Tuesday, May 17, 2011

no rescue for you

so, while waiting for the bus on my morning commute to work i happened to look over at the line of shops behind the bus stop and i saw a bird (probably a sparrow) in distress. it appeared to be caught by it's wing, tangled in some kind of very thin cord or cable or wire, hanging from the overhang in front of one of the shops. it flapped about frantically trying to escape but it was stuck. i felt like i wanted to do something about it but it was too high for me to have been able to reach it. it was a sad sight to see.

it got a little better, though, when i saw it drop to the ground. it was free, no longer hanging by it's wing by some cord that i couldn't make out from across the parking lot. but then i realized it wasn't flying away or even moving much and it dawned on me that it might have spent everything it had getting loose, or it's wing might be broken, or something equally final.

then, as i watched, i saw it move and difficult to see bundle beside it also moved. i realized that while it was no longer hanging from the overhang in front of the shop, it was still tangled up in something. and now that it was on the ground i crossed the parking lot to investigate and see if there was anything i could do.

it turns out what it was tangled in was some very long dried grass. probably it was material for a nest as there were several pieces loosely tangled together. some of it got wrapped around it's wing, seemingly knotted from the brief glimpses i got of it. the bird was picking at the grass trying to free it's wing, but with such long pieces of grass it could be difficult for something so small to untangle it.

i pulled out the tiny scissors on my swiss army knife intending to at least cut away the long trailing pieces of grass, but the bird scurried under a car before i could get to it. i went back and forth between both sides of the car, hoping i could get it to go out the opposite side, but no such luck.

my actions attracted the attention of the car's owner who i explained the situation to, but as he offered to move the car my bus finally arrived. i had to go. maybe the car owner took over trying to free the bird, or even better maybe the bird will be able to cut through the grass on it's own with it's beak. wish i could have done more, though.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Election 2011

I tend to keep my (admittedly unusual) politics to myself, and for the most part I intend to continue doing so. However, within the context of the upcoming election, there are a few things I feel need to be said.

It is more important to keep the ruling party in check than it is to select one you think will make the most agreeable decisions. All parties make disagreeable decisions when you least expect it, but one that is left unchecked has the potential to make decisions that are orders of magnitude worse. Re-electing a party that was found to be in contempt of Parliament not only overrules one of the controls that are meant to keep political parties in check, it makes it toothless. The electorate would be sending the message that they don't care about the corruption that lead to that finding, making it unlikely that control would be used again, even if necessary, and thus opening the door for worse corruption in the future. 

Election platforms, for all the promise they hold, amount to very little when compared to the totality of a party's actions during their term in office. And most of us know how full of empty promises those platforms wind up being. Election platforms are in a very real sense a kind of political advertising, and just as The Whopper never looks quite as good in person as it does on the TV screen, the same principle holds true for the disparity between a party's platform and real actions.

I've heard that in order to have a legitimate political viewpoint you have to participate in the political process by voting, but I know that most people expend little or no political capital beyond election day. They cast their ballot and hope for the best, like it was some kind of lottery - and, to the extent that it's impossible to predict who will actually make the best decisions for us individually or for the country, it really is just the luck of the draw. One's political capital goes to waste by blindly selecting a party (or nearly blindly selecting based on election platforms) and then sitting back down and watching the next government unfold like spectators watching a sporting event. One's political capital would be better spent by selecting the party that is least corrupt and most open to being persuaded by the people they are meant to represent and then actively lobbying on the matters one finds most important throughout the party's term in office.

A party that refuses to answer questions about the costs of it's programs (thus bringing down the government and triggering the election), or whose leader issues a policy (be it about copyright reform or anything else) that amounts to "I don't care what you do, just make the Americans happy" doesn't seem like a party that is interested in being answerable or accountable to the people they claim to represent. A party whose leader replaces a hallway full of pictures of past Prime Ministers with a hallway full of pictures of himself, or renames the government after himself, doesn't seem like the party that is the least corrupt.

Monday, March 07, 2011

a wild commute


the wildlife i've encountered on my commute to-from work include
  • squirrels (obviously, those little tree rats are everywhere)
  • seagulls (just as obvious)
  • ducks (and ducklings in the spring)
  • woodpeckers
  • rabbits
  • raccoons
  • garter snakes
  • canada geese (they may be funny running around the parking lot at work but they're even funnier navigating the intersection at dundas and hurontario)
  • a fox (dashed by me, not 3 feet to my right as i walked home one night)
  • crows (a whole murder of them circling overhead - kinda creepy actually)

and tonight i get to add deer to the list. three of them by the little pond that the mississauga transit bus circles when picking up passengers at UofT mississauga campus. i wish i'd had a camera with me.

[2011/05/17 edited to add]
  • a pair of canada geese and their dozen or so goslings crossing the road and holding up traffic
  • a beaver (yes, i'm sure, even if the body didn't give it away, the tail is unmistakeable) gnawing on a fallen branch by the side of the cooksville creek during a rain storm

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

next time on castle...


nathan fillion as i've never seen him before. what an expression.

from this is photobomb

Monday, August 02, 2010

of socks and questions

i just got back from sock shopping at the bay (hudson's bay company) and the experience has brought a number of questions to mind. to wit:
  1. designer sock branding: how is it that socks have become a feasible avenue for perpetuating one's brand? i looked around i found exceptionally few people who actually had socks that were  visible, and their socks were all bunched up above their shoes and so it would have been impossible for designer sock logos to be recognized (if in fact they had been wearing designer socks, which seems unlikely). the only people who are going to see the branding are the ones who wear the socks, and isn't that sort of like preaching to the choir?
  2. tube socks: i clearly missed the day that tube socks died - when was it? i would have liked to know so that i could have observed a moment of mourning. instead the closest i can get are crew socks - like tube socks but with a bend in them where the heel of my foot is supposed to go. let me know who decided that crew socks should replace tube socks so i can show them where the toe of my boot is going to go. why am i paying extra for something i don't even need? i don't need the manufacturers to tell me where my heel is supposed to go in the sock - my feet will take care of that fairly effectively after a day or two of use. and i'm pretty sure i am paying extra because i'm pretty sure that a sock with extra features (the bend) requires something extra to make.
  3. ankle socks: try as i might i could not find tube socks but on every shelf and every rack there were ankle socks. why? since when do men wear ankle socks? are tank tops with bare midriffs showing hairy bellies next? ankle socks have traditionally been a female sock fashion and part of a fashion trend to cover less and show off the flesh. that's fine for women, but men don't want to see more of other men's flesh. there is a silent social contract between us men, don't show me yours and i won't show you mine. who has been breaking this silent social contract en masse such that ankle socks for men have become ubiquitous?
 what is the world coming to?

Saturday, November 21, 2009

if the earth had rings



it's a neat video and a neat concept but one thing they don't really mention (though it can be plainly seen in some of the shots) is the major downside to having rings - and that is a BIG FARKING SHADOW that would no doubt have a disastrous effect on plant life in the affected regions. (found on boingboing)

Friday, October 23, 2009

dumb or smart?

smart: tricking out a recliner so you can drive around on something that looks like this
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dumb: getting pulled over in it for driving while intoxicated (see boing boing article)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

where's my mind today?

apparently it's somewhere near the gutter. when i saw this picture my first thought was that yoda's shake weight has an 'unusual' attachment. in reality this is supposed to go on top of your christmas tree.

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(via ohgizmo)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

shooting anvils

i've never considered anvils as projectiles (even though it did happen on roadrunner cartoons) but this video shows how cool an idea it can be (via boing boing)



it's almost as good as demolition, only nothing's destroyed at the end.

Monday, May 25, 2009

not impressed

we have a leaky roof... and water damage - lots of water damage - enough that it went through the 2nd floor and into the first floor...

the condo corp is supposed to deal with this... the outside problems are always their responsibility and if those lead to problems on the inside they're responsible for that too..

and so, after reporting that there was water dripping onto the tv in the first floor livingroom we find out that they're going to do something about it... they're going to repair the roof and replace the ceilings in the affected rooms...

this will be the 3rd time in 5 years that they've had to do something about the roof - maintenance, both preventative (they used to have someone go and shovel snow off the roof to help prevent problems but not anymore) and restorative, has been markedly inadequate...Clearly...

now the problem (as if there aren't enough visible already)... the contractors hired by the condo corp's insurance agency need the affected rooms cleared out so they can work... in our house that accounts for the entire back half of the house and since the front half incorporates a garage, that means more than half of the above-ground living space needs to be cleared out and can't be used for actual living... that's a lot of space and a lot of stuff in it, and the condo corp has made no offers to help us with this - they've left us on the hook for the expense of enabling their contractors to clean up the mess caused by their negligence...

so we could pile all that stuff in the remaining living space and make it completely unlivable and move into a hotel until they're finished, or we could hire movers to move that stuff into storage that we'd need to rent until the contractors are finished and then hire more movers to move the stuff back - but both of those are expensive and rather a big hassle..

enter PODS (portable on-demand storage) which, instead of requiring you to bring your stuff to the storage container, brings the storage container to your stuff - it's a great option for us because it eliminates the cost of movers and unnecessary transportation of our belongings and still allows us to remain living in our townhouse while the work is going on...

but then the condo corp complains about the the storage pod, saying we needed to get permission from them first!... the nerve - the unmitigated gall - of complaining about a solution we found to a problem they manufactured for us... well, you can probably guess what i think of their complaint...

peel condo corporation #60 - you suck...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

congrats to andrew and jenni

i went to andrew and jenni's wedding reception today - they got married in october on a beach in the mayan riviera in mexico but held an additional reception for andrew's northern contacts up here in toronto...

there was good food - lots of people to meet like andrew's mom (barbera?) and dad (jim), sister (heather) and brother (scott), cousins (craig and elisa?) and their respective spouses, not to mention his friends jen, aimee (and her own andrew), and that was only the tip of the iceberg of those in attendence - video montage's spanning both andrew and jenni's lives - and of course plenty of congratulations...

being on i guess the far opposite end of the relationship spectrum from andrew i can't really guess what this whole marriage thing is like for him but from the short time that i've gotten to know jenni (basically a few hours yesterday and today) i can already tell she's a great girl and andrew's a lucky guy... on the flip side, having known andrew for something like 8 years now (since we worked together at compublox) i know he's a great guy (even though i don't say it much) and that jenni chose well...

as such, although i gave them a card with wishes for the best of luck in the future i no longer believe they need it, or perhaps they'll make their own luck (if you prefer)...

Saturday, July 05, 2008

so where's the processor throttling

BitTorrent, P2P Criticized by Internet Founder

i keep hearing about how p2p uses ever increasing amounts of bandwidth and how if you add more bandwidth p2p use will just grow to consume it all... all of which is used to justify throttling p2p traffic...

here's the thing, the same consumptive behaviour has been taking place with cpu resources used by software vendors for years... the more power you add the more power the next version of the software requires to do more or less the same thing so that my p3 800 winds up being no more responsive than the xt i used to use as a kid... worse still the operating system itself is one of the worst perpetrators of this... where's the cpu throttling? why aren't the vendors being chastised in a similar manner to p2p?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

the problem with radio alarm clocks

one of the problems with radio alarm clocks is that occasionally the radio station you tune them to will actually play good music (gasp!) and occasionally this will happen right when the alarm goes off so that you don't know whether the music you're half-hearing is part of your own internal sound-track or a signal to get the hell up...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

idea time

y'know what i'd like to see? i'd like to see a web app that helps you keep track of when the last time you contacted your friends was... basically it would list your friends and you'd be able to put in the date you last contact then and it would be sorted by oldest first so that you'd know which friendship has gone the longest without 'maintenance'...

not because keeping in touch with people is a chore or anything, but just because it's hard to monitor so many connections to make sure the lines of communication haven't gone dark for too long...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

omg flickr is SLOW!

holy crap, i can't believe how slow flickr is... it just took me an hour and a half of fighting with flickr to get urls for the 2 photos from the last post... i actually ate my entire dinner in the time it took to render a single page... that's unusably slow... how do people manage to put up with that? and then there are the many, many links which don't actually do anything unless you copy and paste the link location into the location bar of the browser...

ugg...

do it yourself

y'know, when i see a product like this credit card sized fold away camera tripod i think to myself: self, why would anyone pay good money for what they could make with their own two hands out of a cereal box?...

and then i made my own (not quite as fancy) version out of a cereal box...


and just like the original, it folds up to the size of a credit card so you can put it in your wallet...
that said, with that big chunk taken out of the middle of it, it also fits in the belt loop of the soft case my camera came with so i don't have to clutter my wallet...

Saturday, December 08, 2007

i hate web forums

there, i said it, i hate web forums... i can't stand going to this web forum and then that web forum and then the other web forum (i hate doing that with normal websites too, that's why i love rss feeds)... i wish i could read all these web forums in thunderbird somehow, or better still, i wish these twits who decide they want to run a forum get a clue and use usenet instead - that's what it's there for... gaaa!

and yes, i know some forums have rss feeds, but rss is the wrong format for discussions (there's no threading in rss) and many that i'm interested in don't support unauthenticated feeds so my feed reader has to be able to log on as me, and guess what, google reader can't do that...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

that's despicable

i read this today and i'm struck by the sheer gall of this woman...

the basic gist is that a grown woman played manipulative games with a young girl (and when i say young i mean barely a teen) on myspace, at some point decided it was time to 'teach her a lesson' and instigated cyber-bullying against the kid resulting in the girl committing suicide... and then the woman has the temerity to start a blog with the title "megan meier had it coming" (megan being the girl) in an attempt to fight back against the vilification she's received in her community and by the media...

she seems to think that because the girl was a bully too that it was ok to lead her on with a fake teenage male persona on myspace only to later crush her with that same persona and leak secrets to her social contacts in some sort of ridiculous preemptive strike to protect her own daughter (rather than teaching her daughter how to deal with bullying)...

regardless of the character of megan meier, adults should not pull this kind of shit with children, they should know better... lori drew is a villain by any standard and it is she who had the vilification she's now receiving coming to her... as ye reap so shall ye sow...

Monday, December 03, 2007

serving many masters

came across an interesting blog post on commenting/documenting code today... i've seen many of the things mentioned before but at the end i'm always left with the feeling "why should i?"... not because i don't think i should bother, i know better, but because these tips never seem to address the key inertial speed bump of "what's my motivation?"...

what one really needs to be asking oneself, however, is "who am i writing code for?"... is it for me? my employer? the end user, perhaps?...

i'll ask another question - "who is going to see it?"... i'm going to see my own code, obviously, but so are other coders - specifically the people working with me on the project now and the people who will be working on it in the future... they are the audience of my code, they are the users of my functions, they are the consumers of my classes... when i write code, i'm writing it for other coders... with that in mind of course i'd try to write the best, most elegant, and meaningfully documented code i can...

it may seem strange that i'm considering my fellow coders as one of the masters i serve as a professional software developer or more specifically why them and not some other master... well, being a coder means mastering the art of serving many masters and they are the ones most directly impacted by the form and nature of my code...

end users, on the other hand, are most directly impacted by the user interface i design - so i design user interfaces for end users... likewise with employers (or direct supervisors, at any rate), they're most directly impacted by deadlines so i try to meet deadlines for them...

and for myself? i solve problems... i solve problems for the sense of accomplishment, of course, but also to make my life easier/better... and i don't just mean solving problems with the product (though that's part of it)... solving problems with the nature of my code means other coders can use it more easily... if they can use it more easily then then don't have to ask me as many questions and i can spend more time either being productive or goofing off... it also means they're less likely to use my code incorrectly and thereby introduce bugs which create more work and complexity for everyone down the line...

solving a problem that affects my productivity of course means that i can better meet my deadlines and that makes my employers happy - and it's far better to have employers that are happy you're meeting a deadline than employers that are unhappy because you are missing a deadline... that kind of stress sucks...

finally, solving a problem with the user interface makes the user experience go more smoothly... if the user experience goes more smoothly then the user is more apt to use the product the way it was intended to used... if the end user is less likely to use the product in unintended ways then they're less likely to encounter unexpected behaviour which would be reported to my employers to be fixed which leads to cluttering the next to-do list, making more work for me and my fellow coders, making the product more complex which inevitably means more questions asked of me, and making the deadlines harder to achieve which makes the employer less happy...

in the 7 years i've been programming professionally that's the realization i've come to... i need to design UI for users, meet deadlines for employers, code for other coders, and solve problems for me...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

clearing out the cruft

is cruft even a word?

anyways, i've begun to realize that although some of the ideas i come up with for blog posts may not be the greatest (no, really?) if i don't write them down they wind up cluttering my brain and keeping me from coming up with anything better...

and that sucks...

so what has been cluttering up my brain? lots of things, but one that i keep coming back to was my visit to the dentist a couple weeks ago... as i'm wheel-less i took the bus... i've certainly found material to blog about on the bus before and this time was no exception... buses are, of course, no smoking areas and that's a good thing for me because i'm allergic to tobacco... unfortunately that really only means people can't light up or take a drag while on the bus, it doesn't actually protect us non-smokers from second-hand smoke because the nicotine addicts have a tendency to puff and puff and puff until the very last moment, get on the bus, sit down beside you, and then exhale their noxious, carcinogenic breath... thanks a lot folks... it's people like you that make me feel just a little less guilty about the realization that i'd be much better off if you all keeled over right now...

and that was just my trip to the dentist's office... once i got there and planted myself on one of those weird dentist chairs i learned something i didn't know before... you see, unfortunately for me i found myself with a raw spot on my gums just between and behind my 2 front upper incisors and i was sure that was going to make my trip to the dentist miserable (clearly they have no difficulty finding sensitive spots even where there were no obvious sensitive spots before)... i learned that dentists encounter such inflamed gum problems so frequently they actually have a term for it: a pizza burn... incredible, because that was exactly the cause too... darn that pizza, why does it always have to be so delicious that you can't wait for it to cool down...

oh, and of course the receptionist/cashier found a new way to confuse me once my visit was over and done with...

her: so did your parents send money for the visit or should i just send a bill home with you?
me: ???
her: ....
me: ??... uhh, credit card...

i'm 32 years old, my face is covered with hair, and she asks me how my parents will be paying... way to throw a guy off his game...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

copyright policy makers are dumb

here's something that i wish policy makers would get through their thick skulls:
Technical measures can be used to deny access to materials without authorization, but Copyright is a law that limits what you can do with material you already have access to. The two relate to very different concepts.


thank you, Russell McOrmond, for those 2 wonderfully put sentences...

Monday, November 05, 2007

adhd

adhd - it's like add only worse because you act out and are disruptive... such is the nature of hyperactivity..

do i have adhd? was i ever officially diagnosed with adhd? i don't know, i don't recall... what i do recall is being subjected to a behaviour modification experiment because i was too disruptive in class...

basically they had me take this drug (such as for example ritalin) one week, some other drug the next week, and so on and so forth and had the teachers write down their observations... those observations were that none of the drugs worked to modify my behaviour, which was good for me, but at the age of 13 i knew what was what and the threat of (presumably) well meaning authority figures continuing to try to change the way my brain worked did not appeal to me in the least... so as a result that did work to modify my behaviour...

by which i mean i learned that in order to avoid future (possibly successful) experimentation i had to learn to fly under the radar... i had to keep my head down, my mouth shut, and my body still - i had to learn to censor everything i did and become inhibited...

"but wait, surely there were limits" you say - and perhaps you're right, but there was no guidance on which impulses were ok to act on and which weren't, and the mental energy it takes to keep those impulses in check doesn't exactly leave a lot to spare for complex analysis of the situation at hand (and even if it did it would still be a filtered/censored response)... nor was it like there was much evidence any kind of middle ground existed as there always seemed to be a complaint designed for what i was doing...

even as an adult a more relaxed middle ground is hard to find - "stop bouncing your knee, your shaking the table", "i'm going to take that thing away from you in a minute", or "stop tickling the kids, you're getting them worked up and they're making too much noise", never mind the old childhood favourites like "no running in the house", "no jumping on the furniture", "stop jabbing your classmates in the side", "stop drumming on your desk", or "stop banging your head against the wall" (many of which i'd probably still be doing if not for the consequences)...

so i live in a world where, in the wrong setting, simple muscle ticks can get me in minor trouble - i learned as a kid that in order to hold on to the person i was (no way you can change the way the brain works without changing the way the mind works) i had to keep the real me to myself and now as a consequence the only time i can be myself, the only time i have the freedom to be myself, is when i'm alone... otherwise there are too many rules, too many consequences, and too much hassle - and then folks wonder why i don't let people in and don't socialize as well as i could...

i crave stimulation just like the next person, but as a tactile person fulfilling that craving means moving, often in ways that distract and annoy others, sometimes in ways that wind up being destructive... in a society that values order so highly, i represent chaos... so i try to find a balance between order and chaos because a whirlwind does not belong in a bottle and because if i can't be myself around others then there is a part of me i cannot see...

i don't understand girls

i don't understand girls sometimes, but i'm a guy so i guess i'm not supposed to... but still there are things that just seem odd...

here's what got me today - i was on the bus and there was a girl talking on her cell phone (no, that's not it yet) who had her nails done to look like dominoes... and not just black dominoes, some were black and others were hot pink...

i don't get over-the-top nails (truthfully i don't get painting nails at all but that's another matter) and this was just one example of it (i'm sure you've seen ample examples of it too)... do they attract attention? sure they do, much the same way a circus freak attracts attention - you stare because it's so odd...

i suppose some attention is better than no attention, but i find it hard to believe that's the kind of attention so many would be seeking...

the law of conservation of mental energy

yeah, i just made that up but hear me out...

i think that mental energy (like real energy) cannot be created or destroyed...

if that's true then it stands to reason that you only have a finite amount of mental energy you can put into a thing and thus the more you put into image the less that's left over for substance...

no where have i seen this more plainly demonstrated than with food... i was at a company function on friday and it was a fancy-pants sort of affair complete with fancy-pants food... you know the kinds - small portions with things drizzled on the plate in order to make it look like a work of art... i've encountered food like this before and never has it ever been great food... ok food, reasonable food, but never great, never anything to write home about... i enjoy bbq's more than i enjoy this type of food...

i don't know where the practice of dressing up food came from but i'm certain it's entirely misguided... we've all learned over the years what good food looks like and we've come to associate that appearance with the taste of the food so that good food just naturally looks good to us... making the food look like art visually indicates that the attention of the cook/chef was not 100% on the flavour of the food and that always seems to result in food that tastes less good than it could...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

idea time

here's an idea that i'm giving away for free to a good home... all anyone has to do is promise to do something about it...

loss of floss

you see that little white spool that the dental floss is usually wrapped around (when the case hasn't been taken apart)? that spool should be any colour other than white... black, blue, red, green, purple, i don't care, so long as there's some contrast between it and the floss wrapped around it... why? so that i can easily look at my dental floss and see that yes i'm running low and need to get some more... i hate going to pull out a length of floss for my normal oral hygiene ritual only to find that what's left isn't long enough to hold on to with both hands...

Monday, July 09, 2007

honey, why is there a mushroom cloud in the back yard?

i've said it before and i'll say it again: i like me some demolition...

i remember reading about match stick bombs when i was a kid - i never saw one in real life though - but here's a video of the effect minus the shrapnel (since the match heads weren't confined in a sealed vessel that would have formed the outer shell of an actual bomb)... i believe the proper term for this is deflagration...

today's demolition was brought to me (so i could share with you) by the fine folks at boing boing ('cause apparently they like demolition too)..

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

advertising cars on buses

yeah, yeah, it's been a while - shoot me already...

so i'm on the bus going to work this morning and trying to figure out what the god-aweful perforated stickers they put on the outside of mississauga transit buses (perforated so that the windows aren't completely opaque, just sort of not really transparent enough to read street signs anymore) is supposed to look like from the wrong side (the inside) and i realize they're graphics of cars...

lets follow this logic for a moment, folks... you have public transportation, it reduces pollution, it reduces traffic congestion, and it reduces it's own ridership by serving as a vehicle for encouraging people to keep their money out of the public transportation system and in the higher polluting/congesting world of cars?

this, more than anything else i can think of in recent (or even distant) memory is the moment that mississauga transit has jumped the shark...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

have you ever wondered . . .

you know how you can see your breath when it's cold outside, well have you ever wondered if you could see a fart under the same conditions? if so, what would it look like? if not, why not? (i know the air down there is different, but that different?)... well, now i have both questions answered at the same time with a video of a fart in infrared...

if you thought the absence of ultra low hanging clouds in winter months had anything to do with the muffling effects of garments you'd be wrong as the video plainly shows familiar movement apparently unimpeded by the garments obviously being worn... what the video also shows, however, (and this sort of surprised me) is that the gas is cold (the warmer the object, the lighter the colour)...

colour my curiosity satisfied...

Monday, January 01, 2007

snowboard usb flash drive

y'know, as soon as i saw this snowboard usb flash drive on ohgizmo i immediately thought of my friend andrea complaining that she couldn't fit her snowboard inside her tiny little VW beetle... well andrea, if you've still got the car, i think this one will fit...

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Monday, November 06, 2006

push free skateboard? what?

found this on ohgizmo
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us and now i'm really confused because i don't need to push with a standard skateboard... i'm not even any good as a skater, can't even do an ollie, but i can move the deck without pushing... so why would you need a special mechanism to make the deck go without pushing?... weird...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

the physics of superheros

caught this on boingboing today... you may have heard about the physics of superheroes before or perhaps not... if you had you probably thought, as i did, that it was kind of a goofy idea...

well, now there are a series of videos (video 1, video 2, video 3, video 4) that display the true hilarity of it... no really, this guy (besides knowing far too much about comic books) has great comedic timing...

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

it's karylin smith's birthday today

it's karylin smith's birthday today (or so what passes for my memory tells me) but since i lost track of karylin ages ago (years before i lost track of my friend mark) i'm going to do the same thing i've done for mark and wish her a happy birthday here...

who is karylin smith? well, besides being a multi-talented musician and artist from york u, she was also one of the nicest girls i've ever known (and the first girl i ever asked out - not to mention the first to let me down gently)...

she was a great person, full of life, and i'm sure where ever she's gotten to she's having a great day so happy birthday karylin...

franco unamerican

i haven't really been posting much in the way of interesting multimedia lately so here's youtube video for a song i just can't get out of my head...



i keep meaning to check if i've got "the war on errorism" (the album this song is from) at home so i can bring it into work and listen to this (and other nofx songs) without browsing the net but oh well..

Monday, September 11, 2006

what i did on my summer vacation

my summer vacation? well, i did take time off work, and it was during the summer, so i guess that counts as a summer vacation...

the first thing i did was go to my cousin's wedding - and that meant getting dressed up, which just so you know is one of my not-so-favourite things... i'm not a fancy-pants sort of guy, but i bought a suit and people seemed to think it was acceptable so that was that... and the wedding was, i dunno, wedding-like? i haven't been to that many but they don't really impress me as being all that interesting... i think they must have some sort of social significance that i don't get...

whatever, that was the first day of my vacation, after that there was another 2 weeks... 2 weeks of building an interior wall - from scratch... cutting 2x4's to length (by hand, because apparently i am able to cut myself even with a hand saw so power saws wouldn't have been a very good idea), hammering them into position, toe-nailing them together with a hammer and nails for the most part (note to do-it-yourselfers: if you're going to frame a wall, use framing brackets/anchors and screws, i did on some trouble spots at the end and when i was done i wished i could take the other part of the wall back down and re-do it with the brackets - it's that much better), putting in insulation and a vapour barrier, cutting drywall and screwing it into place, etc... it's not a big wall but it's my first time building one and apart from some assistance holding the plastic for the vapour barrier in place and lugging around drywall before it got cut i pretty much put the whole thing in place myself so all that took me the whole 2 weeks... and yes, if it sounds like i left out some steps (like the taping and the mudding and the priming and the painting) it's because they haven't been done yet - ugg... so much work and now i'm not on vacation anymore so i gotta put in my 8-9 hours at my day job first before even thinking about doing anything about the wall...

but there's a method to my madness - it's all part of my newly decided exit strategy that a) let's me get the heck out of my mom's house (years of being the parent to your parent when they should be able to take care of themselves is hard, and apparently very expensive since i just recently did the math) and b) has the very important property of not making me the bad guy for abandoning my mom because if she does wind up having to sell the place at least it will have some/all the repairs it needs done so the place isn't a total hole... i actually feel better than i have in a long while now because it seems like freedom might just be within my grasp... hooray for me!