Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Curling trivia

The biggest curling club in France? It's 20km off the Newfoundland shore.

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Dog performs Heimlich maneuver

Happy story about a dog saving someone's life.

My dog probably couldn't do the Heimlich maneuver. The Hind lick maneuver maybe...

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The Beer Store steps up

In a show of support for Breast Cancer research, the Beer Store in Ontario is donating $5,000 to Team Glenn Howard's charity of choice, the Breast Cancer Society of Canada.

Glenn Howard's team has done a nice job this year raising awareness of the cause, with their pink shirts and brooms. I've seen several of these brooms around local curling clubs this year.

As I've said before, this is a great cause, and you should support it too.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

It's not easy being green

A new study says that you will be friendlier to the environment if you drive a Hummer instead of a Prius.

When you pool together all the combined energy it takes to drive and build a Toyota Prius, the flagship car of energy fanatics, it takes almost 50 percent more energy than a Hummer - the Prius’s arch nemesis.

Through a study by CNW Marketing called "Dust to Dust," the total combined energy is taken from all the electrical, fuel, transportation, materials (metal, plastic, etc) and hundreds of other factors over the expected lifetime of a vehicle. The Prius costs an average of $3.25 per mile driven over a lifetime of 100,000 miles - the expected lifespan of the Hybrid.

The Hummer, on the other hand, costs a more fiscal $1.95 per mile to put on the road over an expected lifetime of 300,000 miles. That means the Hummer will last three times longer than a Prius and use less combined energy doing it.

Not to mention, you can get a fancier license plate.



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Don't fuck with the golf team

Everybody knows, you don't fuck with the golf team. Those are some bad-ass dudes.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Get rich quick, or die trying

Latest "get-rich-quick" scheme: eating tainted dog food.

Remember the good old days, when people would just pour molten hot coffee in their laps?

Lawsuits, here we come.

Quote of the day

Leadership quote of the day, from mini-Microsoft:

"If the team has to suck-it up and eat a shit-sandwich to get the job done, I take the first and biggest bite."

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Stephen Harper tried to buy my vote

Stephen Harper tried to buy my vote with his budget this week. The Conservatives are now spending like drunken Liberals. This seems to be targeted spending aimed at the people they think will vote for them in the next election. They've already got the elderly, homophobic vote sewn up, so now they're after families.

Where's the Stephen Harper who was ranting against the Liberals for their past spending sprees? Now he's setting spending records.

Where's the Stephen Harper who was ranting against the Liberals for flying around in government jets? He's flying the same jets, but now thanks to some accounting miracle, they cost $10,000 less per hour to operate.

Where's the Stephen Harper who promised accountable, honest, professional government? He's surrounded himself with silent yes-men (and a couple of token yes-women) who haven't got the stones to answer a serious question when it's put to them.

My MP is a Conservative, I'm sorry to say. I'd like to ask him if it's been all he expected it to be, but I'm sure he's not allowed to answer that question honestly.

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Oh deer!

Scott Adams has the funniest thing I've read in quite a while, especially the ending (but don't skip ahead - you have to read the whole thing).

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Google's Blogspot 75% Spam

Proudly in the top 25% of non-spam blogs on Blogspot.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Colts and Trophy gets underway

The Ontario Curling Association's Colts and Trophy provincial championships begin today, at the Elmira and District Curling Club. The action runs four draws a day, through to Saturday night.

The stands were up last night - three rows of seats in the lounge, and if past events are any indication, there will be good attendance. We hosted a women's regional a few years ago, and the men's west challenge round, and it was standing room only for both of those.

Hopefully the ice makers were hard at work all night, though. Last night was easily the worst the ice has been all year. One side of sheet three was fast, but curled maybe a foot (and that's being a little generous). The other side was six feet slower, and curled at least four feet.

I hope to get out for a couple of draws, in between gymnastics, swimming lessons, Sparks, etc. Thursday or Friday night looks best right now. I'll be the one trying to get two little girls to sit quietly...

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Did you know?

We have a large whiteboard on the wall at the end of our row of cubicles here at SuperMegaCorp. Someone has scrawled "March is colorectal cancer awareness month" on the board.

Admirable, to let us all know that fact. But I can't help thinking that our product managers should check themselves out...



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Monday, March 19, 2007

You've got to stem the evil tide

Here at SuperMegaCorp we've been going through a steady bleed of employees lately. It's been more than the normal one or two a month, and they've been old timers, for the most part, and they're not being replaced.

Disturbing, to be sure, but even more disturbing has been the management response - silence. Morale is not at high point. My idea for the "row crawl" to improve morale hasn't gone far. Probably too much walking involved, and we're not the firmest crop of apples in the orchard.

So how about another way to boost morale, that also involves alcohol? We need a drink cart. The golfers in the audience will recognize this one. For the rest of you, let me explain. On a golf course, a scantily-clad young woman drives a golf cart around with coolers full of cold beer. Older men, who have been in the sun too long, gape at the young woman and buy lots of beer.

My idea is a twist on the golf cart, and kills three (count 'em) three birds with one stone.

First of all, when the afternoon blahs set in you need a nice glass of cold beer, or in the summer when you're meeting on the back patio, a vodka and orange juice would hit the spot.

Secondly, our mail is delivered to a filing cabinet at the front reception desk, which for most of us is downstairs, and that's really far away. [See the reason the row crawl failed].

Finally, we used to be proud of the way we hired lots of co-op students. We would give them a glimpse into how thrilling the fast-paced world of software development was, and they would give us four months of cheap labour. We hardly hire any co-op students these days, and what CEO-in-training wouldn't jump at the chance to push a mail/beer cart for the summer? Think of the tips! This isn't the sort of learning you're going to get in the classroom, or in the Harvard Business Review.

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Test the Nation

CBC ran a national IQ test last night. I've got a couple of beefs with this. First of all, it was a two hour show. On a Sunday night. On most Sunday nights I'm in a coma on the couch by 8:00pm. Not the best day or time of the week for me. Knock 10 points off.

The other thing that bothered me was the short amount of time given for each question. I am not strong in math or logic (which makes me question why I'm a software developer, but that's a long story), so the twenty seconds to answer a logic puzzle was certainly causing me to guess instead of solving the question. Knock another 5 points off. Should have been 10 points to knock off, but some of my guesses ended up being correct. That was either good luck, or I was following a subconscious hint.

Couple those with the 5 points of IQ I've lost for each of my two kids, and I swear I should have scored 25 points higher. In any case, I fell in the "average" range. I certainly was thinking at one point that I'd be in the "you shouldn't be allowed to drive" range, or in the "you should be living in a group home" range, but somehow I clawed my way up to "average".

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Try the spotted owl, it's delicious

I heard a story on the radio yesterday afternoon, about China limiting the menu selection during the Olympics. The fear is that if the eyes of the world are on the Chinese diet of shark fin soup, cream of spotted owl and grilled panda, we'll think less of them.

Instead, they'll be serving roasted political dissident.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Brier thoughts

So the Brier has just wrapped up. Some quick thoughts.

1) Poor crowds. Who didn't see this coming? Ok, I live 45 minutes away, and didn't make it down for a single game. Bad timing and sick kids got in the way.

2) Broom breaking. So what? It got people talking.

3) Throwing the rocks through when they weren't allowed to quit. Great move. Pointed out how stupid the situation was.

4) Blaming the picks on the players. I'm not buying it. Where were all the picks at last year's Brier? Or the Slams?

5) Glenn Howard. Great to see him win it. Nice for the front end, who've already lost two of these.

6) Brad Gushue. Proved he can play with the big boys. Give this kid a few years of experience so he knows when to draw for one instead of trying the nearly-impossible hit for three, and he'll win this thing.

7) TV coverage. CBC, please please please retire Don Whitman. He's nearly unbearable. TSN, keep up the good work, but tell Ray to tone down the Manitoba cheering a bit.

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Kids fatten up over summer

A recent study has shown that kindergarten and first graders in the United States gained more weight over the summer than during the school year. The study suggests children are less physically active during their vacations.

Not my kids. It's a rare summer day when we're all just lying around. Between soccer and hiking and biking we're out every evening. When we're camping we never sit still, even when all Mom and Dad want to do is lie on the beach and read a book.

This summer we'll be even more active, as my wife will be training for the big weekend.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Long live vi

Way back, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and "windows" were things you looked out to see what nature was doing, I wrote code using the vi editor.

The world was a simpler place then. No mouse to make things easy. No colour on your screen. Well, I guess to be truthful you had two colours, green and black (or amber and black for you fancy-types).

Then Microsoft took over the world. But, they haven't touched vi. What would the world be like if they had? Here's how the vi editor would seem if it had been made by Microsoft.

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Friday, March 02, 2007

Morale building

Here at SuperMegaCorp we have semi-regular cube shuffles, where everyone drags their stuff across the building to a new 4 ft. square blue box. It usually happens once a year. Sometimes more, sometimes less. The last time was huge. Just about everyone in the entire building moved desks. For days afterwards, nobody knew where anyone else was sitting.

Acting on what was undoubtedly an article in the Harvard Business Review, the powers that be decided to name every row in the office. Each row was assigned a letter of the alphabet, and the denizens of that row came up with a name. So we have "Sesame Street", "Postal Place", etc. Now if someone asks where your desk is, you can say "I sit in 'Quiet desperation'". Still, nobody knows where these are.

I have a solution to this problem, that will be both fun and informative. We should have a "row crawl". Each row can come up with a drink (perhaps one that starts with their assigned letter), and on a Friday afternoon we can all go from row to row to sample the drinks, meet the row hosts, and finally learn where "Dunroamin, Duncarin, Dunlivin" is.

On the upside, we'll also get absolutely polluted. And how is that ever a bad idea?