Thursday, July 10, 2008

Which Superhero are YOU?

Take the test yourself here:

Your results:
You are Iron Man

Iron Man
The Flash
Wonder Woman
Green Lantern
Inventor. Businessman. Genius.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I Am Walter's Father: Father's Day and the Inglis Picnic

DSCF1180 My mother's maiden name is Inglis - pronounced "ing-GLS" not "ing-GLIS". It's an old family, from the Campbellville area, and since 1952, the family has had a picnic each year. It used to be later in the summer, but it's been on Father's day for some time. This year was the lowest turnout ever - just 18 people - and from the demographics* this year might have been the last picnic. We're going to try some things to re-engage the "youth" (I find it hilarious to be considered a "youth" at 37 years of age). The gravestone is my great grandparents - my mother's father's parents.

In any case, we had a great time - good potluck lunch, lots of laughter, sack races (I won), balloon toss (mom and I came second), shoe toss (I won that too), and more. It was a good day.

This is the schoolhouse where we were this year:


Walter was a real hit with the ladies.


He wanted to join us for lunch...


...but he was relegated to the doorway.


*1 @ 6 years, 1 @ 12 years, 4 @ 30-60 years, 12 @ 60+.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I Am Walter's Father: Waterwork Walk

DSCF1128DSCF1129  DSCF1127

No particular story - just a walk with a camera.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Life: Tired

HW 010 This pic should help Shelly through the weekend.

Friday, May 23, 2008

I Am Walter's Father: Why, Daddy, Why?

 00 Why, Daddy

He looks VERY pathetic, but trust me - he loves his new haircut.

02 Cleaned with Cleaner

The lady what shorn him at A Touch of Love.

 03 Walter Rising01 A New Hope

See, I told you he was happy!


04 Hannah and Walter05 Happy Happy Hannahnahnahnah06 Focus

Wally so dashing in his bandana - Hannah so focused on the toy - Walter so focused on Hannah

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I Am Walter's Father: A Gloating, A Blooming, A Grooming

A Gloating:

I am among the few who can claim a bright, warm office with a hot blonde secretary with a nice tail and a strong desire to lick my face and fetch for me.

06 Home Office


A Blooming:

My cousin Julie just completed her MBA.  This is her dog, Amadeus, and her. Congratulations, Julie!


01 Cousin Julie's Amadaeus02 Cousin Julie and fellow MBAs

A Grooming:

Wally is a bit hairy and smelly - he keeps rolling in stench. He also knows that it's the Boo that makes the clothes, not the other way around.

05 Wally STenchmeister03 A Boo Who Knows He Makes The Clothes

A Bonus Gloating:

Unlike the first gloat, this is not my secretary, she does not want to lick my face, and I will make no comments whatsoever about her tail. I will put her picture up here in the hopes that it will stave off the next round of  "Where's my pics-of-Wally fix?"

 09 Demanding More Wallyshots

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Am Walter's Father: Lucifer

Walter - Daddy, I'm tiredIf cleanliness is next to godliness, Walter keeps falling from Grace. Well, falling may not be the right term. It's more that he actively seeks out stenches - to be sprayed by (skunk last Friday), or to roll in (horse manure today). I see a movie title for this story: "Walter - The Fallen" or perhaps "Wally Him Fally"*

Definitely a boy.

Walter After WashingToday is the coldest day of the spring I think (2C). Today, I had the pleasure of scrubbing down Wally in the back yard. Did I mention that we took him to Metro Hound on Sunday and spent well over an hour bathing him? Didn't even last 48 hours. *sigh*

Now Himself is Re-de-stink-omated, which involved a lot of pathetic yelping, much charging around the backyard, and the careful use of a hose. No, not to beat him with, but I was thinking it too.


And, finally, for those of you who despair because there just isn't enough Hannah on my blog:

Hannah's Smile

* Sorry. SPIKE TV had the Jar Jar movies on, and putrescent though it is, his speech pattern is very memorable.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I Am Walter's Father: Haiku

Oh, Wally, my boy.
You are so very silly
snapping at the dust.

Oh, Wally, my boy.
You are so very silly
snapping at the dust.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I Am Walter's Father: Reskunkomated

I got back from a week away (at the IFL for a serious - and superb - course), and was greeted by Fran with the words, "Smell your son."

"When did he get hit?" I asked.

"This morning, right up the street."

Apparently, he bolted out of Kath's hands, and into the butt of a skunk, again. It's only been a few months since the last incident. I hoped he might have learned his lesson, but nooooooooooooooooooo.  Not Derwaller.

Kath did an excellent job giving him a stinkectomy, and there's barely an odor.

Derwaller is certainly a challenging dog.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bachelorhood: Day OVER!

In an attempt to avoid overly effusive language: Kath got back on Wednesday night. Twenty-odd hours of travel does a bit of a number on her tummy, so she was a bit of a mess on Thursday and Friday.

This morning she woke up, took the dogs for a romp, and SHE IS BACK!




The house feels like a home again.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Life: Yardwork D O N E for the week!

It's not done, but I am. The plants have a place to grow now that the carpet of oak leaves is gone, and the winter of poop is scooped with the leaves. The house has numbers - finally! - and the little front patio I made last year is warm in the afternoon sun.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Bachelorhood Day 11: The Boys, Alone, Again

After our three hour walk this morning, I came home and started to Spring Clean. That wasn't my plan for the weekend, but I have been so overwhelmed with work that I decided to do something that has nothing to do with BMO or IIBA. Hannah will be back later today.

I started with the windows - pulled all the screens from upstairs, climbed out on the roof, and started in with the squeegee. The bathroom window is the worst - difficult to disengage from the mechanism, and hard to reach from inside - but I got it. I hit noon part way through the downstairs windows, so I cooked up some chicken thighs with Tika Masala sauce, and ate it over rice. Gods, I'm making food. What the hell happened?! :)

To set the scene, I'm sitting out front on the little patio I built last year in my green deck chair, with a glass of red wine, and I can see my breath. The weather channel says it's 9C. Walter is on a long leash, beside me, enjoying the sun. I tied him to the stairs, with a length of line that will get him to the sidewalk, but not the street. The sun is warm - warm enough that I am wearing from bottom to top, my white shorts (from Florida), a t-shirt under a sweatshirt, and a Trinidad and Tobago bandana. I kicked off my new blue ducks crocs a few minutes ago. A red SUV with five women in it pauses to turn up Vic Park. The vehicle is tired: a green tongue - a jacket-belt - pants out of the door frame as they drive.

An older native man stops to ask me if I'm working on my tan. We talk for minutes about India and travel and dogs.

John stops by on his way home from the club (he practices karate just up the road  and we have a nice chat. Wally is feeling protective - he leaps down the stairs with a growl to meet John, and later, he has a run at a German Sheppard. Mostly he's getting used to the mass of people wandering by.

Teenagers are completely different and totally the same as when I was one of them. One walks by with a scowl, hoodie, and cello in a backpack. A herd* of teens graze** by, wearing all manner of interesting hair and clothes, including one effeminate boy in a Batman t-shirt with matching bat-belt-buckle. Impressive.

Okay, it's time for me to get back to work. My wine is done (a glass to sip while I watch the world go by and listen to podcasts and type) and I need to finish up before mom and dad and Joy get here.


*The collective noun for teens of mixed sex. Girls are a 'gaggle' and boys are a 'bluster'.
**"Meander" seems a bit too lah-de-dah for teens.

Science! 1306 EST 2008-04-05

And now the reflection is gone.

Science! 1259EST 2008-04-05

The angle of the sun on this day at this time is such that an intense reflection is beaming into our house, from the roof-top windows on the water station. Neat!

I Am Walter's Father: Joggers, Joggers Everywhere...

...And Not A Thigh to Bite.

There is an annual spring sprint on the Beach, starting at the end of the boardwalk (Trillium Trail, Station 10). The sun is shining, the air is crisp, and Wally is being *very* good. We're hanging out at the start/finish line, which has a lot of action - dogs and people. I'm chillin' wit Derwaller, watching the action. Hannah's over at Karen's at the moment - I asked her to take the girl Friday night.

Signing off to play now. :)

Monday, March 31, 2008

I Am Walter's Father: Separation Anxiety

I'm sitting at my desk, working away. Walter is about to spend his first night at home without Hannah.

He's searched the house twice - once for Kath, once for Hannah. He's been quite whimpery and demanding, and won't settle down for his evening nap.

He's unhappy

Poor thing.

He did VERY well on his Walk With Judy, however.

Bachelorhood Day 6: The Boys, Alone

"I'm cold, and there are wolves after me."
- Grandpa Simpson

Hannah bannannah is staying over with Karen tonight - Judy will be coming over at 4 today, and 6:45am tomorrow, to walk me and Wally* so the bitch** gets to spend a nice night with her favorite Auntie.

I swear, it's something about Monday that makes our dogs insane. Hannah was no angel - she was absolutely ruled by her nose, and was very anxious about other dogs. There were lots of them on the beach, busy romping in the cold, wet weather, and many of them were very interested in Hannah's toy. Just as I got her to look at me, Walter bolted after a squirrel. I missed the starting gun, even though I knew he was going to go after something: he was vibrating like a bridge cable in the moments before snappage. I didn't catch any change in his focus, alertness, etc. before he erupted. I understood how Kath felt when he did this to her - but hoped to never experience it. It's shocking to have the leash torn from your grasp.

It took some real effort to get them under any sort of control, but I did have some success with the techniques Judy has taught us. Back to basics - sit and hold, and loose leash walking. It took an hour to get to 2/3 of the way to the boardwalk and back, but we made it. Yes, I still love them.

The chicken turned out great, and I miss Kath lot and lots and lots and lots and lots. I will be able to make one kind of dinner for us now, which is nice.


*Yes, I did mean to phrase it that way.
**Yes, I meant to use that word too. Keep reading.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Bachelorhood Day 5*: I'm roasting a chicken

Yeah, that may not sound like much - but I've never even thought of roasting a chicken before. I read several recipes, and then went for the common denominators: 2 hours at 350-375, on the vertical roaster (the lah-dee-dah beercan) with parsnips and potatoes and spices and beer in the pan.


I really miss Kath.


*Days 1-4 are a haze of miserable loneliness, so you don't get to hear about them.

Ok, ok, I really miss her, but I'm not quite THAT pathetic.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bachelorhood Day 0: She's Away

yesterday's limo
carried my heart far away
a house of silence

yesterday's limo
carried my heart far away
a house of silence

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Life: Being A Chauffeur

I'm standing at YYZ t3*, waiting for Sisbo to arrive on KLM 691. After
many months in Ghana, she's come back to Canada.

I never got around to describing the adventure I had -

...She's here!

*Toronto International Airport call sign, Terminal 3.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I Am Walter's Father: Next He'll Want A Posse

Now that he's the star of a music video, he's going to need an entourage, right?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I Am Walter's Father: At Least He Didn't Suffer...

Walter - Rising...much.
To those of you who panicked when I blogged about the death of Arthur C. Clarke:
I happen to blog about other things on occasion, is all.
Hannah Walter ActionBased on Monday's very challenging lesson, we are walking Hannah and Walter separately. Judy (Let Loose The Hounds) did a lot of the leash work, and will teach me the same on Friday; Kath said it was a revelation for her, and that she had to keep telling herself, "Walter isn't suffering - he's just really stubborn." I'll report the details when I have them first hand.
Hannah did suffer, however; both of them suffer separation anxiety, and walking separately is very challenging for them. On Monday, Kath left first, and Hannah spent the whole walk freaked out that her Mother had abandoned her. Since then, based on Judy's advice, I leave with Hannah before Kath leaves with Walter. Hannah is thrilled - "I get to play with Julian!" - but D'Waller is quite upset. Kath said he sat at the door and moaned and wailed.
Poor thing.
Walter - Shake Baby ShakeWalter - I know I pretty
Walter - Snoozles

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Childhood's End

A sad, sad day.

Monday, March 17, 2008

I Am Walter's Father: His New Name Is BADDOG!

Kath has told me how stressful the Monday walks are - both Hannah and Walter being headstrong, dominant, etc. Now I have experienced it, and they're lucky they're new names aren't "stir" and "fry".

I started with Hannah who had no interest in me for the whole walk: she wanted to be with Kath. When she eventually changed hands she wanted to pull, pull, pull.

Walter started by pulling, and then ran out into the road, to chase an SUV. By the end of the walk we were exhausted, but they were starting to behave.

Back to basics.

Monday, March 10, 2008


This web comic is reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally sick, and reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally funny if you like sick humour. This one is very tame compared to many. Don't visit the site unless this one made you chuckle happily.

Cyanide and Happiness, a daily webcomic
Cyanide & Happiness @
Obviously, it makes me guffaw, at least.

Tech: One Future for Multi-Touch Mobile Devices

This video describes a proof of concept from Microsoft. The main page, gives more details about the device and the potential for the device.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I Am Walter's Father: The Second Thursday

I have given up with sequential numbering. Too tired in the morning for that sort of silliness.
Last night the kids and I went over to the waterworks to play in the new snow - tons of fun! This morning - another 05:30 for Julian! - we went to the water to romp, and to meet Judy. She took us back up to Queen, where we practiced jogger acceptance with Walter, and sit-and-hold with Hannah.
The difference with Walter and Kath was amazing - she was great, and he responded. One half jump was the sum total of his badness! Kath's attitude was very strong, positive and obvious. Great work!
Okay, I have a meeting so before I go, I'll run 'the best of Wally' for your viewing pleasure.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I Am Walter's Father: Day... Day... What day is this?!

Tuesday's morning walk was pretty good, from what little I recall. Judy was supposed to join us, but we reset for Thursday because there was *supposed* to be a major storm with major ice and nasty. It wasn't nearly so bad - the storm hit Tuesday evening.

We practiced 'sit' and leash training, and had a huge romp in the leash-free over by Kew Gardens - about a dozen dogs with half as many owners. Walter took a jump at a random girl walking by - no clue what the trigger was, or the warning sign.

Tuesday night, I took the down to the water to play, and did some hard work with holding a sit; they did reasonably well. Walter will hold until Hannah moves (usually). Hannah will hold until the toy moves.

Wow: I knew the US likes to lock people up

...but I had no idea. This one deserves a whole new category.

From, about Black's stay in Florida.

"…the U.S. has undergone something of a prisoner boom in recent years. According to a recent study by the Pew Centre in the U.S., about 2.3 million adults were held in U.S. prisons or jails at the start of 2008, which is more than any other country in the world, including China with its much bigger population.
It is also a prison population that skews young: One in 30 men between the age of 20 and 34 is behind bars; for black males, the figure is one in nine."

Again, WOW.

Edit 2012-12-25 from Poughkeepsie, NY

Still wow. I was looking up immigration rates and such today. I love that Canada still brings in a quarter million immigrants a year, and that by 2031 half of all Canadians will have at least one parent born abroad.

Monday, March 3, 2008

I Am Walter's Father: Day 6 - I Am A Wastrel, Pathetic, Redux

Verse six, repeated: I had a horrible night's sleep, and was a mess at 5:30.  Kath was very kind and let me sleep so I would be functional at work. This backfired for her, into a D- walk for the kids. After yesterdays very successful training, the kids were on a horrendous tear - garbage, running around, not attending, you name it.

On the positive side - and there is one - this morning's walk of horror solidified her understanding that we have to discipline Hannah and Walter now, for the payoff later.

I'll be up for the "walk" tomorrow. I say "walk" because the entire earth will be glazed in ice, and I'm not going to be too agile.


I Am Walter's Father: Day 5 - Afternoon

Kath has this misconception about herself - she thinks she's "a bad mother" to the dogs. In reality she doesn't want to be a disciplinarian with them, which I understand; I don't want to be that either. We need to be disciplined, not disciplinarians.

It was a pleasure to see Walter responding to Kath's confidence and presence. He's very stubborn - even Judy, our trainer, had trouble getting his butt to settle in reasonable time. Kathleen was able to get him to respond, obey, sit and stay, and to attend to her very well. Better than I was, actually. Hannah found the whole experience very stressful, but she also had a great time playing and obeying.

On a separate note, did you know dogs love to eat goose-poop? Yeah, neither did I until I noticed that Walter's chin was green while he licked my beard.

Yeah, that's what I said.

I showered for, like, an hour.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I Am Walter's Father: Day 5 - I am a pathetic wastrel

Kath woke me up at 5:30, but I didn't make it on the walk. I can justify - or rationalize - my slug-osity: she needs time with the dogs to show she is top dog. When we all walk together, they (mostly) listen to me. But, really, that is a rationalization. I felt crappy at 05:30 and didn't want to go and Kath let me get away with it and I'm a terrible owner.


Well, not that bad, but still.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

I Am Walter's Father: Day 4 - Why Training is Harder

This post is satirical in nature, and should not be taken literally at all.*

The first day of March. I walk, just past somnambulant, with Hannah's leash in hand.

"Dog training could be the end of us, you know," Kath said, being dragged by Walter. Her tone evokes the feeling I get in my belly when a glass shatters between my bare feet: movement of any kind is likely to result in pain, mess, and quite possibly a limp. A gland somewhere deep in my white-matter squeezes. I'm no more awake, but suddenly, terribly, terribly, alert.

Gingerly, I attempt to place a toe on a bit of floor with no splinters of laceration. I say nothing, carefully.

"If we had children our parenting styles would be very different."

Toe bleeding. Pull back and try new tactic. Perhaps I can leap over the danger...?

"You think that it is a natural right for a dog to run free," I said. "I think that running free is a reward a dog gets for good behaviour."


Why is it, no matter where you are, as soon as there is a chase scene two guys in overalls appear carrying a huge sheet of glass?


The difficult circular reality is that we never have the kind of walk we enjoy if we have that kind of walk now. Training walks have to be tightly controlled, to establish focus and concentration for all parties. Once we have them attending to us - that is, the dogs paying attention to the humans - we can change the parameters of the control, give them much more freedom, and be much more relaxed on our walks.


Special thanks to the father of Dawson and and Grace. We met this gentleman at the corner by Pet Value, with his Golden Retrievers. We stopped to say hello, and to let Walter and Hannah say hello. He talked about how much his dogs enjoyed their training, and that the consistent repetition paid off for many years. By the time we parted ways, Kath was feeling much better about being trained in a training program with our dogs.

*...Unless you were there to hear the dialogue, in which case it's completely true in all respects.

Friday, February 29, 2008

I am Walter's Father: Day 3 - Why Training is Hard

1. Getting up at 05:00 or so. It just doesn't suit me.
2. Worrying about the tasty joggers.
3. Did I mention the 05:00? I can't remember through the haze of exhaustion.
4. Having to be a disciplinarian for the whole time.

We had a couple days off the training, Friday was day 3. Our next session with our trainer is Sunday afternoon. I'll have some more pictures up after that.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I Am Walter's Father: Day 2 - The Training Continues

I'm exhausted.

Walter and Hannah are strong willed, and don't really enjoy the whole 'training' thing - at least, not the way we've started. I think we need to focus on making it more fun for them. I'll ask our trainer for advice.

I'm going back to bed.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Metablogging: Email Subscription

I've added an email subscription box to my blog, so if you're desperate to hear about the happenings of my life you can get emails as well as an RSS feed.


Right, that's it.

I Am Walter's Father: Day 1 - The Training Begins

Training the dogs is just as much about training the people. It's hard to change our habits. For example, I don't enjoy getting up at 5am to go on the morning walk. Have to, though, since neither of us can train Hannah and Walter together - at least, not yet.
The hardest things for me have to do with the things I say, and when I say them. For example:
  • Don't issue a command unless I can back it up;
  • Don't overuse their names;
  • Don't say "good dog" when they're just being dogs - say it when they do something specifically good.
Both of them are already getting better at not pulling, but that's not the big problem we need to address.Walter and Hannah At Work
I had my first look at Walter's tasty-jogger attacks: he takes growling, snapping leaps at joggers, like they're prey. He's already 60 lb, and not getting weaker! That said, Walter hasn't got a chance to pull me off balance - unlike Kath* - so his leap ended mid-air with an ungainly flip and an embarrassing landing. (I had already moved him out of range of the jogger.) That's a behaviour that will change, and fast.
They're still pretty, though!
*Yes, you can read that two ways. Funny, that.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Waiting for Godot

Friday, February 1, 2008

Walking Ft. Lauterdale

Well, not a LONG walk.

I just had a fascinating lunch with some of the BAs I met last night
when I spoke at the IIBA South Florida Chapter event. Good
conversation and a good lunch.

The restaurant is a 10 minute walk from my hotel, and also a ten minute drive.

Yep. Between the lights and the U-turn and the traffic, I was able, on
foot, to cover the distance from the restaurant to the hotel in the
same time it took someone to drive me from the hotel to the

I had was afraid that I might have to fight them off - they looked
like they might try to force me into a car - but ever fleet of foot, I
eluded them and made my way back.

And now, back down to the pool.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Live Blogging From South Florida Chapter Event

It's a real thrill to be invited to speak at an event like this - more
than 120 BAs and others interested in our profession have gathered for
a social dinner, with presentations on a variety of topics.
- Robert Goldman: President, S. FL Chapter
- Myles Cyr: CIO, Carnival Cruise Lines
- Mike Farasy: Director, TEK Systems
- Julian Sammy: Chief Architect, IIBA

Who knew I would see such exhalted company?

I'll post pics after the event (right back atcha, Glenn!) But for now,
time to schmooze.

Julian Sammy
Chief Architect

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I Am Walter's Father: Dr. S Performs a Stinkecktomy

I hate not having a browser on my mobile device (BlackBerry from work) - important questions like the difference between -ectomy and -otomy go unanswered. Both seem to describe the surgical removal or severing of some part of the body, as opposed to -oscopy, which I know is just lookin' around.*

In any case, today's surgery was performed in the O.R. more commonly called "the shower," and the organ being severed was the pungent gland called "skunk to face."
Yep. Waller had his first arboreal encounter with Pepe, and Pepe let him have it. As these things go, Wally was lucky, or Pepe was kind; one small sploit to the face (not the eyes) and the stink was easy to remove with a soap called S.O.S. Seriously good stuff. I did mention to Kath that skunks are nocturnal, and that she may want to re-examine he hours of operation.** Walter spent our special shower time yowling, moaning and generally unhappy, but he was pretty good.

So now I'm on the express bus to a 2h meeting (should just make it) and I REALLY hope that I successfully washed the stink off me, too.
*Definitions based in the terms 'append-', 'lobot-' and 'colon-' respectively.
**I was joking, of course.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Visitor to Morningville

I'm not, as many of you* know, a morning person. It's 9am. Kath has been up for four hours, walked the dogs, cleaned half the house, built a fusion reactor, bridged the divide between quantum mechanics and general relativity, and fixed up the disgruntlements in the Middle East. I made coffee.**

I find myself moving through mornings like a tourist lost in the wrong part of an unstable region: nervous, confused, and hoping to get out alive. Kath is one of the good residents - not one of the fanatical evangelists who blows up and blames the evil night people for our inability to appreciate her time.***

No wonder I love her.

*Okay, both of you.
**Mostly I made the coffee. I ground the beans and put the water in the machine, almost forgot the filter paper - saved that one - then got distracted by Walter and Hannah and forgot to pour the black life-giver. Kath poured it for me. I should add that to the list.

***When's the last time you heard a night person lambaste a morning person for 'wasting the best part of the day'?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A Fun Personality Inventory on facebook

This test was well constructed, and I enjoyed taking it. Seems to have reasonable descriptive power (though the FB version is quite scant on the dysfunctional parts of the profile).

The source site - - looks like fun too. You can display your profile in a DNA bar or a block (which I prefer).

Check it out.