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Name: David Graham
Member since: 2000-12-08 03:11:51
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12 Jan 2006 (updated 12 Jan 2006 at 15:46 UTC) »

And again, it's been a while.

I don't have any better place to put this, so I'll put it here.

This is the results I predict in the January 23rd, 2006 Canadian election:

    1. Neocon (tory): 180 seats
    2. Seperatists (bloc): 60 seats
    3. Incompetent fools (grits): 50 seats
    4. The fools that gave us this election (ndp): 18 seats

    Why? The "Liberals" got rid of the Liberal party (you remember them... Warren Kinsella, Sheila Copps, Jean Chrétien -- they brought us a stable, centrist government for a decade, and had strategists who knew how to, um... strategise?) and then ran the most incompetent campaign in Canadian history, at least since Martin's role model Turner went from majority to deep opposition. (And yes, that would put the Bloc back as the official opposition. Remember 1993?)

    Martinites: Shaken, not stirred.

    Their attack ads lately are so low and so bad that I wonder why they didn't simply put out a press release saying "We're desperate". Perhaps it could have gone in the For Singles Only section of the paper: "desperate party looking for love from anyone who will give it."

    That all said, I can't figure out what it is about our country that would cause us to give ourselves the pain and torture of a reform-party majority. Are we that forgetful? Does noone remember Avro? "Free Trade?" (You know, that stuff that lets American companies sue Canada over banning dangerous substances in our motor fuel and causes the Americans to quickly cede to Canada after a dozen rulings against them over softwood lumber?) The Common Sense revolution? Do you know that Spain threatened trade sanctions against Canada if Ontario refused to let the Spanish-owned Highway 407 Commission raise its tolls? Is that the Canada we want?

    Give me a tory minority with a weakened bloc (so that they can't hold the balance of power) and we'll be all set for years yet -- we'll get rid of Martin, Harper won't be able to persue his neo-con agenda, and MPs will actually have to work together to get anything done.

17 Mar 2004 (updated 17 Mar 2004 at 04:12 UTC) »

Moo?

Guess I haven't written in here for a while.

Remember Segfault? It's been gone a while.

Humour in this community is not, though. I've tried my hand at a bit in the last few months...

Linus Torvalds enters race for California Governor

Microsoft seeks law to retroactively ban Finnish immigration

Nestlé to buy Google

Microsoft makes RMS its friend

Microsoft Way goes nowhere

Watch for more...

Train chasing has really taken off, too... I have almost 8000 train pictures and over 400 train videos on line now. It's tonnes of fun. If you're in the area and are into trains, come along for the fun!

That site (railfan.ca) is written entirely in a bit over 500 lines of good old bash... who needs perl, anyway? :)

Oh. And I got a new car. My old one died.

FIDO's GPRS service runs flawlessly in Linux. I'm thrilled. Here's how:

Use pppconfig or something, it's a standard dialup connection with numer *99# and l/p both 'fido' - authentication is really done using the smartcard in the GPRS pcmcia card. As far as Linux, well pcmcia-cs, is concerned, the GPRS card is a totally generic serial modem, so treat it like one.

I spent a while looking around for information about GPRS support in Linux and while I figured it existed I found nothing concretely useful. So maybe someone will find this useful.

I called fido up and asked for the ppp information to use my gprs card in linux. I was put on hold for a moment, and a technician came on and told me everything I needed to know.

By contrast, when I've had to call Rogers up for problems now and again with my cable modem connection, the moment I say Linux they literally hang up on me. Some service.

23 Feb 2003 (updated 23 Feb 2003 at 01:03 UTC) »

Mmmm... nice new monitor.

I've taken up the hobby of railfanning, or if you prefer the British terminology, trainspotting, and my first 3 weeks of this activity have yielded over four hundred pictures and nearly 30 short video clips the camera I am borrowing takes.

But I kept missing something out there, on the tracks, often in good Canadian weather of 50 km/h winds and blowing snow.

What I kept missing was the trains.

So yesterday, I went to downtown Guelph to find a scanner. Freight trains emit a signal every 30 seconds from what's called an "end of train device". They also make extensive use of clear radio signals to communicate, relaying their positions to the trains in front and behind them and to dispatchers. Every so far along the tracks are detectors, devices that look for dragging equipment, overheated wheels, and even derailments. All of these broadcast in the clear, and I wanted a scanner.

After searching two pawn shops in town, not wanting to pay full fare for a brand new scanner, I stopped in at the sole remaining pawn shop and asked the employee (yes, there's only one - the employer and one employee run the store) if he had any radio scanners, not wanting a flatbed scanner which seems to be the first thing people think of.

He didn't but on the way over to check, I passed a couple of flat screen 21" monitors - Trinitron p1110 with Dell labels. After much ponderance, I bought them both - one for me and one for my roomate - at a combined total of some CAN$630 after taxes.

I never thought that I would find anything that would make my 17" monitors - or my television for that matter - look puny, but damn.

But I'm still without a scanner. I want to get a scanner and GPRS, plug the laptop into my inverter and camera into laptop and the gps on my dash to my laptop and scanner to line in and GPRS in... and then I can keep accurate audio-visual-scanner video and pictures with date/time/lattitude/longitude stamp and immediately upload them to my railfan web page. And I can work (telecommute) from the tracks at the same time.

Except that then I don't get to use my new monitor.

Them's the breaks.

An entirely uneventful month has gone by.

For the seven years I've had a webpage somewhere or other, I've never had any qualms about revealing personal information on the Internet. Why not learn who it is you're talking to or about? Why lie about who you are or where you stand? So what if someone knows where I live? Anyone with a registered domain is already susceptible to name/address/phone number searches and if anyone cares badly enough, they'll just stalk you and learn everything about you anyway in a far less pleasant way than by reading your web page.

So I've updated my web page to discuss who I am, where I stand, and what I've done, though I've left some of the lame humour that has been there for years for, er, historical purposes.

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