You get a plethora of options to design your avatar and background and even add text to your clothing (which is one letter short for grantalias).
For 1,50€ you can even buy your avatar in a "digital file" to brand your site. It would be nice though to know what the resolution was before buying. Of course I think the majority of people will be very happy with the low resolution copy they get.
Saturday (before the snow hit) we headed over the Mall because they had a Merry Go Round, car ride and a bouncy castle thing. We met up with my parents, my sister's family and my cousins-in-law family. I think all the boys had a great time because they fell asleep on the car ride home.
Recently I stumbled upon Spacing Montreal a blog that "examines neighbourhoods, architecture, urban planning, transit and cycling". It's a great blog (why didn't I think of it) and it's local (Valley Wag is great but I'm never going to be partying at SXSW or San Fransisco with the technorati).
Reading it has got me sentimental for the days (and when I mean days I mean like a decade ago) when I went to school and worked in downtown Montreal. So when I had some time to walk around downtown I took it.
Of course it's the simple and mundane that you miss most. That's what surprised me. But I guess that's what makes up life.
The sound, wind, and noise of Metro cars pulling into a station. The sound of people pushing the turnstiles and cold florescent lighting. Resting my bag on the escalators since it's over packed and heavy. Homeless people that don't look that homeless asking for spare change.
Overhearing conversations on Saint-Catherine street and trying not to laugh. Jay walking. Sounds of traffic. Timing it perfectly so you can cross at the intersection on a green light.
Buying a 40+ year old sci-fi paperback. Brittle yellow pages, musty smell and the price written in pencil on the inside of the cover. Being able to talk English to the old man behind the counter.
But as with any past love it's rarely as good as it once was, mainly because you forget things.
It takes forever to walk anywhere. I'm not as quick or graceful making a dash across an intersection. All the stores I remember are gone. My bag gets heavier much faster.
For the first time in at least four years I spent a day at Bark Lake in the winter. It just the boys (my dad, my brother in-law Phil and ET).
We stopped at Harvey's in Saint-Sauveur (a really nice tourist town if you want to visit) for lunch and then it was on to the lake.
I have missed seeing the Laurentians during the winter. I find it can be a little surreal in the winter because even thought I know that it's winter up there too I very rarely get to see it.
My dad's reason for us to go is making sure that nothing has collapsed under the snow (and this year we sure have had our share) but I think he just wants to see the lake and has to justify the trip. Of course if the shed did collapse or a falling tree took a boat or two there's nothing we can really do till the spring anyways.
Our friend Andreas met us at our dock as he and his parents are visiting the lake from Germany (and their cottage is winterized). After clearing the snow off the boats and shed, Andreas drove us down the lake on the ice road (a first for me) to his cottage. We had a very nice visit with his parents and ET enjoyed exploring their cottage and playing with their board games.
Those of us that have been in a long term relationship or who are married will probably see themselves (and / or their partner) in this song from New Zealand's fourth popular folk band Flight of the Conchords.
The first indicator of IKEA's environmental leaning was out in the parking lot. Believe it or not it was reserved parking spaces for hybrid vehicles, unfortunately when we arrived the spots were vacant. Hybrids are cool.
The second (which we can all afford, unlike the hybrid), were signs asking customers to turn off their vehicles in the loading area. Or as I like to call it, hope to god that new piece of furniture will fit once it's removed from the packaging and you fill every spare crevice in your car from the glove compartment to passenger's laps area. This is a great idea (and one you can practice everywhere not just IKEA) since according to daily fuel economy tip you waste 17.5% of your car's fuel while idling.
I've always noticed IKEA's recycling bins dispersed throughout the store but now they also have a large one by the loading area so once you (hopefully) get your stuff into the car, all that packaging doesn't end up in a landfill.
IKEA has also started charging 5¢ for plastic bags. You can also buy their reusable IKEA branded bags at check out as well (like many other stores have started to do). Charging for bags has created a humorous side effect, a stream of people walking to their cars holding their purchases precariously perched in their arms. I guess they really didn't need that bag after all.
Like anyone I've seen my fair share of internet / email scams in my day but thanks to Facebook that number has grown exponentially. This is mainly due to the ease and simplicity of Facebook to spam everyone single person you know. Hench my reluctance to add the Funwall application.
The latest social engineered piece of heart sting pulling forwarding fun is as follows if you forward this you're gonna make 10 euro for Unicef.
First off, it's a fact that simply forwarding an email (or in this case a Facebook post) cannot generate money for you or third parties. Secondly, legitimate organizations (such as Unicef) do not solicit fund raising in this manner.
This kind of seemingly harmless misuse of the Unicef name (or any other charitable organization for that matter) misleads supporters into thinking they have actually contributed to the cause when in fact they have only succeeded in spamming their address book.