Do you wanna date my avatar?

I have caught a number of episodes of The Guild, a web-based video series since it first appeared a year or so ago. Imagine a soap opera based on the web-camera confessions of a young woman geek who is a member of a massively multiplayer online game guild, and you have the basic idea.

Recently The Guild has started going a bit “big time”, with announcements that Wil Wheaton is going to be appearing in some episodes of this upcoming season and now… a music video.

I kind of have a little crush now on Felicia Day… shhh, don’t tell Irene.

Robotic dexterity

The progress of robotics over the last few decades has seemed fairly slow to me. Robots today at their best seem to shuffle or stumble along like zombies, their movements more scripted and controlled than dynamic or lively. I watched a video today, however, that makes me feel like some real progress is actually being made.

Here is what I watched… and be aware that this is a robotic appendage reacting in real time to visual and tactile data, *not* a strictly scripted series of movements.

Fixer clock #1 tear down and reassembly

I picked what I thought would be the least complicated clock to work on first. This circa 1913 Gilbert “gilt No. 115” clock has a simple time-only mechanism. Unfortunately for me, it is a small and “cheap” (mass produced) clock, meaning the thick brass and large pivots found in some of the other “fancier” clocks are replaced with pot metal and tiny parts that aren’t really made for easy repair.

What follows is sort of a journal of my experiences thus far in working on this clock. For anyone who doesn’t have at least a passing interest in clocks, it is probably advisable to skip reading the rest of this post. The short story: I successfully disassembled, cleaned, repaired the main problem, and re-assembled the clock. It still doesn’t work properly, and I’ve found at least one additional problem that I will have to fix later.

Continue reading Fixer clock #1 tear down and reassembly


Years from now, someone will ask “Who is Kelly Adams? Was he ever famous?” And the answer will be “No, of course not. But his brother Ron was once on TV…

Seriously, though… Ron was interviewed by Global News while mowing his lawn a week or so ago. Apparently there is a ban on use of “weed ‘n feed” type products going into effect in Alberta in the new year. The amazing aspect of this: my old friend Tim Breitkreutz, who probably hasn’t seen Ron in at least twenty years, recognized him on the news and Twittered me to let me know.

Congratulations to Ron on his “minutes” of fame. And thanks to Tim for the heads-up!

Web shopping

A year ago, I was an occasional “web shopper”. Most of what I bought was purchased through my favorite “computer stuff” store, NCIX. But that isn’t “really” web shopping: I’d order stuff through their website, sure, but I’d go pick it up at their nearest location here in Langley. Real webshopping is when the thing you ordered arrives at the door courtesy the friendly post/UPS/FedEx/Purolator person.

Fast forward to today…

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Clear evidence of what is important…

A young man in the United States stands accused of a horrible crime. Federal agents recently raided his home, and he faces as much as ten years in a federal prison. According to his accusers, his wanton illegal acts are many and varied, and all necessary steps should be taken to insure he pays for his crimes.

Continue reading Clear evidence of what is important…