Categories
computers suck o canada

Say no to Bonsai tomorrow, okay?

Please don’t vote for Stephen “Bonsai” Harper tomorrow. I don’t think we need a very small version of a Bush for PM.

Mind you, I could still be all riled up about seeing Fahrenheit 9/11 last night. Or as it’s called in Canada, Celsius -1715/99, since we’re metric.

Categories
General Wind Things

Getting (Not Very) Political

Canada goes to the polls soon. For the last month, the papers have been filled with the minutiae of the candidates and their policies. As a Canadian Without A Vote™, I feel strangely detached from this. Having an opinion on the candidates would be like me judging a beauty contest for slugs.

But people keep asking for my opinion, so here it is: Anyone but Harper. Stephen Harper reminds me a lot of George W. Bush, minus the intelligence and charisma of the southern leader. I’ve seen sharper hockey pucks than Harper, who always seems to be photographed with that glaikit (see extended entry for definition) open-mouthed expression on his face.

Martin looks like he’s got terrible halitosis, and is permanently worried that we’re on the verge of finding him out for some nefarious act. Layton’s a bit full-on for a successful leader. And that green party guy just looks uncomfortable in a suit.

None of the parties have innovative sustainable agendas, so I can’t recommend any of them. But if Harper wins in June, all those friends of ours in the US who want to inhabit our basement should Bush win in November might as well stay home.

Categories
goatee-stroking musing, or something

don cherry

21/5/04 15:31 – Don Cherry in a taupe linen suit @ YYZ. He’s smaller than I thought he’d be (I blame big-screen sports bars), and he really does wear those high collars in RL.

Categories
Wind Things

In Your Face, Iceland!

… is an amusing TV ad from the David Suzuki Foundation.

Categories
computers suck o canada

okay, so maybe it wasn’t so bad

So ufile.ca did actually work for us, but only under Mozilla on Catherine’s eMac. The process was actually quite painless, and their user interface is nice — if if works with your browser.

It’s strange that they claim that their system works with Linux, yet got into such a terrible mess with me.

Anyway, that’s our taxes filed. I’ll try not to spend all of my refund in the one shop.

Categories
computers suck

u-don’t-file.ca

udontfile2003.png
ufile.ca is seriously broken under Mozilla 1.6. I’ve wasted the last hour or so trying to stop their weird menus from overlapping. Online tax filing’s supposed to be quick, isn’t it? I wonder if I can charge the time I’ve wasted (at my usual contractor rate) to them?

Categories
computers suck General

the nearly-new immigrants

Two years ago today, Catherine and I were huddled somewhat apprehensively in the immigration lobby of Toronto’s Pearson airport. After a couple of hours of waiting, paperwork and customs clearance (and several “Welcome to Canada!”s), we stepped out into the evening sleet, and headed straight for a Holiday Inn to crash.

We’ve done okay. There have been difficult times, but on the whole, we’re glad we came.

Categories
General

Living in a Nation Hospitable to Organized Crime and Terrorism

According to the US Library of Congress Federal Research Division, Canada is one of the Nations Hospitable to Organized Crime and Terrorism [PDF].

I read the section on Canada with incredulity. Apparently:

… as a modern liberal democracy Canada possesses a number of features that make it hospitable to terrorists and international criminals. The Canadian Constitution guarantees rights such as the right to life, liberty, freedom of movement, freedom of speech, protection against unreasonable search and seizure, and protection against arbitrary detention or imprisonment that make it easier for terrorists and international criminals to operate.

So these are bad things? Much of this is in the US constitution, or the amendments thereto.
To me, the above terms pretty much define a civilized nation. O America, when did you get so frightened?

Categories
General

No ISSNs for Canadian blogs

I applied for an ISSN yesterday after reading Joe Clark’s ISSN for Weblogs page. This is what I got back from ISSN Canada today:

Thank you for your application. At the moment, we are no longer assigning ISSN to weblogs, but the situation is under review. The question of whether weblogs will be able to be assigned ISSN is under discussion in the international ISSN Network. The question hinges on the scope of the ISSN but also on the very real consideration of the limited staff resources of ISSN centres worldwide.

I guess it’s their ball and they can take it away if they wish. Blogs are serial publications, though, and therefore have all the rights of any regular publication.

Categories
General

fun with bilingual packaging

bread is my pain

— from an Ace Bakery bread wrapper.

Categories
General

icicles in ma nose

Today was the first “freezing nose” experience of the winter. Combined with my pre-work swim, this has resulted in the unpleasant experience of only being able to smell chlorinated meat all day…

Categories
General

Office Party, Canadian Tradition

It was our office party last night. I had, I’m told, the quintessential Canadian suburban experience — a 40 of Olde E, and a monster bag of Sun Chips. And I’m still alive, apparently.

I’d better translate. “Olde E” is more properly known as Pabst Olde English 800 Malt Liquor. It’s 7.9% alcohol. It’s sold in 40 ounce bottles, so that’s 1.18 litres of beer-like substance. And it’s $3.95 at the LCBO, but quite how control is involved in selling this much alcohol for so little money, I don’t know.

Categories
cars suck General

Announcing SINC

Canada has this very nifty program called LINC — Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada. But language is just a tiny part of the Canadian experience, so I propose SINC — Skating Instruction for Newcomers to Canada.

It seems that being at home on ice is an essential part of the Canadian winter experience. And since a Canadian winter seems to take most of the year, it’s important to be acclimatized.

(The French-language equivalent of LINC is CLIC — Cours de langue pour les immigrants au Canada)

Categories
General goatee-stroking musing, or something

yay, go nettwerk!

After writing this, I emailed Nettwerk about the essentially broken CDs they were selling. Very quickly, they said they could send me a non-copy-controlled one. And a week later, it arrived. I now have happy CD players, happy MP3 players, and a happy me, ‘cos it’s a good album.

Someone at Nettwerk hinted to me that they’re dropping copy-controlled CDs because of all the bother. Good.

Categories
best of scruss/txt General

Canada supporting copy-controlled CDs

Canada, though its Sound Recording Development Program, supports local musical talent. Canada also permits private copying of music as part of its Copyright Act, and levies a charge on recordable media to support this.

BC band the Be Good Tanyas acknowledge the support of the government’s program on their new album, “Chinatown”. Unfortunately, their record label EMI Canada has decided to copy-control the CD, depriving us of our rights to make a private copy of the work. The band is not happy about this, and ask you to complain to their label.

Categories
General goatee-stroking musing, or something

only in canada

Flash animation: Best management practices for water quality from Agriculture & Food Canada: ROBOCOW

Categories
General goatee-stroking musing, or something

where’s willy?

Okay, so I got a $20 the other day in Scarborough inscribed with See Where I’ve Been… Track it online… www.whereswilly.com. Seems I’m the second-last person on the continent to hear about this little diversion for tracking paper currency. Shame about the name, though.