Thursday, September 30, 2004

Claim to shame

(stolen fresh from the pages of the J-Walk blog...)

A new game: "Claim to Shame". The rules are simple. Come up with something you've NEVER done that nearly everyone else has done (never having gone to places doesn't count).

Mine (well, my first one anyway): I've never watched a complete basket ball game.

How about you? (keep it clean please)

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

If I had a million viewers...

Remember the Sonny & Cher comedy hour? The Donnie and Marie show? The Smothers Brothers? Well get ready for a variety show starring the Barenaked Ladies. Fox Broadcasting Co. has ordered a pilot for a variety show starring Canada's Barenaked Ladies that will feature the playful rock group performing music and comedy skits along with guest actors.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Only in Japan...

The Japanese love their technology. Anyone who has been to Japan knows that. It's one of the reasons I want to visit someday. They have a lot of cool stuff over there that we will not see for years (if ever in some cases).

If you want to see just how much into tech Japanese are, check out the lineup that formed in anticipation of the opening (back in Nov 2003) of the new Apple store in Ginza.

CD = bad gifts for kids has some great information for naive parents who might be considering buying music CDs for their kids this Christmas (or anytime for that matter). Among the things you are likely to hear from your annoyed kids:

"You could've got me a DVD for 3 bucks more - why are you always so cheap?"

"The company that makes this sued my friend" Posted by Hello

Style invitational

The Washington Post's Style Invitational asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are some of my favourite winners:

Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of obtaining sex.
Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the recipient who doesn't get it.
Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
Glibido: All talk and no action.
Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund from the government, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
Cashtration: The act of buying a house, which renders the subjectfinancially impotent for an indefinite period.

Evil henchman's guide

Great advice from the Society of Evil Overlords at this site. Sample:

19. Never allow yourself to be turned into a vicious, ravening beast to defeat the Hero. It never works, and you girlfriend will not understand. She will dump you for one of the Good Guys.

Little-known historical place-names

Spongehenge - where the ancient squids practised their religion

Little-known historical figures

Pastramadamus - the Meat Prophet
Mediocrates - the 'So-So' Greek philosopher

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Sacred semaphore ninja

The Ninja wants to semaphore a message to you. Posted by Hello


Planning a trip to the States? Wish you could get a little 'accent' training before you go? Then I've got just the site for you...

Oh no! Not IKEA!!

Learn to survive a visit to IKEA. Posted by Hello

Another great use of flash animation

Explore the future, courtesy of Vodaphone.

Is that a real smile?

Can you tell a fake smile from a real one? Prove it.

When is your vehicle not like your mate?

Seen today written into the substantial dirt on the back of a utility van:

"I wish my girlfriend was this dirty..."

Junk voice mail

If you haven't noticed already, technology has made it possible now for solicitors to leave a voice mail for you (via your phone service provider) without your phone ever ringing. The solicitors in question feel that this is an unobtrusive method of getting their message out. I disagree. It's bad enough that I have to deal with phone spam, but it's something I can ignore by not answering. Junk e-mail can be blocked or filtered, TV and radio ads can be ignored by turning the thing off, etc. Junk voice mail is not as easily avoided and that's why I have a problem with it. Yeah, sure, you can fast-forward through messages, but why should you have to? What happens when your allocated message space on the phone service's servers is full of spam and someone is trying to leave you a legit message? Keep in mind also that when you check your messages on your cell phone, that goes against your airtime minutes. As it happens, the CRTC is currently looking at this phenomenon and the advertisers / marketers are lobbying very hard to make this legal. If the idea of uncontrolled junk voice mail does not appeal to you, contact the CRTC now and tell them your concerns.

Remember - only you can stop junk voice mail!

Facts on farts

Are you fascinated by farts? Then the Facts on Farts page is just for you.

Mercedes chrome class

Ever wondered what a completely chrome Mercedes would look like? Wonder no more. Posted by Hello

Gift idea for him...

Is the man in your life getting Windows XP this year for Christmas? Will he be in need of some training on said operating system? Then show him how much you love him by getting him Bikini Classroom for Windows XP.

Humma hummma!

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Give the gift of trivia

If anyone out there has the RPM edition of the Trivial Pursuit game (music trivia), I will gladly accept it as a donation to the "Karl Needs More Music Trivia" fund. As president of said fund, I can assure you that it will go to good use. I don't even need the board or pie pieces, just the question cards....

NHL fan petition

The site is asking fans of NHL hockey to sign an online petition geared to demand a return to the bargaining table. If you really like the game, I urge you to give it a look.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Oooo! That's gotta hurt...

It's almost that time of year again. Photo coutesy of Posted by Hello

Will as shrub

Sometimes I like Will Ferrell's stuff, sometimes I don't. But this skit he does on George W is spot on folks. (requires Quicktime)

Down with pennies!

There's some dead weight in my pocket and it has a name - pennies! I've had enough of them. They are practically worthless, yet I always seem to have more than my fair share of them. It's time to abolish these carry-overs from the cyprium age once and for all. Unfortunately, thanks to the GST, the solution requires a re-working of how things are priced. So here goes:

Build the GST back into the price of all goods and services and round everything off to the nearest nickel. That way, something advertised as $1.05 is actually $1.05! What a concept, eh? It would be too easy for software to determine what sales qualify for stripping the GST for forwarding to the government.

So, in summary - scrap the penny, build in the GST, have a nice day.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Regional curiosities

Having lived in different parts of Canada, I've come to realize that there are terms or traditions that are unique to each part of the country. For example:

Montreal (I think) - "mat night" (the night before Halloween)
Ontario - "chip truck" (roadside truck selling french fries and stuff)
Prairies - "prairie oysters" (bull testicles - yes, seriously)

Anyone have any other examples they've come across?

Stop the madness...

Citing a lack of scientific evidence to support low-carbohydrate diet claims, Health Canada plans to ban food and drink labels that tout low carbohydrates. "There was -- and still is -- no reason from a nutrient point of view to be concerned with the amount of carbs that we eat," Health Canada spokeswoman Carole Saindon said.

It was just a matter of time...

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

My henglish his not so good, eh?

So it occurs to me - while I was in Montreal a few weeks ago, I noticed something. As I found myself surrounded by Francophones and Anglophones, I caught myself starting to speak English with a kind of accent as if French was my first language, just like Francophones do. It was subtle - I didn't start adding 'h's where they didn't belong or removing them where they did belong, but the accent was definately there. Once I noticed myself doing it, I also noticed that other Anglophones did the same thing when they were in the company of Francophones and speaking English. I don't know about you, but I found that very odd.

Google does it again

Another addition to Google labs:

If you're looking for a business, you have got to try this. Enter the type of business you are looking for and the area. It will give you the name, address, phone number, and website of the businesses in the area you are searching, along with a map and directions!

It needs a little work, but so far, the results are promising.

Scrabble = religion?

Do you love scrabble? Well, even if you don't check out Craziest.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Bike lock with 2 keys for sale...

Too bad the person selling this lock (on E-Bay) didn't actually use a Kryptonite lock in the picture. Posted by Hello

"Or you could call me Ahmed Al-Dude"

Hey! Saddam could play "The Dude" in the sequel to "the Big Lebowski"! Posted by Hello


Rumour has it that Google is developing a Mozilla-based web browser. I say "Bring it on".

Monday, September 20, 2004

Safeway torture

There's this song they play on the Safeway sound system. I have no idea what it's called , but I suspect it's "Rollin'" or something, because the guy in the song keeps saying it over and over again. You'd recognize it if you heard it - it's got whistling and sax in it and a guy that's trying (and failing miserably) to sound like Elvis.

Anyway, I must have RFID tags buried in my clothes, because like clockwork, almost every time I walk into a Safeway store, that freaking song starts to play. It happended yet again today and Darlene and I just look at each other and start cracking up. Of course, nobody in the store has any clue why we're laughing, so we look like a bunch of lunatics.

What valet?

So I bring my car into the dealership for routine maintenance today. They're under construction - major renos, and as a result the normal service entrance is blocked. So you bring your car to the front of the dealership and a valet takes it from there. So I go to the service desk and say, "I just dropped my car off with the valet". He's like, "What valet?"

(pause for effect)

We both have a good laugh. Ahhhh good times......


Is that new Acura RSX Type S commercial on TV cool or what?

No longer a temp

So I've recently moved from the ranks of temporary-fulltime employee to permanent-fulltime employee at my work. The very next pay period, I get 2 pay statements, indicating I'm getting an extra week's pay. This was a mystery to me, but it turns out permanent employees don't have a week's pay held back anymore, so the company plays catch-up. I happened to mention it to my colleagues and one of them grinned and offered, " got your damage deposit back!"

20 ways to calm down your noisy neighbours

A great way to get back at those noisy neighbors! Give them a taste of their own medicine with any one of these 20 ear-splitting sound effect tracks. Anyone who's ever lived in an apartment will really appreciate this hilarious CD.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Make music out of city beats

A Break In The Road is a beautiful animation where you roam a virtual city in search for beats and melodies you like.

After you've recorded six sounds, try mixing them into a tune. Posted by Hello

"No flying!"

Have you seen the clips American Express made with Jerry Seinfeld and Superman? Check out "Uniform" and "Hindsight'. Posted by Hello


Wow. Posted by Hello

Bling for your 2 wheeled thing

It may be superfluous for a car, but for a bike, this Down Low Glow is kinda cool. Posted by Hello

You got a license for that thing?

The makers of the new Mini Cooper invite you to obliterate a web site. 'Tis fun.


Because that's what you are to me......a muffin with feet. Posted by Hello

Wanna buy a watch?

Darlene's watch gave out and so it was time for a visit to the local Hudson's Bay Company, who have a very nice selection of watches by the way. On a side note, if HBC is experiencing any financial problems, I know of 2 reasons why. The first reason is that they don't have a lot of staff efficiently placed around the store. So while we had made our selection of which watches we wanted to look at - it took a good 10 minutes to get the attention of a staff member to help us out. In that time, I saw at least 3 sets of customers leave without buying anything. The second reason will become clear in a moment.

So this girl finally comes over to the display case where Darlene has picked some contenders for her new watch. After a few minutes of desperate searching, the sales-girl looks at us and asks, "Have either of you seen the keys to this display case?". Talk about leaving a door wide open (figuratively speaking).

"Seen them? Heck I've already waltzed down to the key shop and had copies made of them..."

I mean....come on!

Aaaack!! My hand!

This optical illusion is definately one of the best out there. Do yourself a favour though, don't try this one under the influence...

Friday, September 17, 2004

Unexpected windfall

So I guess our beloved premier Ralph Klein wants to know what we want him to do with the surplus money available once the Alberta debt is paid off this year. A survey was supposed to be mailed out to most households. I don't know about you, but I did not get mine. You can still participate in the survey online.

Can you say "Time shares in Turks and Caicos"?

Nobody would steal your pizza...

Tired of people stealing your laptop? Then disguise it as a pizza box. Posted by Hello

What you can do with a pen...

This is art drawn freehand with a Bic pen. Posted by Hello

You can't buy advertising like that...

I'm sure by now you've all heard the story about Oprah's season opener, where she gave 276 Pontiac G6 cars to the audience. Now granted that's pretty generous of her, but even more so for Pontiac. They would have had to pay $70,000 for a 30 second spot on Oprah. Instead, they got $8.4 million worth of advertising over half the show's length.

Now that's a good deal.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

So you can drive, eh?

Then park this car sucka! BTW, the arrow keys are used to drive...

Olympics Flash cartoon

Yeah yeah, I know it's kinda late for a cartoon on this topic, but I just found it OK??!!! Sheesh!

You'll love it...

A&W truth comes out...

A&W does not stand for what you thought. It actually stands for Amburgers & Wootbeer.

Phantom limb

I haven't tried this yet, but I invite you to try it. There are a few ways to fool your brain and these are just 2.

I love my Toyota sooo much...

Do you think I could get this car registered without any repairs? Posted by Hello

Here's your chance...

Message to the owner of the Calgary Hitmen hockey club:

The NHL season is a non-starter. Call up the CBC and make arrangements to get your games aired on the local CBC television station. It could be the best thing you ever did.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

What a waste

I'm currently embroiled in a discussion with the City over my ineligibility to get a rebate for buying a more efficient toilet. The reason? I'm not on a meter. I don't understand. Here's their reasoning:

The toilet rebate program is limited to metered customers because our water conservation programs are designed based on the fact that water savings are measurable. Without a water meter, the City, nor the homeowner can access data on water use for the account, and therefore confirm that water savings are being realized.

My retort:

It doesn't matter whether you have a meter or not, you will use less water if you switch to efficient toilets. Being able to measure the savings is moot. I believe the main reason rebates are only offered to metered residents is because the City is biased toward metered customers because they earn the City the most money on average. It's still not fair to the rest of us. By denying us a rebate, you're basically saying that it's OK for flat rate customers to waste water - because we are less likely to buy a more efficient toilet without the rebate. No wonder your statistics show metered customers use less water - they are offered rebates to buy more efficient toilets!

I do plan to get a meter some day, when I can be sure I'll be home to let them install it. Meanwhile, I am getting ripped.

Mozilla making gains

In January 2003, IE made up 84.6% of web browser use, with Mozilla (including Firefox) slinking in at 4.0%.

In September 2004, IE is now at 74.8%, with Mozilla at 17.7%.

I loves me some Mozilla.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Just a coincidence?

You decide... Posted by Hello

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Best one-liner re mystery explosion in N Korea

I got your weapons of mass destruction right here...

Another iPod parody

Welcome to Hurricane iVan. Posted by Hello

Saturday, September 11, 2004


If you enjoy various Google logos, then has some treasures in store. Posted by Hello

Friday, September 10, 2004

Welcome to Canada

For those of you not from the land of 'ice and snow', it may interest you to know that not 2 hours north of here - it snowed yesterday. That's right - snow. So for any of you planning a trip to Alberta in the next few days, bring your snowshoes....hehehehehe.

BTW, have any of you heard Elvis Costello's title track from his album 'North'? You actually need to download it from his web site - it's not on the album (only owners of the album can partake). The song is a nice tribute to Canada.

Danger! Danger Will Robinson!

At the risk of sounding sexist, I don't believe there's anything more dangerous on the road today than a woman driving a 4x4 SUV, chatting on the cell phone.

Sorry, yes there is. An immigrant woman driving a 4x4 SUV, chatting on the cell phone, while slurping a hot mochaccino. Yeah, I know. Now I'm a racist too.

Hockey night in Greedsville

In light of the looming NHL lockout, I feel the need to say a few words about our beloved national sport.

I have never been able to understand why an athlete needs to make several million dollars a year. I do understand that athletes often have short careers due to injury, etc. But if an athlete is that great, they are also going to make a good chunk of change from endorsements. I think there should be a salary cap and I would likely make it much lower than even the owners want it. I believe that an athlete can earn extra money through performance bonuses. That way, we won't have athletes sitting back once they've secured their multi-million dollar salaries.

Yes, I know it's easy for me to say all this when I have never been in their shoes, but something has to be done before ticket prices get so high that everyone chooses to stay home and watch on TV. It's bad enough we lost 2 Canadian NHL teams, some say it's just a matter of time before we lose more.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Life's little mysteries...

Some things I haven't figured out yet:

1. Why is it so important that the toilet paper come over the top of the roll? (I prefer the bottom myself)

2. What is it about a woman's metabolism in general that always makes them cold?

3. What's the big deal if I want dessert instead of dinner?

4. How the hell did Leno get the Tonight Show instead of Letterman?

5. Does it really take this long to build a frickin' ring road around Calgary?

6. What good is a tower that is dwarfed by the buildings around it? (Calgary again)

7. Where do I have to go to get some decent home-made french fries?

8. If smoking is really that bad for you, why are smokes legal and the government letting all those tax payers die?

9. Once and for all - who let the dogs out?

10. If Alberta has all this surplus money, why aren't we enjoying a free drink every Friday?

A funny version of XP

You may have seen this Flash animation of the Windows operating system. It's cute.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Name that tune

OK, it's driving me crazy. Someone needs to help me find the answer to this. I just managed to catch the very end of a common Beatles tune on the radio where it ends with what appears to be a live studio situation. I seem to recall hearing John Lennon asking "did we pass the audition?" just as the song fades out.

Please for the sake of my sanity - someone tell me what song that was. Was it some special version?

Feel the force...

Only 2 weeks until the DVD release of the original Star Wars trilogy.

Not that I'm counting...

Sometimes we say dumb stuff

Dick Cheney quote:

"It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States."

Yeah, it's not like the Republicans were in power the last time they "got hit". Oh wait....yes they were! D'OH!

Paralympics a non-event in US

I read today that the Paralympics are about to start in Greece. The paralympics will feature 4000 athletes from 140 countries.525 gold medals at stake in 19 sports. There will be no American TV coverage of the Paralympics. Canada has bought the rights to cover it. In fact, a record number of journalists will be covering it this year - but not in the US.

As Goldmember would say, "Isn't dat veird?"

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Excel for blondes

Hee hee.....sorry.....hee hee hee Posted by Hello

Monday, September 06, 2004

Book 'em Grissom!

My apologies for not posting anything of substance today. Spike TV is having a CSI marathon today. Need I say more?

BTW, is anyone else looking forward to CSI New York as much as I am?

Sunday, September 05, 2004

This for will making you funny time

I know most of you have heard of this, but for those that haven't, I present to you:

AKA how to bastardize the English language... Posted by Hello

Yo Politicos!

Some things I would like politicians at all levels make happen (in no particular order).
(This is a work in progress)

-Provide monetary incentives for people to buy energy efficient cars, especially hybrids. In the US, people get huge tax breaks and special priviledges in HOV lanes and parking lots.
-Require some kind of test to get smoke belching vehicles off the roads.
-Start building LRT lines when they're needed, not 10-20 years after the fact.
-The same goes for freeways. Wouldn't this save money due to cheaper capital costs?
-Higher education is quickly becoming a luxury due to high tuition costs. Also many gradutes are working in the minimum wage service industry because they have been schooled in a skill that is not in demand. It's time to get private industry involved in sponsoring students best suited for jobs that are actually available now.
-Employment Insurance has become a joke. It generates billions in surpluses, yet there are draconian restrictions on who can get benefits, how much and for how long.
-Ban all speed bumps.

Small things please.....ummm....great minds

OK, I admit it. Sometimes I'm easily amused or impressed with simple things. But recently I saw something that I thought was pretty cool.

They just built a new LRT station in our city and it has 'smart escalators'. When nobody is riding them, they move very slowly. When you step on them, they ramp up to their full speed again. What a great way to save energy.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

For crying out loud!

Far be it for me to tell parents how to raise their kids. If you want to spank them, go ahead - as long as you don't abuse them. If you want to talk to them about their feelings, that's fine too. But please for the love of all things sacred, could you please stop your kids from screaming. I've had enough of the blood-curdling screams. I was at the mall today and it was like a freaking orchestra. And the parents are just standing there, like nothing's happening. Heads are turning, people are asking who's doing all that screaming and kids are looking at each other and thinking 'Gee, that sounds pretty good, I think I'm gonna try that some day'. I mean, crying is one thing - and sometimes kids do have a pretty good reason to cry. You know - your diaper's poopy; you're hungry; you're tired; the batteries just ran out on your Gameboy. But there's really no good reason for a tantrum screaming cry, is there?

So please do something about your operatic children. Or maybe it's time for the cops to start handing out tickets for disturbing the peace.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Back from La Belle Province

If it seems like I've been ignoring the blog, I have not. I was away. On company business. In Montreal to be exact. Ahhhh.........Montreal. You will always have a place in my soul. There are just no words to describe the vibe you get there. Yeah it's french, but it's much more than that.

Things that set Montreal apart (in random order):
Real Montreal Smoked Meat - The Metro - Parking at one of the lookouts on Mount Royal on a warm summer night and viewing the miles of city lights - Les Canadiens - the Just for Laughs Comedy festival - the Montreal Jazz Festival - the International Fireworks Competition (yeah I know other cities have it too, but the venue there allows you to view it from many places, including the Jacques Cartier bridge) - Old Montreal - the Underground City - etc. - etc.

Of course, I managed to sneak in a visit to my family while I was there. I have a niece named Jessica, she just turned 4 not long ago. I have never heard such sophisticated words coming out of the mouth of a 4 year old.

Jessica: 'Karl, did you bring a video camera?'
Me: 'No'
J: 'That's OK, my dad has one - listen, it's a wonderful day for a swim, don't you think? Why don't you videotape me swimming in my pool out back?'

Me: 'I don't know anyone who doesn't like carrots'
Jessica: 'I know someone who doesn't like carrots'
M: 'Who?'
J: 'My husband Ben'
M: 'I don't understand why anyone wouldn't like carrots'
J: 'Well, maybe if I cooked them....'