Oh My Dog!

The leaves fall, though more slowly for some trees than others, as though they are not yet ready to yield to the coming winter. A reluctance shared by many. This autumn has been very wet, with a heady scent of damp earth and fallen leaves that waft morning and night. And with the autumn comes Hallow’s Eve and a pumpkin carving.




Before The Internet

Today’s XKCD comic, while funny on the surface, is a little cynical. I was born just before the Internet (I’m a Star Trek baby), though not much before, but certainly before the Web took off in popularity in 1991 (I was already doing email in 1986).

Before the Internet, as a kid I kept myself busy inside with variety of things from assembling plastic models, model rockets, model trains, and board games, to actually playing outside with the neighbourhood kids, skiing, Judo, running.

Later as a teen in senior school we had lots of school sports options of which I competed in track events like 800m 1500m, 3000m, and cross-country and fun runs up to 22Km; I did rugby in winter, rowing, and later basketball in summer. Throughout my youth and university I cycled everywhere I could.

Before the Internet, I bought my first computer, an Exidy Sorcerer, when I was 13. I used an acoustic coupler modem to connect to BBS’s and FTP archives. I had Mattel hand-held electronic games and my brother an Atrai 2600 console. Despite home entertainment systems, we both went outside (without prompting from mum or dad) for activities with friends. I went to lots of movies (Ok, I had to go out to get downtown), my brother went surfing at Bondi.

And when all else failed, I often huddle quietly in a chair and immersed myself in a book, a real physical paper printed book, where I actually turned pages (and got the occasional paper cut).

“And you try and tell the young people today that and they won’t believe ya.” – Four Yorkshiremen, Monty Python


Hard to imagine I neglected to mention this before now, but two weeks ago I published and released my first book, «postmaster@YOUR_DOMAIN_HERE», at the M3AAWG Montreal Night Out. The book is essentially a primer and digest of topics of interest to new email administrators; a collection of topics they should be aware of when managing their email systems.

The contents are freely available online to new and experienced postmasters to consult and contribute. Visit The Postmaster Administration Wiki.

Facist Quebec

I’m disgusted with the PQ (Parti Québécois) minority government of Quebec, Canada. For all intensive purposes the PQ are behaving as facists, with Pauline Marois looking like a Hitler wannabe, and the OQLF are the gestapo imposing their «lingua fascista» agenda and drooling at the possibility of Bill 14 passing into law.

The PQ appear to be intentionally trying alienate English speakers and their potential supporters in order to avoid another situation with money and the ethnic vote interfering with the PQ’s separatist agenda.


The minority PQ government prefers to push their separatist agenda instead of stimulating economic growth, jobs, or fixing corruption in provincial and local government.

The PQ harp on the idea of preserving french language in Quebec, where what passes for french only vaguely resembles what is spoken in France today (I should know after 16 years in Cannes). The PQ fail to understand that evolution will eventually relegate french to history to keep Latin company.

It is really bizarre why the PQ harp on the influence of English in Quebec so much. Outside of Montreal and the US and Ontario border regions, English influence dwindles the further from Montreal and deeper into Quebec you go, yet the PQ struggle to curb it, if not stamp it out. They fail to learn from examples like Switzerland, which has four official languages and manages normally. Or the Dutch, Germanic, and Scandinavian nations who all appear to learn English to near perfection, yet still remain distinctly Dutch, Germanic, and Scandinavian without fear of becoming British colonies.

Maybe the simplest solution would be for Montreal to separate from Quebec and join Ontario.

You left the sunny French Riviera?!

Since returning to Canada, I’ve been frequently asked why I left the South of France. To answer the question of why I left France, you need to understand partly why I left Canada in the first place. It certainly wasn’t about the weather, the food, the wine, and pretty women.

I left Waterloo, Ontario where I was working following university to Le Cannet (Cannes), France where my parents had a villa. My mother had been suggesting for years that I come work in the south of France at Sophia-Antipolis, a technology park between Nice and Cannes. After five years, I had grown tired of the work I was doing with Mortice Kern Systems and was looking for something different. So finally I caved to my mum’s suggestions and moved in 1996. Living and working in France is certainly different.

In 2001 my parents sold the villa and returned to Canada to live in Toronto, closer to my father’s business and contacts, while I opted to remain in Cannes. During the first nine years or so I worked in three different ISPs as a sys.admin. and wrote my own anti-spam software on the side. In 2005 I left my job to work for mysef selling my, now large collection, of anti-spam software. During the first year solo, I was approached by my future partners to develop a comprehensive anti-spam product that would become the focus of my software development for the coming years.

Working for myself was interesting, I created a great product at the time. Though the money wasn’t great, it would have been sufficient without the constant drain by the France gov. hitting me up for “social charges” (professional taxes, health, pension, and URSSAF (something for family aid (no help to a single guy))).

Also during that latter seven years, I was single, working from home all the time, and not getting out as much as I had when I first arrived in France. I didn’t have the regular social interaction of work, of sport, friends, nor a companion to offset the long periods I spent at a computer. It can get a little depressing being by yourself.

Last year (summer 2011), my partners informed me that they would not renew our agreement; they wanted to take the product in a direction different from my original design for which I had strong opinions (we’re still friends though, regardless of business choices). I found myself in need of stable work again, cause once my major source of income expired, the sales from my other titles was not suffcient to live on. The end of the partnership agreement though in many ways was a necessary change; a needed kick in the pants to re-enage in life. Cue job hunt.

Being single and without any ties in France, I was open to moving countries again like to the Netherlands, England, Ireland, or returning to Canada. I’m actually a cold weather person too and missed the regular change of seasons; 300 days a year of sunny weather, mild winters, and stupidly humid summers didn’t agree with me. I’m odd that way. I’ve written blog articles saying as much: The Lost Tempest, A Cuppa For Thor, Tempus Fugit.

Anyway, in a quirky twist of chance and Fate, I found work in Montreal with a company that had tried to hire me three years prior. They spotted me a moving allowance, offered Baka and I lodging, and poof! I arrived in Montreal last June. I’ve been all smiles ever since, even now with the very cold weather. I home and happy again.