Category Archives: Hobbies

When my butt isn’t in this chair…

New T-Shirt

Distractions, Hobbies

Dollar store wash cloths become cute, horrifying.

Friday night we nearly made this shirt in regular felt:

Cool Tee

But due to me being extremely lazy we didn’t go to the fabric store, we stopped in at the local dollar shop for craft felt. That’s when I found the washcloths. With my cutting supervision and steady sewing hand, the rest is history.*

*It may sound like this t-shirt is like, 99.9% my doing but it’s only because I’m jealous. SharkBoy’s original werewolf design morphed into this “burlap sacked headded monster” figure which is infinitely cooler, as you can see. So I tried one for myself – originally a monkey, morphing into a psycho good time bunny. Yes the eyes are crooked on purpose.

Lenzr Update

Gaming, Hobbies, Lenzr, Toronto

Just a mild reminder that Lenzr is still going on! You have one month of uploading, voting and winning!

This is my favorite so far in The Summer of Toronto contest!

Here’s my all time grooviest fave in (echo machine) Emergency In Toronto onto onto to!

Skyline In Toronto is a toss up for me. Like this early contender because it looks like it was taken with a 110 Kodak camera. But this one is pretty stunning, if not a bit “postcardy”

Get in there! Vote!

New Camera

Distractions, Hobbies, Personal Bits, Queer stuff

IMG_0024Last Saturday I finally got an offer on my Casio camera and started into the fun process of weeding through online consumer sites that offer comprehensive and unbiased product comments ( here ends the seething sarcasm). “Camera good, wish touch screen!” Seriously, were these people sleeping through grade 10 English?*

I head off to BestBuy (I know… I know…) and had 4 staff standing around me at once not looking me in the eye. You know the eye, the one that says “I have a question…?” but is met with personal conversations between the floor staff, awkward maneuvering out of my field of vision and outright ignorance to my plea. In the end we went over to Blacks across the street where one of my compadres managed to rip the security lock off a display camera, setting off an alarm. As dutiful white boys we were, we stood there and waited for a staff person to come and shut it off. And waited. And waited. To the point where the alarm started to die and croak. We just left, off to Henrys where I was ready to drop my $279 (plus SD card and taxes) for a Canon SD780 SI. Until I found out that Henry’s flagship store isn’t open on Sunday. Huh? Oh well, Downtown Camera’s doors were wide open and I didn’t mind paying $10 more for the convenience. They were extremely helpful and knowledgeable about their product and bent over backwards to find a battery and a SD card so I could test the camera indoors. From now on, I’ll do all my demo testing at big box stores and then head over to specialty stores for my final sale.


It’s toted as Canon’s smallest, but no where near as small as the old Casio. It looks a lot like SharkBoy’s camera but with more beveled edges. It has all the familiar feel of my old A640 but without the big hard-to-move scene selector knob on top. Poof! Gone.

Prince Charles Gargoyle

They’ve moved around some items in the menu system due to the new AutoScene function – no more flicking through menu options to find the Macro or Fireworks options, the sensors see it and then set it up with one press of the shutter button.

It shoots “HD” as well, which means video at 1280×720 at 30fps with HDMI output (720p). Now I need to get a mini-HDMI cable and try it. You think with all the new doodleydoos for video they’d have autofocus during recording. For now, here’s a vid for you. Be sure to click on the HD button in the controls:

*I know… I’m one to talk. But come on…

Crazy Cantina Chili

Hobbies, Robots

I haven’t mentioned that my Valentine’s Day was low key and romantically quiet. I was told no gifts but still got one when I woke and surprise surprise, I somehow got SharkBoy one too. Without knowing. Or remembering wrapping it. It’s why I love him!

Anyhoo, SharkBoy got me a copy of Wookie Cookies – The Star Wars Cookbook. This evening we tried the Crazy Cantina Chili and invited some guests over:

And like all parties, it got kind of out of control…

Eerily enough, The Electronic Replicant posted a funny video of Eddy Izzard waxing humourously about the cafeteria in the Death Star.

Weekend Roundup

Distractions, Hobbies, Toronto

Dan rocks outOn Saturday, SharkBoy and I had a dinner for my brother, The Professor, who was returning to England on Sunday. We made veggie chili with chocolate, in consideration of Emma, who I just learned last week has become meatless. Dumping a fist full of semi-sweet chips into chili may sound odd, but it brought out a “depth” to the taste as well as a dirty, naughty feeling. SharkBoy made a blazingly tasty salad and a somewhat mushy cheesecake pie, which we all decided was delish, but needed a few more hours in the fridge.

After dinner, we all retired to the media room for a rousing game of Guitar Hero, which the Professor sucked at (love him dearly, but you’d think of all those years at discos would give him more rhythm), and then on to Mario Cart, which he did exceedingly better at. See you again soon, Professor!

Political BraiiiinsSunday was the Zombie Walk 2008. After some scouring of dollar stores for props and cheap makeup, we came up with (cue theremin) Zombie Mechanics!! oooo! We didn’t want to rip up our original Halloween costumes so we chose this last minute switch. I think we did quite well, considering it was 90% improv on the day of makeup application. The Mailman joined us and found the day …interesting. When we got there there was the added surprise of a Cardboard Battle – two teams made of elaborate costumes made of only cardboard and duct tape battled each other for …supremacy? Bragging rights? Either way, some of them were pretty cool. One of the best costumes was a Tonka truck yellow, digger handed teddy bear, who fought like a trooper. With that going on, it was easy to see that the event had grown exponentially since last year. I think the Toronto Zombie Walk people need to consider they have a monster on their hands. A cheap $5 megaphone doesn’t convey much information to 1500 people. I bet there will be more organization next year because the cops were getting a pit pissed at the size of the crowd spilling out onto Queen Street.

Gallery of some zombies here… my camera’s batteries died half way through the day.

Spore: Origins

Distractions, Hobbies, iPhone

The problem with believing hype is that you’ll fall hard if the hype doesn’t live up to itself. I think that’s what I did when I heard that Spore was coming to the iPhone. Back when Spore was originally shown off at some distant, forgotten tech convention (voiced over by Robin Williams) I was enamored. Play god from the Primordial ooze to spacefaring creature? Oh hells yes! To have it on my phone (albeit a truncated version) was going to be the extra fluff added to the already fluffly clouds in heaven.

Hello little guy! Hey wait… are you baked?

Don’t get me wrong, I really like Spore: Origins. The graphics are more than I expected for a phone game, and with the accelometer, it’s a lot different phone gaming experience than say, Tetris or Bejewelled. But with that in mind, I still feel a little dissapointed that all you do in this game other than evolve your little dude, is eat other little dudes (which consists of just “running over” other organisms). There are the “bigger fish” that will eat, bite, chase you (“There’s always a bigger fish…”) and generally get in the way but with accelometer controls, it’s a bit difficult to get the hang of. Thankfully the screen is calibrated to a slight angle, not dead flat, to make your dude stop dead. The cost of the game is a bit dear for this mini-version of Spore. The price could have been reduced and the evolving of your character could have been made easier so that you get hooked enough to send your character into the desktop version, thus buying into the costlier game. But that’s just my evil marketing side talking. It is a fun timewaster.

Dude! Run! Pointy Thing!

As you play along, you are unable to re-play any levels. That’s evolution, I guess. But you are able to re-evolve elements on or off your little dude. As you can see from my pictures, I added a ton of eyes that seems to give him a little more agility in avoiding enemies. Later, I added spikes and he can “defend” himself a little from the bigger guys.

Eat me! No don’t!

Get big enough and the big dudes that bit into you become your dinner. There’s a metaphor here too. The more you play, the less your battery stays alive. It’s a bit of a resource hog, more so than video. Be warned.

Screw this, I’m going to eat Ariel’s Grotto

I give Spore: Origins a 8 out of 10. Slightly worth the $10 from the Apps Store, only if 1) It’s game play is longer than a couple hours total – I’ve only played to level 7 so far; and 2) I get to export my guy into the PC game (which I’m sure it does, but I won’t be able to because my desktop is so frigging old – it can’t run Spore Creator).

World of Warcraft, Made Simple

Distractions, Hobbies

I know I’m years behind on this, but I’ve had Evil Panda breathing down my panties to sign up for this game. Last night I downloaded the demo and started to wander about. And then realized I have no clue where he would be, let alone what race he is.

Cue terse email to EP, asking to be brief about what to do next.

What follows is his hilarious response about races in WoW (edited for content):

Tauren: Big minotaur-looking guys, based loosely on Native Americans as far as culture goes. They can be Hunters, Druids, Shaman, or Warriors. They’re probably the most noble of the Horde races.

Orcs: Not like the Lord of the Rings orcs, they’re more like Star Trek Klingons…warrior culture highly based on clans and honor. They were enslaved by demons and brought through a portal from Draenor to conquor Azeroth.

Trolls: Jamaican accents. Think of every bad depiction of a headhunting tribe in Africa, and you basically have the basis for the Trolls. Dancing around a stewpot filled with white explorers, etc. There are many troll tribes, but all players are part of the Darkspear tribe, which is a little more civilized than their cousins. Trolls can be Hunters, mages, priests, shamans, warriors or rogues.

Forsaken (Undead): One of my favorite races, because they’re so tragic. They were basically humans and elves infected with a demon-created plague that has turned them into the living dead (HIV-victims). They’re bitter and pissed about it, some are trying to take revenge against the undead who are still fighting for the Lich King, others are trying to create a new plague that will kill the rest of the living on the planet (granted, the living are trying to kill them right back, and kind of started it to begin with). Undead can be Mages, Priests, Rogues, Warriors and Warlocks. They also get some pretty neat racial bonuses, including the ability to cannibalize the corpses of enemies to regain health. They also have the best racial mount (Skeletal Horse).

Blood Elves: The prettiest race on the planet. Imagine a city filled with lovely blond raver children, and you kinda get it. They’re also magic crack-addicts, as their source of magic was destroyed and they’re desparately trying to build a new one. Can be a hunter, mage, warlock, rogue, priest or paladin.

I made a Tauren character and went off and killed some birds to start. But now I want to be pwned!