Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

all the best in 2011!

take it easy tonight, you want to make it to next year.

Word Lens

I saw this demo of a new app while surfing this afternoon, amazing!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What's A Guy Gotta Do?

Tuning in to NFL Network this morning and they reported Favre was fined $50k for not cooperating in the league investigation of his supposed texts and pictures sent to a fellow Jets employee in '08. More surprising was the news that the Vikes are thinking of starting him on Sunday. Really? Rookie Joe Webb looks like the direction of the future for a team that clearly lost their way this season. They fired their head coach mid-season and at 6-9 are just one game up on the Detroit Lions. Favre had lots to do with both. He has thrown 11 tds and 19 interceptions, a nice addition to both all-time records. His passer rating of 69.9 has him ranked 30th for the year. In his first start Webb was 17 for 26, ran for 31, ran for a td, did not throw a pick and beat the number 3 team in the NFC.

If the Vikings want to throw Favre a bone and let him play one more time just because he's Favre, they really aren't doing him or the faithful any favours. If they lose they will be tied with the Lions. Seems like the coach and management are suffering more from post concussion syndrome than the old qb.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Gear

With my Christmas gift card and cash I ordered a Nikon S8100 camera and a 16gb memory card. There were none left in the store and with the sale ending on the 30th I didn't want to miss it. Ordering online was easier than getting up at 5am to stand in the dark waiting for the store to open.

The camera is powerful enough for just about any situation and most importantly small. I want to be able to carry it everywhere. Most mornings when I walk or ride to work there is something that catches my eye but a cell camera just doesn't cut it in many cases.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Welcome back planeofthought readers. I'm not sure what prompted the overhaul. Some days you just wake up (at 5am) and want to make a change. So here we are with a new look, less clutter and no more planes. I haven't fired up MSFlight Sim in so long that it had to go. The underlying theme at plane had been old lately so I went with a play on rider/writer and made it old. No idea where that came from either. Who knows maybe next week it will all change again. All 739 post since 2007 have made the move.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Sirens and Idiots

Sirens on Christmas morning. Someone's special day just got derailed. My mind raced around tree fires and heart attacks. Definitely not some over-diligent constable chasing a speeder. Hopefully nothing too serious.

On Wednesday in the middle of my first game at Delaney, screaming could be heard throughout the rink. In the far corner I could see a rink attendant physically holding back one adult from another. The skeptic in me said they had to be arguing about the lopsided game they were watching. One thrilled and the other ticked about the unfairness of a system that allows such unbalanced teams to face off. Wrong. Grandfather and ex-son-in-law couldn't use the common sense God gave them to accept that they can't stand within 10 feet of one another without spitting on each other and starting a public incident 3 days before Christmas. Somewhere out on the ice or hiding on the bench was a 7 or 8 year old trying to have fun playing hockey. Police were still there more than an hour later taking statements.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Another one is already upon us. Funny how when you are a kid it takes forever to come. Then you get older and you run out of time trying to get everything done before the big day. It sure seems like the vibe around here lately is old. Anyway before I forget, have a safe and MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Work was quiet as expected this week. I worked on a quick, free and accessible web page. Using the google blogger system, zoho creator, google docs and gimp I came up with a decent presence on the net. Our old site was probably prettier but the content was 6 years old, never updated from the first post. The domain name no longer comes up so I think it was vaporized. It's good to feel part of something at work again. There are signs that things will get better, we just have to hold on and be here when it does.

Typing on the popup keyboard of a smartphone screen can be difficult for anyone that doesn't have ballerina fingers. Here. I've tried a few second party keyboards and while Thick Buttons worked very well I was intrigued by Swype. Basically Thick Buttons makes the keys of what it predicts the next letter combination will be. If you type 'th' then the a e i o would all get bigger to assist you in pressing them. Swype is even smarter. You just start on the 't', slide across and down to the 'h', continue sliding back to the 'a' and then across to 'n, lift your finger off the screen off and than appears in your email or whatever. A blue contrail follows your finger around so you can see where you have swyped. I'm not quite a fast as the demo below, yet.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lost Treasure, Found

No denying it, Led Zep was my favourite band as a kid. When I got the chance to replace the Grand Canyon-like vinyl with cds I jumped at the 4 disc boxed set and later the 2 disc completion set. Somewhere over the years the 2 disc set had gone missing. My guess is an enterprising young teen tested the unknown waters of ebay with my tunes, but that's another story. Without the missing discs I could never listen to the entire albums as they were recorded originally back in the late 60's/early 70's. Doesn't seem like a big deal but when I hear the end of 'misty mountain hop' from the ZOSO album my brain loads up 'four sticks'. While browsing the music on my pc at work today I got a huge surprise, all of the missing tracks! I whipped out the usb cord and dragged them to my phone and then with everything back in one location created the playlists that put the songs back in order. All is well again, order has been restored.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Real Paycheck!

The perch. This is my office most Monday and Wednesday evenings. Running the clock is almost second nature now although I did put a goal up on the wrong side of the board last night. It took all of 30 seconds before a horrified grandparent notified me of my error.

Almost another week of work done, hard to believe. The days are flying by even though it hasn't been busy. December is not a great month, never has been. I mean do you want brake pads for Christmas? I am no longer dreading going in even on Mondays. The 15th marked my first full paycheck since September '09. Wow was that a shocker. A day before I came home to the second installment of the HST bribe and November timekeeping check, nice timing.

If you haven't found a reason (more secure, faster, loads of features) to switch over to the Chrome browser yet, the new Web Store might just do it. There are all kinds of free apps that run in the browser and I think it's a preview of what the Chrome operating system will be. Check out the Sports Illustrated or New York Times apps, tons of content if you tend to keep up with the world online as I do. The Chrome OS boots in 15 seconds, lets see any version of windows come within a minute of that. I have added a few program like Dropbox and Evernote which give me access to files at work, on the phone or just about anywhere I need them. I can save my hockey stats to a spreadsheet located on Dropbox and then do my weekly writeups at work during lunch and have access to the stats. If I make changes at either end it's all synced. I used to email things back and forth and ended up with a few versions on the go.

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's Going To Be A Well Worn Folder

I opened a new folder for emails Sunday, LMHL/suspensions. One day later there are 20 emails in the folder. Apparently not everybody likes the new stiffer policies being delivered by the executive.

Friday, December 10, 2010

I Get It

I always wondered why people listen to old standards, songs or music that has been around forever. Well most of what I listen to has been around for quite a while now and I finally got it this morning. I was listening to disc 2 of Yessongs, a live album recorded in 1973, while walking to work and it hit me that the music was 37 years old!  I was always amazed that 8 guys could be in such perfect sync in a live setting. The music was dubbed progressive rock a few decades ago and had plenty of quick changes of tempo and there's no conductor to guide them. I have probably listened to the songs one hundred times and every change was right there in my head, every note of the solos was familiar. But it's comfortable, yes another clue that leads to the ever popular theory that I'm old.

Week 2 of the new FCD wrapped up with a quiet day. Most of our shipments didn't make it due to road conditions. We spent a bunch of time updating inventory that will be ordered over the next few months. We're using internet radio with a couple of speakers I've had since Dell 1. Sure is nice to be able to hear some music without the ads and mumbling of the local talent trying to be funny. All the local stations can be dialed in quickly for a news or weather fix. I found a great little internet tuner call Radiosure that is basically just a small browser with station addresses built in and searchable by genre, or any keyword.

A long evening on the clock last night as I was assigned to the 'problem' team in Peewee A. Lots of incidents with this bunch. A team just as I remember them from the days when Northwood had teams in this loop. One or two kids that were better than they should be in the division and taking out the frustration on everyone. One of them got hit and then retaliated by slashing the other kid over the head, after the penalty was already called. He almost missed him but made enough contact to get 5 and a game. The kid that he whacked got 2 and 10 for a hit to the head, probably with an elbow. Add to that discussion 2 disallowed goals that required conversations and a 4-3 game almost didn't finish in the alloted time.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


After receiving a complaint from a coach, the vp from LMHL took in a Novice game I was timekeeping tonight. These 7-8 year olds play 3 ten minute periods with a 2 minute buzzer to change lines. Every kid is supposed to play at least every 3rd shift or 5 minimum. A coach is using 4 defence and 11 forwards meaning some kids see 1 shift per period or 3 in an hour game. He is up for a 3 game suspension. Kudos for the quick response.

Monday, December 6, 2010

How Green Was the Ref?

You know you have a green ref when...Young refs are notorious for not blowing the whistle hard enough to be heard causing major confusion as players continue on and often score only to have the whole thing waved off. I mentioned to a young ref after his first game tonight to "turn up the volume" on his whistle. Not a word of a lie, he looked at the whistle in his hand for a knob to turn.

I guess I'm just getting old, at least that's what the dr. tells me. For about a month I've been getting some tingles in my hands and occasional light headedness. I thought my circulation was off and my ticker was going on the fritz but he says no, I'm very low risk with my blood pressure and cholesterol where they are. Hope he's right. Time to start working with the xbox kinect and digital trainer.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Ten Minutes

After game one on Saturday I was disgusted, disgruntled and disappeared. A game ends early and neither team is close to ready, coaches arriving at the scene of the crime 5 minutes after the standard 15 minutes they ask from parents. For ten minutes I went for a walk. I headed for Petrie's and the refuge of hearing someone else's problems while my own were still steaming. But Farzum was busy upstairs and Nathan had few tales of the past week. No new bikes to drool over this time of year so I headed back down the street to confusion. Refs that don't understand the way we handle penalties. A brief explanation and quick solution to that one. A coach running around the end boards from the bench, here it comes. He has been after me for weeks to replace a player that has made 1 game out of 12 and 1 practice since teams were formed in late September. This week I arranged for a new player and the old one surprises everyone by showing up. The mom has done more bingos than the player has games. Dad offers the coach $100 to let her play. Surprising as they registered through ProKids. Dad meets me in the hallway and offers me an escalating bribe that ends at $10,000 to let her back on the ice, "you're breaking her heart" I'm told. Money is not the issue. I broke her heart? Maybe for one week but what about the other 10. A full refund of bingo credits in exchange for sweater and socks will be offered and I'll probably be told where to put that. Next time I'm going for a 209 minute walk.

Friday, December 3, 2010

1 Week Under the New Roof

So it's been one week in the new building. Things seem pretty good, much more relaxed. One thing I learned was that a slow day is just as mind numbing in a small building as it was in a big one but at least there are lots of projects to tackle. People are having some adventures finding us and of course we didn't advertise anything so most go to the old building first. I've rearranged a few things and have done some training for the digitization of the counter, no more paper lying around. Scan it, tag it and file it.

I finally updated my phone to the newer Android 2.1 and it has opened lots of windows to newer software. The standard music player isn't bad but limited and not really big finger friendly. I loaded in an old favourite that has been around on PCs forever, Winamp. It allows much simpler navigation which is critical when you want to find some music in the cold. It can create playlists which the standard player would only do when connected to a pc. It even allows wireless transfer of music from the pc to the phone. All this for the extremely reasonable price of free. For those of you with android 2.1 or better, here's the QR.

I've been walking to and from work and timekeeping all week. Feel pretty good but no weight is being shed. Once I finish with the dr. on Monday I'll start using the xbox and fitness program if he gives me the go ahead. I was hoping to add some studded tires but with the rain and ice alternating from day to day walking just seems more logical. I'm going to lose the bike tough butt that takes forever to get back but I'm not a fan of riding on ice or in freezing rain.