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Another weekend done. Actually managed to get at least half an hour of sketchbook time in during the weekend.

More after work, if I can get my brain to focus.
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Going back to work tomorrow and my lungs are still bugging me.
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Going to work as normal, but leaving early for the Eye Institute quarterly check-up. After that, dilation drops or not, I expect to go back to the office and do what I can for the rest of the work day. I promised as much.

Meantime, installing more brushes in MangaStudio/Clip Studio Paint tonight. Where to "file" the skin and hair "brushes"?
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A report on SF&F in Nairobi.

From Regina: a story about the consequences of not properly funding the details of international justice...within Canada. (No, I did not make a mistake using "international". There is at least one treaty involved here.)

David Brin asks - and is not alone in asking - when did optimism become Uncool?

Pete Evans at CBC News gets to the heart of the dispute between Canada Post Corp. and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers: the need of workers to avoid starvation in retirement. Even if Evans doesn't frame it with that language.

Also, we note Jason Kenney's quest to save Alberta from civilization. (This is not Mr. Kenney's POV about his goals, to be sure. But as Stephen Colbert once noted, reality does have a certain bias about these matters.)

Congratulations to NASA's Juno team for getting their probe into Jovian orbit yesterday. I won't call what you did "conquering" Jupiter, mind you, because of colonial-mindedness in the undertones of that. But what you did is a positive achievement!
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One thing that I ought to have done today and didn't was go downtown to observe May Day in some way. I don't know that I'd have marched in any parade - don't know at this writing if there was one, and if it turns out there was, will probably try to kick myself - but the occasion demands a respect for the people of the workforces of the world. Especially as I am a part of that workforce.

(Yes, I know of the older rituals marking the arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere. I have different habits for that transition.)
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Back at work two days now and I've finally started doing actual work. Certain paperwork, real and virtual, needed squaring away. Still surprised by the short notice of this rehire, but I can't afford to snub it. Ten weeks, right?


Looking forward to CAN-CON a week from tomorrow. Also, the Book Fair however shortly after that. And looking forward to having a realistic chance of finally filling out my Saint collection. Starting with the full text of Enter the Saint.

More and hopefully more coherent chatter later on in the weekend.
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An accurate distance to the Pleiades star cluster, at long last? Maybe? I can think of at least one role-playing game supplement in need of the info.

Some commentary on possible consequences of the Tim Horton's/Burger King deal being allowed to process unopposed. David Olive might be worth heeding on this point in particular.

On TVO's The Agenda: Ray Jayawardhana interviewed by Piya Chattopadhyay - known to CBC listeners from her work on The Current and Q - on the subject of the great neutrino hunt. Open this one only if you plan to spend a half-hour with it.

From Reuters: Putin's making "stay out of my way, I got nukes" noises. Insert any sarcastic remark you can imagine me making in reply to this. Also, Gwynne Dyer's noticing the changes in the situation.

Speaking of Prof. Dyer, and getting back to interstellar matters, he's holding forth on the subject of humans naming planets outside of Sol system as well. I think he's right about being outnumbered by Star Wars fandom on this one, and also not sanguine about "Tatooine" being the best choice for us to bestow upon an extrasolar planet...despite being a fan of Star Wars to some degree myself.

More anon...
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Here's the link!

More on other stuff over the course of the week...
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Had an interview today, checked some leads at the library, got caught up on news and gossip around the Web, and I'll be at the Shanghai Restaurant tonight for the comics jam.

Not sure what tomorrow's plans are, but something will happen anyway.
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Okay. So I went to Pen and Paper last night. [ profile] themoo37 hosted the event, and was a good host to the five of us who showed up. I got some help researching and phrasing an essay on LRT ideas for service between downtown and Orléans that I hope will go live either this week or next. Other stories were read and provided entertainment in different ways. Many thanks to them for that!

This morning, I'm waiting to hear back on a job lead that's been persistently just out of reach for months in various forms. Not naming any names until I know for certain. Which may yet be a while. Let me put it this way: I want to work with these people. And they seem to be still interested in having me do so, despite the passage of half a year.

Also, still working on that LRT essay this morning, as well as general networking. Which is entertaining, informative and productive.

More later...  
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Well, the issue seems to disappear when I use Safari rather than Firefox 11, and Firefox has been acting oddly over the last day or two. Maybe the next time I'm prompted to update to Firefox 12, I should do so?


So...Victoria Day. The third Monday of May is a federal statutory holiday to honour the memory of the monarch who signed off on promoting Canada from colony to Dominion back in 1867. Therefore, this is a long weekend. Considering the weather in Ottawa the city at the moment, perhaps we might all consider retiring to our basements, cellars, Diefenbunkers and other assorted underground hangouts to evade discomfortable levels of temperature without humidity.

Tomorrow I go back to the day-job, after three days' paid time off and a week's unpaid leave(that last subject to amendment, I hope). And I'm bracing for the next job hunt.

Heather Mallick's latest words echoing in my brain...
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Interesting. I went digging for the Ottawa Citizen article in this morning's hardcopy edition on Unemployment Insurance only to find that the link to that article on the front page of the Citizen website was badly coded as of 7:40 AM and leads to a "Bad Request" page.

There's a reference in that article to comments in favour of the proposed changes to our UI system by spokespeople from a group called the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Here's their Wikipedia page, FWIW.

The page alleges that its founder back in 1971 was one John Bulloch...whose own Wiki page claims him to be a current member of the Georgia State Senate, a claim apparently confirmed by that legislative body's own web service. No direct link And that's all that's present on that Wiki page, again as of 7:40 AM this morning. No direct confirmation that he ever lived in Canada on the Georgia State Senate page, mind you.

He claims Republican affiliation, representing Georgia's 11th District.

If it's indeed the same guy, I'd be interested to know more about the linkages.

I've just had my lack of research made clear to me elsewhere on the net. Definitely not the same guy.

The American guy:

The Canadian guy:
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I saw the first half-hour of today's anti-election fraud protests on Parliament Hill, EMI-labelled vans in front of the Chateau Laurier, a piano played outdoors at the ByWard Market Building (both of which are connected to the Juno Awards now playing out in Ottawa this year), and a guy in a Roman toga.

I tell you this: Ottawa becomes ever more surreal as I get older.

And now that we've got that out of the way, here's me blogging as I eat lunch and celebrate the 6th anniversary of ByMUG's founding as well as Apple's corporate birthday:

Rick Salutin wrapped up his current run as a columnist for the Toronto Star this week, and he made a few points that I would very much like to hang onto as a major political/emotional lifeline for the next three years. Especially now, in the wake of the unveiling of the latest federal budget.

Here's how it begins:

At what point does something that was once new, turn into old, and make way for something newer? 20 years? 30? 40? I ask in light of the CBC’s Terry Milewski’s question to NDP Leader Tom Mulcair at his first news conference. How do you expect to appeal to voters, he prodded, with a program so “antiquated”?

But hold on. If you’re 30 years old, 35, even 40 (born in 1972), the only economic wisdom you’ve ever known is the nostrums of neo-liberalism, which began in the Reagan-Thatcher 1980s and continues into the current round of austerity budgets everywhere. You’ve lived entirely in a pro-business context of deregulation and “reining in” public spending. It’s ancient, as old as you are. (And includes the era of those zealous neoLiberals, Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin.)

It does seem as if the insistence upon blaming "failure to believe" - as Mr. Salutin notes later in the essay - has taken firm hold of the ranks of what he calls the "neo-liberalism" crowd. (I call it "neo-conservatism", but won't quibble with him at the moment.)

Whether or not they're finally tiring out after 40+ years of effectively running the political tables of multiple nations, though, is cause for no small debate.

I do think that labour unions are due for a serious comeback in terms of respectability and political clout. A lot of us around the world are going to need that clout to save our bacon as individuals and in large groups.
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Strongly suggest that those of us who haven't already done so should all listen to hour one of this instalment of CBC's Sunday Edition hereabouts:

Consider the content at your first opportunity.

On an unrelated note: Those of you in Ottawa might be interested in today's Ottawa Science Fiction Society meeting at the Dalhousie Community Centre on the corner of Somerset and Empress in Ottawa's Chinatown. 2 PM. Topic is local SF conventions, specifically CAN-CON.
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Okay. So I'm going downtown again this morning to honour the occasion. There's a parade organized by a coalition of various unions' locals set to start at noon at Ottawa City Hall and run from there to McNabb Park. It seems proper to be there for this. Also, I'd recommend reading John Doyle's latest for the Globe and Mail on TV drama and comedy and the lack of material covering certain aspects of modern working life. On either side of the US-Canada border.

Preparations for CAN-CON 2011 continue and I'm confirmed to participate in several panel discussions there. I do not have a dealers' room table this year, but may consider it for next year's edition depending on scheduling and other factors yet to be figured out.

About yesterday's CFL (Canadian-rules football) match between Saskatchewan and Winnipeg(nicknamed the "Labour Day Classic"): I'm glad to see Saskatchewan break their losing streak. It was long overdue. But I remain disturbed by the anger that got vented at several points in the game. One Winnipeg player was ejected from the game, and towards the end of the final quarter, I was shocked by hostilities that reminded me of the bench-clearing brawls that often marked NHL playoff games in the mid-1970's. Scary.

And over to you for the moment. I'll be back later today.
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A lot of stuff on the plate today!

Here's some of what I'm looking at right now... )
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Okay. Lots of stuff going on here.

  • I'm a week into my latest day-job contract. Fifteen weeks to go, barring miracles or disasters, and I'm hoping for the former.
  • Did some scanning tonight for a spec OGN project. No idea if it's going to lead anywhere, but I can't just stand idly on the comics front and hope for things to happen right now.
  • Pleased with the results of the Vancouver Games, although wondering if the fallout for Vancouver and Whistler and all points between and nearby will be positive over the next decade or two. Makes me really wish that Da Vinci's City Hall and Intelligence hadn't gotten the axe at their host TV network.
  • Did some housecleaning and sent out some invites for DEWLiners earlier tonight. Feel free to have a look. It's small and cozy right now.
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The Ottawa Citizen published an opinion piece on Canadian plans for future space agency doings. I'm inclined to agree with much of the essay, save for "Theme 4" re: the International Space Station. I don't see why we shouldn't try for as much as possible at this point, both on our own and in concert with others.

Other stuff...

Dropped another load of magazines I don't need anymore at the OPL Main Branch's bookstore as a donation. Mostly, it was back issues of Wired with a smattering of other titles for variety's sake. I'm not entirely happy with my progress on this front, but eBay's just going to take too much time I need for other works.

Still looking for a regular day-job. I'm prepared to discuss privately - off-web - any and all reasonable leads.

More as it comes in...
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I did a lot of stuff today:

A full day, yes?

Addendum I: Oh, here's something else you might want to keep an eye on re: Net neutrality in Canada, also courtesy of the Canadian Journalist blog.

Addendum II: Added a bit of urban photography to the Artblog. Enjoy.
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Repeating a question:

What four lines of work consider the customer having an excellent memory to be a barrier to a successful sale of their product?

Give me your theories.


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On the DEWLine 2.0: Dwight Williams

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