Saturday, January 28, 2006

An interesting morning

Yesterday morning (Friday) I woke up at 5:45 A.M. and decided to get up. This time is not that unusual since I normally get up at 6:00 A.M. in order to get to work on time. But 5:45 A.M. I was having this debate, do I get up and sacrifice the fifteen minutes of sleep or do I sleep for fifteen minutes and then be miffed at myself for interupting a good dream that would just have started. I decided to forgo the fifteen minutes of sleep and get my act together.

I went out the side door and picked up the Toronto Star newspaper and had a nice breakfast reading the morning's news.

I looked at the clock and it was around 6:20 ish. I lightly placed my dishes in the sink and headed towards the door grabbing my coat on the way. I even picked up my brand new book I read on the bus and walked out front.

Half way down the driveway I stopped suddenly. There was a grey car upside down in the ditch. I thought to myself "HOLY SHIT!" At first I thought it was my parents grey Saturn. But that worry was put to rest when my right hand hit glass when I turned around to head back inside the house. Our Saturn was safely, undamaged, in the driveway next me.

I called my father from the door twice and told him to look out the front window. I was waiting a response, but all I got was dead silence then he came out of his bedroom.

"Is there anyone inside?" Dad inquired.

I replied "I don't know I was too busy going 'HOLY SHIT'!"

We both headed outside again and peered inside the car. Nobody was there. The driver's side window had been broken and there was footprints all around the car.

The long story short. The car had been stolen from a couple of streets over.

It made for quite the morning and a cool Friday to tell my story at the office!

Monday, January 23, 2006

2006 Blooker Prize

Blogger Buzz: 2006 Blooker Prize

A new thing from is the Blooker Prize. The Blooker Prize is books created from content on websites and/or blogs.

An interesting concept if you think about it. I could, for example, take my written creations and make them into book form for people to read. Would a major publisher make the book? Probably not.

That is the ingenuity of At you submit your manuscript for your publication and only publishes the books that people order. So if you sell one copy of your book, only prints and ships that one copy. If you sell more that is ok too as only prints and ships the number of copies you sell.

So the blooker prize is a great opportunity to recognize the next generation of writers who may just have their own websites or blogs.

I will admit some admiration to the owner of this company, Bob Young, as he is my uncle. So I have declared the conflict of interest. Nonetheless, I congratulate for a great idea!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

From the Guestbook

Html Gear - Guest Gear View Guestbook

On I've had a guestbook for years where people have left comments about the page. Usually friends and family leave most of the notes. Sometimes I get questions.

However, this time it was personal connection that someone made to one of my writings.

Back in 1992 at the University of Ottawa I was in my last year of my honours in history degree. I was an a fourth year American history course and had to write a biography on an American History writer. So I looked through the names and came up with an interesting looking name. Why an interesting looking name? Because I didn't know any of the other names on the list provided.

So I chose David Potter and set about researching him. I researched and researched, drafted and the came up with the final copy which is posted here.

This past week Don Ian Gray of Fairbanks, Alaska, USA happened by to read the essay and left a note in the guestbook. Gray, apparently, had been a student in David Potter's classes at Stanford University in the 1960s.

I always love to hear about personal connections to things I have written and posted. So comment away.

If you don't know what to comment on, then simply stick your pin in my brand spanking new "frappr" map (find it in the sidebar!).

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Symptoms of Bird Flu

The Center for Disease Control has released a list of symptoms of bird flu. If you experience any of the following, please seek medical treatment immediately:

1. High fever

2. Congestion

3. Nausea

4. Fatigue

5. Aching in the joints

6. An irresistible urge to shit on someone's windshield.

Monday, January 09, 2006


VIVA and York Region Transit raised transit fares because, they claim, because of improved service.

Has service really improved?

Sure my commute has gotten shorter in time but why does it still take me easily over 90 minutes and four buses to get from Aurora to Downsview Subway Station? Currently it takes $3.50 to travel from Northern York Region to Finch Station, but I believe this is starting to get a little much considering one can travel from Etobicoke to Scarborough (in a similar distance) for $2.50. So why can't I do the same from Aurora to Finch Subway station? YRT operated without supervisors sitting in cars at Promenade Terminal and Richmond Hill Centre area for years, so why are these expensive cars required now with the advent of VIVA? Can't these supervisors wait in heated areas built at these terminals? Nope because these were not added so these pollution spewing vehicles must constantly run to keep these high priced people sitting and supervising the buses. Wasn't the GPS system on the buses supposed to be able to keep track where these buses are and what they are doing? So why the spewing cars?

Why did York Region roads require "VIVA" banners by the dozen put up and left to shred in the winter winds? Perhaps it was reasoned for the fare increase. Was the fare increase was necessary to take out the many quarter page advertisements in the local papers and the "VIVA" website (complete with video game contest and Season's Greetings eletronic greeting card)? With the fare increase affecting the passengers, one question remains in my mind is what costs have the private consortium undertaken in the VIVA project?

Why can't there be drivers at Terminals to let the drivers have proper breaks including washrooms? Far too many times have I been left at Richmond Hill Centre waiting for either VIVA Blue or VIVA Purple drivers to answer the call of nature and resume their routes.

Enough about VIVA, and onto other things.

Did the Prime Minister know about the latest announcement on taxation concerning income trusts? If not "fully in" on the on the announcement why was the equivalent of the CEO with over 30 million shareholders in the dark?

Also during the Sponsorship program why was the Vice-President of the Treasury Board, the Finance Minister, the and lead Cabinet Minister for the Province of Quebec not know what was going on in the this particular program? You would think at least one of these people would know something about what is going on, but what makes the matters worse is that Paul Martin, the current Prime Minister held all three positions at the same time. Yet he did not know what was going on. A judge, Justice John Gomery, even confirmed Martin didn't know anything about this program. How is that? Why do people keep voting for these guys?

I just don't get it. Spend public money with the biggest bang for the the taxpayers dollars (because it ain't the politicians own money) should be the way government spends money. Is this such a hard concept?

So many questions, so little answers....

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Wye Marsh

Wye Marsh

Man am I sore! I felt great yesterday cross country skiing at Wye Marsh on a beautiful winters day in Midland, Ontario, Canada. But now my thighs and knees hurt. I wanted to blog last night except I fell asleep!

See the pics on my website here.

Monday, January 02, 2006

What Canadians Think About (No it is not Golf)

I came accross the a couple of interesting links that someone sent to me via e-mail:

1. Want to know what Canadians think about everything? Click here.

2. It's TEE TIME! Think you know a lot about golf? Ok smart ass try here!

3. Know a lot about the history of Canada? Try the Canadian History Quiz here.

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