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  • Archive for July, 2012

    Rejected Public Art Installations


    2012 - 07.22

    Okay, so this hasn’t actually been rejected — as to my knowledge it hasn’t been suggested before — but you’ll get the idea.

    Imagine if you will a giant wire frame sculpture of: a crow!

    So I’m thinking that this wire frame has enough horizontal wires that when the crows come home to roost that they will fill up those wires and make it look like one giant crow instead of individual crows…

    Now you can see why it would probably be rejected (and probably should).  But come on!  On some level you have to admit it’s at least a little bit cool…

     

    Purging Weekend


    2012 - 07.20

    Whoa…Karin here. I can’t remember the last time I posted. Hi!! *waves*

    The best laid plans… After having a LOT of stuff we want to get rid of lying around our condo for months, we’ve FINALLY booked a time for the diabetes association to do a pick up. At the moment, we’ve got literally a dozen garbage bags filled with clothes, books, household items, blankets and more ready to be donated when the truck comes this Sunday. If you think you may want something that we might be getting rid of, or if you want to come check out the free stuff, tomorrow (Saturday) is your last chance for this particular load. Let us know! :)

    What I Hate about Smart Phones


    2012 - 07.16

    I have come to the conclusion that despite the usefulness of smart phones, that I hate them more than a little bit.  I’d like to think that this isn’t due to phone envy, but rather a very real problem that exists with them.  Admittedly the same problem exists with other devices (most notably tablets and laptops) but in my personal life it’s the smart phones that take the cake.

    The problem I believe is that with the small screen and the fact that people hold them close to themselves generally making it impossible for you to see what’s on the screen ultimately means that you have no clue as to what the person is actually doing on their phone.

    In our typical environment we interact with people who are engaged in activities all the time, however it’s generally obvious what those activities are, whether it’s reading a physical book or juggling knives, we have external sensory information that guides us as to whether or not the person we want to talk to is engaged in something time sensitive, important and/or dangerous.  Thus we can judge an appropriate time to start a conversation or a totally inappropriate one.  Given the lack of insight into what someone is actively doing on their phone, it’s nearly impossible for you to know if they are actively engaged in something important which you should not interrupt, and further they tend to stay nearly continuously engaged (from you perspective with their phone, even if from their perspective they switch from a game, to email, to texting, to the internet and so on) without the normal natural pauses that tend to exist when switching activities.

    To some degree we’re used to this from people playing video games, or using computers.  The key difference is that in general those things happen on big screens which are also visible to you.  So you’re able to judge to some degree what the other person is doing BEFORE you decide to interrupt them.  Allowing you to decide if what you want to ask or talk about is more important than what they are currently doing.  Thus keeping courtesy as part of the interaction.  Without the foreknowledge of their activity on their phone, it’s exceedingly difficult to be courteous with your interruptions (from their perspective at least).

    Obviously this is a first world problem, but it seems to me that it is one that will continue to get worse and worse.  Other related problems would include (but are not limited to):

    • Bluetooth and cell phone conversations in public where it’s not immediately obvious that someone is on the phone, such that you think they are talking to you

    Hopefully the designers of mobile devices, augmented reality glasses and peripherals will start to take into account the social (and courtesy) costs of the devices they are developing.

    A simple example of where this has been done to some degree is online chatting where you’re able to indicate your current status as something other than the simple toggle of online/offline, and now have options like busy or do not disturb, such that those who are wanting to interact to you through that medium have additional information which allows them to make an informed choice before initiating an interaction.

    Then again, maybe things will just get worse…

    George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary


    2012 - 07.15

    I was thinking that Karin and I might head out to the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary at some point.  Has anyone been before?  Would you recommend it?  Figured it might be a good opportunity to get in some exercise while at the same time dusting off our cameras and getting some good shots.

    It’s only open from 9am-4pm, so it would definitely be a day activity… but if someone is keen to go as well let us know and perhaps we can coordinate.

    Everything $1.00 and more


    2012 - 07.14

    Checked out the new dollar store at Brentwood today, and they have a reasonable selection and they actually do seem to keep everything at about $1-2.  It’s pretty big, and there’s a reasonable selection, and it includes some actual name brand stuff too.

    We talked about it while at the store, that despite the fact some of the stuff is probably made in the exact same factory as the brands we’re familiar with it still comes across as being somewhat suspect.  It’s amazing how much we’re influenced by branding and advertising.  I think that’s especially true of dollar stores.  You do see people buy non-name brand stuff, but I think that people are more comfortable doing that at stores which they consider a brand (e.g. major grocery stores, or places like London Drugs).  Because even if you don’t know the product brand, you trust the store “brand” enough that you’re comfortable without the name recognition.  Not really true in the dollar store experience, especially in this particular store which clearly says all sales final, no refunds, no exchanges.  Doesn’t bread confidence, but at the same time given the price of the items…

    That said, if you need some plastic bins, journals or envelopes it’s worth a look.

    Most amusing price comparison in store: 1 litre bottles of Coke $1.00 (on the shelf), 591ml bottles of Coke $1.00 (from the fridge).

    Most coveted item: 4 pack of Oh Henry! eggs $1.50 (they have individual ones for $0.39), this compares to Aero eggs which were 2 for $1.25 or $1.50 (if memory serves).

    Costco Deal of the Week: Fineliner


    2012 - 07.11

    Staedtler Triplus Fineliner (12 pack) Pens for $7.79, this are nice pens.  Compared to a 10 pack of the same pens at Staples for $12.26 it becomes obvious how good a deal it is.

    Staedtler Triplus Fineliner 12 pack @ Costco $7.79

    Also on the chopping block with a .97 price is the Oxo Mandoline currently going for $19.97… I think I’ll wait and see if it goes down another $5-10 before picking one up (even though it’s already at half the MSRP).

     

    Shaw EXO vs. Telus Optik


    2012 - 07.09

    Considering making the change either to Shaw EXO or Telus Optik, just wondering if anyone has any arguments for or against one or the other of them.  I haven’t gone and done any of the research on our options yet (beyond knowing that both are available to us).

    So I guess the questions are:

    1. are you happy with what you’ve got? if not, why?
    2. if you had the choice to make over again would you make a different one? if so, why?
    3. did you get a great deal when you upgraded/switched?
    4. anything else you think is relevant?

     

    Deep Fried Mars Bar


    2012 - 07.08

    Last night went a little different than I expected, after a stop at Greek Fest for baclava (sorry it’s over now, if you didn’t go) I managed to end up at The Rumpus Room*.

    As part of that adventure a deep fried Mars bar was ordered… it however was forgotten until we were ready to leave at which point it appeared.  Just to be clear, I didn’t order it, but I did try it.  I’m going to say that I didn’t like this particular one, but I could imagine possibly enjoying a different implementation.

    For me the problem was the batter, it was overpowering, but it wasn’t overpowering because it was a regular fish and chips beer batter or something.  Instead it appeared to be a specially crafted dessert batter, which in other circumstances might have been delicious.  In this case however, I felt that the cinnamon in the batter overpowered the taste of the Mars bar, which in my mind at least defeats the purpose of the dish.

    Regardless it was an interesting night.  So have you tried the deep fried Mars bar before?  Did you like it?  Where’s the best place in Vancouver to have one?

     

    * Only way to keep the long story short is to pretend that there was a chapter break, and that no further explanation of the shananigans was required.