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August 18, 2002
    I went to Montreal yesterday.  I went with some other people who wanted to see the city, and an Expos game too.  We got to Montreal just at 11:00am, and found a place to park near the Peel Pub where we spent some of the afternoon before and evening after the ball game.  The Expos put on a pretty good show, and even had a home run in the bottom of the ninth, but fell just short of beating the Padres, 6 - 5.
  We considered taking a tour bus around the city, but it was all booked up, so we grabbed a free map, and used it to guide us around on foot.  We did pretty well, and even though our timing was just off for seeing the Planetarium show, and 3D IMAX space movies, we saw lots of other cool sights.  We made it to Notre Dame Basilica just before a wedding, so we got to look inside.  It was pretty.... ornate.
    We saw some of the free exhibits at the Science Center at the port, and the market area.
 We ate lunch at an outdoor cafe, where the two of us who sat in the part not shaded, acquired sun tans.  The food was good though, very filling, and the bread was fantastically fresh.  There was a street performer we saw juggle fire, afterwards, as we walked up into more of the market area.  We kept walking until we realized we were a few blocks into a predominantly unusual area of town, and turned around to head back to more familiar sights.
    We encountered an intoxicated man near Place de Arts, and he asked for some money for the Metro, since he had lost his wallet.  We took some pity on him and gave him a bit more change so he could make an attempt to get on the train.  We had some cheap yet good $2 food and $2 beer at the Peel Pub, and then got on the Metro and headed to Olympic Park.  I suggested we get tickets from scalpers to perhaps save money, and I was on the right track.  I found seats behind home plate for $15 each, but my buddies found a better deal:  $5 a seat each.  The $5 seats were not past the foul line pole, but they weren't exactly behind the plate.  Still they did the trick, and I had a good time at the game for very cheap.  One fellow who remarked he was going to the game only because everyone else was, thought the only way he would enjoy the game was if he got to see a streaker.  He was in luck. Clothes, anyone?
A streaker dodged the first tackle, and made a slide into second base safely, before he was captured.  He didn't go easily, but seemed contented to swear at the crowd as he was hauled off.
Downtown Montreal Metro

    Also after the game while we were walking around at night, we saw a school bus load of bikini clad women driving down the street, all cheering and waving to everyone.  Then when we couldn't believe our eyes, another two bus loads drove by.  I don't know where they came from or where they were going, but I know Montreal is the greatest city I have ever been to.  My only major disappointment from yesterday is that I left my camera in the car while we were walking around at night.
    At about 1:00 we decided to head home.  My buddies found a route on the map, and we set off to where we thought we could make it back to the express way.  Our navigator fell asleep before we got there, so I took over, and with my guesses we found the way.  The driver did a fine job of not taking the tempting [but wrong] turns, and we survived the most messed up tangle of off ramps any of us had ever seen.  The praises of Montreal started to slip away, all due to the traffic nonsense.  I figure they change the roads every few years just to confuse the infrequent visitors, and that is why there is so much construction.
    I woke up today, after 3:00pm, and now it feels like 4:00, even though it is getting dark out, and is almost 8:30.

August 28, 2002
    Last week was very busy. I went to two final IMAX movies that were being screen by IMAX club-card members like I.  Australia - Land Beyond Time, was a much better movie than Kilamanjaro - To the Roof of Africa. I went to the restaurant called Renoir, in Hull on Wednesday which was quite good, and on Thursday Kelly and I went to our favourite wing place at Rockwells.  I found it amusing that we went to two "painter" restaurants in two days. I then packed, moved most of my stuff on the bus on Thursday morning, and went to a farewell lunch with my co-workers.

Like my sexy body?
Look at how small my head is.
No one can accuse me of having a "big head".
    On Friday I left Ottawa on the Train, and had the most nasally unpleasant trip to date.  There was something or someone near by who smelled of urine.  Luckily my nose acclimatized to the smell, and it stopped bothering me.  It was a sunny day out, and when I got to Toronto, the sky had started to darken.  I stowed my 3 bags in a locker at Union Station and ate a sub on a bench, waiting for the football game I was headed to.  On the bench was this elderly east-Indian lady.  She asked me how much the sub cost.  I told her, "With the water it was just over $5."  She said someone told her it was $8, and how those others must like to lie.  I offered that it may have been a different type of sub that cost more, but she wouldn't listen.  I went back to finishing my sub, and out of the blue she said aloud in my direction that I should, "Love Jesus, he won't die on you."  I nodded my head in agreement, and they she announced that I should go to a particular church she knew of.  I asked her where it was, so I would have time to finish my sub sandwich, and she explained how to get there by bus.  I thanked her, and folded up my garbage wrapping, and promptly left.

    I met my two cousins outside of Skydome, and we went to our seats.  They were on the side of the endzone furthest from the Jumbotron, but they seats were very comfy.  The Argos proceeded to execute a yawner, with Reggie Slack up to his old futile running game tricks, until he was injured.  The Argo receivers put on a horrible display of catching, and the home team lost in a blow out against the Eskimos, 30 to 7.  Tony Hawk the skate boarder got more cheers at half time, than the Argos ever did.  Toronto  people don't know how to cheer for their football team.
    I spent the night in Richmond Hill, and on Saturday I went 10 pin bowling for the first time. I've 5 pin bowled before, but it is quite a different technique.  I didn't do too badly, and came away with scores of 124, 116, and 121, which was almost the best in my group.  I then got on the bus, headed for Finch subway station, and met my Grandma, and Hugh at the Mandarin restaurant.  We enjoyed a good meal, and Grandma and I headed home in the taxi from hell.  We went to the second cab in line [first mistake], because Grandma likes to support the Beck cab company over the others.  We asked if the cab was available, and he looked up from his paper, and emphatically gestured at the cab in front of him and said, "You have to take the cab at the front. It is the law!"  So we turned around, said good-bye to Hugh, who was taking the Subway home, and before we made it into the blue cab at the front, two women had already climbed in.  I was not impressed with the cabbie's response earlier, and I grudgingly put my heavy bags in the truck, which didn't close easily, and hopped in the back after Grandma.  Grandma doesn't hear that well, and the cabby was acting surly and unresponsive, so she asked him if he could hear her all right, to which he literally replied, "No!"  Grandma asked me puzzled, if he had said no, and I nodded yes.  She was starting to get the idea that Mr. Amir E. was no pleasant fellow, but she still asked him to take the main street back since it was less bumpy, and offered directions that were followed but not well taken.  The cabbie started to grumble that Grandma was talking to much, so we paid, got out at the door, and I memorized the cab number.  When we got upstairs I called the cab company and reported the surly cabbie from hell.  I hope he had a nice day ;-|
    I went to the Royal Ontario Museum on Sunday.  It was hot outside, but nice in the museum.  I saw rare pieces from an ancient Chinese culture, and many other exhibits.  After, I caught a cab to the airport.  The wait in line for the baggage check was horrendous, and about 30 minutes.  I looked around a bit, then went through security, which didn't make me turn on my suspicious pocket keychain calculator, nor my "bomb like" digital camera.  I found it strange they didn't search me, because I don't know anyone more suspicious than I.  My watch didn't even set off the metal detector.
    The Tango flight was a mere 2 HOURS LATE!  This was because they had to steal my plane earlier in the day for another flight, since there was a breakdown.  Then another plane at Toronto was unloaded of its passengers and they had to take the plane that was going to Halifax.  Tango wouldn't even give the passengers a meal voucher, "because Tango doesn't serve meals anyhow".  They lost several customers who were severely inconvenienced by being 4 hours late.

    They lost me as a customer for next time too.  I got on the plane at 8:30 as promised, but we didn't leave until 9:20 because they didn't know for several minutes that the previous flight's bags had not been unloaded.  Sheesh!  Then my ride in Regina was not told that the plane was late.  More sheesh.  They went home, and had to come back when I arrived.
The flight itself wasn't so bad, and was kind of neat with all the lightning and cities out the window.  I saw Winnipeg at night, and shortly after captured some lightning out my window with my camera.

September 1, 2002
    I was considering going to the Rider game today, but spent the time at home instead.  The game was good though with the Riders winning 33 -19.  TSN messed up and showed the game with a 2 hour delay.  At least we got to see it this year.  Taylor Field was sold out for 3 days now.  They no longer take as many as come.  Still there were people on the field after touchdowns, and a real streaker too.
    I took some pictures for the Old Computer Museum my Dad and family is setting up.  I will make a web page to show off some of the obsolete, but still working goodies.  They include a VT 100 terminal, many Radio Shack computers, Sinclair ZX81, Commodore, Apple, Compaq, IBM, and more.

September 3, 2002
    My first day of class this year.  I also won a mug and paper at the "welcome to Luther" gathering this evening.

McDonald's new phrase for the 21st century:
Have you had your oil today?

People still looking at this as an Iraq "may" get the bomb issue are missing the point.  Iraq having the H-bomb is a moot point.  I would guess that they already have things just as bad but of the bio and chemical type.  It doesn't take a Nuke to make the North American economy go bye bye.  I challenge you to think of one thing that could decimate our economy and food supply, is provided in nature, would take very little effort to spread, and has already happened in England and Scotland.  Now take that decimation, and translate it to Texas, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Saskatchewan, Alberta sized numbers, and what do you have?  A depression.  Ruination.  Chaos.
Sorry if I scare anyone, but the future isn't going to be pretty, and the sooner we see we need to prepare for it, the less damage will be done.
  North America has both terrific highs, and terrible risks.  We are the great capitalist experiment, and although it seems to be working pretty well, I don't think it will last in the form we have it right now.
  Many think we are a culture of moderation, but we are a culture of extremes.  We encourage people to study only one subject, and learn a specific field.  Most people I know only speak one language [computer languages aside].  We possess more in our houses, than some communities possess.  We are offended by a topless woman at the pool.  We put antibiotics in our soap, when kids are still going blind from lack of vitamin A.  Our house of cards is both efficient, but at the same time weak.  We have man put all our eggs in one basket for a lot of important things, and we are so used to "another company" picking up where the last on left off, we don't think that perhaps a skill or item is actually unique.

September 4, 2002

Another eBay rant:
    Flume, I could smell an Albertan a mile away, and you proved me right. People in Alberta are being fed a wad a hooey, as far as the facts about Kyoto go. You must know that everything Bush is against, must be good in some way ;-)
  Have you read the document? If you have, congratulations, but you miss the point of it. Reducing greenhouse gasses doesn't ruin the economy. Having a sick population that drains our health care, can't work and be productive, and raising the ire of the rest of the civilized 1st world [-minus the US], will wreck our future faster than you can say 2020.
  2020 is the year I predict Alberta to be crying to Ottawa for some assistance when they realized they should have put away some of their enormous money away for a rainy day. Oil will not be the economic power house it is today. Drought from climate change will have decimated ranching and farming. The poor will have drug resistant TB, and wouldn't be able to afford medical care anyhow. It won't be pretty.
  If anything, our economy is so inflated worldwide that Kyoto [if it does hurt the economy, and I doubt it should] will simply adjust it to where it should be. We are polluting like never before in our history, and we don't factor the "BADS" into our economic bottom line with the "GOODS" we are producing. We are not doing nearly as well as we could be, and it is starting to show. Every period of inflation is followed by a recession, and MAN WE HAVE BEEN WORKING TOO MUCH the past 110 years!
  Why exactly will Kyoto hurt our economy? Because Uncle Ralph says it will? I say oil companies, and others who will be hurt by it, deserve what they get. They should have been responsible, and started working towards meeting healthy goals years ago, before government legislation started looming around the corner. Why should we let polluters off the hook? So it benefits a few oil companies, and other people stuck in a puppet economy set up to make the rich, richer? It is like arguing for slavery because the plantation owners will be hurt in the short term, and the slaves won't have any jobs.
Sorry to rant on like this. I'm not yelling at ya, but just remember that no one gains from pollution of our air. We can't exactly import it when ours is no good anymore.
[September 5, 2002]
    He Replied:
"The pollution in Ottawa of this last summer was not Alberta created in any manner. What would Kyoto have done to protect the Canadian and American Easts against the northern forest fires of last summer. Nada!"
  That kind of blunt, arrogant, and incorrect attitude toward pollution is exactly why we need a national policy on pollution. If Alberta doesn't come up with a policy that works, and soon, we'll have to live with Kyoto shoved down our throats. We can't let one little spoil sport ruin the environment for everyone, and while Alberta is not the biggest spoil sport [ahem -- USA, China], they certainly are trying to be.
  Alberta's [and of course SK's too] pollution contributed to the smog in Ottawa both directly and indirectly. Directly, because pollutants can travel all the way around the world, much less 3000km to the same country, and indirectly because they contribute to global climate change which is a factor in forest fires. One straw didn't break the camel's back, but adding more to it, certainly isn't the right attitude.
  Saskatchewan may not become a superpower province, partly because of the give up attitude of people who say it won't. You say yourself that there are successful tax paying people and entrepreneurs flowing out. What would it be like if they stayed? The government doesn't run us, we run the government. If we don't like something that is happening, we change the government, or where we are living. There are too many people that move on down the road, and don't fix the problems at home.
  Instead of crying foul for the problems that Chretien is making, why don't the provinces start playing the "good guy". Make the PM look the fool he tries to be now. Step up and come up with "made in the West" solutions that reduce pollution and increase the number of jobs. If we don't use oil and gas as our source of power, we need to develop, refine, and manufacture the new source of power. After all that is where the money is, not in the raw resources. Are the people of Iraq rich? Are the people who owned shares in Enron rich? How about that oil rush in Alberta? Remember back 18 years ago to 2002 when everyone thought that Alberta would be rich forever because they had so much oil :-) If only we had invested in manufacuting air filtration systems.... hmmmmm.....

September 7, 2002
    The website got another major facelift today.  I archived another few months of material, so this page should load faster.  Check out Archive 3 to see pictures of New York, and Toronto.
    My first week of classes went well.  I have an assignment due for next Friday in Astronomy 201.  I'll have to turn my math-brain back on.  It has been switched off for nearly 8 months while working in Ottawa, so it is a little rusty.  I also am taking 4 Computer Science classes.  Some of them look very interesting.  It should be a good semester that grows my brain to a new inflated size.
    I haven't quite arranged my room to its ideal shape just yet.  The fridge needs a new home away from what will be my heat source in a few months [weeks if it snows in October].  It is rainy and cool today.  I hope it doesn't stay like this for long, since many people still need to start harvest.
    I went bowling this evening, and scored a 140, 122, and 182.  The 182 is my best score for 10 pin so far.  I've only played 60 frames, and I've almost cracked 200 points.  I started off pretty tonight pretty well too, with 2 strikes in a row.  Then in my third game, I figured out by accident that if I look and aim for the pins just over to the left, I'll almost always bowl to where the center pin is.  It will be handy to know that, and if I ever look back at this, I can always score at least 182.

September 14, 2002
    It's been a rough week.  I managed to get most of my assignment finished, and all of my coop report done, though.  No Astronomy lab on Thursday this week, helped me finish the report on time, and I added about 5 more pages to it than I intended.
    I went to the Luther first-year mixer dance last night.  Aside from the deafness, and hoarseness it brought upon me, I had a good time.  Last night about 3:00am, the fire alarm was set off by some punks who were not allowed up to the dorm rooms.  The residence was evacuated as procedure dictates, and those who thought to bring coats were comfortable, while those that didn't bring even slippers were cold.  I was going to take my camera out, but thought I would save the pictures for next time [hope there isn't but know there must be].
    I went to Minority Report again, this time with Rob, Rick, and Brien. During our wait at the bus stop, we were attacked by swarms of mosquitos.  Some other fellows from Luther went to the show after ours, likely from me pointing out to them that they could see 3 movies at the Rainbow, for the price of one at the Southland.

September 20, 2002
    Made it through another week with minimal damage to my marks due to procrastinating.  Some of the assignments were actually fun, and I found I remembered some relational math from 9 months ago.  By the way, the assignment with relational math wasn't the fun one.  I learned some facts about Pluto though, and the reasons we should refer to it as a minor planet, or a comet.
    I saw Scooby Doo, which turned out to be a good movie.  The preview for Stuart Little 2, made me want to see it too.
I set up some auctions on eBay the other day. 2 of them are joke auctions.  I'm selling an "all purpose ROCK", and a mosquito from Saskatchewan, which is labeled as possibly containing alien blood, and hence alien DNA.  I don't think the mosquito will sell for the asking bid price of $437.50, but the rock has a chance, since it comes with a dime, and bid price is only $0.13.

September 21, 2002,
    Another dull, grey Saturday, and the Riders lost to Edmonton.  I'm going to watch Shrek now.
I ended up watching Swordfish, which was a well told story.  A scary story, but well told.

September 23, 2002
    I played KAOS today.  It is a large game of tag, where the person with the most fair tags wins the game.  The players who sign up, are randomly sorted into a chain, and you "kill" your assignment with a "death sticker" by tagging them with it, in the allotted hours and fair locations.  I won the game one year, and have been killed on the first day several times, and survived to the end twice.
    This year I made a fantastic kill after stalking my prey for nearly 30 minutes.  They were chatting in an area that was out of bounds, so I had to wait for my "assignment" to walk into fair territory before I pounced.  I saw them move off, and I went another route to cut her off from making back to her room.  Then I thought I lost them when they may have taken another route.  I went back to check, and they were gone, so I headed back to my room.  Then I heard voices in the stairwell above me, so I scrambled up, and pretended to go toward a group of her friends while my assignment went to her door.  When her back was turned, I raced down toward the door, and tagged her before her friends could even shout a warning.  My victory was short lived though, because when I got back to my room, I carelessly left it and was tagged by my pursuer.  Game over.
    It was not my worst showing though, and ties for my second best performance.  My winning score was 7.  I helped my friend Brien make a kill, but it turned out we had the wrong man.  We went in search of the right one, but Brien ran into the worst possible luck, and we were prying clues from the organizer, when his killer stepped out of the room we were standing beside.  Yikes! He ran, but there was no room to go, and was caught before he got up to speed.

September 26, 2002
    Homework must be avoided.  Ooops.  Maybe not.

September 29, 2002
    The weather outside was perfect.  No biting bugs, and not too hot.  Sunny, but not too bright.  Wish I could bottle days like this.  I even did some homework finally.  Might even catch up this week.  At the very least I'm not falling any more behind.

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