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    In case you didn’t notice: new HD channels

    2011 - 12.21

    Shaw has recently added a few more HD channels, since as far as I can tell they didn’t do anything to tell us they added them, I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but they are:

    • Space HD [247 for us]
    • BNN: Business News Network HD [248]
    • Discovery HD (this is the Canadian one with Mythbusters and such…) [249]
    • Bravo! HD [250]

    These are mostly worth bringing attention to as they are AFTER Movie Central and Super Channel in the listings, so I imagine lots of people probably don’t scroll up that high.

    Other somewhat recent additions, but I believe earlier additions were:

    • MovieTime HD [240]
    • Family HD [241]
    • Disney XD HD [242]

    Less interested in these ones, but since I’m bothering to talk about channels, figured I may as well.

    Canine Shopping Finished

    2011 - 12.20

    We’re not done all our Christmas shopping yet, and in truth it will probably be a couple more days before we are, but we have managed to finish the canine section of the list.  We think that Honey and Rocky will be pleased.

    Turf Goaltimate Kit: Illustrated Step by Step

    2011 - 12.19

    A while back I talked about my struggles to get Goaltimate to work on turf fields that you couldn’t physically anchor “into”, and documented a bit about how I thought I’d overcome those problems in “Turf Goaltimate Kit Reborn!“.  Well, it’s been 9.5 months since then and we’re still using and happy with that same system, so it’s probably about time I illustrate it a little better.  If you want the full part’s list, check that earlier post.


    Goaltimate Kit




    Goaltimate Kit


    Flange attached to half of shelf:

    Goaltimate Kit

    Goaltimate Kit


    Goaltimate Kit


    Attach reducer to the flange/shelf assembly:

    Goaltimate Kit


    Assembled “base”:

    Goaltimate Kit


    Take the bushing, and put it on one end of the pipe: 

    Goaltimate Kit

    Goaltimate Kit

    Goaltimate Kit

    Goaltimate Kit


    Insert the bushing/pipe assembly into the base:

    Goaltimate Kit


    Voila, a completed support (repeat for the other side):

    Goaltimate Kit

    Goaltimate Kit

    Now assuming that you have an actual Goaltimate arch (generally out of PVC pipe) you can insert each end of the arch into one of these supports, add an Ulti bag, sandbag or some other “weight” to the extended portion of the shelf to provide additional stability.  Ideally use something soft, or at least without any dangerous edges in case someone runs into it.  It should be possible to run into the completed assembly and have the weight move and/or the arch fall down and/or the support come apart.  All of those are definitely preferable to having a broken person.  In almost a year of use, these mechanism has survived tumbles and collisions, has been responsible for zero injuries, and has not needed to have any components replaced.

    Good luck, and let us know if you’re using it, or if you improve upon the design.

    Wine Bottle

    2011 - 12.18

    I can’t think of any reason that I’d post this picture at this time… but at the moment this is Karin’s favourite wine:

    Bleasdale Second Innings Malbec 2009

    It’s that time of year…

    2011 - 12.14

    That’s right the Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band is selling tickets for their annual Robbie Burns Dinner Fundraiser.  This year it will be Saturday, January 28th 2012, starting at 6pm.  It is at the Famee Furlane Hall, 2605 E. Pender, Vancouver.  Tickets are $60 each or a table of 8 for $440 (that’s $55/ticket).

    If you’re interested in going, you can let us know, or you can just follow the contact instructions from the band’s website.  Karin’s father normally gets a table or two, and there might be space remaining, so you might be able to sit next to us.

    Dinner is traditionally roast beef with haggis and assorted veggies.  Many of the people who attend attend for the haggis, which historically is served as 1 per table (e.g. 1/8 people), given this love of haggis, people who DO NOT like haggis are very popular at the table as it leaves more for the haggis lovers.

    The evening also includes a few performances (traditionally, although not in this order):

    • the band
    • highland dancers
    • the Selkirk Grace
    • Address to a Haggis
    • Toast to the Lassies
    • Reply to the Toast to the Lassies
    • opportunity to try various scotches if you’re interested (extra charge)
    • silent auction as well
    I’ve been several times now (4 maybe?), and it’s definitely an experience ;-)  Be warned that the band can get quite loud, and if you don’t like bagpipes or have an active aversion, you should stay away, also there’s a bunch of stairs which you need to climb (the bathrooms are also require you to use the stairs).  Maybe we’ll see you there.

    Review: El Mirador by Alex J. Kane

    2011 - 12.12

    I’ve finally managed to get around to reading Mirror Shards, that would be the Anthology in which Karin is published.  Because of that I wanted to do a careful reading of all the works in the anthology, and write reviews of them.  Because of the desire to write reviews it’s been on my “to read” list much longer than I’d like.  Partly because other books were out of the library which puts you on an actual deadline, and partly because I mostly read before bed.  When I read before bed it’s pleasure reading, which isn’t appropriate for something that I want to review.  Not having anything out from the library at the moment (or at least not that I haven’t already finished reading), it made it possible for me to get started.

    So the first story in Mirror Shards: Extending the Edges of Augmented Reality, Edited by Thomas K. Carpenter is El Mirador by Alex J. Kane.

    I was very much caught off guard by the story.  I really didn’t have any idea what to expect based on the title, but I definitely had not expected a second person story, but that’s what I got.  Interesting choice that.  The ideas are good, the pacing is good, the story overall is good, although it left me wanting more.  More depth, more detail, more Tzitzi.  I guess realistically being left wanting more is definitely a better thing than wanting less.  I also expect that it’s something that’s totally common among people who are primarily book readers, and even more so in my case as I primarily read series.  So going from stories which typically are told in hundreds of thousands to millions of words, and instead down to something that’s more appropriately counted in hundreds of words.  Odds are that it’s going to leave you wanting more.  Even stories that very clearly have a completed arc are likely to leave you with questions like: but what happens next?

    Bottom line, I enjoyed the story and would consider reading more work by Alex J. Kane, but at this point I’m not going to go to any particular effort to seek it out.

    Movie Season?

    2011 - 12.11

    We haven’t been going to that many movies lately.  I think the last one we saw in the theatre was Conan…  That said, we might try to make it out to the theatre a little more over the holidays as there’s quite a few that at this point at least seem to be of interest.  If anyone wants to join us for one of them, let us know:

    • Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Dec 16)
    • Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (Dec 21)
    • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Dec 21)
    While coming up with the list above, I checked out HSW.com (Hollywood Stock Exchange) which a number of us used to goof around with.  I don’t know when the last time I logged into it was… if only it was real money.  Current portfolio value: $114,838,023.64.

    Raspberry Ginger Ale in Cans

    2011 - 12.10

    While shopping at Save-on Wednesday we discovered that Schweppes now has Raspberry Ginger Ale in cans.  I don’t really know if this is something that was actually new, or just happened to be noticed because we were paying more attention to Ginger Ale than we normally do.

    Regardless, it really excited Karin because she only ever remembers seeing it in 2L containers, which either forced her to drink a lot of it, or to be disappointed when it went flat before she was finished.  So the cans nicely solve that problem.  The only downside is that it isn’t a diet or zero beverage which Karin almost exclusively drinks (when talking carbonation).  Needless to say we bought two 12 packs.  Should be good for a while ;-)

    Just Over 2 Weeks

    2011 - 12.09

    I don’t know about you, but I haven’t started my Christmas shopping yet.  There might be the odd gift that we bought ages ago, but in terms of coming up with a list and starting to comprehensively find gifts for everyone, not even a little bit.

    Perhaps worse than not starting yet myself, I haven’t even started to come up with a list of things that I/we might want, which doesn’t really help anyone else out.  I guess I know what we’re going to need to start working on this weekend…

    Antibiotics End

    2011 - 12.08

    It’s actually been a couple of days now that I’ve been off the antibiotics for the pneumonia.  I’m not sure if I’m 100% better or not, but I’m definitely very much improved from before I went to the hospital.  Still a little more fatigued than I would like to be, but who knows if that’s actually related to the pneumonia or not.

    Bottom line is that I don’t really feel sick any more, just not necessarily at 100%.  Starting to get back to doing normal things like making dinner, laundry, cleaning up, reading and replying to email.  Hopefully I’ll be feeling more energetic soon, and get a few other things finished off.

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