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    Teabagged?


    2012 - 06.07

    This was one of those hazing rituals that I never went through myself, until now.  I don’t really see what the deal is.  If I understand it correctly, most people don’t even get teeth removed before hand.  Sure a teabag in your mouth isn’t perhaps the best flavour, but there are worse options.

    I think I’ve now gone through 8 tea bags after the wisdom tooth extraction, which they recommend you use instead of gauze to aid in the formation of blood clots and healing in general.  At except for the one that I apparently chewed on too much, or was otherwise defective it went well.  Unfortunately that one kind of exploded in my mouth, very unpleasant, much spitting ensued.  Unfortunately it happened while I was still forbidden from actually rinsing my mouth out.

    I suppose your milage may vary, but really I don’t see what the big deal is.

    Now this is just cool: QR “Art”?


    2012 - 06.03

    I think I found this one because of a tweet, but it could have been Facebook.  Regardless I thought these were kinda cool, and if nothing else some interesting out of the box thinking.

    In Seoul, retailer uses 3D QR codes and the sun to deliver discounts only during its quiet times

    You can read the article for more details, but essentially it’s a combination sundial, modern art, QR code.

    I’m actually most impressed by the fact that it only works for an hour a day.  I suppose though that might not have been the hard part, not knowing enough about how sensitive QR codes are and such, it seems impressive, but it might have been harder to make a sculpture that worked for a longer period of time.  When you don’t know enough about something, you don’t know if it’s actually hard, or just seems like it should have been.

    Regardless it’s kinda neat.

     

    Still all wisdom-y


    2012 - 05.28

    Turns out I was a little premature in announcing the removal of my 3 wisdoms, today was merely a consultation.  So I get to stay all wisdom-y until next Tuesday (June 5th).

    The consultation was interesting, perhaps not worth the $90 fee, but interesting still.  I get three options for the surgery:

    1. Go to sleep
    2. “Twilight”
    3. Stay awake

    Apparently it’s a personal choice, which is interesting, and I suppose it should be, but it’s hard to know what is the best decision for yourself.  I suspect most of us aren’t able to make this through some previous personal experience (at least I assume that it’s pretty rare that wisdom teeth respawn like Orcs in a dungeon), so really how equipped are we to make the call?

    Being awake seems to have the most advantages generally, no pre-eating restrictions, no driving restrictions, etc… with the downside that you need to actual be awake while it’s happening.

    Twilight is sort of a middle ground where you’re sedated but not put out.

    Being put to sleep requires that someone drive you to and from the appointment, and there’s various eating and drinking restrictions before hand.

    So anyone out there who would care to offer an opinion from their personal experience?  Anyone who stayed awake and didn’t regret it?

    The Avengers


    2012 - 05.14

    We went to see The Avengers this past week on Tuesday in the VIP.  We all enjoyed the movie, and it was good!  Lots of really good one liners.  I’d guess this one is going to keep raking in the big bucks (and it did $200 million in the first weekend and over $100 in the second weekend) mainly because it’s good movie.  Well paced and satisfying with characters and actors that people like.

    Something strange did happen though, we were in the VIP 19+ theatres, and during the movie a couple of times we heard crying.  It wasn’t often, and it wasn’t even loud enough that I was sure until after the movie was over, but someone had brought their baby into the movie theatre.  Not sure how they managed that.  The end result was however that in addition to getting to see the movie and mostly not being annoyed, we also got free passes for another movie.

    So all an all it was a very good day, and we’d recommend that you go and see it.

    Wireless Access


    2012 - 03.06

    Last week we had a bit of an internet outage, called in to troubleshoot it, and just after they had me do the factory reset it came up that there was a network outage on there end.  Lucky me, I got to reconfigure our wireless network.

    On the bright side I got to reconfigure our wireless network, so I changed a bunch of things.  So if you’ve got a wireless device that was previously paired with our wireless network, you’ll need to set it up again next time you’re over, just an FYI.

    Do they even watch their own shows?


    2012 - 03.05

    One of the recent TV additions which Karin quite likes is Alcatraz, which is fitting since we were both fans of J.J. Abrams first major TV success: Alias (with Jennifer Garner).  Last week Fox which airs the show pre-empted the show because of a very much rain delayed Daytona 500.

    On some level I can understand that, it’s a famous race… and it was supposed to have run on the weekend but was delayed due to weather.  Still it comes as a surprise to people who care nothing at all about the race that the show they thought they were going to have on their PVR was something completely different, and there wasn’t even a courtesy explanation when the regularly scheduled programming would have aired to tell us what was going on or why.

    In the case of Alcatraz, it was supposed to be Episode 8 which aired.  This week they aired (as originally scheduled) a “2 hour event” which was actually Episodes 9 and 10.  So I don’t know when they will air Episode 8.  It’s hard to know at this point (not having seen Episodes 8-10 yet) whether there will be a major continuity issue because of it.  But really who makes these decisions?  Do they actually watch the shows they air?  It doesn’t seem like it.

    Sometimes it feels like TV scheduling is being legislated… who knew that so many locals moonlight as TV executives…

    This is further emphasized with things like weather warnings with annoying audio which are broadcast out of region.  I don’t know if I’d be interested in them if I actually lived in Detroit or Chicago, but I’m definitely not interested in them since I don’t.  Not only that, but they put them in intrusive locations on the screen and interfere with the programming.  They really should work on the technology (which I can only hope somehow doesn’t exist, rather than that they are choosing not to use it) which allows them to remove these things regionally.  Further, they should make it so that the information is not captured by my PVR, I really don’t need a storm warning from thousands of kilometers away and months old interfering with my watching a show.  But I guess for the executives it’s not about the quality of the watching experience… because if they believe it is, they are doing a terrible job.

    It’s not just the weather warnings though, it’s the station promos and other show promos which pop-up and cover significant portions of the screen.  I understand why they do that, and to some degree they are effective, I can’t help but notice them.  But they clearly either do not actually watch the shows, or they don’t care.  Entirely too often do I see a promo overlayed and covering show credits or show content, or the worst: subtitles.  It just really goes to show that they aren’t paying attention.

    There was a time when the live TV experience was the best, but when they continue to add these “features” which realistically are only features in their minds, they continue to degrade the experience, and drive their audience crazy.  So many of these new “innovations” are realistically the equivalent of someone taking a phone call during a movie… very disrespectful and detrimental to your enjoyment.

    So a little advice to the TV executives out there, actually watch the shows from time to time, in the broadcast format, and imagine yourself as someone who actually wants to watch the show… and see how you feel.

    Class Size


    2012 - 03.04

    This is the sort of topic that could get me in trouble, given how many teacher’s I know…  Back when I was in school, having smaller classes would have been a bad thing.  Most of my teachers will remember me as being a decent-to-good student who stayed out of trouble.  This fond recollection is made possible by large classes.

    If teacher’s didn’t need to supervise so many students there are countless things which would have been noticed and could have possibly tarnished that teacher-pupil relationship.

    Of course when I was in school there was a healthy respect (and a little fear) of teacher’s which doesn’t appear to exist today (among students or parents).  So maybe today’s kids are less concerned with being caught doing things that they shouldn’t be doing… and likewise perhaps the parents are less demanding that they don’t.

    Thankfully I’m not a teacher so I don’t actually need to deal with that situation directly, but it certainly does seem as though a lot of respect has been lost somewhere along the way, and that’s really unfortunate.  If you look at the turnover in teacher’s and if the loss of respect was actually due to any of the teacher’s, those at the bottom and most hurt by changes are unlikely to have had anything to do with it.

    It’s actually strange thinking back on being in school, given that I graduated nearly half my lifetime ago (that’s a little scary to realize), but schools and the world are a fundamentally different place.  Things which have occurred in the world and dramatically affected the lives of parents and children (and teachers) since then include (in no particular order, and not limited to):

    • Harry Potter
    • Twilight
    • The Internet
    • Cell Phones
    • Texting
    • Columbine (and other school shootings)
    • Integrated classrooms (e.g. special needs students in the classrooms)
    • Bullying
    • Dual Incomes

    There once was a time (and it’s still the case in some countries) where everyone was so pleased or proud to be able to go to school and receive an education that students and parents worked with teachers.  Now it seems that there’s such an entitlement to an education that this respect is no longer afforded teachers or even the education system.

    I’m enough of a realist to not try to defend all teachers and especially not the education system, there are definitely flaws in both at times.  The larger problem though is in a society which essentially requires that students achieve a University degree, but which doesn’t respect the educators which help make that possible.  That same society then elects politicians who share that view, and those politicians undermine the system as a whole.

    So I joke about not wanting smaller classes, but when I went to school although there were smarter kids and less skilled students, everyone was fluent in French and English; behavioral problems consisted of talking too much during class, or failing to follow instructions.  But even so everyone yearned for the teacher’s approval, hoping for positive feedback, or a stamp or sticker.  We were not concerned that a student might bring a weapon to school.  Bullying happened, but it was limited and it was not of malicious intent.  Fights happened, but they resolved issues and everyone moved on (in fact two of my best friends became my friends after such altercations, and we’ve been friends for about a quarter century now).  It was a different time, and dare I say a better time?

    I often think that when people colour the past and remember it as better than today that they are inventing a past which might not have actually existed.  I actually believe that the respect with which teacher’s were treated is something that has diminished over time and to the detriment of all.

    So smaller classes, I suspect that it would help in a lot of cases.  It would help the teachers, but especially the students.  But we would all benefit IF we gave teacher’s more respect for the education and expertise which they have and for the difficult job they do.  If we could repair and rebuild this respect, then maybe we could repair and rebuild the system, and perhaps then politicians would have the good sense to offer some deference and respect when addressing education related issues.

    Vancouver Reclaimed


    2012 - 03.03

    This is a business owned by a friend of a friend, and thought we’d give it a shout out (do people still say that?).  Much of the work looks really cool, and the owner’s a nice guy.  We’re not currently in the market for new furniture, but doesn’t mean that we don’t want some of the pieces.  So go and take a look at Vancouver Reclaimed to see great pieces like:

    Industrial Coffee Table by Vancouver Reclaimed

    Industrial Coffee Table by Vancouver Reclaimed

    Eat dessert for breakfast to lose weight, says study – Weight Management


    2012 - 02.29

    Not really that important, and really who trusts “studies” any more anyway, unless of course they give you an answer you want to hear!

    You mean I can continue my debauchery and it will make me healthier?  Of course that study is accurate.

    What you mean I need to make a “lifestyle change” in order to live long and prosper?  What kind of phony science are these guys doing there?

    Anyway, this study got me because it’s talking about breakfast and has a picture of a giant piece of chocolate cake (which happens to have historically been a favourite breakfast item of my mother, probably still is).

    Eat dessert for breakfast to lose weight, says study – Weight Management.

    If all you needed was thought…


    2012 - 02.22

    Spent a lot of time writing and replying to email today, not a totally unusual occurrence, but today was more than normal.  In most cases it wasn’t even that there was a lot to do, or that it was complicated, it was more just that it was time consuming.  Sort of like laundry, it’s not like laundry is hard, it’s just time consuming.

    So here I am daydreaming thinking about how quickly all those emails would have been dealt with if all I had to do was think the solution rather than implement it.  This probably applies to most things you wish you could accomplish faster, but today I definitely longed for a direct brain interface.

    Now, carefully think back on your inner monologue for the last week, and think of how good a thing it is that we don’t have that brain interface yet.