Thursday, March 30, 2006

Robin! To the Pot Cave!

Someone sent me this last week, and I didn't have time to look at it. Got it again today, gave it a look and Woohoo! Ain't it neat! So there's this nice little house in Trousdale county Tennessee and as it turns out, it's sitting over a cave that the owners have turned into a pretty sophisticated underground marijuana growing facility (here's a PDF).

The place had everything! They had spliced into the county power lines and were keeping the 1000 or so plants at a steady 87 degrees. They had living quarters down there, offices, etc. They entered through some secret door in the garage which fronted a huge hydraulic door(it looks like a bank safe for *&$%? sake). This led down a concrete ramp into pot central.. A full-on irrigation system for care and feeding.. A real multi-million dollar operation. This beats the guy with 10 plants out in the bushes any day of the week!

The best part was the escape hatch which featured a tunnel up into the backyard that was covered by another hydraulic hatch with a huge landscaping rock on top of it.

I'd love something like that setup under my house, but I wouldn't use it to grow pot.(grin)

I'd use it to house my bat-mobile.

Ark II and the PDA Gauntlet

Last year I was looking at this crazy thing to make it easier to refer to my PDA while in the field. Usually I need it at night when I'm in the woods with a flashlight in one hand and god knows what in the other. No room for the PDA. Kindy geeky but very functional. I probably wouldn't wear it during the day(grin).

Anyhow, it occurred to me that since I was a kid, I've always thought it pretty cool to have devices attached to your forearm to make them accessible, be they Bounty Hunter armorments, Com links, whatetever.. I was suddenly reminded of this old Sid and Marty Kroft show I used to watch as a kid called Ark II (and bloody hell! it's in Wikipedia!) . And GadZoinks, some site even has a video of the cheesy 70's intro scene!

It had all the strappings of a fine TV show for youngsters, the cute girl, the cool truck thing with the little mini-buggy in the back, and it even had a frickin monkey!

I recall building a replica out of lego in 1976. The doors of the Ark opened up like a private jet's, the lower door turning into the walk way. From what I remember there was a nuclear war, everyone was all radiated and weirdo-looking, and these kids in buck rogers outfits with those cool wrist gauntlet comlinks drove around the outback with a monkey trying to save everybody. The oldest guy was the old 'Jack' from the Y&R (he's dead now).

What a great freakin show! They should release all that old 70's crap on DVD. People like me will buy it.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Added hologram pics..

To my previous post. The flash setting got the colors the best but left a lighting bolt across the middle, which is cool, so I went with that.

I may wear my ice-blue vampire contacst to work on Friday for when the cleaning staff come by.

Friday, March 24, 2006

My creepy picture from the 1800's that freaks out the cleaning staff...

I found out Friday afternoon that the cleaning staff where I work are superstitious and terrified of my office on the 7th floor all because of a weird picture I have on display there. I got it for Christmas (from my mother) and I really like it. It's a sepia picture from the late 1800's featuring a weird-looking gentleman with spectacles that I'll admit is pretty creepy. In fact, the reason I have it at work is because one of my kids is terrified of it and I had to get it out of the house. I tell people it's my great grandfather (grin).

The thing that is special about it is that it's actually a hologram. As you look at it from different angles, the guy with the specs turns into this winged skeleton full of decaying flesh (I really like it! it was the perfect Xmas gift!)

So I was at work late Friday afternoon, re-organizing some new shelving and tossing out some old junk when the cleaning lady came by to empty my trash can. I come in after hours sometimes and often have to sign in and I've spotted the cleaners list at the guard station before. I've noticed most of the cleaner's last names are the same so I figure it is a family operation of some sort. The names look Spanish or Portuguese.

Since she could not get in my office, I reached over and emptied my trash into her bin and that's when I noticed she was staring at the picture of the creepy guy on my wall. I turn around and look at it then I turn back and tell her.
"It's my great grandfather.." She was horrified. Then she said in broken english:

"We..." "Uhh.. "No One...".. "No one no like-ah you picture...!"

And this is when the guy that cleans the bathrooms also came by and nodded vigorously(there is a handicapped washroom two offices over from mine).

"Is bad picture." he says "Evil.. El Diablo!"...

And they hurried off, glancing behind a few times

I find this HILARIOUS! You know... There's been different cleaning staff up on the floor lately and I wonder of they are drawing straws or something. Usually it's the same people every day. What makes this especially funny is that they are just freaked out by the picture of the old guy. They haven't seen what he really looks like underneath because of the way I've positioned the frame. I've already notice this with my co-workers who will sometimes come in and stare at the picture. You only see it change of you come in my office and move about 5 feet to either side, so most who see it don't know it's a hologram.

To make things fun now I'm going to adjust the angle of the picture just a little bit over time. About 2 inches a day, for the next week. As you change the angle , just a little bit of the creepy thing starts to show through. Like, right now I moved him two inches and you can just see an outline of bony wings in back of the guy, he still looks pretty normal though. I'll do this a few onches a day and by Friday it will be showing the winged skeleton full of rotting flesh!. I wonder how that's gonna go over!

I'm also going to create a backstory for him to tell the cleaning
staff next time they come by, something along the lines that he was my great grandfather who ran a boarding house in 1890 where people disappeared and then they found out he was eating them and serving them as meals to the other guests so the town lynched him but after he was buried people would see him around town at night so they dug up his grave and found nothing but an empty coffin... And that the picture hung in my grandmother's old cottage in a room us kids used to sleep in and in the middle of the night we would be awakened by a cold slap in the face and when we woke up we could see our breath and it was the ghost of my great grandfather!!!


P.S. I'll try to post a pic of the picture this week! If you can think of a neat angle for the backstory, leave it as a comment! If you think I'm being mean or cruel.. Well.. I probably am..

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Angelina or Jennifer- Revisited

OK, let's do this Jen versus Angie thing right. Vote away!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Scary German Hissy fit.. (Don't touch my monkey!)

I have no idea which online RPG it is, but this kid should stop playing it.. Hook sent this to me.

I've been PK'd by roving bands of 11 year old tots and I never chucked a fit that bad!


That reminds me. I have to go finish watching Stalag 17.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Playing with CSS

I'm learning the mysterious inner workings of CSS style sheets! WooHoo! I want to go to a custom 3 column layout optimized for 1024*768 (screw 800x600). Maybe by the weekend. My colors are all screwed up though. You can see the latest test mess here.

Queensway fun, twice in one day.

Got home late today, the Queensway was a mess, thank god for the Ipod or the ride home would have been unbearable, and I must say John Mayer is one hell of a singer/songwriter. Picked up my kids, gawked at the new Puffer fish (I gave it a dirty look. It strongly resembled the Rockfish that stung me in Aruba) , and headed home to make supper when I got the call.

My wife had run out of gas, on the Queensway. Ack! I stopped cooking, bundled the kids up, got the gas can outta the garage (thank god it was full, I can't siphon without getting a mouthful of gas), and away we went. I pulled up behind my dead Truck 10 minutes later but my wife made me move the car in front of it. Ever since that OC Transpo bus plowed into that stalled car a few years back, everyone's kinda careful when parking on the shoulder these days.

I pushed the truck over to the side more so I didn't have to fill the tank standing in the right traffic lane, and we were all soon underway!

The good thing about this gas rescue is that we changed dinner plans to a fast food joint. Woohoo!

I ran out of gas once in 1989. Never again... Respect the "E"....

Jolie or Anison?

I caught the new Clive Owen/Jennifer Anison flick Derailed yesterday. Not a bad movie (a tad predictable). Kinda a "How not to start an affair" movie (like don't do it in the first place or if you do, don't go cheap on the hotel room in a bad part of town!). Which was the subject of our break discussion today. If you were Brad Pitt, which women would you prefer. I'm in the Anison camp. Jolie is beautiful, but a bit too freaky, plus she was married to Billy Bob Thorton and carried his blood in a vial around her neck (at this point The Ciminator said something like "Stop!! building her up like that! I can't take it!"). While Aniton is that cute girl from the Leprechaun movie and Friends..

Eddie the Eagle tried to sum it up. He said:
"Picture either of them in bed, about to have sex with you. Jennifer Anison would be like "Ouch, you're on my hair, your feet are cold, clip your toenails!"

while Angela Jolie would be like..

"Get over here and &^%$* the *%&$ out of me! NOW!!"

So.. Take your pick he says..

But what does he know?

Monday, March 20, 2006

North Hollywood Shootout - 1997

I caught a documentary this weekend about this old but highly publicized shootout featuring two AK-47-toting bank robbers in body armor versus LAPD patrolmen (and later, SWAT). I remember reading about it in the paper for days afterwards and seeing the chilling footage on TV. Pretty scary stuff. I recall one story reporting that they used the 1995 film 'Heat' with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro as a training film.

It brings up that old 'monkey see monkey do' argument and juts off into letting kids play violent video games.. I got a hunch that if simply watching something makes you wanna go do something illegal, you got bigger problems and if it's not a TV filling your head with ideas, it'll be your imaginary friend or a book or something.

It made me dig Heat outta my pile of DVD's and watch it. Great flick. A young Natalie Portman is in it along with Ashley Judd and Val Kilmer, as well as one of my fav actors, hollywood madame-beating coke-snorting Tom Sizemore (he's a great actor, just not a nice person...)

Back to the shoot-out, there were actually some criticism aimed at Police for not letting medical personal get through to one of the robbers when he 'gave up' after 1) failing to start a truck he hi-jacked and 2) he ran out of ammunition.. Screw that! He gave up his right to medical attention when he started spraying the neighborhood with bullets. Sheesh..

Friday, March 17, 2006

Gawker Stalker

Wow. Stalk your favorite celebrity in Manhatten, complete with Google Maps tie-in. Gotta love technology. Just what dangerous weirdos need to find Madonna or whoever and express their undying wish to be together and to explain to her that if they can't have her then no one will (stab-stab).

Some celebrity is gonna get attacked because of this website. Someone with a Blackberry is going to submit a sighting and then the next Mark David Chapman is gonna put down his copy of The Catcher in the Rye and go and do something stupid. (and I posted the link, Doh, no crazy people read my Blog though...)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Childhood story #15 - Chicken Pox

Recalled this one today at break. I was 5 or 6 and I had a foster sister around the same age. We'll call her 'Telula'(not her real name). Her father had shot someone in front of her so she had suddenly became a ward of the Children's Aid and we were taking care of her. She came with Chicken Pox which I soon got.
So on Saturday morning my friend Gordie(his real name) calls on me. Rings the doorbell. I answer through the screen door but do not open it..
"Can you come out and play?" Gordie sez..
"Nope" I said..
"Why not?" he asks.
"Because I got the Chicken Pox.." I told him. At this time 'Telula' had wandered over to the front screen door.
"What's the chicken Pox?" Gordie asks. Then 'Telula' takes over..
She elbows me out of the way and stands in front of the screen door
"THIS IS THE CHICKEN POX!!!! SEE????" and proceeds to hike her nightie up to her neck because she has a chicken pox scab on her belly. She wasn't wearing any underwear.
Gordie is shocked and goes "AAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGG!!!" and runs home.. I think nothing of it and go back to my comic books.

Minutes later we get a phone call. Gordie's mom is on the phone. She is furious and she wants answers!
"What the hell did your son tell my Gordie!" She wants to know.
"I have no idea.." My Mom says. She calls me over "What did you tell Gordie?"
"I told him I couldn't come out and play 'cause I had the Chicken Pox.."
Gordie's Mom does not buy this. But hey, it's true.. I go back to my comic books..
"What's the matter with Gordie exactly?" My Mom asks, trying to figure out what's up..
"He says he never wants to play with your son ever again!"
My Mom is kinda shocked..
"Why not?" she asks..

"Because he's convinced his birdie is going to fall off!!"

Ya see, Gordie didn't have any sisters and he figured everyone had a 'birdie' and if Telula had Chicken Pox and didn't have a birdie then it must have fallen off as a result of the Pox or something.. Kid logic.. Makes perfect sense if you think about it.... hehehehehehehehe. I actually ran into him at a party or something when he we were like, 22. I hadn't seen him for like 12 years, and I told that story.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

March Madness - Trapped in a tunnel

Took my 5 year old to the Museum of Science & Technology today. It's March break, the city has been taken over by school kids. Everything is packed and not as much fun due to the sheer volume of kids stuffed into every children's entertainment venue in the city like WW2 soldiers on a 3-day pass. Whenever we go to the S&T museum my kid always wants to go to the NORTEL CONNEXIONS packet routing thing, where they have these big fiber optic tunnels hanging from the ceiling that you can run though pretending to be a network packet (except the packets are really hyperactive kids) .
They have these big plastic corkscrewing tube slides up there on the 2nd story that you can slide down (in complete darkness) to get to the 1st story displays. That's all my kid wants to do, run up the stairs, tear through the tunnels (which are actually pretty cool and would look like the set of Aliens with a little help from a smoke machine) and dive down one of the two corkscrew tube slides. When she does this I follow her because otherwise, you'd lose your kid pretty fast.
On our last trip down this rabbit hole this very hefty lady in front of us was contemplating whether or not she wanted to go down this thing. I estimate that she was about 50 pounds shy of outweighing me by twice my own weight( of 205 pounds). Well, bless her, she gave it a shot! (those tunnels are HUGE!) and my daughter went in after her, I went in after my daughter and some other girl related to the first lady and well on her way to equaling her in size and weight in a few years went after me.
We got stuck... Well, I didn't get stuck.. The lady in front of us got stuck.. It was only for a minute.. In the dark.. With piles of kids slamming into us from topside... Not pretty...

She got herself unstuck... Took another minute to crawl out of the bottom, and she vowed never to go in there again.. Well.. At least she tried.. Next time we're taking another tunnel..

Also. If you are a single man, looking to meet single women.. Grab a niece or nephew and go to the museum of S&T during March break. Almost no fathers taking time off with their kids.. I've never seen so many women, with multiple kids 2 years or less in age apart, at this place. Waiting in line with them, listening to stories about shared custody and deadbeat husbands, uhh.. There ya go..

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Star Wars Kid - revisted

Speaking of the Star Wars kid, who I'm proud to say is Canadian, and may be old news to most, I took the oppertunity to rewatch the video that made me bust a gut 2 or 3 years ago. What really gets me though, is how much I was able to relate. That could be me! I don't own a golf-ball retriever, but I do own 2 light sabers! The kid's enthusiam is infectious. I'm gonna go make a light saber video right now!!
What else is really great about the vid is that some folks have jazzed it up and put out versions with light saber visual and sound effects in there. Like it was meant to be! So the alternate versions are also worth a look (check them out here!). It's too bad the petition to get him into Episode III fell flat. Maybe he'll get a chance in the TV projects Lucas has said he's gonna do!

May the force be with you Ghyslain!

Friday, March 10, 2006

The DNA of Dog Dirt

Apparently in Vienna a local polititian has a novel idea to control the city's rampant dog shit problem. Doggie DNA! The plan is to have each dog DNA sampled when it gets licensed and when a steaming dog turd is found on your lawn, you can call the city's CSI techs to come down to your place, DNA-type the puppy poop and look up the proper owner and fine his lazy ass!!!!

I don't know how much it costs, but it's worth it, they need to get it here in Ottawa for all NCC hiking trails where people let their dogs make all over the place. If they find some turds for which there is no matching DNA record sample it will go into a system whereby, if they ever find the dog, an extra fine is levied for having an un-registered pet.

The picture of the turd on the lawn was one I made myself (it's digital, I didn't really make it myself 'that way', besides there's snow on the ground right now..) using the online Virtual dog shit creator!.

DNA typing wasn't needed for this woman in Korea whom they call gae-ttong-nyue (the dogshit girl). Aparrently her little Pug crapped on a subway train and when she didn't do anything, people started to freak and told her to clean it up, to which she apparently said. "&%$#*&^ OFF!!". So a guy started snapping pictures and the whole country is mad at her so she's as famous as the Star Wars kid over there but for dog shit instead of light sabers.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Hook told me his uncle was using this cool, FREE, internet app to do secure VPN peer to peer stuff. I finally got the name of it today and can't wait to try it out! Hamachi, from what I gather, you set up, make a network name and it turns your Internet connection into a private 16 person LAN for you and your buddies to connect to shares and swap files, play multiplayer games in a LAN mode (no more TOTS!!!!) etc.

I'm gonna give it a go with some buddies sometime and see how it works.

More on this later. Meanwhile, if you're reading this and we've shot each other up in a hail of digital bullets, or cut each other in half with lightsabers, DL it and get it installed!

Let's try Call of Duty 2! And maybe some Battlefield 2 while we're at it!


Saturday, March 04, 2006

My Brother's saltwater fish tank...

He works at one of those fish stores, where every employee is the store's best customer.. He has managed to get himself an amazing saltwater tank and collection of fish and other 'stuff'. The wierdest thing in there is something he calls "The Claw". It's some sort of crabby thing that has just said "To hell with this walking around with a shell on my back thing, I'm just gonna crawl into this little hole in the coral that I can barely fit, and just live in it and wave my one claw around outside the hole for food".

Which is what it does, whatever it is. While the other crabby things are RV'ing it, this guy's staying put. Funny thing is, he gets more food than the others. Everyone in the house goes out of their way to feed "The Claw" and it's gonna get so fat, it's gonne be stuck in there soon. The first time he showed me it was kinda like
"Watch this," and he dropped some shrimp guts down into the crevasse of the coral and man, this mid-sized claw came shooting out of a hole and grabbed it and pulled it in... Freaky... It's going to mutate in there and come out as something else, you watch. Crabs don't seem to like being naked...

He's got a few starfish (that move way faster than I thought they could) that just kinda hang around. When it's feedi
ng time, if one is sucking high up on the glass of the tank, it'll kinda start to drop itself off and head towards the bottom of the tank. Sometimes they do a freefall. I don't even know how they know it's feeding time, but when food enters the tank, the fish rip into it and whatever they miss falls to the bottom and the starfish crawl around it to eat.

He's got a few Clown fish and he has an anemone that the bigger clown fish gets fresh with all the time.. I guess he likes getting stung, or he's building up a resistance to it. He also chases the other fish away from it.

You can sit and stare at this thing like it's the TV....

Green's Creek Toboggan Hill.

Went tobogganing on Saturday at Green's Creek Hill . It was a blast even though I only noticed the big sign that said it was closed because of too much ice until it was almost time to go home. You don't go as fast as you might think. I brought my GPS along and clocked my 50 pound 5 year old and me, 205 pounds for a total of 255 doing a top speed of 31.8KM per hour. I go faster down a steep hill on a bike.


Most people don't know
that there are railway footings from an abandoned train bridge from the 1920's just West of the hill. Hardly anyone goes down there, except teens for the odd bush party. It looks like stonehendge down there. Here are a few pics.. The link for the train bridge links to a local webpage of train stuff in Ottawa. Facinating...

Friday, March 03, 2006

Odd Avatars

I frequent a lot of weird forums and most people in there have pretty weird avatars (avatars are little pictures that people pick to represent themselves in message forums). I'm gonna start listing some of them. Hillarious! Here are a few I like, or that I find disturbing, take your pick..
This last one (kinda rated AA) is the reason my daughter will never have a webcam!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Canadian tourists murdered in Mexico.

I went down to Mexico on the Mayan coast in 2000. Nice place. But getting Mexican Police officials to investigate an international murder is kinda like hiring Michael Jackson as your nanny. So this couple from Ontario goes down to Mexico to attend their daughter's wedding and they are found dead in their hotel room, throats slashed, the day after the rehearsal. Interesting how Mexican authorities fingered two single mothers from Thunder Bay staying at the same resort as the alleged throat slashers. Apparently a trail of blood in the hallway led police in that direction. We'll never know because hotel staff cleaned the whole mess up so as not to alarm the other tourists. In any case these suspected throat flayers were able to leave on time the next day oblivious to the whole affair because on that first day police thought it was an organized crime hit.

It's laughable at how quickly Mexican police determined from the start that the crimes were committed by someone from outside the country, most likely Canada. They don't know shit and they just started contacting the RCMP a few days ago. Yeah we're a nation of throat slashers we are.

A year ago, another Ontario man, Shawn Potts, 23 (a kid really) drowned in Cancun on spring break. Official cause of death from Mexican Authorities after they do an autopsy- Drowning.. Yet, when his body gets back here to Canada, it's missing a ton of blood. Cause of death, blood loss? From what? Hello??

Ridiculous. A colleuge at work had a family member who rented a car in Cancun years ago, only to have it stolen the same day. They called police who told them exactly how much it would cost to have the car delivered back to them(kinda like getting fined for getting your truck stolen). When they got back home a police freind told them that the Mexican cops split this fee with the car thief (most cases affiliated with the actual rental company with a spare key and everything).

I hope tourism takes a hit. Appently Canadians spent $791 million in that country in 2004. If I ever go back to Mexico(not bloody likely), I'm not setting foot off the damned resort, and if i do, it's gonna be on a tourist bus.

Pissant country.. I wonder if the daughter will ever get married? Man....

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Fast food ice vs. toilet water - a 12 year old's experiment.

"My hypothesis was that the fast food restaurants’ ice would contain more bacteria that the fast food restaurants’ toilet water."
She was right.

Jasmine Roberts (great name!!), a 7th grade student at Benito Middle School in Tampa, Florida, examined the amount of bacteria in ice served at fast food restaurants as part of her science fair project. She compared the amount of bacteria in the ice with the amount of bacteria in the toilet water of the same restaurant. These are places like Micky' D's, Burger King, etc.. She found that 4 out of 5 fast food joints have higher bacteria levels in their ice dispenser's water than the levels found in their toilets. At the drive through it was 3/5 (thank god I'm a drive through guy).


P.S. I have no idea what the guy in the picture is doing. A taste test?