Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Kidnapping cache gnomes

Yesterday I attended a Geocaching get together and we got to talking about the weird Ottawa thing with geocaches and garden gnomes. A lot of these geocachers are new and didn't hear about some of the gnome kidnappings that took place back in the early caching days in 2002. Basically I kidnapped Tick and Nammie's Gnome Forester (actually it was Bigfoot who kidnapped him, it was just my idea) and took him to work, played hockey with him, took him in the hot tub, etc. He had a good time. I put him to work shovelling the snow off my satellite dish, fixing my servers etc.. He stayed with my troll collection while he was away from his cache.
He was well-fed and had few complaints. On the last day he got to watch a UFC pay per view, as well as a midnight screening of a James Bond movie. A good time had by all.

Here are the origional geocaching logs of the first kidnapping with photos.

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

Then in 2003, I kidnapped their other gnome, Soloman, and he got to go to Cuba! Gnomes gone wild! A good time had by all!

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Friday, March 23, 2007

Childhood fun with gum remover

When I was a teenager, I got a job at a local Cineplex Odeon theatre and they had this wonderful stuff called gum remover. It came in a can and it was like poor man's liquid nitrogen. You'd see gum squished into the carpet and you'd spray it with this stuff, freezing the gum and then you could dislodge it with one kick of your shoe. It had other uses. Freezing houseflies in mid air in order to capture and domesticate them.
What you did was, chase the pesky fly down with the gum remover, freeze him in mid flight, pick him up off the floor and tie a bit of thread around his abdomen. It took a few times (and flies) to get it right. The most common mistake is cutting the fly in half when you tighten the knot. I prefer a rapalla knot for this type of work. You also can't use too much thread or it causes a payload problem and Mr fly can't get air born. When you have the length just right you end up with a fly on a 6 inch thread leash. You can tie it around his head but watch out for accidental decapitations. I seem to recall having the thread trail the underside of the fly as being workable. You also have to watch the damned legs (they always get in the way!)

A leashed fly lasted about a day. I don't know what flies eat and it may have starved to death. I wasn't about to go outside and find dog droppings or whatever they are partial too.

All this for $4.15 an hour! Woohoo!

300 DVDSCR leaked

That has got to be a record. A DVD quality version on the net on March 21st. Good thing it's grossed over 100 mil in theatres. I'm glad I saw it on the big screen though, this is the type of film worth spending your $12.50 on (Imax price).

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ebay emailed to say Sonic's not coming....

It was bound to happen, I buy enough stuff off of there.. I won an auction last week for a stuffed toy for my Kid. Sonic the Hedgehog! Woohoo! My 6 year old plays the video game and likes the TV show so I thought it would be neat to track down a stuffed toy for her. I found one on Ebay and got it for $7 (plus $10 shipping from the good old USA ouch!), ok, $17, BUT you can't get them easy and I don't have time to scour the Salvation Army stores.

I paid for it right away with PayPal and the next day I got a nice email from Ebay that they have terminated the seller's auctioning privileges.. That is usually a sign that the seller is not sending out the stuff he's posted just in some cases is just keeping people's money for fun.

So with a relatively inexpensive item I get to find out if Paypal recompensation works at all. I have heard it is NOT buyer friendly and it's like pulling teeth to get your money back after someone has decided to just keep it. I filed a claim and escalated it right away. We'll see what happens. Funny thing is, I have the guy's real name, address, and even an alternative shipping address with some other person's name. His girlfriend maybe? What can I do with that I wonder?

I always check feedback and this guy's was 100% but had relatively few transactions. The day after I paid him, he had one bad feedback and then Ebay closed his account. Doh!

And since I had told my daughter what I had ordered, I had to order ANOTHER one on Ebay to replace the one that ain't coming(actually it was a package of 4 of them, a bit better deal). This new guy shipped it an hour after I paid. Guy's like that are what Ebay's all about. I need to stick with people who have 1000+ transactions.

Monday, March 19, 2007

300 on Imax

I caught the Imax version of 300 last week. It's the best film I've seen in ages. I'm a big fan of Frank Miller's stuff ever since I came across it in the late 80's with his Dark Night Returns Batman stuff. He really has a way with capturing mood with his unique animation style.
Like they did with Sin City, this new director (who had previously helmed a pretty good zombie film) stayed pretty faithful to the comic panels. There is much blood and gore, nasty politics and 300 buff guys running around in speedos impaling persians. And the King's scottish accent, however unspartan it may be, works for me!(grin). A depicted Warrior society that inspects newborn babies and tosses them off cliffs if they don't appear normal is pretty out there.

I don't know if it was the Imax experience that made it better, I'll have to go see it again on a normal screen to be sure.

Check it out!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Movie Release tags explained

Speaking of movies leaked as R5's TS's TC's. If you've ever been confused over which is which, here is an order of quality (with links to definitions off the scene website).

R1/2 retail DVD Rip Ripped right off the commercial DVD
DVDSCR Ripped off those vid store or academy award screeners. Not a lot of clean up done on these but the quality is great
R5 Retail Ditto like above, rushed out the door to combat the Russian movie pirates
Telecine Copied vid and audio digitally right off the reel. Pretty rare.
Telesync Video cam in projection booth with an audio feed off the projector
Cam Video cam in the audience with crappy sound from on board mic, people in the audience getting up in front of the cam, coughing, audience laughter, etc.. These suck...

Tripper turned me onto this site quite awhile ago. If you are into bitorrenting free public domain documentaries on dog shows or other equally inoffensive stuff, or any 'other' things that may be floating around out on the Internet, then this is the site for you. It's a team of people that quite usefully review 'scene' releases, films, apps, games, TV shows etc.. that get leaked to the Internet by various means.

They don't just talk about what's just been vomited up on the popular bit torrent sites, they also talk about upcoming movies, games, software, news, whatever!. For instance there was an R5 released this week of the film Moscow Zero. An R5 is a new kind of DVD rip, an AVI taken direct from an actual commercial DVD. In Russia (region 5) there is rampant movie piracy so a lot of DVD's apparently get released there ahead of North America. has a short synopsis, Links to on the film to things like the IMDB (Internet Movie Database), the movie's homepage, a preview trailer and lastly, a bittorent link to where you can download the thing. It links to all the time, another site I hadn't gone too much. It's free with no ratios, kinda neat if you don't mind waiting.
Pretty handy.. If you're into dog shows or lesser TV fare you may have missed on air like Micheal Jackson's most shocking TV moments!!!!
I regularly use stuff like this if I happen to miss a TV program I like. Every episode of LOST, House, desperate Housewives, etc, is up there commercial free an hour after airing(in High Def too, stream to your TV, Xbox, or burn to DVD and watch it later).

Monday, March 05, 2007

Xbox Live rednecks

I signed up for Xbox live last week. I managed to hook it up with my neighbor who is on all the time (after figuring out the Xbox blade interface and remembering to throttle down my rabid bittorrenting of public domain nature documentaries) and it's pretty fun. You get a headset and VOX activated mic and when you link up with someone you can hear them and they can hear you as you play the same game. You can choose to hear them on your TV or in your headset or both. I chose both. After a few tests I told my neighbor that I was leaving the console and that I'd talk to him the next day.
He didn't disconnect and for the next 15 minutes I could listen to him swear at his TV while he played Gears of War while I read some Xbox Live forums on my PC. I'm positive he didn't know I could hear him. I got to thinking, hey, this could be a CSI episode. Some guy's playing an online game with a headset, he disconnects but can still hear the audio feed from the other guy's console and he accidentally overhears him committing murder or something.

I turned it off then, I have no time to go to court. Plus it was late and should his wife come down the stairs in lingerie then..

So a few days ago my neighbor wasn't on so I started a game and made it so anyone in the universe could join. I'm playing solo and then this guy pops on. Judging from his accent, he is obviously from the southern United States. We chat and kill Locusts (GOW bad guys) and after a few minutes I can hear that his wife/girlfriend/boss has entered the room. She starts yelling at him about something but I can only hear the conversation when he yells back because that's when the VOX microphone gets activated. Since she was speaking while he was interrupting I was able to comprehend that:

1. The trailer was a %$#&@*&?% mess (no stereotypes people!)
2. There was no more wine coolers

Hehehehe. He's yelling at her that he's "Trying to play a ?%$#@* game woman! GIT!" and that only seemed to piss her off more. I heard him twist the headset around in back of his head which just make the audio more choppy 'cause the mic was still activating.

After 2 minutes of this he said he had to go, "sorry bout that, my woman's *&$@# crazy..".

No probs man. Go buy some wine coolers and clean that trailer!


Much better than Winchester Joe's swiming pool

This Saturday I headed up to my grandmother's place for a swim. She had a certificate for a couple of family swims at this private pool up near her way, in Winchester Springs (out in the country eh?). I had no idea what to expect, my oldest memory of swimming in Winchester was when I was about 8 and I was spending a few weeks of the summer up there with my cousins.

One day it was hot as hell and they asked me
"Hey do you want to go over to Joe's pool for a swim?"
Sure I did! Did I have the required 10 cents Joe charged for admission? Right here! So off we went to Joe's.
Joe's pool turned out to be a small above-ground in someones backyard. Joe was the son and he and his sister charged the neighborhood kids 10 cents a swim. The duration of said swim was variable. If they decided you were done, they'd kick you out and you'd have to pay again. I think it had something to do with how much fun you were having. If you just kinda sat there quiet in the water they'd forget about you(the dead man's float worked too). There were no safety regs, there'd be as many kids as could fit above and below the water.
I'll never forget the method of entry into Joe's pool. A rusty slide ripped off of the end of a swing set that had been placed so it's ladder was on the outside (of course) and the bottom of the slide was inside the pool. The feet were resting on a two by four on the pool bottom amid old patches that were evidence the rusty slide's metal footing had perforated the liner more than once. When you would try and slide down this thing (the first and only time) your bathing suit or cutoffs or fruit of the loom underwear (we were in the country eh?) would snag on the rust pitted surface and you'd get stuck momentarily before landing in the water amid rusty brown flecks of metal and pools of your own blood caused by the rusty lacerations you'd receive on the way down. Once in the pool you'd look up from underwater and have to find a spot to surface that wasn't covered in large green clumps of pod-like seaweed. On top of that, you'd have almost no time to do this because in the meantime. the next kid was making his rusty decent aiming for your back with his feet.

Ahh the country...

So with this in mind we were traveling on a dirt road wondering if Joe had gown up, moved the above-ground pool inside a barn with a wood stove, and was now charging 25 cents a pop for a bloody scrape down the rusty slide.

How wrong we were! I saw the mansion from about a kilometer away, it looked like the friggen Branch Davidian Wako complex the FBI set on fire in Texas way back when. It had an addition in the back that obviously had to be the indoor swimming pool. The water was as warm as a bathtub! It had a hardwood ceiling! Diving board! Woohoo!

Only $30 an hour for 15 people. It rocked! I didn't bring my camera otherwise I'd have a ton of pictures pasted on the blog. We're going again in a month, I'll take some photos then! It was a blast!

I am in the wrong business. I should have been a large scale dairy farmer!