Friday, July 01, 2005

Injury and respite. No insults though...

Am I old? When is it ok to start feeling over the hill? I have recently felt a justification to the lament that my time on this earth, in this mortal coil, is finite.

One fine Friday I hauled bushel boxes of books up a short flight of stairs. I injured my back and by the evening was hobbling around, bent forward, taxing Bree's courageous female sterength to get me back safely to our new apartment from the fine Robson Street Indian restaurant where we had dined.

Oh the humanity. The next morning I had a chiropractor appointment. This helped mostly for the education. The pain relief lasted approximately three hours. I had a full week away from work, doped up on on drugs and on my back with a computer on my belly.

Daytime TV is super fun but makes me feel guilty. Judge Judy, Joe Brown and Milian are all just too addictive. Why or why did I not post to The Breach? Oh well.

A week later I feel human and go back to work with a guilt-on for the boss. A week later I seek respite.

La Connor, WA.

A perfect place. American and full of flag and glory even out of the Fourth of July weekend, it is still blue state enough so I feel safe amongst the inhabitants. Bree and Joss (sister) are with me in my parents' vacant home. Wine. Books. Conversation.

Respite.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I Dream of Work

Almost every night I have a dream. I have many of them really and they weave and morph and are episodic or indistinguishable. It is all really very chaotic. Some say they do not remember their dreams at all and by their downcast auras I feel lucky to remember what I do.

I have recurring dreams that I have just often enough to recognize eventually. When I do clue in in dreamland I take control of my dream and usually this signifies the last time the dream reoccours.

I remember one dream when I was a bus boy at a 'boathouse' restaurant. It had a lot of windows overlooking a river. The dream had me working on a busy night, trying to affect the pretension that my fellow co-workers had. Bob is your uncle. Cessna plane burst through the window of the dining room causing havoc and misery. I was aghast.

I have recently had another work dream. I am sitting in a restaraurant. The waiter asked what I wanted to eat. I answered "I will have a Newport Solid fuel heater"
The waiter did not bat an eye and scurried off to frtch my order.

I challenge you all. Eat a Newport Solid fuel heater. This is of course a product we make at work.

Well, comment. Do you have a work dream.

It is a beautiful day in the neighbourhood

There is this girl see, and she is full of these insatiable ideas that just come to fruition like that! 'The Bree' has struck again and dazzled us all with her creative acumen and talent for bringing diverse minds together on a single product.

Rise! Rise and Ave to The Neighbourhood! This is a free flowing fiction blog where a number of writers come together and work out characters and stories in episodes. They merge, they weave. Characters are created and I have a feeling one will be destroyed. From the shrinking violet next door, the steely cop, the high powered executive or the recent immigrant, this blog has them all folks.

Kudos to the Bree and all power to the Neighbourhood.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Paper Trading

Well,

I am involved in a newly formed investment club. We are all learning the facinating and mind numbingly exciting world of financial planning and investments. One of our excercised this month is to pick a stock on the Toronto Stock exchange and buy $1000.00 of imaginary stock. We hold the stock until the friday before our next meeting when we sell and discuss.

I have chosen to buy $1000.00 of Stelco stock STE.A. I do not pretend to know if it will go up or down but I am interested in the continental steel supply and the factors of demand of base metals, (a hobby really, something for my spare time) and so I thought I would follow it.

I 'share' this all with you.

$1000.00 at 1.650 per share at close May 24 2005

606 shares of STE.A. held until June 12.

I will let you know how it does.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Intelligent Design

My dad just asked me about intelligent design in an email. He is a probing sort and he knows me like a son so he knew what he might expect. I am no expert on science or religion but I have the following to say on the matter and this is also the answer to my father.

From what I have seen or heard, Intelligent Design is mostly focused on the biomechanics of life, mutation, cells, adaptivity and so on. As far as the mind or thought goes I believe the intelligent design theory tries to construct the natural world around us in such a way that it demands the need for a Creator. This would then allow for the possibility that the creator had supernaturally endowed humanity with the unique ability to have complex thoughts and emotions and a soul.

Allowing for this special relationship between humanity and Creator is the end goal of the theory, and the biomechanics of 'scripted evolution' and 'predetermined adaptivity' is just a way of getting around all of the accepted science of cellular biology and modern evolutionary theory. Modern science, not needing to justify an end goal in this way, simply records and categorizes empirical facts regardless of the overall impression that is achieved.

The amalgam of these facts is decontested as a theory. This theory is a working model that explains and agrees with all of the facts noted thus far. New facts that are recorded or discovered are integrated into the existing theory as far as is possible and to the extent that this is impossible, the theory is modified. If this happens often or a set of facts shatters the pre-existing theory, a new theory must be worked out. This process is what philosopher Thomas Kuhn coined as a 'paradigm shift'. This can all happen because true science has no overarching goal that is so defining that it cannot be tossed aside in the face of the facts. It is the facts themselves that are the goal. It is truth itself that is the end.

Religion, rather than having a 'paradigm shift' in the face of new facts, seeks to re-record the observable facts or manipulate the facts in such a way that they meet the needs of the religious-theory's goals (i.e. that there is a special relationship between humanity and a creator). The theory or the re-messaging of the facts as Intelligent Design can only be seen as means to an end to the religious philosopher/scientist. The end or goal is to make an allowance for or assert a need for god in scientific theory.

The business about facts, theory and the adaptiveness of theory to facts is in some ways like statistics. The more facts you have that have to agree with the modern theory, the more likely the theory is valid or useful. Early scientific theories were especially susceptible to being over thrown because each new fact dramatically changed the nature of the population of facts. As a constant, we have seen since the beginning of recorded history that each new fact leads us further away from

a) the need for a creator in the explanation of the world and,
b)the possibility that any supernatural, unrecorded creator or etc. exists in the first place.

The same thinking that leads to discounting the beliefs of astrologers and the séance must lead us against the belief in vampires, unicorns, Mithras, Zeus, Isis, Odin, Baldur, and the Judeo/Christian/Muslim God. The successes of the just mentioned cultural phenomenon have been directly proportional to the willingness or ability of their host cultures to cling to them. Each face the friction of revealed fact and that friction is directly proportional to the amount of collective self-delusion that the culture has to endure to keep the superstition. The willingness to believe in unicorns was not equal to or greater than the amount of friction (through revealed fact) that the host culture encountered. In the light of sophisticated science, the level of self-delusion that allows many to cling to a monotheism (of choice) is astounding and yet we see anecdotally, that the cultures where these views are kept best are perhaps the most self-deluded.

I clam that this is an unsustainable situation and that the cultural willingness to be self deluded will be less than the amount required to over come the friction of belief. Intelligent design is an effort to mitigate the friction of observable fact on the chosen goal of God having a place in credible thought. The substance of intelligent design though is just a different self-delusion. This transference of incredulity though is useful for the theist though because it allows the responsibility of deceit and the self-delusion to rest on a select group of pseudo scientist/philosophers. The masses are relieved of their self-delusion as the friction of belief has been mitigated by a new set of 'facts'.


Agree?

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Bush


Bush, originally uploaded by Will_Tom.

In one of those episodes where men in a back room were not telling the president what to say in public through a microphone, Bush reacted to embarrasing photos of Saddam in US custody.

Under a headline in the Vancouver Sun May 21, 2005: "U.S. President...dosen't believe that humiliating photos of the former Iraqi leader in his prison cell could inflame anti-American violence" President George Bush is quoted saying of Islam: "I think they are inspired by an idiology that is so backwards and barbaric that it's hard for many in the western world to comprehend how they think."
I thought he wanted to discourage terrorism.

Friday, May 20, 2005

A true representative


Chuck, originally uploaded by Will_Tom.

Regardless of your views on the government or if it should have fallen or not, Chuck Cadman's votes for the budget bills (and thus save the government from non-confidence) was a true reflection of what an MP should be: beholden to the collective will of his constituents.

Chuck's druthers would have had him vote aging the Liberal government. He was elected as an Alliance MP before running as an independent (and winning handily) in his North Surrey riding. After hearing the 'please no election' views of his community, he voted against his own wishes and for his party. His party is the people.

This is representative democracy and it is behavior I applaud.

I once mused about forming a party called the United independents that would be an amalgam of independent candidates only for the purposes of party status, logistics and pooled funding. Each member would be held to a common and public code of conduct and method of operation but the salient feature would be that each vote the United Ind. MP made in the house would be to the stated and public will of his/her constituents according to a scientific sample of the voter's list of that riding.

A vote is scheduled. The riding office presents unbiased views for and against. The voters of the riding submit their views on that vote. The threshold of statistical validity is passed (or not) and the MP votes according to the mandate of his/her public. In the event of an indeterminate riding result the MP can draw on the typical history of the riding and or the personal views of the MP.

This could be achieved in person at the office or in malls town squares or via the web or by phone or fax. Whatever. A riding that has this system would quickly grow accustomed to it.

On the campaign trail, what voter would not like to hear "I will be your representative. I will vote how you tell me."

This breaks down only if the United independents are asked to form government.

Well, there are pitfalls and false logic sure but it it is a new idea to me.

Answer the question: would you vote for a canditate running under the above stated mandate?

Chain Gang

I don't believe you people! Foisting about pithy memes by subtle persuasion or pernicious peer pressure. Pha!

And getting my girlfriend in on it too. My standard "fie upon you and your chain meme" must needs be humbled and
so I
relent..


THREE NAMES YOU GO BY:
Will
William
Sir

THREE SCREEN NAMES YOU HAVE HAD:
Bill Chapman
Vladislav
Dickinson

THREE PHYSICAL THINGS YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF:
beard
jaw
legs

THREE PHYSICAL THINGS YOU DON'T LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF:
scar on lip and back of skull
scar on arms
scar on chest and belly
(arrh maties, shiver me timbers)

THREE PARTS OF YOUR HERITAGE:
English
Norwegian
nil

THREE THINGS THAT SCARE YOU:
Stephen Harper
American political expression
disease


THREE OF YOUR EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS:
Bree
The Boy
News

THREE THINGS YOU ARE WEARING RIGHT NOW:
Oxford cloth butten-down blue with white plaid
dark blue close knit wool sweater
Blue Jeans

THREE THINGS YOU WANT IN A RELATIONSHIP:
Bree
Briana
Little Brianas

TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE (in no particular order):
I'm not that serious or conservative once you get to know me
I have an acute sense of comedic timing
I love old history books

THREE PHYSICAL THINGS ABOUT THE SAME SEX THAT APPEAL TO YOU:
gravitias
Outdoors look
short hair
Why the same sex?
My answers for the opposite sex would differ from those above stated.

THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO REALLY BADLY RIGHT NOW:
wine
Stop writing this infernal post. Zounds!, Will this ever end?What kind of hell spawn first started this any way? My will be done he'd be clapped in irons and flayed with the cat. I'd......
Boat

THREE CAREERS YOU'RE CONSIDERING:
First Sea Lord of the Admiralty
Hurricane Pilot in WW2
Roman Consul for Iberia

THREE PLACES YOU WANT TO GO ON VACATION:
Second Punic War
Bruges
Boat

THREE KID'S NAMES YOU LIKE:
Nora
William
Evan

THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE:
Tallship
Question Period
Be consulted on a matter of state by the Queen

THREE PEOPLE WHO HAVE TO TAKE THIS QUIZ NOW:
Paul Martin
Keith Boag
Evan Solomon

Housekeeping

Hello all,

Just a note that the settings have been changed and that everyone can now comment on my Blogger Blog even if you do not have a blogger account.

Thanks

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Hey Look! The Queen!


Queen 2, originally uploaded by Will_Tom.

HRH Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith is in Canada just now.

I have a question for all of you. If the government falls while she is in the country, does the PM have to ask the Gov.Gen to dissolve Parliament and call an election or does the PM go straight to the well-spring and ask HRH?

Comments please.

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul


Peter to Paul, originally uploaded by Will_Tom.

Whoa,
Is this fun or what? British Columbia woke up to an election day and the best bit of gossip fodder we have, as Canadians, had for a while. It has everything folks: love, betrayal, power, politics, ambition, animosity, intolerance. Ohhh yes! I am so glad to wake up in the morning these days. With politics like this "Canadian Idol" will have about as much staying power as a bottle of Keith's at a Cape Breton kitchen party.

George Stromboulopoulous of CBC's hip news show "The Hour" quipped that the Liberal Party "robbed Peter to pay Paul." George's pith-ishness aside, this weeks events have had me glued to the national media.

Ms. Stronach (you will find no tasteless, bigoted epithets here) who has helped represent the side of the Conservatives I could conceivably vote for (i.e. progressive, Clark, Brison et al)has been seen as increasingly uncomfortable under the shadow of Mordor. (Present epithets excluded). She is in the game for the big prizes to be sure. Why else leave a successful business career? Sidelined and in demand, she made the leap, crossed the floor and was Liberalized.

She has left behind a caucus that included her love interest Peter MacKay and the defection seems to be from him as well as the party. Heartache, steely nerves, unrequited..., well I go on.

What is plain is that after his CBC interview on his Pa's potato farm, the scruffled, bruised soul of Peter MacKay confirmed him as Canada's most eligible bachelor in the hearts of news junkettes nationwide. Gilbert Blythe has nothing on PEI Pete.

Some cite ambition, avarice and opportunism as leading factor for Stronach and while I agree, I do not condemn her for it. She did not do this because it was the easy thing to do. Consider:

1)Stephen Harper and the Alliance are not the kind of Tories Belinda naturally represents.
2)As an Ontarian and closer to Quebec than the "Western Aliens" in her party, Belinda is less likely to be subsumed by the parochialism that allows Harper to truck with the Bloc.
3)She came the this game to play not to benchwarm. Leaving Magna to be under the thumb of Mr.Godsrighteousfury is not what she signed up for.
4)We knew she was a Liberal all along. C'mon. You knew it too.

Well, in the USA they make politicians from their celebrities (Ventura, Gubernator, Reagan). In Canada the Good, we make celebrities of our politicians.

I love May sweeps.