Monday, December 31, 2007
My ultimate t-shirt design
Darlene's 'how to pack for a cruise' article
Finding Penn & Teller's house
Karl's Business Idea
The start of 100 things in 100 days
Karl on vegetables
My nomination for word of the year
The Brownies episode of The Great White North II
My acting debut - in drag
How Air Canada almost ruined our Vegas vacation
Bernie and Karl get discovered by Bob & Doug
Karl buys a Macbook
The scooter is good on gas
Karl joins Loose Moose
White Noise turns 3
Karl goes to the UK
Karl grows a soul patch
Sunday, December 30, 2007
The decor is typical of new restaurants - lots of muted, dark colours and focused lighting. But on to the food. I ordered the Italian bacon and cheese gourmet pizza. It was very tasty. But Darlene's chicken fettuccine alfredo was awful. She said "Lipton Sidekicks would be better than this." I had to taste for myself and I agreed. It was tasteless, the sauce watery and flat. The pasta was undercooked.
What a shame. For a gourmet restaurant, they were a perilous 1 for 2. We haven't completely given up on this new place, but our next visit will have to be perfect for them to see us through their doors again.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Obviously, the thing I was most interested in was the process by which you get map updates. Garmin doesn't rely on web downloads - they offer their map updates via (shipped) DVD or SD card, the SD card option supposedly being more efficient in that the moment it gets inserted into the device, the new map is available (no PC required). That sounds great to me. I was able to make a complete backup of the contents of my Nuvi without any additional software installed, as the Nuvi is seen by the PC as just another USB drive. Although support wasn't very clear with me whether my backup is of any real use, it's still nice to know that if any files get corrupted on my Nuvi, I have backup copies.
I will give the departed TomTom one kudo - their interface is better than the Nuvi. The Nuvi doesn't show as much on the map screen while you're driving. But it does offer a lot of extra information on a separate screen that the TomTom didn't have. I like the Nuvi mount a bit better too.
[update] Darlene was impressed by the Nuvi's ability to find the nearest Tim Horton's.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Go here for the rest of the story and to see what they look like at night.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Minute Maid frozen Watermelon Punch - used to be able to get it, now it's been off store shelves for years. It didn't disappear because Minute Maid no longer makes it.... so what's the problem? Uncle Ben's Stuff'n Such dressing mix - no longer stocked by Safeway. Why? It's the best mix available because the spice packet is separate from the croutons. I could write a book.....
Hey - I like a bargain as much as the next person, but I've gotten tired of walking into BBSs and being able to predict what is on every shelf of every aisle. Worse, I reject the idea that I cannot get a BBS to stock something I'd like to buy. As a consumer I feel like I'm being held hostage.
OK, I'm done ranting for now.........
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Someone in New York City received a free Starbucks drink voucher and decided to make the most of their fortune by ordering a 13 shot venti soy hazelnut vanilla cinnamon white mocha with extra white mocha and caramel. That would be worth $13.76 (with tax).
Many thanks to my good pal Ernest for the find.
I don't know about you, but when I think about buying or selling a home, I think - head for the mall.
Maybe it's just me, but I notice one thing in common about every listing collected at the kiosk - the interior decoration leaves a few things to be desired. Even the listings showcasing acreages with multi-million dollar lovely log cabin-esque properties feature furniture and accoutrements from the 1970s.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
After watching all the discs except for the work print edition, I can say it's a treat for any Blade Runner fan. The final cut brings re-worked video and sound, which just blew me away. No voice-over, a few subtle changes. But the question most fans figured would be answered - is Deckard a replicant? The answer is......... what do you think?
But alas it has come true. It's bad enough we've fallen for this overt example of highway robbery, but to make matters worse, they even have the gall to act like some of these 'gifts' are 'limited edition' and are in short supply. Is this what it's come to?
I'm kidding of course. That Chrisco ad is incredible - it portrays the most surreal and bizarre reality. The family is painted like folks who just never quite get any of the groceries they like. It's as if the local grocery stores they're stuck with only stock the most awful stuff.
"It's cool having this much food in the house", says the boy in the ad. What? They've never had full cupboards before? This has got to be the stupidest commercial ever. People getting excited about having their pantry filled with food.
But seriously, here's raising a turkey leg to you all.
Monday, December 24, 2007
The problem with posting about this set of videos is the inevitable question it forms in the minds of my readers. ("Gee Karl, what were you doing online that you happened to stumble upon this?")
Never you mind!
I especially like episode #9
Ahhhh, t'is but a good guide. I know ye well.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
One of the things I really enjoy about planning a route, other than being able to reject what was offered and choose alternates is Route Demo. This is where you can watch the thing show a 'drive through' demo (at high speed) of the planned route, so you can familiarize yourself with where you'll be going as opposed to looking down on a map. Speaking of map, I did notice some inaccuracies, but these all involved major road work detours, so it was forgivable.
I decided to give the mp3 player feature a try and loaded a couple SD memory cards with mp3s. I was reading a lot of gripes on online forums about the unintuitive-ness of getting music on the TomTom and I see what they mean. You have to use the included PC software as a means of copying the files onto the SD card for it to work 100% guaranteed. OK fine, I'm hip to that. But when I brought the TomTom into the car to try it out, it didn't always boot and instantly recognize the SD card. The FM transmitter built in is a nice feature - one less gadget to carry around - but even with the device cranked to 100% volume, the volume coming through on the radio was quiet and full of noise. This is not good.
The TomTom allows you to switch the units of measure to metric. But when the text to voice reads the distance to the next way point, it says 2 miles when it really means 2 kilometres.
But alas, all the good things about this TomTom were superseded by a major fault - updates. Oh, they had updates. In fact, I was entitled to a free North America map update for 30 days. The problem was getting it downloaded. This task has to be done via the TomTom Home software. The problem I encountered is that the download (almost 2GB) kept quitting after about 10 minutes. Never at the same spot. No alternative to get the update by another means. TomTom insists it's not their problem, yet online forums would indicate otherwise. To their credit, they tried everything surrounding the Home application itself. I even tried changing computers and unblocking ports on my firewall. But nothing worked. And that's a show stopper my friends.
So the mighty TomTom Go 720 is headed back to the store. But its replacement has been spotted. Garmin to the rescue.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Looks great, doesn't it? Until you really look at it - then it falls apart. When exactly are you open guys? According to the chart, on Saturdays - they never close.
- 85 cents for each rewritable CD and MiniDisc
- $2 for each 1 GB removable electronic memory card
- $25 for a digital audio recorder between 1 and 10 GBs
- $75 for digital audio recorder of more than 30 GBs
Supposedly, the levy on recordable media is the price we pay for the right to be allowed to make private copies. No levy = no deal. Private copying becomes copyright infringement.
Has anyone thought about auditing the entertainment industry to see exactly where these levies go that supposedly benefit the artists? We certainly have no proof of where the money is going.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Remember this character?
1000 geek points to anyone who can name this 1967 era superhero.....
5000 geek points if you can tell me how fast he could run.........
This time, something even more exciting - and plausible, has come up - commuter train service between Calgary and outlying communities like Airdrie, Cochrane, Okotoks and High River. This is a much more viable idea because the infrastructure is more or less already there and let's face it, the feeder roads into our fair city are at capacity already.
I hope this is something we don't just study for the next 10 years and actually do what's necessary to make it happen.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
What with instructor meetings, volunteering at Loose Moose and assorted holiday something-or-others, blogging has sunk low on my to do list.
Never mind that I just bought the 5 DVD ultra-collector-edition Blade Runner Final Cut set.
Monday, December 17, 2007
I was a little nervous about the mounting situation. I have never mounted a device to my windshield before and wasn't very confident that mounting the TomTom there was going to be secure (it might fall off), nor was I convinced it wouldn't interfere with my sight lines. Luckily, this TomTom comes with an adhesive disc for mounting on your dashboard. I just happened to have a perfect spot to locate the disc and the suction cup mount stuck to it like glue. The sight line to the device is perfect - not blocking my view at all - just below the windshield line and not too far over to the right. This made me very happy.
The first annoying thing I noticed about the device is that the moment you turn it on for the first time you're supposed to select a language. The problem is that the selection screen disappeared very quickly, leaving me to try and figure out the interface in Spanish. Not good. After looking at the manual I was finally able to switch to English, but I foresee this freaking some people out that aren't paying attention.
The next thing I did was try to set up the TomTom as a hands-free phone device. I had heard you could do it with my cell phone model. It works like a charm - the TomTom even captured my cell phone's phone book. So now, when both the cell phone and the TomTom are on, all phone controls are routed through the TomTom. Quality was decent too.
I decided to break in the TomTom with a journey to an address deep in a maze of streets in one of the most confusing neighbourhoods in our city - Huntington. It did a great job. The turn by turn voice directions were bang on, with plenty of warning about upcoming turns. Darlene was impressed. It also found a bizarre albeit quick way out of the area to our next destination. One of the things I like about this device is that once it has planned your trip and shown you the overall route on a large scale, you have the ability to reject the route and it will offer alternatives. Another feature I like is that if you decide to deviate from the planned route, it instantly plans a new route based on the deviation. In some cases I was curious about the route it chose, but I'll be damned if it didn't sometimes pick efficient ways to get to familiar destinations.
I'll post more on the TomTom in a few days or so.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
1) You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming. - Alan, age 10
2) No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with. - Kristen, age 10
WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?
1) Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then. - Camille, age 10
2) No age is good to get married at. You got to be a fool to get married. - Freddie, age 6
HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?
1) You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. - Derrick, age 8
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?
1) Both don't want any more kids. - Lori, age 8
WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?
1) Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. - Lynnette, age 8
2) On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date. - Martin, age 10
WHAT WOULD YOU DO ON A FIRST DATE THAT WAS TURNING SOUR?
1) I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns. -Craig, age 9
WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?
1) When they're rich. - Pam, age 7
2) The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that. - Curt, age 7
3 ) The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do. - Howard, age 8
IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED?
1 ) I don't know which is better, but I'll tell you one thing. I'm never going to have sex with my wife. I don't want to be all grossed out. - Theodore, age 8
2 ) It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them. - Anita, age 9
HOW WOULD THE WORLD BE DIFFERENT IF PEOPLE DIDN'T GET MARRIED?
1 ) There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn't there? - Kelvin, age 8
HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK?
1 ) Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck. - Ricky, age 10
It's one of the funniest shows I've ever seen.
The post's title is an inside joke - which you'll get after you see the show......
Saturday, December 15, 2007
They were told the only way to avoid paying to sing the carols is if the kids were told to sing old songs which are out of copyright.
A man in Chicago calls his son in New York the day before Christmas and says, "I hate to ruin Christmas this year, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough."
"Pop, what are you talking about?" the son screams. "We can't stand the sight of each other any longer," the father says. "We're sick of each other, and I'm sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Atlanta and tell her."
Frantic, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. "Like hell they're getting divorced," she shouts, "I'll take care of this."
She calls Chicago immediately, and screams at her father, "You are NOT getting divorced. Don't do a single thing until I get there. I'm calling my brother back and we'll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don't do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?" and hangs up.
The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. "Okay," he says, "they're coming for Christmas and paying their own way."
Pass this joke on, and give credit to the blog where you found it. Let's see if we can get this joke on every single blog in the world. Theoretically, this will create a pyramid of millions of link chains - any one of which can be followed back to the joke's original source.
Copyfraud is everywhere. False copyright notices appear on modern reprints of Shakespeare's plays, Beethoven's piano scores, greeting card versions of Monet's Water Lilies, and even the U.S. Constitution. Archives claim blanket copyright in everything in their collections. Vendors of microfilmed versions of historical newspapers assert copyright ownership. These false copyright claims, which are often accompanied by threatened litigation for reproducing a work without the owner's permission, result in users seeking licenses and paying fees to reproduce works that are free for everyone to use.
Copyright law itself creates strong incentives for copyfraud. The Copyright Act provides for no civil penalty for falsely claiming ownership of public domain materials. There is also no remedy under the Act for individuals who wrongly refrain from legal copying or who make payment for permission to copy something they are in fact entitled to use for free. While falsely claiming copyright is technically a criminal offence under the Act, prosecutions are extremely rare. These circumstances have produced fraud on an untold scale, with millions of works in the public domain deemed copyrighted, and countless dollars paid out every year in licensing fees to make copies that could be made for free. Copyfraud stifles valid forms of reproduction and undermines free speech.
This is powerful stuff that every consumer, creator, educator and politician needs to be aware of.
Friday, December 14, 2007
.... "is somewhat of a scavenger hunt. Everyone has their own holiday traditions and any tradition can be seen differently from one person to the next. TackyChristmasYards.com is not a malicious attempt to end all decoration, just a fun challenge to find the most violations. Locating the “best” yard is as much of an art as creating the “best” yard."
Seen here... The Brigade.
On being told that someone has bought a new car women usually ask what colour it is - men ask what sort is it.
Men like to have all their stuff (DVDs, CDs, etc) on show to impress their mates. Women like to hide things in cupboards.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
It's nice to hear an ethnic piece of music that displays great talent outside of our normal North American sphere of entertainment.
It goes on for almost 10 minutes, then ends abruptly.... unfortunately
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
I'd participate for sure.....
Monday, December 10, 2007
Muslims and Christians alike are upset, especially at the suggestion (as portrayed in the sign) that 9/11 wouldn't have happened if it weren't for religion.
Message to John - wherever you are: They still don't get it............
"Lane reversal in effect Mon-Fri 15:30-18:30. Expect delays."
Did you catch that last part?
Sunday, December 09, 2007
- Average cost of a new house $12,500
- Average income per year $5,315
- Cost of a gallon of gasoline 27 cents
- Average cost of a new car $2,850
- 1 lb. of bacon 67 cents
- One dozen eggs 30 cents