Gone Fishing with Grampa

Lindsay loves fishies, and we had a lot fun last time Grampa took us fishing so we wanted to do it again. Finally we got ourselves together (more or less) and made it out to Rigaud in time for dinner and then some evening fishing.

Fishing with Grampa

We only caught two fish and we had to throw the bass back because it was out of season, but Lindsay seemed to have a lot of fun so I’d call the outing a success!

Thanks Grampa!

Too see all the photos click on the photo above or click here.

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Backups?! We don’t need no stinkin’ bac…DATA ERROR: Abort, Retry, Panic?

As the old adage goes: He who laughs last was checking to see if his backup job finished.

There are plenty of online polls showing that most users don’t backup regularly and I was proud to NOT be one of those people.

So you can imagine my dismay when my portable USB drive failed and I lost a couple months worth files (my backup schedule was burning to CD/DVD every six months).

That incident lead me to purchase a network attached storage device, a ReadyNAS Duo with two 500 GB hard drive in a proprietary X-RAID configuration (basically mirrored). At first my plan was to continue backing up to CD/DVD every six-months – but now I had the added security of knowing my files were being immediately mirrored to the other hard drive in the NAS.

Well the time for backups has come and gone. And gone and gone and gone. It would seem I’m part of the majority who doesn’t do backups now.

Among the many great features of the ReadyNAS is the ability to schedule backups to an attached USB drive (USB DVD burner are unfortunately not supported – by any NAS I’ve looked at). Some of the other great features of the ReadyNAS Duo are the consistently high performance benchmarks, an active community, and an involved engineering group. In particular Netgear (the new owners of ReadyNAS) encourages the development of add-ons and publishes an API as well as instructions on hardware mods – unlike some NAS manufacturers who consider their box a closed system and everything inside is magic as far as you’re concerned.

So now I’m looking at a USB hard drive to backup my network attached storage device. I figure I’ve got three choices to chose from:

  1. The typical USB drive;
  2. A USB to SATA dock where I can swap drives easily (and take one off-site for safe storage); or
  3. Online/cloud based backup service.

From the spreadsheet below we can see the cost of 1. and 2. are relatively comparable. But going for option 2. would allow me to easily swap-out a drive and take it off-site for even more security. The more drives I add to the rotation the more economical it becomes to use a hard drive docking station rather than a typical USB drive.

You can do some easy comparison shopping using the Price Guides from Hub Canada.

Another interesting feature of this spreadsheet is by comparing the Average $/GB column with the cost of online storage we can see how un-economical it really it is. And don’t forget you pay for your online storage every month, not to mention the cost of your ISP access which needs to have sufficient bandwidth for your backups, and the inherent concerns of entrusting your files to a third-party.

The latest ReadyNAS firmware comes with ReadyNAS Vault – powered by elephantdrive.

The pricing of ReadyNAS Vault is bit onerous though: USD5.95 per month for the first 5 GB of data, plus another USD0.50 per GB per month after that. That means your first five GB will cost you USD1.19 per GB – considerably more than what a USB drive would cost you per GB!!! And this is only the cost of the service – it ignores the additional bandwidth fees your ISP might slap on you when you have some big files to backup or the fact this cost is recurring!

So for the moment it looks like I’m going to be ordering a USB hard drive dock and at least two hard drives so I can get back on track and backup my precious photos of my precious ones!

Cross-posted on 2FatDads at Backups?! We don’t need no stinkin’ bac…DATA ERROR: Abort, Retry, Panic?

There’s nothing like the smell of a 2-stroke in the morning!

The downside to Twitter is don’t get context, you don’t get explanations, you don’t get the meaningful conversations that can only happen in a blog (YMMV)! So I thought I’d follow this series of tweets with a bit more background and discussion.

jessmilligan Seems our $50 lawn mower has died. Might be time to start spending real $ on these things.
11:30 AM May 18th from Twitterrific
JohnnyCanuck Shouldn’t you of all peeps have a reliable mower? Tell Sean he can borrow my enviro-electric one of he needs it today.
11:41 AM May 18th from Twitterrific
schultzter @jessmilligan @JohnnyCanuck there’s nothing like the smell of a 2-stroke in the morning!
about 23 hours ago from txt

The thing about all gas powered tools is the inherent safety of a pull-start. At the best of times I can barely start my lawn trimmer after 18 pulls – there’s no way my 2-year old daughter (or any neighbour’s kid) is accidentally going to start it and chop their fingers off. The same goes for my lawn mower and all the other gas powered tools I’d like (chain saw, hedge trimmer, and generator)

I’m all for the environment and clean water and fresh air and stuff.

But I guess my moment of epiphany on gas vs. electric (especially battery, because power cords and rapidly chopping blades were always a bad combination in my opinion) came at a local big-box hardware store. I was shopping for a lawn trimmer and looking at the different models they had. As I took them off the shelf tried them for weight and balance and over-all feel I’d just naturally hit the trigger to see how that felt.

One particular model I picked up was FULLY CHARGED and ready to go!!! You can imagine my surprise – and that of the shoppers around me – when a potentially deadly tool whirred to life!!!

I gently set down the homicidal lawn trimmer, pointed out to a sales clerk in no uncertain terms how bonedheadly dangerous it was to have operational model on display, and then moved on to the gas powered models…

Cross-posted on 2FatDads at There’s nothing like the smell of a 2-stroke in the morning!

No honey, no money!

I recently got a letter from the Liberal Party of Canada asking (begging) me to donate money to their “victory fund.” I have to admit that in the last federal election I contributed to the Liberals (both to Brent Fullard of CAITI fame and out of some misplaced sense of civic duty to my local candidate).

But what did I get for it?! Another minority Conspiracy…uhh, I mean Conservative government and a spineless, headless Liberal party in opposition (in name only). So I’m not ready to give them any more money until I see some action – let them put their mouth where my money is!

My first question regarding the taxation of Income Trusts at the Liberal’s web site, onProbation.ca has recently fallen to second place (not including the votes for all the duplicate questions). It hasn’t seen any action. Judging by the site, none of the questions have seen any action since both the Accepted questions and Completed questions tags are empty.

And now the other forum where I had posted a question to Liberal leader Michael Ignatief is gone completely!!! Not just my question, but the whole forum!!!

So the Liberals better do something about the Conservatives to demonstrate they’re worth my money AND my vote – or next election I’m definitely voting for the Rhinoceros party!

Cross-posted on 2FatDads at No honey, no money!