Monday, January 30, 2006

Outrage

Did anybody read this?
Please do. It's absolutely outrageous. The gist of it is internet service providers want to squeeze more money out of us. They want people to pay for the amount of bandwidth they use. This scheme they're developing has nothing to do with stopping illegal downloads, either. It's just a system they've devised to make people pay more if they use the internet more than other. Online gaming? Pay more. VoIP? Pay more. Downloading stuff? Pay more.

"It's simply not fair to charge someone who's using the Internet for a simple e-mail the same as someone who's streaming their TV or phone calls."

Bullsh*t! If I used my home phone line to talk 24 hours a day, I'd still pay as much as those who get a call a week. Why scale internet usage? I'm sure companies that rely on internet access will not like this at all because people will stop using the net as much. It will stunt innovation.

"[Telus] is also thinking about charging large firms such as Google or eBay for access to its network, something that Bell South and AT&T are also proposing in the United States."

This is a horrible idea. Companies will have to pay the ISP for the luxury of being carried? This would mean only larger sites that have the ability to pay will be online, squeezing out smaller firms. Also, imagine people who do a lot of gaming online. Not only do they pay subscriptions to play (ie MMORPG monthly fees, or Xbox Live, even), but then they'd have to pay on top of that for their bandwidth usage? And most ISPs already charge for downloading over the limit. So then, what is this extra charge for? It's just a new way to milk money from consumers. Luckily, this article makes no mention of Sympatico and their unlimited download limits.

I feel this will not fly with customers. I can only hope, that is. Stand up and let your voice be heard against this potential coming injustice. I'm angry.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I'm on a roll so it's time to go solo...

Yes! It's true! A third post this week! And as you can see, I haven't yet run out of exclamation marks! !!! (the last of that set of three was an exclamation point exclaiming the previous 2 exclamation points). Down to business.

In honour of the WWF videogame JBo used to have, lo those many years ago in the condo day (condo oh condo, wherefore art thou, condo?), I decided that all must now call me Hez Majesty. That's right. Those who do not comply shall henceforth be dead to me. Well, maybe dead is too strong a term. But you'll most definitely be in some sort of semi-vegetative state, rest assured.

So finally, something that had been bothering me the last while bubbled up. I put my finger on what's so hilarious about Stephen Harper! The following, under noted thespian (and large, cigar-chomping, gun-toting black man) Chi (Kai? Shy? Tchai?) McBride's filmography:





Yes! Chi McBride played Harper! What bold casting, taking the largest, non-white guy they can find. Actually...I think I liked Chi's version better. Especially in "I, Robot" where he's blasting those bastard robots through the glass...but I digress.


*****

Allow me to vent. One of the 3 elevators at work is non-operational. The remaining two are incredibly slow. You can run up and down to the 10th floor and back (on your hand) before the elevator arrives. So I wait there like a chump. A bloody chump! And finally the elevator arrives...and it's chock full of elderly immigrant women. It's actually a hilarious sight. See, the other floors of the building house seamstresses for Moore's and whatnot. Having few language skills, these menial jobs often fall to immigrant women who know how to sew. Then, us young punk engineers take over 2 floors of the building. I figure we're not their favourite people. So when the elevator doors open, after a 5 minute wait, they seem to inflate their sizes like frightened cats and cry out "pas de place! pas de place!" and press the 'close door' button. I guess it's their revenge.

*****

On a somewhat related note, I constanly forget my security card. See, this card is essential to not only entering the office but exiting, as well. Now, unfortunately, the toilets are in the hall, requiring my absent card to access them (yes, the same washrooms with no flush urinals). So to get in and out of the office, I have to sneak in and out with unsuspecting people. If I see someone leaving, I bolt off my chair and slip by them. They must think I'm some corporate spy, stealing Prince of Persia 3 code on my portable USB drive.

It has been suggested to me by plenty of people to place my security card with my bus pass or in my bag. I suppose that's a sensible idea. Hence, I won't do it. I don't have an effin' lanyard for nuthin', guldangit!

*****

I've been thinking of making more Jerry the Ill-Tempered Squid comics, probably in standard 3-panel form. What do y'all think? You can read his first appearance in Malgo Plays Twister, then his next adventure in the only Jerry comic I made, all linked on the right. If I find any inspiration, I'll do it.

*****

All right, that's it for now, I guess. Oh, and am I the only one who noticed those ads in the metro? You know the one. It's for vacations...or something. I don't even know. Anyway, it has some bikini clad woman's back. Except, she just took off her top. It causes quite the stir from passing crowds.

Speaking of a stir, I saw this on a bulletin board at McConnell Engineering the other day. This one's for you, Amish:

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Overheard in a steam

So I was sitting in the sauna at the gym when these three punks kids came in. No, there is no grossness to this story, so get your minds out of there. Anyway, these kids were young, I'd say around 16 and speaking English. They looked the typical Centennial-type. They started out talking about how good Arrested Development is, so they're in my good books, right? Wrong.

One of them was quoting a comedy routine for some odd reason. He said he heard it on the Just For Laughs show and proceeded to butcher the gag. Now, I've heard the original bit (it was Joey Elias) and it was amusing. But this guy was akin to the 1st level boss in Diablo ("Ahhh, fresh meat!").

The topic of Just For Laughs then segued to one of the kids complaining that he couldn't get into a JFL show because you have to be 18 or over and then proceeded to curse a lot. I noticed they all swear a lot. Now, swearing doesn't bother me but these guys seemed like they had no vocabulary so they used the f-word as a crutch, much like Smurfs use the word "Smurf" to hide their vast stupidity and ignorance of lexicon.

Next, one kid said, (vulgarity edited) "Hey, did you hear Nico got expelled cuz they found his brass knuckles?"
"Yeah, they searched his locker."
"How dare they do that! I can't believe it. There must have been a snitch."
"Oh, for sure. Lots of guys are getting their lockers searched lately and they find drugs in them. There's gotta be a snitch because they know exactly which lockers to search."
"Yeah but Nico had those knuckles for like a year. Word probably got back."
"Man, those knuckles were so cool. He'd walk by our tables in the cafeteria and punch down on the table with the knuckles...and I'd be like, 'can I wear them?'."
"I think we should tell a few people we have stuff in our lockers and if there's a search, we'll know who the rat is."
"We need rat poison!"

I left after this point. These guys were so stupid. Who am I to judge? I'm me, dammit. I can judge as I please. What I don't get is the following:

-this Nico guy is so stupid as to show off his brass knuckles in plain sight and then the guys are surprised he gets caught
-these guys are angry that a hypothetical snitch reported that some loose cannon had brought weapons to school. Hmmmm...

If these are the kids coming down the pipeline, I'm scared for the future. I can only hope there is an equal segment of that age group who are hardcore nerds and will one day employ these idiots in menial tasks and oppress them. Rise, geeks, RISE!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Does this mean the GST will immediately be 6%?

The Conservatives were voted into a minority government but there are plenty of stories here. I will try to write with as much objectivity as possible...but we'll see how I do.

The Conservatives were predicted to win a strong minority, knocking at the door of a majority but that did not happen by a long shot. They were 31 seats short of that. In fact, they have a weaker minority than the just toppled Liberals. I think a big surprise was how well the Liberals did in fact do, reaching triple-digit seats. The reason being the campaign went a bit too long, with the Conservatives standing in the polls peaking last week. They could not breach the Liberal bastion of the greater Toronto area.

However, a huge story was Quebec. As usual, Quebec always plays some wacky role. The Conservatives, who have been shutout of Quebec for what seems like ever, grabbed 24% of the popular vote, to the Liberals' 20%, and won 10 seats. This is both upsetting and good. If the Conservatives had not been so strong in Quebec, the Liberals would have won plenty more seats. I figure they would have taken the 10 the Conservatives grabbed and in addition to those, they would have won a handful of ridings where the Conservatives split the vote, allowing the BQ to come up the middle. Take my riding, for example, Brossard-La Prairie. The BQ guy won by 1300 votes. If you added the Conservatives votes to the Liberals, they would have handily beaten the BQ by close to 10,000 votes. Considering the BQ guy got virtually the exact amount of votes he did last time, I think it's safe to say the Liberals lost votes directly to the Conservatives in my riding. This situation repeated in many ridings. If the Conservatives weren't as strong, the Liberals would have taken enough seats to win a minority government. So, Quebec held the balance of power in the province.

The better news of the Conservatives' showing in Quebec is the embarrassment they induced on the Bloc. The Bloc was boasting earlier in the campaign about how they'd sweep the province and win so much of the popular vote, giving them conditions for a referendum. Then it fell apart. They thought they'd win over 60 seats but ended up actually netting 51...3 fewer than last election! But the egg on their face is due to the 42% popular vote they received. 42%! That is lower than anyone predicted. So I suppose this hinders any referendum plans. I figure those numbers are quite distressing to the separatist cause. I imagine virtually all who did not vote Bloc would also vote "No" in a referendum so it puts a shot in their plans. People are finally realizing they have an alternative and the Bloc is a one-trick pony with no raison d'etre other than screwing things up at a federal level.

This alternative may also change the dynamic of the provincial elections. Harper promises many concessions for Quebec which apprently worked to appease softer nationalists. On top of that, he said he'd support and work closely with Jean Charest to help Quebec. Add to that the fact that the provincial Liberals are amassing a ton of money to spend on a coming campaign and then mix in the fact that the PQ leader is not well-liked in his own party. Also, I feel once he is put to the vote, the rural voters will not support a homosexual, cocaine-using (while in office, no less!) politician. This could only fuel a rejection of the PQ. If only Charest can make himself better liked in the province.

In the end, it's all a game. The big question is, when will my combined sales tax go from 15.025% to 13.95%? :p

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Bus Peeves

Taking the bus generates many headaches. I've long complained about buses and mostly bus drivers. These guys are generally spiteful miscreants who revel in their passengers' misery. But I won't complain about them today. Today, it's the passengers.

1) Fat people. Nothing irks me more on a bus than some person who takes up 2 seats with their girth. I'm sorry but at that point, you stand and let smaller people fit in the seats. And why is it these obese people smell? Don't they bathe? Clean yourself, dammit. Use a rod with a sponge at the end, just get clean. Also, what's up with obese people trying to be fashionable? Nobody's fooled! Moomoos are the only acceptable clothing.

2) "I'm not paying attention" people. You get on the bus, you see a seat occupied by some jerk's school bag and you stand right in front of them...and they pretend not to notice you want to sit down. Finally, you get their attention and they get super annoyed that you dare disturb their precious schoolbag from its priviledged position on a seat. Well, excuse me! Sometimes, I wish I can just clock these people, without any legal consequence.

3) Loud talkers. I absolutely hate people who talk to each other very loudly on the bus, so that everyone can hear their ignorant and usually embarrassing conversation. Often, they carry on saying the stupidest things. I just want to correct them...then tell them off. It's just so cringe-worthy when these idiots are yakking away. You can tell the entire bus is listening and is totally embarrassed for them and for themselves. Speak quietly. Private conversations are meant to be private.

4) People studying for Cal exams. C'mon, please. Cal is so easy. Studying for it offends me.


If you guys have anything else about annoying passengers, please add them in the comments.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Popular Ethnicities

I was incidentally watching some program on the hotspots of Miami. They showed all sorts of latino clubs with greasy looking, stringy moustachioed, wife-beater wearing fools go party and it got me thinking. Why is it that every few years there is a popular ethnicity? It really upsets me. It's like people's ethnicity becomes a gimmick that's marketed and when the interest dries up, it's "well, so long latinos...you're not cool anymore. Thanks for all the salsa, but we're moving on".

In the 70s, Asian and Black people were exploited. There were a ton of low quality movies that were made, filled with these ethnicities and marketed to be cool. When the 80s came around, somehow Australians were the new thing. 90s had urban culture (media-speak for black). The second half of the 90s shifted to Latinos and most recently, Asians are popular again. You can tell which race is popular by checking the racial makeup of background dancers in rap videos. Latinos are all in hip-hop but that subtly shifted to these former-"Orientals". No, we gotta say Asian now. Newsflash: Asia has a ton more people than just those in the eastern part. Anyway...

I'm not upset or against any of these peoples. I just oppose the celebrities that are artificially created to satisfy the public's demand. These poor people are convinced that they're celebrities not because of their novelty race, but because they're the flavour of the month. The 70s gave us Richard Roundtree and Pam Grier. The 80s, Yahoo Serious and Paul Hogan. The 90s...too many to count. Marc Antony, Ricky Martin...all those idiots. Nowdays, we gotta contend with the Lucy Lius and Sandra Ohs of the world. (Side note: how the hell did Sandra Oh get on tv? I thought tv was the playground of the good-looking. That's how I want my tv to be. Why can't networks respect that? Oh right, cuz Asians are "in". Boooo, I say. But I digress.)

Long story short: racial fads sicken me. Who's next? Latvians? Cambodians? Lichtensteiners? You decide in the comments.

***********************

As per the request, here's a pic of my new desk.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

It's a new year

Happy nude year, boils and ghouls.

I mean that sentiment only as lip service. My long-standing disdain for celebrating New Year's still stands. I don't see why the changing of a digit should have such a impact on social activities. Why do people need an excuse to party and get properly soused? They can do this any other weekend, why's it special on December 31st? Bah! (new year's resolution #1: be more cheerful).

Good times were had at Casa de Hood (aka Masta's Pad). Karaoke/DDR is good times, if only because I kick so much ass (new year's resolution #2: be more modest). We (again) brought a giant bucket or fried chicken (new year's resolution #3: be less racist) that Chris throughly enjoyed. I mean, who doesn't like fried chicken? Well, chickens maybe...but nuts to the lot of them! They're raised with one single purpose: to be slaughtered, then enveloped in batter and gently lowered into boiling oil.

I got to meet some people who I'd only previously heard about. Mr. Solomon's son proved as agreeable as his father. It's a shame that unnamed dude didn't show up. There could have been some sparks flying, what with Mo being there and all.

A late appearance by JBo (whose blog is now running again, and who ditched his sick woman in order to party with the boys in the ghetto) was greatly appreciated, especially when he sniffed Dave's Snuff. I liken it to the time in HS he sniffed Liquid Paper or downed a shot of Listerine, then called the poison control hotline. Come to think of it, Jbo man...you need help. You get addicted to junk way too easily (new year's resolution for JBo: be less substance dependent). I swear, you'll end up in rehab or something. If you do, get me Kate Moss's phone number. I'd like to give her a piece of my mind (new year's resolution #4: be more obvious between serious sentiments and sarcasm).

So yeah, I think people enjoyed themselves and all was well. Except for the intermittent phone calls from Joe and Jean. Jean, man...wtf?! (new year's resolution for those guys: be less drunk)

Happy 2006. I'm sure I won't enjoy it.