Quick Edit

Quebec experiments with photo radar
The Quebec government is trying out photo radar and red light cameras at 15 locations across the province in an effort to break profit from the bad habits of some drivers.
Fixed that for you.



With all the falling-over-each-other going on to give bus riders incentives to do what 95% of them are probably going to do anyways, I have one question:

Given that I am one of the approximately 4 in 5 city residents who do not take the bus; and

Given that I am a taxpayer and therefore subsidized this bus service before, during, and after the strike; and

Given that I was just as inconvenienced with traffic and weather delays, lost opportunities, and other general misery as everyone else in this city; and

Given that I am a taxpayer and am therefore on the hook for the cost over-runs of the aformentioned service and incentives:


Thank you for your time.


Memo to West Coast Salesmen:

...don't call me at the end of your day. I'm putting my kids to bed and don't want to talk business with you. Call me before the end of my day.


I did the stupid 25-Things Meme on Facebook.

1. I don't do memes.

Ok, that's more "topical" than "random", so maybe you want some more "random".

2. The following stunts are performed by trained professionals. Do not attempt this at home.

3. Never sign a contract that includes the provision for "other duties as required".

4. I don't have 25 Facebook friends. Oh wait, I have 35. How did that happen? I'm not going to count my real friends because I suspect the answer to that would depress me.

5. Gabriel Pizza is the official pizza of this un-meme participation post. AC Delco is the official auto parts supplier to this un-meme participation post. Reproduction of this post or portions thereof without the express, written consent of Major League Baseball is a violation of the Man-Van Act of 1887.

6. I'm getting older and find that no, I don't want fries with that any more. Sometimes I want salad. I still like my salad drenched in French dressing, but at least I'm eating it more often.

7. Objects may be closer than they appear.

8. I don't watch Mythbusters just for the explosions any more.

9. It is 21:50 on a Tuesday. Do you know how far under water your retirement funds are? I know how far underwater mine are.

10. The only time I've run out of gas, I was driving an old car with soft back springs that meant the fuel pick-up got starved before the tank was actually empty. Actually that car was soft all around -- it was so bad that in an emergency-strength threshold-braking maneuver, it was literally easier to look out through the sun roof to see where you were going than to bend down and look out the windshield. It was great for scaring tailgaters though, if you just brushed the brakes the rear bumper would go up like eight inches and make the tailgater think that I'd just stood on the brakes.

Wow. That was like three things, so I'll skip ahead in the numbers.

13. I'm skipping ahead in the numbers. Live with it. Again, more "relevant" than "random", but... yeah, live with it.

14. I can't remember what the last movie I went to the theater to see was.

15. Win: http://spacex.com/multimedia/videos.php?id=31

16. I've passed on A-K suited on the button pre-flop. I've also shoved all-in with the hammer under the gun. Most of the time I'm a tight-passive player, but can turn aggressive at unpredictable times.

17. Penicillin makes me paranoid. Difficult-to-live-with paranoid. The doctors tell me it shouldn't, but every time I've had it, it happens.

18. I've never been a driver in a car accident more serious than a 10km/h bump. I know some people who would have bet heavily that I wouldn't have been able to say this at this age. (Or even ten years ago.)

19. I may be better than I think I am -- but I don't think I'm very good. But maybe I am.

20. I have a Backstreet Boys song in my music library. I listen to it often. Well, maybe "frequently", not "often".

21. Blackjack. Pay me.

22. This statement is false. It's also blatant padding because I'm running^Whave run out of things, interesting or otherwise, to say.

23. Twenty Three is the largest prime number under 25.

24. I like Ocean's Eleven because I used to watch it a lot when Alex was very tiny. It makes me remember how I felt when Alex was sleeping on the couch with me. Most fo the time I feel Alex is getting better every day, but sometimes I miss that tiny little boy.

25. I am overwhelmed by your awesomeness -- you win.



ToyPedia fishing for help

So I got an email the other day from someone associated with ToyCollector.com. He was announcing/asking-for-help-with their new project, ToyPedia. This is a project to catalog every toy ever made. Their estimate is over a million items that could possibly be included.

I clicked over and had a look, but there's precious little content there so far, and the organization is pretty thin even in well-defined areas such as Hot Wheels.

The problem is that you can't just put up a wiki and then open it up to the masses. You have to bring something more to the table than just an idea and hosted software. You need:
  • An organizational layout. Categorizations. Trees. Some areas which are well defined as an example.
  • Some content. You need to have something that will draw people in such that they will get something out of the visit without requiring them to contribute.
  • An editorial staff willing and able to ensure that the organization stays consistent, follows through and cleans up the contributions so that the contributers see the point of helping while making sure that the overall quality and polish of the site stays up... which unfortunately will require chasing off the trolls.
Without that, all that, all you have is yet another hosted idea. The best sites are ones where a small group of people add the initial content, and then through word-of-mouth (and google searches) interest grows naturally. You can't just go from "idea" to "cool, useful project". There's a lot of work and pain in between that can't be skipped over.

Personally, I don't much see the point of yet another wiki. The "gold standard" is always going to be Wikipedia and its individual spin-offs. In my case, the Hot Wheels Wiki is where I occasionally add content, even though I don't really like the layout and categorization rules they have chosen.

So, good luck ToyPedia -- I'll check in on you in a couple of years to see if you've managed to get anywhere.


Strange night at Poker Stars

WTF was up with PokerStars tonight? The ring games were plugged, and the client refused to add me to the (ridiculously long) queues to get into one. So I resorted to a Sit-n-go. And what do I find?

A nine-way sit-n-go featuring up to 8 sitters! Two other people came and went, and I eventually finished second to one of them... but initially it was me, and 8 people sitting out. It wasn't fun, and I nearly bailed on it myself.

Strange night.


Wordle of RedGlory

Wordle: like game hockey

Wordle knows.


Spirit in distress?

On Sunday, during the 1,800th Martian day, or sol, of what was initially planned as a 90-sol mission on Mars, information radioed from Spirit indicated the rover had received its driving commands for the day but had not moved. That can happen for many reasons, including the rover properly sensing that it is not ready to drive. However, other behavior on Sol 1800 was even more unusual: Spirit apparently did not record the day's main activities into the non-volatile memory, the part of its memory that persists even when power is off.

Now that's rocket science -- getting a probe designed for 90 days to go 1800.

Spirit isn't written off yet, but this is probably a sign that the end of the probe's usefulness is coming to an end.