Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Apocalypse of the Dead by Joe McKinney

Continuing the zombie and light reading theme, I read another book recently. It was Apocalypse of the Dead by Joe McKinney. It was pretty good, I read it in a few days.

The story takes place around 18 months after the initial zombie outbreak in Houston after a major hurricane. In the first outbreak the government sealed Houston and much of the coast behind a large wall with a sea quarantine. In the book a small band of survivors escape in a boat. Alas there is an infected among them and when the boat comes ashore in Florida it is full of zombies. They swiftly wreak havoc there.

Around the same time the quarantine wall fails and both zombies and some stray survivors bust out into Texas and Mississippi.

The author cuts between a number of different characters in Houston, Florida, Mississippi, LA and other places as they struggle to survive and stay on the move. The characters are drawn to a survivor colony in North Dakota led by a charismatic preacher and his devoted followers. The individual stories come together and intersect at the colony and an interesting conclusion.

The author has written other zombie themed books and this one ended in a way that he could pick it up with another book if he wanted to. Also set 18 months after the outbreak, this book may have been a follow on to an earlier zombie book. I might look for his other books and read them if I see them.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


So after some emails on the blinds from yesterday. It turns out the  person didn't have a car and it was hard to get to Clayton Park by bus. So nothing against the neighbourhood or anything. After some emails it was determined she is in highfield park. I was going to Dartmouth on Saturday so that was only slightly out of the way.

I suggested to meet at the parking lot in Gallery1 but she said she didn't know where that was? That was weird to be in highfield park and not know about the giant furniture store. So we met at the other end in the parking lot of Needs. I got there a couple of minutes early and emailed to say I was there. Then some time past and it was past the meet time. Then I get an email she said she had lost track of time and would be right over. A few more minutes passed and she did show up with someone who looked like her son.

They were glad enough to get the blinds. So I guess I did a good deed helping out someone. And I had nearly just thrown out those blinds. So hopefully they will be useful to her.

Friday, September 23, 2011

tech support

I did some tech support last weekend. An older gentleman I know. He asked me if I could look at his laptop. He described it as the screen wasn't coming up.

Since it was a laptop he just brought it by my place as I have a small monitor to attempt hook up and I have my own wired internet so I could keep this PC open and Google stuff if I needed to.

When he dropped by it was a bit better. Windows was starting and the display was coming up ok. It turns out the issue was he couldn't get to his Yahoo email.

I got him to show me how he gets to Yahoo. It was interesting. His start page was Google. He starts Internet Explorer, then types "yahoo" into the top right Bing search bar. The first search result is of course Yahoo. It was smart enough to point to Yahoo Canada.

So then he clicks the Yahoo link and Yahoo comes up. And from there he was stuck and couldn't get to his Yahoo email. Unfortunately he wasn't logged in any more and the login link was over to the right and he couldn't see it.

So I did a few fixes. I changed the IE start page to ca.my.yahoo.com so Yahoo will just come right up now. I also showed him the login link and after he logged in I set the keep me logged in link. From there he couldn't find the email link it was off to the right. I showed him where it was.

Finally to improve laptop usability I showed him how to maximize the window to full screen size. Also how to use "Control +" to increase the font size to improve readability.

All in all it went pretty well and it was nice to have an easy fix and better setup. It is interesting at times watching and listening to regular users describe their experience with computers and technology.


Interesting email exchange this evening. I had two blinds that I was going to throw away. They were in my apartment when I moved in and I had replaced them with brand new blinds. Instead I posted them free on kijiji. Not much interest and this evening this lady said she wanted both of them. I said fine and said where I was when she asked - the address was also on the kijiji post. Anyway then she said she doesn't want to go here and could I deliver.

I politely declined. Delivery is rare in kijiji as the seller is taking a big risk of no show. Plus since it's free I'm not even making any money on this and will lose money if I have to travel.

Well I thought that was the end of it but she just replied again and says she doesn't like this neighbourhood and can meet at Halifax Shopping Centre. hmmm I wasn't really planning to go there any time soon so it's not really on the way. I suppose I could drop by on the way to the bridge some time. There's nothing wrong with Clayton Park West. She must have some bad history around here for some reason. I'll have to think about this.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Walking Dead

I caught season 1 of the Walking Dead recently. It's another one of those cable series.

It was pretty good. Only 6 episodes. Season 1 takes place outside Atlanta and features the time of the zombie outbreak / takeover and how a band of survivors from a small town manages. The central characters are two of the deputies from the small town and the wife of one of them. The wife and one deputy believe that her husband the other deputy is dead when the town was overrun. As it happens he survived and catches up to them later in their camp in the woods at an abandoned quarry. During that time while husband was believed dead the wife and the other deputy were romantically involved. So that complicates things and creates tension.

There are other characters along the way and since it's zombies there are just swarms of people dying every episode along with new survivors they meet along the way. It was interesting the characters are basically a random cross section of society featuring a racist, an abuser, some weak, average looking, elderly etc. It's not all the brave, strong, and buff which makes it darker. Although there is some eye candy.

It was well written, tense, and compelling. I will watch for season two.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ghost Country by Patrick Lee

I finished another book. It was Ghost Country by Patrick Lee. I was looking forward to this after reading the first book in the series The Breach.

It was pretty good. It only took about a few days to read it. The story picks up two years after The Breach ended. Travis has left Tangent and gone back to obscurity as a warehouse worker with a new identity. Due to an urgent crisis Paige from Tangent recruits Travis to go on another wild adventure to battle sinister forces.

Of course there are the fantastic gadgets from the breach. The story centers around a pair of cylinders which are able to create a hole to climb through into the future 70 years forward; and climb back in present time. There were some other breach entities but not quite as many breach objects in this book as the first.

As usual there are the multiple / alternate timeline themes that Lee weaves very well. It would be possible but harder to read Ghost Country without first reading The Breach. Lee also advances some on the dark events of the future for Travis and Paige that are alluded to in The Breach.

All in all it was an entertaining and a good follow on to The Breach. I believe there are two more books in the Breach series. I'm looking forward to the next title and will be watching for it.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

telling the truth

wow a rare statement of clarity from our own Prime Minister about the biggest threat to Canada. It's nice having a majority and being able to finally speak the truth and no longer having to accommodate the likes of Justin Trudeau and Taliban Jack Layton.

I can see Harper's point considering Islam had an active and dead serious plot to blow up parliament and behead him. Here's the thing. They want to behead you as well.

9/11 a decade later

I remember where I was that morning. In the upstairs dungeon at Core Networks writing code. There was a blip, an odd story flickered by the Yahoo news feed, that a cessna plane had hit the world trade center in New York. Soon the real story emerged and we sat around as it unfolded that terrible day. An enterprising young programmer hooked up a cable tv feed to the meeting room tv. There was an all hands shortly after lunch time and we were sent home.

Don't ever forget what happened.

Don't ever forget who did it.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


So now it's really September. Post labour day, schools are geared up, July/August silly season is done at work with 25-50% of staff out on a given day. Will be steady until December.

Starting to notice a bit cooler in the evening. I remember I used to like September years ago. Maybe I cared more about the NFL starting then. Now I find it a bit sad, the passing of another summer over too soon.

Still September is a new start, more so than new year which is like in the dead of winter. What can you effectively gear up or change in January? No wonder so many new years resolutions fail. Lots happened between last September and today. Some good, some not so good. None of it I would have even predicted or saw coming this time last year. I feel more aware now of things, a better idea how to proceed. The past with its losses and regrets will always be there. But at least now I feel I can do better, be better going forward.

So as usual there's the unknown for the next 4 seasons. Somehow or other I hope to get there from here. Stuff I can't control, stuff I can effect. Personal projects to work on, some a bit more specific and important.


I was trying to eat supper tonight but it was nearly impossible thanks to ATV 6 o clock news. Lead story lice. Second story syphilis. Thanks for the double gross out ATV. Very poor production and editing. I turned ATV off before they made me throw up.

They should have had those stories later in the show when fewer people were eating, also spaced them out more. Also the syphilis story was low content fluff and hardly necessary given there was already a gross out lice story in the broadcast.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

what's the point - still no arrests in Vancouver

It's just a waste of time and taxpayers money adding more video cameras in Vancouver.

Seeing as there are still no arrests from the riot three months ago. Gathering more evidence will just give the government workers an excuse to "study" more data and delay acting even further. It's already probable that if any token arrests for show do occur the criminals can just say, pretty much correctly, that justice was not swift enough and the charges will be thrown out. Which I suspect is what the Vancouver authorities really want. For this to just go away and be forgotten and hopefully not happen again for at least few years or so.