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Spam – Not Always Bad for You!

Spam isn’t always bad for you. Who knew?

No, not that horrible canned stuff (which is apparently haute cuisine in Hawaii, by the way). I am talking about spam of the email variety. Recently, I received two spam messages. That in itself is not unusual; however, these stood out because they were from the email accounts of old friends who (or is that whom, I always mix that up) I had not been in touch with for many years. Six years and three computers ago, I think… Anyway, I previously tried to find them on Facebook, but to no avail.

I don’t even recall what the spammers were hawking in this case, but I did make a note of the email addresses and sent brief messages back. Both friends responded and, thanks to junk mail’s younger and more malevolent sibling, we are back in touch. I am pretty sure my email address book remains unscathed to boot! It’s nice to know that something constructive can occasionally come out of one of our modern annoyances.



I hopped on the Skytrain this morning, all inspired to write a post for my blog, but the darn notebook battery was dead.  What the…?  I am sure it had some juice the other day.  How does it go completely dead on me?  Whatever!

My happy place… : )

Whenever I am having a really bad day, I always joke that I am going to go to my happy place.  My happy place is more of a landscape than a specific spot – a body of water, with mountains rising up from the shoreline.  Generally, it is also sunny there.

Anyway, I took a walk during lunch the other day, and was astonished to see how much the North Shore mountains looked like my happy place at that particular moment.  The image of clouds lifting off the mountains against beautiful blue sky was breathtaking.  Unfortunately, my little webcam wasn’t quite able to do it justice. 

Picture 061

It is true that my happy place doesn’t have convention centres in the foreground, or fluorescent 2010 rings floating on the harbour (I cropped the image, but they are just outside of the frame to the West).  It is also slightly less populated.  Alright, much less populated.  Nevertheless, the magnificent view was enough to lift my spirits for the rest of the day – and I wasn’t even having a bad day! 

Catch up post #1 – the Chocolate Shop

I am way behind in posting to my blog.  I had some things that I wanted to post about, but just have not had any time lately.  Anyway, enough excuses.  Here is catch up post #1.

I was in Winnipeg a week or so ago for work, but also combined the trip with a little sight seeing and catching up with some family members.  One of my colleagues, who is from the Winnipeg area, suggested that we head over to the Chocolate Shop.  What an experience!

The Chocolate Shop has had various incarnations, and apparently was the place to go when my Aunt was younger.  In its current incarnation, the Chocolate Shop is both a restaurant and a culinary arts school.  As it was told to me, the school was started by a former member of an Aboriginal youth gang who now works with marginalized young people.

I initially ordered the bison burger on bannock.  The waiter looked doubtful for a moment, and said “Well, you could have that…  but we’re out of buffalo, so it would be beef…  and I think we’re out of bannock, too…”  I ordered the enchilada special instead.  Not exactly traditional to the Cree people, but it was definitely good – and cheap to boot!

We were also treated to an impromptu performance by a champion hoop dancer who, according to my Aunt, might be from nearby Peguis First Nation.  How he did not knock furniture – or himself – over in that small space was beyond me!

Overall, the Chocolate Shop was quirky, but the food was great and the price was right.  On top of all that, the funds they raise get reinvested in their training program.  If you are in Winnipeg, I would definitely recommend checking it out.

Ride to Conquer Cancer

On Saturday, we headed over to Guilford Mall to see two very good friends off on the Ride to Conquer Cancer.  Over 1,700 rider participated, raising over $6.9 million in total!


After stretching and opening ceremonies, participants commenced their two day journey to Seattle, Washington.  I bet that kept the border guards busy!


Donations are still being accepted online and, if you’re really feeling ambitious, you can find information on the 2010 Ride there as well (shudder!).



This was an odd site.  On our way over to the mall, we saw this fellow riding a zamboni-like gizmo, picking up litter with a stick.  It was kind of like a post-modern game of polo, but all by himself…

Attack of the Android!

I was perusing the Vancouver Sun on my commute home today, and an article in the business section caught my eye.  Acer, the world’s third largest computer manufacturer, announced the release of inexpensive laptops that use Google’s Android operating system in place of Microsoft’s operating systems.  That’s a whole lot of market share!

2831830776_6cd0becbd8_o Courtesy of friprog, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0

My brother initially recommended Acer’s Aspire One Netbook, and it definitely scores high points for both portability and usability.  The marriage of Acer’s products with an operating system that is largely open source and specifically designed for portable devices would seem to be a brilliant business move.  This will quite likely allow Acer to further reduce the price point on its products.   

Have you tried Android?  I would be curious to know how it rates in terms of its own usability and performance.