Category Archives: Meme

10 things you don’t know about me

This is all the rage on Facebook these days, so I’ll play along.

  1. I used to be an accomplished ski jumper. I started jumping in my teens and won a few competitions while in my 20’s before hurting my ankle. It’s fine now and I don’t limp or anything, but it was enough to end my jumping career.
  2. In the mid-90’s, I worked for a software company that produced software for law enforcement agencies including the Metro Toronto Police, the Boston Police Department, and the Rochester Police Department, and I also dealt with the FBI and US Secret Service. It was interesting enough that I applied to the Ontario Provincial Police to become a police officer but was rejected.
  3. I’ve been hunting a few times but not for years. I once brought down a deer but felt bad about it for weeks. The venison was good though.
  4. I worked as a waiter at a few restaurants while in high school. I was terrible at it and got fired twice after complaints from customers.
  5. My favourite vacation ever was Cancun, Mexico. The place we stayed was very nice, the food was great, and the diving was spectacular.
  6. I love historical fiction. I’ve read Les Misérables a dozen times and will read any novel about 16th-17th century Europe that I can get my hands on.
  7. A girl I briefly dated in high school went on to an acting career in Hollywood, including 3 years on All My Children and movies with Sean Penn, Al Pacino, and John Travolta.
  8. When I went to Western, my landlord was a professor who had previously debated David Suzuki on national television. And won.
  9. I went para-sailing during my honeymoon in Cuba. It was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
  10. I love to make shit up. Not one of the above “facts” is true.

Only three of them are even partially true:

  • #2 is true except that I never applied to be a police officer
  • #7 – I did go to high school with Ingrid Rogers, who did appear in those TV shows and movies. But we never dated. In fact, I barely knew her.
  • #8 – I did go to Western and my landlord was a psychology professor, but not the one that debated Suzuki.

I did this whole exercise a bunch of years ago, but with actual facts.


Meme: Books I have read

Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up?

Instructions: Copy this entire document. Look at the list and put an ‘Yes’ after those you have read [I bolded them too]. (Watching the movie DOES NOT COUNT)

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen – Yes
The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien – Yes
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte – No
Harry Potter series – JK Rowling – Yes
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee – Yes
The Bible – No
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte – No
1984 – George Orwell – No
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman – No (only the first one “The Golden Compass”)
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens – No
Little Women – Louisa M Alcott – No
Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy – No
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller – No
Complete Works of Shakespeare – No, just a few in high school
Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier – No
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien – Yes
Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk – No
Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger – Yes
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger – No
Middlemarch – George Eliot – No
Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell – No
The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald – Yes
Bleak House – Charles Dickens – No
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy – No
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams – Yes
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh – No
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky – No
Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck – No
Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll – No
The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame – Yes
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy – No
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens – No
Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis – No (3 of the 7)
Emma – Jane Austen – No
Persuasion – Jane Austen – No
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis – Yes (Um… part of the Chronicles or Narnia above)
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hossein – No
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres – No
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden – No
Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne – No
Animal Farm – George Orwell – Yes
The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown – Yes
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez – No
A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving – No
The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins – No
Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery – No
Far From The Madding Crowd -Thomas Hardy – No
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood – No
Lord of the Flies – William Golding – No
Atonement – Ian McEwan – No
Life of Pi – Yann Martel – Yes
Dune – Frank Herbert – No
Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons – No
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen – No
A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth – No
The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon – No
A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens – No
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley – No
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night – Mark Haddon – No
Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez – No
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck – No
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov – No
The Secret History – Donna Tartt – No
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold – No
Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas – No
On The Road – Jack Kerouac – No
Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy – No
Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding – No
Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie – No
Moby Dick – Herman Melville – No
Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens – No
Dracula – Bram Stoker – Yes
The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett – No
Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson – No
Ulysses – James Joyce – No
The Inferno – Dante – No
Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome – No
Germinal – Emile Zola – No
Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray – No
Possession – AS Byatt – No
A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens – No
Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell – No
The Color Purple – Alice Walker – No
The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro – No
Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert – No
A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry – No
Charlotte’s Web – EB White – No
The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom – No
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – No
The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton – No
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad – No
The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery – No
The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks – No
Watership Down – Richard Adams – No
A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole – No
A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute – No
The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas – Yes
Hamlet – William Shakespeare – Yes
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Yes
Les Miserables – Victor Hugo – Yes

So I’ve read 18 of the 100 books. But the Harry Potter series is seven books, and Lord of the Rings is three more! That should count for something. And the entire works of Shakespeare shouldn’t be listed as a single book.

iPod Meme Redux

I originally did this a few months after getting my iPod. Revisiting two years later. Old values that have changed are stroked out. Shortest and longest songs, and first and last artist and album have not changed. I’ve added over 850 new songs.

Attention facebook readers: You might want to click the “View original post” link at the bottom of this note to see it as I originally wrote it. Facebook sometimes messes up the formatting.


How many total songs?
6919 songs, 20.9 days, 41.79 GB
7773 songs, 23.4 days, 46.55 GB

Sort by song title – first and last
First: A by Barenaked Ladies
Last: 99% Of Us Is Failure by Matthew Good
Last: 999,999 by Nine Inch Nails

Sort by time – shortest and longest
Shortest: You to Me (0:04) by Bystander
Longest: Octavarium (24:00) by Dream Theater

Sort by Album – first and last
First: “Abacab” by Genesis
Last: “90125” by Yes

Sort by Artist – first and last
First: AC/DC
Last: 54-40

Top five played songs:
1. Fake It by Seether – 18
2. Be Yourself by Audioslave – 17
3. Found Out About You by Gin Blossoms – 13
T4. Like A Stone by Audioslave – 12
T4. White Shadows by Coldplay – 12
T4. High Class in Borrowed Shoes by Max Webster – 12
T4. Elderly Woman Behind The Counter in a Small Town by Pearl Jam – 12
T4. Emotional Rescue by The Rolling Stones – 12

Find the following words. How many songs show up?
Sex: 6 21
Death: 4 59
Love: 239 327
You: 535 822
Home: 42 48
Boy: 34 56
Girl: 60 80

First five songs that come up on Party Shuffle
1. Cesaro Summability by Tool
2. White, Clean and Neat by Robert Plant
3. Local Hero by Bruce Springsteen
4. Resist [Live] by Rush
5. Gimme The Love by Junkhouse

It looks like I’ve added a lot of “death” songs, but most of them are actually album names – “Death Magnetic”, “Live After Death”, “Life, Death, Love, and Freedom” (and the corresponding live album “Life, Death, LIVE, and Freedom”) , and “Viva La Vida or Death And All Of His Friends”. There are only 6 actual songs with “death” in the title.

Similarly, 15 of the 21 “sex” songs are on “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and don’t have “sex” in the song title. There are only 6 songs with “sex” in the title, and two of them are “Sexy Sadie” by the Beatles (on different albums). I guess I’m just not that into sex. No wait, what I mean is… it’s not that… um….

I’m Half the Man I Used To Be

Popular Mechanics has a list of 100 skills every man should know. I don’t get why it’s not a list of skills everyone should know, but whatever. There are certainly things that I think everyone should know that aren’t on the list (change a tire, install a light fixture, barbecue a burger, and bake a pie using a recipe would all rank higher on my list than “fly a stunt kite”), but I guess that’s a matter of opinion. I thought it might be fun to go through the list and see what I can do.

Bold means I can do it, italics means I can to some extent, and regular type means DYI FAIL.


1. Handle a blowout
2. Drive in snow — Duh, I live in Canada
3. Check trouble codes
4. Replace fan belt — but I can change my air filter like nobody’s business
5. Wax a car — I’ve done it, though I did a lousy job (you could still see circles on the hood of my dad’s car months later)
6. Conquer an off-road obstacle
7. Use a stick welder
8. Hitch up a trailer
9. Jump start a car

Handling Emergencies

10. Perform the Heimlich
11. Reverse hypothermia
12. Perform hands-only CPR — I’m sure I knew how to do this at one point; I did get a St. John’s Ambulance badge when I was a Scout
13. Escape a sinking car — The very thought of this terrifies me.


14. Carve a turkey
15. Use a sewing machine — I have done it, but only once or twice and not for many years
16. Put out a fire
17. Home brew beer
18. Remove bloodstains from fabric
19. Move heavy stuff
20. Grow food
21. Read an electric meter
22. Shovel the right way — Again, Canadian. Don’t hafta like it though.
23. Solder wire
24. Tape drywall
25. Split firewood
26. Replace a faucet washer
27. Mix concrete
28. Paint a straight line
29. Use a French knife — I don’t remember knives in France being all that different from those here
30. Prune bushes and small trees
31. Iron a shirt
32. Fix a toilet tank flapper
33. Change a single-pole switch
34. Fell a tree
35. Replace a broken windowpane
36. Set up a ladder, safely
37. Fix a faucet cartridge
38. Sweat copper tubing
39. Change a diaper
40. Grill with charcoal
41. Sew a button on a shirt
42. Fold a flag

Medical Myths

43. Treat frostbite — use warm water, not hot
44. Treat a burn — run it under cold water, and if you have an aloe plant, break off a leaf and rub it on the burn
45. Help a seizure victim — best I could do would be to scream “help!” and call 911
46. Treat a snakebite
47. Remove a tick — I’ve read about it, but never done it

Military Know-How

48. Shine shoes
49. Make a drum-tight bed
50. Drop and give the perfect pushup


51. Run rapids in a canoe — I can steer a canoe pretty well, but I’ve never done it in rapids
52. Hang food in the wild
53. Skipper a boat
54. Shoot straight
55. Tackle steep drops on a mountain bike
56. Escape a rip current

Primitive Skills

57. Build a fire in the wilderness
58. Build a shelter
59. Find potable water

Surviving Extremes

60. Floods
61. Tornados
62. Cold
63. Heat
64. Lightning

Teach Your Kids

65. Cast a line
66. Lend a hand — Lending a hand is a skill? I thought it was just not being a dick.
67. Change a tire
68. Throw a spiral
69. Fly a stunt kite
70. Drive a stick shift
71. Parallel park
72. Tie a bowline
73. Tie a necktie
74. Whittle
75. Ride a bike


76. Install a graphics card
77. Take the perfect portrait
78. Calibrate HDTV settings
79. Shoot a home movie
80. Ditch your hard drive — Given the events of the last couple of weeks, don’t even go there.

Master Key Workshop Tools

81. Drill driver
82. Grease gun
83. Coolant hydrometer
84. Socket wrench
85. Test light
86. Brick trowel
87. Framing hammer
88. Wood chisel
89. Spade bit
90. Circular saw
91. Sledge hammer
92. Hacksaw
93. Torque wrench
94. Air wrench
95. Infrared thermometer
96. Sand blaster
97. Crosscut saw
98. Hand plane
99. Multimeter
100. Feeler gauges

Results: I can do 54 out of the 100 things on the list, plus a few maybes. I’m just over ½ of a real man. Sorry, gotta go; I’ve got a quiche in the oven.

The Teat Crutch

Here is a link to an anagram server, where you enter some phrase and it will give you English anagrams for that phrase. I tried my name and got some good ones:

  • Wee programer (OK, programmer is spelled wrong)
  • Pregame rower
  • Eager rep worm
  • Grow ’em, reaper
  • Re: Power gamer
  • Ram ewe groper

Then I tried “Cut The Chatter” and got these:

  • Chat the cutter (natch)
  • Cut the ratchet
  • Hatchet cutter
  • The teat crutch
  • That cute retch

My favourite anagram of all time (I remember seeing Johnny Carson interviewing Dick Cavett a zillion years ago; they were talking about anagrams and mentioned this one): Spiro Agnew → Grow a penis

Meme: What Privileges Did You Have?

Copied from cahwyguy. Bold means the statement is true, italics means I don’t know or it’s complicated:

  • Father went to college
  • Father finished college
  • Mother went to college — my mom took some university level courses when I was in high school, but they were just for interest, not towards a degree
  • Mother finished college
  • Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor
  • Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers — To me, upper class is the extremely wealthy, lower class is the extremely poor, and middle class is the other 95% of us. Rather a meaningless comparison.
  • Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
  • Had more than 500 books in your childhood home
  • Were read children’s books by a parent
  • Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18 — piano
  • Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
  • The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positivelyBob and Doug McKenzie notwithstanding
  • Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
  • Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs — My parents paid for residence (and tuition as well, I think) in first year, and I paid for the rest. However, I lived at home for 5 of my 6 work terms and paid no rent during those terms, thus allowing me to save up for the next term’s tuition, rent, and beer
  • Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
  • Went to a private high school
  • Went to summer camp
  • Had a private tutor before you turned 18
  • Family vacations involved staying at hotels — sometimes, usually camping though
  • Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
  • Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
  • Had a phone in your room before you turned 18 — not my own phone number though
  • You and your family lived in a single family house for a few years
  • Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
  • You had your own room as a child
  • Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course — not applicable, as we don’t have SATs in Canada
  • Had your own TV in your room in High School
  • Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
  • Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16 — Scotland when I was four and again when I was 15, Florida when I was 10
  • Went on a cruise with your family
  • Went on more than one cruise with your family
  • Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
  • You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family

From What Privileges Do You Have?, based on an exercise about class and privilege developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. If you participate in this blog game, they ask that you PLEASE acknowledge their copyright.

iPod Meme

iTunes Survey copied from cahwyguy:

How many total songs?
6919 songs, 20.9 days, 41.79GB

Sort by song title – first and last
First: A by Barenaked Ladies
Last: 99% Of Us Is Failure by Matthew Good

Sort by time – shortest and longest
Shortest: You to Me (0:04) by Bystander (entire lyrics: “Everybody says ‘ you’ to me” — the is an actual bleep in the song)
Longest: Octavarium (24:00) by Dream Theater (second longest is “A Change of Seasons” (23:08), also by Dream Theater)

Sort by Album – first and last
First: “Abacab” by Genesis
Last: “90125” by Yes

Sort by Artist – first and last
First: AC/DC
Last: 54-40

Sort by Album Artist – first and last
I’m not sure what this means – why is “album artist” different from “artist”?

Top five played songs:
The top song is In Between by Linkin Park with 4, and then the next 20 (the rest of Linkin Park’s Minutes to Midnight album, all of Saga’s debut album, and a Robben Ford song I was trying to learn on guitar) are all tied at 3. Not a very useful stat thus far. Ask me again in a couple of years.

Find the following words. How many songs show up?
Sex: 6
Death: 4
Love: 239
You: 535
Home: 42
Boy: 34
Girl: 60

First five songs that come up on Party Shuffle
1. Extra Pale by Goo Goo Dolls
2. 5 Days in May [Live] by Blue Rodeo
3. Naked Sunday by Stone Temple Pilots
4. The Journey by Joe Satriani
5. The Master & Margarita by The Tea Party

Music meme

I copied this from CaHwyGuy. The idea is to put your entire music collection on shuffle, and list the first ten songs that come up. Here they are (song name, with artist and album in brackets):

  1. Erotomania (Dream Theater, Awake)
  2. Rooster (Alice In Chains, Dirt)
  3. Masquerade (The Phantom of the Opera soundtrack — I’m pretty sure this is the Toronto cast)
  4. Just Good Friends (Close) (Fish, Internal Exile)
  5. If Dirt Were Dollars (Don Henley, The End of the Innocence)
  6. Do What You Gotta Do (Garth Brooks, Sevens)
  7. West Virginia (Big Wreck, The Pleasure and the Greed)
  8. Prelude: The Waking Dream (Triumph, Surveillance)
  9. This Suffering (Billy Talent, Billy Talent II)
  10. Listen (Collective Soul, Disiplined Breakdown)

Interesting how two of them (#1 and #8) are instrumental. All in all, a pretty good overview of my musical tastes, though I don’t actually listen to Garth Brooks all that often.

National De-lurking Week

Happy National De-lurking Week! (Thanks cahwyguy) For those unfamiliar with the term, a “lurker” is someone who reads a blog (or newsgroup, message board, etc.) but doesn’t post anything. This is the time for those who read but don’t post comments to expose yourself! Feel free to leave a comment on this article if you’re reading it – make it something deep and insightful, or just “hi!”.

Just remember:

Superheroes and Supervillains

I took a quiz to discover which superhero I’m most like, and found:

Your results:
You are Superman

Iron Man
Green Lantern
The Flash
Wonder Woman
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Should I be worried that I’m more like Supergirl and Catwoman than Batman?

There was another one to see which super-villain you’re most like:

Your results:
You are Dr. Doom

Dr. Doom
Mr. Freeze
The Joker
Lex Luthor
Green Goblin
Dark Phoenix
Poison Ivy
Blessed with smarts and power but burdened by vanity.

Click here to take the “Which Super Villain are you?” quiz…

I’m not even sure I know who Dr. Doom is.