Summer Fun

By , August 7, 2010 12:11

PosingEight years later … and summer vacations have changed.  No more sleeping in and relaxing on hot summer days – you can be sure that our three little tikes keep us more than a little busy.  On our anniversary date last month, we did enjoy putting the kids to bed early and enjoying a nice dinner for two with “5 minutes peace and quiet.”  Yay …

Of course the peace and quiet disappeared when we piled the kids and luggage in a van and headed for my little sister’s wedding.  July 23 was truly a spectacular day (an answer to prayer), and the location the perfect Nova Scotia setting.  The flowers for Grandma were in abundance and, typical with all Allan weddings, the tears were equally abundant.  🙂  (Apparently Kylie shed nary a tear under those clear blue skies …)  From Stellarton, water slides and Melmurby fun, we spent another week up in Pennant.  It wasn’t quite a full vacation for me as I worked during the days, but the kids loved the beach, the rock and the visit to the Zoo to visit their relatives.  Ten days on the road brought us back to our Hudson home where it felt good to sleep through the night once more …

No more vacations until 2012 – they’re too exhausting!  🙂


By , July 6, 2010 19:08

The mercury topped 100 degrees here in Hudson today and I finally had enough  … I was steamed with the hosting company.  It’s been close to 8 years that I’ve been hosting the site with the same company and I’ve been very happy with them.  Fortunately (?) for them, they were acquired this past fall by another company and the acquisition plans called for the migration of all the legacy accounts onto a new and updated hosting platform.

New and updated?

It was misery from day one … a textbook example of how to ruin a business.  Doing some quick searches on the web show the disappointment to outright hostility towards the new support plans and platform speed.  I can certainly sympathize.  While I didn’t lose $1000s of dollars as others did during downtime and slow server response, the 1 or 2 people who read this blog every 6 months were no doubt frantic to learn that not only was there no new update, but the site was entirely down.  Being danberall, and always one to stand on principle, the heat did me in.  After 8 long years with WebHost4Life, I’ve moved on.

Eight years?  Something else is coming up eight years next week.  🙂

Outer Banks 2010

By , June 14, 2010 21:16

Allan clanSo this was another wonderful year on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Woo hoo!  There was some question in a few of the families as to whether we would have a place to stay (confirming only 3 days before leaving), but playing snipe-a-house worked out nicely.  Ask Heidi whether my approach to bartering is worth the stress and hassle.  🙂

While the weather was overcast a few of the days, I’m not sure that any raindrops fell except when it was time for the kids to say good-night to their cousins.  As you might imagine, the excitement of the first morning meant that the kids were rarin’ to go at 5:30am. There were hot tubs to relax in, beaches to explore, and swimming pools to be jumped in from the cabana roof.  As the week progressed, the mornings did  manage to push back to nearly 7am as the kids were so exhausted from the schedule that there was no possible way for their bodies to kick start.

Despite the neighborhood being roused and Child Protective Services being notified by people 100 miles away when we started throwing Isaac in the pool (whether he liked it or NOT), the week finished a resounding success as he discovered that jumping in the pool is not the equivalent of waterboarding.  Yay!  It was a long time coming …  Final verdict on 2010?  A success!  🙂

Hosting Nightmares

By , May 18, 2010 11:01

So I have been a loyal customer of my hosting company for more than 8 years now when they “upgraded” me to a new platform.  The result?  Almost 10 days with a broken site, no support and general unhappiness …. Bah humbug!

Goodbye Facebook

By , April 30, 2010 11:10

Tech SupportI’ve had it!  I’ve deactivated my account.  Today was simply the final straw with Facebook.

Ever since last November, I have been seriously upset with the business direction at Facebook.  First they decided they would unilaterally include my name in all search results.  Next they decided that my name, friends, pages and profile picture were publicly available information.  Then they decided that all my Facebook actions and profile changes were automatically going into my profile stream and I had to opt-out and remove these from appearing.  Today, they decided that my interests, work history, and other personal information were going to be public “connections”.  It was too much.

As Director of Security Research for IBM, I like to think I know a little bit about privacy and security.  Privacy is about control.  It fundamentally allows the user the choice over whether information is made public or not.  There is no question that Facebook is slowly (rapidly?) moving in a direction where everything is to be made public to everyone and a fundamental tenant of privacy, control, is compromised.  It’s with regret that I deactivate my account because I did use this as a means to keep up with my family – especially my very communicative sisters.  🙂

“Ironic isn’t it, that you post this information on a completely public blog,” you say.  It’s completely different.  I know this is public.  I’ve had a public website since 1996.  I post what I want people to see.  I have the ultimate control.  OK … I’m done with my soapbox.  Goodbye Facebook.