• About
  • Archives
  • Categories
  • Posts Tagged ‘imperfect world’

    Hawaii Five-0: Seriously?!?!?!??!


    2013 - 02.05

    I don’t know why I still watch this show, I guess I just secretly hope that it gets better… or maybe it’s that Hawaii is a pretty place and it’s nice to see in HD, or it could be about the Shrimp Truck owner and all his crazy schemes.

    So you have an episode and you’re going to cast someone as a sniper, but who has prosthetic mechanical hands capable of crushing people’s throats.  So who do you cast in that role?  Peter Weller of course… you know Robocop… seriously?

    One thing we have learned…


    2013 - 01.06

    After the move one of the things that we noticed was how much better our TV looked, and it’s definitely something we’ve appreciated while we’ve been sick.  There hasn’t been a lot of anything other than watching TV over the last week.

    Back in the old place we had lots of windows and relatively normal blinds which do a crappy job of keeping the light out.  Coupled with having the TV on the fireplace mantel, giving a less optimal viewing angle and I don’t think we fully appreciated how good our TV looked until now.  Proper viewing height and a blackout shade make a huge difference to the viewing experience.

    I think we always knew that we weren’t getting the most out of our viewing experience, but didn’t fully appreciate how much of a difference it can make.  So if your HDTV is somewhere with a less than optimal viewing angle, or where there’s too much uncontrolled light, try it somewhere else and see what a difference it can make.

    Protected Lakes and Rivers


    2012 - 12.12

    Last week a picture started circulating around Facebook:

    On Dec 4, 2012, Canada had 2.5 million protected rivers and lakes.  On Dec 5, 2012, Canada has 82 protected rivers and lakes.

    Turns out that the numbers are off in the image, but it’s still mostly true, to a point.  I wondered what the list of protected waterways was, and here’s what I found (from http://elizabethmaymp.ca/is-your-lake-safe, where they put the list in a drop down for no real reason):

    Alberta

    1. Athabasca River
    2. Bow River
    3. Lake Athabasca

    British Columbia

    1. Columbia River
    2. Fraser River
    3. Great Bear Lake
    4. Harrison Lake
    5. Harrison River
    6. Kamloops Lake
    7. Kinbasket Lake
    8. Kootenay Lake
    9. Kootenay River
    10. Lake Revelstoke
    11. Little Shuswap Lake
    12. Lower Arrow Lake
    13. Mara Lake
    14. Okanagan Lake
    15. Peace River
    16. Pitt Lake
    17. Pitt River
    18. Powell Lake
    19. Shuswap Lake
    20. Skeena River
    21. South Thompson River
    22. Thompson River
    23. Upper Arrow Lake
    24. Williston Lake

    Manitoba

    1. Assiniboine River
    2. Lake Manitoba
    3. Lake Winnipeg
    4. Lake Winnipegosis
    5. Red River
    6. Winnipeg River

    New Brunswick

    1. Saint John River

    Newfoundland and Labrador

    1. Lake Melville

    Nova Scotia

    1. Bras d’Or Lake
    2. Great Bras d’Or Lake
    3. LaHave River

    Northwest Territories

    1. Great Slave Lake
    2. Mackenzie River

    Nunavut

    1. Baker Lake

    Ontario

    1. Adams Lake
    2. Balsam Lake
    3. Benson Lake
    4. Big Bald Lake
    5. Big Duck Pond
    6. Big Rideau Lake
    7. Buckhorn Lake
    8. Cain Lake
    9. Cameron Lake
    10. Canal Lake
    11. Cataraqui River
    12. Chemong Lake
    13. Clear Lake
    14. Colonel By Lake
    15. Cranberry Lake
    16. Cranesnest Lake
    17. Detroit River
    18. Dog Lake
    19. Dows Lake
    20. Duck Pond
    21. Eagle Lake
    22. Fairy Lake
    23. Fenelon River
    24. French River
    25. Gloucester Pool
    26. Grand River
    27. Holland River
    28. Holland River East
    29. Humber River
    30. Indian Lake
    31. Joseph Lake
    32. Katchewanooka Lake
    33. Kemptville Creek
    34. Lake Couchiching
    35. Lake Erie
    36. Lake Huron
    37. Lake of Bays
    38. Lake of the Woods
    39. Lake Ontario
    40. Lake Scugog
    41. Lake Simcoe
    42. Lake St. Clair
    43. Lake Superior
    44. Little Bald Lake
    45. Little Cranberry Lake
    46. Little Lake
    47. Long Island Lake
    48. Loon Lake
    49. Lost Lake
    50. Lovesick Lake
    51. Lower Buckhorn Lake
    52. Lower Rideau Lake
    53. Mary Lake
    54. Mitchell Lake
    55. Moose River
    56. Mosquito Lake
    57. Murray Canal
    58. Muskoka Lake
    59. Newboro Lake
    60. Niagara River
    61. Nipigon Lake
    62. Nipissing Lake
    63. North Branch of Muskoka River
    64. Opinicon Lake
    65. Otonabee River
    66. Ottawa River
    67. Peninsula Lake
    68. Petawawa River
    69. Pigeon Lake
    70. Pigeon River
    71. Pollywog Lake
    72. Rainy Lake
    73. Rainy River
    74. Rice Lake
    75. Rideau Canal
    76. Rideau River
    77. River Styx
    78. Rosedale River
    79. Rosseau Lake
    80. Sand Lake
    81. Scugog River
    82. Severn River
    83. Seymour Lake
    84. Sparrow Lake
    85. St. Clair River
    86. St. Marys River
    87. Stevens Creek
    88. Stony Lake
    89. Sturgeon Lake
    90. Talbot River / Trent Canal
    91. Tay River / Canal
    92. The Canal
    93. Timiskaming Lake
    94. Trent Canal
    95. Trent River / Canal
    96. Upper Chemong Lake
    97. Upper Rideau Lake
    98. Vernon Lake
    99. Welland Canal
    100. Whitefish Lake

    Quebec

    1. Canal de Beauharnois
    2. Lac des Deux Montagnes
    3. Lac Memphremagog
    4. Lac Saint-Jean
    5. Lachine Canal
    6. Richelieu River
    7. Riviere des Mille-Iles
    8. Riviere des Prairies
    9. Riviere Saint-Maurice
    10. Saguenay River

    Saskatchewan

    1. North Saskatchewan River
    2. South Saskatchewan

    Yukon

    1. Yukon River

    Other

    1. Arctic Ocean
    2. Atlantic Ocean
    3. Pacific Ocean
    4. Saint Lawrence River

    I’m not really sure personally how I feel about it.  To some degree I’m inclined to oppose it on principle, but I haven’t done any research to see if I actually think that this change is dumb, and just because the conservatives did it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s stupid.  That said, it definitely seems like a step in the wrong direction when you just look at the numbers.  Must say that I don’t feel motivated to look into it further however, because if I find that it I disagree, then I’m left opposing a majority government which will continue to do what it wants…

    Anti-Virus: what do you use?


    2012 - 12.08

    We’ve got a couple of subscriptions of various anti-virus products which are expiring and I thought rather than simply renew what we have, I’d consider switching to something else.  So I’m curious what people are using now, and whether they are happy with it (and would recommend it).  Our requirements are pretty straightforward:

    • anti-virus that works and which doesn’t make your computer unusable due to the amount of processing the AV does
    • we’ve got at least 2 desktops (Win XP, Win 7), 1 laptop (Win 7) which I’d probably install the same software on
    • additionally we have a desktop (Win ME), and an iPhone which could potentially make use of an appropriate product as well
    • anti-virus is the only feature which is critical, but most of them these days include additional features so we’re not adverse to having those too, although none of them have leapt out at us as being necessary
    • cost is not a significant concern, but it would be nice to get reasonable value

    Opinions?

     

    Kal Tire: True Service


    2012 - 10.26

    This story is several weeks old now, but it’s worth telling regardless.

    Karin and I were headed up to Whistler to walk around the village and to go to the BCDSS AGM.  We left in the late morning, stopped in Squamish for lunch and gas, and then 3 kms later we heard a noise, turned out it was a flat tire.  We pulled off the highway and called BCAA.  The local towing company arrived and helped us change the tire.  We decided to carry on and visit Whistler.

    It wasn’t until several days later that I had a chance to go and see someone about the tire.  Sadly it’s not the first time I’ve had a flat tire.  The last time I had a flat, I was told that I needed to replace all 4 tires (which is sometimes the danger when you have an all wheel drive vehicle).  So I had 3 identical spare tires, so I was hoping that one of those would be a suitable replacement.

    Based on a recommendation from my dad I went to Kal Tire, just dropped in, no appointment.  Waited a couple of minutes and one of the employees (Dwayne if I’m not mistaken) came out to take a look at my flat, which was not salvageable.  He then opened up one of the extra tires I had, and determined that it was suitable.  He told me that if I left the flat (on the rim) and the replacement tire there for a couple of hours (1.5 actually) that he’d get it mounted for me, and they could just put it on when I came back later in the afternoon.

    So I left the stuff behind and did some shopping, then went back.  It only took about 15 minutes or so after I was back for them to put the new tire on.  They also cleaned all my existing tires (made them look like new).

    So after all that, they charged me the outrageous fee of NOTHING!  That’s right, they did it for free.

    Now what makes that exceptional, is that I was totally prepared and expecting to pay for the service.  Additionally, the tires on my car were not purchased at Kal Tire, nor were the extra three that I had.  In fact they don’t even sell the tire or brand that I have.  So it was very much appreciated, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend that you consider Kal Tire for your next tire needs or service appointment.

    Something is wrong with this story…


    2012 - 10.22

    Ran some errands today, and one of the stops included was the International Sausage House, which is essentially a deli.  While I was there I bought about $3.00 worth of salamis and about $18.00 worth of honey candies.  I guess someone has expensive tastes…

    Fall TV Season


    2012 - 09.13

    Well it’s a little late given that some things have already started to air… and that doesn’t even include the one’s that didn’t make this list (poached from here).  Missing shows which have already started include: Warehouse 13 (Showcase), Copper (Showcase), Hell on Wheels (AMC), Perception (Bravo), Alphas (Space), Common Law (Showcase) and there’s probably more I’m forgetting or don’t care about.

    I’ve added some highlight and comments below, most on shows we’re interested in.

    Sunday, Sept. 9

    • Wallander (PBS)
    • CCMA Awards (CBC)
    • The Inbetweeners (MuchMusic)

    Monday, Sept. 10

    • The Voice (NBC, CTV Two)
    • Katie (Citytv)
    • The Jeff Probst Show (Global)
    • Ricki Lake (Global)
    • Men at Work (Comedy)
    • Sullivan and Son (Comedy)
    • Shannen Says (E!)
    • Hoarders (A&E)

    Tuesday, Sept. 11

    • The New Normal (Preview on Sept. 10, NBC, CTV)
    • Guys With Kids (Global, the next night on NBC)
    • Parenthood (NBC, Global)
    • Go On (time-period premiere, already sneak-peaked, NBC, Global)
    • Sons of Anarchy (Super Channel)

    Wednesday, Sept. 12

    • The X Factor (Fox, CTV)
    • Thursday, Sept. 13
    • Glee (Fox, Global) – this seems like an early start date for Glee…
    • Tia and Tamera (E!)

    Friday, Sept. 14

    • The Fifth Estate (CBC)
    • Marketplace (CBC)
    • Shark Tank (ABC, CTV Two)
    • What Would You Do? (ABC)
    • 20/20 (ABC)

    Saturday, Sept. 15

    • Saturday Night Live (NBC, Global) – do people actually still watch this show?

    Sunday, Sept. 16

    • Boardwalk Empire (HBO Canada)
    • Heartland (CBC)
    • Over the Rainbow (CBC)
    • The Mob Doctor (CTV, the next night on Fox)

    Monday, Sept. 17

    • Revolution (NBC, Citytv)
    • Bones (Fox, Global) – hoping for an improved season, expectations are low
    • Who Do You Think You Are? (CBC)

    Tuesday, Sept. 18

    • Rick Mercer Report (CBC)
    • Anger Management (time-period premiere, already sneak-peaked, CTV)

    Wednesday, Sept. 19

    • Survivor (CBS, Global)
    • Titanic: Blood and Steel (CBC)
    • Dragons’ Den (CBC)

    Thursday, Sept. 20

    • Flashpoint (CTV)
    • Parks and Recreation (NBC, Citytv)
    • The Office (NBC)
    • Up All Night (NBC)
    • The Nature of Things (CBC)
    • Doc Zone (CBC)

    Saturday, Sept. 22

    • W5 (CTV)

    Sunday, Sept. 23

    • Emmy Awards (ABC, CTV)
    • Treme (HBO Canada)
    • Call Me Fitz (HBO Canada)

    Monday, Sept. 24

    • Dancing With the Stars (ABC, CTV)
    • 2 Broke Girls (CBS, Citytv)
    • Mike and Molly (CBS)
    • Partners (CBS, Citytv)
    • How I Met Your Mother (CBS, Citytv)
    • Hawaii Five-0 (CBS, Global) - I think I’m done with this show, but I’ll probably give it a couple of episodes this year to win me back.

    Tuesday, Sept. 25

    • New Girl (Fox, Citytv)
    • The Mindy Project (Fox, Citytv)
    • Ben and Kate (Fox, Citytv)
    • NCIS (CBS, Global)
    • NCIS: LA (CBS, Global)
    • Vegas (CBS, Global)
    • Private Practice (ABC, Citytv)
    • Criminal Minds (CTV, the next night on CBS)

    Wednesday, Sept. 26

    • Modern Family (ABC, Citytv)
    • The Middle (ABC, Citytv)
    • The Neighbors (ABC)
    • CSI (CBS, CTV)
    • Law and Order: SVU (NBC, CTV Two)
    • Animal Practice (time-period premiere, already sneak-peaked, NBC)

    Thursday, Sept. 27

    • Elementary (CBS, Global)
    • Person of Interest (CBS, Citytv)
    • Two and a Half Men (CBS, CTV)
    • The Big Bang Theory (CBS, CTV)
    • Last Resort (ABC, Global)
    • Grey’s Anatomy (ABC, CTV)
    • Scandal (ABC, Citytv)

    Friday, Sept. 28

    • Haven (Showcase)
    • Kitchen Nightmares (Fox, Global)
    • Fringe (Fox, Citytv)
    • CSI: NY (CBS, CTV)
    • Made in Jersey (CBS, Global)
    • Blue Bloods (CBS, CTV)

    Sunday, Sept. 30

    • Dexter (TMN, MC)
    • Once Upon a Time (ABC, CTV)
    • Revenge (ABC, Citytv)
    • 666 Park Ave. (ABC, Citytv)
    • The Amazing Race (CBS, CTV)
    • The Good Wife (CBS, Global)
    • The Mentalist (CBS, CTV)
    • Homeland (Super Channel)
    • The Simpsons (Fox, Global)
    • Bob’s Burgers (Fox, Global)
    • Family Guy (Fox, Global)
    • American Dad (Fox, Global)
    • Call The Midwife (PBS) – maybe?
    • 60 Minutes (CBS)

    Tuesday, Oct. 2

    • Raising Hope (Fox, Citytv)
    • Hart of Dixie (CW)

    Wednesday, Oct. 3

    • The Bachelor Canada (Citytv)
    • Supernatural (CW)

    Thursday, Oct. 4

    • 30 Rock (NBC, Citytv)
    • Covert Affairs (Showcase)
    • Jersey Shore (MTV)

    Sunday, Oct. 7

    • The Cleveland Show (Fox, Global)

    Monday, Oct. 8

    • Gossip Girl (CW)
    • 90210 (CW)
    • White Collar (Bravo) - Season 3 we think…

    Wednesday, Oct. 10

    • Arrow (CW, CTV Two)
    • Nashville (ABC, CTV Two)
    • Chicago Fire (NBC, Global)
    • Duck Dynasty (A&E)

    Thursday, Oct. 11

    • The Vampire Diaries (CW, CTV Two)
    • Beauty and the Beast (CW, Showcase)
    • Covert Affairs (Showcase) – I know this is the second time it appears on the list, but I don’t know which date is correct.

    Sunday, Oct. 14

    • The Walking Dead (AMC)

    Monday, Oct. 15

    • Match Game (Comedy)

    Tuesday, Oct. 16

    • Emily Owens, M.D. (CW, CTV Two)
    • Holmes Makes it Right (HGTV)
    • Underemployed (MTV)
    • The Big Decision (CBC)

    Wednesday, Oct. 17

    • Suburgatory (ABC, Citytv)
    • American Horror Story (FX Canada)

    Friday, Oct. 19

    • Whitney (NBC)
    • Community (NBC, Citytv)
    • Nikita (CW, CTV Two)
    • Hunted (HBO Canada)

    Sunday, Oct. 21

    • Happy Endings (Citytv, two days later on ABC)

    Monday, Oct. 22

    • Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23 (Citytv, one day later on ABC)

    Friday, Oct. 26

    • Touch (Fox, Global) - we haven’t actually finished watching the ones we have on PVR, but we’ll probably keep watching it.

    Friday, Nov. 2

    • Last Man Standing (ABC, Citytv)
    • Malibu Country (ABC)

     

    So what’s everyone else watching?

    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…

    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).

    20 Years in a Row!


    2012 - 06.18

    I’ve got a good friend who no longer lives in the area and I haven’t seen her in a while.  Today is her birthday, and if I’ve done the math correctly this is 20 years in a row that I’ve wished her happy birthday on her birthday.  Sometimes it’s the little things that matter.

    Now in truth I could be wrong, it might be 21 years or maybe only 19… but we’ll go with the round number, because we all lie at least to ourselves about our ages.  Myself I always need to double and triple check the math whenever I try to remember how old I am, because the answer I get doesn’t match how old I seem to think I am.