Offline Soon

This site will be going offline sometime wednesday or thursday as either Shaw cuts my connection to move it to the new place or I move all my computers. Should be back up in a couple of days max though, and the DNS should be less of a PITA this time. Just an FYI.


Got an offer which, while the way they do money is less straightforward than previous, still works out well I think. I haven’t officially accepted yet, but I will be. In fact, I’m going to be going to a meeting there in a couple of hours as it’ll be pertenant to my new job, even though I don’t start until Monday (so I can move and deal with house stuff and not try to wrap that around starting a new job!

House still goes slowly, dude will be finished the ceiling today. I got home yesterday and was told “we should just rip down the whole ceiling and start again” because of one spot where the ceiling was sagging due to old water damage and rotting drywall in the ceiling. However, the guy is a drywall professional, so his perfectionism is a bit extreme in that way. Probably the same way people look at me when I deal with computers and tell them “oh, just install a new motherboard and then re-install the OS”. Not a big deal for me, scary for them. Well, anyway, he figured out a way to keep the ceiling up on the roof and not have to re-board the entire thing. Yay.

We also moved a load of stuff from the house. Other than the cats getting very stressed, many big things are out, all the stuff from the walls and closets, the big bookcase, chairs, etc. Still have the office to pack, the bedroom, dining room table, etc, but a big chunk is done!

So now it’s off to get a slow leak in my tire fixed, get to the meeting, and somehow manage to get some food into me in the meantime.

Aside. I have had a whack of people helping out lately and huge thanks goes out to folks like Brian and Sean and Neil who aren’t related but who are putting on old clothes and coming out to do manual labor for nothing more than a lunch or dinner. Of course, I can’t even begin to thank my inlaws and own parents for their help and labor. Dad coming over the other day to cut the grass made the place feel so much better compared to before, and that combined with getting garbage out, moving a pile of bricks from the front yard to the new parking space, etc makes the place feel that much less like a bad white trash stereotype 🙂

Grinding Fun

One of the things that is on the list of stuff to fix at the house was correcting the big bump in the floor. This involved FireflyBro bashing out supporting beams, hoping the house didn’t fall down, cutting or shaving as needed, and putting the beams back in. Got a couple of good shots of FireflyBro taking off the tops of nails, here’s one:

Even More Good News

Getting together for lunch with the folks from the company I applied with on Monday for them to present me with an offer. Whohooo! Unless their offer is somehow horrible (which I doubt), I see no reason not to accept. Just hope nothing falls through at the end. The only thing is that I’ll probably ask to start the following Monday, as trying to work a fulltime job while moving into a new house and finishing up a marathon renovation session to get things finished for moving in. Not fun sounding. But the next monday means I can move in, have time to relax in a bit…. We’ll see how it goes.

Some Better News

Still no job news, but I have my insider looking out for me in that area, and hear that they are interviewing another person (who hopefully isn’t nearly as good as I am), and hopefully will hear something by… the end of today? Monday? Fingers crossed.

Some good news is that the police called yesterday and said that they had gotten a warrant for the house and had recovered a bunch more tools. Not all, and some of the ones they got weren’t the ones that we wanted back (I heard more than one “why did they have to find that one, I wanted a new one of those!” comment), and they didn’t find the really funky ones we wanted (the gas powered chop saw is still MIA). However the compressor and some of Cat5’s tools are back in friendly hands… hopefully we can get them back tonight and not have to wait for too long. The fact that the RCMP not only came out, but came out twice (second time was forensics), and then pushed to get more tools back after they found a few is hugely impressive to me, and destroys some of my cynicism.

The house progress has been slow lately, or it’s felt that way, probably because it’s the construction phase now and it feels a lot slower than the destruction one. The guys to come over and finish up the ceilings are what we’re really waiting for, and I’m told they’ll be over this weekend. Once that is done it’s painting and then floors, and suddenly everything comes together. Things are still being cut short though, as we’re out of here in 6 days! Today the plan is to get the walk in closet painted and the floor in the basement done. The beam in the middle of the house that’s supposed to be holding everything up needs to be put in (to replace the house jack 🙂 and the half cut hole in the dining room floor needs to be converted into a full hole, and then the sliding door installed on it.

Now I wait until my laundry is done and head over to start working at it.

Odd Windows Problems

For the last few days I’ve had some really odd windows problems. Not sure if they are related to XP Service Pack 2, but I haven’t done a huge amount of installing or modifying of the system since I installed XPSP2. Basically the system is fine until I leave it overnight, and then when I come back and try to use it I get the following type of messages:

  • When going to start->run I get the message:

    “Windows cannot create a shortcut here

    Do you want the shortcut to be placed on the desktop instead? [Yes/No].”

    If I say yes, the message “Windows could not create the shortcut. Check to see if the disk is full. [OK]”

    At one point it would actually put a ‘shortcut to run’ on the desktop, and when clicked gave it’s own error message.
  • When trying to move around my filesystem (with an already opened explorer window by hitting the ‘up’ button) I get:

    “C:\<whatever the path is> is not accessible.

    Not enough quota is available to process this command. [OK]”
  • When clicking on an executable file (putty.exe) that happened to be in the previously mentioned open explorer window I get:

    “Windows could not access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item. [OK]”
  • Trying to run ‘Scan with AVG’ from the context menu gives:

    “Cannot run C:\<path>\avgse.exe, error 0. [OK]”
  • No ‘New…’ option in the context menu.
  • Hitting CTRL-ALT-DEL to get to the task manager:

    “The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000017). Click OK to terminate the application. [OK]”.
  • In the start menu the ‘all programs’ is completely empty.

I’d give more but right now that’s about all I could get to. Another thing is that when I shut down (or log out, depending on how wedged the system is… this morning I only had the option to switch user or logout, and when I did the dialogue isn’t the standard bubbly XP one.

I have 30G of free space on the drive, and after a reboot all is back to normal. Any suggestions? A quick look through google didn’t give any good clues. Any windows folks want to try to help me out?

Update: Came home after working on the house to find a couple more interesting ones. I had left firefox running and I have the following message box:

“The exceptoing Guard Page Exception

A page of memory that makrs the end of a data structure, such as a stack or array, has been accessed (0x80000001) occurred in the application at location 0x77c57124.

Click on OK to terminate the program

Click on CANCEL to debug the program


I can get the start->run dialoge now, but when trying to run ‘cmd’ I’m told it’s not a valid win32 application. If I had some funky screensaver (which I did, I had the new SETI@Home BOINC running for a couple of days) I’d blame that, but I’ve got it set to the default one, and this wierd stuff is only kicking in over long periods of time, not the 10 minutes it takes for the screensaver to kick in 🙁 Running chkdsk from the start->run gives me ‘Not enough quota is available to process this command.”


All my spyware scanners and virus scanners show nothing either.

Good Project Management Books?

My (possible) new job will involve some or lots of project management, and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for good books on project management or the tools like MS Project. Amazon can only give me so much info, I tend to trust people’s suggestions more. Besides, a search for “project management” gives one book written this century, the rest back in the dark ages of the early 80’s 🙂

Wrap-Up for Today, Good(er) News

Few quick points about my day today.

Second interview went well, many nice things said, now it’s just a waiting game for something to come through. Fingers crossed, but I have high hopes!

Tools are still gone, but a call from the Constable that is dealing with the B&E called and got the list of equipment, as they had come by three of the items that were identified as ours, and are trying to get a warrant where there will be (I hope!) a pile of all our tools complete and un-busted. One of the saws had a blade broke off when they were taking off with it so we had the broken end, so hopefully that’ll help with probable doubt or something.

An officer from Ident (the forensics department) came by and got some good fingerprints off the broken window. The fact that they not only sent someone out to talk to us, but followed up with a forensics guy was very good to see, it’s hard for me to be cynical and think that the RCMP don’t care about simple Break and Enters anymore. Well, at least where we are now, maybe it was just a slow day though 🙂 Fingers crossed for this as well.

Now it’s off to do a bit of accounting and then hit the bed, I need it!

Who is Your Superhero?

Darren asks who is our superhero?

Howard Stern? The number of hot girls he gets to undress for him and the dirt that he can convince people to tell him (and his millions of listeners) makes me wonder if he has super powers of some sort….

That guy from Unbreakable? He was a pretty cool imagining of a “real” superhero who is in our “real” world.

Maybe we don’t have one, or we don’t remember because we got old? Back in the day were the mutant ninja turtles our superheros? Did the people from the 50’s know that superman was their superhero, or something so grand, or was he just another character in stupid kids books?

Maybe this generation has a superhero already and we don’t know it (as 20-30somethings) because it’s some stupid sunday morning cartoon that is all modern and new and has none of the charm of the real cartoons from “back in the day”.

Another thing is that superheros are timeless in a way. They have all pretty much been re-invented over the last 50 years, some (superman, spiderman, x-men, et all) more than others, and some of the new ones (I assume anyway) are kept and re-written through a darwinian marketing system where if the new character ends up interesting enough he’ll be re-invented sometime down the road by another writer or artist.

Maybe the Internet, a television in every room and MTV killed our superhero? Probably the best answer is to ask the nearest 7 year old, I’m sure he knows better than you or I!

In Which I am Unemployed

In addition to my other lovely news, as most people know who read this, I’m unemployed. At the beginning of the month on my way out to lunch at work I was pulled aside and told that I was laid off. My job description suddenly changed underneath me. I was…. “surprised” to say the least, lets just leave it at that.

However, I have a good attitude (and have to, as I had just signed the papers for the house purchase the day before this happened) and see this as an opportunity and not a setback. I haven’t been too worried for work, and have done a bit of contract work in the mean time, and with the bit extra I got out for the house downpayment we’ve been able to keep afloat.

Today I had a job interview at a company that an ex-coworker of mine from Merilus is working at (and who must have pimped me pretty well at), and it went pretty well I thought. I have to say, I was lookin’ goooood… got a new haircut, pants and shirts for the deal so I could look a bit more professional, and I have to say, man, I was smokin’! Anyway, the job description was a bit (lot) different than what I original thought it would be, a bit more of the management side, but the kind requiring techy knowledge. The interview went really well I thought, the people were nice, and while the company isn’t located in the best part of town (I’ll be checking the pawn shops nearby for my stolen tools), but the inside is very nice and professional, and it sounds like they’ll be expanding soon to create an even bigger office space.

I got a call a bit later in the afternoon and got called back for a second interview tomorrow morning to talk with the person that I’d actually be working with. Fingers crossed, but it does sound good.

Many thanks for the good karma sent yesterday, another dose for tomorrow morning would be awsome, but without the “house getting broken into” addition, k?