Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Help me find my Christmas present

OK, so my company told us to pick Christmas presents for ourselves, anything under $100 at ThinkGeek.com. Surf on over there and look around and post your suggestion in the comments.

By al - 6:48 p.m. | (15) comments | Post a Comment

Up and Running. . .

Got the webserver back up and running on the weekend. Getting it back up was quite the hassle and I'm glad I don't have to do it again. . . ever. I rediscovered why I had MDK8.1 install on it before; these newer distros just don't run well on limited hardware, e.g. P-233, 32MB RAM, and 2MB Trident video. How MDK10.0 detected the PCMCIA cards during installation and was unable to find them later is still a mystery to me, but at least the damn thing is working. Hardships aside, getting a clean webserver up and running is somewhat rewarding.

I'm quite surprised at how much computer work I got done over the weekend, while still getting semi-reasonable amounts of sleep. Got most of my todo list done. Didn't quite get the RAID-1 array up, but I did get the partition hell cleaned up. Burning a full DVD in 16 minutes is cool. A few lingering items to do next weekend, but at least the hardstuff is over with. The rest is fun stuff (in a geeky sorta way).

Started assembly on a new computer for Greggu. This thing is nice. Still waiting on a couple of parts, but it should really cool once I'm done. Can't wait to see what it does on the benchmark tests. I should post a couple of pictures when it's finished.

By Ming - 2:52 p.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Monday, November 29, 2004

The Take at City Cinema

I wrote about the new documentary, The Take, about Argentinian factory works who take over abandoned factories and start producing goods on their aown, a while back. Link.. It's one of those movies that gets made but us little people who don't live in cities with their own film festivals don't ever get to watch. I was actually even thinking about buying the DVD, but it looks like the good folks over at City Cinema are getting it in tomorrow.

Sabrina, that means you'd better be well enough by tomorrow night to come see it :)

Will post my thoughts on it shortly.

Update: I wrote a full review of The Take here.

By al - 6:36 p.m. | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Tried to get help, was refused

Okay today is day 8 of being sick. My cold or what ever it is as given me a fever, two kinds of soar throats and a lot time with my head in a toilet. Plus there has been this whole lack of eating thing. On top of that it has been a cycling cold. I feel really bad one day and like I can handle the world the next (but just barely). Last night was not a good night. I was up all night with the wonders of this cold, soar throat and vomiting and later in the night the development of a cough. Today I thought that is enough, time to get my sick ass to a doctor and get some help.
In Charlottetown there is this new clinic, in is down town and open 9-6 at the friendly pharmacy. Sounds good to me I will go and check it out. Probably take a while but since I don’t have a doctor in town. …
Well here is what happened. I went and there was about 10-15 people a head of me. I figured I would be there for a couple hours at least. NO. It took the doctor about 40 minutes to go through the patients. “Damn it” was my thought, why you may wonder. A doctor going this fast will do exactly what this doctor did.
I got into a little blue room and took over the box of tissue while I was waiting for him. Did some coughing and other sickly related activities. When the doctor came in I was trying not to vomit on him. I am going to paraphrase what happened here.
“Asthma eh!”
“What do you take?”
I listed off the meds I have been taking for years.
“Let have a listen to your chest. Sounds good to me”
“I know my chest is not the problem I want to keep this out of my chest.” I was scrambling trying to tell him what was wrong before he left. He was writing somethign down and I don't think he heard a word I said.
“I suggest you take more of this particular puffer!”
Then he left.
I was left there starring. “But what about eating, it’s been days since I have been able to hold on to a meal. What about my sinus? You didn’t ask what was wrong! Needless to say I don’t recommend people go to this clinic unless the only thing you are interested in is getting prescription and really don’t care if it is the right prescription.
When I left I felt like I could have walked in with Ebola and he would not have seen anything but the big asthma thing on the top of my chart. So after being to a doctor I have received no help and now beyond being sick I am now very upset. This man was obviously one of those doctors who is in it for the money. One of those smart people who probably was related to the right person and got into med school as a result. I am headed to another topic now so I will stop here.

By Sabrina - 11:07 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Beat that, bitches.

I am officially the greatest Rocket Mania player in existance (that I know of)

By al - 4:31 p.m. | (2) comments | Post a Comment

Skype - Anybody out there?

Skype seems to be quite a useful little Voice-over-IP program. I'm certainly lagging way behind the techie avant-garde in trying it out, but it's quite a cool little app. It doesn't give me any of the problems that MSN Messenger and other programs that do VoIP have had. And the sound quality is pretty top-notch. Certainly better than the time Greg and I used iPhone to call each other from across the hall, and we were stuck in half-duplex mode and he could hear himself through my speakers.

They also have a deal where you can dial out to regular phones for ridiculously low rates, like 1c/m to Mexico (or 1/10th of that if it's Mexico City)

Definitely worth downloading and checking out.

By al - 11:54 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Ash-E Jow (Iranian Barley Soup)

       1 c  Dried barley

1/2 c Dried green or red lentils
6 c Water
2 md Onions, diced
2 T Olive or sunflower oil
1 T Dried mint or parsley
1 t Turmeric
1/2 t Ground black pepper

1) Put everything into a pot and then bring to a gentle boil.

2) Simmer for 1 1/4 hours, stirring occasionally.

3) Serve with feta cheese and salad.

By al - 10:04 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Guess I'm a hacker...

Ignorance always makes me angry
(especially when it's written as a joke, that some people wont get)

By Peter - 1:37 p.m. | (6) comments | Post a Comment

Friday, November 26, 2004

Computer Filled Weekend. . . .

Not that anyone probably noticed, but my webserver's been down since last weekend. Removing windows and trying to reclaim the space it took was much more difficult than I expected. Primary reason being Partition Magic didn't like ReiserFS. So after a few fail runs, I decided to completely wipe off the harddrive and reinstall the OS. Not a bad idea on paper. I forgot how hard it is to install any OS on that machine. . . for some god forsaken reason, it doesn't like having an OS installed on it and will crash no particular reason as different points of the install. Took about a day and half of rerunning the installer before I finally got it to swallow Mandrake 10. Didn't get a chance to complete the install, so this weekend it configure the webserver weekend.

Also got a new DVD burner. Got sick of my old burner not burning at 2x. Plus I wanted to be able to burn dual-layer discs. So, I got myself a new 16x DVD-burner to install and test this weekend.

Parts from NCIX for Greggu's beast machine will be picked up as well. Aside from assembling them, I also got a hard drive for the file server. Will probably start restructuring the machine over the weekend. . . so I can take one of the old drives out and try modding my XBox with it (running my XBox games from the hard drive is cool).

Am I going to get all this done over the weekend. . . I have this feeling that I'm not. I have this feeling I'm not going to get much sleep this weekend either.

By Ming - 1:58 p.m. | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Ukraine Rejects US Vote Result, Sees Consequences

Nov. 25, 2004 - Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich on Wednesday rejected the results of the United States' disputed presidential election and warned the authorities of "consequences" if they do not investigate reports of fraud.

Yanukovich pleaded for all sides in the former democratic republic to resolve the crisis over Tuesday's presidential election, in which conservative-backed President George W. Bush was declared the winner over challenging Senator John Kerry.

Tens of thousands of Kerry supporters have not marched in Washington, DC since the vote, preferring merely to accuse the authorities of staging mass fraud to deny him victory. International observers have also reported widespread abuses.

This turned up in my inbox a couple of times, so I assume it's making the rounds. Apologies if this makes no sense to the non-news junkies.

By al - 4:41 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Things I love or enjoy

It is funny how our minds works, this is just a few of the things I was thinking about just a few moments ago.

When I sit down in a warm shower and let the warm water trickle over my naked flesh tickling and caressing every part of my youthful body.
The taste of cold water as it run over dried lips moistening a parched tongue, and cooling a warmed belly as it glides down my throat.
The smell of warm apple pie coming out of the oven, the waves of it sent filling my senses.
Seeing the smile of friend as I open the door to my apartment
The taste of the season’s first berries
The feeling of the water as it glides over my fingers, writes arms, head neck and shoulders, as it bubbles over my torso, and slides over my thighs, knees ankles, feet and toes when I dive into the pool first thing in the morning.
The feeling of the sun warming my pale face on a cold day, its rays dancing on my eyelashes and healing my frozen winter soul
A hug, given by anyone who I love
The feeling of not being able to contain the smile on my face or the gleam in my eye
The momentary crush that one gets after meeting someone new and exciting
The first warm air in the spring, coming to melt the dirty snow away
Hearing that I look nice
Hearing the rain fall on the window sill as I sit in my room reading a book or closing my eyes to rest for the night
Seeing the sun come through my curtains knowing I don’t have to get up.
Those first few hours on Sunday morning when everyone else is still asleep and I can just read and drink my herbal tea.
Hearing any of my nick names
Dancing with a friend, just for fun
Hearing a good song come on the radio and turning it up.
Having a good song play on the radio just as I hit the intersection at the top of North river road and getting the green light, putting my baby into forth and driving up that hill singing at the top of my lungs
Seeing the moon light
Putting on my green checkered socks
Sucking the drool from my chin when I have bitten into a juicy piece of water melon
Getting a piece of mail from a friend
The brush of someone else’s lips on mine, tickling all the sensations of the mouth
A well told joke
Voice of a friend
The taste of hot chocolate after playing in the snow
The taste of ice tea in the heat of the summer
The smell of clean sheets
When a man walks by me smelling of mint or cinnamon
Meeting a new friend, learning all about them
Seeing “Hey sweety” on MSN
Seeing friends or family any time
The smell of the air before it rains and after it has finished rain
The virgin snow after the first snow fall of the year
The first spring bloom, the sweet color and fragrant smell
The taste of fresh chocolate

There are always things to help us smile; these are just a few of mine. If you think I am silly, well some times I am. But perhaps one of my list brought a memory that made you smile to :)

By Sabrina - 9:14 p.m. | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Dream Diary: Classic Movie

OK, this dream took place mostly entirely in black and white. The impression I am getting is that I am watching a classic film that I never really cared for, something that everyone says is brilliant, but that I, for one reason or another, never ended up watching all the way through.

So I'm watching the action of the movie happen all around me, I'm not sitting in a theatre, or watching it on television, it's just happening around me. Kind of like the idea in Pleasantville, actually. Except that I am definitely an observer of pre-destined actions rather than the main participant.

Not sure what movie plot I was actually dreaming about. It involved a young lady and a young man who seem to accidentally come to be in a relationship both are hesitant about, but they both attempt to make a great deal of importance out of the courtship, seemingly because they want to impress older relatives, or show them up, in the case of the young man, to show that he's made something of himself by being able to buy this young lady expensive gifts and take her on trips around the world.

The young lady is also living with a middle-aged man and some children. I think she is employed as a nanny or teacher to the kids. Whenever the wife isn't in the house, she sits at the dinner table with the rest of the family, and looks very happy. But when the wife is at the table, she young lady (no one has names) only appears to be a servant, bringing food to the table, and then not knowing what to do with herself.

I miss the plot climax of the movie because I go to the video store to look at other movies to rent. This part takes place in colour. The store has one shelf of dusty videos I've never heard of, and two obnoxious comic-book D&D type kids complaining that the store clerk doesn't like them. So I say 'screw this' and go back to the movie I was watching.

When I get back, I'm sitting at a table in a fancy restaurant with the young lady. She is explaining how relieved she is that this whole misguided story is finishing up, and I look over and notice the young man talking to someone else at the next table. Then the woman leans in and whispers to me (the observer) "see, in this scene we never actually speak to each other." and I think "wow, that's an interesting technique, especially for such an old film." I say "what are you going to do with the fancy ring he bought you." and she says "Well, he doesn't want it back, and it's not much good to me to wear, would look too out of place. Perhaps I'll sell it and use the money to go to school myself and not have to wait for the next dashing young man to come along and want to marry, that doesn't seem to work out as well as I'd like."

And I still wish that I had seen the plot's turning point. Sounds like it would have been a good movie.

By al - 5:13 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Some thoughts on the new Nirvana boxed set

  • Most of the first CD and a good chunk of the video footage includes the drummer they had before Dave Grohl joined the band. He has absolutely no stage presence, his drumming seems to hit a few milliseconds too late as opposed to Dave's which always seemed to drive the rest of the band without question. Basically he's the pothead-looking human equivalent of a drum machine, but now he can enjoy his moment in the sun as the 4th Nirvana member. (Sort of like Dave Mustaine and Metallica, if Davein fact wasn't more talented than the rest of the band put together. New Megadeth == also must have. Shut up.)
  • A lot of the songs on the first disc were rejected songs that didn't make it onto the first album, Bleech. Most of these have a real Black Sabbath feel to them, heavier riffs, more Geezer Butler-like wandering bass lines, like punk with a metal tinge to it. But I guess they didn't fit with the Sub-Pop sound that Kurt must have been after, so they got tossed. They even sound like Kyuss in one song, it's fucking great.
  • “I bet half the cost of this first ‘In Bloom’ video was the hotdogs.”
  • There's a ton of very early, like high-school, video footage of the band playing at parties and in Krist Novoselic's mom's house. This is one of those things that, if Kurt were alive and had any dignity, would never have seen the light of day. It would be kind of like having home video of yourself on the potty when you're 2 shown as part of your acting career.
  • There's also audio from the very first concert they did at a party, some kid yells “Heartbreaker!”, and so they break into the opening riff of it (from Led Zeppelin II, d'uh) but then realize they can't play the verse part, nor do they know any words, so they ‘Nirvana-ize’ it, start a big feedback orgy, then repeat the opening riff again. The crowd loved it.
  • There's video of the first time they performed “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, which was probably the only time Kurt intro'ed the song with any enthusiasm whatsoever. Now, I always thought the song sounded good, but the lyrics were utter nonsense, so I never bought into this ‘anthem for a generation’ bullshit that Rolling Stone-types like to say it is. All the same, about halfway through the song the crwowd starts to go absolutely wild, so there must have been something to it after all.
  • Nirvana had a fourth guitarist for all of two weeks. They apparently never really liked him, made him pay for Bleech, but he didn't appear on the album at all, but they gave him a ‘guitars’ credit so he would keep his mouth shut. After that he apparently joined Soundgarden and lasted there for about 3 weeks or so. I think he sells used cars now.
  • To re-iterate, Dave Grohl's stage presence and monstrous drum sound were definitely a huge part of Nirvana's success.
  • You can play a game with the early video footage: ‘How long has it been since Kurt washed his hair?’ In one shot it may very well have been 3 weeks or more.
  • Memo to previously mentioned Rolling Stone-types: Kurt playing facing the wall in the early video footage is not a metaphor for his outlook on life and music, it's because if he turned around there would be unbearable feedback and they wouldn't be able to play. This is a highschool band you're looking at, leave them alone for fuck's sake.
  • A couple of the songs from Nevermind also get the de-distortion treatment and sound a hell of a lot better.

Didn't get much further than the early stuff while at my friend's place last night, but it really is cool to learn a lot more about them and see how their sound came about. Also, there's an easter egg video during the video credits that shows Dave throwing cymbals up at a roof to knock down icicles.

By al - 1:12 a.m. | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Postcards from Charlie

A friendly gook shout out to mah peeps back home. This is like the 1st time I've used english in a week. Got the marriage license almost done. They're doing a background check that takes another week. :( Man I thought the canuck bureacracy was tough. I'll check in later. Gotta run.

Happy winter to you all. ^_^

By TVT - 6:17 a.m. | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Dream Diary: Train Trip Through the South

I'm going to try and write down my dreams now, as a way to keep track of them. Incidentally, I stole the title of the post from the hilarious comedian Marc Maron who now hosts a radio show called Morning Sedition (archives: here). There, that should be sufficient sucking up and promoting to let me get away with stealing my post titles.

So I'm on a train. I have lots of dreams about being on trains, and I never actually know where i"m supposed to be going. I look down at the ticket, and I can't read it, but it is very long and folded together like those SMT bus tickets. One of the ends is tattered and chewed up, and I can't figure out of it was the first part of the ticket wihch means I'm OK, or the last part which means I won't be able to get wehre I'm going.

I keep hearing the phrase 'When we get to Columbia, South Carolina" from poeple around me, and I start to think "oh hell, I'm in the deep South, how did I get here?" But despite the geographical setting, the train I'm in is truly modern and European-looking, and the scenery is a green blur out the window.

The people on the train also resemble what you would sooner see in Europe or Toronto than in the Southern US, many sophisticated looking people of ambiguous ethnicity, women travelling alone, all the stuff you wouldn't ever imagine in real life.

I try and ask what everyone is doing on the train, going to South Carolina but I don't remember getting any clear answers.

People keep talking to which 'clan' they belong to, and re-organizing their seating according to which ones answer the same when asked which one they blong to. But everyone looks the same, and dresses the same, and sounds the same, so it doesn't seem to be based on anything at all. Someone says to me "it's very important to find which clan you're in." But again, I have no idea why I would want to do this, or what mine would be if I had one. I didn't remember the specific names of any of these 'clans'.

There was no negative feelings that I could sense, just confusion on my part about what the deal was.

I've had similar dreams before about trains and train stations. The common theme seems to be being in an unfamiliar place and not knowing what my final destination is. Most of my dreams also involve me being in a very strange situation that everyone else thinks is perfectly normal and I'm trying to 'get' what it's all about.

By al - 5:47 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Sunday, November 21, 2004

“Wal-Mart and China are a Joint Venture”

I wrote the following after watching the Frontline documentary “Is Wal-Mart Good for America?” on-line. Link.

Wal-Mart is to American capitalism what the corrupted ruling Communist party was to the Soviet economic system, it will subvert its very nature in order to pursue short-term gains for itself and perpetuate its own power. Stalin and crew exploited the big gaping hole in the system, which was that human rights were disposable, and that measures of progress were artificial. (building a huge factory made a party official look good regardless of whether it then stood empty or not).

Wal-Mart exploits the gaping hole in American Capitalism, which is that the consumer's self-interest will lead him or her to act against the interest of the society as a whole. The consumer might understand on some level the idea that one should buy locally as much as possible, but has been conditioned to think that self-interest is moral in a capitalist economy. (Meanwhile he's being robbed by the invisible hand that is taking away the jobs of half the other people in town because they couldn't make televisions as cheaply as a plant in China that pays $0.20 / hr to its workers)

Meanwhile, since China doesn't let its currency float on the world market, allowing its citizens to benefit from their country's economic success, the balancing effect of currency valuations doesn't come into play, and the gap never narrows between costs of Chinese goods and the costs of domestically-produced goods.

China is a communist nation in name only, but thanks to their tight control over their domestic markets they aren't exactly a free market economy, either.

What they are doing is exploiting the big holes in both communism and capitalism all at once. The totalitarian structure of the society allows it to control workers, suppress labour rights and democracy movements. Where labour movements and the rise of unions created the Western middle classes, this force is being put down by the Chinese government, who would rather go for the short term benefit of grabbing as much of the world's manufacturing as it can at the lowest prices.

Which is where China exploits the gaping hole in the American free market, which is that it's no longer a closed system. The United States allowed the normalization of trade relations with China without requiring them to live up to the same worker protection standards it had. (but are working to dismantle themselves) Therefore they were playing by different rules, outside of the supply and demand loop that gave Henry Ford the idea to pay his workers enough money so that they could all afford to buy a Ford car themselves.

So by propping itself into the holes in both the Chinese economic system and the American one Wal-Mart and now the rest of the stores playing catch-up are facilitating the US's massive trade deficit, and skimming off the top as money flows directly from the US and to a lesser extent the rest of the Western developed nations to China, and taking their share as it goes.

I'll write more about how China controls their currency later, but it's a fairly easy thing to get away with if you have a self-sufficient economy which they do (they don't need to import any raw materials for their own consumptions).

This will be carried out to its logical conclusion as long as capitalism is a slave to greed and totalitarianism disregards human rights.

Update: Steve Gilliard's latest post is also about Wal-Mart, specifically their employment practices and how they treat female employees. Link.

By al - 6:44 a.m. | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Saturday, November 20, 2004

The Wonders of Canadian Candy

Tam asked the following below in the previous post: “ What the hell are Ketchup Chips?”, and I realized I haven't introduced our international readers to the wonders of Canadian Snack Foods.

Coffee Crisp
This is a good idea! ("Une bonne idée!") It's chocolate with a coffee-flavoured wafer center. My complaint, however, is that it could be more significantly coffee flavoured. It could hold you down and make you sniff its beans, but instead it just kind of gives you a whiff of coffee before and after the actual chewing. That's a disappointment. It floats in water. C+


Big Turk
This definitely gets my vote for "Best Candy Bar Which Is Also Someone's Prison Nickname." It intends to taste like Turkish delight ("Loukoum") but as far as I'm concerned it's essentially Swedish fish covered in chocolate. Combining Swedish fish and chocolate is one of those really great ideas, like combining Playstation 2 and oral sex. It does not float in water. B+


Ketchup Potato Chips
Good god! ("Mon dieu!") These are actually good! Really good. So good that I was able to get past the unnerving phrase "simulated ketchup flavour." The important thing here is that they don't really taste all that much like ketchup ("ketchup"). They're kind of like vinegar chips crossed with barbecue chips crossed with, well, ketchup. Only good! Much better than you're imagining! It's like really gross food, only made by Jesus. Also, they float. A-

Other fine Canadian food not mentioned in the above link that you might hear about, especially if you watch “Trailer Park Boys”, which you should be, are Donairs. Distinct to Eastern Canada, it's a soft, thick pita-like bread shell with spicey strips of some kind of mystery meat, rumoured to be lamb but probably usually beef, with veggies and a warm sauce that tastes vaguely like the Venus' breastmilk must taste like, sweet and greasy. Sort of like if you took the oh-so-trendy pita sandwiches you can get these days and made them as unhealthy as possible.

The greatest halloween candy ever is apparently also unique to Canada, obviously I mean Rockets! Rockets represent the final achievement in the world of candy, sinsisting purely of sugar and artificial flavour and colour, packed into little tiny rolls (small size representing potency, the same trick used by the Red Bull people.) Apparently in the US they call them 'Smarties', and they don't actually have real Smarties in the US.

In short, Canadian junk food is pretty messed up.

By al - 2:47 a.m. | (5) comments | Post a Comment

Friday, November 19, 2004

Fighting a Vicious God - An MSN Play in One Act

The Players:

Nick Cave's Elegant Mullet — al
In an out of Consciousness — Taylor
Frankenbitch — Herself, a.k.a., Justin's computer.

Act One

2:28:05 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
i've been sucked into the bottomless void of trying to fix justin's computer... and now it's 2:30 and will and I are here at his place, and we've almost got to the point where we're ready to install the OS
2:28:40 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
hahahahaha I keep up a neverending act of idiocy so I never get invited to these events
2:29:22 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
we're getting pretty idiotic at this point.. "does DOS have a 'move' command?"
2:30:29 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
haha, what's the actual problem with the computer
2:31:19 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
no one knows. but we flashed the BIOS, monkeyed with the cables, re-seated the RAM, switched the cdrom and hard drive..
2:31:30 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
basically we don't know what the hell is going on
2:32:48 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
Hmmmm ok give me all your credit card information and I will see what I can do
2:33:26 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
"ummm.. will... it's not doing anything, is it?"
2:33:28 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
"umm.. no"
2:33:34 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
i think we're going backwards
2:34:52 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
what does justin think about the situation? is he asleep?
2:35:10 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
no he's just here looking pissed
2:35:21 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
"at this point, all hope is lost"
2:35:51 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
set it on fire and use the insurance money to get a non-broken one
2:36:21 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
we're also convinced it's overheating because the cpu fan is hosed
2:38:37 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
does it just shut off?
2:39:16 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nope, it just won't boot up into anything properly, and smells like something is smoldering when we take the case off
2:39:22 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
this is byzantine
2:40:04 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
"non-user servicable parts? fuck"
2:40:38 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
smoldering isn;t a smell I would want associated with my computer, Unless I was cooking something in the computer room. . . .or whatnot
2:41:11 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
i feel like I'm trying to revive fankenstein's monster now
2:42:14 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
it worked well fro Frankenstein
2:42:53 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
now I'm knowing why his computer is referred to as 'frankenbitch'
2:44:08 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
I just thought it was because it had a bad haircut
2:44:09 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
2:44:11 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
2:44:12 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
2:44:40 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
actually I believe the worst joke ever is "so a dyslexic walks into a bra..."
2:45:28 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
I feel bad for liking that
2:46:36 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
for liking it as a bad joke or for liking it despite the fact that it makes fun of someone with a disability?
2:46:49 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
justin: "is that a picture of matt good" me: "probably"
2:47:37 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
It sure is!
2:47:53 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
he'll enjoy that more
2:48:42 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
we were just trying trial and error switching of jumper positions on the back of the cd rom drive, andc it miraculously worked
2:48:58 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
"one of those small victories we've ha all night that still haven't contributed to anything actually working"
2:49:27 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
hahaha it's like AWESOME . . . . anyway whatelse is there to try
2:49:58 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
we're not sure, but the newest twist in the plot is that it ate our boot disk
2:50:39 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
I feel bad for laughing
2:50:54 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
we're laughing our asses off now, but then it's not our computer
2:53:06 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
how does justin feel about this
2:53:36 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
he's thinking
2:53:50 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
"i kind of circle around the areola a little bit and pinch"
2:54:46 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
I remember those!
2:55:38 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
"is the plural of areola 'areolae' , areolas' or areoli'?
2:56:30 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
I believe areoli
2:56:44 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
good to know
3:00:57 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
ok, triumph, we're exactly back to wehre we started. Everything we broke we fixed again, and justin kyuss cd finally working in my fucking computer
3:01:14 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
hahahaha what time did you start?
3:01:28 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
3:01:40 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
my time is worth $30 when I work with better people
3:03:03 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
hahahahahaha. What's it worth with Justin? Pepsi?
3:03:31 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
yes, and two handfulls of ketchup chips
3:05:03 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
3:05:32 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
"tell taylor I hate him, just type that, ustin hates you"
3:05:38 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
3:06:01 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
Oh, I love you buddy, but it's ok I accept your anger
3:06:37 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
"you're putting a flame to the disc???"
3:06:51 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
3:07:24 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
i think this is the endgame
3:07:57 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
"there's no way you're putting this in any cd rom drive" "dude it's fucked anyway and it's a burnt cd rom" (not sure if that was supposed to be a pun)
3:08:12 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet
I hope to see how this plays out
3:09:07 AM
nick cave's elegant mullet
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
"will are you doing something you aren't supposed to be doing? Because you're lighting that flame and you've got a big grin on your face like a fucking pyro"
3:09:44 AM
In And Out Of Conciousness, Neither Is Much Fun
nick cave's elegant mullet

By al - 5:45 a.m. | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Busy Week

I was going to write this as a comment, but I figure it meritted a full post. I put the computer related stuff at the end so those not technically inclined can just skip it:

Now that I have a "cool" XBox which I can do stuff with, I was taking a look at my game collection and decided to trade in the not so good titles I purchased and have been sitting on the shelf. Took the 6 games into EB yesterday and the clerk rang them in for a credit of $54. They has this thing where you can trade in 3 games and get Metroid Prime 2 for free. . . so I did that instead. Traded in the other 3 for a used copy of Tales of Symphonia, plus used my EB card for an additional 10% off. . . cost me less than $20 plus 6 old games to get Metroid Prime 2 ($59.99 MSRP) and Tales of Symphonia ($49.99 used). Now that's a deal! BTW, did I mention I backed up the games before I sold them?

I gotta checkout those audio books on suprnova! I'm a notoriously slow reader and for some reason reading puts me to sleep. I guess it doesn't help that I prefer reading while lying down on a bed, I've been doing it for years, and probably inadvertantly trained my body to react that way. The same goes with cola, I usually get really sleepy after I have one. Probably wasn't that good to be drinking 2L bottles while playing D&D into the wee hours of the morning.

On the subject of RAID, I'm planning on setting up a RAID-1 array in my file server sometime soon. I've been sorta looking at this project with a mixed feeling of anticipation and dread. . . i.e. it'll be really cool once I get it up and running (I don't have to worry about backups anymore), but getting it setup is going to be a nightmare (dual-boot system with a mix of FAT32 and ReiserFS partitions scattered over two smaller drives).

Finally got my winbox fixed (and before Christmas too). Rebuilding a windows machine is a serious pain in the ass. Install, reboot, install, reboot, patch, reboot. . . over and over again. Slows things down like crazy. In total, it took me about 2 full days to backup and restore the machine. Any added value aside from getting it back into a stable state and cleaning some crap off the drive? No. That's 2 wasted days.

Fixing the winbox however got me into update mode. Been thinking of things I've been putting off on the other computers. Not that my Linux boxes have problems, just been wanting to extend their capabilities, i.e. finally cleanning off Win95 from my web server which is taking slightly more than half the harddrive so I have decent web/ftp space. I got a pretty lengthy list, I'm guessing it'll keep me busy well into the new year. . . .

By Ming - 1:15 p.m. | (2) comments | Post a Comment

From Siam to Siagon

So the first leg of the trip has already ended. Far too quickly for my liking.

We spent the first 5 days in Bangkok, sipping mai tais out on patios, watching movies in the bar (every bar plays movies at night so you can base your decision of where to drink according to what rip they are showing...) and just generally enjoying the atmosphere.

thailand is great. Hot, tropical and very relaxed. The shopping is retarded and the food is incredible.

...but it's very touristy. And everyone - in an attempt to look like a seasoned backpacker and wear the lcoal clothing- looks the same. Everyone is relaxing/writing the next bestseller/soul-searching or on a journey of self-discovery. Cue soundtrack from the beach. How cliche.

Yesterday we left Bangkok and landed in Vietnam. Now the real travelling begins. Vietnam is a completely different vibe...quite untouched and beautiful. The people are very warm and friendly (even the street vendors/beggars take your first 'no' as an answer...). The food is amazing and the traffic is retarded! Could there BE more motorbikes?

Have taken a ridiculous amount of pics and looking forward to posting a few when I get back...

Take care

By chantal - 4:56 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Remainders: Siesta Edition

  • Memo to the guy sitting next to us at the Interlude Café yesterday when we were discussing the price of RAID storage: the 'one dollar per gigabyte' truism you quoted at us doesn't apply if you want to access your data all at once and not one discount IDE drive at a time.
  • Went to Baba's last night with the other guys from work, one of us had just gotten back from a trip to Europe and had a few funny little tidbits.
    • It is ridiculously expensive to do business in England. Just to rent office space and pay people enough to live decently already puts you about 50% more expensive than someone in Toronto doing the same work.
    • Every time a new mobile phone ring tone comes out at 50p or whatever it can be certain to sell at least 500,000 copies.
    • TV in Europe is completely without limits. On regular cable TV they have porn channels where you send text messages from your mobile phone that show up on a display in a room, and the girls in there do what you tell them to. Most disturbing is that this particular show came on right after a discussion show talking about the nature of religion and human conflict.
    • Madrid has a wicked traffic monitoring system with in-car systems to guide you to your destination and escape traffic jams. 10 years ago to get into downtown Madrid you had to go along a winding trail, through someone's backyard and behind the goat, now they have a really cool ring-road system where you can exit into exactly the part of town you want to go to.
  • The guy behind the bar at Baba's was showing some music videos to the couple of other people there. He had his Apple laptop hooked into the room's sound system, and neglected to turn off MSN messenger. All of the sudden I was back in residence walking through the halls and hearing people message each other across the hallway. It was funny that we all instantly knew it was a Mac because of the 'plink plink' sound it made when he adjusted the volume.
  • People were actually really interested in my rants on the world currency market... weird.
  • Ikea furniture is nearly as fun as Lego to put together, but I'm still kind of disturbed that someone made a web shrine to the Jerker desk.
  • I'm beginning to suspect that half the time you order a lobster sandwich at Cedar's you won't actually find any lobster among the lettuce and mayonnaise.
  • There's some kind of conference going on at the Atlantic Technology Centre this week. They wanted to look impressive, so they brought in huge flat plasma displays to direct people to where the conference is. Apparently they didn't think to somehow secure them to the floor and a couple disappeared the first day. Great going, guys. Putting the things on wheels must have been a great help.
  • My new hobby is downloading audio books off of suprnova and using the Slow Me Down Winamp plugin to speed up the narration and get through them really quickly. The audio book of Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them is great, Franken reads it himself and does all the voices he quotes as impersonations. Franken's acting really adds another dimension when he reads his own book. You can tell how pissed off some of the stuff he writes about makes him.

By al - 1:26 a.m. | (2) comments | Post a Comment

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Wedding Pictures

These have been a long time coming, but I never did get the time to implement my original idea for them...

Here are some pictures from my wedding, they are arranged by who took them at the moment. They are presented in a web album format created by Web Album Generator.


(Cross posted on the immortals co-opt)

By Peter - 11:21 p.m. | (1) comments | Post a Comment


Just tried something new. Well really a deviation from something I use to eat all the time.

I took have a block of cream cheese (Philadelphia) and mixed in some garlic powder, onion powder, about a teaspoon of mince jalopeno pepper and a about 1/4 teaspoon of a red hot chili pepper. Mixed it all up and put it on a whole wheat cracker.

Just in case you were trying to find something different to eat :)

By Sabrina - 9:28 p.m. | (2) comments | Post a Comment

Monday, November 15, 2004

Why Zach Braff and Garden State Are Funny

Well, it was once again the very last night for a movie I wanted to see to be playing at City Cinema. So I did my usual thing, at least there was a reasonable number of people there tonight. While it's fun to have a whole theatre to yourself, it's much nicer to have a fun little alternative to Empire Theatres that can stay in business.

Here are the things that only me and one other girl thought were funny in Garden State:
  • Wolf Blitzer - Note: always funny.
  • Corpse robbing
  • That really really cliché moment when the main character looks up into the rain, spreads his arms and realizes life is worth living. (Directing and starring in a movie you wrote? Yeah, I thought so.)
  • The over-use of Nick Drake music
Those may sound like criticisms, but trust me, this movie is fucking hilarious. And I'm always super-happy to see Natalie Portman in a non-Star Wars movie where she can actually do some acting.

Braff's character is 26 years old in the film, which I think must be the perfect age to really find Gulf War trading cards funny on just the right level. Or, for that matter, be able to be so easily swept up by the possibly of such a simple and perfect romance, having lived long enough to suspect it might not happen to you, but not long enough to realize it's probably not meant to be like that. (or maybe I'm just falling for Natalie Portman's ever-so-faint Israeli accent downward arcing cadence again.. who knows)

The thing that I think sets this movie apart is that all of the characters have very definite flaws or problems, but the movie isn't about having each character get over that problem, but rather simply lets them exist and be themselves, including that odd / unique aspect of themselves. Sort of like finally breaking the Wizard of Oz-influenced idea that everything should end up 'fixed' at the end, and that a flaw only exists to be solved or worked past.

Instead, the characters are strange and interesting, and they stay that way, and it's wonderful.

By al - 9:54 p.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Me being me.

One of the things that irritate me is that every time I get sick people tell me to drink lot's of orange juice. Why would one get irritated about this well I am allergic to oranges. So I want an alternate source of vitamin C. Well today I was looking up information on Mango's and what kind of nutritional values they have and I came across something of interest. Kiwi's have more vitamin C than Oranges and not just a little more, almost double. I remembering hearing that on the news once but I thought I should check this out a bit before I actually believe it but truly they do. Even Canada's food guide indicates that a 76 g has 57 mg of vitamin C and a 131g orange has 70 mg....Doing the math that mean per g Kiwi have 40% more vitamin C than an orange.

For a suggestion next time you have a cold munching down on a Kiwi will have better results than vitamin C. (However only eating vitamin C when you get sick is not the answers. People who eat vitamin C filled food on a regular basis will already have the boost from the vitamin C)

By Sabrina - 5:05 p.m. | (2) comments | Post a Comment

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Evening activities.

Tonight I went with my roommate to his mother's place. She had invited us over for Pizza. Cool pizza sounds good to me. I my evening a new plot for the Atlantic Canada was hashed out. It was amusing to say the least. The details are much that we would develop a colony where all the foolish people are sent to Sydney, Cape Breton or the Magdalene island and enslaved to do some foolish work like mining coal, or powering the island by running on a treat mill for 7 hours a day. Then we discovered that our potato farmer would make fantastic samurai...The potato samurai of PEI...The sword could be designed with potatoes for the jewels on the hilt...Or as a second though we decided that a handle carved to be a lobster would ensue the appropriate amount of humor and then etch fish down the length of the sword. What would be the purpose of the PEI samurai you may ask. Well they would be used to defeat the Newfoundland Nija's (whose sword would have something to do with a cod). In my mind the fight would really be over who is a real island. As the Newfoundlanders always try to explain that their rock is more of an island than our sand dune. (all remarks about the bridge will be ignore.)

After the foolishness was over we were introduced to a small prickish creature. It was a hedgehog. He was truly adorable. I had never seen one up close. His nose was so adorable was it stuck out separate from his face in the fashion of a dogs snout, except there was a lot more nose than snout. His eyes were small and beady and his tongue was definitely the smallest tongue I have ever saw.

By Sabrina - 8:08 p.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Stupid Pet Tricks: Part III

My dog won't get up if you start pushing her along the floor, she'll just keep lying there and go with it. So next time I give her a bath I'll use her to mop the floor afterwards.

I've noticed that she responds to hand signals much more readily and quickly than to voice commands. Probably because we're constantly talking to whoever, but she can easily tell when I'm looking right at her and moving my hand a certain way. Mostly this discovery came from how she eventually got the message when I would point at her blanket and tell her to stop bugging me. Now I can get her to go sit where I tell her, to go outside or lie down. Trying to get her to roll over, but she's not really one for tricks, at least not inside the house.

She's still got the weird but not unwelcome split personality, totally docile when inside, full of energy and trickiness when out playing at the off-leash park or when out for walks.

She's almost too well-behaved, though. Like a stepford pet.

By al - 8:03 p.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Apocalypse Now Redux

Don't think I'll be able to sleep well tonight since I'm leaving tomorry on a jet plane. I think I've humped every chair leg in the house and I probably ran my ass across the carpet a few times - just so you know. Awww he misses casual sex.

Well my bags are packed and I'm a ready to go...

By TVT - 7:55 p.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

This is something I won't normally do!

I have never been an expert on music and I sure I never will be. Music geeks spend too much time chatting about details of music I can't even hear...I am tone deaf after all. But I do know what I like and I like this guy.
Mark Bragg is a Canadian musician. I want to say that he was born in Newfoundland but that would be a guess. As I know he lived there for a very long time. I use to watch him while I was doing my Masters at MUN. I think I have been to 15 or 16 of his shows. Including time when he was part of my favorite Newfoundland band "Skank". I now have his latest album "The reckless kind" and if anyone is interested I am more than willing to have people over to listen as long as the roommate is not sleeping.
If you are so inclined you can join the mailing list and get 2 free down loads. The down loads for free. It would be kind of nice if you we can get him to come back this way for a show or two. My head thinks (and maybe wrong) that the more people I can get into "Mark Bragg and the black wedding band" around here the more often he might come this way for a show or two. I missed his last Charlottetown appearance which was the day before my birthday :(. I didn't hear about it. My own fault for trusting a mailing list and not checking the website on any kind of regular basis. But checking to day I read the band is recording a new album. (yeah....I can't wait)
Music Geeks enjoy, and the rest of us too:)
( if you can see it Mark Bragg in the fourth line is a link. It maybe my computer but the links are hard to see with my post :| )

By Sabrina - 9:56 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Having an Average Weekend

Not much going on this weekend. Or, that is to say, I'm not doing much this weekend of note.
  • Watched the middle 2 discs of my Freaks and Geeks DVD set. God I love that show. It's probably the most accurate depiction of what high school was like for ‘‘the rest of us.’’ If you haven't seen it you should get it. When my sister Katherine was home for a couple of weeks from Mexico we started watching it and it just hit us that we would each react to the respective halves of the story (me the geek and her the smart-girl-turned-freak, just as the main characters in the show, also brother and sister, were.) During half of the scenes I'd be laughing my ass off or suffering incredible vicarious soul-crushing social embarrassment, while she would nearly lose it whenever the character Lindsey would get sucked into some disaster or other with her group of friends. The fact that the show got cancelled after its 18-episode run kind of sucks, but it stands as one of my favourite TV series ever.
  • I really miss my sister. Anyone up for a trip down to Cabo San Lucas over the Christmas break?
  • I just added a couple more neighbours to the sidebar, mostly so I can keep track of which blogs I like to read regularly. (This means they're good.. or at least I think so. :) ) I also got rid of a few of the US politics-oriented sites. Except Wonkette.
  • I've not been able to shut up about how good the remixes of ““Even Flow”” and ““Once” that Justin pointed me to today are. (They come from the Rearviewmirror greatest hits album.) The original mixes on Ten were very distortion-heavy, in keeping with the grunge craze, but hearing a cleaned up, more bare version you can really get to pick out what was underneath all that extra noise, and they really sound a lot more like the stuff on Vs. and Vitalogy. “Even Flow” has a very funky groove underneath it that rises up near the end and changes the whole song. Pearl Jam should re-do the whole album this way.
  • In other music-related news, I'm a bit late in mentioning it but Björk's new album Medulla is as good as all the pretentious know-it-all music jerks say it is. It's all done with vocals, and some of the parts are so subtle that they sneak up on you, like a very excited breathing track that absorbs your whole attention when you finally realize it's there and you are captivated.

By al - 1:37 a.m. | (2) comments | Post a Comment

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Factlet of the Day: Days of the Week

The Romans named the days of the week after the planets:
sun, moon, mars, mercury, jupiter, venus, saturn


What do the names of the days of the week mean?

An answer to this question is necessarily closely linked to the language in question. Whereas most languages use the same names for the months (with a few Slavonic languages as notable exceptions), there is great variety in names that various languages use for the days of the week. A few examples will be given here.

Except for the Sabbath, Jews simply number their week days.

A related method is partially used in Portuguese and Russian:

English Portuguese Russian Meaning of Russian name
Monday segunda-feira ponedelnik After ``do-nothing''
Tuesday terça-feira vtornik Second
Wednesday quarta-feira sreda Middle
Thursday quinta-feira chetverg Fourth
Friday sexta-feira pyatnitsa Fifth
Saturday sabado subbota Sabbath
Sunday domingo voskresenye Resurrection

Most Latin-based languages connect each day of the week with one of the seven ``planets'' of the ancient times: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. French, for example, uses:

English French ``Planet''
Monday lundi Moon
Tuesday mardi Mars
Wednesday mercredi Mercury
Thursday jeudi Jupiter
Friday vendredi Venus
Saturday samedi Saturn
Sunday dimanche (Sun)

The link with the sun has been broken in French, but Sunday was called dies solis (day of the sun) in Latin.

It is interesting to note that also some Asiatic languages (for example, Hindi, Japanese, and Korean) have a similar relationship between the week days and the planets.

English has retained the original planets in the names for Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. For the four other days, however, the names of Anglo-Saxon or Nordic gods have replaced the Roman gods that gave name to the planets. Thus, Tuesday is named after Tiw, Wednesday is named after Woden, Thursday is named after Thor, and Friday is named after Freya.

By al - 11:56 p.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Random Stupidity

By al - 11:21 p.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Good morning.

Hey every one. I hope every one is having a good day. I woke way later then I usually do this morning. 10 am! Can you believe it Binnie slept in. I am sure Chantal can tell you stories of me waking up early while we were at UNB and driving her nuts as I stumbled around the room looking for one thing or another. I know all my other roommates can tell you how I would crawl out of bed as soon as the sun came up, regardless of the time of year or the activities of the evening before.

Now my morning started by hearing my roommate grumble. I actually just ingnored him. I was in a good mood and I did not want it ruined. Sorry Steve! Then read Mings blog...For heaven sake Ming sleep...Though I know I would have skipped sleep to swim as you did for hockey...But sleeeeeeeeeep. Followed by reading a chapter in Frankenstein, which is much different than I thought it would be. I decided about then that is now time to make breakfast. I turned the radio on...It cut out on me so I dug into my collection to find a CCR album. This was way better than the radio.

What put me in such a good mood. Well yesterday, I spent the majority of it by myself. I tried to get Alex on the go to Indigo but that was a no go. Oh well, I went by self and found somewhere in the range of $ worth of books that I wanted. But before I left I got a hold of an old friend that I have not heard from in years. It put a smile on my face just to hear from her:). It seems like when I hear from people I haven't talked to in a long time that the whole world will be okay. Chantal's voice a couple of months ago was like the sound of an angel calling me when I need it the most. (Thanks sweety). But after getting off the phone with Jessica I wonder to the book store and found myself happy in the world just to realize that my three favorite authors all have new books out. Yeah....And on top of that there is several new Vegetarian cook books out and a book about healing food. A fantastic trip. After the book store Debbie a friend from work decided she wanted to go to the movies where we saw The Incredibles. (see my previous post). On top of all of that I found a new hair style which makes me look adorable ;)

Now as I listen to the last song on my CCR album I am still feeling more content than I have in a while. Best day to all.

By Sabrina - 11:27 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Long Hours

Spent nearly two weeks trying to figure out how to get the Legacy from Summerside to the shop in Grand Falls and get back to Summerside/Moncton without it. I guess if you have money to burn, throwing money at the problem helps, but that's not really the case here. Finally decided that the best thing to do was to take the day off after November 11, making it into a long weekend, to do all this crazy business.

I left Moncton after supper on Wednesday and got back home late that night. A few hours in front of the computer and then around midnight jumped into the Legacy and started the long drive to Grand Falls. It's horrible driving when you're that tired. . . I think I almost hit a deer on the way there. . . . or it could have been some sleep-deprived dream. . . it definitely had that dream-like feeling as I passed it. Got to Grand Falls at 6:30 am. Dropped of the car, talked to the mechanic for a bit before he dropped me off at the bus station. Bus from Grand Falls to Summerside, just under $100, approximately 8 hours including stops and transfers. It's 4:30pm by the time I arrive in Summerside. Then I proceeded to walk home. This wasn't a problem last time I did this because then I was living on Water St and it's only a couple of blocks away. I however had moved about as far away as you can get from the station while still staying within the city limits.

I believe any sane person would probably just colapse and go straight to bed after that. What do I do? Well, I started working on the good-for-nothing winbox that's been running like crap lately. Worked on the cursed thing until 4:00am, slept for about 4 hours while I was reinstalling Windows. Got back up and worked on reinstalling software until 6:00pm. Left for hockey. Played 3 games in roughly 4 hours. The third game was the worst. . . . dead tired, pulled a muscle the game before, legs feeling like lead. Taking that hour break was probably added to the problem rather than helping it. Got back home, showered, and back at the computer.

Got pretty much everything back up and running. Hoping to get more sleep in a little bit. This was one of the reasons I wanted to get away from Windows in the start. I haven't has to do anything of the sort since I installed Mandrake 8.1 on it years ago. About the only time I touch my web server is when the power goes off and I need to hit the power button to get it back up. Windows is such a pain. Anyways, I think it's finally bed time!

By Ming - 6:35 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Friday, November 12, 2004

The Incredibles

Go see this movie. I went with a friend at the last minute. I laughed a lot. The pair of us were still giggling as we walked to the car.

I don't want to say much about the movie. Just go watch it.

By Sabrina - 11:55 p.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment


So after 3 days of not blinking, I finish Halo 2. Normally I'd savour it like a fine wine but I had to be sure I'd finish it before leaving the country. Gulping gameplay down like a drunken frat boy can be quite gratifying.

In the ensuing corpses and gunfire I failed to clue in the biblical references in the story: Halo, Flood, Ark, Covenant. Bungie spins a good yarn without beating you over the head with theology. Well that and the protagonist isn't a whiny ass teenager and there are no Lolitas for the fanboys - a plus in my books.

The Making of Halo 2 documentary was pretty cool. Nice to see the amount of creativity and effort that's poured into a game. I have a newfound respect for the slavish hours those guys put in. Alas, I guess they can console themselves with brand new Porsches. :)

I'm not even annoyed by the cliffhanger ending. It just makes me salivate over Halo 3 on the next Xbox. Gimme. Gimme. Gimme.

By TVT - 3:32 p.m. | (2) comments | Post a Comment

Jane Austen

From a comment I left on amyt's blog.

My entire time growing up I never touched any of [Jane Austen's] books. The reason? Because my sister loved them. The two of us didn't read a single thing that we knew the other had liked, because it couldn't possibly good if the other one liked it. Then just a few years ago, she called me up to tell me how much she loved Lord of the Rings, she had read the whole thing without telling me, because she wanted to find out if it was good before she would admit to giving in and reading my favourite books. After that I admitted to her that I had really liked reading her copy of Pride and Prejudice that she had left in her room. After that we gave each other lists of things to read.

By al - 8:05 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Remainders: Wasted Day Off Edition

  • What the shit is wrong with me that I am unable to wake up if I don't have to go to work? I was over at Justin's place pretty late lsat night, yeah, but no where near late enough to warrant sleeping through daylight today.
  • While at Justin's place last night we watched the 10th anniversary director's cut of Clerks. It looked and sounded like shit because they didn't clean it up at all (this was intentional). The intro was just Kevin Smith and Steve Mosher talking about the movie Road House for 10 minutes, and in the end Dante gets shot by someone robbing the convenience store, for no other reason than because Kevin Smith was a first year film student at the time and thought he would be cool and break convention. Thankfully Miramax wouldn't allow it and that bit of adolescent rebelliousness was rightly crushed. The other thing that they cut out of the movie that was in this version was a lot more arguing and tension between Dante and Veronica, which goes explains a lot better his otherwise inexplicable desire to leave that relationship and go back with Caitlin. Perhaps the way the movie ended up was the first step towards the 'main characters in Kevin Smith movies do idiotic things for no reason' theme which seems to have stuck.
  • The new U2 album is excellent, but I wish the songs were each a little longer, I almost feel cheated not hearing them go deeper into some of the very cool constructions they come up with for the album only to use them for 2-minute long songs.
  • Reading some of the things I've been seeing about just how fucked up the last US election was I'm definitely going to try doubly hard to keep up my news blackout. Enough of them seem to want authoritarianism that cutting ties and letting the empire fall on its own seems to be the best approach.
  • Looks like I won't be able to use my “don't say no-sir, say Yassir” joke anymore. Actually I was still waiting for a context in which to use it for the first time.
  • The new Nirvana boxed set is coming out.. I'm not going to fall into the trap of buying shit like that, but the trailer I watched of it on MTV.com actually has stuff I've never heard before. I didn't think they'd have anything left by now. They haven't gotten to the “Free as a Bird” stage yet, but they're getting there.

By al - 9:42 p.m. | (3) comments | Post a Comment

Never Forgotten

By TVT - 2:12 p.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Two minutes of silence

It didn’t seem cold when I left my house today at 10:30 am. In fact it seemed rather mild out. I was on my way to the ceremonies related to Remembrance Day. I wondered down to the where the ceremonies would be held. I was one amongst a heard of people going down to watch the reef being laid.

For the first few moments as we were being directed to the spot where we were allowed to stand. Then I saw the flags in the corner of my eye. The elderly gentleman carrying these flags walked down University Avenue marching to the beat of a drum far behind them. The crowd clapped for them and I joined in. Some how, to me, this seemed like a inadequate way to thank them. But in my mind I don’t know of a better way. The crowd was somber as was I as the other troupes marched up next to the veterans. We saw groups of Navy, army and air forces. The RCMP in their red uniforms walked up beside them and then the police and cadets. I watched the cadets and realized they would have very little idea what this ceremony truly means. Their faces were so young…way too young to endure war or even know what it means.

I looked through the crowd of men, women, children and the loan police dog who were there in uniforms to honors those we lost in a war so many years ago and wonder what kind of stories can be told from them. I am sure the elderly have stories that contain more horror than any film. I am curious about what they endure and saw but I don’t want to know. War is frightening and with no first hand experience with war I don’t believe that I can even define it.

When the entire marching crowd had settled into their place the Canadian anthem was sung. I could see emotions in the people around me as they sang out each word. Across the road the veterans sang in a way which almost seemed triumphantly. I thought at that moment that there is no other country in the world I would rather be in than Canada. It may not be perfect but it is a good country with good intentions and still has strong ribbons of hope left in its people. I thank my deity for being Canadian and in the wish hopped that my country would never see the travesty of War again.

During the two minutes of silence I could help but notice the crowd around me. The woman next to me was suffering from the cold as she tried not to move. The police where quietly standing. One of them was shaking. I saw one man wipe a tear from his eye. The police dog sat on the cement patiently waiting to move on. The children in the crowd were even quiet for the most part. In all the experience was a better experience than the one I had in Scotland last year were the moment of silence was interrupted by many tourist who didn’t seem to care.

While the hymn was sang I watched a dropped poppy travel through the regiments of police, RCMP and cadets. The rest of the ceremony was quiet as we watched the reefs being laid. For a moment after it was all over I watched those in uniform march away. At the end of the line I saw what I had missed earlier. There were 4 or 5 soldiers dressed in full combat uniforms. This last thing brought a tear to my eye know as Canadians we still have soldiers deployed on foreign soil. Again I asked my deity to bring the home safely.

As I wonder home chilled from standing in one spot for so long I though how every day we hear more and more about people being killed in countries at war. Every day I become very aware how lucky I am to live on Canadian soil and just how fragile that luck is.

By Sabrina - 11:53 a.m. | (3) comments | Post a Comment

Daily complaint by Sabrina

Wow. Sometime I wonder if their is ever good new to tell? Today has super busy at work. Which may have made me a bit tense for what has occurred today when I got home. My roommate is very upset about the parking situation in front of the building. To the point he ranted and raved about for some time. The situation is quite bad. It looks like the land lord is trying to cause fights between tenants. I would really like to avoid this problem so I drafted a letter.

Dear Neighbors.

It has come to my attention that we are wrestling with some severe parking issues. From what I understand we have two building which are sharing the one parking area. There appear to me more vehicles then there is parking space available. I am quite sure alone I would be unable to develop an answer to this difficulty. But I am quite sure compromises can be reached should all the current tenants work together.

There are many stories which I have heard to date on the parking. The stories come from many sources. Our land lord wants to believe that there is more parking available than their truly is. It is also my understanding, that come November 15, parking on the streets will no longer be an option. This makes our situation urgent and in need of resolving as soon as possible.

Here is what I know about the situation. Those who know more are welcome to share their stories. My roommate and I were promised a very specific parking space. This has been written in our rental agreement. To date we have had our space blocked as a result of a tree being cut down and our space given to another person by the land lord. The people below us were promised two parking spaces in when they chose to move in. It is my understanding that they do not have any parking available to them at this point. I am also aware that a third tenant who has had a specific parking space for some time has come home after late night shifts to find some one else’s car in her space.

The fact that our land lord chose to give the parking space which is in our rental agreement to another tenant suggest to me that he may be attempting to pit one tenant against another forcing the problems between neighbors. It also suggests to me that our landlord does not care about legal signed documents. I personally do not want this to become an issue. I truly wish for all the tenants in the two buildings to co-exist in peace.

I have a few thoughts on what would be necessary to help us resolve the difficulties we are currently facing. This however would require the help from all tenants. Our current parking situation is as such. We line up cars in front of the house. As I have shown in Diagram A. Although this is the most obvious position for our vehicles it may not be the best.

I suggest that perhaps we attempt to change the directions of our vehicles are facing as in Diagram B. If we are able to do this we can then place post numbering the parking spaces according to the unit which will be parking there. My attempt currently is to find a way we can allot one parking place for each unit. I am aware this is not ideal, however should their be people who do not have vehicles perhaps they would be willing to allow others to park in their designated space.

I cannot guarantee that the specification that I have suggested will work. We will need to do some measuring. Please take my suggestions into consideration. I am willing to hear other suggestions if they exists. Thank you. A concerned resident.

Okay so the dia grams will not copy inot the blog. I guess it doens't reconize the drawing program I was using.

By Sabrina - 1:05 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Celebrity 'Chuckers

I had no idea he had geek cred. I'm mentally picturing Dominic Toretto kickin it old school with The Duc. It don't mattah if you roll 4D6 or 3D20's, rollin's rollin.

By TVT - 2:37 p.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Love letter

Dammit. I can't not comment on Halo 2. Just adding to the free publicity.

Wow. I've seen console launches before. Short supply. Rabid fans. Line ups. But I've yet to see the fervor repeated for a single game. Granted, back in the NES days, Mario generated this kind of pandemonium.

I picked up my copy on release day. Unfortunately, I wasn't aware that our Electronics Boutique was open at midnight. There was a steady procession of nerds right to the mall doors. I would have been there had I known.

Still, there was a short lineup when I went. Man, I'd hate to be an EB employee right then and there. The phones were constantly ringing asking for Halo 2. Heck, after a few utterances I'd shorten "Good day, welcome to EB your Halo 2 headquarters." to "It's in.". The clerks looked quite weary. Them's the breaks though for working the front line.

Then I get home and Halo 2 is in the newspapers and on TV. Damn, MS really knows how to do a media blitz. Normally I'd pass this off as an advertiser's wet dream, but the software delivers. Thank goodness game sequels are usually superior creations, unlike movies. Seven thumbs up.

I have my doubts that Halo 2 will beat The Sims 2 or Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. But hot damn it feels good to have a balls to the wall gamer's game in the spotlight. Kudos to Microsoft for buying Bungie. Recipe for success: Take a bunch of very talented people making games for a system nobody plays on. Add copious amounts of development dollars. Build a better system. Stir. Bake at 450.

Best. Buyout. Ever.

By TVT - 10:50 a.m. | (2) comments | Post a Comment

“The Persuaders” - Unwittingly Part of the Problem?

Just finished watching the excellent documentary “The Persuaders” on PBS's “Frontline” show. You can watch the whole thing online at the show's home page (starting this Friday, there are video interviews there now, though.): Link.

It was produced by sidebar-dwelling blogger Douglas Rushkoff, and is another good peek into the world of advertising, the most morally bankrupt industry on earth who's ability to create evil out of thin air dwarfs the evil of some company who has to burn coal to do us harm.

“The Persuaders” started off by showing us a doomed-from-the-start marketing campaign being put together to sell the near-bankrupt Delta Airlines' new sub-brand which they called ‘Song.’ (Song, being just like every other attempt to copy JetBlue's image without actually changing anything about their dinosaur business model.) We were shown a room full of what anyone would immediately describe as marketing creatives, young purveyors of cool who are looking to create a brand that would reflect the demographic that Delta wanted to go after.

We watch as they elaborately attempt to create something from nothing, integrate the brand name into their very language with phrases like “you are so song!”, and act in exactly the fashion in which someone satirizing advertisers would portray such a construction of a tower of hubris. We see this as the result of an incestuous advertising industry which as come to serve itself more than its clients as individual ad creators seek to make a name for themselves at the expense of reliability or dependability.

The immediate parallel I drew when seeing the “Song” group in action was the second television ad that Homer Simpson had created for Mr. Plow as he desperately tried to compete with the Plow King. So the expensive ad company pursues their artistic vision and Homer ends up not even knowing what his own ad was for. And we see the same result in market research done for the “Song” brand, people might recognize the name but have no idea what it's supposed to be.

The Reptilian Mind

But the sideshow is quickly passed and we get to the real minds behind advertising powerful hold on our minds. The main focus of this part of “The Persuaders” is a French psychologist, Dr. Cloture Rapaille, who's previous career involved trying to communicate with autistic children. His motto is that you can reach people at a deeper level than verbally, that it's the fleeting images and fragments of thought that get jumbled together in consumers' minds to form their concept of ‘luxury’. Companies like Acura pay him millions of dollars to help develop their brands and embed them into consumers' subconsciouses.

Dr. Rapaille put a very fine point on the fact that you can go a lot further convincing the reptilian part of people's minds and bypassing the reasoning component completely, rather than trying to appeal to reason which marketers now say only accounts for about 20% of people's reactions. This is why, he says, an environmental argument will never convince a Hummer owner that he's made a bad choice, because it doesn't understand the gut feelings that the Hummer owner is seeking to satisfy with his utterly counter-logical consumer choices.

Political Advertising: Speaking Directly to the Lizard

The final segment of the documentary shows us the most insidious arm of the advertising industry, political advertising. Because an ad for soup has to at least be remotely truthful, and tell you that it is selling soup, politicians are bound by hardly any limits on what they can say. So the game is to paint an idea, to tell people's lizard minds what they want to hear and to twist the language you so that the lizard will associate your guy with his positive reactions and the other guy with negative reactions.

The key example was a political advertiser, Frank Luntz, who specializes in picking out exactly which words elicit what reactions in people. His classic coup was to change a perfectly acceptable idea, the estate tax, into something 75% of people were against, simply by insisting that it be referred to as the ‘death tax’.

This use of language goes along with something I've said before, that John Kerry and the Democrats lost the election the moment they started using the Republicans' own made-up words like the “war on terror”, something which can't exist but, by using the word, Kerry allowed to be legitimized, but then lost because he was seen as playing catch-up to fight an unwinnable war.

The Unwitting Accomplice to the System

The triumph of the appeal to the lizard mind over people's ability to reason acts as the climax of the documentary, the big revelation that the viewer wasn't aware of, that advertisers are peering into our very depths to find and manipulate the emotional building blocks before they even get constructed into thoughts and ideas.

Where I think Rushkoff is losing a bit of a handle on his subject is in the need, as a filmmaker, to accentuate the compelling aspects of the subject matter, to make it larger than life and to create in his audience an emotional response of his own.

His aim is to tell a PBS audience who style themselves as free-thinkers and non-conformists that they are up against a powerful force that seeks to further push a consumer culture that his audience deeply distrusts. At first the audience is re-assured by the silly bunch of marketers trying to sell ‘nothing’ and turn it into a brand, but he quickly brushes that aside and punches you in the stomach with the ‘real stuff’.

I don't mean to insinuate anything about Rushkoff with this, because I really enjoy his writing and I agree completely with the ideas in “The Persuaders”, as far as they go, but I am reminded of the character O'Brien in the novel 1984, whom we first think of as a sympathizer to the rebellious Winston Smith in his quest against Big Brother, someone who has intimate knowledge of the inner circle which controls life in the dystopian setting. O'Brien, after initiating Smith into what he thinks is a secret network of rebels, goes on to describe just how powerful and sneaky Big Brother is in its abilities to spy on people and control every aspect of life.

*** stop reading this now if you haven't read 1984 ***

When O'Brien betrays Winston and his love and reveals that he was never on his side, that the whole rebellious movement was a fake creation of the inner circle, in order to prevent the forming of any real resistance they couldn't control, the feeling of helplessness and smallness is driven completely into Winston Smith's psyche, and he submits to the idea that he can't fight big brother. That the rebellious figure he looked to, Emanuel Goldstein, was himself a creation of the system and that his ideas of his own differentness were as inconsequential as any prole who obsesses over the lottery.

*** OK, you can keep reading from here ***

Now, back to “The Persuaders”. Rushkoff, as a film maker, wants to create a compelling piece of material, one that people will talk about and remember. He is under the same pressure to create a ‘sticky’ brand as every other purveyor of product, certainly to a lesser degree, but the pull is still in the same direction.

So, in the process of putting together his arguments, Rushkoff is building up a to a climax where he paints certain characters as being much more powerful than they really are.

Is he, while unaware of it, contributing to the feeling of powerlessness that the sellers would obviously want to engender in the hearts of those who think of themselves as perhaps politically active thinkers? Does painting the system as more powerful than it is do the work of those in control for them?

Frank Luntz, the coiner of ‘death tax’, doesn't have some magical microphone that he talks into that causes members of the media and his political opponents to adopt his new buzzwords. They do it on their own. This isn't a sign that Luntz and the other advertisers are all-powerful, it's just that, right now, no one is thinking to point out that these are merely twisted words that have nothing to them.

Luntz, just like the ‘Song’ crew, is simply selling us a brand with no substance. It's just that no one has pointed this out yet, or found the effective way to do it, to show that there's no ‘there’ there.

By al - 1:56 a.m. | (0) comments | Post a Comment

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