This is a picture I did not take of an elderly man wearing an oxygen tank breathing tube, driving a beat-up and Bondo’d Honda Prelude, and running a red light at incredibly slow speed.


This is a picture I did not take of an Old Order Mennonite woman at the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market giving a “weirdo” look to a young man decked out in his finest steampunk garb (including top hat and goggles) at 8am on a Saturday morning.


Since making Ed’s acquaintance, I have watched a lot of Top Gear. I am no hobbyist mechanic, but I do love the aesthetics of high-end cars.

And other things…

I’ve seen this segment several times, and just about choke with laughter every time. Enjoy. 🙂

Help me showcase interesting design in Waterloo Region

Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge… and beyond! What do you see on your daily commute, while walking the dog, or out for a night on the town? What buildings or architectural features do you love, hate, or find striking?

For the Fluxible conference attendees, I want to showcase some of the interesting design tidbits around the Region. But I only have two eyes and so many pictures, and I know there are folks out there with amazing photography skills and a fine eye for design. Help a girl out?

I will be selecting a bunch of the coolest pictures of buildings, art, flora, and who knows what else, to showcase our home and native land to folks coming to the conference. Sure, it’ll help out-of-towners get to know Waterloo Region (we’re more than Old Order Mennonites and tech companies!), but I bet even the locals will be surprised at things they never knew were there.

So what do I need you to do? Email URLs of photos or your favourite examples of interesting design from around the Region. Or attach pictures to an email. I will curate and assemble a slideshow and cite what, where, and by whom (that’s you). You will receive my eternal gratitude. My email address: melledotca@gmail.com.

Can’t wait to see what you see. 🙂

In honour of this auspicious occasion…

A dramatic vignette!

Monty Python and the Holy Grail came out in 1975, so it, and, as of today, I, are 37 years old. So needless to say, I had to do it. 🙂

King Arthur: Old woman.
Dennis: Man.
King Arthur: Man, sorry. What knight lives in that castle over there?
Dennis: I’m 37.
King Arthur: What?
Dennis: I’m 37. I’m not old.
King Arthur: Well I can’t just call you “man”.
Dennis: Well you could say “Dennis”.
King Arthur: I didn’t know you were called Dennis.
Dennis: Well you didn’t bother to find out did you?
King Arthur: I did say sorry about the “old woman”, but from behind you looked…
Dennis: What I object to is you automatically treat me like an inferior.
King Arthur: Well I am king.
Dennis: Oh, king eh? Very nice. And how’d you get that, eh? By exploiting the workers. By hanging on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society.
King Arthur: I am your king.
Woman: Well I didn’t vote for you.
King Arthur: You don’t vote for kings.
Woman: Well how’d you become king then?
King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king.
Dennis: Listen, strange women lyin’ in ponds distributin’ swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.


This is a picture I did not take of a middle-aged woman with elaborate, bleached blonde hair, a black miniskirt and strappy, sky-high stilettos, leaning very heavily on a cane while walking slowly from the parking garage to the hospital.

Tumble outta bed and stumble to the kitchen…

So, I got myself a job. Kinda had to eventually, though doing the freelance thing has been really interesting. (The constant hustle, administrivia, etc. really isn’t my bag long-term, though.)

Anyway, I start on Monday, May 14th, as Community Manager, Developer Relations, at RIM.

Derp?I’ll just give a few of you a moment to enjoy that needle getting yanked off a record sound in your heads.

Yep, I am well aware that I’ve said I wouldn’t work there. (Side note: never bother to use “never” statements in life; it just makes the gods laugh.) There are certainly plenty of areas of the company where I still wouldn’t work. I know too much of the history and not enough has changed.

Except then the sneaky bastards went and posted a community management role, and stuck “Developer Relations” onto it. Professional geek wrangling. Which is about as up my alley as jobs get.

Additionally, it’s an area of the company that is being built/re-built, and there’s a very different feel there. And not a single person I’ve talked to was wearing rose-coloured glasses of any kind. People know shit’s broken. And they’re of the “How’re we gonna fix it?” and “What’re we going to build next?” ilk. Those are my kinda folks. It also didn’t hurt that I’d be working in close proximity to some people who’re already friends.

Do I have concerns about going back to work for a big company, and one that clearly has some big issues? Sure. I’d be an idiot if I didn’t. And I don’t tend to drink anybody’s Koolaid. But of the offers I received, this one ended up making the most sense. We’ll see if my brain and gut were right. 🙂

In the community management game, you learn very quickly that there are two kinds of people who complain: the ones who’re genuinely trying to do something, and are just frustrated, and the trolls. If I can help out the folks who are genuinely trying to do something, I’ll be happy.

PostRank gave me the opportunity to be a part of building a new industry. It was fascinating and educational stuff (on good days). 🙂 I suspect what there is to learn about rebuilding part of an industry will be even more so. And so it begins…

Behold! The power of cake!

Back in April, I wanted to pick up cupcakes for a friend’s birthday. Alas, or, perhaps, serendipitously, as it was Easter Monday, the Cake Box was closed, and I was forced to seek sugary goodness elsewhere.

The fine people of Twitter provided several recommendations, and we checked out Vincenzo’s, who did, indeed, have a selection of cupcakes from Tiny Cakes, of whom I’d never heard. They’re a bakery out of Galt. I picked up half a dozen, noting the name of one in particular: Knotty Pine Buttered Almond.

Wasn’t that a blast from the past.

Knotty Pine Buttered Almond CupcakeY’see, from birth to age four, my family lived in Preston, pretty much literally around the corner from the Knotty Pine restaurant, which was located where The Pines is now at Fountain and King. And my Mom loved their Buttered Almond cake. (Seriously, I remembered the name of a cake from when I was four. LOVE.)

So I checked out Tiny Cakes’ website, and sure enough: “based on the Knotty Pine recipe”. I mentioned it to Mom, and said I’d have to get her some cupcakes to test its accuracy, which I did this past weekend as the family was getting together for brunch. In the mean time, I’d also gone back to the website and noted that they did actual cakes, too. Eeeexcellent.

The verdict? They got it right. Mom said from the first taste of the icing it all came back to her. She also told me a story I hadn’t known. When my brother and I were really little, on Saturday evenings after we were in bed, she’d call the Knotty Pine and order two burgers and two pieces of cake, then during intermission of the hockey game, Dad would drive over and pick up the food, and they’d have a healthy, low calorie dinner while watching the rest of the game. 🙂

She also said she put the rest of the cupcakes in the freezer to ration them. Except that wasn’t working out very well, since she said the other evening she didn’t even wait for the cupcake to thaw before she started to eat it. Heh.

Unsurprisingly, I got curious, so picked one up for myself today. It was, indeed, a damned tasty cupcake. And there was a certain familiarity to the flavour. As luck would have it, Mother’s Day is coming up on May 13th. Then my parents’ 45th anniversary is on May 20th. Then my birthday is June 11th…

Let them eat cake? Don’t mind if we do…


This is a picture I did not take of a middle-aged woman and an elderly woman walking out of the local mall, the elderly woman carrying a cellophane-wrapped gift basket of Justin Bieber’s Someday perfume.


This is a picture I did not take of a middle-aged man at a BBQ joint, working his way through a monstrous platter of ribs, whilst sipping white wine and watching UFC on his iPhone.