Thursday, January 31, 2008

Best thing read on another blog this week...

"I never receive any kudos. I don't have an inkling of what a kudo is. To be honest, I don't even know what an inkling is."

More words of ummm............... wisdom at the verbal cartoonist. Here's another gem:

"I speak English pretty well considering it's not my first language. My first language is baby talk.

However, I still think in baby talk."

They see it, but they don't get it...."

Steve Martin, one of my idols, wrote a lengthy article for Smithsonian dot com entitled, "Being Funny".

If you like Steve Martin at all, you should read it.

Doormats don't have to be boring

Here are some funny doormat designs.

You seen one, you've seen 'em all

Don't know if any of you have seen this yet, but it's clever.

The idea is that a synopsis for Star wars can readily be modified to work as a synopsis for Harry Potter.

Click for the full article and view of picture.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Courtyard paradise

Have you ever imagined your dream home?

Back in the day, I was big into technical drawing and I had an idea for what I figured my dream house would be like. I imagined a single story house, shaped (from above) like a hollowed-out square. The rooms would all be along the outside walls of the house and the hallway connecting the rooms would be along the inside walls. In the hollowed-out middle would be a courtyard area, complete with tree(s), possibly some coverage from the roof - but mostly open, fireplace, maybe a little pool or hot tub..... The whole middle outdoor courtyard area would be visible from the inside as its walls would be mostly made of glass. So from any room in the house with its door open to the hallway, or from any point in the hallway, you'd see outside to the central courtyard. This would allow the courtyard to serve many purposes. It would provide a private outdoor sanctuary, provide light for the middle of the home during the day, allow for a fireplace without pissing off the neighbours, and provide for some star gazing at night.

Doesn't that sound inviting?

Look into the eye of Google

Speaking of Google Maps, here's a video that shows what can happen if you wander down the wrong street in Street View.

Now known as Homey Airport

Google Maps aerial photo of Area 51 in Nevada.

Someone's not camera shy.....

Speed it up

I found some great time lapse videos.

I liked the milky way one, the hot air balloon festival and the trip from LA to New York.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

How not to be yourself......

Over at eHow, they have a list on 'How to get sexy, available women to come to you in a bar'.
  1. Dress like you're rich. Even if you aren't. It will attract more women. Wear slacks, a belt, nice shirt, nice shoes clean hair and a nice watch. Men have it easy when it comes to looking good.
  2. Carry yourself with authority from the moment you enter the bar. Keep your head up, walk proud, and give a warm smile to everyone you see.
  3. Ignore the hot women. Women play games. Hot women are used to being approached and will blow you off. You are better than them. Make them work.
  4. Speak confidently to the bar tender, the waitress, and the people at your table. Speak as though you mean to be heard without yelling please.
  5. When women come to you, don't give them too much attention. Say hi, introduce yourself and continue talking to your people. Make her work for your attention.
  6. Never spend too much time with a woman. Give her a couple minutes, and then talk to other people, even other hot women. Make it known that you are wanted by many, and you don't need her.
  7. Enjoy the attention from sexy women, but don't show it.
Oh...... my gut. That was too funny. So funny, that it inspired me to make the opposing list for women - 'How to get hot, available men to come to you in a bar':
  1. Dress like you're easy, even if you're not. It's what men go for. Wear the shortest skirt possible, thong, a shirt that bares your midriff and high heels from fetish stores. You've got skin..... show it!
  2. Carry yourself like a pageant contestant from the moment you enter the bar. Keep your head up, walk proud, and give a warm smile to everyone you see.
  3. Ignore the athletic men. These men are used to getting what they want and will expect you to fawn over them. Their Achilles heel is their ego. Hurt it but good.
  4. Speak like the stereotypical dumb blond to everyone. Speak as though you know very little and everything is extraordinarily funny. Laugh as loud as you can.
  5. When men approach you, act like they're the only person in the room. Flirt shamelessly, act interested in what he says. Make him feel important.
  6. Never focus on just one man. Give him a couple minutes and then wander over to other men, even other hot women. Make it seem that you are available, and that whoever wants you might have to fight over you.
  7. Enjoy the attention from the men, but don't actually leave with one.
Just as ridiculous, huh?

Camera stabilizer on a shoestring (so to speak)

At first, I thought it was a joke, but it's actually quite clever.

A do-it-yourself image stabilizer for your camera that costs about $1.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Let's start this puppy up!

A million thanks to my good friend Jeff in Vancouver for sending me this link of a complete (zoomable) panorama of the inside of an Airbus A380 (that's the new big double-decker one) cockpit. It's like being there in person. Wicked!

Let those recipes go.... edition 3 (reader submission)

This is from another reader and I'm drooling already. They even threw in a picture! Don't be shy - submit your favourite recipe(s) too.....


Since the favourite recipes posted by you and Jim & Pam are oven-baked in a casserole dish, here is a favourite oven-baked, casserole dish-based family recipe of ours for your Karl Konsideration and Konsumption. The aromatic “Plesz-ing” smell of baking Kugela wafting out of your kitchen will quickly draw a hungry crowd waiting for the oven timer to go off.

Kugela (Grandma Buti’s Old Lithuanian Recipe)

Kugela is a delicious oven-baked potato pudding and is easy to prepare and cook. It is Classic European food art and is a national dish of Lithuania. No family celebration or other communal gathering that includes eating would be complete without it. Traditionally, Kugela is served topped with a generous dollop of sour cream and an applesauce accompaniment.

  • 5 lb Russet Potatoes finely grated (Can be prepared using any variety of potato, but, because Russet Potatoes high in starch and light and fluffy when cooked-baked, Russets are considered Grandma Gourmet Kugela Kritical).
  • 1 lb Bacon; cut across the strips into 1/2" sized pieces.
  • 6 Eggs.
  • 1 Large Onion; grated (Vidalia Sweet Onion, if available).
  • 2 Tablespoons of Salt (if desired, add a dash or two of Black Pepper).
  • ½ Cup of flour.
  • 1 Can (12 ounces) evaporated milk.
Fry bacon pieces in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp; remove to paper towels to drain. Reserve and set aside about one quarter cup of the bacon drippings for later use. Sauté grated onions lightly. Combine rendered bacon pieces, reserved bacon drippings and sautéed onion together with potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Stir flour, milk, eggs, and salt-pepper into the bowl. Pour blended mixture into lightly greased glass pan (13 x 9 x 2). Bake in a conventional oven at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) until top is nicely brown, about 1-1½ hours (i.e. until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean).

Cut into serving sized squares and top each with a generous dollop of sour cream.

Serves 10 normal people or 6-8 from a hungry family or group (1½ hours with 30 min prep time).

Kugela is great for Pot Luck dinners and reheats well in the microwave oven.

Joe and Dolores Poliakon

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Motorcycle figurines made from watch parts.

How cool is that?

The artist's site.

Does this mean they'll say there's a Canadian in the White House?

Apparently, instead of using the usual (politically incorrect) racial / bigot terms for black people in certain parts of the US, "Canadian" has become a code word for blacks - or any other group that it is no longer correct to refer to by their traditional racist word.

I guess it just goes to show that bigots / racists are cowards. Just my 2 cents.

If it's any comfort, although our society isn't perfect, y'all could move up here to Canada. The only thing we'll call you is a Canadian - and mean it. Hey - did you know our Governor General is black....... ?

It's complicated

The online comic xkcd continues to make me laugh uncontrollably.

"Will you be my 'it's complicated' on Facebook?"

Classic. That might even make it into our lexicon.

Lee-Anne... this is for you

In light of the fact that Lee-Anne is having her first baby, I thought it would be funny to post a link to this hilarious Do's and Don'ts set of illustrations.

They're jokes people....... jokes!

Overheard at a party last night....

"....institutional lingerie..."
"Let me take a picture of you shaking your face back and forth..."
"There's Fanta in the fridge?"
"I'll name 5 jobs and you pick the one I haven't done...."
"Two turntables and a microphone....."
(talking about the salsa strength) "What's below mild? Indifferent?"
" but, let's say if I was going to rape you... "

I'll post a picture from the party once someone puts something up on Facebook

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Here it comes.....

So far, Calgary has enjoyed a relatively pleasant January.

All that is about to end.

When 3 companies are involved, it can't be good

We use Air Miles. Between our Shell gas purchases, Safeway groceries and credit card purchases, we get the occasional free flight out of Air Miles.

This time around Darlene was getting things together for her upcoming flight and noticed that on the Air Canada web site it mentioned that you need your e-ticket receipt along with everything else to be able to check in to your flight. You can get your e-ticket receipt at the Air Miles web site, but when Darlene clicked the link, it didn't work. So she called Air Miles. First, she called the number on the web site, which is long distance to Toronto. After 45 minutes she hung up and had to search a long time before she found a toll free number for Air Miles. After calling that number, she waited at least another 45 minutes before an Air Miles CSR finally told her that the link to print off an e-ticket receipt has not worked in a long time and that the other company (Sabre Virtually There) had yet to fix it - so don't worry about it.

My point? If the airline you're flying asks that you have something and while trying to get that something it fails, and the reason for the failure is that the system is broken - maybe you should consider putting that fact somewhere on your web site. It might save some of your customers a couple of hours of waiting on the phone.....

Friday, January 25, 2008

This is because I registered the software.....

I've been a user of Quick Tax for a few years. I'm pretty happy with the product. Now, I'm assuming it's pretty happy with me too, because I got a new copy of the program in the mail - ready to install. It's a special Full Edition, meant for people to choose which version (Standard, Platinum or Business Unincorporated) they want to install. Then all you do is go online and pay for the license key to activate the software.

How nice of them, hey? I don't even have to go to the store to buy the program, they delivered it right to my door.


Super hot video of a lighter being lit in slow motion.

Brilliant filmmaking

A few designers set out to remake an Omaha Beach landing scene a-la Saving Private Ryan.

The results are quite impressive.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Patience my readers....

I realize my posts aren't as numerous as normal. I've been quite busy lately, but things should pick up by the end of the weekend.


Who says album covers are obsolete?

A while back I brought you Making Art Out of Album Covers.

On the same theme, I bring you Sleeveface, a Flickr pool with basically more of the same.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I don't get it

I don't understand banks. Our mortgage was about to expire and we knew we had to renew soon. A quick phone call to our current mortgagor ee (is that a word?) got a more than decent renewal offer from them and acceptance from us. We got a rate offer I never expected. The rate was a full 1.25% less than the rate posted on their web site.

So I guess my question is - why do they bother posting rates if they aren't even the rates they use?

The Copyright MPs

Michael Geist, Canadian copyright lawyer, is not resting on his laurels. He is sure the Conservative government in power is going to try and pass that new copyright legislation sooner or later and he has some ideas on how we can kill it. And now he has a weapon that could turn the tide permanently in favour of consumers - if people act.

Just read his article, I can't explain it any better than he does.

MPAA have trouble with math

MPAA got the numbers a little wrong about how much money the lose thanks to student pirates. If 15% is a 'little' different from 44%.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

You don't act that crazy unmotivated, right?

Sometimes I wonder....... do celebrities like Britney Spears get paid from the entertainment (especially magazine) industry to do things to draw attention to themselves?

Wouldn't it be funny, albeit not entirely unexpected, if we eventually found out that all of her tantrums and whatnot were paid for by The National Enquirer?

The tables turn

Short form: RIAA tries to sue woman, has no evidence, tries to impersonate daughter's grandmom to gather evidence, fails. Case dismissed, woman awarded court costs, RIAA appeals. RIAA loses appeal. Countersuit underway looking for option of class action suit against RIAA.

Another girl will get spoiled soon enough

You may recall that back in December I announced that I will be a grandfather. You might also recall that I made an intuitive prediction that it's going to be a girl. Today, my prediction was affirmed.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Could we be looking at neighbours' underthings again?

While imposing certain aesthetic rules in neighbourhoods helps maintain a certain image, which may (or may not) help property values, the ban on clotheslines perhaps went too far. Well, Ontario at least is taking another look at this ban, considering that drying your clothes courtesy of Mother Nature can reduce emissions and save a little on your electricity bill.

I have no idea if they are banned in Calgary...... but I don't see many of them.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

"She thinks fiance and finance are spelled the same..."

One of the funniest standup acts I've seen in a while.

It doesn't involve swearing!

Mrs. Hughes is a natural.

The video cuts out after 8 minutes...... sorry.

L'il engineers

If you've never seen what a large ant colony looks like underground, you need to see this video.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

"I'm feeling lucky....."

Oh.... my.... God! This was too funny not to post. Imagine if the web resources we know best were people at a party. Then this video would be a journal of what that party would be like.

I love it.


Here's an ad (it's French) about the risks of Aids.

Very well done.

For those of you who cannot read French, the end frame says, "In the world, one person dies of Aids every 10 seconds".

Origam - me!

The University of Tokyo wants to launch a (heat treated) paper airplane from the International Space Station. They believe it has the ability to make it to the ground and not burn up in the atmosphere on the way down.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Let those recipes go.... edition 2 (reader submission)

I just received the first reader submission, so here we go - courtesy of Jim and Pam....

Hot Seafood Dip (one of our favourites)

1 Pkg Philadelphia cream cheese
1 Can crab meat
1 Can baby shrimp
1 Tbsp of green onion
1 Tbsp of lemon juice
3 Tbsp of green or red peppers ( you can do half and half if preferred )
Salt and pepper to taste
Sliced almonds (optional)

Blend all of these ingredients together and put in an oven safe casserole dish, cover top with sliced almonds. Heat @ 350 deg. for approx. 30 minutes. Stir and serve warm with assorted crackers.

Sure to be a favourite at any will never have leftovers.

Where is it edition 40 (take 2 - with hint)

[update] I got asked to repost this edition of Where Is It. The original post is deleted.

40, can you believe it?

You know the rules - guess the city.

Click the image for a bigger view.

[update 2] Hint: It's in the southern hemisphere.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Best error message... evar

Karl's Personal Pie Charts 4

Chart #4.

% of life married versus single.

(I got married in 1989)

Pack your parka.....

A friend of ours is en route to Las Vegas. Tomorrow, the high will be 10C (50F).

I'm willing to bet that if you went off the strip, the locals are bundled up like Eskimos.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Let those recipes go....

If you know me at all, you realize how much I likes me some good food. If you share my love of good food, you probably have a recipe or two that you would call your favourite. The kind that you'd not hesitate to make for company coming over. So I thought I'd dare ask - would you share your favourite recipe with me (and thereby the rest of the blog-o-sphere)?

If you're willing, send me your best recipe, preferably by email (kplesz [at] hotmail) and I'll post what I receive here, on White Noise.

But I'm not one to ask something of my readers without sharing too, so let me get things started:

Karl’s Awesome Tuna Casserole
1 ¾ cups uncooked macaroni
300g farmer’s cheese, diced in small cubes
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can flaked tuna, drained
2/3 soup can milk
2 tbsp. margarine or butter
2 slices toast, cubed into croutons
2 tbsp. Vegetable oil

Cook macaroni in salted water with oil. Drain. At same time, combine cheese, soup, tuna, milk and margarine in bowl and nuke until hot and cheese mostly melted, stirring occasionally. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease casserole dish. Combine cooked macaroni, soup mixture in casserole dish and mix well. Generously cover mixture with chives and a little paprika. Sprinkle croutons on top and finish with a little more paprika. Bake in 350 F oven, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes. Serves 3.

Tips: For a little variety, I'll substitute plain old macaroni for other types of small pasta. I find vegetable pasta adds the wrong flavour, but used in a mixture of regular pasta isn't bad. The croûtons really add a nice texture to the casserole, so if you're into grainy breads, be sure to use your favourite bread type to make the croûtons. Don't be afraid to use a lot of paprika, especially if you like your food with a little kick. Paprika puts a nice edge on this creation. Farmer's cheese is a must, because it blends really well in a casserole and doesn't overpower the meal.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

It's not perfect

People go around trumpeting how wonderful our health care system is in Canada. I'll readily admit it is not perfect, but I do appreciate the (general) universality of the system. I must state that I am not a fan of some of the privatization that has crept into the system. My feeling is - if private enterprise can make a go out of setting up medical services, then the public arm of the system obviously doesn't know how to meet the needs of the public, is broken and needs fixing. But I digress.

One interesting fact I recently discovered is that although some provinces will offer to subsidize your health care premiums if you belong in the lowest income bracket(s), one thing they don't tell you when they're giving you this great help is that if you leave the province, they'll ask for every cent back that they subsidized for you while you lived there. BC is such a province. So if you're having trouble making ends meet and BC pays $2000 of your health premiums over a period of time and you move away to find a better job / life - you'll owe that $2000 back when you leave.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Copyright protects owners... unless you're the little guy

Did you know that if you take a picture of your Ford car, they'll claim ownership and prohibit you from distributing it? I'm not making this up...........

How does HBO get all the great shows?

Almost a year ago, I blogged about a comedy duo from New Zealand named Flight of the Conchords. I also mentioned that a show for HBO was in the works. Well, the first season is in the can and already out on DVD (and subsequently in my DVD collection). The show tells the story of Bret and Jemaine, who try to make it in New York, managed by their idiotic manager Murray and stalked by their lone (but insane) female fan Mel. The humour is subtle. The songs in (or in between) each skit are uproarious.

I highly recommend it............

Winter beauty

I just love what the Chinese do for their Ice & Snow World event every year. This year's gala produced some exquisite pictures, captured very well at R Todd King's site.


An apology to Americans

We have this wonderfully funny TV comedy in Canada called This Hour Has 22 Minutes. It's basically like a Canadian version of SNL's Weekend Update..... if it lasted a half hour.

I was reminded today of this brilliant skit where Colin Mochrie (of Whose Line Is It Anyway?) delivers an apology to Americans. It's really sincere. No.................. not really......

Warm up before you Wii

"Some video gamers have had to learn the hard way about pain after developing excruciating bouts of tendonitis from too many hours fondling the controllers.

And now, the condition has been coined Wiiitis - pronounced "wee-eye-tis.""

Hehehehehe........... Wiiitis........... [snort]

Ernest gets credit for this contribution

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Making ends meet

"A Polish man got the shock of his life when he visited a brothel and spotted his wife among the establishment's employees. Polish tabloid Super Express said the woman had been making some extra money on the side while telling her husband she worked at a store in a nearby town. The couple, married for 14 years, are now divorcing, the newspaper reported."

Thanks to Ernest for the find and the post title idea....

The advantage of good vision

Cute ad for an eyewear (?) place.
She's a natural brunette.........

Thanks to my good friend Bernie (Hoser) for the find

Computer slow? It might not be evil software

Suppose a friend calls you and says, "My computer is running really slowly, especially when I'm browsing the web"..... what's the first thing that pops into your head? Virus? Spyware?

But often, the problem is much simpler than that and much less obvious. When you buy a computer at the store, you would assume that the system has the hardware necessary to run Windows and all your software. But this doesn't always happen.

I took a look at Darlene's computer yet again - she had been complaining that everything is just so slow and I made (a terrible) assumption that her hardware situation was good. But that was a mistake, because when I looked to see how much RAM (memory) was installed in her computer, I looked in horror to see it only reported 256MB of RAM. That is certainly not enough for Windows XP to run very well. And that pretty much explained everything. I ran..... OK, I drove to the store and bought 1GB of RAM ($60) and put it in the PC. That made all the difference. To her, it's a brand new machine now.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Time waster

Here's an online game that could keep you involved for a while - White Dwarf. You're the white circle. Collect green ones (they stick to you). Cash out by touching a blue one. Steer clear of red ones.

See you next week..............

Something's just not quite right......

Notice anything unusual about this picture?

Look very closely at the helmet......

This is bent

I've blogged about Terry Border's Bent Objects before. His creations just amuse me to the Nth degree.

This one is entitled 'Just one of those days'.

See that little strip of toilet paper attached to the foot....... OMG that is clever.

Bent Objects.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Go ahead....... let everyone use it

Bruce Schneier, one of the world's leading security experts, writes an article on why NOT to lock down your home wi-fi connection.

Thought-provoking stuff.

Is the battle over?

It's not official - yet, but Paramount could be jumping ship from supporting the HD-DVD format to Blu-Ray, leaving Universal as the only major studio left in support of HD-DVD. This would of course be the death knell and allow Blu-Ray to emerge as the winner of the format war.

Score another win for the consumer.


Good news regarding the Canadian Copyright Board's goal to implement an "iPod Tax" - it was struck down on appeal.

Score one for consumers.

Thanks to my pal Ernest for the tip.