Thursday, January 27, 2005

A smile from a veil?

Okay, this is freaky. I found this website, where this guy named Cliff Pickover is claiming to do an ESP experiment. He gets you to look at five playing cards, then without touching any of them, you pick one. Then you click on some funky hypno-eyes, the screen changes and the card you had picked is missing. Everytime. Doesn't seem to matter which card it is, or wich hypno-eye you click on. I must have done it at least 30 times, and ever time, it was right.

Okay, I figured it out. Stupid me, should have known better having worked for a magician. If you want to know how he did it, leave me a comment with an email address, and I will tell you the secret. (Oh, and don't leave the answer in the comments if you do know it, it takes the fun from the others!)

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Happiest days of our lives

I found this circulating in an email, and it gave me a good laugh. It even made me shake my head a bit and say to myself, "Ain't it the truth".

According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 40's, 50's, 60's, or even maybe the early 70's probably shouldn't have survived. Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets, ... and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. (Not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking.)As children, we would ride in cars with no seatbelts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. Horrors! We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one actually died from this. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then rode down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the street lights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. NO CELL PHONES!!!!! U n t h i n k a b l e ! We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, video tape movies, DVD's, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, or Internet chat rooms. We had friends! We went outside and found them. We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt. We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents? We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it. We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate worms, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes, nor did the worms live inside us forever. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them. Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment! Some students weren't as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade. Horrors! Tests were not adjusted for any reason. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. Imagine that! This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. good!Please pass this on to others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before lawyers and government regulated our lives, for our own good !!!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Rock me gently


Why do I feel so crappy. This is the third cold in less than two months. I never get colds like this. Or this many in a row! One of those dry, hacking coughs, that make my little brain feel like it going to pop right out of my forehead every time I start coughing. And not only that, once I get going, I will keep coughing until I have completely depleted all the air from my lungs, and my face is red, and I feel like I am going to pass out. Then, my body will try for just one more, to see if it can kill me.

And drugs don't seem to help. I can't wait to get horizontal in my bed to see if I can still breathe.

Please, shoot me now and put me out of my misery!!!

(Follow-up, 25Jan05, 17:43)
I stayed home from work today, I wouldn't have been much good. I don't think that I had any sleep last night, and my head feels like I have an elephant sitting on it. Not to mention, the coughing. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

But, I have some different drugs, and I hope that they will help. Buckley's DM is even nastier than the regular stuff! Maybe, it will get me better. Who knows.

(Follow-up, 26Jan05, 15:27)
Took today off of work again, but I am feeling a fair bit better. It was another sleepless night, but I stayed in bed for most of the day today to try and get some rest. I still feel like I haven't rested in days, though. The cough is a lot better; not so often and not so debilitating. The head is still a little woozy, but at least I am feeling a little clearer. It doesn't feel as much like my brain wants to pop out when I cough. Still hurts, but not as much. I think that the drugs are finally helping. So, another day of rest, lots of juice and healthy stuff to fight it. Maybe tomorrow I will be up for a day of work. Watch 'n Wait, thanks for the concern, but I have been through this kind of chest cold many times before. I will live.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

I'm free!

Well, free for now.

I finished my endorsment course today...I can now sign a 737-300/-400/-500 as being airworthy and fit for flight.



Is that not a scary prospect? Actually, I did very well, and although I didn't find a need to study, I still ended up with a mark in the high nineties. Mind you, two guys tied for 99%, and one guy had 98%. Now, this doesn't mean that the class was easy...not by a long shot. We just had a fantastic class of guys, who already had a lot of 737 experience between the sixteen of us. It was a brutal course, and I felt like my head would explode many, many times, but we all did it. We should all feel proud of ourselves.
Now for the best part...I am back in class in two weeks for the 737-200 differences course. (basically, we look at the differences between the 737-200 and the 737-300/-400/-500's. Actually, there are a lot of differences.) That class should last about a week, then there will be four planes that I can sign for.

Just remember, I'm one of the guys that keep large, flying hunks of metal from falling on your head...

Monday, January 17, 2005

Occasionally glancing up through the rain

This weather is starting to annoy me. For over two weeks it was nice and cold, some snow, clear blue skies, but wonderfully winter. Then, along comes the crappy ice storm last Saturday, that made the drive home from Metrotown end up as number three of my top ten worst driving experiences. My arms, hands, shoulders and neck were all sore from trying to keep my car on the road for all the drive home. But, I was lucky; I lost track of how many cars I saw off the road, or spun out on the side of the road. I even had a guy in a 4Runner who was tailgating me spin out and smash into the cement median, shoot across the path of a semi truck, and hit another cement median. He was okay, but I think that there was the "I drive a 4x4 so I'm invincible" attitude going on there.

So, then there was the ice on the trees. It was beautiful, the way the light sparkled through the ice, but treacherous, as I was listening to the branches crack, and break all Saturday night, all Sunday, and into Sunday night. At 1:00AM Monday morning, there was the sound of a chainsaw going at some tree. I am guessing that there was a branch down on some power lines or something.

And finally, this morning I woke to heavy, heavy rain. And it still hasn't gone away. Super-sized puddles that eat little cars, and being soaked to the bone if you aren't wearing a good jacket. This is what we are to expect for the rest of the week.

How I long for the snow!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Astronomy Domine


Yes, I am just a little bit excited. It took seven years of travel, plus a three day free fall, but Huygens is on Titan. This marks the first time a man made object has traveled so far to land on another world.

Huygens has been hanging out with it's buddy, Cassini, for quite some time, but they have parted company to carry on with each of their own research. Cassini will continue to travel around and around Saturn, passing through the rings to take a closer look, as well as performing many other experiments and taking lot's of photos in visible light, and light in a few other wavelengths. Huygens will now sit on Titan, doing experiments, until it runs out of energy. Then, it will sit there probably for ever.

Titan has been an interest and a puzzle to scientists for a long time, being that up until today, they had never seen the surface! The moon is surrounded by a very thick and hazy nitrogen atmosphere. Radar from Earth has traveled through this haze to map the surface, but we still never new what we were looking at. Now, as soon as the data sent back by Huygens is examined, we will most likely be able to determine is the highly reflective areas on the surface (as seen by the radar) are actually nitrogen or methane lakes or oceans. There is also a theory that Titan is volcanic, but not with fire, but with ice. We may soon know the answer to this theory, plus many, many more questions. And, we will probably come up with twice as many more questions to be answered!

Way to go NASA and the ESA!!!!

(Footnote, added 15Jan2005)
Finally got onto the Cassini website, and wow, do they have some cool pictures! I am sure the scientists working on this project (and even those not) are absolutely vibrating with excitement!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Chocolatey goodness

Holy sugar rush Batman!

I stopped at my favorite Starbucks the other day to try their new chocolate drink, the Chantico. How would you describe this delicacy...You can't. Rich is an understatement.
To make this stuff they take a large jug, fill half with milk, and the other with chocolate powder mix. Liquefy the powder, then steam a part of it. Drink. That's it. Chantico. Unreal.
I had the Barista mix the chocolate with a couple of ounces of extra milk, just to cut it down a bit, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to drink it. It is sooooo rich.

I think that I came down from the chocolate high three hours later.

I bet it would be great on vanilla ice cream!

Monday, January 10, 2005

Life, the universe and everything

I love Google.

No, really I do. It has seldom failed me. It even supports cool things like Blogger, or Froogle. And so simple, so elegant.

It can even do cool things, like for instants, if you wanted to convert Fahrenheit to Celsius, just type in the search bar "32Fahrenheit=?Celsius" and it would tell you it equals 0 Celsius. But what is really cool, is that the people at Google have a great sense of humour. For instance, type in " the answer to life the universe and everything" and see what you get. (BTW, if you aren't a Douglas Adams fan, go read his books, then come back and try this again so that you might understand the humour.)

That's pretty cool, huh! Try a few others and let me know what you come up with.

Deep Thought was never this good!

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Wasting away

It's cold and miserable outside, winter doing it's thing, and I have no where to go. So, what do I do? I turn to my friend, the computer for entertainment. I go to my favorite site, to see what is happening in the world. But, as is with most Saturday's, it's a little slow. I try a few other places, but in the end I broke down.

I am now a TotalFarker.

For $5 a month, you too can get deluged with crap. Fark puts about 35 links a day on the main page, but people submit a lot more than that in one day. That's where TotalFark comes in. This is the mashalling area for Fark. This is also where other TotalFarkers get together and ask advice, share info, and just hang out. This is also where you can find about 100 articles about Brad and Jennifer. (Thank goodness, only one of those made it to the main page!)

So, now I have another way to waste my life away when the weather is nasty, and no one calls to go out and play.

Friday, January 07, 2005

The waiting is the hardest part

So, I went out to pick up my friend Nicole from YVR last night. The biggest problem, no one, family included, knew when she was coming home. No one had flight info, or what airport she was coming from or anything. All I knew was, Thursday, 6 PM. So, I got to the terminal, International Arrivals, and asked information if they knew. They had no idea either, since there were no flights coming from Malaysia direct. So, I waited. And waited, and waited. I talked to her sister a couple of times, but she hadn`t heard anything. Also, her sister had no car, so couldn`t get out to the airport, her Dad said she should take a cab and that I should go home and not to worry about her, and her Grandmother was scared to drive in the snow, even though she is five minutes from the airport and the roads were clear. But, I am too good a friend to bail on someone that quickly. She said she would be arriving, and I wasn`t going to make her take a cab.

After three hours of waiting, her sister called saying that Nicole was at the baggage carousel, and very upset because no one was there to meet her. Now, being that she was coming from Kuala Lumpur, an international destination, I told Laura that Nicole would still be in the secure area, and that she wouldn`t see me until she cleared customs. She agreed, and I got ready to meet Nicole. Ten minutes later, the phone again. Nicole was at domestic arrivals!! I`m thinking, "How the hell did she get over there? She's coming from Asia? And even if she stopped in Hawaii, she still needed to clear customs?" So, I rushed over to the poor girl as fast as I could. The first words out of my mouth were "What are you doing in Domestic?" She said "I don't know" through a hail of tears as I gave her a big hug. It seems that she was flying on Malaysian Airlines, and they flew her home through Frankfort, with a stop in Calgary!!! (why fly only one-third of the way around the Earth, when you can fly two-thirds of the way??) So, she had already seen customs in Calgary, and ended up in the domestic side of the terminal.

In the end, I found her, gave her more hugs than I have ever given anyone before (she was REALLY upset, plus really tired, worn out, and just needed some love), and got her safe and sound to the place she was staying at until she gets her apartment again. What an ordeal!

In the end, everthing worked out. Nicole is home and safe. All is good.

Welcome home babe!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

It's good to be King

I was out with some friends tonight for movie night tonight, when I was surprised to learn that one of my friends actually reads this stuff! (thanks Doug, you rock!) I though that I was the only one that read this stuff. Secondly, I was asked, "Why did you name your Blog after a Great Big Sea song?"

Well, I didn't. I actually didn't even know that there was a song by Great Big Sea called When I Am King until tonight. I had thought of this name a couple of years ago, when it was harder to host your own site, and Blogs weren't even around. (The funny thing is, I have wanted something like a Blog for many years, even discussing this fact with friends in the past. Glad that I have one now!)

So, while driving the long road home, I thought about this question that Doug posed to me, and how I might go about explaining the answer better. Here's what I came up with.

Have you ever wished that you had the power to change the rules? Not so much as to change them so that you are super wealthy, have a super model for a mate, and drive the most incredible sports car, but changing them so that the world would be just a slightly better place.

For instance, you are driving along, and the guy in the $100,000 Porsche cuts you off without using a turn signal and while yakking on the cell phone. You think to yourself, "What a jerk! If I were King, you would get zapped when you didn't use your turn signals! And cars would have built in antenna's to interfere with cell phones!" Or maybe you here of some child, dieing from some terrible disease, you think, "If I were King, parents would never have to bury their children." Maybe even "When I am King, there will be no more tourists driving oversized RV's on the highway!"

This is where the name comes from. Wishing I could do more to make this planet that we live on just that much better. If posting some little comment, or directing you to a nifty website, or maybe getting you to think a bit about something you read, or even if only to have you smile for a minute or two, then maybe my wish will come true.

Mel Brooks said, "It's good to be King." And I am sure it is.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Ode to the nice guys

I'm a nice guy.

At least that's what I am told. And I know that I'm not the only one. You know who you are, those guys that are polite, will drop all their plans to help you with something, and treat people with respect and encouragement. We're the guys that sit at home on a Friday night because we don't like getting drunk and making an ass out of ourselves just to impress someone. We're the ones that will stop and help someone with a flat tire, instead of splashing them with the puddle next to them. We are the shoulder you cry on.

So, what's wrong with being a nice guy you ask? For the most part, not much. I like being the nice guy, not the assclown. I get respect, and some admiration; smiles from strangers, and the odd compliment.

But, there is the down side. All you nice guys will know it. You get taken for granted, forgotten about; you are the friend, the confidant, but rarely the lover. The nice guy seldom wins.

But we keep going, knowing what we are; plugging along. So, to all those nice guys out there, here is an Ode to you.

Keep it up, you will win in the end.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everyone!

I hope that 2005 brings happiness and prosperity to all of you.