This time of year these small, delicate looking ferns take of quite a bit of floor space in some of the darker, wetter areas in the Huron Natural area. I don’t normally bother with them but the way this one was dappled in sunlight kind of struck me as beautiful.
Back in April, the GRCA called me and asked me if they could use this image in a clean air promotion. Just yesterday I got this image in an email to show me the out come. I was pleased
Image credits: Grand River Conservation Authority
“[We] will be using the trailer at various community tree planting and other events. The idea was to create a shipping crate, with its ‘live trees inside’ message. Planting trees means clean air and clean water….and voila…look at the beautiful surprise that awaits you inside.”
“The co. that installed the wrap is Twin City Graphics in Kitchener. The graphics are printed on a 3M product, and Twin City plans to enter the trailer in the annual 3M vehicle wrap contest.”
“Many thanks again for the use of your most beautiful image. You likely cannot read it, but your pic is credited on the bottom right corner!”
Letting my duties slip a little, here are some Canadian musicians and musical acts collect over the last few weeks from the Twitter hash tag, [#canadianmusicfind](http://search.twitter.com/search?q=canadianmusicfind “canadianmusicfind – Twitter Search”):
* [54-40](http://www.5440.com/ “The Official 54•40 Website”)
* [A Northern Chorus music](http://www.myspace.com/anorthernchorus “A Northern Chorus on MySpace Music – Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Videos”)
* [Final Fantasy](http://www.finalfantasyeternal.com/ “F I N A L F A N T A S Y E T E R N A L /// O W E N P A L L E T T”)
* [Lucille](http://www.myspace.com/dearlucille “Lucille on MySpace Music – Free Streaming MP3s, Pictures & Music Videos”)
* [Jim Bryson](http://www.jimbryson.org/ “Jim Bryson”)
* [Jill Barber](http://www.jillbarber.com/ “- Jill Barber -”)
* [Michael Munnik](http://www.michaelmunnik.ca/ “michaelmunnik.ca”)
When is an apology *not* an apology? When it comes in the form of a sheepish form letter and omits any explanation as to what went wrong. Late last week flickr/Yahoo! and Rogers seemingly dissolved a long standing relationship that gave Rogers Internet subscribers a free flickr Pro account for as long as they remained Rogers subscribers. Why this agreement is no more is a little unclear as the only source of the news came from [flickr.com](http://www.flickr.com/ “Welcome to Flickr – Photo Sharing”) when I logged into my account and was presented with an AJAXIAN notification bubble informing me that my free Pro account would cease to be free and/or Pro by July 1, 2009. This information was additionally corroborated by my account FAQ page to which this notification directed me.
I have to admit I am fond of flickr and enjoy the service so I opted to renew then and there for another 2 years of service. Upon verbalizing my dismay to these recent events on [Twitter](http://twitter.com/seyDoggy “Twitter: What are you doing?”) I quickly learned that no all Rogers subscribers were reporting the same experience. Some were being told their accounts would expire on November 1st **2011**, nearly a full 2 years and 4 months ***after*** the date which was originally given to me.
So I went back to check my account, and there is was, the same notification bubble now displaying November 2011, ***not*** July 2009! Oh the FAQ still said 2009, but the notice now said 2011. So armed with these discrepancies (and the screen shots to prove them) I sent flickr/Yahoo! a scathing support query:
> This morning I get a notice from you (not Rogers) that my Flickr pro account that I enjoy as a Rogers customer will [no] longer be pro after July 1, 2009. This was confirmed but not elaborated on in the FAQ. After feeling I had no other choice I paid for the renewal. Shortly thereafter, and after hearing contradictory reports on the internet, I noticed the new warning that now says November 1, 2011. However the FAQ still says July 1, 2009.
> This is a fairly sizable blunder on your part and I think it was handled very unprofessionally. As a company who is one of the corner stones on the internet I would expect that you of all companies would know not to publish anything to the net before making sure you’ve got it all right down to the letter.
> I want my money back (or my in progress transaction canceled) if indeed my pro account is still valid until November 1, 2011. I expect a response of confirmation of action.
> Thank you.
> Adam Merrifield
To which I got the ineffectual and less then sympathetic response (pay close attention to the fourth paragraph about FAQ and discrepancies):
> Thank you for contacting Yahoo! Billing.
> I understand that you are contacting us to request a refund for your Flickr Pro account that you recently purchased.
> Any changes to your Flickr account pertaining to your Yahoo! Hi-Speed service package with Rogers are set to take place due to changes made by Rogers. Please contact Rogers regarding further details of this change.
> As per the FAQ found on Flickr.com, the Flickr Pro account included with your Rogers Yahoo! Hi-Speed service will change to a free Flickr account on July 1, 2009. There is not other information from Yahoo! that would support a November 1,  date. I understand that this situation may be frustrating and apologize for the inconvenience.
> Unfortunately, as stated on the order page there are no refunds on pro accounts. If an account has been closed before the pro term is up it cannot be transferred to another account and the unused portion is non-refundable.
> Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Billing. If we can provide you with any further information, please reply to this email.
> Unnamed Female Support Personnel
> Yahoo! Billing
This just infuriated me! I proceeded to make a spectacle of them and myself by posting about there response [in as many places as I could](http://www.seydoggy.com/2009/05/19/complete-flickr-fail/ “seyDoggy Web and Graphic Design – seyDoggy weblog – my thoughts on the web and the mac”). I sent them a short and to the point letter and supporting screen shot:
> Uhhh… you work there right? And you can’t see what EVERYONE ELSE ON THE INTERNET SEES? See attached and don’t insult the intelligence of your users. Thanks.
> Adam Merrifield
I guess this sent the message in the tone required to get some action on the matter for today I got what I assume to be the last and finalizing letter in response to this whole fiasco:
> Hello Adam,
> Thank you for contacting Yahoo! Billing.
> I understand you have contacted us regarding your Flickr Pro service on your Yahoo! ID: [email protected]
> After reviewing your account we have issued you a full refund for your Flickr order from 05/15/2009 for $47.99. Please allow 7 – 10 business days for the credit to post to your credit card.
> To view your billing history, please visit:
> and sign in to your account. Once you’ve signed in, you will be able to view all billing details regarding this Yahoo! account.
> We apologize for any inconvenience this issue has caused you.
> Thank you again for contacting Yahoo! Billing. If we can provide you with any further information, please reply to this email.
> Unnamed Male Support Personnel
> Yahoo! Customer Care
What is the moral of the story? Don’t take it lying down! $50 is still $50 and I shouldn’t have to pay it because of a Yahoo! PR blunder and neither should you. Did you get burned by this? Does anyone know what the hell is going on yet? The notification still says November 2011 while the FAQ insists it’s July 2009. Will my account go dead in July? Who knows? We’ll fight that battle when the time comes.
[tags]flickr, Yahoo!, Rogers, internet[/tags]
Nearly 5 years ago I was living a lie. I told myself that I ate well, I didn’t eat too much and I exercised as much as I had time for. The trouble was, for the seven years prior to that I was tired, lacked focus, my weight ballooned, I couldn’t climb the stairs without breaking a sweat and I was in excruciating pain in my abdomen. My bad cholesterol was high and my good cholesterol was low, my blood pressure was high, my bowels were irritated and I was on the strongest form of acid reflux inhibitors legally allowed in Canada.
I had undergone 7 years of testing that all confirmed, repeatedly, that my liver and spleen were enlarged and getting bigger every year. 7 years of radioactive dies, cameras, ultrasounds, MRI’s and none of them could tell me *why* I was sick, just that I *was* sick.
It took one bright young doctor and one blood test to diagnose what so many others had seen before but failed act on; my triglycerides were too high and I was bordering on diabetic.
It took a radical change in diet and three months time to completely reverse the illness that had been building in me for 7 years. I lost 40 pounds, no longer had acid reflux, my spleen had shrunk, my liver was starting to absorb the fat deposits it had been storing, I was alive, energetic and pain free. But I was still living a lie.
The new diet was not a change in lifestyle all together. It was just a diet, a way of eating not living and it took me almost 5 more years to figure out the second part of this equation. The diet was like taking your car to the mechanic when your breaks need fixing or when your tires are bald or the engine makes a *clunk* noise. I had only fixed what my body was presenting as an issue right then. The diet was a fix for what ailed me but it was not preventative maintenance for the future.
This year I sat through a whole season of [America's Biggest Loser](http://nbc.com/The_Biggest_Loser “Weight Loss TV Show, Pictures, Photos, Video & Episodes Online – The Biggest Loser | NBC Official Site”) with my wife. In years past I was judgmental as a once 200 lb. man who was able to get “fit” on his own. A show like that was just exploiting the weaknesses of American society and putting them on show for all to laugh at. I started to realize, however, that the show really was changing lives and really was trying to change the lifestyles of people world wide.
It was during this season that they drilled the same message in over and over and over again; diet and exercise, diet and exercise, diet and exercise! And it finally got through to me, the other half of the lie I had now been living since high school; I DO NOT EXERCISE… EVER! Being 165-170 lbs. may *look* healthy but is it healthy when walking a flight of stairs can still wind me?
For months now I have been exercising. I go for 30-45 minute walks in the morning and take another 20 minutes out of my day to do some push ups, sit ups and squats on alternating days. I have never felt better at a time when I already thought I felt my best. Diet *and* exercise are the preventative maintenance that the body needs, like taking your car in for regular oil changes, tire rotation and engine tune-ups. It’s not to *fix* what’s wrong with you now, it’s to prevent what could go wrong with you the older you get.
So here is the disheartening fact of the matter, and I hardly have a leg to stand on seeing as I was just as guilty not long ago; when I am out for my morning walk, I am the youngest one (35 yrs.) out there. I pass older men and women walking in their 60′s, I pass men and women running in their 50′s but I never pass anyone my age or younger. I know that I have been living in my own lie for more then half my life now, but is my whole generation living in that same lie? Do we all think we are too busy? Do we all think we have too much work, or that family gets in the way, or we have to get on Facebook or vent some aggression on the X-Box?
I am begging my generation to take stock of your lives and for once, think about where your *life* is going. Not your career, not your game stats, not your iTunes playlist; your *life*. Do you have the tools, the plan, the system in place to be a viable member of our generation for years to come? Are you doing preventative maintenance on your body so that our generation isn’t the sick, dying, cancer infested, diabetic generation that is going to bankrupt our healthcare systems and our economies and our morale?
It’s sad that it’s taken me 21 years to finally *understand* the message that Nike was trying to convey in 1988; “Just Do It.”
That is what I am telling you now; stop lying to yourself, stop telling yourself you don’t have time, stop telling yourself that you’re still young, stop telling yourself that you are too tired, too weak, too stressed. Just get out there and make the change now. Take control of the only future you have the power to change here and now. Change your lifestyle for the better. Eat well, exercise and just do it.
[tags]health, exercise, diet[/tags]
Late last week RapidWeaver by Realmac Software took top honors in a group review found in the June issue MacFormat. This well deserved bestowing of kudos comes at a time when RapidWeaver’s development seems to be kicking into high gear with the release of version 4.2.3;
> We’re absolutely thrilled to see RapidWeaver take the honours in a large group test, and to keep people weaving even more rapidly, we’re also releasing RapidWeaver 4.2.3 today – an update that we strongly encourage all RapidWeaver 4.2.2 users to download. This update fixes a number of issues, including linking to blog posts and assets, as well as significant improvements in memory usage when saving files.
This is the exact sort of thing that allows us to be full time RapidWeaver theme developers. It’s the care and attention that Realmac Software puts into it’s products, not only making them look good but addressing the needs of their users and continually pushing to make the product better all the time.
[tags]Realmac Software, RapidWeaver, theme, developer[/tags]
HAHAHA! [Yahoo!](http://www.yahoo.com/ “Yahoo!”) You FAIL! In a response from [Yahoo!](http://www.yahoo.com/ “Yahoo!”) about my outrage at there obvious inconsistencies and how they suckered me into paying for 2 years of [Flickr](http://www.flickr.com/seyDoggy/ “Welcome to Flickr – Photo Sharing”) service, 2 years ***PRIOR*** to the time that I should have, they had this to say:
> “As per the FAQ found on Flickr.com, the Flickr Pro account included with your Rogers Yahoo! Hi-Speed service will change to a free Flickr account on July 1, 2009. There is not other information from Yahoo! that would support a November 1,  date. I understand that this situation may be frustrating and apologize for the inconvenience.”
There is no other information that would support a November 2011 date? LOL, how about EVERY PAGE I CLICK ON, YOU TOOL!
[tags]flickr, yahoo!, customer service[/tags]
One thing the Mac OS has repeatedly failed at is a native clip board, one where more then the most recent item is available to you. This has been an ongoing concern of mine for quite some time and I have always been on the lookout for a solution… a good solution.
Back in the spring of 2007 I wrote about [iClip as one possible solution](http://www.seydoggy.com/2007/03/28/copy-and-paste-and-copy-and-paste/ “seyDoggy Web and Graphic Design – seyDoggy weblog – my thoughts on the web and the mac”) and in fact my dependency on it around that time became so great that I was using it to store passwords, code snippets, oft used text, etc… All was great until one day, the database became corrupted. Yes, iClip was complex enough that is was storing all my clipboard data, snippets and what not, in a database. _Eeeeek!_
My next _notable_ shift in clipboard management was QuickSilver, [for which](http://www.seydoggy.com/2008/02/01/web-search-with-quicksilver-the-definitive-how-to/ “seyDoggy Web and Graphic Design – seyDoggy weblog – my thoughts on the web and the mac”) [I have](http://www.seydoggy.com/2008/01/30/quicksilver-as-a-file-launcher/ “seyDoggy Web and Graphic Design – seyDoggy weblog – my thoughts on the web and the mac”) [written numerous](http://www.seydoggy.com/2007/12/03/convert-icons-revisited/ “seyDoggy Web and Graphic Design – seyDoggy weblog – my thoughts on the web and the mac”) [articles](http://www.seydoggy.com/2007/03/30/quicksilverhttp/ “seyDoggy Web and Graphic Design – seyDoggy weblog – my thoughts on the web and the mac”). For everything that I used iClip for I was able to use QuickSilvers “Shelf” and “Clipboard History”. It was a brilliant setup and had them show/hide off the edge of the screen with a couple hot-keys. Then came the inevitable fall of QuickSilver. I can’t afford to keep monkeying around with sub-alpha builds of various branches so after my nearly three year dependency on QuickSilver I had to finally give it up.
The hole that was left was quickly filled with apps that I already use on a daily basis, like [Code Collector Pro](http://www.mcubedsw.com/software/codecollectorpro “M Cubed Software – Code Collector Pro”) which bore the brunt of my oft used text snippets and auto complete tasks. But I was still left without a good solution for clip board history. So off on a mad search I went, review countless apps that varied in complexity and price range, until I came upon a small, simple, unobtrusive app that does one thing; buffers your clipboard history. [Jumpcut](http://jumpcut.sourceforge.net/ “Jumpcut: Minimalist Clipboard Buffering for OS X”) is a simple, open source (and free) clip board history manager that allows you easy access to your clipboard history with a few simple key strokes.
Jumpcut allows you to set up the size of your buffer size (up to 99 clips), hot keys, bezel behaviour, app behaviour and that’s about it. It doesn’t get any simpler to use or set up. I have been using this little app heavily on a daily basis since February and never once has it failed me. No hang ups, it’s never lost my history, it’s never crashed or caused anything else to crash. It’s lightweight, responsive and just an overall pleasure to use.
_This_ is the app that ought to be a part of Mac OS X.
I like to work out every day as part of battle against aging and the effects of sitting statically in my office chair all day. One part of that daily regiment is pushups and sit ups (or crunches). I hate doing the later. Sit ups are just plain uncomfortable and unnatural, it seems, for me to do. Because of this I am always experimenting with of working the core muscles _without_ doing sit ups.
Here is one that I really like that does an awesome job of working the abs, lower back _and_ pecs all at the same time. It’s a variation of the pushup witch is ideal for me as it kills multiple muscle groups at the same time. Here is what you do:
* lay face down on the floor
* place your hands on the floor near your shoulders with your fingers pointed towards your head
* spread your legs apart so that your feet are more than shoulder width apart or as far as comfortable
* prop yourself up onto your toes and push up with your arms
* once at the top, raise one leg off the floor, keeping it spread out as far as possible
* watch your balance and attempt to do 10 pushups with your leg raised
* once you’ve completed 10, put that leg down and lift the other one for another 10 pushups
* after those 10, put both feet on the floor, legs still spread and continue doing as many pushups as you can (try to at least make it to 10)
* once you’ve finished all 30 (or collapsed), rest for 1 1/2 minutes and start again
* try to do at least 3 sets of these 30 reps
When you’ve done this you will realize just how much this is working your core. Enjoy and work out safely!