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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

film-filled sunday

permalink Sunday, 19MAR2006:

got up around noon so i could head over to the college at 1 for the first all-cast and crew run-thru of the latest version of the script for mahaha. one of the young brothers has turned into a young sister due to casting difficulties. everything seemed to go smoothly and while all the actors were signing their release forms, tony let malcolm and i loose on the sound equipment.

i spent another couple of hours trying to generate smaller-size versions of my poker doc so that it would be easier to distribute online. however, one of the graphics didn't render properly, so i'll have to return to the mac lab again if i can't bear to live with the versions that i already have.

in the evening, it was back to the astro for the 2d night of mountain and adventure films complements of the banff mountain film festival. tonight's crowd was less ritzy without a gala reception to attend, so were much more appreciative of the more contemplative films.

'the hatch' was my favourite film of this night's selections. i had driven along the gunnison river valley one dark night on my way back to houston after driving up to calgary during one of my 5-weeks off from the field. i was so glad to get out of that canyon into the inviting arms of gunnison, but i was a bit disappointed that i didn't see it in its daytime glory. this film made up for that a bit, with beautiful aerial vistas and a heart-felt story about how unsustainable agricultural practices are threatening the entire canyon watershed. the flyfishing scenes were exciting, and really brought home what might be lost should present economics trump future environmental potential. this was also the only film to effectively use black+white footage.

'the magic mountain' was another audience favourite, and followed a canadian health worker as she went to remote Ladakh villages in northwestern india. a story about women helping other women by learning how to ask for development funds and putting those funds to work in local projects instead of just relying on the whims of a development agenda based on external goals.

'solilochairliftquist' was a nice short about the thoughts that run thru your mind during those contemplative chairlift pauses.

'praszczur (grandpa)' featured a 79-year old who is still paragliding with the youngsters. his first few attempts are wince-inducing, but when he finally gets airborne, you want to shout out and cheer.

'the retrospective - red bull rampage' was a film about freeride mountain biking and showed some of the gnarliest riding seen at the Red Bull Rampage.

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the power of pop (language)

permalink Monday, 20MAR2006:

aur.oral exposures setlist for 20mar2006:
  1. cheatin' - gin blossoms
  2. patsy cline (edit) - the guthries
  3. song to sing when i'm lonely - john frusciante

  4. the jukebox (part 1) - jackie gleason
  5. where have you been all my life - fotomaker
  6. the jukebox (part 2) - jackie gleason
  7. wonder where you are tonight - the gravelberrys
  8. the jukebox (part 3) - jackie gleason

  9. try - nelly furtado
  10. still - macy gray
  11. accidentally kelly street - frente!

  12. because i'm human - f. giraud and riyu konaka
  13. murder mysteries - neil gaiman > michael emerson as narrator; brian dennehy as raguel
  14. mysteries - beth gibbons and rustin man

  15. un poco loco - fey
  16. i go crazy - flesh for lulu
  17. the whole world lost its head - the go-go's

  18. baby, now that i've found you - the foundations
  19. do you want to break up ? - the filmextras
  20. slow drag - fastball

  21. come on home - franz ferdinand

the entire show can be downloaded from yousendit. again, i'm pretty happy with how the sets came together, especially the jackie gleason and 'crazy' ones.

  • link of the day: leslie savan on pop language:

    ... what pop language really 
    communicates is that millions of 
    others speak it, too.  Behind 'slam 
    dunk' is the roar, if not also the 
    threat, of a crowd - in fact, it 
    is this crowd-in-a-can quality of 
    pop talk that makes it so 
    persuasive.  Each modular phrase 
    is part of a franchise deal, 
    confirmed by endless repetition. 
    No matter your age, race, class, 
    terms like 'walk the walk' or 'I 
    hate it when that happens' can be 

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keeping it all inside

permalink Tuesday, 21MAR2006:

co-ordinated schedules with my sister in shanghai so that we could chat over the phone. she's like 13 hours ahead, so was calling before she went to work in the morning and as i was just getting home from my office. she's starting her own marketing business called 'enteos', going from special projects director to managing partner in the process.

enteos logo

coincidentally, i got my phone bill in the mail today, and for the first time in the 4 years that i've been here, i made not a single long distance call. the previous record low was a 1-minute call in february of 2005. hmm, i wonder what is it about february that keeps me from reaching out over the phone ?

finally managed to catch 'brokeback mountain' tonight. i had heard complaints that it was too long and on the flip side that it was fabulous. however, to me, it just seemed like a conventional hollywood-ish doomed romance tale. maybe something went awry in the translation from short story to film, but it really didn't sweep me away. giving ang lee the best director award for this ? - 'crouching tiger, hidden dragon' would have been more appropriate.

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wednesday = wing nite lineup

permalink Wednesday, 22MAR2006:

i hit the legion to meet up with mel, nikki and demetri for a late lunch. we had a spot of difficulty getting nikki and demetri signed in so late, but a bit of smooth talking by nikki and we were good to go. afterwards, nikki also persuaded a bystander to take a snapshot of our group in front of the legion sign.

iqaluit broomball chronicle:

team white: julian, JFre, jane, marco, me
team black: dan, jacques, JFra, kerry

again, i was caught daydreaming in net for the first few minutes as JFra cruised in along the side and just popped the ball behind me into the net. i was doing alright in the warm-up, but it's almost like i forgot where the net was once the actual game started. however, that early goal was matched almost immediately by a fine marco-JFre combo to tie the game up.

the game see-sawed back and forth, with goals from kerry and another from JFra matched with a goal by jane and marco. jane's goal was a beauty as she dived headfirst towards the bouncing puck shot in from the far side of the net and pushed it right past kerry. julian nearly got the go-ahead goal on his breakaway, but his initial touch rebounded from the post and off of his toe before going into the net. the foot-goal was disallowed and the game stayed tied at 3.

however, julian made good minutes later with a lobbed drop shot from the centre line - guess all that badminton practice came in handy. after marco scored another goal to put team white 2 up, kerry managed a staunch reply to narrow the gap back down to one goal. however, JFre put the game to bed by notching up his third goal to give us a final score of 6-4.

after a near-unbearable 30 minute wait in line, we ended up closing the storehouse while celebrating JFra's 30th birthday. hell, the guy looks like he's barely out of high school ! we got him a nice glass of white wine as congratulations for reaching that untrustworthy age ... :)

  • ip idiocy link of the day: pre-pixelated t-shirts. why suffer thru the pains of pixelating all those corporate and style logos out of your film footage when you can get them ready-made ?

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investment evaluations

permalink Thursday, 23MAR2006:

my attempt at initiating an iqaluit investment group appears to have suffered from a distinct lack of enthusiasm as only one person showed up at the legion on schedule. i had somewhat expected this and had already consoled myself with the thought that i would at least get a legion supper out of the deal. adrian and i just chatted and agreed that, as a first measure, one should focus on paying down any existing debt before dabbling in investment waters.

however, once that consideration has been covered, my take is that tracking your daily expenses against a budget is the best preparation for investing. if you don't have the wherewithal to be willing to put time and effort into that, then you shouldn't be thinking about investing. first, it emphasizes the discipline required to monitor your financial status. second, it focuses your attention on your priorities and values. finally, a solid understanding of your financial footing allows you to be more comfortable with the investment risks that you do decide to take. and there is no doubt - investing is a risky proposition.

i suspect that the reason more people don't pay much attention to this kind of stuff is because they just don't want to face up to the reality that many of us are living beyond our means. plus, our formal education curricula don't really include financial awareness as a critical skill for surviving modern life.

and while i've been procrastinating on doing my taxes like everyone else, now it looks like that's a good thing, as one of my income funds has resulted in some interesting tax consequences. besides dividend income, i will also be notching up my first experiences with box 25 for foreign non-business income and box 42 for return of capital. so, i will await the T3 from my broker and will try to work on updating my tax spreadsheet before the form arrives.

  • ip idiocy link of the day: copyright questions that *should* be asked in CRIA polls:

    Of the following, which do you feel 
    would be the best use of $1,000,000 
    in educational tax dollars in your 
    province or territory:
     - hiring more teachers,
     - improving the physical conditions in schools,
     - providing additional assistance for special needs students,
     - providing additional assistance for gifted students,
     - buying more library books,
     - improving school lunches, or
     - paying copyright tariffs to the collective 
       agency Access Copyright?

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flights of fancy

permalink Friday, 24MAR2006:

one of my side gigs involves being the rep for nunavut on a national board for a legal information service. for my troubles, i get to travel on someone else's dime to montreal twice a year. so today i packed my bags and hopped onto the first air flight down to montreal via kuujuaq. had an interesting discussion with my seatmate who has been working on the construction of the new baffin regional hospital. word is that they expect to be completed under budget and on schedule by the end of this year.

arrived at my favourite hostel, l'auberge alternative in old montreal and went to check in. when i showed the attendant my nunavut id, she asked if i knew about the francophone association in iqaluit. i said that i did and she asked if i knew someone called sabrina. turns out that chantal was friends with sabrina and had attended a conference in january, hosted by sabrina in montreal, about what had been going on recently in the north. it's *such* a small world these days !

after settling in to my digs at le salon rouge, i hailed a cab to take me to l'actuel to meet the rest of the board members for supper. the place was just a block south of st. catherines, so i could have walked, but i didn't want to be breathless and unfashionably late when i arrived. i had a huge veal chop for my entree - a massive chunk of meat that i was tempted to grab in a fist to tear the meat off with my teeth. i polished the whole portion off even tho i had already finished off the fish supper that i had been provided on the first air flight. the dessert that i ordered was divine - La Brasilien au caramel - much better than Haagen-Dazs.

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after slogging comes the sampling

permalink Saturday, 25MAR2006:

i must disabuse you of any notion that the trip to montreal was just an excuse for a weekend of shopping and sightseeing. i got up *way too early* on a saturday morning (06:20) in order to make a 7 a.m. breakfast and an 8 a.m. meeting start. such torture would be outlawed if i had my way. as someone else remarked, the day long discussions reflected the canadian political climate, full of geographical angst, tussles about how to fairly allocate resources and endless rounds of compromises. it would take great skill to be able to decipher whether any one member's position was based on personal belief or constituent representation, rather than an attempt to gain leverage in a future discussion or even in some completely unrelated realm.

we got unleashed around 16:30 for a few hours, so i went back to the hostel to check my email and take a quick nap before heading towards notre dame, stopping just short of the cathedral to drop into nagoya, my new fave sushi joint in montreal. there, i picked up a sushi mat for sabrina and a couple of pieces of unagi for myself. yummy !! from there, i walked back to the hotel vogue to join the rest of the board members, waiting in the lobby to proceed en masse to our dinner reservation at ristorante bronte on sherbrooke.

we were packed off to the back of the restaurant in the private 'blue room'. the service was exceptional and the food was so good that nothing was left on the plates for the dishwasher to mess with. i started off with some seered scallops as an appetizer. then we had a round of kobe beef that was the special feature of the evening. my entree was the kobe short rib which almost melted away as soon as i started chewing - just heavenly. i was going to have the créme brulée for dessert, but at the last minute changed to a sampling of sorbets. it was fine, but i think that i would have been happier with my initial impulse.

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