Monday, July 31, 2006

Happy Birthday Sissy

Card's in the mail as usual. In lieu of a timely card, which would most assuredly cause an infarction, how about this blog greeting.

Happy birthday Vicki!

All our love,
Stephen and Tammy.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Painting done, mess remains

All the painting was completed by noon today. Those guys were fast, and really good also. Now the aftermath remains. We're working on tossing and packing the things we don't need, and moving things back.

I have a lot of books to go through, and decide what to pack away.

Shirley is putting up a new blind in the kitchen to replace the ratty old one that was there... soon we'll have to move the shelves and desk back.

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Movie endings

The 50 top movie endings at (via Boing Boing), and a site that will spoil movies by revealing their endings.

Also, something for those people who likes to pick out mistakes in movies. Of course, IMDB is still my definative source for all movie info.

Learning English

I came across Learning English in Canada, a blog by a young new Korean-Canadian who's blogging his efforts to learn english. He's starting by reading The Chronicles of Narnia, a very fun book that I recommend to anyone.

Website change

I've changed the template of this blog. The old one was looking a bit ratty, and since we've cleared and are painting the house, I thought I'd cleanup the blog a bit. No particularly new features, except that the contributors section is now better, and the google ads nicely blended (not that anyone clicks on the ads).

So, don't be alarmed. All is well. You're (probably) in the right place. We just painted a bit.

My library

My library, in a virtual state of order, can be seen at LibraryThingPosted by Picasa

Painting has commenced

Painting day has arrived. We spent the past evening removing all of the plates and pictures off the walls, and moving furniture away from the walls. The painters arrived early this morning, and have started to sand and patch.

The place is a shambles. But that's it when you're painting.

These guys seem to know what they're doing. No fooling around, patch it, sand it, paint it. Having prepared the area for them seems to have sped the process enormously. Dad (my father) is proud I'm sure.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

House update

Well, we've managed to deconstruct and move a desk, buffet, stereo, and futon, plus a massive load of dvd's, knicknacks and assorted odds and ends.

All of this was transported to a storage locker today in a rented van, in preparation for the impending carpet cleaning on the morrow. It certainly is more tidy, although all of the remainders have been stuffed in closets and in un-carpeted areas just to facilitate the cleaning... so it's a kind of false tidyness.

I hope that in our new house we can try and keep the clutter down to a minimum. It's so much nicer when things are kept clutter free. Easier to clean and keep neat also. This said as I type at a desk piled eyes-high with books and papers.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Master Nova

Nova's trying out a new Yoda kinda fashion. I think he can pull it off. He's rather smart, if just a tad too food driven.

The other day we were working on breaking him of his barking habit when the doorbell rings. In just 5 minutes of effort he no longer equated the doorbell with enemy intrusion, but rather with tasty treat rewards. He does now rather drool alot when we receive visitors.

I guess his new getup makes up for it. Nobody would make fun of a drooling Jedi. Posted by Picasa

Garden report

A couple of shots of flowers from the garden. Tam does not like the white ones much, but they're huge and mostly green, and fill alot of space, so I kinda like them. I do admit the leaves look much like those of a week back home. I nearly pulled them the first year.

I particularly like this shot of the purpleish flowers. I planted them, but I no longer know what they are.
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Baby birds, now with feathers

It looks like the bird family is doing well. The little ones seem to have feathers now, and are a bit more active. I saw a couple of them exploring the nest today, and their mom seemed to be attending to them. I'm not sure what the species is.

I just grabbed a couple of shots, and got out of the way. I didn't want to disturb them too much.
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Wednesday, July 19, 2006


In case anyone missed it on the website, I've put my books onto LibraryThing. Basically it's an online library catalogue, and it makes suggestions for books, etc... Richard and I have also done one for our collection at work. Now when I get a new book, it updates my blogs and website to let people know what I'm reading. Geeky fun.

Cautionary note: It's a bit dangerous when you're trying to keep an early pregnancy secret... and you're doing lots of reading in that regard.


The wheels have been set in motion this week for some housing changes. We're looking at painters and carpet cleaners, storage solutions, and clearing out some of the clutter in preparation for listing. We've spotted a potential home not far that we might be interested in. In any case, there's a lot of project management going on at home in the evenings these days. Best to do it sooner rather than later.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

East coast donair

Recently, the donair website previously mentioned in this blog went dark. Since I get a large number of searches seeking donair recipies, I tracked down it's new home. So, for all those hungry for east coast donairs, here be the recipe in it's new location.

To avoid such confusion in future, and to ensure an archive of this most valuable recipe, I have elected to copy the recipe here, noting that all credit should actually go to Glen Petitpas for making them available in the first place. Bless you Glen for your gift of a Canadian east-coast donair no matter where on earth we may be.

The recipes:

Donair Sauce

(adapted from King of Donair, on `Pizza Corner', Halifax)

  • 2/3 cup canned evaporated milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Stir canned milk, sugar and garlic powder until sugar is dissolved. Add vinegar and continue mixing. The quicker you add the vinegar and the less you mix (I usually give the spoon 3 or 4 turns around the bowl), the thicker the sauce will be. Let sauce sit for at least one hour in refrigerator before using. Eventually (hours to days later), the sauce may start to separate. DO NOT STIR IT. Simply skim the thick sauce off the top. It tastes fine, despite the appearance that all the vinigar has seeped out of it.

You should be able to get thick sauce simply by following the instructions in the top recipe. I can get mine a bit thicker than yogurt. Occasionally, I blow it and stir too much and the sauce gets thin again. If your sauce is not thick enough (I like spoons to stand up in it) follow the recipe below. It is my new favorite.

Alternate SUPER-THICK Sauce Recipe (confirmed to be excellent)

  • 2/3 cup canned sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Follow the same instructions as above, except that you really need to stir for a long time to get the condensed milk and vinigar mixed properly. Do not be alarmed. Stirring this recipe for a long time will not make it thin. Leave set for a few minutes and you will be able to turn the bowl upside down and none of it will pour out.

Please note, the amount of sauce provided in this recipe will likely last two servings at most (if used properly). I find that the sauce can be made in larger batches and survives an unnaturally long time in the fridge.

Donair Meat
(adapted from Derek's Place)

  • 3 pounds lean hamburger (triple ground*)
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1-2 tsp cayenne red pepper (depending on your taste)
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

*Try to get your butcher to run the meat through the grinder a few times. A food processor will do the trick also.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Knead for 20 minutes. Shape into two tightly formed loaves. Bake on broiler pan for 2 to 2 1/2 hours at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Cool loaves and slice into thick slabs. Meat can be frozen for future use. If (like me) you are not fortunate enough to own your own rotary-stick-cooker thing like the ones in the good shops, you may find that the inner parts of the loaf are not browned enough. This can be remedied by re-heating the meat in a frying pan. This browns it nicely and gives it that slightly chewier texture.


Heat donair meat in a frying pan. Dip a pita bread in water and fry in frying pan to soften (this is VERY important). Place a generous amount of sauce on bread. Top with meat, chopped onions and tomatoes and finish off with lots more sauce. Put on some old clothes, then roll up or serve open face on a plate. Utensils are strictly forbidden.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Top 10 worst domain names

Check out these very real sites, with really terrible URLs at InfernoXV.

A teaser: Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers can exchange advice and views at


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Herb garden status

We've got at least 2 tomatos growing in the little back garden, and the majority of the herbs are coming along nicely. In the photo you can see the pots that contain some mint basil, several bean plants (note the jaunty flowers), and a couple of minitaure pumpkins. I may have to transplant or remove the pumpkins, they were really just experiments...

I did have some other pots with some other herbs, but the terra cotta pots are crappy for retaining moisture, and I think they've perished. Nevertheless, a decent crop I think. Posted by Picasa

Baby birds

These guys have been making quite the racket in the tree near the house. I could only see one of them in the nest, but I think I hear several. This one seemed hungry.

I've never seen mom or dad bird around, but they must be around somewhere, because these guys have been there for weeks now. I think they're probably just old enough to be emerging, because I've taken several looks in the past, and only this evening did I spy this guy poking his head out occasionally. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Saw II

OK, what was I expecting anyway? The same thing as Saw I... And that's what I got, but less so. As in the first iteration, in Saw II a darwinish serial killer 'tests' people to see if they can overcome their pitiful human failings and survive. Most don't.

It's fine as a rental. I was entertained in the way that a newspaper caught on the wind is entertaining. It really depends ones frame of mind. Compared with staring into the pitch darkness, it was fascinating.

This flick is a bit of a money grab... But if you go in knowing that, it's not so painful.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Where the hell is Matt?

I just love this video. I don't know why, but it's very neat. Matt travels around and takes video of himself dancing (oddly). I'd love to see the places where he's been. Check out his website.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Dead Man's Chest

Went to see Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest today. It was good, but not quite as interesting as the first film. Still, enjoyable, and Capt. Jack is quite funny as the quirky character. What was really fun was knowing the place names that were mentioned, and having recently been to some of them. Particularly the Bahamas, and Tortola (apparently quite a pirate haunt back in the day). Not to be confused with another location in the film - Tortuga. They make good rum cakes.

A yo ho ho and a bottle of rum (cake). Man, that stuff's good.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Just a few flowers from the garden, and the first tomato of the year!

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Expecting baby

For those who have not already heard, we're expecting a baby. It's really really early yet, but the word's out, so we can't really do anything about that. We're very happy, worried, excited and scared. All is well so far.

Baby updates will be available on the baby's new blog. Don't forget to bookmark it. Mommy, Daddy and even baby will be contributing. There are already lots of posts... including today, baby's first photo.

Enterprise Abstraction

I've started a new blog, Enterprise Abstraction. It's really about enterprise architecture and all that kinda techie stuff... Since I've no means other than the web and word of mouth to advertise, I thought I'd give my new semi-professional blog a plug here on my personal blog. So there it is.

In creating EA, I spent alot of time thinking about the name... which makes me think that "The Blog of Stephen and Tammy Anthony" is a bit unwieldy for a blog name. Any suggestions? Perhaps "Ottawa Incognito", "Amnesia Elements", "Elemental Anarchy". I was having a bit of fun with a weblog name generator. Good blog names tend to be a bit odd. Suggestions are welcome.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Privacy and the Internet

Lawful access to telecomunications for criminal investigation is already on the books. When will governments and telecomunications companies understand that no further action is required, particularly laws and policies that allow search without warrant, to enable the protection of our nation? They're probably doing it anyways... but we certainly don't have to make it legal!

Provide, but don't monitor my internet connection Bell! Rogers is looking really good about now. Perhaps that municipal wifi will come along. BTW, I hear Rodgers is offering home phone. Perhaps we don't need phone companies anymore.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Running Scared

Watched the new DVD release Running Scared tonight. It was quite good. I recommend it for those who like shoot 'em up gangster kinda movies. Tam even enjoyed it. Warning the word f#*@ is used 328 times according to the IMDB trivia.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Superman Returns

Tam and I went to see Superman Returns tonight. It was quite good... but did rehash a lot of the old movie lines and information. I suspect that the movie is intended to revitalize the broken franchise, and to reset it's direction. In many ways it was the same story retold... Still, I can't deny that he remains one of my favourite superheros... right up there with Spiderman (whose part III trailer was shown). I guess I'm a child of the 70's.

It's definately not a remake, and the storyline remains quite intact. I must say that I was sucked into the story, and very much enjoyed the renewed Superman. I do wish that Jude Law, Hugh Laurie and Johnny Depp would have played Zod, Perry White and Lex Luthor respectively... they had been considered apparently.

Nova's and his Little Sister

San Diego Photos

The photos are all ready. Geocoded, tagged, captioned, edited, altered and published. I thought that digital photography was supposed to be easy! I guess it depends on how much effort you want to put in. Well, hopefully the results are worth it. I've done this as several batches:
No. The photo to the left is not a self-portrait... but she is a distant realitive. When you look that the chimps, it's amazing how like us they are. Their hands, their faces their eyes... and particularly the way they act. This one requested (through fairly simple and obvious sign language) that a fellow in the crowd should throw an apple he was eating over the barrier to her. The actions were unmistakeable.