, is autotune the best thing ever. But if I never hear another autotuned song again, it still won’t be long enough.

  • The month in readership, December 2021.

    I may not have been as active with this thing as I wanted to be, and I may have started a little later in the month than I’d planned, but that doesn’t mean the site hasn’t been getting attention. It may have gotten a little more attention, but somewhere along the way we ran into an issue or 6–all fixed now! As I try to do better on that front, here’s a look at what happened while I sucked at it.

    • Paramount Properties, don’t ever change. I wrote about their fuckery in 2013, and here they are 8 years later apparently not changing. The two posts I wrote about them are still getting attention, though the last comment on either of them was posted in 2019.
    • Omicron snacked on the hockey season for a little while. I renamed it, then gave it an alternative meal. Someone apparently appreciates my choice in names for it. I wish I could take the credit, but I think they were looking for this meme (note: site’s currently throwing errors as of when I looked, but it’s cached). Either way, I’ll take the free promotion.
    • WebFaction sold its soul in 2019, but people are still coming across my instructions for migrating away from CPanel and to that service. The advice I give people now? Stick with CPanel, or switch to dreamHost. You’ll be better for it.
    • I still plan to post current event type things, but I’m trying to avoid posting anything to do with Covid–which basically means I’m out of current event type things to post for a while. I broke that rule a couple times and will probably break it again. But this being the time of Covid, I do have to wonder what exactly is going on in the world that this sexually frustrated current event is getting attention again.
    • Someone, or multiple someones, has apparently decided I’m a source for New Worlds Aderaan material. I haven’t played the game ever, and the one person I know who has… well… we’re at a distance for a good reason. Still, was this post what you were looking for?

    I’m still rebuilding things after the technical issues I mentioned above, and I’ve made a few changes here that may allow me to take advantage of traffic sources that didn’t exist when last I took up a major project to revitalize this site (2011), so it’s very possible when I do this next month it will look very, very different. But that’s December in a nutshell. Not bad for the guy who forgot how to write, even if the guy who forgot how to write says so himself.

  • In 2022, I hereby resolve to…

    I don’t normally make new years resolutions, because I don’t normally care. But given where I’m coming from, I figure I can get away with doing it this year by essentially keeping it to things that are very likely to happen, pending something beyond my control–like, for example, this current thing we’re dealing with sticking around for longer than people planned. Again. But if everything plays out, I fully intend to accomplish these things in 2022. Or fake it until 2023.

    • Haul myself the rest of the way out of debt
    • Save up enough that I can afford a halfway decent down payment on a house or condo that doesn’t look like the seller should have paid me to take it
    • Take the new job as far as it will let me, then turn it into something entirely new (this will require an explanation of the new job, which I also resolve to do)
    • Put myself on a bus, or plane, or even train, and just go somewhere besides either Ottawa or the valley, just to say I did–I hear nice things about Montreal these days
    • spend a lot more time doing what I want to, rather than what I have to, including spending a lot more time adding content to and maintaining this thing I’ve had for 15 years
    • Meet at least 3 people from my work, who are all working remotely by default, and have one hell of a time doing it–this may or may not involve booze, depending on the people
    • Blog about, both internally and maybe even on this site, my meeting of the above at least 3 people I work with
    • Put up with a whole lot less BS, and come down harder on the source(s) of said BS a lot quicker
    • Get incredibly drunk and, public health regulations at the time permitting, set every single solitary fucking mask I own on fire

    And as a bonus, just in case I need a consolation prize, I’m taking at least one cruise and forgetting the world exists for a week. because hey, that’s been on my bucket list for ages and now’s as good a time as any. well, not *right* now (screw you, Covid).

  • 2021, reviewed.

    In comparison to the not hardly at all documented 2020, 2021 was a marked improvement. Still largely not at all documented, and still largely a ball of suck, but less of a ball of suck than the year previous–no, Covid was not the major thing that sucked for me.

    I was ordered, as pretty much a lot of people were in Ontario, to work from home in March of 2020. I’ve always said I’d love to be able–optionally–to work from home, and the job I had was pretty much doable from anywhere besides my desk–most of the devices/platforms I needed to log into weren’t even in this country, so sitting in the office to use them really didn’t make a whole lot of difference. The government ordering me to work from home proved that, and after some less than pleasant personal events in the summer of 2020, I proved it further by basically working most of that year outside of Ottawa. In 2021, I made that shift to working from home into a permanent one by switching jobs. And just as soon as we make up our freaking minds what we’re doing re: covid, I can make my permanent working from home arrangement into an optional one–as I’d originally intended–with my employer’s blessing. Now I’ve got more money, more freedom, and more time to get shit done. In short, where was this 5 years ago?

    In 2020, I became single after a relationship I essentially put everything I had into. Not going to lie, I was a mess for a bit. Surprisingly, the pandemic wasn’t related to the reason why we broke up–if anything, I think she enjoyed the fact the government was keeping me at home. I will say it was largely a difference of opinion. I’m smiling now, and it’s only tangentially related to that difference of opinion. In 2021 I formed a couple of new potential connections. I don’t know if either of them will actually evolve into a serious actual relationship for various reasons, but they’re important to me in their own way. Both of them have given me new perspectives I didn’t have a year ago. And, if ever I do end up in another serious relationship, both of them are helping–again, in their own way–to solidify what I don’t want in that relationship. Again, where was this 5 years ago?

    Okay, enough of the suck versus less suck comparisons. Partly because I’ve run out of things to compare to, but mostly because screw it. We all know 2020 was a dumpster fire. In 2021, I finally, *finally*, purchased the new desktop computer/server/test bed/general geek machine. I haven’t had one since the hand-me-down I was using kicked the bucket a few years ago. My personal projects once again live in a permanent, stable, default location. Conveniently enough, so do my new professional projects–more on that later, if I don’t forget. In short, this allows me to play with more heavy-duty developer things. Which in turn means maybe next year I’ll get off my ass and learn to code (I know, stop laughing).

    2021 also meant for me more hockey. Not just because the NHL hadn’t (until now, briefly) been nommed by Covid, but because the nature of my working now means I can be a lot more available to go to my nephews’ games. Which I’ve been doing pretty much every chance I get–again, until now, hopefully briefly. Being stuck in Ottawa taking care of someone, while I enjoyed doing so, came with drawbacks and that was one. While I have no trouble admitting I sometimes miss that, I have even less trouble admitting that if travel ever reopens for really real, or if I get fed up and decide to move permanently out of Ottawa, I don’t need to be tied to anywhere specific unless I want to be. So I can watch my nephews play hockey, still get paid, and life can be glorious.

    In 2021, I also finished–after nearly a decade of trying–completely pulling myself out of financial hell. The Ontario disability Support Program (ODSP) was pretty much no help here, which is part of what took me the majority of that decade, but 2021 was the year it became official that I didn’t have a dime in collections. Oh, I still have debt. But now every cent of it is trackable, and if at all necessary, reusable. And it’s dropping like a freaking stone. 2022 promises to continue that trend, pending another 2008.

    Speaking of the Ontario disability Support Program (ODSP), 2021 was the year I stopped qualifying for it entirely. That happened by virtue of the job change I wrote about above. I’m not throwing the “screw you, ODSP” party just yet (waiting to see if I’m still here in a year), but assuming I am, I am personally buying enough booze to give a Russian a hangover. Masks optional–if you’re fully vaccinated, for whatever definition of “fully vaccinated” at the time of the probably poorly planned and definitely poorly executed event.

    And speaking of 2008, I fell behind by a long shot when my job went and emigrated to India as part of Dell’s attempt to save a dollar. I’m still behind, but I started for really real catching up in late 2021 when my job changed. I’m… still by no means where I want to be (see also: the earlier mentioned financial recovery), but I’m a lot farther ahead staring down the barrel of 2022 than I was staring down the barrel of 2009. Or 2021, actually. I mean, I have retirement savings (CPP doesn’t count), which I couldn’t say I did in 2020. It’s not much, but it’s more than I had when I had to set fire to everything so I could qualify for ODSP in 2010, and definitely more than I had when 2021 started (I don’t have exact numbers from 2010, but in 2020 and into 2021, it was $0). Now if everything cost today what it cost in 2010, I’d be laughing. But, can’t win ’em all, and I like my small victories.

    I have no idea where 2022’s going. I still don’t entirely know where 2021 went. But I haven’t overall felt this good in a lot of years. Not being poor probably helps, but knowing the world isn’t speeding ahead of me as fast as it used to doesn’t hurt either. I’ll probably screw up, and things will probably go sideways, but I think as of this second I’m in a position to survive just about anything short of a catastrophic failure. And that’s something I haven’t been able to say in way too many years. Thanks, 2021. You weren’t as bad as you could have been and were probably better than you should have been.

  • In which I get boosted, and the world Juniors gets iced by om-nom-nomicron.

    So. good–if only for me–news first. I am now considered fully vaccinated plus (*). They stuck me two days ago, and I waited until now just in case it resulted in spectacular forms of crap–dose number 2 pretty much ran me over, so I was preparing. Fortunately, dose number 3 seems to have been kinder to me–the only evidence I’d been stuck is the expected arm soreness where they stuck me. I will of course blame the vaccine should I develop cold symptoms tomorrow, as one does.

    Now, the crap news–and again, screw you, Covid. the day after I rule myself relatively safe from immediately inconveniencing side-effects, the world Junior tournament of Hockey gets whacked by Covid. the move was a smart one, but dammit Canada was killing it! I actually managed to catch a couple of those games and was looking forward to clearing my schedule for a couple more. The olympics can go to hell, but I mean we might be seeing some of these guys playing pro in a couple years, if they’re not already, so I always look forward to seeing what they’ve got. Still, like I said, the move itself was logical, but screw you, Covid.

    (*): Two doses is still considered fully vaccinated (at least today) in Ontario, but I imagine once a significant chunk of us are boosted that’ll change. though as the pharmacist who stuck me pointed out, we can’t keep doing vaccines every 6 months or so. There’s got to be something else, though neither he nor I had a freaking clue what that something else might be.

    Now, off to install my first version 3.0 software update.

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