Dec. 5th, 2008 10:44 pm
lance_sibley: (Strike)
First, the bowling scores: 168, 135, 177. Those first and third games sound all right, but they were a struggle (as indicated by my second game score). In fact, in the third game I needed 104 over the last five frames to get there.

I think that most of the problem stemmed from the fact that my feet are really sore from climbing the hill of ice to get over the railroad tracks on my way to work. I was finding that I was clenching my toes as though I were trying to use them to hold my grip on the ground, and my left arch in particular is sore right now. This led to a bit of a balance problem this evening.

Work has been productive this week - I fixed a problem with the insurance company's website that was caused by their IT guy changing the way he implemented my previous changes. He had told me that he was copying the files over individually, so I had excluded the configuration file when I uploaded it to the FTP server, not wanting to mess up their database connection or their Crystal Reports. However, this time he copied the whole thing over at the directory level, which deleted the existing configuration file, which meant that nobody could access the website and their administrative person, who does the data entry into the Windows application, couldn't connect to the proper database. In fact, when I first re-uploaded the full version (including the incorrect configuration file), because I was logged onto their system over a virtual network, her data entry was updating my local database instead of their live database. *facepalm* But after a couple of hours (mostly spent playing phone tag), I got a correct version to them and they uploaded it, and all of the problems went away.

I then went back to the process management tool I'd been working on - my boss had asked me to add the capability to register users as belonging to organizations so that users who belong to an organization have the capability of seeing all of that organization's workflow processes. I also changed the way users register for the site, added the ability to create a new workflow that's modelled on an existing one (with the ability to choose which steps the user wants to include), and updated the online documentation. I still have a bit of that left, plus I have to update the user manual to reflect the new sections I added this week.

Regarding my headache - it's still there occasionally. I got a phone call this afternoon from the clinic, and I have an appointment for a CT scan on December 10. Unfortunately, it's at St. Michael's Hospital, which is the hospital in which I spent a night a few years ago when I fainted at the bridge club after my blood pressure fell to 80/40 (or lower - that's where it was when I regained consciousness). Fortunately, this time I won't be lying in a bed in the Emergency Room next to a drunk woman who'd just been hit by a streetcar.

On to the hot topic of the moment - the prorogation of Parliament by the Governor-General. Personally, I'm disappointed - not because I didn't want the Conservatives to win the election in the first place (though that's true), but because I thought Harper cowardly. When Parliament decides to hold a vote of non-confidence in the government, the Prime Minister's reaction should not be to run to the head of state (or her representative, in this case) and request that Parliament be suspended for a month and a half. Furthermore, Harper's address to the country (which I didn't see live, because I was still on my way home from work) was inflammatory. Like it or not, a majority of people in Quebec voted for the Bloc Quebecois. To call them separatists may be accurate, but traitors? That's over the line. (They're not the FLQ, for gods' sakes.) To then use the less inflammatory word "soverigntists" in the French version of his address was mealy-mouthed. (And it's not as though there aren't people in Quebec who would be watching the English version, or that the media wouldn't report that his English address was different.) And the behaviour of the other Conservative MPs, throwing around words like "coup" and "sedition" is just ridiculous. We've had governments fall on votes of non-confidence before, and the world didn't end, and the country didn't destroy itself. This is one of the costs of having a minority government - if you don't work with the Opposition, you run the risk that the government will be thrown out of office.

Even more distressing to me is the number of Canadians who have bought into the Conservatives' cry of "Treason!" Do they not know that the process currently underway is perfectly legal and constitutional, and has precedents in history? (Probably not, I know...) There are people out there writing on websites and to the newspapers that "we" voted in a Conservative government and that "we" should let them govern. Well, more people voted for the Liberals, NDP, Bloc, Green Party and other minor parties than voted for the Conservatives. Again, when you have a minority, you can't govern as though you had a majority and try to steamroll legislation through Parliament - that's what Joe Clark did in 1979, and what happened? There was an election (less than a year after the previous one), and Pierre Trudeau became PM again. Now, I'm not saying that we should have another election less than 50 days after the last one, but that's why the alternative, allowing the G-G to appoint the other party or parties as the government, exists.

In short: the proposition that a coalition of Liberals and NDP with the support of the Bloc is perfectly legal and constitutional. Get over it. And Mr. Harper - grow a pair. This is still a democracy, not a dictatorship.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and email Eric the recipe for the meal we're having together tomorrow night. :)
lance_sibley: (Strike)
Since I haven't posted in a week, and it's been a bit busy, I'll put each paragraph behind a cut...

Bowling went well... )

Work is going okay, except for the 'getting there' part... )

Headaches aren't supposed to last for six days, are they? )

Christmas? )

Anticipation )

About the latest political shenanigans... )

Well, that's all for another week (or unless something really exciting happens in the next little while).
lance_sibley: (Hmm  - by little_icons)
[ profile] hico is picking me up around noon to head off to Montreal for Con*Cept for the weekend, so I really should be packing. Not to mention doing laundry. But I got home around 10:30 and had to return a phone call, then make dinner. Normally I might have tried to get home earlier, but I was trying to finish up something at work and so didn't leave the office until about 9 - I almost got all seven reports finished, but I'm having a bit of trouble tweaking the SQL for the last one and so I left it for Monday.

It's funny how things work out - I hadn't booked a room in the con hotel because, like with everything else, I left it until the last minute and the hotel ran out of rooms. (There's a Canadiens game Saturday night, plus a lot of people are coming for Anticipation meetings who wouldn't normally attend Con*Cept.) The phone call I had to return was from someone with whom I often share rooms at out-of-town cons, who had called this evening to ask if I'd like to share this weekend. So that's a bit of luck. :)

I didn't go for lunch until about 3:30 today, and on the way back decided to stop off at the store where Zak and I were working during the summer. Roman had said that I could have a router that he no longer needed, so I finally got around to picking it up and getting the instructions on how to set it up from Brian, who is the service department there (not just the service manager, he's the entire department). Once I get that set up, I'll be able to surf the Web from the comfort of my couch. :) (Well, I also need to get something to allow me to plug the three-pronged plug of my laptop into the two-pronged outlet in the wall behind the couch. Details, details.)

Of course, this also means that the plans Eric and I have made to watch the upcoming season of BSG together while chatting in IM will actually work. :) (Though I have to finish watching the rest of the series first... I'm currently on 1x12, "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Pt. 1". I still have a couple of months to get caught up, though. )

I'm sure everyone has already seen the new photos from the Trek movie. For the few of you who haven't:

Make with the clicky-clicky... )

I just don't know. The bridge looks completely different from what I was expecting or hoped for, and the uniforms look more like soccer jerseys. Karl Urban seems to have De Kelley's body language down to a "T", though.

There are more pictures online, here, here and here. (There are duplications between the sites, but some of them might be in higher resolution.)

And [ profile] bovil posted this the other day, which I thought I would share. Toronto people, note the name of the artist. :)

(For non-Toronto people, Lar deSouza is a regular at Polaris, and this year did a two-hour workshop on digital art. He also participates every year in our origami workshop.)

So, let's see, at this rate I should be starting to pack for the weekend around, what, 2 o'clock? :)
lance_sibley: (fabulous)
The final day at Gaylaxicon was filled mostly with saying goodbye to friends for another year (or, for those who attend Worldcon or Dragon*Con, another 10 or 11 months), and collecting some email addresses to stay in touch. I did make it to the combined bitch panel/Closing Ceremonies, where I was asked to say something about the 2010 con. Since we don't have our dates or hotel chosen yet, I couldn't say much, but people seemed to be excited about the prospect of coming to Montreal. Especially when Chris B. reminded me to tell people about Montreal's five gay strip clubs. ;)

I took the Metro to the airport with Lee (that's Denver Lee, not [ profile] defenestr8or), as our flights were leaving within a minute of each other. Got there around 4, and was checked in and through security in about half an hour. As I hadn't eaten yet, I decided to grab some food and found a place where I could get a turkey sandwich (it being Thanksgiving, after all). I called Eric around 5:15 while I was waiting to board my plane (I'd said I would call when I got home, but I couldn't wait :) ), but he was still at work. He called me back just as I was getting into my seat on the plane and we talked for about half an hour, until I had to turn my cellphone off for takeoff.

We landed around 7:15 (the trip took less time than my daily one-way commute, even when there isn't a bus strike - which ended on the weekend, BTW), and I was through Customs and had my suitcase by 7:35. The bus was arriving just as I got to the stop, so the trip home from the airport was relatively fast. I got home at 9 and called Eric back. It was around 1 when he finally said, "Have you eaten yet?" I hadn't since the turkey sandwich at the airport in Washington, so we said good night and I walked over to the Dominion (I know it's called Metro now, but it's been Dominion all my life) and picked up a couple of microwave dinners and a few things for later this week, as I had absolutely nothing in the fridge or the freezer except some frozen vegetables, one can of juice and some very stale bread, which would not have made a very good dinner. Came back home, ate, and went to bed around 2:30.

So now I'm back at work, and have no idea where I left off on Thursday. (Well, that's an exaggeration - since I'm writing a manual it's fairly obvious where I left off, but I have to remember how to use the portion of the content management system that I was documenting.) I got some good feedback from my boss on the stuff I had done so far, which is nice. I have to remember to leave in time to get home before the polls close tonight, too. Not that my vote will make much difference - my riding is about as safe as it gets for the Liberals, and very little will change at the national level. But I still think it's important, because if everyone said, "Oh, I don't need to vote, my MP always wins by a huge margin," then bad things could happen. And we don't want that.
lance_sibley: (I'm With Stupid)
Okay, whoever put this together? Brilliant!

lance_sibley: (Pride)

The father of a United States Marine who was killed in Iraq was suing the Westboro Baptist Church (Fred Phelps' outfit, the "church" that pickets the funerals of gay men and soldiers for defending a country that tolerates gay people - you may have heard of his website, I read about this a couple of months ago and thought, "Great, another opportunity for Phelps to get publicity. The courts will never rule against him because of the free speech rights enshrined in the Constitution, no matter how deranged he is in using said rights."

Well... the jury awarded the Marine's father 11 million dollars today, after only 24 hours of deliberation! Hopefully this will put that bastard Phelps and his "church" out of business for good - according to the judge, that's more money than they have. *does happy dance*

Here's the news story.

Thanks go out to [ profile] neoengel for posting this earlier.
lance_sibley: (sleepy)
I didn't get home until 9 tonight, just as House was starting, and then, of course, was Boston Legal, and I have three or four hours of weekend viewing on the VCR waiting for me, and I had about 240 posts on my friendslist to read (much less than I expected, but still a lot), so my Gaylaxicon report will have to wait until tomorrow night.

I will say two things, though:

  1. Still no luggage. I hope it's not gone forever, as I usually take my unique/difficult to replace t-shirts to wear at cons.

  2. My mouth is still bothering me. I hope it heals before Con*Cept this weekend. Eating has been a chore.

Speaking of Con*Cept, I got my schedule today:

Fri 2200: Torchwood
Sat 1300: Doctor Who
Sat 2200: Sex And Technology
Sun 1200: What Makes Good Reviews From The Fan Perspective?
Sun 1300: Books Vs. Film

I had asked to be on a planned panel discussing the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, but it didn't make the final schedule. :(

I wanted to be able to get up early tomorrow morning to go and vote before going to work, but I suspect I'm going to have to do it on the way home instead.

In the meantime, here's an amusing video making fun of Senator Larry "Tappy McWidestance" Craig for you to enjoy.
lance_sibley: (I'm With Stupid)
Thanks to being friends with the editor of fab magazine (and not just on Facebook, though that's where I saw this ;) ), I bring to you their feature article in the current issue:

Many don’t know that Canada’s top political satirist is gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

A pretty fantastic interview.
lance_sibley: (I'm With Stupid)
I just came across this clip... kudos to the folks who put it together.

Bush Worried About New Threat - Watch more free videos
lance_sibley: (I'm With Stupid)
Something I hadn't mentioned before is that where I work is two doors north of the consituency office of Belinda Stronach, the MP for Aurora-Newmarket. I was on my way out to lunch today when I saw a City-TV and a CBC camera crew on the lawn, and when I got back, there was another, unidentifiable, camera crew there, all filming the front door with the "Closed" sign.

It seems that she announced today that she's leaving politics to return to Magna, the auto parts company her father founded, as executive vice-chair.

I wonder how many news reports tomorrow will include the word "dilettante"?

Here's something amusing that was linked on the SMOFS list this week... "Superthunderstingcar!"

lance_sibley: (Strike)
I woke up a bit on the late side today, having worked for three or four hours last night on one of the end-of-chapter projects for my VB class. It was frustrating, as I wasn't having an issue with language syntax or creating the form in Visual Studio - it was actually trying to work out the logic. The problem was to create a stopwatch which will display the current clock time, the active elapsed time, the paused time, and the total of both. The active time was no issue at all, but the instructions said that only two timers should be used - one which fires once per second and updates the clock time (easy peasy) and one which fires once per millisecond. Trying to figure out how to calculate how long the stopwatch was paused for was giving me a headache. (It wasn't as easy as it sounds, because there also had to be a button that would reset everything except the clock time to zero. Otherwise I could have just calculated the difference between the current time and the time the stopwatch was started, and subtracted the active time.) I finally finished it up around 6 this morning when I figured out how to use the TimeSpan data type. Argh. I'm wondering whether I solved it in an unnecessarily complex fashion. Maybe I should email the instructor and ask him.

As for bowling... my arm was feeling a bit better at the beginning of the night - it was no longer painful to straighten my arm completely - but it flared up early in the first game and by the end of the night, it was the worst it had felt in quite some time. My scores were mediocre: 167, 149 and 166. I missed about three easy spares in each game, as I was pulling the ball left (all of them were in the right corner, as I recall), which made it even more annoying. (I came close to sparing another 6-7-10, though. Two centimetres to the left...) And to cap it all off, we lost all three games (though we were bowling without Randy, as he had to work again this week, so it was a miracle that the first game was close and the third game was so close that it came down to the final frame).

What nearly made the evening a disaster is that about halfway through the third game, after [ profile] h8torun came off the lane, and as I was about to go up, she slipped on the step. I instinctively reached out to grab her, and she instinctively reached out to grab me. We managed to grab onto each other, but she had thrown out her right arm and I had grabbed her recently-dislocated wrist, which she still has wrapped. Judging from the way she finished the night, though, I didn't seem to have done any damage. Whew.

I'm supposed to go out with [ profile] cuteteenboy tonight, but he has yet to call. My cellphone died at some point between the bowling alley and home, and is currently charging, so [ profile] cuteteenboy, if you still want to go out and you see this, call the land line. It's the same number you called the other night.

My condolences to [ profile] plaidlibrarian as the Liberals lost yesterday's byelection in York-South Weston, on which he was working. The funny thing is, I know Paul Ferreira, the NDP candidate who won. He bowls on Wednesday nights. Yeah, yeah, I know... big surprise. I know everybody. Mario and I were talking about him tonight - it seems Mario doesn't like him much. I don't think we finished the conversation, though, so I don't know if he ever said why, apart from him being a "typical politician". *shrug* I don't know, he's always been nice and friendly to me, as has his husband.
lance_sibley: (flag)
This is infuriating.

From the Globe and Mail today:

Alvaro Antonio Orozco, a gay teen runaway from Nicaragua, was denied asylum in Canada because the Immigration and Refugee Board didn't believe he was a homosexual.

Mr. Orozco, now 21, is slated for removal next Tuesday to a country where sodomy is illegal and to a family that he says beat him and taunted him for his sexual orientation ever since he was a young boy.

The rest of the article can be found here, but basically the upshot is that the member of the Immigration and Refugee Board who heard his case (via video conference from Calgary - he's in Toronto) doesn't believe that he's gay because he wasn't sexually active when he was a teenager.

WTF?! I can think of two very good reasons for this:

  1. It's only been in the last couple of years that gay teens have felt comfortable enough to be open about themselves with other teens - and even so, I'm sure that there are many more teens who are gay than there are teens who are out of the closet.

  2. After fleeing Nicaragua (by swimming across the Rio Grande) he arrived in Houston where he was hidden by a Seventh Day Adventist church. Even leaving to one side the fact that Texas is not the most welcoming of states when it comes to LGBT people ([ profile] crusherdisciple, I know you've said Austin is fairly liberal, but what's Houston like?), according to this statement by the Seventh Day Adventists, same-sex relationships are forbidden. So again - why would he have a boyfriend when a group that abhors homosexuality and gay relationships were protecting him from being sent back to a country where such a relationship is illegal?

And he certainly couldn't have been sexually active in Nicaragua, not without risking either prison (gay relationships are illegal there) or being beaten by his own father, who has threatened him. (He fled Nicaragua when he was 12, anyway.)

According to the article, since coming to Toronto he actually has been spending time with the gay community, going out to bars on Church Street and such. (It doesn't say whether he now has a boyfriend, or if he's had one in the two years since coming to Toronto.)

I've checked the IRB's website, and although they list contact information for many IRB employees, this particular board member (Deborah Lamont) is not listed. Big surprise. However, the central email address for the IRB would appear to be, and the Calgary office can be reached at:

Fording Place
205-9th Ave. S.E., 9th Floor
Calgary, Alberta
T2G 0R3

Tel.: (403) 292-6134
Fax: (403) 292-6131

I'll be writing them a letter.
lance_sibley: (Strike)
I guess it's true that for every good thing that happens, a bad thing must inevitably follow? I had my second-worst night of the bowling season this evening, a week after having my best night. 135, 148, 169. Ouch. And what was worse, we lost all three games - against the frigging ghost team (the actual ghost team, not a team that just didn't bother to show up) because we never broke 1050 once. It didn't help that Mario was sick tonight and didn't show up, and we didn't have a declared score for him, but still, we could have gotten 1050 in the first and third games with maybe one more strike or spare from anyone (we were over 1030 in each).

I think part of the problem was that because we had no opponents, we were bowling faster than normal. We always do better when we bowl at a more leisurely pace. (When the break was called, Randy had already bowled two balls - both strikes - in the tenth frame of the third game, meaning that we were about two minutes from being finished for the night.) I was having trouble stringing together more than two marks in a row - I had more splits tonight than I've seen in a while.

Let's see, what else happened today... oh. I finally managed to get hold of the recruiter who was going to have me come in for a technical interview. It seems that the client is, in fact, a little concerned about my long layoff, but they seemed amenable to the recruiter giving me a written test to prove that I still know my stuff. It's slow-going, though, and she still doesn't know exactly when I'll be asked to come in.

I had another call from a recruiter today, but it was for a contract position that wasn't in Toronto. I'm thinking that maybe I should go for it anyway - it's only in Waterloo, which is about 90 minutes from Toronto by bus - but I'd have to withdraw from my Visual Basic class, and probably quit the bowling league, because there'd be no way I'd be able to get back to Toronto by 6:15 (for class) or 7 (for bowling) three nights a week. What to do, what to do...

Oh, and seen via [ profile] evawhitley's LJ, this clip is hilarious. I always knew there was something fishy about American politicians...

lance_sibley: (drunk)
I went out to Woody's tonight - I'm not sure why, as I was planning to go tomorrow night (since I don't seem to recall receiving any NYE invitations, at least not for places I can get to), but I guess I was bored. I ran into my friend Rick from bowling, though, so the night wasn't a complete waste of time. I hadn't seen him since May or so, since my team switched to the Friday session this year and he still bowls on Wednesdays. We ended up chatting for an hour or so, which was kind of nice. He asked me if I'd be going out again tomorrow, so I guess I will.

There was one funny bit (funny-strange, not funny-haha) about tonight... as it was Saturday, they were holding the Best Legs contest. The guy who won was:

a) from Ann Arbor, Michigan;
b) a dead ringer for [ profile] brendand, if he'd buffed up significantly since I saw him when I went to Ann Arbor five months ago.

[ profile] netmouse, since [ profile] brendand defriended me some time ago, I'll ask you - does he have a twin or a lookalike cousin or something? :) IIRC, he gave his name as Micah. Maybe it was Michael, though - for some reason nobody but the host(ess) seems to be able to make themselves heard using the microphone and sound system in there.

I've been following, somewhat closely, several online discussions about this morning's execution of Saddam Hussein. (Okay, yesterday morning now, I suppose.) I must say, I'm disappointed in much of mankind. There's a guy at TrekBBS who says he actually jerked off to the video of the hanging. How pathetic is that? Okay, the guy was evil. I grant that. But there comes a point where we, as observers, risk losing our own humanity, and I think that particular person (and a few others) crossed it a long time ago. God, the things I've wanted to say over there over the past 24 hours... if it were an in-person conversation, my tongue would be bleeding from biting it too hard. Personally, I think that he's just been made into a martyr for the insurgency; and if I were in that position, the thing I would dread the most would be spending the rest of my life in a dank prison cell, not a quick death from a broken neck. I'm glad I live in a country that abolished capital punishment a long time ago. Not because people like Saddam don't deserve to die, but because I think that being forced to live in a bleak environment like a prison is much worse. (Okay, there's also the possibility that they're in fact innocent of the charges against them, but I'll stipulate to the fact that Saddam was guilty as sin.)

I admit, I watched the Google video of the execution that [ profile] evil_admiral linked to this evening. But I don't feel better for having done so. In fact, I feel somewhat dirty now.
lance_sibley: (Queen's Park)
CNN and Yahoo are reporting that former U.S. President Gerald R. Ford passed away today at the age of 93... here's the Yahoo article.

Now I remember why I never go out to shopping malls on Boxing Day. It took me three hours to pick out two books to get with the $25 gift card my mother gave me... I ended up picking up Lois McMaster Bujold's Ethan Of Athos (I can't believe I've never read any of her stuff, considering that she's been a GoH at at least two cons I've been to, including the 2005 Gaylaxicon) and Robert Charles Wilson's Spin (which I'd been wanting to get for a while but kept putting off).

Now, the question is... when will I get around to reading them?
lance_sibley: (I'm With Stupid)
And Stéphane Dion is the new Leader of the Liberal Party. I guess they listened to me. ;)
lance_sibley: (Strike)
First... bowling update. Last night, the team we were supposed to be bowling against didn't show up. None of them. Apparently they've all failed to show up on five other occasions as well. What's the point in joining a league if you're not going to show up? Anyway, it was an easy four points - and since going into last night we were in second place, half a point behind the league leaders, there's a good chance we're now in first. We were already in first in total pinfall with handicap, too, having moved up from third a week ago. We may not hold that, though, as we all had poor second games - possibly because we were bowling at a quicker pace than usual, with only three of us being there last night ([ profile] h8torun and Bridgette had both planned to be absent and had left declared scores). In fact, we were about to start the ninth frame of the third game when they announced the break.

My scores were mediocre - 175, 152 and 142. That third game was actually a lot better than it looks from the score, as I had five splits - four in the first six frames, and only had 69 (don't say it) after six frames. I managed to get 73 pins in the final four frames to make the score look somewhat respectable (though with a 165 average, I'm not sure 142 is "respectable"). And yes, [ profile] h8torun, I can hear you rolling your eyes from here. ;)

I started my Scripting Languages assignment yesterday afternoon and found myself staying up all night last night working on it (I was like Columbo: "just one more thing") and didn't actually go to bed until about 8 this morning. Annoyances: IE6 doesn't seem to want to let me update the innerHTML property of the tags on my page, and Firefox is configured by default not to allow Javascript code to update the status bar of the active window. I managed to figure out how to get around the latter problem, but I'd like to get the former one solved too. I downloaded IE7 last night before I went to bed to see if the new version would let me update the innerHTML, but I haven't tested it yet.

While I was working last night, I had CPAC on to listen to the Liberal leadership convention. Most of the speeches were pretty dull, and I was surprised that Dion and Dryden both went over their 25-minute limit (don't they rehearse their speeches?). But wow, that was quite the speech that Dryden gave. I'm surprised he didn't pick up more second-ballot support.

I hadn't been impressed with Ignatieff's speech until the third repeat (CPAC doesn't have much programming ;) ), when just before I went to bed, I moved over to the couch and watched him for a few minutes. While watching, his speech was a lot more impressive than it sounded - I don't know why. (Maybe because I was paying more attention? :) ) I'm not surprised that he didn't pick up more support after the first ballot, though - he only got 70 more votes after Findlay (130), Volpe (156) and Brison (192) dropped out, and 180 more after Dryden (219) and Kennedy (884) dropped out after the second ballot. I was surprised, however, to learn when I got up that Kennedy had dropped out after the second ballot. I guess his negotiations with Dion went well - for Dion, that is, considering that after three ballots, Dion is leading.

Well, as I've been saying for weeks (and Dion's campaign manager only picked up on this week), no Anglophone Liberal leader has won a majority since William Lyon Mackenzie King in 1945. So it won't surprise me at all if Dion wins.

While I was out this afternoon, I went over to Dominion to get vegetables and bread. Since I only had two items, I got in the "10 items or less" line. In front of me were two women (who appeared to be mother-and-daughter) who proceeded to put 15 items on the belt. As they were finishing, a young couple got into line behind me with only one item. The guy said, "This line should be fast - there are only two people ahead of us." I turned around and said, "Except that the people in front of me obviously can't read or count," and we started brainstorming ways to embarrass them for ignoring the ten-item limit. They liked two of my suggestions: either the three of us would loudly chant out the item number as each one was scanned, or we would do a Sesame Street Count routine - "One grocery! Ah-hah-hah! Two groceries! Ah-hah-hah!" He told me that he once saw a cashier ring through someone's tenth item and then tell them that they'd reached the limit, and the rest of their items would be put back on the shelf. Why can't more cashiers be like that? There's a reason why they have express lines...

Okay, enough ranting for now. Back to my assignment...
lance_sibley: (I'm With Stupid)
Snagged from [ profile] gurudata:

Dear United States of America,

The headlines are full of articles noting that your electronic voting machines have been giving all kinds of problems today, during your "mid-term elections".

Since many of you like to go around proclaiming yourselves as being the "Champions and Defenders of Democracy", one might think that you guys had this whole "voting" thing down pat by now. However, since it appears that you do not, allow me to offer the following suggestion:

Here in Canada, we have this really cool high-tech voting mechanism. It is called a "pencil and paper". Let me explain how it works:

1) Some wise person takes the input media known as "a piece of paper" and prints on it the names of all the people who are running in this election. Next to each, their party affiliation (where applicable) and a circle is printed, making it very clear which party and circle go with which candidate.

2) In turn, every Canadian who gives a sufficient level of "a damn" is handed a some input media (aka "a ballot") and goes to stand behind a shield made of high-tech cardboard, where they find the "pencil" component of the input device. Using this pencil device, the voter places a symbol in the circle next to the name of the person they want to vote for. Elections Canada is even so nice as to provide a list of acceptable symbols in every voting booth.

3) The voter then uses a complex voting concealment method called "folding" to hide their selection as they take their ballot to the high-tech vote collection mechanism known as "a box with a hole in it" and insert their ballot.

Done. No fuss. No muss. Pencils never fail to boot or leave chads a-hanging.

I may be a technogeek, but sometimes, for some applications, I like simple solutions. :)
lance_sibley: (Crack - by Raelala)
There's either a duck trapped inside the tree in front of my apartment building, or there's a squirrel out there with a duck's larynx (since the quacking stopped once the squirrel noticed me).

I was in the drug store picking up a few necessities, when Heather Small's "Proud" started playing on the muzak. WTF? I remarked to the cashier that it was an odd song to be playing in that context, and she said, "Oh, do you like it?" I said, "Well, I did on 'Queer As Folk' - not so much on the commercial for that reality series about losing weight." ("The Biggest Loser," I think?) She said, "Oh, I liked QAF too - but I've never seen that commercial." Personally, for me, hearing the song used on the commercial was like how it would be if they used Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" as the "Survivor" theme... dammit, get your own anthem!

I got my Internet Scripting Languages assignment half-done yesterday. We're supposed to be creating a website for "Toronto Air Line" - I spent about an hour using Photoshop to doctor a photo of an Estonian Airlines plane taking off to use as a background image. :) I've got the home page, login and user registration forms done - I still have to do the flight search, flight status and FAQ pages, and the advertising sidebar.

Oh, and what's up with LJ? All of the posts on my friendslist from yesterday are now no longer viewable on my friendslist, though a post that [ profile] marahsk made around 5 this morning was still viewable when I clicked on the link in the email notification I got of her reply to my comment. Weird.

In world news, I see that Saddam Hussein has been found guilty and sentenced to death. Well, now, there was a shock. Did anyone not see that coming? Some people are claiming that this will give the Republicans a boost in this Tuesday's elections, but I honestly don't see how. Now, if he'd been found not guilty, that would have given the Republicans a wedge to claim that they're better able to deal with terrorism than the Democrats, and they might have done better. As it is, I don't see this affecting the results at all. It's much more likely that the recent discovery of more problems with the voting machines (votes for Democrat candidates being switched to count for the Republicans, ostensibly because the machines are "out of synch" - yeah, right) will have more impact.
lance_sibley: (too busy to fcuk - by xokadieox)
Thanks to [ profile] lsanderson for the link.

The New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that gay couples have the same rights as straight couples.

They've given legislators 180 days to rewrite the law to either grant marriage rights to gay couples or to create a type of civil union. Obviously, I'm hoping that they take the former approach. As I've often said before, creating a separate but equal institution doesn't work, because even if civil unions are initially set up with the exact same set of rights as marriage, future legislatures can chip away at those rights. It's much more equitable to just extend the rights of marriage to include gay couples.

In other news, I got a call today from Toronto-Dominion Bank regarding a job I applied for a few weeks ago. The call came just as I was about to get into the shower, but when the caller asked if she should call back later, I said, "No, this is as good a time as any." She wanted to know about which of my skills I used at my most recent jobs, and said that she would let me know by the end of the week if I would be asked in for an interview (which would be the first of three or four from the sounds of it).

Last night in C# class, we covered methods, objects and classes. I had a little trouble with the lab, but that was partially because the specs that the instructor gave us had the same variable name being used in both the main program and one of its classes, and I had been mixing them up so my program wouldn't compile. But once the instructor pointed this out and I fixed it, the program worked perfectly. Now, I just have to figure out the syntax for declaring and using arrays of classes so that I can do the assignment. I have the variables that are created in the class being correctly passed back to Main, but I can only handle one at a time. Every time I've tried using the array syntax on my class definition, the compiler barfs on my shoes. When I'm over there tonight I'm going to email myself the files for last night's lab (Yahoo was being very slow last night when I tried) so that I can make sure that I'm doing everything correctly so far. I do wish that I could just log on remotely from home... it would save me the trouble of having to email the files back and forth.

Now I have to get ready to go to my Internet Scripting Languages class. It looks like we'll be getting our first assignment tonight, and then we're moving on to DHTML and JavaScript. We're moving into things I have no idea about. I had hoped to be able to make dinner before I left, but it looks like I'm not going to have time until I get home, since I have to leave in about 20 minutes.


lance_sibley: (Default)

June 2009

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