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Old Photo Album Scanning Project

Our friend Mark picked up an old photo album at an estate sale that he went to last year. For some reason he gave it to us. It has been sitting in Carol’s office gathering more dust for the past months. After a visit from another creative friend last week I felt inspired to deal with it.

I have decided to scan the photos and postcards within to try and determine who the creator was, what their lives were like, where they traveled and perhaps learn a little bit. Oddly enough there are many pages with no photos or photos missing. I presume this is where the photos of people used to live as there are not many faces in this album. It sort of adds to the mystique.

So I have set up my special scanning station at the kitchen table for this undertaking.

Scanning Set Up & Assistant

This is the set up I am using to import the photos so I can share them. From left to right on the table are the photo album, MacBook Pro and a Brother MFC-210C scanner. On the chair is my assistant, Oscar Madison Bigglesworth Browne.

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Quit Now and Win Contest and My Story

On January 18, 2010 it will be exactly 12 years since I quit smoking. It may not seem like a big deal to you, but to me, and my family, it’s a really big deal. I had tried to quit many times and always went back to it. I was smoking over a pack a day at the end and sometimes even go up in the middle of the night to smoke.

It certainly sucked being chained to something like that, but no more. I am grateful everyday that I don’t smoke anymore. I think that’s a part of what has helped me to stay stopped. I had plenty of my own reasons to quit smoking, health being the most obvious. But, I couldn’t quit for good until I decided that what I really wanted for me and no one else. Sorry Mom.

Anyway quitnow.ca, along with the BC Lung Association, is running a little contest that may give you that extra little push toward quitting yourself:

Quitting smoking is easier with support from on-line contest

QNW_logo2_smNovember 23, 2009 – QuitNow & WIN, the contest that successfully convinced more than 7,000 British Columbians to sign up to quit smoking last year, is back.

The contest encourages smokers to turn to a buddy for encouragement, register online for support, and have the chance to win prizes totaling more than $20,000, provided by corporate sponsor McNeil Consumer Healthcare Canada.

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Using MarsEdit as an offline blog editor

As we use only Mac here at DOXA I have, thankfully, been able to leave my PC alone for a while. Yesterday, I was editing blog posts and our hosting went down leaving me only with a text version of the post I had been working on.

This got me thinking about offline blog editors. Some nice folk gave me some great suggestions.

MarsEditIcon128.jpgI have ScribeFire, a Firefox extension installed and it works great, but it is dependent on my browser being open and I don’t like being chained to Firefox. I would rather have something standalone so I went searching and saw a lot of chatter about MarsEdit.

What a beautifully intuitive interface for offline blog posting. The fact that it has a live preview window is nice as well. I can see my ramblings appear on my second monitor as I type.

I like that I can save a draft of my post with out the worry about a sketchy hosting service losing all of my hard work in the ether. I’ll keep tinkering with this until the 30 day trial is up, but am fairly sure I’ll pay the $29.95 USD to keep using it.

That said, there are a couple of others I want to try, ecto for example, before I make a final decision.


I love HootSuite. Since their most recent update that included support for Facebook and other social media networks, like Ping.fm and LinkedIn, as well as beta support for twitter lists, it has been my application of choice for updating my status across all of my social media profiles.

There was only one thing missing — mobile support. I have been using atebits’ Tweetie 2, TweetDeck for iPhone and SimplyTweet, but have not really committed to any of them. Hopefully, that is about to come to an end with the upcoming release of the HootSuite iPhone application as announced via email this morning:

Coming Soon to an App Store Near You

iphone_appOur HootSuite iPhone app is coming soon! Once it is released, you will be able to schedule your tweets, check stats and manage multiple accounts from the palm of your hand.

You’ll have to salivate a little while longer, but don’t worry, we’ll let you know as soon as it is available.

Follow HootSuite for all the latest info:
Twitter | Facebook

I am looking forward to the app for sure. The was no mention what the cost was going to be for the application in the email. I will look into it further and update this post with what I learn.

Also, Facebook fanpage integration has also been added to HootSuite as of this morning according to their latest twitter update:

UPDATE Hootsuite dev team pushed Facebook FanPage integration. To add your FanPage go to Settings > Social Networks (FanPage) and add. [source]

Way to go invoke. You folks are awesome.


#Movember 30: Say Goodbye to the Mo’

I have had enough of this itchy thing on my face. Just in time as today is the last day of Movember. Yes, the moustache comes off tomorrow. My upper lip will probably be a little chilly as it won’t be wearing a fur coat anymore.


All jokes aside, I am glad that I participated in Movember. I got to meet some really cool people and both Carol and I had tons of fun. Taking part gave me a reason to blog more on this site again as well.

I need to find another cause now. I’ve already been approached about one thing that I will definitely do a post or two about.

Anyway, here’s the last Movember video. It’s about something I will not be shaving in the morning.

Maybe I’ll do this again next year.


#Movember 28th: Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!

Rather than see another boring-ass picture of me and my stupid moustache, seeing as today is the day the winner got chosen for the set of Movember cuff links from Arbitrage Clothing Inc., why not see a picture announcing who the prize goes to.

Chosen at random here he is:


It’s not the picture you sent me Marc, but this one from your website, marcmcpherson.ca, is much more amusing and truly captures the spirit of Movember. Marc wrote a great post, well worth reading, on his site about why he participates in Movember. Donate to Marc on his Movember page if you like.

As soon as Arbitrage gets those cuff links to me I will mail them off to you Marc. Congratulations!

A couple of honourable mentions

Stacey B, from Sacramento, CA for her wedding day mo’:


Aw! Isn’t that cute? That’s the spirit Stacey. Check out Stacey’s web site Pill’s Place.

Craig G. a.k.a. Uber Giles a.k.a. The Sailor:


I know. Yucky, right? You can also donate to the cause via Craig’s Movember page.

Thanks to everyone who participated. There were some great entries. I wish everyone could have gotten a prize. Hopefully I will have more prizes to dole out next year!


Last night was the Movember Gala Parté at the Fortune Sound Club in the Chinatown district of downtown Vancouver. We were frisked quit thoroughly on the way in. They made me feel like some sort of terrorist. Perhaps it was profiling of some sort.


Not every arab is a terrorist you know.

The ghutra (or keffiyeh) I was sporting is the real deal as Carol used to live in Saudi Arabia. I wish I had a thawb to go along with it to allow the boys to have some air. Good for the prostate.

Movember is going well for our team. Last night, thanks to LG Electronics, our Movember teammate John Biehler won a whopping $5000 to put toward the cause. Here’s a photo that Carol took of him with the novelty cheque.


Very Happy Gilmore. Way to go John. That’s fantastic!

The reason the picture didn’t get posted yesterday is because Carol fell asleep as soon as we got home. She was pooped, so two pictures today.

I start my new gig on Monday. I jumped through all the hoops I had to. I am pretty grinny today.


Here’s my favourite Mo’ wearing Muppet, Lew Zealand singing Goodnight Sardine:

Extremely lame, but that is exactly why I posted it.

More information and how to donate to Movember: Movember 2009 Info


Augmented Reality is the Next Big Thing

In case you haven’t heard, augmented reality applications for your smart phone and other devices are the next big thing.


What the heck is augmented reality?

Augmented reality (AR) is a term for a live direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment whose elements are merged with (or augmented by) virtual computer-generated imagery – creating a mixed reality. The augmentation is conventionally in real-time and in semantic context with environmental elements, such as sports scores on TV during a match. With the help of advanced AR technology (e.g. adding computer vision and object recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally usable. Artificial information about the environment and the objects in it can be stored and retrieved as an information layer on top of the real world view. [source]

Augmented reality applications are another reason, besides the ability to shoot video, that I really want to buy an iPhone 3GS. As my current iPhone 3G does not have a built in magnetometer which allows for the use of a “compass” and augmented reality apps. There are already a number of apps in the Apple App Store like the Layar browser, wikitude and Yelp! that are using the iPhone’s GPS and magnetometer functionality to offer augmented reality.

Rocketboom, one of my favorite video podcasts, did a recent show about augmented reality. It highlights a particularly useful app for Lodoners with AR capable iPhones stumbling home after a night of debauchery in a strange neighborhood and needing to find a tube station. It’s called Nearest Tube from acrossair.

Sounds fun right?

How big is it going to be?

A new report from Juniper Research has found that the market for mobile augmented reality (AR) services is expected to reach $732 million by 2014, with revenues derived from a combination of paid-for app downloads, subscription based services and advertising.

The Mobile Augmented Reality report found that annual revenues from AR are unlikely to exceed even $2 million during 2010, due to the fact that only a small minority of smartphones will be AR-enabled. However, this proportion will rise dramatically in the medium term, the result of increasing adoption of Android handsets and iPhones, along with greater deployment of AR enablers such as digital compasses and accelerometers by other leading vendors. [more at source]

The applications seem endless. Imagine applications that will allow you to stalk your twitter and facebook friends in real time. They’re coming. This is going to be interesting.

If you want to hunt ghosts and have an iPhone 3GS, you can snag ARGH (Augmented Reailty Ghost Hunter) for the iPhone now. You are surrounded by otherworldly entities where ever you are. Boo!


Tonight the mo’ felt like snarling a bit. Billy Idol would be proud. If you’re too young to know who he is, that’s what google is for. I’ll wait.


The month is drawing to an end. Finally. I will soon be able to shave the mess off my face someone’s prostate may be saved from cancer and all will be right with the world again.

Tomorrow night is the Movember Vancouver Gala Parté. We’re going to party like it’s 1979! Here are the details:

Fortune Sound Club
147 East Pender
British Columbia V6C 2V6
November 26th
Start 8:00pm
End 2:00am
Judging: 10:00pm

If you want to buy tickets you can do so on movember.com. Come on along and watch people make fools of themselves. I’ll be the cool guy…

Speaking of off putting and angry men with hockey moustaches:

Yeesh. What is that, an ad for a prison hockey league?

More information and how to donate to Movember: Movember 2009 Info


While perusing the feeds of local websites that I have in my google reader (an easy way to get all of you content in one place) in the vancouverisawesome.com feed I came across a little blurb and video about an event on Monday December 7th at 7:30 pm at VIFC called The Found Film Festival:

The Found Footage Festival is a live comedy show featuring clips from videos found at thrift stores and garage sales across the country. This is a small sampling of some of the footage on display in Volume 4, coming to your city in 2009-2010.

If for some weird reason you can’t see the video go here to view it.

You guessed it. Carol and I have tickets already and will be there with bells on to see all the cheesy video goodness. You can buy tickets directly via this link at the VIFF.org site.

Looks like it will be a good time. If you’re unable to get to Vancouver, worry not, we are but one stop on the tour.

Still not convinced? We’ll send Pretty Boy Floyd along to talk you into it:

In this instructional video, entitled “Secrets of Pool Hustling,” professional pool shark Pretty Boy Floyd espouses his opinions on just about everything except pool hustling. More Pretty Boy Floyd is featured on the Found Footage Festival Vol. 3 DVD.

As well as bookmarking their website you can follow Found Film Festival on twitter, become a fan on Facebook or watch more videos on their YouTube channel.

See you there!