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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

fuel lines make the world go 'round

Sunday, 31JUL2005:

biked out to the causeway to see if i could spot any seals out in the bay, but it was low tide. i parked myself to read a few pages out at the end of the causeway, but the rising water crept up on me and i didn't notice until it had soaked the bottom of my tote.

fuel line and access road
i moved on up the ridge and found a small nook sheltered from the wind to continue my reading of linda mcquaig's 'it's the crude, dude'. after biking back to town, i rewarded my exertions with a slice of strawberry-rhubarb pie from fantasy palace. yummy.

in the evening, i hit the astro again to catch 'stealth'. compared to 'the island', this was a huge improvement. there was a moral dilemma that was clearly outlined in terms of the different capabilities of humans vs. artificial intelligence. the villain was merely an honourable warrior who just pushes things a bit too far too quickly. these serious elements were just as integral as the outstanding dogfighting scenes and with music by 'bt', the beats were just fine.

coming back downhill, i ran across the tail end of a bbq at nikki's and stopped in there for a bit. the conversations went from top movies of various categories (bruce lee, scary, early 80's, late 80's, ww2, etc.) to favourite simpsons episodes. however, when talk turned to daycare operations, i decided to excuse myself and call it an evening.

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way to end another long weekend

Monday, 01AUG2005:

slept in until the afternoon and then got up to rip some tracks from cd's to mp3 format. now, most people seem to just rip every track from a cd and filter out the crap later, but i'm a tad more protective of my ears.

i'll edit for stuff that i don't want (e.g. dead air, intros for subsequent trax), combine pieces of the same track that have been split over multiple trax, boost volumes for sections of a song and even re-balance the eq on a track that sounds muddy or, for vinyl, too clicky. needless to say, i have a substantial ripping backlog.

called over to the atii gym to make sure they were open regular hours given today's civic holiday. found out that they were, so i wandered over. however, my timing was still off, as since it wasn't 5:30 yet, they hadn't opened for the day. so, i hung out behind the building, watching some sled dogs stretch out their lines and digging little nooks for themselves to soak in the sun.

sled dogs by airport
a friend invited me over to sample a tasty salmon supper and then we hiked out to visit the sled dogs again.

sunset by city hall
just as we returned home, the sun peeked out from the clouds.

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wanted: problem solvers

Tuesday, 02AUG2005:

in the morning, i dropped off a completed application to be a member at large on the city's solid waste management committee. we'll see if i meet their stringent qualifications, but seeing as they don't have either a director of engineering or of public works (the two directors that this committee is supposed to advise), i don't think there's any rush.

we had been having a 'joint' celebration of staff birthdays each month to minimize the amount of cake buying, but seeing as i was the only july kid, i would have been happy to slide in with the august crowd. however, since today was also morgan's last day, charlene baked a couple of cakes to mark both occasions. we all bugged morgan about how much he would miss working in our lively office.

  • link of the day: jared diamond of 'guns, germs and steel' fame is interviewed about his new book 'collapse'. he pulls away some of the veil about the mystery of what happened on easter island, but i'm still planning on visiting someday.

    Around the year 1670, they chopped down 
    the last tree on the island.  Without 
    forests to protect the soil, they ran 
    into problems of soil erosion.  Once 
    they couldn't construct canoes to go 
    fishing, the only large animal left on 
    Easter Island as a source of meat was 
    each other.  Easter Island society 
    collapsed in an epidemic of cannibalism. 
    The worst insult that an Easter Islander 
    could say in those days: the flesh of 
    your mother sticks between my teeth. 
    Easter Island society collapsed
    ultimately due to deforestation.
    anyway, he lists 5 factors that he considered important in evaluating a societal collapse:
    1. human environmental impacts
    2. climate change
    3. enemies
    4. friends
    5. type of response to problems
    It's a very interesting question, why 
    a society doesn't even notice or 
    doesn't successfully respond to 
    problems that look obvious.  You would 
    think, not a good idea to chop down all 
    the trees and cause soil erosion.  They 
    needed timber and pastures, how could 
    they be so dumb?
    But let's just suppose that 50 years 
    from now there's still a complex society 
    left on earth.  What do you think they're 
    going to say when they look back on the 
    United States in 2005, with its well-known 
    energy problems, continuing to waste 
    energy?  Not dealing with its population 
    problems or its water problems, how obvious. 
    Soil problems, how obvious.  Climate change 
    problems, how utterly obvious.
    The Norse were unwilling to learn from the 
    Inuit who preceded and outlasted them.
    That's right, the Inuit are still alive 
    today.  It's like a controlled laboratory 
    experiment.  The red test tube and the 
    blue test tube: the Inuit and the Greenland 
    Norse.  The Inuit hunt whales and seals. 
    The Greenland Norse grow sheep and goats 
    and cows, but refuse to hunt whales and 
    seals.  It seems obvious if you're short 
    of food during the winter, it's a good 
    idea to hunt whales and seals.  How 
    could the Norse be so stupid?
    Well, the Greenland Norse were medieval 
    Christians.  They despised the pagan Inuit. 
    Modern Americans have also been known to 
    despise other people.  The Greenland Norse 
    refused to learn from the Inuit and they 
    all ended up dead as a result.
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how can we work together ?

Wednesday, 03AUG2005:

just some annotated links today ...

  • david kilpatrick discusses the growing contribution economy that he believes is not adequately tracked by conventional economics. He posits that:

    ... the value that can now be produced 
    through collaboration is vastly greater
    than in the conventional top-down process.
  • the online journal first monday published an article about professional participatory journalism that outlines how this idea of a collaboration economy impacts on the domains of journalism and advertising. the author believes that these media professionals would be better off shucking the idea of an 'audience' for their work and buy in to the idea that they are communicating with fellow 'citizens'. the danger is that 'egocasters' (such as my fellow bloggers) will supplant traditional media outlets based on increasing relevance to other people who are as much creators of media as consumers.

    Instead of relying on journalism, advertising
    and other professional storytellers to make
    sense of our world, we seem to become quite
    comfortable in telling and distributing our
    own versions of those stories.  ...  It then
    seems the astounding rise of the mass media
    throughout the twentieth century owes much
    of its success to filling a temporary void
    between the demise of our trust in (as well
    as reliance on and allegiance to) social
    institutions - like the state, the church
    or mosque, the school, our families or our
    parents - and the emergence of a perhaps 
    over-zealous faith in ourselves.  As Shirky
    (2000) aruges, "[i]n retrospect, mass 
    media's position in the twentieth century
    was an anomaly and not an inevitability."
  • in ' why unions are like typewriters', frank joyce discusses why unions have lost some of their influence since their heydeys from the 1930's to the 1970's. i don't necessarily agree with some of his proposed solutions, but one of his statements about why unions have become somewhat discredited struck a chord for me:

    ... the unions that are out there flunk a
    simple cost-benefit test. ... Unions remain
    wedded to an exclusively employer-based
    model in a time when there is hardly a 
    single worker under 30 who expects to have
    the same employer five years from now, let
    alone when they retire.  They cling to a
    'zero-sum' world view that 'sells' the 
    value of the union as directly proportional
    to the oppressiveness of the employer.
    Consequently, if employers aren't perceived
    as abusive, unions have defined themselves
    as having little to offer.
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community icons

Friday, 05AUG2005:

fiona had asked me if i would be willing to introduce our guest speaker at this month's nunavut press club meeting and i was glad to oblige. here's what i had to say:

Good evening.  Bryan Pearson has been
a community icon since his arrival in
Frobisher Bay in 1956.  HE took over 
the 'Fox Theatre' from the U.S. 
military and in 1957, he branched out 
to found the general store Arctic
Ventures.  In 1965, he was first 
elected as mayor and he served in 
that capacity several times on and 
off for a total of 18 years.

In 1970, he was elected as the 
Territorial Councillor for the South
Baffin region, representing 
constituents from the Belcher Islands
to the North Pole.  As a Councillor,
he was a strong advocate for the use
of aboriginal languages and was 
instrumental in the formation of the
interpreter corps now working in the
Legislative Assembly.  He also helped
to found the Territorial Housing 
Corporation and was re-elected as
Councillor for the subsequent term.

After selling Arctic Ventures in 1985,
he had so much free time on his hands 
that he decided to run as a candidate
in the 1988 federal election in the
riding of Nunatsiaq.  He returned to
the theatre business in 1996, opening
the Astro Theatre down the hall where 
I worked with him in March to present
Iqaluit's third viewing of the Banff
Mountain Film Festival.  Besides
first-run movies, his venue has also
hosted classical music groups.  He
has travelled widely and is also 
famous for penning Letters to the

I hope you would all join me in
welcoming our guest speaker this
evening, the irascibly outspoken,
Mr. Bryan Pearson.
his talk was very well-received and he was peppered with questions until he had to run off to welcome the audiences for the late shows at the astro.

sara invited us over to her place for drinks afterwards, as a prelude to the legion. her brother rob was in town visiting from saskatchewan and then chris showed up with his sister liz, visiting from ottawa. olivia had just flown back in to town the nite before and she gave us the lowdown on how she fared during her weeks-long geology field trip.

unlike last weekend, with olivia and sara back, we had enough members to sign in everyone in our group. i hit the pool tables right away and managed to hold my own for the night, getting the last word against each of my opponents by losing at first and then taking the table from them: moe 1-1, epeebee 1-1, and patrick 3-1.

when worthy opponents quit presenting themselves, i went over to dance for a couple of songs until the lights came on. stood around outside in the spitting rain, devouring a hot dog from jeff's cart across the street and chitchatting for a bit before heading home.

  • link of the day: who needs anthrax when you can use kittens to freak people out instead ?
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movies and more movies

Saturday, 06AUG2005:

today's show went smashingly well and i it didn't take me long to edit my copy at home into a final re-usable version. today's show featured selections from movies, inspired by my pivotal splices mix with tracks taken from official soundtracks as well as ones ripped directly from dvds.

aur.oral exposures setlist for 06aug2005:
  1. Your Song - Ewan McGregor and Alessandro Safina
    [Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge]
  2. Well Tempered Clavier Fugue G minor (J.S. Bach) - The Eccentric Opera
    [Hiroko Tokita's Nazca] (a japanese anime)

  3. instrumentals:
  4. Yumeji's Theme - Shigeru Umebayashi
    [Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love]
  5. Ice Dance - Danny Elfman
    [Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands]
  6. molly - Michael Nyman
    [Michael Winterbottom's Wonderland]

  7. I Want to Be a Librarian - Parker Posey and cast
    [Daisy Von Scherler Mayer's Party Girl]
  8. Party Girl (Turn Me Loose) - Ultra Naté

  9. lounge-y:
  10. Sway - Anita Kelsey
    [Alex Proyas' Dark City]
  11. Roads - Portishead
    [Rachel Talalay's Tank Girl]
  12. One More Kiss, Dear - Don Percival and Vangelis
    [Ridley Scott's Blade Runner]

  13. dvd extracts:
  14. Who Will Take My Dreams Away ? - Marianne Faithfull
    [Patrice Leconte's La fille sur le pont] (a.k.a. The Girl on the Bridge)
  15. A Moment for Gandalf - Howard Shore featuring Edward Ross
    [Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring]

  16. Milk Tanks Drained - audio extract
    [Stephanie Black's Life + Debt]
  17. Life and Debt - Mutabaruka

  18. techno:
  19. 2 Pi R - Clint Mansell
    [Darren Aronofsky's Pi]
  20. Voodoo People - Prodigy
    [Iain Softley's Hackers]
  21. Spybreak ! (short one) - Propellerheads
    [Wachowski Brothers' The Matrix]

  22. The Stripper - Joe Loss and His Orchestra
    [Peter Cattaneo's The Full Monty]
after the show, i puttered around at home for a bit until wandering up to the astro to catch 'charlie and the chocolate factory' with stef. johnny depp was suitably strange as the traumatized child-adult, reunited with his neverland co-star. i found myself singing along with the musical numbers and the actors who played the oompa loompas were hilariously versatile.

got home to have some supper and then stayed up til 5 in the morning watching 'the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind' twice, the second time with the audio commentary by screenwriter charlie kauffman and director michel gondry. the film held up to repeated viewings and it was neat to pick up on little details.

my favourite scene is when joel and clem are sitting at the site of their first meeting. clem asks what they can do with the time that they have left, now that they've run out of options, and joel responds, 'we just enjoy it'.

  • link of the day: a interview with rebecca solni, the author of A Field Guide to Getting Lost.
    I had been writing in these distinct 
    voices, the sort of personal, essayistic
    voice, the voice of criticism, the voice
    of environmental journalism.  And the
    test site was such a complex subject that
    I realized I needed all of them, that it
    was just an artifice, and an unhelpful
    artifice at that, to keep them separate.
    One of the models for me ever since has
    been conversation.  I have these 
    wonderful conversations with friends 
    where we'll stop and say, 'wait, how did
    we end up talking about this ?'  I think
    everybody has them; it's how we experience
    life.  We're always doing this sort of 
    associational jazz riffing, in thoughts 
    and conversations.  The rules in writing
    are usually that you have to be more
    linear, but, you know, why ? 

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