Friday, September 29, 2006

Intentionally Unpopular but Funny

Some people go out of thier way to be unpopular, but are still extremely funny. Maybe because making fundamentalist think makes them squirm & spray like a skunk poked with a stick: the Flying Spaghetti Monster and its Hate Mail.

Read the mail, then read the comments.

Fun at Home with Treadmills

We already know some people will do anything to get popular on the internet. Now we're just exploring the boundaries of what the means: dancing treadmills.

Fun at Home with a Camera

Waiting for the gifs to load is worth it - be patient

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Nothing Clears the Mind Like . . .

. . . a hanging in the morning. Texas deathrow inmates' last words .

Thursday, September 21, 2006


What do the KKK, stardom, sexual preference, diet, dog poop, and real estate agents have in common? Freakomatics.

LED Dashboard Retrofit

Definately something to put on my winter project list: retrofitting my motorcycle instrument cluster with LEDs. Hey, if I have to open it up to replace that burned out bulb . . .

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

September 19th is "International Talk Like a Pirate Day". For those of you that need it, here is a short tutorial on how to talk like a pirate. Aarrrr!

Monday, September 18, 2006


I should have started my how-I-spent-my-summer series with my trip to Skaha. I was out there with my climbing homies back in May. Beautiful country. Red-tailed hawks, rattlesnakes, ivy. I've heard rumours since then that the land has been acquired by private interests that have no interest in keeping the climbing & hiking trails open. Although I'm not sure what else they would use it for.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Fortress Scramble

The other big expedition I made this summer was upside the backside of Fortress Mountain. I've posted my pics on Flickr, and here are my "lessons learned" written up the day after:


Chester Lake parking lot, up the Headwall creek hiking trail to col at backside of Fortress Mountain, down to Chester Lake and back to parking lot. Chester Lake side is the harder approach because of the talus field at the foot of the bergschrund.

Lessons learned from first attempt (2004) :

Take enough food, take enough water, start early enough.

Lessons learned from this attempt:
  • Don't get drunk the night before and leave your packing and lunch until the morning of, so you can actually start when you want to.
  • Pulled Achilles tendon will slow you down on the descent, doubling the guide's recommended time.
  • Shorts are inadequate in a high wind, heavy rains lighting storm. Take long pants, or at least zip-offs. Also, day-pack is not waterproof. [My dog was very pissed-off at me at this point, waiting for me to get my rain-pants on.]

Things done well:
  • Water filter good idea [Instead of carrying 3 or 4 litres of water, I took 1 litre & a Katadyne water filter which weighs as much as a litre]
  • Overpacking on the food also a good idea.
  • The hat clip was good.

Next time:
  • Long-legged pants.
  • Prep gear and lunch the night before, before you get drunk.
  • As well as location and expected return time, leave the local emergeny number and description of clothing & preperations with loved ones.
  • Get a proper holster for bear spray.
  • Leave PalmPilot and other little extras behind.
  • Get a cover for the back-pack so that your gear stays dry.
  • Also, when you can afford it, a good set up breathable rain-gear would be nice.
  • Start a seperate packing list for scrambling.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Vancouver Bound

After the canoe trip, we packed up the girls and headed to Vancouver Island. All the way out to Tofino & Long Beach. I remember driving out there when I was a little kid. That was long ago enough that it was still a dirt road back then, and it was a place the draft-dodgers went to avoid civilization. My dad stuff sleeping bags down into leg room of the back seat so us three boys would have a place to place and sleep (seatbelts? We don't need no stinking seatbelts.) We camped on the beach, picked sand out of our oatmeal, and I tried to bring a starfish back home. When I mentioned this to my dad, he remembers tossing the starfish out after 50 miles. Apparently it had a bit of an aroma.

These days it has a National Park, paved roads, and many tourists buying Haida art. I'm not sure which is better, but I'm glad the land is protected and the indigenous tribes (what's left of them) are making a living off the white people. The bears are still there, so the eco-system is still relatively healthy. For now anyway, since logging has recently started again.

If you ever get a chance, check out the University of British Columbia Anthropological Museum, and the Nitobe Memorial Gardens. The Bill Ried carving there (pictured above) is six feet tall. Absolutely fantastic.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

As mentioned, I had a great summer. It started with training at Winchell Coulee, and then a canoe trip down the Red Deer River on the July long weekend. It made me consider that a cabin in the mountains was nice, but what I really wanted was a piece of land along the river where I could keep some horses.

Monday, September 11, 2006

What Management Does Wrong

By now some of you may have guessed that I work for a largish corporation. This article by Pam Slim caught my eye. She used to be a "consultant to management ", and now her mission in life is to free corporation's employees and help them start their own business. Cool.

I knew I would like her when I read this line:

"Don't spend millions of dollars to try and change your culture. Corporate culture is a natural thing that cannot be manufactured. No amount of posters, incentive programs, PowerPoint presentations or slogans on websites will affect the hearts and minds of your employees. If you want to see things change immediately, stop acting like an asshole. If you see one of your senior managers acting like an asshole, ask him to stop. If he doesn't stop, fire him. You will be amazed at how fast the culture shifts."

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Welcome Back - Don't Forget Your Password

Heya. Welcome back to the blog. Hope you had as good a summer as I did. I'll be posting pictures of some of my adventures and catching up on the the neat stuff I've tripped across since the last posting.

The first "lifehack" that I found was this one: how to never forget a combination again. I've got many passwords that I have to remember, and many of those that I must or want to change regularly. My bank account access for example. So I've applied this hack to generating the next password for whatever - I can remember the last password I used, so remember the new one is just a matter of applying this trick.