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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

snoozing after brunch

Sunday, 07AUG2005:

got woken up this gray sunday morning by a call from bryan inviting me over to his abode for brunch. if you know me, you know that i will rarely turn down an offering of food, and with the weather being so gloomy, i didn't feel so bad about cancelling out on my previous plan of a bicycling trip to apex with isabelle.

with wilf and manon, we had a very interesting conversation, covering a wide ranging set of topics including blue rodeo's last visit to town, hanging out with some of dief's cabinet members, the difficulty finding a bathroom while travelling, hosting some of the crew of the 'discovery' space shuttle at the astro, and the reasonability of airport security measures.

still tired from my late bedtime, i laid down for a further nap and ended up hitting the snooze button for nearly 4 hours ! good thing i have tolerant neighbours.

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lost illusions

Monday, 08AUG2005:

yes, it's true. google has finally succumbed to a smidgin of evilness. blog commentary is available here but that petty PR attack doesn't diminish the truth of the original cnet news article that started off the kerfluffle.

If search history, e-mail and registration 
information were combined, a company could 
see intimate details about a person's 
health, sex life, religion, financial 
status and buying preferences.

It's "data that's practically a printout 
of what's going on in your brain: What
you are thinking of buying, who you talk
to, what you talk about ... It is an
unprecedented amount of personal 
information, and these third parties 
(such as Google) have carte blanche 
control over that information." has been hosting a series of book reviews of classic books on many 'to-be-read' piles. today's book was balzac's 'lost illusions'. here's a note from that review:

When you're a novelist, or want to be one, 
and instead of staying at home to nurture
your genius, you're chasing some romantic
prospect, or drinking too much with your
friends, or writing another book review,
it's never entirely clear whether you are
wasting your time, or whether, in fact, 
you are investing in so many treasury 
bonds to be paid out in the form of mature
works.  It could be that ostensible 
distraction is really just a diversified
portfolio of experience.
speaking of portfolios, one of my stocks (STG) went up 23% this afternoon on news that they had inked a memorandum of understanding with a chinese outfit that had heavy political coverage. when i got home, i was surprised to find that i actually had more shares than i thought, and had made about 2 weeks salary today. since this is all just paper profit, i'll be unloading a few shares in the next couple of days to lock in some real profits.

after hitting the gym, i mocked up a cover for my latest mix cd and then sat down with my supper to dig into my dvd set of the 3d season of 'northern exposure'. i had managed to finish off the 2d season of 'quantum leap' last week after a couple of months of viewing, but after the first episode of NE, i was ready to stay up all night to watch the rest in one go. janine turner is just *so* cute as 'maggie'. i think i might have even been in the neighbourhood of her ranch while i was bopping around texas. even tho i'm probably too young for her, i think i'd still happily play the role of her giggolo :)

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patience rewarded

Tuesday, 09AUG2005:

went to lunch at the snack with marc, sara and rob. afterwards, marc came over to my office and we chatted about library stuff. i showed him my expenditure and budgeting spreadsheets and routines that i had developed over the last 3 years, and he took a few copies to show to his manager.

held off on pulling the trigger on my stock sale to see if yesterday's price would hold up. STG went up another 11.5% today, so i will take 2/5ths of my shares off the table tomorrow. i'm not a day-trader, but the problem with investing or partnering in china is the risk of having your technology appropriated and then being set adrift.

got my comic book and amazon shipments today. from amazon, i received a copy of 'shadow of the giant' so i will finish off that series in the next week after wrapping up the 30 remaining pages in my current book. i also got a copy of 'zinn and the art of mountain bike maintenance', so i may see if i can get the front brakes on my bike fixed up meself.

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oil and money make the world go 'round

Wednesday, 10AUG2005:

finished reading linda mcquaig's book, 'it's the crude, dude' late last nite / early this morning. while the rhetoric and insinuations flow very heavily at times, the underlying facts and explanations presented are nothing to scoff at. read in conjunction with daniel yergin's 'the prize', you will get a very good sense of how oil shaped global politics and economics in the 20th century and how the current u.s. invasion of iraq is merely a prelude to another century of oil wars.

i'm going to have to re-read it again in a few months to really grasp everything she has mixed in tho. mcquaig does a very good job at pinpointing the leading figures in this global oligarchy and her alternate take from yergin's more corporate-friendly view of oil company history is refreshing. however, i still have a bit of difficulty, on first read, at determining whether her book might actually convince anyone who didn't already believe that the story about the iraq war, fronted by the u.s. administration and perpetuated by the mainstream media, was a complete sham.

i did sell off some 20% of my STG stock today, at the market price to make sure they sold. however, they still got broken up into 2 blocks, so i'll have to pay double commission. the one consolation is that this is in my trading account, so i can claim the fees as deductions on the capital gains, which i will have to pay tax on. i also set a 30-day sell order on another 20% of the shares at a fixed price that would net me another $800 above today's sale.

i've been working on a new mix cd and one of the songs had a lyric that i just couldn't decipher. i went online to search, but i didn't have much hope as the song was by a saskatoon indie band from 1991. imagine my surprise when i found that their debut album sold on ebay for $305 and that this fanbase was international as the same cd was offered for 180 euros. the cover art on the sites looked familiar, so when i got home, i checked my cd binders and lo and behold, i had my own copy already, with lyrics intact. the mystery word was 'balladeros', but i didn't find it in any of my dictionaries. so, i'm hoping that some reader out there in blogland might be able to interpret the lyric 'kick off your balladeros' and enlighten me.

also got my comic book order in today and read a few of the issues. the best that i read was ted naifeh's first volume of courtney crumrin tales, 'a portrait of the warlock as a young man', featuring courtney's uncle aloysius as a young adventurer and his romance with the daughter of the leader of an anti-magic posse. anyway, i keep raving about naifeh's kewl art, so here's a sample:

ted naifeh's artwork
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a friday friendly out of the fog

Friday, 12AUG2005:

today's inuktitut word of the day was j6Xs/6 '', meaning 'bannock'.

after finally deciding on a title, i uploaded my latest mix, Flight 867, you are cleared for departure to aotm today. i've been listening to it all week without getting bored of it, so i'm pretty confident about its staying power. and i already have a comment on it from one of my fellow mix traders.

poker night attendees were patrick, becky, mark, john, and me. 3 people jammed on us, so they will get an earful. i ended up coming in 3d, with patrick doing the honours. he actually took me down for 2 nice hands, once when we both had full boats (his set of Q's vs. my J's) and my final all-in where his high straight overcame my low straight. when i left, him and mark were still facing off, with mark continuing to play mr. tight man.

however, given how well i've done on the stock market this week, i'm not going to sweat the money i left on the table - i'm just choked about losing the bragging rights ... at least until the next match :)

  • link of the day: literati vs. layman

    Training and socialization are the 
    backbones of appreciation.  When
    architects look at a building, they 
    see far more than laymen see.  When 
    musicians listen to a composition, 
    they hear far more than laymen hear.  
    And likewise, when critics read a 
    novel, they comprehend far more than 
    laymen comprehend.
    This just underscores an obvious fact: 
    in many cases, how much one knows 
    conditions what one can and cannot 
    This is why so much popular culture seems 
    ideologically inert, or 'entertainment 
    pure and simple,' to laymen: because our 
    socialized beliefs frame our perspective, 
    it's difficult to take a perspective on 
    them, and since we can't take a perspective 
    on them, we assume there's nothing to take 
    a perspective on (and comments like this 
    one, strike us as 'out of the blue' or 
    'just plain wrong').
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no mix tape is accidental

Saturday, 13AUG2005:

today's radio show celebrated the art of mixing and i used tracks from my latest mix, Flight 867, you are cleared for departure.

aur.oral exposures setlist for 13aug2005:
  1. Row - Jon Brion
  2. Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometimes - Beck

  3. Be My Girl - May Run
  4. Over You - Barry Canning
  5. Runaway Train - Blue Rodeo

  6. cowtown set:
  7. If I Were You - The Blue Shadows
  8. The Time We're Livin' - Beautiful 2000
  9. maybe - brown eyed susans

  10. Almost - Bowling for Soup
  11. If You Knew (live) - Neko Case
  12. doreen - Old 97's

  13. The mix tape is a list of quotations - Matias Viegener

  14. Save Me, Alice Neel ! - Lowest of the Low
  15. West Coast Rain - Captain Tractor

  16. Winding Road - Bonnie Somerville
  17. The Golden Age (live) - Cracker

  18. You only tell me you love me when you're drunk - Pet Shop Boys
Here's the Matias Viegener excerpt from Thurston Moore's book, ' mix tape: the art of cassette culture':

The mix tape is a list of quotations,
a poetic form in fact: the cento is a
poem made up of lines pulled from other
poems.  The new poet collects and 
remixes.  Similarly an operation of 
taste, it is also cousin to the curious
passion of the obsessive collector.  
Unable to express himself in a 'pure'
art, the collector finds himself in
obssessive acquisition.  Collecting is
strangely hot and cold, passionate and
calculating.  All we can agree upon is
that it's not the same as making art.

Or is it ?  A mix tape can never be
perfect.  My taste as a mixer tells you
even more about me than my taste as a
consumer already does.  No mix tape is
accidental.  They are avante-garde too,
like the cut-up.  A parallel to Xerox
art, an antecedent to sampling.  The 
mix cassette as a situationist 
spectacle, a derive.  Making the 
existing world tell tales it does not
intend to tell.  You get the world to
send you a message it never meant to
deciding to postpone watching 'wedding crashers' in favour of a nap, i then finished reading ' shadow of the giant' by orson scott card. a nice wrap-up to the series, it pulled together a lot of loose ends but still left open the possibility of a few side jaunts should the author choose to explore them in the future. card is very cynical about sweeping political and social movements but is fervently hopeful about the ties between family and friends. the idea that all of these brilliant children who once worked together to save humanity had to isolate themselves from each other for the good of the planet was very poignant, and while probably realistic, perhaps a bit too fatalistic.

closed off the evening at the legion where i hooked up with malcolm and sara, who had just finished their radio show, and also olivia, curtis and monte. swung over to the pool table for a few games, with epeebee besting me 3-2 in a best of 5 series after we see-sawed all nite. makku beat me once, while maddy let me win the game against her. after the lights came on, i tagged along with joe and dennis over to janine's place and hung out there until the first light of dawn began to creep up on us around 4 a.m.

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