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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

hiking the tarr inlet hump

Sunday, 10JUL2005:

went out hiking with maxine, stef, auralee and robert out to tarr inlet via apex. we started off around 11 in the morning while the fog was still a bit thick. as we crested the hill by the ufo landing site, patches of blue sky began to creep out.

ships anchored outside of apex
rather than simply crossing the apex bridge, maxine suggested crossing the creek. i scouted out a path and went upriver to cross, only getting splashed by the current about a foot up my left leg but still keeping my feet dry. the others rolled up their pantlegs and crossed barefoot farther downstream with maxine using her poles to support herself and stef. robert dunked himself when his footing slipped, but his t-shirt soon dried out in the sun.

tarr inlet at low tide
as the others took a break with tarr inlet in sight, i climbed the neighbouring ridge to feed the ferns. on the way back, i crept down, stalking the group with a snowball in hand before charging the last 50 metres to give robert an icy surprise.

climbing the tarr inlet hump
the rest of us were beginning to tucker out once we got to the base of the hump, but maxine was still as energetic as ever, shouting encouragement from above. she promised that the mosqueeters were less annoying up there with the breeze.

keeping the bugs off on the tarr inlet hump

she lied. on the way back, we encountered willie, curtis and fidel. robert and auralee got a lift from apex while the rest of us continued along the beach. i got home to a hot shower around 17:30.

grabbed a supper of take out chinese food from the nav consisting of three dishes:
  • special special fried rice (with curry);
  • lemon chicken; and
  • special chop suey.
i was so famished that i polished 2/3ds of the order before sacking out on the couch for a post-prandial nap.

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dying for domesticity

Monday, 11JUL2005:

went up to the astro to watch 'mr. and mrs. smith'. i thought it was lots of fun with the contrast between domesticity and assassin culture as freaky as i had anticipated. angelina jolie was to die for. *sigh* my favourite adrenaline rush was seeing her leap out of a hotel window and smoothly land beside the valet, breezily asking for a cab. who needs fancy CGI effects ?

it was also great to hear the music score by john powell, who drove the scenes the same way he did on 'the bourne identity' for the same director, doug liman. in-between his notes was a playful soundtrack that included tunes from air supply, poison and joe strummer and the mescaleros.

  • IP idiocy link of the day: WalMart refuses to release digital photos taken by amateurs without a signed copyright release form from the 'professional' photographer who took the shots.

    The Professional Photographers of 
    America sees education of consumers and 
    photofinishers as key to preventing 
    unauthorized copying.
    The trade group sent a wake-up call to
    the photofinishing industry when in 1999,
    it sued Kmart Corp., alleging that the
    discount store violated federal copyright
    law by copying images without the 
    permission of the copyright owners.
    In 2000, Kmart settled the case by paying 
    $100,000 and agreeing to implement 
    procedures to guard against the unlawful
    copying of professional photos.
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pawns, portfolios and pensions

Tuesday, 12JUL2005:

played 2 chess matches against jordan after work. in the first one, i moved the wrong pawn and his queen swooped in to checkmate my king in the 4th move. *ouch*. in the second, i had the situation well under control when i almost lost my queened pawn by moving my king into a knight-forkable position. luckily, thru no planning of mine, i had a bishop covering that attacking square and so jordan conceded to make us even for the day.

first stop for the evening was the storehouse for a drink to bid judith and ian farewell. they had arrived in iqaluit from calgary the month before i did, and we had shared a couple of semesters of inuktitut classes. they are travelling back to calgary en route to the netherlands where they will settle down for their next adventure.

closed off the evening giving greg an assist by re-packaging some of his audio work for a job portfolio. it took a few hours, but i think he's now in good shape for applying for radio positions.

apparently there is a global savings glut that is currently propping up our neighbours to the south. however, if those foreign investors should suddenly turn (as they did against argentina and indonesia in the late 1990's), the u.s. economy would quickly hit the skids, with the canadian one following quick on its heels.

It's not only the sheer size of the U.S.
borrowing that could be a problem.  It's 
also what the money is being used for. 
Unlike in the late 1990s, when the U.S.
was tapping foreigners to help finance
productivity-enhancing investment, much
of today's borrowing goes to pay for the
federal budget deficit and to fund a surge
in house prices that many experts believe
can't last.
but you don't have to share the same fate ! it also seems that Bush's plans for pension reform in the U.S are in a precarious state. small wonder, seeing as the unfunded pension liabilities faced by the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) are over $450 billion. i've gotten worked up about pensions before, which is a bit strange seeing as i'm at least 30 years from retirement. however, when i see the CPP administrators doing bone-headed maneuvers like sinking 60% of our pension funds into the stock market, i just want to scream. i still remember when their equity investments lost almost everything gained from their fixed income portfolio. here's what the administrator said in response:

What we do know is that market corrections 
are always followed by market recoveries
*always* ?? tell that to the tulip bulb owners. i would gladly contribute to a public pension plan that is low risk, even if the returns are lower. if all the pension funds can think to do is to speculate on the stock market, then i'd rather keep the funds and gamble them myself. at least that way, i won't be tied into subsidizing bogus or harmful sectors of the 'economy' (e.g. tobacco , big oil, GMO crops, SUV's, etc.) unlike the large pension funds which have to follow some arbitrary index weighted towards traditional sectors of the economy.

i accept that governments shouldn't be picking winners and losers in the economy, but they should be making more effort to jumpstart areas that will provide long-term benefits rather than just seeking to maintain what already exists. the whole point of paying taxes is to allow the government to invest in areas that will benefit all citizens. there are so many great ideas that a government could invest in where private industry refuses to play - wind power, solar power, waste reclamation, 4-day work weeks, buying out drug patents, direct creator subsidies, etc, but instead we get the same old.

where is the vision that gave us the space program or superhighways ? i'm not saying that either of those were perfect, but they did successfully inspire private industry to develop products and processes that have provided innumerable benefits to us all.

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dubious handovers

Wednesday, 13JUL2005:

today's chess match against jordan was surreal. i had managed to get him down to a single rook and knight, while i had the same plus my other knight and a bishop. with that kind of piece advantage, it's hard to believe that i mucked it all up.

it started when jordan made an early attack with his bishop, not realizing that i would use that extra move to get in position to take out his queen. from then on, i had him on the ropes and it should have just been a matter of mopping up pawns or letting him run out of moves.

instead, i did the chess equivalent of poker's 'going on tilt' and somehow lost both my bishop and extra knight in 2 straight moves. with our pieces now evened out, jordan's superior tactics took out my rook and when he got a pawn in position for a touchdown, i conceded.

in the evening, i went to the discovery to catch thomas berger's address. it was great to hear directly from the man who oversaw the mackenzie valley pipeline inquiry, whose recommendations ensured that development would take place only when the aboriginal rights issues had been addressed properly. his next task is to act as a conciliator for the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Implementation Contract between the federal government, NTI and the GN.

  • link of the day: why Wal-Mart sux. judging from some of the clueless comments, there are many who continue to focus on short-term individual benefits rather than long-term societal costs.
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new directions

Thursday, 14JUL2005:

went to the gym after work and worked in a few sets with greg and robert. greg informed me that matthieu's farewell party was being held at the storehouse, so i went up there for a bit. after 5 years in the north, matthieu is going back south to go to school and move in with his new girlfriend. ahhh, true love !

  • link of the day: know when to sit out of the market:
    As an investor, I want the deck stacked
    in my favor as often as possible.  When
    I have little or no advantage, I'd 
    simply rather not participate.  That
    may mean avoiding specific situations or
    closing out a losing position.  It also
    may mean knowing when to sit out a 
    directionless, choppy market altogether.
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dreaming of a better life

Friday, 15JUL2005:

stayed up late reading all of the books that arrived in my latest monthly comic shipment. top reads this time were the 2d issue of 'death, jr.', the full-length version of 'avigon', 'little star' #3, the one-shot 'dream police' and 'age of bronze' #20. honourable mention goes to 'dark mists' #1.

the 2d issue of 'death, jr.' takes the tyke onto a darker path as 'uncle mo' begins to twist dj's growing sense of alienation at his father's patronizing attitude. "talk to the scythe!", he shouts as he gets fed up. he even cuts down his best friend pandora. too late, dj realizes that he's been duped and the stage is set for the final issue's showdown. naifeh's art is charming as always.

'avigon' expands on a slim volume that had been released a few years ago. avigon, "the finest creature ever made by anyone, save god", searches for a place where she can strive beyond the limits of her programming. the artwork by jimmie robinson is intoxicating, and the tale told by ché gilson weaves together palace intrigues and avigon's struggles with how other people see her, whether as an individual or as a machine.

jimmie robinson art from 'avigon: gods and demons'

in the 3d issue of andi watson's 'little star', simon contemplates returning to more fulfilling design work, and recalls how he originally ended up in part-time work in order to bond with his newborn daughter.

i go off sick so i can help out at
home.  soon after, i wrangle going
part-time.  we're a baby caring 
machine.  cassie is fed and clothed
and bathed, wiped and towelled and
loved seamlessly by us both. 


we're still a team but we're running
a relay.  one of us rushes out to work 
as the other rushes in.  we share an
orbit, constantly falling towards each
other but never touching.

the issue closes off with an argument with meg, who is apalled that simon would consider returning to full-time work without consulting with her first.

'dream police' is a noir tale set in the world where dreams co-exist with reality. a squad of gumshoes is tasked with keeping the dreams in order and cleaning up after wayward dreamers. the worst is having to deal with a young lad's nightmarish monster wreaking havoc with the neighbourhood. a pan of warm water saves the day, though not without a good soaking. with cinematic art by deodato, the book is a real page-turner.

'age of bronze' #20 continues eric shanower's re-telling of the tale of the trojan war. this issue focuses on king priam's preparations for the upcoming war and the fateful killing of king tennes by achilles. the black and white art is gorgeous as usual.

eric shanower art from 'age of bronze' 20

another book with very nice art is 'dark mists'. however, while each panel is beautiful in its own right, the storytelling suffered as i found it difficult to distinguish the various geisha from each other. the conceit of the government using geisha to spy on the yakuza also seems to go against japanese traditions of honour.

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the games we play

Saturday, 16JUL2005:

this week i remembered to turn on my pc to start recording the radio show before i headed over to the AFN. the theme for today's show was 'the games we play', inspired by my 'do ya feel lucky ? mix.

aur.oral exposures setlist for 16jul2005:
  1. My Favourite Game - Cardigans
  2. the hardest game - Havana 3 a.m.

  3. I Will Never Play Violin - Kris Demeanor
  4. The Game - Levellers
  5. Benediction - the weakerthans

  6. Rob Smith (as Vince Fontaine) - Rydell High School Dance Announcement
  7. Gamblin' Man - Mike Ness
  8. Pokerface - Ron Hawkins

  9. lucky to me - The Blue Shadows
  10. Lucky Number Six - the Lux
  11. 52 pickup - brown eyed susans

  12. Body Language - Katherine Scott and David DeAngelo
  13. Move - Miles Davis
  14. Sing Me a Swing Song - Benny Goodman and His Orchestra

  15. I Could Have Danced All Night - Brave Combo with Lauren Agnelli
  16. Dancing Lessons - Sinead O'Connor
  17. the dark of the matinee - Franz Ferdinand

  18. Come Out and Play (keep 'm separated) - The Offspring
after the show, i took a short nap to make sure that i was well-refreshed for the poker match. however, my time at the top was short-lived as i ended up going out 2d out of 10 after a very bad run of cards. i only had one moderately bad beat, so i can't chalk it up to playing recklessly. the only note that i made for improvement was to maybe risk a little bit more post-flop when i have decent cards and hope for the turn or the river to come through for me.

john m. took out todd in the final heads up knockout, with patrick closing out the winners circle. i made up some of my losses in the side games afterwards so i was pretty happy with how things turned out. we even got a few rounds of guts in and managed to control the pot from exploding in size.

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