Friday, September 28, 2012

v43.2: Fracking Friday

Howdy folks,

It's Friday!  Thankfully the gods have deemed us worthy and have allowed us to see another Friday.  If you are one of the fortunate ones to have their work week end today, I bid you a happy weekend.  If not, you can join the club with me.

Unfortunately for me, I will be working most of this weekend.  There have been a lot of things going on at work this week and as a result, I will be spending most of my weekend tied to my BlackBerry and laptop while I perform changes and monitor progress/emails.  I'm sure things will go well and come Monday all of the things I hoped to accomplish will be completed and running well.  I don't foresee any complications, but like anything in the IT industry, it can go bad real fast and end up spoiling your entire weekend.

This weekend also marks the season premier of Dexter.  I started watching Dexter after season 5 had ended.  I downloaded all of the episodes and watched them back-to-back all the way up to the end of Season 6.  If you're a Dexter fan, you're probably anticipating the season 7 premier as much as I am.  If you've never seen Dexter, I won't spoil it for you but suffice to say, it's going to be very interesting to see how this season is going to start.


As some of you know, Blizzard released the latest expansion to the World of Warcraft franchise this past week.  The expansion is called Mists of Pandaria and it introduces a whole new race (Pandas) to the world of Azeroth.  I wasn't really that hyped about this expansion as I was in the past ones, but I was still excited to check out some new content and see what new things were added to the game.  In typical pre-release fashion, Blizzard rolled out a bunch of the changes that were expansion independent a few weeks prior to the release date.  I was able to play around a bit with these new changes and I must say, they've done a great job.  The expansion came out Tuesday and I hadn't had a chance to login and check it out until last night (Thursday).  This marks the first time I have ever missed an expansion release; in fact, I didn't even think about it at all on Tuesday until after I got home from work and realized I couldn't login and play because I had a bunch of work to do and wasn't able to.

Last night I decided to take a bit of a break from work and ended up logging in and spending a couple of hours playing.  Blizzard introduced this new system called "Pet Battles" which is basically Pokemon using the non-combat pets you've collected over the last 7 years.  At first I was a bit sceptical about the system and how it was going to work, but after spending a few minutes learning the new interface and reading up on the FAQ, I found myself in-game going around and finding pets to kill and capture.  Basically it starts off with a quest (after you've learned how to do pet battles) which sends you away to defeat a pet.  A "pet" is simply a critter and you see them all over the place.  Some of these pets are flagged for pet battles and when you click on them, it starts the pet battle interface.  You can specify your "active" pet out of all of the pets you have and the turn-based fight will begin.  The fight ends when either your pet(s) or the other pet(s) are defeated/captured.  Yes, you can capture pets in this system and add them to your pet list.  If you come across a pet you don't already have, you can challenge it and fight it.  Once it's health is below 35%, you have an option to capture it.  In the beginning you will almost capture it every time on the first try, but later on it gets more difficult and it may take more tries to successfully capture the pet.  Pets are also of different quality (like gear); you have your common, uncommon, rare and epic type pets that are placed all over WoW.  Sometimes you may even go up against multiple pets which makes it a bit more challenging.  So far I've only ever had to fight 1 pet at a time, but I'm assuming that will change later on as my pets get higher level.

It's a fun system and very well deployed.  I can see wasting many hours of my game time playing with this feature in the near future.  If you're a World of Warcraft player, some of this will make sense to you; if not, I apologize :)

Well folks, it's time to get back to work and prepare for my work filled evening and weekend.  Remember to always ensure you look both ways before crossing the street and abide by the rules of pedestrianism (ooo, big word).  Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice.



Monday, September 24, 2012

v43.1: Yawn

Good morning folks,

A wise man once told me, "You can never catch up on lost sleep.  If you try, you will only end up being lazy."  I would have to disagree :)

Thankfully God created coffee, otherwise I would never make it through my days.  There's just something about the smell and taste of coffee that seems to just wake you up in the morning (or afternoon or evening).  Of course not all coffee is created equal and recently I was introduced to a new way of making coffee.  I thought it might be a fun exercise for you at home to attempt to make this coffee along with me.  I've broken it down into 10 easy steps and if done correctly, will yield the most amazing cup of coffee you have ever had.

What you need

  • Coffee beans (any kind will do though you may want to go with the cheap kind your first time around until you get the process down)

  • Coffee grinder (preferable one you don't mind throwing away after)

  • A bowl (see note for coffee grinder)

  • Patience (good things come to those who wait?)

  • Small tin of soft cat food (you know where I'm going with this)

  • A cat (your own or a neighbour's cat will do fine.  As you get the process down, you may want more than one cat for mass production)

The process

  1. First you will want to take the coffee beans and get them prepared.  You might also want to ensure you have not fed the cat yet today to ensure the beast is hungry enough to eat what you are about to feed it

  2. Take the tin of soft cat food and begin to fill it with the coffee beans.  If you have a smaller cat, you may want to cut the beans in half to ensure they are swallowed whole.  It is very important that your cat eats the beans whole and does not chew them.

  3. Take the cat food full of the "ninja" beans and place it on the floor (in a bowl preferably) and watch as your cat (or your neighbour's cat) begins to slowly sniff the food trying to figure out what it is.  Thankfully the cat has not eaten today and it is hungry enough to just about eat anything.

  4. If everything goes as planned, your cat has eaten all the food (beans included) and is resting happily licking its paws and grooming itself in the sun.  A small purr may be heard as the cat is telling you it's happy and thankful to be fed.

  5. This is where your patience comes in.  Now we sit and play the waiting game.  What are we waiting for you ask?  Why we're waiting for the cat to take a shit so we can gather the precious coffee beans that have been sitting inside the cat soaking up all the nutrients and special things there.  Yes, I said "special things".

  6. Once the cat has relieved itself (there may be some discomfort as the beans pass through the cat's ass hole), you may gather the precious pieces and place them into the bowl so they can be cleaned.

  7. Clean the beans thoroughly.  It is very important to clean the beans but not to soak them as that will defeat the purpose of the exercise thereby depriving you of the most delicious cup of coffee you have ever experienced.

  8. Take the recently cleaned beans (not soaked remember) and place them into the coffee grinder.  You can grind the beans as fine as you like.

  9. Brew the coffee in whatever way you enjoy most.  I suggest getting a French press and letting the grinds soak in the water to ensure a rich, flavorful cup of coffee.

  10. Drink and enjoy.

You are probably sitting there staring at your screen in complete disbelief.  I assure you, this is done today.  It's called Kopi Luwak and while you're not actually feeding the cat "beans", I thought it might make things more amusing.

Well folks, I think that is enough for now.  I hope everyone has a great day and remember don't try to feed your cat coffee beans at home :)



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

v43.0: Yarrr

Howdy folks,

Happy International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Today is September 19th.  Also known as the 262nd day of the year (263rd day if it's a leap year) and exactly 103 days left until the end of the year.  That's right folks, we've gone through approximately 61% of this year already and Christmas is less than 100 days away.

There is also another special event going on today.  If you're an iPhone/iPad user, today marks the day you can get iOS 6.  For some of you this may not be a huge deal, but for those of us in Canada, it marks the ability for us to use Siri to get locations in Canada.  Now you can ask Siri, "How do I get to place/address/etc." or "Table for 2 in Halifax" and Siri will be able to help you out.  I imagine our friends to the south have had some of these abilities for a while now, but for us here in Canada, this is exciting times.

Of course iOS 6 comes with a bunch of other interesting features which I won't bother reposting here.  If you're interested in seeing what's new in iOS 6 you can ask Siri "What's new?" or you can read about them here.


Today's Coffee Musing is brought to you by Tim Horton's.  Drop by Tim Horton's today and buy one of their Smile Cookies for $1.  You can make a difference in a young child's life.  Also drop by and check out their new Super-Tasty strudel in either Apple or Strawberry cheese; they are quite delicious.  I was going through some of the old "Roll-up-the-Rim to Win" statistics I used to keep and I was quite shocked to see how much the price of a coffee has gone up over the past few years.  I remember back in 2005/2006 I was paying $1.55 for an Extra Large coffee from Tim's.  I didn't start recording the "cost" of the Roll-up-the-Rim contest until 2009, but then an Extra Large coffee was $1.73 (Large was $1.54).  Today when I went to Tim Horton's, the price of a Large (not Extra Large) was $1.96.  That means between 2009 and 2012, we've seen the price of a Large coffee at Tim Horton's increase by approximately 42 cents or 10.5 cents per year.  At that rate, by the time 2020 comes around, we can look forward to paying approximately $2.80 for a Large coffee from Tim Horton's.  I digress of course.  The price of things must go up over time as long as we're still heavily reliant on fossil fuels.  Hopefully someone figures out a nice, clean way to generate energy soon.


Last, but not the least by any means, today marks my 7 year anniversary at my company.  It is hard to believe I have been here for 7 years today.  I look around and see how much this place has changed/grown over the last 7 years and feel slightly proud that I was here and had a part in the growth and success.  It's been fun and for the most part I've enjoyed my time here so far.

Well folks, work beckons me like a horny lover so I must answer her call.  I hope you all have a great day and don't forget to at least answer the phone like a pirate once today.