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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Sun went down / lookin' like the eye of god / behind icy mist / and stark bare trees
— Bruce Cockburn, How I Spent My Fall Vacation
November 30, 2005

Quebec

Quebec is the sleeper issue of this campaign, in many ways. I’m waiting for the discussion to start.

Posted by skooter at 10:56 PM This entry is filed under Politics, Quebec.

White Rock: After The Rain

White Rock: After the Rain My day ends in White Rock fairly often, and these days it often coincides with sunset.

On Friday it rained all day, and I rode all day. As I pulled into a gas station at the end of the day, the sun poked through, the clouds separated and an incredible White Rock sunset broke through.

I wouldn’t mind living here one of these days, although I’d really choose Crescent Beach if I could.

Posted by skooter at 7:37 AM This entry is filed under Camera.

November 29, 2005

Terribly Unconvincing, Mr. Harper

Heard, tonight on CBC Television’s Canada Now

Reporter: But I wonder do you love this country?
Stephen Harper: I’ve always said Canada is a great country.

Where’s the passion Mr. Harper, where’s the passion? Your response was lukewarm and unconvincing - cheese can be great; wine can be great — this country is more than both of those things.

This country goes beyond being great; this country is the best place in the world to live. I was born here, and it is a part of every fibre of my very being.

When I get in a canoe in Northern Ontario and paddle alone through those tranquil waters, I am Canadian and I’m paddling in the wake of hundreds of years of our national identity.

When I hike the Stawamus Chief in Squamish from bottom to top I am Canadian.

When I stroll the shores of Pacific Rim National Park and gaze west across a vacant horizon, I am Canadian.

When I stand on the shores of the Bay of Fundy and watch the power of the Earth’s tides at their greatest I am Canadian.

When I reach down and touch the earth and soil that this country is built on, I love it with every fibre of my being.

This country is so much more than great. This country is our home.

Posted by skooter at 6:14 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

November 28, 2005

One, two, three strikes you’re out…

Gentlemen (and I use the term loosely to describe both of them) — let the games begin.

Posted by skooter at 10:31 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

Mr. Martin’s Populatiry

Reading this reminded me of how vividly negative the reaction of the crowd at the Grey Cup was when Paul Martin walked onto the field. The crowd booed, noticeably.

I keep wondering why I haven’t read about this on any Canadian Liberal blogs.

Posted by skooter at 8:57 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

Elections and Electoral Reform

On the night of the corrupt Liberal government’s fall, this is a particularly interesting developmet:

Electoral reform rejected in PEI
By CHRIS MORRIS
Monday, November 28, 2005 Posted at 7:21 PM EST
Canadian Press

Charlottetown — A proposal to reform Prince Edward Island’s electoral system was rejected Monday by a large majority of voters in a provincewide plebiscite.

Here in British Columbia, we trod down this road for a bit and it failed; despite this, we’re heading down it again.

Continue reading "Elections and Electoral Reform"

Posted by skooter at 7:43 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

November 26, 2005

Read With Care

An extremely graphic article about a motorcycle collision and its aftermatch from the Toronto Star.

Read with care.

Continue reading "Read With Care"

Posted by skooter at 10:27 AM | Comments This entry is filed under Travel.

“Is it possible to die for love”; “Of course - bees do it.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

From todays’ Globe and Mail

Kiss may have killed Quebec teen
Girl with peanut allergy died after kissing her boyfriend following his snack of peanut butter; official cause of death was not released
Friday, November 25, 2005 Posted at 10:06 PM EST
Canadian Press

Saguenay, Que. — A fifteen-year-old girl with a peanut allergy has died after being kissed by her boyfriend following his snack of peanut butter.

Posted by skooter at 9:16 AM This entry is filed under .
Tags: Allergies, Obituaries

November 25, 2005

Manufacturing News

A fascinating article in today’s New York Times about the horrible baloon accident (how do you make a baloon accident sound horrible?) at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

NBC Stuck to Sunny Rebroadcast of Last Year’s M&M’s
By ANDY NEWMAN
Published: November 25, 2005

NBC did not interrupt its broadcast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade yesterday to bring viewers the news that an M&M balloon had crashed into a light pole, injuring two sisters.

The article goes on…

Continue reading "Manufacturing News"

Posted by skooter at 12:26 PM This entry is filed under Entertainment.

Public Transit in Toronto

CBC’s Metro Morning is podcasted and I’ve been listening, which is really nice. A note from a November 10th interview with activists arguing for a Subway line in Scarborough shows why Andy Barrie is missed by those of us who used to live there.

“At the end of the day, is this really about politics rather than transit needs? We have a Sheppard line today - terribly, some would argue, underused - because Mel Lastman wanted one and that’s the simple political reality.”

That’s called calling it like it is. The always flamboyant Mel Lastman screwed up public transit in Canada’s largest city because of his ego.

Posted by skooter at 4:24 AM This entry is filed under Politics, Travel.

November 24, 2005

Spending splurge…why not “Orgy of Spendiosity”

It’s quite surprising to me that more stories like this didn’t appear during the last election.

If Canadians abandon the Liberal Party of Canada en masse, it will be because of this - a habit which is not new. The Liberals practice the same pork barrel politics as well as they always have, but the barrels are delivered as press releases now.

Posted by skooter at 11:36 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

Updated for a Winter campaign

Kate’s updated her sign generator

Posted by skooter at 11:25 PM | Comments This entry is filed under Politics.

Mr. Prime Minister

122x100 Michael Ignatieff deserves your vote for Prime Minister if only because he’s able to enunciate a vision of Canada in a coherent and defensible fashion.

Anybody want to ask Paul Martin what he thinks defines our national identity? Mr. Harper, care to take a crack at that one?

Didn’t think so.

Posted by skooter at 9:45 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

Perennial Also Ran?

Mr. Harper is about to learn that tabling a motion is a great deal easier than winning an election, I’m afraid.

“After 17 months in office the record of this government – or I should say in many instances its lack of record – has become unacceptable to a large majority of members of the House representing on overwhelming majority of Canadian voters…”

Continue reading "Perennial Also Ran?"

Posted by skooter at 8:23 AM | TrackBacks (3) This entry is filed under Politics, Quebec.

November 23, 2005

Let’s all go to the…polls?

Whether the perception is justified or not, Ralph Klein has read the tea leaves correctly here

Klein says Harper seen as ‘too much on the right,’ predicts another Liberal minority
Last Updated Wed, 23 Nov 2005 22:05:30 EST
CBC News

Premier Ralph Klein is predicting another Liberal minority government - two weeks after he offered to campaign for his federal counterparts.

Posted by skooter at 9:02 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

November 21, 2005

David, David, David….this kind of talk is what gets you in trouble.

From today’s Globe and Mail

Industry Minister David Emerson acknowledged political concerns were speeding up the rate of government spending initiatives.

I’ve long since stopped counting the announcements showing up in my inbox. David will never learn - this kind of thing doesn’t endear you to your government colleagues.

Posted by skooter at 6:11 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

November 20, 2005

Fog in Vancouver

Magee Elementary

Continue reading "Fog in Vancouver"

Posted by skooter at 8:39 PM This entry is filed under Camera, Vancouver.

November 19, 2005

The Lunatics Are Down, But Not gone

Thank god for small favours.

Continue reading "The Lunatics Are Down, But Not gone"

Posted by skooter at 11:02 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

November 18, 2005

It’s funny, only because she lived.

From today’s Post-Intelligencer:

Friday, November 18, 2005
Motorcyclist hits 520 curb, ‘vaults’ into lake
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

A motorcyclist ended up in Lake Washington after hitting a curb along the Evergreen Point Bridge and flying over the railing Thursday.

“It’s amazing that she survived,” Seattle Fire Department spokeswoman Helen Fitzpatrick said.

The accident happened just before 11 a.m. at the west end of the bridge. The woman’s motorcycle somehow hit the curb and “she vaulted over the side of 520, at least 30 feet down into the water,” Fitzpatrick said.

The woman landed in a marshy part of the lake near East Montlake Park and made her way to a dry spot, where firefighters were able to help her. She broke her leg, but was alert and conscious when they took her to Harborview Medical Center.

Posted by skooter at 10:59 PM This entry is filed under America.
Tags: Articles, Motorcycle

November 16, 2005

Brand Spanking New

After quite a bit of time and work, there’s a brand spanking new site over at www.penguinstorm.com

There’s still work to be done (editing needed, and more content added - particularly a couple of items under the history section) but it’s ready enough to no longer be an embarassment.

All executed within Movable Type.

Posted by skooter at 10:11 AM This entry is filed under Technology, Words.

Liberals? Stealing money? No….

From Hansard, by way of Small Dead Animals

Mr. Jim Prentice (Calgary Centre-North, CPC): Mr. Speaker, Keeseekoose is a small first nation in Saskatchewan. In the time between 1995 and 2001, over $600,000 was systematically looted from its education fund. The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development has known about this since 2002 and this minister has known since he was appointed, but the minister refuses to help the new chief and council get to the bottom of this.

What is the minister hiding? Why will he not produce a forensic audit that shows who stole the Keeseekoose children’s trust fund?

And people keep voting for these guys? I don’t vote on ideological lines, but I certainly vote on competence.

Posted by skooter at 9:55 AM This entry is filed under Politics.

November 15, 2005

Didn’t We Already Make This Decision?

Dan Quayle Robin Williams was on the Tonight show once, and told a great joke about Roe vs. Wade.

It went along these lines: “Dan Quayle is so dense somebody asked him what he thought about Roe vs. Wade and he said ‘I’d rather swim.’”

It was pretty damn funny.

Continue reading "Didn’t We Already Make This Decision?"

Posted by skooter at 10:50 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

Does that look like snow to you?

See that there? On the left? That’s today’s weather report for Vancouver, according to my Mac OS X Dashboard.

That looks suspiciously like snow to me.

Posted by skooter at 8:48 AM This entry is filed under Vancouver.

November 13, 2005

Tonight We’re Going to Party Like It’s 1999

Why does the Globe and Mail cotinue to slip backwards in time?

The Globe has persistently shown a complete lack of understanding of how to embrace the Internet, and has now embraced the intensely misguided strategy of demaning registration in exchange for poor content.

If the content online were worthwhile, and mandatory registration got access to the majority of it, it may be a decent strategy. It certainly worked for the New York Times.

But alas, the Globe Online offers not nearly the content of the Times, even with the new pay for some content model in place at The Old Grey Lady

Posted by skooter at 8:46 PM This entry is filed under Technology.

Hizzoner

On CBC’s Cross Country Check Up Vancouver Mayor Larry Campbell just endorsed my long term gun control platform. Congratulations Larry - too bad you didn’t take your three years in office to pass a local bylaw. It may have been overturned by a court challenge, but it would have sent a message.

More problematic for the newly minted Liberal Senator, he just slurred the entire Indo-Canadian community.

Posted by skooter at 2:29 PM This entry is filed under Politics, Vancouver.

Tofino Soon

Posted by skooter at 8:53 AM This entry is filed under Camera, Travel.

November 12, 2005

A Giant Amongst Business Writers

Peter F. Drucker has died today. Drucker is a giant among business authors and journalists, with few even in the same league.

Drucker’s writings were consistently perceptive, and ahead of their time. It’s a shame that more don’t choose to learn from the man. Our world would be a better place.

Posted by skooter at 6:30 PM This entry is filed under Technology, Words.
Tags: Books, Obituaries

The Lies that Politicians Tell

Everyone knows politicians tell lies, and the people who want to be politicians are worse than the ones who already are. Danieal Igali made Canada proud by winning a gold after immigrating to Canada.

Continue reading "The Lies that Politicians Tell"

Posted by skooter at 12:07 PM This entry is filed under Politics, Vancouver.

(No So) Fast Company

This used to be such a great magazine; I guess things slow down over time.

Yellow Cabs Get Green

In short, hybrid taxi cabs are so common in Vancouver these days that I can’t imagine being in anything else. Of course, no one actually uses taxis here…we walk everywhere instead.

Posted by skooter at 8:36 AM This entry is filed under Technology.

November 11, 2005

My Vote For “Most Likely to Circulate”

Image courtesy of this guy although I found it on 43 folders.

Posted by skooter at 9:36 PM This entry is filed under Technology.

November 10, 2005

That Giant Sucking Sound

One more head office says goodbye to British Columbia

This does not bode well for the future, although if the Cascadia idea ever launches we can all move south without going through immigration.

Utilities Commission approves Terasen sale
Last updated Nov 10 2005 05:54 PM PST
CBC News

A Texas-based company has been given approval to buy Terasen Gas. Kinder Morgan will pay nearly $7 billion for the company and its natural gas pipeline network.

The B.C. Utilities Commission gave its conditional approval despite a flood of letters from concerned British Columbians. The commission says it received 8,000 letters of comment about the sale.

Posted by skooter at 7:51 PM This entry is filed under America, Politics, Vancouver.
Tags: Business, Economics, Politics, Vancouver

Vancouver ‘s Civic Government Slips Over The Edge

Tim Louis has always been a bit of a loose cannon, but this is just ridiculously over the line.

This from a civic government that can’t even keep homeless prostitutes alive.

Continue reading "Vancouver ‘s Civic Government Slips Over The Edge"

Posted by skooter at 5:24 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

Trooper? You’ve got to be joking

From today’s Globe and Mail

The boisterous debate has attracted all kinds of voices, including Ra McGuire, the lead singer of the rock band Trooper, known for the song Raise a Little Hell.

Mr. McGuire, who has been living in White Rock for 16 years, fiercely opposes the development.

“In Trooper, I play in every city, town and village in Canada,” he said. “There are so few places left like White Rock in the entire country.” It’s a “cool place” that shouldn’t change, he said.

Trooper? What’s next - Platinum Blonde in the federal cabinet?

Continue reading "Trooper? You’ve got to be joking"

Posted by skooter at 8:58 AM This entry is filed under Entertainment, Politics, Vancouver.

Sorry Marge, the mob has spoken.

Seattle’s monorail, which has been on 5 different Seattle ballots, is finally dead.

At least we can hope so. I’ve never taken the extremely short monorail system that exists in Seattle already. This plan was intended to extend the system to a reasonable length.

Continue reading "Sorry Marge, the mob has spoken."

Posted by skooter at 8:31 AM This entry is filed under America, Politics.
Tags: Articles, Public Transit

November 9, 2005

Presentation Styles

A good, if somewhat straightforward, analysis of presentation styles contrasting Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

Posted by skooter at 10:20 PM This entry is filed under Technology.

Wasn’t “Hyperlinking” The Whole Point of This Thing?

I still can’t figure out why, 10 years, after its initial launch the good folks at ZDNet don’t get the web.

405x126

The excerpted paragraph above is from an article posted today. Why there is a specific reference to the Nikon web site but no link to the Nikon web site is beyond me.

Posted by skooter at 8:12 PM This entry is filed under Technology.

Maybe California Makes Sense After All

From today’s New York Times:

Schwarzenegger Is Dealt a Stinging Rebuke by Voters
By JOHN M. BRODER
Published: November 9, 2005

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 9 - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was dealt a stinging rebuke on Tuesday by voters who rejected all four special election ballot initiatives that were the basis of his efforts to change the balance of power in Sacramento

I doubt this’ll last. I still feel like I’m taking some kind of hallucinogen everytime I see Schwarzenegger on TV.

Posted by skooter at 7:49 PM This entry is filed under America, Entertainment, Politics.

November 8, 2005

Why vote at all?

This, according to today’s Toronto Star:

OTTAWA — Jack Layton sent the Conservatives the clarion signal they have been demanding, stating unequivocally today that he is committed to helping them bring down the government at the next available opportunity.

So why do we keep talking about an election?

Continue reading "Why vote at all?"

Posted by skooter at 9:13 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

9 Announcements

In the last two days, no less than nine significant annoucments from various Federal ministries have found their way into my inbox.

The last time this happened in this kind of volume was around May of 2004, with a federal election following almost immediately.

Quel surprise.

Posted by skooter at 6:51 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

This is Sad

According to today’s Globe and Mail:

Liberal party snaps back
By BRIAN LAGHI
Tuesday, November 8, 2005 Posted at 8:01 AM EST

Canadians’ anger over the Liberal government’s role in the sponsorship program appears to have burned itself out over the weekend, allowing the party to snap back as the voters’ first choice just as it did last spring at the height of the scandal.

It makes me sad to think that Canadians are so cynical about the Liberal Party of Canada that they’ve already forgotten about every stolen penny; they’ve forgotten about the complete lack of accountability the organization has.

It makes me sad, but it does not surprise me.

Posted by skooter at 8:03 AM This entry is filed under Politics.

November 7, 2005

French Riots

The French are storming the Bastille again, and Slate Magazine provides a great summary of how to torch a car.

Posted by skooter at 9:43 PM This entry is filed under Entertainment, Politics, Travel.

A Highly Sensible Bicycle Law

Washington State has a highly sensible new traffic law, aimed at protecting cyclists. From today’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

A new bicycle safety law is now in effect, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission points out. It’s now a traffic violation to pass another vehicle when bicyclists are approaching in the oncoming lane or on the shoulder. The law stems from a May 2004 crash near Walla Walla that killed a bicyclist. House Bill 1108 extended the legal zone of protection for bicyclists and pedestrians to highway shoulders and bicycle lanes. The law states that it is illegal to use the left-hand side of the road to pass when a bicyclist or pedestrian is within view and approaching from the opposite direction.

Posted by skooter at 6:20 PM This entry is filed under America, Politics, Travel.

The Moustache Speaks

So Jack Layton - a man who has tried to launch a revolution in Canadian politics with his facial hair - has decided that he doesn’t have confidence in the government, giving Stephen Harper the votes he needs to bring the Martin government down. Layton has said that if a motion were on the table, the NDP would vote against the government.

So Stephen Harper - who could put such a motion on the table on November 15th - has said that he won’t do so, and that he’ll wait for Mr. Layton to put the motion out.

Huh?

Continue reading "The Moustache Speaks"

Posted by skooter at 6:10 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

November 6, 2005

Terminal City Weekly is Dead

Terminal City Weekly was followed closely by the political left, and not so closely by the political right. It’s death is a mere blip on Vancouver’s media radar, but one that should be noted on some level at least.

Posted by skooter at 11:01 AM This entry is filed under Politics, Vancouver.

November 5, 2005

Conservatives In The Lead? Maybe on Paper.

According to today’s Globe and Mail the Tories are ahead of the Liberals in the polls.

It doesn’t matter, this is a blip and the truth is revealed to all brave enough to look, or at least read the rest of the article.

Continue reading "Conservatives In The Lead? Maybe on Paper."

Posted by skooter at 9:03 AM | TrackBacks (2) This entry is filed under America, Politics.

November 4, 2005

Why Parks Should be Free

One man’s perspective on why parks should be free and there is no such thing as an acceptable reasonable charge.

I’m onside with this one. The imposition of parking fees in British Columbia’s provincial parks has been little more than a cash grab, and made it harder for lower income residents to enjoy.

Posted by skooter at 9:37 PM This entry is filed under America, Politics.

Salaries in Vancouver

The Cascadia Scorecard Weblog had a little tidbit about British Columbians and wages.

This refrain is not new - it is, in fact, one that is put forward everytime people speak about the differences between T-dot and Vancouver. The gist: people in Vancouver choose lifestyle over income.

I don’t see it as much of a choice. That jobs pay much less in Vancouver than in Toronto for the same career is simply entrenching the already enormous gap between the haves and have nots in this city.

Continue reading "Salaries in Vancouver"

Posted by skooter at 9:12 PM | Comments This entry is filed under Politics, Travel, Vancouver.

Replacing Divots?

Cell phone cameras provide limited resolution, but unlimited opportunity. This was a great picture taken while standing in line at a fast food restaurant.

I was just astonished by the size of this divot in the back of this guy’s head. It was amazing really. I called it a dimple, divot was someone else’s word.

Posted by skooter at 9:26 AM This entry is filed under Camera.

Campaign 2006

Too much fun for far too long.

Posted by skooter at 9:23 AM This entry is filed under Politics.

Health Care in the Real World

Anybody who complains about Canada’s health care system needs to read articles like this when they appear.

Our problems are not unique, nor are they unique to socialized universal health care. This doesn’t make them right, but critics need to be realistic as well.

Posted by skooter at 8:44 AM This entry is filed under Politics.

What is a Library?

This news from the BBC today is interesting, in the face of opposition to Google’s similar plans.

Microsoft scans British Library
Microsoft’s digital library plans are separate to Google’s

About 100,000 books in the British Library are going to be scanned and put online by software giant Microsoft.

The books, which are out of copyright, will be digitised from 2006 and put online as part of Microsoft’s book search service next year.

Microsoft is already working with the Open Content Alliance (OCA), set up by the Internet Archive, to put an initial 150,000 works online.

A separate global digital library plan by Google is also under way.

What makes Bill Gates good and Google bad? And what is a Library exactly?

Continue reading "What is a Library?"

Posted by skooter at 8:18 AM This entry is filed under Technology.

November 3, 2005

Scooter

As usual, The Onion speaks what’s on the mind of news organizations around the world:

‘Scooter’ Libby Wishes He’d Ditched Nickname Before Media Coverage
November 2, 2005 | Issue 41•44

WASHINGTON, DC-I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the indicted former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, wishes he had stopped answering to his nickname before it was featured so prominently in the news, he confided Monday. “Scooter’s fine if it’s just the president or Mr. Cheney,” said Libby, whose involvement in the Valerie Plame case has made his name notorious. “But when I see it on CNN, I want to hide.” If implicated in the Plame leak, Libby could face up to 30 years in a facility where he would almost certainly be given a new nickname

Posted by skooter at 10:42 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

What not to say in your Craigslist posting

I regularly cruise the Craigslist furniture listings, and was pretty tempted by this.

120cm x 170 cm in good condition. no stains, non smoking, no pets, vacumed on a regular basis. In fair condition 6/10. still pretty clean. used in bedroom. Clean enough to lie naked on for a minute or two. Originally sold at ikea at $20. Yours for $5.

Posted by skooter at 8:47 AM This entry is filed under Inanities, Technology, Vancouver, Words.

Midway, British Columbia

Midway, British Columbia is home, in a manner of speaking. I’m from Ontario, but the family is from out here.

Like most small towns it’s not very economically diverse; like most small towns in British Columbia, it’s a one horse town. Now comes news that the only employer in town paying reasonable salaries is closing.

Continue reading "Midway, British Columbia"

Posted by skooter at 7:26 AM This entry is filed under Politics, Technology, Travel.

November 2, 2005

Rogue State?

You know, much as I love the United States of America - and there is much to love - there are times when I wonder how the world has let this rogue state grow to the power and influence it has today.

Continue reading "Rogue State?"

Posted by skooter at 8:26 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

Whales and Dogs

There has never been a more blatant vote grab than this.

Vancouver has two types of people - dog people, and people who complain about dog people. I lean towards the latter, as I’m fairly ambivalent about dogs.

The dog people have complained for years about not having enough off leash areas but I’m goin to let our elected Park Board in on a little secret: they’re never going to be happy. There will never be enough off leash dog areas.

Continue reading "Whales and Dogs"

Posted by skooter at 8:20 AM This entry is filed under Politics, Vancouver.
Tags: Vancouver, Whales

November 1, 2005

Vancouver news in Toronto

When the Toronto Star is able to find Vancouver on a map you know the news is big.

Posted by skooter at 8:50 AM This entry is filed under Politics, Vancouver.

Gomery

If Jean Chretien had his heart in the right place and was fighting for a noble cause, does this make the mistakes of the sponsorship scandal acceptable?

Posted by skooter at 8:33 AM This entry is filed under Quebec.