The Doodle Pad

Weekend of Python Goodness

Python Workshop LogoThis weekend is the Vancouver Python Workshop and I'm there (er, here)! This has nothing to do with snakes or Monty Python, though Monty Python did have something to do with the name! Python is a computer language and, in this author's humble opinion, a very nice one.

I haven't used Python for a while and I'm looking forward to getting reacquainted with it. And it's always fun to immerse yourself in an interesting topic, regardless of what it is. Unexpected bonus marks, I'm bumping into people I haven't seen for years.

For the grotty details check out my other website:

Miami Vice

Just say no to Miami Vice

Last night was a movie outing with the usual suspects to see Miami Vice. I really wish I'd stayed home and washed my hair.

I didn't follow the TV show, so I went in with no expectations beyond typical summer fare. The movie tried to be an intense dramatic that it didn't pull off, and we didn't even get bombarded with gratuitous big effects shots or eye candy as compensation. themarina liked the soundtrack, though. Buy the CD, skip the movie.

Sunday Morning Hard Rain

Hard RainThere was a torrential down pore like we seldom see in Vancouver on Sunday morning. The rain was coming down so hard the the road tops looked like the surface of a lake. This kind of rain is miserable to be and wonderful to watch, especially in the pre-dawn light. This picture isn

Clerks II

Clerks II

In Clerks II we rejoin Dante and Randall some ten or so years after Clerks, just in time to watch disaster strike and fate move them from clerks at a crappy corner grocery to clerks at a crappy fast food joint. But wait, things might be looking up. Dante may be on track for the good life. Of course, it wouldn't be a story if there weren't some bumps before we find out.

Although Kevin Smith pushes limits and pushes buttons the underlying story is one we can all relate to. What do I want to do when I grow up? Dante figuring this out on his own wouldn't make an interesting story, enter Smith

Hmmmmm, donuts

Saw the donut test on Nancyland and couldn't resist. What kind of donut am I?

You Are a Boston Creme Donut
You have a tough exterior. No one wants to mess with you.
But on the inside, you're a total pushover and completely soft.
You're a traditionalist, and you don't change easily.
You're likely to eat the same doughnut every morning, and pout if it's sold out.

Memphis Blues Coming to North Vancouver

Memphis Blues Banner

Memphis Blues is the best barbeque joint I've found in the Vancouver area. If you think you know a better place, let me know. I love doing the investigation!

When a friend emailed with news that they might be opening a restaurant on the North Shore, I was cautiously optimistic. His information is confirmed on the Memphis Blues website,, so I'm now officially excited!

Lonsdale Ave already has it's charms, like some great Iranian cuisine, Inn Cogneato Bistro, and 4 coffee shops with free wireless access (Starbucks is distinctly NOT one of them). Memphis Blues will make a great addition.

Put me on the "can't wait" list.

Lanterns? We have lanterns!

Photo by Matthew Trentacoste

There's something magical about a lantern procession on a summer night. It's hard to describe, but there's a power to people enjoying themselves while holding smalls lights in a space and at a time that's normally dark and empty. There's a goodwill you can reach out and touch. The stilt walkers and fire jugglers might has something to do with that ... and there's lots of stuff going on in the daylight before hand, too!

Check out the pictures on Flickr:

The grand daddy of lantern processions in Vancouver is the Illuminares Lantern Procession at Trout Lake Park run by the Public Dreams Society. Other communities are joining in. North Vancouver has the WildLights Lantern Festival.

Lantern procession session is officially on. Illuninares is July 29 with numerous lantern making workshops beforehand. Other processions are being held later in the year in Vancouver, in North Vancouver on August 18 and Burnaby on September 16. Information at:

Vintage Warplanes in Seattle

A friend just sent me this link: Vintage Warplanes Going Airborne Again. Millionaire Paul Allen is collecting old warplanes and restoring them to flight worthiness. Better yet, they're on display!

From the article:

The Microsoft Corp. co-founder opened his collection to public view two years ago, and has since given many summertime visitors a chance to see the old planes take to the skies during "fly days," when the aircraft get exercise needed to keep their engines in good shape.

The list of planes include a Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3, Hawker Hurricane Mk. XIIB, 1918 Curtiss Wright JN-4D Jenny and Curtiss Wright P40-C Tomahawk (think "Flying Tigers"). Beautiful planes, all. As a kid I built a model of a "Flying Tiger", and I've spent many a hour "flying" some of these planes in computer games. Seeing the real deal would be a treat.

Sad that this has been open for two years and this is the first I've heard of it. It's definitely on the list now!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

PiratesA couple of friends and I went to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest last night. Although the production values were great I am, in the end, disappointed.

Dead Man's Chest isn't much more than a framework for action and special effect sequences. In the first Pirates the humour served as a counter-point to the action and advanced the characters. Here it's farcical. The special effects, while spectacular, didn't add anything to the movie.

This is particularly unfortunate. Buried underneath all the digital rasterbation was an interesting story on honour and personal circumstance. The characters are so rich each had a story arc that gave a different perspective, and each was dealing with it in their own way. With a defter touch in the script department the caliber of actors could have made this movie awesome, instead the potential is stillborn.

This follow-on isn't the equivalent of the second Matrix movie after the first; it's more like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom after the original Indiana Jones. Go see this movie if you enjoyed the first, but set your expectations much lower.

Digital Doodles, now with RSS goodness

For those of you already fluent with RSS, just check the bottom of the right sidebar.

For those of you not fluent, RSS is a way of monitoring a website for new content without having to always come back to the website. Pretty handy when you have content providers who, like me, tend be sporatic. RSS readers as well as plug-ins for web browsers are available and RSS is starting to be included in email clients and web browsers. Definitely worth checking out if you follow a lot of different websites. If you're only following one or two or five, probably not so much.

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