Friday, April 28, 2006

Google gets Goggled

This is interesting. I was working in Gmail this morning but when I switched between accounts, suddenly Gmail was unreachable. My browser just told me that the page I was looking for wasn't available.

Curious, I tried to go to and instead of landing on Google's Home page, I was redirected to a page that warned me my computer was probably infected with Spyware and I'd better go ahead and download this important program. Since I work on a Mac, I was pretty sure that I didn't have spyware. So I took a screen shot of the page, which you can see here (click on the pic for a larger view).

Look closely and you'll see the URL I typed in is really, not

I've run into this sort of thing before. It's a good reason for companies to try to grab all the domain names that are close to their own, but spelled slightly different. Similar rules apply to .ca, .com, .org domains. Your customers might end up with a surprise like this. And if the page they're redirected to is a bad one, they might not bother coming back to your real site.

So it appears that Gmail being down and my ending up at this site were unrelated. However, as of this posting, Gmail is still down. Perhaps another caution that putting your life online with a web service has some serious caveats.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Harry did it his way

The other day, I got a note in the mail from my mother-in-law.

Harry, a dear old friend of her mother's, was gone. His death was no surprise, given that he had just celebrated his 100th birthday a couple of weeks ago.

Harry had lived a good wife, even though he'd spent far too much of it without his beloved Alice, who had passed on many years before. But he was all there, right up to the end, and the story of his final few days is worth hearing.

So, here is the note that his daughter sent out to his friends. I don't think any more words are needed.

Our Dad has passed away

Hi everyone

I know you will want to know that Dad died peacefully this morning. We knew that he didn't want to live after his 100th. I had two wonderful phone calls with him on Easter Sunday, and again the following day. He sounded like his "old self", very positive and interested in what we were doing, better than any calls I had for about six months. Then on Wednesday he said that he was tired of living and wasn't going to get out of bed again. By Friday he was not responding enough to even give him tylenol, and the doctor was called for injected pain relief to keep him comfortable. He went into a coma shortly after.

We can't be upset, because he did have a wonderful life until the last year or so when he really lost all the independence that he was so proud of. He is much happier where he is now, with my mother.

He really enjoyed all the cards and letters he received for his birthday. We read them with him while we were there, and he talked about them in all the phone calls I had since returning home.

I have organized his obituary that will appear in the Victoria and Regina papers.

Dad's wish for many months has been to not have a funeral. All of you that were at his party would be the same ones that would come to a funeral, so I guess we just had it a little early and he was there to enjoy it!

Thanks for being such a good support to our dad.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Angry/negative people can be bad for your brain

I consider myself a happy person. I just can't see the value of being angry about things. Life is full of opportunities, not problems. I like to think I come up with solutions to life's problems, not excuses for why they can't be solved. And I definitely notice the problem when I end up in a crowd of really negative people.

I think being happy is a better way to live your life than being miserable. And today, I'm "happy" to report that someone with a bit more credibility than me agrees with me.

Creating Passionate Users is an interesting blog that's all about injecting passion into what we do. It's written by several people, including Kathy Sierra. It was one of her posts recently, called "Angry/negative people can be bad for your brain" that I want to direct you to.

Here's how she introduced her piece:
Everyone's favorite A-list target, Robert Scoble, announced the unthinkable a few days ago: he will be moderating his comments. But what some people found far more disturbing was Robert's wish to make a change in his life that includes steering clear of "people who were deeply unhappy" and hanging around people who are happy. The harsh reaction he's gotten could be a lesson in scientific ingorance, because the neuroscience is behind him on this one.

I recommend you read what she has to say. It really struck a chord with me and to a certain extent validated some of the things I've come to feel are important rules for me to live by.

One interesting thing I've been doing lately is challenging people when they say they "hate" something. I honestly don't believe that we should "hate" anything. Perhaps strongly dislike is OK, but not hate. I believe that words are powerful. If we use them, they are real. If we are always using war analogies, or talking about "hating" something, we make it real. While we might tell ourselves (and others) that we aren't really serious, we are.

So when I hear someone use that word, I challenge them to think about why they're using it, and whether they really mean it. Now, thanks to Kathy's article, I'll be able to point them to someone other than me to explain why I think it's important.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The day the earth moved

100 years ago today, in 1906, San Francisco was the scene of a massive earthquake and fire which ended up killing 3,000 people. Since then, we've all been waiting for another.

Today, Doc Searls has an interesting personal perspective on the events of 100 year ago, and what it's like living in California with the threat of a repeat always hanging around.

There are a lot of historical articles about the 1906 event on the web. (See here and here and here, for example). And I'm sure there will be plenty more today.

Kind of makes you stop and think doesn't it? Tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, 9/11, suicide bombers -- when they happen, the world changes.

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More on cool guitar videos

OK. Technically, this isn't a guitar video. It's a ukelele.

But just the same, it's an amazing piece of work.

One of my readers sent me this link after seeing my earlier post about the anonymous guitar dude.

So check out this video for yourself. It's kind of long, but watch the whole thing. You will not be disappointed. You will be amazed. And you might wonder whether its ever worth your picking up a musical instrument again. What chance do we mere mortals have with guys like this around?


Thanks to Michael for the link.

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Friday, April 14, 2006

Their circular life

Today's post is of the "That's pretty cool" variety.

I came across this site while perusing my RSS feeds. I could struggle with a description, but I think you'll have more fun just trying it out. You'll need Flash and bit of imagination, but you'll figure it out.

It's Good Friday today, and I'm having a nice, laid back day. Hope you are too. This site should help. Enjoy the long view.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Cue the celebration music!

I promised not to keep talking about this house thing until it was all done.

Well, the sign says it all!

We sold the house last night, and everything went according to our plan.

We put the house on the market, asked a fair price, didn't accept any offers until after the open house, then had several to choose from and took the best one. Seems easy enough, doesn't it? In fact, we ended up getting more than our asking price, if you can believe it.

And best of all, we got the closing date we wanted (August 15) which means that Kelly and I don't have to stay in a hotel this summer! And we sold the house to a nice young couple with a toddler. We didn't really want to sell to investors who would have put a bunch of students in here. That wouldn't have been a nice legacy to leave our neighbours, would it?

Anyway, that's about it. I have a funny story about the trials of getting ready for an open house, but I think I'll save that for a podcast down the road. Now we can resume regular programming in TheDailyUpload.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

We're on the market

This is definitely one of those vanity posts. It has nothing to do with business, or anything like that (unlike the guitar video I posted on the weekend!)

But here's a quick update to our "selling the house" thing. The sign is up front, we're up and running on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and the calls are coming in. We've got four showings booked for the next couple of days and our open house is being held this Sunday. (You can visit our house online here.)

With luck, we'll get someone interested early next week and we can get this thing sold. Then we can get back to living like normal people again.

As I write this, I'm sitting in a very, very clean office, which has never looked so good. Nor has any other room in this place. We've dusted and vacuumed and sorted and thrown away and hidden and - well, if it involves cleaning, we've done it.

I was up until 2 am last night finishing up. Which wouldn't be so bad, except I had to be up to head into Toronto at 5 am! I'm a bit bushed right now.

But it was worth it. The house looks nice. In fact, I think I'm going to miss it when we do sell it. Given the price of houses in Victoria, I'm not sure we'll be owning again for awhile.

But enough about this already. I'm not going to turn this blog into a daily update on Dave's adventures selling his house. I'll report back when we've sold the silly thing. Unless something really newsworthy happens in the interim.

Monday, April 03, 2006

This post is for those who like things to line up properly

My colleague, Michael, pointed me to a remarkable confluence of events which will happen this Wednesday morning. I think I'll have to be awake then just to see whether anything unusual happens!

Michael noticed the original post on Phil Gomes blog which he was reading because I had pointed to it in a previous post, etc. etc. Funny how these things get tossed around, isn't it?

Here's Phil's post (cue the Twilight Zone music):

From My Dad, Re: This Coming Wednesday

Got this in my email:

On Wednesday of this week, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 in the morning, the time and date will be:

01:02:03 04/05/06.

That has never happened before and it will never happen again.

You may now return to your normal stuff.

This moving thing is hard work

I have had great ambitions to blog lately. In fact, I've got a couple of good posts mapped out in my little black book, where I keep my notes.

Unfortunately, we're getting ready to put our house on the market, as some of you may or may not know. And it's amazing how much work getting a house you've lived in for nine years ready for an open house can be!

However, we are getting close. Last week, we had most of it ready for the photographer. The house was supposed to be up on the realtor's website this weekend, but it doesn't actually go on the market until Wednesday. (I'll post the link to the website here when it goes live.)
UPDATE -- Here's the link to the realtor's site. Be sure to click on the "Gallery" link when you're taking the virtual tour for the whole picture package.

So I spent the weekend sorting, cleaning and packing. We've got rid of a lot of stuff and put some more in storage and late last night, I was wandering around the neighbourhood putting bags of garbage out with other people's trash. (We have a 3-bag limit here on trash bags.)

Anyway, that's my long-winded way of explaining why my posts have not been as regular lately. But soon, we'll be back to regular programming. In the meantime, I'll update you on our excellent house adventure as things unfold.

This guitar video is astounding

Paul -- This one's for you. I've been playing a guitar, in one form or another, for over 40 years. But I have never seen or heard anything quite like this. Check out this video and prepare to be impressed.

Thanks to Eric for pointing me to Phil's blog, who is pointing to the YouTube video. That's how this "conversation" thing works.

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