hello, world

I'm Michael, I've got something to say

In the 90's, there were these things called personal websites. This one's still going. Since the launch of etherlabs.net in '98, I've written about living in Japan and launching a failed business there, creating a sci-fi novel, marrying the girl of my dreams, turning 30 (and 40...), and raising a couple of lunatic but happy kids.

Nowadays I find myself writing about my projects and hobbies and kids. Oh, and risk management, which is what I do for a living; but I don't do that here.

Family; you can see the kids' website here.


I named this website emuu.net after my initials, em and double-u. I told the story of its history in my journal when I realized that I was fifteen years into this project. This site runs on a content management system that I wrote for the purpose. I'm just that much a nerd. To paraphrase the immortal Van Halen, I'm not like this because I have a website, I have a website because I'm like this.

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Hi Michael, I am a Canadian but has been working in ASIA for the past 20 years. My son who is 13 years old is currently going to school in Canada, where my wife, a Japanese, is taking care my son in Canada on a visitor status. I applied the Outland spousal sponsorship last Oct and we got our "decision made" last week. While we are waiting for the COPR, I would like to ask do I, as the sponsor, need to return to Canada right away with my wife after she gets her PR? I have a job here in Asia which takes time for me to resign and I am not sure if they will start to deem me as a resident (from a tax perspective) right after my wife becomes a PR. Can I return to Canada on a later date and would it jeopardize my wife PR status?


Hello, KK. I'd love to respond but you didn't provide your email address.

I am not an immigration specialist or a lawyer, but here goes:

You shouldn't need to accompany her, but it would be a good idea if your son were there: kids have a positive effect on these interactions.

Also, you only jeopardize the PR status if you don't show that you're living together. You don't have to be in Canada, but you do have to be together wherever you live, for the majority of each period they consider. The period changed recently, and will recently change again, so I won't quote the current statutes, you should look that up. This might be a good spot.



Hi Michael. I'm from the Philippines and married to a Canadian Citizen. My husband have just submitted our spousal visa application. My concern is that I used my maiden name in the application. I plan to submit my updated Surname once I get my updated passport with my husband's surname. Do you think that they will consider the change during the application? If yes, when should I submit my updated passport? (Should I send it while the application is still in CPC or when it's in the visa office in country?) How can I submit the change of my surname? Will it delay the processing time?



Thanks for writing. I don't know if it will delay your processing time. Whatever you do, make sure you tell the CPC about changes in your status as soon as possible. Surprising them with something like a name-change could be a show-stopper altogether: my (amateur) advice is not to risk it.

If you've already been told that your case has been sent on to the visa office in Manila, then I suggest you contact that office. I always found the in-country office more helpful than the general CPC help line in Canada. Try to find a website for the office in Manila and see if that offers any help.

Best of luck with your application. We've been in Canada for five years, now, we've had a daughter here and life is stable. It's worth the hassle!


Hi, My husband is a Permanent Resident in Canada and were both filipinos. He sponsored me and submitted the application in CIC Mississauga. Is that what you mean inland? I:m currently in the Philippines waiting for the email of CIC since my husband submitted it last Sept 30, 2015. How long it would take to wait for there update regatding this?regarding


It's been almost five years, but I believe that if you filed through Mississauga, you're in the outland process. The CIC website has good figures on the wait times by country.


As of today, that's 17 months, but that's after the "64 day" first setp (see the link near the top of the page).

You did the right thing by choosing the outland process. The inland process has a total of 27 months. And if your application is denied, you're finished!


All the best with your application Angelie.


Michael -

How does one get off your "shitlist"? The IP address of our car club's website and listserver (zmgna.org at xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx) appears on your shitlist. I don't know how or why it got there, but we are having random problems with our members not being able to get messages, and as far as I can determine, your list is the only SPAM list that includes our IP.

Chris Kotting

Hi! You've just been removed from my list, but I know that others have picked mine up over the years and may still be doing so. Moreover, if you got on my list by spam being sent to my little domain, my guess is the IP was used for sending a spam to others. There are a wide number of blacklists out there.



That said, I've had a look at the following site, your IP came up clean.


No response from this one, but the lists look like the real deal, you might check each individually.


P.S. You're the first person to ever write to have an IP removed.


I have some question relating to jewelry photography and I was wondering if you might be kind enough to provide some insight. The article you wrote was great but there are still some question left unanswered Thank you


Happy new year, Tony. I'm not sure that there's a lot more I can add about photographing jewelry, but what would you like to know?


Michael, Thanks much for the shitlist! Spammers are the devil's spawn.


Can't say it's been a pleasure to build, but I'm glad you found it useful James.


this is pretty after the fact but it just came to my attention that there was a hello kitty hell website. i started reading comments and saw yours wondering if the canadian really made the hello kitty combat patch on his fatigues. i can assure you he did because i am his sister and i heard about it and saw pics of it back then!! just the irreverent family humour coming thru! there are only 2 patches and he was in afghanistan at the time. i was amused to see all sorts of kitty sacriliges on the website!! long live a warped sense of humour!! :) Chuckling Canuck

kat (not kitty!!)

Good to know! Thanks for taking the time to write.

Is your brother back in Canada?


wow. I'll bet he will remember it, too.


This morning he was talking about a time that you and he and I and his mum went for a walk in a tunnel in a forest. After asking him a few more questions I think we're pretty sure that he was talking about the bamboo forest in Kyoto. When he was about nine months old. Does that make any sense at all?


Hi Michael. It's been a while..... I hope you are doing great and you are happy in Japan. Good luck , Margaret


Hello, Margaret! Thanks for writing.

I'm back in Canada as of this January. We came back after two grueling years of the economic downturn in that country. Happily, it was about two months before the earthquake, tsunami, and the incident at the nuclear power plant.

How's everything on the west coast? I see the B&B's still on the go. 8)


Just popping in to say hi, and to have a bit of a look around (looks like I could be looking a while).




Hey - I was just checking out your photography. You have a real talent there. Some of those pictures are very interesting. (Cute kids too). I just re-tooled my music studio. It's like going from Frankensteins's lab to a alien base on the moon. It's friggen' cosmic!

Kevin Atwood

Thanks for that, Kevin! Good to hear that you're still working in (and on) the home studio.

We've just launched our business, by the way (see link in upper-right).


Hi Michael!

Got your email re: my blogger site—I have two—to shy to let you see the personal one just yet but here is the one where my family posts messages for my son who is in Sri Lanka www.dusterbuster.blogspot.com

Saw your list of greatest movies. Being in the film business, I would have posted it differently (not based on box office!) and it definitely would have included "Like Water for Chocolate".

On my way to Australia to get me a husband! Yes—the immigration papers finally came through!! He can officially become a landed immigrant. I am flying through Auckland this time—will miss Sydney all together which is too bad—really wanted to see the real impact of those fires.

Watch CBC Newsword on the 22nd at 7:00 PM! Rough Cuts is airing a documentary that I worked on—"Shipyard's Lament".

And give me your honest opinion!!

Iris Merritt

Hiya, Iris. Missed your documentary, but I hope the husband worked out! ;)


rand()m quote

(In which I leave the final word to someone else.)

Marriage is a wonderful invention: then again, so is the bicycle repair kit.

-Billy Connolly

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