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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

capitalist sell-out culture

Monday, 18JUL2005:

  • link of the day: pop will eat itself
    during an interview, mr. wang can't even 
    remember all of the brands he endorses.
    his assistant from sony bmg music 
    entertainment (taiwan) recites a list to
    him ...  Most of the eight music videos
    from mr. wang's current album contain
    product placements.  parts of the videos
    are also used in 30-second television
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making it thru a grey day

Tuesday, 19JUL2005:

i had been worried about running up my food bills once i started going to the gym again, but it turns out my body craves sleep before sustenance. it wasn't until late in the afternoon that i felt like i was able to put two thoughts together. the grey skies outside didn't help matters.

i've had a couple of frustrating bosses in my work career, but i can't say that i've had any bad apples like nixon. for those of you who are suffering, check out scott berkun's advice on how to survive a bad manager.

here's an excerpt:

Maximize, Minimize and avoid 

The simplest place to direct energy is as follows:

 1.Identify the things about your manager that have a positive
   impact on you. 
 2.Prioritize them in importance (to you). 
 3.Find ways to maximize your exposure to these things. 

Then repeat, focused on minimizing negative qualities.

 1.Identify the things about your manager that negatively
   impact you. 
 2.Prioritize them in importance to (you). 
 3.Find ways to minimize your exposure to these things. 
the rest of the evening was spent finishing my comic book order for the month. highlights include:

  • first issue of 'polly and the pirates' created and drawn by ted naifeh (yay !)
  • first issue of 'shotgun wedding' where romeo and juliet are scions of rival mob families who are forced into an arranged marriage to maintain a dubious truce

  • the 2005 spx anthology with proceeds going to support the comic book legal defense fund
  • 'push man and other stories' by yoshihiro tatsui - alt.tales of japanese urban life
  • neil gaiman's latest novel 'anansi boys'

  • dd 'poker 2006' software
  • 'sin city' dvd
  • deck of 'sin city' playing cards
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scotty beams up

Wednesday, 20JUL2005:

the only redshirt from the original series who survived each episode, james 'scotty' doohan passed away wednesday morning. i have the 3-pack dvd set of all the original 'star trek' episodes - i may give them a viewing this weekend as a memorial to scotty.

E! Online link:
The Canadian-born actor who affected 
a brogue as embattled U.S.S. Enterprise 
engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott on 
the original 1966-69 TV series and on 
the big screen in seven adventures died 
Wednesday at his home in Washington state. 
He was 85, and had been most recently
battling pneumonia.
CNN (AP) link:
When the series ended in 1969, Doohan 
found himself typecast as Montgomery
Scott, the canny engineer with a burr in 
his voice. In 1973, he complained to his 
dentist, who advised him: "Jimmy, you're 
going to be Scotty long after you're dead. 
If I were you, I'd go with the flow."

"I took his advice," said Doohan, "and 
since then everything's been just lovely."

At 19, James escaped the turmoil at home 
by joining the Canadian army, becoming a 
lieutenant in artillery. He was among the 
Canadian forces that landed on Juno Beach 
on D-Day. "The sea was rough," he recalled. 
"We were more afraid of drowning than the 

The Canadians crossed a minefield laid for 
tanks; the soldiers weren't heavy enough 
to detonate the bombs. At 11:30 that night, 
he was machine-gunned, taking six hits: one 
that took off his middle right finger (he 
managed to hide the missing finger on screen), 
four in his leg and one in the chest. The 
chest bullet was stopped by his silver 
cigarette case.

In a 1998 interview, Doohan was asked if he 
ever got tired of hearing the line "Beam me 
up, Scotty" -- a line that, reportedly, was 
never actually spoken on the TV show.

"I'm not tired of it at all," he replied. 
"Good gracious, it's been said to me for 
just about 31 years. It's been said to me 
at 70 miles an hour across four lanes on 
the freeway. I hear it from just about
everybody. It's been fun."
Bloomberg link:
Doohan lost the middle finger of his 
right hand on June 6, 1944, or D-Day,
when the Allied forces invaded France. 
The injury is visible in only two 
'Star Trek' episodes, 'The Trouble 
With Tribbles' and 'Cats Paw,'
according to Internet Movie Database.

Scotty, named after Doohan's 
grandfather, was a mechanical wizard 
who could fix dilithium crystals with 
safety pins and bail William Shatner's 
Captain James T. Kirk out of scrapes. 
He would shout in a Scottish brogue, 
'Captain, she can't take any more.'

Doohan said in a 1994 Boston Herald 
interview that he appeared at `Star
Trek' events "because I'm not getting 
other parts. I get a fabulous living 
just doing appearances."
the imdb article also indicated that doohan received an honourary engineering degree from the milwaukee school of engineering after half of their students stated that they were inspired to take engineering studies from watching 'star trek'. i don't remember this specifically as a reason for my own choice of studies, but an immersion in the whole milieu of science fiction definitely played a part.

went to the storehouse after work for a quick bite before going to see 'mr. and mrs. smith'. hung out with willie and john and was introduced to willie's niece annabella of 'snow walker' fame (her autographed pic is still featured at the box office window at the astro).

seeing 'mr. and mrs. smith' again was a blast. this time, i really noticed how john powell's music and the other soundtrack selections made some of the scenes a bit more significant than they would have been with just what was on the screen. other neat images were angelina tossing her hair in the wind as she winds herself down to the hotel lobby and brad's furious arm jabs after seeing his stash of goodies cleaned out. i still couldn't catch a few bits of dialogue, so i'll have to turn on the subtitles on the dvd when it comes out.

  • link of the day: speculation about how fears of a potential pension collapse may be more about labour shortages than poor government planning.
    In fact, Ghilarducci argues, allowing 
    the pension system to deteriorate serves 
    a long-term interest of business: avoiding 
    future labor shortages when the baby-boom 
    generation moves into retirement. "All this 
    retirement policy is really a labor policy," 
    she asserts. "It's motivated by these 
    experts who say, Hey, wait, we're going to 
    need to do what we can to encourage people 
    to work longer. A whole range of economists 
    and elite opinion makers is talking about a 
    labor shortage where, God forbid, wages 
    would increase. That's what they're worried 
    about--making sure there isn't a corporate 
    profit squeeze, that skill shortages and 
    upward wage pressures are checked."
personally, i'm in favour of self-directed retirement plans, but i can see where the idea of mandatory savings plans might be attractive as a policy tool.

i had a 401(k) when i was working in the u.s. and always maxed out my contributions. admittedly, i was making more than the average joe, but i still knew that it was important. when i returned to canada, revcan didn't seem to have any procedures in place to transfer the funds directly into an rrsp. i got the impression that they mostly dealt with snowbirds going the other way.

i knew that i didn't want to leave the funds in the u.s. or in the company sponsored plans that mostly just invested in company stock (shades of enron) and i ended up just cashing them out, taking the tax hit in both countries and then using the proceeds to max out my canadian rrsp.

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the future of media ?

Thursday, 21JUL2005:

  • link of the day: the museum of modern media has released a film, created by robin sloan and matt thompson, about the domination of googlezon in the year 2016.

    plausible ? here's more commentary.
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happy b'day to me !

Friday, 22JUL2005:

it took me until 3 a.m. the next day, but i managed to triumph at todd's latest no-limit hold'em tourney. the early going was a bit rough as i was on my 2d buy-in before i paused to take stock. i actually brought my copy of 'ender's shadow' to take myself out of the game mindset for a bit, and it seemed to work as i was able to chill out and play smarter.

it's funny, but when i checked out the top3 finisher board, i either don't show up at all or am top dog. becky and john m. joined me in the money circle this time. anyway, i made enough to just cover the cost of my 2-hour phone call to my sister in shanghai. when i get my high-speed modem, i'll have to see about getting skype (created by the same fellow who created kazaa) and join the wave of the future.

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autobiographical ramblings on-air

Saturday, 23JUL2005:

went with odile for coffee at fantasy palace where she made the more prescient selection of strawberry-rhubarb pie. highly recommended. between that outing and my misadventures of the previous evening, i wasn't able to complete my script for my radio show and ended up winging it for the latter portion.

anyway, in celebration of my birthday, today's show emulated rob gordon's autobiographical ordering of tracks in 'high fidelity'. i played some of my favourite bands and songs while relating a bit of a story from my life about each. stef swung by to check out the station digs, just in time to witness my unscripted mumblings on-air.

aur.oral exposures setlist for 23jul2005:
  1. Last Saskatchewan Pirate (live) - The Arrogant Worms
  2. Teenland - The Northern Pikes
  3. Piranha Pool - Blue Rodeo
  4. Troy - Sinead O'Connor
  5. City Full of Cowards - The Lowest of the Low
  6. Tomorrow, Wendy (live) - Concrete Blonde
  7. Was That What It Was ? - Pet Shop Boys
  8. Big Brown Eyes - Old 97's
  9. Brian Wilson (live) - Barenaked Ladies
  10. Josephine - Slobberbone
  11. this is a fire door never leave open - the weakerthans
when i got home, i managed to edit the show recording to mask most of my fumblings. after that, i took a short nap before heading over to greg's to join in the farewell party for carine who's set to leave town on monday.

the mostly-francophone crowd was very lively, but with john and stef also present, martin was appointed as a translator to assist those of us with less developed french skills to keep up. isabelle devised a drinking game with a variety of elements including drink distribution, "i never ..." questions, category items (fave was my suggestion of sex toys) and an infamous toast:
i drink to this
i drink to that
i don't know why i drink on
tabernac !
after that, i got into an intense debate with john about the book 'blink' that he had just read. my biggest issue with the book (that i haven't read myself) is how it seems to be used to justify short-term thinking, when i think that more considered analysis and planning is what's more needed in the world today.

we also got into what elements are required for good journalism. john felt that intelligence and objectivity were what mattered, but my take is that passion from personal knowledge and experience, an awareness of the audience, and an explicit indication of the intended purpose of the writing are what is important. i don't care about objectivity as long as i am aware of the writer's agenda, because i am confident in my abilities to take that bias into account and make up my own mind.

i managed to stumble home just before the sunrise, accompanied by masterpieces of billowed combinations of clouds tacked onto aquamarine sky.

First Post (27FEB2005)       Previous Week      Next Week      comments       Most Recent Post