Monday, October 31, 2005

It's amazing what you can do with bunnies in 30 seconds.

From Tina.



If you haven't seen this yet, consider it my Hallowe'en present to you. Yeah, I know, I'm cheaping out this year on the Hallowe'en present (I didn't make it, don't own it and didn't even find it myself) but you'll forget all about that when you're peeing yourself laughing at the bunny ears tied onto Alien's head.

Hey, who are you anyway?

I swear to god, I didn't even anticipate this happening and I wouldn't bring it up and reopen old wounds...except that I need to. Sorry, Lindsay.

So we had a Hallowe'en party on Saturday night. Fun was had by all, and those who did show up to our last minute party (I sent out the invitation on Friday afternoon) went all out, to say the least (Derek as Bjork in that swan dress was probably the people's choice but honourable mention goes to, well, everybody). Sadly, almost all of my pictures were on Polaroid, so unless I get a burst of energy and spare time to scan them in, you'll have to come and visit if you want to see them.

My costume started as the fourth member of Dee-lite...then it turned into some dude who didn't make the final cut for Arrested Development (the band, not the show...sheesh). To be fair, it probably wasn't very obvious exactly what I was. That said, when you take to the streets you don't have time to explain such things so I got a lot of guesses (mostly "Elton John").

Then, at 2 in the morning on Bloor Street, a rather intoxicated woman standing outside Clinton's came up with my favourite guess of the night:

"Hey, I got it! You're that guy in Moxy Fruvous!"



Sorry Jian - don't shoot the messenger.

Friday, October 28, 2005

In the interests of getting one more post in this afternoon...

I have to admit, I don't know what I'm going to do with it yet, but when I found this little gem last night on the way home, sticking out of a pile of "free stuff" at the end of a neighbour's driveway:



I just knew that I needed to bring it home. I have been having nightmares about it ever since, but it will all be worth it when Chris finds it hidden in his sheets.

They're close, I have to admit.

It's close, but none of the jobs on this list beat the job that my friend's ex-girlfriend had in a lab at Queen's (you get no names, it's that bad).

I won't get into details, but let's just say that she had to collect semen samples from water-deprived monkeys (and no, there's no machine that does that for you).

Man, I need to post something else before the end of the day so that this doesn't sit on the top of my blog all weekend. I DO have a standard to maintain, after all.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

My new favourite Icelander.

So you maybe have noticed the name Mugison in the "What I'm listening to" column on the right side of this page (unless you're reading this in syndication, in which case you have no idea what I'm talking about). My confession to you is that I don't own a Mugison album, but in fact I've been listening to three tracks that I downloaded over and over again. I can't get him out of my brain.

Now, I am an ethical music poacher. If I find that I'm paying any reasonable amount of attention to an artist that I've downloaded for free (or "stolen", if you will) then I go out and buy an album or a concert ticket and support that artist as directly as I can. So once I'd decided that I needed to own some Mugison, I went straight to the source and ordered his latest album - and only major international release to date - mugimama is this monkeymusic? from his Icelandic website.

That was two months ago. In the last few weeks, I'd been questioning my choice to order a CD from Iceland that was likely available at Soundscapes, the local hipster record store that's a 10 minute bike ride from my front door. Now that the parcel has arrived, I can't tell you how happy I am that I decided to go to the source.

For one thing, I have never recieved mail from Iceland before.



Getting an envelope with a "101 Reykjavik" postmark was more than worth the price of international shipping.



For another thing, he has thrown a free extra CD into the parcel - his 2003 release, lonely mountain.



And not only that, but it's in a neat little hand-sewn (yes, sewn) CD case that he has drawn little cartoons on and signed "Cheers mister M, Tack, Mugison" (I don't know what Tack means, either it's an Icelandic word or his writing is just about unreadable).

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

On with the renovations.

So today we're having our roof replaced for the second time in as many months (don't ask - I really can't tell you how dissapointed I am with the competency of contractors in Toronto).

Thankfully the latest batch of roofers seems to be a quite competent and cheerful bunch (knock on wood) but that doesn't make it much less scary when you peek out from inside the attic and see this:



then this, towards the back of the house:



and this, at the peak in the roof:



If nothing else, though, the natural light makes the space up there seem a LOT bigger.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Yet another fuel-cell car that will save the world.

This one runs on zinc or aluminum, which kinda blows my mind.



Chris, does this make any sense at all? Can you actually get a reasonable surplus of energy out of a hydrogen fuel cell while you're using some of that energy to extract hydrogen from pure zinc?

Also, isn't getting the zinc into a pure fuel form in the first place a fairly energy-intensive operation? I'm assuming that the "Power Plant" in the bottom-left corner of this image doesn't just run on the power of love.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Garlic Farming!

When I was in Kingston this weekend Tracey and Paul took me up to Marble Rock on Saturday. Marble Rock is a budding co-housing community on a beautiful wooded property north of Gananoque; we went up there to do some late-season garlic and strawberry bush planting on a great little shared garden they've got up there.

You can get the full photo set here.



You can see Jess and Spencer's love shack in the back there. It's cozy, to say the least.



After we'd hacked around the old-fashioned way for a bit, Peter showed up with the power tools...though Kate looks less than impressed with his technology.



I'm wicked excited that I got to bring a bag of tomatillos home that had just been harvested from the garden, but I'm a bit sad that I don't have a pumpkin like this one:

Dog Bags and Emergency Exits

I wrote this on the bus enroute to Kingston on Friday night. I had nothing to write on but the back cover of a Harper's Magazine so I'm transcribing it now. As an interesting addendum, said magazine tells me that redheads need an average of 19% more anesthetic than everyone else on the planet. That has nothing to do with this entry, I just though that it was a neato fact.

I missed my train, so now I'm taking the bus. I haven't taken the bus in a long time; probably since the last time I missed the train.

It used to be that, with my student discount, I could travel round-trip Kingston to Toronto for $55. Now that I'm living post-student-discount it's $55 each way. Blarg.

That said, there are some significant improvements that have been made. The seats have been redesigned to include knee-dents, presumably for the sake of the long-legged like me. and though it may just be a side-effect of new upholstry, the bus somehow smells much better. I wouldn't go so far as to say it smells good...but it's an improvement.

But the thing about the bus is that, for better or worse, you get the crazies. You know, the ones that are scared away by the brightness and cleanliness of trains. The ones who see nothing at all wrong with unwrapping tuna or egg salad sandwiches in small, enclosed spaces with 50 strangers. The ones who, like my current travelling companion, sneak their dog onto the bus inside a MEC backpack that should, by all rights, be carrying nothing but gym clothes or textbooks.

I literally shudder to think why the dog's owner seems to be keeping handy a large handful of empty plastic shopping bags. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

I just hope that the bus doesn't roll over or catch fire or undergo any other catastrophe that requires me to exit via the emergency exit, because thanks to this clever little sign I'll have absolutely no idea what to do:



And while we're on the topic of indecipherable signs, when I get to Kingston I'll have to remember to take a picture of the weird spaceman outside the Armoury. Maybe someone can help me with my nine-year search for an interpretation.

Note: I did remember to take a picture of the sign when I got to Kingston, so here it is in context and close-up, sadly a bit obscured by the flash:



Which founding member of the Justice League are you?


Green Lantern

You are Green Lantern. A strong sense of duty and honor accompany your desire to achieve justice.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by YouThink.com quizzes and personality tests.



Woot!

(via Atomic Ant)

Children in the streets, begging for treats.

I laughed out loud when Sarah brought home the cd single last week, but now I can't stop watching the video.



And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, it's all here.

(via Stereo Gum)

Friday, October 21, 2005

And on the 103rd Day He Said: "Let there be Heat"

And there was Heat, and the people rejoiced and praised Him by name: "Moffat".



I wonder if I can now add "furnace repair guy" to my resume.

Incidentally, I just noticed today how our furnace matches our vintage kitchen theme.



Sadly, having a furnace from the 60s isn't as desirable as having a matching flour tin, sugar tin and bread box from the 60s.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

It's a special time of year...

I'd like to hereby wish Tina a happy one-week anniversary of the beginning of Yom Kippur.



Woot! It's your day, Tina!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Ants look even smaller than people who look like ants when you're about to skydive (...formerly "Holy crapola.")



I'm trying to think of a good exclamation for the title of this posting and, while I don't think that "Holy Crapola" does justice to the fun that skydiving has (unsurprisingly) proved to be, I can't come up with anything better without resorting to cuss words.



Maybe a Robin-type exclamation - something along the lines of "Holy Flying Fishmongers, Batman!" would be more suitable, especially given that one of my co-skydivers was none other than Robin Hamilton.



And now, to answer your questions:

  • Yes, it was as fun as a I thought it would be. More so, actually.

  • Yes, I was nervous. I would actually go so far as to say scared, or maybe even terrified. When they opened the door to the plane, I totally lost my cool and, well, let's just say that it's a good thing that I went pee before we took off.


  • Yes, Tina was upset that I convinced her boyfriend Andrew that he should go skydiving.

  • Yes, I have more pictures, but they're all taken from the ground so they're mostly pictures of tiny specks in the sky...and then parachutes landing on the ground (it all happens pretty quickly). However, I also had a head-cam videographer following me down, so as soon as I can get the tape converted to digital I'll put it up here.

  • Yes, I will be going again...and yes you should come with me next time. It's not cheap, but it's worth it.


Saturday, October 15, 2005

Damn you, The Wind!

Ok, so though I am alive and that is good reason to celebrate, it's not because I survived skydiving - it's because I couldn't go skydiving due to crappy weather. Turns out the weather WAS good enough, though, to drive two hours to the drop zone (I would say airport, but it's more of a farm with airplanes) and wait for five hours for the weather to clear before finally being sent by the pilot on my two hour drive home in the rain, on my motorcycle.

Boo.

Disappointment aside, two good things came from this "adventure":




  1. This picture of a sign whose title is just so awesome. Halloo? Sorry, I can't hear you. You're a sign. I could read you if I wanted to, but I'm not convinced that any information that I take from you should now be trusted.

  2. A rescheduled flight time for next Tuesday morning, which is reason enough for me to take a morning off work. Skydiving whilst playing hooky from work is like getting your cake and eating it too...and then having a crazy rich man spot you eating the cake, recognize your incredible natural talent and hire you for a million dollars to come to his house to eat millionaire cake.

A poor choice in time management.

So I come home early from an excellent reading by Mr Matthew Fox from his recently published collection of short stories, Cities of Weather, ostensibly because the fact that I will be hurtling myself out of a moving airplane tomorrow morning begs a reasonably early night to bed.

And then what do I do? Do I go to bed like I should?

No, I come home and spend two hours getting Ruby on Rails running on my laptop. Why? Because nerdiness won out over sleep and I decided that writing my first RoR application was more important than sleep.

Still, if the coroner's report lists lack of alertness as a factor in the fatal crash that has tragically and prematurely claimed my young and promising life, I regret nothing: from what I have seen so far, Ruby on Rails is totally amazing, and embarrassingly enough, I'm looking forward to digging into it deeper. Especially on my new OpenSUSE 10.0 machine.

Note: Alert and intelligent readers will note that I have chosen to take a few extra moments to convey this travesty in judgement here, in this forum, thus exacerbating the problem. Hopefully, said alert and intelligent readers will admire my dedication to aiding them with their MMB (Monday Morning Boredom) enough to overlook this continued indiscretion.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Get me the tape, I need to try this. Now.

From Kyla, who will deny any complicity.



I've heard of the rubber-band-around-the-belly trick, but this is so much better. And it's from Japan! And it's featured on Google Video which, until just now, I didn't even know existed.


And by the look of things, knowing of its existence will do nothing for my daily productivity.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Turkey Weekend Cottage-Closing Fun!

Well, it's official - Sarah's cottage is closed for the year. It's a water-access cottage in Muskoka and apparently the water does not freeze solid, so winter access is verboten, even by skidoo - although apparently pontoon helicopter access is possible and has been attempted once.




I got to have one last swim, but I was feeling too excited about jumping in to bother putting on a proper swimsuit, so if you don't want to see pictures of me in my gitch you should scroll down a bit right now (don't worry, I've censored the truly dirty bits):



Also on the same dock, the Baliens tried to take Sarah away (I managed to get this picture as she was being sucked into the sky):



Luckily, I fought them off with my mad baguette-samurai skillz (and bad morning hair).



Also, check it out - Sarah took some pictures of me installing a ceiling-fan in the Dome, but it looks like I'm working in the top of some sort of weird hive. Warning: more midriff-baring ahead:



I missed you, The Voice

So, even though they're not quite up to their full roster of shows until tomorrow, it warmed my heart to wake up to the CBC this morning and then hear The Voice of The Current blaring out of my radio. Music to my ears, I tell ya.

Well, music to anyone's ears, I guess, since he WAS singing a song about Paris, Paris, Brad and Angelina. Who doesn't like to start their morning with outdated celebrity gossip?

Really though, mornings have just not been the same since Andy Barrie was locked out. And how I miss you, Sean Cullen! I hope-beyond-hope that you're back this fall with your wacky and endearing radio antics.

Shit, I even miss Promo Girl! That said, I hope that her stint as the CBC Radio detective is finally over (I don't even care about the CBC Retro t-shirt anymore).

Welcome back CBC! Thank you for sparing us further Moxy Fruvous protest songs.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The date is set.

Ok, it's official. Andrew, Robin and I are going skydiving, this Saturday at 11 AM in New Lowell, just west of Barrie, Ontario.



We were originally going to do a solo jump, but the training session is five hours long and you don't get to do any free-fall. So instead, we're going to basically strap ourselves onto the chests of experienced skydiving instructors and let them do all the dirty work.

This gets us 30+ seconds of free-fall. Let me say that again: 30+ seconds of free-fall. From 10,500 feet. That's 3.2 km or, for those of you who have trouble with that mental image (like I do) it's like jumping from the 1,050th story of an impossibly tall building (the CN tower is 1815 feet - or about 182 stories - high).

I'd better get myself some brown pants.

Note: For those of you who are worried about the risk associated with skydiving, check out this statistic: it's safer than commuting. And for those of you who are jealous, why don't you just come with us?

Wow, I'm a commodity!

Looky Looky! I'm a commodity on a fantasy stock exchange! That's right - you can now BUY ME!

Well, you could always buy me before too, but now you can buy me as part of a fantasy.

Actually, come to think of it, you could always buy me as part of a fantasy before too, but now it will cost you a lot less.

But I digress.

Speaking of fantasy stock exchanges, I've dumped my entire portfolio on The Hollywood Stock Exchange into Halo, based on a tip from Fatty that Peter Jackson will be the executive producer. I'm hoping that this is going to ride me through the long cold winter season until the summer blockbusters (ie money trees) come back to warm me with their glorious sunshine.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Congrats are in order

If you are friends with Tanya and Steve and you haven't heard any interesting news from them in the last 24 hours...stop reading and call them now. Now!

I mean it, stop reading! Call them! Now!

Ok, if you're still reading, I'm safe to blabber on and gossip, so, congrats Tanya and Steve! Steve, ever the sneaky fellow, caught Tanya completely off-guard last night and proposed to her with a lurvely diamond ring. I probably won't get the chance to congratulate them in person before they take off tonight for sunny Myrtle Beach to share a beachside condo with their respective families, so this is the best I can do for the time being.

Woot! Bloggers in love!

But, I wanted a Men's 12...

So I'm trying to buy myself some Fisherman Sandals from the Deer Lake Store (courtesy of a link from Steve) and I get this choice of sizing:



Luckily I happen to fit into a size 14, but I feel like this is a rather elitist system. I mean, those other sizes of feet deserve sandals too! Not to mention the fact that women are advised to buy the mens sz 13-14 sandals...I mean, I like tall girls and all, but I shudder to think of the lady feet that would fit into my skidoo-sized Jesus sandals.

Also, if you're looking for a tragically ironic god-lovin' message on a t-shirt, check this place out. For real, we've got magical inspirations like this one, that seems to be coming from Jesus after he's had a few too many glasses of mulled wine:



...this disturbing little number, that seems to be implying that invisible angels are watching me and - yes, you heard it here first - laughing at me:



...the ever frightening:



...and can't you just hear the guitar wail coming off the end of this one?



Wee-oo! Hell no, this ain't your grandmother's Jesus that we're taking about here! This is Rockin' Hard Jesus, Fuckin'-A Jesus - finally a Jesus who speaks to me and MY generation! Hot damn!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Nothing says hot like a dirty wifebeater.

Hot or not can be a fun game, though I shudder to think that those might be bloodstains.

Also, I refuse to believe that anyone actually looks like this. Take off your mom's glasses and stop making silly faces. What are you, 12?

Oh, wait...maybe you are. Sorry about that.

Clash of the "Charismatic Mega-Fauna"

I saw this on the news last night and then Sarah passed it on to me this morning.



The gist of the article is that pythons a la BTM* are invading the everglades and battling alligators for control of the swamps, and that this feud for supremacy has lead to this weird encounter of a snake eating a whole, live alligator and then simply exploding.

And as if the subject matter itself isn't fantastic and gory enough, the article goes on to give us wonderful tidbits like:

Until a gator's spinal cord is severed and literally stirred into jelly with a special tool [...] a dead alligator gives a remarkably good imitation of being alive.

and:

Snow's detailed field notes provide some evidence the snake was the attacker -- there were wounds on the gator's head and "large wads of alligator skin" in what remained of the snake's digestive tract.

As Sarah has pointed out, you could take this footage and combine it with the Giant Squid Movie and you've got a fortune in the making.

* Big Thing Movie. See also Orca

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Who wants a puppy?

Ok, I know, this puts me in a whole other category of sappy by putting this up here, but I can't help it. They're too cute.



Nine (yes, nine) of these puppies were dropped off at the vet college in Guelph. They're trying to find homes for them, for free - and if they don't find homes they'll have to be put down (geez, what a downer I am today).

These little charmers are beagle-cocker-spaniel mixes (also known as Bockers, apparently). They're quite possibly the cutest things in the world. Well, maybe the second cutest. But still, maybe you need a puppy?

I think that maybe you do.

When you work from home, you take co-workers where you can find them

So I am one of those work-at-homers known as a telecommuter - my boss works out of a home office herself, in Regina (and for those of you not from the area, there are islands in the Bahamas that are closer to Toronto than Regina is - Canada is freaking huge). Despite the fact that we talk on the phone almost every day, we've never met, and in fact I've only seen a picture of her once. Having no other housemates who work from home, I don't have a whole lot of company during the day.

So when a raccoon appears outside my office window and hangs out for a couple of hours on a Tuesday afternoon, well, I take pictures.



Sadly, I didn't think to take pictures until he was already scurrying up the tree, so that's the best one that I got.

That's right, Fatty. You're hanging out with the Arcade Fire...I'm taking pictures of raccoons in my backyard. Now who's living the Vida Loca?