About Things!

This is a site about things that I like, things that I don't like, things that I've done, things that I'm doing - and other things that occur to me.

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About the Author

If you know me in real life, you will recognize many of the things I talk about here. If you do not know me in real life, well, I feel kind of bad but I'm sure you will get along fine. In fact you might get along better not knowing me! If you have any questions or comments about the things I talk about, it's best to leave a comment on the article in question. Otherwise you can contact me personally and I'll do my best to get back to you as soon as I can

20cm of snow on the 3rd day of spring

Is this a joke?


Our new old door to our stairwell slash pantry

We found this door at the Reuse Centre and it is absolutely perfect. Well it was a little small, but that’s nothing a bit of shimmin’ couldn’t fix.

The white-on-black knob came from a different door but it couldn’t be more perfect.

Also shown: the appliance/pantry wall of our soon-to-be-new-but-still-in-progress kitchen.

Getting free gift cards!

This morning I took a rare visit to Tim Hortons downtown for a half dozen bagels and a pair of coffees. When I paid, the lady behind the counter gave me a “Tim Card”. In the hustle of the busy store, I didn’t have time to ask what it was about, and I actually just assumed that a previous customer had left their expired card on the counter and she thought that it was mine.

When I got home, I took a closer look and the front of the card says, “Thank you for being our customer! Compliments of your local Tim Hortons”. The back indicates that it is loaded with two bucks.

I have no idea if this is a promotion related to the roll up the rim contest, or simply a nice way to surprise random customers. It’s not like I am a regular there like this guy.

At any rate, thanks Tim!  I will reinvest this $2 in another roll up the rim cup, from which I expect to win a car, which I will sell for profit.

Unreadable Captchas

Are you kidding me?

Kids selling sidewalk shoveling for 5 bucks on a snow day

And just when I thought “kids these days” were a lost cause, with no aspirations beyond iphone and facebook skilz!

This weather update

This weather update is hilarious. Blizzard leads to “snow and blowing snow”? Great!
Blizzard ending early in the morning then snow and blowing snow. Snowfall amount 10 to 15 cm. Wind northeast 50 km/h gusting to 70 diminishing to 20 gusting to 40 early in the afternoon. High minus 4.

Bell convinced the CRTC to allow usage based billing (UBB) for wholesale/3rd party DSL providers.

If you happen to be a DSL internet customer, this directly affects you – especially if your provider is anyone other than Bell.

If you are a cable internet cutomer, this will likely affect you in an indirect way, as it makes the DSL companies less competitive and opens the door for cable companies to get away with charging more for less.

The short story is that Bell fought at the CRTC in order to implement usage based billing for DSL wholesalers. This means that companies like Primus, Teksavvy, Acanac, Velcom and other smaller ISPs will be charged by bell for any bandwidth usage over 25GB for their customers.

Many of these smaller ISPs built their customer base by offering services with fewer (if any) bandwidth restrictions and lower prices than Bell. Now Bell is forcing them to pass along charges to these customers.

If you are on an unlimited plan with a smaller ISP, or if your current bandwidth cap is higher than 25GB, this affects you.

Some are claiming that the reasoning behind this move by Bell has less to do with the cost of providing bandwidth than it does with the threat of legal online streaming services (netflix.ca, youtube.com) eating into their lucrative digital satellite television offerings.

What can you do if you believe in freedom of competition for these smaller companies?

Sign the petition at Stop The Meter.  This will let the government know how you feel about this decision.

Call Bell and complain.  Even if you are not a Bell customer (I would say especially if you are not a bell customer), you should call. After all, when you are charged UBB rates, the money is going to Bell – so in essence you’ve become their customer at that point!

Make them earn their $1.10 – $2 per gigabye overage charges by calling them and letting them explain their reasoning directly to you, their new unwitting customer.

Their number is 310-2355 – you may have to enter your own area code first. Hit the zero button three times in order to reach an agent as soon as possible. Ask for the internet billing department. Tell them you have a general complaint and need to speak with a manager. Don’t bother talking to the lowest level call centre tech. Once you reach a manager, explain your feelings about their third party billing policy and that you’d like your position to be registered to their manager.

The backlash toward this policy is growing fast. Although it is rare for a private citizen to do so, Montreal-based computer consultant Jean-François Mezei has filed a petition to the federal government requesting that they overrule the CRTC decision.

Join the fight today.

Yes, you can use Dow Great Stuff spray foam on XPS foamboard!

I am posting this because I finally found an answer buried deep on Dow’s website after searching in vain for some time all over the internet.

I received conflicting information about this, with some people (in person and online) claiming that you can only use “approved adhesives” with XPS (this is true) and that spray foam would eat through the polystyrene (this, it turns out, is false).

Dow, makers of “Great Stuff” spray foam (-in-a-can) insulation actually recommend using the foam if you need to fill in a cracked piece of extruded polystyrene (XPS) foam board insulation.

Here is the evidence:

Depending on the size of the hole or crack [in XPS board] there are several possible materials that Dow recommends for use: For larger holes or cracks a spray in place polyurethane such as GREAT STUFF* or equivalent can be used.

So perhaps the keywords in this post will help someone else find this information: “Great Stuff” and other spray foam insulation in a can is safe for use with extruded polystyrene (XPS) foam boards.

This picture of a kid wearing his helmet backwards

I can’t get enough of this picture. The backward helmet and the look on his face – one of befuddled accomplishment – is a perfect combination.

The best part is that it comes from an “ehow.com” article which is supposed to teach you how to properly adjust your helmet:

Swedish things

Those who know me probably know my car. It is a (quite recognizable) 1979 Volvo 245 (aka 240 wagon) named Beeb. This past weekend we took her to ikea in order to grab some kitchen parts. Since I was envisioning the wagon being backed into the loading zone, roof rack piled high with boxes, I asked my girlfriend to bring her camera so we could snap a picture of our Swedish brick having a bit of a visit with what has to be the most Swedish place in Canada.

We ended up getting the boxes delivered instead of loading them into and onto Beeb, but the camera was not carried for naught. When we left, we saw a wagon of comparable vintage near the exit. I moved Beeb into the adjacent spot and took a few pictures of the wagon pair’s homecoming party.

As we were about to leave, the owners came out and we had a brief chat. Their wagon is a 1976 – but the look is skewed by the early eighties turbo rims. Despite being from Toronto, they knew of my bike shop. This post is a shout out to Lucas: owner of the 76 wagon and vintage bike lover to boot.