“Glamorous” Monaco

One thing that was tossed off in passing during the pre-race show for Monaco this year was the comment that “Monaco was losing its shine as Formula One’s crown jewel event”. To me, this is a ridiculous thing to say — for one, I’ve been watching F1 since the late ‘90s and even back then there was commentary that F1 cars had no business winding their way through that narrow cattlepath. Subsequent changes to both the track and the formula have done absolutely nothing to improve this state of affairs, and in fact at the front of the pack today all the passes were done under pit conditions — and even with that there wasn’t any change in position one to five from the beginning of the race to the end.

If Monaco is “glamorous” it is only so for the participants — for those of us watching on TV around the world, it is a boring processional race and always has been.


Sign Inspector

Alex and Lynyrd inspecting our local street signage.


Deadpool II

Not bad. The cameos were good. The film carried the weight of a non-origin-story quite well. The usual time-travel bullshit problems. I’m still not convinced that this movie had to be made, though.


Funny Guy

This is Nathan's card to me for Father's Day. He thought it was hilarious so I got it early. However in his defense I have been sleeping on the couch a lot during the weekends recently.


Westworld S1

I finished up Westworld S1 in March; it had an effect on me so I had Jenn watch it. The first three episodes in particular are a real slog -- call me repressed but I don't feel the need to see all this gratuitous sex, violence and gore that is available to directors on non-broadcast mediums. After that though it does get going well. It is a rare bird in that even once you know where things are going you can enjoy the slow reveals of what is going on. The whole thing was lovingly crafted and masterfully executed. And one of the reveals is a no-kidding "holy shit!" moment. It was a season which had an ending that made all the other season-endings seem boring by comparison.


Netflix Re View -- Minions

I stand by my "solidly ok" view from last time. It was actually easier to watch for a second time than I thought it would be.



That was fast

I got a reply:



Dear Vote Compass People -- Decline Your Ballot

An email I sent to info@voxpoplabs.com. I was looking for a CBC email or twitter to send it to but couldn't find anything obvious. I'd already tweeted about this to @cbcottawa but that's probably not the right place.

I participated in the Vote Compass exercise today. I noticed that in your "how would you vote if the election was held today" and "how did you vote last time" you omitted the option of declining your ballot. 
Declining the ballot is different from a spoiled or blank ballot, in that in a spoiled ballot the voter's intention is unclear. Alternatively, a declined ballot is a way that a voter can say to all parties that they are engaged enough to come out and participate in the process, but none of the options offered are acceptable. 
In 2014, more than 22000 Ontarians declined their ballot (source: https://www.thestar.com/news/queenspark/2014/06/19/ontario_election_sees_highest_number_of_declined_ballots_since_1975.html). While not a statistically significant number, the article notes that this is a high-point of declined ballots for Ontario which was probably related to increased voter awareness of this being an option. 
One could argue in an extreme case, an elected official (or, indeed, a government) that was elected with more declined ballots than properly filed ballots would have serious questions of having a legitimate mandate from the voters. 
Beyond me having to explain to the polling official what they needed to do, my personal experience with declining the ballot went smoothly in 2014. If more widely exercised, I would want changes made to the process in that 
A) I had to verbally decline my ballot; and 
B) a written notation was made on my name in the voters list used by the polling officials, creating a permanent record that I had declined my ballot. 
Both of these requirements would seem to defeat my right to a secret ballot. 
My hope is that if enough ballots are declined, the political parties will observe that there is a constituency that is both engaged and demonstrably willing to vote, and will adjust their platforms to capture these votes. 
In conclusion, I encourage you to adjust the Vote Compass application for future provincial elections, and also note that I find that the word "ballot" looks funny after you type it out a bunch of times in an email. 
David Mackintosh


Public Speaking

Nathan speaks on Parliament Hill for Autism Awareness day to an audience of MPs, Senators, media, and the public. Very proud of him.


Planes 2: Fire & Rescue

Disney's Cars was so successful at spinning out a line at toys that they thought "why not try to duplicate that with a slightly different premise so we can sell different toys?" Well sure, why not. The story is perfunctory and functional, the internal world-building only inconsistent if you make the mistake of thinking about it, and the characterizations bland and stereotypical. Frankly I knew who was going to rebuild what just as soon as something was declared as being "better than new!" So a solid whynot out of ten, but nothing unmissable.

(Note: in researching this movie for this article, I learned that it was actually Planes 2, and I'd not seen the original. Which sort of made sense since as an "origin story" it was very weak. It makes more sense as  "a flabby sequel that doesn't really have any plans for where the franchise is going" though.)



It is very rare that Ceili will sit with Alex like this. It is also rare that Alex will be this gentle and patient with her. But it is nice to see.