By Richard Hsu
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No Smoking

Adele noticed the No Smoking signs at the train stop and said:
Daddy! Look! No smoking!

A lady standing by heard it and smiled.

Later, inside the train, Adele noticed No Smoking signs again and said:
Daddy! Look! No smoking!

The same lady, now sitting across from us smiled and said:
She is a sweetie. Like mommy, taking care of Daddy.

Waiting to Pay

Standing in the snake line
Waiting to pay
Passing my time at Winners
It's half day
Notebooks on the left
Protein food on the right
Thinking to myself
I am feeling bright

They Said It

Adele was sleepy after dinner so I carried her to the powder room to brush teeth. I asked her "is your battery down?" She replied "no, it's blinking".

Me: Aiden, you will get a kick.
Aiden: Is that a methaphor or a simile?
Me: It is a prediction.


Wanted Root Beer.

I would have settled for a Diet Coke or anything cold and fizzy.

Skipped McDonalds because of three cars waiting at the Drive-Through.

Skipped the convenience store because I felt lazy to park the car.

At the mall, I went to the juice seller, ordered a Mango juice instead.

The lady taking the order heard Mango Smoothie and that is what she shouted to her colleague behind the counter.

I heard it but did nothing.

I got the Mango Smoothie, forced myself through half of it, and then threw the rest into the garbage.

Wasted perfectly edible Mango, water, and all that went into the Smoothie.

Wasted $5.

I still crave a Root Beer.

Jelly Bean Joe

I slept at 3am due to a dinner social event that ended late and also my pre-sleep bad habit of labouring over specification, benchmark, review, and pricing of desktop computer parts and camera equipment. G.A.S attack comes and goes but it is especially brutal between the November to January Birthday-Christmas season. I am close to the bottom of that now but that is a story for another day.

So this morning, sleepy and lethargic, I was vacuuming the basement and not enjoying it at all when I found a small toy in a corner. Recognising it as a Shopkin, I gave it to my daughter who was happy to get it back. She said "Oh! that's my Jelly Bean Joe*".

And just like that, life is interesting again!

* Online, I found references to Jelly B. but not Jelly Bean Joe so I asked my son. He educated me that it is a character from the TV show Odd Squad.

Canada Is in the War Business

Let's not kid ourselves, Canada is in the war business
Why the Canadian government hasn't criticized Saudi Arabia for its brutal attacks in Yemen [?]

Neil Macdonald, CBC.

Canada has a conflict of interest because Saudi Arabia is the No. 1 customer for our military business. The 14-year $14.8 billion contract to sell Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) is just 0.20% of Canadian exports annually but Canada's business reputation and 3000 jobs are at stake. There is no win-win here. Faced with a choice between a big business deal and 3000 Canadian jobs versus the safety of innocent civilians in far-away countries, Harper chose Canada and Trudeau did the same. Canadians, not the innocent civilians of Yemen elected them Prime Minister.

Other arms exporting countries are not clean either.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon used simple and clear language in his address to the General Assembly:

Powerful patrons that keep feeding the war machine also have blood on their hands. Present in this Hall today are representatives of governments that have ignored, facilitated, funded, participated in or even planned and carried out atrocities inflicted by all sides of the Syria conflict against Syrian civilians.

A Lengthy Reboot

I got my daily A.Word.A.Day (AWAD) email and the word of the day was narcissism. This was the first of many words related to the con man running for the president of the United States. Many things have been said and written about him but a few quotes in the email still surprised me and pushed the bar of narcissistic behaviour lower. I shared the AWAD email with my friend Deepti and her response was interesting. She was more curious about Anu Garg (creator of AWAD) and told me his bio is impressive. That made me go to wordsmith.org to read more about him. One of his creations is the Internet Anagram Server.

Curious to try it, I typed "Yet another blog" and clicked on Get anagrams. The anagram Altogether Bony got my attention and I liked it. I considered giving my website a name before but didn't like the names I could think of. Google search for Altogether Bony showed results related to bones but the exact phrase was not in use. It was a nonsensical name, had A. B. initials, and made me think of bare essentials. Deepti didn't like it because it made her think of bones too so she went back to the Internet Anagram Server and looked at other anagrams of Yet another blog. She recommended A Lengthy Reboot. Voila! It was geeky, relevant, and interesting.

So that is how this website got its name.


On a September 1st afternoon, I found an article about Linux kernel GPL enforcement on Hacker News. It referenced Torvald's reply on the thread. I read it and enjoyed the argument made and the style it was made in. It also got me curious about plain text formatting (*bold*, _underscore_, [footnotes], > for quoting). I suddenly had a desire to write like that and wondered if there was a blogging service that supported that. My website was on WordPress and it could work using <pre> Html tag but plain text wasn't the only way to write.

So I Googled for "plain text blog" and found http://calepin.co/ and it was nice but not exactly what I was looking for. I noticed the words "Powered by Pelican" in the footer. That got me looking up Pelican and I learnt it was a "static site generator written in Python". Interesting1. On the same Google results page, there was a blog post about building a static blog with Pelican. The post describes blogging options and makes an argument for static site generators. It also provides step-by-step instructions to get Pelican working, but the most useful paragraph for me was

The hosting resources required for public deployment are very small, allowing one to use very cheap hosts such as NearlyFreeSpeech. Outside the domain registration costs, the running costs come to less than $1 per month, which is a great saving!

NearlyFreeSpeech was the final3 ingredient needed to make Chaipress - my own static site generator. I don't know if it was the geekiness of NearlyFreeSpeech's website, their philosophy, or the pricing but it got me started and I had the first generated website up on September 17th. Writing the generator didn't take long but importing my WordPress posts did2. And I forgot about the plain text only thing that started all this.

I called it Chaipress because Chai(tea) is simple, easy-to-make, low cost, and refreshing. The press is a suffix borrowed from the names of other blogging systems (WordPress, Octopress).


  1. Python is my favourite and Blogging apps are an eternal curiosity of mine. I did try Pelican.
  2. Text encoding mistakes. WordPress posts were not in Html so I had to convert them using Markdown. In hindsight, I could have left it as-is and converted them during page generation instead.
  3. My previous attempts at writing my own blog engine went nowhere. When I started working as a programmer, blogging was a thing and writing a blog engine was also a thing. It still is.

World Cup of Hockey: NA vs. Russia

The match between North America(NA) and Russia in the World Cup of Hockey was fast, exciting, dramatic, and had an edge-of-the-seat heart pounding finish that makes hockey entertaining to watch. There was also the young guns of The West (US & Canada) versus the men of Russia angle. The end result was disappointing for me but Russia deserved to win it.

Some commentary

  • Matt Murray had a bad night and gave up 4 goals in a short span of time. That was too much to recover from even with the talent and youth that NA had. Gibson was solid after taking over from Murray and kept NA in the game till the end. It will be interesting to see if Murray starts in the next game and how will this affect his role in Penguins' lineup next month.

  • Bobrovsky, on the other hand, allowed 3 goals on 46 shots from NA. He was the MVP of the game. Russia, with their NHL snipers could only make 25 shots on goal. The contrast between shots and goals reminded me of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals between Penguins and Sharks.

  • NA team was too fancy many times resulting in missed chances or turnovers. It was nice to watch but not helpful to their cause. Time and experience in NHL will impart the wisdom to decide when to try low percentage moves and when to just keep it simple and pass or shoot.

  • After the shock of going from 1-0 to 4-1, the young guns of NA regained composure with the late 2nd-period goal. That set up an exciting 3rd-period chase. It was comforting that NA didn't panic.

  • Apart from a one-timer that hit the post, Ovechkin was quiet. Same for Malkin. Datsyuk was busy and I saw some smooth moves but it was the other players that made the difference.

  • It was my first time watching the new NHL players like Auston Matthews, Morgan Reilly, Connor McDavid, and Nathan MacKinnon. I am excited for the start of the NHL season with two of them playing for Toronto Maple Leafs especially Auston Matthews (first draft pick).

  • It could easily have gone to overtime. Now I regret deleting the recorded game. I could watch the 3rd period many times and still not get bored like Game 6 of the 2015-16 Penguins vs Sharks.

  • It was an odd experience watching the recorded game and forwarding to skip the ads and commentaries. While I could watch the match in just over an hour instead of the two to three hours a live broadcast takes, it felt a bit rushed and highlight like. Maybe I missed the commentaries. Maybe the act of pressing Forward and Play on the remote control frequently disrupted the concentration needed to enjoy and watch the game. Maybe both.

  • Notice I didn't use the word grit that Team USA has been using to describe their style of physically aggressive play. There was some pushing around, face washing, and body checks but all forgettable. It was few and far in between and didn't matter. That is how hockey should be played.

Home Made Static Site Generator

First new post on the home made static site generator. Feature complete with RSS and a few nice things like auto Title casing. No more ads.