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June 24, 2005

Grass Allergies

It's that time of year again, and while I have noticed the occasional sneeze and slightly itchy eyes, it does seem like the allergy injections I had two years ago are producing the desired effect.

November 12, 2004

Wish list needs updating

Recently, a few of my new friends (yes, I've made some new friends this fall - nobody is more surprised than me! I'll have to post about it sometime soon) have discovered my website, and brought to my attention that my wishlist is out of date. An out of date wish list isn't very useful for family Christmas shopping, either, so I guess I'd better update it. Most of the stuff is actually still relevant, though I have bought a few of the middle-priced items for myself.

Hmm, I guess my books, music and movie pages are all pretty stale too. Stay tuned...

June 28, 2004

Banana Milkshake v0.4

v0.3 would have been "blending on low speed leaves nice tiny chunks of banana, if you like that, and using V8 Splash Tropical adds a nice hint of kiwi and citrus" if I had posted yesterday. 0.3, however, has been superceeded today by 0.4. I'm actually thinking with a few more test runs, this might be a 1.0 release candidate.

Ok, enough software humor. What's 0.4?


  • 1 ripe banana
  • 250ml milk
  • 125ml V8 Splash Tropical flavor
  • 500ml vanilla ice cream
  • a few chunks of ripe cantelope (maybe 1/2 cup at most)

All portions are very approximate. Just throw it in the blender and blend on low until all the big chunks are gone. I think this might be a winner.

June 11, 2004

Milkshakes v0.2

Ok, I've discovered that just about any reasonable proportions make decent shakes and smoothies. 1 pear, 1 banana, 1.5 cups vanilla frozen yogurt. Yum. 2 bananas, 1.5 cups strawberry banana V8 Splash, 2 cups vanilla ice cream, 1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt. More yum. 1 overripe banana, 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of vanilla ice cream and a splash of V8 strawberry vanilla. Also yum.

Stay tuned for more exciting developments on the blended drinks front. Next time... fun with crushed ice!

May 29, 2004

Banana Milkshake, V0.1

I've always loved bananas, and especially banana milkshakes. I also like fruit smoothies and sweet drinks of all kinds. So, this week I invested in a top of the line, $35 blender at WalMart. Tonight, my first attempt at a milkshake.

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt
  • 1 heaping tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

At first, I thought the result wasn't thick enough, but after tasting it, I think it was fine in that regard. As for the taste, it's perhaps a little too much honey and vanilla, but not bad for a first try, I guess.

February 06, 2004

Quality Television

Amongst all the crap on TV, I'm occasionally reminded of some of the gems. This Hour Has 22 Minutes is one of those. Occasionally a little crude, I guess, but really, really funny.

January 30, 2004

Thanks

Thanks for the email Lori. Good to hear from you again. Feel free to write any time!

January 28, 2004

Thanks Fuji

I recently got my rebate cheques from Fuji. One of the reasons that I bought my digital camera before Christmas was the price. I think it was a pretty good deal, but only after the mail-in rebates were factored in. I've bought computer stuff with mail-in rebates before, but I haven't had much success in getting the rebates actually honored. This time, not only did I get the rebate, but it was prompt.

January 22, 2004

Silly Ads

TV ads are often silly, and sometimes downright stupid. If you've seen the latest Hyundai TV ads, you'll know what I'm talking about.

The tag line has got to be one of the most blatantly contentless statements I've heard lately. "When you get the most out of your car, and life, you win!" It's like saying "When you have a lot of money, you're rich!" How again does that relate to Hyundai? I've heard of selling the sizzle, not the steak, but this takes the cake.

January 08, 2004

Music industry

Notes From the Underground "...figuring out how to profitably micro-market heterogeneous bands to scattered audiences is something the music industry has not yet figured out how to do."

"Big artists do indeed lose with file sharing, and it's their profits on which the industry depends for survival. That's why they're fighting it so hard. But it's a fight they will eventually lose, and that won't be a bad thing either for bands or fans."

"Meanwhile, file sharing helps small artists with limited distribution find their audience and make a decent living--a truer expression of the free market in music. If everyone could download tracks from groups playing in their city that weekend, the best band would draw the most fans and a lot of unknown bands would surge. That may scare big groups who have become popular under the current system, but it shouldn't scare fans or scare the industry. Record companies will just have to get better at serving their customers."

January 07, 2004

Bling Bling

Just flicking through the channels after The West Wing tonight, and I happened to stop on a hip hop music video on Much Vibe. I don't know why I noticed tonight more than any other time, but suddenly I was stuck by the many levels of contradictions in that whole music industry sub-genre (or sub-culture if you like).

The 'star' sings about his hard life while he displays a life of conspicuous luxury. His bizarre apparel, jewelery and body art scream bad-ass rebel, yet the video itself is evidence of the focused and savvy big-business marketing machine behind him. Self-important, he is shown surrounded by his posse and lots of lovely groupies, yet the girl-du-jour sitting next to him has a studied look of boredom, as if she were supremely confident of her position next to the stud of the universe.

I guess I don't understand either the stars, nor the target market of that whole scene, but I confess that it strikes me a little sad that this image of careless extravagence and pointless self-importance is the highest things some young people will ever aspire to.

Of course, I should probably stop sounding so self-important and start working on some lofty ideals so that I have something to aspire to myself.

January 03, 2004

Much More Music

Well, I guess that Manhattan Transfer isn't exactly what most people would call popular music, but I already knew that. I was already familiar with Weather Report too. The other thing I forgot to mention is that I bought Toto IV at the Virgin megastore at Picadilly Circus in London. Mmmm, musical goodness all 'round.

Oh, Rich, the song I was thinking of in Qatar was Minute by Minute by the Doobie Brothers. I knew it was a Doobie Brothers song, but I had forgotten that I ordered the Doobie Bros with my Columbia House order, so that was a nice surprise.

Anyway, I'm going to stop typing and go back to enjoying the music.

December 11, 2003

Privacy

With my pseudo-libertarian, wanna-be philosophic political stance carefully cultured by years of reading slashdot and other junk-food tech web sites, I think it's only fitting that I add the privacy t-shirt to my wishlist and plug the privacy is not a crime website.

Oh, yeah. I'll update my wishlist for this Christmas Real Soon Now TM.

December 10, 2003

Mission Statements

I recently applied for membership at Video Difference, a large independent movie rental store here in Halifax. It's a great store, with four floors, nice decor, and a selection of titles that really surpasses the blockbuster around the corner. Today I received a membership letter. Included were some coupons for free rentals and a letter. The mission statement at the top of the letter reads in part:

We develop meaningful and lasting relationships by offering a fun and enjoyable atmosphere.

Yes, the store has great atmosphere, but "meaningful relationships"? Please.

December 04, 2003

Bachelor something or other

I was flipping through the channels just now and caught the end of an ad for the wedding of the latest bachelor or bachelorette or whatever, which will be televised sometime in the near future. The voiceover was something to the effect of "blah, blah, blah-blah, blah, as America counts down to the television event of the year!!!!"

Who exactly is counting down, to what? Am I to take your word on it? Really? I can only laugh...

And on CBC, a bizarre short film with three excavators doing synchronized movements with their bucket arms, set to some nice classical music. It was by a Newfoundland filmmaker, to boot.

November 08, 2003

Walmart Commercials

I'm glad that Wal-mart makes people happy, but if you're going to get on a national commercial and say that some of the happiest times of your life have been at your local Wal-Mart, I hope you're getting paid an awful lot of money.

November 06, 2003

MTV Europe

Tonight I turned on the first few minutes of the MTV Europe Music Awards. Mainly to see the lighting, but also because the rapper Ludacris is performing, and I'll probably be lighting his show here on Monday. I have two observations:


  1. The song by Biance was almost completely pre-recorded. I guess they wanted her hands free to do her dance thing instead of holding a mic, but it just struck me as dumb. Yeah, awards shows are just big music industry ego trips and album ads, but do they have to remove every pretense of anything musical?
  2. How in the world do The White Stripes get these high profile gigs?!?! They suck!

My time was better spent watching When Harry Met Sally.

November 05, 2003

Stick it to blockbuster, man!

It would be cool if there was a Blockbuster club. Not their Rewards (TM) program, but say a group of people in my apartment building that put those free popcorn coupons into a communal pot. See, every time you rent you get this coupon for free popcorn with your next rental. Almost worthless, but because Blockbuster charges something outrageous for popcorn, you feel like it's a great deal that you should take advantage of. The catch is that the coupon is only valid for the following week (right around the time you'll be returning the current rental).

It's such an obvious manipulation strategy, which is why it would be neat to beat them at their own game. So if anybody I know in Halifax reads this and wants to get a movie between Nov 10 and 16, I've got your free popcorn coupon in my wallet. In return, you can give somebody else free popcorn when they go rent the week after.

Ok, that's so complicated that I wouldn't ever go through the trouble to actually do it, but it's fun to think about.

Oh, yeah - I'm seeing the Matrix premiere tonight - on IMAX. I'll try to post a first impression here tonight.

October 26, 2003

Sci-fi is wierd at times

I'll freely admit to having watched most episodes of ST:TNG, ST:E, and ST:V as well as many episodes of TOS and DS9. Still, I have to say that there are some really wierd, fundamental inconsistencies in the show. For instance, one of the main themes throughout the shows is how technology and science can allow humans to create a better future. Often, organized religion is ridiculed and strict rational thinking is extolled. On the other hand, there are these odd, bizarre, illogical bits of the show that are sometimes quite central to the plots. Case in point is the Vulcan mind-meld. In STIII, Spock's personality is restored from Bones' mind after he is resurrected by the Genesis project. Perhaps I'm just not hard-core enough to know the technical explanation, but it sure strikes me funny from time to time.

Oh, and I just booked tickets for The Matrix Revolutions in Imax, for Nov 5. Yay.

October 16, 2003

Boo NBC

NBC bumped new episodes of The West Wing and Law&Order last night, apparently to avoid going up against baseball broadcasts. Grrr.

September 18, 2003

Dessert

Banana bread, dipped in banana yogurt, topped with sliced fresh bananas. Yes, I'm insane.

August 17, 2003

YC Worship Leaders

This year YC Newfoundland is expecting it's best music lineup and largest attendance ever. One of the two headlining worship leaders is Charlie Hall who is this week's featured worship leader at worshiptogether.com. Note that if you haven't visited the worship together site before, the featured worship leader link above may not work. You'll need to select your country first, and then click worship leaders from the blue horizontal navigation bar at the top of the homepage.

August 13, 2003

Paying for that pay phone with a credit card?

I vaguely recall wanting to make a pay phone call while I was at home in Newfoundland. On my credit card bill this month, there is a charge for a payphone in St. John's for $1.15! Moral: never use a credit card when a quarter will do!

August 11, 2003

If you invest in SCOX...

you should read the article entitled Let's Put SCO Behind Bars. Basically the SCO Group, which bought the IP and name of the former Santa Cruz Operation, is now suing IBM because they claim IBM leaked proprietary SCO technology into the Linux 2.4 kernel. Most tech people around the world regard this as complete and utter bunk. Consider that before this quarter, the SCO Group had never reported a profit, and now their stock has inflated on this lawsuit. Several websites will list SEC filings of recent insider stock trades by SCOX execs, which seems to indicate that they're getting their money while the getting's good. A word to the wise...

August 08, 2003

Cute kittens

This afternoon Kerry and I visited the Halifax SPCA on our way to Kent to get some shelves. They have many nice animals, but they're especially overstocked on kittens. If you're in the area, visit them in Burnside Industrial Park.

July 01, 2003

911

Last Friday, when Kerry and I were coming out of my old apartment, we saw some teenage hooligans vandalizing the construction project underway at the Salvation Army citadel across the road. We decided to report it to the police. We went back inside and dialed 911, and much to our shock, it took about 3 minutes on hold before we even spoke to a human! Granted it was a Friday night, but still! Once we talked with the operator and were transferred to the police, it took another 10 minutes or so for a police car to arrive.

June 18, 2003

Im a gude spelur

Seems most landlords in this area don't know how to spell garbage chute. In my new building it's spelled garbage shoot, and I've seen that in several other buildings, while I was looking for a new apartment over the last few weeks. I even saw it spelled shute once, though I don't know what a British writer has to do with the garbage in my building...

If you're pendantic, or just bored enough to read the links above, I admit that the 10th definition of shoot as a noun is the same as chute, but I think chute should always be used when that meaning is intended.

February 06, 2003

Thursday morning

A 1980 article critisizing the shuttle program that is eerily reminiscent of many of the current theories on the Columbia disaster.

Aristotle's Four causes do not refer to cause in the way that we understand cause and effect, but rather attempt to explain why and object or thing is as it is. The four causes are

  1. the material cause
  2. the efficient cause
  3. the formal cause
  4. the final cause
Using the example of a bowl the four causes are illustrated in answering the question "Why is this thing a bowl?"
  1. because it was originally a lump of clay, and clay is normally used to make bowls
  2. because it is round and curved upwards and shaped like a bowl
  3. because the potter made it that way
  4. because it holds cereal and milk and generally acts like a bowl
So yeah, Kerry, I know you're thinking that those four causes are not as distinct or as useful for understanding things as I made them out to be. I agree that I misremembered them and that it's not quite as intriguing as I thought it was.

we now return you to your regularly scheduled life...

December 13, 2002

10 Banana pancakes

...now that's what I call a good breakfast.

(Unfortunately, I could only finish 8)

November 29, 2002

Let me know if you have a website

I'm getting tired of reading my own weblog and a few computer-related sites done by people I don't know personally. If you know me, and you have a site of your own, let me know!

In other important news

It isn't hard to find explanations of a golf handicap (for instance, here, and here). I found it a little more challenging to actually find out how handicaps are calculated (probably operator error, I know). The congu system isn't the one officially sanctioned by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews but it gives you an idea of how it works.

November 24, 2002

This is my new blogchalk:Canada,

This is my new blogchalk:
Canada, Newfoundland, St. John's, Cowan Heights, English, French, Christopher, Male, 26-30.

November 23, 2002

Congratulations Dean and Kelly Headline

Congratulations Dean and Kelly

Headline says it all. Yesterday Rebecca Grace Brenton was born at 2:40 PM NDT in Corner Brook. She is beautiful and healthy at 3.7 kg (8lb 3 oz).

November 21, 2002

Blah

I'm not sure what's wrong with me, but I don't really want to post anything today. For posterity...

Yesterday I transferred the majority of my RRSP to an AGF mutual fund managed by Primerica. I can't help thinking that Nortel is going to rebound, but I'm really not managing my investment carefully enough, so time to put the responsibility in somebody else's hand. Perhaps if I have a little disposable income in the new year I'll take another stab at self-directed investing. Yeah, that's what I'll tell myself.

I discovered Luna Halo when Michael Burton brought a CD to FNL last Friday and it was playing afterwards during the social time. I must say, I'm really enjoying the Shimmer album. It's a little tough to choose what to link to since there seem to be about 5 semi-official web sites. I think lunahalo.com is the most recent, though.

I also updated my wish list again today. Just adding a few small things as I think of them.

October 07, 2002

Record breaking

There were 629 people counted in the two morning services at Bethesda. That breaks our previous attendance record (set two weeks ago) by a solid margin. Of course, the free lunch for university students following the second service may have been a factor. Rumor has is there may be another student lunch before the end of the semester.

September 30, 2002

Kerry tells me...

on good authority that

"A rat cDNA probe specific for either Slit1 or Slit2 was used to screen a mouse bacterial artificial chromosome 129 ES cell library".
But she adds
I don't know what it means either.

July 12, 2002

Blogchalking

Google! DayPop! This is my blogchalk: English, Canada, St.John's, Cowan Heights, Christopher, Male, 21-25!

July 03, 2002

Happy (belated) Canada Day

A while since my last update. The wedding was very nice. On the way back to St. John's we saw a bald Eagle, a black bear and a moose along the highway. If I had a digital camera I would probably be able to post some cool, blurry, through-the-car-window pics, but I don't so I can't.

All weekend there was a series of concerts for Canada Day. Tommy Dunphy did the lighting design and programming and I hung out with him and got to see most of the shows, which was fun. I also worked for a couple of hours yesterday on the Tragically Hip concert at Mile One Stadium. I could have stayed for the show, but I left and took Kerry to see Minority Report instead. I very much enjoyed the movie.

Surviving a bear attack?

After seeing the bear on the drive home on Saturday, I was thinking about meeting a bear in the wild. I have heard that a bear can run faster than a human, so if one was ever attacked it would be quite frightening. A quick google search yields a few sources that confirm that bears can reach top speeds of up to 50 km/h almost immediately, so running is never an option. A maker of bear repellant spray seemed to have the best information on avoiding bear attacks of the few google hits I looked at, but beware the bias towards using their product. Oh wait, I found a more concise article from the CBC

Sometimes climbing on top of a boulder may work. Not all grizzlies can climb trees, but black bears can, and any bear can reach 8 or 10 feet up a tree even from the ground, so trees are riskier. If attacked by a grizzly, some sources recommend curling up in the fetal position with your hands behind your neck and playing dead, just before the bear reaches you. The idea is to make the bear not think of you as a threat.

Most sources focus on avoiding surprise encounters by following bear reports, avoiding narrow woods trails with sharp turns and steep inclines, speaking or singing softly to alert bears of your approach and paying attention near rivers or other noisy places where you could accidently surprise a bear. If you do encounter a bear don't appear threatening to them, and don't act like prey and panic or run away. A bear may sometimes bluff charge. As a last resort use anything at your disposal to intimidate the bear or scare it off (flashlights, camera flashes, metallic noises, air horns) or fight it off (aim for the head, eyes or nostrils).

June 14, 2002

Original content

Someday I'll scan some of my photos that I'm particularly proud of, and make a whole photography section on my site. For now, these crumbs...

June 10, 2002

Finally updated my resume yesterday.

Finally updated my resume yesterday. Now to start the serious job hunting...

Enoch 8, the worship band from Master's College and Seminary was at my church yesterday morning. They were good.

Turbosound TCS-12M. We finally have new monitor wedges, and new Turbosound amps, too. A vast improvement over the Peavey 12" wedges we used to depend on. Those old ones get passed on to our portable sound system.

On Friday I decided to run a link checking tool on my Mozilla bookmarks file. I had no idea that I had 1750 bookmarks. That file has been accumulating since I started using the internet in 1995 or earlier.