Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Quick Data Center Update

Our technicians have been working around the clock to restore the BeerBox (Complete lie).

Unfortunately due to the uniqueness of the BeerBox we are having to have a new power supply built and air freighted from Japan (More absolute rubbish).

Your continued patience in this matter is appreciated (I could fucking care less!).


Truth is, I had to go to work this morning, and I was too damn lazy to work on the BeerBox when I got home. Hopefully I'll have it back up in a couple of days. In the meantime the stinking piece of HP junk seems to be doing fine.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Disaster Strikes Simons Data Center!

Those of you that have seen where Jan and I live know that it looks like a mad computer scientists laboratory. We have way too many computers (the good news is that we don't pay the electric bill).

The heart of the data center is without doubt the Beerbox. The beer box is the central hub of activities. It is the main web server, handling the Beerbox and Cajun Delight websites. It is also home to our beloved IRC bot Bartender, It is also host to an IRC server.

Well I got up this morning and discovered to my horror that the Beerbox had bitten the big one. One of the power supplies had died.

Immediate action was called for. Of course the obvious answer was just to replace the power supply. Unfortunately due to the landlords recent visit I had tidied up the place and so I have no idea where my power supplies are right now. Plan B was to rip the power supply out of an IBM that I had laying around.

Of course with the computer being a 'brand name' piece of junk the organ transplant was not possible, IBM uses their own funky power connecter that is NOT a standard ATX configuration (Bunch of bastards)!

After a smoke and a beer, I formulated Plan C. I had a piece of junk HP laying around.

I did a quick organ transplant, I moved the Hard drive and Network card from the Beerbox and put them in the HP piece of crap. The good news was that the Beerbox is Linux based (Redhat for you geeks!). I hit the power button and guess what? Linux could have cared less about the new hardware, it booted straight up and we were back in business.

Try doing that with stinking Windows. Move a hard drive to a new hardware platform and watch Windows belly ache like a whore who has been stiffed on her fee.

The good news is that I should have the Beerbox returned to its original glory tomorrow. Till then it will be just a shadow of its former self.

This repair is going to cost approximately $36. I have the power supply, but I will have to destroy the case to install it. This will require the purchase of two new 15 pack boxes of Lucky Extra.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Too Cool For Words

One of my favorite things in the whole wide world is sailing, particularly sail boat racing. Without doubt my favorite event is the Americas Cup. There is as much action on land as there is on the water. Inevitably there are court cases, bad press, and booze involved. This in my opinion covers all of the major food groups.

My lovely bride has decided that I need to be part of the Americas Cup again. And so she is knitting me a boat from plastic canvas.

I am so excited! I am not sure how waterproof plastic canvas is, or how it will stack up against Carbon fiber and all of the exotic materials that most of the other boats are using, but it sure will be fun!

Jan is the best!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Watch Out World

For the past four and a half years I have had a six day work week. And I was getting really fed up with it! Well I have changed the routine, I am gonna be working a five day week! Soon as I get off work today, I am gonna be gone for two whole days! woohoo!!!

First place I'm going to when I get off the bus is the beer store! Its gonna be a great evening.

zzsimonb getting thirsty just thinking about a beer.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

An Attempt At Getting A Darwin Award

For those of you not familiar with the Darwin Awards, it is one that is handed out annually. Generally it is awarded posthumously, to even qualify for entry you must have committed some truly stupid act that proves that you should be removed from the gene pool. Hence the name, it comes from Darwins theory about evolution and survival of the best.

Well, Calgary has a potential entrant

Some idiot decided to play chicken with one of the Light Rapid Transit train.

So, I got downtown this morning, sleepy eyed, hopped of the bus, and walked to the LRT station to travel across town. The first sign that something wasn't quite right was the huge number of people on the sidewalks. It looked like New York, or London, not happy beer drinking, rodeo hosting, Calgary.

It Transpired that Joe Bike running the red light had managed to bring public transit to a complete standstill. All of the LRT lines share a 12 block line through downtown! All three lines ground to a complete standstill. I along with many thousands of other commuters were faced with an often long trek to work. Nothing beats a 12 block walk being jostled all the way by other grumpy computers, to get a good cardiovascular workout.

It turns out that Joe Bike did not die in this Darwinian stunt, and suffered non life threatening injuries. If Joe Bike has any sense he will ask the press not to release his name, because there are thousands of people here in Calgary that would likely kill him if they can find him!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Who Said There Was No News?

Well actually I did say that last night. I was bemoaning the fact that there were no stupid news stories that I could write about for BNN (Blogger News Network).

A recent story that I put together for them involved the indictment of Wesley Snipes for tax fraud. He apparently left common sense at home and took the financial advice off the back of a box of "Cracker Jacks".

I thought the story was pretty funny, but apparently the "Cracker Jack" theory is shared by more than just Mr Snipes and his financial advisors. I received this email, which I have to admit caused me more than a chuckle.

Dear Simon Barrett,

Obviously you haven't done enough research on the subject to have a valid opinion. Might I suggest picking up a copy of 'Cracking the Code' by Pete Hendrickson. There is enough information in that one volume to pique interest in a very detailed subject - I think you're mentioned in there!

What is appalling is the lack of intelligence and understanding on behalf of the citizens of this Republic as to the realities of their Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the entire history of Income taxation in our country. This nation was born of "Tax Protestors", I might remind you. Their protest was 'Taxation without representation'. The modern cry is for "Tax Honesty" and is about 'Taxation with MIS-representation'. It is as valid today as it was for our founders. The difference is the knowledge and understanding and the principles of those noble men who created this Constitutional Republic. That spirit of revolution has not died for those who know the truth.

I am proud that a high profile personality has taken this stance against the fraudulent application of the Income Tax laws. Mr. Snipes works for his living and is commensurately compensated. It is his property. He earned it. He has every right to keep it. There is NO LAW that applies to him to requires him to hand it over - his only error is that he dared to ask for it back!

There is incredible depth to this subject. You could make a career out of covering it. There are numerous individuals, who interviewed would help you tell your readership the actual, honest truth about income taxation in America. Get on it! Don't be a hack. If you're an American who cares about this country and the rule of LAW, then find out what the real story is and report on it.

Every day new people join the movement to restore truth in taxation. People learn and act on the truth. And people continue to receive refunds of unlawfully withheld taxes. I'm always perplexed if all this is so 'untrue', why doesn't the government, the IRS, the DOJ put together a comprehensive and detailed presentation explaining the IRC, the tax laws and the clearly show the LAW that indicates that American's earning unprivileged compensation owe a tax? Surely that would solve everything and we could all get back to our toil with peace of mind! They don't do that. And there is a reason that they don't.

A good place to start would be to talk to Mr. Peter Hendrickson, author of 'Cracking The Code'. His website contact information is

Spencer Benedict
Neo-Jeffersonian Constitutional Fundamentalist

Now I must admit that I am not quite sure what a Neo-Jeffersonian Constitutional Fundamentalist is, but I can pretty much assume it is some sort of whacko organization!

You just got to love the internet hahahahahaha

I did feel compelled to reply....

I always pride myself on giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. Fair and reasonable press reporting calls for this. To that end I have published your email in full. This should clear up any problems that you had with my earlier story

Simon Barrett (falling off his chair laughing).

I am eagerly awaiting the reply....

Saturday, October 21, 2006

International Diplomacy, My Way

I have lived in several countries, have visited several more, and have met folks from many other parts of the world. One of the biggest problems that the international citizen faces is how to make it clear to whoever you are dealing with that you are not a happy camper.

In North America this can generally be achieved by using the various parts of the English language that can be derived from the root word ‘Fuck’. This is a very adaptable word, it transfers easily into a verb, noun, adjective, and several other variations. The uses are almost endless. Unfortunately it is not a word that translates well into other languages.

To get the best results for international swearing you do need to understand something about the culture that you are trying to insult.

A good example would be if you were visiting Rome, and ended up in a confrontation with a member of the Catholic church. Telling him “Fuck you!” could well result in an answer of “Your place or mine?”

There are even regional inconstancies within the English speaking western hemisphere, telling a Brit that you are “Pissed” leads him to believe that you are drunk rather than annoyed.

Tell an American that he is talking a “Load of Bollocks” and you will get a vacant stare, they have no clue what bollocks are.

It should be clear that with this level of inconsistency even within the English speaking western hemisphere, there are no set international standards for abuse.

I have spent considerable time investigating this subject, and have come up with the following list of useful phrases. It is by no means comprehensive, but it is a good start to international diplomacy.

Farsi(Persian) - Meshosham beh seebillet - I piss on your moustache
Kiret biyofteh - May your penis fall off

Russian - Rodilsya cherez jopu - You were born through the ass

Italian - Baciami il culo - Kiss my ass

French - Ta mere suce des ours dans la foret - Your mother sucks bears in the forest

Arabic - Yen 'aal deen ommak - Damn your mother's rooster

The list is endless! I do hope that with these few pointers I can make everyone’s international travel more fun. Hell you can even try it out in your local supermarket the next time some "out of towner" pushes in line at the checkout!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Dot Com 2.0

The Dot Com bubble of the 90’s burst with a big bang, many companies went down having spent huge amounts of investors money on projects that were in hindsight clearly unworkable and unsustainable.

Here we are almost 10 years later and while the projects are still just as unworkable and just as unsustainable but the rules of engagement have changed. Today’s dot com model is a different animal. Create a need in the user community, attract users, lose money, and wait for one of the big dogs to buy you out.

The prime example of this phenomena would have to be YouTube. With almost zero incoming revenue and huge outgoing payments that must have been really squeezing their bank account, they managed to hold on long enough to attract the attention of Google.

Another fine example would have to be Skype, great idea, great product, but no obvious way to generate a revenue stream, then along comes cash rich E-Bay, and problem is resolved.

To a somewhat lesser extent we could also include Writely, Picasso, and Blogger.

Actually if you start to dig around you find that there are many examples.

The Vulture Capital providers seem to be happy with this new world order. So my advice is, think up a money losing scheme and stick with it, oh, preferably a scheme that eats into the profits of Microsoft, E-Bay, Yahoo, or Google. With this approach you are pretty much set for life, you can turn a $100 waste of time into a multi million dollar windfall.

I am thinking of starting an online sales site selling snow blowers in San Diego, and I will have videos, free VOIP, and a word processor. All I need to find is that $10 million in Vulture capital.

So if you want to invest in this great scheme send me an email! hahahahaha

Monday, October 16, 2006

The State Of The Blog Address

I am a relatively new Blogger. And with a newish Blog the problem is how the hell do you get people to visit you? My initial plan was to tell all my online buddies, of course that maxed out at about 2 hits a day! hahahahaha

Plan B was to try the blog swapping sites, the deal here is that you look at other peoples blogs and generate credits, with those credits you 'buy' visitors. There are many of them out there, Blogexplosion and Blogmad are two of the big ones.

If you pound away on the computer for an hour or two you can get lots of new readers, the problem is, are they really readers? Or, are they just looking at the count down timer to click onto the next blog?

For the most part I am one of those people! The vast majority of the blogs that you get taken to are absolute crap! The Blogosphere is neck high in crap. My particular favorites are the 'get rich online' blogs. These are spam, these should be removed by whatever blog service is running the blog!

My other top contender are the political blogs, GET A GRIP GUYS, NO ONE CARES. I am not a political animal, I don't want to sign up to impeach President Bush, I don't want to email my congressman about Joe Blow who is doing something bad in Bum F**K Nebraska. I just don't care! I don't care a hoot about politics, they are all crooks, the label republican or Democrat is more like a gang affiliation, they are Crypts or Bloods! hahahaha

Don't get me wrong here, occasionally you stumble on an interesting blog, I have found several, (maybe as many 1 every 500 clicks).

in my opinion there is no silver bullet to the problem.

I recently started blogging articles for a site that is part of the 'Google News' world, I have found that this generates quite a few unique hits.

Ok I feel much better now, I guess I should have used proper HTML code and put that in a rant block, I believe the code is "< rant >say ya stuff < /rant >"

71% of our members got laid!

What a great title for a piece of spam email. And that was the title of one that Jan got, it is too good not to post here.

Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2006 01:48:33 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 71% of our members got laid

Do you want to hook up with people who live just minutes from you? Meet girls and guys who just want to have sex? Our dating system can help you out! 67% of our members have already hooked up using our system. What else? it won't even cost you a penny.

I opted to not include the link..... hahahaha you just got to love spam!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I Need Help (Jan says I Need Professional Help)

OK loyal blog readers I need some help. If any of you are Linux users I sure could use your help.

At work we have had about 20 laptops donated to us, they are Toshiba Portege 3110ct model. We refurbish computers and give them away to families that cannot afford to go out and buy one.

These Toshibas are really tiny, they are so small that there is no builtin CD or Floppy drive. They all came with the external Floppy, but without the external CD.

The folks that do the refurbishing were at a loss as to what to do with the systems, so I waded in! hahahahaha

I discovered a 'over the internet' install method of loading Debian Linux on them. All you need are two diskette images, affectionally refered to as Root and Boot (Jan hides them, so I can't lose them). Life is great, and I am sure that folks that just need a portable puter that can do some word processing and Web stuff will be overjoyed to get one of these critters.

I have screwed around for two weeks with them, I have tried every trick in my less than large Linux bag, and try as I might I cannot get the stinking Intellepoint device to work. The Intellepoint is the thing in the middle of the keyboard that looks like the top of a pencil eraser. Plugging in a USB mouse works fine, but I would really like to crack the Intellepoint problem.

Obviously I cannot pay, but, help me with this and you are guaranteed a spot on my 'wall of shame', Pugs and Alistair won't mind, in fact they are probably feeling lonely!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Woo Hoo Wifes Puter Is Fixed....

....and I didn't even need to use my patented method. It turned out that there was a bad dimm, instead of her having 512 meg of memory for Windows to crash in, she was working with only 128 meg. That's like running a Hummer with a lawn mower engine!

It's a big weight off my mind, the idea of going up in front of Judge Judy had me pretty scared. Actually she was threatening me with Jerry Springer as well! Yeouch!

The good news is... I am in the clear, her computer is working as good as it ever will. And I will not have to face Jerry! hahahahahaha

How To Fix All Windows XP Problems

Being in the computer biz I constantly get asked how to fix this or that problem with XP. My lovely wife Jan is whining about her computer at the moment and me, being the fine upstanding husband that I am, have agreed to take a look at the problem.

I am pretty certain that the only for sure fix is a reload of XP, that will likely result in a trip in front of "Judge Judy", with Jan accusing me of deliberately losing all her data files hahahaha

I have seen Judge Judy on TV (it's one of Jans favorite shows), and I don't think I want to end up on the wrong side of a tongue lashing from the woman. So I guess I am going to have to tread carefully fixes Jans computer.

For everyone else though, here is my guaranteed method of resolving all known Windows XP issues.

1) Download and create a boot diskette, there are plenty available, my personal favorite is (even if google does not much like it)

2) Check your BIOS settings to ensure that the Floppy Drive is the first Boot device

3) Insert Diskette and reboot the computer. After a couple of minutes you will be greeted with a black screen and something called the DOS prompt.

4) Type in Format C: and hit the enter key, it will annoy you with some silly message, just type Y and hit enter.

Depending on the speed of your computer and the size of your hard drive this step can take a while, my advice is to grab a beer and relax.

Thats it! You have now fixed whatever the problem was.

You have now resolved all of your Virus and Spyware issues. That corrupted registry will cause you no more problems. Best of all there is no way that you can get viruses from your email or from perusing porno web sites.

Computer repair places charge anywhere from $50 an hour and up. You can fix it for free using my patented technique!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

More Stats About This Blog

Riding on the crest of a wave, after finding out those amazing statistics about MS Internet Explorer, I decided to check out the rest of the statistics about my Blog.

Once again I was surprised by what I found.

Apparently 99% of my readers like cookies, this does not surprise me, everyone likes cookies, my favorite is Choclolate chip.

99% of the readers like coffee (Java), again that does not surprise me. I like coffee, so it goes without saying that my readers would like coffee.

The only bad thing about this highly un-scientific study is the high number of flashers that read the blog! The stats are telling me that 99% of you readers are flashers! Get a grip on yourselves, this is a family oriented Blog, go flash somewhere else!!!!!!!

The Browser Wars

Much has been written about how Microsoft has a monopoly with Internet Explorer, and based on the fact that IE comes bundled with Windows it is not hard to understand why. If it is there, people use it, many people, actually most people, don't even think about finding a replacement. Most people have never heard of any other browser.

I decided to do a completely unscientific study of browsers. My findings shocked even me (it was a good job that I had a couple of beers inside me, because I nearly fell off my chair). My 'unscientific' method was to analyze the traffic to this Blog. I have been blogging here for about 6 months, and during that time I have had 5,000 visits (thanks everyone!!!!! woo hoo!!!).

And the results are.........

Well I was surprised to find that only 57% of people used Microsoft Internet Exploder 6, and I was really, really surprised to find that 36% used Firefox.

Most of the tech articles claim that Microsoft have something like 96% of the market. My study (after beers) shows that this is a load of Bull Sh!t.

OK, the sample size was small, it is not 'statistically' accurate, and OK, I doubt it would stand up in court....... but I thought it was interesting.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Canajun Thanksgiving

What does a Brit and his Cajun wife living in Canada do about Thanksgiving? Thanksgiving is in October in Canada, and November in the US. Well the simple answer is we celebrate it twice.

Today I am cooking, so I get to chose the menu, and in November Janny gets to do it her way.

My fav way to do it is to stuff the little bastard with a Sage and Onion dressing, Jan on the other hand prefers a corn bread dressing. I like roast potatoes, she like mashed potatoes and Yams.

I like thick gravy, Jan like thin gravy!

Needless to say the celebrating of both Thanksgivings is the only way to avoid a trip to the divorce court hahahahahahahaha.

Normal Programming Has Been Restored!

Oh my God, I have no idea what came over me! In a momentary lapse I posted a serious article on here. I promise it won't happen again.

It was a temporary lapse on my behalf. My wife should have stopped me! Why didn't you Jan?

Anyway the good news is I am back to my old self, and normal lunacy levels have returned.

If you are reading this in Canada have a very happy and drunken Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Hasta La Vista

It all started back in the 80's, software companies wanted to protect their intellectual property. As I recall, Lotus was the first company to attempt to prevent piracy, unless you put a 'write protect' tab on the install disk you could only install the software once! The internet was not something that everyone had, but it did not take long for word to get out about how you could circumnavigate the install process.

Back in the 80's Microsoft did not seem to care much about software piracy, DOS was $20 a copy, and no one (other than crazy rich people) had more than one computer in their home. Everyone was happy to pay the $20.

Times have changed, and Microsoft has changed. DOS is no more, we have something called Windows instead. Windows make it easier for us to use a computer (So the adverts say). We do not need to type in long boring commands, now we can point and click!

Of course there is a very slight downside to all of this, Microsoft wanted a lot more money. Rather than $20 for DOS, it was $99 for Windows 95. Microsoft did well with Windows 95. It was not revolutionary, but it was good enough to lure the punters in.

Most people happily shelled out their $99 it was after all a ‘one shot’ deal, and most families still only had a single computer in their home. We are on the verge of yet another new Windows, this one is called Vista. It is my opinion that Vista could well be the product that topples Microsoft from its position of power.

Microsoft has sat at the top of the software pile for 10 years. Not long in geological terms, but very long in software terms. Each new Windows has included new features that the average user just classes as a pest. These features add nothing to the end users experience, they merely add an annoyance factor.

Last year Microsoft introduced us to the Windows genuine advantage program, this magic piece of software checked your installation of Windows to make sure it was valid and then let you download extra programs and fixes for free.

Riding on the crest of a wave, Microsoft enhanced Windows Genuine (Dis) Advantage, this wonderful leap forward in technology made sure that if you were running a bootlegged copy of Windows you got lots and lots of Pop-Ups advising you that what you need to do is call 1-800-emptymywallet and all will be fine.

Microsofts new adventure is named Vista, and Vista is going to take Windows Genuine (dis) Advantage to new lows.

If it detects that your copy is pirated you will get 30 days of nag pop-up messages and then your computer will degrade it’s self. One article I read said that you will lose the Start button, and all your desktop icons will take a hike. That sounds pretty degraded to me! The other hot rumor is that in degraded mode Internet Explorer will close down after one hour of use.

When DOS was king (80’s) most families only had one computer, that has changed. Ok, maybe I am the exception, I have way too many computers. These days though it is not unusual for a family to have two or three computers.

Suddenly the cost of software becomes a very significant item. Today I can go to the store and by a pretty decent pc for about $500. However I need some software and an operating system so I buy Windows and MS Office, I have just doubled the cash outlay (Windows $100, Office $400).

This is the reason that software piracy is so rampant, the average family does not have the money. If Microsoft changed their pricing strategy the whole piracy issue would die. Instead their strategy has become one of alienating their customers by making it harder and harder to use the products.

So what choices does the consumer have? Over the past couple of years the Linux world has changed considerably. Linux used to be a world only inhabited by computer geeks with Phd’s in Astrophysics. That is no longer the case, it is easy to set up, and for the most part very similar to Windows in day to day use. Best of all it is completely free. It is my opinion that Vista is going to be the vehicle that drives people into the Linux world.

As an alternative to MS Office, there is Open Office, this product has the basic look and feel of the Microsoft product and while not as feature rich, contains all of the elements that the average user needs. And do not be worried about compatibility, Open Office can read and write MS Office files.

I think 2007 is going to be an interesting year.

A Candlelight Vigil

Ok, so it looks like the plumbing problem is fixed, I just hope like hell that the duct tape holds.

Jan and I have talked it over, and with Canajun Thanksgiving being tomorrow we need to make sure that nothing bad happens to the turkey (it drowns because the duct tape fails). So, we have decided to maintain a watch overnight. We are going to do it in 2 hour shifts.

You might think us strange, but you just have no idea about how good out landlord is at home improvements!

Snake This!

The Gumbo Pot is done! The landlord came over and not only fixed the leak upstairs, but also decided to 'Snake' us. Now I am not quite sure what 'snaking' means, but I guess its a good thing.

All I know is he was grinning from ear to ear when he showed me some really icky black stuff on the end of his snake. "Look at this Simon!", well I did, and quite honestly it just looked like black goo to me. I guess everyone has their own idea of a good time.

If that is the high spot of his life, I must say that I feel sorry for his wife!

It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This!

I have always been an avid reader, I love books. I have a 45 minute commute to work and back on the bus, and it is very rare that my nose is not buried in a book during this time.

The problem is finding books that I like and have not read before. Luckily there is always a plentiful supply at work.

About 6 weeks ago I was surfing the net and came across a want ad, they were looking for book reviewers. Well I sent off an email and forgot about it.

Yesterday a package arrived, two brand new books! woo hoo! I get to read them, keep them, and write a review about them. Better still, these books are NOT available in the store. Man, it just doesn't get any better than this!

Who knows, I might even get paid to do this. Now being paid to read books is about as close to ideal as I am likely to get.

The Pot Thickens

I have good and bad news about the Gumbo Pot, the good news is that with a bit of luck we may be able to retire it this afternoon. The bad news is that the landlord is coming over to 'fix' the problem.

He is a really nice guy, but, his methods of 'fixing' stuff are right out of the 'Red Green Show'. I am not expecting this to go well at all. I am sure that after the landlord has fixed the problem we will have to call a real plumber to un-fix the problem.

My real concern tho is what the hell am I going to do with all the stuff, the livingroom looks like a datacentre, I am going to have to try and hide a few of the computers, well actually more than a few.

There are at least 3 full sized systems that need to go, and because of my Debian on a laptop project I have about a gazzilion Toshiba satellite systems in here.

The other issue is the typewriters, I know he is going to want access to the rear entrance way, and right now that is impassable. It is blocked by some 20 typewriters. I guess everything is going to have to vacation in the bedroom! Man that's going to be cozy in there.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Gumbo Pot Update

I thought I should write a quick post to update you all on the Gumbo pot, It is doing a fine job of containing the minor plumbing problem in the kitchen.

My good buddy Pugs left a comment, wondering why I didn't just fix the leak rather than use the Gumbo pot.

Well, that is a good question, and indeed I have asked myself the same question. The answer is quite simple, I know nada about plumbing. Plumbing in my book is a black art.

How anyone can be a skilled tradesman when the only tools in their toolbag are a 10lb lump hammer and a crescent wrench that is 3 feet long, just defies my imagination.

I could call a plumber, but then I would have to pay him. So that option goes out the door!

I could call my landlord, and I know that he would 'happily' come over and make things worse. This is of course what I am going to have to do. The problem with this solution is that he is currently driving from Prince Edward Island to Calgary, and he is a Ludite, he does not have a cell phone.

So loyal readers, the Gumbo Pot stays!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Life Is Great!

We rent a basement apartment and tonight we discovered another minor plumbing issue.

The old problem has paled into insignificance.

We now have a 'drip drip' from the ceiling, it's a damn good job that I married a Cajun gal, so we have the Gumbo pot to put under it.

For those of you that are not familiar with Cajun ways (99.999% of everyone), a Gumbo pot is about the size of an oil barrel, but has handles on in (most oil barrels do not!).

A couple of Gumbo Pots could fill the average Olympic swimming pool.

I am confidant that the leak will not best the Gumbo Pot!

So I am going to go smoke another cigarette.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

AWEB#19 Fosters lager

While living in London in the 70's I found myself living in the Earls Court area of the city. For some reason Earls Court was the centre of the universe for traveling Australians.

The 70's Aussies were an interesting group, inevitably they were married, in their early 20's, were on a one or two year travel around the globe mission, and owned a VW Camper! Earls Court was pretty much a major hub for buying and selling VW Campers. The Earls Court VW would handle their wandering needs while perusing Europe, once Europe was checked off the list, they would return (like a salmon to spawn) to Earls Court and sell the VW Camper to the next generation of Australian explorers.

The Aboriginals of Australia have a saying 'Going on walk about', and this seems to have rubbed off on the colonists. Of course the early colonists probably had an ingrained need for 'Walk About' seeing as Australia was a penal colony!

I worked with one of these 'displaced' Aussies for about 6 months, and we became good friends. Phil Weigard, from Bendigo (Hey Phil if you read this please drop me a line) he was the person that introduced me to Fosters.

We invited him and his wife over for dinner. Phil insisted on bringing the beer, and it was Fosters. He served it almost freezing, I swear there were ice crystals in it. Being a good brit I pointed out that it was a tad on the cold side.

Phil's comment was, "You have to drink this ice cold, if it gets warm it gets disgusting, so bad that the average guy wouldn't even shave in it"

Now that's an advert! Phil probably is making a fortune as Fosters spokesman!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Good Ole England

I left in 1980, and quite honestly have not missed it a great deal. There are however a couple of things that just are not obtainable outside of the wet little island.

Primula cheese spread was a favorite, up until my first wife and I got divorced we had an illegal trade in the stuff going. Her relatives would smuggle the stuff into Canada or the US.

My new (and very adorable) wife is from New Orleans, she can get Cajun Spices, Soft Shelled Crabs, and just about anything else from there, but it's just not the same as Primula! hahahahahaha

I think I am going to start a political movement, maybe call it the "Cheese Spread Party" to get Primula in Canada!

What's the Story?

It is not often that I resort to the dirty tactic of writing serious posts. Generally speaking I find it hard to write about sensible things. Yes I write for Bloggernews (hell they even pay me!), tho god knows why. Most of my posts are about the sadly unreported aspects of the news, mainly the idiot crimes that people commit.

I also am a writer for the ICAN folks, on there I tend to stick to technology stories, particularly how technology relates to the working poor and homeless. Even though the subject matter of 'The Digital Divide', may not sound like a humor based thing, it is actually a great subject, and also one that does often offer a lighter side.

What pisses me off tho is what is going on in the world of the real news networks, apparently there is absolutely no 'good news' to be found. All of the news services today were running the very very sad and disturbing story about a shooting in an Amish school as the top item. Some obviously very sick person entered a one classroom school armed with a couple of guns. He seems to have let the boys, and adults leave, and then tried to execute the girls aged 6 to 13.

The Amish in some ways are similar to the Hudderites that we have in Southern Alberta. They are a close knit group with strong family ties and a general dislike for technology. That does not make them bad people. Yes it makes them different, they don't have email addresses, they don't have ipods, hell they don't even watch CNN.

Why would anyone want to execute them?

Andy Wahol and his very well known quote about everyone having their 15 minutes of fame seems to becoming the norm, and the news networks eat it up. Yes it is important to keep the world informed about what is happening, but it is absurd to have what seemed like 8 hours of constant helicopter based video of an empty building housing corpses and what I am sure are some very bad memories. CNN even managed some helicopter based video of the house that the killer lived in. I am sure this is just what his wife and three children needed.

I really think the news organizations need to go back to school and enroll in some sensitivity training classes.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Simons Wall Of Shame

I have decided to add another blog to my Wall of Shame (things I read). Pugs is completely off the wall, and irreverent, this covers all of the food groups I like.

Check out Pugs here.

Nothing beats some high class silliness, and I should know! Actually Jan knows better, but it's her own fault for agreeing to marry me.

AWEB#18 Generic Beer

In the 70's Sainsbury's Supermarkets started selling generic beer. This was stuff that came in a no frills package, the can merely said "Beer".

What few people realized was that their supplier was the Ruddles Brewery. Generic beer rocked! Alas Ruddles is no more, it is part of the Green King organization. But it sure was fun while it lasted!

It was way cheaper than the real thing. Being a beer fan I had no problem at all picking up a 6 pack of generic at the supermarket!