Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Save your podcast subscriptions online

If you're using iTunes to download your podcasts, have you ever had it crash, or otherwise screw up your library of music? Chances are, you didn't lose your actual music, you just had to re-add it to your library. But what about your podcast subscriptions? You probably had to scour the web looking for the websites of podcasts which you never visit just to get your RSS feeds back.

Here's a solution that lets you subscribe to your podcasts using online tools so you never lose a subscription again.

Ok, first, let's go through all the tools I'm going to use:

1. Google Reader
2. Feedburner

That's it!

First, if you don't have one already, get yourself a Google account, and head over to the Google Reader website. Google Reader is an RSS aggregator that lets you tag your different feeds with arbitrary terms. Since we're talking about podcasts here, I suggest you tag your podcast feeds with 'podcasts'. I use the plural podcasts rather than the singular because it lets me distinguish the media feeds from the blogs I read about podcasting. Podcast, the singular form, would match them both.

If you have your feeds in an existing aggregator, like Juice, that lets you export an OPML file of your feeds, Google Reader will allow you to import all of them at once by clicking on the settings option in the upper right and then clicking on the Import/Export tab. This is by far the easiest way to go. If you can't export your feeds, you'll have to copy each one, and subscribe to them in Google Reader individually. Fortunately, this is the only painful part of the process.

After you have all your podcast feeds imported into Google Reader, and you've tagged them all with a uniquely identifiable term, you need to export the feed for all items tagged with that term. Click back to the main google reader page, and then click on settings again, and go to the Tags tab. You should see your 'podcasts' tag along with an RSS icon, a series of concentric orange quarter-circles. Click the icon to make the feed public.

Click on the 'view public page' link to view the exported items. This page should have an ATOM feed associated with it. ATOM is similar to RSS, but most podcast readers can't understand it. We have one more major step to go before iTunes can download your shows.

Copy the ATOM feed for your podcasts and head over to Feedburner.com. Drop the URL for your ATOM feed in the box on the front page, and check off the "I am a podcaster" check box. Click the next button. If you don't already have a Feedburner account, the website will give you the chance to sign up for one now. You can also take this opportunity to pretty-up the name and address for the feed you're going to be subscribing to in iTunes.

That's pretty much it. Now just take the new feed you've created, and subscribe to it in iTunes using the Advanced menu, Subscribe to Podcast (or the podcast downloader of your choice). The URL for your feed will be something like http://feeds.feedburner.com/<what you typed in>. Now, when you want to subscribe or unsubscribe to a podcast, just go to Google Reader, add the RSS feed, and tag it with 'Podcasts' and the shows will get automatically downloaded.

.NET complaint of the month: XmlDocument is not serializable

I gotta say, on the whole, I'm quite pleased with this .NET Framework that Microsoft has provided us with to develop software with. It's not often that I find something worth complaining about. But this is one of those times.

One of the cool features of .NET is that you can mark a class, or other data structure as serializable, which basically means that the structure and all its data can be easily tossed across a wire, performing a 'deep' copy. This is typically performed by creating an XML representation of that object and its data in a SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) envelope, or some binary form.

Now for the irony: The System.Xml.XmlDocument class is not fucking serializable. Yes, that's right. Microsoft's implementation of the very stuff used to serialize arbitrary objects is itself not serializable. I had to implement my interface with strings instead. Figure that out.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Being sick sucks

I don't get sick very often, but because of that, when I do get sick, I hate it that much more. In retrospect, I felt this particular sickness coming on a few days in advance, but I was reluctant to admit that I was getting sick, and if I heeded the statistics, chances are that I wasn't.

Fast forward to two days and one holiday party later. I wake up on Monday morning and feel like a bucket of smashed assholes. Feeling this way is enough to make me email in sick for (I think) only the second time this year. Don't tell my boss, but I wasn't really sick the first time...I think I just wanted to sleep in. For those of you who think emailing in sick is weird, I say calling in sick is just a good way to get caught in a lie.

Monday was a horrible day. I was burning up, but still felt, no matter how many clothes I put on, like I was freezing. I'm sitting in front of my computer wearing a sweatshirt, a fleece jacket, and a blanket, shivering. Between catching up on my TV watching, and calling into a scrum meeting, I actually managed to do some work, testing, mostly.

Tuesday morning I felt largely better, save a cough which persists to this day. From experience, this will probably last until at least after the Holiday season, and I get up at 4am to go stand in line at Futureshop for Boxing Day deals.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Interesting way to sell digital music

I'm regularly browsing Zunior.com, checking out new music that I can play on the podcast, and I came across an interesting idea that they had: a digital box gift set where MP3s get snail mailed to you on a USB thumbdrive that you get to keep as well.

It's obviously not as speedy as a download, but you actually get something physical, which is kind of cool, and thumbdrives are definately useful. I thought this was a cool idea, especially for a gift. Sending someone a download doesn't exactly feel "festive", but the thumbdrive could actually be wrapped and given as a present.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

My episode of commandN is online

In case you weren't clicking 'reload' on the page as much as I was, looking for this week's episode of commandN, it came online just moments ago. My segment starts at about 2 minutes in.

Monday, December 4, 2006

@#$%! Snow

I'm surprised I'm the first one to post about this. Maybe the rest of you are still stuck in traffic. More people should do audio posts...It's very therapeutic.

As you might expect, this audio is loaded with expletives. Handle with care.

PodcastSteve017SnowRant.mp3(audio/mpeg)2.6 MB[ Download ]

Sunday, December 3, 2006

You like Christmas music, right?

I'm sure that some of you know that in addition to Spine Radio, I also do a music podcast for Zunior.com. This month, I produced a mostly-holiday-themed episode that you might enjoy. Don't worry, it's not overly sappy sweet with holiday cheer...I don't think I could stand that either.

If you're interested, you can find it at zunior.blogspot.com, and if you like it, you can subscribe with the Zunior.com Podcast's RSS feed.

For anybody who missed the chance to win the Thurstons album I gave away in a previous episode of Spine Radio, you have another chance to get it in the Christmas episode of the Zunior.com Podcast.

PodcastZuniorPodcast008.mp3(audio/mpeg)60.6 MB[ Download ]

Friday, December 1, 2006

Windom Earle at Stage Nine

I'm killing myself waiting for this show. Go check out Windom Earle tonight at Stage Nine or you'll regret it. I mean it. They rocked the house at the Sappy Records Music Festival, and they'll rock the house again, I'm sure of it.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

MySpace is a scourge (to tabbed browsing)

The worst thing about MySpace isn't the ugliness of the site. It isn't the fact that it's horribly slow. For anybody who uses tabbed browsing regularly, it's got to be the music player that starts playing as soon as the page loads.

I can appreciate the use of MySpace for discovering bands that I haven't heard before, but I often want to click on somebody's friends and open them up in new tabs for me to peruse at my leisure. If any of them have music players, they will all start playing. <sarcasm>And nothing sounds as awesome as 4 completely different songs playing at once.</sarcasm>

Why can't the song play after I click play? I don't have a "music" myspace account, but if this is a setting, I'm going to start cursing every band who doesn't turn it off.

Image courtesy of xkcd, a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.

Also, does it piss anyone else off that the retarded graphical madness that goes on in myspace's music player has absolutely nothing to do with the shit that's playing? They look like VU meters, but they correspond in no way to the actual output levels.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I'm going to be on commandN

Jeff MacArthur, one of the co-hosts of commandN came by my house tonight to film a segment about audio podcasting for their next episode.

Jeff does the techTIPS segment for commandN, and along with his sister Amber MacArthur, and a few friends, they kick out a 15-minute-long, tech-centric video of news, tips, and web-picks every week.

Be sure to check it out. Jeff tells me that my episode will be on the web on Monday (December 4th).

Monday, November 27, 2006

New condom technology

Who would have thought that they could improve on the condom? I mean, everybody knows they suck, but they do the job, right?

I must admit, I haven't thought about it much myself, but you wouldn't think there was much room to advance in prophylactic technology, but then there it is, a huge fucking advance (no pun intended) in prophylactic technology.

FREE Shotgun and Jaybird Tickets

For anyone who doesn't typically read the Spine Radio blog, I'm posting this on the main page because in this week's show I'm giving away two free passes to the Shotgun and Jaybird show on December 9th.

You're dumb if you don't try and go. My company holiday party is that night, and I'm still going to try to go. Shotgun and Jaybird are worth paying to go see, and you could do it for free, I can't imagine why you wouldn't.

Listen to the show for instructions on how to cash in. Check out Shotgun and Jaybird's MySpace for examples of what you'll miss if you don't go.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Random thought

Body parts are like remote controls: They cost almost nothing to produce, but they're very expensive to replace.

Selling vintage computers on Ebay

I am selling some vintage computers on Ebay right now. If you're in the market for some museum pieces or just looking for a better doorstop, go on and take a look at my auctions. If you're in Halifax, I'll deliver them to you for free.

Just think, YOU could own the machine that launched my career as a software developer, the Commodore Vic 20. At the tender age of 5, I wrote my first line of BASIC on that very keyboard. Or you could proudly display your very own MacQuarium made from the MacIntosh Plus. The possibilities are endless.

Bid Now!
Commodore Vic 20 head unit only untested
Apple MacIntosh Plus with 20SC external hard drive
Commodore Vic 20 with TV adapter and manual

Monday, November 20, 2006

Sounds re-instated after IE 7 upgrade

I recently upgraded to IE 7 thanks to Windows Update. I thought everyone could benefit from something that I noticed after I started using it for a while.

The machine I upgraded was the one I use to record the Spine Radio and Zunior.com Podcasts on. If you noticed in the latest episode of Spine Radio that there were a couple of beeps and clicks, then you'll know what I'm about to complain about.

I had my system sounds turned off; "No Sounds" was the profile that I had chosen. After installing IE 7, it had gone ahead and added all explorer's sounds back again -- very annoying. Definitely something to be aware of if you use your PC for recording things.

CCTV Cameras + Google Video = Halifax's next income source

I've been thinking about the new video camera that Halifax has focused on the corner of Grafton and Blowers, "Pizza Corner" for us locals. Cameras are great for capturing all the stupid shit we do -- especially when we're drunk. And where do most drunken videos end up?

YouTube. Or basically, due to the recent 1.6 billion dollar acquisition, what the internet is calling "GooTube".

Now that the concept of revenue sharing has been introduced for videos on Google Video, the City of Halifax should take advantage of all the closed circuit TV cameras in the downtown area, and get some of the content up on the web for the rest of us to enjoy and laugh at. This might do more to discourage vandalism and crime, when the potential criminals know that there could be millions of eyes watching them break the law. Of course it might encourage people to show off for the cameras as well, but at the very least, Halifax can make a quick cash grab from one of the most lucrative sources on the web: Google Ads.

Monday, November 13, 2006

My photos on LeftHip.com

The rumours are true -- I'm all kinds of new media. Not only do I have a mean radio voice, but I take a wicked photo as well. A couple of my photos from the Halifax Pop Explosion were used for a feature on the Pop Explosion by Left Hip Magazine.

Monday, November 6, 2006


About once a year, I go on a hunt for a pair of headphones. Last year, I picked up a Sennheiser HD570 set. I found them to be a great pair for home listening, but they're not exactly what I'd call 'portable'. I also bought some inexpensive cans for the Spine Radio Studios, but they're hardly ideal.


What I'd really like to find is a set of headphones that can block most of the ambient sound so that I can only hear what I'm monitoring. More than once I've tried to record a rock show, and I only found out afterwards that my recording was crap -- I couldn't distinguish between my recording and the actual show, and the levels were completely overloaded. I only have a little MP3 player to record on, and I suppose the real solution is to buy a proper solid-state recorder with VU meters and other indications that the recording was peaking, but those are generally pretty expensive.

My other problem is that my head is just fucking huge. This presents two issues with the majority of headphones out there today. Headphones that fit other people constantly squeeze my head and give me massive headaches if I wear them for any appreciable amount of time. Headphones that don't cover the entire ear are just uncomfortable.

Those HD-570s I talked about before completely cover my entire ear, and are actually very comfortable for me. Does anyone know if there is a "closed" style of those? Closed, as opposed to open style, is important, because when you have a microphone in your face, and headphones on your ears, sound can bleed back into the mic. While this doesn't cause the feedback squeal that having your speakers & mic on at the same time would, it'll give you a weird sounding reverb.

I don't expect anyone else has these problems, but on the off chance that somebody does, what did you do?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Halifax Pop Explosion 2006

How I could I write about the Halifax Pop Explosion without playing music? I decided to put my thoughts in an MP3.

Check it out.

Shotgun and Jaybird
The Sourkeys
Pony Up!
The Diableros
Duchess Says

PodcastSteve015.mp3(audio/mpeg)25.1 MB[ Download ]

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My own personal feed, burned

Just now, I went and hooked myself up with a feedburner feed for my personal blog here on Spine.cx. What's really cool is that I found out that I can have all the links that I post with del.icio.us, and all the photos I post on Flickr spliced into the feed with no extra effort from me. I'm all about being lazy. I think it will also automatically change any MP3 I link to into a podcast enclosure as well, if you're into that sort of thing.

So, if you want the one-stop-shop for all things Steve, check it out:


Monday, October 16, 2006

Motorola SLVR L7 Review

Last week, I bought a Motorola SLVR L7 from a guy on eBay. It's basically like the RAZR, but it's the candy bar style of phone instead of a flip phone. So far, I'm liking it. It's not that I didn't like my iMate Jasjar, but there are some obvious advantages that the SLVR has over it. For one, it's an insane amount smaller and lighter. It also has an almost completely metal body, which I'm sure adds to the weight, but makes it feel very sturdy in your hand. The Jasjar has WAY more processing power, and a much bigger screen, but after carrying it around in my pocket for more than a year, I really started to yearn for something that wouldn't weigh my pants down and clunk against my leg when I took every step. (Not that I don't have that problem already...rimshot!)

The SLVR is just a smidge over a centimeter thick, and not very much taller than a RAZR when it's closed. You can honestly hardly even tell it's in your pocket. The things that drew me to the SLVR/RAZR over other phones was not only this form factor, but also the fact that its connection for data and charging was not some esoteric $80 cable that my older Nokia phone required, but a standard mini-USB cable.

Given that the phone has a standard USB jack in the side of it, I can plug it into my computer, and automatically have my contacts synchronized to it...I didn't have to re-type in a single one. I can also easily get the photos onto my computer to post via flickr or anywhere I choose. I really pity most people that have to use their data plans to send themselves photos through email or some other such kludge. The camera isn't really that great; it only takes 640x480 images. Obviously camera-phones don't replace real digital cameras unless you really don't care about your photos.

Contacts on Motorola phones took a little bit of getting used to for somebody who's only used Nokia phones up until now. Nokia phones' contacts were grouped by the contact name, whereas the Motorola doesn't seem to group contacts at all by default. I managed to get this worked out, but it wasn't as intuitive as I would have thought.

I'm sure some of you are yelling at the screen that I should have just read the manual. Well, that's where you'd be correct. However, I did read the useless, waste-of-pulp, craptastic, bundle of pages that sullies the name of manuals everywhere and it has not much more than a diagram labeling the buttons. Fortunately there are many, many people who use the RAZR, which uses the same software as the SLVR, and one of them was able to tell me what I needed to do. It's not like it would have made or broken the phone for me, but it's nice that I can make it do what I want.

For all you crazy kids who like your ring tones, it's easy to add them to the SLVR. Just like you can drag all your photos off of the phone, you can drag MP3s onto it. I've managed to add a separate ring tone to each person who I would normally call or would call me. There's only about 6 megs of space on the phone, so I made them 15 seconds or less and encoded them at 48 kbps and 22 kHz. When played on the phone, there's no noticeable loss in quality, because that's about as good as the speaker is anyway.

That's all I have to say about it after a week of using the phone. It's actually more remarkable that I don't have more annoyances to report. That's something in itself. I guess that means it's pretty good :)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sunday Shopping

As I'm sure everybody here expected, I made it my mission to go out shopping on Sunday. I headed for Bayers Lake and shopped at both Futureshop and the Superstore.

Futureshop was completely unprepared for how busy their store was going to be. Only one checkout was open and the line-up quickly wound its way past all reasonable lengths. Even when the second checkout opened, it still took quite a while to get through. At the Superstore, it was even worse -- they were prepared, but the crowds still overwhelmed the cashiers. See the pictures below.

New Futureshop hours Sunday Shopping line-up @ the Superstore

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Spine.cx mentioned in the Halifax Herald

In case you hadn't caught it, Spine.cx was mentioned in the Halifax Herald a couple of days ago. I'm wouldn't be surprised if you didn't catch it; it was quite inconspicuous. It was only after it was pointed out to me by Brent that I saw it myself.

Anyway, it looks as though they were looking for confirmation of public opinion for their story on musicians licensing their music for ads, and they googled something and found my previous blog post about hearing Joel Plasket in a Zellers ad. They then shamelessly stole the text without so much as a link back here or a nod to the original poster (Keely).

I maintain that I posted that a full 5 months before it showed up in the Herald. I'm on the fucking ball, you all know it :)

Saturday, October 7, 2006

The Michelin RAZR?

This case for the Motorola RAZR makes it look like it was made by Michelin. I suppose it might also save it from a fall down the stairs:

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

It's about time

A Nova Scotia judge has issued a ruling stating that the provincial government went beyond its powers by preventing grocery stores from opening 7 days a week.

The article goes on to say that the Premier would "clear the way for wide-open Sunday shopping". Hopefully this means that full-blown, non-grocery store openings aren't far behind. I feel like we're finally catching up to the rest of the world -- too bad it had to involve the courts.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I should write the Coast with this

So, the Rolling Stones were here. They set up on the Commons nearest the corner of Cogswell and North Park streets. North Park street was blocked off and the traffic light pattern was changed. I am not going to complain about sitting on Rainnie drive at a constant red light for 10 minutes last week (I ran it, despite the fact that there were 5 uniformed cops right on the other side of the intersection). I understood that things would probably be fucked up until the stage was torn down and all the tractor trailers were removed from North Park Street.

Would somebody please tell me why that nobody took at look at how those lights were supposed to work before they changed them? I drove through that intersection today, as it is my regular route to work, and whomever set it back to "normal" obviously didn't understand how much of a bitch that 5-way intersection is and that some of the lights are supposed to have an advance flashing green. Well now they don't; I spent about 25 minutes waiting on North Park Street in a huge line-up of traffic trying to turn left. This is a distance that I can usually cover in less than 4 minutes in heavy traffic.

This really seems like something that should be pretty fucking brain-dead: Back up traffic light pattern. Apply Rolling Stones traffic light pattern. When Rolling Stones leave, re-apply backed up traffic light pattern.


Here's the intersection I'm talking about, so you out-of-towners can commiserate with me.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Spine Radio on CKDU redux

After receiving confirmation from the powers that be, I am more sure than ever that Spine Radio will hit the actual airwaves tonight at 0100h. I realize it's a bit late to post this in the hopes that anyone is going to listen live, but if you're curious what it actually sounded like on the radio, you can download it from the CKDU archive page. If you're reading this on or after September 26th, this link should download the show that was aired, plus about 5 minutes on either side.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Transformers fan film - The Rude Awakening of Optimus Prime

This has got to be one of the funniest fan-made videos I've seen in a long time. Of course, I probably find it funnier than most because I watched every damn episode of the Transformers like I would break out in hives if I didn't.

Rodimus, give me back that fucking matrix immediately.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Spine Radio on CKDU

For anybody who listening for it like I was, Spine Radio was NOT broadcast last night (Tuesday @ 01:00) on CKDU, 88.1 FM in Halifax, nor was it the previous week as I had thought. I sent an email to the program director at the station and she's looking into why it hasn't been airing. I guess most of the overnight programming is automated, and it is set into motion by the last actual live DJ to be in the studio the previous evening. My guess is that that DJ just didn't know the schedule had been updated and was still setting the overnight playlist to what it had been previously. Hopefully before the month of September is out, we will have heard Spine Radio on the actual airwaves at least once :)

To all you insomniac students out there who may want to listen, the web version is going to be at least a full week ahead of the one on CKDU, so the best way to get it is still to head over to SpineRadio.com and subscribe.

Apple releases iTunes 7.0

Earlier tonight, Apple released iTunes 7.0, mainly a vehicle to allow the sale of movies through the iTunes store, and an update to the video iPods to allow them to play downloadable games. I'm happy because the updates fixed a few of the biggest problems that I had with the iPod/iTunes combo.

First off, they fixed a simple problem by having the iPod's screen stay lit (at the minimum brightness) when it's connected to your computer. This is useful because when you dock your iPod, the screen changes to a flashing "Do not disconnect" message that you can't always see if the screen goes dark. Since the iPod is charging anyway, there are no worries about your battery going dead because the screen is on.

Second, I had a weird problem that occurred most of the time when I docked my iPod. It would forget what I had listened to! If I listened to 10 podcasts before I docked, and then checked the status of my iPod in iTunes after I docked, my iPod would forget that I listened to those 10 songs. What a pain in the ass! More often than not, I found myself scrolling through those tracks again, just to mark them as played. I had heard from some of my Mac-using friends that they didn't have this problem, so I think it was probably only a PC thing.

Combined with the small little utility I had to write to monitor my podcast share on my server machine and automatically sync the new shows to my iTunes library and then to my iPod, I'm quite happy with everything now. My next step is to write a service to continually monitor iTunes to see if my iPod is docked, and then to do the syncing automatically instead of having to run the damn thing manually.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Camping is fun

I need a hobby. Well, a hobby other than one that involves me sitting in front of a computer. Anything that doesn't involve me being sedentary. I've established for myself that I hate softball, so that's out. What else is there?

Recently, while on my trip to Boston, we camped to do it on the cheap. (With 4 people in the car, and discounting all the stuff I bought, the trip only cost us $95 each!) Besides the few trips to Blomidon that a group of us did a few years ago, I hadn't really been camping since I was a kid. I kind of like it. In the past couple of weeks, I found myself buying a tent and some hiking boots. I think I'm even going to try and fit my girthy frame with a pack large enough to go on a multi-day hike. And I'm more than a bit excited by the prospect. I'm not interested in many things that don't have circuit boards and a power source, so this is pretty cool.

There are a group of people at my place of business who are planning such an expedition, but I'm not sure I want to go too fast too soon and more importantly, I don't want to be the guy at the back slowing everyone else down.

I guess this kind of links into my post about cool camping locations, but I wanted to see if anyone's game for heading out to Kejimkujik sometime in September and maybe trying to get to one of the campsites that aren't directly accessible by roads. It would be cool to see if some newbies like me would be willing to go because then we can move at our own pace and commiserate if things go poorly :)

I'd also be into attempting some hiking and camping in the winter months too. You might think, "Why the fuck would you go out camping in the winter?" I'd reply that it's the perfect time to go camping: There are no bugs, and you'll never have appreciated a campfire or hot chocolate as much in your life. You have to be prepared for the weather, for sure, but you can't have a snowball fight in the summer.

If anyone is interested, post here or fire me off an email.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Go see David Picco at Ginger's and/or Gus'

My step-brother, David Picco is going to be touring Atlantic Canada in the next few weeks. (He's from Newfoundland, but is currently living in Toronto.) He's playing on Saturday, August 26th at Ginger's Tavern on Barrington Street, and then again on Wednesday, September 6th at Gus' Pub on Agricola.

Anway, it would be really cool if people could come out and support him because I think this is the only way he gets to eat. Check out his music on his myspace page: http://myspace.com/davidpicco.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

18 ways to stay focused at work

Blogger Dave Cheong has come up with a list of 18 ways to stay focused and more productive at work. I'll bet one of them is not posting on your blog...unless your blog is your work...I wonder what that's like?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Free CDs (for the price of postage)

I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago in a Spine Radio episode, but Brobdingnagian Records is giving away albums for the measly cost of packing material and postage. I can't think of a much better deal.

When they're gone, they're gone, so stock up!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

ANOTHER new radio station?

Driving around today, I noticed a van beside me in traffic with 88.9 something something on the side. Unfortunately, this is another fucking classic rock station.

Yes, exactly. That is exactly what Halifax needs. We have a huge shortage of classic rock stations in this city and I, for one, am a huge proponent of being able to fill my car radio presets with nothing but stations with cheesy-ass DJs playing the Rolling Stones and Aerosmith 24/7. Please, can we get 4 more classic rock stations? That's all I need. I don't get to hear Stairway to Heaven enough times in a day.


Now, this "new" station is just an FM re-broadcast of the AM station 960 CHNS (or vice-versa, depending on how you look at it). Oldies 96 is apparently no more; not that I care. As much as I dislike Z103, at least they're trying to give us something that we don't yet have.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Spam of the week

Spam of the week:

From: Adam Phelps <AdamPhelps@0451.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2004 17:49:18 -0060
Subject: Q22

Silence. Stuck out my head. Nobody. And I went on my way, whistling a tune.
Jonathan sighed. The price of being misunderstood, he thought. They
Low speed ahead along the pylons, altitude three yards. Halt at the
directly into his path, calling for its mother. With a tenth of a second

From: Walter Langston <WalterLangston@01-stay-in-paris-hotels.com>
Date: Jul 12, 2006 5:25 PM
Subject: 9TK

and they still don't catch on. I stabbed the ashtray with my cigarette butt.
Don't be harsh on them, Fletcher Seagull. In casting you out, the
delouser--the scientists call it the medical hangar--along with the boot.
were strong and calm. "We've come to take you higher, to take you home.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Camping in Boston

Plans are starting to come together for our road trip to Boston. We've been researching campsites so we can travel on-the-cheap, and I think we've settled on Wompatuck State Park. It's about 30 minutes south of Boston, so we should be able to drive to the nearest subway station and then hit downtown.

So far, I think Jeannine and Tanya are just going to shop. We're going to be travelling with wifi-enabled laptops and a GPS (probably) so we should be able to update blogs, podcasts, photos, etc. from the road.

What's fun to do in Boston? Any requests for interviews or photos?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

New blog entry privacy feature

I've implemented a new feature that will let you guys not only decide whether to post a blog entry to the home page or not, but decide from 4 distinct levels of privacy for them. While coding the feature, I was thinking that it would be cool if everybody could exercise their own editorial control a little more when they're deciding what should and shouldn't go on the front page.

If you're writing something genuinely interesting, then by all means, put it on the front page. If you're simply blogging about what you did that day or musing about the stock price of porkbellies, then perhaps the front page isn't the right place for that entry.

Click inside to read about how to use the new options.

So, instead of the checkbox to put the post on the front page or not, there are now 4 options to choose from:
1. Show on the home page and in my personal blog. This is the same as if you had checked the checkbox that was there before. Selecting this option will display the blog posting on the front page (spine.cx) as well as your personal blog (<you>.blogs.spine.cx). The entry will show up in RSS feeds for both the home page and your personal blog.

2. Show in my pesonal blog only. Just like it sounds, the blog entry will not show up on the home page, but will appear in your personal blog. This option is the same as leaving the old checkbox unchecked. The post will appear in your personal blog's RSS feed only.

3. Require a direct link to this entry. This option removes the post from all lists of post. It won't appear on the front page or your personal blog page, but will be reachable via a direct link to the article, e.g., http://spine.cx/article.php?sid=1120

4. Allow only me to see this entry. The only person who can see the blog post is the author, while logged in. It is not otherwise accessible in any way.

Hopefully that gives you guys some more options to use spine.cx.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Vin Art Wines offers free Absinthe tasting

For those of you who have always wanted to try real absinthe, but haven't wanted to import it from France, now's your chance. Vin Art Wines will be offering tastes of the green fairy this Saturday from 1 to 5 pm.

Not only can you pick up a bottle of this stuff for yourself, but it's on sale, and they're going to throw in the spoon for free.

Click inside to read the full text of their invitation.

La Fée Parisian Absinthe is made in Paris based on a 19th century recipe containing Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) and other aromatic herbs. It's the only absinthe endorsed by Marie-Claude Delahaye, founder & curator of the Absinthe Museum in France, making it the most authentic in the world.

Like true French absinthe it has a dark green colour, rich bouquet of aniseed flavour and louches (turns cloudy with the addition of water) beautifully. And the La Fée Absinthe Spoon allows it to be served correctly -- it's truly the only connoisseur's choice.

Absinthe...the Green Fairy...La Fee Verte....no other drink has the same romantic history - the French Impressionists....Toulouse Lautrec, Degas, Manet, Van Gogh....Paris in the Belle Epoque....the cafes of Montmartre....the muse of writers from Verlaine and Rimbaud to Joyce and Hemingway. Of course, there's a darker side to absinthe as well - no other drink has ever roused the same degree of passionate condemnation, and no other drink has ever been banned outright in the way absinthe was in the years leading up to 1915.

Banned for almost a century until its recent revival, absinthe is something of a “living fossil”, a coelecanth amongst drinks, able to magically transport us back to the glittering world of Paris and the Belle Epoque, a world of bohemian musicians and writers, of the Moulin Rouge and the cafes of Montmartre, a world of starving struggling artists and glittering courtesans.

Come join Sommelier Derek McKinnon, the man responsible for this lovely beverage here in Nova Scotia, as he shows off cocktails, and the proper serving method of the "Green Fairy". The proper serving spoon will be provided with all purchases on this day only. ($49.95 and well worth it!)

Monday, May 29, 2006

This is why NOFX kicks everyone else's asses

There are two fairly major concerts happening on the Dartmouth waterfront this summer. The first being Wilco on July 12th, and the second being NOFX on August 14th.

Some of you might know that I have a hard time paying the fucking crazy prices that so-called "popular" bands want to charge for their shows. $70 for Our Lady Peace? However the fuck much it was for washed up Motley Crue and geriatric Alice Cooper? I do not fucking think so.

Wilco are a pretty good band, but they're charging $39 for their show, and there's only one other band on the bill. NOFX, on the other hand, are bringing what basically amounts to their own fucking rock festival with them, a whopping 10 bands in total, and they're only charging $28.

And that's why they rule the school.

P.S. Yes, I actually have bought all of NOFX's albums. Legally.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Lost will have no re-runs in its 3rd season

The official LOST podcast from LOST producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse says that in the 3rd season of LOST, there will be no re-runs! The first six episodes will run un-interrupted from November, ending with a mini-cliffhanger, and then will not air for the next 12 weeks. Upon returning in February, the show will air consecutive new episodes for 17 weeks until the end of the season.

They also say that during the 12 week break, no re-runs will be aired. This is, I think, good news, because at least there will only be one gap in the season, and we, as viewers, won't be tortured by stations showing old episodes.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Lost finale! Live together, die alone

I had a phone conversation with Ian Frosst about the LOST season 2 finale. Now you can hear it too.

A personal theory: I think that the fake Henry Gale is really the fiance of Penelope Widmore that she was going to marry instead of Desmond. Her team in the north (or south) was looking for either Desmond or Henry.

PodcastSteve014.mp3(audio/mpeg)4.9 MB[ Download ]

More cities should do this

An organization called Doors Open Toronto sponsors an annual event where the general public can have free access to "architecturally and/or culturally significant properties that are either not usually open to the public, or would normally charge an entrance fee."

This seems like a really cool idea. There are a number of buildings in Halifax in which I would love to have a tour. I remember the Bedford Institude of Oceanography, where my dad used to work before he retired, had a day when they were open to the public and it was very popular. I think that, especially for a tourist-industry-centric town like Halifax, this would be a great idea. You listening Kelly???

When I was going to school, it seemed as though everyone's dad worked at BIO. Weird.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

24 Season Finale

Don't read any further if you haven't seen the finale yet (and you don't want to be spoiled).

What the fuck is with Jack taking a call on a land line? He hasn't used a land line for the whole fucking season, he's getting planes and submarines patched into his cell phone, and some dumb operator can't forward his daughter to his cell phone? I totally saw the ending coming because of this! I thought it would have been the bluetooth headset crew and not the Chinese, but the outcome was basically the same.

It's like an unwritten rule that Jack can't end a season happy. Between getting his wife murdered, getting addicted to (and unaddicted in the SAME DAY) heroin, faking his own death, disowned by his only daughter, and getting shipped off to Shanghai in a container ship, you'd think he'd be ready for retirement.

Just the same, I can't wait for the next three seasons.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Big Brother UK

Just downloaded the first episode of the UK edition of Big Brother. I can't express to you, the reader, how much funnier it is than the American version. Let me count the reasons:

1. Accents. Even just inside the UK, there are countless accents. Manchester, Liverpool, Wales, Scotland, etc. Each one is completely different. Very entertaining.

2. More than one gay person. In the American version of BB, I don't think there is any chance in hell they'd have more than one gay guy on at the same time. It may be becoming more acceptable to have gay relationships in drama shows, but that's scripted, written: It's artificial. I don't believe that they're ready to allow for the potential of the public seeing an actual gay relationship develop on national TV.

3. Swearing. As far as I can tell, it's pretty much uncensored. I've heard several of the major dirty words that aren't allowed on North American television, and there haven't been any bleeps yet.

If you have the means, I recommend checking it out for yourself.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Shirts have been ordered

A grand total of 48 shirts were ordered this morning. To anybody who didn't get their order in, well, too bad; you had ample time to do so.

Again, here's a link where you can pay me for the shirt(s) you ordered.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Three Minutes

Frosst and I talk about the 2x22 episode of Lost, Three Minutes. He's on satellite internet, so there's a little bit of lag in our Skype connection. I don't know if we have any actual insights, but we had fun.

PodcastSteve013.mp3(audio/mpeg)4.2 MB[ Download ]

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Andechs Dopplebock

Andechs DopplebockMy brother got me to try this beer that his Austrian friend Ingo brought over from Germany, and I have to say, it's pretty good. Listen to the audio review for the full scoop.

PodcastSteve012.mp3(audio/mpeg)4.2 MB[ Download ]

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Question Mark

This is a three-way skype conversation between Matt, Ian, and I, talking about the episode of Lost that aired on May 10th, 2006.

PodcastSteve011.mp3(audio/mpeg)4.1 MB[ Download ]

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Joel Plaskett song in a Zellers commercial

I'm watching the second part of a two part House M.D., and what should come on but a Zellers commercial. They've had some catchy music in their ads before, such as the Bedouin Soundclash, and the Be Good Tanyas. Keeping in my current form of making statements that start off like questions, who should be featured in ths current ad, but Halifax's own Joel Plaskett with a song off his new DVD/CD, Make a Little Noise: Nowhere with you.

Good on Zellers (a Canadian company) for using Canadian music in their ads.

CBC offers way more podcasts

CBC is now offering podcast versions of what I'm willing to bet are your favourite shows. Have you ever wanted to listen to Definately not the Opera, but haven't been able to, because it's on right in the middle of Saturday afternoon? Now you can download the show and listen to it whenever you want. Never miss it again!

If this doesn't get you interested in podcasting, and actually subscribing to a show, I don't know what will.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Canadian musicians speak out against copyright laws & DRM

It's about time somebody stood up and said something, and I'm proud that it is Canadian artists doing it. DRM makes it harder to listen to music. If I can't listen to a CD in my car, I can't bring it on a road trip, I can't push it onto my friends, and if they never hear it, they'll never go buy that CD themselves.

First of all, radio is pretty much dead to me. With the exception of CKDU and (of course) the CBC, I haven't listened to radio in about 3 years. I can't remember the last time I heard a song on any of the commercial radio stations here in Halifax, and then went out and bought a CD because of it. All, and I mean ALL, of the new music I listen to comes from the Internet. If it weren't for the Internet, I'd probably still be listening to Whigfield and Aqua. You're right...I probably wouldn't have any friends either.

Second of all, Steven Page says it better than I ever could.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Silent Hill

Tanya and I review and talk about the movie Silent Hill.

PodcastSteve010.mp3(audio/mpeg)4.2 MB[ Download ]

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Metro Transit's clientele is top notch

Today on my way home, a fine gentleman sat next to me on the bus. He was so respectable that despite the fact that he was too drunk to do it successfully, he tried very hard to hide the fact that he was drinking a bottle of listerine. Every once in a while though, he would nip it out of his jacket pocket and empty some into the McDonalds cup he was holding. To his credit, I don't think he knew that I could see everything he was doing. He then asked me if I knew Jesus. His breath smelled exquisite. What a fine, fine gentleman.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Bluetooth is good for something

So, my brother and I are sitting in the Economy Shoe Shop, and for whatever reason, we want to get on the internet. He has a Treo 650p, and he does it easily through the Telus' CDMA network. I have a Jasjar, and I could also do it easily, if I subscribed to a data service. We did something that was really fucking neat. He exposed his device as a bluetooth modem that my device could use. My Jasjar, via bluetooth got out onto the internet through my bro's Treo 700 on CDMA. Perhaps that's a little too geeky for most people, but I thought it was damn cool.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

How do you know when to stop wiping?

Don't ask. Just listen.

PodcastSteve009.mp3(audio/mpeg)3.3 MB[ Download ]

2006 Element

I am over at Portland street Honda and I decided to try posting to my blog with my handheld. I managed to take and upload some photos to Flickr. Then I got to the blog posting and I found that there are no square brackets or greater/less than symbols on this keyboard. Anyway, here's the link:

Friday, April 7, 2006

The .NET Framework can't count past 256

Anyone who did arts in university can stop reading now.

For the most part, I really like developing .NET applications. I think Microsoft has done a fairly good job at making a framework that's pretty nice to use. But there are some things that just piss me the fuck off.

A case in point: I'm not sure how many people know this, but there is a maximum length for a file's path; actually, there's two maximum lengths. The FAT filesystems (FAT16, FAT32) had a limit of 256 characters. Remember the days of 8.3 filenames? You'd have to nest a file fairly deep in a folder hierarchy to get to 256 characters. With the advent of Windows NT, and subsequently windows 2000 and XP, they came up with NTFS, the NT filesystem. Since this filesystem natively supported long filenames, not the silly ~1 kludge that 95, 98, and ME bore, 256 suddenly became not such a hard length to hit. They upped the maximum path length to 32768 characters. That ought to be enough for everyone, right? I still don't know who in their right mind would want to type 32k of characters to get to a file :)

My problem is that the .NET framework, now in its 2.0 incarnation, and I'm pretty sure working only on operating systems that use NTFS, cannot access a file with a path longer than 256 characters. There has been a way to access these long paths since around 1997 in Windows NT 3.51, yet here in 2006 we can't seem to get past 256 characters. This made me want to kick a framework developer square in the juniper berries.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

My new iPod

I've had my black 30 gig iPod now for a few weeks, so I figure it's about time I write something on her about it. First, let me say that the iPod is an amazing MP3 player. Its capacity and form factor are unrivaled by any other player out there. It simply holds the most and looks the best, while keeping a svelte figure to boot.

This shit is svelte!

iTunes, however, is a miserable bitch goddess. I don't know if it's just because I'm a Windows guy trying to use an Apple product or what, but I find iTunes very difficult to use. I just find the interface doesn't have the options I think it should, and if they are there, they're not in the places where I expect to find them. I consider myself a fairly experienced computer user, so in general, if I can't easily figure out your application, most of the time, your application is stupid. I'm willing to forgo that statement for some pieces of software that are inately complex, but not for a music manager like iTunes.

First of all, If you want to keep your sanity, UNCHECK the checkbox that says, "Keep iTunes Music folder organized". That thing scares the hell out of me. If your MP3s are not properly tagged with ID3 tags, then who knows what the hell is going to happen. iTunes (and the iPod) work almost entirely on these tags. They are what both pieces of technology use to display when browsing your library of music, and while playing a particular selection. The only way to reasonably keep track of things, is to have all your MP3s tagged properly. I have found that a good program to do this with is called (logically) Tag & Rename. It lets you generate ID3 tags from the filename of an MP3, and vice versa. It lets you do in a more tolerable way, what iTunes would have fucked up from the start.

Ok, so that's the first problem out of the way, but don't worry, there are lots more. Number two on my list has to be the automatic update feature of iTunes. This is supposed to keep your iTunes library synchronized with what's on your iPod. Now, even I'll agree, this sounds pretty good in practice. You can have a complete copy of your music in a nice portable form that you can listen to on the road, while you're walking, attending funerals, etc. It kind of breaks down when your music collection is like mine, and far, far larger than the 30 gigs afforded you by the (what now seems) tiny iPod hard drive.

Luckily, there is another option that would seem to be exactly what the doctor ordered: Automatically update selected playlists only. This would seem to say to me that whatever is in the selected playlists would be kept synchronized with the corresponding tracks in my iTunes library, but everything else on my iPod would be left alone for me to manage manually. Unfortunately, this was not the case, and I ended up having to re-copy about 10 gigs of music to my iPod after iTunes mercilessly deleted it. Therefore, the only option left for me to use was the third and last: Manually manage songs and playlists. I don't revel in doing anything manually...I mean, come on, that's what computers are for. I shouldn't be subjected to anything *gasp* manual. But I didn't really care...With 30 gigs of space, I didn't figure I'd be changing the music so much anyway. Except for podcasts. New ones download every day. How the fuck am I going to deal with that?

Whew! iTunes to the rescue! Somebody thought enough to stick a podcast tab in the configuration options. That should take care of everything...right? Well, as it turns out, not so much. I don't know how many of you know this, but I am subscribed to (as of this writing) 51 podcasts. (It's not as bad as you think: They're not all 1 hour long like Spine Radio, and they don't all release new episodes as frequently as once a week.)

Even though I'm sure iTunes would be more than capable of handling the multitude of subscriptions, there was no easy way to move these subscriptions from my other (and current) podcast downloader into iTunes. And even if there was, I wouldn't really want to use iTunes for it. Because I subscribe to so many shows, the sheer size of all the downloads can grow quite quickly, so I would rather my podcasts download onto my server machine at home, the one with the terabyte of disk space, and not my laptop. I'll go into my podcast receiving set-up at some point, but not right now.

Anyway, since I basically couldn't use iTunes as my podcast downloader, I had to figure out a way to somehow automatically get podcasts that were being downloaded onto, and shared from, my server machine onto my iPod. As it turns out, that's not trivial. Unlike Windows Media Player, iTunes does not have the option to monitor a directory in your filesystem, and automatically add any files to its library that it doesn't have yet. When I used a Windows Mobile device to listen to podcasts, this is exactly what I did. New podcasts would get picked up by Media Player, and a smart playlist would sync them to my device. With no way to do the same in iTunes, I'm left with a problem. But, hey, I'm a software developer, and this problem is starting to look a little bit like a nail.

Non developer types may want to skip to the end of the marked section. Anyone who's interested, or suffering from insomnia, feel free read all the gory details.
After a little bit of googling, I found out that iTunes has a COM interface.. Perfect. I fired up my development environment and went to work. It turns out that iTunes interfaces aren't so much a programming interface as they are the COM representation of the iTunes program itself. If there was a menu item or button you could click on the GUI, there was a method on a COM object you could call do do the same thing.

However, since I could accomplish what I wanted to do via the GUI, I could also do it via the interfaces. With a pretty shallow learning curve, I whipped up a small command line app that just scanned my podcast share for anything that was newer than the last time it had run, and added those items to the iTunes library. It would then do its best to synchronize any new podcasts over to the iPod (if it was connected), and remove any old ones that I had already listened to. It works pretty well, and it serves the purpose; even if I do still have a breakpoint to make sure it doesn't delete anything its not supposed to.

I know people are saying that there are other applications out there (like EphPod or Anapod Explorer) that can replace iTunes for getting music on your iPod, and while this is true, these other applications did one of two things:
1. screwed up my iPod's internal database, and rendered my iPod incompatible with iTunes, or
2. couldn't do (or be configured to do) what I wanted them to do, in which case they were really no better than iTunes.

The third major problem with the iPod/iTunes one-two punch to the sack was that once your music is on the pod, there is no supported way to get it off and back onto your computer. There are some applications that can help you with that problem, though. They include, but are not limited to the afore-mentioned EphPod and Anapod Explorer, as well as SharePod, and YamiPod. From what I've read, older versions of the iPod just stored your music in a hidden folder on the iPod itself, that was clearly visible when you turned on the "hard drive" option. In the iPod with video, however, the files are placed seemingly randomly into folders named F00 to F49, and the filenames are munged into random 4-letter strings, i.e., MMSJ.mp3. The programs I mentioned will read the appropriate information from the iTunesDB file on the iPod and rename the files according to artist, album, etc., when you copy the files off.

So, after all that, if you still want an iPod, I think you'll be happy. The iPod itself is a great device, and I highly recommend it. iTunes can go suck an egg.

Monday, April 3, 2006

OMG!!! This baby seal is so cute

And I'm willing to bet that it's just as delicious.

Red carpet at the Junos

Through some good fortune, I was able to attend the red carpet ceremony at the Juno awards. I borrowed Ray's camera, which he was nice enough to lend me, and got some fairly decent shots of the musicians as they walked down the red carpet Argyle Street.

If anyone TiVo'ed, or otherwise recorded the red carpet E-Talk Daily portion of the Junos, I would love to get a copy because I was on camera several times, and I want some screenshots ;)

I need your guys' help though. Since I don't have cable TV, I actually had no idea who the people were that I was taking pictures of. I need you guys to help me identify the people in the photos. So please comment on the photos or add notes to them.

The part that sucked was the 4 fucking hours standing out in the cold waiting for the CTV assholes to get the ball rolling. I'm not typically a star-chaser, but the opportunity presented itself, and well, I'm a citizen journalist ;)

And to the fucker in the black hat who was right in front of me blocking the coolest shots I could have taken with his above-the-shoulder hands and his big fat head, you can go to hell.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Eastlink wireless trial

For a while now, I've been noticing wireless hotspots around downtown called "Eastlink WiFi Trial #16" or something like that. I've tried connecting to them, but to no avail. Well, just today, I got an email from eastlink:
Dear EastLink Customer,

EastLink is currently conducting a Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) trial in various locations throughout the Halifax peninsula.

In order for our Wi-Fi trial to be successful, it's important that we receive feedback from our customers. As a valued EastLink High Speed Internet customer, we would like to extend the invitation for you to participate in this innovative trial and provide your feedback to us about the service.

If you have a laptop or PDA that is wireless compatible you can access the service. Since it's in a test phase, the signal could be intermittent and technical support will not be available. Customers should note this connection is not secure and therefore, caution should be exercised when exchanging or accessing personal information.

While there is no cost to you for accessing this service, we request that you provide a response to our brief on-line survey and offer feedback about your experiences. The survey is designed to gather information on who used the service and why (i.e. work, recreation, educational). To view coverage areas, visit http://wifi.eastlink.ca.

Thank you and we hope you will enjoy EastLink's Wi-Fi trial.


Ian Lezama
Director of Marketing

Friday, March 24, 2006

WTF is up with iTunes?

So, I picked up an iPod last week (which I'm still planning to blog about later, a little more in-depth) with my tax return money, and I decided to give iTunes a go as my primary music player. I know I always seem to have these fucked up problems, but this one is fairly extreme. My normal, everyday MP3s play all fucked up in iTunes, and only in iTunes. They play just fine in Winamp, Windows Media Player, and on the iPod itself.

Has anyone ever experienced this? If you know anybody that can help me out, I'm running iTunes on Windows XP Professional with SP2. I'm usually the guy to answer people's technical questions, not ask them, but I'm really stumped in this case.

Edit: I was finally able to fix the problem after being pointed to this support article on apple.com.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Me on Electric Circus

I didn't want this video to get lost, so I stuck it up on YouTube.com. It's from back in 1999 when I was on electric circus:

Anti-war protest hits downtown Halifax

Apparently some people were planning a big anti-war protest for Saturday around noon. I was just coming out of the farmer's market as it was getting started, so naturally, I whipped out my trusty camera and started taking pictures and a video. Sorry about the quality of the video, it looks much better on my computer than on YouTube.

After they walked past me on Lower Water Street, I went to get my car, but I lost them. However, I was pretty sure they'd head for Spring Garden Road, since that's where they'd cause the most disruption. I beat them there and got some more photos ;)

St. Patrick's Day 2006

What a blast I had on St. Patrick's Day. It started off with breakfast at the Old Triangle. I got there at 07h55, and the place was already packed. Brent joined me soon after that, and we sat down for a bite. Being as crowded as it was, it took a while before one of the wait staff even brought us menus. After that, we waited about 30 minutes, and nobody ever spoke to us again. I flagged down the next person I saw, and explained the situation. Luckily, it happened to be one of the owners of the place and he really got the ball rolling for us ;) About 3 minutes later, we were eating bacon and eggs and drinking Guinness.

Then I had to go to work :(

After work, we headed to the Fife and Drum, the hotel bar of the Casino Nova Scotia Hotel. It was also quite full, but thankfully, we had some intrepid seat-savers working for us. The Guiness flowed until around 22h30, when the more sober among us migrated to Gus' Pub to hear the band of a friend of a friend that was playing there.

Around midnight, we went for pizza and called it a night.

PodcastStPaddysDay2006.mp3(audio/mpeg)2.6 MB[ Download ]

Friday, March 17, 2006

Capsaicin cures prostate cancer

Holy flamin' hoop, Batman! Reuters is reporting on a study that concluded Hot peppers kill prostate cancer cells. In the war of capsaicin (the chemical that makes peppers hot) vs. prostate cancer cells, the hot stuff won 80% of the time. That's huge.

However, 95% of men said they'd rather have prostate cancer than squeeze a habanero up their fudge tunnel.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Our little Flashy is getting married

Congratulations to Spine.cx's own Flashy and Triad who are getting married sometime in April. Sorry, but I forget the exact date. Here, Flashy looks absolutely absorbing in her TP wedding dress:

Superfriendz @ the Grawood

For anyone who didn't attend the Superfriendz show at the Grawood this past Saturday night, you missed a good show. I took some pictures. I also picked up their original cassette release "Sticktoitiveness", which they re-released on CD, and their 2003 release "Love Energy" which I didn't even know existed until now.