Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Smoking gun: HP DND busted

Why are prisoners allowed to use a restricted drug not essential to life, at all? Just who's in charge at a prison anyway? If guards feel they are in danger by enforcing the rules, then changes should be made to make them safe to enforce the rules.

Employees at Hewlett-Packard and Canada's Department of National Defence (DND) were charged stemming from a 2 1/2 year probe by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police into shady billing and work done by HP at the DND in Canada's nation capital.
"[An employee] Mr. Champagne was fired by DND in 2003 over alleged billing irregularities involving supplier Compaq Canada, which was later acquired by Hewlett-Packard. The company repaid the government $145 million and launched a $107-million lawsuit against Mr. Champagne, accusing him of theft and fraud. None of the allegations have been proved in court. The civil action is still before the courts, the RCMP said."

I got word last evening that miners trapped in Potash mine refuge rooms were smoking. That's the word on the street anyway. It makes one wonder how seriously they were taking their situation. What's the worst thing that can happen in a mine fire: nicotine withdrawl from running out of cigarettes, running out of oxygen, or 2nd hand smoke poisoning? If you ask the average miner, I guess you'd have your answer, and it wouldn't be mine.

Haloscan |

Mining TV for Radios using Needle Math Rankings

Esterhazy is one place I travel to for my job. Here's a picture
of a potash mine north of the town, possibly the K2 where the accident
occurred [otherwise it's another potash mine close to K2 which I know
I've seen before during my drive out there. There are several
mines in the area around Yarbo.].

Esterhazy K[?] mine

The 72 miners trapped after a fire underground, are now safely on the surface.

It wasn't an ad on one of my pages, but on a news report where a Penn.
supermarket's sealed soup can contained a sewing needle, there was this
Google ad: "Buy Huber Needles here". Tasteful.

I was on John Gormley's show for the first time today as a caller for a
topic. The topic of the show was TV in 2012, the "Death of TV as
we Know It". I'll try to record it when it's replayed tonight,
and give you a transcript here later. I got to bash the CRIA's dirty
lobbying of potential MPs destined to run Heritage Canada so they could
introduce DMCA type copyright legislation, and plug watching VHS
through my 17" LCD computer screen.

Ha, someone [Mike the Greek, the fellow who tipped SK off as to the
China Lilly Soya Sauce "crisis"] who called after me said that if
someone wants to watch a reality show, they should open their window
and look out at the people outside. "It's craaaziness!" he intoned, and
remarked too that he got rid of his cell phone and he's the only
business man he knows who's done that. He had his "best year
ever", from doing it. I don't own a cell phone either, although I
have one for work emergencies that I've used about 5 times in almost 2
years. Even most pay-as-you-go phones are not cheap, they cost
about $200 a year after taxes and cards per month with only minimal use.

Rank: 29,240 (70 links from 66 sites) my stats onTechnorati have improved a lot since last time, I've moved up more than

10,000 in rank in just one week. At this rate I'll be number one in just 3 weeks, har har.

I am what I eat, and I think too therefore I eat.

Profound, no?

Well, it's a mathematical proof sadly, it just kinda slipped out into a
conversation I was having.

We think, therefore we am.

We am what we eat...

Therefore we think what we eat. QED, right?

Haloscan |

Friday, January 27, 2006

Stupid, Stupid, stupid...

On TotallyStupid.com I saw the link for VeggiePets a horrid pet food site where people go to get information on how to "ethically" mal-nourish their pet in the unnatural vegetarian way. These sellers and buyers must be the same twerps who propose giving wild carnivores a lifetime supply of tofu rodents to survive on. Stupid, stupid, stupid!

Also on a food note, and just as stupid, but hey this time it's funny, is The Toast Shop. These British blokes at the Shop stole my idea though, since I'd sold toast on eBay several years ago to a couple happy customers.

Again from TotallyStupid.com is StuffOnMyCat.com where people submit pictures of their cats, with stuff on them. Fortunately these loving pet owners don't put heavy things the cat doesn't like on top of them, because that would be a bad idea. Well, it's arguable that anything on top of a cat is a bad idea, but who's to say where the line is drawn if kitty doesn't object?

And in other senseless news, the ad for a Regina restaurant where the narrator of the ad describes himself in nothing but "a gitch" because he's had his meal delivered, is back on the air. I heard it on CJME radio's evening show the other day. Why would a restaurant want to associate its food with the word gitch [which means tight men's underwear]? Stupid, stupid, stupid...

On my drive back home from Watson, Spalding, and Engelfeld I passed by Insinger which has two Ukranian churches within 4km of each other.

A Ukranian church at Insinger, Saskatchewan

Haloscan |

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Election wrap up and Bush news

Let's take a look at how my second election prediction did against the seat count as it stands today:

My estimates on January 20th, 2006
Actual numbers after Jan. 23, 2006
Conservatives 121
Liberals 112
Bloc 66

Independent 1
Green 0 [with a popular vote of 5%]

Voter turnout:

62% of elligible voters will cast a ballot.
Conservatives 124
Liberals 102
Bloc 51
NDP 29

Independent 1
Green 0 [with a popular vote of 4.5%]

Voter turnout:

64.9% of elligible voters will cast a ballot.

This means 8 Million registered voters didn't go.

Fox News headline: "Canadian Voters End 13-Year Liberal Presidency". And that's all I have to say about that - for now. OK, I couldn't hold off speaking about Fox News' ridiculous site. "[Harper wants to]... tighten security along the U.S. border to prevent terrorists and guns from crossing," they say, as if implying that it's Canada's responsibility to stop guns and terrorists from going INTO the United States. Harper, if he said that, would be saying it to stop those things from ENTERING CANADA which is a Canadian responsibility.

"The Liberals have angered Washington in recent years, ... enacting punitive Canadian lumber tariffs." And when the truth doesn't matter - lie. I guess it's OK for Faux News to neglect to mention to its brilliant viewers that the USA enacted illegal lumber tariffs on Canada years ago and has refused to pay us back?

"Bush also said he kept key members of Congress informed.

"You know, it's amazing that people say to me, 'Well, he was just breaking the law.' If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefing Congress?" Bush said, apparently referring to former Vice President Al Gore's accusation last week that he was "breaking the law" by authorizing the program.

"These are not phone calls within the United States," Bush said. "This is a phone call of an al Qaeda, known al Qaeda suspect, making a phone call into the United States.

Mr. Bush, are you trying to get some Congressmen in trouble too by
tattling on them knowing about your crime and they did nothing to stop you?

Comments are here at Daily Kos.

This CBC page has a list of some of the high profile losses and victories of the election. Goodale and Belinda won, and Anne McLellan and Svend Robinson lost. You might be pleased to hear that Sarmite Bulte, the former Liberal MP lost her seat to the NDP, and is for now no longer an immediate threat to Canadian copyright law. Keep an eye open for Bev Oda of the Conservatives though to take on the role of DMCA champion. Tony Valeri the former Minister responsible for rail line removal, also won't be back this time.

I drove over to Semans today, and the roads were not completely clear. I had to slow down at some points to avoid losing control on the slush and ice. When I got back in the evening, I downloaded a photo, and got confused and deleted two or three pictures I didn't have backed up. I tried using FreeUndelete with no real luck, although it did recover a whole lot of files I didn't want any more. If I kept at it, I could get the pictures back, but they were essentially duplicates from different angles anyway as far as I remember, so I'll just let go of them instead of banging my head against the desk in frustration all night. Yes, even computer geeks occasionally wish for magic on
their computers.
UPDATE: It's never worth getting frustrated over something. I went to look back at my photos, and found the missing picture(s) I thought I lost, it turns out I'd removed only duplicates after all. Now pardon me a moment while I go back up those pictures properly this time.

Listening to the radio today there were plenty of interesting stories. The most interesting was the accusation of voter fraud in Sask.'s northern riding of D-M-Churchill River. A recount is being launched there, where the Liberals beat the Conservatives by barely 100 seats and under unusual circumstances. Elsewhere in the country, former Ag. Minister Andy Mitchell lost to the Conservative Tony Clement.

This parliament isn't what I hoped for, it's only what I predicted [the second time around a few days ago]. However, I do think a Conservative minority government is a better outcome for Canada than another Liberal minority or majority would have been. Some individuals will disagree strongly, because the Conservatives will make their life difficult in the short term, but I think it's short term pain for longer term gain. If you can survive the coming year of a Conservative minority government, you can look forward to a rejuvenated Liberal party down the road, and hopefully a much stronger Green and NDP seat count. Harper might actually enact parliamentary reform, so that our senate will be elected, and elections called on a fixed schedule [which I have mixed feelings about].

Strategists were taking two lines of thinking, one that Harper might try to push through his most repugnant law changes such as banning government recognized marriage of homosexuals, early so as to catch opposition parties in a bind where they can either bring down the government and
make Canadians mad, or enact the law and make Canadians mad. The other strategy to govern which I hope Harper chooses is to pass his GST reduction law and reforms to parliamentary responsibility, and then try the fewer people want. The point was also raised that he peeved the civil service last week, by implying that they'd sabotage his government because they were mostly Liberal appointees. He has to bring the civil service back onto his side before he'll hope to get
much real work done.

A former professor of mine was on the Noon Edition call in program on CBC, Stephen Kenny. He teaches Canadian history at the University of Regina, and was the guest helping to answer callers questions and comments about the election. One caller noted the potential voter fraud in SK's north riding, and a few brought up their concerns about the new Harper government. One caller repeated the now tired mantra that I hear everywhere, that "people can't complain if they
didn't vote." I think people should be encouraged to complain, but they should realize too that they look a bit like a hypocrite doing so. It is more important statistically to convince other people to vote the way you do, than it is to vote at all in 99% of major elections, but non-voters have a lot of nerve to whine about government if they don't do anything about it. I think people just grow tired of hearing hypocrites speak about politics, so the media came up with the now massively popular urban myth that only voting gives one the right to contribute to democracy between elections.

The Green Party didn't fare as well as I was hoping, but did better than I expected because I was very concerned about the vote polarization by the Liberals and Conservatives. The NDP got a taste of their own medicine, and didn't get the seats they were due thanks to the fearful voting by Liberal supporters in many ridings. The Green Party was in danger of being squeezed right out, but managed to increase their voter base by many thousands. I'm concerned that unless the Green Party can convince a member to defect and sit as a Green MP, then Canada might never see the Greens in the debate, and thus start to take them seriously as a national party.

The Conservative MP Garry B. in Yorkton Melville won yet again, with an obscene number of votes. It's a shame to think of the good those votes could have done for Keith Neu and the Green Party, and they were just wasted on piling up way past the point of putting Garry's number over the top. Yorkton-Melville could have sent a strong message for change by either electing a different MP than the one who's done little or nothing for them in the previous 13 years, or electing him but voting strongly for the Green Party which could have attracted national media attention.

Haloscan |

Monday, January 23, 2006

Media Sticks Its Neck Out

Jeepers, the audacity of news agencies is galling. CTV at 9PM CST has projected a Conservative minority government. The polls aren't even closed in B.C. yet! Many of the seat projections they are working with come about from 1 polling station result out of nearly 200 in a riding. Their projections are an embarasment to journalism. CBC was making stupid comments too, when literally 10 votes were in for some ridings, and talking as if they'd stay that way. Allyce Herle [Lib] in Regina Qu'appelle was leading significantly after one polling station reported. We'll see how much she loses by later.
It will probably be the case that the Conservatives will have a minority government, but to announce it as fact before it's mathematically confirmed is just plain dumb, especially after all of the election prediction mistakes in recent memory.

I'm getting a lot of hits tonight from people looking for election results. Please pass on any links you've found that are helpful, or let me know if you've found my blog entries to be of help.

Haloscan |

Censorship in Canadian Election

Canada's CBC reports on the elections law in Canada that is preventing timely release of election results in the eastern parts of Canada before western polling stations close at 7PM PT. An American website can provide the results as they are available, without prosecution, but Canadian Paul Bryan in 2000 tried publishing results online and was fined $1,000 CDN. He is appealing the ruling, which has been reversed twice already. Also, the official CBC blogger today removed his link to Captain's Quarter's Blog, in fear that results could be available to Canadians there before they are on the Television, Radio, or news websites. Just minutes ago on election night, CBC Radio International cut off their live streaming audio for some bloggers, it's been reported on The Surly Beaver. Results will be made available on Wikipedia, and Elections Canada's official website.

Haloscan |

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

andrewcoyne.com: Our story so far

andrewcoyne.com: The Election story so far

The popular blog of Andrew Coyne featured the graphic from pollingreport.ca, the site of a good friend of mine. He said he had over 40,000 hits the other day, due in part to Andrew's link.

Haloscan |

If You Can't Mark an X...

If You Can't Mark an X...

It seems Sudbury is the Florida of the Great White North, eh?

"I was surprised to see the first party listed as the "Marijuana Party" and then further down the ballot more surprised and a little confused when I saw "PC" followed by "Conservative". I know my candidates by name and made my selection, however for those that may not, it seems to me that this ballot is designed in a very confusingmanner.

I suspect that a good majority of the populace will not know whether to select PC or Conservative if they are casting a vote for Harper. A formal complaint should be filed with election Canada.

Voting is as simple as marking down a bleeding X or a smiley face! If you can't mark an X, you're not my kind of people! Brought to you by the Community Regatta Against Politics, and the Committee To Elect Jerry Boyle.

If someone's in such a rush that they mess up voting because they think PC means Conservative, and they aren't educated enough to know their candidate's name or MODERN party abbreviation, then I can't feel too sorry for them, only the poor hoser who lost one vote. If you miss mark your ballot, you can ask for one replacement. Do we really want someone who isn't "with it" enough to know how to vote for Harper, getting it right though? What does Doug's impression of the "majority" of Harper voters, say about Canadians? Is Doug right?

Doug does have a good point though that there should be no ambiguity between parties listed on the ballot. There should be space to include Conservative Party of Canada, and if there isn't use a smaller font. If someone's hard of seeing, and can't read small print there are provisions and equipment on site to help them select the correct circle next to their candidate in private.

Please note that CPC stands for the Communist Party of Canada, they had it first, not the Conservatives.

I became aware of this ballot "controversy" by reading the Small Dead Animals blog.

Haloscan |

Friday, January 13, 2006

Conservative pool and interesting ads

Jan. 13, 2006 Friday

This is audio clip is pretty darn funny, even if you don't want the Conservatives to win. It seems the Liberal campaign managers must want the Cons. to win, because a blind, racist monkey with a pencil could organize a better campaign. Beer and popcorn anyone?

Paul Martin. With no Guns. In Canada.

Even Mansbridge of The National on CBC ripped into Martin over his latest ad gaffe. Coupled with his hand gun ban, and removal of the Notwithstanding clause to protect us from a Supreme Court running wild, the military scare tactics by Martin looks down right tyrannical. I'm surprised he hasn't got along more famously with George W. Bush. Maybe he should talk to North Koreans looking to manage his next campaign?

I wonder if Harper's smirky grin is going to grow so big this week, that he'll surpass Bush's smirk and worse, his face will actually invert as his mouth curls around his head? All it will take is for him to say another line his handlers have coached him on, and he'll remember he's supposed to smile after he's done talking, and THWWWOP!... Inverted head.

The main blog is still broken as of tonight, so I'll be posting this later on abandonedstuff.com when it's finally fixed. Sasktel didn't take this long to fix it when they weren't "rushing" previously, so either it's really broken this time, or they are fixing it right and for always.

Jan. 12, 2006 Thursday

I went to Garry B.'s pool hall night, and played pool with Julian and Al of the NDP, and bumped into Eric of Staples who I've bought computer stuff from before. It was a good time. I got to interject after Garry claimed that "marriage has been like we're used to for thousands of years," and I pointed out it was "one thousand actually," before elaborating that the Catholic Church claimed marriage was a religious sacrament in the Middle Ages, and before then marriage was a civil union and not a religious ceremony.

Toward the end of the evening, my new NDP chums and I went over to thank Garry for the free pool games, and bend his ear a little more. Al brought up justice which he thought was a topic the Conservatives and NDP could work together on, and I'd agree because I think Layton is fed up with crime in Toronto, and is willing to look at ways of reducing it the Liberals haven't tried yet. I told Garry I couldn't support the Conservatives for their position on gay marriage alone, and he asked me what the position of the Green Party was on it. I couldn't answer, but I'd highly suspect that they'd either not have a stated position on it since the matter is settled equitibly right now, or they'd support legalizing religious unions between homosexuals, if the religion is fine with it. After all, consider this: The United Church of Canada has been marrying homosexuals, so if the government deems that to be illegal, then United worshipers are having their rights infringed upon. But the other way, where churches are permitted to marry homosexuals or not, churches are not forced to perform marriages they don't recognize, but the government won't turn around and invalidate the religious ceremony of the established religion.

Still on the topic of marriage, there's been a study done in Canada that seems to suggest that polygamists, people with more than one spouse, should be permitted under law to live here. I can't say I'm totally in favour of this, as contradictory as that may sound, mostly because of three things. One isn't a legitimate block, and that's my own preference to keeping Canada as a "couples" society. Second is that I think it seems likely that a higher rate of spousal abuse or neglect would arise from a poly-marriage. And third I think that poly-marriages result in more children, and especially more children with less bio-diversity which is something that Canada doesn't need.

Unite The Right comedy page is worth having a look at. It points out the various ways the Liberals and the Conservatives are the same party. I don't think that problem is quite as advanced as it is in the USA with the Democrats and Republican parties being indestinguishable to casual
observers, but it's something to keep an eye on anyway.

Haloscan |

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Sasktel Broken again Jan. 11, 2006 Wednesday

Freezing rain was on the plate today. I spent time fixing things in Bredenbury, then in the evening I had noodles, buffalo burger, and tomato mushroom sauce for supper. Rounding off the meal were some carrots and cheddar cheese melted on the main course. Now I think some fruit cake is in order.

I was going to grab some fruit cake right after I posted this comment, but Sasktel's webspace which I use to host my website, stopped accepting files. If you looked at this page tonight, or Jan. 12th odds are you saw a blank screen [if looking at my main page of Abandonedstuff.com]. Thank you Sasktel, it's only the third time this has happened, after you claimed it was fixed twice before. Thus is the nature of computers perhaps, but Sasktel is going to lose a user soon I think. At least it inspired me to work on my Blogger site which is in pretty good shape now with Haloscan, Ecosystem, Technorati, and StatCounter.com installed.

The only thing on the news today was discussion of the "pulled", "never aired" Liberal attack ad that hinted at military "occupation" of Canadian cities if Harper wins. Paul Martin must be off his rocker now; oh how the mighty have fallen. First he threatens the Constitution in the second english debate, and then he threatens Canadians with a bogus attack on Harper. Tomorrow, he'll probably reverse his position he shouted at the start of the campaign, "I LOVE CANADA!" and the meltdown will be complete. Beer and popcorn anyone?

Sarmite Bulte let one slip, when she defended the fundraiser being hosted by the CRIA and movie cartels, which will support her re-election effort in the Toronto riding of Parkdale-High Park, saying, "People raise money all the time. I'm being absolutely transparent." That's right Sarmite, Canadians can see right through your plan to take legal campaign money from copyright dependent cartels right before toughening the Copyright Act in those cartels' favour. She's a likely
Heritage Minister, responsible for pushing through the next Bill C-60 the Copyright Act amendment proposed by the power hungry CRIA. But don't worry, if the Conservatives win, the CRIA made sure to [bribe, wait that's not the word...] fund the potential Heritage Minister for Harper's Tories too.

Haloscan |

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

grrrl meets world: Onion top stories of 2005

grrrl meets world: gadfly to fundamentalists everywhere
Grrl posted The Onion's funny Top 10 list with such gems as
6. Prince Charles Weds Longtime Horse

Check it out for a laugh, then head over to my blog at www.abandonedstuff.com

Haloscan |