Monday, December 31, 2007

Yet another fresh start...

...timely I guess, that at the dawn of a new year, I'm starting my blog from scratch, again. I think I'll give up on cheap hosting and complex database-driven content management systems. For the last couple of weeks, I'd hoped that my site might reappear but it does not look like it will happen. For now, I'll host it from the comfort of my basement and my trusty NSLU2. Also, I'll use good old Blogger as the authoring tool, as it works, and is simple.
I'll add old articles as I recover them from old backups, caches etc.

On another note, we had an excellent Christmas trip to Newfoundland. Always the madman, I elected to travel in a "new" beast, namely a '91 Chevy Astro that I recently picked up very second hand at a decent price. In spite of its 282,000 kms and sweet 16 age, it performed admirably, transporting family, gifts and more in traditional rear wheel drive fashion, thanks to studded winter tires from Walmart. Thankfully, we were afforded good weather windows and 2 comfortable ferry crossings...
Leaving Nfld...
Arriving in Halifax...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Well, you get what you pay for I guess, and my hosting provider seems to have dropped off the face of the earth without a trace. All of my stuff is gone. I managed to point my domain to this page, but my backups are in a mess, and restoration is unlikely anytime soon. However, Christmas is great, and there's more to life than stinkin' blogs :)
Merry Christmas to all !!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Memory Lane (Jimmy Durante)

Anyone remember this ad? I was scarcely 10 at the time but I remember it well. Mostly I remember my Father laughing heartily at anything with Jimmy in it...what a class act...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Chestnuts Roasting on a Faux Fire II

Ok, according to my "value" system, Christmas utterances such as "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire", or "the fire is so delightful" are most valid only when coupled to an actual fire, preferably a fireplace or an open door woodstove. However, I will lower my standards to even include a pellet stove or a gas fireplace. Those ridiculous Electric fireplaces with the tinfoil spinning flames and a hair dryer for the heat don't rank at all. Now as a society, we've sunk to an all-time low. Knowing my opinions on this (having heard me rant and roar), a beloved colleague presented me with a DVD, namely Faux Fire 2. Apparently this is the sequel to an already best seller. Ok hear me now: if the day ever comes that my primal "fire" needs have to be satiated by watching a fire on TV...then it's time to hang up the poker... the terrorists have won :)

Monday, November 12, 2007


It is fitting that I pause and remember my Father, who served in World War II as a member of the 59th Royal Artillery Regiment. I know very little about this period of his life, as he rarely spoke if it, at least to me. As I understand it, they remained in England defending the south coast from invasion until July of 1944, when they were deployed to France to take part in the battle of Normandy. I did manage to find some photos taken overseas though:

Monday, November 5, 2007

Expanding "ManSpace"...

sadly, it's true; the garage and basement are no longer sufficient. 3 males vs. 1 female, and something has to give. Enter, the ManSpace Project 2007:
Admittedly, it'll take some effort to complete, but the shingling job survived the recent post-nasal storm "NOEL" unscathed !! Can't get complacent yet though Embarassed.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lightweight 6.5oz woodburning stove

I love stuff like this...takes me back to the apple juice can kettle days of old :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Briefcase Bliss

Ok so I'm a gadget freak, but in my quest for simplicity, I was not happy lugging both a briefcase AND a lunch bag...there had to be a better way. Then I happened upon Duluth Trading's Combination Briefcase/Lunch bag in one !! Was this too good to be true? Only one way to find out...yes indeed!! It does both: lugs the ugly laptop and keeps the gutload chilly 'til lunchtime. Can it get any better??
Here's what they say about it:
Folks love our go-everywhere, do-anything Briefcase Cooler. But a few of them came to us with a slight warping in the inner divider pocket on the briefcase side. It doesn’t affect the function and no one will notice but you. And talk about a great price on all the function of Fully-Evolved Briefcase and Louie’s Lunch Box combined! Briefcase side has a main compartment with three file sections, plus a three-sided zip closure section in front with pockets for eyeglasses and sunglasses, a cell phone, pens, PDA and all your essentials. Lunch box side is a PVC lined cooler with a mesh sandwich pouch, thermos strap, pouches and mesh pocket for two ice packs (included). Made of rugged, abrasion and water-resistant 1200-denier polyester. 17½"W x 12"H x 7½"D. Imported.
Of course having a dollar worth 102 cents makes shopping in the U.S. a little less excruciating...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Testing, Flogger

...just checking out "Flogger" and the FaceBook blog interface...

Friday, September 7, 2007

Colin Fletcher, 1922-2007

Not sure how I missed this one, but he died on June 12th, 2007. Author of "The Complete Walker", he was considered the Father of hiking and backpacking. The book was first published in 1968, and has not been out of print since. It's a very entertaining and delightful book, as was the author. He was 85 years old, and was almost killed a few years ago when struck by a Toyota 4Runner. My favorite Colin Fletcher quote? "Every walk of life falls under the sway of the Testicular Imperative: Either you have the world by them, or it has you."

Another good one about one of his "extended" hikes:

"I was gently accused of escapism during a TV interview about a book I had written on my length-of-California walk. Frankly, I fail to see how going for a six-month, thousand-mile walk through deserts and mountains can be judged less real than spending six months working eight hours a day, five days a week, in order to earn enough money to be able to come back home to a comfortable home in the evening and sit in front of a TV screen and watch the two-dimensional image of some guy talking about a book he has written on a six-month, thousand-mile walk through deserts and mountains."

Somehow, I read an earlier version of The Complete Walker sometime around 1976. Google him, you'll find it interesting...

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Helmsley dog gets $12 million, grandchildren zilch

Wow !! She left $12 million to her dog...what a WingNut !!!
Helmsley dog gets $12 million, grandchildren zilch - Leona Helmsley's dog will continue to live an opulent life, and then be buried alongside her in a mausoleum. But two of Helmsley's grandchildren got nothing from the late luxury hotelier and real estate billionaire's estate. [CTV News]

SNL was right to mock her so much :) Remember the Helmsley Spookhouse Halloween skit? :

Helmsley Spook House
Man.....Phil Hartman
Leona Helmsley.....Nora Dunn

Man: Honestly. Why can't someone invent a spook house that doesn't insult my intelligence?

Leona Helmsley: Someone has! Hello, I'm Leona Helmsley, welcoming you to the Helmsley Spook House, located atop the Helmsley Hotel in midtown Manhattan. From the moment you arrive, we pamper like no other spook house has ever pampered you.

Right away you'll notice the little things, things like real skeletons - never plastic. Live rats. Real cow eyes. We could have skimped and used peeled grapes, but our customers would have known the difference - I know I would. And, walls that drip real human blood. I wouldn't be frightened by animal blood, why should you be?

[ Leona's staff chases after a couple, stopping only when she claps her hands ]

And then there's our staff. Courteous, efficient, and fluent in several languages. Unlike the lazy clock-watchers you'll find at cut-rate spook houses.

Now, granted, an evening at the Helmsley Spook is not inexpensive - but then, the best seldom is.

Announcer: The Helmsley Spook House. For reservations call 1-800-SCARE-ME. Children under 18 not admitted.

Leona Helmsley: I'll be seeing you - in your nightmares! [ cackles ]

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Blackberry 8830 World Edition

The first Blackberry worthy of consideration, in my humble opinion. My only complaint is that they have crammed the keys too close together...a bit disrespectful to my cave-man thumbs don't you think?

  • CDMA, GSM, global roaming/coverage
  • small and light
  • Good syncronization with Outlook
  • Decent Web Browser
  • GTalk and GMail Clients (works well)
  • Built-in GPS, w/good map coverage
  • Cool geeky media player, mp3s, video etc
  • MicroSD slot (2gig card...nice)
  • No camera (cell cameras are junky)
  • 320x240 crisp screen

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

PEI...determination required

Well, it's shaping up to be quite a summer, requiring the usual dose of improvisation and adaptation. First, we recently sold our old motorhome, and were planning a trip to PEI in the Volkswagen Camper. Well, just days before leaving, the exhaust system suffered a major failure, and there was no time to undertake repairs. So, a search in the bowels of my garage turned up an unused tent...a bit small but the box said "sleeps 4", so we decided to go for it. The transportation would be our almost 10 year old Dodge Caravan...Yuck!! It's air conditioning had protested and died last summer, so we knew we might be in for a sticky trip. Yup, van temperatures were in the 32-35C range. Incidentally, the VW has no air conditioning either, but it's excellent ventilation and white fiberglass roof result in conditions that are much more bearable. Anyway, my hips protested sleeping on the ground, and the "seasonal" campsite dweller valley-girl ditzes yapping on their cell phones at 3am almost drove me to murderous fantasies, but...we had fun...

What to do with leftover baked potatoes???

Friday, July 13, 2007

Unbelievable, Sheldon Souray signs with Oilers !!

I expected this, but it's astounding nonetheless. 26 goals and 38 assists, second in the league with 19 powerplay goals this past season. At least he's staying in Canada... Cry

Sheldon Souray signs with Oilers - Sheldon Souray will be getting an Edmonton Oilers jersey and a fat contract for his birthday. [Hockey News]

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


For those of us afflicted with Dunlop's Disease, where one's stomach "dun lops" out over one's belt, or furniture disease, (where your chest is in your drawers), the need to pay attention to daily fat intake is paramount. Sadly, today got off to a bad start, with an early morning gas station visit, and a seemingly innocent Cherry Strudel purchase...a picture is worth 1000 words:To my credit, I took one bite, and binned the rest. This is the first above 100% that I've ever seen...

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Canada Day Weekend 2007

Well, we have not camped in the "Westy" in a couple of summers, and going back to it from a motorhome was a little challenging. I think we enjoyed the "coziness" nonetheless, not to mention better gas mileage and maneuverability. It also allows more simplicity, since you just can't take all the same junk with you. Again this year, we went to Rissers Beach Provincial Park, only this time we stayed in a site right on/near the beach.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Shed for Brains...

Over the years, I've fallen into the possession of several of those hideous "Spacemaker" metal sheds. My last one was in my way, so I ended up giving it away. The constant tripping over stuff in the garage prompted me to take Canadian Tire up on a recent sale, and get a tiny 6'x5' sardine fifth. The first was in 1984, a 6x10 freebie from a job site; The second a 10x14 monster free from my brother-in-law; the third was a rusting 6x8 that got on the wrong side of my fire-axe; the fourth an 8x10 20 year old-but-never-assembled unit that my boss pawned off on me for $50. Here's the latest going up...Contrary to all the horror stories and popular belief, I have never had any wind-related problems with any of these contraptions. As long as you anchor it down, don't leave the doors open on a windy day, and keep some weight inside, things will be fine. Yes they are pretty flimsy, but you get what you pay for. With a foundation kit, this 6x5 one was on sale for $149. A plastic/resin one would be 3 times the cost. With a little help from my boys, this one went up in a couple of hours...

Monday, March 5, 2007

Power Outage

...didn't realize this one; after a power outage or interruption, the Linksys NSLU2 does not turn itself back on...a royal pain, especially if you happen to be away at the time of said interruption.
Apparently, this problem can be overcome. How?
Now who will do this for me I wonder ?? :)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Hunger Strike...Not !!!

The above represents only a PORTION of a dinner for one...I'm pretty much a food pig. Ask my wife or my waistline, but even I couldn't get outside of this "scoff" in one sitting...the foil plate you see above is about 2 inches deep. I never thought I'd say this, but God bless Ontario.

(it included another"box" containing 2 breaded shrimp, a honkin' spring roll, and some more tasty junk that I can't pronounce). All for under $10...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Oh Horror of Horrors...the Leafs have overtaken the Habs !!!

Job 3:25 For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.

The Leafs move into the last playoff spot, while Montreal continues on its Greased Pole descent...

Monday, February 5, 2007


A hearty laugh is often good for you, and being sarcastically "bent", this certainly did it for me. I saw a girl today wearing one of these sweatshirts: just in case you find it hard to read, it says:

National Sarcasm Society

Like we need your support

Saturday, January 6, 2007

time to simplify the new year progresses, I have to simplify many things...too many computers, archives, sites, passwords. I'm getting too old for all this. Too many domain names, accounts, with their associated complexities. Too much to stay on top of, and I have more important tasks that need some additional attention this year. Maybe it's time to finally grow up.
Actually, I'm trying to knock off a bunch of issues. I'll probably let a couple of hosting accounts lapse, since it does not make alot of sense to continue to pay for something that is only a hobby, especially when free alternatives exist. In this respect, Google is the ticket, for they will host your domain email, calendar, apps, bookmarks, blog etc. Also, since the addition of LINKY to my arsenal, self-hosting is easy and quiet. Drupal is certainly a nice option, but I'm too lazy to learn SQL properly to take real advantage of it, and upgrades are a pain.
So there you have it...I'll likely point to this space...BTW Happy New Year !!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Still confused?

Perhaps you are wondering why this tiny gizmo intrigues me so. Click here for a nice review by SmallNet Builder Below is a picture of the inside...

This shot of the back should also give you an idea of the size...

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

camera envy...

Debbie's been complaining that MY digital camera is too big, and that she desired a smallish one for Christmas. Enter the Pentax Optio know, the one that fits inside an Altoids Mint Tin? It's turning my head as well...7 megapixels with ample exposure compensation features. Not bad...


 This beauty has been roaming around Central Newfoundland lately. I just grabbed some photos of it for fun...

Popular Posts