Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Very cool visual search engine

Today I came across RedZee, which gives you a visual representation of your search query results – not unlike Microsoft Vista's Flip 3D feature or Apple's Cover Flow for album artwork.

For example, if you type "Golden Retrievers," you'll be able to use your mouse to scroll through the golden retriever-related website snapshots by holding down the button and dragging left or right – so you can easily locate the site (or kind of site) you need thanks to this visual information. When you see a site you want, simply double-click it to bring up the page full-screen.

I haven't played around with RedZee for any great length to see how accurate the search results are – which, after all, the most important quality of a search engine – but I like what I've seen thus far. But if you happen to be searching for porn....don't bother, it doesn't work for "sex related sites"....I've been told.

Oh, and can anyone tell me what kind of animated, er, animal, greets you on the RedZee main page? Anyone?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Are you a fan of Algonquin Canoe Trips blog?

If you are on Facebook and enjoy readying my blog...why not join the Official Algonquin Canoe Trips fan page on Facebook!


  • RSS feeds
  • Updates posted directly to your news feed
  • A chance to meet other readers
  • The first 1000 to join will be eligible to win a cash prize of two....that right I said TWO DOLLARS!
You can check it out ...HERE!

Thanks to Simon for giving me the idea!

Fishing for Dummies...

When I was a kid living in Labrador, my Dad and I would often go fishing and some of my favorite childhood memories were from those times. It wasn't really about the fishing for me. I just liked to spend time with my Dad and loved that we would do things differently there. Like using my 1970's Montreal Expos hat to drink from....seriously, how many times in life do you get to drink out of your hat? We would pack sandwiches, talk and occasionally even catch fish.

I plan on doing lots of fishing on the trip to Booth lake with Lauren this summer and have borrowed Fishing for Dummies from the library in hopes of arming myself with as much fishing know how as possible. Gerry and I have done some fishing on our trips over the years, but never had any luck. I think a big reason for that is not fishing in the right places with the right lures. This is where I hope the book will help.

While searching for books I found the two "how-to" articles below.

Posted From HERE:

Filleting Your Fish

It takes a certain amount of touch to fillet a fish, but expending a little more effort at the cleaning stage is worth it because it means no bones at the eating stage. When you get the hang of filleting, you can zip through a pile of fish pretty quickly, and it gives you a sense of accomplishment that you can do something as well as the old-timers.

Don't worry too much if you don't get absolutely all the meat off the fish when you first start filleting. The idea at the beginning is to get some. If you skin the fish, as recommended, you do not have to scale it first. Obviously, if you are going to use the skin, scale it unless you like to eat scales. Figure 1 shows the basics of filleting a small fish (up to about 5 pounds).


Figure 1: Filleting a small fish.

1. Cut off the head just behind the gills.

2. Hold the fish by the tail. With the knife blade pointing away from you and across the body of the fish, begin to cut toward the head (or at least where the head used to be). Use the backbone to guide your knife.

3. To take the skin off, begin by holding the fillet by the tail, skin side down.

4. Hold the knife crosswise across the fillet and insert the knife between the skin and the flesh. Don't worry if you don't get this perfect at first.

5. While holding the skin, cut in the direction of where the head used to be.

When you have a larger fish, the tail-to-head method of filleting can be a little awkward. In this case opening the fish like a book is an effective method, as shown in Figure 2.


Figure 2: Try this technique for filleting larger fish.

Follow these steps (shown in Figure 2) to fillet a larger fish:

1. Make a deep cut just behind the gills (about halfway through the thickness of the fish).

2. Cut a slit a few inches in length along the top of the fish (the dorsal side).

3. Using the tip of the knife, separate the flesh from the bones, as illustrated. The fish should open up just like a book.

4. When completely open, finish cutting away the fillet by moving the knife along the "spine of the book."

Tying the Fisherman's Knot

To tie the Improved Clinch knot, as shown in Figure 1, follow these steps:


Figure 1: The Improved Clinch Knot.

1. Run the tag end of the line through the eye of the hook and pull 8–10 inches of line through the hook eye.

2. Wrap the tag end around the standing end for five wraps or turns.

3. Now pass the tag end through the loop next to the hook eye.

You have formed another loop that includes your wraps.

4. Pass the tag end through that loop.

5. Wet the loops with some saliva to lubricate the knot.

6. Hold the tag end and standing end in one hand and the bend of the hook in the other; then pull with steady pressure.

If you are not sure about safely holding the hook, grip it firmly but not super firmly with needle-nose pliers.

7. Tighten slowly.

8. Clip the tag end so that only 1/8-inch is left.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Video from Robinson Lake Site, CC 2007

I am still plugging away on the trip report on Gerry and my trip last year, but while doing so I stumbled across this video I shot the morning of our first day on Robinson.


Quick Update

It seems like an eternity since I last updated the blog and judging by the number of emails I have received about it, I guess I am not the only one. Thanks guys!

Christmas was AWESOME! We all had so much fun and the kids, who are all prime "Santa age", were so excited. Lauren's favorite gift was her pixel chick (...I have no idea what it is, but she is very happy with it), Jacob's main gift was goalie equipment and a net and Ethan loved all the star wars figures I found for him on eBay. It was Jack's first Christmas and even he had a stocking, but I put my foot down when Tanyia wanted to strap foam atlers on him. Tanyia and I agreed not to buy each other anything this year, but Tanyia surprised me by buying " the family" an Xbox 360....maybe I will let the kids use it before next Christmas. We spent the day at home and had dinner with my parents, sister and niece up in Uxbridge. It was the best holiday I have had in years!

I have booked the kid trip, that I affectionately call the Algonquin Brats Tour for July 8 - 10. We will be going to Booth Lake and spending some time doing some day trips and fishing. I have not had the chance to talk to Gerry about the dates, but I hope this works for him as well.

I have been using lately and really like it. I sold my old road bike on there recently and some other things that I had planned on putting on eBay, but found Craigslist much easier. No packaging, shipping or Paypal, just post it, answer email and arrange a time for them to come get it. Much easier.

Tanyia and I are going to buy a tent trailer in the spring. It will make going to visit her parent in Nova Scotia so much easier. In the past we have always rented a tent trailer and it is so expensive. In fact, with all the money we have spent renting trailers, we could have bought a decent used one! Having a trailer opens up lots more possibilities for camping in provincial parks and travel vacations. We are all excited at the possibilities.

I don't make resolutions, but I promise to update with more regularity in 2008.

Thanks for stopping by!