I'm like a superhero with no powers or motivation, and she's my Lois Lane.
Apple Gaming Geeky General Hacking Opinion
Microsoft Surface

I’m currently writing this article on a Microsoft Surface running Windows RT and I have to say I kind of like it. The construction is on par with the iPad. The case is nice and stiff, it doesn’t twist or bend. I like to twist tablets from opposite corners. The iPad doesn’t deflect at all, nor does the Surface. The Samsung Galaxy tab on the other hand deflects quite a bit and feels cheap by comparison.

I’ve had an iPad for quite a while now and one of the nicest features of the Surface has to be the keyboard. I thought it wouldn’t be hold up for typing lager amounts of text, but it is surprisingly responsive. I do think that it has a lot to do with the fact I can touch type, a hunter-pecker may have greater difficulty using the keyboard. And I kind of wish that the indents on the home keys were on the top of the key instead of the bottom. Maybe it is because I want my fingers to be resting in the groove instead of finding the groove and moving my fingers up. I do like that I’m not smudging my screen while I type, and don’t loose half the screen to a keyboard. I can’t imagine that I’d ever leave the Surface keyboard cover behind, like I would the Bluetooth keyboard I have for my iPad, so it is very useful. Because the OS is Windows, it is also nice that they included a trackpad with left & right mouse buttons.

The screen is quite nice with a good resolution and nice and wide and with the kickstand far more stable than an iPad with it’s cover rolled up for it to stand up. The kickstand even works well on a lap, although it would be nice if the keyboard were a bit stiffer. The white on black keyboard almost appears backlit in a dark room from just the light off the screen, making it very easy to use in low light.

l don’t have a stylus, but even my cursive with just my finger was recognized very well. Well enough that l decided to write two sentences with the handwriting input. The only error was a spelling mistake on my part. Now either it is very good at handwriting recognition or maybe my cursive is textbook, I’m sure it is something in the middle, but I’m very impressed.

The battery life is on par with the iPad. I found I could get 2 days of occasional use out of it before having to recharge.

The one problem I have run into over the past few days, is that the Surface doesn’t load applications like a tablet. It is slow to load. There are a lot of loading screens. The unlocking feature, is also slow, there is a wait indicator and it takes 5-10 seconds to get going. Coming from an iPad, that’s a long time to wait just to pick an application.

Overall, I think I’d hold off on a Surface until the Pro has come out. It is supposed to run full Windows 8 (not RT) and have a Intel i5 processor. It should significantly cut down on load times, and offer a wider range of software.

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Bye Happie

You were the best dog ever. I really miss you.

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April 2002 – Aug 8, 2012

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Goodbye GoDaddy

I’m in the process of transferring my 8 domains off of GoDaddy’s service after reading about their CEO and his elephant hunt. Since the CEO speaks for the company, I can no longer in good conscience continue to do business with GoDaddy.

Update: NameCheap.com is offering a discount on transfers using the promo code ELEPHANT

Namecheap.com - Cheap domain name registration, renewal and transfers - Free SSL Certificates - Web Hosting

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Thanks for iPad 4.2, I want Rotation Lock back!

Dear Apple,

Thanks for 4.2 on my iPad, but I really want the switch on the side to lock the screen again.

For the vast majority of the time I use my iPad without any sound, and spend a good deal of time locking the rotation via the switch. I’d like that feature back. I find using the multitask switcher clunky and awkward.

I’m also reminded of the Camera+ application when they re-assigned a volume button as a shutter button for photos. Your company rejected the app from the store because, it uses the volume buttons in a “non-standard way, potentially resulting in user confusing,” Source: AppleInsider

That is exactly what you have done with this change. Without reading the release notes, and after using my iPad for 6 months, how exactly was I to know why the button changed? So, where is the consistency? Do as I say, not as I do comes to mind.

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Good Will at Tim Hortons

Today on my ride to work, like any other day, I stopped at Tim Hortons to get my bagel. Unfortunately, the interact system was down and I couldn’t pay with my card. Exiting the store still hungry and a little annoyed, a nice gentleman who had asked me previously about my bike offered to buy my breakfast, awesome! But as he lent me the $2, an employee walked out carrying my bagel, they had already made it when they saw me pull up.

I’ll pay for it on Monday.

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(Like) New Headlights

I used the 3M Headlight Restoration kit, which I must say worked extremely well. See the results for yourself.

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News – Conjecture vs Fact

Apple has a media event planed for later today, where they plan to announce something.

Now, this morning, while listening to CFRB 1010, a trusted News agency, they reported that it would be in fact an Apple Tablet, reporting it’s size somewhere between an iPhone and a laptop.  It would play music, display books and movies and cost around $1,000.

ALL of that is conjecture and speculation.  None of it is fact.  Since Apple has yet to announce the product, and they wouldn’t announce it to separate news agencies before their event, my news report contained fabrications.  Statements portrayed as Truth with no reliable source to back them up.

This kind of main stream reporting tends to happen more frequently in the technology sector.  Especially with high profile consumer electronics where there is a LOT of conjecture by the technology blogs, including cleverly created images depicting mock-ups of these fictitious devices.

I’m going to wait and see what the announcement is, because it does interest me as a person who enjoys technology. Who knows maybe this mornings lies will be this evenings truths. But it doesn’t excuse the lie.

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Apple as a Cellular Company

Do you really want to know what makes Apple stand apart from other cellphone companies? Two words, Customer service.

Compared to my experiences with other phones, Apple’s iPhone support has been vastly superior. For example, I had a Nokia phone (I’ve had Motorola & Ericson phones too, but I only ever had to get the Nokia fixed), it needed repairs. My cellular company, Rogers, sent me to one of their so called authorized service dealers, after a long argument that the phone was indeed faulty. And an even longer time with the repair center on the phone to Nokia; they gave me a loaner phone. There was no offer to transfer my phone numbers so I grabbed the few I thought I needed, and transfered them to the new phone. Three weeks later, I get a call to come pickup my repaired phone. Total time spent probably 3 hours.

Apple, on the other hand, in both my and Staysea’s experience have been the model of customer service. I booked an appointment online. Showed up at the store. Showed them the dust under the screen. The nice lady, Carina went over to her drawer, pulled out a new iPhone gave me some papers to sign and off I went. 30 minutes, tops. The same level of service was provided when Staysea complained about some hairline cracks in her white iPhone case. A common problem that is recognized by Apple.

Thank you Apple for standing behind your products and making the decision to buy from you again that much more easier.

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3Web and CIA Internet

Don’t buy.

They over sell their network meaning that speeds are abysmal when you want it the most. By extension of their over selling, they clearly don’t know how to manage their infrastructure.

After giving them a week to resolve the issue, and having already spent over a month trying to fix it myself, their only solution was ADSL which is by Bell’s own admission not suitable in my area.

No refund was provided, no apology. Just some smart ass who doesn’t think that 7 days is all that long to leave a customer without quality service.

3web.com cia.com

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Stupid iPhoto ’09

Picture 2.png You know, when I got iPhoto 09 I was really excited about finally doing a book of my trip to Tokyo and Shanghai. But when I tried to put up a map in my book, iPhoto refused to draw an arrow across the Pacific, even though it was the shorter route. I even tried a map from Hawaii to Tokyo, same result, insanely long trip across 3 continents. Boo Apple.

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Browser Accessability

In this mature internet culture. Where finances and government services are online and part of our every day lives. I think it’s time that companies be held accountable to providing access to their services regardless of the Browser used to access those services, akin to buildings requirements to provide alternative access for individuals unable to use stairs.

Take for instance, Great West Life. They have an excellent website, if you use Internet Explorer. If you use Safari, it has a myriad of issues from timing you out of your session, to flat out crashing.

TV.com is another good example. It falls apart in all browsers other than Internet Explorer under Windows. The only thing that is universal is their advertisements.

It’s time that sites be held accountable to their customers for the quality of service they provide. Mac and Linux users may be the minority, but they deserve equal access to online services.

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Fuck You FedEx

Dear FedEx,

If this is your idea of Handle With Care, you need to review what that phrase means. I’ve been waiting 7 weeks, for my one of a kind hand made figure to ship to me, you guys suck.

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Rogers Math

Here is a little math for you.

Under Rogers old data pricing. You had to pay $0.05/Kb. Under their new pricing, you can buy 6Gb for $30. That’s a new price of $0.0000047/Kb. Hell of a discount for Rogers, gouge your customers much over the years?

Your overall savings over the old price model? $314,542.80

What the fuck Rogers? How on earth do you justify your past pricing?

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Dark Knight – IMAX vs. Non

Now that I’ve seen the new Batman movie twice I have some advice. If you havn’t seen it go. If you have seen it but havn’t seen it in IMAX, go again.

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Dear Rogers

I’d like to upgrade my phone and my wife’s phone to iPhones. However I don’t understand why the phones have 2 different prices and are both more than if I was a new customer.

I was quoted $224 for the first and then $349 for the second. Why do I have to pay a $175 penalty for already being a customer?

A customer for nearly a decade no less.

How is that fair?

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Iron Man

Staysea and I went to see Iron Man with Marnie & John and Andrew and his brother last night. It was really good. I’m quite impressed with how well the last few runs of comic book superheros have been translated to live action.

I’m really looking forward to the new Batman movie too. I was already impressed with Batman Begins, much closer to the genre of the first modern Batman movie with Michel Keaton.

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China Arrestes 35 in Terror Plot – Yeah, right

I’m not usually a conspiracy kinda guy. I believe that the Moon landing happened and that there really were dinosaurs. But I find it convenient that when the Olympic flame is being dogged by such bad press and protests on it’s way to Beijing, that the Chinese government plays the Terrorist card and distracts the media. It’s just a diversionary tactic as far as I’m concerned.

China says 35 arrested in Olympics bomb plot – CNN.com

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Thanks – Random Kindness

Thanks to who ever was in front of me at Tim Hortons and bought my coffee. Nice to know there are people committing random acts of kindness.

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IE 8 Beta Quick Review

Here is the really short of it. DO NOT INSTALL.

Here is a short list of the sites that do not render properly that I found so far, and had to stop looking because I needed to get real work done.

  • Google Maps – Completely Unusable
  • SalesForce.com – Forms render but controls are unusable.

This beta doesn’t even qualify as a beta.

3 comments
Ontario Referendum

I can not believe that the new electoral reform was not adopted in the referendum. Mixed Member Proportional made perfect sense. It allowed those who wanted to split their vote to do so, and those who didn’t not to.

For those who opposed it what was your problem? You realize you could have simply voted the party of your choice in both cases right? Or was it just your ignorance that lead you to follow the same old way?

If you don’t understand the question, DON’T FUCKNG VOTE!

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iPhone Testing

I am posting this entry from my new test iPhone from work. I must say it’s pretty cool. I can’t wait untill it is available in Canada.

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Help for Toronto Recyclers

I listen to local talk radio, and every now or then they bring up the topic of recycling. Frequently someone calls in to say that they “…find it too hard to sort my garbage…” or “I pay taxes, why should I touch my garbage twice?”. So I think that I have figured out a solution. It is a simple matter of clarifying the order of recycling. When you sort your garbage, do it as you throw it out, because clearly, you are all tossing it in a green garbage bag and sorting it on garbage day. There is no other explanation for your ridiculous arguments against recycling. Also to the conspiracy folks, it does go to a recycling plant, not to the dump. Why in the world would you go to all the trouble as a municipal government of sending two different trucks to collect your waste and take it to the same place?

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Pet Food Recall has expanded

Check http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/petfood.html#recall for an updated list of all of the foods recalled. This is the American website but its very comprehensive, our government hasn’t been quite as helpful in providing this information.

My suggestion is to check the ingredients list on your pets food wet OR dry, if it contains wheat gluten throw it out and find something else. The recall is expanding pretty much daily, don’t put your pets at an unnecessary risk.

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Designer Dogs….available at Walmart

I had a funny conversation today with a friend about ‘designer dogs’. Maybe I haven’t been paying attention but when did this trend start? I thought names like Labradoodle and Yorkipoo were just things people made up to feel more special about their dogs being crossbreed….why thats important I don’t know. I thought just chiuaua’s were in style, thank goodness its not so. Adopted dogs are the only cool dogs around here.

Today I learned about Bugs. Bugs, apparently, are Boston Terrier X Pug crosses. The cross between the two breeds make their eyes bug out of their heads, creepy. I don’t know if thats where the name came from but from the pictures it was an accurate guess.

Porkie is funny too, a pug and a yorkie. That would be one seriously ugly ugly dog.

Puggle also sounds stupid, pug and a beagle.

Other funny dog crosses:

* Bearded Chin (Bearded Collie & Japanese Chin)

* Boy Toy (Boykin Spaniel & Toy Poodle)

* Bull Shitz (Bull Terrier & Shih Tzu)

* Havapinch (Havanese & Doberman Pinscher)

* Chocolate Malt (Chocolate Lab & Maltese)

* Annoyed (Anatolian Shepherd & Samoyed)

* Great Scott (Great Dane & Scottish Terrier)

* Cold Duck (American Eskimo & Duck Tolling Retriever)

* Brittanytese (Brittany Spaniel & Maltese)

* Nopeeking (Norfolk Terrier & Pekingese)

* Jack in the Box (Jack Russell & Boxer)

* Sushi (Sussex Spaniel & Shih Tzu)

* Pie in the Sky (Pit Bull Terrier & Skye Terrier)

* Hairy Rat (Harrier & Rat Terrier)

I pray that these are joke names for dogs. They have to be, no way would you ever see and Great Dane and a Scottish Terrier breed. But they are funny.

If Happie was a designer dog he would be a Bullshit Lab Germ.

You to can have your very own ‘designer dog’ check out your local humane society or petfinder.com for hundreds of listings.

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Welcome to Worst Buy

So today I tried to buy a new Palm TX from Best Buy. I had found a lower price at TigerDirect, and wanted to take advantage of their price match policy. Best Buy had the TX listed at $399. Tiger had it listed at $324.
I went in and the only one in BB was an open box, and after standing around for 15 minutes while they tried to get someone at the brick and morter TigerDirect, because apparently the online store isn’t good enough, I was told they didn’t have it in stock, so I was out of luck.
On the advice of my buddy Nick, I pulled into Staples to give them a shot at it. Not only was the sticker price $365, but they looked up the online stock, and matched the price, adding their 110% on the difference between the two prices. So $322 later, to Staples not BB, I have a new TX and plans to continue to take my business to anywhere but Best Buy from now on.

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Update on Staysea’s Mental State Nov, 29

I am the very model of a modern Major General
Have information vegetable, animal and mineral
I know the kings of England and I quote the fights historical
From Marathon to Waterloo in order categorical
I’m very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical
I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical
About binomial theorem I’m teeming with a lot of news
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse
Many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse
Many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse..

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how to survive november

Heres the senario….

Three weeks left in the semester, 4 group term projects due (115%), two more midterms (50%), 60% of in-class participation marks still riding, 1 exam (25%)
250%/500%
= 50% of the marks this semester still outstanding.

Heres the Solution
SETTING UP YOUR WORK SPACE

*install a foot spa and massage chair at your desk

*remove clock that reminds you every 15 minutes that you’re running out of time (such a pretty clock though)

*remove all obsticles between desk and coffee maker (including the dog)

*clear off a space on your desk, move key bar items such as Baileys and shot glasses to within arms reach

*find the most comfortable chair in the house and claim it as your own for the next three weeks (thanks honey!)

sit down, brace yourself and hope its all over soon.

See you in December

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Sneak Preview of Pics

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Someone I wish I could have met

This choked me up when I read it, I really wish I could have known her. Its people like Roberta Langtry that make this world a better place.

Teacher kept her riches secret, then left charity $4.3-million

MARTIN MITTELSTAEDT

ENVIRONMENT REPORTER

TORONTO — During most of her long life, Roberta Langtry was an unassuming elementary school teacher in Toronto.

She always shied away from the limelight and spent many years during her career trying to help autistic children with their speaking difficulties. But Miss Langtry, who died last year at the age of 89, carried an unusual financial secret that has been revealed only through her death.

Unknown to almost everyone who knew her, including her closest friends, the modestly paid teacher was really a closet multimillionaire, who through a bequest has given what is believed to be the largest donation from an individual to an environmental cause in Canada.

Miss Langtry asked that more than $4.3-million of her estate be given to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, a charity that buys environmentally sensitive land and turns it into nature reserves.

But there was no mistake, and Miss Langtry’s legacy is being feted by the conservancy, which is issuing a news release on the donation today. It plans to use the money to buy more wetlands and help safeguard the Oak Ridges Moraine, a pastoral rural area north of Toronto that Miss Langtry held dear and is the subject of large-scale conservation efforts in the province.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com//servlet/story/LAC.20060929.CONSERVANCY29/TPStory/National/

Read more

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Thanks to Everyone; But, No Wedding This Summer

Thanks to everyone who tried to help win our wedding at the CNE. Another couple has won the prize. We really appreciated all your support over the past week. We’ll let you know when we’ve picked a new wedding date.

Thanks again.

1 comment
Goatse and BoingBoing

I used to read BoingBoing but no more. After 3 Goatse references in 4 days. I don’t care what is said on the blog at all. That’s enough, it’s a horrible thing, and if you don’t now what I’m talking about then I suggest you DON’T go looking for an answer. They are done in my RSS reader.

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Goodbye Windows, Hello Ubuntu

This weekend I finally got a motherboard back from ASUS RMA that actually worked (took 3 tries) and I went on a quest for a new operating system, XP was getting old.

I started with Vista Beta 2, the next generation of operating system from Microsoft. Being a cautious individual that I am with my data, I decided to install Vista to a separate hard drive. No go. It couldn’t copy the files from my DVD that I burned from their download. Try number 2, use the DVD that I ordered. Nope. Went to reboot back into my XP install, and found that the other drive had been corrupted some how. After much swearing and fear of loss, I managed to do a partition recovery with Active@ Partition Recovery v 3.0, yay!

For the Second attempt I tried SuSE 10.1, a very nice distribution helped out by the good people at Novell. The installer had some problems, when it got to the choosing which drive to install to. After some troubleshooting it turned out, that the recovered partition table from my Vista attempt was not all that it should be. In fact there was now an extra 5 mb partition at the end of the drive. Why? I have no idea.

So, instead of installing SuSE, I reinstalled XP, copied all the files off of the original drive, to my new drive, except of course for the ones that where unreadable. Disk check did not solve any problems nor did it find them despite XPs’ unwillingness to copy said files that Disk check said where okay. Anyhow, 10 hours later, data all backed up, completely wipe the partitions from the drive and ready to install.

Back to installing SuSE. It installed. It updated. It was rather disappointing, and I had issues getting it to recognize that my ATI X1300 Pro graphics card had 2 outputs, so my computer looked more like a ridiculous stereo-scope rather than a nice dual desktop system. I couldn’t figure out how to get the package manager to install unstable packages where all the good stuff is anyways. I also found it S-L-O-W. So onto my next choice.

Enter Fedora Core 5. Now this may have been a mistake from the beginning, but it was what I had downloaded and sitting on install disks, so I gave it a shot. Success on seeing that my video card should have 2 outputs. Failure on actually installing the ATI drivers. But faster than SuSE. But still not good enough, if I was going to give up Windows I needed at the very least faster and dual monitor with proper 3D drivers.

Enter Ubuntu Linux, or to be more precise Ubuntu 6.06 Desktop Edition. Now, here was a nice install. The CD booted into the operating system, not an installer. I was able to try out everything, get a feel for the layout and the possibilities before installing. Six step installer was clearly labeled on the desktop, merely asked my name and where I wanted to install the system. ATI drivers installed without a hitch, dual desktops where up and running with them both showing their own information (opposed to mirroring on both screens). I have to say that I like it. Nice and fast.

So 3 days and 5 OSs later, I have a working machine that I’m happy with. I look forward to getting to know more about the system as I use it. Most of my experiences with linux have been in the terminal world on servers, so this is new to me.

The Ubuntu Counter Project - user number # 691

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Bird Nightmare

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This week we had to say goodbye to Vegas and Martini. I loved them both very much and miss them every moment.

I’ve had Vegas for about three years now, he was one of my first rescued birds when Jason and I decided we couldn’t be a foster home to cats and dogs anymore but we could find room in our home and our hearts for budgies. He came to us with Glacier from a home where they’d been pets for a three year old child. He’s always been very special to me and a very important part of the ever changing flock, he played a major role in integrating new birds to the flock, he had a very friendly manner and was never timid or afraid to dive bomb me when I had treats for the birds. He was a very special bird and I miss him sorely.

Martini came to live with us last summer, she was part of the eight very sick and badly ‘damaged’ birds we took in. I named her after Melissa and Paul’s cat because their generosity gave us the means to save her life. She had a very slow and heart wrenching recovery and for months I worried for her health, but despite her terrible condition she pulled through. She stayed on with the rest of the flock and became a permanent resident of the bird room because her recovery was an inspiration to me. I would watch her fly and play and know I was watching a miracle. Now this summer I’m praying for another miracle in order to save the rest of my birds for this terrible disease and with the help of our very dedicated veterinarians Dr. Mackenzie and Dr. Jakes we are doing everything in our power to fight for their survival.

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Superman Returns

Staysea and I went to see Superman Returns at the IMAX in 3D. It was a fantastic movie. It picks up some time after the 2nd movie from the original series, before they made the crappy movies. The 3D was nice, it’s not the entire movie, but there are 4 scenes, where the 3D really gives a different perspective from traditional movies. I particularly enjoyed the performance Brandon Routh as Superman. He worked in a number of the subtle expressions that made the character so outstanding when played by Christopher Reeve. At the same time he had a fantastic presence that made me believe that he was invincible.

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No “Shipping Pirates” please

I’m quite tired of shopping online, buying some trivial item and paying 3-10x more for shipping. Case in point, replacement screws for my Palm T3. Seems that the T3 can’t hold onto it’s screws very well and starts to fall apart. So I went looking for screws, found them from a US store, $7. Okay, that’s not too bad, but wait, they don’t ship to Canada, “Go to our sister store to order them if you live in Canada”. Enter the Canadian store, suddenly these tiny screws which cost a grand total of 8 cents to make, cost $30, with flat rate shipping of $21. After an angry rant, I tried searching again.

Enter my saviour Carmine Castiglia at www.infosystemspro.com. Here, the wonderful Carmine, sells the screws for $7, quite reasonable, since I really need them, and he charged an additional 29 cents to ship them to Canada, presumably the difference in the stamp to mail it internationally. FINALY! The only store in the known universe with a reasonable shipping policy. Thank you Carmine. You’re a saviour.

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Trackbacks Dead?

Erik on NSLog() asked if TrackBacks are dead. I’d have to say pretty much. Although, I do like using them when I can, but the spammers do love them.

Erik’s Question: Here

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Happies feelings on the election

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Since I don’t feel the need to comment on the election, I will post this funny picture of Happie instead. (He’s also unsatisfied with the election results)

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Its Voting Day!

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I’m voting for what I believe in. To sum up my opinion of this election, the Liberals are lazy bastards and crooks on top of it, Steven Harper is George Bush’s evil and equally ugly twin that will ruin everything thats great about Canada, the NDP are boarderline communists….and the Green Party may not be perfect but they’re our best shot at a better Canada.

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Voting Day Again

Time to vote in another federal election. I have to say, I couldn’t care less who ran the country, just so long as they get something done. There seems to be a lot of confusion in Parliament as to exactly what their job is. It would seem they think that their job is to form a majority government and get all their entire platform passed, no matter what. Seems that they are wrong; what their job really entails is running the country, debating what’s best for the people of Canada and then following through. Today the public are going to speak again, and it doesn’t look like the Liberals are going to have as strong a voice this time round. So I say to which ever party gains the most seats, don’t waste your time as the Liberals did, get something done.

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Don’t Use Zip.ca

After being a customer of Zip.ca for the past 18 months it’s time to kiss them good bye. Why? Because, Canada post lost my returned DVDs. Who’s responsible? Apparently I am. So screw you Zip, I’m not paying for the lost DVDs, take it yup with Canada post. Maybe this guy knows where your DVDs are because I sure as hell don’t. Given the 100+ DVDs I’ve already returned to you why on earth would I keep a scattered set of DVDs from various TV series? You could have had more of my business, and I’d probably continue to recommend you to others, but not anymore.

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2 comments
Germany’s Environment Minister Tells it Like It Is

This article made my day. Maybe Katrina will have shown Bush that the economic impact of loosing entire cities to global climate change events is probably alot worse than ratifying Kyoto.

As the US grapples to contain the devastation wreaked by Katrina, Germany’s Environment Minister, Jürgen Trittin is experiencing a storm of outrage following his suggestion that the US brought the catastrophe on itself.

In an opinion piece in Germany’s Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper, the environment minister was quick to point the finger of blame, openly chastising Washington for its refusal to sign the long-debated Kyoto treaty designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The American president has closed his eyes to the economic and human damage that natural catastrophes such as Katrina — in other words, disasters caused by a lack of climate protection measures — can visit on his country,” Trittin wrote.

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,1699073,00.html

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Review – My LightScribe Experience

So I bought a LightScribe DVD burner to do my brother’s wedding DVD. Very cool technology, it uses specially coated CD/DVD media and burns labels onto the disk. Creates a lovely sepia look, with fairly good definition. Only 2 problems though. Takes FOR EVER and media costs more.

When I say it takes for ever, you have to understand that there are 3 settings for quality when you choose to burn the label onto the disk; draft, normal, and best. Well, best is good, but really should be normal, I liked to burn them with Best+Normal. That gave a very good contrast ratio and readability was improved. Best + Normal means running the disk through the burner twice, once on the best setting, taking 30 minutes and again on the normal setting, taking 20 minutes. Now making 15 copies of a DVD takes nearly 15 hours of your time. Granted, the disks that I was doing had a lot to be printed, with a photo and text. Simple text would probably be a lot less time.

Overall, I’d have to say I’d wait for a LightScribe burner. Wait till they can print the labels in a reasonable amount of time, or at the same time you’re burning your data. That would be well worth the money. I took my drive back. I’ll wait for better performance thanks.

read more|digg story

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Princeton VL1716 – Review

Don’t buy one. I ordered 2 and both came with stuck pixels. One of them with 2 and the other with 4! How does something like that get off the manufacturers floor? I was drawn in by their low price and DVI support. Don’t bother. Spend a couple bucks more and get a better brand name.

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Public Service Announcement

This is brilliant. A public service announcement about cancer in men that actually makes you want to watch (if you’re a man). Nothing like a little sex to get the point across. Check it out, it is work safe.

Rachel Gets Fruity

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Star Wars: Episode III

AWESOME!

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Ray got Interviewed for iPodderX

My buddy Ray was featured in a podcast where he was interviewed about his application iPodderX. It’s worth a listen. That’s way cool Ray.

Read Ray’s Entry

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Beer Blog

So, sad but true. The other day, I spent a good 40 minutes standing in the beer store, trying to make a decision around what beer I wished to purchase. Although I’ve tried a large number beers, I was having problems remembering from that experience which ones I enjoyed.

So I took it upon myself to put together a repository of reviews of different beers from all over the world, that are available in my area. I’ve enlisted the assistance of my friends, and anyone who reads this blog, to comment on the beers listed as to your personal feelings on the particulars of each beer.

My hope is that no more, will men stand dumbfounded by the exhaustive selection of so many good things.

Check it out. The Beer Blog @ http://beer.sdf1.net

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Too much studying makes these kinds of things funny

I came across the funniest thing today. It was an article from November 2004 about how CIBC was sending confidential infomation via fax about thousands of their clients to a junkyard in West Virginia. The old guy that owned the junk yard couldn’t get CIBC to stop sending him all these faxes, faxes that gave him enough info to steal millions of dollars from CIBC customers RSP’s, so the old guy locked the faxes up and took CIBC to court.
The story isn’t so much the funny part. Whats funny is at the bottom of the story is an ad for Scotia Bank RSP’s….smart move! It would be funnier if I could show it but thats beyond my computer capabilities so heres the link if you’re interested.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20041126.wxcibc1126/BNStory/Business/

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Bill Gates, now truly the Black Knight

I must admit, that despite my distain for Microsoft’s business practices, Bill Gates has done a considerable amount of charity work and donated a lot of money to good causes. So kudos to you Bill, I wouldn’t mind being given the title, Knight of The British Empire. I’ll just settle for Jedi Knight for now I suppose.

:

Proclaiming himself “humbled and delighted,” Microsoft founder Bill Gates has received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II.

The accolade allows the recipient to use “KBE” after his name, but not “Sir” in front of it.

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So, Bloging is big news in 2004

Well, it’s interesting to see that blogging has gone mainstream in 2004, according to the BBC News. I’ve had a blog since June 2002, and have convinced most of my friends, save one, that it’s a pretty good idea. The biggest issue with blogs that I’ve run into when explaining them to other people, has to be syndication and RSS. Maybe I’m over explaining how it works, Staysea says I do that a lot. I think that it will take a bigger push than just bloggers telling other bloggers to get RSS and syndication out there as a common place resource. Integration with browsers and mail readers is a good step. I know Firefox, has the ability to recognize RSS feeds and create live bookmarks and the next version of Safari for OS X will have it too. A live a bookmark that branches out, and shows the last 10 articles up on that site. It is handy but can become a bit overwhelming when you have a large number. Plus it doesn’t tell you that there is anything new or interesting to look at.

nslog.com

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Christmas Wish List

So, if you’re sitting out there thinking, “Gee, I really like Jason, I think I’ll get him something for Christmas”; here are some ideas.

  • 6 Pack of Guinness Cans
  • Griffin iMike
  • Pair of Walkie-Talkies, rechargable batteries would be a good feature. For use when out and about.
  • Return of The King Extended Edition (Widescreen)
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azcaban (Widescreen)
  • A nice microphone to go with the iMike, so I can do my own radio show/Podcast
  • Toys.. any really
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    Spamments

    I read a great little blurb about comment spam on NSLog(); about comment spam, and he called them spamments. I like that, and I am going to add it to my list of web words. I run spam blocking software on my blog the results are bellow. It’s ridiculous that I have to block these jack asses in my email, my web browsing and my blog. If it’s not a popup, it’s an email, and then it’s a comment, with links to sites with more popups and emails and a endless slurry of filth, drugs and garbage, that I just don’t want. Fortunately because of great software I can keep most of it out of my life. But it would be nice if it would just go away entirely.

    Comment spams blocked: 1489

    Comment spams moderated: 279

    Duplicates blocked: 3

    Blacklist – Strings: 2427

    Blacklist – URLPatterns: 33

    Blacklist – Regexes: 24

    Blacklist – FlexProtect: 0

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    New iPod

    I’ve had an iPod as for a long time. I bought one of the 5 Gig ones when they where first released, and it has been a faithful friend ever since. Now it’s been passed on to Staysea and I’ve gotten a new 20 Gig 4th generation iPod. This was possible thanks to the $125 discount audible.com was offering to new clients. I need to start off that I wasn’t impressed with the button layout on the iPods between my old one and my new one.

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    The Incredibles

    Staysea and I saw The Incredibles last night. It was very good. Just as funny as Pixar’s other movies. Definitely worth a night out to the theatre.

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    I Hate The CRTC

    I hate the CRTC with the burning furry of a thousand suns. Why is it that as consumers we are very often left behind in fair and competitive offerings from our broadcast services (Internet, Television, Phone)?

    The US FTC announced last week that they would allow the transmission of internet over power lines and that fiber optic lines could be run to residential buildings. The powerline technology is starting a trial in New York and will provide DLS speeds. Internet over power would completely transform rural areas, allowing for new services. Think about it, you wouldn’t have to run a phone line to your cottage, you could use VoIP technology, and take your home phone with you to the cottage. Rural areas like where my parents live could have internet available in schools and offices, allowing them to keep pace with their metropolis counterparts. The fiber technology is being rolled out by Verizon to residential customers with speeds of 15 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up for $40. That is 10x faster than current offerings in Canada, 5x if you’re paying for a premium for high speed. They believe they will be able to get the speeds to 30 Mbps soon. I can’t even get Bell to update my neighborhood so I can achieve their lowest speed offering, and I live in the middle of a city with 600,000 people.

    And how about cellular service? Well, lets see, I can go with Bell, Telus, Rogers or Fido Rogers. What about our neighbors to the south? Invariably more choices with plans that include nation wide calling, free calling between family members, better signal strength (thanks to regulations allowing more powerful towers) and number portability. Never heard of number portability? Say you actually want to switch between any of the holy trinity of cellular providers, and keep your phone number, YOU CAN’T! Keep your phone number? Who would want that?

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    Few Things

    Had a wonderful weekend with Staysea’s parents in town for the holidays. Also was able to catch up with John, who was down from Ottawa and Aman is back from his trek across Africa.

    Cristopher Reeve died on the weekend too. Superman has always been one of my favorite heros. I believe that he absolutely exemplified Superman in both his actor’s portrayal of the hero and in his own life dealing with his accident and lobbying for research to help others in need.

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    TypeKey

    I read NSLog(); fairly often, and he asked on Friday “Will this entry force you to get a TypeKey ID?”

    To answer his question, I have TypeKey enabled on my site for comments. But I don’t have it set exclusively. The main reason for this is that my site occasionally has topics that are really directed towards my friends and family, most of whom are not going to make the effort to get a TypeKey account to post comments on my blog. I prefer it when people use TypeKey, but I’m not about to remove the option to simply fill in your name and email.

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    AVP is for the Fans

    Paul, Aman and I went to see Aliens vs. Predator. It is definitely written with the fans in mind. If you have not seen Aliens and both Predator movies, then this is probably not for you. There is a lot of information that is required knowledge for the viewer to clear up some of the confusion of exactly what is going on. For the fans it’s worth the $9 to see in the theatre. For the casual movie goer, I’d wait; although, I will be adding it to my DVD collection next spring.

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    Canada and the Death Penalty

    I don’t usually write about very controversial topics, but I was listening to Peter Shurman on CFRB 1010, and he was discussing the death penalty. Specifically he was talking about a case in Alabama where James Hubbard who is 74, is scheduled for lethal injection today. He killed his girlfriend in 1977, after being released from prison for another murder conviction. His girlfriend was found shot 3 times in the chest and face. He was actually convicted twice in two separate trials, on in Sep 1977 and again in April 1982. The argument now is that he is old and sick, and shouldn’t be put to death. If put to death, he would be the oldest execution in US history.

    I have a few problems with the death penalty, and they are mixed on the for and against sides. On the against side, death is not necessarily a deterrent for committing a crime, it only counts if I get caught, and I wouldn’t be doing the crime if I was sure I was going go get caught. And what happens if the trial was wrong? An innocent execution is no better than the original crime.

    On the side for the death penalty, I feel a bitterness when I think that people like Carla Homolka and Paul Bernardo and others like them are living a heathy existence in prison. Paid for by public taxes, including the taxes of their victims. I can walk down the streets of Toronto and see a great many people who better deserve food and shelter. The money spent keeping a life sentence in prison for multiple murderers and the like would be much better spent by cutting them out of society and giving the rest of the money saved to public shelters for homeless, battered women, and other social programs.

    I honestly don’t know if I could make a decision if someone lives or dies. Good or bad. I hope I never have to. I just needed to voice my opinion.

    What is yours?

    3 comments
    PulpFiction – News Reader

    I visit a lot of websites every day, or at least my news reader does, and I sift through about 200 articles daily. Up until now I’ve been using Net Newswire, and it’s good, simple does a good job of grabbing the RSS feed and checking what’s new. But there where a few things that I’ve found where missing in it’s features. Things such as scheduled downloads per site and better use of screen space.

    Today I came across PulpFiction. It does all that, plus lets you save individual entries in an archive, blog about a particular article directly from the app, apply labels and customize the display of the articles in the reading pane with style-sheets. Plus AppleScript support, Filters, searching, and it supports both Atom, RDF and RSS feeds.

    It is shareware, and $25US, but there is always the free Lite version as well.

    Check it out.

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    9/11 Commission Report

    The 9/11 Commission Report is available online, in it’s entirety here. It’s 585 pages in it’s entirety, I’m going to give it a read, there is also a 35 page summary version; however I suspect a lot is kinda missing. Take a read, form your own opinion.

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    Mr. Clean AutoDry Carwash

    Okay, I love my car as my friends will attest to. Staysea thinks I love my car too much, but she’s just jealous. On the weekend I picked up a Mr. Clean AutoDry Carwash kit, the advertisement says a spotless dry, and they’re not kidding. It was great. I have a black car, and this purchase gave me a better wash then going to the drive in hand wash stations, which raised their prices again, so I’m not overly thrilled with them. Obviously it didn’t make much of a difference on the drying part with Staysea’s white car, but if you own a dark colored car, I suggest you try it out. The cheapest I’ve seen it was at Walmart. But if you have some Canadian Tire money kicking around, this is a good time to find it.

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    My Phoenix Playlist

    I love music. I particularly like music that evokes an emotion, preferably one with adrenaline and energy, so I’m posting my playlist I put together from years of going to the Phoenix, a nightclub in Toronto that plays Hard Rock Alternative.

    If you have any additions I’d love to hear about them in the comments section. Try to stick with the general theme.

    Read more

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    Certainly a minority.

    Well, it looks like the people have spoken and they have brought in a minority Liberal government, with the NDP without enough seats to make a majority vote, Paul Martin is going to have to reach out to Bloc Québécois and Conservative to get the vote. Voter turnout was fair with a 60.5% turnout. I’m happy with a Liberal minority, I would have been happier with a Conservative minority, kept in check by being a minority.

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    Go Vote

    It’s election day and here is some useful information so you can go out and get some information, if you have not done so yet.

    Elections Canada Website: www.elections.ca
    Here you can find out where to vote and who you will be voting for.

    One thing of note, if you are going to vote Conservative, don’t get confused on your ballot and vote PC, that is the Progressive Canadian Party, and NOT the Conservative Party, lead by Stephen Harper.

    And in no particular order…
    Liberal Party of Canada: www.liberal.ca (Download Platform)
    Conservative Party of Canada: www.conservative.ca (Download Platform)
    New Democratic Party: www.ndp.ca (Download Platform)
    Green Party of Canada: www.greenparty.ca
    Progressive Conservative Party: www.pcparty.org

    I in no way endorse any of these parties, I’m still trying to make up my own mind. Go make up yours. If you just can’t make a decision, go to the polls, strike your ballot, and show your overwhelming lack of faith in the current party members. But try and remember, that you’re really supposed to be voting for the individual in your area who is going to represent your needs in the federal forum.

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    Sleep Well Uncle Larry

    My Uncle Larry passed away today. He always had lots of cool toys that he shared with any kids. And he could fold his ear and push his nose to get it to pop free again.

    Bye Uncle Larry, watch over Auntie Colleen, we love you.

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    We got screwed!

    A new development from the garage sale. Last night, I was trying to purchase gas with some of the money from the sale, and the $10 that I used turned out to be fake!

    The ten dollar bill is a little smaller than a regular bill, but only if you line it up perfectly with another bill, and the coat of arms on the front is not as clear as it should be. The serial number is FEC8024939. If you have that one, odds are it’s a fake too. So it’s off to the police to hand it over and file a report.

    Guess you can’t rely on anything the government puts out, promises or money.

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    Movable Type 3.0

    Recently, Six Apart, the company that writes MovableType the magic software that manages this blog, announced their new version 3.0. I was really looking forward to the new release, it promised some very nice updates. But, they changed their policy about licensing. And I can’t afford the personal upgrade.

    I use MovableType as do every other site here on SDF1.net to create my personal site. There is no commercial content, I don’t make a profit running the site, in fact, I pay for the electricity and bandwidth for the server running MovableType and hosting 13 blogs with as many authors. Some blogs like “The Slakinski Log” and soon this blog, are couple blogs with 2 authors. I’m very much willing to donate to Movable Type’s cause, I was waiting for 3.0 to give up my money. But the donate link seems to have disappeared from their site with the new price plan.

    I work for a software house so I understand the work involved in developing such excellent software, I’m afraid though, that I’ll be unable to follow this latest stride towards excellence.

    Thank you Six Apart, I will continue to enjoy using your software in it’s previous version and bid you good luck in your future endeavors.

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    Bye Leo.

    Leo Laporte has left TechTV. It’s very sad. I read about it on Ray’s blog, and read the actual announcement on Leo’s site. Hopefully someone else will put Leo back on the little screen, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone as excited about technology as he is. Bye Leo, good luck.

    The Laporte Report: End of Line:
    “After nearly ten years, four owners, well over 2000 live TV shows, lots of laughs, a few tears, and meeting many many wonderful people, my time at TechTV has come to an end.”
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    File sharing legal in Canada?

    The Canadian federal court ruled today that the Canadian Recording industry could not have the names of file sharers from their internet providers. This is the same tactic that the U.S. recording industry used, and they where successful. Looks like things are a little different here in the Great White North. Read the article bellow for more.

    TheStar.com – Court rules against record firms:
    “In what analysts are calling a “stunning” decision, the Federal Court has ruled against a motion that would have allowed the music industry to start suing individuals who make music available online.

    Justice Konrad von Finckenstein ruled today that the Canadian Recording Industry Association did not prove there was copyright infringement by 29 so-called music uploaders.

    He said that downloading a song or making files available in shared directories, like those on Kazaa, does not constitute copyright infringement under the current Canadian law.”

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    Phenomenal Article by Spencer Johnston

    Spencer, Staysea’s brother, wrote a letter to the editor of the Mississauga News commenting on the proposed banning of Pit Bulls from public areas. I can’t begin to tell you how impressed I am. Read it:

    Mississauga News Online:
    “Dogs defended

    Dear Editor:

    The Mississauga News

    Mar 14, 2004

    I opened the Wednesday, Jan. 28 edition of The Mississauga News to find a very informative story on the current plight of dog owners with regards to pit bulls.

    Pit bulls, as outlined in the article, were first bred for killing and hunting and due to their (aggressive) nature, should be banned from residential areas. Since it is impossible to force dog owners to be responsible, banning the dogs is the only option. A very prudent decision.

    Subsequently, of the same token, we should also ban automobiles because, as we all know, automobile accidents do happen. Since it is impossible to tell people that they shouldn’t happen, it is therefore the fault of the automobile.

    Next on the chopping block should be all adults, since they cannot be held responsible for acts of child abuse and murder they commit, as recently seen in the news.

    Where does it end? When will this landslide of “not me” and “bad dog” finally come to rest? When will people finally assume responsibility for their actions, as well as for the training and care of their children, as well as pets?

    Obviously, you’ve never owned a pit bull. Our pit bull would run to the door and greet every visitor with a shoe. He gave you a shoe, whether you wanted one or not. The most danger he’d put you in would be from the wagging of his tail, proud of his accomplishment.

    He weighed 60 pounds and still considered himself to be a lap dog. He would sit, watching and waiting patiently, for you to say okay so he could jump on the couch and cuddle with you. He would then inch his way up between you and the back of the couch, to snuggle right in, slowly stretching out. Eventually, he had 90 per cent of the couch and you had a sliver of the edge.

    But, of course, he knew how to behave around humans, but how was he with other animals? Our black Labrador Retriever didn’t seem to mind him snuggling one bit. On walks, the 6-year old pit bull would wait patiently for the older lab to catch up, then he would run ahead, only to wait again. The only problem we ran into was that my bed wasn’t big enough for all three of us.

    What do I think about pit bulls? What I wouldn’t give to have my dog back. He died of cancer four months ago and has left a huge hole in our hearts.

    Any dog can be dangerous. It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure proper treatment and training. If they can’t do that then they should be the ones banned from having pets of any kind.

    I support the ban on irresponsible pit bull owners, not the dogs. If you treat them right, love them and train them, they can be the most caring and lovable creatures in the world.

    Spencer Johnston”

    3 comments
    The down side of encryption of home folders

    So, your operating system allows you to encrypt your home folder, be it Windows XP (Home & Pro) or Apple OS X 10.3. Encryption is great right? Encrypt your files and no one can steal your computer and access your data. Down side, you better be diligent about keeping backups of all of your information. Why? Well if you by chance have to rebuild you computer, or the operating system becomes corrupt? You could loose all your data. Once the OS is gone, at least in XP, you loose the ability to decrypt those files. Sucks when you’re the one that encrypted them in the first place. I’m not sure entirely how OS X encrypts your home folder. And if it is recoverable if the OS corrupts. Although, I’ve never actually had my Mac OS corrupt, where I’ve been in a non stop frenzy of rebuilding XP systems lately. If your an XP user, I did find this article that might help you recover some of your files. I guess ultimately the solution is regular backups. But I’ll be the first to admit that unless it’s an automated system, you’ll probably miss a few and then be very upset when you loose your data.

    2 comments
    Bell gets subliminal

    Bell speaks the truth. Their new radio add talks about bundling your services to save money. You may have heard it, kid explains to younger sibling that he’ll get rid of 1 monster in the closet for $1 and 3 for $2.50, takes care of the 3 monsters then says 3 down 1 to go?
    Funny. That is EXACTLY how bell works. If you want everything, you’re gonna end up paying the whole $3.50. Way to go Bell.

    1 comment
    The Butterfly Effect

    Staysea, Spencer and I went to see The Butterfly Effect. I know you’re groaning and thinking, uhg, Ashton Kutcher. But it was a phenomenal movie! I’m saying this to my brother and friends, because a lot of them are pretty big movie buffs. It is worth seeing in the theatre.
    I think this role for Ashton is the same type of role WIll Smith was given in Six Degrees of Separation. It will change the way casting agents look at Ashton.

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    Strange but True: Kangaroo Jack was funny!

    Staysea and I watched Kangaroo Jack (Jerry O’Connel) this afternoon. It was actually funny. We also watched Bringing Down the House (Steve Martin & Queen Latifah) last night and it was very funny!
    Two fun movies worth checking out.

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    $66 Billion for a Mouse???

    So, Comcast want’s to buy Disney for $66 billion. Amazing. In an earlier discussion this morning with a friend of mine, we marveled at the fact that it’s $66 billion for something that doesn’t really benefit humanity in any substantial way.
    I agree that I enjoyed watching Disney movies. It’s just incredible that that much money is all about entertaining us. That amount of money would easily clear up the liberal party’s Groupaction scandal. Maybe get Toronto some new roads.

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    Goodbye Kung-Log, Hello Ecto

    When I post to my blog, I’ve been using Kung-Log, an excellent program written by Adriaan Tijsseling. Today I learned that he’s released ecto. I actually posted this entry with it, and I must say I like the improvements. If you’re a Mac user and blog, I’d suggest you check it out.

    Read more

    1 comment
    Prince of Persia

    I used to play Prince of Persia way back, on my computer. But the latest installment, Sands of Time is awesome!!! I’ve been playing it on my Xbox and it is by far the slickest game I’ve seen so far. Fantastic character control, very akin to the Matrix. Pretty cool story line, and a good load of humor to keep you entertained.
    Anyhow, I should get back to the game. It’s mildly addictive 😉

    4 comments
    Pull over or Hang up

    Look, I know cell phones are a great little gadget, but get the hell off when you are driving!
    Driving at 10 kph under the limit is no more safe than going over the limit. If it is really that important to you pull your irresponsible ass over.
    At the very least get a hands free so you turn your head every once and a while.

    2 comments
    People are STUPID

    I’m amazed by how stupid some drivers are. If you saw a line of orange barrels blocking a road, would you drive through them? Can you confidently say, “No don’t be an idiot, who on earth would do that?”.
    I watched as 6 ‘lemmings’ drove through a barrier to a closed on ramp to one of the busier highways outside our office building. Only to be stopped by another barrier around the bend and a now, sea of reverse lights. It boggles the mind and gives me fearful chills, that these morons are out there on the road with me every day.

    End Rant.

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    Frick’n Formats

    So I’m thrilled, using this new AAC music compression format for my digital music, it sounds great! Much better than MP3. Now I wander over to my trusty PC and try to play some of the music I’ve converted to M4A and I’m sorely disappointed to find that I can’t play the files.

    Winamp claims it has ACC support, however, it does not play my iTunes encoded files. What a gigantic pain in the ass.

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