A sampling of the things that make George cranky
Yes - it's a "blog", but that "word", in itself, is another tirade.
PS:     It's a much smaller list, but I also have Accolade -- the opposite of a Tirade.

LATEST TIRADE: Review of "Get Back" - the Beatles

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Quick Rants

  1. 2021 Nov 30 - Sad news that a 73-year-old woman died in a marked crosswalk on Jasper Ave tonight. 40KM speed limit on Jasper Ave. So, what happened to "Vision Zero"? Weren't we supposed to eliminate pedestrian fatailities by lowering the speed limit?
  2. 2021 Jun 7 - Premier Kenney is being raked over the coals for a dumb-ass stunt taunting Covid restrictions, but the health minister (Shandro) was there, too. Shandro should resign for being an even dumber ass.
  3. There are two types of police officers: Those who love people, and those who love guns.
  4. 2019 Nov 6 - I spent $22 to go to a movie. It was the new "4DX" experience. Jiggling chairs is not worth $22. What a terrible gimmick.
  5. Environmentalists are mindless zealots. They continue to oppose the replacement of old pipelines. The Trans-Moutain line, and Enbridge's Line 3 seek to replace old, leaky pipes with new, safer ones. Let them!
  6. I've wasted a LOT of time watching really crappy movies on Netflix and Crave TV. Latest pure suckage movie: Singularity.
  7. Canada is going to ban plastic cups and straws. How the HECK am I going to get a SLURPEE without a big plastic cup and a straw!?
  8. Edmonton Public Library's downtown location is being renovated. They're going to embed a time capsule into one of the walls -- to be opened in 2119. What are the chances ANY building lasts 100 years in this city?
  9. April 16th: Election over. More reasons for me to hate Calgary. Our health care and education services are doomed. On the positive side, McClung was smart enough NOT to elect Stephen "Mr. Hockey Rink" Mandel!!
  10. On Aug 11, 2017, I had 58,000 Aeroplan miles. Today (April 7, 2019), I finally have a chance to use the miles for a short trip - I have ZERO fargin' miles. Screw you, Aeroplan.
  11. Can someone tell me what the difference is between a Garnier eye liner and a Sharpie marker?
  12. Hollywood: How did there get to be thousands of apes in San Francisco for the Dawn of the Planet of The Apes? Dozens, maybe.
  13. Canada Post: If a tree falls in the forest, does the public notice that there was no mail delivery today? Go on strike, again, you fools!
  14. The city continues to increase the charge for riding public transit -- that is certainly not the way to make more people abandon their cars!
  15. TV: When a super-villian is caught and imprisoned, how come you never see a toilet in their escape-proof cell?
  16. The frequency of 'chopper one' traffic reports for a fargin TV show seems a little excessive. How many commuters are leveraging such "in depth" coverage?? Lots of television dashboards these days?
  17. Why is it that four-wheel, all-terrain vehicles are the absolute SLOWEST things to drive over a parking lot speed bump?
  18. I watch too much TV. When bad guys are wearing body armour, why they hell don't the good guys shoot for the legs?
  19. No need for a big tirade to say the obvious: Vaccines good - denyers should not be allowed in public.
  20. Has there ever been a TV courtroom episode where a team mascot - in full garb -- is put on the stand to testify on an assault charge? "Yes, your honour -- he *did* kick me in the nuts"
  21. 2017 Oct 16: Sarah Hamilton wins ward 5: Dear Sarah -- don't get too cocky. You were a 'poison pill' -- we just needed you to make sure that David Xiao didn't win. You'll be gone if all you want to do is preach the cliché 'accountability'.
  22. Wetaskiwin's 'World Famous Auto Mile??!!' Yah. Sure. Someone in Vienna is thinking "Oh, your from Canada? Do you live near the Auto Mile?"
  23. Why is it that the thumb, index finger, middle finger, and pinky finger have names, but the other guy doesn't?
  24. Oct 7: I was just given the shameful reality alert that most people have tattoos. So, most people are 'me to' lemmings. Aka stupid.
  25. 2017 Sep 25: I see that Microsoft now has 8000 -- "eight thousand" -- people working on Artificial Intelligence. Maybe one of those 8000 can figure out how to properly upgrade an MS Exchange database.
  26. Yay. Wow. Let's get thrilled that downtown bars are going to have more drunks spending money. Dense people somehow equate butts on bar seats as economic enrichment. More bartenders!! Yah!! That's how we are going to break the economic downturn.
  27. A new privincial NDP budget on March 16: Half a BILLION dollars for the Royal Alex Hospital. 68 million for Misericordia Hospital. Totally out of whack.
  28. The Federal Liberal Government has just sealed their doom. They just renegued on the promise to hold retirement age to 65. As much as the country despised Harper, the Conservatives were always too sneaky to flagrantly/overtly change their policies mid-stream.
  29. 2017 Feb 2: CTV local news reports that Transcend Coffee Shop (across from the Downtown Hockey Rink) will close at the end of the month because they're not getting enough business. Others are also saying that. What a surprise.
  30. The US bans Kinder Surprises because of their 'choking hazard' ... but strong magnets (in beads, toys, etc) are OK. And detergent packets.
  31. Dear Facebook: I really don't what to see that one of my "friends" has "liked" some post of a guy I don't know. Ditto for ALL 'happy birthday' messages.
  32. HUGEST speed bumps in Edmonton: Parking lot at Northtown Mall, right in front of London Drugs!
  33. On Nov 9, 2016, we just affirmed that almost half of population of the USA are gun loving bigoted rednecks. Orange is the new black(eye).
  34. We're at the end of October. We've got a lot of TV stations claiming "#1 new show on TV". I can't figure out which of the five or six claims is the real number one.
  35. Olympics: why is it that guys' uniform for beach volleyball is nice, loose, conservative 'surfer-guy-attire', and the girls' outfit is 'tight, tiny bikini'??
  36. Sure, Starbucks, I don't see anything wrong with you handing out stainless steel drinking straws. What idiot marketing genius thought that was a good idea?!
  37. Marie Lemay is the Deputy Minister for Public Services and Procurement. She is the highest level politician (ultimately) responsible for the cratering of the Fed's payroll system. Take her salary (and the current director of the IT division's salary) away until the >$14M problems are corrected for the public servants who are now using the Food Bank.
  38. WHAT??!! Cartoon Network!!! You change the voices, style, and timbre of my favourite cartoon: Powerpuff Girls!! You weasels!! You suck!!
  39. Dear overly-tree-hugging Iveson-run City Hall: You just thought we'd 'go green' and use electric buses? Sure. Less gas. BUT, how much greenhouse gas is used to generate the electricity to charge the vehicle's batteries?
  40. Adding a woman to Canadian currency? Isn't the pattern to only put prime ministers onto the bills? Thus the only choice we have is the six-month fiasco that was KIM CAMPBELL, right?
  41. Hey! I finally got ahold of 'Crown Royal Northern Harvest' whisky... The difference in taste between that and the regular Crown Royal is very VERY subtle. That means, in my opinion, I've already been drinking the best whisky in the world. And for half the price.
  42. 2016 Feb: Breaking news: "Bill Gates is backing the FBI in its case against Apple" -- do I really need to throw a zinger at this one?!!
  43. Tee Hee Harrr Harrr: (Like it needed a study for this) Survey shows Calgary kids have more (and bigger) cavities than Edmonton kids, and it's because of the lack of fluorine in Calgary's water!!! Reminds me of the 'anti-vaccination' bozos on the planet!
  44. Small computer programming beef: WHO would build a computer language where one function is called 'indexOf' and another is 'typeof'??
  45. Okay, what the heck? Yes, the sky is falling, and we are in a terrible economic down turn. No one is mentioning that prices at the gas pump are finally down to a reasonable level - down about 50 cents per litre from the headlines of last year.
  46. News flash! The 'community rink' to be attached to the half-billion dollar downtown hockey rink is 'being scaled back', contrary to the architech's original design and pitch to the city and MacEwan University. What a big honkin surprise, eh?
  47. 2015Dec28: Geo Explains 'String Theory' : often out of tune, usually squeaky, and they don't practice enough.
  48. 2015Nov22: Today, I was unfairly ragged on by my family for making a below-par tirade. Fine -- tirade removed. You might be right, but I still think Joe Cocker's girlfriend in 'The Letter' was not all that desperate to see him again.
  49. There are way too many 'reviews'/'challenge flags' of plays in the CFL these days. It slows the game down way too much, and the referees are usually right, anyway.
  50. Why are the rednecks driving 4x4 RAM Trucks always the ones who slow to a crippled snail's pace when creeping over speed bumps in a parking lot?
  51. I just saw James Bond - Spectre, which was terrific! Opening song by Sam Smith? A rock-flavoured ballad performed in opera voice by a (male) soprano. WAYYY below par for the Bond franchise!
  52. A buddy of mine just pointed out that ever since curling became an Olympic sport, the 'athletes' gave up their beer, and started working out and doing push-ups. What the hell? That leaves SLO-PITCH as the only remaining team sport that you can still officially chug a beer in one hand while you are playing!
  53. 2015 Oct 24: You know the joke sign 'Repairs: $100; if you tried it first: $1000'. Thank you plumber: $500 for one hour of work. Yes, I tried it first - I gave up after five hours, but, I had all of the materials - you just had one tool that I didn't.
  54. 2015Jul20: “calculated misery.” Basic service, without fees, must be sufficiently degraded in order to make people want to pay to escape it. And that’s where the suffering begins. New Yorker
  55. Dec 17: The Alberta PCs have essentially gobbled up the Wild Rose. The motto seems to be: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Idiots - most of the Rosies now have to sit in the bleachers and nod their heads in agreement with the 12-or-so big shots running the PCs. Brilliant careeer move: from opposing (and visible) opposition to obscure, no-speaking member of the bully group.
  56. 2014 Nov 23: It's sad that the Edmonton Esks got pummelled by Cowgary, but the real sad thing is that we neglected Fred Stamps all season long. In a decade of crap for the Esks, he was one of the true shining stars - 'wall-of-honour' material - and he was (pratically) thrown away.
  57. 2014 Oct 16: '464 continuing care spaces opened', but not ONE WORD on how. Go back to building hockey rinks, Mandel. Until you actually increase the operating budgets, you have got squat. I'll wait for the RIGHT announcement, where every hospital in the province is going to get a 30% increase in guaranteed, long-term, operating budget. Yahh, that's going to happen.
  58. HOORAY!! Someone in the Federal Conservative Party has got some common sense: they've rejected the nomination request by that overly entitled, under-acheiving blowhard, David Xiao! Unfortunately, the air-time he's gotten for this will guarantee him a win for MLA again next provincial election.
  59. Okay, infomercials: "No-no" and "Silk'n" - You guarantee that hair won't return. So, when your hair is gone, what do you do with the device?
  60. What the heck with English? Why are infinite and finite not pronounced the same way? And how did we lose the 'o' from pronounce to get pronunciation?
  61. 2014Aug27: A gun instructor in Las Vegas was accidentally shot & killed by a NINE YEAR OLD GIRL who was learning to shoot an UZI! Well, that's two more people who won't be using guns again.
  62. Please drop the witch hunt of Alison Redford. Yes, she behaved like a bully running a multi-billion dollar company, but she relied on executive assistants. EAs are notorious for 'price is no object - my boss is important' - spending mentality.
  63. I wish I could say "that (person) is sharp". "Sharp" is a perfect, succinct word that I'd like to mean "meticulous, accurate, swift and astute". Alas, being a musican, "sharp" means: "that guy can't recognize that he's playing out of tune.".
  64. May 22/2014: Stop the presses!! Postmedia has announced that after TWO YEARS OF MARKET STUDY (!!!) They are going to shake the publishing world by formatting the news for paper, cell phones, computers, and iPads. In other news, after two years of study, scientists have discovered that people who were 53 are NOW 55!!. Idiots.
  65. People are lining up to take a trip to Mars by 2025. What the heck? The moon isn't far enough away for these people?!? Is it too easy to get to the moon, so no one thinks we should try setting up shop there first?!
  66. About three years ago, the city re-did the ball diamond at Aldergrove (part of the 'dry pond'/flood control project). Beautiful job by everyone except the parks and rec idiots who didn't square up the home plate with the rest of the diamond. Dear Parks and Rec: ever wonder why no-one books that diamond? (update: in the spring of 2014, I notified Parks and Wreck, and they actually came by and fixed it!)
  67. April 15, 2014: Ex-mayor, Stephen Mandel (my favourite) has declared he is NOT going to run for premier. HOORAY! First right thing the guy has done in years!!
  68. What the HECK?! FDA in the 'States and various health organizations are working on 'banning Trans Fats'. BUT, they're still letting cigarettes survive?
  69. Recently, a police dog was killed in the line of duty. Sad. But, the idea of building a special law to protect them is a little goofy. If that was the case, the police force, themselves, should be jalied for consciously putting the animal in harm's way.
  70. So I read quasi-science articles when they make it to my inbox. Occasionally, the topic of 'time travel might be possible' is presented. I vote for 'bullshit': there are many claims of people being visited by aliens, but NO ONE claims to have been visited by someone from the future. -- OK, no 'sane' person.
  71. You'd think that with Mandel 'retiring' I'd be finished trashing him... But, thanks to Northlands, I've got another one. Mandel, the person who is trying to put Northlands out of business, is going to be the parade marshal for the Northlands-sponsored 2013 KDays.
  72. May 8, 2013: Front page Journal: An 8-page glossy Govt mailout to 1.2 million households - cost $350,000. HOW? Canada Postage rates: 63 cents. How can they produce a glossy AND deliver it for 29 cents per copy? Who's cheating here?
  73. Dear Mr. Mayor: "No" means "no".
  74. Nov 25/2012 Dear Edmonton Eskimos: So, how did that trade work out for you? (Ricky Ray wins Grey Cup with the Argos)
  75. BURTON CUMMINGS! ...W O R S T .... 'O Canada'.... Ever! youtube
  76. Hey! I just watched 'Batman and Robin' again... You know, the one everyone (including George Clooney) hated. It was campy! Throw-back campy to the 60's version. Nothing wrong with that, is there? Sheesh! Everyone is so darn serious!
  77. HOLY CRAP: -- makes me want to change my name!!
  78. On 2012 April 16, I went to an all-candidates forum for my MLA riding (Edmonton McClung). Incumbent David Xiao didn't have the balls to show up.
  79. Warning from police: Adding a dangerous drug to an illegal controlled substance/drug ("ecstacy") is dangerous. Gee. Thanks for the 'heads up'.
  80. Did I get this right? After a long long LONG investigation/inquiry of the hospital/medical system in Alberta, a report (with recommendations) gets presented, and the response from government was that they will start an investigation?
  81. (NOT A RANT - directly, anyway) - CEC PURVES FOR MAYOR! Sure, he's over 70-years old, but he's less senile than the combined brain power of the entire current Edmonton City Council. See: Former Edmonton mayor pans downtown arena deal
  82. Yeah, the Henday is done - except, you can't get there from here: Henday to 137th Ave doesn't exist anymore. Also, if you're coming from the Whitemud, you can no longer use the Henday to get to 87th Ave (the Mall exit).
  83. How stupid are the lotto winners who say, "I won't change my life, I'll just stay the way I am, keep my job, and live in my current house". If that's the case, why the hell did you buy the ticket in the first place?!
  84. "HEMI" commercials, just like "B.L. Regularis" are the biggest advertising slight-of-hand in the book. "Hemi", 'hemispherically placed cylinders in a car engine' is used by many car manufacturers, and, often abandoned because the technology is as old as the gruff Southern-drawling voice that talks about it on the commercials. Bonus: TRY THE NEW GAME - Name the Gibberish!!
  85. Why do people use stupid 'big' words when the smaller ones suffice? Or, is there truly a difference between the word 'instantaneous' and 'instant'?
  86. NBA basketball is the most violent "non-contact sport" in the world. They also are allowed to cheat the rules (travelling, palming the ball,etc). No kid should be allowed to watch NBA, or they'll turn into hockey players.
  87. A news story about how a Math prof is being shit on because he stood up for his students and the grades he assigned. Coercion??? at the Big U? ... Geez, I've never heard of that before.
  88. I tried to watch the Rose Bowl Parade. Impossible. So many commercial breaks, useless 'behind-the-scenes' segments and cut-a ways, piped in music, and a total avoidance of the marching bands' contributions, that they deserve 4 feet of snow in Pasadena next year.
  89. Dear Telus Tech Support: Being cordial and polite does not make up for being incompetent.
  90. Add Avon to the list of moron companies to boycott, just like Gap, Beds Bath and Beyond, and James Cameron.
  91. Another incident where a musician left a million-dollar violin on a cab or coffee shop or something. Seems to only happen to string players - you never hear of a trumpeter or or flautist leaving their instrument behind. Or a piano player, or tuba player for that matter.
  92. BOO HOO! Poor Mayor Mandel got shot down on his asinine bid to spend $2+billion for Expo 2017!! A taste of his own medicine. Thanks (for a change) to the Fed government!!!
  93. After two and a half years of kiss-ass, MLA Raj Sherman has decided he's no longer going to play yes man to the (other) morons running our province. What took him so long to realize he's supposed to be a voice for the people, not a puppet for his party? (two days later - the real lesson: "keep your mouth shut, or you'll get fired.")
  94. Nov 10 news: Our city hall twits have decided to drop mosquito control's budget by $170K. But, they're putting aside $900K for an EXPO bid. You want to save on our pest control? Swat Mayor Mandel.
  95. Hey! We get flyers on Sunday... Yeah, most of the sales promoted in the flyers expire on Sunday (valid for Fri-Sunday). Somebody's paying for delivery and advertising that is useless. Who do they think they are? The government?
  96. 2010 Oct 28 headlines: 300 ducks sludged up (again) in the oil sands. I looked on the internet: "UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE DIVISION OF MIGRATORY BIRD MANAGEMENT, LAUREL, MARYLAND" 2001 report of MALLARDS "harvested" that year: in Canada: 591,000. 5,236,000 mallards "harvested" in the 'States that year. Where's the front-page news for that stat? In a single hunting season (4 months?), six million mallard ducks were slaughtered for "sport".
  97. The phrase "you only use 10 percent of your brain" is only muttered by those who probably do only use 10% of their brain ... if that much.
  98. Safeway recently posted a sign saying "10 bottles of pop for $10". What? The sign makers had a deal on zeros?
  99. US election commercials often have the candidate speak for him/herself on the ad. Then the candidate says "... and I approve this message". No kidding?
  100. When the media says "police are investigating an incident at a known drug house", or "the victim of the stabbing is known to police", I get more than a little annoyed.
  101. Every time I hear of a fatal crash involving motorcycles racing at 3am down Groat Road, I feel nature is just culling the herd.
  102. Air Canada closes down self-serve baggage check-in at 10pm, forcing everyone to wait in line. Apparently, people flying at night can't handle self-serve properly.
  103. Why does instant coffee have to taste like crap?
  104. Airline security confiscates your nail clippers on your way into the terminal, but once inside the secure zone, you can buy a glass bottle of juice.
  105. Hey, convenience store owners! Fix your slush/slurpee machines! If you take three sips, and no more comes up the straw, it needs more syrup! Or get bigger straws! Cheapskates!
  106. I spent an entire TV season trying to like Caprica. New TV season. Caprica still sucks.
  107. Ball caps. Everywhere. The malls, restaurants - you name it. All ages. Rude rubes. What? They think a baseball game will break out in the middle of the Olive Garden?!!
  108. Oct 18 2010 civic election. Every incumbent returned to city hall. A pack of yes men/women and limelight seekers is returned to continue the embarrassment. Thank you Edmonton Electorate. Lemmings.
  109. leg•a•cy  pro•ject   ||legəsē  |präj|ekt; -ikt|
    An expensive government initiative undertaken which shares a common completion/retirement date with the sponsoring politician.
    syn:   self-centred, egomania, egocentric, self-interest, self-serving, indulgent, narcissism, vanity, self-importance.
    see also:   brick monument, infrastructure project, transfer payments, election deadline
  110. I can't believe that Phillips head screws weren't buried beside their inventor, Henry F. Phillips (1890–1958). They should have never been created, but because he was American, his "invention" superceded the far superior Robertson (1879–1951) screw. Peter L Robertson was a Canadian, who licensed his invention to Ford's Model T. — 25 years before Phillips' first customer (GM).
  111. Having "pop" "singer(?)" Rod Stewart butcher the jazz classics is like listening to rush-hour traffic on the Anthony Henday.
  112. If I hear another diva embellish the National Anthem by playing with the tempo, adding flips and doo-dads to the long notes, and slowing the ending down to a crawl, I'm going to track down that insecure show-off and buy her a metronome and a tuner, and then make her watch Bleeding Gums Murphy do the anthem - over and over and over again, until her eyes and ears pop.

2021 Nov 28

BEATLES "Get Back" TV Documentary leaves me disillusioned

I've watched the first five hours of the Disney+ "Beatles - Get Back" documentary... I'll continue to watch the rest of the 10 hours of this film. It's like watching a train wreck.

It shows footage of the Beatles spending several days in a studio preparing for a gig and new recordings.

What a chaotic "preparation"/"rehearsal" experience! It's truly amazing that these guys produced iconic tunes, given the disorganized "creative processes" used to generate the tracks. It's a bloody circus, and most of the taped recordings sound like shit!

Paul spends rehearsal time noodling with a tune, wrestling to figure out lyrics; lyrics that should have been sorted out well in advance of the recording studio. His "singing" in most cases during the rehearsal is screaming into a mic. Harmonies!? We don't need no stinkin' harmonies!

John appears to be stoned the entire time, serenading everyone with gibberish, and generally disrupting the "creative process (?)" of Paul. It's also very clear that he had very little to do with the success of a Lenon/McCartney "hit" -- it's almost like Paul and John had a contract to share the credit for every song produced, no matter how one-sided the work.

George noodles non-stop on the guitar, providing no help to Paul or the others on how to finish/polish a tune. He also pouts a lot -- obviously jealous that the others are ignoring any input he might have on what songs should be played. He just wants "his" music to be considered; Paul and John totally discount his suggestions. It's no wonder why George would walk out of the studio and the group -- his contributions are trivialized.

Ringo patiently waits in silence for an opportunity to lay down a beat when the three guitarists finally get to a point where actually MUSIC needs to gets played. He is the ONLY one of the three who actually behaves like he's in a recording studio, wanting to get some work done. A lot of respect to Ringo. Ringo's got his shit together - the others do not.

It's only when Billy Preston visits the studio that recordings end up sounding legit - Billy's contribution on piano to the Beatles' tunes cannot be discounted.

My admiration of the Beatles has gone down the tube. It's a miracle that they could produce such a fine library of music when they were a such totally disorganized, dysfunctional team. Their success can't be considered a fluke, but watching this movie makes you wonder...

2021 Jun 20

Nickel and dime our citizens. Pay to Park in the Park

Hi, Kids.... I know that the City's mind has already been made up, but I'd like to voice my dissent to the idea of adding PAID PARKING to our parks.

Crap, how petty can the city get. We want to say that we are a welcoming community, and at every step of the way, we find new ways to discourage visitors and our citizens from enjoying our city. There's a web page that will, at the very least, show that there are people who care about life in our region. Thanks, eh.

2020 Sep 22

Doing the math for the Homeless

A new news story has reported that the Federal Government is going to set aside $1 BILLION to buy "unused" motels to house the homeless across the country.

That's good news.

Kind of. The report says that this initiative will help 3000 people.

What the hell?!

The math doesn't add up. ONE BILLION DOLLARS for THREE THOUSAND people means that each hotel room will cost $333,333.00. I think there is a real problem with this situation. If a billion dollars can only help 3000 people, we need to find an accountant to try to figure out a better solution.

2019 Dec 24

Expedia Travel Woes

Here's the problem. A return flight from Hawaii. Stops in Seattle. Jumps to Victoria. Then home. That's not a terrific trip. Why the heck would we have to travel to Victoria for one leg of the journey? Oh well. Fine. Expedia shows that as the cheapest way to get home.

Booked. We've finally got a trip set up for our 40th wedding anniversary. Everyone's happy! Yay!

Yesterday, I get an "important change" text alert from Expedia. Yeah, I'd say "important". Alaska Airlines has cancelled the flight from Seattle to Victoria. Cancelled. Period. What the hell?

So, I'm now on the phone with an Expedia agent, trying to find a new way home. She can't do it. I'd have to cancel the entire trip, and rebook. Oh, and the price to rebook is $700 more expensive than the one that we've paid for.

There are direct flights from Seattle to Edmonton, but for some reason, Expedia can't change the reservations to get us home. To keep the current price, we must travel through Victoria. The only way that can happen is if we leave Hawaii a day later, fly to Seattle/Victoria, the sleep over night in Victoria before we can get a flight to Edmonton.

So, a relatively simple flight itinery has turned into a vacation hell, where I'm going to reserve a hotel the night before the flight from Hawaii, and reserve a hotel in Victoria for one night. In esssence, it is going to take three days (and an extra $500) to get home from our vacation.

I don't know if other travel services would do any better, but I've learned a valuable lesson: don't use Expedia for airline travel.

... and Alaska Airline sucks. How can you cancel a flight without offering an alternative? You had a contract to get me home, and you failed.

It's much easier to just stay home and watch TV.

2020 Jun 7

Thanks to Covid, our vacation was cancelled. I got a credit for the air fare. I have to use it in the next 13 months. So, I get to try again next year. Yay!

2019 Dec 1


I haven't done a tirade for a while.
'Cause nothing's been bothering me.

... No .. Wait!

Yes there has!

In the past eight months, we've had two elections - both of which pissed me off royally.

Our province has shown its true redneck colours by throwing out two socially aware parties in favour of two anal tunnel-vision penny pinchers. Conservatives across the board. When will our collective souls figure out that:

  1. Health Care is important
  2. Education is important
  3. Our environment needs a little help
  4. The arts need support
  5. Our cities need infrastructure
  6. Poverty issues need a lot of attention
  7. We will eventually get pipelines, so stop worrying about it
You know what's not on my list? The deficit. Carbon Tax. Committees. Farmers (we don't control next year's weather).

Our province's budget was doing just fine. We were running a deficit. So what? I'm still living in a house. I eat food. I still drive a car. The fact that my kids really can't afford a house is not a function of a provincial or federal deficit -- it's the economy: everything's too fargin' expensive! House prices, and the price of gas and food have very little to do with government deficits. You want to 'save our children from debt'? You're not going to do it by lowering the amount of money that our government theoretically annually owes to, uh,... who?

The federal Liberals aren't a bad party - certainly not the incompetent fools that the Conservatives think they are. At least the Liberals show a little compassion and empathy for others. Yet, Alberta thinks they are evil. Why? Because they want to provide better health care for everyone? Because they want all of Canada to chip in a little to try to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels? How stupid for our province to collectively decide that the only politicians that can help us are the ones who will likely drop support for health and seniors.

If we would have kept a couple of socially responsible politicians in Parliament, we might have kept a couple of voices to champion our localized problems. Nope. Let's throw away the Minister or Natural Resources (aka "OIL") - we'll gamble that someone else will speak on our behalf. Idiots.

We, as a province, seem to want to cut off our right arm, just 'cause we'd quickly lose a few pounds. How else can you account for the drastic cuts in Education and Health? We have a premier who has shown, in the last 8 months, that he can break all of his election promises, such as avoiding layoffs in Education, and preserving the foundations of universal health care. Even his biggest promise that he would "get that pipeline built" has run into a small problem: reality. In the meantime, let's steal money from the arts, from people's pensions, and city's infrastructure budgets. Jason Kenny is evil. He will hurt all of us. He is surrounded by sinister 'yes' men (and 1 woman), and he has only one goal: undo all of the good that the previous government tried to institute.

You, citizens of Alberta, are pretty fargin' stupid to give the NDP only one 4-year chance out of 40 years to try to correct the problems that the Conservatives have given us. YOU are our problem - not the provincial NDP or federal Liberals.

2019 Jun 13

School Bus Safety

[See also: Loud and Uncomfortable and Yellow ]

An MP Committee is too stupid to do the obvious

A federal committee has just announced that they will NOT add seatbelts to school buses until there has been further study on it.

Here is the report: Summary
There are twenty five people on the committee. How can that many people be that fargin' stupid? Or cowards?

It's really quite simple:

GoodNOT Good

It's actually not a new thing that is being proposed. A quick scan (20 minutes) of the internet shows that studies have been going on for years:

  • (USA) National Transportation Safety Board (2018)
    The NTSB said the outcome of the deadly accidents would have been different if there were seat belts.
  • University of Alabama (2010)
    “There is a genuine excitement in trying different safety ideas to improve the use of belts in school buses,”
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Association (2015)
    On July 23, Rosekind convened a meeting with student transportation professionals and safety board officials to discuss ways to improve school bus passenger safety, including but not limited to seatbelt implementation.
  • National Institute of Health (2003)
    Injuries to the head, neck and spine are the most common types when children are involved in rollover school bus collisions. For additional safety, changes to the current bus design are needed.
  • (2009)
    Only one state, California, currently requires lap/shoulder safety belts on all new school buses. Texas has legislation pending that will require lap/shoulder belts on all new buses beginning in 2010, if funding is approved in 2009.

However, dupes, like Edmonton Public School Board, think that the following "features" will protect a kid from being launched through the air during a collision:

  • well-padded, high-back, energy absorbing seats
  • lights, mirrors
  • rollover protection
  • brakes
  • emergency exits
  • special equipment for wheelchair restraint systems

How in the HELL does having an emergency exit stop a kid from being ejected from his seat?! And, yeah, I'd expect a school bus to have breaks, lights and mirrors, wouldn't you?

Here is a quote from TRANSPORT CANADA'S very own web site:

When they are used and installed properly, seat belts on school buses can offer another layer of safety to complement the existing, highly effective protection provided by compartmentalization.
The MP committee should listen to their own staff members.

How could our government be so inept as to not realise that strapping a human down in a moving vehicle is a good thing to do? I'm pretty sure that Marc Garneau (Minister of Transport, Astronaut) used seatbelts during his space shuttle missions.

2018 Nov 16

PARKING Rednecks

Some people don't deserve to drive

I've avoided writing about this for a while. Only because I wanted to gather up enough photos to illustrate my point. Oh, wait. Take a drive to any parking lot in Edmonton.

Look around. I'll be you find a few of these idiots in the vicinity. They are the ones who back in to their parking spot. No, it is NOT a good thing to do. It is inconsiderate. If you drive "head first" into a parking spot, people in the lanes behind you won't have to wait for you to navigate into the spot. If you back up, you need to come to a full stop in traffic, and attempt to back into your spot. You'll usually need to take two or three tries at it. In the meantime, a lineup of cars waiting to pass you are totally stuck and hosed. And pissed. You have forced people to yield to you, not the other way 'round!

Now that you have "parked", let's take a look at your accuracyHere are a few photos that illustrate the point:


It's not just trucks that fail the parking class. Soccer moms fail the accuracy test quite often, too. Watch for me. If you see a guy with his camera standing next to your poorly-parked vehicle, it's me: I'll be taking a photo for my library of idiots. I'll need more ram in my phone.

2018 Nov 13

Still Unemployed, Broke, and Cranky

... Crankier

I'm old. And broke.

Since the Institution That Shall No Longer Be Named laid me off in 2010, I have been pretending that I like being retired. I don't. That is to say, I'm lonely. I miss money. Oh, money, I wish you were here.

Expenses of being lonely come in strange ways;  it's the little things that continue to add up: lunches are a big one. Daytime movies are a big one. JUNK FOOD is a big one -- when you spend all day on a couch, nothing beats the refreshment of a beer and a bag 'o chips.

But, it's the BIG expenses that make me want (need) a job: re-shingling the roof is a big honkin' expense. A new 'fridge to keep my junk food happy. Re-upholstering the couch (that was worn out by over-use). My trusty 17" MacBook needed replacing ($4000). It would be nice to renovate the downstairs bathroom (which is so scary that most people avoid using it - even if they are sleeping in the bedroom right next door).

To avoid the $6000-plus expenses to fix all of the broken pieces of my car, I bought a $27000 van. Fargin' brilliant. The new van *does* allow me to cart a few more items than my Mustang, but maybe I could have just rented a cargo van for the few times I actually needed to haul a 4x8 sheet of drywall.   I really don't like driving a big soccer-mom vehicle.  I like my Mustang.  I miss my Mustang.

Also, one day, I'd like to go on a vacation somewhere -- perhaps a cruise ship, where I can sit on a deck chair and eat junk food all day.  I'd pick a chair that points toward the big movie screen on the deck.  That way, I'd have all the comforts of home: Chair to wear out, a TV, and junk food.  Pay $4000 for two weeks of doing the same thing I'm complaining about at home.

Retirement sucks.

2018 May 6

Blind leading the Confused

This confuses me

In one direction, I'm to assume that the walk light will just appear. In the other, I've got to press the button to request a walk light.

BUT, in one direction I've got to just 'press' the button to get an audible signal, and in the other, I've got to 'press and hold'.

What the hell is wrong with the engineers in this town? I'm astounded on how complicated our transportation branch makes things on blind people. There are no Braile instructions. That's probably because they'd need a much bigger sign to explain to a blind person what/how to use the signal request. For the rest of us, we've got to figure out when we should press the button to request a walk light. Sometimes, yes, sometimes, no.

On this particular intersection (184 ave and 178th street), the length of time for the advancing traffic does not change -- regardless of whether the 'walk button' was requested or not. SO, dear engineer, it really doesn't matter if the button is pressed or not. Just assume it is, you tool! Then, we can have consistency on when to press the 'walk button': When it's pressed, we get audible. When we don't press, we can simply wait for the walk signal to predictably illuminate.

Problem solved, and no one got hurt. Another tick mark in the city's 'Zero by thirty' pipe dream (you know: the one where the city thinks they can drop the number of traffic accidents to ZERO in a year - HAH HAHH HHHAHHHH)

2018 Mar 1

Idiots to the South

I've waited long enough to flip out over the idiot that 'runs' (?) the country to our South.

In a year that is filled with huge concerns over bullies, we have a guy in the 'States who embraces being a bully. The racist pig can get away with being a thug -- who is going to stop him?! He is an unhinged leader. He is a paranoid, tax-avoiding illiterate. The world truly might not last another three years before we can attempt to get rid of him.

Last week, Florida (the prime breeding ground for inbred gun-loving, racist, red-necks) sufferred yet another mass shooting.

The previous president would openly shed tears of grief and frustration when addressing the nation about how guns have gotten out of control; they've caused more fatalities than 9/11 in the past few years. What does this guy do? Comes up with the notion that it's the bleeding heart liberals' fault for not letting more guns exist in our society.

For Trump to suggest that a music teacher in junior high should be packin' heat makes my blood boil more than usual; A call for all schools to allow/encourage/force teachers to carry weapons borders on criminal. He's fargin' unhinged!!

That was last week's (non-fake) news.

This week, he's trying to negotiate a 'better deal' againsts the entire world's economy. A 25% tax on a commodity that is openly traded around the world (steel). He's probably doing it to force a better trade deal on lumber or bananas or something. Or a wall -- which would probably require steel made in Canada or Korea.

I don't know how to write stuff about this guy. Turn on any news station: everyone considers him a 100% certified crackpot.

This week, Russian president Vlad Putin shows off a new kind of 'stealth' atomic guided missile. And North Korea shows off his country's ability to bomb Silicon Valley with one button-push. Meanwhile, Trump is chasing down the 'threat' that the world-economic powerhouse, Canada, is presenting to the USA.

HOW could fifty percent of the entire United States of America vote this red neck into office? It's total bullshit for them to believe they had to vote Trump in order to not elect Hillary Clinton. Look friends: anyone would better than Trump -- even if that president was Hillary. Fifty percent of the USA are absolutely responsible for the dissarray the world is in. I have nothing but disdain for fifty percent of 100 million people. Morons. All of you. Piss off, and never come by my neighbourhood -- I'll smell you coming, and I won't like it.

2017 Oct 27

Facebook's A.I. needs a better coach!


I have some dear friends on my Facebook feed. THEY STILL POST FOOD PICTURES!!!

No shit, I had one of my good buddies post a picture of a plate of food, with the caption: "Just had dinner with my wife. Now off to get caulking". This guy used to handle security at the Institution That Shall No Longer Be Named. His job was to curtail superfluous usage of IT resources by cutting off wasters' IDs. What's next, Bob? You going to get involved in the CHAIN MAIL crap that's also filling up my screen?? (You know the kind: "Here is a very important statement. Don't reply. Copy/Paste it to a new posting" -- Sound familiar??!!)

Facebook is like 'usenet' of the 80s: Mostly shit, but (very) occasionally, something worth watching, like when a pal of mine becomes a 'dad' for the first time (congrats, Kevin)


Here's a little coaching for the Facebook coders: You are trying to be more intelligent with the 'news' that gets posted in an invidual's feed... Do better. Recognize a 'food-only' picture, and watch the user to see how long it takes for him to click 'ignore'. Recognize that pattern and respond to it, please. PLEASE! P L E A S E !

I still want to be friends with some of these folks, but no matter how many hints (Randy), and BLUNT REPLIES (Randy), they still do it. I love these guys, but Aye CarUMBA -- nobody wants to see a plate of food from the Farmer's Market!! TRUST me!!

2017 Aug 27

Construction or Procrastination?
The Elevators at the UofA Hospital

Begin forwarded message:
From: George Carmichael
Subject: Lack of progress at the UofA Hospital
Date: August 27, 2017 at 4:26:25 PM MDT

Keith Fraser, Emergency Contact -- UofA Hospital

Dear Mr. Fraser

I'm enclosing a couple of pictures to remind you of one of your construction sites...

The pictures might or might not look familiar to you and the staff at Delnor.

Those scenes are certainly familiar to us -- that is, any regular user of the UofA hospital. Why? Because the South elevators have been 'temporarily disrupted for maintenance' for about three years now. And counting.


Let me hazard a guess: your company won the small RFP a few years ago, and one of the stipulations was that it would have to 'start maintenance' by 2015. OK: Put up canopies. Build a rotating barricade of drywall vestibules to block off one of the three elevators at any one time.

Please, I ask, what POSSIBLY could take longer to address with those three elevators than construction of the downtown Hockey Arena?

I am very serious, sir. Your company shows complete incompetence for the lack of perceived progress on that site. The inconvenience to patients and staff is now commonplace at the UofA... and you are a contributor to the grief shared by all.

I'd like to forward this onto members of the UofA Hospital Facilities Management, but if I did, it would let you a little bit off the hook -- you'd say it was their fault it has not progressed for three years. I'll consider writing an email to them once I get your response.

Your profile page '' claims that you are one of the 'Top 40 Contractors' in the country. Perhaps top 40 to receive contracts, but not the top 40 to complete them.

Thank you for your time.

George Carmichael
(780) 481-6907

(2017 Aug 28)
I got a nice phone call from the CEO (Glenn Cyrankiewicz) of Delnor Construction Ltd today. Firstly, for a CEO to take the time to respond to a cranky old guy is pretty impressive.

Ultimately, the delay goes way back to the original construction of the hospital -- the pretty glass elevators were built in Germany, making replacement parts nearly impossible to get. Delnor has been working on all of the elevators -- one at a time. Doesn't help much when one of three is in 'maintenance', one is simply broken, and the remaining one gets to operate as a social experiment on how to piss off sick people.

He sympathsizes.

Nice fellow, though.

(2018 Feb 11)
My weekly visit to the outpatient clinic: For the first time in six years, all of the 'South Glass Elevators' at the UofA Hospital are NOW IN SERVICE!!!

It's a friggin' miracle!







2017 Feb 14

Mom alerts the media! Defective Car Seats??!!

I vote for defective parenting.


[Global Story]


Global News continues to miss the point.

"The sky is falling!" A mom has discovered that her kid's seat belt buckle seized up. The problem? Food in the mechanism. Somehow, Global TV considered this newsworthy.

Okay. I always yell at the TV. BUT, this time, my (usually) calm wife is the one freaking out.

In a nutshell:

  1. On a very slow news day, Global reporter visits and interviews a distraught mommy whose baby's car seat jammed.
  2. Why was the mom letting the kid eat food in a car seat? If the toddler starts choking, how do you rescue her?
  3. Why is this the seat belt manufacturer's fault? Or Transport Canada's? Or Donald Trump's?
  4. . . . and . . .

    She's panicked about her kids getting (maybe) hurt with the safety issue of her car seat, when she's letting the kids SIT ON THE FARGIN STOVE in her kitchen?!!!
  5. Dear Global TV cameraman: are you a parent? Why the hell did you not tell the kids to get off of the stove? OR, did you consciously decide to make the mom look like an idiot?

You know, this kind of mom is exactly the kind that will insist that there should be no peanuts in schools, or that Popsicle be labelled with a "choking hazard" warning.




2017 Jan 31

Easily offended Trump Facebookers

I trolled a Trump conversation . . .

All I said was something like:

Geez 'drin... I didn't know you had so many redneck friends
Yep. I went back to the seventies, and used one-liner 'usenet' flame war bait. Call it nostalgia. Who would have thought that would have offended the noble, flag waving right-wing-nut Trump supporters? 'Redneck' hurts their feelings, but their hero can call an entire country 'drug dealers and rapists'?

Because friggin' Facebook lets me see conversations NOT initiated by a friend, but responded to by a friend, I was given the privilege (?) of seeing yet another 'Trump is our hero' posting. It's almost like they're trying to convince themselves that they are right. The poster was forwarding a picture/sign/meme about 'Boycott Starbucks' (Starbucks has the nerve to want to support Muslims and others in response to USA's recent travel ban of Muslim countries). Somehow, Starbucks is the enemy here - they're not supporting enough Americans.

Well, holy crap. I made a 'knee jerk' comment about the poster's support for bigotry. Ironically, he also points out that he may not have had all the facts. But I got in the way of an intelligent dialog about this 'boycott' topic.

I can't call him names for posting shit, but fan-boy responses tell me:

  • Knee jerk much jerk?
  • He's a Canadian kyle. He gets wet dreams from thinking of his prime minister.
  • You are a pure douche bag and an oxygen thief.
  • your trolling and judgmental douche baggery

OK, my posts lasted about an hour and a half. I deleted them from the Facebook thread so as not to offend any of those sensitive, caring, thoughtful friends of my friend, Adrian.


... CRAP it was fun to bait a bunch of Americans.

... and nearly 50% of the population (ie the ones who voted for Trump) are fargin' idiots.




2016 Jul 24

What's wrong with this TIMMY'S picture?


Dear Canada:

Most of you lemmings spend a great deal of time in lineups for Tim Horton's coffee.

SO, when was the last time you saw any Timmy's worker navigate from behind the counter, and dodge the lineups waiting for sub-Folgers-quality coffee, and cheerfully deliver two medium Ice Caps to anyone?




2016 Jul 10

Travel Pointers for the Inept


  1. Do have diabetes?
    • Bring your own friggin' Insulin
    • Bring your own friggin' SNACK
  2. Do you have heart trouble?
    • Bring your own friggin' Aspirin
  3. Do you get nosebleeds?
    • Bring your own friggin' Kleenex
  4. Are you allergic to nuts?
    • Bring your own friggin' Epi-Pen
  5. Are you a vegan?
    • Bring a friggin' CARROT
  6. Are you Kosher?
    • Bring a friggin' blessed CARROT
  7. Do you experience 'leakage'?
    • Bring your OWN friggin' Depends.
  8. Bringing your toddler to a computer conference?
    • Bring your own friggin' babysitter!
    • Bring your OWN diaper bag!

I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you have special needs, be responsible for yourself, you incompetent boob!

Why is it that some presumptuous pricks expect everyone else to anticipate their exotic needs? I'm guessing you were probably a Vegan before you got on that airplane to go on your trip. You might have figured out that you would be hungry sometime during the week, and might want to eat a Kosher meal, say, three times a day. You must have turned Jewish accidentally/over night during the flight from Toledo to Anaheim. Were you only diagnosed as a diabetic two nights ago when you were in the men's room at the hotel?

I'm going to guess that a lot of the people who declare out loud that they have 'special needs' are not actually disclosing the real special need they have: the need to stand out in a crowd. They are probably lonely, and their version of an ice-breaker is to make a host/organizer sweat. These needy little shits want others to kiss their ass for failing to have a toothbrush they can use.

Look after yourself, you little baby, and stop whining!




2016 Jun 1

Another Lawsuit to McDonald's

Some Comments Just Write Themselves

WHAT?!? I'm going to blame Facebook for the (somewhat) misleading headline, but it is just wayy toooo funnnny to ignore.

I think I've seen this kind of scenario on really really insipid TV shows (ie, "Just For Laughs - Gags") -- a blind guy drives up and asks for a burger. Yes it's a stupid gag.

BUT, this one is real. I was actually thinking of not clicking on the rest of the story, because it was just too good as-is. At an all-night drive-thru window, a blind guy trips his way through a parking lot, over curbs, probably waits in line behid a couple of cars, and walks up to the drive-thru window!!!

He's suing because -- why?? There's no Braille menu -- at McDonald's??!!

"Hey, how am I going to decide what I want to take-out if I can't touch a menu? I was in the mood for lobster! How am I going to figure that out if you don't have a Braille menu at the drive-through window?!"
-- It's fargin' MCDONALD'S!! I'm going to take a wild guess -- uhhhhh, "burgers"?

OK, what he's really whining about is that he wasn't served by walking up to the drive-thru. On foot. At the Drive-Thru. On foot.

The McJobber refused to take this guy's order. I think that would have happened to a fellow with laser vision just as often as a blind guy!

Get off the damn road, you fool!




2016 Feb 5

Another one for the NO SHIT SHERLOCK files...

How much money did the Government spend on THIS one???

We have a new government, but we have the same old bureaucracy running the province. How do department managers get away with these things? Better yet: why do newspapers keep reporting them? It only encourages these morons from doing more useless studies.

Meanwhile, on planet earth:

This is reality. This is what needs to be fixed. This doesn't need studies ... it needs more staff looking after patients.

We have a new health minister in our province. Sarah Hoffman seems to be a nice enough lady, but she's a FARGIN' SCHOOL TEACHER!!! What the HELL is she doing running the health system? It is very obvious that her naivité has given her bureaucratic underlings complete license to continue doing stupid things.




2015 Nov 17 [and on and on and on]

As a public service to all consumers . . .
Geo's Tirade Presents...


Play along! Using George's exclusive Suck-o-Meter Technology, try to guess what company conjured up which techno-babble!!

Bonus points if you can figure out what consumer is actually SWAYED by this crap!

Note: LONG TABLE!! If you're on a Mac, <cmd> minus
If you're not on a Mac . . . get a Mac!


Click on a cell to show the answer!

Some Hints


Mazda Skyactiv Technology whole product line vehicle 9 The most irritating non-sensical gibberish of them all!
Mazda Predictive iActivSense whole product line vehicle 9 The SECOND most irritating non-sensical gibberish of them all!
Proactive Smart Target Technology shampoo personal 4 More stupid than irritating
Nissan Safety Shield Technology Rogue vehicle 7 Might work well if you are a secret agent
Sally Hansen Gel Technology nail polish personal 6 ** Certa Mattresses should complain
Kia Stop and Go Technology Forte vehicle 8 I've heard of that before. . . I think I shall call them . . . 'brakes'!
Dyson Kinetic Science vacuum household 7 The 'science' of 'movement'?
Dyson Air Multiplier Technology portable heaters household 5 Multiplier? I guess the opposite of a vacuum?
Giilette Flexball Technology razor personal 8 A 1-inch flat device that follows curves. Just like a regular razor will. Use your wrist, you lazy bastage.
Bridgetone Run Flat Technology tires vehicle 5 No. It's 'puncture protection'.
Michelin Evergreen Technology tires vehicle 7 Tires made out of spruce trees.
BMW Connect-A-Drive whole product line vehicle 7 Just like LEGO.
Dermawand Radio Frequency Skin Care face cream personal 8 'Houston . . . we have a ZIT!'
Transitions Advanced Chromea7 Technology eyeglasses personal 7 'Advanced'? What happened to the REGULAR Chromea7 ?! What happened to the PREVIOUS six?
Cresol Eye Sun Protection Factor (ESPF) eyeglasses personal 6 Which factor do we use? Warp? Factor of ten? Twelve?
Simmons pocketed coil technology Beautyrest mattresses household 3 Just 'pocketed coils', please.
Garner Mexoryl Technology Ombrelle UV sunscreen personal 7 'Mexoryl'?!! I looked it up. It's a trade name for 'sunscreen'
No-No Thermion Technology hair removal gadget personal 7 Stupid-Stupid.
Scratch Doctor Advanced Micro Technology car wax vehicle 7 We wasted nano-technolgy on car wax instead of repairing cancer cells?
Sleep Number Sleep IQ Technology bed household 8 Average IQ of people falling for this: 60
Instamop Dual Bucket Technology salad spinner for a floor mop household 3 'Instamop' is stupid enough. No need to compound it with a 'technology'
DurabiliT Unique Durability Technology Sico evolution paint household 7 'IdioT CorP' powered by unique Idiocy technology
Polident Unique Microclean Formula denture cream personal 3 I'm not sure why I'd want my micro cleaned by denture cream.
Coppertone Acuspray Technology spray-on sunscreen personal 4 Just HOW ACCURATE does your sunscreen have to be applied?
AbRocket Exercise Efficiency Technology work-out gadget personal 7 Infomercial couch potato's best hope.
Certa Dual Action Gel Technology mattresses household 6 ** Sally Hansen nail polish should complain
NicoDerm Unique Extended Release Technology gum personal 5 It's not just good enough that they're the only nicotene patch out there, their tech has to be 'unique'
Wagner Revolutionary iSpray Technology paint sprayer household 5 With Mazda's iActive Technology?
Secret Adaptive Response Technology anitiperspirant personal 4 Sentient beings under your arms!!
Tirecraft / Toyo Studless Tire Technology tires vehicle 8 Uhh ... you mean ... 'tires'??
Neutragena Micro-Mesh Technology deodorant personal 4 Mosquito net for your armpits!
Mighty Blaster Power Pressure Technology ‘Fireman’s Nozzle’ garden hose nozzle household 3 How is 'power pressure' revolutionary?
Alarm Force Cellwave Technology home alarm household 2 Holy crap! You use a cell phone?
Dove Oxy fusion Technology shampoo personal 6 Also works on carpets
Frog Tape Paint block Technology masking tape household 8 'Block paint?' Why would we want masking tape to 'block paint'?
Hanes X-temp Technology underwear and socks personal 7 Get Magneto or Wolverine to sub in for your socks.
Delta Kinetic Technology shower heads household 2 So, you are saying that water MOVES?!
Delta Touch2O Technology faucets household 5 'Two-Oh' technology? You need two hands to turn on a faucet?
New Era Diamond Era Technology baseball caps personal 1 Next year: hockey masks - with 'Rink Era Technology'
Loreal Dermatological Laser Technology skin cream personal 8 Laser beams!!! And we were worried about SUN BURN!
Mitchum Revolutionary Technology deodorant personal 3 So 'revolutionary' that they couldn't even invent a NAME for it!
Con Air Ionic Technology The Ultimate Brush (hair brush) personal 6 Doesn't this belong to Dyson?
Revlon Light-Filtering Technology face blush personal 5 Mr. Invisible!!
Lagostina Encapsulated Base Technology cookware household 3 Might make sense, but it just sounds ridiculous.
Acti-patch Miniature Clinical Technology pain relief patch personal 4 Doctor Evil uses 'Mini-Me' for the easy/miniature clinical stuff.
Fisher Smart-touch technology baby toys household 3 Who would have thought it necessary to brand a baby toy with a 'technology'?!
Just for Men Air Active Technology hair color personal 5 So, you can drive an iActiv Mazda with the top down.
Verily Wave Technology eyeglasses personal 3 What? Light is made up of 'waves'?? WITCHCRAFT!!
X-Acto Pencil Saver Technology Powerhouse pencil sharpener household 5 Good GAWD! FORGET 'Save the whales!' --- SAVE THE PENCILS!!
T-Fal Exclusive Technology Deep Fryer household 5 ANOTHER brilliant technology claim!! It's EXCLUSIVE!!
Dirt Devil Cyclonic filtration and direct path cleaning technology Handheld Vacuum household 8 The winner for the longest technogibberish name!!!
Motorola Moto ShatterShield Technology Cell phone glass household 6 Like a 'force field' but different?
RockTec Steel pellet impact technology The Rock Bi-Clad Cookware household 7 Star Wars' shields
3M 3 in 1 Technology Filtrete Furnace Filters household 8 I'm guessing this will be eclipsed by 4-in-1 tech within a year.
Ford Eco-boost Technology Car engine vehicle 5 Does this company really think 'Eco-boost' really distinguishes them from the competitors?!
Chevy Teen Driver Technology Mailibu vehicle 4 Car will automatically stay out past curfew
Ford Sync-3 Technology Focus vehicle 9 Does everything for the kitchen's sink
Aviva Test and Go Technology Accu-Check Diabetes Measurer medical 7 Could easily be a laxative.
Subaru Eyesight Technology Collision Detector vehicle 3 Good be useful for Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles.
OneTouch ColourSure Technology Verio Flex Diabetes Measurer medical 4 Is it a TV set or a fabric softener? Nope. It's a thing that pokes you!
Kimberly-Clark Thin-flex Technology Poise Impressa Bladder Supports medical 9 ... I guess it's better than saying 'micro-diaper technology'??
Vuly Thunder Leapspring Technology Trampoline household 5 ... Not a mattress. Or, not usually a mattress.
Loreal Layered Tone Technology Age Perfect Hair Colour personal 5 Tones like horn honks.
Lifeline Fall Detection Technology Auto Alert personal 4 Rather than 'helllp! I've fallen and can't get up!!!'
Fusion Life Brands Cerami-tech Non-Stick Technology Copper Chef frying pan household 4 Slippy square pan! Awesome!!
Pro-Mix MycoActive Technology Premium Lawn Fertilizer household 6 Being demonstrated by a guy with a stubble beard.
Bausch and Lomb Moisture Seal Technology Contact Lenses personal 7 Wouldn't you want the moisture to be released??
Rubbermaid Fresh Vent Technology plastic food containers household 9 Uhh... you mean . . . holes??
Pro Mix MycoActiveTechnology dirt household 8 Perhaps it's cow poop?
Sensodyne Novamin Technology Tooth Paste personal 9 Claims to 'repair' damaged teeth using 'building blocks'
Persil Pro-Power Technology laundry soap household 9 They even put a trade mark on it. Idiots.
Varilux W.A.V.E. Technology Eyeglasses personal 9 S.T.U.P.I.D.
PetSmart Vet Technology Flea Protection Dog Collar household 8 Who else would come up with this? Aerospace engineers?
Rubbermaid Fresh Vent Technology Food container household 5 More aerospace engineers?
Garnier Mexoryl Technology Ombrelle Sun Lotion household 3 It's not enough to say '60 spf'?
Colman Flare-Free Technology BBQ household 5 Another case of the obvious.
Sealy Posturepedic Technology Bed household 9 Like they needed to add 'technology' to 'Posturepedic'?!?
Petsmart Zodiac Vet Technology Infestop Flea Collar household 6 Holy crap. What has a boat got to do with this?!?
Crest Whitelock Technology Toothpaste personal 4 If it actually could do the job, we'd be good.
Haynes X-Temp Technology T-Shirt personal 8 Just stupid. And uses Michael Jordan to sell it.
Dove One-Quarter Moisturizer Technology Armpit Stick personal 9 Is the other three quarters sand paper?
RubikSpark Bubble-Control Technology Hand-held light-up puzzle personal 7 A translucent box that lights up/blinks.
Swiffer Absorb-And-Lock Technology Mop household 4 I guess there's still hope for 'Shake n Bake Technology'.
Sleep Country Spring Technology Mattress household 8 They're not even trying.
BetterBrella Reverse Open-Close Technology Umbrella household 6 Is this a joke? SNL perhaps??
Compund-W Accu-Freeze Technology Wart cream personal 9 Invented by the folks who brought you 'Accu-weather'
Jeep My Sky Technology Renegade Jeep vehicle 7 It sounded like 'Nice Guy Technologies'
Advil Dual Layer Technology Pill personal 5 How about "It has two layers"?
Panasonic Cyclonic Inverter Technology Microwave household 5 No tornados in the kitchen, please.
Samsung Water Wall Technology Dishwasher household 6 That's gonna hurt the dishes, isn't it?
Samsung Digital Inverter Technology Washing Machine household 7 What? Is it related to Cyclonic Inverter Technology???
Worx Micro Shred Technology Leaf Blower household 7 YAY!! Start with IBM thinkpads!!
Magic Tracks Serpentine Technology Lego/HotWheels hybrid household 4 Track that bends.
Dyson Ultraviolet Cleanse Technology Humidifier household 9 Quickly taking the championship for most 'Technologies'
Sensodyne Novamin Technology Toothpaste personal 8 They might win for the most catchy of the 'technology' names
Sleep Number SleepIQ Technology Bed household 9 One of the more useless attempts at a 'technology'
Presto RFI BlockingTechnology Wallet household 1 Actually, this one is almost legit.
Atomic Beam USA Tactical Technology Flashlight household 7 "Used by US Special Forces". Just like combat boots.
MTailor Digital Tailor Technology App to build a suit. personal 5 Computerized dress-up.
Hasbro Touch Free Technology Simon Air personal 4 Play a game.
Sleep Country Climatech Technology blanket household 7 Hot and Cold technology
Jockey StayNew Technology Underwear personal 9 Stay Stupid.
Liocaine Hydro-Gel Based Technology Pain Relieving Patch Personal 9 Is that the same gel they use in disposable diapers?
Pioneer Optimimum Acre Max Technology Fast Yield Crop Fertilizer Household 9 Add as many adjectives as you possibly can in front of 'technology'
Febreeze Odorclear Technology Air Freshener Household 9 Couldn't they at LEAST use the 'U' in OdoUr ??
Flonase MistPro Technology Nose Spray Personal 6 It's so good and powerful, it's no longer sold by prescription. Ie, it blows.
Callaway Jailbreak Technology Golf Club Personal 9 Vying for first place on the "can't guess this" scale.
LiberatoR Medical Clean Guide Technology Women's Portable Catheter Personal 4 Number 4 in Irritation Factor -- number 9 in 'EEEEWWWWW'
Honda MicroCut Technology Lawn Mower household 5 Wow. Our yard will never be the same.
Yardworks Quiet Power Technology Lawn Mower household 9 It's almost like Canadian Tire wasn't even trying.
Genie Hourglass Double Compression Weight Training Technology Girdle personal 7 They even renamed the concept to 'shape wear'
Castrol Fluid Titanium Technology Oil vehicle 8 Melt some expensive mineral, pour it into your engine.
Spinbrush Pulsating Technology Toothbrush Personal 3 Almost too lame to even record.
CIL SureStart Xtreme Technology Fertilizer household 8 Canadian Tire is trying to corner the market on gibberish technologies.
Beautyrest Thermaphase Gel Technology mattress topper household 7 I'm too tired to deal with this one (get it?)
Tena Pro-Skin Technology Pads personal 9 Just eeeewwwww!!
Shark Duo Clean Technology Vacuum household 8 Sucks in more way than two.
Shark Power-Lift Away Technology Vacuum household 8 Lifts in more way than two.
Shark Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology Vacuum household 9 Aye carumba! Three technologies in one infomercial!!
Tempur Pedic Pure Cool Technology Mattress household 7 Sleep Country is trying to catch up to Canadian Tire.
Sleep Country Hydraluxe Cooling Gel Technology Pillowcase household 7 Sleep Country is REALLY trying to catch up to Canadian Tire.
Sleep Country Cool Max Technology Gel Cool Pillow household 7 You shouldn't have one company try for a monopology on gibberish technology.
NicoDerm Extended Release Technology Nicotine Patch personal 5 Pretty obvious, actually.
Candian Tire Aero Force Technology Leaf Blower household 1 I'm getting the feeling that Canadian Tire •knows• they are inventing stupid phrases
Hoover Floor Sense Technology Vacuum household 8 What tipped you? Gravity?
Sensodyne Novamin Technology Tooth paste personal 8 The more complicated the gibberish, the more I get cranky
Canadian Tire Snow Groove Two Technology tires vehicle 9 I really think GARY from the Canadian Tire commercials makes these up on the fly.
Dormeo/Sleep Country Nano-bionic Technology Mattress household 8 They also claim to use infraread rays. Seriously.
Seabond Gradual Release Technology Denture Glue personal 8 No imagination
Always Wicking Technology Feminine Pads personal 8 Is it really a technology??
Toyota Guardian Technology Car something vehicle 5 The galaxy will be safe.
Bell & Howelll Light Conversion Technology Disklight (solar-powered yard light) household 5 Call now! Light your way to your phone!
Bejamin Moore GenX Color Technology Paint household 6 Only GenX-ers are stupid enough to buy this
Shick Shock Absorb Technology Hydrosense Razor personal 5 Not a car
Finish Three Chambered Technology Dish Soap household 9 Not heart by-pass intervention
Oilay Lock In Moisture Technology Body lotion personal 4 Obvious, but still stupid
Chevy Surround Vision Technology Equinox vehicle 7 Obvious but sounds stupid.
TruFlex Roundup Ready Technology Canola household 5 Seeds that don't like weeds
Dove 1/4 moisturizer Technology Armpit roller personal 8 Not even trying.
Coleman Puncture Guard Technology Air Mattress household 8 Can't you just say 'it is puncture resistant'?
Dodge MDS Technology RAM Truck vehicle 9 Something to do with 'fuel saving'
Proactiv Smart Target Technology Zit Cream personal 8 Bow and Arrows
Oil of Olay Lock-In Moisture Technology Soap personal 6 No creativity
OK Tires Micro bit Technology Toyo Tires vehicle 7 Not compupters
Worx micro shred technology Leaf blower household 8 Getting close to the stupidest "techology" of the year.
Ninja Terdercrisp technology Crock Pot household 6 Could be just about anything except a lawn mower.
iRobot Dirt Detect technology Roomba - vaccuum household 4 What about finding cat hair?
Dormeo Octa-Spring technology Mattress household 9 You mean, eight springs?
Ego Powerload technology weed whacker household 6 Huge competition in this market.
Keratin Colour K-Bond Plex technology Hair Colour personal 9 Award given to most complicated techno-gibberish.
T-Rex Forge Link Technology Duct Tape household 5 Sounds like a bicycle part.
Tena Pro-Skin technology Adult Diapers personal 7 Hint: NOT condoms.
Callaway Flash Face Technology Golf Club household 5 Sloppy description
Gillette Hot Bar Technology Razor personal 7 Why would they call it a technology?
PS: This is NOT bullshit! These are ACTUAL technology declarations, as observed and recorded by ME! If you discover another BS technology (and it can be verified), email me, and I'll add it to the list!




2014 Nov 18

Slow news month in the IT industry
'Internet of Things'

I guess when you have a month or two without a significant virus story, you have to resurrect old concepts to stir the pot.

Over 25 years ago, there was an over-hyped IT phrase:

A single device that can do the work of many devices

There have been many hula-hoop phrases

'fourth-generation languages', 'procedural languages', 'reduced-instruction-set computers', 'push technology', 'relational databases', 'super computers', etc

The last couple of years, online computing magazines are using the scare tactics again - mostly for the idiot managers who only get their news by reading it on an airplane:

Many devices communicating with each other

We have been integrating 'things' with our computers forever. We've been able to turn off/on our house lights from afar; we've turned telephones into computers; our televisions were turned into two-way devices in the 1970's (Telidon); computers used as fax machines; computers control traffic lights - - - etc etc etc.

. . . Oh, and let's not forget that computers have been able to communicate with other computers for a couple of years, too.

I remember a totally absurd concept a few years back, where a 'technology visionist' (aka 'crackpot') suggested that eventually all of our light bulbs would be on the internet, so they could sense how close they were to the end-of-service-life, and email a light bulb supplier with a replacement order to be delivered to the house automatically.

We were also supposed to run out of IP addresses about 20 years ago. 4 billion addresses weren't going to be enough - especially when we've got all those light bulbs to put onto the internet.

Dear Chicken Little:
I have no less than fourteen internet-attached devices in my home.
I have two IP addresses --and often, the service providers change them.
PS: I also seem to have survived Y2K.

- - - While I'm whining about rehashed/re-branded concepts, which arrogant twit decided that our industry be changed from 'the computing industry' to 'the information technology industry'? Shoot that guy.




2014 Sep 5

Spend $11M to save $2M
Another Institution Suckered By Google

News Item:
Edmonton city auditors determine that the cost to move Edmonton's email to GMAIL and attempts to dislodge MS Office as the preferred productivity suite goes way over budget.
As a veteran IT manager who was responsible for central services (such as email) I say:
--- However, unlike some other institution who has yet to admit the BS 'cost savings' of going to Google, the city has come clean (probably not by choice).
Cart before the horse . . . It's really quite simple. For a crap load of years, many stupid institutions banked on MSEXCHANGE as their email platform. The folks in those organizations with the clout/money were totally enamored with the shared calendaring capability that Microsoft provided. At what cost? $10 (or so) per ID per year. 16000 IDs? $1.6M per year. Oh, and about $500K per year for the IT support (hardware, manpower) to run that monolithic piece of shit server environment. For calendar sharing??? Morons.

100% of your population uses email. What percentage needs a shared calendar: One? Three? Ten percent? Oh, wait -- it's a public service institution (very top-heavy): manager-to-worker ratio is about 1 to 4. So, maybe 25% of your population can 'gain productivity' (ahahhahhhhhaaah hahaaa) by using a shared calendar to set up another meeting!

MS-blind . . . There are free offerings in the non-Microsoft world that can do the same thing. At an institution that can no longer be named, 30,000 students had email for a cost of ZERO DOLLARS to them, and a license cost to the institution of ... ZERO DOLLARS. But NOOOO! We can't learn a different way to let our secretaries look after our luncheon meetings!

But WAIT! If you go to Google, we'll throw in the ability to craft spreadsheet and word processing documents!! Okay, it means that you'll no longer be able to write your project proposal if you're not permanently connected to the internet, but hey! We'll give you the ability of sharing your data to others! Just like you could always do with a central file-sharing server at your own building!

Managers . . . Did any of those clout/money-wielding lemmings actually give up their MS-Excel and MS-Word licenses in the transition? Not bloody likely – the same reasoning that kept MS-Outlook alive (shared calendaring along with generic email) is forcing the need to continue their MSOffice licenses. About $45 per year per person.

And how is it that underling staff can be forced to go (kicking and screaming) to Google Apps? Because we're telling you to.

Why does the CIO have the balls to insist/order everyone to move from Microsoft to Google to (maybe) save a few bucks (HAH HAH HARR HARRR), but not have the balls to force a move of the entire environment to open-source, FREE, software?
  • To keep up with the Jone's: Google transition is a hot topic on airline magazines.

    and ...

  • Because they keep stifling people like me.




2014 Aug 17

When you're PAID to write,
show some insight, Gunter !!
Yet another case of lazy 'journalism'

What a wordy crock of shit.

Thirty Paragraphs.

  • Eight paragraphs of poetry to fluff up how lovely rural life on the prairies is/was during the time of the quill pen.
  • Four paragraphs of generic pipeline business history for the set up ... then...
  • One and a half paragraphs of his concern
  • Regurgitate more generic pipeline history, (glommed from other web sites, I suspect).
  • A generic piece of clip art (a fisherman on a lake).
  • Add a quarter-page banner saying that "Enbridge is Evil".
  • Done.
And what was Lorne Gunter's point? Hell if I know. The first half of the article could be a travel brochure for 1940s' Saskatchewan. The paragraphs leading up to his huge concern admit that Enbridge actually is doing a damn decent job. And what is his huge concern?
TIRE TRACKS in the mud.

No pictures of the terrible infraction. No real description of the heinous crime against nature. The 'silt run-off' isn't attributed to any wrong-doing of the pipeline company - he just says Enbridge didn't do anything about it. -- should they have? We'll never know: he's the friggin' journalist --- the one who should have dug deep enough to convince people he didn't just make it up. Someone paid money for him to write this crap!

... and the Edmonton Sun's editor's seem to accept it. After all, it filled an entire page, and had a catchy headline. Maybe it will prompt a response/quote from Enbridge, so they can mis-construe it, and build another one-pager of mud.


I'd actually write a letter to the editor for the Sun, but regardless of what is said in the 'letters' section, the asshole editor always affixes a 'last word'/witty-quip/comeback to each submission. Those one-liners always show the contempt he has for his readers. By writing my complaint here, I get the last word.




2014 June 1

Wander aimlessly around the stage,
Put your head between your knees and BLOW
The MILES DAVIS method - elitist musical gibberish

This is a great poster. It is often displayed on the wall of a lot of uneducated 'jazz fans' who have no idea who Miles Davis is. Or Jazz, for that matter. Or Music in general. Or a Melody.

Yes, it's a very cool looking poster. Get over it.

It's the poster of an elitist heroine addict from the 60s.

A long time ago, in a smoky lounge far away, artists used to gather to trade musical stories based on a foundation of well-established melodies and chord progressions. Regardless of what they played, they did it in honour of the underlying melody. This form of Jazz grew from humble beginnings -- traveling through soulful spirituals, ragtime, blues, dixieland, and many other related musical families. The best musicians could navigate the (very soft) boundaries dictated by the form of a song, and produce masterful, melodic prose. Those short stories were unique, and appreciated by most everyone in the club.

Somewhere along the line, some musicians got bored of playing 'variations on a melody'. Show-offs were heading toward 'be-bop' (where a musician tries to cram as many notes as humanly possible into the shortest duration of a bar of music), or by shifting to an extremely 'free flow'/'free form jazz'. By using one of those two styles, they would not be limited to silly rules, such as taste. They could, in essence, show off their virtuosity to only those who 'got it'. Never mind that people would not be able to 'feel' the rhythm or the musical patterns and flow -- because the music was being performed by the most prominent musicians in the city, it must be good. Maybe YOU just don't understand it. Look at all the other people engrossed in its artistry! No one is going to admit that they were baffled by the continuous flow of unintelligible noise. My GOD that man is a GENIUS!

Jazz Lemmings.

Elite musical snobs like Miles, in expressing themselves, are doing it without regard to you, the audience. "Expressing themselves", or "impressing themselves"? They are trying to wow their tightly knit clique of musical colleagues. You know -- the ones that will go backstage during the break, shoot up with heroine and/or snort a line or two, then talk about how awesome they are. Thanks very much, audience, for your contributing your two-drink minimum to our drug habits. If I could find a way to pay myself, I wouldn't need an audience at all - I'm only playing for my own enlightenment, anyway!

How can any sober, clean individual appreciate this kind of performance: Miles' typical video

How do you teach a young trumpeter good habits, when rubes around him/her are saying "oh, you should hear and watch Miles Davis -- he's the best". WHAT?! stick a plug into the end of your horn, crouch on your knees, and play elitist gibberish to your ASS?

2015 Nov 17        VINDICATION!!!
SOMEONE ELSE is confounded by the Myth of Miles!!

Much more eloquent, researched, polite and intelligent, but vindication nonetheless!!




2014 April 16

an IT management rant from a 31-year veteran

Canada Tax System Compromised
Standard Dysfunction of IT segments exposed

So, about a week ago, the IT industry discovered a flaw in a fundamental component of 'secure' web services.

The flaw allows people to inspect small chunks of memory from the web server. In the CRA's case, anyone (with a little know-how) can inspect small pieces of the active memory of the server. The active memory will likely have recent transactions (aka SINs), but also components of the server's system itself, including passwords and encryption keys).

This Heartbleed bug, in essence, is a standard 'memory leak' problem. Although the bug only exposes a small amount of memory each time it is requested, it would take no time to accumulate (and piece together) a massive amount of data from the server.

Public Service's   real   flaw in IT support:

Different divisions of the IT department protect their own turf, and don't communicate with other segments of the department

Here's the problem:

  • Help Desk/Client Services are the ones who get ragged on by the taxpayers, and are the ones that media outlets talk to, given that the other IT personnel are 'too busy' to deal with the public. Don't let the name 'client services' fool you: the Help Desk's job is to run interference - act as a human shield between the public and the higher-paid members of the IT team.

    When the shit hits the fan, they're the first ones to smell it, followed closely by:

  • Web/Application Developers are the folk that are responsible for making the face that the taxpayer will see. Like the Help Desk, they have a skill that is very unique and scarce in the IT world: they know how to relate to humans, and try their best to predict how humans would like to communicate with computers. By focusing on helping others, they have to trust that other IT personnel deal with the "under-the-covers" pieces. Often, application developers don't even have access to the system-level components of the servers they build upon. They just dutifully look at their log files, making sure that their applications behave as expected.

    With respect to Heartbleed, Web/Application Developers are totally innocent. There are no traces of the exploit's activity in any of the web developer's log files.

    Those poorly paid individuals are dependent on the so-called elite members of their department:

  • Server Administrators are the high-paid 'elite' that make sure all of the computers have the right operating system and services installed and any developer materials are made available to the poorly-paid peasants (aka: Web/Application Developers). The secret that the sys admins don't want anyone to discover is:
    Sys Admins BLUFF. THEY DON'T KNOW SQUAT about what they install. They seem smart, but they merely cobble together server pieces that were developed by others!


    OPENSSL, the key component in security for all these servers, is treated by most (if not all) these lazy twits as an off-the-shelf, set-it-and-forget-it widget. "Everyone else is using it, so I might as well, too".

    What is really sad is that OPENSSL is delivered to these sys admins as uncompiled SOURCE CODE - which means that every sys admin in the world had the opportunity to inspect the code before compiling it and installing it on their computers.

    Blind trust in other elite brethren of the Black Coven of System Administrators have contributed to the Heartbleed bug's 'undiscovered' two-year run. [Here is a much more polite explanation of the problem]

    However, they are NOT to blame for the compromised SINs at the government. From what I can piece together, you can thank...

  • Network Administrators are people who make sure each hunk of hardware connects to each other - and to the outside world. Every bit of information travels through equipment they are responsible for.

    APPARENTLY, when the OPENSSL/Heartbleed vulnerability was first announced, the network administrators must have started logging the data traffic related to the bug. They trapped illicit traffic for 6+ hours. How else would they be able to announce that 'only 6 hours of data/SINs' was leaked?

    W H A T   ? ? ! ! ? !

    CRA continued to serve the public for six more hours after someone in the department knew about the bug. Not only did (some) members of the CRA know about the bug, but (some) members had the foresight to start watching the leak - without plugging it.

    You can't give the network admins the benefit of the doubt for this, because:

    1. Given that the application logs would not be able to detect the exploit, the only way to determine if the bug had been used would be to watch the data stream from the server to the Internet.
    2. The Network Sys admins had to have just added those tracing/capture routines after the bug was announced -- if they were trapping that stream a year/month/week/day earlier, they surely would have eventually discovered the aberration in data traffic, and alerted someone, right?
    3. The moment they saw illicit traffic leaving their front door, they should have alerted the Sys Admins and Web Developers and the Help Desk. Instead, they let six hours of data race out the door. Even if they couldn't contact a Sys Admin or Developer to turn off the service, they are the friggin' gatekeepers! They could do the virtual equivalent of unplugging the socket/service!!

    Network Admins have an inferiority complex, brought on by the snobbish attitude of the Sys Admins. Of course they would resist talking to the sys admins. Especially when the egg is finally on the sys admin's face for using bug-riddled software. That'll learn ya, you lazy bastages!

I'm going to also assert one more thing: The real culprit in this breach of security is "Change Management".

It's one of the new hula hoop phrases of IT. In concept, it's good:

"Use a disciplined, documented, reproducible approach to making changes across services. "

Unfortunately, that is a world of fantasy. You have added a layer of bureaucracy that slows down and deters the fluidity necessary to keep a complex environment running at the top of its' game. You are expecting several warring factions to (somehow) swallow their pride and admit that other divisions of IT are equally important. Not going to happen.

Communication between groups cannot be dictacted or mandated. It has to be developed over time. Adding formal processes and paperwork just sends more tasks deeper into the underground. . .

. . . like trapping illicit data streaming.

PS: Even though Apple's base-level operating system is UNIX (the primary customer of open source software - like OPENSSL), "Apple uses its own cryptographic services for OS X and iOS; an earlier, unaffected version of OpenSSL is included in OS X, but Apple discourages its use". [cite]

PPS: Microsoft doesn't use OPENSSL either.

PPPS: But, Apache (ie, the web server software used by most of the world - including MS and Mac OS's) does use OPENSSL.




2013 Sep 14 : removed. An obsolete rant about the alderman/coucillor candidates for the West end in 2013.

Michael Oshry won it. He did OK. He left.

New candidates are underwhelming, except for Xiao -- who should be thrown into the path of a slow moving LRT




2013 Jul 16

Astonishing Increase in Cripples at the Gate
Or people who don't know the order of numbers

Welcome to Flight AC 203 to London.

We will start by preboarding. Those people with small children, or those requiring extra assistance can proceed to the entrance.

OR ...
  • The individuals who will use a walker to get on the plane, but will do handstands and acrobatics to get off the plane first.
  • Those who need to pee in a small toilet RIGHT AWAY!
  • Those who want to claim the overhead bins in row 17, even though their seats are in row 21.
  • Those who enjoy watching 30 other retards waiting behind them in the aisle while you adjust your belt, climb over your travel companion, and then come back out to retrieve the chocolate bar from the over-sized carry-on you can't/won't put under your seat.
  • The old men, travelling alone, who somehow think that by taking their aisle seat right away, they'll luck into a free grope of the woman who might have to climb over him to be seated in the neighbouring seat.
  • Those people who legitimately have the mental impairment of not comprehending the word "WAIT"
  • Those people who want to watch the twelve people who actually follow instructions blow a fargin gasget before they get themselves seated.
  • The ones who never buckle up, or put their seats and trays up when they are told.
  • The people seated in row 15, who want to feel like they're in first class, as they watch rows 24 through 32 board 'first'.
  • They need extra time to press the 'stewardess help' button fourteen times before takeoff.
  • Those idiots who know that they'll also be the first ones to unbuckle their seatbelts and stand in the aisles upon arrival at the destination.
  • The same passengers who will order an expensive Kosher meal, only to toss it when they see that the real meal is bacon-wrapped filet mingnon, with a white cream sauce.
  • Those that will insist that they be moved to a seat which would give them the most eye contact with the flight attendants, since they will be very, very needy of wet-naps and extra pillows throughout the flight.
  • [... add your moron event here ...]
Flights are irritating at the best of times. Thank you for starting my slow boil even before I buckle up.

The only thing worse than road rage is air rage.




2013 Jun 7

Lotsa Lame Logos

Which came first? The 1964 Ford Mustang Logo,
or the 1968 Calgary Stampeders Logo?

... What? It's not obvious?

The only acceptable explanation for Cotown to blatantly copy the Ford Mustang logo is that the Stamps' version was submitted by a 9-year-old, who won a coloring contest sponsored by McMahon Stadium.

But, the Stampeders aren't the only amateurs in graphic design...

I think the most shameful excuse for a logo is what happened to the symbol for the team formerly known as the Montreal Expos. The iconic Expos Logo has stood the test of time: you can still see hipsters wearing the red-white-blue ball cap. Most of those kids probably never heard of Gary (the Kid) Carter, Andre (the Hawk) Dawson, Bill (Spaceman) Lee, Tim (Rock) Raines, Jeff (the Terminator) Reardon or Steve (Cy Young) Rogers. The expos logo looked like this:

Class, all the way.
Now, look at the embarrassment that is the new logo:

  Washington Nationals.

  Look familiar?

There are other obvious embarassments in the sporting world, such as Saskatchewan Roughriders' looking eerily like the bloody Safeway 'S'


'Combined' (get it?) with another team in the CFL also being called the 'Riders' - and a stadium that holds a max sixty-eight spectators - these guys prove that it's not easy being green.



I also have a little bit of a problem with the UofA's Panda, and Golden University Bear or Alberta ('Guba'), who looks a lot like a couple of college mascots from the 'States:

Univ of Alberta
Cal State
Washington State Battling Bear

Baylor Univ Sailor Bear


Take someone's work, massage it a little, and publish it as your own. They're universities, after all.




2013 May 20

The LUXURY LINER circa 1958-2014
Schools and Marching Bands: Preserving the loud, uncomfortable, dangerous, and the ugly.


1991 flikr

2004 For sale: $12,000

Fifty Years (at least), these pieces of crap have remained virtually unchanged. They are:
  • Loud
  • Unreliable
  • Slow
  • Uncomfortable
  • Unsafe

You can hear these things roaring toward you fron two blocks away. A lot of them are diesel, which could have been a cost saving, except most of the drivers idle these yellow beasts for twenty minutes before they finally grind these behemoths into gear!

"Hey, if I have to get up at 5:20 am, then everyone else in my neighbourhood should, too!",
   signed,   the granny across the street who warms up her deisel bus for an hour every AM.

What? Who needs air conditioning when you have windows!?! Besides, the heaters never worked, so why should we try to install a/c?

How many band trips used the back four rows to stack floor-to-ceiling with instruments and luggage? Emergency exit? We don't need no stinkin' emergency exit!

Can't we shrink the engine compartment from 200 cubic feet to, say, the size of a Camaro's engine compartment? The acceleration of these yellow things is so poor, you can see kids on trikes on sidewalks beating them across the intersection. The notion that a bus needs a lot of 'torque' (hence the loud, grinding gear changes) would work fine if the buses were travelling through bogs, marshes, and horse pastures to make it to the little red school house - however, they obviously don't work -- every year, 'snow days' occur only along rural school bus routes.

Another thing that amazes me: the cabin is so high off the ground, probably the most dangerous place for a 2-foot four child to stand is beside of one of these tubs - where there is NO POSSIBLE WAY for the driver to ensure that there are no kids around the vehicle!

Hint for band managers: always lease an extra bus. You will need to move the kids from Bus #1 to Bus #3 twenty minutes outside of Butte, Montana.

Some reasons why these things probably haven't changed:

  • With winter snowboots, kids can still ride the bus bumpers with less fear of injury than actually riding inside the bus.
  • The only exercise for a lot of the kids is the acrobatics of climbing over the seats
  • As the birthplace of the fine art of 'mooning', the manufacturers are legally obligated to provide twenty ass-high windows. No one has yet repealed that law.
  • The centre of gravity of a school bus is purposely high, so kids can learn cooperation - 'lean one side', 'then the other'. There is no better way to teach the physics of 'sympathetic vibration' than to topple your very own school bus!!
  • Every fan-bus for football games gets completely trashed by the end of a season, so a ready-supply of half-century old compatible spare parts is a necessity.
  • Just as Microsoft has kept IT professionals in business for the past thirty years, veteran mechanics from the Korean war continue to have work.
  • For long band trips, the low-back seats give chaperones a better opportunity to nix any 'hanky panky'.
  • The noise of the engine needs to drown out the whining and screaming of the passengers.
  • A lifelong cumulative effect of riding on nonexistent shock-absorbers has spawned a new industry: Chiropractic 'medicine'. Lots of kickbacks ensue.
  • They make the Diversified fleet of 'luxury coaches' actually seem luxurious - even though they remain (expensive) pieces of crap.




2013 May 3

Music Education gets another shafting
Edmonton Public Schools leverages passionate parents and music kids to protest budgets

My pal, Eric Heise
Given that most of the friends on my Facebook are firm believers in the value of performing and liberal arts, I'm forwarding along this article that was brought to my attention by a terrific friend and awesome piano accompanist.

Kari and her son, Eric, were given the opportunity to speak to the CBC about the impact of the Public School system yanking $250K from their annual budget that was used to provide enrichment to kids who have demonstrated a profound enthusiasm for choirs, bands, symphonies, and performance art.

Mastery of performing art requires dedication. The by-product of a solid musician is better grades, a socially mature individual, and a sense of responsibility.

Restricting and/or eliminating city-wide opportunities for young creative minds only shows the short-mindedness of the bureaucrats at the school board (and provincial government) levels. All at the same time the province is announcing MASSIVE capital projects.

Remember all of you voters out there: You're the ones who elected the school trustees and the persistent PC landslide majority.




2013 Mar 11

Teaching a Legacy Computer Language
Should we also be teaching Engineers how to build vacuum tubes?

Universities fail to offer essential programming skills like Cobol
Programming languages like Cobol, CICS and JCL are essential to support business-critical IT systems
[Techworld, Mar 8/2013]
Antony Savvas, a writer for Techworld online magazine, reported on "research" sponsored by the application modernisation, testing and management firm Micro Focus. The study somehow discovered that more than half of the academic leaders of the 118 universities surveyed say they believed Cobol programming should be on their curriculum.

The good news is that students have spoken; only 27 percent actually have COBOL courses. [News alert: "students are smarter than school administrators"]

30 years ago, I took COBOL in school. One course: I was interested in learning more about databases- at that time, that meant using COBOL. OK, fine. I was a good typer - a requirement for the absurdly verbose COBOL language. I even used that skill to write a couple of COBOL programs (from scratch) for my job. The programs were fairly trivial tasks - variants on a theme:

  • take a file of raw data, usually formatted by columns
  • separate the fields, and check for typos/bad input
  • sort the records
  • produce a pretty, formatted report, including any tallies/totals.
The ineptitude of the language to handle real-time (conversational) input, (that is, letting a person type data directly from a terminal into the computer program, rather than a 'batch' of pre-entered lines of data) led me to learn a scary skill: building an assembly language interface between a more conversationally (aka 'interactive') language back into COBOL code.

All I really learned from that small window of my coding career was:

  • I'm a good typer
Alright, it also taught me about how to program in smaller, procedural blocks (new languages call these things 'methods').

The notion that academic institutions 'teach programming languages' is fundamentally flawed - that's a task for a vocational school. Universities use computer languages to teach concepts and techniques - algorithms. The language learned is incidental. A byproduct.

Some people will claim that COBOL still runs a lot of the code used by businesses. So what? No one is building COBOL programs from scratch - they are only modifying existing COBOL programs. So, when the time comes to update/add new features to one of those existing programs, a business has essentially two choices:

  • Get a programmer to delve into the dusty old code, figure out what it is doing, and make changes.
  • Use the opportunity to replace that 30-year-old piece of irrelevant crap with a new program.

Given a few weeks, any good programmer would be able to figure out what is going on in a COBOL program (A few hours, actually). That's because one of COBOL's endearing features is that it (hah!) self-documents its logic. Example:

... that example sets up the data file for the rest of the program. I would compare it to this PERL chunk:
open(StudentFile,"<STUDENTS.DAT");		# open a file handle 'Studentfile' for sequential reading

It's an oversimplification, but, If you know one language, you know them all. Take the differences in CFL/NFL football: Essentially, the same game. If all you played was American college football all your life, would it really take that long to learn the CFL? Should the UofA offer an option in the Phys Ed department for 'NFL-rules football' to complement the CFL standard?




2013 Feb 14

Auditor General should have his judgment audited.
$100M drop in a bucket for travel expenses

[Canadian Press, Metro, Feb 13, 2013]
So, Alberta Health Services is being audited for poor reporting of expenses.

Apparently, not how much is being spent, just how it's being reported.

Merwan Saher, the Auditor General, says that is just a drop in the bucket for an organization with 100,000 members to spend $100,000,000 in incidental expenses, such as travel and hosting. (The article is actually vague and what other expenses are involved in the $100M - it cites other purchases, but doesn't elaborate. The story's also ambiguous about whether the 17 month audit was looking at a single fiscal year, or more [I feel another tirade coming on about lazy reporters...])

From the story:

[... Saher ...] says that less than one percent of spending involved senior staff, while $60 million involved employees in the lower ranks.

OK, a little management talk here.

A ratio of one percent 'senior managers'-to-schleps might be OK. When I was employed as a manager of IT in the Institution That Shall No Longer Be Named, I was directly responsible for about hundred people; I would have considered myself as a 'mid-level manager'. So, we could have a real problem at AHS if there is a level of management below 'senior managers' that is actually doing the work. At my public service institution, my 'senior manager' had six mid-level managers. The senior manager was ultimately responsible for roughly 300-400 people. A 0.33 percent ratio. So, is AHS top-heavy?? I'm betting MOST DEFINITELY

1000 senior managers.... $40,000,000 [~ $40,000 per person]
9000 staff members...... $60,000,000 [~ $7,000 per person]

W H A T ???!!! Some bureaucrat is spending $40,000 on TRAVEL??!! [oh, and 'other purchases'] And a general worker (lab tech, nurse, secretary, computer support, driver, doctor) is getting $7,000 ??!!?

Where I worked, my budget allowed for about $800 per staff member for professional upgrading/training/conferences, etc. I allocated myself about $2,000 per year, but rarely took it [there was also a professional allowance of $1200 per year for me to buy books, etc. -- I rarely took that either.]

So, how the hell do you spend $40,000 on travel and hosting???

I've got a contract with an international science foundation, where I wrote the code for their conference registration system. It's a typical academic conference. The charge to attend is roughly $2000 for a one-week conference. In the worst-case scenario, Airfare would cost about $3000, Hotel at worst-case would be about $300/night. Public service food allowance (per diem) is much less than $100 per day (ps: most conferences pay for meals, so most conference attendees should NOT be asking for meal reimbursement). So, a high-end, 1-week academic conference, half-way around the world would cost $11,000 - MAX.

The Auditor General thinks that it's OK for every senior staff member of AHS to go on four separate 1-week conferences half-way around the world a year?

I don't.




2013 Feb 10

Badger these guys
Fast Food Signage - Part One

I've got lots of complaints about food places -- I actually had a restaurant review site for a few years. a company bought me out - (for cheap), but at least I can brag that I had a web site that was purchased. Cool, eh?

But, I also eat a lot of crap. Mall crap.

I live near the Big Fat Mall ("West Edmonton Mall"). They have two food courts. Many foods. Lots of variety.

There's one place that really pisses me off. Has been this way for many many years, through two- or three- signage changes, I'm sure. This place sells donairs. The also advertise donair subs. It's on their sign. Has been on their signs forever. Probably twenty years ago, I walked by and asked for a Don sub, and pointed up to their sign... The guy growled and said "Sorry, no buns -- just donairs". That kind of pissed me off, so I politely thanked him, and walked away.
Then I came back the next week, and asked the same thing -- I got an identical answer, "Sorry, no buns -- just donairs". This time I challenged them, and said, "but it's on your sign". "Sorry, no buns.". Now, I'm cranky. For the next few weeks, it was my ritual to always walk by that donair kiosk and ask for a donair sub. Eventually the donair guy would notice me coming and bark at me "No buns! Go Away!!".

Even after he updated his sign, he still advertised the donair sub, and won't deliver.

It isn't much, but it is a bait-and-switch... The amount of meat, cheese, etc. in a sub is a lot more than a pita bread. He's been too fargin' stupid to increase the price for his phantom sub - instead he just tries to side-step the matter to his customers by offering the generic/standard pita-based donair.

I get the same treatment from all three of the guys who seem to take turns at the site. I get the same sucker treatment from all of them. Every once in a while I will still walk past this twit's kiosk, and ask for a donair sub -- I don't go often enough where they will instantly remember my face - or when I'm with someone who will be embarrassed by my performance. I still point out that 'maybe he should change the bloody sign".

Here's where all of you come in: walk by this guy's donair shop, and ask for a donair sub. (His newest sign calls it a "LOAF"). I need help trying to shame this dork into either taking off his sign, or actually start buying buns.

By the way... There's a great place near the University called "Duke's Donair" -- I can get monster donairs, fries, pizza, etc. Good folk. I could also get a donair sub when the mood strikes me. Try one. You'll like it.




2013 Feb 7

Here's a sign proudly (or lazily) displayed at the door to a local Taco Bell, claiming the origin of its product:

'Nuff said?.




2013 Jan 21

Dear Radio Announcers:

That's all I have to say.




2012 June 27

To be... a bleeding heart? Or NOT?
Zero on assignments, or rot in Guantanamo?

Edmonton Journal, 2012 June 27
So, a 25 year-plus veteran of the Edmonton Public School is becoming a front-page hero, right alongside the kid who killed and maimed US soldiers in the name of some god or something.
I believe the act of teaching is performed without any expectation of personal reward. This is a selfless career, and the ones who have given their entire lives to this vocation should be considered the most honourable members of modern society. The great teachers become inspiration and examples to us all. When olde-timers reminisce of the most memorable, influential people of their youth, the majority of them will recall their teachers. We need good teachers. Good teachers, themselves, are life-long learners; they never give up.     However ...

For all I know, this science teach could just be trying to coast his way to retirement -- it's a heck of a lot easier to give a zero than to actually try to encourage a kid to learn something. A ton of teachers I've had the privilege of 'learning from' over the years were absolute dinosaurs who would spend each teaching day as different year, same lecture. They would be noticeably absent from staff meetings (since they're not about to change how they teach their material), and are likely the ones to conveniently be absent from parent-teacher interview days. You'd also not likely see them attending professional development days at the annual teacher's convention.

Those are the teachers with no friends or real colleagues.

How many teachers have stood beside their Ross Sheppard colleague to challenge the 'no zero' ruling?

Now, let's talk about the real world, like the tool who was given front page of the Journal today to spew his comments. "In the real world, there are no zeros". Bullshit. Have you ever worked for a union? You can slack off for years, and you're still likely to get an annual increment; your annual review will politely encourage you to try a little harder next year. Here are a few others:

  • Do your super-hero hockey players get docked in pay every time the team loses? Their goal is to win, right? They win 60% of their games next year? Dock them 40% of their salary. Doesn't happen, does it?
  • Miss a faculty meeting? Did you get docked in pay?
  • Fail to encourage all of your students to hand in assignments? Dock in pay?
  • Were you late paying your property taxes? Did you have your house seized?
  • Does the baseball coach permanently bench every inept, uncoordinated kid on his Pee-Wee team in favour of ones who didn't strike out the last nine at-bats?
  • Re-use the same physics exam every other year to cut down on your work load. Dock in pay?


Now, what the heck is the connection with the terrorist locked up in Cuba?

See the other front page story.

Apparently the Muslim who dropped out of school in grade eight, learned to kill and maim, and got locked up as an admitted/convicted terrorist, is being given private classroom time. I wonder if our Shep physics teacher would have the balls to give a zero to him? Or, would he try a little harder to encourage the student to take learning more seriously? Are you a bleeding heart or a hippocrate?

And, shame (as usual) on the media, for taking the easy way out on the stories -- has anyone taken the time to properly review (and report) on this, poor, defenceless teacher? If it were a court of law, the lawyers would look into the reliability of the witness.


PS: I didn't make front page when I was unjustly treated by an Institution that Shall No Longer be Named (after 31 years of service) - why the hell should a high-school science teacher be given front page to talk about his undying principles, standards and philosophies?




2012 May 23

Pay at the Pump...
What, you really want to lose money?

I go to get gas. I'm on empty. OK, fine. Happens a lot.

Hey! I'll go to the Mac's store in Callingwood. I'm right there, anyway! While I'm there, I'll treat myself to a large slush (aka, 'froster'/'slurpee'), a newspaper, and heck -- I might even pick up a bag of M&Ms or something to quickly munch on in the car (before I get home)! Easy enough to score extra junk food when you're going to use your charge card for a $55 fill up, anyway...


"Pay at the Pump Only"

Are you franchise owners really that stupid? Let's think about how much pure profit you lost with this ridiculous action to:

  • Alleviate the lineups at the cash register?
  • Reduce errors at the cash register because your staff don't like their McJobs?
  • Your staff don't like seeing people?
  • You honestly believe there are that many 'dash-and-dine' pump-runners? You still have to flick the switch to turn on the pump, right?

Here's what really happened:

  • I drove away, and found a place that would satisfy my need for impulse buys, and let me fill up with gas and junk food - - and do it on one charge card transaction.

So, not only did you lose about $6 (net profit on the gas fill), you lost about a dime profit on the newspaper, $2.50 on the slurpee (we know it's all profit), and depending on how hungry I was, about $1 profit on a big pack of M&Ms or a bag of chips. Oh, and I wouldn't mind a couple of packs of Hall's cough drops, since I'm here. Another $2 profit. Hey! a new MacUser magazine! I'll pick that up, too!

Your decision to alienate me cost you $12 bucks in pure, easy money; 8 minutes of work for $12 profit could pay for an extra clerk.  

Even if I would have just gotten gas at the pump, skipped the junk food, and drove away without bothering your McWorkers, you still would have lost out on about $6 impulse profit. For some folk, it probably would be more, because you could try to sell them lottery tickets or extra packs of smokes, or whatever.

You are a convenience store! -- NOT a gas bar!! Take a look at the merchandise you have in your store! If you don't want people to buy it, sell the franchise to someone who will do it right, and buy yourself one of those goofy 'Domo' booths.

And while you're at it, get bigger straws for your slurpee machine!




2012 Mar 6

Oh my gads - the sky is falling!

In email today:
On 2012-04-06, at 11:48 AM, Mike Malone wrote:
Hey George, what do you think about this?
C|Net / ZDNet story
On facebook yesterday:
Doug Zimmerman
For my Apple disciple friends...Larry? George? Rob? etc etc etc???
Journal Story
Here's the "panic":
"CNET first reported on the existence of Flashback last September when the trojan was pretending to be a plug-in installer for Adobe’s Flash Player, though a new version began proliferating in February engineered to exploit a vulnerability in the Mac operating system related to how it reads the Java programming language."

This is what happens on slow news days. People start viral panics about nothing. This story being picked up by the Financial Times ranks way up there with the ever-elusive Mayan "End of the Earth" date.

All the articles can be traced back to one source: 'Ed Bott' -- I've followed his diatribe off and on. He has been out to get Mac for years. His regular column in ZDnet is a Microsoft-based column. He has been trying to fear-monger his way into popularity for Microsoft for years. He's generally full of shit - but he won't accept it, and continues to try his absolute hardest to discredit the Macintosh.

He's also just a writer of prose, and a user of computers — not a sys admin or programmer. For another writer to accept this twit as the de-facto standard for news-worthy items on Macintosh security lowers that writer to the level of "National Enquirer". Here's Ed's credentials (

"Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications. He's served as editor of the U.S. edition of PC Computing and managing editor of PC World; both publications had monthly paid circulation in excess of 1 million during his tenure. He is the author of more than 25 books on Microsoft Windows and Office, including the recently released Windows 7 Inside Out."
He writes books about how to use MS Word?!?!


Here are the facts, and why us Mac users don't need to panic: It's not a virus; it's a trojan horse-based piece of 'malware' (aka 'bad software'). A virus spreads from one machine to the next without anyone knowing (or doing anything about it). A trojan horse is something that causes a moron user to get suckered into installing something bad onto his computer. Calling this an epidemic is like calling the Nigerian spam scam an intelligent revenue-making source. Unlike Windows, where merely having your machine plugged into the internet is enough to get you infected, you have to be overly gullible to infect your own Mac.

Oh, and the code runs on browsers with Java turned on. Apple's browser, Safari, has Java disabled by default.

Call me when there's a real threat. Until then, I'll continue not having to spend money on protection software, or sweeping my machine dry and forcing me to spend about eight or nine hours re-installing the OS and it's incremental updates to the OS, and twelve or thirteen reboots.




2012 Feb 27

Power Corridor between Edmonton and Calgary?

I'm confused.

There's about 1.5 MegaVolts of power running between Edmonton and Calgary. The Genesee Power plant in Edmonton hooks up to Langdon Power plant in Calgary.

The ALTALINK report (pdf) says the following:

“The Board finds that expansion and enhancement of the existing N-S transmission system between Edmonton and Calgary is required to alleviate system constraints and to improve system efficiency”

The North-South transfer path is defined by the AESO as the South of Keephills (SOK) path. It connects more than 4,000 MW of the province’s base load generation in the Genesee region to Alberta’s largest load centre – Calgary and its surrounding communities.

In essence, the new recommendation says that we need to build another 1 megavolt of infrastructure between Edmonton and Calgary.


I spent a lot of time in my life dealing with 'load balancing' and 'redundancy'. But, I've also spent a lot of time dealing with sub-dividing services into autonomous/distinct regions when capacities grow large enough where distinctness and autonomy (with loose cooperation with counterparts) adds efficiency. Basically, there's a time and place for everything.

In this Power Corridor case, why would we spend zillions to glue two very powerful regions together, rather than sub diving them into distinct, (nearly) self-sustaining/autonomous regions? Spend the money to upgrade Genessee, and send more power North to Ft. McMurray. Spend money at Langdon, but distribute the capacity to the Calgary regions, and down to Lethbridge and Banff. Yes, there's growth between Edmonton and Calgary (Red Deer), but not that much! The existing 1.5MV should easily handle the growth to central Alberta. Make Edmonton's power base larger, but let it serve Northern Alberta. Let Calgary's capacity grow, but don't worry about what's happening in the North.

"Redundancy" (often confused with stability, as in this case) should allow for the abnormal case - not day-to-day service. In those few cases where a drop in capacity happens in Calgary, the so-called 'bottleneck' of 1.5MegaVolts from Edmonton would surely suffice for the uncommon situation that a piece of Langdon blows up. Still, it would be much better to build redundancy into Langdon, so the chances that Calgary would have to 'import' power from Genesee would be virtually zero. And vice-versa.

The North/South corridor expansion is not long term planning -- it's stupidity. South Alberta and North Alberta are big enough where the need to share resources just to show that 'they play nice together' is getting in the way of efficient management of resources. I suspect the project exists because politicians figure that there are more out-of-work linemen and cherry picker truck drivers than there are electrical and mechanical engineers and site construction workers.




2012 Feb 9

"I won't go out with you — your breath smells like coffee"

These are the cartoon characters from the Excel chewing gum commercials. They're hounding some poor sap who wants to go out with a girl. But, the girl is apparently so shallow that she's turned off by not only the smell of onion, but also the noxious fumes of coffee and donuts.

Okay, onion breath isn't very nice. But why the heck would Wrigley's Gum execs allow the Toronto-based ad agency, BBDO use a donut as one of the other hard-to-handle fumes coming from a person's mouth?

Is it because the gum isn't very effective against real smells like garlic, or chili-peppers? It would be like Tide Laundry Detergent saying they'd be able to make off-colored white socks look like cleaner off-colored white socks.

Or, is it that the agency's cartoonists couldn't figure out how to draw a cartoon garlic clove?

Or, maybe Wrigley and BBDO are making a statement against the Toronto Police Department for the number of "donut runs" their officers are doing?

If they're picking on the smell of a harmless, defenceless little donut, what hope is there for a poor slice of cheesecake?




2012 Feb 8

"My cute darling little puppy wouldn't hurt anyone"

There's more whining on the 'net about some poor (aka 'stupid') lady who is fighting to have her precious Muffy returned to her and her forlorn daughter.

There are a few very smart cities and counties who have banned to ownership of specific breeds of dogs. Good on 'em. As a very wise Vulcan once said:

"... logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few."

Regardless of the societal norm, and regional rules, dupes masquerading as animal lovers continue to harbour these vicious animals.

Learn these little tidbits, you morons:

  1. They are not children.
    In normal society, when a child arrives into the world, the parents really didn't have an option on what they got. Even if there was an adoption after a baby's birth, there is very very little chance that the little tyke will grow up to have stronger jaw muscles and longer teeth than everyone else in the school yard.
  2. Vicious dogs are consciously chosen and acquired.
    You made a choice to acquire an item that is banned in many regions of civilized society — we didn't force you to adopt something illegal - you did it all by yourself.

    Or, you had the dog in a region where city hall was too stupid to protect their citizens, and all of a sudden, you got transferred to a place where it is banned.

  3. You wanted a 'challenge'...
    Teaching a sheepdog to play nice with others is no challenge, right? You want to stand out from the crowd and declare that your cute little pit bull is one of the few bulls of its kind that are not killers. Yes, you are so much more qualified than all the other rednecks who thought that same thing.

    The mere fact that you own a doberman means you are too stupid to teach it anything but how to chew raw meat.

  4. ALL puppies are cute.
    At the pet shop, your darling little 2-year-old daughter thought that 4-month-old Rottweiler was "ohhh-soooo-C U T E". Yeah, she also likes Gummie Bears, and is wearing a unicorn t-shirt. You're the bloody parent. Would you give little Cindy a blow-torch if she told you it was cute, and promises to look after it correctly?

    Fall in love with an animal, fine. But you do have a choice on what animal you start out with. Fall in love with a chihuahua

  5. You don't need protection.
    — at least not that much protection. For Jebus' sake, even a poodle has enough of a bark to scare off intruders to your home while you're away! (ps: that only works if you leave the hound in your house all day long -- has it got a strong bladder?)
  6. You don't have enough room for it.
    Sure! Leave it out in your backyard! Let it shit all over my yard! Go to work all day, come home, and wonder why there's a note from the police that your dog has been barking for the last 6 hours, waiting for you to come home (and continue to ignore it)
  7. No one wants to look after your mutt.
    You can't take a vacation in Hawaii this year, because you can't find anyone stupid enough to dog-sit a potential killer for the next month.
  8. How would you like it if your tail was chopped off at a convenient spot of your spine?
    A dog's tail is an extension of the spine. It helps them to keep balance when they run. Moreover, A dog's tail position and motion is incorporated as a component of a complex system of body language that domestic dogs use to show excitement or agitation. *[]
  9. His bark is not worse than his bite.
    When was the last time you heard on the news: "another woman was treated in hospital today after a savage dog bark."

The reality is, you bleeding heart/redneck twit: There were safer choices, and you still picked your precious Poopsie, fully well knowing the potential consequences. You consciously chose to pick a fight with the rest of the sane society in which we live.

Get rid of your fargin' dog.




2012 Jan 26

Google's new "privacy" declaration

I just picked up this tidbit from the 'net...
Google has revised its privacy policy, allowing the company to share data between all of its divisions (Youtube, Gmail, Maps, etc). This allows Google to make a much more targeted/personalized experience for each user.

In essence, as Google scores more and more data from everyone, they can cross-reference more and more transactions, visits, and generic data about a (supposed) anonymous individual.

In the future, as Google gets stronger, Big Brother gets more formidable. What happens when they buy out Paypal/EBay? And Facebook? And Travelocity?

Anonymity has always been fleeting on the network. Only the naive would think that what they do can't be tracked. Progressive partnerships/links between services will become more skilled at gluing together circumstantial clues, resulting in definitive profiles of all of us. They'll know that it was me who clicked on that porn link in a spam mail (accidental or not), and they'll know it was me who ordered the 20lbs of ammonium nitrate from Kansas. [side note: still better that the 'they' currently isn't UofA administration]

So, for me, I don't really care -- there's too much data out there that is more interesting than mine. Doing digital dumpster diving to craft enough circumstantial evidence to ascertain that

  • I have three prescription meds,
  • eat too many (Lays brand) chips,
  • don't get a newspaper every day,
  • buy most of my groceries at Safeway
  • seem to do my banking with TD bank and CIBC (based on envelopes thrown out)
  • eat meat
  • my name is either 'dear occupant' or 'George Carmichael'

Here is the google privacy declaration link:




2011 Dec 13

A Hero gets traded to the Centre of the Universe

Begin forwarded message:
From: George Carmichael
Subject: Comments From
Date: 13 December, 2011 2:34:23 PM MST

Hello, Eskimo Front Office.

Although my name is not on your season's ticket roster, I have shared/paid for a season ticket with DENNIS GOODHELPSEN, and the Goodhelpsen family since 1978. The Goodhelpsens have held season's tickets since the 50's - check your records.

The last few years, I have been teetering on asking my buddy Dennis to skip my renewal. The "stadium experience" is not conducive to real fans -- the 'make more noise' shilling that Chris Scheetz does, combined with the deafening, ear-piercing music(?) coming from the speakers one millisecond after each whistle has made each home game an endurance test for me.

I sucked it up, and wore ear plugs.

Last year, you let Jason Maas go, only to bring in a 'back-up' with an *identical* pedigree (MVP a couple of times, Grey Cup experience, etc.) Maas spilled blood for our team and this city, and you gave him the shaft.

Yesterday was the last straw - allowing Tillman and Reed to get rid of an icon, Ricky Ray. Tillman has no loyalty to Edmonton, and the ridiculous notion that 'short term pain' will be rewarded in the long run ... cannot go unpunished.

As small a gesture as it is (you probably won't notice that the Goodhelpsen family will be ordering one less ticket this year) I'm out.

I just wanted to make sure that, even though I'm sending this to a catch-all email address that could easily be ignored, someone knows that enough is enough.

My "trade" in doing this boycott? Saving $400 every year, not to mention $30 per game at the concession (another $300). That gives me $700 toward one flight a year to Toronto to watch one of CFL's best players - ever- and not contributing a dime toward new big shot Len Rhodes, egotistical Tillman, and the remnants of a team I've supported all of my life. Loyalty means a lot to me. Too bad it doesn't to the Esks anymore.

I've supported the Esks to the tune of > $20,000. I'm still young enough that I would have probably contributed another $20,000 before I died. The two kids that I have raised into adulthood watching the Esks will not likely contribute either.

Best of luck trying to fill your newly refurbished seats. Hope that works well for you.

George Carmichael
18520 - 68 Ave Edmonton
T5T 2M7




2011 Oct 14

One for Jay Leno's Stupid Headlines


Some headlines scream out for an idiot-cleansing of the population.

The headline for Edmonton Sun today was "Man found slain in SUV had a dark past".

The story talks about another very nice young man, who was kind to all of his friends (of course), "turning his life around", when he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Yeah, Edmonton is winning the race to secure the title "City of Champions" again - this time for violent crimes.

We're not actually sure this was a homicide.
The police are only treating this, err... "incident" as suspicious

Yeah, a little suspicious, alright. Our emergency wards have seen a lot of deaths incurred by the natural cause of ten bullets coming through a car window and accidentally landing in a bystander's chest. "Lead poisoning" was probably the cause of death, but we'll have to perform an autopsy to be sure.

I'm sure that the EPS aren't that fargin' stupid, but the spokesmen/women for the police force take their neutrality/"no comment" stance a little too far, don't you think? Or maybe they actually have an official section of the department called "Suspicious Incident Division" -- the City probably didn't give EPS enough funds to actually build a "Homicide Division", like those very expensive TV police shows.

Weird: The Mayor wants our city to behave like one of the big cities (New York, Detroit, Chicago), have stadiums downtown, and all the other things that make those American cities "number one". Okay, we're getting close with one feature: the number of murders. Maybe once we actually surpass Detroit in "suspicious deaths (of people known to police) by knives and guns" we'll be able to upgrade/promote our "Suspicion Investigators" to full-blown "Homicide Detectives".

Keep working on it, Edmonton. Along with being the city of morons, we'll soon be able to chant "We're Number ONE!" for another reason.




2011 Sep 28

Here come the judge, there go the esteem.

Grudges. Everyone’s got ‘em, right?

Some people have observed that I hold grudges for too long. I’ll remember that.

Hey, if I can have life-long friends, then surely, I should be allowed to have life-long enemies? GeoMarkJury

I think the cliché “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger” sucks. Those experiences help to shape your future self. Media has recently taken up a long overdue cause: bullying – warning people that negative experiences often scar the victim for a long time. What? I thought that negative experiences were supposed to be good for you… like the TV dads who overly discipline their kids saying “if it wasn’t for me beating you everyday, you wouldn’t have become a successful police officer.”, or “If I hadn’t told you that you have no talent, you wouldn’t have end up in Juliard.

Shaping your life based on bad experiences? Yep, that’s me. I’ve been privileged to have lived through some really terrific “bad examples”. One of those examples nearly took away a passion of mine – music.

[The story you are about to hear is as factually accurate as a senile senior can recall. The actual facts may be slightly different. However, given that the guy holding the long-time grudge rarely needs an accurate reason for his state, perception and interpretation of the facts from his youth is 10-tenths of the law]

After eight years of playing French horn in Jr. High, High School, university and marching band – and being taught by extremely accomplished brass musicians, I was given a terrific opportunity to join a high-school alumni jazz band… as a trumpeter! Great learning experience, I thought. It wasn’t even my old school – it was one of our long-time “competitors’”. It was such a treat! The band played really smokin’ numbers, including a couple of Maynard Ferguson charts. Don Jenner, the conductor, gave me the opportunity to show off my high notes on those tunes. The band sounded great. We entered the Canadian Stage Band festival that year, and that’s when I got blind-sided by a show-off band judge.

Half-way through our performance on stage, the band was playing “Shaft” – a Maynard arrangement that had tons of high notes. I was blasting them out like a pro, then… after one long passage, I took a breath, and stepped back – off the back of the stage! After a short startled moment, I hopped back onto the platform, ready to keep playing the rest of the high notes, looked up, and saw the entire audience laughing its collective asses off! No matter… it probably was funny.

I didn’t miss a note of that piece. My momentary disappearing act happened during a few bars’ rest, so by the time I got back on stage and reset, I continued to belt out the double-G’s for the rest of the tune, and the two tunes that followed. I think it was probably one of the best gigs the band had done.

Then, the judge came up. He totally ignored the performance. Completely. With his microphone, he turned his back to the audience, looked me square in the eyes, pointed his finger, and spent the next eternity (probably 8 minutes) lecturing me on how to play trumpet: “You passed out because you are playing the instrument incorrectly”. I was only 17 or 18, and recovering from the shell-shock from falling off the stage – here was a world-renowned musician berating me in public, and I was too intimidated quickly respond back to him with “I didn’t pass out, I just stepped backward off the stage!”. He spent the time to elaborate that I was breathing incorrectly, that I was standing wrong, holding the horn wrong, and then he turned to the audience and continued his lecture about brass mechanics, using me as the example of “the wrong way”.

It was a performance for him. I just happened to be the catalyst for him to break into (probably) a well-rehearsed “schtick”. The fact that the foundation for his 8-minute personal lecture was erroneous? - Immaterial.

Like a lot of performers - turned adjudicators, give him an audience, and he becomes the centre of attention – microphone, solo instrument – they’re both the same. The group behind him is merely a backdrop to highlight his ego.

Like many others, the so-called critiques given by adjudicators to the individual groups were boiler-plate clichés, such as “your group looked like they were really having fun up there” (translation: “You sucked, but I’ll start by saying something positive”). Then they’ll spout a generic talk about balance within the sections, then pick on a random 16-bar passage of one of the songs they were already familiar with, get the kids to pick up their horns and make them play it again. And again. Then, regardless of whether the passage truly improved, turn to the audience soliciting acknowledgement on how his three minutes of lecture miraculously turned around the band.

I went home humiliated, cried, then put my horn away. Did my idols and mentors, the principal horn player from the ESO (David Smith), and the lead trumpet of the Tommy Banks Band (Gary Guthman) not teach me proper brass mechanics as a kid? No more bands for me. No more practicing/learning attempts to improve. You’re done. Give it up, and concentrate on computing science.

Thanks, Mr. Big Shot Judge. You successfully scuttled another aspiring musician.

Two years later, I was still being introduced to people in Edmonton’s music world as “the guy who fell off the stage on got lectured for it”.

Set the clock forward another eight years or so. I was back in a great band, being run by Bob Stroup – a jazz legend in our city. He encouraged our bandmates to play with excitement and energy. Bob liked my lead trumpet playing – an “East Coast Lead Trumpet style,” he said. GMCC Outreach had won a regional stage band award the previous year. For the festival this year, one of the judges was a friend of Bob’s. Bob asked if that musician would like to join our band on stage the night before the festival to play a few numbers. Awesome. Bob had brought in his pro- buddies before – most notably jazz trumpet master Bobby Shew! It was a real honour to be treated like a pro-band.

So, we’re at the Yardbird warming up for the jazz concert: “GMCC Outreach Big band with special guest – Dominic Spera”. As we’re warming up, someone points out to DS that “the trumpet player in the back row is the one who fell off the stage a few years back when you were a judge at the festival”. He approaches me, points his finger in acknowledgement and says “I remember you!”. I knew what a shit he was for what he had done to me, but I politely responded (this time) with “I didn’t pass out – I just stepped backward off the stage”. Eight years late, but I finally got to correct him. The end.

We started the gig, and it was awesome. We played well. Then, DS came up, waived to the audience and polls the crowd, “Great band, isn’t it?!” (polite cheers from the crowd). So, we start playing a pretty hot chart, and DS plays a terrific long solo throughout the piece. Our trumpet section was awesome – and his tune gave us plenty of opportunity to play high and loud, too. Nearing the end of the piece, he plays an extended open solo, and the band comes in with the last note. I blast out one of the most perfect double-C’s on record – long and strong! DS struggles to get higher and higher for his final note, but eventually settles for something like a high G. Cut off! Audience roars in approval! DS takes a monster bow, opens his arm to acknowledge the band to the audience, takes the mic and re-iterates “What a great band!”… more cheers from the approving audience.

Then, DS turns to the band with a terrifying, glaring look, and says “I’m the one who’s being paid to play the high notes.” My section-mates smile over at me – my eyes are down, trying to avoid the stare of the judge. I murmur only to myself: “that’s OK, I’ll hit those notes for free.” – I should have said it out loud, and maybe pointed out that I held a double-C for about 8 seconds, and didn't pass out.

The next night, we play the festival. Same tunes. DS comes up on stage to judge our performance, and totally lambastes us for how poor the band played. No musicality. Couldn’t keep tempo. Out of tune. Really, he just spewed a whole bunch of generic cheap shots.

Afterward, Bob Stroup was totally dejected. The next rehearsal he tells the band, “We’re not going to go into that festival anymore, or any other judged event.”

Thanks, once again, DS, for tearing down another musician – Bob Stroup was your friend, and you totally broadsided him. Some things with bullies never change.

I’m old now. I’ve experienced all kinds of bullies throughout my life. The worst bullies are the ones that behave like your friends when it’s convenient, but will publicly berate and belittle you when they’ve got an audience. They are uncaring, egotistical show-offs.

I am stronger because of my experiences with bullies. I’ve spent my life trying to help others, and stick up for the little guys, in defence of common sense and fairness. The technique has served me well over the years. But, the long-term side effect is that I’ve become a bitter, critical, cranky, suspicious soul.

Thanks, CJ (child), DS (youth), MB (adult), JS (adult) – you, and many others like you, have made me what I am. You proud of that?










2011 Jan 28

Madel's street: clean.
10 blocks north, 10 blocks west: the surface of the moon

Here's an aerial map of two very similar neighbourhoods. They both service around 60 houses. They are both in the West end of the city. They both have citizens who pay taxes.
One of these communities is not like the other.


There are several things that are the same between Ormsby West and Lessard. Neither of the communities are on the bus routes. There are elementary schools in the vicinity. Neither route can be considered 'short cuts'/'alternate routes' to get from one major road to another.

As far as I can tell, the only difference between these two neighbourhoods is that Mayor Stephen Mandel lives in one of them. Probably a lot of other high-profile people live there, too. My street, on the other hand, has plumbers, electricians, school teachers, laid off UofA employees, and bus drivers.

The good news is that Ormsby neighbours have really gotten to know each other over the last few weeks -- out of necessity, everyone is helping out: pushing vehicles out of intersections, away from curbs, and out of driveways. After a successful escape, there have been many man-hugs and high-fives. We have apparently accepted the responsibility to "take one for the team", and as good citizens, do the work that the city is paid to do... after all, any money saved on roadway maintenance can help to build a new hockey rink for downtown ... and that's what we really really want!

I don't believe that Mandel actively "ordered" his minions to clear his street before mine. I'll blame the transportation department, who would most certainly have arranged their shovelling schedule to look after their bosses first. After all, they don't really have to deal with the public - complaints from Joe Scheme to an answering machine definitely carries less weight than a phone call from the Mayor to the shift boss, onto Dispatch, then down to regional road workers. Still, a good leader would make a conscious effort to ensure others were taken care of first, before his own needs were met. So, his street was cleaned first. He didn't brag, but he didn't protest, either.

Something else... I've noticed some of these city owned/leased vehicles rumbling into my neighbourhood with their empty buckets high in the air. The only way they can get into our streets is to roll over top of our craters. These mindless drones probably are thinking:

"yeah, it's bumpy here, but it's not my job; I wasn't told to plow here. I'm heading for the rich people's houses".
Our city employees are not paid to think (hence windrows blocking driveways). They were told: "Plow street X." So, that's what they do. You are not paid to think, Mr. Grader Operator. Just do your 'designated route', and forget helping out where you actually could make a difference.
I'm including a little "drive-through" of our two neighbourhoods. This slide show, taken at about 1pm on Jan 28, shows that Stephen's block(s) have probably been dry to the pavement for a long long time. You can't say that about my community... Can you? Judge for yourself:
for a slide show of Mandel's streets.
to see a mere mortal's street

There's an old saying that may have been applied here: "Shit before Shovel" -- it was supposed to be a sarcastic, less-cordial version of "Age before Beauty", in declaring who should go first at something. If the Mayor and the Planning Dept were thinking of this when they were developing the cleaning priorities, then, I guess, I concur.

Until spring comes, I'll just entertain myself in my lunar hut, in my lonely crater, looking out my window -- watching the UPS driver, School Bus Driver, Garbage Truck, and Epcor vehicle push themselves out of my district's two-foot slush-ruts. ...I'll also be anxiously waiting to see how our civic brain-trust screw up the mosquito control this coming spring.







2011 Jan 10

P*I*T*C*H     D*E*A*F !!!

It's only bothered me for 35 years.

I'm home during the afternoon (another tirade, but I'm not allowed to write about it, because I signed an agreement  PS: the UofA sucks  ).

I now get the privilege (?) of spending hours glued to daytime TV.

History Television is actually pretty good...


... when they run the opening credits for M*A*S*H.

That TV show is still fun to watch. I used to fall asleep to it when I was in high school - an after supper routine that I cherished.

Here's the problem:

About half-way through the tenure of the series, they re-did the opening credits (when B.J. Hunnicut was introduced, I believe - 179 episodes). For the revised opening credits, the theme tune ("Suicide is Painless") was made painful; a flute comes in over top of the harmon-muted trumpets, and is completely, terribly OUT OF TUNE!!! [LISTEN]

M*A*S*H survived eleven seasons. My ears did not.

EASTWEST STUDIOS is the culprit. They claim to have recorded/engineered the theme song. A show-off flute (or very shitty piccolo) goes up the octave just in advance of the bridge, then plays out of tune for the remainder of the tune. Everywhere on the 'net, posters have been smart enough to avoid that copy of the tune in "tribute" pages. That is, even tone deaf computer nerds know to avoid the newer version!

Those eight bars permanently damaged musicians' ears for over 170 episodes - not counting reruns. Strung end-to-end, that's about nine hours of this ochestratic butchering. (If you want, I'll tie THIS together 179 times...)

Michael Altman (14 years old at the time) wrote the lyrics - he's rich because of residuals. Johnny Richards (a very accomplished composer) deserves the money, too.

But, by musician's union rights, the flute/piccolo player presumably gets a little piece of the action, too. He/She doesn't deserve it.

So, suicide is painless, huh? -- Hey, Mr. Out-of-Tune Flautist!
Go ahead! You've certainly inflicted enough pain on us! Please play out the song for us all.




2010 Oct 28

To Beeeeeeeee or not to Buh

I've been in the computer industry longer than most of you whippersnappers have been alive.

Thus, I don't much appreciate being corrected on my pronunciation of words that happen in the ever-changing world of techno-verbage, thank you very much.

Let's all pronounce the following terms together, shall we?

SAY the first letter
SAY all letters
EMail derived from regular mail
Elearning   "Electronic" was the "in" prefix
Etrading online stock trading
iMac Steve Jobs thought the "e" was overused
iPhone so the world now embraces the I
iTunes ... and it's pronounced "eye-Tunes"
iPad let the spoofs for over-using begin
iFart I rest my case
CATV Cable television
VLan Virtual local area network
EProm Erasable print/read-only memory
DRam Dynamic random access memory
ADSL Asynchronous digital subscriber line
Btree Binary search tree
VRam Video (card's) random access memory
URL    Universal Resource Locator - does not rhyme with "Earl"
DTP Desktop Publishing
FTP File Transfer Protocol
LED Light Emitting Diode - does not rhyme with "Fred"
OS Operating System - not from the place the Wizard comes from
CGI Common Gateway Interface
EDI Electronic Data Interchange
DPI Dots Per Inch
ISP Internet Service Provider - does not sound like a snake speaking
UI User Interface
API Application Programming Interface - not "happy".
Okay, now that we've studied our techno-derivatives,
let's all say the following word out loud:


 B L O G 

This thingy refers to a linear, time-line based diary (or "log") of things to say. Digitally, it's existed by many names over the years, even before today's internet. Posting to a public forum has been accomplished by conferencing systems, news groups, email lists, web pages themselves, and the one that the "B" is derived from: "Bulletin Boards". More accurately, it's replicating the BBS experience, using the Web, thus the web based log.

"Bulletin Board Systems" had the abbreviation: BBS, and no, it wasn't pronounced "bibs".

A hundred years ago, sailors called their daily journal a "log". A hundred years ago, "mail" was delivered by over-paid postal workers.

We called the electronic mail system "EMail". It could have easily have been coined as "DMail" ("digital mail"), or if Steve Jobs were to re-invent it, it would have been neon blue, and called "IMail".

"Blogs" could have very easily been coined as "Elogs" or "Dlogs", or for Steve, "Ilogs".



Don't rag on me when I pronounce a "blog" as:
... and, yes, my two learned offspring, I'm talking to you!


By the way -- it's CHOW - DAH!! - not "choire dierre"! Say it Frenchie!!




2010 Oct 21

Leave no dunce behind

We want every single kid to walk across the stage with a high school diploma
Catherine Ripley, Public School Trustee Elect
(Edmonton Examiner: 2010Oct20)
Besides the ridiculous preaching to 'vote, no matter what', we are experiencing another really bad trend in our society.

As if we don't have enough morons in our city, we get the following brilliant statement, "We want every single kid to walk across the stage with a high school diploma."

Haven't our teachers and principals suffered enough? The "Leave no student behind" has left our city riddled with twenty-year-old illiterates; when dimwits should have failed grade three (because they couldn't recite the alphabet), our teachers have been completely pressured into passing them into the next grade.

Passing from one grade to the next is not a right — or at least, it shouldn't be!

Most school principals don't seem to have the balls to look a parent straight in the eyes and say:

Mrs Jones, little Johnny has missed five out of seven exams this year, and has only handed in fifty percent of his homework. He needs to repeat grade 10. Next year's grade eleven courses rely on a level of mastery of the grade ten lessons. Johnny has not proven that he has the requisite knowledge to ensure an adequate opportunity to learn grade eleven material.

By making Johnny repeat grade ten, we hope that repetition of grade ten concepts will lead to a better grasp of the materials needed to make grade eleven.

Of course, this is where the parents of little, precious, Johnny do one of a few things:
  • "Could you dumb down what you just said? You are speaking above my head to try to embarrass me".
  • "After I graduated high school, I aspired to be a lamp post. Now I are one. I didn't never need no advanced English".
  • "You fail my precious Johnny, and I'll take the matter up with the School Board!"
  • "My Johnny is a special child, and you get extra money for having him in your school. Do you want me to take him to a different school?"
  • "I blame his teachers — they know he's a football player, and they're biased against athletes."

But idiot parents aren't the only problem. The system is stacked against high calibre. Money is given to schools based on the number of enrolled kids, the number of kids taking a full course load, and a truckload of other administrative contrivances. All of the pressure can be traced back to a political system that does not embrace excellence. Just like our newly elected trustee implies:

It's QUANTITY — not quality


Slightly off topic — Examiner editor Scott Haskins, asserts that there should have been more talk by the city counsellors about the fate of schools ("Miss: The lack of focus on school closures in the election campaign. It's a huge issue and shouldn't be confined to the school boards"). Scott must have been one of the students not left behind in our public school system: in Canada, education is a provincial matter, not a municipal matter. I believe I learned that in (about) grade 8.




2010 Oct 4

Sanctimonious maroons with big media profiles

James Cameron? Bob Barker?

How is it that James Cameron can take a huge leap and criticize the Alberta Oil Sands, when he admitted that he "didn't have the whole story yet?"

Sure, he eventually took a skewed view of Northern Alberta by talking to some of the residents near the Athabasca river. But for months before that, he had already made up his mind.

How would he like it if things were reversed:

I haven't seen the movie Avatar, but I have been told that it promotes bestiality.
Yes! Avatar promotes Bestiality!

Apparently, the natives of the planet use an external appendage to mate with other blue people. But, they use that same appendage to attach to flying dragons. Just to insult us further, the female natives are nude, with blue paint applied.

I think we should be boycotting James Cameron films (as if we needed another reason - thanks for promoting Celine Dion, Jimbo). He has successfully disguised porn in a way that has sucked millions of dollars out of the moviegoing public.

I also don't think the movie is anything other than a remake of a 1960's Western, where John Wayne protects the natives from the encroaching white man onto the Sioux territory. Or Kevin Costner protecting the Indians in Dances With Wolves. Or Tom Cruise in the Last Samurai. Or Sigourney Weaver in Gorillas in the Mist. Or Sean Connery in The Last Dragon. Or Daniel Day-Lewis in The Last of the Mohicans. Or William Shatner in Star Trek The Voyage Home (save the whales). Or ... well ... you get the idea. How lazy is Cameron for regurgitating this old story?

Hey! James Cameron recycles old ideas, and passes them off as his own!


--- Oh, and Bob Barker: Have all of the cats and dogs in the world been spayed or neutered yet? No? How 'bout you spend more time on that crusade? If you're completely successful, you'll have contributed to adding domestic animals to the list of endangered species. Bob Barker, you must hate animals!!


Oh, and Jimbo and Bob? Thanks for visiting Edmonton the other month, and contributing to our economy.




2010 Aug 27

GAP joins a growing list of corporate idiots

Somehow, they're going to boycott tar sands' oil
It just proves that the 'GAP' is really between their ears.

So, people are going to boycott oil and gas from the oil sands of Alberta? Now, how the hell are they going to do that?

Here are two sources of oil

Yes, they're different. There are three regions in Alberta that handle the Oil Sands.

There are 220,000 conventional oil and gas wells.

HERE is an excellent report on oil and gas resources in the province. The Institute for Sustainable Energy out of the University of Calgary has a lot of great information. Check it out.

OK, fine. Different sources of raw materials. One type has been cutting roads through the prairies and farm land for a hundred years. The other scrapes clay from the earth, then digs out goop.





it ALL goes here!


ALL of the oil goes to one of these!!!


From that point, ALL of the oil travels using one of these techniques:



Can you tell which molecule of oil/gas came from 'conventional' methods, rather than the tar sands????

I can't. And I really doubt that a flogger of expensive jeans can, either.








Morons. Let's boycott morons before we pick on anyone else.




2010 June 23

Oversell of excitement for boring things

Example: Attendance at the Capital-Ex Parade

I was a band judge at this year's Capital-Ex parade. That is, I was there. (The quality of the parade? That is a different tirade).

This tirade is about the absurd exaggeration on radio and TV about the attendance at the annual event. They do this as part of their continued contribution to convince us that Edmonton has the best of everything; we have to continually lie to ourselves. We need brainwashing to artificially inflate our self-esteem (that's also another tirade).

Before and after the parade I heard this -- over and over:

"Over 200,000 Edmontonians lined the parade route for the annual event"

In fact, check out this 'report' from the Capital Ex web site:

Unadulterated crap.

Actually, if you watched Global TV news last night, the teaser into the news cast had Lynda Steele tout "250,000 people" came out to the event. Then, at the end of the newscast, they show a few snippets of the parade with an voice-over stating "over a hundred thousand people lined the streets... etc etc"

Somehow, even Global must have realized how completely impossible is would be to have over 25% of the population of the city of Edmonton come out to "line the streets". 20 city blocks . So, they downgraded their exaggeration to 100,000.

Still bullshit.

Take a look at the parade route:

(click to enlarge)
That parade route amounts to twenty city blocks. Edmonton city blocks, not Las Vegas city blocks.

200,000 people into 20 city blocks means that, on average, there were 10,000 people sitting on the sidewalk for each block! Or, 5,000 people per side per block.

Here's a typical site of the density of the parade route (I know it was typical - I was there):

(click to enlarge)

Is there any human out there who would be able to extrapolate the number of bodies along the parade route by thinking that this small area held over 5000 people?

Morons. The city is full of morons - that is also another tirade.




2009 July 3

Join George's one-man protest of the insulting, ear-bleeding presentations of Football games at Commonwealth Stadium.

Nicole Turenne
Communications Assistant
Edmonton Eskimo Football Club
(780) 448-1696 wk
(780) 429-3452 fax
Hello, Nicole --

I'm sending this to you in the hope that you will pass this message along to members of the Esks' board. The web site doesn't make it easy for people to contact the general manager or others at a high administrative level of the organization.


I'd like to voice my frustration with the game presentation and the deterioration of the essence of the football game.

I was at the game last night. The game was okay, but I'm getting more than a little weary of how the Esks present the game at the stadium. Along with my lifelong pal (we both turned 50 this year), I've had seasons' tickets since the team moved into Commonwealth (1977). Before that, I was a Knothole ganger in Clarke Stadium (when I wasn't playing trumpet at the stadium with the JP Rebel marching Band).

I'm not enjoying the games in person anymore -- the action on the field is always fine (whether we win or lose), but the constant CONSTANT blaring of ear-piercing music coming from the speakers every split second after each whistle is really killing the game for me.

And for the last few seasons it's gotten worse: the stadium announcer compounds the frenzy by soliciting cheers from the crowd -- how lame can you get. It reminds me of the "APPLAUSE" sign held up in the old-time studio audience TV shows -- apparently, the Esks fans aren't intelligent enough to know when to cheer without some paid shill with a microphone soliciting a cheer.

You have obviously decided that the product and goal for the four-plus hours of game night is to keep the noise level up and "entertaining the crowd in anyway you can", without any regard to the actual sport on the field.

The people who are loyal to the CFL will know when something good happens. They'll also know nuances of the game that are quite trivial -- for example: people who are there to watch the game will instantly know that when there's a flag in the backfield, it's usually a "holding" call (whether they saw it or not). In contrast, people who are there for the "experience" will know that alcohol sales stop promptly at the end of the third quarter.

The audience that the Esks and the CFL have embraced over the years would be targeting the "WHOLE EXPERIENCE of being at the park", which includes fans watching people walk up the stairs, or those same ridiculously over-/under-dressed people parading multiple times up the stairs in order to willingly show off to others. Even the Esks' tickets are printed with photos of people dressed up, prompting the "LOOK AT ME" crowd mentality, rather than "LOOK AT THE GAME". This fake pride reminds me of the so-called "patriots" who rioted on Whyte Avenue after playoff games, or July 1 celebrations.

We may have the highest attendance in the league, but it's an embarrassment compared to the early 80's. Why are there 25,000 empty seats in the stadium? It's because veteran sport enthusiasts who used to fill Commonwealth to its capacity of 63,000 every night have given up. The erosion did not come because we haven't had another Wilkie/Moon era, it came because real fans have been forced to compete in a stadium filled with people who are there for "the experience".

There were years when _true_ fans would go to the game, and, without being coaxed into cheering, roared approval only when something good occurred on the field. After the whistle, (during the downtime) the fans could converse with their neighbour about what just happened -- without risking impending throat surgery from shouting over the blaring of the loudspeakers.

Consider television broadcasts. After a play ends, the announcers replay the down from a couple of angles, and talk about what just happened. In the stadium, we hear only thunderous electric guitars and hammer-wielded drum kit cymbals! Would TSN ever consider scrapping the colour commentary between downs, and simply play 29 second snippets from some 26-year-old's iPod?

If the experience at the stadium was "watching football", rather than being barraged with a 110 decibel lambasting, the occasional rain wouldn't drop my spirits -- and I would have stayed to the end of the game last night.

Now, there's too many negatives for my threshold of tolerance - from now on if the weather isn't going to be perfect, I'm not going. Going to every game has turned into an undesirable obligation to simply fill my (paid) seat. Given the randomness of weather in Edmonton, I'm likely going to drop my seasons' tix next year, and only go when the weather's guaranteed to be nice, the starting time is convenient for me, and I have earplugs.

Thank you very much for taking the time to consider this letter.




2008 Oct 3


if you’re just going to be a lemming.

The high-horse media (virtually every morning show host on the radio and TV) spend a great deal of time preaching how important it is to vote in the political elections.    News reports and headlines whine about the “voter apathy”, when we get only 30% of the young people voting in the civic, provincial, and federal elections.  Media hosts bring in spokespersons from different segments of the population to preach, “get out there and vote, so our demographic has a say!”

It doesn’t matter who you vote for, just get out and vote

NO!!! I say!!!

Voting based on little or no knowledge, and relying on the headlines saying, “Mr. Smith/Party J is ahead in the polls”, or “Mrs. Jones scored a knock-out punch during the televised debate”, does not do our society any favours.

If you can’t think for yourself, then for Jebus’ sake, stay the hell out of the way.

For once, I’d like my vote to count for something, rather than be diluted by a bunch of lemmings.

I’m going to vote for the person in my riding that I believe will best support me.   I’m not voting for the leader of the party – you don’t do that!  You vote for a localized representative!   The party with the most elected representatives governs – that fact probably comes as a shocker to most of you mindless lemmings.  Party politics is the worst sham in a so-called democracy.   At least the civic election has a handful of independent thinkers (too bad that the Vote Lemmings revert to re-electing the incumbent, just “because”, rather than considering the candidate that would best support the community).

...but I like what party XX believes in…”– what a crock and a cop-out.  Do you really think that just because you voted for a member of a particular party that you will have automatically secured a “voice”?!   Get real.   The governing party has twelve-to-sixteen people who speak (the “ministers”) – the rest of the so-called elected officials become mirrors to your own blind lemming status; the back-benchers have no “voice”, other than “yes, sir”.    Why not elect someone with the gonads to stand up as an individual, and rock the boat once in a while when necessary?

Something else about “yes men” – the leader is only going to select ministers that will not become a threat to him/her.  The strongest elected member, will likely not be put in a place where the party, leader, or “party-line” will be jeopardized. 

Lemmings are ruling our society.  And most of you are to blame.

Thanks, media, for screwing up my society.







(in no particular order)

  • Tattoos
  • Fahrenheit vs Celsius
  • The customer is always right? In my eye.
  • Tax/Financial "industry"
  • Dirty Oil vs Oil Spills
  • Global Warming
  • Airport(s)
  • Ft. Edmonton
  • Expo
  • Marching Bands in our city
  • Northlands is Non-profit???
  • The world will collapse if we lose the Oilers - yeah, right.
  • Free Advertising (front page, etc) for Sports
  • Urban Sprawl
  • "Time limit" TV shows -- Mantracker, most renovation/makeover shows
  • Artificially long/pregnant pauses before announcing a winner/loser.
  • Interviewing losers.
  • "exclusive" accu-weather/traffic copter, etc.
  • Techno-gimmickry
  • Lotteries that 'support' social services because the Govt won't
  • "Civil" Engineers and Planning?
  • Prices to "rent" public facilities
  • The list of word misusage
  • Purposely misspelling a baby's name to make it "unique"




Geo's Growing List of Personal Boycotts and Whinings
[aka shit list]

Futureshop Consumer Electronics Only as a last resort "The expensive TV you're about to buy is crap. You'll need to buy our extended warranty".

On the other hand, they've got a good selection of DVDs at reasonable prices, and they won't try to sell you the extended warranty for a Beach Boys CD.

Philips Consumer Electronics Never again You spend $3500 on a Plasma TV, and it breaks. You go to the internet and find that MANY people have suffered from the same problem.  
Samsung Consumer Electronics Be careful This is the company that manufactured the flaky boards used in the Philips Plasma TV that fried. Unfortunately, Samsung is everywhere, and is often the RAM supplier for many computers.  
Sharp Consumer Electronics Never again I'm still waiting (16 months) for a firmware upgrade to allow my Aquos Blu Ray to read ANY >2009 releases. Piece 'O Crap. Nice support... not.  
Ford Vehicles Never recommend I love my Mustang. I loved my Capri. I loved my Thunderbird, I loved my Torino. I loved my Villager. The company sucks. Similar to my Philips Plasma TV, Ford recognized a design flaw in my Mustang's engine, and did a recall on the identical engine - if it were in the F-150 Truck, but not on my sports car. The internet is crawling with people who have experienced the same $2000 engine flaw as me.  
Western Pontiac Dealership, Stony Plain Rd, 184 Street Vehicles Never again Refused to repair my Regal's driver side door lock (car was broken into), saying, in essence, it was impossible. Laziness. Took it to a small mechanic's shop (PLATZ) - repaired it in a couple of hours.  
West End Hyundai Vehicles Hard to tolerate We bought two vehicles from there, and over the last year, they've sent about 15 snail letters trying to convince us to sell the cars and buy new ones. Can you say harassment? (Update 2010 Oct 27) A 2.5-hour 'preventative maintenance check' cost $340. That's about $300 more than the same check from Mr. Lube.  
Cascade Household Goods Never again An extremely good repairman/handyman (Dufferin) fixes my dishwasher, due to completely clogged drains. Says this happens constantly to many many people. The cause: the fargin' soap. No new dishwasher required. "Just switch to Electrasol, and you'll be fine". We did. Finally, clean dishes.  
Save-on Foods 63Ave, 199 street Coupons Be careful Twice in a row, I've been hosed at the checkout because they didn't apply the coupons to my purchases.  
Save-on Foods 102Ave, 170 street Bakery Never again little dead critters.  
Oilers Hockey Entertainment Never again Spending Cretien's Federal Govt infrastructure to build sky suites did it for me, but the list is far longer than that. Now we have new idiots trying to spend my money on those rich babies.  
City Politicians Politics Despise Striving to "get our city on the map" is an obsession that is only a sign of our inferiority complex.  
"Good Cause" fund raisers Politics Never "Full House Lotteries", "Stars Ambulance", etc etc. They are fund raising for core societal needs (a new MRI, supporting an ambulance) -- you know: the things that are the responsibility of our lazy, incompetent, socially misguided priority-inept government.  
Oilers Fund raiser Politics Never A team of multi-millionaires are doing a fund raiser begging for mere mortals to contribute to a community cause? Give me a friggin break. If it's that fargin' important, build a percentage of your salary to community donations, and leave people who don't fight or play on skates for a living alone to survive.  
All Bryan Hall Activities and endorsements Media and consumer Never The minute I hear this long-winded, tongue twisted twit on the radio, I change the station. I will also totally avoid anything he has advertised. There has never been a more pompous shill on the radio.  
Tom Goodchild's chain of pubs and restaurants Dining Only under duress This chain (Sawmill, Brewsters, etc) is not going to get much (if any) of my business. I used to run a popular restaurant review web site. His restaurants got good reviews for months, then a couple of unfavourable reviews showed up. I got contacted by their Lawyer, threatening me.  
L & W Pizza & Spaghetti House, Hinton Dining Never Again Nothing but McCain's-style frozen everything: frozen salmon, frozen carrots, frozen french fries, etc. Maybe their pizza is OK, but I'm not about to go back to find out. Cheap beer does not make up for inedible food.  
Apple Computers Be careful The extended Apple Warranty is needed (around $200). Especially with the laptops. Over the last decade or so, the reliability of Apple's hardware has degraded to become every bit as bad as their crappy PC counterparts. Shameful. Other than the MiniMac, there hasn't been a solid desktop since the Mac IIci days.  
HP Computer/Peripherals Never again Quality hardware with the crappiest software in existence. Their drivers are flaky, the UI design is atrocious.  
LaCie Computer/Peripherals Never again Yeah, their external hard drives are cheap. And you get what you pay for. I'm now in possession of three drives with external AC adaptors that are too weak to drive the boxes. I'm not the only one, either. This is a very very common problem, and they no longer deserve my business.  
Campbell's Soups Food Hmmm... Yuk. Campbell's PEA SOUP is just nowhere NEAR as good as Habitat's. Sheesh, Campbell's clam chowder isn't bad -- you'd think the pea soup would be decent, too.  
SonyStyle Computers Never again I'm repairing an old Vaio laptop. I need a replacement A/C adaptor. $120. From Amazon: $18.  
Shogun Restaurant Parking Don't park Hey! The underground "free parking" is a car trap! It'll scrape the bottom of your car! Park on the street. (PS: good food.)  
Telus Help Desk Despise Never has there been a more vapid group of front-line "support" people.  
Air Canada ROUGE Travel Avoid Cram too many passengers into an eight hour flight, give them no entertainment or food, no leg room, then watch the 'happiness' grow.  
Rice Bowl Deluxe Take-out Avoid Holy crapdoodle!! SO MUCH SAUCE GOOPED OVER EVERYTHING! You can't taste the meat! The burning sensation in your mouth is only matched by the burning feeling in your wallet!