[May 18, 2002]
Went to the IMAX with Kelly, and saw the Human Body and Wild California. Wild California is definitely the best IMAX showing right now. Only have to wait until July for a new one or two :-(
May 20, 2002
My latest weekend rant, this time about guns [when is a newspaper gonna notice me and snap me up for their editorial section? ;-)]
A Canadian successfully registered a Black and Decker "heat gun", to protest the current gun registration system. This shows that it simply doesn't work yet. This doesn't mean that people should be allowed to walk out of stores with guns that cannot be tracked, only that the current system needs to be redesigned. Why would anyone want a dangerous item to slip into the general public's possession without trying to keep a record of the item?
In our modern society we can create fantastic, powerful, and potentially destructive items. It is both the blessing and curse of industrialization. People have access to things they could not create on their own, and it is largely up to the individual to not abuse society's trust. Drunk drivers, gun-armed robbers, Denial of Service Hackers, and terrorists with tons of fertilizer and dynamite all abuse society's trust, and that is why we need to do things like register cars, drugs, and guns. Unfortunately the odds seem likely that because of the impersonal nature of today's world, someone will let someone else whom they have no choice but to trust since they know no better, buy a ton of fertilizer. The world will be short an apartment building because our communities are too large to track individuals who become anti-social. The outcasts of society used to have no companionship or power, but now there are so many outcasts that they can collapse our largest structures from the help of our impersonal society and industrial greed.
For many years now we will be cleaning up after terrorists until we see that the only way to stop the anti-social behaviour is to improve communities. Gun abuse is only a symptom of a bigger problem for the entire world.
We don't need to arm a greater portion of the world, we need to welcome a greater portion of the world into our arms. [I love it when I come up with one of those...]
A cool holiday Victoria Day has driven me to stay inside and devote many hours to computer related relaxation. The queen in question is shown here in a picture I took just last week.
May 23, 2002
It was a nice warm day today. So warm here, yet so cold at home. Snow was on the platter for Saskatchewan.
Here is my WESTJET page with pictures from my flight home a few weeks ago.
May 27, 2002
I went to Lansdowne Park on Saturday and will show you the best pictures:
At home tonight eating left over stew and reading the web. Ah, the life.
June 6, 2002
I just noticed it has been ages since I've added to this page, or even posted the latest copy. I played in a pool tournament yesterday, and I finished in the Semifinal with my partner. Only a missed shot on the 4 ball, and the 8 was mine instead of the opponent's who went on to win the tournament. There were 24 teams to start, so 3rd or 4th isn't bad ;-)
Had a ton of doughnuts today, so I really should do some exercise this evening. That, and go to bed earlier than last night. Better start on supper. I'll put up the pictures of the pool tourney when I get them developed.
June 16, 2002
I just got back from the Live from Rideau Hall concert. WOW! I had great fun despite the drizzling rain.
Look at Stompin' Tom in action. Email me for some video.
John the world famous pianist.
June 22, 2002
Another hazy [smoggy] day. Makes me want to break out the gas mask. Good thing I don't have breathing troubles, because this non-airconditioned house of mine would be a death trap.
[June 28, 2002]
The Riders beat the Renegades 30 - 27 in Overtime. We tied the game with a field goal, with no seconds left on the clock. I took a few pictures of the Snowbirds flying over at the start of the game, and skydivers at half-time.
The pride of CFB Moose Jaw: The Snowbirds!
As you can see, It was a hot and sweaty night for football.
July 1, 2002 [Canada Day]
Yikes it was hot out. I got downtown at 9:30 and it was already in the high 20s and climbing. The poor guards were wishing they could change their hats. The musical ride was next up. There was a short lady behind me, so I let her stand in front. The lady's friend thanked me for her, as the short lady was from Europe and hadn't been in Canada before, much less seen the musical ride.
I managed to meet Kelly at the Rideau Center, as I planned on a hastily written note I left for him as I dashed out the door in the morning. Considering how many people were walking about, it is amazing I managed to see him. We went to the "Mint tent" in the park and I exchanged some old quarters for special edition 2002 ones. We met a nice person from New Zealand while standing in the long, snaking line.
I headed home for supper, and then went back to the Hill to see the main concert event with the Arrogant Worms and Usher. The concert was fantastic. At the end they had the fireworks, and since I was so close the the center block of Parliament, I almost couldn't see the fireworks! Apparently Major Hill's park is a better view point, but then I would have missed the main concert. The Hill was packed, and it took many minutes to file down Wellington St. to the Chateau Laurier where I managed to rejoin the group I was separated from when leaving the Hill. There were literally tens of thousands of people flowing one way past the War Memorial. Kelly and I managed to find two others who were going to the same part of the city, so after 10 minutes we found a cab and headed home. A great full day.
July 3, 2002
I just saw "Men in Black II". It is a great movie, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who has seen the first one. If you haven't seen the first, you won't get as much out of it, as if you had.
It is a big day in the States tomorrow. I wish them the best, and safe and happy celebrations.
[July 5, 2002]
I got up at 4:00am and started my big holiday to New York City. During the cab ride to the tour bus, Kelly and I happened to convince the driver that the tour was a cheap and easy way to see NYC. The bus ride was long and mostly uneventful. I ate lunch at Arbys and had a revelation. There is no "Canadian" sandwich at an Arbys in the States ;-)
We drove through Syracuse, as a snapped some of my first pictures of the trip. The landscape was very tree covered, and mountainous.
The first afternoon I saw the Trump Towers, Disney Store, Tiffany's [didn't buy anything there though], St. Patrick's Cathedral, and Grand Central Station. I also saw the Chrysler Building, and Empire State Building from many blocks away.
This picture was very tough to take on a moving bus, sitting on the wrong side away from the window facing this view.
This is from the Hotel's pool courtyard on the 3rd floor. The Empire State Building is clearly seen in blue white and red lights.
[July 6, 2002]
Saturday started early at 8:00, when we got in the bus and started our full day in NYC :-) We got a guided tour from a New York tour guide that works for the city. We saw Strawberry Fields where John Lennon was killed, and drove past the Apollo Theatre in Harlem. We drove past Grant's Tomb, and FAO Shwartz where I was looking through for good toys the day before. There were Simpson's figures that looked cool, but I decided against buying any.
Saw SOHO which means South of Houston Street [Houston is pronounced "Howstun"]. The Bull statue at Wall Street, and a bear statue given to New York by Berlin, but many see it as bad luck to the economy. I think the current President has more to do with that though ;-)
Then we passed the Court houses used on Law and Order, and ended our morning at Ground Zero. The cemetery beside the chapel that survived was covered with ash, and there were hundreds of flowers, postcards, and little flags and pictures on the gates of the church. The bus parked and the people who felt comfortable seeing the pit were allowed to walk past in a controlled line on the south side between the black shrouded building and the pit. The repairs to the dome topped buildings was wrapping up, and the top of another building had scaffolding on it still. There were still bulldozers and jackhammers working in the pit, which was large, but not as large as I was expecting. I looked up and tried to imagine where the tops of the towers would have been. The buildings still standing around the pit gave me a pretty good idea, and those buildings must have been so tall that you'd have to lay your head right back to see the very top when you were standing so close.
We went to Pier 17 next, which is close to the Brooklyn Bridge, and I ate Pizza and a Philly Steak sandwich before heading over to see the Titanic memorial lighthouse. There was a store in the Pier 17 building that I saw advertised on TV just the night before on Letterman. I can't think of the name right now...
A smoky view of NYC. The Quebec fires made viewing tough.
Lower Manhattan where the Twin Towers would have been.
This is Lower Manhattan from the ferry to Liberty Island.
Liberty is on my side ;-)
July 15, 2002
Did some more work on the web page, but nothing too significant. Still have to sort through hundreds of photos for the best ones.
An impromptu eBay essay:
America is Great by John Computer_Saskboy of eBay
The United States is indisputably one of the greatest countries in the history of the world. Despite being formed on racist, colonial motivations, it has become one of the most tolerant and productive nations in the modern world. When the leader of the US speaks, the world listens. When Hollywood produces a new movie, the world listens, laughs, or cries. When a new technology is created, you can bet it had at least a little help from the US. For better or worse the US sets global policy, enforces global policy, and is global policy. Other nations have been poised to take power from the US for more than two centuries, but they have all failed to date.
The US has survived countless internal struggles including a revolution, and a civil war. They may have been one of the last of the G8 countries to abolish slavery on its home soil, but they did do it. They may not have abolished the death penalty, but they treat their other prisoners fairly. Without the USA, the world would likely have large parts controlled by extremist groups on both the left and right wings. Without the USA the world would be a mess!
Thank you Americans for working to make the world a safe place to live for all human beings. Thank you for working toward making every citizen of the world to have a fair chance at having food on the table. Thank you for TVs, Moon Rocks, Marylin Monroe, Ted Williams, The White House, New York City, Opheim Montana, Microsoft, and eBay.com. The world doesn't always agree with you, but you keep doing your US "thang" and I think everything will work out. You Rock America!
July 20, 2002
Did more work on the Website and uploaded the latest additions. Last weekend I saw The Great North, and India Kingdom of the Tiger. North is a much better movie.
July 22, 2002
Almost installed Linux today. I have the CD ready, I just need to make the boot floppy, and tomorrow I can begin experimenting. It is very hot today, and at 9:00 it was still 26C.
July 28, 2002
I returned from Toronto, and World Youth Day 2002. It was hot, I got sick, and I left the crowd on Saturday. I went to the CN Tower. So many details, so little free time to type them.
After walking 8km to Downsview airport from Finch subway station [not a recommended route] I discovered I was only 500meters from the stage. Then the nearest water source was about a 20 minute walk away, and the lines for the nearest washrooms about a 10 minute wait. The "ice cold" water closer to the people was a mere $2 per half litre. Add in some 35C heat in muggy Toronto, on an airport tarmac where there are naturally no trees, and you'll understand why the shadow PM was praying for some shade. This pilgrim could take no more than 7 hours in that refugee camp of a half a million people, before I started to suffer from heat exhaustion. Drinking water was doing no good, so I had to leave before His Holiness arrived. Luckly as I was stumbling away from the crowd to the subway station, I saw the Pope land by helicopter, escorted by 4 other choppers and various police and millitary aircraft. Then I saw him drive into the crowd in his Popemobile. So I saw him after all, despite leaving early. And I recovered enough to enjoy the CN Tower later that evening.
I fared better than many in the crowd. Those who stayed overnight were drenched by heavy rain and then strong winds dried them out. Also I passed by a group that remarked to another person that "...Father suffered a massive heart attack and died today." I found it sad and ironic that someone would come to see the Pope, and end up visiting one level higher...
Kelly and I went to Union station, and while on the subway we had the misfortune of sitting in a car with an extremely verbally abusive woman, who must have been intoxicated or off her medication. She started picking fights with anyone in her eyesight, and I thought I might have to use the emergency bar in the car to summon the authorities. I discreetly recorded her tirade with my microphone in my camera, in case the police would need it as evidence. Luckly she got off the train shortly, and didn't become physically violent, although I think she wanted others to try.
We walked to the CN Tower, had supper, and I took a ton of pictures both in daylight, and after dark.
We returned to my Grandma's, and had a better night's sleep than anyone out at the airport. The rain fell hard. I was inside. Lucky, me I didn't stick around. You can't pay for a better seat than the one I had for the service, in my Grandma's living room. The train ride home was fun because we ended up sitting next to a physics professor from Ryserson, and we had great conversations about just about anything under the sun.
July 29, 2002
Updated my web page, and baked at home. I was the thing baking, since it was 30 degrees.
July 30, 2002
my eBay rant of the day in reply to Justmypostingname: "Napster is a file-sharing program, specifically aimed at allowing users to share their music and software files, free of charge, by linking and searching each others computers through the Napster server."
That is true, and that is why Napster was killed. However if music labels had an iota of foresight, then would have nurtured Napster, and came to an agreement to convert it to a pay per use system, WHILE it still had users. I have dozens of CDs, but simple economics says that when the supply is priced too high, then the black/grey market will flourish. I only buy CDs if they are GREAT, or if they are under $10. If the CD prices were lowered to satisfy the current demand, then Napster would have never seen the millions of users it had. Now people just go to gnutella, and there is no way to even slow it down other than slapping cheaters' wrists even harder. There are millions of crazy people that risk criminal records by doing really pointless stupid things like smoking pot, so I don't think most people are going to think twice about listening to free music, especially when it is harder to tell the difference between pirated music and the real deal, than cigarettes and pot!
"The majority of traffic through Napster was geared towards
illegal music and software sharing. It was like a drug house. Of course,
"the house isn't responsible for what the people do inside" excuse won't
fly. In the real world, the owner of the drug house ends up losing the
Here you compare pirated music to drugs, so I think my comparison earlier is justified. Also the music companies could have "legalized" Napster, by converting it to pay-per-use, or pay-per-month, or pay-per-song, and distributing the royalties to "registered Napster Artists". Only artists that belong to the music companys in Napster, will get their peice of the pie. This stops small time artists from taking over the show which is a bonus for the music companies. No more drug house; Napster becomes another store front with a few shoplifters.
Problem solved. I rest my case.
[August 2, 2002]
Got on the Greyhound, and went to North Bay where I met my family so they could drive me to Pine Lake.
Had a very nice holiday, and learned how to kyyak. On the way
back, I stayed at Near North Inn ouside of Burks Falls, ON. It had
a really neat river near by with a swimming hole by a bridge.
August 9, 2002
I went to the Renegades game last night against Montreal.
August 10, 2002
More web page updating, and room cleaning today. First weekend with nothing to do, in a long time. Almost nice to be doing just nothing important.
Skip over to August 18th, 2002