Sunday, May 29, 2011

50th birthday dinner

So a while back Darlene and I bought a new stove from Sears. That got us entered into a sweepstakes draw. After a few false starts, it was determined that we won. The prize is a dinner for 8, cooked in our home by a chef. That dinner happened last night. The toughest part was of course narrowing down our guest list to 6 people (besides ourselves). It broke my heart having to choose such a small number. I wish it could have been 28 people. Apologies for all of the secrecy, but there you go.

Chef Ashlee prepared and served with her assistant, from scratch, a 5 course meal from fresh ingredients - that's her in the background with the flowery chef hat, which she bought only because Darlene seemed disappointed when she found out Ashlee didn't have a chef's hat.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

We tried

With apologies to my Christian friends, but this was way too funny to pass up.


Best PowerPoint presentation ever.

Here's the YouTube video of the presentation being presented and here is the actual presentation.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rover legacy

NASA's Spirit Mars rover is finally declared non-responsive after 6 years and 7.7km of exploring the Martian surface with damaged electronics and two lame wheels. Its twin, Opportunity, is still going strong, after 30km of exploration of 3 craters and on its way to a 4th crater, Endeavour.

These rovers were only supposed to last 3 months.Link


It's innovation like this that might actually get us into space.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Practical Lexicon Episode 4A - The PRT episode

Last night, Bernie and I recorded a podcast out of sequence with the planned order of podcasts we were planning to do according to our plan. The reason for the disruption is that in less than a week, I'll be meeting with staff from the Mayor's office in Calgary to state the case for PRT in this city. In particular, I'll be trying to convince the powers that be that there is an area of the city in particular, perfectly suited to the first modern PRT system in North America, as I have previously blogged about here.

I decided it was time to open up the discussion about PRT before the meeting takes place and you can listen to that discussion below in the player.

In my excitement, I had to edit out a few mistakes but noticed that one made it to publication, namely, PRT actually stands for 'personal' rapid transit.

Donut Don Deftly Disappears

Regarding the immediate exit of Tim Horton's CEO Don Schroeder:

"We have a talented, experienced and highly capable executive group, and we will continue to drive execution of our established strategic growth plans and initiatives, which are designed to capitalize on market opportunities, as the board concludes the process to appoint a new CEO"


"Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was."

Monday, May 23, 2011


What do you get when you add math and music? You get this amazing music generating application. It's fun to try different starting patterns to see which one gives you the nicest melody. Click a square more than once and the direction it will start off in changes (as shown by the arrow in the square).

It's addicting.

Best passive aggressive note... ever

Go here to see the full sized note.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Having fun with a moving sidewalk

There's really nothing more to say.

I'm not even going to spoil it with a picture.

Amsterdam... damn right

Amsterdam (Netherlands) is giving away a free parking spot to anyone who buys an electric car. Under a plan started in 2009, electric car owners receive a parking space near their home.

That's not all. The parking spot comes with a charging station installed by the city.

There's more. Amsterdam is also giving the electricity to the vehicle owner for free.

Not finished. To add a green touch, Amsterdam says that all the electricity for the charging posts comes from non-polluting sources such as solar, wind and waste-based biomass.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fum & Gebra

A cat and a barn owl are playmates.

I don't know which animal has more fun in this relationship, the owl or the cat.

No conflict of interest here, eh?

It may not be illegal, but it sure as hell is improper.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My new baby - PRT for UofC / FMC

[Updated with new picture]

It turns out that there is a newly available, free PRT simulator capable of designing a small scale 20 station PRT network. I downloaded it and it took me all of 10 minutes to draw up this network.

[update] I put up a new YouTube link to the latest video instead. It allows for full screen which shows off the network better. The latest video has more stuff......

Some stats: Market Mall to FMC is just under 6 minutes. You can get from the mall to Banff Trail LRT station in under 7 minutes. Banff Trail to the Olympic Oval is a 3.5 minute ride. The Arts Parkade to Market Mall is also a 3.5 minute ride. The return trip is 9 minutes.

Close up

Check out the close up.

The watch came with its own pillow.

It's a watch pillow. I don't think I've ever seen a watch pillow before.

Yes, I am amused by small things.

[Update for my Danish friends - oh yeah - it's Danish]

Wrist candy!

You know me, right? Name some things I really like. Food - yeah, sure. Sci-fi - mm hmmm. Watches - you know me so well.

At least my family does. Check out the amazing watch they all got me for my 50th.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A round turntable

Coolest antique turntable ever.

Thanks to my good friend David for this find (he owns it).

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Han Solo adventure

I love this artist's illustrations.

The Batman / Wonder Woman one is good too.

Mrs Brown gets a bikini wax

Just watch the funny video, 'kay?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Things within 2km of my house

Tim Hortons
Safeway (2 of them)
Alberta Children's Hospital
The Trans Canada Highway
Foothills Medical Centre
Starbucks (3 of them)
A community pool
University of Calgary
The Bow river
Shouldice Park & Edworthy Park
Market Mall
A bottle depot
An indoor hockey rink
The Notable restaurant
The Lazy Loaf & Kettle café

Saturday, May 14, 2011

I'm part of the 60%

I think this is important. I'm going to try to be there.

If you believe in electoral reform, so should you.

"Why won't Vader show us his long form birth certificate?"

Best comment: Yoda: "Until body I see, believe it I will not."

"In an earlier statement issued to the press, Kenobi boasted that striking him down could make him "more powerful than you could possibly imagine.""

This news article from the Galactic Empire seems somewhat familiar to me........

Game pie chart

Oh my goodness, that is one of the most clever tee designs I've seen in a loooong time.

In case the pic is too small, on the left in yellow it says "Pac-Man." On the right in blue it says, "Trivial Pursuit."

Nicely done....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Galactic trinity

Are you ready for this?

It's Starbuck (the original) with Starbuck (the new one) sitting in Starbucks.

The mind reels.


In real life.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Call me once, shame on you. Call me twice - free stuff!

Yay Congress! 'Mericans get to sue telemarketers and keep any merchandise or service they sell because "future calls are a violation of an act of Congress, and any contract that is entered into as a direct result of an illegal act is unenforceable".


More here at boingboing.

If logos were honest

YouTube would be......

(more here)

Monday, May 09, 2011

Montreal smoked meat returns to Calgary

When Cafe Metro closed a few years back, I almost cried. My source for authentic Montreal smoked meat went away and I mourned for a long time. Thankfully, the mourning has officially ended thanks to the opening of Kicker's Smoked Meat & Deli downtown.

I found myself in the middle of downtown this afternoon, so Darlene and I used the opportunity to check the place out. Honestly, I wouldn't even have known it existed were it not for a mention in Avenue magazine. We were greeted by Tom, the owner, and he set to fixing us up a couple of smoked meats on rye (pictured). He's got home-made coleslaw and potato or mac salad plus soup every day and you can get fries too. Kickers also sells poutine and they make it with curds brought in from Montreal - a nice touch. I told him I'd consider buying a little bag of curds just to take away as a snack. Good curds are hard to come by here in Calgary, especially the likes of what you'd find in Montreal.

1215 1st Street SW, Calgary AB - right in the heart of the renewed beltline area.

I seem to have misplaced my 'force'

IKEA instructions for sci-fi nerds.

I love it.....

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Well wrap me up and call me a science officer...

Dear Darlene:

I think this would make a splendid present for my 50th birthday coming up next month.

Yes I do...... think............ geek.

Photopic Sky Survey

A 5,000 megapixel photo of the entire night sky stitched together from over 37,000 exposures. It portrays a world far beyond the one beneath our feet and reveals our familiar Milky Way with unfamiliar clarity. When we look upon this image, we are in fact peering back in time, as much of the light—having travelled such vast distances—predates civilization itself.

Seen at a depth thousands of times more faint than the dimmest visible star, tens of millions of other suns appear, still perhaps only a hundredth of one percent thought to exist in our galaxy alone. Our Milky Way galaxy is the dominant feature, its dusty arms sweeping through the frame, punctuated by red clouds of glowing hydrogen. To the lower right are our nearest neighbours, each small galaxies themselves with their own hundreds of millions of stars.

"Open your eyes to the hidden night. What do you see? This was the anthropic question of a year-long photographic project dubbed the Photopic Sky Survey, meant to reveal the entire night sky as if it rivalled the brightness of day. In it we see tens of millions of stars, the glowing factories of newborn ones, and a rich tapestry of dust all floating on a stage of unimaginable
proportions. I hope you enjoy this new view of our place in the universe as much as I have Enjoyed making it." ~Nick Risinger

Viewing this picture in full screen mode is pretty amazing. Like nothing you've ever seen before.The pic is but a thousandth of the entire picture, maybe less...

Saturday, May 07, 2011

"That guy is gonna leave a mad Hershey stain on those white covers"

What's great about this post at boingboing isn't just the photo itself, but the monumentally awesome comments that follow in the form of a caption competition.

In case you're wondering, it's a picture of Karl Lagerfeld in a hotel room made entirely of chocolate, including that model on the bed.

My favourite: "Karl likes to start with the ears."

Friday, May 06, 2011

It made me laugh

Most spittake-inducing thing read on another blog this week:

"It makes me want to swallow one hundred “Do Not Eat” silica desiccant packets so that my last bowel movement will violently rocket a dusty puff made of my intestines and what’s left of my soul into the sewer."

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Just a few days before I was born, Alan Shepard took the Freedom 7 Mercury space capsule into orbit around the earth. He became the first American astronaut on 5 May 1961.

50 years has past since that historic flight. Where have we gone since? The moon. We built a space station in earth orbit. That's it.


Things I've collected at various points in my life

Matches from different bars and restaurants around the world.
Cap badges from various Canadian military branches/trades.
Vinyl picture discs.
Looney tunes stuffed animals.
Puppets (Mellisa & Doug). [still have those]
Music. [the never-ending effort]
Comedy series on DVD. [like all SCTV and Kids in the Hall]
Sci-fi books.
Unique figurines. [such as Tim Burton's Tragic Toys]

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Vacancy clause rider?

Did you know that if you have home insurance and you go away for more than 30 days, your home insurance may no longer be valid (while you're away)?

This CTV article tells the story. I didn't know about this....

"I don't care"

At xtranormal, if you can type, you can make an animated movie (I need to give that a whirl - already have some crazy ideas floating around in that head of mine).

Someone took a virtual discussion about who they'd vote for in the (now just past) election in Canada to hilarious effect.
It doesn't matter if you agree, it's still funny. Well, unless you agree, in which case it's a bit sad. There is a part two as well.

P.S.: NSFW or gentle ears.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

This is what 'first past the post' does

What I find most interesting is that the party who won a majority last night only got 39.62% of the popular vote. That translated into 54% of the seats.
The Liberals slipped to 18.91% of the vote and now have 11% of the seats.
The NDP earned 30.62% of the vote and got 33% of the seats.
Green got 3.91% of the vote and got one seat, or one third of 1% of the seats.

House of love

Live footage from the Royal wedding. It looks a little more exciting than I had imagined it to be.

The Canadian news coverage doesn't seem to have caught this part......

Monday, May 02, 2011

I don't get it

Section 329 of Canada's Elections Act prohibits the transmission of voting results until all polling stations across the country have closed.

In other words, if you're caught tweeting, blogging, or using any other form of social media to announce the results of polls to a part of the country still blacked out by law, you could be subject to a $25,000 fine.

This is simply the most ridiculous thing ever imagined and rendered totally obsolete by the invention of the telephone, never mind online resources. All I would have to do is call my family in Quebec to hear first-hand how things are going 2 hours before CBC is allowed to tell me.

So really... what is the point?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Etch-a-sketch skirt

Sold on Etsy.

Is that totally nerdy or what?

The bacon song

It's a song about bacon.
Bacon bacon bacon bacon......