My Alma Mattar

So I graduated from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, a fact that I don’t necessarily brag about. In fact, I often refer to it as ‘Clown College’ and point to our ever dropping placement in the yearly Maclean’s University Rankings and joke about how my degree becomes more prestigious every year.

The new recruitment campaign, however, is great. I’ve never been more proud.

Kris Warkentin

Tearful Moments

Now I’m the first to admit that I’m probably more easily moved to tears than most.  Heck, there are greeting card and telephone commercials on TV that can get me sniffling.  So I was thinking I’d make a list of a few movie/TV moments that got me bleary eyed and perhaps some of you can add some of your own.  I’ll probably think of more later but here’s a few.

  • Spock dying in the second Star Trek movie.  Sounds corny but the whole, “Live long and prosper my friend,” line had me bawling like a baby.
  • Gandalf dying in LOTR.  I know he comes back.  It doesn’t matter, I still cry.
  • Buffy dying at the end of  Season 5.  She also comes back.  It also doesn’t matter.
  • Roy Batty (the fourth replicant) dying in Blade Runner.  He saved his enemy’s life so he wouldn’t have to die alone.
  • Connor MacLeod’s wife Heather dying in the first Highlander movie.  “I wish I could have born your children.”  “They would have been strong and true…”

There’s lots more but that’s all I have time for.  I’m starting to leak here a bit…

Kris Warkentin

Sexist or just interesting?

So here’s an interesting article that advises men against marrying career women and quotes all sorts of studies showing why it’s a bad idea if your wife makes a significant amount of the household income.

I’m a big believer in not confusing science with gender politics so the question is, are they picking and choosing studies to support their thesis or is there a real basis for concern? My outlook is a little skewed since my mother made quite a bit more than my father for most of their careers and it didn’t seem to be a problem for them. It doesn’t bother me if Sharon makes more money than me but I hadn’t considered the possibility that it might be a problem for her. I guess I’d best get grinding for the benjamins. Baby needs new shoes. No, really….she has a job interview and needs new shoes. 😉
Kris Warkentin


So attempting to take some soft erotica photos of Sharon last night as a way of getting her to stop playing video games and come watch Buffy with me, I noticed a problem with my new lens.  Looking into it, it seemed like there was a crack in one of the inside lens elements.  Fuckity fuck fuck.  Brand new, hardly ever been used and now this.  Most likely a manufacturer’s flaw since I hadn’t dropped it but when things get broken, accusations fly, feelings get hurt, money doesn’t get refunded, etc.

So I bring it to work with me so I can call B&H Photo to see what my options are and, when I get to work, take another look.  Hmmm…the crack seems to have moved over to the side.  There’s actually something in there.  Looks like a piece of glue or rubber or something.  When you tap the lens, you can actually make it slide back into the middle.  So I call the store and all goes well.  They give me an RMA number and tell me to include the reciept for shipping so they can refund it.  I had been worried that they would give me a hard time but it turns out there’s no problem at all.  Good customer service is hard to find but I have no problem recommending B&H Photo for all your imaging needs.

Kris Warkentin

More recipe DB work

So I started hacking the recipe program a little more.  Compared to some of the nasty shit we work with around here, php and sql are pretty darn easy and fun.  I did some graphics work to make it prettier but I also did some backend work, adding the notion of users to recipes so you can track who created it.  Also added a difficulty rating.

I think I might do a little re-factoring of the code too.  There’s a few things that smell bad to me.  For instance, the ‘edit’ and ‘add’ pages have a lot of duplicated code which I’m convinced can be parameterized.   There’s also some ‘cut and paste’ stuff there that really should be made into loops.

Kris Warkentin

Patio Door

So I finally got around to installing the new patio door that had been sitting in our dining room for the past month. It wasn’t too bad on the whole. The old door came out easily and the frame was of sufficient size for the new door. It was a little bit shorter than the old one but the drip edge was wide enough to cover the gap.

Lesson learned: When the expanding foam insulation in a tube says, “Very sticky, use gloves”, it’s not an exaggeration. Once that stuff dries, it’s a permanent part of your skin and most other things it comes into contact with. I’m going to have dirty hands until the top layer peels off. Also, when you’re putting it into an enclosed space, you probably need less than you think. I’m going to be doing a lot of trimming at all the spots the stuff is protruding from.

On the bright side, it was nice on saturday and rained in the evening so it was fortunate that I got it installed and caulked in time. You have no idea how many jokes were made this weekend about caulk and caulking. I think Sharon and I were channelling Beavis and Butthead.

Kris Warkentin


As I posted earlier, I have put up a recipe database. It kind of looks like a fun project so I think I’m going to get involved a little bit. To that end, I’ve created a sandbox and a scratch database so that I can dick around with it and not clobber Sharon’s work. Because she’d kill me. Slowly.  I certainly can’t complain that she asked me to do something and then didn’t use it.  She’s been adding recipes every night and has over 30 of them now in just a few days.
The code looks pretty clean and the database is well designed so it shouldn’t be too hard to put some basic extensions into it. A few things that might be nice:

  • Headings for ingredients. So you can have a ‘sauce’ section and a ‘filling’ section, etc.
  • Picture upload.
  • Display of which user put in the recipe.
  • Shopping list/menu generation.
  • Recipe halving/doubling.

I’m sure there are more things that can be done as well. For starters, I might just prettify it a bit. The current theme isn’t terribly attractive so it might be nice to make some new buttons and stuff.


Kris Warkentin

Recipe Database

So the little woman wanted to put a bunch of recipes up but didn’t like the blog format.  I went searching and found many commercial or standalone recipe programs but not a lot of simple, web based ones with database backends.  In the end, I settled on PHPMyRecipes.   It’s simple to use and administer and fairly full featured.  It’s free and open so there’s also the possibility that I can extend and customize it too.  I’d like to see it support picture uploads and shopping list generation.  It would also be nice if it supported halving and doubling of recipes too.
I’ve put one up here and Sharon has already got quite a few recipes stored in it.  I’ll probably link to it from the front page at some point.


Kris Warkentin

Weekend Work

So Sharon has to work the occasional weekend in her job which gives her a couple days off during the week. I came up with the idea that on one of the days that one is working, the other should make a nice dinner.

So the results this week:

Friday Sharon cooked for me.  For an appetizer she made a baked brie with caramel and walnuts served with batard bread.  For the main course she made pan seared rosemary encrusted pork tenderloin medallions which are then topped with dijon, a basil leaf, proscuitto and mozzarella and broiled in the oven. This was served with a lovely mandarin, almond broccoli salad and white sangria to drink. Caramel ice-cream sundaes for dessert.

I made baked chicken breasts crusted with almonds and stuffed with proscuitto, mushrooms and mango chutney. These were served on two sauces. One was cilantro, mint and jalapeno and the other was roasted red pepper with roasted garlic. An Indian pulau (rice cooked with spices and vegetables) on the side and a refreshing wine, cranberry, ginger-ale spritzer to drink. Dessert was flambeed peaches served on ice cream.

Not easy to decide the winner. I did more in terms of presentation but to be honest, I think Sharon’s was the more delicious of the two. Sometimes simpler is better and I almost think there were too many flavours in mine. When I invent things, I usually use too many ingredients. I’ll have to work on that.


Kris Warkentin