Browsing Category: Rants and Raves

Rants about anything, most were from my “Thing’s That Annoy Me” posts.

Was it Real?

Was it Real?

If you eventually break up with someone, was it ever true love?

Keep in mind that as I write this I have never had a break-up. I think that there could have been true love for one of the parties and not the other.

I think there are situations where someone can truly be in love with someone and then the other leaves them heart-broken after a change in their own personal situation. There could be a situation to happen when you have to say to your true love that, I have to move one and it is in your best interest, and I think too much of you to carry an unhappy you around, go follow your own dreams.

A Difficult Goodbye

A Difficult Goodbye

Describe the last difficult “goodbye” you said.

My last difficult goodbye was in London last fall. It was so difficult when you are in such a close group of people on a bus tour, knowing that you will likely never see any of them again to say goodbye.

This one in particular was hard for the main reason I was extremely tired. That day we started the day with an early departure from Amsterdam to try to catch the 1PM ferry in Calais.

When I should have been getting some well needed rest after an incredibly active day of walking many kilometres rather that trying to translate Dutch to take the street cars, the worlds most annoying creation decided that it was time for no one to sleep at 3:30am. That annoying creation was a damned rooster. Although I could probably sleep over the sound of a rooster in this instance, it was several dozen of those buggers.

Goals Suck

Goals Suck

This is the time of year that everyone is setting their goals for the new year. Some unrealistic and some to easily obtainable because you are going to do it anyway. I have set goals like everyone else. But let’s face it goals still suck.

One of my goals this year are to write more, in the range of 2-3 times a week. This is also one of the reasons that you are reading this is because I have written it.

Next thing I want to accomplish is to become a better person. I am going to change my diet to be more reasonable and not so restaurant based. Let’s face it I could probably count the number of times I have cooked in the last year on 2 hands. Pretty much everything has been from Tim’s, Wendy’s, Subway, McDonald’s, Starbucks, Java Moose, Urban Deli, or Saint John Ale House for the past year. The exception being frozen stuff or sandwiches from Sobey’s. This has also resulted in a net weight increase in 2011. Although I am still down from the start of 2010.

The next thing on my list is to read more. I am going to try to actually read 10 books this year. In addition, I am going to try to reduce the amount of movies I go see in theatre. I think that 40 should be a reasonable number. There are some good choices this year but it does not appear to be nearly as good of a year as my 300 year in 2009.

I am also going to try to see somewhere new this year. Last year Vancouver, Hoboken, and Bologna where great new places but this year needs to be totally new. I also don’t really want to travel alone again this year so my big goal will be to find someone to travel with.

When I Started Using the Internet

When I Started Using the Internet

How old were you when you started using the Internet regularly?

When I first started using the internet I was 13. My first exposure to the internet was using GOPHER, and having to search using Veronica.

Then when I was 15 I made my first e-mail address (Hotmail pre-Microsoft, I had three within a month). Then in November of 2007 I make my first website “Charles’ Anything and Everything Site” on Tripod that eventually transformed to this site.

My first job was a Credit Card Telemarketer

My first job was a Credit Card Telemarketer

Question: What industry ushered you into the workforce? Describe your first work experience. How long did you last?

My first job as was as a credit card telemarketer for $9/hour. It seemed like a good job at first. The training also seemed very decent. Then shortly after things started to change quickly. It was the Easter long weekend coming up, and they were offering overtime for I think it was Good Friday but it was for a different bank, and credit product, with a different script and a much different “terminal” interface.

Just as an aside, most people called them DOS screens just because it was all keyboard operated and text-based. Some people are just totally wrong, and non-technical.

Getting back on track, after the weekend ended there was a push on leads for this other bank and since I had done it for a day I was kept on the new campaign and was expected to have results on the leads with out the proper training on the program, just three sheets of paper. To make it worse, just as soon as I was catching on, I got thrown back and forth between the two very different credit card products.

After 7 weeks, there was a presentation that I wanted to go see at council, it was the operating budget of Saint John Transit. I went to work because I felt I had an obligation to the job, but then I had the worst customer ever, and a very un-supportive supervisor. So I signed out for my first break, left my key card next to the keyboard, and went to council. I never returned.

From this job, I learned two very important lessons. Sometimes, you have to take the initiative to learn on your own that you need to know to excel at a job. This is something the has been very critical to a few of the jobs I have had. Before I worked as a graphic designer at Johnny’s Coupons I had never used CorelDraw ever. In my current job, everything changes everyday and there is a steep and very broad knowledge involved, not attempting to learn on my own would result in me not getting as far as I have.

The second lesson was when an opportunity arises jump on it. Taking risks is a necessary skill to advance. This came true again about three and a half years ago. I was asked “Do you want to work on a six-week contingency project?” If I missed that opportunity to say yes, the last few years would be incredibly difficult.

I Wish I Were Fluent In French, German, Italian and heck Venician

I Wish I Were Fluent In French, German, Italian and heck Venician

I have tried many times to try a new language but it is very difficult unless you can immerse yourself in it for a month or two.

Despight the fact that learning to speak French much much better would help me find a more decent job, the language I would really love to be able to speak is German. I personally find German one of the most important sounding languages in the world. There is something in the sound of it that makes it feel familure and noble.

I also love how they construct larger word putting smaller ones together. I would also live to hang out in a platz over a piaza.

That being said Italian would also be cool and more specifically Venician. Venice is one very amazing place that you can very easily lose yourself in.

“Immoral but not Illegal”

“Immoral but not Illegal”

Apparently my site traffic has dropped a fair bit in the last few months. This past week has been one of the craziest news weeks that I can remember in quite some time. Four elections, a new premier, a shady closed meeting of the public accounts committee in Ottawa. The Europe economy teetering beyond hope. The City of Saint John not having a clue how to fix its self with the pension. Sarah Palin announcing that she won’t run again, and overshadowed by the death of Steve Jobs that no one really head or cared.

But among all that the things that stood out the most happened on Thursday. US President Barack Obama in responding to why the US Wall Street executives that killed the global economy were not jailed for what they done responded with; “what they done was immoral but not illegal.”

It is pretty bad when a few can make over a hundred million people worldwide homeless and unemployed. Then be bailed out by every reserve of money available on this planet then… nothing happens.

Added note: I had received a comment that it was unclear but, the point I was trying to make was that no one cared that Sarah Palin was not going to run again. Many people including myself cared about the passing of the great Steve Jobs.

If I Could Be a Professional Critic

If I Could Be a Professional Critic

It is a tough call between food of film critic. But, I think being a food critic would be better. It is amazing how many times you can find something that is the best tasting thing you have ever eaten. Where it is hard to top a movie as great movies are few and far between.

I do tend to write a lot of movie reviews though.

This is crazy, Unions need to go.

This is crazy, Unions need to go.

This morning I heard the following story on the radio and was practically outraged by what I was hearing. Basically, the Government of Saskatchewan is offering a reasonable 6% pay increase to all the teachers, but the lousy blood-sucking unions are demanding 16%. In addition, who is going to feel bad for these teachers, 6% will make them some of the highest paid in the entire country.

Even if the Government is able to pay this amount they should not give in. The money should go to offer better supplies for learning, libraries, I would even hire actual fitness trainers than give in to the greedy unions.

I think that this country would be much better served banning unions from the public service.

Santa as Blackmail

Santa as Blackmail

In the sprit of the holiday season I would like to make this rant about the blatant misuse of Father Christmas by millions of parents world wide.

Throughout this highly commercialized world of Christmas. The sweet jolly old man has gone from the symbol of joy and happiness, to be the evil judge of goodness that has in recent years has never cut any kid off that I know of. Face it people you don’t really need it! Hasn’t our generation learned yet from Disney’s The Little Mermaid that things don’t matter as much as experiences.

Then again, experiences are the reason that every parent will get most kids anything they want. You may deny it but for the same reason that you all use Santa to blackmail the kids in the first place you buy them anything. You are self-centered! Using Santa as an incentive to behave provided you benefit. As much so a joy on their faces Christmas morning.

So in closing, happy holidays, and get over yourself. Stop being self-centered you are not as important as me.

LED vs. LCD

LED vs. LCD

This week I was looking into buying a new TV. I know for sure that I’m not looking at a plasma. When the sales representative was explaining the different TVs she started describing LED TVs as better TVs. This led to the question, isn’t a LED TV a LCD display. The answer I got was no it is better than a LCD, that it worked like a LED stop light that the LEDs change colour.

This is wrong! All LED TVs are LCD TVs but all LCD TVs are not LED TVs.

What is LCD? It is basically like the old fashion calculators, as an electric current hits a liquid crystal (the LC in LCD) it rotates the crystal changing the wave lengths to make a RGBK {Red, Green, Blue, and Black} (or in a few RGBYK {adds Yellow})  to the back light.

Then what’s the diff?

The difference is in the back-light. A TV referred to by the store as a LCD TV is in-fact a lit in the back by a fluorescent back-light. This back-light will last a ;long time but will eventually burn out.  This is similar to the monitor that you are likely reading this on, like a laptop or cell phone screen (most anyways).

The LED (Light Emitting Diode) is the light bulb used to light the LCD panel. Seems to simple eh? While it is, there are two main types of LED TVs edge lit and local dimming. With edge lit the LED Bulbs are around the edge of the display and light the display. Where local dimming has lots of smaller regions that can be dimmed on and off to give a better black.

A really good website that for further reading is LCD TV Buying Guide.

BarbBarbBarb

BarbBarbBarb

As most of you my readers are aware I am a huge WordPress enthusiast. I also like to write about local Saint John affairs too. While I would like to promote a site that is local and very interesting. It is http://www.barbbarbbarb.com. I came across this website as a suggested person to follow. (@barbbarbbarb)

This site is focused around fashion and is very well written. To tie it back to WordPress this site is running on an older version of WordPress 2.8.3 and is using a modified version of Kuuler I theme made by stratus, a well-known WordPress developer.

Give the site a good read I’m sure you will enjoy it. Also, next weekend is WordCamp Montreal 2010. It is going to be a blast.

Apologies

Apologies

Isn’t this a nice rainy day that we woke up to today. This morning like usual I went to Tim Horton’s and ordered a bagel. That is the pivotal moment of the day that is inspiring today’s rant.

Their toaster was broken! Now you may think that was what inspired this but you would be wrong she had apologised for it. I mean come on now unless you took the hammer to it and caused it to break you should not be apologizing, it only diminishes you credibility when it was your fault. Just tell me it is broken and ask if I still want the item don’t apologize for it, it’s not your fault.

200th Post: A Last Post for Facebook

200th Post: A Last Post for Facebook

Good Bye Facebook!
Good Bye Facebook!

Although I love reading the messages of some of the people who I have accumulated on Facebook, I just can’t stand by for the envision of privacy. I had joined Facebook back in 2006, when it first opened to the public.

I was a fan of social media before that, in-fact it was really the terrible designs in MySpace that convinced me to make the move away from there and Yahoo! 360. I have always used Facebook as a private way to connect with my friends and connections I have acquired. However, in recent privacy changes Facebook has decided to leave full global access to all the advertisers, Facebook connect users, and any of the hundreds of thousand developers, whether you use their app or not by having just one of your friends to use their services.

If you were one of my contacts then see my contact info page here at this site, or join me on Twitter. So, lets finish off and let Facebook go off into the sunset as the bagpipes play the “Last Post.”

The Spambots are amazing sometimes.

The Spambots are amazing sometimes.

I have to be amazed at some of the spam bot comments made on this site. The following has posted to my NB Sports Site List:

“I was studying something else about this on another blog. Interesting. Your linear perspective on it is diametrically opposed to what I read to begin with. I am still reflecting over the various points of view, but I’m leaning heavily toward yours. And regardless, that’s what is so super about modernized democracy and the marketplace of thoughts online.”

It has nothing to do with the list of links but amazed me how they try to fool the system. Usually the bots just post 20-30 links with no posts, and are posted to parts of the site that are so obscure.

Why not to “Save Local”

Why not to “Save Local”

Today I seem ads on CTVGlobeMedia stations that are urging the government to require cable/satellite distributors to pay for distributing the signal. I think this is just plain wrong. Here in Saint John there are 4 broadcast stations CBAT (CBC Fredericton but licensed and has its main transmitter in Saint John), CKLT (Has no programming differences from CJCH (CTV Atlantic) in Halifax, NS), CIHF-TV-2 (a semi satellite of CIHF-TV known as Global Maritimes from Halifax.), and CBAFT-1 which is a re-transmitter of CBAFT the Radio-Canada Moncton feed.
When it comes to local programming CTV is the absolute worst, as I have noted before at most has 2 stories from the Saint John area and 4-5 total from the entire Province of New Brunswick on a good day. Global TV despite their severe cut backs have managed to keep their news stories basically equal per province.
The basics is that all 4 of these broadcasters offer their signals for free over-the-air (a.k.a. poverty-vision). The cable company simply re-transmits the feed via an antenna to cables to the subscribers. Why should we pay to have something that we get for free anyway? In fact this even benefits the TV stations by making it more convenient to watch the stations resulting in more viewers rather than switching over to better content from away. Thus removing ad dollars.

In less dense markets like the Maritimes TV must come up with a different model in order to survive. Depending on a single news program is clearly not the way to go, but neither is alienating the viewers by making some pay, while others do not. Do we consider a TV tax like the United Kingdom? I don’t thinks so either but fees must not be duel standard. The CRTC recently made a decision that requires distributors to no longer require a bundle of channels. In this schema you can choose to not purchase stations, adding fees will just doom local programming to certain failures.

Is the was digital revoluton really a revoluton?

Is the was digital revoluton really a revoluton?

This is a topic I usually don’t get into here on my Blog, nor do I get this deep into a topic ether but I was listening to TWiT 180, and they were discussing a migration from blogs to Twitter.

This got me thinking of the term revolution that gets applied to new technologies all the time. In a non-physics (my head hurts) interpretation a revolution is when something or a group of people become so outdated and useless that by force and necessity need to be replaced.

The Internet revolution was not a forced or possibly necessary revolution it is merely a change in preference. It is not like the upper class and the peasants of the 1700’s France. The digital and non digital worlds can and do co-exist. TV and YouTube can coexist. It is all in preferences not a Revolution.

Therefore, Twitter will not replace the Blog. Then again I do have the capability to re-post all my Twitter tweets here but I tend to see Twitter as like facebook.com but without all the annoying apps. In fact my Facebook front page is all I really use.

Loose dogs, leaving gifts.

Loose dogs, leaving gifts.

So, I can’t post from my iPhone to my SnapShots gallery yet but here is another one for my things that annoy me files.

On my way to catch the bus I witnessed this little yellow dog zig-zaging the yards sqatting and leaving gifts on every yard on the street.

How long must this go on? I think that in a city only lap house dogs should be allowed, or that any animal allowed to run loose be youthenized.

Sure you animal lovers might think this is too strict. However, the punishments for failing to comply with a law needs to be strict enough for people to not want to break the law. I beleve that losing your loved pet would be the only way to keep it on a leash and not leaving presents on my yard.

Local News, yeah right…

Local News, yeah right…

Today I am going to post another gripe post. This week’s victim is CTV Atlantic late night news, last night I sat down to hear what was happening. There was 13 stories from Nova Scotia, 1 from PEI, 3 from NB and 3 from elsewhere. Like WTF! To make it even worse of the 3 stories they were flood relief from the northwest New Brunswick, a boil order from Oromocto, and an algae ploom in Moncton.

It is like nobody cares about what is happening in New Brunswick, but to add insult with the lack of caring by dumping on us by adding an algae story to boost your NB news content.

Keeping up with the times.

Keeping up with the times.

With the recent water bans an the lack of news coverage in the wee hours of the evening I was pondering if there was a better way for the City of Saint John to post urgent notices. And I had thought of using the technology of today, and an approach of making it easier to opt-in to these methods.

Part 1: Electronic Internet

Provide an RSS feed with no longer than a text message sized message detailing the urgent message. This would allow people the opportunity to place a box on the most common web portals that 60% of people use as home pages.

Secondly allow people to register their e-mail addresses to an urgent message list. This would allow people to get it by e-mail or text message as people can put in cellnumber@pcs.rogers.com or cellnumber@txt.aliant.net and have it sent to your cell (great for parking bans.)

Step 2: Phone

Have an Advisory line like the parking one and have a cheep automated text to voice system to read the RSS feed messages.

I still need a new phone

I still need a new phone

Why do the cell phone companies make it so hard on you to find a phone that suits “you.” I have been on the hunt now for the predecessor to my Nokia 6620 that is now cloning in on a four-year old design of a phone. I wasn’t even lucky enough to have a battery covered by the recall since that is the main issue I am having with it.

My phone runs off of the S60 second generation Symbian OS, and I really like it, now if I could just find a GSM phone with the 3rd Gen. But nobody seems to offer the thing, sure some people play music on their phones but I have an iPod Nano so that is not really important to me, neither is cell phone gaming, but I like the option to install whatever programs I want as the Symbian OS has loads of programming that in most cases is higher quality than a lot of what you can get from the Java that most phones offer.

I also like that GSM is more secure as it never goes back to analog mode, and the ability to move my contacts from phone to phone easily on the SIM card, and the global nature of the GSM technology. So CDMA/1X-EVDO is not really an option.

Anyways that is my rant. I really like the Blackberry Pearl but a $35 data plan for 4MB is crazy.

All about Melanie

All about Melanie

You would think that it calling Rogers and talking to the voice automation is bad. Then you have never had the pleasure of meeting, Melanie, the inbred country cousin that guards the pay-as-you-go phone line. This computer does not even recognize the common commands that you can use with other auto-gatekeepers. And what is worse is that every Rogers call centre rat is trained to sick Melanie on you.

Why can Rogers use the same system as every other service for Pay-as-you-go. At least that person has half a brain to understand what you want, and not listing everything.

Ahhh! the 80’s

Ahhh! the 80’s

I just saw the Movie “Scary Movie 4? tonight and as the wiped emerges from the depths of the ground as in parody to War of the Worlds. There is a tune that plays first that I thought sounded like “I’ma I’ma I’ma I’ma I’ma Chameleon” which I tried for ever to find and then I found a cool website Am I Right (www.amiright.com) that had that expression in a different song but I found it in the 80’s Section the song was really Culture Club’s, “Karma Chameleon”

Then I took the unfortunate decision to try their other songs. What were they thinking like the mid to latter 80’s was not that bad but the early 80’s Ahhh! It is almost as bad as Disco, It sort of sounds in between Disco and the stuff of the later 80’s but anyways not my cup of tea.

I took lots of pics today while I was taking a stroll uptown they are in my Gallery section of this site.

Merry Holiday Day!

Merry Holiday Day!

As the year winds down I would like to thank you for reading my site there has been many changes for me over the past year. Not to mention this site moving 4 TIMES!!! since this time last year. Hopefully this will remain my home for years. It is paid for till November 2004 anyways. Enjoy your December 25th it only comes once a year!