Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Don't Cry for Me

Aidan, a friend from work and a really great photographer, visited Argentina in December and he took some incredible photos. He sent me this link to his Web site, and I thought I'd share.


Monday, January 23, 2006

Earth To Elections Canada

I was surprised to read that the publication ban on voting results is back in effect for this election. Does anyone really believe that bloggers and small Web sites won't publish results before the polls close across the country?

Here's a simple solution to the problem: don't start counting any ballots until all the polls are closed! Now, I realize that might mean that Eastern and Central Canadians would have to either (a) stay up late, or (b) wait until tomorrow morning to hear the results. But, you know, I think that's a little bit more reasonable than trying to bend the Internet to Elections Canada's will.

Politics and Sheep

I just don't get it: how could Stephen Harper have been so scary in 2004 and not now? The shift in public opinion has been huge, and I fear that we're going to see major policy reversals that will change a great measure of what we tend to think of as Canadian values. I can think of a few possible explanations...

1. I have, along with the Liberal and New Democratic parties and much of the press, a skewed view of Canadian values. Canadians' tendencies really aren't as socially progressive as we might imagine. Those of us who live in the cities (I've only ever lived in Vancouver and Toronto) probably underestimate the how different the world-views held in much of the rest of the country are.

2. Canadians really aren't concerned about social issues right now. They don't agree with the Conservative position on same-sex marriage, for instance, but they're willing to put their differences aside in order to send a message that they will not tolerate what they perceive as waste and corruption. Other institutions of government, notably the courts, and public opinion will probably constrain a Conservative government, preventing them from significantly altering the country's path on sical issues.

3. Apparently, Harper has been much nicer to the press in this election. Last time, he didn't give them much time or access, but in this campaign, they say he's actually been friendly with them. As a result, his coverage has been much more positive and Canadians have decided that he must be an okay guy. In other words, we're a bunch of sheep.

I fear that the third explanation might be the most accurate.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Back to Work

It's been 2 weeks since I've had to work (not counting finishing my PBC at the last possible second last Friday), and I was a little nervous logging on to the VPN this morning. It's been the usual kind of day so far, with most of my time spent helping other people. It's rewarding, but frustrating -- there are things I need to get done, too!

Today, I helped someone in Germany debug his XML Schemas, and now he wants to send me a Bavarian beer glass. I still haven't even managed to catch up on my notes (what normal people call e-mail), much less do anything productive.

I had an odd dream a couple of nights ago, where we were told that the lab had been shut down and all development was moving offshore. Then, I found out that the very best, top-performing people were actually keeping their jobs and would have to do all the development work themselves, and that I was in limbo -- it hadn't been decided whether I was in that group or not.

It was such a long and involved dream that, by the time I woke up, I wasn't sure whether I would actually have a job to go to today. But, it's just back to business as usual now.

Anyhow, it's time for me to take my long-delayed lunch break. I'm going to go and see if I can exchange a lighting fixture. I bought and installed some track lighting on the weekend, but one of the fixtures is screwed up. Hopefully they'll take it back, and I can finish up this lighting project (add the missing fixture and install the dimmer) in the next couple of days.