Your Domain Name Contains a Protected Word or Inappropriate Language – Not Really, But Too Bad For You

The Microsoft Forums are overflowing with people trying to use Windows Live Custom Domains service but are getting the “This domain name can’t be used because it contains a protected word or inappropriate language. Please contact support if you feel this is not the case.” Sadly, almost every case was dragged out for months with little or no response from the support agent. And in every case, the domain was perfectly fine – there are no inappropriate language or protected words.


Now, I have to setup hosted email for a customer by the end of the week. It’s a small 2 person deal and I’m getting this error. I’m not willing to drag this out for months as Microsoft’s support drags their feet. It can’t take more than 5 minutes to validate a domain and clear it, and I’m certain that their volume isn’t such that it takes months to resolve this.

That leaves me with Google Apps, but then I can’t setup push email. So that’s no good either. Anyone have another service they can recommend?

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Peritonsillar Abscess, Better Known as Sore Throat from Hell

This was posted as a reply on Facebook. But some people commented that they don’t do Facebook, and I have to agree with them on that. So I’m re-posting here on my blog. Aren’t you lucky. ;)

I had a mild sore throat for about 5 days and didn’t think much about it. Things really started to get bad on Tuesday and I left work early to visit the Doctor. The Doctor took a mouth swab to send off and see if it was Strep, but I wouldn’t get the results until Friday. So she gave my a simple antibiotic and some stuff to gargle with. After doing that for 2 days, my sore throat wasn’t getting any better. The medicine the Doctor gave me wasn’t helping. It got to the point where I couldn’t even swallow a mouth full of water because it just hurt too much. Since it was getting to hard to swallow, I was consuming less food, and more importantly water. (I had been drinking soup since Tuesday at lunch, but less and less each day). I just couldn’t take the pain any more.

So the other morning at 2am, I decided that I wasn’t going to wait for the results from my doctors throat swab and I went to the hospital emergency room.  They loaded me up on quality pain killers – Tylenol and Motrin had zero effect on me and hooked up the fluids to fight off dehydration.

In the end, it was the right call because that throat swab my doctor did never would have shown that I had a Peritonsillar abscess ( ), although the specialist didn’t seem to like the calling it an abscess.

She made a couple small incisions at the back of my mouth between my tonsils and the left side (where the pain was) and while that hurt like you would not believe, it relieved the pain. Now, just 12 hours after getting home from the hospital, I am having no problems drinking whatever I want and could easily eat real food again – although I’m taking it slowly.

The downside is that I’m hooked up to a couple IV’s for just under a week as they pump me full of antibiotics. And I have follow up appointments like you wouldn’t believe. But it’s a small price to pay to be able to eat again! Heck, I’m just glad this didn’t happen before the long weekend – to miss all that food from the wedding and then 2 thanksgiving dinners would have sucked.

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The Goodness of Sugared Cereal

I’ve heard it a million times growing up – Sugar cereals are junk and are no good for you. Of course that was always followed up by buying those non-sugar cereals which I would just coat with sugar making the end result more sugar for me!

But after all that, I noticed something a little while ago when buying cereal for my kids. You see, cereal companies have taken to putting nutritional details on their packages. Which sheds a little light on the lies my mother fed me as a child. Check out the following image:


The top part is from one of those sugar cereals, and the lower part is from one of those “good for you” non-sugared boxes. They’ve got a lot of the same information on the label like the calorie count of 110. The total fat isn’t exactly the same, but 1 gram versus 0 grams is insignificant in my books. Things get really interesting when you start to compare the sodium found in a serving. The “good for you” non-sugared cereal has more than double the sodium found in the sugared box – 220 milligrams compared to just 105 milligrams. That’s insane. There’s no need for so much sodium in a serving. Oh, and while we’re talking servings, they’ve indicated that a serving is just ¾ of a cup. I don’t know anyone that has just ¾ of a cup of cereal. At the least, I would expect everyone to have double that, while on average I think you would find people having 3 times that. So, with 1 helping of the “good for you” non-sugared cereal, you’re taking in 27% or 660 milligrams of your daily recommended amount of sodium.

To be fair, the sugar count on the sugared cereal is more than double that of the “good for you” non-sugared one. In fact, it’s pushing 3 times. Sure you need to be concerned about sugar and sodium that your children consume, but you can’t tell me that the non-sugared cereal is any better for you than the sugared one. High salt diets can increase your risk of conditions like stomach cancer, cataracts, osteoporosis and high blood pressure. Yes, I know that high sugar diets increase your risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and respiratory disease.

The end result is that the “good for you” non-sugared cereal is just as bad for you as the sugared cereal. So just buy the cereal that you think tastes good and go with it. :)

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Unsubscribing From FutureShop’s Newsletter – An Exercise in Futility

2 days ago, FutureShop had a nice one-day sale that was only available online. Since there is a store just around the corner from my place, I would normally head into the store, but this sale was online. Not a big deal, I buy online from hundreds of places all the time. Surely FutureShop has figured out how to do this correctly, right? Wrong.

First off, during the registration process I unclicked the checkbox asking if I wanted to subscribe to their newsletter only to find a “Thanks for subscribing” email in my inbox shortly after. After double checking my settings on their site, I figured it was sent as a mistake upon registration where they meant to send the unsubscribe email and mistakenly sent the subscribed one. It’s a pretty simple mistake and should have been caught with proper testing.

This morning I awoke to find an email newsletter from FutureShop telling me about some crap they now have I in stock. At this point, ‘it fairly obvious that the registration process screwed up my preferences and request not to get this junk. No problem, I can click the unsubscribe link in the email and everything will be right in the universe – WRONG.

When you click the unsubscribe link you’re taken to a page that asks why, I select “Other” and explain that I never subscribed when I registered. After clicking the next button, you’re taken to a page that asks you to confirm your email address and newsletter preference. Only problem is that this page is broken so you can’t successfully unsubscribe. Look at the screen shot below to see what happens when you try and submit that page.


The breadcrumb clearly indicates that I’m on the right page to unsubscribe. The instructions also clearly state that you need to uncheck the box if you wish to unsubscribe, and they tell me that I can do that at ANY time. However, when you click the Submit button you’re presented with an error that says you need to click the checkbox! So which is it?

Right now, I’m seriously regretting that I signed up on their website. These errors are simple and should have been caught in testing. There is no excuse for putting people through this hassle. I can understand one mistake, but this is a series of errors that screws with my privacy. If you can’t get the website to work correctly, how are you going to get me my order in a timely manner?

What’s my next step to get this junk removed from my inbox? I can’t mark it as junk because I actually need to see the emails about my order. :(

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xkcd Speaks the Truth

This cartoon from xkcd speaks the truth.  That’s exactly what I do every day. :)

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The Canadian Gold Medal Hockey Song

You know we love our hockey, eh! After the Gold medal performance at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, there’s an new song going around. Based off Stompin’ Tom Connors classic “Hockey Song”, but the words are updated to reflect the performance of the Canadian Men’s hockey team. It’s a great twist on the old classic and it’s also a great summary of the games leading to the gold medal match.

Now, if only someone would do something to recognize the performance of the women’s team. After all, they’ve been solid for 3 winter Olympics in a row – landing their 3rd Gold medal. :)

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The Puck Goes Through the Net…

I spent a number of days travelling during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and on more than one occasion, I commandeered the TV in the lobby of the hotel to show the hockey game. (For those that know me, I have a history of commandeering buses in order to get where I need to go. So a TV is relatively easy, even if there’s no remote. ;) )

For the Canada – German Men’s Hockey game we had a couple co-workers, myself and various Canadians that were staying in the hotel, sitting around the lobby TV drinking some beer and watching the game. And then it happened – Shea Weber’s amazing “Puck Through the Net” goal. If you didn’t watch this game, you NEED to watch the clip CTV has posted on YouTube. They clearly show the puck passing through the net. INCREDIBLE.  What the video doesn’t show is the when the referee skated over to the net and checked to make sure it wasn’t damaged in any way. There was two black marks on the mesh where the puck passed through, but the net remained intact.

Unfortunately,, CTV is not allowing the video to be embedded into other sites. So you’ll have to click over to YouTube to see this in action. Trust me, it’s worth watching!

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Olympic Kick off at the Temporale House

I’ve been looking forward to this since the end of the Beijing Olympics a couple years ago. Finally it is upon us – Today’s the big day!  I’ve been a big fan of the Olympics for a while now, and I got the kids hooked too.  My daughter started about 4 years ago, but it didn’t really kick in until a Beijing when my son was old enough to watch as well.  We’re all gathering around the tube tonight to watch the opening ceremonies.

It’s been a lot fun getting to this point. We were able to catch the Olympic torch as it passed through our city. My son and I got a chance to meet a local Olympian – John Wood, who had carried the torch and then hung around to talk with the community. He even had his silver medal on hand and was passing it around to the children. My son was really excited to meet an Olympian and to see a real medal in person. And to be honest, so was I. :)

The kids didn’t really understand what all this torch stuff was about at that time. But now that we’ve been following it across the map, we’re all looking forward to it being carried into the stadium tonight. Still wondering who will be the person to light the torch.

Got some pictures below that I took during the torch relay in downtown Oakville.

Best of luck to all the athletes. Go Canada! and Go Vancouver!


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Las Vegas – Always Something To Do

Once again, I was in Las Vegas last week. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been to Vegas, but what amazes me is that there is always something new and interesting to see and do. This visit was for CES – the Consumer Electronics Expo. Once that was over, my wife flew in and we sent a couple days enjoying ourselves. This time, we saw O, the Cirque du Soleil show at Bellagio’s, caught a couple live concerts at the new Hard Rock cafe on the strip, and ascended to the top of the Eiffel Tower at Paris hotel and Casino. After all the trips to Las Vegas, I had never gone up the tower, so we figured it was something to try. While at the top, we caught a performance at the Bellagio Fountains. I’ve seen the fountains from the ground a thousand times, but it’s really different to see it from that high up and at night – which makes it even nicer, in my opinion.  I captured part of the performance on my FlipHD and uploaded it for all to see. :)

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I’m Ending my Relationship with Starbucks

brand With the exception of weekends, for the last 7 and a half years I’ve been a regular morning visitor to the closest Starbucks. The funny thing is; I’m not a coffee drinker.  In fact, I can’t stand the smell of it. Instead of getting a coffee, I was grabbing one of their Tazo teas by the name of Awake.  As the name indicates, it’s a great way to wake up and start the day. 

Starbucks has decided to do away with the regular collection of Tazo tea bags and replace them with a more expensive loose leaf option. I can understand that some people might want the loose leaf option, but for me it had too much of a raw tree taste to it.  Not to mention that it costs more too! If you’re going to drop something from your menu, it would be nice if you could replace it with something of equal or lesser value. This is even more important given today’s economic conditions.

The end result here is that I’m done with Starbucks.  I’m going to turn off the auto-refill that’s configured on my Buckies card and call it quits. Truth is that I’ve been thinking of breaking the habit for a while now, this just forces me to do it now. It’s been a good run and I sure enjoyed the jolt that it gave me in the mornings. But I’m not going to pay more for something I don’t care for.  The real hard part is quitting cold turkey, especially at one of the busiest times of the year.  :(

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