Jigsaw Puzzles

My father bought me this M C Escher puzzle back in October. So, a couple weekends ago when Blaise said "let's do a puzzle!!!" I thought of this 1000 piece one in the basement that I was saving for Christmas holidays and brought it upstairs. That Friday night, Blaise helped me sort the edge pieces and even got a couple out in himself before getting bored out of his skull. I persisted late into the evening and then again the next day I worked on the monochrome problem for about 8 hours late into the following morning.

Seeing that I might never come out of this alive, Amber started to pitch in and Sunday night my mom who came for a visit added her two hands to the task. I finally finished the puzzle off on Tuesday night after what I figure to be close to 20 hours of work. I'm going to mount it and frame it.

Blaise got a puzzle at the Salvation Army Store in High River this past weekend. We assembled it together with Blaise doing most of it. He's studying geography this month, so it even tied into his formal learning.

I remember my Mémère (grandma) doing puzzles when I was young and I've always enjoyed working on them.

In French they are called casse-tête which means head-breaker. I like that.

Prostates of the World Unite!

In honour of Movember (Mo(ustache No)vember), I decided to shave my beard down to a stache for a couple days.

I guess the whole tradition started in Australia where people started fundraising for research prostate and testicular cancer by getting sponsors for their month long moustaches. In North America it became more of a beard growing thing (kind of like the play-off beard) in order to raise awareness.

Apparently, 1 in 6 men get prostate cancer. This is a "fact" from the internet, so don't quote me, but even if just half that many people get it, it makes for quite the issue to be aware of. I sure don't want it.

So, when you see my moustache, think "take care of your prostate" or "keep your testes healthy."


Embarrassing Purchases

OK, think of the two most embarrassing things to purchase.

I purchased both of them at the same time today! I'm a hero!


Used Luxury Vehicles

  • People who buy new luxury vehicles generally replace their vehicles within five years
  • Vehicles do not typically require any major repairs in their first five years.
  • People who can afford to buy new luxury vehicles, do not typically drive them into the ground as they can afford alternative transportation for long distance trips.
  • Five-year-old luxury vehicles cost about the same as new midrange vehicles, but they have all the perks of luxury vehicles and they probably will not have registered many kilometres so they will garner appeal.
  • The cost of repairing luxury vehicles is high - highly specialized parts and high dealership labour rates.
  • Do not under any circumstances buy used luxury vehicles.


Owen Pallett Live

A couple weeks ago I attended a rich musical event: Owen Pallett performing at Knox United Church.

I had heard from a friend that Mr. Pallett was kind of full of himself, a bit pouty, but a superb performer. All of this was true in my experience. He was very gracious towards the opening artist (Little Scream) who came on stage and then asked if anyone had a pick and he developed a great rapport with the audience. But his vibe was kind of that of a spoiled brat.

Musically, the guy is brilliant! Most of the music is produced through loops that he records with his violin and a little synthesizer. Another musician joined him for about half the songs playing drums, doing back up vocals or playing bass. The violin loops were most impressive as the heavy effects that could make a heavy bass or woodwind sound, let alone the multitude of energetic percussion loops.


Western Canada Character Education Conference 2010

I was privileged to attend a this conference a couple days ago with several of my coworkers. The conference's purpose is to equip educators to teach/instill character traits to/in their students.

The keynote speaker impressed me so much by doing one simple, though I'm sure it required hours of preparation. Michele Borba is an American scholar and speaker on the subject of raising and educating children. The fact that she is American makes what she did at the conference that much more impressive: she used Canadian statistics and examples to support and demonstrate every point she made. It showed she cared enough about the distinctiveness of our society to lift up the good parts and challenge the deficits.

Her thesis was not earth shattering, but the practical applications were extremely relevant.