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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

it's all just special effects anyway

permalink Sunday, 08JAN2006:

started off the day by heading up to the high school to meet up with adrian and hopefully retrieve some safety chains. we got to talking about what we had each done in our careers and bemoaned the lack of intellectual discussion to be found in town. unfortunately, we got to talking so long that i was late for my setup meeting at the french school and decided to hail a cab. 6 cabs went by going the other way with none going back up the hill, but i finally flagged one down and he was happy to do a u-turn.

setup of the lights only took a couple of hours thanks to the welcome assistance of bella, odile and vinnie. for my efforts, my lunch at the snack was paid for by the play (yummy chicken poutine). then it was back up to the school for the first run-thru of the day. with the sun still shining in the windows, i couldn't really set any appropriate levels, so i spent the time adjusting the focus of the lights and balancing them out to blend smoothly across the stage. after the almost hour's worth of notes on the first run-thru, we began the 2d and this time i was able to get a better feel for how the play was going to look. the distinction between present and past was still not clear enough, so i will switch out the rosé gel for either chocolate or lavender during tomorrow nite's Q2Q.

in the evening, i finally got a chance to catch up on some of the detritus that has washed up onto the shores of my pc. i watched star wreck in the pirkinning, (available for download for free) a parody that combines star trek and babylon 5 themes into a frothy mix. however, hokey as the thin plotlines were, the special effects were immensely groovy and the space battle scenes came close to topping anything i've seen recently put out by hollywood (or george lucas for that matter). 5 finnish guys take 7 years out of their lives to make this flick and then release it with a creative commons license - my hat's off to them !

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going thru the motions

permalink Monday, 09JAN2006:

picked up my ticket for the poker 'raffle' on the 21st (rubbing hands together in anticipation). after work, i stopped by the snack to pick up a couple of taxi driver sandwiches before wandering up to the french school for a cue-to-cue (Q2Q). volunteers tonight included mike, vinnie and matty, and i took a few minutes to show them the ropes before letting them loose on the spotlight and lighting board.

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plagued by questions; unenlightened by answers

permalink Tuesday, 10JAN2006:

how hard is it to make a western sandwich without onions ? it had been my favourite order from 'the snack', the local francophone haunt, but lately, they've balked at making them for me. something about the mix already being pre-made ? like, throw a couple of eggs in a bowl, chop up some ham, throw in some celery or green peppers in place of the onion, slosh it around on a grill for 3 minutes, slap the golden slab onto a couple of slices of mayo-smeared bread and you're done, so what's the problem ? of course, dear reader, you ask why i just don't do it myself ? well, lack of TIME is the answer and i'm willing to fork over cash to a restaurant if they can feed me while i'm en route to my next agenda item. *sigh*

what was i in a rush to get to this time ? twas cbc's live election forum at the parish hall, with the 1st half of the 3 hour time allocated for inuktitut and the 2d half done in english. candidates were asked questions on same-sex marriage, anti-scab legislation, museum policy, how to help single mothers and how to effectively represent nunavut concerns as a government backbencher.

the marijuana party candidate wasn't allowed to participate in the main debate, but was allowed to provide opening and closing remarks. he explained how pot could solve all of the issues that would be raised by the other candidates. the youthful green party candidate emphasized the impact of global warming and suggested the pursuit of alternative energy sources. the conservative candidate hedged about the reasons for his opposition to same-sex marriage, the liberal candidate (incumbent MP) spoke eloquently about her reasons for voting for same-sex marriage and the ndp candidate focused on poverty and cost-of-living issues. his biggest bombshell was the revelation that iqaluit has now been classified by revenue canada as a northern community with a 'developed rental market' (see p.28), meaning that all the subsidized housing that employers provide will now be considered a taxable benefit *retroactive* to the 2005 tax year. a very unwelcome surprise, especially with the increased rents for GN staff housing that just went into effect on january 1st.

i had signed up to be on the list of questioners, but it seemed that even my eagerness was not timely enough as i was slotted in 9th after the former commissioner. given that he also didn't get to ask his question, and the intensity of the questions that WERE asked, i shouldn't feel too bad about not getting my moment in the spotlight. however, i did get a chance to spout off afterwards to a cbc reporter, so my inane ramblings may yet get a public hearing. for those who won't be tuned in to cbc radio tomorrow morning, here's the gist of the question that i intended to ask the current incumbent and the other candidates:

In March 2004, the Supreme Court of 
Canada stated in its CCH copyright
decision that users' rights must be 
balanced with creators' rights.  Only 
2 months later, a Canadian Heritage 
standing committee issued a report 
that recommended stronger copyright 
measures without addressing users' 
rights at all.  The chair of that 
committee, a Liberal MP, is now being 
accused of having a conflict of 
interest for actively taking 
campaign contributions from 
foreign-controlled record companies.

This past Hallowe'en, one of those 
record companies was caught putting
malicious copy-protection software on 
its music cd's.  When buyers of these 
cd's played them on their computers, 
this software installed hidden spyware 
and opened security holes which 
left those computers vulnerable to
hackers and viruses.

Ms. Karetak-Lindell,

Do you still support the extreme 
recommendations that you made, as a
member of the standing committee that 
issued the 2004 copyright report, that 
big record companies should have the 
legal right to use dangerous copyright 
schemes to hijack or even break our 
personal computers {1}, and also that 
our schools and Nunavummiut, especially 
our youth in communities who have just 
received broadband, should have to pay 
every single time they access 
information that has been made available 
for free on the internet, even for 
educational purposes {2} ?


{1} s.34.02 of Copyright Act as it would 
have been amended by Bill C-60

{2} s.30.02(1)(a)(i) of Copyright Act as it 
would have been amended by Bill C-60
also, thanks to cenobyte, i found out about a site that discloses how an MP voted on the various bills that came before the house. the page for our incumbent MP is here.

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bouncing thru the day like a pinball

permalink Wednesday, 11JAN2006:

i'm not usually that productive in the morning, as those who know me can attest. yesterday, while making up my lunches for the rest of the week, i had to consciously shake myself and realize that rushing to shave 5 minutes wasn't worth shaving off a finger. this morning, i was again rushing around before work, picking up some barndoors at ibc (for the fresnels that we had borrowed for the play this weekend), and then running over to tittaq to pay for a filing cabinet that will be picked up on friday.

after work, the running around continued as i climbed the hill to the storehouse to attend a farewell party for co-workers paul, dawna and qajaq. i found out that the rib sandwich was no longer on the menu and had to settle for scarfing down a grilled chicken sandwich instead. from there, i ran back down to the old arena for the first broomball matchup after our mid-season holiday break.

iqaluit broomball chronicle:

team white: mark, marco, jacques, kerry, christian (1st half)
team black: JF, dan, jerry, me, christian (2d half)

tonight's game was a free-flowing affair. in jerry's first appearance in over a year, he made an amazing 0-angle shot that bounced in off the netminder. dan made his own heroic streak towards the net to score after taking advantage of an inopportune shift change by the other side. christian showed off tremendous stamina as he raced from one end of the ice to the other. jacques and kerry both also scored for team white to keep things interesting.

however, the majority of the battle was between the the mark-marco passing combo versus JF's fancy footwork. marco was trying out his new aluminum stick and used that excuse to explain his lower goal total, but he still managed to supply some very nifty passes to mark who was in great position to stuff the ball home. JF spun and twisted his way to yet another hat trick but this was not enough to keep the score even and team white prevailed 8-6 at the buzzer.

the rehearsal for 'shape of a girl' was cancelled to give many of the cast and one of the co-directors an extended break as they were all feeling under the weather. hopefully the extra day of rest will recharge them enough to survive their weekend performances in healthy condition. i welcomed the increasingly-rare evening off by watching the english language debate by the federal party leaders from monday nite.

amazingly enough, the bloc is the only party to suggest what i firmly believe is necessary - that copyright law has to be rethought from the ground up, with clear principles, values and objectives understood from the outset. it's sad that the liberal platform is so out of touch with the growing digital re-mix culture.

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looking for the pause button

permalink Thursday, 12JAN2006:

i could feel myself slowly running down today. i tried to compensate at work by doing relatively mindless tasks like my monthly data backup and processing of bills so that my lessening productivity wouldn't have too great an impact. just before i left the office, i finally got a quote from ICSL for the technician that we will need for our march presentation of the banff mountain film festival. good thing too, as our first BMFF meeting of the new year was at 17:30.

i gave an update on what i had done on the technical front, and now that the quote is in hand, will finish off the tech portion of the contract tomorrow so that christian can send it off with his material to the south. the rest of the crew of volunteers is busy working on the fundraising facets. we're looking at selling raffle tix in february to cover the difference between the hosting costs and the box office receipts, with any additional proceeds to be donated to the embrace life council.

tonight's 'shape of a girl' rehearsal went fairly smoothly. my crew of tony, vinnie and mike performed admirably and we adjusted quickly when the cast accidentally leaped over 6 pages of dialogue. we demo'd a few sounds tonight, but will still have to do a lot of work to get them 'shaped' properly and also determine the appropriate levels. with the dress rehearsal tomorrow night, that doesn't leave a lot of room for error or experimentation. i think i'm stressing myself out as i over-reacted when the directors made a few comments about sound issues - must take a *deep* breath.

  • ip idiocy link of the day: northworthy puts the claims of CRIA to the test and finds them wanting:
    ... the claim that the fall off 
    in sales is due to the theft of 
    recordings has to be put up 
    against the fall in the number 
    of new releases by the non-Canadian 
    controlled companies, which is an 
    entirely different problem than 
    theft from filesharing, in my 
    opinion.  Industry revenues for 
    the Canadian controlled companies 
    were up $66,915,000 while the 
    non-Canadian controlled companies 
    were down $237,590,000, between 
    1998 and 2003.  With the 
    non-Canadian controlled new 
    releases from non-Canadian artists 
    down 22.4% and their new releases 
    of Canadian artists down 50.5%, 
    the non-Canadian controlled 
    companies should be explaining 
    this while the Canadian industry 
    thriving in terms of revenue growth.  
    What if their new releases from 
    their foreign repertoire did not 
    fall?  Perhaps its not a Canadian 
    problem at all.
    
    he includes lots of pretty charts for those who are more visually inclined. also, he argues that 'bulte' should be added to the canadian lexicon. i heartily second that motion.
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unsung heroes

permalink Friday, 13JAN2006:

here are the gents who are going to be doing all of the work behind the scenes to show off our lovely cast of ladies over the weekend.

lighting and sound techs
  • ip idiocy link of the day: matthew good gives his take on the bulte controversy and thumbs up to filesharing:
    Yes, in the past I have spoke against 
    downloading.  That was primarily when 
    it was a new phenomenon and most 
    artists were being told that it would 
    decimate their careers.  What wasnít 
    discussed was what the industry was 
    doing Ė or in this case not doing Ė to 
    embrace new technologies in an effort 
    to use that technology to the advantage 
    of artists.  Rather, their position 
    only alienated people and ultimately 
    hurt artists more.  Even now their 
    ineptitude with regards to new media is 
    astounding.  I know teenagers with 
    better qualifications to run new media 
    departments at major record labels than 
    those that currently do.  For my past 
    position I take full responsibility.
    
    I donít care who you are, when youíre 
    an MP and the corporate elements of an 
    industry are throwing donations your 
    way and you just happened to pen 
    proposed legislation that benefits 
    them, Iím not entirely okay with that.  
    Nor am I okay with people using the 
    interests of artists in this country 
    to make their case when artists in 
    this country largely get treated like 
    indentured servants by those same 
    elements. 
    
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a day of openings

permalink Saturday, 14JAN2006:

after i got back from the dress rehearsal last night, i dived into my new shipment of comics from calgary. also arriving yesterday was an amazon package with some kewl cd's - the turnaround time was 4 days - an amazing feat for our northern destination. i'm really looking forward to giving the johnny cash box set a listen.

the first order of business after waking was to grapple with the sound cues for the play. we went thru all the pieces that we had and strung them together like pearls, figuring out levels and timings. afterwards, i spent the afternoon mixing and recording the production sound cd. we were finally ready for opening night !

the show itself went as smoothly as i had hoped, with only a few glitches due to my eyes not being so keen during the blackouts. the first run done, we stampeded over to the storehouse to get a couple of rounds of drinks and some pizza.

from there, i went on to todd's to play a couple of side tourneys of hold'em. i finished out of the winner's circle in both, but i figure that it was good practice for next weekend's city-wide tourney. i went out on a Q-J off-suit, where i bet a huge amount on my top pair of ladies, thus violating the 3d of my 3 poker-playing tenets - patience, discipline, prudence. my opponent (let's call him mister-o) also had a Q, but caught a match to his other hole card to get the 2d pair and he was more than happy to call my massive bet to take me down.


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