Monday, August 27, 2007

Cars in Vancouver

I like the cars I see downtown. For me, cars can be like an art form. Having said that, I notice that some cars are priced like that too.

There is also some pretty crappy art driving around these days.

But downtown, well that's where people come to show off their nice cars. So I see more than your average number of shiny rollers. Some cars, like the Maserati pictured here are much more impressive in person than anything I see on the internet. Just one more thing I like about living where I do, I guess.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Long distance shopping trip

Now that we have no car, making a trip to another city to do some shopping takes a bit of coordination. Like learning new bus routes, and bus schedules. Like learning to be on time for said busses.

Oh well, we made it afterall, and the bus was much faster than we expected. (yay for the 98 B-line!)

So this friendly fellow pictured here was at the mall which was our destination. On a side note, I am noticing that the more distracted I am, the more poorly worded my sentences become. Please bear with me!

Well the distraction is gone, but so is any semblance of what I was going to write. Hey look! Dinosaurs!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Alternate sleep schedules

I was reading an article online regarding alternate sleep schedules, or more importantly, research being done on sleeping less and getting away with it. Time had one article on 'Dymaxion Sleep'. While the article was interesting, I was immediately put off by the name.

The thing is, anytime someone 'invents' a new word, it immediately becomes a distraction from the topic it was intended to describe. What made it even worse was that according to the article, this guy likes this word a lot: many of his inventions are titled 'Dymaxion' this or that. I guess this person cannot think of unique names and is limited to this one in particular.

Most fields of discovery, like biology or astronomy have rules regarding the naming of new things found. Often, it has to be according to rules (ie, must be in latin, broken down by genus, species, etc.) or is ultimately voted on by committee. This prevents things like Planet 'Retard Number 3' from being named or a new species of wild hoobie jaloobies from being discovered.This is a good thing. (As soon as I typed this, I realized that I better google for said planets and creatures, just to be sure.)

Anyway, those are my thoughts on that. The photo is one from a few weeks ago when we took the dog down to the beach. That was a good day, but I did learn that the stroller was not built for sand.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Third day is the charm for Ubuntu

Yes, the novelty is starting to wear off on posting about ubuntu. But I had to say that I found a solution to the whole 'Adobe has yet to get around to releasing a 64-bit version of Flash' issue.

The solution: install 32-bit Firefox instead of the default 64-bit version.

What sounds simple is not always so. Take a look at these instructions. They work, but it took me a while to puzzle out just what I was supposed to do, or how. But the good news is that at least I was able to get a solution for my problem I guess. I ended up installing a browser with an even crazier name than before. I now have Swiftweazel32. As if a weazel is ever slow. Just crazy talk.

I also managed to install Vendetta Online, just in case I wanted to shoot up some space ships, or test out the 3d capabilities of the onboard video card.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ubuntu Day Two

Okay, it is not really the second day for linux but it's the second day that I have had a chance to be on the computer long enough to address a few things. Most notably, I no longer have my black window issue I complained about earlier. Much thanks to 'spuck' from a chat room who was helpful in his own way. Much more thanks to the rest of the room for us dominating the conversation about linux basics for about an hour. I have also managed to get my work applications and sites configured, so I can now function fully from home. For the record, the way I addressed the black window bug was to switch from compiz to metacity. This means none of the glitzy features like wobbly windows, etc. until I upgrade my video card. Functional wins over pretty - not sure if I have heard that before or not.

Next on my to-do list for linux: uninstall 64bit firefox so that I can install the 32bit version instead. Also, I will probably want to install another browser like Opera, etc. From there, who knows - I may get crazy with what I install. But for now, back to work.

On the prowl for a bike

Ever since I moved back to Vancouver, I have been itching to get my butt onto a bike. (Yes, I worded it that way on purpose.) I used to own a nice road bike but left it back in Ontario and now seriously doubt I will ever see it again. My other ride is a typical mountain bike but it needs some work to become rideable once again.

For a while now I have been scouring craigslist to see what I can find for cheaper, yet non-vintage (ie. something better than heavy, crappy parts) road bikes. I haven't quite found what I want at a price I want to pay. My new plan is to take my mountain bike and re-work it into a road-hybrid. The more I think about this plan, the more I like it. I have a lot of memories with this bike - riding it again would be a good thing.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Day one with Ubuntu

I had been meaning to install linux on my computer from even before I bought it. The computer came with Vista Basic preinstalled and it took a while before I could free up a secondary hard drive. Having said that, I managed to get a copy of Feisty Fawn installed and did not torch the Vista operating system in the process.

I noted a couple odd things about the process. One, if I booted off the CD, it tended to launch with a resolution of only 800x600. That would have been fine, but when I attempted to install, the windows used were larger than that, and I could not get to the actual buttons at the bottom of the screen. Eventually I figured it out by using tab to cycle through but that was almost a deal breaker. One nice thing though is that most everything is automatically detected and configured. Gone are the days of setting up internet, etc.

Of course, once I had installed (on my second drive) and rebooted, nothing happened. Of course, the computer was reading the boot record off of the first drive and totally missing the fact that linux was ready to go on the second. Like I said, I really did not want to mess with the Vista drive so I decided to check the bios settings on my computer. Thankfully they had evolved as well. Both drives had been detected in bios, and there was a setting which let me specify the boot order. This worked, which meant I would not have to try copying boot record files and stuff over to the other drive.

Additionally, when I booted from the installed version of linux, it correctly guessed my resolution and things appeared to be working. But then I discovered that I also am affected by the 'Black Windows bug for nVidia cards'. I haven't had time to sort through those instructions and update my computer yet, but at least now I know where to begin.

Next up will be to start customizing it.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Ramen noodles

Recently, I ordered some Ramen noodles from a local noodle cafe. Overall, I was really pleased with the food and the overall look of the place. It was clean, bright and fun despite the small size.

Although I have had ramen noodles before (my wife has made them from time to time) I really had forgotten what they tasted like, or what kind of variety I could expect. The stuff we ordered came in a rather large bowl (we got take out, so the bowl was plastic, not styrofoam and had a proper lid) and I thought it tasted good.
I think I would like to dine-in one time though, because the place is dominated by this wraparound bar that you can sit at. The server can walk down the center of this bar, serving the customers easily.

I am not sure if it is obvious by the photo or not, but I had my ramen noodles with chicken and vegetables. Next time I might try adding the egg, although I am not sure if I should get a traditional boiled egg, or the pink and white striped egg-like thing I see in the pictures.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Pride Parade 2007

This morning I assumed that I was going to be posting about the Vancouver Pride parade and how I regretted missing it. However, after getting into the office and seeing what work I had to accomplish I realized that attending the parade was easily within the scope of what I wanted to do today. So after a brief chat with my wife (determining when/where we would meet up) I set out of the office.

In typical fashion, I would be arriving mere moments before things would get started, so finding that ideal spot to view the parade really was more of just finding ANY spot where we were able to see the road and still be in the shade. My wife did find a spot and we were able to enjoy most of it before I eventually had to start heading back to the office.

The parade started slow, I thought. Basically just a bunch of motorcycles running up and down the street at first. Still, they got the crowd started and it definitely added to the grass roots flavour of the event. Later the more substantiative floats passed by, including ones representing various public institutions such as public transit, police, firefighters and more. The mayor was in attendance, spinning circles in his wheelchair. I found it amusing to note that virtually EVERY union in town was also in the parade, almost immediately following Sam the mayor. In case you haven't put the two together yet, we still have that city workers strike underway, yet here we had most of the parties required for the negotiations off gallivanting in the sun instead of settling matters of business. Oh well, at least the unions were following Sam's lead.

This was my first chance to attend a pride parade and I am glad that I did. One of the things that make Vancouver such a great city to be in is its tolerance. Even though this was a fun celebration, there were still hints of sadness, like the float that was holding a moment's silence for those lost to AIDS or the other group highlighting the persecution of homosexuality in other countries where it is often punishable by death or torture. So long as stuff like that is still a reality, I guess we will still have a need for parades like this.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Best fireworks yet

Last night was China's turn to display their talents with fireworks. China did not disappoint. Based on my unscientific research, I would say that China is going to win this competition this year. (research was done by talking to people in the office, people at home, etc. to see how they felt the show was. Unanimous results (well, all but the spouse of one person I spoke with) were that China did the best. Hey, I said UN-scientific.)

Once again the harbour was filled with boats. Once again people were generally happy to be out and pleasant to get along with. Once again, trash crews came along afterward to clean the beaches. Seeing Vancouver pull off an event like this gives me hope for some of the events coming up. People are going to love this town in 2010.