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KeithSpeak- November 2009




Today is Brett Favre’s return to Lambeau Field in the uniform of a bitter rival. The emotional rift between this franchise player and his former fans is a large one. I can’t imagine the conflicting energies that will be present in that stadium, mainly because I won’t have to, mainly because it just so happens that my wife, Susan, will be at the game today, and when we talk later, she’ll tell me how it felt to be there.

November 2, 2009

Of the billions of websites that make the Internet as broad as it is deep, don’t you ever really just visit a handful?

November 3, 2009

An Alberta man just won the lottery for the 5th time. Two of his previous wins were each for one million dollars, and his current win is for 17 million. Most people would say the man is either cheating or unbelievably lucky. Well, there is no such thing as luck, and a Canadian court just certified his latest win, so what is going on? How can one person do this? Could there be other ways to win the lottery? Gee, maybe someone oughta write a book about that. Tee hee.


November 4, 2009

I hear all this clanging and banging in the middle of the night. I get up and go outside and can tell the noise is clearly coming from somewhere near the top of our property. So I drive up there to find a neighbor with an excavator digging up his field at 3 o’clock in the morning. I ask him what the hell he’s doing. Without shutting down his machine, he yells that he has been trying to get a geothermal contractor to his place for months but they have been too busy. So he never got around to digging the trenches to bury the plastic pipes in, but the geothermal guy called last evening and told him he would be there tomorrow morning at 7. So my neighbor freaked out and has spent all night digging 10 foot trenches in his field. He was probably the same kid in school who waited until the night before the big book report was due to start reading the book.


November 5, 2009

I have to go out of town to look at computers today because this one is morphing from It's alive! to half dead right before my eyes. It took me 5 reboots this morning to get the network up. Phooey on that, you know? Got to explore my options. Ta.


November 6, 2009

Alive, massive, ancient, impressive to the point of awe, this red cedar shows the human being that our minds may be large, but our presence is puny. Puny.


November 7, 2009

Our company was named one of the top 100,000 Internet publishers (It's a joke, right? The top 100,000 Internet publishers? Say what? A list such as this begs the question, Why even bother?), but then I couldn’t help myself, I started writing my speech. All I’ve got so far is, We’re so honored to have been nominated... And then I wondered if we were. Are there even 100,000 Internet publishers? Hmm.


November 8, 2009

It’s something that will occasionally pop into my consciousness in a way that makes me wonder why I’m even thinking about it at all. I don’t want one. I don’t need one. I have never even held one in my hand. But I keep thinking about smartphones. You know how for years everybody has talked of convergence? Your computer, TV, toaster and stereo, all in one unit. You know what I’m thinking? The smarthphone is the convergence tool. For real. If they can only figure out how to put a toaster in it.


November 9, 2009

The value of living on a scenic acreage in western Canada is often underestimated by those not living on one. When you live with open land around you, you make a connection with the planet that you feel in your being. When you live without open land around you, that connection is not made.


November 10, 2009

So I get invited to speak at this conference and the committee chair says, I need to see your speech by such and such a date. And I say, What for? And he says, So I can vet it and censor it if need be. Gak, just DRM in another form. Pronto, I cancel out of the conference. Look, if you invite me to speak and I can’t say what I want to say, don’t bother inviting me. That’s a win-win for everybody, see.


November 11, 2009

Before a business meeting with an adversary, I am warned by at least two people about how intense the guy is.

I asked them, Is he as intense as this lightning strike?


And they both said, No, he ‘s not that intense. So now I know what I’m up against.


November 12, 2009

In the morning, a varied thrush smashed into my office window and died from the impact. I went outside and removed the dead bird to some bushes up the driveway. In the afternoon, I saw two coyotes trotting alongside our driveway, and one of them had the dead thrush in its mouth. We are all connected.


November 13, 2009

This was weird, totally useless and creepy. I have been computer shopping of late. In one store, after talking with a sales person, she politely asks my name. Then she punches that into Google and suddenly, on a 52” LCD TV on a wall in the middle of the store, the search for me is broadcast. She starts clicking through the links. Somewhat perturbed, I ask her what she’s doing. And she says, We like to know a little bit about our customers, and we figured everyone shopping might find it interesting too. What? I told her it wasn’t interesting, but it was weird, totally useless and creepy, and had everything to do with the reason why I’m leaving your store right now.


November 14, 2009

Had this dream where I was the one fully in charge and everyone did as I said. Quite nice, it was. Even today, I have fond memories of that dream.


November 15, 2009

The biggest problem with Luc’s flying bike seemed to be hanging on once it hit supersonic speeds.



November 16, 2009

I had this big thing to do that once I got around to actually doing it, proved to be so big I had to split it in half. So I did the first half and then started into the second half and soon found that that was also too big, so I split it in half again. Well I finished the first half, I am finishing the second half today, and will start on the third half tomorrow. That’s right, this project has three halves. What?


November 17, 2009

Just in case you were wondering, as of this moment, there are 87 days, 15 hours, 10 minutes and 39 seconds left until the start of the Vancouver Winter Olympics. Oh boy!

November 18, 2009

I ran into an old acquaintance who appeared the worse for wear. The intervening years had been most unkind. He looked beat up, beat down, tired and weary. Surprisingly, he said that not all that much was different in his life, but his physical self belied that. Later, I learned from someone else that many horrific and tragic things had transpired in our friend’s life in the years since we’d last met. But I already knew that. You could see it in who he is now. Only the details were missing.


November 19, 2009


Here is Sophie, snoozing on the morning of her 7th birthday. How secure a dog do you have to be to sleep like that?


November 20, 2009

While I was doing backups of my data to restore on the next computer, I realized that I had a huge amount of stunningly old files I had been dragging along with me through every previous computer system. I’m not talking back to Windows 95, not even back to DOS. I have compliers all the way back to my first computer, a machine that ran CP/M. That’s right, I have CP/M files I was planning to take to a new Windows 7 box some 26 years after they last complied anything. Well that’s silly. I purged the lot. Suddenly I’m free, free, I say.


November 21, 2009

I’m at a store to pick up some blank DVDs. There is an older lady staring at the DVD rack. I reach around her to grab a package and she says, What do you think? Do I buy the jumbo pack with 500 DVDs? I guess that depends on how much you plan to put on them, I say. She says, I’m putting every movie I ever bought on them and then I’m going to take a world cruise and watch them all on a deck lounger till I die. I’m 83! she almost screams. I kind of wince. She asks what’s my problem. Begrudgingly, I tell her about DRM. I explain that her movies won’t likely copy. I think she’s going to freak out when she hears that her plan won’t work, but she gets a crafty look in her eye and says, Well, is there some illegal way around that bullshit? Then I explain torrents to her and she lights up, thanks me, buys the 500 pack of DVDs and leaves. I felt like a hero or something.


November 22, 2009

I’ve moved and stacked all the wood, put the chains on the tractor and hooked up the snowplow. I’ve drained water systems, pumps and hoses and put them to bed. I’ve oiled and greased machinery that will sit idle for the next seven months. I’ve even put the heated water bowl out for the dogs. I’m ready for a full on Winter, the kind Canada is known for. The kind where you stay inside in front of the fire sipping hot chocolate and playing board games. The kind where you step outside to deep fresh snow, cool temperatures, and smoke curling out of chimneys into the frosty air.


November 23, 2009


Two massive forces of nature meet. Where one stops, the other begins.

Poetic, primal and awesome to contemplate.


November 24, 2009

The time has come to build our new network. Tonight I will take the current server offline and get everything set up to do the data file transfers and application reinstalls to the new computer. Then I will put the new one online, and probably spend all day updating security patches, installing core applications, updating drivers, finding out what legacy applications will work under Windows 7 and what will have to be run under virtual XP, reconstruct our network, and make sure all the peripheral hardware is operating and being shared. Then I’ll be back here Thursday either oohing and ahhing over the latest and greatest, or bitching and moaning about what doesn’t work and how long I’ve spent trying to make it work. Fingers crossed!


November 26, 2009

The whole computer thing is, how should I put this, wonderful and yet a relentless ongoing peril exists. There are constant driver issues, hardware that won't work, programs that won't load and other tech crap like that. But the XP virtual mode has been totally groovy. After countless thousands of hours of dedicated computing on my selfless part in the next few days, all will be well again. Will too.


November 27, 2009

And what's me verdict? Ta dah, Windows 7 is quite nice. Or, as my friend Peter would say, It's not half bad. I have also managed to finish creating my new world beating social network. At least on paper. Now comes the rough stuff - implementation, coding, database construction and modification, servers and the people that tend to them, and all that that implies. Oh boy.


November 28, 2009

The truth? I got up late and now I'm behind. There is of course waaaay more to say but there isn't time! What's really ironic, is that time doesn't even exist. I know! Later, my pretties. Ta.

November 29, 2009

A beach in Winter has such a different appeal than a beach in Summer.



November 30, 2009

This has been a very nice month. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves.  



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KeithSpeak                                  December 2009


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