January 21, 2007

Upgrade Test

I just upgraded my blogging software to Movable Type 3.34. Let me know if you experience any problems.

15:37 | Blog | Comments (5)

December 15, 2006

Five Years Of The Rant

Today marks the 5th anniversary of One Big Rant. Five years of Self-Indulgent Tripe. Congratulations if you've stuck around this long. You either have an unhealthy obsession with everything Chris or you're my mom. Hi Mom!

I first started blogging before I knew what that word meant, in September 2000 to keep an online journal of my adventures in Japan. I liked it so much, I decided to start One Big Rant.

So five years later, how has this blog enriched my life and the lives of my readers around the world? Well, first off it was a way to publicly rant about my university and the nerds that inhabit it. It chronicled my co-op experiences and my initial interactions with those crazy people we call Americans. OBR allowed me to share some of the strangest and most frustrating elements of my post-secondary education, and the heart-wrenching feeling one gets when horribly bombing an interview (and the redemption of getting the job anyway).

Since moving to the US, the blog has allowed friends and family to keep up on my adventures, following my virtual breadcrumb trail from Ontario to Seattle. It's allowed me to expound my crazy political views, nerdy musings, my joys and heartbreaks.

If you're still reading this, most self-indulgent of blog posts, thank you. I've you're a regular reader, thanks for your patronage. I'll try to keep the posts frequent, interesting and rant-filled (you know you love it). If you've just stumbled upon my site, no, I can't get you an XBox, so stop asking.

09:18 | Blog | Comments (3)

July 20, 2006

Technical Difficulties

I upgraded my blog software to Movable Type 3.31 the other day, and it unfortunately didn't go so smoothly. If any of you loyal readers experience any problems reading, searching, or commenting on my blog, please drop me a note so I can get it fixed.

Oh, and if any of you know how to fix the following error message, I'd appreciate it (I get it when I try to view comments):

maketext doesn't know how to say: _USAGE_COMMENTS_LIST as needed at lib/MT.pm line 917

Update:: fixed the problem. I forgot to copy over the MT\tmpl directory.

08:19 | Blog , Nerd | Comments (1)

January 3, 2006

Taking A Breather

There's lots of heavy stuff going on for me right now, so I'll be taking a break from blogging. Not to worry, I'll be back. One of my New Year's Resolutions is to blog more regularly, and I wouldn't violate my own resolution, would I?

I guess that means some other people will have to pick up the slack. Go to it people.

21:38 | Blog | Comments (1)

December 15, 2005

I Remembered This Year!

This year I broke with tradition and actually remembered One Big Rant's 4-year anniversary. Four years of self-indulgence, and it hasn't earned me a damn cent! You stupid blog! Be more profitable!

Oh, I can't stay mad at you... you meticulously record my rants and witty observations without passing judgment. You allow one-way communication with friends, family, strangers, and the occasional blog stalker. You foster uninformed discussions on the war, politics and steak sauce. Happy anniversary old friend.

By the way, here are the lame ways I commemorated the previous three anniversaries: 2004, 2003, 2002, and the lackluster first entry from 2001.

08:37 | Blog | Comments (2)

March 21, 2005

Texas Hold'em

Ironically, my Sick Of Comment Spam post is one of the highest recipients of Trackback spam. Trackback Pings have now been disabled.

Stupid Internet.

19:38 | Blog

January 29, 2005

RSS Feed News

For those of you subscribing to my RSS feeds, please note the feed locations are at //cplyon.ca/blog, not at //cplyon.ca. I've set up redirects, but be sure to update your feed readers.

13:01 | Blog

January 19, 2005


For those of you who blog, be sure to check out the new NoFollow ref tag attribute for comment links (Bryant has a good write-up).

Basically it allows you to specify which links should be indexed by search engines. One of the reasons for comment spam, is that the more sites that link to the spammer's site (though comments left by spammer scripts), the better ranking it gets in search engines. This new tag will take away the incentive to leave spam comments (although the effects probably won't be felt for a while).

The Movable Type plugin installed seamlessly, and while I was installing it, I decided to do a little cleanup of the site. I've been fixing dead links to archived posts (a long overdue job), but still have about 20 posts to go. Next, fix the broken image links.

Isn't my life exciting?

22:39 | Blog | Comments (2)

December 24, 2004

Oops I Did It Again

December 15 was One Big Rant's anniversary, marking three years of self-important blathering being broadcast to the far reaches of the Earth. In keeping with tradition, I have once again forgotten all about it.

12:20 | Blog

November 23, 2004

Coming Soon

My brother Matt is here visiting for the week, so blogging will be on the light side until after American Thanksgiving (three-day work week. Take that Canadian feelings of superiority!). I have photos from my Mexican trip, as well as hilarious adventures, including a man on the street who was willing to sell us glimpses of his sister. Viva Mexico!

22:30 | Blog

November 6, 2004

Blog To Do List

Because just having an online outlet for my crackpot ideas and rants isn't enough, I need to obsessively control and tweak every last aspect of it. Here's a list (in no particular order) of the things I want to do to this here blog, if only I can find the time.

10:52 | Blog

October 25, 2004

Boring Blog News

At a request from Shawn, my RSS Feeds now contain the blog posts in their entirety, not just excerpts. I know you're all thrilled to hear that.

22:38 | Blog | Comments (2)

Let The Spamming Begin!

Since One Big Rant's glorious rebirth, yesterday was the first day it started getting spammed again. It took them long enough! So I did what Bryant Choung of bryantchoung.com suggested: installed MT Blacklist (which I was using before the Great Crash of '04) and tweaked the comments page. If anyone has any problems posting comments, please let me know.

22:20 | Blog | Comments (1)

October 5, 2004

The Lost Month

I managed to salvage my blog's archives from May 2004. Thank you Google cache!

I'm sorry to say the comments during that month were lost, so to make up for it, I encourage you all to leave more comments. Unless you're a spammer, in which case do not leave comments.

20:59 | Blog | Comments (4)

September 27, 2004

Under Construction

In case you hadn't noticed, I'm not quite done getting all the bugs out of the new blog. Since the address is different, a lot of links are dead. I assure you I am diligently working to complete this rather mundane and uninteresting task. It does give me the opportunity to re-read and cringe at some of my old posts.

You may also notice entries from April and May are missing (there were no entries in June and August, and only one in July). I'm trying to recover the missing ones since my backups at the time only went up to mid-April, and the site went down at the end of May.

Despite broken links and missing entries, you keep coming back for more. As thanks, here's a pic of me telling Dav what for (thanks Dav).

Chris Ranting at Dav

22:05 | Blog

September 22, 2004

The Rant Is Back

Hey everybody! Yes, I got One Big Rant up and running again. For now I'm just using the default powder-blue template provided in Movable Type 3.1, but I decided content is king, and I should start blogging, even if the site looks lame. For all of you reading my RSS feed, you don't care anyway.

It's been an exciting couple of months since I went dark, and I plan to fill you in. That is, assuming anyone is still reading this...

07:51 | Blog | Comments (3)

September 20, 2004

No Peeking!

It's not ready yet!

07:20 | Blog

July 22, 2004

On Hiatus for Retooling

In case any of you are wondering what happened to my blog, here's the story. For those of you who don't care about my blog, take a look at some pictures I took while in Europe last month.

The company that was until recently hosting my website, decided one weekend (the last weekend in May, I believe) to upgrade their servers to a different operating system. Unfortunately, they did not inform their customers of the upgrade, denying us the opportunity to make backups in case something went wrong.

As you have probably guessed, something went wrong. The upgrade broke Movable Type, the blogging software I was using, leaving me unable to log in to create new entries or back up the current ones. After much complaining to the company, and seeing as they weren't going to help me out, I decided to abandon ship. I signed up with a new host, with the intent of resuming my blog once I got all my files copied over. I tried copying all my files down from the old host's servers, but the servers were flakey, I only got a small portion of my blog.

So that leaves me with a plain text backup of my old blog and a new server that, unfortunately, doesn't support Movable Type (or any of the major blogging tools). I'm working hard to find a solution so I can get One Big Rant back up and ranting.

I am not against the idea of getting a new new server, but am trying to work with my current one for a solution. Stay tuned!

00:00 | Blog

March 8, 2004

You Can Count On The Cplyon.ca Team

I got this email in my inbox over the weekend.

Dear user of Cplyon.ca gateway e-mail server,

We warn you about some attacks on your e-mail account. Your computer may contain viruses, in order to keep your computer and e-mail account safe, please, follow the instructions.

Please, read the attach for further details.

The Cplyon.ca team

Attached was an executable that presumably contained the Beagle worm. Considering I am the cplyon.ca team, I found this email particuarly funny.

07:03 | Blog | Comments (1)

February 28, 2004

Sick Of Comment Spam

This site has a new comment policy. Please contact me if there are any problems.

10:51 | Blog | Comments (1)

January 25, 2004

Hopefully It's Not The Bird Flu

Not feeling so well today, so I decided to stay in and fix up the blog a bit. What's New:

15:16 | Blog

December 16, 2003

Two Years

Yesterday marked year two of One Big Rant: Chris Lyon's narcissism in digital form. Like last year, I forgot. Luckily the site is a forgiving mistress, and I can pursue my non-digital life at her expense.

Thanks for reading. Here's hoping I have another few years before this site is used as evidence to get me deported.

20:15 | Blog

December 13, 2003

Mac Shmac

Last night, for kicks, I used Teresa's Powerbook and looked at my blog with IE 5.2 for Mac OS X. Wouldn't you know it, but it looks like crap. The entries are shifted down to under the sidebar. Then I tried with Safari. Looks great.

If I have any readers who use Macs, I apologize and will try to commandeer Teresa's Mac so I can try to hack together something that looks equally good on both platforms. (Little help, Dav?)

Any Linux/UNIX users having trouble seeing my site? (If you're using Netscape < 6, I'm not interested).

10:34 | Blog | Comments (1)

November 12, 2003

Um, Hi Mom!

Mom Finds Out About Blog.

"Mom loves hearing every boring detail of her kids' lives," he said. "She'd want to know what I'm eating for dinner every night, if she could. This blog is like porn for her."

Don't worry Mom, I already know you read my blog. And no, I don't censor anything... (madly searches through archives to delete tales of debauchery)

07:58 | Blog | Comments (4)

November 7, 2003

One Weasel's Words

Ryan, long-time friend, former roommate and connoisseur of all things deep-fried, has finally put up a blog: Weaselwords. It needs a bit of visual flare, but I guarantee it will be the funniest, most comprehensive blog you've ever read.

07:06 | Blog

October 28, 2003

You're Welcome

From friend and former fellow intern Bryant Choung:

Thank you chris. I downloaded movable type a few days ago and it has changed my life. I'm a blogger now.

If this website improves the life of just one person, then it's been worth it.

21:56 | Blog | Comments (1)

October 10, 2003


Website in shambles. Errors everywhere. Will try to fix this weekend. Can only log in for seconds at a time. I'll let you know when it's fixed, don't expect much action here until then.

End communication.

15:19 | Blog | Comments (1)

October 1, 2003

Ridiculously Anal

I decided that this site's Stuff category was too general and becoming bloated. So I just made up a new category: Seattle where I'll include such gems as how it's always raining, and how much Seattle residents like their coffee.

Wow, I'm really strapped for stuff to write about...

22:38 | Blog

September 21, 2003


Cheers to Pete for finding the Bill O'Reilly quote for me.

Jeers to me for deleting the first email I was sent with it.

21:41 | Blog

September 20, 2003


I had two really kick-ass quotes lined up for the quote of the moment. One was a line from Henry Miller's Tropic of Capricorn about garbage collection. Since my job at Microsoft is to test the garbage collector for the .NET CLR, I thought it witty and appropriate. I had finished reading Capricorn a few weeks ago, but forgot to write down the page number with the passage in mind. I tried flipping through the book to find it, but since the book isn't divided into chapters (instead it's essentially one big 300-page stream-of-consciousness rant), I was unsuccessful.

The other quote was emailed to me by one of the Drunken Monks. It was a great quote by Bill O'Reilly, a right-wing commentator in Fox News. It was from an interview with him back in March. Basically it said that if the US attacks Iraq and finds no evidence of links to 9/11, or any WMD then he would apologize to the American people and never trust the Bush administration again.

If anyone can dig up either of these quotes, you would have my undying gratitude.

19:32 | Blog

September 9, 2003

Where Have All The Bloggers Gone?

Yes, I'm still alive. No need to worry; I haven't joined the ranks of some of the MIA bloggers in my blogroll (Joe, Matthew, Guillaume, where are you guys?)

23:01 | Blog

September 3, 2003

Time Off

I'll be taking some time off blogging while Angela is in town. Check back in a week or so.

14:12 | Blog

August 19, 2003

Hint Hint

Matt Goyer is in Seattle. I wonder if he'll invite me over to blog with him...

20:09 | Blog

August 9, 2003

Nothing To Blog Here

I've been spending so much time importing my old blog entries to my new blog system, that I forgot I should actually blog new blog entries in my blog. So check out some other interesting bloggers whose blogs are actually getting updated:

Pete just got a fresh new design and a message tag board. Hours of fun if you're 14 years old.
Ian's entries have been descending into madness lately. Maybe it's the lack of nicotine?

14:37 | Blog

August 6, 2003

Somebody Noticed

I'm glad someone's paying attention. Chad Brandos, a blogchild of mine, approves of One Big Rant's redesign. Thanks Chad! Hope you get those permalinks working so I can actually link to your posts!

00:58 | Blog | Comments (3)

August 2, 2003

Welcome To The New Rant

Well I've finally done it. I've finally gotten off my ass and moved this site to Movable Type. Here's some of the benefits you, my loyal readers, will enjoy:

Of course there will be some glitches, and I would appreciate you either emailing me or leaving a comment to tell me about any bugs you find, or any suggestions you might have.

00:41 | Blog | Comments (2)

July 23, 2003


I'm sorry my Vegas trip story is taking so long. I've been working late a lot this week and can't bring myself to come home from a day spent at a computer, to an evening spent at a computer. Yeah, I know... Bitch bitch bitch. Moan moan moan.

00:00 | Blog

July 17, 2003


Ok, I know I've been neglecting my blogging duties as of late. I apologize. I promise a blogging boon this weekend, including an account of my Vegas trip (that I know you guys are just dying to hear about), as well as some other niceties. Until then, let Ian tease your brain in that way you love so much. I remember seeing this question when I studied for my interview at Microsoft, but I'll be damned if I can remember the solution.

00:00 | Blog

July 6, 2003


Looks like this site escaped the Website Defacement Contest unscathed. I guess my website with an audience of six wasn't worth a hacker's effort.

Monk has an interesting take on when blogs get popular. I like his indie band comparison and his ideas about self-censorship. I personally haven't been censoring much content since I started at Microsoft. Probably because most of what I say isn't important enough to censor anyway.

00:00 | Blog

June 20, 2003

Damn, That's Funky!

The latest trend in the blogging world is to determine whether or not one's feed is funky. Dave Winer suggests that the content of a feed is the place to be funky, not the structure, meaning a feed should have be stuctured in a well-defined format that readers expect.

As you know this site doesn't yet have a feed. But when I do get one (yes, it will be soon) you can be assured that although the structure may be as expected, my content will be funky enough to make Bootsy proud.

00:00 | Blog

June 18, 2003

Bloggin Commune

It looks like I missed my chance to acquaint myself with yet another community, the Seattle Bloggers. Who knew that typing up a personal log at home on a computer could be such a social experience?

00:00 | Blog

June 6, 2003

Feed Me

I got an email from my friend Rick (who's apparently an avid One Big Rant reader), telling me how mine is the only non-feed blog he actually reads. For those of you who don't know, a feed is a direct way to access the sweet sweet content a website has to offer. You can tell the feed reader to collect the feeds from your favorite sites and it will notify you when they get updated. As you have gathered, there are currently no One Big Rant feeds. This will hopefully change in the near future.

Now I know I've hinted at adding features to the site before, but as you all know by now, I'm a lazy, lazy man. But that should change soon (the new features, not my laziness). I'll be making the move over to Movable Type soon, so that means feeds, post categories, post filtering, and most importantly of all, a whole lot less HTML coding by me.

There. Now that I've announced it, I guess I'm committed.

00:00 | Blog

May 15, 2003


A recent dialogue with Dave made me realize something about the world of blogs: as a blogger, one has the power to alter history. Granted, for most blogs, the history is limited and affects relatively few people, but because of the "linkable" nature of the WWW, revisions can lead to inconsistencies, and even confusion amongst bloggers. Let me illustrate with an example (my apologies to Dave for putting him on the spot).

Dave's May 13, 2003 post originally read:

Okay- Here are the cities I plan to visit on my trip I'm currently dubbing The Great North American Tour. The problem with the title is that it isn't entirely accurate, as I'm not going to Mexico. Must revise.

He implied, erroneously, that had he planned to visit Mexico, the title would be appropriate. I responded in yesterday's post with a geography lesson. Dave's response was to amend his post --after the fact-- adding "et al" after the word "Mexico".

I'm not bringing this up to point out Dave's perceived geographical shortcomings, rather to show how bloggers can alter history. My comments in yesterday's entry about the number of North American countries no longer make sense to any readers who didn't see Dave's original comment.

So, how and when is it appropriate to amend, correct, or delete content in a weblog? In my opinion, the only changes one should (nay, must) make to previous entries are to correct spelling mistakes and repair (or eliminate) dead links. All other changes should be explicitly marked as additions and/or deletions. So how does one do this? Well, as any self-respecting web designer knows, there are two (semantically correct) HTML tags created for this purpose: <ins> and <del> (I'm currently retrofitting this site with said tags).

But does anyone really care or am I just being particularly anal about this? Any of you who know me personally know the answer. But this certainly affects readers of RSS feeds (yes, I'll eventually join that bandwagon). So to make your feed readers, blog readers and linkers (and most of all me) happy, stop the Orwellian rewriting of history.

00:00 | Blog

May 14, 2003


Keeping with this geographically-oriented post (and to make Matt Goyer happy), I've joined GeoURL. I wonder how many bloggers in the Seattle area don't work at Microsoft.

00:00 | Blog

May 9, 2003

Regretful Retraction

It was a tough decision for me to make as a weblogger, but after careful consideration I've decided to pull the Microsoft interview questions and advice from this website. I realize would-be Microsoft interviewees make up a significant percentage of my reading audience, so let me explain why I came to this decision.

First of all, I am now a Microsoft employee, and as an employee I have certain responsibilities to the company. Although this is a personal weblog, the interview articles potentially crossed the line into non-disclosure territory. I choose to err on the side of caution and remove the articles.

Secondly, as a Microsoft employee, I will have the chance to be an interviewer myself, and having these articles on my personal site may compromise the interview process. Obviously I wouldn't use the same questions I described in the articles, but as an interviewer, I don't think it would be appropriate to give out advice. No, Microsoft did not request the information be removed, it's a judgment call.

Thirdly, Despite several blog entries, plus an entire article devoted to general interview advice, I continued to get emails asking for specifics. No, I don't know what interviews are like for any position other than the one I was interviewed for. I'm sorry, I can't help you if you're being interviewed for a Software Test Engineer, a Program Manager, a contract employee or cafeteria staff. Also, by asking me questions already answered in my advice article, you are demonstrating that you do not know how to properly conduct research, or value other people's time.

Now I realize I violated the #1 rule in weblogging: don't alienate your audience. I apologize if I seem cold-hearted. I wish all Microsoft interviewees luck and hope they do well, but considering out of the dozen or so people who emailed me for advice, not a single one ever emailed me to let me know if my advice was helpful. I originally put this information up because it was an interesting and frustrating experience I thought people would enjoy. I didn't intend to become the authority on Microsoft interviews. I'm sorry if I mislead any of you.

Again, this rant wasn't intended at anyone in particular, it was mainly to save my own ass. If you disagree with my decision, or think I'm a big jerk and will never read this site again, I invite you to email me and discuss it.

00:00 | Blog

April 23, 2003

I Like Red Pills Too!

There has been a lot of talk lately in the world of software developers who blog about some notable people who have "swallowed the red pill" and come to work at Microsoft.

Of course, I'm not on anyone's red pill list. This is probably due to the fact that no one cares what I have to say about software. But a few months on the .NET CLR team will soon change that! (tents fingers and laughs maniacally)

00:00 | Blog

April 15, 2003


Ian started his own blog this week. I guess it's his way to fill the dark hole in his soul left by my departure. I encourage you all to visit Qatsi.

00:00 | Blog

March 16, 2003

War Blogging

In a conversation I had with my friend Ryan, he mentioned that he was considering starting a blog, but thought that the timing was wrong. Considering the world is on the brink of war, he felt his inane adventures would be self-indulgent and unimportant.

Welcome to the world of blogging, where the self-indulgent and unimportant are a welcome change from the depressing news of looming war, political strife and economic ruin.

I could sit here and blog about why I disagree with the war, or why I think there are bigger threats than Iraq right now, but as others have pointed out, it won't make a difference. So I let the pundits, who are better educated in those fields, lead the way, and instead write about the curious little foibles of my life that keep you all so entertained.

Can you tell I have no foibles to report today?

00:00 | Blog

February 28, 2003


It's been brought to my attention that the right side of the weblog entries gets overlapped by the right column on this site, but only when using Internet Explorer 6 on Windows 98. It works fine using IE 6 on Windows XP.

I really don't know what to do about that, since I don't have Windows 98 to test on, and in theory, the same version of IE should work the same on different versions of Windows. In theory. I guess I'll have to have a word with the IE team once I get to Redmond.

00:00 | Blog

February 25, 2003


Here's a shout out to all the moms that read my site (my mom included)! I guess I should be more careful with my use of swears...

00:00 | Blog

February 12, 2003

Blasts From The Past

I got an email today from my old high school friend Ross. I haven't seen or heard from him in about 6 years, so this email came as quite the pleasant surprise. He stumbled on my website by accident and I think he's now hooked (I have that effect on people). He said he hesitated emailing me after reading my entry about avoiding contact with my high school classmates.

For the record, I wasn't referring to anyone I actually hung out with. I was mostly thinking of the bullies, ex-girlfriends and those even nerdier than myself.

Gee, I'd hate to think I'm actually losing readers (and maybe even friends) because of my rants.

00:00 | Blog

February 9, 2003

Other People's Blogs

Since I have had little of interest to write about as of late, I will direct your attention to other weblogs of interest. Dav has recently made the great leap to a content management system, something I have been meaning to do for a long time now. Since I'm currently at my parents' place, and they only have dialup, I would have to do most of my work in the wee hours of the morning, to avoid tying up the phone line.

Meanwhile in Redmond, Joe Bork blogs about the internal strife (or lack thereof), a weblogger must deal with. Of all 50,000+ employees at Microsoft, he's one of the few who have weblogs. As a result, he gets both negative and positive attention while trying to strike a balance between personal and work content.

I hope one day soon to be in his position...

00:00 | Blog

February 8, 2003

The Downside To Blogging

Today, while talking with my friend Ian I noticed a downside to blogging: being an avid reader of my site (Hi Ian!) he already knew all my stories before I told him. So, to keep what remaining social life I do have still alive, I will leave out some of the few interesting aspects of my life, so I can have a decent conversation with my friends.

00:00 | Blog

January 26, 2003

Me Me Me

I just remembered, the waiting area in Toronto Airport's Terminal 2 is decorated with the same colours and styles as this weblog. Even down to the red horizontal borders. Maybe I was influenced more by all that travelling than I thought...

Another thanks to Ian for reminding me to update my info. It's hard to stay modest when people keep wanting to know about me.

00:00 | Blog

December 18, 2002


Oh yeah, and my weblog is 1 year old as of Sunday. At least forgetting blog's anniversary won't result in me buying flowers for it every day for the next week. Glad I'm not the only one.

00:00 | Blog

December 12, 2002

Clean and Succa

Apartment is now clean. Empty beer bottles which totalled $5.40 have been returned (did we really drink that much beer this term?). Now I'm left to struggle with the boredom of having nothing to study, and no car to go buy Christmas presents.

The new server I'm using has some weird web stat tools. According to them, my site has received over 500 hits in the last two days. I only wish I got that many hits. I'm sure something is wrong about that. Even Matt Goyer isn't that popular... or is he?

I remember before I headed out to Seattle, the most popular blog in the UW ring was the now-defunct Succaland, by Nick Taylor. Everyone kept talking about how funny and witty his site was, and how mine was a poor excuse for a web presence. So what happened? Well, Nick forgot to renew his domain, so it was taken away. My theory is Matt Goyer bought Succaland in order to steal the limelight. Now Matt's is the blog to visit (mine still being a poor excuse for a web presence).

Well, now Nick has a new blog, and I fear that leaves Matt with only one recourse: to kill Nick Taylor.

00:00 | Blog

December 8, 2002

Blog Bets On Better Browser

The Phoenix 0.5 web browser is out. Go get it. You won't be missing anything here; I'll just be sitting here reading this university textbook. Go now!

00:00 | Blog

December 1, 2002

Welcome to the New Rant

Don't panic, you've still reached Chris Lyon's page o' rants! In my exam procrastination I decided to give the page a facelift. Let me know of any bugs or browser issues you discover. The banner image was taken during my co-op term in Seattle. That's Mount Rainier overlooking Seattle's Seahawks Stadium (white) and Safeco Stadium (black). I'll be switching up the banner every so often to keep you all entertained.

For those of you who prefer the old look, I'll be adding a skin switcher, similar to Dav's. But that will have to wait until after exams.

Speaking of exams, I have one on Monday, Saturday, the following Monday and Tuesday. Anyone who wants to join me after Tuesday for some serious drinking, drop me a line. The beer's on me.

00:00 | Blog

November 25, 2002


Today this site got its 4,000th visit since I started counting in July. That averages over 1,000 visits a month. Thank you to my loyal fans, and those who mistakenly stumbled onto my site searching for underage Japanese photos.

00:00 | Blog

November 16, 2002

Beard Brother

Greetings to everyone who came here after finding out sneakypete is on hiatus for retooling. I can only hope to be as entertaining as Pete and his magical beard.

00:00 | Blog

November 10, 2002


If you have a blog and like to flaunt it, check out Blogwise. If they'll list me, they'll list anybody.

00:00 | Blog

November 5, 2002

The Google Gods Have Spoken

The Google Gods Have Spoken

For whatever reason, the gods of the Internet have decided to strip cplyon.ca from Google's database. As a result, the Google site search I had on the sidebar no longer worked. The ban also makes it harder for me to spread my word around, since the most popular search engine is refusing to list me. If this site were a business site, I may as well close up shop. If you're not listed in Google, you're nothing!

So I enlisted the help of WhatUSeek to index the site. I have more control over it than I did with the Google search, and it won't ban me. Go on, try it out!

Update: The gods have heard my plight! Google loves me again!

00:00 | Blog

October 22, 2002

A Weblog By Any Other Name

Well it's done. //cplyon.ca is open for business. I have moved all this site's contents over, and I will no longer be updating the www.student.math.uwaterloo.ca/~cplyon site, so please update your bookmarks.

So what can you expect from this new site? Well, a new photo gallery and a Google site search are in the works but for now, you can read a lost Miscellaneous Rambling from Japan. Enjoy.

Don't forget to update your bookmarks.

00:00 | Blog

October 21, 2002

The Big Move

Sometime this week I'll be moving this site from my Waterloo account to the new //cplyon.ca. Thanks to Rick for being my new host (if the site goes down, blame him). Unfortunately this will break my permalinks. I'll probably keep the old site around for a few months until everyone has forgotten about it (assuming anyone has actually linked to me. Google doesn't think so).

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October 1, 2002

The First Of Octember

Bonus points to anyone who caught the title's reference.

With a new month comes a new child blog for One Big Rant: Halfwitted. It belongs to Tim, my editor at Imprint, the UW student newspaper where I'm currently volunteering my time. Tim's weblog is refreshingly honest and open, unlike this one where I hide the horrifying truths about myself that would chill you to the bone. Actually, my girlfriend Angela would kill me if I told you the truth about how she gets turned on when I dress up as a big frog and hop around...

...I'm dumped, aren't I?

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September 20, 2002

Just Like Me

Rafi recently redesigned his weblog. Look familiar? Personally, I think it looks great!

Also, I just noticed on Blogtree, that One Big Rant is a father! Unfortunately, I can't read Swedish, but if any of you do, I encourage you to read Håkan Waara at Nadazilch.

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August 22, 2002

Slow Work Day: Webpage Rant

Ever since signing off on the product on Monday, my days at work have been less than busy. But I've been thinking of you, my loyal readers. I've used this time to start several new Misc Ramblings (the only real reason to visit the site. And a lame one at that), try to take Accessibility Guidelines into account as well as my usual web site tweaking. Why do I go to all this trouble, you ask?

  1. I believe strongly in a WWW that is truly accessible to everyone, including the visually impaired.
  2. I really want to be Jeffrey Zeldman's friend.
  3. Working on my website helps fill the dark empty void in my soul and gives my life purpose.

However this does raise certain issues. The "Content is King" approach I take is directly opposite to Dav's point of view. He believes the web designer, not the viewer should have ultimate control over the look and feel of the website. He would rather allow no user customization than the possibility of someone changing the colour scheme for the hell of it, and let the visually impaired be damned.

Since I'm not a graphic designer, nor do I have any artistic talent whatsoever, I'm not personally offended by people who don't like my website's design. I'm in the process of coming up with some alternate layouts, and giving you the user the ability to choose the way you want this site to look. Why? Because it's a slow work day.

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August 15, 2002

I Want To Hear From You

So what do you think? Do you disagree with my rants? Am I full of shit? Anything you want to tell me but are too afraid to give out your email address to a guy who hates Hello Kitty? Well now, thanks to netcomments you can leave me quick comments by clicking the comments link below.

Wow. My site is growing and deloping new features so quickly that it's becoming less and less practical to maintain it by hand. I'm soon going to have to start automating it using one of them new-fangled blog management tools, like Blogger or Movable Type or something. If any of you readers have any recommendations, please email me or leave me a comment below.

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August 9, 2002

Gettin' Bizzay

I have been swamped at work, so apologies for the lack of blogging. If it's any consolation, I'm working on a new Misc Rambling, and trust me, this one is going to give a whole new meaning to the word "rant".

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August 6, 2002

If You Want Things Done Right

Last night Waterloo's math server went down, taking my website with it. I really need to start hosting my own site. But that will have to wait until Sept, or possibly later.

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August 2, 2002

Thanks Matt

First off, thanks to Matt Goyer (apparently a friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend from Waterloo) for linking to my site. Matt had supposedly been getting complaints from his fans that he hadn't been blogging enough, so he passed them on to me. 'Cause, you know... sometimes I write interesting... stuff. *cough*

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August 1, 2002

Brave New Weblog

Last night after rock climbing I went out with a few friends for dinner and drinks. We went to an Irish pub / Cajun restaurant called the Celtic Bayou. Had some good food and some great beer. They also had live music that played Radiohead. If you're ever in the Redmond area looking for some Irish/Cajun fusion, I recommend the Celtic Bayou.

After dinner, we drove down to Seattle to shoot some pool with Shyam. We first tried to go to Belltown Billiards. Rumor has it Patrick Ewing is usually found playing pool there.

Apparently Wednesdays are the nights to play there. We would have had to wait at least an hour for a table and pay a $10 cover charge. Nuts to that. So Shyam brought us to a much sketchier pool hall with plenty of open tables. The big chalk board over the bar informed us that Wednesday was Ladies' Night, but the only ladies we saw were either nasty, or addicted to video poker.

After a piss-poor performance on all our parts, we left and got home around 2:00am. I was up by 8:30 this morning, fresh as a daisy and ready for a long grueling day of work.

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July 31, 2002

Out With The Old...

Tomorrow I switch to the new format for the website. Say goodbye to midnight blue, and hello to olive green. To commemorate the last entry of this layout, I want to pay homage to the Internet's search engines who have directed browsers to my site via a variety of interesting search criteria:

bow wow like mike power lines (google.com)
Because, you know, I'm a big fan of underage rappers.
telephone pole climbing gear (google.yahoo.com)
I don't usually recommend people perform their own telephone repair. Unless of course they were trying to call their Ma from up there.
atm card pins (google.de)
I think I know better than to post my ATM card PIN on my website. The sad thing is, there's probably people out there who don't know better.
underage pictures (search.fr.msn.ca)
I used to be #3 on the search results.
underage japan (google.com)
I have no idea why people seem to think my website is chock full o' underage pornography. If you are reading this because you did such a search, I'm sorry to disappoint.
long and big woman photos (google.yahoo.com)
"Long" women? Was this guy looking for long and big women, or long and big photos of women?

If you think that's weird, you should see the kinds of searches that bring you to Pete's now offline Facial Hair Gallery.

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July 28, 2002


While redesigning the new site, I realized that it did not work in Netscape 6 due to a combination of the site meter and a Netscape bug (Mozilla was not affected). Then I realized that this site was broken too. I have since fixed the problem, and humbly apologize to anyone who was trying to view my site using Netscape 6.

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July 26, 2002

Sneak Preview

The current layout and colour scheme of One Big Rant has grown tiresome. Time for a fresh new look. Check it out here, and let me know what you think (colours, layout, browser compatibility). I'm only testing with IE 5.5+, Netscape 6+ and Mozilla. Any suggestions are welcome. I'm hoping for an August 1st release.

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July 10, 2002

Of MacIntoshes

Now some of you may have noticed (oh who the hell am I kidding) the small multi-coloured box at the bottom of the left column of this page. No, it doesn't mean Gay Pride (not that there's anything wrong with that). It's a page counter and it gives me useful facts like 16.67% of today's visitors are using Macintoshes. Hello Mac users! Now since I don't have a Mac, if you Mac users could let me know if there are any problems viewing my site on any Mac browser (Netscape 4 notwithstanding) I would greatly appreciate it. Also, if anyone using Mozilla or Opera notices a problem, I would also appreciate an email, since my current employer generally frowns upon employees using such software at work (alas, I left my home PC in Canada). Working on this site is part of the reason I'm still here at work at 10:15 pm PST. Guessing the other part will be left as an exercise to the reader.

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June 22, 2002


I've begun the long and arduous task of permalinking my entries so you fellow bloggers can link to the exact entry you need without wasting valuable seconds scouring the archives, or linking to the ever-changing main page.

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June 21, 2002

All Play And No Work

Today has been a very unproductive day. I spent some time cleaning up the site, including reviving the Quote of the Moment, which will be updated whenever I feel like it. I also alluded to the fact I'll have a photo gallery soon.

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June 14, 2002

How To Spell Shame

Mental note: Spell-check my entries before uploading them to save myself embarrassment when other sites quote me.

Yeah, like that's ever going to happen again.

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June 5, 2002

Baseball Uniform

Do you like watching baseball? I don't, and here's why.

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June 4, 2002

My New Best Friend

I've been getting some flak lately about not blogging enough (see my pitiful 8 entries for the month of May for proof). I promise to do better this month. Also, I was reprimanded by one of my readers (I guess that means 20% of my readers) for not mentioning him. My deepest apologies Kenneth, and congratulations on getting a job at Microsoft.

Kenneth stumbled on my site while looking for Microsoft interview questions. He read my MS interview rambling and sent me an email, asking for any other advice I could give him. Being the generous and kind-hearted person I am, I didn't respond for a couple days, just to make him sweat. Actually, I helped him as best I could, and when it came time for the interview, he wowed them, and got 2 job offers. Now I can't take all the credit, but I think Kenneth knows how to spend that first full-time paycheque. Hint hint.

MS flew him to Seattle from Toronto and while he was here, he and his friend Alim (please forgive my spelling) gave me a call and we went out to dinner. It was nice to meet someone who reads my site, even if it is only for their own self-serving purposes. To my other 4 readers: let Kenneth be an example to you.

If you really like my blog, then you too will take me out to dinner.

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April 14, 2002

Title Goes Here

Cheers to Dav for the new title pic.

Jeers to this rusty tailgate.

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April 13, 2002


I finally decided to rename this site. I may decide to redesign completely it tomorrow, I don't know. So for now I have a makeshift title image until Dav makes me one that's a little bigger and that actually matches my site's background colour. Not that I'm ungrateful (I am encouraging you all to visit his super-cool blog, after all. Visit it!).

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April 9, 2002

The Fruits Of Procrastination

New Miscellaneous Rambling is done: Citizen Lyon. I hope you're all happy I sacrificed good exam-studying time to bring it to you.

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April 8, 2002

Sympatico No More

Since I'm canceling my Sympatico service (despite what the good people there may want) this webspace is going with it. In case you missed the large red message above, the new address will be my easy-to-remember Waterloo account: http://www.student.math.uwaterloo.ca/~cplyon/. I'll keep updating both pages until April 18 (the things I do for my loyal fans), but please update your bookmarks. After the 18th, God only knows what horrible, disgusting site Bell may decide to host at this address.

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April 7, 2002

Giddy With Excitement

Final exam time is upon us, so you know what that means. Yup, I'll be blogging a lot more (and possibly re-redesigning this site) in a desperate attempt to procrastinate from studying. Sure, my marks may suffer, but damn I'll have a dozen rants written starting with my passport story and/or Spam Fun.

I'm sure you're all giddy with excitement.

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March 26, 2002

One Big Rant

I've been trying to decide what this blog is supposed to be all about. I'd like to find a nice balance between the introspective and the trite. If I had more time, I would write more Misc. Ramblings, but I don't. I have a couple in the works, including a vulgar rant about (not) getting my passport (along with an insightful critique of the lack of communication between the federal and provincial governments). I'm also working on the first of a series of Spam Reviews.

Basically I don't want this site to be an account of what kind of sandwich I ate that day, or how much I love Abby on ER. I want people to read my site, then say to themselves "That Chris guy sure sounds smart. And funny. Man, I'd love to be his friend." Either that, or have me committed.

So, what's my point? It's hard to find a direction for this site, when I can't even think of a good title. So I think I'm going with One Big Rant for a title. My Internet identity crisis is soon over. Now if only someone could cook up a nice title graphic for the site...

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March 23, 2002


Here's a list so far of rejected titles for this website (yes, I'm actually still looking for a title, albeit not trying very hard. Help me.):

101 Damnations
Witty? Yes. Cute? Perhaps. It feels a little too tongue-in-cheek. Like my website is so bad not only do I bash Disney, but I deserve to be sent to hell. I don't think of myself as a devil of some sort, nor do I think of this website as such a damnable thing to sentence me to an eternity of hellish torture (NOTE: Do not click the preceding link).
Natural Log
Just because I'm in math, doesn't mean I like to flaunt it. For those of you non-mathies reading this, the natural log of a number x is the log base e of x. Got that? According to Dr.Math it's called "natural" because "...e just naturally shows up again in growth problems, and in some statistics problems too...". I don't know about statistics problems, but I didn't see much e when I was having problems growing up. Maybe that was part of the problem...
The Lyon's Den
No. Besides, it's already taken by some girl from California who calls herself The Lyonesse. She also likes monster trucks.
The I Love Froggies Page
Sorry Ang.

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March 20, 2002


How about this for a title: One Big Rant. Sorta sums up my whole life up to this point, doesn't it?

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March 13, 2002

Blog Stalked!

I'm sure you've all read my Blog Stalker rambling. If you haven't, then this entry will make little sense. Oh hell, it's pretty weak even if you do know what I'm talking about. Anyway...

I seem to have a Blog Stalker of my own. Apparently the girl Ryan is currently seeing (dare I say his girlfriend?) has been taking it upon herself to learn a little bit more about him, so she did what any Information-Age citizen would do: she looked him up on the web. She came across Ryan and my horribly outdated online journal from Japan. Any of you who have ever read it knows that Ryan lost interest in contributing about halfway though, but I courageously continued, telling the world of the evils of Hello Kitty, and to beware of Japanese toilets.

It appears she is captivated by my, shall we say "unique" writing abilities and has been reading all about my adventures. Now that was all well and good until I met her the other day. According to Ryan, she's usually a friendly chatty person, but not yesterday. When Ryan saw me and waved me over from across the Math C&D, she immediately became flustered and covered her face with her hands (lest I recognize her? I've never seen her before!). She barely said two words to me the entire time I was there. She is now an "acquaintance", in the loosest sense. I don't know anything about her, but she knows a lot about me. She has become my Blog Stalker. She may even be reading this blog right now...

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January 29, 2002

The Blog Stalker

New Misc Rambling by yours truly. Despite what you may read, I still want you to keep reading my site. Please.

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January 17, 2002

Toilet Humour

Ask and ye shall receive. I got two submissions for miscellaneous ramblings. Unfortunately one of them violated my Bell Sympatico terms of service agreement, so I can't post it. apparently bashing Bell and posting child porn are equivalent violations. Sorry Dav.

The article that did make it is by everyone's favorite Brownmannn Amit Malhotra. Read all about his adventures in the stalls in Toiletry Pleasantry.

PS - Hi Ang!

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January 14, 2002

A Sense Of Community

I was reading my friend Rafi's blog today. He was writing about linking to other blogs and checking his popularity amongst other bloggers. I realize that my "blog" isn't part of any greater blog community, and the only people reading this site are myself and anyone else I personally forced to read it. But you know, I don't care. I was never much of a team player when it comes to hobbies: never on a high school sports team, never part of a club or society (except Boy Scouts).

Don't get me wrong, I would love for lots of people to read this site. Hell, it would bring that extra level of meaning into my life, but you know, I do this because I enjoy it. To hell with the rest of you.

On an unrelated topic, feel free to submit some articles and a possible name for this site! And tell your friends!

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January 1, 2002

Same Shit, Different Year

Happy New Year everybody.

I've decided to enlist some people to help out with my website. I'll be taking submissions for the Miscellaneous Ramblings section as well as submitting my own. It should make the site slightly more entertaining than it is now. Look for some new submissions some time this month.

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December 15, 2001

What The World Needs Now

Welcome to Chris Lyon's Weblog! After 3 exams, 1 hard drive crash, and 2 operating system installations I finally got this page up. It's still a work in progress, so don't email me telling me that some of the pages aren't finished, I already know.

So what is this site all about? It's a place for me to rant and rave about my everyday life, let other people find out what I'm up to, but most of all, it's here to make me feel important.

Check back often! I update this site whenever I have something to say, and believe me, I always have something to say.

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