Ten years…how time flies when you’re having fun has been online for 10 years today. I remember where I was on this day back in 1995, in a Seneca College computer lab registering for the site for the first time. I logged in, looked around, and promptly got frustrated enough to not take another look at the site for about a year. See, there's this thing called “usability” which we just didn't know about in the dark ages, and rather than go right to the NHL page to get NHL info, you had to click on “Playing Field”, and then click on “NHL”.

Wayne, the guy who hired me at TSN used to preach about “the rules of three”, which stated that whatever information you were looking for should be no more than three clicks away. The original site definately didn't live up to the rule of threes.

There was no such thing as “persistant login” back in 1995, you logged in to every gateway you wanted to get into. Tables were a new invention, images were still pretty fresh. In '95 I had a 14.4k connection that got me on Lynx at home, I had to go to school to see images on the internet, but even then, that primative web hooked me.

While I was going to school for Television Production, I taught myself how to build websites and how to manipulate audio so I could get it on the internet. It was that experience which got me the job at in 1997.

I love the internet more than ever today, it's my passion, and I know it's my true calling in life. I rarely get the desire to play in the TV and movie landscapes anymore, but I'm always itching to start another website or build a better product online.

I've been at 8 and a half years now, with an 18 month leave of absence. I learned a ton in that 18 months, but I wanted to come back to the place that it all began for me. The people I work with are fun to be around, and work well under pressure…although that pressure is usually pretty light, after all, if we do everything absolutely wrong, nobody will die.

Congratulations You've come a long way baby, and I can't imagine a place I'd rather be right now.


Five Things I’ve Learned About Babies (by Char)

It’s true what they say – you cannot possibly prepare yourself for parenthood. Just over a month ago I was blissfully enjoying my first week of maternity leave. Back in those days, you could find me taking a long, relaxing morning shower, sitting around our air-conditioned house leisurely reading a paperback novel and getting a decadent five to six (albeit interrupted) hours of sleep a night. Even nine months pregnant, I could hop in the car and go shopping for at least an hour before I got tired. Ahh, the good life.

Fast forward four weeks. I still sit around the house for most of the day, except now I usually have a baby sleeping on my chest, preventing me from getting a lick of housework done. Quick shopping trips are a distant memory – I usually go four to five days without venturing past the outskirts of our little suburban neighbourhood. Morning showers have to be quick but at least they provide me with the only alone time I get in a single day. And the only books I read now involve lengthy discussions of baby bowel movements.

But despite all these life-altering changes, THIS is the good life. I love being a mom and holding this tiny life in my arms. I can’t remember a time without Kaylin and I never want to.

So to all you parents-yet-to-be, enjoy your “freedom” but know that parenting will be the most amazing and rewarding time in your life.

With this in mind, here are five things I have learned in the past month that you won’t find in baby books. You can thank me later:

1. Baby clothes sizes are usually wrong. Why else is my one-month old able to wear both “preemie” clothes and clothes for a six-month old? This leads me to assume that all women’s sizes are also wrong and that I am, in fact, a size 4.

2. Baby poop is not as scary as one would think. I’ve even found myself doing a dance of joy at 4 am once when my daughter presented me with a full diaper. You had to be there I guess.

3. Babies know how to behave for company, even at a very young age. My brother and his fiancée still don’t believe us that Kaylin cries. Every time they are over, she is sound asleep and cute as a bug. I’m convinced she’s trying to make us look like liars.

4. Oprah is on, like, five times a day! (OK, that’s not really about babies, but who knew?)

5. And finally, and most importantly, there is nothing better in the whole wide world than seeing your baby smile. Nothing.


A month of Kaylin

On Tuesday at 10:32pm, Kaylin Elizabeth Garside turned one month old. So much has happened in this last month that I'm amazed an entire 4 weeks have passed. Pictures don't do her justice, she's just about the cutest baby I've ever seen…of course I'm probably just a touch jaded, after all, I helped make her and the other half of the recipe comes from her mom, who is no stranger to cuteness herself.

Of course I'm getting it from the relatives for not updating enough, but it's hard to do when you're always with her, and when you're not with her, you're trying to get work done as soon as possible so you can get back to her again.

She's amazing now, her neck is so strong that she can support her massive head for extended periods of time. She's developed an amazing little personality already, and thankfully she is a fairly patient little bean. She smiles a lot (and has for about a week), especially when she sees her mom or I after waking up. She has these little rituals that I just love, like her stretching regime when she wakes up, and her adorable little “honking” noises which we sometimes thing will attract the nearby geese and bring them over to take her to live with them. If she ever goes up missing, the first place I'm checking is under the wing of each and every goose over at the pond behind our house.

She's been a little cranky this week, but she's also growing like a weed and that's likely the cause of her bad mood. Charlene took her to the midwives today, where we found out that she's 9lbs, 9oz. We measured her the other day and she was just over 23 inches long, which means she's gained a pound and nine ounces, and about 2 inches in length…I guess she's got good reason to be cranky!

Even though I say she's cranky, she never stays mad for more than 10 minutes. We've yet to have one of the “all night cry-fests”, although we may be in for a big shock soon.

Every day is a first, and every one of them is awesome. I'm falling behind on some HeadsDown business, and I'm behind on a little side-project I'm working on, but I really am having the time of my life. Heck, I bought the new Grand Theft Auto game recently and haven't even had time to crack it open!

Tonight we had a milestone. Our stove got wet when some rain came in through our fan vent, and it shorted out, so we went out for dinner…our first dinner out since our little K.E.G. came into our lives (other than a night out at Wendy's a couple of weeks ago). It went swimmingly, and Kaylin was awesome in the restaurant.

Every day is something new, and I can't wait every morning to see what the next day will bring us.


Ordering comics online

Just before Kaylin was born I decided to try ordering some comics online. It's kind of hard for me to get to the store sometimes, and occasionally I miss some stuff. I really wanted to check out Serenity (based on the Firefly TV series), and there were a few other comics which had sold out that I was interested in. It was a horrible experience though.

First off two sites I tried wanted to charge me $43.00USD to ship to Canada. This was for a $14.00 order! Not good at all. I finally tried out Silver Bullet Comics, which charged only $7.00 for shipping to Canada (a reasonable amount).

I placed my order on August 2nd and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Finally on August 19th, I got a confirmation email that said my credit card had been charged, and the order completed. I was given a tracking number, and thanked.

I waited a couple of days for the tracking number to take, and put it in at the USPS website. Nothing came back. I tried a few days later, and nothing came back. Tried today…nothing comes back.

At this point I'm not sure what happened, but it's been over a month since I orderd some comics, I've managed to get to my regular comic store, and still I've got nothing.

It's things like this that make me get off my butt and do something about it on my own. All I want is to be able to buy stuff when I want, and get it in a timely fashion. I don't want to deal with border issues, or outlandish shipping charges. I get books easily enough, video games, electronics, DVD's, music…why not comics?

Something's gotta give.