Monday, August 30, 2004

I'm sorry

Hey everyone, sorry for not posting, it basically came down to a post that I milled over for a long time, and decided I sounded really angry and rambling, so I tossed it out. While trying to make said post, I didn't do any other posting, and my life has been pretty busy. I could bore you with the intricacies of getting digital audio out of an SB Audigy 2, or the picking of a wedding photographer, but trust me you don't want to know. The Raiders did win a second game in there, but that was because of a default by the other team. Also I have about a million pictures to post, so maybe I will start there. In any case heading into the fall I will try and do minimum 1 post a week, more if I can.

Here are some links that caught my eye over the last week.

Why specs Matter
Interview with Robert Sawyer

Okay that will have to do for now.


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Phobos Entertainment's "100 Science Fiction Books You Just Have to Read"

Below is a list of books rated as the title suggests the "Have to Read" sci fi books. I would like to read most of them in fact, and have decided to make myself a little check list I will update from time to time. You can see the 11 books I have read, I originally thought it was 10, but then I realized I have in fact read some Anne McCaffrey. Anyways I will update as I go, this like much of this site is for my own use, but hey read anything good latley you think should be on this list? Then comment on it.
1 Childhood's EndArthur C. Clarke
2 FoundationIsaac Asimov
3 DuneFrank Herbert
4 The Man in the High CastlePhilip K. Dick
5 Starship TroopersRobert A. Heinlein
6 ValisPhilip K. Dick
7 FrankensteinMary Wollstonecraft Shelley
8 GatewayFrederik Pohl
9Space MerchantsFrederik Pohl
10Earth AbidesGeorge R. Stewart
11 Cuckoo's EggC.J. Cherryh
12 Star SurgeonJames White
13 The Three Stigmata of Palmer EldritchPhilip K. Dick
14 RadixA. A. Attanasio
15 2001: A Space OdysseyArthur C. Clarkex
16 RingworldLarry Niven
17 A Case of ConscienceJames Blish
18 Last and First ManOlaf Stapledon
19 The Day of the TriffidsJohn Wyndham
20 Way StationClifford D. Simak
21 More Than HumanTheodore Sturgeon
22 Gray LensmanE.E. "Doc" Smith
23 The Gods ThemselvesIsaac Asimov
24 The Left Hand of DarknessUrsula K. Le Guinx
25 Behold the ManMichael Moorcock
26 Star MakerOlaf Stapledon
27 The War of the WorldsH. G. Wells
28 20,000 Leagues Under the SeaJules Verne
29 Heritage of HasturMarion Zimmer Bradley
30 The Time MachineH. G. Wells
31 The Stars My DestinationAlfred Bester
32 SlanA. E. Van Vogt
33 NeuromancerWilliam Gibson
34 Ender's GameOrson Scott Cardx
35 In Conquest BornC. S. Friedman
36 Lord of LightRoger Zelazny
37 EonGreg Bear
38 DragonflightAnne McCaffreyx
39 Journey to the Center of the EarthJules Verne
40 Stranger in a Strange LandRobert A. Heinleinx
41 CosmGregory Benford
42 The Voyage of the Space BeagleA. E. Van Vogt
43 Blood MusicGreg Bear
44 Beggars in SpainNancy Kress
45 OmnivorePiers Anthony
46 I, RobotIsaac Asimov
47 Mission of GravityHal Clement
48 To Your Scattered Bodies GoPhilip Jose Farmer
49 Brave New WorldAldous Huxley
50 The Man Who Folded HimselfDavid Gerrold
51 1984George Orwellx
52 The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyl And Mr. HydeRobert Louis Stevenson
53 Snow CrashNeal Stephensonx
54 FleshPhilip Jose Farmer
55 Cities in FlightJames Blish
56 Shadow of the TorturerGene Wolfe
57 Startide RisingDavid Brin
58 TritonSamuel R. Delany
59 Stand on ZanzibarJohn Brunner
60 A Clockwork OrangeAnthony Burgess
61 Fahrenheit 451Ray Bradburyx
62 A Canticle for LeibowitzWalter M. Miller Jr.
63 Flowers for AlgernonDaniel Keyes
64 No Blade of GrassJohn Christopher
65 The PostmanDavid Brin
66 DhalgrenSamuel R. Delany
67 BerserkerFred Saberhagen
68 FlatlandEdwin Abbott Abbott
69 PlaniverseA. K. Dewdney
70 Dragon's EggRobert L. Forward
71 Downbelow StationC. J. Cherryh
72 DawnOctavia E. Butler
73 The Puppet MastersRobert A. Heinlein
74 The Doomsday BookConnie Willis
75 Forever WarJoe Haldeman
76 Deathbird StoriesHarlan Ellison
77 Roadside PicnicArkady Strugatsky
78 The Snow QueenJoan D. Vinge
79 The Martian ChroniclesRay Bradbury
80 Drowned WorldJ.G. Ballard
81 Cat's CradleKurt Vonnegut
82 Red Mars KimStanley Robinson
83 UpanishadsVarious
84 Alice in Wonderland LewisCarrollx
85 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyDouglas Adamsx
86 The Lathe of HeavenUrsula K. Le Guin
87 The Midwich CuckoosJohn Wyndham
88 MutantHenry Kuttner
89 SolarisStanislaw Lem
90 Ralph 124C41+Hugo Gernsback
91 I Am LegendRichard Matheson
92 TimescapeGregory Benford
93 The Demolished ManAlfred Bester
94 War with the NewtsKarl Kapek
95 MarsBen Bova
96 Brain WavePozul Anderson
97 HyperionDan Simmons
98 The Andromeda StrainMichael Crichtonx
99 Camp ConcentrationThomas M. Disch
100A Princess of MarsEdgar Rice Burroughs
This list's title, description, and content copyright © 2000-2002, Phobos Entertainment Holdings, Inc.. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Solution to the Middle East Problem in 20 words or less.

Make an arrogant, sweeping and controversial statement, and get called for it, dammit that means so one is actually reading this. So the link here is to myself, and its a post I made that was pretty inflammatory, but I was pretty mad about Israel at the time. The commenter asked "So what's your solution to the Middle East problem? In 20 words or less, please."

Off the cuff, 20 words couldn't solve the problem.

Honestly, I think the solution to any problem could be solved in one word "Armageddon" I don't mean in the biblical, or Bruce Willis/Ben Afflect way, but they both have the right idea, destroy the world and everyone in it. I didn't say it was a good solution but it would get rid of the problem. Unfortunately the other extreme I don't expect to work, while I would love to see peace without the expense of human life, I'm not sure that is possible.

Also, what is the "Middle East Problem?" I bet you would find a myriad of opinions on that, probably the following statements will express some of the opinions.

"The problem is that Muslim extremists are destabilize the region and trying to convert or destroy all non Muslims.

"The problem is that decadent westerners live in laziness and hypocrisy and deserve to die."

"The problem is that westerners believe they can use there money to dictate how we chose to live"

"The problem is the disparity between the classes in middle east nations so while leaders thrive and use the money to power corrupt regime and court international power, the lower class dwells in third world conditions and resonant towards money and power fester, expressing itself in violent clashes."

"The problem with the middle east is those damn Jews they should all die"

"The problem with the middle east is military dictator type regimes who commit murder, and terror on their own people, covet oil, and commit genocide."

"The problem with the middle east is that today's terrorist were paid and trained mercenaries from the cold war, who were left in the lurch when America won"

"The problem with the middle east, is that no one can agree what the problem is and in trying to solve their problem they become someone else's problem."

So what is the solution?
20 words or less?

"Horror and violence, so terrible, to all factions, that sheer revulsion of it drives all the factions to negotiate."

Personally, I'm revolted? Aren't you?

Now I realize this is a fairly extremist stance, and that is the problem, there are too many extreme stances, there is a middle ground somewhere that can let middle east be at peace, but I don't know where it is, does any one? I'd welcome the debate.

Twenty Four (is a lot better then Shifty Five)

Well I'm 24, as of Aug. 11th actually.
It was a great birthday, Erin made me some super amazing food for dinner and this delicious apple cheese cake, mmmmmmmmmm. She also gave me a house, now we have two, all though the second isn't as large I must say. For lunch my friends at work took me out to canyon creek, which is one of my favorite restaurants, so all and all great day. Next year I figure is a bigger deal, quarter century and all. Scary stuff :)


Monday, August 09, 2004

Raiders... WIN!

It was a great day for the Raiders as they keeh hauled the Sultan's of Swing 13 - 4 in a buccaneerish way. All around the team's performance was stellar. Great catches, great stops, great throws, and most of all great hitting. With this epic win behind us, the Raiders advance in the standings to not last!


Friday, August 06, 2004

Cottage Time

I'm excited for this weekend, as I am going up to Erin's Cottage, I love that place, because it exudes relaxation. Its actually going to be a pretty full house this weekend, Alex is joining us and so is one of Candace's (Erin's younger sister if you didn't know,) friends. I expect there will be some deck work for me to do, but that's fine by me, I can grunt and use power tools, and have a beer when I am done. Some of those activities can be reordered provided the remain constrained to beer following power tools, and grunting does not occur concurrently with beer as choking can ensue. Have a great weekend folks, I will maybe blog at the cottage, but it won't be posted till Monday.

Penny Arcade you crack me up...

Here is a great Penny Arcade about Gabe jerking off Tycho, I don't know why it is funny, but it just is, you have to read the news post as well.

Lucky Loonie

Woot! A new coin for my collection, and it only cost me a dollar, okay, it cost two, but that's because I bought two. In honour of the 2002 Winter Olympics where a strategically placed loonie (for you non-Canadians a Loonie is the common or slang name for the $1 Canadian Coin.) For those unfamiliar with those particularly Olympics, the ice in the Hockey arena was prepared and tended by a famous Canadian ice maker, apparently it is practically an art form. In the process of making the perfect ice for Olympic hockey, are Loyal Canadian reached into his pocket pulled out a Loonie and buried it at centre ice for good luck. As it should happen, that Loonie did bring luck, in the form of dual champion Women and Men's gold medal hockey teams. When all was said and done that Loonie was removed from centre ice, and delivered to Hockey Hall of Fame to be enshrined with its mystical powers OOoooo Ahhhhh. As the Athens games are rapidly approaching, the Canadian mint has decided to try and bring a little luck to the whole Canadian team. So they minted a special Loonie for common circulation displaying its name sake, the loon, and above the loon sits the Olympic rings, and above that the Canadian Olympic logo (a maple leaf with a torch centred over top of it.) So you can get your own lucky loonie from the Royal Bank of Canada (my employer) or you can order an uncirculated Loonie from the mint. For more info checkout the official site.

The day before...

So it was the day before the wedding, and I was getting nervous. As mentioned before I have been having a public speaking block. Fortunately, I have been working on my speech for a while, and I composed it during my '12 hour flight.' In spite of that I was worrying, so I kept myself distracted helping with preparations, we spent the morning with the soon to be married couple cutting vegetables, and making salad (Erin invented a violent but effective way to rip the core out of the iceberg lettuce, and she enjoyed herself doing it.) Then it was on to dips and chicken Souvlaki. So we worked away the day getting things ready, and then off to a family bbq for dinner. That was nice too, we had some decent take out Italian, and all the family, we chatted we taught my cousin's Alec and Ian how to play poker, I'm sure Aunt Beth will be thrilled with that. :) Then we went to the rehearsal, where the Officicant threatened Colin that when he gave him the word to kiss Christina, that he had better do it right and proper and not some namby-pamby peck you give your mom, or else he would have to do it again. After that we retired to Chris's mom's house, and did small things, mostly my mom made the icing for the CAKE oooooo ahhhh. Colin passed out from exhaustion, and then Erin and I got a lift back out to Jean's (the lady we were staying with, again she was asleep when we got there, it was pretty late I don't blame her, at the time I remember feeling very very guilty living in this persons house who I had never met.)

Serenity fades into the Black

Why in the whole damn 'verse of god aweful shows and crap tv, did Firefly get canned!
I think that show was awesome from the get go, I just wish I had known about it when it was on TV. The characters are well acted and loveable but deep. The story intrieging, and the dialog great. Effects, filming, everything just really really novel and amazing, and yet Fox cast it off like it was nothing. Just makes you wonder. I can't wait for the movie, due out in 05, I am definitly heading out to see it opening night, because I want to tell Joss, and the Crew of Serenity that I support them and their show!

End of the conference and on to Calgary

...I'm going to try and remember and post as things pop into my head about the week in Calgary, mostly I was too busy enjoying myself, or nervous about MC'ing so its all a blur, but I will blog about what I can....

So the conference ended and I headed up to my room to pack up, and check out. My flight from Dallas was scheduled for 4:30 pm. I felt like I needed some lunch and I knew there was an airport shuttle at 1:00 pm, so I headed over early.

The self check out desk at the Dallas-Fortworth was a little confusing, they actually had 2 self checkouts, one with luggage, one without... Why... Pearson has one set of self checkout lines, and an express baggage check for those who used it, it works well. So I had to buffoon around in to many lines to get everything checked, and then on through security.

Security required me to take off my shoes, I guess shoe bombs are on the rise, oh well I got through no harm no fowl, I would rather be inconvenienced and safe. So then I figured out where my gate was, and then went and grabbed a leisurely lunch. Around 2:30 pm I mosied on over to my gate, and heard whispers of delays. By 4:00 it was finally poster, our plane would be delayed 1 hour.

Then it was 1.5, 2, and finally 3. The reason for the delay, tornadoes over Denver, and just my luck, I didn't have a direct flight to Calgary, I had a stop over in Denver. At this point I was also worried about catching my transfer in Calgary. So after many hours at the gate, my Gameboy dies, and my laptop dies. I figured I had enough juice to get me to Calgary, but I didn't account for a 3 hour delay. So just my luck I had also packed my books in my luggage... Never do that again.

We finally left Dallas at about 7:10, so just shy of a full 3 hours, and the ride to Denver was unexciting at best. The landing was a little scary, see I am the kind of guy who listens to the pilots with my courtesy head set, and so I am hearing them as they make there final approach, and all I see out the window is clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, clouds, GROUND!!!!!! We broke final cloud cover about 10-15 meters up feet up and 100 meters out from the run way. I'm glad they knew what they were doing because that was just freaky.

So we land at the wrong end of Denver and I have to hoof it clear across the terminal to the gate for my Calgary departure, fortunately it hadn't left yet, by the time I get there, I am greeted with my friend... The delay. See Denver was pretty much shut down for about 5 hours, and that creates a big back log, so the place was crammed, and my plane hadn't even landed, never mind groomed, or fueled. Fortunately I found a plug, and jacked in.

Juiced up my laptop and gameboy, and had an engaging conversation with a nice American lady headed to Calgary for... A wedding. Actually we didn't talk about wedding's at all, we talked about Canada and its CrAzY > 2 party political system. Fortunately she was intelligent and just uninformed, so I didn't just tell her about it we discussed, so it passed the time.

We finally left Denver at 10:10, I think I slept most of the flight, I lucked out and actually had the only row with an empty seat, so it wasn't to squishy, I could have used less screaming baby, but what you going to do about that.

Landed in Calgary about quarter to one (which if I have my time zones right was actually quarter to two,) got picked up by my lovie, and my parents, and then dropped off at the house I was staying in, ironically didn't get to meet the owner of the house since she had gone to bed, and I didn't even get to meet them the next day, because totally drained as I was I slept in.

So that was my travel experience, and what an experience, I will elucidate more of the fun stuff in the near future but for now, I sleep.

jetlagged geoff

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

I'm in the news

Here is another article for you people to read. This one is about RSDUC, and features me, in fact it features a lot of me. I don't want to be vain, but I don't get quoted often, or ever, and often find myself quoting others, so today I shall strut and preen about.


Post 100

Hey with out looking I topped 100 posts, (this is in fact 101!) Go me! Well 101 down, lets get the next couple hundred going.

The History of the Bank Machine

I was sent a great link by a coworker today to this article about bank machines. As we both make our bread and butter with these machines I read it and found it quite interesting. So enjoy!

Well I am back from my brother's wedding, and aside from no internet, I have a lot to tell. To start with here is one of the millions of pictures we took, from the look of things I would say this is probably Moraine Lake, I'm not going to go into a lot of details about the trip right now, but I will over the next few weeks post all sorts of pictures. Enjoy this one for now, and I will fill in the details soon.