Mid Jamboree Update from the 40th Scouts at WJ’07

31 07 2007

It seems our leader has managed to squeak in some time at the “Internet Cafe” at the World Jamboree.  His latest update:

Hi,

If it seem like I am rushing through this, I am….it’s £3.50 per hour for Internet here!

Wow!  Our first 5 days here at the 21st World Scout Jamboree has been amazing!  We had our opening ceremony on the 29th and The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip and his son, William were there.

The highlight of the opening ceremony was when all the flags were paraded in and it finally dawns on you just how many people from all over the world is here.  Amazing that we can all live together here being so close together but not around the world with so much more space…..

Weather has been great!  It drizzled a bit when we arrived but now the forecast is for sun for the next week.  The only thing I have not gotten used to is the constant wind…it’s always windy here!

For those who have not visited the site, you can get all the WJ news here:

http://eng.thejamboree.org/

You can find the WJ radio station, Promise FM [editorial note – this link was bogged down when I tried to get there], and listen to the different people being interviewed.

There are so many people from all over the world here, it is incredible.  The logistics of moving people from one place to the next is mind-boggling.  Each session is at least 2000 people…that’s almost all of the PJ participants that needs to be moved every 3 hours…for ONE event!

Those of you from HK will be interested to know that they brought 450 Scouts and 150 IST (leaders that pay to come here to do service).  There is a massive contingent from Korea and Japan as well.

We are camping with people from Mauritius and they are very nice.  Most speak English but they all speak french.  It seems most people here know how to speak french.  Funny that the official languages are both so anything from the Jamboree is done twice!

Programming started three days ago.  First was Splash! which is a water activity though there is no swimming as we are doing our activities in a reservoir.  I went sailing with the Leader from Mauritius (Benjamin) and flipped as we caught the heavy wind the wrong way.  Funny thing was that we chose the largest sailboats (5 man boats) and was told it was very hard to flip.  Henry, who sailed in the another large sailboat did fine!

Yesterday was Terraville where participating countries set up exhibitions and games for people to play.  It was a lot of fun and I thought Taiwan did the best job.  I learned how to make a dragon ball!

Jousting with horses during lunch was extra entertainment for everyone.

Today was an educational day with Trash! which is a morning activity that focuses on conservation.  The afternoon was at the Global Development Boulevard which focuses on poverty issues.

Tommy, Kyle and Devin had a great time today when they went scuba diving in the dive tank today.  The water was a bit cold but they certainly wanted to do it again.

One thing in common about this international crowd is their liking for signing….they love to sing and sing all the time.  It’s amazing and I wish we do that in Canada.

Tomorrow is the big day!  Our Sunrise Ceremony will take place at 0800 so we have to get 40000 people there starting at 0600.  It takes quite a while when there are so many people to move.  I hope everyone will be able to wake up on time!

On a side note, fish and chips here is quite good!  Showers are HOT!  Nothing like PJ here.

I will update again as soon as I can!

EAu

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Why do people NEED to use the mouse????

30 07 2007

I was reading a post by Jeff Atwood about Google’s dumb “I’m feeling lucky” button which devolved into a generic “What’s wrong with users” post and I got to thinking.  I see users making dumb decisions EVERY day it seems.

The one that really gets me is when they sit down and login to their computer:

Cursor is on password field with the wrong name.  Here is the sequence of events:

  1.  go to mouse and moveto and click on the username field.  Click again (often accidentally) and then hit combinations of delete and backspace to clear out the last username.
  2. Type username
  3. switch hand to mouse and moveto and click in the password field.
  4. Switch back to keyboard, type in password
  5. Switch back to mouse and moveto and click on “OK”

It PAINS ME!!!

This could easily have been achieved, never moving your hands from the keyboard:

  1. Hit- SHIFT TAB to go back to username field. (Automatically selecting all text)
  2. Type username
  3. Hit TAB
  4. Type password
  5. Hit Enter

DONE!!!!!   No back and forth from the mouse to the keyboard… No weird clicking and moving and hoopla.  Quick and efficient.  Please do your part to help a person gain that little efficiency in their life!  PLEASE!

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Last day in Kingston-on-Thames for the 40th Marpole

26 07 2007

This may be the last dispatch we get from our Scouts abroad.  Tomorrow they head to the World Jamboree.  We don’t know what connectivity our leader in the field (or mud puddle) will have when he’s there.

After an excitement filled day in London yesterday, today was set aside for Leader meetings and packing.  The Scouts were allowed to sleep in but everyone was awake by the time my meeting finished at 1030.  For you parents who are worried about lost passports at WJ, no need to do that anymore as they will be kept in a safe at Canada House – our WJ Headquarters.

The weather seems to alternate between days here the UK and today’s turn belonged to fierce winds with occasional pelting rain.  Though the winds are a constant, the rain seems to not last for long periods of time here.

We held our daily patrol meetings as usual in the kitchen during breakfast and everyone quickly dispersed to first wash all their clothing and then package them for WJ.  One item of special concern is the red cotton t-shirts of which everyone had two.  If it had not been previously washed, it will leak red dye on contact with water.  Whether it is the rain or the sweat from the sun, we had to make sure that we rinsed the shirts so that they did not pose a threat to turn us red.

Before heading out for lunch, we threw a load of dark colours and washed our uniforms and pants.  We needed them for the formal dinner at the University tonight.  We decided to have fish and chips for lunch and the hotel reception pointed out to a little shop just down the block called the Deep Blue.  It is funny that the cod and chips were sold separately.  Each order came out to about six pounds sterling but the quality of the cod was much better than that found in Vancouver for similar pricing.  Interestingly, the tartar sauce is also a side dish and will cost you 0.25 pounds sterling for each package the next time you go.

Despite having been told that the meals are smaller here than back in Vancouver, we have not noticed that at all.  Everywhere we have been eating, we have been satisfyingly full.

After lunch, we headed across the bridge into the town of Kingston to purchase some snacks that would certainly cost more at WJ.  Armed with two bags of chips and two bottles of pop, I headed back to the residence along with the patrol. There was a short demonstration on how to set up the tents which were purchased from MEC. Then it was an afternoon of drying clothes and relaxation until the formal dinner.  We got dressed for the departure time at 1700 and headed off to the university restaurant.  It was about a ten minute walk across the campus. It was a traditional english dinner with salad and roast turkey as the appetizer.  There was so much meat that I actually thought that was the main course.  However, the main course was beef stew with potatoes and vegetables.  Dessert was bread pudding which was interesting.  We then listened to presentations by candidates on why he or she would be the best candidate to represent Canada on Brown Sea Island.  The adults were not allowed to vote but some candidates were very articulate and could have easily gotten my support.  Now, that I’m finally packed, I’m looking forward to moving onto WJ.  I hope to be able to provide another update when I am on site!There was a short demonstration on how to set up the tents which were purchased from MEC.

Then it was an afternoon of drying clothes and relaxation until the formal dinner.  We got dressed for the departure time at 1700 and headed off to the university restaurant.  It was about a ten minute walk across the campus.

It was a traditional English dinner with salad and roast turkey as the appetizer.  There was so much meat that I actually thought that was the main course.  However, the main course was beef stew with potatoes and vegetables.  Dessert was bread pudding which was interesting.

We then listened to presentations by candidates on why he or she would be the best candidate to represent Canada on Brown Sea Island.  The adults were not allowed to vote but some candidates were very articulate and could have easily gotten my support.

Now, that I’m finally packed, I’m looking forward to moving onto WJ.  I hope to be able to provide another update when I am on site!

EAu

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Celestial Bodies and Navigation by Stars

26 07 2007

I found a good site for Cubs or Scouts that need to learn a bit out celestial bodies.  When you’re done, you get to ID Orion, the big dipper, Betelgeuse, Cassiopeia  and Polaris, even find North.

Pretty cool

How did you do?





Now this is WAYYYYY cool!

26 07 2007

A SMART RAID system.  Self monitoring, self growing RAID…. Drobo

Check out the demo video here.

It’s USB 2.0 and it’s only $500 US.  (which soon will be cheaper than $500 CAD 😉

This product was mentioned by Scott Kelby in his photoshop insider blog.

 

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Another Rootkit detector for your Arsenal!

26 07 2007

McAfee has released their rootkit detector to the general public.  FREE!

If you do any kind of IT support (either corporate or for Aunt Martha), this should be on your USB keychain.

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Pictures Available from England

25 07 2007

Big Ben - London England

Here are some of the photos taken by the 40th Marpole Scouts as they continue on their adventure in England:

http://www.slacker.ca/brian/webpics/showpix.aspx?200707WJ01

I’ve cut it down to about 80 representative shots from their first 4 days.  They have already got 300+ that they’ve taken.  Looks like they’re having a blast!

[edit 2007-07-26 – Picture link was wrong… sorry, fixed]

 





40th Marpole in Britain – Day 4, London Tour

25 07 2007

Sounds like our leader is having a hard time keeping up with the kids.  His dispatch came in at 0100 British Daylight Time…  How long will he last?

Currently, as I am busily writing up this log, your kids are refusing to go to bed and playing cards in the kitchen.  We came back from London around 2230 after a long day!  I don’t know how they could be so tired hiking through the city but wide awake now.  Oh, well, tomorrow is a sleep in day so no matter.
 
Everyone is enjoying themselves and nobody is homesick.  This group seems to gel very well and there is no one being ostracized.
 
The day started out looking bright but a seasoned Vancouverite could tell that the wet stuff was on the way.  No matter though…today is London day!  Nothing can make it less special.
 
Even with everyone playing hacky sack until curfew at 11:00pm the night before, all of our members made it for our 0800 continental breakfast and morning patrol meeting.  We were all excited to see what London had to offer and quickly made sure we were packed and ready for the elements.
 
We met in the lobby at 0900 to pick up our London Passes and all-day transit card.  The prepaid London Pass will get us into key London attractions for free.  Our Scouts had picked some activities they had wanted to do such as bowling, arcades, seeing the aquarium and going to the zoo.  With so many other authentic London attractions, I do not know if we could fit all of those in one day.
 
With our passes in our hands, we headed off in our patrol in search for London excitement but first we have to get there by rail.  This is our first taste of London’s public transit and the national rail service seemed like all the rest and ran on time.
 
As we got into the heart of London, we were surprised that there was not more highrises….actually, there are not really any highrises.  Most buildings were between 6 to 10 stories tall and most of them looked to be hundreds of years old but were well taken care of.
 
Our first stop is the Changing of the Guards at Buckingham Palace.  Our original plan was to take the subway there to get there sooner with a better view of the ceremony.  Another PL that we bumped into on the train convinced me to walk instead.  As with all things, there are tradeoffs.  The good side of it was that as we made our way through the heart of London, we crossed over on the Waterloo Bridge which led to Big Ben and the Parliament buildings.  Even though, we have seen Big Ben and the rest of the British landmarks a thousand times, it was a bit surreal to see them in person.
 
Within ten minutes of being in London, we had seen all those plus the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, and The River Thames.  The weather was perfect with intermittent sun and a nice breeze.
 
Seeing and taking photos of these monuments, of course, had slowed us down.  When we got to Buckingham, it seemed the entire tourist population had arrived.  Needless to say, we had a poor view of the ceremonies and as a result, everyone gave it a poor rating.
 
Next was to Harrods’, the world famous department store.  We had wanted to go there for lunch but with ham costing $8 for a hundred grams and a prepared sandwich costing 15 pounds, we had second thoughts about eating there.  Besides, the security was a bit hoity-toity and limited us to only 4 youths to one adult and did not allow us to shop together.  I guess they realized we weren’t real customers anyway.
 
It was very neat to see Scouts from every part of the globe doing what we are doing.  We met Scouts from Japan, Australia, Brazil, Poland, Germany and Trinidad-Tobago to name a few.
 
Lunch, instead of a fancy sandwich, was a fancy Big Mac….which tasted the same as in Canada.  I say that because the McChickens are totally different….better meat but horrible McChickens sauce.
 
After that, we took the subway back to the British Airways London Eye and the Aquarium.  Tommy really wanted to go on the Eye, the world’s largest ferris wheel but because it is a pay attraction, nobody else wanted to go.  In the end, Tommy cost me 15 pounds (but only 7.50 pounds for him as a youth) and the rest went to the Aquarium.  It is quite the huge ferris wheel and you are so incredibly high in the scale of things.  All in all, I would chalk it up to a “once in a lifetime” experience…but just once. 🙂
 
Afterwards, Tommy and I had a quick whirlwind tour of the Aquarium as it was a London Pass free attraction.  I have to say, the Vancouver aquarium is much much better.
 
Next was the Tower Bridge – the draw bridge most commonly mistaken as the London Bridge.  We were lucky as we arrived in time to see it being raised.  We took a tour of the workings of the bridge and it was interesting to note that it took 8 years before they settled on the concept for the bridge.
 
After that, we got back into the subway and it was onto Piccadilly Circus – the shopping hub and busiest part of London.  This is definitely the most exciting part of London with huge neon lights and 40 foot TV screens.  The streets were packed with moving cars and trucks and what seemed like thousands of people weaving through them to get across the street.  Luckily, everyone one in my patrol had been to large cities such as Seoul, Hong Kong and Beijing so everyone was calm in dealing with the traffic.
 
After a taste of the big city and a sip of Starbucks coffee, we were ready to head down to Chelsea for dinner.  I had wanted to show the youths the Chelsea FC stadium and have famous fish and chips at the hotel beside it.  But after hiking for 30 minutes at a good clip as someone in our patrol had decided to get one stop earlier than required, we found out the restaurant was under renovations!  Disappointed was a mild phrase to describe most of our reactions.  This was of course only a momentary divergence from our usual cheerfulness and soon returned when we found a recommended burger joint right inside the train station that we needed to take home.  We did get a good picture outside of the Chelsea FC.
 
After our deliciously juicy burgers, we headed downstairs and took the subway home.  I have to say, everyone is great at reading the subway lines and how to get to different places.  On the side, the underground subway looks exactly the same as in HK…even the tiles are the same!
 
All in all, London proved to be an amazing city and it obviously cannot be seen in one day.  I think the youths, though they may not realized it quite yet, will appreciated being here despite our hectic schedule.  With their laughter that I hear coming from the kitchen right now, somehow I don’t think their aching feet bothered them too much after all.  My aching back though is a different story. 🙂
 
Tomorrow is a sleep in day for the youths but a morning meeting for me.  The day is devoted to WJ prep as we go through the gear that we will be using and work on our performances to show the rest of the world.
 
The real deal is about to begin….
 
EAu




40th Marpole Scouts in Britain – Day 3

24 07 2007

Latest dispatch from our leader in the field:

Yes, due to the flight times, yesterday was both Day 1 and 2.
 
Sunny and warm!  A 180 degree change from yesterday’s cold and rainy (although typical London weather) reception.
 
This jammed packed Day 3 began early at 0900 where we all hopped on the bus and headed upriver so we can ride along the Thames to Windsor Castle.  For those who haven’t seen it on the news, last week was quite wet in the UK.  A lot of the places in the country were flooded and indeed a few businesses in Windsor were doing restorations.  Anyway, due to the rising Thames, the cruise boats were no longer allowed to operate and we had to change plans quickly at the boating docks.
 
Instead, of cruising, we would be taken to Windsor Castle by bus which got us there about 90 minutes quicker than the boats.  First, though, we headed across the highway to the site where the Magna Carta was signed back in 1225.  The signing of the Magna Carta is viewed as the defining moment of the birth of democracy in England.  Our guys though it was very neat to be standing on such a historic place.  Near the monument was an oak tree planted using soil brought back from Jamestown, Virginia – the first permanent british settlement in North America.
 
Next stop: Windsor Castle…by bus.  This turned out to be a better tradeoff than the cruise as it allowed us more time to explore the area surrounding Windsor Castle which is the town of Eton….also home to the most famous high school in the world where one year’s schooling is worth 35000 pounds.
 
The massive walls and towers of Windsor Castle could be seen long before we reached the bus parking lot.  I don’t think I have seen so many tour buses in one place!  The Boy Scouts of America were also touring the Castle but they had 1200 people compared to our 200 going through it today…which is only half of the BSA contingent.
 
Lunch was catered at the parking area at 1230.  Everyone wolfed down the meal to get a quick start on the castle itself. \n\u003cdiv\> \u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\>The Windsor Castle is definitely a work of art.  It is both massive and grand…as Daniel puts it, "It's everything you would expect from a castle."  It certainly did not disappoint if you had the patience of walking through the whole thing. :)\u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\> \u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\>By the time we got to St. George's Cathedral, only Henry and I were left standing but the place was magnificent.  We sat and just stared at the ceiling and carvings for at least 10 minutes.  It was a very special to see all the current and past people who have been knighted along with the intricate handiwork throughout the cathedral.\u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\> \u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\>I have to admit that by this time around 1600, I was pretty much as tired as everyone else.  We headed back to the bus and came back to Kingston University.\u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\> \u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\>After a quick wash and change of clothing, we headed to town for dinner.  Daniel and I had fish and chips while Henry and Tommy had a nice sirloin steak.  Kyle and Devin had a kebab each which they thought was awesome.  Dinner came out to about 60 pounds and was paid for by Scouts Canada.\u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\> \u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\>Now, it's 2215 and the Scouts are all showered but are playing hacky sack in the hall.\u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\> \u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\>Tomorrow, we are off to London!  It'll be even more jammed packed and with even more walking than today…I don't know how much more of this exercise I can take!! :)\u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\> \u003c/div\>\n\u003cdiv\>Photos will be ready soon!\u003c/div\>\n”,0]
);

//–>

 
The Windsor Castle is definitely a work of art.  It is both massive and grand…as Daniel puts it, “It’s everything you would expect from a castle.”  It certainly did not disappoint if you had the patience of walking through the whole thing. 🙂
 
By the time we got to St. George’s Cathedral, only Henry and I were left standing but the place was magnificent.  We sat and just stared at the ceiling and carvings for at least 10 minutes.  It was a very special to see all the current and past people who have been knighted along with the intricate handiwork throughout the cathedral.
 
I have to admit that by this time around 1600, I was pretty much as tired as everyone else.  We headed back to the bus and came back to Kingston University.
 
After a quick wash and change of clothing, we headed to town for dinner.  Daniel and I had fish and chips while Henry and Tommy had a nice sirloin steak.  Kyle and Devin had a kebab each which they thought was awesome.  Dinner came out to about 60 pounds and was paid for by Scouts Canada.
 
Now, it’s 2215 and the Scouts are all showered but are playing hacky sack in the hall.
 
Tomorrow, we are off to London!  It’ll be even more jammed packed and with even more walking than today…I don’t know how much more of this exercise I can take!! 🙂
 
Photos will be ready soon!




40th Marpole at the World Jamboree

23 07 2007

This dispatch just in from Britain (make sound of morse teletype in your mind):

Hi,
 
Just a note to let you all know that we arrived safely!  I am so tired now….it’s 11:30pm and most of us haven’t slept for days.  Everyone is in bed now.
 
The rooms here at the university is great!  The Canadian Service Team has certainly done a great job!  Hard to believe they are volunteers.  Everyone gets a private room.  Devin’s one is huge!  Each patrol has a lounge/kitchen to heat things up or make a snack.  Plus, internet connection…though the kids don’t know this yet and even the Service team doesn’t know cause I asked them about it.  I just tried plugging my laptop to the Cat 5 outlet and it worked!
 
Everyone is having a great time and most have zeroed in on the girls.  🙂
 
If I didn’t have to travel so far, I’d swear that this place is the same as Vancouver….same temperature, greenery, air….it’s a cool showery day today.
 
Kingston is a small town about 30 minutes outside of London by the underground subway.  It’s feels really safe and there should be no problems here at all.  Most of the stores here we can find in Vancouver.
 
Will send you some pictures once I get that ready.  Also, will update you again tomorrow….after we go yachting up the Thames River to Windsor Castle.  Hopefully, the Queen will be there to greet us! 😛
 
EAu




Look out Britain!

23 07 2007

As the title says – Look out Britain!  The 40th Marpole scouts have left Vancouver and landed at Heathrow!

First lesson of air travel:  Light cylindrical objects (like foam sleeping pads) will roll off conveyor belts.  (One foamy will be joining them later!)

On Sunday, after many days of preparations, checking, rechecking, packing and repacking, five of our scouts and one of our leaders headed out to Britain to take part in the World Jamboree.  First they will take part in a 5 day “Canadian Contingent pre-camp” and then it will be off to the Jamboree celebrating 100 years of scouting.   After the 10 day Jamboree they will be touring France and Belgium for 7 days before returning home.

If you are likely to be in France or Belgium (or happen to be a french or Flemish scout reading this) drop me a comment.  Perhaps you and our scouts might meet up.

Their itinerary for the post-jamboree time is:

Aug 8     Bus back to Heathrow Airport and pick up rental van (0900)

                Drive to Dover and take ferry to Calais (1200)

                Arrive in Calais, France (1345)

                Drive to Vimy and tour Vimy Ridge monument (1500)

                Hostel: Hotel Belazur in Calais

 

Aug 9     Drive to Bruges and visit WW beaches along the way

                Arrive in Bruges (1200)

                Rent bikes and tour city/lunch (UNESCO World Heritage Site: Historic Centre)

                Ride out to the beach (1400)

                Canal boat ride (1630)

                Hostel: Passage in Bruges

 

Aug 10  Drive to Brussels

                Arrive in Brussels (1200)

                Lunch/city tour/visit chocolate factories

                UNESCO Sites: La Grand-Place and Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta

                Visit malls/shopping (1600)

                Hostel: Gite d’Etape in Brussels

 

Aug 11  Belgium Waffles for breakfast

                Visit/brief hike at Parc Naturel Regional Nord-Pas-de-Calais (1100)

                Drive to Reims

                Lunch at one of the small towns along the way (1330)

                Arrive in Reims (1500)

                City tour/UNESCO Site: Cathedral of Notre-Dame (1600)

                Hostel: CIS de Champagne in Reims

 

Aug 12  Arrive in Paris (1200)

                City tour (Eiffle Tower, Champs-Elysees, etc.)

                UNESCO site: Banks of the Seine

                Hostel: Square Caulaincourt in Paris

               

Aug 13  Visit Louvre Museum

                Visit malls/shopping

                Hostel: Square Caulaincourt in Paris

 

Aug 14  Visit UNESCO site: Palace and Parks of Versailles (0900)

                Leave Paris (1000)

    Arrive in Dieppe (1130)

                Lunch and visit beaches (1200)

                Drive to Calais (1300)

                Ferry to Dover (1525)

                Arrive in Dover (1700)

                Drive to Heathrow and check in at hostel(1830)

                Drop off minivan at airport

                Take tube into London (2000)

                Hostel: Heathrow Budget Rooms

If it looks like you’re in the same area and time as they are, and might want to meet.  I’ll see what I can do to coordinate.





They found Frank!

20 07 2007

Frank- Heck of a name for a moon!





Summer’s over

19 07 2007

As an follow up to my previous post…

Sumer’s over 😦





Changing my PC – Migrating RAID1?

19 07 2007

OK – here’s my dilemma…

I just picked up a new PC.

Acer Aspire (Intel Q5500 Core 2 Quad) at 2.4GHz w/ 2GB RAM and a 500GB SATA (II?) drive.  It comes with Vista Home Premium.

I already have an XP install running on a clone system built on a P5GD1 using the ICH6R SATA RAID on the motherbooard.  My two 120GB disks are running RAID level 1.

I also happen to have a PCI-x SATA RAID card.

Which of the following options seems the best?

  1. Move my existing mirrored setup over to the new box (disk image/rebuild on new RAID card/restore (running XP Pro), and use the 500GB as a second,JBOD disk for scratch and things I don’t really care that much about
  2. Acquire new 500GB drive and mirror with present one, running VISTA Home Premium.  Keep other disks as JBOD for scratch etc.
  3. Acquire new 500GB drive and mirror with present one but reinstall XP and all apps. RAID up the old disks for a mirrored second drive.

If I’m going to move the XP installation, I suppose my best bet is to install the card into my old computer first, thereby having XP load the appropriate drivers for it resulting in the OS seeing the drives when it boots later (in the new computer).

Also, how would I hardware mirror a drive without having to reformat?

Thoughts? Ideas? Input?

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Who needs pesky install and uninstall files?

16 07 2007

Way to go symantec!

Various installers and uninstallers are being flagged as adware.cpush  Not a lot of fun.  Thankfully today’s defs will fix that.  Urgh.

 





Summer’s here!

10 07 2007

The next few days are going to be HOT  HOT HOT!!!  Mid 30’s.  For we west coast folk, that’s HOT!

5 Day Forecast from Environment Canada

Tuesday

Sunny

  • High 34°C

Sunny

Tuesday night

Clear

  • Low 18°C

Clear

Wednesday

Sunny

  • High 37°C

Sunny

Thursday

Sunny

  • High 34°C
  • Low 17°C

Sunny

Friday

Sunny

  • High 31°C
  • Low 17°C

Sunny

Saturday
Sunny

  • High 29°C
  • Low 16°C

Sunny

 





Some excellent photos

9 07 2007

This site has the top photos awarded in 2007 (many are from earlier) as voted by the Press Photographers Association.  There are 133 photos.

Warning some are gruesome.

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Football, Fish and a Wedding – Busy weekend

9 07 2007

On Friday I went to the home opener of the BC Lions.  I have season tickets thanks to the good folks at the Team 1040 radio station.  We whooped Edmonton’s butts 29-9.  It was a fun time.  My friend let me park in his visitor parking while we were at the game, and when we returned to get our vehicle, there was lots of water, firemen and a fire alarm…  we drove out quickly.  Dunno what happened, but my friend said apparently it wasn’t anything that he needed to deal with.  Odd.

Saturday morning I got up bright and early (0630) to head out to Richmond.  It was “Fish for the Future” Day!  I met up with the organizer at about 0750 and we loaded my truck and another full of all the canopies and equipment for the day.

Once down at London Landing (end of Number 2 road) in Steveston more volunteers had arrived, so we all started unpacking and setting up.  We transformed a pretty quiet little pier into a bustling area of display booths and activity stations.  There was a family of swans with their little cygnets floating around the dock area.  They stuck around long enough to allow me to get a few good pictures.  By the start time of 1000 we had the fishing rods set up, the flytying and fly casting station ready, the Freshwater Fisheries society. BC Hydro, Seymour salmonid society and O.W.L all in action.  I moved down to my usual location – down on the floating dock with my buckets and worms.  We were ready.

The wind was light and the sun was strong.  I was glad I had my SPF45 sunblock on.  Kids started streaming down the gangplank to the dock and we were crazy busy getting worms on hooks and helping them get their lines in the water.  Worm after worm, line tangle after line tangle, we eventually had a constant rotation of approximately 25 kids fishing at any given time.  It wasn’t too long before our first fish of the day; a peamouth chub.  The tide was high, and on a slow ebb so the fishing wasn’t exactly fast and furious, but we did bring in some bullheads, peamouth chub, whitefish, northern pikeminnows and a big large scaled sucker!  We kept an aquarium up on the pier where people could see the fish and learn more about them.

I made a small break for myself this time, as I was determined not to miss the opportunity to photograph the birds of prey that they had on display (I had missed this the past 2 years – too busy).  I ended up with what I consider to be one of my best bird shots to date:


Barn Owl – Original Size Here (great detail)

You can see the little western screech owl they had also at: http://www.fotothing.com/DragonSpeed/photo/fabf0931d3fa753d8cdf6e9c797428db/ 
They were very beautiful birds.

We finished fishing and displaying at 1500, and then after unloading all the stuff back at the organizer’s home I headed back to my place and barely managed to make it without falling asleep. I was exhausted.  I walked in the door and slept until 2230!

With the weekend only half over there was still a Sunday of activity to go.  We woke up a bit late on Sunday morning, but we made up for that by having a quick brunch at home and then it was go-go-go!   One of Mrs D’s cousins’ daughter was being married and we were invited for the reception.  Since the dry cleaner had lost my shirt back in December I now had a dress shirt count of “0”.  We had to head out to the Bay to find a shirt.  After that, it was over to a friend who moved out of our complex and was having his housewarming party.  We had a great visit, and had a chance to see some of his pictures from his trip to Antarctica that he had taken.  Great stuff!  After visting and chatting until 1545 we headed home and caught the end of a couple of open houses.  Always a good opportunity to look around and get some design ideas.

Our neighbor dropped by and we chatted for a while. Always nice to get caught up, as we all seem to live such busy lives.

We left home at 1745 to get to Richmond for the wedding reception and made it nicely for 1830.  By a funny coincidence, one of the couples sitting at the table with us was at the “Fish for the Future” event on Saturday.  Small world 🙂  It was a great reception and the bride looked lovely in a cream coloured gown.  We ate the usual chinese multicourse meal and felt like you could roll us home when we were all done.  Finally we got home on Sunday night at around 2330, and it was time to pass out and get ready for work on Monday.  Crazy, but fun weekend.





Fish for the Future – This Saturday!

6 07 2007

It’s coming… Tomorrow.

Have you wanted to teach your kids how to fish but don’t necessarily know how to fish yourself?  Want your children to lose that “XBox flab”?

I’ve been volunteering for the past few years at this event.  It’s great!

Fish for the Future 2007 from 10:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday July 7th.
 
The festival will take place at the No. 2 Road Pier (London’s Landing) in Steveston. This will be the fifth annual event and there are some exciting new additions that all can look forward to.

With the support of the BC Family Fishing Weekend and National Fishing Week, this is a community event hosted in Steveston. A variety of activities usually take place during the event. The event is FREE, kids who do not have a fishing rod can borrow one during the event. The whole purpose of the event is to promote family fishing, as well as bringing awareness of various environment issues to the general public.

Please note that parking is limited so it is best to car-pool or cycle to the event. Juvenile tidal fishing licenses will be available to those who are under the age of 16 and they are free. For adult tidal license, please visit Berry’s Bait and Tackle. Limited amount of bait will also be supplied. Food is not available on site. The closest place is a cafe on No. 2 Road just north of the pier. Drinks (pop and water) will be available on site.

This year’s exhibitors will include:

BC Hydro PowerSmart – “Turn it off!”
Burns Bog Conservation Society – Bog and Game Booth
Chilliwack/Vedder River Cleanup Coalition
Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC – Mini Fishing Lessons
Orphaned Wildlife Rehabilitation Society – Birds of Prey
Seymour Salmonid Society – Salmon Education

Ongoing activities during the event will include:

Arts and crafts
Fish species station
Fishing for Tidal Fraser River fish
Fly tying workshops
Flycasting clinics
River fishing clinics

 
In a nutshell:  A GREAT time for kids and their parents.  We’ve even had “older” adults ask about how to get into fishing.  We help people learn the basics of river resource stewardship, starting with the simple act of handling fish carefully after catching them.  Lots of demonstrations.  The birds of prey are cool!
 




Hot dog eating contest – quotable quote!

4 07 2007

Today in New York they had the annual hot dog eating contest, and an American won it for the first time in 8 years (should be proud or ashamed if you’re American?)

What got me from the New York Daily News article was this quote from the “rookie of the year” known as “Rios Grande”…

“I stopped eating with about three minutes left on the clock. “I got real bad hiccups, and it started to come up a little bit, so I stopped eating. I wanted to maintain my dignity.”

I hope I’m not the only one that sees the irony in ANYONE in a hotdog eating contest hoping that they could maintain their dignity. 

I laughed so hard I almost choked on the hotdog I was eating 😉

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