January 26, 2013


SHIRLEY RILEY: February 28, 1929 - May 10, 2012

Keeping this old webpage online for nostalgia.  ... Mike

October 19, 2003

It’s official: I’m heading off to Mexico with Mom for a few months. Maybe 3, maybe 6. Depends on what happens while I’m there. But what an adventure! I thought the family might like to get a glimpse of what life will be like there, so today you will find images from my trip in February.

As for this website, the timing is good. Chris and I had already talked about him taking over the reins. After all, he is the web expert... I’m just a historian. So expect to see some interesting changes coming your way.

My email will be the same as it is now, so I will be easy to talk to. I love you all, especially Matthew and Erica, whom I am already homesick for, and who I will miss deeply. Wish me luck!

This is the lake down the street.


This is the Living Room where I will hang out.


This is the nearby hotel pool where we can eat lunch....


This is the view from our front porch. Yes, that’s all Mom’s property, as far as you can see.


This is the local market where we will often shop.


And this is where I will get my software!


October 15, 2003

Autumn is definitely the time to be out there, testing your skills as a photographer, roaming through the valleys in search of prey. Karsh may have produced some fantastic portraits, but oh, my... the colour in the leaves this time of year beats the pants off an easy chair and a studio light. If any of you have some shots you are particularly fond of, send them along and get your name in lights right here.

October 4, 2003
The photo below was taken just a few mornings ago at Britannia Yacht Club off Carling. A very foggy morning it was. Click the pic.

September 22, 2003

In case you hadn’t noticed, the TV SEASONS page is being populated again. It lists the new shows and all of the premiere nights daily. Sometimes I miss getting a chance to post the information ahead of time; when that happens, there are plenty of links on the TV SEASONS page to take you to current listings so you won’t miss anything. As usuall, if you want to share your critique of any show or movie, please feel free to drop me a line at mike at rileyfamily.ca... After today, just click on the big link in the upper right corner....

September 16, 2003

This interesting vehicle has been poking its head up out of the waters around the Web lately. It would appear to be the first vehicle truly capable of being driven as a normal car, and as a marine vehicle. In the past, this type of combination equipment hasn’t caught on, not just because of price, but because it made both a lousy car and a useless boat. The Aquada may bypass that. We all want one, don’t we?!


September 15, 2003

Here’s a link to a a list of ALL THE NEW SHOWS by day of the week, including which day they actually start and which network they are on. I leave it to you to figure out which channel you get it on, if at all. For instance, a lot of stuff starts tonight, Sept. 15, but on UPN, so you would have to have extended channels in your lineup and hope you get them on one of the SuperStations. Makes no nevermind: we will get most of them anyway eventually on our own channels... .

Click on the Pic below to find an “interactive” window that previews the new shows and their debuts. Their are recommendations for each night, as well as a full table of “What’s coming and when”. I’ll still be posting mini-reviews and reactions when I get the chance, but this way you won’t have to cross your fingers every time you come here (which is often, isn’t it?) to see what’s on tonight....

September 14, 2003

Wow. Here is something really useful. You may have read that in the US. they are starting an “opt-out” service whereby people can add their names to a list of “Don’t Call Me” names for telemarketers. Well, turns out we already have something like that in Canada. In a stunning play of foresight, this list will also keep you off a lot of junk mail lists, as well. There are some restrictions; for example, your name is only listed for three years, although there is no reason why you can’t sign up again after that. And, more telling, not all advertisers are scrupulous enough to adhere to the rules. However, if this thing works and stops even half of this crap from coming into my home via phone or mailbox, it will be worth it.

It’s available through the Canadian Marketing Association’s website, and is called the Do Not Contact Service.

September 8, 2003

In perhaps the least-exciting new Fall TV season arrival ever, shows will be appearing at random times over the next couple of months. The end of September and most of October will be the heaviest hit. There will be fewer new shows than I’ve ever seen for a new season... but that doesn’t mean they’ve spent more time making them better.

A couple have started, and you can go here for my Quick Takes. Meantime, I will begin preparing a TV grid listing all the new dates, times, and channels. Stay tuned, as they say...

September 7, 2003

Thanks, Judi, for sending some scanned photos of your grandchildren, young and younger. Click here:


August 23, 2003

Shea is 17 years old today! Here’s a baby picture Unka Chris found:

August 19, 2003

For his 20th year, Matt started as the new SERVICE MANAGER at the Telus Mobility store on Rideau St. Way to go, Matt. Now, can we get a deal... ? (Click pic for 85K version.)

August 18, 2003

Today is a special day. Today, Chris turns 48. And yet he still looks 38. Amazing, isn’t it? Let’s hear it for our artistic brother. Click the pic for a bigger version. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAH BRUTHA!

August 8, 2003
Here’s a fine treat for lovers of old rock’ n’ roll and new: a fabulous group called Big Daddy. No relation to Big Daddy Roth.

These are a bunch of guys who take popular rock tunes and finesse them so they sound like 50’s Rock ‘n’ Roll. But they are way more than a novelty act. It is very impressive to hear “Fixing a Hole’ by the Beatles recut to sound like “The Wanderer” from Dion deLucci. Click the pic to link to a jukebox collection of samples so you can hear for yourself.


August 8, 2003
In the early Sixties, Rat Fink was king. I think the expression comes from movies of the 40s and 50’s, when to be a “rat fink” meant you were a lowlife who squealed on his buddies. But in my day, Rat Fink had become the creation of Big Daddy Roth. and if you know about Big Daddy, you might not be surprised to ehar that he is still around!


July 23, 2003
Hello my family! I Am Spam. Spam I Am! You may know me as Chris, but in some Internet circles I'm known as Spam I Am. I use an "alternate" name (nickname, nick, handle) when I communicate through discussion forums, or message boards.

"Spam's Big Ugly Page of Mostly Smileys" came to be after seeing the use of these cute little images on message boards and discussion forums over the years . Most are small in size, about 1kb for a 16 x 16 pixel image. Some are static images, but many are actually animated and display a human emotion, or an action that helps get your message across.

Today’s version of the Happy Face

Original version of the Have A Nice Day boy

All of them are based on the 1960's amorous Smiley Face that openly advised us to "Have a nice day!". And we did, for our world was in turmoil over human rights, questionable politics, and the ugliness of a protested war that made victims of it's own innocent citizens. We needed things to give us hope and a smile in the face of those stressful times. Smiley Face's appeared on t-shirts and buttons and people invented variations of smiley to express a wide variety of "personal messages" of the day, and declared "I am an individual!".

Once the PC became available and anybody could use a simple image editor, electronic versions of Smiley Face (now know as "smileys") appeared in messages all over the Internet. Hundreds, if not, thousands of electronic smileys are now available to express any message you wish to convey. Smileys offer a plethora of styles, themes, and emotions to add personality, humour and magic to your Internet message.

Today, many forums make it possible for you to easily embed smileys in your forum messages and personal signatures that will get displayed in the reader's Web browser. All you have to know is the URL of an image and use the discussion forum tools to add the URL to your message. (Here's a URL to an image on the Internet: [http://www.rileyfamily.ca/smileys/wave.gif]). When your message is viewed by others, it looks for the presence of any special code and renders the result within the message for the reader to see. In the case of a URL to an image, the message will follow the URL, retrieve a copy of the image and display it in the message. Most message boards that have this feature will include a way to easily add an image to your message.

I made "Spam's Big Ugly Page of Mostly Smileys" because I've collected a lot of them and wanted an easy way to access them all at once. You're free to use this page, as well.

July 17, 2003
One of the few times Roger posed in uniform. Click for larger image, which I’ve colour-corrected.


July 15, 2003
Every now and then I get nostaligic and dig through Roger A. Riley’s old wooden footlocker. Inside are nostalgic bits of history that are at once immediate and ancient, like his leather tunic belt with all the metal clasps; the boot putties worn on parade; a box of service medals, their metallic coinage faring much better than their rainbow ribbons. Their are also lots of curiosities in the way of pictures with handwritten notes on the back, but no dates or other pertinent information.

Chris has been nagging me to get everything working again (like fixing the broken picture links). That’s a big job, and I’m getting to it, but it’s a lot more fun to share these new pictorial discoveries with you. Here are a few I’ve uncovered today....

July 3, 2003

C’mon, gang, it’s time to update your look. You must have some recent pictures; don’t you want everyone to see what you look like, all slimmed down and ready for the beach? Send ‘em to me and I will put them up here as fast as I can get them. While we wait, here’s Erica and Matt at the Experimental Farm in Ottawa about two weeks ago. Click for a 240K enlargement (about 40 sec. at 56K).

June 26, 2003

I recall one summer up at Lorne and Judi’s family cottage, preparing steak for the Barby. They had two knives in the drawer, so dull that they couldn’t slice the fat off the meat. I swore then and there I would never put any guest of mine through that kind of kitchen hell.

For Christmas this year, Erica ordered me a set of Miracle Blade 3 knives from TV. I was absolutely thrilled. I’ve always lusted after sharp knives. I’ve spent a fortune on Henckels knives, only to have to then spend a fortune on knive sharpeners, because nobody in the house ever sharpens up.... and everytime I go to use one, it’s dull again.




Then Matt started working for CutCo, selling “the sharpest knives in the world”. Yeah, well, this I had to see.

For a humorous review of the Miracle Blade infomercial, (“So sharp, you can cut a pineapple in mid air!)” click here. For a review of the CutCo knives, which to my surprise are truly amazing, click to our Reviews page.

June 25, 2003

How’s you lawn looking? With the recent heatwave, you’re probably soaking hundreds of gallons weekly into your grass. This year, we replaced the grub-infested front yeard with sod, and have been working steadily to maintain it. The latest aggravation is the encroachment of crabgrass on the edges of the lawn, where the grass meets the walkways.

My research indicates that the edges are targetted, because that’s where the crabgrass seed lies in wait, having already left it’s root tendrils under the asphalt. So yesterday we cut it right out . Now we will fill in the troughs with clean topsoil and seed, and a liberal dose of post-emergant crabgrass killer.

(click to enlarge: 115K)

June 23, 2003

Since the birthday fun is over, I’m changing the love-and-hearts motif, just for something to do. Instead, I say let’s celebrate summer vegetables! Yeah, greens, and herbs, and tomatos, and juicy, fleshy peppers, and Vidalia and Texas Sweet onions.... jum.

Fiddlehead season is already past, and I only had a single feed this year. Phooey. And nobody around here likes asparagus, so I get relatively little of that, too...



Anybody got a favourite vegetable? Tell us about it, and share your recipes, on the Riley Family forum.


June 19, 2003

Holy Cow, where did 17 years go? This is “my little girl”, the cutie-pie who would crawl on my back at the age of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and so on, so I could carry her up the stairs and ask me: “I’m still your little girl, right, Daddy? I’m still your favorite girlfriend, aren’t I?” And of course I would promise her that she was, because it was true. And it still is.

13 June, 1988
Click to enlarge (167K)

October, 1988
Click to enlarge (211K)









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