The neighbours across the street are doing their roof. I've been watching houses around the area start to redo their roofs, and I know ours will be due. I think these people have five years on us, if we can make it that long it'll mean ours lasted 20 years which isn't terrible. Still not looking forward to doing it though since it will be pricey.


View From The Road

This was the view from the 416/401 interchange while Ottawa was getting pounded by thunderstorms.

Checking Messages

Mr. Nathan checking his messages over breakfast.


Not From There, Daddy!

Director Nathan telling Daddy how to take a picture.

Preparing For Liftoff

Alex and Mommy getting ready to go in the Sky Screamer. Alex has been singing that song all week since we decided we should go, and of course he wanted to ride it. Mommy said he really enjoyed it, although not so much that he wanted to go again. The ride itself was showing wear, only two of the three pillars had seats, and only one of those was actually working -- in fact, after only a couple more rides after Jenn and Alex went, they appeared to stop running the ride completely.


While waiting for something to happen, Daddy and Alex take a selfie.

Ever Wonder What The Black Bears At Marineland Do?

...they beg. For food. They stand in the water like this staring at the people looking at them. I suspect from this that there is a kiosk nearby that sells bear treats.


Alex In The Car

Plugged into his iPad as we go up the 407 to Niagara. I don't know why he kept wearing his sunglasses, but it made for a really good picture.

Roadtrip Selfie!

Here we go off to Marineland. Why not?


Orange Track Rider

Hot Wheels Car Culture Euro Style Porsche 911 GT3 RS on the orange track. Cars with Real Rider tires generally don't go well on the orange track, but the extra attention paid to making these cars makes them look oh so good.

True Believers And Continuous Wheel Re-Invention

So I was reading this fictionalized discussion between a web developer and a True Believer. And I think I figured something out. Part of the reason why these True Believers are usually young is because they want to be a part of something. And if you get into something that's old -- say, eighteen or twenty-four months -- then that something has a community around it that is already organized in its hierarchy, has some real world experience, and probably has some problems identified with it. Whereas if you get in on the ground floor, there are no rules. Instead of being lectured to about "the correct way to do something", these True Believers can do the lecturing. Thus all the discussion about how "microservices are the shit" and "you have to use Docker" and all that bull. And because enthusiasm is infectious, impressionable young developers who frankly don't know any better get involved and end up re-inventing a whole whack of wheels that have been invented before, this time only slightly different and only directly addressing the weaknesses of the immediately-previous generation.

Containerization is a response to the issue that configuration management is hard. So instead of having to worry about being able to reproduce a particular environment, containers let you scoop the whole thing up and distribute it willy-nilly. It is an avoidance strategy, one that has all kinds of drawbacks of its own -- how many people have containers that still contain a broken version of glibc? -- but everyone sticks their heads in the sand because we've fixed this problem, dammit.

Orchestration solutions are better, in that you have a recipie for building the environment and that can be run again and again and again, and then modified to run in a different way. But it is slower, sure. For me, the trade-off is a no-brainer. It does push your problem down a bit, in that now you have to make sure you have local copies of anything that's going to get installed so that you can install that version again in the future. But like I said off the top -- err, off the middle -- configuration management is hard.

So, in conclusion: get off of my lawn.


Ghostbusters, Star Trek, and John Wick 2.

What are three movies I don't need to see?

Star Trek I've already discussed elsewhere, although the argument applies equally well to Ghostbusters: I have my memories of Star Trek and the Enterprise, I don't need a "re-imagining". I don't need to re-visit someone else's slightly different take on the same ideas. Same with Ghostbusters. My lack of interest has nothing to do with the fact that the movie has four female leads. Although one wonders why such a strong, female-led movie had to be made on the bones of another franchise. If you can tell a good story, tell a good story. You don't need to hide it in another franchise.

And that brings us to John Wick 2, rumours of which I have found on the internet. John Wick was, in many ways, a work of art. It was a rare movie that understood exactly what it was, and aspired to be nothing more than that. There were sequences that were pure art. Trying to launch a franchise off of that seems to cheapen the entire experience.

(The argument about "re-imagining" very nearly applies to Star Wars as well, except that the new Star Wars intends to extend their universe, not "re-imagine" it. That and the fact that it was done so well that it was practically an homage to the entire Star Wars canon that had gone before.)


DareDevil Season 2

Hmmm... since it is a NetFlix series, should it be called "series 2" instead of "season 2"? We're not going to get the third season until 2018. But I guess the US sensibilities apply, so "season 2" it is.

Anyways. This season started a bit unevenly, there was a bunch of "what the hell is really going on here" with things, and when things got amped up you realized that they already were amped up -- that transition, as well as the part-A to part-B transition, was more than a bit rough. The end was a bit weird too -- "We live to serve you, Black Sky!" "Well, I fight against you!" "Well we fight you then!" -- and I'm like, what? That was a very confusing five minutes. Then the pseudo-happy-season-endings with a hint of a cliffhanger tacked on the end of that.

The whole dragging-Murdock-through-the-dark was simultaneously too much and not enough, if you know what I mean. And I didn't really think Frank Castle's journey was worth the trip, in the end.

Overall, season one benefited from nobody really knowing what Daredevil was all about. Origin stories are useful for a reason, that being that the arc of discovery provides a real framework for the A-story. Absent that, you have to have a good A-story to carry the series, and I think that this season tried to have two of those and it didn't really work.


Sunday Highlight

Nana lives in an apartment now, which means she has access to an elevator. Guess who is always super keen to go visit now.


Kubo And The Two Strings

I think the animation would work better on the small screen than it does on the large screen; the movement, especially in the fine facial details, could look very juddery. Overall the look is gorgeous and well carried out. Nice sweep to the story, even if the ending is a bit weak; however I don't think the kids will mind very much. Well worth the time. Possibly mislabelled because the magic guitar always had three strings; the reference to two strings may be metaphorical, but is beyond me.

DLM Saturday

Those with a sensitive disposition may wish to look away. DLM stands for Diecast Liberation Movement, as in, open the cars from their packaging. So I opened probably $150 to $200 (eBay's) worth of Hot Wheels. I've been kidding myself that I was going to open them and create content for the other place, but since that's stopped being fun -- one can only shout so long into the void -- I decided I was tired of looking at them all in blister packs and I opened them. Along with the pile of mainlines, there is a Cool Classics Series 3 CRX, most of the 2015 Porsche series, most of this year's BMW series, and a couple of the Heritage cars. Plus a couple of Matchbox cars, but they don't count. They are all carefully put away in the storage containers, and my desk is now much cleaner.

For some of them there is a bit of stress, in that I wonder if I am destroying something of significant value. For the most part there isn't, there are literally millions of most of these cars and opening one more won't do anything either way. But special cars like the Cool Classics cars?

Right now there are very few cars I won't open. Probably the Entertainment Series, a couple of error cards, and the Speed Machine 599XX cars which are occasionally valued at ridiculous levels. Just about everything else? DLM.



Conducting more elevator operations at the Bayshore OCTranspo station.


Rising Moon

I always look out of Alex's window at bedtime. During the summer we can get big cloud formations, and in the winter you can see the stars, with Orion working his way across the sky during the season. Alex thinks Daddy is crazy for looking out the window every day.

I like this color combination of the clouds, sky and moon, however my iPhone isn't quite up to capturing it as well as it looked in real life.


Safety Box

We used to have all the board game boxes on top of the pantry, and Ceili liked to go up there and hide from everyone. Once the games were moved, she avoided going up there for quite a while, we speculated that she felt more exposed than she used to. So Jenn put this cardboard skid up there, I think apple sauce or something came in it, and it fits the dimensions to be a safety box. Now Ceili is happy to go back up there and feel safe.

I tried to get a picture of her sleeping, but whenever I popped the camera up she instantly alerted and glared at it, as above.


Office Visitor

Every so often, one of the sales staff brings her puppy into the office for the Friday meetings. Not that it is so small a puppy anymore. Still, it's nice to have a dog around occasionally.


What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

For someone who fears change, I spend a lot of time and effort pursuing it. Right now the object of my quest is Windows 10 build 1607, because it has the first major release of the "Bash On Windows" subsystem (which is really a user mode linux ported to Windows). Using that as a base you can install an Ubuntu-esque base system, and that will let you run, quote, "real linux programs directly on Windows". If this works it'll be huge -- no more need to run a VM for Linux stuff. I'll even use Ubuntu.

So in pursuit of said build, I have been pestering my local Windows admin as to when 1607 will be released to us, since we are gate-keepered by the domain WSUS system. It turns out that for Windows 10 there are a lot more "knobs" that can be set in WSUS, and he made some changes -- the result of one of which was that I suddenly got offered the Windows 10 build 1511. And that's what you see installing up there.

1607 should be released to us over the next week, and from there I can finally try this "Bash On Windows" thing. I'm hopeful, but not so much that I'll be disappointed when it doesn't work.


Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

I am conflicted by this -- there are interesting things going on in this miniseries, but my need to find out what happens is constantly at war with the tedium with which things move forward. I think the fact that the episodes are longer than average -- what, 1h 20m each including commercials? -- is part of the problem. Had it been chopped up into hour-long presentations it might be much better, although the story pacing would have to be altered somewhat to make the beats work.


Suicide Squad

Will Smith gets a(nother) superhero movie. Long here-are-your-character sequence. After that, things moved along nicely. Darker than the first teaser made it look. The joker was lacking. Absolutely better than Dawn Of Justice, probably one of the better DC made movies. Still outclassed by all but -- say -- the bottom third of the Marvel pantheon.


While I was away from the office, some guys came and dug a trench across the street outside the office. They are now busily doing other things. The fact that they are a network company suggests very strongly that more fiber is coming into the building. More fiber is never a bad thing.

Further Words On Vacations


Last Day Of Vacation

For my last day of vacation, Nathan and I went bowling again. At Jenn's suggestion, I got two games for him, and one game for me. (This caused some confusion when I ordered -- I said I wanted three games and two pairs of shoes, which they interpreted as three games each. Not the end of the world, but I wonder how I can make this clearer in the future.)

So Nathan racked them up, and away we went:

...and yep, he won. I tried mightily, but I couldn't catch one of the remaining pins with my last ball.

After that, we went looking at video games, lego, and Hot Wheels at Toys 'R Us, then finished off the afternoon with a trip to DQ. I had a "royal oreo blizzard" with the extra chocolate in it. Not bad, but I'm not sure it is worth the premium. But since I go to DQ maybe three times a year -- I'll allow it.

Back to work for me tomorrow.


House Guardian

Ceili giving the intruder on the front lawn the evil eye. I'm not sure she recognised that it was me, she jumped down away from the window as I approached closer.


High Score

Dad holds on for the win. Nathan is doing pretty well considering how little he's bowled. And Alex was actually participating this time -- there were no intentional gutterballs. So all in all, a good outing.


News Flash

My kids made it to the local community newspaper again.


Review: John Wick

Late to this party, but I really like this movie. The Red Circle sequence was just art from start to finish. This is one of those movies that knows exactly what it is, and doesn't pretend or aspire to be more.


Review: T-SLOP

...aka The Secret Life Of Pets. This is a solid children's movie. There isn't much adult-only content in it, but it also doesn't have much of the deep-dish cringy kiddie content either. I'd have to say I enjoyed it.

Mobs In Peace

Nathan tells me that this is all the Minecraft Mobs getting together to live in peace. He didn't have a clear explanation as to why they were doing this by standing around a TNT block.