not particularly my bag

Since I now have a big DSLR, as opposed to a subtle wee rangefinder, I need a new camera bag. I like the one I have, so I went to the manufacturer’s website.

I knew that Crumpler was an odd company, but I wasn’t expecting demented music, a “Nerds” button which sprays poop over the screen, or animated chickens. The question is, would I trust my camera to these people? Could I trust it to anybody else?

The Bert Richard Connection

We were over at Cinders and Jules’s place last night. Jules said he used to hang out with Bert, a scary sculptor, while at Aberdeen art school.

Turns out that this Bert is the very same Bert Richard, Dalmallyfest impresario and sweary words enthusiast, who was a frequent visitor to 165 Nithsdale Rd back when we lived there with Neil Martin.

From Toronto to Dalmally; it’s a wee world.

when clichés attack

If I ever hear the expression apples to apples comparison, I am likely to explode. What probably started as a humorous twist on comparing apples to oranges has become a prop to every middle manager. It has definitely jumped the shark.

Just … Look Around You

It’s the perfect pastiche of 1970s “Television for Schools and Colleges” from the BBC. It’s also the perfect reason to own a multiregion DVD player.

Menace on the Roads

Well, they’re letting me drive motor vehicles now. Today I exchanged my UK driving licence for an Ontario driver’s licence (We like our gerunds in the UK). I didn’t know this, but Ontario signed a reciprocity agreement with the UK back in March. I seriously thought I’d have to start from level one — yay!

Though I’ve exchanged a document that was valid until I’d be 70 for one that’s valid only for the next five years, I don’t mind too much. The UK driving licence is a little photocard which has to presented along with a big dumb paper “counterpart licence”. I’m not sad to see that go.

Okay, so now I’m allowed to drive, what colour should my monster truck be?

The Multi-Talented Mayor

One-man band singing sensation. Tapdancer. Comic book artist. Sometime mayoral candidate in Hamilton Donut Rock City. Is there no end to the talents of Mayor McCa? Why is he unknown outside Ontario?

I was on the guest list for his show at Lee’s Palace on Friday. CA was on first, so there wasn’t much of a crowd. This is the first time I’ve seen him in his one-man band persona. Much fun was had.

I recorded the show with the Mayor’s permission. I had the files online, but took them off when I ran out of space. Let me know if you want to hear them.

Seemingly innocuous comment spam

In the last 12 hours or so, I’ve been getting a new kind of comment spam on this blog. The text is fairly harmless: “very interesting article”, or “if you are using Linux or unix you can take a look at”, but the link goes off to one of those pharmacy sites, or to russian car registration people.

Yes, I can run MT-Blacklist manually on them, and they are a bit lower key than the older style ones, but they’re still very annoying.

Tablet Fame

It seems that the Sunday Herald — one of Scotland’s better broadsheet newspapers — has picked up on my Scots tablet recipe. In an article called 100 Things To Do In Scotland Before You Die, they cite

Part of the 100 Things To Do In Scotland … article is online, but omits Aunt Celie’s recipe. Oh well.

Thanks to David Marsh and former Collins colleague Jennifer Baird, who both spotted this.

the CMYK inkjet scam

I have an Epson C80 inkjet printer. I bought it because it takes separate cyan, magenta, yellow and black cartridges. That way — I thought — if one of the colours went out, I would only have to change the colour in question.

I installed my fourth set of colour cartridges today. Every time I have replaced them, all the colours have run out at once. Don’t you find that strange? Am I the perfectly average printer user who uses exactly the colour balance that Epson came up with in the lab to ensure identical cartridge life? I don’t think so.

Rather, it wouldn’t surprise me that the printer was set to ask for all the colour cartridges to be replaced when one of them was empty. A couple of them did seem quite heavy, as if there was still some ink in them. Hmm.

But since the cartridges died printing out my Canadian Business Number registration, I can expense future consumables against my tax …

Chris’s one-liner

We were talking about Leonhard Euler, the 18th century polymath, who pretty much covered calculus, economics, music, solid mechanics and graph theory. There just aren’t generalists like that any more.

To the discussion Chris (not the arena racer Chris Florian, but his OANDA namesake) added: “… and he also stopped things squeaking!”