• ***---------->_____ In Toronto? Please hire me, need work. _____<-----***
  • Monday, September 15, 2014

    Bell Media's M3 cloned my baby.

    From the 'Hmm, I really wish I had thought (and written*) of this - and, seriously, had any Bell Canada / Bell Media paycheques to match(!)' file:
    M3's new Retro 30 countdown show.
    This past weekend M3, formerly MuchMoreMusic, presented their calendar-aligned former weekly music chart of Sep. 10th, as of precisely -15 years ago (1999).

    * At some point, I know I wrote of Retro -X and -XX (-10 and -20 years' at a specific week) pop music flashbacks!

    Music years aside: I still believe that a set of abbreviated weekly countdowns of -10 and -20 (and maybe also -15, -25, and -30) years ago would work better.  Instead, 1999's seasonal time period review has been covered all at once; it will likely take two or three months before their (-15 yrs.) 1999 weekly charts have turned themselves over anew.  Out of 30, what other year should the audience expect next?  That's too 'much' of a guessing game for a steady audience rating.


    Unfortunately M3 butchered the idea - visually as well.  The original 4/3 formatted videos of 1999 were cropped to widescreen, the hosting presentation was too bland, and the on-screen information text remained as too small.  (Usually pop music hosting - radio or video - is too padded, IMO).
    Another general M3/MM channel lacking, a modest 'Cancon symbol' should also be presented whenever a Canadian song is played; Having Universal Music 'Canada' and/or Sony Music 'Canada' etc., routinely on-display is very confusing.
     - and's hmm, there's no Bell paycheque for me today either.

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    Who was that masked ghost?

    The late Clayton Moore's centennial took place this past weekend.  CBS played it 'safe'.  They featured the fabled Lone Ranger TV actor's career during their Sunday Morning general-news program.  For those unaware, there's a bit of a 'Hollywood curse' hanging over the Lone Ranger character.  NBC-Universal didn't bother: at midnight, its CoziTV channel broadcasted a pair of John Hart led episodes (made during a contract dispute with Moore.)

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    Not-awesome #881

    # 881.
    Phantom Price fluctuations.
    Sometimes I just don't understand product price changes.
    I 'get' that gas prices, for example, rise and fall with actual and expected supply and demand cycles.  I get that currency fluctuations, commodity costs, taxes, and interest rates will have their effects.  And I get that customers can be attracted by displaying "sale prices".
    Still, sometimes I will find an item - such as unscented soap - priced at $2. Then $1 (on sale). Then $1.50. Then $1.25.  Then $2.50. and so on.
    Phantom Price fluctuations, not-awesome.

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    Tuesday, September 09, 2014

    Library's Wordpad get-around.

    A few readers may recall some of the automated problems I was having attempting just to cut and paste my postings (created in simple MS Wordpad) via the Toronto Library system's desktop availability of major MS Office 2010 applications only.  Besides a massive wall of invisible code being copied into Blogger's Compose frame, web links - as already pre-coded - were contantly failing.
    So I renamed the original *.RTF draft files to *.RT1.
    Then clicking directly upon the altered (extension) filenames under Windows (file) Explorer, the standard Windows pop-up dialogue box appeared.  Wordpad is included as an program option via this route; versus the public library's user restricted desktop, program bar, and a blocked start menu. 

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    TV's original Al Bundy.

    Whoa, Riley?
    Throwback Television (ch 56.2) has shuffled its black and white retro era TV schedule.  One newly added sitcom is The Life of Riley, starring William Bendix.  Even when Married with Children was active and very popular, back in the late 1980s and early 1990s - I recognized a similarity between its lead actor, Ed O' Neill, and Bendix.  MWC clearly was an imitation of the Riley series.  Both centred upon a thanklessly tired father, his two teenaged and pre-teen kids and a wife named Peg.  Funny stuff, both then and longer ago then.  MWC is currently a part of Antenna TV 's(ch 2.3) late weeknight lineup.
    Until now, I had never even known of the Riley series - beyond that of a radio series' show title.  IMHO, (excessively) far too much of North America's entertainment culture has been widely ignored and forgotten!
    Visiting my parents, bored silly with their Canadian Satellite TV system is always a great disappointment.  Via over-the-air American-only broadcasting: I get to catch fantastic different episodes and TV series virtually everyday, and at any hour.  They get... repeated unchanging multi-hour blocks of Pawn Stars and The Golden Girls, or else modern fare like chattering women obsessing over body parts and invasive celebrity gossip, as either upon CTV's The Social or current sitcoms Hot in Cleveland and Modern Family*.

    * Life of Riley has replaced 'It's a Great Life', at 6:00 p.m.  Great Life could be considered as TV's first pseudo-gay couple sitcom.  It's structure followed two young single men working and living together, and sharing a bed.  Bedroom scenes were an included [mature - not 'adult'] part of the storyline.

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    Monday, September 08, 2014

    Get(ting) Coached.

    This past weekend was the start of the NFL season.
    What else was on?
    Well, GetTV (subchannel 49.2) carried Brian's Song, followed by Saturday's Hero, during Sunday evening.  Both were football themed films.  Another interesting tie-in: their leading actresses were Shelly Fabares - later of the TV sitcom Coach, and her earlier TV mother, Donna Reed.  MeTV/WBBZ broadcasts The Donna Reed Show on weekday mornings at 7 a.m., btw.
    Meanwhile, one of Throwback TV's (ch. 56.2) two Jack Benny programs on Sunday, had also featured the two opposing college football coaches of the next day's Rose Bowl championship game.  That's called making an scheduling effort.
    When I channel surfed later on... all I found on Hamilton's un-subchanneled CHCH was subtitled footage of a Russian film item oohing over its former Red Army Hockey team.  It seems like all I currently find from our local Canadian airwaves is pro-Russian [and perhaps just as often: anti local achievement] sentiments.  Some Ontario/Cdn. music clip selections during various news etc. programs would be nice?

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    Sunday, September 07, 2014

    A Cruel Employment Recruiter.

    From last week's inbox:
    Hi:
    It appears that you are little over qualified for the position.
     
    Please let me know of other roles of interest to you.
    Regards,
    [X]
     
    This was an actual e-mailed response I had received - for a Sales Analyst role advertised with a mid-range salary of $50,000.  It would have tied-in nicely with my prior accounting experience which had centred upon sales reporting activites.  (Some local community college and career-focused night school; I've never earned/received 90% of that salary amount, btw.)  Of course when I read this message the next day - via public library internet access - I couldn't wait to telephone back and talk with this recruiter [name and well-known firm I'll withhold].
    No callback throughout most of Thursday afternoon.
    I tried again the next morning, just before 9:00 a.m.  Answered.
    Basically the recruiter gave me bullshit.  As in:
    Um, I don't seem to have your resume [I had e-mailed a directly addressed cover letter, with my resume attached, on the Wednesday].
    Can you resend it?  Is it in a specific 'other file format'.  Read the next line.
    Oh, here it is...
    Um, what are your qualifications etc...
    Well sorry, that job [advertised under 48 hours ago] is no longer available.

    WHY would anyone actually send out such a recruitment response?
    I keep applying for so many various jobs - direct and via agencies, here in Toronto - from a hopeful salary/position point as the above, down to minimum wage jobs.

    And, of course, I have tried obtaining other work - then hoping to advance my career and/or gain a salary matching an under documented workload - even when I had been working at a past employer's.  It will be 20 years next January/February since anyone had offered me an actual new job.  (And for that one, I travelled two hours and hiked through the snow along the outskirts of Newmarket - for a position advertised as midtown T.O.  Their HR director called me right after the holidays, asked if I owned a car, and thus denied me an opening interview.  My own next day visit was to drop off a resume - in person.)

    Encouragement is cheap,  False Leads are knowlingly cruel.  Hey, I need some employment.

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    Not-awesome #882

    # 882.
    Buzz Criticisms.
    This N.A. still sucks me in, at times.  Thankfully not too often.
    If I write that .25 is one of the greatest! blogs! around!  Oh, boy!
    And if a few others, for their own profitable purposes, do likewise?  Oh boy!
    You and everyone else you know need to follow this!  Oh boy!
    Well, then...
    Wait a minute.  How's 'bout we, "let's get real"?
    By the way, there's a big major film festival going on right now.
    Buzz Criticisms, not-awesome.

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    Thursday, September 04, 2014

    Support for Tory (and transit).

    Sure, it is easy to support a front-runner candidate, lol.  Last time I voted for Rob Ford.  However, candidate /Councillor Ford's message and Mayor Ford's delivery have been two very different things.
    Both men are born millionaires; I will trust an uppercruster who doesn't exuberantly claim to 'know how it is... for others'.
    I was very pleased when I learned of John Tory's rail-line plan.  It is similar to what I had suggested a decade ago - except its pre-existing rail corridor routing is through Union Station rather than the almost empty Summerhill and Dupont subway stops.  Tory's plan is more focused towards the South of Bloor region; mine was to create a (still non-existent) public transit delivery of north-east suburban highway(s) commuters into/out from the mid-town centre district, upon a diagonal path.  I still believe that putting ALL rapid transit routes through one 'egg basket' jammed almost against Lake Ontario is a mistake.  How many people already need to backtrack themselves into downtown's Union Station  - in order to get somewhere else?  Hopefully Tory's idea will lessen the impeding westside failure of a separated $20 or $30 a ride rail-link to Pearson Airport, in the city's farthest northwest corner.
    ==================================
    Functional Regional Transit Connectiveness is, IMO, Toronto's greatest transit need!

    Examples (I've known of):
    The lakeshore west VIA trains which have no stop at either Port Credit (a suburban population of 750,000 plus another 400,000 living due north in Brampton).
    VIA trains also have no stop at Long Branch - located at South Etobicoke's border with Mississauga and a straight line south of the QEW/427 highway interchange.  Every rider thus needs to... detour all the way into Toronto's downtown and Union Station.

    For the Islington TTC station.
    No pre-existing public washroom access since 1979.  Meanwhile count the everday inter-city commuters.
    Passenger unloading of innummerable incoming Miss. Transit riders  - at a modest streetside entrance while the (nearly all for MT) bus bay goes underutilized without an installation of a concourse area Miss. transit fare gate.
    No ticket purchasing for Miss. transit outside of regular weekday hours.
    Very few benches for riders awaiting bus departures; no benches inside the bus bay's concourse area.  Ditto for Kipling Station, btw.
    No clock inside the bus bay's concourse area.

    Issues with Go Transit.
    Sue me for not having a monthly electronic pass.  I haven't taken GO Transit (buses) since it stopped issuing 10-way and 2-way discounted transit fares.  Am I supposed to only be allowed to purchase an IMMEDIATE use single ticket - from both ends of my own transportation journey?
    Btw, why couldn't I purchase transit tickets - at Union Station - for any of the surrounding suburban systems?  Vending machines anyone?

    Monthly Pass Tax Credits.
    Is jacking the occasional rider(s) for a substantially higher user fee, especially the single-use / cash fare, supposed to attract more riders?  Isn't the pricing discount of a weekly or monthly pass already an unaccounted 'tax credit'.  I don't get to save my occasional use 'public transit receipts' to save against my yearly personal tax costs.  How does this pricing / tax credit differential assist the less affluent of society?  Is your extracted transit pass credit's worth equal to everyone else's income tax savings?  Fed. and Provincially: federal Finance minister (PM) Paul Martin's simpified taxation policies were better, cleaner, and fairer than anything I've noticed of the past decade.

    For Mississauga Transit.
    A few items are listed under the Islington section.
    How is the main Square One terminal NOT 100% ROOFED?  Duh, check out the functional Kipling station's Bus Terminal.
    White route numbers over Orange street signs?
    A dinky sized non-Islington 'TTC fare access only' pickup stop along Bloor Street in front of a vacant former parking lot.
    The digital display annoucement timer at Square One doesn't correctly light-up.  An easy-to-read clock is also non-existent; a lot of nearby outdoor retailers could score brownie points with that.  The station portion that is indoors is very cramped.  The washrooms are too small for this main terminal's capacity load.  It then steers departing travellers into the middle of an anchor department store, after crossing a circular mall road - at least while that store is open.  Mississauga's City Hall, Arts Centre, and main Library are located across from a different side of the overall large mall complex.
    A little story:  Recently I took the Rathburn bus from Islington station.  I asked the driver if this went to the Square One mall?  He replied, "What does [the front heading] say?".  I said, "Erindale Station?".  Apparently that's a little-used GO Train stop farther west, past Rathburn road and Mavis.  Born in Mississauga, I always thought 'Erindale' was an established, more southernly, neighbourhood along Dundas street and Erin Mills parkway; home to Erindale high school and the Erindale University of Toronto campus.
    Mississauga buses with "City Centre" as their indications.  Who will bet at least one PanAM visitor, within Etobicoke, will get onboard a "City Centre" bus while assuming a route trip into Toronto's 'city centre' region?
    I must say that the blue-coloured Mississauga Express buses have become a god-send of public travel.  Besides the previously mentioned 10-way pass elimination, it's another reason of my not using GO Transit.  However, there can still still be some room for a few more major intersection stops.  Otherwise the same-old backtracking problem of downtown's Union Station is repeated upon Mississauga's outer suburban districts.  I now wonder if Mississauga's expansive and separated busway project will become still-born as a mere duplication of what the Express bus fleet has already achieved? 
    =========================================

    Back to my 'Toronto' mayoral thoughts.
    (I guess transit is a big issue for us, lol.  I didn't even get to other issues such as bike trails / paths/ markers...)
    As to the new streetcars, is the matching newly requested increase of fare collectors factored into their operating costs?  Were the extra streetcar-only turn signals factored into the speed calculations along St. Clair Avenue's project?
    Were all of those fancy (and quickly dying) sidewalk trees included when the wider sidewalks were being touted as providing more pedestrian space?
    Can anyone glimpse Grenadier Pond through its wrap-around 15 foot-high reeds?
    (More currently for Miss., than Tor., but for both): Has any recently new bike trail's streamroller construction bothered to  level itself  - as from side to side?  Nah, let's just have everyone walk leg-slanted for the next 80 or more years.  Christ almighty, why does anyone need to bother making an effing effort around here?

    Candidate Olivia Chow spoke of only increasing buses, earlier in her campaign.  (I finally heard her pronounce 'Light' and 'Rapid-transit' during a media interview yesterday; I grew up with a speech impediment, btw.)  This week, she's also proposed higher land-transfer taxes against houses selling above two million dollars.  As someone who grew up in a spacious house now worth a probable $800,000, why start this added tax at only so high a valuation level?  If this is to protect the general poor, who is living in a $1.3 million home and also pinching their pennies?
    Ms. Chow had spoken of the masses of Toronto's unemployed.  Why then hadn't she suggested hiring three unemployed/under-employed people to replace every $100,000+ a year TTC fare collector?  $33,333 a year is $16 per hour  (52 wks x 40hrs per).  Or, rather hire at two-for-one; a third going towards any laid-off sunshiner's lifetime pension - as a partially funded portion.  Then again most locals apparently cried over the suspended bus driver, this summer, who was filmed driving through a red light and nearly striking a pedestrian.

    For those further interested in Toronto-only local transit:
    Longtime public transit avocate, Steve Munro, wrote a mechancially detailed, if politically aligned, background of our Toronto-only local system.  Unfortunately, I didn't notice many of the (IMO) adjoining user-experience subtopics of which I've posted about within this entry.  It cracks me up when I think of the woman randomly interviewed at the Yonge and Bloor subway interchange station only a few years ago.  The TTC was pushing a revised customer service agenda.  When asked for her advice, she simply replied, "where's the transit map?".  There wasn't a postered map to be found.
    So many times, how I just wish for a roadside transit stop's basic timing schedule.  The very kind which I can still find posted (only) throughout various bus major transit hubs.  First arrival, last arrival, and the basic frequency of arrivals throughout the day and/or evenings.  Instead we get online gadget required and bloated obscure multi-digit stopover numberings.

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    Sunday, August 31, 2014

    Not-awesome #883

    # 883.
    Single season syndicated TV repeats.
    A growing trend has been for popular long-running TV series to be short-ordered for re-broadcasts.  That is, a former series might never be shown within its entirety.
    I was watching Gunsmoke once or twice.  That was the granddaddy of TV series endurance.  20 years.  Yes it was split as to first running at half-hour length, and then as a full-hour show.  Plus it existed in both black and white, and later in colour.  There were still a ton of episodes within any technical framework.
    How could it be then that I'd randomly seen the same episode twice?  When I've probably only viewed its program less than a dozen times.  This same effect has happened with quite a few other series as well.
    TV programming has gotten to be like shortened playlist radio.
    Single season syndicated TV repeats, not-awesome.

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    Saturday, August 30, 2014

    Ukraine Freedom or Canada's Rogers.

    Back on May 18th, I first wrote about Rogers TV carrying Russia Today (RT) as a primary mini-window within Rogers' 6-in-1 news selection channel.  Then the Men's World Cup of Soccer activities took over that multi-preview channel (ch. 179).  Afterwards Rogers had returned to its pre-existing RT-led news channels' mini-window lineup.
    I noticed that midway through this month, one day, that channel 179 was unavailable; RT was still available at only its own specific channel number.
    So maybe(?) someone agreed with me?  I'm glad for that.  Online at a Toronto area blog forum, I took flack over my objection to Russia Today's primary news choice positioning via Rogers Cable.  Twice.  A lot of grammarier than thou (or thee?) types instead only belittled any and everything I wrote - sharing amusements of entire uncomprehension.
    Here's the thing... no one else I've noticed online had spoken up in support of Ukraine's peaceful right of national existence and freedom.  In this absence of better blog writers, sorry there is just me.
    Throughout this Summer, the world at large has witnessed only further reports of Russian and pro-Russian Ukrainian Separtist aggressions.  International political leaders have no difficulty issuing, and re-issuing, sanctions.

    Tell me again WHY Rogers' CityTV flagship station was airing a 'happy promotional' news item onboard an Air Show visiting Russian plane?  That is what I surfed upon during a 6:30 p.m. Friday commercial break (from MeTV's channel 67.1, btw).  I'll assume that the CNE's air show participation was agreed to many months, perhaps a year, earlier.  That, in itself, is not my issue.
    Today is now.  (Actually today is tomorrow morning* - Saturday.  And yeah, there's yet another aggression report.)  We currently have a Canadian military plane flying overseas to aid Ukraine!  CityTV and the Rogers gov't licenced ownership group shouldn't be giving that local air show's Russian plane a cheerful, welcomed celebrity, treatment.  Pick any other plane to feature.

    Better...
    When I made another quick surf 15 minutes later, City's news program was touting another upcoming item about a waterpark - in North Korea.  Hadn't we had enough of fellow communist-dicatorship North Korea with its Under-20 Women's soccer team broadcast on the CBC's main network only the week before?
    * as of this posting's draft write-up.
    Another currently pro-Russian Rogers' outlet:  Maclean's magazine.
    Last month I glanced through a copy of their Generation-Z issue.  It was the only edition I've seen in a few years.  Forward to its trivia page and...  Vladimir Putin is their answer to a political book writer question.  Not say, Harper or Obama, or just not a Putin/Russia question in the first place.

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    Monday, August 25, 2014

    Et Tu, Toronto Star Editorial (Mon, Aug. 25th)

    Today's leading editorial from the Toronto Star is about urging the CRTC to further consumer choice for TV viewers.
    Too bad Torstar - which isn't majority owned by a Canadian TV/Radio comglomerate - doesn't practice what it preaches.
    How many times have I highlighted, at this blog, the staggering abundance of OVER THE AIR U.S. channels and subchannels freely receivable from Buffalo, NY, (and other border towns)? Current Examples:

    MeTv - both network (4/3) and affiliate signals in a clean blank letterbox.
    Throwback Television. (With oldtime B&W era commercials attached)
    Antenna TV.
    Cozi TV.
    This TV.
    Get TV.
    PBS - The World.
    PBS - Create.
    Daystar.
    TCT - Kids, and TCT 1 and 2.

    And how about PBS-Buffalo/Toronto in a pure widescreen display (letterboxed)? Works with my older TV and a digital converter. Ditto for every single main channel, Cdn. and U.S., btw.
    Now, go try and find the listings of any of the above within the Toronto Star's TV listings - both daily and weekend magazine. Try asking what the nightly highlight programs of the above are.
    In fact, try finding that TV Entertainment information - from any Canadian news source...
    My Mom had mentioned MacMillan and Wife as a singularly returning 70s cop show - in place of Columbo (but not the original run's 90 minute episodes). I didn't tell her that the above stations already have both. Plus dozens and dozens and more dozens more crime shows, sitcoms, etc. upon their seasonally revolving schedules!
    In fact, those U.S. Over-the-Air subchannels also carry a surprising amount of fairly recent Canadian dramas, as well.

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    Sunday, August 24, 2014

    Not-awesome #884

    # 884.
    Messy raw Fruits and Vegetables.
    Any fruit (or vegetable) that requires its own serviette.  Not-awesome.  Apples - great.  Bananas, pears, potatos, carrots, strawberries... all good.
    I hate tomatoes.  Yet I enjoy tomato sauce; great if used in cooking receipes.  I can't stand when tomatoes are supplied as a sliced and raw food topping.  IMO, grapefruits and oranges belong inside of a glass - as already pulped to a no-sugar(!) added liquid.
    Messy raw Fruits and Vegetables, not-awesome.

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    Sunday, August 17, 2014

    Not-awesome #885

    # 885.
    Very Depressing songs.
    Are we a little weepy?  Something to be wiped away.  A lower lip's quiver and a goosebump forearm, in evidence?  So who hasn't been going about their own day-to-day activities, perhaps at a store or a workplace, and then a very depressing song appears  This happens to everyone.  And we are willing suckers for it.
    Yet it is not real.  It is just a random song.  Even for the singer, it is fictionalized (however true a creative basis may have been).  The song might even be composed by someone else entirely.
    Effective sad songs are a genuine art form.  Maybe they are also a form of genius?  I still feel very foolish as their captivated listener.
    Depressing songs, not-awesome.

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    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

    CNE, as it really was.

    Remembering a childhood CNE.
    Walk through all the west-side buildings and pavilions, etc. all-day, gathering brochures. Then - after the Food Court - too tired for the east-side midway, lol.

    CNE central Fountain image Published by Metro Toronto News, DT-84922-C. Photo by Alex Pelett, 1972.

    Published by Metro Toronto News, DT-84922-C. Photo by Alex Pelett, 1972.
    (Sorry about some of these poor quality scanner results. I had borrowed the use of one of those all-in-the-package 'big box' consumer PCs.)

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    Sunday, August 10, 2014

    Not-awesome #886

    # 886.
    Bad simple novel writing.
    It takes me a goodly while to read a novel.  It's not that I'm a slow reader; it is that I read better* written novels - as often published from before 1995.
    At some point, the simpler language novel took over.  You can always find contemporary book store shelves filled out with such modern age writings.
    Lazy plotlines. Lazy repetitive swearing dialogue. And lazy 'three dimensional' characterisms.  Those are their usual hallmarks.  Thankfully their takeover is never absolute.  Entire books shouldn't be such that they are read through inside of merely two or three half-days.
    When many reviewers boast of reading 200 plus novels a year, I know that is 200 novels that are simply not worth even their own shorten time.  Nor mine.
    Bad simple novel writing, not-awesome.

    * Better, if mystery fiction may also be referred to as such.

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    Wednesday, August 06, 2014

    Toronto's Upscale Dying Trees.

    Per a National Post article: 41% of the 134 fancy sidewalk planted - of this past decade - trees within Toronto's Yorkville area are now dying or dead.  Actually, 19 of these 134 'London Plane' trees had already been previously replaced.
    Local readers may recall that the increasingly (very) upscale roadway district of Bloor Street near Yonge Street, was repeatedly and expensively torn up and re-repaired, throughout most of the latter half of the 2000s.
    Hey, don't fault anyone!  Assumedly, every important person associated with publicly upgrading Toronto is either properly qualified via respected education, or will be of elite personage.  That is always more important than evidence of performance.  So will their additionally tax-funded pension liabilities be, for this same grand work - and its further required public / BIA-paid works of repair.

    Jeesh, couldn't anyone have simply taken a few common, native variety, saplings, or cuttings(?), from a regional park or forestry area?  BTW, I've never heard of 'London Plane' trees before neither.

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    Sunday, August 03, 2014

    Not-awesome #887

    # 887.
    Replacing Watch Batteries.
    Should this take a paid expert?  I've changed batteries elsewhere; even for a desktop computer.  I find the old battery, buy its matching replacement, and make the switch.
    Except with watches.  At least the one I have requires a special watch booth worker - with a special opener tool for the back case.
    Replacing Watch Batteries, not-awesome.

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    Saturday, August 02, 2014

    Attempted anti-racist U.S. Air Force commercial.

    On Friday, while watching an episode of Flashpoint on ION Life (channel 51.3 in Buffalo, NY), an Air Force commercial celebrating its long-standing 'diversity' was aired.
    A short while ago, I had noticed another blogger's reference to the U.S. Air Force's recent appointment of its current female leader - who had never piloted an military airplane.
    Per this commercial's messaging however,  their Air Force 'isn't great because of what they do, but because... of who they are'.
    Isn't that 'who they are instead of what they do' concept racist, and/or sexist?

    Someone's got a misguided focal point!  The USAF does have its proud legacy of  ongoing achievement - all of which, IMO, was only accomplished 'by what they do'.  It wasn't primarily owing, instead, to 'who they are'.  Utilizing an historic presence of employment diversity, is merely a part of the USAF's overall 'get it done right' legacy.

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    Every Citizen is a Collaborator.

    In the news of the Israel - Gaza Palestine conflict, there's been a lot of discussion of "innocent civilians".  I've run out of having so-called automatic 'first-world' pity for 'helpless and innocent' Palestinians.
    They have a free choice of supporting or not supporting a terrorizing leadership.  Every individual throughout the world does.
    Stop firing hundreds and thousands of rockets at a neighbouring country.  Stop building tunnel routes for weapons and fighting, versus building more towards greater self-economic development.  Stop fuelling an all-consuming national racial hate.
    Across Canada, for example, we don't care whether some people pray at a mosque or a temple, or not at all.  We don't care, by comparison, if our Irish-Canadians are Catholic or Protestant, new immigrants or of old-time pioneers.   For the most part, we live and and let live.  Canada was developing towards this way even back while its colonizing masters, England and France were at war.  This holiday weekend in Ontario is named for one of our past leaders, Governor Simcoe, who had first ended African Slavery within the British Commonwealth - and a couple of decades before the U.S.A. did likewise, except via their murderous Civil war. 
    Every Citizen is a Collaborator - of his or her own nation*.
    Back during World War Two, the collabrators were European elites who co-operatively sided with their then-in-control German invaders.  In a sense, they were really just keeping their own bread, buttered.  They all claimed to have had 'no choice' but to go along with state matters.  After peace and freedom came back, I believe that most of those individuals were captured  - this time, by their own surviving co-citizens.
    I hope that with this active conflict, average 'innocent' Palestinians will re-consider for themselves who is really at fault for their needless tragedies.



    * Hey, we've got modern troubles too, such as Canada's own public debt levels.  Similar to Ireland and Greece, to Argentina [this week having defaulted on payments] and Japan, the United States and Ukraine: whether as corrupt and/or connected 'payrollers' or not, all of us share in our state failures.  (Yeah, besides Palestine's Gaza Strip, we'll each have our own turns for a difficult national self-reflection.)

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    Monday, July 28, 2014

    Making Brioux cry.

    I like television industry reporter, Bill Brioux!  At some point in time, his website blog took on a newer commenting system which hadn't agreed with my browser.
    Yesterday I got home and - despite a platter of Shaw Direct channels - I was jonesing for real TV!  The kind of locally available, non-carried nor listed in Toronto, U.S over-the-air channels which I've written about.

    So what was freely broadcast on my TV yesterday:
    An Abbott and Costello movie - with an old-time intermission animation before a follow-up movie.
    The Buster Keaton show.
    The Jack Benny Program - with guest Ernie Kovacs.  Canada's Giselle Mackenzie followed in a second episode.
    Columbo (original series).
    The Streets of San Francisco, Cannon, Rockford Files, and Kodak - part of a Sunday late-afternoon block.
    In the Heat of the Night (TV series) and SG1.
    Fantasy Island.  WKRP.  The Partridge Family maybe?
    Betty White starring in Date with the Angels.  The Alfred Hitchcock 'Hour' - with Dan Duryea.  The Bold Ones (medical episode with guest star Carl Reiner's character debating against Lloyd Nolan).
    Both, The Fugitive and Decoy, at midnight - I was too tried to watch any later overnight shows.
    And I forget the all-what-else.
    Massive old television and movie program availabilities - freely over-the-air exclusive from America.  A surprising number of former 1990s/2000s tax-funded Canadian programs find their way onto these various U.S. channels too!

    This morning included an 1953 Bob Cummings sitcom, My Hero (his other self-titled sitcom is usually in the 10:30 a.m. time spot), The Love Boat, Ozzie and Harriet, The Lone Ranger, and Bewitched.
    You know, when Three's Company is programmed on Antenna TV - they also carry its two spinoff sitcoms, The Ropers and Three's a Crowd.  And it is never for a numbing three hour tour neither!
    Recently someone had mentioned actor Harry Morgan and M*A*S*H.  I can choose between M*A*S*H  on MeTV, or either of December Bride or Pete and Gladys - at the same 7 p.m. weeknight timeframe via Throwback Television (ch. 56.2).  The Throwback TV's station scheduling at 7 p.m. often leaves in old-time commercials from the likes of Maxwell House Coffee, Goodyear Tires, Carnation Instant Milk, and Kelloggs' adult cereal variety pack.  Morgan later re-appears when Dragnet (both 50s and 60s revival) is currently scheduled three times in a row - upon three individual subchannels - 56.2, 26.3, and 67.1.
    And yes, The Dick Van Dyke Show has continously cycled upon these non-Toronto, Canada, over-the-air retro channels, too.

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    64-bit Virtual Machine Malarkey.

    Last week I made a series of attempts at installing a virtual machine operating system upon a Windows Seven Home 'Premium' 64-bit laptop.  None of it worked out.
    The Windows Seven 'Professional' o/s has an XP mode; tough noogies for the masses of unassuming customers who had been stuck with pre-installed 'Home' versions.  Per my internet awareness, Microsoft issued this feature in two parts - a virtual machine 'sandbox' which might be installable - without official company support - upon a Home o/s, and then a separate XP compatibility client/guest system installed within that very 'sandbox'.
    I have a "non-bootable" disc copy of the Windows 98SE o/s; I had previously used it briefly with a triple-boot partitioned PC.  The only point of installing any virtual o/s (for me) was to be able to run 16-bit Windows applications and maybe a few older games and screensavers.  Most of the additional capabilities such as internet and printer access, networking, portability, and/or seamless integration within the modern menu/program bar listings weren't primary concerns.  My legal compact disc copy of XP Professional (requiring an activation), plus another paid-disc of the second service pack is something I don't want to squander outside of my having my own full-time computer in the future.  I wouldn't want XP's third service pack installed.
    When reviewing Microsoft's virtual machine options, they've issued a few different versions, namely as '2004', '2007', and later a current version.  Unfortunately older operating systems can only be virtually installed upon the earlier MS 'sandboxes'; earlier MS sandboxes however can only be installed upon earlier o/s themselves.  In short - for Windows Seven, the 2004 VM couldn't be installed and Microsoft's current virtual machine doesn't accept pre-XP SP3 Windows.

    So I tried a third-party Virtual Machine software, the VMWare's Player program - available free to individual users.

    Here is where that Win98SE non-bootable disc became a barrier.  It wouldn't install.  (The vast majority of ) Windows 98 discs were originally issued with a "floppy disc" in order to initiate their installations.  I first tried making a ISO copy - if the Cd itself wasn't readable, I tried adding in an unverified (OEM vs. retail) boot file.  I tried burning to a new CD - (as a Master format) from Windows Seven's built-in subprogram - with the missing boot file.  Some online instructions had suggested using a CD burner such as the Nero program with a floppy emulation option; there were still quite a few comments from other unsuccessul followers.
    So no dice.
    I have one 16-bit windows option left.  At some point, I might be able to re-install my (legal) copy of Windows 3.1 within the free Dosbox sandbox progam.  A early Windows GUI installed upon the Dos system emulation.  I could then also utilize another 3rd-party freeware program bar alternative for at least a slightly updated GUI imitation.  Unfortunately this method will have other limitations to overcome - such as for default sound and expanded colours' modification.  At a guess, it might(?) actually run those 16-bit applications faster than if using an entire, fuller, virtual guest operating system.
    (Even with XP, I have always preferred the Win98 visual style).  Darn-it, I didn't have the original Win3.1 floppies already copied onto my USB stick; I have installed other copied 16-bit program floppies into XP Pro and Win2000, without any extra tweaks as to floppy drive emulations.


    My other failed Windows Seven attempt... was to select recursive sub-folders with its built-in desktop wallpaper program.  It doesn't permit that basic request.  I missed running those simple pre-1994 screensavers (nowadays with widescreen).

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    Sunday, July 27, 2014

    Not-awesome #888

    # 888.
    Unlucky Numbers.
    Thirteen.  Eight.  There are lots of unlucky numbers for people.  Supposedly.
    I know that this plays a part of how I occasionally pick a lottery number.  Sometimes I will use an old sports sweater number; other times I'll consider that same number never was lucky and thus avoid it.
    Maybe a number is 'running hot'.  Or 'running cold'.
    With any lottery tickets, I often think of the old Wintario machines, with a chosen audience member eventually punching the escape hatch button - after all of the numbers having been equally dropped and tumbling.  Therefore close sequences I avoid.  Then I do the same thing whenever I set an alarm clock.  49's are lucky, but 47's are jet airplane numbers.  Whooo.  48 can be divided into 24s and 12s.  39 really isn't(?) a multipled 13.   
    Unlucky Numbers, not-awesome.

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    Sunday, July 20, 2014

    Not-awesome #889

    # 889.
    Physically Shaky Film transfers to DVD.
    How is this N.A. even possible?  Do you ever find old movies or TV series where their transferred images shake violently?
    The images are stored on simple frames aren't they?  Running them through in a rushed and herky-jerky fashion is next to not bothering to make a film transfer at all.
    I don't need the extended remastering treatments.  Often I greatly prefer NOT having modifications applied to an original source of material (both as to audio and video).  At least, and not requesting further, please try to set any original film copies steadily.
    Physically Shaky Film transfers to DVD, not-awesome.

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    Friday, July 18, 2014

    Now, will Rogers Cable demote Russia Today from its NewsMix 179 channel's 1st position?

    As I wrote on May 18th, I think Rogers Cable should demote Russia Today (RT) from its first default active mini-windowed position within Rogers Communication's digital channel 179's New Mix line-up.
    In-between they had swapped out their entire selective NewsMix feed during the World Cup of Soccer event.

    This week, their regular in-house NewsMix line-up - with Russia Today presiding as its priority position default channel (and while other Cdn. and fellow Free-world news stations of peacefullly co-existing countries are excluded) - was restored as usual.
    On Thursday, an international passenger jetliner was shot down by a missile attack while flying innocently across Eastern Ukraine.  There had also been another cargo plane reportedly shot down in East Ukraine earlier this same week.

    Cmon Rogers...  Make the News Mix 6-in-1 line-up change already.

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    Sunday, July 13, 2014

    World Cup's 'added time' boy from ... Canada?

    During today's World Cup match, the [UK] announcers via CBC's english language coverage had noted a disappointed boy 'from Argentina' as they assumed, soon after the overtime goal by Germany's Mario Gotze.  However, shortly before the game's conclusion their cameras again surfed across multiple crowd reactions from the stadium.
    Did anyone notice the same boy of about 11 or 12, within a wider shot, was standing next to another youth - perhaps a big brother or cousin.  That older boy was - to my eyes - wearing a shirt emblazoned with the city name of 'Toronto' right across his chest in 4-5 inch lettering.

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    Not-awesome #890

    # 890.
    Left-out Butter.
    I have a family member that does this.  They leave the butter out.  To a reverse fault, I'm a 'keep it in the fridge' and gripe when it can't be applied person.
    If you are talking about taking the butter (but, not the milk container!) out a half-hour beforehand, for meal-time; that is the ideal.  However, there are people who leave their butter platters out 24/7.
    Ditto for jars of peanut butter spreads and chocolate treats to the point of melting.  Bags of chips to grow air-staled, and food aromas to draw the insects near.
    With the butter though, it feels (to me) more like a filmy soup being applied to bread and/or cobs of corn.  What about the waiting and re-spreading of the still semi-hardened and cold butter?
    Left-out Butter, not-awesome.

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    Sunday, July 06, 2014

    Not-awesome #891

    # 891.
    Wearing out Shoes.
    Not "worn-out shoes". "Wearing out" shoes.  I'll hold on to my worn-out shoes like claimed gold.
    Wearing-out my footwear is different.  They were in good condition.  They'll never restore to the same.  I didn't foresee buying a second pair - for storage saving.  Then the era of falling apart arrives.
    Even as all qualities of shoes will wear down, a degree of comfort is built up.  Shoes that never were better than okay can somehow become reliable and thus depended upon.
    And then, oh no, my 'cherished' shoes are "wearing out".

    The worst shoe disaster I had, was with a solid pair of leather Clark's.  These were nice!  All-black, with sturdy rubber soles.  Elegant without prissiness.  I wore them with thick McGregor Happy Foot socks.  I had a pair of all-tan dock style Clark's as well.
    What happened to the black leather pair was that I used a set of (snug) shoe trees.  A period of non-wear took place.  These weren't to be squandered by everyday usage.
    One day, I reached for my favourite shoes.  The shoe trees had burst out the entire seams of both shoes' connecting uppers from their soles.  The soles were also fractured into separate pieces.
    I looked, but it had been a few years since I purchased my last pair; the newer Clark's were unappealing and often double a former $180 price tag.
    They didn't even get a chance to wear out.
    Wearing out Shoes, not-awesome.

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    Saturday, July 05, 2014

    Worst (new) Potato Chip Flavour.

    C'mon.
    “We take our customers’ feedback, including complaints, seriously and we’re currently investigating the claim.”
    That was a statement issued by PepsiCo Foods Canada, the owner of Frito Lay (plus Canada's former Hostess chips) and the makers of Doritos, in regards to a mouse droppings news story, here in the Toronto area, involving one of their Doritos products earlier this year.

    So now, their brand new - not as yet for sell in the U.S.A. - potato chip product: PepsiCo Canada has launched 'Doritos Roulette', a new flavor edition in which most of the packaged chips are nacho cheese flavored, while others are insanely hot. Consumers are calling the chips "dangerous" and "a solid slap in the face" and hundreds of people are posting videos of themselves eating the chips on YouTube.
    BTW, PepsiCo Foods Canada is headquartered within a Toronto area suburb. A 'New Coke'?
    Usually I like Pepsi's products. However better, at least, might have been re-introducing their old Cdn. issued Hostess Grape-flavour chips into this Roulette mix. IMHO, it is just not the year, here in Ontario, for snack food roulette.


    NOTE: Pardon the MS-Office 2010 program forced foul-up. Public Library access doesn't allow for a cleaner Wordpad program to cut / paste my pre-coded Wordpad-created RTF-file entry to here. (I even tried re-saving the opened file as txt-only. Another fail :(
    Entry is reloaded from a second cut/paste (Jul 10th).

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    Thursday, July 03, 2014

    Happy 4th of July; old photos of America.

    Neat stuff of American (U.S.) History.
    The first colour (my Cdn. spelling, here) photographs of the New World (or rather, from across continental America).  The images would later have been be repeated into postcards.  These images are newly included into a book entitled, An American Odyssey.

    Wow, those photos remind me of my early youth as mesmerized by piles of 1950s era ViewMaster reels! No cartoon characters, no gimmicky 3D b-s; just places and places and places organized into their many individual reels and packaged via simple plain blue paper envelopes. (Unfortunately those reels apparently decay after 30 or 40 years. At least mine probably ended up being recycled, once more, at a neighbourhood used toy sale.)
    H/t to End of your Arm blog.

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    Wednesday, July 02, 2014

    Israel - Palestine. A Healed Life and three youth Deaths.

    I first heard of these co-stories a week and a half ago, during a Sunday afternoon channel surf across Israel News Now, on Daystar (ch 67.4 in Buffalo, NY).
    While three teenaged Jewish boys were kidnapped in Palestine, the opposing Palestine leader's wife was receiving free health care at a hospital in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, last month.

    Sadly, the three young to-become-men (ages 16, 16, and 19) have been found dead.  The news show had also then reported of current rocket attacks against the Southern portion of Israel, as well.
    Here in Toronto, Canada, the annual local Pride parade (this year serving double as the 'World' Pride host) included the so-claimed Israeli Apartheid group once again.

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    Tuesday, July 01, 2014

    Canada; places geographically Here and Over There.

    From Maclean's magazine is a series of data maps for Canada.  I found their international cities of approximate latitudes interesting.
    Today is July 1st; enjoy Canada's national birthday.
    H/t to Quotulatiousness blog.

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    Sunday, June 29, 2014

    Not-awesome #892

    # 892.
    Long Songs.
    Last year, I listened to the annual Juno Awards CD.  Rush was a winner for the nation's best rock album.  They had a new album's song included.  So did a number of other big name Canadian artists, besides a few lesser known yet also talented artists.
    Rush's inclusion to the compilation disc was a 7 minute, twenty one seconds song.  C'mon.  No wonder I hadn't heard it beforehand - via the radio or in video form.
    Prog rock has a history of admired long-play music.  So does Jazz music and Dance club genres.  I like many of these efforts, too!  More than just song duration, there is often a difference of pace plus some interesting mid-song change-ups.
    Then there is the time to just play out a tune and get down to it.  A catch-all compilation would be that time.
    Four and a half minutes and I've moved on, regardless.
    Three minutes and 15 seconds and I'm happy and not checking against my watch.
    Long Songs, not-awesome.

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    Friday, June 27, 2014

    Recent (underaged) girl-dance video should be removed.

    This week while channel surfing past Much Music I noticed a new music video that I thought should have been rejected beforehand.  It features a very young-looking girl/woman dressed in a flesh-matching leotard plus a wig that is similar to the internationally popular Lazy Town children's show's girl actor, stretching herself about in an empty apartment setting.  Probably a trained gymnast; she appears more like a young stick-figured preteen.   That's it; there's no other storyline involved.  Just the girl by herself in a flesh-mimic suit - for the entire song duration.  This same video has appeared multiple times during limited channel surfings I made this week.  Given the tiny font display - I don't know its song title nor music artist.
    I don't think I'm a complete fuddy-duddy as to pop culture trends; for example I had felt that last year's Wrecking Ball video (as I viewed it on TV) was artistic.  This new music video, however, doesn't belong upon any de facto mandatory fee charging TV-system carriage channel.

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    A Sugared Beach for Shaw.

    Apparently, the Corus Ent. (Shaw Comm.'s radio division) fancy Toronto adjacent beachfront grounds, Sugar Beach, had benefited from a million taxpayer funded dollars to enhance its appearance.
    The Star's (headquartered at One Yonge St. - northside) Christopher Hume calls it well worth it.  And continues on to berate any of its financial critics.
    I once thought that waterfront development, directly upon the shoreline was supposed to have been barred.  That a long-running public Waterfront Trail would preside - ideally from St. Cathrines clear around Lake Ontario to Cornwall - as much as possible?   That pre-existing shoreline business properties, such as the former motel strip near Etobicoke's Humber bay area would be appropriated over time and development periods.  That new business locales and/or residential towers would thus need to be developed upon the far (or northside in Toronto) of any shoreline roadways.
    Does Hume feel that Torstar's own "Martin Goodman" trail portion wasn't cheaply done?

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    Monday, June 23, 2014

    A local CQ(?) exhibit, of old Television sets.

    Smile of the day.
    H/t to TV feeds my Family's Bill Brioux.

    Note: recent new favourite (U.S. sub) broadcast TV channels include:
    67.1 WBBZ's blankly letterboxed Me-TV affiliate.
    56.2 Throwback TV (nearly all of this is black and white era stuff.)
    26.3 TCT-Kids (its prime time / late night B&W TV and 1940s B-movie era programming)
    67.2 The full Me-TV schedule (although it's shown in 4/3, the original filmings appear just a little wider via letterbox.)
    56.3, and 56.5, ... soon to air.
    2.3 Antenna TV
    56.1 Cozi TV (although its imaging is a little bit zoomed in.)


    Although who am I kidding? I won't be spending time and limited money at any museum. My old timey set still has a 'Three' on its side panel. Although I really like never having any Volume Bar display running across the screen!
    It does make watching this month's 2014 World Cup seemingly impossible, with current Sports Text graphics more designed towards high definition and much larger screens as well.

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    Sunday, June 22, 2014

    Not-awesome #893

    # 893.
    Plastic foodwraps that require Scissors to be opened.
    When I was young, apparently I had teeth.  Real teeth.  And nimble hands, too.
    So if I had a Mr. Freezy ice treat or a bag of chips, I didn't think twice about directly tearing those packages open.
    Now I default to searching for a pair of scissors.  If I get all he-man in thinking, sure enough that is when a modest package won't tear open.  Or worse, it will except only to splurt the contents everywhere.
    Maybe it is me.  Those good childhood teeth got replaced, the hands grew less nimble... Reliable kitchen scissors win the contest.
    Plastic foodwraps that require Scissors to be opened, not-awesome.

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    Saturday, June 21, 2014

    Hideaway from those other Songs of the Summer

    Today's Star newspaper happens to contain an article from the USA Today's Patrick Ryan. "Get ready for the song-of-summer smackdown".  In this are four main challengers with five added contender songs.
    I'm gonna stick with Kiesza's Hideaway.  Her video is killer 1987-1991 dance stuff!  Does anyone else recall the old NRG genre of the late 1980s?   It's also nice to find another young Canadian music artist.

    Another Canadian singer I've recently noticed is Lexi Tellings.  Only from hearing a couple of solo piano performances via a community cable program, I'd like to find out whether her finished product EP has a 'smoother than today's pop music' instrumental backing.

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    Well biased, Toronto Star.

    Nah, newspapers etc., don't have political biases.
    Enjoy today's Letters page of the Toronto Star.
    Their print edition's headline, "Well done, Ontario voters". The page contains a gathering of joyous pro-Liberal responses from its readers.
    Onliners will (as of currently) alternately need to make do with "Ontario votes wisely" page, as led by an supportive editorial blurb.

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    Thursday, June 19, 2014

    Worst Cookbook Ever.

    During a visit to my parent's place, I took notice of some of the cookbooks collected by my mom.  Following are the cover scans of (IMHO) a worst ever cookbook:
    frontcover image:

    That's right. Kellogg's Corn Flakes Break'n Bake Recipes (volume 2) little 107 pages paperback cookbook. From Kellogg Salada Canada Inc., in 1983.
    Now, typically I really admire the American Kellogg's cereal company.  (Its founders were pioneers of their industry.)  Except for its flagship standard Corn Flakes product - and of course - any of the modern day sugar treats as food products; I prefer my cereal choices solid and plain.
    Why single out Corn Flakes? Because I didn't trust its processed food colouring effect upon my urine stream. Virtual neonized(?) glow.  I'll stick with Special K, Bran Flakes, and/or Rice Krispies, please.
    And now I've found an all-meals inspired cookbook of recipes - each one featuring Corn Flakes brand product.
    backcover image:

    Maybe next time I'll look around for a Jell-O cookbook instead, lol.

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    Monday, June 16, 2014

    Blogging Tories group worse than Hudak.

    Sure Ontario's Progressive Conservative leader Hudak lost last week's election.  As it might have been pre-expected. The 'official' conservatives - as a social media presence - are worse.
    For years I've been a blogger and blogosphere commenter. Despite any preferred urban, and non-partisan, leanings, I've been consistently drawn towards the (genuine) fiscally conservative side of politics. Remember Spendlicious gum? Numerous entries can be randomly rediscovered with the search results for "spend". Any commentings received... Virtual zip. C'mon.
    At some point don't people ask themselves why they participate within social media? It seems worse whenever I've commented, or attempted to comment, at some of the Blogging Tories' websites. I've been often ignored and/or unapproved into deletion. Sometimes if/when an independent opinion isn't in their assumed lockstep I've been griped for repeating 'Liberal taking points' and not understanding the issues.
    This recent provincial election was a Conservative disaster. Hudak is still only one person. We had a new young candidate, in a lost cause riding of Parkdale - High Park, sure, who shouldn't have been. And for seemingly most previous elections we've only had a cycling (if never a cyclist) of complete two/three hours' out-of-towner or non-representative ballot box choices. Instead, I was telephoned repeatedly by another riding association from the other side of town (Willowdale). At least they existed. As during with every election and in-between elections' cycle of the past decade, where were the Ontario/GTA areas BT's.
    2014's local MPP map is virtually [AND even MORESO than ever] 100% Liberal Red as between Hamilton, Kitchener, and through across to Oshawa. It's not really a surprise.

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    Hoarding Pennies, converting (2nd car) Beemer to cash.

    Monday morning personal financial troubles.  Courtesy of the National Post:
    'Hoarding as investment strategy: Why one [Cdn] man stockpiled 3M pennies'.
    And...
    Retirement. Can I keep my house and my BMV Convertible after taking a $60,000 pay cut?.  Age 59, a Quebec woman adjusts to a new job paying only $48,000 a year.
    Remind me to adjust, financially, to not having a [Shaw's] newspaper subscription nor cable/satellite subscription, nor radio plugged into a wall outlet.

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    Sunday, June 15, 2014

    Not-awesome #894

    # 894.
    Hot pavement [bad in Summer, good in Fall Winter Spring].
    This is a mixed N.A.  Warm pavement is great, outside of Summer.  The snow and the rain dry out quickly, making the roads safer to drive on.  In the Summer, pavement can be lousy for walking upon.
    Even that isn't a full season effect.  And night-time pavement temperatures are reasonable, too.
    Maybe, instead, it is a worthy trade-off?  At least... until one gets the ol' summertime hot-foot.
    Hot pavement [bad in Summer, good in Fall Winter Spring], not-awesome?

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    Sunday, June 08, 2014

    Not-awesome #895

    # 895.
    Fans that Leave Early.
    This happens with every city's sports' venues.  Here in Toronto, our ticket prices are often steep.  Maybe it matters less elsewhere.
    Still, unless a 'sad sack' home team is completely being demolished; fans leaving early are no fans at all.  What about the comeback?  Worse are those attendees who leave early during a tight or reasonably close game.  Is the post-game traffic really that too much for them?  If so, maybe the game itself was too excitable for their peace of mind(s).
    Fans that Leave Early, not-awesome.

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    Friday, June 06, 2014

    June 6th - day of determination.

    Northern France. The D-day invasion across five beaches, June 6th, 1944. Canada would take Juno beach; British and American armed forces separately invaded the other four during that allied mission.

    BTW, consider listening to a few post-war 1940s radio broadcasts (approx. 13 minutes each) of Danny Marsdon and Gisele MacKenzie for a sampled tone of Canada's national-international identity of that time.

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    Wednesday, June 04, 2014

    June 4th - day of denial.

    China. Democracy protests at Tiananmen Square, June 4th, 1989.

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    Tuesday, June 03, 2014

    forever freeware(s) - May 2014 [reposted].

    Yes, after a long-running series of noting freeware programs here, during 2012 and 2013, after the roll-outs of Windows RT, 8, and 8.1, XP's official support retirement, after my own fall back to a Windows 2000 machine... a few worthy additions of mention!

    Esc Close v2.0 by Anand K Gupta. Maybe there's an overall hotkey program capable of this item's trick. I like it. Classify it with a trusty 1998's restored context-menu's New Folder option tweak. (Hey hey, don't knock old-school.) The time setting adjustment for double/triple clicks completes it IMO.

    Magnifixer v4.0 by BlackSun Software. Customizable small viewing window magnifying program. (Unlike a few others, this works readily in Win 2000, btw.)
    Spews v1.03 by Jody Holmes. Part of the NANY 2014 event. A wallpaper change scheduler with an exclusion feature for when user-listed programs are also running.

    ToDo Reminder by JM Falcao. A basic version of this type of program. (Sometimes I don't care to 'learn' excess programs without end.)
    Pic Viewer by JM Falcao. Useful for me and a Win2000 machine (or it would be - if that older machine could more quickly load 2MB+ JPG photos.)
    MP3 Quality Modifer v2.53 by Kevin Schneider. Downsizes audio files; such as to lowered bit rates and/or stereo to mono. Creates a file copy by default.

    Others: A pair of context menu programs were discovered. Untested by myself however. Easy Context Menu v1.1 by BlueLife and Velociraptor. Context Menu Manager by Fahmy Corporation (linkage lost).
    Run Blocker v1.1 by BlueLife. Untested (by CQ) as yet.

    Process Piglet v1.0114. Part of the NANY 2014 event. XP+ tray area notifier to point out programs (processes) which take up resources. Calculatormatik v1.91 by Mustafa Bugra AKTAS. An extensive conversion calculator.
    BK ReplaceEm (Ecobyte Replace Text v2.2) by Bill Klein. A (2009) multiple text-search-replace(s) program.
    Added: Clipboard Magic v5.02 by CyberMatrix.com. A basic version of this program type.

    BTW, this is 64bit Win7Home reposting, of last Tues' entry(s) - using an initial Wordpad document* as its copy/paste 'from' program! *Re-fixed for Office 2010's fancy quotation mark replacements and a line break code added in manually (as opposed to the Sat. entry - from Wordpad - which pasted with untyped line break codes added.

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    Monday, June 02, 2014

    Vote with Father Jerzy and young Madi etc., or vote with the Cops and Liberals?

    Here's a political sequence.
    Last night I found myself watching a 2014 documentary about Poland's Father Jerzy Popieluszko.  He was a catholic priest assigned to serve Poland's steel worker community during the early 1980s when Soviet Communism was still in force.  Speaking out for basic freedom and truth - to a massively growing (and impovished) audience - he was later brutually murdered by a politically corrupt police force.
    This 90-minute documentary was broadcast on channel 17.2, PBS's The World subchannel, from Buffalo, NY.  This channel is just one of all U.S. border station subchannels which have zero Canadian cable /satellite carriage nor local newspaper listings for regional (free, over-the-air) antenna users.
    This morning I hear that Ontario's own police force have now asserted themselves into our June 12th provincial election.  They are openly campaigning directly against voting for the Progressive Conservative party and its leader Tim Hudak!

    Hudak is calling for a public sector rollback towards 2009's level to be achieved, over a few years, primarily by not replacing any upcoming retirees.  He is also suggesting a real pay freeze in order to help re-contain Ontario's massive yearly deficits of over-spending its annual taxation revenues by [currently more than 14] billions of dollars.  All this, while multiple children have gone begging in public for advanced medicines and surgeries denied by our "free" public healthcare provincial governance.

    In the past year, we have witnessed as our Toronto cops spoofed being a stranded GO Train passenger, after a sudden riverside flood, upon an unwitting TV news' interview.  We have viewed the independent surveillance tape of a troubled and entirely alone streetcar passenger being gunned down (eight out of nine kill shots) and then tasered twice - while another immediately on-the-scene dozen or more cops stood by.  There was also a Hamilton police officer who quickly took his fully pensioned retirement after being suspended with pay(!) - for four years(!) once his gov't employment hearing was... finally... about to take place. 


    Now our own highly paid, $100,000+ Sunshine List, cops are telling us who NOT to vote for??  Should the 3rd place NDP's Parkdale - High Park incumbent candidate need an independent bodyguard?  Did citizen 'Adam Nobody' and many others during Toronto's G20 event, require personal protection - from our police?
    Note:  Although I am generally supportive of the PCs (and previously for the police as well) - I wasn't going to vote for the PC's local candidate nor Hudak this time around.  Now I will be voting for the PC's.

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    Sunday, June 01, 2014

    Not-awesome #896

    # 896.
    No Cats, No Clotheslines bylaws.
    Since I was kid, growing up in the spaciousness of surburbia - many of us had outdoor cats and clotheslines.  What happened?  (Besides a tightening of townhouse uniformity developments.)
    We had a cat.  No litterbox; it went outside, year-round.  A few dead birds and critters would appear at our front step; but there were plenty of others living strong each year.  Self-built nests could be noticed within the neighbourhood trees.  And that was all with now-outlawed chemical lawn care products as applied.
    Bed sheets, undies and t-shirts and towels often dried under the backyard seasonal sun.
    Boys, by the thousands and millions, also rode banana seat U-bar bicycles freely and skateboarded, etc.  But that's another N.A. of its own merit.
    We also had an antenna - on a tower with a rotator motor.  Now you can readily find the eyesores of corporate aligned satellite dishes, legal and grey market.  But the once common free-tv antenna?  Heavens' mercy.  Better to disallow that with another(!) bylaw.
    No Cats, No Clotheslines bylaws, not-awesome.

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    Saturday, May 31, 2014

    Ballmer slights Mrs. Gates?

    Thursday was a big news charity announcement day for Melinda Gates, spouse of Microsoft founder Bill Gates.  She appeared publicly here in Canada - a part of North America - for the news coverage issue of spending 3.5 billion dollars, via the Canadian government, towards international maternal healthcare.
    An exact same day item, as reported via the CBS Evening News program, was that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is bidding to purchase the hot-issue NBA basketball team, the Los Angeles Clippers.


    That's right, buying the 'Clippers'.
    If you want to know what is wrong with Microsoft (both Windows and its Office suite) for the past decade...
    Recall that, according to generalized reports, it was the future Mrs. Gates who was a key project leader for the short-lived MS-Bob program in 1994.  One of its most notable 'newbie' user-level components, however, was a selection of animated assistants.  "Clippit" or Clippy would next appear, disfavourably to many, within Microsoft's 1998 Office suite.
    Ballmer couldn't have issued his own potential sports acquisition news (about the Clippers, of all things) upon any other business day?

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