Sunset – Edmonton 10 Nov 2004

Posted in Photography on November 11th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

sunset041110.jpg

:: Rather than create more entries, I’m going to add to this one, so I can look at this picture for a while. Cindi has links to a number of great sites, some funny, some sad. I saw the Sorry Everybody site on Michael Moore’s page the other day. Americans can send photos of themselves to the site. Each picture features the contributor showing a written apology for the rest of the world to see, for the Nov 2 election results. Those of us in the rest of the world can send a photo with a message of support, including my fellow Canadians. Some can get very creative; perhaps they watched the opening credits for Napoleon Dynamite. A soldier who served in Iraq apologized. Texans are sorry. Yoda understands. Babies are upset, as are scientists, cats, dogs.

Interesting Day

Posted in Mixed Bag Special on November 6th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: It began by rising at 0545 hrs, driving to Kathryn’s house to pick her up and drive her to the airport to fly to Cincinnati. I returned home and went back to sleep. When I awoke, I putzed around and then decided it was time to put up the Christmas lights, which took about two hours.

Then I went to Ikea – the Ikea store here is new, but only in that it’s a new building. Ikea has been in Edmonton for years, first at WEM (still the planet’s largest mall – yes, it’s bigger than Mall of America – but apparently not for long), then the store moved to the south side, and earlier this year, to the south south side of the city. It’s the first thing you see when you drive north into Edmonton on Highway 2.

It’s an enormous store, the size of a few football fields. The customer service is outstanding, and – this isn’t trivial – the frickin’ shopping carts are so much fun to push around. They are silent – no spinning wheels – and have four wheel drive. Wal-Mart, Safeway, Costco – are you paying attention? The Swedes have been on to something good for years. Ikea serves a $1 breakfast every day – gotta try that soon. Today I bought some light blue Gullmaj curtains, grey Index wall fittings, an Index curtain rod (grey), and Index Sarita finials. I’m going to attempt to install the curtains in front of my new sliding door by myself. (Mike Nichols, stop laughing now!) The staff person said to wash and dry the curtains first. The curtains are in the dryer, and at the moment seem to have lost some of their colour. I’ll check them tomorrow morning.

This evening I went to the movies, ostensibly to see Birth. I arrived and was told the 7:30 show was cancelled for a sneak preview. Immediately annoyed and with little time to decide what else to see or else leave, I chose Napoleon Dynamite instead, which was a total hoot. I was surprised to find the theatre packed – the movie had played at our art house cinema previously for a few weeks, so I thought the theatre would be 90% empty. Word: if you haven’t seen the movie and plan to, DO NOT leave when the credits begin. The movie resumes after the credits and continues for about 10 minutes. The credits are great – each one is served on a plate of food.

Fallout 3 – The New Geography

Posted in Political Hooey on November 5th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: It’s interesting to see how some view the new geopolitical landscape in the USA. Living next door, we watch from the north side of the border, incredulous and nonplussed. The UK’s Daily Mirror summed it up for a lot of people with this cover and headline. The new geography could look like this or this. Parental advisory: Could this be the cover of Time next week? Probably not.

:: Is it my imagination, or does the Red Sox’ World Series win seem like months ago already?

:: I wanna go see the Firesign Theatre perform on the west coast next year.

Fallout 2 – Let’s Marry an American!

Posted in Political Hooey on November 4th 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: The new map of Canada and the USA, featuring Minniwillinois, Tropic of Canada, Baja Canada, and the United States of Texas.

:: Unhappy Democrats Need to Wait to Get Into Canada

:: From The Boston Globe, the new red coloured map of the USA.

:: US Election Results Listed by Average IQ.

:: This is my favorite: Marry an American:

Now that George W. Bush has been officially elected, single, sexy, American liberals – already a threatened species – will be desperate to escape. These lonely, afraid (did we mention really hot?) progressives will need a safe haven. You can help. Open your heart, and your home. Marry an American. Legions of Canadians have already pledged to sacrifice their singlehood to save our southern neighbours from four more years of cowboy conservatism.

Don’t believe it? Check out these pledges:

  • I’d marry an American woman and in a hurry if she was the type of woman I’m looking for, and to show that I am a true and real Canadian, I will take her to Tim Hortons at least once a week for coffee and donuts.
  • Don’t like Bush? You’ll like mine!
  • Marrying a Canadian is like eating poutine. At first, putting cheese curds and gravy on fries may put you off. But trust me, you will quickly learn to enjoy it. No fatties, please. (People from Detroit, I’m looking in your general direction…)
  • Help! CDN fem trapped in US pending greencard approval. Seeking to adopt, er MARRY democratically minded American man to take back to the homeland. Down with warmongering fear perpetuating gun totin’ illiterate idocrity! Mom I’m comin’ home!
  • Not a good time to be on the left in America! Come up north, we’ve got more liberals than we know what to do with!! Must like hockey.
  • I have space for one progressive thinking American woman. I don’t have to stipulate intelligence, the fact that you’re fleeing the evil empire speaks to your good sense.
  • Old Bushy can steal your elections but not your soul. I, on the other hand, offer you mine if it will save a poor american liberal girl from the clutch of religious theocracy, belligerant militarism, and suffocating ignorance.
  • Canucks in the millions marry Yanks achieve dual citizenship scatter themselves throughout the South then elect evil liberal mongerers to the Senate Congress and Penn Ave. Brilliant!

Check Aboot This Site.

:: From Michael Moore’s site: 17 Reasons Not To Slit Your Wrists. (No permanent link, this will probably change tomorrow.)

:: My favorite quote from yesterday’s The Daily Show came from Ed Helms, reporting on Bush’s new agenda for the next for years: “A word of advice, if you want to have gay sex or visit a library, it’s probably your last night to do those things.” While the latter former doesn’t concern me personally, luckily I can visit my library tomorrow, because I work there.

Fallout 1 – The Day After

Posted in Political Hooey on November 3rd 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: Some interesting posts worth reading on The Day After:

I may add a few more.

Weblogs Become Op-Ed Fodder, But First…

Posted in Political Hooey on November 3rd 2004 by Randy Reichardt

:: I’m staring at the CNN web site, refreshing it every few minutes, waiting for them to project Bush the winner in the US federal election. How bloody depressing. I’ve never been very political, but my feeling is that the United States, home to many relatives and great friends of mine, is becoming more and more myopic, unable to see past their own border, unaware that life exists outside the 48 contiguous states. This changes only when something is to be gained elsewhere, such as oil in Iraq. The rest of Planet Earth can’t stand Bush; what can we expect now through to 2008?

I can’t for the life of me understand why Americans would re-elect him. Did he win by playing the fear card? Elect me, or OSB and his posse will kill you and your family? He’s sending their children to their deaths in Iraq, which is quickly becoming another Vietnam. More jobs were lost in his four years in office than were created, and his administration has little regard for the environment. But hey, he’s back in again – at least, it sure looks like it. Then again, I live in Alberta, which has voted the right into power for the last, lessee, gajillion years. To my American friends who didn’t vote for Bush, you have my sympathies and condolences. To those who suggested to me you might want to move to Canada, please do so as quickly as you can make the necessary arrangements.

:: Today’s NYTimes’ Op-Ed page opens as follows:

Every very four years, by journalistic if not political tradition, the presidential election must be accompanied by a “revolution.” So what transformed politics this time around? The rise of the Web log, or blog. The commentary of bloggers – individuals or groups posting daily, hourly or second-by-second observations of and opinions on the campaign on their own Web sites – helped shape the 2004 race. The Op-Ed page asked bloggers from all points on the political spectrum to say what they thought was the most important event or moment of the campaign that, we hope, comes to an end today.

This is a major acknowledgement and endorsement of the impact of blogging. The rest of the “editorial”, featuring comments from 12 bloggers, is here.

In my own, tiny world, I’ve been helping student groups in 4th-year mechanical and chemical engineering design classes set up blogs for their project management. For them, the blog becomes a powerful tool to manage their work and progress, freeing up valuable time that would otherwise be spent sending multiple e-mails, making phone calls, setting up meetings, and the like. Only a very small number of the estimated 8-10 million blogs in existence have become influential enough to reach a place as important as the NYT Op-Ed page. Most live in the expanding blogosphere, like the ones I just described, maintained by single or multiple authors, created for fun, or for a specific purpose. I’ve been at this for >2.5 years, and it’s still fun.

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