Archive for the Tag 'CNPS'

05 Sep 2017

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Geekstuff

The Big Finish

After 14 years, 5 months and 19 days I have finally completed the CNPS game that I started back in 2003! The realization, this past March, that I was close enough to finish the game in under a year gave me the push I needed to start paying closer attention to the game and actively look for plates. Once the weather got to be nice, I just made a point to go out for a walk at lunchtime almost every day.

Working along 9th Avenue at the west end of Calgary’s downtown, was quite convenient as there are surface parking lots from 4th to 8th Street – loads of cars to walk by every day. With enough variation to constantly see new cars and enough stability to find numbers a second time when their turn came. … hey, don’t be giving me that look!

The graph above shows the progress since the start of 2017. The open circle data point is the where I was on 17 March, the 14 year mark. You can see how the 3 or 4 per month rate in the first quarter jumps up around the end of May going to a rate of about 12 per month over the summer. There were multiple occasions where I saw two or three plates in a single day. What a difference from when I was languishing in the 700’s at 45 plates per year.

Anyway, it’s a giant relief to have finished and I hope it doesn’t take too many weeks to train myself not to swivel around to see every car license plate that goes by!

Best of luck to Scott and Joel as they continue the Quest! Remember, it’s not crazy – it’s a calling.

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17 Mar 2017

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Geekstuff

Happy St Patrick’s Day

Hope you get to enjoy something green today!

After a late blast of winter last week, with temperatures down around -20°C, it is finally warming up and the cars are all the same colour – dirt brown. Same as the streets, the cars, the lawns and most everything else. It seems like it’s been a long winter but at least the warmer and longer days give hope that eventually Spring will be here.

Of course, an annual highlight at this time of year is the progress update on the CNPS license plate spotting game. Although progress continues to be maddeningly slow, it was an improvement over last year. The commute, although brief and on public transit is helpful – especially compared to last year where there was precious little regular driving. This year I spotted 43 plates bringing the progress to 943. Close enough to the end (only 57 to go…) to conceivably finish up in the next year. Maybe I will have to sacrifice any appearance of normalcy and scout a walking route through the surface lots around the office and take a walk each lunch hour! Wish me luck!

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17 Mar 2016

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts

Are you still looking at license plates?!

Yes.  It’s like Zeno’s paradox – the number of plates left to find keeps going down, but the end remains stubbornly remote.  StPaddyThe CNPS game continues at a slower pace than ever before – this year a miserly 35 plates were added to the total.   That’s half of the long term average since starting in 2003. After 13 years the total is now at 900 (previous years are recounted in posts linked by the CNPS tag).  The overall rate has been drastically affected by not just the transit-based commuting, but also the significant reduction in driving generally after moving into the city.  Last but not least, six months of unemployment is really not helping (and it’s not just the CNPS that is really hurting…).The alignment with St Patrick’s day may not be just a coincidence – the lack of progress is like being pinched and it could drive one to drink!
Speaking of St Patrick’s day – there is not much green about today.  We got up to a nice fresh dump of snow – last week I was marveling at the tulips sprouting in the garden and today I shoveled the sidewalk.  c20160317_112533Brenda has had the better day – she is off to the west coast today to attend Fibres West with our friend Karie who runs Big Blue Moma, a retailer of amazing jewelry made from glass beads, woven baskets and fabrics – all sourced from Ghana. While Calgary was overcast with cold wind, Brenda and Karie were driving through the spectacular Rockies. Fibres West runs Friday and Saturday in Surrey, BC – if you are in that area be sure to look them up and buy a basket – or two.

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17 Mar 2015

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Family

Gerup the yard!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

image This is what appeared for dinner today.  It’s is hard to imagine how the Irish survived prior to the invention of green food colouring!  Everything looked like it should have a slight minty flavour, but thankfully it did not. I do have to say that green rice is oddly mind-bending.  For dessert, I think that Brenda has found a recipe for home-made “Shamrock Shakes”, that has got to be an improvement over the green-tinged dinner.

cnps2015And, of course, in other news – today is my license plate game anniversary.  As you surely recall, I began the noble quest on St Paddy’s Day back in 2003.  Sadly, I have to report that the pace of progress remains woefully slow.  This year ended at plate 865, only 46 new plates seen in the last 12 months.  I definitely have settled to a new lower level of plates spotted per month ever since my commute has switched to public transit. The 4-digit plates haven’t helped, particularly as they make up the majority of plates now. At this rate, you can look forward to about 3 more annual updates!


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