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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

thanksgiving feast

Sunday, 09OCT2005:

stayed in bed until after 4 in the afternoon to give my aching back a chance to recover. it was still stiff when i hauled myself vertical, but much less twitchy compared to yesterday.

picked up some deep-fried wontons from the nav to contribute as an appetizer to marjorey's thanksgiving supper. mildred, jean, michelle, joe and arn filled out the rest of the dinner party. we feasted on a huge turkey and stuffing, supplemented by ham, salad and squash. dessert was a pumpkin cake and pumpkin tart. post-prandial discussion included IT issues, privacy, and pensions.

  • link of the day: bill fleckenstein comments about how the housing bubble is really just a credit bubble created by the u.s. fed's reluctance to impose appropriate lending restraints on the banks:
    That house prices have gone up a
    lot is not in itself the problem.
    If they'd risen in an environment
    where folks were behaving prudently
    with their financing arrangements
    (i.e., putting 5%, 10%, 15% or 20% 
    down and taking out 10-, 15- or 
    30-year mortgages), we might be 
    set up for a dip in prices, as has
    occurred from time to time.  But
    that's not what we'll witness, 
    thanks to the complete abdication
    of responsibility on the part of
    financial institutions, where 
    seeminly no loan was turned down.
    Thus, those of us who talk about
    a housing bubble are really 
    referring to a credit bubble.
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culture is in the remix

Tuesday, 11OCT2005:

woke up to cbc radio this morning for the first time in a couple of months to the welcome dulcet tones of joanna, one of the local bilingual d.j.'s. her giddy excitement, at being back on the air, came thru loud and clear. and since my back didn't twinge too badly this morning, i couldn't justify skipping out on starting another work week.

dropped in at the post office to check what mail came in for me before the turkey weekend. a unilingual inuk stood staring at a piece of mail that wasn't his and pointed it at me. i looked at it and was surprised that it was mine ! maybe he just figured to pawn it off on me to take to the counter, but from the way he flagged me down, it's almost like he recognized my name, but i'm not quite sure how that could be.

stayed late at the office changing my travel arrangements for my trip south next week. was originally going to be in montreal for a few days of meetings with 2 separate groups. however, another set of meetings will be held the following week in ottawa, for yet another org that i've managed to involve myself with, so to save on flight costs, i'm just extending my stay down south for the extra week.

  • link of the day: a 2-parter blog posting with extended comments about copyright and creativity from

    part 1: when media becomes culture. i found barb dybwad's comment to be very intriguing:
    The proliferation of things like the 
    ringtone mashups reveals that what
    the once-passive masses are 
    discovering is precisely the natural 
    joy of creation.  It's more fun, and 
    more emotionally/spiritually 
    satisfying, to make your own stuff 
    (and share it with your friends) than 
    simply passively consume culture that 
    is handed down.  The RIAA knows only 
    how to make a business model out of 
    the latter -- but they'd better figure 
    out right quick how to make a business 
    model out of the former if they wish to
    retain any semblance of relevancy in 
    the future.  
    CC art embodies the natural joy of 
    creation and sharing far more than it 
    embodies any sort of business model.  
    I think it would be a shame if CC/EFF 
    focused on the output of mainstream 
    artists whatsoever -- who cares about 
    the mainstream artists?  That's the 
    point.  In the same way that blog 
    world has subverted MSM not by 
    replacing it, but by creating an 
    alternative model in which the A-list 
    doesn't *have* to matter -- cultural 
    transmissions can have their value in 
    their local domains without achieving 
    some kind of global recognition -- CC 
    art is creating a parallel world in 
    which actual, reachable individuals (as 
    opposed to icons) are creating and 
    sharing art and finding cultural  
    currency in their local domains, with 
    some of that art reaching wider 
    audiences because of its appeal and its 
    quality moreso than any predetermined 
    structure of fame iconography.
    part 2: remix as active consumption
    From clothing to songs, we consume and 
    we connect it to our lives.  We've 
    always done this with media.  We've 
    made collages out of magazines, we've 
    put together pieces of songs in a new 
    sequence for our friends.  Of course, 
    now, the cultural bits that we consume 
    are more accessible Lego blocks.  It's 
    possible to play with them in new ways. 
    And there are so many more choices that 
    we can be really creative with that 
    play.  We can consume culture in new 
    ways and what we shit out in that 
    process actually gets to be digested 
    and mixed together with other bits of 
    culture that we consumed.
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broomball free-for-all

Wednesday, 12OCT2005:

broomball chronicle:

team white: christian, martha, johann, me
team black: JF, alistair, dan, julian

a thrilling, wide-open matchup ensued between the two sides. the lead see-sawed back and forth as the teams played pretty evenly. we even managed to interest a couple of audience members into signing on to the mailing list to be notified for future games.

JF scored early, but as it was on his own goalie, christian got the nod for the first strike. johann soon added another to put team white in a commanding 2-0 position. however, JF decided to atone for his earlier mishap by scoring a double-hat-trick during the game. johann kept team white in the running with 3 more goals of his own and with christian scoring 2 more as well, team white might yet have prevailed.

alas, JF was not the lone scorer for team black, as he was ably assisted by the streaking julian who put in 2 goals and the well-positioned dan who notched a single. as martha and i were held scoreless by the imposing alistair in net, the final tally ended up being 9-7 in favour of team black. me, i'm just happy that i made one nice assist and that my back held up ...

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constantly challenging

Thursday, 13OCT2005:

went to watch 'the constant gardener' tonight at the astro theatre. the film was very well done and there were lots of clever bits that i quite enjoyed. peter postlewaite performed admirably again in a small role. the magnificent blue of the african lake and the juxtaposition of a crowded shanty town next to an expansive golf course were 2 memorable scenes. overexposure and colourization techniques were used effectively to switch between present and past or between memory and reality.

still, as a story, the film didn't work for me. the whole pharma corp conspiracy ended up being a macguffin as the puppetmasters were able to walk away without any noteable comeuppance. also, following the last footsteps of a loved one to try to achieve closure is one thing, but choosing to die at the hands of the same murderers seems a bit nihilistic. the only lesson to be learned is that if you're involved with a free-spirited activist, that you should make sure you know what they're up to *before* they stir up a ruckus, especially if you make your rounds in diplomatic circles.

afterwards, i hung around to commiserate with bryan about whether there was any future in the theatre business. with apple's video ipod announcement, mark cuban's proposal to sell dvd's alongside a film's theatrical release, and the growing popularity of home entertainment systems, not to mention distracting in-house poker games, getting people out into the seats for a bit of cinema will become increasingly challenging.

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delusions of glory

Friday, 14OCT2005:

you know librarians have hit the big leagues when my yahoo mail program displays an ad from an MLIS program fishing for candidates. unfortunately, i had already clicked away before my brain had finished processing this significant event and when i hit the back button, a different ad was in its place, so i didn't get a screencap.

  • link of the day: a very persuasive ad for condoms. :)
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a sporting saturday

Saturday, 15OCT2005:

iqaluit broomball chronicle:

team white: JF, dan, julian, me
team black: alistair, yoan, christian, jacques

well, now we know who to watch out for. JF tallied an astounding *8* goals in today's game. team black pushed back valiantly with 3 goals from christian (including his first when he deftly moved to his backhand on a breakaway and swept past the hapless goalie ... umm, that would be me), and 2 goals each from yoan and jacques.

however, JF's team mates were all able to help him out, with dan getting 1, julian getting 1 late in the game and me scoring *2* goals, even threatening a hat trick. despite the 12-7 tally, alistair still had a decent save percentage based on the total number of shots taken by team white. we should enjoy these free-wheeling games while they last, as i suspect that when mark returns, he'll apply his defensive skills to bring the scores back down to earth.

october texas-hold'em tourney:

we rounded up 18 people for tonight's card game. i played well at the first table, even managing to win a pot with a 7-2 offsuit in the hole when a pair of 7's came up on the flop. vinnie, ma and i were reunited from table #1 of the last tourney. after vinnie, darcy and ?? dropped out, we were down to 15 and shuffled the tables.

on the 2d table, i moved myself up to 3 purples and was sitting pretty. however, i began to get impatient and started playing hands just to keep myself in the action. error. i guess i just needed more sleep than i got the night before (had downloaded and watched the jon stewart vs. crossfire episodes for the first time). we were down to 10 players when ma went all-in against todd and i joined in with an all-in of my own. my A-6 was stared down by todd's A-J with only an A on the board to assist.

if i had just been able to sit on my fingers for that hand, i would have joined the final table of 9 and might have been able to shake myself up and wait for better hands. however, i think that the experience of being short-stacked in the last tourney didn't sit well and i must have subconsciously decided to punt out and get into the side games to avoid a long drawn-out bleed-down of my chip stack.

the side games were good to me and after a series of rapid-fire matchups, against JD, ma, becky, stoney and vinnie, i had managed to get myself even for the night. however, that wasn't enough for me and when i kept going for more, i went back into the red. shane had the best hand of the night with quad 7's. charles and patrick ended up splitting the pot when they went down to heads-up play around 5 in the morning, with renee (dubiously 'assisted' by chris) taking down 3d place.

    rough final placings:

  • 1. Charles
  • 1. Patrick (shorter-stack)
  • 3. Renee
  • 4. Kent
  • 5. Todd
  • 6. Shane
  • 7. Darryl
  • 8. Chris

  • 9. Ma
  • 9. Me (sidepot)
  • 11.-15.: J.D., Alex, Krista, Bernie, Gordon
  • 16. ??
  • 17. Darcy
  • 18. Vinnie

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