Friday, October 19, 2018

Christmas stuff already?

I noticed before the end of September, that some stores had put out Christmas decorations at the same time as Halloween decorations.

In some cases, the decorations were on separate shelves. But in other cases, Christmas stuff was simply stocked 'behind' Halloween stuff. For example, at Winners / Homesense, there were Christmas wreaths on hangers behind Halloween / autumn wreaths.

During week 2 of October, Safeway had put out gingerbread house kits. So, we have Christmas stuff out in late September now.

Can retailers dare go even earlier?

Alternate names for stuff

Milk - cereal water
Gloves - finger pants
Donuts - sugar bagels
Compressed air horn - spray scream
Kleenex - sneeze paper
Camel - sand moose
Bread - raw toast
Back ribs - porksicles
Fries - potato sticks
Sun - space light

Hallowe'en tips

  • If you need to stop at the bank, gas station, etc., make sure to take your mask off first.
  • Birthday suits are not costumes.
  • Slutty anything costumes are out.
  • Definitely do NOT go dressed as Brett Kavanaugh. Or Trump.
  • Just because you're healthy doesn't mean kids will enjoy Acai smoothies for treats. Not rice cakes either.
  • When you go trick or treating, it's not OK to go in their house. Don't ask to use the bathroom.
  • If you see large clusters of adults walking up the street, the house that gives out shots can't be far away.
  • Yes, the kids' costumes are cute. But ask if you can take a picture first.
  • If you don't plan to give out treats, keep your lights off.
  • Wanna be the Hallowe'en hero on the block? Triple Power Push Pops. Trust me.

Small things 19 Oct

  • My gums only bleed when the hygienist does the flossing. Maybe THEY'RE doing it wrong!!
  • Kid Rock looks like Dr Phil dressed up as Kid Rock.
  • "Have a nice day" sounds great. "Enjoy the next 24 hours" sounds threatening.
  • The next time you're on a bus, just yell, "Hey Siri, play Despacito!" See how many iPhones do it.
  • Give the next person who buys your house a quick bit of excitement. Get a dollar store skeleton and bury it in a shallow grave in your garden.
  • I know some people who, if they had a rock climbing wall installed on the wall leading up their stairs, they would take the wall. Every. Time.
  • The US needs to add Guam, PR and DC as states. Then there would be 53 states. 53 is a prime number. Then the US can truly be "One nation, indivisible...."
  • Do a Google search 'cats eating corn on the cob'. I have no words.

Where did THIS guy come from?

If you like jazz, soul, or just straight up good music, watch this NPR Music Tiny Desk concert video, featuring the smooth guitar of Tom Misch.

It's even better sounding than his studio stuff if you ask me.


This kind of stretch of road paint job is what Canadian police will be using to look for stoned drivers......

Things I learned lately 19 Oct

  • In 1875, Los Angeles was a town of around 8,000 people, and there were no palm trees. The palm trees were added to make people want to buy land in southern California, but it wasn't LA's developers or planners who came up with the idea, it was the French.
  • Seattle has banned plastic straws. 1st major city in America to do so.
  • You should avoid charging a lithium ion phone battery to 100%, avoid keeping it charging once at 100% and try not to let the battery get below 20%. In fact, the higher a charge you can maintain on the battery the better. As in, keep it above 50% if practical.
  • Microbeads are now banned from toiletries in Canada.
  • Calgary and London (UK) are almost on the same latitude.
  • Dalhart Texas is closer to the state capitols of New Mexico, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming than it's own state capitol.
  • US states with highest restaurants per capita. Alabama: 6.3 per 10,000 people. Nebraska: 5.4. West Virginia: 5.3. Oklahoma: 5.3. Tennessee: 5.2. Indiana & DC: 5. Georgia & Missouri & South Carolina: 4.9.
  • Stockholm's Triwa watch company make some of their watch bands out of recycled plastic, and a limited line of watches out of melted down illegal firearms (pictured).
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has 1478 adult detention centres across the US. That doesn't include Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities near the Mexican border.
  • Young Trump staff can't get dates because everyone hates them.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Curry on.....

Also, they are Canadian

Amazing cover of Ed Sheeran's 'Shape of You' by Walk off the Earth.

Very percussive and uses a lot of unusual instruments.

Small things 12 Oct

  • When the teacher walks up to you during an exam and looks at your paper then announces "Hey everyone please make sure you read the questions carefully...."
  • Whenever a fairly large store closes between July and October, Spirit Halloween executives must be all like "YESSS!!"
  • To think that once upon a time, I used to stand very still, for what seemed like hours on end, in the blazing sun, waiting for a man wielding a stick to walk up to me, and decide whether my uniform looked OK or not.
  • There are folks out there who think Hawaiian pizza is an abomination. More for me I guess.
  • A guy put pics of him and his new bride as backgrounds on his cheques, so he could pay his alimony to his ex-wife with them.
  • In Florida, a man broke INTO prison to hang with his friends.
  • Why when people are giving you change do they insist on trying to balance the coins on top of the bills? They should put the coins in the cup of your hand first, then add the bills.
  • In the days after the light bulb was installed, moths must have gone crazy.
  • Imagine if Jessica Biel named one of her kids "Batmo".....


On our recent trip to San Diego, I witnessed a very new phenomenon that wasn't even a thing just one year earlier. Dockless electric scooters for rent.

There are currently two competing companies offering electric scooters, Lime and Bird. First, you get the app for the appropriate scooter company, connect it to your credit card, then you just need to find a scooter. Based on what I saw, that won't be much of an issue, especially in commercial and tourist areas. Where we stayed in Pacific Beach, scooters by both brands were parked in front of restaurants, stores, bars, hotels and other random places along heavily trafficked pathways and sidewalks.

In the case of Lime, It's $1 to unlock the scooter with the app, then $0.15 per minute of riding. So if you grabbed one and took it for a 30 minutes cruise around, you'd get billed $5.50. The charge would be the same on a Bird scooter.

These scooters go almost 15 mph (almost 24 km/h) and have a range of anywhere between 20 and 37 miles (32 - 59 km). You're supposed to wear a helmet while riding, but I never saw that, likely because the majority of folks using them were tourists. Who carries a helmet with them? Watching people go zipping by on the beach pathway, I noticed that adding these scooters to the equation can make things tricky, considering that there are spots where walkers, joggers, runners, skateboarders, bikes and now electric scooters are trying to share the path. I saw folks who didn't quite know how to ride them safely and saw a few examples of people riding two per scooter, which doesn't look very safe.

There has understandably been some backlash about these scooters in some places. But there are more places embracing them than banning or vandalizing them. In the case of Lime, they're ubiquitous in many California and Massachusetts cities, as well as the expected Seattle, New York, Chicago, Denver, etc. They have also partnered with a lot of universities in the US to increase mobility for students around campus. Bird aren't in quite as many cities, but they're growing and have also partnered with several universities.

You can earn money charging scooters too. Since they're left where they are once they run out of juice, someone has to get them and recharge them. You can sign up to be a charger and they'll sell you a charger unit. Then, you use the app to find out where the dead ones are and bring them to your home (using your own vehicle). Then you charge them and then take the charged scooters to wherever they feel they're needed and drop them off. Based on what I've seen, you get roughly $8 for every scooter you charge. It takes roughly 4 hours to charge a scooter. One guy bought 8 chargers for $40 and was making a few hundred bucks on the side. The trick is, you won't see a lot of dead scooters before 9:00 pm and you have to have them back on the street (where they tell you) by 7:00 am if you want to get paid. Bird pays $5 per scooter.

The pine's always gotta be different...

Things I learned lately 12 Oct

  • In the 3rd quarter of 2018, Tesla sold 69,925 vehicles in the US. Mercedes-Benz sold 66,542. According to Atherton Research, Tesla was just 1,754 vehicles shy of knocking over BMW. Atherton expects Tesla to surpass BMW in US sales in the 4th quarter of 2018.
  • "Journalism is printing what someone else does not want published; everything else is public relations." ~George Orwell
  • In Romania they sell vodka in juice boxes with a straw. (pictured)
  • Columbia House CDs were special budget pressings that often did not include all of the inserts and booklets that came with the retail copies.
  • The price of gas in the UK is 128 pence, or $2.23 per litre.
  • Jupiter now has 79 known moons, 12 more than we knew of before. Jupiter's moons are like opposite lanes of a highway. Some moons orbit in the same direction as Jupiter's spin (prograde), and some, farther out, orbit in the opposite direction (retrograde).
  • The 3D printed gun that was shown in the Netflix sci-fi series Lost in Space is not science-fiction any more. It exists. And it's legal in the US.
  • Content reviewers at Facebook eyeball around 8000 posts a day for around 10 seconds each, trying to determine which ones don't meet community standards.
  • It takes 2.1 litres of crude oil to make 1 litre of gasoline.
  • Sunscreen lasts about 3 years before it expires.