Monday, January 30, 2006

Mid-Afternoon Breather

It's three o'clock in the afternoon. Take a break. Read this and laugh heartily.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Must read

Hard Core Joel, from Stoney Creek, has a written a rather lengthy post which pretty much articulates my thoughts as well on faith, voting, and issues. He's taken more time to write than I would have, and I only wish he had posted this prior to the actual election. However, here it is, read it.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Here's a random, scattered post for you. It's rather indicative of my life these days...

Well, it's about time... The Raptors have finally fired Babcock!

I discovered my dad's website today. There's not much to look at, just a pretty great picture of him, circa 1982...

Dunno if I've voiced my thoughts on same-sex marriage on here before. Well, they're not quite like this. I'd have to say that Jordon pretty much is right on the money, regarding a free-vote as promised by Mr. Harper.

The quote of the day comes to us from Bill Vaughn - "Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them."

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Massive Attack: a prayer for england

a prayer for england
by robert del naja, neil davidge & sinead o'connor

in the name of
and by the power of
the holy spirit
may we invoke your
intersession for
the children of england
some of whom i have seen
murdered so obscene
some of whom have been taken

let not another child be slain
let not another search be made in vain

jah forgive us for forgetting
and jah help us
we need more loving
you see the teachers are representing you so badly
that not many can see

let not another child be slain
let not another search be made in vain

jah cause the ones whose beliefs kill children to feel the love of you and be healed
and may we all cry too
for representing you so badly, so badly
jah forgive us for forgetting
and jah help us
to be forgiving
the teachers are representing you so badly
that not many can see

let not another child be slain
let not another search be made in vain

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Well, we've got a new government. Exciting.
I had expected a Conservative Minority, but I had hoped that the NDP would carry the balance of power, holding them in check, preventing the gap between rich and poor from widening further. There was some really close races around the country. Locally, the rural vote got DelMastro over the top, but it was close, with the top three parties within some 4000 votes of each other.
My predictions on the new gov't:
The Liberal party will have some sort of leadership race within the next year, and choose a replacement for the Rt. Honourable Martin. Probably Ignatiaff, possibly Stronach (if she hasn't defected back to the conservatives in search of a cabinet post), and possibly Frank McKenna, our ambassador to the south. Then, they'll wait for 6 months or so, allowing the new leader to get some experience leading the party as her majesty's official opposition. Then, the Liberal party, together with the Bloc (in an attempt to appear to work with Quebecers and regain some faith from them), will take down the Conservatives and we'll be back to the polls. In the mean time, with the final Gomery report released, and all implicated will be long gone from the Liberal party (or any significant role in it), the Canadian public will forgive and forget the Liberal scandals. Harper will do a good job leading a minority gov't, and will do his best to keep Quebec happy so as to maintain the new inroads that he has gained in la belle province. He'll also do what he can with the NDP to work for the working families of our country. However, we'll all be back to the polls in a year and a half (May/early June 2007) voting in a slim liberal majority.
You heard it here.
That's my attempt at punditry. We'll see in a couple years how accurate this all is. Or possibly in a couple of months (...we'll see how inaccurate it is)

Monday, January 23, 2006


I plan on voting today. I know some people who don't vote, each for their own reasons. For example, one of my friends says that "The dominant culture is illigit and needs to be ignored." Some people don't want to vote because they don't feel that they're aware enough of who's who in politics and they don't feel comfortable/confident voting. Some people feel that all politicians are crooks and liars and choose not to vote because of that. Some people just don't care, and prefer to live in ignorance. As far as I'm concerned, if you don't vote, you don't realistically have any valid voice of complaint if the country isn't
Anyway, I get to vote at the little community church across the road from my house, a "Ministry of the Church of the God of Prophecy". I know that my church has opened it's building to elections Canada, and we've got something like 9 polling stations there. I wonder how some people feel about going to a 'church' to vote.
Regardless, there seems to be a ton more interest in this election than the past couple of elections, and I'm certainly curious to see how it all turns out tonight.

Friday, January 20, 2006

3 more days (don't forget to vote)

I just recently discovered the Dilbert Blog. It's intellegent and at times good for a laugh.
How many of you think this actually happened? It looks legit, but who knows. She looks to have hurt her head on the way through. I'd like to see the outtakes on that one.
Lark News is putting out a book. Well, more of a guide. In fact, it is a guide. It's called: "A Field Guide to Evanglicals". Satire can sometimes be a grand form of humour. Sometimes.
Speaking of which. Those crazy Liberal ads that we won't have to watch any more after Monday have received a makeover.
To be true to the randomness of this post, here's another unbelievable feat. Take out your rubix cube, 'shuffle' it, and then try to solve it in under 12 seconds. It's possible, apparently.
If you didn't have enough reasons to eat a balanced diet, well this should pretty seal the deal, so to speak.
Election stuff: The liberals will have some serious financial worries after this election, so reports the Toronto Star. A few of the leaders speak about faith and politics.
And finally, you've probably already seen this, but, it's worth seeing again...
Pitching Tents.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Todd is one of my best friends. I love this picture of him. It captures a certain happy pride that a man experiences when braving the elements, taking a risk, and filling his lungs with cool crisp fresh air. If I were any good at photoshop and could somehow put Todd on top of Mount Everest, this pose would be perfect. "I have conquered!"

Update: Dave Blondel was kind enough to take some time out of his busy day and provide me with this:

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

another Voting quiz

I just took another voter quiz. This one was shorter than the CBC quiz, and asked slightly different questions, and was presented in a different format. Here's how I faired, based on how the candidates match my political views, as a percentage:

Jack Layton, 100%
Stephen Harper, 70%
Gilles Duceppe, 47%
Paul Martin, 41%

They didn't have any info on the Green Party, I guess.

...this just in...

Apparently a majority of Canadians support a Harper majority.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Those Anglicans

I had a pretty fantastic weekend. Let me use a coffee break to tell you about it. It felt like I was on vacation the whole time. It basically started on Friday morning, as I drove to Kingston for a day of work. I saw a pretty cool sunrise whilst driving down Hwy 28. I stopped on the side of the road and took some pictures (see below). I spent the day walking around a cold empty building that will soon be a Shoppers Drug Mart, possibly a doctors office, and possibly some residential units. I found a really cool loft that basically contained an old wooden frame, which appeared to support some sort of lifting device, which was only accessible by a really rickety life threatening ladder. It's fun mixing business and pleasure. I also got to wear my new hardhat! yay. Walking around for a full day with steel toe boots takes a bit more out of me than sitting at my desk for a full day moving a mouse around. I was beat at the end of the day. I have several eye-witnesses. I met up with a fellow-peterborough-dweller for coffee before heading north to westport!
Todd and Chelsea live in a perfectly sized one bedroom house out in the country, on a 5 acre lot with nothing but lakes and hills and trees behind them for miles. Todd and I explored them on Saturday, and bravely (stupidly) walked across one of the lakes. (don't worry, we each had a large branch to which we carried so that if we did break through, we wouldn't go completely theory)
We went into Kingston for dinner (#18 at the Wok In), and then a show at the Grad Club. Three quality bands were enjoyed with quality people. Highlights are definately a bass player who wore the union jack, but who, to quote one slightly more descriptive than I, "was channeling both bruce springsteen and keith richards simultaneously...and not in a good way." There was a guy standing against the door frame drawing the entire episode. University pubs are great. You can get away with that kind of thing. We agreed though that should he follow one of us into the bathroom to continue his drawing that it warrant the title 'sketchy'.
Sunday was cool. I regained my title as settler's champ, but more importantly had a really good time at St. Paul's Anglican Church in Westport. It was a simple service, full of scripture and liturgy (which when you actually pay attention to is really good) and community, and Jesus. I liked it. The congregation was seriously lacking in non-retired people. I hesistate to speculate on the state of such congregations in 10 or 20 years. The church is definately evolving.
Well, my coffee cup is empty, and there's work to be done. We're busy these days. I love it.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Links to words

- "A Place of Danger: Alone and Adrift in Toronto Over Christmas Break."
- This is sad. I think the toll is 345.
- Next Church. Updates on the castle baby (in labour), as well as online sermons, the next standard, etc.
- I'm annoyed that some news websites only allow you to read their articles if you pay a subscription fee. Honestly, they're probably making a tonne on all the ads that are all over the screen. I guess they have some marketing geniuses who have calculated that enough people will subscribe vs. the ad revenue lost due to lost readership... It is, of course, more about the almighty dollar, and less about the news. I understand that much.
- If you own a lightsaber, or have ever thought about owning one, read this and take heed when you vote...
- There are little rodents who live in my cubicle. I know this because they untie my shoes. I've never caught them, or seen them, but nearly everytime I get up from my desk to do something (retrieve something from the plotter/printer/fax/etc.) I come within inches tripping and falling face first into the wall of my cubicle. At first I thought it was kinda funny. Now it's just annoying.
The Rt.Hon. Paul Martin Blogs.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Punisher

Some friends of mine, the Castle's are with child. In fact, the youngster may have entered the world by now. Another friend of mine thought it'd be funny to name the child 'Frank'. I didn't catch the reference until she emailed me the above picture, of the Punisher, aka Frank Castle. I quote "imagine if she gave birth to the Punisher? Fully formed and equipped with an automatic weapon? It would explain her ginormous well as the lateness - Frank Castle doesn't do anything before he's good and ready."

The debate last night was good. There was no clear winner, and there was no clear loser. Gilles Duceppe baffles me. My question about why have a vote on something that's already been voted on (which he brought up in the last debate on a different issue) was turned against him on separatism. He didn't handle it well. I thought Steve Paiken (the TVO guy) did a really good job moderating. If you missed the debate, here's a good summary. Here's another one. I thought Layton looked good at times, and a bit annoying at others. He was slightly mocked by the moderator who at one point said something like 'sorry to ignore you here Jack, but Paul and Steve are the only ones who have mentioned that they want to be prime minister. All you keep saying is send NDP's to Ottawa, but you make no request to send yourself there as PM' (my paraphrase). Jack also bailed Mr. Harper out at one point, attacking Martin after he had just attacked Harper... Regardless, it's odd that a guy who's party is only running in one province can take part in the national leaders debate. I love Quebec. I hope they never separate. I just hope we as a nation can get past this struggle and begin to invest the time/energy/money that is being spent on trying to keep Canada united (or to separate, depending on which side you're on) can be spent/invested in making this a better country.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Parenting 101

Three different couples that I know are at various stages of parenting. One is in the early stages of pregnancy, another is two-weeks overdue and ready to pop at any moment, and the other is a few years into the parenting thing, yet her son has requested 'to trade daddy in for a new one who won't ignore me and watch TV.' Each of them has been on my mind this morning, prompting me to say some quick prayers for them. I believe prayer is effective.

I was at a birthday party on Saturday night, and I met some people there who are expecting their first kid, and have about 4 other close friends in the same boat. That's kinda cool. She asked me if I had any kids. I don't think I've ever been asked that question before. It made me feel old.

Jordon Cooper, who apparently has far too much free time on his hands, has made some "Church planter trading cards". A very bearded Dave Blondel is part of the set; in fact it's his rookie card, which is sure to be a rare collectors item.

I guess there's some sort of leader's "debate" on television tonight. Even though a half million Canadians voted for the Green Party in the last election, and they have a candidate in every riding, they have once again been excluded from the telivised debate. If this seems unfair to you, sign this petition. I might watch portions of the debate, although, I must admit, and TV time for me lately has been spent watching season 1 of Arrested Development. It's brilliant TV. Absolutely brilliant.

(Note: I took the above picture on Friday night, shortly after midnight, using the trunk of my car as a tripod, with my camera set for an 8-second exposure. I took several others of which I am equally proud.)

Friday, January 06, 2006

I don't have cable, and I live in Canada, so I don't ever watch the 'O'Reilly Factor' on the Fox News Network. However, after seeing a feature on Bill O'Reilly in the documentary 'Outfoxed', I must confess that my opinion of him was certainly rather low. In fact, I remember being surprised at how one human being could be so heartless and arrogant, while watching him interview a young American who's father was killed in the WTC attack. Anyway, he was a guest with David Letterman this week, and you can watch the entire interview here. Letterman, at one point, says to him "I have the feeling that 60% of what you say is crap..." To be fair, Dave didn't do his homework. When challenged to give examples, he couldn't, admitting that he never watches Bill's show.

On to other news. This is cool. It's basically a project where a developer is building a neighborhood in Alberta which on the surface looks like any other neighborhood. But, when you dig a bit deeper you discover that the neighborhood is full of solar panels, which are used to store heat during the summer in order to heat the houses in the winter. This is a story that I'd like to follow, and see how well it actually performs. I could be really critical of several aspects of the project as well, but I'm choosing not to at this point.
Have a good weekend.
I used the word 'beget' in an email today. I think that's the first time ever. And, though the conversation was small-scale epic, it certainly wasn't biblical.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Was that the sun?

Missing: One large ball of burning hydrogen. Last seen in the sky slowly and mysteriously being covered by a large grey mass...

Anyone seen the sun lately? I haven't. It feels like Vancouver, minus the mountains, lyons gate bridge, and jogger's wearing "Pezzi".

The conservatives have jumped ahead by a significant amount in the polls. Warren Kinsella, in his wise musings today, observes that "every Canadian above the age of six understands that Harper can't form a majority government," and so there won't be a repeat of last election, where a several voters changed their minds in the last week or so for fear of a Conservative majority. He also observes that "the real bosses of the next Parliament will continue to be Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe." I agree. It will be a minority gov't, and as long as it doesn't fall quickly, I think it will be good for Canada and we'll see some progress.

Today's fun links are few and far between. McSweeney's continues to entertain. Anyone who ever watched G.I.Joe as a kid will appreciate this, the Journal of a Cobra. Anyone who's a fan of the board game 'Clue' (there's gotta be at least one who reads this...) will get a kick out of this piece.
For the religious people out there, read this, an article about the religious right and poverty, and this, a story on religious trends from 2005.

Canada plays Russia tonight. Don't forget to watch it. I'm outta here.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I read something a couple of days ago, which was thought provoking, and has been bouncing around in my head ever since. To paraphrase:
"A God free enough to keep his promises"
Something like that. Implying that freedom and the ability to keep promises are somehow linked. Anyone smarter than me that can give some insight?

It's raining outside. It's January the 4th. It's supposed to be snowing. I was sitting in the chair at the dentist this morning, getting my teeth checked, watching sportscentre, and talking with the dental hygenist about snow, and the severe lack there-of. She just bought a sled this year (a snowmobile), and hasn't been able to use it and is extremely frustrated.

I walked to work today. I hope the rain stops for my walk home. It'll be messy. Back to work I get... I'm working like mad trying to finish a project for Friday. That's the price I pay for not working last week.

It was worth it.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

My housemate got us a christmas 'gift' this year, pictured above, which we busted out of the box last night and battled with.

Remote controlled tanks.

Before gameplay begins, it is strongly recommended that you secure the controller to your wrist, because once gameplay begins, you'll likely want to drop it. So, the point of the game is to move your tank around the course (our living room), hiding behind obstacles, and shooting your opponent. A successful strike on your opponent results in him receiving a hand numbing shock from his controller. (have you ever touched an electric fence at a farm?? that's almost what it feels like). First one to hit their opponent 5 times wins.

And finally, some political humour:

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year

We've said our good-byes to 2005, and are slowly getting comfortable with our new friend, 2006. I was pretty happy to send 2005 on his way. I've had better years. I'll leave it at that.
Yesterday morning at church, Danny Z preached a sermon on 'creative worship'. His main objective was to encourage those of us who were listening to enter into 2006 as a year in which we learn to creatively worship a creative God. Indirectly, he spent some time dismantling the monopoly that 'music' has gained in the worship department. I have a love/hate relationship with music; church music in particular. At times it has certainly been a vehicle in which I've been brought into the presence of God in worship. But singing that same song a few days later or the next Sunday may not have the same effect. There's more at work than just the magical formula of singing the correct 'chant' in the right mood or tone... Anyway, bottom line is that I love God, and sometimes I tell him that in song, sometimes in a poem I write, sometimes in my mind as I observe his work in my life or the life of a friend, sometimes as I hear someone else speaking about how God has showed up in their life. Often though, as I'm 'walking in the garden' with God, hiking through a park or the wilderness, or gazing at the sky on a clear night, I marvel at God the creator. This is why I post this picture to start 2006. A leaf, having yet to fall from a tree, frozen in the ice of winter. It's art. It's part of God's creative work, his ongoing work.
(If you're interested, the picture was taken last week in Jackson Park)