Monthly Archives: February 2003

Archive Journal Entry: 20030226

Today was a pretty good day. The second day of Ayyam-i-Ha, we had Melanie’s sister, Kristine, their dad, Benny, and his girlfriend, Linda, over for dinner. Melanie made an absolutely fantastic dinner including home-made bread, a great salad, her amazing squash and apple soup, and bruschetta (sp?). The meal was vegitarian, partly for Linda’s benefit. We opened some gifts. Melanie got me the Strictly Ballroom DVD (US$, CA$), one of my all-time favorites. I first watched it at Cory April’s mom’s house in Saskatoon. I’ll have to watch it again very soon 🙂

The other cool thing today was getting together with a bunch of friends from InSystems. I worked there back a little over a year ago from Oct. 2001 to Feb. 2002. Primarily I was working as the software architect for what became their eXterity products. In particular, I worked on their “Magic” authoring product (due to be released at the end of this month). Aparently it has continued to do very well as a project. Anyway, today a bunch of InSystems people came to have lunch with me at an Indian restaurant called Motimahal. The food was good and the company was excellent. It was so heartwarming to see my friends again. A big “THANKS!” to all of you!

Melanie has been reading “The Absorbent Mind” (US$, CA$) by Maria Montessori. She is incredibly inspired by it. I haven’t read it myself, but I certainly hope to!

I have been researching teaching the kids foreign languages. Two nights ago I did a big search for Arabic and Chinese online tutorials. I didn’t find anything amazing, but I did find some beginner material and some source material that I can use to make better stuff. As well, I’ve got to research some language learning methods. In particular, I want to find out more about “The Silent Method” and the “Power-Glide” materials – anyone have any experience with these, please email me. We are planning on teaching French (because Melanie and I know it fairly well), Chinese (because it is part of Melanie’s heritage and we expect our kids will go to China), and Arabic (so that they can read a substantial portion of the Baha’i writings in their original language, e.g. The Hidden Words). As well, the diversity in these languages we hope will improve their thinking skills.

Archive Journal Entry: 20030219

It’s almost 6am and I’m still up. Today has been odd. I won’t get into all the details, but there’s been some good stuff (including getting lots of good work done), and some bad stuff (including struggles with some spiritual disciplines that I am working on). I watched the Matrix (US$, CA$) again. Amazing movie!! Anyway, for anyone who reads this, please send some “assistance with tests” prayers my way!

Archive Journal Entry: 20030217

Here’s a site with a good selection of Baha’i Prayers.

It’s the wee hours of the morning and I just got a phone call. Two weeks ago, I found out that today is “President’s Day” in the USA. Unfortunately, I had already booked my tickets to leave from Toronto very early in the morning. I would spend a day in Jersey City without being able to go into work. Ick. Particularly when I could spend that time at home… So the woman on the phone informs me that my flight (in 5 hours) is cancelled due to bad weather, would I please consider taking another flight? I would be delighted to fly tomorrow instead and at 9:30am instead of the unfortunate 7:10am I normally book myself for! So there it is.

I’ve started to work with PovRay and Moray which are a very powerful combination for doing 3D modelling and rendering. Moray has a similar style interface to 3D Studio Max. I intend to use the two to model and render some of my custom home designs. Melanie and I share a strong interest in architecture and home design. Someday we hope to design and build our own custom home. Some of the things we want in our home: radiant floor heating, large lot preferrably with natural woodland on it, raised bungalow plan, hardwood and stone floors, high quality and detail and moderate square footage, built in bookshelves, energy efficient and extremely environmentally friendly… and more! I’m sure I will write more about this subject in the future.

Archive Journal Entry: 20030212

Today, tucked away in a shelf in a little-visited part of a toy store, I found Lego set #8002 – the “Destroyer Droid”. The box was partially crushed, and opened, but all the little packets of pieces seemed to be in place. On enquiry, I was told that the set was priced at $29.00US. I asked if, given the condition of the box, I might get a discount and a decent 20% was quickly offered. I am now the proud owner of this fabulous model. Over five hundred pieces for only twenty-six dollars (including tax). That’s five cents per piece!

An old aquaintance of mine, Bettina Grassman, has a web site. She’s going to India soon.

I’ve been keeping an eye out for a Valentine’s day present for Melanie, but everything is either really expensive or really cheesy. I suspect that I will have to give her something I have made 🙂

Archive Journal Entry: 20030210

I’m going to try having firesides every Wednesday night at my place in Jersey City. I have to buy furniture first 🙂 Maybe I’ll try Ikea. At the least, I should probably get four chairs and a dinner table. I’d also like a futon bed/couch and a bunch of cushions. A little office furniture would be nice too.

Melanie and I talked this weekend about plans for the 5-year plan. Melanie is going to try to start child friendly devotional gatherings and study circles. I’m going to go to a Ruhi Book One study circle here in Jersey City starting in early March.

This week I’m going to get myself set up so that I have a serious high speed internet connection at home. I will move my servers from Barrie (they are currently with Apexia Voice and Data – excellent people and service, just located inconveniently for me now). I will be getting a 3mbps/640kbps ADSL service from Bell using my current class C IP set. To do this, I need to get a business telephone line, get the ADSL service, cancel my Apexia account, get rid of my current Roger cable (also good but doesn’t allow static IP), and get rid of our residential phone line. All told, doing this will save about $100/month. I’m probably going to have to figure out the transition stuff which could be complicated. I rely on the server for my email so it can’t be down for much more than a day.

Archive Journal Entry: 20030205

Haifa had an adventure today. So for dinner, Kristine and Celine were over. Melanie made stir-fry. Haifa wanted to eat with her chopsticks (I got them for her a few weeks ago) so she did. After dinner, Kristine noticed that Haifa was running around and playing with her chopsticks. Kristine told her to put them down and not play with them. Haifa immediately ran away with them and threw herself down on a pillow. Then she started to cry. Melanie ran over and asked her where it hurt. Her eye! Melanie looked and there was a piece of chopstick sticking out of her eye through her eyelid. Celine asked if she needed to call 911. They decided to drive to the hospital. After a two hour wait, the doctor pulled the chopstick peice out of her eye – apparently, thank God, it had gone in between her eye ball and the bone of her eye socket. Her eyelid bled a bit. The doctor thought that everything was okay. Apparently the piece in her eye was about 1cm long (2/5th of an inch). I guess that’s a pretty good warning to us that we have to pay more attention to safety around the house. Anyone who reads this, please say a prayer for healing so that her eye doesn’t get infected (doctor says there is little chance of that). Ug.

Archive Journal Entry: 20030204

I’ve been forced to work a little bit in C++ and my clearly articulated and carefully considered opinion: RUN AWAY, RUN AWAY!!!!! Okay, so this rant has probably been done to death but really, what’s up with virtual methods? What’s up with the really stupid syntax (:: just doens’t do anything for me!)? What’s up with the stupid reliance on preprocessor directives? What’s up with the lack of dynamic typing and reflection? What’s up with the hassle of separate .h files? What’s up with references????!!! Whoever thought this thing up must have been really really twisted! (And this corroborates that.)

Archive Journal Entry: 20030203

I had a great weekend. Christian and I went on Saturday to get a bunch of stuff out of our storage unit in Elmvale. On the way there and back, Chris and I worked on developing an NSpace class in Java. It will allow for data to be organized along an arbitrary (and dynamic) number of dimensions. It will be a sparse data structure so that not all locations in the space must have data. We’ll probably put it up on SourceForge in a week or two. I’ll let you, dear reader, know when that happens 🙂

As for the stuff in storage, we listened to the XXX (US$) (CA$) soundtrack while we were loading the van. Christian acknowledged my superlative skill at packing (due to my extensive experience with moving) :-/ Lots of good exercise lifting those heavy boxes! We also stopped for lunch and did some development work during our meal.

Sunday was packed with Baha’i activities. In the morning we went to Baha’i children’s classes. I watched Haifa in her preschool “class” while Melanie and Justice went to the senior kindergarten class. We met a few people too. We went home then. Melanie’s mom and grandmother stopped by for tea. Melanie was a bit upset about the condition of the house, what with a bunch of boxes and pieces of furniture all over the place from our storage run. We tidied up a bit and things were presentable. Then in the afternoon we went to the Markham Unit Convention. It was very well run, but not as nice as the unit convention in the SF Bay area last October. I asked a question about the process of reflection on the Ruhi training materials and the methods of facilitation to emphasize the need for putting the training into action. I also privately talked with the delegate about the fact that the world is awash in the excesses of materialism, and that future unit conventions might be better should they include the arts to a substantial degree.

After the unit convention we went on a bit of a drive and looked at some mansions
that are near where we live. The rest of the evening was mostly me getting ready
for being back in Jersey City.