gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


2008: The year in review

January 02, 2009 @ 11:29 By: gordon Category: General, Meta, Travelling

2008 was a year of highs and lows (though I guess that can be said about most years) – fortunately there weren’t many lows.

It included my Granddad’s 100th birthday party, curling, a ridiculous amount of snow, a trip to San Antonio, a trip to Greece, dealing with water damage in my apartment caused by a leaky air conditioner, dragonboating, playing Ultimate, going climbing in the Gatineau Hills for the first time after years of climbing in rock gyms, a trip to Quebec City, meeting some of the Harlem Globetrotters (Curly and Buckets) while playing bells at the A-Channel and some geocaching (though not as much as I’d have liked).

Travelling for work

While I didn’t travel as intensively for work this year as I did in 2007 (5 regional offices in 7 weeks between the end of October 2007 and early-December 2008), I did make a few trips for work in 2008. I was one of a few people from work who attended SAS Global Forum 2008 in San Antonio, Texas in March. I wrote four entries about the experience and even posted some pictures in my gallery.

In September, a co-worker and I went to Toronto and spent most of a week testing new versions of her survey’s questionnaire with respondents. This involved a huge amount of driving as we covered Toronto, Orillia, Guelph, St Catharines and all places in between. It was very interesting as most of my experience at work had been with household surveys and her survey covers businesses and governments.

Travelling for fun

The most notable piece of travelling I did in 2008 was two weeks in Greece in late-May for my cousin’s wedding. The trip included spending a few days in Athens prior to the wedding, several days in Tripolis and then most of the rest of the time in Nafplio. It was an amazing trip and I want to go back soon! I had intended on blogging more than I actually did, but what I did you can find in the Greece 2008 category.

I spent a week or so in Quebec City at the end of September attending the 16th General Assembly of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS). Though I don’t work in the heritage field, I have been involved with ICOMOS since the early 1990s. Held every three years, this was the second General Assembly I’ve attended. It was nice seeing people I’ve gotten to know over the years and time spent in Quebec City is never a bad thing. I took a few pictures while there, which you can view in my gallery.


2008 blog stats According to the WordPress statistics plugin, my blog was viewed 22 512 times in 2008. Overall, the most popular entry continues to be the one I wrote on Ontario’s graduated licensing system in 2006.

The most popular entry from 2008 is the one about my experiences with the wordpress.net.in spam injection hijack exploit, but the entry that generated the most traffic in a single day is one I wrote on December 1st asking people to fill in the blanks in a letter to the Governor General, which someone submitted it to reddit.com, leading to 222 hits on December 4th alone.

My geocaching entries also generated a fair bit of traffic, with the one I wrote about a bomb scare caused by a poorly-placed geocache in Ottawa leading the pack. It was published on the 26th of July and generated 393 hits, between then and the end of the month. It also lead to me being quoted by the Ottawa Citizen and appearing on the national news on CBC’s English and French television networks.

The Kasper Holmberg affair in which a Carleton University student named Mansour Moufid used keylogger software and a magstripe reader to steal student information in order to expose weaknesses in the campus card system was the source of inspiration for a couple of four entries in September. It generated a fair bit of discussion before I closed the entries to further comments after a couple of comments calling me a “bigot” and “racist” were submitted by someone very close to Moufid – possibly Moufid himself. Surfing the web, it became clear this was part of a coordinated campaign to generate sympathy for Moufid being waged, with anyone saying things like he should go to jail being targeted. Ultimately, this resulted in me having to write about the rules in my sandbox.

2008 ended with a series of entries about the OC Transpo strike (here, here, here, here, here and here). The general tone of the comments suggests that people don’t have a lot of sympathy for the drivers’ union.

Looking ahead to 2009

So, what does 2009 hold in store?


I’ve already committed to dragonboating with the Singapore Slings again this year and I want to play Ultimate again. Golfing is another activity I’d like to do more of in the upcoming year. More climbing outdoors and hopefully learning how to do lead rope climbing are also on my to-do list for 2009.

Travelling is on the list too. The list of places I’d like to visit is quite extensive. I’d like to get over to the UK to visit my friends Rob and Yuki at some point and also put some new countries in my passport, too. If this winter is anything like last winter then I’ll be champing at the bit to go somewhere warm and sunny in the next two or three months. Combining travelling with golfing or climbing would be a lot of fun.

And I’d like to do more geocaching.

2 Responses to “2008: The year in review”

  1. Grace says:

    Hey Gord! I’ve been thinking of trying ultimate once I’ve worked out a bit (there’d be way too much huffing and puffing at this point — I need to get to the gym for a while first). Is it fun? What’s your advice for a newbie?

  2. gordon says:

    Hi Grace…

    I had a blast playing Ultimate! There’s a lot of running, which is something I don’t usually have to contend with in my daily routine. I highly recommend buying a pair of soccer cleats as every bit of traction helps. After my first game I could barely walk because one of my ankles was killing me. My boss coaches soccer and he suggested taping my ankle, which helped immensely.

    Spending a bit of time at the gym on an elliptical machine or treadmill should help build your stamina. 🙂

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