Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hybrid performing very well

Currently on pace to get 800km on one tank of gas ($42 worth).

Pecker head!

The thing about having your computer workstation in the basement is that you can hear all manner of bizarre noises, the heartbeat of your home. Last weekend, I'm sitting where I am now, minding my own business, when all of a sudden this loud hammering noise pierces the quiet morning air. It sounded like one of those hammer drills. I'm thinking to myself, "Why would my neighbour be using an impact drill at 8 in the morning?"

He wasn't. I followed the sound, which would come and go every few seconds, into the furnace room. Now I'm thinking, "I wonder if there's something wrong with my furnace?" There isn't. I could tell where the sound was coming from as I got closer to the furnace. It was my chimney. I felt the chimney with my hand and every time the sound would come (very loud now that I was beside the chimney), the chimney would vibrate.

I ran outside to see what was going on on my roof and there, on top of the chimney cap, was a northern flicker (I'm guessing - based on my research since the first incident). Apparently they like to peck when they're mating. The louder the pecking, the better. Luckily, it's not just my chimney that this pecker is advertising its status on.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Gas is up... again

The price of gas in Calgary is now $1.23 per litre. I did the conversion for you folks in the US. That translates to $4.90USD per gallon.

Just so you know, Calgary gas prices are among the cheapest in the country. In Quebec, their $1.39 per litre price is the equivalent of $5.54USD per gallon.

"Social democracy is knocking on the doors....."

The bad news is that they still think separation is best for Quebec. The good news is that some Bloc Québécois members have come to the realization that having a federal party dedicated to that end is now a waste.

The CBC article has the whole story.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

China's real estate bubble

America, you've got nothing on China's bubble. Countless cities fully built and very few residents. According to the source in this video, there are 64 million empty apartments in China. In other words, you could take every man woman and child in Canada, give every one of them their own apartment and there would only fill half of them.

Average asking price is $100,000 but a typical Chinese family only makes $10,000 per year, if that.

That's bloody incredible!

"Not... winning..."

I see that Mother Nature is off her lithium again...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Microsoft Safety Scanner

It's not a replacement for your existing anti-virus software. You do have anti-virus software, right? The MS Security Scanner is something you download that expires after 10 days, but while it's still active, you can use it to scour your system for any nasties and get rid of them.

More people voted in the advanced polls this time

I am greatly encouraged by advance polling numbers that suggest 34% more people turned up for the advance polls than in the last election.

This is good news. Perhaps the sleeping giant has awoken....

Monday, April 25, 2011

Political trivia

Who said this: (try not using the internet to find the answer)

"Harper, often referred to as “George W. Bush’s Mini Me,” is known for having mounted a Bush like war on government scientists, data collectors, transparency, and enlightenment in general. He is a wizard of all the familiar tools of demagoguery; false patriotism, bigotry, fear, selfishness and belligerent religiosity. Harper’s attempts to make lying legal on Canadian television is a stark admission that right wing political ideology can only dominate national debate through dishonest propaganda."

The answer is in the comments....

They're not outlets...

They're snoutlets.

Facebook changes everything

Here's what's weird about Facebook. I have friends on Facebook who I went to high school with, so needless to say they are the same age as I am. Which means of course that I'm slowly watching everyone turn 50 in the Upcoming Events panel. Before I do. It's almost like they're stealing my 50th birthday thunder. Does that make any sense? I guess it would really suck to turn 50 in December, then everyone else in that birth year beat you to it. Is it possible to run out of birthday cheer?

Sorry, was I rambling?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Practical Lexicon Episode 4

The latest episode of The Practical Lexicon is up. This time, we discuss using job placement agencies. My partner in this podcast is Bernie May, of Practical Managers blog.


CO2 + geothermal = awesomeness squared

In an interesting combination of technologies, a new method of producing geothermal energy could also sequester CO2 beneath the earth's surface. Geothermal uses a lot of water, but using CO2 instead could generate power in a cleaner way. During the process, a portion of the CO2 will be permanently trapped in porous underground rocks. The process emits no carbon, in fact it may store some of it underground.

This is a positive development for the desert Southwest, which has geothermal potential, but little available water with which to exploit it. Sequestering CO2 from nearby coal-fired plants could serve as a source to run this process, which would help improve the air quality nearby.

Just one little tweak... no biggie

When Harry met Sally, the sequel.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Karl's wish for the Canadian Federal election of 2011

Canada, I hope with all of my heart that you vote in this federal election. You may have reasons to be apathetic about the government. You may be disappointed with the political system. You may find it difficult to align with any particular party. You might think that the trading of power back and forth between the two traditional ruling parties over the years has not changed anything. You might want to vote for a particular party, but hesitate to do so because you feel that they could never get enough votes to form a government, or elect their representative in your riding.

But what I seriously hope is that you stop using the past as an excuse. Never mind what transpired before. Stop using a hated party policy from 30 years ago as a crutch to never vote for them again. Stop voting based on what you don't want. Stop voting for the lesser of two or three evils. Stop voting strategically. Voting strategically only accomplishes one thing. It lies to the rest of the electorate and the government. It fools them by artificially propping up a party that doesn't even have the full support of its voters, just so that 'the other party' doesn't get too many seats.

Instead, vote for the political party that most mirrors your values and beliefs. Give a party a chance even if you're confident they'll never get enough votes. That's really not the point. If it's the party that best reflects your vision of the country, then vote for them. If it's the party that is offering policy and change you believe in, then vote for them. If their candidate and their leader doesn't make you throw up a little in your mouth, then they deserve a chance. If their candidate just spouts party generated talking points and doesn't engage the electorate, why would you vote for them? If their candidate doesn't even show up at all-party debates, or hangs up on their constituents, why would you expect them to represent you well? Think about the person you want representing you in Ottawa. If you had to pay them for their work out of your pocket, would you still vote for the same person? You are paying for them with your taxes. Are they earning their salary or is it time for some fresh blood?

For those of you who plan not to vote, I want you to think about changing your mind. The reason you should consider voting is that nobody expects you to. There's a certain party which shall remain unnamed because it's so obvious who I'm talking about, who is betting the farm that you will not vote. If you're under 25 or if you're a woman, they would rather you didn't bother to show up at the polls. So I would like you to foil their plan. Do it for me. Do it...... for the kids and the grand-kids. Do it for the millions of people in the world who don't get a chance to vote at all. Let's show them that we appreciate the democracy that we have and that dammit - we're willing to use it.

The best recent example of how important it is to get the vote out, is the recent Calgary municipal election. Everyone I spoke to that wanted to vote for Naheed Nenshi said "I'd like to vote for him, but he'll never win." But they did vote for him. He won.

Now get out there Canada..... and vote.

Special message to the youth of this country: If you're not planning to vote as a form of protest against ineffectiveness of previous governments, you're not doing anyone any favours. You don't change things through inaction, you change them by making your voice heard. Make your vote count instead of being part of the problem. There - I said it.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." ~Margaret Mead (attributed)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Quietly weep

How to fix any computer, by The Oatmeal.

Sometimes you just have to trust the sign

Your GPS is wrong!

Luv it.


Presenting - The Roadrunner... in high definition!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bert IRL

What Bert would look like IRL.

The weird thing is, I can still imagine that same voice coming out of that mouth.

Social network strategy

This and other gems of insight about our new technological existences. I especially agree with what he says about teaching our children about privacy.

Cory Doctorow on social networks' strategy:
"... the more that you disclose about your personal life, the more the people that matter to you reward you with attention. That's a really powerful force for encouraging you to go on disclosing information..."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

In case you needed another example

Nilay Patel posts a very interesting article exposing yet another example of how current copyright laws and content business models are incapable of dealing with the constant shift in technology and technology services.

He's a former copyright lawyer too, so he knows what he's talking about.

[snort] I heart political ha-ha

Stolen from several people on FB.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Earthquake causing delays in shipments from Japan?

I went mouse shopping this weekend. Computer mouse that is. I quickly ran into issues. Shelves were bare. Future Shop. Best Buy. They had a few mice, but none of any candidate models I wanted. All staff admitted they were anxiously awaiting merchandise shipments that were weeks overdue.

What I don't quite understand is how the earthquake in Japan might be responsible for the delay, assuming that it is the cause. Does this stuff even come from Japan?

We're also experiencing electronic delivery delay at work, where a projector for my classroom is delayed until mid-May.

Who needs a horse?

Do yourself a favour so that you don't spoil the ending. Don't look at the title of the video before you watch it.

Just don't.


Why cats are not doctors

The title says it all, no?

Found at mediumlarge.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Practical, yes. But would you be caught dead using it?

A handy magnifying glass, the size of a credit card. 2.5x magnification. Allows you to work with both hands. Now you can read the small print when you’re out. The eyeCard measures a flat 2mm and weighs 5g. Flexible nose section prevents the eyeCard® from slipping.

"Hunting is still its main priority....."

For a few weeks, the BBC film crew had the opportunity to follow a unique specimen. They were able to observe and record its mannerisms, rituals and way of life.

The result of this is BBC Human Planet: The Douche.

Beastie Boys - fight for your right - revisited

Like... who isn't in this video?

Even the cowbell makes an appearance. I shit you not.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Quoth the raven: "Wocka wocka wocka!"

I wonder if they named him Fozzy......

Mailbox locator.... couldya?

Dear Canada Post:

Do you know what would be really neat? If your web site made it possible for one to find a mail box on a map. Not a postal outlet. A mail box.

That is all.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Meanwhile, at General Tso's....

I am amused by many things.

Vocabulary words that make you sound old

channel changer; touch tone phone; facsimile machine; spick and span; bread box; gramophone; ice box; horseless carriage; vcr; tit for tat; betamax; halcyon days; porridge; five and dime; daguerreotype; snack bar; gad zooks; groovy; three squares

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Post-debate report

For the record, everyone knows my Liberal bias, so it should come as no surprise that I don't find much comfort in Conservative policy and ideology. At least, not today's policy and ideology. Just to get that out of the way. Now on to my observations.

Mr. Harper used the word 'clear' at least 5 million times. Yes, that's a clear exaggeration. But holy crap, man. I think I can state without reservation that his position is basically that Parliamentary rules be damned, the only thing that is important is the economy. He stated quite simply that all that Canadians should care about is that the economy is rolling along nicely and nothing else matters. Too one-dimensional.

Mr. Ignatieff did not impress me at all. It's not that I don't like or respect him - I do. But he didn't engage me with the kind of passion and focus that I expect from a leader. He trotted out a lot of repeated lines in the first half of the debate, which lost me. He spoke a little more off the cuff in the last half of the debate, but it may have been too little, too late. You don't have to keep mentioning the jets and prisons and corporate tax breaks. We get it. I also didn't appreciate Mr. Ignatieff's attitude toward Mr. Layton about his chances of ever leading the country. Too presumptuous.

Mr. Duceppe may not represent the entire country, but he does represent his jurisdiction well. Some have said in the past that the same could be said for Mr. Harper, he just isn't as overt about it. Mr. Duceppe did a good job of taking every party to task for any waffling they have done on policy over the years. But a regional party doesn't work in our type of parliament.

Mr. Layton seemed to be the only leader that didn't repeat the same old lines over and over. He also seems to have a real plan. I may not agree with everything that he proposes, but this is the party that unequivocally opposes the copyright bill proposed by the last government that would make criminals out of ordinary Canadians. He wants to make life better for veterans and pensioners. He wants to fix the health care while it's still fixable.

I still haven't made up my mind who will get my vote, but it was interesting to see the boys make their pitches.


How many shipping containers would you think fall off of container ships at sea in one year?

Would you believe 10,000? Per year!


The province gave money collected from school taxes back to our city, yet the CBE are screaming that they have a budget shortfall.

The province doesn't collect health premiums from us anymore, yet our health care system is in deficit with expansion projects cancelled, facilities downsized and staff shortfalls not dealt with.

I'm confused.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Only in Canada

The leaders of the main political parties in Canada debate each other in front of live television cameras this week, in English on Tuesday night and in French on Thursday night.

Except for one slight problem. Thursday night also happens to be the opening night of the NHL hockey playoff series between arch-rivals Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadiens. So the French language debate has been moved to Wednesday night.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

My patience has expired too....

Curious to know when the product I just bought would expire, I looked for an expiry date of some kind on the packaging. I found it and this is what it said:

Guaranteed fresh until printed date

25J206003 15:56

Errr...... some questions. Would someone assume that the product will expire on or before the 25th of January (or June... or July) in the year 206003 at approximately 15:56? Is that Zulu (GMT) time? That's some seriously resilient food. Kinda makes the expiry date a bit of a moot point, no?

But seriously, I know that the last line has nothing to do with the expiry date. What about the MA10 part? Would it really ruin the company financially to buy some extra ink, throw in another letter for the month and be a little clearer on what the number signifies? People are going to wonder whether it's March or May, whether it's 2010 or the tenth of the month. Unless of course they happen to have the secret grocery expiry date decoder ring and know the code. On the bright side, at least the printing was legible.

See that picture? That's how it should be done.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Wanted dead and/or alive

Perfect t-shirt design.

Medieval weapon push pins

This is awesomeness to the power of infinity.

OK, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration.....

Keurig Karl

So, we now own a Keurig single cup coffee maker. Darlene and I had been admiring them in the stores for many months. We really wanted one, so we spent the last few months trying to justify getting one. For a while it even seemed like the quest might be cancelled altogether and then Canadian Tire put one of them on sale. That's all it took. Thanks Canadian Tire. For those of you that were wondering "Why Keurig? Why not Tassimo?", I'll explain.

I did a lot of research on the two major competing brands. The conclusion I came to is that if you prefer selection over the ability to make a latté, the Keurig is the way to go. They have over 100 varieties of beverage to choose from. Considering that the whole point of getting one of these things was to offer a choice of a different drink each time you use it, that made the decision easy for me.

We got the B30 mini brewer - the basic model (pictured). No reservoir, no programmability, no various cup sizes, no temperature selection. Keep it simple. Water and K-cup goes in, beverage comes out. So how do I like it? Let's list the pros and cons:

No having to make and waste a coffee machine full of coffee just for one cup
Choose from over 100 varieties of coffees, teas, cocoas and more
No measuring means consistency each time
No messy grinds to clean up afterwards
Everyone gets what they want
Machine is small, uses little counter space (our chosen model especially)
If you join Keurig's online club, you get some great deals

3 minutes preparation time per cup
At $14 per 18 servings, they're not exactly cheap, but still much cheaper than coffee out
No way to vary the strength (with our model - other models have the ability)
K-cups aren't recyclable
Can't use transparent glass cups (it fools the sensor)

Friday, April 08, 2011

My wish list for government in Canada

A promise that no matter how hard the entertainment industry lobbies for it, there should be no new copyright bill that favours this stubborn business cartel over the consumer. Period. Copyright should foster innovation and protect consumer rights. All else is greed.

Our universal health care system is no longer universal. This needs to be fixed now before it is too late. Nobody should have to pay extra to get an MRI or an X-ray or surgery in a reasonable amount of time. If the public system can't make this happen, then it is broken and needs an immediate overhaul. All that a two-tiered system does is marginalize the poor. Want proof? Look south across the border.

While we're on the topic of health, one of the biggest obstacles to reducing health costs is the now overt lobbying by 'big pharma' toward doctors. It is so easy to draw correlations between drug company sponsored events and perks and sudden and sustained increases in drug prescriptions by those companies. This is only a tiny part of a bigger problem - lobbying in general is getting out of hand and needs to be outlawed. If you knew how many government and public health officials were in the pockets of corporations, your head would spin. It is the number one cause for costs spiralling out of control.

Our education system is not doing a great job of educating our kids. Teachers are overworked, underpaid and their class sizes are ridiculous. How about we spend the money we were going to use to give students a break on their tuition and spend it on new schools and more money for teachers.

Students spend a small fortune getting an education for jobs that probably won't exist by the time they're finished school. There's a smart combination - massive student debt load and no relevant job to pay the loan off. We need to start getting smart about what training is available to students by partnering with corporations to identify and groom (and subsidize) future post-secondary students who will go on to work for the company in the identified field of need. Yes - this requires cooperation and something called planning between schools and industry.

On that note, let me take a moment to send out a quick message to Pharmacist graduates: Kiss your future career goodbye. Newly introduced regulation for pharmacy technicians just changed things so that they will be doing much more of your work. That means you just became redundant. Enjoy your new degree and be sure to thank your provincial government(s) for a boneheaded decision.

Canada is making a small fortune (or at least key companies are) from fossil fuel. Some of this money needs to be used to develop the next source of energy that we'll require as fuel prices continue to rise while fossil fuel supply continues to fall behind increasing world demand. Note that I didn't even mention the 'GW' words.

There are technologies that exist right now that are not commonly known by the general populace, let alone being leveraged by the construction industry to keep environmental and family costs down. One of these technologies, which does not add a lot of cost to home construction is known as 'Passive House', a new building standard using better materials and thicker walls to greatly reduces the energy needed to keep a building warm (or cool in summer). This kind of technology needs to be explored and promoted now and become the new standard. It will save billions in energy consumption and make owning a home even more affordable.

Some people have already figured out that the car culture is no longer sustainable. I know - it sucks - but there's really no getting around it. Europe has already begun to do what is necessary to tilt the balance in favour of public transportation and we need to do the same. Our national train network is a joke, our growing road network is getting harder to maintain and those without a vehicle are made to suffer in an antiquated mobility system that makes it difficult just to get to work on time. Part of the problem is that many of the people with the most power to do something - the public servants - have no interest or stake in public transit. Car-centric politicians and citizens forced to use public transit for a month would change their tune and their priorities in short order.

The CRTC needs a new mandate. The time for Canadian corporate protectionism is over as it has led to unopposed oligopolies in entertainment media, music and telecommunications. What we need now is an organization that exists for the sole purpose of protecting consumer interests. We can start by making sure that the people running the CRTC have no affiliation with big entertainment or big telecom whatsoever. In fact, I think the people most qualified to help protect consumer interests are regular consumers.

I think that's a good start, eh?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Rex! Inside voice.....

If only all dogs could be trained to do this....

The night I was punk'd... but just for a few seconds

Last Christmas holiday season, Darlene and I decided to host a party at our house. Unlike other parties we have hosted in the past where most of the people knew each other, we decided this time to try and select people from all of our social circles so that most people would hardly know anybody at the party. I have found that these gatherings tend to be less clique-ey and people actually get to meet new, interesting people they might never have had a chance to meet before.

Late in the evening, a good friend of mine arrived with her beau. When I went to answer the door, Jen said to me, "I hope you don't mind, but I brought a friend." I looked in her arms and she had a little toy-sized dog, all quivering and nervous like those small dogs typically are. All I could think was 'Oh no! Not a dog!' as our house had been pretty much pet-free since we moved in and I wasn't sure if we would manage to get through the evening accident-free. I know - sometimes I worry about the littlest things. GUILTY!

But I swallowed my un-vocalized concerns and reached out to pet the little cutey and give its head a scratch. Within seconds I knew I had been punk'd. This dog was a puppet!! A very realistic, expertly controlled puppet. I should have known, Jen is totally into puppets and has constructed a few of her own, so this was certainly not out of the ordinary for her. But the realism and her expert manipulation had me completely fooled and I did my best to just keep my cool, playing the game as if I was wise to the gig all along. I don't know if I convinced her, but I felt like a total ass.

Once we got downstairs to where everyone was gathered, I knew it was my duty to get at least one other person involved in the punk. So I found my next door neighbour and told him that he needed to go and check out the cute little dog my friend Jen had brought to the party. Darlene heard me and I think I saw a fleeting look of panic on her face (for the same reason I had my micro-panic earlier), but my neighbour went to see the dog and fell for the ruse hook, line and sinker. He was cooing over this dog and petting it and scratching its chin and Jen was playing her part perfectly. I think it took a good 30 seconds or more before he finally realized what was going on.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Amazing automated flying machines

Robotic flying helicopters - in this case a 'quadro-copter' - are getting better every day. Check out what these ones can do, outfitted with tennis rackets.


I have absolutely no idea why the movie Terminator just popped into my head. Not a clue.....

One fee vanishes, but the problem's not solved

Sometimes I wonder where Calgary City Hall gets their bright ideas. The first thing they did wrong was to introduce a fee to use the LRT Park 'N Ride lots a while back. They wanted to drum up revenue to help pay for increased security and other assorted expenses. But all that the $3 per day fee did was motivate people to park elsewhere, most often in the neighbourhoods bordering the LRT stations themselves. There was no visible improvement to the lots' security or anything else for that matter and the whole thing was chalked up to a money grab by city hall. Even the new Mayor didn't think a fee was the right way to motivate more folks to take transit and like many others looked at it as a form of punishment for taking the C-Train.

Thankfully, the fee is now gone, a promise fulfilled by the new Mayor, but sadly has been replaced by an even dumber idea - reserved parking for a monthly fee. Many lots have set aside (during morning rush hour) as much as 50% of the parking spots for folks who are paying a monthly reserved parking fee. This is not only ridiculous, it is counterproductive.

Without any fee, all spots are available on a first come, first served basis. This creates a problem for those who start work later or for casual trip takers into the downtown core, since by a certain point in the morning, all the spots are usually gone. Personally, I got tired of trying to use C-Train for casual trips downtown outside of normal rush hour, as any attempt to use an LRT station parking lot was a waste of time.

With the new reserved spot system, those paying a fee are supposedly guaranteed a spot (we'll see if the city hasn't overbooked what's available), but this leaves even fewer spots for everyone else. The free spots fill up in no time flat, while there can be reserved spots that may not even get used. How this is a better system, I don't know and I wonder how council could even agree to such a lame idea.

I have a better solution and random people I have polled agree with me. Whenever I ask people what the biggest issue is with using LRT in Calgary, they almost always say - not enough parking. Clearly, transit users have shown that they want to use park 'n ride lots but there just aren't enough spots to go around. The solution is to build multi-level parking garages at the stations. Allow the ground level spots to be reserved for a fee and make the rest of the spots free. The fee can help pay for the cost of building the garage. The sign of an effective parking lot is one where any user arriving at any time during the day is assured a spot. Otherwise, that person stops being a transit user and goes back to clogging roadways and parking lots downtown.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

It takes balls

... to make music. OK..... just one ball.

I just love stuff like this.

I saw plenty of panties

I finally got to see Rebecca Northan's newest stage project, Kung Fu Panties. I wasn't sure what to expect, but after seeing her masterful performance and direction in Blind Date, I knew it should be good. I was not disappointed. The entire show is a spoof on the already silly Charlie's Angels schtick (among other genres), but Rebecca (centre), along with Chantal Perron (right) and the so-cute-you-could-pinch-her Julie Orton (left) make it work with some skin, some wit, some wicked choreography and some clever special effects. The show's run ended April 3rd in Calgary but I hope it comes back so that more people get to see what Rebecca described as "... a show that would lure non theatre goers into the theatre."

Considering that every show was sold out, I'd say it was 'mission accomplished'.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Pillow fight - Montreal

How could this not be the best thing to participate in...... ever?

That's Alison Bracegirdle going to the fight. I met her in acting class before she and her hubby moved to Montreal.

The dangers of meth use

The last pic in this set of photos made me chuckle.

Hobo with a shotgun

"Delivering justice one shell at a time."

With Rutger Hauer. Nuff said.

Saturday, April 02, 2011


Hey Mother Nature..... April Fool's Day was yesterday.

Gmail motion

Looks like the boys and girls over at Google are want to get in on the April Fool's fun too.

Mouse evolution

The evoMouse looks pretty cool. I have a feeling though that even better UI control possibilities are coming soon. No-touch gestures comes to mind. It's just a matter of a couple of years, mark my words.

Friday, April 01, 2011

An open letter to restaurants

  • Let your hostess know they can cut out the insincere chatter on the way to the table. She doesn't really care how my day is going and I didn't go to a restaurant to talk about it. Otherwise, I'm going to start asking what she uses for her acne problem.
  • I could care less if your corporate chefs won the James Beard award. If your restaurant cooks can't make a decent club sandwich or fish and chips, I'm writing a big fail over the framed award with permanent marker.
  • We really don't care how svelte your servers are. Did it ever occur to restaurant owners that hiring nothing but skinny models would lend itself to a perception that the food must really suck.
  • But even more importantly, can your servers remember my order? Would you mind letting them write my order down?
  • If I'm actively ordering my entree, it's a pretty good bet that I'm not interested in an appetizer.
  • If my meal is inedible, I think I'm entitled to more than a free appetizer next time. There won't be a next time.
  • When the hostess asks how the food was as we're leaving, I wonder how she would react if I told her the truth. Would she be scarred for life?
  • The last time I checked, there are over 100 spices out there. Chili powder and black pepper are but two. Learn the rest.
  • If your bench seat cushions are so broken in that I'm likely to slide from my perch down into a worn out hollow, it might be time to re-cushion the seats.
  • I'm guessing that they don't teach cutlery positions in server school anymore. If I'm signalling that I'm done eating with my knife and fork, you shouldn't even need to ask "Are you still working on that?" Unless you're assuming that your amateur diners don't know how to signal with their utensils. On second thought, they probably know squat - go ahead and ask.
  • As classy as it is using real cloth napkins, if they smell like stale laundry - you just ruined the classy factor.
  • Wouldn't it be common sense that if you take a hot, freshly washed glass and fill it with pop, that you'll need a bit more ice to keep that drink cold? If the ice is practically melted by the time you get to the table - it wasn't enough.
  • If the damages come to $28 and I hand you two $20 bills, asking if I want change is uncool. What's even uncooler is when you bring back a $10 bill and a twoonie, as if you're going to motivate me to give you the $10 as a tip. Guess again.
  • The best way to entice guests with dessert is to wheel that shit out in the open where everyone can see it. In my restaurant, I'd pay a young'un a small wage just to slowly roll a dessert cart around. It's practically a license to print money.

Weather where I want to be

Like all iPhone owners, I have a weather app that comes with the phone. Whenever I see other iPhone owners, I usually ask them what cities other than their own do they have added to their weather app. It usually sheds some light on what places they'd rather be than their current home town. My app is monitoring (aside from Calgary) Ottawa, Las Vegas, San Diego, Cannon Beach and Portland.

What destinations are being monitored by your weather app?