Monday, November 29, 2004

Search Engione Optimization

While doing some research on search engine optimization for Rick's site, I came across this interesting article.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

November 27, 2004

I spent the morning at the Health Resource Center pulling data wire with Mike G. It always takes longer than you expect. We managed to trace some vertical conduit, but could't find the horizontal runs -- we'll pick that up on Monday when we've got full access to the building.

The Royal Oak ward held it's Christmas party last night -- I was very impressed. It was fun for the parents and the kids. It started out with a visit by Santa. Gracie went up and and sat on Santa's lap for a picture. Dinner was served shortly after, and for once the table I was sitting at was called relatively near to the top of the dinning list. We sat with Kevin and Elise, the Freibergs and the Haslams. After dinner I chatted with Kelly McTighe about his real estate website, and how well it works for him (yesterday I spent part of the morning with Rick helping him with a strategy for the Crawford Ranch website, so having some time with Kelly was quite informative). I quite like Kelly. If it works for him, I'll likely share what I'm doing for Rick with Kelly, maybe it works, maybe it doesn't.

There was a brief program after dinner. Jeff Scott was the emcee, and started the program by announcing that a "special visitor" had arrived to greet the kids one more time, and with that introduction CJ Burton came out dressed as a pilgrim (our ward Christmas party coincided with American Thanksgiving). It was worth a decent laugh. Bishop Jones played two Scottish numbers on his bagpipe -- yup bagpipe, then Laurel Lawlor and Rachel Ruggles sang a satirical version of the "Twelve Days of Christmas". CJ sang Elvis Prestley's "Blue Christmas" and a fun version of Jingle Bells (which all the kids sang along to). That was the end of the program - short and sweet.

After the program we had a dance, mostly kids dancing, but lots of adutls too. Oh, and the deserts were spectacular. Shortbread cookies, pastries, eclaires, Nanimo bars etc... lots of deserts and all very well done. The whole night was excellent.

I took a short break while writting this to take Gracie outside to play in the snow. She's definately an "outdoor girl". Hopefully she'll stay that way.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

How to Pass a String Array into a T-SQL Stored Procedure

November 25, 2004

We had some very cold weather last night, and this morning we've got lots of ice. On my way out the door to work, I could hear the the garbage truck and realized that I hadn't taken the garbage out. I put my coat a shoes on, and chased outside to get the garbage into the truck.

On my way down the driveway, I thought to myself how slippery it likely was, and noted that I should be careful. While in the thougt -- I slipped and fell forward ontop of my left leg, and twisted my knee in a most unatural way. I heard/felt a poping sound, and I thought I may have broken my leg. My first thought after that was about possibly missing hockey.

After 15 minutes of icing, and a few Advil, my leg still really hurts. I'm going in to work, but I'll likey see the doctor sometime today.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

November 20, 2004

Spent the afternoon mall hopping with Erin and the kids. We started at Sleep Country Canada, trying to get lucky on getting a cheap king size bed. No luck. We continued on to Northland Shoppes and then Market Mall. At Northland we bumped into Nena & Jeff Scott; visited for a while.

Future shop was crazy -- there must have been as many in Future Shop as there was in the rest of the mall combined. I was hoping to find a Bluetooth headset for my new phone. No luck on that either. I've taken a few pictures with my new phone -- I've traditionally been pretty indifferent about cell phone cameras, but I can see now that it won't take me too long to get hooked. I've really got to get working on my weblog application -- I've got so many digital photos to post. Maybe I'll work on a "mobile" section for my mobile pics.

We're going over to Derek and Julie Kearl's place tonight to play cards -- we haven't been over to thier place since they've moved.

Atlas Shrugged

Classic Version:
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

Canadian Version:
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he's a fool, and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ants should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others less fortunate are cold and starving.

The CBC shows up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.
Canadians are stunned by the sharp contrast. How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?
The NDP and the CAW stage a demonstration in front of the ant's house, where the news stations film the group singing "We Shall overcome."

Svend Robinson rants in an interview with Pamela Wallin that the ant has got rich off the backs of grasshoppers, and calls for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his "fair share." Finally, the Liberal Government drafts the Economic Equity and Anti-Grasshopper Act, retroactive to the beginning of the summer. The ant, fined for failing to hire green bugs for help and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it. The ant has disappeared in the snow. The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Connecting a Microsoft Pocket PC Smartphone to the Rogers GPRS Network

After several hours (spread over three days) I've finally managed to connect my iMate SP3 to the Rogers GPRS network, and set up the phone to browse the internet and send and recieve email. Actually, a work coleague of Mike's-- who happens to know have more knowledge than the collective Rogers Data support team -- got it working. I must add however that I certainly "loosened the lid" so to speak.

Here are the configuration settings:
  1. Create a New Connection called "Rogers HTTP Connection"
  2. Add the connection settings
    • Connects to: The Internet
    • Access Point:
    • Username: wapuser1
    • Password: wap
    • Primary DNS:
    • Secondary DNS:

  3. Explicitly set the Internet connection to the name of the connection configured above.

  4. Specify the Internet connection the browser should use

    • open Internet Explorer
    • press the "menu" button and choose "options"
    • choose "connections" from the list of available options
    • make sure "Automatically detect settings is not checked
    • set Select network to: The Internet

Monday, November 15, 2004

November 15, 2004

Erin came home today. Hooray! I'm really glad to have her back. I was starting to reach my threshold of "no wife/mother". The kids were really pleased to see her too. When she walked in, Matt started repeating, "mama -mama" over an over again. Gracie was glad, but didn't get too excited -- she's young enough still that I think there may have been a hint of feeling betrayed by her mother having left her. She quickly overcame it though. We're all glad she's back -- the house just feels more complete with her here.

Erin had a great time in California. She was really sad to leave Keri all alone. Keri is having a hard time without Cade. Poor girl -- it's hard to be without your spouse. I can't imagine doing it for a whole month...twice.

Gracie participated in her first ever primary presentation. She was so cute. During the opening hymn, she and two other girls (Madelyn Low and Makena Kwasney) had to make an emergency trip to the washroom. It was so cute too see these three litte girls rush down off the rostorum. The whole congreation watched and chuckled.

Gracie's line was, "I can help by washing the dishes and playing train with my little brother", which line she delivered confidently and flawlessly. I was so pleased -- I even welled up a little bit.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

The Naming of Alberta

This from the Alberta Centennial website:

The Province of Alberta is named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and wife of the Marquis of Lorne, Canada’s Governor General from 1878-1883.

In 1881, the Governor General and Princess Louise visited Canada’s North-West Territories, which had been ceded to Canada by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1870.
In 1882, the North-West Territories was divided into four districts: Assiniboia, Athabasca, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The District of Alberta was named by the Marquis of Lorne. The inspiration for the name is found in a verse the Marquis dedicated to his wife.

"In token for the love which thou has Shown
For this wild land of freedom, I have Named
A Province vast, and for its beauty Famed,
By thy dear name to be hereafter Known.
Alberta shall it be!"

In 1905, the newly formed Canadian Province of Alberta formally assumed the name of the former District of Alberta.

Alberta’s world-famous Lake Louise, Alberta is also named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta.

November 13, 2004

It's Saturday afternoon(almost 1:00 PM), and Matthew went down for a nap about an hour ago. Somehow I managed to feed the kids, get the dishes done and swept/vacuumed the floor -- while both the kids were awake! I tried to put Matt down at 11:00, but he wouldn't go so I took him downstairs and fed him lunch, then tried again.

We're going to go to zoo later this afternoon. That should kill at least 3 hours.

I had lunch with Ryan Taylor yesterday. He's recently moved to Kelowna to pursue a job oppotunity. He's going through a bit of a tough time -- poor guy. I invited him to come to church with me on Sunday, he may very well come.

Last night I joined the Melchin clan for dinner at the Keg to celebrate Lara's birthday. We had a rousing dicussion about politics. I learned that Gerald Melchin ran for public office as a Social Credit candidate some years ago.

We also talked briefly about Rememberance Day and I mentioned that I had seen Saving Private Ryan when it aired on TV two nights ago.

What a tough movie. I've seen it three times now (one of which was in the theater). That night after having seen it in the theater I couldn't speak for several hours. We bought the movie when it was release to video (not with the intent of watching it again, but rather to support the film), and it sat unopened in the cabinet for a couple of years. We pulled it out one night last year and watched it again, Erin couldn't bear to watch it all the way through, so she went to bed ealry. I watched it the third time just the other night (Rememberance Day).

Each time I've viewed the movie, I've been particularly touched by the closing seen where Private Ryan, now an old man, has returned with his family to France. He kneels at the edge of one of the white crosses on what I'm sure was once a battle field, and tries to convince himself that he's lived worthy of the sacrifice that was made on his behalf. When his wife approaches, he holds her by the arm and pleads with her to confirm that he's been a good man, and that he's lead a good life. That scene really touches me -- I can't watch it without welling up. Each time I've found myself asking the same question, and feel ashamed for taking all the blessings of my life for granted.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

November 11, 2004

Rememberance day. Nothing profound to write today about Armistice. Today is a working day at Networc, so I was at work. I was glad to hear a tribute to war verterans on one of the radio stations.

Today is also "day one" of Erin's trip to San Francisco. I droped her off at the airport earlier this evening (we waited an impossibly long time at the ticket counter), and then I went to pick up the kids for my first real taste of what Erin does all day. Erin was sad to leave the kids, Gracie cried for a couple of minutes -- Matthew was oblivious. I'm feelling a little hollow myself.

This morning I decided to write an email to one of the blogers I like to read. He's a fairly widely read blogger who works as an "evangelist" for Microsoft. His name is Robert Scoble. I decided to try my luck and see if I could get him to send me some Microsoft developer promotional material for me and the guys at the office. His writting style depicts him as a very personable, approchable fellow, so I wasn't surprised when he replied to my message within only a few hours.

Here's the entirety of our dialog...

From: Scott Wolff
Sent: Thursday, November 11,
2004 6:46 AM
To: Robert Scoble
Subject: "Nine Guys" in Canada

Mr. Scoble, I’m looking for some “Channel 9” motivation for my
development team? How can nine of us here in Canada, each get a hold of a
“Channel 9 Guy”?

Regards,Scott Wolff

Where should I send them?


Sweet eh? Looks like I'll be getting some promo material from Redmond. Nice!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

November 9, 2004

Dad and I went out campaining (to Rocky Ridge) with Greg Melchin this evening. He's seeking his third term in office -- he's very well recieved, and the Conservative party has an approval rating in the high 70%. He'll be easily re-elected.

People are generally pleasantly surprised that a government official would come out to meet them personally. They're pretty impressed to see him running from house to house, introducing himself. He's very friendly, and obviously well liked.

Erin leaves for San Fransisco to visit Keri tomorrow. She's got mixed feelings about leaving the kids. On one hand she hasn't had a single day away from the kids since Gracie was born almost four years ago; on the other, hand it's precicely because she hasn't been away that she's feeling a little hesistant to leave. I'm really glad for her that she'll have a chance to have some genuine, un-interrupted personal time.

Thank goodness that Lara, Cathy and mom are willing to help out a little bit on Friday and Monday.

Monday, November 08, 2004

November 6, 2004

Had a nice dinner over at mom and dad's place tonight. Chad & Naomi Wolff, and Jeff and Chelsea Wolff (and thier kids) came over for desert. It's sad that we haven't done more with them. It's strange that I don't really know either of them (or any of the Wolff extended family). For some reason we've never associated much with the Wolff's.

As far as I can recall, there's only been two Wolff family reunions. I don't recall the first reunion at all (I was very young), and the second was held near Waterton in the late 1980's. I was just old enough to feel uncomfortable around the all of the extended cousins, and therefore didn't really feel, or try to be included.

I belive it was at that reunion that the Harvey and Isabella Wolff clan sang, "Swing Me In the Moonlight", and "Is Your Mother Home Molly Maloney". It was at this reunion that I recited "The Jaberwocky". It's odd to me that I would have done that. As I recall, I wasn't very excited to recite a poem that I percieved no one around me had any interest in. But for some reason, (which reason I still don't understand to this day), they thought people would enjoy it. I really don't know if they did or not -- but mom liked it.

It was at this reunion that a large group of the Wolff's (including Kev, dad and I) climbed Old Chief Mountain. Most of the hike up the mountain was un-remarkable. There was a section of shale that I recall was difficult to manage, but generally speaking ther was nothing noteworthy. Clearly the most vivid memory I have of climbing Old Chief was approaching the top. The last 20 minutes of the hike brings you up around the west side of the sheer rock face. Once you get to the plateau at the top, you're not quite done. The highest point of the mountain is about in the middle of the plateau.

Everyone in the group (save dad and I) walked along the ridge to the highest point on the mountain. Dad and I stayed on the west side of the mountian, fearing to walk over the narrow ridge (about 6-8 feet in diameter, less than 5 feet in some places) . Kevin in what has become his charateristic style, bounded carelessly over the ridge to the highest point of the mountain. Dad, likely as scared as he's ever been in his life, found a small perch two or three feet from the edge of the mountian, and prmptly fell asleep. I sat beside dad trying to convince myself that he wasn't going to fall to his death off the side of the mountain. Needless to say, the hike down the mountain was much more relaxing. It's odd -- even to this day I'm terribly afraid of heights while climbing a mountain (Old Chief, or any other), but at the same height -- pointed donw the mountain, I'm fine.