Friday, April 30, 2010

Worst things about Mom getting on Facebook

(disclaimer: this is not from personal experience)
  • Keeps posting erotic poetry
  • She wonders why Bea Arthur hasn’t updated her status in a while
  • You have to explain to her what a MILF is
  • Her status is always “Alone, with no one to visit me”
  • Keeps commenting on your photos “Are you drunk in this picture?”
  • Screen name: Hot Mama
  • She 'Friends' random single people your age and tries to set you up with them
  • Corrects everyone’s spelling
  • She keeps writing on your wall about your bladder infection
  • Is always inviting all your friends over to the house for a 'pizza party!'
  • Fills out every questionnaire and tags you and all of your friends
  • Explaining that ‘LOL’ doesn’t mean ‘Lots of Love”

Relationship farts

The first and the last.....

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Possible answers to "Do you know why I pulled you over?"

  • Because I'm smokin' hot?
  • You can't afford a Mercedes but you've always wanted to see one up close?
  • Did that moose I bagged fall off the roof again?
  • You had some left over donuts and wanted to share?
  • Because I didn't signal before I passed you?
  • You saw my Jack-in-the-Box head on my radio antenna and wanted to reminisce about their burgers?
  • What do I get if I guess correctly?
  • You accidentally tuned into my iPod playing over this FM transmitter and had to know who sings this song?
  • You wanted to know where I got these rad wheel covers?
  • I look like the perfect candidate for the force?


I like this.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

When the painting starts.... it's life or death

This from KCBS in Los Angeles, warning the viewing public, if you feel the sudden urge to whip out a brush or a roller and a can of paint, call 9-1-1 immediately...

This has been an Ernest contribution.

Banks could do more to prevent skimming

The big trend in commercial crime now is bank card skimming by modifying the card reader slot on an ATM. Criminals are getting quite sophisticated in their efforts to make skimming devices blend in with the ATM's design.

I think it behoves the banks to help consumers recognize when ATMs have been tampered with. One method could be to greet the customer on the ATM screen with a warning of skimming and a picture of what the ATM card reader should look like and maybe things to watch out for.

What a comeback

Thank you Montreal. Thank you for making the series against the Washington Capitals one of the most exciting hockey series in a long time. Down 3 games to 1, they fought their way back and tonight pushed out the top team in the league. That's hockey.

Bring on Pittsburg.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The real reason Conan O'Brien left the tonight show

He couldn't stand looking at the monogrammed towels and robe anymore.

(Jack, Johnnie, Jay.............)

The quest for burger and fry excellence continues

In my never ending quest for great burgers and fries, I paid a visit to Muiser's Fries on Main Street in Airdrie (a short drive from where I work). Their chip trailer (it's a huge modern trailer, like the kind you'd store a race car in, not a truck or a bus) just opened (for the season) yesterday and I had to see what the product was like.

I ordered a cheeseburger and fries. The burger was OK. Not bad, not great, just OK. It certainly doesn't measure up to Rocky's in Calgary. The fries were a huge disappointment though. Way overcooked, they were dark brown, very dry and crispy on the outside and devoid of any moistness or flavour on the inside - it was cooked right out of them. Again, these folks need to visit Rocky's to see how fries should be done.

Darlene was worried that I would pay too many visits to this place when she heard I had found it. She has nothing to worry about. For me, it was not worthy of repeat business. I hope other folks have a better experience.

Halak has created quite a buzz in Montreal

Well, after last night’s performance by Montreal Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak, where he made 53 saves on 54 shots, I think it’s pretty clear who the #1 goaltender for the Habs is now.

It isn’t Carey Price.......

GO HABS! Burn the Capitals in game 7!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Karl visits himself in the past

[future Karl appears]
2010 Karl: Karl! It's me. I mean, it's you. I mean, I'm you..... from the future.
1980 Karl: For real? What are you, like 60?
2010 Karl: Shut up. I'm from the future man! Ask me stuff!
1980 Karl: What's it like in the future?
2010 Karl: Ummm, well, everybody has a computer. And we connect to the internet where you can find information about damned near anything you want.
1980 Karl: Cool. So, in the future everyone is a genius!
2010 Karl: Uhhh......... you'd think so, wouldn't you........

Kraftwerk in the palm of your hand

If you own an iPhone and you're a fan of electronic music, you are going to go gaga over an iPhone application called Bebot. This funky little app puts a few electronic voices in the palm of your hand, including (for reals) a theremin! I was making Star Trek scene background music for my own entertainment the other day - what a riot. But the preset voices aren't all. You can design your own voice based on some simple synth controls. It's almost like having a mini-Moog..... and I do mean 'mini'. You can add effects, looping is possible and the scales can be modified... on the fly!

There's one voice called "syntharp" that could easily be from the band Kraftwerk. I can compose awesome little ditties with ease. I can't wait until Olivia tries this out. It's so easy to play.

Get ready to have your mind blown

Pi = pie!

This is bigger than...... big.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I don't get it

This Lane Bryant lingerie ad was banned on Fox and ABC in the US.

It's not just me right? There's absolutely nothing wrong with this ad.

Wait! Is that REAL FUR!!?

The outfit

Why witches only hang out with black cats

Facebook groups that never caught on:

  • Save independent, locally-owned Drug Cartels!
  • Internal Audit Wars: The Accountants Fight Back!
  • MethVille
  • Which character are you from Water World?
  • Iranian cross-dressers
  • Closet Liberals in Alberta
  • Real life Mafia Wars
  • The International Brotherhood of Silent Farters
  • Pole dancers anonymous
  • I get good value for my bank fees
  • I bet 1% milk can find 1,000,000 fans before skim milk does!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wordle episode 11

What is this song?

Any takers?

Still unsolved.......

[update] Hint: The album features a piano covered in snow.

Sound your funky horn!

This week in the playlist, a band that was a prominent feature while I was growing up. They were fun, funky, soulful and a blast to sing along and dance to. Especially if you were really bad at either of those activities.

K.C. & The Sunshine Band. Or as my pals growing up - the Drover brothers used to call them - CK & The Sunbuns.

For newcomers, the playlist I'm referring to is on the right side of the page.

Is that a banana in your pants?

Kind of......

An Australian underwear company, AussieBum, is making a line of men’s underwear made from banana tree bark fibres.

Helpful tip: Buy them early in the week so they’ll be ripe by the weekend.

Don't make me come over there....

Ever since Facebook's latest change, I now get entries in my news feed from music groups I had added way back when in my profile.

Stop it! I don't want spam in my news feed. Just freaking stop. DO.NOT.WANT


Chrome spot

This is definitely one of the neatest commercials I've seen in a while

It's about Google's Chrome web browser software.

The computer for the centenarian

100 year old woman gets her first computer - ever!

It's an iPad. You need to see this. Who cares if it is a clever ad campaign.

Questions to ask yourself

Would people actually think any differently of you if you:

Weighed less?
Didn't wear so much makeup (or any at all)?
Dressed in inexpensive clothes?
Spoke your mind?
Were single?
Drove a used car?
Didn't have a degree?
Went easy on the perfume?
Took the bus?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Wordle episode 13

Name the song.

Wacky pillows

Check out this collection of wild pillow designs.

The Shat for GG?

There is a Facebook group dedicated to making William Shatner the next Governor General of Canada. If you are on Facebook, just put 'Shatner' in a search and it'll be the first thing that comes up. There are currently more than 30,000 people in support of this.

In this poll, The Shat leads with 47% thinking he should be the next GG.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day rant

Perhaps I'm getting a little too environmentally friendly for my own good, but as I get older, there are some things that bother me:

People who let their toilets 'run'.

People who let their vehicles idle while they shop.

People who endlessly let their faucets run before using the water, to get 'cleaner' water.

People who use their water for wasteful things , like cleaning their driveway.

iPads are for cats too

Check out how this kitty gets right into using an iPad.

Down with fees

I have great contempt for fees. Fees are just delayed costs meant to connive you into thinking you're getting a deal on something now, but you just end up paying later.

For just one example, an airline flight. It might only cost $300. But then there's the NavCan fee (to operate Canada's air navigation systems), a likely airport improvement fee (levied by various airports to fund expansions and renovations), and a federal security charge (to fund security personnel and security equipment). Sometimes there's also a fuel surcharge, when the price of aviation fuel goes up too much for the airline to swallow. It doesn't stop there. Now there are fees to check a second piece of luggage, and on some airlines even the first bag will cost you. Want to pick a specific seat, reserve by phone, change your reservation or just get a pillow? Ka-ching. Ka-ching. Eat? Ka-ching! Pee? It's coming......

If you want to put the fare up, put it up front. Even our Federal government wants airlines to disclose the final ticket price in their ads. In an ad for a flight from Vancouver to Newfoundland, one airline listed the price as $334. There was a big red asterisk. The fine print read, "That's one-way, of course, and doesn't include fuel surcharges, taxes and stuff. It's another $334 should you choose to return home." So after all of the fees are tacked on, the round-trip flight adds up to $903. That's not including cancellation insurance. That sounds a lot like $334, doesn't it?

"How badly do you want to go? $334? Good price eh? Sorry that's one way. How about $668? Come on.... you know you wanna... How about $700? Do I hear $800? $900? Your first born? Are you willing to stand? Can we see you naked first (for security reasons only)? Could you please empty your bladder before boarding? And take a deep breath? And bend over?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Boom goes the volcano

Eyjafjallajokull is creating a big disruption in flights in and out of Europe, but volcanologists say we ain't seen nothing yet.

Historically, each time Eyjafjallajokull has erupted in the past 2,000 years - in 920, in 1612 and between 1821 and 1823 - another volcano nearby - Katla - has exploded within six months. Here's the thing - Katla eruptions are typically 10 times bigger than Eyjafjallajokull.

In other words, Europe better have a contingency plan for flights if this mother goes boom.

Just some old mountains National Park?

What will we call Glacier National Park after the glaciers are gone?

A warming climate is changing the face of Glacier National Park. Here are the climate change facts:

Between 1900 and 1979, the Glacier Park area experienced an average of 181 days every year when the temperature dipped below freezing.

Between 1980 and 2005, warming had reduced the number of below-freezing days to 152.

The region now experiences, on average, eight more days each year when temperatures top 90 degrees, and eight fewer days when the mercury falls below zero. And over the past decade, the park warmed at twice the rate of the overall planet.

Many of the park's small glaciers are gone and others are shrinking fast. Of the 150 or so glaciers that existed in 1850, perhaps 25 remain. Most if not all, will melt out over the next 10 years.

Dear Santa,

I know I've blogged about this electric bike before, but now it's a reality.

Recharges in 4 hours.

One of the lightest bikes on the road. Operating cost of one penny per kilometre.

I can be good Santa..... I can try real hard...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Neil Peart.... look out

Howard plays the drums. Howard is........ 3.

Three!!! OK, so his timing could use some work and he drops the sticks at one point... but come on! Three!


I call it Mirror Mirror

I've seen what is supposed to be a sneak peek at the next generation iPhone. Included in the new design is both a rear mounted camera (as before) and a front mounted web cam for web video chat. If this is true, I have an idea for a brilliant iPhone app.

The Mirror. It enables the front mounted camera and displays what it sees on the screen, essentially a camera mirror. People can use this to check their hair, makeup, teeth, etc. I was going to say 'women', but as many of you know, makeup isn't restricted to the female gender anymore.....

Anyway, whoever wants to use my idea (assuming someone hasn't already thought of it), feel free to use it. A token stipend would be accepted with humility. Please make all cheques payable to Karl Plesz.

Towering problem

I read in the paper today that some folks in Calgary are up in arms over the installation of cell phone towers in their neighbourhoods. They have discovered that companies do not have to seek permission or feedback when tower height is less than 15 metres (about 50 feet). So towers are popping up everywhere, in exchange for a lease payment to the (usually) commercial property owner.

My two cents: I'm sure the companies are glad that there is no community approval required to erect shorter towers, as the mobile phone system needs these towers to function. Because of the way radio works, when you've established an area that needs better coverage, you don't have the luxury of sticking it just any old place - it has to go in a specific area, give or take a few metres. The 'not in my back yard' mentality just doesn't work.

A gentle reminder to cell phone users - if you want a reliable, robust network to make your calls and send your texts, there's going to be more towers erected. To those who feel the towers are an eyesore and potentially reduce property values, remember all of the electricity / cable poles and light standards on the street.

I do have one bone to pick with the cell companies though. Considering that there are established tower designs that blend in better - some look like tall conifers for example, you guys could be putting in a better effort to make them look better instead of sticking out like a sore thumb.

Wordle episode 12

OK, try this one. What's the song?

By the way, Wordle 11 (as of this writing) is not solved.

[update] This is 2 unsolved Wordles in a row. I thought this was an easy one too. Anyone?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cell phones over a decade

Here's an amazing info-graphic about the cell phone and how far it has come in 10 years.


Here are a couple of Labradors that love sliding in the snow using their own bodies as sleds.

My Canadian Political Wish List

A study released weeks ago suggests that more and more Canadians have lost faith in the two primary political parties to run the country effectively. That being said, I would be willing to shed my existing political stripes if a party promised to adopt the following as part of their platform:

Re-commit, with complete seriousness this time, to establishing and then following world-leading environmental protection policy. I believe it is possible to set an example while creating new business opportunities by selling the technology we develop to the rest of the world. Canada used to be a leader in the forefronts of technology and we've become a nation of followers at best, dawdlers at worst.

The health care system, once the envy of the world, is starting to fall apart and becoming less universal, less accessible and tiers of cost and access are creeping in with no objection or interference from the government. This is 100% wholly unacceptable. Period. If I can pay $100 to get my MRI tomorrow, then the government should find a way to make this available to EVERYONE. For free (not counting health premiums). Speaking of which, we used to pay health care premiums and everything was covered. Now most folks pay little or no premiums and we wonder why the system ran out of money....

The Liberals used to win on a credo of 'social justice for all'. This is an ideal that most Canadians still believe in. So any party that can prove it is serious about adopting this mantra will get my vote. Go ahead, I know I'm a leftist.

Canadians do not want a government that cow-tows to American policy. Just because big entertainment demands certain privileges that are completely out of line with common sense and simply delay the inevitable death (or re-alignment) of their business model, does not mean we must obey. Our government needs to learn that the figures used by the industry to warrant waging war against consumers are made up. Canadians believe in consumer rights and freedoms including the right to use our entertainment content (legally) as we see fit. We believe in the concept of 'fair dealing' (or fair use as it's known in the US). We do not accept DRM. We do not believe in oligopolies in our telecommunications market and we are starting to abandon the idea that Canadian content can only be protected by government and deserves such protection.

Canadians do not want government debt to spiral out of control, but at the same time, there are essential social benefits that must be maintained, no matter the short-term cost.

Last but definitely not least, I think the essential weakness of 'first past the post' is more than evident now. I think it's time for electoral reform.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It's "fun"

I love the "Blog" of unnecessary quotation marks. It posts pictures of signs where there is frivolous use of quotation marks. What makes the contributions so funny is that any word in quotes can also mean that the word is being used as a euphemism.

Consumer trivia

In 2008, Australia closed 61 of the 84 outlets of this store in that country due to the recession.

Can you name the store?

Piss on the world

A million thanks to my friend Lindsay, who tipped me off about this (home-made) commercial about idling vehicles.

She's the girl behind the counter....

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thinking of summer

The weather has finally turned really nice here in Calgary. So I figured it was appropriate to compile a list of songs that remind me of summer. To... you know.... get me in the mood. I hope it does the same for you.

For newcomers, the playlist I'm referring to is on the right side of the page.

Meet Meline

I've been finding a lot of great animated shorts lately and this is no exception.

Check out Meet Meline.

Where does the money go?

Here's a great info-graphic showing the music industry and online piracy by the numbers.

Eye-opening stuff. Pay particular attention to the 'where does the money go' part. Shameful.

They're doing so poorly, eh? Pfffft!

Are you gonna eat that? Yes I am...

Remember the 5 second rule for dropped food and whether it's safe to eat? It turns out you have a bit more time.

30 seconds for wet food and 60 seconds for dry, to be exact.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Big E wants US to party like it's 1984

I wish I was making this up. Big Entertainment has a wish list for the Copyright Czar in the US.

It's not bordering on the insane...... it IS insane.

Classic case of substitution

I found a little gem online that I just had to share..... you know, like the 50 million other things I find that I share with you all.

Here's the deal. For entertainment purposes only, substitute the last line of dialogue in a cartoon strip with the words 'Jesus, what an ass-hole'. There are very few comics that this little trick won't work for. I tried. I almost peed my pants.


Here's one of the more interesting animations I've come across in a while. It's in French, but it shouldn't be too hard to understand.

Great premise too.

It's 'street' hockey Bill.....

In the news today, Bylaw officers in Calgary are forcing some street hockey games off of the street. According to authorities, playing street hockey in Calgary is legal, but they issue tickets for safety concerns.

Bill Bruce from Animal and Bylaw Services said, "It's not so much the hockey. It's the kids not moving off the road. Of, they've damaged somebody's car and broke a headlight, or damaged someone's property with a puck."

Clearly Mr. Bruce hasn't played a game of street hockey in his life. We don't play street hockey with pucks.....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Danger box

From the good folks at

Get ready for a long rant

This morning on the way to work, I happened to catch the Conservative slanted musings of Charles Adler, who makes a cameo every week on our classic rock radio station, Q107. Normally, I listen to his offerings with a smile and a knowing wink, because he is after all in the 'rant' business and most of what he spouts is harmless fodder. Today he gave virtual wedgies to everyone wearing a pair of bike shorts and it got me fuming.

There's a move afoot in Calgary to make some accommodation for cyclists who commute, by possibly handing over lanes on a few major thoroughfares in the city. Although the debate is far from over and nothing has been decided, Charles was particularly upset that the biking community dare ask for the re-allocation of precious lanes from motorized drivers. He used words like selfish and egotistical to describe the biking culture, suggesting that their only motive was to piss off motorized drivers so that they would abandon their cars and trucks and become cyclists as well. Charles even had the gall to compare the bike culture to separatist zealots in Quebec.

Are you freaking insane Charles? Listen to yourself! If anything, you're making just the opposite point. North Americans are so deeply entrenched in their vehicle culture that we have become biased against anything interfering with the use of our vehicles. I understand why motorists would be upset at the thought of losing a lane here and there to provide a safe option for cyclists, but you're pointing the finger in the wrong direction pal. It's decades of city planning biased to the motorized vehicle that caused this mess. When city planners design their new neighbourhoods, right of ways for transit, bicycles and anything other than vehicles were and some cases still are after-thoughts. So now that more people elect to use an alternate (and clean) form of transportation, they're the bad guys? He went on to suggest that the reason vehicle drivers shouldn't suffer at the hands of a few trendy cyclists is because they don't contribute billions in gas tax dollars to the government coffers used to build and maintain roads.

As another example of this preposterousness, he says "How would we like it if starting tomorrow, two lanes of the Deerfoot freeway were handed over to bikes?" Let's pretend for a moment that sidewalks are a rarity - and thank goodness they are not. How would we like it if starting tomorrow, a lane of every street was handed over to pedestrians (for a sidewalk)? Oh my God! Where do those pesky pedestrians get off? Why should they have a safe place to walk? They don't pay billions in gas tax dollars to the government coffers used to build and maintain roads. See where I'm going with this? How about people who can't afford a car? Are they the enemy too?

Before you jump to conclusions, I do have a problem with just randomly taking lanes of regular traffic away from motorists for the benefit of a much smaller population of cyclists. But I am also willing to find a compromise, like putting a proper bike freeway on a parallel street. The major point is not to dismiss the idea of more bike accessibility out of hand and especially not to label all cyclists as agenda pushing crackpots.

Based on what I see and hear every day, it's the vehicle drivers that suffer from selfishness and egotism. We have become a culture that believes driving is a right, cars are a necessity, the space inside and around your car is your own royal kingdom, and you should be allowed to do what you want. Think I'm exaggerating? Alberta will soon be introducing a law that will fine drivers around $175 for using a hand-held cell phone, texting, eating, personal grooming or reading while driving. What makes me laugh about this is the fact that we need a law prohibiting this kind of behaviour. It's common sense that any of those activities poses a real hazard, not just to yourself, but to those around you. You know what? There will be people up in arms over this new law.

I think it's time to take the car culture down a few pegs - and folks - I'm part of that culture. Oh yes I am. Pedestrians, cyclists, people who ride the bus and train have just as much of a right to get to their destination safely as us vehicle drivers do. I think a question we should be asking ourselves as a society is - should we wait until a critical mass of cyclists exists before we give them the resources they need to be safe, or do we give them the resources now to promote safe cycling? Fin. (That's French for ‘the end’)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Would you STFU already?

Happy people tend to talk more than unhappy people. I can totally relate to that.....

I guess this partially explains what the rest of you are unhappy about.

Alberta Health Services Bonus Checklist

Emergency room wait times up [check]
Surgery wait times up [check]
Hundreds of front line staff laid off [check]
Health budget in deficit [check]
Funding for new facility construction cut [check]
Wait times so bad that 2nd tier 'for pay' MRI and X-Ray services flourishing [check]
Ensure not enough parking for health staff at facilities [check]
Public perception that health system is completely broken [check]

OK, all goals have been met - hand out the executive bonuses!