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Showing posts from June, 2008

Oh, the interwebs -- ten years and still kludging

A belated happy 10th birthday to my other domain, cygnals.com.

When I graduated university in 1995, Internet access was from only one room in the school, and I did everything through a shell (text-based) interface. I knew how to check my email (with Pine), and I could use IRC.

Some of the other students were checking out something new called Mosaic, which was a graphical interface to something new called the World Wide Web. I wasn't that interested. Hell, we had gopher, newsgroups, muds, all that cool stuff. Graphics? Pfft!

A while later, my friend Cindy, who'd been schooled in journalism and didn't have much interest in computers beyond the page-layout programs of the day, started to learn about HTML. She told me a few basics -- that it was a matter of putting tags around text to make them bold or italic or whatever, and adding links and images.

So, I picked up a book called HTML For Dummies and set about learning. This was back in the era where the BLINK tag was brand new…

Happy 15th Birthday!

Happy recent 15th birthday to Canada's first All News Radio station, Toronto powerhouse 680News.

I grew up listening to All-Hits 680 CFTR. One morning in June 1993, the music stopped and the news started. It was a bold experiment, and it's paid of handsomely.

I joined the station a few months later in February 1994, and I've been with the company ever since, although now I'm in Halifax after helping bring the format east in 2005.

I remember the 5th birthday party (I think they gave us calculators) and the 10th (a clock/thermometer/barometer, hanging on the living room wall), and from what I hear, the 15th birthday party was a blast. Wish I could've been there!

Free stuff -- get it?

Cheap stuff is good.

Free stuff is better.

I was touring some personal finance blogs a few weeks ago and happened upon one called I've got A Little Space To Fill.

The blogger had a post with links to free stuff. Free stuff? Too good to be true? Sure, sometimes it is. But sometimes companies are perfectly willing to send you free stuff in hopes you'll like it enough to buy it.

Then I did a Google search for 'free stuff canada' and hit upon Canadianfreestuff.com, which has a messageboard where people post links to freebies around the net. I spent some time signing up for a ton of goodies, knowing full well I was just as likely to be drowning in spam within days.

But, with a few small exceptions, (I'm looking at you, Readers Digest ... although that was from my sweepstakes entry phase) I've had no spam problems and no junk mail.

And, bless corporate Canada, I'm getting my free stuff in the mail!

First up was a three-pack of OB Tampons! W00t! OB tampons in a cu…

My biggest lol today

Letter to the editor about Big Ass Superstar

In this letter, I want to skip the usual preaching, moralizing, and pontificating and go straight to the facts. For the sake of review, Mr. Big Ass Superstar has called people like me besotted disgusting-types, untoward creeps, and sinful individuals so many times that these accusations no longer have any sting. Mr. Superstar undeniably continues to employ such insults because he's run out of logical arguments. I suppose an alternate explanation is that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Of course, if Mr. Superstar had learned anything from history, he'd know that his refrains can be subtle. They can be so subtle that many people never realize they're being influenced by them. That's why we must proactively notify humanity that I myself am a law-and-order kind of person. I hate to see crimes go unpunished. That's why I honestly hope that Mr. Superstar serves a long prison term for his illegal attempts to silence anyone whom he considers o…

Two wins, one loss

That newsy post about being fat got a really good response from folks, so I've tried to keep some momentum rolling (or building) through the weekend.

Amanda had some bidniz to take care of on Saturday, so I went to the gym. True. I went. I did two circuits through the weight training machines, then 20 minutes on the treadmill. So far so good.

That night we went to a BBQ at my boss' place. There was drinking, and we don't drink and drive, so we left the car in the south end. That necessetated a long walk to the south end on Sunday to pick up the car. Well done. Good walk.

So here I am on Monday, and I'm stuck with the problem of the taekwondo gym. Master Yang moved the facility closer to where I live -- good for the trip home, not good for the trip there. As it was, I was *just* making it on time by walking to class right after work. That's not feasible now. I've yet to nail down a bus route that'll get me there on time. And I'm not keen on taking a taxi tw…

Local fat radio guy tired of being fat

Local fat radio guy tired of being fat

HALIFAX (BAS) -- Sources close to local fat radio guy Scott Simpson say he's grown tired of being fat.

"He seems to get this way every once in a while," says a friend. "He eats those cinnamon buns for months, drinks his energy drinks and chocolate milk, then suddenly one day decides he's too fat."

A sales rep from Nubody's gym at Halifax's Scotia Square confirms that Simpson paid for a year's membership this spring but has yet to walk through the door even once to break a sweat.

Simpson made several weak attempts to get into shape in years past. One effort in the late 1990s earned him an award from the Radio & Television News Directors' association. Nearly ten years later, Simpson auditioned for the documentary series X-Weighted in an effort to turn his newfound maturity into physical action. The show moved production to other cities in Canada, leaving Simpson to attempt fitness on his own again. De…

Watching your money helps the whole family

more cat pictures

Maxed Out: Good movie about bad credit

Just over a month ago, I wrote a post about In Debt We Trust, a movie about the credit industry:

I expected In Debt We Trust to be an activist movie in the style of, say, Michael Moore or the Super Size Me guy. It was more like the latter, without even as much balance as the former. Danny Schechter takes on the credit industry from the point of view that people who fall victim to crushing debt are hapless victims of an exploitative monster industry. While I don't disagree that Americans in particular have been buried by sometimes questionable practices of credit companies, I felt the film let the consumers off the hook too easily. Yes, people are sucked in by too-good-to-be-true offers which shouldn't be offered in the first place. Yes, people are sucked under by payday loans. But after all the reading I've been doing lately, the reality that spending less than you make is the key to staying afloat is virtually ignored.
The film portrays slow death by debt as a virtual in…

Congratulations, newsies!

Big congratulations to my fellow Maritime newsies who won recognition at the Radio & Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) Atlantic awards in Fredericton on the weekend.

News 95.7 won the Gord Sinclair award for Live Special Events coverage for our weekend-long tracking of extra-tropical storm Noel. You may remember some mention of it on this blog back when it was happening. I was the man-in-the-storm guy, reporting on outside weather conditions as they happened, and providing some comic relief. My thanks go out to Amanda for lending me her raincoat (which didn't stop me from getting soaked) on the Saturday, and driving me all over the place to get great stories the day after the storm. Way to go, team!

Our Moncton station News 91.9 got the Honourable Mention in that category.

Saint John affiliate News 88.9 picked up an Honourable Mention for News Information Program for The Big Fish -- coverage of the RCMP capturing one of America's Most Wanted.

Regular Bigasssupersta…