Monday, April 30, 2007

13.8 and Climbing

Erin and I went for a bike ride after dinner tonight, we ran up about 13.8 km as seen on this google map of our route. Our actual route was a little more squiggly, but bike trails don't show up.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Much promised images

I popped out for a coffee break this afternoon to get away from the construction in the office, to show you the much promised construction around the office. This is 43 Hanna, and she is getting some much needed love. As you can observe walls are missing on all sides, some of those sides we share with the out doors by just a thin veneer of drywall. The images that show 2-3 completely unfinished floors are actually net new floors added on to an old building. I have to give them credit they are doing a heck of a lot to this place. Its just makes for a noisy place to work.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dinosaur Influenza?

So I'm wandering the internet, and I stumbled upon this great article about the resurrection of the Spanish flu. Actually I'm full of it, I was not wandering the internet, the link was sent to me by the author, lovely gal that she is, and it's actually Erin's article she wrote for Genome BC.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Return of the cat filler

When all else fails, turn on the camera and post whats on it. As tradition holds, those are cat images.

An Intersection of Unconfirmed Paries

Erin was so kind as to capture this image on campus the other week, and mumbled something to me about, "bla bla bla Canon." She didn't in fact tell me that someone had painted the canon decidedly pink, and put a gigantic Troganic Horse astride it, furthermore she failed to mention that this particular horse had been branded with a unique symbol, one I bare proudly. So I bring to you today what appears to be the work of my Alma Mata, in cahoots, and I do mean cahoots, with the University of Toronto's Brute Force Squad.

To the architects of this prankery, I salute you!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

bicycle, Bicycle, BICYCLE, I Want to Ride My Bicycle

With allusions of Queen's Bicycle Race Erin and I picked up some bikes on Friday. We are whipping things into shape around these here parts. For those interested in the tech specs, the Bikes are Devinci Life Style.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.

-George Eliot (1819-1880)

Wise words, I suppose I'm not blessed :)

Virginia Tech

I would like to send out some condolences to the families of the victims of Virginia Tech, and well wishes to those who are wounded and recovering. I wish I could give meaning or justification for there suffering, I wish I could tell them that their loved ones didn't die in vain, or that they died with some redeeming noble dignity.

And short of a few who died perhaps delaying or impeding the gun man, I can give no such words of, as I'm afraid they did die in vein, and there is no redemption of these events, and things will likely get worse before they get better.

Much like the last madman whom I refused to enshrine, ennoble or even dignify with a name, I will do not such thing with this sicko. I do not in fact no who he is, but I'm sure that will come out in your more reputable news sources.

Instead I would like to condemn this man, this monster, for what he is. A selfish, narcissistic coward. It takes conviction and courage to deal with life's problems, not super human measures of these virtues, but measures none the less. We all have it in us, the capacity to grit our teeth and continue, for some, whose lose there way, they choose a personal sacrifice, and we know we have failed them. Others, others who have had everything taken from them, whose lives know only pain and suffering, and yet they manage to rise each morning and meet the day, we have also failed them, for they shouldn't have to be so strong. For most of us, the trials are not so hard, but they define us, the lows give contrast to the highs and we know the value of ourselves, and others defined by these differences. This is life, and its worth living.

Some, some don't have this perspective, all things are negative, and all acts aggrieve them. These people are so self centered that they see all actions as spite to them, and themselves a victim of the world. They choose the cowards way. Its not easy to lose someone close to you, so I can only imagine its most difficult to lose yourself, and so when one finds that they thing they are lost, but cannot end it themselves, they chose some vainglorious death, one in which they are painted the victim not the villain. So I suspect our killer started his day with two eggs, bacon, toast and a side of revolver. Unable to bear the gun oiled barrel he elected to to find solace in the death of others, and his inevitable end by his own hand or the police.

The story to follow will be fleshed out in the media as time progresses, but we know how it eventually ends, our coward dead in an orgy of death, perhaps imagining he can slip through the pearly gates in amongst the crowd. Well I spit on him, and I spit on his grave, and I spit on his memory. Let him be forgotten and nameless, don't turn his name in to a crusade against school violence, don't politicize the event, forget him. The events should clearly be marked, those who died should be honoured, and not as heroes or as paragons, but as regular people, who had the courage to live. Once a list of them is available, I'll share it here, because they deserve notice.

As for the police, and the university or are taking a lot of flack for inaction. The truth, and I say that with little knowledge of "the truth" but a strong gut feeling, is that the shooting incident of the morning, while tragic, probably had all the hallmarks of domestic violence, and procedure was standard. Sadly these events seem all to common, when a jelous spouse, or a spurned lover or perhaps just an abusive monster, should take the life of there partner in heat of a rage. Its probably the most classic reason for murder on the books. So when something like this should happen there is rarely an expectation of a following murderous rampage. Police contained the dormitory, and processed the scene, and school officials thought it best to try and maintain normality. Neither could have had the for site to expect what would come (I am assuming that no note was left on the bodies indicating that the killer would just pop out for a coffee and then resuming killing anon.)

In the end the police perhaps could be criticized for not taking initiative once the second shootings were underway and sieging the building to end it. This is perhaps there failure, but they that is all.

Anyways, I think I have come around to my point, and that is for the record, fuck the coward, and spit on his grave. Remember the victims for who they are, and for the sake of civilization lets wait until the dust settles before we point fingers (Jack Thompson, I'm looking at you!)

Brave Protector

Well here is a cat who is clearly doesn't get it.

I have something heavy coming, so here is a light appatizer.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Something new on the ballot

I'd like to talk about electoral reform, but not right now. I think there will be a lot more news in the coming weeks. For now I will leave you with this.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Blogging and Podcasting

Well my grand blogging effort has be thwarted by my iPod. More specifically, Buzz Out Loud, the CNET Podcast of Indeterminate Length. A great show, but one that requires more attention they I imagined. Thus leaving the quality of my blogging quite wanting.

Welcome new members of the Araskian Brand, would like to welcome two new sites under its banner, the news sites are actually off brand and will not be sporting that dashingly handsome URL but have there own equally interesting URLs. The first in our happy web family is this site will be hosting the e-resume of the lovely and talented Erin Westman. The second site is which will be hosting the professional site of J. W. Westman Inc. The first site is developed and designed by the aforementioned Erin Westman, and the later is from the toolbox of yours truly. I'm beginning to think, on comparing the two, that my toolbox is filled with rusty widgets, and ill fitting sprockets, because Erin's looks sharp.

So everyone please give these new sites a warm welcome, and please pad there hit counters.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

re: Rim Roller

Coast of Araska: Rim Roller! WTF!

I'm underwelmed by the Rim Roller, sure it works, but I think I'm better at rolling then it is. Still it was an inexpensive novelty and I've gotten half a dozen conversations out of it. So well worth the $2.

Do you sence a growing trend...

I caught Loki on YouTube the other day, I think he was communicating with other cats. While I don't normally agree with the invasion of privacy around snooping through someones browsing history, something about the way he was acting had me nervous. So I'm not proud, but I dug through what he had been up to, and I found this:

I think he wanted me to find it, I think he has plans, dark feline plans.
Lokitron 2000 Purbott Sleep Optimization System

Getting too much sleep? Not enough fur in your bed? The absence of low frequency grunty vibrations getting you down? Fear not, for every problem there is a solution, and for this problem we offer you the latest in the Catbott(tm) series of robots. Each Lokitron is equipped with an accurate chronograph, and sleep heuristic to determine the optimal amount of sleep that you require. The Lokitron is also equipped with a soothing purr based progressive alarm system. Wake up is initiated with a low rumbling, followed by some vocalizations:
"Its Fourrrrrrrr am, play rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr"
Vocalizations escalate if until the Lokitron is satisfied by your state of alertness.
"Plaaaaaaayyyyy, rrrrrrr, PLAAAAYYYYYYYY rrrrrrrrrr"
The tertiary alarm system involves a soothing klaxon to alert deeper sleepers of there impending over sleep.

The final phase of the alarm system is a therapeutic acupuncture system, through skill manipulations certified by the AAMA you are gently brought to an awake and refreshed state.

As an added feature, unlike conventional alarms that allow overriding, the Lokitron assures an awakened state with the absence of a snooze button. While escalation to the highest states of alarm can be staved off with a leather toy mouse, all other attempts to silence the device are met with a renewed vigor, and alarm escalation.

If you doubt the efficacy of our product, don't believe us, believe our satisfied customers:
- Erin Westman
Looooooookkkkkkiiiiiiiii, beeeee quiet, its not even light out.
-Geoff Peart
uuunnnnnngggggggggg, cooooofffffffeeeeeeeeee.
-Aslan Westman
Unnnnnnnngggggggggg, BRRAAAAIIINNNNS.
-Office Zombie Ted

For more information regarding the fine product, and many more contact ACME Inc.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Rim Roller! WTF!

So Brad is to blame for this little gem, The Rim Roller TM is a product that begs the question why? I have multi dexterous fingers that are adept at actuating Tim Horton cups, I've even developed an optimized technique to attaining the "RÉESSAYEZ S.V.P." in record time.

So why do I need a device designed for rolling these rims? I'm not sure, but for 2 bucks why not... (What a great reason...)

Anyways going at noon, let me know if you need one.