Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Views after watching Nick & Norah’s

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist PosterSo I just watched this flick, and I must say I enjoyed it.  Several things came to me as I watched it and I felt I wanted to share these thoughts with you, my reading audience (of which I think the population is … can you have negative numbers in viewing audience sizes?).

Anyways, I felt there was some great parallels in this movie and another recent Michael Cera hit (Scott Pilgram vs. the World – which I still have yet to read the comics of) that I felt it required me writing out a formula:


 +  +  = Michael’s future career

Has he been type cast so quickly?  I also thought it might be worth mentioning that there were some gay characters around for both flicks as well (Michael plays in a band with 2 other gay guys in NNIP, and room with a gay guy in SPVW… also there’s a lesbian too in SPVW), but I didn’t want to really bring up the gay card – too controversial a topic for me.

Just found it interesting that both great movies had him dealing with being in a band (playing the bass no less), dealing with breakup.  Maybe I just look for patterns too hard.  But it doesn’t make me lose the forest for the trees, as the saying goes.

One other thing that came to my attention while watching the movie (coupled with a recent trip to Toronto with friends and the other movie mentioned above) was that there must be an ENORMOUS amount of great music out there, just outside my grasp.  I enjoyed not only the cinematography of NNIP, but also the soundtrack.  It’s rare that I do like soundtracks, it’s just something I notice (another favourite soundtrack was for another Michael Cera movie – Juno… it’s almost like Zach Braff using good music in his movies/shows – using mass media to further good music).

When I went to Toronto with work, Devon dragged us to this band called “Tin Star Orphans” and they were… well a joke at first.  But by the end of a few days, I was finding myself on their myspace page to listen to their music online (doing so right now as I haven’t bought their CD yet).

Was a bit of  a wake up to me that “I’m getting” old, and I haven’t been keeping up with the music scene.  Not that I was ever bleeding edge for music.  But I liked indie stuff.

Music was also predominant in SPVW, and I’ve been meaning to download it’s soundtrack.

So, my point of this is that I think there’s a great amount of ‘culture’ just below me, and my radar is totally off in terms of being able to find it.  So – anybody out there, in my large reading audience, please recommend to me some good music to listen to.  My playlists lately consist of:  Collective Soul / Jeff Martin / Tragically Hip and Pipeband; it could use some varying.

Oh, and I also wanted an excuse to use this clip as it’s something that Adam and I recently talked about.

The Bass Player (Kids in the Hall)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Maiming the main character


So why is there such a trend with the books I read for the authors to maim the main character?

I've come late to the Walking Dead comic series (thanks michelle), and I'm really enjoying it up until -SPOILER ALERT- our main hero gets his hand chopped off.

Kind of a pain to get invested in a character and then have to see them go through that.

True, the point is probably to have them suffer and allow us to feel further pity for them... But come on, that is something that I cannot identify with.  (sure could I identify with walking zombies?)

Also this is a permanent change to the character and how he'll adapt to life... I can feel that frustration.

I've almost stopped reading for that reason alone.

But it's happened so often in sorties and it is so annoying.

Wheel of time - rand gets his hand chopped off (I have yet to get back into that series, but that is another story)

Star wars - all sorts of people losing limbs there

Dune - Paul is blinded

Robocop - enough said, but this was the point of the whole movie

Evil Dead - and this was only so he could put a chainsaw in it's place, so it's forgivable.

Lost - Boone had a leg amputated before he dies... So at least we don't have to worry about our character living with the maiming.

The Dark Tower - Roland loses much of his main shooting hand.

And I'm sure there's more... But I think it's highly frustrating for a reader.

Especially as I'm not even half way through The Walking Dead, how is Rick going to be as an effective zombie killer...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

15 Things

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="108" caption="i used to love these headphones - great response"][/caption]

I've seen this about and thought - I should give it a shot - try it out.

My mp3 collection is growing every larger (and I'm contemplating starting to rip older CDs, just to have an ultimate media library)... and as I load and reload my Zune or my new phone for music I often debate whether or not I'll listen to this song or that, as I often notice that I just skip over many songs hoping for 'that one'.  Kinda like old school channel flipping.

I'm not sure how this is going to turn out... I mean I've got some really lame stuff on there, full discographies of bands I really only like one song from, and I've got comedy included as well... should I just put the first 15 that pop up?  Or should I be somewhat selective?  If so, where do I draw the line?  ...  Hmm... raw data is probably the best.

Here goes: (let me just hit shuffle 10x to truly randomize the start process)

  1. John Mayer - Where the Light Is - I'm Gonna Find Another You -- see this is one of those instances that I don't know this song.  I got this album for like one track or 2.  Maybe it's a good song.  I'll listen to it until the ADD kicks in.  Not bad for a nice easy blues/jazz rhythm (which John does quite well - one of those players who makes playing sound like such an easy and fun task).  Okay, next... [got halfway through]

  2. The Mahones - Dragging the Days - London -- this is one I would probably just skip while driving... but I used to love this band.  Maybe I've overheard it.  On a lazy sunday or something I think I'd listen to this all the way through.

  3. The Tragically Hip - Day for Night - Inevitability of Death -- okay, a 50/50 for a chance of skipping.  Probably stick with it.  Love the hip... if you know me, you know that.  Slow start to the song, but a good driving riff a good 10 seconds in.  Also, has chorus part with the duet and Gord's great mixing of "what" type lyrics:  "but I thought you beat the death of inevitability to death just a little bit".  very catchy!  Thanks Hip for having your "song of the day" in my facebook feed.

  4. Scissor Sisters - Ta-Dah - I Don't Feel Like Dancin' -- man, do I take a teasin' for liking this song.  But I do like it... on the odd goofy dancing mood (very rare).  But a jazzy 70's disco pulsing beat can't be beat without wanting to move.

  5. Elvis Presley - Elv1s: 30 #1 Hits - (You're the) Devil in Disguise -- you gotta love the King.  But he's got too many albums, so a lazy listener like myself will just download the 'best of albums'.  I downloaded it mostly for 'posterity' and a couple of the classics, but really... all of these are classics.  Also, my ADD loves short songs.

  6. Feist - The Reminder - So Sorry -- another "I downloaded the album for 1 song" kinda disc.  The song is kinda meh... if I was doing house chores I'd leave it on, but otherwise -- SKIP.

  7. Creedence Clearwater Revival - BOX SET DISC 4 - Born to Move -- I'm not the CCR fan, but Mandy sure is (and her dad), so I downloaded this set for them.  And I do like some of their stuff, but this ain't one of them ... not that I hate it, just ... SKIP.

  8. Mitch Hedberg - Mitch All Together - Sandwiches -- RIP man... this guy was darn funny.  I love having some comedy interspersed in my listening to lighten my day.

  9. Diana Krall - When I Look In Your Eyes - Let's Fall in Love -- that Elvis Costello is one lucky dude.  Diana is good looking, plays a mean piano flawlessly and has a voice that'll melt your brain ... just love listening to her.  I've got a couple of her DVDs just to listen to her in surround sound -- and I even have her disc as a DVD-Audio just to hear her all the better.

  10. Coldplay - X&Y - The Hardest Part -- hrmm... yeah, let's just SKIP.  umm... okay, it's not so bad.  Again, I like some of Coldplay, but I'm really a bandwagon jumper on this band and haven't ventured out of the mainstream stuff to explore them.

  11. Beastie Boys - Aglio E Olio - Square Wave in Unison -- now I love some of the Beastie Boys stuff... this, I just don't get.  SKIP

  12. Big Rude Jake - Big Rude Jake - Blue Pariah #1 -- this guy puts on a heck of a show.  He's big, he's rude and his name is Jake.  And he smokes a cigar.  Very cool if you like that swing fever that hit a few years back, but isn't the polished fancy big band stuff.

  13. The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds -- like the King, you gotta have a discography of these guys; i think it's mandated by law.

  14. The Beatles - Help! - I Need You -- A lesser known tune, but "it comes with the package".

  15. Feist - Let It Die - Inside and Out -- hrmm... something I don't know.  I wonder how much of the 10s of thousands of tracks I have are stuff I don't know.

So, as an experiment of the 15:  9 are ones I would just skip over.  Noticed that not one of any piping or celtic music genre.  No Collective Soul, Dave Matthews Band, U2 or Tea Party (they make up the majority of my collection along with the Hip).

Maybe I should do this again and report on the songs I would listen to.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

So... Fail

Yup, I've meant to keep up to date with my postings on here.  That hasn't really happened at all.

And here we are, now shunted over to wordpress for blogging.

I even "have an app for that" and yet it's not made me more prone to posting.  Maybe micro blogging is my media?  Maybe I am not meant to write my thoughts out in more than one sentence... Maybe I just have nothing to say?

I'm going to try to use this app some more... It's a little harder on my phone to really type things out, so they may just be musings, so you may miss out on my really good rants...
(you've missed the whole eclair for my magic, the demise of my magic, tbaytel debacle, amongst other work related ramblings).

Thanks for your patience.

Monday, August 30, 2010

At long last – the Thomas trip diary

I know… It’s been a while.  I’ve had a busy summer.  Here’s one of the stories of said summer.  We took Dean to the “Day out with Thomas” event in Minneapolis.

Day 1

This was the outset of the trip.  We wanted to leave as early as possible, but despite being entirely aware that this day was coming, we didn’t really get packing until the night before, which meant that we weren’t out of the house until like 930.  But off we went.  Dean travelled awesomely.  Slept nearly all the way there.  We made a point of saying “we’ll have to stop at the gas station with the dinosaur on the way home to get a picture of dean with it”.  The neat thing for me this trip was to use my phone as our GPS.  I had finally gotten the maps to work and figured out the problem with why it would lose GPS signal (still don’t know why, but a force-kill of the app, then restart it locked it in quickly).  Funnily, we had Greg’s GPS as well as ‘backup’, which lead to some funny arguments between Lisa and Emily (the 2 different voices).

We arrived in Minneapolis just shortly after 3 their time, which meant we could check in.  We did so and then called Mandy’s grandmother, who promptly invited us for dinner (older people have dinner earlier).  Dean was really reluctant to be out with all those people looking at him (he’s still a little shy).

We ended the day with some shopping at Target to replenish some of the lunching supplies we had used up on the drive down…. mmm… they had a grocery section with fresh fruit – blackberries were good.

Day 2

This is the THOMAS DAY.  A quick check of google maps to ensure where we were going (the street view didn’t look like any museum or anything…), and we arrived there.  They turned a train loading station into a THOMAS mecca.  There was stuff everywhere.  We got our tickets, dismayed to find out that the extra souvenirs we paid for weren’t there for pick up (more on that later); but Dean didn’t mind.  There was bubbles, train rides, thomas sets and miniputt and more for him to play with.  Did I mention it was hot?  It was extremely hot.  By the time we were ready to ride Thomas (a regular train with one car on it shaped like Thomas) Dean was hot and done… plus there was a million people all milling about trying to get into the train.  So as the train started he was really upset and crying up a storm.  The air conditioning and the soothing train motion soon relaxed him (and the views of corn and corn and more corn).  After the ride we went for another loop of the festivities, picked up some souvenirs (another Thomas train, the scavenger hunt item) and then Dean looked ready to go back.  We went to the car and he was out in minutes.

We travelled back home and then took a nice nap.  Dean decided to do some pb&j painting on the bed sheets after having made a sandwich.

Mandy’s aunt took us out after our nap for a nice meal at Culvers (love the ice cream there), and she gave dean some nice gifts. 

Day 3

We decided this would be a good day to go and visit the zoo… heck it’s free!  So we went on over nice and early with the dueling GPSs telling us how to get there.  After some conflict resolution between the 2 we found a nice parking spot pretty close to the zoo actually (a little bit of a walk through a beautiful greenspace).

We saw all sorts of animals, some of which Dean could recognize and name.  Dean got himself a new snake and really enjoyed the penny drop thing where the pennies roll around a big bin.  By lunch time we were all getting a little bogged down by the heat.  Especially after watching the worst animal show of all time (picture an animal talent show with a turtle, rabbit and a chicken… yah, it was that entertaining).  So we went back towards the car, but stopped to enjoy the greenspace and have a lunch.  This was awesome I must admit.  making sandwiches and hanging out on our picnic blanket.  The topper of that was when Dean had a really messy diaper and we had no wipes… luckily we had some serviettes.   So it was a sign we were to just head back to the hotel.

It was as we were loading the car that I realized that the thing on the ground near the back was actually my rearview mirror!!  Somehow somebody had knocked it out of the housing off of its clips.  I was able to snap it back into place, but it’s all scratched up… cosmetic damage only, but still the principal of the matter that somebody would somehow knock it off (had to have been a person walking. a car would have knocked the whole thing off) but not do anything about it (and somehow they would have had to knock it off and get it BEHIND the car).

We went back to the hotel for a quick dip and then we were off to visit the Kolstad’s.

Dinner with the Kolstad’s was great and then we went for a playtime at the playground and that’s about when Dean woke up and started to warm up to everybody.  He had a blast with George.  It was a perfect amount of playing as by the time he was back in the car he was asleep!

Day 4

Ever remember Sharon, Lois & Bram?  Well, mix them up and add in some teddy bears and that would give you the TEDDY BEAR BAND we saw at the Mall of America.  Dean wasn’t so much into playing with the teddy bear we brought, not until he saw other boys beating each other up with theirs; well that’s when he had to join in.  He wasn’t as excited about it, so Mandy decided to fuel him up with some chocolate at the store across.  We went for a stroll in between sets and some lady gave us some tickets… awesome… until Mandy found out (after lining up in line and Dean waiting patiently) that it was only 2 points, and not tickets… so much for that.  But that’s alright, Dean more than enjoyed the escalators there as rides.  Then we were back for round 2, which was less populated… which meant Mandy easily won her swag at the end of the show (they said “anybody come on up and get something”).  Then we went for lunch at the Rain Forest Cafe.  THis is about the time the chocolates kicked in.  Dean was super hyper and wasn’t sitting still for anything.  He barely took in the surroundings (Except for the elephants whose eyes would light up eerily and Dean would say “scary monsters”).  We were ready for a quick nap, which we headed back to the hotel for.

After the refreshing nap it was back to the mall for round 2.  It was a long day at a mall… a full work day’s worth, which included BUILD A BEAR and some chocolate cigars.

Day 5

We decided to pack up and start to head out, but guilt got the better of mandy and she called her Grandmother, and so we had lunch with her before we left.

After lunch we had a great tour of the facility her grandmother lives in.  Imagine a nice neighbourhood, then enclose it all, then removve anybody under the age of 50.  That’s about it!  Very nice place…

We then were on the road again and heading to Duluth.  Once in Duluth we checked into our hotel and wandered around downtown of Canal Park.  This time without getting a parking ticket.  We had some Stone Cold Creamery and Dean saw horses and we got a little rained on.  It was a nice time… funny how the hotel was more expensive, yet smaller… ah touristy areas.

Day 6

This day we pretty much just travelled home.  We made a stop in Grand Marais to visit the Fisherman’s Picnic and take in the city.  It’s such a nice town, wish I could have stopped in and stayed longer… ah well.  Had to be home for band.   Dean got some more souvenirs (a picture taking book).

It’s funny how we tried to spend very little on this trip, but after adding up the totals, Dean still had spent quite a bit (gotta put that kid on a budget!).

Great trip – pictures are up on the live spaces.  Go see and enjoy.  I glossed over it pretty heavily, but it was almost a month ago now… great trip.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Getting caught up

So a lot of egg on my face, as I did promise to try to post 2 per week, and here we are almost 3 weeks later without a post.
I'm going to chalk it up to the attestment of how busy/productive I've been.

What have I been doing?

Dean's started his swimming lessons.  That's been fun.  He's had 2 lessons.  The first one he was uncontrollably excited.  I got to sit back and watch him and Mandy go through the lesson.  The next week it was my turn.  Dean enjoys it a lot.  But if it were a regular class he'd be the special needs student.  I say that because there's 2 others in his class - one is older, and should be in a higher class, but I guess there's no room, so he stays in this and does what we do, just more advanced.  The other, his sister, has had to have been taking lessons for a while, tho' she looks younger than Dean, not only is she more talkative, in 2 languages, but expertly does all the tasks.  *sigh* who woulda thought that MY kid would be the slow on in the class?

Mandy just came back last night from a shag and has won an electric guitar, shirts, golf balls, a ton of grocery items, mini cooler, etc... can "shag prize winner" become a source of income?

What else?  I've been eye-ing up the job board recently in case I decide not to return next season.  Hasn't been a good week for me lately.  work's been awesome, it's some other factors I have to think about.

Speaking of work - had some good school experiences lately:
 - Met with the HR lady and discussed my application/status and how to improve.
 - got to go in early one day and get some practice time in with the new smart boards.  I was a little intimidated - however all it is is just powerpoint... easy peasy
 - with my work got to sit in on an SSL meeting and learn more about board roles etc... it should be able to help me find the right places to apply and learn more of the appropriate lingo.. i hope.
 - supplied for period 5 all week this week - much to the chagrin of a certain employer.  I had a great week and really showed me I missed teaching.  It's a real debate if I throw myself back to the supply list next year and a hard go of it.  I got to teach HTML and it was so much fun.
 - one of the days this week the school was doing a lock down training, kinda unsettling to get to the school, all the doors locked and then a police officer ask me what I'm doing there.  A little misunderstanding, but a good chance to talk to them that supply teachers need training too!
A kick in the ego-nuts was with the guy that I was waiting outside with had been on the supply list just over a year and had gotten onto the pool list - and he showed up to teach in like a leisure short set... *sigh*

Band's going well - looks like that Georgia trip might be a go.  The parade season is nearly full.  Can't wait for summer.

Rob's back in town -- I'll let him get reacquainted with family life then go help him where I can on the house.

My event at work is taking shape, just can't wait for it to be over tho'... so much small piddly work to pull it off.

Niagara this weekend will be a nice break from the hullabloo back home.

Mom's recovering nicely from her surgery.  She had arthroscopic lacroscopy?  She got her knee scraped out.

What else... you've seen the pictures from Dean's photo-shoot?

Still eagerly waiting the 2.1 update for my android phone... and 3g from rogers in the area.  I hope that the rumour that I heard that they want to eventually turn rogers in thunder bay to tbaytel...

I guess that's about it for now.  I'll post more as I remember.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Through their eyes

Thanks to Rain I had a brilliant idea (a stolen idea, but an idea none-the-less).  Let Dean take pictures!

When we got to the family dinner he was immediately a little shy with all the people, so to help out I decided to try out the photo thing.

It went great!  He a lot of fun taking pictures, he overcame some of his shyness and we got some great shots to share.

I’ll upload some later (one more family function to go to tomorrow and I want to let him take some more shots then), in the mean time enjoy these 2!!

IMG_8831       IMG_8873


So it’s Easter Sunday and you get to pondering some of the important things now and again.

No, I’m not about to get out my soapbox and preaching or anything, but it is funny how a religious holiday gets ‘polluted’ with things like chocolate and wrapped items.  Just something for everybody to think about…

…now for the big leap.

I was pondering also about watching Matthew Broderick.  Mainly because I had just watched “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”.  What a great movie!  Always liked it.  But the funny thing that comes with age is the ability to nostalgize everything we used to watch.

It’s like watching an old episode of Knight Rider.  I used ot LOVE that show.  But watch an episode now and it makes you question whether you had suffered from a brain injury when you were younger.

But not with Ferris.  It is still a great gem.  But you learn to appreciate other parts of it.  Sure, as an educator I can’t say I condone this movie’s actions, but the theory is there.  When I was younger I loved all the gimmicks and stuff, but now I’m loving the genius of John Hughes and the ‘in betweens’.  All the small script set up lines that are in the movie that when I was younger you sorta glazed over to get to the hilarious parts.

I enjoy watching stuff and wondering “jeez, I betcha Matthew is regretting ever doing that scene” (i.e. the shower scene with the mohawk).  I also like noticing all the big names (or future big names) in the movie (Alan Ruck, Charlie Sheen, Ben Stein, Kristy Swanson), as well as the people that were big, but you really haven’t seen much from them (Jeffrey Jones, Edie McClurg [probably playing similar secretary roles somewhere], Louie Anderson??).

Good times.  we all wanted to be Ferris

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekend epilogue

I had to look that up… epilogue vs. prologue.  And for your information, I was wrong… good thing I have google.

So, just to let everybody know.  The flu bug seems to have left this household, and left me untouched (of course, by now saying it, I will be struck down tomorrow at the most inopportune time).

Anyways, a funny addition to this whole story is the fact that I am still easily wiled by sales.  I ordered pizza yesterday (I told you that much already), but what I didn’t tell you was that I saw the flyer and thought that the meal deal was probably best, and that I should get it in the LARGE size.  It was a lot of food.  Then, to just turn the dagger in my humility was the fact that Mandy and Dean could not eat (i.e. keep anything down), so I had all this food, for myself.  Well, made breakfast, lunch and dinner easy for me.

But firsts beget more firsts, and we pulled the sofa bed out of the couch for the first time since we’ve moved here.  That way Mandy and Dean can hang out in front of the TV (he wanted to hang out on the bed but it’s so high up, we didn’t trust it).  Plus, it makes a pretty cool fort/tunnel for when Dean didn’t want to sit still.

Pretty cool times… minus all the gross stuff of course.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

More (unfortunate) firsts

So, after having an extraordinary long week, I looked more and more towards the weekend.  And it got progressively worse as we neared Friday at 430pm.

Then it was that I remembered that this weekend was going to be a full weekend.  Well, full as in, I never get true weekends really since becoming an ‘adult’.  Add in Mandy’s odd work schedule, and it’s another work day, just at a different ‘office’.

But what made this weekend more ‘full’ was the fact that I’d have to jet right after work to go and play for the Cavendish cup, and then the Dodgeball tournament early the next morning… yeesh.

I’ve had more going on in other weekends, but the combined whole picture just was really depressing/frustrating.

So, here’s where you’d say in the typical story that something would come up and start to shine etc…, but not in my stories.  The weather went to real snow, and got cold… and then Mandy wasn’t feeling well.  Turns out that Lindsay had to take Be

n to the hospital with a fever… so it looks like she caught it and then got so bad had to leave work early.  So she was ‘messy’ and I went and got medicine for her.

Dealing with Dean was not so bad, but with the length of the week, the house looked ‘no hell’ so I figured to save time we’d order pizza.  The guy had just came and left with dinner when Dean hops down from the couch to make one mess on the floor, take another step and make 2 more… at that point I picked him up to take him to the tub and he gets his 4th.

This is where the idea of ‘firsts’ comes in the header.  This was Dean’s real first time getting ‘sick’.  He had vomited when he was an infant previously, but nothing like this, nor in a LONG time. Dean was really freaked out by it and took him a long time to get over it (heck, it’s taken me this long and I’m not sure I’m over it… I can still smell it…).

The funny/ironic portion of the whole story is the fact that just the other day I was reading somebody’s facebook status about being home with pukey kids etc… and I remarked to myself that we’ve been lucky that we haven’t had to deal with that at all… I wasn’t naive, I figured we would eventually, and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t like it when it did happen.  Just didn’t expect it this soon, or have the double billing with Mandy on the same day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A world of knowledge and many are still stupid

Okay, maybe stupid's too strong a word.


But I've seen my fair share of forwarded emails on this or that, or groups on facebook claiming something outlandish is happening.  And I wonder to myself, how can the 1,000,000 people in that group not see that it's a total scam.


We live in a world today where we have access to just about anything we want.  Google (or Bing) "it", and you can find your answers.  But often people will just click the easiest thing closest to them (forward, or "join") and become part of the mindless masses.


When it comes across my desktop, just do a bit of digging - who knows what information you're spreading!  Which is why I love SNOPES.COM


For example, the "facebook is charging a fee".  This one has come up SEVERAL times in the past while.  This group(s) on facebook have been shown as scams to steal your contact information.  The CEO has had to say publicly "we will never charge".


I also like the ones that go along the lines of "join this group and we'll show you the answer".  A simple one line search will produce those answers and put your information at risk.


The one that got me most upset lately was the "cellphones can pop popcorn".  I mean really... think about it?  Would we be allowed to actually put microwave strength radios to our heads?


I always wondered how that douche who said vaccines are bad for you got away with it for so long...


Maybe it's because recently I had received some 'hack' in my hotmail account, and I lost emails and all my contacts.  And an email went out to EVERYBODY telling them to check out a cool price on an iPhone.  Some quick proofing of the email made it obvious that it wasn't me, yet several people reported they clicked that link I sent and it didn't work.




All this technology to help us, and we're still pretty dumb.


Oh, and if anything that you click in your futures leads you to something you can't get rid of, check this out:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lucky number Seven

Several years ago, I wrote a letter to my bosses at the time about our selection of items on a shelf.

At the time we either had only 1 (or none), or we had a plethora of useless options.  Often having only 1 choice was unavoidable, and I didn't have a problem with that (tho' I wrote to them about it to hopefully try to get our distributors off their butts to get more selection).  However, having 20+ of another item was just inane.

I argued that we needed no more than 7 on a shelf of any item.  Why have the several versions of the same ("...and this one's exactly the same except it has just one more feature, and then the same thing with this one, it has 2 more...")?  You could have one item out symbolically to represent that series, especially as they are so close in features, there'd be no need to duplicate.  I believe I even used the phrase "studies have shown that 7 is the optimal number for choice".

It's funny because as listening to the radio that I heard them say that 6 seemed to be a breaking point in making selections.  Pretty darn close!

Did I actually look that kinda studies up back then?  Probably not as that was a time when I had more rants than the normal person.  More likely I pulled that number out based on the spacing on the shelves we had.  Still, cool to be vindicated these many years later.  I should dig out that letter and find somebody to wave it in their face.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Android getting better

Paid apps in the marketplace
Rogers "my account" app
2.1 "Coming Soon" to my Magic...


Sunday, March 14, 2010

My old friend

Today was a good day.  Mandy again volunteered our 'babysitting services' to a friend so I got woken up by Dean and Kayla smackin' away on the drums.  When i eventually was up, we had a rousing jam session.  Kinda fun.  (Except 2 seconds ago when I looked over and Kayla had red all over her face -- turns out she was just eating marker... *phew*)

Then we decided to play outside.  Despite the usual fighting about who gets to be in the car at what time, it was fun out there.  I got to turn over the top bits of the garden (still a little frozen if you go more than 3-4") and I got re-introduced to an old friend.

It was so gorgeous outside I had to invite him out.


My throne (I also had my hammock, which is my ‘old friend’ , but anytime I got off it to take  a picture – they’d jump in)


Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm not crazy

Just a short note today... shoulda done it the other day when it was more relevant.

So I got some sort of nasty stomach thing the other day, as such I stayed home and slept (...and visited the facilities a lot).
Then I realized I left the garbage cans out and I should go get them.  I was already in my, as I call it, loungewear, I went out in just a tee, pyjama bottoms and boots to grab the cans.  I figured I was a site already as I would have bed head on top of my "i just got out of bed at 6pm" look.  But to make it worse a gang of kids on bikes was going by...

Oddly enough I wasn't the main 'crazy-attraction' that moment.  Some lady was screaming down some side street.  At first it looked like she was looking for a lost dog.  Her get up was worse than mine, which falls in line with a "my dog just jumped past the door and ran down the street, so i need to go grab him" look, but you quickly realized she was just crazy and screaming.  Kinda entertaining.

Despite it causing the bike gang of kids to stop right in front of my house, giving them more time to pause and reflect on my outfit choice, they stayed transfixed on her and the car that was then turning down that street and forced to talk to her.

Have I told you that Westfort is always entertaining?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Great weekend

It wasn't a long weekend, or anything spectacular... just a vision of weekends should be like:

Friday night - had Cayleigh come and babysit Dean while Mandy and I went out to a movie (Alice in Wonderland 3D) with some friends and had a great time.

Saturday - attended dad's ACME group's fun-spiel.  I love curling... just never get time to do it.  We lost the first 2 games, won the 3rd (thanks to yours truly) and lost in the finals for the C round.  Follow it up with some Chinese buffet, and it's golden!  Dean was going to come to the 3rd game, however on the way there he was side-tracked by a big puddle and landed face first.  He enjoyed it... I didn't.

Sunday - we watched Dean's friend (and our friends' son) Ben as she went to deal with some hospital issues.  It was +10 outside so we got our splash stuff on and tshirts and ran around in the backyard for a couple of hours.  They had a ball running around and jumping and stuff.  Definitely kids love hanging out with other kids.  Getting them to bed was going to be difficult, however I stold Mandy's idea of crashing on the futon with low lights and a calm show and wrapped up in a snuggly blanket.  Wasn't long before they both were down.

I'm exhausted and my arms are sore, and legs are bruised and aching still.. it feels great!


Doug experimenting with flavour sensations and timbits

My curling prep

Dean tuckered out after his sleep over party.

Friday, February 26, 2010


I just had this play in rotation today, and for some reason it struck me again...



Okay, so maybe not THAT one exactly, but the original.  I don't know what it is about that song, but it always 'gets' me.  I wouldn't say "emotional", but definitely thought provoking and evocative.  Partly it could be because of the interpretation that Scrubs puts on it above about the girl that dies - that's hardly 'un-emotional', but I dunno, maybe it's something else.


My interpretation of it is the poor misled guy / gal who has the starry eyes of a glorious event/happenings that's owed to them.  That somehow, by just 'being' they will be presented with this wondrous life that would make celebrity's jealous.  (there's another conversation to be had about how celebrities have ruined normal life by building up un-reachable expectations - just see the conversation bartleby has with loki in Dogma - and when I say "see" I mean "read")  So, is there a sense of entitlement that is unfounded?  Depends, but by just planning to "wait for your real life to begin" isn't going to make it happen.  As the girl says in the song "open up your heart, let the light (that already is there) shine in".


Another song that came in rotation today pretty close to it was "Ships in Full Sail" by Spirit of the West.  I thought it was apt in one line that I want to repeat here:

"horizons don't get closer"

For some reason that was an awesome line, maybe the combination of my interpretation on the earlier song, and then hearing that.


Often we are so focussed on the 'attaining' in life that we fail to recognize what we have 'obtained'.  Missing the forest for the trees, or similarly allowing our long goal focus forget what we have.  I'm not going to get all sentimental here or anything, but it really describes me.  For myself, I've sometimes set myself too lofty a goal, and as I look at what I have I get to thinking that I'm not there yet.  Really pertinent to me now as I'm awaiting the decision from the school boards about the pool hiring list.  Here I am 8 years after graduation striving after what I wanted...


But in the end I do have to look at what I have.  I have my wife, my son, a house... and I reflect on what I've done to get me here.  Sure there've been some mistakes I've made along the way.  Now would I go back and change them?  I look at my life and I love what I have.  I really wouldn't change it... yeah, there's a few things I wish I had, or was more successful in etc... but then that plays with the equation.  As a mathemetician I know what happens when you tinker with the variables, your output changes, and to be honest I don't think I'd really want to tinker and potentially lose what I have (that could be also because I'm also a guy who doesn't like change too much).


So, ... what does this all mean?  Nothing really... just something that struck me today as I drove to work.  To further the line from SOTW, "horizons don't get closer, rather you extend them further every time you make some gains".


Oh, and so I don't end on a sappy note -- I also liked this today (while doing some of my googling for this article):



Sunday, February 21, 2010

Snow fort

So had an awesome day today.  At a certain part of the day I felt it was time to get outside.  We’ve been having some awesome weather lately and why not take advantage of it.  Yesterday it was the walk down Frederica and possibly as far as the library (but the haircut cut that short – pun intended).

I took Dean and got him all weathered up and set him outside in the back yard.  I just let him do what he wanted, see what he played with.  At first nothing.  I went to get my ice chipper and clean up some of the ice mess out there.

As Dean was looking more and more bored I decided to give him a nudge as to what to do and helped him get to his car out there.  At first he wasn’t excited to get out there, but he climbed right in.

I noticed he looked a little stationary playing in the car and felt I needed to correct that.  So I decided to start digging around the car to give him some room to play with.  Not sure how it progressed from there, but I just started to clear more and more snow, at first to give him room to go around the patio table, and then to build the ‘fort’.

Now I didn’t intend it to be a fort at first, but as I was putting more and more snow on the banks it started to look like a makeshift wall, or semi-igloo.  So it just kept going from there.  I got the ice chipper and would ensure that i cut out snow in definite wall-like ways.  Then tried to put the snow up vertically around the banks.

Then it was to build a path to the patio table so Dean wouldn’t have to crunch over the snow, and when it starts to melt, fall in.

It’s nothing spectacular, just it was fun.  Had I really thought about it, I should have been doing this for a while yet.  This is definitely something I want to start and continue with.  I doubt I’ll get any more snow to really make anything of it this year.

I just remember making these intricate caves and paths in the back yard at home when I was a kid and it was the best fun.  I want to be able to do that with Dean.  I’ve seen some really neat blogs lately about how to make cool igloos using storage bins to make the igloo ‘bricks’. 

Now, for those who’re also doing this, or would like to, let me give you 2 tips – wear mitts, not because it’s cold, but I got some nasty blisters; don’t use a kid’s snow shovel, it’ll take FOREVER to clear even the smallest of areas.


Now I do feel bad that I’ve been neglecting posting photos on here.  I have posted some in the blog itself, but nothing in their own specific albums.  I’ll get to it.

8 days later…

So much for 2 a week, maybe I should update my expectations.  Anyhow…

What’s happened?  Since I last posted we’ve had Valentine’s Day / Family Day / Hangin’ with Ben / After Biz / Some applications / Dean’s haircut and photoshoot…

Valentine’s Day

Not a lot to report, similar to our attempts at New Year’s Eve it gets harder to have official celebrations.  We ended up having to have a ‘do-over’ the next day.

Family Day

I love any excuse for a day off.  I really was hoping to do some ‘family’ things that day with Dean, but to be honest with you I don’t think there was a lot that we did.  I know we were outside for a bit.  Dean enjoyed it, even when he fell face first in the snow (he was leaning forward a little too far).  Then we played with his sled as well, until he fell off… it was a good time.  It had been so cold for a while it was hard to take Dean outside to play.

Hanging with Ben

We decided to give Lindsay a shout to see if she wanted company (Dean needs to learn how to hang out with other kids).  As it turns out we got to have Ben over for a couple of hours at our place.  Which Dean LOVED.  Those two get along really well.  Unbelievable how much energy one kid can have, let alone put two of them together – sort of a “the whole is more than the sum of its parts” idea.  Mandy made some post Family Day crafts with them.  The hands are still drying.

After Biz

Now there wasn’t an after biz or 2 months, so I was itching to get my networking and exhibiting skills back into play.  I swear the email said to go set up at 315-400, so I was there at 315.  Turns out that was about 30 minutes too early.  Anyway, I got to talk with the planning at the VicInn about our MEIV event.  So I get my booth and start to set up, that’s when the other booths start coming in.  And my neighbour – one guy who likes to critique roll-ups and a bra and panty booth.  I had to remind people throughout the night that THEY went next to ME, not the other way around.  It was a good event, albeit I never got to have any of the food (le sigh), they even had Doobsie’s Band (the band that Joe is in) play.  Good show.


Still waiting to hear from the Board about my pool hiring status application… I think this will be the ‘make or break’ decision… If I don’t get on the pool hiring list after 7+ years… I’ll start making some serious decisions about what am I doing with my life.  Have I made some wrong decisions?  I also applied to 3 different jobs in one day.  I’d like to say what… but I think it’s bad luck to say before I know anything, so I’d like to keep that under wraps until I know more, but any of them would be a nice change.

Dean’s Haircut & Photoshoot

So Mandy’s setup a photoshoot with Superior Images for his 2 year old shot.  And he needed a haircut.  I tried to get him over to Hair Infinity, but they were booked up, so I thought, why not walk down Frederica some more as there’s a couple of hair places that way… and I could keep on going after and walk to the Library for the puppet show.  I end up going to Armando Barber Shop on Frederica (funny, we were at Armando’s in Port Arthur for Mandy’s bday dinner).  I say Barber Shop because it had a pole out front, but it was definitely ‘modern’.  It had PS3, Blu-Ray, 42” HD in the waiting room!  It was good, he freaked a little when the barber tried to put the drape around him, so he just omitted it.  I had thought Mandy had pre-called and set it up as he automatically ‘faux hawked’ Dean saying “mommy will love that!” and then grabbed something  and came back saying “you don’t mind eh?” (I couldn’t see what he meant, but said “no worries” anyways)… turns out it was some red gel for his hair.  So Dean not only has a faux hawk, but is red tipped.  Kinda hilarious!  Until Dean ran around and tried to climb his stroller, in the process smushing his wet head against the stroller, his jacket etc… partially ruining the effect.  I decided to walk him home and skip the puppet show (can only imagine the much he’d make with a wet red head and tons of hair all over him).

Then it was on to the photoshoot.  Dean was not participating in just about anything at that point.  He was cranky after coming home, was cranky for quite some time, and then on the way to Jarron’s fell asleep… so was cranky when he woke up.  Then he didn’t want to go down stairs… eventually we got him to have some fun, only by letting him know that he could throw a ball at Jarron… wonder what that portends to in the future?  (will this be the precedent… if you do something we tell you you can do some harm to somebody).  Looking forward to the photos tho’.  He really did get into it after a while.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

January in review

So why am I reviewing January in the middle of February?  Because I’m inherently lazy?  So much for my vow.

What’s going on?  Not really all that much that’s causing me to be so tired or forgetful to post.  What should I talk about?  Let’s do this by the numbers.

My photo-a-day challenge:

  • 31 photos
  • 4 cheatings (posted a photo that wasn’t taken on that day)

image Pipeband

  • 2/3 for gigs - We had the opportunity to play for the torch relay when it came through town.  I held extra practices, but as it turns out I was pretty sick.  I mean I had never been more sick.  I did make the opening and closing ceremonies for the Scottie’s tournament.
  • 2 stripes names – Bill (P/S); Jessome (P/C)
  • 4 pipeband members who came out to Bill’s showing of “On the Day”
  • 5 or 6 new piping students!  Been keeping me busy as I’m trying to find all my old files for the piping instruction modules… I used to have like 4 or 5 done, but can’t find ‘em (then again we haven’t had many students progress past module 1 forever).
  • 60-70 pages of the new tune book finished.


  • 1 day off sick (see my comment about the torch relay – really I slept like 2 days)
  • 100 employer packages put together and handed out as I canvassed the malls – that was kinda fun
  • 14 meetings (9 of which were in one week)
  • 1 performance review – it was good, but doesn’t change my mind.


  • 4 days without Mandy/Dean… it was Mandy’s birthday present for me to buy her a flight to Toronto.   During which time I was able to pick up and pass New Super Mario Bros Wii.  That was fun.
  • 1.5 --- still.  I’m referring to my Android stock operating system.  Still waiting for Rogers to deliver the 2.0+ version… which I’m doubtful will ever happen.  We did get SenseUI, which is pretty cool.  Multitouch is definitely appreciated.  Just disheartening as alot of new google apps are coming out and they’re all 1.6 or better (multi google signins, goggles, buzz, maps layers, etc…)

I think that about covers it for me for now.  Should be doing some February recaps soon, but I’ll leave that for another post.


Monday, February 1, 2010

Quarterly Re-cap


See, this is why I need a vow (see previous entry).  My last real blog entry was Sept. 27... and many before that were 'recaps' as well.


So this will hopefully be my last re-cap blog entry.  I only do this just to have a written history for myself (because you know I'll be old soon and will need to have things written down for me telling me what I did in the past).


Let's go through it by the numbers:

(i'm going through my google calendar to help me remember what happened)



DFC Presentation - like I've said before I like being in front of people... so when asked to present at the co-op/career fair at DFC, I jumped at it.  I had a bit of worry over being able to shorten it to 5 minutes, but I think I did pretty well.  How often will you get to hear a presentation on co-op include nintendo wii?

Christmas - I'm a horrible shopper!  I really did it late, and was seriously asking DIRECT questions in order to get good gifts.  We had some pretty good times.  We had an early Christmas at home (Mandy had to work Christmas day, so we opened gifts on the Eve).  The family also ended up having several straight days of parties/food.  It was good that the office was closed for the length of time it was.  There was also the 2nd annual Knauff Sleigh Ride (tho' it includes more than Knauffs and this year we included friends).  It was a good time to get together with everybody and allow the kids to run around.  And it wasn't nearly so cold as last year.

New Years - this is the clear indicator that we are, in fact, old parents now.  We wanted to have a party and enjoy the evening, but... as it turns out it was limited to a prime rib buffet (which was awesome), some swimming (Dean enjoyed) with a cool water slide and an especially early evening.  Dean wasn't crashing and was just getting crankier as we hung out in the hotel room.


Remembrance Day - First time I've been able to actually run a Remembrance Day ceremony by myself.  It was sorta good that the guy helping to organize it was over zealous in planning.  So we had plenty of time to get it ready.

Celtic Bash - whoo... that was fun.  A lot of nerves going in tho'.  Again, the first time I've done that on my own and it was a new format, at a new location... phew.  Glad it's over.  I think everybody had a good time tho'.  Venus Murphy was AWESOME!

Band AGM - 2nd year in a row I was acclaimed the pipe major... you know, I don't mind.  I know it's a lot of work and pressure... I just would like competition.

Andrew's first piping gig - I had a request from someone to bring a 2nd piper, one who would be a younger player.  So Andrew got a taste of what it's like to be a 'semi-pro' piper.  Hopefully it's motivation to help him practice more.


Bayfield - you saw the photos!

Superior CVI - got to take a tour with the NSWPB crew.  Marg said during the tour "you should be teaching here!"  This is after she stalled in helping me apply for a course there.  yay

Rob's new son - Ben is now not an only child with the arrival of Jack

P2P Fall Forum - got to visit Ottawa (don't think I've ever been there before).  Very cool hotel (was an old condo.  I also go to put together a presentation with Devon... not sure it was received well, but you know me, I like to be in front of people.  They also classified me as 'no longer a newbie' and showed my video as a 'classic example'.  I hadn't been there a year yet!  Also got to visit the casino in Gatineau and realize how little I knew about casinos and the games and french language.  Brandie enjoyed it much more than I did.

MacGillivray's Fundraiser - Got to go to the Scotch tasting night to help them with their special events.  The food was amazing!!

Hallowe'en - Breaking with the 1 year tradition, we did not do a family theme for the costumes.  Instead, Dean got 2 photos.  I only really photo'd one of them (one example here, another here).  The other costume is on my other camera and nothing really turned out.  You might get to see them on Mandy's pics on fbook.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Where to begin

Recently I have undertaken a new year’s project – a photo-a-day.  And it’s been great as a challenge.  I’m starting to learn a little more about composition and making the most out of the camera I have.  It has also been good ground work for striving to take some daily action.  Something I too much have let fall by the way side.  I was going to bike each day, or work out, or at least try WiiFit, play my pipes, write in my blog…

So it got me thinking a little bit.  My blog has been severely neglected this past while.  Which made think of why.  You know, I probably post a status update in my facebook or messenger several times a day.  I haven’t yet decided to join twitter.  But this idea of micro-blogging became easier than loading up my “live writer” to write a story for that day.

So, as I’ve been going through my photos and endeavouring to meet this challenge I came to a realization that I should also strive to work on this blog.  With that in mind I am attempting to rectify my blog omissions.

Here is that attempt:  (insert Law & Order sound here).

I vow to try to write at least 2 entries per week.

I know that (like my photos) some will be lacking the proper lustre that they should, but putting myself into a rhythm is good.  Maybe it will translate into other areas.  Maybe it will help with my writing style (anybody know of any business writing courses?).

Now… do I try to catch you up on what’s been happening?  Or should I just start fresh?  Obviously I’ll try to keep it updated with the photo-a-day challenge so people on here can see my photos.