Welcome to my blog...It's more of an occasional-random-quirky-thought blog or a check-out-this-cool-link blog than one of those this-is-what-i-had-for-breakfast-today-and-these-are-my-feelings-about-life blogs and it's definitely not one of those awful i'm-useful-and-have-important-things-to-say-and-i'm-contributing-to-society blogs. Enjoy.

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the official blog of
Dave Tompkins

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Saturday, September 30, 2006
Terrible miscueI saw the new trailer for Casino Royale (The new James Bond Movie). Most Bond fans know that this was actually the first Bond book that was written -- and I re-read the book this summer to refresh my memory. The bond in Royale book is quite different than the Bond we get to know later.

Now in the book, the game Bond plays against Le Chiffre was Baccarat... but in the new trailer we can see that it's been changed to Poker -- and more specifically Texas Hold 'em. I have very mixed emotions about this change, and will probably be disappointed, but I'll give my final judgement after I've seen the movie.

However, what I'm already disappointed about is an absolutely terrible miscue in a fight scene in the trailer. I captured it from the trailer and slowed it down... click here to see it. I mean come on people -- it's James Bond. Do a freakin' retake. I hope they didn't cut too many more corners like this.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Holy cow -- my friend Ben Thornton has finished his first novel!
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
So the company where I subscribe to get my music CDs for DJing finally launched their online service here in Canada. I've been very curious to see how it was going to work.

The prices are not great... It's $1.79 (CAD) per track and then it goes down if you pre-buy in bulk: $1.19 (25) $1.09 (100) $0.99 (250) $0.95 (500) $0.89 (1000).

The file format is proprietary -- it's known as MPE which has some interesting features:
a) It's not lossless, but it's 'supposed' to be better than 320kbps mp3
b) it allows me to burn a copy of the song to a CD for a maximum of 3 times
c) It embeds a watermark into the file (which also guarantees that it's not lossless) -- so if I export it to CD and/or convert to a .mp3 file -- they are supposed to be able to track it back to me if it ends up on the internet

I have to say I don't blame them for going with such a system -- especially because they release music to us often weeks before it hits the stores.

But needless to say I'm not thrilled -- I'm going to stick with a CD subscription -- but it will be interesting to search around their database and see what tracks they'll have that I want -- especially hard-to-find stuff and cool remixes.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Check it out... The UBC Grad Pub (Koerner's Pub) was just selected as the Best campus watering hole by the Georgia Straight.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
One fact of getting older is that all the "cool kids" are now actually having kids -- and some of the kids of the cool kids have their own baby blogs: Christopher & Maia, Christine, Ethan & Olivia and now newcomer Truman. Updates: There's also my Cousin Ezekiel Shiloh.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Weird Al is back! White & Nerdy is SOOO good -- and perfect timing... I played it at the Science Undergrad Society's "Entropy" party last night.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Just one more follow-up on the Fraternity pledge thing, because people keep asking me about it, and it's really quite over now -- it's so last week already.

Regarding what the guys were like... almost everyone I interacted with was pretty cool and laid back. The keen new pledges looked very young -- a few of them looked like they could still be in the cub scouts.

Now regarding the stereotypes -- and let me preface this last comment by saying that I've had many friends in the fraternity system over the years and I think the world of them -- but I have never seen the fraternity stereotype reinforced as strongly as I did by watching the two videos that the fraternity produced themselves. From their website:
Fraternities are very idealistic in nature. We strive to battle the stereotypes and misconceptions on a daily basis.
The first 'recruitment' video wasn't as bad -- it primarily consisted of homo-erotic images of half-naked drunk guys standing around and playing sports. But the second video for their 'beer races' made me cringe a little. They had a series of events involving more half-naked drunk guys competing for alpha male status in some pretty silly competitions -- but this video was also sprinkled with homophobic comments, ethnic slurs and a few sexist remarks.

Now, it wasn't that bad and was probably on par with the season premier of The Office last night (but without the sly sarcastic 'wink' at the camera). All I'm saying was that the videos were far from battling stereotypes and misconceptions.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
For those of you curious about my adventures in Fraternity land (and I know some of you were) it was really quite anticlimactic. I received a phone call from one of the brothers basically saying ''er... according to our bylaws, you're not an undergrad, so you can't pledge, and don't show up for the keg party, sorry dude''. I figured that since they took the trouble of phoning me, and clearly don't want me there, I won't bother showing up. It's a shame, because I was a shoe-in for their entrance scholarship, and based on their performance at the casino event on Monday, I could have easily payed for the annual fees with just a few nights of playing poker with them. Oh well... maybe when I get free tuition at age 65+ I'll register as an undergrad and try again -- but I guess by then I'll be more of a 'Blue' than a 'Frank the Tank'.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
This year is my last 'real' year of university so I'm trying to cross some things off the "university life to-do list" that I've never done.

For example, I've never missed a Welcome Back BBQ because I was too sick to attend -- I got that one out of the way last week.

I've also never rushed a fraternity. Since I'm a member of the BETA Lab, I figured I might as well rush the BETA fraternity. I have rush events tonight, Monday and the big keg party next week. I feel like Frank the Tank.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Well, my first day of school this semester is almost a week late -- I've been ugly sick for a week. I can't believe September is here already.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Mommy & Me Happy 60th Birthday Mommy!
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
I can't take credit for spotting this -- unfortunately it was pointed out to me before I had the chance -- a file photo of former Canadian PM Paul Martin was used in an Onion article.