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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

broomball on the tundra

permalink Sunday, 23APR2006:

iqaluit broomball chronicles:

team white: JFra, tim, christian, alistair, me
team black: marco, mark, dan, daniel, kerry

at tim's instigation, mark arranged a pick-up game of broomball ... outdoors ! we met up at the lake beside the road to nowhere.

photo of broomball players outside
while the snow initially made the lake ice less slippery, many of us ended up using our regular broomball shoes which allowed for speedier movement. the blue broomball balls were noticeably harder, and that made goaltending a greater hazard than usual.

playing 5 on 5, team white managed to get ahead 2-nil with goals by tim and christian. the crowded ice conditions made it harder for the perennial playmakers JFra, mark and marco to strut their stuff. however, kerry supplied some of his moxie and managed to even things up with a pair of goals before disaster struck team white.

some goon in black (i have it on film !) went and upended JFra while he was attempting a breakaway, providing JFra with a big bruise and a one-way ticket to the sidelines. from there, it was all team black, as with the teams down to 4 on 4, there was much more space to set up. mark and marco began to pour on the pressure. mark notched a single and also set up a couple of marco's goals.

of course, it didn't help that daniel played like a fiend in net for team black and made so many miracle saves with a glove, a toe - heck even his butt probably saved a couple of goals. marco and kerry subsequently finished off their hat tricks on a weary team white to put team black on top 7-2 by the time we called a halt to the proceedings.

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never been so tired

permalink Monday, 24APR2006:

finished packing up my office this morning and it was hauled over to the new building early in the afternoon. as i expected, my email and phone connections did not work once i got plugged in, so it was a good thing that i posted a few emails earlier from the old location.

after last week's scriptless debacle, tonight's radio show went much more smoothly, with me beginning the track selection process last wednesday and even demo-ing a couple of proposed playlists over the weekend. a little bit more tweaking and tie-ing in goings on this week and voila ! i think this mix plays well both as a setlist and as a standalone mix. hopefully the 8 languages featured makes up for the lack of any spoken word tracks.

Aur.Oral Exposures setlist for 24apr2006:

  1. Wheels - Lone Justice
  2. Shelter - Ray Lamontagne
  3. Wall in Your Heart - Shelby Lynne

  4. La Marée Haute - Lhasa
  5. Hua Yang Nian Hua (remix) - Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung
  6. Das Iila Lied - Ute Lemper

  7. Can't Help Falling in Love - Lick the Tins
  8. Catch My Disease - Ben Lee
  9. Rose, Rose I Love You - Yao Lee

  10. Giulietta the Just - Lowest of the Low
  11. three days - k.d. lang and the Reclines
  12. I Live on a Battlefield - Nick Lowe

  13. Wada Na Tad - Lata Mangeshkar
  14. Cancion del Mariachi - Los Lobos and Antonio Banderas
  15. Domhnall mac 'ic Iain - Mary Jane Lamond

  16. Something Wicked - Lotus Galaxy
  17. Sell Out - Levellers
  18. Can't Stand Me Now - The Libertines

  19. Simple Song - Lyle Lovett
  20. I Could Sleep (The Wuss Song) - Letters to Cleo
  21. Darkhorse - Lowest of the Low

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the world has copyright on the brain !

permalink Tuesday, 25APR2006:

showed up at the final meeting of the 2006 banff mountain film festival iqaluit tourhost committee after work. after all is said and done (and barring any unexpected invoice surprises), we should be able to cut a cheque for $2000 to donate to the embrace life council.

a plethora of copyright links today. starting with the ip idiocy, a friend forwarded me a copy of a CP article by les perreaux about how publishers are not afraid of google:
"Surely history has taught us all 
that respect for property rights 
achieves the best results for 
society, a market economy," Fraser 
said. "Not social engineers who 
think they know what is best for 
our copyright, our property."
as i commented to her, i love how publishers see the content as 'their property' seeing as they require authors to create it for them to distribute. for a more culturally-friendly take on how copyright should work, check out slaw's theme week on copyright issues, especially david vaver's excellent post that delves into the historical background of copyright and calls for copyright owners to acknowledge that they have responsibilities as well as rights:
We need to rethink copyright law. 
Copyright should not just be about 
copyright owners' rights; it should 
also be about their duties.  
Historically, it used to be so: 
copyright owners used to owe duties 
to the public.  Over time copyright 
law has been whittled down until it 
reads as if owners have just rights 
and no duties.  They may have come 
to believe that; but the public 


Publishers owed legal duties of 
fair price and free access when the 
copyright term was only 28 years 
long, when their only exploitation 
right was to prevent outright 
copying of all or most of a work. 
They then had no power to stop 
translations, fair abridgments,
even stage adaptations or 
so, why the outpouring of verbosity on the seemingly geeky topic of copyright ? well, tomorrow happens to be world intellectual property day ! to celebrate, some prominent canadian musicians have set up a new coalition and website to outline how the music publishing and distribution industries do NOT speak for them when it comes to copyright laws. their 3 platforms:
  1. Suing Our Fans is Destructive and Hypocritical
  2. Digital Locks are Risky and Counterproductive
  3. Cultural Policy Should Support Actual Canadian Artists
We are a growing coalition of Canadian 
music creators who share the common goal 
of having our voices heard about the 
laws and policies that affect our 
livelihoods.  We are the people who 
actually create Canadian music.  Without 
us, there would be no music for copyright 
laws to protect.

Until now, a group of multinational 
record labels has done most of the 
talking about what Canadian artists need 
out of copyright.  Record companies and 
music publishers are not our enemies, 
but let’s be clear: lobbyists for major 
labels are looking out for their 
shareholders, and seldom speak for 
Canadian artists.  Legislative proposals 
that would facilitate lawsuits against 
our fans or increase the labels’ control 
over the enjoyment of music are made 
not in our names, but on behalf of 
the labels’ foreign parent companies. 
who has signed on ? barenaked ladies, avril lavigne, sarah mclachlan (funny how they are all nettwerk artists, nettwerk being one of the canadian indies who fled the CRIA earlier this month), john k. samson (lead singer and songwriter of the weakerthans), sloan, and bob wiseman (founding keyboardist for blue rodeo and a major reason why i became a fan of the band - cue the track 'piranha pool').

the significance of the creation of the canadian music creators coalition is highlighted by michael geist:
After today, House of Commons 
committee hearings on copyright must 
include representation from the CMCC.  
Policy makers and politicians must 
take the time to consult with the 
artists themselves.  Most importantly, 
government ministers will no longer be 
able to make policies in the artists' 
name, when those policies represent 
the views of lobbyists, not artists. 

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and the winner of this prestigious broomball award is ...

permalink Wednesday, 26APR2006:

iqaluit broomball chronicles:

team white: marco, JFre, dan, daniel, kerry, jeff (2)
team black: mark, JFra, kevin, christian, me, jeff (1)

with some sadness, but much enthusiasm, we embarked on the final game at the old arena for the 2005-2006 broomball season. team black started off with jeff as a sub and the extra man seemed to benefit. team black quickly got onto the scoreboard first with a couple of pretty pinpoint plays, the first from mark to JFra to christian and into the net past daniel while the second was from JFra to mark to christian and into the net past daniel. christian seemed to have daniel's number as he scored twice more during the game.

however, team white would not go down without a fight, with goals from marco and JFre to make things interesting. kevin was pretty steamed that one of those goals resulted from him attempting a lou passaglia punt return, only to fail to connect with the ball and watch it dribble past. a third rocket by kerry that was going wide of the net somehow deflected into the net past kevin.

however, mark made up for that with his own goal past marco who was filling in for the dejected daniel. my one decent attempt at scoring seemed impressive, but as the ball deflected in off of my outstretched leg, it didn't count. daniel began to chase the puck all over the ice with a fearsome intensity. however, even with jeff switching sides for the 2d half, team white could not overcome the ferocious forechecking of team black and the game ended up 5 to 3.

afterwards, our plans to hit the storehouse for the annual broomball awards ceremony was thwarted by rumours of a huge lineup for wing nite. we hastily switched to the legion option, but found out that their kitchen had already closed at 8. desperate for sustenance to go with our beverages, jeff phoned over to the nav and we called out our orders, promising to be over there in time for their last call and kitchen closure at 9.

feasting on captain's burgers, wor wonton and sweet and sour chicken balls, the award envelopes were distributed around the table for announcement and presentation by every team member attending. the awards follow, with nominees listed in lower case and WINNERS LISTED IN UPPER CASE:


  1. best shot blocking: mark, julian, GARY
  2. 'beckham' award (for finest display of soccer skills on ice): kevin, marco, ALASTAIR
  3. hardest shot: JFra, marco, julian, KERRY

  4. 'northern standard time' award (for consistently tardy arrival to games): gary, kevin, JULIAN
  5. best goalie: daniel, bobby, KEVIN
  6. infamous slider award: christian, gary, JFRA

  7. most accurate passer: marco, JFra, jacques, MARK
  8. 'don cherry talkshow' award (for mouthiness on ice): marco, JFra, jacques, GARY
  9. most accurate shooter: JFra, mark, jacques, JFre, MARCO

  10. 'home run' award (for sending the ball over the boards): mark, julian, JFB, JFra, CHRISTIAN
  11. most improved player: alastair, yoan, dan, kerry, JULIAN
  12. 'drama queen' award (for being a drama queen): kevin, tim, JFRE (WINNER FOR THE 2d YEAR IN A ROW !)

  13. best locker room demeanor: martha, marco, tim, dan, kerry, gary, kevin, JACQUES
  14. notorious bruiser award (for goon-like tendencies): JFB, dan, marco, jeff, kerry, tim, tracy, CHRISTIAN
  15. 'i'm too hung over to play today' award: tim, JFra, KEVIN

  16. best defensive player: julian, kerry, gary, jacques, kevin, MARK
  17. cherry-picker award (for uncanny awareness of future ball placements): jacques, marco, yoan, mark, JFRA
  18. most sportsmanlike conduct: julian, mark, marco, jane, jacques, gary, MARTHA

  19. 'ben johnson' award (for the suspiciously fleet of foot): marco, JFre, julian, gavin, mark, JFRA
  20. best offensive player: marco, mark, JFre, JFRA
  21. hall of fame award (for former all-stars): GAVIN (by acclamation, as nominee denis was already inducted last year)
additional awards for next year will be the 'sleight of hand' award for magic hands and the 'helicopter' award for most frequent high sticks.

i got home early enough to do an update of my tax spreadsheet with 2005 tax info and figured out that i'll be getting a refund of a few thousand (not atypical with northern salaries). accordingly, i won't made a mad desperate attempt to complete my paperwork by friday for mailing, but will instead ponder the forms and figures more prudently over the weekend before sending them off. i'm sure that revenue canada won't mind continuing to earn interest for a few more weeks thanks to my procrastination.

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neo-luddite or principled stallman - you decide !

permalink Thursday, 27APR2006:

an ongoing semi-feud that i've maintained with the IT dept threatened to blow up this week after i refused to accede to an immediate 'upgrade' of my pc box from NT to XP. after moving into the new digs, i tried to install a local printer, but an error message informed me that i was missing a driver and didn't have the permissions to install it myself. when i contacted IT and their XP solution didn't work, they found out that i was still on NT and the XP standard enforcers jumped into the fray. a flurry of emails escalated the situation into rarefied realms until the simple printer installation issue was trampled into oblivion.

it got to the point where i was so frustrated at the lack of respect for my time and the amount of effort that i've put in over the last month and a half to ensure a smooth move, that i was hinting at moving on earlier than the fall of 2007 which had been my anticipated departure date. this wasn't just an empty threat, as i have left a previous employer partly due to the fact that their hardcore enforcement of certain IT policies demonstrated an obliviousness to legitimate operational requirements.

i recognize that as a pseudo-power-user, i'm one of the most dangerous kinds of folks to have mucking about with the equipment (hence the permission lockdowns), but IT has to recognize that they exist to support *my* work, and that changing things just to make life easier for them is just not going to be appropriate for every situation. all i was asking for was a little flexibility in order to slow down the juggling act that has been my every waking moment for the last few weeks, and once i was able to explain this in person rather than thru a flurry of misinterpreted emails, both sides appeared to be placated.

sometimes jumping thru all the hoops, to justify what you need, ends up taking way more time and effort than giving up on IT 'support' altogether and running the system yourself, which is what largely happened in my previous position. because of the amount of money that we were making for the company, our iconoclastic streaks were tolerated. however, when they began to require us to store emails on local workstations rather than on the network inboxes, that boggled me. this policy might work in an office environment where you're tied down to one or two computers and have easy network access between them, but it failed miserably on remote field crews on boats and in deserts where there was no guarantee that you would ever return to the crew that you were leaving. i decided then that i had had enough, regardless of how much padding they were adding to my bank accounts, and let me tell you, black gold pays *really* well.

so, matthew and paul swung by today and i advised them that i was not opposing the 'upgrade' simply to be obstinate. after 2 weeks without a printer and almost a month and a half of neglected library operations, i needed to finish off my fiscal yearend expense payments, edit some documents for distribution and prepare for the law librarian conference next week. i just didn't have time to do the background work necessary to ensure a smooth migration from NT to XP, such as determining what applications needed to be transferred and potentially upgraded. when i explained that i just needed *time* to catch my breath after the move and that i'd happily facilitate the migration at a specified future date that i can plan for, everything seemed copacetic.

however, the reason why IT's policy is the way it is was clearly demonstrated over the next 45 minutes as they attempted to install the recalcitrant NT drivers without success. so, for the next month until the migration, i'll be sneakernetting upstairs to have one of the support staff print off documents that i'm placing in a shared temporary folder. and i'm ok with that as long as my box doesn't get changed without my input. however, as a precaution, i did sacrifice a few CPU cycles this afternoon to perform my monthly backup a few days early. we're supposed to run everything off of a network drive which is backed up every day, but with the number of applications i tend to have open at once and given the number of times the network has gone down (often at critical times), i've learned that it is better operationally to work with files stored locally. now, if i had a backup program where recently changed files were automatically copied to the network drive overnight, that would be awesome, but i somehow don't think that's in the cards.

on a lighter note, after a week of spring-like weather for toonik tyme, winter was back with a vengeance, and the snow was kicking up something fierce in the first half of the day. the sight of numerous cars getting stuck in the drifting snow in the driveway provided ongoing entertainment as lively as anything seen on t.v. (or so i'm told, not being an owner of such a devilish device).

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fridays are never unwelcome

permalink Friday, 28APR2006:

i was really feeling under the weather today - stressing out from the move and the IT shenanigans must have really been getting to me. however, i survived the afternoon after the sunshine came out to play and we enjoyed birthday cake day at the office.

after a nap, curtis convinced me to host a poker session at my place. now, my apartment is a tiny 1-bedroom bachelor pad, so i can only have a couple of people over at any one time. luckily, curtis was only able to rope in kevinj, so we sat down to play a series of 3-handers. i basically broke even for the night once the cost for the mid-session takeout supper from the snack was covered.

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what's a weekend without poker ?

permalink Saturday, 29APR2006:

after continuing my poker rally into the wee hours online, i was pretty bleary-eyed when i was awoken in the morning by a phone call. after arranging to meet for lunch at fantasy palace, i collapsed back into bed for another few hours of shuteye. after lunching on a teriyaki wrap, i spent the rest of the afternoon catching up on laundry and digging in to my taxes. it was surprisingly nice to veg at home for a few hours.

in the evening, i accepted todd's invitation to attend his poker 8-hander with patrick, karen, vinnie, becky, curtis and jeff. after a few hours of play, becky, curtis and i finally faced off in the money round. tho becky has us boys dominated in chips, we whittled away at her stack until she had to be satisfied with getting her money back in 3d. after that, curtis and i played heads up for a few hands before i tried an untimely bluff. a couple of 7's had flopped, and a third 7 came on the turn, so i bet as if i had a full house and went all-in. it wouldn't have mattered even if i did have the boat, tho, as curtis quickly called and flipped over the fourth 7.

while waiting for the side table to sluff off enough players to start a 2d side game, curtis and i played a couple of rounds of heads up and i demonstrated my comeback power by winning both of those - either that or he was taking pity on me ?? ... nah. we got a 4-way going with becky and vinnie, but beautiful becky showed us boys how the game is played by knocking us over one by one until she took all the money off the table.

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