Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

I haven't been blogging all that much the last few days because, well, there's not much happening in my life right now. Despite the fact that I had the Christmas-New Year's week off, I spent a good chunk of my time in front of the computer, either doing homework or work-work. So spending a lot of time at home doing nothing interesting really amounts to a lot of nothing to talk about.

Anyways, New Year's Eve will be busy for me, we'll be hanging out at a friend's place. Everyone have an awesome time ringing in the New Year!

Casino Royale

Hubby and I finally saw Casino Royale last night. I have to say that I am now a Daniel Craig fan, and he certainly did a splendid job as the new Bond.

It certainly was edgier and darker. Craig certainly was believable as Bond. The whole angle of Bond falling in love was certainly refreshing, that, plus the un-Bond-like mistakes that he makes certainly makes him a little more human.

My beefs about the movie is mainly the script, and probably some of it had to do with the editing of the film.
  • The movie didn't need to be 2.5 hours long. They could have either woven the whole Bond-falls-in-love-and-gets-betrayed-by-girl bit a little more tightly in with the other storyline, or they should have cut out a good chunk of the poker game to save time. Or both. The very fact that both hubby and myself sat there thinking "When is this movie going to end?" is not a good sign.
  • It was just handy that Bond had a defibrillator in his car. And the other thing that he injected into his neck, whatever it was.
  • How many times does MI-6 not screen/check/whatever their employees? They had the same excuse for Rosamond Pike's character in Die Another Day. I know someone who applied for the RCMP, and they did a through background check of him, his family and his closest friends, and that's just the RCMP. I can imagine the real MI-6 screening people they hire a little more throughly than that, so that excuse in the movie was flimsy at best.
Click here for another view of the movie.

I did read that the next Bond movie is suppose to take up where Casino Royale left off. And there is rumour that there may be a "revenge" theme or sub-plot, that is, Bond is revenging the love of his life's death (even though he caused it, stupid man), so this may explain why the end was so bloody long and drawn out. We shall see...

Anyways, it was a good watch. 8 out of 10, I guess.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

FLIB-ur-tee-jib-it (n.) is One!!

birthday-cake

Yes, on December 27th, 2005, I had posted my first post on here. And now it's been a year. To celebrate, I'm posting up a year-end meme that I've seen on a few blogs. I'm not a big fan of memes in general, but I though this was fitting. (I apparently overuse the word "So" a lot, gotta stop the bad English.)

Rules:
- Go into your archives and find the first sentence of the first entry of each month of 2006.
- Copy and paste that sentence into your blog.

And if you're really curious about the post, I've also linked it to the actual posting.

January:
Welcome 2006!

February:
Bill Gates apparently has a computer dedicated to him at the IRS.

March:
Since trying to take control of my diet, I've so far given up pop and anything with artificial sweetener.

April:
It's SUNNY!

May:
Let's go fly a kite.

June:
This morning on my way to work, I was listening to the normal chatter on the radio.

July:
So today hubby and I did the Grouse Grind.

August:
RC from Strange Culture had left a comment on one of my blog postings asking why I had it in for Keira Knightley.

September:
So yesterday was my 4th wedding anniversary.

October:
My mom finally got her lost piece of luggage back

November:
I know that it's past Halloween, but I thought I'd put this up anyways, it's mildly amusing, but only computer geeks will get it.

December:
So today we went to the Telus World of Science to see the Body Worlds exhibit.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing Day Booty

After going to two malls and four furniture stores, we sadly got very little: 8 place mats for the new table, and 3 glass cutting boards, all from Benix. One of the cutting boards was for my mom. The total purchase after tax was less than $40, so we did score. My in-laws gave us gift cards for Christmas, so it wasn't like we weren't ready to spend, we were loaded with cash, so to speak.

I'm so disappointed that we didn't buy very much that I'm not even going to put an effort to posting a picture of what we bought. Those of you who are curious can come over and look. And for those of you who don't know me, if you beg hard enough, I may actually get off of my lazy ass and take a picture.

I'm finding Boxing Day/Week specials really aren't the same as they used to be. There were only a few stores that offered 50% or more discounts. I've pretty much given up on looking for clothing and shoes on Boxing Day, at least in Lotusland. Everyone who lives here is my size (or smaller), and I've already determined that the combination of A) finding something I like that's B) in my size and C) on sale is a pipe dream (this is no exaggeration!). I don't know why even bother with sales, let alone Boxing Day.

We're now on the hunt for a storage ottoman that is large enough to replace our coffee table. Large storage ottomans are a rare breed, but we will prevail!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Chinese Child Ball

I'll let you decide for yourselves if this is a good idea or not



Of course, this may train your children to become Olympian Zorb-ers



More about Zorbing here

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Have a happy and safe Christmas holiday, here in Lotusland, or wherever you call home.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

New table!!

So after looking for a very long time (at least a year) we finally bought a dining table that we both liked. If you had been to our house before, you would have seen the big glass table that we had. Dave had bought the thing long before we had even met. I am not a fan of glass tables, and felt the thing was too big for the room.

So last Saturday, when we were without cable and Internet, we decided to go furniture shopping. After four hours of looking, we found this table at Mobler. This was the closest thing that met all our criteria:
  • It had to be smaller than our old glass table (my criteria)
  • It couldn't be glass (again me)
  • It had to expand to fit more people (hubby's)
  • It had to be within budget (we bought the set on sale)
We were going to to go shopping on Boxing Day, but we decided to get the table now as we felt the prices wouldn't have gone down much more after Christmas, if at all. Hubby was getting a bit annoyed with not having a dining table (we had sold ours a few weeks ago), so he was really happy that we had finally gotten something.

I was still holding out for a round table, which would fit the space better, but finding a round table that fit all the criteria above, and that we liked is virtually impossible, so we settled for this table. Don't get me wrong, I love our table. It's the space that we have is awkward, so while this wasn't perfect, it was good enough.

Our only real complaint is that the table and chairs now blend in wonderfully with the flooring and our kitchen cabinets. It's amazing how much cappuccino-coloured furniture there is out there. While I don't dislike the colour, our kitchen area is pretty dark, and dark furniture doesn't work well in the area.

Now for Boxing Day shopping, we're going to look for table stuff to spruce up the table, it needs a shot of colour!

(Don't know why the pictures turned out so orange, sorry).


Picture of hidden leaf under the table. I love this feature because you don't have to mess around with storing the leaf. It's so easy to use the leaf too!

KOOKY: Well, I'm done...

Work that is. No more work for the rest of the year. The whole campus pretty much shuts down the days between Christmas and New Year's. While it's not written in our contract, it's written in the union's contracts that they get this time off. For our Association, we don't get paid overtime, so HR "generously" gives us this time off in lieu of the overtime we've done over the year.

What will I be doing over the next few days? Homework. I'm soooo behind it's not even funny. Programming, while sometimes fun, can have some really un-fun moments. I've spent the last 3-4 weeks banging my head against a brick wall trying to come up with a solution. I finally have, but it's not how I want it to really work, and it's not an elegant solution, but it is a solution.

What will I also be doing? Work-work. I running some pretty tight deadlines the first week of January, so I need to be ready for it.

Somewhere along the way, I'll also be doing Boxing Day shopping, probably right on that day. And having turkey dinner.

And that's my holiday in a nutshell. Eating, working, homework, and a bit of shopping. I think I need a vacation.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Ryan vs Dorkman

I was cleaning out my inbox when I stumbled across this sent by my friend T. For all the Star Wars geeks out there...


Thursday, December 21, 2006

I'm a sad, sad person.

I just downloaded and installed the Quicken 2007 Cash Manager, and I'm giddy as pie.

I was a little worried that I would have to input everything from scratch as I had Quicken99, and looking at the Intuit site, they didn't even mention it once anywhere. However, the lovely folks at Intuit managed to figure this out for me and converted everything with no problems.

Now I'm really looking forward using this new software, and planning out my budget for 2007. I really like how they laid out the reports.

Yes, I'm very sad. Someone make my life more interesting for me. Please.

(If you want to know how absolutely boring my life is, this is what I was reading all afternoon)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Instruments of torture

I've been seeing a new chiropractor the last month, and I have to say that I'm feeling a lot better. My muscles feel less tight, and a definitely feel less tense.

My chiropractor is using a combination of techniques: Graston for my upper back and shoulders and Active Release for my neck (specifically, pin and stretch). Both are meant to reduce and heal soft tissue damage. Keep in mind that I've been in pain for about 2 years now, so anything to reduce the scar tissue that's been building up is a big relief.

The first time my chiropractor used Graston on me, he warned me that I would get "hickey-like" bruises (his words, not mine) because the blood vessels near the surface of the skin were breaking.

I actually took pictures of the bruises cause I thought they were neat, but I've decided since then not to post them as people may take them the wrong way and think that hubby was beating me up! (Anyone who knows my hubby knows that he would never lift a finger to hit me, so you can be rest assured on that point!) And I think my readers have viewed enough body parts for a little while.

Anyways, the pin and stretch is actually much more painful than the Graston. What he does is he pins down either a muscle or tendon (not sure which), and stretches my neck out. I suck it up an breathe through the pain. After all it's only for a short time, and if it had really, really hurt, I usually let him know in a hurry.

Hopefully this will help my upper back problems. Of course, the best thing for me to do is stop sitting in front of the computer for so long, but that can't be helped at this point. (Stoopid evil homework!)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

How it should have ended.

Okay, this is a blatant post rip-off from IT P/J. He's also the one who sent me the new avatar that's on my profile. So sue me for being unoriginal.

Anyways, you can view them at this site, but it's better if you did a YouTube search, the videos will download much faster with YouTube.

Trend Setter?!?

This is for IT P/J. Tori Spelling is copying you! Read more here. Cheers!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Faith

I rarely talk about my Christian faith on this blog, but once in a while I am compelled to. I read this tonight, and I think this really sums up my daily struggle with faith.

I certainly don't think I'm anywhere near being a good, faithful Christian. I'm only thankful that I have friends around me who give me a good swift kick in the butt (many times without realizing it), and yes, sometimes God gives me a nudge on an odd occasion.

Pineapple Express: 1, Irene: 3

I apologize for not posting the past few days. The Pineapple Express had blown the power supply to my Internet and cable, so I was without either until yesterday afternoon.

We woke up at about 3 am early Friday morning because the winds were so loud. In our area, they had predicted that the winds would get up to 90 km/hr. In other areas, up to 115 km/hr. I don't know exactly how bad the winds were, but considering that the only thing that happened to us was non-working cable and Internet, we were pretty darn lucky.

Someone at work had emailed pictures of a tree that had fallen onto his roof, and even he was fortunate his damage wasn't too bad; there are so many people who had it much worse. First a water boil advisory, then a very heavy snowfall, then super high winds. what's next? It's not even winter yet, sheesh!

Anyways, it was interesting to be at a lost of things to do when TV and Internet is taken away from you. However, never one to miss a good opportunity, instead of just sitting around moping, I put my time to good use.
  1. After a 4 hour shopping spree, we finally found a dining set we both liked. Pictures forthcoming once we have it assembled.
  2. I did a through cleaning of my house, something I haven't done in a good long time, and was itching to do but I never had any time to do. Hubby couldn't really help as he didn't want to pop stitches, so I pretty much was the only one cleaning for about 6 hours straight.
  3. Because I wasn't sitting in front of my computer for more than an hour for the whole weekend, my upper back problems decreased slightly. I'm normally in pain all the time, but this non-computer time really helped.
But as much as it was nice to getting thing accomplished, I'm sooooo glad we have TV and Internet back.

Click on the pineapple picture to see it dance...

Damage at Stanley Park, to show how strong the winds were. Poor trees...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

What hubby did today...

Hubby went to a plastic surgeon today to remove a lump in his back. Don't worry, it's nothing serious, he could have left it alone and nothing would have happened to him. However, the lump was getting big so he decided to take it out. And since this is elective surgery, it comes out of our pockets. Eeks!

Anyways, not to have people upchuck their stomach contents, I decided to let you view them at your own peril. It's some sort of membranous sac filled with fluid. What type of fluid, I don't know. Any medical types want to take a stab at it? (No pun intended). Non-medical types can guess as well.

Click here to see it. The hand in the picture is the surgeon's and he wanted to show how big it is compared to his hand.

Click here for a close up.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Blenz

So I was dragged into Blenz today. I normally go to Starbucks for hot chocolate, but one of my co-workers is anti-Starbucks, so off we went to Blenz.

I can't complain too much, as the said co-worker owed me a hot chocolate after I kicked everyone's butt to have our budget items handed into the boss on time (Said boss was breathing down our necks, and the guys in my office in typical guy fashion weren't moving fast enough for my tastes).

So according to the website, they use Bernard Callebaut chocolate chips as part of their recipe. Well, as much as I'm impress with that, it also unfortunately made my drink really sweet.

Ah well, at least it was free!

KOOKY: In the market

Right now we in the process of looking for a new software application. Let me say it's if nothing else, an eye opener of how things are done in the real world.

Tonight I spent 5 hours going through proposals. This was my second round going through them, and trust me, reading similar legalese several times in a row is not fun. I've been wanting to stick a hot poker in my eye since last Friday.

So after reading these proposals, I've come up with some pointers for those of you who write these things:
  • If you are going to make assumptions, please state them.
  • Have someone double check your write-up. After staring at something for a long time, things will creep in that you swore wasn't there a minute ago
  • Read the instructions and follow them exactly.
  • This is about the only time you can sell yourself to us, so to a really good job. Give me lots of detail to help me make my decision.
  • I'd rather you be upfront and honest than make up a bunch of BS, even if you know that it may not help your bid. Honesty is the best policy.
  • Please don't have your documentation contradict itself.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Tis the Season...

This weekend, I attended three funtastic Christmas parties.
  1. Saturday - my work party. It was okay, but I think last year was funner because we got to mingle. This past weekend, we all sat at tables, and half my group didn't show up. Booo on them! Then it was followed by...
  2. Hubby's work party. Or more correctly, the Christmas party that his boss puts on every year. So I went from hanging with Faculty of Medicine types to Health Authority types. Joy.
  3. Sunday - Cookie Exchange. I think this was the best part of my weekend. I got to forget my life for a few hours of tasty nibbles and silly talk of Chet the D&D Dungeon Master. Really, he does exist.
So today, I hauled my booty to work: 5 dozen cookies, and I force-fed them to all my team members. I think I ate one too many myself because I was feeling kinda gross by the end of the day. It was either that, or I was coming down with something. Not to chance it, I went to the Shoppers on Campus and bought some Cold-FX. I can't not go to work tomorrow, I have four meetings. Bah.

At least I feel better now. On to more partying...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Yum, Coke!!

I ran across this the other day, which describes the effects that Coke has on your body. As much as I am a lover of pop (or soda or whatever you choose to call it), this is turning me off of it big time.

This is my favourite part:
In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.


I've been trying to wean myself off of pop for a while, with some success, but I don't think I can ever give it up entirely. Especially root beer, that's my favourite.

KOOKY: Down the Rabbit Hole

Thanks for IT P/J for taking these pictures for me. As I had mentioned in my previous post, the maintenance tunnels underneath VGH are very scary. Here's proof (sorry, the pics are little blurry, but you get the idea):


Tunnel:

Maintenance level:
Hobbit size door. The guy in the picture is the new guy. He's been here only two weeks, and already we've subjected him to the tunnels. Hopefully it won't scare him off...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

KOOKY: A trip to the hospital

No, I didn't get into an accident, although I did witness a car accident this afternoon. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

About once a month I go to the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) campus for various reasons. Today, I'd managed to stack three meeting there in the same day. I would say at least 1/3 of our users, if not more, are located here.

The drawing you see on the left is the newest building on the VGH campus. It's the Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre. I personally think it's an ugly building, and actually didn't set foot in the building other than to park in the underground parking lot, which by the way, costed $15! All of which I will hopefully get reimbursed by the Faculty. Hopefully. (BTW, if you want your name on a building, donate $20 million dollars like the Diamond family did).

The VGH campus is huge, the buildings spanning several block. I was actually in three different buildings for my meetings today. Meeting #2 was in a building that's partially under construction. They've gutted one half, and once that is done, they're going to gut the other half. I think.

It's interesting being in old buildings. I was finally introduced to the older part of the tunnel system that spans underneath the entire VGH campus. It's really, really creepy down there. They apparently use the tunnels in part to move patients around (or dead bodies). I was going to take a picture, but I got distracted.

And I was also introduced to a stairway that is very, very scary to go up and down. The stairs are very shallow, to the point where no one's foot can be completely planted on one step. Plus there is a low overhang that you have to watch or you can bang your head on it. I'm 5'2", and I barely clear it without stooping under.

The best part about this stairway is that no one seems to be/wants to take responsibility for it, which is why it is it's present state and may not ever be renovated, repaired or torn out. This is such a typical scenario that I've witnessed over and over. I call it the "Same, Same But Different" syndrome. They don't want to be a part of your organization, but if something goes wrong with whatever IT stuff they're doing, it's still your fault and you need to fix it.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

KOOKY: It's just one of those days...

Yep, there's plenty of sarcasm that goes on around here, and sadly, it's not just restricted to working in a university environment. Today, my co-worker finally found the culprit that was causing all his woes. It was a D-Link router. Somebody had bought it to extend the network across the room. This router started causing a huge slow-down in the entire network.

Did I also tell you that his woes started on August 4th? Yes, this has been going on for four months. All because someone had decided to circumvent IT and go with his own solution.

My manager said that if this was the private sector, we would have given this group a very hefty bill for all the countless hours spent trying to troubleshoot the problem. It would have been enough to pay off my car loan, and my car loan ain't small.

The only consolation my co-worker's getting is that he can now let off a litany of swear words that he's been holding in the last four months and the knowledge that his nightmare problem is finally over. I'm certain he's gone for a good, stiff drink tonight.

So folks, if you think you're an IT guru, let the real IT guys do it for you. Even if you "know what you're doing", let the IT guys do it. You're most likely causing a mess in the infrastructure without realizing it. For the love of God, please don't create any more messes. Please.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Shaun of the Dead

London is taken over by zombies!

This movie was great! It was zany funny, and full of zombies. Lots of killing, then dead people coming back to life from the dead.

The picture shown here is my favourite part of the movie, where the characters pretend that they're zombies so they can walk across the street (filled with zombies of course) without letting the zombies know that there is still living people among them. Hilarious!

I've been wanting to see this movie for a long time and I finally got to. It was totally worth the wait.

The next film to come out from these guys is Hot Fuzz. This looks good too. Trailer:

Monday, December 04, 2006

KOOKY: Published!

Our group secretary wrote a small article for the Vancouver Sun's weekend edition. It's an interesting read.

It's too bad most of you won't be able to meet Doug. He may only be the secretary, but everyone knows not to piss him off. He rules the nest, and even my director defers to him. Doug is certainly quite the character.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

I saw dead people!

So today we went to the Telus World of Science to see the Body Worlds exhibit. It was really cool. What I saw was exactly what is shown in the picture (and the skater was actually at the exhibit too).

Yes, it's also a real live dead person in the picture. The process that they used is called plastination, which is a really cool way of preserving the bodies.

The really neat thing about this exhibit is that you get a sense as to how things are put together in your body and how compact everything is in your body. The body's a very complicated machine. I was trying to pick out all the part of my body that are currently in pain or that I've recently damaged, like my hip flexor, or the cuboid bone in my left foot.

Two things really impressed me about exhibit:
  1. They show specimens of health and unhealthy organs (eg someone with a healthy lung versus someone who had lung cancer). It really brings home how much damage one can do to one's body. I'll definitely be taking care of my body a bit more now.
  2. All the male "exhibits" (yes, they kept the penises and testes on) have the same sized penis. Don't know why I noticed that, but it certainly made me wonder...
Anyways, if you get the chance to go see it, go. It certainly is interesting, and it gave me a better appreciation of my body.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Aeon Flux

I saw Aeon Flux a few nights ago. I didn't know anything about this movie other than it was Sci-Fi and Charlize Theron was in it.

Reasons why to watch:
  • Charlize Theron is hot.
Well, that's about it. Yes I would love to have the body (and the flexibility) like Charlize Theron, but I guess not.

However, let's put aside the atrocious acting for one moment and focus on the storyline. I was actually somewhat intrigued by the plot until they played the whole cloning angle. After that, any appeal that the movie had was lost.

The whole cloning plot has been so overdone, you think that they would at least be a little more original. But they weren't.

Even Jonny Lee Miller couldn't save it for me, and I think he's a great actor.

Anyways, I give it about 2 out of 10.

Napoleon Dynamite

So I saw Napoleon Dynamite tonight. I think hubby had put it best: It's so stupid that you have to keep watching to see what happens next.

I actually quite liked it, and sadly, it reminded me of my days as a geeky loser in the 80s. Ha. It was cheesy in some parts, but not overly so. The rest of it was just weird, but in a funny way.

Anyhoo, I give it 8 out of 10.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The finger bone is connected to the ankle bone...

It looks like I strained my hip flexor. I'm not too certain how, but there it is.

I really like this chiropractor that I'm seeing right now for my hip problems. He prodded and poked, pushed and pulled, and asked me a million questions, even questions unseemingly unrelated to my problem (like if I had changed my diet or was suddenly fatigued). He certainly assessed me more so than my two previous chiropractor (one whom I'm still seeing for my upper back problems).

I felt that he was being extremely through, plus, he knows more techniques than just plain ole back cracking. Today, he was doing some sort of myofascial massage on me. My RMT does a similar technique when I get messages from her. Hurts like heck, but my hip flexor's already feeling better. Next appointment, he's going to fix my tight bum. I'm thinking about switching over to this guy for my back cracking, ha!

He also told me that my squatting technique was incorrect and showed me the correct way of doing squats. I'm all big about correct form, I see enough incorrect form at the gym already; these people are just waiting to end up like me, or worse!

This guy does a lot of sports therapy, and I'm tending to like these people more, because they tend to see the body more as a whole, and not just focus on the isolated area where the problem is. The more I learn about my body, the more I find that everything is interconnected.

Anyways, this guy has a lot of athletes for patients. I know that his partner treats players from the Canucks and Giants. Their office walls are peppered with autographed pictures of hockey players. I'm definitely going to take a closer look at the pictures when I get a chance.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Winter Wonderland

Let me prelude this with: Snow belongs on mountains and only mountains.

It started snowing Saturday mid-afternoon and stopped Monday mid-afternoon, so it snowed for two days straight. I had driven around Sunday and Monday night, and nare a snow plow nor salt/sand truck did I see. Very bad of the city, I really wonder sometimes why I pay taxes.

Anyways, these were taken yesterday...


Water

You really don't know how much you depend on something until it's take away from you. Take for instance, water. We had to boil our water from Nov 16th to Nov 27th because the turbidity levels were too high from a severe storm we had on Nov 15th. The Boil Water Advisory lasted 11 days.

So no drinking tap water, no washing food with tap water, no washing dishes with tap water, and no brushing your teeth with water. And if you had a baby or toddler, you had to bathe them with boiled water.

I've lost count the number of times that I've turned on the tap water when brushing my teeth. I think I've even rinsed my toothbrush with tap water once by mistake.

So anyways, here are a couple of pictures for posterity...

This was taken on Day 4. The turbidity level was 30 NTUs (Nephelometric Turbidity Units) that day. The highest it got was 70 NTUs. The allowable limit for safe drinking water is 1 NTU. I've been told that it used to be 5 NTUs, but after the Walkerton incident, they lowered it to 1.


The number of 500 mL bottled water two people used in that time period: 35

Monday, November 27, 2006

You too can look as hot as Jane Fonda

Apparently, one of the possible side effects of owning a Wii is losing weight and getting toned.

If you don't believe me, read this.

I didn't know that the Wii had this sort of functionality, and for that alone, I'm intrigued.

But guys, this is definitely one way you can talk your wife/girlfriend/partner that you need one of these things. Not only will you get your gaming fix, but the two of you can look hot together!

I spoke too soon...

The Boil Water Advisory was lifted today. The cold water's pretty clear, but the hot water's still a little silty looking, and probably will be for some time as there's probably a lot of silt in the boiler.

Good times.

Craziness abounds in Lotusland

Sigh.

It's day 12 of the boil water advisory.

My left hip flexor cramped up on Friday, so now I can't go to the gym until I at least see a chiropractor, which I will be doing on Wednesday.

It's been snowing like crazy since Saturday mid-afternoon. It should stop soon. However...

Half the city's shut down. I can't go into work even if I wanted to as there's a power outage at UBC. So I'm working from home.

I cam home last night to find that there was a power surge and one of our routers blew. We can't print for the time being. I had planned on putting a couple of other posts up, but spent three hours last night trying to troubleshoot the problem. This has also affected evil homework.

I'm tired, I didn't sleep very well last night.

And it's going to start snowing again on Thursday.

Sigh.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Wedding Crashers

With our new digital TV service, we now get some movie channels to try out. So I recorded and watched Wedding Crashers.

For a cheesy date movie, this one's pretty good. The funny lines weren't too cheesy, I didn't get bored (okay, a couple of parts were slow, but not overly so) and overall, the plot worked.

Owen Wilson actually annoyed me. I can't see him being a romantic lead. Period. I love Vince Vaughn's role, and the crazy lady he ended up with. Jane Seymour was terrific. And Rachel McAdams should have been a brunette, not a blond (in real life, I mean); it suits her better, I think.

Anyways, I give the movie 8 out of 10.

A side note: I love, love, LOVE the PVR functionality!!! It's so easy to record and watch something, and I never have to worry about setting the VCR incorrectly any longer yay!

Another note: I'm pretty ambivalent about keeping the movie channels. I still feel that I'm on someone else's time schedule and was limited to a very limited selection. Really, the value for the viewer is the Pay-Per-View channels and the Video-On Demand, something I'm not really gung-ho on buying, mostly because it's expensive. Plus, I would still be on someone else's schedule, and I'm not certain if the DVD extras and commentaries would be included. Call me crazy, but I love watching that stuff.

Still, we get the movie channels for free for the next 10 months, so I might as well take advantage of it and watch movies I've missed out in the past.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Cell phone value

I was reading this article today in the Globe and Mail. Apparently we pay more for our cell phone service than those people down in the US. My sister constantly astounds me with stories of how cheap cell phone plans in the US are compared to Canada.

Granted, the US has 10 times the population, and thus, 10 times the market, so they can afford to be more competitive.

One line in the article did interest me:
“In Canada, wireless has been seen as a luxury,[...] In the U.S., it's been seen as a necessity.”
The perspectives are interesting. This would maybe explain why a lot of people that I know don't use their cell phone, and in fact, want to get rid of it. This sort of thinking however, really keeps Canada in the dark ages when it comes to tech-savviness, and also explains why Canada never really get the cool phones till later, if at all. Boooo.

It would be interesting to see how the landscape will change once the cell phone number portability regulation comes into effect next March...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

geoGreeting!

This is cool!

(Give it a minute to load, then click the "Zoom In" button. Mouse over the letters at the top to see where in the world the building is located...)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Babykeeper

No, this is not a torture device. It's actually a handy gadget to keep your kid from touching all sorts of things or crawling under the door when you have to go wee in a pubic toilet.

It's also one of the more bizarre things I've seen. But apparently there's a market for it, and for a mere $39.99 USD, you can get one shipped to your house.

Babykeeper

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

We saw Borat tonight. It was funny, but not as funny as it was hyped to be. Hubby and I sat there wondering if some of the stuff (like the Pamela Anderson and the Jewish Bed & Breakfast stint) were staged.

My favourite part was the whole wrestling/running naked around the hotel scenes. While this certainly wasn't the funniest film I've ever seen, it's certainly the most original.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Boil Water Advisory

The water on the left is what my tap water looks like right now. Pretty gross, eh?

Yesterday, the Health Authority had put the entire Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) under a boil water advisory. That's 2 million people who shouldn't be ingesting tap water.

I've seen lots of rain and bad storms like this before, and I've seen muddy water before, and I've been through a boil water advisory before, so it wasn't new to me.

Hubby, be the health-conscious person that he is, bought two cases of bottled water. All the bigger containers had already disappeared from the shelves.

I was talking about today with a co-worker. He doesn't believe there's a threat. I don't believe the water's that contaminated myself, but he was failing to understand what in the water would make him sick. Well, it's the coliform and E. coli levels in the water. And if you ingest too much, it can cause serious problems in your body.

With typical male bravo, he claimed that he knows what his body can handle, and it certainly can handle a few specks of dirt in the water. That really is the least of your worries if you actually know what is in the water reservoirs. There was a health reason why all the coffee shops are not selling coffee, and it has nothing to do with your coffee looking muddy.

My co-worker's probably one of these types who will never go to a physical until it's too late. He's still in his 20s, so he will feel invincible still. I suppose he will learn in time. I for one have learned not to argue with such stubbornness, it's not worth it.

Flu Shot

Yesterday I got my flu shot. I had to pay $20 for it.

Now I'm not complaining about the money. But I work for the Faculty of Medicine. And you think they would lead the way in paying for the flu shot for their employees?

You're wrong.

It's not the money, it's the principle of the thing.

And my arm still hurts. Bah.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Potty Training

I have no idea what they are saying that isn't English, but I found it hilarious nonetheless. I never knew that excrement could be so happy.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Moving forward... finally!!!

So hubby and I have been talking for over a year now about moving from regular cable to digital cable and HDTV. Today we finally did. I'm soooo excited!

Hubby ordered the Shaw HD + PVR box from Best Buy the other day, they were having a 10% off sale (which by the way, hardly made a dent in the price, it's still trés expensive!).

I let hubby set it up while I was upstairs doing evil homework. When I finally came down to check on his progress, he had figured out enough to start watching TV. One of the first things I watched was a clip of an A-Team episode (the Cowboy George episode to be exact).

I love the A-Team! Murdock's my favourite character, and Dwight Schultz is a great actor. We managed to get a couple of Dwight Schultz episodes in during our Star Trek marathon last Saturday too.

Anyways, flipping around some more, we tried out the HD channels. Oh my goodness! I don't know why we waited so long get HD. The picture was so clear! Now hubby has to figure out the PVR, and we're good to go. No more missed episodes of Lost, yay!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Score!

Today I did some mad clothes shopping/retail therapy. I discovered that my wardrobe is sadly lacking in sweaters and pants so I had to go shopping for some more. I ordered $125 worth of Banana Republic gift cards with my AirMiles and already had about $55 worth of Jacob gift certificates left over, so lots to spend with.

I got quite a bit of a shock when I went into BR. I decided to buy a pair of jeans which cost $135. However, when the girl rang it up at the till, it came up as $31.99!! Someone must have punched it in the system incorrectly.

However, I'm half debating about returning them because:
  1. I don't like Banana Republic clothing in general, too old for my taste, even though they market for my age bracket
  2. The jeans make my butt look flat and unflattering. Yes, I'm vain.
  3. Despite the fact I had bought Petite size, I still need to hem them. Apparently Petite in BR world means 5'4". Bah.
Anyways, I ended up getting three pairs of pants, two sweaters and a pajama bottom. So, I got $460+ worth of clothing for less than $200!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Top 10 Fitness Lies and Myths

Little Dumb Man had posted this article today about the top 10 fitness lies and myths. If you click on each point, it will bring you to the actual article on the eDiets.com site. Whether or not you believe in his statements, it's certainly something to think about...

(And a little side note for the people who run the eDiets.com website, the QuitAssist advert on the right column is really annoying me. I don't like video/audio playing automatically, I'd rather control this thing myself.)

Star Trek Freakiness!

Later today, my friends and I will be having yet another Star Trek marathon. What this has morphed into over the years is we as a collective (no Borg activity present! Sorry, bad pun) choose a few select episodes/movies from my vast collection (The entire Next Generation and Voyager series and all 10 movies. Yes, it's a heck of a lot of DVDs) and we watch them. Yes, we are geeks.

This time around, we decided on a time travel theme. I've already made a list, but many times we've tended to deviate from the theme and watch whatever is interesting.

Anyways, IT P/J had earlier this week stumbled upon this coincidence, and interestingly enough, it ties in beautifully with our theme.






Picture of Michael Aron, who plays Jack London in Time's Arrow.











Picture of the real Jack London










The similarities between the actor and the real life (but dead) person are really similar, don't you think? They have the same eyes, mouth, chin and general head shape, although I think the real Jack London's nose is a bit more prominent than Michael Aron's.

Perhaps a great-great grandfather?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Shrink Pictures

I found this tool a little while ago and thought I'd share. If you don't have a photo editor like Photoshop or The GIMP, you can use this site to do some common things with your image.

You can shrink your image to an indicated pixel size, add greyscale or sepia effects, and even choose the image quality. Plus they have a special avatar tool which not only resizes the picture for you to a proper avatar size, but will do different cropping samples as well. Then all you have to do is grab the image and you're good to go.

What I love about this tool is that the functionality that it offers is about the only functionality that I use for images anyways, so it's very handy. And because it's online, you can use it anywhere and load it up to your image server. I've always had a server to load the image to, but I didn't always have a tool for resizing. It's easy to use, and you don't have to install yet another application where you only use about 1% of the functionality. Good times.

Original picture (click picture to see original size, Blogger is resizing pic):


Cropped to 350 px height (click picture to see new size):

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Kitty Litter Cake

I'm only posting this because someone's too lazy to post it himself, and I'm not feeling too well....

*******************

OMG!!! You aren't going to believe this one...LOL!!!

Want to be forever eliminated from the guest list? Just take this to your next "pot luck" dinner!!!

Kitty Litter Cake

This is *no joke*

READ THE INGREDIENTS AND STUFF FIRST AND THEN LOOK AT THE PHOTO...

TRUST ME...

DON'T LOOK AT THE PHOTO FIRST, BUT LAST...


This is for all you cooks out there looking for something a little different........

WANT TO HAVE FUN AT A PARTY? PREPARE THIS RECIPE! COMPLETELY EDIBLE,
BUT YOUR FRIENDS MAY NOT THINK SO!

On a recent visit to our veterinarian to get shots for our cat I found this recipe on the waiting room bulletin board. After recovering from hysterical laughter, I obtained a copy from the office staff so that my wife could make it, which she refused to do. I took it to work and gave the recipe to a lady at work who loves cats. The pictures below show the results of her work. It doesn't look very nice, but it's actually quite tasty, so I decided to pass it along.

CAKE INGREDIENTS:
1 box spice or German chocolate cake mix
1 box of white cake mix
1 package white sandwich cookies
1 large package vanilla instant pudding mix
A few drops green food coloring
12 small Tootsie Rolls or equivalent


(Wait. What is the equivalent of a Tootsie Roll?)


SERVING "DISHES AND UTENSILS"
1 NEW cat-litter box
1 NEW cat-litter box liner
1 NEW pooper scooper

1) Prepare and bake cake mixes, according to directions, in any size pan. Prepare pudding and chill. Crumble cookies in small batches in blender or food processor. Add a few drops of green food coloring to 1 cup of cookie crumbs. Mix with a fork or shake in a jar. Set aside.

2) When cakes are at room temperature, crumble them into a large bowl. Toss with half of the remaining cookie crumbs and enough pudding to make the mixture moist but not soggy. Place liner in litter box and pour in mixture.

3) Unwrap 3 Tootsie Rolls (or their equivalent?) and heat in a microwave until soft and pliable. Shape the blunt ends into slightly curved points. Repeat with three more rolls. Bury the rolls decoratively in the cake mixture. Sprinkle remaining white cookie crumbs over the mixture, then scatter green crumbs lightly over top.

4) Heat 5 more Tootsie Rolls until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake and sprinkle with crumbs from the litter box. Heat the remaining Tootsie Roll until pliable and hang it over the edge of the box. Place box on a sheet of newspaper and serve with scooper. Enjoy!


I KNOW SOMEONE WHO ACTUALLY MADE IT AND TOOK IT TO WORK. (THEY HAD A GREAT TIME!!)

I'm just worried about that Tootsie Roll Equivalent...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hal, the IT Admin

Ya know, as amusing as this is, we IT people really go through all this pain and suffering. So have some sympathy the next time something blows up...

Monday, November 06, 2006

del.icio.us


So I've been using del.icio.us for a few months now, and I have to say, I quite like it. For those of you who don't know what del.icio.us is, it's a site used mainly to store your bookmarks. However, it does things in a different way.

When you find a site you want to bookmark, you can simply right-click or click on the plug-in to update your bookmarks. What you will see is similar to the image above. The neat thing about this system is that you can tag (or label) your bookmarks any way you want, and you can use as many tags as you want to represent the bookmark. You can also share your bookmarks, although I don't choose to.

To find a bookmark, you can either do a search, or you can reference a tag cloud. The words in the tag cloud tend to be bigger or smaller depending on how often you use the tag.

Things I like about del.icio.us:
  • You reference your bookmarks anywhere there is an Internet connection. I don't have to back up or copy over my browser bookmarks should I go through the pain of rebuilding my machine (or even better, should my computer crash)
  • You're able to tag and group your bookmarks anyway you want, and not in a hierarchical fashion. This is great as this is how we tend to sort and organize things in our brain.
  • You can add new bookmarks even if you're not at your usual computer
  • You can filter down the bookmark list using the tags on the tag cloud.
Functionality I wished del.icio.us had:
  • Believe it or not, I would love to be able to sort the bookmarks alphabetically. You can't, only with the tags can you sort alphabetically.
  • When I'm tagging a page, I wish there was the ability to "guess" what tag I'm typing in, as in guess using an existing tag in my tag cloud. I don't want to tag things with similar words (eg "blog" vs. "blogs"). The two words are the same thing in my mind, and it's very annoying to have to go back and fix it.
  • I would love the ability to automatically find 404 links and delete them.
  • I would love the ability to exclude certain tags when doing a search.
Right now, I have about 1000 bookmarks, and the list has surprisingly shrank since I first exported my bookmarks over. As I'm super anal, I'm going through each and every bookmark to fix the tags and make them more meaningful to me, as well as fix my list of bookmarks.

Despite the negative points, I still like this tool, and rarely use my browser bookmarks any longer. Give it a try.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Importance of a 5-Point Harness Carseat

Someone on Hitched had posted this link, so I thought I would share. The title says it all.

Failure To Launch

We saw this last night. We really wanted to rent MI-3, but alas, there was nare a copy in sight at the video store. So out of all the pickings that was left over, this was something that we both didn't object to.

I'll give it 7 stars. Like your typical romantic comedies, it's cheesy. And a very typical romantic comedy. However, the premise of the plot is a little different, hence a higher score.

Matthew McConaughey for some reason, started to annoy me though. I can't place my finger on it, but it wasn't his character, it was, well... him.

Will it blend?

I was shown this by IT P/J the other day. Really, I don't know why you would feel the need to blend something as tough as glass marbles, but if you so desire, then there's a blender out there that will do it.

IT P/J mentioned in passing that they actually use these blenders in the Starbucks stores. Hmm....

(And as a side note, for someone who doesn't have time for anything, he somehow finds all these interesting things to send to me. =P)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Jane Eyre - The End? (Lots of spoilers

Okay, this is my last Jane Eyre post, for a little while anyways. I love the picture above, they look like a disgruntled married couple having an argument.

I thought I'd post some other viewer's comments:
I agree with The Unconscious Argentinean's comments the most, but didn't agree with her feelings under the "Things that troubled me" section. It was weird watching the flashbacks the first time in episode 4, but they work well, I think. Rochester's desperately trying to talk Jane into staying, he knows that she's going to leave. It's Jane who has the upper hand, not Rochester. Also, the lack of the childhood scenes. Frankly, I thought her childhood would translate quite boringly onto the screen, despite the fact that they are an important part to Jane's character development.

Here's one by Living in the Past and one by La Reine Noire.

And for some complete silliness, click for some picspam here (not quite SFW), and here.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Jane Eyre - Ultimate-Ultimate

Inevitably what happens after a TV or movie showing that people really like, there will be someone out there who makes a music video. Most music video out there are pretty quickly put together by amateurs, which goes to show you that the software is out there to make something pretty snazzy, very cheaply and easily nowadays.

Unfortunately, I find about 99% of them not worth watching. Music, I think is a very personal thing, so how one interprets music and relates it to his or her life is also very personal.

Anyways, I've been watching a great many Jane Eyre music videos, and have actually found some music that I really like. One thing about having people from around the world do these music videos is that I'm hearing music that I've never heard before, which I think is cool.

So I have some new ultimate-ultimates (warning, lots of spoilers below, so if you want to listen to the music, click, then minimize the browser to just listen):

Nara by E.S. Posthumus. I actually like this video, even though the editing is a little choppy (which I will forgive because this is a first-time video), is that it's presented a little differently that many music videos, and the music actually matches the mood the creator is trying to impart on us. I've since downloaded some more music by this group. What's also great about the music is that this music lends itself very well to movies, which is why it works so well in this video. If you actually check out Wikipedia, this same music has been used in several different movies.



Another great group that I've discovered is Within Temptation. They are a goth metal group from the Netherlands. I'm not normally into metal, but they put out some pretty funky stuff. The music video's okay, but I like the music itself more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1YdTRHW2-8

While this is not an ultimate-ultimate song, I'm putting it here because I like the bass (Everything by Lifehouse): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s7qwYVbp6U

And for those of you who saw the trailers on TV, the music is by Goldfrapp, an electronica band from the UK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvN4aRILm5s

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

If you're a computer geek, raise your hands!

I know that it's past Halloween, but I thought I'd put this up anyways, it's mildly amusing, but only computer geeks will get it.

IT P/J, who sent me the link, said that the voices were all recorded separately. And apparently these people live all over the globe! Good coordination people!

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