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Filed in:Alexandra
Family

The World According to Oop

July 7th, 2007  · stk

It's about time - an Oop Update! Artwork, photos and funny things that our three and a half year-old daughter, Alex, has been saying recently. Just try to keep up with the Oop, we dare you!

The Oop Bends a Knee

I'm driving home with Alex the other day, after having picked her up from day-care. It's a 15-minute drive, one-way, nothing like the two-block walk it was, when we lived in Edmonton. It's one of the things that we're still getting used to about rural life, having to drive so far to get anything, but it does give Alex and I some time to chat.

"Did you have fun at day-care today?" I ask.

"Uh huh," she says.

"What did you do?"

She then provides me with a long - mostly unintelligible - list of things that she was involved in, during the day, from an insightful 3-year-old perspective.

Alex's day-care is in a private home, which, in many respects, is much better than the sanctioned day-care facility we used in Edmonton. The woman who runs it has a daughter that's only 2 years older than Alex. It's nice that Alex plays with an 'older' kid, because it helps her learn faster. There are generally less than 5 kids there, at any given time, so we know that Alex is getting lots of one-on-one attention and there also far fewer germs being spread around. (Alex isn't sick nearly as often as she was at the germ-pit in Edmonton, which means Dad and Mom don't get sick as often too!) Yay!

With Rachel's hectic hospital schedule and picking up the odd overtime shift, having Alex at a private home also means a more flexible day-care schedule. The only thing we miss is the sheer number of kids, which helps with Alex's social development (Alex tends to be a tad bossy and a bit of a control freak). Wonder where that came from? :roll:

Alex goes to day-care, on average, about two times a week (on each of Rachel's 12-hour day shifts).

Anyway ... back to the story ...

So I say to Alex (as I try to make a conscience effort to do, just to let her know), "I love you bud."

"I love you too, daddy."

She's quiet for a while, after this, just looking out the window, watching the sun-dappled Douglass fir and Maple trees go whipping past. Summer has arrived at Yellow Point and the forest comes right to the road's edge, providing a mostly shaded drive, despite the sunny afternoon.

"Daddy?" she asks.

"What Oop?"

"When I grow up I gonna marry you," she blurts out.

"That's nice," I say, surprised at the sudden show of affection, "but I'm already married to mommy."

"She's too fat for you," the Oop says to me, logically positioning her proposal to her advantage (there's not one ounce of fat on her).

While it's true that both Rachel and I have put on weight since we finished hiking the PCT, it's Dad - not Mom - that shows it more.

"Alex, don't you think Daddy's fat too?" I ask, immediately coming to Mom's aid.

"No," she says, "You're not too fat for me, Daddy."

And just like that, I received my first ever marriage proposal - from my three and a half year-old daughter! As strange as that was to hear!

For more Oopism's, Oop-news and photos ... carry on ...

 

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1.flag Sunny Comment
08/23/07
I just came across your page while searching for some CSS stuff but I was completely gripped by something else...gripped by the short and cute stories of a Father about his daughter. Can feel the love all over...cool!
2.flag stk Comment
08/23/07
LOL ... that Internet, eh? What a time-waster!

(Your comment inspired me to re-read my posting, with fatherly affection).

Yep ... you gotta love the Oop! She's pretty darn cute and (for the most part) a pretty good kid. (If you knew her, you'd likely agree).

Thanks for taking the time to comment and I'm glad that the Oop stories have a readership that extends past immediate family!

Cheers,
-stk
3.flag Whoo Comment
08/24/07
Oop is getting big! I feel old. :(
4.flag stk Comment
08/24/07
Whoo!

LOL ... isn't she and aren't we?

(On the plus side, we don't have to worry much about her eating plant food from under the kitchen sink anymore).

It's good to hear from you!

Cheers,
-stk

PS - I'm rooting for you to get your legal fees reimbursed.
5.flag Gran Pilley Comment
09/02/07
Well I guess I have not read the blog for a while - life has been busy. But today I have spent some wonderful time catching up on all your news - the truck - Pugwis and of course our beautiful granddaughter who I miss dearly. Love to you all. Gran. Hope to heaqr from you soon.
6.flag stk Comment
09/02/07
Hey, glad to hear you had a good time!!

Long time, no hear.

Hope to see you soon ... tiny Oop, Mum and bigger-than-(well ...lots) Dad.

May & June SPAM Stats

July 4th, 2007  · stk

Randsco SPAM stats for May and June. Over 45,000 visitors and nearly as many SPAM attempts. Some were successful. Graph, tables & a few oddities that stand out in the crowd are presented. See who broke through the defenses and why.

Barbarians at the Gate

We apologize for May's late SPAM report and we thank those that emailed us, asking about it. We were busy sorting out server problems, because the Randsco website was hit or miss for over a week. SiteGround (our hosting provider) was trying to fix hardware problems on their server. Finally, they bought a brand new server, moved everyone across, then told us we were consuming too many resources! Eye-veh!

Despite technical glitches, Randsco readership hit new highs during May and June, with each month logging over 20,000 visitors! Now that the website is stable again (fingers crossed), we have time to post the monthly SPAM stats. We'll cover the last two months - May and June - in this one report.

In April's report, we said that our perfect, SPAM-free record was broken by a single SPAM message. (Poor Bridget, desperate for human contact, left us a comment in which she said, "I want sex".)

May and June both, have yielded additional SPAM messages, though none quite as compelling as Briget's. By comparison, it seemed like the SPAM floodgates were open. It turns out that it was partly webmaster error and partly spammer success.

Does this mean our blocking methods don't work? How bad was the damage?

To see who's laughing now and why ... read on ...

 

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Updated: 5-Jul-2007
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1.flag Gary Comment
07/06/07
Hi Scott,
Not sure if my emails are getting through to you. If they are then please ignore this.

...but a very big thanks you for all your help finding the bug in my css.
It was nice of you to help me, I owe you one :-}

Gz
2.flag stk Comment
07/06/07
No worries, Gary. Glad I could help out.

-stk
3.flag Glenn Comment
09/03/07
Scott how do I go about setting up what you have for SPAM protection, I got a email today that had my @siegnet.us with some crazy user name in the front. I thought I saw a article you did can you hook me up with a link to said page.
4.flag stk Comment
09/03/07
Glenn,

Are you talking about SPF records? (Seems like that's what you're needing, rather than anti-SPAM).

Check out the article on SPF records and, if so, follow the links to stop spammers from sending their SPAM in your name!

If not, then let me know.

Cheers,
-stk
5.flag Ruud Comment
11/12/07
How about the quotes? It seems you need to enclose the SPF records in quotes.
  Here I still have trouble with Hotmail; I don't even get bounces back but the mails sure also don't arrive. :(

NCFD Open House

July 1st, 2007  · stk

On the day before Canada Day, the North Cedar Fire Department held it's annual "Open House" event. This year, Scott was there to help out and witness the festivities. Door prizes, demonstrations, hot dogs, cold drinks, balloons, a chance to shoot off a fire hose ... what self-respecting kid (ahem adult?) wouldn't jump at the chance to hang out at the hall for a day? Both Scott and the Oop had a blast!

Happy Canada Day!

The North Cedar Fire Department opened its doors to the public, yesterday, from 10 AM till 3 PM. It was a family and community-oriented event, building goodwill and letting folks see what goes on at the relatively new (opened early 2006) fire hall.

There were plenty of activities, including: a Boot Drive (proceeds donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association), barbecued hot dogs with cold drinks, an inflatable 'bouncy' castle, auto extrication demonstrations, fire-extinguisher demonstration, shooting water from an inch and a half spray nozzle, historical displays, climbing aboard the fire engines, free balloons and general exploration of the hall.

Scott was there, all day, talking with folks and manning the Muscular Dystrophy donations table. Rachel, who had worked the night shift at the hospital, the night before, got up early and brought the Oop down mid-afternoon. Alex "drove" the big fire engine, shot water at a target with Dad, bounced in the blow-up castle and stuffed her face with a hot dog. She had a great time.

For more photos ... continue ...

 

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1.flag Gary Comment
07/03/07
Very nice post Scott. The photos are excellent and I like how you have put them in roll of film. It sounds like a very fun day for all the family whilst raising money for a good cause and getting a message about fire safety to everyone there.

You said that the Fire Station in North Cedar was voluntary. How did you get involved? Did you have to do much training or have you always been a firefighter?

I have looked at the North Cedar Fire Department website, very nice.

Gz
2.flag stk Comment
07/03/07
Gary,

Glad you liked the post.

I lived at a fire hall in the United States (two seasons with the City of Davis Fire Department, while attending UCD). Mind you, that was 1980 and 1981, a fair bit ago.

I enjoyed my years at the Davis fire hall and always had it in my mind that I'd volunteer again, whenever I settled down.

Well, here we are some 25 years later and we've only just settled down! I put in my application at North Cedar (and nearby North Oyster) around the first of the year and started in April.

The new recruits are going through our basic training now (First Responders, Air Brakes Course for driving the trucks, live fire training this autumn ... plus lots of on-the-job stuff, under the tutelage of more senior members). We also meet and train on Tuesday nights.

It's a great group of folks, an opportunity to give back to the community and a way to get that adrenaline rush. Shoot, if you lived closer, I'd say, "Why don't you put your name in?"

Cheers,
-stk
3.flag Ann Sutthery Comment
07/07/07
Ok, let me try this again. I failed twice already.

Scott, you never cease to surprise me with your accomplishments! Good for you for becoming a volunteer fire fighter again!

I am glad to see a personal story, all that technical stuff bores me-I may learn something if I took time to read it eh!

I will have to find out your and Rachel's schedules. I am about to start a new pattern a 4x5 it is about time!!
Talk later!!

ann
4.flag stk Comment
07/08/07
Ann,

You'll be happy to know that we're long overdue for a post that is only about Alex (and that I'm working on it right now).

It'll have lots of pictures of the Oop and personal stuff about her.

Nice pattern! You'll have to find time to hop a ferry and visit.

Cheers,
Scott (and sleeping Rachel and video-watching Oop)
Filed in:Site News

Six Days in June

June 11th, 2007  · stk

For the past few days, Randsco.com has suffered through a series of server problems, even accused of overloading the server! Read about our love of shared hosting companies

Shared Hosting Problems Beleaguer Randsco

It may very well be that we have outgrown any sort of shared hosting plan. We have grown weary of suffering through server problems, poor loading speeds, high server loads and sharing a server with 543 "who-knows-what-they're-up-to" others.

For six days in June, we waited for SiteGround.com (our shared hosting provider) to fix a server that was on the fritz. During those six days, our site was up and down more times than even Paris Hilton has experienced (well, maybe I'm exaggerating a tad, but you get the picture).

We monitor server loads and we witnessed loads in excess of 150% (how is that even possible)?

In desperation (and by using MSDOS FTP) we posted a warning to our main page - "Watch out! Slow loading site because of crappy shared server. Stay tuned for details."

At the end of the day, after a new server was obtained and Randsco.com (along with the other 543 other sites) moved to this fancy new, high-speed, better-than-sliced-bread server, we received an email saying that our site was using too many resources. :-/ Gee, were we somehow responsible for the greater-than 150% server load on the old server? I don't think so.

To our host's credit, they worked with us to optimize our website and we're hoping that our server woes are now behind us.

To read all about the sordid affair ... press continue ...

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1.flag Yabba Comment
06/12/07
*cough*enable the search cloud cache that was coded in to stop it consuming to many resources*cough* :|

¥
2.flag stk Comment
06/12/07
*cough* not too random then *cough*

-stk
3.flag Gary Comment
06/13/07
You two need to see a Doctor with those bad *coughs*. Glad to see ya back up and running smooth again Scott.

Gz.
4.flag danny Comment
06/14/07
Again with the 'too may links'! I love it. Are they brain dead?
5.flag stk Comment
06/14/07
Gary - LOL ... yep & thanks!

Danny - "Daim Bramaged", I think. :p
Filed in:Noteworthy

Cooking Oil Fire

May 30th, 2007  · stk

In the U.K. each year, thousands are injured during kitchen cooking oil fires. Some 40 or so people die, each year, as a result. The U.K. Home Office released an effective, public-awareness video, demonstrating the difference between the "right way" and the "wrong way" of dealing with cooking oil fires. It's worth a look. ;)

cooking oil fire

A Public Safety Video Worth Watching

Put out by the U.K. "Home Office" in 1999, this £1.5 million national advertising campaign was aimed at reducing the number of chip pan fires, across the United Kingdom. While the video is now eight years old, the information and message is relevant to ANY stove-top cooking oil fire. It is an amazingly well-done advertisement that demonstrates the volatility of cooking oil fires.

Apparently, Brits like to eat fresh chips (or fries) after drinking beer at the local pub, which has led to a nationwide epidemic of late night cooking oil fires. More than 4,600 people were injured in 1998, when trying to make fries. More than 30% of those injuries happened between 10 PM and 4 AM. As many as 46 people per year die as a result of these chip-pan fires. Sobering statistics, for sure.

In the typical scenario, the drunken Brit arrives home, decides to fix some French fries, pours oil in the pan, turns on the stove top and then passes out on the couch or sofa, awakening (or not) only after the oil is super-heated and on fire. A groggy, drunken person doesn't make for a great fire-fighter and what you see in the video can easily be the result.

Knowing how to extinguish a stove-top cooking oil fire is demonstrated. Follow the 3 simple steps and you've controlled a volatile situation. Make the wrong move and you could be on fire in a split second - or worse - dead.

Use a deep fat fryer or buy your late-night fries at Micky Dee's, but regardless, take 30 seconds and watch this video.

For an explanation behind the volatility of cooking oil fires, carry on ...

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1.flag Gary Comment
05/31/07
LOL Scott at the remark on your blog post: "Apparently, Brits like to eat fresh chips (or fries) after drinking beer at the local pub."

Yes, we like the odd CHIP but tend to use oven chips so not to send the house up in flames in a drunken stuper! :-)

Why does the rest of the world think that us Brits only eat chips? I guess it just an image thats stuck with us ;)

On a serious note, a well spent, 30-second lesson on how to handle a cooking oil fire.

Best regards
Gary
2.flag stk Comment
05/31/07
Gary,

Glad to hear you bake yer chips. Apparently, not all y'all do, however (hence the need for the public awareness campaign).

Don't mean to make Brits out to be a bunch of sotted Darwin-award winners. I just report 'em like I read 'em.) :p

BTW ... the United States has its share of oil, fat and grease fires. There were approximately 156,500 kitchen fires in 2002 (331 fatalities and 4,914 injuries). 88% of those (137,720) were caused by cooking and in 37% of those (roughly 51,000) oil, fat or grease were the first things to ignite. (They don't break it out by 'chip pan' fires, as chip pan is not a common term in the U.S.) :p

Anyway ... if you want lots of stats on U.S. Fires - head here for an index. Here's the report specifically on kitchen fires.

Cheers,
-stk

P.S. - As an interesting follow-up, I'll be adding the reason WHY water leads to such a volatile response.
3.flag Gary (UK) Comment
06/01/07
Interesting follow up Scott, makes you think doesn't it ? so I guess the awareness campaign has done its job. I bet everyone's first thought to put one of these types of fires out is to throw a jug of water over it, not a good idea.

Like the PZ with the separated comments underneath, neat effect.

Gz
4.flag Kenna Comment
07/21/07

Do you know that although it is highly recommended to have a dry chemical fire extinguisher in the kitchen not many people do? They are not expensive and can be used on all sorts of fires including grease/fat. Just make certain that everybody in the residence knows how to use it properly!
5.flag Dude Comment
11/21/07
Everyone should watch this movie ... seriously!
6.flag Karen Comment
08/14/08
Just wondering how I can get a copy of this video into my presentation, I am an FPO and would like to use this video for a kitchen fire safety talk I am doing. I will not have access to the internet and have checked on the Fire Kills website but can't find the video. Can you help me out?
7.flag stk Comment
08/21/08
Karen - Sure. The U.K. government has a great website - "The National Archives". A search for "chip pan fire", returned three pages of links (maybe some are of value to you?), but I noted two:

1) One is a nice PDF document you can print - HERE

2) Another is the April 2000 Home Office Internet page, which has a copy of the video - HERE

Hope this helps. ;)

-stk

8.flag Sayed Comment
03/09/10
The scene of a burning house and building, with children and ladies and many other people and pets inside is very tragic.

Now I have method to extinguishing the fire before it getting out of control.

Thank you.