Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Copywrong Time Again

The federal government is secretly negotiating an agreement to revamp international copyright laws which could make the information on Canadian iPods, laptop computers or other personal electronic devices illegal and greatly increase the difficulty of travelling with such devices.

Copyright deal could toughen rules governing info on iPods, computers

This article is one of the most horrifying things I've read this year. You owe it to yourself and to Canada to read this shit and take action.

Write your MP and voice your opposition to crazy copyright reform in Canada. That is, unless you like having security personnel and border guards go through your laptops and iPods looking for stuff that might be pirated, or if you really do believe your isp should be handing over your personal information to copyright holders without so much as a court order.

It is sick that a minority government might be able to push something like this through. It shows a lack of respect and no small degree of ignorance on the part of Canadians at large.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Canadian Casinos Cleaning Cash?

The casino situation in British Columbia is fucking depressing. Over the past few decades we’ve been apathetic enough to allow them to become an integral component of our social and public service system. Anyone who has ever worked a bingo for their swim club or bussed trays for baseball understands the dynamic well. Gambling takes advantage of the most vulnerable among us, reaps (or rapes) a great profit, and trickles a little down the line to the organizations in need.

Yet we’re all so placid that only the few and the brave (we like to call them radicals or agitators) among us say anything outside of our own four walls, except for maybe when we’re in Starbucks’ four walls and we want to sound all progressive and shit.

Now, after years of wrangling with FOI requests and some great undercover work the CBC has shed some light into the dark corner we knew was there all along.

As part of the investigation, CBC reporters exchanged thousands of dollars in bills of $20 and $100 for cheques from the casino, demonstrating how criminals could use the gambling operations to hide illegal revenues.Documents obtained by the CBC also showed casino workers routinely observed dozens of suspicious financial transactions each year, but only a fraction were reported to the federal agency that tracks money laundering.

Premier awaits review of casino allegations

So not only is our system so bent that we rely on gamblers to keep our organizations running, but we’ve set ourselves up with a beautifully handy cleaning system.




I’m really bent out of shape about this. It follows the all-too-common theme of negligence when it comes to the oversight of risky business.

What kind of person turns down money because they suspect it’s of illegal or questionable origin? Are they the same kind of people who run gaming houses and casinos? Is it the low-wage earners working the front counter who may risk their jobs or their personal safety by reporting their suspicions? Can anyone honestly answer yes to those questions?

Relying on those who stand to profit the most to regulate themselves is bunk. It’s bunk when it comes to industry, it’s doubly bunk when it comes to policing in casinos and gaming centres.

We’d still be in this mess even if we had reliable funding for public programs and services, but we’d be able to deal with the issues in a way that doesn’t cripple our communities that now rely on gambling as a source of income. As it is, whatever losses BC’s casinos may take will surely affect more than those responsible. From the province, to our cities, to our clubs and charities that are most in need.


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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Anywhere I Lay My Head

Scarlett, I'm upset. You took a heap of great music and recycled it into emotionless vanity-pop crap-o.

Why would Tom Waits authorize this sort of thing? I guess it kind of bridges him into the younger demographic that a Scarlett Johansson might attract, but gah! Have you heard this thing? The album is a waste of time.

“He's been really supportive - not from the sidelines, but from a far, far distance.”
GIGWISE, Scarlett Johansson: 'I Feared Tom Waits Would Get My Ass Beat In A Bar'

Which is exactly the distance I reccommend you keep yourself away from this steaming pile.

Don't even bother torrenting it. Just stay away. Far, far, away.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I was away all weekend in Squamish climbing.

I go so rarely that I forget each time how amazing climbing really is. That feeling of superhuman accomplishment after working your way up a rock that really shouldn't be climbable. I love that nervous tension that comes from the fear of falling. It takes me a bit to settle in to trusting the equipment, which I think is healthy, but makes for some shaky repels at first.

No photos, I lost my camera charger. Trust me though, it was epic. The climbs in Raven's Castle are pretty dope because you're already most of the way up the Chief so you're looking way down on little Squamish below.

My great new discovery was lying on my stomach by the edge of a cliff. It feels like you're about to be pulled off into thin air.

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Oscar Peterson on Piano Jazz

The best. Spend an hour and recognize.

Listen Now from NPR Music.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thursday Top Ten!

I haven't done many lists, but I'm busy so here goes:

10. Citrus on roasted carrots and beans. It's sofuckingdelicious. Take some carrots and green beans, toss them in olive oil, salt, pepper, and squeeze a lemon on them. Roast - eat - be happy.

9. Dry pavement. Longboarding wins ok.

8. Dan’s Homebrew Supplies. For the cost of a batch of wine at a U-brew I got a kit and all the hardware I needed to make the stuff at home. I’m 28 days from drunk.

7. The Tazer probe. I can’t think of anything that sounds more painful than a tazer probe, and my Polish ancestry and transit-rider status make me think probing some tazerers is a good thing.

6. JJ Bean on Commercial Drive. Best friggin Americano in town, and delicious delicious beans for home use.

5. Connect360. No more burning dvd’s.

4. The University of Alberta. I forget why though...

3. Summer in Vancouver.

2. Parties that party.

1. Making things so you don’t have to buy them.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wet Wednesday

Slayer - Raining Blood

Found at skreemr.com

It's raining. Gah.
Honestly, my attraction to the lower mainland is wearing thin by the day.

CCR - Who'll Stop The Rain

Found at skreemr.com

Monday, May 12, 2008

EnCana Breaks off a Little Sumpin

Now every once in a while
There's a crack in my smile
Dark voices are talking to me
Dark voices tell me the way
It's supposed to be
They said "Breakin' up"
They said "It's hard to do"
But what they say
About breakin' up
Y'know it's just not true
Breakin' up, it's easy to do

EnCana has long held it is undervalued by the market and has previously considered spinning off a chunk of its business, believing that the company is less than the sum of its parts. - CNN

I makes sense in a few different ways.

I’m sure investors will be happy with a boost in value. By splitting the tarsands from natural gas EnCana’s halves (or 7/8ths & 1/8th) are massively more understandable.

It also insulates Encana’s natural gas operations from any volatility in tarsands extraction – and I for one thing this is the biggie here. Tarsands extraction is one of the most environmentally unsound practices around, and sooner or later someone’s going to be on the hook for a cleanup bill bigger than that time your buddy invited the entire high school over for a party while his/her parents were away. It’s good for EnCana to protect its traditional core should politics shift in Oilberta, or federally for that matter.

It’s the beginning of a trend, I for one think we’ll see a number of similar spinoffs as companies struggling for capital to move more aggressively into the tarsands will split themselves in an effort to both boost valuation and insulate themselves from what could turn ugly.

**Disclaimers: I won’t call it oil sands, the tarsands is tarsands dagnabbit. Also, I think it already has turned pretty ugly, ducks right?

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Sunday, May 11, 2008


I've been away.
It was good.
I may post photos.
Dawson is a strange town full of strange people that I love. I'll tell you a story sometime, just remind me after I've had a drink or two.