May 30, 2006

Blokey or Girlie?

You know, it's no wonder that Steve doesn't have comments enabled on his blog, 'cause damn, 393 FREAKIN COMMENTS in what...3 days? I should BE so popular.

SO what do you think? Is the Mini a chick car?

For me, unfortunately, the mini is too mini, I have to go with the car in the Extended Entry

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May 29, 2006

Pretty Pretty pretty

I came across this over at Rocket Jones, it's a cool graph generator, which ... graphs it? I don't exactly know how it works but... it's pretty anyways. It's interestion, what with all the seeding dandelions in my yard that part of it looks just like that.

Websites as graphs - an HTML DOM Visualizer Applet

Oh yeah... and the image is in the extended bit..


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May 26, 2006

Metal to Air Fuel Cell Technology

Technology like this is really going to save the world, or prolong our movement around this world. A self charging fuel that's reused during operation, lasts 500 miles before refueling, and the parts are reusable. It really renews my hope that we're not completely screwed.

From the page: "Metal-air fuel cells (MAFC) generate electricity using metal and oxygen, rather than combing hydrogen and oxygen as in a PEM fuel cell. Compared to conventional batteries, MAFCs can have as much as 75 times greater energy density.

The Alchemy Electric Power Cell Technology works by pumping an electrolytic liquid consisting of common base earth metal and salt water into the power cell. Catalyzed by air, it generates electricity used to power an engine or other propulsion device.

When the electrolytic liquid is spent, it is pumped out of the power cell into a storage tank. In the storage tank, the liquid is recharged, ready to be pumped back into another electric power cell for re-use."
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May 24, 2006

Down the wrong path

The longer that this new government is in power, the more concern I have for Canada's future. I'm not concerned about economic future, but rather the health of our freedom of speech, environment and our global role as a peace-keeper. The recent change of government seems to be going farther and farther down the path that the US gov't has already trod. No Canadians wish to become Americans other than apparently our Prime Minister.

Harper is ignoring all of the warning signs of environmental chaos, even though The Debate is Over on global warming. Even GWB has acknowledged it and wants to focus on a solution rather than placing the blame. Harper's idea of an environmental plan is to let you write-off part of the cost of your bus pass. Yeah, fat lotta good that's going to do for farmers or people in the sprawling cities of Alberta. Edmonton's bus service is so shitty it can take up to 2 hours to get to a location it takes 20 minutes in a car. Oh and I almost forgot: "Let's get out of the Kyoto agreement because it's going to be too difficult", way to make us look like schmucks, Stevie.

Harper has also turned the gov't of Canada website into a propaganda machine for the Conservative party (found this through Darren's blog), plugging their five priorites, and news articles making them look peachy. Alongside the propaganda machine is his refusal to meet with the Ottaway press corp, they apparently didn't ask they right questions.

"They don't ask questions at my press conferences now. We'll just take the message out on the road. There's lots of media who do want to ask questions and hear what the government is doing."
Ok, so he doesn't like they way they are playing so he's going to take his ball home to western Canada where he hopes they will ask questions he is willing to answer. We don't know what he's planning next but if he keeps going down this road I can see the black helicopters on the horizon.

Military commitments seem to also be a priority for this government, not merely for peacekeeping but for coalition forces in Afghanistan rooting out terrorists. Ok for some this sounds fine, but really that has never been our role as a country, we go in after-the-fact and keep things calm until some semblance of order can be maintained. When our forces start bombing civilian towns as is what happened recently, it tarnishes our country's name. I also don't agree with the change of policy that flags will no longer be flown at half-mast with military casualties, although I can almost understand this concept because as of late the flags would be lowered 3 days out of 5.

We can only hope that his continued disregard for Ontario and other cities,his preferential treatment of Quebec and the absolute abysmal environmental plans will push the Canadian people over the edge. With regards to Quebec, as Harper himself said:

"Make no mistake. Canada is not a bilingual country. In fact it is less bilingual today than it has ever been."
So why is he suddenly making concessions for one of the last standing refuges of the French language in Canada (other than New Brunswick)? Votes. That's right, Quebec has a shitload of people, and somehow they also have a federal party even though there are no PQ MPs outside of Quebec and no electoral candidates for that party outside of Quebec. That same federal party has a party leader willing to ignore the rest of Canada for the good of Quebec, to prop up a government that is not good for us and is leading us down the wrong path.

Edit: Turns out Quebeckers aren't entirely down the wrong path: Quebec is "resolutely committed to Kyoto," says Charest, a former federal environment minister in the early 1990s, and he expects the federal government "to do its part.", so why are they so quick to jump into bed with the PM?

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May 19, 2006

One less quack

We drive killing machines
We drive them every day, they roll across dead manufactured soil, they stop only when the other machines stop. They obey us but we are not their masters. Our laws are the only things that prevent us from constantly killing each other, although we do kill often enough: when we're not looking, not thinking, half-asleep.

Tonight I was heading home on the freeway I always travel when the traffic all slowed to a halt suddenly. I was a few cars behind what was happening so I didn't see what was going on, I thought I saw what looked like a sparrow running around between tires, in circles. When I realized what it was and my trajectory it was too late, I felt the tiny bump as I crushed it into the asphalt. I was aghast and then I looked to my right; there was a mother mallard and 5 or 6 ducklings following her safely to the curb on the far side of the freeway. One of her young had gotten seperated from the flock and lost its way, only to find death under my front tire.

I remember the little guy running in circles near the curb, I had no time to stop. I had horrible images of my own child lost or seperated from me, running in circles because he couldn't find me. I can't say I wasn't moved and deeply saddened. Silly isn't it? A duckling?

Please, remind your children to stick close to the flock.

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May 17, 2006


Sometimes I lose

my train of thought

my age

f o c u s

my sense of humor



my purpose

a voice


the drive to continue

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May 16, 2006

Pattycake, man

We keep getting little insights into the future and the relationship the two boys will have. This afternoon my wife came out of our room, she had asked Xavier to watch over Griffin while she went out of the room, to find them just laughing and cackling. She overheard Xavier playing pattycake with the G-man, and his alternate lyrics for the age-old classic.

Pattycake pattycake bakers man
bake a cake with a rolling pin
First you bake it and make it
make it man
You bake it, make it
make it with a friend!

I had to share it, because I laughed with tears in my eyes while she recalled it to me over the phone.

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May 12, 2006

Pffrrr Pffrr ffr frrr

"Hail to the Chief" played by squeezing air out of his hands. -from Boing Boing.

That's pretty much all the current one deserves, and it sums up his presidency nicely: a chorus of pseudo fart sounds.

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May 11, 2006


Our oldest is officially in his 3's.

Monday morning I woke, heard him talking to the dog, and what sounded like feeding him; no big deal, sometimes he does that in the morning. Our border collie / german shepherd cross stays in a kennel in the house and is outside during the day, so in the morning X-man grabs kernels of his food and feeds it through the bars. So anyways I grab a shower, and as I'm towelling myself off I hear more noise, sort of a 'click click click' like the dog's walking around in the kitchen. I hurriedly get dry, put on some covering and go out to see what's going on. I went to the top of the stairs, called out his name, no response. Called out again, and here comes the dog, then a couple seconds, the boy, with dirt on his face, no pants, and bare feet. That night I found out the dog had also taken a huge crap by the kitty litter down there, luckily it's all cement and I had an easy time of cleaning it up.

Later on that same day my wife told me that she fell asleep on the couch so he took advantage of the situation and went downstairs into the computer room. He turn on the computer, the monitor, the radio, the webcam and also let out the cat. My wife went downstairs because she couldn't find him, she heard some noise from the room, opens it up and here he has some programs open and is dancing in front of the webcam. She said the look on his face was priceless, I really wish we could have gotten a picture of it.

I really had a hard time being mad at him since we never at any time specifically said he couldn't do any of that. He figures since we can do it, hey why not right? Plus the dog complains alot in the morning to get out, so he was being nice to the dog by letting him out right? Of course we clarified it after the fact, and we are also locking the doors downstairs now. The little bugger was in my room again this morning, this time it wasn't funny and I made sure we knew that he knew better. Obviously I have to do a better job of locking the doors, on the way home today I'm going to pick up a hook and eyelet for the other door, the one he lets the cat out of (no, it's not a closet, it's 2 unfinished rooms, I love my cat).

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May 04, 2006

Clunk - Kaching!

I finally took the Grand Am into the shop yesterday to get the clunks in the front end checked out. It turned out worse than I thought, but not really much more money (still too much IMO). Turns out that the ball joints and outer tie rod ends were fux0red, in fact one of the ball joints had 1 inch of play, the mechanic said they would fall out soon if not fixed.

Well that shop didn't bother looking at my car until 3:00 even though I was the first one on the schedule for yesterday AND I brought my car in at 8:30 as asked. Of course they couldn't fix it that day and would hold it overnight, and they wanted to charge me $885 plus the inspection cost of $47. Well I paid the inspection cost, took the car home, took today off and went to my regular repair shop.

The guy I usually use charges $14 less an hour, plus he agreed to put a mix of quality of parts. The ball joints took 4 hours so we put on the ones that were $122 each, but the tie rod ends were only 1 hour of labor so we put on the $35 ones instead of $120. Hey, I expect to sell this car within the year so any money I can save I will. Parts totalled $335 after tax, labour was 2.8 hours approx (this is why I go to this guy) and $80 for an alignment. $640 later I go home with a sound car, and saving about 250 dollars.

Funny and oddly enough, the amount I've spent on my car exactly totals the amount I was planning on saving for a downpayment on a new car. The thing has it in for me, I swear. On the bright side I was able to spend the morning with my family, got to see Xavier at his preschool and the car has a completely new front end. That's a major selling point when I go to sell it, that and the 4 new tires. Still... $640 was not budgeted and was geared towards other more important things like paying down a loan and paying off some debt.

If you drive a car it's a losing game. You never gain, it just keeps wearing away at your bank account until you've had enough and you buy another one, thus continuing the vicious cycle. Give me a bus pass and a decent transit system and I'd never drive the friggin things.

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May 03, 2006

Look at the shiny coins

So I can't not say something about budget that came out yesterday. From what I've seen it looks like a completely typical Conservative budget, focused on money, focused on business, and this one is extremely focused at getting them back in as a majority next year. Hey, I'm all for receiving money from the gov't for taking care of my kids, and the $200 a month will definitely help us out, but one of the big jabs in my side is their absolutely feeble show of support to climate change and the environment. Harpers view of the world apparently doesn't include the reality of the obvious decline in air quality, our extreme dependancy on non-renewable resources and climate change. A tax credit for those people that buy bus passes. Give me a fuckin break. Oh and not a penny towards hospital wait times and many of the projects have been downsized from the previous Liberal plans.

I am seeing a government focused on the middle class, big business and money. Like I said, typical Conservative politics, obvlivious of anything but economy and attempting to suckle at the teat of the George Bush regime. Take the softwood lumber deal; let's see they were tariffing our lumber, completely against a previously signed Free Trade agreement, instead of demanding all the money back we'll take back 5/6ths of it, 5 billion, and then as long as the prices are high and the demand is high there will be no "management" of trade. THAT's right, the US companies are hurting for softwood so of course they're going to agree with this deal, they're getting a billion dollars of free money, and once the demand goes down they can go back to screwing the Canadian companies by managing the trade.

In an extremely tasteless ripoff of Soundgarden "Outshined": We're looking Harper but feeling Mulroney.

[update] Ok, after looking more at the budget there's a chunk of spending there that is going to the right places, I may have been hasty to write-off the whole thing. I'm still pretty disappointed at their environment policy: "Everyone who buys a bus pass gets %15.5 of it back in tax credits", yeah, first you need an environmentally friendly working transit system that services everyone. In our city there was so little planning in transit in the beginning that now it's costing mulitudes more than it would have if they would have thought ahead a bit.

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