It's really bloddy annoying...

...to look back at your children's lives and realize that you missed most of those lives because [of life.]

It leaves you standing there praying you gave them enough insight and love to go forward and be a success and find happiness and you pray that they may actually appreciate what you tried to give them.

My number one priority, just as any parent should have, is the health and happiness of their child(ren). The number one fear is that we [fowled] it up.

The best made plans...

... can be unravelled without any effort.

I've had friends tell me I need to get out more. Well, I do try. I try to plan things, have fun, spend time with people, and ya know... plans change. I was supposed to be going to the air museum at Downsview Airforce Base today with my daughter, but plans changed. I was supposed to be downtown yesterday to see (even from the outside) Breakfast Television and go to a cool comic book store with my daughter, but plans changed. I role with the punches and I do this on a daily basis. It leaves me with one feeling at the end of it all, the feeling I do for others and not myself.

Now, there are people YOU MUST do for in life, daughters, wives, friends, family... the order is not important here. There are people who ask little of you, and they should be rewarded with good quality time. My youngest daughter is in the realm right now, not asking for much, the reward: Attending Fan Expo Canada this past Sunday with friends.

Then there's the family-based requests. This one starts Thursday, and is simple, but a huge effort. Get to Kingston, then get my parents to Northern Quebec for my brother's birthday (who plans a birthday on a Sunday?). Take a couple of days to visit, then head home Monday. Leaving at 5AM on Monday, arriving in leaving my parents with their car in Kingston, then heading to Brampton for ~10pm on Monday night.

I get to work the next morning, and I had hoped that my daughter would be along for the trip, but this has become an unknown.

I have come to the conclusion, and forgive my lack of nobility for saying so but, I do for others. So, if someone starts getting on my case for not being fit, not being something they expect of me, etc.... well. I reserve the right to be a complete ass and tell them where to go with all the detail required to find a particular town in Michigan.

Directions to Hell, MI


If your kids see one movie 1000 times...

My oldest daughter watched Jurassic Park and Toy Story so many times I started to (especially with Toy Story) be able to recite dialogue from any queued point in the film. These movies taught two things, be afraid of the impossible and newcomers are not necessarily enemies. Okay, so Toy Story had a better message.

The one film I've watched and enjoyed,  for kids (Jurassic Park was not a kids film) is "Meet the Robinsons." This film has the right elements to keep a kid engaged and teaching a valuable lesson for life, "Keep Moving Forward."

This is not going to affect their driving test at age 16, it means that you don't give up. Setbacks are part of life, failures are normal and we benefit from them by learning that something is not something to repeat, but not to give up a direction.

It needs balance, of course. You need to be able to assess whether a direction, in itself, is an error in judgement, but even if it is you don't need to give up. Pick a new path and keep moving forward.

Sure, this can be applied wrong and create financial stress on parents and partners alike. Some people start something good and are so afraid of success they give up. They are actually less afraid of the success they have as what they believe will be certain failure down the line.

I believe there are a few key qualities you need to instil in a child, a responsibility as a parent:

  • persistence and perseverance (tenacity) when confronted with a problem or challenge
  • self-worth and the knowledge that it matters most that you're a good person and that you know it.
  • self-respect and the ability to choose what is right or wrong for yourself regardless of what peers say.
  • respect others and treat them as you would be like to be treated, even if they don't return the favour.
  • independence through encouragement, helping them face fears head on, and letting them make it through on their own, with support, but on their own.
There may be more, but this is what I have in mind at the moment.


Workplace Life

Work is frantic these days, not alwyas for the right reasons, but it is frantic nonetheless. My workspace is simple, two main systems that help me help the business become more efficient. Sounds noble doesn't it.
Helping others is my purpose in life, technology is simply my methodology, and it doesn't always work. Sorry Brian.
You see I wiped out my brother's BlackBerry, but well perhaps I shouldn't have. Oops. "It'll run better."
It will, and it's no great loss, but oops.
At work, I make things better, easier, require less effort. That may eventually bite me in the butt.
Sent from my BlackBerry 9780 or PlayBook device on the Rogers Wireless Network (or via WiFi)


Saturday Morning Farmer's Market, by Bus!

I'm headed to the Brampton Farmer's Market. A special trip, and super-comfortable, on the ZUM... (Don't ask me how to make a u with umlats on my BlackBerry).
Sent from my BlackBerry 9780 or PlayBook device on the Rogers Wireless Network (or via WiFi)


Birthday cake for two...

...Before the movie.
My daughters and I dropped in to Casey's before the show for cake. Too much for the two of us. Happy Birthday to Me.
Sent from my BlackBerry 9780 or PlayBook device on the Rogers Wireless Network (or via WiFi)



On the 403 heading home after unloading a dive platform with my neighbour.
Dropping Aaron's friend Tom off to get his car then heading home.
Beautiful day.

Sent from my BlackBerry 9780 or PlayBook device on the Rogers Wireless Network (or via WiFi)

Fuzzy Wonders in Southern Ontario

Out in the back lot at Tom's place.

Sent from my BlackBerry 9780 or PlayBook device on the Rogers Wireless Network (or via WiFi)

UPDATE: I'm glad I didn't touch this little fellow! This would appear to be a "Hickory Tussock Moth (Family Arctiidae)" and they are venomous.


Breakfast: Salmon, Red Pepper, and Cheese Curd Omlette

This is the best (self-made) breakfast I've had in a while. I like being on vacation.
Sent from my BlackBerry 9780 or PlayBook device on the Rogers Wireless Network (or via WiFi)


The benefits of BlackBerry devices, er blackberries.

It seems Cora would think that these devices, er berries, are good for you. They feature vitamin C, magnesium and potassium!
Thanks for the tip Cora!
Sent from my BlackBerry 9780 or PlayBook device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Turning 44, soon.

Wearing a winner's circle yellow shirt as an ad for what once was "just an anti-virus company" in many respects. I'm heading out for brunch with a long-time friend to celebrate my existence. I'm conscious of my need to lose weight and my own challenges to not only eat healthier but consider that the content is as important battling my inclination to eat too much.

I do this out of boredom, frustration, stress, and depression. This is my coping method, and it needs to stop.

Wait, this it about turning 44. That is a reason to celebrate, to allow others to pat me on the back and suggest a "well done" is in order. It is. I've done okay considering the stupid things I've done, but... That's water over the dam.

Any way... The idea that I'll be 44 this Friday isn't a shock or concern, it's just another day. What's special is the people that choose to spend it with you, or at least honouring you with well wishings. In my case it may not be hundreds of people, but they are awesome people and I am very honoured.

A big thank you goes to my friends and family. They are how I got to fourty-four, and how I'll get to 45.

Happy Birthday to me!

Sent from my BlackBerry 9780 or PlayBook device on the Rogers Wireless Network


Working Out A Weekend Getaway

To control spending I keep limited funds available for impulse purchases, the down-side to that it that I generally need to plan ahead for big expenses. This means my hopes of getting away this weekend to see my parents will not happen this weekend as I had been pondering in the last 24-hours, but that's okay.

My brother, oldest brother, is having a birthday party on September 4th, a Sunday, at his place in "deepest, darkest, Quebec." While I would like to have made this weekend's trip, perhaps they will understand if I postpone until September 1st and go for a drive with them to my brother's place. I'd love a good drive in the mountains of Quebec.

So, here's the plan... We start off from Brampton, Ontario on September 1st catching the VIARAIL train to Union (this may change to reduce costs), but it offers a reasonable stop-over at Union for lunch (though the Harvey's is gone so you're left with McD's or Cinnebon). Then from Union to Kingston where we catch local transit to my parents' place in Amherstview, Ontario. Notably the bus service to their place [is lacking] but I'd rather keep the impact on them to a minimum. Then we sleep and prepare for a drive.

The Friday Might be best guided by a SatNav system, but we have something better... Multiple BlackBerry devices and my co-pilot and daughter, Ashley. The route to my brother's is a tad long. The Google estimate is 10h 49m and I'm sure we'll stop at least once or twice.I would like to afford the time to do two things... use my PlayBook to capture a place in Quebec City that my brother in arm chairs (friend and neighbour) used to race at (virtually, in Project Gotham Racing), and a couple of mountain stops. So... I'll need my power adapter to charge my devices. I don't think my parents' Ford Fusion has an AC Adapter/inverter.

Anyway, the trip will take me and my youngest daughter to places I'd been as a kid, but tragically not with enough time to explore them the way I could. The important thing is that my parents' get to see their son turn 60 in the awesomeness of Quebec. Needed for trip: Red Bull and entertainment for my daughter.

View Wes' Birthday Road Trip in a larger map


Test post from My BlackBerry 9780

This is a test.

Sent from my BlackBerry 9780 or PlayBook device on the Rogers Wireless Network

Open Source: You get what you pay for.

There's merit in the cause for open source software. It's noble to work as a team, often a very large team, to create something awesome and allow people to have that product for free. The unfortunate truth is that you are at the mercy of these programmers to have the interest and inspiration to resolve issues that are found, or even the users who may or may not report an issue.

I love open source software. It's cheap, usually works fairly well in general, and you can tell everyone about it and make them feel better too. The reality that I'm facing is that there's nothing like buying software that has a real owner, and real people behind the product because it's popular enough to generate its own revenue streams (i.e. authors of how-to books, etc.)

My point here can be demonstrated with OpenOffice.org vs. Microsoft Office. When you download and start to use OpenOffice products to notice a slight lack of polish, things are not as well integrated and the overall experience falls short. You tend to accept these issues as the short comings of the product, but you end up pleasantly surprised by how good the product is for the price, $0.00. Then you go back to work and use Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office is a well thought out and thoroughly tested application which does everything that OpenOffice.org does, but better. It has the polish and concerted effort put into the whole product, buffing and re-touching every nook and cranny of the tool to ensure their support costs are reduced.

Factor this in, you may pay $150 for the Home and Student version of Microsoft Office, but you'll blow $1000 in frustration when using OpenOffice.org. How do I measure that? $50 per hour, but damages for pain and suffering. I figured I'd put that in a manner most Americans would understand, they're the highly litigious neighbours to the south of us.

I'm not saying don't use open source software, I'm saying that you need to know there may be some extra effort, pain, and suffering involved in doing so.

I am more than meets the eye.

What meets the eye is, currently, 342 pounds of me. This must change, and it has... I was 352 pounds only a few weeks ago.

I have elected, for my own sake, to pursue a better manner of eating, and in turn (and due time) better physical activities to support my desire to regain a shape and create a better ratio of what I am versus what meets the eye. I am much more than meets the eye: I am not just a geek and gamer, I am a father, friend, and fan of life.

That said, this is a journey. While I enjoy video games and TV shows, and professional things that are generally sedentary (i.e. programming computers and such), I am embarking on a journey into health and I will not be alone. You're coming with me.

First step, get back to that new diet I started... the "Month of Hummus" July 24th-August 24th, 2011

What this means is that I'm going to eat significantly less junk food, and reduce my red meat (cow, pig, goat, etc.) intake. While trying to eliminate sugary foods. I had steak tonight, yummy-ish. It was pan fried and a crime in some manner, but I had steak and too much of it. Anyway, to get back on track, I'm going to 'blog my activities, and consumption. This may also feature some micro-'blogging (aka Twitter) and some other personal revelations.

I'm trying to be positive, but this is an effort for me. I'd like to be more like my neighbour and friend who has a pleasant and positive outlook, at least outwardly, 24/7. As for now. I try to enjoy life, but people, society, bothers me. I'd like to grow to get past that.

Anyway, welcome to my journey.