The Escapist - Reliable Source: Mac Vs. PC | Sunday, April 11th, 2010

Hilarious Mac vs. PC article by Marion Cox on Escapist Mag.

I suggested that she go buy a $15 wireless router rather than spending $100 on an expensive Apple gimmick. She told me that collage-boy refused to use anything but Mac products because of Feng Shui, apparently it went better with the cheap Ikea furniture.

...

She would ask me if $2500 was too much to spend on a computer; I died a little inside when I realized that Apple computer would cost more than my last car.

...

As my homebuilt PC came down, the Mac snapped; the extremely expensive machine cracked open, guts spilling from its disemboweled chassis. Clearly, PC was the winner in this particular fight. Screw you, Justin Long.

P.S. - I am writing this from a VIA Rail train, with free wifi in every car. Welcome to the future [sic].


JR's Dog Training | Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

This is the first in a many-part series on businesses with whom I've recently had either extremely positive or extremely negative experiences. For the sake of courtesy, I'm kicking it off with a positive one.

JR's Dog Training

Montreal-Area: 514-631-7478
North America: 1-877-631-7478

info@jrdogtraining.com

Many of you already know that I've recently adopted a 10 month-old mutt. His name is Ryu, and he looks like a hyena reject from a Japanese anime movie. He's a cross of a multitude of breeds; best guesses approximate something like 50% Lab (temperament), 25% Grey or Sighthound (body and energy level), 25% Pitbull (jawline), and 125% submissive pushover. He is probably the most gentle dog I have ever met. He adores women and follows them around everywhere they go - though I'm not yet sure if this is simply part of his personality or if it's something he's already picked up on from hanging out with me too much.

My new 10-month old Hyena Puppy.

Note: Not really a Hyena.

Also like his alpha, he can be clumsy, awkward, stubborn, and often confused as to what's expected of him. He and I was in dire need of some training. The rescue I adopted him from (Eleven Eleven - highly recommended as well) suggested I get in touch with Joe Rosen (of, you guessed it, JR's Dog Training in Montreal) to get started on lessons right away. I mostly wanted to make sure he was clean in the house and heeled well with me when we go jogging, but halfway through the training I realized that JR was in fact giving me all the tools and information I needed to raise what was becoming, in essence, the perfect dog.


Selling my motorcycle, 2006 Hyosung GT250, $3100 | Monday, February 22nd, 2010

(reposted from Craigslist)

I bought my 2006 Hyosung GT 250 new in March of last year (2009) from Zone Moto; it was a Salon de la Moto demo, never ridden.

Full specs and review for the bike here.

There are lots of forums and aftermarket parts suppliers dedicated to this bike.

I've added:

  • Leather Tank cover with bag clips ($200)
  • Front Iridium Windshield ($120)
  • Center Stand ($100)
  • Hyosung Lowering kit ($100 with labour)

With only 3300kms, This is an awesome 250cc, light, quick bike, uses very little gas and amazing around the city and on the highway, especially ideal as a first motorcycle for new riders (like I was), women or shorter people since it's lowered (I'm 5'8" and the bike fits me like a glove). I ride with friends who have 500s and 650s and can keep up with them. It's less expensive, faster and better handling than a Ninja 250, extremely reliable (not a single problem with almost daily driving all summer) and has that awesome naked look.

It comes with the remainder of a 2 year warranty valid until March 2011 (so the entire riding season!) at Zone Moto. The bike was broken in properly and gently, the initial service is done (all synthetic oil), and it will be due for its 4000km service soon, which will be done by Zone Moto at my expense before the bike is sold (or, if you prefer to do it yourself, I will subtract the cost of the maintenance - about $100 or so - from the asking price).

It is like new, maintained meticulously, with only a few nearly invisible scratches (seen in pics below) on read fender and exhaust can - the bike was not dropped but I clipped the side of my garage door the first day I got it. The bike was stored on its centerstand all winter in a heated garage with a trickle charger, and the tires were rotated regularly.

I will include the original manual, receipts, a bike cover and all original parts / bolts / etc that came with the bike, including the kit to raise it back to stock height.


iPad, kids, programming, and Digital Serfdom | Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

I like kids. No, scratch that - I love kids. Hell, not many people know this, but I actually used to be a kid. Infinitely curious with an imagination that knows no bounds, children have a way of seeing the world which is uniquely their own. They are nothing less than little people, with their own sets of rules, societies and laws, and one of the main reasons so many people find it difficult or awkward to interact with kids is that these people try to force children to step into in our "real" (ahem), man-made world, instead of working our way towards being accepted into the grand societies that children have built.

I must have been around 6 or 7 years old when I got my first computer; the family's Coleco Adam. Unlike most kids who had the marvelous opportunity to be exposed to computing at such an early age, I did not go on to become a hardcore, Godlike programmer nerd. This may have been due, in no small part, to my computer's tendency to "generate a surge of electromagnetic energy on startup, which can erase the contents of any removable media left in or near the drive." However, it did serve as a critically important introduction to the logic of programming, user interfaces, gaming, and science fiction. Several hundred "goto line"s and "run 80"s later, the path to personal technocracy had been laid.

Naturally, upon realization that my exposure to these themes was critical in shaping me into the strapping fellow you see read before you, I became a strong evangelist for the sort of exploration encouraged by these early computers. In his post “Tinkerer's Sunset”, Mark Pilgrim details his version of this shared experience many young kids went through at that age:

"As it happens, this computer came with the BASIC programming language pre-installed. You didn’t even need to boot a disk operating system. You could turn on the computer and press Ctrl-Reset and you’d get a prompt. And at this prompt, you could type in an entire program, and then type RUN, and it would motherfucking run.

I was 10. That was 27 years ago, but I still remember what it felt like when I realized that you — that I — could get this computer to do anything by typing the right words in the right order and telling it to RUN and it would motherfucking run.

That computer was an Apple ][e."


A day in Montreal, One | Thursday, February 4th, 2010

It was a Tuesday morning, a couple of weeks ago, and it was one of the most beautiful mornings I can remember so far this winter. As I walked to Le Dépanneur Café, the biggest snowflakes you've ever seen were lazily making their descent to the ground. L'Esplanade street was mostly deserted quiet except for me and the crunching of the snow beneath my Columbia boots. Four or five hours of work fly by me like doves until my good friend Elizabeth walks in.

Benoit, the owner, convinces us to buy the CD of his newest musical crush - Erin Lang. I went ahead and paid the paltry $10 for it, while Elizabeth contents herself with a green tea cupcake, also made by Erin Lang that morning. I took a bite. It was pretty good.

I sometimes wonder what parts of my life I'll look back on with fondness in my later years. We tend to morph, twist and deform places, people and things deep in the recesses of our memories, warping proportions and exaggerating emotions. Whenever I listen to Erin Lang, maybe I'll somehow manage to remember the day where giant snowflakes fell on the plateau only to be destroyed under the heel of my even giant-er boot, worked on my laptop for many many hours and ate a dozen green tea cupcakes.

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