Lost now online!

Many of the networks have posted episodes of their shows online; however, until now us TV viewers North of the border could only watch Canadian fare, such as Corner Gas. Now, ABC has posted the past seasons episodes of shows such as Lost, Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives.

And I'm hoping that when the season starts up again the new episodes will also be posted after they've aired.

BTW, Happy New Year. Here's hoping all your dreams are realized in the new year. But don't forget to take action to make them happen.


The Truth About Vegas

Everyone's heard the saying, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."

Watch this video for the truth.


I'm Time magazine's Person of the Year!

Time has chosen me as the person of the year . . . they've actually chosen you as well - you being anyone using or creating content on the World Wide Web or Web 2.0. The 2.0 doesn't signify a new version, but a revolution where the individual has taken on the role of the media creating news stories, producing videos, and even developing free software.

All the more power to me with blogs, YouTube and the opportunity to develop software for the free source Linux operating system.

Although it may seem like a bit of a cop out by Time, especially with so much going on in the world, such as in the Middle East, the effects of global warming and still so much poverty and disease in the world. There must be people out there making a difference for these causes who deserve recognition for their selfless acts.

Even Time's editor, Richard Stengel, agrees it's a bit of a cop out: "If you choose an individual, you have to justify how that person affected millions of people, but if you choose millions of people, you don't have to justify it to anyone."

But hey, I guess I should graciously accept the honour and revel in their choice of me as person of the year (along with you and the millions of others).

Snow Day

On Friday we received in one night a third of the snowfall typically received in one winter. They actually closed downtown.

I measured the snow out my back door and there was 21 cm. I really had to pucj to get the door open, and the car was almost completely buried.

I was lucky to get the day off as work was closed, but my wife still had to go in. Although a few hours late as we had to dig our way out first.

The last time it was near this bad was 1977 when they received heavy snowfall for a whole week.

And now the temperature is above zero and we're going to get rain the end of the week.


Remember them

Today is the 65th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Survivors have been meeting there every five years, and now that they are in their 80s and 90s and are saying this will be the last time that they meet.

"Former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, who dubbed Americans who came of age during the Great Depression and World War II "the greatest generation," agreed to be keynote speaker for Thursday's ceremony."

Many of us alive today haven't lived through anyhting like our fathers and grandfather's have - the great depression, a world war. There are only a few WWI veterans still alive and soon, in 10 to 20 years, there will be no WWII veterans left.

With the war going on in the Middle East it is bringing to lite a bit of what it might have felt like for our parents and grandparents living during WWII.

I was at a Christmas luncheon the other day and the conversation inevitably turned to the war and one person mentioned she had lost a nephew over in Iraq. My parent's good friends lost their son, Robert Mitchell. With an average of one or two Canadian soldiers killed each week it's becoming hard to be in a group and not have at least one person personally affected by the conflicts overseas.

It's a shame that there's always ongoing conflict in the world to remind us of the affects of war. However, there must be those who do forget, or who have short term memories, because there is always ongoing conflict.

Life is paved with good intentions

OK, I'm not doing so good at posting to this daily; however, I do still try to write daily. I do a lot of writing for my job, so when I'm busy at work, I don't have as much time to read and find fodder for my posts.

I need to focus more on Entertainment London and my web marketing as search engine rankings are still really low on the movie site and I've dropped from number one with my site.

I've added a Google search to Entertainment London, so you can bookmark it and use it when doing searches. There's also a Sony link on the page and a 10% discount on purchases of Sony DVD movies or TV series.


Too funny

These are excerpts from a book of actual court recordings, Disorder in the American Courts.

Lawyers spend a lot of years in school, you'd think they have some more basic reasoning skills.

Thanks to Mike and his families blog for posting these first.

We do not test on animals.

Coca-cola not available for comment after this image surfaced on the Internet.

However, the Zoo is experiencing renewed revenue growth as consumer products strategically placed with the animals.

Coca-cola still not available for comment on this new strategic product placement initiative.

(No animals were harmed in the making of this post.)


Wow ! What a ride!

Here's a great quote from Robert Ringer's e-newsletter:

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ... ‘Wow! What a ride!’”

My vehicle of choice on the road of life is a 1964 Corvette Stingray.

Update (13/13/06) - The party version of this quote:

"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"


Superman Ultimate Collector's Edition

All four of Christopher Reeves' Superman movies, the recent Superman Returns and even bonus features, including the complete 1940s Superman cartoons, and the recent documentary, Look, Up in the Sky! The Amazing Story of Superman. Fourteen discs in total

All available from for CDN$87.43 and free shipping!

This is definitely on my wish list for Christmas.

Levitating Screw

This is another one of those scientific wonders, like the apple.



Youngest binary genius

How's that for a title? Not only a genius, but two times a genius, and the youngest at that.

Akiane is an 11-year-old girl who started painting at the age of 4. And she started dictating poetry to her mother before she even knew how to write.

All of Akiane's paintings have a poem to go with them or commentary from her explaining the symbolism in the painting.

(Image: Akiane with some of her paintings on Oprah.)


Global orgasm for peace on Dec. 22

Now this is a protest I definitely suport and something I'd like to make a yearly tradition on winter solstice.

In their own words:

"The orgasm gives out an incredible feeling of peace during it and after it,"

"The goal is to add so much concentrated and high-energy positive input into the energy field of the Earth that it will reduce the current dangerous levels of aggression and violence throughout the world."

This is the First Annual Solstice Synchronized Global Orgasm for Peace, leading up to the December Solstice of 2012, when the Mayan Calendar ends with a new beginning.

There's sciene behind this as well:
"The Zero Point Field or Quantum Field surrounds and is part of everything in the universe. It can be affected by human consciousness, as can be seen when simple observation of a subatomic particle changes the particle’s state."


Cool science fair project

Explain this.


How to fold a t-shirt

This is currently the number one video viewed on Yahoo?!?

I'm afraid to admit it, but I saw this demonstrated on Martha Stewart awhile ago. My wife's a closet Martha wannabe and I happened to be in the room one time while she was watching the show. It was her watching it not me. Really.



Here's an interesting fact that I learned in one of my search and rescue courses.

Generally, men walk with their feet pointing out, and woman walk with their feet pointing in. So, if you see a set of footprints in the mud, you can check whether the feet are pointing in or out to determine if they were made by a man or a woman.

Pay attention to your feet next time you're walking and see which way your feet are pointing. I walk with my right foot pointing slightly out.


He's a couple of knights short of a Crusade.

At a loss for words for someone's stupidity? Want to have some ammunition in an insult throwing contest?

For that tall person - He's a little too tall for his blood supply.

The overweight person - No, those pants don't make you look fatter. I mean, how could they?

The crafty person - Her sewing machine's out of thread.

The gamer - In the pinball game of life, his flippers were a little further apart than most.

A co-worker - This employee should go far - and the sooner he starts, the better.

The scientist - He donated his brain to science before he was done using it.

The politician - If brains were taxed, he'd get a rebate.

The athlete - It's hard to believe that he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm.

The trekkie - He's a couple of dilithium crystals short of a warp core.

The pilot - He's a few feet short of the runway.

Check out these sites for more ammo:


Will we forget?

Between now and Saturday, when The Last Post will be played for Remembrance Day, another 500 WWII veterans in Canada will die.

"That number is going to increase," Jeremy Diamond, manager of the Memory Project for the Dominion Institute, warned yesterday. "You have to think within the next 15 years, most, if not all of World War Two veterans will be gone."

"The average age (for veterans) is in the 80s," said Gail Smith-Cook, spokesperson for the Royal Canadian Legion.

- Of the 628,736 men and women who served in the WWI, only three are left. Two are 106 and one is 105.

- Of the 1,081,865 men and women who served in the WWII, about 200,000 -- only one-fifth -- are alive.

The Dominion Institute, a national charitable organization dedicated to creating active and informed citizens through greater knowledge and appreciation of the Canadian story, has a petition asking the federal government for a state funeral for the last WWI veteran to die. Sign the online petition and show your support.

Although many provinces still recognise Remembrance Day as a statutory holiday, it is not in Ontario, and hasn't been for many years.

When there are none left to tell their story will we remember? Will we still celebrate Remembrance Day?

Update (10/11/06): results of petition


Mind Puzzles and Illusions

Want to give your brain a work out? Check out the Puzzles and Illusions on this site.

I know I got a work out. My brain aches now, or maybe that's just a headache from looking cross-eyed at some of the illusions.

Saddam is Dead; Long Live Saddam

There is no question in my mind and in the mind's of a large majority of the world's population that Saddam Hussein is guilty. the question is whether he should be put to death. There are the arguments from human rights advocates and religious leaders saying he shouldn't be put to death, and cries from the families of his victims who can't wait to see him gone.

Definitely hanging him is what he deserves; however, that will just make him a martry and invoke more outrage and acts of terrorism from the few supporters that he still has. He insists that he's never done anything wrong and will drop from the gallows insisting it was his right as ruler to perform all the atrocities that he did.

All human rights arguments and religious opinions aside, a far greater punishment for Saddam would be to lock him away in a tiny cell and let him spend the rest of his life there to think about his life and what he's done.

It's better to lock him away where he will fade away and be forgotten, than to hang him and have him live on as a martyr and rallying cry for what his followers see as an injustice.


And the Earth rocks on...

This is pretty cool. Go to Google Earth and type in these co-odinates:
50° 0'38.20"N 110° 6'48.32"W

What do you see?

This one's a bit more abstract: 50° 1'4.18” N 110° 08'36.16” W

Check out Google Earth and see what other images you can find.


One for the little guy

You may have heard of the mortgage fraud cases that have been around for the past few years. Basically, the bad guys produce fake documents that they've just purchased a house and go to the bank with a mortgage application. The bank approves it and hands over a few hundred thousand dollars to the fraudsters who take the money and run.

Then the real owners of the house suddenly find out that there's a mortgage on their house and they're liable.

So far, the law has forced the home owner to pay up. However, a recent court case has the judge siding with the home owners and making the bank and the mortgage broker liable.

In this case, the bank agreed that the couple had been frauded, but that the bank had also been frauded, so the couple who own the home are legally responsible for the mortgatge.

So, just to clarify, the homeowners had no part in the actual fraud other than the unfortunate fact that it was their home. The bank and the mortgage broker are really the ones that were duped and didn't do their due diligence to ensure there was actually a legal transaction in the transfer of the house, and yet the bank, a multi-billion dollar company, thinks that a couple (with two kids) should now come up with $300,000 to pay for the banks error. Talk about drawing the wrong card in Monopoly.

This case is going to appeals court and I hope that the decision is upheld. Even if it is, I'm sure the couple have had to pay for a rather large legal bill. I hope that they now take the bank to court in a civil suit to get that money back and a little extra for the time they've wasted on this.

Not that I'm in favour of all the civil cases going on today with people suing for spilling a hot cup of coffee on them, but in this case I think it's justified. (Isn't hot cup of coffee kind of an oxymoron. Or maybe it's just the person doing the suing who's the moron.)

It's stupidity like this, dealing with big companies who have so much money and the law on their side, that really gets my blood boiling. (And don't get me on about P&C insurance companies.) What options do we as individuals have? Not that I would in anyway ever condone someone going postal, but these are the situations where it doesn't take a crazy person to be pushed to such measures.


Basic Search and Rescue Training

I did my BSAR course on the weekend. It was kind of cold and wet, but good training. We focused a lot on navigation, (it would be bad if a search and rescue person got lost), search techniques and clue awareness.

The focus of a search is on finding clues. There is (usually) only one missing person, but multiple clues that will direct your search and increase your chances of finding the person quickly. So, when you go out on a search your focus is to look for clues, which then direct you to the location of the missing person.

Another thing we covered in the course was some basic survival skills, including starting fires. A really neat thing was cotton balls and vaseline. One spark on that and it will ignite instantly creating a little fire that will burn on it's own for a couple minutes - great for getting tinder going for a fire. Carry a few of these mixtures in film canisters and a Kershaw or Primus magnesium fire starter and you're all set to get a fire going when you need one.

I do my CPR in November, then my First Aid in January. Once I have those I'll be call-out qualified and trained to go on a search.

I will also be doing wilderness survival and first aid training sometime next year.


If I had a Million Dollars

In addition to doggate, the latest scandal is now that lotto retailers are ripping people off. If they are it's because people are letting them.

The screen tells you exactly what you've won. Just look at it. And there are a number of places to check your ticket before you hand it to the retailer to check - toll free numbers, newspapers, Internet, . . . so, you should know before you hand the guy the ticket how much you've won.

And simply sign the back of your ticket as soon as you've bought it. Then if you lose the million dollar ticket at least if someone finds it they won't be able to claim your winnings. (Nothing's going to stop them from asking for (demanding) a finders fee, but at least you get your ticket back.)

Common sense people.


Names will never hurt me

There has been a lot in the news lately about Peter MacKay's comments about a dog and whether or not he was referring to ex-girlfriend Belinda Stronach and whether an apology is due.

Whether he did or not, I'm sure Stronach would get a boost to her political career if she was the bigger person and told everyone to drop it.

There is enough sticks and stones, and bullets, and nuclear missiles being thrown around at people in the world that whether someone did or did not call someone a name in a heated debate shouldn't be getting as much coverage as it is.


Thoughts from Pamela Wallin

I attended the Brescia Breakfast for Bursaries this morning where Pamela Wallin was the guest speaker.

Kate Young was one of the attendees and stood up at the end during questions and commented how early in her career as anchor of London's local news she interviewed the then prime minister. Kate mentioned that Pamela was in the room during the interview and that she was more nervous about Pamela being there than she was about interviewing the prime minister.

Pamela's focus this morning was on the Canada/US relations and stated a few facts, one was that Canada does more trade with the US in one week than it does with China in the whole year. She commented on how both Canadians and Americans have many stereotypes and don't fully understand one another. Pamela related an analogy that if you owned a corner store and The Joneses were your biggest customer, buying 80% of your merchandise, you would know the Joneses anniversary, birthdays, and as much as you could of them. Americans are our Joneses, and we're there's, yet we don't understand them, and we call them morons. And Americans come up to Canada in the middle of Summer with their skis on their roof racks.

Pamela had many other good points and I can't state them all or even remember everything, but a few things did stand out from her talk.

One was that when someone comes to you with an opportunity, even if it's something you hadn't thought of or don't think you're qualified for, you should jump at the chance to do something new and to learn. Pamela mentioned that she interviewed someone once who said he wants to stay stupid for the rest of his life. Pamela mentioned that he wasn't a stupid man and his reply was that he knew that, but there would always be something he didn't know, so he would always be studying and learning.

Someone got up at the end to ask Pamela who were some people that have been a big influence to her or who she admires. Pamela had two stories to relate, one was of a couple she interviewed from Nova Scotia who had been in a car accident years before.

The wife was seriously injured and had brain damage. The doctors told the husband that he should think of putting his wife in an institution and get on with his life because she's never going to be the same. The couple had been avid boaters prior to the accident. So, the husband made up their bedroom to be like the berth of their boat and brought his wife home. Pamela interview them 7 or 8 years after the accident and the couple were both conversing intelligently in the interview and the wife had been back to work for a few years.

The husband commented that we celebrate beginnings and ends; births, weddings . . . divorces, we gather for funerals, but he said it's the middle that we should celebrate.

Pamela mentioned how it's those times when someone mentions something so obvious and yet something most people have never thought of that are so memorable for her.

Another story that Pamela related was of a time soon after she had moved to New York. She was at a dinner party and commented how she was always looking up at the buildings, admiring the architecture, etc. A woman sitting at the table said, "I used to do that, but not anymore." Pamela was about to ask why, but received a kick under the table from a friend sitting beside her so never said anything more about it. Pamela later learned that the woman had witnessed the people jumping from the towers on September 11. As a result the woman can no longer look up at the buildings without thinking of that event.

When Pamela mentioned this story at the breakfast this morning it brought tears to her eyes and to many others in the audience. Pamela mentioned that it was those personal stories that have the most profound affect and impact her life so much.


Great bio line

A writer for Wired has this line after his articles:

Born helpless, nude and unable to provide for himself, Lore Sjöberg eventually overcame these handicaps to become a commander, a commando and a commandant.


Storm blamed for multiple accidents

A Free Press article today covering yesterday's storm attributes it as the cause of a number of accidents in the area: "Accidents occurred throughout the day, including one at Adelaide and Oxford streets, where a vehicle crashed into a former bank building."

However, I have firsthand knowledge of this particular accident at Adelaide and Oxford and the weather wasn't a factor in this case. The vehicle in question bounced off my vehicle while my wife was driving home from work yesterday. She's OK, haven't heard yet how our car is fairing. And the decision is still out on who's to blame. We receive the police report later today. We're pretty sure that she won't be found to blame. I'll post an update on the report and the status of the car when I know more.

In the meantime, we have a Ford Explorer to replace ours.

(Photo: Dave Chidley, The London Free Press)
  • Update (16/10/06): My wife thought the Ford Explorer was too big, so we've exchanged it for a Hyundai Tucson. Doesn't have the intimidating factor, but a sporty ride. Haven't received the police report yet. And they haven't surveyed the damage to our vehicle yet, so no update there either.
  • Update (19/10/06): Just heard from the dealership on the assessment of the car - $11,953 damage.

    Also, my wife talked to the officer last night. The other driver, 86 years old, was coming from an eye appointment. So, he hasn't been charged yet as the officer is waiting to talk to the eye doctor. However, the officer told my wife that someone has to be charged, and because he hasn't been able to determine the charge for the other guy yet, he charged my wife with "left turn fail to afford reasonable opportunity to avoid collision." Yeah, like my wife purposely hit the guy. She waited until the light was about to turn red, if it hadn't already. I think that gave the guy reasonable opportunity to stop.


Self-professed TV junkie

OK, I've sunk to writing about TV again. And I admit that I'm addicted to it, though I am trying not to watch any new shows so I don't get hooked and watch even more TV.

I am getting hooked on Heroes though. It's just my kind of show - a cross between Lost and X-men.

Other shows that I can't miss are:
And Stargate: Atlantis. I know Atlantis is into its third season, but the episodes up here haven't caught up yet. It's still in continuous reruns of season one. Season two is running on Fox, but not prime time. I think it's on a couple times through the day on the weekends. I record it Sundays at 2 am, however they keep flipping the schedule back and forth between 1:30 and 2 am, so I need to constantly check and adjust the recording times. Frustrating to say the least, I only got the first half hour of the episode this past weekend.

Other shows I watch when hanging out in front of the TV are the crime dramas: NCIS, CSI (though I'm not so into Miami as I am the original or NY), Bones, Numbers, Crossing Jordan and Criminal Minds. I've also watched a new show, Psych. And The Unit isn't bad either.

So, although I try not to waste my life away in front of the TV, I usually manage to get in two hours a night. Except Tuesdays when there's nothing on at 10 pm - though I've watched Smith a couple times then, but I don't think it's going to make it. It was replaced with a repeat of CSI last night.

I don't think it's bad to watch TV in moderation. I find the hour or two watching TV before going to bed helps me relax. If I don't get that down time I'm restless and anxious about going to bed. And media and TV are a big part of our society, so watching TV, movies, reading magazines keeps us connected.

It would be cool to get a job in the TV/movie industry.


In honour of Corporal Robert Mitchell

Corporal Robert Thomas James Mitchell was proud to help rebuild war-torn Afghanistan and felt he was working towards the greater good. The father-of-three was killed in an ambush in the Panjwai region on Oct. 3, 2006.

Sgt. Craig Gillam, also of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, based in Petawawa, Ont., was also killed in the series of mortar and rocket attacks just west of Kandahar city.

I didn't know Rob personally, but I know his parents. They're good friends of my parents. It's really tragic. And to add to the tragedy, his younger brother, Rob's only sibling, has been diagnosed with brain cancer, so he's fighting his own battle back here. My thoughts go out to their parents and to Rob's wife and children. And to all the families who are having their own quite vigils at home hoping that the next soldier to die fighting for freedom isn't the soldier whose safe return they're praying for.


Google's taking over the world

Google already has its own video section. But they want to rule the world and buy the number one online video site, YouTube, for $1.6-billion (U.S.).

And not only do they want to rule the world through the Internet, they're also trying to hone in on the other computer company that has ambitions of world domination, Microsoft.

Google has an online document editing tool, Writely, to compete with Microsoft Word. And not just stopping at Word, Google's Office-style Web suite includes Google Spreadsheets, Google Calendar and Google Mail.


Lost season premiere preview

Here's some vids of season three and tonight's premiere.

Russian spy wants to defect?

Elena Miller, a Russian spy who came to Canada in the early '90s and assumed a fake identity, was subsequently found out and deported in June 1996. She's now suing Canada's immigration department for refusing to allow her to return here as a landed immigrant.

Hhmm... I wonder why she hasn't been allowed back? Duh, maybe because she was a spy and who's entire identity in Canada was based on a lie.

While in Canada she met Dr. Miller and they were married in December 2006. Dr. Miller then applied to sponsor his new wife to become a Canadian citizen. So, it's not like it's been eight years and she wants to get back in. She tried to get back in the country not even a year after being found to be a spy and deported. How naive is that?

Yeah, Canadians are nice people and all, but we're not stupid. Are we supposed to take her word that she's turned her back on a life of espionage, a life of lying and deceiving, and let her right back in the country?

Here's hoping the courts see the idiocy of this and laugh her naive, red little tushie out of court.


Why is the left so unlucky?

Apparently I'm in good company. My left middle finger has been cut down to size, so whenever I flip you the bird with my left hand it's in metric (metric unit measurements are shorter than imperial units).

However, there are many famous people who are short a digit or two. I guess because the majority of people are right-handed if they happen to be chopping vegetables or playing with a hand gun the weapon of choice will most likely be in their right hand hence making their left hand vulnerable to the chopping block or stray bullet. Hence the majority of missing digits are from the left hand.

I don't have any good story about cleaning a pistol or catching a grenade though. Mine is an unfortunate meeting between my hand and the rapidly spinning wheel of an exercise bike. I was one or two at the time and my brother was riding the bike.

It hasn't held me back, except for shattering any dreams of playing the guitar like Jimmy Hendrix. I do have some interesting party tricks and things I can do to fascinate the kids though.


Alarm sounds over cost of fitness plan

This Globe and Mail article talks about a Conservative plan to breathe new life into Participaction — the fitness-awareness campaign killed five years ago by the previous Liberal government. They are asking for a total of $6 million by 2010 to get people off of the couch and participate.

The government has already said they're cutting $2 billion from the budget, including all funding for youth to train them and help them find a job; something that would get them off the couch and do more to participate in and contribute to society and the economy than this Participaction program ever wood.

What has the world come to?

Yes, I've sunk to a new low. In searching for content to write about I'm now drawing from the all-time water cooler fodder of . . . TV SHOWS.

I'm getting drawn in to the hype and circumstance of the Fall premieres. It doesn't help that my office mates (mostly women, not that that implies anything) are big into Survivor, Grey's Anatomy, etc., and there's usually morning conversation drifting over the cube walls discussing who slept with who and who stabbed who in the back.

Stay tuned for next weeks post where (hopefully) we'll return to regular scheduled programming of my long drawn out rants and raves on whatever happens to be mulling around in my brain.

CSI is a soap opera

It's official. So, is Sam dead?

I watched the series premiere of Smallville last night. It was good, but I don't think it was that great. You kind of feel sorry for Clark though as Chloe snubs him throwing away her long time affection for him to start something with Jimmy and the Fortress is dead severing all ties he had to Jor El, his only connection to Krypton and his powers. Though evidently that's going to come back as Lyonel's connection to Jor El is back. But you wonder if it just came back or if he's hiding it from Clark and Martha. When he wrote 'Power' on the sheet of Kryptonian writing does that mean power for him or is the symbol he wrote Kryptonian for "power."

And didn't it look like there were a few of the prisoners that game through the prison dimension with Clark. So, what happened to them?



I saw the series premiere of Heroes last night (I had recorded it). It looks like it will be a good show. I like how they did a six degrees of seperation type loop to connect everyone together.

The reviews have compared it to a mix between Lost and X-men, though the publicity write-ups have said they'll stay away from any X-men, Justice League type groups forming.

There will likely be a cult following for this with a lot of online content like Lost. The website has an online graphic novel that provides more content not seen in the show.

I'm not sure the online stripper really has a power though, I think she's just crazy. The ability to fly, or regenerate, or teleport are familiar hero abilities, but I'm not sure a schizophrenic with a psychotic alter ego is considered a special power.

Guess I'll have to watch the story unfold.

Tonight's the season premiere of Smallville, so I'm looking forward to that. And the second episode of CSI. The season premiere of that was really weird. It's like they did a whole episode in 45 minutes and then tacked on 15 minutes of the beginning of another episode just to make you come back.


Online battle or marketing gimmick?

There are a few web marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) e-newsletters that I subscribe to and two of them in particular have been very entertaining reading this past week.

One of them, The Rich Jerk, is a very irreverent guy who thinks he's above everyone and always talks down to the readers of his e-newsletter and his site, often with very colourful language. He maintains his anonymity and insists he likes it that way.

The other is from Andy Jenkins and Brad Fallon, SEO experts. Andy and Brad have been hyping the launch of their Stomper Network, launching next week.

The ongoing battle is that The Rich Jerk maintains he's made his millions by selling his knowledge and now Andy and Brad are giving away his SEO techniques for free. It's rather suspicious though in that The Rich Jerk's e-mails include links to Andy and Brads videos and website and repeat them throughout his e-mail, almost like a sales letter promoting the sites.

In fact, I found out about Andy and Brad's stuff from The Rich Jerk's e-mail. Rich Jerk claims that he doesn't like them giving away the stuff for free and keeps claiming how he's going to get back at them, and yet he keeps promoting them in his e-mails.

Makes you wonder if The Rich Jerk and Andy and Brad are in some kind of partnerhsip, or even that The Rich Jerk is really Andy or Brad (or both). Perhaps the irreverent Rich Jerk image is just a way for Andy and Brad to target a different audience without alienating their mainstream audience.


Does this dress make me look fat?

The question that every man dreads hearing from his spouse/girlfriend.

Recent news coverage has reported that Madrid banned excessively thin women from appearing in fashion shows. And I think it's about time.

Georgio Armani agrees; however, he doesn't take any responsibility for models who are incredibly thin: "the stylists and also the media have interfered and they now want models that are incredibly thin," he says.

Since when does a fashion designer bow to the media? I've seen enough episodes of Fashion Television to see some really out there, not-in-the-mainstream, designs.

Armani says he only takes on "healthy girls". He's very influential in the fashion world; let's hope that he stops placing blame and his actions are true to his words. If someone like Armani outwardly only uses healthy girls, then hopefully the stylists and the media, as he's quick to blame, will come around and stop demanding models that are incredibly thin.

I don't think there's anything wrong with a woman who actually looks like a woman (with a curvy figure).


Canada a ‘model' for world

Makes ya pround to be Canadian, eh.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai praised Canada and its people today with his speech at the House of Commons.

“Thanks to Canada's contributions, Afghanistan today is profoundly different from the terrified and exhausted country it was five years ago,” he said.

Six million children now attend school in his country. Under Taliban rule, that number had been limited to just 700,000, all of them boys. Today more 35 per cent of those attending school are girls.

Hard to believe. We take education for granted and to get any job today in the Western world you need at least a college diploma. Yet a few years ago on the other side of the world girls weren't allowed to learn.

There are still places in the world where it's a luxury to have books or materials to teach children.

It's nice to hear President Karzai praise Canada as a model to the rest of the world. Though I'm not saying that we need to conform the world to be like Canada, but there's so much we take for granted that are luxuries for other people in the world, like drinking water. It would be nice if we could share some of these luxuries.

I'm a big fan of space exploration and even dreamed of being an astronaut when I was a kid, but really I think we need to get our own little corner of the universe in order before spending billions of dollars on settling on the moon or on Mars.


Alberta Baby Boom

There's been a 10 per cent increase in babies born in Alberta from 2000 to 2005. I'm sure the booming (pun intended) economy is a big factor.

Although the lack of an NHL season 2004/2005 would've allowed the men to spend a lot more quality time with their wives/girlfriends.

So, Mike, you're a couple months into your marriage now, any news you want to share?


Stella Artois answers

Here are the answers to the three Stella Artois "spot the classic" wallpapers that I posted last week.



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Wake up running

Every morning a gazelle wakes up in Africa knowing that it has to run faster that the fastest lion or it will be eaten . . . every morning a lion wakes up in Africa knowing that it has to run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve . . . it doesn't matter if you're a lion or a gazelle . . . when you wake up you better be running.

Empire Theatres BOGO movie coupon

As a Scene First member (subscriber to Empire theatres movie times e-mail), I received an e-mail with this link from them and thought I would share it. It's good until Oct. 15 so you could actually print it out numerous times and use it over the four weeks.

I am actually subscribed to about four or five e-mails to receive the movie listings for theatres in London from all theatres. I use the information from them to update the listings on my site,

That's the reason why I created my site. Who really wants to get five e-mails just to find out what movie to see Friday night? And if you go to you have to find your City first from the huge list before you can see your movie times.

So, I created my site to serve my little corner of the world and provide one link that quickly and easily shows you the current movie listings in London. And if you want to receive them in an e-mail, you can sign up to receive all movie times in one weekly e-mail.


Stella Artois

I raise my glass to Stella Artois.

On the Stella Artois site there's a short, interactive movie called, The Stranger, that instructs you on the nine steps to follow to pour a glass of Stella Artois. Bars actually have to follow these steps if they want to sell Stella Artois.

They also have three "spot the classic" wallpapers on their site, which are three scenes incorporating various cluse from classis and modern films.

Street: Can you identify the 24 films in this scene?

Park: Can you identify the 17 films in this scene?

Beach: Can you identify the 20 films in this scene?

The answer key will be revealed September 18th, so if you're having trouble identifying the movies I'll post the answers then so you can see them all.

Update: Here are the links to the answers.


Amazing jump

This guy's got to be a stunt man.

Robert Ringer

I think I've mentioned Robert Ringer in earlier posts. He has an e-letter which I subscribe to called, A Voice of Insanity in an Insane World.

He is offering the updated version of one of his earlier best sellers for free as a PDF: To Be or Not to Be Intimidated.

Robert's bio in the book says, "[he] is often referred to as 'the thinking person's mentor' because of his emphasis on reason and logic." No wonder I like his writing; we need more logic in the world.

It's meant to be a gift to loyal subscribers or new subscribers, which basically includes everyone, so I've included the link above for anyone to check out.


Like a Surgeon

Not sure if this is the original Weird Al Yankovic video for this song, but it certainly is weird and rather disturbing at times.

And this is definitely weird.


Planet of the Apes

It turns out Rod Serling, who wrote POTA , also wrote the episodes of The Twilight Zone. So some crazed fan with way too much time on his hands edited POTA down and turned it into a 30-minute episode of The Twilight Zone, complete with Rod Serling's narration at the beginning and end.

I haven't watched the whole thing yet, but have copied it to take home tonight to view the entire episode.

London Search and Rescue

Not much to report on this yet, but last week I signed up for the London SAR St. John Ambulance Brigade, Ground SAR Team.

The intro (ISAR) course is the end of the month so I'll report more on that then. I'll also be getting basic CPR and First Aid training, and eventually wilderness first aid and other training. A lot of this I learned in the CF Reserves, so it will be a refresher. I'll need to recertify for these every year, so I'll be able to keep everything current.

The Ontario Search And Rescue Volunteer Association has some more info on training, etc.

Should provide some great experiences and a chance for me to really contribute to something worthwhile.


Mother Nature vs. Human nature

Tsunami Disaster - Asia - December 26, 2004
Lives lost: 130,000
Cause: Mother Nature

9/11 - U.S.A - September 11, 2001
Lives lost: 2,973
Cause: Human Nature

Both tragedies and yet which seems to have had the most news coverage? Which is still affecting the world today?

9/11 seems to be more of a tragedy to many as it was closer to home; it was an attack on America. The death toll of the tsunami was insurmountably more than 9/11 and the unbelievable loss of life makes it a great tragedy. Yet it was mostly developing countries affected and the other side of the world to us, so it doesn't seem to affect many as much.

So, which is the greater tragedy, the fact that events which occur on the other side of the world don't seem to affect us or that 9/11 was caused by men with purposeful intent to cause that destruction and loss of life?

United 93

I watched the dramatization of the events on Flight 93 on A&E last night. It was a very moving account of the tragedy.

I'm not sure if the conversations on cell phones between the passengers and their families on the ground were based on the actual accounts, but one passenger in the dramatization called her mother and said, "Hi Mom, it's me, I'm calling to say goodbye."

The movie didn't show the actual crash, but it did show the plane doing a rollover and diving towards the ground, then a later shot showed smoke rising over the trees. When the firefighters were on the scene there was a burnt, smoldering crater and they were searching for the plane . . . searching for a large, 40-passenger, commercial jet.

I know they likely took many liberties in creating this movie and likely added some extra sensationalism for TV, but I'm sure the actual events that day were likely just as wild and unbelievable.

I still remember the day. I was at work when rumors starting floating around. Many of the news sites were flooded with people searching for information about the events unfolding in the world. Then I heard a rumor that the Pentagon was hit and it was just unbelievable.

It's hard to believe how much the events of that day have changed the world and how the effects of it are still going on today with the war in Iraq.



Cool concept. In order to reduce the amount of junk ending up in landfills, this list puts you in touch with people in your area wanting to get rid of stuff, for free.

And as they say, "One person's junk is another person's treasure."

March 14 is Churn Day

The CRTC has ruled that March 14 is the day that wireless number portability (WNP) will take affect.

So, don't sign that long contract. Come March I'm sure the cell providers will be offering lots of deals to keep you as a customer and prevent churn (that's what they call it when a customer switches carriers).

Check out Virgin Mobile for their two cents worth. They don't have contracts and have the smallest share so they have the most to gain from this.

And check out The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association for there mumbo jumbo take on this.


Star P.M.

The Star has just launched a new afternoon addition of their paper offering highlights of the news. It's available at 3:30 everyday in a downloadable PDF. Perfect for bringing along on the commute home if you're stuck in traffic or taking the subway in TO.

More Crazy Frog

If you really hate Crazy Frog, this is a good outlet for you. As well as a big time waster.

Even if you think he's cool, this is still a fun game; though very addictive. The furthest I got was about 75 feet.

And here's more Crazy Frog with You can't touch this.


Crocodile Hunter

Kind of ironic that Steve Irwin, famous for tempting fate with crocodiles and snakes, is killed by a sting ray.

Sting ray's are normally gentle and will only attack when threatened. Their barbs are poisonous, but not enough to kill a person. Steve tragically was hit with the barb in the heart and bled to death. He died within moments of pulling the barb out of his chest.

Although I was never really a fan of his shows I'd seen enough clips from commercials and news stories to see he seemed like a very jovial, friendly person.

And it's not that he was specifically a thrill seeker. He and his wife, Terri, were big animal rights activists and many of Steve's thrill seeking was to raise awareness and promote animal conservation.

"Irwin was the type of man who would walk out of a Chinese restaurant if he spotted shark fin soup on the menu. He hated the idea of a threatened species being brought to the edge of extinction because it made a tasty appetiser."

Crikey, the Crocodile Hunter will be missed.


Holidays are over, back to work

It's Labor Day today and I've just had four days off work. I haven't been on the computer much at all this weekend; spending time with family and entertaining on our great patio. We had a fire Friday night with family and made 'smores, then had Mom, Dad and Grammy over for dinner Sunday. Did some yard work and went for a drive to Stratford Saturday.

Sheesh, this is more of a typical journal entry. I'll try and get my brain working again and write one of my profound, deep ramblings tomorrow.


Crazy Frog

OK, so I haven't actually been writing that much. I guess my brain's on vacation and I don't have any strong opinion on anything right now. So, while my mind takes a rest I'll keep uploading these fun things.

Do you remember Crazy Frog and his rendition of Axel F, he has a bunch of records out now and even a rendition of Queen's We are the champions.

If you notice in Axel F, Crazy Frog is wearing only a biker helmet and goggles and sporting ambiguous genitalia between his legs. Many of his videos were used in ring tone commercials in Europe and there was much controversy and curious children asking their mommies what it was between his legs, so the commercials started blurring Crazy Frog's midsection.

If you watch this version of We are the champions you'll notice Crazy Frog's midsection is censored.

Too funny.

Who's fastest?

Flash, Road Runner or Speedy Gonzales?


Einstein says . . .

Go to to find movies and show times in London.
Entertainment London is your what, when, where and why of the entertainment industry in London, Ontario and area.


Marriage contract with an end date

This is an interesting concept. As the article discusses, so many people are getting divorces why bother getting married.

The concept is to sign a relationship contract with an end date, say 5 or 10 years. The contract can include goals that the couple would like to achieve in that period.

When the time comes up, the couple can reevaluate, make new goals and sign another contract if they wish.

The paper also discusses keeping a joint journal between the two people that have signed the contract. This keeps them on track with their goals and allows them to reevaluate them continuosly.

I think this would actually create longer term relationships. The two people in the relationship don't feel like they're stuck as there's an end date and they are working together towards their mutually agreeable goals so the relationship won't go stagnant.

My wife and I do this to some extent, but without the end date. At the start of every year, usually New Year's day or during the holidays at the end of the year, we sit down and discuss our financial and peronal goals. And we revisit these goals through the year to keep on track.

It's worked so far; we're coming up on our 10th anniversary.


Robert Barrington Leigh

This post is a tribute to Robert Barrington Leigh. Robert was a brilliant math student at the University of Toronto and was considered to be one of the country's top mathematical minds. Robert went missing in Edmonton near his home on August 13. His body was found Tuesday in the North Saskatchewan River. Foul play was not suspected.

I feel it's a great loss not only to Robert's family, but also to the world to lose such a great mind and the potential contributions Robert would have made.

A search on the Web for "Barrington Leigh" brings up many links for the family and highlights the contributions Robert and his family have made to the academic and science communities.

In following the story of Robert's disappearance I came across a site for his brother Christopher and the idea I discuss in my next post.

No more pizza

My Very Educated Mother Just Served Up New Pizza.

The childhood way of remembering the order of the planets will need to be rethought. Pluto has been officially ruled not a planet.

New definition of a planet:
"a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a ... nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit."

According to the Associated Press news article, Pluto is disqualified because its oblong orbit overlaps with Neptune's.

Pluto will now fall under a new category as a "dwarf planet."

So, can you come up with a new phrase for these letters?


Put your suggestions in the comments.

World's Funniest Commercials

Some of these are pretty funny, some are pretty stupid, but then as they say in the advertising biz," if you don't get the commercial, then you're not likely the target audience."

In case you thought I wasn't man enough to go see Step Up on the weekend, check out this ballerina commerical.

This isn't a commerical, but it's pretty funny.


A hand up

Just wanted to comment about this article in The Globe and Mail:

Police move to evict man living under Toronto expressway
Anti-poverty protesters stage rally after resident told shelter would be demolished to make way for road work.

The issue is that there's some bridge repairs that needs to be done under the Gardiner Expressway and there's a man who's lived under there for eight years in a makeshift house he built from scrap wood.

"The protesters, from the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, argue that Chris should not be forced to leave his home..."

He's been allowed to live there free of charge for the past eight years. It's not like there's a grudge against him. If I, as a tax payer, owned a house and the city wanted to put a highway through it I wouldn't have much of a choice. I'd be compensated, but I still wouldn't have much of a choice.

The man "has refused an apartment and various support services offered by the city, saying he does not recognize the right of landlords to charge rent." What more can they do? If the protesters are so concerned, help him move his "house" to another location; under another bridge that isn't under repairs or maybe one of the protesters backyards.

I'm all for giving people a hand up, but there are just some people who prefer to live the way they do. Give them a sleeping bag and a hot meal, but I don't think they should be used to further any holier-than-thou causes.


I am so there . . . Rev It Up

Rev It Up Performance Driving School and National Racing Competition

This looks way cool.

Chevy holds this once a year and the cost is only $40. You get performance driving tips in Chevy SS cars, like the Corvette, and then there's a race at the end.

2006 events are just finishing up this month, but I'm definitely going to watch for next year's dates.


Step Up

(Warning movie spoiler)

I'm going to start sounding like I'm whipped. First I write about The Devil Wears Prada, now I'm writing about this.

I just watched Step Up with my wife. It actually wasn't that bad; there was enough boys 'n the hood and basketball in it. The music wasn't bad either.

It was actually a kind of inspirational movie. Though in the movie the guys didn't come around until the one's little brother was shot. Then they realized that there's more to life than hangin out at parties and boosting cars.

My wife asked me if I thought that there was one thing that each person was really good at, better than everyone else. I'm not sure that I would go so far as to say 'better than everyone else," but I do believe that there is one talent that each person is good at and that they can become famous for; whether it's dancing, singing, playing basketball or even building a real estate empire like Donald Trump.

It's then up to each of us to find that one thing, that thing that we really love and would fight for. Now I have to think what is that one thing for me...

My wife asked if I knew what that was. I know that there are lots of things that I'm really good at, but the real question is what do I really love, what skill or talent can I develop and become famous for.

I guess you could say that's everyone's raison d'être, their purpose in life. Is there somthing you would fight for? something you could become famous for? Will you step up and fight like Pluto to be recognised as a real planet as opposed to sitting back and being labeled a pluton?


Movie Listings and Show times

Another link I have at the left is to Entertainment London.

This is a site that I created to provide a complete listing of movies and show times playing in London, Ontario. That's its raison d'être. And then just to flesh it out and provide more substance I also added pages for some of the other entertainment venues in London and area.

So, if you're into movies or even if you just go to a movie once a year, bookmark the site and check it out next time you're looking for a diversion in the evening or even some afternoon.

Red Hot Pawn

You may have noticed this in my links to the left, but just wanted to mention it.

It's a neat site for correspondance chess. Basically you log in and make your move and then an e-mail can be sent to you when your opponent makes his (or her) move. It also has a message component so that you can message your opponent.

Red Hot Pawn Online Chess


Art Fronckowiak

Is that a self-fulfilling prophecy; naming a painter Art?

Just discovered this artist (although I think I've admired some of his work on display at a Lazyboy Furniture store).

This is one of his pieces called, New Grapes.

I think he's now into Florida scapes, but the stuff I really like are the Italian landscapes. The traditional landscapes are nice as well. He paints with such vibrant colours.
  • Update (18/10/06): Just received the price for this piece:

    New Grapes
    Original Acrylic on Canvas
    24"x30" unframed // 34"x40" framed
    Custom frame: Larson Juhl combination (Castillano)
    $6,500 (not including shipping)


Early to rise

Just wanted to mention a really good daily newsletter that I receive: Early to rise.

It contains great information on three themes: healthy, wealthy and wise. The focus is on teaching you how to make money through investing, real estate and business opportunities; and staying healthy through proper exercise and eating healthy.


I'm back

I was on vacation for a few days in Ottawa for a friend's wedding. My wife and I stopped overnight outside of Gananoque and then went on a 1000 Islands boat cruise around Heart Island to see Boldt Castle. It's a grand place (or should I say palace?)

It's a rather sad story as George C. Boldt, who ran the Waldorf Astoria hotel, was building the castle for his wife and she passed away before it's completion. Mr. Boldt was devastated when is wife passed and construction of the castle and grounds was halted and the buildings sat vacant for many years. Such love and devotion that his wife was his entire life.

I wish that kind of love and devotion on my friends who were married this weekend. The wedding was great, and the brides parents opened up their home for everyone during the celebrations. They're heading off to Greece today for their honeymoon to relax on the beaches of the Mediterranean and visit some of the ancient historical sites of the classical world.

While in Ottawa we visited the National Civilization Museum and saw the Petra: Lost City of Stone exhibit. It was a main city on the trade routes in classical times. While in Ottawa we also visited the National Gallery of Canada and saw the Emily Carr exhibit. She really went through a lot of phases with her art.

So, it was a nice trip, though not really a relaxing one as we were on the go all the time.


The real free Napster

This site contains old movies, cartoons, and documentaries; all public domain stuff, so you can download and view them for free, legally.

Internet Archive

Stuff like Three Stooges, Buster Keaton, old WWII documentaries, etc. I found a lot of old Superman cartoons. Cool stuff.

Also inlcudes freeware/shareware software, and an audio section with Grateful Dead stuff and even a presidential recordings section with private recordings that are in the now public domain.


The devil wears prada

There was a woman last week who held up a flight for over an hour and then ended up getting off the plane just because she didn't want to stow her Gucci bag under the seat.

Is fashion really that important? I don't know where the flight was going, but I imagine that the woman wouldn't have received a refund. She didn't even get off until threatened with being arrested. And I imagine that the airline is going to put her on their black list. Could she not have just wrapped the bag in a blanket and then put it under the seat if she was so concerned about it getting damaged?

I watched The Devil Wears Prada last weekend with my wife. (Hey, I dragged her to X-men and Superman, so I have to go with her to the chick flicks every once in awhile.)

Really, is a Prada or Gucci bag really that important to let it rule someone's life?


Do you feel like a rat in a maze?

Most people get up in the morning, do their commute, sit in a tiny cube for eight hours, do the commute home, go to bed, and get up the next morning to begin the cycle again.

If you spend the majority of your life in a dull, boring cubicle, check out this for some ideas to liven up your workspace or look for ideas to surprise a fellow cubemate when they come back from holidays.

I'd like to know though, what office lets someone put up a Playboy poster?


Tax cuts designed to produce growth

What a concept, eh?

The Chinese government did away with all rural taxes last year. In 2006, they are doubling the threshold for income tax.

We may see some minor tax breaks here in Canada (maybe a per cent or two), but I would never expect to see such drastic changes.

Many governments interfere so much with tariffs and subsidies; I think the whole world would be better off if we had a free market economy with more private enterprise and less interference from government.

There are many people in the world who do need a hand up, but that's what it should be. A hand up, not a hand out. I think we do need social services, but these services need to be more about educating and training people. Too many people don't take any action and just sit around expecting money to flow in to their bank every month without doing anything to earn it.

I think governments focus should be on training (e.g., tax breaks for university and college). Let business be ruled by supply and demand and those that survive and prosper will benefit by the trained workforce. Those businesses that can't survive on their own will step aside and those workers can re-train and be more productive in another business that is thriving on its own.

So, I guess the question is, are there any enonomists out there who really understand the concept of supply and demand who could run in the next election?


The customer is not always right?

Double take. Whiplash. What?

Just wanted to relate something that Robert Ringer wrote about in his book I mentioned in an earlier post, Action. Robert mentions a few situations he encountered in the same week with two different young women both around 18 years old.

His first story relates how he went into a deli that he had frequented on numerous occasions and had friendly conversations with the owner many times. This particular time we went in and was served by a counter person he hadn't seen there before. Robert wanted his order to go and, as I do when in a fast food restaurant asking for something other than they're used to, he made it a point to repeat himself numerous times that he wanted his order to go. When his sandwhiches arrived they were unwrapped on plates. Calmly he says, "I had asked for those to go." Anyone versed in customer service would apologise and proceed to wrap up the sandwiches. This young women looks at him and says, "No you didn't." Double take. Whiplash. What? OK, so Robert asks for it to go, the girl returns, "You didn't ask for it to go before." Back-and-forth... Then the owner appears. Robert mentions the standard customer service motto, "The customer is always right." The owner says quite irritated, "No, the customer is not always right. I can always find a new customer, but it's hard to find a good employee." Double take. Whiplash. What?

Needless to say Robert never returned to that deli, nor did any of his friends who he related that story to.

His next story, he walks into a repair store to pick up his printer he had dropped off earlier. The young woman brings out his printer without a paper tray. Robert mentions that his paper tray is missing. The young woman says that he didn't bring it in with a paper tray as she took it when he dropped it off and remembers no paper tray. Back-and-forth... Then the service technician appears and he and Robert go to the back to look for the paper tray. The young woman follows going on that it didn't come in with a paper tray. They look and see lots of paper trays in other printers, but no other paper trays. The young woman says, See, told you so." Robert insists he brought the printer in with paper tray and is not leaving without one. The technician grabs a paper tray from another printer and Robert leaves doubting himself, "Did I bring in the paper tray? Did I ask for that sandwhich to go?"

Robert arrives home with his printer and searches the house and finds no paper tray. He then calls the service technician the next day and confirms that he didn't have another paper tray at home. The technician says, "We did find your tray up on a shelf after you left, sorry for the trouble."

Roberts actual words are paraphrased here, but you get the jist of it. I can't believe that some people can be so idiotic and so high on themselves. I'd like to chalk it up to youth in Robert's examples, but I know it's not just that. I'm sure everyone has similar stories, and if I had a better memory and could think of one of my own I would put it in. I'll come back and edit this post when I can recall one.

Feel free to add comments to this post and relate your own Double take. Whiplash. What? moments.

And be sure to look for Robert Ringer's book, Action! : Nothing Happens Until Something Moves.


Why do we fight?

I just watched an old episode of NCIS. There was a retired WWII veteran who had received the medal of honor. At the end he toasted with a Japanese man who had fought in the War. It really made me think.

Why is there always fighting in the world? There is talk that the war in the Middle East could become World War III. There has always been fighting in the world. It's hard to imagine if there will ever be a time when there's no fighting on Earth. (I was going to say 'in the world', but I watch a lot of Sci-Fi, and when there's peace on Earth there'll likely be a war in the skies.)

I was in the reserves for two years as a radio operator, so even if I was in a war I wouldn't likely have seen any combat. I did go on an exercise for a weekend in Fort Drum, New York, though and I was with the infantry, so I had a taste of what it might have been like. Even though I never fired my rifle as the 'enemy' never came near my position, I still had to clean it after as I was sitting in a muddy trench (that I dug) the whole time. When we marched in we had to go through a shallow river and it rained the whole weekend, so I never dried out the whole time.

It really did feel like hell and I only did that for the one weekend and it's not something I want to experience too often, if again. Most of the time a radio operator sits in the back of a cosy radio truck. I do think that my training was a good experience though and it is one of the things that I'm proud of in my life.

However, I think about the Canadian and American troops who are overseas now and the fire fights you hear that they've been in and the ones who are killed. I can't imagine what that would be like. I'm sure that really changes someone being around that and seeing friends get shot and I doubt it's a change for the better. I'm not sure it's something I would be able to handle or even want to.

I do think guns are cool, but that's the macho man in me. The C7 rifle (Canadian version of the M16) I used in the reserves was cool. I'm a pretty good shot on the range and even was able to use it on fully automatic once. It goes through a 30 round mag in about 3 seconds. The gun advocates like to use the saying, "guns don't kill people, people kill people." I think it's a true statement, but guns really make it easy and a lot less close and impersonal, so I think a corallary is that "people use guns to kill people." And really is there another purpose for guns other than killing?

Anyway, just my ramblings for today and some things to think about.


Can't we all just get along

I've now spent over five hours working on my grandpa's computer trying to get his e-mail to work.

He uses Sympatico and has Norton Internet Security 2005. Sympatico went to a more secure e-mail using SSL; however, Norton can't scan SSL e-mail and gives an error. So, incoming e-mail works fine, but outgoing e-mail won't send.

I spent an hour on the phone with Sympatico who ends up saying it's a Norton error. I then spend another hour using online help chatting with someone at Symantec who tells me to reinstall Norton. Another two hours uninstalling and reinstalling Norton and the error is still there.

The online help forum for Norton says to uncheck e-mail scanning in Norton Antivirus, but there's an error in NAV that even though you uncheck it, it still scans e-mail.

There's a rather lengthy forum ( that goes back to 2004 on this without any real solution other than use a different ISP or don't use Norton. (I spent another hour going through the posts there, so actually I'm up to over 6 hours working on this; counting all the time I spent just trying to figure it out before trying to enlist other help.)

People can't get along in the Middle East, so I guess it's too much to ask to expect Microsoft, Bell and Symantec to play nice together.

It puts it in perspective though when there are people dodging bombs in Lebanon and just trying to survive and my biggest problem is trying to send a secure e-mail. Touching, related post-Moon musings.


If you want a change you have to change

Just wanted to rant a bit about a saying that I like: "If you want something to change, you have to change something."

Basically, this means if you want something to be different in your life, you can't expect it to just happen. You can't expect to achieve different results if you keep doing the same thing you've always done.

Decide what it is that you want to change, and then go about learning about what you need to do to affect that change. And then do it. Knowing what you need to do is a start, but you still won't achieve that change unless you act.

Many people sit around waiting for their ship to come in, and yet they don't take any action. Metaphorically, they don't go to the travel agency to see what their options are, they don't decide on a destination and they don't purchase a boarding pass. They aren't even hanging around at the docks looking for their ship. And they wouldn't even think to swim out to it as they see their ship sail by.

Some people sit around expecting millions to jut fall into their lap. Although a long (long, long) shot, you're never even going to win the lottery unless you take the action of buying a ticket.

Now I'll step off my soap box and just mention a book that I've started reading by Robert Ringer: "Action! Nothing happens until something moves." A good read so far. And, just an interesting tid bit, the quote "nothing happens until something moves" is actually from Einstein.

So, not to be too cheesy, but I'll sign off with "Just Do it!"
Aug. 28 addendum, I've found a historical quote that restates this:

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

However, I'm not sure who to contribute this to. I've found references that Benjamin Franklin said this and I've also found references that Albert Einstein said this.


Mentos and Diet Coke Fountain

101 2-litre bottles of Diet Coke
523 Mentos
One juggler
One lawyer
One cameraman
Cost: $300
Revenue: $15,000 from ad revenue-sharing

Check it out.

I actually saw someone try this. Pretty exciting stuff. Although, I'm sure you have to be a guy to really appreciate it. My wife is a diet-coke-aholic and I'm sure to her this would rank up there with alchohol abuse. I would never think of trying this with beer - what a waste.

How to make a Mentos Coke rocket. This is really cool and won't cost as much time or money as the orchestrated one above.

The chemistry behind it.


Some ideas on transportation

Here's some ideas that I've had recently. I'm always coming up with far fetched ideas that may or may not be feasible.

Both these have to do with cars.

1. Gizmodo posted about this electric car that travels for 250 miles on a single charge. So, I was thinking, if there's an electric motor that controls the rear wheels, the front wheels are just spinning along. Why not hook up a generator powered by the rotation of the front wheels that recharges the batteries. Then, after the initial charge, this thing would go forever. Of course I'm not a mechanic so feel free to poke holes in my theory.

2. This second idea is one I've had for awhile. I think to some extent some luxury cars have installed proximity sensors into cars for parking, but I was thinking why not use electro magnets to create a buffer around cars.

Basically charge all cars so they're all positve (or negative). Like charges repel so there would never be any accidents as cars would have this magnetic field around them. At stop lights only the first car needs to break. Other cars can come up full speed with out breaking and would be stopped by the magnetic field of the car in front. Then when the lead car pulls away the cars behind automatically go ahead.

This would really increase the flow of traffic as you wouldn't need any distance in front of you and would eliminate what I call the domino effect at stop lights, which is the lead car takes a second to realize the lights green and then go, the car behind him takes another second and so on, so it's at least 10 seconds before the 10th car in line even starts to move after a light change (provided everyone's on the ball).

Of course, like I said I'm not a mechanic, so feel free to poke holes in my ideas or tweak them.

Yahoo! Geocities Sucks!

I know the title is rather negative being that this is my first post. I don't intend the whole tone of my blog to be negative, it's just this particular issue has been burning at me for awhile now and I need to vent and get it out there.

Just some background on my issue. I am a Rogers high speed customer and Rogers offers free websites to their accounts. I had an idea for a website to provide the weekly movie times for London Ontario in one central location. Good idea I thought and not a widely offered service.

So, long story short I signed up for numerous e-mails from the theatres, created my website and faithfully updated my site every week with the movies and times from the e-mails. A couple months after being up, Yahoo deletes my site stating it violates their terms of service, specifically they quoted the below term:

Yahoo Geocities Terms of Service
5. You agree to not use the Service to:
(o) use your home page (or directory) as storage for remote loading or as a door or signpost to another home page, whether inside or beyond Yahoo GeoCities;

So, let me understand this, Yahoo will give me free space for a website on the Internet, but I can't point to other pages. Hmmm . . .

Let's step back a moment here. If we look up Internet on wikipedia some key words are network, interconnected, interlinked . . .

So Yahoo Geocities isn't giving me a webpage, there giving me a door that opens up to a brick wall. Yeah, thanks. Thanks for nothing.

Hopefully now that my rant is out there it will get picked up and maybe open up Yahoo's eyes. You'd think that a big Internet player like Yahoo would have a better understanding of the place where they make their money.