Monday, June 30, 2008
I chuckled when I read that.
Normally, cigarette vending machines use age-verification ID cards.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I had nothing to worry about. Juno is great. The acting is natural, seamless. The soundtrack is as eclectic as I could hope for. The script is very funny. The casting is genius. If you liked Garden State......... you'll like Juno. The lead actress (Ellen Page) is Canadian by the way. She even performs part of a song in the movie.
That's what Neave Television is like. But better.
Click the link that says "click me to channel hop"
Never mind the other links on the site. They're boring. No really. Don't do it.
Hehehehe..... you're gonna do it, aren't you?
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Seriously, if you showed me this video clip 10 years ago, I'd have thought you were showing me fiction.
Check out her list of 20 reasons not to move to Dubai.
How to encourage positivity - ask someone what the best part of their day has been so far. If you're in a group, ask everyone (one at a time). You always feel better if you begin to regularly focus on the good parts of your day.
Friday, June 27, 2008
[update] I may as well eat crow on this episode of RPM after twice getting correct answers other than what I was looking for. The album I was looking for was in fact Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It just goes to show you that you can't always trust the accuracy of a music trivia game's questions.
What? Did you think I came up with these all by myself?
But the reason I even broach the subject is because I found a rather peculiar product for sale online, absinthe lollipops.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Read more here.
I think some day we're going to look back on this era and wonder why we've lived with such a stigma concerning this drug, especially as it relates to certain health treatments.
I have literally lost count of the number of items in stores that I used to buy, that were favourite items to buy, that are no longer sold. I understand the economics of consumerism. I get that if stuff doesn't move, it has to be pulled from regular stock. I'm talking about the stuff that DID sell. The stuff that was always out of stock and only the crappier options were left behind. Some items that have disappeared from grocery store shelves (that I can think of off the top of my head):
- MinuteMaid Watermelon punch
- Stouffer's Bistro Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Rotini
- Uncle Ben's Stuff 'n Such stuffing
- Aunt Jemima Buckwheat pancake mix (*)
- Jello Whip 'n Chill Mousse instant mix
- Libby's Pure Pumpkin filling (available in US)
- Poppycock Just the Nuts
But it's not just grocery items. We recently bought a pair of Suncast sheds for our back yard from Sears. Now that they're built, I want to buy accessories for them, which the manufacturer indicates is available at Sears. Sears even lists the accessories I want on their web site - or at least - they DID 2 weeks ago. One of the items has already disappeared from the site and neither are available in stores. Panicked, I called Suncast and asked where I could get these accessories because they seem to be disappearing from Sears. I was told WalMart has them. WalMart's web site (in Canada) even lists the products! Woo-hoo! So we go to a store. Nobody has even heard of them and the actual WalMart product numbers (from their own web site) produce nothing. I'm waiting to hear back from WalMart customer service, but in the meantime, I chose these specific sheds because they have accessories to go with them.
OK, I'm done now. We return you to your original programming.
(*) [update] According to Darlene, Aunt Jemima Buckwheat pancake mix is also still available in the US, but they don't sell to Canada nor do they ship to Canada. When Darlene called the folks who make the stuff, they told her, "Just buy a regular box of pancake mix and mix it with some buckwheat flour." I'm serious - that was their suggestion.......
[update 2] We have had nothing but trouble getting those shed accessories. The shelves we wanted are no longer for sale at Sears and we practically had to bribe Suncast to sell us a set, because it's not their policy to sell directly to any market already served by a retailer (Sears / Walmart) - even though neither of these places sell the items anymore. We were lucky enough to be able to get an order in for shed hooks before they also disappeared from Sears' online catalogue service. Before you applaud - they lost our order. And now the item is no longer available. But we still got charged for it, plus paid a (non-refundable) order fee, plus interest on our refusal to pay for an item that they lost...... Needless to say, I'm pissed.
Thanks again to Ernest.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
[in Tweetie Bird voice - used without permission] Awwwww, putty tat say it too hard!"
In case you were wondering what's different about the newest version, I present to you The Field Guide to Firefox 3. Maybe not too much changed on the outside, but on the inside....... wow.
Maybe a lot of consumers and other interest groups not happy with the new bill will show up and give Jim a piece of their minds....... Ernest was thinking a t-shirt saying like, I shared this shirt with someone, does that make me a criminal?
.....I'm just sayin'.........
Shown - Jim indicates how many consumers were consulted during development of the bill.
"A developer in Dubai is looking to build an 80-storey skyscraper. What's new about that you ask? All 80 floors will be able to rotate independently of each other on voice command of the floor's owner so that in your lifetime the outward appearance of building will never look the same way twice."
Prices start at $3.7million.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Canada lays claim to more water than any other nation.
Canada is immigrant-friendly. It confers the most new citizenships per capita and per $ GDP, and the second-most new citizenships overall.
1. Thriller, Michael Jackson - 108 million copies
2. Back in Black, AC/DC - 42 million copies
3. The Bodyguard soundtrack, Whitney Houston/Various artists - 42 million
4. Their Greatest Hits, the Eagles
5. Saturday Night Fever, the Bee Gees/Various Artists - 40 million copies
6. Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd - 40 million copies
7. Bat Out of Hell, Meat Loaf - 37 million copies
8. Come on Over, Shania Twain - 36 million copies
9. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Beatles - 32 million copies
10. Falling Into You, Celine Dion - 32 million copies
I do own numbers 1, 2, 4 and 6. Number 3 must be a mistake.
The radio industry counters that "if it wasn't for radio play, most of the performers wouldn't be known".
Maybe I'm stupid or something, but shouldn't an industry that depends on effective promotion to sell their product cut those who assist with that promotion (for free no less) a little slack?
Thanks to Ernest for the tip.
Monday, June 23, 2008
So when I hear that our Federal Liberal party has a new idea in the form of a carbon tax shifting from revenue-based tax, I'm interested. Their plan in a nutshell is "Consume lots of bad stuff and pay lots of taxes... Consume less bad stuff and pay less taxes". I don't really have a problem with this. If my total fuel costs went up several hundred dollars a year under the new plan, I would be much better motivated to reduce my use and find alternatives to carbon-based energy. Keep in mind that the plan intends to shelter low income folks from the pain.
The Liberals could go one step further and offer incentives to Canadians who invest major capital expenses to reduce their carbon footprint, such as installing solar, wind, geothermal and buying hybrid technologies. I don't buy the Conservative argument that making fuel more expensive will hurt our economy because we will get some of that money back in the form of less income tax, and fuel will still sell in piles to places like the US, who are quite willing to buy their fuel from a friendly country like Canada even if the price is a wee bit higher.
For me this is not so much a partisan issue as a plan that, while not perfect, it is a step in the right direction. You can check out the basics of the plan here.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Spokane Washington was hosting a pride parade the day we arrived (14 June). Everyone was out (pardon the pun) and enjoying the weather. What is it about pride events that motivates folks to show as much skin as possible?
Portland Oregon was hosting a pride parade too..... on the day we arrived (15 June). It's just a coincidence, I swear! Ditto on the comment about showing as much skin as possible. We witnessed a gaggle of young women sporting only star shaped pasties above the waist.
A tip for travellers to Portland: If you like staying near the waterfront, but don't like the RiverPlace Hotel's newest outlandish prices, stay at the Residence Inn by Marriott, just a few blocks south. It's much cheaper, has nice rooms, some with full kitchens and balcony, and has a full buffet breakfast complimentary! The hotel is across the street from a Portland Streetcar stop. While riding the Portland Streetcar system, we witnessed an incident where a couple of guys riding handicapped bicycles refused to situate themselves in such a way as to facilitate the movement of people onto/off and through the streetcar. The streetcar operator refused to move the vehicle until they either got off or cooperated and moved out of the centre of the doorways. Security showed up after a 15 minute stalemate and finally convinced them to cooperate. But they were making a definite stand of 'watch how we can be arseholes'. They stayed on the streetcar 2 stops, then got off. The other passengers were furious. I bought a new pair of Doc Marten's at the Doc Marten store downtown. Yay!
Seattle. We didn't get to see very much of the city proper even though we were there 3 days - we were having too much fun in the outskirts! Our hotel in Woodinville (Willow's Lodge) is a best kept secret accommodation in the Seattle area. Our room was amazing (see the Facebook photo album link at end of post). We ate breakfast (twice) at another secret gem of a place in Maltby - the Maltby Cafe. It's in the basement of what looks like an old one room schoolhouse. They have gargantuan breakfast servings - I couldn't finish my breakfast. Really. They also serve a home-made cinnamon bun that is the size of a dinner plate. That's not an exaggeration. The icing had to have been poured from a 500ml (16oz) container. We did a lot of shopping for baby Olivia. We met Team Ecland. They were lovely hosts and treated us out to one of the fave eateries nearby. We stole their American flag from their front lawn. OK - stole is a harsh word - they watched us do it. We also visited Gilman Village in Issaquah and Redmond Town Centre in Redmond (home of Microsoft). Two lovely outdoor shopping places.
A quick word about my beloved Garmin GPS. It rocked! The Garmin was absolutely indispensable in getting us to the many places we wanted to visit on our trip. It even seemed to take us on scenic trips to some destinations to avoid traffic. The traffic service worked while we were in Portland and Seattle, even though I thought you had to pay for it.
Last stop on our way home was to visit Olivia! Our grand-daughter is so tiny. I marvelled at the little fingers and toes. Darlene and I offered to babysit the dear girl for a few hours on the night before we left to come home so the parents could go out alone. It was an adventure..........
Facebook photo album.
Retroblog asked: Did Team Ecland take you out to a marvellous micro-brewery?
A: I'm not sure it was a micro-brewery. I don't even remember the name of the place (oops). I do know the signature offering we sampled was truffle-fries. Does that ring a bell?
My friend Bernie asks: Boxers or briefs?
A: Briefs. I have no explanation.
Maxflex asks: Smoked Meat with Orange juice or Cherry Coke or Molson Ex?
A: Well, if those are my only choices I'd have to go with Molson Ex. But my beverage of choice to wash down a Montreal smoked meat sandwich would be good ol' Coca Cola Classic.
Zoom asks: ooo oooo I got one! What is something you never ever ever thought you'd do, but you ended up doing anyway? And are you glad you did it?
A: Gee where do I start? I never thought I'd marry a woman who already had children. But I did. Ecstatic. I never thought I'd try acting / improv. So far very glad I did just in terms of the wonderful people I've met. The actual improv task has yet to formally manifest itself. Soon! I swear!
Taz asks: how many times have you wanted to kill darlene? :)
A: Never! No really! Never. The real question should be 'how many times has Darlene wanted to kill Karl?'
Jim asks: Have you ever had a near death experience?
A: No. When you asked that question, I had to really think long and hard about any dangerous situations and I reminded myself yet again that I've been extraordinarily fortunate. No broken bones. No serious injuries. I got run off the road once while riding my motorcycle, but I jumped to safety. Nothing even approaching near death.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Trip to do list:
- Inject much needed stimuli into the American economy (shopping)
- Visit the glass museum in Tacoma
Buy iPhone(that will now wait for Canadian launch in July)
- See Jimi Hendrix' grave
- Eat lots of great food
- Meet Team Ecland
- Visit with baby Olivia
Use the comments to ask me a question. What do you want to know about Karl? Just make shit up if you have to. I'm all about two-way conversations and lately, I feel the need to 'connect' with my readers. It's an ego thing...... just work with me, OK?
When I get back from my trip, I'll try to answer as many as I can in a separate post.
The figures show CD sales dropping, but online album and single sales skyrocketing. And logically so, since most folks would find it easier to download content in the format they're most likely to use it in, such as their mp3 players etc. Yes, the value is down, but that's because the price of online content is cheaper than on physical media.
So the next time you hear sob stories about declining sales due to illegal downloads, show them this graph.
As Cory says, "If you're a Canadian and you care about the future of culture, art, free speech and the Internet, you need to do something about the Canadian version of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that Industry Minister Jim Prentice introduced yesterday. This bill was prepared without any consultation with Canadian stakeholders: there was no input from industry, libraries, education, artists' groups, Canadian record labels, technology developers or citizens' groups. Instead, the bill was written to specs handed down by the US trade rep and ambassador (who kept on telling the press about the "assurances" they'd had from the Minister on the bill's features)."
I did the [an unnamed comedy show] because I don't want the owners of said show to issue me any kind of take-down notice for posting a link to the clip like they've done in the past.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
266 g sugar (100% daily value)
108 g fat (166% daily value)
of which 64 g is saturated fat (320% daily value)
295mg cholesterol (98% daily value)
1560mg sodium (65% daily value)
73 ingredients go into this milkshake. 66 teaspoons of sugar in this drink. 11 Heath Bars equals the number of calories found in one of these shakes. 8-12 minutes is how long it takes to consume this drink. 240 minutes is how long you’d need to spend on a treadmill to burn it off, running at a moderate pace.
On the good side, it does contain 120% of your calcium requirements. In case you have no idea, the average adult should be consuming 2000-2500 calories per day. So........... there's your day's calories right there in one drink. Is this responsible consumerism? Do we really need a 2310 calorie drink for sale? Is it any wonder the population is getting more obese?
A 20 minute nap at 2:30pm allowed test subjects to stay awake, working better than a caffeine boost or sleeping in an extra 90 minutes in the morning. The nap didn't affect subjects' ability to get to sleep at bedtime.
Canadian Industry Minister Jim Prentice introduced his answer to the American Digital Millennium Copyright Act today as planned, and it's even worse than the US DMCA. The Canadian DMCA allows every single exception to copyright to be eliminated by adding DRM: whatever the law allows you to do, a corporation can take away, just by using DRM to prevent you from doing it. Breaking DRM is illegal, unless you fit into a tiny, narrow, useless exception for security research.
Here's the summary from Michael Geist, Canadian IP specialist.
If Canadians and parties in opposition of the minority Conservative government needed a reason to vote their asses out of power - this is it folks.
Message to Mr. Prentice: After all that denial that your impending legislation wasn't as bad as we made it out to be, one would have thought that maybe you would create something in the interests of ordinary people. Nope. I hope the masses mobilize against this law and I look forward to seeing the government become aware of what Canadians really want.
Once I left home to join the military, I used to take the train from Kingston to Montreal or Toronto in the days before I owned a car. Again - expensive, unreliable, but convenient.
Fast forward to Calgary. No passenger train. If I want to go anywhere, I have to catch the train in Edmonton. For fun, I checked to see what a return trip from Edmonton to Toronto would cost for 2 adults. On VIA Rail (CN), the absolute cheapest fare is $1300, with regular fare close to $1800. That's just for cattle class. If you want beds, that'll be $2800. Single bedroom? $3600. This trip takes 2 days each way. I wanted to see what a similar trip would cost on the American Amtrak system. The closest station to Calgary is Shelby Montana. The Amtrak trip would cost $900 for cattle class. If we upgrade to Roomette / Business Class seat, it goes up to $2000. That's a significant savings assuming an at par dollar.
I am saddened and disappointed that we've let our train network disintegrate as it has. I would be happy to see the country without the hassle of being behind the wheel if the fares were more reasonable. I imagine what it would be like to ride a high speed train across the country like the kind they have in Europe. You could theoretically get from Edmonton to Toronto in 24 hours or less. Edmonton to Vancouver in 8 hours, all while looking out your window at the magnificent Rocky Mountains. These figures are based on an average speed of 140km/h, factoring in stops etc. Much better times are possible, especially across the prairies, as in Europe, some lines go as fast as 350km/h.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I was astounded at the number of sites dedicated to this new concept. Here is a good all-around site in Edmonton Alberta; the Wikipedia entry; UltraPRT - makers of one design; a European site showing plans for possible PRT systems in European cities. Heathrow airport is building a PRT system to shuttle folks from the newest terminal to the various car parks. If you only have time to choose one link, choose the one using the picture - it has the most overall information.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
One early darknet has been termed the “sneakernet”: walking by foot to your friend carrying video cassettes or floppy discs. Nor is the sneakernet purely a technology of the past. The capacity of portable storage devices is increasing exponentially, much faster than Internet bandwidth, according to a principle known as “Kryder’s Law.”  The information in our pockets yesterday was measured in megabytes, today in gigabytes, tomorrow in terabytes and in a few years probably in petabytes (an incredible amount of data). Within 10-15 years a cheap pocket-size media player will probably be able to store all recorded music that has ever been released — ready for direct copying to another person’s device.In other words: The sneakernet will come back if needed. “I believe this is a ‘wild card’ that most people in the music industry are not seeing at all,” writes Swedish filesharing researcher Daniel Johansson. “When music fans can say, ‘I have all the music from 1950-2010, do you want a copy?’ — what kind of business models will be viable in such a reality?”
Monday, June 09, 2008
Sorry about the picture resolution. Allow me to rectify (somewhat).
Cell titles: Spoiling movies is way more fun when you give them an ending that isn't real
Left guy: Have you seen Iron man yet?
Right Guy: No.
Left guy: Wait until you see the alien.
Right guy: You really are a dickwad.....
Just thought you should know.
News has it that Facebook is ruining it for reunions because those who would normally go are less likely to now that they're hooking up with alumni on Facebook.
I can't really identify with that - in fact I still plan to attend a major reunion in my hometown in 2010 in spite of the fact that some of my classmates are on Facebook (the ones I could find).
Thanks to Ernest for the find.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Buy (or build) a large modern home on the ocean (must have a beach) in northern Oregon and turn it into a B&B or small boutique hotel. Darlene and I would live there and run it. We would invite our friends and family to work there, making their own contribution to the running of the place. I would cook part of breakfast every morning. My speciality is Pan fried potatoes with onion and bacon. People would wake up to the smell of them cooking and race for the kitchen. Some folks would stay at our place just to get at those potatoes.
It's my dream..... let me enjoy it.