Listening to: Gulf War Song – Moxy Früvous

Work was very productive, with no major surprises. Most of the day was spent convincing other people to come to Saint John with me to do the evaluation. Truthfully, I don’t need any one else, but separate viewpoints and having other people there as witnesses helps. One individual thought I wanted a meeting facilitator, and when it was explained that we were going to perform a vendor assessment still thought a facilitator was needed, and that he was the guy. I think I got my point across, but will now have to make sure he doesn’t lead us down a therapy session when hard questions are being thrown around.

I gave Wendy, my new intern, her marching orders today. Hopefully it will be enough to keep her working for the next week or so. I don’t wanna get a reputation like shaver had with his troop at Netscape. Sorry Mike, couldn’t resist… well I could have, but where would the fun in that be? I’ve neglected her the past couple days, but I’ve discovered she’s bright, knows what she’s talking about, and provides a very objective look to the work she’s been assigned. I think she’s going to do good things.

Apparently I have to hire another person, who will be a direct report to me. Anyone know anybody in Ottawa with a good background in hosting who’s looking for a job? If you do, please drop me a line ( They should have a good foundation in TCP/IP networking, all the core protocols, sysadmin experience, and the ability to communicate with people in the real world.

I had a really weird experience at the end of the day. Recently Rick Mercer came up with one of his funny little rants. This time around it was an apology to the USA which basically pokes fun at them. It’s a good chuckle in spite of the burning the White House down bit – that is soooo old, get over it. Talk about how we invented basketball and realized it’s an ok game, but certainly not worth paying several thousand dollars a year to watch. I posted the link to the bit in our IRC channel, and one of my closest friends – who happens to be a US citizen – took some pretty serious offense to it. They basically thought it was USA bashing, alluded to being sick and tired of this kind of treatment of their country by foreigners, and then left. It kinda floored me.

Anyone who knows me as well as they do knows I have done very well by the US. I have more friends there than I do here. I worked for American companies in the US for the previous six years. I love the country, and the people. I have several reservations about what’s going on with them and their current foreign and domestic policy right now, but I don’t think I’ve ever bashed them truthfully. When I was working in the States it was not uncommon to have people make fun of the value of my currency, the way I talked, the fact that we were really a territory (like Puerto Rico, but cheaper) or 51st state, and how cold it was in July here (really. truly. I shit you not). It was in good fun.

That’s what this was. I didn’t write it, but I did find it funny. I thought I’d share, because the over-arching statement is poking fun at ourselves. We apologize for anything, no matter who does it – hell, we still feel bad that J.D. Roberts managed to fool everyone down there that he was a serious journalist – now he’s probably going to be Rather’s replacement.

It was a funny little bit to lighten the day. It didn’t bring up how Canadian citizens have been treated at the borders post 9-11, how many US senators and pundits blamed – and still blame – my country for allowing some of the individual perpetrators of 9-11 into the US (which, it was later discovered, had no basis in fact but none of those senators ever said a fucking thing as a follow-up), or how the US wants access to Canadian data because we’re essentially incompetent yokels who can’t run our country. It was humour, and if people from the US really think it’s a slam, try watching your local or national political programs and see what your elected government and pundits think of anyone who disagrees with the US look on things – that’s slamming.

Personally, I think they were having a bad day and over-reacted, but I was truly puzzled by the reaction. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll talk to them tomorrow and it’ll all be fine, that’s why we’re friends, no?

Huzzah! I found a pretty decent computer parts store in Ottawa, after looking for a looooong time. Don’t expect much to look at, but they have good selection. After looking at about fifteen other stores, they were the only place that stocked drives with FDB bearings. let alone knew what they were. I got a 120GB and 80GB drive for my main system and the soon-to-be-released media server. They’re whisper quiet. Happy I am.

Popped over to Drumlin’s to see Barb and company. Barb has just finished and handed in her PhD thesis after (what seems to be) a long and gruelling few years of work. There was a good crowd there, and in my exuberance in congratulating her, I decked the waitress. Well, not quite decked, but I caught her unaware and connected with her face when exclaiming “It’s a huuuuuuuge step!!!” while adding emphasis on how huge by spreading my arms apart very quickly while our waitress had snuck up on me to see if I wanted a beverage.

No eyes were lost, I was embarrassed, she was ok, and I got a soda that didn’t look like anything bad had been done to it. She’s a tiny thing, and I’m lucky I didn’t take her out. I’ll try to remember to be more careful in the future.