Monday, February 27, 2006

a good excuse to visit Scotland.

Update: Here's the official page.

Friday, February 24, 2006

'Free' power

I actually thought of this yesterday.
Here's the context. I'd like to design/build/live-in a house that is extremely energy efficient, and preferably 'off-grid'. I've thought about what sacrfices I'd have to make to achieve this goal (no big screen TV, maybe even no TV - I'd watch movies on a laptop computer - smaller stereo system, shorter -and fewer- showers, no microwave, etc.) and I got thinking about stuff powered by batteries (cell phone, laptop, MP3 player) and how I could charge them up at places other than my house. Apparently that would be considered theft.
I know of people in university who would use the showers at the gym instead of showering at home, just to save on utilities. The guy in Scott Adams' post did something similar, "He also tries to time all of his bodily eliminations to occur at work so that he uses company water for flushing etc… to further save himself money and cost the company."
Got any other suggestions on how to 'play the system', or screw over 'the man'?

Steel and Glass Stretching to the Sky

Topleftpixel is a cool collection of photos. I liked today's post, which when viewed in 'flash' is pretty cool. I watched a bit of a documentary last night which was highlighting some of the achievements of a German architect who designed several skyscrapers, most notably the Seagram's building on Park Avenue. Anyway, I've never really found skyscrapers to be too attractive. They're collosal mounds of steel and glass, with limited shape. Giant cubes. I suppose though, that in the right light, they can be seen as quite beautiful. But is it just a reflected beauty?
Ever wonder why it takes 9 guys to fill a pot-hole?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


I drove to Belleville and back this morning, and on the way back stopped in at a carwash and using a magical wand, cleaned my car. It was filthy. It's normally black, but lately it's been a nice salty grey; even the roof.
I'm staring out my window right now, looking at white.
It's snowing rather ferociously. I can barely see the bold blue letters of Rocky Ridge through the wall of blizzard. My car sits just outside my window, covered in snow, and I know that the roads will be wet with salty water ready to coat my car again.
It was a short lived clean, and I suppose I could've checked the weather before investing $4 in soap suds and high pressure water. Still, no regrets.
Who likes breakfast cereal?

Monday, February 20, 2006

I watched in utter disbelief yesterday as Team Canada struggled against Team Finland in one of the worst displays of Canadian hockey in recent memory. The first period nearly had me cursing at the TV. How can a guy like Chris Pronger get knocked off the puck by a little guy like Koivu? How can the entire team play a full game without delivering a solid body check. What happened to the physical play that we are known for? Are we afraid of taking penalties?
To hear them talk about the game as a 'tune-up' reveals the general atmosphere of the players. The game didn't matter. It was a practice, a nothing-game.
But it does matter. It determines who they play against in the medal round. It affects their confidence and their momentum.
We haven't scored in two straight games. That's just not right.
We got smoked by Sweden 4 years ago and it seemed to wake us up a bit. Let's hope these two losses have similar affect and we recover and start skating and hitting and giving 110% and putting the puck in the net and all those other intermission interview cliches.

Friday, February 17, 2006

While flipping through the channels last night during a commercial break in the olypmics I stumbled upon a documentary about a building in Sweden, called the Turning Torso. I'm a sucker for a good documentary, especially one dealing with architecture and engineering. Anyway, the building is fascinating. It's design was inspired by the movement of a human spine as it turns.
Grammar Lessons from the south:

"Remember: Y'all is singular. All y'all is plural. All y'all's is plural possessive."
I love the olympics.

Seriously, how often do you get to watch luge or skeleton?!

Unfortunately I have a job that doesn't permit me to watch the olympics live. However, I get the occaisional update via the internets. I'd rather be at home on my couch, or at a pub, watching it live, or in Italy.

Does anyone else think that the medals look like someone glued a couple of CD's together, painted them gold/silver/bronze, and then tied a ribbon on it?
Still, I think they look pretty cool, and rather sturdy. I don't know how many medals I won as a kid only to have the clasp attaching the medalion to the ribbon break, making my medal unwearable. And they weren't even real gold.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

My housemate confused April 1st and Feb 14th. Actually, he combined them, at my expense. It was well done and as a result I may be forced to seek retribution in the form of a well placed kick in the nuts.
A single rose was delivered to me at my office yesterday morning, mere seconds before meeting with a contractor to go over pricing for a project I'm working on. So, I'm standing there, holding the flower, trying to figure out who it's from, so that I can answer his question. There's nothing but a short poem and an anonymous "one of your admirers, yours to find out" signature. Needless to say, it was the talk of the office.

Friday, February 10, 2006

'ode to a blueberry fritter

Oh blueberry fritter, so sweet and tender,
you have sacrificed much in your short existence
enduring torment and strangulation
in an industrial mixer
before your frozen journey
to the tim's across the street
where you were awoken from your hibernation
thrust into the inferno that is the fryer
the deep fryer, only to be plucked from the oil
and pumped full of blueberry
coated in a sugary glaze
placed in a dark box smelling of chocolate and crueler
it was there that I first saw you
that I chose you over the others
and said 'you're the one'
Oh blueberry fritter, so sweet and tender,
you have sacrificed much in your short existence
and given me strength to finish my day of work
rest well, my sweet, rest well.


'ode to a honey crueler'

Oh honey crueler, so fatty and doughy,
you were once passed over.
I hope you were not offended.
You should be.
You weren't nearly as good as the
blueberry fritter.
you've left a bad taste in my mouth.
I regret my involvement with you.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I'm thinking of getting an MP3 player. I'm trying to walk to work once or twice a week (to save gas and get a bit of exercise) and it'd be nice to listen to some music, or some talks/lectures/sermons/etc. while walking. I can't decide what I want/need and how much to spend. The ipod shuffle really dropped in price today and that got me thinking. But, I don't like the lack of screen and inability to easily choose/find a song/file on it.
And then I start thinking about my car and the amount of time I spend in it driving places and how great it'd be to be able to use the player with my car's audio system. Why hasn't anyone come out with a car audio deck that's got a USB connection in it, on it's face, so that all you've gotta do is plug in a 1 Gig USB Flash Memory Stick, and enjoy a few hours of music... Seriously. I'd buy that. Why hasn't anyone come out with that yet? Or have they, and I'm just ignorant. Whatever. If you know more than me on this stuff, educate me.
Is anyone else just a little disturbed that not even a year after losing one of their own to an attractive 'across the floor cabinet post' that the new government, touting parliamentary reform and general good behavior and honesty as party pillars, has gone and done the same thing? Though I didn't vote for the new gov't, I had at least hoped that they would be a little more trustworthy than the old one. I'm especially glad I didn't vote for them for 'moral reasons'.

I'm in a ranting mood, so I'll continue. I haven't seen the Danish 'cartoons' that have set certain factions of the Islam faith into fits of rage, leading to several deaths, numerous injuries and large quantities of property damage. I do know what it feels like to have the central figure of my faith ridiculed and mocked. My university satire newspaper, The Golden Words, used to run a little section (they still may) called 'The Blasphemy Corner'. Some of the cartoons that ran in this section were hilarious, some were harmless and some were downright offensive. Should I have stood up to the GW editors in the same way that our Muslim brothers overseas are standing up to whoever may be slightly connected to anything remotely Danish? Or should I have followed the example of Christ who kept silent when mocked, who turned the other cheek when he was violently attacked?

I'm just thinking outloud. I'm allowed to from time to time. All I know is that I'm probably more disgusted right now by the people attacking aid agencies and buildings of the Danish government (and other European countries) than I am with a certain cartoonist who drew some offensive pictures.

Update: Rex Murphy is much more experienced at the art of 'rant' than I. Here's his take on one of the two items from above, the one that deals directly with Canadian politics.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I just had a listing for a house emailed to me by a realtor. This, I assume, is a picture of the 'rec room'. What would you say are the top 5 features of this room, and based on your assessment, should I purchase this home?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Rich Young Ruler

I'm spending a couple of hours this morning at the office, doing some work for a comittee I'm on at my Church. There's an incredible overlap between the two though (my normal job and my position on the comittee). Anyway, I brought a CD in with me that I've been listening to and enjoying all morning. The lyrics are incredibly well written. They're accurate condemnations of myself and north american culture/christianity, challenging us in our faith. They sting because he has written about things that I've realized about myself in the past and am working (slowly) to remedy, but hearing these songs I realize I've got a ways to go yet. And then he writes a song, which I've included below, called rich young ruler, which basically echos Jesus' call to sell everything and give to the poor. Just yesterday I had a real estate agent trying to convince me to buy a bunch of rental houses over the next few years and basically retire in a while off the income/equity after letting people pay for the houses through rent. Depending on the perspective, this could be seen as taking advantage of the 'poor'.

Where's the middle ground? Is there middle ground? Is that what's wrong, people like me looking for the middle ground so I can have a little from both sides... feel good about myself cuz I'm giving to the poor and looking after them (providing them cheep rental housing??), but at the same time ammassing enough personal security that I don't have to trust God to provide for me the same way he provides for them...

Just some thoughts.

I was reading Paul's letter to the Galatians this morning. Towards the end of the second chapter, after recounting a theological 'convention' that he and some church leaders had in Jerusalem to discuss things such as whether the gospel was for jews/no-jews, he makes careful note of the following:
They only asked us to remember the poor--the very thing I also was eager to do. (Gal 2:10)
After it was all said and done, after days of theological debate their parting words were 'remember the poor'.

Oh, the album is called "Mockingbird", and it's by Derek Webb, formerly of Caedmon's call.

Here's a sampling of 'rich young ruler':

poverty is so hard to see
when it’s only on your tv and twenty miles across town
where we’re all living so good
that we moved out of Jesus’ neighborhood
where he’s hungry and not feeling so good
from going through our trash
he says, more than just your cash and coin i want your time, i want your voice
i want the things you just can’t give me

so what must we do
here in the west we want to follow you
we speak the language and we keep all the rules
even a few we made up
come on and follow me
but sell your house, sell your suv
sell your stocks, sell your security
and give it to the poor
what is this, hey what’s the deal
i don’t sleep around and i don’t steal
i want the things you just can’t give me

because what you do to the least of these
my brother’s, you have done it to me
because i want the things you just can’t give me

Friday, February 03, 2006

I was really tired last night when I went to sleep, which led to several odd dreams. One was a dream about a very strong storm system that was moving through the area, and it was a new high-tech storm that instead of raining, would drop down mini-twisters at random that would chase people if they were dumb enough to be outside.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

This made me laugh. It's smart, clever, and takes a good shot at several groups of people at once. It's efficient; I like it.

The video evidence has been found. Regardless of sporting a 'short-long' dr.dave was dead on when speaking about blowing up a whale.

And since this is a post of humour, here's another good satirical site, presenting a lighter side of the everyday.

A friend of mine has sent me a couple of dilbert comics via email this week. I supose I could subscribe to the same list she's on, but whatever, I still appear to be getting them. I love dilbert. The comics that she sent me this week had him interacting with 'people' in such a way that made me realize one of the reasons I like 'House' so much is that House is the Dilbert of the doctor world. Agree/disagree/don't care?


It's good to do manly things from time to time. Last night we had the second annual 'It's dave's birthday, let's go to the woods and build a fire, smoke some cigars, eat some sausages and drink some beers' party. Honestly, regardless of how tired I feel today or how much my smokey jacket has stunk up the office, last night was a ton of fun and well worth it. It's ok to be jealous.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Citrus Dragon

Just to let you in on a little secret, I'm not a big fan of Martini's. I'm sure lots of people enjoy them, which is why Martini bars/lounges/culture exists, but I'm not too partial to them. In fact, as far as I can tell, last night is the first time I ever had one. I'm almost ashamed of that. Not that I've never had one, but that I finally did. Regardless, I think I'll stick with beer. There's just too many good beers to be enjoyed to waste money on odd coloured drinks with cherries in them. That and they're really easy to spill.