Music, Tech and Little People

I have to thank my wife’s cousin for introducing modern pop music to my kids.  The kids five and three are now in love with Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas and Kate Perry.  How do I know they are in love?  I think it’s either the way the dance around the house or in their car seats or how they know ever lyric.

The kids love nothing better than asking Daddy to watch music video’s on Youtube.

Lately they have rediscover old pop.  They love the Spice Girls and Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls just want to have fun”.  It is funny watching a three year old boy sing Girls just want to have fun at the top of his lungs.

Things have changed from when I was a kid.  The advent of the music video.  Watching the music video shows on CBC.  Building up the never to watch all of “thriller”!

This past weekend, they got toy computers.  As they sat together last night the Three year old called to his sister saying he was downloading the new Lady Gaga video.  His sister responded with cool I am just typing you an email.

As my wife and I watched she asked if I could remember the Commodore 64 tape drive.  Sadly I could. Hell they won’t even know what a Walkman was!

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Blogging and Ideas

You know the problem with blogging isn’t coming up with what to write. The problem is determining just what should be written.

I have so many different ideas I want to write about and more that flow through my mind.  Like right now Ironman the movie is on.  How cool would it be to have some of the tech that Tony Stark has.

Then there is the post I want to write about the new show called Coal.  It follows the tradition of the Deadliest Catch.  It holds special meaning to me.   My family coming from a long list of coal miners.  It was always amazing to sit and listen to my grandfather tell the stories about being in the pit.

A lot of those experiences made it into Andrew Doyle’s song “The Price.”  You can check the song out on Itunes or get the whole disc from his site.

Or I could write that post about how I design.  What my thoughts are on it.

Oh and there is that one about how a page does go live because it becomes a living thing once it starts.

I can talk about how the Habs are in the Playoffs.  (Enough about that I don’t want to jinx’s them anymore then they already are.)

So that’s a start.  Till next time!

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A Web Page and Mixed Tapes

When I was a young teenager I enjoyed making mixed tapes.  I was no DJ. I left that to my Best Friend who had his own business out of high school.  He still rocks the turn tables in Calgary.  VJ Tell X was the guy who could make the tapes seamless.

Myself, well I was more about the content.  Looking for more interesting tunes that maybe no one else had.  A tape with the Red Hot Chill Peppers before they were the Chill Peppers we now know.

As technology advanced it only made the mix tape even better.  It was no longer a tape but a CD.  I still have my 80’s Mix Cd’s.

What made the personal Mix of music even better was sharing your mix of music with your friends. Taking what you found mixing it together and sharing it.  What made the process even better when those same friends made their mixes and gave them to you.

Now, web design is a lot like making your mixed tape.  You take what you know, add some flash to it and spin it around and post it for your friends. The tape was all about information and your page is information.

Isn’t Web 2.0 all about sharing! I will be right back I need to find my Billy Idol White Wedding mix…

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I Like Star Trek…But I am not a Trekkie

As a young kid I loved watching the original Star Trek.  At the time I thought it was great TV.  Not as good as my Dukes of Hazard but all and all it was pretty good.

I use to watch it on Saturday.  Captain Kirk always got into some sort of fight where his shirt was ripped, Scotty would get them out of a jam, Bone was a doctor dam it and spoke was just like Zen cool guy.

I watched the movies but only if they were on, never really went out of my way but they were good in their Trekkie ways.

The Next Generation came out. I thought it sucked I really did.  That first coulple of seasons were not all that great. The show did start to gain traction and get out the door until after the first couple of seasons. I did not start really watching except re-runs.  They were on during that time of the day were nothing good was on tv but old shows.  After Next Gen I really could not buy into all of their spin offs.  They did not possess the same spirit. It was all about making the money.

Recently there has been some neat shows on talking about the impact that the Star Trek Universe has on our society.  Everything from Space Shuttles being named after the shows main ship to inspiration for the cell phone.  There is no getting away from it the show did very well with showing us whats coming.

I just started my own Star Trek experience. I got myself an E-Reader. I love it!

I bought a very simple device.  I did not get an IPad or a tablet type PC.  This is  just built for reading. But the whole idea of having so many books in your hand at once is just so Star Trek.

I remember the scenes when Picard was working in his office an someone would come in with a problem that needed solving.  He would place his tablet down and go on to fix the problem.  It is just amazing that we are there. I am sure I am not the first one to talk about it.

Posted in The Net, TV & Those that Entertain Us | 2 Comments

Disorganization, Clarity and Zen

Recently I have been very busy.

My Web Design program has been quickly coming to a close.  I designed, coded and fixed up my final project which is my own web page.  I have picked out a name and once I get my comments and marks all I have to do is let the page go live.  Once it’s live it will be time to example how the design works.  I think it’s clean, modern and clean.  I like it!

As this was going on I participated in a major exercise and started a new job with work.  I am even starting my web design job search.  Do you need your web presence enhanced, a new design…Let me know.

I have learned an important lesson.

It’s so important to have clarity and Zen at your side to combat disorganization.

I have seen many instances where everything appears to be off the rails and going down in flames.  But, keep your head, keep your focus the clarity will lead you to your Zen and tell you what has to be done. Once your able to get what has to be done…You just got to do it!

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The Modern Alchemist & Design

The journey is coming to a close.

I have amassed a vast recipe book.   Book of potions. limitless potential.

I can stick to the recipe or go out modify or even create my own.

Like the medieval Alchemist I have the ingredients at hand now it’s time to make lead into gold.

It’s going to take some time. Experimentation, failure and success.

I don’t have all the tools.  But I do have the tool box.  I have the basic compounds, the potions are boiling.

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Flash in a Pan

So I have started my final week of my Flash Module for school.  It has gone well.  I feel I have a good grasp of how the program works and I have already come up with some ideas of how to implement different things into some pages I am working on.

The concept for the final project is simple.  Create a web page using only flash.  Basically, forcing you to use all the skills you have used during this module.  As part of developing this page you simply start from scratch.  You develop the idea into a wire-frame and than into the page itself.

So I came up with a concept/theme.  I call the site “Rock It”.

You have to keep in mind that this is a purely fictional company.   This companies main product or service you may say is simply making you and your photo’s rock!  How do they do that.  The idea or the hook that I came up with is… They take your photo and than add rocks into it.

So on the services page I have a cool photo of grass on the beach which than is shown changed and rocked by Rock It to be a bunch of rocks no grass. Of course the font I have chosen is called Rockwell. Stay tuned to my Flicker as I will post screen shots when I am complete.

So I know what has to be done. The design is in play, the wire-frame is done and I thought the Flash base was completed.  I was wrong.   So I have to redo the flash stuff mainly because I don’t like how I set it up and I think it’s easier to start from the beginning then rework it.  However, it will go faster the second time around (or is it the ninth time).

I designed cool logo to go with my fake company.  The Rock It logo which can be found in my Flicker stream shows depending on how you look at.  Rocks falling down a hill side or an asteroid hurtling towards Earth!

So I can see the steps, I started the journey and I have stumbled a little.  Now it’s time to get up and simply Rock it!

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What’s in a Name?

What is in a name?  What does it really mean?

Names can be changed but once changed does the new one ever take hold.  Recently, the Cape Breton Highlanders were renamed the Cape Breton Highlanders.  But, that’s not a name change.  Well yes in a sense it isn’t but it is.  Officially, they weren’t the Cape Breton Highlanders. The proper name was the 2nd Battalion Nova Scotia Highlanders (Cape Breton).

The Cape Breton Highlanders have been around in one form or another since October 10, 1871.  The unit has served with distinction in all major theaters and conflicts. In the 50’s as things go the unit received a name change to 2nd Battalion Nova Scotia Highlanders (Cape Breton).  Not a bad name, but a name no one wanted.

To everyone it was the Cape Breton Highlanders.  As a member you always ensured that the Cape Breton was include.  It was improtant not to forget where we came from.  This past Sunday something remarkable happened. Our name was changed back.

The Cape Breton Highlanders have officially returned.  What does this mean.  All an all not a lot of the day to day operations will change.  But traditional things like our hat badge will be changing and our identification. It always seems the little things in life are the most important!

“Siol Na Fear Fearail”

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Fifty with the Bells

Recently I had the opportunity to play a couple of pick of games of Tarabish.   What is Tarabish?  Well only a non-Caper would ask such a question.

It’s a card game.  A card game that most say is truly a Cape Breton card game as it’s not played with a full deck.  The game has so many different origin stories that I really don’t know where it came from.  The one that I am most familiar with is that it came from World War I when the Cape Breton troops were playing cards and lost some of the cards.  I don’t know how true that it is. The game was hodgepodge of other games. But, it is our game!

I do know, that the game has taught me a great many lessons.  Not only a whole no vernacular including words like bait, a Linganer, Bella and of course all the colourful language that follows a misplay!

The biggest lesson that the game has taught me is discipline.  Not only the discipline not to duck my the ace when I shouldn’t or the discipline to show your twenty when your partner is probably going to go bait cause he/she was forced.  No.  The discipline I am talking about is making it to class… will most class when I was in University.  The game when I attend Cape Breton University (then known as University College of Cape Breton (UCCB)  The game wasn’t a game it was your religion.

You couldn’t make it from one side to the other side of the campus with not only seeing dozen’s of games being played but being asked to play.  I mostly played with a group in the Student Union Bar, “The Pit”. They had beer!  But the discipline came when you were on the winning streak and the other team wanted one more game to play for the rubber.

Bish was always better than a psych class.  But you disciplined yourself to play only to 300 rather than the standard 500.  There are many who didn’t learn that lesson and simply got a degree in Bish.

I have recently taught some friends to play and I am enjoying getting back into the swing of it.  The rust is getting knocked off and I am starting to count the Trump cards.

But there is nothing better than Fifty with the Bells!  Well maybe if you have the nine to…

Posted in Education, The Beginning | 1 Comment

Merry Xmas and Bah Humbug!

Today is Christmas Eve.  The day before the most holy day in Christianity, oh wait or is it the day before we celebrate our flagrant consumerism.

It’s tough nut to crunch especially when your three year old is running around half naked saying he was wet…. I so hope he didn’t leave me a present.

So to date this particular holiday season seems to suck a little more than previous years.  I have never been a fan of the holiday season.  I have always thought why do we (soceity) need a special time to be nice to one another.  If we all decided to be nice to one another all the time we would be all in a better place.  Plus I suck at gift giving.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love giving something to someone, seeing their face light up.  I just feel like  I am no good at it.

A friend posted on Facebook the other day, “Its so much easier Christmas shopping for yourself.”

Today I must brave the shopping.  Most of the work is already done but I have to do my part.  With so much going on this holiday season I have continued to push it farther to the rear.

A lot has gone on this holiday season which will ensure that it won’t be the same as others. The most grievous blow that my family suffered was the death of my father-in-law.  Something that would be extremely difficulty no matter the time of year but at this time it would seem even more so.

The wake and funeral services were tough on everyone.  His loss will be felt for quiet sometime.

It has been raining here for what feels like forty days and forty nights.  We will be having a green Christmas.  The rain created a small river in the basement of my mother-in-laws which just added insult to injury.  Mind you after spending several hours pumping water out the insurance company came through and will be finishing the job.  Allowing everyone a little sigh of relief.

Now in this day an age of Wiki Leaks, rain storms and happy holidays hope can be seen in kids.  Yeah sappy, I know but the way they tackle things and make their world work it’s amazing.  My daughter woke me up this morning in a minor panic.  “Daddy he didn’t come last night! CHECK THE STOCKINGS!”  A short conversion that Santa doesn’t come till tonight set her world back on track :D.

So I am off to the battle grounds.  Wish me luck and keep the beer on ice.  I am going to need one or ten when I get back.

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