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Saturday, December 31, 2005
  iPod Quest Update...

An update on my FreePay iPod experience... All good news :)

1) Pete's Progress: Pete reached his 5 completed referrals in the week before Christmas, and clicked forward for confirmation, which apparently takes 7-10 days... I haven't heard back from him yet, but will post the info here.

2) The Galleria Program: That's the trial program that I've suggested people sign-up for... I rec'd the package in the mail, about a week or so after signing up, it's dated Dec 16th (so I have until Jan 16th to cancel and not get charged) and the program really is a waste of time, but should be a cinch to cancel, I know Pete cancelled his without a problem, just called them up. Anyway, the way the program works is you pay $17.95/mo, and this allows you to buy $25 gift cards for a bunch of different retailers (Winners, Roots, etc...), and at the END OF THE MONTH (assuming you're still a member and haven't cancelled), you get $5 back for each card you've bought... So, if you actually bought 4 of these things per month, it would cost you:

Monthly Cost of Galleria Membership: $17.95
Cost of Gift Cards: $25 x 4 = $100
End of Month Rebate: $5 x 4 = -$20
Result: $97.95

So for all the hassle of having to CALL to order these things, and assuming they send you back a cheque for the $20, having to take the time to deposit that in the bank, you save a measly $2.05! Haha, what a joke! To make this worth your while, you'd have to be buying pretty substantial quantities of these gift cards, and yet there are limits - 10 gift cards per retailer, per family member... So if you *KNEW* you wanted to buy a Roots Leather jacket or something that was $300, you could go and buy 10 gift cards ($250), and get your $50 back, and save $50 on the jacket, less your monthly free of $17.95, so again, even in that extreme scenario you still only end up saving $32.05... Big deal! You could probably easily save that just by waiting for the item to go on sale, or go to a factory outlet or something...

So to sum it up, the Galleria program is a joke, and absolutely worth cancelling... Is it worth the hassle of signing up for to get a $400 iPod, YES!

One last note though, that you only get your $5/card back at the end of the month, if you're still a member, so don't try buying a bunch of gift cards during your free trial month and then think you can cancel, you won't get your $5 credits! Ha!

Damn I'm getting excited about getting my iPod, I just know it will be a whole new way for me to experience music. My car has an audio-in port, so I'll be able to jack it in there, I'll probably just keep it in my coat pocket in winter so I can listen all the time... 30GB of music, that's a rediculous amount, I'm actually going to start compiling all the MP3's that I've burned to CD over the last few years into a massive folder on my HD so I can transfer them over once I get it... I was over at my friend Sheila's place, and she has an iPod, and a cute Altec Lansing cradle w/ speakers, so she can pop it in while she's in the kitchen, sounds great...

Want to be the 5th referral? Click My Referral Link HERE... ->
Sunday, December 25, 2005
  Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays

We've just finished opening all our presents, and having breakfast, and it's not even 8:00am yet! Jack is playing Pharaoh, new PC game he got, and Henry and George are playing Chronicles of Narnia on the XBOX.

We had a nice dinner last night with Arlene's Mom and Dad and Lisa & DJ, then my parents came by for a visit as well.

The highlight of the night was playing with a new Karaoke machine that the kids got!
Friday, December 23, 2005
  Sober Santa Flash Game
Cute little time waster, very festive... involves alcohol, which makes it a must see...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005
  mininova : Search
MiniNova is pretty much the best BitTorrent Tracking site out there at the moment... It gets lots of new content with lots of seeds... One of the other nice features is it's search and browsing functionality is all query-string based, so you can book mark your favorite pages / searches, including sorting (I like to sort by Seeds to see what's most popular, what will download the fastest...) so if you want some good movies, and you're not sure what's recently been released, just search on DVDRip XVID, or throw in the name of one of the release groups (like DiaMOND), and you get this:

Then just click the little green down arrow icon and you're downloading movies... :)
Monday, December 19, 2005
  Second City - Really Funny!
We have our company Christmas party on Friday night, dinner at Wayne Gretzky's, which was actually very good... I'd always figured this place was more a lunch joint, or a place to hit after work for a pint or two, but dinner was very good, after this was walked through to Second City for their current production RELOADED(which moved across to the East side of Peter St., so it's actually attached to Wayne Gretzky's, and the show was absolutely hillarious! I'm sure it didn't hurt that we were all a wee bit liquored up by this point, but it was great, I'm adding it to my "Things I Love To Do" list because I'd like to see them more often... Outstanding, Four Stars, Thoroughly recommended... Need I say more??

The weekend continued in good form with my beloved Newcastle recording a televised 4-2 victory of West Ham, Michael Owen netting his first hat trick, got some Christmas shopping done, and then had my family Christmas party on Sunday, had a nice visit with my family, a great dinner & cake, and got some nice gifts!
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
  Happy Birthday to ME!, December 13th

Cool eh? I found a picture of a Birthday Cake w/ 33 on it... Ain't Google a wonderful invention?

Newcastle gave me a Birthday present this weekend by beating Arsenal 1-0, thanks to a goal by Nobby Solano, who, coincedentally celebrates HIS birthday Yesterday! (the 12th)

Friday, December 09, 2005
  I'm Expanding... Not just my waist...
I've been puzzling over the best way to manage my blog... I realize that my 3 main passions:


Don't all appeal to everyone (I can't understand why...), so I'm experimenting with a possible solution... I've created 3 new blogs where I'll post the appropriate topics, that way, folks who are just interesting on those areas can bookmark that blog, subscribe to it's RSS feed, whatever...

I was lucky enough to find decent enough URL's:

Beer -
Technology -
Football -

More generic stuff, personal stuff, general thoughts, time wasters, whatever, will continue to be posted here...

When I have a chance I'll be customizing the templates and linking them all together, etc...

Thanks for reading!
Thursday, December 08, 2005
  New 2006 Manchester United Sponsor
  BRUTE! Propaganda - The Art of Aidan Hughes
This is a cool site, a nice little diversion / time waster...

Aidan Hughes, is best known for his album art work for the Alternative / Industrial band KMFDM, as it turns out, he's got a decent web site to showcase his work...


  The Ontario Beer Hunter
What a cool little site... It uses Google Map as a framework and adds placemarkers for all LCBO, Beer Store, Wine Racks & Independent Beer Stores in Ontario, and each placemarker is clickable and includes the store hours!

Very Cool, and useful site!
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
  Adsense Revenues...?
Crazy... I've already made $250,000 in Ad revenues...

Ok, just kidding! Ha ha! But seriously, it appears that I'm making around 25-30 cents per click-through on the Google Adsense ads... Bizarre isn't it?? So if you see anything remotely interesting in the little ad above, please, explore, click-away!
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
  iPod Quest...

Yes, that's right... The wicked cool Black 30GB iPod that I'm getting for FREE can store 7,500 songs, or 75 hours of Video... Video? iPods can play video? Yes, sir! Check out the pictures below... This sucker is only 11 millimetres thick! It shows videos, pictures and of course plays MP3's...

I thought I should find out a little more about this gadget that I'm soon to own... - $379USD!!!

So anyhow, why are you waiting? Quit thinking of dumb excuses why you SHOULDN'T do this, and click here and get a free one for yourself! As far as worry about 'bothering' people to sign-up, you're just letting them in on a really cool deal, if you found a store that was selling iPods for $50, wouldn't you tell someone? Of course you would, so why is this any different???

I've got 3 of my 5 required referrals as of now, 2 more to go, then if you've signed-up and need some more peeps, let me know and I'll add you referral link here on the blog to help you get your 5!

  Korn - See You On The Other Side

Korn released their latest album today... On first listen I'm already loving it... It is most certainly Korn, hard, heavy, angry, but there is a progression, and I like it!

They have introduced some electronic/industrial elements to the sound, and the guitars are somewhat crunchier, almost a ministry/NIN-like sound to some of the riffs...

Official Korn Web Site:
  Wine Review - Casillero del Diablo 2004 Shiraz
Popped into the LCBO at Queen Quay on Friday, among other things, picked up a bottle of Casillero del Diablo's 2004 Shiraz... I was thinking since I've been enjoying Auzzie Shiraz so much, why not try a Shiraz from another county... I figure, hey Chile has good wine, and it's pretty warm there... Worth a shot... Anyhow, the label grabbed me, and check out the mini-history:

It all started in the year 1883 when Don Melchor de Concha y Toro, founder
of the Winery, brought back to Chile the most exclusive grape vines from the
Bordeaux region of France.

These varieties developed extraordinarily well in the fertile Maipo Valley
soil achieving unexpectedly good results. Aware of just how good his wine was,
Don Melchor de Concha y Toro decided to set some of the best wines aside for his
family's circle.

In an area, set apart specifically, these wines were kept at the end of his
magnificent cellar to assure constant conditions of temperature and

Don Melchor de Concha y Toro, realized after a while that these wines were
mysteriously disappearing.

After thinking the situation through he came to the conclusion that local
people were stealing his wines.

Knowing how superstitious locals were, he decided to say that the Devil
lived in this cellar.

The story proved his word and had good results, fear discouraged thieves
and never again did one bottle disappear. His plan had worked and this
simple rumor began to turn into a Legend.

Local people became convinced that the Devil did actually live there, there
were even those who said they had seen him.

Now, more than 100 years later, the Legend that Don Melchor de Concha y
Toro created is still alive within these walls. This is how the name of
this cellar came about and since has been adopted by perhaps Chile's most famous
win around the world. Casillero del Diablo, the Devil's Cellar.

Now that you've experienced the mystery behind the Legend, its your turn to spread the rumor around the world.

Anyhow, it is a DAMN good Shiraz, myself and my guests on Friday night enjoyed it thoroughly... I've picked up another bottle, and look forward to trying their Cabernet and other varietals...

Also, check out their web site, it's fantastic!
Monday, December 05, 2005
  Brush with Fame!

I saw Mark Hebscher, local sports broadcaster today at Yueh's... (Yueh Tung Restaurant)... Cool...

I had the Chili Chicken on Rice w/ Canadian Brocolli, which I always have... It was awesome... As it always was... Browsed through a copy of Dose, excellent local newspaper, perfect for a read while on the subway or having lunch...
  Family Trip Update! It's Jamaica Mon!
I guess about a week and a half ago, we finally were able to rebook our family vacation... again! So a quick recap:

- Booked for Cancun
- Wilma destroyed resort
- Cancelled.
- Thought we'd Booked Cuba, No availability, no go
- Booked Dominican
- Malaria Outbreak, Flight Cancellation, 2 1/2 Bus Ride... Cancelled.

So, now we're booked into the FDR Pebbles Resort in Runaway Bay, Jamaica!

We're very excited, it should be an awesome holiday, we're going from January 18th-25th...

Our Travel Agent, Julie from iTravel2000, has been awesome throughout, if you need someone to help, she's superb, none of the hassles have been caused by her or iTravel, so I'd definitely recommend them!

Another great resource through this has been the Trip Advisor web site, great forums, pictures, reviews, etc...
  Touring the Angel - Bootlegs, Videos and more - Indigo's Depeche Mode Forum

Did you miss the Depeche Mode concert?

Wanna hear it?

Here's a link to a forum with direct HTTP download links for all the songs at the Toronto show, also some other bootlegs, audio only at this point...

Sunday, December 04, 2005
  Weekend EPL Results - Comments

Had friends over on Friday night, so I never got around to making my predictions this weekend. You know what though, it's a good thing... I definitely would have gotten AT LEAST 3 of them wrong... I would have picked Wigan over Liverpool, Newcastle over Villa, and most certainly Arsenal over Bolton, so I probably would have lost...

An Alan Shearer Penalty got Newcastle a point versus Villa on Saturday. Many had predicted that if Aston Villa had of beaten Newcastle that Souness would have been sacked.

I'm glad that didn't happen. I was not a big fan of Souness before he arrived at Newcastle, in fact, I pretty much hated him. A big part of that was due to a book I had read, Peter Beardsley's Auto-biography. In it, he describes how it was more or less kicked out of Liverpool by Souness at the time, and how Souness handled it, he really seemed as an ass, and subsequently he's fallen out with quite a few players, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, David Dunn...

Anyhow, since he's been at Newcastle, I've heard a number of interviews, and it seems like he's a very sensible guy. I can see that he's certainly a proud man, and I don't think he's the type of manager to take sh*t from a player. I think he's mellowed quite a bit with age, and gained some wisdom in his experience managing so many big clubs... While I'm not convinced about his ability to motivate the team, based both on results from last year and this year, and I also sometimes question his tactics, I think he has improved on the squad, he's built "HIS" team, and I think you need to give a manager time to allow them to play together... Honestly, I don't think he's been able to field his strongest 11 ONCE this season... And if he has, he most certainly hasn't fielded them in back-to-back games. We've had a TON of injuries, it's been rediculous actually, and while the situation is getting somewhat better, it's still certainly not totally resolved.

I'd like to see Souness finish the calendar year AT LEAST... If we're still at the bottom of the table by Christmas, -AND- if there is a better manager banging at the door for a shot at the job, then fine, sack him, give the new manager the January transfer window to make a few changes, and that's that...

Friday, December 02, 2005
  Simply AMAZING Beer Cocktail...
What is a Beer Cocktail? Well it's sort of like a remix... You take a beer that you like, and add a new ingredient to make it a little different, or mix 2 or more beers together to create something new... Why not? Why let the Brewmasters have all the fun!

Some of my favorites:

Hoegarden & Ribena: Makes a very tasty Black Currant Weisse Beer!
Black Steam: Steamwhistle & Guinness, the Pilsner flavor still comes through!
Snake Bite / Black Velvet: Guinness & Strongbow

But one in particular that has just KNOCKED ME OUT! Was suggested by Peter from Esprit Agencies, a liquor importer...

Rogue Chocolate Stout + Mort Subite Framboise: It is absolutely stunning, delicious and sweet like a Black Forest Cake! Amazing, you simply MUST try it... If you're lucky you should be able to find some of the Rogue Chocolate Stout at the LCBO (750ml bottle!), it was part of the Autumn release, and the Framboise is fairly easy to get... Use a regular pint glass, or a large Red Wine style glass... Pour the Framboise in first, straight down the middle, perhaps 3-4 oz, you should get a nice 1" foamy head. Stop, stick your nose in the glass, take a deep inhale... Oh baby, delicious raspberry aroma! Now, tilt the glass and pour in the Chocolate! Let is slip in under the Raspberry head and mix with the Framboise, use about double the amount of the framboise, say 8 oz or so... Now, take a nice deep drink (sipping is for sissies!), hold it in your mouth, let it envelope your tongue, savor the rich, complex flavors, fruit, coffee, roast, chocolate... Then swallow... Amazing... Pair it with a rich chocolate dessert for an absolutely sinful delight!

Don't substitute a Guinness for the Rogue, it's a totally different type of Stout, you need to use a sweetish Stout to get the desired effect!

Last note: If, for some reason, you're unable to create this, a decent substitute, which doesn't require any mixing is Black Oak's Double Chocolate Cherry Stout, which is available at C'est What?.

Just checking out C'est What?'s current draft list, and there's some decent opportunity for some fun mixing there... How about the Tankhouse Pale Ale and Church Key's Holy Smoke?, or St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout and Wildberry Mead?

For more fun... Check these links:
  A little renovating...
I've made a few little changes to the blog...

1) Google Adsense - This is google's advertising program, see that banner appearing just under the Title... Yeah, that's a Google ad... I get paid-per-click... Don't worry, I don't expect to get rich or anything, this blog is just about experimenting with this new medium, it's fun to play around and see how these things work...

2) Site Meter - I've added a Site Meter, so it'll track the hits I get, I think probably about 2 or 3 people read my blog... Hahaha...
Thursday, December 01, 2005
  Free iPod? You must be joking!
If I got an email from just anybody claiming that I could get a free iPod, I'd be hitting delete faster than a fat kid eats cake... However, my buddy Pete sent me the email, it was clearly not a virus, and I've followed-up on it and it looks totally legit!

Essentially this company Gratis Internet, is a marketing company, who provides customer acquisition services to companies offering various services...

Anyhow, if you want your free iPOD, it's 3 easy steps:

1) Click the freePay link below, choose the iPOD you want, and provide your address for shipping.

2) Sign-up for one of the Trial Offers, I chose the Canadian Tire program, you pay $1 to sign-up, and as long as you cancel at the end of 30-days you may nothing more.

3) Refer 5 friends to sign-up for the Trial Offer, and whammo! You get your iPOD...

Any intelligent person would be sceptical, I certainly was, but check out some of the press reports -,1272,68003,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_4

Once you're registered on the freepay site, you can check your status online, see how many referrals you've got... Once I've got my 5 people, if you've signed-up and are struggling to get your 5, let me know and I'll put your Referral Link up here on the blog and help you out! Just image, a 30GB iPOD, in the 7 or 8 years that I've been collecting MP3's, I've amassed about 70 CD's full of MP3's, that's about 49GB... Give it a shot, post your comments!!!
A personal blog by John Walter.

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I think a lot. Some people say I think too much... However, I don't want to be seen as being aloof or pretentious, it's just that I really enjoy philosophical questions and deep thoughts. That's not to say that I don't find pleasure in more down-to-earth or trivial things, like beer and soccer :) I'm happily married with 3 wonderful children. I'm a partner in a technology services company based in Toronto. Myers Briggs says I'm an ENTJ

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