"Do you hear that Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability."
-- Agent Smith

Lost and found

You may have heard about the “lost world” in Indonesia. Here are some pics of the new species they found.


Hit me with your laserbeams.

Just picked myself up a pair of these babies (they’re CD players). Totally fleeced the seller on eBay too, to the applause of my fellow local DJs.

Because of my entrance into the DiJital universe, I am now an unstoppable jockey of discs. $1.49 per download sure beats $17 for a slab of vinyl, but don’t worry, the regular turntables aren’t going anywhere and I will still be buying records.

So! After knocking off the couple mix CDs that I’m still months behind on, one of my new projects will be a be-all-end-all non-stop 80s mix double CD (much easier to do from CD than vinyl).

And thus we get to the purpose of this post: any requests??

Note: British music only. Why? Because the rest sucks.


Bread and Circuses

Well, I’m now 5 days overdue, which explains my frequent visits to the Blog :) I wanted to share a great expression I came across in a research article I was reading for my comprehensive paper (hey, if you are waiting around, you might as well do something productive, right?). In context, the quote was: “The populace needs as always, and probably always will need, panem et circenses.” Now the only Latin I took was in a mandatory half-course on Medical Terminology, but I recognize it when I see it. Took me a bit to track it down because it was misspelled in the article (as panum, not panem), but the literal translation is ‘bread and cicuses’. It’s a shot against the proletariat(borrowing terms from our recent discussion on Marxism), referring to a Roman poet who commented that all the people needed to make them happy was bread and circuses (or whatever was going on at the Coliseum that night, I guess). A direct commentary on our current Western civilization’s obsession with consumption and entertainment. See if this sounds familiar to you: The expression has also “become a general term for government policies that seek short-term solutions to public unrest.” http://www.thomasjamesmartin.com/breadcircus.htm (sorry, I still don’t know why, but I don’t have a link button on my writing page!)


Marxist gays

Can anyone out there explain to me how same sex marriage is Marxist?


We Love the CBC

I second DJBoyo’s comment in our last thread, that I love the CBC. For those of you who knew my former liberal MP from Ottawa South, John Manley, you’ll be happy to know that he has decided not to run for the Liberal leadership . He was quoted as follows: “Manley poked fun at his bland image. ‘Some may want a dynamic, charismatic leader. Some others may support me.’ ” For anyone who saw him on the election coverage the other night, that’s about as charismatic as I’ve ever seen him :) I once asked him a question about post-secondary education funding at a election debate when I was in my undergrad, and he talked around it like a dog going around a fire hydrant. I have about as much success listening to him as Peppermint Patty did to her teacher. He is a very intelligent guy, and if you listen hard enough to hear between the rhetorical lines, he makes some sense – but that’s just too much work as far as I’m concerned.

In other news, a day after the election which KaveMan appropriately dubbed “Canadians are Idiots”, Frank McKenna resigned as ambassador to the US. Congratulations, Frank. Too bad we had to lose a savvy guy representing us in Washington, but you’re too desperately needed at home, and who wants to work with the incoming Canadian administration anyway? Too bad it means you’ll likely be replaced by some lightly diguised George Dubya fan. In the meantime, the American ambassador to Canada was here at Western yesterday at a poorly advertised pannel discussion (boy, would I have loved to go and heckle at that one, even if it was my due date!). I guess he kept his comments in the ‘not wildly offensive’ realm, except for the softwood lumber dispute, about which he said something to the effect of ‘we need to sit down at the table and work it out’ (sorry, it was local London news and I can’t find a quote). Work WHAT out, is my question? It’s been worked out and ruled on. The only debate left is whether the US is going to listen to the ruling or not.

Fun times on CBC news, for sure :) Keeps my mind off the stubornly unborn child. As the anti-Fat Bastard, I say, “get out of my belly!”


Dont’ drive while gaming

As if connections to gaming and violence weren’t bad enough, will thisextremely tragic incident lead to connections being made between racing games and your driving record?


Because he’s holding a thermal detonator!

OK, regardless of how the people in this article say that this could happen any day, this would never happen at my job. :-)


And I think it’s what I want to be

Natural selection is still hard at work. Self-professed speed freak though I may be, I understand snowmobiles even less than I understand crotch rockets.

So, after weeks of internal debate, I finally made my decision, drove down to the polling station, and marked the X next to my local Green Party candidate. I spent some time this afternoon going through their platform document, and while there are a few things here and there that I’m not completely sold on, I have to say I liked what I saw.

We’ll see if the Green Party makes any headway this time around…I guess at the very least I just added $1.75 to their annual budget… :-)


Damn it – time to put away the contacts and stop seeing my hairdresser…

Scientists of the world, it comes as a shock, but although we’re considered brainy, we’re considered far from attractive:

Time to put away the heels and makeup, I guess… :D


Gun Registry woes

The CBC online has a breakdown of the costs of the gun registry and the savings that can be realised by scrapping it (not as much as you’d think, apparently). Still, what I’d like to know is how something budgetted for $119 million is allowed to cost $2 billion. I appreciate that the gun registry was a requirement of Bill C-68, and so it had to be done (we went through our own bout of “we have got to get this done before the Act comes into force” scrambling when the Species at Risk Act came into being) but someone had to be in charge of the purse strings. Did they just not notice?? :(


We’ll take a cup of kindness yet

Chu Shen Tan, Shuvo Nabo Barsho, Bonne Annee, Prosit Neujahr, Kenourios Chronos, Hauoli Makahiki Hou, L’Shannah Tovah, Buon Capodanno, Chuc Mung Tan Nien, Feliz Ano Nuevo, Heri Za Mwaka Mpya, Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun, Godt Nyttar and Bliadhna mhath ur! In other words: Happy New Year!

2005 was an eventful year for me, particularly with the tons of work done around the house. However, it was also an eventful year for most of us, I think. BirdLady moved into her apartment (from which, unbelievably, I never posted the pictures), Homewrecker went through a stressful life change, BogMan went to Europe, The Grabber and Righteous Guy produced offspring, with Limbo (and her as-yet-unnicknamed hubby) soon to follow. Not sure we’re gonna be able to beat that string of significance in 2006! :-)

My plan for 2006 is to spend the first part of it focusing on my skiing…I’ve signed up for the 29km flavour of the Keskinada on February 19, so getting myself into shape would probably be a good thing to do. Then, once the snow starts to melt, I need to get back into the renovations again…the list for this year includes: finishing the front porch (majority of it was done in 2005, but there’re still a few things to complete), doing the roofing for the side entrance, putting the decking and accoutrements onto the deck, and then finally finishing off the trim on the interior of the house. Oh, and at some point, remodelling my kitchen…sigh…

I do have a New Year’s resolution with respect to the blog, though. Going through some of the older posts, I’ve realized that through 2005, I seemed to have transitioned from diary-based posting into event-based posting. In 2006, I want to get back to more regular posting here. Part of that will mean not getting so hung up over finding the right song lyric for a post heading. I’m ashamed to admit I’ve actually let that stop me from posting in the past…yes, I am a geek, why do you ask? :-)

All right, I have to go finishing waxing my skis so that I can make my way to Sunday breakkie…


Father Time must be having a conniption

Well, I thought we were all a big bunch of nerds when it came to our email discussion about whether or not there should be a leap second this year, but apparently a mathematician has managed to make an entire millenium disappear - and then some. Another story on this here as well. Interesting food for thought, whatever you make of it…


SMP update

Well, it’s time for an update on Righteous Guy’s and the Grabber’s prodigal offspring.

Our little bundle of joy (and energy!) has shown herself to have a larger than life personality that seems to belie her mini size. A happy camper most of the time (her gummy grins and giggles melt all hearts – she’s a perennial favourite at our local library’s “baby time”) she nonetheless has a temper as mercurial as the wind. Squealing with delight one minute, then real tears and screaming the next. At least she soothes easily when picked up…but she doesn’t seem to realize yet that the world doesn’t revolve around her (except in our household, I suppose)

We’ve discovered, in addition to her happy-go-lucky demeanor (courtesy of dad’s side), she’s showing Grampa Stelios’ propensity to enjoy being naked. At change time she seems to love sticking her feet together (and occassionally nibbling on a toe), bum in the air, for all the world to see. Sigh – guess there are some genetic tendencies that will rear their heads…

Our little miss has also shown herself to be uncommonly bright and alert (dare I say she takes after her mom? :D ), with early babbling/vocalizing (probably a good thing, seeing she has English, French, and Greek to master! So far she’s only mastered dolphin, complete with high pitched squeals, squeaks, and screams), and has shown a scary tendency to master her toys quickly (thanks to uncle Kav, who keeps her buried in a steady stream of new Lamaze playthings!). Hopefully we can decipher the ever more insistent “ah-guh’s”, “mmmmmm’s”, and “ah-la-meh’s” soon! There’s a dramatic monologue for most of the day (when not napping, of course!), which gets more “drama queen”-esque when it’s obvious she wants you to do something.

Like her daddy, she seems to have an insatiable appetite (though that hasn’t stopped her from continuing to be petite – guess in her case, nature has outgunned nurture in this regard, as Righteous Guy and I are, well, on the short side), and, like daddy, chows down with remarkable speed. She’s happily mastered rice and oatmeal cereal, and continues with her monologues during feeding time (usually a “whoa-eh!” with each mouthful). She likes to “help out” at mealtimes by trying to guide the spoon in, which, of course, results in more laundry (for the littlest member of our family, she produces by far the most dirty clothes!). Cuteness at mealtimes aside, I don’t seem to recall ever hearing such loud burps and farts coming from such little things during my med school/residency years…

The little cutie has also shown a propensity to being quite social (though her patience wears thin after 6 pm, when she starts her “meltdown” if there are too many people for her taste), probably her Greek part coming out. Thank goodness the gang’s been so good about letting her tag along…though it’s often her naptime during Sunday breakkies, so she doesn’t contribute much to our political/religious/environmental discussions. In true form, she smiled endearingly at Father Alex (our Greek priest) while we were discussing the nitty-gritty of her upcoming baptism, before loudly filling her diaper while sitting on her godfather’s lap. I’m not sure the Father heard, since he called her gorgeous and blessed her repeatedly during her visit nonetheless, and the baptism still occurred! Kaveman got some choice photos of her naked, looking over the baptismal font with a truly curious expression: “am I getting ANOTHER bath today?” She took to her first communion as well, happily slurping up the wine from the tiny spoon, and seemed to want more… A true Greek, I’m afraid!

All in all, she’s one little cutie, bright and alert, full of beans, and is settling into her role as first baby in the gang (Uncle Kaveman’s already spoiling her with his “month birthday” gifts – she’s happily swimming in Lamaze toys!). A big thanks to the gang for their flexibility in allowing SMP to come along to our outings: so far, Righteous Guy and I haven’t noted much of a change in our social calendar! (Except the earlier bedtime, of course: with a 6 am wake up call every day, getting to bed after midnight can be a dangerous affair. Who needs an alarm clock when you have a baby?). Another big thanks to the gang for the Best. Baby. Gift. EVER. : the Chariot running/cross-country ski/bike stroller is AMAZING and we LOVE it! (Uncle Dan’s MEC baby-backpack also deserves an honourable mention). Here are some of our favourite photos of the littlest Miss.

Kaveman apparently has some choice cross-country skiing and baptism photos on his digicam, so he’ll be posting them sometime soon.

Several people have asked me what my favourite moment is with SMP. I can’t seem to narrow it down to one, so here are my top five:
1) cross-country skiing with SMP in tow (bundled to the gills), big brown eyes checking out the scenery before settling into a nap;
2) her giggles, when you give her tummy razz-berries;
3) attempting to eat cereal, getting more of it on her than in her (or when she happily nibbles on her toes, bum to the world – and she seems to prefer toes to her cereal);
4) when she snuggles into your chest/shoulder when tired, and falls asleep (I just LOVE to watch her snooze);
5) (possibly my favourite): after breastfeeding, when she’s sated and calmly alert – she just gazes up at me, gently touches/explores my face with her hands, and gives me these little smiles (with accompanying soft cooing sounds). Just melts my heart!

All in all, we think she’s the most adorable thing on earth (what parent doesn’t think this of their kid?), and we love watching her grow up. I know I’ll be intellectually ready to go back to work in March (thank goodness I have friends who speak beyond baby-talk and can carry on political/scientific/etc discussions!), but it’s going to be tough emotionally… Thank goodness I’ll know Righteous Guy will be looking after her for the next few months, when I’m back at work, before she starts daycare!


Banning Christmas

Put the Christ into Christmas or take the Christmas out of Christianity? An interesting look at religious groups that have sought to have Christmas banned in the US.


Well, I wanted to be an a$$hole, but all the TV pundit jobs were taken.


I came away wondering, if I was ever to meet Tucker Carlson, if I would have the guts to actually strike him, or if I would wimp out and merely throw a drink in his face. Now Ann Coulter on the other hand…


Guess we’re not the only species packing on pounds over Christmas…

Obesity is now apparently a big problem (pun intended) in zoos.

Seems our feathered, furred and finned friends, while not being hunted/hunting, tend to do as we Homo sapiens sapiens tend to do: eat a lot, and forego exercise. However, some entreprising Japanese zoo-keepers now trot their penguins out for daily walks in the snow. Seeing as the walks only last half and hour, its a damn site easier than in Antarctica (where penguins walk hundreds of kilometres from the rookery/nursery to the sea)!

Check out the portly penguins on their stroll:


Beer not Kids

Competing petitions have been drawn up in response to the “furore” over the “gaffe”. To choose kids over beer, click here. To side with Ricke Mercer and choose beer over kids, click here. :D


What is a working family anyway?

Harper is in the news again for offering a tax cut to “working families”. Anyone know what that is, exactly? What kinds of jobs are available to families? Do kids under 5 have to work, or are they exempt? :D


The fine line between empowerment and objectification

Looks like Lululemon, purveyor of feel-good-about-yourself messages and skimpy yoga wear, has crossed the line. In an effort to perhaps promote positive self-image and perhaps a little nudism, they wound up leaving potential customers feeling violated. I think I’ll be getting my yoga wear from MEC instead! :) Read on…


A follow-up of our favourite sparrow…

I know, despite all this election fever, that the gang is dying to know how this little sparrow’s tale wraps up. If you remember, a rather gregarious sparrow was shot dead at point-blank air gun range after knocking down some dominoes during a Guiness World Record stint. You’ll be pleased to know that our unfortunate fowl friend, though now flying peacefully in the great beyong, will nonetheless get a full memorial:



Election Stuff Episode II

I hate when “gaffes” cause a “furore” even though the comments are valid in the first place.

Incidently, the Citizen is hardest on the Liberals on this today, the Globe and CBC have less-prominent stories dealing with Reid’s apology.

I can see why it is a gaffe in the sense that you must never talk down to the public during an election (or ever, I guess), but in a way it is only talking down to those that don’t get the implication of his remarks. Harper’s handout is not a child care plan, it is a baby bonus, and we all know that baby bonuses are already used for booze and smokes anyway :) – speaking of which I forgot to mention that Scott Reid stole my joke.

Suffice to say that Reid was attacking Harper, not “hard-working Canadians”, and the gaffe stems from the fact that Martin’s damage control ended up defending Harper’s handout.

I just hope that anyone who agrees with those who have decided that they should be offended by this don’t use those cheques for “incidentals”. Maybe the real insult comes from the fact that these days, $25 a week gets you a 24 of really crappy beer.



Pet peeve du jour.

Ever notice how:

Jingle Bells
Winter Wonderland
Frosty the Snowman
Let it Snow

…make no mention of Christmas?!?!? Are we not able to celebrate winter without associating it with gift-giving?

Post some more if there are any!


Harper’s up to something fishy

The Globe an mail reports today that Harper is targetting overfishing. He says that he is pledging to take control of fisheries outside of Canada’s territorial waters. Now, while this may be a laudable goal from a conservation perspective, I’m not sure that we can actually do that under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Although Canada was involved in the apprehension of the Spanish vessel Estai in international waters about 10 years ago, and it was quite a coup for Canada at the time, ultimately the charges had to be dropped and the cargo returned, the government of Spain brought charges before the International Court in the Hague that Canada had acted illegally in international waters, and the owners and captain of the Estai began civil proceedings against the government of Canada. At the time, there was a reason for such a blatant PR move – it was an attempt to bring more attention to the need for an agreement on straddling stocks and migratory species. 5 months later, the UN adopted such an agreement. What would is the purpose this time? Yes, the North-West Atlantic Fisheries Organisation (NAFO) has been useless at best, but I’m not convinced that repeating this maneuver would get Canada anywhere. The capture of the Estai is credited with forcing the EU to come to the table and take the need to negotiate straddling stock agreements seriously, and although it appears that the turbot is better protected now, there is disagreement as to whether or not Canadian fishers are better off. I’m not sure what Harper intends to accomplish with this, other than getting Canada dragged back to the International Court.


More “truth is stranger than fiction” goodies from the BBC…

Another “world” story that made front-page BBC.com news:

In other news: since when are common house sparrows endangered? We have more than enough to go around back here in Canada…


White Phosphorus

Just a small, but pointed, rant here, sparked by the white phosphorus story.

Now, I’m not going to get all bleeding-heart lefty-indignant about the horrors of the ‘weapon’ itself and claim that it should be classified as a chemical weapon or WMD and be banned by some international body. But I do have a problem with the arguments that use semantics to defend its use, pointing to some list that says some weapons are ok and some aren’t (rumours of the use of napalm notwithstanding). Or the arguments that point out burning jet-fuel in a WTC tower as justification.

Here’s my point. Aren’t the U.S. supposed to be the good guys? I asked the same rhetorical question when Abu Ghraib became public and some pro-war types scoffed because the ‘terrorists’ had it coming to them.

You can’t just brand yourself as The Good Guys and then do whatever the hell you want. You’re not The Good Guys because your flag is made of primary colours. You’re not The Good Guys because your God is better than other people’s God. You’re not The Good Guys because you adhere to certain standards of conduct that you find convenient, and argue semantics to keep doing things that may be as horrible as things that are outright illegal. Being The Good Guys means acting that way and showing the rest of the world that what you’re doing is a good idea. The hypocrisy of the WMD justification for war just makes this worse. I realize that WP does not deliver ‘mass’ destruction, but again, let’s not argue exact number of deaths due to skin melting here.

I could be way off here, but I can’t help but come to the conclusion that many pro-war Americans or hawkish Westerners in general actually believe that the terrorists or the insurgents or Muslim kooks from the Middle East overall admittedly think of themselves as The Bad Guys and they’re out to get the prissy American Good Guys, and that neutral parties see it this way too therefore the Americans can behave as they please.

If more people realized that the Muslims that hate America think of themselves as The Good Guys also, and that it is the US who are The Bad Guys (try and put yourself in their shoes and see how easy that would be), then more people might see how pointless this all is.

edit: Oh, and another thing. I don’t get all in a huff when I read stories about messy weapons, prisoner abuse, and civilian deaths, etc (apart from the above rant, obviously, and the occasional ‘told you so’), because I was all in a huff about the war in the first place, largely because this is the kind of shit that happens in war, duh. If war consisted of flag football and tickle fights you’d find far fewer people opposed to it.


Welcome to your Calrsberg years

I’m sure most of you have heard the theory that civilisation was built on beer. Now there’s evidence of a society that could not have functioned without it!


Amazon are idiots

Well, it’s great to have computer programs and databases and such to track customer preferences and to suggest new products, but this is ridiculous. The following is an actual email I received from Amazon.ca.:

“We’ve noticed that customers who have purchased Farscape: Season 2 have also ordered Home Improvement: The Complete Third Season [3 Discs]. For this reason, you might like to know that Home Improvement: The Complete Third Season [3 Discs] will be released on November 22, 2005 on DVD. You can pre-order your copy at a savings of 30% by following the link below”

What, exactly, do these two things have to do with each other? :D


Put the BMI to bed

Well, it’s about time. Finally, a comprehensive study showing that hip to waist ratio measurement is a more accurate predictor of heart disease the the body mass index.

I have found all the recent talk of the “obesity epidemic” quite disturbing. It’s almost as though we have forgotten all about teenage girls’ eating diorders – and don’t seem to really be noticing that the boys are starting to catch up in this department too. The pendulum has swung from skinny-is-bad to fat-is-bad, and it’ll be just a matter of time before it swings back again, I fear. Furthermore, when people start to link the increase in obesity with smoking cessation campaigns, it seems the war on obesity has the potential to take people to some weird & disturbing places indeed – hey, I may be giving myself lung cancer, but at least I’m a twig. I’ve wondered for quite some time now just how much of the “obesity epidemic” has to do with the skewing of the data that occurs when you use the BMI.

For those of you don’t know me, I’ve lost some weight, give or take about 20 pounds. While before I certainly felt I could lose a little weight, I certainly didn’t feel that I was unhealthy, and the curves were still looking OK. The musculature was well padded, but still substantial, and my athletic performance was pretty good and improving steadily. However, my BMI indicated that I was obese. My doctor told me I was obese by looking at her computer screen, not by looking at me – boy, was that ever a strange day. Now, a bit lighter, I don’t feel too much different (OK, my yoga practice has improved dramatically!) although the complements I get are nice. But my BMI still puts me just shy of obesity – in the “your-weight-could-lead-to-health-problems” range. Loosing 20 lbs brought me down one and a half points only. If I didn’t know any better, I’d be on the weight loss fast track, and probably really hurting myself in the process. Fortunately, I have the brains to look in the mirror, see that I’m fit and toned (& can even see a couple of ribs), decide I look OK and that my doctor is a flake and not worry about it. Impressionable teenagers may not be so lucky.

I won’t deny that we might have a problem. But so long as the true scope of the problem is masked with inaccurate measurements, and those measurements result in inappropriate assessments at the indivudual level, we’re just going to replace one problem with another.


Police Cops

Some musings on the over-the-topness of CSI, which of course should be renamed Super Science Cops. Apparently no crimes get solved outside of the CS unit.

Btw, I would have thought the “CSI effect” referred to the number of specific requests received by hairdressers.


Intelligent Design and Monty Python

It all comes together with the brontosaurus sketch.


I knew there was a scientific explanation for this…

I’ve finally found it – actual scientific evidence that pregnancy DOES shrink your brain!

In perusing the BBC World New this am, I found this gem:

She said not only are male and female brains different, but women’s brains change throughout life in relation to fluctuating hormone levels.

“That may well affect disease states and how drugs work.”

She scanned the brains of women before and after they were pregnant and found the brain shrank during pregnancy.

The shrinkage was even greater if the woman had a complication of pregnancy called preeclampsia, but reversed by six months after delivery of the baby.

So, Kaveman, there you have it. Not exactly proof, but at least correlation. Perhaps I should view this as a handicap to my Catan games? Ha ha!


But our princess is in another castle!

Anyone who’s ever played a Nintendo game needs to see (and hear) this.

Plus, there are updates on the deck log.


Doesn’t anybody know what a radio’s for

Looks like Starbucks has finally come up with a wi-fi solution for its Canadian locations. Bell Hotspots are now available at most of the Starbucks locations in Ottawa (and I assume in most other cities as well).

Of course, it’s not free (unlike our local fair trader). Apparently, the scheme is that you sign up for a wi-fi account and your usage gets billed to your cell phone account. I guess if you don’t have a cell phone, they just don’t want your business… :-)

The prices aren’t horrible ($7.50 for 1 hour, $13 for 24 hours, $25 for unlimited access), so I won’t squawk too much about it. I expect I’ll soon be using Starbucks as a third office (the second one being at home) for whenever I’m fed up with the shenanigans that go on at work.


More Serenity Geeks

It turns out that I bellydance with some Serenity & Firefly fans as well. Kaveman, they spotted you on opening night in your T-shirt – and they were very impressed that I had one that matched! (Hah! I say to all of you who laughed at my T-shirt!)

Anyway, it turns out that they are all going as Serenity characters for Halloween, and I’ve snagged the part of Zoe. Of course, I will have to do something about the hair (although I’ve been given some very specific instructions on how to achieve the curls), but I already have the leather vest and the tough demeanor. All I need now is a holster and combat boots!


Ditch Monkey

Environmentalism to the extreme – find out what it’s like to live in a ditch.



Guys, we never had the pirate party! I got spam from ThinkGeek that tells me that Sep. 19th was ‘talk like a pirate day’ (I wonder who came up with that), and it reminded me that we never followed up on this idea! I think we should! Any volunteers to hostÉ


I’m gonna soak up the Sun

I know I just upgraded my computer back in June, but I think I want one of these now.

Hmmm, might have to save my nickels for a little while first… :-)


Those Climate Loonies

The following article is about a British scientist who hopes that Katrina (and subsequently Rita) wakes up people in the Bush administration to the perils of Climate Change. The problem is that the article focuses on the comments that relate to the hurricanes hitting the USA only, and does not focus on the fact that this has been an unusually active season for hurricanes in the Atlantic. Apparently, there are only 4 storm names left before they have to start husing Greek letters to designate them, and the season is not over yet (sorry, I can’t find the link to where I read that). This has never happened before.

The take home message from my class on Global Environmental Change is that climate change will bring an increase in extreme weather events. It’s a shame that the entire Atlantic hurricane season is not being given more coverage, because this is the sort of trend that is predicted by climate change models.


TV shows

Considering the wealth of commentary on KaveMan’s most recent post, I think we need a debate! So far, I agree completely with DJBoyo’s list of essentials, except Family Guy, which I have not watched. I’ll have to see what I think of 24 this season, cause I must admit Jamie and I have been addicted since the first season.

So I suggest we vote on shows that are essential first-run watches, or at least, DVD purchases. My votes are:
1. Lost
2. Amazing Race
3. 24

I must also confess I had a serious bug for Rock Star INXS. Call me crazy if you want, but I defy you to have a musical bone in your body and try watching that show without at least really wanting to know who won in the end. I’ve now become a big Suzie McNeill fan (4th runner up) and will actually be buying the new INXS album in October!


Foxy Roxy

Everyone go visit my close-as-a-sister friends blog. She makes up for her lack of capital letters by being incredibly arty. I also vote that her blog should make it into the ‘blogs and buddies’ space.


Katrina’s pets

Lately, I’ve been noticing a lot of emphasis on pet rescue down in Louisiana. Pam Anderson is rescuing pets. The SPCA is looking for assistance in order to launch their own pet rescue. Even colleagues of mine are of the opionion that ‘animals are the REAL victims of natural disasters’ and seem more upset about the little fluffy guys than they do about human victims. I love my cats tremendously, but I can’t quite stomach all this. I can’t help thinking that had I been a New Orleans resident, if I REALLY loved my pets, I would have evacuated them ahead of time. The following article sheds some light on the kind of mayhem that rescuing pets would have caused. And it doesn’t even cover how those who suffer from animal allergies are supposed to handle living in a shelter with the 4 legged family members running around…


Mulroney baloney

The Globe and Mail covers Peter C. Newman’s new book about Brian Mulroney. Great man? Pathological liar? Regardless of your opinion, there’s no question it will be a fascinating read…


One Law!

I just got back from my first rally ever, and on parliament hill no less! I feel so active! We were protesting the introduction of Sharia law to Ontario while it pissed down rain on us (and me without an umbrella…) but we weren’t just against Sharia law, but all faith based arbitration. Happy Phantom clued me into the when and where of the rally, as she’s been knee deep in research about Sharia Law for an article coming out next year, also she co-wrote a speech that was presented at the rally. All the speeches were very good, and there was some open mike time for anyone to come up and talk and an Iranian woman came up saying she fled sharia law in Iran three years ago and is sad to have to fight it here too. I was suprised that there were very few muslim women there, but I suppose many of them don’t have the freedom in their communities to be seen at a rally like this. So I clapped and cheered extra loud for them, because I’ve enjoyed so many freedoms as a Canadian woman and the thought that a fellow Canadian woman may not be able to enjoy the same freedoms disgusts me. So act now Pai-ers!


Gord news

Hi everyone – I finally got through the filled phone circuits and talked to Gordo tonight. His passport and visa are safe with his friend George in San Antonio :) Here is an excerpt of our conversation:

When I asked him what I should say, he said to tell you all that he is “doing fine”. He is in LA now, “on vacation with 2 lovely women”, Laura (a friend from library school) and Millie (woops – or is it Mollie?), who he was with when the hurricane hit. They had called him up and insisted that he had to come with them to Burning Man, so when the storm hit, he was safe and dry 4000 feet above sea level in the Nevada desert. In fact, he did not hear about the evacuation order until he was changing planes in Pheonix. He still has a job at Tulane University, and is still getting paid. I was surprised to hear this, considering they have shipped out all their students and are farming them out, along with some faculty, to other schools. However, Gord pointed out that they have generous endowments, and very little expenses at the moment…. apparently a skeleton crew of administration is running the school out of Houston for the time being. Also, his apartment was in the 20% of the city not underwater, and as far as he knows, ok so far (except that he fears the contents of his refrigerator…)

Gord says that he is harbouring some hostility at how the situation in NoLa was handled (as do I, and many of you, I expect). He was interviewed by a Reno newspaper while at Burning Man, and was quoted as saying something like, “I thought these things only happened in Rwanda, or Bagdhad”. We talked about some of the shocking realities of the situation, including the latent racism in the evacuation plans. As Gord pointed out, 27% of the population of NoLa lives below the poverty line in the most vulnerable areas of the city, and many had no means to evacuate when the order was issued late Saturday. Of course, they’ll have oil production back up in a couple of days, since apparently 1/3 of the American supply is in the Gulf…

Some of his closing thoughts were that he has to be philosophical about his situation; things will progress, and this gives him a new appreciation for things. He also said that he will be staying in NoLa, if it is at all possible! If you want to email him to say hi, you can reach him at paulgord@hotmail.com.



Hurricane Katrina

Just a quick note for those of you who know Gord (Paul) St-Pierre: Gord has been living in New Orleans (otherwise known as NoLa) for two years now, and loving every minute of it. Only a few weeks ago he once again told me that he didn’t ever see himself coming home to Canada. Lucky for him, he went to visit some friends in (I believe) Nevada for the weekend while NoLa was evacuated. The good news, which I got from his mom, is that he is fine. The bad news is that he left his passport and visa in his apartment…

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to get ahold of him – not sure if this is because of cell towers down in NoLa? (I’m not technologically advanced enough to know if that would affect things if you were physically somewhere else…) When I hear the news, I’ll post something brief to let you know. At first I was pretty relieved, but the more I watch the devastation, the more saddened I am by how hard this will be for my friend. For those of you who were lucky enough to visit the city in your travels, hold onto those memories: I bet the Big Easy will never be the same.



Please don’t feed the animals…

Yet another “picture worth a thousand words”…

Apparently these people enthusiastically volunteered to be put on display at the zoo. Interestingly enough, “indigenous peoples” from “uncivilized countries” (i.e. non-British) were put on display regularly in Victorian England, for the locals to goggle at. The most famous was the “Hottentot Venus”, who was meticulously observed and inspected by physicians at the time, as she supposedly had unusual genitalia hidden by a bit of tissue known as the “curtain of shame” (at the time, believed to be the norm for “uncivilized people”). Ironically enough, she was one smart cookie, and picked up multiple languages easily, putting her “host” country to shame.

Thank goodness multiculturalism and integration came to pass…


Those smart cars will kill you

Since we’re on the topic of Climate Change, I thought I would share some information I got when I was touring Environment Canada’s emmissions lab last week. This is the lab that tests cars to make sure manufacturers are meeting regulatory requirements and so on. They were also testing and Indian 3 wheel microbus (what our guide actually called a rickshaw). Apparently, they will also do work to assist other countries with their environmental assessments, and can even run the vehicles through various “driving cycles” – highway, urban, urban-New-Dehli, etc.

Anyway, during the tour I learned why it is that some of the climate change friendly fuel and technology options are not being championed as loudly as you’d expect. While these options may help reduce green house gas (GHG) emissions, it turns out that they still contribute to other problems. Smart cars, for example, are in fact exceptionally dirty emitters after you account for their size, and part of this may be because they use deisel (our tour guide couldn’t go into detail, but it seemed there may be other issues as well). The hybrid cars are not fuel efficient once you take them out of the urban environment, they really only pay off in the stop and go traffic. And using alternate fuels (e.g. ethanol) may reduce GHG emissions, but they emit higher levels of other stuff which may be inoffensive from a climate change perspective but kinda nasty from a health perspective. Think about blowing your nose and having black snot in your hanky (which has happened to Grabber and I in London and Cairo) that just can’t be good for you…

Long story short, we should all go biking more! Which means more reasons to shop at MEC – because as the Kaveman says, “it’s all about having the right equipment!” Yay! I love it when my sense of environmental responsibility enables my shopping habit! :)


Into this world we’re thrown

It’s a pretty good indication of how unplugged I am these days that the flooding and tornadoes that hit Toronto this past weekend completely escaped my notice. It wasn’t until a co-worker who was in the GTA on the weekend mentioned that the Don Valley Parkway was waist-deep in water that I found out what had happened.

I’m sure there’ll soon be another round of media hype that we’re seeing the effects of global warming on our climate. This has been a recurring theme this year as a generally warm winter followed by a thunderstorm-racked summer has had everyone speculating. While I”m sure that global warming is having an effect on our climate, I find it difficult to believe that such a drastic change from last year to this year can be solely attributed to the build-up of GHG in our atmosphere (Roland Emmerich movies notwithstanding). It’s not like our rate of damaging our environment has increased dramatically over the last year, so what would be the cause of this? The gradual build-up over the last century or more has all of a sudden reached a threshold point? I think not…


The Prodigal Daughter is born!

Whew – after 48 hours of labour, I’ve already got some good mother guilt on this little one! :D

Well, in an update, little Miss Sophia is a feeding champ (a Hoover wouldn’t have this much suction!), but due to the long and stressful labour, my milk supply hasn’t come in fully yet. Which means a VERY grouchy baby girl (and I think Kaveman will gleefully point out that she’s got a lot of her mom in her on that account! “I don’t know where you are, but I’M HUNGRY!” stories and all), and a trip to the pediatrician. Which meant a trip to the hospital for some bloodwork (she’s a little jaundiced from the lack of milk, and had lost a bit of weight), but all’s well. The long and the short of it – we’re topping up boob with a bit of formula, and my pediatrician has recommended a “beer for breastfeeding” a day. Which meant she and Ev got along famously, as he gleefully took us to Loblaws to pick up some formula, then immediately to the beer store for 3 different types of stout.

My buddha belly is actually shrinking before my very eyes (here they were telling me it was going to take 6 weeks or more…), and aside from some soreness and tiredness, I’m just LOVIN’ being a mom! Ev’s one fine daddy too, and is getting a lot of attention (the ultimate in chick magnets: fine looking guy with a baby!). He’s a fast learner, and the prenatal courses were a gift – he’s got the diaper change/snuggling/getting in and out carseats down to a science.

She’s definitely dady’s little girl (olive skin, full head of dark brown hair – though Righteous Guy’s locks are somewhat sparser than hers these days! :D ) Guess I didn’t see my eyes in her yet – time will tell. As for Righteous Guy, he’s convinced she’s definitely a big farter like her mom…

All in all, a HUGE “thanks for the love and support” to our cast of thousands – Righteous Guy and I felt that we had the world behind us on this one. Kaveman, Homewrecker and Birdlady, it was great to see you after the birth (and Kaveman, let me say you looked in love!), and Limbo from the web ties that bind. Righteous Guy’s groupies were also in tow, from Lenny and Shockomir onwards, and always were great at keeping the gaming coming despite all odds. Finally, both sets of grandparents have been phenomenal, being there to see little Miss Sophia after she was born, stuffing our freezer with food, cleaning the nursery, and “just in the neighbourhood” dropping by almost daily to help out. Also a big thanks to my obstetrician, who, despite it being her Saturday off call, came in personally to deliver me anyways (guess I’m commited to publishing that case report we were talking about now…)

Most of all, I wanted to thank my grand hubby – I couldn’t have done it without him. Throughout the full 2 days plus at the hospital, getting induced, decisions re caesarian or not, etc, he was FANTASTIC. Despite a couple hormonal moments of tiredness and despair, he was nonethelss always there encouraging me, telling me I could do it, and telling me how much he loves me. And he’s turned out to be the proudest papa in the world, and is thrilled his family FINALLY has the baby girl they’ve all wanted! (and kudos to him for keeping that secret under wraps for 9 months).

Enough of the gushing – must be the lactating. I think we’re up for some of our usual coffee and Catan shennanigans at Starbucks this Friday, and eager to show off our newest family member. I’m assuming Kaveman has no issues with me breastfeeding in public, but I’ll be sure to bring a blanket that covers my “nipular areas”! :D

PS: the birth announcement is coming out tomorrow in the local paper, and photos are forthcoming! I suspect little Miss Sophia is going to have one extended family/friend group watchingher grow up here – and as Kaveman says, whether she likes it or not!


Evolutionary Psychology

And here’s another interesting piece of intellectual babble in the evolution realm. Enjoy!


More fuel for the fire

Well, gamers, here’s a piece of news that will no doubt provide more ammo for anti-gaming activists. Jack Thompson, eat your heart out.

As for the poor slob who commited unintended suicide by gaming, well… people really are idiots.


The Return of Hockey

As many of you know, the National Hockey League strike/lockout (it’s all the same, really) officially ended late last month. The weeks since have seen a flurry of off-ice activity with the entry draft and plenty of trades and free-agent signings, which have been made more interesting (and necessary) because of the new salary cap and the strategies and dumping of payroll that go with such a financial scheme.

From my perspective, the recent uptick in league activity has been accompanied by a proportional increase in interested chatter, both in the media and by the public. Radio sports shows seem to be discussing nothing else besides all the player movement and the outlook for the teams involved. The TV networks and their hockey personalities can barely contain their glee at the return of their prime commodity, and are advertising as though the season starts next week. Bar talk and internet banter have picked up hockey as a regular topic with a vengeance once again, and I know my friends and I have had many conversations about which player is going where, which teams are moving up, and how the Senators will fare this season.

All this from a population that generally proclaimed to be “not able to care less” all last winter and spring concerning the potential return of hockey. I thus offer this theory: they were all LYING.

Seriously…how many people did you speak with last fall and winter that did not seem to be bothered by the lockout? Seemed like plenty. How many people professed to not miss NHL hockey during the cold, dark nights of January and February, claiming something silly like “I’m going outside more” or “I like to play sports, not watch sports”. Right. I’ll keep an eye open for you on the cross-country skiing trails at 8pm on a Saturday. I suppose playing poker (which includes watching it on TV, apparently) counts as staying active as well.

General conversation, polls both informal and scientific, and anecdotal evidence all seemed to support the notion that Canadians did not miss hockey one bit and did not care if it returned or not. These responses were given as though it were the highest-paid players themselves that were asking the questions, for the alleged apathy was an obvious reaction to the greedy antics of the two primary participants in the lockout, the league and the players, with the third, and most important, participant – the fans – being blatantly ignored in the process. In reality those fans were mad, not disinterested, and were offering the silent treatment as a response, instead of something a little more constructive and mature.

Sports recap shows filled their gaping holes of airtime with basketball highlights, and people pretended to be interested – when they weren’t cross-country skiing of course. Poker dominated the sports channel airwaves, and people pretended to be interested. Even the dreaded NASCAR has a growing pretend following north of the border.

But worst of all, Canadians pretended to be interested in politics. And not in the good way. Here’s a little rule of thumb for future reference: never have a hockey lockout during a minority government. Or maybe it’s the other way around. How much political bickering occurred in the last 12 months, both in public and behind closed doors? Do we even remember what we were arguing about? I think Canadians were just testy in general because of the lack of hockey, and then filled the vacant hours with pointless, heated debate.

As many of you know, the Gomery Inquiry testimony was reportedly the most popular reality television program in Quebec this past spring. If I may put forth that televised sports was the original incarnation of reality TV, then let me theorize that had the Habs been playing hockey last year then Gomery would have fallen to number two. Since the Liberals’ moral authority to govern seemed to fluctuate daily based on how damning that day’s testimony was about events of ten years ago, I’d say that the discourse about the potential fall of the government would have been lessened had fewer people actually been paying attention. Stephen Harper must have been loving every non-hockey moment of 2004-2005, whereas Paul Martin was probably the happiest man in Canada the minute the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was signed. Remember, the CBC News gets pushed back by up to several hours almost every day for two months beginning in April to make room for playoff coverage. Do you think anybody would have heard of Gremant Grewal had the Canucks, Flames, Leafs, or Senators made it to the Stanley Cup finals?

I for one was always quite honest about my disappointment over the lost season, even if the result is better for the game. That the same result could very well have been achieved without the season being lost is now moot. But allow me the satisfaction of labelling Bob Goodenow as a pig-headed egomaniac as a parting shot. A good hockey game on the tube is often an important ingredient of a fun Saturday night in fall and winter, something to enjoy over beer and pizza with people over or before going out, or watching another game. With the amount of alleged hockey-haters coming out of the closet in recent weeks, it’ll be like it never left. Those two-foot blue lines are sure going to look ugly though.


“Birdbrains” they are not.

Here’s another great story from the BBC:


Seems like these happy hour pigeons gorge themselves on fermented berries, then enjoy a few days of drunken stupor, before sobering up and continuing on in their (I imagine) most boring of lives (thank goodness they’ve got bipedal friends who are happy to look after them, and allow them to crash at their place!). Interestingly enough, here in Canada we have our own “drunk as a skunk” avian friends: seems that cedar waxwings deliberately seek out fermenting berries, and are known to spend time perching upside down on tree branches, stumbling about our sidewalks, and generally making fools of themselves (if birds can truly accomplish such a feat). Couple that with our black bears, who make return visits every year to the same magic mushroom patch in the wild, and you have to admit that humans aren’t the only species on this lovely planet of ours to enjoy some mind-altering experiences!

Cheers, and enjoy the article!


Working for the man…

Swearing at the telemarketers won’t make them go away so stop doing it.


London bombings

So once again, London has been hit by what seems like terrorist attacks. I try to be an open-minded person, but has anyone seen any evidence of what exactly extremists feel they are accomplishing with this? I don’t think they are aiming to just make a statement, because there are other ways to do that; but realistically, they’re not going to exterminate the entire Western world one bomb at a time, either. From what I see, all it seems to accomplish is breeding hatred against extremist Muslim groups, and unfortunately, against all Muslims in general. Killing people doesn’t create respect for cultures. So if that’s not the aim, does anyone know what it is?…..



Daylight savings time

Apparently the US is looking to adopt a plan to extend daylight savings time by a month at each end (it would now run from March to November) in order to save energy:



This could potentially wreak havoc on Canadian busnisess if we don’t go along with it: 2 months of confusion over travel times, appointments and conference calls and on a personal level, tv programs! ‘Course this is assuming you do business with or travel to the states, or watch american tv… if not, I guess it’s not that big a deal. But otherwise it could get awfully messy.


Hey – we made it on to BBC world news!

Ah, Canada’s presence is again felt on the world stage.

It appears that this most important article was deemed newsworthy enough to compete with the war in Iraq, the London bombings, and Mandela’s 87th birthday:


Check it out – “the second most common excuse for speeding”! :D


Fantastic Four review.

Worst. Movie. Ever.

I can’t BELIEVE I didn’t check out Metacritic before seeing this, as I ended up wanting those two hours of my life back. Definitely felt like walking out. I’m not even going to get into its faillings as an adaptation because I was never very familiar with the comic series.

The best part of the movie BY FAR is the short film preview for Ice Age 2.

This horrible movie can be summed up by pointing out that NOTHING HAPPENS. Some idiot of a studio exec (sorry, redundant) probably figured that character development was an important part of a movie, except you’re still supposed to do that part well. Acting: bad. Directing: awful. Editing: Atrocious. Script: cocktail napkin. A few characters have the same conversation several times. Aren’t sappy scenes supposed to be interspersed with ACTION???

The entire movie is painfully slow-moving backstory for the final fight, which is terrible of course. But at that point you don’t care and you just want the whole thing to be over. The only other action in the flick involve public calamities that the F4 caused in the first place. Whenever any of them are in public everyone is cheering, even though they haven’t done anything good for anybody. In fact they are busy trying to get rid of their powers. Apparently, with great power comes great responsibillity. What? Screw that.

I grow tired of superhero movies that spend half the film (or more, in this case) showing how they got their powers in the first place and then go straight into fighting their arch-nemesis. F4 is obviously trying to start a franchise but it is not going to happen.

If someone in studioland wanted to toy with a new business model, Fantastic Four is the kind of thing that should be made available for free on the Internet 6 months or so before you release the REAL movie.


Everything you ever wanted to know about…

…good vibrations.


More truth being stranger than fiction

Ah – more shennanigans from the BBC!

This article, besides being just downright funny, had some great quotes:
“barmy” – obviously a British journalist
“Never shake the bucket of nuts before you’re tied to the yak rope” – enough said.



(and I’m sure I’ll get an email back from Kaveman any second now on how to actually set up the link…) :D

Grabber and her little pumpkin


For Homewrecker – I cried for you…

Here’s a little tidbit from the BBC that reminded me of a certain old pet of Homewreckers (admittedly, her little hedgehog was African genetically, but “Kramer”, despite his ill temper, was DAMNABLY cute). Try not to cry, Homewrecker, try not to cry… (though I’ll admit I got a good laugh from how the biologists are estimating numbers: “how many dead and live hedgehogs have you seen today on rural route 99?”)



Funny and yet socially conscious…

Check out this link :)



What is Greenland?

Here’s an interesting one; Is greenland a part of North America, or isn’t it? I’m not up on my plate tectonics, but it certainly is quite close to Canada. On the other hand, continental boundaries that are arbitraty and culture-based do exist (i.e. where exactly is the division between Asia and Europe? Is there even a boundary).

DirtyOldToon, you’re the geographer, how do you weigh in on this one? Just curious!


Pretty new computer

Actually it’s just kavians old computer in a pretty new case. Oh yea, and i got into Ottawa U. Now I’m a Mathmagician!


How charming.

Budget amendment passes.

Nice to see the Conservatives playing nice about it:

“When push comes to shove the Liberals will make any deal with anybody,” Harper said after the vote. “And it doesn’t matter whether it’s with the socialists or with the separatists or any bunch of crooks they can find.”

“It’s a very sour end to an acrimonious and bitter session and does not bode well for the future workings of Parliament. If this is the kind of diabolical, sneaky, treacherous, behind-the-scenes activities that are going to go on…”

“We have to start thinking that Hannibal Lecter is running the government and they’ll do anything they have to do to win.”

“Let’s be clear, the Liberal party is now cutting deals with the separatists, to appease the socialists, to prop up their corrupt government,” MacKay said.

You’re not in p0wer…get over it.


When politicians don’t register their own domain name

Rick Mercer is at it again, using the Internet for his own deliciously nefarious purposes (although this certainly does not top the Doris Day petition). Enjoy !


Little people are idiots too…



I think this law’s dead on the water…

Ah – governmental policies bring out the true peopleareidiots mantra in full form!

It seems the Spanish government, in an attempt to get more of the country’s “macho” mean to engage in housework, is initiating a law making it mandatory that the XY partner in a marriage do 50% of the cleaning, childrearing, elder care, etc. Check it out:


Apparently, it’s becoming part of every civil marriage contract that both parties have to sign. I’m not holding my breath on Pedro ironing the family’s clothes and Miguel fedding grandpa… Nice idea, in theory, but to make it LAW?


A true gem for peoplearediots.ca

Ah, Kaveman – the Ottawa Citizen publishes an article worthy of your blog:

Tycoon sought to raise race of geniuses on utopian isle – the Ottawa Citizen, Sunday, June 12, 2005

A Californian tycoon who created a sperm bank supplied by Nobel prize winners set out to buy a British island to create a “magic kingdom” worthy of their genius offspring, according to a new book.

(…) Mr. Graham, whose Los Angeles sperm bank has been called “the most audacious genetic engineering experiment in American history,” wanted an island where he could work “away from the idiots of the human race,” says David Plotz, author of The Genius Factory.

I’d say this sounds like your kind of place, but it ends up more Isle of Dr. Moireau in the end. Scary part is, this tycoon was a firm believer in eugenics, and felt that “clever white people would always breed the cleverest babies”. Apparently Mr. Graham had to make his fortune in discovering shatter proof glass first, before he could try his hand at his own version of Fantasy Island. Funny part is, even though he spent considerable time, money, and effort on his venture, no one apparently wanted to join him in his eugenics paradise! (One has to wonder if he only invited bright Caucasians, or if he was somewhat more open to different skin colours, as long as the person was a genius. No mention is made of what women he approached for the venture).

Truth IS stranger than fiction…

The Grabber and her little pea (more like a pumpkin these days!)


Lost and Alone

So yeah it’s me. i know it’s been a while. and you’ve been greatful that you wouldn’t have to suffer threw trying to desifer my spelling. but i’m back!
anyways. i lost my bestest best friend a while ago. just up and disappeared without saying good-bye. like hello now. and i’ve been trying to get a hold of her. you got a letter here from Otttawa U. and when are you coming back? i need someone to hang out with man. i’m getting bored.


I see you have constructed a new

…light-emitting computer.

Actually the good folks at RBComputing constructed it.
Bird Lady’s alleged dilemma reminded me to post about it.

AMD Athlon64 3000+ S939 Processor
Gigabyte GAK8NF-9 NF4 S939 MB w/Audio/GBLan/SATA/RAID/FW/PCI-E Mobo
512MB PC3200 DDR RAM
Seagate 120GB 7200RPM 8MB SATA Hard drive
Asus Extreme N6200 Turbo Cache 128MB PCIe Video Card
Aspire Turbo X-DreamerII Mid-Tower Case w/Window/350Watt PS

I wasn’t going to get a new vid card, I was going to just transfer my old one until I could afford a high-end one, but my old one is AGP and the newer mobo’s are PCI-e, which I didn’t know, so I had them throw on the cheapest vid card they had, which is still better than my old one.

Anyway, I’m back! You can now look forward to all kinds of obnoxious PC game reviews!

PS. If anyone is in the market for an Athlon 800 with 128mb RAM and 20GB HD, I know where to find one. ;)


Tales from the east

Having been gone over a week now I should chime in with details of my trip. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve ceased following Kaveman around in order to visit and follow around my friend, who I suspect is the only pure reader and not poster of this site, Leah. So what a trip it has been. I’ve been all over Nova Scotia so far, and had a little tangle with the Atlantic ocean which didn’t end in my favor. Little tip: you can never predict how big the next wave will be based on the one before it. But I can now say I dipped my toe in the Atlantic ocean. As well as the rest of my foot. And ankle.
As for more pleasant aspects of the trip Leah did in fact graduate this morning so she wasn’t just making it all up to get me to visit and before that I saw many sights of Leah’s childhood on the south shore. Also, we managed to score Coldplay tickets for august, although our noses will be bleeding. Oh, and I watched two seasons of Queer as Folk while Leah went to work.
Altogether the valley is much as I left it, which makes me not regret doing just that, and as soon as Leah leaves this forsaken province I won’t look back. Although it has been a pleaseant place to visit, I wouldn’t want to live here. As for where I would like to live I’m very excited to get back to Bytown and move in with Happy Phantom, although I’m sure noone could be more hospitable than Leahs grandparents, I’m sure we’ll do alright. See you all in a few days.


Let’s get back to intelligent design

Richard Dawkin’s rant on the subject can be viewed here. And a delightfully ignorant criticism of the theory of evolution which confuses evolution and speciation can be read here.


Fainting Goats….


Maybe Homewrecker could prove me wrong, but I can’t see this as being much of an evolutionary advantage. God must have been coming off a three-day bender…


Good relationships with the Wookies I have!

The reviews begin!


Call me for some overtime

So, apparently, the 613 area code will be transitioned into 10-digit dialing as of June 17, 2006. I guess our little big city is growing up!

(Limbo, you’re getting this too, along with a whole new area code.)

However, this is something I’ve actually been doing for a couple of years now. When programming the phone book on my current cell phone, I put everyone’s number in using the full format (1 + area code + phone number). My thought was that if it would work for local calls, I could use the same phone book entries whether I was in town or not. It did indeed work, so I’m all set for the transition.

I’m not sure why I needed to tell you all about that last bit, other than to prove how incredibly dull I am… :-)


Informatics lack of intelligence

I phoned our in-house informatics folks a month and a half ago to upgrade the operating system on my computer. Last Wednesday, they finally came by and picked up my PC.

After a couple of days of working on my boss’s PC, with no access to my email, I phoned informatics back Friday morning and asked how much longer I would be without my computer. Despite providing my ticket number, the person I was talking to had no clue what kind of work was being done on my PC, but eventually figured out who my technician was and attempted to contact him. As there was no response, and there was no indication as to how much longer I would have to be without my computer, I asked to have a profile created on my boss’ computer so that I could check my email. This was done, and I started sifting through the backlog of email.

One of the first messages I had was from the technician, dated Thursday, emailing me to let me know that my computer was almost ready, but that he needed a software CD from me in order to complete the work. Could I please get in touch with him ASAP since he would be away on Friday…

I struggle to understand how he expected me to answer his email when HE HAD MY COMPUTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is he allergic to the phone? The mind boggles…


Am I Evil?

Yes I am.

Believe the hype.
It’s one week away. It’s better than Return of the Jedi. It has 20 minutes of lightsaber combat. Jar Jar doesn’t talk. ‘Nuff said.


What I’ve been up to

Hi all –

Since I haven’t been here in awhile I thought I’d give you a quick update:

Got a new part-time job doing community-based occupational therapy, mostly home visits with people who are hurt in car accidents. It’s not nearly as depressing as that sounds, and actually everyone at work is really great. I am having trouble getting adjusted to the egos and expectations in the private sector, though. Cause I’m pretty sure I’m not going to check my work email five times a day on a laptop that takes 20 minutes to boot, when I’m only working 10 hours a week. Deal with it. :)

We are finally almost finished with the renovations on our beloved TV room. It’s a good thing in that the walls will be a lot smoother, I can paint them something other than nasty 80′s dark teal, we now have almost no galvanized plumbing in our house, and we have a shiny new faucet in the bathtub (Homewrecker, Birdlady and Grabber should admire over girls weekend coming up!) But boy, it’s been an ugly process :) Here’s a pic of the worst part (hope this works), when we could see that the people who sold us our house clearly thought we wouldn’t notice the ghetto silicon patch job they tried to do on the tub drain. Ah, the joys of house ownership!


B.S., M.S., Pile higher and Deeper

Further to the extensive conversation regarding the treatment of science in the (arguably) science fiction works of Star Wars vs. Star Trek, one of the themes that has come up is just how grounded in current scientific thought the science needs to be in science fiction, and whether or not it is OK if the creator choses not to bother to base their future scie & tech on actual science but instead to BS his/her way through it.

In order to shed some light on this subject, I believe that the following definition of BS could prove helpful. Enjoy.

PS I figured out the link button! I figured out the link button! OK, I found the link button! (It is a little cryptic, you know!)


Stop Referring to Yourself as “Myself”!!!!

This is a brief grammar lesson rant.

“Myself” is a reflexive pronoun. A reflexive pronoun is used as the object of a verb when the action of the verb returns to the doer. In other words, a reflexive pronoun is used when the subject and the object are the same person. For example,

“I play with myself.”

In this sentence, “myself” refers back to the subject, “I”.

Sometimes, a reflexive pronoun is used to refer back to the object. For example,

“Allow me to introduce myself.”

In this sentence, “myself” refers back to the object, “me”.

“Myself” is NEVER used as the subject. For example, you cannot say, “Myself will go to the movies.” Likewise, you cannot say, “James, Lars, Kirk, and myself are going to the movies.”

“Myself” is NEVER used as a stand-alone object. For example, you cannot say, “James, Lars, and Kirk went with myself to the movies.” Nor could you say, “The movie was watched by myself.”

The basic rule is this: you only use “myself” when you’re already the subject or the object. If your sentence doesn’t already include “I” or “me”, you don’t say “myself”.

Next week: Conditional sentences with past perfect verb clauses.


Forget Star Wars…

I can’t believe I beat Kaveman to this one: The Serenity Trailer is out!!

Of course they make the movie look like any other big Sci-Fi blockbuster but we all know how misleading trailers can be, so I’m optimistic that under all the effects it will be the same quirky/funny/deep Joss Whedon mix we all know and love :)


You know Lucas sucks when…

In anticipation of the final Star Wars instalment, to which our übergeek Kaveman will no doubt obtain opening night tickets, I have the following to share with you all; apparently, fans make better Lucas movies than Lucas does. http://www.slate.com/id/2117760/

The fan-made movie, Star Wars Revelations (the movie site is here http://www.panicstruckpro.com/revelations/revelations.html), made for for $20,000 US, using fans’ homemade costumes and the donated efforts of CGI artists, is apparently astonishingly good. I recommend one of you download it for a pre-Episode III movie night!


Your mother told you not to Hitchhike…

Last Friday, Kaveman arranged for a larger than usual group to see The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Hollywood seems to be getting better at not completely and utterly butchering pre-existing material in order to make a movie that keeps studio executives happy, and Hitchhiker is no exception.

Despite changes to a text that I have read and reread so often that I am more familiar with than most Christians are with the Bible, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. Lots of giggles, and changes were clearly made with the intention of keeping the same spirit but ensuring that the story was well adapted for the movie medium. Furthermore, it’s clear that the Director and Producer share Douglas Adams brand of humour, http://hitchhikers.movies.go.com/movienews/fan_interview.html, so it’s not too surprising the movie worked. However, although I thoroughly enjoyed myself, I did notice that the theatre was quieter than usual.

I wonder if the movie simply wound up being just one big inside joke, which will only seem mildly entertaining to those who are nto already die-hard Adams fans. What do the rest of you think?


My Weekend

So what did you all do last weekend? Hrm, well me? I bought a HOUSE! Well, technically mum bought the house in the sense that she’ll be signing all the papers and handing over all the money, but y’know, I was there too… So yea, this house, which will first be inhabited by myself and happy phantom and then later by mummy, marks the coming together of Kavemans master plan to get us all to move to Capital City! I wonder what happens when you’ve acheived your master plan, do you need a new master plan or do you just bask in the glory of your accomplishments? More importantly though, look at my pretty new house!


Happy Mothers Day!


“Mr.T gotta fire his publicist!”


Finally entitled to a social life again!

I handed in my final version of my thesis proposal yesterday! This means that I can finally start coming out with people again! I’m allowed to be social!

Still lots left to do (find funding, continue research, arrange academic leave, etc…) but I no longer have a large deadline looming over my head… at least not until next February!

Although I still had to use words like constructedness – those academics are destroying the English language!! :P


move complete Anger subsiding

Well thanks to all the hard work of my mover monkeys , the move of all my crap to a new place went very very well . A very special thanks to Kaveman the UBER mover , who once again was great , even to the point of not drinking any of my beer ( purchased for the movers to drink ) lol…

In Any case U-haul was a non issue .. rented from National Car and truck .. cost me a little more but in the end well worth it , the Movers were great and so thanks in No particular order to

KAV : AKA Uber Mover
Tim: AKA old/new/Old housemate ( he is old like 33 already ! )
Steve : AKA the Rocking Steve Hawken Ex- of Chez 106.. just chez NO !
Trevor : AKA gotta go cause my dog pooped in my truck
Elmo : AKA dog who pooped in Trevor’s truck
Dave S : AKA Billy showed up twice once to help once to drink beer ..

Invites to house warming to follow via these means and other more Archaic forms Like Email!


some PAI funny’s

And the shameless plug for the last one …

13 Reasons to Smile

Now that food has replaced sex in my life, I can’t even get into my own pants.
I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with “Guess” on it.
So I said “Implants?” She hit me.

How come we choose from just two people to run forpresident and 50 for Miss America?
A good friend will come and bail you out of jail…but, a true friend will be sitting next to you saying, “Darn…that was fun!”

I signed up for an exercise class and was told to wear loose-fitting clothing. If I HAD any loose-fitting clothing, I wouldn’t have signed up in the first place!

When I was young we used to go “skinny dipping,” now I just “chunky dunk.”

Don’t argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able
to tell the difference.

Wouldn’t it be nice if whenever we messed up our life we could simply press ‘Ctrl Alt Delete’ and start all over? AMEN, AMEN !!

Why is it that our children can’t read a Bible in school, but they can in prison?

Wouldn’t you know it…Brain cells come and brain cells go, but FATcells live forever.

Why do I have to swear on the Bible in court when the Ten Commandments cannot be displayed in a federal building?

Bumper sticker of the year:
“If you can read this, thank a teacher -and, since it’s in English, thank a soldier !!”


My academic prowess

I want to announce that I finally, at long last, have an academic supervisor for my thesis!! YAY!! And, bonus, he thinks that my proposal was really good and well written! And all this praise despite the fact that I had to use ugly words like reflexivity and constructedness!!

I am so smart! I am so smart! S.M.R.T.! no, wait, S.M.A.R.T.! :P


RANT : U-haul

UPDATE TO THE RANT .. so I have canceled with the below Mentioned A-holes.. and have booked with a different company discount .. it will cost me a little more but piece of mind does have a price i guess.. so I will pay it .. having said that .. who wants to help me move .. lol! seriously though.. anyone who would like to can and will be treated to the very best beer and pizza i can find

Rant complete until Uhaul tries to screw me even though I cancelled

So .. I feel the need to share my Experience about this company .. deep breath .. so I book a truck for my upcoming move through the U-haul website , they say a rep will contact me to confirm my reservation by 5 pm the next day .. so Ok this is the 17th of March .. St-patricks day .. sooo I think nothing of it .. maybe they are drunk .. that is why i get no call .. so .. fast forward to today .. i call the 1-800 number I have for Uhaul .. from the confirmation Email.. .. they say yes .. we have your reservation and we have given it to the REGIONAL center to process .. and here is the number .. 613-733-2665 .. so OK I call the number … Ring ! Ring !Ring ! X 10 … no answer .. no voice mail.. Ok .. so I call U-haul 1-800 back .. they say yes that is the number for them .. it is a sub-contracter ( Two small men with big hearts ) .. Uhaul only has that number for them.. SO I get the yellow Page out … and look up U-haul .. find the local number for a dealer .. on coventry RD .. ( down the Road from 2 small men place. ) and the coventry Rd guys don’t want to deal with me .. cause they don’t have my Reservation.. .. When I elude to the Un=professionalism of this situation .. I get attidude from the clerk or whatever you call them people … i can’t help you , kinda thing … Really .. I am a customer … booked with your company and you can’t help me sort out a problem … So I am told to call the 2 small men place so i do with there REAL number and get this.. this will Kill you .. they aren’t set up to be a Uhaul Dealer !!! they have had a people refered to them all the Time ..!!! and they aren’t dealers .. they are in the process of becoming.. ( they were asked if they wanted to be ) .. but they aren’t hooked up on the system .. they have no Uhaul LAN or hook-ups for phone or computer.. hence the reason the F!#$!#% phone number doesn’t work .. anyway had a good chat with the 2 small men guys… they apologise ALOT about it , cause it makes them look unprofessional .. etc.. .. I would have booked with them .. but get this .. they only rent out trucks With Movers !! not Stand-alone .. so i call the Uhaul 1800 back .. and Explain to them “the Situation” but they don’t seem to want to deal with the ” Situation” except to say Ok we have rebooked you with the Coventry office instead and thanks and have a good day .. can’t wait for them to call me back ….

you know .. as a customer .. I feel that i should be able to ask a simple question and not get shit as a response . maybe I am asking too much ..
and yes .. i am waiting for the Phone call .. cause I still need a truck .. but man am I ever going to get it for Cheap ..

end transmission



Yea, I couldn’t think of a matrix quote for this: the long awaited picture of my broken cat!


Reality TV in Quebec

Well, since someone else broke the Matrix chain, I feel that I can go ahead and post again! (Sorry, Matrix dialog just doesn’t live in my head, I don’t have space for it now that my brain is full of political ecology).

Anyway, for those Reality TV critics and Fox-haters, you might be amused by this; the most popular reality TV in Quebec… is the Gomery inquiry. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20050321/GOMERYSIDE21/National/Idx


Sleepless in Ontario

Don’t you hate it when you can’t sleep?
Well i got my first response to the add i put on the durham daycare site today. and now i’m waiting for a reply to see if she’s o.k. with my prices and if she wants to come see my little center. I’m so excited that i might have a client that i can’t stop thinking about it….it’s like waiting for santa claus.
And since i can’t sleep my cat can’t sleep….she has issues. if i’m not in bed she comes and stares at me to tell me that it’s bed time and that she’s ready to go to sleep.
and just so you know i htink you should have a category called can’t sleep just for this type of occasion when you can’t sleep and feel like talking about why you can’t sleep heheh i’d be here often heheh.
well i’m going to go put my cat to bed and hopefully petting her will lull me into the bliss we call sleep.


Follow the white rabbit

Hang on… You’re saying “whoa” is a Matrix quote? I mean, yes, I know it’s Keanu’s favourite word, but that’s still pretty general. I mean it could be the first half of “Whoa, Nelly!” not to mention a standard way of persuading livestock to slow down. I hereby object to all uses of the word “whoa” being automatically categorised as Keanu quotes. ;)


Why oh why didn’t I take the blue pill?

You guys are nerds. Wait, shit, so am I.


You think that’s air you’re breathing?

Arriving at WesternSince Boyo and I seem to have inadvertently started this anyway, let’s see how many posts we can do that use at least vaguely relevant quotes from the Matrix trilogy as the post heading. I say we can get at least 10 before I lose it and go back to song lyrics…

As you can see from the pictures, this weekend included yet another visit to the Gatineaus for some cross-country skiing. Actually, I managed to drag myself onto the trails on both Saturday and Sunday, but the latter was by far the more intense ski. Saturday was simply a quick trip up the Gatineau Parkway (from P3), with a little detour around trails #5 and #26.

Sitting Behind WesternSunday was something new for me — all the way out to Western after starting at P10, which means climbing the Fortune Parkway for about 1.5km right off the bat. Usually, after that climb, I’m pretty beat, and not really in any shape to go much further than Huron (about 5km from P10). Yesterday, however, I (along with BogMan, Homewrecker and Righteous Guy) went the extra 3km after Huron out to Western. The middle picture is us enjoying the view from behind Western (a similar picture as was taken a couple weeks ago, but with more heads). So, we totalled out at about 16km, and coming back down the Fortune Parkway was a blast as always!

At Gerry and Isobel'sAfterwards was a stop for the usual post-ski tea, although I took a little longer to get there than most. The Grabber and Righteous Guy’s father (does that make him Righteous Dad?) had abandoned us at Shilly-Shally, so they had been there for over an hour by the time I made it down. As a result, I had to forgo my usual warm beverage. It’s ok, though, cuz the ski was worth it. It was also worth the sore back and stiff legs today, too… :-)



I can’t believe I’m getting to this before Kav.

Anyone see the new Star Wars preview? It was well worth having to sit through a few minutes of The OC (in case you’ve never seen it, it’s a cross between 90210 and PG-13 porn). BTW I love how they tell you to tune in at 8, as though people actually think it won’t be in the last ad break, although I did manage to catch the new trailer for Sin City as well (which looks quite good, though the genre isn’t quite my thing).

Oh yeah, Episode III. As we all know, Lucas has left himself with a lot of ground to cover and it appears as though the results will be quite pleasing. I’ve been optimistic about this installment for years, while being a slight apologist for the first two, suspecting that they might have been setting up the best of the lot (they are prequels after all). Anyway the trailer was very impressive, and the variety of scenes they showed makes it look like there might actually be a few quiet dramatic scenes wedged in among all the epic (and I mean huge) action. It seems like half the movie will have someone with a lightsaber on screen (including Yoda, again). I just hope the Chewbacca angle isn’t too cheezy, and that JarJar dies earlier rather than later. :)


…there is no discourse which is unrelated to materialities.

Yes, the title is part of a real sentence in a real article in a real peer-reviewed journal (albeit one I have never heard of before!!!). So far, I’m not even one page in and I’m not impressed.

Kaveman has ranted about people making up words, and I have foiled his rants by providing definitions for a few words that he claimed did not exist. (The caveat, of course, is that the words don’t mean what Kaveman’s colleagues think they mean ;) ) But this takes the cake. Materialities? Who makes this s&*^ up?

Unfortunately, Dictionary.com does not agree with me, and has provided me with a definition, those bastards…. mind, you, given that definition 2 out of 2 is “Physical substance; matter”, it seems like the word is pretty redundant and unecessary.



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I threw up a little.