Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Merry Christmas to all

To all in Blogsphere, a very merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Peace on Earth and Joy to mankind.

Have a good one

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow Days, Whoohoo!!!

Lot and lots of snow these days, thanks to couple of snow storms going through the weekend. Started snowing Friday morning around 7 and kept at it till the evening. Around 30cm of snow. Unfortunately had to go to work so, not a snow day for me. Packed in many layers of clothes, went trudging through white powder, braving icy winds. A lot of people at the office has decided to stay home, so the place was like deserted.

A truly white Christmas these days :D


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Niagara Falls

Went to Niagara Falls last Saturday, arranged by the office. It's about 130 km from Toronto, but on these highways, you can get there easily in about 1.5 hours. Covered Welland Canal ship locks and a winery on the way too. The bus that was organized was one of those big yellow school busses, made famous by American pop culture. Frankly our Leylands are better than these.

The first stop was at the ships locks at Welland Canal. This canal is used to take ships from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario and vice versa. Without the lake it would be impossible because of Nigara Falls. The two lakes are at two different levels, with Lake Erie higher in elevation than Lake Ontario, with a height difference of 99.5 metres between them. The locks are used to raise or lower ships going between these lakes. The present canal was built in 1932, which is the 4th in a series of canals built since 1829, and it covers a distaance of 43.5 km. Unfortunately there were no ships passing at the time we were there, so couldn't see the locks in action.

The visitors center is at lock 3, and it is 14.2 m high and 261.8 m long. It uses 93,000,000 litres of water, to lower or raise ships, but only take 8-10 minutes to fill or empty it.

More info here

Pics of Lock #3

This is a pic of a pic, they had at the visitors centre.

The nest stop was at Hildebrand Winery for a tour of the winery and some wine tasting. Since it's already winter, the harvesting was already finished, and the vineyards were bare. The best is a speciality wine called the Ice Wine, which I believe is unique to Canada. Usually the harvesting is finished by November, but for Ice Wine, the grapes are left on the vines into the middle of winter, and harvesting is done around January. This makes the juice in the grapes more concentrated, which gives the wine it’s unique sweet taste. To make sure that the dew doesn’t dilute the juice, the harvesting is done in the middle of the night. The result is a sweet tasting nectar, yummy to the taste buds :) , Which also makes it more expensive than other wines they have.

More info here

Hilldebrand Winery

Vineyard, after harvesting

Hilldebrand Winery

Wall of bottles in the wine cellar

Barrels for ageing wine

After getting our taste buds wet with tasty wine, we headed over to Niagara falls. I'll let the pictures do the talking for that. The falls in itself is awesome, but the whole area is too developed for my taste. I mean it's like the've put a giant water hole in a middle of a big city. Since it is one of their biggest attractions, I guess it's understandable they want to promote tourism and want to develop an industry around it. For me, nature should be in it's natural from. There's nothing better than trekking through a jungle for a few miles to get to a waterfall and a good place relax he he.

the interesting thing to see here is the Tour behind the falls. They have an underground tunnel which goes behind the falls, which is pretty awesome.

Christmas Tree at Eaton Square Mall

Church in Toronto

Full collection of photos on flickr

Friday, November 21, 2008

Jack Frost Cometh

The little white flakes are starting to fall now, covering everything with a fluffy white blanket. Yep, and I’m officially starting to freeze.

It’s a mystery why people want to live here, without moving to the tropics :). Ah good ole SL, how I miss thee…

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Themes for Gmail

Google has done it again, by introducing some funky themes for gmail. There’s a themes tab under the setting. Have fun customizing :)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Santa Clause Diaries

Dateline: Bermuda

I can’t believe its bloody November again. How time flies eh? Another few weeks and its back to work for poor old me. Back to Ho Ho Hoing.

Oh well, no complaints, it’s been a bloody good 11 months, I’ll give you that. Ah…I love Bermuda. Although I admit, things were a bit rocky in the beginning, what with me yacht going up in flames. Man I should have never invited those Olsen twins for the party. They were always on the nice list when they were kids, but now they’ve gone just plain whacky. Them and their crazy drinking games. Anyway who brings a bloody flame thrower to a party? Ah shit, I can’t blame those gals, it was one heck of a party though. As always my man Snoop D came through for me. I mean that weed he brought was so fucking good man. I was high for days afterwards. No wonder I never knew the boat was on fire. When they were yelling “The boat was on fire” I thought it was a fucking new dance step, ho ho ho, bloody hilarious. Well, not the burnt out boat part, but still, it was funny.

Ah loved that boat I tell ya. “The White Witch” served me well in all my voyages, and it sure beats that bloody sleigh. It was my little nickname for Jadis. Ayi she was a feisty one, and I admit it, I loved her very much. Broke my heart when she got blown to smithereens by those so called freedom fighters. Bah… I mean, she only wanted to be the absolute ruler of the Narnia. I see nothing wrong with a bit of dictatorship. Well no more toys for fairy kiddies, I can guarantee that hmph…

Well the silver lining on the whole affair was that it gave me a very good excuse to get me hands on a new boat. Ayi, and what a beauty she is. Nothing fancy, just a nice little 250-footer, Ho Ho Ho. That’s more than enough space to have a rocking good time. Took the advice of Snoop and decided to name her “Bootylicious”, after all, this baby has seen more booty in her lifetime than GW has seen WMD’s in Iraq, Ho Ho Ho Ho… No less than 20 Playboy bunnies helped to christen this baby, and what a party that was. Those gals are definitely getting very nice goodies in their stocking this year around. Aaah… good times, bloody good times. Oooh…that reminds me, must send Hughie something special too along with a nice thank you note for sending them bunnies over. Now where the heck did I put me iPhone, hope it’s not gone overboard like the last ten.

Well.. you may wonder who's doing all the toy making while I'm off gallivanting around the world. The Elves? Hah...those lazy bums haven't done any toy making since they unionized. The keyword here is Outsourcing. I'll let you in a little secret. Know all those big toy companies? Well I have shares in them. I get humans to make the toys and give them back to their own kids. he he what a sweet deal. The elves are limited to wrapping the toys and checking the naughty and nice list. Well that's not much of a job since we computerized the system. Oh yeah, we are moving forwards with the times up there in the North Pole. I knew I was doing the right thing when I gave that Gates kid a Electronics kit all those long years back.

Hey, what's that noise? Oh dammit. Rudolph's gotten himself stuck in the mast again. How many times have I told that boy to NOT fly when he's drunk. Oh yeah, he's got a bit of a drinking problem, and you probably thought his nose is red due to some magical cause. Hah I wish. Well I'll have to start him getting sobered up before the big day, otherwise we'll get stuck in Timbuktu like in 2004. Geesh that boy never learns. Oh well, I suppose I better get him down now.

My apologies to the purists, but couldnt resist myself. :D I mean haven't you ever wondered what the Fat Man does rest of the 364 days?

Monday, November 03, 2008

O' the joys of work!

Oh man it’s been a busy busy week, and I’m really looking forward for some boring days :)

I got straddled with a task to develop a mini site for the client in 7 days. The design was not that bad, but there some complicated look and feel functionality that needed to be scripted. Me and my friend put in some 10 hour days and managed to deliver, so kinda proud of that. The rest of the team was very appreciative of the effort we put in so that makes it ok. The site is here. It doesn’t use flash, and the fading effects are done through the Adobe Spry framework. Ok enough technicalities :D .

I hate working on tight deadlines, especially when it could have been easily avoided. The design for the site was done by a third party design agency and they usually take their sweet time delivering the design. Then again you can’t fully blame them either because there are numerous discussions with the client that happens, since clients are well known for their difficulty in making up their minds he he. So things get dragged on and on and time decreases on what is available for development. They finalize everything a week before the site is meant for launch and expect us to work miracles. That really gets my goat :)

Designers also come up with fancy designs without really knowing development limitation. Most things can be developed, but sometimes you just need more time and sometimes much research is needed too. Then they hand over the design at the last moment and expect us to deliver the good on deadline. That is one reason why the same developers aren’t recommended to do designing, because the developer will design keeping in mind that he/she will have to develop it and will make it an easy one. I can’t speak for others but I’ve certainly done it when I have to do both the designing and development. Take the easy road, so to speak he he. So when third party designers are used, the quality of the design is higher.

In the end, it’s the project managers’ job to get everything properly organized, but sometime, things just do not go the way they are supposed to.

The other irritating part is to make site compatible with the different browsers available, especially with older versions. Sometimes sites that look great with one version might not be the same with older versions. Hopefully users will learn to stick to one browser or version, making our job easier :D

Sadly a wonderful weekend is over and it's back to dreary old work from tomorrow onwards, and the cycle continues.

Adios and hope y'all have a great work week :D

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fashion Sense

They call it hip hop fashion-low hanging pants, but does anybody else think that guys wearing their pants lower than their butts is a bit silly. I don’t get it. You get a pair of pants too large for you and then wear them hanging off your butt, and keep grabbing your crotch to make sure the pants don’t fall off. Why?

Then again why bother with the pants? Skip them all together and go around in your undies. Much more easier.

According to US critics of the fashion says it was popularized by ex-convicts, whose prison clothes came without belts, meaning their pants often sagged below the waistline.

I've seen some them going around over and I’ve seen lighter versions of this walking around on Sri Lankan roads as well. It’s very rare in SL, but it’s there. Hopefully it won’t catch on with our buggers.

Maybe it’s just me, but I find it hilarious, but man... some people a plain craaazy. Oh well, each onto their own insanity :)

Note: the pics are not mine, took them off google :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Man it’s getting colder…brrrr…

The cold is not a big thing, but coupled with the wind, it’s not that great. The temperature was down I think up to 5C during the past week. This wouldn’t bother me much but the only hassle is getting up in the morning is next to impossible to do. He he. All you want to do is curl up inside the blanket and sleep till the sun shines on your back. At least at home mother dearest would make it a priority to kick my lazy ass out of bed and out of the house. :D My roomy’s in the same boat as me. I’m the one who has to wake him up most times. In the end, we usually walk into office around 10:00. Luckily nobody’s keeping time he he :D hmm it’s an easy guess what it’s like during the weekends eh.

Still haven’t had time to do any sight seeing in Toronto, but we’ve managed to go around Mississauga for the time being. Must really do some sight seeing before winter comes a knocking.

Halloween night is nigh and the ghosties, ghoulies, witches and goblins all come out to play. I hope I won’t get gobbled up by one of the undead. Although becoming a vampire is not such a bad deal is it. People seem to be getting ready for it with fervor. A lot of horror movies on TV to keep me entertained :D

Heard the sad news of the death of maestro Khemadasa, a truly gifted musician who has brought fame to our little island. A great loss to the country. Doesn’t it always seem that people who are worth something to the world keeps dying off and the worthless shits just keeps hanging on and on? Karma or whatever you call it, I don’t know.

Leaf covered path

Lonely Tree

A nice place to relax

Getting ready for winter

A green carpet

Oh Canada...

Distant cousins of Daffy's

Stylish bugger with a punk hairdo

Mini muscle cars

Mini muscle cars

Hmm I just noticed, I do take a lot of pictures of tress…and don’t like taking pics of people…Oh well :D

And yes… I bought toys…no correction, scaled models :D

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Life… so it goes on…

Well it’s been two weeks in Canada, and so far so good. We got a nice fully furnished 8th storey apartment with a cool view, with plenty of space. So living it up at the moment. However the apartment is not that close to the office so we have a commute, which is not bad coz there’s a good bus service in town.

Buses go in a strict time table, which is great, unless you miss the bus. They don’t have hundreds of buses racing with each other like in good old SL, where you can catch any old bus any old time. You miss the bus here and you have to wait till the time the next bus comes. Buses are really not for emergencies. It’s really nice to see ordered roads, straight as the eye can see, something we dream of in good old SL.

There are two of us in the apartment and living with someone needs a bit of getting used to, especially for a loner like me. A bit of new territory for me, but luckily I seem have a knack for adapting for anything. May friend is also quite ok and so far no problems.

Had a long weekend, which is quite a rare thing. When there’s a holiday, people take and max out of it. Friday night the two of us had a bit of a booze session and slept till very late both on Saturday and Sunday. Monday went to the T20 finals. This happened coz a friend who lives here called up and invited us out, otherwise me go for a match? Never would have happened he he :D . The whole place was full. Man, there are a lot Sri Lankans and Pakistanis over here. The parking areas were full up, so the cops must have made a nice haul by giving tickets to all the vehicles parked on the roads.

Anywhooo...some more pics.


View from the apartment

Apartment Building

Buildings in Town

Another view from the apartment

Square One Mall

Cruzing on the Highwaaayyy...

Colors of Autumn

Golden leaves

Colours of Autumn

Gates to nowhere