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Twitter’s Server Woes

As I have written earlier, I really enjoy Twitter. Reading some of the political writers post 140 character posts on the campaigns is amazing and a lot of fun. Recently Twitter has had some server issues that has made Twitter a bit unreliable and all over the web one has been reading how awful this was. Maybe because I have been online and dorking around with web services for a long time but a couple hours of downtime isn’t that big of a deal AND isn’t that uncommon.

  • Blogger had some problems with reliability and uptime even after Google bought them.
  • Metafilter used to limit the ability of new people to sign up and actually charged at one time.
  • Flickr had some technical scaling issues before Yahoo! bought them.
  • Typepad had had some rough days as well.
  • I remember when GeoCities was still kind of cool, it went down for a week once.
  • Microsoft lost MSN Messenger at least once that I can remember and I remember Hotmail going down because someone forgot to renew a domain name.

It’s the web. Downtime happens to the best of them.

Random Thoughts

  • I can’t describe to you how cold it is today. When I went outside to go to work today, all I heard was the sound of cars that couldn’t start. I froze my cheeks walking across 19th Street from our parking lot at the Centre to the front door. It took probably 30 seconds to walk that far. As for the guys who stay at the shelter and have no place to go, they get to stay inside all day. Some are watching television, some help clean. I did have a conversation today with one guy who stays here and we both came to the conclusion that those burning barrels you always see homeless warming up to in movies wouldn’t make much of an impact today. Being this cold means that I did a lot interviews about the cold and the shelter with the media today. One reporter that I know phoned up and said, “I am doing the same story we did the last time it got really cold” which made me laugh.
  • David Brooks seems to sum up what I think is wrong with the Hillary Clinton campaign :: Last week there was the widespread revulsion at the Clintons’ toxic attempts to ghettoize Barack Obama. In private and occasionally in public, leading Democrats lost patience with the hyperpartisan style of politics — the distortion of facts, the demonizing of foes, the secret admiration for brass-knuckle brawling and the ever-present assumption that it’s necessary to pollute the public sphere to win. All the suppressed suspicions of Clintonian narcissism came back to the fore. Are these people really serving the larger cause of the Democratic Party, or are they using the party as a vehicle for themselves? :: Here is a bit of the backstory for the article.
  • This is a little disconcerting. An Air Canada pilot has a breakdown on a flight and has to be restrained by crew and passengers. Luckily everyone was alright and the pilot is in a mental hospital in Ireland.
  • This is a long shot but could you imagine the scene in Boston if the NEW YORK Giants defeat the undefeated New England Pariots in the Super Bowl? How would a city that already suffers from a giant inferiority complex handle it if it’s one chance at history was lost because of a mediocre New York team became a team of destiny and not them.
  • As a Toronto Raptors fan it is always nice to read that Vince Carter is destroying the chemistry of yet another team. So much talent, so little competitiveness.
  • Some have asked about the Youth Safe House idea and who was involved. It’s at an odd stage right now because of how complicated it is and how many departments are involved in projects like this. My initial proposal for it was called a “pre-proposal” which later seemed too far along so I called a “pre-pre-proposal” which later I have to call it a “pre-history of a proposal”. Basically right now it is just inviting a lot of different people to explore an idea and if it works, it works.
  • Of course when it is this cold out, there is nothing better than finding someplace warm and putting in a baseball game in the PSP and dreaming about baseball starting soon. While you are dreaming about baseball, here are 23 odd rules about the game.


A couple of weeks ago now, one of the radio stations phoned me up and asked me if the Centre needed warm clothes and gloves and stuff for the guys with a deep freeze coming on. I hadn’t thought of it but it was mentioned in the interview and on the news and other media organizations phoned about it and did their stories. Some churches and schools phoned and e-mailed and they have some stuff to give us.

The result so far is that we have given away for free a lot of jackets, gloves, toques, scarves, and even some long underwear that was donated — some of it brand new, some used to all sorts of people and have outfitted them for winter. Because the staff here knows what stuff we are giving away, we recognize it and our clients around Saskatoon and it is a nice site to see… in some cases these clothes are the only stuff that they own but they are very warm. We give them out in all areas of the Centre so it goes to kids, families, and single guys.

One other thing that has been donated has been some sleeping bags and blankets. We don’t have a lot of street people sleeping on corners in -40 below weather, a lot of the houses and homes are in horrible shape and are freezing cold. The blankets generally go to families who are in living in bad homes and these keep them warm.

So to all of you who called me with stuff, thanks! It is always great to give that stuff away and more importantly, it makes a big difference in some of our clients lives at work.

Gift Giving from

I enjoy Christmas a lot and I enjoy the search for the perfect gift for friends and family.  Quite a few other people pick my mind for gift ideas and here are some of the things that I may be giving or have suggested over the last couple of months.  Enjoy and add your suggestions in the comments.

  • Dissatisfied with what the Canadian government is doing about global warming and Kyoto?  Well you can do far more than John Baird has ever done and install a wind driven turbine and generator.  It also qualifies for free shipping from Amazon (no word on if it is delivered by a hybrid).
  • The War Room: Political Strategies for Business, NGOs, and Anyone Who Wants to Win by Warren Kinsella :: I never give out books I haven’t read myself but all streaks have an end.  I had ordered this from Amazon but Wendy talked me out of ordering it until after Christmas. (I wonder what I am getting under the tree).  Kinsella’s Kicking Ass in Canadian Politics is a oft given gift from me and I gave out a couple copies of Fury’s Hour so I can recommend The War Room
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich :: This is a couple of years old but I found it tremendously helpful understanding the problems that our clients at the Centre face when starting over. Bait and Switch is a good read from the issue of the American dream from a white collar perspective.
  • Sony Playstation Portable :: When these came out they were expensive and not a lot of games to play.  A couple of years later with a plethora of games available under the Sony Greatest Hits brand and a new lower price, these are looking cooler and cooler every day. Star Wars Battlefront is a great game to toss in as well.
  • iPod Touch / iPod Nano :: I have had a chance to play with both of the new iPod’s and I can’t see anyone being disappointed with either one of them.  The browser on the Touch is a lot of fun and would be great to kill some time with in a coffee shop and having an instant on Internet would be a lot of fun.  In the end I think it will come down to if you want to spend the extra money to access your Gmail and the web or just listen to music and video on the Nano.
  • Beyond Magazine :: A four issue subscription can be bought for $30.  Not only do you give the gift of culture but you are also supporting an award winning, independent, ads-free arts magazine
  • Atari Flashback Game System :: Take it old school with an old school Atari system and 20 built in games.  Sure your PS3 has amazing graphics but honor your past and play some Missile Command.
  • Divine Nobodies and Wide Open Spaces :: Both books are by my friend Jim Palmer.  He has been called the next great spiritual writer of our generation.  Time will tell that but both Wendy and I have loved Divine Nobodies.  Wide Open Spaces just came out and I can’t wait to read it.
  • Make someone up some Moo cards from their photographs on Flickr.
  • Anything by Ken Burns would probably make any amateur historian happy.
  • Soul Grafitti by Mark Scandrette.  Another great book of 2007 and one where Mark is seriously looking at what it means to be a Christian… in other words what are the actions of a disciple.
  • Out of TheOoze by Spencer Burke :: In what I hope is a series of books from writers who make up, Out of The Ooze is a collection of love letters to the church from those who are on its fringes.
  • Flip Video Camera :: These are a lot of fun (I have played with one a couple of times) and a pretty good deal for quick home videos and small enough to carry with you every day.

Good Measures

Christians in America spend $20 billion every year on soft drinks.

$13 billion a year would feed every starving person in the world.

Check out this for more information on what you can do. via

Some quick questions

  • Wendy and I are celebrating ten years of marriage this month. Ten years is the tin and aluminum anniversary. I am serious. Anyways, other than hubcaps… do you have any ideas for an anniversary gift? I know diamonds are the modern anniversary gift but she doesn’t want one (last year she read some on the artificial diamond market and that jaded her – as if ten years of marriage to me wasn’t bad enough). If you have any cool anniversary gift ideas, traditional or not, let me know.
  • When you are travelling with your passport, where do you keep said passport? I have travelled internationally before but never with a passport so all of my ID was just in my wallet. Is it safe to keep in your hotel room or should I leave it in the hotel safe (which seems just as unsafe to me – pardon the pun).

The Big Picture

The Big Picture is a blog on the capital markets. I started reading during the recent market meltdown and it is worth your time to subscribe to, even if you are not a market junkie (which I am definitely not)

After Hysteria, Contemplation

James Bow has a good summary of what happened in the three Canadian by-elections. My personal feelings is that this was a disaster for Stephane Dion. His people have a) failed to take control of the party machinery making it very hard to run a competent general election b) aren’t capable of running a by-election campaign logistically or c) Dion has become irrelevant in his home province. Pick your reason but all three are bad for the Liberal leader.

My son sold me out

Wendy has the sad details.

Madeline L’Engle Dies

From the CBC

Born in New York on Nov. 29, 1918, she was educated at Smith College and published her first short stories while still in college.

She lived in Greenwich Village in 1941 and there met her husband, actor Hugh Franklin.

Her first book, The Small Rain, was published in 1945, followed by Ilsa in 1946.

She and Franklin moved to an old farmhouse in Connecticut and operated a general store while L’Engle wrote. The couple had three children.

She published two more novels but didn’t achieve success until 1963, when she and Franklin moved back to New York and he landed a plum role on a soap opera.

That same year, A Wrinkle in Time was published to critical acclaim and lasting commercial success.

L’Engle won the Newbery Honour for A Ring of Endless Light in 1981.

One of her books for adults, Two-Part Invention, was a memoir of her marriage, completed after her husband’s death from cancer in 1986.

Deeply involved in community and church, she also served as writer-in-residence at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York.

Her Genesis trilogy, including 1983’s And It Was Good, 1986’s A Stone for a Pillow and 1989’s Sold Into Egypt are based on biblical characters.

Did Harry Potter survive?

Wikipedia has the plot and ending of Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows. That’s all I have to say about it but if you can’t wait….

Self Portrait

Jordon Cooper as a Simpsons Character

This is me as a Simpsons character from The Simpsons Movie website.

Sticks and Stones

Last night I took Mark to the toy store to get a Transformer. I told Mark that I had Transformers as a kid and he looked at me all confused and said, “Were they made out of sticks and stones?”


Those who are unlucky enough to look like me


May 27th :: Mustard Seed vs. McWorld Resources

Some of the resources that we used for the May 27th Freehouse, Mustard Seed vs. McWorld.