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.

click here to see where the name 'crapweasel' came from
:: crapweasel ::
the official blog of
Dave Tompkins

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Monday, December 28, 2009
Last Blog Post (on this blog)
Well, it's the end of an era... It's often quoted that over 95% of blogs are simply abandoned, and I'm really not surprised.

For me, it's an external pressure... Blogger (really it's Google) have decided to discontinue service for blogs that are hosted via FTP (like this one is) and so there are only a few months left.

My only option is to do some kind of migration... either to blogspot or to another host or to find a service that supports ftp... and quite frankly any solution involving migration is going to be a pain, and I might as well just make a clean break and start a new blog.

I still have lots to say, and my blog will continue in some form or another... possibly via facebook or through blogger again... maybe I'll do more fancier google sharing... who knows...

I'll probably pick back up again when my Ph.D. is all wrapped next summer and my own personal 'new era' begins. No matter what you'll be able to follow me at dTompkins.com.

I've been blogging here for over eight years (plus one more year in a previous incarnation). This is blog post number 542 of this one, and I've always tried to do at least one a month during that time. Whatever happens, I'll leave this blog here for prosperity.

The End (for now).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Last GSS Meeting
Way back in January, 1998 I attended my first meeting of the Graduate Student Society here at UBC... and I've been to most of them since. Tonight was my last official meeting as a member of Council. I've had many great times in that building and made a lot of great friends, but as everyone seems to be reminding me, it's time to move on ;)
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Git + GitHub
I've been having a lot of fun playing with Git, and have been dragging myself into the world of distributed source control. I feel like I've skipped an entire generation, as I still use -cough- -cough- SourceSafe on my local machine and never got around to using SVN or anything else. Right now, the primary focus is on my open source FBCMD project, but I plan to post a bunch of other great stuff on my main git hub page... but after my PhD.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
The Beginning of the End
I know my blog has become increasingly lame lately... and this trend will continue as this September I'll be returning to UBC to finish my PhD (i.e.: It's the beginning of the last year of my PhD). so I'll continue to try and do at least one post per month, but they'll probably be pretty lame... like this one.
Monday, August 03, 2009
Address Change
So last month I talked about changing my eMail address, but my physical address has changed too. If you still have my Thunderbird Cres. address, contact me for my new address, with a V5S postal code.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Google Apps migration + new email
It all started when my old Nokia phone died. I then picked up a new Google Android HTC Dream phone, which triggered a decision to migrate all of my email over to Google Apps which meant I had to change my Domain Host, and then I had to migrate all my other google applications (such as my Reader Account), and yada yada... it's mostly done now. So it will change a bunch of things you probably won't care about, but 2 things you need to know are:

1) My new primary email is: dave [@at@] dtompkins.com

although all my other existing email addresses should work for the foreseeable future. Note that it doesn't look like a GMail account, but that's the beauty of Google Apps.

2) If you follow my Shared Items on Google Reader, it's now been moved to here [rss]. This should be the first posting on the new list and the last posting on the old list.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Applying Sunscreen on TV
I was on CBC's "The National" tonight but not for doing anything more spectacular than applying sunscreen (around the 1:30 mark). I would say that this is probably more noteworthy because it's the first time I've posted a video to YouTube instead of just hosting it myself. It's even annotated.

Monday, May 25, 2009
UBC Teaching Award
At today's graduation ceremony I received a UBC Teaching Award... It's pretty prestigious so I just wanted to toot my own horn for a second and thank those who nominated me.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
1,000th Movie
Today I added the 1,000th Movie to my DVD Collection and yes, I know that's ridiculous. I wanted the 1,000th to be at least somewhat significant, so I timed it to be Slumdog Millionaire, but it was almost Howard The Duck :) I actually had a couple more meaningless milestones recently... including 25,000 songs in my Music Database and 3,000 ratings in my Movie Database.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Grow-Op Next Door
In something right out of a Douglas Copeland book, It turns out that the house next to my Parent's place is a grow-op! The very house that was next door when I was growing up. They wouldn't have even discovered it except that it caught on fire when the owner's weren't home. Here is a newspaper article and better yet, here's a video of my dad on the news.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
JBIG2 Exploit
I just wanted to comment on the unfortunate publicity JBIG2 has been getting as the source of the exploit in the Adobe Acrobat Readers... As someone who was there when JBIG2 was being created... I am not surprised AT ALL. The JBIG2 stream with the arithmetic coder is a delicate house of cards that's designed for an error free environment, and it takes a fair amount of sophistication to do error detection (and error recovery is nearly impossible). I would have bet big money that it wouldn't be hard to crash Adobe's implementation, but there's no excuse for Adobe to have a JBIG2 implementation that's so easily exploitable. It's all just a shame that this is the most publicity JBIG2 has ever received. -sigh-
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Torn Calf Muscle
For those of you wondering why I'm hobbling around on crutches, While playing volleyball I tore my calf muscle. Not fun. The worst part is I just got a Wii Fit Balance Board for xmas and now I won't be able to play on it for a while. Boo :(
Thursday, December 25, 2008
lol, Santa
So I had to laugh at what Santa included in my stocking: Just a Drop. Maybe this is to combat the popularity of Mr. Hankey. Merry Christmas everyone.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Wii for Mii
I just wanted to brag that I got a Wii for my biirthday. Let the good tiimes and iinjuries begin.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Shot Down by Google...
As my DVD Collection approaches 1000 Movies on DVD, I wanted to see how my collection compared to the New York Times Best 1000 Movies Ever Made. But I needed an automated way to cross-reference entries from the NYT list to the IMDb. For example, the NYT entry for The Earrings of Madame De... (1954) is in the IMDb as Madame de... (1953) -- they are close, but not exact. So my ultra-clever way to do this was to write an automated (perl) script to do a Google "I'm Feeling Lucky" search on the IMDb site, which would most likely return the correct movie. It was working great... nice and automated... until I started seeing 403 errors... then I tried a manual Google search and I was denied. My ip address was actually Google-blocked for violating the Google terms of reference. I had never heard of that before. I couldn't even do a regular Google search for an hour or two. How frustrating and embarrasing... I actually felt like I was in trouble. What made this even worse was that just last week I was making fun of another friend who was banned from Facebook for making too many wall posts.
Shot Down by Google
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Today's WTF? Moment
click for full screenshotI was checking out Google Webmaster Tools for the first time, and naturally I looked at my personal website (like you've never googled yourself) and I stumbled across a website linking to me that triggered a serious WTF? moment: http://e-meet.mobi/ has an emplyment link to me... click on the image to see the full screenshot.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Google Reader Feed
There's a lot of stuff I stumble upon that I don't think is "blog-worthy", so I've decided to start sharing them in Google Reader and make them public. (There is an RSS Feed if you prefer) It integrates into Facebook but not very well, and I'm hoping they can improve that interface.
Monday, October 06, 2008
I highly recommend you take the 5 minutes and give this Eyeballing Game: a decent try... the most interesting part is at the end to see where you lie in the distribution.
Monday, September 22, 2008
So I just heard that Robert J. Sawyer's novel Flashforward is going to be made into a a TV Series. It looks promosing, and I'm very excited. In the book there's a (female) character named Dr. Tompkins who works in Vancouver... hopefully that character will make it into the TV show :)
Friday, September 12, 2008
Nature Boy
I just want to send a big shout-out and congratulations to my friend Christopher Keith who was one of BrandWeek's Marketers of the Year for his work on Herbal Essences. You can read a scan of the article here (or read it online here) and see a video clip here. Way to go, CK!