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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Saxophones started blowing me down  / I was buried in sound / Taxicabs were driving me around
— Wilco, Handshake Drugs
April 30, 2006

New Toy

From the manual for my new toy, which I didn’t realize was quite such a complex piece of technology;

Toasting is a combination of cooking and drying of the bread. Therefore, deifferences in moisture leve from one bread to another can result in varying toasting times.

Posted by skooter at 12:51 PM This entry is filed under Technology.

Two Rich Minds Departed

This week has seen the departure of two of North America’s distinguised thinkers: Jane Jacobs and John Kenneth Galbraith. Both were erstwhile Canadians.

Jane Jacobs Death and Life of Great American Cities is a classic text to anyone interested in urban planning. It went against conventional wisdom of the time and, to this day, remains an insightful thoughtful viewpoint.

Jacobs called both Toronto and Vancouver home for extended periods of time, and was proud to have been associated with both communities.

John Kenneth Galbraith was one of the most influential liberal economists of our times. Born near London, Ontario Galbraith was a Harvard professor and trusted advisor to a number of democratic presidents. His influence over American monetary policy was significant, and serves as evidence that the decline of liberalism in modern American economic thinking may, in fact, be linked to the general decline of America’s economy and its political relevance in the world.

Galbraith’s The Affluent Society was republished to celebrate an anniversary, and I read it years after I’d left school. It’s worthy reading for anybody with an interest in modern economics, despite the fact that it was written many years ago.

Posted by skooter at 9:15 AM This entry is filed under Books, Politics, Technology, Words.
Tags: Economics, Obituaries, Urban Planning

April 26, 2006

The Lions, Coast Mountain Range, Vancouver, BC

The Lions, as seen from a Piper Cub, March 2006

Posted by skooter at 9:08 PM This entry is filed under Camera, Vancouver.

April 20, 2006

Decisions. Decisions.

Suddenly, my decision to go to California instead of the Queen Charlotte Islands at the end of the summer is looking like a good one.

Ferry to Queen Charlottes ‘unlikely’ in 2006

Last updated Apr 19 2006 11:13 AM PDT
CBC News

BC Ferries says it is possible but “unlikely” there will be the regular summer ferry to the Queen Charlotte Islands this year’s, following last month’s sinking of the Queen of the North

Posted by skooter at 8:32 PM This entry is filed under Travel, Vancouver.

April 19, 2006

Scott McClellan

The most astonishing thing about Scott McLellan’s resignation is that he said more of substance on this single day than in any other press conference of the administration.

This man shut down the podium, and communicated in a manner that can at best be described as intentional obfuscation, and at worst as intentional propoganda.

White House press secretary resigns
Wednesday 19 April 2006, 18:26 Makka Time, 15:26 GMT

Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, has resigned from his post in the latest reshuffle within the Bush administration.

Appearing with McClellan at a press conference on the White House lawn, George Bush, the US president, praised McClellan for his “class and integrity” in handling Washington’s often combative press core.

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

April 12, 2006

Syrianna

Syrianna is an extremely rich and complicated movie, and deserving of many of the accolades it has received.

This is not a film that one enters into lightly; not a film that one views as entertainment, and not a film that can be completely absorbed in a single viewing.

It is most definitely a film that is worth seeing.

I wondered about the irony of driving home after seeing it. I’m not sure that the film is actually anti-oil, although it is most definitely a scathing indictment of how the large American oil companies conduct their business.

Posted by skooter at 10:23 AM This entry is filed under Entertainment.
Tags: Movies

April 6, 2006

Thin Systems

Nicholas Negroponte is still thinking different even as the rest of the world does not.

Negroponte: Slimmer Linux needed for $100 laptop
CNET News.com

“People aren’t thinking about small, fast, thin systems,” said Nicholas Negroponte, chairman of the One Laptop Per Child nonprofit association, in a speech at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo here. “Suddenly it’s like a very fat person (who) uses most of the energy to move the fat. And Linux is no exception. Linux has gotten fat, too.”

Why does this matter?

Continue reading "Thin Systems"

Posted by skooter at 2:43 PM This entry is filed under Politics, Technology.
Tags: Conservation, Hardware

April 5, 2006

Babies, Dinner and Spring

With spring in the air, the general mood around the city has been getting happier in Vancouver, despite the fact that it’s been really cold. I’ve started cycling to work and it hasn’t been raining much. This young boy’s thoughts are turning to motorcycles too, but I do love the way my mind fits better in the world while I’m pedaling.

Yesterday — the fourth consecutive day that I cycled to work — I picked up bagels for the landlords, who love a specific type of bagel that is boiled and baked around here. Tuesdays are cheap dozen days, so off I went to fill my panniers.

When I got home, I brought the cheap dozen upstairs and was asked if I was staying for dinner — as usual, more had been made than necessary and when these two cook, I never say no (there was a sauce reduction needed…we’re not talking frozen food here.)

As usual, there were also children.

Continue reading "Babies, Dinner and Spring"

Posted by skooter at 3:44 PM This entry is filed under Family, Friends, Words.
Tags: Cycling, Georgia, Paige

Ok. Now I want an Intel Mac.

This is seriously cool stuff.

Boot Camp lets Macs do Windows

Today Apple announced Boot Camp, a public beta of a Mac OS X Leopard feature that lets users of Intel-based Macs install and run Windows XP directly on those systems. Jason Snell notes that instead of crippling the recent hack that allows Intel Mac to run Windows XP, Apple has released a legitimate version that does what the hack did—and in true Apple fashion, a whole lot more.

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

April 2, 2006

Sitting Here at the Hortons; so you know this is important

With the recent public offering of stock in Tim Hortons, there’s been much discussion of the cultural significance of the ubiquitous coffee shop to Canadians.

This got driven home today in a Toronto neighbourhood quite viscerally

Man blows self up at Toronto Tim Hortons

Toronto (April 2, 2006) — A man died Sunday after an explosion in the washroom of a Tim Hortons doughnut shop in downtown Toronto, police said.

They did not immediately confirm reports, by radio station AM-640, that a man had entered the washroom shortly before the blast with explosives strapped to his body.

Police said no one else was involved and there were no other injuries. They couldn’t say whether the dead man was a customer or an employee.

The blast happened at the shop east of Yonge Street and north of Bloor, one of the busiest intersections in the city, at around 1 p.m. local time. Traffic was tied up in the area and Yonge Street was closed in both directions.

Fire department spokesman Daryl Fuglerud said the man had burns to his body.

Posted by skooter at 12:50 PM This entry is filed under Politics.
Tags: Articles, Coffee, Tim Hortons

April 1, 2006

King Ralph

Go softly into the night, King Ralph

Go gently, for if you do not your time in the sun will be forgotten in the face of an angry goodbye.

Who will replace Stephen Harper? I’m not at all certain that Ontario would ever vote for Ralph, but he’s a possible candidate.

Posted by skooter at 7:39 PM This entry is filed under Politics.

Deeply Disturbing

I can only describe the existence of this as deeply disturbing and perhaps the surest sign of the end of television as we know it that I have yet seen.

Posted by skooter at 8:39 AM This entry is filed under Entertainment.