Apple pipe

Last night one of our hosts in Boston wanted to smoke. We lacked any smoking aparatus. He’d heard you could make a pipe out of an apple. I decided I was up for the challenge. Check out the apple pipe!

Apple pipe

I cut a hole into the side with a peeler then poked down through the top with a screw driver. Very neat and it workd like a charm. Here’s me smoking an apple.

Callum smokes an apple

Fergus

My room mates in Vancouver grew up in a small town called Fergus, Ontario. My brother is called Fergus. In an afternoon of indulgence, I snapped some pics of Fergus in action.

Welcome to Fergus…

Fergus on a lamp post

Lots of exciting things to do with Fergus…

Fergus directions

There’s even a whole market where all you can buy are Ferguses:

Fergus market

There’s also a whole legion of Ferguses apparently:

Fergus Legion

Fergus has his very own library.

Fergus library

Plus his own branch of the Ontario Provincial Police, just in case he gets out of hand.

Fergus Police

There’s awhole Scottish festival and highland games dedicated to Fergus.

The Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games

Even a show of antique and classic Ferguses.

Fergus Antique and Classic Car Show

I’d guess the newspaper dedicated to Fergus and Elora (I’m assuming she’s a girl) is the place to keep up to date with Fergusly happenings.

Fergus newspaper

The newspaper will no doubt tell of happenings at the Fergus Grand Theatre, very grand it is indeed!

Fergus Grand Theatre

If you spot something you’d like to see at the theatre I’m sure the Fergus travel service will help you get there.

Fergus travel

If travelling in the area you might want to read a little about the history of our good man Fergus.

History of Fergus

I found a shop where one can purchase one’s very own pet Fergus. How exciting!

Fergus pet shop

If you would like to dine on a little Fergus, I hear this place does an excellent grilled Fergus Tandoori style.

Fergus Tandoori

If you plan to eat Fergus at home, be sure to get a Fergus dining card first.

The Fergus dining card

If, having eaten him, you mourn the loss of your Fergus, never fear, Fergus Memorials are readily available!

Fergus Memorials

Finally, remember, Fergus is for you! :-)

Fergus is a great place to live

How to get almost married in Belize

If you’re considering getting almost married in Belize, here’s my how-to guide having done this myself. :)

Firstly, you need a companion for this journey. It’s a little harder to get almost married alone. Here’s my co conspirator:

Sam

Step 2, rent a car. A little internet research will tell you that you can’t easily get almost married in San Ignacio, so you need to travel to Belmopan. I recommend car rental as the most expedient method of transport in Belize. That is, of course, assuming you’re in a hurry to get almost married!

Rent a car in San Ignacio

Now that you have transport, you need to find the Ministry of the Attorney General in Belmopan. This is not as easy as it sounds. I recommend parking in the central market and walking. You’ll eventually find a library with a sign on the door that says “Marriage Licence”. The vaguely unfriendly lady should give you the application form and explain the process.

You need to find a justice of the peace and complete the form in front of them.

Forms before a justice of the peace

Here’s the victory pose, we’ve completed and signed the application for a licence to almost marry.

Completed forms

Finally, the most important step in getting almost married is to destroy the paperwork. If you don’t follow this step then you might actually end up married! :)

Destroy the forms

So there you have it, how to get almost married in Belize in 5 easy steps!

Cancun to Isla Mujeres

Tara and Kelly are joining us here on Isla Mujeres so we prepared a detailed set of instructions, complete with photos, on how to get from the airport to the island. Let the fun begin…

1) Be sure to fasten your seatbelt while on the plane. Your seatbelt is fastened like this:

Fasten your seatbelt

Your seatbelt is not fastened like this:

Fasten your seatbelt not like this

Your seatbelt is not unfastened like this, teeth are not required:

Don't unfasten your seatbelt like this

2) Toilet use while on the plane.

Using the toilet in an aeroplane can be a challenging activity. Follow these simple steps and you’ll have trouble free toileting in the sky.

Be sure to wipe down the baSSin after use:

Wipe down the bassin

Then after making a deposit in the toilet bank, be sure to commit it to interment with this handy button:

Be sure to flush after use

Then in order to exit from the toilet cubicle there is no need to headbut or otherwise attempt to destroy the door. This sliding handle will require much less force:

The door is unlocked with this handle

3) When returning to your seat from the toilet, this is not how you sit in your seat:

Don't sit like this

4) Disembarking from the aeroplane, it is best to approach this task with the maximum possible enthusiasm, as Mike here demonstrates:

Disembark with enthusiasm

5) Luggage retrieval

When awaiting the arrival of your luggage, the conveyor belt is not for standing upon:

The conveyor is not for standing on

Your bags can be safely collected from the conveyor like thus:

Collect your bags safely

6) When leaving the airport, be mindful of the timeshare vultures attempting to lure you into their lair of deviance:

Dodge the timeshare vultures

7) Outside the airport

Be careful, this man has a baton, and this is not a taxi:

This is not the taxi

Avoid the taxis, the taxi desks, the taxi dispatchers or anyone else who approaches you offering transportation services. You have been warned. Instead, look out for white vans, and enquire around them for transportation to Puerto Juarez. You should be able to pay 250 pesos for a van trip directly to the port.

Head for the white vans

At this point we should tell you, outside the airport you can have one of two things, money or beer, but not both. You have been warned!

Money or beer

8) The boat from Puerto Juarez is yellow. If you’re taken to another port, the boat may be another colour.

The boat is yellow

Our penultimate tip, here Mike models how not to sit on the boat:

Don't sit like this on the boat

9) Finally, should you spot santa on the island, he should be mounted as such:

Santa should be mounted as shown here

That concludes our guide on how to reach Isla Mujeres from Cancun airport. Should you have any difficulty during the trip, Michael can be reached at +52 33 1007 6070 (dialled 045 33 1007 6070 from a local phone). Rumour has it that Callum may be available on +52 33 1356 9553, but this can neither be confirmed nor denied by the author.

First round of Sydney photos

An assortment of photos from Sydney follows.

Surfers stroll through the streets of Sydney

It’s quite common to see surfers strolling through the streets of Sydney. In fairness, this was just across the road from the beach though! :)

Bondi Beach

The first picture was just across the road from this, Bondi Beach.

Ross, master of the ocean

Ross, master of the ocean. :)

White ladies of Primo Italiano

The white ladies. This was taken at the Primo Italiano Italian Festival.

Otis on Ricketty Street

While leaving Agata’s place I couldn’t help but laugh at this sign. Otis, the lift company, are located at 5-9 Ricketty Street. Oh dear, that was an unfortunate choice!

Tunnocks Caramel Wafers in Sydney

I spotted Tunnocks Caramel Wafers in a speciality sweet shop in Pitt St Mall. I just couldn’t resist.

Breakfast Raw

I’m starting to get a tiny bit ill. It’s the same sort of sore throat / slight cough that I’ve had a few times recently. So in a bid to beat it down once and for all, I’m going to overdose on raw food for the next few days! I whipped up to the shops this morning and bought a couple of bagfulls of goodness. Here’s my first raw breakfast:

Raw Breakfast

Follow the Mars landing on twitter

You can follow the mars landing on Twitter. Ain’t that awesome? :)

Twitter really has become ubiquitous technology. Everyone’s on it. If only they could come out with a revenue model, make some money, hire some more brains, and sort out their reliability issues. On a plus note, they’re recently blogging about failures or outages, which is nice.

Installed a sitemap

I’m on a mission to take the top spot when searching for “Callum”. I’m currently number 2 on Scroogle and number 21 on Yahoo. In my continuing efforts for worldwide Callum domination, I’ve installed the XML Sitemap Plugin. Hopefully this will help these search engines to realise the error of their ways and promote me to my rightful position as number 1!

Cape Town Geek Dinner

I was at the 6th Cape Town Geek Dinner last night (wine kindly sponsored by Stormhoek). It was interesting to meet some local Capetonian geeks. Naturally, some were more geeky than others. Warm thanks to Jonathan for the generous lift there and back. Public transport in Cape Town is sorely lacking, so I wouldn’t have made it were it not for Jonathan’s generosity.

The event took place at Sloppy Sams restaurant. It was an interesting venue for the presentations / speeches. There’s a raised balcony area, which is where I sat. It meant if the speakers were any less than completely engaging, it was easy to tune out (which I did on ocassion).

Undoubtedly, the best presentation of the evening was Tania’s powerpoint karaoke. Powerpoint karaoke is where a speaker presents from slides they have never seen before. Tania’s presentation was on lesser known deities and was wonderfully amusing.

Overall, the evening was very enjoyable. We rounded it off with a quick visit to a bloggers party at Long Street Cafe. I met the blogger behind Wots for lunch. I’m considering starting a blog network, so it was interesting to meet some of South Africa’s bloggers.

Rice Krispies and water

In my continuing efforts to escape the plague that is dairy, I’ve started taking my breakfast cereal (Rice Krispies this week) with water. It took a day or two to adapt, but it’s working out rather well now. It has a plainer, simpler feeling to it. Rather like drinking hot water instead of tea.

I figure rice, soy or oat milk is probably better than the real thing, but can they really be good for you? Apparently too much processed soy is bad for you. What isn’t bad for you these days? I reckon water’s probably not, so water it is.  :)

Christmas Day in San Francisco

It looks like I’ll be in San Francisco for Christmas this year. I’ve tried to wangle a few invitations for Christmas dinner, but as yet, none have materialised. I had two lined up in Toronto, perhaps I mis-timed my exit!

So if anyone reading this is in San Francisco and knows of something awesome going on, or wants to invite me to join their xmas celebrations, drop me a line! :)

Taxis and shovels

I missed my train from Toronto to Montreal yesterday for the office xmas party. So I booked a flight instead (remarkably cheaply at short notice). I debated a taxi versus the bus from the airport. I was short on time, I landed about 5pm, the meal was at 6pm. I decided to go with a taxi, and see if I could share.

I met a very friendly Japanese man in the queue, we agreed to share a cab. It turned out I had to take the taxi to his hotel and then get another taxi to my destination to avoid some other fee. So he paid for it as his company was picking up the bill. Nice.

Anyway, as we got into the taxi, the driver “popped the trunk” and as I opened it I spotted a shovel. I suddenly had flashes of CSI, The Sopranos, Dexter, etc and thought, what kind of “taxi” is this. Then I looked around at the mountains of snow on the road, and I figured it was probably harmless. :)

Miro: TV On Demand

Miro is an awesome program. It’s a very simple concept. You download the player and subscribe to “channels”. Those channels are simply RSS feeds which include videos. The videos are downloaded automatically for you, and the program tracks what you’ve watched and what you haven’t. So it tells you when you’ve got new stuff to watch.

It even supports torrents, and the channels are simply RSS, so with a little effort (or probably searching) you could set it up to download your favourite TV programs by torrent.

There are currently over 3’000 channels, all of them free. My favourite thus far is The Onion News Network.

The best part is, the player runs on Linux, Mac and Windows. Here’s a screenshot from my lovely new Fedora 8 desktop.

Screenshot Miro

Here’s the most recent Onion News instalment which inspired this post.

Scottish Water in Hong Kong

I went water shopping this morning. It’s 4 or 5 flights of stairs to the ground, so we drew straws as to who would make the trip. I got to the supermarket and began comparing the $9 bottles of water with the $5 bottles (Hong Kong dollars that is, otherwise that’s just crazy expensive!).

To my delight, the $9 bottle said “Product of Scotland”. So in preparation for going home I bought two six-packs of 2L bottles for the great value price of only $66. A little taste of home in preparation for my return on Friday!

Refreshing Thailand

I find that nothing encourages me to shower more quickly than a refreshingly chilled stream of water descending from the shower head. Yes, enjoying the health benefits of a nice cool shower in the morning I find I’m showering in record time these days. Beautiful Thailand… :)