Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Oh - and if you follow that link above, you'll be greeted by an ad before you're redirected to the story.
Our thoughts go out to the unfortunate residents of New Orleans and area, who likely will not get to go home for months, and will be lucky to find anything left when they do return. Check out the larger version of the image above here.
Word to the wise folks, there are many immoral people who are taking advantage of your generosity having set up fake relief web sites. So I'd stick with the known, trusted organizations and don't respond to e-mail requests to visit these sites, as the Red Cross , etc. do not solicit via e-mail.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
What do I mean? Well, if you want to know what's on sale at the grocery store this week, you only have to examine the ingredients of the daily soups. Specifically, look for the copious amounts of unnecessary ingredients and you've found the sale item. Today for example, there was a lot of green pepper in the hamburger soup.
Goin' to buy me some green peppers.........
Monday, August 29, 2005
Update: The lawyer defending Patricia says he believes their firm could defend lots of RIAA defendants, because they'll recoup the legal costs when they win.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
For those of you that don't know your Canadian history, the company used to own a significant part of northern and western Canada (known as Rupert's Land). By the way, Pro Pelle Cutem, translates roughly as "a skin for a skin".
I'm not a rocket scientist, but I think making people register their guns (for a fee) only inconveniences hunters and gun collectors - not criminals. If we actually looked at the percentage of gun related crimes committed with registered guns, I bet the number would be quite low.
I suggest the money (approaching $2 billion) be used to hire more police officers.
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Friday, August 26, 2005
Thursday, August 25, 2005
I caught a glimpse of this on Rocketboom, but I had to see more. It's The Urban Ninja (it's at the top of the page). I was laughing so hard, I started to hyper-ventilate. It's really not that funny - I don't know, I loves me some good physical comedy.
Weeeee! Want more? OK then.....
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
I nearly sprayed my monitor with tea................
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Monday, August 22, 2005
Because I'm really getting tired of e-mails about the Neiman Marcus cookie recipe........
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Girl, 7: I wish I could go in and play with them. I want to play with the turtles.
Zookeeper woman: They're not turtles. They're tortoises.
Girl, 7: Whatever. I want to step on them.
--Central Park Zoo
As we age, we develop a second personality that shares the same brain. It's a personality so subtly different that we don't even recognize it as being separate. But this mental boarder sure knows how to mess things up for us. The tea episode? That was just my split personality having a little fun. That time I spun around and caught my funny bone on the doorjamb? You know who. Difficulty remembering stuff? Mr/Mrs alter ego wasn't around to remember that event - ergo as long as he/she is in control, practically anything goes. Mid-life crisis? That's just your 'other self' expressing itself. You can't be blamed for that - at least not 'all' of you. Hard of hearing? You'd be too if your cerebral tenant kept yelling "la-la-la-la" all the time.
Before you dismiss the idea, just remember that your split personality wouldn't want you to agree with me...........now would it? (Geez! Go ahead and tell the whole world why dontcha!)
Friday, August 19, 2005
Sorry, it was funny at the time.......wanna do something fun next time you're there? Ask a staff member if they know where Az-eez is, then point to the sign.......
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Well, I got an answer. Highlights:
When you create a podcast, you are broadcasting a reproduction of a sound recording. A podcast is, in effect, a broadcast of a sound recording, which is not a personal use. The Copyright Act permits you to make a private copy of a sound recording you have purchased for your personal use; e.g. a copy on your iPod for you to listen to. When you podcast that sound recording, you are making that copy a public copy, which is not a right automatically granted to you by the purchase of a CD. Only the copyright holder has the authority to permit its sound recordings to be reproduced for the purpose of performance to the public. In order to license your podcasts, you would need permission from the copyright holders.
An excerpt of my response:
I think you may have missed the point of the question. I think I am aware of what restrictions exist on the use of music for broadcast. I have noticed that licensing for broadcast seems to only be necessary when the broadcast is being performed in the course of a business, such as radio, digital music channel on cable TV, DJ service, etc. My scenario does not involve the broadcast of entire pieces of music. It potentially involves posting a narrative. This would be mixed with short snippets of the music itself. I am also doing this for free, as a hobby. There is no way a reasonable person would consider this a usable copy of the music, especially considering it would be tainted with my voiceover.
This seems to fall under the definition of fair use (or fairplay as it's called in Canada), as it could be regarded as a review or critique of the artist. I have even come across podcasts produced by people writing for legitimate national news/entertainment organizations who seem to have gotten away with doing this very same thing.
If I invite some friends over to my home and audition new music for them, I don't need permission to do so. If I go to the beach or a park and bring a portable stereo to listen to my music - if others nearby can listen in, I am not doing anything illegal. If someone is interfacing their portable music player with their car radio using an FM transmitter, there is a chance occupants of another vehicle driving in the same direction could listen in, but this seems perfectly legal. The only difference between these examples and my potential podcasts are the size of the audience. In none of these cases could a music collector make a 'usable' copy worth keeping.
I got an answer within hours. The answer essentially: Consult a copyright lawyer. Translation - you made your point, now go away. My next step - contact the record companies themselves. Stay tuned......
6. Teenagers can't sing the blues. Adults sing the blues. Blues adulthood means old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.
Thanks to Brainwaves.
President Bush said Friday that drug users aid terrorists who get their money from global trafficking in narcotics. "If you quit drugs, you join the fight against terrorism," he said. Mr. Bush offered (this) while signing a bill to expand a federal anti-drug program over the next five years.
Then logically, one could deduce that to rid the drug problem, just spend the money getting rid of the terrorists......
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
First, I don't give much credence to votes deciding who should be crowned a Pop Idol. After all, it's these same masses that gave life and longevity to artists like the Spice Girls. But I watch the show anyway, because maybe - just maybe, there'll be some pleasant surprises. When they got to the top 10 this year, I was optimistic. Suzi Rawn and Josh Palmer were my official picks for the last 2 standing. Little did I know that Canadians everywhere were conspiring against my dream of pop legitimacy for this show. The top 6:
Rex Goudie - reminds me of a young, talentless Springsteen. He'll be on the show as long as there are girls out there that think he might actually write a song about them if he wins.
Melissa O'Neil - she's good, but nowhere as good as her eliminated Cowtown rival Amber Fleury, who only lost out because she doesn't look like someone from The O.C.
Aaron Walpole - should be an actor, plain and simple.
Casey Leblanc - is only still in the running because she's the poster child for Vote For The Worst.
Suzi Rawn - should win the contest, but instead has appeared in the bottom 3 twice(?) already. Shame on the voters.
Josh Palmer - lost out this evening. Based on the performance he bowed out with, the reaction of the remaining contenders and the judges - it's probably the best thing that could ever happen to him. Now he can go out there and make some music. Go get 'em Josh.......
Water is composed of two gins, Oxygin and Hydrogin. Oxygin is pure gin. Hydrogin is gin and water.
The moon is a planet, just like the earth, only it is even deader.
The tides are a fight between the Earth and moon. All water tends towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight.
Rhubarb: A kind of celery gone bloodshot.
These ones in particular almost made me pee right on the spot, I was laughing so hard.
Monday, August 15, 2005
Then you hear one of the 'fine print' statements: Dealers may sell for less. How's that again? You mean there's a price even lower than 'employee pricing'? Gee. I'm sure glad I'm not an employee - I don't even get the best deal on a car made by my own company.........
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Wishing Star Wars never ended? Well, it hasn't - thanks to fan films like Star Wars Revelations. It's B-movie acting quality, but the effects are unbelievable considering it's a fan film. I'm serious. It's a 250MB download, but if you like the franchise, you likely won't be disappointed.
If it's not just a coincidence, I didn't see anything......
If it's just a coincidence...........you need new shocks ma'am.
Yes...........I need help.
Meanwhile, other sites have begun the parodies, such as made up mock Q&As with Walken, using quotes from some of his films. My fave:
On defending his choice of running mate for Vice President
Hey, you’re talking to my guy all wrong here. It’s the wrong tone. You better watch it, or I’ll stab you in the face with a soldering iron. Hey, does your mother sew? BOOM. Get her to sew that.
Thanks to The Daily Pick
Connery: Rockan Thems for $1,000,000
Trebek: That's "Rock Anthems" for $100.
They sing "You shook me all night long" (sighs).
Trebek: Yes, Mr. Connery...
Connery: That's what I heard your mother sing last night Trebek (chuckles).
Trebek: No that's incorrect. And please phrase the answer in the form of a question......
Connery: What's the matter Trebek? Does this not please you?
Trebek: (frown) The correct answer is: Who are AC/DC?
Connery: Your mother is AC/DC? I never would have guessed that.....
SNL - feel free to use that one if you want
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Thursday, August 11, 2005
For those who actually participate in this sort of business, I'm holding up a prominent finger in your general direction.
I'd like to ask a question regarding podcasts.Let's wait and see what their answer is. If it's favourable, you can look forward to podcast versions of my music recommendations in the near future.
I would very much like to create a podcast showcasing music that rarely if ever gets played on radio for the benefit of the readers of my personal blog. You see, I often mention the names of artists that my readers might like to check out. The problem is, there's really no way for them to "audition" the artists in question. These artists are typically not on commercial radio. Music stores typically do not stock their music on their shelves. They are typically not seen on Much Music.
Here's my problem. I've been told by various sources that it is illegal for me to create podcasts containing even portions of copyrighted works. This seems counterproductive to me. I'm offering my potential listeners a chance to hear short samples of music I'd like to promote for free, with my voice over the music, explaining how I stumbled across the artists, etc. These voiceovers would essentially make the music unusable for the purposes of trading, copying or collecting. I would in no way be making any money from this endeavor. The point is simple - help promote artists that get no mass commercial promotional outlet. This would seem to me to fall under the category of "fair use". But yet almost every legal expert I can find on the issue suggests it's a very tricky situation and I would be foolish to even try.
Well, that just seems ridiculous to me, so I ask you: would publishing a podcast like the one I describe be illegal? If so, can you please explain why, in plain English.
I don't know about you, but considering the increasing problem our society has with gambling addiction, I find that ad in very poor taste. I support a person's right to gamble - hell, I participate in my office lotto pool. But it's a choice I make that I can personally afford, without sacrificing essential domestic expenses.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Andy Martin of The Committee to Fight Microsoft on Tuesday announced his intentions to block Microsoft from releasing Windows Vista. Martin intends to ask Microsoft for an unconditional warranty that the operating system is free of bugs that could result in security vulnerabilities.
"Bill Gates sells the public defective products, and then expects us to spend years being his guinea pigs, while he corrects the myriad of defects and vulnerabilities in his defective code. This is mass consumer fraud." Martin argued.
"It is unacceptable corporate behavior. Over four years after Windows XP was released I still receive regular 'updates' and 'bug fixes,' which reflect a product that was originally scandalously defective."
Better watch out Andy. Microsoft could be releasing a special "update" just for you....
Monday, August 08, 2005
The result - draconian corporate e-mail rules cost us a combined 4 hours lost time, but we did eventually transfer the critical data. That and I got to hear an onslaught of "This could never happen with a Mac" comments from my colleague.
Sunday, August 07, 2005
We all know Canadian television doesn't always measure up to what the US has to offer. There are always exceptions to that - Kids in the Hall, The Nature of Things, This Hour has 22 Minutes are phenomenal programs. Well, another one has come along that has the potential to enter the stratosphere of Canadian programming - Robson Arms. It's on Friday nights on CTV. If you haven't seen it, give it a try.
I got in the driver seat and was instantly surprised at just how much room I had. I'll admit it wasn't as wide as my car (I could touch the passenger window with a bit of a lean), but it was still comfortable. No room for a console between the seats - the beverage holder is more forward by the dash. The interior is quite modern. It has a Grundig radio/Cd player (German). The 140km/h speedometer was a little odd, considering the 220km/h+ dials most cars have these days. What was most striking was the view. Even though the front of the car is just inches further than the windshield, the angle of view was still similar to that of a typical compact car. It was the rear view that blew me away. The rear window was so close to my head that I could see the ground just a couple of feet behind the car. No guessing how much room you've got back there - it's pretty easy to see. The whole roof is a skylight, save for a sliding panel that you can position back and forth to block out the sun.
Aside from on the passenger seat, there's only one more place to store cargo and that's behind the hatch. It's only enough room to store maybe 5 bags of groceries, because the 800cc diesel engine is below that. I had a hard time believing there was an engine under there. Speaking of engine, I expected this car to be a real snoozer, but what it lacks in power, it makes up for in torque. Translation - it gets up and goes, it just doesn't top out at very high speed, nor pass at a quick pace. But check this out - it will cost you $18.52 to fill it up at today's diesel prices. How far will that get you? If their mileage figures can be trusted - 628km! I think the truth is a little closer to 500km.
Then we went for a drive. My chauffeur took us out onto the Trans Canada Highway. We didn't set any speed records, but we kept up with traffic. He shifted through the 6 gears using the foolproof sport-shift. This is accomplished either with the stick or paddles on either side of the steering wheel. No clutch and no lifting off the gas pedal! Then he did a neat trick I'm guessing no other car can do - at the next intersection he pulled a U-Turn from our left turn lane to the left lane of the other side of the road, seperated by only a few feet. That was freakin' awesome! It turned a few heads let me tell you.
I would buy this car in a second for tooling around the Calgary area, but alas, the $20,000+ price tag is a bit much for a car with such limited flexibility. It's also a shame that some Smart car buyers are waiting many months for their orders due to limited production and import restrictions. In my ideal universe, our governments would subsidize this and other like vehicles heavily.
My friends, if you approach an underground parking garage in a rental vehicle, particularly a rather large vehicle - like a late model pickup truck (which you've never driven into an underground parking garage before), you need to do some serious evaluation of your situation before proceeding. I say this because even if there is a "height clearance bar" indicating how tall your vehicle can be to safely enter the parking structure, and even if your vehicle actually clears said clearance bar with a couple inches to spare, this is not - I repeat not, an actual true measure of whether your vehicle will actually clear all remaining overhead obstacles in that garage. Like overhead plumbing, for example.
While we're on the subject, if you find yourself in such a scenario as described above, do not for a moment assume that the owner of the parking structure will admit liability for damages to your vehicle, incurred while the roof of your vehicle comes into intimate contact with the roof (and any maladjusted protruberances) of such a parking garage.
No, I am not describing myself in the preceding tale - but I was an innocent bystander - OK, passenger, in such an event.
Saturday, August 06, 2005
(OK - is the sarcasm too obvious?)
Word to the wise people: If you're planning on getting rid of the Sys Admin, keep in mind they can and likely do read your e-mail. It's not just a joke. It's a fact of life.
There are a lot of memorable commercials on television these days. Some of them are memorable for the wrong reasons. I'm talking about the latest round of Canadian Tire commercials. That guy who stars in most of their ads is annoying enough. But now I get the impression the creators are trying to taunt us - tease us about how dumb we are. Case in point, the following script from a current ad:
Annoying Guy: "This charger has a solar panel...."
Dumb Guy: "Solar panel? You mean like in my calculator?"
Do the producers of this ad really imagine we've never heard of a solar panel before and might be caught off guard by the mention of one in a TV commercial?
Having spent most of the summers of my formative years in New Jersey, I already knew that certain American cultures called it "soda" while most Canadians call it "pop". What I did not know is that some parts of the States call it "coke", whether it's cola or not. The map above gives an idea what parts of North America primarily call it what (green=pop; blue=soda; red=coke). I have a problem with the study of course, because I think a lot of people ask for a coke when in fact that's what they really want specifically - a Coke (or at the very least - a cola).