What’s with the weather?

When I was driving in to work this morning I had to squint to keep the sun from blinding me.  The announcers on the radio were talking about the cloudless blue sky overhead, and I was feeling pretty happy after all the greyness lately.  Fast foward 4 hours or so and I’m looking out the window at a blizzard of snow flying by the window nearly horizontal!

I know that March is supposed to be like this but it seems amplified this year for some reason.  Beautiful warm days one week and then freezing wind and huge snowflakes the next week.  We had 18″ of snow which was enough to build a pretty great snowman if I do say so myself, only to see it melt to a snowball three days later.  A fantastic sledding hill becomes treacherous with a 6″ river of water running by the base of it the next day.

Wildfires, hurricanes, drought, and a whole bunch of unpredictable weather.  I wonder what this summer will bring with it…

oh, and it looks like the Maple Leafs are about to head over the cliff in their annual “end-of-the-season-collapse”.

d.

Login Overload

I’m looking forward to the day when someone comes out with a better form of security than the userid / password that we’ve got now.  Is biometrics the next big thing?  I don’t know about that but what I do know is that it’s frustrating to have to remember a userid / password combination for everything that I do online and even at work.

It wouldn’t be so bad if the it was advisable or even possible to re-use the same userid and password everywhere but that’s problematic for two reasons:  first, the obvious, if you do use the same userid and password then if you’re compromised on one site, then whoever discovered your security information has discovered it EVERYWHERE.  And second, some sites want a userid, some want to use your e-mail, some control the type of password while others don’t care.  Some want numbers, capitals, and symbols, and others do something completely different.  Like a “random” number generated on a key fob that is synchronized to a key server that knows what number you should be entering at any given moment.  I even have an account that will randomly ask for, say, the first, fifth, and seventh characters in my password which, by the way, includes a capital, numbers, and is at least 8 characters long! 

And others will include a passphrase linked to an image which you are expected to recognize before you enter your password.  This is to protect against people following links to rotten servers and providing their login credentials to someone who will turn around and use that info to access the real account.

So what do we do?  Post it notes stuck around the monitor is one solution but not one that is really recommended since a thief can just pick up all the notes, leave your home and pillage all your accounts.  How about another password protected app that stores all your websites, userids and passwords?  You’d better make sure that app is well protected with a secure password!  

Hopefully someone comes up with something soon…..my brain can’t handle many more userid and password combinations.

Are we in March or January?

Today is March the 24th and I woke up to find snowdrifts of 18″ deep on our deck!  There was almost a foot of snow on the driveway when I got home yesterday, and the lawn is once again covered with billions of snowflakes.  Driving in to work this morning it sure felt like January.  I could almost still hear the kids unwrapping their presents even though that REALLY happened three months ago!

As much as I love sledding and building snowforts in the backyard with the kids I am more than ready to have Spring arrive in the form of warmer temperatures, a greening up backyard, and NO SNOW.  The kids had just stopped wearing snowpants to school and now they’re back in them….No more teasing please, let’s have Spring!

d.

Geri X

I recently “discovered” Geri X on the Kickstarter website where she was trying to raise some money for a project.  She has some great tunes and I went to her website to pick up a couple of her CD’s……You can find her at http://gerixmusic.com

This song is one of my favorites along with “Simmer Down”……Enjoy!

Dreams of Cottage Life

Whenever I go to visit friends at a cottage or rent a cottage for a vacation I inevitably spend the next week or so browsing through the listings of cottages on the multiple listings site. I know that we really aren’t in a position to shell out large coin for a bunch of dirt, trees, and waterfront but that taste of cottage life really makes me think about it.

I picture myself quietly paddling a canoe across a small lake with the loons ghostly tune echoing off the water. Looking down I see my reflection with the white clouds behind me and the bright blue sky as the backdrop. I can see my kids laughing and jumping off the dock into the water scaring away the small minnows swimming around near the shore. Later in the day sitting on the dock drinking coffee with my wife watching the kids playing on our small beach. Sun slowly going down behind the horizon. Of course, then the mosquitos come out and start eating us alive as we run for the safety of the cottage!

There have been several times that I’ve sent links of great cottages to my wife’s e-mail account but she quite rightly chooses to completely ignore them. Once the discussion is opened, there would be negotiations and pleading but in the end sanity would prevail and I’d have to give up the dream of cottage living. At least for now…
d.

iami the film

I have joined a crowd funding site called Kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com) and have decided to back an interesting project for a feature film called iami.  I think it has great potential and am hoping that they make their financial goal in the remaining three days of fundraising.

Crowd funding is an interesting concept and is a form of microfinance that can provide entrepreneurs with the necessary financial backing to get them up and running.  In essence, if you get enough people giving $10 each you can end up with a lot of money.  There are also rewards that are provided by the recipients of the funding and they can range from a thank-you on a website to an in-home concert (if you happen to provide a large amount of money to a band that is fundraising for some purpose). 

If you are interested or just a little curious, here is the website for the feature film I am backing called “iami”…..http://iamithefilm.com/

Professional Writing Certificate Application

Today I completed and mailed an application for the Professional Writing Certificate that I’ve been working on.  I find it a little odd that the College is unable to use technology to keep track of it’s students and the courses they complete so that when the requirements are met they just mail out the Certificate but, if memory serves, I also had to serve notice that I was ready for my Bachelour’s degree to be granted so I guess that’s “how it’s always been done.”

It’s taken me just short of two years to complete the required courses and now that I’m done I find myself wondering “What’s next?”    For the past several semesters, there was always the next course to look forward to but now I have to find something else to anticipate.  Guess that means I should write something that produces a financial benefit!  Hmmmm, the topics are endless aren’t they?

Maybe I should wait until I actually get my Certificate in the mail before I start something.  Yeah, that’s what I’ll do……

d.

Christmas is over already?!

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the Christmas season passes.  I look forward to the holidays the whole year and get to watch the anticipation building in my kids for the latter part of the year and then it’s here and gone in the blink of an eye.  Like everything, though, it seems to speed up as I get older…..The holidays were nice though and we got to see both sides of the family as usual.  On New Year’s Eve we had two couples and some of their kids over to our house to celebrate the new year.  It is always nice to be able to share a once-a-year celebration with good friends.

This year Santa was good to the kids and they were very excited as they opened up their stockings and found their Christmas treasures.  Only the toys this year are just as much fun for Mum and Dad so we’ve been negotiating with the kids over who gets to play and when.  I think I’m developing Carpel Tunnel Syndrome!

After many days of very (unseasonably so) warm weather, we’ve got a bit of snow on the ground today.  It’s not enough to make me shovel the driveway but I’m glad that traffic is still a bit lite these days since normal traffic would probably slow to a crawl as everyone adjusts back to wintery driving.

Happy 2011!

d.