Archive for December, 2004

Sout Asia Disaster

Tuesday, December 28th, 2004

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the disaster in South Asia by now. I know I received some money over the Christmas holidays and I felt compelled to make a donation, and I hope you do too.

The Red Cross is taking donations on-line, and I’m sure it won’t take you longer than 3 minutes to donate. [Red Cross, How to Donate]


UPDATE: Google now has info on how to help here. Also, (a favourite site of mine) has imagery and tsunami information.

Winter Driving Tips

Monday, December 20th, 2004

WRCIt’s cold, the thermometer I keep in my kitchen said it was -15 Co outside last night and 15Co inside. The water line to my toilet is frozen because I think it might actually cover every inch of my house’s outside wall. So with all this winter weather out there I thought I’d share my tips for winter driving.


  1. All season tires = no season tires. With the cheap foreign labour now available to North America, winter tires and black steal rims are cheaper and easier than you’d think.
  2. Keep at least half a tank of gas in you’re tank, no matter what the size. The condensation in the empty tank can freeze and plug-up the fuel line. If this does happen to you either get the car into a warm place or get someone to fill up an emergency can of gas for you and bring it back to you inside the warm car (with a window cracked, and the lid secured, and the safest driving they’ve ever done). This happened to my sister last week and she had to get a tow to Canadian Tire and wait for three hours to have them simply start the car and give it back to her. [[Three years later it looks like this might have more to do with a bad starter than fuel - or my sister]]
  3. WRCIce scrapers, a shovel, washer fluid, oil, a blanket, food etc. are all important to keep in your car.
  4. Make sure those windshield wipers are OK. I like to up-size my wipers, as long as they don’t touch when down they’ll be fine. That way you’re not peering around a frame of salt to see traffic lights.


Sunday, December 19th, 2004

airtunesI’m sure everyone sees those Airline flight emergency guides and thinks about how funny they look, and what the pictures really appear to describe. Well check out Airtoons.

airtunes“If a chemical weapon follows you home, try to act casual.”
Another similar site is this spoof of, America’s anti-terror site/guide. This one’s done by

Thanks Coach.

Friday, December 17th, 2004

Ted Nolan, former coach of the Buffalo Sabers and other good teams, surprised us by wanting to use our department’s facilities to send a message to a hockey coaching workshop in Yellowknife today. A friend of his who works at Brock called us up Thursday afternoon to do it Friday morning. He showed up, we sat him in front of a camera and tried to put an interesting background behind him, and started recording.

I then plugged it into my PowerBook, download the video, titled it, and compressed and published a high and low quality version and published it to a web site (which I won’t give you the URL for!). Later that day the guys in Yellow Knife where able to present it to the group, saving an air flight.

He’s a really nice guy, and had some good comments on coaching in general. How’s a coach-of-the-year and nice guy like that not get renewed by the Sabers? One more reason not to like the Sabers.

1 1/2 Million Readers see the name Matt Clare

Friday, December 17th, 2004

It’s old news now, but that’s the only version of the New York Times we get in St. Catharines: Old.

The Thursday December 16th issue of the New York Times had a two page ad paid for by the community, myself included. We all know I’m an advocate for Firefox and Open Source development and I don’t think it’s about free (as in beer) software, it’s about an effective development model that produces good results. So, in appreciation of a product I literally use for over four hours a day I throw some cash towards spreading the word.

You can view the PDF version here (takes FOREVER to load!!!!).

New York times ad.