Archive for June, 2006

How to shoot fire out of a propane tank

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

I’ve often said bad things about my adopted home in St. Catharines, but clearly the individuals roaming the streets around me are not stupid.

Take for example the person who slashed the line from my propane tank to my BBQ while I was on vacation.  This person clearly knew about the safety features designed into gas fittings.  The evidence suggests that they were using my propane tank to shoot fire and the regular end that screws into the BBQ will only allow gas to flow when attached to the proper fitting.  By slashing it they were able to achieve their task – of course providing that their goal was only to shoot fire and not actually burn my house down.

Slashed propane line

Trip From: St. Catharines > Toronto > Edmonton > Calgary > Montreal > Toronto > St. Catharines

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

Our trip to Montreal for the F1 race gets better every year. This year featured lots of in-town events and we for the first time did things right: stayed in a friend’s apartment and sprung for grandstand seating at turn 6 and 7.

The race was going very well for the first 1/2. Kimi had launched from 3rd to 2nd but couldn’t make ground do to a deteriorating RR wheel that would not come off during a pit.

Jacques was doing well, as one of the last of the late pit’ers he stayed out on track and made it up to 7th before Ralph Schumacher pulled aside to let him by (he had a very slow acceleration out of turn 6 the lap before) and Jacques went to go around him in turn 7 and hit all the dirt off the racing line… and then hit the wall. He should have waited until the hairpin, 30 seconds or 1/4 of the track later, as he was not going to gain any more positions in 11 laps.

JV crash

Kimi also made his own mistake on the second to last lap, in response to distant pressure from Michael Schumacher, he went wide in the hairpin and re-joined in third.

Hard luck for our drivers but a good weekend for us.

I got to start the whole weekend with the following trip: Edmonton >-flight-> Calgary >-flight-> Montreal >-bus-> to downtown Montreal >-Metro-> to Jean-Talon exchange >-walk-> one stop on Jean-Talon line to the apartment we were staying in. From a cool 16-hour day in conservative Alberta to a hot and humid Montreal street in the middle of the night to meet the boys.

Montreal F1 Race

Monday, June 26th, 2006

I just got back from the F1 Race in montreal. It was a great weekend but not the greatest result on the track. The important thing is we had fun.

Flickr pictures

Before the race they showed the music video for Jacques’ new single, Accepterais-tu. My friend Matty Phillips, who can play dozens of instruments and toured with Cuff The Duke for a bit, and I reviewed it. Here it is, bad audio and all.

Conference Presentation Went Well

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006

My presentation was this morning, right after the keynote address by the president and VP from Blackboard, Michael Chasen and Karen Gage. Depending on how you look at it, pretty good billing. Michael from Bb had some interesting things to say and he talked about Web 2.0 and suggested that we’re about to see e-Learning 2.0.

If you don’t already know, my presentation talks about bringing Web 2.0 to higher-ed and our experience with Podcasts and Wikis.
I think things went well because someone told me afterwards that “Michael from Bb mentioned a few things and then you went on and explained what the hell he was talking about.” Plus I’m now flying through business cards every time we break for coffee.

There as also been some very interesting presentations today and I think I’ve got another collection of valuable little tips to bring back to Brock.

Here’s my presentation: www.brocku.ca/~mclare/webct06/

Edmonton Loses

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Your in Oil countryI feel a little responsible because I had jumped on the Oilers bandwagon (fuel truck) and cheered as hard as the rest of this town has, but I couldn’t pledge my full elegance: I think my Toronto Maple Leafs boxers might have jinxed things.

The town is crestfallen but they still support their team. Whyte avenue appeared to be (when I left) under control and most Oilers fans took solace in doing better than Calgary. In the washroom someone said “Well, last year Calgary had their chance, this year we had our go.” My response was “If only Red Dear had a team.” He saw the logic but didn’t think it was a good solution.

OK, now on to this conference and actually learning something.