Wednesday, February 28, 2007

How Many of Me

HowManyOfMe.com
LogoThere are:
28
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

The weirdest part of my statistics is this:
  • 99.64 percent of people with the first name Scott are male.
I've never known a female named Scott. Has anyone ever known a female named Scott?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Hershey's Closing Smith's Falls Plant

This is old news, but still worth mentioning.

Hershey's is planning on closing the Smith's Falls plant, and moving its operations to Mexico to cut costs. I have nothing against Mexico, but I think the quality of the products currently produced at the Smith's Falls plant will fall after this happens.

I've never had great faith with online petitions, but here's one -- it can't hurt to sign it if you're against the closure.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Anna-Nicole Smith

I am in no way implying that Anna-Nicole Smith was a horse, but the media is certainly beating one -- especially shows like Entertainment Tonight.

How many times can they run the same stories, the same interviews, the same court footage, over and over again? Do people really like seeing them repeatedly?

Her death was certainly a tragedy, but give it a rest already!

Canon PowerShot S3 IS

I got a new digital camera yesterday -- a Canon PowerShot S3 IS. I have been wanting a new camera for a while. One of my co-workers got one of these a couple of months ago. After seeing it, all the features it had, and some pictures that she had taken with it, I knew that this was the one I wanted.

My wife and I both got our profit sharing last week, so my wife said she'd pay half for it if I wanted it. Since it was on sale at Best Buy, it seemed like a good time to pick one up.

After having about an hour to play with it before we left for the hockey game, I took it with me to the game and snapped a bunch of photos.

This camera is loaded with features. Probably way more than most people need, but it's perfect for me.

My last camera was a Panasonic DMC-LC33. It was a great little camera, and still is. But I needed something with optical image stabilization, for one thing. I also wanted something with better macro. I can't tell you how many times I ended up with blurry macro shots because I held the camera just a little too close. The Canon lets you get up to ZERO distance from an object.

Senators 6 - Sabres 5

Great game last night with a couple of good fights. :)

Admittedly, the Senators were lucky to win that one. Despite the Sabres missing a handful of key players, they played a strong game to keep coming back.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Space Services

I got a reply from the lady at Space Services about the error on the customers declaration sticker, and the fact that I had to pay customs fees on incorrect info.

She apologized profusely and said they would refund the amount to me, and also sent me a real picture of the star I had dedicated to my wife that I could print out. They normally charge $19.95 for that.

It was a nice gesture when all I really wanted was the money back that I paid for customs fees.

She added that they rarely make such mistakes, as they have with my order. I believe it. I couldn't see them staying in business for very long if they made that many. :)

I got a confirmation that the amount was refunded to my credit card about 2 hours later.

Sens vs Slugs - Part 2

Someone on my team at work won 2 tickets for tomorrow night's Sens vs Sabres game at Scotiabank Place. Unfortunately for her, she already has plans. So, she held a little raffle within our team to give them away and I won. :)

They're Club (100) Level Suite tickets. My wife is pretty excited about going. It'll be our first hockey game this year. We went to quite a few games last year, all with free/won tickets except for one game.

Should be a good game!

Sens vs Sabres (aka Slugs), February 22, 2007

Great fights last night. :)



Although, Lindy Ruff should be penalized and/or fined for sending out 3 goons to take out our guys.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mystery package -- revealed

We paid the $9.87 and picked up the package today. It was in fact from the Space Services company that I ordered the star certificate from. The fee was for tax and handling. (aka Customs fees)

The reason for the stupid charge was because on the customs declaration sticker, they wrote that they shipped software (valued at $19.95) along with the certificate (value $9.95), for a total value of $29.90 USD.

When I first saw it I thought, "They sent another copy of the software with the certificate... perhaps they re-sent the entire package that I ordered previously?"

We opened it up, only to find just the replacement certificate. No software. Nothing else. That's what I expected. But why on earth would they write that software was included and then not send any?

So basically I paid taxes and handling fees on an incorrect value of the package. Had they just listed the certificate, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have had to pay anything.

Anyway, I sent them an email when I got home. We'll see what they have to say. Hopefully they'll do the right thing and refund me the $9.87 on my credit card.

It's rather funny that I never had to pay anything on the first package, despite the accurate values written on the sticker. Go figure.

2008 Ford Escape

My wife and I lease a 2005 Ford Escape and our lease will be up in December. We've been talking about it for a while, and decided that we will probably get another Escape when the lease is up, except that we plan to buy it rather than lease. Our primary reason is because we don't want to tied down with a mileage limit. As it stands, we're either going to exceed or be very close to exceeding the 60,000km limit that we got with this one. Blah.

My wife took the truck in for it's regular oil change last night and came home with a brochure for the 2008 Ford Escape. My initial reaction was, "BLEH!".

First, it seems that they have done away with the unpainted cladding. We actually like the unpainted cladding. It takes a beating quite well. (i.e. doesn't scratch as easily as painted body parts, or chip from stones)

The chrome on the front looks out of place too. It looks cheap. The wheel wells also seem to flare out further.

I realize that the Escape isn't a big, nasty, 4x4, bush whacking vehicle to begin with, but the 2008 looks less like they could survive out in the wild. Like they belong only on paved roads. The 2007's and earlier at least look like they could survive a little easy off-roading.

I keep looking at pictures of it and it has started growing on me, a little. I guess I'd have to take one out for a spin to see what it feels like. And if we decide not to go for it, we'll hopefully still be able to pick up a 2007 with little or no mileage on it. Maybe even a little cheaper?

Mystery package

When I got home from work today, there was a notice from Canada Post that they tried to deliver a package when nobody was home.

The only "package" that I am expecting is the replacement star certificate that I talked about last week.

The kicker, though, is that there is a fee due on this package. A fee of $9.95 or something like that, for taxes and/or duty I assume. Why there would be a fee on a piece of paper in an envelope is puzzling. I honestly can't see that being the case because the original package I received from them certainly had a greater value and I never had to pay anything for it when it arrived.

What did cross my mind is that perhaps the company that I ordered the star certificate from decided to send me something else along with the certificate to make up for their error. While that would be a thoughtful gesture, I'm not too pleased with having to pay $10 for whatever it is they sent.

I don't recall ordering anything else that would require a delivery. I sometimes order software online, but it's usually registering shareware, where there's no need to send a physical product.

I'm stumped, and a little anxious to find out what it could be.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Traffic Line Jumpers

I have to rant, because this really pisses me off.

When I drive my wife to work in the morning, we have to take a major highway and exit on the road where her work place is located. On some mornings, that exit ramp can be quite backed up, sometimes to the point where most of the traffic is sitting on the paved shoulder of the highway as everyone waits their turn to exit. Well, almost everyone.

Some people seem to think that they're special. So special, in fact, that they are allowed to drive past the long line-up of cars and then butt in right at the exit. It's not like they can't see that there's a long line of cars waiting to exit the highway.

And there are repeat offenders too! On a few occasions, we've seen the same cars doing this time and time again.

These assholes should consider themselves lucky. I'm just waiting for the morning that I'm right at the exit, and one of them tries to butt into the line ahead of me. So far, I haven't been so fortunate.

Then there are those who feel that they've waited in line long enough. This is a single lane exit ramp with a rather large paved shoulder. Once in a while other assholes will drive up along the shoulder, past everyone waiting and they'll do one of two things.
  1. Try to merge further up the line where most of the vehicles are turning right along a right bend.
  2. Drive up the left turn lane and make an illegal right turn.
#2 appears to be the most popular. Click the picture to see what I mean.

I pray for the morning where there's a cop sitting in his/her car on the small paved island, unseen by the oncoming a-holes, and then lets see if they have the balls to make that illegal right turn.

WTF makes these people think that they're so special? I'm sure that everyone is in rush to get to work. All these assholes are doing is slowing down the rest of us who are patiently waiting our turn.

Wrong Time. Wrong Place. Wrong Number.

Lucky Number Slevin was on one of the free digital movie channels the other night. I had been wanting to see it since a co-worker told me about it. She warned me that it starts off rather confusing but the pieces will eventually fall into to place.

She was right.

There are some movies where you can guess the outcome about three-quarters of the way through the movie. This one stays well hidden right up until about 15 minutes before the end.

My kingdom for a regular band-aid!

One of the side-effects of having kids is that you'll never find a regular band-aid anywhere in the house.

There are Sponge Bob band-aids, Barbie band-aids, Scooby-Doo band-aids, and other assorted cartoon character band-aids.

But not ONE regular, flesh-coloured band-aid. At least not one that is suitable for whatever wound you wish to cover or protect. Sure, there are plenty of those big-ass band-aids for sucking chest wounds, but not a simple, regular-size band-aid.

Wearing SpongeBob on your toe, or other hidden body part is fine. But I'm sorry -- on a finger, or hand just doesn't do it for me.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sunday

I went geocaching this afternoon. I wore my snow shoes. I now have a blister on my right pinky toe. It hurts. I have to remember not to strap the snow shoes on so tight.

Despite that, it was a good hike along the river. The wind coming across the frozen river was damn cold though. I had to cross frozen bodies of water a few times during my hike. That was kinda cool, actually.

I'm tired now.

Ghost Rider

My wife and I went out for dinner tonight, and then went to see Ghost Rider. I read a review before we went. They said it was better than Daredevil, and gave it a 2.5/5.

The FX were pretty cool. The acting was so-so. It had a few funny parts, and a few parts that made my wife jump. I have to admit that I jumped a little at the first one, mostly because I wasn't expecting anything like that in the movie.

Overall, I enjoyed it, but I think it would make a better DVD rental. Thankfully, we didn't pay to see it. I had a gift card that I got at Christmas, so we used that for the movie.

I'll probably pick it up when it hits DVD. It's the type of movie that I like collecting.

We saw a few previews before the movie started. Shooter, with Mark Wahlberg, looked pretty cool. It's hard to believe that he used to be Marky Mark. He sure has come a long way.

Another upcoming movie that looks like it might be good is Fantastic Four - Rise of the Silver Surfer. We never saw the first one in the theatre, but we picked it up on DVD and enjoyed it.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Geocaching Pub Night

Looks like I'll be able to attend a Geocaching meet/event tonight. There's usually one every month at a different location, but due to it being on a Tuesday and its starting time, there's no way I can make it there. This month's is on a Friday and starts at 7:00pm so I'll be there.

These meets are just get-togethers to meet other Geocachers, share stories and go for any geocache finds in the area after grabbing a bite to eat. The weather is supposed to be a bit warmer tonight than it has been lately, so it should be a good time.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Flag Day proposal

Looks like there's a bill in progress to get us a holiday in February; Flag Day!

I'm all for it.

*CLICK*

I recorded LOST last night while I listened to the hockey game on the net. After the game, and after my wife had finished watching her show, she went to bed and I watched LOST. I asked her if she was going to stay up and watch it with me, but she was too tired.

Anyway, after LOST was over, I checked out the listing on our PVR to see what else I had recorded over the last week. I usually record all of the CSI's, Cold Case, Criminal Minds, 24, and Heroes as well. There was the last episode of Criminal Minds. So I started watching it.

Now it seems that in the last year or so, it can take me 2-3 hours to watch a 1 hour show. Why? Because I keep falling asleep. If it's not packed with action from start to finish, I tend to doze off. The funny thing is, I don't remember even feeling tired. It's like a switch in my head shuts off, and I'm out.

Then I'll wake up, realize that I missed some of the show, rewind it to where I last remember watching, and then the entire process repeats again a few minutes later. My mind keeps saying "Hey, you're not tired enough to go to bed. Rewind that baby, and finish watching it." And I feel like I'm wide awake after the quick snooze too, so I do stay up and try to continue watching it.

I don't fall asleep any other time of the day, just while watching TV. So it's not like I doze off while driving the car or something.

When I was younger, I remember times when I was feeling tired and fighting to stay awake while watching some movie on the TV. But the difference is that I was able to stay awake, not matter how tired I was.

Not anymore.

*CLICK* and I'm out.

I'm not even getting any hints from my body that I'm about to fall asleep.

*CLICK* ZZzzzz.....

No advance warning, sorry.

*CLICK*

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Slow Motion Videos

These are pretty cool videos, recorded with high speed cameras. The one of the dog drinking about half way down is bizarre. I didn't know dogs drank like that.

Valentine's are fucked!

At least that's what little Jerry Masterson says. Click the picture on the right.

Yeh, beyond a doubt it's fake, but still funny nonetheless. :)

I never did quite understand why kids nowadays have to give Valentines to ALL the kids in their class, if they're giving any out at all. We never did that in school. Sure, some kids got more than others, but that's life.

I was never one of the kids who got the most. Actually, I was probably one of the kids who got the least. I still turned out OK. At least I think so.

Although, I do recall giving some to guys. My friends. I'm not gay either. What the hell was I thinking?

Anyway, my point is... kids should not be forced to give Valentine's Day cards to every kid in their class. It kinda takes away from the meaning of Valentine's Day. Know what I mean?

Valentine's Day

My wife liked the star that I had dedicated to her. She took the certificate and other stuff in the envelope to work and showed it to some of her co-workers. They seemed to think it was pretty cool too.

I did have to print out my own certificate to replace the incorrectly dated one as I'm still waiting for the replacement. My wife said she wouldn't have known the difference if I hadn't mentioned that it was still coming.

As I mentioned before, we don't usually do anything special for Valentine's Day. My wife did get me a card and some heart chocolates though.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lights out

Just as we were all getting ready this morning, the power went out. Not just a brief flicker. Completely off.

No more clock radio news. No more bedroom light helping me to find a matching pair of socks.

The phone rang. My wife answered and spoke with her Mother, who lives a few doors away, confirming that they too had no power.

Thankfully, the coffee was already made and still hot. I'd have to grab something to eat later from TimmyHo's when we made our morning Timmy's coffee stop while driving my wife to work.

My PC and my server box were still running. Both are on a UPS, but shutdown down about 20 minutes later, after the electricity gods decided not to fix what was broken.

I sure hope we have power when I get home later this evening. I'm not really keen freezing my ass off at home.

Btw, in case you're wondering, I did manage to find a matching pair of socks.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Got my glasses... FINALLY

My wife called LensCrafters today to find out of my glasses were ready. Surprise -- they were. She asked if I would receive any kind of discount for the inconvenience of waiting so long. The manager asked her what she had in mind. So my wife asked if they had any specials on right now that they didn't have when we originally went in. She said they did. A coupon online that I could print out to get 50% of the lenses. She said if I brought that in, they would honour it.

Sweet. Or so I thought.

As it turned out, the coupon cannot be used with other specials. Like the 20% discount I got because it'll be going through my health insurance. So I was left with a puzzle. 50% off $130 lenses, or 20% off the total cost (frames were around $145). In the end, I saved a whopping $9.01 cent over what I paid using the 20% off total cost.

I guess the important thing is that I finally have reading glasses again. No more struggling to read the newspaper in the morning.

Patients say private medical files 'held hostage'

My family and I were in this exact same situation last year, with the same company -- Green and McQueen. They wanted $450 for ours so we never did get them.

Here's another link that may be of interest. Several people filed a complain with the Govt.

A co-worker recently went through the same situation, again, dealing with the same storage company.

My best advice is to ask your family doctor for copies whenever something significant occurs with your health. They may charge you a "reasonable fee", but at least you won't be charged a fortune to get copies from storage.

Keep in mind that I do NOT blame Green and McQueen for this. They are simply a company that provides storage services for medical records. (Although their fees are rather suspect) It's the Doctor and/or the medical board's fault. There should be something in place that provides patients with sufficient advance notice that the practice is closing so that they can obtain copies from the doctor for a true 'reasonable fee'. If the patient chooses not to ask for copies at that time, then fine -- charge them more for copies from storage.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Blame global warming?

Hello?

Do you think that, perhaps, the marijuana might have had something to do with it?

Man accused of riding nude on ski lift; also charged with marijuana possession

I found a name!

Katzenjammer.

That will be the name of my blog. I don't really know why, other than the fact that it's fun to say. I found it as one of the old "word of the day" words over at Merriam-Webster Online.

If Peter Griffin had a sex change

A friend sent me this picture. If you're familiar with the TV show, Family Guy, then you'll get this. Even if you're not, it might make you says "WTF?". Click the pic on the right for a bigger view.

Seriously, is that a guy or a girl?

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Don't you hate it when...

... you launch your web browser to go to some web site and then can't remember where you wanted to go?

Snickers ad homophobic?

Apparently, due to the complaints from The Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the maker of Snickers has bowed under pressure and pulled the ad from TV and their web site.
"This type of jeering from professional sports figures at the sight of two men kissing fuels the kind of anti-gay bullying that haunts countless gay and lesbian school children on playgrounds all across the country," Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese said in a statement."
Give me a freakin' break. Get a sense of humour, for crying out loud, and pull your head out of your asses! It was FUNNY!

It depicts two straight guys who accidentally kissed! For them, it wasn't normal, and they reacted. What else are they supposed to do? They didn't say or imply that it was wrong. It just wasn't something that they wanted to do. If you're reading more from that, then it's YOU that has the problem. You're so paranoid about being discriminated against or whatever, yet you don't hesitate to complain about the silliest things that you don't like, drawing attention to yourself, and making you look like a bunch of big whiners.

I don't know how long this will last on YouTube before it gets yanked for the same idiotic reasons that it was yanked from TV, but here it is.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Star Stuff (Continued)

As expected, the large envelope was my wife's certificate for the star I had named after her.

It's very cool and came in a cardboard frame/card, with a sky map showing which star is named after her. I might go out buy a nice frame for the certificate. It also came with some astronomy software (which I'll probably get more use out of) and code she'll need for her free viewing of her star at SLOOH.

The information on downloading the Astronomy eBook still says it's for 2006. I went to the link printed on the sheet and as it turns out, it is for 2007. I guess they haven't printed a new download instruction sheet. I'm glad the eBook was updated though.

I told my son what it was, since he's sitting right next to me. He knows it's a secret, so hopefully he won't say anything to his Mom. :)

Addendum: I just noticed that they never fixed the registration date on the certificate. It still says January 1, 2006. AAAAAHHH! I just replied to the last email I received from them that said they would change it. I hope they can fix it and send me a new certificate with the correct date before Feb 14th.

Addendum #2: I already received a response! Man, that was fast. They apologized and said that the new date was in their database and the error was probably due to the certificate already being printed prior to the correct. They're sending a new printed certificate and they sent me a link to download a digital version to print out in case the new one doesn't arrive on time. Excellent customer service!

Star Stuff

My wife called me earlier to say that I got some "big envelope" from "some space place" in the mail today. I assume that it's from Name A Star Live. :)

She asked me what it was. I didn't know what to say, other than "Can't tell ya".

She left it at that.

I hope I don't get anymore questions about it. Dammit, it's for Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Super Bowl Ads

I can't help but laugh every time I watch this Super Bowl ad:

That has to be one of the best ones. The other Sierra Mist ad is pretty good too.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Ready When Promised

Or so LensCrafters claims.

"Just tell us what's convenient and your glasses will be ready when promised. LensCrafters has provided one-hour service since 1983*. Some prescriptions or lens materials may require additional time."

*One-hour service available in most locations.

I'm still waiting for my new glasses. Tomorrow will be 7 days of waiting.

I can see so-so using my driving glasses, but reading a newspaper is damn near impossible without holding it far away from my eyes. Using the computer isn't as bad, but I can feel my eyes getting tired after a few hours.

In their defence, they did warn me what it would take a few days because two of their three machines kept "going down". I told them that it wasn't a problem. I guess that was my mistake.

My wife called them last Thursday(?) to inquire about a time frame. They told her that the machines all came back up, but then went down again. They couldn't give her an estimate of when they'd be ready. She asked them if I could cancel, if I wanted to. They said yes.

I'm a fairly patient and understanding guy. I know things go wrong. My wife has very little patience and told me last week that I should cancel it and go somewhere else. But 7 days is just about my limit here.

I tried calling them earlier, but they weren't open yet. They open at noon, apparently. We'll see what they say. I surely can't be the only person waiting.

I think tomorrow evening will be the deadline I ask for. What sucks about canceling is that I'll still have to go somewhere else and wait yet again, possibly even a few days.

Regardless, I'm going to need to know when they'll be ready. If they can't give me any time frame, or if it's more than a couple of days, then I'll have no choice but to cancel and take my chances elsewhere.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Ice skating memories

Late this afternoon, a few co-workers and I had a chat about ice skating. At some point, someone brought up the topic of ice skating and that triggered a couple of very funny memories of two incidents I had when I was younger. I had to share it with them.

The first was when I must have been about 10 years old or so in the mid 70's. My class at school was going ice skating at an indoor hockey arena in our town. I think I had only been ice skating once or twice before that.

Anyway, we got to the arena. I laced up and made my way down to the rink, and stepped onto the ice.

Instantly, my ass met the cold ice surface. I grabbed the boards and pulled myself up, pushed off, and took a few strides.

Once again. Down I went.

Remember, I was a noob skater.

I continued like this, all the way around the entire rink.

A teenager, who must have been watching me struggle, skated up to me and said, "You know, it's easier if you take your skate guards off."

Oops.

The second incident was in the late 80's. Rather than sit in my friend's basement, drinking, listening to music and shooting the shit -- which is what my friends and I usually did every weekend -- someone decided that we should all go skating for a change. Since Winterlude was in full swing, it seemed like a cool idea.

We grabbed our skates and bussed it downtown. The canal was pretty busy. We went to one of the change huts, put on our skates and took off down the canal.

We didn't make it very far. I hit a crack in the ice and wiped out. No big deal. I stood up, took a few strides and wiped out again. The first thing that came to mind was "WTF? Are my skates that dull?" I had my skate guards in my hand, so I knew that wasn't the problem. :)

I persisted, but something didn't feel right. The lighting was poor, so it was a little difficult to actually see my skates. I stumbled over to the edge of the canal and had a look at them. Just as I was checking the blade on my right skate, one of my friends came flying up on his skates laughing and said "Hey check this out -- someone lost a skate blade!"

Yep. It was mine.

I had those all-plastic Micron skates, and the plastic supports that held the blade on had totally cracked, and the blade came off. In fact, the remaining plastic was crumbling between my fingers. And it wasn't even that cold! I guess over the years, the plastic just got weaker or something. Piece of shit.

Needless to say, our skating excursion was over. They tried to convince me to rent skates, but I was bummed out and pissed off. I wanted to go home and drink, listen to music, and shoot the shit. :)

Thursday, February 1, 2007

I won't be happy until I lose my legs


That's on one incredibly bizarre story. After reading it, I sat here for 5 minutes trying to understand why anyone would want to lose a limb because they believe that it's the way they should be.

The condition is called body identity integrity disorder or BIID. According to the BIID web site...
"Body Integrity Identity Disorder, or BIID, is a psychological condition in which the individual requests an elective amputation. Individuals with this condition experience the persistent desire to have their body physically match the idealized image they have of themselves."
The human mind sure is strange.

No turning back now

Well, I did it. I am now registered for the RONA MS Bike Tour in August.

I'm anxious. Excited. Starting to feel motivated. And stunned. All at the same time. :)

If you'd care to sponsor me, you can follow this link. I haven't done any customizing to my personal page there yet. Or, if you'd prefer to sponsor the team that I'm a part of, go here. It doesn't look like the team page has had any customizations done yet either.

Paying for your mistakes

The Ottawa Sun ran a follow-up article to the licence plate theft article last weekend. Glad to see it all over and done with! I'm sure the students won' t be pulling any stunts like that again. Or at least not post pictures about it. :)