Well heck, it isn't our money, is it!

My comment on this endorsement of city council's decision about Landsdown Live:
Yeah. Lets pump $100 million we don't have into a stadium which will still not be serviced by major transit, will lack parking, and be surrounded by a noise-adverse residential community -- all for the benefit of a private sporting enterprise (one which echos several past enterprises which have cratered repeatedly) that will use it all of seven or eight times a year.

What could possibly be a downside to that?

That said, I am opposed to soccer in Kanata for the same reason. $100 million we don't have is too much money for either boondoggle.


Why did they do that again?

So let me get this straight. The US shovelled a ton of money into GM so that it could avoid going bankrupt, because that would force it to renegotiate debt and supplier arrangements, reduce product lines and brands, and reduce its workforce. So what did GM do?

Yep: renegotiate debt and supplier arrangements, reduce product lines and brands, and reduce its workforce.

And now it might go into bankrupcy protection anyways.

...makes sense to me, boss.


NO to Landsdown Live

From my Red Glory post:
The bottom line on both proposals is that they depend, either explicitly or implicitly, on public money. And right now the public is out of money. Wen we are having trouble keeping the streets cleared of snow, when we are closing libraries, when we are pissing away money bribing people to do something that they are going to do anyways, there's no money for sporting ventures.


Automotive Reflection

Sometimes you get perspective from an unexpected place.

This week the Toyota went in for its regularly scheduled service, and since we still needed two cars, we borrowed my mother's Protege-5. The last time a car was in for service we borrowed my mother-in-law's BMW 325i, and what got me reflecting was how similar the cars appear, yet how totally different they were to drive.

For some reason I could never come to grips with the BMW. I like the theory of the rear-wheel drive; the traction control was a bit annoying, but let enough wheelspin through that you were warned against carrying on to much. However the 5-speed is really weirdly set up, first gear is so short that I never used it, rolling off from a standing start in second most of the time. The steering feedback, driving position, sightlines, throttle and brake behaviors, all felt wrong in a way I can't really define. I was never comfortable driving the car.

The Mazda, on the other hand, I was quite at home in almost immediately. Once the seating position and mirrors were set up, everything just felt right. Clutch, throttle, brakes, steering, driving position -- everything. It felt more "at home" to me in ways that even the Subaru never did.

Even though the BMW had more power, better handling, and is all together a "better" car, I had more fun driving the Mazda around.

I wonder if this is because of the time I spent learning to drive in our family's old '85 Civic, or the '86 Civic that I owned some years later. My formative years were spent in those cars, so perhaps it is hot a surprise that the Mazda, a similar small-car front-drive layout, feels so natural to me. The Subaru, and the current 626, felt/feel much bigger and tend to wallow more; however due to their larger size I had different expectations for how they'd feel.

Just interesting to think about what cars tend to suit me, interesting to wonder what that says about me.


Canada's Olympic Chances, 2010

CTV: Do you believe?

Here's my answer.


Confession Time

As of this weekend, for the first time in something like ten years, I am not running a server at home.

I decided that I was not using the system in the basement for anything other than dhcp and dns -- and my wireless firewall does dhcp, and I can get DNS practically anywhere. (Well, except maybe Rogers.)

So I've rebuilt the computer into a Vista workstation. That way I can use it for things that I'll actually use -- watching videos, surfing the web, photos, that kind of stuff. And now that Vista has a half-decent backup widget, I'm not totally freaked about the possibility of keeping my data on it.

Aaaand... thanks to VMware, if I do need another OS for whatever reason, I can run it on the desktop.

Still, I wonder why there is a sense that I've given up in some way.


Blackberry Firmware Upgraded

I upgraded the firmware on my Blackberry 8100 to the "latest", which as of now is This is always scary, since there's a long period that the Blackberry goes through while booting the firmware for the first time where you start to wonder if you've bricked it. My strategy this time was to start the upgrade and then leave the room for an hour.

Good news: it isn't bricked.

So having done that, I played around with the Bluetooth connectivity between it and my Vista laptop… and discovered that no, you still can't do anything useful with it through Bluetooth. The phone will act as a "modem" (ie some sort of wireless network devices) but you can't sync it, or access the files on it, or anything like that. Further research suggests that the problem is that the Vista drivers to do stuff like that are not available yet.

On the plus side, the phone now claims a couple more bluetooth services exported, including music source… so if I ever get that bluetooth head unit I've been wanting for the last two years I will be able to play music from the Blackberry to it.

I'm not sure I like the new mail reading interface -- having two lines for each message means I can't pack the messages in per screen that the old firmware did. It's all about information density, baby...

That said, HTML mail reading is pretty good. Once you turn the auto-image-download off so that you don't blow your data plan, that is.

And the web viewer is better, or at least it is nicer to look at. I don't like pushing an arrow head around the screen with the trackball though. But it works, so it is OK so far.

Image viewing is much faster, and the media player is better too.

So maybe now I need to find myself some nice themes for it…