Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Playing with an old Sony Nightshot at 2:45 am

For some reason I went to bed at 2:30 Saturday night. I watched the UFC, George St-Pierre from Montreal kicked Matt Hughes butt all over the place and after that finished at 1:30am, I killed goblins on my computer for an hour. As I went upstairs to bed I heard some guys swearing at the top of their lungs outside. I peered out my bathroom window and there was a fight going on in the driveway a few houses down, about 20 kids trying to break it up. It looked like someone was blitzed out on something and was trying to drive home and someone was trying to stop them, I dunno. It was out of control so I called the cops. As I put the phone down, I spied the Sony nightshot cam I borrowed from a guy in my french class. HEY! I gotta try that sucker out!

I really wished I knew what I was doing. I basically took it out of the bag for the first time, set it to night shot (in almost total darkness), and pointed it through my screen window. I had no idea where the manual focus was and I could only flip between 2 or 3 night shots modes. It's a crappy video, but the nightshot mode sure is interesting. Like frickin night vision!! WOOHOO!

I wonder of anyone got arrested. I was filming when the cops showed up. The party broke up and some guys kinda walked away and then hid in my front yard behind some bushes and had a long discussion over who bought the bad X 10 feet from my window. Idiots! I didn't want to look like some kind of peeping freak so I waited them out and closed my window.

(actually, who am I kidding. I AM a peeping freak!)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Chucking the Christmas Lights 2006

We put the Christmas lights up this weekend. I like to use the word Christmas because lately, it's been deemed semi-offensive at my place of work and we are encouraged to say "holiday" lights lest we offend anyone who doesn't happen to be the same religion. It's real funny to me since it's tied with Halloween as my favorite holiday and I'm not religious in the least. As far as I'm concerned, you can tell yourself that most of the religion has been completely commercialized out of Christmas. On another note, no one scolds me for saying Happy Hanukkah or Happy Ramadan or any other holiday I happen to catch on to. Call it for what it is.. "Season Greetings" my butt....

I've worked with people who have told me they are offended by the word Christmas. To them I say it's probably time to move then. Tolerance and compromise is to be appreciated these days. It REALLY irked her off that it was an official federal holiday and that the calendar started on that Jesus guy's birthday(grin).

Oh well... Can't please everyone. Might as well cater to the 99.9 % who like getting presents. (PRESENTS!!!!!).

I saw some guy on TV trying out a new light installing technique. He got the lights on the end of a long pole and then just whipped them over his head and chucked the lights at the tree where they usually stuck. My wife told me she saw some guy doing the same thing on Parliament Hill or some place.

Hey! It works!!!! (Don't know how I'll get them down though....)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

History of the third Reich - (Hitler was quite the bastard)

I got hold of a podcast on Hitler and the history of the third Reich from Slava the other day. Man was it interesting! I thought I knew a bit of the story but man Hitler was a CRAZY bastard. Him and all his stupid frickin National socialist Nazi buddies. The next time I run into one of those moronic Aryan lovin skinheads (I ran into a Heritage Front demonstration downtown years ago when I was in the market - now there's a bunch of raging idiot hate mongers), I'll have some new stuff to talk to them about little Adolf Schicklgruber and explain to them in great detail why they are &*%$#@ morons for holding that guy up as some sort of great leader.

We're all heard of the final solution and the death camps. What I never knew about was the Nazi Racial hygiene programs. In 1939 the Nazi's attempted to "Cleanse the body of the German people". They set up 21 children's departments, to evalueate children with birth defects, any abnormality, mental retardation, etc. To identify these kids they used social agencies (previously set up to help kids like this), hospitals, the church etc. To the Nazi's these kids were "Racially Valueless" and qualified for their "euthanasia" program and were put to death by injection, starvation, or poison gas. They started this up when they came to power and in control of the state mental hospitals and sent form letters to the families of the murdered children. At one point in 1941 some families put two and two together when neighbors received the same letter and started to ask questions. The program was shutdown for a time and then started right back up when the protest blew over. Over 5000 kids were murdered. In the 40's the program was expanded to adults of which 80,000 were killed in the same manner. If you were lucky enough not to be murdered, you got a forced sterilization (about 400,00 of those up to 1945).

The Nazi's are not nice people folks...

I always wondered how much about the Final solution the world knew about. How much did the German population know? None of the camps were in Germany because the Nazi's knew there would be public opposition to them at home (as much as could be mustered of course). I also heard about the Madagascar plan for the first time. After they invaded France, one of the co-conspirators there offered up the Island of Madagascar as a possible haven for European Jews. There was some plan drafted up, which called for the use of the defeated British navy ships to help with the plan, but the English didn't cooperate by not losing. Jewish relocation was already going on in Germany and I'm pretty sure everyone knew that it wasn't going to be taking anyone off on holiday...

I always thought it quite ridiculous that a short little black-haired guy from Austria conjured up images of big, blonde, blue-eyed folks as the perfect (Aryan) German race. Didn't he ever look in the mirror? Apparently he had a division of people charged with rounding up kids who looked like this in Germany and surrounding annexed countries for a massive repopulation experiment.

No more Boy scouts. Now you gotta go to the Hitler Youth. All aspects of social life were controlled. you had a League of German girls, national Socialist groups for attorney's, physicians, woman's league, etc.. Even the Barbers had a National Socialist club.

Hitler never signed any orders during his reign of terror (Hitler dairies? full of crap). Some of those clueless aforementioned people who still think fondly of the guy always point to this as evidence that he had little to do with the holocaust and the other atrocities. I say he was much too chickenS&$t to sign anything lest it go wrong and he become associated with it.

All three of his girlfreinds attempted suicide. What does that tell you about Adolf? One or two succeeded.

Did you know the best time to arrest some0ne in Nazi Germany is at two in the morning? Early on when the Nazis forbade any public criticisms of the party, the Gestapo hauled a lot of people away in the middle of the night. You'd tell a Hitler joke in a bar, some people would laugh. That night at 2:00am, you'd get a knock on your door and then it was bye bye time. Got a hate on for your neighbor? Does his cat piss on your lawn? Call the Gestapo, tell them the cat's owner is a communist. Problem solved. Sometimes, they did an extra nice thing whereby not only would they arrest you, but your wife, your parents, your kids, your friends, your relatives... Lots of us in life are brave enough to stand up for ourselves, and others, but not to the point where it lands your whole frickin family in the gulag. My god what an inhumane way to live. No wonder your typical German citizen looked the other way after awhile. The crazy train had already left the station.... Once the Nazi's got in, they made sure they stayed in, and started rolling out little 'ammendments' in such a trickle that it was like watching corn grow. You don't notice the place has gone to hell until it's too late.

I read in the paper once, a small tidbit by a Canadian soldier who stated rather heatedly that there was a difference between the German Army and the Nazi's. The two were just not the same. The Nazi's, the SS, the Gestapo, these were the crazies in charge. The German Army just followed orders and 'made war' (although I'm sure the Russians would disagree; and probably a whole lot of other people), but from what I read, there was a difference. Perhaps it's a lesser of the two evils thing. If it was to be a foregone conclusion, you definitely wanted to get captured by the German Army, than by the 'other' guys.

The one great quote I always remember from that time period is from a German, Martin Niemöller

Here is one of the adapted versions, but you get the meaning:
First they came for the Communists, and I didnÂ?t speak up,
because I wasnÂ?t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didnÂ?t speak up,
because I wasnÂ?t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didnÂ?t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left
to speak up for me.
Hopefully the world can learn from history like this and never repeat it.


When I was finishing up the last lecture, I was in the process of picking up my kid from school. I always turn the podcast off and flip over to music my kids like.. Today she was misbehaving and when we got in the car she demanded some song or other and I told her:

"Nope.. I'm not letting you listen to your music. We're listening to Hitler!"

The parent getting out of the car beside me was not impressed.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Beware the Pit!

We headed out to the Quebec side to do Canada's first multi geocache, Beware the Pit. It was a blast! I've never seen so much junk out in the woods! We found some old abandoned snowmobiles, a huge Caterpillar construction tractor, huge flatbed trucks out in the middle of fields, full of frickin junk like you wouldn't believe!

It was a fine day for caching. Once we crossed the border on the ride up I discovered that in Quebec, the horn in pretty much every car in back of you is somehow wirelessly connected to the traffic lights. As soon as the friggin light turns green, the horn in the car behind you goes off to let you know the light has changed. It's very helpful because the speed of light is so fast, it takes a few microseconds to notice that the light is no longer red.. A bit longer than the speed of sound I guess.

We hiked in and saw evidence of some recent bush parties, and this is where we stumbled upon the snowmobile, Tripper hopped on it and tried to drive it outta there, but it just wouldn't turn over for him. In fact, his hopping up and down on it like a demented evil bunny caused something dead-smelling to waft up at us from under the engine. It was RANK! (see the video here)

I don't know what posses someone to leave perfectly good machinery out in the woods like that. At one point, we stumbled upon an entire car engine block, just sitting there in the path, like it fell out of the sky. It was fun to play on the CAT. We couldn't get it started and drive it to the cache, which was to be expected, it looked like it had been sitting there for a few years. The whole way up we were dodging huge horse turds. This area is obviously a huge riding trail.

When we found the cache, we sat down for a bite to eat, and Tripper pulled out his cigar soon after for a celebratory cache-find smoke. Trouble was, his lighter fizzed out on him, he had no way to light it. He asked me if I had a lighter and I got and idea and rummaged through my bag. He didn't think it was funny when I threw him my flint and steel fire starter. In fact, he called me a bad name of some sort! I went about starting a fire the semi-old fashioned way and after a few minutes, I walked over with a burning piece of paper but the *&%$%&%# had gotten his lighter to fire and was already puffing away! It didn't matter. Fire is like CPR. Once you start to do it, you can't stop.

I recorded some stuff with my M-audio Micro recorder. I was going on about Bigfoot and GrizzlyG started to dispute the entire chain of viable Bigfoot evidence, so I thought, "This will be good" and clicked on my recorder with plans to decimate his argument and the %$#@&* recanted everything while the tape rolled and made like he believed in Bigfoot all along! Then he went on to orate how it was weird that an hour before I was having a spirited argument with someone who wasn't there (my imaginary friend) and that maybe I should go get that checked out...

On the way out we stopped for pictures on a little cliff. I caught sight of the horses that were leaving the shit piles all over the place, a line of several on a ride up through the hills. I was on top of a huge rock dressed as Batman so I waved to them! WooHoo!

I think they somehow knew we were from Ontario....

A fine day for geocaching!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Flickr badges

I added a Flickr badge on the right hand side of my blog after I saw one on Tripper's site. It's a flash thingie that randomly selcts pics from your Flickr collection and shuffles them around in a clickable little graphic.

Very cool!

Here's how to add one to your site

Skeleton in a garbage truck

I was driving home the other day, shortly after Halloween and spotted this particular garbage truck on the queensway. We were doing about 110km an hour and I had to snap a picture.

hilarious. I'm positive I also see a human head in the jaws of the trash compactor on the right hand side.

And, speaking of Halloween, check out one of our scary pumpkins!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Dinosaur museum

They're back! After like, a year, the museum of Nature in downtown Ottawa is open again. Only half the exhibit space is available and the upgrades probably won't be completely finished until next year, but the dinosaurs are there and they are WAY COOL! Check out the huge prehistoric turtle!

If you go on Saturday, before noon, admission is free!

Spezza the dead goldfish

A couple of weeks ago, my daughter told me that the three goldfish in her fish bowl "were having a meeting!". Sure enough, two of them were clustered in the bottom entrance to the mermaid cave, deep in fish conversation. Hmm. I've only seen two fish for a few days now. Barring any successful escape attempts, maybe something was rotten in goldfish-land.
I was right. Sure enough, the meeting was about Spezza and probably went something along the lines of how he was stinking up the fishbowl with his dead carcass. He had unceremoniously risen to the interior of the mermaid cave to die in peace and out of sight of my kids. What were we to do?

I waited till she was asleep, donned my head lamp, and armed with a dead-fish scooper, under the cover of darkness recovered the body and flushed him down the toilet.

Two days later, the other two were dead (damn that Spezza). Off to Walmart for more fish soon.

Groundhog Day Hockey with the Ottawa Senators


Rome is burning people. A five game losing streak! Last time they did that was in 1995 or something. 10 YEARS ago for christ's sake!

Ever see that movie groundhog day with Bill Murray? Where he wakes up and the day is slightly different but it ends up the same way at the end of it all. No matter what he does to change it, it just can't be helped, he can't get Andie Mcdowell in the sack...

Well, the last few games I've seen, the Sens pop out to these great big leads, 3-0, the other team pulls the starting goalie (it happened again tonight!) , chucks in the back up and then theSens can't score and they start letting goals in like oxyegen... Gerber.. We're stuck with him. Who will pay $3.5 mil to take him off our hands? I dunno, but the next time the Sens go get the goalie of the future, please make damn sure he has more than ONE good season!!!! I mean, Gerber.. Go practise with some friggin beach balls!

$@#!!!&!*!**@* they better trade someone's ass! Or Fire some upper and lower management! frig, the trainer even!

My freind Charkles had a great idea. Send Redden to Tampa for Vincent Lecavielier. Shake up the friggin room. Fire the coach and GM. DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!!!


I'm a Habs fan, but with a local team like the Sens you can't help but notice and hope they do well. My god. They are embrassing!

Frickin overpaid millionaires, most of them...