October 17, 2004
October 15, 2004
So now they're banning pitbull in Ontario. What kind of fsscist state do we live in when the government has taken it upon itself to regulate what kind of pets we can keep? This is just getting out of hand. First they came for the guns, and told us that we can get alarm systems and dogs to protect ourselves. Now they're saying that we can't have dogs to protect ourselves if they're actually capable of doing the job!
There is also the fact that they are putting the onus on the owner to prove the dog is not a pit bull. They are also talking about putting the onus of all dog owners to prove their dog is not aggressive if so accused.
There is something seriously wrong with this country.
October 14, 2004
President Bush goes to an elementary school to talk about the war.
After his talk, he offers to answer questions. One little boy puts up his hand and the president asks him his name.
"I'm Billy, sir."
"And what's your question, Billy?"
"I have three questions, sir. Why did the US invade Iraq without the support of the UN? Why are you President when Al Gore got more votes? And whatever happened to Osama Bin Laden?"
Just then the bell rings for recess. Bush announces that they'll continue after recess.
When they return, Bush asks, "OK, where were we? Question time! Who has a question?"
Another little boy raises his hand. The president asks his name.
"I'm Steve, sir."
"And what's your question, Steve?"
"I have five questions, sir. Why did the US invade Iraq without the support of the UN? Why are you President when Al Gore got more votes? Whatever happened to Osama Bin Laden? Why did the recess bell go off twenty minutes early? And what the heck happened to Billy?"
And an absolutely delicious line:
One actually has to be something of a specialist, today, to even begin to grasp quite how fantastically, how baroquely and at once brutally fucked the situation of the United States has since been made to be.
Wake up America. You're giving away what your forefathers bled and died for in exchange for.... well I don't even know what you guys are getting in exchange for your freedom. Big Macs and WalMart?
Really, if your choice is between Kerry and Bush, you've already let the system fail you.
I think at this point you guys had better roll up your sleeves and take back the Republicans from the Religious loonies and Neo-Con nut jobs, and take back the Democratic Party from the Union Leaders and Career Party Apparatchiks.
Otherwise, you're going to end up getting alternating Democratic and Republican boots stomping on your faces forever.
p.s. I'd never heard the phrase, "When you think it's time to bury your guns, that's the time you should be digging them up" before this election. I've heard it a lot recently.
October 13, 2004
Committee of the Whole agenda has also been posted. This has slightly more interesting stuff. There is going to be some information in camera about the arena. There is also a report from the 2020 committee, and another session about the proposed renewal of the BIA. Hmmmm. Might have to go.
October 10, 2004
October 09, 2004
We now know with whom the television networks went to bed tonight.
If this doesn't make the news, I worry for American democracy.
October 07, 2004
October 06, 2004
Wikis and Blogs are really tools for the masses. Wiki's are allowing people to collaborate on complex things, with wikipedia being the best example of this. Blogs are allowing people to broadcast their opinions, and their interests to the world, or as in my case, two really bored people who keep mistyping the name of a genus of penguin.
We're getting there.
October 05, 2004
Time for me to make a little foray into US Politics. I beg any Americans out there. Waste your vote. Vote for Green, or Libertarian, vote anything but Republicrat.
George Bush is, in the words of somebody much funnier than me, too dangerous to leave in charge of anything more complicated than a box of lego. He has surrounded himself with the nastiest bunch of neo cons this side of 1946. He has blown the global sympathy for 9/11 by going into Iraq, which has promptly turned into the quagmire his father warned about.
Kerry is a career politician who managed to 'serve' in Vietnam for three months, and then build a career in it. The normal tour of duty was three years, but Kerry managed to accumulate medals faster than Audie Murphy, earning him a trip back stateside... kind of makes you wonder. This bozo is also a rabid protectionist, which isn't going to do anybody any good, especially in Canada.
The pair of them are the best that America can put forward? I don't think so, but unless something is done to break the duopoly, it will be the scum that rises to the top. A rich spectrum of choices would be healthy for the USA, and also by extension, for the world. 'Wasting' your vote may be the best choice in the upcoming election, because in a very real sense, there is no difference between the two; they are both the creatures of their respective parties, controlled by big money and special interests, and neither really speaks for the average American. They are both products of privilege. Neither has a terribly interesting vision of the future (terrible maybe, but not interesting).
I say a pox on both their houses.
October 04, 2004
October 02, 2004
October 01, 2004
American 'Bi-Partisanship' is really beginning to piss me off. Don't vote Republicrat!
September 29, 2004
September 28, 2004
September 27, 2004
You only get one guess as to which one....
Looking at the rest of their selection, I think that their statement on the whole thing is pretty bang on:
To everyone who has been protesting and sending complaints regarding our hammer shirt, we'd like to say we don't condone violence toward women. That being said, our entire line is centered around poking fun at taboo subjects like violence, suicide, religion, and death. To take these images at face value, is reactionary at best. Our sense of humor and designs are not for everyone. NO ONE is forcing you to look at, buy or wear anything you don't want to, including Jinxed Clothing. Protesting a store that is owned and operated by women, for demaning women is extremely short-sighted. Cherry Bomb has our absolute support. Feel free to check our ladies section for the female version, a pair of scissors that reads 'he had it coming'. We are equal opportunity offenders.
That said, I wouldn't wear either one, as my taste in offensive t-shirts runs more toward the political than the social commentary.... Wearing a Che Guevara shirt to a conservative function, or a Pro-Bush shirt to an NDP one. ;)
Downtown 2020 residential housing report
September 25, 2004
Taste is a rare commodity
Now that's just goofy! Swarovski crystal covered mini iPods. Sometimes I think that taste is a very rare commodity.
Another case in point, the Oakley Thump. Like we need to combine 400$ sunglasses with a 100$ mp3 player.
September 24, 2004
What is it you ask? It's an interface to a NASA computer that is serving up a full satellite map of the globe that is zoomable from full globe right down to seeing individual buildings. Amazing to think of.
September 22, 2004
Started to listen to his last CD, and it starts out with a very depressing spoken word piece about death. I guess he knew it was coming. Well, we knew he had seen it coming.
Seems that it made a lot of people stop and think about mortality, and also aging. The realization for a lot of us that it has been as much as fifteen years (for me) or more since we first started out as club kids and club staff is a bit of a shocker. You realize that Brent has been doing his thing since the early 80's! Time passes quickly...
peace out Brent
September 21, 2004
September 20, 2004
Bruce Montague Defence Fund
Bruce Montague's defence fund is now accepting donations. Bruce is a longtime firearms activist in Canada, and has been asking to be charged under the Firearms Act for years now. The OPP arrested him in a dramatic 'takedown' in front of his
Please send your donation made out to the Bruce Montague Scrap C-68 Fund,
the Bruce Montague Scrap C-68 Fund
RR 2 Site 230, box 20
I am so sore!
On the bright side, we now have everything all laid out in our room, and we're not having to cross the house to get to our closet. Yay
September 17, 2004
Victoria Election 2005
The question now is whether I want to run for Councillor. Hmmm.. I suspect that this is the term when the decision will be made as to whether or not there will be a safe injection site in Victoria. I may have to run. I just don't know if I have time to get together a decent election team.
Guess I'll have to make a few calls.
I think I'm going to get the Sony Ericcson T637, although I really, really want the P900. All that I really want though is for it to have bluetooth and a camera.
September 16, 2004
I need new Shoes
What brought this to mind is that I was thinking about the state of retail in this city. It is an open secret that the American tourist dollar didn't appear this year. A lot of stores have closed, and I was thinking about where I liked to shop. I came to the conclusion that Victoria pretty much sucks in this city. There are maybe three decent stores for men's clothing, stores that are a step up from Moores. At Christmas time I looked everywhere for shoes, and realized that there weren't any decent shoes in the entire city. That was a bit of a shocker. Then I realized something. Other than our store, there aren't any real luxury stores in this city. No Holt Renfrew or equivalent, nothing at the really high end. Not really a good advertisement for the high end tourist.
September 15, 2004
Scooter project is alove
First I'm going to have to sand blast it, and give it a nice paint job. That's going to be a hell of a project. I've been inspired by Biker Build-Off on the Discovery Channel.
Between that and setting up a little reloading room, I'm going to have my hands full.
Testing a new tool
Songs while writing this post:
Golden Brown by The StranglersWhite Coats from the album It Came From Hollywood by New Model Army
I was talking to my niece the other day. She lives in Ontario, and owns a pit bull. Ontario is making noises about banning pit bulls. We had a very pleasant conversation, as I have a pit bull as well. We ranted about the stupidity of it all, and it was a delightfule conversation until I mentioned something about how similar this was to the argument about guns. She immediately stated, "well I don't think guns should be anywhere!" I froze up. She just couldn't see it.
I read a really good post on slashdot the other day, and got permission to reprint it...
It is my pleasure to reply to a suitably armored poster.
...nobody has a legitimate reason for owning a 30 round clip.
I always get annoyed when discussions about the Second Amendment come up and everybody immediately starts thinking about gunpowder. That's not what it's about.
The Second Amendment (Right to Bear Arms) is not a result of the wildly successful 1776 Sportsman's PAC. It wasn't meant to authorize individuals or groups to assassinate government officials in case they went insane. And it wasn't an attempt to ensure people could keep trading old flintlocks like so many Disco albums from the '70's.
It was an acknowledgement of a problem which faced the fledgling Colonies at the time, and is still quite relevant today.
You can pass a law making it illegal for people to keep and bear arms, but the people most dangerous to the survival of the Nation aren't going to listen. Because of this, we need to be sure this nation can survive even if we face an enemy that doesn't play by our rules. In this respect, outlawing guns works against us, in that it allows us to implement policies that, if the subjects had guns, we could never get away with. So instead we outlaw the practice of disarming the populace.
It's a way of saying to prospective government organizers: "if you want to run this place, you have to figure out how to make it work without taking away people's weapons. If you can't, you're not worthy of running this place. Period. Just like if you can't figure out how to run this place without favoring one religion over another, or shutting down the free press, or silencing your critics, or preventing peaceful assembly, or violating peoples privacy, or searching their homes, documents, things, or imprisoning people without charges or due process, or holding onto a suspect indefinitely without letting him see a lawyer, or torturing prisoners, or trying to make a Federal Law to ban powers reserved to the States, then just go away, because you're not up to the job. Sure, running the country is easy if you can do that stuff; but we have higher standards."
The rise of gun violence should not be seen as being caused by the availability of guns as much as it should be viewed as a failure of our society to remain violence free in the face of weapons availability. Don't curse the NRA, they're just the weather vane.
Should we read the Second Amendment to say that we should all be packing porta-nukes? For the safety of the Nation, of course. No. What it means is that we should strive to build a country that can survive even if our next door neighbor decides to pack a porta-nuke. Because, the reality of the world is (and will always be) that our next door neighbor just might be packing a porta-nuke.
In a world like this, the only possible way to be safe is to first make sure that nobody in their right mind would have a reason to light-up their porta-nuke, and second to understand that occasionally we will encounter a person or two who isn't in their right mind, who's going to kill a lot of people and cause a lot of damage (kinda like one of those Hurricanes) and that we better just be prepared for it to happen, and be prepared to deal with it when it does. An approch which says "we'll prevent a hurricane from ever happening here" can only be followed by "we don't need FEMA anymore, now do we", which shows clearly how backward such an approach is.
On September 11th, 2001, the U.S. saw an example of an attack which some claim represents a new kind of threat to this nation. But was also saw a flawless demonstration of the kind of defense against that threat which our Founding Fathers hoped we would deploy, and knew even then would be effective. On Flight 93, the attack failed, not because of some smart weapon posessed by the U.S. army, or because some airport screener matched-up two names on a No Fly list, but because of the democratic defense; a group of very brave people took a stand for this nation and stopped the attack in it's tracks. If the highjackers thought they would encounter this kind of defense of every aircraft, they wouldn't have even attempted it armed with just a set of box cutters.
The democratic defense demands that each of us make a comittment to defend the nation, as opposed to counting on our soldiers and firemen to do all the dirty work for us. It demands we work together. It demands we reject fear.
Our current foreign policy works against all those objectives.
The democratic defense was what our Founding Fathers had in mind. It doesn't ask that we tell the government about the suspicious activities of our neighbors (because that fails when the government itself is corrupt) but rather that we get to know our neighbors and make these judgements ourselves. It demands vigilance. It means some of us may have to charge a terrorist unarmed, it means some of us (and I don't just mean those of us in uniform) may die so that others won't have to. Some of us might even have to make the ultimate sacrifice and pay a few extra dollars in Capital Gains tax to fund relief aid in Sudan. Some of us might even have to get out an Vote.
Which is what the Founding Fathers had in mind all along.
Now that is the best defence of the right to keep and bear arms I've seen in a long time.
September 05, 2004
Brent was always part of what I thought of, when I thought of Victoria nightlife. Brent you will be missed.
July 26, 2004
July 25, 2004
July 01, 2004
June 29, 2004
National Last updated: 16:27 ET
Party Party standing % Popular vote %
Bloc Qu�b�cois 54 17.5 17.5% 1,670,703 12.4 12.4%
Canadian Action 0 0.0 0.0% 8,930 0.1 0.1%
Christian Heritage Party 0 0.0 0.0% 40,283 0.3 0.3%
Communist 0 0.0 0.0% 4,568 0.0 0.0%
Conservative 99 32.1 32.1% 3,994,489 29.6 29.6%
Green Party 0 0.0 0.0% 580,737 4.3 4.3%
Independent 0 0.0 0.0% 47,594 0.4 0.4%
Liberal 135 43.8 43.8% 4,950,103 36.7 36.7%
Libertarian 0 0.0 0.0% 1,964 0.0 0.0%
Marijuana Party 0 0.0 0.0% 33,554 0.3 0.3%
Marxist-Leninist 0 0.0 0.0% 9,060 0.1 0.1%
N.D.P. 19 6.2 6.2% 2,116,422 15.7 15.7%
No Affiliation 1 0.3 0.3% 17,465 0.1 0.1%
PC Party 0 0.0 0.0% 10,773 0.1 0.1%
Total number of valid votes: 13,486,645
June 15, 2004
May 01, 2004
Re: Safe site's benefits touted at drug forum (4/9/04). The article did a wonderful job of pointing out the many benefits of a safe injection site in Vancouver. What wasn't mentioned was the cost. The Vancouver safe injection site cost 1.2 Million dollars to set up, and has an annual budget of 2 Million dollars, with an additional scientific research component of 1.5 million dollars. First year costs of 4.7 Million dollars. Any site that the city of Victoria might set up will be scaled down from that, but no matter how you look at it, it's a lot of money. With most social service providers budgets frozen, or being reduced, one has to question if this is something we should really even consider before the research in Vancouver is completed. The sad fact is that the money for a safe injection site is coming out of the budget for women's shelters, transitional housing for people getting off drugs, mental health care, community policing, and the gardening for parks and boulevards in our community. There are hard choices to be made. Nobody wants the addicted to die on the streets, but we also want the streets to be safe to walk on, with hanging flower baskets to be admired. Something that has to be addressed is that the citizens who are addicted to drugs are finding the money to buy drugs somehow. Every citizen who has come home to find their home broken into, or their businesses broken into knows at least one way that drugs are paid for. The victims of these crimes are going to have to be acknowledged as stake-holders in any plan to address the problem of addiction in our community.
Re: For a cocaine addict, safe sites mean safer streets
When writer Jack Knox talking about addicts supporting themselves through "petty crime", I truly hope he is not referring to the kind of armed robbery that our business suffered at the hands of a pair of local heroin junkies. I hope he isn't being casual about break and entering crimes like the one our store suffered that caused several thousand dollars worth of damage, again by heroin addicts who were known to police. I hope that Alan Lowe and the rest of city council does not think that any of the other crimes that occur on an almost daily basis against the businesspeople of this community are 'petty'. I hope that he doesn't expect someone who comes home to find their home violated by a burglary to think that it's just a petty little thing. They are crimes, nothing petty about them.
February 01, 2004
January 27, 2004
December 09, 2003
November 29, 2003
November 28, 2003
November 26, 2003
November 17, 2003
October 22, 2003
October 21, 2003
October 16, 2003
October 13, 2003
October 12, 2003
October 10, 2003
October 09, 2003
I am really surprised they were able to do this to their label partners. It hoses the small labels that people were able to discover when their risk for trying them out was zero. Like many of the people on the site, I would go a few months downloading very little, then go on two or three day blitzes of exploring.
eMusic gave me a similar feeling to that given by old-school Napster�, insofar as it made music a more central part of my life again. I was able to hear new things, and on Napster, I'd quite often explore people's collections and see if there was something that I hadn't heard before.
Oh well, if the music industry doesn't want my money, so be it.
October 07, 2003
October 06, 2003
October 05, 2003
October 04, 2003
Seems like a kind of neat way of meeting people. This kind of thing is really what the internet is supposed to be about.
October 03, 2003
October 01, 2003
August 25, 2003
Things on the site should look a little different today. I'm going to switch to a little more easy to look at style.
On a different note, I shot Trap over the weekend. A heck of a lot of fun. The recoil on the 12 guage I was shooting was nowhere near what I expected.
I did finish the government mandated course, and passed, so I am now awaiting the governments decision.
August 12, 2003
Definitely enjoying the shooting thing. I'll finish the government mandated gun safety course tomorrow night, which means that barring unforeseen circumstances, I'll be all licensed up in a couple of months. I'll be doing a PPC course over this weekend, learning a bit more about gun safety and use. Should be a lot of fun.
August 2, 2003
Man, it's been a while since I updated this page. I got motivated by the recent comments by the Shrub, and the Pope concerning the rights of gays to have their long term relationships legally equivalent to that of heteros. My first reaction to the Pope's dumbass comments was to realize that I could never again vote for a Catholic in good conscience. Either the person running for office follows their faith, in which case I can't vote for them, or they are selectively following bits of their faith, and I won't vote for somebody who won't is that indecisive about their faith and/or morality. The Shrub's comments were about to be expected. Idiotic, and most probably designed to sidetrack people from the fact that he lied to the people of the United States of America about the reasons for going to war, and the fact that the American economy has gone into a tailspin now that they have a president trying to run the country rather than trying to get a little nookie.
In other news, my coworker David took us out to the gun range recently which resparked my interest in target shooting. As a result, I arranged for a group of us to take the Canadian Firearms Safety Course to get all licensed up. It's a real fun activity, kind of like a loud version of darts.
Locally, on a more personal issue, we've been following Citizen Canine's efforts to ensure that more parks are designated as off leash areas. City Hall's report can be found on the citys website under Commitee of the Whole Minutes. Councillor Denise Savoie's take : Savoie says she likes the adopt-a-park idea because it's not just about sharing space, but also about the quality of that space. While children are not disease vectors for dogs, "dogs are disease vectors for children," according to Savoie.Best quote of the meeting again goes to Savoie : "I think dogs are good, but dog shit--not good,"
Other than that, my life has been the usual mix of crazy work hours, and more crazy work hours. We briefly hired a fellow to try and help me out, but he turned out to be an idiot, so we let him go. Hopefully we'll find somebody who customers actually like, and has enough brains to be able to help the customers figure out what they like.
February 28, 2003
On the bright side, they probably won't deport me to Northern Ireland when I go to Austin. I'm white after all.
February 27, 2003
Tried to set things up to use Blogger, but apparently Shaw won't allow ftp connections from outside their network. Now that's just pooey!
One month until I head off to Austin, TX for the AGS Conclave. I'm getting pretty excited about it. There's a lot of good courses. I'm kind of dissapointed that Lara isn't joining me. Last year was fun, and I'm not sure it'll be as fun by myself.
On a more global topic, I'm betting money now. The American invasion of Iraq will have started by March 15th. It's a foregone conclusion at this point that the war will start. They need this war for too many reasons. I honestly don't think it can be stopped. It's tragic.
February 20, 2003
Started work on my GAGTL course again. I'm getting psyched because I'm off on my first solo holiday in years. I'm off to Austin, Texas for the annual American Gem Society conclave. I want to be a Registered Jeweller by the time I go to the one in 2004. Should be fun.
Things have actually been pretty quiet around here, relatively speaking, so we've been focussing on our personal lives to a certain extent. Starting at the beginning of the year, I've started to diet. I realized that I had reached 245 pounds. Lara has been following the Atkins diet. As a vegetarian, that diet is pretty much impossible, but I've modified it a little but for myself. I've discovered that by cutting out carbohydrates and substituting a lot more soy and other bean proteins. I've also been eating a lot of Tofu dogs and veggie mushroom burgers, but the really cool thing is that I've been eating a lot more vegetables instead of huge bowls of pasta. Other little things I've changed in my diet are changing from sugar in my coffee to honey, no more sugary snacks, and using this weird Atkins chocolate syrup for my Mochas. I've now dropped twenty pounds, and yesterday I did something even more radical; I've joined a gym! I'll keep you updated.
I won't bore you too much about my current projects, but let's just say that at the moment, I'm splitting my time with three major fights. The first is a copyright case with a local jeweller who stole one of our designs, and then had the temerity to advertise it in one of the magazines we advertise in. THe second is the ongoing battle with the federal government over the punitive excise tax on jewellery in Canada. And last, but certainly not least, A fight with Canada Post over their employees STEALING from not just us, but the jewellery industry generally. Yes, some Canada Post employees are THEIVES!!!! Am I pissed off? Yes!.
January 24, 2003
Finally have some time to put something up here. There should be some new bookmarks up, but I'm not sure how many I lost when my iBook died AGAIN!
So in the last month we've been subjected to some of the best warmongering I've seen in my life. Shrub et al have been banging the drum to thump Iraq, and I honestly don't see it being avoided. Kind of makes me sick.
Speaking of being sick, The Supremes ruled against Eldred in the case I ranted about last year. I can's say that I'm surprised, but I am dissapointed. The closing of the commons is now taking place in the intellectual sphere.
Continuing this stream of consciousness, we've been redecorating our home. We did the living room over christmas, and now we're most of the way through the kitchen. I want the next thing to be our bedroom, but Lara wants to do the bathroom first. We'll see who wins that bet.
I'm going to try and keep this up a bit better this year, as I've realized how useful it is for me to look back at the archives. Ta Ta for now.