Thursday, January 27, 2005

It's not easy...

Ok, I admit that the idea of coming up with daily useful or interesting posts can be a challenge. I think I would rather be spotty in my posts that just dumping crap up here all the time. And yes, I know I have still not started posting my Friday morning funnies. I promise to do that this week. Anyhow, on to one of my favourite ongoing posts, Today's Idiot.

Today's Idiot:
Actually, it is a full group of them today. I'm no prude, trust me on this, and I am open to bending, twisting and (when necessary) blowing the rules to hell. However, I try to refrain from doing so when it will harm others. Believe me when I say that making a right turn against the red light facing you is a recipe for harming others. In my 32 minute drive to work this morning in rush hour traffic (I L-O-V-E working in Markham), I noticed at almost every light, this rather stupid habit that people have developed. The mentality goes that even though I am at a full red, for several seconds, as long as they have not moved yet, or it seems like my quick car may be able to squeeze around the snow covered corner faster than they can converge on me, then I should go ahead and make the turn.

Ok, simple facts here folks; IT IS ILLEGAL. You cannot make a right turn on a red WITHOUT coming to a full stop first. And no, those lovely wussified, rolling stops that SOME people like to make do not count as a FULL stop. A full stop means that all wheels on the vehicle cease and desist that little rolling activity there were previously engaged in. At that time, providing that it is safe to do so, one may continue through to the right and merge with traffic. In case it slips one's mind, this also applies to unbarricaded railway crossings and those cute little red octagons (they say STOP for us and something like Arrete for the frogs).

Someone is going to get my Roo-bar suppository one day and I am going to make sure that when that day's idiot makes that stupid mistake, I will "slip" on the gas. :)

CANOE Travel - Caribbean - Trinidad's Top 10

CANOE Travel - Caribbean - Trinidad's Top 10

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Nothing in Life is Free

It will take you some effort to actually surf to the site to look up what free items you are interested in, then you will need to surf to those locations to get them. Other than that, sure it is free.

Actual Free Stuff- Health free stuff

Have you authenticated your Windows OS today?

Well, those of us who, ahem, have those little COAs provided with our Genuine versions of XP need not worry. For the rest of you delinquents..SHAME! ;-)

CNEWS - Tech News: Microsoft to restrict fixes for pirated Windows copies

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

OK, I love the iPod, but....

I am not sure than even I am THAT much of a geek to try this one out.

Main Page - WikiPodLinux

Yet another close device, but still no Blackberry cigar....

While this is an incredible piece of technology that has been put together, it is still not the SINGLE device I'd be looking to carry. Maybe it will fill your needs though.

SK65 - Siemens - Mobile Phones Portal

It is finally for sale...REALLY!

Tired of leaving your files at work when you really need them where you are? Tired of lugging a heavy or cumbersome laptop around (afraid to leave it in the trunk of your car to be stolen)? Tired of the limitations of a PDA when you need and would be more productive with full desktop functionality?

Well, fret no more because you can have it all in the palm of your hand (literally). For a price of course. Always keep in mind, the smaller it gets, the more people want it and the more it will cost.

oqo: home

ONE Device to rule them all!

Yes folks, the day is coming soon when the word "integration" will live up to its much hyped definition in the IT world. Rumoured for many months, devices that can do it all (well, almost) are finally coming to light. The example included here is a Pocket PC example running the second edition of Microsoft's much improved mobile OS which allows for more functions and higher resolution screens. The built-in blackberry recognition is also coming early this year. The major shortcoming of this unit is the lack of built in WiFi; though can can add it in with the SDIO slot (which disallows you to download anything from the Net while surfing it). I will continue to look for the all-in-one miracle device, but this one comes dang close and looks great.

O2 Xda microsite : Xda II

Monday, January 24, 2005

Never underestimate the power of the cell phone.

Today's Idiot:

So, I am on my way to work this morning. I am travelling North on University having come up from the Lakeshore via the Skydome. As I am about to cross King, this dumbass from Royal Taxi decides his day is more important so he drives through the red to make a right into my path. I lay on the horn and not only does he not acknowledge me, he slows down behind the traffic in front so that he may fiddle with paper and other crap on the front seat.

So, in my own Dtrini way, do you think I a) sped up in front of him and slammed on the brakes, b) lay on the horn some more to try to get his attention or c) pass by slowly giving him the finger and cursing him through a closed vehicle? Surprise, I did none of the above.

I simply called Royal Taxi (thanks for displaying the number so clearly on top folks) and I reported his ass to the dispatching supervisor (car 2702 in case you want a piece of him or want to avoid the car like the plague). You see, Taxi companies like calls to dispatch cars, not complain about them. I truly believe that if you emphatically make your case, whilst remaining in control and polite, it gets the point across very well.

To wit, I once had a cabbie pulled off the road after witnessing that dumbass driving down the shoulder of the 401, nearly sideswiping one vehicle as he got onto the Yonge Street ramp and then cutting off a lady in a Black Jetta when he started proceeding North on Yonge. i got up behind him, passing my intended street so that I could get his info. I then called the Taxi company saying that my next call was to the police to report his reckless driving. So, unless they wanted to be in trouble, they will get this maniac off the road NOW!

Ah, yes, I may not be The Donald or Sir Richard but I know where my power lies. Idiot taxi cab drivers beware.

Oh, maybe I will tell you all one day about the time I did block off a taxi on Adelaide and proceeded to try to "persuade" him to leave his vehicle so I could properly kick his ass.

Then again, maybe not. :)

Thursday, January 20, 2005

I just had to add this...

Ok, you know when they say life imitates art imitates life? So, I just posted the previous message and then went up myself to check out the whitehouse site (not that one!, the real one). Anyhow, I was bored after reading the title so I simply scrolled down the main story until the end and I found this:

May God bless you, and may He watch over the United States of America.

Now, I realize you are scratching your head asking, "What's the big deal?" Here's the thing, if you have ever seen the movie Head of State starring the immensely funny Chris Rock, the quote will sound familiar to you (and if you have not seen it, shame on you, go rent it now). In the movie, the person running against Chris Rock always ends his speeches with, "God Bless America. And no where else!". I won't ruin it for you by giving you all the quotes surrounding this but suffice it to say that Chris Rock turns that phrase against him in a big way. Watch the movie!

Anyhow, my point is simply this: it is about time that we get politically correct in the RIGHT way. We changed our talk to be less masculine till it was nauseating (i.e. manholes = person covers, spokesman = spokesperson). Why can we not change our talk, and mean it, for things on a more global scale? How about we always ask our chosen deity to bless EVERYONE on the Earth? How about we look to have ALL people safe, happy, secure, healthy, prosperous, et al? How about we get our damn heads out of the sand and realize that in the grand scope of things, everything West of the Atlantic originated somewhere in the East?

We need to get a grip on our posturing as a continent, thumbing our noses at the less fortunate, and our general disregard and disrespect for anything and anyone different. We need to do that worldwide and we most definitely need to start in our own backyards!

Think about it!

So Bush got inaugurated today...

So many jokes, so little time.

Well, you can mosey on over to, the official governement website. And, if you are NOT at work and feeling for a different variety, you can always go over to the well known, often visited due to fat-fingers or personal intent, wesbite I think they even have a link to the real whitehouse website since they have received so many errant hits and mild complaints.


Oh, and today's Goof of the Day (GOTD) award goes to the bright woman in the red Pontiac that caused a backup on the DVP and well into the Bloor/Bayview exit as she not only insisted on travelling 4-6 car lengths, on a dry road, behind the vehicle in front of her, she insisted on doing so BELOW the bloody speed limit. Oy, to be able to jump out and slap these people without fear of prosecution.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

And it continues...

OK, so I may be a bit of a confessed SUV-ing, 4x4-ing snob. Here's the thing: I used to drive a normal vehicle before I got into the 4x4 world. Before the van and truck now, before the Grand Cherokee, and before the Corolla SR5. Yes, back then it was a few front-wheel drivers (i.e. Buicks, Chryslers and Honda Civics). However, my preference has always been for a rear drive vehicle so it was Volvos, Datsun 810 (Maxima), Parisienne, Chrysler 600, and my beloved Lincoln Town Car with powered front quarter windows.

I drove all those different types of vehicles in the snow and not once did I get into an accident with them. No fancy dancy anti-lock braking, no anti-slip or anti-anything for that matter. No fancy winter tires either; Crappy Tire always sold a line of all-season radials with deep treads like a winter tire that was noisier than normal ones on the highway but actually worked in all conditions.

I just really do not understand the absolute void of skill and understanding of today's drivers. And I am not talking in extreme circumstances folks. Take today's dumbass in his black Corvette with the standard low profile tire. I do not care how much technology that vehicle has, I will give any odds that I could drive better in my old 73 Volvo 164E. First he comes to the stop sign on the side street too quickly so he ends up nose out into the street. THEN, he has the audacity (or was that suicidal tendency) to nudge forward in the hopes of inducing a traffic stoppage to let him out.

Let's work that scenario in detail, shall we? Brand new, plastic bodied Chevrolet Corvette versus 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer equipped with hardened steel Roo-killer bar on front. Yeah, you're right, no contest. So dumbass made the smart move of not nudging further ahead until I passed. Idiot!

OK, to clarify a previous viewpoint, let me say that I LOVE snow. I love it falling, the look of the city under a new blanket of it, the new city smell of it. I just hate the frickin' cold accompanying it. Clear enough? Good.

Enjoy the snow while you can. Bitter cold is coming the rest of the week and no warmth until next week or March or something like that.

Monday, January 17, 2005

This is the hotel that Pam and I stayed in for our honeymoon.

No, it is not a super fancy shmancy hotel. It has great people working there. They have good access to the beach, their own pool, super freezing air conditioning, a decent menu (though with the amount of restaurants around, it does not matter), and clean facilities. Be warned though, that since the hotel is built down the side of the cliff in sections, you walk to all the amenities. Sometimes, this can be quite a hike over the day, but really it was all worth it. The package that they over in all-inclusive also makes it worth while to check this place out. You get a rental (but you have to buy the not so cheap insurance and no Jeeps available as they are reserved for the Cruise Ships), food and drinks all day, plus coupons to a different style of restaurant each day.

As long as you are not looking for casinos (other side of the island, and they have free shuttles), fast food joints (please tell me why), or lots of touristy activities, then the French side is for you. If you want to soak up culture, explore on your own and visit the local roadside grills, enjoy a book in the sun or simply just lay in peace, then you have found the right spot! You can always go off and do things in the tourist traps of the island (Marigot!) but its nice to come back to the quiet of Mont Vernon.

Oh, ask the bartender for the "Pam" when you go by the pool. ;-)

Hotel Mont Vernon - St Martin/St Maarten island(Caribbean)

Thursday, January 13, 2005

The coefficient of stupid!

Ok, I just don't understand it. We all went to school at some point in our lives, right? We mostly all took some form of science, right? We kind of paid some sort of attention, right?

Then why the *&^%&*$* are so many us us so bloody stupid when it comes to the winter???

Let's go through the basics. There is a little thing called the "Coefficient of Friction" (here, feel free to brush up on it using the link below). Suffice it to say, the dumb folks of today forget that there is a certain level of friction on ice and snow and after that, you are without control.

Everyday, I see the foolish attempt to navigate their little sports-oriented vehicles, riding on the same low-profile all-season tires that barely had grip in the summertime. The problem is that now they ae pushing 3-6 inches of snow in front of them as they move. Let's clear up a common misconception. All-season tires are just that; tires that can be worn and driven on through any season. They are NOT "All-condition" tires though, as such a device does not yet exist. Why do race cars change tires not only for the weather and track conditions, but also depending on the amount of corners in the layout? Simple, it is because different tires, treads and compounds are needed to get the best possible car on the race track to win.

So yes, I recognize that we do not get free tires and rims, and we cannot stock things like professional race car drivers. That said, it would cost in average a total of less than a grand to supply some cheap-ass rims and winter radials for the average vehicle. No, your Beemer will not ride as low on the road or look as nice as it does with the shiny spinners. What it will loo like, is the same way it did next summer because you managed to avoid runnning into anything.

Think about it and understand that for an investment of a grand towards your vehicle, you will save gas, wear and tear, time, frustration, insurance bills and possibly save your life or someone else's every time you avoided an accident riding on proper tires.

Just THINK about it.

CANOE -- CNEWS - Tech News: Biz Tech Hacker breaks into U.S. wireless network

CANOE -- CNEWS - Tech News: Biz Tech Hacker breaks into U.S. wireless network

CANOE -- CNEWS - Tech News: Biz Tech E-mail rarely private

CANOE -- CNEWS - Tech News: Biz Tech E-mail rarely private

Monday, January 10, 2005

An interesting weekend indeed.

So, you would think that today I would be ranting and raving about the bout of nice weather we are having and how the snow is disappearing at a quick rate. You'd expect me to rub salt in Dancing Man's wounds about the lack of powder this winter. No, no, I understand completely how you might get that impression, but I am here to say that I am above doing anything like that. :-)

So, the weekend was something like I have not experienced in a very long time. Let's start with Friday. For the first one of the year, Pam and I agreed to host our regular poker night. This was a late night activity that took us up to around 4AM. If you were wondering, the house of Assivero did not fare well at all. :(

About three and a half hours after that, I had to answer a call from work due to a site being down. Anyone that knows me about being on call knows that once I am up, I cannot go back to sleep. So, I watched some sports highlights and did some surfing until I heard movement in the kitchen around 10AM. I made breakfast for everyone and then it was off to perform some housework and errands, both of which were mainly for preparation for that night's dinner and for Sunday.

Dinner was with some friends/family from Amherst Island (near Wolf Island in the St. Lawrence corridor). I say friends/family because it is only bloodlines that separate the two. They are very special people to Pam and I so we welcome the time we have with them. This was the first time we could do the hosting and it was an enjoyable time. Pam's cooking was amazing as always.

Dinner was followed by heavy decision making as to either leave immediately and go to Montreal (more on that later) or sleep and get up really early to go to Ottawa for our nephew's Christening (he's the one in the pictures on the blog). After much agonizing, I had to defer to my wife's choice of morning departure.

The morning was an event in itself as we scrambled in our punch drunk states to try to assemble everything needed for the day's gruelling marathon. I was woken up by Pam at 4:30. We were finally out the door after six. Okay, we could still make it to Ottawa by ten. Right?

First my father cuts himself trying to right his body which fell on the last step to the driveway (due in part to the ice, the rest due to the slippery dress shows he was wearing). Okay, back into the house for first aid equipment. Now we are on the road and my work pager goes off. Damn, it is a real ticket and has to be dealt with immediately. We pull into the Tim Horton's parking lot at Brimley and Ellesmere and I pull out the laptop, plug it in, sit it on the wife's lap in the passenger seat and insert the Sony AirCard. I jump back into the truck and head off onto Highway 401 East.

The task at hand now was to navigate the highway while virtually navigating the connection to the Internet and work using my wife as my seeing eye person. We got that ticket sorted out and dealt with and it was time for a quick stop for gas and a bathroom break outside of Newcastle. The goal was always to make it to the church on time and I am determined to change the Assivero name that has been synonymous with late since the beginning of time. I'd have no real help in the task as not only was my father already sleeping, but my wife had forgotten her wallet at home so I was THE driver for this trip.

Somewhere outside of Brockville, I calculated that the current rate of travel would have us arrive 10-20mins shy of on time. I could not allow this to happen so I adjust the rate of travel to change the facts. We arrived in the parking lot with seven mins to go before the service started and got in as the bells rung at 10AM; on time...Yes! So after the service, and the reception downstairs, we venture off to the Assivero East household for some goodies and visiting. SHORT visiting was on the order... we left at 4:24PM. Oy!

Ok, not calling the Quebecers so we could surprise them. We should know better by now but we tried it again anyhow. At 5:50PM, we roll into the Veudreuil-Dorion driveway to find no one home. Oh well, our mission was to drop our kids' Christmas gift and some baked goodies, so we did so; wedged right between the front door and the screen door where it was safe and could not be missed (they did get it as the phone message we got at home indicated).

A quick stop at McD's (pronounced in French) for some excellent salty fries and a bathroom break, and we were off for home again. The cold air had helped to wake me up a bit (so did the adrenaline from bitching about the extremely small-ass parking lot this place has). No Surrete in sight meant a bit more gas to give.

Once we re-entered Canada, we essentially rolled with the normal Sunday traffic of transport convoys and idiots who do not realize they are playing chicken with eighteen wheels of Death. We pass the stop on the West side of Kingston because it a)is a PetroCan and I avoid those when I can, b) was a McD's (pronounced in English) and I did not feel for overhyped food and c) I wanted to be much closer to home so I had something to look forward to after the pit stop that would give me the third or fourth wind I needed to get home safely.

You don't tend to expect much from these places, but a clean work area at the Mr. Sub (between Belleville and Trenton I believe) is not too much to ask for. So, healthy choices out of the way, Wendy's was Queen again. I cannot say why, but my whole mood changes when I order a large Frost(TM), have the person with a clue actually put a proper top on it, and let it melt away so that it can be drank enroute. Mmmmmmmm, Frosty(TM)! Anyhow, eat in the truck, one last gas filling and off we go. Oh, I nearly forgot to mention that some nasty folks apparently don't mind buying cheese curds(!??!) placed in little baggies and sitting on the corner for sale. I say again, N-A-S-T-Y!

So, off for home on the final stretch. I consider certain landmarks an indication that I have nearly arrived at my destination. Going to Montreal/Dorion, it is the defunct weigh station as one crossing the border into Quebec (can we see your papers, s'il vous plait?). Going to Ottawa it is finally reaching the Veterans Memorial Highway (known as the 416, to you less traveled). Going home from the West, it is going under the bridge after Mavis Road. And going home from the East, for some reason, is just after Port Hope when the third lane becomes permanent. I shift into cruise mode from that point because I know the area like the back of my hand and so does most everyone else. Since we all want to get home NOW, things tend to move a touch quicker which is just fine by us.

So, a little while later, we pull into the driveway, unload the truck, and welcome the relatively warm, heat-just automatically turned off, confines of home. It was now before 11:15 as we walked into the kitchen. So, with two stops, just over five hrs. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. I checked this morning and the round trip in less than 24hrs ate up nearly 1100 kilometers on the old odometer. We are no spring chickens anymore so we were showing the signs of battle in our cracked feeling and severely dehydrated skin.

A warm bed and some welcome sleep was needed to soothe all ills.


Saturday, January 08, 2005

So the damn dance works! (and other stuff)

Well, Dave got his wish and we received a nice, fluffy snowfall today. Well enjoy it while you can, Calgary Boy, as the forecast is for 9-14C come Wednesday.

Please remember to give some money and/or time to a charity that will help those in great need after the Tsunami disaster. And after you do that, remember from time to time to do that for all those affected by our national disaster of our own making: Poverty. Our homeless, poor and needy is just as deserving. Give them a little support too.

OK, so my geek juices are flowing again (get your mind out of the gutter) due to a recent set of acquisitions. Details are not fit to publish, but suffice it to say, I know have the proper ability and tools to make use of the PIII 550, 2GB ECC Quad monster sitting on our basement bar. It may sound like a small aircraft during flight but it is now going to take the place of three or four machine that would otherwise need to be running. Suhweet mother of pearl, I love multitasking. (Hint: I am not using VMWare but something similar with similar functionality)

Finally today, I must admit defeat in poker last night. Actually, I was spanked, tuned upside down and made to yell "Whose your Daddy?" It was pretty brutal after the tally so those boxed sets are staying right where they are in FS now. :(

Hope you all have a nice weekend and I'll blog at ya later.


Friday, January 07, 2005

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Somebody slap him

OK, I had to add this one in today because a certain friend of mine, DP (if only he knew what that ALSO stood for), had the audacity to be essentially performing a snow dance in the office trying to entice the deity above to hit us with six feet of the stuff.

Now, unless it was not clear in the previous post, we should not bitch about the weather as long as it falls within normal reins. DP, nor six feet of snow, falls under the category normal around here.

So, for the love of monkeys, stop tempting fate and leave the weather as it is. You may now return to sleeping at your desk.


Birthday shoutouts!

A very happy birthday to the following folks in the month of January:

My older brother, Anthony
Dave Price

If you would like a shoutout included, email me.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow...

OK, so the weather outside is frightful...and you know the rest.

It is amazing how much Torontonians (myself included) bitch about the weather in the middle of winter. We are not buried under nine feet of snow like the Californians ( , and I do not have to say anything about what is going on at the other side of the world. Still, we feel it is our right, nay our DUTY, to bitch and moan about how it is not like a balmy glade in Florida.

Well, stop your bitching folks! Unless you forgot, some dipstick long ago agreed to move our border to North of the 49th. We then decided to continue living here. As such, no bitching about the weather is warranted or allowed unless it does not follow predetermined patterns (which, I know, is an oxymoron in our neck of the woods.. just work with me).

OK, so weather aside, I had originally counted on being a little less social and a fair bit quieter and reclusive for 2005. It has not worked out that way from the get go. As it is, things got so busy that we had to cancel one commitment already to meet another (the little boy will owe me when he grows up). January is nearly filled and one weekend in February is already spoken for. Hell, we already have two long weekends in the summer already booked and our 1st anniversary that we are planning for. Whew. Living takes a lot of work.

Look for info later concerning our Lord of the Rings marathon session to be hosted at our house. Yep, you read it correctly; ten plus hours of Tolkein goodness! A Harry Potter, Freddy, Jason, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Bond marathon are also in the works.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

I'm so glad we had this time, together... (part deux)

OK, so the last post was lame as I was simply trying to post my last post of the year before midnight; I succeeded by a slim margin.

A simple year in review is in order, I suppose. As much as I would like to say f**k it all, I cannot as this year has brought as much positive to my life as it has negative.

The negatives cannot really be posted here in detail, but I will try to summarize. 2004 brought about the end of the gravy train (otherwise known as contract work). The change of government brought a crashing halt to an otherwise lucrative and fulfilling career; now it is simply fulfilling. :) Justice is an interesting topic depending on what side of the spectrum that you are viewing it from. Things are WAY too easy for people these days. Once upon a time, one actually had consideration that one's actions had a direct affect on others. Now, no one seems to care about that. For a civilized country, we still have a lot to learn.

Choice. Freedom. People have died for this and continue to die in the name of it. Yet, it continues to be taken for granted, used and abused. Some choices people make are highly questionable and they, again, fail to take into account how that affects those around them.

Money. Nuff said! :-)

So, what are the positives? Well, in case you were living under some kind of rock, you heard that I got married. I will post a picture or two above (maybe I will start a separate photolog as well). I will gush over my new bride and partner for life later. Suffice it to say that she has made me a very happy man and enriched my mundane little life immensely (i.e. The Film Festival and the THEATRE). We honeymooned in St. Martin/Sint Maarten and will be trying to go back there with a few friends for our first anniversary. Come on along, the more the merrier.

Employment is always a positive; it definitely good be a whole different ballgame otherwise. I love the people I work with and I love the project that I am working on. It will benefit us all in the very near future.

2004, as you can already see in earlier picture posts, also brought me a new nephew, Matthew. He is being Christened on the 9th of this month. That holds a busy weekend for us as we are hosting the first poker and dinner and was supposed to go for brunch downtown by mum (but had to cancel due to the conflict with the Christening). 2005 is definitely starting off with a bang!

Our niece in Chicago had a wonderful Bat Mitzvah that we were able to attend at Thanksgiving. I learned a whole lot, met a bunch more family and really enjoyed myself. Of course, more picture will be posted of that too (I guess I really do need a photolog site). Mazel Tov Becca!

Good health. Good family. Good friends. Good job. With everything else going on in the world, how the hell can I complain? I cannot. I can simply say that some parts of last year were utterly non-memorable, but ultimately unforgettable. And THAT, my friends, is life.

Peace and good health and fortune to you all. Do not just have life, LIVE life and enjoy it while you can.