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pointed poll [Aug. 10th, 2004|05:32 pm]
[mood |distresseddistressed]
[music |Nine Inch Nails - Down In It (Shred)]

I watched it way too long; it was bringing me down.

Which of these issues do you recognize? care about? help fix? Poll #334047 Which points?
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: Friends, participants: 22

Impending global growth crash(es)?

View Answers
4 (21.1%)
Care about
3 (15.8%)
Helping fix
4 (21.1%)

Spreading corporatism?

View Answers
1 (4.5%)
Care about
7 (31.8%)
Helping fix
2 (9.1%)

Intensifying climate crisis?

View Answers
5 (23.8%)
Care about
1 (4.8%)
Helping fix
8 (38.1%)
I'm feeling increasingly like my life is pointless if I don't start devoting most of my energy to doing what I can about issues like these.
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Fanatical Apathy on terror alerts [Aug. 6th, 2004|12:58 am]
[mood |cynicalcynical]
[music |NPR over Realaudio]

This comedian I've heard on NPR has just written an incisive lampoon highlighting the basic fallacy of the fear mongering terror alerts the Shrub administration keeps issuing.

Also, yay, I've pared my inbox down to less than 250 messages!
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Woo hoo! [Aug. 2nd, 2004|04:19 pm]
[mood |relievedrelieved]
[music |]

Small victories of the day: Got my kitchen in order and dining room (card) table clear, booted my desktop computer for the first time in weeks, got my e-mail inbox below 300 messages, and finally found my cordless phone handset!

Still missing my medicine cabinet contents, though. :-/
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Halifax (re)considered [Jul. 31st, 2004|03:34 pm]
[mood |hopefulhopeful]

There still seems to be a position open in Halifax that I'd be qualified for. I'm afraid of moving there alone, not knowing anyone there, but it could be a good place for me, at least for a while. The money is better than anything I've seen in Edmonton (as good as anything I've seen in Toronto that I'd be qualified for). The cost of living might be pretty low (not counting the cost of flying around to see anyone I know). The live music scene is supposed to be great. The employer seems big, stable, and desperate for people with these skills.

Have you been there? Do you know anyone there? Are other people in our acquaintance thinking of going there? Would you want to go?

Please mention this little poll to anyone else whose opinion could be relevant!

Poll #329268 Considering Halifax
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: Friends, participants: 18

Would you visit me in Halifax?

View Answers
Definitely by springtime!
2 (13.3%)
Probably by next year.
3 (20.0%)
Perhaps eventually?
7 (46.7%)
Unlikely, but you never know.
3 (20.0%)
No way!
0 (0.0%)

Halifax is . . .

View Answers
Too far away!
3 (20.0%)
Too windy!
0 (0.0%)
Too wet!
0 (0.0%)
Too small!
0 (0.0%)
Too big!
0 (0.0%)
5 (33.3%)
0 (0.0%)
0 (0.0%)
0 (0.0%)
Just right.
0 (0.0%)

What else do you think about Halifax?

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apartment hunting [Jun. 12th, 2004|03:56 pm]
[mood |draineddrained]
[music |Bally Sagoo - Noorie (Bend It Like Beckham soundtrack)]

As at least one friend has pointed out to me, I have never really gone apartment hunting for just myself. I've always been looking for myself and exactly one other, at least a housemate. So there's always been someone else with a direct interest (as in, also benefiting) in the outcome. My most sanguine take on the new experience is that it's interesting, maybe mildly liberating. At worst, well, when it's too anxiety-provoking, I put it off.Read more...Collapse )
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Aussie pollie [May. 6th, 2004|02:37 pm]
[mood |predatorypredatory]
[music |Punjabi Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Bally Sagoo - Kinna Sohna]

Are the South Australian Democrats in power or official opposition, or are they a minor party?

Nice to see the occasional politician taking note of the problems inherent in a proprietary software monoculture. Ian Gilfillan comments on Sasser worm.
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Xeon cataclysm [Apr. 30th, 2004|01:58 pm]
[mood |determineddetermined]
[music |Malkit Singh - Jind Mahi (Bend It Like Beckham soundtrack)]

My new server is now up and running. I had to drive it out to Hard Data on the North edge of Edmonton to have the RAM replaced. I'm quite relieved the problem getting it to run last night was nothing more serious. Profuse thanks to Robert for taking an interest, especially since he has a fairly similar (but newer) system and is an electronics engineer (both of which were, sadly enough, called for in last night's troubleshooting).

So I get to spend today juggling kernel options. Anybody interested in offering suggestions, have a look at yesterday's diatribe for details on what I'll be struggling with. Yes, this does also mean I'll soon be in a position to offer accounts to friends. Feel free to let me know if you're interested in that, but it may be a while before I'm ready to think about adding users (and there's already a small queue).
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improved sleeping [Apr. 26th, 2004|08:11 pm]
[mood |restlessrestless]
[music |summery birdsong]

(Nice summer we had, today. Tomorrow it goes back to 12C and windy for a while!)

For years, I've been sleeping on a queen-sized bed with water-filled tubes in place of a mattress (but with a pillow top -- the effect is much like a conventional mattress but with some slight wave motion the length of the bed). It was cheap yet fairly ergonomic, but it's sagging in too many places and isn't that great for summer in any case (lots of plastic holding all that water in).

I'm also getting ready to move and looking to keep costs down. I've been thinking a hammock might be just the thing. What I don't know (and haven't learned through a couple hours of googling) is: How ergonomic are hammocks? I can see where the all-mesh variety might cause problems for someone as soft as me, but then there are the variety with a pole each across the head and foot, so they lie a lot flatter. Maybe with the right pillows one of those would suit me. Maybe I'd need two sets of webbing, so I could wash one while sleeping on the other?

I'd like to improve my quality of sleep if possible, not risk making it worse.

Anyone know good sources of information on this general topic?
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I am GNU/HURD [Apr. 24th, 2004|09:59 pm]
[mood |bemused]
[music |Chopin - Grande Valse brillante in A Minor, Op. 34 BI. 64]

Thanks to purplecthulhu for pointing out this amusing bit of geekery. I find some of the answers to the OS quiz particularly amusing.
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laptop qurks [Apr. 21st, 2004|02:00 pm]
[mood |restlessrestless]
[music |Chopin - Valse in C Sharp Minor, Op. 64 No. 2 BI. 164]

Something I didn't anticipate about using a laptop: Doing a web search while sitting in someone else's office, then returning home to find the search(es) still open can feel a little eerie, especially when it relates to an earlier phone conversation with that same someone. "Wait," I was almost thinking, "I didn't know to look that up until I was at Paul's place!"
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Magnitudinality [Apr. 13th, 2004|08:40 pm]
[mood |curiouscurious]
[music |Shooglenifty - Rod's Doorway]

It feels to me like there should be more and better representations for the range of magnitudes known to apply to elements of our universe. One aspect of this which perturbs my thinking somewhat is: At what orders of magnitude should there be representations? Every 10x? Every 2x?

Maybe 10x magnitudes are a good starting place, as a sort of scaffolding for various other stuff.

What scale do most humans think on? Have we (as a species, not the obvious specialized individuals) broadened the range we pay attention to? I guess I'm more likely to grab a tweezers to modify something than I would be to lay the foundation for a new building. Then again, I've been more prone to hurtle around in automobiles than manipulate things with tweezers. In terms of what we can manipulate directly, human hairs are favourite benchmarks, having a diameter of 1 x 10-4 m*, with common 12-gauge wire being 2 x 10-3 m, my little finger tip is 10-2 m, my fist is about 10-1, and my full height is about 2 x 100, getting me to the largest sorts of things I can directly manipulate. Some few things over 10 m in diameter might mass little enough for me to push around, but they'd still be damned unwieldy!

I'm suffering an intense burst of curiosity about the scales of systems, abstract or physical. Are quarks still the smallest known particles? I see that if an atom had the same size as the Earth, a quark would be ½ cm. Checking, I see that Superclusters are the biggest known systems (they're clusters of galaxies). It would be neat, maybe even handy to know examples of systems falling into every order of magnitude of scale between Superclusters and the Planck length of 10-35 m.

* m standing for "metre" except in the U.S.
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Frequent flyer fureai kippu [Mar. 23rd, 2004|01:16 am]
[mood |intrigued]
[music |Shooglenifty - Kinky Haroosh]

Reading technical articles over at, a fascinating interview with one of the designers of European currency convergence got my attention. It's entitled Complementary currencies for social change.

Really great quote from near the end:
Assume that a Martian lands in Denver on the wrong side of the tracks. He ends up in one of the ghettos and finds that the houses are run down, the kids not taken care of, the elderly in trouble, and the trees dying. He sees all these things, and discovers that there are people and organizations absolutely equipped and ready to solve every one of those problems. So this Martian asks, 'What are you waiting for?' The answer: 'We're waiting for money.' 'What is money?' the Martian inquires. 'It's an agreement in a community to use something as a medium of exchange.' Don't you think he may leave the planet believing there is no intelligent life here?
Of course, I've had a look at the Edmonton LETS time-credit exchange, and it doesn't seem to do much. Maybe I'd have to take a greater interest before I'd see anything come of it?
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Post to journal, get swag! [Mar. 22nd, 2004|06:49 pm]
[mood |pleasedpleased]
[music |Shooglenifty - 29 Steps]

This company, is giving away a free boot-from-cd Linux to anyone who passes the word. Can't last long, I suspect! The CD is Knoppix 3.4, which I've been trying to download in hopes it'll actually boot on my finicky laptop.
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Weird day (in funny ways) [Feb. 20th, 2004|05:41 pm]
[mood |quixoticquixotic]
[music |Mannheim Steamroller - Toota Lute]

Zoinks... wotta weird 'un...Collapse )
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Cuíca! [Feb. 18th, 2004|09:46 am]
[mood |jubilantjubilant]
[music |BBC Radio Ulster]

Argh! I've been trying to figure out what instrument makes the "whooping" sound in Paul Simon's song, "Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard" and the theme music for the British series, Queer As Folk. A local music shop suggested maybe it was a vibraphone, so I've been Googling around that word and "arrangement" and "instrument" and "distinctive" and-- well, lots of things.

So where do I finally come up with a description of the cuica? The Queens University Belfast, on a School of Anthropological Studies page.

It's such a small world, or as Stewart says in Queer As Folk, "my world is so fuckin' huge!" Read more...Collapse )
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"Disclosure" does Jon Stewart... *and* Rick Mercer! [Feb. 14th, 2004|11:35 pm]
[mood |amusedamused]
[music |CBC NewsWorld theme]

The CBC investigative news show "Disclosure" tonight did a segment on this trend where a lot of (especially younger) people are getting their news mainly from news parody shows, like "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" in the U.S., and "Rick Mercer's Monday Report" in Canada. Hrm, they didn't even mention "This Hour Has 22 Minutes," although they did a bit imitating Rick Mercer's old monologues from that show. Oh yeah, and did I mention they also devoted time to Janeane Garofalo? The anchor, Mark Kelley, mentioned she's logged more hours on political talk shows lately than most politicians!

I've really gotta get something working to capture digital video off TV... recording on VHS tape is so last millennium! (Says the broken, er, vinyl record in my head...)
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Is The West Wing coming back? [Feb. 12th, 2004|01:09 pm]
[mood |Φ]
[music |The Monkees - I'm A Believer]

Used to be, watching The West Wing on TV would give me a boost of energy. This season, I felt the show was on the skids largely because I wasn't getting that, any more. Today, watching last night's episode, I did again.

Hopefully not just because I watched while exercising?

Now will the Mars Or Bust storyline be taken by most people as a contrast with or endorsement of Shrub's announcement that he wants that?

I really needed the boost today. Listening to some chapters of The Da Vinci Code where they talk about Phi (Φ ) and the Fibonacci Sequence helped some, too. Anybody know any really engaging books on appreciating the Golden Ratio and other accessible math/physics phenomena?
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Shoestring culinary magnificence [Feb. 4th, 2004|07:29 pm]
[mood |pleasedpleased]
[music |Devo - Jocko Homo]

Yum, wow, I've been practicing a really easy tasty inexpensive curry I found online, and tonight found an African lentil dish that's just as cheap and easy and goes pretty well with it -- just in time, too, since my rice cooker still has lots of aromatic yellow rice left from Monday!

Read more...Collapse )
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Pondering Panther [Jan. 23rd, 2004|10:22 pm]
[mood |impressedimpressed]
[music |Mackeel - Cranntara]

Apple is making OS X even better, building on their shrewd move of using the open source FreeBSD as the system's foundation. If you're a Mac fan too busy and/or nontechnical to read up on the details, here's my very cursory summary of the Ars Technica review of Mac OS X 10.3, a.k.a. Panther:

Read more...Collapse )
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GOP staff stole Dems memos? [Jan. 23rd, 2004|05:42 pm]
[mood |surprisedsurprised]
[music |Mannheim Steamroller - Toota Lute]

Sheesh, have I got to start keeping up with Ars Technica for news on political scandals now?
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Confidence booster, resume helper [Jan. 20th, 2004|11:53 am]
[mood |rejuvenatedrejuvenated]
[music |Sam Roberts - Where Have All The Good People Gone?]

Stumbled onto this job-search site yesterday and discovered that its form for building a skills-list is a real confidence booster! It has you select an industry, then list skills you've applied in that industry, free-form. After I'd input the second obvious category, I realized, hey, I've worked in many of these industries! Read more...Collapse )
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Good wish list [Jan. 9th, 2004|07:03 pm]
[mood |contemplativecontemplative]
[music |Stevie Wonder - Overjoyed]

It's nice to see the thought that must have gone into this wish list by one of the founders of the Samba project team. I sorta wish he'd stuffed the geekier stuff toward the end, but if you skip the big list of "I wish open source projects would..." stuff, there's more political insight further on.
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wuth thick [Jan. 8th, 2004|11:24 am]
[mood |sicksick]

As I recover from the (hopefully) last of my flu, some puzzling ideas come to mind. Perhaps I didn't get the really bad flu virus that's been in the news. If that's what it is, though, I seem to have chanced into a reasonable sequence of treatment. It began with a sore throat, which I attacked with echanacia drops. I took huge doses of Vitamin C. I avoided dairy. Ate a lot of reconstituted chicken broth. I think one of my missteps was to eat solid food too soon, and another was taking in too much sugar. Hot tea has seemed to help, initially green tea, one cup of sore throat remedy tea, and I'll probably have my third lemon-honey-powder infusion when I'm done with this entry.

What I'm wondering is: Why can't modern medicine help treat afflictions like flu in stages? Aren't there researchers and/or physicians who could monitor the balance between depriving the affliction of sustinance while boosting the patient's defenses? It's obvious from any visit to a doctor that the vast majority of patients are bad subjects for monitoring; people generally seem to demand a single magic cure.

I suppose if the flu hadn't been making me stupider than usual, I'd have perused the Web for resource and/or geek sites on the subject. They wouldn't give me much answer to the cultural side of the questions, though.
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Mmm...mangosteen! [Jan. 2nd, 2004|05:47 pm]
[mood |amusedamused]
[music |Wide Mouth Mason - Smile]

My mum just pointed me to this page, describing mangosteen in considerable detail. I bought some while visiting Toronto to share with her and ldot. Apparently a new experience for both of them!
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click-to-help sites [Jan. 2nd, 2004|12:01 pm]
[mood |chagrined]
[music |Wide Mouth Mason - Change]

While traveling, I dropped my habit of visiting these click-to-help sites. Part of it was not having the links in front of me, so here are the ones I was visiting regularly:Of course, visiting any one of those will give you the links to the others, so maybe that's a bit overcomplete. According to the hoax-debunking site, The Hunger Site is legitimate, so I expect the others are as well. Snopes also lists as offering more opportunities to help various causes just by clicking web links.

It feels to me like if the folks who set up these sites are going to make it this easy to help people just by lending a tiny bit of my attention, I have to make it a priority to visit these sites daily to maintain any self-esteem. To make the routine even easier on myself, I keep a browser open to The Hunger Site in a VNC session, and have it set to reject all images from these sites. So I can go through the day's click-to-help links in about a minute.

These all remind me a little of Amnesty International, which identifies where people can send letters to help stop torture, making it almost hard not to help. Except I find myself helping with all too few Amnesty letter writing campaigns. So it's apparent to me that even someone who feels strongly about such causes can succumb to inertia.

Are there still more online efforts to make helping too easy for even people as phlegmatic as me?
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Cooking insanity [Dec. 21st, 2003|09:59 pm]
[mood |accomplishedaccomplished]
[music |Ashley MacIsaac - Brenda Stubbert]

Yow, what a week! I've been cooking up a storm.

Read more...Collapse )
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yay, music! [Nov. 25th, 2003|12:05 am]
[mood |gratefulgrateful]
[music |Penelope Swales - Just Twisted]

I'm expanding my use of eck_music. If you see it on your "friend of" list, it's because I'm keeping track of who I share musical tastes with. If I've learned of good music from you or introduced you to some, you may get added. If you want to be added, say the word! Well, and vice versa.

This is partly inspired by a search on Penelope Swales, noticing that only three of us on LJ list her music (presumably) as an interest. Gack! The three of us obviously haven't dragged enough people to her concerts, or played her best songs for friends!

Incidentally, would it make any sense to turn eck_music into a "community"? I'd still get to stick my expanded list of musical interests there, but then other people could post there. As a place to share recommendations, maybe? Although a single entry, especially one marked as memorable, should suffice for that. Eh. We'll see.
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LJ mappy thing [Nov. 1st, 2003|11:03 pm]
[mood |optimisticoptimistic]
[music |Wyrd Sisters - Inside the Dreaming]

What a fun thingy!

Miche, it says you're in Indonesia, right near Jakarta!

I'm trying to get all my Livejournal friends' locations plotted on a map - please add your location starting with this form.
(Then get your friends to!)
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ginger molasses cookies or candies [Nov. 1st, 2003|10:03 pm]
[mood |curiouscurious]
[music |mouseman upstairs practicing with his new capo]

So I tried the Chewy Gingerbread Cookies recipe posted by minnaleigh this morning. Quick summary: If you double the recipe as she suggests, the one ingredient not to leave undoubled is the flour! read on for details...Collapse )
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Today's technobabble... [Oct. 24th, 2003|08:46 pm]
[mood |determineddetermined]
[music |Sixpence None the Richer - Don't Dream It's Over]

Not sure how many technophiles read this, but in case you're interested: The migration of my internet server to a collocation facility is coming up off the back burner, driven by a confluence of incentive and means. Now I have to decide...Collapse )

link7 comments|post comment

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