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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Aiming for the Moon… WaS Reaches New Heights!

Published July 31, 2010 - 2 Comments

Back in June, I mentioned that the blog broke the old record for hits in a single day… 79.  I attributed it to a little post I did about a certain t-shirt, and a girl who took notice.  Amongst other things…  well yesterday smashed through that ceiling, coming in at 94 hits!  It appears that people may have been interested in reading about my trip to Cape Breton, after all.  Or maybe they were simply looking for more pictures of my handsome mug drooling on my Tweety bird pillow as I slept… Whatever the reason, I am happy to see the spike.  I recently read a term called vanity metrics, meaning things like blog hits, and how they were nearly useless in terms of tracking real value, and more for inflating a blogger’s ego.  And I agree!  But without a measurement of reader traffic, there’s really no point in measuring anything else.  No matter how valuable your message is, if no one is receiving it, it doesn’t really matter does it?

Thanks for reading!

The Plan: Driving to Cape Breton

Published July 30, 2010 - 8 Comments

The trip was planned with unusual precision.  Unusual for me, that is.  I’m kinda a fly by the seat of my pants guy when it comes to these things.  Sure, I am capable of a little planning.  But this went beyond anything that I’m used to.  My role was to sit back and stay out of the way.  Awesome!

Sleeping Beauty. Pretty, isn't it?

I finished work at 7am Thursday morning, so I wasn’t going to be much good on the drive. The idea was simple enough.  I could sleep on the way, and wake at our destination completely refreshed and ready to go.  I had my Tweety pillow, a blanket, even a sleeping mask.  It just doesn’t get any better than that.  I probably would have slept the entire drive had it not been for the rain.  At one point I woke up… the car felt like it was moving sideways, rather than going forward.  It was a rather unsettling feeling.  When I opened my eyes, all I could see was a torrential downpour, and transport trucks.  We had been driving for a little over 2 hours, and were still in New Brunswick.  I was all set to stay overnight and wait for the weather to pass… but that wasn’t part of the plan.  Onward bound!

Thankfully the rain did not continue for the entire drive, but that was it… there would be no more sleep for me.  I spent my time looking for road signs and arguing playfully about which direction “north” was. 

Thankfully the GPS is better at that kinda stuff than I am.

Mini-Vacation 2010 – Cape Breton, NS

Published July 30, 2010 - 1 Comment

Wouldn't it be fun to live in a lighthouse?

I’ve been saying for a few years that I really wanted to visit Cape Breton sometime.  Well that time was a few days ago!  I’ve been holding off on writing anything until I had all the pictures from the trip, as well as trying to overcome a little writer’s block along the way.

So what is it about Cape Breton that was holding my attention?  The obvious answer is the Cabot Trail.  I had been told that the drive is amazing, and I wanted to see for myself.  There’s also a little bit of overlap with my working life… part of my day job is dealing with technicians in Nova Scotia and PEI, and I’ve never had a real appreciation for what it means when I ask one of them to drive to a specific location.  Last summer I finally got to PEI for the first time.  This summer was Cape Breton.  So the next time I have to wake someone up in the middle of the night in Chéticamp, and ask them to drive to Inverness in a snowstorm, I’ll understand why they hang up on me!  🙂

To go through the entire trip in one blog post would not do it justice.  I think that it would be too long, lack focus, and probably lose readers’ interest.  So rather than write a huge post, I think that I’ll break it down into several mini-posts and spread them out over the next couple of days.  You can always click on the “Cape Breton” tag to get the entire list of posts, after they have been published.

Stopped to enjoy the beautiful view. So relaxing.

I will say this about the trip as a whole… I had a fantastic time!  The Cabot Trail is everything that people said it was, and more.  The weather was perfect (other than our travel days, which was just fine with me).

I would go back in a heart beat.

Need Free Online Storage? Try Dropbox!

Published July 28, 2010 - 5 Comments

A friend of mine told me about Dropbox quite some time ago.  I created an account at the time, but I didn’t actually try it out until today.  What a great little service!

Dropbox provides you with 2GB of free online storage, perfect for backing up important files that you can then access from any computer.  You can also easily share some (or all) of these files with other people, if needed.  It’s a piece of cake to log in and retrieve them.  I stored some mp3 and video files for a course that I’m taking.  I don’t need to worry about accidentally deleting them (again) and can get to them anywhere I have an internet connection.  There’s even a Dropbox app for my iPhone!

While there is an option to pay for more storage, one of the really nice things about Dropbox is that they will give you an additional 250MB of storage for each referral, up to 8GB maximum.  So I’m asking for a little help here.  Sign-up only takes a couple of minutes, and is free.  Plus, it really is a worthwhile service.  Many times I’ve wished that I had easily accessible backups of certain files.  And then there’s the stuff that I’ve lost over the years… sure, you can back things up to a DVD or external drive.  I would never suggest using online storage as your sole method of backup… but keeping everything on local backup isn’t a great idea either.  Things happen.  Trust me.  A good strategy should involve a combination of offline and online backup, especially for those files that you can not replace… ie pictures.

So, please.. if you have a moment, take a look at Dropbox.  And if you think that it might be useful for you, consider signing up.  I just checked their FAQ, and we both get an additional 250MB if you sign up through the referral link.  And remember…  it’s completely free.  And extremely useful!  Thanks!

Kijiji Wijiji

Published July 27, 2010 - 2 Comments

Of all the weird and wonderful areas of the internet that I’ve explored, I can honestly say that I’ve never been on Kijiji until today.  I don’t really buy or sell used items anymore, so there hasn’t been much of a need.  I once sold off all my D&D and Robotech stuff on EBay to pay for part of a honeymoon… only to instantly regret having done so…  That was waaaay before Kijiji came around, and since then, I just haven’t felt any desire to look into that site.

Then my toaster oven broke… It wouldn’t be such a big deal except that my  regular oven/stove is older than I am, and has been dying a slow death for quite some time.  The convection toaster oven was a great addition to my kitchen, and was heavily used as an alternative to the large oven.  Now it’s gone.  So is the single large burner on my stove… which makes it difficult to cook anything in a medium or large pot.  While the oven does technically work, the door has a habit of falling off.  Not the kind of thing that you want to have to worry about while you’re checking on the turkey.

Well enough is enough.  I could go out and buy a new one, but it’s not my place, and I really don’t want to put a ton of money into something that I am not going to be taking with me.  And who knows how long I’ll be there.  Maybe it’ll be a year.  Maybe it’ll be 10.  Maybe I’ll be moving at the end of the summer.  Anything is possible.  But when I go, I won’t be taking the stove with me.  That’s for sure.

So someone suggested looking on Kijiji for an affordable replacement.  It doesn’t have to be brand new.  I can get a decent looking stove around the $100 price point.  I can spend more than that for something fancy, but I don’t really need fancy.  I need functional!

I was amazed at how many stoves were listed in the area.  I really wasn’t expecting to see very many, if any at all.  Now I’m going through the ads, trying to narrow down which ones I’m interested in, and will make a few calls.

Welcome to the party.

How unemployed people pay their bills

Published July 25, 2010 - 0 Comments

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WaS Goes Romanian?

Published July 22, 2010 - 2 Comments

I was looking through the logs a couple of days ago, and noticed something that I’d never seen before.  A Google translation link.  When I clicked on the link…  well… see for yourself here!

I had to throw some of the words into Google to see what language it was.  Turns out that it’s Romanian.  You’ll notice if you start following links from within the site that everything is translated into Romanian!  It’s kinda cool!

Not really sure why someone would be translating my site into Romanian, but the blog post that they were looking at has to deal with 123LinkIt so I guess they were doing a little research.  The internet is an interesting place sometimes.

Toy Story 3 in 3D? I Don’t Think So.

Published July 21, 2010 - 2 Comments

I recently went to see Toy Story 3 in 3D.  Personally, I think the whole 3D thing is getting a little out of hand.  Yes, I saw Avatar in 3D, and I enjoyed it.  But I just don’t see myself rushing out to every movie because they’re showing in 3D.  To make matters worse, the previews of up and coming movies were all 3D movies too!  (I saw my first preview for the Smurfs movie.  Wow… that brings back some memories!)

Of the three movies in the Toy Story franchise, I would say that this one was the least special for me.  It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it.  I did.  But it just didn’t seem to have the level of appeal that the other two did.  I can remember when I saw the first one.  I had resisted seeing it because I didn’t think that the premise of a bunch of live toys was really going to do it for me.  One of my friends kept telling me “You have to see it!  It’s awesome!”  So I finally relented, and he was right… as he often is.  By the time the second one was released, there was no doubt that I wanted to see that in the theatre.  They really are great movies for kids and parents alike.  But this one… mmm… it’s good.  I liked it, but I just wasn’t blown away.  Maybe it was because of the 3D.  I don’t know.  I don’t particularly enjoy sitting there with glasses on, and I don’t feel that the movie really took advantage of the 3D capability at all.  The only “wow” moment for me was when they went down a rollercoaster.  Other than that… honestly… it barely even registered that it was even showing in 3D.

It’s been widely reported, so it’s not really a spoiler… but… when Buzz gets switched to Spanish mode…  THAT was hilarious, and probably the most memorable moment of the movie for me.

I hate to say it, but I think that I could have waited to see this when it came out on DVD.  And I definitely could have done without the 3D.  I really hope that this isn’t going to become the trend.

Finally! 123LinkIt is Working Properly! (maybe)

Published July 21, 2010 - 2 Comments

With a little bit of trial… and a lot of error… I finally seem to have the affiliate marketing plugin 123LinkIt working properly on the blog!

I’m still a little confused as to why I had such a hard time with it.  It’s really is not a difficult plugin to implement, but it definitely was not doing what it was supposed to be doing.  After a couple of uninstalls and reinstalls, and forcing my WordPress installation to update again, it appears to be working.  You can see an example of the plugin in action here on the Online Dating post.

So now that I have it working properly, it’s time to look at some of the old posts and see which ones might be suitable candidates for the plugin.  And as I move forward, don’t be surprised to see the occasional link show up as you’re reading.

A small step forward in the building of an Empire…

<Now, after writing that…   I’m running into the same problem again…  arrrrrrrrrghhh… update to follow>

Coke vs Pepsi

Published July 18, 2010 - 12 Comments

I realized that I haven’t posted a poll question in a very long time.  So I figured that I’d write a very simple one.  It’s no surprise which one is my preferred cola, but it’s interesting to see what other people think.  It’s actually one of my favourite questions to ask someone new when I’m chatting with them.  Just completely out of the blue…

Coke or Pepsi?

People (and by that, I generally mean “women”) seem to get a kick out of it.  If the answer is “Coke” then I’ll write back with something crazy like “Marry me!”… if it’s “Pepsi” then I’m likely to come back with something like “I’m sorry.. it’s been fun, but this simply isn’t going to work out.  Have a nice life.”  I usually get called on my bluff! :cool:

The great thing about this question is that people tend to have strong opinions about their answer.  They either like one, or the other…  although some don’t like either of them.  But there’s usually not too much “Doesn’t matter”… sure, most of us will drink the other one, but there’s still usually a strong preference.

So I’ll throw the same question out to readers here.  I’m actually quite curious about how this will turn out.  I’m not confident that I can predict the outcome of this one.

[polldaddy poll=3489038]
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