Monday, February 28, 2005

Slednecks and powder

What happens when you get some beer, a skidoo, a waterski rope and a snowboard together on a frozen lake? Well besides racking up frequent flier ambulance miles, you get a really fun but difficult winter activity. I got to ride endless powder without hiking this past weekend, but it isn't quite as smooth as it sounds. The thing is that you have to lean way back and that's pretty hard on the legs. I can't say that I have it wired but it definately was fun. I haven't actually snowboarded on a hill for a couple of weeks so it was a welcome relief.

On a different note, these days I have been pretty focused on taking care of loose ends. You know, the kind of stuff that never gets crossed off the to do list because, well just because. It's actually pretty liberating to have all these irritating little details sorted out, things start moving a lot faster and smoother.

Has anybody else gotten knocked out by the smog? I was pretty sick for a couple of days until I got out of the city on Saturday, what a massive change it was to breath in fresh air. There have been a couple of smog warnings this winter here in Monteal, for the first time I think. The scary part was that I didn't even realize it until somebody pointed it out to me and it occurred to me that my sinus problems and breathing totally cleared up when I left the city.

St. Patricks day is in two weeks so that means that the winter is pretty much over. Too bad, I was just getting into it but it also means that two months of muddy backwoods motocrossing is coming up and I am really excited about that. I have a good feeling about the weather this summer, let's hope it pans out.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Fish Lives

If you like Bauhaus and Abe Vigoda, listen to this track (right click and download it).

Mike Ness stil rocks

I saw Social Distortion live last nite at Metropolis, awesome show. Mike was in fine form. If you don't know SD, they've been around for a couple of decades, sounding like a mix between Johnny Cash and the Clash. I think Mike could have been called Johnny Clash.

The story of my life video (press play to start):

Don't forget about Sony

With everybody so jazzed about Apple, it's easy to forget about some of the other companies out there that make even cooler devices.

Here's two of them:

1) First a Sony 512MB flash player with OLED display right in the surface of the device. How freakin cool is that?

And second this swiss company has a 2GB flash player for a hundred fifty US bucks coming out soon:

Friday, February 18, 2005

Steak knives and snowboarding

These days I have been snowboarding a lot after a long break from riding. It sucks that I picked this year because there isn't much snow but WTF, it's better than thumbing my ass in front of the TV. Besides, I get to hang out with a bunch of old friends and break up the week a bit. Every thursday night I have been going up to Mt. Habitant. Last nite, I ran into my really old friend Maddy who also happens to be the ski patroller there (on a snowboard no less), who I haven't seen in years.

Usually I ride in the woods and off trail but these days I am on trail a lot so my regular 151 old school short board isn't holding up too well on the local wide and icy trails. This is especially bad at Mt. Garceau which is particularly icy. I finally decided to get a new board and found a killer ebay deal on a Lib Tech board that's coming in from Montana. Lib Tech is a special company with some wild and innovative designs, they were bought out by Quicksilver a while ago. I rode a prototype Lib Tech for about five years and absolutely loved it. This year they have a new model with a crazy wavy edge that's built to bite hard into ice. I'll let you know what I think when I get it next week.

Here's the board, ugly as ever:

Let's pray for snow because St. Paddys day is only three weeks away and that is pretty much the end of the road for the season.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Saturday stuff

Go wish Captain Fantabulous a happy birthday today.

I'm kind of anxious to get out of town but I'm stuck here for a little while. Lucky for you, I found some funny stuff.

Sexy bodysuits for dogs:

And check this out:

And if you like mayhem, carnage and hospitalization, check this one out.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Maslow, Wilson and the Peak Experience

Many years ago, I read a book called Semiotexte that is an anthology of science fiction works. This isn't your standard fare wookies and princesses kind of stuff. It is some mind bending and sometimes disturbing stuff by guys like JG Ballard and Colin Wilson. This dark gritty stuff was boxed in with the typical but dark SF like Snow Crash, Mirrorshades, Neuromancer etc.

Back to the point, Colin Wilson and Dr. Abraham Maslow have a theory about peak experiences (published in Semiotexte) that mentally healthy people had a regular abundance of peak experiences. I have no idea about how this the Peak Experience theory ended up in a book about science fiction but that was no ordinary book. Here's an excerpt from a random web page about Wilson:

"...we live in a culture which is saturated with pessimism. To the cynic, the solution to the above problem is simple: the Christmas-morning sensation of childhood (what Wilson and others have named "peak experiences," and which G. K. Chesterton called "absurd good news") is an illusion caused by seeing beyond the plain, immediate facts of existence which constitute our everyday reality into another world that has been invented by overactive glands and imaginations. Wilson's contention, however, is the exact reverse: it is the peak experience which gives us a brief moment of clarity about the surrounding world, and the drabness of our everyday perceptions is the illusion."

From an article about Maslow:

"Maslow saw human beings' needs arranged like a ladder. The most basic needs, at the bottom, were physical -- air, water, food, sex. Then came safety needs -- security, stability -- followed by psychological, or social needs -- for belonging, love, acceptance. At the top of it all were the self-actualizing needs -- the need to fulfill oneself, to become all that one is capable of becoming. Maslow felt that unfulfilled needs lower on the ladder would inhibit the person from climbing to the next step. Someone dying of thirst quickly forgets their thirst when they have no oxygen, as he pointed out. People who dealt in managing the higher needs were what he called self-actualizing people. Benedict and Wertheimer were Maslow's models of self-actualization, from which he generalized that, among other characteristics, self-actualizing people tend to focus on problems outside of themselves, have a clear sense of what is true and what is phony, are spontaneous and creative, and are not bound too strictly by social conventions.

Peak experiences are profound moments of love, understanding, happiness, or rapture, when a person feels more whole, alive, self-sufficient and yet a part of the world, more aware of truth, justice, harmony, goodness, and so on. Self-actualizing people have many such peak experiences."

This is something that stuck with me since I read that book a decade ago, the reason that I bring it up is that it seems to make sense that besides survival, my real motivation is the quest for continual peak experiences. The problem is that peak experiences are non-cognitive, you don't think about them and can't force them. You have to use cognition most of the time to put yourself into situations where you are receptive to them. This seems to be the (tragic) ironic twist to this theory.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Mobile photo blogging

You know the thing about those mobile phone picture funnel sites is that they always seem to have tons of guys posting pictures of their weiners. WTF??? Still, they can be pretty amusing although not safe for work. Here's my favorites:

Pud's site (make sure you turn of the censorship)

Euro site with lots of pasty euros

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

This past weekend SG Marine gave me some comps for the boat show at Place Bonaventure so I hung out with them for a while. Here's the new Nautique 226 which throws an elbow high wake. If I had a bigger boathouse and an extra hundred grand I'd trade mine in :) JF Gosselin works there, he used to be the Canadian wakeboard champ and now like me, he's really into wake surfing and he too went to Costa Rica last summer and got his fair share of lickings. As soon as the ice melts they're going to take me out on this boat to give the wake a good thrashing. Now I just have to work on the hundred grand part :)  Posted by Hello

Google maps

Check it out, especially kool if you find some results and it puts in some caption ballons and pointers on the map with drop shadows and cool tricks:


I can't believe it, I just started snowboarding regularly again this year after a five year break and this also happens to be the year that it hasn't snowed in five weeks. AAAARGH!

At least my pump is fixed.

This guy is an idiot.

Somebody told me recently that I am leaning more and more towards lowbrow entertainment. I think that I am getting weirder as I get older but I didn't realize that I'm also getting dumber. Oh well. On that note, here's Burt Reynolds before and after, what the hell is up with these Hollywood people. Are they all losing their collective cosmetically altered minds?

Exhibit A: Burt Reynolds after

Exhibit B: Burt before

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Nipple Sunday

In honor of the superbowl, I present to you the tufted titmouse:

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Caine Mutiny

Growing a company isn't easy, you need a team and you need leaders. Sounds simple right? Sometimes I can't really believe how easy and at the same time how difficult it is. I just read a quote from Herman Wouk's Caine Mutiny that seems to sum it up (although he's talking about the Navy and not a startup):

"The Navy is a master plan designed by geniuses for execution by idiots".

This logic starts to break down with people who are neither idiots nor geniuses - not smart enough to make a plan but smart enough to think that they can. Unfortunately human personalities aren't binary like ants or bees so the social dynamics are equally complex when you try to build a hive out of humans. Then again, if it was easy everybody would be doing it.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Loves his bitch

You know, there are a lot of guys I know who hook up with bitches and love them to death but this guy takes the cake.

The Surf Channel

Man, I wish that Videotron would offer the surf channel. Check out this promo (you have to give an email address).

The good news is that SC is an online P2P ad supported (free) episode driven channel so you should be able to download episodes online for free if you don't mind some surf spam and free stuff. Click here to sign up or do a search on bit torrent or kazzaa.