Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Is It Or Isn't it?

The juxtaposition that is Spring. Not cold enough for snow, but still cold enough to freeze the rain droplets before they dry.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Put On Your Boots!

Guess who managed to snag a couple of tickets to U2's No Line on the Horizon world tour when they roll through town this September. That's right baby!!

Living In The Future

You know you are living in 2009 when...

1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.

2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.

4. You email the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that they don't have email addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a website at the bottom of the screen.

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go online before getting your coffee.

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. :-)

12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.

14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this list

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Australian GP: Race Results

Just finished watching the delayed race on TSN. Over all not a bad start to the season. Jensen Button wins from start to finish for his new team, Brawn. But it was the action behind him that make for an exciting race. And wow! What a finish it was! A lot more on track action, more passing, more drama as teams and drivers got used to their new equipment.
A lot more face time for mid-pack teams such as Brawn, BMW and Red Bull, Ferrari still in the fight (until Kimi hits the wall and Massa goes out due to technical problems), McLaren well off the pace.
And then a fantastic end, running second and third with three laps to go, Kubica and Vettal make contact ending their day (patience boys, this is a 17 race series, not one), handing second to Barrichello in a Brawn and third place to Trulli in a Toyota. And from 18th to fourth, out of nowhere comes Hamilton.
It looks like this can be an exciting season if things stay like it is, but we all know its just a matter of time before the super teams like Ferrari and McLaren start storming back.
NOTE: After the race, Jarno Trulli was penalized 25 seconds for passing Lewis Hamilton during the safety-car period in the dying laps. Hamilton promoted to third place and Timo Glock, Fourth. Trulli drops out of the points.
Note: On Thursday upon further review, Lewis Hamilton was disqualified from the Australian GP and Jarno Trulli re-instated in 3rd place. WTF?!?
Race notes:

  • Damn this year's cars are ugly. That front wing looks like the blade of a snow plough, its that big! Especially on the Brawn which is all white.
  • F1 DOES NOT know how to use a pace car (sorry, safety car). WTF? How long does it take to pick-up the leader? And then there's some rule which allows you to un-lap yourself, if race control deems it OK --WTF?!? Isn't this a race?
  • Whats up with those ghetto hub caps? OK, OK, I know they have been around for awhile now and are used to direct air flow for cooling the brakes, but come on? Couldn't they make it look less like something I can get at Canadian Tire or WalMart?
  • Love the new KERS push to pass system. Power generated from braking is stored for an additional 80 horse power for 7 seconds per lap. The theory is this will allow for more passing opportunities. Too bad it is only optional and only the big money teams have installed it. All teams should have it, giving everyone the opportunity for some extra push to pass. That's one thing that Champ Car did right.
  • Elvis is alive and well! And he is Jensen Button's dad!!
  • Kimi Räikkönen is starting the season off in his usual fashion -- with a crash in the wall. I picked him to win the championship???
  • Love the 2009 F1 season schedule, at least 2 races a month, and some with 3, all the way to October. Nicely done!

Full race results
picture courtesy of http://formula-one.speedtv.com

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Australian GP Qualifying

Wow. Brawn, the team formerly known as Honda on the front row and a Red Bull and a BMW third and fourth. Not a Ferrari or McLaren to be seen anywhere near the front! Check it out...

MELBOURNE, Australia - Brawn became the first Formula One team in 39 years to take pole position in its debut race when Jenson Button secured front place on the grid for Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
Button's time of 1 minute, 26.202 seconds Sunday edged out teammate Rubens Barrichello by three tenths of a second, giving the F1 newcomers both positions on the front row for tonight's race (TSN, TSN HD, 1:55am et/10:55pm pt).
It was the fourth pole position of Button's career -his first since the 2006 Australian GP - and completed a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for the England-based team, which was threatened with extinction when former owner Honda pulled out of the sport after the 2008 season.
Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel will start from third on the grid at Melbourne's Albert Park circuit, ahead of BMW's Robert Kubica and Williams' Nico Rosberg. Toyota pair Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli qualified sixth and eighth respectively.
None of the top six drivers are using the KERS power-boost system this year, illustrating how problematical the technology is proving for teams as they balance its power boost against its additional weight and effect on car design.
The highest of the KERS runners is Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who will start from seventh, directly in front of his teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who had a hydraulic failure in pre-qualifying practice. Australia's Mark Webber will start from 10th in his Red Bull.
Brawn's achievement in taking pole on debut was the first time that had been achieved since Jackie Stewart's effort for Tyrell at the 1970 Canadian GP.
It had other other teams fearing that Brawn may run away with the championship this season, unless its rear diffuser is deemed illegal.
"If they carry on like that, they will win the championship by the middle of the year," Massa said.
"Its hard to believe a month ago they were sitting at home, now they are ready to fight for the world championship," Renault's Fernando Alonso said.
Alonso qualified in 12th, but close in times to other competitors bar Brawn.
Another disappointment was reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton, who will start from the back of the grid. The McLaren driver only scraped into second qualifying by five hundredths of a second and then elected to change his gearbox and not take part in the second session. The automatic penalty for the gearbox change means he will start from the back.
courtesy of www.tsn.ca

With the way qualifying went this looks like it maybe an interesting year, can parity finally have reached the ranks of Formula 1? Probably not, I remember saying that after last years first race as well and then it went back to the usual boring who can keep up with the Ferrari's and the McLaren's? Who knows maybe this will be the year when F1 becomes watchable again. I'm hoping so. I guess we will just have to wait and see...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Start Your Engines!!

After an exceptionally long winter, the real racing season finally begins this weekend with the opening race of the 2009 Formula 1 season in Australia.
Don't get me wrong, I've caught a few laps of NASCAR since that began in February, but lets be honest here, it just doesn't compare to open wheel racing.
And because the first race of the F1 season happens in Australia, that means a very late night Saturday, as start time is 1:30am on TSN.
For those of you who are interested, here is a spotters guide of the 2009 teams and their drivers.With the new rule changes for this year, (see previous post) this should make for an exciting year. It should also be noted that the driver's championship points system will remain the same as last year, after the FIA governing body backed down on its most wins championship system after much protest from both the driver's and their teams, and will look into instating a new points system for 2010 season.
So here are the results from the first qualifying session of the season in Australia:
Success-starved Williams, Toyota and F1 newcomer Brawn signalled they could be ready for breakthrough wins by dominating practice Friday ahead of the Australian GP. The presence of those three atop the time sheets will infuriate rivals, some of whom are convinced their bodywork is illegal. Full Story.
courtesy of www.TSN.ca

2009 Formula 1 season schedule

Mar 29 Australia
Apr 05 Malaysia
Apr 19 China
Apr 26 Bahrain
May 10 Spain
May 24 Monaco
Jun 07 Turkey
Jun 21 Britain
Jul 12 Germany
Jul 26 Hungary
Aug 23 Europe
Aug 30 Belgium
Sep 13 Italy
Sep 27 Singapore
Oct 4 Japan
Oct 18 Brazil
Nov 01 United Arab Emirates

My predictions for the upcoming season,
Who will win the championship?
1. Kimi Räikkönen
2. Felipe Massa
3. Lewis Hamilton

1. Ferrari
2. BMW
3. McLaren

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Another Piece Of Toronto's History Disappears

The sign and the building disappeared years ago, and yesterday the final nail was added to the coffin. Oldies format 1050 CHUM on your AM Dial just became CP24 Radio 1050...

CTV announced yesterday that CP24 will further extend its well-established brand within the GTA with the launch of CP24 Radio 1050, going live today morning at 5 a.m. CP24 Radio 1050 will broaden the reach of CP24’s local news coverage even further by offering 24-hour news content on a whole new platform. Following the mantra "we’re always with you," viewers can watch CP24 on television, listen on the radio, and follow along online at cp24.com – no matter where they may be, at home, at work, or in the car.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Volkswagen Kills Rabbit, Resurrects Golf -- AGAIN

Volkswagen's entry-level hatchback debuted in North America as the Rabbit back in the 70's, was rebranded as the Golf in the late 80's, re-rebranded as the Rabbit three short years ago and now, apparently, it has been re-re-rebranded as the 2010 Volkswagen Golf.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lance Crashes, Tour in Doubt

Just when I was going to start watching the Tour de France again...Cyclist Lance Armstrong wrote that he will choose to undergo surgery shortly after a crash in a race Monday left him with a broken collarbone and uncertain stakes in the 2009 Tour de France.
Armstrong fell off his bike in a pile-up in the final 12 miles of the 109-mile first stage in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon race in Spain. The injury took the seven-time Tour de France champion out of the Spanish race and landed him back home in the United States to await treatment, according to Phillippe Maertens, a spokesman for Armstrong's Team Astana.
"I'm alive! Broken clavicle (right). Hurts like hell for now," Armstrong, who was competing in just his third stage race and fourth competition overall since coming out of retirement this year, tweeted on the social networking site, Twitter. "Surgery in a couple of days. Thanks for all the well wishes."

Can't be all bad if he can still Twitter...

Off To La La Land

My wife left this past Sunday for LA to cover the World Figure Skating Championship for the CBC, being held at the Staples Centre. But even before she got to LA she began to rub shoulders with some of Hollywood's biggest stars. On the same flight with her to LA was none other than 70's TV star, Eric Estrada of "Chips" fame. She even managed to snap a picture of Eric being picked up at the airport by another Hollywood big-wig, Chris Titus,(!?). Who knew she had paparazzi in her?Check out: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0205700/ if you have no clue who Chris Titus is.

Oh the fun she must be having....

Monday, March 23, 2009

Words of Wisdom...

Words of wisdom on the side of my coffee cup ...
"Failure's hard, but success is far more dangerous. If you're successful at the wrong thing, the mix of praise and money and opportunity can lock you in forever."

More U2

Here's some more U2 for those of you who can't get enough (OK ... that might just be me!).
Check it out, U2 does David Letterman's Top 10 list...

courtesy of www.youtube.com

"Ghost in the Machine"

Art as I am sure you are aware can be pretty subjective at times. Traditional art is a little to pedestrian for my tastes, but it doesn't mean that I can't appreciate the works of Rembrandt or Michelangelo. I can, however my taste in art tends to stray from the norm just a bit.
Check this out ... I could definitely see these two hanging on my walls.
Called "Ghost in the Machine," this artwork from iri5 uses some kind of "cassette" to recreate the likenesses of popular musicians. Apparently, cassettes were used for music and seduction, by way of a "mix tape."
But more seriously, this is a pretty ingenious use of older gadget-y materials to make something inspiring and new. There's also a Bob Dylan, as well as a Marilyn Monroe made from an old movie reel. Says the artist:
I am an artist who specializes in using non traditional media… old books, cassettes
, playing cards, magazines, credit cards… whatever I can find. It feels great to work with strange, older materials. Things that have a mind of their own. Most everything I use has been thrown away or donated at some point. Past its prime, like some of the finest things in the world.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Brother's 50th

As I mentioned earlier this week, my oldest brother Barry turned 50 the other day and last night we celebrated his birthday in true Thomas style. Here are some pictures from last nights festivities, enjoy.

An Open Invitation

My bike was all tuned and the weather conditions were right for the first ride of the season yesterday. And what I noticed right away was how out of shape I have become from sitting on my ass all winter long, how cold it really still is outside, and how good it feels to be outside and on my bike again. But I also know, just like the weather will improve, so will the riding. I've already got people interested in going for a ride. I'm sure the weekly early morning Saturday ride will be back and I'm hoping to get a little more mountain biking in this year, on some serious trails. As you can tell, I'm itching to start putting on the miles, so this is an open invitation to anyone interested in getting together for a ride sometime this season, drop me a line and we will make it happen. Until then, I'll see you on the trails.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Rant: Roll Up The Rim

I LOVE my coffee, but I HATE this stupid Roll UP The Rim contest.
Why? Because most people that I know use their teeth to roll up the rim, and then you have to get your hands all sticky with coffee to rip the damn thing off. Then, (and this is the part I love), you hand the saliva and coffee covered rim to the cashier for your free coffee or donut.
And don't get me started on how many coffees you need to buy before you win a lousy donut. (10, by my count -- REALLY?)
And here's the kicker. A lousy donut is all you're going to win, because the kid behind the counter has already gone through all the cups and rolled up the fucking rim!
Now I know I'm not going to win the car, but what pisses me off to no end is finishing my cup of joe and taking the lid off to roll up the rim and it's already been rolled!!
How fucking unsanitary is that?!? If you want me to hand you a saliva covered piece of coffee cup for a free cup of coffee, fine. But when I go to roll up my rim and see that someone has already put their grubby fucking hands all inside my supposed new, never before been touched cup, well that just makes me mad.
Not only is that gross, but its just WRONG.
Screw you Tim Hortons and your nasty Roll Up The Rim contest. I'm taking my business elsewhere.
Starbucks anyone?

Racing Chatter: F1 To Decide Champion Based On Wins

PARIS – Formula One's championship will be decided by the number of race wins and not accumulated points.
Governing body FIA decided Tuesday that the current points system will remain in effect to determine the driver's title in the case of a tie, with points also determining the order of the drivers who finish the season behind the overall champion.
Under the new system, Ferrari's Felipe Massa would have won the 2008 championship instead of Lewis Hamilton of McLaren. The Brazilian driver won six grand prix races to Hamilton's five.
The 10 F1 teams had been looking to change the points to a 12-9-7 scoring system for first through third place, from its current 10-9-8 allocation. F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone had initially preferred a medals tally, but FIA approved Ecclestone's revised proposal, which will not affect the constructors' championship.
courtesy of http://www.thestar.com

So let me get this straight. At the end of the season you may have the most points, but a driver who has more wins then you can win the championship? His 5 wins and 4 DNF's beats your 4 wins, and 5 finishes? It just does not make sense to me how it can work with the points system already in place. And then to do this with a week to go before the start of the season?
This should make for a very interesting year, don't you think?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Birthday Wishes

Happy Birthday to my big brother Barry, who today turns 50 today!
How old is that?
It's so old that when this picture was taken it looks like full length pants were not yet invented!
Happy birthday you old fart.
Hope you have a great day.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Time For A Little Spring Cleaning

Check out this picture of the Earth I found while surfing the other day. It shows you the amount of debris floating above us.

Space debris or orbital debris, also called space junk and space waste, are the objects in orbit around Earth created by humans, and that no longer serve any useful purpose. They consist of everything from entire spent rocket stages and defunct satellites to explosion fragments, paint flakes, dust, and slag from solid rocket motors, coolant released by RORSAT nuclear powered satellites, deliberate insertion of small needles, and other small particles.[1] Clouds of very small particles may cause erosive damage, like sandblasting.
Space "junk" has become a growing concern in recent years, since
collisions at orbital velocities can be highly damaging to functional satellites and can also produce even more space debris in the process. This is called the Kessler Syndrome. Some spacecraft, like the International Space Station, are now armored to mitigate damage with this hazard.[2] Astronauts on space-walks are also vulnerable.
The first major space debris collision was on February 10, 2009 at 16:56
UTC. The deactivated Kosmos-2251 and an operational Iridium 33 collided 789 kilometres (490 mi)[3] over northern Siberia. The relative speed of impact was about 11.7 kilometres per second (7.3 mi/s), or approximately 42,120 kilometres per hour (26,170 mph).[4] Both satellites were destroyed.[5] The collision scattered considerable debris, which poses an elevated risk to spacecraft.[6]
Wow, that is alot of shit. Makes Toronto's garbage problem seem minuscule compared to that. Good work mankind. We should all be so proud....

Monday, March 16, 2009

Right On!

Check out this cool program called WriteOnIt, that appears to be making the rounds on Facebook these days. Of course I had to check it out and give it a try. Here are the results of my hard word. What do you think? Pretty cool, don't you think? You can try it out for yourself at http://www.writeonit.org/fake-pictures.php. Have fun.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Who Said It?

U2's front man is a humanitarian committed to many social causes, including the AIDS pandemic and the plight of Africa. So which of these lines comes from ....
A. Bono

B. Gandhi

C. Jesus

1. "Is there anything worth more than a soul?"
2. "The poor is where God lives."
3. "When you are in the minority of one, the truth is the truth."
4. "Anger and intolerance are the twin enemies of correct understanding."
5. "Today's trouble is enough for today."
6. "I'm a bit drunk, I might fall down."
Answers: 1. Jesus, 2. Bono, 3. Gandhi, 4. Gandhi, 5. Jesus, 6. Bono
Ripped off from Blender magazine

The Watchmen

I saw the latest Hollywood comic book adaptation, the Watchmen last night with the wife and I got to tell you, I'm glad I didn't actually pay real money to see it. I went into this movie with no knowledge of the comic book history, and usually I find this to be a good thing because then I don't have to sit through a story that everyone knows, but still the movie maker insists on showing it. But in this case I was wrong. If you were not a fan of the comic book then you will not be able to appreciate the movie fully ... like me. I'm told that it follows pretty closely to the spirit of the original story, but half way through the two and a half hour marathon I realized I didn't care. Visually, pretty stunning, but that too wore off well before the half-way mark.
I recommend you wait for the DVD, or try another movie if you haven't already seen this one. I give The Watchman a 6 out of 10, and that's no joke...

Beating The Rush

OK, I admit it. My winter work-outs were a wash-out. What can I say? I guess I am more the outdoorsy type when it comes to exercising. Thank God spring is right around the corner.
This year I was smart, and got my bike in for it's spring tune before the rush. And yesterday afternoon when I stopped by the bike shop to pick it up, was I ever glad I had. The place was jammed with people looking to get their bikes tuned up. Me? I'm all ready to go.Check out the cool new tape I got installed on my handle bars. Its called "Rasta"....Its just too bad I'm working days this weekend. I will have to wait for Monday to try it out...
photos by iPhone

Not Long Now

Can you feel it? Finally, Spring is in the air. And the dogs are loving it!Photos by iPhone