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Technology

EYE OK!

Eye OK

My eye is OK.

Of course I knew that already. But the optometrist was fitting me with some new daily lenses and because I have a astigmatism in my left eye my lens have to be weighted in a specific direction. So you’ll notice some little dots on the horizontal plain and and big OK at the top.

Obviously this only appears on the test lens but I can already see the potential in selling this  space to Nike and Viagra. Now that everyone shoots with a 10 megapixel camera, I reckon I can get my eyeball to look like a Nascar.

EYE OK - Version 2

Making the PHP Switch… Hello WordPress!

The 2 Fat Dads sites are going to be down this weekend with the slight exception of this blog which is hosted by Blogger (for the moment).

This is because we are making a move over to PHP after a very long relationship with ASP which became ASP 3 and eventually ASP Classic. Yes it means losing out on the awesome power of a very solid MS SQL server, but as all the sites ran off of the same database, it was becoming a real chore to manage the tables.

On the upside it will mean finally being able to adopt the awesome power of a superior PHP object oriented platform. It also means customised WordPress template and playing with the new generation of LAMP tools.

We hope to only be down for a short period over the course of the weekend, we apologise for the inconvenience and please don’t remove us from your Delicious bookmarks, blog rolls and Follow list.

We’ll Be Right  Back After This.

Dyson DC25: The MacBook of Vacuum Cleaners

From Dyson DC25

Everyone knows that I am a little obsessed with quality electronics goods. I love my Apple gear: MacBook, iPod, Airport Base Stations, my Acoustic Research speakers are old but still sound awesome, I still love my and often use my Beyer Dynamics DT770 pro headphones for my audiophilia. And although I don’t have a big screen TV for the PS2 (incumbent Wii), it is only a matter of time before the basement wall gets adorned with 65 inches on hot liquid plasma.

So it should come as no surprise that our little Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner that was generously donated to us by my little bro decided to pack it in, we would inevitably look into a vacuum cleaner any geek would love. Bypassing Hoover all together, we went straight to the next best thing to some out of England since the Mini Cooper S and Jonathan Ive: The Dyson. We first saw the Dyson about ten years ago and simply laughed: “a $2000 yellow Hoover with no bag?” It just seems completely over engineered and the design was just just so pretentious: “Hey look at me I can afford to drop 2G on a Hoover!” I had nothing against it’s cleaning power, a very good friend spent a few summers selling Kerby’s for about the same price so I understood where this machine would position itself. But still it just seemed like such a silly looking machine. Not to mention that James Dyson himself always looked like he belonged on the deck of the Death Star along side Lord Vader. He has one of those Berkshire/Oxfordshire accents that you just want to pummel with the fat end of a Cambridge / Oxford roaring oar. Yet, like another egomaniac Tech genius for Cupertino California, you just can’t help but listening to him and then really liking everything he has to say. Dyson’s landmark battle against Hoover who turned their noses at Dyson’s bagless cyclonic wonder and then systematically cloned his devices (Hoover lost big time) is not far removed from Apple own journey with the Macintosh and iPods.

Both the Dyson vacuum cleaner and the Apple computers are superior products than anyone else in their field and sure they cost more but once you use them, even for a few minutes, you know exactly why you should pay top dollar for them. So when we got home from the mall yesterday, we ceremoniously unpacked the Dyson DC25 and tested it out on a small 5 x 8 foot living room rug. We had vacuumed this rug only a couple of days ago and we were in shock at how much dust and dirt were ripped out of the rug. After the initial embarrassment brought on from realising that we are essentially pigs in a blanket, our purchase was forever justified in our minds and we then proceeded to vacuum the whole house. The bottom line is that this Dyson really SUCKS! And we love it already.

From Dyson DC25
From Dyson DC25

 

“Yup we are slobs, but the Dyson makes sure no one else wll ever know”

Sitting on my Deck on Valois Bay

Sitting on my Deck on Valois Bay

This is my raised patio project that I decided to take on this year as well as the Wendy House. 2009 will be a little too hectic for new projects so I’m trying to squeeze any major work before the end of the fall rather than scramble year or pay over the top to get someone else to do it.

This floating deck is a raised patio resting on 12 paving slabs and using no metal decking hardware, only screws and a bit of glue were used. The wood is pressure treated and come from and area that was cleared for a Hydro Quebec project. I first discovered this lumber at Home Depot but it now appears to be an ever more popular alternate and LOCAL source of lumber. Just to make my buddy Steph happy, we used 994 galvanized screws, the power used to drive the screws also came from Hydro Quebec!

The Wendyhouse: Fortier Estate Expands

So we managed to get the Wendyhouse finished in time for when the girls got back from England. We still have to paint some of the trim, but the girls have moved in already.

I have included a slide show of the construction process. I will post some more photos of the girls playing inside in the next few weeks.

The Wendy House
View the slide show on Flickr

wiki: Wood

 

I have been doing a lot research on this stuff over the last couple of weeks, in a few short day you’ll see why. Stay Tuned for more Wood

Comic form www.xkcd.com

Running Shrimp!

And now for something completely ridiculous!

Twitter in Plain English…

Anyone who has visited any of my blogs knows that I have quite the penchant for Twitter. It’s community seems more vibrant with thoughts, things overheard, questions and ideas rather than just being somebody’s life aggregator (sorry Jaiku). I have to admit that I have been prone to Twittering Habs hockey games, ski trips and the occasional silly outburst in a meeting (read Luddites explanation of technology). It’s often the perfect 140 distraction for when I’m waiting: in line, for someone, while the commercials are on.

Well one of my fellow Twitters: Cali Lewis, host of Geek Brief TV, stumbled on this great flash video from CommonCraft on what Twitter is. Twitter in plain English. Great video, thanks again Cali.

Follow me on Twitter

Kids Cross Country Ski Tips


Chloe and I have been doing a lot of Cross Country Skiing this week. Chloe is really starting to enjoy it, she is pretty strong on her skis but also has picked up on the whole sense of adventure that goes hand in hand with the sport. Tonight after work we are heading into the garden with our head lamps to track snow hares. Cool huh!



We'll I've been reading the MEC Web site a lot more and it's got some really good tips on keeping kids excited in outdoor winter sports:

One of my faves is this one:

  • If you attach a small section of climbing skin to the middle of their skis it will prevent the ski from sliding backward on slight inclines. It also prevents the ski from accelerating too quickly if your child attempts a daring descent.

I have enough trouble myself getting a good duck walk for going up hills. This tip will surely avoid plenty of headaches and tears.

Do It Yourself – Jon Eakes

This book is awesome, I have already used it about twenty times and has already saved me a load of hassle not to mention money. Check it out.