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Archive for May, 2004

26 May 04

so, can i sign up for this or not?

i found this sign folded up in my coat pocket the other day – anne stole it for me from the noticeboard in biosci several weeks ago, and i’m glad i found it ’cause it’s kinda funny:

so i gotta ask: are males* eligible?

*and by males i mean males.

25 May 04

can’t stop the swap

i just mailed out my latest metafilter swap cd, only a day late. if you’re interested, have a look at the details, including an annotated track listing, cd “art”, and download links. woo.

24 May 04

excellent news

i took my car in on thursday for its first routine service appointment since my warranty expired. just the usual stuff – oil change, checking fluids, routine inspections – no big deal. when i went to pick up my car, i was handed a bill containing the line:
will require front brake pad and rotors to be machined within two weeks front pads 3mm
so i tracked down a service rep to enquire further. apparently GM has timed it so brakes will require servicing within 5000 km of one’s warranty expiring. nice.

on friday, i received a letter in the mail marked “important”. here’s the header:

right. so not only are my brakes in bad shape, apparently occasionally 2001 cavaliers also run the risk of catching on fire if you hold the key in the start position for too long and it doesn’t catch. again, nice.

so how did i celebrate all of this news? by driving robin and me to ottawa for the tulip festival, of course. i finally got to see the constantines live, and they did not disappoint. hawksley workman headlined in front of several thousand, including a lot of screaming girls. i am shocked at his popularity, quite frankly – i mean, i enjoyed his last album for the most part, but i can’t quite figure out what genre he belongs to, and where his mainstream-ish and international appeal comes from. i mean, i wouldn’t say that he’s exactly hit the “big time” yet, but he definitely has a larger following than i would’ve guessed. perhaps it’s attributable to jealous of your cigarette and striptease?

18 May 04

the domain registry of MY ASS

i received a pretty misleading letter in the mail yesterday from a company called “domain registry of canada”. it’s a pretty brilliant mailing campaign, if you consider slimy tactics brilliant. its language is clearly designed to confuse people without much knowledge of how domain registration works, and i’ll admit, i had to read it over a couple times.

the heading reads “domain name expiration notice”, which is likely enough to make some people concerned – i mean, i received it on may 17th when doesn’t expire until october 19th. here’s the really sketchy part though:

You must renew your domain name to retain exclusive rights to it on the Web, and now is the time to transfer and renew your name from your current Registrar to the Domain Registry of Canada. Failure to renew your domain name by the expiration date may result in a loss of online identity making it difficult for your customers and friends to locate you on the web.

Granted, they DO go on to say that Domain name holders are not obligated to renew their domain name with their current Registrar or with the Domain Registry of Canada, but I can’t help but wonder how many people have received a bill-like notice from an official sounding organization (ooooh, the Domain Registry of Canada – is that government run?), and blindly sent in the requested $40/year. now, my registrar ( – who frustrate me in a bunch of ways, so i don’t think i’ll link to them) charges $20/year, and i know for a fact that you can pay a lot less than that. i guess the $40 is going towards their expensive mailing campaign.

the first thing i thought of when i received the letter was that old verisign scam, although it’s maybe not quite as sleezy. a quick google search tells me that i’m definitely not alone, but didn’t turn up an actual website for the company.

clearly i need to have a more evil mind to try to keep up with the scammers of the world – maybe that’s why i’m not rich.

17 May 04

i’m appreciated

an excerpt from a long and (mostly) unfounded complaint sent into the main ITS website today…note that i’m the one who is in charge of the kiosks in question:

I’ve never had much faith in the services of ITS computing and these kiosks further proove that ITS at Queen’s needs better employees.

ahhh. it feels so good to have my work appreciated.

17 May 04

now he’s famousesque

ha, a photo of robin staring longingly into roel’s eyes made boingboing :

true fame!

Update: boingboing’s pretty cool, but slashdot is far cooler. too bad it’s photo-less though.

14 May 04

unicorns are people too

i had a long day yesterday of lugging 115 new computers to 3 different computer labs on campus, and then partially moving my furniture back to their normal places post-painting. so, what better night to go to the elixir to see the unicorns? it was a very very strange evening, and i’ll do my best to capture some of the oddness in this post.

mitch and i arrived at around 10 or so, and fred eaglesmith was already into his set. i didn’t know ahead of time that fred would be performing – i was under the impression that it was just controller.controller and the unicorns – but apparently rock crew booked fred into the elixir and the elixir themselves decided to make it an extra long bill. had we known this ahead of time we would’ve just shown up at 11 and paid less cover, but alas. anyway, fred eaglesmith is a country/folk singer who really did not impress me…perhaps because i am not in my 40s and i have taste. the crowd when we arrived was definitely a lot different than we were used to, and they were inexplicably completely into the boring country set. incidentally, who pumps their fists at a country show? i also enjoyed the guy who snapped his fingers in the air, and the youngish guys who kept trying to pick up the merch girl with stories of their own bass playing. and man, the merch was SO expensive! $30 for a fred t-shirt? $3 for a sticker? $5 for a little sign that says “big ass garage sale”? come on. fred came and sat on the benches beside us after his set, so we had the pleasure of listening to his fans (aka fred heads), mostly drunk, come up and gush to him about how great he is.

anyway, that was a pretty painful hour plus, but his boringness allowed for some serious people watching. it also allowed me to notice that the tvs at the elixir were for some reason picking up the peterborough cbc feed, so i felt like i was home (and the country music helped with that). additionally, the new flat screen slide show that they’ve recently added that shows digital photos of past events has one slide that looks startlingly like a blurred picture of me. perhaps a forgotten evening?

ok, so fred finished and then the massive change over occurred. because fred tours with his own crew, there was a new sound guy and completely new equipment for the next two bands, so controller.controller took ages to set up. i think they finally went on around 11-11:30. regardless of what sofi says, i quite enjoyed them…they’re dance punk ish (for lack of a better adjective) and although they weren’t the most fun to look at (they looked kinda cramped on the stage), they were a welcome change from fred’s country.

after their set, the unicorns spent forever setting up and didn’t go on stage until after 12:30. excellent. we only lasted for about half of their set (leaving around 1:30), and endured more of their abuse (“we always hate to come to kingston”), but i enjoyed what i did hear of their music. their sloppiness somehow suits their songs…presumably so long as they’re not too drunk to play. that jason schwartzman lookalike was there, as always, and he didn’t disappoint. he unfortunately wasn’t wearing his bright red tanktop tonight, but he did impress us with his dance moves – he’s great because his height lets us see him from everywhere.

and i’ve saved the oddest part of the night til last: after fred eaglesmith’s set, these three guys kept walking past us, in and out of the elixir. mitch at one point commented that they all look like sam roberts. just before the unicorns went on, the three of them stood directly in front of us…and one of them WAS sam roberts! why he was watching the unicorns in kingston is beyond me, but it was definitely him. he unfortunately didn’t do the sam roberts shuffle for us though.

in summary: odd odd night.

13 May 04

painting downtime

whew, chumptastic is back. the day of downtime is attributable to the day of painting mentioned previously, and the resulting mess. sure enough, my apartment is still off-white, and my floor and couch are covered in flecks of plaster from my ceiling. as an added bonus, i had a lot of trouble opening my painted shut closet, and for some reason the painters closed in my windows, perhaps to preserve the painty goodness within. lovely. i’ve yet to completely move my furniture back to its normal spots…i kind of like the tiny japanese apartment simulation. i think i also threw out enough stuff to fill a landfill…or at least our grabage room.

12 May 04


i’ve been informed that my apartment will be painted on thursday. this is the second time it’s been painted since i lived here (i’m expecting another coat of off-white, but would be pleasantly surprised if i showed up thursday evening to a plaid apartment), and i’ve spent my evening preparing. essentially what i’ve discovered is that i never throw anything away, and i’m a terribly messy person. progress is slow, mainly because i keep finding shoeboxes and drawers full of old pictures and cards, mixed in with old assignments, receipts for products long since broken, and other assorted crap.

among the photos i came across was this gem, circa 1994ish:

please note the following:
a) yes, i really did have long hair once upon a time
b) yes, i really was skinnier than i am now at one point (hard to believe, but there’s proof).
c) the snazzy thrush hermit “songs of old robots and their pursuit of honour” t-shirt that i still have somewhere, replete with holes.

anyway, for those of you who have only known me since 1999 or later, that picture will undoubtedly be amusing. and for those who knew me before 1999, that picture will undoubtedly also be amusing.

i also managed to dig up what appears to be a plan for a mix tape that i may or may not have finished. here’s the plan:
without you (thrush hermit), you will know (inbreds), sally ann’s style denial (local rabbits), nevergrow (eric’s trip), snowsuit sound (sloan), anna is a speed freak (pure), starseed (our lady peace), jesus was way cool (king missile), collide (hHead), bad as they seem (hayden), karate man (super friendz), red (treble charger), more (13 engines), hairdown (made), remote control (age of electric), paste (pluto), calling from the lord (furnace face), at&t (pavement), battle for who could care less (ben folds five) and last man alive (grifters).

it’s 90% canrock, as expected, and although there is no date on the page, i can deduce that it was from 1996/97 based on the content, and the fact that it’s scribbled on the back of some notes entitled “fox habitat analysis in southern ontario” from my 3rd year GIS class.

and i think that’s enough of a 90s flashback for one evening.

10 May 04

new layout!

whoa, a new layout – and only two months late. yes, it’s pretty simple, but it’s (mostly) all css’ed now (rather than using tables for everything like i did previously). i’m sure there’s stuff that doesn’t work, and i know there are a couple pages i haven’t switched over to the new layout, but i’ll get to it. this new layout is way more maintainable…and isn’t bad for a day’s work.

ps. no more stupid double scroll bars!

Pronunciation: 'ch&mp
Function: noun
Etymology: perhaps blend of chunk and lump
Date: 1883

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