Monday, November 17, 2008

New Look, New Toys

I decided that I didn't like the look of a tight column of stuff down the middle of the screen with huge empty space on the sides - especially on the 24" monitor I have at work. So, I transferred everything to a new template. This one will match itself to the width of the screen that you are viewing it on - it's very clever that way.

Also, I added a widget called Shelfari. Mostly this is a "Hey look, I can read" tool that shows a bookshelf full of stuff I've read or am reading. No, it's not up for vanity's sake. I often read things that other people have read and liked. I'll only put up books that I've actually read and found a)interesting or b) useful.

That's all for now.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Anyone But Harper

Hey everybody,

I've just been over at the Anyone but Harper website. I've attached their strategic voting widget to my blog. Look over there => Election's Over, I've removed the link!

Enter your postal code to see who in your riding has the best chance of beating the local Conservative candidate. If you don't want to vote for that person, get in touch with someone in Alberta (or any other overwhelmingly conservative Disneyland) and offer to vote swap with them.

For instance. I live in a riding that will go so overwhelmingly PC, it doesn't matter who I vote for. But, I will vote. So, if you want a vote to go to the Green party but, your best bet for beating the PC's is to vote Liberal, email me. I'll make your Green vote for you, freeing you up to vote strategically for the candidate with the best chance to beat the Conservative.

Official note to Elections Canada. This offer is not being made in exchange for any inducement or compensation. There is no benefit given or taken by me or anybody who is interested in the strategic voting option - except a healthier, more accepting, more diverse, greener country.

Vote well people.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Coming to a Mosh Pit Near You

So, I had the stereo on tonight after supper. I didn't realize Ainsley was dancing along to Jane's Addiction's stop until I saw her in the kitchen. She doesn't know that the camera shoots video. So, this is unscripted and unperformed. She was dancing just for her.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

More Ainsley Dance Video

Ainsley had her first dance recital last night. I apolgise for the quality of the video but dark theatre + cell phone + stage light pointing at me = crappy video.

Ainsley is the fourth from the left once they all get on stage.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Yeah, It's the Image that We're Worried About

In what must be a bid to prove that he is Dubya 2.0, Steven Harper has commented on the Dead Ducks controversy.

There have been some idiotic comments from Syncrude so far. Ed Stelmach even went down the you're only showing the bad stuff about the tar sands route. But our (yours 'cause I sure as hell didn't vote for the little fascist) illustrious Prime Minister has reached a new level of ridiculousness.

His comment today was "tragedy hurts Canada's environmental image". Respectfully Mr. Prime Minister, the tragedy doesn't hurt Canada's environmental image. We are the third largest producer of CO2 per capita world wide. We consume water faster than anybody outside the US. Until recently the Great Lakes were toxic. We already have a poor environmental image. The tragedy doesn't hurt it any more. What the tragedy hurts... is DUCKS!!!

Specifically, it hurt or rather killed, over 500 of the little buggers and he's worried about how the tragedy affects our environmental image.

This is the same guy that said stories of prisoners in Afghanistan being tortured under the auspices of NATO were hurting Canada's and NATO's credibility. That may well be sir, but actually torturing people hurts people. There's a reason why torture is illegal under international law and it has nothing to do with the optics of subjecting a person to horrendous amounts of physical and emotional trauma. It has to do with actually subjecting a person to horrendous amounts of physical and emotional trauma.

The same thing goes for the ducks. Having appropriate environmental protection laws is not about showing the world that Canada is a happy, green nation. Having those laws is supposed to actually protect animals, plants, water and air.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hear Ye, Hear Ye

  • 47 million Americans - 16% of the population have no health insurance.
  • The US is mired in VietNam version 2.0 with no apparent way out.
  • Many of the poorest victims from Hurricane Katrina still have no permanent housing.
  • One of the most important US Federal elections is on the horizon.
  • The American economy is still reeling from the sub-prime mortgage scandal.
  • A recession is looming.

What is the most important piece of business before the US Congress right now? How are valuable tax dollars being spent? With all the big issues before the public and by extension, the government, how are the elected representatives of the American people spending their time?

They're trying to figure out whether or not one guy really did stick another guy in the ass with a needle.

It's fucking baseball!!!

It's. A. Game!

The US Congress has basically unlimited funds and unlimited power to investigate and fix really important problems and they've chosen to look into a children's game, played by over-paid, publicly-indulged boys. I'm sitting on the North side of the border and I can't believe the US population hasn't risen up and staked the Honorable Mr. Waxman to a wall for wasting their time and money.

If there is a doping problem in baseball - and I have no doubt there is - there are mechanisms in place to deal with it. The League would be a great place to start. In the past the League has fined, suspended and outright banned players caught in illicit acts. If those acts are deemed to be criminal the League has, in the past, supported the law and cut it's players loose, released contracts and engaged other punitive measures. If they're unable to clean up their mess, then perhaps the league should fold.

The World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) has the ability to investigate any athlete in any sport it suspects of any doping infraction. Unfortunately all the professional, major leagues (MLB, NHL, NBA, NFL) have refused their assistance. They've all claimed they have effective testing programs and that WADA program would violate their collective agreements with their players. And, because these are essentially private clubs, Dick Pound and his crew can't force their way in like an old-west Sherriff.

Or can they?

In 2006 the International Olympic Committee threatened to drop soccer (football) from the 2008 Olympics if FIFA reufsed to incorporate WADA standards and refused to sign the World Anti-doping code. FIFA and WADA are now working co-operatively to design an anti-doping code for amateur and professional soccer players alike.

So if WADA via the IOC can ban sports from the Olympics if those sports' governing bodies refuse to investigate and clean up doping in those sports, where are they in the baseball scandal? Why haven't they threatend the feeder system for MLB with Olympic sanctions? Why haven't they said "Use our protocals, submit your results to us for analysis or we'll drop baseball from the Olympics"? Well, they have. Apparently it just didn't take - or baseball didn't care about Olympic accreditation.

Doping, in and of itself is not illegal. Is it unethical? That would depend on your own moral code and how you feel about pro-sports and the responsibilities of professional athletes. However the act of sticking a needle full of a substance into your bum and getting some benefit from that substance is not illegal. It may be illegal to posses one of the substances - anabolic steroids for example - but the act of sticking in the needle isn't; depressing the plunger and injecting the steroid isn't.

In any case we're not exploring doping in baseball or any other sport. We're exploring what constitutes an issue important enough for Congress to hold hearings into it. Other Congressional Hearings have had great import for the future of the US:

  • The Iran/Contra hearings
  • The Watergate/Warren Commission hearings
  • The Clinton "Stain on a Dress" hearings
  • Confirmation hearings for Justices & Secretaries (these are Senate hearings)
Overpaid adults, cheating at baseball just doens't seem to be as important to me. I see this as a symptom of our North American obsession with celebrity. Today it's doping baseball players. What could be in the future? An investigation into the dangerous behaviour of vapid actresses? A hearing to look into whether or not Tom Cruise should be allowed to spread Scientology to unsupecting co-stars? Sworn testimony from NASCAR Crew Chiefs about tire pressure?

We just can't seem to be happy with what we have. Celebrity lives and athlete scandals already take enough time out of our personal lives. Do they now have to waste tax dollars as well?

Maybe there should be a hearing into that.