Krispy Kreme S’mores Against Crotch Rot

Two of the highlights from the BBQ we had at our place last night (besides the pleasure of having our awesome friends over)…

Krispy Kreme  S'mores

Ryan made the most awesome Krispy Kreme s’mores made with donuts, marshmallows and peanut butter cups (full instructions on how to make them yourself here...)

After stuffing ourselves with those, we then played the awesome Cards Against Humanity for 4 hours, which is an epic game for horrible people.

Crotch Rot

Gabe Gets Unstitched

Sara and I dropped by the “Wigen man cave” last night to hang out with everyone, do a little grilling and partake in the usual madness and fun that always seems to occur there.

We got to catch up with friends who we haven’t seen for a while and also got to hear Heather’s uncle Paul and Gabe recount the tale of how Gabe managed to get attacked by an evil blue kayak and ended up with some nice stitches above his eye.

It should come as no surprise that when things got a little quiet for a few minutes in the “man cave” last night we decided it would be a splendid idea to remove them for him.

The only problem was that Marisa got to do the removing. I wonder why they wouldn’t let me?? :P

I really wanted to remove those stitches – LOL

I want to remove the stitches

Picture taken by Heather of me pretending to pout.

Some Pics From Our 1st Anniversary Dinner

I should have posted these last week but better late than never right?

I just want to say thank you to all of our friends who turned out for the dinner which was held on the 18th of June (the night before our anniversary) at Sabor A Mexico. It was a wonderful meal, with amazing company and I really can’t thank everyone enough for turning up, for their gifts and for being our friends. It means so much to Sara and I :)

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Birthday 2010: Bring On The Zimmer Frame

Sara and Paul at dinnerI turned 32 of Saturday. I guess I’m officially ancient now.

Contrary to popular belief, all my hair hasn’t immediately turned gray (it already was) and I haven’t instantly become cranky(er) and incapable of going to the bathroom by myself. I was a cranky git prior to Saturday ;)

My amazing wife Sara organized a great evening out for myself and bunch of our close friends which included a great Thai meal and my favorite pass time, shooting pool.

I want to thank everyone who turned out for the evening. Gabe, Heather, Marissa, Evo, Ryan, Frank, Cheryl, Ashley, TJ and my wonderful wife Sara, thank you guys. It was an amazing evening and you all made it possible.

Also, I want to thank everyone who couldn’t be there but sent wishes, cards, emails or messaged on Facebook and Twitter. You guys rock.

Finally, I again want to thank Sara for making it such an amazing weekend and for the wonderful gifts, not least of which is Call Of Duty: Black Ops, which Sara pre-ordered for me. You know me so well :)

Below are some of the pictures taken during our night out. I’ll add more to the gallery as folks send them to me :)

Only Your Offline Social Network Online?

crowd of peopleWhile Sara and I were sitting on the couch last night she expressed disappointment that she couldn’t play Nintendo DS games online with her daughter while she was at her ex’s house. At the time we didn’t know about Nintendo Wifi Connection but it did get us thinking about technologies like Bump on the iPhone and Android and how you could build a new social network that was safe, private and much more intimate than the free for all, spam ridden experience that has become the hall mark of most networks.

The concept is actually remarkably simple, so simple that I wouldn’t be surprised if someone points out the existence of one in the comments, although my (limited) research hasn’t unearthed one yet.

One of the biggest problems with social networks is that it doesn’t take long before the spammers, marketers, gurus and porn bots to take over. Once you join it’s only a matter of time before you’re receiving unsolicited friends requests from obscure brands and the gurus keep trying to sell you schemes to get 10,000 followers in a day while they’ve only got a couple of hundred themselves.

The other problem with social networks is the stalking factor. We start to lose touch of what a friend is.

We see somebody we don’t know on the network, and start following them. Pretty soon we’re following hundreds of people who don’t even know we exist and there is no real connection.

I’m connected to some marketer in the butt hole of nowhere but is he really my “friend” just because Facebooks says so?

When everybody and their dog is your “friend” online, the word begins to lose relevance in your offline life.

While we’re busy stalking all these pseudo friends we’re also losing track of our real life friends. Sure we talk to them online, but we’re spending vast amounts of time digesting endless tweets about bowel movements and what some transvestite 4000 miles away had for breakfast, instead of actually investing real time in our real relationships.

How about a network where the only people you can talk to (and that can talk to you) are people you’ve met in real life?

How about a network where the only way to become friends with somebody was by the explicit pairing of two devices.

As an example, something like Bump contact sharing on the iPhone except available on multiple devices such as Nintendo DS etc.

Only after a bump had been performed (actually just bumping two devices off each other but it sounds so dirty) could two people be “friends” on the network.

Such a network would solve many, if not all of the problems I have listed above.

On such a network only be able to talk to people that you really know. When you spend time online you would be cultivating real relationships with real people that you really know.

Your network would probably be much smaller, so you would have more time to get away from the computer and actually meet real people (and grow your network). It would encourage real world socializing.

Spam would be virtually eliminated, along with unsolicited friends requests. No more turning on your email to see that “deep throat the wonder dog” has started following you and would like to be your friend.

The marketers would be pissed!

Privacy could, in theory, be much easier to control as the only people who could see your content would be people you’ve actually met, unless you explicitly choose to make your content public.

Safety, especially where children are concerned, would be increased. Your kids would actually have had to meet someone before they could talk to them online.

There may be a few downsides, such as real friends who live 100’s of miles away may not be able to connect until they plan a trip, but then again, they always have email.

What do you think? Would you use a network that was populated only by people you actually met?

Friends You Are Sorry You Added On Facebook

We all have know people on Facebook that we wish we hadn’t added as friends. People who we’ve added, are friends with, but either don’t like what they do with their profile or are unwilling to “hurt their feelings” and just unfriend them.

People like Misery Lady, who every time she updates makes you hungry for the contents of the medicine cabinet and really, those razors don’t look that sharp, do they?

Facebook Misery Lady

Or how about the relentless, disingenuously humble self-promoter. We’ve all got a couple of these marketer types on our friends list. I wonder if they have to work hard appearing that humble and if the shit-eating grin a genetic defect or did they have some cosmetic work done?

Facebook, the humble marketerAnd lets not forget the friend we all love to hate. The guy (or girl) who just can’t help reminding you about how great his lifestyle is while you site their grinding out the nine to five, contemplating home, wife, the screaming kids and the next mortgage payment. Damn, I hate that asshole.

Facebook - My life is so great

At a time when many of us are considering leaving Facebook, GQ provides us with 18 more reasons to flee like rats from Facebook, the social network with more privacy holes than a sinking canoe that was broadsided by a 98 gun ship of the line.

Privacy Isn’t Binary. It Isn’t Yes Or No

To tell or not to tell?

Tell or Don't!

You’ve got  real life friends so you know that privacy is never a simple “yes or no”, “tell or don’t tell” matter.

There are things that you tell your spouse or best friend that you wouldn’t tell anybody else. There are things you would say to some friends and not to others. When you are out a party there may be pictures that you would let your friends and your brothers see, but would result in a serious ear bashing from your mother.

I’ve always been a strong proponent that our online activity is an extension of our offline activity. That online relationships mirror the dynamic and complex relationships that exist in our offline lives.

Believing that, I find it counter-intuitive to have social networks like Facebook push us further and further into a binary way of thinking about privacy. Essentially boiling privacy down to a “post it or don’t” issue. Forcing us to treat all of our online “friends” as equals.

As much as we may not like to admit it in front of our friends, we know that even our offline, real life, friends are not equal in our eyes. That is why the terms “best friend” and acquaintance exists.

Instant messaging clients, with the exception of ICQ (or at least it used to be when I actually used it), do the same thing. We are either online or off. Visible or invisible. Not a case of  visible to some and not to others. We’ve all put our phone on silent from time to time to “ignore” that call from a friend or family member. Or simply turned it off. While we might not want one person to know we are online, or available to talk, we might and sometimes do desperately need other people to know we are available to talk and that we want to talk. Skype are you listening?

With social networks, instant messaging and almost every other form of online communication pushing us into a binary way of thinking about privacy, we have to ask ourselves if that is what we really want? Would we stand for it, or be able even to successfully get through our lives if privacy in real life was dual choice only?

Tell everyone, or tell no one?

Shouldn’t we be pushing for finer grained control and groups rather than simply eradicating privacy? Or do we want  everyone to be burdened with a lot more secrets and worries that they would never be able to get off their chest and for confidentiality to cease to exist?

Anything Can Happen At A Tweetup

And the answer is...

And the answer is...

You’ll never guess what happened last night! Okay, maybe you will, considering it was all over Twitter and Facebook within minutes.

Last night, surrounded by friends, Sara and I took one more step on the road of being together that we have been traveling for so long now.

We still have a long way to go. Visa’s need to be applied for and moves have to be made, but with both of our divorces over the time was right to move one step closer to being together permanently. To take a step that we have both been waiting so long to make a reality.

Surrounded by friends armed with cellphones, last night I stuttered and stumbled my way through and asked Sara to marry me.

You can watch the video below (captured by Alli)  to see Sara’s reaction and her answer :)

Picture taken by Ke4mur.

Shunning Convention with Cake

Full Irish Breakfast

Full Irish Breakfast

My mate Brian (@Azhrei) is a funny old sort.

I’ve know him forever, almost 20 years now, and he definitely falls into the category of “über geek” and damn good friend.

This morning we dodged the raindrops to meet in town for coffee’ although what started out as coffee became breakfast and while we were waiting to be seated Brian was telling me about cholesterol and we were talking about how a full Irish breakfast was bad for you.

Even though I was having the “full Irish” Brian decided that it wasn’t for him and that he would take the healthier option!

The picture below is what he chose to have instead of the nasty fry up.

When asked how he justified his “healthy” option, Brian replied with: “It’s got some fruit in it”!

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Thanks mate, for always putting a smile on my face :)