Archive for January, 2006|Monthly archive page

Bring in the Haggis!

Saturday, January 28th, 2006

Robbie Burns Day at Verses in Kitchener.

Despite a Transylvanian host in a plaid vest and Oktoberfest shorts, 12-year old “Scottish” dancers doing what appeared to be the ancient dance of the video vamp, and a man claiming to be Robbie but who spoke with a suspicously Canadian accent, fun was had by all.

The food, as usual, was spectacular. We also had a lovely South African Zinf (I know, who knew?) to go along with the scotch selection. Scotches definitely on the subdued side, but perhaps they allowed the food to taste through.

The haggis was prepared well, and I ate it all up. I even got to say “up yer kilt!”

It’s like revealing my inner self…

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

Thanks to Melle and Dana. Welcome to the Sherryocracy!

Ten Top Trivia Tips about Sherry!

  1. Sherry is the only bird that can swim but not fly.
  2. Peanuts and Sherry are beans.
  3. Sherry can remain conscious for fifteen to twenty seconds after being decapitated!
  4. In 1982 Time Magazine named Sherry its ‘Man of the Year’.
  5. Sherry kept at the window will keep vampires at bay.
  6. Sherryocracy is government by Sherry!
  7. Some hotels in Las Vegas have Sherry floating in their swimming pools.
  8. Reindeer like to eat Sherry.
  9. There is actually no danger in swimming right after you eat Sherry, though it may feel uncomfortable.
  10. Most bottles and jars contain at least twenty-five percent recycled Sherry.
I am interested in – do tell me aboutherhimitthem

What’s Next and Why I’m Now for Belinda

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

Well. The votes are in, and to be typically Canadian, “It could have been worse.” Cons: 124; Libs:103; Bloc: 51; NDP: 29

This is a very slim minority government–Canadians saying that there needed to be a slap on the wrist, but for the love of Pete, don’t let that Harper fellow actually DO anything. And the popular vote (versus number of seats) indicates that the Conservatives aren’t as popular as they’d like to be.

The markets won’t be happy about it, and we’re fair on going through this again within two years. May Rick be wrong about the Minister of Foreign Affairs (egad!). I’m disappointed but hopeful that the Liberals and NDP will band together to block ANY move by this right-wing group to touch women’s rights or gay rights. And to ensure that the government doesn’t wreck our balanced budget trying to kiss enough ass to stay in government for a little longer.

I told my Dad a few days ago that, if the Liberals lost, Martin would step down as leader. Told you so. And I also predict that Belinda Stronach will run for the Liberal leadership. I go by my gut on things, and based on her acceptance speech, I’m for her. It’s been a hope for me that the real reason she jumped from the Conservative to the Liberal party was that she had a true and honest crisis of conscience. That she saw the direction of the former and understood the danger it represents to people outside of the Conservative frickin’ “family values” (see previous post). Hope is rising that she did, and for that alone, I’ll do what I can to support her. In her own words:

“Tonight, Canadians have spoken and given Stephen Harper and his Conservatives a trial run at leading the government of Canada,” she said.

“Where he acts for the national good for all Canadians, he will have my support. But where he wishes to place in jeopardy the equal rights of individual Canadians or women or the unity of the country, he will find me an attentive and vocal critic.”

Me too, Belinda. Me too.

Why you shouldn’t vote Conservative

Thursday, January 19th, 2006

Normally, when it comes to an election, I’m all about the “I don’t care how you vote, just vote.” However, with at least a Conservative minority forecasted, I need to say my say. And yes, I’m susceptible to a charge of unsubstantiated claims, but it’s the way I see it.

It’s a Conservative gobstopper with a Reform centre.
It’s only a few years since the Progressive Conservatives and the Reform Party of Canada joined together. Never forget where they came from. Under the lily-white banner of “Family Values”, these people set an agenda on a narrow definition of what is right, what is wrong, what is good, what is a sin, as well as what marital status, sex, colour, religion and nationalities are “ideal”. I’ll give you a hint: tightass and militaristic worldview, open-minded worldview, homos and premarital sex and cross-cultural relationships, married with children, male, white, protestant or catholic but nothing funny, and white again.

Stephen Harper likes America WAY too much.
If he gets the choice, we’ll be in Iraq. If he gets the choice, Kyoto and anything like Kyoto will die. If he gets the choice, we’ll send more troops into situations that are determined “hostile” not by us, but by the United States of America. If he gets the choice, there will be a lot of things that get determined by the United States of America.

They’re spending like rock stars, and there won’t be tax cuts.
The Conservatives can’t afford all of the programs they’re promising. Now, I won’t claim that this kind of thing is kept to one party, but don’t vote for them thinking we’re all going to get what they’re selling. And the tax cuts, if they come, are over a loooong period of time (i.e. through the next election) and will most benefit businesses, not people. Whatever else you want to get rid of, I think we can agree that we’d like to keep our budget balanced.

He’s got Karla Homolka eyes.
I’m a firm believer in the gut. In your “smell” of a person when you first see them–are they good? bad? sincere? heartful? Take a good look at Mr Harper, particularly at his eyes. It just me? There’s no soul.

For inspiration, opinion…

Rick Mercer’s blog.
Is Stephen Harper a closet homosexual? [HEH]
The Globe
And in Harper’s own words.

Why aren’t you doing something important?

Sunday, January 15th, 2006

Read Paul Graham on Procrastination.

There are 3 types: you could work on (a) nothing, (b) something less important, or (c) something more important. Where his article made me pause (and/or curse), was in his discussion of how b) gets in the way of c), particularly as an organization gets bigger. He references Richard Hamming, who, in his Bell Lab days, posed the following:

  1. what are the most important problems in your field?
  2. you working on one of them?
  3. why not?

On the days when I feel like I can’t get to what’s important, I will try to remember that b) is going on, and that those people who go for b) become the common denominator in the organization. Not sure about you, but I’ve experienced the frustration of seeing where I should be, what I should be working on, and being told to not go there or assigned to a type b) project instead.

If you aren’t in control of your scope of work, and you are a type c), this is where disillusionment sets in. The sad news is, past start-up, no software company stays focused on “the most important problems in the field”. Why? Well, there’s the overpopulation of type b) (particularly in management), the need to “produce” things in shorter periods of time than might be required to go for the best things to work on, and the fear of spending too much time on the wrong thing.

A corollary to this, I would argue, is the fear of stopping. Anyone who calls themself a user-centred designer (and by that I also mean a user-centred developer) knows that one is supposed to be prepared to complete abandon months/years of work when one discovers it’s not the best, or not working, or not… In reality, if you’ve ever tried to get this to happen, you know it’s near-on impossible.

The best I can offer, or hope to do, is to force myself to do so in those projects where I can do so. Do what’s best. Do what’s important. And absolutely kill it and start again if that’s what’s right. …and procrastinate. THAT I can do.

I mock your gravity…

Saturday, January 14th, 2006

Take a leap into hyperspace

Hyperdrives, anti-gravity, extra dimensions and a 5-hour trip to Mars!

nothing funnier

Tuesday, January 10th, 2006

than an 18-pound male cat with lots of bravado, walking around with an elastic in its mouth like it’s a baby, or prey…


that same cat, while you’re dragging a string across the floor for him to pounce on, when he grabs the end of the string and carries that in his mouth so you can’t drag it anymore.

if you were a tree… ?

Sunday, January 8th, 2006

If I were a tree, I think I’d be a Hazel tree.

If I were an animal – no question: a cat.

If I were a colour, um, I think I’d be burnt orange.

If I were a superhero, I’d be Witchblade.

If I were a vegetable, I’d be a sweet potato.

If I were a puzzle, I’d be a labyrinth.

If I were a place, I’d be a field in Northern Ontario.

If I were a candy, I’d be smarties!

I think I am.

Thursday, January 5th, 2006

Went to see Jay Ingram last night, who was speaking about the science of consciousness in support of his new book: Theatre of the Mind. His appearance is part of the public lecture series put on by the Perimeter Institute – and we are nerdy happy to have it in our area.

Ingram did a good job of using accessible examples to present some of the main themes in his book. The book’s tone is definitely on the side of informality, a very conversational style; however, there’s enough there in terms of research and speculation to get your scientific imagination juices flowing. More in the book review.

He was engaging and he is very good at extemporaneous lecturing. Most impressive of all? How he handled questions. Now, I don’t know if it’s this topic in particular, the water in the area, or what, but there were an unusual number of crackpots and one precocious yet stupid child pimped up by her parents among the questioneers. While we’re in the audience rolling our eyes and looking intently at our shoes, Ingram was able to take each question (or statement of farcical spirituality, as the case may be), and turn it into a point he could speak to. He also stated his own approach and “beliefs” clearly, without softening anything to make the speaking crackpot feel better. I was impressed.

Oh, and you should know that he admitted to airing stuff on the CBC that he thought was complete bullcrap! heh. public dollars at work.


Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006

Stolen from Melle who stole it as well… Put an “X” by all the things you’ve done and share it with your friends.

1. (x) Smoked a cigarette.
2. ( ) Crashed a friend’s car.
3. ( ) Stolen a car.
4. (x) Been in love.
5. (x) Been dumped.
6. (x) Shoplifted.
7. ( ) Been fired/laid off.
8. (x) Been in a fist fight.
9. (x) Snuck out of your parents’ house.
10. (x) Had feelings for someone that didn’t have them back.
12. ( ) Gone on a blind date.
13. (x) Lied to a friend.
14. (x) Skipped school.
15. ( ) Seen someone die.
16. (x) Been to Canada.
17. ( ) Been to Mexico.
18. (x) Been on a plane.
19. ( ) Purposely set a part of yourself on fire.
20. (x) Eaten sushi.
21. (x) Been skiing.
22. ( ) Met someone in person from the internet.
23. ( ) Taken pain-killers.
24. (x) Love someone or miss someone right now.
25. (x) Laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by.
26. (x) Made a snow angel.
27. (x) Had a tea party.
28. (x) Flown a kite.
29. (x) Built a sand castle.
30. (x) Gone puddle jumping.
31. (x) Played dress up.
32. (x) Cheated while playing a game.
33. (x) Been lonely.
34. (x) Fallen asleep at work/school.
35. (x) Used a fake I.D.
36. (x) Watched a sunset.
37. ( ) Felt an earthquake.
38. (x) Touched a snake.
39. (x) Slept beneath the stars.
40. (x) Been tickled.
41. ( ) Been robbed.
42. (x) Been misunderstood.
43. (x) Petted a reindeer/goat.
44. ( ) Won a contest.
45. (x) Ran a red light.
46. ( ) Been suspended from school.
47. (x) Been in a car accident.
48. (x) Had braces.
49. ( ) Eaten a whole pint of ice cream in one night.
50. (x) Had deja vu.
51. (x) Danced in the moonlight.
52. (x) Liked the way you looked.
53. (x) Witnessed a crime.
54. (x) Questioned your heart.
55. ( ) Been obsessed with post it notes.
56. (x) Squished barefoot through the mud.
57. (x) Been lost.
58. ( ) Been to the opposite side of the country.
59. (x) Swam in the ocean.
60. (x) Felt like dying.
61. (x) Cried yourself to sleep.
62. (x) Played cops and robbers.
63. (x) Recently colored with crayons.
64. ( ) Sung karaoke.
65. ( ) Paid for a meal with only coins.
66. (x) Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t.
67. (x) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out your nose.
68. (x) Caught a snowflake on your tongue.
69. (x) Danced in the rain.
70. (x) Written a letter to Santa Claus.
71. (x) Been kissed under the mistletoe.
72. (x) Watched the sun rise with someone you care about.
73. (x) Blown bubbles.
74. (x) Made a bonfire on the beach.
75. (x) Crashed a party.
76. (x) Gone roller-skating.
77. (x) Had a wish come true.
78. ( ) Worn pearls.
79. ( ) Jumped off a bridge.
80. ( ) Ate dog/cat food.
81. (x) Told a complete stranger you loved them.
82. ( ) Kissed a mirror.
83. (x) Sang in the shower.
84. (x) Had a dream that you married someone.
85. (x) Glued your hand to something.
86. ( ) Got your tongue stuck to a flagpole.
87. ( ) Kissed a fish.
88. (x) Sat on a rooftop.
89. (x) Screamed at the top of your lungs.
90. (x) Done a one-handed cartwheel.
91. (x) Talked on the phone for more than six hours on one occasion.
92. (x) Stayed up all night.
93. ( ) Didn’t take a shower for a week.
94. (x) Picked and ate an apple right off the tree.
95. (x) Climbed a tree that had a treehouse.
96. (x) Been told by a complete stranger that you’re hot.
97. (x) Ever had a one-night stand.
98. (x) Ever missed someone so much it still hurts to think of them.
99. (x) Ever loved someone that you knew wouldn’t love you back.
100. (x) Ever been to a professional baseball, football, or hockey game in a stadium.
101. (x) Went hiking in the mountains.
102. ( ) Smoked a cigar.
103. ( ) Had a crush on someone you worked with but never told them.
104. (x) Wished you had the chance to change your profession.
105. ( ) Ever cremated and kept the ashes of a pet you cared a lot about.
106. (x) Wished you could live your life over again beginning at age 21.
107. (x) Been baptized.
108. (x) Rode a horse.
109. ( ) Sent flowers to someone you never met.