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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