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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Madonna or No Madonna… That is the Question…

Published October 29, 2011 - 2 Comments

Last night ATV/CTV news reported that Madonna was not scheduled to perform in Moncton next summer!  Well that’s a bit of a bummer… if it’s real.  We’ll find out October 31, when the promoters make an official announcement regarding the tour.

Looking at the site logs today, and I see that someone came here searching for “Is Justin Bieber going to perform in Moncton next year?”…  I immediately felt that wonderful vomit feeling in the back of my throat.  If that little …    *blood pressure check*…  *breathe*  *breathe* …   Selena Gomez can have anyone in the world, and she chose THAT little …  *blood pressure check* ….

I guess that we’ll find out on Monday whether the Material Girl is going to bless us with her presence.

Trying to Think of Something for Christmas Gift Ideas? How About Steve Jobs’ Biography?

Published October 28, 2011 - 2 Comments


Believe it or not, I actually started my Christmas shopping last month!  And no, I’m not talking about a single little item so I could say that I’ve started it ridiculously early… I’ve actually bought a couple of things.  I still have much more shopping to do, but I’ve started making a list, and checking on things while I’ve been in stores.  Better to get it done now, than when the zoo animals are unleashed and the malls become nuthouses.

So in the spirit of Christmas giving, I thought that I would point out something sure to be on the list of every Apple fanboy (along with iTunes cards)… It’s the official Steve Jobs biography, written by Walter Isaacson.

I watched Isaacson on The Daily Show tonight, and it only reinforced the fact that I would really like to read this book.  No matter what you think of Steve Jobs, it’s difficult to argue that he wasn’t an interesting person, and I think that this book would be quite a read.

So I’ll put it on my Christmas list, and hope that Santa is reading this blog.  It might be something for you to consider when looking for a gift for your hard to buy for Apple lover.  Hey, it’s cheaper than a new iPhone!


Rick Mercer’s Rant Against Bullying Gay Teens Goes Viral

Published October 28, 2011 - 6 Comments

It’s 5:30 in the morning as I type this… I read an article on this story, and wanted to include it here.  I will let Rick’s rant speak for itself…

And then I noticed a link on YouTube to a dedication to the memory of Jamie Hubley from one of his friends… I dare you to watch this and not feel something…

Defining Moment

Published October 27, 2011 - 0 Comments

My son is 8 years old.  He likes to play video games, eat anything he can get his hands on, annoy his big sister, and push boundaries as far as they can possibly be pushed… and then some!  His view of the world around him is pretty typical of a child of that age.  He has no appreciation for the value of money.  Actions rarely have consequences that don’t involve getting sent to your room.  He still believes in Santa Claus.  He’s 8.  He’s not really someone who I turn to for advice when dealing with Life’s bigger issues.  I would expect his answer to be “perogies” or something else equally irrelevant.

So I have to say that I’m more than a little surprised sometimes at how perceptive he can be.  When I was taking the kids home recently he remarked that he wished that I had a really good job… one that I could do from home, so I wouldn’t have to drive all the way into work, and the kids could stay with me more often.  This goes with what he had already said to me months ago (when he was 7, no less) when he was asking me out of the blue whether I liked what I did, and why I didn’t do something else that I liked more.  This from a kid who wants to watch the latest episode of Bakugan when he visits.  It amazes me how his mind works.  I know that we often do not give our children the credit they deserve, but it still amazes me.  It’s not like I come home and talk about work in front of them.  I have tried to stress the importance of doing their best in school so that when they get older they can do whatever it is that they love.  He wants to be a robot… so I think my point is lost on him.

I had one of those moments at work tonight that will either make or break me.  There is a lot of frustration there, and I reached a breaking point.

We’ll see…

Tired of Tires

Published October 26, 2011 - 0 Comments

That was kinda what my tire looked like this morning before I came into work.  Except that it was 5:45 in the morning, pitch black, and really cold.

For the last 2 weeks or so, I’ve had what can only be described as an ever increasingly not-so-slow leak in my read driver’s side tire.  Initially I had to blow it up every couple of days.  Now I need to blow it up when I come into work, and when I leave work 12 hours later!  And it’s not low anymore… it’s completely flat.  My poor little air compressor doesn’t even go back into the trunk.  It sits beside me in the passenger seat, and probably hasn’t been unplugged in a week.  It’s part of my routine now.

If you’re wondering why I haven’t done anything with it until now, there are a couple of reasons.

  • I’m lazy.  Yes, that’s probably a front-runner.
  • It’s close to the time for my winter tires to get put on anyway.
  • I’m seriously considering going car shopping to take advantage of the end of year specials I keep seeing.

It was relatively easy to put off the inevitable when it was only every couple of days that I had to top it up.  Now that it’s every time I go out to the car… well, now the game has changed.  Oh, and thank you to whoever left the nice little note on my windshield the other day pointing out that I had a flat tire.  I appreciate that.  Next time, why not pump it up for me?  Or better yet, replace it.

Well enough is enough.  I have an appointment tonight to have my winter tires put on.  It’s a little earlier than I would normally do them, but I might as well get it done before the big rush… and it will solve my leaky tire issue.

Good times.

MyFitnessPal: 1 Week Later

Published October 23, 2011 - 4 Comments

Well, believe it or not…  I’m still going strong on MyFitnessPal.com!  I’ve been logging everything that I’ve eaten for the last week, and resisted the urge to cheat or accidentally leave something out.

My night shifts were horrible, but that’s to be expected.  It’s interesting to see HOW BAD things can get when you get off track for even a single meal.  I know that I’ve seen the numbers for fast food meals before, but it wasn’t until I started tracking them in relation to regular meals and total calories for the day that I realized what kind of impact they can have.  I can easily exceed my entire calorie count for the day with a single meal!  Have an appetizer and dessert?  I’m done for 2 days!  That’s scary because I normally wouldn’t even think about something like that.  I’d just eat whatever I wanted… and well..  now I’m 228 lbs with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and who knows what else that hasn’t been detected yet.

So I went grocery shopping yesterday.  I’ve read labels before, but not like this.  It took forever going through everything before dropping it into the cart.  Some stuff I just had to bite the bullet and buy.  I can’t give up some things.  I just need to take them in moderation.  But I was amazed at how different things can be!  A can of Graves beans in mollasses is 330 calories for 250 mls.  That same portion of Clark’s beans?  170 calories!  That’s a huge difference!  I’m not even sure which one I prefer (if I even do).  I just usually buy whatever’s on sale.. and will probably still do that, but I will have to be more aware of when I’m eating the higher calorie one.

That’s one thing that I’ve learned this week.  There is a lot of decision making when it comes to what to put in my mouth.  IF I want this, then I have to give up that.  When you can clearly see the numbers in front of you, and you only have a certain limit that you can go to… if I blow it all in one area, I’m screwed.  I’m finally realizing what they mean when they refer to Coke as “empty calories”.  That’s 160 calories of my daily limit chewed up quickly, and not very filling at all!  If I have a glass of Coke with a meal (ok, let’s be honest… it’s probably two glasses) then I’m at 320 calories… that’s a fair amount for something that doesn’t do much other than taste really good at the time.

So how am I doing weight-wise?  It’s really too early to tell at this point.  I inputted 228 lb as my weight when I started, and yesterday I was 226.4 lb.  BUT… My weight seems to naturally bounce between 223-229 lbs anyway… so there’s nothing saying that it wouldn’t have gone down anyway.  The big test will be the next weigh in; if it’s down or not.

I’m loving the social network aspect of the site.  A few of you have joined the site, if only to say HI and kick me in the butt.  I appreciate that.  For anyone who’s not a member of the site, I think that you can still follow this link and look at my wonderful progress.

Giving MyFitnessPal.com an Honest Try

Published October 20, 2011 - 9 Comments

I recently got suckered into joining MyFitnessPal.com.  Yup, you read that correctly.  MyFitnessPal.com.  If you’re wondering what that is, the easiest way for me to explain it is Facebook for people trying to lose weight and be healthier.  There are plenty of sites that you can use to track your calorie intake, exercise, calories burnt, etc… MyFitnessPal.com goes a little further by adding the element of social networking.  I’m sure that they’re not the only ones to do this, but this post isn’t a review article… it’s simply a quick overview of what I’m doing now.

So I can thank Erin for getting me to join the site.  She wanted a “Pal” to join, so we could help motivate each other.  Sounds good in theory!  They always say that people are more likely to stick to a diet or exercise plan if they have a partner.  And MyFitnessPal.com makes it easy to help support and motivate each other.  You can comment on your friend’s posting, share stories, tips, anything you want as long as it is relevant to the site’s theme of losing weight and being healthy.

MyFitnessPal.com makes it super simple to track your food and exercise.  Their database of foods is extensive, and if you can’t find something, you can upload the nutritional information yourself to create an entry.  If you have an iDevice, you can download the MyFitnessPal app which not only syncs with your account, but also allows you to scan bar codes on your food containers and automatically input the information for you!  Very cool.  (I am not 100% certain, but I believe I read that there is an App for Android users as well)

Like anything else, MyFitnessPal.com is only as good as the person using it.  If you are honest with the information you give it, you will get honest feedback.  I’ve entered 3 days worth of data, and only one of those days did I come in under the calorie goal, and only because I was sleeping most of the day as I went into my night shift.  I suppose that I could fudge the numbers but what’s the point of that?

I’ve sent out a few “friend invites” to people who I thought might be interested in the site, either for themselves, or to become “nags” for me.  You can get a very detailed report of my food diary and exercise habits.  One of those is better than the other… I’ll let you figure out which!  🙂

Stephen

Trying to Design a Logo

Published October 18, 2011 - 8 Comments

I’ve said it before.  I’ll say it again.  I am not an artist by any stretch of the imagination.  So when it comes to making websites, graphics, or logos… if it doesn’t come with a template, then it’s going to look like crap.

So yesterday I spent some time trying to design a logo for my dream project.  I’ve discovered something about logo design.  It’s not cheap.  Starting at $199 and up.  Wow.

Then there are do-it-yourself sites that give you an assortment of symbols and only charge you when you have finalized things the way you like it.  Those are priced around $70.

I threw this design out to Twitter and Google+ looking for feedback, and got next to nothing.  (Thank you Cathy and Bill for replying)  I figured that I would put it on the blog and ask people what they thought… before I slap down $70 on it.

Bill mentioned that the symbol didn’t match the company name, but that he still thought that it looked good.  I pointed out that the symbol is a computer mouse.  When I came up with the name of the company, I chose “Write-Click” as a bit of a tongue in cheek to “writing on the computer… and right-clicking a mouse”…  So I think it’s relevant, but I may be assuming too much from people who aren’t familiar with the backstory.  I dunno.

Write-Click Media is my outlet for my blogging / writing / internet marketing ventures.  It’s been in existence for a couple of years now, but has been moving along at a snail’s pace.  It’s time to speed things up a little, and part of that is getting the “business” side of the house in order.

A company logo is part of that.

Any thoughts, comments, questions, criticisms would be welcome.

VGA Planets: Evil Empire – Turn 14 – The Sif Offensive (repost)

Published October 17, 2011 - 2 Comments
[Originally posted Mar 23, 2009]

“Deploy the Imperial Assault Storm Troopers!”

“Yes, sir”

And so it began… with those words, the Imperial Warship Gormagon launched the first Imperial Assault upon an enemy world.  The tactic had been perfected in combat simulations and exercises since the opening of hostilities with the Gorn Alliance, but until now, had not been attempted in theatre.  That was about to change.  The Emperor had ordered Gormagon to the Gorn planet of Sif, a largely insignificant planet with little defense, in response to the loss of IWS Destron two months prior. That earlier encounter provided the opening shots of the Gorn conflict, and had gone poorly for the newly commissioned destroyer Destron. Its captain’s final transmission confirmed what Imperial strategists feared all along.  The Gorn Alliance possessed cloaking technology.  Apparently the Destron had been surprised by a cloaking Lizard Class Cruiser, and was quickly overwhelmed.  Imperial Command ordered the immediate withdrawal of all vessels, with the exception of IWS Gormagon, which would deliver an Imperial Assault upon the planet Sif. It was thought that this planet would provide a toe hold in Gorn territory, and allow Imperial vessels to strike deeper into Gorn territory.  That was the Imperial plan.

The Gorn Alliance had a different plan.

“Captain, commanders on the ground report the total destruction of Gorn defenses.  The Imperial Assault was a success!”

“Excellent. Inform Imperial Command that the Gorn menace has been eradicated, and that we await the arrival of transport vessels to begin construction and colonization of Sif.  I am retiring to my quarters. Lieutenant, you have the bridge.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Sir! Contact bearing 128, Warp 9.  She’s coming right at us, sir.  And she’s big!”

The front display flickered to life, showing what appeared to be a Gorn ship of unknown class.  The tactical officer was right.  It WAS a large vessel, over twice as large as the Gormagon.

“Launch fighters!”

IWS Gormagon was fitted with 8 X-Ray lasers, hardly worth entering into battle with. Her main defense was the 35 fighters she brought with her, launched from 3 bays in her underbelly.  As the initial wave of fighters wave launched, the Gorn vessel powered its front cannons.  The first 6 fighters disappeared within 2 seconds.  The next 6 mere seconds after that.

“Incoming torpedoes!  Brace for impact!”

A barrage of MK-IV torpedoes easily negated Gormagon’s shields, breaching several hull decks, and sending Gormagon lurching to one side.  Her Captain ordered what remained of her X-Ray lasers to fire, but they were useless against the shields of the Gorn vessel.

“Signal Imperial Command!  Gorn Battleship located at Sif!  Retreat impossible!”

“Captain, the Gorn vessel is blocking all transmissions.  There is a loud hissing sound on all frequencies.  It’s impossible to tell what is being said for sure, but it sounds like …”

A second barrage of torpedoes broke the spine of the Gormagon. She erupted in a bright explosion that could be seen clearly from the planet’s surface.  Imperial ground commanders suddenly lost contact with their support vessel.  It would not matter.  Within seconds a massive planetary bombardment ensued, raining plasma cannons and torpedoes upon the assault teams.  The mass confusion gave away to silence.  Only the smoldering remnants of twisted landing craft remained.

Sif had fallen.

Would YOU Go See Madonna in Moncton?

Published October 16, 2011 - 8 Comments

Well, there’s a ton of buzz around the possibility of Madonna coming to Moncton’s Magnetic Hill next summer.  I guess we’ll find out for sure when the tour date announcement is made October 31, but I’d say that it’s probably a done deal at this point.

So the next big question is…  Would YOU go see Madonna in Moncton?

I’ve gone to see two large outdoor concerts in Moncton, with two very different outcomes.  The day that Bon Jovi played was perfect.  You couldn’t ask for any better weather.  It was a beautiful day, but it wasn’t hot.  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but the sun wasn’t scorching.  When Bon Jovi came out, I loved every single song that they did.  It was a great show.  The crowds were quite tolerable.  All in all, I had a fantastic experience.

Things were a little different at U2.  The weather was horrible, but you can not control the weather.  Still, the fact that the grounds were a big mud pit seemed to set the stage for a less than ideal experience.  I would say that I was looking forward to seeing U2 much more than I was Bon Jovi, but when I think back to the different set lists… U2 played songs that I really wasn’t thrilled with.  Yes, they did play some of my all-time favs… but there were lulls where I began to wonder if they were going to play something that I liked.  I didn’t have that problem with Bon Jovi.  I loved everything.  And the crowds at U2…

I mention this because I’ve watched Madonna’s Confessions tour on DVD many times, and thought “WoW!  If she ever came back to Montreal, I’d love to go see her.”  Why Montreal?  Because it’s the closest venue that I could ever have imagined (until recently) that Madonna would ever have come to the Atlantic provinces.  MAYBE Halifax… but even that was pushing it.  But as many times as I have watched that Confessions tour DVD, I don’t think that I’ve ever watched it from start to finish.  It’s very much the same thing as the U2 concert was for me.  Madonna has a ton of material to choose from, and I found that what I recognized, I LOVED.  But what I didn’t recognize… it was so-so at best.  If her current tour was similar at all, it would mean a lot of standing there waiting for the next hit.  Don’t get me wrong… I have a huge collection of her songs, and I love many of them.  But I challenge anyone to watch that Confessions tour DVD and tell me that they even recognize 2/3 of those songs, let alone enjoy them enough to spend a fair chunk of change to listen to.

So that brings me back to my current conundrum (that’s a word that I have to remember for Hanging With Friends!) …  Given everything that I know about the location, the unpredictability of the weather, the insane crowds, and the unlikelihood that Madonna will approach me to pre-approve her setlist, is this a concert that I would want to go see?

How about you?  Would YOU go see Madonna in Moncton July 20, 2012?

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