Sunday, March 30, 2008


The sound of laughter is like the vaulted dome of a temple of happiness.

- Milan Kundera

It is to laugh.

- Daffy Duck

Blue Owls and Big Pies

In Missouri, one should visit Lambert's exactly once. It is has a national reputation for gluttony.

But if you don't want to drive as far, and want (a) good food, (b) a country-style, old-fashioned tea-room, or (c) giant pies (including an apple pie that weighs an obscene 8 lbs), check out the Blue Owl. Really friendly people there

My New Online Opener

Online dating is a weird world. Often, you know a _lot_ about someone (e.g. religion, inclination for children, salary) before even contacting them.

Thankfully, the online world plays to my strengths as a writer. (In contrast to the bars where I've had to concoct a lot of stunts and tricks -- I'm neither tall nor burly so the physical factor just isn't there.)

Online, the first email is key. The ladies are usually inundated with messages/smiles/winks from guys who just carpet-bomb in the desperate hope that something will happen.

In the past, I've used a classic "dinner guest" icebreaker. However, it is growing a little tired. It needed a shot in the arm.

So I gave it one. Here, it is.... You are welcome to answer the question for yourself in the comments. However the point is: does it catch your attention? Inspire you? Think more highly of the writer? (Those are, after all, the real goals)


If you could have dinner with 2 people (from history, famous, no rules), but had to give one poison and the other an aphrodisiac, who would you pick?


ps. Later, I'll tell you what some people have told me.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My Profs

For geek reasons, I was poking around on the website of my alma mater, the University of Waterloo.

I found that some of my profs have personal blogs of their own.

Here's one.... I haven't even read it much yet but I can guarantee that the writing will be excellent, highly opinionated, and rational. (Also, probably quite Canadian though I think the guy is American).

I've decided I'm going to throw a whole new section on the margin called My Profs' Blogs.

Check 'em out...

from Blog HQ,

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Bachelor Kitchen #1

Is this weird?

Take Frosted Mini-Wheats (the cereal), dry, and dip them in garlic hummus.

Mmm mmm good.

And very common in my apartment.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Hallmark Sucks

I cannot count the number of times I have cursed the Hallmark e-card website.

It is slow and erratic. And yet when it works it has some fun stuff on there.

I want a new e-card website... recommendations anyone?

Wash U : Division III Basketball Champs

Many of my friends in StL went to the local Washington University.

This year, they won the Division III basketball division! (For the first time)

Click here for the article.... Quoteth (to understand the priority of this for an academic, research-oriented school that is more commonly ranked at the top for medical research):

Washington University security cars escorting the bus blared sirens to announce the team's arrival Sunday night.

Senior Troy Ruths was the first to step off the bus, holding the national championship trophy over his head. The crowd — about 30 fans — went wild.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Maritime Travel Questions

As you know, my friend Berlin will be visiting PEI in September.

Her daughter is getting married at Fortune Bay. She and her husband will tour the Island for 4-5 days, and then drive over to Cape Breton to go on the Cabot Trail. Then off to Peggy's Cove before leaving via Halifax.

Questions for the Maritimers:
  • Recommending a fancy Lobster Supper on PEI is easy. Berlin asked for a recommendation for an informal restaurant that she could visit on a daily basis. She is from Taiwan, where seafood is a staple. I told her that lobster is far more of a delicacy on PEI than a staple, but I want to check with my people: where could she go for non-fancy lobster? Note that she will be mostly on the eastern part of the Island.
  • The plan has 1 day to visit New Brunswick after leaving Borden and before driving to Cape Breton. Any sights to see in NB? I've been telling her to skip it ;-)
  • How long does it take to do the Cabot Trail? I guessed 2 days at a leisurely pace, with perhaps a stop at a B&B on the Trail itself. Does that sound right?
thanks gang

Tip for those using Windows XP

I just read this tip on Windows XP to change the text style to something easier to read.

I have a new LCD monitor (my old vintage-1997 monitor was getting pretty rough), and this looks really good on it.
  • Right click on the Desktop
  • Choose Properties
  • Select the Appearance tab
  • Open the Effects dialog
  • Choose ClearType in the 2nd dropdown box
This gives the text a smooth feel. It is not the default in XP (though it is the default on the Mac).

Thursday, March 20, 2008


hi gang,

I've been really busy at work and then -- blammo -- sickness via a cold. Took most of Wednesday off and went to bed circa 9 pm.

I don't have much energy to write but here is a site that you should definitely check out: wisdom via index cards. It is pretty cool.


ps. I didn't work out for about 7 days and then got sick. Coincidence? You decide.

pps. I have recently come to the realization that I need to eat healthier. I don't eat junk, but I don't eat organic goodness all the time either. I think my overuse of Michelina's is cause for feeling rundown sometimes.

ppps. A very Happy Easter to readers who celebrate!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

A Thought

Maturity is forgiving your parents for being tough when you were young.

Wisdom is accepting that you'll never feel that gratitude, for said rearing, has been fully expressed.


Friday, March 07, 2008

Geek Weekend

Sorry to everyone if I have been out of touch...

I'm in my beloved "Java conference" this weekend. The one where the speakers tour around North America and conduct a 3-day conference in various cities; they are back in StL. This will be my 7th in 6 years. I just love the vibe of being with "my people" (geeks) and exchanging ideas.

Nothing new on the sticker/stunt front for the tech blog. Normally I have stickers made for these conferences but I have been busy. We have been asked to work OT for work (which I'm really enjoying) and that is a tall order considering I'm in the conference most of Friday and this weekend.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Should We Talk About The Weather?

Sunday it was 75+ F (approx 23 C).

Tuesday we got 8-10 inches of snow (20+ cms) in a few hours. Quite a drop. No wind, just a steady, heavy snowfall.

The car, Rowdy, got along fine (after the late switch, my tires are probably better than yours), though its low clearance is a bit of an issue in times like this.

Interestingly, I have a small, collapse-able shovel from a "winter kit" as a Christmas gift (from my Aunt Joyce, I think?). I stow it in the hatch of the car. By Canadian standards, the thing is a prize from a box of Crackerjacks. And yet today I was a mountain man. Poor waifs at work were trying to shovel snow with their icescrapers. Enter Captain Canuck! Our hero was not only equipped for survival but also had the cardiovascular system to move snow fast.

Seriously, I was greeted as a liberator.