Monday, March 31, 2008


Found on another site.


Browser / mouse tip

I'm always on the lookout for new tips for the computer user and this weekend I found a great one that applies to both Internet Explorer and Firefox.

If you have one of those mice with a scroll wheel, chances are the wheel can be clicked (as well as scrolled). There is a very cool use for this feature. When you scroll-click a link on a web page, it opens that link in a new tab, while still maintaining focus on the original tab. This is great for when you're Googling something and want to open a few of the results for eventual viewing. But even more amazing is that if you scroll-click a tab in your browser, the tab closes! This is so much easier than moving the mouse pointer precisely over the X.

I did a quick survey at work and few if any knew of this pair of tricks, so it is my duty to pass it along to you.

Luxury movie watching

Gold Class Cinemas is building 50 new luxury style theatres in the US, with leather armchairs, valet parking, and chair-side waiters who serve freshly prepared food by on-site chefs. Tickets will cost $35 (not including the food). Each theatre will feature 40 reclining armchairs with footrests, digital projection as well as a lounge and bar serving cocktails and appetizers. These high end cinemas already exist in other parts of the world. Here's an example of a menu.

Looking ahead to the future, we can expect that for $200, a movie facilitation team will come to your home, throw on the latest feature while a team of 'chore reduction experts' cook up a batch of popcorn and do the laundry.

I'm kidding...... the workman's compensation ramifications would be daunting.

For $35, I could buy the DVD, with money left over to purchase some snacks, then watch the movie in the privacy of my own home, meaning I could dress up in my furry outfit with my fellow furries and...... aww crap, I've said too much already.


Q.: What late guitarist adorns a button on Neil Young's guitar strap on the back cover of Live Rust?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

"... haven't you been taught you should be nice to everybody?"

No idea if this is a true story, but assuming it is.... I salute Julio Diaz, a social worker who took his mugger out for supper at a favourite diner. The story is uplifting. Julio may be crazy, but we need more people like him.

They saw the light!

Waaaay back in July 2004, I blogged about how I wrote the organization that provides the digital music channels on our cable system and suggested that they should publish an online playlist so you could find out what that last song was on a specific channel, in case you missed the title on the TV screen. Their response was less than logical. But it seems they've seen the error of their past ways, as they now list the last 10 songs from each music channel.


What it all comes down to...

Presenting my second song chart:

You want less? That'll be more....

Sony continues to pull little stunts that only serve to irk their customers. Their latest - they'll not put all the crapware and trialware on your new Sony Vaio computer if you pay them an extra $50.

Travel tip... red eye

I took advantage of a seat sale to get to Montreal and back for under $525, the trip to Montreal was on the red eye flight late Thursday night (early Friday morning). I was thinking, I could sleep on the flight and feel somewhat chipper on Friday.

There I go...... thinking again. The 3.5 hour flight provided approximately 40 minutes of doze time. I was just too damned excited about attending my mom's surprise party. The 4 inches of recline-ability of the seat didn't help.

..come from the land of the ice and snow...

Just got back from my original home.... Montreal (more specifically - Deux Montagnes), where I sneaked into town to surprise my mom at her surprise 70th birthday party.

A friend of mine on Facebook asked me, "How do you like all the snow we just got?", referring to the 3 or 4 cm that fell in Calgary during the last 24 hours. DUDE! You want snow? Feast your eyes on these snowbanks, which by the way, have already shrunk 25% since a thaw began. You can't back out of a driveway without taking your life in your hands, because you can't see what's coming down the street. You may also note that the street width is reduced by half due to the mounds of snow. Some folks who live in single story bungalows are able to walk onto their roof.

I didn't get a chance to get a shot of the snow mountains in empty fields built from dumped snow removed from city streets... but they're a good 5-7 stories tall and the size of a few football fields - each!

I feel for these people, because when all that snow melts, it's gotta go somewhere..........

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Off the air

No blog posts for now. I'm still trying to get better and have a confirmed sinus infection, so I'm throwing everything I've got against this one. Thursday night I depart on a secret mission, the details of which I will tell you about when I'm back on Sunday.

Talk to you all in a few days.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Science miracles

Sprinkle some powder on a finger that had the tip chopped off and watch the tip grow back in 4 weeks. The stuff of science fiction? Not anymore. Extracellular matrix powder made from pig bladders is but one of the many new technologies that are available right now.

"I'm crushing your head!"

There are two things that would make for a most awesome birthday present for me this year:

1. The Montreal Canadiens are still in the playoffs, en route to the Stanley Cup.

2. Attending a live Kids in the Hall performance.

It looks like at least one of those things is already going to happen. That's right, Darlene and I will be going to see The Kids when they come through Calgary in May.

Still not well

So over the past 8 days, my sore throat progressed through some coughing, achy-ness, congestion, swollen glands, fatigue and general malaise that has now evolved into sinus pain to the point where every time I cough it feels like my head is going to explode.

But other than that - things are good! Hope everyone had a good Easter.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

How do you kill a chocolate bunny? Here's 3 ways...

What a clever video - how to kill a chocolate bunny.

You may want to shoo the kids away for this one.

Is it wrong to laugh? Because I couldn't help it.......

You want trivia?

Since my readers seem to like their music trivia as much as I do, I thought I'd pass along this little gem. Matthew Baldwin, the creator of the defective yeti blog, created The Great Rock & Roll Lyrics Quiz, whereby each of the quiz entries consists of the complete lyrics for a well-known rock song - but in this case they're placed in alphabetical order, with each word appearing no more than once (no matter how many times it appears in the song).

It's a great little quiz.

The company with the split personality

A while back Best Buy (American) acquired Future Shop (Canadian) - I think - or was it the other way around? I can never keep track in this hostile takeover world we live in. So these two stores are essentially part of the same company now. Which is so weird, because they are like two (split) personalities of a single entity. Their prices don't match. Their selection doesn't match. And now there are clues that they do not use the same shipper or distributor.

When Battlestar Galactica season 3 came out on DVD this past Tuesday, I raced to my nearest Future Shop to buy a copy. I could not find a copy in sight. Panicked, I tried to find an available salesperson (a task in and of itself). The first dude I encountered basically pushed me off with the statement "I'm not the DVD person. You'll have to talk to someone in that section." To which I felt like saying "Do you think I'd be talking to you right now if I could find someone in that section?"

Small side conversation: Is it just me, or do big box store salespeople have an uncanny knack for disappearing into thin air? I can spot one a few aisles away and when I manage to navigate past the innumerable mid-aisle obstacles to their calculated location, they've vanished. There must be hidden escape doors somewhere that they can quickly enter to get away from pesky customers.

OK, back to the story. Turns out I wasn't imagining things, Future Shop did not have a copy of the DVD, even though it was released on this particular day. Their excuse? "A shipment hasn't arrived yet."

We happen to have a mall in Calgary that has both a Future Shop and a Best Buy. In fact, they are at the same end of the mall. A quick walk over to Best Buy and I found my precious DVD. For two stores that are supposed to be one, they sure don't resemble each other in many ways.

Friday, March 21, 2008

RPM 10

This London street is the subject of a 1978 hit.

What was the hit and who performed it?

We have the technology, but we're not using it

I had always hoped that Canada would be at the forefront of renewable energy technology, but it seems the rest of the world is leaving us in the dust. Especially Germany, where 14% of the country's electricity is already being provided by renewable energy. At least some of this is affecting Canada, as renewable energy companies are being lured to Europe to take part in the "3rd industrial revolution".

Thursday, March 20, 2008

It's kinda like velcro

Ever wonder how Zip-Loc bags work?

Wonder no more......

Only $25 for guaranteed torment

This discovery really appeals to the practical joker in me. The Phantom Keystroker attaches to the victim's computer on one of their USB ports. The little deviant then generates random mouse movements and/or types out odd garbage text and phrases. The frequency of random events is adjustable too.


Still sick

Still not feeling well, but the fog in my head cleared up long enough to post a couple of things. I almost fooled myself into thinking I could actually go into work today for the latter half of the day. What a stupid idea that was. I no sooner got dressed when my head started to throb. ABORT! ABORT!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I'm taking a break from blogging today.

Not feeling too great (I think it's the flu).

Monday, March 17, 2008

Feel small?

Want to feel small? First take a look at this web page. See the link for the Galactic Centre? Launch that viewer so you can look around at the immenseness of the Milky Way Galaxy's core. We're not even in that shot, we're further out on one of the spiral arms. Have you had a look around?

OK, now consider this. There's no point even discussing how long it would take to cross distances like these using current technology, because it would be a period of time beyond considering(*). So let's consider Star Trek speeds, shall we? If you had a ship travelling warp 6, it would take you just over 7.5 years to cross the galactic core - just the core! Even at warp 9 it would take 2 years.

That's just the Milky Way - our own galaxy. Consider that there are hundreds of billions of galaxies out there (that we can see).

* - The core is 3000 light years across if you feel like figuring it out on your own.....

It's not just me.... is it?

I think this is the perfect tool for those who have paranoid delusions questions regarding the availability of web sites from their computers.

Have you ever had trouble getting to a web site and wondered if it was down for everyone or just you? Then this site will answer that question for you. Just plug in the URL in the field and click the link at the end of the sentence to see if it's just you.

Spooky.... yet intriguing

I know this picture is probably manipulated, but I like it anyway and had to post it.

Just imagine coming across this scene..........


I love my blog readers. I don't know if I've ever said that, but it needs saying. I don't take you all for granted.

You.......... bring a smile to my face. And that's always a good thing.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Q. What country do the Beatles ski through in the movie Help?

Love in a backwards world

Clever video of a couple who meet in a backwards world.

More dumb ideas....

In Oklahoma (apparently they're not the only State doing this either), they are in the midst of trying to pass a law that intends to guarantee students the right to express their religious viewpoints in a public forum, in class, in homework and in other ways without being penalized. Although this sounds fantastic, what it in fact allows for is if a student’s beliefs are in conflict with scientific theory, the student can choose to express those beliefs rather than explain the theory in response to an exam question. A school would be required to reward the student with a good grade, or be considered in violation of the law.

Even simple, factual information such as the age of the earth (4.65 billion years) would be subject to the student’s belief, and if the student answered 6,000 years based on his or her religious belief, the school would have to credit the answer as correct.

Read the whole article. It's food for thought.

All your internets are belong to Kentucky

Proof that some folks (especially politicians) don't quite understand the internets yet.

This politician from Kentucky wants to make a law where every post on every site could not be anonymous, or the site operator would face a fine..... The politician said enforcing this bill if it became law would be a challenge. You don't say.....

[waving hand back and forth rapidly in a fast slapping motion] Walk into this!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

What would Jesus do?

Is it OK to have a little fun at the expense of a religion or a deity? I'm guessing a lot of people of various faiths would say no. The creator of Dilbert (no pun intended) has been getting a bit of hate mail surrounding his introduction of a new character named Jesus (pronounced hay-soos).

I especially loved his response to one letter from a pastor:

"Thank you for taking time out from feeding the poor to complain about comic strips. I know Jesus would have played it the same way."

Double trouble at the Moose

Last night I got to usher at Loose Moose for a double header event - Ben Hur at 8pm and Blind Date at 10:30pm.

Ben Hur meets Loose Moose is funny just thinking about it - no? It didn't disappoint. 5 regulars playing every part in the production is even funnier. Some of the sight gags will leave you gasping for air. Even Jesus makes an appearance. As does God...... well, sort of. Ben Hur stars Dave Lawrence, Dave Ware, Imanuella Lawrence, Michael Roik, and Rob Mitchelson. You can bet on audience participation too. The show plays every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm until the end of March (the regular theatre sports shows and such are on hiatus until April).

Blind Date was the show I was most looking forward to seeing once I found out about the premise. Genius improviser Rebecca Northan (a Moose alumni currently based in Toronto) plays Mimi, a Parisian girl on a blind date. Except that her date doesn't show up. Would you like to take their place? You could. Then Mimi will take you on an intimate journey through your lives together. It's brilliant! And man, did she deliver. I was blown away. I'm aching to reveal more details, but it would spoil the magnificent and uproarious surprises that await you. I'm telling you right now - if you get out to see one show this month, go and see Blind Date. It plays every Friday and Saturday until the end of March. If you're Rebecca's kind of guy, she will be very glad to see you.

Go to the Loose Moose site for more information.

Rebecca: If you could furnish me with a promotional small pic of the event, I'd love to post it in this post to add some visual. kplesz is my username at hotmail. [smiling]

Friday, March 14, 2008

We need more like Charlie to take a stand

Charlie Angus is a member of parliament (NDP Party) for Timmins - James Bay. Mr. Angus wrote an article responding to Industry Minister Jim Prentice's insistence that his Canadian version of the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (which so far shows no signs of support from anyone, save the American entertainment mafia errr.... industry) is needed to satisfy Canada's international obligations under the World Intellectual Property Organization's WIPO Copyright Treaty of 1996. Mr. Prentice has steadfastly refused public consultation into his bill and those that understand what it represents are watching for its reappearance in Parliament.

Lucky for us, we have people like Mr. Angus to help.

Tough and fragile at the same time

Ultra cool video of a demonstration of a Prince Rupert drop. I believe this video is produced by the Corning Museum of Glass in New York.

Speaking of museums about glass, Darlene and I will be visiting the Museum of Glass in Tacoma Washington in June.

I hope she wins..... big

A woman who was unsuccessfully sued by the RIAA for alleged music file sharing is countersuing ( I actually blogged about this fact back in 2005). I guess the process has been slow and painful. Her lawyer will be trying to bring to the forefront the tactics that the RIAA use to intimidate people into settling for several thousand dollars, knowing full well that most folks don't have the patience, money, or time to call their bluff and allow the case to go to trial. Up until now, the RIAA have had the luxury of walking away (unpenalized) from these cases when they realize they don't have a leg to stand on. But if this case actually makes it to trial, some potentially embarrassing things could come to light, including methods that border on, or are, illegal. Ergo the reason Ms. Andersen is suing for malicious prosecution (which includes fraud, racketeering, invasion of privacy, libel, slander, deceptive business practices, and violations of the Oregon state RICO Act). I also love the fact that the RIAA has run out of chances to get the case dismissed. So it will either go to trial or be settled. I'm guessing Ms. Andersen will not settle for a small sum. Which spells P.R. disaster for the RIAA either way.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The story on the left and right hemispheres

Here's an awe-inspiring story about a woman who suffered a stroke. The difference here is that she's a brain specialist - so she knew exactly what was going on. But that's not the best part.

The video is almost 20 minutes long, but it's worth it for the finale. Very thought provoking.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Taste the suspension

What you are looking at here is contraband. A dangerous, immoral substance, that if you are caught selling to another person, especially a child - you will pay.

Especially if you're a student at a certain Conneticut school, which has also banned bake sales and class pizza parties.......

[shaking my head] So I guess they won't ever be using these then.......

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Where is it - Edition 42

Geo-hounds! Are you suffering from withdrawal yet?

I can ease your pain.

Guess the city. Click the image for a bigger view.

Good luck.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Some people just don't get it.....

The province of Alberta had an election 7 days ago. It's taken me this long to cool off before attempting to post my thoughts on the event. And yet, I'm still pretty hot about it.

We had a voter turnout of 41% of the eligible populace - the lowest ever. This has sparked debate of whether Canadians are so apathetic as to warrant legislation like Australia, where it is mandatory to vote or suffer a fine.

But worse, I'm disheartened by those who voted Conservative (they won in a landslide) even though some didn't necessarily agree with their platform or identify with the party's leader. If you agree with a party's ideals you certainly should vote for that party. But using the excuse "better the devil you know....." doesn't wash with me.

If you know me, you know I'm a Liberal at heart, but that doesn't mean that if I thought another party could do the job better, or should be given a chance, I wouldn't vote for them. Far from it. I have voted other than Liberal both provincially and federally when the situation warranted it. But I didn't find that to be the case this time. I acknowledge that some of my readers will not see it this way and you're entitled to your opinion...... this is mine.

What I found interesting is that the 'first past the post' system we employ during elections got the Conservatives 72 out of 83 seats; with the Liberals getting only 9 and the NDP only 2 seats. If the seat count had been determined by popular vote, the Conservatives would have gotten 44 seats; the Liberals 21; the NDP 8; the Alliance 6; and the Green Party 4. Isn't that a bit more representative?

Alberta - I'm pissed at you. I hope King Eddie (what Conservative leader Ed Stelmach was crowned after the win) is everything you hoped for.


Here's a sign to keep you amused until I dredge up some new blog fodder.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

It was plus 12C today......

When Darlene and I got home from supper tonight, I parked in the garage, next to my scooter. It looked so lonely there, at the back of the garage. It begged to go for a drive..... even just a short one.

So I pulled it out and coaxed it into starting, then told Darlene that I was just going to take it to the gas station to fill it up. I'm looking forward to the day when I can take it out every day (weather-wise).

And no........... I did not write this post specifically to taunt those living in Ontario / Quebec, who received yet another walloping of snow this weekend. Not specifically..........


Q. Who said this:

"Speed will turn you into your parents"?

Do you know what's in that food?

I was watching a rather interesting episode of Marketplace on our CBC network (video clip on external site - be patient, the video link on the page may not work instantly, but it works). It was about how the government wanted to introduce a bill (C-283) to require restaurants to post the number of calories, the amount of sodium, and the sum of saturated plus trans fats per serving in standard menu items. Single restaurants, small chains and non-standard menu items are would be exempt. The bill was defeated because government members were convinced by the restaurant industry that something voluntary was already being done. But it's a scam. Marketplace talked to the head of the Canadian Rsetaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) and challenged them on their insistence in defeating the bill rather than trying to modify it to make it more flexible. They spun a lot of fancy words and insisted that their members voluntarily provide this information, but the show's investigators did not find that this was true at all. Almost every excuse they came up with was argued successfully by the show's host, Wendy Mesley. The show really helped highlight why the bill was introduced in the first place - restaurant patrons grossly underestimate the fat, salt and caloric content of restaurant foods. In many of the examples the CBC show aired, consumers were shocked to find out that actual caloric content was in some cases triple what they had guessed. Even when Wendy tried to show the head of the CRFA how simple it was to add basic nutritional information to the menu of a national chain, he balked and kept arguing that their own measures were enough....... which, based on my own experiences.... they are not.

Although the CRFA argue (full argument here) that it is impossible to account for the variations in a menu item's preparations because of lack of standardization, a starting reference point would be helpful, especially for folks trying to watch their sodium intake - because my friends - you would be shocked to learn how much sodium goes into some menu items in various foods in national chains. They don't seem to think that's a problem. They claim that in some cases, you can get information on a restaurant's web site. Yeah...... that's really helpful when you're sitting at the table with a menu in front of your face.

Don't get me wrong - I love the restaurant industry. They get more of my money than the average consumer. Which is why I'd really like to know just what the hell I'm putting in my mouth every time I order that lovely Creamy Chicken Alfredo at Joey's.

Link to Tom Wappel's speech about the bill (he was the one who introduced it).

Saturday, March 08, 2008

What your candy does when you're not looking

Anyone who is a fan of peeps marshmallow candy should get a chuckle out of this......

.....unless you're easily offended by the sight of pole dancing marshmallow bunnies....


Q.: Who describes themselves in their program as 'the highest paid cabaret entertainer ever'?

"The record business was perfect. And I want to tell you why"

One of the smartest people I know (I don't really 'know' him, just 'know of' him, but he is smart) gave a fantastic talk to some music executives about the future of the music industry and the Internet. Very honest, intelligent insight about what the music industry needs to do. He was kind enough to post a rough transcript on his site. His name is Seth Godin.

He starts by telling them why they had a perfect business. Then he tells them why it isn't perfect anymore - and how to fix it. The talk rambles in spots, but hey - if you were invited to speak truth to the power that is the music industry, I think you might ramble a little too. But the concepts are brilliant.

"..... not one magazine, several magazine devoted to promoting the product you sell. Again, no magazines about coffee, plenty of magazines about music. And, a whole cable TV channel about it. Lets see if I understand this. Everyone else has to buy TV commercials, you guys get your own channel...and you’re allowed to put scantily clad women on it. (laughter) This is amazing."

Friday, March 07, 2008

RPM edition 6

Q.: Who co-wrote the band Cream's song Badge, disguised under the name L'Angelo Misterioso?

"Yeah............... I can fly..."

When I saw this trailer, I squealed like a little girl.

Robert Downey Jr.

Iron Man.

Oh yeah!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Put your hands up in the air!

A redneck roller coaster.

Oh yeah......

See that girl, watch that scene...........

In the spirit of this new trend, I present my first song chart:

I drool in your general direction

I pose this to my readers:

Name the best hamburger; best hot dog; and best fries you've ever had (where you got it). Home-made doesn't count... it has to be bought from a food service outlet of some kind.

My answers:
Hamburger: Lick's Homeburger. Their Guk sauce (a secret condiment they use) is yummy. Lick's is a burger chain in Ontario (please come out West!).
Hot Dog: The Cheese Dog at Top Dog . Top Dog was a joint that used to exist on the main drag in Kingston, Ontario. They grilled all their dogs to perfection - well cooked but not burnt. They were all European style wieners, so their casings were crisp and they were nicely seasoned.
Fries: Rocky's Burger Bus in Calgary (who also have the 2nd best burger I've ever had).

No kissing either

A school in Mesa Arizona has a rule that hugs between students cannot last more than 2 seconds. One 14 year old student already got detention for hugging her boyfriend after school.

I'm serious! So they protested..... by holding a 'hug-a-thon'.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Define 'odd'........

Do you know what I love the most about the internets? How quickly people react to bizarre concepts with their own bizarre retorts.

For example, the Police in London had produced a poster asking Londoners "Thousands of people take photos every day. What if one of them seems odd?" in an attempt to ensure that the public report odd photographer behaviour to the bobbies.

I just love some of the responses produced to help illustrate the absurdity of the request.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


A Space Invaders wood block cutting board.

How geeky cool is that?

Yet another example of fate steering your career

Jeff Healey - R.I.P. You were a fantastic musician. Folks may not know that Jeff was a big fan of traditional jazz.

Which leads me to this story that might be of interest to Loose Moose members. Turns out an alumni of Loose Moose met Jeff a while back and joined his jazz group the Jazz Wizards. You can read the story here. Just click the link at the bottom of the page to read the bio and hear a sampling of the music of Terra Hazelton. You really should read the bio..... it's something else.

RPM edition 5

This edition poses a pictorial conundrum.....

Q.: What musical couple gave birth to this guy? Who is this guy?

Good luck.

[Hints] OK, I'm not gettin' any bites, so let's roll out some hints.

Mom is known by a one word name.