Friday, June 29, 2007

Violence Escalates in Newfoundland

In Today's Article we see that in Deer Lake, Newfoundland some young'uns have taken to drive-by Timbit peltings.

I'm too tired and sick to come up with something more witty, but I think in this case the humour writes itself, so I don't have to.

Monday, June 25, 2007

This Year's Pity-Prize Goes To...

You know who I might pity right now? I  might pity the folks down at These guys come with a good idea; to re-unite old classmates. You sign up and get a minimal account for free, but if you want any bells and whistles you have to pay for them. You tell it what high school and what class you graduated from. Others do the same, and eventually you'll get to meet up with your old classmates from high school.

But if you want anything nifty, you have to pay for it.

Okay. Fair enough. Not everything on the interweb can be free. But then they come along. Yes. Them. Those who offer that service, and a whole lot more. For free. I am talking, of course, about Facebook.

When you register for Facebook, you can tell it what year and from what high school you graduated. You can join, or form, a group for people in your graduating class. This reunites you with old classmates. All for free.

Facebook isn't limited to high school reunions. It's a social networking site. But I'm not here to give Facebook free advertising. I just wanted to say I feel sorry for Classmates. Unless they're doing well. Then I don't feel so bad for them.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Hey! Who Turned Out The Lights?

We're all trying to conserve energy these days. If not for environmental reasons then for money saving reasons. One very simple way of doing this is to switch your old-school light bulbs for the energy saving bulbs. I think they're a little more expensive per unit, but they last for a long long time, and they use about a third the power per unit light.

In my room in the Sault I had a ceiling fan with three light bulbs in it. I found 60W bulbs weren't bright enough so I put 100W bulbs. That was plenty bright, but I didn't want my rent to increase because of all the extra energy I would be consuming. Also, when the lights started burning out (which didn't take very long for the first one) I didn't want to keep buying new bulbs. Furthermore, I am a bit of a tree-hugger. So I went out and bought some energy-saving bulbs and used those. All three together, as bright as three 100W bulbs, was still consuming less than 100W. That's less than three 60W bulbs!

After reading Today's article I'm really glad I never dropped and broke one of those bulbs.

It turns out that these bulbs contain mercury, and breaking one can cause your room to be a bio-hazard zone, and can cost upwards of $2000 to clean up.

I'd call that an inconvenient truth.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Cost Of My Time

One of the problems with being a professional is that people want your services, and often for free. If you're a doctor, people want you to tell them what their ailments are. If you're a real estate agent, people want you to tell them how much they could get for their house.

Being a computer guy is no different. When people find out you're a computer _________ they want you to fix their computer. (Most computer professionals aren't technicians.) I am a web programmer. I don't fix computers. I hate fixing computers.

So, instead of telling people "I'm a computer programmer" I tell them "I develop web-based database driven applications." When I tell them "I'm a computer programmer" people hear "I am an expert at fixing your computer and I can't wait to help you with any problems you may be having." But when I say "I develop web-based database driven applications" they hear "I blah blah blah blah."

But that doesn't work 100% of the time. Sometime people hear "I develop web-based blah blah blah" then they ask me to make a web page for their cats. Then I tell them my price. Then they say "Oh. Ummmm.......we've been getting a lot of rain lately, haven't we?"

In the past couple of months I've gotten two "clients" and I've hardly looked at the work I said I'd do. But these are not paying clients. So my motivation is somewhat lacking.

If you remember my typical week you'll remember I don't have a lot of disposable time. I work for 8 hours a day on web programming. Minus sleep, eating, bathroom breaks, and commuting, I have exactly 37 minutes and 23 seconds to myself each week, and I don't want to spend it doing your work!!!

If you have work for me to do, fine, but understand it's going to cost you. Not only are you buying my skills, you're buying my time. And my time is in short supply. When I had more time, I charged $25/hr. But my time isn't as plentiful now as it once was, so I'm upping my rate to $50/hr. However, if I can solve your problem in 15 minutes or less, I'll give you the 15 minutes for free.

Since I hate fixing computers my rate for that is even higher. (That $50/hr price is for development work.) I have to charge $75/hr to make it worth my while to figure out why you're not getting your email. But, since I don't use Windows I don't have much experience. So my expertise is probably worth about $15/hour. So, your best bet is to go ask someone else. Besides, I'd probably accidentally erase your hard drive.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Cost of Environmental Friendliness

In Today's Article we read of a guy in North Carolina who modified his car to use vegetable oil as fuel. So, here's a guy who's trying to reduce his dependence on fossil fuels, and do us all a favor.

So, what happened? Got got fined by the state for $1000 and is expected to get another fine from the feds for avoiding motor fuel tax.

Does this not seem right to anyone else? It seems to me he should have gotten a tax break from the government over and above not paying the fuel tax. Not t'other way 'round.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

I'm An Artist Too (21)

This is a guy wearing cement galoshes and thrown into a coffee cup. There's a fish in there too.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Missing Links

It seems to me, after talking to my many readers that many people were not clicking on the links I provided in My Car, My Hassles. This should have led to total confusion in last week's post, My Apology. So, if you haven't clicked on the links, go back and do so. Starting in Part 2 about half way down. If you didn't click the links, you're missing a good 25% of the fun.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Let's Talk About....

Slow news day. Or maybe I'm just really tired, and it takes more to catch my interest. Or perhaps it's just that the last time I sprinkled my blog post with references to sex, my hits went through the roof. Whatever the reason I have an article from Psychology Today dispelling five myths about men and sex.

The most shocking part of this article is about sex drive in men and women. Men have constant sex drive, and women's drive plummets after entering a secure relationship. After four years in, less than half of women want regular sex. After 20 years, only 20% did.


Friday, June 01, 2007

Behavior Expected From Lawyers

In Today's Article we hear of Native Chiefs in Manitoba want payment from Manitoba Telecom Services for "every cellphone signal that passes through First Nations land, saying the airspace should be considered a resource like land and water."

Now, I'm not a scientician, but it seems to be that cell phone calls don't use up air, the way drinking takes up water. In fact, it seems to me that cell phone signals don't actually use air. They can pass through space where there is no air. I thought they used the electromagnetic field that's, sort of, everywhere! I didn't think it could be said that it belongs to anyone.

But, then, I'm not a scientician.