Automatica

I have a bit of a beef with automatic units in washrooms. Auto flush urinals are great, you walk up, do your thing, and when you walk, away it flushes, once, this however, is not the case with auto flush toilets. My school, Langara College has a lot of auto-flush toilets and recently, I have tried to become more self conscious about being ecological. I have never really bought bottled water, but that’s mainly out of principle since I just think it’s silly to pay such a premium for a resource that is pumped directly into your house, I have also tried to be aware of what I buy, and what I throw away.

Along my journey to ecological nirvana, I have found the auto-flush toilets at Langara to be extremely wasteful. They flush when you walk into a stall, they flush when you stand up from the toilet, and they’ll give you a goodbye flush as you leave the stall. My friend Alisa informs me that they’re fun when you shake your bum at them, and I understand the sanitary reasoning behind having auto-flush devices, but surely they’re only needed for post-washing devices like the towel dispenser or hand dryer.

Once we’ve finished what we came in to do, we get to the drying issue, this all of course is provided you wash your hands, if not, you may as well stop reading. Paper towels work like a charm, and if you’ve had the privilege to dry your hands in a place where they have actual cotton towels, then you really don’t need to be reading this either, but for the rest of us, we know paper towels really aren’t that great because it just becomes garbage afterwards, and some automatic paper dispenser, like the one at my work is infuriating, it won’t give paper when you wave in front of it, but you’ll be on the other side of the room and it will randomly advance the roll, so if you’re going to have one, please change the settings to automatically advance once one piece has been ripped, I like those the best!

After paper, we have air to help us dry our hands, Dyson Airblades are not only cool, but by far the best hand dryers out there. The old “press button, receive bacon” models are awful and outdated:

bacon

I think we all need to be aware of the choices that we’re making in our lives and to be aware of what’s going on around us, not just go day-to-day through the paces. Maybe there are settings that could be changed so that the toilets wouldn’t flush so frequently, or they can lower their inherent eagerness to flush, I don’t know, I”ll leave it to the people at Dyson, they seem to have it figured out.

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Tweet Tweet

I have been on Twitter for close to two years now, and oddly enough, I have won a boatload of stuff off it, something I never would have expected when I signed up, mainly because I didn’t know that sort of thing went on, and as I rarely win anything, but that’s changed!

Most recently I won a Batavus bicycle from Hot Deals Donovan who runs the Vancouver branch of HotDealsLive.com and from Rain City Bikes (website here).

Here’s a picture of my lovely new cycle:

This was an especially nice prize to win as my bike was stolen a few years ago and I haven’t had one since.

Other prizes I’ve won on twitter have included, a Ukelele from Tim Tamashiro, weekend host of Tonic on CBC Radio 2 (it’s still on its way, but I’ll have a photo up once I get it!), I also won tickets to a Canucks open practice, which I gave to my friend Steph, who is a big Canucks fan, and all-round awesome person. Shortly after the Canucks tickets, I won tickets to see Alice In Chains from Live Nation, which I also subsequently gave to my friend, Klayton, who is a big fan of them and I knew would have loved to seen them.

In the past I had won premiere tickets to Terminator 4 and The Hangover from the Warner Brothers’ Rep in Vancouver, although it seems like they expect you to do more work for tickets nowadays. I also got a prize pack from Granville Island Brewing as mentioned in my previous post.

Those of you reading this likely already have twitter, but if you don’t, it’s worth signing up for, if just for the prizes!

You can follow me here, and you can follow posts from Through My RayBans here.

Stickgolf

I have recently become quite fond (read: addicted) to Noodle Cake Games‘ Stickgolf. I don’t like golf one bit, but I love playing this game, a very straight forward, 2D golf game. There are currently twelve 9-hole courses to choose from, with my favorites being:

Moonbase:

The Cliffs:

I have started a competition with my friend Will to see who can get the better score on Moonbase, with Will having the slight advantage, beating my -29 with a -30 (world high score is -32). The game, which is available for download from the iTunes store goes for a measly 99¢, and although I downloaded it for free from Free App A Day, I’d say the game, for all its entertainment value, could easily go for $5. Really worth downloading.

Thirty-two

My favorite number is thirty-two. I like thirty-two because it’s unique, few people likely have thirty-two as their favorite number and there have been a lot of times when the number has been in my life.

When I was in grade ten, I went on an exchange to Bremen, Germany. Bremen have a profesional soccer team, some of you may know, Werder Bremen. Back in 2003, there was a player named Aílton Gonçalves da Silva, better known as just “Ailton”, who played for Werder. To me, he was a lumbering striker, who looked more likely to be in a buffet line-up than a professional soccer team’s starting line-up. Nevertheless, Ailton was my favorite, and a phenomenal striker too, very prolific, as most Brazilians are.

Ailton’s number was thirty-two.

Thirty-two has appeared in other aspects of my life too.

I attended BCIT Aerospace and graduated from the Aircraft Gas Turbine Technician program; we were class thirty-two. Upon graduation I got a job with Pratt & Whitney Canada in Lethbridge, Alberta, working in their facility that is known as Plant thirty-two. Highway 99 is the nearest highway to my house, and to get home I have to take exit thirty-two. Zombieland Rule thirty-two: Enjoy the Little Things. Oh, and this week is my brother’s birthday, he turns thirty-two, happy birthday, Duncan!

Flags

I have a fascination with flags. I have a collection of roughly forty flags consisting of National, Provincial and some regional flags. We’ve gotten flags for just about every country we’ve visited and some that we haven’t. Some of my favorites are Nunavut, Falkland Islands (because of the sheep) and one that I really want to get my hands on is Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

I find the more obscure and crazy looking flags to be the best, I also love being able to know the flag of the tiniest country. I really like finding out the reasons behind the colour schemes and designs used, and the history of said country that makes their flag, theirs.

I wonder if I could find a job working with flags that is more than just being a sales rep at The Flag Shop.

Canada Day!

Yesterday was Canada Day and I celebrated my country’s birthday by starting the day working, not the most traditional of celebrations, but it was only a four hour shift and was soon over. The rest of the day was spent preparing our house for my mom’s birthday party/Canada Day barbecue.

There were a lot of people that came to the party, lots of faces I remember from my childhood of my parents’ dinner parties, and one couple that particularly stood out as I spent an Australia Day at their house many years ago with Land Down Under by Men At Work, basically on repeat.

My two friends, Anna and Sean, also came to the barbecue and invited me to go with them to English Bay to watch the fireworks that were going to be at 10:30pm; I decided to go along and we made our way to a windy Jerico beach. The fireworks were not all that impressive and I’m thinking that’s what Zinedine Zidane was thinking as well since he hurt his back while watching the fireworks and has put his exhibition match on Saturday night into doubt. I think he was likely trying to leave early like we were.

All in all it was a good Canada Day, spent with friends, beer and food, fireworks could have used more pop though.

Grouse Grind

Today I did the Grouse Grind for the first time, and had a fairly respectable time, so I’m told, 1:06h.  I have heard of the grind being exactly as it’s called, a grind on your muscles and really hard; I’m writing this 9 hours after completing it, and thankfully my muscles are not aching yet, tomorrow morning may be a different story.

The view from the top of Grouse is really nice:

Top of Grouse

…but the trail itself isn’t much to write home about, with few openings you don’t see much more than trees and rocks.  Although the scenery isn’t great, the workout is amazing.  I did it with some friends who stayed with me part of the way, which was nice, but I think it’s a trail best done solo, with just you and your iPod to keep you going.  The trail is pretty narrow and doesn’t really lend itself to conversations.

With that in mind, today has made me want to do some more hiking, maybe not as extreme as the grind, but just to break away from the norm of getting my exercise from playing soccer twice a week, which is getting a bit repetitive.  I feel a bit guilty some times for living so close to so many outdoor activity possibilities and never really taking advantage of them.

Let me know of any good trails you know!

Slo-Pitch

My brother plays on a Slo-Pitch team, and last night I went out to watch his game.  I used to play baseball when I was growing up but I stopped after grade seven, probably because I wasn’t very good, but also I preferred playing soccer.

I umpired baseball for a few years after I stopped playing, but this became quite boring as watching baseball, standing for the entire game, without beer or all the snacks that go along with baseball, isn’t really baseball at all, it’s work.

Last night was really fun though, because it had all those elements that distance it from work, the beer, the snacks, but what I found to be the single thing that makes baseball most enjoyable, the company.  Baseball, much more that other sports, is very social and laid back, it makes it so much better when you’re watching with people you enjoy being with, the heckling, the spitz and the beer just add to the fun.

All you need is love

I was watching a show earlier, and one of the stories featured was about a 15 year-old that never wanted to fall in love.  His belief is that love makes us do stupid things and changes the basic way that we act.  “It’s like a drug” he said, just because your friend is doing it doesn’t mean you need to try it too.

I thought that was a pretty good analogy of love, it is a drug, however once you have a taste, you’re hooked.  It doesn’t always come in great doses and sometimes it doesn’t even need to be the real thing to get you high.  Highs can last any length of time and that’s the risky thing when experimenting with love, you need to be aware of what you’re getting into.  Just like any other drug, there’s the low after the high.  When love is taken away, there is always a hangover.  The unfortunate thing about the low after love, is that you never know it’s coming, it’s not like you can drink a bunch of water right before you go to bed after getting dumped to lighten the pain you’ll feel the next morning.

So all you can do while experiencing a low is to just wait it out, and look forward to the next high, whenever, and where ever that may come.

This American Life: Live!

Tonight, I finally got to see the live episode of the NPR radio show This American Life. And although the show was pricey, it was well worth it.

TAL_Live-Poster

I was first introduced, and ultimately hooked to the show a couple of months ago, by my friend, Anna. It ranks up there for me with The Vinyl Cafe and WireTap as some of my favorite listenings.

I always find it weird to see radio personalities in the flesh when all you know them by is their voice. You create an image of them in your head and it takes a while once you see them talking to break that. I remember the first time this happened to me is when I first saw a picture of Rick Cluff, the host of CBC’s “The Early Edition”, which was played each morning in my kitchen before school. The sensation is sort of like finding out something about someone that you have a bond with, something that changes the way you think about them, nothing so heavy that you don’t like them anymore, but something, just enough to maybe alter your relationship a bit.

Here’s a clip from the show, a little cartoon that featured: Quimby The Mouse

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