The vacant Gord Miller and his uninspired idea

duh...me be gordy miller

I came across this article on CP24 today titled ‘Watchdog wants tolls to reduce traffic, pollution‘ and became immediately irritated.

This sounds like another attempt to squeeze every last dime from the working man. What, does this narrow minded man want? 407 type tolls placed on the highways that we’ve already paid for with our hard earned money.

I can’t speak for everyone, but something seems inherently wrong about being made to pay for something thrice. We pay to get the road built with our taxes, out taxes go to maintaining those roads, now we have to pay for using those roads?

I don’t see how adding a toll to our highways is going to alleviate traffic at all. These highways are used by people who need to use them to get to work. The every day working man!

Weren’t the HOV lanes supposed to be incentive enough to alleviate traffic in congested areas? I’d say that considering that underwhelming success paired with the idiotic restrictions about using them, that adding tolls won’t be much of an incentive to stay off the highways.

Also, what does this genius think this will do to the traffic surrounding the highways? Does he think that all the cars are going to magically disappear because there’s been a toll placed on the roads? If the highways are that bad, just imagine what the main streets will turn into!

This guy has to get his head screwed on right. It’s clearly a cash grab in the veil of ‘environmental consciousness’ where we as the working man will pay the price. It’s flat out disgusting. Being the environmental commissioner, I think gordy has a responsibility to come up with a strategy that’s a little more creative instead of the dribble that he’s presented thus far. Although, given the vacant look that he seems to sport on a daily basis, I suppose there’s not much hope of that happening.

Mumford and Sons – Sigh No More

Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More

I don’t profess to be any kind of music expert…I do, however, know what I like.

The last time I was impressed with a new band I wrote a blog post, and I will do the same for this band. The band I’m referring to is Mumford and Sons, and the album is Sigh No More (as stated in the title).

I was going to try to be poetically descriptive of what I thought this band was, but they’ve already done it in much better form than I could hope to do (on their website), so below is what I think…just penned in a better way:

…create a gutsy, old-time sound that marries the magic of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young with the might of Kings Of Leon, and their incredible energy draws us in quickly to their circle of songs, to the warmth of their stories, and to their magical community of misty-eyed men

Bottom line, I love it. I think I’ve listened to the album about 1,000 times, in fact, I’m listening to as I write this. It’s also prompted me to pick my dusty old guitar up again. For me, it’s the passion that they put into their songs. You can tell that they play because they just love to play. Their music doesn’t sound like they were looking to make it big, it sounds like they just love what they do. I love the lyrics in their songs and I love the stories that they tell.

This album has helped me through many a rush hour through Toronto traffic, it will help me get through many more rush hours in Toronto traffic and for that I am eternally grateful.

The whole album is fantastic. If you were to ask me to pick my favourite song, I would tell you it was Little Lion Man. Then, I would remember parts of Dust Bowl Dance, change my mind and then tell you THAT was my favourite song. Then, I would remember parts of Thistle & Weeds, change my mind again, then tell you THAT was my favourite song. I think you see where I’m going with this. I love all the songs on this album, all for different reasons. This album takes me on a roller-coaster. At times I feel like I’m in the middle of the ocean, then I feel like I should be stomping my foot in the pubs in Halifax all of a sudden to be pulled into a trance from the amazing guitar work. If you like, and have a moment or two I’ve included the track list and their links to iTunes:

The Cave – iTunes
Little Lion Man – iTunes
Winter Winds – iTunes
Awake My Soul – iTunes
White Blank Page – iTunes
Dust Bowl Dance – iTunes
Sigh No More – iTunes
Thistle & Weeds – iTunes
Roll Away Your Stone – iTunes
Timshel – iTunes
After the Storm – iTunes
I Gave You All – iTunes

Clicking any of those links should bring you to an iTunes page where you can preview all the songs. Feel free to support to this band. In fact, please support them so they can continue creating their music for us to enjoy!

If you do purchase this album, or already have it, feel free to let me know which song you love from the album.

Happy listening!

EGADS! Telcos poking us in the bum…

…and not in a nice way. Check out this vid:

I hope these greedy bastards stop crying about not having the money to upgrade infrastructure or that it costs them too much for ‘high usage users’. What a crock…if you’re REALLY angry about this, sign up to help stop these pigs here:

My Commute by the (shaky) numbers

DST Triangle

It has been brought to my attention – on several occasions, by several people – that I’m crazy.

Why am I crazy? I would like to believe it’s because of my daring and adventurous nature. But alas, it’s mostly when they ask about my commute to work, how far I drive and how long it takes me. Sometimes they outright say that I must be crazy; sometimes I can just see it in their expressions. The next question that usually follows is ‘How is your drive into work from Hamilton?’. For that, I’ve developed a rough equation.

Here are the stats:
Distance: I drive 100KM each way to work. So, on any given work day, I drive a minimum of 200KM.
Time: This can take anywhere from 1.5 hours (one way) to 3 hours (one way). So on any given work day, I am in the car for a range of 3 to 6 hours.
Speed: This ranges from 0 Km/hour to 120(ish) KM/hour.

Using a modification of the DST Triangle (pictured above), I’ve added a coefficient for ‘Stupid’ to roughly calculate how long it will take me to get to work in the morning.

Now, ‘Stupid’ is a variable that changes based on day of the week, time of day, accidents and direction of travel on the 400 series highways. To avoid complication, I have left out the ‘I’m a Torontonian and I own the road’ factor because this get’s canceled out when driving on any 400 series highway, through any major city in the Golden Horseshoe. Here is a coefficient chart for the days of the week:

Day of the Week Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Coefficient for Stupid 0.71428 0.65789 0.55556 0.71428 0.833333

Let’s assume that distance never changes and the average speed is 80KM/h (so says google maps). Then the coefficient of ‘Stupid’ get’s applied to speed. So, with that, distance = d, speed = s = 80KM/h, time = t and stupid = st:

d / st(s) = t
100KM / st(80KM/h) = t

Now, whatever you get for ‘t’, multiply that by 70 and you get the answer to how much I hate driving to work every morning ( <75 being don't really mind at all, >100 = pulling my hair out ).

Things to Note: Rate of speed can vary. This equation doesn’t factor in weather. This isn’t really based on any hard data, all values are based on my subjective data that I’ve collected over the last 2.5 years of doing this commute.

So please, before you ask me how my commute to work was, please do the calculations yourself. You may save yourself an earful :)

Some people ask me WHY I continue to do this commute. Well, I generally just smile and tell them that I love the job, and the people are great. I also ask them to pressure the boss to let me work from home and give me a travel allowance. Fingers crossed!

Whiskey and fried cheese

A little bit hic, a little bit refined.
I don’t know who this guy is.

In the midst of all of our (that includes Zoe) healthy lifestyle changes over the past 9 months, I have stumbled onto a bit of a guilty pleasure.

Whiskey and fried cheese.

The whiskey is a Cheval Regas 18 that my mother-in-law brought back from Greece.
The cheese is a marble cheddar that is cut into strips which I then fry in the frying pan until it’s a little bit crispy.

All in all, this evening snack takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and to eat, well as long a you would like to take. Personally, I prefer to eat it while the cheese is still a little warm. It goes great with the whiskey that way.

The combination of the two as an evening snack is sinfully rich and delicious. This is not something that I can do every night mind you (the bottle isn’t that big) but it is definitely something I can enjoy every once in a while.

Update: I tried frying pre-shredded cheddar cheese, and while still tasty, it didn’t form and taste nearly as good as the recipe mentioned above.

Update: The dood up top is Lemmy Kilmister. My bad.

Sasparilla, English Muffins and Homemade Strawberry Jam

So, for the last few weeks I’ve had an overwhelming urge for the need to start writing again. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything inspiring to write about. I have some personal things that are going on right now, but some of that I don’t want to talk about because I don’t want to jeopardize the outcome, so, this is where I find myself:

Drinking a Sasparilla
Eating an English Muffin
with Homemade Strawberry Jam (courtesy of Robin R)

I think that’s a good way to break back into the writing elite. I think I’ve overstated my importance in the writing community, but I guess we’ll see where this goes.

For now. Enjoy your drinks. Enjoy your food. Enjoy your life. I know I do.

KJ

Lost Generation.

I received this from a coworker. Here is the lead in that was used to get me to watch the video:

/// SNIP ///
PAY ATTENTION! LISTEN AND READ CAREFULLY, all the way to the END.

A palindrome reads the same backwards as forward.

This video reads the exact opposite backwards as forward.

Not only does it read the opposite, the meaning is the exact opposite.
This is only a 1 minute, 44 second video and it is brilliant!

Make sure you read as well as listen…forward and backward.
This is a video that was submitted in a contest by a 20-year old. The contest was titled “u @ 50″ by AARP. This video won second place.When they showed it, everyone in the room was awe-struck and broke into spontaneous applause. So simple and yet so brilliant.

Take a minute and watch it.
/// END SNIP ///

I agree with her, it is a brilliantly crafted speech. It gave me goose pimples when I realized what was happenening at around the halfway piont.

Without further ado, the video:

YouTube Preview Image

Patch 3.2 – New Argent Tourney Quests Part 1

So, I’ve jumped in and am doing the new Argent Tournament quests/dailies. To make this short and sweet, I’ll give the co-ords as I find the quests:

Icecrown:
The Black Knight’s Curse: Go to the GY in the Tourney grounds, wait for the the two NPC’s to chat, wait for the assassin to turn on you, kill the assassin. **NOTE: you can also get a hit in when someone else is smashing him and you’ll still get credit.
The Black Knight’s Fate: [61.5, 22.8] Kill Dr. Kohler, get letter.
You’ve Really Done It This Time, Kul: Head to [62.9, 20.7] and kill the NPC’s, collect the keys, and open the gates; Open the cage at [60.8, 23.1] to free Kul the Reckless. **NOTE: on the same platform as The Black Knigh’t Fate
Taking the Battle to the Enemy: [62.9, 20.7] You can do it in tandem with You’ve Really Done It This Time, Kul
Fate of the Fallen: Icecrown – Valley of Lost Souls [50.4, 36.3]. Pick up the gems, click on Fallen Hero’s Spirit, use relic
Battle Before the Citadel: [49.6, 37.6]. Find and kill Commanders. You probably want to group up for this one
Threat from Above: [46.4, 32.5]. Group up, head to coords, kill Chillmaw and bombers
Among the Champions: [71.7, 24.5], at the Tourney Grounds. Joust with the Champions.
Get Kraken [got sidetracked again]

Hrothgar’s Landing(North of Icecrown):
Drottin Hrothgar: Head to [50.8, 16.1] in Hrothgar’s Landing, blow the horn, kill Drottin.
A Leg Up: Fly North of the Tourney Grounds until you come to Hrothgar’s Landing, head to [43.4, 29.8] I found a bunch of Kvaldir and Legs here

Storm Peaks:
A Chip off the Ulduar Block: This is where I stopped for tonight. I’ll update the rest tomorrow.

**EDIT – this is gone. It has been replaced

I hope this helps you out! Happy Questing!

Trying to leave VizaWeb and don’t know how? Here’s how

The time came to renew my domain name so I started the usual process. I went into my account page for my registrar (VizaWeb) and was going to go through the tedious process of renewing through PayPal. I get to the appropriate domain name, try to renew and whatdoyaknow: it’s locked.

O.k., that’s all fine and dandy. It’s locked. So, I go through the procedure of unlocking the domain, click the appropriate buttons, and bam…still locked. Thinking I’m a bit of a meat head, I try to unlock again…still locked. I scratch my head and (try to) contact support.

This is where it gets messy. I emailed support about 3 times over the course of 3 weeks and didn’t receive a response. Finally, I tried phoning their tech support line, only to find that the phone is disconnected.

Crap. That’s not good. That’s not good at all.

Well, apparently this isn’t an entirely uncommon situation for VizaWeb. Just Google them and see what comes up. It’s ugly.

So, I resolved that I was going to get to the bottom of this rather than whining about possibly losing my domains. And I figured it out. After a few hours of phone calls and web searches, I figured it out. Sooo…for those of you who have gotten this far, this is what you do:

Navigate to publicdomainregistry.com and fill out the form to submit a Support Request. Apparently, PDR is the parent of VizaWeb. I was a little apprehensive at seeing another form, but these guys got back to me within a few hours. Here is the email I submitted to them:

Hello,

I’ve tried to renew my domain name at what I thought was my current host (VizaWeb), but all my domain names are locked. My current host is not responding to any of my communications. My attempts by phone turned up a disconnected phone number, and have never gotten any reply to my attempts via email. I’ve made some calls and have found that my domain names are somehow linked to public domain registry.

Please let me know what the next steps are to unlock/renew/transfer my domain names away from Vizaweb.

Thank you for your time,
James Holmes

Within a few hours, they unlocked my domains so I could transfer out of VizaWeb. I can now say that all my domains are safely transferred out of VizaWeb and I’m much more relaxed for it.

So, if you want to get out, get a hold of these guys, they made it quick and painless.

The Soldier’s Way

When I go home
People ask me – Hey…
Why do you do it man….why?
You some kinda war junkie….

I won’t say a god damned word.

Why?

They won’t understand.

They won’t understand why we do it.

They won’t understand it’s about the men next to you.

and that’s it….that’s all it is.