Showing posts from September, 2009

Fire in Esquimalt

Footage of the clean-up of the fire from 1300 block Esquimalt Rd.
I was at Saxe Point when this smell of burning plastic wafted over. We followed the sounds of fire trucks and found this scene.

Flash! I'm not mental-- they do exist!

For the last two or three years, I have been seeking a "Tokyo Flash" watch. They are like regular watches (hours, minutes, seconds) but the display is messed up and cryptic. Orderly: but cryptic. That's kind of like the computer code I work with: orderly but cryptic. That made it a natural fit. What was harsh: there were so unknown that they you couldn't find English language sites that featured them. I found some Japanese sites that had them for sale but with the site wholly in Japanese (except the prices), I didn't know what I was getting myself into, so I passed.
When I was in Vancouver, I hit a bunch of watch stores in Richmond. This search underlined the cultural divide in Asia between Japan and China. They had no clue what I was talking about: all they had was cases full of gaudy average fare. No signs of the flash watches.
I went into a watch shop in town. I asked about these. One of the clerks tried to show me watches that have flash memory. The other one …

Obama Continues to be The Man

Obama went onto Letterman last night. Obama walks out and says, "What I really came here to see was this heart-shaped potato!" So, this weird little heart shaped potato was tossed up and handed to the president. Great theatre! Barrack Obama has made himself available to 170+ interviews since taking office: three times more than what recent presidents have allowed. Obama has figured it out: we (Canadians, Americans, Chinese-- you name it) are media consumers. We eat it up. By being available for so many interviews he's tapping into the flow. His arena sized town halls are putting him in direct contact with the public. By doing his Flickr feed and Youtube videos, he's bypasing old media and getting to tech savvy people. Over the last few decades, the American Presidency has been hidden and protected to the point where contact is rarefied. It's set up tinder dry conditions-- people starved for access now have access in wildfire proportions. It's a wild change.

Some things take time

People diss the Internet because of how many things aren't what they should be: high bandwidth delivery; real time video communication; or other technologies that are still not there yet.

How long do you figure TV took to get off the ground?

1928: Station W2XBS, RCA's first television station, is established in New York City, creating television's first star, Felix the Cat — the original model of which is featured in Watching TV. Later in the year, the world's first television drama, The Queen's Messenger, is broadcast, using mechanical scanning. Also this year, John Logie Baird transmits images of London to New York via shortwave.

1948: NBC decided to bring Texaco Star Theater from radio to television, with Milton Berle (Uncle Miltie) as one of the show's four rotating hosts.
Television manufacturing begins in Canada. The television audience increases by 4,000 percent this year, due to a jump in the number of cities with television stations and to the fact that on…

Gwai Lo At Dim-sum

Sunday morning, we went into the depths of the Red Lion hotel to the Jade Fountain restaurant. The goal was dim sum. Word was this was the Holy Grail of little cart delivered dumplings in Victoria. Expect a review to come soon.
What got me was the table sitting behind us (see above).
Figure A: Loud A-Hole. He barks out, "Gee we better wash these here chopsticks!" He dipped his sticks into the tea pot and swished them around. Bravo: if the chopsticks were dirty, he just made the tea they were all to drink dirty. Next up, one of the carts came by, piled high with bamboo steamers. The routine is to allow the server describe what it is in each column of steamers. Figure A (aka GWAI LO!-- white eyes) instead started lifting off all of the lids and pawing at the food. Hey animal: that's people food, so hands off! He then started to yell at the waiters and waitresses, literally whistling for attention. He wanted water, so he got up and helped himself to some glasses and a pitcher…

Great Insults By Smart People


The exchange between Churchill and Lady Astor:
She said, "If you were my husband I'd give you poison."
He said, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."

A member of Parliament to Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease."
"That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." - Winston Churchill

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." Clarence Darrow

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." - William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." - Moses Hadas

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain

"He has no enemies, but is…

So Closes Summer

Summer officially ends on September 21st, but it's effectively over on Labour Day weekend.

My Mom's side of the family goes up to Nanoose Bay for the weekend. They hang out and relax. They're a clean-cut bunch and that feels very different from who I am. I used to drink a little, I occasionally have a cigar. I swear like I'm a salesman in Glengarry Glenross. In my off time, I make man-sized sculptures of Cthulhu; and paint up innocent garden ornaments to look like ghouls and 'bikers.' My Dad's side of the family are on the opposite side of the spectrum. Let's just say were they in 19th century England, they would have been shipped to Australia. Here I am: Mr. In-between. I have a belief structure, I like the odd mild vice, I like weird/geeky/dark stuff; but I don't have a criminal record or a string of bad debts and bad situations. Likely, this is why I gravitate to my circle of friends who are much like me: a little geeky, a tiny bit rough, but smar…