Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I'm done.

That's it. I'm not doing this any more. I thought I had some good debates and had fun over the last two years in the blogshpere, but no more. This morning I received an e-mail from fellow blogger 'jeff' in which he threatened to do an 'expose' on me, that he would be publishing my personal information like my address and phone number and that he would be contacting - and I quote - my 'wife and\or children' to tell them about me.

Well, blogging is fun, but I won't endanger my privacy or the privacy of my family. I will no longer be making any posts or comments. It is simply not worth it. In the end, I have better things to do with my time than engage in online vendettas or even fights involving lawyers and cops.

I could fight this, and quite effectively (and I still might have to if the threats are carried out), but that would be too much of a distraction from my private and professional life. I've done the cost-benefit analysis and I have decided that the fight is simply not worth it.

There 'jeff' you won. Happy? Your the king of the internet trolls. Enjoy your reign. I am done with you and this whole thing.

To all my blog buddies, feel free to drop me a line if you are ever in Ottawa and we can have coffee - I still appreciate the many friends I have made, even those of you on the BT's. In the real world, I have found that we are all pretty much the same, so I'll keep it to the real world.



I am trying to come to an amicable understanding with 'jeff' to get beyond this. In an effort to move thing forward let me explain a few things, since many people are e-mailing me and asking.

Jeff and I have been sparring in the blogshpere since pretty much the beginning two years ago. At first he was 'Alberta Nation' and then became Jeff. We had many a 'tete-a-tete', often passionate ones. Last year, during a very passionate discussion, I outed Jeff - I published his real name and the city in which he lived. I repeated this on a few blogs comment sections.

This action was completely uncalled for on my part. It was juvenile and vengeful. I had not used Jeff real name since that time (nearly 18 months now) mostly because I think, deep down, I knew what I had done to him was wrong.

Jeff, let me apologize for that right now. I should have realized how bad that was and respected your desire for (pseudo) anonymity. What I did was uncalled for. I'm sorry for any difficulties this may have caused.

Jeff is not a bad guy. He is passionate in his beliefs and has himself admitted that he sometimes 'talks out of his ass' - don't we all. We have even occasionally agreed on things and, in a strange irony, it was Jeff that told me to take down the picture of my newborn last December because, as he said, there are lots of weirdos out there.

I have already obfuscated Jeff's real name on my blog here, at the request of another Jeff by the same name from his city about a month ago.

Now, this was all water under the bride until last week. On another blog, Jeff was 'outed' again and this is what precipitated this latest issue. Jeff has already come to terms with that blog owner, and that blog has removed the post with his name. As I am friends with this blog owner and had met him in person a few days before, Jeff decided I was part of this latest 'outing' as well.

Jeff, I wasn't.

All that being said, let me say this:

My name is Mike Park and I live in Ottawa. Yes, that is really me in the picture to the right (though not my bike, sadly). I have now 'outed' myself to the same extent I 'outed' Jeff.

I still don't think I will return to blogging anytime soon. What transpired between Jeff and I has forced me to reconsider my personal responsibility in all this and I think I need time to come to terms what can happen when one tries to be (pseudo) anonymous on the web. I hope Jeff will drop me a line or give me a call so we can talk and work this out. I would like cooler heads to prevail and not, as Zorph has said to me, 'internet stupidity.'

In the meantime, as the Buddhists say, I will choose 'Noble Silence.'

Upper Date:

Cooler Heads have prevailed. Thanks Jeff. Perhaps I'll be back in the New Year.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Quick Hits

Its going to be a very busy few weeks. I am moving, both personally and at work. Personally I will be moving into a new house with the family on December 15th. That's the good news. We have to give up our current house to the new owners on November 30th. Meaning we have to live with the in-laws for a month.


All this means that I will be very intermittent in posting, since the in laws don't have the internet and I will only have access either at work or when I am packing in the evenings.

And at work, I am moving from our downtown office out to our Kanata office for the next 3 months, starting today. This means even the occasional post from work will be unlikely, since I will be back into leading a full development project again. There is the possibility of a business trip to Vancouver sometime as well.

Ah, life!

Speaking of family, I would like to pass on my heartfelt condolences to Ed Broadbent on the passing of his wife, Lucille, after a battle with cancer. I had the good fortune to meet Ed last year during the election campaign at an all candidates rally here in Ottawa. I got the chance to say thank you for all his work in the past and wished him and his wife well in their fight.

Again thank you Ed and thank you Lucille for being the one that encouraged him and helped him all these years.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Today, we continued a little family tradition that started a few years ago, when my son was a toddler. We gather in our living room and watch the Act of Remembrance from the cenotaph on CBC.

We started this after a past November 11 - one much like today in Ottawa: rainy, cold and grey. Back then my wife and I made our way downtown with our kids. My son was still in the pram and my daughter small enough to ride on Daddy's shoulders. But the cold got to the kids, the umbrellas blocked our view and the crowds were too much. The following year we stayed home to watch on TV.

Our family has found this new tradition to be very moving. We can talk and explain to the kids what is happening, and why we are doing it. The kids get to see their dad get misty and occasionally sob out loud.

This year my 5-year-old saluted when he say the soldiers. My daughter sang 'Oh Canada' along with the crowd. We all joined in, singing in French and English. We stood at attention during the moment of silence, in front of the couch. While fighting back tears, I explained to my kids where poppies come from and why we wear them as the kids choir sang 'In Flanders Field'. My 11-month-old clapped along with the bag-pipes during the lament.

And most of all we talked about Uncle Tim, my brother. My kids are just barely understanding that our soldier's are still dying in war, but they know that their Uncle Tim is a soldier. They've seen him in his uniform, they've heard him talking about driving tanks and firing guns. They don't yet know that he is a Warrant Officer in the 1st Hussars and may be sent to Afghanistan, since we are "scrambling" for soldiers for the mission. They don't quite get what the could mean for their aunt and their cousin. Or for their Dad and Grampa and Gramma.

And we talked about Maj. Charles F. Rothera, 97th Algonquin Rifles, veteran of WWI and founder and first President of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 182 - my great-grandfather. We talked about LCpl William A. Rothera, Royal Canadian Signal Corps, veteran of WWII and past President of Royal Canadian Legion Branch 182 - my grandfather.

We told our family stories of Ypres, teaching King George how to work the radio, missing the first wave at Dieppe because of nature's call, fighting across the Schelt. We laughed at gopher holes in Wainwright, dislocated shoulders from prematurely fired 75mm cannons and giving away your -25 C Army-issue sleeping bag to an old widow in Kempville after the ice storm.

In short, we remembered. We brought to life and made real and personal what is normally a grainy black-and-white movie with a solemn deep voice-over. None of us wore red and only a few of us still had our poppies. We just remembered, as a family.

We also remembered that the Red Poppy does not glorify war, but honours the warriors and reminds us that their real wish is "Never Again."

Thank you great grandfather.

Thank you Grampa.

Thanks Tim.