Monday, May 29, 2006

Cats Out of the Bag

Well we have been hiding our new kitten from my website because we hadn't told my parents yet. Its always easier (when worried about a negative reaction) to tell people you have a new kitten by sticking its cute little face in their's instead of over the phone or via email. That way, before any anger is registed, they are over come with cuteness.

So here is our new cat, his name is Loki, and he is a blue smoke mackral tabby Siberian. We got him from the same breeder we got Aslan, (Mindeelyn Siberians) he is a little trouble maker, but you can't help but love him anyways.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Well I have been saying this for years, but now that it is on the internet it must be true...

Chicken or Egg? No, I'm not probing the deep mystery chronology of the Chicken McNugget vs the Egg McMuffin. I am waxing philosophically about that deeper mystery, of which came first the chicken or the egg.

Now I have long held the belief, and a belief which I have forced others to listen to ad nauseam that it was in fact the egg that came first not the chicken. My rational is simple, evolution. You see at some point in history there was an animal which we will call proto-chicken. Within the proto-chicken population so recombination of proto-chicken genes resulted in an egg, an egg which contained the first chicken. It may have taken many generations of proto-chickens before a animal we know as chicken was born, but in those intervening generations, as we spiraled inexorably towards true chicken, there were no chickens. The parents of chicken, were most likely and their proto-chicken peer group were of course able to breed with chicken to produce more hybirds (waka waka waka) which eventually bred true for true chicken, and what made proto-chicken non chicken vanished from the gene pool. The fact remains is that animals do not spontaneously change species during their life time, nor does their DNA spontaneously recombine, but only through off spring are changes made, and it is by those off spring that a new species arose. So naturally the egg has come before the chicken.

Some may argue from a creationism or ID perspective that a divine power, or intelligent force created chicken, but they are a bunch of ignorant cranks (and I'm a blustering science-phile, but its a cross I must bare.)

The reason I bluster about it today, is that in spite of my many attempts to gain attention to the chicken egg issue over beers at a bar, or while marching on parliament wearing a sandwich board and carrying a pro-egg placard (look I didn't realize that embryo-rights was a anti-abortion group*) media has by in large ignored this plight, until now. Thanks to the magic of Disney, and some scientists CNN has picked up the fight, and posted this story on the subject.

And since it is posted on the internet.... it must be true ;P

*Embryo-rights may or may not exists, but was selected at random for its comedic chicken/egg pun value, and to my knowledge I have never knowingly or unwittingly participated in any march or protest related to abortion. Which isn't to say I don't have an opinion on the subject, I'm just not sharing it with the masses at this time, so nee neer nee neer nee neer.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Save the Internet

Save the Internet: Click here

Thanks to everyone's favourite ninja I looked into some of the net neutrality stuff. Unfortunately as a Canadian I know my opinion will be largely ignored by American Politicians, Advocates for this cause may gesture to the support of the world, but the vast majority will tell me to keep my nose out of it.

The truth is I do have a stake in this, weather I like it or not, since almost everything on the internet goes through American owned networks, networks funded with public money and tax cuts, networks that are paid for by end users, but content providers and content consumers. So where do the telecom's get off trying to double charge for the services they already provide, never mind the conflict of interest and monopoly issues that arise when the networks begin taking money from some content providers, but not their competitors.

So I may not be allowed to have a say, I'm going to have one anyways. So here is my support for the Save the Internet campaign, and a call to arms to Canadians to contact your MP and demand Canada create some proactive legislation to at least protect our own networks!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Census 2006 open for Linux Users

Erin and I received the 2006 Census form 2B, aka the BIG Census form, with all 65 hojillion questions. Erin was less enthused by this then myself, apparently I'm (self described) a civic responsibility junkie. :)

Anyways I've been having trouble standing up and being counted with the new online system, so I started trolling their updates and advisorys when I found this tid bit.

Good on them for allowing non-ie browsers, and non-windows OS's to work, when clearly their was no technical reason to block them out. I think the best comment was this:
"With the addition of this new operating system, the capacity of the Census Help Line operators to respond to technical calls from open source users may be limited. However, we expect this will not be a major obstacle for the vast majority of these users.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Basement Renovation - Plans

So I've mulled and I've measured, I've plotted and drafted, and I've come up with the following drawings, there are omissions, and I'm not going to do a lot of 'splaining, at least not now, I'd rather people look at them cold and ask questions. So here, unexplained, are some basement plans!

First up, an overview of the space:

This may be a little confusing, but the "unframed" walls are actually framed already by the builder, so I have treated them the same as the exterior walls. The ??? area is the part I am uncertain of because that wall has the electrical panel on it. I either want to wall from the stairs back (the annotated bulge) and put a closet there, or just do something like we did in Kevin's basement, which was just put a nice door in front of the electrical panel.

Next up is the South Wall (in this case left, because that is how I drew it)

Pretty straight forward, so is the North Wall:

Those big boxes at the top are windows, which I would like to keep clear.

Finally the West wall which will require some work to get around a drain pipe gracefully. What appears as a double wall at either end of this wall is a side view of the North and South Walls which I would like to build first.

So I'm pretty well planned... except the ceiling, but until I am finished the shelves I won't be starting, but I hopefully can get some friends looking at this and making comment (which I will turn off the requirement for a blogger id to comment.)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Weekend of Blooooooooooooooooom

Not trying to sound ominous, but Weekend of Doo*m popped into my head while I penned the title, but doom was not really a great descriptor of this weekend, other then an indicator of magnitude or importance. So my gears ground a little until I came up with bloom, which is by far more accurate. Meandering narrative aside, let me discuss this weekend by means of a photo collage.

<WaynesWorldEffect value="wavyLineTransition" altTest="doodeeeleeloo doodeeleeloodoo deeleeeloodoo" />

Hmm, I was sure that was an html tag...

So Friday began with a trip to Terra Nursery, where we spent too much, but its okay we got a great deal. Our big score is our four foot cedar, which I continue to inaccurately inform people that it is a five foot cedar. In spite of my metal failings, the tree remains of the cedar variety, and its actual height is variable based upon prevailing weather conditions, soil quality, and temporal position. At the time of this writing it is four feet, but it's a healthy and hearty four fee, and at five dollars a foot, it was a bargain, any way you measure it. In fact, in the measurement of our fair land, it is $0.16/cm.

Included in this purchase were some Begonias, Snapdragons, Crazy-Purple-Pink-Globe-Flowers (I am not sure what its IUPAC name, nor common name is, so this is the name I came up with (Erin has since informed me it is called Fuchsia,)) a strawberry (plant, not singular berry,) rosemary and a whole pile of dirt (in bag format.) Exhausted by our endeavors, we collapsed to a dinner of Pot Luck Leftovers, by all tallies, a successful Friday evening as had by all.

I must mention that Erin has been variably sick since she came back from Ottawa, which I haven't actually told you about yet, but Erin was in Ottawa, and now she is sick. When I say variably, I don't mean that she has a chronic illness of the week, but she has the flu of varying intensity, sadly she hasn't had enough time to give her body enough rest to recover. So when she awoke Saturday morning believing she was recovered, I worked her too hard in the garden, so she was wreck on Sunday. So she is on work hiatus until this situation is rectified.

Getting back to the time line, we awoke to a Saturday filled with gusto and gusts of wind. The weather was chillier then expected, but we took to our tasks with diligence. We began by planting our cedar, as you can see here:

The cedar planting process, for those less horticultural inclined, involves digging a hole that is at least as large as the current size of the tree. In actuality I'm coming to believe that the size of the whole should be at least as large as the size that you would eventually like the tree to be. So the whole I dug was somewhere between the two, but probably a lot closer to the current size of the tree as opposed to the hoped final size, but that is in part due to my unreasonable tree size hopes.

Whilst I dug holes Erin planted our hanging baskets, which 75% of the flowers mentioned above went in to. Unfortunately our eyes were bigger then our stomachs, where in this case stomach is a metaphor for hanging baskets. You can see that the baskets turned out great (and remarkably symmetrical):

Our hope is that the Snapdragons really fill in, as there isn't a flower that is even half as chatty as a big health Snapdragon, as you can see from our wedding photo.

At some point during my digging, and Erin's planting, we realized that my hole was larger then the amount of dirt we purchased, so Erin went back to Terra for more dirt, and plans to by one spike. A spike which I'm sure is more of a descriptive name then a meaningful plant name. Spikes are a tall pointy plant to put in the middle of a planter. A spike and dirt she went for, a spike, dirt, and more flowers she came back with. I suppose I should have been upset, but I really kind of expected it, and I wouldn't have sent her alone into a den of horticultural temptation.

The fruits of her trip turned out really nice as you can see here:

Now this was just the beginning of our day, because I continued to press my motivation and built a vegetable garden. I used mini-ties, also known as landscaping timbers to build this raised bed. It isn't my most beautiful creation, but the intention had been one of function, not creativity. I think it turned out quite well as you can see here:

And here with plants:

By the time this was all planted and finished it was actually Sunday, around noon, and I was onto other projects... The basement, the basement is going to be an ongoing topic as you saw earlier. Long before I can start framing the basement, I have a storage issue to address, and that is: where the heck am I going to store all our crap? So I have begun construction on shelving phase two, you may remember phase one from this winter. Phase two is much more complicated involving the sloped space under the stairs. You can see here my initial efforts:

That took up much of Sunday, and what still remains is the odd shaped part you can see here:

So you can see, a mighty task still awaits me. I've decided to buckle down and try and go full steam ahead and get this all done, until I do I'm going to have an awful construction mess, and unusable space. So May and early June are going to keep me busy, but when it is done the house is going to be even better!

Well that seems to be my blog time for this train trip. I actually have some great stuff generating, including all sorts of CAD drawings of my framing plans. Until Later


*Excluded for brevity is a non-terminating, non-repeating ooooo, for which this annotation** more then makes up.

** At the time of writing the annotation that this annotation is annotating the brevity of this entry may have been considered reasonable, at this time the brevity is laughable instead.

Friday, May 05, 2006

I risk my PG rating, but I just had to post this...

I just resist vowel humour...

As always credit where credit is due, this is from Dr. Fun, the link on the image goes back to the full size original, I'm just trying to spare him some bandwidth.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Nothing to see here

Just a link out to the Canadian Government on the topic of insulation. I need it for my basement project, so I put it where I knew I couldn't lose it.

If you are finishing your basement and wondering "Which is the right side for the vapour barrier?" Then this is the site for you.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Steven Page of Barenaked Ladies comes out Swinging from the CMCC Corner

As I have mentioned the Barenaked Ladies are pretty savvy. I was going to frame that with a "... pretty savvy when it comes too..." but I couldn't figure a "too ...." that encompassed all their savvyness, so I will leave it as, "pretty savvy."

Their wisdom in this technological age never ceases to impress me, and when I saw the Canadian Music Creators Coalition form I expected their name to be on the list of artists who are apart of the Coalition. In honesty, when I read their first statement (PDF) I was pretty sure the boys of BNL had written it, or at least a large part of it. Just based upon the few times I have heard them speak, and their blog.

So when Steve came out in the National Post with this bit (I'm not sure it was in the published paper, but it was on NP's site) it pretty much firmed up my belief that BNL is a cornerstone of the CMCC. As I support their position, I want to help by making as much noise about it as possible!

So Steve, Ed, Jim, Kevin and Ty, keep the Music, the Politics, the Movements, the Podcasts and Creativity flowing. I can't wait to hear the new Album, perhaps soon *wink*

Monday, May 01, 2006

My XBox demands to be heard

My XBox 360 would be silent no longer, it has begun to blog on my xbox exploits and syndicated them.

Be warned this is the first steps, the machines have begun their revolution!

The Greatest Internet Thing

Many things come from the internet, many strange and wonderful things
Before the likes of YouTube, we had to find our crazy internet crap all by ourselves. This of course led to mass semi legitimate spam as our friends sent us all manner of things from All Your Base to all manner of things which would later prove to be untrue.

Then of course there was the coming of Chuck, with such wild facts like "When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night he checks his closet for Chuck Norris."

This is all just samples of the multitude of oddities that is the internet, today, while answer a poll which strived to answer the age old question of Ninja, Pirate, Robot or Monkey? The truth was revealed to me, and that is of course Mr. Rogers (in a blood stained sweater.)

The main link of this post is directly to the source of The Ultimate Showdown Ultimate Destiny. The creators of this piece of internet wonderment are also the creators of Badger Badger Badger and a few other classics as well. Once you have thoroughly enjoyed the video, head back on over to YouTube and check out the many fan remakes.

On a closing note, beware of head crabs.