It’s A Valentine’s Day Miracle!

After much time spent in my attic, discovering just how territorial wolf spiders can be … it is complete. I have moved back in time and and stopped using a wireless connection to connect my server to the Internet. I trudged backwards through the years to a time when good old copper wiring was used to connect machines together on a network, in the local area … a LAN if you will.

I simply got sick and tired of spotty connections, of slow transfer speeds, and, well, of slow transfer speeds. I listen to my music over that connection, and wireless was just not cutting it. I didn’t fall all the way back into the 90’s – I tried to be smart and used Cat6 cabling. This way when I eventually want to move up to gigabit speeds I won’t have to argue with that massive hairy beast in the attic. By the way, I already want to move up to gigabit speeds, in case you were wondering when that would be.

But why should you, the reading audience care? Well, no more slow streaming of music for one. You might find the site snappier and more responsive. No more unexpected periods of downtime either (whcih happened when someone stood in front of the server/TV – seriously). Essentially it should now behave like a server, rather than a roaming wacko machine.

Personally, I’m excited. But then I survived the trials with the black demon in the attic, so life just seems to be sweeter in every aspect going forward.

The Recurring Joke Largely Continues

During his excellent speech at our wedding, Alisa’s father Ron joked about their first impression of me (they being him and Alisa’s brother Rob): “Well – he’s big.” Since then this joke has come up time and again to everyone’ merriment (no sarcasm here – honestly). Large socks at Christmas, that kind of thing.

Well today it came up again when I was looking at my website access logs. One of the more interesting things is looking at what search terms people are using to arrive at my site. When you type something into Google and then click on the result, the site you go to learns what search term you used to find them – just in case you weren’t paranoid enough about your surfing habits already. What’s the connection with large things? Here are the top 10 search terms for July

July’s Top 10 Search Terms for

As an aside, the sonogram stuff I can understand as I posted fairly prolifically about Marley and the sonogram we have of her. The Pete is actually part of a search for “Pete Samples”, a Canadian musician I’ve written about and enjoyed. You can see how an idle mind could find this interesting, and largely amusing.


For those of you who noticed that theBside was down for a few days there, I apologize. The power supply on the server took in too much juice and overheated, about 8 hours before my taxi arrived for my trip to Boulder. I resolved the problem once I got home so I’m sorry if some kind of vital service was disrupted here.

All I know is I wasn’t able to record Lost last week. It’s OK everyone, I’ve managed to catch up – but thanks for the concern.

Testing Video Codecs – What Is Working For You?

As we’re finally figuring out how to take video from our camera, resize it down for web access, and post it here and I am finding it quite bewildering as to the options involved in video capture and display. As an example, look at the Wikipedia article on Xvid – that chart down the bottom actually simplifies things!

So in that spirit, I’d like to hear who can play what. I have a choice to make and I want to choose a video format that most people can play. My platform naturally lets me play pretty much anything, but I understand you poor Windows users are having trouble. So please, let me know in comments which videos work for you below.

Xvid video (2.3 MB)

MPEG-4 video (2.2 MB)

Well, it seems Windows users will need to install the Xvid codec in order to view the videos. Xvid is a free, open source alternative to DivX, a proprietary and popular video codec. Feel free to install DivX if you want, but given the choice I’m going to stick to Xvid. You can download a Windows and MacOS plugin here.

Holy Cow! theBside is 2!

Wow, I realized today that theBside just turned 2 years old a few days ago!

2 wonderfully irreverent and meaningless years behind me … what do I plan to do? Oh, the possibilities!

First up is a theme change – now who among you are really surprised by this? I thought not.

Truly a new bold direction, taking the lead in legitimate and informative blogging. Wait – aren’t some of those terms contradictory?

Wow, What A Couple Of Weeks!

You may or may not have noticed that it has been almost two weeks since my last post, and that this site has been intermittently available over the last week and a half. Well there’s good reason, I swear – and it has nothing to do with my relative level of laziness!

  • The Lower Mainland (Vancouver and its surrounding burbs) was beaten about severely by the remnants of Typhoon Cimaron as it decided to slap us around a bit after passing through the Philippines. As a result over 120,000 homes were without power for at least a day, often several. Our house was without power for over 24 hours – which made for a cold night!
  • The storm seemed to have a negative effect on our house’s electric system as we are now experiencing power loss whenever we turn on large-draw machines such as the clothes dryer. So we need to get an electrician in to check things out – yay!
  • We subscribe to Shaw Phone rather than using Telus’s land-line, which also meant that for the better part of last week we were without a working phone at home – and I will certainly be talking to Shaw about that. This new service of theirs may not be as reliable as they would have us believe.
  • The water system in the Lower Mainland was put on a boil water advisory last week too thanks to the storm’s affect on the water reservoirs. Luckily White Rock wasn’t affected but that wasn’t clear to us for a day or so. However some cities are still on the advisory, and people are starting to get nasty to each other.
  • We also have been trying to sell our Mazda 626 as we’ve budgeted for that money when buying the new truck. Saturday I think we’ve found a buyer, but nothing’s written down yet.
  • I also tested for my black belt in Taekwondo on Saturday.
  • Marley’s eating solids and has a few 6-month-old pictures up.

Basically its been a really hectic and stressful few weeks. Now that things seem to be settling down again maybe I can start returning all those phone calls we missed during the outage.

You have no new messages

Oh … OK then. Back to work I guess.