Sunday, August 31, 2008

The summer "holidays" come to a close

One day left before kids everywhere will be back in school.

It's a time to reflect on the last ~3 months... a time to think about the fun times we had... a time too... who the hell am I kidding, enough of that crap....


It was a better summer than some of the recent ones. A little on the wet side a little too often, but overall not bad.

Every summer seems to go by so much quicker than the previous one. Why is that? I remember as a kid, 3 months felt like an eternity. Now that I'm in my 40s, one blink and *POOF* it's over.

Now I have nothing left to look forward to. There's Christmas, of course, but that 4 months away. Holy crap... FOUR MONTHS until Christmas. That must mean the Christmas decorations will soon be in the stores.

The sad part about having things to look forward to is that it involves getting older. The more you have to look forward to, the older you get... seemingly faster. Getting old is not good. I hate thinking about it.

So, with that, I'll end this useless blog entry.
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The Chai Story - Pimple Ball Dog Toy Warning

I came across this story a couple of days ago on, where they confirmed that it is in fact true.

We don't have a dog, but I used to when I was younger and she had a toy very similar to this one. Luckily for her, nothing like this ever happened to her.

After reading some of the comments, I found that the same thing had happened to another dog in 2005 and nothing was done to fix the toy. All it takes is a second hole drilled into the ball so it doesn't create suction. Complete ignorance by Four Paws Inc. -- the company that manufactures it.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Spammers and internet evil-doers can rot in hell

While at work, I checked my internet mail. A message arrived entitled "Hello from the Canada Science and Technology Museum". I didn't recognize the sender. It also got flagged as junk mail.

Now, normally I'd delete anything like that. But something about this one peaked my curiosity. I moved it from junkmail to my inbox. The content of the email said:

You've received a digital postcard from the Nortel Networks Connexions exhibition.
If your postcard is not displayed, click on the attachment to see it!

Sure enough, it also contained a JPG attachment. I dragged the attachment out of the email and onto my desktop. The virus scanner didn't detect anything. I launched PHOTO-PAINT so I could open the JPG, rather than dbl-clicking on it.

It was indeed exactly what it said it was. A digital post card sent from the Canada Science and Tech Museum -- by my son. A small picture of his grinning face was merged with the post card image. I guess my sister inlaw brought my kids there today.

It made me smile. When I get home later this afternoon, he'll probably ask me if I received it.

I wonder how many other parents or relatives missed out on something like this, because it got flagged as spam and/or deleted.

We have all the spammers, and creators of viruses and trojans out there who send similar types of emails to thank for that.

It's a damned shame.
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The sound of silence from Jim Keay

It's been almost 2 weeks since I returned the call to Ford's Customer Service regarding the letter I wrote to them about our experience with our bumper repair and we haven't yet(?) heard anything from the dealership, Jim Keay Ford Lincoln.

The fact that Ford confirmed and condensed my letter into key points, and then "submitted it" as negative feedback to the dealership and the owner, lead me to believe this was done electronically. If I ran a dealership and received such negativity I'd be all over it.

It's their loss. There are at least two other dealerships, that are actually more convenient for us, that we can deal with in the future.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008


If you haven't tried (or heard) of Twitter, it might be time to give it a shot.

I signed up a couple of months ago after a friend told me about it. At first glance, it has the same feel as changing your Facebook status. That is, more or less, what it's like except it goes a bit further.

Simply put, you sign up and let the world know what you're doing. Or send a link to an interesting story. Or send out a link to your latest blog posting. Or, find someone to follow and get updates from them. It's a mini-blog of sorts. It's almost like having an RSS feed into people's lives. Some companies also use Twitter to send links to their press releases and/or stories. Here's one for CBC News:

You can post and read the updates on the web site, or use one of a few third-party applications, widgets, and such. My personal favourite is Twhirl and I usually leave it open on my desktop at work and at home.

The people you follow don't have to be your friend. They don't even need to approve of you following them. They can block you if they wish. The same as you can block anyone from following you. Generally, you'd want to follow someone who has similar interests.

As I write this, I am following 15 people and I have 22 followers. I know ONE person that I am following, and one of my followers knows me (the same person)

Here is a good blog posting with tips on getting started with Twitter.

Here's my Twitter feed:
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Cheating at the Olympics? Never!

This is actually the first time I've heard or read about this, as I haven't really been following the Olympics that closely. Yeh, shame on me.

In a nutshell, it has been alleged that certain Chinese gymnasts at the Beijing Olympics do not meet the minimum age requirement of 16 set by the IOC, and are actually 14 years of age.

A blogger, Stryde Hax, did a little research of their own and came across some official documents, cached from the General Administration of Sport of China web site, that appear to back the allegation, and has posted some screen shots of their research in the event that the cached documents suddenly disappear, as the original documents already have. You can read the blog entry here. Check it out and decide for yourself. It certainly reeks of something, and it's not sushi.

Also, as requested, I have taken a couple of screen shots and posted them here. The more the merrier!

You can also read a little more about the controversy on He Kexin's Wikipedia page.

Why isn't the IOC doing anything about it?

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Yay, toast!

two slices of toasted white breadThis morning, as I was waiting for the 4-slice toaster to do what it's supposed to do, a question occurred to me.

Why do toasters have a "9" temperature setting?

Is there anything that we can stick in the toaster that would require such a high temperature setting without setting off every smoke alarm in the neighbourhood?

We've gone through many toasters over the years, and I've never seen the need for any temperature beyond the mid-point. A 4, 5 or maybe even a 6.

So what exactly are the other high temperatures for? Perhaps thawing frozen bread before toasting? Ok, that might require a 7. On the other hand, has anyone ever thawed frozen bread and have it toasted to perfection in one go? Or does it inevitably pop and require that you push the toaster plunger back down for another few minutes?

Maybe they're in cahoots with the bakers of the world.

I wonder if the toaster manufacturers have an answer to this question.
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