Tuesday, August 31, 2004

What kind of stupid dog would dig during rush-hour?

Thanks to the jwalk blog for this pic. Posted by Hello

We better start building ships

Astronomers keep finding new planets outside our solar system.

Fine. I want to know how long before we can expect trips to Fhloston Paradise...

I'm an engineer, not an actor!

James Doohan (Scotty) gets his Hollywood Star on the Walk of Fame. Thanks to blogging.la for the pic.

I went to see Mr. Doohan speak at Queen's University back in the 80's and he had some incredible stories to tell about life on the Star Trek set. He brought blooper reels too. Good times... Posted by Hello

Paging Mr. Death...please pick up the courtesy phone

In case you were wondering how long you have left...

Welcome to the Death Clock(TM), the Internet's friendly reminder that life is slipping away... second by second. Like the hourglass of the Net, the Death Clock will remind you just how short life is.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Isn't it ironic?

So I'm surfing the net and stumble onto 'useless-knowledge.com'. Right smack in the middle of the page is an ad for DeVry Institute of Technology.

Is that not irony in its purest form? My apologies to anyone who went/is going to DeVry...

Saturday, August 28, 2004

100 things about me (Hey - it's all the rage)

1. I currently live within 100 metres of the Trans Canada Highway.
2. I am the eldest of 3 children.
3. I'm a pretty good spellar. hehehe....no really.
4. I've only lived in 4 cities in my life so far. Montreal, Kingston, Edmonton and Calgary.
5. I like talking. I'm opinionated and outspoken.
6. I believe 8 hours of sleep is enough.
7. I prefer the city over the country.
8. I used to DJ in my spare time.
9. Many people who see me while driving scramble to put their seatbelt on.
10. My wife and I met at a party neither of us were planning to attend.
11. Very few people can spell my last name on first try.
12. I care what others think about me.
13. Although the risk is higher, I prefer honesty and frankness.
14. I am Canadian.
15. I've been smoke-free since June 1999.
16. I have an incredible wife. I think we're soul mates.
17. I have difficulty resisting good food.
18. I am a perfect candidate for testing new technology. Including cars.
19. I did inhale. Many times.
20. I'd like to fly a plane someday. Yet, I don't enjoy fair rides. Weird huh?
21. I believe in extra-terrestrials. I'd consider going with them if I were invited.
22. I abhor touching or putting stuff in my eye, which is why I'll never wear contacts.
23. I prefer tea over coffee.
24. I don't need to drink alcohol to have fun.
25. I've been accused of being pompous. Me!
26. I can cook and rather enjoy it.
27. I don't like the taste of beer.
28. I'm a marksman.
29. I'd like to operate my own music store.
30. I can sing (well at one time I could).
31. I believe everything happens for a reason.
32. I have no tattoos. Or piercings. This will not change.
33. My team is the Montreal Canadiens.
34. I love teaching.
35. Pink Floyd is my favourite band. Dark Side of the Moon is my album of all time.
36. The furthest north I've been is Alert, NWT, Canada.
37. Furthest east is the former East German border.
39. Furthest south is San Diego [updated].
40. Furthest west is Courtney BC, Canada.
41. I try not to judge people based on what others say.
42. I'm afraid of heights.
43. Best ice cream I ever had: peanut butter and vanilla at Seaside Heights NJ.
44. Born and raised in and around Montreal.
45. I can't swim. But I love the sound of the surf.
46. I discovered women at the age of 14 at Seaside Heights NJ. One of These Nights by The Eagles was playing on the boardwalk PA.
47. Coke over Pepsi anyday.
48. I believe people wear too much perfume.
49. I like cats.
50. I should have been an actor. I love an audience.
51. I am a Taurus.
52. My birth mother died when I was just a few days old.
53. I am a 'meat popsicle'. Hehehe - I love that movie.
54. I have a temper, but I think I've tamed it.
55. I often crave real chip truck fries.
56. I love thunder and lightning storms.
57. I've been surfing the web since 1994.
58. Comedy is an important part of my life.
59. I served 20 years in the military.
60. I've owned 6 cars and 3 motorcycles over my life so far. I drive a Mercedes Benz B250 [updated] at the moment.
61. I actually owned a Commodore Vic 20. (shudder)
62. I am a Liberal.
63. I have a great interest in city planning.
64. I don't celebrate birthdays anymore.
65. I met the only mom I know when I was 3.
66. I can make the 'live long and prosper' sign.
67. I freak out when people don't answer the phone, or alarms go off unattended.
68. Dogs love me.
69. I can recite the alphabet backwards very fast.
70. I used to think that because I didn't like salmon salad, I wouldn't like salmon. I was wrong.
71. I am pro-choice. I think birth control should be free.
72. I'd prefer a good burger to a steak.
73. I've dabbled with a synthesizer.
74. I find city lights just plain beautiful. And fireworks.
75. I love driving.
76. I don't understand suicide.
77. When I was 5, I could speak English, French and German.
78. I once beat a radio personality at music trivia.
79. My favourite drink is Bailey's on ice.
80. I like pie. Pie pie pie pie pie!
81. I don't like to wear jewelry.
82. I have a great sense of direction.
83. I like architecture and interior design.
84. While in the military (as a technician) I once did a paid tasking for a whole month as a bartender.
85. I download music - it's the only way to discover anything good.
86. I prefer paying cash.
87. One of my high school friend's mom dated William Shatner.
88. I'm very ticklish.
89. I can roll my tongue.
90. I type with two fingers.
91. My dad moved out when I was 18.
92. I was hoping we'd be a space-faring race by now.
93. I love music. Especially eclectic music.
94. My fave movie is BladeRunner. Vanilla Sky gets honorable mention.
95. I miss 70's FM radio. Not so much the music - the lack of crap commercialism.
96. I have quite an imagination.
97. I gave up on shampoo - soap on everything!
98. When I grow up, I want to be......aww who am I kidding? I'll never grow up.
99. I would love to visit Tokyo. And Australia.
100. I've decided to make this list a work in progress.

Friday, August 27, 2004

I knew it! George, you sly dog...

Industry insiders at Lucasfilm are predicting George Lucas, despite insisting he would never be lured into filming them - could be poised to make Star Wars episodes 7, 8 and 9. The follow-ups pick up where 1983's Return of the Jedi left off.

A posting on fan site Theforce.net says, "you might be curious as to why everyone at ILM just signed non-disclosure agreements saying that they will not discuss Star Wars episodes 7, 8, or 9."

Canada Post didn't notice either

A guy in Winnipeg gets his pension cheque automatically deposited into his bank account, authorizes automatic withdrawals to pay his condo fees, phone, etc. If he dies, how long does it take for someone to notice? In this case - 2 years. Link

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Ummm, nurse - how did I get this bruise?

Themorningnews.org has an article on Tricks of the Trade, where for every occupation there are some secrets that only those people are aware of. Case in point:


Patients will occasionally pretend to be unconscious. A surefire way to find them out is to pick up their hand, hold it above their face, and let go. If they smack themselves, they’re most likely unconscious; if not, they’re faking.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Zefrank is ze bomb

Take some time to check out www.zefrank.com.

I don't know where this guy gets his inspiration for half the stuff on the site. There is a lot of stuff to play with. Some of my faves include 'Predate', "Red Alert', "Do Not Call', there's just so much to see and do!

Got any plans for that mister?

This just in....

Costco is going to trial the sale of metal coffins at one of their Chicago stores.

That's gonna look funny in the checkout line...

Monday, August 23, 2004

Forget Norway!

I double-dog dare you to check out this flash cartoon, then try to get this funky song out of your head. Kenya.....Kenya....Kenya....Kenya! Posted by Hello

It's not just for diaper rash

I just thought this is funny.

Thanks to J-Walk blog. Posted by Hello

I swear it really happened!

The mind is a very powerful instrument and so is our imagination. Years ago, I recall reminiscing with my family about things that happened when I was a kid. While we all got a laugh out of some of the stories, there was one incident in particular that prompted an unusual reaction. They argued that this scenario I was recounting never happened. I looked at them as if they were crazy and they were looking back at me the same way. They made it clear that no such event took place and over time they backed up this assertion with comments from other family members who played a role in my memory of the adventure. I found this odd, because I remember it so vividly.

Many years passed and I finally came to the conclusion that I must have dreamt the whole thing. How bizarre that something that only occurred in a dream could leave such a strong impression as to be mistaken for fact. Things that make you go hmmmmm.

OnStar transcript that didn't make the commercial

OnStar: Hello, OnStar.

Customer: Hey, so, I got an important package in the trunk, but I think I locked my keys in with it when I was dispatching…er…loading it.

OnStar: Not a problem, sir, I’m unlocking the trunk now.

Customer: [sound of trunk opening] Whooo…Jesus, that stinks!

OnStar: Are you OK, sir?

Customer: Yeah, yeah. I just got to get rid of this package as soon as possible. Say, can you give me directions to an abandoned quarry, or maybe some remote wooded spot where I could leave my package?

OnStar: Sure thing. I’m showing that there’s an empty shaft at an old silver mine three miles southwest of your location.

Customer: Perfect! That’s great, perfect. I’m going to need a car wash, too. Someplace discreet, if you know what I’m saying.

OnStar: Absolutely, sir. You and OnStar are speaking the same language.

Thanks to John Warner, Themorningnews.org

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Star struck

On one visit home to Montreal, Darlene and I stayed at the Delta hotel during the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival. The Delta is the headquarters for the festival so we knew we'd be seeing comedians in the hotel - and we did. On the morning we were checking out, we got to the elevator on our floor just as Kevin Pollock, John Candy and his family were coming down the hall toward us. I opted to wait.

Being a huge SCTV fan, I had always wanted to meet John Candy. When he got to the elevator, his assistant invited us to share the elevator with them, after a nod from John. Needless to say, I was in another world. Here I was in the same elevator as John Candy. I was so lost in the moment, I had no idea what was happening in the physical world around me. So I was completely oblivious to the fact that the elevator hadn't moved, even though many seconds had passed. Oblivious that is, until John looked down at me and said, "I think your bag's in the door". Our luggage was blocking the elevator door, preventing us from going anywhere. My face drained of all colour and I pulled the suitcase out of the way.

Once we were off the elevator, Darlene said she was going to check out. I nodded and said I was going to try and get Mr. Candy's autograph. I followed John and his family into the gift shop and approached him for his autograph. He said "sure" and asked if I had a pen. Not having one, I dashed to the cashier of the shop and tried to get her attention, but she was too busy chatting on the phone. So, not wanting to let John slip away, I grabbed a pen off the counter and ran back to claim my prize.

I still have that autograph - he signed my parking stub from the hotel.

Mmmmm......fatty food.....

I used to love Kentucky Fried Chicken. Now I refer to it as Kentucky Fried Poultry-Flavoured Grease Sponge. Just in case you wondered why I don't like it much anymore.

I recall that when I was still living at home, my mother and I both indicated our preference for the skin over the chicken itself. We would have both been happy with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken Skin. Th%s# dzyyz I yh9nk s8ch a 6r0duc7 wuldz do f1nb...

Awwww geez, my drool is shorting out the keyboard again.

This is why you'll need a new PC

If you want to see what the next generation of game graphics is going to look like, check out this link. This is amazing. Posted by Hello

No passport for you!

Being the worldly traveller that I am (in my dreams), I have to have a passport. Last winter I had to get mine renewed at the office downtown. I was not prepared for the scene I was about to witness.

When you arrive to process a passport application, you need to have a number of official documents, many signatures from important people and let's not forget the passport photo. The passport office has a pre-screening lineup that you have to go through before you can get in the regular lineup. This is so you don't waste anyone's time in the regular lineup if you are missing an important piece of the puzzle. Such as, you forgot a signature, or you don't have proof of citizenship, or your photo isn't quite right. People literally stress-out in the pre-screen lineup, hoping they have everything that meets the screener's scrutinizing gaze. It's like being in an old Communist bread line, hoping you get your ration before they run out - assuming they like the look of your face. Now I understand the requirement for having the correct paperwork, but the thing that always puzzles me is the deal with the passport photo.

The background in the photo has to be a certain colour and hue, you can't be smiling, your ears have to show, your head has to fit within a certain area of the photo, no drooling, no piercings, you must have eyebrows, no toupees, no zits, your teeth can't be abnormally white (OK, I made some of those up), it's really quite specific. Some people were turned away simply because the photo didn't meet the pre-screeners criteria. Even I was warned that the top of my head might be too close to the top of the photo. So here I am, sweating it out in the regular lineup, waiting to see if the passport staff are going to reject my photo (forcing me to get another one at my expense). When I finally got my turn, I approached the subject with great delicacy, since this person serving me had the ultimate power to reject my application for any reason. I boldly asked, "If the photo has to be so perfect, why don't you guys take the picture yourself?"

That's when I blacked out. Darlene says I was gone for days, but the next thing I remember, I was on a bus headed home, some homeless guy snoozing on my shoulder.

Nurse injured trying to flag down shuttle

There is a major hospital here (Foothills) that does not have enough parking for all of its staff. In fact there is a waiting list of people hoping for a parking spot some day. In the meantime they ruthlessly prowl the 'hoods surrounding the hospital for a spot in front of someone's house. Many parts of these 'hoods have resorted to permit parking to prevent others from occupying the spot in front of their house. Not long ago, the hospital made a deal with a property 12 or so blocks away, to allow for a couple hundred spots worth of overflow parking. Drivers would get a shuttle bus from the property to the hospital. This costs you $45 a month.

Recently, the deal with the property must have been cancelled, as you can no longer park there. So for the $45 a month, the hospital suggested you could try to find parking in the surrounding 'hood, try to intercept the shuttle bus while it drives a specific route, and hope to catch a ride to the hospital. The hospital said not to worry, this would only be a temporary measure until the Children's hospital parking lot is completed in a year or so. Then people could park at the Children's lot and get shuttled to Foothills.

When the Children's hospital actually opens and their own staff and patients/visitors need to park in their own parking lot, Foothills staff........well, they never got to that part yet.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Must not move! Must remain still!

This is Taz, a cat we used to have. Doesn't this pic remind you of E.T.? We made this pic into a Christmas card one year. Posted by Hello

Birds not so dumb

In Japan, carrion crows and humans line up patiently, waiting for the traffic to halt.

When the cars stop, the birds hop into the street and place walnuts on the road. After the lights turn green again, the birds fly away and wait for vehicles to drive over the nuts, cracking them open. Finally, when it’s time to cross again, the crows join the pedestrians and pick up their meal.

If the cars miss the nuts, the birds often hop back and put them somewhere else on the road. Or they sit on electricity wires and drop them in front of vehicles. The crows in Japan have only been cracking nuts this way since about 1990. They have since been seen doing it in California. Posted by Hello

Networking - by AC/DC

Back when I taught part of an IT program, the Director of the school suggested tackling the subject of networking. If you know anything about networking, you also know it is one of the dryest topics to learn about - real drool-inducing stuff. Just mentioning the words 'OSI 7 layer model' are enough to cause some peoples' eyes to start drooping. So when I was teaching networking, I tried to liven things up a little.

One of the more obscure and abstract topics we covered involved data structures - you know: packets, what they're made of, yada yada. I was describing 'preamble' when I had this epiphany. Somehow, the song 'Back in Black' by AC/DC came into my head and I suddenly realized that the beginning of the song was a brilliant example of a preamble. You know, the drum beat sets the timing for a specific number of beats, then there is a change in the sound of the beat and finally a definate pause indicating that the actual 'song data' as it were was about to begin. So here's Karl using an AC/DC song to explain what a preamble was - the students looking at me like I'm some kind of alien freak.

Man, I love teaching...

Friday, August 20, 2004

Music at the speed of my car

The first car I ever owned had a tape deck that was synchronized to the speed of the car. It played normal at 80km/h. At 40km/h it sounded like Leonard Cohen, at 120km/h it sounded like the Chipmunks. If you did brake stands, it sounded like AC/DC.

So that's why I avoided putting the car in reverse, I didn't want to hear any satanic messages...

Alcohol + nudity = D'OH!

Message to the young adults in Camrose Alberta (or anyone else planning a streaking event):

If you're going to streak, don't get so drunk that you forget where you put your clothes. This makes it much easier for the police to find you.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Schools need an overhaul

I was involved in a discussion of classroom sizes today. Teachers say they are too big. Others in the discussion didn't agree. They argued that the problem wasn't really class size (which they claim hasn't really gone up much), but student attitudes.

Well, I don't have a politically correct solution for that, but I have an idea how to give teachers more time for one on one with the students that need it. I think the students who have the ability to do so should be allowed to learn on their own - at their own pace.

I had a chance to do that in grade 6 and at least half of my class had the whole year's material finished by December. So we were given grade 7 material to try. It was a great experiment, but it sucked having to go back to the status quo in grade 7, learning the same material and at a much slower pace. It's no wonder I lost interest in school over the next 4 years.

I also don't think it's appropriate for students to have to choose a scholastic profile, where you have to specialize in a specific genre of subjects. Very few students in high school have any real idea what they want to do next. So why not give them a chance to try as many different things as possible. To take some of the pressure off, since they will do well in some subjects, but not others, we could set it up so that a student only had to excel in 6 out of 8 subjects or something like that.

I would like to see more corporations get involved in the search for and grooming of students for the careers they have the most aptitude for, by sponsoring (paying for) their post-secondary education on the condition that they contribute so many years to that company. There are too many smart kids passing up University and college because they can't afford it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

No cash, no cheque, no service

Earlier this year Darlene and I returned to Oregon, this time to visit the coast and maybe get in some beach action. Yes I know the ocean water is quite cold still in early summer - by beach action, I basically mean strolls in the sand. I only need to see and hear the surf, I don't need to be in it.

Anyway, there were 2 things about our stay in Oregon that I wanted to pass on to you folks, in case you've never been there. Firstly, Oregon has no such thing as 'self serve' at their gas stations. Every station is 'full serve', I think it is some kind of employment initiative (anyone who knows different can correct me in the comments). That takes a little getting used to, as I'd much rather fill the tank myself - I don't know why, I just do.

Well, in one town in Oregon, the gas station we stopped at had an additional quirk. They didn't take credit. That's right - no credit cards! Now I heard the kid who filled my car tell me this, but I guess some other poor soul never heard the announcement. He had gotten his van filled up and had gone inside to get some munchies and pay. When he pulled out his credit card they told him no credit. He was in shock. They told him he could pay with a personal cheque, cash, debit card - just no credit card. He didn't know what to do and I never stayed around long enough to find out how he resolved the situation, but it was obvious he didn't have the cash on him.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Here's my e-mail...gotta go - my cat is on fire

Humanity continues to find new and some might say twisted ways to use technology.

In one example, let's say you are constantly being hit upon by losers, but you're too polite to let them down hard. Now when they ask for your e-mail address, just happily give them [yourname]@papernapkin.net (or [yourname]@paamail.com if that's too obvious). When they send their first e-mail to you at that address, they'll receive an automated rejection letter as a reply.

In another example, you might find yourself in a situation where you need to escape - like a blind date, or a boring day at work. Cingular Wireless offers "Escape-a-Date," one of Voice Connect's line of information services. "Escape-A-Date" allows you to schedule a "rescue" phone call at a pre-set time. The service will call you and tell you exactly what to say to set the stage for an escape. Here's an example:

Hey, this is your escape-a-date call. If you're looking for an excuse, I got it. Just repeat after me, and you'll be on your way: "Not again! Why does that always happen to you? ... Alright, I'll be right there." Now tell 'em that your roommate got locked out, and you have to go let them in. Good luck!

Monday, August 16, 2004

The bigger they are, the harder they will fall

Message to all LCD monitor manufacturers:

As you read these words, you will begin to feel relaxed. You will feel verrrrry relaxed. You will start to feel a little sleepy. You will think about how expensive your 19 and 21 inch LCD monitors are.......and have a sudden urge to reduce prices on them.................drastically.................just in time for Christmas...............prices will fall....................like big..............falling things. When I count to 3 you will feel very good about yourself - and you will not remember this conversation. 1............2.............3

Boy, this Christmas is going to be soooo great! Hee hee!

I'll have the really hot chicken thighs..I mean wings!

I don't know what it's like in everyone else's neck of the woods, but here in Calgary we suddenly have a lot of 'pubs'. I'm not talking about regular neighbourhood bars - I mean actual pubs.

I have a theory. I don't think this preponderance of pubs has anything to do with our sudden fondness for British cuisine as much as it has to do with mens' appreciation of short tartan skirts.

Sort of like 'Hooters' for leg men...

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Movies you never saw

I'm as pissed at the movie industry for pretty much the same reasons as I am at the music industry. The films/artists that fit the current 'profile of success' (a.k.a. can make the most money) get all the hype while the better (albeit riskier) alternatives wallow in obscurity.

In the case of movies, here are 3 I recommend - just in case you never saw them:

The Razor's Edge - Bill Murray is known for his comedic roles, but did you know he has been in a dramatic movie (other than Lost in Translation)? I think he does a great job as a guy who returns from WWI, shocked to his very soul from the horror he's seen, then tries to find new meaning to his life. This movie is actually a 2nd attempt to bring a classic novel to the screen.

Equilibrium - Christian Bale (American Psycho) stars in a story about a fascist future where all forms of feeling are illegal. He is charged with enforcing the law and rises to overthrow the system. Some say if the Matrix had never come out, this movie would have produced the hero of the summer. (Sidenote - Christian Bale is the new Batman!)

Run Lola Run - Undoubtedly one of the most energetic movies you'll see with a soundtrack that plays as another character. Stars Franke Potente and follows Lola desperately trying to save her boyfriend Mani from death by helping him obtain a huge amount of money he carelessly lost. It's a rollercoaster ride that illustrates the journeys life takes you on for every decision you make. German with subtitles (but worth it).

Emo.....Uma. Uma.....Emo

"When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me."
Emo Philips

Is it bigger than a breadbox?

If you would like to see how basic computer artificial intelligence is coming along - why not play a game of 20 questions with a computer?

Choose the anonymous login option if you don't want to register, then try to stump this remarkably sophisticated program.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

I am like Bill? Bill is like me....

According to the 'What famous leader are you?' quiz on similarminds.com, I have qualities most similar to Bill Clinton.

Yeah, I can see that.......but Bill is better looking.

Olympics - the original 5 ring circus...

Yay! The Olympics have started!

Do you know why I'm excited? It's not because of the sporting events. It's because I get to watch Brian Williams again for a few weeks. Check this out - when you watch him, note how he plays with his pen.

" This is Brian Williams with you, live, on CBC - your Olympic Network"

"Ladies and Gentlemen, can I get personal with you for just a moment?"

Brian Williams, the William Shatner of sports......

Thufferin' Thuccotath!

Maybe I have an over-active imagination but there seems to be a spokesperson/product pairing that is a perfect match but no ad agency has tried it yet.............work with me for a second.

I'm talking about Sylvester (yes - the cat cartoon) for Lexus Automobiles.

Think about it, Sylvester on your TV set describing the latest model of Lexus car (complete with lisp) - say it in your head, and get ready for magic:

" Ladieth and gentlemen, I introduthe to you the lateth in luxthury carths - the Lexthuth ES300, with ThportsThift tranthmithion, heated leather theaths, 4 wheel dithc braketh and 230 horthepower!"

R2D2! You missed a spot....

I seem to remember reading stories when I was a kid about what the future held in store regarding new technology that was going to make our lives easier. One of the things I remember well was the household robot. It was going to be our butler, cleaning staff, friend, security guard.

Well, that kind of robot still seems a little ways away, but in the meantime there's the Trilobite by Electrolux. Yes, I know about the Roomba, but it seems like the Pinto of robotic vacuums (my apologies to any Pinto owners). For the BMW of robotic pets, you gotta get the Trilobite. Of course, the latest technology also garners the highest pricetag ($1800CDN), so I don't think I have to tell you Darlene dismissed the idea of buying one wholly and completely.

Of course what she fails to comprehend is that owning one of these beauties isn't just about not having to do the vacuuming anymore. It's about studying new technology in action - watching the Trilobite navigate around tables, under chairs and beds - its sophisticated sonar helping it avoid obstacles without even touching them. I mean, it's like a modern living game of Pac-Man! I could see myself strategically placing dirt on the floor and waiting to see if the little dickens can clean it all up. Heck, I'd even offer to bring the thing to my neighbours' with the cats - just to see how they react to this metallic beast chasing them all around the place.....hehehehe

Friday, August 13, 2004

My stomach hurts from laughing so hard

Kellogg's UK has responded to concerns about childhood obesity by reducing the sugar content in Frosted Flakes from 38% to 25%. Kellogg's said that cutting the sugar further would make the cereal unpalatable. Kellogg's also announced that it was revising its strategy for marketing to children to make it more 'socially responsible'.


Sorry, that was me falling off the chair from laughing so hard...

"Now kids - eating too much sugar is bad for you...............so switch to these new improved Frosted Flakes................only one quarter sugar!

Step right up! See the new toys!

I have suddenly become a popular guy at work. Well, I mean, I was fairly popular already - but now there are a few more people hanging around my desk than before.

Must have something to do with the new iPaq Pocket PC and Panasonic Toughbook I got today for research on my new project.....

: D

Thursday, August 12, 2004

The original cat scan

Try this:

Put your cat on the scanner (a flat bed scanner, there's no need to be cruel) and scan it while it's sitting or lying down. Then check out the resulting picture.

Aren't those little paw pads cute?

We have the technology...

SF book series I'd like to see made into movies:

Rendezvous with Rama
Rama II
Garden of Rama
Rama Revealed

by Arthur C. Clarke

Overheard in the Oval Office

George W: We'll open the border to Canadian cattle when they gives us the recipe for back bacon...

Minds in the gutter

When I used to teach computers a while back, giggles would always occur during discussion of the following topics:

Cleaning your mouse balls

Being careful not to break your dongle

The inability to mate two 'male' connectors together (unlike in the real world)

Stop yer balling!

Logitech just announced that they will no longer be making mice with balls.

Errr, what I meant was, Logitech will soon phase out the production of ball mice and will stick to manufacturing only optical mice.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Blah...blah blah....

If Mr. Loblaw's son Robert was depressed, he'd have the 'Bob Loblaw Blahs'.
(Say it in your head - now your co-workers will wonder why you just laughed out loud...)

Any luck finding the Dufranes?

There's a comedian out there named Mitch Hedberg. I've never seen him, but he's got some funny material. The best bit I've heard from him to date:

When you go to a restaurant and it's busy they start a waiting list. They start calling out names, "Dufrane, party of two. Dufrane, party of two." And if no one answers they'll say their name again. "Dufrane, party of two, Dufrane, party of two." But then if no one answers they'll just go right on to the next name. "Bush, party of three." Yeah, what happened to the Dufranes? No one seems to give a shit. Who can eat at a time like this? People are missing! You fuckers are selfish....the Dufranes are in someone's trunk right now, with duct tape over their mouths, and they're hungry!

"Bush, search party of three, you can eat when you find the Dufranes."

When does purple mean something else?

Crayola labels their purple crayon 'Violet (purple)'.

OK, if they had to put 'purple' in brackets next to the name 'Violet', what was the point of choosing violet? Why didn't they just call it Purple?

But I'm really cute, right?

So Karla Homolka is probably due for release from prison fairly soon. Then, she'll re-integrate back into society - perhaps even go out looking to meet new guys:

Conversation overheard in bar

Guy: So, what do you do for a living?
Karla: I'm looking for a job - I just got out of prison.
Guy: Oh yeah. (feeling uncomfortable). Ummmm.......so do you have any hobbies?
Karla: Well, I used to help my ex-fiance kill people....

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Secret Ingredients

A secret ingredient for one of my favourite recipes is brown sugar in my version of 'Spanish Rice'.

What's yours?

Get the funk out!

This is one of the better articles I've seen regarding the music industry:


I wonder...

If you felt really strongly against demonstrations (picketing, etc.), how would you show it?

People are strange

So I'm chatting online and I get this private proposal from this lady. She says she wants me to 'kidnap' her and take her to Vegas for a sexual adventure. Supposedly her husband thinks she's going on a business trip to Calgary and she'll arrange to 'lose' her car here, then disappear with me as if she had been abducted. It all seems very strange. I think she said her name was Dar or something, from Medicine Hat - no, Lethbridge. Being very happily married, of course I said 'no'.

Poor girl, she must be a bored housewife with nothing to do and lots of time on her hands. Or a politician...

Monday, August 09, 2004

Kid-safe jokes

Q. What do you call cheese that isn't yours?

A. Nacho cheese
(that's one of my favourites...)

Q. How can you tell someone is lying?

A. Their pants are on fire!

Ya gotta love Calgary weather

Attention Mother Nature: Calgary called - they want their summer back.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Heritage booster shot

Maybe I'm just too fussy, but this year's Heritage Day Festival at Prince's Island Park was a huge disappointment. I seem to recall this event used to be a huge deal once upon a time. I have an idea...

Instead of having the event at one place, each ethnic community could establish a pavilion. This could be set up at a community hall, sports field, leisure centre, park - whatever. The pavilions would be scattered all over the city. Each pavilion could offer ethnic food, drink, music, dance, costumes, and displays. These pavilions would operate all weekend, giving us a chance to visit them one at a time. You could find your own way to each pavilion, or a shuttle could provide a ride along a circle route connecting all the pavilions together. Admission would be via a $20 pass, good for all pavilions, shuttle bus access and Calgary Transit too. Other cities have attempted this kind of cultural festival with great success, some with populations less than 125,000.

Here are some pavilions I envision for Calgary (there could be many more):

British; Franco; Deutsche; Carribean; East Indian; Spanish; First Nations; Chinese; Japanese; Italian; Greek; Ukrainian; Phillipino; Africa; the list could go on and on. Yes, I know some of these groups already have their own events, but wouldn't it be cool if they all got together on the same weekend?


I have been informed that Calgary does indeed have a similar cultural festival (this will be its 2nd year - it's called GlobalFest. There are 17 pavillions and you need a $5 ticket per person for each of them. So for Darlene and I to go, that's 17 times 5 divided by the GST plus 2 weeks, carry the one - that's too much money! Seriously, a $30 passport would make so much more sense than $170. But I digress.

Son of a beach

As a kid I spent most of my summers in New Jersey, where my mom is from. And considering the Atlantic Ocean was less than an hour from us, we made many visits to the ocean beaches. Those beaches were beautiful and left a huge impression on me.

While I lived in Kingston Ontario during most of my military career, we had decent beaches nearby too - Sandbanks Park on Lake Ontario. At least 4 or 5 kilometres of beach and sand dunes. It wasn't the coast, but it was a fine beach nonetheless.

So when I moved to Calgary 10 years ago, I asked people here, "where's your beaches?". They offered me Sylvan Lake. Well you can imagine the look on my face when I finally went to see it. I may be exaggerating, but it seemed the beach was less than a city block long.

I guess perception is everything. If you grew up with this as your only beach, it would seem adequate. I'd love to see their faces if they were to visit Sandbanks in Ontario, especially North Beach.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Stay home Lassie!

I just had to get this off my chest:

Dog owners - leave your dogs home when you go out in your vehicle. I doubt very much that dogs want to stay cooped up in your vehicle, or tied up to a post outside a store or whatever. Especially when it's very hot outside. Another thing that bugs me is dogs in the back of pickup trucks. They're flailing around as you careen around corners. It's a wonder they don't go flying off the truck (or maybe sometimes they do). Sometimes I see this when it's freezing cold and the poor barker is trying to stay warm. You wouldn't do this to a child, so why is it OK for a dog (or any other pet)?

I just don't get it.

Friday, August 06, 2004


You know, sometimes I wonder just how much you can do with Flash animation. Then I see this:



I'm in the wrong business...

Some guy here in Calgary has been going around offering 42" plasma TV sets for just a few hundred dollars. He asks you to drive him to the apartment block where they are stored and takes the money from you in advance. Then he says, "I'll just go up and get it" and disappears out the back door, never to be seen again.

What's disturbing is that people actually fell for this.

Stupid Store

I made an astounding discovery a while back. My wife and I are not the only people who refer to 'The Real Canadian Superstore' as 'StupidStore'.

We thought we were unique in this. Does anyone have any nicknames for other things that they discovered were in use by many other people?

Predator News: Let your next meal come to you!

A lot of wild animals get hit/run over trying to cross the Trans Canada highway in Banff National Park every year. They tried to help solve the problem by building overpasses for the animals to use to cross the road. Studies have shown that there are in fact some animals using these things, but I've always wondered how that works exactly.

How are these animals finding the overpass? Like did they leave scent trails or special animal signs along the edge of the forest leading to the overpass? Do the animals have monthly meetings and someone said, "did you guys know there's like a couple of bridges over that highway thingy?" How long will it take before predator animals figure out that they can just hide near one side of an overpass and wait for their next meal to show up?

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Is it just a coincidence?

Tara McCool. Darr MaqBool. The former used to be an A-Channel personality, the latter still is.

Am I the only one who notices a vague similarity in their names? Could they have the same agent?

(play Twilight Zone music in your head here....)

I coulda been a contender...

Mirriam Webster defines the word 'tower' as: "a building or structure typically higher ..... relative to its surroundings that may stand apart". Well, there's quite a few buildings in downtown Calgary now that are way taller than this edifice. As Jerry Seinfeld said at his last concert here, "the people in the office towers next door were looking down at me..."

Therefore I recommend we change the name of the Calgary Tower to the Calgary Cower.

Popsicle toes

Scientists - If you ever get bored and need something new and vital to figure out, I have a suggestion:

Someone needs to find the cause of women perceiving it to be 'cold' when we men find the temperature quite comfortable. I could probably save 40% on my heating bills if we found a solution to this.

And speaking of cold, we need to find a way to adjust a woman's circulatory system so that her feet don't feel like ice cubes, especially at bed-time. You know - besides sex...

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

I'll have what she's having, hold the banter, hold the spice

Servers - Write my order down! It won't make you look bad and logarithmically increases my chances of actually getting what I asked for. Also, if you took my order, at least be the one who delivers my meal. An alternate server doesn't know that I wanted a side of mayo and they won't care that it's missing, because they're not the one getting the tip.

Host(ess) - Stop asking how my day was when I arrive and how my meal was when I leave. If I actually stopped to tell you, would you really care?

Chefs/Cooks - Enough with the spicy seasonings already! We don't all like our food smothered in the latest hot spice du jour. Every spicy dish should have a non-spicy alternative.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Slot #5, your order will be delivered shortly...

I've come up with another business idea.

There are a growing number of abandoned gas stations around the city (there are 3 within a 3 kilometre radius of my home). I think some would be perfect candidates for 'drive-thru convenience stores'. You could call ahead and place your order (or not). When you arrive, you'd just pull into a slot (just as if you were filling up for gas) and speak to an attendant about picking up your order. Someone would come out with your order and you would pay with one of those easy-pay tags like Esso uses.

Whadya think?

Paging Mr. Eddie Van Halen...

Van Halen - if you're reading this:

Do me a favour, pick up the phone, call David Lee Roth and give him his job back.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Sequels to one hit wonders

-As My Eyes Became Accustomed to Her Science, My Sight Was Restored
-Everybody Wang Chunged Last Night
-I'm Pretty Sure That Nobody Is Watching Me
-How Are We Going to Get These Dogs Back In?
-Bust an Additional Move
-Seriously, Eileen, Come On
-Whoomp! There It Continues to Be
-As it Turns Out, I Might Have Missed A Thing Or Two
-I Used To Believe I Could Fly

Not your average formulaic tunes

As someone who is always looking for new (read: non-commercial) music, there is a weekly resource that I have come to rely on. The Anti-Hit List. Written by John Sakamoto in Toronto, he scours the net looking for gems to add to his lists, which usually come out every Thursday.

Scotty!! I need more songs!

I guess Captain Kirk hasn't learned his lesson. Remember the hilarity that ensued when people discovered that William Shatner had done some recordings a few decades back? Well, he's at it again.

Ben Folds is collaborating on Bill's upcoming collection, 'Has Been'. They're aiming for a September release. Shatner's album was produced and written mostly by Ben Folds (remember Ben Folds 5?) and includes cameos by Henry Rollins, Aimee Mann and Joe Jackson, who duets with Shatner on 'Common People'. Quicktime Sample

Denny's now hiring - must have car

Darlene and I like to go out for breakfast on the weekend - OK, we like to go out for a lot of meals, but that's another post....

Lately, we've been including the Denny's in Crowfoot in our rounds. The lineups have been long (there just aren't enough restaurants in our city) and more than once they've told us to expect our food to take up to an hour to be served. That's after being seated! After going through this on a few visits, I decided to ask our server what was going on. She said they are always short-staffed. I asked why. She said people who live in the vicinity won't work for minimum wage, so the workers commute from the eastern part of the city. The problem is most people who work for minimum wage don't own a car and they have to rely on transit. So when your shift starts at 5am, you need to catch a bus at 3am because that's how long it takes to commute from one end of the city to another. The problem is of course - there are no busses at 3am. So people don't last very long at Denny's in Crowfoot - maybe 2 weeks. Then they go broke from all the cab fare.

And Ralph says there's nothing wrong with our minimum wage (the lowest in the country). Tips he says! Yeah. People are going to give you great tips when it takes an hour to get your food.....

You can't see me.......yet!

So a couple of crooks break into the lottery home that was being raffled off to raise money for a new police helicopter.

Am I the only one that finds this highly amusing and ironic?