Sunday, April 29, 2007

Hiking with the eldest

Went for a wee bit of a hike with my eldest daughter yesterday. Ended up carrying her for half of it. The high point was when she mis-judged the depth of the stream that feeds the big waterfall in Orleans. Aww shucks, what are ya gonna do. It's how I learned. A soaker never hurt anybody...

In truth I was scouting locations for Bigfoot meets Trailerpark Geocachers 2. Some of these areas might work, but they're occasionally clogged with muggles (people who don't get the concept of geocaching or TPG v.s. BIGFOOT).

And... The squirrels might be a problem... They seem to attack Grizzlyg on sight...

Saturday, April 28, 2007

GAG10 -Go and Get Em 10!!!

Gag 10 was a blast, as always! My favorite part being the night-caching which takes place the Friday evening before. There were a lot of little micro cches this time around, which I'm not a big fan of, but Geocaching is like sex or pizza. Even if it's bad it's still pretty good! So we braved the ditches and parking lots and we found us some little micro-caches!

At one point in the evening, we found us a little Doller-rama shopping cart mini and we had some fun with that. They are much harder to race than the full-sized carts, and this type of thing should be left to semi professional amatuers like ourselves.

A large number of the caches this time around were Gnome themed, in honor of the organizers, who routinely put out Gnome caches in and around Ottawa. One of my favorites had to be "Gnome's Catapult", which was a fully functioning trebuchet (until it broke that is(grin)).

We ran into many cachers on the road and in the forest, and in parking lots all over Ottawa. It's always fun to meet new people. It's not too often that you can be walking down some deep dank dark forest path, come across about 7 faceless headlamps lighting you up from 60 feet away like you're being interrogated and then go "Hey guys! how many you guy got so far?"...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Building Gnomehenge for GAG10

There's a geocaching event coming up this weekend, GAG-10 (Go and Get Em!!! 10) where the geocaching community in Ottawa goes out and hides a pile of caches and then runs out to find them on Friday and Saturday. My entry this time around is an old idea I had ages ago, but it became the perfect time to trot it out. The couple who put on this event, Tick and Nammie started a tradition with Gnomes many years ago, leaving plastic garden gnomes alongside their geocaches. A few of us picked up on it and did the same thing (I must have 4 or 5 gnome caches). So in honour of GAG10, and in honor of Tick and Nammie, a whole pile of us are doing gnome themed caches this time around.

So I took some cardboard, made some forms, encased them in chicken wire, made up a 2 parts sand 1 part cement mixture, wet it just right and sculpted 9 blocks to make a little copy of stonehenge, only Gnome-sized. There's screws embedded on the uprights to match holes in the cross piece to keep it sturdy and each upright has a 10 inch piece of re-bar in it to spike it into the ground to keep everything from going anywhere. I think it turned out really good.

I found a wicked spot for it on the side of a cliff and it is sheltered on all sides by foliage so it may stay undiscovered for quite awhile. There's always a danger that some freakin punk kids will find it and chuck it in the creek, but hey, maybe not. It's not exactly on the beaten path. I drove up , unloaded all these chunks of cement into a blanket in my kid's plastic wagon (I had my cover story all ready, "no it's not cut up pieces of a body I'm dumping in the creek officer!") and hoofed it up the hill and into the bush. Man that stuff is heavy!

Here's a Flickr set of photos of me making it, testing it in my garden and finally placing it out in the woods.

How to make the kid's lunches!

My wife went away to New York for 4 days last week. I had to make the kid's lunches while she was gone. Normally I'm the drink and snack maker, that's no problem, but the details of the other half of the equation, what goes where, I wasn't so sure about.

So I took a picture! To make lunches, make it look like the picture! Easy as pie! (why didn't I think of this before!)

Now that it's on the net I can check anytime I need too!

Geez I'm smart sometimes!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Movin' the body

I was late for work the other day, my kid had a doctor's appointment and I had to go downtown and then truck back home and off to work again. On the way back I drove by the same patch of forest I do every day and it occurred to me that now would be a good time to get something over with. I had to move the body. Last October I planted a new geocache, called the body, because it was, a body kinda, but recently I'd gotten a disturbing email.
Some hiker had found him in the woods and was really pissed off about it. This lady was hiking in the boonies (there is no trail to this thing, she was basically wandering around bushwacking), discovered it and found it "Offensive, offensive, offensive, etc.." She tracked down a local geocacher at her place of work and put the word out that she would have the NCC and the police and who knows what else out there removing it if I didn't do it myself!

The NCC can be pretty nasty when it comes to removing these kinds of things. It will leave homeless shelters with dirty needles intact out in the sticks but man, a little wooden house with a gnome in it, that's gotta go! Or a nice little house made outta rocks! OHHHH dangerous!!! All probably precipitated by some busybody with nothing better to do than to protect the earth from illegal gnome housing out in the woods.

Now I have not spoken to this person although I've gotten my email address to her over a week ago. She has declined to contact me it seems. Going through this co-worker 3rd party (I'm sure she has better things to do) I've found out that the hiker was not scared running into this thing, just pissed that it was there. Maybe she figures she thinks for the planet and I'm just some freaky guy with a sick sense of humour who likes offending people(grin). I guess the 100 people who have found the body in the woods and logged it as a geocache are all sick puppies too. I guess the fact it also won the favourite cache award at GAG9 means that geocachers as a whole must be sick puppies(grin).

Oh well.

Fine. It's gone now. When I find my geocaches being discovered by muggles (and this is the very worst kind of self-righteous muggle) I move them no questions asked. For two reasons. If muggle A found it, then so will muggle B and C. Muggle B will pee on it and muggle C will do the same and possibly try to set it on fire (if it's not soaked in too much pee) so it is far better to remove it and place it another day.

So good luck finding it now. Only geocachers should be able too when I re-plant it next month. I've made the geocache page inaccessible to muggles for the time being. If the offended party should stumble upon my blog (which means she's got nothing better to do than to snoop around looking for info on me), please drop me an email, perhaps you can learn to live and let live and take into account that not all people think like you (thank god), and that Police have better things to do than removing a guy in the forest made outta duct tape wearing a Halloween mask. (Not the NCC though. They live for this stuff).

When I got to work later I ran into a co-worker on the steps and he made the mistake of asking why I was late.

"Had to move a body." I said.

P.S. At Toys R Us for $8 bucks you can buy a Ken doll. Maybe the self-righteous muggle would traipse out there with the NCC or Police in tow. And presuming she could even find the thing again, she wouldn't find the body as it was in it's original state. She'd find a little 12 inch ken doll mocked up like the old body in it' s place. Complete with a little film cannister for a microcache. Call it the mini-body!

Explain that to the officers!


Don Ross and Brooke Miller at the Blacksheep Inn

I caught Don Ross and his wife Brooke Miller at the Blacksheep Iin last week. I think it was like, 2 years ago that I first saw them together on a bill before they became an item even. It was a great show of course. Don has this little effects unit now and he does funky wha wha stuff on some songs. He played a lot of Dobro on Brooke's stuff.

She has an album coming out sometime soon. They're spending months just trying to get the perfect tambourine sound or something(grin). She has a new website with some pretty 'interesting' pics on it! I like it!

I came armed with my Nikon D50 all prepared to practice taking concert photos with no flash! That is, set it in semi-manual mode and play with the shutter speed or the F-stop depending on what you're trying to get. I need work. It ain't easy taking pics in the dark. Once and awhile I let a flash go just to get something, but man stage lighting sucks.

The next night I went to John Mayer and the Saturday paper had a great concert photo from the pit. Man. HOW do they DO that! I kinda know the guy that took the photo. I'm gonna have to email him. Neat thing is, all my photos save the cam settings so I can look inside 'em and see what the hell it was set at for any given image.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Left alone with Lipstick

It was only about 90 seconds I swear! She watches mommy put on lipstick every week-day, so she thought she's try some herself.

Then she kissed the walls on the way down the stairs.

Now we lock up the lipstick.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Foot Fungus Fiasco

My old colleague Mike actually gave another co-worker foot fungus. How is this possible you ask? Well, it's a simple story.

After lunchtime hockey a few weeks ago, a certain agitator we'll call Mr G waited until Mike was coming out clean from the shower and proceeded to squirt shower soap at him ( some kind of homo-erotic thing happening I think)

"Hah hah hah, very funny!" Said Mike
Not satisfied with that type of response, Mr G then proceeded to squirt shower soap onto Mike's folded work clothes.
"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAhh.. WTF!!!!!" said Mike (probably, I missed it all and it's complete hearsay). Mr. G cackled and then exited the change room area.

In the absence of Mr G, Mike took said shower soap and emptied it into both of Mr G's Hockey shoes, which, when not on his feet, reside in said change room. After which they sat overnight, allowing the soap to penetrate the deep dark crevasses. The next day Mr. G attempted to wear his hockey shoes and discovered the thick soapy viscous. He swore at Mike and then blasted them with water to form a never-ending lather in an attempt to rinse them and then just gave up and wore them (without socks, because they were now wet) out into the parking lot for lunch time hockey. It was raining that day.
The whole game as Mr G. ran about, he left a trail of soap suds. A few days after, he ran into one of the guys and told them. (loose quote)

"Mike friggin gave me foot fungus when he *&^$%^& filled my shoes with that shampoo &^%$*!! I tried some of my kids ass cream but it didn't do anything! &^$^*(! That was childish and uncalled for!"

I never knew you could give someone foot fungus like that.

Kinda reminds me of Christian Rudder's old Stinky Feet project

Friday, April 13, 2007

King Kong Gilligan's Island

Last week I had a dream about Gilligan's Island. I sometimes catch this the odd time on Deja View(I love that channel because it shows all those old TV programs I watched as a kid). Well, it was a cross between Gilligan's Island and King Kong. The rest of the castaways had been kidnapped by cannibals again so the professor and I hatched a plan to save them.
Together we constructed a 40 foot King Kong robot out of bamboo and the radio (thank god for that freakin' radio! It gets cannibalized every second show, not unlike the castaways in a matter of speaking) and covered it with fur using all of Mrs Howell's fur coats. She had like, hundred's of them with her for some reason, this being a three hour tour in the tropics and all.
It was built tied up between two huge palm trees and when it was done we climbed up each tree, cut the ropes and entered the robot through it's ears and each took a seat on one of two bamboo stationary bicycles set directly behind each eye hole in the head(so we could see). A complicated series of vines and pulleys caused the legs to walk as we pedaled and we could cause it to turn if one of us simply pedalled slower. It was kind of walking in a three legged race. We practiced for awhile in the castaway's camp, pretty much knocking over every hut in the place because we sucked at first (we both though this wasn't a very big deal and agreed that we could go live in the cave after - once that giant hairy spider was outta there).
Anyhow, we walked it over to where the Cannibals were and scared the bejesus out of them with it, stepping on a few of them in the process. The rest of them all took off in their big dugout canoes, never to return. Everyone was safe, except for Gilligan, who actually wasn't there.

I was telling someone this and she remarked to me that I must have been Gilligan, because, he wasn't there. I had taken his place on the show and I said

"No way, he's too much of a dork!"

It's the ice cream before bed that does it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Habs, Leafs out of the playoffs...

The only good thing about the Habs being out of the playoffs after being eliminated by the friggin stinking Leafs (The refs got the memo, make sure the Buds get two or three 5 on 3 powerplays after their players fall down, we need to even things up out there!) is that after the bench clearing celebration by said Leafs, they got to sit on the couch Sunday, watch the shootout between New Jersey and the Isles, and GET ELIMINATED! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

My team did suck this year though. They had Saturday's game in the friggin BAG, blew a 5-3 LEAD in the friggin 3rd! What the HELL! It's never a goo idea to worry about making the post-season on the last game of the friggin year!

And can someone tell me when we are going to have one 100 point player since friggin Mats Naslund on the friggin team?

At least I can watch the Sens.... (and see if they choke again this post season)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Caught a Bear FM sneak of Grindhouse

I caught a sneak preview of Grindhouse last night. It completely rocked! Two of my favorite directors in a double-feature that apart from the odd cell phone and text messaging device, looked like it came right outta the 70's. They put digital cigarette burns and film scratches on the print to give it that 70's porn theater look (not that I'm an expert on that, I was under 10 back then).

First up was the Rodriguez Zombie flick, Planet Terror with the lovely Rose McGowan . Why she split up with Marilyn Manson, I'll never know. I still remember what she wore to the 1998 Video Music Awards. Click here for a refresh (if you can tear yourself away from her cheeky outfit check out Manson's duds too). As you can see from the poster she loses her leg in this movie, ruining her aspirations of becoming a "Stand up comedienne!". Har Har. Michael Bien is also good in this flick (Reese from Terminator ) with his doubly redundant dialog. Almost Every time you see a Zombie Rodriguez shakes the camera, does an overexposure and chops a few frames. It's very creepy and effective. Some of his dialog sounds very Tarintoesque. Speaking of missing frames, just as the sex scene is underway, a reel goes missing, and the action continues with the place they were having sex in suddenly in flames, and a major character revelation having passed without us knowing WTF happened(grin). Pretty funny. I love the part in the hospital with the Zombie zit on the guy's tongue. This film has buckets of gore.
The Iraqi guy from Lost has a part in the film. He plays a scientist with a good business sense. Rumours have surfaced that the reason production of Planet Terror shut down for a month was due to the director sleeping with Rose McGowan prior to divorcing his wife of many years(and mother of his 5 kids). Hmmmmm. That must have been ironic considering some of the casting couch conversations from Tarintino's movie later on.

Tarintino's entry is Death Proof with Kurt Russel and some very interesting ladies. He's a ex-stuntman present day hitman who doesn't use a gun but his 1970's stunt car to assassinate people. The dialog, as always is punchy and snappy. One of my favorite bits of dialog is when Russel (who's gotta be over 60 now) is talking to one of the young hot ladies and she doesn't want to follow through on a bet with him. He pulls out a little book he has and tells her "I put the name of every interesting person I meet in my little book here, but I'm afraid I'm gonna have to file you under Chickenshit..." There's some great scenes with a stunt woman in the latter half of the film that get you on the edge of your seat. I didn't know how you played 'Ship's mast' with a 1970 4 barrel Dodge Charger before this. Looks like fun(not).

Great car chase scenes in this one. I left the parking lot looking to trade paint with someone in my shitbox Honda!(not really).

Sandwiched before each flick are a series of fake trailers for non-existent films. They are a friggin HOOT! I liked Machete with Danny Trejo, who always seems to get killed in every friggin film he does with the exception of the Spy Kids movies. They may actually make this one into a picture. That and Thanksgiving! Werewolf women of the SS was funny, hell they're all a hoot!

At the sneak preview being held at Silver City I got there an hour early and there was already a huge line. At 6:30 they started admitting people and I could hear metal detectors at the head of the line. They had 3 security guys with metal detector wands checking everyone for video cameras and cell phones capable of taking video or pictures. There were no vid cams but they did collect a lot of cell phones which they bagged up. The three guys doing teh scanning had no idea what the F&*k they were doing. I myself set the thing off about 80 zillion times and I almost asked the guy if he wanted me to take my pants off because I was wearing these army type jobbies with zip off pant legs and a zillion pockets each with a zipper, bla bla bla. I found it funny that my Spyderco knife was ok, but if my camera was capable of taking a picture that was a no no. The funny thing was these three guys had absolutly no idea if your phone was a camera phone or not! They pretty much had to take your word for it. There were 100's of different models. They took suspect ones and bagged them. If you lied like me, you got to keep it.

At the end of the night there was a huge line up as people tried to find their correct phone in the 100's of baggies. Gee, don't try to bring a cellphone so you can call your babysitter! No way, you might take a blurryu low-res still of the frickin movie! It was one of the stupidest things I have ever seen at a screening like this. Even when you went out to the restroom they scanned you on the way in. It took an hour, delaying the start by 30 minutes. AS IF! There will be a CAM of this out the day after it hits major release. Why they inconvenience hundreds of people for something that is an extremely rare occurrence I'll never figure out.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Guitar hero II for Xbox 360

Last year a lady I work with told me about this thing her husband bought at Future shop. He snuck it inside the house, didn't tell her what it was, and an hour later she heard the TV in the basement den proclaim very loudly that her husband "ROCKED!". She went downstairs and there he was, doing the Pete Townsend windmill with a little PS2 plastic guitar around his neck with 5 colorful buttons. It was the Guitar Hero rhythm game for the PS2!

I thought it sounded ridiculous! Heck, if you can do the real thing with a real guitar why would you bother? Duh! Still I was curious. I checked out the website. Man.. All the designers are gamers and guitar players. It has a whammy bar! It looks like a flying V. THAT'S COOL!!!!! Mildly intrigued I saw that it was a PS2 only game, problem solved. I'm an XBOX-only kinda guy.

Fast forward to today where they have released Guitar Hero II for Xbox 360. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I had to buy it. I went to Best Buy after checking the website to make sure it was in stock. I had to ask two sales droids to actually do their jobs instead of just standing there producing carbon dioxide:

"I dunno man, I think we're sold out...."
"Can you check?"
Clicks on computer
"Oh. we have 34 left - gee I just told the last guy we were sold out, hee hee, oh well, they must be in the back.. "

When I was leaving 3 of the 4 people in line to show their receipts to the yellow shirted Best Buy guy who guards the door had Guitar Hero II boxes! One guy and his girlfriend were parked right beside me. I did that stupid Tonni Iommi devil horn sign and said:

"Rock on Dude!"
and the other guy said "You know it!" and his girlfriend just rolled her eyes(they don't get it).

So I ran home, helped my kid with her homework and then plugged in the little plastic Gibson explorer with a USB extender, fitted the strap and commenced rockin! That's one drag. Microsoft doesn't share it's X360 wireless protocol with anyone so the guitar has a cable. I read on the website that some interviewer asked the lead designer why they made it with a cable and the guy said "We tried cutting the cable between the guitar and the Xbox360 but you know what? it just didn't work after!"

What you do in the game is follow the on-screen tape ticker and when you see the same colored buttons as you have on the neck, you fret it and hit the strum button. It's easy to figure out but hard to master, and it's very addictive. My 6 year old loves it! The guitar is small and comfy and you find yourself bopping as you play to keep time. Pretty ridiculous but effective as long as no one can see you. I can understand how someone who does not actually know how to play guitar would get into this sim as if they actually were producing the cool riffs and licks you hear when you hit the button combos just right. It even has some strange thing that happens when you tilt the guitar upright. It can sense the change in the guitar's posture and you get extra points if you do it in certain places.

My wife thinks I'm a loser though(ROCK ON!!!!!!!!!!! it even has YYZ! Woohoo!)

Monday, April 02, 2007

I want nuggas audio

Added audio to the previous post so you could see what I mean.

I want Nuggas!

My wife took the kids to the SCI and Tech museum last Friday, it being a PD day and all. Right outside the museum, next to that big Titan rocket ship, is a McDonalds. A McDonalds with a playpark(I hope everyone has had a chance to watch SuperSize Me). So they go through the drive-through.
My youngest (2 and a half) is going through a stage where she likes to yell words she knows, very loud. Acually I should clarify that, words she thinks she knows. One of these wods is a variation of the McDonald's delicacy the "McNugget". She McThinks she McKnows it but she McSays it wrong.
When they got to the drivethrough box that you scream your order through and my wife asks her what she wants she yells "NUGGAS!".... She actually means "Nuggets" as in Chicken McNuggets. But she doesn't say that - she screams "NUGGAS!" again. It's a nice day outside and the windows are down and there are some young black teenagers hanging around in the parking lot. They are not impressed.

My wife tries to correct her .
"No you mean Nuuuggeeets.."

Zoom! Thanks for the order, Outta there! We'll work on the pronunciation later!

Here's an audio snippet.


No we're not Klansmen. This is Canada goddammit! I can't bring myself to even say the N-word. By the way checkout this blog I found looking for a pic of a McNugget! It's called the Food Pornographer.

My Ebay account got hacked!

It's been a crummy month for electronic vandalism. I got an email from ebay today, about an A26 TKO NOTICE saying that they restored my account to a previous date because it was accessed by unauthorized persons. Basically I had a lame-o password for Ebay and the bastards brute-forced it. Fortunately I have a secure password for my paypal and a different secure password for the email account my ebay profile uses. So they can't do too much monetarily. In fact, no damage was done. They appear to have changed my Ebay password and associated email account and then put a bunch of shite up for sale under my userid just so they can keep the money and not send anything leaving my userid holding the bag so to speak. Pretty nice of Ebay to catch this. It was unusual activity for my account.

To get back in I had to wait 20 minutes in an electronic queue for their live web chat help and some guy named Alex got me up and running again after a small question and answer.

People that do this sort of thing need to be reminded that a real world exists outside of the electronic one they're trying to rip people off in. Will someone please give me a name, address and a baseball bat?


Note to self, it's not just your money-site and email passwords that have to be secure. I'm glad I keep them all seperate. Good time to change them all (again).

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Wow, Paypal does what it says!

So the case of that thing I bought on eBay a few weeks back which the guy never sent has been resolved. Paypal just gave me a refund. I think it came out of the guy's Paypal account or cred card attached to the account so it went smooth. I've no idea what happens when the guy clears out his account first. As soon as a grievance is filed they freeze funds so it's a good practice in that regard.

I'm glad. Paypal is like a necessary evil sometimes but it's nice to know it does what it says it does when things go wrong.