Friday, July 29, 2005

Memo to Mac People

Stop being so damn picky. Oh boo-hoo, a little icon appears on my desktop when I run a program. Oh tragedy! I have to push the power button to put it to sleep. Oh woe is me, the memory test takes too long and means it almost takes 20 whole seconds to boot up!

Whiners. I'm overjoyed when my Toshiba boots in less than 5 minutes and doesn't feel the need to run scandisk on my camera's memory card. Do you have any idea what it sounds like to the rest of us to hear mac people nitpicking about the icons in Mail.app?

“Whaa! It's not absolutely perfect! boo hoo!”

“I didn't order a bologna sandwich, I ordered an abalone sandwich!”

I'm going to recommend mandatory sensitivity training for Mac snobs, one day a week using Windows XP with the default settings. Just so they know what we all have to go through and will tone down the prissiness about icons and 'look and feel' just a touch.

Also, G's right, hanging out at Timothy's and Queen Street Commons lugging a big, clunky old PC laptop in a sea of beautiful people at beautiful little iBooks and PowerBooks is rather like showing up for church in your jogging pants.

But I still love my battered blue toshy. It puts up with me and still runs most of the time. I even bought the long suffering machine a new wireless card today. Hopefully I won't step on this one. Having a peripheral or a button on there that looks shiny and new and isn't in the process of falling off is rather nice again.

By al - 8:28 PM | (2) comments | Post a Comment

Just to look

At work on my computer I have been using pictures,I have been taking, for my back ground. If they are small like the strawberry I coordinate them with colors in the back ground too... People have started to notice and I see people walking by and checking out the back ground... It is fun.


I should try getting more contreversial than my pictures of flowers and foxes... But I have found that people don't always get the pictures I take...like there is a shot of a corner of my appartment building with water dropping off it...The wood is in desperate need of some paint...For whatever reason taking a picture of this seems bizaar to my co-works.

By Sabrina - 11:52 AM | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Dream Diary - Flying for Dummies Edition

dream

video game

in a house, bedroom. i turn into a bird of some kind. All I can see is that I'm small and that there's a beak in front of my face. Somehow, like in that old game heretic. I can peck at things but not much more. i get up to the ledge of a window, i pecked at the window a few times and it shatters. As I fall, I see rocks and the edge of an ocean below. I suddenly think 'if I don't start doing something I'm gonna get splattered'. So I just think 'ok, do something' and then I slowed down a little. I must be flapping my wings. I do it lots more and I go slower and slower and eventually gracefully land.

Then I'm walking around on the groundA flock of seagulls descends on me and then the scene goes dark.

Now the scene changes to a brightly cloured forest. I am a butterfly, but I can see myself this time. I learn to flap my wings, and jerkily move about. It feels like a video game. I get the hang of flyingfairly soon, and I can then go up to the tops of the trees and harrass birds.

I find myself flying down towards a small black hole. The hole gets bigger and bigger, and I end up inside a cave. There are fiery monsters moving slowly around the cave, but they don't notice me. I realize that because I'm a butterfly they don't even realize that I exist, because they don't know about butterflies.

The fire creatures look like silhouettes of a lobster that's standing upright and walking on two legs, but completely made of fire.

I go deeper into the caves, the passages get narrower and narrower. I can really fly well now. hen I come face to face with one of the fire creatures and the passage is too narrow to avoid it. We collide, all I see is orange, and then I wake up.
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Thursday, July 28, 2005

My turn

Like my fellow blogger Al I decided to wonder down and see Sketch 22.

I enjoyed myself a lot. By he end of the show, my cheeks were so soar I could barely talk. However I would not recommend this show to anyone who is easily offended. That said I would suggest everyone else go see it.

Fortunately for me I got to sit up in the front row and see more than some behind me might have seen...But without ruining the show my favorite part was when my roommate asked about the second coming and received a new Nick name (Steve the exhibition's). That alone should make you want to go see this show.

I enjoyed the comedy, which feared nothing, pushed the edge just a bit. I also enjoyed the way they were completely able to make fun of the island way of life. Well done! I am still laughing an half hour later.

By Sabrina - 10:45 PM | (2) comments | Post a Comment

In Baseball Some Things Never Change

Like how an early season lead by the team formerly known as my baseball team, the Washington Nationals is followed, oh-so-predictably, by an equally drastic slump that will leave them fighing with the Mets for no-one-cares place in their division.

Any newly heartbroken Nationals fans should have paid better attention to the baseball gods of years past.

This team will not and cannot win anything, ever. Remember '94.

By al - 9:30 PM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Working at the Queen St. Commons - Day 1

I had my first full day of working at the Queen Street Commons today. e.co. (my partner in rhyme for the next while) managed to have a couple of productive sessions and coordinate what to do at each step. Right now we're just going through the steps to make our consulting gig legit in the eyes of the government and the tax people. (Evil!) (A good resource we've found for this is at CBSC.org We also had a really productive and inspiring meeting with a mutual friend who related some of her previous experience in the tech world to us and offered some help when we need it. The process of forming connections with people and helping each other out is really starting to appeal to me, I hope we continue to find opportunities to be on both the giving and receiving end of more such interaction in the near future.

That's yet another reason to get comfy with the people at the Commons, lots of brains and people who've made the decision that they like being around others and interacting with people not directly involved with your current task.

There's the key to the potential of the commons there, that those who are drawn to it are the ones who are looking to connect with other people and be part of something. Anyone can clear out a corner of their apartment to work out of, so the ones who are interested in the commons are looking for something else.
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By al - 8:51 PM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

grr

I absolutely hate hearing that the company I am working for is experience financial difficulty...yuck

By Sabrina - 1:37 PM | (2) comments | Post a Comment

The Mahones - Irish Punk Band

The Mahones rock. I just saw these guys play a show at Brennan's last night. I'd never heard of them before but I had my curiousity piqued when j.pants described them to me as 'like the Pogues but with a harder edge.'

Electric Mandolin? Oh yes.

They also totally played “I Wanna Be Sedated”. I was in the middle of a conversation with e.co., but as soon as I heard the first “Hey! Ho! Let's Go!” By the second one I had joined in, and by the third one I was actually starting to believe that they were really going to play it. Unexpected Ramones is a Good Thing®.

Most Brennan's shows don't get nearly enough people out during the week. Is that just a fact of life or could they do more to promote the bands they do get? It totally sucks when a band like these guys or Lizband comes to the Island and it seems like all the bar does is open the door that night and hope people will just show up.

Great show, though, I had a blast. Plus I picked up their new CD, Rise Again gonna give it a listen right now.

... So far it's a lot more of what you'd expect from a celtic rock band, the distorion and punk vibes have been dialled way back. Still sounds really good, the playing is really precise and the drums sound great, production is top-notch. Should I check out some of their older stuff to get that sound back, I wonder? I wish they had some media available on their website so I could see what their other albums are like.

Pants and I got to talk to a couple of the members last night. Mostly we talked about the Ramones documentary, and how Dee Dee may not be the best known Ramone, but he was the one with heart. (one of the dudes was wearing a Ramones t-shirt, and I remember a Clash sticker somewhere as well.
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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Racing and Tires

It's been a pretty busy month. Been playing hockey in a Summer league in Moncton 3 nights a week and either racing in Solo II or playing D&D on the weekend.

After the last Solo II event in Blissville (which I did pretty good in). I've come to the conclusion that I need R-compound tires. I'm impressed how well the Falken ZE-512's are holding out and the times I've been posting lately, but the ZE-512's are not track tires. When I decided to continue doing Solo II, I knew I'd have to get new tires as I would pretty much destroy my current ones racing. I've been wanting to get 17" rims for a while and I got a nice income tax return coming my way next year. So, I've been shopping around and this is what I got so far:

Street Configuration:
Falken Hanabi Wheels (Satin Silver, 17"x7.5", +42, 5/100 & 5/114.3)
Kumho Ecsta SPT (205/45R17XL 88W)

Race Configuration:
OEM Toyota Celica GT Wheels (15"x6", +39, 5/100)
Yokohama A032R-S (225/50R15 91V)

Winter Configuration:
Steel Wheels
Cheap Firestones with studs...

Falken wheels + Kumho Tires + Yokohama R-comp Tires + wheel locks for 17's = 2672.43 CAD (shipping and taxes in).

I'm going to keep the Subaru Legacy for another 2 winters (when I'll be done paying off the People's Celica), then I will trade it in for a 2-3 year old Corolla or something equivalent. I like the Corolla (especially the S). It looks nice, it's affordable, ~130hp, VVT-i, awesome gas milage, low maintenance, Toyota quality. . . . I'm still open to other vehicles, but a nice Toyota Corolla S with a manual transmission would be awesome.

PS: My mom is going to flip when she realizes I have 12 tires for 1 car and a basement full of tires.

By Ming - 3:12 PM | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

My Poor Dog


My Poor Dog, originally uploaded by Alexander O'Neill.

Eventually she got the hang of walking across the cannons, but she had a slippery time at first.

(photo taken by sabrina)

By al - 12:14 AM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Say what?


Say what?, originally uploaded by Lush.

"Venn Diagram of finding one's place."

By al - 12:00 AM | (3) comments | Post a Comment

Sunday, July 24, 2005

to make us more colorful

prickly


makes me hungry

yard bouquet

By Sabrina - 9:05 PM | (4) comments | Post a Comment

Sketch-22 are funny. Go watch them.

Update: My review of this year's show is here.

I got to see Sketch-22 do their newest show yesterday with j.pants, kgb and tracicle. Pants and I were sitting at the extreme left edge of the first row, which turned out to be a pretty good spot.

Well, all except for the part where a part of the building fell on my head. At the intermission I guess the guys were backstage playing around and a divider wall came down and clocked me right on the noggin. The groan I let out was loud enough that most of the audience got to see me looking bewildered while a big board was resting on my head.

The other perk of our seating position was an extended view of some of the best parts of Rob MacD. (If you've seen this year's show you'll know what I'm talking about.)

I don't want to talk about what the sketches were actually about since it would take away from the show itself, but I will say that the video work in the between sketch shorts was really well-done, the costumes were hilarious and just lo-fi enough to keep the cheesy factor, and they do a really good job of pushing the audience's buttons in that 'so awkward you have to laugh' way.

Also, one of the members is definitely a fan of The Office.

Here's a video from their media page:


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By al - 3:40 AM | (3) comments | Post a Comment

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Dusting

I think I chose this forum to because the culprit of this story will probably never read my confession. It has been pointed out to me that I look sad, that I look tired and that I am not really here. But I am here! I am not really sad and well yes I am tired. I know I am here because I can feel all of this, the hurt, the anger and the fear. I may have a hint of sadness proven to me by the tears I have shed; the emotion running strongest is the anger, the anger coming from the hurt. My tiredness comes from all of this and an unfortunate living arrangement.
I don’t want to share names of those involved; in fact the only ones I have shared the names with are friend in distant lands because they don’t know the faces, they don’t know all the people involved. Those friends have given a small escape from the little world I have built because of the incident. The story happens between me and one other person, one person who I wanted so much to be with, one person who I started to trust. But as every thing that I see and feel and hear, and like every other story ever told the main characters are the ones in the spotlight, but there is always others who could be affected. In that single statement I reveal why it hurt so much.
Those around me may remember a time I cried, a little more than year ago, but that is not the time I am talking about, it was a time much closer and that is why I try to use this statement as a release. A few months ago is when it happened and less time than that has passed since I figured it out. I won’t truly reveal the story here, because the details are vague and my story will be different than that other person's. Perhaps I am being to fair to that other person, but what I really want to be fair to those who I love and maybe hurt from this story, or even unwilling to accept the tale.
To continue I will say no crime was committed and all that did happen was related to a misunderstanding. I want to apologies to those I may have confused or been upset with or even rude to because of what I was going through, and for that I will confess my mistakes. My confession is simply that I became involved in an emotion, a feeling and I let it lead me. I followed it with a smile and all the time keeping a secret of momentary joy. When the object of that emotion took a turn I did not see, I got lost. I tried so hard to find it. To talk to the one person and that one person refused, the person avoided me and never told me why. The one person was not looking at me; I doubt the person ever really did. The one person now looks at another.
The hurt came from never hearing from that person why and the turmoil in my heart grew cloudy and desperate to understand. I chose to believe it was some sin I committed and followed that looking for a chance make it right, but time and thought allowed me to understand the sin was not mine, all I did was care. The sin, the hurt belongs to that other person, and he can have it. It takes along time to realize that, and no matter what is said or done now I have been changed forever. The thick skin I had grown from previous hurts and disasters in my life is a bit thicker. My soft trusting heart still beats in my chest, but a little slower today and a little more guarded.
I want to say sorry for being foolish, for not letting my closest friend in on this, but understand it is because I don’t want you to be angry nor do I want you to see me angry and hurt. Forgive me and while I stand in my shadowed corner I will lift my hand to you and walk to you so I can smile in the light, leaving the showdown in the corner. When years have passed and my hurt diminished then I may be able to share the shadow. Perhaps the shadow can be lost in the light over a friendly drink. Today I will chose to look for a new light and a new joy and get dressed.

By Sabrina - 1:55 PM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Friday, July 22, 2005

Trawling Ebay for Old-School Telephones

There are some pretty neat old phones out there. I especially like the round ones with the big fancy cradles for the receivers. I've always tried to buy items from sellers located in Canada, though, because of a bad experience with a seller who took my money and never shipped a digital camera I was bidding on. But because he was located in BC it was an easy thing to get on the phone to the local RCMP in his area and report the crime. The cops arrested him, and I got my money order back in the mail uncashed.

So anyway, if I can pick up a nice, solid old pohone for not too much money I'll be very happy. On the other hand, if any of you nice people have a working old phone in an attic somewhere that you'd not mind parting with that would be even better :)

By al - 4:16 PM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

My Neglectful Relationship With the Phone

Janelle has a post up about why she hates the phone. Link.

I haven't used the phone a lot in the last couple of years. I used to have super long conversations with an ex of mine, like an hour or two a day for a few years. But since then I've not really had many people to talk to so much and I've become an MSN junkie. I always just leave people messages instead of calling them unless it's an emergency.

I like the sounds of people's voices, though, sometimes if you close your eyes and really listen you can pick up on a lot more of what people are thinking by hearing the intonations in their voice. A person's voice is how I remember and identify them, so I think the phone is more my natural medium. MSN is fun, and nice and non-committal, which is good when you're (I'm) feeling shy and can only muster up a ginger clever comment to send to someone to see if they're around and not busy. If I could send random goofy voice messages without the synchronous limitation of the telephone I'd be all over that.

I know a few people who work at call centres who absolutely hate the telephone because they're chained to it all day, MSN is a godsend for them, so they say.

I wonder if we're collectively committing medium abuse the way we misuse such a lovely method of communication like the phone so much. Cell phones chase us down wherever we go, telemarketers try to convince us to buy things we don't need in our own homes, banks and other BigCo's don't call you to say what a great customer you are and how much they appreciate your business, they call when you've been a bad customer and owe them money.

Perhaps the poor phone is in need of some serious rehabilitation. Steps I think I'll do myself:
  1. Old-fashioned telephoneGet a nice old fashioned telephone with an actual physical bell instead of a piercing electronic trill for a ringer.

  2. Do as little bill paying / commercial inquiries over the phone as I can. I already pay my bills online, but I'd like to steer clear of as many voice menu systems as I possibly can.

  3. When a telemarketer calls you hear a very quiet 'click-pause' as the dialer detects that you've picked up and it sends the call to one of the slaves to start reading the script. This is unmistakable if you listen for it. Hang up.

  4. Call my relatives (grandmother, sister, cousin) more often just to see what's new.

  5. Have a phone that is nowhere near my computer. The dual temptation to either IM someone else or look up something on Google quickly to pretend I knew it all along are too strong, and terribly inorganic.
This is a next step to my commitment to say 'hello' more freely when I'm out and about. I've gotten to know a few people in the past weeks directly because of that.
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By al - 2:12 AM | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Thursday, July 21, 2005

And A Real Live VJ!

easy breezy beautiful cover jussy says:
ha. [Nirvana] unplugged. any more requests? again "RAPE ME." Kurt : is that kurt loder?
al (Holiday Inn: Cambodia) says:
mtv guy? (i shouldn't know that)
easy breezy beautiful cover jussy says:
yep mtv news anchor
al (Holiday Inn: Cambodia) says:
shit.. there go some more neurons
easy breezy beautiful cover jussy says:
i feel like i had vj's at much i "grew up with" tho so to speak
al (Holiday Inn: Cambodia) says:
i was so disappointed when my high school had a much music video dance one time and the "VJ" was some fat greasy dude who spent all of his 'on screen' time bitching that someone taped a tampon to his van

By al - 5:15 AM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

CBC Punny Business

It was confirmed to me tonight that appreciation of a good, brutal pun is one of the best determinations of good character there is.

CBC on-air people and writers seem to have a temptation to pun that makes even me blush. I nearly died when I read this article: Link.
'Infinitely gay' celebration of same-sex marriage erupts in Spain's capital
02:48 AM EDT Jul 21

MADRID, Spain (AP) - Jubilant over a new law legalizing gay marriage, hundreds of thousands of people packed the torrid streets of Madrid on Saturday, banging drums, dancing to booming techno music and crying victory over discrimination.

"This is infinitely gay," Ivan Sanchez, a 26-year-old pharmacist, said in the din of a throng snaking its way through Spain's capital.

"There are no words to express it. We are all equal."

"The constitution itself says so. Both men and women are equal," he said on the day the law cleared its last bureaucratic formality, being published Saturday in an official government registry.

The law takes effect Sunday.

Flatbed trucks crowded with young men and women honked their horns as they made their way through the streets under a blazing summer sun in a procession led by Culture Minister Carmen Calvo and other members of the governing Socialist party, which sponsored the law.

"Now that some of us are more free, all Spaniards are more free," said Cholo Soto, 30, a government clerk who joined the march.

The Interior Ministry put attendance at 100,000 but the turnout looked much bigger.

It took more than four hours for the raucous, festive parade to proceed from a downtown square to another one about one kilometre away after a roughly rectangular route flanked by cheering spectators. Organizers put the figure at two million. Such disparities are common at Spanish demonstrations.

The rally culminated by spilling into Plaza de Colon.

In the same square in 2003, the late Pope John Paul said mass for an estimated one million people and said traditionally Roman Catholic Spain had to re-embrace its religious roots. The church is vehemently opposed to the new same-sex marriage law.

It was signed Friday by King Juan Carlos and Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

A Socialist official said the party will now seek legislation to protect Spain's estimated 8,000 transsexuals.

Gay couples are not expected to start marrying until late this month because of the paperwork needed before they go to town halls and other civil bodies that marry people in Spain, said Spain's main federation of gays and lesbians, known as the FELGT.

The law gives same-sex couples the right to wed, adopt children and inherit each other's property, making their legal status the same as that of heterosexual couples.

Pedro Zerolo, a Madrid town councillor who is gay and heads the Socialist party's social policy department, said Friday when the legislature reconvenes after its summer recess the government will present a bill that aims to regulate treatment of transsexuals. There is no such law now.

By al - 3:49 AM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

keeping your camera with you pays off some times

rest


there were five of them. I took a rediculous number of pictures of them, but I still can't tell you if I got a shot of each of them they were a bit skittish


to the side


siblings

By Sabrina - 10:29 PM | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Trivialities

So I'm attempting to gather up a few ringers to come with me and hopefully take Tuesday Night Trivia at the Churchill Arms by storm. Apparently there's one large group that basically forms a single team and is a bit like the Blob. Hopefully we'll take them by surprise and eke out a quiet victory.

Of the people I'm getting together we'll have Science super covered (chemistry and physics), computers / tech, English / Lit, and I bring my mountains of useless knowledge along to fill in the cracks. Our areas of weakness will probably be sports and we likely don't come close in terms of 80's / pop culture. But I've heard that the trivia questions at this place are much more suited to our style than would be typical.

I'll report back on how it turns out.

By al - 6:38 PM | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Monday, July 18, 2005

Bye Pub

I had to call and tell the girl tht I was unable to to find a place where I could have my puppy today!

potential pub

By Sabrina - 7:52 PM | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I just got home after watching Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and was telling my mother how great it was, (“But you wouldn't like it, it's full of puns.”) and she reminded me how excited I would be every day before going to school in grade 2 because my teacher, Mrs. Doyle, was reading the book out loud to us every day. And every day I would sit right at her feet on the big rug at the front of the class as she read, getting visibly tense as Charlie would hopefully unwrap his winning chocolate bar. Every day I would give my mother a report of what happened to Charlie after each chapter.

Most people who write about this movie are comparing it to the 1971 film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with Gene Wilder as Willy. But I haven't seen that movie in years and it certainly hasn't stuck with me nearly as much as the book has.

I'm glad they didn't shy away from the suspenseful moments where you wonder if the other contest winners have been killed or not as they fall into their respective comeuppances. It's a relief that Tim Burton didn't shy away from scaring the audience just a little. If you're going to make a film based on Roald Dahl's writing, you don't let your audience off easy.

It's really great that Mrs. Doyle would expose us kids to such a subtly subversive author as Dahl. He was one of the first to really pull off the 'kids are smarter than the adults' mechanism that “The Simpsons” and “South Park” have ridden so successfully. The adults in the book all have mixed motives and points of view, and Charlie has no one person he can rely on as a consistent guide. Instead he takes advice, but weighs the consequences and asks hard questions on his own and comes to his own conclusions. Not even his Grandpa Joe or least not Willy Wonka are portrayed as wise characters to be followed unquestioningly.

Depp's Wonka actually really resembles Michael Jackson in appearance and habits to the point where it must have been deliberate, just to add to that creepy edge. (“That's just one of those things they make up to scare us kids, like the bogeyman or Michael Jackson”)

There were a couple of references to the original film that I caught. In the 1971 film when they showed the TV that can transport chocolate the first thing you see in the commercial is the camera's eye, made to look like the HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Let's just say the reference is rather more elaborate in this one. I loved it.

There's also a reference to a certain unabashedly elaborate rock band that I love dearly. Those Oompa Loompas definitely have good taste in music.

And the puns, oh the puns. When the other contest winners don't get or squirm at Depp's really brazen punning you see that they are humourless and deserve no sympathy.

I think I'll see this one again merely to get another good look at all the visual brilliance they squeezed into the factory, Charlie's house, and the Oompa Loompa musical numbers.
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By al - 12:08 AM | (4) comments | Post a Comment

Sunday, July 17, 2005

at the beach today

in the wave


waiting to play

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Friday, July 15, 2005

Hockey Update

Decided to take a nap before the game yesterday and nearly overslept. Ended up jumping out of bed and running around the house trying to get my gear together and into the car. Still groggy from just waking up as I drove to the arena, not exactly a good sign. Ended up playing one of my best games. Tallied another goal for the season and general praise from my teammates, which is pretty impressive considering the level these guys play in.

I always thought of myself as someone that can play different styles, but yesterday I think I've discovered what I'm best at. I'm a shit-disturber. I may not be great at carrying the puck and I can't win face-offs, but I work hard and do all the little things. . . things that annoy the opposing team. Forcing the other team to make mistakes, making room for my teammates, and playing good defensive and offensive hockey.

By Ming - 10:18 AM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Random

By al - 5:53 PM | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Wisdom from My Mother: Doesn't He Know Better? Edition

My Mother, as she hears my CD of The Glenn Gould Edition - Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II:

“He thinks it's jazz!”

By al - 1:44 AM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Why do I read the comments on slashdot?

Most of the time, I just read the post and move on. If something sounds really interesting, I'll go to the story the post is pointing to. Occassionally, I'll browse the comments. Not that I'm looking for anything insightful, rather to find idiotic and humourous stuff. Like this (note, that's not me btw):

Re:Favorite bumper sticker: (Score:4, Funny)
by Mingco (883841) on Monday July 11, @10:55PM (#13038980)
Jesus saves...everyone else takes 2d20 crushing damage

Jesus is not immune to piercing damage, however.


Okay, maybe to non-gamers it might not be funny but I think you get my point.

By Ming - 12:36 PM | (1) comments | Post a Comment

Stating the Obvious

I've begun and erased a post about 3 times now. Something didn't feel right about how I was putting down my thoughts. I felt like I was either concealing something, magnifying some small point, or just not getting it to feel right.

I think it might be that instead of just plainly recounting my experiences that I was trying to use as the basis for my post, I tried to draw some meaningful theme or conclusion first and then write a post around that. I think I should put these two phrases into my blogger post template so I'll see them before I write a post:

"You're not nearly as insightful as you think you are."

and

"Experiences are what form your biases, state your experiences in plain language just as a philosopher should state his biases."

So instead of drawing some broad conclusion from some little event I think I'll just open up my source code a little and mention some of the good experiences I had this weekend.
  • I got to talk to a pretty brilliant 12 year old about the things he's into, what his school is like, how he gets along with his teachers and classmates, and got to see his drawings that he does. He was pretty intelligent but in a very easy-going way. He asked lots of questions, like kids are supposed to, but I was pretty surprised when I realized that a lot of the questions he would ask didn't necessarily have a right or wrong answer. It was a really pleasant experience talking about those kinds of questions, like 'if an economy were a computer, how would it be structured?', and I'm going to try and ask more of those types of questions myself.

  • I got the opportunity to talk a lot more with people I know as 'friends of a friend', camping is great for that sort of connecting opportunities.

  • I emerged from my tent a bit before my tentmates did, so I cooked up some breakfast burgers. Everyone shared food or cooked for each other or made coffee or helped to clean up whatever needed cleaning. We didn't 'keep score' or pick out their own dishes and leave the rest. Also: if you go camping, buy 3 times as many cereal bars as you think would be sensible. Buy enough that you don't ever think twice about giving one away.

  • Saying 'hi' to random people, randomly, turned out really well when I did it. Lots of fun little conversations and stories came from it. I think 'hi' is a magic word. j.pants has a little habit of saying 'hi' at random times even to close friends as they mill about. I like that a lot, just a little 'ping' to keep the connection active.

  • I got to finally introduce my work friends to the group I came with, it wasn't a full introduction, just a cruise through the tent area and some hellos, but I'd like it if we could mix a little more in the future.

By al - 3:53 AM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Shoreline Core Dump

I am just back at the computer after sitting in a nice cool tub for 20 minutes and eating some left over clam chowder that hit the spot perfectly. I'm going to try and write down the things that I remember about the performances at the Shoreline Festival this year.

Day 1
  • Getting there and setting up was a bit of an effort, with our lovely little tent village that we got for ourselves (using a very wide definition of the word 'family'), we got 9 people and 5 tents in a cool little circle around a common area where we mostly shared everything since invariably no one would be fully prepared and some person would gladly share whatever they brought that everyone else forgot. That system worked brilliantly.


  • Metric? Totally awesome. Totally crowdsurfed. Totally didn't get near the front in time.
  • Some great jam-type bands played indoors until morning. I stayed up until the sun came up taking in the happenings and wandering. Lots of fun.
Day 2:
  • Woke up around 10:30, thought "OK, I'm definitely putting sunscreen on today, right after I go wash up." 15 minutes of walking later.. "OK, I'll put some on after I eat something". Of course you know what happens, I might as well have put on a bright red shirt then to save me the trouble of having to coordinate outfits with my skin later. Everyone else ended up in the same boat, though, looking like cooked lobsters and feeling the burn.
  • Got to the stage just in time to see Iron Giant. I've kept hearing great things about these guys but haven't picked up their CD yet, so all I knew about them was j.pants assessment that they were "totally sabbath". Can't go wrong with that, of course, and oh did they ever rock the noonday sun and all the hardcores who were out while the cool kids slept.
    Shoreline Music Festival - Iron Giant Shoreline Music Festival - Iron Giant Shoreline Music Festival - Iron Giant Shoreline Music Festival - Iron Giant Shoreline Music Festival - Iron Giant
  • Slowcoaster played after Iron Giant, not an easy act to follow, but they spiced the music up with help from Tamara, a really talented singer who recorded on their latest album.
    Shoreline Music Festival - Slocwoaster Shoreline Music Festival - Slocwoaster Shoreline Music Festival - Slocwoaster Shoreline Music Festival - Slocwoaster
  • e.co. doesn't let a little thing like being stuffed in a tent favella stop him from making some of the best food I've had in ages.
    Shoreline Music Festival - The Temporary Office Shoreline Music Festival - The Temporary Office Shoreline Music Festival - The Temporary Office
  • JSB and Buck 65, Saturday's main performers, were incredible. JSB's set was shorter than when they do a show by themselves, so unfortunately too much time was spent playing those damn long instrumentals that their fans insist on hearing every single show. That cuts severely into their ability to play songs that might have a scrap of life left in them. But that's OK, they did a good job as jam band journeymen last night.

    Buck 65 blew me away, mostly because I didn't know what to expect since I don't know his music, and he hit us with about 4 different styles, including a spoken word bit at the end that was a real risk but people went for it and it was a very original and unique show.
    Shoreline Music Festival - Buck 65
  • They had a DJ keeping us moving well into the early hours, with the unique addition of a live singer who improved on the spot as he did his thing on the turntables. Very cool time, had a blast and I'm totally happy I stayed up for it and all rhe rest of the late=nigt goings-on.
    Shoreline Music Festival - Ribbon Girl Shoreline - House DJ with a Live Singer
  • Mars Hill ended the morning with groovy beats and the only 5am trumpet I'll ever hear since I'm never joining the army. Whoever made up the schedule really knew how to cap off a night of intense house music.
    Shoreline - Mars Hill
  • The next day we were all pretty groggy and dying of sunstroke, but I managed to pay full attention to Brooke Miller's set. I don't know how it is that at her age she can probably out fingerpick Bruce Cockburn and sing with the confidence of Joni Mitchell, but here we are, and she totally played my favourite song of hers right when I asked for it. :)
    Shoreline - Brooke Miller

By al - 11:41 PM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Friday, July 08, 2005

Off to Shoreline

I'm doing the last of my packing right now and we should be out the door in about an hour. I'm hoping that 3 days of music and camping will be good for my system, let the stresses of the past week melt away and evaporate as I lie in the grass. Of course staying awake for 20 hours a day will pose its own set of stresses, but that's OK.

We've got our own camp site, instead of trying to cram into the tent city that pops up around the event. Probably a wise move, but I don't think I'll be making my way back to the site too too often during the weekend.

I just heard some hilarious news about what's happening at work now that the 3 of us have left. If I wanted to put my neck out and blog about work there would be some pretty unbelievable material here, but I'm keeping my mouth shut partly because people wouldn't believe me if I did write about it.

I wish I had some sort of system worked out for how to track down where people will be at the festivities. There's supposedly 1,500 people going, which is more than went to my high school by half. I'll have to do some wandering to see whom I bump into.

By al - 1:33 PM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Stomping on an Anthill

Well, the BBC World News is taking about stock prices of travel and tourism companies going down. Goess that means there's no more news about this worth reporting as of now.

It's funny how it's becoming clear that a simple attack on the underground system is more effective at engendering fear than if they had tried to attack the actual G8 summit. Attacking the leaders makes people want to rally around and support their leader, because he is a symbol. If someone asassinated George W. Bush, despite everything else, he would be seen as a hero by most Americans. But an attack on people hits much closer to home, when you think 'why is the government carrying out actions that are resulting in me and my loved ones being put in danger when we're simply going about our lives?'

It would have been a bigger 'gesture' to have attacked the G8 summit, but it's more effective, if your aim is to create fear, to plant the idea in people's minds that they are no longer safe. And what do their leaders do? They continue on with the conference where they discuss how to carve up the rest of the world and divide the spoils, while the people absorb the blowback.

By al - 3:04 PM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

It has got to stop

I have decide all world disaster have to stop occuring where I know people. That doesn't leave too many places for things occur, but I am sure it would make a lot of people feel better too.

This morning explosions in London has left me worrying about several people, of which I have heard form a couple. I a still worried about many more so if anyone I know over there reads this blog, be okay!

By Sabrina - 9:50 AM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Those white earbuds weren't quite cutting it

Guess I don't need that 5-disc CD changer anymore.

By al - 2:48 PM | (3) comments | Post a Comment

Weathering History

jussypants says:
the forecast looks ok except for sunday..........thundershowers.......yay........wrist slitty weather.
al says:
the people will all be in need of a shower by then so it's all good
jussypants says:
exactly would woodstock be so great if it didnt rain like mad
jussypants says:
?
al says:
yes
al says:
people would also have a better image of hippies
al says:
and the movement may not have died of embarassment
al says:
and we may have had peace and love and a free society by now
al says:
but it rained, and those hippies got all filthy
al says:
and now here we are, president george w. bush

By al - 2:18 AM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Word of the Day: The Statistically Significant Other

n.: That person, male or female, whom you spend a great deal of time with and who affects your usual movements and patterns in the same way being in a relationship would.

By al - 8:26 PM | (2) comments | Post a Comment

That's All, Folks

So I'm done with the job I was at, thankfully. I'm a good actor, but playing a part in a bizarre charade for 8 hours or more a day is just too much method acting for me. But I think I'll follow someone else's good example and not dwell too heavily on unpleasantness.

I'm dysfunctional, you're dysfunctional

Posting in lieu of a twelve-step program.

I was planning on writing a scathing report about getting out of a job that made me feel bad. I thought of all sorts of clever things (well, I thought they were clever) to write. I invented the "work soul" that was slowly destroyed. I figured that I could bask in the illusion that I was so indespensible that staying at work was akin to "staying together for the children" in a bad relationship. The parallels would have been astounding as the error of my erroneous assumptions were revealed to me over time. Oh, the horror I have survivied.

Screw that.

Exit chapter "The Past" and enter chapter "The Future."

By al - 12:46 PM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Monday, July 04, 2005

while walking in victoria park

These are actually crows. But man they don't look like it! They were flying irradically above head. So I tried to get the action shot. This is what I got!

crows in flight

By Sabrina - 2:28 AM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Sunday, July 03, 2005

iPod Shuffle Weirdness

For the last 2 weeks I've had very slow transfer speeds to and from my iPod Shuffle. Much slower than the already slowish USB 1.1 speeds that I was getting before. It started when I put the Shuffle into disk mode (allocating the full 1GB of space to use as a USB disk drive) and transferred a bunch of files to a friend's computer.

After finishing that I turned off 'disk mode' in iTunes and re-synched it to my music library. But now the transfer speeds were ridiculously slow, on the order of one song every 2 or 3 minutes, and it would randomly quit with an unknown error after about 100MB or so.

The weird bit is that even though I turned off 'disk mode' I could still see a small text file that I put on there when looking at the iPod's disk drive in My Computer. So somehow I think it was confused about how much of the disk was supposedc to be reserved for storage space, ec., and perhaps that's what was giving it problems.

Anyway, I just formatted the thing as a FAT32 drive in Windows, unplugged it and plugged it back in again, and iTunes thought it was a brand new iPod and did its thing to initialize it and is now filling it back up at the normal speed.

I don't know what exactly went wrong but formatting it did the trick.

By al - 7:35 PM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Campbelton, PEI


Campbelton, PEI, originally uploaded by Alexander O'Neill.

By al - 11:33 AM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Shoreline Lineup

www.shorelinefestival.com

This is the last line-up post by Dave on peilocals, he says the bands listed here are for sure playing on the day they are scheduled for, but times may change.

Friday
4:30 - 5:15 Main Stage Ermine
5:30 - 6:30 Main Stage Two Hours Traffic
6:45 - 7:45 Main Stage In-Flight Safety
8:00 - 10:15 Main Stage Grand Theft Bus
10:30 - 12:00 Main Stage Metric
12:15 - 2:45 Ceilidh Hall Stage Burt Neilson Band
3:00 - 4:15 Ceilidh Hall Stage All of Green
4:30 - 6:00 Ceilidh Hall Stage Chris Colepaugh & The Cosmic Crew
6:15 - 8:00 Ceilidh Hall Stage DJ Putty

Saturday
10:00 - 10:45 Ceilidh Hall Stage Breakfast with BA Johnston
11:00 - 11:45 Main Stage Caledonia
12:00 - 12:45 Main Stage Iron Giant
1:00 - 3:00 Main Stage Slowcoaster
3:00 - 4:00 Main Stage DJ IV / Universal Soul
4:00 - 6:00 Main Stage The Jimmy Swift Band
6:15 - 7:45 Main Stage Andrew & Brad Barr feat. Marco Benevento
8:00 - 9:00 Main Stage Kid Koala
9:05 - 10:15 Main Stage Buck 65
10:30 - 12:00 Main Stage The Benevento Russo Duo
12:15 - 1:45 Ceilidh Hall Stage Skratch Bastid
2:00 - 3:15 Ceilidh Hall Stage Mars Hill
3:30 - 5:00 Ceilidh Hall Stage Sonny D w. Jessica Knight
5:15 - 6:30 Ceilidh Hall Stage Melonworks
6:45 - 8:00 Ceilidh Hall Stage The Mystery System

Sunday
10:00 - 10:45 Acoustic Stage Breakfast with Jenn Grant
11:00 - 11:45 Acoustic Stage Carmen Townsend
11:45 - 12:15 Acoustic Stage Poetry w. John MacKenzie & Friends
12:25 - 1:15 Acoustic Stage Paul Christian & Friends
1:25 - 2:45 Main Stage Brinsley Forde w. Jason Wilson & Tabarruk
3:00 - 4:00 Acoustic Stage Brad Barr (solo acoustic)
4:10 - 5:00 Acoustic Stage Catherine MacLellan & Al Tuck
5:10 - 6:25 Acoustic Stage Brooke Miller
6:35 - 7:35 Acoustic Stage Jill Barber
7:45 - 9:00 Acoustic Stage Joel Plaskett

Chas Guay + Christina Forgeron perform between sets on Sunday late afternoon + evening.

Shoreline also features live graphic art all weekend by Tobin 1and stage art by Ben Phillips.

By al - 10:47 AM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Canada

Fire works

This is probably one of the best know and celebrated symbols of Canada. And when I look at the picture I can't really think of anything more Canadian than that. At least not in reality! However my cartoon image processing part of my mind has the mounties being bulldozed by a moose, while they stop at an intersection to let a heard of beavers walk by and a hockey player skates around the whole thing. Oh and the mounties have Tim Horton Coffee mugs in there hand. But that is the part of my brain influenced by watching to much TV as a child.

A symbol of Canada

There are many things out there that just say Canada but, the Canadian flag flying over a statue of soldier, in the year of the veteran on Canada day just completes a circle.

Canaday day, year of the vetran

By Sabrina - 10:01 PM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

No Opener? No Problem

So word on the street is that Sleater-Kinney are the opening act for Pearl Jam in Halifax. That makes twice that I'll be seeing SK without meaning to. I guess a bit of that San Francisco good luck is still hovering around me.

Now, I had always figured PJ wouldn't have an opening act in St. John's because of the long-assedness of the trip, and because the arena only holds about 5,000 people. It would be hard to make money opening for that show. So apparently instead what we'll get is an hour-and-a-half acoustic set by Pearl Jam.

!!!!

Oh did I ever make the right choice deciding to go to both shows. I wonder if they'll play any songs that aren't already soft No Code-type stuff. I'd love to hear some stuff off of Riot Act or Vs. done unplugged-style. There's no way they won't hear my chanting "stoooone!! stoooone!!" now.

By al - 1:47 PM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

Friday, July 01, 2005

Pitchfork Soup

When you read the Pitchfork news headlines all at once all the band names kind of run together and just seem made-up.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Reinvent Themselves on New LP
The Mars Volta cancel shows
Hal sued over band name
Hard-Fi to release first single on Vice
Superpitcher to embark on short DJ tour
Gravy Train!!!! back with new album, tour
Death Cab reveal LP release date
Franz Ferdinand Reveal New Album Title
TV on the Radio drop more hings on new album
Prefuse 73 signs on for Intonation Festival!
Ex-Unicorns form new band
Lady Sovereign announces summer tour plans
American Analog Set sign to Arts & Crafts
ecemberists, Ted Leo to head Bumbershoot

By al - 12:22 AM | (0) comments | Post a Comment

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