Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Canada. Show all posts

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Weather Widget / Gadget / Doodad Thing

Most reasonably small and simple weather things you can post on your web page don't have wind direction or speed on them, and that has always bugged me. You don't have to cycle very much before you start to really notice and want to know what the wind is doing.

That is why I'm pleased to now offer such a widget / gadget / doodad on my sidebar. I'm extra pleased that it is an Environment Canada doodad, free of strings or sneaky links to ads or anything like that.

If you don't live in London, but live in Canada, here's a link to the page that will generate your city-specific code:

I have re-sized mine a little to fit my page better... if you live in London, ON and want one just like mine (and really, who wouldn't) just copy n' paste the code below:

<!-- Begin WeatherLink Fragment -->
<iframe title="Environment Canada Weather" width="260px" height="230px" src="//;lang=e" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0"></iframe>
<!-- End WeatherLink Fragment -->

If you don't live in Canada, well, sorry. This is just one of the many things about my country that is better than yours. Don't get me wrong, I love and admire and even envy the < insert desirable quality here > of < your country name >. < Your country name > ain't Canada though. Not by a long shot. Canada so totally rocks it is almost embarrassing. Almost.

Yer Pal,

Monday, October 7, 2013

Only In Canada

I love my country. One of the things I love about my country is the CBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Similar to the BBC in Britain, it is the government funded TV and Radio network. Sometimes though, it provides me with some stuff that is downright embarrassing. Here's a recent sound clip from CBC radio:
As you, my naturally suspicious reader, may have guessed, I misled you a bit there. That was a snippet from "This is That", a CBC Radio One show that I LOVE. It does completely deadpan mockeries of real CBC Radio programs and interviews.
The CBC, in my opinion, is a national treasure for stuff like this and so much more. When talk of cutting funds to it roll around, and it happens sometimes, I am deeply saddened. It provides the best news coverage in the country, hands down. It runs informative and educational stuff similar to NPR or PBS in the States. It makes television dramas and stuff that aren't usually to my taste, often historically set. It broadcasts big sporting events like the Olympics and of course Hockey Night In Canada. The CBC is awesome. People here rely on it more than they know.
Should have saved this post for Canada Day, I guess! Or CBC day. CBC day is held on the first Monday after your birthday here; every Canadian gets CBC day off as a personal holiday. You are supposed to take the day to explore CBC programming, but I always use mine to ride my bike, my red Norco with silver handlebars.
Yer Pal,

Monday, October 3, 2011

Better Cyclists? Am I Crazy?

Or are there more cyclists out there doing it "right"? I don't really care to get into a debate about what "right" is... in this case I mean 1) riding on the street rather than the sidewalk 2) riding predictably and 3) using hand signals.

I still see lots of sidewalk riders, salmon, and other reckless riders, but I also see what seems to be a real increase in "good" cycling. Does it seem that way where you live too?

While cycling instruction is available if you look hard enough, I seriously doubt that most of these cyclists I enjoy spotting so much ever had any. I'm betting that many of them are like me, people who were pretty good to begin with but who in the course of googling stuff because they were getting more serious about commuting learned a whole lot more.

The Internet can be a really great thing, especially with very helpful and informative sites like Commute Orlando among many others. For all of you who take the time to instruct, online or in person, thank you very much. I'm all for "butts on bikes" advocacy in some ways, but what you do reduces the number of "buttheads on bikes", which is good for everybody, two-wheeled or four, period.

Hey, if you stumble across this post and have good information to share on where people can go for in-person training, especially in Canada, let me know and I'll add it to my sidebar. I confess I haven't looked very hard, but I'll bet there are some good resources here in Ontario and Canada that I should be promoting in my own small way. Who knows, maybe I'll show up for a little schoolin' myself. I would like to learn that emergency "snap turn" thing people sometimes refer to...

Yer Pal,

Monday, April 25, 2011

I'm Voting for The Internet

Hey everybody! I hope everyone had a nice Easter. I've been awful busy and haven't been able to read stuff on the Internet, much less write any. I don't think I'm fading away like lots of blogs do... my guess is that the psychotic demands of my work and study life will return to normal soon. When that happens, I fully intend to annoy and bore the crap out of you in my old and much more frequent manner. For that I will require the Internet.

For those of you who don't live in Canada, there has been a bit of a furor over how the big ISPs in my country (and perhaps all ISPs in Canada may at some point) bill for Internet services. The short version is that caps on monthly transfer are common here, after which the customer must pay more. There have also been legal and regulation changes in the wind that would open the door for these same companies to charge based solely on usage. This makes things like using Netflix or downloading tons of content a trickier and more expensive proposition for sure. By the way, now that Netflix is indeed here in Canada, those of you with unsecured Wi-Fi may want to secure it now, or end up paying for your neighbour to watch the entire Fast and Furious series, sequel count unknown.

In the midst of this debate we are now also very close to a Federal Election. , a Canadian non-profit fighting metered Internet (also known as usage-based billing) and advocating for open access to big Internet for everybody, has compiled a list of candidates who have proclaimed their support for a more open and less costly Internet. Here in Canada there are 2-5 major political parties, depending on who you talk to.

They are:

The Conservative Party - currently in power in a Minority Government. To learn more about Minority Governments and the Parliamentary System, go somewhere else. I'm thinking the Internet may hold all the information you could ever want and more.

The Liberal Party - The other big party.

The New Democratic Party - A kind of "always the bridesmaid" party, though they are showing signs of some real gains this time.

The Bloc Québécois - Paradoxically, a Federal (National) party that really only cares about Quebec. I love my country. That sounds sarcastic, but I really do.

The Green Party - Environment first. They have a long long way to go before they could ever achieve the numbers necessary to form a government.

This is a gross over-simplification, but in general terms the above list starts with the most right wing party and works its way to the most left wing. Politically-minded people are probably going to rip my head off in the comments, but that's how I see it. Now, back to and their candidate list. As of April 25, 2011 the "pro-internet" candidate tally shakes out like this:

Conservatives - 1
Liberals - 85
NDP - 52
Bloc - 2
Green - 65

I just counted on-screen, so I might be out a couple here and there. To see the list for yourself, go to One party I probably did not miscount is the Conservatives because, well, they only have one. ONE! I mean, c'mon, the Communist Party (not that there's anything wrong with that) has FOUR! I wonder which of the big political parties in Canada supports the big ISPs and usage-based billing? Garsh, you got me. I am still undecided about who I will vote for. I am, however, decidedly decided about who I won't be supporting. 

Hey, if you are a Canadian, please be a sport and vote. That way when you complain about the government (and you know you will), you will have the right. R A N T W I C K

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cast Away A Canuck! Help London's Chris Ellison Get On CBS' Survivor

Despite the way I often bash TV, I still watch quite a bit of it. I am particularly fond of The Office (US version) and much to my chagrin, Survivor.

I heard a snippet on CBC Radio this morning highlighting the efforts of a London Ontario man to get on Survivor as a contestant / castaway. Thus far there has been an "Americans only" policy in selecting people for the show. Anyway this guy Chris Ellison really wants on and is petitioning CBS and Mark Burnett to try to get there. When I heard him on the radio he seemed a well-spoken, good natured, non-crackpot Canadian and I wanted to do my part to help if I could.

His petition site will no doubt get lots of support from locals and other Canadians, but I am posting this because most of my readers are Americans and my hope is that if the show is catering to American viewing appetites (naturally), votes from people in the US might be extra helpful. So if you have a spare moment, check out the main web site here and if you are so inclined, fill out the online petition here. I mean, can you think of any situation, real, reality-themed, surreal or whatever kind of real you want that wouldn't be improved by adding a Canadian to the mix? I can't.

See? This guy is totally Survivor material.

Good luck, Mr. Ellison! I know you can do it. Eye of the Tiger man, Eye of the Tiger.

Thanks, as always, for reading my blog.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Curse You, Bike Snob NYC

Bike Snob NYC is a very popular blogger with lots of cyclists. I am one of the Snob's many fans. I am also a Canadian. As such, when the Snob started referring to the USA as Canada's "this" and Canada's "that" late in September, I really liked it. I encouraged him to keep it up in the comments. I don't know if he read my comments, but he did indeed keep doing it for a while. Then, perhaps sensing that this particular gag might be getting a little tired, he stopped. I don't blame him, since a joke overworked is funny no more. Yesterday, however, he was back at it, with two in one post!
I think what makes them so satisfying to me is that 1) they are silly and 2) they speak of the USA in relationship to Canada rather than the other way around. That is a rare thing that you might have to be a Canuck (or a Mexican) to really appreciate.
I started this post with the simple intention of mentioning some of these references just for the hell of it, but as I found them and saved the links, WTF syndrome reared its head once more. Curse you, BSNYC! For those of you who have not been briefed on WTF syndrome, here is an excerpt from one of my previous posts:
So, what is WTF syndrome? It is characterized by thinking or saying something odd, followed by the thought, "I wonder what that would look like?" The next phase of the disease involves compulsively answering that question by manipulating existing images to provide an actual visual of some sort. The final stage of the syndrome requires the afflicted person to publish the aforementioned result online or at least show it to some friends or coworkers. Since I want to keep both my friends and my job, I have restricted myself to posting the results of my WTF online only.
WTF did not strike with all of the Snob's metaphors, so only some have ended up in this post. Remember, it's an illness. I suffer right along with you.
"Canada's food-besmirched bib" - bsnyc post: Nov 2, 2010
"Canada's flabby jowl" - bsnyc post: Nov 2, 2010

"Canada's Rooster Wattle" - bsnyc post: Oct 11, 2010

"Canada's Undercarriage" - bsnyc post: Oct 4, 2010

There was a WTF Syndrome moment with this, but I stomped out those thoughts in the interest of North/South diplomatic relations. It took a few beers and some deep cleansing breaths, but I did it. I mean, who would want to see that? I ain't no sick freak.

"Canada's smarmy chest hair thatch" - bsnyc post: Sep 29, 2010

Funny, this one didn't look so creepy and messed up when it existed solely in my mind. I guess I wasn't counting on finding chest hair that was this smarmy. I didn't know who Robbie Williams was when I found that pic... turns out he's some sort of singer/actor who is big in the UK. Nobody does smarmy like the British. Anyway, the "Canada head" I put on him is very attractive (confirmed by the longing gaze of dude in background), but it also reminds me of the Cryptkeeper.

Overall I find my last pic quite upsetting. Ah well. WTF doesn't always yield predictable results. I am learning to live with it and accept that it will often produce images I really dislike. Thanks for staying with me through all this; it really helps.
Yer Pal,