Written by dscanland

Don’t buy tires or service tires at Costco

My wife and I have been longtime Costco members and we probably don’t utilize our memberships quite as much as we could or should. Last summer we got new All-Season Tires from Costco because we just had winters. Now if you buy any set of tires from Costco it enables you to get your tires swapped out (winters for summers) etc for something like $50. It really is a good deal. So at the start of last winter I decided it was time to get the winters back on. I went up when they opened (10AM) and was turned away. I was told you had to be in line at 8AM to get an appointment. A few days later my wife was up early and headed to Costco and stood in line in the cold for 30 minutes. When they finally came out, they gave my wife a number and told her that she had to be back at 9AM to book her appointment. I took the car back at 9 and after standing in line for 50 minutes I was told they couldn’t do the tires until 2PM. I left the car there and took the train downtown to work. I returned at 5 and was greeted with another line-up of people picking up their vehicles. 30 minutes later all was done with a bill of $50. Then I headed home during rush hour.

Basically, 4 trips up to the NE Costco here in Calgary. 4×40 minutes per trip, 30+50+30 for line-up waits = 4.5 hours. Other shops charge about $100 for this service so basically we saved $50 and spent 4.5 hours working for it. Is my time worth $10 an hour? I think it’s worth much more than that.

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New MacBook Air on Order

After a long time of computer envy, my work has decided to get me a new laptop. My current MacBook Pro is almost 6 years old and still running great but after using my wife’s MacBook Air 11″ now and then, I have been excited about carrying half the weight and more processing power. Yes, I have the MacBook Air 13″ 1.8Ghz Intel Core i7 with 256GB of Flash Storage.

I know rumors are circulating about a new “MacBook Air Pro” that should come out this summer but in reality, the upgrade to the MacBook Air should suit me just fine. I don’t do a lot of heavy graphics work or video work for that matter. Most of my stuff is just web development. As long as the machine will run MySQL in the background I should be just fine.

Apparently, it will be three weeks before the machine arrives from our distributor and I can hardly wait.

Something to think about on the biggest shopping day of the year – Black Friday

Today, many people will shop. Yes, even in Canada, the famous Black Friday has trickled up here. It was only a matter of time of course, with all the online stores offering great deals. Time for a new computer? New TV? New phone, iPod, ….. The list goes on.

I just read a post on David Suzuki’s blog talking about how everything these days is disposable. EVERYTHING! Even cars for that matter. Nothing is made to last and its by design. Think about your cell phone. 2-3 years and your phone is obsolete and it costs less to replace than fix if something goes wrong. Cameras, computers… Read more →

Reading up on Responsive Web Design

I’ve been doing some research lately on Responsive Web Design. I’ve even gone so far as to buy A Book Apart’s new edition, Responsive Web Design to try and wrap my head around what it really  is and what is involved. (Plug for the book, it really helps to make sense of what people are trying to accomplish). For those not in the know like myself, it is the ability to come up with one basic web template for a site that is flexible to all the possible formats and functions that it may serve. For instance, if you are viewing a page in a browser that is 1280px by 1024px you would see a very wide page but things wouldn’t seem all stretched out. Everything would succeed in displaying in a useful manner. Alternatively, if you were browsing using an iPhone not in Landscape mode then you would end up with one column if that is what you so desired. An iPad would show 2-3 columns depending on if it was in landscape or portrait mode.  Read more →

A Glass of Wine vs A Bottle of Water

To my friends who enjoy a glass of wine…..

And those who don’t and are always seen with a bottle of water in their hand.

As Ben Franklin said:

In wine there is wisdom,
In beer there is freedom,
In water there is bacteria.

Ben Franklin

In a number of carefully controlled trials, scientists have demonstrated that if we drink one litre of water each day, at the end of the year we would have absorbed more than one kilo of E. Coli bacteria found in feces.

In other words, we are consuming 1 kilo of poop.

However, we do NOT run that risk when drinking wine & beer (or tequila, rum, whiskey or other liquor) because alcohol has to go through a purification process of boiling, filtering and/or fermenting.

Water = Poop
Wine = Health

Therefore, it’s better to drink wine and talk stupid, than to drink water and be full of shit.

I received this from a friend. I think it’s an invaluable piece of wisdom.

Apple’s Safari and their new tab system

I’m struggling with Apple’s new Safari on both iOS as well as Lion. My issue stems from the reload every time you go back to a previous tab. I’m a compulsive multitasker and love to have MANY tabs open at once. When I go back to a tab that I was using I:

1. Don’t want to have to wait to see information that was there just moments ago (entire page refresh)
2. Even more frustrating, I don’t want to have to refill a form, or renter something in a text box that was almost complete.
3. Don’t want to have to force a quit just because Safari is reloading a tab it should have had cached.

This has to change! I’m a good multitasker when given the opportunity. The new Safari is far from allowing me to do so.

I do like how Safari on my iPad has gone to the tabbed format rather than having to exit and choose a new window. But again, it’s not working the way it’s supposed to.

I’ve switched to Chrome for the time being. We’ll see how that ends up. Safari, I want you back!

I’m Back on the 4 Hour Body diet: Slow Carbs

Almost a year ago I found out about Tim Ferriss’ book called the 4 Hour Body. There is a lot of crazy stuff in here but one of the things that has helped many people is something Tim calls the Slow Carb diet.

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A little Apple hate happening right now…

Any who know me, know that I’m a devout Apple fanboy. With my iMac, iPad, MacBook Pro, iPhone, Apple TV, Airport, MobileMe etc I have spent a pretty penny on the company. Now I have had a few issues but lately they seem to be piling up. Is their quality assurance side of things not keeping up? Methinks this is the issue.

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Learn CSS Positioning in Ten Steps: position static relative absolute float

While working on a layout for a charity site I’m working on, I was working on some pretty fancy CSS layouts. Relative, Absolute, Fixed etc. I found this website to be an invaluable resource. If you have been playing with CSS positioning you know how many options there are.
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Apple has lost focus with iCloud – MobileMe members should get to upgrade first!

I’ve just managed to upgrade my original iPad as well as my iPhone 3GS. My iPad upgrade scared me with the unbeknownst error 3005. I wish Apple would translate their errors rather than have to look it up on some obscure blog. For those that don’t know, Error 3005 just means the servers are busy. Keep trying. You’ll get a line to Apple.

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