A bridge, a cautionary tale, and a link

The above is from my photos at Flickr and was once again taken when I was in Weyburn last summer.

A Cautionary Tale

I was at a relative's home the other night for supper, and among other things we had a very tasty watermelon, feta and black olive salad for supper. Don't ask or question - just make it for yourself, you won't be sorry. Now the cautionary message concerns an after supper occurrence, and I feel as if I would be letting a portion of the human race down if I did not pass along this warning message. I realize that this warning may not apply to all, or even many but if I can save even one person from having to suffer the indignity I was exposed to it will have been worth it. If you have a cappuccino maker (and I don't think it is brand dependent - but this one was made by a certain GIANT chain of hipster coffee shops, some of which may or may not be located in the GIANT chain of hipster bookstores). Anyway without further ado - the warning.

For the love of god people clean out your drip trays!

When I was a kid growing up in the 70's I used to hate coming home from school only to smell the thick, cloying, annoying smell of a fresh permanent administered to my mother by one of the members of her coffee clutch. Yuck. Now the perm smell is one thing, but now I have an image for you, an image that will hopefully help you to grasp the awful smell that came from the decroded piece of crap otherwise known as the filthy drip tray on my brother in law's cappuccino maker. Picture if you will a llama, now imagine a llama that has been fed nothing but a highly volatile mixture of prunes and refried beans, and imagine the poor beast after about three hours in the throes of gastric unrest, its bowel feverishly working to rid itself of every last bit of waste material in as quick a fashion as possible. Getting the picture? So the llama's posterior is caked in fresh diarrhea, then some chain smoking beauty trots the unfortunate ungulate into your kitchen and proceeds to vigorously perm the fetid mass of ass hair. That image sort of begins to describe the smell that came from the drip tray on my brother in law's cappuccino maker. So, if you have a cappuccino maker and a drip tray please heed these words and clean it out.

A Link

As promised a link. Now before you just go clicking on it, please if you have epilepsy or any type of seizure disorder this may bother you, everyone else crank up your volume and prepare to be amazed ...

Killer Japanese Seizure Robots



Nodding donkey

Don't have much to share word wise today, so I thought I would share a picture. If you have noticed I have added photos along the top of the blog under the header. Even though you can view them all at Flickr I thought it might be nice to have larger views of them and others every once in a while. I snapped this photo in Weyburn of something I have always called an oil pumper, but looked on Wikipedia and found the term nodding donkey and quite like it.

Look at my nodding donkey photo, and like it.


A Fantastic Meal

Free plug for earls restaurant follows ... you've been warned.

This week I returned to a restaurant that while it may seem to be unabashedly trendy, always does its best to serve up quality food at a price that is not over the top. It had been some time since the last time I had eaten there and I was not at all disappointed with the food this time.

What we ate:


  • Chili Chicken tossed in a fiery sweet chili sauce with crispy wontons
  • Togarashi Shrimp and Wontons gulf white shrimp tossed with togarashi spice and a refreshing mango and jicima salad, crispy wonton chips

Main Course

  • Grilled Chicken and Baked Brie on Ciabatta grilled chicken breast, melted brie, roasted apples and spinach with sweet fig jam and garlic mayonnaise on toasted ciabatta - with a side of fries
  • Santa Fe Chicken Salad spicy cajun chicken, avocado, feta cheese, sweet dates, corn and black beans in a peanut lime vinaigrette with mixed lettuces and crispy tortillas


albino rhino and the winter pudding ale were the beers of choice

We were both so full dessert was not even a consideration, but full in a good way not the unhealthy bloated feeling that I am quite sure factory farmed animals feel on a constant basis.

So, in a nutshell my recommendation for a nice relaxed evening of dining with some good quality food would be to give earls a try, you will be pleasantly rewarded.


Wal-Mart vs. Costco


Wonderful news in from LabourResearch.org, that sheds some light on the lies that Wal-Mart has fed to us all for years now. It seems like paying workers a living wage actually makes good business sense, and when your workers are able to afford to be consumers, home owners and tax payers themselves - society as a whole may benefit. Another standout from this article is that Costco CEO Jim Senegal takes home only about 10 times the pay of a typical Costco employee, contrast that with the salary of Wal-Mart’s Lee Scott whose take home pay was a whopping 5.3 million dollars, a little more than that of most Wal-Mart employees who on average are paid $9.68 an hour.

Highlights from the article should you care to read only a synopsis:

Costco v. Wal-Mart: How They Stack Up

Global Workforce
Wal-Mart: 1.6 million associates
Costco: 113,000 employees

U.S. Workforce
Wal-Mart: 1.2 million
Costco: 83,600

U.S. Union Members
Wal-Mart: 0
Costco: 15,000

U.S. Stores
Wal-Mart: 3,600
Costco: 336

Net Profits (2004)
Wal-Mart: $10.5 billion
Costco: $882 million

CEO Salary + Bonus (2004)
Wal-Mart: $5.3 million
Costco: $350,000

Average Pay
Wal-Mart: $9.68/hour
Costco: $16/hour

Health Plan Costs
Wal-Mart: Associates pay 34% of premiums + deductible ($350-$1,000)
Costco: Comprehensive; employees pay 5-8% of premiums

Employees Covered By Company Health Insurance
Wal-Mart: 48%
Costco: 82%

Employee Turnover (estimate)
Wal-Mart: 50%
Costco: 24%

Sources: Wal-Mart, Costco, Business Week, Forbes.com

More reasons never to let your shadow darken the aisles of Wal-Mart.


Polaroid-o-nizer and Rasterbator

Castro Lights One Up

I came across the Polaroid-o-nizer the other day. This nifty little bit of PHP scripting will automagically convert any old regular photo into a hip looking Polaroid style photo, all without any messing around in photoshop, no plug-ins, no filters, no fuss, no muss - just pure unadulterated Polaroid-o-nizer goodness.

Try it free today! Polaroid-o-nizer. *note - this link now appears to be fixed! See update below.

And on a related note another interesting free online photo manipulation utility called the Rasterbator, now don't get your self twisted yet. While the name may raise eyebrows when shouted out in the middle of a crowded supermarket, what it really is according to the website is:

The Rasterbator is a web service which creates huge, rasterized images from any picture. The rasterized images can be printed and assembled into extremely cool looking posters up to 20 meters in size.

And for those with a slow connection, you can download a stand alone version to, ahem, Rasterbate in the privacy of your own home.

*** Update ****

My thanks to Patrick P for sending me an update to the Polaroid-o-nizer link, as it has been broken for quite some time.
For those who fancy the polaroid look here are three alternatives:


and different name, same type of service


Rock on you photo manipulators.