Showing posts from August, 2009

Remote blogging by the firepit

It's been quite the mixed summer in Edmonton as far as the weather goes, but there's no complaining about the weather right now. It's been a beautiful week in Edmonton - hot and sunny - and next week promises to be more of the same. Right now I'm sitting by our backyard firepit getting ready to roast hotdogs for supper. It's 29 outside, and not a cloud in the sky. Life is good!

Sunday afternoon humor

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Where to watch UFC 102 in Edmonton and Calgary

Sorry this is so late. I actually forgot the PPV is tonight. Link is here .

Downhere/Building 429 concert review

Had a fun few hours last night at West Edmonton Christian Assembly watching one of my favorite Christian bands – Downhere – live in concert for the first time. They were the openers for Building 429, but it was apparent from the moment that the host came out to welcome us to the show that Downhere was the band that the crowd wanted to see. Indeed, Downhere got a big standing ovation when their short set was over. Building 429, on the other hand, had almost half the audience walk out during their set. And that’s a shame because for as good as Downhere is, and as great as their short set was, Building 429 was a lot of fun, and deserved to have more folks stick around to watch them. Of course, to be fair, I was also one of those people who came just to see Downhere, but figured I’d stick around for Building 429 as a “bonus” concert. I thought I didn’t know that many Building 429 songs, but it turned out I was familiar with about half the songs in their set, which was a pleasant surpris

Two of my favourite activities come together

Found this in my email today. My love of professional wrestling meets my love of Skillet. SKILLET’S “MONSTER” TO BE USED IN “25th Anniversary of WrestleMania – World Television Premiere” THIS WEEKEND ON NBC August 28, 2009 **As they near the close of an exciting street week, SKILLET’s active rock single “Monster” (currently #26 on the Active Rock BDS/Billboard chart and #28 on the Mediabase chart) will be used during the “25th Anniversary of WrestleMania – World Television Premiere” this Sunday, August 29th on NBC at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT).  This Special will feature all the action from the original April 5, 2009 Pay Per View broadcast, but condensed to one hour.  Unforgettable performances will be highlighted from WWE Superstars including Triple H, Randy Orton, John Cena, Big Show, Edge, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Jeff Hardy and many others. **WWE programming reaches nearly 16 million people per week in the U.S., and is available to nearly 500 million homes worldwide.  "WWE

Mike’s Mini Music Review – Skillet’s “Awake”

I have to admit – I was a little worried about Awake . Skillet’s last album, Comatose , was a gigantic hit in the Christian music community, and I figured it was inevitable that the followup album was going to be a letdown. It turns out I was completely wrong. This record delivers. It’s fabulous. Great melodic guitar rock. Fun harmonies. Powerful songs. (I dare you to listen to “Lucy” and not get teary-eyed.) I haven’t stopped listening to it since Tuesday. It’s easily my favourite album of 2009. Judging from other reviews I’ve read, for the very few who don’t like Awake , the big complaint is that it’s Comatose II – that Skillet hasn’t grown as a band or changed their style or whatnot. In many ways, Awake picks right up where Comatose leaves off, but so what? Skillet has figured out the formula of big arena rock with guitars, keyboards and strings, and 1980s-style power ballads, and they make it work for them. I happen to enjoy that formula a lot, so I’m perfectly happy with

Good thing I'm turning 41 in November!

Swine flu hits healthy 40-year-olds hardest Canadian doctors probing the worst cases of swine flu in Canada have made a striking finding: 40-year-olds, many previously healthy, appear most at risk of developing severe H1N1 disease.

Can’t buy it online. Can’t buy it in the store. Fail.

I was scouring the Interwebs today to see where in Canada I could buy a GorillaPod SLR at a price that wasn’t highway robbery. I stumbled upon the website of a well-known Canadian retailer, which had this exact model in their online store at a great price. The website very specifically said, “This product is not available for online sale” and to “please visit (a store) near you.” That’s annoying at the best of times. What’s the point of having an online store if it doesn’t sell all of the products listed? (And a quick browse through the online store of this particular retailer indicates that there are lots of products for sale that aren’t actually being sold on the website.) Undaunted, I drove down to the local outlet of the store, and they didn’t have the GorillaPod SLR. They had two other models (one lower end and one higher end) for sale but not the SLR model. I asked an associate about it, and he said that they don’t stock the SLR model at all. So, to recap, they advertis

Sunday afternoon humor

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POD's Anything Right - Same chorus as TFK's Fire It Up?

My friend Jim comments on my previous post that the chorus to TFK's Fire It Up sounds an awful lot like POD's Anything Right. So here's POD's song. What do you think? (Chorus starts at 1:20)

Thousand Foot Krutch - Fire It Up live

The guitarist could have shown more enthusiasm.

Some random thoughts

I've biked three times to work this week, at 10 miles per one-way trip, which works out to 60 miles on my bike. That's 100 kilometres. That's pretty good, I think. I purged about 80 people from my Facebook friends list yesterday (which amounted to abut a third of my total friends). It's nothing personal. My newsfeed was becoming unmanageable and cluttered, filled with quizzes, contests, and other crap that I needed to cull. Not to mention Facebook seemed to promote my more obscure friends to my newsfeed page at the expense of, you know, my family. So I cut back on people, and now my newsfeed is far easier to follow. UFC's title history page has what I can only assume is a really bizarre error on it, and that's the declaration that Brock Lesnar beat Randy Couture "to become an interim UFC Heavyweight champion." It's compounded by the further declaration that at UFC 100, "The two interim Heavyweight title holders, Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir, wi

Is it just me or are songs getting shorter?

I have zero evidence to back up my subject line question beyond a gut feeling, but I recently grabbed three songs off two upcoming albums and the longest song is 3:09. The other two clock in at 3:08 and three minutes even. (What got me thinking of this was a new playlist I created on my iPod that had just five songs in it, and ran a few ticks over 15 minutes.) I could have sworn that the average pop song used to be three-and-a-half to four minutes long, and maybe more if you let the guitar player or keyboard dude really ramp up the solo before the final chorus. So what's the deal? WikiAnswers says the average song length is 3:20 . I have no idea what that's based on, but even that sounds short. Then there's this guy who says, "Over the last forty years, the average length of pop songs (or country songs, or most rock songs etc.) has grown from a tight two minutes to an ungainly four." I don't remember a lot of two minute pop or rock songs during the last 40 y

Testing a Windows Live post

Nothing to see here. I was just updating my Windows Live Movie Maker program and it gave me the option to install this Windows Live Writer program that can be used to update blogs, so I thought I’d give it a try. My initial impression is that it has a lot more options for formatting than the standard Blogger template. Let’s see how it actually looks on my blog. Edit: Looks fine. I guess my only question is why I'd want to open up a separate program to write a blog entry when I'm in my browser 99.995% of the time when I'm on my computer anyway and can blog straight from there?

In other news...

Sony decreed today that PLAYSTATION 3 shall now be known as PlayStation 3.

UFC 106: Tito Ortiz vs Mark Coleman ‘confirmed’ for Nov. 21

UFC 106: Tito Ortiz vs Mark Coleman ‘confirmed’ for Nov. 21 : " Former light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz is set to make his return to the Octagon opposite the first-ever heavyweight champion for the promotion, Mark Coleman, at UFC 106 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Nov. 21. Mike Disabato, founder of MMA Authentics and long-time friend/training partner of Coleman, today “confirmed” the rumored 205-pound match up via . More on this breaking news in a bit. " Apparently, it's 1996 all over again in UFC.... (Note, if neither of these guys actually fought in UFC in 1996, please pick an appropriate year. I'm too lazy to look it up right now.)

The Banff Crasher Squirrel

Courtesy the comments section.

Thousand Foot Krutch - Fire It Up

The greatness of new autumn releases continues!

Sunday afternoon humor

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The Banff squirrel is more famous than we thought

From Squirrel Check out the Telegraph for more funny photos of the scene-stealing Banff squirrel.

Speechless: Dilbert Creator's Struggle to Regain His Voice

Speechless: Dilbert Creator's Struggle to Regain His Voice The rules changed all the time—sometimes day to day, sometimes hour to hour—and whenever he tried to recite them, people thought, "This guy is nuts." The rules dictated when and where Scott Adams, the chief engineer of the Dilbert comic empire, was allowed to speak. He could neither control them nor predict exactly when they'd go into effect. All he knew was that he'd woken up one morning and found that his voice had turned against him, imposing a set of bizarre restrictions. The article is long, but absolutely worth reading. Fascinating story about Dilbert creator Scott Adams.

And now for something completely different

From the file, "Things you probably didn't know about me", I'm a HUGE Huey Lewis and the News fan. I dusted off my copy of Live at 25 the other day, and fell in love with the band all over again. Great stuff. Go ahead, laugh. I don't care.

Skillet's two new songs - Monster, Hero

From the much-anticipated forthcoming Skillet album , Awake , out August 25.

Google Reader Adds Social Sharing and Mark as Read Controls [Feeds]

Testing a new feature in Google Reader that automagically sends things to Blogger, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. So far, it looks like a tremendously cool feature that I'm going to be using a lot. Google Reader Adds Social Sharing and Mark as Read Controls [Feeds] : " The Google Reader team's been busy of late, adding social network sharing and friend following features, but also giving power users a (long-awaited) ability to mark items of a certain age as read. Most noticeable, on an item-by-item basis, is the new 'send to' menu. Head to Google Reader's settings, click off the social networks you want to add access to (or manually add a URL, if you're hack-friendly like that), and they'll appear on the send to menu. Reader will also notify you when friends you're following in Reader have web sites with feeds attached in their Google Profiles . But the most important changes, for those using Reader to get their news reading done,

Kite boarding at Grand Beach

No, that's not me.

Sunday afternoon humor

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Wet and wild - a vacation tale

We arrived back in Edmonton yesterday from two weeks at our cabin north of Winnipeg that were very wet and very cold, with the average daytime high being about 18, and the average daily rainfall being Noah's Ark. (Irony - Headline in Edmonton Journal today: "Worst drought in 30 years.") We got exactly one nice day at the lake, which was the day before we left. We spent almost 6 hours at the beach that day. Nonetheless, it wasn't an entirely miserable time, just a different vacation than what we're used to. Here's one of my favorite pix from our time away - our friend, the tree squirrel, who would greet us almost every morning looking for peanuts. We also discovered that the ground squirrels would eat all sorts of fruits and vegetables in addition to peanuts - everything from pineapple chunks to broccoli. From 2009-08-06 Summer Vacation 2009 The advantage of all the cold weather was that it was very windy, which lent itself to kite boarding, which we did not d