The new Rolex website is live

Over a year ago, we started on a brave new project: bring a whole new experience to the Rolex brand.
It’s been a tough year. Countless designs. Several prototypes. A lot of lost sleep. (Not to mention some martial discord as a result of working too much.)
I offer you the brand new and improved Rolex.com website.
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Rankin Family Reunion in Calgary

Last night, we attended what I can only describe as a typical Maritime house/kitchen party. Except without the screech or incomprehensible accents.
Back in the early 1990s, Canada had a brief flirtation with popular Maritime music. While the Maritimes loved the music to begin with, the rest of us uncultured folk had to wait for the CanCon rules to bring it into the public eye.
Along with Leahy (who hit the big scene a couple of years earlier) and Great Big Sea (who rolled in with the tide a couple of years later), The Rankin Family made up a significant portion of the Maritime component of the Canadian airwaves.
I’d heard one or two of their tunes before. Nice, but I didn’t go out of my way to buy an album.
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Disbelieving DRM and copy protection

I don’t believe in copy protection, like I don’t believe in the Easter Bunny or Jimmy Hoffa. It’s a myth that people cling to like a squirrel to a curtain, which is to say they have to because they are unable to see any other way out of the problem.
I pity those people. Living under that rock must get awfully lonesome.
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I need a new watch

I’m a closet watch geek. Sort of like a closet Trekkie, but without the tendency for pointy ears. I’ve been one for years. I’ve had countless watches, including radio watches, pocket watches (I’ve got seven), dress watches (mostly cheap crap, admittedly), a couple of designer watches, Russian watch (sadly broken), and numerous cheapies (which have been both good and bad to me).
Currently, I have two watches (not counting the pocket watches) that I could wear. One is a six-odd year old Kenneth Cole. I bought it mostly because I needed a good watch (for a change) and I liked the colour. Well, the colour started rubbing off and when the battery gave out, moisture got into the interior and pfbbbbbt!, the whole thing went out of commission. I’ll get it fixed eventually, I suppose. Especially since it cost me over $100.
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Kitty in a cone

There’s just nothing so pathetic as a cat that has to wear a cone.
Asia’s whiskers are capped, her ears are muffled, and there’s this strange thing that she can’t seem to back out of no matter how hard she tries. I feel so sorry for her.
But she needs it.
Because we’ve been a little too lax in trimming her claws, Asia got a little overzealous in scratching her ear. One little snick and (what the vet thinks was) a little kitty litter … instant infection.
So off to the vet (I highly recommend the Alpine Pet Hospital here in Calgary). It wasn’t serious, thankfully, and fairly minor. A cleaning, a swabbing, a deep inspection (which was already not a good thing for her) and Asia was ready.
For her collar.
We have to apply a salve to keep the infection down (mostly it’s going to keep her from wanting to scratch) and keep a cone on her for five days. She looks like a furry megaphone.
A very pissed off furry megaphone.
Poor kitty…

The Return of Rivetgirl

I first met Tamara, really, at the Kelowna getaway back in 2000 (see [[Download Overload, the Critical Mass Kelowna Getaway in Westbank]]). As I recall, she did Tiffany at the karaoke night (which created a mosh pit).
At the time, Tamara was in Critical Mass’ Production team, a group who prepared images for use on our websites. Even then, she knew the job was not long for this world. She learned Flash. Which was convenient, since we dropped the Production team sometime in 2002 (I think).
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I want an iPhone

I think I’m in love with Apple.
For years, I’ve wanted a good cell phone. And that’s hard to come across in North America unless you go to Blackberry (in my world). I fell in love with keitais when I was in Japan in 2004 (see [[Turning Japanese Again, Shinkansen to Tokyo]]), and have been envious of that ever since.
Enter the iPhone (and at Engadget).
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Calgary is turning into Toronto

For the record, I don’t consider this a good thing.
My first real opinion of Calgary formed a few years ago when Therese, Stuart, Gerry, and I were merging onto Crowchild Trail one day. Stuart was driving like he did in Southern Ontario: everything is a competition and you need to beat the other guy.
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Slowly letting the cat out of the bag

So a few people know now. We’re keeping it light, mostly because there’s a lot of concern that we might not be able to carry this baby to term. It’s Alex’s first pregnancy, and we know a lot of people who’ve had trouble. There’s no reason we should have a cakewalk of this.
So far, the full list of those in the know include:

  • Colette (one of Alex’s coworkers)
    She kind of figured it out on her own after Alex had a total pregnant-brain moment.
  • Cathy and Craig
    We told Cathy because were trying to get Mom and Janice on the phone at the same time (three-way calling) and needed Cathy’s coordinating help.
  • Tamara (and Dan, by association)
    I told Tamara because I need her help making a video to tell everyone else when the time is right. (And frankly, I thought she could use some good news for a change.) I freely admit that I suck at these tools, and she can do them a lot better than I. She just about cried (I told her at the reception yesterday) and squeezed the heck out of me.
  • Allen and Jean
    We had a belated Christmas with them yesterday, and the last present to them was a card with a copy of the ultrasound. Jean was beyond excited. I’ve never heard Allen that animated. I can tell that they’re both eager to be grandparents.
  • Mom and Janice
    They found at the same moment, once we managed to get them both on the phone (through three-way calling) at the same time. Mom’s already a grandmother, so this wasn’t a terrible shock to her; Janice was definitely pleased with the news.

So why haven’t we told anyone else? We’re mostly concerned about the chance of losing the baby. That’ll be hard on Alex when people ask: “So how’s the baby doing?” Once we’re past either the first prenatal exam on the 25th (if Alex is feeling positive enough about it) or the official three-month mark, we’ll tell the world, of course.
And this entry, and those that came before it, will go public. I can’t wait…

Funeral for Dale Garraway

On Tuesday, 2 January, Dale Garraway passed away at the age of 57. His funeral was today, attended by several hundred friends and family.
I didn’t know Dale all that well — he was still Mr. Garraway to me — but I’m close friends with his daughter, Tamara. She’d been my housemate for over two years and we’ve known each other for about six and a half years. We’ve seen each other through quite a bit.
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When science goes wrong, redux

This isn’t the first time I’ve ranted about this. (See [[When does science go too far?]].)
It just amazes me when people think there’s value in looking at things we know to be dangerous. In a recent posting on NewScientist.com, scientists report that they think there’s value in finding genome sequences that are so dangerous that they don’t even exist in nature.
Could someone please tell me what possible value this would have? Yes, I support science for the sake of science — some things would not simply be discovered if it weren’t for the need to research. But let’s think about practical application here, please?
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It's alive!

Alex went for an ultrasound today. She’s had them before for strange pains she’s had in her abdomen, but this was for something very specific.
As you already know, Alex had a positive pregnancy test on 31 December (see [[Enter: Parenthood]]). That alone was a surprise. It was something I hoped for a lot, but I admittedly don’t put a huge amount of faith in store-bought tests. There’s just something … too easy about them. The big thing for me would be an ultrasound.
Alex had a doctor’s appointment yesterday, and because she works in the health field managed to sneak into an ultrasound exam today. There’s a beating heart in there. Well, the beginnings of one (it’s called a “tube” at the moment). But it means there’s life.
Life that I helped create.
That’s what makes me sit back and really realize for the first time just how much of a miracle life actually is. A few cells somehow manage to merge, and there’s a spark, somewhere, that kicks it all off. A heart starts beating on its own, a nervous system forms and creates pathways for the body to operate. All in a few short months.
Hell, a few short weeks!
Six, to be specific. That shocked us more than anything else. Six weeks already! How the heck we went that long without noticing (you can joke if you like, but you don’t know the truth) is beyond us.
Needless to say, we’re happy. Stunned, but happy. Let’s hope this goes as well as can be.

2006, A Year in Review

Wow, what another roller coaster year. Highs, lows, excitement, disappointment, joy, sorrow, laughter, and pain. Things I regret, things I wish I did, things I wish I didn’t do. Lots of potential, lots of opportunity. And if nothing else, a validation that I do finally seem to understand the job I have and how to do it. It ain’t perfect but at least it’s a start.
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Another Calgary New Years

Y’know, it never seems to fail — just when I think I’m going to have a relaxing holidays, it ends up being a total whirlwind of activity.
Given, there was an upside to all of this: we got to see a lot more family this year than we would have normally seen. The fact that this was due to the death of a family member isn’t so positive, but it certainly could have been worse.
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