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February 19, 2002
    This web format is a bit of an experiment. I may change the interface in my editor so that I can write more effectively. [update Mar. 18: experiment failed; I'm going to put my text in another way, since much of one of my stories was half deleted.] Ah, don't go! I'll keep the tech blab at a minimum from now on... Today was a slow TV day, so I did some exercise, laundry, and updated my web site for the first time in weeks. I got my DSL installed yesterday, so I can finally video conference with my family, friends, and girlfriend. Too bad I'm going to Toronto on the weekend and won't get to test it out ;-)

March 4, 2002
    I spent last weekend in Toronto. I had an awesome time. I went to my Grandma's, and the next day after breakfast I watched some Olympics. Then we went out to lunch at the Mandarin restaurant. It was great, and I tried egg plant in sheshwan sauce which was good too. I headed to the CN Tower next, and took a dozen pictures from there. I watched the Belarus / Canada hockey game from the Horizon cafe overlooking Lake Ontario. The orange juice was the only thing in my price range at $2.50. I had just had an all you can eat meal, so an $8.00 sundae just didn't appeal to me. Then I walked over to the Eaton centre, found a Japan Camera and had my photos developed. I was looking at the digital cameras, and I think I'll have to bump up my price range on that upcoming purchase.

My Toronto:
My CN-N? Tower!!!  Those silly Americans, always buying things up.
My CN-N? Tower!!!  Those silly Americans, always buying things up.
And, no, I was not trying to make the Tower pictures go together!  Besides, it looks funnier this way.
No larger versions, sorry.
See city, hall to the left?Look at the middle of the picture and you see the CN-Tower!

    The next day I went to the Toronto Rock game at the Air Canada Center [See tiny pictures 8, 9, and 23a for an outside view.  Another Inside view is here]. The Rock beat the Calgary lacrosse team in overtime. I went back to Richmond Hill with Ben and saw the folks there, and Dad. On Sunday I returned to Ottawa on the Via, listening to the Mens' final hockey game and announced Sakic's final goal that sealed Canada's victory. On Tuesday I went to Montreal and saw the Sens beat the Habs 5 - 2. [One of my only memories of my trip to Montreal when I was 5, was seeing plenty of freeway over-passes.  Now I know why.]  It was great too, but it rained all evening, and we had to switch busses before we returned home at 1:00am. OCTranspo shuts down at 12:00 pretty much, so I walked home. It wasn't raining then, at least.

Yeah, it is me!

My Molsen Center seat: My Molson Center Seat. Don't let your nose bleed.
Only $40 for this seat, and the trip to Montreal and back!  I was in two NHL arenas in the span of 4 days.

March 4, 2002
    Steve came over and we went swimming again. It was the first time swimming in a week, so I have to get back in my groove, and swim every day of this remaining week. [update March 18: I did not swim every day, shame on me.]
On Saturday I went to Kanata just for something to do. It had an OK mall, and I got my hockey pictures developed for a good price at "Your Independent Grocer" of which, Superstore is a clone of.  It took some time to get out there, but I was in no hurry to go anywhere.  I made it back into downtown Ottawa just after 5:30, and the sun was beginning to go down.  I was eager to break in my new roll of film, so I got off the bus just a few blocks down from Wellington and Parliament.  I took some pictures of the Center block, and the Flame.  I was just walking East to the Rideau Center mall, when I turned at the gate of Parliament Hill for another picture.  Some other tourists darted across my shot, saying sorry as they passed, even though they could have ducked.  I didn't take that spoiled picture luckily.
    Then as I was lining up the shot in the increasing dark, this ragged man approached me and asked me if I had a cigarette, by motioning to his lips with 'V' shaped fingers.  I told him I didn't smoke, but he lingered for a minute, and told me he was, "Going to see the big guy", as he pointed shakily toward the Peace tower.  I told him, "That's nice" and proceeded to ignore him, and hoped he would go away without assaulting me verbally or otherwise.  He asked me again with another cigarette gesture that he still wanted his free smoke.  I told him once again, I had none to give him.  He sort of snorted in reply and quickly staggered over to the Flame, where there were more people to bother.  I lined up my shot again, and at the last second before taking it, I turned on my flash, and took a picture of the man staggering over to the flame.  I figured I should have a photo that juxtaposes the poorest of society with a symbol of our rich democracy. Unfortunately, the photo turned out rather dark, but you can just make the lines out, and the Flame shows up very well.
    Well I proceeded to the mall, had supper, and went to hop on my bus.  I missed it by tiny minutes, so I had to wait.  The smoke on the street was unpleasant, so I ducked into the seedy McDonalds that tried to poison me with old lettuce a few weeks earlier.  I was greeted by a "No Loitering" sign, but I ignored it and sat down anyway.  There was this odd person coming in and out of the restaurant, asking/demanding her/his? friends to sell [it] a cigarette.  This partly prompted me to jump on the next bus that drove by even if it wasn't a direct route home.  I ended up on the bus, happily trying to figure out if I would make the Billing Bridge station before my bus left for home.  No matter how hard I hoped, it looked like I would miss it by at least 5 minutes.  I devised a plan to hop off before the station, and maybe save a few minutes in the wrong direction, to catch the 111 as it sped by.  I aborted my plan when I found the bus I was on went right to Carleton University.  I heard my roommates had walked from there, so I got off.
    I saw the OTrain, and went to hop on, but missed it by 30 seconds.  I began to walk home.  It was a lot farther than it looked.  It wasn't a cold walk, so I didn't really mind.  I got to the next bus route home after 15 minutes of walking, and after 10 minutes of waiting at the stop I was home in 2 minutes from a bus that passed my way finally.  End of evening.  A typical Saturday in Ottawa for me. I don't always miss so many busses though.

March 18, 2002
    Another Monday, and I didn't go swimming on this one.  Last Monday I went to a pool downtown with Steve and Dave, as mine was closed.  Just this past weekend, I went to Hull, and the Canadian Museum of Civilization.  I saw an IMAX movie, and the rest of the museum.  I took a picture of Parliament from the North, across the river.Neat, huh?
The Embassy of the United States of America.  I don't feel safe walking anywhere near this building.
The US Embassy is visible at the edge [Actually it was Canada National Headquarters; seen in this picture right of centre]. My roommate Kris, said he is surprised the US didn't sniper me for the photo.  He's seen a German tourist have his film confiscated for taking a picture as he passed the Embassy across the street.  Pretty creepy if you ask me, for the US guard to assault a foreigner in Canada.  No wonder the world hates paranoid Americans [I guess Canada would be paranoid too, if everyone was out to get us].
    Anyway, it snowed here today, and yesterday it was almost all melted.  Easy come, easy "snow".

Before1 Day after.

March 19, 2002
    Steve reminded me that I need to register for classes in the Fall.  I hope I'm not too late.  WIZURD, the system for checking class times, is down.  So I couldn't even do my homework tonight.  I guess I'll have to try tomorrow, and hope they still let me register before the open-registration on April 10th.  This long distance coop student thing, can suck.

March 21, 2002
    It is the Spring we deserve.  After a wimpy Winter, we are destined for a gloomy blizzard ridden Spring.  The snow has hardly stopped, and the wind is whipping right now.  It was kind of nice in the morning, but at lunch it started to get nasty outside.
    I think I'm registered for classes now.  As usual it was a pain, with one class I want/need conflicting with another.  As it is I have 3 finals in 27 hours, so I may ask later to have a final deferred to earlier in the week.
    Off to make supper.  Macaroni and Cheese with hamburger, and a salad, ought to be good for tonight.  I haven't had that in at least a couple weeks.  It makes me wonder what I've been eating all this time.  I can remember a pizza, macaroni and cheese, stew, and a big sandwich, but there has to be more.  Oh well, I'm not starving, nor riddled with scurvy, so I must be doing this whole cooking thing right.

March 22, 2002
    Went swimming, shopping, and updated the website.  There was a preview for the new Red Green movie on tonight.

March 26, 2002
    I did some laundry, and dusting tonight.  I got the scanner to start working at work, so expect to see some new pictures here soon.  There are ones from the Rock game, and around Ottawa to show.  I'm picking up my photos tomorrow on my way to the airport.  Only a half work day, and then the looooong weekend begins. 
    The snow started in full force today, turning the roads and driver's minds to slush.  I waited 30 minutes for any two of various busses that are supposed to come by every 20 -30 minutes. I went back into work to use the washroom (Mental note: go to the washroom before trying to wait for a bus that may never come.), and when I came out the bus I was waiting for arrived.  Then it took 5 minutes to go two blocks.  I asked to be let out at the next intersection.  I beat the bus down the bumper-to-bumper road, and I was walking/running through 1 inch of snow.  I didn't need to go swimming, since I had my 10 minutes of hard exercise.  I did some tinkering with the software on my computer, until it finally stopped crashing, and I could write this.  Now I'm going to sleep at a decent time again.  This will be 3 days in a row that I didn't stay up too late.  I may make a habit of it [update: didn't make a habit, but will try again starting tonight].
    On the past weekend I went to the IMAX in Hull.  I saw the Old Man and the Sea, Grand Canyon (too short), and Shackelton's Antarctic Adventure (great movie).  I enjoyed all of them, and will try to see more IMAX movies with my $35 unlimited pass.  I also played pool with Dave after going to the museum. I watched The Mask on Monday.

April 1, 2002
    On Thursday I ate at Kris and Tiffany's.  Nick and Tiana were there too, and my little cousins.  On Friday I went to the Royal Canadian Mint, and bought a New York quarter, and 2002 Canadian Uncirculated Set.  I had my picture taken in front of a tank outside the War Museum.  I went out for supper again and met some nice people, had an awesome meal, and saw some cool new technology.  On Saturday I went to the airport and then went to the museum in Hull to see some IMAX movies.  I saw The 1st Emperor of China again, and the Legend of Loch Lomond.  I headed back home, reading my new book, "Big Trouble" by Dave Barry.  It is really good, and I hope the movie is as good.
    On Sunday I went to the IMAX theater again, via the 86 bus which I haven't tried before.  It was late by 2 minutes so I missed the 8 as it went to Hull. I hopped on the 97, and hoofed it from the Rideau mall across the Alexandria Bridge to the Museum.  I got there just in time, and even got a decent seat despite being the last through the door.  Wild California is almost as good, or better than Shackelton's Adventure.  I'll definitely be seeing it again in the next 3 months.
    It's now raining, and I need to eat brunch, so that is all.

April 2, 2002
    First day back to work in nearly 6 days.  The email came flying in fast and furious today, for my slow to wake brain.  I'm downloading a new version of Linux onto my computer, and after I copy it to CD, I'm going to try to install it.  I've been planning to do this for nearly a year, so it is about time I got to it [The downloads kept getting corrupted, so I'm postponing Linux :-(].  I also fixed up the "wooden"  book shelf I pick up on Sunday.  It is amazing what people throw away when they move.  Someone else down the street threw out a bed frame, and bed side cabinets.  Someone else salvaged the nice cabinets before I arrived home from my day at the movies. 
    I am thinking about tackling the VCR of Denis's that I'm trying to fix, but I want to add my new pictures to this web page.  That is more fun, and likely to be more successful.

April 3, 2002
    I just finished playing Unreal with Robert, who is stuck back in frigid Regina.  I plan on TV tonight, and maybe even going to the pool.
    Well, no pool, but I did listen to new music most of the evening.  I found the other metal beater for the mixer, but I have to fix the mixer now.  I hope the switch is just dirty.

April 4, 2002

A Racist Canada?
The following is suitable for children:
It is not meant to infuriate, only to prod people into thinking about Canada in a different way.  You are welcome to retort with your opinion, since the following is just what I think.  It may even be correct. [Note: On the advice of some friends, I've decided to modify the essay to better protect the identities of the people I know who encouraged me to write this.]
    I just had two aggravating conversations today with people who thought that Canadian's should stop supporting Native people.  I was stunned, and said I knew several employed Native people, and fewer freeloaders. The response was, there still were too many drinking and not contributing to society.  I said Canadian society doesn't provide adequate opportunities to give Native people equal chance at landing a high paying job. I also thought, and later said that the racist or at the least, VERY ignorant attitudes about Native people at offices in Canada, does not increase Native participation in the work force.
    I've heard it suggested that Indians should have been assimilated into mainstream society, because the squalor and drunken lifestyle the majority of them live in up north is so pitiable. After my jaw recovered from hitting the floor, I tried to find a polite way to point out that they were being a bit racist. How best does one point out that somebody is being racist?  Is it better to leave the issue and bury it?  Instead I hinted that I was offended by the comment and that I thought it was an inappropriate attitude.  I subsequently explained that believing anothers' society is fit only for assimilation, is essentially the DEFINITION of racism. It is not quite as bad as "kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out" racism, but it is the type that eventually leads to the worse form of it, or to the state Canada is in now.
    How can otherwise intelligent, employed, and capable people have so little positive experience with Native people that they resort to the battle cry of the uninformed?  "Lower taxes for all Canadians! But Higher Taxes for Indians! That is true equity, because there is an imbalance today."  I don't believe in breaking Treaties, and kicking people, or societies when they are down.  North Americans have the Native people's land in exchange for crappy, unsustainable reseverations, and no taxes.  We still have their land, so why do we now ask for tax money too? Are we considering returning the majority of the land to the many different Native societies?  Are we the ones who will live on reservations, and send our children to Native run schools that teach traditional Indian values and religion? No? That is the kind of reasoning Native people have been subjected to, so why isn't it good enough for our children?
    Someone I know said the cost of the land we purchased has already been re-paid.  I say that is B.S.!  You know why?  How can the majority of the land in Canada, possibly be so worthless that its entire economical value could be repaid to a few million Natives in just a little over one hundred years?  Simply put, it can not.  If about 30 million Canadians can still thrive on the land the white majority has colonized, and will continue to support us for decades to come, then how could that value of the land possibly be "paid back" in a measly 150 years?
    No doubt there are serious problems on some reserves.  Some have corrupt or simply greedy leaders, as do governments in Ottawa, and Regina.  Some have crumbling schools, as many public and church schools in Toronto are.  Some have horrendous living conditions that have high disease rates, as do slum districts in any Canadian city.  Some reserves have problems with alcoholism, and other substances, as do every city in Canada.  Do you notice a pattern here?  Every major fault that people like to point out about the state of Native communities, can be found in multicultural cities and tiny towns across North America.
    Some argue that a higher percentage of Indians are alcoholics than non-Natives.  I'm not sure I believe this statistic, but even if it is true wouldn't you think there is a correlation between poverty and alcoholism?  Perhaps the correlation exists that the poorer someone is the more likely they will become an alcoholic?  That of course assumes that genetics plays a minimal role in alcoholism.  Even if there is a directionality problem in this correlation then my idea may still hold true [Fancy statistics-talk I learned in Psychology last year].  It should be obvious by now in the essay that I'm rejecting genetics over society's forces.  In the "nature/nurture" debate, I suppose I fall in the range of "nurture" in this essay.  It wouldn't work any other way, since racism is based on the "nature" side where a person or race is inferior because no amount of "nurture" can "repair" what is wrong with the inferior nature of the person/race.
    Essentially the problems experienced are not because Native people as a whole are flawed, but rather that Native people have been made poor by a racist Canada.  This predominant attitude that Native people don't pull their own weight, has meant that capitalism has not favoured Indians.  Capitalism is designed to support those who either work hard, or are perceived to be working hard.  It rarely favours those who either don't work, don't fit the definition of working, or are perceived not to be working.  Is a stay-at-home Mom a working person?  Capitalism says "No", by paying less of society's resources to that Mom than it does to some jerk, single, ball player [The strange sports economy will appear here at some point, just not tonight].
    Poor Canadians are what society needs to eliminate, in order to have a happy "tax balanced" society [My meaning of "eliminate" does not imply the Hitler kind of "eliminate" ;-)].  Just think of how nice it would be to walk down to the Parliament buildings to look at symbols of our great democracy, and not be harassed for money and cigarettes by people too poor to afford a safe place to sleep.  Poverty breeds poverty, so if we hope for Native people to largely support the mainstream way of North American life by paying our taxes and having a two-car garage on every home, then maybe we should start by letting them find their own way to prosperity.  Forcing new poorly thought out assimilation plans onto them is how we ended up in the mess we are in now.  We should ask what Native people want, then actually listen to their solutions, and finally work to implement them.  Quite frankly it will not make things any worse.
    I enjoyed writing this, as I think it is fairly solid reasoning.  Who'd have thought that writing an essay could almost be fun?  I think it is better we talk about these issues to pick out the racist slivers in the skin of society, than let them sit and get infected.

    Well the essay is done, but I'm sure I'll come back to add to it later.  Now I'm off to watch CSI.

April 5, 2002
    Well I just finished major picture revisions to the site.  Now there are a lot more, and they look better.  CSI last night was really neat.  It was scary, with people crawling around in ceilings and everything.
    I better make supper soon, before I start to starve.

Like my Coolio hair?  What strange pictures I take when running out the film...

April 8, 2002
    I signed up on eBay the other day.  Now I'm shopping around, and seeing what I could sell at a fair price.  I have a couple baseball cards worth about $10, so maybe I'll try to sell those.  Maybe I'll be funny, and try to sell an old leather shoe, or bag of licorice.  I've heard funny stories about people buying anything on eBay (...or maybe it was about people selling anything on eBay???).
    Off to go swimming.  It has been way too long, and with Steve not going anymore it leaves me with less motivation.
    I finished swimming, and I need to go back every day this week.  I was so tired after.

April 9, 2002
    I went to Boston Pizza with Denis.  We were going to go see a movie in Kanata, but the service was too slow, and we were too late.  The next batch of movies didn't start until 9:00 so we didn't wait.  I saw the outside of the Corel center at least.  Man! It is way out in the middle of no-where in Kanata.
    I'm debating on whether or not to cut my hair now.  I was told I'd look like a nerd if I did, but I'm not sure.  I look like a geek now, so what is the big deal?  Why do women insist on me having long hair.  They don't realize how nice it is to get out of the shower, forget to brush your hair, and it still looks "styled" in 10 minutes when it dries.  My DSL modem is fritzing on me.  It balked last night, but now it is fine.  I hope there is nothing permanently wrong with my phone line.
    It was pretty warm, but rainy all day.  Maybe it will be nicer tomorrow.

April 10, 2002
    Well I went another day without swimming.  I did walk around the park at Hog's Back Falls though.  It is pretty neat, and I didn't even realize how wide they were until today.  It was so warm out that I walked home from work.  I missed my bus by mere seconds.
    I think I'll split this page into two soon.  I'm going to add a shortcut to here, at the top of the page for now.

April 15, 2002
    I headed back to the IMAX this past weekend, and saw Wild California again. I was going to see the Human Body, but it wasn't on again for several hours.
    I'm still putting off my haircut.  Now I think I will go do it...

Skip to April 19, 2002

This is the view from Hull (Gata'thingysomething' can't spell it... is the new name.)  Museum of Civilization is above.
The Supreme Court is above, in the center.  I know some people who would love $100,000 to state a case there.See the 'War' and 'Peace' in this 'Lock'ed picture?Nana, My GrandmaMy pool
The War Memorial and the Parliament buildings in the background.  This is looking north-west.