Muse: Thank God, I’ve got shingles!

Never thought I’d be happy to get shingles, but when the rain started dripping through a tiny drapery-track hole in my ceiling, that was exactly what the Roof Doctor ordered. Home Ownership: curse this blessing.

Music to suit: The Beatles, ‘Fixing a Hole’
(Source: YouTube, mac3079b)

Muse: Leafs vs Habs NHL Season Opener

The NHL may have got a lot wrong this season but they got tomorrow’s Saturday Night season opener just right: Leafs vs Habs, a huge Original 6 team rivalry. Always a big deal at my house, since I’m a lifelong Leafs fan and my wife, Celine, is a devout Montreal Canadiens fan. And, as an added bonus this time around, Celine will finally have a chance to wear the 1959 Rocket Richard replica jersey I got her 4 months ago – since her maiden name is actually ‘Richard’, that birthday gift literally had her name written all over it.

Music to suit: Elton John, ‘Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting’
(Source: YouTube, just70sMusic)

Muse: Global Warming, Australia style

Feeling sorry for the folks in Australia: you know Global Warming is going to be a problem when … the Australian Weather Bureau has to add 2 new colours to their thermal maps to represent daily temperatures above 50 degrees Celsius. First, epic floods. Now, epic fires. Throw in a plague of locusts and that Global Warning is downright biblical.

Music to suit: AC/DC ‘Highway to Hell’
(Source: YouTube, facundo Prado)

Muse: Grand Theft Auto 5 a.m. Heist

I was looking forward to the release of the new Grand Theft Auto 5 video game this Spring … until the real-life bad guys showed up at 5 a.m. last Saturday and stole the car right off our driveway, while we slept. Wow! If you’ve got that kind of commitment and can handle that kind of pressure, why not just get a real job?

I hope the new Grand Theft Auto game comes out with different role-playing options: this time around, I’d rather play as a righteous undercover cop, living by his own rules of justice.

Music to suit: The Grateful Dead, ‘He’s Gone’
Source: YouTube, TheOtherrOne


On Feb. 7, one week after we settled with our insurance company, the police found our Rav 4 – half-way across the country in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. It was on a container ship bound for some overseas destination. Feels good to know that at least this time, crime didn’t pay.

On a related note, Rockstar Games unexpectedly announced a 6-month delay in the launch of Grand Theft Auto 5 … adding undercover cop role-playing functionality, no doubt …

A win-win for your Home Theatre: add indirect lighting behind your HDTV to improve esthetics and reduce eye strain

Wide shot, blank TV screen, indirect lighting

Every once in a while, you trip over a win-win idea so simple, intuitive and novel, it just demands a second look – maybe even some evangelical sharing. I experienced just such an idea earlier this year while watching TV at a friend’s house. He’s the earliest high-tech adopter I know, so it’s always interesting to see what he’s experimenting with when I visit. On this particular occasion, I was marvelling at how good his big-screen HDTV looked – almost angelic, like it was surrounded by a halo of soft, warm light … and that’s when it hit me [insert record scratch sound effect here]. His big-screen TV did actually have a halo of soft, warm light surrounding it, emanating from somewhere behind the TV. Wow, what a subtle, pleasant visual effect. And as I was soon to discover, also a great way to help reduce eye strain.

Here’s the approach I used to add the same great indirect lighting behind my 52″ LCD TV. You can decide for yourself whether this win-win idea is worth a second look for your own home theatre system. For esthetics alone, this idea was well worth the price of admission for me.

Wide shot, movie on screen

Improve esthetics and create some drama by adding ambient, indirect lighting behind your HDTV

I’ve always been a big fan of soft, warm incandescent (wire-filament generated) lighting. I find compact fluorescent lights and LED lights cold and harsh by comparison and tougher on the eyes. The same goes for indirect lighting: I prefer softer indirect light sources that eliminate all light glare to help reduce eye irritation. Accordingly, for my TV, I placed 3, 12-foot sections of incandescent Rope Light behind the TV to create a soft, warm indirect light source.

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