August 2008

bees26 Aug 2008 10:51 am

We have a melon plant growing in our backyard. It is currently flowering and attracting many pollinators.

I believe that these are wasps:

Of course, there are many bumblebees with a strange ability to remain off-focus:

I am totally unfamiliar with the next insect, perhaps it is a Lapland syrphid fly?


I found interesting information here: and

toronto26 Aug 2008 07:59 am

Toronto is phasing out garbage bags.  Every household is being provided with a garbage bin, and we pay an annual fee based on the size of our bin.  Garbage is collected every two weeks.

The annual fees depends on the size of your bin:

  • Small Garbage Bin: size of one garbage bag, $10 rebate
  • Medium Garbage Bin = 1 ½ bags ($39/yr.*)
  • Large Garbage Bin = 3 bags ($133/yr.*)
  • Extra-Large Garbage Bin =4 ½ bags ($190/yr.*)

The bins have an awkward shape, some of the space is unusable, especially the small bins which have a raised floor.  Good luck stuffing a garbage bag in the small bin.

Tagged garbage bags may be placed next to the bin for collection.  The city will give every household 5 free tags, additional tags will cost $3.10 and can be purchased at Home Hardware stores.  Extra garbage may also be brought to a transfer station, for a fee, and you’d definitely need a car.

We have a small bin.  Moving to a medium-sized bin would cost $49/year ($39 + losing the $10 credit) which is equivalent to the price of 16 tags.  The medium bin holds an additional ½ bag, which amounts to 13 bags per year. The additional bags would be used for garbage that can’t fit in the medium bin anyway, so we’ll keep the small bin.

Bulky items will continue to be collected separately at no cost.  I can already imagine sneaky people cutting their old spring mattresses open, stuffing them full of garbage and then stitching them back shut.

Product packaging will definitely become an issue.  I believe this is the beginning of the end for bulky packaging – hopefully companies will move to reusable packaging that will be removed at the store and sent back.

Overall, I think it is a good move that will significantly reduce the amount of garbage we produce.  Waste is now separated in 3 categories: biodegradable, recyclable and garbage.  The size limits provide strong incentives for us to properly separate our waste so that it can be composted or recycled, with very little waste sent to a landfill site.

Of course, this will require additional law enforcement.  If you think about it, the $3.10 fee for additional bags is fairly low, it’s not worth it to sneak around in the middle of the night to dump garbage in a park.

This should begin on November 1st.

Lots of info here:

Uncategorized21 Aug 2008 05:14 am

I’m experimenting a bit with talkinator.  If you want to experiment with it, just keep in mind, it’s not private – it’s all about anonymity and simplicity – no need for registration, edit your profile, etc.

To embed a chat room, you paste an HTML snippet on your site.

Here’s an example, embedded in this post. Normally you’d put it somewhere on the sidebar maybe:

If you are using an RSS aggregator, the chat widget may not show up, depending on the HTML and Javascript capabilities of you aggregator.

It seems that the name of your chat room must be a single word.

Uncategorized20 Aug 2008 03:52 pm

And here’s a baby hippo:

Uncategorized13 Aug 2008 08:28 am

Uncategorized12 Aug 2008 12:31 pm

That’s where Knut was born.  And Flocke as well…. why do they get all the cute baby animals?

wireless08 Aug 2008 07:03 pm

Recently, Bell and Telus decided to charge 15 cents for each incoming text message (unless you’re covered by a plan.)

After getting nagged by our industry minister, Bell and Telus have agreed to reverse charges from spam.  When you receive spam, you will need call your carrier, wait on hold for one hour and finally try to challenge those charges – this is disingenuous, who other than a gullible idiot would fail to see that?

The wireless spectrum auction was a wasted opportunity. SMS charges are high in Canada because of government interference, specifically foreign ownership restrictions.  You won’t fix this with more government interference.

Uncategorized08 Aug 2008 12:46 pm

Apparently, it is possible to use Blogger with your own domain name:

I’m seriously considering moving over because of the spam problem. With Blogger, you sign in with your google ID in order to add a comment.  With my site, it’s a scary CAPTCHA; moreover, when a new update of WordPress is available, I must upgrade because of security risks.

Everyone I know has a Google account, Blogger really benefits from being able to leverage these accounts.

There you go: spam, server administration and user accounts – three reasons to consider a move to Blogger.  Maybe they also have a fix for my writing impediments too… me fail English? mais c’est impossible 😛

Uncategorized08 Aug 2008 09:33 am

“TV Dinner”