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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

the town gossip

Monday, 26SEP2005:

well, we managed to find another sister, but that still left us one short for tonight's read-thru of act one. thus, i was volunteered to ham it up as the play's self-appointed moral center (and town gossip hag). it was fun to let loose with sharp-tongue, but i'm glad that bella didn't seriously consider casting me in the part in drag.

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low-friction infrastructure is good

Tuesday, 27SEP2005:

finally figured out the paperwork needed to resolve what happens when my RRSP GIC matures in october. i've arranged matters so that the funds will get automatically moved to my investment RRSP account. now i just have to figure out what to do with the funds. i figure i'll pick up a few shares of google as a vanity stock. i don't expect it to go up much more, but at the same time, i am a firm believer that if you build up a quality infrastructure, profit will inevitably follow as others find ways to leverage that resource base.

cory doctorow is writing a story that plays with this kind of infrastructure theme. it's being presented in installments by doctorow is also involved in boingboing and has posted a commentary about the googleprint class action complaint. the fact that the authors guild asked for a jury trial strikes me as a little bit risky, given that the authors might appear greedy to the jury when its demands are compared to all the good stuff that google has provided to its users for free.

  • ip link of the day: fred von lohmann of the electronic frontier foundation analyzes the fair use argument for googleprint.
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lifestyle sustainability

Wednesday, 28SEP2005:

so sore from yesterday's workout ! my original plan was to go to the gym on mondays and thursdays, with wednesdays and saturdays booked for broomball and the occasional friday evening for indoor soccer. however, i think i'm going to shift the gym workouts to tuesdays and saturday afternoons before broomball, now that mondays and fridays are being eaten up by play rehearsals.

have been catching up on my pile of annual reports for all of the companies in my investment portfolio. one wind energy company reported that they had less than $100,000 in cash earlier this year before they went back to the 'bank of stock market' to get further financing. so far the company has just been a loss-making shell, though i still have hopes for their portfolio of agreements with power purchasers.

however, their report also mentioned that they had received financing from the clean power income fund, so i looked them up online today. like other income funds in canada, this was also hit by the recent fed announcement that they will be reviewing the income tax status of these funds. however, this fund looks like it might run into further difficulty maintaining its distribution even though its revenue from power sales has increased from last year. at the current price, the annual yield is almost 10%, but i have doubts about whether this is sustainable. however, i'll keep my eye on it as it may be a good bet for the cash opened up when my GIC matures in a few weeks.

in the evening, i went to the astro to watch 'just like heaven' again. besides the cure song, i also noted songs by amos lee and kay hanley. i'll look up the soundtrack on amazon tomorrow. afterwards, i stayed up late listening to music. while cleaning out my archive of playlists, i ran across one which might make a nice topical mix based on the bush response to katrina. it's funny - i was exhausted, but once i had tunes blasting thru my headphones, it's like i was able to set that tiredness aside. who needs sleep anyway ... ?

  • ip idiocy link of the day: bus map copyright crackdown.
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strains of knowledge

Thursday, 28SEP2005:

sent out an email to my broomball mailing list to announce to season opener this saturday afternoon. hopefully we'll get a big crowd so the newbies won't feel so self-conscious and us vets can show off to a larger audience :).

went onto amazon to check out the 'just like heaven' soundtrack. added it to my wishlist and then noticed that i had a huge pile of stuff listed there. i decided to splurge a little bit (even tho i have way too much stuff already at home that i haven't read / viewed / listened to) and clear some of the backlog out. i showed restraint by only ordering 3 books, 3 cd's and 2 dvd's:
  • anansi boys - neil gaiman
    the 'sandman' master's latest novel
  • balzac and the little chinese seamstress - dai sijie
  • windows xp annoyances - david karp

  • cd's:
  • violent femmes (deluxe 20th anniversary edition) - violent femmes
  • cherry marmalade - kay hanley
  • amos lee - amos lee
    featuring 'colors' from the 'just like heaven' soundtrack

  • dvd's:
  • world poker tour: season two - travel channel
  • 3-iron - kim ki-duk
    an excellent korean love story where neither lead speaks a word of dialogue
was updating links to a previous post and encountered this interview of the canadian creator of 'rex libris', the comic book tale featuring a librarian as an action hero:
A librarian seems to be an unlikely 
hero and protagonist for a comic 
series.  Thoughts ?

This is just what they want you to 
think.  There's a lot librarians 
don't want you to know.  Everything 
that's been going on behind the
scenes at your local library is 
being blown wide open with the 
publication of Rex Libris. It's one
of the biggest cover-ups in human 
history ...

First, librarians have been subtly 
guiding human civilization for almost 
two thousand years.  By emphasizing, 
or de-emphasizing, strains of 
knowledge, they are able to influence 
the development of our societies. 
They approach human knowledge as if 
it was a great Bonsai tree, and they 
cull and encourage it into the desired 
also encountered was 'unshelved', a daily comic strip set in a public library. i added myself to their mailing list.

  • link of the day: reporters sans frontières has published a handbook for bloggers and cyber-dissidents on how to remain anonymous.
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doubling the stakes at the pool hall

Friday, 30SEP2005:

as i was leaving work today, i spotted a commotion down the street. i had heard the sirens earlier but it didn't click that something might be going on. i was worried for a second when i saw smoke drifting over the museum, but it turned out to be yet another shed fire. the firefighters had it under control, but it was eerie how quickly a crowd had formed around the lineup of police, fire, bylaw and ambulance vehicles. the wind was blowing up a dust storm and i decided that it was time to put away the fedora for the season and switch to the mad trapper cap.

after a quick change, i headed up to the inukshuk high school gym to play as a ringer for 4 indoor soccer games. in net, my 'decent save' to 'stupid giveaway' ratio crept upwards, and the one time i played defence, simon backstopped even better. after two and a half hours of play, i went home with a dehydration headache and swollen feet.

swigged a jug of water, showered and then had a nap before wandering over to the legion. hung out with stoney and connie in the quiet lounge before signing up to play pool on two different tables to try to avoid the long wait that occurred last time. then i bought myself a drink and chatted with madeleine about her poker tourney win and her travels to winterpeg.

when i went back to the pool room, i was surprised to see one of my tables wide open, so i asked jimmy if he wanted to play a match. we ended up playing 6 games in a row, with him winning the first 4 before i got acclimated to the throb in my skull and finally started sinking a few balls. eepeebee jumped in to play when flash stepped down and suddenly i began to play like a fiend. i made some amazing shots and some just as amazingly crappy leaves so that he was forced to improvise for every shot. i sunk two smooth side banks in a row to keep the table.

next up was luc. i was down to a single ball before the black when i scratched and then cockily left it up to him whether we played 'ball in hand' or 'behind the line'. he hadn't sunk a ball yet and accused me of brushing up on my skills since the last time we had played. stupid, stupid me. luc is a master marksman and quickly knocked down a couple balls before hooking me again. when i missed, he ran the rest of the table. while he went on to play eepeebee, my number came up on the 2d table that i had signed up for, but the winner of the previous match said 'taima', that he was done for the night. i tried to wave jay over for a game, but jun quickly stepped in. i should've known that he was as good as his buddies luc and makku. he was soon up a few balls and i was forced to step up, sinking the balls when i could and leaving him with crap when i couldn't.

by the time i finally finished jun off, eepeebee had taken luc out, so luc jumped in to play me again. there was a point where i had three pockets blocked up and all of his balls were bunched with no way to run them together. however, luc's sharp-shooting managed to get him out of trouble before i was able to capitalize. i managed to sink my last ball just after he did, but my leave on the black totally stunk and luc was able to take me out when i wasn't able to make the long bank. i watched as jay and eepeebee finished their game, both missing easy shots but making some hard ones.

i despaired of getting in another match when the lights came on, but then jay left eepeebee with a wide open shot on the black and gave up in disgust. i quickly shoved another loonie into the slot and eepeebee and i played to be the last man standing for the night. again, i made some beautiful shots, and eepeebee managed to make a good run as well. however, i came back to sink 4 in a row to claim the title until next time.

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the threat of obscurity

Saturday, 01OCT2005:

broomball chronicle:

team black: mark, siobhan, dan
team white: martha, jacques, me
floater: bobby

on the last pre-snowfall saturday, this year's broomball season was kicked off by 7 players. veterans jacques, mark, gary, siobhan, martha and bobby, were joined by dan who was playing for the first time. however, after borrowing a pair of broomball shoes, dan proceeded to dance around the ice, blocking many attempted passes with his long reach and even potting a couple of goals.

jacques showed off some stupendous sniping ability, bobby was again the defensive dynamo and mark set a torrid pace that the rest of us had a hard time keeping up with. martha had a couple of nice breakaways and siobhan demonstrated some deft ball-handling skills. me, i was happy to just collapse in net whenever i could, tho i did manage to make a pretty nice save on mark's shot at the buzzer.

caught up on some internet reading in the evening. ran across tim o'reilly's blog post about the googleprint lawsuit. he adapted this into an editorial published by the new york times (nyt) (archived). he has a bit of credibility seeing as he is both an author and a publisher:
A search engine for books will be 
revolutionary in its benefits. 
Obscurity is a far greater threat to 
authors than copyright infringement, 
or even outright piracy.  While 
publishers invest in each of their 
books, they depend on bestsellers to 
keep afloat.  They typically throw 
their products into the market to see 
what sticks and cease supporting what 
doesn't, so an author has had just 
one chance to reach readers. Until 


I'm sorry to see authors buy into the 
old-school protectionism of the Authors 
Guild, not realizing they're acting 
against their own self-interest.  Their 
resistance can come only from a failure 
to understand the nature of the program. 
Google Library is intended to help 
readers discover copyrighted works, not 
to give copies away. It's a tremendous 
service to authors that will help them 
beat the dismal odds of publishing as 
just last thursday when i was preparing my amazon order, i looked for albums by the v-roys. however, the band has broken up and all of their albums are now out of print. me, i'd gladly pay for a copy of their cd's, but again the conventional publishing / distribution system fails to fulfill my consumer desire just because i'm not interested in the latest top 40 fluff. in this day and age, when electronic storage is both easy and cheap, why is it so difficult to keep an album from as late as *1999* available to potential buyers, even snarky ones like me ?

on a lighter note, here's a love song to google.

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