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Cameron's House of Fun

Fatherhood, politics, education, random thoughts (heavy on the random thoughts) and stuff (always stuff).

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Oh you little bastard you!

I love the Undergraduates, I really do. With out them in their multitudes I wouldn't have a job. This would suck in so many ways.

But I went for a walk to the science building just now to go and get some money and then a Pepsi (every time I see that word in writing Suicidal Tendencies lyrics pop into my head unbidden) and opened a door at the same time as a student was coming through. We kind of bumped into each other.

Adopting the safest attitude available to him (who knows, I might be a prof) he said "Oh, I'm very sorry sir."



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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Design, failures of

Ok, I'm not an architect, though I have an amateurs love and understanding of some of what's involved (which is to say I obsess over my Frank Lloyd Wright books, Gerry books and Chris' Dwell magazines). I also figure that as the ultimate user of architecture (even if it's as a passing pedestrian) I'm entitled to an opinion on it.

So here's the thing, any building that needs an area around it roped of with yellow safety tape due to falling ice and snow has failed completely, in the most important way possible: user safety.

If you're designing for Montreal, a city that at least 5 months of winter a year and you can't figure out a way to make sure that you don't build a ramp for snow and ice that feeds nicely onto the heads of passersby, you're not really thinking about where your work is going. Worse still, if you're a architect who builds public buildings and you still manage to build them with ice and snow chutes that drop said frozen precipitation in the area of the front door... well let's just say that the entrance of the Jean-Noël Desmarais Pavilion of the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal is not Moshe Safdie at his very best.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Strange signs I have seen

In our quest for signs and icons that don't need words we often stumble (the sign that is meant to signify "baby changing center" but winds up looking like "baby vending machine" springs to mind).

In our quest to make the world safer we often over compensate and solve problems that don't exist.

When we are at our very best, when we really strain ourselves, we manage to hit the nexus of both perfectly.

To whit:

This is inside the trunk of my Dad's new car (pardon the photography, if I'd been really hardcore I could have jumped in, gotten a better picture and tested it out). It's a handle that allows you to escape from the locked trunk of the car.

We live in amazing times.

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Lucas and Technology

So we're getting some baby stuff ready to send to my sister in England (0 to 6 month clothing mostly) and we were talking about how to best send it and how much it would cost.

Lucas listened to the whole conversation and then asked "why don't you just throw it into the computer and send it to her like that?"

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Dentist!

So today was Lucas' first trip to the Dentist. We'd gotten him ready for the whole thing by telling him about it.

Christine told him that the Dentist would tickle his teeth.

I told him that there would be a big camera to take pictures of his teeth.

That was kind of it.

We left out some steps.

Like the whole "don't chew on the films for the XRAY" thing or the "stay still means really still" thing... or the tipping chair or...

It went really well... but we both have to work on our task analysis skills.

Most importantly he had no cavities and the tooth that got bashed in when he went face first into the coffee table is perfectly fine.

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Monday, January 07, 2008


I don't like to engage in the "my OS is better than your OS" holy wars, but why is it that every time I launch Parallels Windows needs to update something?

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Friday, January 04, 2008

2008 - so far as poopy as 2007 but with one number added

So, as is traditional, Christine is off to her early January doctor visit to get (I assume) anti-biotics. Because, as is also traditional, she has a throat thing going on. That has morphed into an ear thing...

I, in a fit of dumb, spent part of the evening playing Halo 3. I say dumb because I managed to get in such a contorted, twisted, uncomfortable position that I wound up with just about every one of the bad things the XBox warning tells you to watch out for. Headache, blurry vision, sore neck etc etc. OH! And nausaua as well.

So, in a move that I described to Chris as "Ohh.. we're so cool, so hip, so urban...", we were in bed by 8:30.

As we were drifting off we heard the familiar (to anyone in Montreal) "honk-honk-honk-honk" of the tow trucks, signalling a relaxing night of snow removal operations outside our house. For those of you outside of Montreal the tow trucks are to the snow removal as mortar fire or artillery are to an infantry assault. They soften you up, let you know that something big is coming... they are the noise after the calm just before the storm. They come and remove cars that are parked illegally (sometimes under snowdrifts) before the plows, the sidewalk tanks, the graders, the HUGE dump trucks and the GIGANTIC snow blowers come (this blog entry covers the main points)

Needless to say we slept like shit.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

What exactly were they thinking?

It's days like this, when there is about 60cm of snow on the ground and when it's -23C (-32 with the wind chill) that I ask myself the following:

Why in the name of all things good and sacred did any of my relatives move here? Seriously. Just what the hell were they thinking? How bad were they lied to in the pamphlet?

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