Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Bed Monster!

Anyone that knows me, also knows that I am a tidy freak, I would not ever dream of leaving empty beer cans littering up the flat surfaces (Tables, counters, etc). I always make sure that I put my cigarette ends in the right spot, I would never dream of throwing them in the snow bank.

Jan is almost as tidy as I am, she does occasionally mess up the kitchen, but, I just let it go.

For the past few months though we have had a problem. Every night we go to bed and the bed is all messed up! The sheets are crumpled up, the comforter is all skewed. I know it looks fine when I get up, and Jan says it looks fine when she gets up.

In fact Jan makes the bed up every morning after I leave for work.

I have given this a great deal of thought, and the only explanation I can find is that we have been invaded by a 'Bed Monster'. We suspect that he strikes mid afternoon while Jan is watching soaps.

It is like something out of the X-Files.........

Friday, December 29, 2006

And A Merry Spammy Xmas To You..

I was pissed off. F'ing spammers should have their nuts cut off. Well let me introduce you to a spammer.

His name is George Mello, and lives in Texas.

I am guessing he is the guy in the white t-shirt.

Our friend George likes all things to do with pets, oh and the revenue that he generates from Google Adsense.

His scheme seems to consist of leaving what look like harmless comments on blogs, however there is always a link back to his nasty little spammy adsense rich site.

If I was in the pet biz, I likely would have let his comment go, but I am in the beer drinking and having fun biz. So when I get a comment about my 'flashing santa' and it is all about pet grooming, well I start to think.

It was not hard to find spammy George, but he had done a decent job of hiding his identity. It took at least 10 minutes!

Spammy george, have a great New Year. If you spent as much time on working as you did on spammy blogging you likely would be rich.

In the interest of not putting dollars in spammy georges pocket I will not reveal his site. But, if you want to see spammy georges blogger profile click away!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!!!!!!

A Merry Xmas to everyone reading this.

The turkey is in the oven, the beer and the brandy are both at room temperature this is nothing short of heaven on earth.

Life is good!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

At 1:30 this morning I woke up, music blaring, dog barking, and a herd of Elephants were obviously enjoying the Yule Tide.

It was the f'ing idiots upstairs. Actually it's not the real idiots, it's their dog sitting idiot friends.

What is a guy to do? Well I thought about it long and hard. I waited till most of the commotion died down, and then I struck!

I may not have the latest and greatest computer gear, but I do have some really loud speakers. Our guests got a good dose of Andrew Lloyd Webbers 'Phantom of the Opera'.

There is something about the bass that really travels though walls and ceilings. Boy did it make the dog wail! hahahahahahahaha

Saturday, December 23, 2006

New Thing On The Blog!

Well I finally broke down and played in the template. This is an activity that I rarely do, and never enjoy. It usually results in disaster and many hours trying to repair the damage!

I usually plan on at least a 12 pack if I am going to fiddle with it! Jan generally puts on her headphones and cranks the volume to drown out the long and constant stream of expletives about how stupid templates are in general, and blogger ones in particular.

Well this change went off without a hitch and took less than a 6 pack.

So check out the Books Worth Reading section in the side bar.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Joy Of Reading

This book reviewing business is feast or famine. I have been waiting for weeks for the publisher in San Diego to send more books. Yesterday I received the JFK book, 600 pages of words to read (But it is a spanky first edition signed by the author), today I get home and there is a parcel from my good buddies in San Diego!

Now I have a backlog. I guess I am going to be busy for the next little while.

One of the San Diego books is actually a galley proof, if I play my cards right I could get quoted on the real book leaf! Oh life does not get any better!

If only I could make money doing this..... hahahahahahahaha

Monday, December 18, 2006

Woo Hoo New Books

The new "hot off the press" book about the JFK assassination arrived today. I have always been a big fan of conspiracies, and the whole JFK story has interested me for many years. I am really looking forward to reading and reviewing this book.

As an added bonus, my 'for review' copy is signed by the author!

The second good thing about today is I have another book en-route and should be here in a couple of days.

Now all I have to figure out is how the hell you can make some money at this game.

Getting books is easy, well actually it is not that easy. But once you get a track record publishers are usually pretty happy to send out whatever you ask for. The problem is how to make money.

If you folks have any ideas, I am all ears!

Meanwhile I am a happy camper, I got books!!!!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Brussel Sprouts

Yesterday I was poking around the internet looking for inspiration for a news story. Now I basically don't like to just rehash the current headlines, I prefer to find social issues that matter and do some serious research.

You too can enjoy my (potential) Pulitzer Prize winning article about brussel sprouts here.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Being Sick Sucks!

I have been under the weather for the past few days, so once again I have an excuse for not writing hahahaha

It's been reasonably quiet, apart from having a pissed off landlord, the good news is that he was not pissed at me (well not much.... too many typewriters, to many computers, just the regular stuff).

No, he was pissed with our neighbor's upstairs, there was dog shit all over the front lawn, and its a big dog, so it makes family sized turds hahahaha

Scroll down a couple of articles, Jan got a photo of one in the snow!

As far as the being sick thing goes, I am following the doctors orders, plenty of fluids! Bow Valley Strong 7% is a fluid in my book!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Just Been Lazy

Yup, I have no good excuse. I have just been lazy for the past few days. So I have not been writing on here.

Actually lazy probably is not true, I have actually been quite busy doing other things.

I have been up to all sorts of trouble, I write for BNN, and silly me I wrote the owner a nag letter about the appalling use of grammar, spelling and content of some of the writers, my punishment for doing this was to get promoted to the editorial staff!

I was sold on the idea when Robert explained that the job entailed rotten hours and almost no thanks or reward. Now who in their right mind could turn down an offer like that!

The other mischief that I get into is book reviewing. I read a lot, and I thought becoming a book reviewer would be fun and profitable! Well it is fun anyway.

I spent most of my free time last week reading and reviewing a novel called 'Drift'. Actually it was a great book, but at 400 pages and 3 days to do it in, obviously it was a bit of a challenge. The great news was that the author Steven Paul Mark liked the review and agreed to a telephone interview.

He turned out to be a most engaging man, it was a real pleasure to talk to him. You can find the review here, and the interview here.

If you are looking for a good book to read, and if you like the techo-thriller genre I can recommend this one.

I already have a new adventure in reading planned, there is a new JFK conspiracy book about to hit the streets, and there is a review copy in the mail to me from the authors. I can hardly wait, I love a good conspiracy, and JFK has to be the best one of the 20th century.

Life is good!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What Is Becomming Of The NFL!

I am not sure this picture needs any description!

This outfit is what the NFL is considering for their next expansion, the WNFL! hahahahahahaha

Monday, December 04, 2006

Photography Jan's Way

I have spared no expense on getting Jan the best of the best in a digital camera setup, personally I preferred the hasselblad system that costs about $50,000, Jan however set her sights somewhat lower, so we met in the middle ground and bought a $30 web cam.

She is an outstanding photographer, this shot from this morning shows her true potential. It is a fine shot of dog shit! Better still it was right outside our window (you just have to love the neighbor's!)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

AWEB#20 Screech! A Fine Canadian Beverage

Ok, so this is not beer! It's my Blog, and I can do whatever I want to do! This story is about Rum! Now everyone has had Rum from Jamaica, or some other island that has way too much sugar cane, and way too much unemployment.
Sugar + Unemployment = Rum!

I know this will be hard to believe, but Canada actually has a Rum brewing business. In Newfoundland they make something called Screech! Its a great name, they deserve high points just for the name.

I am not much of a rum drinker, but my wife is! So as an early Christmas present I bought her some Screech. Of course she was overjoyed, she was so happy that the bruising on my face should be gone by next weekend.

Well we gave Screech a good workout, Jan got pretty wild, it was a good job that we had the curtains closed, she was doing her Michael Flatterly impersonation with no clothes on! I love it when she tap dances in the kitchen! hahahahaha

So I give Screech a 10 out of 10! Even the Cajuns like it! hahahahahahaha

Screw the Shopping Days Till Christmas!

Who cares? The whole 'shopping days till Christmas' idea is something sponsored by the evil dwarfs that own Hallmark cards! I have a better idea! The number of shopping days till my birthday! And that number, my friends is 336. hahahahahaha

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Penguins, are they good or bad?

I have spent (wasted) a whole day trying to install Linux on a stupid laptop (it is not even mine!).

Having gone down this Linux route a few times before with these stinking Toshiba 3110ct models, I decided that I was fed up with Debian. It installs fine, but it is a bear to actually use.

Plan B, I find a way to install Ubuntu. Life is good. Of course that did not last long. Stupid Ubuntu is just as miserable as Debian!

I have spent all day playing with 'root and boot' (my favorite diskettes), and I have got absolutely nowhere!

I am off to drink large quantities of beer! hahahahahahahaha

Friday, December 01, 2006

I Hate Spammers

For the past two days some asshole has been leaving spam comments!

Well MR anonymous, if I get my hands on you you will wish ya never f'ing heard of personal computers, cos I am gonna take yours and stick it in one of your orifices!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Jan Is World Famous!

Sailing Anarchy is a wonderfully irreverent sailing site that I check out everyday. It has the dirt on the sailing world. I believe it is the most popular sailing web site on the internet. In other words this is a big league place!

After Jan knitted me a sail boat, I decided that I should send Sailing Anarchy a photo, I thought they might get a kick out of it.

Well, today I checked out their site, and... woo hoo... on their front page was Jans knitted boat!

I loved the title they used 'Knitting Anarchy'!

If you need a knitted boat of your own you should check Jans knitting site.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Ultimate Christmas Present

I found this online, it is too good not to share!

This is every mans dream remote control! hahahahahaha

What Do You Call Cold?

I got up this morning and the thermometer was showing a mercury solidifying -30C. Now that is cold! That's so cold that if you attempted to take a leak outside it would freeze before it hits the snow, and you likely would get frostbite in a very delicate part of the anatomy!

Needless to say there will not be much outdoor activity today. I am rationing my beer so I don't have to make another run to the liquor store!

If I do have to venture out I will make sure that I have my Willie Warmer on! hahahaha

F'ing Weather, Cabs And Planes (Part 2)

Everyone will be pleased to hear that peace and tranquility has once again returned to the Barrett household. Jan got a phone call at about 11:30 Thursday night, Joey had completed the long trek to New Orleans.

He arrived safe and sound, but was feeling a little pooped out as he had had no sleep in in about 36 hours.

They didn't even lose his baggage! So I would view it as a pretty tame adventure. He did have something like a 7 hour layover in O'Hare airport tho. I have spent many happy hours in the major airports of the US, and I have to admit that O'Hare is not a bad spot. It has some damn fine bars in which to spent money on overpriced cold beverages.

Unfortunately Joey is only 16, so I don't suppose he got to make use of the facilities hahahahaha.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Another Way Too Much Time On Their Hands Story

Oops maybe that's me!

I was perusing the news sites for some interesting story that I could write about for BNN, unfortunately nothing caught my eye.

I decided to delve deeper, and I came across a great press release from 'TV Land'. Someone with way too much time on their hands decided to compile a list of the top 100 catch phrases from the last 60 years of TV.

I must admit that I am not much of a TV watcher, other than CNN, Discovery, and the Food Channel. But even I thought it was an interesting list.

You can find the press release here.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

F’ing Weather, Cabs, And Planes

It is only 10:30am and the day is not going well.

Joey is en-route to New Orleans. His flight was scheduled for 6:55, and being the good citizens we are, I called a cab firm last night and ordered a pick up at 4:30. Its about a 25 minute and $40 trip. This would give us the required 'being at the airport' 2 long hours before the stinking flight.

Of course the weather gods decided to intervene and we got a small dump of snow overnight. The consequences of this was that there was no cab at 4:30, there wasnÂ’t even one at 5:00. By this time Jan is becoming frantic. To make matters worse the stinking cab companies lines are all busy.

At about 5:45 we get a call from the aforementioned cab company suggesting that we might like to find alternative arrangements to get to the airport! I suggested that I might make alternative arrangements to get $300 from them to cover the non refundable ticket!

This changed their attitude a little, and by 6:30 we were at the airport.

Knowing full well that there was no way Joey was going to catch the flight we put a brave face on and prepared to do battle with United Airlines. The ticket guy could not have been nicer, he booked Joey on a 7:10 flight via Chicago, and the net result should have been a happy landing in New Orleans at 3:30pm, two hours later than originally planned, but life is good. Even better because of the weather situation no mention was made of the $40 fee to make a schedule change.

Because of needing to clear customs and make sure you are not carrying illicit tubes of toothpaste (3 oz max) they hustled Joey off to the dark world of immigration.

Jan by now is just a blubbering mess, she is crying so much the maintenance crews are following her around with a mop and bucket.

According to the Departure information the flight got off around 7:15, and much to the relief of the maintenance crew I dragged her out of the airport.

Being poor we took the bus-train-bus way home, so it was around 9:30 when I got my first beer. Of course in the big rush we did not remember to ask the flight details from Chicago to New Orleans. “no problem honey, 5 mins on the internet and I’ll have it figured out”. Oops, the DSL connection is not working!

It turns out that the DSL service in our part of town is experiencing some problems.

I just about have Jan calmed down when the phone rings, it is United Airlines (Automated System) informing us that there is a weather delay and that they have rebooked Joey on a new flight from Chicago leaving at 9:00pm!

Poor kid is going to have a real long day, he is now scheduled to arrive in New Orleans at 11:15pm.

Jan of course is a basket case because of all this.

More laterÂ…Â….

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Long (Cold) Weekend

WooHoo, I decided to play hookey for a couple of days (Official hookey) I took vacation. No stinking work for the next four days!

This is great timing, cos the weather is destined to be cold, cold, and even f'ing colder. Sunday they are threatening -30C. Let me tell ya, 30 below sucks! The hairs in ya nose freeze. And don't try to take a leak outside, it will be frozen before it hits the snow bank!

My idea was to buy a carton of cigarettes and a delivery truck full of beer.

I'd be all set for the next 4 days.

Of course my lovely bride has other ideas. The alarm clock will be waking us at 3:30am tomorrow moring so that we can get in a cab at 4:30am to make it to the airport for 5:00am.

Joey who lost his home in New Orleans when Katrina hit and has been staying with us is heading back down there.

So thats going to be my morning!

The good news is, when we get back, I got beer!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I Like A Good Giggle

And this is a good giggle. I write news items for BNN, its an internet news organization. Well I looked around the internet world for something to write about, and found nothing that appealed to my warped sense of adventure.

I decided to write a local Calgary story.

Imagine my suprise when I checked google news an hour later and discovered that my story was the lead, with the 'Wall Street Journal' under me hahahahahahaha.

Woo Hoo the power of the net!

If ya want to read the article it is here.

Anyone For Egg Salad?

There are about a million different recipes for egg salad. My lovely bride has extended this to a million and one. Of course she did not want to 'spill the beans', cos she knew I would laugh.

Apparently in a moment of 'old timers disease' she picked up the sugar instead of the salt. So we got sweet egg salad!

I am sworn to secrecy about this, so don't tell anyone. Jan will kill me if I blab about it.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Rubic's Cube

If you were around in the 70's you must remember this little gem. The most annoying device ever known to man.

It was so pretty and so symmetrical when you started, but a couple of twists and the whole thing was a mess.

In the late 70's I went to Chicago for a computer geeking and beer drinking extravaganza. Clearing customs at O'Hare was a breeze, the immigration guy wanted to look in my briefcase, and yes, I had a Rubic's cube in there. It took no time at all to clear customs.

I found this online, and it is too cool for words, the cube is online!

Friday, November 17, 2006

F’ing Utility Bill Taxes

I realize that in order for a country to function it needs to generate money. With no money there would be no way to maintain the vital infrastructure of society; things like; filling in the damn pot holes in the road, enforcing the no drinking in public laws, making sure that you don’t overstay your welcome at the parking meter, and various other critical aspects of everyday life.

I do get fed up with they way that some of this damn money is extracted from my wallet though.

For the longest time my favorite offenders have been the utility companies. Every month I receive the natural gas bill. I defy anyone to explain in plain English how the hell they put this monster together. In my simple mind it should be such a simple process, a calculation along the lines of cost per unit X number of units used. Instead it is a 4 page adventure in creative accounting and taxation. The gas itself is virtually free, what costs is all of the other services, cost to store it, cost to transport it, subsidy to ship it to Florida (where the only natural gas comes from Old El Paso brand refried beans!)

I live in Alberta which has one of the worlds biggest reserve of natural gas, we have so much of it I am surprised that naked flames are permitted here. Yet we get to pay the same price for the product as someone in Tampa. I had a spirited session via E-mail with one of our legislators a while back on this very subject. His response was it was all due to NAFTA. Well that makes no sense, if NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement for you non North Americans) was supposed to level the playing field price wise, how come it costs me a dollar for a lettuce here, and only 10 cents for the same product in California?

The net result of all this ‘level playing field’ crap is I get a $200 bill each month during the 10 months of winter! To add insult to injury, last year the gas company decided to play an April fools joke on us all. In July (when it actually was above zero and no one needed any stinking gas) they sent out a bill that was almost twice the amount that it should have been. Apparently there had been some sort of (again incomprehensible) mistake in the cost per giga joule (whatever the fuck that is) over the winter months, and this was a price adjustment!

This has to be the only industry that can get away with this kind of activity. Could you imagine going to the supermarket, you get to the cashier; she rings in all your purchases, and then tells you…. “oh last February we made a mistake on the price of pork roasts, so we are going to adjust today’s bill”.

Another user of creative accountancy is the telephone company. The bill starts off at a very reasonable $16 for basic service. Now I don’t mind that, $16 for all the local calls you can make is a good deal. Of course this has little to do with the actual amount that you pay each month. Once again we have a 4 page bill, there are more taxes and service charges than you can shake a fist at. There is a 911 tax, a long distance tax, a common carrier tax, a get rich quick tax, and then a tax on all the taxes you already paid!

You end up with a bill of $30. They just nickel and dime you to death. Oh and they make the bill absolutely incomprehensible, you would need to have a PhD in astrophysics to make any sense of it.

hahahaha think I need a beer now.......

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Oh Oh It's The Weekend

Woo Hoo, two whole days away from the Fun Factory. The only major thing I have to figure out, is what to do in the next 48 hours.

The opportunities are almost endless! We have plenty of bits left and could certainly manufacture some more computers, but, even I have to admit that right now we have enough of the pesky things.

The whole apartment is packed to the gills with damn computers, about the only safe place is the bathroom, and that's full of typewriters.

Of course there are a couple of broken laptops laying around, I wonder if I could convert one of them into a wall mounted media player for the bathroom? Maybe with the use of a proximity sensor they could play music videos while you are having a crap! hahahahaha

hmmm I will have to think about this one.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Dangers Of E-Bay

I allways thought E-Bay was a pretty safe site till I saw this.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Good Giggle

I enjoyed this one..............

It puts Jaws in a whole new light!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The PCPC As A Multimedia Platform

Wow, that is all I can say!

We took our 'off the shelf' PCPC and decided to test it out as a media device. My original plan was to use it in a 'real world' situation. During the summer Jan and I like to watch movies on our next door neighbors house. He has this really good stucco wall.

Unfortunately the weather has been less than kind to us for the past week, and the idea of freezing to death did not seem the way to go.

Based on the sub-zero temperature we opted to do our testing inside. In order to make this as realistic as possible we chose 'top of the line' peripherals.

The speakers are Maxell Flat Speakers (Model FPS-1) with a subwoofer (I believe that you can pick these babies up for about $5 on E-Bay. Yup we go the extra mile. These critters even come with a wired remote control! How neat is that?

Our next decision involved which digital projector to use. There are so many on the market, it is impossible to know which one to select. I decided that we would just use the one that we already had. It's kinda old, but it works good. Actually the colors are richer than the new ones!

We hooked it all up and hit the gas!

Unfortunately Blogger has decided that it does not want to upload pictures any more. The finale of this experiment will have to wait till later.

The PCPC Is Ready For The Holidays

We have created two new designs for the upcoming holidays.

The Thanksgiving version features a turkey.

The Christmas version comes with Santa's Workshop.

You can get more views of the outstanding Santa's Workshop here.

In Late Breaking News..

This just in... Dateline November/12...

We are delighted to make this important announcement, the PCPC is now certified ready for Linux! No need to wait for Windows Vista, just slap on your favorite flavor of Penguin and Hey Presto!

What is next for the PCPC, I hear you all ask. Well the next phase is twofold, we are going to put the PCPC through a rigorous shakedown and see just how good a home entertainment system it is. We will be testing it out for use with a regular TV and also a digital projector.

Our second mission is to look at ways that we can further customize this unique creation to enhance the end users experience.

Stay tuned readers, there will be more announcements later today.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

PCPC Those Finishing Touches

It wasn't until this morning that I realized just how difficult it was going to be to turn the computer on. Obviously the general public would not be impressed in they have to dinker around with a screwdriver and Glue Gun every time they wanted to use the computer.

Jan and I had a high level management meeting on the subject, and I am pleased to tell you all that we decided to make a small engineering change.

Not only is there now an On/Off switch but also a power indicator, and a Hard Drive busy LED.

I think that these features make the PCPC even more desirable for the discerning shopper.

We would love to be able to offer this new technology for Christmas, who could not be delighted to find a PCPC under the tree on Christmas day? Unfortunately our bushiness partner Bill is telling us that his new version of stinking Windows will not be available until January (What a dough head!).

Of course Jan (Director of sales and marketing) is still trying to get this gem to market. And if you want one, now is the time to order. Jan tells me that we have the manufactured ability to get a PCPC under everyone's Christmas tree!

Because of Bills's tardiness, we have had to find other avenues to persuade people to buy our PCPC. For a Limited time only, we are offering personalized cases. Jan will knit your message on the front!

For more info, check out Jans site.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Yup, we are proud to introduce you to the PCPC! As some of you know, my lovely wife is one of those 'arts n crafts' people.

I was all in favour of building another BeerBox, but Jan insisted that we try something different!

I always do what Jan says.

So we have created what I am sure is the only Plasic Canvas Personal Computer. As this was a US and Canadian joint effort Jan added the flags.

Wanting the Case to appeal to as wide a range of users we have disgned it for both Intel and Amd processors.

.....and of course it is stinking Microsoft certified.

We were going to put on a Linux peguin, but Jan was too drunk to knit it! hahahahaha.

A rear view shows how the whole thing is put together,

Michael Dell, eat your heart out!

The Creative Mind At Work..

Different industries employ different techniques for 'mocking up' a potential product. The automotive folks use modeling clay to create a full size demo of their idea. My preferred material is Styrofoam, it is non-conductive, has great insulation properties, and maybe best of all, it's cake to cut!

I find that an Exacto knife works well.

If any of you are planning on trying this at home, I recommend you do this outside. Luckily Jan is not a clean freak, so I can get away with being a little messy!

Having created the footprint, assembly can commence. The first step was to position the Powersuply and DVD Rom on our baseplate.

Next came the Hard drive, Notice the creative use of Styrofoam in order to minimize vibration.

In order to prevent shorts, it was necessary to insulate the motherboard from the power supply. I was also concerned about air flow from the power supply. My solution was to use more Styrofoam, this time employing an intricate design to enable the cooling fan to maximize it's effectiveness.

Next step is to add the motherboard and all of the bits that go on it.

And that my friends is as much as I can share with you in this post. The rest of the engineering department (Jan) is working in the rest of the computer.