Thursday, December 31, 2009

A new year. A new decade.

A blog toast, of sorts.

Here’s to you.

Here’s too all of our friends and family.

Here’s too all of the long-lost friends that we will reacquaint with in the coming years.

Here’s to all of loved ones who are no longer with us. We miss you all, every day.

Here’s to a new year and a new decade. May they bring you everything you’ve ever wanted in life, and more.

And finally, last, but not least… if there’s one thing you need to remember while you’re out partying it up tonight, it’s these eight words:

Keep the party alive – don’t drink and drive.
(because I need you… to read my blog next year) :-)

Play safe.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Week 20 - Christmas Eve


Christmas Eve (20/52)
Originally uploaded by Twister65
Yes, another Christmas tree shot for Project 52.

I took this one on Christmas Eve after my wife and I had finished placing all of the Christmas presents underneath the tree.

I LOVE the shadows being cast on the wall from the lights.

Notice that the lights are deep within the body of the tree? My wife said she saw some show that suggested doing that to give the tree more depth. Looks pretty nice, although I would have liked another string of lights to make it a little brighter.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Week 19 - Colour


Colour (19/52)
Originally uploaded by Twister65
It took me a while, but I finally shot a better photo of our lights. I waited until it wasn't as dark, and put my camera on the tripod for the shot.

This is the first year we put up lights so I wasn't quite sure where they'd all go, or where I'd even be able to put them since we have a rather short stepladder.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Can’t be my genes!

My 14 year-old son has more hair on his top lip than I had at 20. WTF?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Getting paid to promote your music

I read an old article earlier today where Trent Reznor said that Nine Inch Nails won’t be releasing any more tunes to games, like Rock Band.

On more than one occasion in the article, he said music isn’t a game.

“Music isn’t a game, it’s supposed to be an emotional kind of experience.”

“I want it to be an album, a piece of music and not a game.”

Having your music in a game doesn’t make your music a game. It doesn’t take away from the “emotional kind of experience” at all. At least not in my eyes.

It’s a golden opportunity to introduce your music to new ears. Get old ears excited about an upcoming release. And on top of that, I’m sure they get a cut of the $$ made selling the songs as download content for a game like Rock Band.

That’s even better than free publicity. That’s paying publicity.

Since my wife and I got hooked on the Rock Band and Guitar Hero franchises, we’ve been introduced to many new bands and I’ve bought the music as a result. These are sales that probably never would have happened otherwise.

I’m sure there are bands out there that would kill for an opportunity like that.

I think Trent is missed the point. His loss. Hopefully some other band’s gain.

Open message to all celebrity endorsed companies

I don’t buy your product because a celebrity says they use it.

I don’t buy your product because a celebrity is used in your advertising.

I won’t stop buying your product because a celebrity you used to endorse your product is no longer the squeaky clean person you thought they were.

I buy your product because I like it and as long as I continue to like it, I’ll continue to buy it.

-=-

Is a product A better than product B because celebrity A is in the TV commercial?

Is product A suddenly worse than product B because celebrity A has fallen from grace?

Of course not.

If I’m looking for… golf clubs, I might care that Tiger Woods uses a certain brand. That’s a topic that I’m sure he knows a lot about. Is that product suddenly crap because he made bad choices in his personal life?

If I’m looking for razor blades, I could care less that he uses a certain brand. If you want to sell me your brand, show me a guy who can grow a 5 o’clock shadow by 9am and how your product solves that problem.

If you’re using a celebrity to endorse a product that they probably know very little about, I am more inclined to think that you’re hiding something. Maybe your product can’t sell based on its own merits?

That’s how I think.

If more people thought the same way, you could save the millions that you’re spending on celebrity endorsements. Try using real people to sell your product, and maybe you could then make your product even more affordable. Not only that, if the celebrity ever does anything to tarnish their image, you won’t have to back-pedal out of the deal.

Tell me what your product does and why I should buy it. Convince me.

If I believe it, I’ll buy it, and try it. If I like it, I’ll continue to buy it.

I’m curious. Do you buy a certain brand because a celebrity endorses it? Please take a moment and answer the quick yes/no poll at the link.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Follow @DrewFromTV

If you’re on Twitter, you need to follow @DrewFromTV. It’s Drew Carey… from TV. :) For every follower he gets by the end of 2009, he’ll donate $1 to LIVESTRONG in the fight against cancer. The goal is $1 million but he’s about 713,000 short of that goal.

Even if you’re not on Twitter, join and follow just because you can. It’s too easy and can make a difference.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fun with Facebook Indexing

The latest Facebook status trend is amusing. People all over Facebook are posting this in their status:
Facebook will automatically index all your info on Google, which allows everyone to view it. To change this option, go to Settings --> Privacy Settings --> Search --> then UN-CLICK the box that says 'Allow indexing'. Facebook kept this one quiet.
Head on over to The Squid Zone for some good info and handy tips, if you’re the paranoid type.
Now for some fun.
  1. Log into your Facebook account.
  2. At the top-right of your Facebook page, where it says Search, type in allow indexing and hit enter.
  3. On the left, click on Posts by Everyone
  4. Sit back and enjoy the continuous status updates. It’ll refresh on its own.
What makes this more amusing is that all of those status updates are from people you don't know. All people who have their shorts in a knot about keeping their information private or for “friends only”.

Oh the irony.

Come on people. Facebook is a social networking site. If you lock all of you information up, how the hell is anyone you know supposed to find you? If you’re not willing to be a little “social” and do some “networking”, why are you there?

UPDATE: I’m sure this wasn’t there before, but now when you follow those instructions to turn off indexing, you get the following pop-up message:
Worried about search engines? Your information is safe.
There have been misleading rumors recently about Facebook indexing all your information on Google. This is not true. Facebook created public search listings in 2007 to enable people to search for your name and see a link to your Facebook profile. They will still only see a basic set of information.

See? You’ve been indexed since 2007. :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Blog housekeeping (blog keeping?)

I decided to take some control over the categories I use in my blog. For some odd reason, I was using them more like keywords. As a result, it created far too many one-time-use categories.

As I went through them, I sometimes paused to read an older post. One of them is my Bucket List. It’s not exactly a year since I posted it, but I thought it would be cool to update on my progress.

  1. Weigh 200lbs or less (target = summer) – FAIL… I’ll take this one on next.
  2. Quit smokingDONE! Almost a year now.
  3. Visit the UK (where I was born, and where my cousins, aunts, and uncles live) – Still to do.
  4. Visit my Dad's grave site in Louisiana. – Still to do.
  5. Own a Ford Mustang. :D – Still to do.
  6. Visit every province in Canada (6 to go... not including the territories) – Still to do.
  7. Cycle 1000kms in one year (this may not seem like much to some people, but considering I tend to cycle once per weekend, in spring & summer only, that's about 80kms per weekend -- double what I usually ride...) – FAIL… in fact, I hardly cycled at all this past summer.

Week 18 - Brandy


Brandy (18/52)
Originally uploaded by Twister65
We went to Ian's Evergreen Plantation on Saturday morning to cut our own Christmas Tree. This is the second year we've gone there. They have reindeer for the kids to see, and a horse. This is Brandy.

It would have been nice to get a good photo of the reindeer, but they decided to stay at the far corner of their pen. I managed to shoot a few pics, but unfortunately nothing really worth choosing as my weekly photo. You can see a few that I took by clicking on this photo.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The “honour” print system

This has to be one of the funniest things I’ve seen in some time.

I read an article on CBC’s web site this afternoon and thought my wife would be interested in reading it on our drive home from work.

I’m pretty computer savvy and I know how to print stuff from my web browser, but most web sites will provide you with a “print” link so you can print something out, formatted for printing. It’s cleaner and doesn’t waste paper.

CBC’s web site is no exception.

print

I clicked the print link directly above the news article. The window that popped up nearly made me fall off my chair.

charge

What’s this? I’m allowed to print 5 copies for “free” on my own printer. If I want to print 6 or more, I have to pay? Pay to print 6 or more copies on my own printer, using my own ink and paper?

If I choose “File > Print” in Firefox, there is nothing to stop me from printing as many copies as I want. How could they stop me from printing more than 5 copies using their method?

So, I clicked Go> beside the Free Print option.

The news article appeared, formatted for printing (without ads, thanks to AdBlock Plus). Along the top of the formatted web page was this banner:

trust

Not surprising that there was nothing they could do to prevent me from printing 6 or more copies. They were trusting me to print 5 or less.

“ROFLMAO” was invented specifically for times like this.

I had to find out what would happen if I clicked the Instant Print option.

pay

Seriously, CBC, are you that hard up for cash that you have to try to charge people to print a copy of your news article?

Do you really think your readers are dumb enough to willingly pay you for the “honour” of printing it using their own printer?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Week 17 - Our Lights


Our Lights (17/52)
Originally uploaded by Twister65
A pretty sad photo of our Christmas lights this year taken with my cell phone.

This is actually the first year that we put lights up. It started off with two strings along the eaves-trough and around the window. That ended up looking rather pathetic. So we picked up two more strings of lights and I ran them down the drain pike, and along the bottom edge for the house.

I plan to take a better photo and put it up soon.