• ***---------->_____ In Toronto? Please hire me, need work. _____<-----***
  • Friday, November 21, 2014

    MapArt's BikeMaps were better.

    Recently I wanted to pinpoint a major street address.  (And no, I do not own a smart phone with a paid service plan in order to 'get an app for that'.)  I went old school and read a current, gov't issued as "free", foldout Toronto map - with bicycle routes indicated.
    No street addresses.
    Actually, I have a few editions of these City of Toronto maps - 2014, 2012, and a differently produced Parks Dept. map of 2008/09.  These are often available at municipal centres such as library branches.
    I knew I used to be able to approximate such addresses - as 600 Bathhurst Ave. for example.
    MapArt to the rescue!
    I still have a cherished 1998 map - that I purchased for $3.95 retail price.  Maybe the newer ones are customer-cheaper and produced upon slick paper, but yeah, I like the older MapArt edition better.
    Instead of 'helpful tips and information' blather - turn it around and hey, there's a complete street listing index.  Real data.  Plus all the colour coded recreational route data of that time, as well.
    Sometimes physical map navigation is like reading an actual newspaper.  It may not be automatically targetted, but I can still quickly locate a specific destination, plus discover any variety of other sideline places as well.  No tiny, guided trip, viewscreen advisor wanted.
    How many times had I taken a bike ride and trusted to the large foldout map - to re-determine a personal routing through unmemorized neighbourhoods?  How many times had I changed course - upon any moment's whim?
    And how many times had I used that same MapArt map to plan a directed approach to an unfamiliar street address?

    I will add that I'm not a great fan of MapArt's (and other companies') book-styled series of maps.  Whenever I have a comparable large foldout map instead - I always find that it is far easier to visualize myself within an entire journey's length.  Moving from page 18 to... page 34 over to... page 60(?) breaks up that concept.  Actual Distance is no longer a real measurement; I can't judge upon whether travelling south from A to G is farther or closer than travelling east from L to S.

    What would be nice are foldout bike route enhanced maps - with occasional addresses and prominent building markers - of the various Toronto suburbs.  It doesn't do a lot of good having a slow-loading website or a clumsy downloaded file - different for every locality, when I am in mid-journey.  The address-less City of Toronto map doesn't bother to either label or show immediately adjacent suburban border region streets.   MapArt's copy used to.

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    Wednesday, November 12, 2014

    I support Taylor Swift, the naughty adult-aged grown woman.

    Mainstream U.S. music star Taylor Swift is releasing a new album today. She also refused her music to Spotify, a massive online streaming service.
    Why? She wants to be paid. Good for her!
    I noticed something about Ms. Swift, granted this latest album. She is not a 13 year-old.
    Why does it seem that most of the western world expects every 20-something to be compensated (and condescended to) as a child. In Swift's case, what's the streaming service payout? A bag of chips, a soda pop of choice, and a '$5 allowance' - if she's nice? Maybe - tell her that she did a good job? And to send her back to 'her room', at her 'real' home - that is, you know, her parent(s)' house - regardless?
    She is a grown woman.

    The other week, we had Canada's top federal banker publicly suggest that younger 'adults' should work for free. For dubious networking benefits. Apparently if they are paid, no one else will talk to them!
    I've never agreed with senority payscales either. If you are doing something, you should get paid for it. Period. When you are no longer performing the same (tougher) set of tasks, you shouldn't continue to get paid as though you still are. This is how Toronto has found itself with former bus drivers, collecting paper ticket fares and a $100,000 a year salaries.
    However, I do believe that current employees should always have advancement and side-promotion (inter-dept.) opportunities before new employees are brought in. (I've been there; where someone walks into the office and tells me they are my new supervisor or manager - and that role was never availed to a single person - corporation wide. Then most of a dept. staff gets sacked and/or pushed out within a few years anyway.)
    I also believe that laid-off workers should never be replaced, later on and sometimes through multiple attempts, by new hires and/or outsourcings under the justified cover of re-organization. (Same, yeah.)

    Soon enough there will become stories of active workers earning much less than preceding pensioners - who had already benefited during entire careers of earning more than their generational replacements. Active two-tiered employees are a too common enough issue. Only after such employers collapse - for everyone, might rosy-life pensioners receive a cut back. Detroit's municipal retirees still get 95% of their contracted pensions - per that city's latest bankruptcy news. Many likely don't even live within Michigan.

    I admire Taylor Swift for her mature resolve versus the music industry's non payout expectations. When entertainment presentation companies cannot structure 'radio', streaming or conventional, that's their problem to fix.

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    Modern Canadian footsies with Neo-Sovietism and Anti-Semitism.

    It seems like there are politically incorrect 'correct' trends as part of today's Canada. Here are a few recent news and activity item takes. I had written about Rogers Communications for it to re-order a digital 6-in-1 news channels' aggregator (ch. 179) since last Spring. When re-checked last month - Russia Today (RT) was still its chosen default active mini window selection. Canada, meanwhile, has had military personnel and democratic election observers forwarded to Ukraine - in Ukraine's protection against Russia.
    On the weekend there was finally some TV news hour reporting of Ontario University Football - owing to a now-playoff round. As during previous years - when regular season TV coverage had existed - that wasn't placed upon either Cdn. media companies' leading 'Sports One' channel(s). On Monday night, Rogers Sportsnet carried a Junior Hockey game versus a visiting Russian squad upon its primary sports channel. In a comparison, I did notice a U.S. regional(?) championship game of Women's College Soccer upon a regular Buffalo, NY, broadcast station's sub channel during the past weekend.
    Canada's 2014 Giller Prize for fiction writing was awarded on Monday to first time novelist Sean Michaels. His story was focused on a Russian main character.
    A Cuban Pro-Baseball player, 27 year-old Jose Abreu was awarded a Rookie of the year MLB award yesterday. He defected from Communist Cuba during an annual Baseball Classic int'l tournament. A nice news story. But whenever did the NFL acknowledge CFL player records such as for quarterback passing yards - for Warren Moon, Damon Allen (brother of a Superbowl MVP), nor Anthony Calvillo. Ditto for back when a teenaged Wayne Gretzky was refused a NHL rookie award eligibility.
    A former Japanese pro baseball player's combined leagues' base hits statistic was debated as to whether his numbers (with MLB) might establish a new career base hits' record. North America's at-home minor league stats don't get counted with the big league stats.


    Last week, Toronto's mayor elect John Tory was publicly reported to having Jewish-faith maternal grandparents. Tory, himself, is a United Church follower. It didn't get mentioned before the election, and not after his own false anti-Semitic charge against a second place opponent, shortly before October's election.
    Some years ago I opined that I thought he simply didn't look quite so "John Tory" as a name suggested. (I noticed his hair and skin tone, that was all.) Now, a further decade of public life later, multiple elections as a high level political representative, he has a suddenly acknowledged co-Jewish background?
    Every year throughout my life, in North America, it seems as though someone within a long-standing prominent public sphere comes out with a personal Jewish heritage. I believe - in my heart - that our overall society should be co-allowed a greater credit of acceptance. Outlines of positional context are deserved. It partially informs when influential speakers regularly debate worldly issues, for example. Positional Context matters when an debate is about Asia, Ireland or Africa - just the same. And it matters within mass entertainment as well. Too often, we still have rigidly assumed racist attitudes blindly fed throughout mainstream pop culture. We have a country, (yes) with its share of troubles, whose intended multi-cultural acceptance runs all the way back to our foundation of British, French, First Nations, and American co-existence. Our development deserves more than longly belated openness. I voted for former mayor Mel Lastman; I still would have voted for John Tory.

    Monday night TMZ reported upon a new Lyric video by Nicky Manoj. It is suggestive of Nazi German visual design. A marketing plan? Toronto rapper, Drake, is a featured co-vocalist for this song. TMZ noted that Drake's background is prominently co-Jewish; and that he most likely never had an idea of this pre-release video's concept. I thought TMZ could have also compared the same visual design to the USA's 2012 London Olympics team outfits. Earlier this year, singer Rihanna had briefly posted a pro-Palestine text message during the Summer fractus after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered and when Palestine was firing thousands of rockets at Israel.
    This makes two young, and highly popular, rap music acquaintances of Drake, this year, so affected.

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    Sunday, November 09, 2014

    Not-awesome #873

    # 873.
    Lost yet Cool Fashions.
    Paisley design prints should never return.  However, there have been all sorts of great fashion styles over the decades.  One of my favourite fashion eras?  That would have to be the early 1970s.  Check out an episode of, say, 'The Partridge Family' music group sitcom.  Everything on that series looked great!  The clothes, the hair, the furniture..., the bus, lol.
    Then go to a typical store to buy something.  Ugh.
    There have been numerous in-fashion contemporary items of which I can only wish that I had (then) purchased three or five (brand new) copies of.  $15 lite canvas shoes with a business heel.  A lime green cotton sweater with a Tour Du France print.  A loose grey thin-demin jacket with too many to count pockets.  Cheap yet well-sized and backed wood veneer shelves and also a study desk.  An 8-sided, manufactured in Canada, coffee table.  Clock radios with green numberings instead of red.
    Lost yet Cool fashions, not-awesome.

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    Saturday, November 08, 2014

    Praise for Praise and Learning.

    I noticed that, besides older (B&W) TV and radio programs, and current science shows, etc., much of my entertainment focus has shifted to an assortment of Christian based programs from two U.S. networks, TCT and Daystar.

    Faith in History with William Federer is a daily half-hour show (on TCT) that examines U.S. history in the context of recorded statements of numerous leading politicians.  On Friday it discussed General Robert E. Lee - who led the Confederate Army during the U.S. Civil War.
    I have my own ignorances.  Therfore I have assumed that Lee was a racist and that war was only about The South fighting only to maintain Slavery.  Not so.  Before the war, Lee had freed all of the slaves which he inherited from his father-in-law (the adopted son of George Washington, btw).  Lee had built a prominent U.S. military career and even turned down an offer to lead the Union side.  He spoke of abolishing slavery.  When the Civil War began, it was more about a drastic imbalance of federal taxation policy.  Lee was from Virginia and decided to serve his geographical side.
    From a PBS documentary program, I've also learned that when U.S. slavery was abolished - there was a quiet loophole.  For decades after 'freedom', many southern black men were often and innocently rounded up for the intention of exploiting prison labour.  Notably, this occurred for harvesting activities and early 20th century coal mining used to supply steel.
    That's from only one episode's topic.  Faith in History does have a strongly favourable U.S. historical slant - sometimes that will conflict beside my appreciations of Canada's history and ideals or else an awareness of American based injustices.  Always it provides a thoughtful presentation - as focused upon direct Christian influences via quotations from various individuals.

    Jentezen Franklin (U.S.) and Brian Houston (Aust.) are two lesser known dynamic preachers.  To date, however, these men do not push stereotypical nonsenses such as touching someone as a way of 'healing' permanent illnesses or disabilities.  Nor do they press a donation button more, or equally as hard, then a devotion encouragement button.  They also haven't routinely condemned differing peoples and/or gov't policies such as public healthcare.
    Joel Osteen is well known, across Canada.  On Daystar, there is a full hour program each week, with the first half consisting of vibrant music.  Daystar also contains a few other musical programs - both gospel and Christian Rock.  I've mentioned that while I think modern CR is surprisingly good in tone; I'm not comfortable with its singularly devoted lyrics.  TCT's lineup includes a recorded program with a lively blue grass group, as well as the (less fanatical, IMO) Gaither Hour  - when I find it upon their schedule.
    Dr. Creflo Dollar appears every weeknight on Daystar.  These will be repeat episodes, naturally.
    Pastor John Hagee and son Matthew have their show.  The same goes for Dr. Charles Stanley and his son Andy.
    The above are the preachers that I've found to be closer, in degrees, towards my own views.  Of course there is a lineup of others as well upon both networks.  Some might not capture my attention and a few others I will disagree with.
    TCT now has a subchannel dedicated to debunking Islamic Texts.  We don't have anything like this upon Canadian airwaves.  It's not just 'blowhard' talk, however.  The leading host, Pastor Joseph, is a former Middle East Muslim; they knowledgeably debate the Quran within a call-in show format.  At first it was amusing; then I began to learn a bit about the actual framework of the Islamic faith.
    To me, there is a sharp difference between every specific religion and/or sect(s) itself, and individual good people following any one Faith (and Atheism).  Faith in History had discussed how U.S. Slavery and First Nations treatment began separately between the two Christian settlements in early America.  They had a same basic British /Dutch source population; yet each had followed a different sect within Protestant Christianity.  Many of the original 13 States identified with a specific branch of an otherwise common faith.
    A few Jewish programs are also present.  One is a weekly news program - from which I learned, early on, of this past June's Israel-Palestine Kidnapping situation.  As I often channel surf across all of the Over-the-Air channels, this is how I sometimes have found these various religous programs.  A couple of faith-based TV-movies had also found my attention.

    Two Canadian programs that caught my attention, in recent years, are Living Truth with Charles Price, and Rock of the Church hosted by Winnipeg's Pastor Mark Hughes.  Price's audience has always better reflected a local visible diversity of which I am more familiar.  Neither, however is carried by the two U.S. broadcast networks mentioned above.

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    Friday, November 07, 2014

    Please, Don't Shomi Violence on demand.

    Rogers and Shaw are co-debuting a new online TV service this week, called Shomi.  I'll stick with an over-the-air lineup of various U.S. sub channels, thank them very much.
    From chosen promotional appearances, it would seem like what I already knew: virtually every modern era TV series and film, U.S. or Cdn., or British, is all just a stew of harshness, callousness, and explicit aggression.  No thanks.
    This could well be another Target Canada of corporate failure.
    Who actually believes that the radio, newspaper, television, and magazine divisions of these mainstream companies, and others - Cdn. and Int'l. - are good?  'Walk before learning to run'?

    I had doubtful hopes for a local radio station, Indie 88.1, which began over a year ago under a smaller industry group company.  Smaller and Independent implied having their so-called ear closer to the ground, a fresher outlook, etc.  IMO, that was bull.
    They simply went out and hired on the same tired industry people pushing their same tired, anti-social and audience failing, industry ideas and practices.  Personnel changes would occur, Indie's mindset die is permanently cast.
    I had wished to hear recently issued music by such friendly, proven, yet mainstream abandoned artists as Men Without Hats, Ringo Starr, the Spoons, etc. alongside a variety of many brand new artists producing similarly non-angst driven quality songs.  I have listed my own findings of over a 100 new enjoyable songs - under a one per(!) artist guideline - each year, for these last four or five years.  Why can't the professionals do likewise?  I also wanted a good delivery of music - relevant, informative, to the point, and without sneer.  None of this had occured during my listening samples.
    Shomi may likely be just another such startup, except owned directly by... some of the same tired industry people pushing the same tired, anti-social and audience failing, industry ideas and practices.

    Shomi... (from Rogers and Shaw) a week of MeTV (affiliate's fantastic clean letterbox version - plus a 4/3 network feed for remaining programs), Throwback Television, This TV, Get TV, Antenna TV, Cozi TV (a few okay oldies otherwise just multi-houred repetitive crap, zoomed in too tightly), TVO and Buffalo's PBS - both in 24/7 widescreen, secondary PBS broadcast sub channel(s), plus selective TCT and Daystar programs.
    No?

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    Thursday, November 06, 2014

    Right after the crossword puzzle.

    I received a phone call soon after finishing my last entry's pre-posted draft copy.  It was an (alleged) employment agency person.  Regardless of hundreds of applications, I'm lucky if I can get more than two such calls per year.
    Could I understand her?  Barely, but that's besides the issue.  Was she asking, as example, for a nursing assistant or a supervising brain surgeon?  "Audit" and "Analyst" may mean real auditing and/or technical project, international law, case-scenerio works by the highest advanced professionals.  It can also mean filling out selective working papers as given out to a skilled yet general staff of clerks and/or less demanding indicator calculations with straight forward, business activity explanations.
    Um, of where was she calling from? Wouldn't say.  How long was this opportunity for? Had she reviewed a copy of my resume - before asking various basic career questions?  Do I have a payscale to request upfront?  Shortly enough, she then approached me to spend my money first.  Uh huh.
    So this wasn't at all a real opportunity through any legitimate organization.  It was just one of those hidden scam deals where desperate individuals are targetted.


    I had said that I needed an item of success.  Too often, I greatly pine that I will find any other people that deal simply within their basically fair, responsive, and open manner!  A snap of another's fingers and I could reintegrate myself.  Nothing quite so 'posh' nor self-entitled; just possibly applying myself with some abilities I actually have.  Contributing.  Not getting slid into a relentless despondency.  Not giving out four against one while claiming it as 'one to four'.
    Too many people assert to a mutually supported opinion of, "Refuse to grant genuine acceptance.  Leave any fallen(s) to finding anyone, anything, and anywhere else".

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    A sorely needed Crossword break.

    Hey, I completed a crossword puzzle!  In minutes!  From a newspaper.
    Okay, it was one of the free daily newspapers, 24hrs.  Tuesday's edition of Wordplay.
    I tend to be interested in many different topics.  However I am terrible at solving crosswords.  What precisely is that clue's name or word?  How exactly is it spelled?  What item(s) of trivia might I have previously known and yet can not immediately recall?  Why should I assume whether an unknown answer consists of two, three, or more words joined together?  Should a clue's answer be in a sing-song format?
    If I can struggle for about a third, correctly, of an attempted crossword puzzle - that's my 'success rate'.  I'm glad whenever there are other puzzle types to be tackled.
    With this particular crossword, only two given clues were far away from me.  One across: Highest Point, and 55 down (bottom right corner area): Israeli dance.  Gratefully there were no 'halfway across the world' foreign language River Name clues to answer.  Of course, I had a few other answers revised and/or solved after they were mostly filled-out through adjoining clues.
    Still, it altogether took me about as much time as writing this simple entry :)

    Sometimes I really need such a meagre token of success, once in awhile(!), in my own life.

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    Ghomeshi' 5 for 5 Failed Organizations.

    I realized something that is overlooked from the Ghomeshi saga's chatter.  Outside of himself, he seems to have starred within a 5 for 5 organizational failure rate.
    - Big CBC, at Toronto, has a string of management miscues or disregardments.
    - The Cdn. division book publisher, cancelled, had its own ongoing executive level workplace cover-up issue, only a few years earlier.
    - York University - was home to Canada's all-time Men's Football team Consecutive Loss record while Ghomeshi was an advanced and school-leading student, studying Women's Issues rather than say, Arts or Sciences.  That loss record was later surpassed during the Univ. of Toronto's 2-78 record from '98 through '07.
    - A trendy bar restaurant which hosted Ghomeshi's once nightly/weekly(?) TV series, if I recall, had its own reported business dispute.
     - A knowledgeable criticism of Canada's music industry - as to its public funding sources was issued in recent times.  Exampled was that Lights and her manager, Ghomeshi, continued to apply for and receive annual funding aid(s) - after she had achieved a successful and popular breakthrough artist status.

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    Another badly published mystery novel.

    I just finished reading Ellen Godfrey's The Case of the Cold Murderer (1976, a Paperjacks edition).
    Now, I've mentioned a dislike of error prone book editing. I've probably mentioned another (IMO) bad mystery novel or two. I don't know where this combination example fits into.

    Page one, sentence one, the timeline is established as February 1969. Throughout the book, its crime solving sleuth is referred to as 70 years of age. Page 29, and a back history states that series' heroine was born in 1902. Final page, one week after the 'weeklong' mystery is solved, she is 72.
    A niece is introduced. Soon after a young adult son of a younger sister is introduced. This pair of characters are described throughout the novel as cousins.
    The first third of this novel wasn't bad - background hiccups aside. Nor was the remaining portion of this novel 'bad'. However it did feel as though the first part was better, and that maybe the rest of this novel was completed at a different time. Plus, I guessed at its murderer too quickly, once the second scene had begun.
    The first third's activity takes place in the city; the second part takes place in the country. The first section suggests a locked room mystery; the second scene is a countryside farm house, during a weekend blizzard condition, with all guests able to arrive but then unable to leave. Police show up, but help cannot be called for after they leave. The earlier locked room setup is tersely dismissed; all of the other characters become 'trapped' by a sudden afternoon blizzard. Within the final couple of pages, the second 'cousin' becomes a grandson again.
    The Toronto area author was a book publishing general manager with a novelist husband. This novel which involves around a fictional small publishing company - makes mention, early on, of its writer-sleuth character's annoyance with a received proofreading copy having extensive typos. That is part of the actual story's introductory phase.
    Real published typos, however, consistently plague the second portion of this novel. Some words being mispelt into non-words and many other, short and similar, words assumedly printed in substitution. I am not a professional writer and when online I make loads of personal writing mistakes. Online discussion forms - such as this blog and commenting threads - are not situations where I write a draft, step away, later review with a fresh take, revise own my words, and(!) repeat each of these steps for a third or final time.

    At least there was a murder action in this novel, occurring well before reaching its 80% point. Thankfully its typing mistakes did not also reside within a five novel omnibus edition. The second portion had contained too many adjectives IMO. Perhaps it was a page filling style difference that had accounted for some of its inattentive miscues? I'm reading a few short stories next, lol.

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    Monday, November 03, 2014

    Forgotten Freeware fallbacks.

    Daylight /EST time was reset this past weekend. So here is a belated freeware round-up; it goes with my earlier series of postings.

    Jolix CD Ripper v1.5.0 by JolixTools. Part of an expansive, somewhat confusing, series of available programs. It did the CD ripping job I wanted.
    Wavosaur v1.1.0.0. A wav.file creator /editor program. (I used to have a full-bodied 'Creative' music editing program - that only installs where/if it finds Creative brand hardware.)

    Logyx Pack v8.28 by Drazen Beljan. Currently this a single executable file containing over 100 puzzles and like-minded games. A few of these, I haven't discovered elsewhere.
    Color Suduku v3.1 by Petr Lastovicka. Many different shapes and sizes, plus an even/odd cell shading option.

    Spread32 v1.18 (2003) by (Stephen) Bye Design Ltd. A small freeware spreadsheet program. Alternative word/text processing programs, IMHO, seem to be a dime a dozen.
    Solway's Expression Calculator v1.2 by Kevin Solway. An one-line math expression program.
    SpeQ-Mathematics v3.4 by Jos de Jong. Some 'over my head' stuff.
    MWSnap v3.0074 by Mirek Wojtowicz. A popular screen capture program (2002).
    Pitaschio v2.26 by Ara (2009). Various GUI settings that can be applied to open windows, etc. Includes disabling of specific keys /buttons (such as F1, minimize, and caps lock). OpenSaveFilesView v1.00 by Nir Sofer. Surprisingly informative - until one considers its amazing freeware utilities' author.
    Search and Replace 98, v3.1.2.82 by The Andromeda Workshop. A multiple files' text replacer; I preferred this older program over another I had tried.
    LS FileList Generator v1.53 (2003) by Pyo. Quick and flexible settings.
    Text2Folders v1.12 by Jody Holmes / Skwire Empire. Creates a series of new folders based upon a simple text list.

    TimeBar v2.00 (1993) by Peter Middlestorb. If I'm gonna highlight 32-bit era freeware - in 2012-14, then this forgotten time-text 16-bit program really deserves a rememberance. It was an enjoyable software treat.


    Note:
    Mostly I haven't noticed anything that's new and good this year, excepting from a few veteran freeware developers. Thankfully(?) I am stuck with a 32-bit Windows 2000 machine, while I've become intensely unimpressed by the 64-bit Windows 7 Home edition, Windows 8.1, and current Windows 10's preview testing reports.  I miss when computers were 'actually fun, user capable, and genuinely intuitative enough' to use!
    Most of the above software programs were simply missed during my earlier freeware discovery postings. Still looking forward, however, to this year's NANY 2015 possibilities.


    -------------------------------------------
    .25's New Music blog series notice:
    There won't be any 2014 entries, at this blog, to highlight 100 or more new pop songs (one per artist) - as personally shortlisted.

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    SHATNER!!!!

    How do you keep a TV buff in suspense?
    Have me watch the first hour of a 1957(?) TV movie, starring William Shatner, Steve McQueen, Ralph Bellamy, and Martin Balsam.
    It was a Westinghouse Studio program entitled The Defender.  Bellamy and Shatner were a father-son legal defence team, McQueen was the defendant and Balsam portrayed the lead prosecutor.  It was re-aired Sunday Night as part of Throwback Television's (channel 56.2 in Buffalo) weekly 'Hollywood Hour'.  Unlike our dreadfully horrible Cdn. retro stations, I don't know of any other regularly scheduled repeats for this particular hour's programming.
    A special addition - without any updated mockery - was an original Westinghouse 'broad band' TV set commercial - featuring a hockey game image to compare their TV product line's 22% improved sharpness over regular television sets.
    I knew the hour was drawing nigh.  I figured it was maybe a 90-minute show and that it would be carried through.  I got the ol' "tune in next week" notice at the hour's end.

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    Sunday, November 02, 2014

    Not-awesome #874

    # 874.
    Extra Musicians, either On/Off Stage.
    How many guitarists does it take to play a tune?  How many people can manage to stand around a lightbulb?
    This is not a new thing.  Benefit shows feature this N.A.  A rousing encore finale appearance is one thing; having the regular on-stage playlist over participated is just clutter (IMO).
    Then there is 'the big sound from a supposedly small group'.  With advanced electronics this can be readily pre-recorded and hidden.  Other bands will utilize a squad of excess real musicans, tucked away out of the spotlights.  There are scores of musicans and backup singers who have careered themselves performing with popular 'super groups and acts'.  And they are never publicly recognized.
    Extra Musicians, either On/Off Stage, not-awesome.

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    Wednesday, October 29, 2014

    Praise for Mississauga's current development.

    Mississauga's long-time mayor McCallion was interviewed by Steve Paikin on his TVO program last night.  Unfortunately he dwelled only upon 'the past'.  Mississauga has been growing fairly well in its most recent years.
    I grew up in Cooksville, then 'Mississauga'.  I have said that everything I had liked about (south) Mississauga was already in existence BEFORE McCallion became its overall mayor.  I've continued to visit and travel between (west) Mississauga and its neighbouring City of Toronto - more so for decades rather than just 'years'.  Until four or five years ago, I readily maintained that same unchanged opinion.

    Mississauga has its own municipal issues; every city does.  But let's take a renewed look at their suburban landscape.
    - It has new separately paved bike trails coursing - continuously - beside its multiple major roadways.  Disappearing are the traditional sidewalks with those completely useless foot-wide elevated and short-ended 'paved curb strips' and their six feet in-between's of empty lawncare.
    - It has a visible Express Bus Fleet (blue) added to its traditional Every Stop Bus Fleet (orange).  Timed schedules have greatly increased, and there is now a hint towards operating a more purposefully inter-connected design.  (I still shudder upon my former 2.33 hours' bumpy(!) community college commutes, each way -  as compared to a 15/20 minute direct car commute via Hwys' QEW /427 and /27.)
    - There is a new dedicated 'Busway' that will partially begin this November and within a few short years will traverse that entire city from east to west.
    - It has major, legitimately major, highway routing(s) that do not leave out large districts - unlike say, Scarborough.  Businesses and corporate offices can now be found throughout all of their city's modern northern half.
    - The Square One Mall location was developed into a geograpically centralized 'suburban core'.  Toronto meanwhile still tries to insist upon its shoehorn scaled 1960s downtown - as though it were the only possible (and desperate) choice for future development.  Lastman's 1990s era North York where only directly upon upper Yonge St. being the lone exception.
    - Its waterfront - if no longer containing a necessary(!) industrial power generation site for our overall Toronto-area region - is at least no longer 'nothing'.

    It still does a few too many things (IMO) inadequately upon the dirt-cheap.  There is a lot of room between faux fancy-styled waste versus plain good service.
    Its post-1979 developed neighbourhood quadrants still suffer from a permanently sprawled and meandering cocoon effect.
    In this decade however, Mississauga is actively growing forward!  Compared to a local pro-sports slogan, Toronto is really only talking about a "bloody big deal".

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    A bagful of timely theme music.

    One of the things I greatly miss is my mp3 collection.  More so than downloads, I used to buy a goodly number of used compact discs containing bands and music of the 1980s.  Older Jazz and post-2004 (80s matching) pop music are also a listening preference.  Nearly all of this had been converted to 192bit mp3s.  However, all of that music is currently exiled to a hard drive, and backup storage, of a 2000s computer that no longer works.  The older plug-in designed IDE hard drives were/are fine; it was other components which eventually had failed to operate.
    Former radio jockey Scot Turner currently hosts a Sunday afternoon retro program on Toronto's 102.1 fm.  Intendedly the music is a reflection of that leading station's then-roots of the mopey-dancy-closeted new wave era.  I've found that it is more blended into the latter 1990s alternative white boy stompy anger era of Alternative Rock - as mixed with Rap and Canadian Rural rockers.  Two weekends ago, not having anything else going on, I listened in throughout the afternoon.  A late afternoon drop-in by Ivor Hamilton didn't makeup for its extensively alt-rock skewed hours beforehand.  This past Sunday was to be a Halloween themed show, although I had missed it.
    I usually enjoy the themed playlist idea.  Randy Bachman presents a two hour weekly program via CBC radio; mostly it is great 1960s popular music with crappy post-1995 'contemporary pop' choices thrown in.  That is something I miss from not having my mp3 collection .. at my ready.
    Often I would use my personal song title database to filter a new playlist.  This next Sunday (IMO) would be more ideal.  Between Halloween (on the Friday), a semi-annual time change, and Municipal Voting (today), all sorts of themes can be interwoven: Candy, Costumes, Party and 'After the Party', Changes and Voting Elections.

    So here is rough preliminary of 80s song selections that I might have culled together .. for my own listening:

    Fingerprintz .. Changing [I'm going to a masquerade... taxi waiting to leave]
    The Cars .. Candy-O
    Bruce Cockburn .. The Candy Man's gone. [I hate to tell you, but...]
    Tears for Fears .. Change
    Mi-Sex .. It Only Hurts when I'm Laughing
    Mi-Sex .. Caught in the Act
    Sad Lovers and Giants .. Sleep
    Crowded House .. Don't Dream it's Over
    Idle Eyes .. To a Vote
    Talk Talk .. Candy
    Talk Talk .. The Party's Over
    Roxy Music .. Same Old Scene
    Bryan Ferry .. Don't Stop the Dance
    Velvet Underground .. What Goes On [late 60s alt]
    David Bowie .. Changes [early 70s alt]
    Lou Reed .. Real Good Time Together [mid 70s alt]
    Gino Vannelli .. It's Over
    Corey Hart .. Sunny Place, Shady People
    The Big Dish .. From the Neighbourhood
    Bryan Adams .. She's only Happy, when she's Dancing
    The Box .. Closer Together
    Camouflage .. Winner Takes Nothing
    Culture Club .. Time (clock of the heart)
    The Cure .. In-between Days
    ...

    The mind boggles with blended music theme possibilities.
    However: No MJ and Madonna, no Tragically Hip, no Pearl Jam, No Public Enemy...  And then try not to lean upon typical radio's 'big hit' songs (a half-apology for a Bryan Adams album-cut pick, lol).

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    Sunday, October 26, 2014

    WWW. Dead at 19.

    I'm calling it: the world wide web is deceased.  Time of death: Sunday afternoon (EST), October 26th, 2014.
    It was back in Nov./Dec. of 1994 when Netscape had first released its free browser to the Windows PC masses.  Today I tried surfing the internet - as an enjoyable pastime.  Not so much.   I read about Microsoft's Windows 10 testing news, but otherwise there wasn't really any 'there' there.
    So many previous online activities I enjoyed just don't seem active anymore!  Flickr used to be a great site to browse and filter through sets and time-frames of downloadable photographs.  Soundcloud used to be a great downloadable site for modern music that doesn't get acknowledged by the giant media empires.  (Of course, to download mp3s I needed to copy cache files that were temporarily stored by a Firefox 3 era browser; that browser could no longer access Soundcloud when I tried it earlier this year.  Independant minded(!) blogs used to very numerous.  Only a small fraction seem to have remained active.
    Whatever the internet is today, it simply isn't what it was.


    I don't care at all for the rah-rahhed paidness of most 'popular' online participants.  I don't want my exacting and explorational music preferences replaced by some automated super-sized generator program and requiring a connected restreaming of the exact same content repeatedly while original content eventually becomes silently remastered and destructively mangled.  I don't want my television news to absolutely refuse the existence of better performing subchannels.  Ditto for all other news and commentary content.  I don't want a re-updated computer system if that means touting(!) the addition of a calendar app - which Microsoft had first provided in the 1980s, while forcibly removing the continued usage of good programs and graphical interface designs - at their choice, not mine.
    IMO, there just was nothing 'on' today as I tried to surf the web.
    R.I.P., WWW.

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    Not-awesome #875

    # 875.
    Showers that don't "take".
    Every now and then a bathing shower simply doesn't work.  Some might experience this as 'a bad hair day'.
    I mix up my shampoos, soaps, and/or gels every so often.  The Pert shampoo brand seems to always leave my 'normal' hair dried-out.  Conditioners can develop a waxy build-up when used too often.  But that's a hair condition issue.
    Worse is the 'bad full body day'.  Sometimes I will even feel more clammy, or grimey, right after taking a shower.  Renewed daily body odor might return within a couple of hours.  Shoulders might never dry.  Keep toweling,  keep toweling...
    Showers that don't "take", not-awesome.

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    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    Reading Amateur.

    I went to (one of) the University of Toronto used book sales this past weekend.  From its small (weekend-only) room, I bought one mass market paperback - cost $1.  Hardcover books and nicer quality paperbacks were located across the second floor's main hall.
    The 1976 mystery novel I selected was by a lesser known Ontario /Canadian writer.  I'm glad enough to have been able to find and acquire one intriquing book; at a low price, that was something I felt I wouldn't often re-discover at another booksale, plus by a writer - Canadian, Non-Literary, and Mystery fiction at that - of whom I hadn't read before.
    So I finally line up to pay my loonie.  A woman behind me (with a man at her side) snipes at me.  "One book?  Amateur!"
    One may suggest that she was being socialable.  However, prime-aged women are seldom friendly towards me and I don't cut cut much of an impressive figure.  Big city (downtown event) people generally don't snipe out at non-wealthy looking strangers as their opening conversational style neither.

    So I was 'told' - as I take it.  Before this I had been in a relaxed and contented mood, grateful to put aside personal worries for the moment.  I was at a book sale.
    Instead I got ignorantly disdained by a faux-elite hometown stranger.  C'mon.  It didn't even surprise me!
    At this sale, I had shortlisted against a few and declined a number of other selections.
    That woman's mass market selections: yup, a pile of commonplace Agatha Christie novels.

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    Sunday, October 19, 2014

    Not-awesome #876

    # 876.
    Spicy foods.
    I don't like having my own snot with my food.  So why is the entire food industry obsessed with making everything "spicy"?  As well, "Over-flavoured" is Spicy's twin of food-evil.  Both are terrible, in my opinion.
    Now, I'm not (at least I don't regard myself as so) a limpid, plain, and lukewarm mash potatos, only food person.  I enjoy a bit of food spiciness and flavour.  Within my personal level of stomach comfort.
    Yet, I shouldn't need to use a tissue paper while I am eating, though.  Nor should I need to have a large glass of water at my ready.  Especially once a humid Great Lakes' summer season has concluded.
    Spicy foods, not-awesome.

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    Not-awesome #877

    # 877.
    Wide Window bays.
    I just don't like wide length window blocks.  Ditto for clear patio doors.
    They makes me think of a small truck crashing through for a smash and grab robbery.  Then there is the matter of furniture placement.  Where do you put the television unit or the chair, etc.  What if you don't want sunshine fading down upon your belongings everyday.  A solid set of drapes to be drawn straight across?
    Household window bays with multiple narrow vertical windows are nice, however.  When they also have matching wall spaces between them.
    Wide Window bays, not-awesome.

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    Saturday, October 18, 2014

    About the Leafs' Lack of Ont. Players.

    Last week, Hockey Night in Canada returned with Coach's Corner, starring its long-time hosts Ron McLean and Don Cherry.  In Toronto, Cherry gave a sharp criticism of the Toronto Maple Leafs' 2014 draft choices.
    Last June, I almost wrote about the Leafs not selecting an Ontario / Canadian player during the first round of the draft.  Nazem Kadri, who's also a Muslim - ONTARIO BORN, might be the only Ontario born - Ontario development system first round player they've taken in many years.  As a casual follower, yeah I've noticed that most of the Leafs' upper tier players (drafted, traded for, and signed via free agency) have been non-Ontario (and to a lesser extent - neither from overall all-Canada) sourced!
    I SUPPORT the inclusion of foreign players, even star(!) foreign players - but let's keep Ontario's Own as first-in-line where the talent abilities are relatively equal!  Nearly all other - often winning NHL teams - seem to have no such chronic shortages of our hometown and regional players, chosen alongside of U.S., U.S. college system, and Overseas / Overseas trained-in-Canada players.
    Kadri turned out to be just like anyone else - perhaps to some high ranking people's disappointment.  He ended up wasting more years with the Leafs minor league team then many other comparable first round picks.  He then was also getting routinely slighted, publicly, for his skill and alleged overweight physical condition by the Leafs management.  The very wealthy Leafs team meanwhile achieved one, strike-shortened season, playoff appearance in about a decade.
    It was this way while the Ontario Teachers Pension Group owned the team, and so far it had still been a little early to rebuke the newer ownership tandam of Bell Canada (Bell Media) and Rogers Communications.  However I don't believe, given this franchise's recent 10-20 years' history, that the new ownership has the 'wiggle room' not to select a top-tier Ontario (or at least a Canadian-born and made-in-Canada) player.
    According to Cherry, the Leafs' 2014 draft was worse than just maintaining its unstated non-Ontario 'first round' selection bias.  Their draft picks were entirely(!) devoid of any Ontario born and Ontario (junior hockey) developed players.  In this, the Maple Leafs are one of only two NHL teams [Washington Captials is the other], within a 30-team league, to have made this exclusion.

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    Thursday, October 16, 2014

    Hopeless: Occupations I've only Dreamt Of.

    In the last posting, I stated that I honestly hate everything Microsoft (Windows) has produced since 2005.  I need to expand upon this topic.
    Throughout much of my adult life I have, or had, dreamt of obtaining employment with Microsoft (and/or Microsoft Canada)!  That's important to keep in mind.
    For example, I grew up worshiping just about every business variety of journalism, technology, marketing, aviation, consumer goods, sports, etc.  I respected and trusted upon most gov't institutions as well.  At everything I have always tried to perform at my very best.  I have always wanted to fit-in and contribute and to feel reasonably accepted and appreciated.  Who wouldn't?
    My very best sometimes simply just wasn't good enough in some situations - and I can accept that.  When I dreamt of Microsoft, it was never as though I imagined myself as one of its top executive leaders.  It is however, a place of thousands upon thousands of individual roles; and it is still just one part of a vastly larger industry sector.  That sector as being only one of almost innumerable others.  I believe that my dreams were and are realistic expectations to thrive towards.
    I have my own aptitudes along with some natural and/or developed abilities and a few other non-abilities.  Of course, a bunch of stuff also falls in-between ability and non-ability.  Every person should be able to live and become active besides only targetting against his weakness(es).  Sharing a handshake, however, requires more than one's self.  And it shouldn't always be unanswered absolutely and thus pleaded for.
    As I wrote about the two specialty quarters, this time period really has become [another] low point within my life.  Yesterday when I walked back from the library... I stopped.
    What do I mean?
    I stopped.
    I felt as though I just couldn't continue to step ahead.
    I stopped.
    It was a kind of stop while still recognizing one's remaining good fortune - but without comfort, attainment, nor hope for better.

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    Hopeless wish: who to vote for?

    Initially my mayoral choice was clear.  All-in-all an acceptable choice of an acceptable amount of compromise.  Now...

    Damn It:
    I want the Island Airport moved(!) to the Leslie Street Spit.  Hong Kong developed its major airport upon the ocean; our pre-existing 5 km Lake Ontario outer man-made wedge should be easier to adapt.  I don't want the existing site expanded directly in front of our immediate waterfront; I also don't want to have zero small airport capacity.  The Spit location [I've written about] addresses both
    I want public washrooms and other failings restored and/or corrected at such commuter interchanges as Islington Station.
    I wanted a Malvern to Summerhill and Dupont rail line away back in 2004.  One that would have created park and ride lots where the new Wynford Drive Mosque has just been built (replacing the former Bata Shoes' building) and at Kennedy and the 401 East.  One that would have moved passengers directly into the geographical centre of the city instead of saddling an already overloaded Union Station.  One that would have lightened the suburban car volumes upon the lower DVP and downtown.  BTW, no extra and expensive tunnelling was required either!  Summerhill's former train station was restored by the LCBO agency although adjacent rail-side land had been given over to housing only a few upmarket townhouses - why was that bothered with?  That interchange possibility became permanently crippled - for the sake of a few false-posh townhouses.
    I want 50-60% of existing buses upon major routes switched into differently painted Express buses.  I don't want more added buses since what is there isn't affordable.  I don't want fewer lanes of arterial roadway while increased volumes of new highrises and townhouses are approved and tightly compressed into those same areas.
    I want Grenadier Pond reclaimed for people first - and not to read about another Springtime death of a local senior perhaps only trying to view the returning ducks across the masses of overgrown reeds.  A few reed pockets here or there is fine; there are simply way too many.
    Yes, I want to see spending cuts.  No, I don't care when someone who's been taking $100,000 a year while standing by daytime road construction sites, collecting subway fares, driving a bus into and through a red light, tasers a cop-killed man (twice) on a streetcar, beats the hell out of unarmed innocent G20 onlookers or a large mentally challenged man walking to a mall slightly distanced from his mother, tickets parked cars, or otherwise squanders millions(?) upon worthless yet fancy sidewalk trees, loses his/her job.  They've got amassed income, new severance and a better continued lifetime health and pension plan than I'll ever see - let alone their secured employment(s).  I don't care about preserving any of the leading executives of such various troubled concerns neither.

    One political figurehead mayor won't individually solve any of the above issues.  One person can and needs to, however, establish the required tone.  Blame needs to be applied, proportionally to everyone involved, directly and indirectly.  'There there now' status quo gladhanding and/or empty populist rantings isn't at all that same tone.


    Looking to the councillor elections isn't much better.  Almost every incumbant (of a 44-membered* council) is guaranteed for re-election.  Every race has maybe six or eight candidates.  Even where a worthy challenger(s) is present, the natural vote splitting between so many candidates only contributes towards maintaining incumbancy favour.  Where doesn't a GTA mayor and/or councillor hang around for at least a dozen years, if not 20 or 30, unless they step aside?
    Particularly across the larger Greater Toronto Area IMO, most 'independent' voters will feel pre-conditioned into maintaining any leadership as their establishment of 'Canadian Good Governance'.  Fair questioning of any authority is usually regarded as disruptive and therefore is somehow bad.  "Keep Calm and Carry On" - as a democracy example - was a prepared WWII slogan from Britain's expectant Nazi-appeasing local leaders meant to lull its masses into submission.  Many people, nowadays actually cherish that saying.

    * Compared to the federal and provincial parliaments, we would need approx. 616 and 206 elected politicans to match our local representation.  These estimated figures would likely require another doubling if their comparisons are made by voting volumes received.  Jeesh, is it really that big a deal to handle potholes and snow clearing stuff?  Those fewer feds and provs, meanwhile, are sending Canadians into war zones and directing healthcare.

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    Hopeless wish: what computer should I next look towards?

    I've been (idly) revisiting the issue of considering what computer system I should next purchase /wish for.  Earlier this year, I had attempted to install a non-installable disk copy of Windows 98SE with a VMWare virtualization sandbox.
    Without losing myself into an ocean of tech talk, the following is the dilemma as I view it.


    I still prefer the Windows 9x interface and visual design; although I welcomed the XP (2002) advancements - only until Service Pack 2.  9x's style was both less fluffy and not so barebones plain; it was both firm and individually customizable.  (I hate those modern laptop monitors which distort visibility according to differing viewer angles.)

    With XP (9x style) I can easily substitute a variety of small freeware programs to mimic some of the latter Windows 7 and Vista GUI features /gimmicks.  With one such freeware patch, I can also reduce the width of the XP Programbar's text labels to any specified pixel width.

    I also strongly prefer using Office Suites of the 16-bit 1994 era.  Office 2002/03 is okay; except that the visual basic macro language is far too enhanced and 'nitty-gritty' in my opinion.  More and more, I admire the older and steadier filebar /toolbar layouts of the 16-bit era.

    My dream Office Suite would be Lotus Office 5, with an updated read/save allowance of 40+3 character length filenames - excluding all special characters.  (To hell with having to type an opening Equal sign for every number equation; see next item for remapping the Shift-required Equal Sign key to the front row.)

    I demand that I can still plug-in a late 80s 101 keyboard.  Keytweak will freely remap any keyboard button (like a second Alt or Cntl) as its lone missing 'Win key'.  Old keyboards: well spaced, two-colour and non-black(!) visibility of the surrounding extra keys, and firm to the touch.  (I never did get an old-fashioned 2-button joystick to install under XP Professional, btw.)

    Truth is, I have hated just about everything Microsoft (Windows) has released since 2005.
    I hate that the F1 key is Windows' default Help button, as located very close to the Escape key.  Plus, more than once I've needed to search online to re-learn how to re-adjust a laptop's keyboard after accidently hitting both the Caps Lock and Left Shift (or Function key with one or the other) button together - which causes a third character set to become invoked.

    I hate hidey-hole stuff, like needing to remember a dozen or more hotkey combinations and scores of text-less icon image meanings in lieu of the just-mentioned text label fix.  (It's enough already given everything else such as Pin numbers etc. in our vast modernized world.)

    I still love playing a small number of Dos games.  Ditto for an assortment of Windows 3.0 and Windows 3.1 games.  A shoutout to the [real tables simulated] 32-bit Visual Pinball program, however.  An old heavy-duty keyboard comes in handy with pinball and with playing true early 80s arcade games via MAME.  (Some hobbyists create or install specialized real arcade enhanced 'primary keyboard' devices.)  I added a freeware program to my ex-2000s desktop: it finally allowed for a second XP user setting to have a truly independent screen resolution scale - great for keeping those 640*480 layouts from shrinking into 1024*768.

    CD-roms were always the new floppy disks; I would have preferred more (IF safe and reliable) 'CD cracks' in order to not require their physical presence for some games and other programs.  Regardless of the mentioned joystick fail, I still needed to give up on some 90s computer games operated within a 2000s PC since its newer CD drive wouldn't ever stop spinning although no added files at all were being run and/or loaded into memory once their games were 'initiated with the actual CD'.

    I don't want an ever-changing internet brower, etc.  I was fine with using browsers as they were a decade ago; it was the e-mail programs and those ubiquitous Google Ad banners that demanded fussy re-updatings to continue to load properly.  Even online videos were accessible 15 years ago - if major service providers still really hadn't developed enough modem speed and capacity back then.


    When I consider switching to Linux (and the Wine emulator), all I find is the same as always: too many separate o/s variations, too many updates, too many conflicting installation instructions of each type, plus a constant rah-rah suggestion to replace everything that ever ran upon (older) Windows, Microsoft or Not - with an unknown authored collective of too loosely controlled open-source alternatives.  The one time I installed Open Office, my previous desktop was struck by two viruses within 30 hours.  Star Office, IMO, before this wasn't half of its own boasting neither.  Regular Freeware, in contrast, is developed and issued chiefly by individuals; their visions do not become as easily diluted.


    As the computing currently stands: unless I could obtain a NEW 32-bit and better quality laptop and/or desktop [each] with XP Professional, and then a separate and second/third machine (using undetermined) strictly for current online wishes and needs... what future computer device should I consider?  Where can smaller mobile devices fit into this environment?  Abandoning everything that was good before now is not an acceptable option.  Sticking with something that is no longer good isn't acceptable neither.

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    Wednesday, October 15, 2014

    Disappointing Day Treat - times two.

    What's the name of this blog?  Classic Quarters, or .25 as it's later been altered.  I like to collect 'circulation grade' quarters; No, I don't wish to spend throw away $20 on specialty item coins.
    There have been a few gaps, naturally, within my collecting.  It took awhile to find the 2005 Alberta centennial quarter as was obtaining a 2010 (2002/06 Moments) Men's Hockey quarter.
    Yesterday I went to the supermarket - bought two pies, post-holidays, on expired markdown plus a couple of sale flyer items - and my change was 60 cents.  Actually it was a rare same-day second supermarket drop-in; a first choice hadn't had any markdown products.  (Not much going on within the job ads via timed library internet access either.  Not much of a weather week around here, nor had I celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving beyond a plate of turkey-less veggies.)
    A blah day, in a rather blah week, inside of a blah month...
    I received not one but TWO missing quarters within my change of 60 cents.  I received not one but both of these as limited quanity, red colour added, circulation quarters!
    The 2012 (war of 1812) Tecumeeh script covered quarter.
    A 2008 Armistice quarter - to match the 2004 edition.  I had completely overlooked this 2008 quarter - given the ongoing Olympics Series plus that year's regular quarter.
    I've still to find one of the three 2011 Parks Canada quarters (my other two are their non-colour versions, btw), as well as a regular 2014 quarter.
    Spending less cash generally means less change returned which means fewer chances at getting any quarters - let alone a missing one, or two, or an alternate two with colour.
    I may have picked up two 'missing' quarters at a time before - but not where both had limited edition colour.

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    Saturday, October 11, 2014

    'I' suggested Friday Night CFL.

    One thing about Friday's TVO hosted debate* - and a claim asserted by former CFL Commissioner John Tory.
    'I' was the person who had suggested, in writing, that the CFL switch to a successful double-header Friday night schedule.  Back around the latter 1990s I would watch TSN's Off the Record sports talk show.  It had a former player / executive of the CFL as one of its reoccurring (3) guests.  Each time, this man would urge viewers to follow Canadian Football because it was 'Canadian'.  Its brief U.S. expansion was a past era. 
    After a third or fourth appearance, I then e-mailed+ this person  - at their league office - a response.  I wrote that:
    A) I never knew when any of the games were taking place - the league's schedule was then haphazardly arranged throughout the full week.  Outside of the SkyDome being baseball first - there should have been no priority scheduling restrictions to deal with.
    B) Even if I did find out when a next game was - I wouldn't know my home team's players due to its blackout TV rules (doubled with both Toronto and Hamilton's teams as locally affected.)


    Besides knowing the when's and who's, I suggested the Double-Friday schedule because:
    1) Younger men and women would take notice of the CFL being regularly displayed upon screens in every bar and sportsbar and thus choose to go to a few expectably scheduled future games as a beginning of a Friday night's entertainment.
    2) Parents with kids would re-discover the CFL as something they could enjoy together.
    2a) The same goes for younger preteen and teenaged males.
    3) Aging baby boomers were already getting a bit old for 'the club scene', but would still want a destination event.
    4) The U.S. and Cdn. TV and pro sports market was [then] dismal upon Friday evening scheduling.  And this league (especially back then) wasn't going to outdraw the NFL, PGA, etc., during weekend afternoon broadcasts.
    5) Multiple games 'in-one-night/day' generates excitement.  Even if one particular game is dull, more fans will stick with that because of wanting to keep up with any other game(s).  Viewers will tune in early or stick around if given two games, rather than only watching one.  I also suggested [just] considering an occasional third Friday night game - scheduled between the two other half-time stoppages.
    5a) Was it down to eight or nine teams then?  I also suggested keeping a few long-weekend Monday games as a change-up scheduling special  - but to keep the other extra weekly games to Saturdays.



    I likely received a 'thanks for writing' response at the time.  Nothing else.  One added fact is, I've never attended a live CFL game.  Why should I squander my money if modest home ownership (and used car affordability) was/is too often well beyond my insecure employment means?  That's another reason why I believe that the CFL's (plus Blue Jays, Raptors) TV contracts should always provide for a few regular season games (if only during a couple of Summertime long weekends  - fewer at-home viewers, btw) and the one annual championship game upon non-cable /tiered broadcasting signals.
    Paid Subscription (cable/internet) Only, with a less-concise season schedule, has become the CFL's recent years' standard; Canadian University football no longer has any TV contract  - here within Ontario.
    Even nowadays, I can watch occasional New York Yankees baseball games as carried by secondary U.S. broadcast stations.  Every major (U.S. based) pro league still places weekend games upon the main U.S. networks while each TV group now operates its own all-sport cable channel(s).  Although big city and winning teams dominate, their schedulers ensure that every league team will get some amount of broadcast-level inclusion - except of course for our non-U.S. located teams.


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    * extra Fri. Oct. 10th Toronto Mayoral Debate(s) note:
    I also listened to a two-hour midday (and same day) Friday debate between the three main challengers hosted by Zoomer radio and its TV channel.  Larger Cdn. media groups seemingly only reported about the other non-televised Friday debate where no-name candidate Ari Goldkind was uninvited and then re-invited as according to conflicting main candidate responses of the very night beforehand.
    Shame upon the black community's local organizers of that 'inner-city issues' debate for refusing to invite a black female mayoral candidate instead of... Goldkind (again).  I agree with her on-stage protest.

    + Sure, I can assume that other people independently had the same idea.  However, I did write to the CFL's headquarters (directly to a regular guest of TSN's Off the Record) about switching to Friday Night doubleheader football.
    Ditto for all of those of bike path distance/direction markers added in 2008/09.  'I as CQ' wrote a series of public blog posts about that very issue AND describing approximately TWENTY local bike paths, during May of 2006.  I received zero correspondence (nor any basic level civic job enquires).  Back in 2006, only one such route (mid-Scarborough) had any path markers - and those were measured by mile fractions; Canada switched to the Metric system in 1976.  A few of these new marker posts now differ by only 50 metres.

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    Wednesday, October 08, 2014

    Real confidence for Toronto's future?

    Funny that it wasn't our leading media reporters who've reported on John Tory's executive involvement with a $20 Billion dollar bankruptcy for Charter Communications. Instead, CP24's Stephen LeDrew offered Tory a fawning interview of Tory and his spouse on Tuesday, during the aftermath of Monday's anti-semite post-debate quote. It felt like watching Question Period host Robert Fife's standard gushing over 3rd-party leader Justin Trudeau during that weekend program's opening quarter hour.

    Now we have a 'fiscal conservative' frontrunner candidate that:
    worked in a badly failed federal campaign targetting PM Jean Chretien's Polio-damaged facial features,
    led Rogers Communications during its negative billing era (hired by his godfather, Ted Rogers Jr.),
    (Rogers around this timeframe, had also bought - via a short-term U.S. based 2nd owner - Ontario's half-billion dollar, taxpayer created, SkyDome stadium for a pittance.)
    never played the game but was the CFL's top executive,
    and was a multi-year board member and, more directly, was part of an audit oversight committee for a mega-sized U.S. company that went bankrupt.

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    Doug Ford makes a few good points.

    I've already written of my intention to vote for John Tory.  On the transit issue, Tory is my far and away favourite mayoral candidate.  Doug Ford isn't Rob, but there's enough of a public record, of Doug's own prior statements working against him.
    Olivia who?  Having an access to the Rogers Community TV channel, I watched an earlier 'top-three' candidate debate and she wilted like a palm tree in the Yukon.  She's no Hurricane Hazel (next door Mississauga's Mayor - stepping aside... at age 93).  Since then, Chow's polling numbers have languished and members of the Toronto area's Chinese-Canadian political community jointly endorsed John Tory.
    However, I needed to read a Sun Media news report to find out "what" John Tory had said about Doug Ford, earlier this week.  Apparently our entire local political scene had no idea that* Ford's wife is Jewish 'of Jewish heritage'.  A councillor with a significant municipal role and now a mayoral candidate.  Tory, a former political talk radio host publicly tossed the 'anti-semite' label against Ford - after a four candidates' debate.
    So who is this 'fourth' candidate?  There is still no one else being reported as having any measurable amount of voting support.  In a recalling of 1992's independent U.S. presidental hopeful Ross Perot's vice president nominee: Who is he and Why is he now a consistent part of this final month's various debates?
    Ari Goldkind simply has no business being (singularly) included within any of these mayoral debates.  I only first noticed his presence at an Arts/TIFF hosted debate.  His time - and equally that of a dozen other no-names was two to six months ago, perhaps in an opening series of also-ran candidates' debates.

    Why is he there (now)?
    IMO, it is because either Olivia Chow's campaign team, or front-runner John Tory's supporters - wants their major debates' risk defused.  Once any debate moves away from the one/two on one challenge format, it almost always waters down into a snoozefest of safe, pat, ineffective(!), roundtable statements - cut short by time and/or selected moderators.
    Having over 40 debates and an eight month long official campaign - except that lawn signs are permitted only during the last 25 days - is another such impedment tactic.  Few serious challengers can A) endure such a lengthy unpaid campaign duration, B) appear as credible versus those who are financed to sign up early on, and C) achieve name recognition status with display signs allowed for less than only one month - especially given the facts of A) and B).

    This kind of secretative manipulation of our political process is exactly why I, and many other potential voters, may switch or withhold our own voting intentions.

    *Original quote, "Matter of fact, my wife is Jewish, her mother is Jewish".  Tuesday evening's media scrum quote is that both are of non-Jewish faith / Jewish heritage only, his wife's maternal grandparents were European Jews.  This is one more example of the Ford brothers' lousy and inaccurate leadership style of a 100% overstatement later followed  - once challenged - by a restatement.

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    60% Express Buses for Toronto!

    Yes, I've written about wanting the Island Airport. Both as RESITUATED to the manmade (outer) Leslie Street Spit - with a built-in direct east waterfront streetcar route to Union Station, plus renamed for a former black deputy mayor - instead of its already in use naming honour.  (What do you think any new island runway extension will be built upon?)
    Yes, I've written about re-opening public washrooms at Islington Station's now mostly inter-city transfer point after a... 35 years' closure - With the TTC / Mississauga fare gates moved along.
    Yes, I've written about creating a TTC rail (freight line) corridor transit route diagonally from Malvern through new 401/Kennedy and DVP/Wynford Drive park n' ride locations and across to both Summerhill and Dupont's lesser volumed midtown subway stations.  An iconic Wynford property is now home to a grand Mosque religious building instead. 
    I've made a number of ignored and/or dismissed transit suggestions over the years here.
    This is another transit wish idea:

    Switch 50-60% of the buses along many of Toronto's main arterial roads to re-painted Express Buses.  So, if red buses run five or six times an hour along Dufferin (north of Bloor St. for example), switch three of those existing buses per hour to non-red Express Stops only.  Mississauga has had a very good success with its new Express bus fleet.  Their twin bus fleets are either blue or orange which has made identification much clearer than espying an extra single letter as attached or not to every passing bus'es common front route header.
    Modern Commuters need to get from A to M/N and A to Y/Z, a lot more so than A to B/C/D/E/F/G/H, etc.  And to travel primarily as such, both more reliably and quickly.  Too many local buses are based upon the outdated latter concept.

    What expected good will added future buses become, where they are only used to continue along at a snail's pace?  Similar to my former Malvern to Dupont idea of a decade ago, this 50/60 percent Express Route Switch idea can be done here, now, and for just the basic expenses of 'some cans of non-red paint and a few extra locally hired hands'.

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    Monday, October 06, 2014

    How do library books become Obsolete?

    I listened to a news item about a Scarborough primary grades' school this morning.  They are claiming to have an inadequate library and were pursuing a corporate donation assistance contest from Ontario's only significant, and legally permitted to operate, book retailing chain, Indigo /Chapters.
    Note that this 'problem' doesn't include the school's text books supply.  They currently have a shortage of reading books upon their library shelves.
    However...
    Included within the news reporting was the fact that this school library had thrown out 4,000 books due to damage and obsolescence.  For a grade school that serves approximately 200 students, that is a purge of 20(!) reading books per student.

    A) Were their students never reprimanded for junking so many books?  It is not as though these suburban kids are living in the far north, trudging themselves kilometres to school through rough terrain and weather every day.

    B) What makes a child's reading book obsolete?  How many encyclopedia volumes could have been included in this overall total of... 4,000?  How critical is it that a grade school report on, say, frogs, elephants, or the number of provinces within Canada, has an immediately up-to-date source material?

    C) Hadn't this school overseen their own library items - as an ongoing practice of upkeep?  Wouldn't a purge of just 50 or 100 books a year have brought about the prior two questions?

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    Sunday, October 05, 2014

    Not-awesome #878

    # 878.
    Blurry Ink (when writing).
    Apparently I have awkward handwriting.  I grip the pen or pencil and I slide the outside of my clutched hand directly across the paper's surface.
    With some pens, especially after any period of usage, their ink cartridges no longer flow as easily.  As I motion to write a second line, my hand then returns and will slide back over across the just written first line.
    For simple greeting card signings, I leave these standing open for quite awhile.  To dry properly.  Then I will flatten them into their envelopes.
    Blurry Ink (when writing), not-awesome.

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    Tuesday, September 30, 2014

    World's largest [Cdn.] Six-pack - in the USA.

    Buffalo, New York, now boasts of a former silo structure painted like a Labatts Blue six-pack of beer cans.  Readers here may recall that I've previously written about the now-extinguished-in-Canada former top-selling national brew brand.
    Outside of its U.S. border town success, I still haven't seen nor heard of this 100(?), 150(?), 175(?), year-old company in years.  Earlier this month, I noticed that the London, Ontario, hockey arena was now labelled for Budweiser - just like with the local Rogers Cent're' stadium.

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    Could Hong Kong takeover Toronto's political elections?

    Earlier this year, I read another blogger's report that mayoral candidate Olivia Chow had issued a public request, within Hong Kong, for that city's dual-nationality citizens to vote for her.  She's Chinese-Canadian, btw.  Later on, she and her experienced campaign team would allege that a (white male) front runner challenger was racist based only upon his wide ranging Toronto transit plan not reaching directly into every single 'neighbourhood' of this city.  "Faith-based" is also a transit funding buzzword she's been using in order to disparage her main opponent.
    Now the people of Hong Kong are protesting against their own city's political environment being suppressed by China's Communist party controllers.  There are mass demonstrations currently taking place on their streets.
    Typically for any local election, Canadian voting turnout percentages are... lowish.  This time around, Toronto's municipal existence has taken on a worldwide awareness.
    Are (formerly British Commonwealth) Hong Kong voters going to tune-out an invited appeal to vote, (particularly) for a Chinese-Canadian Woman, at a major North American / free Commonwealth city?  This while they are - at the same time - protesting in the streets for their own local voting freedoms?
    Or might these voters make use of Toronto's concurrent elections merely as a demonstration platform - against their own national clampdowns?
    I couldn't guess the scale of eligible Overseas dual-voters in Hong Kong.  I will guess that since a front runner candidate, here, is now consistently polling with a vibrant lead, that the actual local voting (overall) may drop off versus if an expectation of a closer race was the case.

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    Sunday, September 28, 2014

    Not-awesome #879

    # 879.
    Freeflight 'Young Spazzes'.
    Whatever happened to telling a kid, "to knock it off already"?
    The world appears to be full of youth, and former youth, who run about only as blithe runabouts.  I'm sorry but no, we cannot ALL have a very special medical condition.  And even then... "calm yourself!"
    Too often I feel sorry for those freeflight spazzes, and both angered and embarassed for their parents, teachers, etc.  I believe that people become unwittingly conditioned into being irresponsible and utterly self-absorbed.  It is why most of the western world cannot even recognize its shared and ignored flaw of chronic and immense public debt.  And why our overall culture has relentlessly devolved into communal juvenileness.
    Freeflight 'Young Spazzes', not-awesome.

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    Thursday, September 25, 2014

    S. Ontario football's Bloody Bounced Deal.

    The Argos are expected to announce a new stadium butchering deal with TFC's artificial turf 'National' soccer stadium at the CNE.  IMO, they should have developed a football only natural grass stadium near Downsview (and the 401 highway) to be shared between both York Univ., the Univ. of T.O., and possibly Ryerson University.
    More football fans, regionally, probably live outside of the downtown core and 416 metro zone.  A tailored and shared stadium would have also benefitted post-secondary media production and provided a quality broadcasters' training ground for variety of Canadian industry talents and occupations.  Instead, Ontario's University Football has no TV sports deal for the 2014 season.  Keep working Dick Beddoes, I mean, Ron McLean and Dave Hodge!
    We had our chance when the PanAm Games were being planned a few years ago.

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    Wednesday, September 24, 2014

    A Bloody Non-deal.

    The Toronto Blue Jays are now mathematically out of the baseball playoff chase.  At the two months' point of their season they had been at a .600 winning percentage level.  Now they again... near a 50/50 record.  They never seem to risk bottoming out in order to re-build as a future winning team.
    So now I am cheering for the Kansas City Royals to make their long awaited season playoffs return.  Why not?
    I enjoyed, however, the music selections both the Blue Jays and Toronto's soccer team had used during their pre-season promotional ads.  It was TFC which catchphrased, "It's a bloody big deal."
    At least I was able to watch a view New York Yankees games upon free over-the-air television this season; the had changed local broadcasters from Buffalo, NY in 2014.  Maybe New York City is simply a lesser deal than Toronto, sportswise, lol.

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    Tuesday, September 23, 2014

    I want a Blackberry Passport.

    Actually, I'd really rather have a job at Blackberry, etc.  (Pushing a simple broom or any back office pile of paper would be very nice.)
    Blackberry is issuing a new smartphone this week, called Passport.  From its appearance this new device's screen size is, naturally, larger and with a longer battery life.  One key feature of the new screen display is that it is more square and thus allows for wider text lines than most smartphones.
    Still I've never owned or used any mobile phone.  Something like this might be feasible as a carriable e-reader, games, video and music player though.  And security.  There's been a variety of phones, tablets, notebooks etc. over the past few years - each trying to become that killer app / hardware device of mobility computing.


    -------------
    Bonus topic: How 'old' is your phone?
    One of the things I've noticed, as a non-user of consumer smart phones, is that it seems like a bunch of stuff that runs upon these devices is childishly presented.  Christ, I like having a bit of fun but, yeah, there's a range between mimicing a four or five year-old's activity preference versus being so dull and stuffy.  There is a valuable youth market to target, but when I was 12 or 27 I hadn't wished to be two or seven.
    When a number of computing devices now call themselves X-3 or X-5, rather than anointing a 'next generation', these labels could also be descriptive of the devices' own 'residual (self) ages' - to use a Matrix film reference.

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    Only a 72-hour Chemotherapy wait for Toronto's Mayor?

    Of course I wish for Rob Ford to get well!  Only last week it was disclosed that he had a cancerous tumour.
    However...
    How does any Ontario citizen get a) an immediate hospital check, and b) a scheduled 'Chemo' treatment within mere days.  My elderly dad got cancer last year.  Four months of occasional introduction and testing visits would precede his radiation course.  It became eight months between his very first visit and his surgery.  (When the surgeon temporarily took ill, my dad's appointment was moved back one month - rather than just one or two weeks with other patients similarly rescheduled.)
    Mayor Ford got immediate, Canadian, publicly funded cancer care.
    Belinda Stonach went to the U.S. when she fought cancer.  Premier Danny Williams... went to the U.S. likewise.  Both were actively political, well-known within Canada, and wealthy.  Both were criticized for side-stepping our wait-listed public healthcare system.
    Did Mayor Ford's international celebrity status cause him to receive an immediate transfer between two Toronto hospitals AND his quickly scheduled, Ontario-sourced, cancer treatment?
    Jeesh, I've read of two different young Whitby boys who each needed their families to beg for U.S. eye surgery and another GTA girl that waited through last Spring's provincial election before her privately paid medicine would be approved within our public and equalized healthcare coverage.

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    Please Murder Perry Mason.

    How would you wish to counter schedule against a bigger network(s) season premiere night such as Monday's (using Canada's CTV as an example)?
    Besides the Mister Peepers / Our Miss Brooks seven o'clock hour, Throwback TV aired an old TV movie, 'Please Murder Me' starring Raymond Burr as a criminal lawyer and Angela Lansbury as his good buddy's wife. Yup, it was a youthful 'Perry Mason and Jessica Fletcher' versus the 8 p.m. debut of... Gotham. Plus this TV movie was broadcast commercial free!
    Once it finished at 9:15 p.m., Throwback followed this with another comedic series (The Adventures of Hirim Holliday, 1956 / NBC) that again starred the same lead actor of Mister Peepers, Wally Cox. The episode included its original introductory sponser, Jello Pudding and Pie Filling. As well as a few modern commercials, an episode matching classic ad for Sanka Coffee was singularly lined up during the broadcast's final commercial break.
    Elsewhere for Monday night, I switched at 7:30 p.m. to Cozi TV (56.1) for an episode of Lassie. TCT-Kids (26.33) had a 1942 Billy the Kid b-movie at 9:00 p.m. starring Buster Crabbe and Al 'Fuzzy' St. John. Cozi TV had MacMillan and Wife upon its primetime Monday schedule (which has replaced its Monday night Summer program of McCloud, btw). Preceding Mister Peepers, both Throwback and Cozi have a few other B&W era sitcoms (and the British drama, Danger Man) between 5 and 7 o'clock.
    A few readers may wonder why I'm not gushing about MeTV (67.1)? Okay, they currently have two Raymond Burr series scheduled during weekday late nights, Perry Mason and Ironside. The Bob Newhart Show is their Monday night sitcom for 10:00 p.m. 'Newcomer' CHiPs now ends a weekday afternoon rescue action programming block at 6:00 p.m.

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    Myst** Hugh Garner

    I discovered another Canadian Mystery Fiction writer recently.  Then I googled for information and found his Wikipedia page.  Hugh Garner had died one year after the publication of his 1978 novel, Murder has your Number.
    An ex-Brit, he had actually moved to Toronto, Canada when he was only six years old.

    (Sometimes it depends upon who's writing the criticism.)
    Online Article Links:
    From McMaster University, The One [Cdn.] Man Trade Union of Publishing.
    And from 'The Greatest Literature of all-time website', The tough guy of Canadian Letters.

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    Monday, September 22, 2014

    TV's original Sheldon Cooper

    Throwback TV (ch 56.2 from Buffalo, NY) has yet another notable 'golden oldie' sitcom of the 1950s.  Mister Peepers is about a nerdy and awkward adult male working at a school.  Fun stuff.
    So far it been aired intermittently at 7:00 p.m. during weekdays - cycled with an unfortunately (very) crappy sitcom, The Mickey Rooney Show aka Hey Mulligan!  At 7:30 p.m., however, Our Miss Brooks - another teacher / workplace sitcom  - follows.
    I would rather watch sitcoms such as Mister Peepers and The Life of Riley than most of the so-called current hit sitcoms.  The last time I was suckered into awaiting The Big Bang Theory's season opener, it advertised a new girlfriend for Sheldon, but spent most of the episode dealing instead with one of his pals having a masturbation mishap with a robotic arm machine.

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    Sunday, September 21, 2014

    Not-awesome #880

    # 880.
    Channel system Line-ups when Unavailable(s) are not cleared away.
    My $60 over-the-air television convertor box has a nice feature.  After scanning (which I don't like - it should be automatically tuned towards standard frequency usages, like its former analog predecessor) the built-in channel guide allows for individual available channels to be 'skipped'.  I can still directly key-in their number if wished.
    Then I find myself at other people's tv sets.  70 or 500 channels and yet many remain as unsubscribed.  Which is fine.  Except that every channel still forcibly shows up within the congested programming guide(s).
    That might be a nice show - unavailable.
    This might be a nice show - unavailable.
    You get the idea.
    And this N.A. doesn't include selectively cutting down unwanted yet paid-by-package channels from the guide and also the next-in-line surfing buttons.  Smart TVs anyone?
    Channel system Line-ups when Unavailable(s) are not cleared away, not-awesome.

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    Friday, September 19, 2014

    England is lucky.

    Scotland has voted against national independence.  Perhaps typical of my own overseas and partially English ancestry, I have that default preference of always standing by my 'origin' country.  During the past while, I started questioning the ongoing validity of such a loyalty.
    The truth is, England is not the same as it used to be.  Scotland however, IMO, had nothing really to gain beyond more a localized governance of... small beer issues.  I cannot identify any other global region which is already as widely recognized as being of its own nationalhood, than Scotland.  I know of Scotland's own flag, its history, its sports, its arts, and its general character, far more readily than those of many of the world's standalone nations.  By the same recall, I have some trouble recognizing modern 'England, with Wales and/or Northern Ireland' as either "Great" Britain or the "United" Kingdom.
    As an 'english' Canadian [versus its french-Canadien side],  I have a very split opinion of 'independence'.  I want our geography of Canada to remain 100% intact.  Then again, decades of too much political and taxation bending over to Quebec's (and a bit of the Maritimes') whinings have strained that resolve.  I equally want Canada to remain 100% 90% apart from the United States of America.
    Canada's under-fielded corporation climate sure tests my own citizenship loyalty though.  Any U.S. citizen and new immigrant may freely transfer across an abundance of other urban cities, companies, states, rural heartland districts, and small business opportunities.  Americans are able to more readily 're-invent' themselves.  We have just six chartered banks instead of hundreds (as in the U.S.) for example, and individual poverty exists with a truer risk of freezing to death within most areas of Canada.  Our smaller fishbowl-like scale of business will protect and nuture at first, but later on cripples its required(!) hunger and competitive drive.
    I don't know the U.K.'s and Scotland's on-the-ground specifics, but I consider that England is a little more "Better together" than with Scotland's own case.  Beneficially for both, that case of uncertainty is now good and closed.  All oars can resume rowing into the same direction.  With our never-endumness, modern Canada seems to need to 'stand on guard' too repetitiously against itself.

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    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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