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CATEGORY : Miscellany

November 05, 2008
Hardcore Fridge Magneting

Frances and I have been off-and-on fridge magnet-types for a long time. Our past purchases have included a big honkin' Elvis (straight from Graceland), as well as a variety of cool/ridiculous smaller ones. No magnet poetry, however.

The folks at Motifo have taken it to a new level, with a full-fridge magnet set. Very slick and creative; I can only imagine what my chilluns could do to my fridge with that.

There's a contest to win a set over at Random Good Stuff -- check them out, if you have a minute. They regularly keep me plied with time wasters on my lunch hour.

Posted by Lincoln at 12:50 PM
July 17, 2008
Another effective NGO ad

A bit obvious, but excellent, nonetheless:

Found at Random Good Stuff.

Posted by Lincoln at 01:31 PM
July 06, 2007
Campy marketing truism

I'm finishing off an integrated marketing communications course right now, and have to do an evaluation of the success of my campaign. Here's my little bit of obvious:

"Any major campaign that begins without testing of concepts and creative strategies is like cooking for a dinner party without a recipe: creative intuition may result in a satisfying meal, but it’s far more likely to be successful with the right ingredients."

Crikey, I could write for reader's digest. :P

Posted by Lincoln at 01:06 PM
February 24, 2007
Cambrian Youth Event

We're all in Thunder Bay at the moment, and participating in the semi-annual Cambrian Presbytery meetings, which includes the (10th year!) youth event at the meetings. We've had a ton of fun with the teens this time, looking at media, marketing and self-image, along with some of the stuff from the United Church of Canada's "Emerging Spirit" campaign, part of which is the discussion forum,
On Wondercafe, they've got a commercial that was produced as part of the campaign, titled "EZ Answer Squirrel." This weekend, the teens came up with their own parody versions of the ad.
Here's the original:

Here's the first one:

Here's the second one:

Here's the third one:

Posted by Lincoln at 03:59 PM
January 23, 2007
Getting To Know You Games & Icebreakers

Many that know me know I've spent a really, really long time doing volunteer youth work in the United Church. Over that time, I've developed a list of games and such for icebreaker situations, many copied from other locations, other people, other resources, etc. Great artists steal, and all that. I wanted to compile it all in one place and make it available, since I have lots of people who ask me for resources, so I'm putting a PDF up here. It's got appropriate games, activities and such for youth groups, school classrooms, and even for adult icebreakers too. We don't spend nearly enough time getting silly as adults – well, I do, but most don't – and I think a lot of people would be in better shape if they got in a daily game of Elves, Wizards & Giants:
Elves, Wizards, Giants
A team version of the old game of `Scissors-Paper-Stone,’ but has funnier actions and noises which each team has to act out. Each character (Elf, Wizard, Giant) has a specific action or noise.
Elf – Squatting down and imitate pointed ears by holding two fingers up by your ears (similar to making bunny ears). Make "Eeeking" noises while doing this.
Giant - Standing on tip toe, arms raised in frightening posture making growling/roaring sounds.
Wizard – Standing normally but with arms outstretched as if casting a spell. Make appropriate spell casting noises.
As with Scissors-Paper-Stone each character/icon can win against one character or loose against the other. In this case if wanted teams can make the appropriate actions for winning or loosing.
Winning team Actions:
Elves shoot Wizards: Elves win
Elves pretend to shoot an arrow, Wizards make dramatic gestures as though struck in the heart.
Wizards frazzle Giants: Wizards win
Giants pretend to shrink.
Giants squash Elves: Giants win
Giants pretend they are squishing something small.
Each team finds a quiet corner and decides on a character to be as a team, after choosing their character each team stands facing each other with hands behind their backs. On a given signal (e.g. the count of three) the whole team acts out their character with the points going to the team that chooses the winning character. If both teams pick the same character there is a draw.

Here's the PDF -- enjoy.

Posted by Lincoln at 11:34 AM
June 02, 2006
Cheap-Ass Mosquito Magnet

Being as I'll be unemployed in two weeks, I'm scopin' for cheap stuff -- more so than usual, that is. I found this DIY mosquito trap that I'll definitely be trying out this summer. We have scads of mosquitos, and I apparently release copious amounts of CO2, since I'm always the litmus test for when the kids should go inside for the night.

Posted by Lincoln at 10:27 AM
August 05, 2005
Brilliant Flag Art

From Steve's BNL Blog, I saw this amazing work by Icaro Doria, a series of flags that subtly decry injustices (and ignorance) around the globe. Amazing, cool way to visually represent the data. I wonder if there's a plug-in for Excel to do nonstandard data graphing like this...

Posted by Lincoln at 08:49 AM
April 22, 2005
The Roulette Wheel

Since November, when one of our two local video stores closed (ahh, the vagaries of living in a town of 1500 people), we've subscribed to, A Canadian answer to Netflix.

Cost-wise, it works out to be a little cheaper than renting from a video store. And, you can usually keep a fairly steady flow of movies coming and going.

But the best part of Zip's service is the randomness of the titles that arrive. You can specify two titles at a time for "ASAP" delivery, but the rest come from your list of titles. Frances and I spent an evening going through and playing our own version of six degrees of separation, picking over 200 titles to put on the list. And they include movies that are everything from "I really should see this, but haven't bothered yet" titles, to "The terrible movie that I can't resist renting" titles. Zip has removed the barrier for renting ridiculous nostalgia titles like Summer Rental -- just for the hell of it.
Here's what we've seen since November. Notice the prediliction towards Buffy. Man, I wish we'd watched the show when it was running -- we both love it now:
Shark Tale
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 2 Disc 3
Shaun of the Dead
Matchstick Men
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 2 Disc 2
Project Greenlight's Stolen Summer
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 2 Disc 1
The Day After Tomorrow
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 1 Disc 3
The Triplets of Belleville (Les Triplettes de Belleville)
Shrek (Full Frame)
Escape From New York: Special Edition
Stuck On You
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 1 Disc 2
Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 1 Disc 1
Mona Lisa Smile
Stuck On You
Anger Management
Clifford's Really Big Movie
Something's Gotta Give
The Cooler
Arthur's Snow Day
DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story
Pieces Of April
Clifford: Clifford Saves The Day!
Max & Ruby's Christmas
Care Bears: Adventures in Care-a-lot
Honeymoon In Vegas
A Charlie Brown Christmas
V: The Final Battle Disc 1
Bulletproof Monk
Memphis Belle
Super Size Me
The Man With One Red Shoe
The Incredible Adventures Of Wallace & Gromit

Posted by Lincoln at 10:23 AM
November 29, 2004
Kidney Donations to Perfect Strangers

I heard a piece on the CBC yesterday about kidney donation. A woman in Toronto donated her kidney to a perfect stranger who was in renal failure. It was a painful story to hear, as they detailed the red tape they needed to wade through to make it a reality (doctors, psychologists, counselors) before the Canadian health system would let her donate.
By coincidence, I found this story this morning, at Craig Newmark's blog, how several people were using craigslist to find a kidney donor.
I'm amazed at the generosity of spirit that would enable someone to do this for a friend or relative, let alone a stranger.

Posted by Lincoln at 11:52 AM
September 11, 2004
Be still, beating heart...

...I'm trying mightily to keep from bidding on the opportunity to have a non-speaking, walk-on part on the "George Lopez" show.

No, I'm not. But apparently 44 other people are, and someone's willing to spend $1,000 to work for free, and be not-famous for a fleeting moment. Great idea on the part of the production company though. "Why pay extras, when we can SELL them the opportunity to do what others usually get paid fairly well for?"

Can anyone else hear the union lawyers' collective apoplexy?

Posted by Lincoln at 08:01 PM
August 27, 2004
In the distant past...

...somewhere B.C. (Before Children), I spent a lot of time playing Mechwarrior II online, through Kali. It was a wicked combination of online community and online gaming, long before there was, Gameranger or any of the other online services. Often frustrating, as pings would climb impossibly high on your 33.6kbps connection, and, being out in the boonies, the weather would even have an adverse effect on the quality of play (-40 C clear nights made for low pings, since the ISP's backbone was microwave tower).
We (that is, Joe Carlson and I) were playing together as part of a clan, Clan Wolverine in the Grand Council league. Our clan's motto?

< >< >We suck, but we're honorable.

Joe was more into the immersion within the clan and his warrior persona, which, of you know Joe, would take as a given. Consequently, he wrote back stories for both his online warrior and mine. I recently stumbled across a site that had both of these still online, and thought I shoudl grab them for posterity's sake. The writing's not bad, and I had no input into mine, but, then again, I didn't care that much. Continue reading for the full text of the short stories.

Zzorhn Ba'Atol

Parents: Krysatal #EM583923GP3 (Mother - Wolverine Elemental), Baker Jones (Father - Wolverine Scientist)

*Zzorhn is not a clone....In fact his father was the head scientist in charge the Neural centre and he also was responsible for creating Zzorhn's mother as an Elemental. He fell in love with her, and when she married his brother, he secretly used her genes and combined his own to create: Zzorhn BA(ker) (krys)ATAL

Height: 7'2"

Weight: 312 lbs

Hair Colour: Midnight Blue/Black

Eye colour: Green

Skin Colour: Golden tan

Training/Schooling: Wolverine Neurological Centre -- Training consists of discipline, honour, tactical procedures, computers, `mech fighting, armed and unarmed combat, mechanical and electrical systems, and `mech weaponry.

Favourite mechs: Elemental, Nova, Gargoyle, Warhammer, Mad Dog, Rifleman, Timber Wolf, and Summoner.

Favourite battle site: Maze

Favourite Class: C6


The year is 2799. A secret clan wolverine science experiment to create "genetically enhanced" mechwarriors is underway. Using the clan's best warrior's DNA, they begin to clone humans. The screening process is intense, any embryo found to have any type of defect is immediately terminated. 9 months later, baby Zzorhn is lifted out of the "artificial" womb. Given to screened parents, he is raised in a foster home for two years. After his second birthday, he is given back to the cloning centre for neurological implantation. Using experimental technology, they implant electronic sensors and micro-computers that are attached to the brain of the host. This procedure finished, the candidates are transported to a training facility to complete their training.

Training consisted of discipline, honour, tactical procedures, computers, `mech fighting, armed and unarmed combat, mechanical and electrical systems, and `mech weaponry. As the warriors become older and more skilled, the training becomes more intense.

Failure is not recognized, eventually to the point where death is the punishment for warriors who can't keep up to the training or fail in combat. Twenty-four years later, there are only four cadets left out of fifty-two.!

In 2824, the trial of annihilation was to be the highlight of the young mechwarriors career, as Zzorhn had achieved Star Commander by then. Eager to prove himself to his clan, he bided for his point to be present in the trial. He never made it to the field, however, as he was overtaken by a unknown assailant just before the battle....

Zzorhn's wingmates notice that he is not present at the trial, and are puzzled and angered by his disappearance, but not for long. They fall to Clan Wolf in the trial. Their deaths silence their questions.

A small dropship bound for Dustball, is impounded by inner sphere warriors allied to Clan Wolf. At first the ship is thought to be empty, but a second search reveals a comatose male in a hidden secret compartment. Seeing the immense man with neural implants on his face and clan Wolverine's logo tattooed on his chest, they immediately imprison Zzorhn in a maximum security facility.

For three and a half months, Zzorhn is treated worse than the inner sphere scum who share his fate. Instead of becoming defeated, however, he excels. Eventually, he gains the trust of some of the prison guards and is moved to the "kitchen wing". Instead of rotting in a small cell all day, Zzorhn is put to work washing floors and cleaning offices. This also gained Zzorhn access to the weight room and gym facilities.

One day, Zzorhn notices a holo-disk left on one of the office's desk. Looking around and noticing that the attending prison guard was busy reprimanding another prisoner, he slipped the disk into the desk-top computer. Zzorhn's eyes bugged out of his head, when he realized that the information that rolled across the screen was the codes that ran the entire prison's computer system. Looking up he saw that the guard was heading back his way. Zzorhn scanned the screen again and saw what he needed, the system wipeout command rolled across, just as the guard entered the room. Zzorhn memorised the code, and bumped the "kill" button to shut down the computer, seconds before the guard realized what had happened.

Back in his cell, Zzorhn activated his neural controls for the first time since his capture. Entering the remote scanner, he uploaded the shutdown command into the main CPU. Instantly the system shut down. Light went out, doors unlock, and prisoner identifications blink out. Zzorhn races out of the prison complex.

He made his way to a remote `mech base located near to the prison complex. When he attempted to grab a `mech to get away, he was noticed by security. In the struggle that ensued, Zzorhn killed 13 guards, and 1 inner sphere `mech warrior before they finally brought him down. Zzorhn suffered a broken arm, a fractured vertebra, 4 broken ribs, a punctured lung, and 5 needler rounds before he collapsed. To ensure that his escape would not happen again, the inner sphere guards shattered his skull by hitting him in the face 3 times with a crow bar.

The security at the detention centre is notified of Zzorhn's capture, but they refuse to deal with the crippled inmate. He is taken to a cryogenic plant to be frozen in order to transport him to his new home, the moon of Raspukta, otherwise known as the death world of the inner sphere. Broken and hope of all incoming help destroyed, Zzorhn endures the agony of cryogenic freeze. Every part of his body perfectly preserved, he awaits his trip to his final resting place. To ensure that their captor will not be frozen in luxury, the inner sphere scientists allow enough brain waves to register and process thought commands. Then, they hooked him up to a small video receiver programmed ONLY to receive inner sphere transmitions, to give him something to do on his 5 month non-light warp trip aboard a small transport pod.

The transport pod didn't make it to the moon. Instead, the inner sphere received a final message from the pod saying that the engines overheated and the vessel imploded. Assured that their Wolverine hostage was dead they closed the file.

356 years later, a small rescue beacon attracts the attention of an eighty ton war machine. As the huge warhammer closes to inspection range, it finds an inner sphere transponder code receiving inner sphere transmitter codes. Closer inspection reveals that the contents are that of an inner sphere convict. An search and rescue inspection team is sent into see what the pod contains. Imagine their surprise, when they find a member of their own clan, cryogenically frozen and crash landed on the new home planet of Clan Wolverine!!

Zzorhn is taken to a medical shelter and after many operations to clean him up, he is taken to a neural centre to have his implants fixed. After a week in recovery, he learns of the lack of leadership in Clan Wolverine, so he gathers support from his new found comrades. With their support, they begin to build the clan anew. With the co-operation of the newly founded Keshik, the clan continues to grow, however, without any Bloodline present in the new clan, there cannot be a true Khan.......Then Zzorhn hears of rumors to his father's existence.....


Bel'gar At'ahn

Parents: Baker Jones (Father - Wolverine Scientist), Krysatal #EM583923GP3 (Mother - Wolverine Elemental)

Height: 6'2"

Weight: 234 lbs

Hair Colour: Jet Black

Eye colour: Grey

Skin Colour: Pasty White

Training/Schooling: Wolverine Neurological Centre -- Training consists of discipline, honor, tactical procedures, computers, `mech fighting, armed and unarmed combat, mechanical and electrical systems, and `mech weaponry.

Favourite mechs: Dire Wolf, Kitfox.

Favourite battle site: Galuzza

Favourite Class: C1


The large figure brushed away the years of dust from the desk terminal. Suddenly the darkness parted as pulsing neauralogical implants jumped to life....

"Initiate terminal engagement," commanded the over-sized humanoid.

A whining sound, low and omionous, enveloped the cave, building in pitch, then silence. Then lights, that had not been activated for centuries flashed on, almost blinding the two humans standing in front of the computer terminal. The much smaller of the two humans flashed her steel gray eyes up at the huge man beside her. They both turned and looked at the surroundings.

"Look at that!" she exclaimed. Then pointed.....

....The cryogenic tank was melded into the wall. Long black hoses, hung as snakes climbing out of the silver-blue freezer. Storm read the computer console...

"system activation....October 19, 2823 15:32:36 GAT

deactivation of system....October 21, 2823 13:03:26 GAT

deactivation aborted....October 21, 2823 13:16:56 GAT

system activation.....October 21, 2823" 13:17:05 GAT"

"Hey, Zzorhn.....why would anyone turn off the cryo freeze, and then turn it right back on?", asked the golden blonde woman.

Then suddenly, both warriors froze as the sound of booted feet entered the room. A well-muscled young warrior snapped to attention, and flashed a salute,

"Hail, Zzorhn and Storm."

The pair raised their hands in salute, and as one, the trio lowered thier hands.

"Tingtang, how close are those ships?", asked Zzorhn.

"Uhhmm, well you might want to hurry up with whatever you're doing, `cause in about 20 minutes we'll be space bait!" exclaimed Tingtang.

Storm turned and asked, "What clan is it?"

"Not sure, Storm. What was the name of the freezer's occupant again?" he asked.


Back aboard the Wolverine dropship, Orion, Storm stared at the information flashing in front of her. She whistled in amazement, as she declared, "Zz is definitely going to have to see this."

To whoever finds this lab:

My name is Baker Jones. I am a neurological doctor at the Clan Wolverine Neurological Centre. We are under attack. Wolf infantry have broken what remained of our proud clan, and are destroying all Wolverine facilities. My brother is dead, and his wife, Krysatol Khan is dead. With no remains of our khan to even get a DNA sample to recreate a bloodline, the truth must be known. In the cryogenic freezer located in this lab, is the bloodline to the Khan family. I used DNA from Krysatol's own samples, and combined them with mine. I made 10 sibkins, then I simply added them to the program when they were developed. Of the 10, only 2 survived. When the annialation of Clan Wolverine was declared, I took it upon myself to subdue both warriors and separate them. The one I have left here, Belgarion Atreides Vaugahn, is a good warrior with a strong heart. The other one I sent to the planet of Dustball. If needs should arise, and this Khan is destroyed, find this warrior.....Zzorhn Baker Krysatol Vaughan. With 2 chances, perhaps one day Clan Wolverine will become feared again.......Transmission interupted!!....

Back aboard the Wolverine dropship, Orion, Storm stared at the information flashing in front of her. She uhistled in amazement, as she declared, "Zz is definitely going to have to see this."

"See what?" A commanding voice called from the pilot's station. "I'm a little busy getting us the hell out of here right now."

Storm put her hand on Ting's shoulder. "Go take over the ship. Zzorhn REALLY needs to see this. It changes everything."

Ting nodded, and sat down in the co-pilot's station.

"Zzorhn, give me the stick. Storm needs you over there," he murmured to Zzorhn. Frustration welled up in the leader's eyes, turning them to jade slits.


"Zzorhn, go! I've kicked more dropship ass than you ever will. I can handle it," Ting barked.

He got up and stalked over to the display Storm was hunched over. He glared over her shoulder at the screen.

"Storm, this better be good," Zzorhn fumed. "We don't have time'gar? What...SAVASHRI!" He swore. "Ting, how many out there?"

Ting glanced at the threat receiver. "I count just two left. One vaped, the other limping back home. I'm almost clear of this debris field, and then I can outrun the last two."

Zzorhn threw himself into the weapons station. "We can't leave. There's unfinished business down there -- and possibly another heir to the Wolverine Khan Bloodright." He frowned, momentarily unfamiliar with the weapons console. "Storm, take the pulse turrets onto manual. You shoot better than this hunk-of-junk fire control computer."

"Thanks, I think," Storm replied wryly, sitting down across from him at the three-dimensional hologram that tracked their opponents.

Storm asked, "Ting, you remember that Zulu-6 maneuver you pulled over La Grave?"

"Yeah, I still have the bruises to prove it. Strap yourselves in, boys and girls. Time for double-T to show y'all how we do this down south."

Five minutes later, two more fields of rubble circled the planetoid.

"Zz, one of those Freebirths got a distress signal off, sub-space. Whatever you need to do when we land, do it fast."

"Ok, Storm. Ting, you know if one of those cryo tansk can be pulled from the wall mount? I'd like to avoid taking the portable cryo-rejuve tank out to pull this guy in." Zzorhn threw his rebreather kit over his shoulder, a tenseness there he had never felt before. What was he worried about? The guy -- supposedly his brother -- was probably dead from that shutdown/startup cycling of the cryo tank. Few people survived that shock. But he felt a buzzing behind his neural implants. Something was happening here that his battle-hardened brain was unable -- or unwilling -- to accept.


"What?" he jerked himself out of his reverie.

"Stop dozing, old man. I said we can cut it out, but we'll need both the high-volume plasma torches, as well as a portable cryogenerator to hook up to the hoses and power supply of that beast."

"Got it. I'll get the gear to the drop doors, and you get us down there safe. Storm, meet me at the drop doors once you finish up here. Zzorhn started for the door. "Ting, keep the thrusters hot. We'll move as fast as we can to get this tank back to the ship, but we'll need you ready to go as soon as the drop doors close." Ting grunted his assent, and began plotting his drop trajectory on the navigational computer.

* * * * * * * * * * *

"I got the last of the wall mounts off here, Zz. I'm going to start running the cryo tubes to that generator." Storm dragged the cryogenerator over to the foot of the seemingly lifeless figure, suspended in thick, translucent coolant.

Posted by Lincoln at 09:24 AM
August 25, 2004
Tricks and Tips from Tradesfolk

Via Boingboing, a fascinating array of tricks of the trade for a plethora of trades. One that is patently wrong -- at least in Ontario -- is the paramedic quote:

When paramedics arrive at a car crash or similar accident, they very, very rarely announce any casualties at the scene—almost all deceased will be pronounced “dead on arrival” at the hospital. This is because it involves about 10 times more paperwork to announce someone dead right in situ than it does to say they expired in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

When I worked as a volunteer ambulance attendant on the Emo ambulance crew, we had strict guidelines that dictated when a patient could be determined to be dead at the scene (transection, decapitation, rigor mortis to name a few). Otherwise, we were required to transport and attempt to resuscitate the patient en route to the hospital.
However, DOAs do require a heavier paperwork load -- regardless of your region.

Posted by Lincoln at 10:17 PM
January 02, 2003
Woof, Woof, Woof

That means, one of my owners told me I must write something in here "NOW"...
Where have you heard that before?!

Hello, I'm a nearly 2 year old (February 6th) Border Collie who likes to go for walks, hunt for cars, and LOVES to chase a Frisbee.

Today, I met a friend in the park, when "Mommy" let me off the leash, and we played and played and played, and I couldn't hear her, when she was "YELLING AT THE TOP OF HER VOICE" for me to come. She had to go and get the car, and
come back to get me....OOPS....

I've been good ever since, but the day is not over yet ;-)



Posted by Lincoln at 10:13 PM
December 29, 2002
You know you're a hobbit when...'ve got your own Hobbit Name!

Went and saw Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers for the second time on Friday evening, this time with Frances (first time was with the crew of fellow employees at the Fort Frances Times). Thoroughly enjoyed it again. Frances did as well -- she was able to ask questions during the movie without getting the glares. :-)

Posted by Lincoln at 11:26 PM