MTB World Cup Fun

I love to mountain bike.  It’s an amazing sport it’s something anyone can do all you need is a bike and you can ride.  I have always enjoyed watching the pro ride.  However coming from the East Coast of Canada there aren’t a lot of pro riders.  Well, when I started riding there wasn’t one of the top women in the world is from New Brunswick now!

It’s Sunday morning and I am watching the MTB World Cup Race live.  But not on TV, it’s a live stream on the net.  It has me thinking how the net and the World Wide Web has changed. 

When I started riding you got your information an tips from magazines.  They weren’t even Real Mountain biking magazines but were road riding magazines.  Publications like Bicycle that had sections devoted to the Fat Tire side of riding. The media coverage was changing along with the sport.

Then they had their own magazines and the first videos. They weren’t easy to find but you heard about them they were out there.  Publications like Mountain Bike Action and Bike. With the start of the net came web sites.  As with any subject there were the good sites and the not so good.  Every now and then you might get to see a race on television.

There are some amazing sites out there now and huge communities.  Pink Bike is a one stop shop with a great base of riders sharing with one another.

Mountain bike videos also established themselves.  They were no longer guys in their back yard but were established series with beautiful cinematic settings. The guys from the Collective are just amazing.  They are even featured in a Television commercial for a television.

It’s pretty cool and I see it only getting better. Devices like iPad allow you to take your media with you and follow your passions.  Great applications like Red Bull TV that are streaming this race allows anyone to stay informed.

Got to go see how our Canadian girl is doing!

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Hmm Do I Know You?

So I have been remiss in writing material for this blog.  Now I can spend lots of time trying to justify why I haven’t written, but the long and short of it I haven’t.

What re-lit the fire to write something down was sitting in the same seat where I wrote one of my first blog posts.  When I wrote People Watching I was eating at a restaurant watching the people.  I think the same people are here as when I wrote that post.  Does she really think putting that pony tail on top of hair looks good?

I have had lots of thoughts I wanted to explore and questions to ask…

I have been very busy. I have learned a lot in the last few months. I am getting ready to accept new challenges.

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Highway of Heros We Remeber

Remembrance Day will soon be upon us.

Everyone will remember the contributions that our veterans have given us.  Stories will be exchanged the Legions will be filled. We as Canadians have a rich military history.  It’s a history we don’t boast about.  There is a reason why Canadians always seem to get the tough jobs.  Because, we can do them.

This history comes with a price.

I recently got to speak to two people who experienced the Highway of Heroes first hand.  It was simply amazing to watch him describe the feeling of pride that he had for his fellow Canadians.  One of these men was there because his son was killed the other was assisting a family in their time of need. Both were speechless.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

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Artist Unkown Track Unkown

When as in Jr High and High School I always like to make the provable mixed tape.  I am pretty sure my wife still has hers.  There is nothing like trying to listen to the top 9 at nine and trying to record your music!

It was always a lot of fun making the mix and deciding how the tape would flow.  The process got even easier with the advent of disc burners and blank CD’s.  I made lots of great music.  My 8 disc of 80’s music is still awesome!

When everyone started to make their disc or tapes, you would have the media that’s it.  There was no shazam to tell you what you were listening to on your Walkman or ghetto blaster!

You knew you had a good mix tape when the DJ took the time to write out all the songs and artist. Then, with computers and CD player displays the information had to be included on your burned disc.  Nothing worse that unknown artist or unknown title.

Make a good mix tape takes some of the same talents that make a good designer.  That little extra attention to detail can make you or break you.

There are no unknown artists in my iPod!

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Houston; we have a problem!

Mission Control NASAEveryone has heard this phrase. We have taken it adapted it and put that personal spin on it.  Do you think Houston cares if your sink is plugged?

I recently read a great article about problem solving.  Where does the need for it come from and how do you overcoming it.  The article broke it down to design.  I have to agree.  Design is about problem solving.   Check out the article. It’s not about making a better mouse trap but finding a better way to deal with the mouse!

As the designer your job is to break the problem down so it can be solved.  Every problem no matter how complex it is can be broken down and simplified.  That doesn’t mean the solution is simple.

The article I read also talked about inspiration and seeing how others tackled a problem that on the surface appears to be the same as your problem. I have also heard people around me when discussing how we are going to tackle a problem state, “let’s not reinvent the wheel.”  Even when we do it like it has been done before we always tweak the design making it that much better each time.  Each problem is a problem in among itself.

Now I do think there is something to be said about looking at other designs and their solutions.  The key is making sure that in the end the solution is your solution for your problem.  Not your solution for their problem.

It all comes down to communication.  Working with the client to determine what the real problem is.  Identifying the problem allows you to determine what is needed to address your problem.

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Prince + Madonna = LADY GAGA

I am convinced the more I see of Lady Gaga that she is the love child of Prince (or the symbol whatever he is this week) and Madonna.  Think about it, makes sense.

I have been listening to a lot of music lately. I have come to the realization that my iPod is an interesting place to say the least.  I always use the shuffle feature.  It’s like a winding journey and you never know where you may end up.  The music there is multidimensional.  One song it’s Gordon Lightfoot next it’s Mega Death.

It’s fair to say there is a little bit of everything.  I enjoy finding new music or even rediscovering old music.

I have been listening to some of my classic stuff.  Classic now, it wasn’t when I was in High School or University.   A great way to feel old is when you hear the remix and like the original song more than the remix.

Some are good, Faith by Limp Bizket was good but so was the original.  It was how I discovered them, I soon made a point of losing them when they murdered Behind Blue Eyes.  An amazing Who song…I don’t know how he killed that song.  I wonder where is Fred Drust now?  Let’s not look for him!

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Handwriting Your Personal Font

I was driving today listening to a documentary on CBC radio.  I missed the start but it was very interesting.  It was all about the art of writing a letter.  People gathering together to simply write letters.

Now with all the ways to communicate one may think that this is a timeworn format something to be tossed aside. I disagree, I think many would.   Yes, I am writing this on my computer.  I suffer from the decline of the handwritten letter.  My spelling sucks, penmanship isn’t much better and then how do I get the word out.

Modern communications definitely has its place.  But there is something about a handwritten note. Whether it’s a little surprise note in someone’s lunch or a detailed letter conveying deep emotion.  A quote that jumped out at me and really made me think was:

“a letter is like a photograph into your past.  It was where you were at , what you were feeling at that time.”

I think this strikes closer to home as I am presently working away from home and I am missing my family.  I remember when I first would go away and I would receive an write letters.  There are reasons why mail from home is so important to the military.  It takes you away from you and back home.  It’s an amazing feeling.  I still remember the letters I have received.  The twenty page book I received from my parents when I was away the first time for my birthday.  Each page had a letter on it.  Yes I blushed when I had to unfold it in front of everyone.   We all enjoyed it.

Today we have Skype and email just to name a few.  They are great and they do help a lot with connecting home.   But there is nothing better than getting that handwritten note!

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Pre iPhone

My story starts a little over a week ago.  I was getting ready to leave on a road trip.  All packed, everything moved out to my vehicle, a sunny day.  I don’t want to forget anything so I check my mental list.  I just have to get my phone and say my good byes.

I have a small media center where I keep my phone and other electronics that need to be charged up.  My phone, a Palm Pre, is plugged in all charged up ready to go.  I grab at it, but it slips through my grasp. In slow motion falls toward the carpeted floor.  Amazingly it doesn’t strike the file cabinet, the desk or a nearby coffee table.  It simply lands softly on the floor.

I would love to say this is the first time that I have ever dropped my phone.   But, that would be a lie. They have all survived!  I have had a cell phone since 2000 when you could drive over them…ok that might be a little much.

I grabbed up my phone go to put it in its case and I am out the door.  WAIT!  There appears to be a hair on the screen, yes it’s a hair. No, it’s not; the screen has some hair line cracks and is broken.  Initially my hope told me maybe it would work.  My hopes were crushed once I tried the touch screen.

Now I wouldn’t say I was upset but I wouldn’t say I was happy.  Luck was somewhat on my side as I found an old phone and was able to have it activated for my road trip.  The drive went off without a hitch.  I spent it listening to Pod Casts and good music all the while pondering what phone I would get next.

I have had lots of phone and even PDA’s.   I had a Palm when it was only called a Palm.  I need a PDA and going an extended time period without a smart phone isn’t going to go over well.  I have two real options as to what phone is next.  There is the iPhone 4 or a high end Android device.   I loved my pre.  I have always liked Palm.  Their Palm Pilots, you couldn’t kill them, web OS is awesome.  However the hardware of the Pre was it down fall.  Time to move on.  One of the major factors in my decision is not losing any of my data.

During the drive I pretty well made up my mind but the final decision would be made at the counter at the Bell Aliant store.   The people at Bell are great to deal with.  The policy they must follow isn’t nearly as great.  I would have to pay out a penalty for breaking my own phone, even thou I was signing a new contract and even thou  I had never put any type of claim in the last ten years that I have been their customer.  I wasn’t happy.  To the credit of the company I completed a survey and stated I was unhappy and within a day I received a phone call.  Now they haven’t done anything yet for me but are a looking into it.  It’s a start.

After all the penalties, phone cost, insurance and a new fancy case I had my new phone.  I chose the iPhone.  Why?

I chose this phone because I have an iPod Touch.  I have apps bought already, I have all my data on the iPod and I can sync them and Bobs your uncle.   It’s never that easy because I don’t have an Uncle Bob.

The iOS is going to be getting a lot of new features in the near future.   Now the iPhone is a walled garden but it’s where everyone is playing.  I am no Apple fan boy but I do like their devices.  Installing iTunes onto my laptop wasn’t all that fun but after some up and down and around I was able to get it installed and my phone synced with my iPod.

Now I got my calendar and contacts but because at present you can only sync with one computer I don’t have all my apps or any music.  That will wait till I get to my laptop.  I am excited to have my new phone and I am excited for some of the changes.

iOS 5 is going to have a lot of features that my Pre had.   Until I had my new phone I didn’t realize how much I use the To Do app on my Pre.  The iPhone doesn’t have one.  It really shouldn’t have taken this long to get this feature but I am excited for it.  There are a lot of tweaks coming that will make the phone even better.  Cloud based syncing along with wireless syncing, new notifications and even a new iPhone messaging system (can you say Blackberry messenger).   I can’t wait.  Check out all the updates here.  There are over 200 changes on their way.

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Show of Force, The Cape Breton Air Show

This weekend is going to be a great weekend. It’s going to be a weekend that really starts the summer off. This weekend CBRM is organizing a Show of Force.

The event is designed to not only an air show in the look up in the sky the whole time show this show is about showing what the Canadian Forces has to offer.  I have been part of the organizing committee helping as a military rep.  It started as a drip and has turned into a flood of support.  We are going to be able to show case vehicles, gear and the people of the CF.

The Snow Birds are coming along with the Sky Hawks. We will have lots of air demo’s with CF 18’s and other air craft.  This is one of the few all military air shows in the country.

On the ground there will be lots of ground static and even some moving displays.  There is a lot of support coming from all over.  We are not getting one LAV but three of them.  Even more so you can go for a ride in one. All of the local units well be on hand. They will have static displays and their people so you can learn what they are all about.  Juno Bear will be around to for the kids. Face painting to the army way!

But that’s not all. There is a LEO coming.  Who or What is LEO.  LEO is what armored officers call the CF’s main battle tank the Leopard.  We will get to see a Leopard 1 C2A.  Might even get to see it move around.

So come out an join us this weekend. There is a lot to see an do.  Make sure you say hi!

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The News Roundup

Today in breaking news.

I have come across these hidden gems of news that must reach a wider audience.

It would appear that the Zombie Garden Gnome walking dead continue to infect the unsuspecting gardener and Gnome alike.   This continues to be a major issue in the garden areas.

In a response to the grown epidemic the first Zombie Proof house has been constructed.

For a full break down see the it here.

Fall out continues to spread across the galaxy over the death of the most wanted man.  Lord Vader in a news conference has confirmed yet again that Obi Wan Kenobi is in fact dead!

Check out the Outer Rim Territories.

This is an awesome site.  The only thing that could make it better would be working links and video to go along with the story.

Take the time to read through it.  But don’t go into your garden!

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