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Japan's Disposable Workers
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I Am Skooter  So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
Caught in the struggle tight on the rod / I want you / Bring out the devil to bring out the god
— Peter Gabriel, And Through the Wire
August 5, 2012
Canadian Made


A very cute into to a new TV show (apparently…I remain blissfully unaware of these things.)

Also a very cute brief history of Canada.

Posted by skooter at 11:25 AM
Tags: Canada, Television, Videos

June 18, 2010
Found Objects: Moose Wine Glasses

The Salvation Army at 12th & Main is the main branch for the city. They actually have a pretty awesome selection of stuff ranging from home electronics to a semi-circular wood coffee table that could use a bit of refinishing.

Wine glasses with a moose and pine tree on the side though? That takes the cake. There’s two, and as much as I don’t need them at $1.99 each it’s tempting…tempting…

Posted by skooter at 4:01 PM
Tags: Found Objects, Moose

February 26, 2010
The 70s Were So Surreal

Posted by skooter at 12:10 AM
Tags: Videos

September 12, 2008
If Tina Fey Registers, I'm Heading to Ireland

Tina Fey drops Star Wars references quite a bit, and Baby Mama was no exception. If I find out that she’s registered for this course, I’m signing up.

Star Wars Jedi Knights course offered by Queen’s University Belfast
A university is offering a course that will use the psychology of the Star Wars Jedi Knights to teach students communication skills and personal development.
 
By Tom Peterkin
Last Updated: 4:48PM BST 11 Sep 2008

The UK’s first Jedi course is on offer at Queen’s University Belfast in November and hopes to attract Star Wars fans and introduce them to the joys of continuing their education through open learning.

According to its publicity material, the course ‘Feel the Force: How to Train in the Jedi Way’ teaches the “real-life psychological techniques behind Jedi mind tricks”.
It also claims to examine the “wider issues behind the Star Wars universe, like balance, destiny, dualism, fatherhood and fascism”.

No prior qualifications are required and the blurb informs students that “light sabres are not provided”.

Posted by skooter at 4:44 AM
Tags: Education, Star Wars, Tina Fey

August 27, 2008
Mini Legomen are 30 Years Old Today

They’ll always be Legomen to me. Minifig be damned.

Posted by skooter at 4:01 PM
Tags: Lego

August 2, 2008
Purple. Definitely Purple.

Spandex Velvet at Fabricana The marriage of spandex & velvet is surely the kind of unholy alliance that should be banned.

Posted by skooter at 3:38 AM
Tags: Cycling, Fashion

December 10, 2007
I'm Making My List, and Checking It Twice

It’s short this year with only one thing on it.

Posted by skooter at 7:39 PM
Tags: Motorcycle

September 30, 2007
Spam, Wonderful Spam

While nosing around and figuring out how best to configure my new SpamAssasin settings, I happened to be watching PBS which was airing Episode 25 of Monty Python’s Flying Circus

This is, of course, the episode that contains the wonderful Spam skit from which most technology related references are derived.

What a pleasant surprise.

Posted by skooter at 4:28 AM
Tags: Email, Monty Python, Spam

September 24, 2007
Marcel Marceau is dead

Marcel Marceau is dead today, the pre-eminent mime of his generation.

Rumour has it that his his neighbours didn’t know he had passed away, and instead thought that he was just giving them the silent treatment.

Posted by skooter at 5:13 AM
Tags: French, Mime, Obituaries

September 20, 2007
Shocking. Unbelievable. The news of the century!

Ummm…or not, as the case may be. I wonder how many people read this article in the newspaper?

More Canadians getting their newspaper fix online
RICHARD BLACKWELL
Globe and Mail Update
September 20, 2007 at 9:02 AM EDT

An increasing number of Canadians are reading their newspapers online, according to the latest readership numbers released yesterday by the Newspaper Audience Databank Inc.

The figures, gleaned by NADbank from surveys conducted in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa in the fall of 2006 and the spring of 2007, show that for many newspapers Internet readership is growing faster than for their print versions.

Me? Daily news online, but I do still enjoy curling up with the Saturday Globe & Mail and doing the crossword puzzle in a coffee shop. It’s the tactile nature of it I like.

Posted by skooter at 8:42 PM
Tags: Globe and Mail, News

January 18, 2007
Weirdest Headline Ever

As it turns out, the green economy is good for the planet but bad for Mexico:

Mexico signs deal to hem tortilla costs
By IOAN GRILLO
BW Exclusives
MEXICO CITY

President Felipe Calderon signed an accord with businesses on Thursday to curb soaring tortilla prices

I’ve never felt so decadent as when I ate tacos last night. Apparently the shortage of corn for tacos has been caused by a surge in demand for corn for use in Ethanol.

Posted by skooter at 12:14 PM
Tags: Food, Mexico

January 11, 2007
Scooby Dooby Doo...where are you?

Scooby Doo’s creator has passed away.

The legacy of Scooby-Doo creator Iwao Takamoto
By Chris Suellentrop
Posted Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2007, at 1:25 PM ET

Perhaps the most interesting thing I learned was this:

After learning illustration from other inmates at a California internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II, Takamoto pursued a career in animation

Posted by skooter at 7:58 AM
Tags: Cartoons, Hanna-Barbera, Obituaries

January 7, 2007
Schadenfreude

Far be it from me to take pleausure in the suffering of others, but it’s hard not to chuckle at this a little bit:

Would-be copper thief electrocuted
Canadian Press

MONTREAL — A would-be thief is dead after breaking into a Hydro-Quebec tower to steal valuable copper wire.

The man in his 40s was electrocuted when he cut the electrical wires atop the tower in the north end of Montreal.

According to city police, such thefts are becoming commonplace with the soaring price of scrap metal, including copper.

Across the country in the past year, there have been reports of manhole covers torn out, aluminum siding ripped off homes and aging church roofs stripped for scrap.

Posted by skooter at 10:58 AM
Tags: Articles, Christmas, Quebec

December 18, 2006
Best Headline Ever

My favourite news story in quite some time:

Please Let It Be Whale Vomit, Not Just Sea Junk
By COREY KILGANNON
Published: December 18, 2006

MONTAUK, N.Y. — In this season of strange presents from relatives, Dorothy Ferreira got a doozy the other day from her 82-year-old sister in Waterloo, Iowa. It was ugly. It weighed four pounds. There was no receipt in the box.

Inside she found what looked like a gnarled, funky candle but could actually be a huge hunk of petrified whale vomit worth as much as $18,000.

Ambergris begins as a waxlike substance secreted in the intestines of some sperm whales, perhaps to protect the whale from the hard, indigestible “beaks” of giant squid it feeds upon. The whales expel the blobs, dark and foul-smelling, to float the ocean. After much seasoning by waves, wind, salt and sun, they may wash up as solid, fragrant chunks.

Posted by skooter at 8:48 AM
Tags: Articles, Whales

December 11, 2006
The Sun Also Rises

It’s 0930hrs in Anchorage, and the sky is slowly turning a bright blue. This is not something I’m familiar with, and this strange world confuses me.

Posted by skooter at 10:41 AM
Tags: Alaska, Anchorage

August 13, 2006
Death of the Penguins

I am grieving.

4 penguins perish in freak Texas truck accident
Octopus unhurt, exotic fish not as lucky en route to temporary home

Aug. 9: Four penguins and dozens of exotic fish were killed when their transport truck overturned.

Updated: 12:26 a.m. PT Aug 9, 2006
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Twenty-one penguins were rescued on a hot east Texas highway on Tuesday after a truck carrying the wildlife to a temporary home south of Houston overturned, said a state trooper.

Four penguins and some exotic fish were killed in the accident, including three penguins that were hit by passing motorists, said Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Richard Buchanan. “The rest of the penguins kind of stayed together in the ditch.”

Posted by skooter at 10:25 PM
Tags: Articles, Penguins

July 19, 2006
Some Things Should Not Be Necessary

Technology has, and will continue to, provide solutions to many everyday problems.

Then there are the things that shouldn’t be problems at all.

Reuters is reporting that hospitals are considering embedding RFID tags in surgical tools to prevent leaving them in patients. After closing a patient, doctors would wave a receiver over the body to look for the chips which would indicate that something was left inside

Posted by skooter at 11:44 AM

March 16, 2006
Ultima Canadian

Google this: zamboni driving school

I smell a business opportunity — my motorcycle lessons, after all, cost me $500 and are a lot less practical for most Canadians.

Posted by skooter at 2:39 PM
Tags: Hockey

February 22, 2006
Who Said a Little Planning Was a Bad Thing?

Further evidence that a little planning goes a long way. (The emphasis is mine, where applicable.)

Armed robbers steal 25 million pounds
Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:25 PM GMT9
By Andrew Gray

LONDON (Reuters) An armed gang posing as police stole at least 25 million pounds of Bank of England money on Wednesday in one of Britain’s biggest robberies.

Robbers kidnapped the manager of a security depot in Kent and his family before escaping with their haul, police said.

The thieves may have got away with more than 40 million pounds from the depot run by private security firm Securitas, according to one report on ITV television news.

DETAILED PLANNING

The latest robbery had clearly been planned in detail over some time, police said.

Personally, this is exactly the kind of thing I think you need a good project management plan for.

Posted by skooter at 2:08 PM

December 22, 2005
I read the news today, Oh Boy!

What is the world coming too? WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TOO?

Zoo: Snatched penguin may be Christmas gift

Tuesday, December 20, 2005 Posted: 2104 GMT (0504 HKT)
LONDON (AP) — A baby penguin believed to have been snatched from a British zoo as a quirky holiday gift is unlikely to survive until Christmas Day, his keeper warned Tuesday.

Toga, a 3-month-old Jackass penguin, was stolen Saturday from Amazon World on the Isle of Wight in southern England.

Just for the record, it was not me. I was in Vancouver all day.

Posted by skooter at 5:41 PM
Tags: Articles, Penguins

November 3, 2005
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

January 22, 2005
Kojak - the world has been lost without you.

Yesterday was Telly Savalas’ birthday and today marks the 10th anniversary of his death.

And you were wondering why there’s nothing good to watch on TV anymore?

Posted by skooter at 10:37 AM
Tags: Obituaries, Television

January 4, 2005
I love tires; tires are great.

From today’s New York Times:

THE first automobile to use air-filled tires was a racecar built by André and Édouard Michelin in the early 1890’s. More than a century later, the French company founded by the Michelin brothers is so identified with pneumatic tires that its mascot, Bibendum, is a man made of little else.

Who knew the guy had a name?

Posted by skooter at 7:49 PM

December 26, 2004
today


today thousands of people died around the world as one of the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history shook the continent of asia and moved the overwhelming force of the seas in unpredictable directions

today somebody got very mad at me becuase we sold out of a five dollar optical mouse that was advertised in the vancouver sun

one of these things says an awful lot about the state of our world

one of these things says an awful lot about our place in it

Posted by skooter at 9:03 PM

December 11, 2004
what a weird, long week it's been

This McJob thing is tiring, especially when combined with another new job. The new job may or may not be a real job, but we’ll see. It’s a bit more real than the McJob, it just doesn’t pay like a real job should.

But I’m tired.

I’ve worked the last 14 days straight: I don’t mean “work” in the abstract sort of popping around from coffee shop to coffee shop and typing in Movable Type entries: I mean work in the sense of you must be somewhere and have a specific list of things to do. I’m not suggesting that I’m assembling steel girders here (maybe I’d rather be) but it’s tiring anyway.

I need a day off. Soon.

So, to that end, a second interview with a company offering a bona fide full time job; 40 hours a week, a salary, benefits. The full deal. This would be a good thing, even if it doesn’t pay what I want. It would be stable, and stability is a good thing.

Tonight, I’m going to relax; I’m going to head to see Geoff Berner’ at the Railway Club. I love jeff, and I’ve written about him before. I think I’ll buy the live album tonight; I’ve been putting this purchase off, and it’s about damn time.

So off I go, to aimlessly wander the streets of Vancouver and try not to think about work for a bit. I like being busy, but I feel like I’m being pulled in too many directions lately. My work suffers as a result, and it begins to cause its own sort of problems.

I’d rather be at the Clown & Bard in Prague if I could be. Maybe I’ll go after all. Maybe I’ll finally get the nerve to just book a random flight and take off. Not right now mind you, but soon.

Posted by skooter at 6:41 PM
Tags: Geoff Berner, Prague, Railway Club

November 25, 2004
Ripped from the Headlines

Today’s Vancouver Sun gives us this headline:

Prank gets college yearbook recalled
MONTREAL — Officials at Montreal’s prestigious Lower Canada College have been forced to withdraw and reprint the student yearbook after two encrypted messages calling for death to all Jews were discovered.

There’s really no defence for these kids; what an incredibly stupid thing to do.

What makes it even dumber is that this is a total rip off of a Law & Order episode from I don’t remember when. These kids aren’t even being creative; they’re just watching TV.

Who says our education system isn’t working?

Posted by skooter at 2:03 PM
Tags: Articles

November 20, 2004
in my world, this counts as news

The wonder that is Slashdot produced this today, and given one of my current side projects it was of particular interest.

Oh My God It Burns! » Practical Applications of the Philosopher’s stone. For drunks.

Be sure to check the feedback; the responses to the article are quite wonderful.

I swear, I’ll produce better stuff than this Vladimir stuff (and isn’t that spelt wrong, anyway?)

Posted by skooter at 2:48 AM
Tags: Alcohol, Vodka

October 9, 2004
New Apes?

According to the BBC researchers have discovered a new species of ape. of uncertain origin.

This doesn’t, of course, change my favourite kind. It will always remain the same.

Posted by skooter at 9:54 PM

October 2, 2004
Wards & cops

This was how my night started:

and by the way, Gloria Macarenko is even nicer than my friends have told me she is.

This was how my night ended:

That’s not me being arrested, it’s just some I’m seeing from the balcony.

Posted by skooter at 12:44 AM

August 26, 2004
Mountain Equipment Co-Op is the best place to shop

I’ve been a an MEC member longer than I can remember; sometime back in high school. I’ve always had a love hate relationship with the Co-Op; sure the prices are good, but for a long time the gear just looked so much like…well…gear. Not well designed.

They’ve gotten better over the years, but the Co-Op has absolutely the best customer service of any place I’ve ever shopped. The absolute best.

For about a year I’ve been carrying my laptop in an Arcterx Blade 21 pack; a really nice pack, and one that would carry just about any laptop and gear well. One of the zippers blew out on this thing, at the bottom, even though it’s never been anything close to overloaded.

So I swung by MEC today and just sort of asked; after having a little chat about the fact that yes this usually happens because things are overstuffed but no this bag hasn’t ever been (really only carried a laptop).

Without even seeing my receipt these guys took the bag and sent it out for repair at no cost to me.

That’s customer service that can’t be beat, and that’s why I shop there whenever I can.

But I still really like Patagonia stuff.

Posted by skooter at 8:08 PM

August 18, 2004
On the Move

How’s this for commitment?

This site is moving to Movable Type; now that I’ve figured out the basics, it’s officially on the move.

So the old home page is here for now, but hopefully everything will relocate smoothly as we move along. For now, photo galleries (including Alaska) are staying static.

Why Movable Type, you ask?

Largely becuase it’s highly customizable, and not simply a blog system. Blogs are great, but really a limiting structure. With Movable Type, the possibilities are endless and I suspect that I’ll never reach them. Because you can use Movable type to generate PHP, content can include some of the dynamic features of PHP. I’ll be mucking around with this quite a bit.

Posted by skooter at 9:49 PM
Tags: Alaska, Movable Type

June 21, 2004
Garfield? Seriously: Garfield?

Reality Checks are a regular thing on election campaigns; I’m getting, quite frankly, a little tired of them. This, however, is the most horrific one yet from Slate mag:

Today, Garfield the comic strip appears in nearly 2,600 newspapers around the globe, and its readership is estimated at 260 million. If the readership number is right, then 4 percent of the world’s population reads [Garfield] every single day.

Shudder. Garfield. 4%. World Economy.

Dead.

Posted by skooter at 11:05 PM

February 9, 2004
Cops Don't All Eat Doughnuts, But They All Drink Coffee

Bean Around the World at 20th & Main attracts an interesting crowd of folks;most notably a fairly regular crowd of cops.

The parking lot, as a result, tends to take on a fairly interesting look: as an example, the Volvo parked in between 3 police cars (one of them containing Spiker, one of the Vancouver Police’s four legged finest; I don’t know what the car theft rate here is, but I’m betting its below the national average.

Posted by skooter at 10:15 AM
Tags: Coffee, Police

January 2, 2004
Is This A Trend?

While perusing my daily news, I came across this headline on CBS Marketwatch; I’ve yet to see a better example of the inanity of financial journalism:

CBS Market Watch Headline - January 2, 2004

Yes, that’s right folks: the first three hours of 2004 are a bull market! If you were lucky enough to get in at the bottom (i.e. this morning) you’re looking pretty good right now.

Tragic, isn’t it? (The journalism, I mean.)

June 24, 2002
A Penguin Storm is something after all

For everybody who says there’s no such thing as a Penguin Storm, I found this

The [Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG)] has six categories of storms ranging from a one penguin storm which is a minor storm with less than four inches of snow and increases up to a five penguin storm which is 18 to 24 inches of snow and brings the area to a stand-still for a period of time. The final category is a penguin in an ice cube which describes the area’s response to an ice storm.

More information is here.

Posted by skooter at 8:34 PM
Tags: Penguin Storm, Washington D.C., Winter

May 7, 2002
More Lottery News, none of it good

More stupid Earth Future Lottery news; Novamedia (the Dutch investment group) has opted to continue to pursue the PEI connection as the sole option.

It’s dead.

Posted by skooter at 11:01 PM
Tags: Earth Future Lottery, Work

May 5, 2002
If this is my lottery, why can't I win?

For those who don’t know, the Supreme Court of PEI issued a ruling which effectively ends the Earth Future Lottery’s involvement in Prince Edward Island. Things are not dead yet, and as a result this has produced substantial uncertainty.

I know, I’m shocked too. This thing’s gone so smoothly so far.

Posted by skooter at 10:56 PM

April 12, 2002
Ricky Martin? What the hell's with that?

Random web surfing (don’t ask):
For five years Ricky [Martin] lived his dream, performing at music festivals and sold-out concerts in every continent. “My school has been the hotel room and the lobby has been my playground,”

Posted by skooter at 5:09 PM

September 18, 2001
Religion doesn't scare me; religious fervour does

Tonight’s Simpsons reruns had Homer abandoning religion, and the Flanders’ singing a song “God said to Noah there’s gonna be a floody, floody”. Funny stuff, until I found this web site with virtually identical lyrics.

Posted by skooter at 10:50 PM

September 6, 2001
The 70's are back; oh, wait - they're gone again

This is not a joke. I sat two rows behind this guy on the plane. The really funny thing is his head was tiny, it’s all hair.

424x287

Posted by skooter at 9:45 AM
Tags: Planes

April 3, 2001
James Cameron's Dark Angel

Watching Dark Angel on Fox for the first time. I can’t help but notice that in post-apocalyptic Seattle, everybody drives a Pontiac Aztek.

Dark Angel reminds me, I bumped into William Gibson on the street (Jessica Alba’s character is a pretty blatant rip-off of Gibson’s Chevette character); he drives a green Volkswagen Jetta.

Posted by skooter at 11:29 PM

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