Wednesday, July 31, 2002

This guy sucks at the Internet

Some of you know that I have an MP3 of the Month section of this website. Soon enough it got indexed by Google, and lots of passers-by were dropping in just to download MP3s. I didn't think that was so hot.

Come inside and let me tell you a story.

I had intended these MP3s for *you* people, the people that actually contribute to the site with comments and story submissinos so I changed a little bit o' code so you had to be logged in to download. Well, people started creating user accounts just to download MP3s and then fucked off and never showed up again. "This sucks," I thought. Another quick hack, and now you had to have been logged in as a user account that was at least 2 days old in order to download.

I thought that measure would deter all but the most determined MP3 downloaders, and it has. Except for the real dipshits. Check out this email I got from this guy who thinks its MY fault he isn't smart enough to pirate his own music :)

Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 02:30:40 -0300
From: Dave75@yahoo.com
To: sdinn@spine.cx
Subject: [Spine.cx] Your website sucks balls!

I came to your site looking for an mp3 after searching a major search engine and got your elitist arrogant little message telling me to join or go away. How does 'get fucked' sound? If you are able to get your hand off your dick while looking at all the people who visit this site thinking you are god's gift to the internet and put your pants back on don't bother replying.

As you can imagine, I found this enormously funny. Like I'm going to get insulted by some 12 year old who can't figure out how to use Kazaa. I'm actually surprised he spelled everything correctly. I still think computers should require an operating licence.

So you, my friend deserve one of these:

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

The first edition

Well, here it is. It's what you've all been waiting for. It's the first edition of Ask Spine! I know you're all as excited as I am about what I hope becomes a regular feature on spine.cx. However, it can't happen without YOUR questions. Yes, I'm pointing at you. Email them to askspine@spine.cx.

Click below for the first installment.




Dear Ask Spine:

Personally I think there is nothing worst than a person that says they commit to do something (attend a party, participate in some function, join a team, go on some trip, etc) and CONTINUES to sound upbeat and committed to it up to the last minute and then BAILS! The last minute (or worse, the next week) lame-ass excuse for not joining in.

Confused in the big city.


Dear Confused in the big city:

Personally I think there is nothing worse then someone who complains about other people all the time. Not everyone can do what you want when you want. Give them a break. Maybe they are going through a difficult time with work, relationships or life in general. What you consider a lame excuse may actually be the truth. Why don't you try talking to your friend to see why they continue to put things off. I personally had no desire to go out whether it be to a party, the movies, or just to hang out with people up until about a week ago. I made a spontaneous decision to go on a vacation with a girl I hardly knew and ended up having the time of my life. Now I'm much happier and talking to more people and finding myself wanting to get out more. Remember that there are times when all you probably want to do is relax and have no interest in what someone asks you to do. Instead of bitching about a person who apparently always bails find people who have interests in whatever it is you are interested in and ask them to join you. Remember that whatever it is you are thinking of someone else another person may think the exact same thing about you.

Butterfly

Dear CIBC:

Hmmm...Good question. Ever hear of the old axiom "An eye for an eye"? It's all about revenge. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Isn't that the golden rule? Isn't that what we're all taught since pre-school to hold as the gospel of society? I say give 'em back exactly what they're givin'. Make some plans with them and then go out with your "real" friends. See how they like it.

Either they'll come around or you'll never speak again. I give it 50/50.

-Steve.




Dear Ask Spine:

My roomate keeps borrowing my clothes and it is driving me nuts! They stretch out my clothes and don't wash them before giving them back. I don't want to make them angry but they need to stop touching my stuff. What can I say to them that won't make them hate me?

Fed up


Dear Fed up:

Who cares if your roomate ends up hating you. If you have a problem with your roomate borrowing your clothes let them know. I personally would have a problem if I lived with someone and they constantly took my clothes, wore them, got them dirty and threw them back in my closet. It is one thing to ask if you can borrow someone's clothes but to just go ahead and take them is probably one of the most disrespectful things a person could do to another. However if your roomate is stretching your clothes out that is a pretty big problem. Maybe you should inform your roomate that there is a pretty obvious size different between the two of you and that they are too big to borrow your clothes. If you talk to your roomate and she gets mad she will eventually get over it. If she continues to borrow your clothes without asking put a lock on your door that you can lock when you leave to go out. Remember though your roomate isn't BORROWING your clothes, your roomate is STEALING your clothes. Honestly go ahead and tell your roomate that she is pissing you off and ask her how she would feel if you did the same to her and tell her that the local roomate clothing store has now gone out of business forever.

Butterfly

Dear F.U.:

There are two possible answers to this question. Which answer I give depends on a piece of information that you have not provided me: Are you male or female? I will have to answer in two parts.

Male: Your roommate is probably gay. No straight man would borrow another man's clothes. If he's not already out of the closet, you need to confront him about his sexuality. Although there's nothing wrong with his "lifestyle choice", you need to make it clear that if gay people wear your clothes, you could be mistaken for gay when you next wear them. This is clearly unacceptable.

Female: I'm not really seeing anything wrong here. If your roommate is repeatedly "getting dirty" in your clothes, it must be because there is something enjoyable about the experience. Perhaps you should give it a try. Perhaps together. After you "get dirty" with your roommate, you could then wash your clothes together and then soap each other up in the shower and...What was I talking about? I have to go now.

-Steve.

Monday, July 22, 2002

Car troubles

I'm accustomed to having things go wrong with my car. It's fairly old at almost 8 years, and admittedly, I haven't exactly taken it in for regular maintanence, or even to have recalls done. Even after all this abuse and neglect that I and so many others put our vehicles through, there are just some things that you don't expect to go wrong with your car. Some things that, no matter how many times you may have heard the stories from others, just can't happen to you. It's unfathomable.

Right?

My fucking rearview mirror fell off.

I know some of you are immediately thinking of the SIDE-view mirror, knocked off by a careless person opening their car door in the spot next to me, but I assure you that I am of sound mind, and I am talking about the REAR-view mirror. Yes, the one that sits above the dash, smack in the middle of the windshield. No, nothing happened to the window.

It simply fell off. The glue (or whatever that substance is that until recently held the mirror's "stalk" onto my windshield) has given up the ghost. It has ceased to stick. In fact, it's not even the least bit sticky. It is completely devoid of adhesive properties. It is as helium: inert and not bonding with anything.

In a curious juxtaposition of roles, I found myself not trying to refrain from holding a cellphone in my right hand, but rather wielding a disembodied mirror in a futile attempt to see who may be traversing into my blind spot. You can't know how frustrating it is not to have a rearview mirror until you are forced to go without one. It's like when you forget your watch and then spend all day glancing at your bare wrist.

Not two days ago, I had a conversation with my father about how well my car had been running lately. I even knocked on the proverbial wood. Don't get me wrong, however...I'm still VERY glad that my faithful mount hasn't come up with a more expensive affliction, as it is wont to do. This is one of those things that, should I care to, I could fix with duct tape; although I don't think that would do much for the resale value.

So in the grand scheme of things, if this is what gets thrown my way in the genre of car troubles, then I'm quite thankful. But I'm still going to bitch.

Sunday, July 21, 2002

New photo rating system

It occurred to me that there needs to be a better way of ranking my photos than simply the number of views eash has had. Because I know the best photos on this site are not of Ryan and Sarah holding a puppy or of Mike and Jo doing absolutely nothing. So now there is another column on the Top 10 page.

Yes, now you can rate photos from 1 to 10. I don't care what constitutes rating a photo high or low, just go through them and rate them according to whatever standards may exist inside your macabre, twisted minds.

I've rated a few already to get you started. Don't forget the old ones ;)

EDIT: Anybody know how to do a weighted average? Normal averages are too wishy-washy for this sort of thing, I think.

Friday, July 12, 2002

We need to oust NSCAD, and here's why...

Why do we need to oust NSCAD? Well, I suppose they don't really need to be *ousted*. Just moved. The evil corporation of NSCAD is taking over more and more precious downtown real estate that could be occupied by more bars and this is a very dangerous thing.

In the words of Ebenezer Scrooge, "Lead on spirit! Lead on!". Did you guys get that? That was a play on the word "spirit" and... Damn. I almost forgot to whom I was talking. Please, continue scratching yourself inappropriately. Yes, I'm talking to you.

What's the situation?

The non-driving part of Granville Street, in addition to being the home to one of the downtown area's many copper penis posting boards, was until recently the home to many drinking establishments. That was until NSCAD came in and bought them all up. Bastards.

J.J. Rossy's, the last bastion of the poor alchoholic student, was bought and closed by NSCAD for what? To show art? You can show art anywhere. All you need is a room. Ok, a room with sturdy walls, so you can hang shit. But not much more than that. The end of Granville however, is possibly the best area for a bar in Halifax, but apparently nobody has realized it yet.

St. John's is a drinking town

How many people reading this have been to St. John's? Ever been to George St.? If you have, you'll know what I'm getting at. The end of Granville St. could easily be closed off (you already can't drive on it, and that's half the battle right there). The bars share the cost of a couple of bouncers at each end of the street to check IDs, and then you open the whole street as one big bar. Think about it.
Walk into Peddlers and get yourself a beer. Take it out on the street. Maybe there's a band playing at the north end, on that little stage-like thing. Go dance in J.J.'s. Get another beer there. Come out and watch the next band.
You get what I'm saying? That area could have been the best party area in the city, but it's all pretty much moot now. Not to mention if many more bars close, Halifax is in danger of losing the coveted "Most bars per capita in North America" title that we now enjoy. Only recently we reclaimed our rightful title that St. John's had so cavalierly userped.

Solution?

The only solution I can come up with is to move NSCAD somewhere where they can't do any more damage to our fine city's drinking establishments. Somewhere like Burnside. Maybe we can even get the heritage people involved...they always like this sort of thing.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Office Space's red Swingline stapler a cult icon?

I am surprised, to say the least, that until recently, Swingline did not have a red stapler in their catalogue. Check this slashdot article for a few links regarding the relatively new addition. It has quickly become Swingline's top seller, despite the fact that it costs twice as much as the identical black model. That's marketing for you.

The biggest surprise to me? I had no idea people wanted so badly to be more like Milton.

Saturday, July 6, 2002

My adventures as a marketing research guinea pig

A while ago, I had responded to an ad in the Coast calling for people who would be willing to spend an hour watching beer commercials and giving their opinions to a marketing focus group. Sounded like an easy way to make $30 to me. I watched three ads in total. Read about my experiences below.

Unfortunately, these weren't new ads. In fact, each of you, if you watch any television at all, have probably seen each one of them:

1. Keith's ad where the guy bequeaths his nephew a fridge. This is just about the worst Keith's ad I have ever seen. The concept of leaving anyone a fridge after you die is the most ridiculous thing ever. It's not even funny. Then, as if in celebration of receiving this magical major appliance, the dutiful nephew throws a party. As Mike pointed out to me later, it looks like he attempts to trap an innocent girl between himself and the fridge in order to have his nefarious way with her.

As you may have guessed, I trashed this commercial. It basically sucks.


2. Molson Canadian ad where the guy slaps his pet beaver on the bar. This has got to be one of my favourite beer commercials ever. Of course, it doesn't make me like Molson Canadian any more than I already do (which is not much), but it makes a good play on existing Canadian stereotypes that our American brethern have. The two Americans at the bar start by ridculing some of these stereotypes, one of which is that all Canadians have a pet beaver. The Canadian proceeds to pick up his pet beaver from the floor and place it on the bar, and summarily commands it to attack.

The beaver, in a fit of such rage which I have not seen since the ferocious rabbit in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" leaps forth from the bar, affixing his sharp teeth (primarily used for gnawing at trees and building its dams) to the American's throat. Hilarity ensues. The beaver, after all, is a proud and noble animal.


3. Keith's ad where the guy from Toronto can't pronounce "donair". Of the "new" Keith's ads, this is probably my favourite. Doesn't compare to the beaver one though. This one starts off with a maritimer leading his Torontonian friend into a lower-deck-like establishment. There's a band playing "Barrett's Privateers" and he makes his friend promise never to buy him another "donnair". No, no, silly Upper Canadian; that's a DOE-nair. This guy really looks depressing too. I mean, who goes into the lower deck dressed all in black, like they're going to a fucking funeral? I don't understand why the chicks are all over him either. Maybe they think that because he's from T.O., he must be loaded. I can't figure it out.

Blah blah blah, the guy proceeds to have a great time, and go home and tell all his stuffy Upper Canadian friends what a great time he had in Nova Scotia. Well, they don't exactly show that part, but I'm sure that's what they meant. Hell, maybe this goth-in-training is the rich uncle that left the first guy the fridge...

Wednesday, July 3, 2002

Suggestions?

What sort of site should Spine.cx become? That's the sort of thing I'm thinking about lately. Should it move toward a certain genre of topics or stay the mish-mash of everything it is now? Do you think having other active authors (i.e., people besides me) posting stuff is a good idea? I've thought about it, but people rarely submit things, so why would they post things on their own?

I'm open to some suggestions for the site in general here. Anything from the look of the site, to functionality, to style, to basically anything at all. Post your suggestions in the comments, or send me a private message.

Tuesday, July 2, 2002

Sarah Polley - Courage

This MP3 is a cover of a Tragically Hip song that I'm sure everyone knows, "Courage". The singer is none other than the star of "Road to Avonlea", that spinoff of the "Anne of Green Gables" show produced by CBC. Yep, it's Sarah Polley, a good Canadian in her own right. Since Canada Day is in July, I thought that Canadian music would be appropriate for this month. Download the song here.

You'll notice I said "month of July". I'm changing the MP3 of the Week to the MP3 of the Month. 12 MP3s instead of 52 is much easier on everything :)

Monday, July 1, 2002

It's Canada Day!

It's Canada day, so go drink a beer or something, eh? Not one of those light beers either. None of this Coors light or Bud light or Miller light crap. Get yourself something brewed by Molson or Keith's or Moosehead. Even though Moosehead isn't one of my personal favourites, it *is* a Canadian beverage and so it's ok by me. Then go to a hockey game and drink that beer....Yeah, I know the playoffs are over but there's nothing stopping you from grabbing your sticks and going out on the road, you know? Just watch out for the cars. HAPPY CANADA DAY!

EDIT: The link to keiths-fans.ca was broken. I fixed it.

Camping photos and some other crappy photos

A few of us were camping in Blomidon this weekend. Kind of a "warm-up" trip of sorts. We checked out the group campsite, and it's pretty spiffy. The guy said that they've had up to 300 people there in the past, so I don't think we'll have anything to worry about with respect to size or places to put people. The group site is also very isolated from the rest of the campsite, so we won't have to worry about noise.

Anyway, here's the camping photos and here's the other crappy photos.

EDIT: Don't forget that you can comment the photos!

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