Thursday, January 29, 2004
( 9:17 AM ) by David Barker
Can't Believe It. Cannot Frikkin' Believe It.
Last night I watched a whole episode of American Idol. Laughed, cringed, gasped.
It started a few weeks ago when anything was an acceptable alternative to Star Trek:Enterprise. Which sucks. I watched a little of this, a little of that, including some American Idol. Last week I watched more of it.
This week, (they were in Honolulu), I watched the whole thing. The whole frikkin' thing.
Won't be doing that again.
I really, really hope.
For the love of God, somebody help me!
BTW, I've been through this:
Step 1. We admitted we were powerless over television -- that our lives had become unmanageable.
Step 2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to televisoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
( 11:00 AM ) by David Barker
Back To School Started Monday...
It's a six month course that's going to provide me with CompTIA A+ PC Core and Hardware certification as well as CompTIA Network+ certification. Along the way I pick up a Microsoft Certified Professional card for Windows 2000 and MS Office.
Day One - Monday, January 19, 2004
This was basic stuff, and simple.
The morning was Business Communication orientation and the afternoon was orientation for our 6 week co-op placement in June/July.
Day Two - Tuesday, January 20, 2004
Much more on Business Communication. We looked at language, soft skills, hard skills, a lot of basic stuff that it actually felt good to review.
We were asked to prepare a five minute speech on any topic. I wasn't feeling all that great on Monday night so I didn't do anything. I didn't forget, I just didn't bother because I figured I'd figure something out. And I did. I went about fifth, and just started talking about 'three children's fantasy series': the Oz books, Narnia and Harry Potter.
(more to come)
Day Three - Wednesday, January 21, 2004
(more to come)
Saturday, January 17, 2004
( 10:48 AM ) by David Barker
TV Does Not Suck! As Much!
I have a new favourite TV show. Friday nights at nine, here in Toronto on CTV (channel 9, cable 8).
It's called 'Joan of Arcadia'.
Can't really do the basic premise justice, so I'll only say that, as you may have heard, it's about a teenage girl who God talks to, in the form of just about anybody she might meet in the course of a day. He has her do things that affect those around her, usually for the good.
Here's the official CBS website.
The cast is first rate (Mary Steenburgen and Joe Mantegna as the parents, eg) and the writing and plotting is quite nice.
The show was created and is written (mostly, so far) by one Barbara Hall, who's been around for a while, on such things as Judging Amy and Northern Exposure.
I haven't felt this way about a show since Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Shut up.
Friday, January 16, 2004
( 11:40 AM ) by David Barker
Not Your Dad's Twenty-First Century Or Maybe It Is.
I'm in the main public library branch in Toronto, using the internet accessible computers set up for the public.
Each session is one half an hour. There are a lot of problems with how things are set up here, but that's not one of them.
Here's what just happened.
Some guy is on a computer. He leaves his coat and stuff (it's -12, and the wind chill is -24) and goes away, probably to the john.
Some other guy, waiting for a computer in the designated line-up (they probably have a macronym for it) , sees him go, comes up, moves the guy's stuff and sits down.
A few of us around him suggest that perhaps he's in the wrong.
His response is - and I kid you not - "Get out of my country". Said to good old born-and-raised-here, Canadian-accented me. I told him to get back on his medication. So he told me to get a job.
The original user of the computer, maybe German or Slavic in origin, goes to complain to library security, but they're pussies and don't do anything, so the fncker gets away with it.
He fncking gets away with it. In the first place, he just takes over the computer, then when we complain on behalf of the original user, he gets racist (and nuts), and then when the original user complains, Security doesn't do anything about it, so this racist mental-case (and I mean that in the worst possible way, pace nobody) fncking gets away with it. With all of it.
Tuesday, January 06, 2004
( 1:53 PM ) by David Barker
Mars, Again. No, Still.
Check this out, from space.com.
It's fucking beautiful. Check out the resolution, the out-yer-back-window detail of the nearby rocks and the stuff in the distance!
"This is the first color image of Mars taken by the panoramic camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. It is the highest resolution image ever taken on the surface of another planet. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell University."
Monday, January 05, 2004
( 10:59 AM ) by David Barker
I Guess NASA Sure Knows Mars From Elba. (Old Scottish Accent Joke About Napoleon. Or Something.)
Mars! Goddam! I remember when Pathfinder landed in 1997 I was glued to TV and the internet - dialup back in those days. I couldn't get enough of it. Still can't but I've learned some patience. =;]
The Brits had a bit of hard luck with Beagle 2. But they're not giving up and will keep trying to wake up or re-contact the lander.
Beagle 2's mothership (ie her ride), Mars Express still has a really cool agenda of scientific experiments.
What's a little bit scary is that I saw Jay Ingram on Canada's Discovery Channel last night saying that something like two thirds of all missions sent to Mars have failed. The Soviets account for a huge chunk of that, so no huge surprise, but nevertheless a little chilling.
Sunday, January 04, 2004
( 2:43 PM ) by David Barker
Technophobic! But Only Because The Technology Is So Dern Big!
I had a fun evening on Friday at Jeff and Gail Kesner's house. It's the way the hell up - I don't know. I got a lift with Reid and Ronnie, and I don't drive, so all I saw was traffic and some signs, then boom, we're there. Much quicker than I thought.
They live in a big, beautiful house in a neighbourhood of like houses. We - the rest were mostly others from Jeff and Gail's olde tyme university friends gang - were invited up to have a gander at Jeff's new toy, a gigantic HDTV capable screen that can basically serve as the video device for anything requiring video display. He has the obvious stuff hooked up, like his DVD and VHS players, as well as a computer (doubling as a DVD player, if I got that right...).
Jeff took us downstairs to the family room soon after we got there to show us the screen. Now, I was expecting something big, but I was completely surprised. I turned into the family room, saw the screen and dropped to my knees with a 'Sweet Jesus, Jeff!"
We watched all sorts of cool junk, in different formats, in different aspect ratios, with various complexity of stereo sound, including ancient home movies converted to digital format.
There were lots of cool kids, including the host children, Jennifer and Megan, as well as Ronnie, Elspeth, Daniel, Ross, Annie and Sarah, and me.
Jeff and Gail have a very cool home, which was immediately recognizable as a geek house because there was a telescope stored in the large front hall half-bathroom.
Lotsa fun. Thank you, Jeff, Gail, Jennifer and Megan.