Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Choose an icon for the Games topic

I need help choosing an icon. Right now the icon for the "games" topic is a Dreamcast. This is simply because I now own one, and it's the reason I created the topic in the first place :)

Help me choose (a more appropriate?) one. Click below.

Here are the choices. If you can come up with a better one, then I'm open to suggestions. Discuss.


Atari 2600

Nintendo GameCube

Nintendo N64

Sega Dreamcast

Classic NES

Sony Playstation

Super NES

XBox Controller

Monday, November 26, 2001

Watch women beat each other with sticks

I attended my first Dalhousie Women's Hockey Team game on Sunday afternoon, and it wasn't an entirely unpleasant experience. The best part? It's free. There is no better admission fee than free.

Everyone should come out to their next game. My sources tell me that it is Saturday night at 1800h (that's 6 p.m. for the arithmetically challenged) at the Dal Arena, the pointy roof building just off South Street. Bring your mitts, though, it's cold in there.

Does anyone know if they have a website?

Thursday, November 22, 2001

Holy retro, Batman!

None of the following text is mine, but I thought it was really interesting. Read it, and see how many childhood memories it brings back for you. I was wallowing in my own adolescence for a good half hour afterwards.

If not, then you're either too young (born after 1980), or too old (born before 1970).

I am a child of the 70's and 80's. That is what I prefer to be called. The 90's can do without me. Grunge isn't here to stay, fashion is fickle and "Generation X" is a myth created by some over-40 writer trying to figure out why people wear flannel in the summer.

When I got home from school, I played Atari 2600. I spent hours playing Pitfall or Combat or Breakout or Dodge'em Cars or Frogger. I never did beat Asteroids. Then I watched "Scooby Doo." Daphne was a Goddess, and I thought Shaggy was smoking something synthetic in the back of the mystery machine. I HATED SCRAPPY.

I would sleep over at friends' houses on the weekends. We played army with G.I. Joe figures, and I set up galactic wars between Autobots and Decepticons. We never beat Rubik's cube, unless you count taking off the stickers. I got up on Saturday mornings at 6 a.m. to watch bad Hanna-Barbera cartoons like "Captain Caveman," and "SpaceGhost." In between I would watch "School House Rock."("Conjunction junction, what's your function?!")

On Friday Night Daisy Duke was my future wife. I was going to own the General Lee and shoot dynamite arrows out the back. Why did they weld the doors shut? Did your dad turn from mild-mannered Bill Bixby nto "The Incredible Hulk" when he got upset? At the movies the Nerds got revenge on the AlphaBetas by teaming up with the Omega Mu's.I watched Indiana Jones save the Ark of the Covenant, and wondered what Yoda meant when he said, "No,there is another."

Ronald Reagan was cool. My family took summer vacations to South Florida and collected "Muppet Movie" glasses along the way. (We had the whole set.) At the hotel we found creative uses for Connect Four pieces like throwing them in that big air conditioning unit.

I listened to John Cougar Mellencamp sing about Little Pink Houses for Jack and Diane. I was bewildered by Boy George and the colors of his dreams, red, gold and green. I was a "Wild Boy," Duran Duran. MTV played MUSIC videos. Nickeloden played "You can't Do That On Television" and "Dangermouse". Does anyone remember the "Banana Splits?" I drank Dr. Pepper. "I'm a Pepper, you're a Pepper, wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too?" Shasta was for losers. TAB was a labratory accident. Capri Sun was a social statement. Orange Juice wasn't just for breakfast anymore. My mom put a thousand Little Debbie Snack Cakes in my Charlie Brown lunchbox and filled my Snoopy Thermos with Grape Kool-Aid. I got two thousand cheese and cracker snack packs. I went to school and had recess. I went to the same classes everyday.

Some wierd guy from the 8th grade always won the science fair with the working hydro-electric plant that leaked on my project about music and plants. Field day was bigger than Christmas, but it always seemed to rain just enough to make everybody miserable. Rubber band fights were cool. A substitute teacher was a marked woman. Nobody deserved that. I went to Cub Scouts. I got my arrow-of-light, but never managed to win the Pinewood Derby. I got almost every skill award but don't remember ever doing anything.

The world stopped when the Challanger exploded. Half of your friend's parents got divorced. People did not just say "no" to drugs. AIDS started, but you knew more people who had a grandparent die from cancer. Somebody in your school died before they graduated. We are the ones who played with Lego Building Blocks when they were just building blocks and gave Malibu Barbie crewcuts with safety scissors that never really cut.

Big wheels and bicycles with streamers were the way to go, and sidewalk chalk was all you needed to build a city. Imagination was the key. It made the Ewok Treehouse big enough for you to be Luke. And the kitchen table and that old sheet,dark enough to be a tent in the forest. Your world was the backyard and it was all you needed. With your pink portable tape player, Debbie Gibson sang back up to you and everyone wanted a skirt like the Material Girl and a glove like Michael Jackson's. Today, we are the ones who sing along with Bruce Springsteen and The Bangles perfectly and have no idea why. We recite lines with Ghostbusters and still look to the Goonies for a great adventure. We flip through T.V. stations and stop at the A-Team and Knight Rider and Fame, and laugh with The Cosby Show and Family Ties and Punky Brewster and "What you talkin' bout Willis?" We hold strong affections for The Muppets and why did they take the Smurfs off of the air? After school specials were about cigarettes and step-families.

The Polka Dot Door was nothing like Barney, and aren't the Power Rangers just Voltron reincarnated? We are the ones who read Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, The Bobbsey Twins, Beverly Cleary, and Judy Blume. Friendship bracelets were ties you couldn't break and friendship pins went on shoes - preferably hightop velcro Reebok. And pegged jeans were in, as were unit belts and layered socks and jean jackets and JAMS and charm necklaces and side pony tails and just tails. Rave was a girl's best friend; braces with colored rubberbands made you rad. The backdoor was always open and Mom served only red kool-aid to the neighborhood kids.YOU NEVER drank the New Coke. Entertainment was cheap and lasted for hours. All you needed to be a princess was high heels and an apron; the Sit'n'Spin always made you dizzy but never made you stop; Pogoballs were dangerous weapons and Chinese Jump Ropes never failed to trip someone. In your underoos you were Wonder Woman, Spider Man or Robin and in your treehouse you were king. Star Wars was not only a movie. Did you ever play in a bomb shelter?

We didn't start the fire Billy Joel.

We had neighborhoods where in the day we could play kick-the-can, guns" and all of the things that made us Grow up. There was always that one "field" that could be used for either baseball, football, homerun derby, or just a place to hang out. That was my field of dreams Mr. Costner.At night we would play flashlight tag. Just like we could trick-or-treat at night without the fear of being shot and killed. Just like our guns had caps or "lasers". If we didn't have the Jessie James guns we could just get a rock and smash the caps on the ground!

We loved those orange race tracks...that was until our mother realized she could smack us with them. We too collected football and baseball cards but it was because we wanted to be the first in the neighborhood to have the "complete" set. In our neighborhoods we played with He-man and Skelator. Going to get a Happy Meal on Saturday with dad or mom was worth waiting the other six days of the week.

No, we are the furthest thing from a lost generation. Does going to arcades on Saturday, getting carpooled to football with your best friend, eating fruit roll-ups, having birthday parties at McDonalds or Godfather's pizza or Noble Romans where you could make your own pizza-express mean you are lost? How many people melted their army figures that were given to them by their parents? Was Green Latern the Coolest Super Hero or Aquaman? "Wonder twin powers activate!" How about coming home at and separating your Halloween candy into: The cool stuff, the homemade stuff, and the pennies... how about the candy that came in that awful orange and black wax paper? Did you ever try it? Do you remember the one house that had a sign in the candy bowl that said, "Take One." How many did you take if you liked it? Were you desperate one year and as a teenager you trick-or-treated?

Our generation had character and heart. We played with real baseballs and "Putt putt for the fun-of-it.""Hey, my mom will take us if your mom picks up!" Could you ever really beat Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom...? Did you have sliced oranges or grapes for your half-time treat? How about the hot dog and coke after each football and baseball games? Star Crunches? Whippy Dip? Twinkies? Ho-ho's?

This is what WE are all about!

When you put all this stuff together, you have my childhood. If this stuff sounds familiar, then I bet you are one, too. We are the children of the "80's".

That is what I prefer they call us. We are not the first "lost generation" nor today's lost generation. In fact, we think we know just where we stand - or are discovering it as we speak. So if you are reading this and it ALL hit's home then you do indeed have a heritage or a generation. This is what makes us the most unique generation of all.

Now didn't that bring back memories?

Pan & scan Grinch vs widescreen Grinch

This is something I really don't understand. Amazon.com is selling two versions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas: one in pan & scan and the other in widescreen.

It's no secret that I, as the anal-retentive bastard I am when it comes to video and audio, prefer the widescreen versions of movies. My confusion lies in the fact that the widescreen version is cheaper (only by 24 cents, but still...) but the pan & scan version is, as of this moment, the better seller.

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

Burger King makes Whopper for left handed people

Am I the only one who thinks this is total and complete crap?

Read this press release and see if you can discern what (if any) difference there is between rotating the condiments 180 degrees and turning the @#$%! sandwich around. I absolutely cannot believe that this is legitiment

The astute among you will notice the date on the press release :)

Monday, November 19, 2001

My Television is Calibrated

I finally managed to get my television calibrated by a professional. His name is Gregg Loewen, and he was nice enough to post on the forums a description of what he did.

Click below for a graph of pre-calibration vs. post-calibration values for color temperature.

Toshiba TW40X81 (Steve Dinn)
Video Calibration Report - Performed by Gregg Loewen
IRE 6500 Pre Post
100 6500 13600 6550
95 6500 13600 6650
90 6500 13400 6650
85 6500 13400 6750
80 6500 13100 6750
75 6500 12600
70 6500 12000 6700
65 6500 11000 6600
60 6500 10100 6500
55 6500 9300 6500
50 6500 8900 6300
45 6500 8700 6200
40 6500 8500 6200
35 6500 8100 6400
30 6500 7600 6450


Lens Striping
Left Center Right
Pre 6900 6600 5900
Post 6200 6400 6300


Note how close the post-calibration numbers (yellow) are to total perfection, at a color temperature of 6500k (blue).

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

New Halifax news site

My brother, who runs Twisted Pair Network Consulting, Inc. has started a site dedicated to Halifax, and the surrounding area.

There's no place for user comments, and he definately needs to get some better icons :) But it's sure to prove useful. Most importantly though, the site provides a realtime update to Spine.cx's headlines! (Check out the left hand side of the page).

Monday, November 12, 2001

Spank the monkey

Another in the long line of Flash games that never cease to amuse me. You can actually spank a monkey. It's funny because there's a monkey, and you spank him.

My top score is 822 mph, but I sort of found a way to cheat :) See if you can do any better.

Remembrance Day Ceremony Photos

Photos from the Remembrance Day ceremony at the Grand Parade in downtown Halifax. I didn't take very many, but I guess some is better than none.

Click here

Friday, November 9, 2001

Stupid socialists protest outside empty building

I'm up in my office right now, looking down at the Nova Scotia Legislature, 12 floors below and across the street. A bunch of International Socialists are beating drums and yelling, completely oblivious to the fact that the parking lot is completely empty, and it's a Friday evening before a long weekend at a government office.

Do you really think there's anyone but commissionaires there? I seriously doubt it.

Oh yeah...and you know what they're protesting? Capitalism! Ha! Wow, I can feel myself drifting further left as we speak. Stupid socialists...

Poppy supply running out. Steve's Remembrance Day rant blamed.

Canadians have snapped up Remembrance Day poppies this year at a clip normally reserved for the latest boy band CD or hot new Christmas toy.

"We've run out and that's never happened since it all started in 1921," said Mick Steers, a spokesman for the Royal Canadian Legion, which runs the 80-year-old poppy campaign.

Original story.

Do your own photoshops

I don't have a high enough normal article to photoshop article ratio to keep posting all the "photoshop this pic"s that people want me to post, so I've made a place on the messageboard area where you can go and post your own.

Go nuts.

Thursday, November 1, 2001

Remembrance Day

I can't believe that some people sleep in on Remembrance Day.

If you haven't already, go to a mall or a grocery store, or wherever, and find a veteran or legion member who's giving out poppies and donate some money and pick one up. Then when you're trying to decide if it would look better on your lapel or your knapsack, try thinking about the significance of that poppy and what it really means instead of dismissng it as just another accessory. And then wake your sorry ass up on Remembrance Day and get to a war memorial or another place where there's a service going on. Take part. Remember. That's what it's all about.

I'm an athiest, which for the uneducated, means I don't believe in a "god" or other supreme being as such, but the significance of Rememberance Day goes far beyond religion. In fact the people that I'm remembering while you're at home in your pansy little bed are the ones who fought for your right to practice whatever religion you do. Thousands of men and women have died preserving the freedoms that we continue to enjoy in this country and if all that's asked of us is to partake in a ceremony, and maybe get up a little earlier than usual on a holiday, then I say that's a bargain. If you have a different view, maybe you ought to think a little more about why November 11th is a holiday in the first place.

In my view, this is probably the most important holiday of all. Without the actions remembered on this day, there might not be other holidays like Yom Kippur, Kwanzaa, or even Canada Day. Maybe that view is a little extremist, but if people are willing to die for your right to do whatever it is that you do, and think what you want without persecution, the least you could do is thank them.

I know that come the morning of November 11th, I'll be at the Grand Parade in downtown Halifax, paying my respects. Perhaps, if you haven't before, or haven't in a while, you should think about it as well.

Lest we forget,
Lest we forget.

Stupid Haligonians

I know I haven't really posted anything at all this week, but give me a break. I'm on vacation. I'm chillin'. I'm maxin' and relaxin' :) Go fill yer boots with some photoshop fun.

Halifax police officers break up a crowd of students Tuesday at St. Patrick's High School. Staff believe the violence started with a dispute over a phone bill.

Original:

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