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As we were driving up to Uptown Waterloo the other day, Erin looked ahead and spotted one of those bumper stickers with a two or three-letter code that people sometimes use to display their ancestral national pride. She saw the above sticker with the code “EVL”.

ERIN: “What country is represented by the code EVL?”

ME: “I have no idea.”

ERIN: “Is it the Kingdom of Evil? Because I think it’s the Kingdom of Evil!”

ME: “Maybe…”

Turns out, it was the town of Endicottville, New York. How evil.

And why is he so proud to receive just five T4 slips?

Fri, Sep
23
2016
Fri, Sep 23, 2016

Icarus Down Figurines!

It should be said that there may be spoilers for Icarus Down in this post. I'll try to keep plot details circumspect, but tread carefully if you don't want to be spoiled.

fullsizeoutput_7d41.jpegFor some additional publicity for Icarus Down, I invested in some rather neat swag. The pewter figures above measure around an inch high, and from left to right are Rachel, Simon, Eliza and the Elder. I had a whole batch of them molded by Valiant Enterprises and delivered to my door, and I will be giving these away at future events.

The idea came to me from comic book artist Shawn French, who alerted Erin and me to the company and an sculpter who worked for them. The sculpter could create any figurine you would care to describe, and send the "greens" to Valiant who would create molds off it and then run off any number of pewter figurines you'd want. Given the number of figures that Valiant could create quickly, the cost of the figurines amounted to just spare change per figure, making them very reasonable items to give out as swag. The molds could also be reused for future runs, should I run out.

Shawn put me in touch with the sculpter, Nicolas Genovese. I described to him the figures he wanted done and he set to work, producing the prototype "greens". Once I was satisfied with the results, he shipped them off to Valient, who created molds and did the molding, and the result is as you see above.

Hero Forge offers a similar service, where you can design your own figurines based on their templates, and they will render them in plastic, steel or bronze via a 3-D printer. However, these are a lot more expensive (they tend to sell single figurines, rather than in bulk), and with human artist Nicolas at the construction end of things, I could be sure of getting exactly the figure I wanted.

Thanks to Shawn, Nicolas and the good folks at Valiant Enterprises for giving me a piece of publicity swag that should stand out a little from the usual bookmarks and postcards. And come see me this weekend, next Tuesday or the following Saturday to get your own set of Icarus Down figurines.

Wed, Sep
21
2016
Wed, Sep 21, 2016

It's the Little Things that Count...

My latest column for The Kitchener Post is now out, and you can read it here.

A sample:

Don’t be afraid to ask for better service

In commuting, as with everything else, little things make a big difference.

Earlier this month, Metrolinx launched its expanded train service between Kitchener and Toronto’s Union Station.

Two new inbound trains were added in the morning, and two return trains were added in the afternoon. This combined with express buses to Bramalea every hour on weekdays mean more options for getting around the Greater Toronto Area.

But there was one frustration. One of the four inbound trains operates express between Bramalea and Union, chopping twelve minutes off of the travel time. It departs Kitchener station at 6:04 a.m.

Initially, Grand River Transit’s first 204 iXpress bus of the day was scheduled to arrive at Victoria and Weber at 6:06 a.m.

This was frustrating, because it meant that if I wanted to take the 6:04 train without driving to the station, I’d have to take a taxi.

I expressed my frustration through the customer comments form at Grand River Transit’s home page (www.grt.ca). To my surprise, a GRT representative called me back a couple of days later.

Mon, Sep
19
2016
Mon, Sep 19, 2016

Questions You Might Not Want Answered...

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Why would you want modelling clay to be gluten free?

Sat, Sep
17
2016
Sat, Sep 17, 2016

Dragonfly Into Butterfly

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While having dinner at Rosemarie and Michael’s place (they generously agreed to feed us whenever possible while we were without a kitchen), I noticed that a decorative plastic dragonfly made an interesting coloured shadow in the light. Tipping it up, I was surprised at how much that shadow looked like a butterfly. Are butterflies dragonflies in disguise?

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