Monday, December 31, 2007

Take a sec

and watch this.

Been mighty busy

The Year

This year was pretty intense. I spent two years buying out dead weight business partners and rebuilding my business and in the process ended up with a brand new outlook on things. First off, my business has been re-engineered and is doing great. This was largely because I was under so much pressure to raise funds to buy out my partners and had no safety net in the process. Failure wasn't an option. Second, I really learnt the value of teamwork and have had awesome teams around me in all aspects of my life. Weeding out the people that were negative influences was painful but in the end I have a fantastic crew. Third, I have in this past year not only expanded my reach in business as far as I could but also took a lot of risks in diversified investments and they all seem to be paying off reasonably well.

The Projects

This year I've been fortunate enough to win over new customers from all around the world and a few major ones in North America. I can't say that I did it myself, I couldn't have done it without the amazing team that I've been lucky enough to assemble. We've killed ourselves and amazed our customers and that's the key to keeping up momentum. We've had 6 major projects in 5 cities and all of them were executed with class and finesse and of course were profitable as well. The biggest project had nothing to do with my primary technology business - I invested in some property in Costa Rica where we'll be building a private resort. The first step was renovating the nearly finished villa that was already there.

Costa Rica

We started with a partially finished shell in August and just completed the renovations and a new infinity pool two weeks ago. This was an intense 4 months in which everything that could possibly go wrong did. Not only is the property on a peninsula that only has ferry access, it's also on top of a pretty steep hill and there are no concrete trucks in this region. It gets better, the renovations and pool construction were done in the rainy season which was the worst one in 30 years. Our main road got washed out twice, there was a tornado that zipped by 100M from the house and of course an earthquake in Peru triggered a small tsunami.

The People

It's all about the people. The team that worked with me on this, my construction manager in CR, the locals who he hired and the contractors were all unbelievably loyal in a place where nobody is reliable or very concerned about anything at all. They were all amazing and we showed gratitude by treating them with utmost respect and then turned the villa over to the construction crew on the final night so they could party with a pig feast to celebrate an impossible job. These people were so happy to be able to have a party in the house that many of them looked like they were going to cry. None of them had ever been allowed in all of the pools and houses that they worked on let alone have a party with all their bosses and whoop it up in the pool. That alone made it worth it.

The Villa

The first 3 bedroom villa in the project is complete and is taking bookings. It's a referral only kind of thing but ask me nicely if you're interested in renting it. We set the bar really high especially given that it's in such a remote surfing town but I think that the results are pretty spectacular.

Santa Teresa

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Christmas Challenge

Here's a balls out challenge open to all my friends and associates in or around Montreal, I will match dollar for dollar any donation to Dans la Rue between now and Dec 31st of this year up to a grand total of a (a big number edited out) (mucho pain + ouch + yikes! + sandwiches for a year). The only catch is that I have to know you already to match your donation. Email me.

Edit: I made the total matching amount private because it seemed pompous and self serving but the offer remains the same and the sum hasn't changed. It's a big painful number, believe me.

A Secret about The Secret

Man, I can't believe how many people I've met that have bought into this Oprah induced "The Secret" bullshit. Seems like a great placebo for the North American culture of quick fixes. Take a pill and lose 100lbs, make a wish and "the secret" will make it come true through the cosmic nature of the universe - how utterly absurd.

This is such an enormous load of shit and yet so successful that I wished sometimes that I was in the business of selling snake oil to gullible idiots who need quick fixes. I can't do it because I just don't have the heart.

If you think that I'm a bitter old toad, at least humor me and spend ten bucks and read some alternatives. A much better credible alternative is "Power of Your Subconscious Mind" followed by "Learned Optimism" and "Giant Within" and finally when you're on fire and the game is on you'll need "48 Laws of Power" and "The Art of War".

Buy a dozen copies of The Secret and give them to your enemies and competitors so you can crush them while they're making wishes and summoning up cosmic forces.

Edit: The quick fix weight loss pills will make your ass leak oil.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Beware of Non-Problem

I'll admit it, I got sucked in by an expert telling me "no problem". I had an architectural problem with some complex geometry and I handed the problem over to an architect as I was clearly in over my head. "No problem" she says. Ten weeks later, still no solution but I'm still hearing "no problem". Somethings not right here so I start pressing harder, finally after coming a nanosecond away from a bat-shit crazy drooling foaming rabid psycho homicidal freak-out, it's revealed that (wait for it) there's really a big problem after all.

I'm an idiot for not listening to my gut. When somebody tells me there's no problem and doesn't tell me how they're going to solve the "non problem", the alarm should have gone off.Now the non-problem is once again my problem. Fuck do I ever hate when that happens and the next person that has a non-problem with a non-solution is going to get a good kick in the proverbial nuts, either that or a bat-shit crazy drooling foaming rabid psycho homicidal freak-out.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Kind of like watching a overturned heineken truck, horrific yet compelling.

Friday, November 30, 2007

I like Jeff

Warning: Geek post ahead

Jeff Bezos is probably one of the most underrated guys on the planet. Once upon a time during the Internet 1.0 boom, everybody gave out stuff for free or under cost and lost money and nobody could figure out how they'd ever make money. Jeff's was one of those companies. After the boom, analysts were laughing at them as a failed relic of the Internet Bubble. Then Amazon started making money hand over fist and they stop laughing.

These days, Jeff is quietly selling cloud storage, cloud computing, group manual processing, virtualized servers and basic banking as a service. This stuff is called Amazon S3, EC3, Flexible Payments, Mechanical Turk and a bunch of other geek names.

What it means to the small business is that now any small business can have unlimited storage, unlimited severs on demand, unlimited people tasks and Amazon grade funds transfer service available to their own apps.

This is some brilliant stuff that's going to change the business world that we know and also change the Internet that we know. This stuff is Internet 3.0 and I'm pretty excited about it. We're doing a bunch of dev stuff right now on this at my office and it's pretty cool.

You can create a virtual server, boot it up, load software and run it and then destroy the machine - all using web service calls and all hosted on Amazon servers.

Brilliant, great work Jeff.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Processing Trentmoeller

I like Trentmoeller and I think that the Processing platform is pretty cool so it was really a pleasant surprise to see both combined together in this rendering called Magnetosphere by Robert Rodgin.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Not so Fast Al

In 1984 there was a movement from the US religious right that demanded that record companies re-evaluate contracts of musical artists that released material that they found offensive. They put together a list of fifteen songs and artists that they consider offensive (the filthy fifteen) and they singled out a number of other artists and songs.

Among the songs that they found offensive were "Rocky Mountain High" by John Denver because the word 'high' was in the title, "We're not going to take it" by Twisted Sister for violence and "Dress you up" by Madonna. This wasn't in 1954, it was 1984.

Here's the scary part, the charge was led by none other than Saint Al Gore's wife Tipper. It was Tipper that gathered a motley crew [sic] of Senate wives to bring the issue in front of the Senate Commerce Committee to "review" offensive lyrics and performances. Guess who was on the committee? None other than everybody's favorite saint - Al Gore. Did Al cry out in outrage against the McCarthy-esque squelching of free speech and persecution of the musical trinity of Denver/Snyder/Zappa? No, rather he tried in vain to validate his wife's pathetic campaign of McCarthy-esque persecution and censorship.

So why did he do it?

a) He didn't want to piss of his wife and get cut off from nookie.
b) He thought it would move his political career forward
c) He thought it was a good idea with a reasonable approach

My answer is all of the above and it's the first two that make me really nervous. Anybody looking to appease somebody else or move their career forward has enough motive to filter the facts to their advantage.

Buyer beware, double check Saint Al's numbers before you believe him. He's got (and keeps getting) tens of millions of dollars by peddling his product. Personally, I believe about 30% of what he has claimed.

Update: Read this (coming from the left no less) and remember that Gore and Clinton took $6M from the dirty oil companies that Al is railing against these days..

Finally, Saint Gore if you are reading this thanks once again for creating the Internet.

"During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet"

Saint Al Gore
CNN Late Edition
March 9, 1999

Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Saturday

Today I got sucked into accounting. I don't know how it happened. I had nothing to do but some paperwork so I went to the office, screwed around on Fark and FB for half an hour, had a coffee and decided I'd do some accounting. That was nine hours ago and I'm nearly finished cross referencing and reconciling 9 months of transactions across three companies and three currencies. I have a headache and I need a beer several beers tequila.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Genetic Ambiguity

I was reading this article about James Thomson who pioneered stem cell research and has now developed a technique for using viruses to introduce genes into skin cells to turn them back into stem cells. This is some profound stuff and he brings up some some really confounding scenarios. So what happens if you inject human stem cells into a rats brain and the brain develops human tissue? Is this creature subject to the same religious and constitutional rights as us? How about if it's just one gene like if a pig is cultivated with a human ant-diabetic gene? What is the threshold at which these creatures acquire human rights? How about the other way around, if you grow body parts in vitro, at what point do these parts be qualified as human?

And what about those plants with animal genes? Very tasty stuff.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Montreal's Place in Early Century Black Mobilization

Did you know that in 1920 Marcus Garvey organized a UNIA convention in Montreal and that's where Malcolm X's parents met and married?

Well neither did I. Marcus is considered a great prophet by the Rastafari and Malcolm X was one of the founders of the Nation of Islam.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Heat is on

GOOG gets smacked by senators. AAPL gets slapped by end users. AAPL gets slapped again in Germany by the courts with a brand spanking new restraining order.

Cuban, OReilley and Fark

Well two of my favorite blogs collided in this post (Fark and BlogMaverick).

Nuclear Greenpeace

Sounds a little weird I know but Patrick Moore who was the co-founder of Greenpeace is now a vocal advocate of nuclear energy. Read more here. Much like John Coleman, the founder of the Weather Channel who says that global warming is the greatest scam in history, it's worth your while at least giving smart guys a listen.

Here's the part at the end that really got me interested:

"WN: Outside your relationship with Greenpeace, are there
environmental groups or thinkers out there that you support?

Moore: People like Stuart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog, long-time
environmentalist and thinker. He's solidly in favor of nuclear now. Going back
to James Lovelock (founder of the Gaia theory), he was the first iconic environmental guy who said nuclear has got to be part of the solution. Jared
. He's in favor of nuclear energy too. "

Monday, November 19, 2007

On Fast Failure

Obiter dictum; I had yet another conversation on Saturday night over too many pints and agave juice about growing a company. I met somebody with a small business that was surviving but stuck in a holding pattern. My advice these days has been pretty much a canned answer; set your goals high - high enough to scare you and go for it. What I realized is that a lot of people can do some of this easily but then fail to execute. I guess I'm the same but I fight to get over that feeling that whatever I do has to be perfect so I'm not going to start it until I'm fully prepared and once I've started it I'm not going to release it until it's perfect. Well that principal fucked me over for a long time. Perfection is a pretty good excuse for procrastination and procrastination is a pretty good plan killer. I think that it was Tom Peters who said "Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast". This is a powerful statement because if you can't get stuff out fast, fix it and move on then you will be stuck in a pattern of never doing anything outside of your comfort zone because you're not perfect at it and you can't let it go. Learn rapid iteration and things will move quicker.

Listen to Tom, fail fast and fix faster.

CAVEAT EMPTOR: Of course if you're a heart surgeon or airline pilot please disregard this post.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

This is funny

More from the Right

HDNet (Mark Cuban's company) put out a new Brian Depalma film called Redacted. It seems like the right wing establishment doesn't like this film because they consider it unpatriotic as it might be viewed as critical of the war. The cheerleader for this chorus is Bill OReilley who is quite an unsavoury character. So for the past few weeks OReilley has been attacking Cuban on his Fox TV show (a Rupert Murdoch property). Now some bumpkin rednecks are calling in bomb threats and death threats to everybody involved with Cuban and HDNet. Sounds familiar? This is pretty much the same thing that happened to the Dixie Chicks.

Here's the funny part (if any of this can be considered funny). Cuban being the billionaire that he is, bought ad space in OReilleys show and is now advertising his film from within the FOX network and on the OReilley show. Shows what a whore OReilley is and just goes to show you how intolerance isn't very pretty. Read more here.

On that subject, I have seen many people viciously criticize John Coleman, the founder of the Weather Channel who says that global warming is the greatest scam in history. If you find yourself thinking (gasp) "what blasphemy", you probably suffer from the same disease as OReilley. When you can't look at evidence from both sides and make up your own mind then you've painted yourself into a corner of religious narrow minded dogma. Even if you believe strongly in something, it's always worth your while to view the evidence from the other side.

As for global warming, I'm not yet sold on it but I haven't seen a balanced dialog. My belief is the big rush for "green" status by everyone and their dogs is simply another ploy to squeeze more money out of consumers in the form of taxes, LEED bureaucracy and hysterical hippies peddling idiotic products to pacify the guilt of oxygen deprived suburbanites. Yes we know you think that SUVs are horrible even though most of them have the same consumption as mid sized cars and (gasp) minivans. Why is it fashionable to dis a Hummer H2 (17MPG) and not a Kia Sedona (15MPG)? Where is the pragmatism?

If we can't get China and India to clean up their acts, we're fucked anyways regardless of how much tofu and lentils we pick out of our beards.

One last thing, even though I'm not convinced that global warming is grounded in truth, I still don't own a car, I walk to work, compost and recycle. The worst thing that could happen if I was wrong is that I got a bit healthier and saved some money right? Now that's pragmatic.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thoughts on Zune 2

The new Zune software is out now and it's pretty cool. I have a first gen zune and it's updated for free with the new firmware.

Here are my thoughts:

- Gorgeous UI on the device, more glowing stuff, smoother fades and wipes and nicer alpha channel/translucent effects. Very slick indeed, more chic than the now dated iPodesque glass buttons

- Girly/swirly UI on the software but it can be skinned to a muted minimal look/feel. It's really minimalistic in a Stark/Bang Olufson kind of way but at the same time organic like your moms velvet wallpaper. They definitely didn't copy iTunes and it shows.

- The software is very easy to use but it lacks some of the depth it used to have. I guess they rewrote it from scratch because a lot of the metadata and playlist features are gone. So are the heirarchical views of artist/genres/albums. We're left with minimalistic lists that can be sorted but you can't re-order the columns. Very nice for kids and noobs but a little lame for the rest of us. I would expect this to be built back up over time.

- There are lots of new social networking features and wireless features that I haven't tested yet.

Final thoughts: I think M$ will steadily chip away at A$ by honing into the facebook/mobile/xbox/pvr/tivo features that A$ will never have. M$ makes money by letting partners have a piece of the pie, A$ makes money by keeping partners out.

2 steps forward, 1 step back. 8.5/10.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Reason

Featuring everybodys fave mulletted lesbian Sara Quin from the twin lesbian duo Sara & Tegan.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

January 9th, 2009

Seems so far away but it's only 14 months away. This is a big day my friends because this is the day that GWB relinquishes authority to the next elected president of the United States. That is if he doesn't dissolve parliament, jail the senate and declare a state of emergency under martial law. This of course is highly unlikely but dictatorships often start as democracies. Case in point Pakistan, Venezuela and Russia.

I'm bringing this up because I just saw the Dixie Chicks "Shut up and Sing" documentary and it raised the hairs on my neck. It is scary how easily the media conglomerates can be manipulated by a marginal special interest group. It's scarier still how somebody like Rupert Murdoch can do it legally worldwide. I guess Billy Bragg was right all along.

In my ears

These days, I've been listening to a pretty diverse palette of tunes. Avenged Sevenfold have a new album out, I just got a huge stock of 60's reggae and northern soul and I'm really hooked on Booka Shade.

Friday, November 09, 2007

The GOOPLE Conspiracy

Are Apple and Google competing in the mobile space? Yes and no. With cross pollination between their boards of directors and seeing that they've been such bum buddies it's hard to believe that they are going to fight it out like two adversaries.

My prediction? GOOPLE will collectivley target MS-Office with a web based suite of tools with lots of applishious iphonish features. And GOOPLE will buy Adobe thereby controlling Flash & AIR. GOOPLE will get a head start by buying Glide.

Let's come back here in a year and see what happens.


Frankly I think Guiness tastes like fermented bong water but their new advert is simply brilliant.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Not a Second Too Soon

Google's smackdown begins. And will continue.

GOOG market cap 216B and rising
MSFT market cap 325B and holding

When GOOG share price hits 1000, Google will be the same market cap as MSFT. Coming soon to a portfolio near you.


Going to Alaska sometime soon? You might want to know in advance that it's illegal to wake up a bear to take a picture, no problem shooting it while it's sleeping though. Oh yeah, it's also illegal to throw a live moose out of a plane.

And those boneheads in Oregon won't let you pump your own gas, just ask Ricky B.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Do no Evil

Do no evil my ass! This is Googles mantra yet they keep peering deeper and deeper into my gmail account to deliver target ads. I have a thread with a friend running over a year and it started with "Hey Dred". I'm still getting Bob Marley CD compilation ads to this day. WTF??? Why is it that everybody freaks out about Microsoft and Facebook but Google and Apple get away with murder??

Here's why:

Microsoft is the new IBM.
Google and Apple are the new Microsoft.
Keep loving them while you can fanboys, nobody's fooling me.

Friday, November 02, 2007

I love bugs

Well actually I really love Bug Labs who happen to be my favorite company in the world. These doods make open source modular hardware to build and program your own mobile net connected gadgets. Yep, you gotta be a geek to really appreciate this one. Here's how it works, get a base module, throw on a wireless receiver, touch panel, GPS and camera module and whip up some java code and you can have this thing document and geotag your travels through space and time while recording the weather at the same time.

Once again, this project is for geeks only but fuck is it ever cool.

iPod touch versus Zune

I've got one of each, so what's better? If you have the time to sit in front of an iPod touch and have it as the center of your attention for extended periods of time then it's a clear winner with a better and prettier interface and form factor. However, if you listen to music while walking/jogging/cycling/motoring then the iPod sucks. Why? While it's in your pocket you cant control the mute, vol up/down, skip fwd/back and all that other stuff. You have to take it out, unlock it and then fumble through the landscape/portrait detector until it figures out that you want it right side up and then it lets you control it. Even then, you can't seek without tapping once on the screen and getting to an exact spot is impossible unless you have a 3 millimeter diameter finger. What else pisses me off is that it doesn't remember where you are in a playlist or long format audio and there is no way to create a playlist on the fly. It's great for flights and airports, shit for pocket operation. That's why Rick loves it and I hate it.

Google Opensocial

Somebody posted yesterday about Googles new social networking platform. It's hard to say what the impact is going to be but at this point it is just a bunch of developer stuff that doesn't have any impact until it shows up as applications on web sites.

So what exactly is the deal with this? In a nutshell, it would let me put in a funwall or superpoke right on my blog or web site. That in itself is no big deal but like digg, it ties together a bunch of unrelated people and sites like hidden glue.

The big news is that MySpace has signed on. To me this means that MySpace will become Googles pawn in its war against Facebook. So in effect, OpenSocial is really the MySpace application layer that lets developers enable Myspace users to poke each other and to poke people on the LinkedIn network (maybe?).

What an enormous waste of time, but some people are making huge money from this stuff. Looks to me like News corp will likely sell Myspace to Google within the year since there are no real synergies and MySpace needs some serious CPR to make it "cool" again.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Free PIcasso, Monet & Renoir!

How cool is this? The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has waived admission fees until Jan 27th. That's right, it's free to get in until then and there are lots of exhibits rolling through.

1380 Sherbrooke Street West,

Tuesday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Thursday and Friday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Somewhere in a science lab some high school kid is learning about electrons and protons and how they hold molecules together. He might learn about history, math, art and lots of other stuff. He might make it right into the deep n-th level calculus and be able to calculate the half life of some esoteric isotope. He won't however learn how to balance a chequebook, he won't learn how to build his credit profile, he won't learn how to not get ripped off when he buys a car and he certainly won't learn how to negotiate his first job terms. Most people have to learn this stuff by screwing up and then correcting. Some people never learn this stuff and live hand to mouth day in day out and wonder why it is that they can't ever make ends meet.

So here's my recommendation for some new high school courses that I wish I took that would have come in very handy:
1) Basic personal cash flow and finance
2) Negotiating fair deals
3) Financial independence
4) The generation gap explained
5) Self confidence and learned optimism

Having said that, being the idiot that I was in high school I doubt that I would have voluntarily taken those courses.

Monday, October 29, 2007

More on Control

I finally saw Anton Corbijn's Ian Curtis biopic "Control" on Saturday. It's everything that I thought it would be, bleak, severe and torturous - much like me when I was 16. I guess seeing this movie was a lot like picking an old scab but now I'm almost doing it from a third persons perspective. If you like indy music or Joy Division, it's worth seeing. However, if you are looking for some light entertainment then avoid it like yellow mayo.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Being Upfront

It's actually easier than you think, change your outlook and do what you say. No so hard right? So why is it that so many people flap their lips and don't follow up with action? Most people would rather not face the unpleasant part of being honest upfront. In the real world, being upfront leads to awkward situations like when you have to say no, like saying no to doing something you don't feel right doing. What's the option then? Say yes and don't show up and then avoid the person? Sadly, most people don't have the backbone to be upfront with the people around them. Frankly, I'd rather avoid those kinds of people because in reality it seems that they aren't upfront with themselves and to me that lack of self confidence sucks energy out of those around them (i.e. Me). Fuck it, life is too short - I'd rather hang out with 2 people that inspire me than 100 who bore me.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

On Homogeneous Societies

I find it sad and troubling that Quebec French Canadian society seems to be rejecting multiculturalism on such a grand and public scale. How ironic is it that an ethnic group so fiercely intent on preserving it's own culture would like to do so by obliterating the cultures of other minorities. The laws of Quebec are in place to prevent the assimilation of the French culture but at the same time the great hypocrisy lies in the equally intense desire to assimilate those who are different. Smells of institutional demagoguery and xenophobia - sad, pathetic and frankly embarrassing

"Giving a majority to Harper would have disastrous consequences for Quebec," said Duceppe, accusing the federal government of failing to protect the French language in Quebec.

He also blasted "Canadian multiculturalism" and said he will present amendments this fall to exclude Quebec from the Canadian Multiculturalism Act that promotes the preservation of various ethnic cultures and heritages.

Post Oct 14, 2007

A majority of Quebecers -- 56 per cent -- think minorities should be discouraged from forming their own communities here and, what's more, actually abandon their cultural practices, a Leger Marketing survey said.

By contrast, only 20 per cent of other Canadians feel that way. As well, only a minority of Quebecers -- 44 per cent -- think society should try harder to accept minorities' customs and traditions. In the rest of Canada, a strong majority -- 75 per cent -- thought so.

The phone poll of 1,500 Canadians, including 1,000 Quebecers, was done over the Thanksgiving weekend, between Oct. 4 and 10, on behalf of the Montreal-based Association for Canadian Studies.

on Immigration

Other articles:
Bigotry on public display

We don't have to look too far to see how well this policy worked for France where 9000 cars were burnt and thousands of attacks were launched against the police forces by disenfranchised immigrant youth. How well did assimilation work there?

More on Staglieno

Who knew that the biggest tourist attraction in Genoa was the Cemetery?

Here are a couple more tours:

Saturday, October 20, 2007


If you like Joy Division then you probably appreciate the aesthetic of the artwork that went with all of their releases. My favorite was the album cover for closer and the 12" Love will tear us apart.

The photograph on the cover of Closer is of the Appiani family tomb in the Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno in Genoa by sculptor Demetrio Paernio, photo by Bernard Pierre Wolff.

These photos taken in this cemetery have a lot of familiar statues and monuments but taken from different angles.

I especially like these two from the covers;

Something creepy

It took me a while to figure out what it is that creeps me out about this dood other than him being a pedophile, then it struck me. He looks just like Moby YUCK!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cheap(er) Flights

I've been spending a lot of time in airports these days so I've had a chance to use a few different web sites to book my travel. Usually I use Expedia or Air Canada/Westjet but these days with the Canadian dollar above par, I'm using quite a bit. Overall they seem to be finding me flights about 25%-30% less than I usually pay and with much more variety in schedules. Highly recommended, give them a spin sometime.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Anton Corbijn's film Control is coming out any day now which is a biopic of Joy Division's rise and fall. This is prolly the film that I've been most anxious to see this year. JD were for me the most important and underrated band of my lifetime.

"This is why events unnerve me,
They find it all, a different story,
Notice whom for wheels are turning,
Turn again and turn towards this time,
All she asks the strength to hold me,
Then again the same old story,
Word will travel, oh so quickly,
Travel first and lean towards this time.
Oh, Ill break them down,
no mercy shown,
Heaven knows, its got to be this time,
Watching her, these things she said,
The times she cried,
Too frail to wake this time.
Oh, Ill break them down, no mercy shown,
Heaven knows, its got to be this time,
Avenues all lined with trees,
Picture me and then you start watching,
Watching forever,
forever,Watching love grow,
forever,Letting me know, forever."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's a little hard

to keep writing this blog from airports and rental cars which is where I seem to be spending most of my time these days. I was wondering if I should just delete this whole thing but I figured I'd give it another shot.

Here are some cool cooking gadgets from PopSci.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Facebook as the new AOL

Seems like Facebook is turning into a new walled garden for noobs who don't see too far over the fence. I have a lot of friends on there who don't even check their email and seem to exclusively rely on FB messages, photo, blog, etc. Kind of like the romper room AOL from days of yore. As for me, I'm on there but incognito. If you don't know where to find me, you won't find me.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Nothing to say

I really have nothing to say this summer. It's been the usual - wakesurfing, parties, BBQs, travelling blah blah. Lots of great stuff going on but nothing out of the ordinary here. Until I find something interesting to write about, here's a glowing tomato:

Make A GLOWING TOMATO ! - video powered by Metacafe

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Once upon a time

Once upon a time they used to blow up whales - watch the whole thing, I promise it's worth it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I love this one, especially the slow motion blender noise

Friday, July 06, 2007

Colin Wilson and the Ousiders

Colin Wilson wrote that you can measure the health of any society by how it treats outsiders. I think that this theorem is especially profound these days and would completely change society if the core concept was taken to heart. Unfortunately it isn't and for the most part outsiders are scorned, demonized, alienated and rejected. I guess it means that you have to be pretty tough to be an outsider, something I have first hand experience with.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Celebrity Endorsement

I moved last Friday, what a painful experience. I keep using the same movers (Anber), these guys moved my company a few times and my apartment a few more times. I highly recommend them if you have a move planned. Ask for the Russians, they're tough as nails and built like oxes so your stuff won't get traumatized.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Facebbok, Myspace or friendster?

It's weird how I've seen friends move from friendster to myspace to facebook and then to linkedin when they get sorted. Kind of like a progression up some kind of class system. What's next, cootster?

On that note, my friend Lorraine has a new band with some cool fisherspooner-esque choons over on myspace.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Oh the irony

Talk about a crazy week. On Monday I had to zip out to Edmonton for a meeting, it also happened to be the first day of the no-fly list in Canada so lots of TV crews were around interviewing passengers. So they (CTV National News) interviewed me about what I think which is that the list is necessary but so is external oversight blah blah. So I was on TV on Monday night. Now here comes the ironic part, today (wed) I had to fly back and at 5:30 AM I realized when I was checking in that I couldn't find my wallet and therefore couldn't check in because of this ID business. So what then? I ran around to the security office who sent me to the RCMP office who sent me away and basically told me to piss off and get some ID. I then went back to the ticket counter where my co-traveller was checking in and asked what I should do. The nice young lady told me that if I could prove it was me she'd let me on, asked me how I booked the ticket, when I left, I showed her a property tax invoice and boom I had a boarding pass. I couldn't believe it and I'm relieved to say that in Canada at least, security and common sense seem to be applied in reasonable doses for now anyways. Now I'm back home albeit without ID, bank or credit cards but very happy that West Jet cut me a break. Thanks West Jet and I'll be happy to be flying WJ again sometime soon.

Friday, June 15, 2007

601 + Wimax

Wow, this is post #601, never thought I'd stick to this for so long and so diligently. It's kind of cathartic. I just looked up that word and oddly enough, came up with:

"a powerful agent used to relieve severe constipation (also called a purgative)"

I guess writing does help relieve some severe cerebral and emotional constipation right? More so these days I guess now that I know somepeeps are actually reading this and I'm not babbling to myself in a desolate cave somewhere in the nether regions of the intarwebs.

Speaking of blogs, I think that the blogs that I read the most aren't the ones about people who write about what they did and but rather about what they think about what they did. Sorry, I think I'm having a metaphysical inversion and I'm starting to not make much sense, maybe Eric Estrada is going to jump out of my navel at any moment to steal my cognition.

Fuck, I almost forgot what I was writing about, good thing I did a preview. The point of this whole post before I got so far off topic (and reality) was that a private consortium is rolling out Wimax in Montreal before the incumbant telcos. This is great because of course the Telcos will jump in and do the same for half price.


Sometimes I think it's great to have such freedom living in a democracy like we do in North America. These days, I'm finding North America to be a pretty oppressive place and I find it a bit sad. Maybe 9/11 had something to do with it but it seems like you can't do anything these days without some kind of authority regulating, searching you, fining you or taxing you to do it. From airports, highways, city streets and even up in what is supposed to be the last frontiers of cottage country, I find myself oppressed in endless ways by the great monolithic wall of bureaucracy that regulates our lives.

I guess that's what I like about remote areas like the ones I hang out in Costa Rica, nobody tells you what to do, there aren't any speed traps, nobody is going to fine you for mowing your lawn and your neighbors don't give a shit what you do. That sounds more like freedom to me, sounds like something we lost here. Maybe it's something that we never had, who knows? How sad.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Billionaire Farts

I nearly fell out of my chair when I read Mark Cuban's post about farts. OK, so maybe it wasn't about farts but that part was pretty funny.

Friday, June 08, 2007


They're called howler monkeys and to tell you the truth if my balls were wedged in a tree all day I'd be howling too.

This is amusing

I don't know what it is about this video but it really cracks me up.

Free DivX Pro for 1 day only

Save twenty bucks and get it here.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Cris Angel

He's pretty amusing and for the most part it's not too hard to figure out how he does stuff but this one is straight from the horses mouth.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A gaggle of ducks

Carless - Murano stuff for sale

I'm a carless motorcycle only guy for the summer and maybe semi-permanently now that I walk to the office every day. I just got rid of my Murano yesterday so I have some Murano stuff to sell:

- Winter tires $400 ($1100 new)

- Stainless custom grill as in picture $450 CAD ($950 new from California)

- SUV Floor mats $50

- Murano fitted trunk liner $75

Monday, June 04, 2007

Slingbox pro for cheap

Dell has got them for $199 this week. This is my favorite gadget of the year, two thumbs up.

Beer festival

I was at the Montral beer festival last Friday, lots of fun but there were way too many people. Getting there late means waiting in a big line for tickets. I only took one picture and here it is.

A little hummingbird got stuck in my house this weekend, caught him in a pot and set him free. Cute little fucker isn't he?

In my ears

the hunger - distillers
blackout - the damned
ever fallen in love - the buzzcocks
lay lady lay - ministry
dyers eve - metallica
something beautiful - cauterize
gone - bouncing souls
bro hymn - pennywise
lowrider - JFA

Wow, can't believe I found everything on youtube!

Friday, June 01, 2007

I've been quoted!

Ok, so I have no idea who the National Ledger is but they quoted me about Vince Vaughn, how funny is that! If you're coming here from the Ledger, welcome onboard!

Oh yeah, you also might want to know that Pink, JLo, Mel Gibson, Kate Moss and a bunch of other celebs have been down there recently and there's tons of dirt on them floating around.

Some pics

A room with a view

Here's Pedro del Mar, the best little soda (restaurant) in Mal Pais that has an amazing ocean view and really fresh fish. This isn't surprising because it's owned by the local fishermen and run by their wives.

Another frog

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Good, the Bad and the Fugly

Having a blog like this one is a dual edged sword, on one hand I have lots of friends who I don't see too often who get to follow me around my journeys and stay in touch. On the other hand, I've come to realize that I run the risk of exposing myself to some of the darker sides of human nature by revealing too much personal information. It's a bit sad but then again we can expect weak behaviour from weak people, c'est la brie/that's the cheese. I've been blessed to have some amazing people around me the past couple of years and have weeded my social garden pretty well so I'm not too concerned overall but unfortunately I am going to revert back to a more light and fluffy format for this blog. I will probably start a more interactive invitation only team blog for my core crew once this one reverts to amusing chatter.

Enough of that, here's a Costa Rican frog and the waterfront in Mal Pais

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hola from San Jose

My Costa Rican safari is almost over, how sad. I'm sitting in the Marriott, off to see my lawyer about a real estate deal in Santa Teresa and wishing I was back there in the mud, bugs and lizards.

So here's how it went, seven of us came down here and met up with a bunch of buddies in Santa Teresa. We surfed almost every day, ate like kings and generally had a great time. I saw a new kind of monkey (whiteface) and saw more cool wild critters than I ever saw in my life in one place. A few of us did a backcountry drive through rivers, up rivers, down rivers and over rivers to get to Playa Coyote which is an unbelievable place as well. I heard that Michael Jordan tried to buy the whole area for 80 mil but the local ticos refused.

What else? Can't remember everything because so much happened - the tequila didn't help either. Oh yeah, we saw Vince Vaughn driving around on a quad, he'd been down there all week. He looked a little pink and hung over like most people on vacation there.

Santa Teresa/Mal Pais is a pretty amazing place, can't wait to get back. Pics to follow when I get back home.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Gone fishing

Off to Costa Rica again with an everygrowing crew, I'll talk to y'all in 2 wks. I'll be the one with the hangover and a grin.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Some Vegas pics

Half a mil buys you this SLR (@Venetian + Ceasars)

The killer wine tower @Aureole/Mandalay bay

Dolphins & critters @ Mirage
(Yes that is really a snow leopard!)

3 acre pool @ Wynn

Gardens @ Bellagio

Whoah, must have been some party

As it turns out there was a bunch of celebs at Tao on Sat night when I was there, I wasn't just dreaming it.

"At Tao on Saturday: Rapper Jay-Z, Diddy, Will Ferrell, Chris Henchy, Freddy Rodriguez, Helen Mirren, Taylor Hackford, Usher, Tameka Foster, Nelly, Ashanti, Sasha Baron Cohen, Chris Henchy, Allen Iverson, Alonzo Mourning, Austin Nichols, Bill Maher, Bob Saget, Champ Bailey, Charles Oakley, Chris Lighty, Constantine Maroulis, Dwyane Wade, Eriq La Salle, 50 Cent, Fred Durst, Freddy Rodriguez, Ice-T, Coco, Jermaine Dupri, Jerome Bettis, Jessica White, John Cusack, Kenan Thompson, Lennox Lewis, Luis Guzman, Luke Perry, Macy Gray, Michael Buffer, Michael Ealy, Rah Digga, Robert Shapiro, Salt n Pepa, Tommy Hilfiger, Young Jeezy and NFL standout Willie McGinest."

Fuck, I missed Borat.

But luckily, I checked out of my hotel before some dude got blown up in the parking lot.

So lets see, I've dunked some donuts with Lauren Hill at the Blue Note in London, had a beer or two on the Main at a BBQ with Byork, nearly knocked Gwen Stephani out at a Prada party in NYC, watched baseball with John Colicos (the first klingon), got hosed with Jamie DiSalvio, sampled beats with Tiga (who's my neighbor), chilled the willie with Richie Hawtin, got yelled at for four hours by Mark Cuban and can now add brushing shoulders with Diddy to my list of celebrity encouters. Does that make me a Z list celebrity?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

More from Vegas

Heading back tonight on the redeye finally, it's been a week here and I can't wait to get out. Last night we went to Tao and were hanging out next to a bunch of huge thugs decked out in bling with earpieces, clearly private security. I recognized a bunch of them but couldn't figure out who they were protecting. Didn't take long to figure out that it was P. Diddy, figured it out when he was right next to me surrounded by his dozen thugs. Me, Diddy and half a dozen thugs and oh yeah that guy named Usher hung out. Not exactly hung out, but we did brush shoulders with those dudes which was a little surreal.

And no, I didn't see the fight but it pretty much dominated the night. Lotsa bling, lotsa bentleys and half mil cars and lotsa cheap women.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Whats up in Vegas

I've been here for almost five days now and so far it's been a pretty good trip. Lets see, first I was stuck in traffic behind a trailer full of white tigers, then I spent a couple of days at a conference and got invited to MSFT Redmond to hang out with the Windows Media team for some collab work, then I hooked up with Rick at Pure @ Ceasars and we got really hosed, Criss Angels lamborghini murcialago has been parked in front of the Luxor where we're both staying this whole week and finally last night we bolted through Revolution, Tangerine and a couple of other Vegas clubs that just sucked ass on a Wed nite. Having fun for sure, a few friends and the GF coming in tonight so it should be a wild weekend. I've got invites to the Vince Neil cinqo del mayo party @ the flamingo this weekend so it should be a doozy.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Joost invites sent

Everybody who signed up yesterday should have gotten their Joost invites except for the russian dood who's email was not working with Joost, please leave me a message if you didn't get your invite and I'll resend.

And don't forget to link back to me here!!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Wow, somebody is out there!

Go figure, free stuff works. I got more comments in an hour by giving out free invites than I probably have had in months!!

Don't worry friends, your joost invites will go out very soon - I just have to get my laptop batteries to charge overnite and I'll post tomorrow. BTW, I'm in Vegas right now at MIX07.

Anybody out there? More Joost invites...

Well apparently there's nobody out there who wants to get linked in. Seems like people like free stuff though.

So here's a new deal, Joost has given me unlimited free invites. You can only get on Joost if you are invited by a beta tester, that would be me. Want an invite? Ask nicely, leave an email and if you have a blog, leave your URL and I'll send you an invite. The people on my waiting list will be taken care of soon.

Your application for an invite will be expedited if you link to my blog or leave me your blog url.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Are you a regular reader?

I'm going to re-vamp my blog template when I get back later in May so if you are a regular reader and have a blog please drop me a link in the comments and I'll link to you. Seeing that almost everybody is using anon posting, I'm guessing there won't be much of a response but this post is going to be on top for a while so it's worth a shot.

Pura vida amigos/amigas.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Man boobs

This guy is pretty funny,

On the road again

Check out this new BMW CS concept car:

Man, those guys really know how to put together a nice set of wheels. If only they'd put together something in the supercar category to compete with Audi/Lambo's Gallardo.

I'm off to Vegas next week for a conference, back for a couple of days and then off to Santa Teresa, Costa Rica for two weeks so expect the posts to be thin until the end of May.

Pura Vida and good luck!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mo Soul

"May all these walls we've made in our wasted years and days not stand in our way that we may feel the winds of change "

That's a line from the Pizza Song by the Bouncing Souls who played at our old favorite crusty club called les Foufounes Electrique. What a great show it was as the 'Souls shows always have been. They are such a great band and their fan base is so loyal that it's like going to a gospel sermon where everyone is singing along ('cept for the stage diving of course). For the most part Greg the singer didn't even have to sing because the audience was singing so loud. It was great, fast, loud and sweaty with tons of people tossing off the stage and lost shoes galore. I'd never seen so many girls stage dive before. I love those guys, prolly the most positive message you'll ever hear in a rock band.

Here's the weird thing, I used to go to Foufounes when I was a pup in the eighties and it was full of scary, scary people and on many occasions I hightailed it out of there with people throwing bottles and rocks at me - this time round the rough kids looked a little comical. Seriously, how scary can a punk rock chick tattooed from head to toe be while she's thumbing furiously on a blackberry???

Friday, April 20, 2007


So these 14 year old girls put together a science project analyzing the vitamin C content of various OJs and find one with not a trace of the stuff. Lo and behold they found that Glaxo Smith Klien's had none and proceeded to inform the commerce department of New Zealand. Now GSK are out a hundred and fifty grand and these chicks are heros. How cool is that!

My friend Brandon is trying to be the greatest living american. Don't ask me what that means.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

No more invites sorry

Sorry friends, Two random dudes (Jed & Guy) got my last 2 invites. I'll post when I get some more. Check in again later or leave me your email addy and I'll try to hook you up when I get some more.

Two free joost invites

As it turns out, you can't just get on Joost without a bit of a hassle. You see, I signed up for the beta and then got invited and thought that everybody could do the same. Now the only way is to get an invite from somebody on the beta. I was just given 3 invites and gave 1 away so I have 2 more. First come first serve, send me an email and I'll hook you up with an invite if I have any left.

I am going to apologize in advance if I don't have any left but I'll send you one when I get more invites if that happens.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Another sad day

Seems like not so long ago I was writing about Dawson (scroll down a bit) and now this bad bad thing went down in Virginia. I'm hoping that the initial news is wrong like it was at Dawson but at this point, the death toll seems to be rising every time I check.

It's heartbreaking and having lived and worked right next door to Dawson, I know secondhand how painful it is to deal with so my thoughts go out to everybody touched by this tragedy. At the same time, it's a reminder to me of what people in Iraq have to deal with on a daily basis, we just don't get the same impact because it's so far away but a life there is worth the same as a life here right?