Yes - it's a "blog", but that "word", in itself, is another tirade.
- 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?
- Dear Mr. Mayor: "No" means "no".
- Nov 25/2012 Dear Edmonton Eskimos: So, how did that trade work out for you?
- BURTON CUMMINGS! ...W O R S T .... 'O Canada'.... Ever! youtube
- 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!
- HOLY CRAP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6cvq2ZU9NA -- makes me want to change my name!!
- 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.
- Warning from police: Adding a dangerous drug to an illegal controlled substance/drug ("ecstacy") is dangerous. Gee. Thanks for the 'heads up'.
- 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?
- (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
- 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).
- 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?!
- "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.
- Why do people use stupid 'big' words when the smaller ones suffice? Or, is there truly a difference between the word 'instantaneous' and 'instant'?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Dear Telus Tech Support: Being cordial and polite does not make up for being incompetent.
- Add Avon to the list of moron companies to boycott, just like Gap, Beds Bath and Beyond, and James Cameron.
- 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.
- 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!!!
- 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.")
- 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.
- 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?
- 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".
- 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.
- Safeway recently posted a sign saying "10 bottles of pop for $10". What? The sign makers had a deal on zeros?
- 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?
- 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.
- Every time I hear of a fatal crash involving motorcycles racing at 3am down Groat Road, I feel nature is just culling the herd.
- 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.
- Why does instant coffee have to taste like crap?
- 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.
- 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!
- I spent an entire TV season trying to like Caprica. New TV season. Caprica still sucks.
- 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?!!
- 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.
- 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
- 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).
- Having "pop" "singer(?)" Rod Stewart butcher the jazz classics is like listening to rush-hour traffic on the Anthony Henday.
- 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.
2013 May 3
Music Education gets another shafting
Edmonton Public Schools leverages passionate parents and music kids to protest budgets
My pal, Eric Heise
Click: CBC STORY
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?
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:
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.
- 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.
All I really learned from that small window of my coding career was:
Alright, it also taught me about how to program in smaller, procedural blocks (new languages call these things 'methods').
- COBOL SUCKS
- I'm a good typer
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:INPUT-OUTPUT SECTION. FILE-CONTROL. SELECT StudentFile ASSIGN TO "STUDENTS.DAT" ORGANIZATION IS LINE SEQUENTIAL.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?
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:
2013 Jan 21
Dear Radio Announcers:
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:On facebook yesterday:Hey George, what do you think about this?
C|Net / ZDNet storyDoug ZimmermanHere's the "panic":For my Apple disciple friends...Larry? George? Rob? etc etc etc???
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 (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott):"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?
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”In essence, the new recommendation says that we need to build another 1 megavolt of infrastructure between Edmonton and Calgary.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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?)
- 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)
- 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.
- 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. *[answers.com]
- 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
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: http://www.codeproject.com/News.aspx?ntag=73644597412654455
2011 Dec 13
A Hero gets traded to the Centre of the Universe
Begin forwarded message:
From: George Carmichael
Subject: Comments From Esks.com.
Date: 13 December, 2011 2:34:23 PM MST
To: firstname.lastname@example.orgHello, 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.
18520 - 68 Ave Edmonton
2011 Oct 14
One for Jay Leno's Stupid Headlines
"TREATING THE DEATHS AS SUSPICIOUS"
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?
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 – DS”. 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 Aug 5
Leave all dunces behind
Geo's Queue TheoryCLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD A LARGER PDF, SUITABLE FOR FRAMING IN YOUR FAVOURITE COMMUNITY HALL
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.
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...except...
... 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]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.
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...)
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 BuhI'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?
Okay, now that we've studied our techno-derivatives,
SAY the first letter SAY all letters
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
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".
So...Don't rag on me when I pronounce a "blog" as:... and, yes, my two learned offspring, I'm talking to you!BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Log
By the way -- it's CHOW - DAH!! - not "choire dierre"! Say it Frenchie!!
2010 Oct 21
Leave no dunce behindBesides 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:Of course, this is where the parents of little, precious, Johnny do one of a few things:
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.
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.
THEN WHAT HAPPENS?
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.
HOW THE HELL CAN YOU
TELL WHERE YOUR OIL AND GAS CAME FROM?
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:In fact, check out this 'report' from the Capital Ex web site:
"Over 200,000 Edmontonians lined the parade route for the annual event"
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.
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.To:Nicole TurenneHello, Nicole --
Edmonton Eskimo Football Club
(780) 448-1696 wk
(780) 429-3452 fax
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
IGNORE THE PRESSURE TO VOTE…
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.
WATCH FOR MORE TIRADES:
(in no particular order)
- Fahrenheit vs Celsius
- The customer is always right? In my eye.
- Tax/Financial "industry"
- Dirty Oil vs Oil Spills
- Global Warming
- Ft. Edmonton
- 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.
- 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.