Friday, January 26, 2018

Small things 26 Jan

  • Eating Tide Pods, eh? That's nothing. Back in our day we snorted Ajax.
  • Words you hope never to find written in icing on the cake: 'Find the toenail!'
  • I don't always have a valid argument. But when I do, it's later that day, in the bath.
  • Why do people say "You've barely 'touched' your food"? Aren't we supposed to eat it?

Marbles, Magnets, and Music (Synchronized)

I can only imagine and wonder in awe how long it took to make this video.

I mean, the synchronization is perfect!

Remember line rider?

Well, this guy created a line rider sequence to sync perfectly with Edvard Grieg's "Hall of the Mountain King".

It took a month to create.

Some jokes just write themselves

Things I learned lately 26 Jan

  • In Japan they have gourmet KitKat chocolate bar shops.
  • 82% of new wealth generated on 2017 went to the top 1%. Meanwhile, the poorest 50% of the world saw no increase in their wealth.
  • A company called Heatworks is introducing a counter-top dishwasher, Tetra, that uses graphite electrodes to heat water by exciting the minerals in the water.
  • Artists who have never won a Grammy include Snoop Dogg; Diana Ross; Queen; The Beach Boys; Janis Joplin; Jimi Hendrix; Patsy Cline; The Who; Bjork; Buddy Holly; Rush; The Kinks.
  • Swan Song records was Led Zeppelin's private label. Bad Company were the first band other than Led Zeppelin, signed to it.
  • Led Zeppelin were the first band to insist on a better deal for revenue from concerts, insisting on 90% when the norm had been 60% or less.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Small things 19 Jan

  • A lifeguard at the pool at the Olympics. Why?
  • Gravity is the result of masses interacting with each other. You can witness its effects while driving. If you are driving behind someone and you get close enough to them, the force of gravity will overcome their ability to do the speed limit anymore.....
  • You can distinguish an alligator from a crocodile by paying attention to whether it sees you later, or in a while.
  • You know how you prepare an answer for what you expect will be the next question and it backfires? Like when you're at the cashier expecting to be asked if you want the receipt or not. And the cashier says, "Have a nice weekend." And you say, "No thanks."
  • Remember when your biggest problem of the day was trying to get the ball out from under the car?
  • If a stormtrooper encounters a red shirted crew member of the Enterprise, does the fact that the stormtrooper couldn't hit the broad side of a barn prevent the red shirt from dying? Also, are you mad that I put a Star Wars character in a Star Trek question?
  • It would be fun to host a party where fake alcohol was served and we see if anyone 'acts' drunk.

Myths Canadians have about their military

  • Military members don't pay tax. Not true. We pay EI, CPP/QPP, and income tax. We pay all the taxes a regular civilian does. The only thing we get tax-free is liquor in our own mess on base (or ship).
  • Canadian Armed Forces members don't pay sales taxes when they shop on the military base at Canex Stores. Not true. We pay the same sales tax as anyone else.
  • Military members get a pension equal to their salary when they leave. I wish this were true. We (members who joined in the 1970s and 80s) got 2% of our salary for every year we served.  So a member who retired after 20 years got 40% of an average of their best 6 years' salary. But only if we completed a contract that is eligible for a pension at its conclusion. If you don't fulfill your contract, you don't get a pension.
  • Members who live in barracks live there for free. Not true. We pay for our meals and lodgings, although it works out less than what you'd pay for a small apartment off base. Of course, you don't need to keep your apartment off base ready for inspection.....
  • Join the military, see the world! Sometimes. I got to spend one month in Germany on an exchange program. Other than that, no. My friends got to visit awesome genocidal places like Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia, Afghanistan. Mentally messed them up royally too.
  • Members know well in advance where they're going next. Not true for deployments, not true for postings either. We were told we were leaving in hours or days for Quebec in the aftermath of the ice storms of 1998. Although I knew I would be posted from Kingston to Calgary 6 months ahead of time, many friends of mine were not that lucky. Some even found out almost last minute that postings had changed location or been cancelled entirely. That's fun for buying a new home and selling your old one, never mind your spouse trying to find a new job and saying goodbye to the old one.
  • Family members of Canadian Armed Forces can fly anywhere in the world for free. Not quite, there is a fee. But more importantly, CF flights are for military or government business first. That doesn't leave much room for standby seats for family members. I've heard too many stories of families stranded somewhere because the flight they might have caught back home was full.
  • Family members of Canadian Armed Forces are taken care of by military doctors and dentists. Nope. They have to get their own doctors and dentists through the province's health system.
  • Members get to choose where they are posted (where they work/live). They can provide a top 3 request list, but there is no guarantee any of their wished for postings will materialize. While in Kingston, I asked for Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto. I was offered Shilo and Gagetown. It took a lot of arguing back and forth before I was finally offered Calgary, which I accepted.
  • Members get to keep all of their gear when they leave. If only! No, those awesome mukluks and arctic mitts and everything else goes back. The only thing you get to keep is your dress uniform. Oh, and your underwear and socks. They don't want those back.

Just sayin'

Things I learned lately 19 Jan

  • New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has become the first Western leader ever to be pregnant in office.
  • The person who sang the vocals on Edgar Winter's 'Free Ride' is Dan Hartman, the same person who sang the 1980s hits 'Instant replay' and 'I can dream about you'. Yeah, that Dan Hartman. Bonus trivia: "I can dream about you' was featured in the movie Streets of Fire, but the band performing the song was a fictional vocal group called The Sorels.
  • It is no longer true that storing a modern car battery on a concrete floor is bad for the battery.
  • Nova Scotia's last strip club has closed.
  • Drinking and droning is now illegal in New Jersey.
  • Former American companies. Budweiser, now owned by InBev, Belgium. Ben & Jerry's, now owned by Unilever, Dutch-UK. Burger King, now owned by Restaurant Brands International, Canada. Trader Joe's now owned by Aldi Nord, Germany. General Electric, now owned by Haier, China. American Apparel, now owned by Gildan, Canada. 7-Eleven, owned by Seven & i Holdings, Japan. Sunglass Hut, owned by Luxottica, Italy.
  • In 19th century France, the Paris Morgue had picture windows set up for the public to peer through.

Streaming revenue

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Mercedes B250 5 year update

It's hard to believe that in mid-February 2018, we'll have had our Mercedes Benz B250 for 5 years. I figured it was time for an update. I'll start with a little Q&A.

Q. How many km have you put on it?
A. 191,000 and counting.

Q. Would you buy this car again?
A. Definitely, if I had both the money and the ability to budget for its maintenance.

Q. What are the top 3 things you like about it at this stage?
A. Ease of entry/exit due to higher CUV stance; its perfect size for a couple; the technology.

Q. Any unexpected maintenance?
A. Nothing major. I was a bit surprised that what I thought would be basic replacement repairs cost more than usual, because small parts were inseperable from larger, costlier components. For example, brake repair, coolant thermostat repair and fuel filter replacement cost much more than I was expecting.

Q. Any plans to trade up?
A. Nope. I really like this car. If I had mad money to burn, I might like a GLC 300 or a Tesla.

Q. Do you regret not getting 4Matic all-wheel drive?
A. Not at all. Putting good winter tires is all you need. On any car really.

Q. Are there any features that still impress you?
A. Oh yeah. The self-park is amazing, although not perfect. I love controlling cruise with a wand mounted to the steering wheel shaft.

Q. What one feature does this car need most?
A. A heated steering wheel.

Small things 13 Jan

  • I was looking at someone's bucket list and one of the things was "Have one night stand". Why would you only want one night stand?
  • Imagine if the first rule of religion was the same as the first rule of Fight Club.
  • Dear America: Smarties are like unlabelled M&Ms. Notice the use of the word 'like'. Not 'in fact'.
  • The message that brings me to the edge of lunacy: "There is an unexpected item in the bagging area."
  • The Smart Car. It won't make you look tough, but it will get you out of helping your friends move....
  • Ladies: The next time your man seems to be ignoring what you're saying, slip in "So, my ex called......"

This is gonna hurt me more than it hurts you.....

I started using computers back when they weren't even a regular consumer thing yet. You know - the days of 80286 processors? Anyway, when I use a computer, my brain still processes (see what I did there?) what's going on in the background when I turn the computer on.

You know, POST, finding the boot drive, loading the boot loader into RAM, and then the operating system gets loaded into RAM and begins to transform your hardware into a collection of devices that you can interact with.

One of the reasons I typically leave my home desktop on all the time, is that I like not having to wait for that whole process to finish before I can do something. Thankfully, the process has gotten faster in recent years but, you know, instant gratification culture and all that.

Of course, one option other than turning your computer 'off', is to put it into sleep mode. This way, instead of the whole system shutting down and having to be completely rebooted again, the current contents of RAM (everything your computer is actively doing) are copied to the hard drive as one giant file. Then, when you wake it up, it just quickly reloads the session right back into RAM and you continue where you left off. Alternatively, newer computers don't actually copy RAM contents to the hard drive, they just keep the RAM powered up and put pretty much everything else to sleep, which is much faster.

I seldom make use of sleep mode. It makes me nervous for some reason. In my mind, I liken it to putting the computer into suspended animation, a kind of digital prison where the computer isn't allowed to do anything at all while I'm off doing who knows what. I prefer to let my computer use its idle time to run anti-virus scans, perform updates, index files, and whatever else it needs to do to keep itself in tip top shape.

When I close the lid on my Macbook, I silently whisper "There there", as if I'm about to freeze it in carbonite (obligatory Star Wars reference).

Get ready Canada - this is what weed does to your brain....

Things I learned lately 13 Jan

  • Billboards are illegal in Hawaii.
  • No replicable, peer-reviewed scientific study has proven that Vitamin C prevents or helps cure the cold. Same goes for Zinc. Echinacea too.
  • Thomas Edison co-wrote a sci-fi novel, 'Progress'.
  • "Music itself is going to become like running water or electricity. Artists better be prepared for doing a lot of touring, because that's really the only unique situation that's going to be left." ~David Bowie 2002
  • Iceland just made it illegal to pay women less than men for the same work.
  • Movie attendance hit a 25-year low in the US in 2017.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Small things 5 Jan

  • Imagine if you could pay your insurance premiums the same way insurance companies pay out claims.
  • #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly [Spiderman: Homecoming] A rich older man provides hi-tech fetish pajamas for teen boy.
  • #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly [The Last Jedi][DANGER - SPOILERS AHEAD] Transcendental Meditation can kill you.
  • The next time you get a call from a blocked or unknown number, answer it and whisper, "It's done, but there's blood everywhere!" Then hang up.
  • On your first day at the job in a hardware store, when they offer to show you the ropes, it's not a euphemism...
  • Silent and listen are spelled with the same letters.
  • When I was young, I just assumed that everyone believed in science.
  • I'm a 10. On the PH scale. I'm pretty basic.....

Snow angles

Things I learned lately 5 Jan

  • Original location of Jack in the Box - San Diego, CA.
  • Original location of Taco Bell - Downey, CA (SE Los Angeles).
  • Original location of Pizza Hut - Wichita, KS
  • Original location of TGIFridays - New York NY.
  • Original location of Dunkin' Donuts - Quincy, MA.
  • Original location of Wendy's - Columbus, OH.
  • Original location of Burger King - Jacksonville, FL.
  • Original location of KFC - Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Original location of Subway - Bridgeport, CT.
  • Original location of Little Caesar's - Garden City, MI.
  • Original location of 5 Guys - Arlington, VA.
  • Original location of Dairy Queen - Joliet, IL.

Create Your Own Comic

Marvel has a new online project - Create Your Own Comic. Choose from your favorite Marvel superheroes and villains, compose a story, and design comic panels once it goes online (you can register now).

Marvel has a few rules about the stories you can create, in the Terms and Conditions. Here's some of what you can't do:

  • Content that could frighten or upset young children or the parents of young children
  • Prescription drugs or over-the-counter medication, vitamins, and dietary supplements
  • Contraceptives
  • Depictions of alcohol (hard liquor, beer, wine, etc.), tobacco (cigars, cigarettes, etc.), or drugs (marijuana, etc.)
  • Sexually explicit images (pornography, etc.) and nudity, suggestive or revealing images (bare midriffs, lets, etc.)
  • Sensationalism (killer bees, gossip, aliens, scandal, etc.)
  • Potentially slanderous or libellous content
  • Obscenity, bad or offensive language, proxies for bad or offensive language (X@#%!), body parts, or noises related to bodily functions
  • Politics (lobbyists, PAC sites, political campaigns, alternative lifestyle advocacies)
  • Gambling (excluding state lotteries, sweepstakes and fantasy leagues)
  • Graphic violence (including certain types of game sites) unless approved by Tap Tap on a case-by-case basis
  • Guns (firearms, bullets, etc.)
  • Death
  • Discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age
  • Images or content that is in any way unlawful, harmful, threatening, defamatory, obscene, or harassing
  • Unauthorized or unapproved use of Marvel creative assets (such as talent, logos, characters, movie logos, theme park imagery, color scheme, font[s])
  • Other controversial topics (social issues, etc.)
  • Unreasonable or highly unlikely product or service claims
  • Double entendres
  • Amusement parks (other than Disney amusement parks)
  • Movie studios (other than studios affiliated with Marvel)
  • Animated movies (other than Marvel or Disney movies)
  • Any content that is otherwise inappropriate for children
  • Any content that is otherwise fraudulent, deceptive, infringing, racially offensive, sexually explicit, threatening, hateful, harassing, disparaging, libelous (including trade libel), slanderous, or defamatory

So, nothing like a typical comic book. Also, anything you write becomes the property of Marvel and you can't share it. The project will probably become more famous about the restrictions.