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Demanding Appliances

May 24th, 2006  · stk

An Annoying New Engineering Trend


Our household has suffered some kind of technical flu, recently. Appliances have been "sick" and a couple haven't pulled through. Our 12-year-old microwave succumbed a few weeks ago, refusing to heat anything. Our 2-year-old, pre-pubescent DVD player, put its foot down and refused to register half of the discs we shoved into its face. Spanking the surly preteen only made it more stubborn, refusing to register any discs we fed it. Frustrated, we put it up for adoption (in the back alley) and bought a new one.

Besides the annoyance, aggravation and expense of having to purchase replacements, I've made a very unhappy observation about the new generation of appliances: design engineers have made them annoying and demanding! (This is in addition to the fact that they're cheaply constructed, which is something that everyone knows. Our Magnavox DVD replacement has a plastic shell, for Pete's sake.) I want appliances to efficiently and quietly perform their function, not demand my attention in an annoying fashion. I get enough of that from my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter.

Pretty soon, I will exist only to serve the needs of my appliances.


To design engineers at Danby, Uniden, Magnavox, Microsoft and others, I say:

   (Annoying, isn't it? Imagine a "BEEP" too!)

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Updated: 24-May-2006
Web View Count: 16110 viewsLast Web Update: 24-May-2006
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Far Side of North

April 2nd, 2006  · stk

Edmonton Grafitti

Usually, it's the female complaining, "I have a headache", but this street artist puts a different spin on things here. Maybe someone sprayed the penguins and someone ELSE added the commentary? We'll never know. Either way, this witty bit of street art caught our attention during an afternoon stroll, along the North Saskatchewan River Parkway, on this warm (50°F/10°C) and blustery, early spring day.

The penguin might be an appropriate symbol of cold Edmonton winters, but the geographic mark is several thousand kilometers in error, as penguins are indigenous to the southern pole, not the northern one.

The remark by the male (clearly the brighter of the two, as males are often more highly decorated than females) has a double meaning, which is hopefully lost on younger readers. Was "fish" added as an afterthought, or was the artist simply a poor planner?

How do YOU feel about grafitti? It seems to be everywhere. Is it modern art? Expressionism? Vandalism?

I've often thought that railroad companies were missing a golden opportunity. Let others pay for the paint and labor, so they can make a 'statement' on railroad cars, thereby protecting metal from rusting. Railroad companies could surreptitiously erect "scaffolding" , so taggers can put grafitti on the tops of railroad cars too.

As further proof that the Internet contains information on EVERY subject, I searched for "Edmonton Grafitti" and turned up this site, which features artistic grafitti from several different Canadian locations. Nicely done, too. (I especially liked the bit about Mosquito Creek, in N. Vancouver, which is a stones throw from our old stomping grounds on E. Hastings). ;)

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Updated: 4-Apr-2006
Web View Count: 37141 viewsLast Web Update: 4-Apr-2006

John West Salmon Bear Fight

February 24th, 2006  · stk

I went to find an enjoyable TV ad from the year 2000, but had a difficult time finding it on the web. The collective attention span for humans is short and most of the movie links were broken. So, in an effort to preserve a tiny piece of humorous history, I've posted it here, along with a rare "alternative ending". Enjoy.

John West Salmon Bear Commercial

"Oh Look, an Eagle!"


It was some time ago that I first saw this ad, via some email link a friend sent. I'm not sure what made me think about it the other day, but I went on a hunt for it. It's still out there, but many of the links have dried up and now there are sites that want you to pay money to see the thing. (Sorry, there isn't much added value to see something that used to be aired for free :-/)

I'm not much of a museum curator and maybe it was more the challenge, than the preservation, but regardless ... I went on a hunt to find the original video, convert it to Flash and preserve it for your viewing pleasure (and the inadvertent, sustained promotion of John West Salmon). While hunting down the videos, I learned a lot! The spot won several awards, there was an alternate ending (shown in the full article) and to whom credit goes to for this humorous advertisement.

To learn more about the John West Bear Fight ad, read on ...

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Views: 54288 views
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Updated: 23-Oct-2008
Web View Count: 54288 viewsLast Web Update: 23-Oct-2008

Cashing In Your Blog

February 4th, 2006  · stk

Want to sell your blog? The first step is to determine its value. This is where Dane Carlson can help. We present his applet, which helps determine price based on the AOL-Weblogs Oct-2005 sale. You might be surprised. (Of course, finding a buyer is another matter)...

Our Blog Selling Price: Ten Thousand Dollars


Last October, AOL announced they were buying Weblogs Inc. The deal was estimated to be valued at approximately $25 million dollars. (Launched in 2004, Weblogs operates 85 different blogging sites, covering a wide range of topics.)

As one of the first blog acquisitions, the AOL-Weblogs deal can be used to put a price tag on your own blog. In an analysis by Tristan Louis, he used Technorati site numbers for each blog at Weblogs, and computed a link-weighted value on each. Taking it one step further, he came up with a rough estimate for what AOL paid for each Weblog external link ($564.65).

Then, Dane Carlson came up with a blog-valuation calculator, based on Tristans' work.

According to the calculator, our own blog is worth $10,161.72! 88|

Two Quick Thoughts:

  1. See Dad? Our blog is an INVESTMENT.
  2. Perhaps we should SELL?

LOL ... Finding a buyer might prove tough.

Views: 8770 views
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Updated: 22-Feb-2006
Web View Count: 8770 viewsLast Web Update: 22-Feb-2006
Filed in:Humor

Udderly Humorous

January 16th, 2006  · stk

A Political Science Lesson Using 2 Cows

This crossed my desk today and I couldn't resist posting it. It made me chuckle. (That's worth something in my book). If you've seen it before, then please add me to your e-mail joke list, because I just don't get many good ones anymore. If you haven't seen it, then I hope you enjoy it. (I changed the first one a tad ... ).


   You don't have any cows.
   Your neighbor has two cows.
   The government takes one fron the neighbor and gives it to you.
   After which, Barbara Streisand comes and sings for you.

   You have two cows.
   Your neighbor has none.

   You have two cows.
   The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
   You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.

   You have two cows.
   The government seizes both and provides you with milk.
   You wait in line for hours to get it.
   It is expensive and sour.

   You have two cows.
   You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.

   You have two cows.
   Under the new farm program the government pays you to shoot one, milk the other, and then pour the milk down the drain.

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Updated: 27-Feb-2006
Web View Count: 64163 viewsLast Web Update: 27-Feb-2006
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