Saturday, July 31, 2010

Words to create by

Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to our soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don't
bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Goddard said:

"It's not where you take things from - it's where you take them to."

Way to go EU

Almost all cell phones sold in the EU in 2011 will use a universal charger. The need for every phone to come with its own charger will be behind them, as folks will be able to share chargers.

Note that this is in the EU. Only.

My blog can count...

My blog wants to say something to you. Go ahead Whitey.

" I am this many years old today..."

That's right, you are six years old today.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

This must be illegal...

Cinnamon rolls...... wait for it...... with....... bacon!

OMFG. Did I just hear a rip in the space time continuum? OMF#d2.+~~:&%@@

Sorry. My keyboard just shorted from all of the drool that dripped into it.

To the person who thought this up...... you are a Goddess.


Shit always sounds better in French...

Political insight

I thought this was a pretty interesting article about the state of politics in Canada. I'm sure some folks are going to label it Conservative bashing, but there's some telling data in this article.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I agree BTW

Supposedly, this tee design was rejected by Busted Tees.

It took me 5 seconds to realize what was going on and then I did a "They rejected that?!"


At getting rid of the fly.

Put that in your pipeline...

Apparently Alberta’s government is going to spend money on advertising to counter the negative image and bad press the tar sands have been getting in the US.

I have a better idea. Alberta could spend that money initiating a maintenance program that requires us to turn the flow of oil through the pipeline to the US off for a few weeks. When they start missing our oil real bad, then we explain that if they want the tap turned back on, they should STFU.

I thought about that for a while, then realized that this strategy would just motivate the US to consider invading Canada. They might even hunt down Prime Minister Stephen Harper as a ‘dangerous dictator’. Hmmmm.......

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Time to switch to thorium

I read a most fascinating article about nuclear energy - you know - the energy solution that's too dangerous and produces too much waste to be a viable option for our fossil-fuel-free future? Yeah, whatever - that stance is so last century.

You see, back in the day, we could have used thorium for nuclear fuel instead of uranium, but America needed the byproduct for nuclear weapons. Today, thorium could be the key to a safe, cheap, efficient nuclear future. Read the Wired article here. Visit the site that promotes thorium as a nuclear solution here.

Message to corporations

Don't get rid of the things your customers like. Get rid of the things they don't like.

Shell is replacing some gas pumps with new ones that don't have the easyPAY RFID tag payment system.

That gets a huge thumbs down from me.

Raw... wait, what?

How did they get that cat to pose exactly beside that paper speech bubble?

Monday, July 26, 2010

I can see it now...... Bacon-Fest...

Darlene had an idea tonight. I want to run it by you.

She thinks we need a Bacon-Fest. A festival all about bacon designed for people who love or are curious about bacon. She wants to organize and run it. It would sell food showcasing the power of bacon. We think Prince's Island Park would be a good venue. You'd smell the bacon from miles away.

Whaddaya think?

Starbucks finally gets it

It's about the value added stupid. Starbucks will finally offer free wi-fi to its customers this year.

It's about time.

Meanwhile, in Canada

An old naked guy is ice fishing with an axe.

Contents of Karl's backpack

  • Headphones with spare buds
  • Pens
  • Monkey Mints (coconut flavour)
  • Clown nose
  • Acting and improv notes
  • Lists of improv games and exercises
  • Power cord for iPhone
Adorned with Montreal Canadiens pin

Sunday, July 25, 2010


The king of time.


I think this could be one of the coolest salt and pepper shakers I've ever seen.

[What's this obsession Karl has with salt and pepper shakers? Doesn't he post about them fairly often?]

I guess I get it from my mom. She collected quirky salt and pepper sets most of her life.

Please sir, can I have some more..... breakfast places?

I've always said that there are not enough breakfast places in Calgary and our new discovery proves it once again.

Courtesy of the local rag The City Palate, a newsprint style (free) magazine that focuses on nothing but food and restaurants, we were alerted to the existence of a new (to us) breakfast place called Overeasy Breakfast. It's at 824 Edmonton Trail NE, just up a bit from the renowned Diner Deluxe. Speaking of The City Palate, the whole magazine is now available for reading online at their website. But back to the breakfast place.

Overeasy Breakfast is not a big place and they try to cram as many people inside as possible. There's a long table going the length of the joint with a wall bench booth seat and assorted table configurations against one wall with pairs of tables on the other wall. Spacing is tight, so if you're someone who values privacy and elbow room, this place is going to make you feel intruded upon. If you can get past that thought, their menu carries everything a person could want for the first meal of the day. Waffles, pancakes, brioche french toast, crepes, omelettes, eggs benedict and more. For the lunch crowd, they have sandwiches and burgers too.

They food was good. Not spectacular, but good. The coffee was decent. Would I line up for 30 minutes to eat here (as some are want to do)? Probably not. But we'll probably go here once in a while to get some variety, just because there aren't enough places for breakfast.

Other places that we've been known to frequent for their breakfast in Calgary (in no particular order):
  • Diner Deluxe (Edmonton Trail)
  • Cora's
  • Dairy Lane (Kensington)
  • Thompson's Grill (Hyatt downtown)
  • Grey Eagle Casino
  • Eat Eat (Inglewood)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Why can't I stop drooling?

Remember Tesla? That electric car company that stood the concept of slow, uninspired electric cars on its head with the Tesla Roadster? You know, the electric car that out-performs most gasoline powered cars?

Well, their next entry into the fray is the Model S sedan. It won't be out until 2012, but you can put a deposit down now if you want. They haven't said yet what the price will be (but it's estimated at US$57,000) and yet they do indeed have over 2200 orders reserved.

The specs are next generation electric to be sure. 300 mile (483km) range (with the biggest battery option). 0-60mph in 5.6 seconds. 120mph (193km/h) top speed. Even the base battery has a range of 160 miles (260km). 3 hours to recharge the base model. If you can get a 480 volt plug installed in your garage, that drops to 45 minutes for a quick charge.

They learn a lot building their $100,000 roadster and much of that technology went into the new sedan. Tesla's next goal is to have their next car, a $20-30,000 electric, out by 2016.

I heart the future......

Snuggie Sutra

It's what you think, but worse.

You may never look at your Snuggie the same way again. Assuming you have a Snuggie.....

Wait a minute.... did you just admit to having a Snuggie?

I wonder if it vibrates......

What's funny is not that a Chinese cell phone retailer is called SoloMobi, because out of context, it takes a lot of effort to make anything funny out of that. But when you hear that they sell a model of phone by Nokia called the Wank E5, the imagery is complete.

An Ernest contribution.

Friday, July 23, 2010

She's 26 months now.....

Here's a great shot stolen lock stock and barrel from Olivia's great Aunt taken recently.

This is my grand-daughter and her mom.

Dumb luck criminal

Imagine you got brazen enough to snatch someone's iPhone from them in broad daylight. Now imagine that you finally got up the nerve to do it and grab someone's iPhone from them and speed off on your bicycle. Look at how clever you are. No license plate to trace you. Unfortunately for you, nine minutes later the police have found you and have hauled you back to the scene of the crime, where the victim is waiting to identify you as the thief.

Little did you know, you just happened to grab the one iPhone that was being tested with a new software GPS application that makes the phone hard to steal, because it tracks the phone's every movement to within metres of its location on a live map. That's exactly what happened in this story.

Get out of my dreams

I think the only thing worse than having a dream about a bad situation (then waking up to realize it was just a dream), is to have the same situation repeat itself in another dream. I find that when this happens, it lends an air of realism to the situation during the dream, making the bad situation worse than it is and making it harder to be consciously aware that you're only dreaming. Then you wake up and think to yourself.... like WTF?

I think it's time to start pre-programming my dreams like a PVR or Tivo. Enough of the stupid, bad situational dreams. I want fun, happy dreams only from now on. Tonight, I'm going flying with John Travolta in his personal jet. He's going to let me fly it too.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Boba Fett on ESPN

Star Wars fans will never look at the ESPN logo the same way again......

Commuting by bike getting the attention it deserves

London is planning a series of cycling superhighways from the outer edges of the city to the inner city to make it easier for Londoners to commute to work by bicycle.

Brilliant that.

Things you do in your vehicle that you might not otherwise do elsewhere

  • Sing real loud.
  • Swear, yell at, or make rude gestures toward other people.
  • Cut people off.
  • Leave your pets unattended without food or water.
  • Let garbage accumulate.
  • Talk to yourself.
  • Indiscriminately flick a burning cigarette.
  • Live dangerously.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I love cookie

Let's try this again. Animated gifs are tricky. This one is my new favourite.

The puppetmaster

I know a few people who will be quite touched by this picture. Jim Henson changed children's programming forever. Hell, he changed everything. The characters he created will be with us for an eternity.

We miss you Jim.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Generation Y

Also known as generation ass crack.

CSI Effect

CSI's magical instantaneous results versus real life.

Bank security is obsolete and weak

Am I the only person who thinks that banks could be doing more to protect the money we have entrusted in their possession? I think that considering many companies have better security on their employees' remote email access than online banking, maybe it's time for banks to spend some of those billions they make from us and improve their security.

A simple investment in some security FOBs for all of their customers could dramatically reduce fraudulent activity, online, over the phone and even at the teller's wicket.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I know you are but what am I?

Message to American interest groups who paint Alberta as some kind of giant oil spill:

Your addiction to oil and the resultant high demand for it is what makes oil's value high enough to make mining the oil sands viable.

Your move.....

Some upgrades aren't worth it


Friday, July 16, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Supper with Iggy

A former teacher and friend of mine got to meet 'Iggy', (Michael Ignatieff) the current leader of the Federal Liberal Party of Canada. Actually had dinner with him. I asked if she would like to weigh in on her thoughts of the often maligned leader. With her permission, I share those thoughts with you on my blog:

"You asked me what I think of "Iggy". Well, first of all, he is great in small groups. Looks you straight in the eye, listens attentively to what you are saying, and answers with long explanations which are very understandable. He does not impose or does he bully you into his ways. He explains, then is not afraid to say "you are right, I will look into it". He does not assume that everyone knows all the details when answering a question in public; he makes the questioner clearly give a background to the question, by asking another question before he answers. I found out many things because of this manner of questioning. Also, he takes the time to fully answer all questions. No brushing you off, or giving the standard party answer.

He kept telling me while we were eating at the table that he is working with a team. He had 10 of his cabinet ministers with him. All of which sat at different tables with the crowd. None of this keeping all of them together at one table. Even "Iggy's" wife sat at table next to us. It was intimate with a table of four only. This impressed me.

He told me that once the "baby boomers" retire, Canada is going to have difficulty filling the jobs that will be needed; therefore, it is imperative that federal monies be available for education and overseas programs for post-secondary students. The world is global now and we need expertise for our youth. Also, he mentioned privately that educational day-care centres funded by gov't be available for all. He does not agree with the $100 to families, as most of that money goes into family funds and is not spend on education.

Another topic brought up at lunch was the aboriginal island called Victoria Island in middle of
Ottawa River between Quebec and Ontario who want to have a National Cultural Centre built. This Federal Visitor's Attraction would enhance the two cultures of French Quebec, English Canada and Aboriginal in middle. The Liberal Party is looking into helping this come into being. The Liberal Party seems to be centralist in its thinking and includes everyone with dignity, respect and rule of law. I am proud to be a member of the Liberal Party and all it stands for. I think Michael would make a great Prime Minister and do great things for this country. He is not the arrogant, elitist person that the media presents. He told me of his struggles when younger. He was a freelance journalist who did not know when his next paycheque would be; no pension plan, and he struggled to pay his bills."

It's going to change everything...... again... for real this time

iPhone ad deleted scenes.

Seriously NSFW - major poop and dick references. Who am I kidding, this ad has something to offend just about everyone.

But it is funny.

"Jabba the poo!"

Short film by a Montreal student.

Clever use of a Star Wars toy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mr Pedersen, we are at BABYCON 3

A good friend is about to become a father for the first time. This will be happening (if on schedule) in a couple of weeks. He had some fun creating the baby equivalent of Defcon levels for the imminent event.

BABYCON 5: This condition is used to designate normal non-pregnancy activity. Conditions may be adequate for conception. No storks.
BABYCON 4: This condition is used to designate an actual pregnancy or the possibility of a pregnancy. No storks.
BABYCON 3: This refers to an increase of alertness and readiness above pregnancy where a delivery is probable. Storks are resting but not fuelled.
BABYCON 2: This refers to a further increase in readiness just below maximum readiness. Legitimate contractions occur at this point. Storks are fuelled and ready.
BABYCON 1: Maximum readiness. Birth imminent. Storks are 'in the air'.

Are we capable of changing the climate or not?

I was reading about cloud seeding (the airborne procedure insurance companies pay for in Canada to reduce hail in oncoming storms) when it suddenly occurs to me that climate change deniers cannot fathom that humankind is changing our climate, yet we change it every time a storm approaches our city.

I'm just sayin'....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Let's talk about cars

Some folks at MIT are trying to re-invent transportation, specifically, the car's role in transportation, whilst also throwing off the shackles of assumptions that have defined the car for the last century.

The fundamental question for me is this: Do we need a car? The obvious answer to most people is 'yes', but we often forget that there are many people who although they would like to own a car, cannot for a variety of reasons, the biggest one likely being a lack of a budget for such a luxury. Did I say luxury? Yes, I did. In most circumstances many of us could get along just fine without a car. Yet if you talk to a car owner, they'll come up with a dozen reasons why they could not live without a car. "How will I get my furniture from IKEA home? How will I get my kids to their sporting events? How will I get to work? How will I get my groceries home?" To you I say delivery, transit, transit, and transit. I see the eyes rolling already.

If I were to ask everyone who reads this post and also owns a car or other type of vehicle, "what would it take for you to give up your car?", I'm guessing most of you would suggest that public transportation must get much better. Could you get to work and back using only public transit? Would it save you money versus the cost of ownership of the vehicle you drive to work plus
parking costs? In most cases I think the answer is yes. So why don't more people do it? It usually boils down to extra time and the comfort factor. It's hard to justify spending twice as much time commuting by transit while also being in close quarters with strangers of varying hygiene standards. I know people who literally scoff at the idea of taking a bus anywhere. Add to the problem that, in North America at least, we spend much more money on roads, overpasses and expressways than we do on transit infrastructure. We purposely make it easier and more convenient (albeit more expensive) to drive everywhere. Cars have become an extension of our personalities. But could the balance of transportation choices be tilted in favour of public transit by spending more money on transit resources than on roads?

Then we get into a conceptual discussion of cars themselves. Cars, even to this day, are based upon an outmoded system. They were not designed for the reality of today. Today's roads experience volumes never dreamt of decades ago. We can't build smart roads because we don't have smart cars and vice versa. Humans aren't equipped to handle the added stresses and risks we have enabled by adding more cars to the same kind of road infrastructure that was designed decades ago. We build cars designed to protect us in situations that need not happen in the first place, which make them bigger and heavier than they need to be. Think about how big a car is. Why does it have to be so big? Partly to make them safer. People will buy a truck just so that they can haul something 6 times or less per year. Doesn't that seem inefficient?

Then there's a concept I've brought up a few times lately, the idea that we don't necessarily have to own a car. Why not join a co-op that lends you a car when you need it? Even lends you the type of car you need for the task at hand. In case that's too much of a paradigm shift, how about keeping your car, but lending it out when you don't need it? Most cars spend 80% of the day parked anyway. maybe it`s time to stop thinking of the car as a status symbol and more like a tool.

When a new road technology is invented, you can't adapt your car to that technology, you have to buy a new car. When you want to add a capability to your computing experience, you simply buy new software and perhaps the hardware to support it. Imagine if every time a new capability came out you had to but a new computer and all new software. But with your car, this is exactly what happens. Nobody would be able to take advantage of smart roads that can manage large road volumes until everyone bought a new car. By the time that happened, technology would have already rendered the improvement obsolete.

What we need are car platforms that can be upgraded. Upgraded to perform specific tasks. Upgraded to support new road, vehicle and navigation technologies. Imagine if you could add a feature, upgrade an existing one, improve the intelligence of the car's on board computer and more in the same way you can add more RAM or a better video card in a PC. The price of parts should in theory also come down significantly if standard interface connections were designed for easy swapping of parts and part styles.



You're about to get rick-rolled. By a chicken cartoon strip.

Don't say I didn't warn you......

A lesson in cultural differences... G20 style

The Canadian: Self-absorbed and disconnected from reality.

The American: Businesslike, unwilling to be distracted.

The French and the Italian: "C'est magnifique!"

Monday, July 12, 2010

Post number 7000

This officially marks post number 7000. Even though I passed that mark dozens of posts ago, I've been deleting older song of the day posts so as to appease the Music Nazis. So I waited patiently for the post ticker to reach this number before mentioning it.

I'd say that's a freaking significant milestone.

To all of my readers, thank you for sticking with me. Now go tell your friends you know a prolific blogger who is in the top percentile of all living bloggers. I made that up - I have no idea. But I bet I'm in the top percentile.......

Kiss kiss

Because I left home to join the military just over a year after high school (and high school in Quebec ends at grade 11), I left my home province at a very young age and missed out on some of the subtle cultural differences that make Quebec different from the rest of Canada for adults.

Most people know about the unique language situation, the culinary specialties and the European flair and architecture that sets Quebec apart. But one thing that snuck up on me as I have returned to visit my original homeland (listen to me - homeland) is the unique way Quebecers greet each other. Greetings in Quebec usually take the form of a kiss on each cheek (except men to men.... unless perhaps I missed something). This tradition isn't common in other parts of Canada. I imagine French Quebecers have greeted each other like this forever. Now Anglophones seem to do it as well. I did not notice this among the English community growing up. I like it. It's very....... chic.

Other Quebec differences:
  • Poutine. Nay nay...... I'm talking about the real deal.
  • Beer and wine is sold in grocery and convenience stores.
  • Montreal Smoked Meat. Again, the real deal folks - keep your counterfeit meat away.
  • Montreal bagels. On par with New York bagels I'd say.
  • They're mad about pate.
  • Cabane a sucres. Maple syrup lover`s paradise.
  • The huge artistic community.
  • The festivals.
  • The hockey.
  • The history (Quebec doesn't look like it was erected this decade).
  • The white elephants (Mirabel airport, Olympic Stadium).
  • The fashion.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Gummie gouge

While we were in the US, we paid a visit to Walgreen`s drug store and took advantage of some Lifesaver Gummies that were on sale.

I never did open them until after we got home, but what a surprise when I opened the box. Inside the box was a teeny bag making it it obvious that I was definitely not getting the gummie bang for my buck that I had assumed. Then I opened the bag and of course the bag wasn`t even full of gummies.

I decided to place the box, bag and the amount of gummies in both beside each other for comparison.


This guy put up a variety of little visual sound experiments. If you click the back link you will see them all. But on this one:

Click to create at least two circles. Listen to the tunes they make. When you want to start over, press the Spacebar to clear them all. I found that the key is not just where you place them, but when.

"Band can be sold separately"

Some classic craigslist advertisements.

Most definitely not safe for work. The final one (Nissan) is the best.

Nap euphemisms

  • Taking a tour of the napper valley
  • Scoring high on a naptitude test
  • Downloading naplications using napster
  • A napstronaut travelling to Naptune

Saturday, July 10, 2010

One door closes, another opens

A few days ago, Darlene was asking what the name of the restaurant back home (my original home) was called. She said it stood out because it had a bread bar. That is to say that you helped yourself to a variety of breads, buttered them up with your choice of butter (including garlic of course) and tossed it on a grill to toast it.

Last night, we headed for a restaurant we hadn't been to in a while and en route, Darlene wondered aloud how much longer the place would stay open (it hadn't ever been jam packed). Well, it turns out she might have sensed something because alas, the lace was closed.

On our way to an area where there is a cluster of restaurants, I took a somewhat scenic route past the airport and we came across a new restaurant, attached to a new airport area hotel. The hotel is called Acclaim. The restaurant is called Pacini. We turned in. Darlene was excited to finally get to try a new place and after we walked in, her face got all excited. It turns out this is the place with the bread bar that we were talking about days ago. Calgary finally has a Pacini.

It was great.