ue to certain issues with the “free” WordPress/IIS host I’d previously been using on and off for the past couple of years, I’ve ended my experimental hosting experience and returned here after all. A couple of minor articles were deleted — but nothing too critical.
So I’ll resume in the weeks ahead posting here on articles of interest mostly to me, but perhaps to some of you out there as well. 😉 Hope the summer is going well for all!
ring back SG:U to the Internet by signing this Netflix petition (see link). Unlike many Internet-based petitions, this one looks like it’s being taken seriously….so if you (like me) want Stargate back – access the SG:U petition on change.org and let your voice be heard! (Do it anyway for me – ‘cuz there’s a huuuuge vacuum in sci-fi entertainment these days and it will make life suck a lot less for me and a pile of other people! )
o you don’t see many posts from me under the heading “Sports” (actually there’s not enough content here at the moment to justify having a sports category); but as a tenacious Winnipeg ex-patriot, I thought I should make my viewing audience aware of a little poll on CBC Sports’ web site asking Canadians to vote on what city should win the next NHL franchise. Of course, the only competent argument that can be made in answering this question would favour the resurrection of the Winnipeg Jets — yes long, long before we get around to redressing any plans for the Québec Nordiques. And since I want to return to Winnipeg at some point in the future and would rather have a city that’s happy and prosperous to live in ahead of one that feels as if the life had been sucked out of it by a wraith or some other paranormal entity, there’s an element of selfishness in my wanting Winnipeg to once again have attractions (like the Jets) which offer both spectacle and excitement.
So cast your vote without delay!
icrosoft shut down its Live Spaces social networking site as of January 1, 2011 — resulting in all the blogs being hosted there (including that of yours truly) to be migrated to WordPress.com per a deal inked back in 2010. Consequently, you’ll notice a number of changes to the presentation; though I’m inclined to try to preserve the original layout to a certain extent….because I don’t want to confuse those who visit regularly any more than is going to be necessary. Watch for refinements and customizations to this effect in the days ahead.
So why did Microsoft dump Live Spaces? Simply put: Spaces was totally eclipsed by other facilities that did it better. And Microsoft isn’t shy about asking for help from 3rd parties when it can’t go it alone. That’s exactly the story behind the partnership with Gatineau-based Cactus Commerce for the development of Microsoft Commerce Server (a project I had the rare privilege to participate on for the better part of two years). And it isn’t without precedent for such agreements to evolve into takeovers; though any suggestion that such a development is imminent where either Cactus or WordPress are concerned would be premature.
So welcome to my blog’s new home! And here’s hoping we’ll see you return again and again in the months and years to come.
It has been three long years since my last visit to my home city of Winnipeg, Manitoba – a hiatus that will end this coming August! This week I received formal approval from my employer for vacation leave between the 1st and 18th of August. The date of my arrival in Winnipeg will depend entirely on whether I’ll be taking my car out, or renting a vehicle during my anticipated week-long stay.
Historically, my arrival has heralded a – shall we say – "festive" atmosphere. But three years is a long time, and, sadly, more friends have moved away. And one very close friend in particular had a falling out with me, of sorts. (While I was hospitalized with a short, but life-threatening illness a couple of years back, he suddenly decided this was the opportune moment to tell me he’d secretly been blaming me for the destruction of his relationship with his girlfriend a year or so earlier.) Haven’t heard much from him since, and I can’t say I’ve been exactly motivated to undertake an effort of my own to reconcile – particularly given that I had absolutely nothing to do with either the management or the outcome of his relationship (as those of you who know the parties in question are aware). As much as I miss Winnipeg, I’m expecting the trip to go very differently from the others previous. With so many I knew gone, it may end up being anticlimactic as compared with previous visits. Then again – this is Winnipeg; a city full of folks who know how to party.
And my good friend Ian is still there – himself getting ready to move to Toronto to begin Ph.D. studies in political theory. And hopefully, a moment or two of socializing (if not ol’ skool, Winnipeg-style debauchery) can be squeezed in amidst his preparations for the big move.
To everyone else who knew me or has kept in touch – I’ve grown in many ways, albeit mostly fatter and older. But I still love a good time, so call me while I’m in the neighborhood!
I complain about this city a lot. A lot more than even many fellow citizens; and this is a city with a lot of people complaining about it already. There’s good reason to, although my complaints with it stem from a surprising, almost apartheid-like segregation of anglophones and francophones (thanks in part to the geography of the Outaouais), city politics that are, at best, bizarre and being Canada’s federal capital, federal politics that are, at worst, pathetic. But humanity and good Samaritans suddenly appeared out of nowhere when an old man was suddenly accosted with a flurry of rude insults and spitting in food he was carrying by another random, middle-aged hoodlum, probably "of no fixed address" – meaning the Shepherd’s of Good Hope shelter less than a block away. It was a scene that greeted me as I biked home from shopping in Ottawa’s Byward Market near where I live this afternoon.
At the corner of Cumberland and Clarence Streets shortly before 2:16 p.m (when my cell phone indicates the ‘911’ call was made) I arrived to see the initial altercation, quickly turn violent when another man got out of his yellow hatch back, seeing the incident with the 1st elderly man got out of his car to intervene. This resulted in the assailant turning violent suddenly, stricking the man from the car 3 or 4 times about the head. As he fell to the ground 8 or 9 passers by (myself included) came from all over the busy intersection to pull the homeless man off the guy from the car. During the effort of separating the two men, I decided it would be best I call ‘911’ and I ended up giving a play-by-play to the operator, who’d eventually suggested (wisely) that I put a little distance between myself and the homeless man.
Those who remained to help the victim of the assault had to be pretty brave. The homeless guy was appearing extremely irrational – literally frothing at the mouth mad, and sounding both puzzled and upset that so many people were taking issue with his assault of the guy from the car. He seemed to be asking why he should stop when the other guy hit him first (which isn’t want happened), and generally confused. It seemed likely he was on drugs – perhaps a methamphetamine induced rage….tough to tell.
Regardless, within 2 or 3 minutes, police were on the scene and within 5 minutes 3 OPD units were present taking statements from the crowd, and arresting the homeless man turned assault suspect.
Quite an exciting afternoon.
What surprised me was my own response in a way. 10 or more years ago, I wouldn’t have hesitated to treat the homeless man to a round or two about the face from my own fists to gentle him down some. Not because I’m a violent fellow, but because I believe in justice and minimizing harm – actively. At the moment, I’m not in any physical shape to conduct myself that way with any probability it would turn out well, and I found myself hesitating for a few seconds to take in the scene before deciding the best course when, again, earlier in life the pause to consider my action would have been much shorter.
I guess I’m getting older…and maybe wiser, or more cautious anyway.
A policeman took my statement today and advised there was a small probability I may be queried further about my testimony and statement.
I’m sick of Facebook – in a way I don’t get fed up with things very often. But Facebook in particular. For a social networking site, it has to be one of the most passionately anti-social places on the Internet. Take this recent experience, which epitomizes the kind of dialogue I end up having with what I call the "random crybaby":
As you can see from the discourse above, all I’ve done is ask the fellow to identify himself, which not only yielded the reply you see following my initial response (to some cryptic request I can’t even remember or find, thanks to Facebook security) but also saw him "block" me following his sending the message. He claims he was trying to reach me as a fellow fan of "Resident Evil". What that means, I don’t know…but I get really annoyed by Facebook’s security features when they favour this kind of "screw you for not paying attention to me" type message. A "note" posted to my profile on Facebook sums it all up:
"I’m getting sick of this place – and I really haven’t the foggiest idea why it’s so popular. The only reason I ever got an account here to begin with was that virtually everyone I know from every corner of the planet asked me if I had an account. But, all that’s happened since coming here, is I’ve found cliques of pretentious cyber-groupies adding one rediculous applet after the other to their page – and giving me notice of it, along with random crybabies messaging me with some cryptic and/or silly note (again wrapped in the body of some wonky applet-bound text thing I can’t begin to figure out) getting all mad and using the harraser-has-the-advantage security features of this place when I have the audacity to ask who the hell they are, in case I might know ’em!"
And Bruce Lee Turner, God forgive him, isn’t the only soul of his kind. I’m no saint – and I have my limits for place that is such total social disarray as this site is. Give me a site where adults can converse with each other – as adults – and instead of layer upon layer of paranoid anonymity, let people that message you be compelled to at least withstand a reply. Either that or delete all the messages user A sends to user B the moment user A blocks user B – so user B doesn’t feel like he just had the proverbial phone hung up on him!
Oh, and not to be petty about it Mr. Turner, but to you I say: grow up!