Archives for: July 2008

07/31/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 508 words   English (CA)
Categories: Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen: Thriteen Random Blog Meme Questions and My Answers

THURSDAY THIRTEEN!

Being utterly and totally bankrupt of good ideas for a Thursday Thirteen, I went with an old standby... I searched good ol' Google for a generic meme... which I found... and snagged...


Thirteen Random Meme Questions
And My Answers To Them...


#13: When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?

Egads! Who is that startlingly good looking, charismatic, fantastic, amazing, beautiful, wonderful, astounding, brilliant looking person I see there? Oh, it's Sue... I'm looking into the mirror on a weird angle and can't see myself... Dang, I look like death in the mornings! Oh wait, It's evening. Double-dang.

#12: Favorite planet?

Clom. Either Clom or Raxicoricofallipatorius.

#11: What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?

Silence. I prefer it when no one's calling me... it usually means work.

#10: What were you doing at midnight last night?

Counting my extraordinary lottery winnings while driving in my well appointed double-decker bus while getting a back rub... of course, at 12:02am, one of the dogs needed a "pee break" and woke me up, so it was short lived.

#9: Where is your nearest 7-11?

Between 6 and 12.

#8: How many rolls of film do you need developed?

WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE NEGATIVES!?!?!

#7: Your worst enemy?

Blog memes.

#6: What was the last thing you said to someone?

"I've done it! I've proven the Riemann hypothesis without question... oh wait, forgot to carry the two. Damnit.

#5: If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?

Well, one would assume that with a million male deer, it would be difficult to gain altitude in any conventional aircraft, so I'll take flying alone, thanks.

#4: Are you jealous of anyone?

Anyone with a more creative Thursday Thirteen because man, I was just bankrupt!

#3: If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?

On someone else.

#2: Have you been burned by love?

No, I can't say anyone has ever said to me, Hey! I love you! Here, let me put this torch against your body... sorry if it's a bit hot... although I do often joke about Sue's ancestry with pitchforks AND (oddly enough) torches... but that's another story. Anyway, getting back to being burned by love, I've heard that there are people who pay big bucks for that sort of thing... but me, not so much into the pain thing... aside from Internet memes.

#1: Does anything hurt on your body right now?

Simpler question: Does anything NOT hurt on your body right now.


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

07/30/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 110 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wordless Wednesdays

Wordless Wednesday: 1557

This post is the One-thousandth, five-hundredth, and fifty-seventh post on this blog... Dang, I'm a wordy so-and-so!

In honour of this, I whacked in the number into "Google" images and here's the three images that caught my eye on the FIRST page of that search...

Meet Gregor Brück, a German politician and Saxon Chancellor of the Reformation period who passed away in the year 1557. (Image Credit to Wiki)

A detailed image from a German Atlas (circa 1557) by German cartographer Christian Sgrothen. (Image Credit to Wiki)

Diagram explaining about a solar eclipse that happened in 1557. (Image credit to NASA)


For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants, please click here.


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

07/29/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 1871 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

I learned a new word this week... at the expense of two lives and God knows how many psyches...

Eliminationist.

I honestly have always been a political moderate leaning, or so I thought, to the right on many issues, to the left on a few... but when I started blogging and reading other blogs a few years ago, I got a real taste of the concept of "partisanship" politically... which, initially, I thought was only in the United States of America.

Basically, the "right" was calling the "left" defeatists, pro-terrorist, and hating America because many were openly in opposition of some of the things the president was doing.

Over time, I became a student... and found that although "sniping" (verbally) was not confined to one side, I will admit it... "right wing bloggers" and pundits were by far the worst at pontifcating isolationism, bigotry, racism, and intolerance... the worst the "left wing bloggers" and pundits were guilty of was name-calling and mocking.

Over time, I realised that Canada had it's small but vocal contingent of supposed right-wing intolerant bloggers and pundits... growing ever more shrill and ever more hateful... and their intolerance grew.

Both American and Canadian "political bloggers" and media types were getting more and more vocal... the left simply pointing fingers, showing faults LOUDLY and lauding over minor victories... scarier though is the outright hatred of the right towards the left... some even outright suggesting those on the left were effectively saboteurs, seditionists, and yes, treasonists.

Louder and louder the shouts and rants grew... more and more, the seething hatred of the right for the left was getting...

...and the left? All they seemed to be able to do was shriek that they were "right" about everything and that their opposite number is bad, evil, intolerant, and yes, coming off rather stupid. (Which, sadly, looked more and more accurate.)

Realistically, my "true blue" conservative feelings were being killed and trampled because of the outright seething hatred from that side of the political spectrum.

Hearing things like Anne Coulter saying Liberals love America like OJ loved Nicole were off putting and genuinely frightening.

In Canada, even if they're not aware of it, certain bloggers who are aping the political pundits of America are outwardly racist. Under the guise of It's funny because it's true and telling those of us horrified by their actions and words that we feel the same as they do, but they are smart/brave enough to say it out loud have progressively sickened me and many others.

I have to call it like it is... if you were to do a ratio of "Nasty Leftists Making Threats" vs. "Nasty Right-Wingers Making threats", it would be a horribly unbalanced equation.

Bloggers and pundits on the right have continued to shout, scream, and write that the "left", "liberals", and the like are lower than scum and effectively criminals.

For years now, it's gotten worse and worse...

Finally, it's happened...

From MSNBC...

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - An out-of-work truck driver accused of opening fire at a Unitarian church, killing two people, left behind a note suggesting that he targeted the congregation out of hatred for its liberal policies, including its acceptance of gays, authorities said Monday

A four-page letter found in Jim D. Adkisson's small SUV indicated he intentionally targeted the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church because, the police chief said, "he hated the liberal movement" and was upset with "liberals in general as well as gays."

Adkisson, a 58-year-old truck driver on the verge of losing his food stamps, had 76 rounds with him when he entered the church and pulled a shotgun from a guitar case during a children's performance of the musical "Annie."

"It appears that what brought him to this horrible event was his lack of being able to obtain a job, his frustration over that, and his stated hatred for the liberal movement," Police Chief Sterling Owen said.

Adkisson was a loner who hates "blacks, gays and anyone different from him," longtime acquaintance Carol Smallwood of Alice, Texas, told the Knoxville News Sentinel.

According to KnoxNews.Com...

Police found right-wing political books, brass knuckles, empty shotgun shell boxes and a handgun in the Powell home of a man who said he attacked a church in order to kill liberals "who are ruining the country," court records show.

--Snip--

Inside the house, officers found "Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder" by radio talk show host Michael Savage, "Let Freedom Ring" by talk show host Sean Hannity, and "The O'Reilly Factor," by television talk show host Bill O'Reilly.

Before carrying on, allow me to state that this man was obviously unhinged... he is ill and not in his right mind... he needed to "hate" and lashed out at a political stripe because... well, because what he heard and read said that group was going to "destroy" his country... they were "the enemy" and needed to be exterminated.

Who told him this?

The same folks who cloak their hate with the words It's funny because it's true.

Apparently, it's not funny. Apparently, words can and do hurt. Apparently, those "right wingers" who think their "jokes" and showing off of strength those "mamby pamby" liberals lack... letting us know that they "mean it" with loaded comments... are a touch destructive.

Sometimes, people need a reason... and when you give them such a large target, they sadly will not miss.

Do I blame ALL of the "right"? No... because not all of them are stupid enough to condemn the "left" so vehemently.

Do I condemn a small but VERY vocal contingent who LOVE to stir the pot with their "Look at ME! Look at THEM! They SUCK! They want to TAKE AWAY YOUR WAY OF LIFE! We are GREAT and POWERFUL and STRONG" nonsense? Yes.

I suppose this post is a plea... to all those politically on the right... SPEAK TO YOUR POLITICIANS and get a condemnation of such silly partisan "hate speech" that provoked this man... don't support (by reading, listening, buying product from) those "pundits" who preach "eliminationism"... Try to realise that partisanship IS the root of the collapse of a society, not "differing opinions"...

...and I'm literally begging all of you... bigotry, sexism, and racism should never, Never, NEVER have a place in today's society... or any society that needs to grow and develop.

Is there anything scarier than a large movement where one or a number of whackjobs misunderstand the concepts of their own subscribed philosophies and believe that violence and death are the answer that will change everything to their liking because some dumb isolated-from-blame "leaders" more-or-less gave them what they thought was carte blanche?

...seems to be a familiar question.

Like all decent Muslims did a while back, I believe that it would be only right for "the right" to condemn this on high... and perhaps realise that It's funny because it's true is not enough guarantee that someone will run with the ball...

...and innocent people will get hurt.

So, if any of those "right wingers" that are out there that STILL preach intolerance and hate... or jokes that are funny and true... read this post... think of what you're giving rise to... the families and friends who were out to see "Annie" at their church.

See the picture above? Know what the name of the store selling these is? Click the link....

Sure, YOU may not be to blame directly... but I guarantee you that you bought a book, watched a news program, or otherwise supported someone who did... meaning your hate, indirectly, did lead to this... you helped make it "okay" and "desirable" in this man's eyes to react as he did.

My thoughts and prayers are with those who HAVE gotten this message... and with those who have suffered at the church... their families and friends.

Afterthought: Not to sound shrieky, but here's something that crossed my mind... I'm against pollution. I'm for funding the arts. I'm for ensuring the population has health care, housing, and food. I'm for the rights of everyone being guaranteed regardless of race, creed, colour, or sexuality.

...am I now a target?

I suppose I am in some eyes, eh?

Double-Afterthought: So, I did a quick visit to the worst Canadian offenders... who, of course, are doing four things.

#1: "He was attacking CHRISTIANS, not liberals. You can't blame us." they say...

Uh, no, he went to that church because it openly espoused liberal ideas and it was his ex-wife's church. The authorities (not the media,) have made it very clear his agenda was lashing out against liberals who he blamed for his misfortune... and who have been made out to be "expendable" and even "recommended" targets for extermination by many pundits. After all, Liberals love America like OJ loved Nicole, right?

Oh, and from Fox News...

"It appears that what brought him to this horrible event was his lack of being able to obtain a job, his frustration over that, and his stated hatred for the liberal movement," Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen said of Adkisson.

A police affidavit used to get a search warrant for Adkisson's home said the suspect admitted to the shooting.

Adkisson "stated that he had targeted the church because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country," investigator Steve Still wrote.

I suppose, since Fox News is a member of the dreaded MSM (Main Stream Media) that there could be a "liberal bias" to the report... but somehow I doubt it.

#2: "He was nuts. You can't blame us." they are saying...

Yes, actually, I can... you gave him the "all clear" and made sure he knew who was to blame and who his target was. You're behaviour made his actions seem "okay" to him. Heck, he thought he was being a "patriot".

#3: "Oh yeah? Well, look at THIS crime and THAT crime! This isn't a big deal! You 'liberals' let criminals off the hook all the time!" I've read...

Really? So, that makes it okay and you can keep saying "DEATH TO LIBERALS" and effectively making sure nut jobs like him think he's being a "patriot" and acting in his country's best interest.

#4: I won't quote here... but I've seen "suggested targets" listed for the gunmen... as a joke, of course... because it's funny 'cuz it's true!

Yeah, nothing like mocking a horrible crime and giving possibly copy-cats some suggestions... Oh, wait, you're being "funny"... gotcha. I'm sure the families of the victims of the shooting think you're a barrel of laffs.

Of course, several others are also pointing out the bravery of one man who did stand up and "took the shot" to save others... Of course, however, they are unable to bring themselves to say it was awful, think of what caused it... and one blogger made "fun" (because it's true so it's funny,) of the other people there as not having enough fortitude to do the same. One even invoking another horrible slaying here in Canada mocking the men that were there based on this fellow's bravery... but still not addressing how her own hate-filled bigotry and zealotry WAS a factor in this situation... because what they write is "True" and "Funny".

It's official now... these people ALL make me sick.

Summing Up... What he said.


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

07/28/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 659 words   English (CA)
Categories: Doctor Who Fandom, Doctor Who Mondays - To get it out of my system...

Doctor Who Monday: In the television Time-Lord system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important folks: The Doctor and his companions and Torchwood. These are their stories... without that Martha woman...

Quick Note: Yes, I know I'm blowing past "The Proms", but being in Canada, we have to wait for the re-broadcast of those so "review to come"... although I did hear the audio, I'm waiting to see the video too. Anyway, Alons Y!

On Friday of last week, I blogged about certain female fans that loathed certain female characters on certain TV shows because, well, they were getting to spend a little more time with the male star AND were attractive...
The hatred... no, let's call it like it is... the bizarre jealousy of these female characters can often lead to some fans to literally seem like they're holding their noses trying to get through a season or episode of a program.

Speaking of that, did you hear that it's now a given that Freema Agyeman jumped off the Who/Torchwood train and is now going to be one of the stars of the British version of Law and Order? Oh, and Law and Order is an ITV program... the arch-rival of the BBC... so it pretty much kills the chances of her doing both programs.

Shhh... listen carefully... you can audibly hear literally thousands of women jumping up, punching the air, and shouting "Woot!"

Anyway, this puts a huge crimp in the planned five-episode Torchwood 2009 mini-season... and although there are the thousand of "Sharpe Harpies" celebrating Martha Jones' "removal", I can actually hear Penelope Anne being not-so-happy about this... but hey, Law and Order (British Version) is a twelve or thirteen episode thing... Torchwood in 2009? Five episodes.

Although Steven Moffat can turn down Steven Spielberg for Doctor Who, can everyone afford this? If you were Freema, what would you do?


Speaking again of pumping fists in the air yelling "WOOT!", that's what the twelve-year-old stepling and MASSIVE "Twilight" fan when I got to tell her that Edward Cullen (or realistically, the actor Robert Pattinson,) is a Doctor Who geek that has admitted to going to "Who" conventions in Britain... for her, this was like discovering chocolate and peanut-butter going together for the first time... She's already wondering if Pattison might cameo on Doctor Who... I had to break it to her... he might, but probably not as Edward. That kinda took the wind out of her sails a little.


In other news, a slightly longer "trailer" was shown at the Los Angeles "Comic Con" for the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas Special... to my knowledge, it has not been shown on regular TV and I must therefore share a "phone camera" capture that's on YouTube...

If you look at about 1:18, you'll see what APPEARS to be a "Cyberdog"?


Captain Jack Harkness? Captain Cheesecake? Captain Beefcake?

...or Captain America? Apparently, it could happen.


Speaking of things that "could happen", Sci-Fi fans who've recently found a love of Shakespeare might want to leave the collectables at home if taking in Hamlet...

I'm taking bets now... WHO will be the worst and most uncouth fans at Hamlet... Trekkies or Whovians?


This post today is a two hat-tip day... one to myself for noticing the Beeb story, and the rest to Sylvester McCoy's Unofficial Site.



This blog is a "fan blog" only... and not related to or in any way officially involved with the production of Doctor Who. Doctor Who is copyright © by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). No infringement intended. All images, texts, videos, or audio attachments are used assuming "Fair Use"/"Fair Dealing" and, if used here, may be removed at the request of the original copyright holder with limited notice.


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

HELP STOP BILL C-61

A MESSAGE FOR CANADIANS: The Federal Government has tabled a bill that would turn most of us into criminals.

Click here for a neat and quick online letter you can send to your MP showing your wish to stop this bill from going forward.

Join the FaceBook Group.

You can also click here to see a video on what you can do...

STOP BILL C-61

07/27/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 496 words   English (CA)
Categories: Blog Your Blessings Sundays

Blog Your Blessing Sunday: Being Alone Every Now and Then...

Recently, I saw the middle-stepling in the play "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown!" and today's blessing is based on the song "Happiness Is..."

With Sue and the youngun away on a Girl's Camping Trip, I've been left to my own devices... which, in turn, means loads of action/adventure movies and pretending (in solitary lifestyle,) to be a bit of a bachelor again... basically, being alone... granted, for a very short period of time as they will be returning this evening.

That said, the song in question that keeps popping into my brain... or more importantly, one bit of the lyrics is...

Happiness is being alone ev'ry now and then.
And happiness is coming home again.

I can sort-of understand this... being able to "flop" on the couch in a T-Shirt and boxers with a bowl of popcorn is something that does feel good, no doubt, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss them terribly.

Still, I did (and am) revelling in my solitude... just me and the pets... doing a combination of thinking of absolutely nothing, and thinking absolutely everything with minimal distraction... a true time of reflection... and just the smallest break to make me appreciate those who are around me.

Before Sue, I was an astoundingly private person... rarely spending too much time with people around... just me and my thoughts.

This was a double-edged sword as a lot of creativity and study was accomplished, but being an admitted "needy" creature, it was a touch lonely.

So, being able to revisit this on a small scale (really, only one and a half days,) was a welcome moment of peace and inner thought.

My blessing today is indeed, being alone every now and then... and it's a blessing, to have everyone home again.

With that note, there's a book with my name on it that quite literally need to be read... and the only interruption, for now, should be the occasional needing of attention from one of the dogs... and isn't it also a fact that "Happiness is a Warm Puppy" as well?

Like I said, it sounds pretty wonderful, and it is, but I wouldn't want to spend my life never being interrupted... and I'm looking forward to welcoming back my travelling ladies.

By the way... Did I mention that the LONGEST Sue and I have been separated has been one day and night? Considering we're not at all sick of each other, I'd say that's an admirable accomplishment... and saying that two nights and a day-and-a-half seems like an eternity alone is another. :)

____________________________________________

Blog Your Blessing Sundays is a creation of NeoBluePanther... who may or may not be the famed Luchador!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

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07/26/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 269 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff, Half-Butt Postings

Sue's away so Matt and the boys doth play!

Sue and the goils are on a goils weekend out camping... so I'm getting the place to myself! Yup, me and the boys... and those pesky girl-creature cats, but we'll work around them.

So what exactly is "play" as mentioned in the title of this post...? Allow me to elucidate...

Play is some action adventure movies, some video games, and "be a couch potato and watch something amusing on your own"... this is "play".

Granted, it also could mean "Play at having a lot of male bravado about being alone, but secretly pine away for my lady love and end up surfing news sites and the like desperately trying to amuse myself so the weekend goes a little quicker.

Honestly, it's probably a little bit from column "B" and a LOT of bit from column "A"...

There be vids to watch, games to play, popcorn to eat...

...and generally missing Sue and the kid.

Either way, I will have some "revelling time" on my own... and as that's the case, this is kind of a half-butt post... until tomorrow's blessing...

'Cuz regardless, I'm a popcorn eating, game playing, Rock watching guy mostly!

So, see you tomorrow...

...but if you come back and notice something akin to Vogon Poetry posted here, you know that it was column "B" that ended up winning out.


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

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07/25/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 868 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff, Doctor Who Fandom

"Sharpe Harpies" - Uncomfortableness for your's truly...

I am secure in my masculanity... and my sexuality... I am secure in my masculanity... and my sexuality... I am secure in my masculanity... and my sexuality... Ohmmmmmm....

Odd way to start a post, and no disrespect intended as I do truly believe a person's sexuality is about as important to their overall character as what they had for breakfast last Tuesday, but here's the skinny.

I seem to like a lot of shows that have a definite female fan base.

...and when I list 'em, you'll understand why this perplexes me.

Basically, the three most notable shows are Doctor Who (duh!), The Sharpe series, and Star Trek.

All three of these shows have a stronger female fan base than male... despite them being "thought of" as really coming from male dominated genres...

War and science fiction.

Yet, I can't help but notice while trolling online for information that many of the "fan sites" are run by women... and although I may watch Sharpe for "swash and buckle", Doctor Who for sciencey adventure, and Star Trek for sciencey-drama... it seems many women watch mostly for one thing... Beefcake.

You see, David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston have MORE than their fair share of female admirers... but no offence to Mr. Eccleston, Mr. Tennant seems to have a larger and scarier fan base of female admirerers... "Jean Luc Picard" (Patrick Stewart) got to be a major sex symbol amongst some ladies... okay, for an older bald fellow, he's a major sex symbol for a LOT of ladies. And Sean Bean? Egads!

Trouble is, many of these fan sites are top heavy on the beefcake... and some "webmistresses" will legitimately slur and slam episodes of the programs because not enough of my crush/hero!

Sharpe female fans SEEM to be the worst... they will shred not only "Sharpe Lite" episodes where the on-screen time of Mr. Bean is limited, but if the writer(s) DARE have him concentrate on another woman (or women) in the show... Holy smoke! How DARE their fantasy be ruined by this... This... THIS STRUMPET!

I've taken to calling all female fans who seem to take issue with episodes/movies/shows like this "Sharpe Harpies".

I know, a bit strong... but c'mon now! To HATE a show because it had 17.6 seconds LESS screen time for Stewart/Tennant/Bean/etc.... or worse, showed the characters they play be interested in ANOTHER woman?

...and don't even get me started on fans of people like The Classic Bill Shatner (yes Christie, I'm talking to you amongst others!) who SWOON if there's a "shirt-off" or "ripped-shirt" scene... heck, I remember legions of teenaged-acting fan-girls going gah-gah over David Duchovny doing the Mulder schtick!

Now, there's nothing wrong with this, of course... and I'm glad Tennant, Stewart, Bean, Shatner, Duchovny, et al have this attention"... but as a pretty secure guy MOST of the time, it's really... um... weird when you decide to look up some bit of "fan info" and find yourself reading about someone's "GORGEOUS HAIR" or "GREAT BOD"... especially when it's someone you have as a personal "manly-man" hero of sorts and you're wanting only to know about the finer points of the space-time continuum or find out about the new movie they're shooting...

Having to cull through reams of "Isn't he the dreamiest!?!?!" comments mixed with, "Why would HE even THINK about HER???" nonsense is a little... um... distracting.

...and, as stated, to see the "Sharpe Harpies" literally rend a show apart because of some woman they don't want to see with their hero... {{disturbing a little}}

Still, I suppose it's really not all that modern and open-minded of me to whine about "MALE GENRES" of Sci-fi and Historical War Fiction and assume it would be ONLY like-minded folks... and that it's heartening that Tennant's "good looks" are introducing a HUGE wave of female fans that might not have given a second thought to one of those science fiction programs... and hey, I get to discuss plotlines with my three step-daughters and the wife... which means that, indeed, I really do think that the "space opera" and the "swash-buckle" are no longer a male dominated arena and that's a genuinely good thing...

...but man, there I am talking about the higher concepts of absolute genocide... and suddenly, in mid conversation I hear, Yeah, but do you think John Barrowman is completely gay? I mean, like I wouldn't have a shot or something?

Le sigh...

Of course, more disconerting is Sue's reverence of a character named Davros... but that's a lengthy post unto itself.

...oh, and in answer to what I know is coming, YES, it was perfectly okay and acceptable for me to have a major crush on Colonel Wilma Dearing, Wonder Woman, AND Solitaire without paying attention to story lines or other characters... and it's quite normal to still have those crushes... I'm sure of it!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

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07/24/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 954 words   English (CA)
Categories: Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen: GEEK CHECK!

THURSDAY THIRTEEN!

Hello, my name is Matthew... and I am a geek. No, not the traditional meaning of geek (that being the circus performer who bit the heads off live chickens, but the modern definition of "geek"... meaning the epithet hurled at one when they are considered to have a wealth (or even an area of expertise in,) and area considered by some to be useless information.

Modern "geeks" come in all sorts of variations... Movie geeks (who know FAR TOO MUCH about either a certain movie or all of them combined,) History geeks (who revel in knowing a lot of info about certain areas or, indeed, coveralls of events historic,) and specialized geeks (like "computer geeks", "Star Trek geeks", "Star Wars geeks", etc.)

I've even blogged about embracing one's inner-geek...

I'm a little of all of them, I'd like to think... consider me a GEEK OF ALL TRADES... and master of very few...

So, on todays "Thursday Thirteen", allow me to share...


THIRTEEN GEEKY THINGS I'VE
GOT STORED IN MY NOGGIN...


Sorry, no "citations" available as these are TRULY off the top of my head... feel free to check my facts... hey, I'll admit when I'm wrong and if I am, I don't mind at all being corrected!


#13

To low-level format an MFM or RLL drive in an IBM PC (XT or AT) using a standard controller card using DOS 3.1 - 6.2, the command is/was...

debug g=c800:5


#12

Dalek Thay, Dalek Caan, Dalek Jast, and Dalek Sec are the names of The Cult of Skaro.


#11

George Lucas was a touch paranoid that people would only remember the move Star Wars as the movie where the guy banged his head on the way through a door. (A blooper slipped into the final edit.)

HOWZ THIS FOR CAVING IN EARLY... By request by a doubting Thomas from YouTube...

(Watch the second guy coming through the door...)


#10

In the movie Quadrophenia, two scooters were used in the last scene where Jimmy drives it over a cliff... one with a windscreen and one without... but we are led to believe it was only the one scooter.

FOR THE SAME DOUBTING THOMAS as above...

Watch the faring... Bonus points for noticing the tracks from the previous attempts to shoot the scene...


#9

Canada is responsible for 80% of the world's maple syrup production.


#8

Robbie Burns probably never wore a kilt. He was definitely never seen in one.

CALLED OUT BY AN ANGRY SCOT... but, sad to say, I knew I remembered this tidbit for a reason...


#7

The correct anatomical name for a whale's penis is "dork".

SEMI-CORRECTED... It's ONE of the words for it.


#6

Speaking of this, Johnny Depp used to book himself into hotel rooms under the name "Mister Donkey Penis" and request wake-up calls. I don't know if he still does, but he did.


#5

Roger Moore has done two horrible, horrible things to me in my youth... one of which was his fault, and one of which wasn't. The one that was came from an interview on "The Tonight Show" where he explained why Britain's drive on the left-hand side of the road, (apparently because of them wishing to be different than the rest of what, way back when, they considered to be papist Europe,) which set up a life-long trek of discovery to find out about other insignificanti... and the other thing that he inadvertently did because I wanted SO much to be like James Bond in "The Spy Who Loved Me", is got me started smoking... Seriously. Of course, this was not his fault as stated, but indirectly, it was the idea of James Bond as gleaned from his acting. (I've since quit the nasty habit... of smoking, not of wanting to be James Bond.)


#4

In Star Trek, the original series, The Enterprise (NCC-1701) was supposed to have been built in "The San Francisco Yards" circling Earth... in the Next Generation, The Enterprise (NCC-1701D) was supposed to have been built at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards near Mars.


#3

There was a historical figure named "Captain Fudge" in the 1600's who had a reputation as a bit of a teller of tall tales and exaggerations. It is from him that we use the term "fudged" as a reference to a lie or exaggeration.


#2

The concept of infinite multi-parallel universes in quantum physics is as simple concept... think of literally any action you take... and in that decision you made, another universe was "created" where you made a different decision. "Turned left instead of right", "Had chicken instead of beef", some even think it can be as minor as "Breathed at X second instead of Y." Every turn of every atom causes a new possibility... and some assume that possibility must exist and carry on. Rather daunting, isn't it?


#1

"America's Sweetheart", in the silent movie days, Mary Pickford, was really a Canadian girl named Gladys Louise Smith from Toronto.


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



RLH 3

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07/23/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 429 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wordless Wednesdays

Almost Wordless Wednesday - The Wind that's been beneath my fingers...

You may not believe this, but I rarely get "new toys"... Either finances get in the way or I "snap out of it"... but as regular readers (and those without enough fibre in their diets) know, I recently splurged a bit and bought MY WIND!!! (Granted, as a professional tech, my company bought it for me and I'm paying it off through them... but hey, it's MINE!)

The above shows my Wind in it's normal "home habitat"... sitting in front of my desktop working in tandem with it moving files and the like. Of course, at home, my desktop is king, but my Wind is so wee, it's a perfect companion for my commute on the bus and subway... (Geez, this is sounding like a commercial... but bear with me...)

Wanna hear it's personalized (by me) startup sound?

...anyway...

Yup, that's a normal ball point pen on top of it for a bit of perspective...



The three images above show it in comparison to Sue's Compaq Pressario... like I said, very wee...

...and for more perspective, here it is, open, with a DVD on the keyboard. (HINT! Bonus points if you notice the "bus" reference tossed into the image above...)

Surprisingly, I find it as easy (or difficult) to use as a standard laptop...

For the geeks...

It's running Windows XP Home (it came with it,) and has a gig of RAM, 80 gig hard drive (not SSD), and a 10" screen running at 1024x600 and is using the Intel Atom processor running nice and fast for a unit like this. It's pretty "cool" (as in cooling) with a goodly side vent (cooler than the Eee's I looked at,) and has a multi-card reader and three USB ports as well as a nice standard NIC port built in and wireless b/g as well as Bluetooth... Nicest of all is it was well under $500 CDN to buy it.

...and what made me say, Oh yeah, I gotta get one of these babies!...? Well, it was THIS article...

Take THAT!

Okay, I've bragged and geeked enough... or have I TRULY geeked enough??? Check back tomorrow... no Wind talk, but a geeking-I-will-be-going!

For now though, I'm just a "proud papa" of a very wee computer!


For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants, please click here.


RLH 3

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07/22/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 500 words   English (CA)
Categories: Half-Butt Postings

Not my usual dragged-out wordy post... but let me 'splain...

This is not my usual Tuesday rant/post/entry/whatever... not one-million words re-iterating my stance on pollution, waxing poetic about modern sci-fi, or talking about the paranormal... and why? Because of something I love to hate...

You see, the inherent problems with Microsoft operating systems are such that, for me, it's a double-edged sword...

On one hand, mysterious errors and problems perplex me as much as the next user and, as they have today, shut my efforts down to a lesser extent just like everyone else.

That said, the mysterious errors and problems and the fact that, at some point, I will find a way through or around them, has put food on my table and paid my rent for over fifteen years.

...to continue...

On one hand, Microsoft's inability to create a truly user/instrument friendly operating environment that is simple and actually gives correct information about WHAT has happened when something goes wrong and WHY... and more importantly, their lack of help in finding quick and useful answers to issues is time consuming and frustrating.

That said, the fact that I have had a lot of good experience tackling these errors and issues and can usually find either a draconian or non-draconian way to resolve them is helping three kids go through school and pays for phones, Internet service, and a whack of other things.

Ergo: As a professional geek, Microsoft has caused me more pain and anguish then you could possibly understand... and has paid for pretty much all my dinners for the last decade as well.

In case you haven't figured out this drivel, my computer crashed. Hard. Bad. Nasty...

...but it's back... and working well.

So JEERS to Microsoft... and, when I'm eating dinner tonight, CHEERS to Microsoft.

I'm so conflicted...

I know... It's FINE for things to go wrong on a customer's system... and quite another matter when it happens to my own.

Howzat?

OH, and before I get the Macinsloth users and the Linux/Unix users telling me what a buffoon I am for not using any of those alternatives to Windows... forget it. I've had WAY worse moments with dead Macs (they are even more troublesome when they fail,) and although I have fewer qualms with Linux, I hate the driver/compatibility issues I have with my work-ware... and I'm not a developer. Unix and Servers = Natural and yup, my purpose-built servers are Unix/Linux... but Linux and Desktops = Problematic unless you're completely prepared for a total-switch... and with me being a lazy digital-Luddite, it ain't happenin'.

Enough for now... I'm done with my conflicted ranting... I'm off to immerse myself in some good ol' MAME stuff to de-stress.

I miss DOS 6.2 and Windows 3.11


RLH 3

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07/21/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 875 words   English (CA)
Categories: Doctor Who Fandom, Doctor Who Mondays - To get it out of my system...

Doctor Who Monday: Here there be monsters!

First off, let me tell you all that I subjected the kidollo and Sue to watching a recently purchased DVD copy of "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" (one of four Tom Baker episodes of the classic series that are MUST SEES in my opinion,) and the opinion of the the forty-something year old adult was it was excellent... and the twelve-going-on-thirteen year old thought it was very good... testament to it is that she actually watched the whole thing without squirming or whining she was bored...

ANYWAY...

Because of the hiatus (no new Who until Christmas and no new Torchwood until probably next August,) there's not a lot to write about really... I even covered off the best bits of Sarah Jane last week...

...so what to talk about?

Sue and I did indeed have a "discussion" spurred on by initially a Canadian blogger... then by a Brit blogger... and then another "voice" in Australia...

The three bloggers had one minor complaint about the "new" Doctor Who... and that was the lack of "new monsters" that stick.

All three pointed to only The Slitheen making multiple appearances and for the really "bad guys", the writers simply went back to the well of established classic-series nostalgia characters... The Cybermen, The Daleks, The Master, Davros...

Sue and I are in agreement... the above mentioned "baddies" are classics and appeared often in "Classic Who" and, realistically, the concept of The Doctor vs. _____________ (fill in one of the four above) is an integral part of the show.

Besides, I LOVED The Family of Blood... even if they have really killed them off completely (or have they...? Remember "Sister of Mine" is trapped in a mirror... all mirrors...) Then there's the "shadow" entity on Midnight, the Vashta Nerada, the Weeping Angels, The Krillitains (seeing Anthony Head again would be fantastic!), The Abzorbaloff, The Ood (although they were possessed and misunderstood,) and although I wasn't a fan, there was something fun and enjoyable about the Carrionites... gotta love a species where "Doomfinger" is a proper name... and I doubt we've seen the end of The Gelth and The Toclafane...

...and the Doctor needs his arch-villains... and it's a given, the war with the Daleks is not over... Daleks are like cockroaches... you've seen one, there are others... and they are great survivors. The Master? Davros? They've BOTH survived certain doom through nefarious writer's means...

...and what's better than watching the evil pepper shakers exterminate? I never want to see them end!

So, give it time... more than just the Slitheen will appear, no doubt... and hopefully, we'll have some new and equal threats to The Doctor to thrill to.


THERE IS SOME NEWS TO REPORT...


Steven Moffat has apparently turned down Steven Spielberg's £500,000 offer to write the new Tintin movie... because he's busy with The Doc!

No comment from Mr. Spielberg yet... yet... even from Senor Spielbergo


WOO-HOO! Canadian Content Time as Doctor Who Cleans Up at The Constellation Awards!

'Nuff said... other than Congrats!


How does £1.5million sound?

C'mon, Mr. Tennat... do at LEAST one more season... like I said, TAKE THE OFFER (or at least, AN offer,) and do it... lest my girls show up in Britain a touch angry... My steplings are a scary lot there, buddy...


Season Four Finale is OFFICIALLY #1 in British Ratings!

That deserves a bit of a "Woot!" Okay, North America... when are you going to acknowledge the GENIUS of THE WHO!?!


Thanks to Sylvester McCoy's Unofficial Site and Outpost Gallifrey for the above tibits... and the POSSIBLE SPOILERS below from IO9... I know, I DON'T as a rule post spoilers, but as they go, these aren't too evil... if you don't want to see 'em, just scroll down to the second set of "three lines" below... sorry if it bothers anyone... but the one is really a "reason to watch" and the other is VERY goofy if true... and again, only makes me WANT to watch...



David Tennant MIGHT be doing a cameo in the new Sarah Jane Adventures series... and, here's a whacky one, and I quote... Today, some crazy rumors about the 2009 one-off specials. One of the Doctor's companions will be a "heroic cyberman" (named five of eight perhaps?). One of the special episodes will take place entirely within the TARDIS, so we'll finally see the massive scope of the Doctor's craft. And we're not done with the Time War, by any means. Take this as you will...



This blog is a "fan blog" only... and not related to or in any way officially involved with the production of Doctor Who. Doctor Who is copyright © by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). No infringement intended. All images, texts, videos, or audio attachments are used assuming "Fair Use"/"Fair Dealing" and, if used here, may be removed at the request of the original copyright holder with limited notice.


RLH 3

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07/20/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 497 words   English (CA)
Categories: Blog Your Blessings Sundays

Blog Your Blessings Sundays: Fights... and Makin' Up...

Get ready folks, because here comes an admission...

Sue and I fight.

In fact, yesterday, we had a grand ol' screaming match over some really dumb minor issues... that led to much gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair...

It lasted pretty much one hour.

...and then, as always, we made up, learned from the argument, and resolved to strengthen that which made us weak.

Most people over the age of twenty-five know that one of the sure signs of an unhealthy relationship is when the couple in question seem to always be in lock-step... when there's never any signs of struggle, anger, or disagreement.

One time long ago, I was having dinner with a few friends... one of them was taking psychology in University and on his final year of his masters... the rest of the crowd were friends... one of whom was with his recently-hooked-up girlfriend and they were all mooning and flashing eyes at each other... much to the nausea of the rest of us. Finally, the gentleman with the "eyes" said, We never fight or argue... it's like we're made for each other!

My psychologist friend responded to me quietly by simply saying, Tick. Tick. Tick...

...for those that didn't figure it out, denoting that this relationship was going to be short lived AND that both parties (or one of them,) was suppressing their natural feelings to accommodate the other.

...it was true and the couple in question lasted less than two months after that dinner.

Couples... lovers... and family members fight... and provided it's not violent... and the fights can be resolved, it's a very normal and healthy process...

...which yesterday morning was for us.

I learned how to communicate my feelings a little better and Sue learned to communicate her own a touch better too... and realistically, we're a stronger couple because of it.

The resolution of a conflict is usually far better and more important than the conflict ever was... so therefore My blessing today is being able to disagree... and yes, even fight... and then make up afterwards and even become stronger because of what you learned.

It's a bit of a pipe dream to assume that humans will never have conflict... but it's great when that conflict is not only with someone you know and trust, but love as well... as indeed, it makes you stronger... and teaches you volumes.

...because you know what? I still love my Sue... and I always will... and our fights and disagreements only make us stronger, smarter, and better...

...and we both love making up afterwards too! :)

____________________________________________

Blog Your Blessing Sundays is a creation of NeoBluePanther... who may or may not be the famed Luchador!


RLH 3

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07/19/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 63 words   English (CA)
Categories: Half-Butt Postings

Taking a day off from posting...

I'll be back Sunday with a blessing... but today, I'm taking a breather in the heat.


RLH 3

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07/18/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 413 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff, Half-Butt Postings

Don't Worry - Be Happy...

Hello. I'm a, and I quote, "leftard", "moonbat", "defeatist"... and I have a message to each and every one of you...

The sky is not falling. Promise.

I believe in Global Warming and man-assisted environment changes... and I believe that cleaning things up REGARDLESS is a good idea... I do not, however, believe that Manhattan will be under water next year nor do I believe that Antarctica nor The Arctic are going to completely melt next July. Things SHOULD be done, but no need to panic... but we can economically and intelligently start moving towards making things better.

I believe that oil prices are very high... and the inflation they are causing hurts us all... but I've seen similar situations three times during my forty-one years that I can recall and indeed, somehow, we survived those times.

I believe that we should be concerned with world situations... but I also believe that regardless of race, creed, or spiritual belief, most people on this planet really only want to have a good and safe life that's happy... and what scares the handful of "older and wiser" people is, thanks to things like the internet, we're starting to realise that there isn't a whole heck of a lot of difference between all of us clinging to this here rock in space.

I believe that North America, Asia, and Europe are having tough economic times... but as stated above, we have before... we will again... we will see the other side of them at some point.

Sorry, no chicken little here... and smile, things will get better... sure, there may be some "downturns"... and there may be some issues... but when all is said and done, everything that's happening now will be a bad memory... and life will go on rather nicely.

The human race is a resilient lot... and despite the people that cause panics... despite those "older and wiser" folks who really have a lot of fear in them... and despite those who think hurling names and epithets at people is a constructive way to get a point across, we will carry forward.

So, don't panic... You have my word on this... Everything will, eventually, be okay.


RLH 3

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07/17/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 1067 words   English (CA)
Categories: Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen - Some Questions Answered!

THURSDAY THIRTEEN!

Being creatively bankrupt again Thinking about how I would do this weeks Thursday Thirteen, I got an e-mail asking me a question... it's the fourth e-mail this week with the same question... which is addressed in #13 below...

...and it hit me...

Why not do a kind of "TT FAQ" for this blog... made up of...


THIRTEEN COMMON QUESTIONS I'VE RECEIVED
RECENTLY BECAUSE OF THIS BLOG...


...now, you KNOW that #13 is real... but some of the ones below are NOT "legit"... but oddly enough, most are... your job, figger out which ones are real and which ones I made up. No prize... no contest... just something fun to do while reading this...


#13: Do you know where I can buy a double-decker bus?

Not TOO TOO long ago, I might have answered ANYWHERE BUT SANTA-ROSA PLEASE!!! (Unless you're buying it for us!), but in all seriousness...

If you're willing to import a vehicle or are located in the UK, try...

Ensign Bus
British Bus Sales
Tim Daly Bus Sales
Blythswood Motors

...or, for North Americans, watch the "British Buses Abroad in North America" Yahoo! group... who's users tend to list which buses are for sale and when. You can also try...

Lastly, but most certainly not leastly, there's the British Bus Club which shows vehicles that are for sale.

Other than that, you can buy them ANYWHERE BUT SANTA-ROSA sorry about that, old habits die hard... you can find them ALMOST anywhere... just keep your eyes open and never be afraid to ask... even in Santa Rosa.


#12: Are you an atheist?

No, I am an agnostic. Big difference.


#11: Are you a tree-hugging, leftist, socialist, moonbat, terrorist fist-bumping, Montreal Canadiens cheering, long-haired, hippy weirdo?

No, I keep my hair somewhat short... and I am a sad, but die-hard Leaf's fan.


#10: If you're not begging for help or money any more for your bus, why are you still blogging?

Well, you see... someone invented this series of tubes called The Interwebs... and I mean, if I and several billion other people don't pollute it with pointless content, who will?


#9: What the hell is with all the Doctor Who crud? Isn't he that guy with the scarf and the thing?

I'm reasonably sure all the people that played The Doctor... and The Doctors themselves... had things. The scarf most people talk about was a thing that was popularized by a chap named Tom Baker... and no, he doesn't play "The Doctor" anymore, sad to say... and although I loved and still love the classic series, it's the new one we're addicted to as a family... and have converted MOST of our friends and acquaintances... it's a GOOD show... period... and it's one THE WHOLE FAMILY can watch together... and no one gets bored. How rare is that??? Total people we introduced: 12 - Total people lovin' it and addicted that we introduced: 11. That's a GOOD batting average... and WELL worth checking out.

(The new series, which is fantastic for "newbies" - people that haven't ever watched the program - started airing in 2005 and box-sets are available...)


#8: Where's the funny Thursday Thirteen you usually do?

I absolutely swear, my word as a gentleman, I am currently writing this making faces and wearing a red-rubber-ball nose.


#7: No, srsly... where'z teh funneh?

If you are actually a person who has asked that, I make a simple request... take off all your clothes, find the nearest mirror... guaranteed giggles... bonus if you're at work while you do this.


#6: What's your view on the whole Fab thing?

Fab has a thing? I'm pretty sure, as stated above, that The Doctors (and those who played The Doctors) had things... but Fab? Not so sure...

(See #3 in this link to know who the heck I'm talking about...)


#5: You haven't done ANY posts on ghosts and that sorta thing??? Why not???

We just redid our "main" website and are now working on doing the same to the other important ones. A lot of work!


#4: How's your bus doing?

No idea. We never got it... haven't even heard about it for a long time... but please note, although we DID stop "begging" for help, we haven't given up on it... it's still something we talk about... all of us here... so never say never.


#3: Is it true you're actually Annette Funicello?

Nah... I can't drink too much orange juice... believe it or not, it contains calcium and I have a kidney ailment and have to watch my calcium intake like a hawk... so, I know that ALTHOUGH I have never been seen in the same room as Ms. Funicello, this fact is just a coincidence... and the rumours about me actually being Ms. Funicello are spurious and untrue.

(Boy, am I glad that you didn't ask about Pat Harrington, Jr.!)


#2: Okay, if things are so great, why don't you just buy your damned bus now?

Things are better does not equal Things are great... and although we ARE in a way better place than when I started this blog, I don't have $20k to drop on a bus right now... or in the foreseeable future... the only reason we have stopped "begging" is because the stepling has grown and is a touch more cynical, we had one too many failures (false starts) and decided to just back off and try as we can with what we can and not get up false hopes, and lastly, we were REALLY tired of being called names and getting nasty e-mails about being "cyber beggers" and "cyber panhandlers".


#1: Are you really Pat Harrington, Jr.?

DAMNIT, NO!

How do these rumours get started, anyway???


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



RLH 3

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07/16/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 11 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wordless Wednesdays

POST REMOVED

SORRY, FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS, THIS POST HAS BEEN REMOVED.

07/15/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 682 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Busly News for this Tueasday... Some good, some bad...

No, sorry, the good news is NOT that we found a way to get RLH 3... granted, the bad news isn't that RLH 3 is now a 4 x 4 cube of semi-recyclable materials yet... no, it's two different items that have crossed my desk...

The GOOD News - London Transport Museum Photo Exhibit, "The Last Stop"

Thanks to Ralf Obergfell, the presenter of this exhibit, for bringing this to my attention... the program, which takes place in the London Transport Museum’s CBS Outdoor gallery... and for those fortunate enough to be able to go, admission is included in the main Museum ticket price. The event runs until 27 July 2008.

If I may, from the press release...

Ralf Obergfell presents Last Stop, a photographic celebration of one of London’s most famous icons – the Routemaster bus, at London Transport Museum. The exhibition opens on 16 May 2008 and builds upon the Museum’s new focus on design innovation. It is the first in a programme of events that will explore different aspects of urban culture, art and social history.

The vibrant images capture moments during the Routemasters’ final eighteen months of regular service and also social portraits of staff and passengers. They pay tribute to the bus’s warm, weighty yet elegant design features.

German born, Ralf has been drawn to London ever since he saw a Routemaster on television in his teens. He was struck by the bright red, the curves and the powerful design. He said, “Last Stop is not an exercise in protest, or even nostalgia; it is a tribute to the unique and dynamic role the Routemaster played in London life”.

A fully illustrated book with hundreds of Ralf’s Last Stop images will appeal to all urban design junkies. It includes contributions from former Time Out deputy film editor, Ben Walters, and Travis Elborough, author of ‘The Bus We Loved’. It is available in London Transport Museum’s shop and online at ltmuseum.co.uk. It is also available at selected bookstores. Designed by David Azurdia at Magpie Studio, it retails for £14.99.

A number of special events have been organised to coincide with the exhibition; further information about these can be found at this link (Click Here).

If you're in London... and you're a fan of these buses... or if you're not in London and simply want a great photographic keepsake about the venerable Routemaster, check out this exhibit AND the book!

Sidenote: Just ANOTHER thing that's SCREAMING that Sue and I (and the kidollo) should try like heck to make our way to London SOONLY! I'd love to see this exhibit!!!

Click here for Mr. Obergfell's personal website...


The BAD News - Double-decker buses torched in Denver

Hat Tip to Richard (rdstedall) from British Buses Abroad in North America for alerting me to this awful news...

From the Denver Post...

Several double-decker buses were set on fire early this morning in Denver in an act that was likely arson.

The fire started near 30th and Blake Streets.

It was called in about 2:35 a.m. in a parking lot, said Lt. Phil Champagne of the Denver Fire Department.

No one was injured.

Eight of 11 buses in the lot were destroyed, Champagne said.

The buses were "not first-line units" and were being used as scrap and stripped for replacement parts, Champagne said.

Firefighters extinguished the fire in about 30 minutes.

Vagrants have been using the buses as shelter and investigators believe an intentionally set fire destroyed the buses.

Sad, sad stuff... and yeah, my biggest nightmare/worry that one day, it'll be a story about the destruction of RLH 3... which, YEAH, again, NO BEGGING here, just vocalizing a fear... and some sadness over the destruction of these wonderful vehicles...


RLH 3

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07/14/08

Permalink 10:39:31 am, by Email , 533 words   English (CA)
Categories: Half-Butt Postings

Dear Folks: Re-My Posts - Friday, Saturday, and Sunday...

Don't worry fans, Doctor Who Monday is below... but I had to share this with you first...

As regular readers may know, I got into it about intolerance last week as I got "attacked"(?) by two groups... One was genuinely threatening and frightening attack by three American "Christians" over my condemnation of a "funny post" on another blog that was blatantly racist, and three Atheists/Humanists who are condemning me as a brainless, knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, moronic twit for not being an out-and-out atheist and saying I'm an agnostic.

I commented that they were BOTH intolerant and BOTH their "philosophies" and methods were imperfect... in some cases, in the extreme...

To that end, I present this link... with some LOVELY comments sent in to a professor who is and atheist and has been fighting against things like the movie Expelled... granted, he's been doing it with logic and data, but hey... when (apparently) one is faced with facts and data, one should respond with...

well sir, you don't get to blaspheme and walk away from this. You have two choices my f*cked up friend, first you can quit your job for the good of the children. Or you can get your brains beat in. I give you till the first of the month, get that resignation in c*nt...

...and...

You are a scumbag, may your insides rot, may your neck be snapped by an iron boot against a curb, I hope for a world without liberals, we can start with you

...because nothing says I love Jesus and am a good Christian then threats of extreme violence like beating someone to death and/or "curbing" them.

Oh, DO NOT think this is an anti-Christian rant... not at all... because I know the loons above are NOT the rule, but the exception... and I rant JUST AS HARD AND LONG at atheists who profess in the Church of Non-Belief and simply rant or call names when asked questions they can't answer... like what created the "big bang"... or created the elements needed for the big bang... or...

This is ANOTHER rant about intolerance... that's all... sorry it was (again,) those who purport to be "good Christians fighting the good fight"... but I'm not so stupid as to realise they are alone in the realms of intolerance and stupidity...

I just wish to WHOMEVER that atheists would realise that they are not "anti-God" but "anti-Dogma" which is different and SCIENCE would never proclaim something to exists or NOT exists without good and empirical data... and I also wish that those who practice a faith realise (and this IS TRUE,) that the main tenant of almost EVERY FAITH including Islam, Judaism, Paganism, and Christianity is that violence and intolerance are NOT acceptable...

...I'm shouting at brick walls, aren't I?


RLH 3

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Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 401 words   English (CA)
Categories: Doctor Who Fandom, Doctor Who Mondays - To get it out of my system...

Doctor Who Monday: Mr. Smith, I need you...

Well, you can certainly tell that The Good Doctor is done for the time being in the fact that most of the "gossip" and fan sites are now firmly on to The Sarah Jane Adventures... which is fair on two counts... one being that the show is moving from CBBC to BBC1 now... and that the spoilerific news says a CLASSIC and much loved Doctor Who character will be making an appearance... as well as a classic/new Doctor Who "enemy"...

Still, there's no "spoilerific" news of note on the upcoming Christmas show (despite being already filmed and "in the can",) and the only interesting thing of note was a small glitch(?) when My Park Magazine had an article up for a BRIEF time announcing Tom Baker would be featured in the 2010 "full series" (after the semi-series of "specials only" for 2009...) The article was apparently online for about twenty minutes then pulled without explanation... meaning possibly nothing... or possibly big-brother Beeb saying "NO SPOILERS, YOU TOSSERS!" Hard to say...

Oh, one other thing... Steven "New Head Honcho" Moffat is now working with Steven Spielberg (who admired him from his Who work,) and will be writing the new Tintin movie.

I wonder if Mr. Spielberg might helm a Doc Who Movie? (...sad to say, I think that would be an utter train-wreck.)

Realistically, most of my usual "news items" are already embedded above... and I'm also on vacation from my office (day job), so I think I'm going to call it here with a hat-tip to Sylvester McCoy's Unofficial Site for the newsly goodness...

See ya next week!



This blog is a "fan blog" only... and not related to or in any way officially involved with the production of Doctor Who. Doctor Who is copyright © by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). No infringement intended. All images, texts, videos, or audio attachments are used assuming "Fair Use"/"Fair Dealing" and, if used here, may be removed at the request of the original copyright holder with limited notice.


RLH 3

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07/13/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 1865 words   English (CA)
Categories: Blog Your Blessings Sundays

Blog Your Blessings Sundays: Tolerance...

Long post ahead... you've been warned...

I tell you, this has been a weird few days... I was "gently" attacked by one side of an argument, and brutally, viciously, horribly attacked by the other.

Oh? The "arguments"? What else, religion.

I did a post calling out Atheists for basically being little more than no better than Bible-thumping fundamentalists in their attempts to convert people... the difference being that fundamentalists say I will burn in the fiery pits of heck for not joining their league, whereas Atheists say that I am currently a knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing, cave-dweller as it's obvious that science and knowledge are not part of my dialect... I'll get back to this...

Next, I had a comment that spurred the post from yesterday... a "Good Christian American" posted up a comment on the Thursday Thirteen which wasn't a comment as much as it was a link to a vile bit of racist stupidity where he mocked ALL American Muslims... basically, he'd made "greeting cards" for them as a gag that did the usual dumb stereotype "jokes"... but the BLANKET statement of it being for ALL American Muslims... then looking through his other posts on his blog (which was rife with anti-Islam, anti-"Non-American", Anti-Pretty-Much-Everything-He-Isn't made me angry... Oh, I've seen SUPPOSED right-wing Christian (racist, xenophobic, homophobic, intolerant, Bible-thumping, goal-post moving,) "blogs" before that made me ill... but none of THEM had the audacity to do TWO things... one was use a well known meme to promote their hate... the other is try to advertise on my site. Again, I'll reference this in a bit.

Now, HOW ON EARTH does this end-up as a blessing???

...let me tell you of the attacks...

Atheists - For my saying that...

Atheism is not based on science because you cannot prove there is or isn't a God completely, only chip away at certain dogmatic constructs using probabilities... in which case, to state that there CAN BE NO God or any sort of "supreme entity", consciousness, "energy", or "creator", you've superseded the concept of the scientific method AND model by eliminating the concept of "Question" and even "Hypothesis" from the equation and leapt straight to "Conclusion" without all the data.

I'm an agnostic... I'm neutral... I haven't got the data so I admit that certain elements of certain faiths MIGHT be on to something... maybe more...

...but because of what I consider overwhelming evidence, I do believe in evolution, I don't believe in "magic", and have difficulty in the extreme believing in the idea of some omnipresent, omnipotent entity governing our actions and developments... but does this mean I completely discount a God? I don't think so... just, again, certain dogmatic principals.

...but these personal views are governed by tangibles with question marks... not tangibles that, when faced with question marks, the question marks MUST become "impossibilities".

Using this outlook, one must conclude that most atheists, if their religion IS science, aren't practising the precepts of their philosophy by knee-jerk denial...

Granted, when push comes to shove and you REALLY grind down an atheist, you'll find that their issue IS with many dogmatic beliefs... and only move the goal posts on tough questions because they don't want to ceded their opposite any ground for possible argument... Really, they are agnostics (save the fervent Bible-burning lot,) and have issues with what's been done by man in the name of God... and I share that view as well.

...but, as stated, their passionate attempts to "convert the masses" to their world view, many of them are actually more harmful, hateful, and ignorant than the people THEY see as "evil"... you see, even I, despite my views on neutrality, agnosticism, the concepts of "question" and "hypothesis", and my views on empirical evidence vs. subjectiveness... I'm an idiot who promotes televangelists and stone-age mentality... don't even get them started on my views (apparently) of the equality of women.

I had three e-mails gently arguing with me gently about my views on "atheism"... but two more-or-less made the points above... and one simply called me an "coward" for not promoting my TRUE atheist self... un-hunh...

Oh, and what a world. With anything just the slightest bit different ground into the dirt.

Anyway, that's the battle-line from the atheist front...

Certain Christians - For my saying that...

It's amazing what passes for "Christian values" anymore...

What amounted to "racist" and "xenophobic" post promoting hate and stereotypes was not only tolerated, but lauded by some. It is, honestly, the moral equivalent to those who supported the people shooting doctors and fire-bombing abortion clinics.

Call me odd, but wasn't Jesus, Mary, and Joseph from the Middle-East and therefore, by the precepts of that, wouldn't they physically look like those who you mock?

Speaking of which, I must have missed the bit in the Bible when Jesus said, Go unto those who don't follow me, and mock them. Belittle them. Make them uncomfortable. Forgive them not anything, and punish all of them for the actions of a small group. This is mine bidding. Go ye forth and be intolerant.

Heck, removing religion from the ordeal, who gave this idiot the idea that ALL AMERICAN MUSLIMS were the same? Had he even MET ONE? (Probably not...)

...but, to assume an entire race of people... or an entire religious philosophy is "bad" based on a small sampling of a select few who's actions are little more than a violent version of your own...?

Apparently, according to (oddly enough,) the three people I got e-mails from about THIS, I am an anti-Christian, un-American, terrorist-loving, "leftard"/"moonbat" freak.

...and compared to the "arguments" I got from the atheist, these were bordering on threats.

Am I anti-Christian? Well, I do celebrate Christian holidays, have gone to church in the past (and probably will again,) but granted, I've been to churches, temples, and synagogues... I didn't realise that my non-adherence to a particular "faith" would mean that, should I have met/meet Jesus Christ in person, he'd knee me in the nads and literally send me straight to Hell.

Un-American? Well, I am Canadian... which is not a "State in the Union"... but I don't think I can qualify that either... If the foundation for many of the original settlers coming to America was a gentle flight from religious prosecution, I do have to wonder what those REAL founding-fathers would think about the state of things now... especially with the "Anti-Muslim" stupidity I've been reading...?

"Terrorist-Loving?"? HARDLY! I do not believe violence has any place... period... but we do live in an imperfect world and we do need to protect ourselves... but if you get to a point that you say, Via guilt by association, all Muslims are terrorist out to undo the structure of our country! then tell me about the Irish Republican Army... weren't they terrorists with a religious angle who were out to change the shape of a country to "convert" it to their own vision? Should I hate the Irish as much as you hate The Muslims? How about those who murder people at abortion clinics? They feel (and are exonerated by some,) that it's an "eye-for-an-eye", but considering that they are using a religious persuasion to justify violence to promoted a view that is not of the current state, but of their faith (be that right or wrong,) should I despise all Christians? How about I stick with my original concept... of hating criminals, hating violence... and hating those who take lives based solely on philosophy... and realising that NOT ALL of a certain group... be they Catholic, Christian, or indeed, Muslim subscribe to the idea of violence being the way to resolve philosophical differences.

"Leftard/Moonbat"? Apparently, one's views on intolerance DO equate to a political leaning. Considering TWO of the three missives I received contained references to my political leaning (which, apparently to them, is just left of Marx's and I will be "voting for Obama" apparently, which is ever so bad... and, I would add to the fellow that said this and went on and on about it, I'm CANADIAN and WON'T BE VOTING IN AN AMERICAN ELECTION... but one thing's certain, if being tolerant, neutral, and accepting is being "leftist" and "un-American", than I choose that WAY over being an intolerant, racist, isolationist right-winger.

Oh, and what a world. With anything just the slightest bit different ground into the dirt.

Anyway, that's the battle-line from the Christian front...

WILL I EVER GET TO THE BLESSING!?!?!

...why yes...

If you've read above, MANY of you, I'm sure, are probably in some sort of agreement... I know that several of you are absolutely on board with the idea of using logic and dialogue to discuss differences and do promote the "Live and Let Live" ideas... that no one for reason of faith, the colour of their skin, or their place of origin should be put down or "kicked out" of things... these decisions should be based solely on the content of their character.

Many of you believe there are "bad people"... but they are not the majority of those folks on the planet... and it's rare to find a whole "faith" that is built on nothing but hate.

I think most of us know that 90% of the people on this planet, regardless of which God they worship (or if they worship no Gods,) only want to have a normal day... where they get up, go to work, look after their family, etc... however that may break down.

Ergo: My blessing today is you... my usual readers... those who are tolerant... those who are un-threatened... those who are comfortable in their own skin and beliefs... those who know that more than one race, religion, and philosophy can exists even on the same street, let alone the same planet.

Most of those who I know WILL READ THIS POST are not going to bash, trash, or "go after" me or this post... though they may disagree with aspects of it, they will not feel the need to attack it.

Because when you look into it, Allah, Jesus, Buddha, God, Jehovah... even "The Great Spirit" (Native North-American)... said the same thing... Look after each other. Love each other. Care about each other... it's only humans that have screwed with that message... not the "big guyz".

Oh, and for everyone else... Science dictates that creation is more difficult and more productive than destruction... unless that destruction carries forth a "valuable" process in which it, in turn, become construction... either way, it is scientifically better to "create" and "observe" than it is to "Speculate", "Destroy", and "Ignore".

...in other words, regardless of how we look at our philosophies, we need to look out for each other... and offer a helping hand... not the backhand of intolerance.

Amen.

____________________________________________

Blog Your Blessing Sundays is a creation of NeoBluePanther... who may or may not be the famed Luchador!


RLH 3

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07/12/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 699 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Apparently, my funny is broken... because I ain't laughin'...

So one of the magical "Three I" people commented on this here blog. They did a HI-larious Thursday Thirteen and they just couldn't wait to bang it all over the blogsphere!

You see, they made fun of each and every Muslim in The United States because everyone knows they are just bad...

Oh? What are the "Three I"s? Incompetence, ignorance, and intolerance.

This pant load was all three in many ways...

To blanket-state an entire group of people ARE exactly like an ignorant stereotype YOU decided must be fact is inane.

To basically mock them "just 'cuz" you think it's okay or appropriate shows your utter intolerance of anything you deem "bad"... even when working with about as much study and knowledge one would expect from a bowl of hard-boiled eggs.

Oh, incompetence? The blogger's extremely weak sense of humour (badly attempting to mask his racist views,) and his weak Photoshop skills.

Anyway, their link got deleted from THIS blog... but NOT before I read through the comments on his funny-ha-ha post...

There were SEVERAL fellow "TT-ers" commenting away telling the fellow how "funny" he was... Folks, if you're reading racist intolerance and have to say the words, "It's funny 'cuz it's true!", you're probably a bigot yourself trying to cloak in a shield of supposed humour... a couple even thought his "jokes" were so over the top that it HAD to be parody, so they forgave him and laughed with him...

To the latter folks... did you read ANY of his other posts?

...no, I didn't think so. If you had, you'd have done what I and several other people did... delete his link from your comments OR delete his comment completely.

He's an isolationist bigot with a narrow view of the planet... and I don't know about you folks, but I don't need the hate on my blog.

I pointed out that he'd commented on a CANADIAN'S blog... and he wouldn't like it if I decided to work with some of the "Christian" American's I've MET in my travels (I doubt this braying jackass of a blogger had EVER met an actual Muslim,) and do a similar post about them like he did about those who practise the faith of Islam...

Granted, he's probably the one that gives everyone down there a BAD name with those people on the rest of the globe... so he might say, "So? What's wrong with that?" I'm certain he feels there's no such thing as a good, kind, learned Muslim... and no such thing as a bad American Christian.



See #6 of the above linked picture...

...and those who TOLERATED this mule? Those that "laughed with him"? What does that say about you?

...and those, as mentioned, who decided after some thought to "laugh with him"... why didn't you look through his blog FIRST? Do you make all calls based on this sort of quick-glance? Again, what does this say about you?

Folks, there are bad and evil people that do bad an evil things for all kinds of reasons... some worse... some horrible... but when you account for the sheer number of people on this planet... and, to the braying jackass, in America, it's safe to assume that not everyone... even of the same religious philosophy, are bad.

So, to this purveyor of racist hate, I say Buh-Bye to BAD RUBBISH and hope, Dearly hope in my heart, that one day you end up visiting a foreign (but friendly) country or church/mosque/temple and are given a small dose by another intolerant pig like yourself of what you dish out... and I doubly-hope you look around and realise, that pig is in the minority... but won't make make their words or actions any less reprehensible... it will be just like the venom you spew disguised as "comedy".

End of RANT...


Somehow, this whole exercise reminded me of this bit of internety goodness...


RLH 3

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07/11/08

Permalink 11:59:01 am, by Email , 340 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Design a new bus for London...

Many, many thanks to Steve Brown to alerting me to this... London's new mayor, Boris Johnson, has launched a design competition for a new Routemaster for the city.

Basically, he's tossed the doors open to anyone to design a bus to replace, as he referred to it, "The Much Missed Routemaster" and basically infers that he wants something to become the new iconic big red London bus for the city to replace the ripped away too soon classic Routemaster.

Here's a chance that I hope someone takes to design something that has the "look and feel" of the classic, but I would imagine to be viable it should be...

  • Driver Only Design (no conductor sadly...)
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Wheelchair Accessible

...but still be a classic-looking and running "Routemaster" with all the creature comforts one can squeeze in to a vehicle for commuting within the urban environment.

The top prize is £25,000 (about $50,000) with many "smaller" prizes as well...

Granted, this has a strong stench of a "publicity feel-good only" campaign... but who knows... perhaps a REAL contender for the Routemaster is out there... one that those of us enthusiasts of the original can get behind...

Here's the link if anyone wants more information...

I'm thinkin' there's some engineering students... or even some bus enthusiasts with some time to kill from someplace like... oh, I dunno... who might come up with something that even if Transport for London doesn't bite, perhaps other transit operators will... (Hello? TTC? Hello? Toronto needs something like this!!!)

Speaking of my fair burg needing more good double-decked transport, despite no longer BEGGING and BUGGING here, none of us here have really given up on RLH 3 which, if we owned it, would add ONE classic bus to this fair city... but shhhh...


RLH 3

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Permalink 11:44:30 am, by Email , 238 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Vintage T Shirts Online

Been there, done that, and yep, bought that t-shirt! Yes, stupid people really do abound, and some even win the infamous Darwin awards, but I digress.....

The reason for this post is to give some props to the Vintage T shirt Store.com website where you can purchase all sorts of funny t shirts for any type of occasion or hey even just as a fun gift item for yourself. They have a huge selection, and many of the old slogans, and sayings you might remember if you are over-the-hill like the rest of us from the 60's 70's, and even 80's. They also have a lot of contemporary stuff relevant to the here, and now.

The really cool part about the Vintage T shirt Store.com website is that you can totally customise each design right on their site so that you can have a completely unique look for each shirt, and there are no limits as to how many you can purchase, heck you can outfit an entire team if you would like. B)

The site offers secured online shopping, and live customer support. If you are looking for a source to buy some cool t shirts or are looking for a gift idea then just click through that link I have added into this entry for you, and check them out for further details, and purchasing info.

My thanks to Vintage T shirt Store.com

07/10/08

Permalink 12:25:01 am, by Email , 640 words   English (CA)
Categories: Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen - Happiness is a warm puppy... and...

THURSDAY THIRTEEN!

Normally, I don't like to "count my blessings" without touching wood... but for today's Thursday Thirteen, I will need to become part woodpecker in my furious endeavours to "touch" enough "wood" to make up for listing...


THIRTEEN REASONS I'M A HAPPY
GUY RIGHT NOW!


#13: Fiscally, we're good here!

When you're not worried about coin for essentials, it tends to make one happy and less stressed.


#12: The middle-stepling is good to go for university in September!

...and we were also able to supply her new laptop!


#11: The New PSICAN site is up and working!

This has been an ongoing challenge... but it's finally up and information being added! This is a big happy for me personally!


#10: I had a VERY good physical done by my doctor a couple of days back!

Lost five pounds in six weeks, blood pressure's better, all looks well!


#9: The season finale of Doctor Who was really, Really, REALLY satisfying!

Less said, the better... don't want to do any spoilers.


#8: Peace reigns between kidollos and us.

There was some rocky moments there, but all issues with family are now snuggly put away.


#7: Work is nice and stable.

I am SO fortunate... my company is doing VERY well despite the economic downturns in a lot of sectors. Things look VERY good for my employment future... and upwardly mobile!


#6: Got a note from former downstairs neighbour... and no issues with our "noise levels" when they lived there!

You see, at the palatial Didier/Darroch Compound, there is always a concern with a pre-teen girl, three cats, and two dogs (considering our closet-sized dwelling,) that we were bothering the neighbours... and as a believer in "real-time karma", it was good to hear that no issues were really had.


#5: NEXT WEEK - VACATION!

No big plans, but ONE SOLID WEEK away from work! Woot!


#4: Girls' Camping Weekend Coming Up = Matthew Slob Weekend Coming Up!

Yup, the ladies in the house are off with friends for a "female only" bonding weekend... which will be lonely, but it means couch, popcorn, and bad movie time for your's truly! Woo-hoo!


#3: All systems go for a big family day out at the CNE!

Sue's been doing her thing WONDERFULLY and I've been scrimping and saving and we do have ONE big plan this Summer... and that's to take the girls for a shopping and eating extravaganza at "The Ex". Sure, it's not what it "used to be", but it'll be fun spoiling everyone!


#2: NEW TOY IS HERE!

This post was brought to you on my NEW MSI WIND LAPTOP!!! Yup, for those with ninja-like techy-skills, I got a pre-order unit, loaded it up, and LOVIN' MY LITTLE NOTEBOOK! Triple-Woot!


#1: I gots me Sue!

Who really needs the above twelve when I'm lucky enough to have this last one... a woman I love who makes everyday a lot happier then it normally would be. Quintuple-Woot!


...and now, I'm off to go and knock wood until my fist passes through the tree I'm having to whack... Yeah, I'm a cynical optimist... if that's possible.


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



RLH 3

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Permalink 12:03:13 am, by Email , 200 words   English (CA)
Categories: Helping Hand Thursdays

Helping Hand Thursday - Home Inspectors

Welcome to another edition of Helping Hand Thursday, for newer readers this is a once a week posting where I share a product, service, or online resource that I think that you the reader will find helpful or be interested in. This week I would like to bring to your attention a great online resource for finding individual home inspectors, and home inspection companies that are located throughout the Unites States. If you are looking for such a service then National Relocation.com is for you.

The site itself is quite extensive, and offers its users a very easy way to find the company or service in the location they need it to be in, very quickly, and easy.

For an example here is the look-up results for Arizona home inspectors that I found through their website. If you click on the link you will see individual listings, each coming with a company profile, contact information including addresses, and phone numbers, plus a link to more detailed info when available. I should also mention that these state wide listings also breakdown into individual city listings as well such as Scottsdale home inspectors when available.

Great online resource! Check it out!

07/09/08

Permalink 07:15:01 am, by Email , 102 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wordless Wednesdays

Somewhat Wordless Wednesday - Three Stages of Evil...

EVIL - Has nice condo in the dark side...

---------------------------------

EVILER - Nasty slumlord for people living in the dark side...

---------------------------------

EVILEST - Thinks the two guys above are rank amateurs.

---------------------------------

You may not think the above is true... but it is.


For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants, please click here.


RLH 3

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Permalink 07:13:37 am, by Email , 196 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Purchasing Luggage

Tis the season for holidays, and travel and the one thing I would dearly love to replace in my travelling kit is my luggage, which I can assure you has seen far better days.

My own personal preference as far as bags go would be Samsonite luggage perhaps because it is the brand name I grew up with, and it has served me well. Go with what you know works right!

There are a lot of other good name brands out there though so I think before I make any sort of major purchase I will consult with an online luggage buying guide, and see what the new specifications are as far as the airlines go, and see what deal might be available on a family set.

For day tripping, and weekend travel I always use a plain duffel bag similar to this Swiss Army Tourbach bag, which looks very durable, and can be put through a lot. The Swiss Army luggage can be a little pricey, but if you use the online buying guide you can find a some good deals, and these types of luggage can last a lifetime making them a great investment.

07/08/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 2092 words   English (CA)
Categories: Paranormal Stuff

My Beliefs - May Not Be Your Beliefs...

I'm about to write a posting that would be perhaps better suited to The Paranormal Blog... and perhaps it should be there, but I think I'd prefer to leave it on this, my private blog, because it's about something I rarely talk about... my own personal beliefs.

One of the issues one faces with being a senior person in a large group that deals with things like the paranormal is that you really must stay on the fence... neither believe nor disbelieve... take in everything and unless you can categorically prove something or categorically disprove something, work as closely to "possibilities" and "probabilities" as possible. The concept of the "Open Mind" must be truly open... to the idea that things can exist... and that they can't exist.

That said, time after time, I'm pushed, goaded, and literally raked across fiery coals to divulge my own thoughts on things... even when I don't want to lest they reflect on the group I try to head up as a whole.

So, I stay neutral... agnostic... purely "legitimately" sceptical... at least, publicly.

Oh, and before going further... "scepticism" is doubt, not denial... so when I see someone saying, I don't believe in that nonsense, I'm a sceptic!, I take it as a personal affront and point out to them that they are not "sceptical", they are a non-believer... because they've shown no doubt in their "non-belief" stance.

...moving on...

I recently moaned on my FaceBook status that the "would be" sceptics, those of the church of non-belief that are organised or semi-organised, haven't sent in someone that is worthy of a pitched battle with me... ever... and I've come to realise the reason for this.

I believe in science... and empirical data.

That said, I don't discount anything without evidence as well.

You see, THAT'S science.

Science, in it's purest form is looking for patterns... and then trying to measure them and substantiate them. Unless something can be proven to absolutely NOT exist, it might... and further study, investigation, and experimentation may indeed yield other results.

When you think that the learned men of science about a hundred and fifty years ago would have poo-pooed the idea of wireless, electronic-based, wave use personal communications that could be carried on a person that could, by use of things flying above the Earth's atmosphere (or very darned close to it) allow me to speak to anyone on the planet, they would have told me I was nuts... after all, many of the prominent and intelligent working scientists were still coming to grips with the idea that we might JUST be capable of making something heavier than air fly.

History has countless moments of situations when "Those Who Knew Everything" quickly dispelled concepts because it didn't fit their paradigm of the universe. It cannot be therefore it isn't.

Of course, younger and more imaginative minds said Why not? and often made headway in areas thought impossible or improbable in spite of those who "knew better"... some paid the ultimate price for having the audacity to question those who placed themselves into "authority positions".

Ergo: My view is unless it's a proven impossibility, we cannot discount the idea of a probability.

Do I believe in God? My answer is "Maybe." Can I prove any sort of deity exists? Can I prove it does not exist? I can't... Current "understanding" does not allow for an absolute answer in either direction.

Oh, and before any dimwit tries to tell me you CAN'T prove a negative, try reading a book and understanding basic scientific principal... because indeed, you can prove a negative... otherwise we wouldn't know what a vacuum is.

My logic dictates that an omnipotent entity watching over us or even just watching us is unlikely... but is it completely out of the question?

I am not a believer in any current (or past) dogmatic beliefs... this is where I do part company with many who are theists... but if I discount belief as dictated by a religious body, does that mean I'm an atheist?

I don't think so...

...because I would not say, "An omnipotent", or more correctly, an extremely powerful entity "cannot possibly be."

The issue with many "so called sceptics" (those of the church of non-belief) is they to practice a dogma... that is the dogma of established science. There's nothing wrong with that... save one problem... Is all knowledge established?

Let's look at some "established" science that has changed in the last thirty years alone...

Nothing can move faster than the speed of light. Well, we now know that isn't true anymore. They've moved protons through a particle accelerator faster.

Absolute Zero (−273.150°C) is the temperature at which all atomic activity ceases. Nope. Not accurate anymore now we know more about sub-atomic activity... as well as the composition of possible atom types.

Nothing can escape a black hole. Well, oopsy on that one too. Just ask an X-Ray.

This isn't to say I believe science is ALWAYS wrong... far from it. In fact, if not for basic and very stable elements of physics, we wouldn't be making some of the strides we have and continue to make in technology...

...but it does say to me that science IS always to be questioned and asked to prove itself. After all, one "positive" experiment does not a law of science make... things must be experimented on, observed, and replicated many times before it is "fact"... and even then, we must acknowledge that some "facts" have basis in what is only theory... and, in some cases, untestable hypothesis that we just have to accept for the here and now... until things improve or better technology exists.

...but, like the shadow of the Earth on the moon, sometimes something crops up to prove that indeed, we do circle the Sun... not vice-versa.

I believe in evolution... because the data is just too overwhelming to be ignored... but does that discount a "creator"?

I believe in the probability of panspermia on Earth way, way back when... does that negate a "God"?

What's troublesome though is I find the ardent "atheists" are no better than the religious zealots... trying to scream, rant, and yell at us to come over to their "better and smarter" way of viewing the world...

...and yet, when posed with certain questions, they demure and simply go back to telling those of us who even entertain the concept of any sort of "greater entity" that we're mouth-breathing idiots... and SCIENCE is the answer... (Wash, rinse, repeat. Wash, rinse, repeat. Wash, rinse, repeat....)

Arguing with "hard and fast" atheists is about as revealing and rewarding as arguing with fundamentalists... "THEY" have the "RIGHT" answers, and you're an @ss for even daring to question their greatness... hit 'em with a question they CAN'T answer, and boy-oh-boy, then you're REALLY a dinkleberry worthy of excommunication... be that from a church or from "higher thinkers".

In my experience, when push comes to shove, most so-called "atheists" just dislike religious dogma... and therefore qualify, in their lack of ability to prove or disprove any sort of "entity", they are actually like me, agnostic.

Actually, not like me. I am extremely tolerant of all religions and people who practice a given faith, provided that like most Judeo/Christian faiths, one of the primary tenants of that faith is non-violence... I find most atheists to be about as tolerant as a pre-teen suffering from mild heat exhaustion at a Barry Manilow concert.

With most religions, if you are not a "practitioner" of their faith, they either accept what faith you are or assume you're going to heck in a handbag after you pass on. (I know, there are a few more "violent" types... but they are hardly the majority!) but with Atheists, you're a knuckle-dragging illiterate out of the gate the minute you dare question the Church of Non-Belief!

Meanwhile, back at agnosticism...

...isn't that what science should be? Agnostic??? Neutral??? Working ONLY from the facts at hand?

...or did I miss it when "Conclusion" was moved to the FIRST part of the scientific method ahead of "Question" or even "Hypothesis"?

I am the same way with ghosts and hauntings... my chosen study...

Too many "so called sceptics", members of the church of non-belief, discount all witness testimony... but most will equally admit a belief that "weird things happen" or at least are perceived to happen... but their response to these claims by witnesses is to discount everything... or fall back on one "pat answer" that explains it all.

Why investigate? Why look into things? Why continue to try and learn... after all, hasn't science taught us EVERYTHING already? What's the point?

...sound familiar?

The Sun rotates around the Earth... there's no question... Why examine it? To do so is to question God... and hasn't the church taught us everything?

To be honest, the most prevalent reason the members of the orthodox church of non-belief think people experience things that are seen in the popular view as "supernatural" is because those who experience are either permanently or temporarily... well... "crazy".

Let's examine that...

We have many millions of "crazy" people out there then in all walks of life. In fact, our stats show a marked increase in "insanity" within the health care industry and police as far as occupations go.

Also, apparently, insanity is catching... as we do regularly receive reports of things witnessed by multiple people. I suppose one must be able to "catch" a hallucination... which is fascinating.

Oh, before I hear it, we do check for "skewed" witnesses... but we also know that this is not the case more often than not. "Did you see that?" is a far cry from, "Did you see that elderly woman, about five-foot, three-inches, wearing a blue dress in the kitchen?" Some of us do understand the concept of one person "leading" another...

Anyway, want to know my HONEST evaluation of "ghosts and hauntings"... like I promised at the start of all this...

They happen. They are experienced.

Beyond this, I can not and will not say... because that would be conjecture based on a small data sampling... and unlike the church of non-belief, I will not make that mistake.

Weird stuff happens. This is true. It's the causation of this weird stuff that is the ultimate question.

...and faith in nothing... or faith in everything... or even "selective faith" will not provide answers.

There will most likely NOT be one pat answer... but I will say this...

If we DON'T examine things neutrally, we'll never know...

If we accept everything on faith without question, we'll never know...

If this makes me a heretic in your church... church of belief or of non-belief... so be it... but until you have tangible answers for everything that are measurable and repeatable, don't try to "convert" me... I'm happy looking for better answers right now... and forgive me, oh people who use "science" like a weapon in these battles, if you've come to a conclusion already, you're not practising NOR are you using the tool you purport is the basis of your philosophy.


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

This message will be at the bottom of all my posts for the next few weeks... perhaps longer...

HELP STOP BILL C-61

A MESSAGE FOR CANADIANS: The Federal Government has tabled a bill that would turn most of us into criminals.

For example, a kid who "rips" an MP3 from his parents CD collection, re-mixes the tune, and uploads it to YouTube could face a total of $40,500.00 or up to ten years in prison... and that's just ONE example of many.

Unlocking your cell phone for use in another country or with another service, copying video tapes to DVD or computer videos, moving music from your CDs to your iPod... all will be illegal and a minimum $500.00 fine per phone/song/single video clip... maximum fine of $20,000.00 or five-years per offence in prison per phone/song/single video clip.

Don't make listening to CD tracks on an iPod or copying your professionally made wedding video tape to DVD akin to drug dealing and pimping.

If like me, you think this is wrong... be you Conservative, Liberal, New Democrat, Bloc, or other, PLEASE write to your MP and let them know... PLEASE stop bill C-61.

Click here for a neat and quick online letter you can send to your MP showing your wish to stop this bill from going forward.

Join the FaceBook Group.

You can also click here to see a video on what you can do...

STOP BILL C-61

07/07/08

Permalink 01:00:01 am, by Email , 1586 words   English (CA)
Categories: Doctor Who Fandom, Doctor Who Mondays - To get it out of my system...

Doctor Who Monday: Sie sind jetzt ein Gefangener der Daleks! Exterminieren!

I write these things on Sunday... the day after the "big shoe"... and then do touch-up edits on Monday before publishing.

To say that today, (Sunday,) I'm a touch drained is a small understatement... wait, no, a large understatement.

Okay, series conclusion... 65 minutes of Doctor-y goodness... I know 100% that most reviewers (the fun ones and the Pseudo-Intellectual ones,) will be either thumbs in the middle or thumbs down for this show... perhaps thumbs SLIGHTLY leaning up... but definitely, I don't think anyone is giving this episode a big thumbs-up and a perfect 10 out of 10 on the "Woo-hoo!" scale... Well worth watching, not a waste of time, but something just wasn't all the way there...

Me? I found it satisfying, but yeah... yes, it seemed like something was lacking... none-the-less, the way that the loose ends were brought together was well done and RTD did good at what he does best... doing things with a story arc and squeezing every bit of fan-squealing goodness into the show... which is NOT a complaint.

...and those people who weren't fans of her as the intrepid temp, Donna Noble, if they do not have a new and profound respect for the acting abilities of Catherine Tate, all I can say is they must have had their eyes closed and their ears covered during the show.

...oh, and over the last two shows, allow me to point out that Julian Bleach is a God amongst men. I didn't think ANYONE would come close to Michael Wisher in the Davros dept... but he did admirably.

That said, one of the BIGGEST elements missing was a "twist at the end" to remind you that The Doctor's life is never easy... think about it... last scene of episode thirteen (last episode in the series)...

Series One: Regeneration of Eccleston to Tennant.

New teeth, that's weird... now, where was I... Oh right, Barcelona!

Series Two: "The Runaway Bride" appears in the TARDIS.

Where the hell am I??!? - Wot!?!

Series Three: The Titanic collides with the TARDIS.

Wot!?! Wot?? WHAT?

...Series Four? Nothing... save a wee trailer after the credits had rolled telling us that things heat up again for the Christmas Special featuring David Morrissey, an attractive woman in a red Victorian dress, and those marching, stamping, cold-steel dudes from the alternative universe, The Cybermen!

It's scary to think... now that Series Four has ended... I believe the schedule is another WONDERFUL "Children In Need" charity special (I have a strong hunch Sylvester McCoy will be in that,) the Christmas Special, and then four "Bank Holiday" specials... and no "regular series" until 2010...

So, quick M. Didier checklist... Saved everyone's sanity by stopping obsessing about the bus. Check! No Doctor Who to obsess about for the next few months and long periods in between after yesterday. Check!

...M. Didier going loopier than a spider monkey in a Slinky factory with the lack of focus. Check!

Oh well, sorry to say to those NON-fans of Doctor Who, I have NO intention of stopping "Doctor Who Mondays"... although, perhaps, I might "spit them" depending on how Dexter looks this year... and make it Doctor Who/Dexter Mondays... but we'll see.

I think it's a given there'll be some Torchwood commentary with it's odd "season" coming up... (only five shows that will be shown over five consecutive nights...)

...but Season Four has come to an end... and since I promised NO intentional spoilers, I can't say more than it was satisfactory, sad, and odd... and although enjoyable, there was just something not there...

Oh, as a non-spoiler, to those who HAVE seen it, think about this... Dalek "Who's Whacky Now" Caan mentioned the Doc being the "three fold man"... which most of us with an IQ over twelve figured out what he meant... but he did say that "The Dark Lord" is coming... and "The Dark Lord" dances in the loneliest places... which makes me wonder if Rose's world would qualify...

Hmmm...



NEWS ITEMS: Making Th'Rounds...

NOTA BELLA... Because of my strict "No Intentional Spoilers" deal, please keep in mind a few things... first, that many of the news items DO contain spoilers as they are from the UK which has seen the season finale already (weeks ahead of the US, months ahead of Australia, etc.) so be warned. Second, in trying HARD not to break my self-imposed rule, there's not much news to report because I don't want to give stuff away... although I might break that promise SLIGHTLY in a couple of weeks because, at that point, most fans will kinda know what's going on. Lastly, I don't scan the papers myself and go through the online goodies... please note the link I give as they deserve the real credit... And now, on to what little news I can report!


Another Hat-Tip to Sylvester McCoy's Unofficial Site: Click the next link IS spoilery, but it's here because Gamblers in the UK were putting up to £5,000 that David Morrissey would take over the TARDIS from David Tennant.

I really can't say any more... but the equivalent of ten-grand-plus Canadian is a big chuck o' dough!


A Third Hat-Tip to Sylvester McCoy's Unofficial Site: To the shock of no one, when people saw Martha's old cell phone (now The Doctor's phone) flash on the screen, they called it... and some were ticked that it "WNDN"! (Went nowhere, did nothing.)

If you need to call, it would be 07700 900461 in Britain... so in Canada and I believe in The United States, 011-7700-900461.

Remember: Calling a small police box travelling through time and space is long distance in the extreme and may be reflected on your bill.

...that said, let me warn you with a "snip" from the article...

"Grrr – I phoned the Doctor’s phone number but there was just an annoying network message," grumbled one poster on the show’s internet forum page.

One wonders what these folks expected?

Tip To These Folks: Entertaining Television Program does not equal Way of Life. I'm JUST sayin'...


A Tip 'o The Hat to Outpost Gallifrey: Not quite 10 million... at least, not as tallied so far... but an EXTREMELY respectable 9.4 million viewers tuned into Doctor Who's finale!

This COULD be the first time EVER the series was the number one most watched show of the week in Britain as it beat out EVERYTHING else there so far.

Woot!

Way to go Mr. Collinson and Mr. Davies! What a way to end (the regular) bit of your stuff with the series off!


A Fourth and Final (this week) Hat-Tip to Sylvester McCoy's Unofficial Site: In an interview, Russell T. Davies says, Doctor Who is bigger than any actor.

Un-hunh... you should have been at our house when things hit the fan in "The Stolen Earth" and names like Nesbitt, Carlyle, and Morrissey were being bandied about and "Googled" by some young girls here.

Heck, the eldest has a thing for Eccleston and the young'uns have a thing for Tennant... and even THAT discussion can get heated...

I suppose he's right, but I know as a kid, I was utterly crestfallen when Jon Pertwee became Tom Baker... who I did learn to enjoy very much... but I stopped watching, no offence or disrespect, when Peter Davison took over... (I did learn to appreciate Davison later on... to be honest, years after he took over by watching reruns...) so the actor is an important part of the whole bit...

I mean, way back when before 2005... three names put forward as perspective Doctors were Jamie Oliver, David Hasselhoff, and Donny Osmond. Think these folks would have done as good a job at keeping the franchise afloat as Eccleston and Tennant?



This blog is a "fan blog" only... and not related to or in any way officially involved with the production of Doctor Who. Doctor Who is copyright © by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). No infringement intended. All images, texts, videos, or audio attachments are used assuming "Fair Use"/"Fair Dealing" and, if used here, may be removed at the request of the original copyright holder with limited notice.


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

This message will be at the bottom of all my posts for the next few weeks... perhaps longer...

HELP STOP BILL C-61

A MESSAGE FOR CANADIANS: The Federal Government has tabled a bill that would turn most of us into criminals.

For example, a kid who "rips" an MP3 from his parents CD collection, re-mixes the tune, and uploads it to YouTube could face a total of $40,500.00 or up to ten years in prison... and that's just ONE example of many.

Unlocking your cell phone for use in another country or with another service, copying video tapes to DVD or computer videos, moving music from your CDs to your iPod... all will be illegal and a minimum $500.00 fine per phone/song/single video clip... maximum fine of $20,000.00 or five-years per offence in prison per phone/song/single video clip.

Don't make listening to CD tracks on an iPod or copying your professionally made wedding video tape to DVD akin to drug dealing and pimping.

If like me, you think this is wrong... be you Conservative, Liberal, New Democrat, Bloc, or other, PLEASE write to your MP and let them know... PLEASE stop bill C-61.

Click here for a neat and quick online letter you can send to your MP showing your wish to stop this bill from going forward.

Join the FaceBook Group.

You can also click here to see a video on what you can do...

STOP BILL C-61

Permalink 12:26:23 am, by Email , 205 words   English (CA)
Categories: Day Tripping & Travel

Travelling Through Europe

One of our future goals as the kiddos get older is to spend some time travelling. We would particularly love to travel through Europe not only for our hobby, but we would also love to visit the places our family has come from.

Lisbon

I am a semi experienced traveller, and therefore would appreciate a site like Easy To Book.com in order to book accommodations like Lisbon Hotels hopefully with enough in my budget to afford such a posh place as the one I've added in for your viewing pleasure above.

You can get some good bargain prices through the website, which is very easy to use. Say for instance you are looking for Barcelona Hotels (the one here on Earth for Doctor Who fans!) just look up the country Spain on their world directory, and click on the city's name.

Double Decker From Lisbon Portugal

Easy To Book.com has a great selection to choose from, and covers every major tourist destination, and city in-between including all of business centers around the world. Check out the great listings for New Delhi Hotels including ratings to suit everyone's tastes. In my opinion the website is an excellent online resource for any traveller's accommodation requirements.

07/06/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 612 words   English (CA)
Categories: Blog Your Blessings Sundays

Blog Your Blessings Sundays: The Way We Heal...

Whether you see it as God's creation or millions of years of evolution... or a bit of both... or none of the above... you have to be in absolute awe of the human body's ability to heal itself... that when in crisis, the cells of our body all gang up, do what they can, and we fix ourselves.

Sure, there's those wonderful folks like doctors, paramedics, surgeons, nurses, pharmaceutical scientists... and they DO help... but that's the key. They help... but our bodies do the repairs.

At some points, our bodies do fail, but when you look through your life... the cuts, scrapes, the breaks... everything... it's abilities are miraculous.

Realistically, as a true "sceptic" (meaning someone who does doubt... who needs better evidence...) the concept of "miracles" is a difficult thing to contemplate... until I realise that in my studies, you'd be shocked to know that the largest contingent of professionals that believe in miracles is health care workers... the hand of God... or some other "otherwordly power" seems to really crop up mostly with people that watch our bodies heal.

My blessing this week is the body's ability to heal.

What spurred this today was a memory... of an article written to a so-called-sceptic... a non-believer... about an article they wrote about miracles... and a letter in reply from the head of a hospital's paediatrics ward... telling the so-called-sceptic that he, as a man of medicine, a learned man, a senior in his field... he believed... because he'd seen one too many cases where kids who shouldn't have gotten better... did.

Nothing special... no "prayer" therapy... no magic of any sort... no "great science" or special medication... but they got better... and he couldn't see any reason why except a miracle.

...and every time I feel a little bit too comfortable in my place in a lovely, mathematically secure, justifiable, empirical, universe... I think of the letter about that article... and I think about the hundreds of doctors, nurses, and other health care workers that are very sure that, indeed, there are miracles... there is "magic"... and sometimes, it combines with our own cellular magic.

____________________________________________

Blog Your Blessing Sundays is a creation of NeoBluePanther... who may or may not be the famed Luchador!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

This message will be at the bottom of all my posts for the next few weeks... perhaps longer...

HELP STOP BILL C-61

A MESSAGE FOR CANADIANS: The Federal Government has tabled a bill that would turn most of us into criminals.

For example, a kid who "rips" an MP3 from his parents CD collection, re-mixes the tune, and uploads it to YouTube could face a total of $40,500.00 or up to ten years in prison... and that's just ONE example of many.

Unlocking your cell phone for use in another country or with another service, copying video tapes to DVD or computer videos, moving music from your CDs to your iPod... all will be illegal and a minimum $500.00 fine per phone/song/single video clip... maximum fine of $20,000.00 or five-years per offence in prison per phone/song/single video clip.

Don't make listening to CD tracks on an iPod or copying your professionally made wedding video tape to DVD akin to drug dealing and pimping.

If like me, you think this is wrong... be you Conservative, Liberal, New Democrat, Bloc, or other, PLEASE write to your MP and let them know... PLEASE stop bill C-61.

Click here for a neat and quick online letter you can send to your MP showing your wish to stop this bill from going forward.

Join the FaceBook Group.

You can also click here to see a video on what you can do...

STOP BILL C-61

07/05/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 665 words   English (CA)
Categories: Half-Butt Postings, Doctor Who Fandom

Can't blog today... nerves will eat me...

I know, it's not Monday... and I'll have a LOT more to say about things then... without spoilers, of course... but today is the SEASON FINALE of that show I promised NOT to mention except on Mondays... and the "cliffhanger" from last week pretty much turned the whole household into a puddle...

...so it's a day of watching the clock... waiting... then bugging my friend at The Beeb to SENDETH US THE GOODES!

Dear God in Heaven, WE NEED OUR FIX, MAN!

Gosh-darnit, if I was like this through the whole season, we'd need special counseling and detox!

...I can see it now... a dimly lit church basement... a semi-circle of people sitting on folding chairs... the "leader" of the group stands up...

_____________________

Leader: Group, we have some new people joining us tonight... Matther, Sue, The Kidollo, Assorted other steplings... Matthew, how about you introduce yourself to everyone?

Matthew: Um... yeah... um... Hello. My name is Matthew.

Group says as a whole: Hello Matthew!

Matthew: Uh, okay... well, like I said, I'm Matthew, and I have a problem. It all started in 2005 with this fellow named Eccleston and has gotten progressively worse since then...

_____________________

Just twelve little steps...

Anyway, ANY super-fan of a television program knows my pain... and at least, I will get my "fix" today... and HOPEFULLY, the "cliffhangers" will be resolved.

...either that, or you'll find me clinging madly to The Lost Moon of Poosh ranting about flying into the wild and fire where I danced and died a thousand times all the while plotting to kill Russell T. Davies because, yes, I will have snapped.

So forgive my lack of posting today... I'll be back tomorrow with a blessing... that may or may not include a reference to Raxicoricofallipatorius.

Oh, and the bees? The clever folks in the entertainment industry have figured it out for us... apparently, after telling the plants to do us all in (thanks M. Night Shyamalan... I want my 90 minutes back! What a dreadfully boring film!) they went home to Malissamajouria following The Tandoka Trail.

Yeah, that probably makes a big pantload of sense to most of my readers.

Anyway, here's a link to The Telegraph which, like ALL the papers and media in Britain, is going crazy over the program... but be warned, North American audiences... there is "spoilery goodness" in that there link!

OH, and GOOD NEWS American Audiences! No doubt because of complaints AND because of the unbelievable hype in Britain, Sci-Fi will NOT be trimming twenty-minutes from the finale when it airs in The United States!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

This message will be at the bottom of all my posts for the next few weeks... perhaps longer...

HELP STOP BILL C-61

A MESSAGE FOR CANADIANS: The Federal Government has tabled a bill that would turn most of us into criminals.

For example, a kid who "rips" an MP3 from his parents CD collection, re-mixes the tune, and uploads it to YouTube could face a total of $40,500.00 or up to ten years in prison... and that's just ONE example of many.

Unlocking your cell phone for use in another country or with another service, copying video tapes to DVD or computer videos, moving music from your CDs to your iPod... all will be illegal and a minimum $500.00 fine per phone/song/single video clip... maximum fine of $20,000.00 or five-years per offence in prison per phone/song/single video clip.

Don't make listening to CD tracks on an iPod or copying your professionally made wedding video tape to DVD akin to drug dealing and pimping.

If like me, you think this is wrong... be you Conservative, Liberal, New Democrat, Bloc, or other, PLEASE write to your MP and let them know... PLEASE stop bill C-61.

Click here for a neat and quick online letter you can send to your MP showing your wish to stop this bill from going forward.

Join the FaceBook Group.

You can also click here to see a video on what you can do...

STOP BILL C-61

07/04/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 1772 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

Happy Birthday to the Rebellious Upstart Republicans to the South!

From the spawn of a proud United Empire Loyalist family, who's ancestors and kin were and remain loyal to the crown of Britain...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!!!

...you rebellious, upstart republicans you!

Ach, I won't hold you breaking away from the benevolent hand of the guiding light known as the crown all those two-hundred and thirty-something years ago keep me from wishing you a VERY happy Fourth of July celebration!

...and in all serious honesty, I would love to be down there celebrating with you all tonight!

If you will indulge me... here's a portion of something I posted in 2006...

Spacer

As regular readers of this blog may know, I'm a War of 1812 re-enactor (when possible.) For those not up on their history, this is when the post-revolutionary, burgeoning United States of America declared war on Great Britain over naval issues (impressment of American sailors by British naval vessels) and other concerns with the arming of the natives and land claims.

Well, Great Britain was a bit far away (and already fighting Napoleon in Portugal and Spain at the time) so America did invade Canada...

This was not a popular war for anyone... it was most often referred to as "Mr. Madison's War"... despite the fact that President Madison wasn't really wanting to go the "armed conflict" route either. Not helping matters were statements from Thomas Jefferson who had said that "...the conquest of Canada would be a mere matter of marching."

(Needless to say, since we're still a sovereign nation and still here, Mr. Jefferson and other's were incorrect... but that's neither here nor there...)

Anyway, to give you an idea of the hatred and seething anger that our countries had for each other...

The Atlantic states and provinces pretty much refused to war with each other.

Sure, there were the odd scrimmages and loads of piracy and whatnot, but not any outright conflict. The New England states, especially Vermont and Massachusetts, refused to send troops to "help" with the unpopular war! The Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia issued a proclamation that Nova Scotia and New Brunswick would abstain from "predatory" bahaviour with their neighbours and that trade would continue "without molestation"...

In fact, this went much further...

When the town of St. Stephen found out it's American counterpart of Calais did not have fireworks to celebrate the fourth of July, they obliged with a large gift... of barrels of gunpowder.

According to historical sources, trails between America and Canada through which potash, cattle, pork, and other "smuggled" goods were so well worn, it's difficult to assume that either "military" side couldn't acknowledge that the civilian population were really not at war with each other...

So, think about this for a minute...

There "we" were... at war with each other... but giving gun powder away for the opposites celebration?

After the "sacking" of York (present day Toronto,) Gen. Winfield Scott sent over a boat under a flag of truce, after the American departure from the town, with a load of books that had been taken from a library and a note of apology!

When General Brock died at the Battle of Queenston Heights, despite being an American stronghold at that point, Fort Niagara fired a ceremonial cannon to honour the British general... not in anger, but in respect.

Some may say that there are "tensions" now with Canadian/American relations... but historically, at our "toughest hours" when we were supposed to hate and loath each other, those tensions weren't there.

We were friends... comrades on the same land... fighting the same hardships as settlers and newcomers in a strange environment...

...and that war, despite it's issues, did set up the world's largest undefended border... something I think we're both proud of, despite any recent rumblings.

And today, what really separates us? Sure, there's minor issues with trade and some differences of strategic ideals, but we're pretty much the same. In fact, I think it's great that one can literally "step" from one side of a Republic to another where we still have a Monarchy... (Okay, it's a constitutional monarchy and our Prime Minister and Ottawa makes all the decisions, but we still hold the Queen to high esteem!)

I have pointed out in the past that Canadians (certainly not all!) sometimes are down on Americans... but I explain this thusly... Imagine if (in America) Mexico had the largest and most productive media outlets. That every time you turned on your TV set, your radio, or went to see a film you heard, "MEXICO! NUMBER ONE!" and "MEXICO'S THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD!" and "EVERYONE WANTS TO BE MEXICAN!"

How would the average person in Oregon feel about Mexico?

Yeah, it's a little jealousy... in a weird sorta way... but that's about it. I think the general population on both side of the border realise it's really only a matter of how to pronounce "foyer"... which, as we all know, is "Foy-Ay". :)

...and to be honest, I've never run into any "Canadian Hatred" when visiting the States... nor have I seen any REAL animosity for an American visitor here in Canada.

Let's face it... we're friends and neighbours... and we do care about each other.

We may be a little uninformed about one another, but we're still together... and since 1815, pretty much always have been.

SO HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NEIGHBOUR!

...and may you have many, many, many, many, ad infinitum... more!

Spacer

Let's bust that Historical Myth!

Canada burned down the White House during the War of 1812

The "educated" version of this myth is "The Canadian Army burned down the White House in the War of 1812 in retaliation for the burning of York."

Guess what?

These are both wrong.

In August of 1814, British naval ships, cruising off the Atlantic coast under the command of Admiral Cockburn and with several companies of "Wellington's Invincibles" straight from the war in Europe (Portugal and The Peninsula Campaigns) landed in Benedict, marched to Blandesburg where they met limited (sadly, almost comical) resistance, then into Washington... where they did burn the whole town down.

This was in retaliation... as per the orders of the day... for the burning of Newark (now Niagara-on-the-Lake) in the winter... where American soldiers and "Canadian Volunteers" (turncoats) burned the town "to deny the enemy comfortable billets"... the only people in the town at the time were the infirmed, elderly, youngsters, and other non-combatants. (Oh, just for the record, this act was universally decried... George McClure, the American commander at Newark, needed guards once he retreated to Buffalo to protect himself from his OWN populace! They wanted him strung-up for the act... newspapers on BOTH sides decried him as a villain and coward...)

...anyway...

The fact of the matter is, the fellows who burned the white house probably never set foot in Canada... before or after the battles they would be involved in.

More interestingly, this "glorious victory"(?) at Washington led to a little battle near Baltimore at Fort McHenry... which the Brits lost... and a young lawyer, named Francis Scott-Key, seeing the Congreve Rockets flying and exploding over the old flag in the fort, penned a little poem... "The Rocket's Red Glare, The Bombs Bursting In Air..." which someone set to a drinking song entitled "To Anacreon in Heaven".

So, the White House may have burned... but the next step led to a national anthem... and the British "victory" in Washington was short-lived.

I can NOT more strongly recommend (as reading for either side of the border) the late Pierre Berton's books The Invasion of Canada and Flames Across the Border. To know the whole story, it's best to plough through both... but if you're more into the "fife and drum" aspect, the latter, Flames Across the Border, is fine... and can be read without reading the first one... and is a bit more "exciting" with lots of swash for your buckle.

There! Now that'll teach you not to get your history lesson from Three Dead Trolls in a Baggy!!!

Spacer

To close out this lengthy post, I'd like to send everyone to read Gordon Sinclair's editorial on America from 1973 which sums up quite a lot...

- - - - - - - - - - -

Addendum for 2008 on the Gordon Sinclair statement above... Perhaps some of the world was shamed when this story re-made the rounds in the wake of the horrors of September 11th, 2001... and Hurricane Katrina... but I don't think so... I think we just finally realised we're all in this together.

Thousands of Canadian firefighters, policemen, and even construction workers hurried down to New York city to help after 9/11... and it's touching that many of the Americans who were "grounded" in flights in Canada still visit and keep up with the families that took them in until things got as sorted as they could be for them to go back home after that terrible time...

Then there were acts like this one amongst others when "official aid" offered by the Canadian government was politely declined by the U.S. government... Those here who had, gave... because that's what neighbours do.

- - - - - - - - - - -

America is great... and we here wish them all a VERY happy birthday!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

This message will be at the bottom of all my posts for the next few weeks... perhaps longer...

HELP STOP BILL C-61

A MESSAGE FOR CANADIANS: The Federal Government has tabled a bill that would turn most of us into criminals.

For example, a kid who "rips" an MP3 from his parents CD collection, re-mixes the tune, and uploads it to YouTube could face a total of $40,500.00 or up to ten years in prison... and that's just ONE example of many.

Unlocking your cell phone for use in another country or with another service, copying video tapes to DVD or computer videos, moving music from your CDs to your iPod... all will be illegal and a minimum $500.00 fine per phone/song/single video clip... maximum fine of $20,000.00 or five-years per offence in prison per phone/song/single video clip.

Don't make listening to CD tracks on an iPod or copying your professionally made wedding video tape to DVD akin to drug dealing and pimping.

If like me, you think this is wrong... be you Conservative, Liberal, New Democrat, Bloc, or other, PLEASE write to your MP and let them know... PLEASE stop bill C-61.

Click here for a neat and quick online letter you can send to your MP showing your wish to stop this bill from going forward.

Join the FaceBook Group.

You can also click here to see a video on what you can do...

STOP BILL C-61

07/03/08

Permalink 12:31:01 am, by Email , 1410 words   English (CA)
Categories: Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen - I.T. Translations

THURSDAY THIRTEEN!

I work in I.T. meaning, I fix/build/curse and swear at computers... and for those of you who have an I.T. department in your offices, allow me to offer you some help.

Basically, when you "tell" us something, we end up hearing different words... It's true!

So, allow me to share...


THIRTEEN COMMON STATEMENTS
MADE TO I.T. PROFESSIONALS
AND HOW WE TRANSLATE THEM
IN OUR HEADS.


#13: Are you busy?

Translation: I have a poop-load worth of work I either can't or won't do and I want to dump it on your sorry tushy.

Also: I have something not-work-related I'm going to ask you to do that is beyond pointless... normally, I wouldn't ask, but what the heck, you're here!

Also (Supervisors Only): I have this nagging suspicion that since you seem to sit around a lot that you must not be doing anything... and I fear you will use your computer-esque jargon skills to convince me that you're doing something like installing an operating system or the like when you're not really doing anything "important" as I understand it... so I need you to justify your paycheque to me.


#12: Is it ready yet?

Translation: I know that it usually takes a lot of time to do a task and I'm going to keep pestering you in the vain hope that somehow, you'll break at least one of the laws of time and space to complete it ahead of time... mostly because if you spend the normal amount of time, I will look like a jackass... and I know that my interruptions will actually make you work faster, not interrupt you from the task at hand, because I is smrt!


#11: Is the server slow right now?

Translation: Boy oh boy, MSN, FaceBook, eBay, or my stock trading page is running so slowly, I'm worried I'm going to get caught by my supervisor using it... so I'm hoping you can speed up the process so I can look like I'm being productive.

Also: I gave my supervisor an unrealistic timeline and now that there's no way in Hell I'm going to deliver on time, I'm hoping I can blame the whole mess on I.T.


#10: How often do we back things up around here?

Translation: I've just "effed" up and deleted/lost something I'm working on and I'm hoping you have some sort of computer-y magic to get it back for me... and if you don't, I'm going to blame you for my loss.


#9: Are we on a secure network?

Translation: Is the boss spying on me downloading tunes while submitting resumes to other companies?

Also: I'm doing borderline illegal stuff... like pirating warez... and I want to make sure I won't be caught.


#8: I think I need a new computer.

Translation: One of my apps is working really slowly or giving me an error... and I know you're going to ask me about what I'm doing or what my error is... so instead, I want a new toy... and if it's not WAY better than everyone else's, I'm going to blame all productivity loss on you.


#7: I think I may have a virus.

Translation: I was using MSN (or downloading a torrent or downloading music or installing something a friend sent me or "even though I saw the e-mail warning me not to, I still went to check out the naked pictures of the starlet of the month",) and now I think I've buggered something up and am hoping I can pin the fault on I.T.'s lack of virus security.


#6: Have you ever... (can be substituted for: Is it possible...)

Translation: Using my magical skills gleaned from watching documentaries on movie making with computer animation where it looked like the movie "Jurassic Park" was done in about twenty-minutes OR something I actually saw done in a movie about/by computer geeks, I've told a client/my supervisor that something is possible when I really don't know if it is... and now I want you to create it or make it happen. Of course, if you can't, I'll blame you for the whole mess.


#5: Is it possible to work while on the road?

Translation: Is it possible to cause you many new headaches off business hours because, if I can, I'm going to avoid coming into the office ever... until my supervisor tells me I have to... and then I'll blame my absences on I.T. TELLING me it's okay to work away from the office.


#4: Do we scan e-mails that we send out?

Translation: Does anyone read the diatribes, love letters, personal ad responses, etc. I mail out using my work account?


#3: What do you know about...

Translation: Even though I know in my heart and soul you're really a computer technician only, I'm now going to bombard you with issues concerning a fax machine, my phone, or some other non-computer related topic in the vain hope that if you're a geek in one area, you're a coverall-geek... and of course, if you can't help, I'm going to try and convince you to do something I won't... and that's read the manual and solve the issue for me.


#2: How do I delete files I downloaded by accident?

Translation: I downloaded some pornography or something as "nasty"... and I'm afraid I'll get fired if discovered. Can you cover my butt? Oh, and if you FORCE me to admit anything, I won't... I'll tell you that my kid did it somehow, not me.


#1: Do we monitor bandwidth use on the network?

Translation: I'm downloading a whackload of music/movies/whatever and don't want to get caught.

Also (Supervisors Only): I think someone's downloading a whack of crap and I want to nail their butts to a wall. Of course, in the end, everyone will blame you because you didn't lock up the network tight enough OR the user will claim no knowledge and since you're the computer geek, it MUST be you then.


SUPERBONUS: Our machines are all under warranty, right?

Translation: I swear, my laptop looked thirsty! It needed that cup of coffee dumped into the keyboard! Well, it's not working now... but you'll fix it, right?


SUPERDUPERBONUS: A friend of mine "fixed" something on my machine and now it doesn't work...

Translation: I let some idiot who claimed to have a background in computers "help" me do something (most likely not work related,) and now nothing works because they are incompetent boobs... so it's your job to now make it work again.


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!



RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

This message will be at the bottom of all my posts for the next few weeks... perhaps longer...

HELP STOP BILL C-61

A MESSAGE FOR CANADIANS: The Federal Government has tabled a bill that would turn most of us into criminals.

For example, a kid who "rips" an MP3 from his parents CD collection, re-mixes the tune, and uploads it to YouTube could face a total of $40,500.00 or up to ten years in prison... and that's just ONE example of many.

Unlocking your cell phone for use in another country or with another service, copying video tapes to DVD or computer videos, moving music from your CDs to your iPod... all will be illegal and a minimum $500.00 fine per phone/song/single video clip... maximum fine of $20,000.00 or five-years per offence in prison per phone/song/single video clip.

Don't make listening to CD tracks on an iPod or copying your professionally made wedding video tape to DVD akin to drug dealing and pimping.

If like me, you think this is wrong... be you Conservative, Liberal, New Democrat, Bloc, or other, PLEASE write to your MP and let them know... PLEASE stop bill C-61.

Click here for a neat and quick online letter you can send to your MP showing your wish to stop this bill from going forward.

Join the FaceBook Group.

You can also click here to see a video on what you can do...

STOP BILL C-61

Permalink 12:28:39 am, by Email , 197 words   English (CA)
Categories: Helping Hand Thursdays

Helping Hand Thursday - Sprucing Up The House

Welcome to the first July 2008 edition of Helping Hand Thursday! This week I am taking a look at a website that offers shoppers a chance to purchase quality whitehall products online in a safe, and secure shopping environment. How handy, and convenient is that!

Mailbox and Beyond.com is a great source for mailboxes whether you are looking to fix up a private residence or a commercial building, they even offer free shipping on some items. However, they also sell a wide variety of other items such as address plaques from whitehall, and others.

This address plaque caught my eye for its sentimental, and classy look. You can also get standard, as well as decorative house numbers through them. Like I said, they offer so much more than just mailboxes at very good bargain prices, and they offer some volume discounts.

Some of the more interesting items they offer are decorative outdoor faucets, birdfeeders, and all sorts of planter hooks to really personalise your yard, and porch. Have a look at the site by clicking on any one of the links I have added above. Be warned you might just end up spending hours on their site!

07/02/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 296 words   English (CA)
Categories: Wordless Wednesdays

Wordless Wednesday: Sue and a buddy...

Although I've set a limit of THREE cats in our home, Sue didn't have a difficult time trying to convince me to take in this wee kitty she's posed with... Of course, as most feral cats are, the little woogums would not budge and preferred to stay outdoors...


For a list of other Wordless Wednesday participants, please click here.


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

This message will be at the bottom of all my posts for the next few weeks... perhaps longer...

HELP STOP BILL C-61

A MESSAGE FOR CANADIANS: The Federal Government has tabled a bill that would turn most of us into criminals.

For example, a kid who "rips" an MP3 from his parents CD collection, re-mixes the tune, and uploads it to YouTube could face a total of $40,500.00 or up to ten years in prison... and that's just ONE example of many.

Unlocking your cell phone for use in another country or with another service, copying video tapes to DVD or computer videos, moving music from your CDs to your iPod... all will be illegal and a minimum $500.00 fine per phone/song/single video clip... maximum fine of $20,000.00 or five-years per offence in prison per phone/song/single video clip.

Don't make listening to CD tracks on an iPod or copying your professionally made wedding video tape to DVD akin to drug dealing and pimping.

If like me, you think this is wrong... be you Conservative, Liberal, New Democrat, Bloc, or other, PLEASE write to your MP and let them know... PLEASE stop bill C-61.

Click here for a neat and quick online letter you can send to your MP showing your wish to stop this bill from going forward.

Join the FaceBook Group.

You can also click here to see a video on what you can do...

STOP BILL C-61

07/01/08

Permalink 12:00:01 am, by Email , 840 words   English (CA)
Categories: General Shtuff

It's Canada Day, down Canada way...

My country turns one-hundred and forty-one today. ...and it doesn't look a day over 120!

Whether you're from Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, The Yukon, North West Territories, or Nunavut... we are all in the same enormous boat together in this great and vast land... that what happens in Vancouver is as important to us all as what happens in Fredericton.

We all should have a connection to the land... and that the quintessential Canadian spirit is one of nature and survival... even if you're in an office in Calgary or a strip-mall in Markham.

I'm extremely proud that my personal roots do trace to the time of Cartier... and the better portion of 3/4 of my family trace back to this land from the 18th century and before...

...but would it matter if I was a relatively "new" Canadian? If I embrace the concepts of tolerance, of respect for the land, and of the building blocks of this society... if I look at my home and feel proud... if I burst with pride when I see a red maple leaf flying on a red and white field in another country... if I know that when someone says to me, "Where are you from?" that I instinctively say, "I am Canadian!", does it matter if my roots were here for the times of The Order of Good Cheer... or from the days of Brian Mulroney... or even later?

If I am Canadian in my soul, then I am a Canadian.

Je suis fière de parler Français. I am proud I speak English. As a Canadian, I feel a kinship to Quebecers as much as I feel a kinship to the Inuit... because, regardless, when the chips come down, we are Canadian.

Regular readers may have noticed on my "Thursday Thirteen" that I have glancing familial relations to three former Canadian Prime Ministers... and I'm quite chuffed at that... and I do hope that although, I don't really have a hope in hades of being as pivotal in my country's history, I do my part to add to it as they did... and many other members of my direct and indirect family... because even if I was a FIRST generation Canadian, since I do love my country, I believe we should do our bit to try and make it a better place.

...and although some can (have and will) argue that the three Prime Ministers in my family tree may have done more "harm than good", I doubt anyone would argue that they didn't love this land.

Happy Birthday Canada... I will try to do right by you... and all Canadians... and hope that everyone celebrating the day will do likewise...

To sum up a tiny bit... I love this clip from the late Peter Gzowski about the North...

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

--------------

O Canada! Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!

Car ton bras sait porter l'épée,
Il sait porter la croix!

Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.

Et ta valeur, de foi trempée,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

Happy Birthday, Canada!


RLH 3

STOP BILL C-61

This message will be at the bottom of all my posts for the next few weeks... perhaps longer...

HELP STOP BILL C-61

A MESSAGE FOR CANADIANS: The Federal Government has tabled a bill that would turn most of us into criminals.

For example, a kid who "rips" an MP3 from his parents CD collection, re-mixes the tune, and uploads it to YouTube could face a total of $40,500.00 or up to ten years in prison... and that's just ONE example of many.

Unlocking your cell phone for use in another country or with another service, copying video tapes to DVD or computer videos, moving music from your CDs to your iPod... all will be illegal and a minimum $500.00 fine per phone/song/single video clip... maximum fine of $20,000.00 or five-years per offence in prison per phone/song/single video clip.

Don't make listening to CD tracks on an iPod or copying your professionally made wedding video tape to DVD akin to drug dealing and pimping.

If like me, you think this is wrong... be you Conservative, Liberal, New Democrat, Bloc, or other, PLEASE write to your MP and let them know... PLEASE stop bill C-61.

Click here for a neat and quick online letter you can send to your MP showing your wish to stop this bill from going forward.

Join the FaceBook Group.

You can also click here to see a video on what you can do...

STOP BILL C-61

D O.U.O.S.V.A.V.V. M
Et In Arcadia Ego

IMPORTANT NOTICE:


October 28th, 2009

See the "latest post" on the left here... I've decided to concentrate on other work so this blog is kinda done for me... THANKS kindly to my friends and regular readers... and as you'll note, I am still loitering in the blogsphere... and I'm still online... and I honestly haven't given up hope that we will get our dream bus one day! (We've just gotten REALLY quiet about it...)

My Disclosure Policy For Sponsored Posts

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