Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Order to Canada

I had a bit of a problem the last few weeks. A couple of months ago one of the players got bent on my table hockey set. There's not much space where I live and someone tripped over it accidentally.

It turns out to be easy to fix. It's a Franklin hockey set and I needed a Hockey Gear part.
So far so good. The part was right there on the Franklin site and they had an order form. Unfortunately there was a snag when I went to order. They only deliver to USA. That sucks since they obviously sell the sets in Canada, they don't sell replacement parts in Canada.

I thought I was stuck for a while but then I had an idea. At work we have a California office. My manager has worked with the people in California. I asked my manager to make contact for me with his counterpart in Redwood City. I ended up ordering the part from Franklin (via Yahoo Store which is very good) and getting it delivered to his house in California.

Then the trick was to get it to Canada. Occasionally there's meetings either in California, Ontario, or Nova Scotia so it was fine for someone to just bring it into Canada that way and it would get to me in a little while. However the guy in California just sent it to me USPS and that was all fine.

So that was that. Just this week though I got an e-mail ad from Paypal and it turns out there's a business around these USA only deliveries to Canada. It's So if you're willing to pay then there are services for this. Actually the rates at MyUS look kinda steep so maybe you should shop around and see if anyone else does it. I was interested in getting some nice Kem playing cards which seem to be impossible to order from a Canadian supplier so maybe I'll get them yet.

The part I needed was 14010Z7 from Franklin Sports Parts. FRANKLINSPORTSPARTS.COM. I'm listing it here for search engines in case anyone in Canada happens to be looking for this part. I have some extras now and will mail them in Canada.

Monday, July 20, 2009

KISS in Halifax

I caught KISS over the weekend. The show was right here in Halifax on the commons. That was pretty convenient. There was a well organized bus service too so it was fast, easy and inexpensive to get there and back. Thanks metro transit.

The weather was bad all day on the Saturday. Rain on and off. Luckily though at around 8 the rain and heavy mist stopped for good and it was just cloudy for the show. I was glad about that. I didn't arrive until about an hour before the big show so I was able to avoid a lot of the rain.

It wasn't cheap. $114 for general admission. I had a pretty good view though and the sound was great. The show was really good. Lots of great songs and all the major hits. Everyone there seemed to be really into it, especially for the most well known songs. It was worth it.

The last big show I was at was the Rolling Stones in Moncton. Was that really 4 years ago? Wow, lots of changes since then. So now I've seen KISS. Like the Stones, something I've always wanted to do.

There's so much entertainment around this summer. There's only so much time and money for events so I have to pick which ones to see. I passed on Paul McCartney and I won't be going to Moncton for AC/DC. I saw KISS and I'll be planning to go to WWE in Halifax in September.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Book of Psalms

Psalms is an interesting book.

One thing I find interesting about it is how Psalms is often misread in modern times.

People think Psalms is about peace and love and such but the surprising thing about Psalms is that it isn't. There's definitely a dual character to that book. Most modern readers and preachers seem to have really missed this essential part of Psalms.

Once in a while I go to church. Recently the preacher spoke about Psalm 145, specifically verse 20 (NIV).

20 The LORD watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.

Now this is an interesting verse because it captures the dual spirit of Psalms. As it happened, and not surprisingly, the preacher spoke for a while about the first part of the verse. The part about love and the Lord.

However the preacher completely missed the key second line. About how the Lord will destroy the wicked.

That runs all through Psalms. The wicked, the enemy of Israel, etc. are constantly being destroyed, and made into footstools. Psalms is not at all a book of peace and love. In virtually every chapter the enemy gets his in Psalms.

Even the famous Psalms 23. They had to "walk through the valley of the shadow of death". Not a fun neighbourhood to be passing through. Good thing the Lord was with the Isrealites through their journeys, handing out rough justice to Israels opponents.

In a way it's too bad about Psalms that everyone just talks about the peace and love part and misses so much of the real richness and character of the book.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Office Space the Movie

I saw the move Office Space over the weekend on DVD. A co-worker lent it to me. He apparently has a copy at his desk it seems.

I hadn't seen it before. It was a great movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was very funny. It's basically the story of modern office work and some of the frustrations that come with having a seemingly good job.

They had a good screenplay. The casting was great. The characters were very believable in their roles. Although the characters were stereotypes of yourself and your co-workers, it was close enough and well enough done to be really funny.

The soundtrack was very good and really helped make the movie. The soundtrack consisted mostly of gansta rap. Which was funny for a movie about office work. But it fit in well.

On the gangster theme. Along with the soundtrack, there was an undertone to the movie. It was the respect and admiration the main character office workers had for gangsters and criminals.

Myself I also admire gangsters. They are the real freemen in our society. Regular folks sit there in synthetic cubicles; tethered to prescription drug plans, mortgage and SUV payments.

The gangster, the pimp, the outlaw biker; that's the admirable life in many ways. Could you imagine a pimp producing a Microsoft Word document listing his personal goals and objectives for the coming fiscal quarter? Do you think someone would hassle a mafioso to come in on a Sunday? When do they get up in the morning? When they're done sleeping!

I think that theme resonates with a number of people perhaps more than they realize. Consider this YouTube video has 49 million views.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Steve McNair RIP

A great man. Among the toughest players in the NFL. Courage.

I remember a Titans playoff game years ago a fan had a sign which said something like




Something like that. The fan was sitting just behind the Titans bench among the first few rows. The cameraman zoomed in on the sign and the fan. Then the announcer noticed that the person holding the sign was McNair's wife! That was a great game. In that game McNair was playing through some brutal injury that would have sidelined almost anyone else.

We fans will remember you fondly. RIP Steve McNair.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


I got my DISC assessment results today. I filled out an online questionnaire a couple of weeks ago. The individual results were presented today.

I ended up getting a solid C. No surprise there of course. The effort was somewhat self describing in that if you had to guess what it was going to be beforehand for yourself and others you would have been pretty close most of the time. So it kind of tells you what you already know. Just puts more of a label on it. Although we're not supposed to call it a "label".

It was interesting in a way because the assessment includes a lot of profiling text about you individually. Even though it is composite and computer generated it was fairly accurate. One thing that came up with me is about details of personal life away from work. In general I don't say much about that or ask others about it. However others do volunteer more naturally.

In general it is well known that getting married, buying and/or selling a house, and breeding tend to be disruptive things which can generate a lot of time away from work during the day. And that's OK with me and with most people. It is generally well known when someone is going through such a process. Given that, it's really quite alright if someone sends an e-mail saying they will be "away", "out of the office" for some "appointments", "for a while" "this afternoon".

I don't dislike the people individually, but I really don't want to hear your afternoon itinerary of appointments with your mortgage broker, inspector, lawyer, realtor, etc. I really don't want to know the details. There was a good culture where I used to work. People were generally more vague and guarded about such things. It was a bit like the code of the NFL locker room. You didn't talk about, or especially, ask about people's personal business away from the field.

So that's that I guess. It makes me think about how DISC "scales" though. In the sense of aggregating the DISC profiles of team members to attempt a composite DISC of the team as a whole. Or even of an entire organization. I wonder if it could become part of recruiting and attempts would be made to "manage" it in the sense of having target percentages for the 4 types within different teams and job functions/management etc. An interesting subject in a way.

Friday, July 03, 2009


A couple of weeks ago I drove a friend downtown for a job interview at a bar. He has a car but the registration is messed up in the cutover from his old van which died, and some other complications. He's a good guy but he kind of has to get his life together. He ended up landing the job so good for him.

On the drive back he got talking about a site he likes. It's tagged. He said it's a good site and recommended it. I was a bit skeptical about it but I was curious enough to try it out.

It was about what I expected. You don't give your full name. Just first name, last initial, age, and location. It reminded me of the late night bar scene. Women around my age in Halifax on that site is a lot of tattoos, trash, and trouble. Some but not much class. I guess it's cheaper than the bar scene to look around at a low signal to noise ratio. It's a bit amusing. It is what it is. Maybe I need to get my act together for going on there.

It would be questionable to meet someone on tagged. It did get me thinking though about the Internet dating scene. I think if I wanted to meet someone on the Internet I would sign up at the dating site that had a high fee. $100, better yet $200-$300+.

Why would I want to overpay? For value. I figure with a high sign up fee the site would be self organizing. The fee would self filter out a lot of the fakes, poseurs, wannabees. If a girl doesn't have $100 for a one time expense then I don't want to meet her. It would be more likely to be a classy site. I figure the ladies with class, education, good jobs and savings would go to a more expensive and exclusive dating site. So if you want to meet those types of women then that may be a good place.

It makes sense as an investment. If you meet someone good with a good job who is good about money then a one time $300 investment up front would easily pay off more than 100 times over. And I suspect there's at least a 1% chance of meeting such a person on that type of site.

Do I have any business dating pharmacists, accountants, and dentists? Possibly not. The free market and pure luck will ultimately decide.