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Archive: December, 2006

----- 12.31.2006 --------
Happy New Year everyone! It's that time of the year where we (or atleast I) tend to step back and take a look at the year that just passed and my life in general. I'm a little more fortunate that a lot of you because of this site. Why's that? Because instead of trying to remember the year that passed, I have documented it. I can simply hit my archives section and take a look at the year. And this one has been a very busy one! Over all, I've been very satisfied with it, but near the end of the year, I seemed to have picked up some very bad habits that I had kicked out of my life in earlier years. The 2 majors ones are smoking and working out. Now when I started smoking again (after having quit for 3 years!), I did not post this on my site. This is not something I want to brag about or share with the world. And it was also something that was "temporary". But as the months went on, it became etched in my life again. Since some time in August, smoking because full-time. Well not any more! I could probably go back about 3 years and read my struggles of quitting. But atleast I know if I've done it before, I can do it again. So, this is something that MUST change in 2007!

The other no-no I mentioned is working out. A few years back, I adopted a steady regime of the gym and working out and somewhere this year, that health train derailed. I MUST get it back on track! I just picked up "The Abs Diet", a book I have often read about in Men's Health. Without my workouts, combined with poor eating, I have packed on some unwanted pounds and lost some of the definition I worked very hard for. Well I want to erase that weight gain and get my mid-2006 body back.... and then I want to achieve a new 2007 body that I have never had before, leaner, stronger, and better then any I've ever had. Sure, these are some of the most common "New Year's Resolutions", but I need to stick to fixing them! Last year I didn't make any resolutions.... I was quite happy with everything. I re-read my archive and saw I was slipping on the workouts around Christmas, but had gotten them back on track. Now that I've been out of the gym longer, it may be harder to get back into, but I have a couple things in my favour:
Time off - This is key in any workout plan, but shouldn't last a few months that I have stretched it to! This means that going back will show me results right away since any exercise will "shock" my body and be something that is new to me. The body responds best to new changes!
Muscle Memory - When I first got into the gym, I had to start from scratch and any gains took a long time to achieve. Now that my body has already reached certain benchmarks, I should be able to regain strength and get to where I was very quickly and I look forward to getting there!

Anyway, 2007 is definately a year for change! So I had a few set backs in 2006, but over all I had a great year. Professionally, 2006 has been very challenging, and rewarding! I've been tossed into a world of politics that my job never had before.... atleast not the big corporation types. It's been a tough adjustment, but one that I've kept my head up on and seemed to embrace, even when the going got tough. I want to continue this and make my 2007 work year better yet!

I just got so wrapped up in New Year's changes that I didn't update on what's been going on lately, so I can get to that now.... that is if I still have any readers left and I haven't bored you away. Regardless, "Future Rob" will be a reader of this, most likely next year when I got back into my archives and compare where I'm at to where I wanted to be. So Christmas was spent in Windsor with Jen & my family and it was great! I took a few days off between Christmas and New Years and have had some much needed rest from the stresses of work. I ended up staying in Windsor longer then expected and came back on Thursday to Toronto. Laura (my sister) drove me back and stayed with us a few days. It's always great hanging out with her! Friday we went and saw the movie Children of Men. I thought it was a great movie! A little dark and depressing, but it kept me entertained the whole time and seemed quite short, which is always a good sign when a movie and take you to another world for a couple hours! I thought it was a very accurate depiction of what could happen in the future, in a dooms-day apocolyptic sort of way. I recommend you see it!

Anyway, that's about all for now. I've obviously been itching to type something and hopefully you stuck it through, if now, there will be lots of shorter updates in the future (and probably longer ones too). Happy New Year to everyone, and good luck on all of your resolutions. Simply put, mine are "Quit Smoking" (again!) and "Get in Shape" (again!). This time next year I hope.... I mean "I WILL" be writing about achieving those goals. Cheers!

----- 12.24.2006 --------
Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house.... Is this where I say "Not a creature was stirring"? Because that sure isn't the case! We're happy to have a zoo full of animals :) We've got my parents' 2 shepards, Laura's border collie, our dog Trixie, Sleeman my cat, and soon to have Nicole' cat cal. Far from "not a creature was stirring"! Anyway, just thought I'd post a quick update from Windsor wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas! Tis the season for friends and family, so get yourself an egg nog, relax, and enjoy the loved ones you've been blessed with. So, I'll keep this brief... enjoy your holidays, be safe, and don't forget to give thanks. All the best to you and your families from the staff over here at robgirard.com! Cheers!

----- 12.12.2006 Update 2--------
YES! I got my november back!. My index was overwritten on December 6th, 2006. Everything prior was copied to my November archive. Unfortunately, I hadn't uploaded the page and then wiped out my computer. Today, being the 12th, was 1 version away from that November stuff. But 1 version too many! So, I check google and they had crawled my page on December 9th, picked up my change from the 6th, and overwrote the prior cached doc which would have been November. I figured I was screwed but realized I had caught it quick enough and might still have time on my side. So I checked the Way Back Machine (AKA the Internet Archive) but it wasn't current enough and only had April 2006 as the most recent. So then I took another stab at it and went to www.live.com which is Microsoft's search engine they are hoping to use to compete with google. Fortunately for me, it's not as up to speed as google and had a cache of my page from December 3rd, whihc was BEFORE I overwrote all the november stuff on the 6th. Confused yet? Don't be! Long story short, I was able to get the data out of their cache to rebuild the page with NO LOSS! Sure, it was a little effort cleaning up their code, but due to the simplicity of my pages (since I'm STILL using notepad to edit my site), rebuilding was easy enough! What a relief! Now that I have an extra external drive (a 160 GB & a 500 GB), I think I'll start cascading backups again, keeping atleast 1 drive off at all times. I stopped my scheduled scripted backups I had made since I was beta testing and didn't want to mess up my "good" data. Now that my code is final... I think I can start it again. Anyway... if you are ever in a similar situation.... persist!!! And remember, Time is your enemy!!! Or best friend... depending on when you caught your mistake ;) K... bed time! Cheers!

----- 12.12.2006 Update 1--------
UPDATE - Have you seen November 2006? Doing my wipe out and install, I missed a couple things from my backup. Sometimes I work off my external disk, and sometimes I work on my local disk. The archives of my site were on my local disk and I lost a few. I figured it would be no big deal since November would be online. Somehow I didn't upload it and now it's gone. If you have it in your cache... please save me. I don't want to ever be wondering what that November of '06 was like... pretty sure it had most of my excited updates about climbing again :( So please, check your caches and see if you can find it for me! I checked Google's but they had already overwritten it with a newer update. Anyone know how to look for specific dates in their cache? Not sure how, but I'll find a way to pay you back if you can get my november back to me. THANK YOU!!!!!

----- 12.12.2006 - Original Post --------
Hopefully this is the last time I have to reinstall my OS at home for a while! I'm getting tired of the backups and starting from scratch. Anyway, today I wiped everything out (again) and installed Windows Vista RTM (release to manufactures...ie. Final Release). Unitl now, I've been running the various betas of vista as it came out... and not without headaches! From the first beta I was running until now I've seen some significant updates! SO far, and I know it's only the first night running it, I haven't had problems. A couple odd devices I have didn't install automatically, but the driver game is par for the course.

One of the easiest things in transitioning has been firefox! I'm running 2.0 and use a lot of customizations and extensions (add-ons). One add-on that is amazing is "FEBE 4.0". It's a backup utility for firefox. I used it to back up my entire profile before wiping out my PC. After installing firefox, I did some switch-a-roos with the profiles to get out of default so it was editable (prog files\firefox.exe -profilemanager). From an "other" profile, I installed the extension, and did a full profile over top of my "default" profile. Then I switched back to default and deleted the "other" profile I had created. What a great job! Everything is intact.... my extensions, my cookie-manager and all my exceptions/inclusions, shortcuts, mouse gestures (which I can't browse without !!!!!), saved passwords... everything! This made reinstalling a lot less painful. Still ahead of me is getting a lot of the other programs back on, but that's expected. I just hope this installation can last me till my next PC, which will hopefully be some time next year. Anyway... all's well over at robgirard.com.

OK, if you made it this far, you're a geek. And if not, you must have been waiting for me to write about something other then geek speak. So, this past weekend Jen & I went down to Windsor to visit my folks. It was my Nana's 90th birthday celebration... but don't tell anyone... her age is a secret ;) And as soon as she's online and reading this... I am so busted. But I doubt that will happen. Anyway, it was a nice trip out of town and the drive was great. The Monte sure is holding its own on the road! I love that car! Anyway, it was a nice weekend and ended WAY too quick. I'm looking forward to going back for Christmas. Speaking of which... it's getting closer and closer to that time I end up not updating anymore so I need to say "Just in case I don't post, Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to all of you!". OK... back to normalizing my PC back to similar to what it was. So far, so good.... stay tuned to find out which of my bug findings they've ignored and released anyway.

One more quick thing... while I was in Windsor I hit Costco and picked up a new home design program with the thoughts of digitizing the new, unbuilt condo (again!). This is my 3rd software package for this. My first one was "Home Architect" and worked pretty good, but it didn't have a 3D object modeler and the furniture libarary was like 10 years old! But it did the trick and you may have seen some rendered pics I did about a year ago. Next was another one... a real piece of crap that I picked up in one of the value racks at "The Source". It went straight in the garbage after install! And this new one is called "Punch! Professional Home Design Suite - Platinum". It looks like it has EVERYTHING I've been after and is very modernized. Once I get it installed (and I was waiting for final release of vista), I'll re-design the new place in 3D and post some renderings. I'm looking forward to diving into it! Anyway... that's all for now. This Thursday is the company Christmas party, which we're all looking forward to. I'm taking Friday off to be on the safe side... as well as about half of the rest of the company! Promises to be a very fun night! K... that's all for now. Ciao!

----- 12.06.2006 --------
And like any other month starts on my site, here it goes: "Wow! I can't believe it's already December!". And to follow that, just like any of my posts lately: "Wow! I've been busy! Busy! Busy!". So, now that we've got basic house-keeping taken care of, on with the post :)

So, real quick recap: Last Thursday - Poker w/ Dave at his buddy Chris's place. I walked out ahead... again :) Friday - Raptors game with my buddy Jamie who I hadn't seen in ages. It was pretty good... and we won to boot. Afterwards we came back to my place and crashed Jen's "book club" meeting. There seemed to be more drinking then reading! Saturday - Took Trixie to the groomers, she looks great! Sunday - Brunch out in Oakville with some of Jen's dog rescue buddies, then into work where I was there WAY longer then the 5 minute conf call I anticipated. Called it quits a little after midnight. Monday - boring! Tuesday (yesterday) - Microsoft's Vista, Office 2007 & Exchange 2007 launch party. It was pretty good... but I didn't win anything in the draws :( Free shirt though... "It's a new day". Today - Update site. This weekend - Friday night cutover @ work then it's off to Windsor for the weekend to celebrate my Nana's birthday.

OK, that's as quick a recap as I'm capable of. Now here's something fun for you.... a Holiday Recipe my buddy Shawn from Winterpeg sent me! Enjoy!!! And although I'm sure I'll update before the Holidays.... just in case I don't, I hope the Holidays find you and your loved ones safe and joyous. Lots of love! Rob

New Christmas Cookie Recipe

1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Crown Royal

- Sample the Crown Royal to check quality.

- Take a large bowl, check the Crown Royal again to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.

- Turn on the electric mixer...Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.

- Add one teaspoon of sugar...Beat again.

- At this point it's best to make sure the Crown Royal is still OK. Try another cup.. just in case.

- Turn off the mixer thingy.

- Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.

- Pick the frigging fruit off floor...

- Mix on the turner.

- If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a dewscriver.

- Sample the Crown Royal to check for tonsisticity.

- Next, sift two cups of salt, or something.... who giveshz a sheet.

- Check the Crown Royal.

- Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.

- Add one table.

- Add a spoon of ar, or somefink.... whatever you can find.

- Greash the oven.

- Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.

- Don't forget to beat off the turner.

- Finally, throw the bowl through the window.

- Finish the bottle of Crown Royal.

- Make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.

Cherry Mistmas!!


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