October 2004
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The UPA is back in town

October 30, 2004

The UPA National Championships were back in town at the Polo fields. 60 teams, 40 fields, over a 1000 players were in town to take part ... and among them at least two from Vancouver and two Ottawa/Toronto (thought I saw one more but I could be wrong). At last check the Vancouver women's team (Prime) and Vancouver men's team (Furious George) had both made it into the semi ... though Furious was trailing 10-7 when we had to head out. But it seems they eventually lost the game 15-11, according to the official results ... and so ends their two year winning streak. But there is always next year. The good news, Prime did make the finals winning 14-11 over Lady Godiva.

Posted by csb at 4:50 PM


Great shots!! Too bad about Furious losing out to Jam -- would have been fun to start a Canadian dynasty. :) Looking forward to watching the Prime game though -- awesome they made it to the finals, don't think they made it nearly that far last year.

Posted by: Krishen at October 30, 2004 8:59 PM

I'm truly sorry you had to miss the rest of that Furious game! But as you so eloquently put it, "that's why I'm married and you're single".

GLUM (masters?) and GOAT (open?) are from the TO/Ottawa area I think. I'd have to check the program at home.

Posted by: Darren at November 2, 2004 2:15 PM

End of a trimester

October 29, 2004

Marking the last day of the first trimester

Shorts, pants ... and well anything that has a non-stretchable waistline is feeling "tight". For the most part, morning sickness seems to be a thing of the past but now "we" are more grumpy, tired, and sore. But "I" am dealing well with that ... "remember; a smile takes less muscles than a frown". Truthfully, this is a really exciting time for both of us. Melissa is just barely starting to show and her daily sickness has dramatically decreased which means we are a little more active again. We are 1/3 of the way ... wow, how time flies.

Now fully-loaded, Mr/Ms baby is approximately 3 1/3 inches from head to bum, is just starting to develop the important "hearing" mechanisms, and now has all the vital organs. We are just waiting for his first, non-doctor assisted, hello ... the all powerful sound of a beating heart (we have a stethoscope waiting).

Posted by csb at 1:12 AM


First comes the heartbeat, then comes the swift kick right as you're starting to fall asleep.

Posted by: John at October 29, 2004 11:34 AM

Remind me to watch everything I say when I'm around now, heaven knows we don't want said child emulating ANYTHING that is related to me ;) (or so the mommy has told me)

Posted by: Darren at November 3, 2004 10:12 AM


October 28, 2004

Posted by csb at 7:34 AM


I was hoping one of you would try to capture that, I watched but neglected to photograph.

Posted by: Darren at October 28, 2004 12:06 PM

Click happy

October 27, 2004

Past weekend at Venice beach

Last weekend was a blast, Boo Fest on the Saturday and then a trip to Venice beach with Melissa, Krishen, Darren, Ines, and Patricia. These weekends out are giving me lots of opportunity for taking some snapshots. Now if only I had the new iPod Photo ...

... but more on the iPods later ... November is fast approaching and thus time is running out. I need to get out on the town for some "Urban" shots ... but the toughest shot seems to be for the "Action" category. But I still need to shoot several more for each category. How is everyone else doing? What categories are you finding most 'interesting'?

Posted by csb at 8:46 AM


Boo Fest 2004

October 24, 2004

Is it that time of year already? Wow ... time flies. Ron and the other Boo Brothers put on yet another wonderful show. Take a peak at the night.

Zorro (Darren) and Dr Cam (me)

Mr. Death (Krishen) came out in force

I am afraid I have some bad news for you ...

Stan even got dressed up

The monsters were all out

Hiding in strange places

Bubba had a walk in clinic this year

Due to budget cuts ...

Enjoy halloween kiddies ... trick or treat!

Posted by csb at 10:52 AM


Brain dump

October 22, 2004

Anyone who knows me understands that my brain farts sometimes. If it is out there I have an opinion on it. Business, Economics, Politics, Parenting ... and of course technology. These past few months I have been reading several other websites that are of interest to me. I do, however, try to keep most of my ideas of this form ... why? Well, I look to my audience and the original intentions of this site. I put this together because I wanted a way to capture my life experiences, my growing pains, my impressions of the world and share them with family and friends. And well, those listening are not really concerned with what my ideas on developing socket libraries, opinions on interface designs, and expressions on programming techniques ... so Krishen gets to listen.

This past week I read some opinions from Daring Fireball on Apple's Brushed Metal theme. Something I have not really have had a problem with but have cause waves in the developer community ever since it was introduces many moons ago. A further article on themes continued a discussion into the consistency ... I read, enjoyed, and can see where he is coming from.

What I wasn't expecting was that Mike, my old "boss" and friend, responded. In typical fashion, for him, he was able to express his opinions in a very thought-out and structured way ... which reminded me of many past arguments over UI design.

Update: And the debate continues

UI design is often personal because while it does have guidelines it relies mostly on what the designer believes "looks good". It is an artistic combination of form and function ... a balance that is difficult for engineers to find. Why? well, to engineers function is the whole reason things are developed so it plays a much higher importance in the design and "look and feel" (read presentation and usability). Pure designers are on the other side of the scale, they are most concerned about things "looking good" and thus neglect functionality. The result: doors that you have to read signs to figure out how to open or 100 page manuals for programming your VCR.

See ... went and did it again ... brain fart! What this experience really reiterated to me was that I needed a form to express my ideas. Something I have desired for almost a decade. Some of you may recall the website "Coder's World" ... a first attempt back in 1996. Well ... today I bring you Technobabel ... and now you all can rest easy in the knowledge that you won't be subjected to these tangents, unless you want to of course :)

Posted by csb at 11:02 AM


I just want to say that I very much enjoyed reading all three posts on themes. It's a subject I wished more people wrote about.

I have to agree with Mike, Apple's themes can co-exist because they don't contradict each other. But, as John pointed out in a postscript, the idea doesn't really scale. Sure, the widgets don't contradict each other, but why would a new user assume that?

Posted by: Krishen at October 24, 2004 2:17 AM

er, actually, it's not themes i wished people wrote more about, rather, ui design in general.

Posted by: Krishen at October 24, 2004 10:53 AM

Cam, did you consider just creating a technology category on your main blog? It sure makes it a lot easier to read that way and your family can just ignore those posts :).

Posted by: orque at October 26, 2004 2:25 AM

I did think of just using a category, my ambition is to use it as a collection of "papers" as well as just random thoughts. I felt that it would not be consistent in my regular thread (which is more family oriented). I was also thinking of using a different overall design and layout due to the different focus (possibly putting technology links, defined categories, etc on the side bar).

But don't worry ... I will make sure any updates to Technobabel will get mentioned on this site.

Posted by: Cameron Bahan at October 28, 2004 7:44 AM

Take yur aspirin!

October 19, 2004

So, this afternoon we took Patches to her regular doctor ... just a post-emergency checkup. We were concerned about possible blood tests, x-rays, and needles ... but she suggested we might just skip the nasty stuff. Blood tests were done 6 months ago so she felt there wouldn't be anything new - and she was not showing any weight loss (just call her Mrs. Fat Cat ... err chubby?? ... err I mean pretty girl! ). X-rays might be able to discount things but would not likely point to anything in particular. And the needles? Well ... they did not really help last time - and the aspirin should really do the same thing.

So, 81mg of (Childrens) Aspirin once every three days is the continuing treatment for the next couple weeks. Takes care of both the inflammation and any possible blood clotting at the same time - too birds : one pill!. We will keep our eyes open over the next couple days. For now she seems to be doing much better ...

Posted by csb at 4:28 PM


I'm getting a sense of deja vu. Was reading another site just yesterday where they are dealing with cats and trips to the vet...

Posted by: John at October 19, 2004 5:05 PM

Latenight E.R.

October 18, 2004

So, after what was pretty much a perfect weekend, Melissa and I sat down to enjoy the romantic comedy You've got mail. Not half way in, Patches decided to join us ... but, we noticed, failed to get comfortable. As Melissa started to help Patches winced in pain. So Melissa put her back on the ground - but the pain was still there and Patches hissed at Melissa (definitely abnormal). It was then that she took only a few steps, not really using her hind legs that sent Melissa running to the phone. At 17 years old, Patches has lived a long life ... and spending that entire 17 years in the care of Melissa has created a bond there that is incredible.

So, it was off to "Animal E.R." ... an after hours animal clinic intended for emergencies. Now, as we were getting Patches ready she tried to run (like most of us the thought of doctors makes her groan), which meant she used all four of her legs again ... easing a lot of our worry. But then came the 'well what could it be questions' ... which an hour in Emergency did not really solve. Once there Patches put on a brave face. So? Doc says that it could be Arthritis (which we know she has a bit of), Acute Abdomen Syndrome, or Thromboemolus (which is basically blood clotting). Now, if it was blood clots then it is not likely she would regain the use of her legs ... but maybe we just caught it early. So the treatment: 1 children's aspirin (81mg) every three days [this should only be done at the doctors recommendation - Aspirin can be very dangerous]

So we will see how it goes ... she looks to be doing well this morning.

All this after a nice weekend of Mote, Jeff's famous BBQ, Ice Cream, and a Lido Beach sunset with Krishen, Patricia, and Ines. Next weekend we should be heading to Venice ... so bring the swimsuits!

Posted by csb at 8:12 AM


The good, the bad, and the challenge

October 15, 2004

The Good

We picked up a couple attachments this past week for our Canon PowerShot G3; a lens adapter which will allow us to add a telephoto and wide-angle lens to our camera (also a micro, but I don't think we would use one of those). And to go along with the adapter, a polarized filter. So we headed out one evening to snap some pictures ... and ... nothing! But then again, it was getting dark so there was not a lot for the filter to do ... we will try it again this weekend. We are also looking for some coloured filters - though we might opt for some home-grown solutions. We did snap a couple pictures on our trek ...

The Bad

An now that we have picked up 'extras' for the camera ... now we start to have problems. Seems the USB connector that is built into the G3 is having problems ... so it take a while to get a stable connection to download the files. Good news here is that card readers are relatively inexpensive, so Melissa and I will likely grab one this weekend. Sucks since it is not quite as convenient but this is a lot cheaper solution that Canon's $175 minimum repair bill. They did offer an upgrade path to the PowerShot G5 ... but we have heard that there are some issues with low-light pictures so decided against it.

The Challenge

Now, I have been sitting on this for a couple weeks now ... but had yet to announce it. So ... for those who accept ... its the DP Challenge 2004. The idea ... snap a few shots from around your neighbourhood and submit them to me for posting (watermark them if you like) or post them yourself and send me the link. Once the photo are posted, we will have enjoy a walk through the virtual gallery. I have been trying to figure out a way of "voting" on the final submissions, but have not been able to come up with a simple and clean solution ... so at the moment it is entirely for fun.

Categories: Scenic, Wildlife, Action, Urban, and Artistic

Submission: includes 4 pictures for each category.

Deadline: November 1st

Go out ... have fun ... snap pictures :)

Posted by csb at 5:13 PM


Re: DP Challenge: Great idea... I'm in!

About your camera -- I take it my USB cable didn't solve the problem?

Posted by: krishen at October 15, 2004 5:25 PM

Nope ... no change - so it is onto the card reader. :(

Posted by: Cameron Bahan at October 15, 2004 5:34 PM

By the way, love the black and white shot!

Posted by: Krishen at October 16, 2004 11:59 PM

Can we add a category for portraits? I've got several of those I could submit.

Posted by: John at October 26, 2004 5:52 PM

Well, I would say that those "could" fit into the artistic category, but I will make sure that portraits are in the next DP Challenge.

Posted by: Cameron Bahan at October 28, 2004 7:56 AM

oh i just found out about this from krishen. darn!!

Posted by: davin at November 6, 2004 1:47 PM

Our first scare

October 12, 2004

Today was another appointment with Mr. Doctor ... this being the first one I was skipping (bad Dad! ... bad bad Dad!). Melissa called me after to let me know how things went. Well, turns out that the doctor could not hear the babies heart beat (at 11 weeks ... that is not really "that" surprising) ... yet, talk about stopping your own heart. The doctor did an ultra-sound right away and found our little one safe and sound, all snuggled into Mommy.

So everything is cool ... but that is really the first time I felt my stomach tighten up. New sensations, both good and bad, are occurring almost every day ... ain't it great to be a expectant Dad ... err ... parent :)

Posted by csb at 12:31 PM


Know the feeling. On our second Dr. visit with this pregnancy, they couldn't hear the heartbeat on the doppler either. A short trip down to the ultrasound showed that the baby was fine. Just had an anterior placenta which made it extremely difficult to hear the babies heartbeat over Karin's. It will definitely get your heart going though. Especially if you aren't their to have the doctor reassure you.

Posted by: John at October 12, 2004 1:42 PM

Day of rants - 2 for the price of 1

October 12, 2004

This past weekend Melissa and I joined many of the consumer based economy here in the US and went in search of a new phone. Why ... well, the Sony cordless that I have is a much older model (as I have had it for quite some time ... in fact the 900MHz phones were the "new" thing at the time). It is a basic cordless (sub-900Mhz ... didn't have that much money) and has seen a good number of days. The battery is looking like it needs replacing again (this will be the 3rd time), it doesn't have the best reception or range, and it lacks caller-id (really the only feature we were looking for in a replacement).

So we headed off to BestBuy and picked up the VTech 2435 ... and it looked to be a sufficient upgrade for the reasonable price of $40. 2.4GHz, Dual handset system, and caller-id (of course). The two handsets were an added bonus, but man what a good idea (though not really new in the world of phones - just to us).


Dual Handset System
Dual handset systems provide the convenience of operating two handsets using only one phone jack. The second handset simply needs an AC outlet to plug into. These systems also include V MODEā„¢ technology, which allows you to transfer calls, conference an outside call or use the intercom feature between handsets.

But what it fails to mention that you can only use one of the handsets at a time - only forwarding the calls between them. Gah, what is the point then?? It does mention a "conference an outside call" option ... but "how" is not referenced in the manual, website, or found by poking around in the phone options.

This was compounded by phone options that took 4 tries - and eventually never succeed - in programming a phone number into memory from a previous call -- a process that should be simple. It was too easy to 'cancel' the operation forcing you to start again. So, in an act of economic freedom, the phone went back ... it did not solve the needs that it created. Thus we will continue looking ...

Topic slide

H1-b limit has apparently been reached for 2005 (glad I secured mine this year), but the topic brought us to this discussion and a common thread that I have found over the last several years of working in the US. Basically, "your stealing jobs away" ... this is an odd statement in reality - especially from the United States who prides itself in the ideals of a capitalist market.

There is a distinction that needs to be made. People are not getting H1-b work visas to get into the country - there are other means to do that. These are people that are looking for a job!!! ... honestly, they probably don't care "where" too much - in fact if a similar job was available at home they would likely prefer that. I know I would ... closer to friends, closer to my culture, closer to my family. The fact is that more jobs are available in the US ... a result of a large economy. They are not 'taking lower pay' or 'working harder' or 'accepting less' to get into the states ... no they are doing it because they are being offered 'more pay', 'more benefits', and 'more opportunity'. The cold hard facts are that many skilled workers in the US have priced themselves right out of the market. Companies are not able to pay the salaries and wages being asked for ... so they are finding those who WILL work for it. That way they maintain their profits (whole reason to be in business) and they can continue to offer the goods at prices reasonable to the general consumer. Remember higher wages ==> higher operating costs ==> higher priced goods. This is on-top-of the fact that many people follow the fads, the skilled/educated "fashions" ... and leaves many companies looking to fill requirements that do not fall in these particular disciplines, they must at that point look in the larger pond for the fish.

For the non-skilled workers, companies are moving their factories to them ... they are cheaper, they work harder, and they demand less, just remember that those workers are now getting a lot more (pay, benefits, and stability) than before the factory moved there. All with the goal of keeping the goods in the price range the US consumer expects.

So ... in the end, the US worker has priced themselves out of the market. In my field (software development and IT) the internet boom facilitated huge wages and people are having a hard time adjusting to the "bust" that followed. In other markets, Unions have driven wages too high for companies to support. And now, the worker must change what is acceptable pay/benefits (or change skills/jobs) ... companies would prefer to higher locally and/or produce locally - it builds more loyalty in the community.

I did not take a job away ... I just found one that no one else could fill!

As someone under an H1-b; I live, work, and pay taxes as any other person here in the states ... I am just not allowed to vote and I must choose to get the green card or go home after the visa expires ... so I am supporting the the local economy not hurting it, so please don't insult my skill, experience, and determination because of a protectionist attitude. I work hard cause I have to sign my name to the things I work on ... that means something to me. My wages are well within the acceptable range. Since Melissa, my wife, does not meet the 'qualifying standards' she is not allowed to work ... so, we are held to a single income. Yet, we have managed to maintain high living standard (vehicle, large apartment, TV, cable, broadband, telephone) ... I just don't own multiple gas-sucking SUVs, 500 TV channels, and brand name cloths -- oh please, the horror. But that is all about choices and priorities ... maybe my culture differs what I desire/require (?)

In reality the advent of the internet, cell phones, and video conferencing the global village is upon us. I believe that in this global village we all need to work together, that means job/skill sharing between countries ... that means economic freedom in a global sense. There are jobs that fit different peoples interests and skills ... they just might not be located in the community that you live in. Times are changing ... the world is changing ... work is changing -- we just need to figure out where we fit.

Life is not about making money ... it is about enjoying what you do. Sure making money is nice, but heck I can make money doing almost anything ... what I do defines who I am. And that drives my decisions.

I should note: working visas are provided to those individuals that meet requirements that are not met by local (ie US-based) residents. They are not based on money, race, religion, etc. You must fulfill specific requirements in experience and/or education ... and then ... match requirements of a company that is willing to sponsor you. Further, often the company is suppose to advertise the position locally before looking at a foreign applicant. And thus is not intended to be just for those who will "just work for less". [There are a lot of good quotes regarding visa distribution available here]

Each situation is different, each visa has different conditions, and each person has their own views. This is just mine. This is intended to drive conversation and discussion ... and that I hope it does.

Posted by csb at 12:02 PM


Into myth and legend

October 11, 2004

What a wonderful weekend. Joined Hugo, Patricia, and Ines in a canoe trip into the rivers and streams of Myakka River State Park. The semi-flooded prairies allowed us to enjoy a little exploring, we paddling around grassy islands and past alligators ... truly enjoying the wildlife and the outdoors.

But I got a call in the evening from Jeff - who had apparently just finished watching The Alamo and had a question: Who are the Canadian hero's? Apparently, the movie includes a couple of legendary personalities from American history and he was curious who was made of legend in the great white north. Well, it caught me a little off guard and my mind could not make the switch ... could not remember "any" names. This truly disturbed me as I use to think of myself as a history buff ... though my memory was never quite up to the challenge. I managed to come up with Roberta Bondar and major events such as Confederation, Vimmy Ridge, and The "last spike" - a project that joined a country. Then there were also the inventors and inventions.

In some ways I find that we, as Canadians, don't express ourselves in forms of "heros". We recognize achievements and document events, but don't often create legends out of men. But after thinking ... there are many others that helped shape Canadian history. People like Louis Riel and Billy Bishop. The PM's of John A. MacDonald, Lester B. Pearson, and Trudeau. The sports figures of Terry Fox, and Rick Hansen, Wayne Gretzky, and of course Paul Henderson. (Suppose you could never leave out the famous Tim Horton).

I found this list online, as well as this site on famous Canadians (it also has a little detail on the War of 1812) ... but I am sure there are more ... so what Canadian hero's do you remember? And who was your favorite?

Posted by csb at 9:58 AM


Check these out, they run on Canadian television... not sure where I'd be without them:


Posted by: krishen at October 11, 2004 10:59 AM

Hah. I love Canadian minutes. The only name I remember from my grade 4 Canadian history class is Leif Ericsson. You're right about Canadian heroes though -- I don't remember many of them. I guess every generation will have different ones -- as with you I remember Terry Fox, Rick Hansen, and Wayne Gretzky. Ben Johnson could've been a hero if he hadn't been busted for steroids :P. (I remember being so excited watching that race on tv)

Oh, I know -- Mr. Dressup. Definitely my favourite.. oh the wonders that were contained in the tickle trunk! :)

Posted by: orque at October 12, 2004 12:25 AM

Orque ... why does this not surprise me one bit. You and the tickle trunk ... ... ...

Posted by: Cameron Bahan at October 12, 2004 12:42 AM


October 7, 2004

Once again Wednesday rolled around ... that means "date night". The one day a week that Melissa and I set aside for some "us" time. Time that we feel is important to building our relationship. 'Sustaining development' so to speak.

The last couple weeks have started to seem pretty regular ... dinner, baby shopping, maybe a movie ... basically everyday things - it is just time we are spending together. This week I wanted to through a little spice into things ... try something new ... be adventurous .... play MINI-GOLF!! Now, I know what you are thinking ... "Mini-golf, thats not new ... thats not adventurous" ... yes but as Jeff pointed out, "your giving Melissa a 'club'?" - think about it! (guess it is a good thing she was not mad at me eh?). Also, Melissa and I have never had a game of mini-golf together ... thus new.

So off we went to putt around the "wild west" ... and putt we did. Think I came within range of one of my standard golf scores - and this time I never left the green. But we had a blast ... almost felt like an actual "date" ... and I was out with a good-lookin' woman, what could be better?

After 18 holes, we headed to Siesta for a stroll in the sand. In all, another lovely Wednesday night.

Posted by csb at 7:45 AM


oh that sounds great! must get me out mini-golfing one of these days.

Posted by: Krishen at October 10, 2004 9:30 PM

Surfing the bits and bytes

October 5, 2004

I have been browsing some other web sites of recent; Rands in Repose, Daring Fireball, Murchison's Musings, and DrunkenBlog. Several of their articles have crossed paths with my daily "news-navigation" time - and now have been integrated. Often developers themselves, I have found that I am getting more educated on tools, software, and techniques that directly relate to my everyday life. Though, at times, they also provide some amusing stories from their lives.

I know, it is not fun to laugh at other people - especially ones that I don't know - but it is OK to laugh along with them right? Well, today I came across a post that had me rolling with laughter ... not only because it was funny - but also cause I have seen myself in similar situations. I just am a little more cautious before spending $70! Really, it brought back memories of letting my pots of boiling water run dry ... letting the chicken cook to a crisp ... and purchases of sour cream instead of cream cheese (hey ... I just did not read the label ... they were sitting right next to each other on the shelf!)

Thanks goes out to DrunkenBlog for brightening up the day.

Posted by csb at 11:39 AM


Scarily enough, it's prolly not my worst clueless story, just the longest. :p Glad you got a chuckle out of it though.

Posted by: the DrunkenOne at October 5, 2004 4:44 PM


October 4, 2004

I took a peak at the Sarasota Herald Tribune this morning to find an article on an environmental impact study. Seems that Sarasota manages to score just slightly better than the average americans. Good news right? Well, there is still tons the city could do. Improving mass transit and increasing the number and safety of bike lanes would be a step to reducing traffic, encourage more "walk" areas in the downtown core, and increase the citizen awareness of recycling and reuse programs are just a few of the ideas that I have. But the city is getting better with the use of hybrid vehicles and the construction of "green" buildings ... nice to hear.

Well, it got me thinking ... back home the environment is a big deal. You hear about it in the news, at school, at work ... the three R's of Recycle - Reuse - Reduce ... and BC Hydro's PowerSmart program is a household term. So ... how does Canada rate?

According to Redefining Progress, Canada had the third largest footprint in the world at 8.56 global hectares per capita according to their 2004 report. The numbers are based on food and resource usage, waste and pollution and calculated based on a formula developed at UBC. This is a lot worse than I was initially expecting - but my views have been tainted a little living in Victoria and Vancouver. I know the rural communities still don't utilize mass-transit (there are no masses) - and don't encourage the use of bikes as much as they could. And with the country rich in resources we have not yet felt the pinch seen by the Europeans or Asians. But this should be a signal to our governments that more action is needed ... we, as mankind, have been using more than the sustainable amount of resources this world has to offer since 1970. That kinda of usage can not last forever, which is why things like the Kyoto Treaty are so important. While the balance of the economy and the environment needs to be taken into account, industry should not drive environmental change - it is not generally in their best interest.

And where do I stand? Well, I took the Earth Day Footprint Quiz to find out ... I carpool when possible, prefer to walk a block than drive, recycle everything I can, and watch our energy usage at home ... but there is always more that I could do. How do you rate?

Posted by csb at 10:26 AM


Ouch, my number was 24. My shelter was 11 of that, too much space for just me. I should have counted the cat!

Posted by: Darren at October 4, 2004 4:25 PM

One of my friends just posted this on her blog ( http://web.uvic.ca/~mavisl/2004/11/ecology-footprint.html ), so I finally got off my duff and took the test. My total footprint was 19. Yikes. I think a large part of that is that often, it's just me driving around in my car by myself.

Posted by: Krishen at November 21, 2004 9:58 PM