Alberta Separatist Hockey

As promised in the previous posting (promised, threatened, its really a fine line), here is my little rundown on sports team cheering (not especially related to hockey, mind you) from the perspective of a hardcore Alberta Separatist.

Being in Edmonton, it should come as no surprise this team ranking:
#1 - Edmonton Oilers

What will come as a shock is the second place team. Understand that when you grew up around Red Deer there were devotees to both major Albertan cities, but the rivalry still requires some shock to learn this team's ranking:
#2 - Calgary Flames

From here, recall that amoung the many things I want an Independent Alberta to do, one of them involves the annexation and administration of Lotusland and it isn't hard to figure out this next ranking:
#3 - Vancouver Canucks

As a conservative, of course, I am honour bound to remember the glory days: when the world was better (revolutionary as I may be). I have a portrait of Queen Elizabaeth hanging in my home, I shun the "half-Windsor" knot, and opposed the designated hitter rule. As a result, the next class of team I support is a group-job, in no particular order: (ie. the first team isn't "more favourite" than the last team)
#4, #5, #6, #7, #8 - Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadians, New York Rangers

Now things get a little less clear. The "favourite teams" list becomes an even bigger smear-job, encompassing the remaining American teams. I bring to you, again in no special order (even less special than the previous order which was alphabetical):
#9 through #28 - Atlanta Thrashers, New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues, Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, New Jersey Devils, Phoenix Coyotes

Here's where this list goes beyond the range of petty nationalism and into the range of hyper-petty nationalism. You see, I hate the province of Ontario. Not even in a Three Dead Trolls sort of way. I mean an utter hatred. Their Liberal leanings, their Molson-loving Canadian patriotism, their hinterland contempt, and their smug overbearing assumption that they are the be-all and end-all of the universe. Therefore, her teams get special hatred at the bottom of the hockey pile. And though I do hate the notion of ever cheering for Ottawa, the city of federal government sleaze and corruption and taxation, there is an even greater bottom-feeder, leaving only one spot on the list for this team:
#29 - Ottawa Senators

Finally we come to the end of this little rag-tag band. The finale of hockey adoration amoungst those of us who are truely Albertan Nationalists. Bearing in mind that this team should be classed as #N, with N being the number of hockey teams in the explorable universe. If the planet ChildRapist send its hockey team entirely made up of telemarketers, I would cheer for the ChildRapist Telemarketeres over this team. It is the lowest of the low, the bottom of the barrel, the dispicable team that I hate not only because I hate her province, and because I hate her city, but I also hate the mindless drones that constitute her fans. Way too many old-timers and 80s-imports from Ontario still cheer this team on even against their home city, and consider it their "second favourite" team. (This is true not only in Edmonton but also Calgary and Vancouver, with Winnipeg likely getting the same treatment) This team is mud, it is garbage, I cheer whenever it loses.
#30 - Toronto Maple Leafs

And that, in a nutshell, is my rankings based purely on political opposition. Its a neat and tidy system really. If Colorado plays Boston I cheer on Boston, but if Boston turns around and plays Vancouver than I shall cheer for the west-coasters. The one flaw I've found in the plan (other than the aforementioned dilemna of not being able to put Ottawa at the bottom) is that the original six (five) requirement brings in such an eastern-based swing to it. It is rather tempting to re-adjust the middle slots, making #9-18 the western American teams, and #19-28 the eastern American teams, just to balance it out. I may make that slight alteration, but who knows.


Drunk hockey-watching blogging

Having some beers at my buddy's place watching the Oilers facing off against the Nashville Predators. A few topics of conversation come to mind:

  • Talking about Troy Glaus playing for the Blue Jays. I hate the Blue Jays with a white-hot passion (its an Alberta Separatist thing, see entry above), and this pisses me off because I always take a perverse pleasure in watching the Jays suck monkey balls. However, for me the thing I will always remember about Glaus' Blue Jays run is that TSN.ca screwed up the headline for his announcement. "Corner Glaus" was to be the +7-fonted link splashed across the top of the page -- connecting CTV's top hit Corner Gas with the third baseman who hit 37 homers and 97 RBIs last season. Instead, the headline read "Corner Gas" instead, which really lost a lot of its punch. That's why TSN.ca's editors don't work for the SUN newspaper chain, I guess.
  • This "successful Blue Jays" thing is really going to hurt me in our baseball pool next season -- I have this "no Canadian team rule" that last year didn't mean much: Josh Towers and Alex Rios weren't hot properties even if I was in a deep AL-only league. Next year I'm going to be out Lyle Overbay, Glaus, A.J. Burnett, and B.J. Ryan. Getting Batista and Orlando Hudson as available players just doesn't help me -- both suck.
  • Quotes from my buddy while talking baseball (he's a Jays fan) "They have to go out into the middle of Saskatchewan and dump fucking [Eric] Hinske". Ha ha, reminds me of laughing about the Jays defeats -- and crying about having to watch more incidents like when they scored nine runs in a single inning against the Yankees. Other quotes, from his proposed 2-month trip to South America: "I've already accepted that I'm gonna get robbed, I just hope I won't get kidnapped"
  • Speaking of my fantasy hockey pool, I went from 11/11 to 9/11 in a week. What did I do? Nothing. I ignored it for a full week and went up in points (slightly) and in the standings (considerably). I should keep at not looking at it. Except I've tried that before, it doesn't work.
  • So one of my buddies posted a big rant on the message board of our hockey pool, on topics like Sean Avery and Manny Fernandez. He then puts in a followup comment: "After this sudden desire to express some random opinions, I am starting to think this is how ______ lives his life 24/7." (what, you think I'm too lazy to edit out my own name on a cut and paste?) Oddly enough, he never knew about this blog until now.
  • I was talking at work today to somebody who's a hard core dipper I knew back from my university days: he's stuck working for the Conservative candidate in his Edmonton riding due to a church-based friendship commitment: nothing's funner than taunting him regularly about it.
  • This NHL schedule blows monkey balls almost as much as the instigator rule. Yeah its nice to see Calgary and Vancouver, but we could play them 5 times a season (2 home, 3 away one season; 3 home, 2 away the next would be fine) freeing up 4x3=12 games a year that can be used to play Eastern teams. Yeah, games against Buffalo and Florida might seem shitty now, but what if next season the Panthers draft a nobody who instantly clicks in the NHL to be the Next Big Thing(TM)? We might not like the idea of not seeing him for another 4-5 years.
  • "A juicy rebound left there" says Chris Cuthbert a minute after Ryan's Smyth's penalty-shot goal -- isn't "Jussi Rebound" the name of the starting goalie?
  • Is there no more freakish sight than Craig MacTavish smiling? He almost never does. Of course, I quickly answered my own question: you don't even have to leave Alberta, let alone leave hockey: this guy. (He never smiles, almost: when he does, its eerie. The Flames beat San Jose to win the Smythe Conference -- yes, I'm old school -- and he's dour-faced in the post-game press conference talking about how he's proud of his team, they played a good game, and they're happy to go to the Stanley Cup finals, but they didn't play a good game on the penalty kill and the 3rd and 4th lines need to step up offensively. YOU'RE GOING TO THE FINALS! BE HAPPY, YOU PSYCHO NUTBAR!)
  • Watching highlights from the San Jose-Colorado game during a scoring break and wondering: whats with crappy production qualities in some of these modern games. I've never seen it in CFL or MLB or NBA highlights, yet some NFL or NHL games I see on highlight reels have such low-grain resolution that at first I think I'm watching hilights from 1983 or something. NCAA football is bad for this too. It's not because the games aren't given TV coverage, especially NFL or NCAA games. These games are all broadcasted, yet I've never watched a live game and seen this film quality. Something's fishy, and I can't figure out why.


Tales from the Edmonton Journal

Was reading through yesterday's Journal at work.. a few neat things:

  1. David Letterman's bogus restraining order was lifted. FOX News examines some of the implications. The case itself was idiotic.. a woman who's likely never been within a mile of Letterman files a restraining order because of his use of code words, gestures and "eye expressions" to convey his desires for her. She claims he's sending her subliminal messages to be his wife and co-host, and as a result she's suffering sleep deprivation, bankrupcy, and mental anguish. She actually GETS THE ORDER passed (FOX's article comments on that), and it takes two weeks to get it quashed. This is, of course, the patent nonsense inherent in these restraining orders. Anybody can go to court, get a restraining order passed, and the first the restrained learns about it is when the legal papers of the order are given to them. This is, of course, patent bullshit. The feminists claim its needed for "emergency protection" of the claimants. This is also complete nonsense since anybody who is going to act that quickly and dangerously is going to be breaking the law anyways. A restraining order should be to prevent non-criminal harassment, if it exists at all (I'm not sure it should). The scary thing is that such an obviously fradulent order from a person who was clearly delusional not only got passed (by a judge who apparently read the specifics of the order), but that it took David Letterman (who lives halfway across the country and can afford high-priced legal help) two weeks to get it removed. How hard would Joe Ordinary who happened to live in the same city as a woman who he knew and who accused him of harassment have to fight in order to get a bogus order removed. I know that the U.S. has slightly easier standards (varying from state to state of course) than we do, but its still disturbing. More disturbing is this website for restraining orders in Ontario where they caution police "will want to see the restraining order. Keep it with you at all times. They may also ask you if your spouse/partner knows about the restraining order. If the police believe that your spouse/partner has disobeyed the restraining order, he or she can be arrested and charged with a crime." What the hell? How can the person be unaware of the order, unless in Ontario (and perhaps other provinces, too lazy to look it up for Alberta) you can get a restraining order against somebody and then NOT TELL THEM. That's just sick.
  2. Not meaning to stay on the same topic, but the same Ontario website cautions "Restraining orders and exclusive possession orders may not be enough to stop a violent person from hurting you." Well, you'd better hope they are! Paul Martin is banning handguns while the RCMP are ignoring 911 calls. The federal government is botching things so badly that you can only dream of the provincial governments only botching them slightly.
  3. The Journal also contained this story about Gay Hollywood: Apparently, "gay roles are still taboo" in a small community just north of the City of Angels. To which I can only say: are you freaking BLIND???? Gay roles are apparently "taboo" because only 98% of movies contain a gay character? This actually got published in a newspaper? "In 2005, several straight actors have played homosexual characters in mainstream films to critical buzz, and many have been nominated and earmarked for major awards. Nonetheless, it still doesn't seem all that accepted to be a gay actor in Hollywood." Well gee, I don't know what to say, except perhaps maybe they need to look at Republicans and Christians and people who think abortion is murder. That's the real list of people who aren't given fair portrayals by Hollywood.
  4. Finally, the Journal featured a letter from a guy who's name I forget, about animal rights. It turns out not to matter though: its a form letter than you can view at the bottom of this page It's a form letter: you can also find it here and here. The last paragraph is where the "meat" is, so to speak: this google rundown of some keywords from the last paragraph tell all. The same guy has written in before, usually to spout off some nonsense about going vegan. Turns out likely they were all form letters too. I remember one at Thanksgiving, and probably at other major holidays too.
  5. Add in the recent discovery that a Liberal campaign staffer was writing letters in without mentioning her party biases, and that the SUN/Journal are doing a poor job with their policy of not allowing letters the other has published (this guy with the form letter got it in both for Thanksgiving), its even more maddening that the letters I regularly write to both papers (and the National Post and Globe and Mail) are so routinely ignored. That's right folks: the only place to read my brilliance is right here. (or any comments I may make on other blogs)


Post, Lorne, please!

Well, sadly Lorne Gunter of the Edmonton Journal/National Post has still yet to post anything on his blog. I know he's still writing, he had a bit in the Redmonton Urinal this morning. He's been silent since before the Western Standard Cruise, and it might have something to do with the National Post's website redesign. It left the old link as rotted out, and for a while was preventing posting. It may again. The problem is that one has to see the Genital Herpes ad that Macromedia insists on pasting next to the column. This whole Flash animation advertising thing is more than a little annoying: back when I was in Linux all the time, the flash plugin would often not read the site properly, and the "close" button on the popups which sometimes occur wasn't visible (often along with the top 10% of the graphic). This meant that the flash animation blocked off part of the article, and I couldn't read the lead-in. The only solution was to disable flash by re-routing the plugin to an external ap, and that caused more than a few headaches as well. Honestly, is .gif that unpleasant for their needs?

Anyways, back to the point at hand: genital herpes commericals on legitimate news sites (not even a porn site, which makes sense since most porn viewers probably don't have to worry about STDs). But there have also been genital herpes ads on TV at all hours. And not to mention the Viagra commercials, the Viagra knockoff commecials, and the like. Not meaning to sound like an old man here, but my father was telling me that once upon a time they weren't allowed to (or chose not to for societal pressure reasons) advertise feminine hygeine products during the supper hour. And before THAT they weren't allowed to advertise them at all. And before THAT you never even had to see them! He relates that when he was a boy (10-12 I'm guessing) his mother got severely ill and she had to send her husband and son to town for supplies. Well, one of the things she needed was "those things", and all my Grandpa had to do was whisper it to the pharmacist (or confecionist, or alchemist, or chemist, or whatever they were called back then) what was needed, and the plain package with the feminine products was wrapped twice in brown paper, and carted out of the store with none the wiser, to avoid Grandpa the embarassment and public humiliation of being seen handling such items. Not meaning to overly endorse a "Beaver Cleaver" or "Pleasantville" sort of arrangement, but as a man that seems much more pleasurable. No more of these freaking commercials showing how women in maxipads can go about their daily lives [why in a car commerical do you see people driving, in a shoe commerical you see people running, and in a tampon commerical you see people playing tennis? -ed], no more demonstrations of the absorption potential of tampons, and no more explanation of the potential of wings. Why do they have wings? Don't answer that!
A few other things come to my mind:

  1. I tried out this Boxing Day shopping deal: it didn't work well for me. The things I wanted weren't on sale, so all it meant was the trip took 8 times longer than it should. Quote of the day at work (not by me, mind you): "Muslims don't even believe in the holiday, they shouldn't be able to reap the rewards like that".
  2. My buddy and his fiancee were in the city so we went shopping for their Chinese Gift Exchange party. We'd had our family one on Christmas. While we were there, we got bored in Indigo and came up with some of the books that you should see flying off store shelves, but dont:
    Gramma Sutra
    Dora the Explorer Gets Called a Spic

    His fiancee made us stop after that one.
  3. My father remains convinced that a Chinese Gift Exchange works best if there are massive steals, but I don't necessarily see the logic in that. I never had my item stolen, and I'm happy for it.. its GOOD.


Christ's Mass: Deep Thoughts mostly unrelated to the birth of Jesus

  • My father has the odd quote-of-the-month: I wasn't there for it, but my brother was, and he apparently said that he agreed there should be Separation of Church and State. But he didn't approve of "Separation of God and State" which involved, amoung other things, making the Ten Commandments forcible under law. I was fully in favour of this: since possibly 60% of married people have had an affair, it means a lot of people in jail and a lot of good jobs left open for the rest of us.
  • There's an article on Slashdot today about Google Earth ruffling some Indian feathers (east Indian) because of the satellite images exposing sensitive locations. It reminds me of a conversation I had when my father showed me where he'd put his hermit cabin, in the middle of some unexplored woods. I warned him that 5 minutes on Google Maps could show anybody who wanted to see its location (once Google gets rid of the low-resolution maps of Alberta). Thus is the end of the hermit area.
  • And what's with this "terrorism concern" BS? Say, for example, I want to commit a terrorist act against the Coast Terrace Inn in Edmonton. Would this satellite image from Google Maps really help me any more than this page of images that Google can display?
  • Due to some work-related issues, we had present opening on Christmas Eve this year. I know a lot of people do this particular tradition, but it really left Christmas as a downer. All I ended up doing was having a day where there's no stores open, too much traffic on the highways, and way too much time spent with family and nothing to do. For crying out loud empty-nest parents, protect the sanity of your adult children returning home: have company over Christmas Eve, followed by a frantic wrapping/tree decorating rush, followed by sleep. In the morning, open your stuff so the kids can spend the afternoon reading the books they received and playing the new Playstation games they got. This many tasks to do unrelated to "quality family time" will help immensely.
  • The natural vs. artificial tree debate can often be a lively one. My family has long been a fan of the natural tree...the fact that we have at least 75 acres of trees spread across 3 quarter sections of land probably was a slight factor. However, with the empty nest syndrome coming into play, the last few years of tree hunting were comically un-festive: my brother got forced to tag along and be useless while I was forced to go out and get a tree. Only having the home quarter available certainly cut back on the available trees, and in the end I finally cut down a sizeable tree just to pluck the top 7 feet of it and carry it home. Sometimes more than one sizeable tree if the top 7 feet looked much better when 30 feet up than when 2 feet in front of me. Then we'd haul the damned thing in, clean up the needles everywhere, and then get about putting up the tree: after taking a hacksaw to it three or four times over the course of the operation. Finally a raft of decorating, made difficult by the loss of needles and the injury sustained when a damned spruce needle jammed itself into your bicep. This year was the second year of a grand change in the ________ household (you didn't think I was going to give up anonymity that easily, did you?) Mom and Dad renovated their living room in a minimalist style [for now, at least; ed] with new carpetting and everything. And last year in preparation for this, they bought an artificial tree. Its only 5' high or so, a joke in comparison to previous trees. But it won't leave needles on the carpet, you don't have to water it and damage the carpet when you miss, and it saves us all a ton of effort. To be fair, I'll still use real trees with my family, but I certainly see the argument in favour of the fakes. (It analgalous to fake breasts: I certainly prefer the real, but it really doesn't matter all that much, and I certainly would like to try the fakes just to see how it goes)
  • Often uncomfortable dinner conversation between a public school teacher, an old German who thinks the wrong side won WWII, and a hard-nosed conservative except for the areas of healthcare and farming (where he himself works) is bad enough when there's not a federal election going on at the same time. You want a good reason against the Christmas campaign? Here it is!
  • Christmas dinner: Not to sound like I'm complaining (which I'm not...oh, wait, I am. Well, more of a quibble really) but why the hell do family members refuse to believe that food should not be touching on your plate! (side note: the Google image search for photos of this problem led me to this picture -- Internet, how I love you!) I, for one, enjoy a loaded plate: in today's case that would have include perogies with sour cream and butter, mashed potatoes and gravy, turkey with stuffing, and a garden salad with ranch dressing. However, I do not like the taste of ranch dressing on my perogies, or sour cream with turkey, gravy on a salad, or stuffing in my perogies. Can there be a more useful solution than just two plates, or those gay-assed plates with compartments on them? And if anybody tries giving me that crap about "it all ends up in the same place anyways" I swear I will smack them. It might end up in the same place, but my taste buds are certainly on THIS side of my stomach, and I appreciate the distinction.
  • My parents have decided that once I approach 30, practical gifts are all the rage. Therefore, the lengthy list of DVDs and Xbox games I asked for remain unpossessed, but I now own an indoor grill I didn't want, a paper shredder I specifically said not to get me, 5 more towels, a bathroom scale, a 1-cup coffee maker when I either drink 0 cups or 10, and enough socks to sink the Titanic. Childhood rocks.
  • The Oilers on the top of the Conference come Christmas? Screw the snow, I want that every year instead!
  • Why does an "LG Package" from Bell contains equipment that does not interface with the plug for the LG-6200? More importantly, will I be able to return said item to Bell? It doesn't look promising from the receipt...
  • Er, I don't know what AB Freedom is talking about in his comments to my NYCT strike entry below. The person at the bar in that picture appears to be a woman. On zooming, a bra line even seems visible. In other words, the person is a female hottie, and my masculinity can again go unquestioned.


NYC Transit Strike Over

It's good to see New York's fabled subway system again operational: that the system was started the same year that Edmonton was incorporated is the kind of thing that left me in awe there when I visited the burg. However, my enjoyment of the good news was put on hold when I clicked onto this online article about the economic cost of the strike. The photo caption reads "Tables are almost all empty and only one customer is seated at the bar during lunch hour at Kenn's Broome St. Bar in New York on Wednesday." All I saw was that the customer seated at the bar appears to be a hottie.

Pre-Christmas Blogosphere Updates

If you have a clue what the Abotech Affair is about (or are, like me, totally clueless), you should check Angry in the Great White North's Abotech Affairs page. Try as I might, I can't follow this story. Its something about a business that was run by a native MP, then put in a blind trust to a non-native and still given the rights of native businesses. I give up. I can't follow along at all.

Likewise with the problems with Paul Martin's Liberal farm policy rant by a Saskatchewan farmwife who has some education in the matter. Despite growing up on a farm, I'm not able to say much of anything on the topic. So if I ever became a cabinet minister which portfolio could I get? Science only? That's scary.

Speaking of scary, the /. story on British vehicle monitoring has gone down to the bottom of the main page and stabilized a bit. There are a few more interesting reads to be found on it. the pilot system turns out to be less useful than the early reports indicate, the stolen plate problem is going to just get worse, Brit crime stats are politically unreliable, and the RFID plans for the plates just provide an interesting parallel to counterfeit CDs. There also have been a couple threads bringing up U.S. gun laws and also a couple posts on the true value of the Right to Bear Arms.

Western Standard is talking about the failures of Trudeau's Charter. I have little to say on this, since anything Trudeau did was a failure. Also hanging around the internet is a Christmas gift idea for the right-winger on your Christmas list. I can think of a few other quality places

Boxing Day

Boxing Day is the day that I might just find myself back on my computer and in a position to do some blogging. There might even be a post later tonight depending on how much energy I get in the coming hours. But trying to explain on MSN to American girls what day I come home is awfully difficult at times. After all, Boxing Day is a British holiday carried over to most of the Commonwealth. Naturally, the Wikipedia article on Boxing Day is the best quick source of information.

Two of the American girls seemed to think that it had something to do with recycling (or "throwing away" in the pre-politically correct days) the boxes that had accumulated on Christmas. A third thought it a Chinese holiday, somehow related to the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. It turns out that this "throwing away boxes" is a common American misconception. The reality is more of a "three centuries of tradition" approach. The first century of Boxing Day, the 1800s, was of a time in Britain where only equals received gifts on Christ's Mass. Juniors and servants got gifts on the day after Christmas. Also there was something about opening church boxes for the poor. Regardless, the second century of Boxing Day, the 1900s, had its own tradition. Boxing Day was the day in which you gave presents to all the people who you didn't see on Christmas, since you were home with family. So the mailman, the milkman, the people you worked with, the waitress at your cafe, they all got their presents on that day. We now come to the third century of Boxing Day, which in Canada at least is a day where the tradition is to flock en masse to the stores at 7am and fight off crowds and fellow shoppers for extreme discounts.

Edmonton is the Mall Capital of Canada, so we go particularly ga-ga over our Boxing Day shopping. As well, Leons, The Brick, Future Shop, et. al are known for big sales as well. Future Shop and Best Buy (and perhaps Wal-Mart) are the locales I am choosing for my rush to get an original X-box for cheap.

Boxing Day at Edmonton malls is also a slightly sad note, as 1998 saw a brutal murder at West Edmonton Mall on Boxing Day. Dominic Mah, an asian gang member, was axed to death next to the Ice Palace in front of hundreds, if not thousands, of shoppers. Tragically nothing was done by said observers, although I believe there were multiple assailants. (Oddly, I can find no news links to the story outside of this old Alberta Report article). The murderer himself, Hai Van Tran, was killed the following August in another high-profile gang hit that saw an innocent tourist in a taxicab injured in the shootout between two cars. Again, good luck finding old news reports. Searching for Tran's name in this page or this Google cache.

Switching to angry right-winger mode, do you want to know who we can blame for this unacceptable rash of asian gang violence in our city? It's not letting up... with 7 more days to go, Edmonton is trying to hold steady at 37 murders this year, obliterating the previous record (1990,2004). Though the percentage of known gang members is down (there have been a large number of people "known to police" to be shot or stabbed or beat down this year both alive and dead) amoungst the murdered, the age of the victims is much lower than the demographics would let on. Anyways, the identify of the perpetrator may surprise you: its this man. Actually, to be fair there were a few culpable victims, but the rise of Vietnamese gangs in Western Canada stems from the Vietnamese boat people crisis that was a result of the North Vietnamese invasion of their southern kin and the people who fled persecution in the murderous unified Vietnamese regime. The northern invasion was a result of the American withdrawl from Vietnam which was due to the political pressure brought against Nixon by the public's desire to end the war, even if South Vietnamese citizens had to be slaughtered in the process. This desire of the American public came about due to the intense (though not as high as bandied about) anti-war sentiment. That anti-war sentiment was fuelled largely by the biased reporting of the Tet Offensive by Walter Cronkite. Follow the chain far enough back, and the blood of these Edmonton victims, both innocent and guilty, must stain Cronkite's hands. Of course, he's also responsible for the hundreds of thousands displaced and/or killed in Vietnam, so there's not much surface area left.

Not that there can't be some blame against Ottawa's "get soft on crime" approach, fears of racism accusations for the media to properly devote energy to why certain ethnic immigrant communities are so violent (lots of Polish, for example, have come to Alberta over the decades, yet there are no Polish gangs of Polish speaking immigrants and sons of immigrants), the ethnic groups themselves for not taking responsibility for their communities, and of course the actual murderers themselves. There's lots of blame to go around, just doesn't seem to be too many right-wing ideals that end up being responsible, are there? (This is when some anti-capitalists are going to spout off claims that its the corporate system leaving these poor destitute people. That is, of course, why over half of Edmonton's gamblers are asian)

Slashdot posting on snowy plate

There's currently a very scary thread on slashdot about the Brits tracking every car on the road by the licence plates. This is not only going to track criminals (and those who drive "near them"), but monitor everyone and track speeders, overdue fines, and expired plates.

I added a small comment here, but the more important posts in the thread (as of this moment, it is the top thread and therefore very active right now) are this one, this one, this one, this little defence when U.S. firearm laws are insulted, and also a couple postings make reference to this Wired article.

I think I've sort of covered this thought before. Below you've seen my posting on the 9/11 conspiracy nonsense, and it seems an interesting point that when left-wing conspiracy theories are brought forth they end up having no supporting evidence, while right-wingers who bring up the tin-foil hat material have a nasty habit of always being right. (We didn't choose right-winger for no reason!)

A Liberal turncoat? Never!

Move over Belinda Stronach: there's a new double-crossing Liberal in town.

On the heels of today's shocking Johnny Damon defection to the NYYs TSN's top ten list was the "Top Ten Sports Turncoats".

For his spectacular defection from the Maple Leafs to jump ship to Detroit in 1968, Liberal Senator Frank Mahovlich ranked #7 in the rankings of greatest sport turncoats. Of course, what can one expect? He's a seedy Liberal! He certainly doesn't mind getting a cushy Senate seat even when the people's choices for Senate are left out in the cold.

So a Liberal gets recognized as a turncoat. Excuse me as I don't sound too surprised.


This is so 2002....

Its been 3 years since we've been given good, though uncomfortable, laugh over the left-wingers in their tin foil hats and their psychotic conspiracy theories about 9/11. However, with each added month since the raghead-induced tragedy we can perhaps enjoy the laughter with a little less apprehension and a little more comfort. That's why this page, which is discovered this morning while researching a project, is so amusing. About 1/3rd of the way down we see a photo with this text beneath: "A look at the north tower hit for comparison. – By the way, look in the top left corner of this photo – what do we see there? More wind! From bombs! Obviously not related to the impact!"

I mean, I know that anybody who believes Karl Marx's lies about economics, or Noam Chomsky's lies about society, is already going to be a few IQ points below the median. But its a little odd that they expect us to forget that the top of this north tower was 417 metres above the ground (which in NYC is essentially at sea level with a small first order correction). 1400 feet above the pavement, and we're surpised by a touch of wind? The leftists have really hit rock bottom. Well, no, wait, there's more. They have two mysterious "UFO pictures" (well, of course they would) meaning I suppose Bush used alien technology to blow up the building. Cleverly using it on a bright sunny morning guaranteed to be swarming with cameras.

But the best bit of the page is 2/3rds of the way down it, with a picture of the erupting dust cloud and the accompanied text: "Rising mushroom cloud. What lets this mushroom grow? Ask someone in Hiroshima!" Or, hey, lets ask somebody who's alive (oooh, low blow), and somebody who knows what they're talking about. A mushroom cloud is a distinctive mushroom-shaped cloud of smoke, flame, or debris resulting from a very large explosion. They are most commonly associated with nuclear explosions, but any sufficiently large blast will produce the same sort of effect. Volcano eruptions and impact events can produce natural mushroom clouds.

In other words, the implication of mini-nukes in the WTC holds no water. In fact, the cloud they photograph isn't much of a mushroom cloud, which seems to imply the smoke isn't caused by a particularly powerful explosion. It may be one of the smaller buildings collapsing, its hard to say. Regardless, its still enjoyable to laugh a whole lot.


Pre-Christmas MLB updates

In what promises to be one of the funniest stories in sports in quite some time, today Houston Astros starter Roy Oswalt received the D-6 caterpillar tractor which he was promised in return for winning Game 5 of the NCLS. Team owner Drayton McLane broke with etiquette and talked to his starter before the game, promising him a new cat if only he won it. Looks like Oswalt took it to heart, and he looked happy as a clam to receive it. I can't find any pictures online of him sitting in the giant machine (which has his number, 44, emblazened on it), but this photo sure shows how elated he is. Its almost as good as the shot of former Esks QB Jason Maas in the SUN last year, when he was off bow-hunting with a giant-assed longbow, a rifle across his chest, full military camoflauge, and a kevlar body armour. The hobbies of some of sports' most storied personalities would fill a book. Maybe somebody should write one.

Other, less enjoyable baseball news: Texas Rangers trade Termel Sledge to Padres along with Chris Young and Adrian Gonzalez, receiving Adam Eaton(!) and some Japanese reliever. The main opposition I have to this trade is that Texas had something of an Edmonton Trappers reunion, with both Termel Sledge (the highlight of the Trap's last year in E-town) and former Trapper Brad Wilkerson playing for them.. Sad, really

[Update 15 minutes later: turns out Wilkerson never played for the Trappers, only with Ottawa and Jupiter. Fortunately there's still the Trapper reunion over in Minnesota where Lew Ford, Michael Cuddyer, and Johan Santana play together just like they did here in 2002.

Funny Ann Coulter quotation

One last post before bed: Ann Coulter on FOXNews talking about Canada: "All I want is the western portion: the ski areas, the cowboys, and the right-wingers."

Just wait until Alberta separates Ann... then you can join the ranks of strong conservative American women like Diane Alden and the throngs of other conservative and libertarian Americans who would happily abandon the U.S. of A in order to come to a strong free Alberta. I bet a couple years in this beautiful land and you'd be writing about Ottawa and Washington with the same sneer.

Slashdot highlights

Pretty much the best line on /. lately is this one on the review of a Dell gaming computer is the highlight. "It's like buying a TV at a grocery store. It's like wine in a box. It's like Bourbon made in California.. or Scotch made in Canada. It's like calling Will and Grace smart TV."

A more somber note is the news that they wanna fix the analog hole. You see, I may not be able to copy the fancy new Windows Media sound file and send it to my friends... but I can play it on my stereo, record it onto a tape, play that tape onto the computer and re-make it into an MP3. Plugging the analog hole is considered the "important next step". For as pain-in-the-ass as that seems, people still will do it. Of course, you can't retroactively fix a hole based on old technology...

But somebody in the thread had a relatively neat idea that I had a variation of. You see, I'm sick and tired of these bars scanning my drivers licence and popping up a list of the bars I'd been to, even when the bars were from competing companies. Here's another account of the practise from Half Doubting Thomas (VUE magazine article on the subject is linked in the comments of that post). Anyways, a horribly evil thought I had combined these scans and the revelation a couple years back that trusty JPEGs could be used to propogate a virus. My thinking was relatively simple: scanning something creates a series of 0s and 1s to describe the file. It is theoretically possible to put a nice white sticker on the back of a licence (where the bouncers never notice) so that the act of scanning your ID infects the computer. A nice malicious bit of code would ensure that youre personal data never got kept. Of course, there are way too many problems with it, but it is in the realm of possible. This Eurion Constellation that the /. poster mentions seems a little more universal, though its possible BarNet and their ilk have blocked it out. Hey, if anybody else ever comes up with a better trick I'm welcome to suggestions.

Slashdot also covered the story that some kid with too much time on his hands hacked into an electronic Wal-Mart dancing Santa. It would have been much cooler if, as I first suspected, the Santa was on display for customers and the store was caught by surprise with the hack. Alas, not quite as exciting.

Also interesting is a comment about intellectual property rights in Hungary, where the government has regulated away all these "evil music companies" and the end result is disgustingly totalitarian. And then people wonder why Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W Bush are hugely popular east of France.


Porn proves internet not to blame for sales slumps

A recent article in the National Post reminds us yet again that the claims by the RIAA and MPAA and whatever other AAs there might be out there are just not holding water. It turns out that porno is selling extremely well on DVD (and likely VHS too), despite the "filesharing challenges" that are apparently obliterating CD sales and now starting to cut into DVD sales as well. The article also notes that porn sales went from $2.1 billion to $4 billion plus between 1993 and 1999. Now, 5 years later the sales have topped $12.6 billion (all figures are so far in Yankee greenbacks).

Er, wait though, how does that work? In the years of crazy filesharing, sales have incresed by about 320% over a 5 year span. If this already seems amazing and crazy at first glance, think about this: which movie genre has the most 'presence' on the internet? Porn, obviously. Which genre is covered the most on filesharing networks? Porn again. What do you have to specifically avoid on the internet lest you see it for free? Porn. So how on earth can these organizations keep a straight face when they tell you that US$3 billion was lost to filesharing in 2004 by the Motion Picture Association of America? After all, lots more free porn is available than free mainstream movies. So why not a big outcry about lost porn sales due to the internet?

Naturally part of the answer is that porn is done by smaller companies with bigger legal fish to fry. Also people involved in the porn industry don't like stirring up too much trouble, which class action lawsuits certainly fit into. But that only covers part of the tale. The big part of this story has to be that internet exposure, even in the form of filesharing, translates into big dollars.

Well, that and that pornographic movies have to be horribly easy to create. From here on in, I'm talking in Canadian pesos, incidently:
1) Rent a warehouse space that can be dressed up for sets... you really only need to rent it for a fortnight
2) Buy some cheap walls and office/home supplies (the latter can be sold later to recoup much of these costs) and decorate them up in said warehouse
3) Rent some good quality cameras and booms and mixing equipment. Nothing has to be cutting edge, just good enough so the DVD on a 27" TV doesn't notice the difference. You only need to rent them for 2-3 days.
4) Pay for some Y-chromosomed talent. This is, of course, remarkably easy. The creator/director is probably also the writer/producer, so you really only have to hire some camera wags and grips. Cameras aren't that difficult to operate, and half the applicants would probably pay you for the priviledge. Ditto the male actor roles, where the requirement (have sex with hot girl over and over again) is a lot less challenging than half the jobs on this site. I mean geesh, for this production you don't even have to cater!
5) Pay for your vagina-equipped star(s). The naive would think this to be your largest expense. I doubt it. (2) would cost you around $6000 I imagine, thought this might be even an over-estimate. Just take a look at this list of girls and tell me how much you think you'd really be set back by getting them to be your talent? $2000 seems like the high-end. you ask each of those girls if they'd be in a porn for $1500 and they'd likely agree. Hell, even this list of less slutty girls are probably only $2500 away from being in a porno. And for every one that turns you down for less than $50,000, you'd get two or three who would have said yes if you offered $1000 and a good pseudonym so Mommy and boyfriend never found out. We were discussing this yesterday at work, and the general consensus was that the waitresses we worked with would pretty much all do it for $2000 or less. So that's three girls for the cost of the camera equipment.

Now you've put your porn together, and slapped it on a DVD ($30 for a 50-spool of DVD-Rs at A&B Sound), and sold it. The article above says the prices are under $50 now. Now if the whole operation cost you about $10,000 and you charged $30 per unit, barring shipping and promotion costs you would recoup your ten grand after a mere 334 sales. Let's say you went to $20, then you need 501 sales. How hard can it be to sell 500 copies of a porn? There are tons of adult video stores in Edmonton... even if each only bought a copy and you cut it down to $15 for them (typically the movie industry charges rental places more...three guesses which practise is likely the better idea) you'd already be two-thirds to your total without a single private sale. A couple hundred on a website with promotion and suddenly you can sell a few hundred more, and boom you've just made a profit.

When you can do that with a mainstream movie, then perhaps the RIAA and MPAA can blame falling sales on the internet.

Thoughts on Sean Avery and Ed Schreyer

So I'm not the only incredibly attractive Albertan to have a blog: turns out Elisha Cuthbert, the hot actress from Calgary has got herself a hockey-related weblog. Apparently Elisha shares a quality also possessed by somebody else whom I know and will discuss in a few months when the anonymous thing wears off: the quality of being a puck bunny. In the previous case a tall Finnish Oiler was the object of affection. For Elisha, it seems to be Sean Avery, the asshole from Ontario who is famous for being an all-around douchebag. He is known around these parts mainly for directing a racial slur at Georges Laraque, but also known for making comments about Quebec players that make Don Cherry blush, and being a complete goon out on the ice. In 33 games so far this year he has 118 penalties and 17 points. Good news for whoever the hell has him in our hockey pool over at Yahoo Fantasy Sports, since PIMs count in your favour. Bad news for any player stuck on the ice with him.

Anyways, the point is that Elisha and Avery apparently are dating. Which raises the question: Avery gets to spend his nights pounding that hot piece of ass from The Girl Next Door, so why is he still so aggressive out on the ice? Can't Elisha let her man dog-style her into a zen-like level of calm to allow him to avoid all the stupid penalties that keep costing Los Angeles games?

Now the next rant I have to get onto is this business with the NDP and Ed Schreyer's history making campaign. As I already noted below, there was never a law against the Queen's Representative running after his GG term as a candidate, merely a gentleman's agreement not to do so. Since nobody in the NDP can be considered a gentleman, its not much of a surprise.

What is interesting in Jack Layton's spin-cycle bypass of Schreyer's 1987 light condemnation of homosexuality. Layton told CTV News that "I think Canadian society has evolved considerably around this issue and Mr. Schreyer is a part of that evolution" in response to Schreyer's newfound acceptance of pillow-biters. But when you start to look carefully at what Jack says, it starts to raise a few questions. The kinds of questions that Jack didn't want to answer when pro-family groups were asking him them over the past five years.

First off, why precisely is Jack so convinced that the last two decades of this so-called "moral evolution" where the two decades of it going on the right track, and 67,309 of the previous 67,862 decades were wrong? Isn't it the height of arrogance for Layton to essentially say that most of human thought on the matter of queerism was wrong, and the time in which he was alive just happened to be right?

Secondly, numerous conservatives noted when poofter marriage was being proposed that opening the door to one alteration of marriage would present opening the door to others. Colby Cosh in the National Post wrote this article on the prospect of legalizing polygamist marriage in August 2004, where Layton and his anal-loving pals were quick to dismiss it as claptrap. But as Cosh wrote, eventually "some moneyed Saudi immigrant to Canada [will ask] why homosexuals should be the only ones who get to rewrite the common law of marriage on selfish grounds" and Layton's latest talk about "moral evolution" is completely at odds with his speech linked to above. If there is a moral evolution in Canada that has already "seized" Ed Schreyer, will it not continue to seize him in the future? If Ed lives to 90 years old, will he be standing tall with Jack Layton and Svend Robinson proud to say that their old "dinosaur" views about polygamy are now purged from their systems? Or will pedophilia be the first old-school morality they enthusiastically ditch? If this is a possibility 20 years down the road in the same way that their support for faggot civil unions didn't seem possible 20 years ago, do they not owe it to the electorate to be honest and frank on this matter? What moral qualms of today are the NDP willing to abandon to the latest desires of "progressives" of tomorrow? The big (and obvious) question is will anybody pick up on this and ask the big questions? My guess would be no: except for me. If you're browsing past this blog and wondering about the original thoughts within it that make it worth bookmarking, this is it:

Having proudly abandoned any notion of drawing a moral line in the sand, we can only preclude that if Jack only lived long enough, we'd see him and his NDP cronies in Parliament happily endorse the sickest and most depraved of sexual acts with a straight face, proud that they have become morally evolved human beings.

If you think its far-fetched and unfair of me to imply such a progression, than all I can say is YOU HAVEN'T BEEN PAYING ENOUGH ATTENTION.


A curious correlation between handguns and daycares

Well, it happened again: Shots fired into downtown restaurant, and the leader describes it as "meters away from a busy daycare. Ignoring for a moment the SUN's misspelling of "metre", this is the second such gun/daycare incident in the past 4 days. Doesn't anybody have to start wondering if funnelling ALL of the nation's children into daycare isn't going to be putting more children at risk for this sort of thing? Or are "government regulated" daycares bulletproof from shots fired by "government regulated" firearms?


I Hate You Telus, Part 1 of 15,672

Fark.com browsing showed me this link: That Goddamned Annoying "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" song has resulted in a skyrocket in the demand for toy hippos. I have long said that one day Telus will hopefully run out of annoying old songs or cutesy CGI animals for the freaking commercials, but alas.

Fortunately, ol' fark.com did hook me up with some more enjoyable tidbits. Specifially, the news that An 82 year old paper boy retired which just reminded me of the Corner Gas episode 2 weeks ago where Oscar became a paperboy (fulfilling his childhood dream of being a paperboy while somebody else did the work).

Also, in what's sure to help my pageviews, a site that has the scans of a papparazi's shots of Jennifer Aniston topless. Speaking as one who can't understand why Brad left her for Angelina Jolie (Jennifer is a hundred times better looking), this was almost as sweet as the news she was tempted to bare all just so people could finally see everything. You do that Aniston and it will just about make up for your being on the WORST TV SHOW IN HISTORY, though you still have to pay us back for "Along Came Polly".


Yankee Interference and Iraq Justification

I was reading this post on the freethought.ca blog, and a few things came to mind. I'm too lazy to figure out how to post on there, so I'll do it here:

1) I've already listed below how the U.S. could really teach Liberal voters what happens when you piss off their nation, even though they won't. Clearly these comments are not intended to get Stephen Harper elected, they have far more effective ways of doing that.

2) What's with this "fictitious justification" bullshit? How are leftists still trotting this old canard out. Neal Boortz in Atlanta took care of this ages ago. There's this post, and this post, and this post, and maybe even this reminder. The quick summaries are: the uranium purchase attempts are in fact legitimate, sarin nerve gas has been found and used in Iraq, and that the Iraqis hid several large FIGHTER JETS in the sand that took months to discover. Also feel free to read this 1998 Austrailian account of Iraq's chemical weapons capabilities. Now after all that, surprise surprise, there was some suspicion Iraq might have chemical weapons!

3) If Fidel Castro came out in favour of Paul Martin or Jack Layton, would that cost either man votes? Kim Jong Il or Kim Il Jong or whoever the fuck the crazy North Korean dude's name is, if he endorsed Jack Layton or Gilles Duceppe, would that hurt either man's cause? Why is the Greatest President of the 21st Century and the leader of our closest trading partner a huge anchor on the ankles of any endorsed candidate whilst the above demented evil dictators likely wouldn't bat an eyelash if they endorsed either of these two evil dictators?

4) In the original post, Luke says "Bush is not popular here in Canada. Whether it be softwood, mad cow, Iraq, Kyoto…. You name it and most Canadians disagree with the Bush Administration". Yet on softwood and mad cow, Bush was in fact the Pro Canada candidate! And his opponent wasn't pro Kyoto either. Furthermore, Canada has at least one premier opposed to Kyoto, and in fact the premier with the largest victory margins. And a later poster reminds us that Canadians were split on the Iraq war in the first place.

Counting readings? Cool. How?

Whilst bashing leftists philosophies on child care at this blog I came across what I first thought was a script to count the number of pageviews, but turns out only to be the renaming of the comments section of David Alexander's blog (I wonder if he's any relation to the Dave Alexander who stunk up the Gateway. Was it Dave Alexander? There was a guy named Alexander. There was a Dave. Those 2 words might have been stuck together in nameform, and might even be the same guy. Can there be two leftwing journalists in their 20s named Dave Alexander who have internet savvy? Seeing how journalists are overwhelmingly left-wing, those two facts aren't linearly independent, particularly with the age thrown in. Alexander has to be a relatively common last name, and of course Dave isn't quite an uncommon first name)

Anyways, my point was that at first I was excited that I might be able to find out if anybody actually read this thing, barring putting up a stupid site tracking .gif that would only tell me about the main page, not any individual thread. I would very much like there to be a way for blogger.com to do this. It seems handy.

Also handy: a way to do permalinks on entries. This is a better way to show a post on Kevin Michael Grace's blog than just giving the link and letting you scroll down yourself. It seems blogger only lets you do it on some strange comment-laden page. I'm not opposed to including the comments when you permalink (its a sensible way to do it), but the page formatting and sidebar and all that should still be available.

Also also handy: a way to shorten postings on the "main page". For example, my lengthy computer rant below is using pagespace that could be used to discover.. the lack of anything below. Bad example. But if this site was more than a week old there might be useful content to be seen, if only you didn't have to spin your mouse wheel for 6 hours beforehand. Ideally, there could be some sort of blogger.com-specific tag in pseudo-HTML that let you indicate where the text was to be "cut off" on the main page. On the aforementioned computer rant, this could be where I said "the next day I made two changes:" If you were half interested in what I was writing, you could merely click the "view the entire post" arrow or what have you to expand the post. If you wanted to be really clever, the permalink button would be next to this arrow, but on all posts and not just the extra-long ones (not that the cutoff posts had to be horribly long.. for suspense purposes, why not do it on a short one too? For the terminally crazy, the first post could end with "What I won't be doing much of here is" to perhaps catch interest. Naturally, global preferences should let a dedicated surfer with a strong mousewheel finger override such editorial nonsense. But handy nonetheless.

Finally, what would be a tad handy (less handy than the above handy ideas) is to let site owners place specific post restrictions on specific posts. For example, if you find your political posts get a lot obnoxious trolls (which i'm sure the owners of blogs I've posted to in the past 3 hours might think I fit into), you could require the poster to be a blogger.com user to at least insure some creative insight. Maybe computer-related posts get all the LENGTHEN YOUR PENIS spams, so you'd want to force posters there to do the little word-thingy. Or maybe you're tired of banal posts on your popular blog being used as nothing but senseless blog promotion: make all comments anonymous. Hey, its a thought: I only come up with 10-15 of them a minute.

Speaking of the attack thingy: My first election rant

Since I'm not the only one who can't handle leaders debates, and to provide me a quick reference to a relevent Usenet posting, here's what Chris Delanoy said about attacking other leaders during debates.

When pressed later in the thread, he noted that "the purpose [of the debate] is not to convince other leaders of anything - its to let the viewers know what you're willing to fight for, especially to reassure those who are already voting or close to voting for you."

(I can't believe I just had to look up the "hr" tag in HTML)

Now's probably a good time for a couple of my off-the-cuff election thoughts:

  • The "Christmas campaign": the Liberals didn't seem too concerned with this respect for the deep beliefs of the Christian faith when they overturned civilization's entire marriage history in favour of pretend sodomite unions. Back then the talk was about "separation of church and state" (an American concept that not only doesn't appear in the Canadian constitution, but also doesn't mean what it's speakers believe it means), how Canada no longer can rely on its Judeo-Christian beliefs (or its Muslim or Hindu beliefs either; ed), that we live in a secular society, etc. ad nauseum. But now suddenly, with the "sacred holiday season" underway the Liberals care about Christmas even if they're too scared to actually say it.
  • What precisely is the opposition to a Christmas campaign anyways? You already have Salvation Army and carrollers going door-to-door, what's so wrong with having the Green Party ruin a perfectly good afternoon at the same time. Besides, Christmas is just one day anyways, perhaps two. Jews say 8, and the song says 12. Yet still, the "holiday season" is just that, a period with a few holidays. Ukranian Christmas doesn't even fall until later, possibly after the election (just enough time for people to angrily tell me that its ORTHODOX, not Ukranian, Christmas... or that I spelled Ukrainian wrong). What the holiday season is known for, of course, is for its avarice, its dedication to shopping until you drop. This is a pasttime best reserved for women and metrosexuals, neither of whom should likely be voting anyways (and en masse don't), so again there's nothing really inteferring with having an election during this time. Partly this is an excuse only manufactured to go along with the desire of voters not to "have" to go to the polls. They don't want to have any elections at any time of the year, and this is just the excuse to go with this one. I don't know what's worse, that we live in one of the only countries on earth where democratically electing the leadership is seen as more of a chore and a nuisance instead of a hard-won right, or that according to the polling results some third of the population believes steadfastly that we shouldn't be having any elections ever as it merely interferes with the Liberals state of natural rule. And then people wonder why I want to have Alberta separate at the first convenient opportunity (or Tuesday, if tomorrow doesn't work for people). (It's good I guess that I have no readers, or some smart-alec would observe the Conservatives reign and the percentage of the vote they typically receive)
  • The Western Standard blog covered this: Vote Liberal: Paul Martin LOVES Canada More Than YOU Do. This is another thing that makes me wish I either was in charge of the Conservative Party, or that I was the leader of another party (its a shame that a certified genius such as myself hasn't even been approached by Christian Heritage yet) that could go out and immediately offer the quick comebacks that play well on television and cut to the absurdity of the Liberal mindset. In this case, when Paul Martin gushed about his love for Canada, Stephen Harper should have been on television half an hour later boldy stating "Paul Martin says he loves Canada. If that's true Paul, then how badly would you govern a country you didn't like? I guess its true that you always hurt the ones you love, because your management of Canada and her public pursestrings is ludicrous and despicable."
  • The media has ignored the "Harper's Hidden Agenda" stuff that they used last time...and against Stockwell in 2000, and Preston in 1997, and probably Preston in 1993 if anybody in Toronto had known who he was. Is this good or bad? I can't help but think its bad: if the media hasn't upped the smear campaign yet it must mean they don't think of Harper as a serious threat. And I don't mean a threat to win the election, I mean a threat to instilling good government. The two are, I believe, mutually exclusive: the possibility of one logically precludes the possibility of the other.
  • As far as I know, this Vancouver Sun article has been largely ignored by the blog and editorial crowd. A day care centre that featured marijuana and illegal handguns. Now is that the sort of thing the Liberals are in favour of or against? Boggles the mind, really. Forget the inefficiency of the gun registry as an argument against a national daycare program: Paul Martin wants to give huge amounts of federal money to daycares that might easily end up stockpiling the weapons he's simultaneously trying to ban.
  • I wrote an election joke:
    Q. Why doesn't CPAC have many viewers in the west?
    A. Because if we want to watch amoral bumbling criminals from the East, we can just watch Trailer Park Boys!
    c.f. The Canadian Parliamentary Access Channel, Showcase
  • Has anybody been visited by the parties? I live in an apartment and therefore miss out on the fun, but I haven't heard any word of any parties visiting anywhere. Now I heard that the candidates are actually trying to avoid having anybody home (sorry, can't find a link to that), but they are at least supposed to be able to deliver a flyer or two. Geesh.
  • Why can't some clever television programmer come up with a "other parties" leadership debate, like on CTV or CHUM. Hell, even the aforementioned Showcase could likely get away with it. The Green Party might not like being included with the other no-chance-of-a-seat parties, but they can always use the exposure. Wouldn't it be more entertaining to watch the Canadian Action Party, Freedom Party and the Cosmopolitan Party take on the Christian Heritage, Marxist-Leninist, Libertarian, Marijuana, Confederation of Regions, and Socialist Parties? And the Western Canada Concept and Party for the Commonwealth of Canada in there mixing things up. Since all these groups want is for enough voters to plonk down $1.75 worth of electoral gold to get their deposits back, everybody wins.
  • I don't know what's funnier: that Ralph Klein apparently believes that Martin OR Harper will in any way change our Nazi-style healthcare system, or that "Libertarian-Communist" (and constant SUN letter-writer) Eugene Plawiuk considers Klein's "only Layton sticks up for the current system" as an endorsement. Even when tongue-in-cheek, leftists are hilarious
  • I can't believe I know this much about the campaign when I'm sans internet and without any desire to watch news on the 3 fuzzy channels I receive in this dank urine-soaked hellhole.
  • If the talking heads are so upset about American "interference" in our election, why do they gloss over our interference in theirs? Granted most of the western world was guilty of the latter defence, but just because French and German politicians and citizens were acting like louses doesn't mean we have to too. The fact that Bush is a far better President for Canadian interests than John Kerry would have been is in my opinion beside the point. If we didn't want them bothering us, we shouldn't have bothered them. And isn't it also fair when going on about Focus in the Family using its Canadian chapter to point out that Michael Moore is in fact guilty of violating the Elections Act in campaigning against right-wing candidates and parties, versus groups just doing legal things in a way that ruffles feathers.
  • The NDP are running a former governor-general in Manitoba, the first time such a thing has ever happened. Constitutional scholars (who apparently weren't around to tell the Supreme Court that fudge-packing wasn't enshrined in the Charter) all agree that while Schreyer is violating a long-standing precident, it is not in fact illegal for him to run. Two things come to mind: first, isn't it a bigger problem that its not illegal for a convicted jewel thief to run for MP? Secondly, there is no law against a GG running for office, it merely violates a gentleman's agreement. This is possible because nobody in the New Democrat Party is in fact a gentleman.
  • I still have to remember to book January 23rd off. I'm hoping to be in Jasper the weekend before, but I still want the election day off so that I can lay in bed with a bottle of Jack Daniels plotting the day Alberta finally can get out of Soviet Canuckistan
  • Somebody at work who's a little less right-wing than I (the unthinkable, I know) had a plan for what he thought the Americans should do to teach us to stop bad-mouthing them: close down the border to everything. Take the hit in oil and syrup imports, and starve us of everything else for a couple weeks and watch our economy hit the road. And then ask Canadians if they think its wise to support a government that is vaguely hostile. He even had an idea what the press release should read: America is only in the business of engaging in unconditional trade relations with friendly governments. The Canadian people are free to choose whichever course they see fit, however we do not believe it is in our interests to continue to prop up an unstable economy under the control of a hostile leadership. It may not actually swing the election, but it would remind Ontarians of something every Westerner to benefit from the FTA already knows: our standard of living depends on friendly relations with the US, and those friendly relations net big fringe benefits. After his whole scheme (which I suggested be perfect if the US pegged January 24th as the day to decide the state of the border), I'm left a little unsure if this is put forth by a friend or foe of open borders.

Ali vs. Fraser? Try Ali vs. Maxtor

Well, after 7 repeated re-installs of Windows XP, I have decided that I hate computers more than A___ and M____ combined. (The incognito thing is still in effect, trust me that otherwise I would have no problem spitting out their first names)

So after my last post (the first install), I installed a patch from Ali (the Asus offshoot that manufactors the chipset of my motherboard -- if the first half of this bracket confuses you perhaps just give up now) that replaces the Microsoft-edition of my M5229 IDE controller with a brand-spanking new Ali-edition of what they call an "Ultra IDE controller" that is as I said their own proprietary version which is actually older than the one I was using. I reboot 5 or 6 times in accordance with the flaming hoops they send me through, and low and behold: it works! I dance insanely to Offspring in celebration, and then reboot and proceed to trash this HDD that I have just fixed. Why? Because I dual-boot (trey-boot?) Windows XP along with MS-DOS 6.22 (old skewl) and Debian 3.1, as I believe I've mentioned before. But this Windows thing was its own partition. So the next day I made two changes:

1) I used the clone of the bootable-DVD that I had to make because my collegue wished to have his disc back within 48 hours of the first receipt
2) I used Partition Magic to make 4 nice partitions, the first of which took MS-DOS as a logical necessity, since it could not accept anywhere else. What was also logical was the partitions, which was a bad thing.

I go about installing DOS, which for me is quite the procedure (what's with the sudden surge of lists?)
a. Remove side of case, remove IDE cable from 3.5" floppy and 5.25" floppy, and re-attach master plug to the 5.25", leaving the 3.5" unconnected to the bus
b. In BIOS, make the 5.25" the A: drive
c. Using my MS-DOS 5.0 boot disk, install MS-DOS on C:
d. Reboot to C:, and use my 5.25" MS-DOS 6.22 upgrade discs to (slowly) update DOS
e. Shut off computer, re-attach cables, and move onto installing Windows.

Windows started creating its own problems: the new DVD-ROM seemed much slower than the others, and put up the very obnoxious "Cannot Find Disc: Cancel, Try Again, Continue" window before really doing anything. Try Again failed miserably, while Cancel and continue seem to do the same thing: continue. I stared at a bluish screen (not a Blue Screen, which is I think a registered trademark) for a few minutes, and then saw the familiar "Installing Windows" screen. 39 minutes to go. The next screen says 36 minutes. The next screen says 26 minutes, followed by 19 minutes. Do you know how I know this? Because each screen stays in place for half a fucking hour! I would apologize for the language, but I think that Ming-Kai Tsai, William Gates III, whoever is the CEO of Maxtor Corporation, and the moron who made the 137GB limit for super-large hard drives (even though he picked my favourite number as an upper bound) all should really be apologizing to me.

So where was I? Oh yes, waiting six years for the thing to install. But finally, there it was. I check the email I sent myself with the exact .exe that worked the last time. I fire it up, reboot, and.... the computer reboots again before I even see a Windows XP splash screen. Soon I'm "Changing to Last Good Settings" on the XP failed bootup screen and wondering what to do. So I turn to this site, who really has more helpful information than all those tech boards and nobody else should have to sort through as many worthless pages on Google as I did, so this will help his ranking slightly I hope, where I learn that the UltraIDE driver I used was, when there is a newer available. I happily download it, blissfully ignoring the advice in the section on the driver that states "If you have the A7A266 (or other ALiMagik 1 chipset based board) then do NOT run the newer integrated drivers that you might find on ALi's website -- they cause the IDE Controller to no longer respond to Windows" not worrying about what that might be.

You know what that means? I should have, and now I can confirm that once applied the drives used UDMA-6 at 100/133MHz as one might hope. There was however a slight problem when Windows and the bus had a shared resource issue whereby every time I did anything involving a hard drive access, I had to wait a minute or so as the drive was needlessly queried over and over again. Just pressing the Start button would do it: 45-60 seconds later the damned menu actually appeared. Do you know how many HD accesses a startup of Mozilla uses? Or browsing the Disk Drives in Explorer? I have a rough idea now. Convinced that having every data flow action take 200 times longer slightly outweighed the 30X speed benefit of each individual data flow, I had to re-install Windows again. This is when I discovered that in fact the Windows partitioner had screwed up the Partition Magic achivements: PM formatted /dev/hda2 (I'm falling back on Linux conventions, so sue me) in NTFS, but XP refused to accept it and re-installed. Unbeknownst to me, it decided to use a logical/extended partition for itself, rather than the logical (very droll, Prime Minister) choice of primary partition. So I repeated the whole deal (including the DOS install) this time having Partition Magic leave the Windows partition as FAT32, so Windows just re-formatted the partition rather than muck around with an MBR that was going to have to go through a lot more shit if I had my way. Again with all the problems: a carbon copy of the previous annoying effort. So aha, I decide: the first time there was no partitioning at all, why not repeat that performance? So I installed just Windows XP, and noticed that in fact the "Cancel/Try Again/Continue" trifecta was replaced with smooth disc operation and the 39/36/26/19 indicators actually being relatively close approximations to the actual elapsed times.

So of course I screw it up. I figured that the failure was likely a result of the partitioning as well, so I reinstall it, only to be taunted with failure as the computer does the reboot-foxtrot that the driver performed after the partitioned install. So I install the driver, but it doesn't seem to actually install because I can't uninstall the driver, and then I realize that the Device Manager thinks that the "SCSI/RAID" controllers are interfering with the Primary and Secondary IDE controllers. This can't really be pinned entirely on Device Manager, which I think gets a little more shit than it actually deserves even though its not quite blameless, since the "SCSI/RAID" controllers are the fake controllers that the UltraIDE driver uses to replace the Primary/Secondary controllers which the Microsoft-flavoured IDE drivers created. This is about when I discover that the UltraIDE drivers cannot be removed through Device Manager, but can be with the "add/remove programs". I removed one of the Ali drivers, but removing the other froze up the machine. I don't know, and I didn't want to know whether the stuck driver was 4.0.0.{7/8}, I just wanted my computer to work and maybe to lay down and cry.

So I trashed the whole thing, for fun tried to put on Linux only to find that the Debian Installer was unable to properly partition /dev/hda, and most certainly could not hope to put and ext3 filesystem on it. Back to Windows XP, I go. This time I just let it go do its business whilst I labour away at work. I come home, decide to live with PIO-3 for just a little while longer, and eventually produce this entry. Typing this all out was supposed to help me deal with my anger: now if the NDP show up at my door tomorrow morning they're going to get to see some too-hot-for-Canada-Customs T-shirts showing their esteemed provincial leader with a swastika emblazened on his skull. Maybe a little political jargon can catch the eyes of those who lost me somewhere around the phrase "the UltraIDE driver I used was, when there is a newer". If anybody actually reads this site, which as I think I've already stated, they don't. Maybe this whole exercise is just for therapy. But I doubt it: I plan to try the older IDE driver that worked the first time tomorrow. Now perhaps I should go to bed: it is 5:30am after all.

One thing I'm not doing tonight, and that's putting the case back on this computer... I might end up installing DOS again.


It Didn't Work

Windows XP still won't use DMA mode for the 300GB hard drive, insisting the drive can only use PIO, and therefore everything takes about 3 hours to acheive. If anybody happening upon this has a possible solution that doesn't involve a new motherboard or living in Linux for another 6 months, I'm welcome to entertain it.

Disappearing Act

Well, so much for the goal of updating this site at least once every two days, even though I likely haven't had a single pageview.

You see, I got the slightly unlawful Windows XP disc with SP2 from somebody at work. Now I had a perfectly good copy of XP, however it decided to die during a Linux upgrade over the summer (turns out to have been a conflict between my boat loader and Windows.. the new LILO seems to break Windows XP, so now I've switched over to GRUB for my multiple-OS bootloading needs.

The trouble was that during this time I decided to smarten up and get a nice new 300GB hard drive. Unfortunately, it seems that Windows XP Home Edition doesn't like it, and only is using PIO mode when it should be using DMA (specifically UDMA-6). This means that the hard drive is running at roughly 2% the speed that it should be, which means the computer can't even play MP3s and have a Windows Explorer open without skipping on the song. This is bad. Yet Linux, which works fine with the LILO/GRUB problem fixed, runs the disc on DMA mode almost perfectly (there are a few upper sectors where it decides that only PIO is available, but that's less than 40MB of a 300GB drive -- unfortunately, it does lie within the swap, which is unfortunate).

Okay, fine, how about an old WinXP corporate a friend lent me? Oops, doesn't have SP2, which meant it got virus-infected within about 6 minutes. Okay, download the SP2 executable, burn it onto a CD, reinstall WinXP, install the service pack while offline and....oh, wait, the new SP2 requires a registered copy of Windows. Okay, retry all that with an SP2 that doesn't require the licensed copy... still doesn't work. Well, it works, but it still won't read the hard drive properly.

So now I have Windows XP, with SP2 built in, all the fancy stuff... and now I'm going to be offline until likely Friday whilst I reinstall three different operating systems {MS-DOS 6.22, Debian Linux 3.1, and Windows XP Professional}. Now with this fancy disc, I can try it all out: I've been using Linux almost exclusively since late June, and its sad not being able to view pretty girls on webcams using MSN, or have seamless operation of my digital camera and MP3 player, or transmit my webcam around the world, or play MVP Baseball 2005. Or Deus Ex, or NHL 2002, or The Sims 2, or.....

Which means for four or five precious days, I will be offline. Might be longer, might be shorter. One thing however is clear: I won't be posting to this blog until close to the weekend, which will likely cost me any audience I have built up. C'est la vie.


Long Week

For the last week some of the best western-Canadian blogs have sat inactive: The Western Standard cruise meant that Colby Cosh AND Lorne Gunter have been away crusing it up in the Florida Keys whilst Mike Jenkinson just left with his family for a Carribean trip. What on earth am I supposed to do for a week of time? Send resumes? Gack.


Welcome to "The Third Edge of the Sword", my personal (and at the moment, anonymous) blog.

What I won't be doing much of here is linking to amazing stories, breaking news the mainstream media missed (I'll miss it too), presenting long critiques of things I know little about (of which there is a subject or two), or boring my non-existant audience with tales of minutia.

What I will do in this blog is I'll be discussing science, conservatism, baseball and hockey, Alberta Indepedence, food, women, life, good books/movies, and anything else that comes to mind. For now, things will be kept relatively private about me. That may change later.