Happy Holidays

As an atheist who celebrates Christmas, I don't see what all the fuss is about.

I mean, I think I do, but wouldn't it be nicer to find a way to live with these rituals rather than purge them all?

I don't want to have big, unavoidable religious hullabaloos in our public spaces, but I think we've already proven that we know how to take a major religious feast and turn it into a secular party for the rest of us. Nothing mandatory, but nothing reasonable excluded.

Isn't it time we had a crass, commercialized, mass market celebration of Holi?




Things To Remember

  • When I'm with him: How scary it is when I think I've lost him*
  • When I think I've lost him: How in-your-face crazy it is when I'm with him




Winter Walk

When we first moved to Nova Scotia we had one car and it wasn't very good. Winters were very isolating. They were colder and snowier too, I think.

I remember one time when my mom, my brother and I walked to the convenience store. It was a 4 kilometre walk along the shoulder of the backroad that was our only road. It was the day after a big snowstorm. The sky was blue and the wind was low. The snow made the walking harder. We didn't see anybody on the road until about halfway to the store, when we saw a strange angular structure crest the next hill. I remember it felt like it took a long time to come close. It was the home dune buggy contraption of Danny, the recluse who lived in the woods around there. I can't remember if we waved as he drove by.

What I remember is the silhouette of a black trapezoid rising up over the hill with white snow and spruce trees and blue sky all around.



Guess Who's Going On Vacation

oh boy oh boy oh boy!



Unhelpful Anger

Man, I just read this TorStar story about a hit and run and I'm just mad. I don't have a reasoned opinion. I want to beat in the brains of the driver of that car.

Here's what I think. Drivers: you blew it. You had this incredible luxury, and you were a bunch of stupid assholes about it so now it's done. All your licenses are revoked. If you want to drive your car, get in line for your new license. Only this time the tests will be harder. You'll have to demonstrate that you're the sort of person who should be entrusted with a giant killing machine. And if you want to drive your SUV, you're going to have to find four other people to rid with you or you'll be taken off the road. Those who do not need to drive four people around regularly are invited to buy smart cars. Or bicycles.



Bike Lanes in Toronto

Here I am. Driven by desperation to actually blog about something.

I built up a head of steam and ranted a bit about cars and bikes. Read on.





Bell wants to start billing its resellers (like TekSavvy) extra for usage over 60GB per user. Basically, they'd like to bill TekSavvy customers the way they bill their own customers, removing what little opportunity for competition they were forced to offer. Here's the message I sent to the CRTC:

I strongly object to Bell's tariff application to introduce Usage Based Billing. I switched from Bell to one of its DSL competitors because Bell's service was poor and Rogers has at least as bad a reputation. It's completely unreasonable for Bell to force their own business decisions on the competitors. They would remove what little room their is for competition and hold us back even further.

Canadian broadband is already falling behind. It's critical not just that the CRTC act as a check against massive self-interested parties like Bell, but to move to create more room for actual competition. Bell does not have the best interests of Canadians at heart (nor, arguably, should it). We Canadians depend on the CRTC for that.

Please reject Bell's tariff application. Please support small, independent ISPs. Please help Canada reclaim its reputation as a telecommunications leader, instead of the backwater it is becoming.

You can let the CRTC know how you feel by filling out the form here: Select "Tariff" and then put "File Number # 8740-B2-200904989 - Bell Canada - TN 7181" in the subject line. TekSavvy sent me this email, but I think this is a big deal for all Canadians who care about the Internet.




Pictures! I hear these are popular with the kids.

My friends, I am pleased to present our two adorable kitties, Nacho and Mika.

I'm also pleased to present my new image attachment feature.

I'll put something wordier up in the Developer category at some point. This is just to celebrate (and confirm that it's really working).



Good Deeds In The New Year

Read on for my sort of incoherent thoughts on philanthropy in the new year.




What I did on the Monday before Christmas (yesterday)

My mom is in town. This is what she and I got up to yesterday:




I know! I'll talk about video games!

I just listened to a short documentary on video games on the Search Engine podcast. It's by Jesse Brown, the host of the show, and it's a reflection on video games prompted by the recent death of a teen who ran away from home because his parents took away his XBox.

I really like this podcast, and I think Jesse Brown does a great job producing it. This documentary, however, was pretty bad. It was produced for one of CBC Radio's more mainstream shows and I felt that it pandered to the audience's sense of worry and fear about video game culture.

I wrote two comments on the Search Engine blog. Here they are.




Run Sam Run (Attempt 2)

My roommate A is athletic. I, on the other hand follow the usual fitness habits of a programmer. For the past two Saturdays I have tried joining A when he goes on his 6 mile run. I'm falling a little short of six miles. But that's ok. I expected that. I made it a little further yesterday than I did last week. If I can get a little further each week I'll be happy.

Here's the nerd angle: I used my account on mapmyride to log my run. If I can manage to abuse my legs and lungs every week I should be able to come back and play with the fun Google Maps doodad.

Anyway, here's the doodad:




I Bite My Tongue, Sir

This is me not complaining about my cruddy day at work. I can always fire up my livejournal account if I feel like contributing a steaming pile of "content" like that.



Good PR

Now this is a smart phone. And an excellent PR campaign.



Before I Forget

My good friend Taylan has just launched his actually functional, handsome and fancy blog. Behold: (Update: Hey, now it's a link!) (Update 2: And hey, now it's not only a link, but a link to the right place. Why is blogging so hard?)




You know what turns out to be pretty hard?

Resisting the urge to go back and clean up these clunky posts when I re-read them. Editing past posts is a no-no, right?

Hang on, gang. I'll get comments set up soon. Along with RSS, categories and a sensible way to embed images.




I have big plans for this site.

I don't know what this is going to be like in the end but I'm hoping I can spruce this place up one feature at a time.



What what what

The stylish stripes along the left here are going to denote categories on the blog.

I'm hoping that I never need more than four categories. I'm also hoping that I can think of at least one. So far I think blue is the "meta navel-gazing" category.



Did I just blog?

How about that?

There's nothing here yet, but check this out: I have launched my own blog.

I've moved up from the Internet underclass to the lowest rung of Internet commoners. It feels good!

And bashing this thing together has made me late for work.