Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Today I tried to set up the new computer I picked up this week. It's an Athlon 64-bit machine, except this one is effectively a zero bit machine. No video, either from the onboard socket or from another video card I tried sticking in there. I suppose I'll have to take it back and whine to them. I also went to pick up the roll of black and white astrophotos I dropped off at one of the few remaining places in town that does black and white, only to find that I'll have to come back next week because the technician who does B&W is on vacation.
Tomorrow I'm doing some canvassing, then going to the company social gathering in the evening. Oh well, I imagine I'll survive that.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Now, it seems that the cops have admitted that there's some truth to the claim:
Quebec provincial police admitted Thursday that their officers disguised themselves as demonstrators during the protests at the North American leaders summit in Montebello, Que.
The police came under fire Wednesday when protesters accused the force of planting undercover officers in the demonstration to provoke violence. A video surfaced on YouTube that appeared to depict disguised police in the crowd.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Yesterday evening I went to Catherine Fife's place for her campaign kickoff, and ate a couple of veggie burgers. Nice evening, and Catherine is pumped for the campaign... now all we need is for Elizabeth Witmer to bite the head off a rat on live TV or something.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
And you just have to watch this:
Thursday, August 16, 2007
"In short sales," Shapiro explained, "you don't own the share you sell; instead you borrow it. Then you replace it when you cover the short. If you're right and the price has gone down, you replace it at a lower price, and the difference between what you sold it for and what price you replaced it at is your profit. The problem with a naked short is that you don't borrow the share you sell. You sell it without ever borrowing it. In effect, you invent a share."
If this is beginning to sound like a game of Monopoly built on fake money, that's because it is. By injecting so many invented shares into the market using naked shorting, hedge funds have not only created an economy in which they can manipulate the stocks of companies smaller than Microsoft and Wal-Mart, but they have also created a market in which there are more shares than actual stocks. And that's about as hyperreal as an economy can get.
Confused? You're not alone. This could simply be yet another correction, but if you walk down Bay Street (or Wall Street), it wouldn't be a bad idea to bring a good sturdy umbrella, just in case it starts raining brokers.Edited to add: They just said on the radio that even though Canadian companies aren't seriously exposed to the subprime crisis directly, their stocks are falling because they're being sold by US hedge funds, who are trying to cover their losses from the crisis.
I should be upfront here and say that in a very small way, I contributed to the crisis. You see, a few years ago I worked for a call centre that dabbled briefly in selling subprime mortgages to American consumers. I hate to admit it now, but I was actually quite good at it.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Monday, August 13, 2007
Yesterday I didn't do a whole lot except that in the evening I went to visit Lee's son (he's been staying at her house in town, but he's going back to Montreal for a while). He's holding up ok under the circumstances. Also present were two of his childhood friends; interesting guys.
Today I'm either working in the office or in Wellington County. I'll find out when I get there; I'm to come prepared to hit the road, but in all likelyhood I'll be in the office.
Friday, August 10, 2007
On Friday the temp agency finally came through. The guy they sent was, however, a few grams short of an ounce. The HS assigned him to metals and glass, seeing as he had previously worked on the regular sort line at that very same MRF. Then he said, "OK, so you sort the metals and glass, plastic goes to Nitroglycol, paper to Ms N, and the other stuff to me". A few minutes later he had to explain who the different stuff went to again. Then a few minutes later he had to explain it... again. Oh well, the guy did have a genuine work ethic, and the day was slightly less long (even considering the time spent packing the truck).
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
I sent Ms McD a hundred bucks (at an additional cost of $14). The folks at Western Union must rake in huge amounts this way.
Unfortunately I'm still too groggy to say anything more substantial. I probably won't post at least until Friday, either; my laptop still isn't working. In the meantime, try making sense of this story.
Monday, August 6, 2007
If anyone should be gloating at the collapse and disgrace of Lord Black of Crossharbour, the absurd title with which Conrad Black invested himself on being raised to the British peerage, that someone should be me. In the mid-1980s he boasted to a reporter that he was going to buy the London Spectator in order to fire me as its Washington correspondent. When I heard the news, I thought: Here we go again, another newspaper tycoon gone clean off his trolley with megalomania. Next thing we know, he'll have to build himself a revolving room, like Lord Northcliffe of the Daily Mail, or announce that he's a poached egg and demand a large piece of toast to lie down on, or build an opera house in which his untalented girlfriend can sing.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Ms McD has emailed me saying she's lost her purse and needs money. I'll see what I can scrape up for her, but I won't be able to send much. These things are sent to try us...
Saturday, August 4, 2007
The Agile performance was marked by one weird incident. Midway through their most obscene song, "Dimefront" (aka "Two Inch Dick"), a friend of theirs, the_thaw, came in with three young boys (ages maybe between 10 and 14); apparently they're her cousins. Not the most family-friendly show to bring them to, perhaps, but apparently she'd already shown them Borat, so they were already hopelessly corrupted. I imagine, though, that if this had happened in Alabama, everyone involved would probably be in jail now.
Today I have a funeral to go to, and will hang out with the family afterwards. It will be a sombre occasion, but c'est la vie. Or rather, c'est la mort.
Friday, August 3, 2007
Guitarist Brian May is to spend two days studying the night sky in the Canary Islands as he completes the PhD he abandoned in 1971 to join Queen.
May is going to La Palma to observe the formation of "zodiacal dust clouds".
The subject forms the basis of a thesis for London's Imperial College, where he had been studying before deciding to pursue a career with the rock group.
Of course, if you're a more ordinary dropout (like me for instance) you generally have more pressing issues on your mind... like making a living.
Michael Ignatieff, whose Liberal leadership ambitions have been hampered by his early support for the invasion of Iraq, is moving to cauterize that issue by admitting he was wrong.I guess I have to give him credit for this; it's more than Bush and his cronies will likely ever do.
The MP for Etobicoke-Lakeshore and deputy Liberal leader says in an article to appear in The New York Times Magazine on Sunday that his backing for the U.S.-led military action in 2003 was a mistake.
"The unfolding catastrophe in Iraq has condemned the political judgment of a president," Ignatieff writes in a reference to George W. Bush. "But it has also condemned the judgment of many others, myself included, who as commentators supported the invasion.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Tuesday was a chaotic day. Ms McD was originally going to take the train to Brampton and stay with her half-sister who just rediscovered her through Facebook, then catch a flight to Saint John on Wednesday. Well, her sister decided that she didn't want Ms McD staying with her on that day. Ms McD decided that she wanted to stay in a hotel in Toronto and catch the airport shuttle in the morning. Sound enough idea, and she figured (correctly) that I'd be enough of a sucker to lend her money for the hotel. (I do hope she didn't order a few hundred bucks worth of room service, but hey, if she did at least I get a few extra Air Miles for using my Amex).
Then yesterday her ex called me, wondering where she was. At her request I said I didn't know (not strictly a lie, since at the time he called she was at some indeterminate location, probably somewhere over Quebec or New England). I've emailed her to inform her of this; I don't know what she'll do with this information, though.
Agile Like This are playing at the Button Factory on Friday; I'm looking forward to that, at least.