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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

biting the bullet

Monday, 25JUL2005:

morgan, one of my co-workers, has decided to abandon the north (this true love thing must be contagious). anyway, since it will cost him thousands to get his vehicle moved south, he decided that he was better off selling it up here, even if he had to take a financial hit. not one to turn down a great deal, i decided to succumb to the call of the north and buy my first snow machine. (2004 Polaris XC-500 Legend)

after work, jordan took me to the cleaners again at chess. i was so depressed that i decided to skip the gym for the evening. *haha* well, the fact that i slept all day yesterday gave me an indication that i may have been pushing myself a wee bit hard, so it was probably best to take the lieu day.

greg phoned up with the great news that he had gotten a job offer down in sudbury. accordingly, i joined him and the gang for a drink at the storehouse to celebrate. i also ended up picking up a sedna carved out of caribou antler from one of the vendors making the rounds of the bar.

  • ip idiocy link of the day: how the grokster decision didn't resolve anything
    Why is legal uncertainty in this 
    context particulary chilling to
    innovators ?  ... Unlike nearly 
    every other area of law, copyright 
    allows plaintiffs to skip proving 
    actual damages and instead collect 
    statutory damages, which a court
    may set between $750 and $30,000
    per work infringed.  So when
    secondary copyright claims are made
    against mass market products like
    the iPod, CD burners or file-sharing
    software, all of which are regularly 
    used by customerws to make copies of 
    millions of works, statutory damages 
    become a corporate death penalty.
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shadow of the nite owl

Tuesday, 26JUL2005:

finished re-reading the first 3 books in the 'ender's shadow' sub-series by orson scott card. just in time, it turns out, as the concluding volume was just published in march. time to exercise those online ordering fingers ...

the only major issue that i have had with these books is the philosophy that baby-making should be considered the major achievement in life. sure, it's a great motivational tool for the characters, but i'm more skeptical about its general applicability to real life. that said, card provides great characterization and writes meaningful dialogue, enough that buying the final book is a no-brainer.

also drafted up playlist and script for this weekend's radio show that will have a jukebox theme. hopefully this will allow me to avoid the sequence of fumblings that i provided during last weekend's show.

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5-way action

Wednesday, 27JUL2005:

there is an 'inuktitut word of the day' feature that pops up on the intranet at work. today's word managed to penetrate my morning mental fog. the word was W/Es6g6 'pi.ja.ri.uq.tuq', meaning "does it for the first time". for a moment, i thought it was another one of those spam messages offering teenage sex videos ;)

another evening, another poker session. todd wanted to host just one more match before he leaves on vacation on friday. patrick, becky, spencer and myself were happy to oblige. the early going was pretty uneventful and it took a few hours for becky to become the first player to get knocked out. becky stuck around to deal for the rest of us. other people began to swing by the apartment including stef, kevin (with his xbox), greg, becca, dave, helen, bella, karen, etc.

before things got too out of hand, tho, i managed to smoke todd out. he believed that i had a couple of low clubs with 3 clubs on the table, based on my betting hard after the turn, indicating that i didn't want another club to show up. me, i had actually been playing my two-pair, kings and twos. when another club came out on the river, i put him all-in, risking that he didn't have the ace. as he had the queen, i beat him by a single card.

after a few rounds, i successfully bullied patrick out, leaving me to play heads-up against spencer. after winning a few hands, it was looking bleak for spencer as i had about a 10:1 chip stack advantage. however, once the surrounding partiers started smoking, i began to lose focus. i didn't play stupidly, but spencer was able to take advantage of my distraction and started to beat me hand after hand. after another hour, his chip stack surpassed mine and seeing as we both had to work the next day, i was happy that spencer was willing to split the pot down the middle so i could go home to get at least a couple of hours of sleep.

  • IP idiocy link of the day: the economist discusses the u.s. supreme court's grokster decision, explains how the current copyright time periods are economic nonsense and advocates a return to the original limited monopoly terms of 14 years, renewable once.

  • link of the day: the sniper and the journalist: phillip robertson, an embedded u.s. journalist, searches out the sniper who shot his friend, iraqi journalist yasser salihee.
    After Joe fired at the windshield he
    walked to the car and saw that Salihee
    was covering his eye with his right 
    hand, but as he watched the hand fell 
    and blood poured from the wound in the 
    man's head.  Not long after the shooting,
    Joe's unit left the area.  "We had to
    leave the scene and that was fucked up,
    but we had to continue the mission.  
    Then we came back and I saw the lady 
    crying and it got to me because I'm 
    not out here to kill innocent people
    at all.  When I saw her, that's when 
    I knew something was wrong."  The
    woman Joe saw was Raghad Salihee,
    Yasser's wife ...
    Raghad went on to say, "I want the
    Americans to go back to America, 
    but I know they won't go."  She 
    asked me if I knew a lawyer in the 
    United States who could take her 
    husband's case.  As her daughter 
    gazed hypnotically at the hotel pool,
    Raghad said, "Can you help me ?
    Please, can you help me ?"
    Before I left Joe at his company
    headquarters at Camp Victory, he 
    said he wanted to tell the Salihee
    family he was sorry and that he'd 
    never had to fire to stop a car 
    before the 24th of June.  "If I'd
    seen his hands up, no way would I
    have fired a shot.  We didn't 
    murder him.  No way was it murder,"
    Joe said.  But there was desperation
    in his voice, as if he wasn't sure.
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the other shoe drops

Thursday, 28JUL2005:

today, the city finally admitted that it has no vision about recycling. 3 seacans full of materials collected for recycling will now be going straight into the city's landfill and the stuff being collected in the new bins (minus pop cans) will go there too. supposedly it costs them to keep seacans around and they need to free up the seacans for something else ? call me a sceptic.

i've been encouraged to put my money where my mouth is and so i'm applying to sit on the solid waste management committee which will provide policy input to the city. i have little illusion that i'll be able to steer the city towards more sustainable waste management practices, but we'll see how it goes.

coincidentally, the city's engineering director has just resigned, following in the footsteps of the city's former director of public works. i wonder if there is a root cause for the city's difficulties or if it is merely a continuation of the transient tendencies of iqalungmiut from the south ?

  • ip idiocy link of the day: an interview with the director of mad hot ballroom about what she had to do to get clearances for all the music used in her documentary.
    Stay Free!:  There's a scene where a 
    woman's cell phone rings and she has
    the 'Rocky' theme ring tone.  I 
    noticed that you even cleared that !
    I would have thought that could be an
    example of fair use.
    Sewell:  I thought so too.  It's only
    six seconds !  But our lawyer said we
    needed to clear it.  So I called Sprint,
    which owns the ring tone master rights,
    and they gave it to me for free because
    they saw it as product placement.  But
    then I called EMI, which owns the
    publishing rights and they asked for
    Stay Free!:  Were there any other
    inconvenient clearances you had to deal
    with ?
    Sewell:  Well, we had to watch out for
    billboards and Frito-Lay trucks all the
    time.  But I usually didn't care, we 
    would just shoot.  The biggest danger 
    with clearances is when they interfere 
    with documenting real life. Something 
    spontaneous like a cell phone ringing 
    is different than a planned event.  If 
    filmmakers have to worry about these 
    things, documentaries will cease to be 
    documentaries!  What happens when the 
    girls go shopping and there's music 
    playing in the stores? We were lucky 
    because in our movie the music wasn't 
    identifiable, but otherwise what are we 
    supposed to do: walk up to the store 
    manager and say, "Excuse me but can you 
    turn off your radio?"
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payday means partay at the legion

Friday, 29JUL2005:

today's inuktitut word of the day was NwW2<X 'na.i.pip.paa', meaning 'finds it while searching'. if i hadn't just made up a batch of business cards, i'd have changed my inuktitut job title, as i think this is a much better description of the role of a librarian, rather than what i have now: 'works in a place where books are read'.

another friday, another bevy of farewells. first, we had a gathering at the storehouse to wish morgan luck in peace river. from there i wandered over to greg's for a big bash to see off becca, who leaves monday, and greg himself who is heading up to pang next week and will only have a few days in town when he gets back before he departs for sudbury.

we managed to fit over 20 people into greg's hacienda, so it was a boisterous bunch that decided to move things over to the legion. we only had enough members to sign in half of our group, so we went around looking for other members to help sign in the folks stranded outside. once we were all in, you couldn't turn a corner without running into one of the party-goers.

so i signed up to play pool on wW= ''s table but he got knocked out by jimmy, so i avenged him to win the table. morgan had signed up to challenge me, but i couldn't track him down, so i played norman instead. i made a game of it, but norman unsuprisingly beat me to the punch.

another table opened up and i played a friendly with patrick. i won, but only because patrick sunk the black too soon. luc, who had just come from ruling the tables at the storehouse, decided he wanted to take me down. however, i somehow gave him enough tough-angle shots that he got a bit frustrated and i ended up winning. hey, there's a first time for everything, and i don't have any delusions about repeating that feat anytime soon.

the lights came on and we huddled outside in a light sprinkle of rain before eventually moving on back to greg's. there, dave baked up some tasty 'ghetto dogs' that warmed us for the walk home.

  • link of the day: any gas left in google ?: the writer tries to determine if investors who have sat on the shore during the google explosion are too late to catch the boat. he goes thru all of the assumptions and formulae that he uses to value a company's stock.
    Now all you Google shareholders, ... 
    keep in mind the $275.14 share price 
    is based on a number of estimates and 
    guesses.  If you change any of the 
    assumptions, you get a very different
    answer.  For instance, if you think 
    the analysts are wrong and believe
    Google will grow 60% a year over the
    next five years, the company's value
    is $615.  Also, if the company's
    business model changes in a way that
    it generates more cash, that also
    affects the valuation.
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jukeboxes, aircycles and haunted mirrors

Saturday, 30JUL2005:

today's radio show celebrated the magic of jukeboxes, inspired by my songs heard on a jukebox mix.

aur.oral exposures setlist for 30jul2005:
  1. Echo Beach - Martha and the Muffins
  2. Beatles Medley - Stars on '45

  3. Shaddap You Face - Joe Dolce
  4. Boy From New York City - Manhattan Transfer
  5. Don't Bring Me Down - Electric Light Orchestra

  6. jukebox excerpt from 'Diamond Grill' - Fred Wah
  7. Saturday Night - Claire Jenkins
  8. Let the Jukebox Keep on Playing - Mike Ness

  9. Endless Love - Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross
  10. The Break Up Song (They Don't Write 'em) - Greg Kihn Band
  11. Jesse - Carly Simon

  12. Rasputin - Boney M
  13. Urgent - Foreigner
  14. I Love Rock 'n' Roll - Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

  15. You Spin Me 'Round (Like a Record) - Dead or Alive
listened to the beginning of sara's solo performance on 'audio missile defence' where she seemed to have forgotten how the microphone worked after having been away for a month. anyway, i started recording it before heading up to the astro to check out 'the island'.

alas, this flick just emphasizes again what a rarity it is when hollywood manages to do a sf film well, even tho they are inevitably well-rewarded for the effort, e.g. '12 monkeys' or 'blade runner'.

some of the action set pieces (i.e. the spinning fan) were ludicrous and were a waste of the special effects budget. the philosophical dilemma faced by djimon hounsou's character, as an african military man tasked with retrieving the future equivalent of slaves was not as fleshed out as it could have been and sean bean's megalomaniacal geneticist had no redeeming qualities. if he had, there would maybe have been an interesting examination about how far we can go to protect the already living, using the might yet live.

ewan mcgregor got to play himself and his clone, but the transformation from lincoln six echo to client was just too easily done to be credible. interactions with other, more sympathetic, clients may have helped to show a greater moral conflict. however, kudos to the casting director for putting the luminous scarlett johanssen on the screen. steve buscemi was hilarious as usual.

finally, why all the fuss about a $500,000 car that's still tied to the ground, when you could have a kewl aircycle ? man, those were HOT !

went home to finish neil gaiman's 'coraline'. it's an award-winning children's book that is being made into an animated feature in the next few years. a very spooky tale about a young girl who learns to appreciate the world and the parents that she has after surviving an alternate version of each.

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