Monday, June 18, 2007

Birthday Wishes to famous old people who read my blog probably.

While its still June 18th, I'd like to wish Roger Ebert happy birthday. Hope you get better soon, so I can tolerate watching your TV show. Richard Roeper is just such a slimy guy.

(It is also Isabella Rossellini and Carol Kane's birthdays, so happy birthday to them too.)

It is also Paul McCartney's birthday. Paul, in your honour, I will eat three double hamburgers well done, you anti seal clubbing vegan authoritarian jerkoff who was always the least talented beatle..

Yes, I actually believe people read my blog. Hell I google my name, why wouldn't they.

I think McCartney is actually 65 now, which is interesting because I think one of their songs references that age. The rest are only freedom 55.

I don't wanna sound like a queer or nothin but..

RAINBOWS!!!!!!

This rainbow picture was taken today near my place. I did an auto-adjust in Krita (photoshop like program for Linux) which ended up making it brighter.


By contrast (pun intended) this one, with auto-contrast, turned all black and evil and pink-floydy. Still, it has personality. Here is the original.

Kinda funny how the auto-contrast works. I think both look kinda neat. Didn't really want to mess with the pics too much. Heres a double rainbow! .. well, if you can see it. It's very faint.


And Finally, I swear this is real. I saw a freakin Unicorn for a split second and cought it on Camera. behold!
Prove to me that's a fraud. It was right there! OK, Maybe I may have used some effects in Krita to make the unicorn more obvious, the mylittleponyization tool, but it was only to add to what was already there! I'm not mad. Anyways, hope you enjoyed the Rainbow pics. If you have become diabetic as a result of viewing these overly saccharine pictures, I absolve myself of all responsibility.

If you would like to learn more about Rainbows, or Unicorns, or My Little Pony, consult Wikipedia, or your local library!

Finally, a bunch of clips from the movie Orgazmo via Youtube.

Buy it on DVD!

(don't click on the youtube thing if you're under 18, because you wouldn't understand the complex humour, and also you're underage, you little punks. Though its probably not obscene..)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fucking goddamnit, Mayor of Winnipeg Sam Katz

I, for some reason, live in a city run by dimwits. I could have moved to Vancouver, or Calgary, or Toronto, at any point, but like an idiot, I decided to stick around in hopes that the people in charge aren't self delusional bastards who make their fortunes on the backs of taxpayers. Or at least, not so blatantly so.

Last election (for mayor of the city of Winnipeg), Sam Katz, the incumbent, promised WI-FI access at the local libraries. WOW. I was surprised, wi-fi access at a local library.. how ... progressive! Well, not really, considering the fact that most major cities in North America generally offer free Wi-Fi at local libraries. You'd think it'd be easy, considering Libraries already offer internet terminals. Just plug in a freakin wireless router and you've got some wireless. Heck they could have filtered it for all I care.

But, of course, now almost a year or more after his promise, we find out that it's going to be an MTS hotspot. That's right, you can charge it to your credit card to do internet research on your laptop at the library when you've got free computers right there. Apparently the libraries in Winnipeg are Chargebraries. Apparently, if you can afford a laptop, in Winnipeg at least, you can't even get free wi-fi access at the Library to do your research. Sorry, students, you gotta pay for it from MTS. I doubt I would really use the service personally, but it would be nice to have that option available at a Library without having to pull out the credit card. But not in Winnipeg.

I've already been leaning for years to moving, possibly to Vancouver, a city I know has had free wi-fi library access for years, which has cheaper property taxes, and less obvious political corruption (or incompetence, I'm still undecided which this is), especially with the recent reelection of Gary (wont) Doer. It's really a shame that there are such few intelligent people left here. Just dimwits, Car theieves, corrupt officials, gangsters, drug dealers, sycophants, people who just don't care anymore, and me.

The hardest thing will be moving away from my family. As much as I can't stand them at times, its nice to know they're nearby. But seriously, Winnipeg, and the province of Manitoba, make it easier every day with the little bonehead moves they make. Heck, the previous mayor is living in Toronto now, whats that tell you?

The killer is, there was originally going to be free wifi at libraries, but it looks like Katz scuttled it in favour of this MTS bullshit. Way to prop up the overcharging local company, Katz. You fucking miss the point entirely once again.

For the record, I have nothing against MTS charging for wireless, but its a fucking library. there should be free wifi at the fucking library. you fucking imbeciles.

check out http://wpl.winnipeg.ca/library/pdfs/wireless.pdf for all the mind killing idiocy that is Winnipeg. Oh yeah, apologies for my foul language, but this bullshit is just pathetic.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

BITCHSLAP!

I have to preface this by saying that perhaps I've been overly critical of the CRTC in my past postings on this blog and I should apologize, they seem to have actually been making decisions in the best interest of all Canadians lately. At least the last two decisions that affect me, cellular number portability, and digital OTA (over the air) broadcasting.

A couple weeks back the CRTC finally released the results of their study on the next phase of OTA broadcasting in Canada. (located here: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/archive/ENG/Notices/2007/pb2007-53.htm). I was shocked and actually relieved to take note that they have introduced a cutoff date of August 31, 2011 for requiring a Digital signal to receive over the air broadcasts. The shocking parts, in bullet point form below:

  • The Commission will not adopt a fee for the carriage of OTA television stations by broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDUs).
What does this mean? It means that you don't have to pay an extra fee to get OTA stations on cable or satellite. Which is quite sensible. These stations have for years rebroadcasted american entertainment with little effort to increase Canadian entertainment (Which by the success of shows like Trailer Park Boys and Corner Gas, we as an audience clearly desire.. not artsy CBC Dramas about Pierre Trudeau, though I suppose theres an audience for everything somewhere).. Granted I wasn't really AGAINST the idea of the Cable company paying carriage fees per se, but considering everything it just doesn't seem worth the bother, more to the point, I don't trust the OTA broadcasters are telling the truth that they need the money. It's just a cash grab pure and simple.
  • The Commission will increase the number of advertising minutes that OTA television stations may broadcast. Specifically, it will increase the 12 minute per hour limit on traditional advertising to 14 minutes per hour in peak viewing periods (7 p.m. to 11 p.m.) effective 1 September 2007. The limit will be increased to 15 minutes per hour for all viewing periods effective 1 September 2008, and eliminated altogether as of 1 September 2009.
This one I'm surprised by. Certainly there will be some increased costs for going to digital, nevermind HDTV, in the near future, but advertising is moving away from the 30 second spot format in my opinion, and going back to product placement and such. That might be why they plan to get rid of the limit by 2009, though I'm not fully grasping this. But whatever, advertising pays the bills for OTA TV, let them do what they want as long as its not overkill. Certainly its fair business.
  • Television licensees will be authorized to broadcast only digital OTA signals after 31 August 2011, although exceptions may be made in northern and remote communities where analog transmissions will not cause interference.
EXCELLENT (if only 2 years later than I would have hoped for) Personally, it makes sense. Northern communities don't need to rush to switch over to digital broadcasting. Frankly,
  • The Commission will examine Canadian programming expenditure plans and exhibition commitments by licensees at the time of licence renewal.
Yes Yes, the commission will do lots of boring things.

Anyways, its Nice, and I was going to go off on a rant about the whole thing, but for once I'll keep things relatively short and say, thanks for doing something right, CRTC, this and actually making Bell Globalmedia follow the law were very heartwarming. Keep it up.

/as an aside, local AM talk station CJOB wants an FM antenna to rebroadcast, which I think is a good idea, because many MP3 players don't have AM but include FM.. and a lot of their audience is missing out as a result. Good luck with that, CJOB.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

JUMBO REMOTE CONTROL


Look at this sonofabitch. It's huge. It has no real use, it's bigger than most jumbo calculators. They keys are about the size of the keys on my laptop, it's 3-4 times the size of my other remotes, it doesn't work with my (admittedly crappy) dvd recorder (Which I plan to replace as soon as quality dvd recorders with ATSC/QAM are available in Canada) but WHO CARES? ITS HUGE. It was $9.99 on sale. I plan to make sure any future TV/DVD's I purchase are compatible with it, and that means bringing in this huge monster remote into the store just for fun.

Seriously, GREAT IDEA. It was worth the 10 bucks, even though I don't really watch TV or anything these days that much. I doubt its compatible with my clone satellite receiver as well, but I don't care! I will now make purchases based on whether they are compatible with this beast.

Seriously, its fucking huge.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

She Sells Cell Phones at the Cell store

If you've been reading my blog for a long time, which you haven't, unless you're stalking me (hi!), then you'll know of my pathetic experience with those dchnzzl's at Telus, Canada's worst cell phone company with the most horrendous customer service on the planet Earth.

Luckily, a couple months back the CRTC, Canada's mostly innefectual government radio/telecommunications regulations company, did something that actually benefits the consumer. They made Cell phone number portability mandatory for those who want it. That is to say, if I am fed up with the pathetic service offered by Telus, I can switch to any number of cell phone companies and keep my old phone number, which I'm attached to for sentimental reasons.

As a recap, basically, Telus stole $50 of my money for a whole weekend before giving me the minutes I had purchased. Apparently they wanted me to believe there was nobody who could solve my problem on a weekend. Later on of course, someone called me on behalf of Telus to do a customer service survey, which I found ironic. I told him only if it doesn't waste my minutes as I used pay & talk as I don't use my phone particularly frequently, and only had about 5 minutes of time left. He said it wouldn't, and wouldn't you know it, it did, and I got cut off before his survey was done. He never called back, obviously, because that would have given them the worst customer survey of all time. Though I'm sure they're used to getting bad customer feedback considering how woefully pathetic they are.

Another reason I wanted to keep my old cell phone number was to spite Telus, who would not get that number back to recycle for another hapless victim. I reason if everyone who hated Telus transferred their number over, they would be out of phone numbers to give out to new customers, and go out of business and die of dysentry and smallpox hopefully.

Anyways, first I purchased a phone with MTS, the Manitoba Telephone System, or something, I don't really know what it stands for, all I know is they had a flip phone in the colour black that didn't have a useless camera in it, and nobody else did. It had bluetooth, and was interesting, but MTS charges way too much per minute, so I let the minutes run out and screw them. They always did overcharge for other services here in Manitoba before competition came out. As an aside they own Allstream, and they want to become the fourth national carrier in Canada behind Rogers AT&T/Fido, Telus, and Bell. Frankly I hope they don't because while I don't particularly care how the underlying technology compares, I like the convenience of a SIM chip and being able to purchase unlocked phones. Sadly Rogers was able to purchase Fido and eliminate them as effective competition, but I hope they get broken up again one day. That said, Number portability took about an hour but I got it ported, despite I'm sure Telus's stalling.

Frankly, my minutes did not last as long as I thought they would with MTS, but fortunately 7-11 of all places was offering a $100 Speakout Wireless phone (it operates off of ZTAR who in turn lease the rogers cell network). The phone was free with the purchase of $100 in minutes. plus, 20 cents a minute is the cheapest I've seen pay as you go phones in Canada. Plus I could always transfer the sim chip to an unlocked phone, so, all in all, I purchased the phone.

I did encounter difficulty moving over my phone number this time. They had trouble doing it, but I bitched at MTS and the second time it went through. I suspect MTS was just stalling, and realised I wasn't going to take any shit, but I have no proof so I'm not going to dwell too much on it.

The phone they give you is a Nokia 1112, as seen in the photo here. You can see why they're able to give it away for free, but as a phone you can bang around and not have to worry about, its pretty decent. I got a dud as soon as I walked out the store, but when I went to return it, of course, it worked again, but I'll probably just end up returning it to Nokia in the next few days to see if they fix it, replace it, or whatever. We'll see. I'm interested in seing how good Nokia's customer service is here in Canada, so maybe I'll blog about what happens if it gets interesting. Another bonus with these 7-11 phones, at least the 1112, is they are completely unlocked. I put in a simchip from another company from another country and it worked for me. So that's a bonus. Plus the simchips for 7-11 seem to work in Rogers phones, as I tested it out on one locked rogers phone.

In any case, for now I put the sim-chip in an extra GSM phone my sister had lying around her house that I removed the
lock on. It'll do for now until I get this one fixed or I purchase a replacement in the next year or so. I find the 7-11/Ztar wireless customer service incredibly helpful and polite. They have probably the best customer service of any mobile provider in Canada and I found that shockingly refreshing. Another bonus is the cell minutes last for a whole year. If I decide to move to another province, I can keep this phone as a backup phone and keep my old manitoba phone number going for when I travel back or for people who want to contact me, and it would cost probably $25 a year if I barely use it. Plus Telus wouldn't get that number back ever. It's just such a great experience all around that even a broken cell phone screen (it stays all white for some reason) didn't turn me off of it. So, all in all, I'm rather happy with my current cell phone company.

Though I wouldn't mind if Nokia put out a black bluetooth flip phone with wifi, that charged and sync'ed via mini USB, that DID NOT include a fucking camera. I'm so sick of camera phones. I have no use for that feature. Plus if it had an mp3 player that'd be a bonus too. with some sort of controls
for the mp3 on the outside (and only black and white display on the outside cause who really needs colour on the outside).. and wasn't too big or blocky or have an antenna sticking out of it.. If that phone came to exist.. I think I'd buy it.

Man that was a fucking essay. I hope somebody learns something useful out of it. I could write a Stephen King novel if I wanted to I bet.

Crappy google quote of the day