From the monthly archives:

May 2009

Nutty Busy on Bonnie’s Behalf

by Dave on May 13, 2009

in Heartwarming

While I’m beyond excited about the new Pye in the Face design (what do you guys think? Too literal? Gotta say, I love it) and the renewed sense of community we’ve managed to restore – I am remiss in my posting! For those of you who don’t know, Janet and I are having a memorial weekend for my dearly departed Mother, starting the day after tomorrow. To say we are preoccupied would be the understatement of the Spring. If you don’t believe me, I’ll cut and paste a portion of my current task list in below. Although I’m sure you do because we’re talking about family death stuff here and people rarely joke about that, right? Maybe in your family:

  • Stain dock
  • Install dock
  • Fix and install boatlift
  • Build new stairs for Winchester (the bunkhouse I finished over the garage 2 summers ago).
  • Assemble and recover pool table
  • Seed lawns
  • Plant 3 gardens
  • Get port-a-pottys
  • Order dumpster
  • Find and borrow canoe
  • Schedule plumber, electrician and welder
  • Get boat trailer in Bancroft
  • Launch boat
  • Massive Costco trip
  • Wash bedding
  • Pick up kegs
  • Clean and furnish Winchester
  • Many, many etc.’s

a15

That’s a miniscule portion of the tasks that must be completed before Saturday morning. Gwen and some family members get here Thursday night and a whackload more arrive on Friday. We’ll have tons of help – but not until the day before the big event. I’m quite certain, however, that we’re going to do just fine. I’ll be taking lots of photos and video of the event which will be eventually posted on the site Janet and I made for our Mom: www.BonniePye.com. Have a look even if you already have as I’ve added memorial details, tons of old photos I dug out of storage and scanned and people have let a bunch of wonderful memories. If you knew Bonnie I’d like to invite you one more time to leave one too.

So please forgive the inactivity. It will come to a screeching halt next week when the big weekend is behind us and Bonnie has been properly memorialized and remembered. Even though I’d naturally spend a good portion of the weekend choked up, what chokes me up more is the incredible response the event has had and the sheer number of people who have told us they are coming. High school friends (both my parents and mine), people Mom used to work with, people I knew growing up in Manotick, Boston, Toronto etc. Gwen is coming all the way from Florida so I think she wins the long distance prize. Which, luckily for me, is to clean the gazebo. Congratulations Gwen and we’ll see you tomorrow with you knee pads and wire brushes!

And in all seriousness – thanks again to everyone for all their support, fond memories, help and friendship. Mom was truly loved and she’d be beyond flattered by the festivities which will be taking place on the land she planned to retire to in her honor. So flattered, in fact, that she might even have had a second glass of red wine were she here on Saturday. Miss you like crazy, Bunz, and I hope you’re able to drop in and see the legacy you’ve left behind. From wherever you are. But just for the one day though because I’m here by myself most of the time and would probably be pretty freaked out otherwise.

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bruins-playoffs
Recchi, Wideman, Ryder, Chara and Marc Savard celebrate last night’s first goal… and the 1974 birth of Tim Thomas.

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Even if you don’t give a fig about the movie – you have to watch this. Super-creative and also hilarious. Sounding quite a bit like The Streets, two English guys have taken it upon themselves to carefully edit the movie Predator in time with a narrative rap they’ve written describing the plot of the movie. They claim in the description that it took them 9 months to do this, and after watching I’m prone to believe them.

“My team always works alone, Homeboy.”

I love the way in which they rhyme the lyrics they’ve written with actual quotes from the movie: “Now he can see why Dillon was sent as his minder – ‘You cooked up a story and dropped the six of us in a meat grinder’“. And the way they’ve taken special care to include Hawkins’ jokes is also appreciated by this particular fan. Well done to you, sirs.

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First Day with the New Workflow

by Dave on May 7, 2009

in Worky

Hearkening back to my post last week about how to best integrate an iPhone with an existing, primarily Microsoft-based work process – I think I may finally have it. And I say ‘finally’ because I’ve been hammering away at this like one of the Seven Dwarves ever since. This whole mess really deserves a graphic of some sort, but part of the new flow is that I start work promptly at 9am – so that will have to wait.

I get up at 7:30, shower, feed the dogs then 8-9 is for blogging, RSS feed reading and personal email. At 9am the whistle blows and currently I’ve got only 9 minutes to finish this post. If that sounds rigid it’s because it is – and I need it to be that way.

dopey-dwarfEmail: I’ve abandoned Outlook for Thunderbird – a free, open source and lightning-fast email client with many of the same features and none of the ridiculous loading or lag time. I’ll write more on all these new cogs in my workflow wheel later.

Calendar: Google Calendar was the hands-down winner due to the fact it’s compatible, or has a plugin, for just about every productivity application out there. It plays well with others.

Contacts: Still working this one through. I’d love it to be Thunderbird, but it’ll likely end up being Plaxo as I already have a well-worn account there and the import/export and networking features are slick. Ideally I’d like something that can sync comfortably back-and-forth with my iPhone.

Tasks: This is the discovery I’m really excited about, as I am a GTD disciple and list-making maniac. You name it and I’ve tried it – Remember the Milk, the native Outlook task list, SimpleGTD, etc. After my own painstaking research and reading about 100 blog posts on the subject there is a very clear winner: Toodledo. Thank goodness I found this wonderful site, its iPhone application, Google Calendar and FireFox plugins and iGoogle gadget. My task list nerdery will now know no bounds.

I’ll revisit this post throughout the day (but only during scheduled breaks for personal time, mind you!) and update you on how the new workflow is working out. Wish me luck, and if you feel a need to remark “Gee, Dave. I remember my first beer,” I’ll understand.

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33 Reasons Janet Rules

by Dave on May 6, 2009

in Heartwarming

I could actually list 33 reasons my little sister is the coolest – but that would take all morning. Will you good people settle for a quick 5?

janet-dave-tub
“What’s with all the bubbles, bro? Mom says there’s no such thing as sea monsters.”

  1. She looks just like me. Not the other way around – I was here first.
  2. She loves to perform back-breaking landscaping work getting ready for her Mother’s memorial. Although that particular trait won’t begin until next week.
  3. She’s excellent at pool, and will only get better now that we have our own table!
  4. She actually cooks for fun. Which is, in turn, very fun for me.
  5. She is an excellent dog-mommy.

janet-pumpkin
Pumpkin and Janet make up after the previous evening’s kerfuffle.
(It’s hard to see, but she has a ginormous bandage on her chin.)

Happy birthday Janet! Seems like only yesterday you were making fun of me for turning 33. Not so bloody funny anymore, is it? And what better way to celebrate someone’s special day than with embarassing photos I just dug out of storage? Actually, they’re not that bad – but only because there are still about 9 boxes I haven’t gone through. Perhaps we’ll require a part 2.

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swine-flu
Activists spread dirt on their faces during a swine flu awarness campaign in Jakarta. In an ironic twist of fate, it was later learned that spreading dirt on your face is the number one cause of the disease.

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Ridin’ With my Pixie

by Dave on May 2, 2009

in Animalistic

pixie-charger
I have to ride in the back again? I’m calling Sharpton.

Yes, she resembles a retarded Mogwai. Or may also be the result of a genetic experiment which crossed a piglet with an adult male bullfrog. But little Pixie Pye is all mine – and I loves her! She’s fitting in well with the family and I can’t wait for her to meet Janet and Rhuby next week. The Three Fugsketeers will come together at last!

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It’s my favorite day of the week again, kids, and your live Quizzlet questions are once again required. Off to a bit of a late start today due to a drywall delivery – but it’s time to get this thing started. Please leave your inquiries in the comments and I’ll answer them as I get them. Update: Got what I needed. Some of you should seek help immediately.

Appetizer: What, in your opinion, is the most quotable movie of all time?Jennie SMASH

First of all, great to have you back, Ms. SMASH. Or is it MISS? We all have our favorites, and for me it’s a toss up between Blade Runner and Goodfellas. Quoteable movies are contextual for me though, in that the flicks I ape depend heavily on the people I’m with. One of my favorites from Blade Runner is the entire soliloquy from Roy’s death scene. Although this guy almost did it better. Almost.


Time… to die.

Goodfellas is full of them, but I think my favorite scene is when they stop off at Tommy’s mother’s house, with ‘whackee’ Billy Batts in their trunk, because they need a butcher knife to finish the job. Not only does Momma (Scorcese’s real Mother) refuse to let them leave without feeding them, but she insists on showing Jimmy and Henry her latest painting.


One dog is going East and the other one is goin’ West. So what?

“Looks like somebody we know” says Jimmy as he notices the man in the painting’s uncanny resemblance to Batts. Kills me every time.

Soup: What would you do now if you could have any job ? – Dana G.

I would have loved to have been a professional actor, and I think I could have been if I’d had the drive when I was much younger. Stand-up comedian is also high on the list. Back down on Earth where reality reigns, the answer is undoubtedly: Homicide Detective. Intrinsically I have always hated watching people commit and get away with horrible crimes and I know that bringing peace to families that have lost a loved one must provide a satisfaction unseen in any other profession. Or maybe I just read too many Encyclopedia Brown books as a child. Granted, there’s a big difference between the Case of the Disgusting Sneakers and a triple home invasion gang blackout suicide pact.

Salad: Are there, apart from 7&7 and crown & ginger, any Canadian cocktails? – Joanna A.

It’s technically a shooter but my University days are littered with memories of the infamous, and very Canadian, Prarie Fire. There are several variations but the one you see up there is a normal sized shot of tequila adorned with several dashes of Tabasco. The amount of hot drops you get usually depends on who ordered it for you, how they feel about you on that given evening and whether or not it’s your birthday. If you’ve been a dick to someone recently, it’s your birthday, and that person is headed up to the bar for a round of shots – kiss your ring goodbye. Figuratively and literally. I hear that’s actually possible if you’re heavily into yoga. Also look into Swish. And then immediately wish you hadn’t.

Main Course: What is the most heart-wrenching song ever recorded? – Lauren N.

That is easy. I made the mistake of having my iPod on shuffle and subsequently hearing “The Drugs Don’t Work” by the Verve. Normally that wouldn’t be a big deal, but my Mother had been dead for less than two hours and I was driving back from the hospital. I had always thought that tune was incredibly sad, but let’s just say I’m lucky I was able to keep the car on the road that morning.

Dessert: What is the best tech advancement of the last 10 years? And where are my keys? – Scott W.

The continued evolution and societal importance of the internet, hands down. As for the keys, they’re in a brown grocery bag under your sink. You dropped them in there because you needed a free hand for a box of cat litter, and then stored the bag without removing them. You’re welcome.

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