Friday, December 21, 2007

All Good Things Must Come To An End...

No, I am not leaving the blogging world. What I am doing is actually just as hard, if not harder, to do. I, and DW, have had to take a firm stand and say "Enough is Enough" where TC our daughter is concerned. It's the hardest decision we have had to make and I hope that over the next few posts as I share our story about the last year, and especially the last couple of months, that it will help some other parents to avoid the awful, soul-crushing decisions that we had no choice but to make. If only one person can be helped, then it will have been worth it.

There is an enormous amount that has gone on and certain details need to be spelled out to do it proper justice and to set the proper framework for the final chapter of the last two months. None of this is easy to go back to and revisit so please bear with me as I try to flesh it all out. I do promise though that it will be all complete before year's end because it has to be dealt with so that we can go into the New Year with new hope.

Let us begin.

The power of Dilbert

Sometimes people don't have a sense of humour because the truth hurts. If this guys' bosses took offense, well, it is hard sometimes to look into a mirror. Maybe they should look a little harder.


In the spirit of Christmas...

Here is a story of a little girl and her friends who seem to get it that there are things bigger than them in the world. Truly inspiring.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bloody hell. It's been ten days?

I know, I know. It's just been that when I had something to say, it has just not been a good time or I have been away from the computer or this damn cold has kicked me in my chest again and typing has been painful or distasteful. I really have to get that mobile blogging thing set up again so I can post from my BB at will.

Anyhoo, the usual nothing much is happening at the moment but a whole lotta shit happened in that last few weeks. I have been debating about blogging about it but I think it is therapy for me and hopefully a warning and a help for somebody that happens by this site. I mean, all that pain has to be for a good reason in the universe, right?

Riiiiiiight. Soon, but not right now.

DW is off in the US doing work stuff and TC and I are kicking it old school at home. Well, sortof. I am sick as a dog and she is helping to take care of me. Naturally, it means she has a bit of a snow day as well since no one is exactly on her about various items but that will come to an end today as I am feeling much better and much stronger. Don't get me wrong though, she has been a welcome help and company while DW is away and I welcome the time alone together, while missing my wife.

So, I have been up since before 4AM, watching Bond movies and sports recaps (f**king Leafs). Now, as I often am when I am up and no one else is, I am restless and listless so I will get caught up on things this cold has hindered me from wanting to deal with all week. The office machines and the office itself, the minefield we call a living room, the laboratory we call a kitchen and finally the graveyard we call a basement. Yes, each of these areas will get a little attention today if only to plot out the extra attention it will get this week as we approach our first anniversary in Ajax and realize it looks in here like we just moved in.

I vow that 2008 will be different not just because we want it to be but because it has to be. We have to lead by example and we have been piss poor at it thus far. The future is only as good as building upon the lessons of the past so it is time to reinforce some foundations. Plus, with the expectation that I will lose my office upstairs, I need to figure out how to power up the toys in the unwired basement. Also, I would like to play in the basement (i.e. billiards, etc.) so the items taking up necessary space (i.e. boxes, boxes, old equipment, boxes, etc.) have got to go. This year (yes, yes, I know) we will definitely be having a serious, ORGANIZED, garage sale and we will be properly prepared for it. Not waiting for that though as I will start taking pictures of everything and try to sell them off on craigslist or kijiji and maybe even the old buy and sell (now online and modernized). Between the online and the at home sales, everything that does not get put out and used must be sold, given away or trashed. When we move again, this simply cannot move with us. It is one thing if we were using it all, but there are boxes unopened from when I split with my first wife. I have lots of memories, I no longer need all the stuff that goes with them.

What I have learned is that long slow steps will still get the job done and I don't have to try to do it all by myself in a week or two. So, it will be a family project instead that will be part work and part fun as we go through the stuff, recover some treasures, laugh at some stuff we did and say goodbye to the ghosts of the past as we welcome the unknown of the future. I am really looking forward to that day when we can sit back and marvel at the space again. I will post pictures of the before and after so you can marvel too.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lest We Forget

I know this is posted past Remembrance Day but I guess that is the point. Yes, we have a day (Veteran's Day to my US cousins) where we take the time to honour those living and dead for the sacrifices they suffered and the horrors they faced so that you and I can have the freedoms to write silly posts speaking our minds and the freedom to read them. We can drink clean water and eat fresh food and be kept healthy by good doctors and nurses. We can be protected from the evils of local society by our police force as well as by our church. We can gather freely for functions of fun or rallys of renouncing the ideas of others.

We can do all of these things because somebody fought for us, without knowing us, to ensure we could. We should take some time, not just two minutes of a single day of the year, to thank those that thought our way of life was worth risking theirs.

To all those who were part of all those wars, wars to make a difference and to preserve our way of life, we say thank you.


Saturday, November 03, 2007

"Children who do not hear does feel!"

I am sure it translates into various languages and old adages around the world but it is the one I am familiar hearing from my mother when I was a kid. In a nutshell, it meant that when a parent told you not to touch something, or to climb something, or to run, or to speak out of turn or anything you were not supposed to or allowed to do and then you did it, well, there would be consequences; a scraped knee, a broken arm, a chipped tooth, a backhand across the head.

TC has asthma. While this is not necessarily life threatening, or unique, it is still something that has to be managed and monitored. The doctor has spoken to her many times explaining exactly what she has, why she takes the meds she does, why it is very important to follow taking the meds properly, what an attack actually means in terms of her body and anything else a reasonable person could expect to be told about a condition he or she has. She listened intently each time, said all the right things, made all the right promises. She lied.

Tonight, she was over at a new friend's place on a a sleepover. They have a dog but it is one with hair not fur so it should not have induced a reaction and we do not know that is what did it but it may have contributed. This is a new friend at a new school so this was a big deal too thus a heightened excitement and anxiety. Oh yeah, and the fact that she stopped taking her daily medication of Advair because she was feeling fine may also have a contributing factor. The result was the start of an increasingly worse attack.

With TC out, the wife and I had a date night and went out to dinner at Applebee's; one of our favourite local spots. TC had called earlier on the home phone and left a message to call her but we thought nothing of it because if it was important, she would have said so or better yet, had called our cells or sent a message; none of which she did. At the start of dinner, she called and said she was having a bit of trouble. We asked where her puffer was and she said she was out; scolding ensued. We asked where her Advair was and did she take it and she said at home and no she had not; more scolding. She was getting annoyed but I persisted because she should know better.

More calls back and forth as she was coughing a lot and with the dog, we thought the allergies was producing a reaction. She took some Allegra and had some Halls and said she would call us back if anything. We finished dinner and went home. While I was changing, she called and her friend, OM, spoke to DW and explained that TC was now barely able to speak, coughing heavily, throwing up and miserable; sleepover was canceled and they were dropping her home. I sighed heavily and changed back into my street clothes because she needed her medication so we would have to find a free clinic or go to the Emergency Room at the Ajax-Pickering hospital. As luck would have it, Durham region (and apparently the GTA) does not support enough hookers to warrant a 24hr free clinic so we would have to go to the hospital.

I sat by the door, bag of magazines for reading over the next few hours, dressed to go. They arrived and OM's mother, a bit flustered, explained the rest of the evening and brought TC's stuff up to the house. TC slowly made her way up the front lawn to the house. She can be a bit of a drama queen so it seemed like she was laying it on a bit thick. We thanked OM's mother, waved at OM and had TC change into something more appropriate and warmer than the t-shirt and shorts she was currently wearing before we left for the hospital. While she was doing that, she called out to DW to get the bucket. I thought it was overkill but dashed that thought when a stream of unholy substances spewed forth from the child into the bucket as she made her way down the front stairs. OK, leather in TR; bucket is mandatory.

Off TC and I went to the hospital emergency room. I must admit at this time, while concerned for her, we were both annoyed that she allowed this to happen by not taking the medication she knows she needs to take. We arrived at the hospital and got in line. The nurse was processing someone and when she was done, there were two others in front of us but she called out to us. "Do you have asthma?" Yes, she does. The triage nurse explained to the others that she had to take TC first and told TC to sit in the chair. She asked questions, took down information and recorded the readings on the machine in front of her that measured blood pressure and oxygen content. She handed me the OHIP card back along with another sheet and told me to go register her in while she took TC immediately in to be treated. OK, this is f**king serious!!

I sat waiting for the unconcerned dip to do the registration and went inside where they took TC. The triage nurse told me to sit back out in the waiting room as she was being prepped and checked out so she was not ready yet; they would come and get me shortly. I updated DW via BB and did what I normally do; I observed the human condition around me. A girl looked deathly ill and was chucking up while looking extremely cold. An older East Indian gentleman was getting triaged for a new shoulder pain that appeared one day recently. A man was inquiring when, after two hours of waiting, his daughter would be seen by the doctor. Finally, I was called in to see TC as she was asking for me. Sixteen is not that far removed from six when you are ill.

I was not prepared for what I saw when I walked in. TC was connected to three things: a blood pressure monitor, an oxygen level and heart rate monitor and she wore an oxygen mask that also had a built-in dispenser for meds that can be diffused; her Ventolin is one of these meds and she was on her second batch apparently. I sat beside her and as the nurses did their thing and the doctor came to see her, I made her understand that this was serious and that it was not a good thing her not taking her meds properly. She asked me why she was put in front of the others. I asked her if she really wanted me to tell her and she said yes. So I explained that she was in risk of stopping breathing so they had to get her treated immediately; that is how serious her condition was.

She started to cry and I started to cry. I told her that we were not mad with her but she cannot do this again. She is feeling fine because the meds are working. She has to take them regardless of how she is feeling. That is the long and short of it. I think she gets it now. That is when I reminded her of the old adage and said that she has now felt it; she started to cry again and so did I. She held my hand as the third set of meds finished diffusing. She was feeling much better by this time and was asking about water and food; cured! They moved her to another section so they could treat a little boy that came in. Not too long after that, the doctor came in again, said she was okay now and wrote a prescription for her puffer (Ventolin) and also for a steroid to help get her back on track quickly over the next few days. She was also told that due to the air and irritation to her stomach, which caused the vomiting, she needs to stay on clear fluids for the next day or so.

We left the hospital and headed over to Shopper's Drug Mart on Westney as it is 24hrs (unlike the free clinic in the same plaza). I left TC in the truck as she was already reclined and half asleep; retching, wheezing and all that is tiring stuff. I got her meds and some organic soup broth and headed home. DW was up and waiting for us. TC kissed us both goodnight and went to bed. I broke down as I explained everything to DW who hugged and comforted me. We went over the meds and what TC has to do now and then DW went off to bed. Obviously, I cannot sleep right now so I decided to blog tonight's experience while listening to BNL on the iPod.

I have not blogged about it yet but part of my emotional response comes from the fact that TC may be diagnosed with Graves disease, a thyroid condition; she has to get a second opinion from a specialist at Sick Kids. She was jaundiced at birth along with nearly dying during childbirth and ending up at Sick Children's Hospital's NICU due to meconium aspiration syndrome. The child has not had an easy path and seeing her wired up like a video game in the NICU for weeks leaves a lasting impression; we came close to losing her and we don't want that feeling ever again. Tonight, I had that feeling all over again and did not like it one bit. I am done typing now as the tears won't stop and I do not want to wake and worry DW.


UPDATE: TC is much better today and breathing normally. In order to ensure her stomach issues are past, however, she remains on clear fluids for the day. She is royally hating that part. We will remind her that a simple choice would have avoided her fate. She also is a bit headachy but considering her convulsive retching last night, her brain is probably a touch sore from banging on her skull. She should be back to normal tomorrow, which is good because her chores await her. We will also be a thorn in her ass until we see she is handling her medication with the seriousness it deserves. Teenagers!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Today's Funny

Submitted by LB

Newfoundlanders had heard stories of an amazing family tradition.

It seems that Len's father, grandfather and great- grandfather had all been able to walk on water on their 21st birthday. On that day, they'd walk across the lake to the boat club for their first legal drink. So when Len's 21st birthday came around, he and his pal Corky took a boat out to the middle of the lake. Len stepped out of the boat and nearly drowned! Corky just managed to pull him to safety.

Furious and confused, Len went to see his grandmother. "Grandma, it's my 21st birthday, so why can't I walk across the lake like my father, his father, and his father before him?"Granny looked into Len's eyes and said,

"Because, ya dumb arse, yur faudder, grandfaudder and great grandfaudder wuz born in January, you wuz born in July."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Today's Funny

Subject: 6th grade history test answers

Insight into the minds of 6th graders: The following were answers provided by 6th graders during history tests. Watch the spelling! Some of the best humor is in the misspelling.

1. Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies and they all wrote in hydraulics. They lived in the Sarah Dessert. The climate of the Sarah is such that all the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.

2. Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada.

3. Solomon had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines.

4. The Greeks were a highly sculptured people, and without them we wouldn't have history. The Greeks also had myths. A myth is a female moth.

5. Socrates was a famous Greek teacher who went around giving people advice. They killed him. Socrates died from an overdose of wedlock. After his death, his career suffered a dramatic decline.

6. Julius Caesar extinguished himself on the battlefields of Gaul. The Ides of March murdered him because they thought he was going to be made king. Dying, he gasped out: "Tee hee, Brutus."

7. Joan of Arc was burnt to a steak and was canonized by Bernard Shaw.

8. Queen Elizabeth was the "Virgin Queen." As a queen she was a success. When she exposed herself before her troops they all shouted "hurrah."

9. It was an age of great inventions and discoveries. Gutenberg invented removable type and the Bible. Another important invention was the circulation of blood. Sir Walter Raleigh is a historical figure because he invented cigarettes and started smoking.

10. Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.

11. The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comedies, and hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couple. Romeo's last wish was to be laid by Juliet.

12. Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.

13. Delegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backward and declared, "A horse divided against itself cannot stand." Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

14. Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest Precedent. Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. They believe the assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposingly insane actor. This ruined Booth's career.

15. Johann Bach wrote a great many musical compositions and had a large number of children. In between he practiced on an old spinster which he kept up in his attic. Bach died from 1750 to the present. Bach was the most famous composer in the world and so was Handel. Handel was half German, half Italian, and half English. He was very large.

16. Beethoven wrote music even though he was deaf. He was so deaf he wrote loud music. He took long walks in the forest even when everyone was calling for him. Beethoven expired in 1827 and later died for this.

17. The nineteenth century was a time of a great many thoughts and inventions. People stopped reproducing by hand and started reproducing by machine. The invention of the steamboat caused a network of rivers to spring up. Cyrus McCormick invented the McCormick raper, which did the work of a hundred men. Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbits. Charles Darwin was a naturalist who wrote the Organ of the Species. Madman Curie discovered the radio. Karl Marx became one of the Marx Brothers.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Another funny for today.

Submitted by Skibum

Many will recall that on July 8, 1947, witnesses claimed that an unidentified object with five aliens aboard crashed onto a sheep and cattle ranch just outside Roswell, New Mexico. This is a well-known incident that many say has long been covered up by the U.S. Air Force and the federal government.

However, what you may NOT know is that in the month of March 1948, exactly nine months after that historic day, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfield, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Condolezza Rice, and Dan Quale were all born.

See what happens when aliens breed with sheep? This piece of information may clear up a lot of things.


Submitted by LB on capitol hill

Dear Walter:

I hope you can help me here. The other day I set off for work leaving my husband in the house watching the TV as usual. I hadn't gone more than a few hundred yards down the road when my engine conked out and the car shuddered to a halt. I walked back home to get my husband's help. When I got home I couldn't believe my eyes. He was parading in front of the wardrobe mirror dressed in my underwear and high-heel shoes, and he was wearing my make up.

I am 32, my husband is 34 and we have been married for twelve years. When I confronted him, he tried to make out that he had dressed in my lingerie because he couldn't find his own underwear. When I asked him about the make up, he broke down and admitted that he'd been wearing my clothes for six months. I told him to stop or I would leave him.

He was let go from his job six months ago and he says he has been feeling increasingly depressed and worthless. I love him very much, but ever since I gave him the ultimatum he has become increasingly distant. I don't feel I can get through to him anymore.

Can you please help?

Mrs. Sheila Lusk

Dear Sheila:

A car stalling after being driven a short distance can be caused by a variety of faults with the engine. Start by checking that there is no debris in the fuel line. If it is clear, check the jubilee clips holding the vacuum pipes onto the inlet manifold. If none of these approaches solves the problem, it could be that the fuel pump itself is faulty, causing low delivery pressure to the carburetor float chamber.

I hope this helps.


Woman Gets 8 Months in Hate Note Case - New York Times

Thanks to LN for bringing this and the previous article to my attention

Apparently, this woman did not get the right information or all the information when it came to understanding what a Christian is. Did she really need a new commandment from His Holiness, the Pope, to tell her that writing notes threatening her boss' and her boss' family's lives falls outside of the teachings.

This only serves to further illustrate that a lot is buried, but never far from the surface. Just very sad indeed.

Woman Gets 8 Months in Hate Note Case - New York Times

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Today's Funny

Submitted by Redsometimes

A teacher is explaining biology to her 1st grade students. "Human beings are the only animals that stutter", she says.

A little girl raises her hand. "I had a kitty-cat who stuttered", she volunteered.

The teacher, knowing how precious some of these stories could become, asked the girl to describe the incident.

"Well", she began, "I was in the back yard with my kitty and the rottweiler that lives next door got a running start and before we knew it, he jumped over the fence into our yard!

"That must've been scary", said the teacher.

"It sure was", said the little girl.

"My kitty raised his back, went 'Fffffff, Fffffff, Fffffff, Fffffff'...And before he could say "Fuck", the rottweiler ate him!"

W.Va. Woman Speaks About Torture Ordeal | World Latest | Guardian Unlimited

This is an update to the story and contains only glimpses into what this poor young woman had to endure. Imagine what the FULL extent of her experience is. Why do we continue to do this?

W.Va. Woman Speaks About Torture Ordeal | World Latest | Guardian Unlimited

Monday, October 22, 2007

Video - Breaking News Videos from

The more optimistic we try to be about the state of the world, the more these incidents server to prove we have a LONG way to go. I cannot even list the atrocities visited upon this woman as it serves to anger and it simply is unreal to think that people like this still exist. The thing about hate is that we are not born with it; it has to be passed down, taught, to the next generation. What makes this crime the most despicable is that it is not just whites against blacks, or male against female, or even female against female; we have mothers and children ganging up together to sexually abuse and torture another human being!!!

And the authorities have the audacity to question whether or not to label this a hate crime? Excuse me, dumbasses, if this does not describe hate, exactly what does?

Peace... please.

Video - Breaking News Videos from

Saturday, October 20, 2007

BrassJack - Dance Pole Kits - Category Details

Before you go speculating, understand that I go here simply from clicking on a Google Ad link in my Gmail. You would not believe the things that pop up in there sometimes. :)


BrassJack - Dance Pole Kits - Category Details

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

There really is no 'D' in the "Toronto Maple Leafs".

I have not seen gameplay this sad since the Ballard years. BALLARD people?!?! What the hell is going on in Bud-land? OK, I jumped on the "McCabe sucks" bandwagon long before that boneheaded gaff during overtime against Buffalo last night (he put the puck into hsi own net during a backhanded clearing attempt). I do understand that he is not the only person responsible for our sad sack record but that he is also not the worst player in our defensive corps. Dave, do you want to list those in order please?

Seriously, they should be better than this; they ARE better than this. We true Leaf fans are at fault, we are constantly told, because we blindly continue to support the team no matter what state they are in. The problem with that thinking is that you would think that is what proves we really ARE true fans. Would you say that to all the fans that show up for Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions games? Ok, maybe on Detroit because, seriously, DAMN!

Anyhow, I am lucky enough (thanks BP) to be going to two more games this year, including the last game of the year against those pissant Ottawa Senators. I have already attended two pre-season games and went to another regular season game (against Carolina where we were shellacked 7-1) with Mossy. I hope to find a way into a few more as well. In the meantime, I must gear up to spin commentary on the Toronto Raptors as their season starts on Sunday. I also hope Boston makes it to the World Series again. Sorry Cleveland but I prefer you like the guys in Major League. :)


Today's funny

From BT of MTL. It's missing the cartoons but it is still funny.


If my body were a car, this is the time I would be thinking about trading it in for a newer model. I've got bumps and dents and scratches in my finish and my paint job is getting a little dull ... but that's not the worst of it.

My headlights are out of focus and it's especially hard to see things up close.

My traction is not as graceful as it once was. I slip and slide and skid and bump into things even in the best of weather. My whitewalls are stained with varicose veins.

It takes me hours to reach my maximum speed. My fuel rate burns inefficiently.

But here's the worst of it --

Almost every time I sneeze, cough or sputter....
either my radiator leaks or my exhaust backfires!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

IT Tidbits: CANOE -- CNEWS: ews - Woman sues over Apple's iPhone price cut

Well, in sue-happy USA, you knew it was only a matter of time. I understand the frustration and the anger felt by the consumers BUT that is what you get for being an early adopter of new technology. No one knows when the materials or the market will allow or will force the decrease in pricing. Does anyone think that Sony WANTED to reduce the price on their PS3 as quickly as they had to? Absolutely not but they were getting killed by their rivals' machines in the Xbox 360 and the Wii, so they had not choice.

I believe that Apple was ambitious/greedy to set the phone price as high as they did and was doomed to cut the price in short order. While the initial rush to get one by those who had to show off to their friends and colleagues cleared the first wave, reality had to set in that they could not sustain and continue to sell it at that premium price.

Let's face it, the only things that the iPhone brings to the table that you cannot find anywhere else is the iTouch screen, a marvel of technology, and video voice mail (not the hardware but the carrier's service offering). Everything else can be found on a variety of other systems in one form or another. Web browser? They have them. MP3 player? They have them. Camera? They have them (and theirs do video). PDA functions? They have them. Subsidies? They have them, the iPhone does not. And there lies the heart of Apple's problems.

I may not have that fancy 3.5" screen and that wonderful interface but I can get a phone and a plan to match their offering with only a 50 dollar outlay on the phone; sometimes less, sometimes more. However, none of the phones except for certain niche units rival the pricing of the iPhone and that is why the price had to be chopped to lure those who would not cough up $600 for a cell phone.

I love the iPhone and I hope the second generation will fill in all the missing items that people complain need to be there (i.e. 3rd party development, choice of carrier, 3G,etc.). I will continue to wait until I cannot live without one or that I no longer have a crackberry tied to my hip for work. I hope Apple wakes up from this experience and realizes that they cannot continue to treat its customers like money trees. We do have other options and we are not afraid to exercise them when pushed.

Stop pushing, Steve. We don't like it.

CANOE -- CNEWS: ews - Woman sues over Apple's iPhone price cut

Mandatory driving tests for the elderly.

This topic came up years ago and the politicians decided to let the issue die on the table. I think they need to reconsider this. Let me present you some examples.

1. I am heading into my neighbourhood, on the way back home. On the main street in from Hwy#2 is a roundabout; essentially, this is a four way stop without the red octagons and the stopping. The concept is really not complicated as long as you know, AND FOLLOW, the normal rules of the road that gives first right of way to the vehicle on the left. My recent experience had an elderly couple, at least over sixty, driving into the roundabout going left. A roundabout only goes in one direction and at all four corners a very clear ONE-WAY sign is planted in full view. Yet here I was, nose to nose with a vehicle the Roo would easily have cut through like a hot knife in butter if I was going faster (which I usually do), if I had not seen them in time and/or if the conditions were not dry. All I got from the driver was her smiling face and a wave. I mounted the curb with my truck and drove around them thinking they would take the time to back up on their side and continue properly. NOPE. She instead continues towards the side I just came out of while two more vehicles approached them from the right. I did not stick around to see what happened but I did not hear a large crash behind me so I continued on.

2. Just before the roundabout there is a left turn lane that leads into Ajax Down's Slots (casino). On a daily basis we are swerving out to the right lane because these a-wipes cannot enter the clearly marked lane and turn from it but must instead insist on straddling the line to the left lane and make a wide seeping turn. Again, conditions have meant no big issue but one day there is going to be a big, bad accident in that corridor. If I am unfortunate enough to be in one, based on the typical vehicle performing these asinine maneuvers, I will not be the one hurt in the process. I don't want to see this happen to anyone, especially TR.

3. The standard process to enter a moving highway is to accelerate one's vehicle up to the current speed of flowing traffic. Routinely, we are stuck behind someone who seems like they cannot fathom this concept and rolls up the ramp at the same speed they trudged through the city at. They do not have to speed but they do need to press the little pedal on the right with a touch more verve. And before you come to the defense of the elderly understand that I have many mature people around me and only one of them exhibits this behaviour. Quite frankly, that person should start to think about driving less as well.

There are many more examples of this issue and I am not saying all elderly drivers need to be taken off the road. I am saying that as we get older, we get slower and our reflexes are not as sharp. There is nothing wrong with asking that the ability to continue operating a two tonne machine be retested periodically. Hell, I welcome the entire population to have to be retested periodically because some people in all age groups had no right getting (or buying) their license and being allowed on the road with the rest of us. Every five years, and after any questionable incident/accident on the road, each license holder should be retested for road competence.

I think the roads will be that much safer if this happened. In my humble opinion.


We were extras!

DW and I had the privilege (leave it alone) of attending the Toronto Maple Leafs pre-season game on Friday at the ACC. It was one of the more spirited games we have seen in a while as the Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings battled back and forth until a Toronto 5-4 victory. The game was okay (where is our f**king defense?!?!?) but the treats came during the intermissions and after the game.

Mike Myers has a new movie called "The Love Guru" filming in Toronto and it takes place during this current season with the Leafs playing for Lord Stanley's Cup at the end of the 2007-2008 season. So, smartly recruiting rabid Leafs fans for free to hoot and holler on cue, they filmed some key sequences on the ice as the first black player on the Leafs went in on a breakaway only to be tripped up by the defense just before taking the shot. This results in a penalty shot and he... well, go see the movie to see the details.

We were up in the stands during the intermission sequences but about 100 of us stuck around after the game to shoot the closer end rink shots with the banging on the glass and tight shots as the plays unfolded. besides the thrill of possibly being able to point oneself out amongst the crowd when the movie finally releases, it was an entertaining exercise in the process of movie making and while it is not rocket science, there is a new appreciation for what these artists have to do for their craft. Repetition is simply not fun in all aspects of life.

So, when the movie comes out, look for the lone black guy in a Doug Gilmour 93 jersey to the upper right of the goalie in the penalty shot scene. You may just see me. Or maybe just my outstretched hands. Who knows with these movie types. :)

So, after all that excitement, we were even hungrier for dinner, as we refused to pay the ridiculous prices for a real meal at the ACC; we only snacked on something to quiet the stomach rumblings. Instead, we made our way over to Spadina and settled in to our of our favourite haunts in all of the GTA, X'Am Yu. This restaurant, situated on the east corner two blocks north of Dundas, just does things the way we like it. Like most places of this type, one of their popular dishes is a two lobster dish done in a variety of sauces and cut up for easy consumption. I am not too keen on working to extract my protein so I stuck to the easier areas where the lobster meat was begging to be stripped off. DW will pretty much tear through adamantium to extract the tasty meat. Neither of us, however, will go anywhere near the green stuff found in the cranial cavity of this crustacean; we simply cannot stomach the idea.

We rounded out the appetizer of the lobster with some Singapore noodles (nicely spiced), and a plate of sweet and sour boneless pork (not the way we like it, so not again). Believe it or not, that was way more than enough food as we were totally stuff and satisfied at the end. Obviously, with the cost of it all, this could not be a regular outing (besides being super fattening) but as an occasional treat, it puts a HUGE smile on our faces when we can get there. We have introduced others to this place as well and they too are now hooked. If you get the chance, check them out. If you plan ahead enough, make sure to invite us along. :)


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Today's funny (from my sick bed)

From BT in MTL

Quote from the mom:

"This is my kindergartener's artistic rendering of a pair of scissors. I wonder what his teacher thought. I allowed myself just a small smirk when I saw it. I waited until he was out of the room before I started crying, from laughing so hard."

Well, of course they're scissors. If you know someone with small children or you are a will love this! I can certainly imagine seeing this one proudly displayed on the mother's fridge at home...


Submitted by down home MR. Thanks friend. :)


1. My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn't.

2. I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

3. Some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them.

4. I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

5. Don't take life too seriously; No one gets out alive.

6. You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me

7. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

8. Earth is the insane asylum for the universe.

9. I'm not a complete idiot -- Some parts are just missing.

10. Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.

11. NyQuil, the stuffy, sneezy, why-the-heck-is-the- room-spinning medicine.

12. God must love stupid people; He made so many.

13. The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

14. Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.

15. Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

16. Being "over the hill" is much better than being under it!

17. Wrinkled Was Not One of the Things I Wanted to Be When I Grew up.

18. Procrastinate Now!

19. I Have a Degree in Liberal Arts; Do You Want Fries With That?

20. A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

21. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance

22. Stupidity is not a handicap. Park elsewhere!

23. They call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken.

24. He who dies with the most toys is nonetheless DEAD.

25. A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up three Thousand times the memory.

26. Ham and eggs...A day's work for a chicken, a lifetime commitment for a pig.

27. The trouble with life is there's no background music.

28. The original point and click interface was a Smith & Wesson.

29. I smile because I don't know what the hell is going on.

Appreciate every single thing you have, especially your friends!

Life is too short and friends are too few.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, DW!!!

Well, it has been (numeral edited out to protect editor's life) years since my dear wife came into the world. What I am sure was a very happy event for her parents' household, it was an important date because without it, I would not have her here today with me and TC. While she can undoubtedly be a PITA sometimes, she is also a very loving wife and mother and we rely and depend on her in so many ways. Personally, these past years were only tolerable because I had a strong foundation holding me up and together. I am very thankful this lady entered my life and I cherish the time we have together. This is one more year to celebrate that time and her life. That started with TC's birthday wish before she left for school this morning, and continued afterwards, and continues this evening at my MIL's place where we will be having dinner this evening with the traditional family chocolate birthday cake awaiting consumption.

Best wishes for many more happy years my love. I know what you've asked for (it's in the works), I know what you want (it's in the works) and I know what you deserve (sorry, I cannot work miracles but I will do my best). Happy Birthday and enjoy.

Peace. Love. Happiness.

Today's funny (from my sick bed)

Submitted by BT from MTL and dedicated to all my golfing friends.


Subject: Putt Putt

A husband and wife are on the 9th green when suddenly she collapses.

'Help me dear,' she groans to her husband.

The husband calls 911 on his cell phone, talks for a few minutes, picks up
his putter, and lines up his putt.

His wife raises her head off the green and stares at him. 'I'm dying over
here and you're putting?'

'Don't worry dear', says the husband calmly, 'they found a doctor on the
second hole and he's coming to help you'.

'Well how long will it take for him to get here', she asks feebly?

'No time at all', says her husband. 'Everybody's already agreed to let him play through'.

And a response sent by LB

A husband arrives home from being away golfing for 10 hours.

His angry wife greets him at the door, "Where have you been your normally only gone five hours for golf?"

"Well Charlie dropped dead of a heart attack on the 3rd hole."

His wife gasps, "I'm so sorry I yelled at you. That's awful."

"You're telling me the rest of the round was awful. It was hit the ball, drag Charlie...."

Friday, September 21, 2007

Food for Thought: Think Progress » Bush inartfully suggests Saddam killed Mandela.

Right off the bat, I will be honest in saying that I have zero love for George W. Bush. I don't care about all the history, draft-dodging, privilege, oil or anything else that has been said about him. The simple fact is he is NOT supposed to be president but thanks to the laughable system used in America and the coincidental good fortune he observed in a stated that this brother runs, here we are. Every time this goof ball makes a verbal gaff in the public eye, he diminishes all that the Western world supposedly accomplished above all those poor little countries that don't have as much. I will bet you that the poorest child in Africa that has been taught to speak English can articulate his or her thoughts in a more concise manner than this silver-spoon fed boob.

So, imagine my shock while watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart a little while ago (1PM Eastern) and heard Bush's latest pearl of wisdom. I read over what he said and I understand inflection and nuance quite well so I know what he was "trying" to say but the fact remains that what he said and how he mumbled/bumbled it out had everyone's attention wondering what the hell was he smoking, sniffing and/or drinking. Seriously, rather than a pearl of wisdom, Bush looked more like he was wearing a "pearl necklace" (Google that one for an alternate meaning). Much like some people I work with, Bush should not be allowed to speak in public or to the public. Make the hard decisions, decide on world policy, rule the world... just do it in the privacy of your own closet in the White House.


Think Progress » Bush inartfully suggests Saddam killed Mandela.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Neat commerical that we will probably never see in North America.

Today's funnies

Submitted by BT from MTL

Last May, Boudreaux married an attractive woman, Lola, half his age. After several months, Lola complained that she had never climaxed during sex; and according to her Grand Momma, all Cajun women are entitled to a climax once in a while. So, to resolve the problem, they went to see the large-animal Vet since there was no trustworthy doctor anywhere in Carencro. The Vet didn't have a clue, but he did recall how, during the hot summer, his Momma and Daddy would fan a cow that was having any difficulty breeding with a big towel. This would cool her down and make her relax. So the Vet told them to hire a strong, virile, young man to wave a big towel over them while they were having sex. This, the Vet said, would cause the young wife to cool down, relax, then climax.

So the couple hired a strong young man from the big city of Baton Rouge to wave that big towel over them as the Vet suggested. After many efforts, Lola still had not climaxed! They went back to the Vet. The Vet said for Lola to change partners and let the young man have sex with her while Boudreaux waved the big towel. They tried it that night and Lola went into wild, screaming, ear-splitting climaxes, one right after the other for about two and a half hours. When it was over, Boudreaux looked down at the exhausted young man and in a cocky manner said . . . . .

"And DAT, my friend, is how you wave a towel!"



A father asked his 10-year old son if he knew about the birds and the bees. "I don't want to know," the child said, bursting into tears. Promise me you won't tell me."

Confused, the father asked what was wrong.

The boy sobbed, "When I was six, I got the 'There's no Easter Bunny' speech. At seven, I got the 'There's no Tooth Fairy' speech. When I was eight, you hit me with the 'There's no Santa' speech. If you're going to tell me that grown-ups don't really get laid, I'll have nothing left to live for!"



A filthy rich North Carolina man decided that he wanted to throw a party and
invited all of his buddies and neighbours.

He also invited Leroy, the only Redneck in the neighbourhood.

He held the party around the pool in the backyard of his mansion.

Leroy was having a good time drinking, dancing, eating shrimp, oysters
and BBQ and flirting with all the women.

At the height of the party, the host said, "I have a 10 ft man-eating gator
in my pool and I'll give a million dollars to anyone who has the nerve to
jump in."

The words were barely out of his mouth when there was a loud splash and
everyone turned around and saw Leroy in the pool!

Leroy was fighting the gator and kicking its butt!

Leroy was jabbing the gator in the eyes with his thumbs,
throwing punches, head butts and choke holds,
biting the gator on the tail and flipping the gator
through the air like some kind of Judo Instructor.

The water was churning and splashing everywhere.

Both Leroy and the gator were screaming and raising hell.

Finally Leroy strangled the gator and let it float to the top like a dime store goldfish.

Leroy then slowly climbed out of the pool.

Everybody was just staring at him in disbelief.

Finally the host says, "Well, Leroy, I reckon I owe you a million dollars,"

"No, that's okay. I don't want it," said Leroy.

The rich man said, "Man, I have to give you something.

You won the bet. How about half a million bucks then?"

"No thanks, I don't want it," answered Leroy.

The host said, "Come on, I insist on giving you something. That was amazing.

How about a new Porsche and a Rolex and some stock options?"

Again Leroy said no.

Confused, the rich man asked, "Well, Leroy, then what do you want?"

Leroy said, "I want the name of the sumbich who pushed me in the pool!"

A funny reposted due to technical difficulties

You got to love this guy.

This is a true story about a recent wedding that took place at Clemson University. It made the local newspaper; even Jay Leno mentioned it.

It was a huge wedding with about 300 guests. After the wedding, at the reception, the groom got up on stage with a microphone to talk to the crowd. He said he wanted to thank everyone for coming, many from long distances, to support them at their wedding. He especially wanted to thank the bride's family & to especially thank his new father-in-law for providing such a lavish reception. As a token of his deep appreciation he said he wanted to give everyone a special gift just from him. So taped to the bottom of everyone's chair, including the wedding party, were an envelope. He stressed that this was his gift to everyone, & asked them to open their envelope.

Inside each manila envelope was an 8 x 10 glossy of his bride having sex with his best friend, the best man. The groom had gotten suspicious of them weeks earlier & had hired a private detective to tail them. After just standing there, just watching the guests' reactions for a couple of minutes, he turned to his best man & said, "F--- you!" Then he turned to his bride & said, "F--- you!" Then he turned back to the dumbfounded crowd & said, "I'm outta here." He had the marriage annulled first thing the following morning. While most people would have canceled the Wedding immediately after finding out about the affair, this guy goes through with the charade, as if nothing were wrong. His revenge--making the bride's parents pay over $32,000 for a 300+ guest wedding & reception, & best of all, trashing the bride's & his best man's reputations in front of 300+ friends & family members. This guy has balls the size of church bells. Do you think we might get a Master Card "PRICELESS" commercial out of this?

Elegant wedding reception for 300 family members & friends: $32,000...
Wedding photographs commemorating the Occasion: $3,000...
Deluxe two week honeymoon accommodations in Maui: $8,500...
The look on everyone's face when they see the 8x10 glossy of the bride humping his best man: Priceless...

There are some things money can't buy, for everything else there's MASTERCARD!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Today's funny

Submitted by DW

Subject: FW: Trini Beggar

Every morning John would drive by Wrightson Road and every morning he would stop and give the resident beggar $10.00. After a while John started to give the beggar $7.00. The Beggar noticing that his money has been reduced was not too pleased, but said nothing. After a while John started to give the Beggar $5.00. The Beggar noticing this further decrease became noticeably upset and decided to speak to John about it.

He stopped John one morning after accepting $5.00 and said, "Wah happening man". "yuh use to give me $10.00, den yuh cut it down to $7.00, now dis?"

John replied, "Boy, times get hard. Meh eldest boy just start university and meh daughter now in High you know how it does go..."

The beggar looked at him with impatience and asked, "Exactly how much chirren yuh have boss?"

"Five" replied John

The now irate beggar asked in a tone of disbelief, "So yuh mean to tell me that is outa MY money yuh sending yuh chirren to school?"

Thursday, September 06, 2007

IT Tidbits: Apple love/hate

OK, my enthusiasm has been dampened. While the new Apple line of Mac products are indeed what I reported yesterday, it is not what I actually envisioned. The biggest disappointment for me is that the iPod Touch is more a supersized Nano/neutered iPhone than an updated iPod video (nee Classic). As such, the new must have iPod will only have capacities of 8GB and 16GB in NAND flash chips. The new iPod video, now called Classic, has been redesigned and price chopped BUT it has the same click wheel interface as the previous model and not the spiffy new touchscreen. This may not be a big deal for some but it is disappointing for those of us looking to have the go to item with the 160GB hard drive, sweet 3.5in screen and super wicked interface. I just know those bastards at Apple will bring this out next Christmas so they can megabyte me until then; I won't be spending my hard earned cash on this stepping stone of models.

Now, that said, for those of you currently without an iPod of any kind, you are going to have a field day. Why? Well, for starters, the retailers and first adopters are going to be trying to get rid of the old models so prices are going to drop and sales will be on often. They simply cannot sell the last generation flagship model at the same price as the new flagship since the consumer will not pay for a model that is half the size and larger than the new one. The Nanos have also changed radically so only those not interested in playing video (soon to be the minority player buyers) will want to try to snap up the phased out colourful players. The new Nanos are like mini iPod Classics sporting a larger screen and the ability to play videos. This was a necessary move by Apple as ALL their competitors in the same price range have offered more features like AM/FM radio, voice recording and video playback (albeit on 1.8 OLED screens) to battle the Nanos dominance. I guess the other players have cut into the profits enough to force Apple to make this change.

So, my advice to you is to do your research before you buy. Weigh the cost to the features and to your needs to make an informed decision. And, if you trust my judgment, by all means send me an email and I will try to help you wade through all of this.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

IT tidbits: Apple announces iPod overhaul; cuts iPhone price - Sep. 5, 2007

Uhm, I need to wipe up. Excuse me for a moment..... Ok, I'm back and I'm calm. I've been waiting for this for a long while. Along with a whole lot of other Apple watchers and lovers, we knew this time would come; we knew it was inevitable.

When DW gets her new iPod (yes, she gets almost ALL new technology coming into the house first), it will be the fourth of six generations of iPods this family has owned (not including the shuffle which TC was able to successfully destroy as quickly and efficiently as her uncle used to). We still have all the iPods we purchased as they may get old, bulky, have shorter battery life and less featured than each successor but they still have purpose and function. We have the bulky 2nd gen touch wheel 20GB unit, the click wheel 4th gen 40GB unit (bought mere months before the bastards added colour and then photo capability, but I'm not bitter) and a click wheel fifth gen 80GB iPod video (bought at an incredible price from our local FS thanks to a flub in another store's flyer) which DW thought she would not use often enough to make it worth the expense but now uses daily.

Steve Jobs used to seem annoyed when people asked him about adding video to the iPod. He brushed off all suggestions of such a move saying that the iPod was a music player and that is what people wanted to do with it. Obviously, his tune for his "music" player changed quite rapidly and convincingly as he recognized that those who brought forth the first video players did not do it quite right. With the iPod video, he made it easy to watch video on a handheld unit and, with the already established click wheel interface, made it easy to navigate the various video files on the unit. Then, with the update in iTunes and the iTunes store, made it easy to purchase and store new videos, TV and movies on the iPod.

Evolution and Revolution are now upon us though. Not only is wireless capability being added to one model, but the anticipated new model iPod, the iPod Touch, is being released as everyone that has followed the iPhone new was going to happen. If you have been under a rock someplace, the iPhone is a smartphone from Apple that has been hailed as the coming of the phone that everyone really wanted. Naturally, that is not quite true but it is darn close (and possible once they add the features they bloody should have in the first place). The iPhone brought to market a touchscreen interface that basically worked as advertised. It utilizes a glass screen that everything I had read says is virtually impossible to scratch (i.e. keys scraped directly across it does nothing) but super easy to smudge, thus an included cloth. It's a very nice unit to look at too but the most important feature is the one you don't actually see but runs the whole thing: the operating system.

While a lot of different phones have a lot of different operating systems, only the ones based on the PocketPC format running a mobile version of Windows called Windows Mobile 6.0 (used to be Window CE) are close to what Apple is doing now. The iPhone, and soon every other device that Apple makes, will be running on a version of their venerable Mac OS X, which itself is based on BSD, a UNIX variant. What this means is that programming and developing for all Apple products just got a whole lot simpler for those in that line of work. It also means that every device running Mac OS X just got a whole lot smarter, more powerful and most important, more extensible. That last point is what drives the Apple machine; third party add ins. Let's be honest, nothing says individuality than having the latest and greatest gadget add on to your Mac, iPod, or Nano. There is a HUGE industry built up to provide us with things we do not need but we always want to set us apart from the other people around us with the same devices. That leopard-skin iPod case does not protect it anymore than the much cheaper silicone one but, arguably, looks so much better.

Now, while I will be looking more for a nifty new leather holster for the iPod, it is the new iPod itself that has me salivating and wet like a, er, nevermind. Suffice it to say that I am excited by the prospect of new technology. I wanted an iPhone and, now that it has been hacked to work on any GSM system, I may yet get one. However, the iPod Touch is definitely on the list of next to get. DW, prepare to receive new tech. Sweet Mother!!

Apple announces iPod overhaul; cuts iPhone price - Sep. 5, 2007

Today's funnies

I must apologize as I keep forgetting to credit BT from MTL for the various laughs I've shared in the last while.


Subject: Fw: "T.G.I.F."

A Blonde goes over to her friend's house wearing a T.G.I.F. Tee-shirt.
"Why are you wearing a Thank God it's Friday
Tee-shirt on Monday?"
"Oh crap!" the blonde says,
"I thought it meant Tits Go In Front."


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Thursday morning funnies

If you are not a fan of MadTV on the Fox network, you missed out on some of their funnier skits. "Ms. Swan" was one of the funniest characters ever created on TV and as memorable as Rosanna on early SNL, Mr. Robinson's Neighbourhood on later SNL or Fire Marshall Bill on In Living Colour. The character, a middle-aged Asian lady played on the known stereotypes of Asian culture in the western world but treated in a way that always had the so-called backward character coming out on top. If you can find more of "her" clips on the Internet, watch as many as you can.



Submitted by Downtown Jane

Jim accidentally dropped some cards on the floor. When he bent down under the table to pick them up, he noticed Bob's wife, Sue wasn't wearing any underwear under her dress! Shocked by this, Jim upon trying to sit back up again, hit his head on the table and emerged red-faced.

Later, Jim went to the kitchen to get some refreshments. Bob's wife followed and asked, "Did you see anything that you like under there?"

Surprised by her boldness, Jim admitted that, well indeed he did.

She said, "Well, you can have it but it will cost you $500."

After taking a minute or two to assess the financial and moral costs of this offer, Jim confirms that he is interested. Sue told him that since her husband Bob worked Friday afternoons and Jim didn't, Jim should be at her house around 2 p.m. Friday afternoon.

When Friday rolled around, Jim showed up at Bob's house at 2 p.m. sharp - and after paying Sue the agreed sum of $500 - they went to the bedroom and closed their transaction, as agreed. Jim quickly dressed and left.

As usual, Bob came home from work at 6 p.m. And upon arriving, asked his wife: "Did Jim come by the house this afternoon?"

With a lump in her throat Sue answered "Why yes, he did stop by for a few minutes this afternoon." Her heart nearly skipped a beat when her husband curtly asked, "And did he give you $500?"

Sue, using her best poker face, replied, "Well, yes, in fact he did give me $500."

Bob, with a satisfied look on his face, surprised his wife by saying, "He came by the office this morning and borrowed $500 from me. He promised he'd stop by our house this afternoon on his way home and pay me back."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

IT Tidbits - WoW Forums -> I played WoW, I became a terrorist (story!)

This is some story and there are multiple links to news stories to prove that it is true. I understand the need for security and caution but we really need to wonder where our world and our country is really headed. Anyhow, if nothing else, it is an interesting read and a word of caution for us fellow travellers.


WoW Forums -> I played WoW, I became a terrorist (story!)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Only in Canada (and maybe only in Toronto)

Watching Breakfast Television this morning and yesterday morning, on location personality Jennifer Valentyne visited two distinctly different summer camps. Yesterday she was with the kids enjoying Former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Duane Ward's baseball camp and today she is with Former NHLer Brian Trottier for a hockey camp.

Baseball. Hockey. In the summer at the same time. Go figure.


Monday, August 27, 2007

IT Tidbits - Who needs Windows Home Server with Linux around?

Oh the choices we have with technology today. It is overwhelming to those of us who eat, sleep and breathe it daily so how are the general masses supposed to cope? Well, the same way they have for the last decade plus some will tell you; just follow the leader. And today's leader is Microsoft so they have the most to lose when people choose NOT to follow them. Sure, Apple is still a small player in the larger scheme of things but that could all change if Steve and company would only find a way to release the OS for those of us who choose to build our own. Imagine the day we can walk into FutureShop or BestBuy or Circuit City or Fry's or London Drugs and just go to the shelf to choose or own flavour of operating system BEFORE we choose which machine we want to take it home on. Alas, that is a bit of a ways off and back in reality, we have the mess we have today.

Anyhow, I work with Windows, and I like lots of things in Windows and that Windows does, but I like choice and I like power and Windows does not offer enough of that to compete with Linux and UNIX in those arenas. Linux though proves that too much choice is not necessarily a good thing either. Apple, on the other hand, illustrates that too restrictive a choice also breeds issues. So what do we do? We mix and match until such a time we find the appropriate balance.

In our home, the computers run Windows for the simple reason that I need it for my job and it is easier to conform when one has to be on-call for work. Our PVR machine used to run Snapstream's Beyond TV but too many bugs and crashes made me turn to Vista Ultimate and the upgraded built-in Media Center components.

Stop your wretching!

The biggest thing about Vista's MCE service is that it can record a show on ANY channel, remembers that it already recorded a particular show or that it is already set to record elsewhere and, super sweet since we have one, seamlessly connects with the Xbox 360 to stream those recorded shows to another location in the house. For us that means it records in the office and streams to the big screen in the living room. Naturally, this can include other video, and music, and Live TV and FM radio (if you have a tuner installed). Some things that Vista does not include from the start that you get in a commercial product like Snapstream's BTV is the ability to compress the recorded file into other formats, to stream video over the Internet, to remote control the settings via a webpage, and to include unlimited tuners (there is a hack to do this in MCE, email me if you want it).

If I can get Linux to do all of this, I would consider the switch. I cannot, so I will not. However, if I can create a media server that Vista can connect to and utilize making it seamless to access the files from the 360, I will heartily look forward to building it. Homogeneous networks are a thing of the past and we need to embrace the change that the winds have brought.


Who needs Windows Home Server with Linux around?: "Who needs Windows Home Server with Linux around?"

IT Tidbits - From The Magazine - Maximum PC

I am proudly a source of information for those less informed folks looking for an upgrade, a fix, a solution to virus woes or tips on how to do things or do them better and faster. Skibum will tell you though that my greatest joy comes from spending other people's money. If I cannot have the biggest, boldest and best, then dammit, someone I know will.

In those pursuits, it always helps to not only know what is currently on sale but what is coming down the pipe from the various manufacturers. MaximumPC (formerly BOOT magazine) is one of many sources I use as my go to guide for what's next (sorry for stealing your tagline WNBA). It is not an inexpensive hobby or task trying to keep up on EVERYTHING that plugs in. Now you can get some of that knowledge for free thanks to the kind folks at MaximumPC. I am not sure what crack party induced them to do this but, they now offer back issues online in PDF format (not all of them but enough to make it worth the trouble). I have downloaded all of them already even though I own all the magazines including the special edition cash grab ones. I find the information that useful.

Of note, you can currently buy the October issue in Chapters and other stores around the GTA while the online PDF is only at August. Hey, it is to be expected that they will not cut down on store and subscription sales by stupidly putting the current magazine online for free. Like Duh.

So, enjoy. I am waiting by the mailbox for the October issue. I am building a nice little toolkit fo hardware and software tools so I can be prepared for the next frantic email or phone call (like my Dad's this weekend that he has no sound).


From The Magazine - Maximum PC

Today's PSA (Public Service Announcement)

This is a new feature I am adding to my ever stagnant (at times) blog. This first addition is especially fitting as I and DW try to deal with something personal. If sharing this article at least prevents something happening in your home or to someone you know then the effort will not have been wasted.

The worse thing we can do in this modern age of 2007 is to be complacent, allow someone else to take care of the problem or to bury our heads in the sand. It's time, especially for us parents, to take back our society from those that would seek to disrupt or destroy it.

As a related note, today I saw a news article about Hulk Hogan's (WWE former wrestling champion) son being seriously injured in a car accident where her allegedly was driving too fast and crashed his vehicle. Now, all of us who like a little speed (drive a Maxima and tell me you don't want to push the limit) will tell you about an incident or a near miss. I am neither condoning speeding or railing against it like the sheep currently baying at the government to crackdown on everybody. I will say that a 17-year old kid, who in all likelihood never had more than a high school driving course (instead of a professional racing one) SHOULD NOT be driving a brand new Lamborghini six-figure vehicle. Kids of privilege will have better hoopdies than the rest of us but being wealthy does not make one more skilled. Get a grip people!

OK, so today's PSA is to bring a light to addictive behaviour (i.e. eating, smoking, drinking, Internet, speeding, sex, etc.). I found this article which outlines a few things and hopefully will prove helpful to those that need it.

Good luck and peace.

Monday's Funnies

Subject: Walmart Greeter

A very loud, unattractive, mean-acting woman walked into Wal-Mart with her two kids, yelling obscenities at them all the way through the entrance. The Wal-Mart Greeter said pleasantly "Good morning and welcome to Wal-Mart. Nice children you have there. Are they twins?"

The ugly woman stopped yelling long enough to say, "Hell no they ain't."

"The oldest one's 9 and the other one's 7. Why the hell would you think they're twins? Are you blind, or just stupid?"

"I'm neither blind nor stupid, Ma'am," replied the greeter. "I just couldn't believe you got laid twice. Have a good day and thank you for shopping at Wal-Mart."

Thursday, August 16, 2007

You Tube Find

I found this while browsing Engadget's website. I thought you might enjoy it. Here is what they said:

Step off those treadmills OK GO, there's a new indie music video on YouTube ready to help us nerds locate our groove muscle. Spoon's "Don't You Evah" features the toxically cute Keepon dancing robot developed by Carnegie Mellon and Japan's National Institute of Communications Technology. Be sure to hang in 'til the end for the robot dance party which features Manoi, RB2000 and a Johnny Five wannabe getting tore-up from the floor-up in that mad servo style.

Pray for Peru

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people enduring the effects of that devastating 7.9 earthquake in Peru this morning. May there be strength with those tasked to find, rescue and recover those caught in nature's fury.

Thankfully, my friend's family is not near the epicenter so were not in danger; thousands more unfortunately cannot say the same. Stay tuned for information on how you can help those who need it.


Movie review - Bourne Ultimatum

OK, if you have not seen the first two movies, go spend either the twenty bucks to buy the DVD special pack they recently released or try to find a rental place or someone you know (not me) that has them. While you can watch the third installment easy enough without trouble, it is better to have the back story of the first two movies (plus they are damn good movies).

The Bourne Ultimatum continues with the story of Jason Bourne and his struggles to both regain his memory and to make the people trying to stop him from doing so pay for doing things they should not have (you thought I was going to spoil the previous movie for you...nope). He travels back and forth through various countries as he pieces together his life. While the formula is more or less the same as the first two movies, the stakes are higher for those he is hunting as their attempts to stop him keep failing and he keeps getting closer to the truth.

I won't give any details as you really need to see it for yourself but I will say this: the hand-to-hand combat scene in close quarters is worth the cost of admission alone. How they did this shot is beyond me and I hope when the DVD comes out, they show how they got this shot in full detail. It is probably the most realistic fight scene I have seen in movies ever; it is totally believable, especially when you see the aftermath of that fight.

If you like action, and you want a little more plausibility than Live Free, Die Hard (still a fave though), give this movie a shot.


IT tidbits - Torrents rule!

If you follow much techie stuff, you would have come across the term torrent or bittorrent. The first refers to the actual protocol and the latter is one example of the program that utilizes that protocol. Though, bittorrent is what started it all and could be used to refer to the protocol as well, the term torrent is preferred to keep it more generic as there are many clients that you can choose from today. My preferred client is utorrent on Windows machines and Azerus on the Mac (though utorrent is rumoured to be coming out with a Mac client, at which point I will switch). utorrent is a very small download (184kb I think) for a very full featured and quick torrent client. I like the way it organizes things and without fiddling with settings, it does the job as advertised.

To make the case for torrents (and no, not for just stealing movies, porn, TV and software), you need look no further than my experience this morning in the wee hours before dawn. I was working on the final touches of my father's system that I have unfortunately had for about a month in my office (my sister's is next). For some reason it refused to install the Windows updates that it had downloaded so I went to Autopatcher (a sysadmins best friend) to get the latest files. They are having some domain issues so it took a while to track down where the files where in alternate locations. I chose to try and download the actual file at Softpedia as I have used them before. It was going slowly and they did not seem to have the June update so I went off to a torrent tracker to get that one. Well, it used 32 trackers to download the file in one sixth the time fo the actual file download. In fact, I went and got the July update (the same one I was downloading from Softpedia) from another tracker while my current download was still only at 25 percent.

That's the power of this little protocol, and the reason why the music and movie and porn and software industry hates it so much. The ability to gather these files from multiple sources is immensely useful. When everyone is online and sharing the file, it makes "sharing" a very quick exercise. Just about anything can be found in a torrent if you look hard enough for it. We routinely download TV shows our PVR missed or we forget to set to tape. I know of friends who get still-in-theatre movies to watch, though I stay away from those because they tend to be crappy transfers and DW, TC and I love to go out to the cinema. Use the link above to get utorrent (or try the original Bittorrent) and use Isohunt or Mininova to get you started on looking up torrents.