Old Vinyl

On Saturday went up to Apollo Records on Austin in Coquitlam. They were having their semi-annual “lets sell everything in the store” sale. There wasn’t much in the CD bins. My friend was bound and determined to go through them all so I looked through the LP bins. Unbelievable! Everything there was for $1.00. After 45 minutes there was the grand total of $17 spent. That is less than the cost of a new CD. Do you remember?

Leon Russell and the Shelter People
Al Stewart – Time Passages
The Mason Williams Phonograph Record
The Lilac Time – Paradise Circus * been looking for that one for years
Elvin Bishop
Dan Reed Network – Slam * another rarity
Jeff Healy Band – See the Light
and 10 more – Genesis, Elvis Costello, Lou Reed, The Grapes of Wrath….

And at this point no noticeable scratches. You seem to appreciate the music when you have to get up every 20 minutes to either change the LP or turn it over.

The odd bits

Came across a real neat comic book program. www.plasq.com Comic Life. It is so simple and the results are pretty neat. I sent a quick creation to my kids and they were impressed. Mac only though.

Darren Barefoot
had a very interesting post about blogs being defined as advertising, campaign that is. What a wonderful world we live in huh.

With all this recent rain you have to think of the positives with all the water we get. Of course everything is green and we tend to have mild weather because of it. The water out of the tap is usually as good as what you buy in a bottle (there could be some disagreement here) and much cheaper. And those that travel will notice the lack of soap suds in the shower in most other places. Living here does give rise to fewer sundances though.

Fountain pens. I have been writing with a fountain pen occasionally for the last 15 years. The people in a previous workplace bought me a beautiful Waterman Lemans which is just a joy to write with. So I happened upon the Vancouver Pen Company on Hastings across from the SFU campus which has a fantastic selection of pens. They have a new Lamy graphite fountain pen (comes in 4 colours including black) and a variety of nibs that are just a pleasure to use. Writing is effortless and isn’t as fast as typing but it gives you a chance to use that right side of the brain when “drawing” each character. You really can’t go wrong with one of these. Inks are for another post.

What you loose going faster

For the past few months I have purposely been slowing down on my drive to work. You know you are going slow when EVERBODY is passing you. It seems one begins to notice the environment and world around them much more. The people in the cars passing become interesting. The trees and buildings on the roadways seem to become much more real. When you begin to focus on the world around you, going faster isn’t important. When you focus on yourself…speed becomes a priority.

It works!

Our SMS/e-mail messaging product (MemberNote) is really taking off. I just noticed that our transaction counts for the month have climbed. It would seem that people will use their cards more if they feel secure. The other interesting comment from users is they love the messages because now if they loose their slips they still have a record. Taking it one step farther think of the paper that could be saved if you didn’t need that slip.

What is also interesting in the feedback are the ideas for added features.
– balances. What if you could push a message, for example just call a number, and have a text message with you current balance. We had thought about this but didn’t realize people REALLY want this.
– payroll deposits. Checking with the staff they say on certain paydays there are a lot of calls asking if their paycheques have been deposited. Why not just get noticed by SMS when it was deposited?
– postive option. It is something that larger institutions demand, the ability to accept any items that are attempting to clear their accounts. They want the final say. It is more a risk management thing to prevent fraud. But what if that was available to anyone when they wrote a cheque? You could be notified of the item and asked to authenticate it within a certain time frame with a unique passcode.

At this years meeting of all the credit unions in the province there were a number of credit unions asking about MemberNote. I work for one of the smallest credit unions in the province so having these humongous ones take notice of something like this is pretty nice. Hopefully others can get involved in using something like this. More than anything it needs to be a vehicle for creating what people want with technology they have.

The Vancouver Sun had a colour banner across the business section on Wednesday April 13th. That was a huge surprise. We were expecting nothing to be picked up by the press and if anything two small sentences on page 83 lower left hand corner.

To anyone with a Mac, the Tiger upgrade is well worth it. Spotlight finds everything you lost.

EOBR – end of business report

May 1st – Labour Day

Well not here in North America, in Europe. I remember getting this day off when working over there. The interesting part was that it was only for half of the day, the afternoon. You couldn’t get the morning off. It always seemed strange. This was the day those red labour flags were noticeable.

April is gone and May is upon us. Am listening to the Crooked Fingers “Dignity and Shame” CD. Excellent melodies, especially the piano playing. It isn’t classic rock and could definied more along the Indpendent rock them.

Mac OS 10.4 Tiger is installed and working well. When I bought the system disk yesterday in Vancouver the computer shop had two tigers (real big tigers) at the back of the store for promotion. These were definitley alive and well. The salesperson asked if I wanted my picture taken with these large cats. Given my inability to have any relationships with cats I declined. Over the years cats have not liked me, at all, and the feeling is mutal. It seemed very probable that these two large tigers might possibly clue into my lack of a having any type of bond with cats and take it upon themselves to show me the error of my ways. Thanks but it was too close to lunchtime.