Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Christmas fun

My family has several traditions. One that I particularly enjoy is that we usually go out for lunch or dinner on Christmas eve, as captured above.
It's been a pretty relaxing Christmas so far. I just read HC Joel's blog where he posts some of C.S. Lewis' writings and I realize that though I haven't been over occupied with the hustle and bustle of the season, I haven't done a ton of reflecting on Christ and his birth either. There's been a few Christmas songs this year that I’ve found new meaning and enjoyment in.
At times I get a bit annoyed by the overspending at Christmas and the commercialization of the holiday, but I must admit, I enjoy watching someone open a gift I’ve given them, and knowing that they’ll enjoy it.
One of the other fine things about this season is the World Junior Championship of Hockey. Quality hockey. A bunch of juniors playing with a ton of heart, for the pride of the nation. We started well yesterday with a well played win over Finland.

I was playing around with my camera a couple days ago, and took this picture of our Christmas tree:

Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas! I hope you have an awesome Christmas, taking time for family, food, and reflection on the gift of Jesus Christ and the miracle of the incarnation.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Olympic Hockey

So, the selection has been made. The roster has been set. And the controversy continues. Should Todd Bertuzzi be representing Canada? Should the young guys like Eric Staal, Jason Spezza and Sidney Crosby be given the spot? I personally would've preferred to see Staal and Spezza included, given the year that they're both having, and not include someone like Rick Nash who's just back from injury, or Martin St.Louis who isn't having the greatest year. Picture a line with Iginla, Spezza and Heatley!
Anyway, Staal and Spezza. Staal is the leading goal scorrer in the NHL right now, and 4th in points. Spezza is 6th in points. Impressive, but not impressive enough, apparently. Well, at least they're on the "Taxi Squad".

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

...to make a long story short

I got a kick out of this today, McSweeney's "Stories Ending With "Long Story Short" That Could Actually Use Some Elaboration."
I laughed out loud whilst reading it at lunch. I usually am quite reserved in my cubicle and refrain from disturbing my office mates, but what can I say, well written humour just gets me.
I'm listening to Sufjan right now... You can too.

Job Hunting?

Anybody out there looking for work in Peterborough? If you're an electrical engineer/software guy, who can work with PLC's, drop me a line and I can probably hook you up.

Monday, December 19, 2005


For the first time ever, I watched a leadership 'debate' in it's entirety on Friday night. I sat down on my couch with some Beer and Popcorn, but I forgot my Bingo Card. Sadly, no one during the 'debate' mentioned the Income Trust Fund issue. I keep putting quotes around 'debate' for a reason. That reason is that it's more of a question and answer show. The party leaders don't get to debate one another. There's very little rebuttal. It's mostly just a bunch of politicians spewing forth talking points based on a bunch of predetermined questions via email or video, with a few added questions by the moderator.

Highlights include Gille Duceppe saying that once an issue has been voted on in a free vote, there's no need to revisit it. He wasn't talking about sovereignty in Quebec (at least he wasn't intentionally talking about it), he was referring to the issue of same-sex marriage.

For a quick summary of the debate, check out the Calgary Grit.

White Hat

I tend to be a bit anti-consumerist at times. I absolutely hate walking through Yorkdale mall in Toronto (more so than most malls for some reason), because there's so much useless high priced trendy crap that people waste their money on in places like that. That's a pretty strong opinion, I know. Because, honestly, the reason I'm writing this post is to identify a contradiction. I love getting new stuff. I love getting new CD's, or new clothes, or new strings for my guitar. Today I got a new monitor at work for my computer. It's huge. I love it. Will it make me work any faster or better. A bit, I guess. I got a new hardhat today too. Shiny and white. I've gotta kick it around the parking lot or something to scuff it up a bit so that the contractors don't laugh as hard at me when I visit the job sites. I got a new book last week, containing the lyrics and chords to each and every Starflyer 59 song ever written. Limited edition printing, #222/1000.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Sufjan Stevens

This is the picture of a tragedy. Not a huge one, not a small one, but one that would likely cause me to utter (or at least think) a bad word or two. As you can see by the size of the spill, our friend Dave had only just begun to enjoy this cup of coffee before having it knocked out of his hand by a soccer ball. I should add that he's the one who kicked the soccer ball.

So, Sufjan Stevens. I heard of him a while ago, but didn't ever really get a good listen until a few weeks ago. I really enjoy his 3 volume Christmas album, which is available here for download. I'm starting to get in the Christmas mood a bit more these days. Pretty much from November 1st onwards it's officially the Christmas season in the commercial sense. I can't really get into it until at least december, when we start the advent candle lighting at church. Sufjan Stevens has a good take on some old christmas tunes which is refreshing and enjoyable.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Industrial Art

Due to the nature of my job, I get the opportunity to see buildings and their insides that I would normally never have. In the past year I've been in a federal penitentiary, basements of old historic buildings, warehouses, manufacturing spaces, old school buildings, office buildings. I tend to have the office's digital camera with me, for documentation purposes, but I often see something that catches my eye, and 'document' it for purely personal reasons. Today, while doing a final construction inspection (insert white hat joke here) of a training room built into a warehouse, I took the above picture. Apparently there was a bit of a shake in the camera, but that adds to the effect, in my opinion.


I'm back from a brief hiatus.
Work took me to Kingston/Napanee for a couple of days. I love that part of my job. Garry and Shannon opened their home to me (they've got a comfortable bed in their guest room), and Todd made the trek down from Westport so that we could drink some beers and tell some stories. Good times were had. Garry and Shannon are expecting their first kid any time now. They're in the 'red zone' as it's called, though they're still a couple weeks from the official day. Send up a word to God for them. They're excited about it. Garry's gonna be a pretty cool dad. I got to see Jeff Dixon as well, which was great. I hadn't seen him in a long time. Far too long.
Last night, for the third consecutive night, I found myself in a pub, celebrating with friends. I don't think I'm scheduled to drink again until some time next week, so no worries. The old stone in Peterborough has some of the best chicken wings you'll find. Dan and Lisa decided it would be a good idea to have a pre-christmas pub night with some of their friends from Lindsay and Peterborough. The old stone has a micro-brewery in their basement, and they make some pretty fantastic beers. I typically get their 'wild old ale' or their stout, but last night they were out of stout so I got their seasonal beer. It was a thick, dark porter. I enjoyed it and heartily recommend it.
I suppose I should get back to work. So should you. Coffee break is over. I can't believe you're reading this on your company computer!!

p.s. I just did the blogger spellcheck on this post, and "Peterborough" is not in it's dictionary. The suggested word is "Featherbrained". Fascinating. Any linguists out there who can explain this?

Friday, December 09, 2005


Does anyone else think that banning handguns will have any impact on crime in Canada? Since 1934, in order to own a handgun it's been required to be registered. I don't own one, nor do I really want to, and I'm not so much arguing in favour of handgun ownership. I'm arguing against the concept that if handguns are banned in Canada that it will solve the crime problems that seem to be escalating recently, especially in urban centres. I don't have the stats, but my gut tells me that most of these crimes are not committed with registered firearms; on the contrary, they're likely either stolen, or smuggled into this country.
So, will banning handguns make Jane and Finch a safer neighborhood? I highly doubt it. Will a politician win my vote because of this platform? Definitely not. In fact, quite the contrary. It shows that they're trying to capitalize on an issue that most people are ill-informed on. Here's some other peoples thoughts on the issue.

If you want to know how your thinking lines up with the different political parties, here's an intersting 'quiz' you can take.

In terms of a story that has a ton of potential to shape the election, a few bloggers seem to be thinking that this one, dealing with income trust funds, and leaked information from the finance minister, has it all.

So far I've read these guys for my election commentary:

Who do you recommend reading?

House Concert

Some friends of mine from my small group at church hosted a house cocnert last night. They cleared out their living room and dining room, put up some chairs, brought in some great food, and invited their friends and neighbors for an evening of great music.
Jacob Moon played a couple of 45-minute sets, playing mostly his Godin acoustic/electric, due to a broken string on his Larivee acoustic early in the set. During the intermission one of the neighbors ran home for a fresh G-String (much joking was involved...). Jacob is an excellent musician, playing mostly his own work, but also a few covers, with his primarily folk style being influenced by Jazz, Blues, Gospel, and even some Bluegrass.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Walmart: The Movie, Screening

Ok. Short notice, but I'm thinking of having a screening of Robert Greenwald's latest, "Walmart: The high cost of low prices" this Wednesday evening at my house at 7:30. Show up a few minutes early. Please let me know in advance if you can make it, and if you need directions.
Warning. You may never want to shop at Walmart again after watching this, so if you were planning on doing all your Christmas shopping there, consider yourself warned.


Ever wonder what you can do about a problem on the other side of the globe? I do. Here's a start.

Ever wonder what it's like to be 30 years old and the pastor of a church of 10,000 people? Rob Bell, pastor at Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, from the NOOMA video's, tells a bit of his story here, at Christianity Today.

Sojourner's Magazine is a good read.

search engines

Apparently, if you search for 'struggling emergent readers', this site is #1!! Good to know.


Every few weeks I visit 'the onion', a satirical weekly. Like most papers of it's sort, the type of humour ranges from crude to intelligent. Reminds me a bit of 'The Golden Words', from my days at Queen's. This article, "CIA Realizes It's Been Using Black Highlighters All These Years", is brilliant. It's a good monday morning read. Enjoy.

Friday, December 02, 2005


I was just tipped off by a friend to a Christmas 'Charity' thing that Life 100, the local Christian radio station is recruiting for. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Basically, for $10 you can send a kid in the ukraine to McDonald's for a happy meal, as well as a years supply of vitamins. I think it's cool, in a way, cause for the kids they get to eat at a place that only the rich/elite eat at, and have a good time. It's a bit of a contradiction though. Vitamins and McDonalds.
I'm always suspect of corporations who get involved in charity work, not that they shouldn't. It's good marketing. And that's my point. How much of it is 'from the goodness of the board's collective heart', and how much is driven by the marketing department. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.
As the Wallmart documentary kindly points out, the Waltons have given nearly nothing out of their overly abundant wealth. Bill Gates, on the other hand, who many were ready to label as the 'anti-christ' a few years back is one of the most generous rich guys on the planet.

Anyway, those are some thoughts on charity. There's never a bad time of the year to be doing 'charity'. Find your spot.

I have a thing about listening to music that everyone else likes. I don' t konw if I just don't trust their opinion (there's so many of them), or if I want to be a bit of an individual. Well, consequently, I put off 'liking' Coldplay for a while. Well, recently, I've picked up a few of their CD's, and you know what, everyone else is right. I like them too now.

ok, the funny links:

Thursday, December 01, 2005


I don't know much about Darfur, so I don't really feel qualified to speak about it, short of saying: Educate yourself and take action if you can, and let me know how I can act if you know more about it than me. Genocide is an ugly word that describes a very complicated state of affairs in an African nation that I know nearly nothing about.
I got an email this morning from a friend who is in Africa doing some aid work, some nursing, and she had attached an article which was describing some of the slaughter, rape, murder, killing of children and infants that is happening there. We're so blind to it here in the comfort of North America. Canada, a peaceful place, where the news these days is dominated by an election because we have no confidence in our government, but we'll elect the same people all over again, at a cost of $200 million. I wonder what that $200 million could accomplish overseas, or here for that matter. The US of A ... A nation at war, but calling on only those serving in uniform to actually make sacrifices, while giving tax cuts to the rich folk back home, driving a country deaper and deaper into debt. Darfur doesn't have a chance when up against those things. But really, we live here, they live there. It's their problem. They got themselves into it, let them figure it out, right? Not necessarily. We've got tons of political blame here in the west for a lot of the crap in Africa. We've pillaged and plundered their contenent of people and resources for centuries. We've supported corrupt leaders, on both sides of the pond, for personal economic gain. We've turned a blind eye to much. Forgetting all the who did what, and who's at fault, they're fellow human beings, struggling under injustice. It's the responsibility of the 'strong' and the 'free' to help the weak and oppressed.

Anyway, there's my rant. For an inside scoop, check out this blog, called Sleepless in Sudan.

...in other news...

  • Octozine, now online. It's an entertaining little read.
  • If you're gonna write an article about killing animals and eating them, for a liberal website, be prepared for the backlash. (see the comments at the bottom of the article)
  • And finally, for some good 'religious' satire, check out the Wittenburg Door.


I haven't decided who I'm going to vote for yet. However, Stephen Harper hasn't really started out too well. This letter to the editor (Toronto Star, Today's edition) pretty much sums up my thinking on Mr. Harper presently.
Conservative leader Stephen Harper, wake up!
Your kickoff to the election shows just how out of touch you are with the Canadian people. For most of us the same-sex marriage issue is not an issue; check the opinion polls.
How narrow-minded to reopen the same-sex marriage debate when one in seven Canadian children are living below the poverty level in spite of the commitment of the Canadian government back in the '90s to eliminate childhood poverty by the year 2000.
How doggedly single-minded to reopen the issue when so many of our First Nations people live in Third World conditions while the report from the royal commission on aboriginal peoples gathers dust for more than 10 years, its recommendations not implemented.
Pick just one of these national embarrassments to champion and start trying to make a real difference. George Moore, Dalston, Ont.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Regardless of my opinion of same-sex marriage, it's not a trump issue in politics. This country is not going to go to shit just because less than 1/100 of 1% of the population has decided to get married to someone of the same sex. This country will go to shit if we neglect more important social issues.