Website Updates

I made some changes to my site today! As you might have noticed, the dynamic menu at the top is now gone and in its place are just normal links. Also, the bar that was always at the bottom of the screen is now gone (good idea at the time).

More importantly, my site now loads correctly in Firefox, which I have been using more and more lately. If you have a comment on the changes, let me know. No let me rephrase that. If you have a constructive comment, let me know 😉

Oh, I also launched my postink! site yesterday, so check it out!

Did you waste your vote?

I dunno about you, but I feel that my vote mattered in the election we had last month. I don’t mean that just because I voted Liberal, but because I voted period. I know I have had discussions with some of you about which party you voted for, but we’ve always been able to agree that no matter who you chose, your vote mattered. Considering that the turnout for this election was one of the worst in years, I think everyone’s vote mattered even more this time.

Having said that, take a moment to read Martin’s post on this topic. It seems the local newspaper in Inuvik feels that his Green Party vote was a waste. Maybe the reason voter turnout was so low is that people have forgotten how important democracy is. Anyway, read his letter and let him know what you think!

Finally @Gmail

At long last I have secured mastermaq@gmail.com! All it took was $3.75 on eBay. I was waiting around for Jeanie to get her invites, but I am skeptical that Google is offering new invites to users anymore. Thanks Jeanie for offering anyways!

At first glance, the pages are uncluttered and load very fast. I will write my own review a la Jeanie later.

Servers & Coffee

Wow, long time no blog! Been very busy moving everything to the new servers, so sorry for any temporary glitches you may have encountered. Everything should be peachy soon!

Tonight I went for Starbucks with Violet, who I hadn’t seen in a long time. Good to keep in touch with these people 🙂 After that, I met Dickson at Tim Horton’s and we did some work on one of our software designs. Everything was going good, then around 11:30 or so, these crazy girls started fighting. Like hardcore pushing, shoving, punching, and kicking, throwing around the tables and chairs in the Timmy’s! We were stunned! Eventually they were broken up, and the cops came.

Maybe we shouldn’t have gone downtown!

REVIEW: Spider-Man 2 eh!

First off, Happy Canada Day (well belated I suppose). If you’d like to show your Canadian pride for another day, get the Canada Day MSN Picture! To celebrate, Dickson, Andrew, Megan and I went to see Spider-Man 2.

Without a doubt, it is the second best sequel of the summer. The only reason I say second best is because Shrek 2 was clearly better than the first IMO. SM2 has everything you would expect, and a few things you wouldn’t, but that is not what makes it great. Like a lot of the reviews have already said, Spider-Man 2 is great because its the only comic book movie where you can take away the superhero, the bad guy, and the action, and you are still left with a decent story. In this case, it would be a romantic drama between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. Like I said to Megan, if you took all that out of The Punisher, you’d have a movie where one guy is depressed and ignores the desperate girl who talks to him constantly. Nothing more.

My only complaint about the movie, and I suppose it really isn’t a complaint so much as me being greedy is this; at certain points I craved action, and they just gave me a lot of love. Then when I wanted the love, there was a lot of love, let me tell you! The stunts and action sequences in this movie were pretty awesome too, much better than the first.

Compared with Spider-Man, the sequel is a little more artsy, and definitely more character focused. Put together wonderfully, you really get into the movie and feel for the characters. Throw in a little action, some cool costumes, and Spider-Man 2 is the summer movie of 2004 – you will not be disappointed!

REVIEW: Fahrenheit 9/11

Tonight, while the rest of North America was watching Spider-Man 2 (going tomorrow), Sharon and I went to see Fahrenheit 9/11. It was definitely an interesting and thought provoking movie, but what can you expect from Moore? Anyway, here is my take on the movie and the issues it presents:

Criticism #1
Total screen time for Tony Blair: about 5 seconds. Total time for the British Government? Zip. How the hell can you have a movie focusing on the Bush administration’s addiction to war and not mention Blair and his government? I mean hello! The only reason the rest of the world didn’t attack the US was because of Blair. I recognize that the movie is intended for the voting American public, but I think that ignoring Blair is a horrible omission. No wonder there are rebuttal films in the works.

Commendation #1
I think Moore did a good job capturing a number of different audiences. He didn’t simply focus on the money aspect of things, nor did he focus solely on the human side of things. Instead, I think the film was well balanced between the lives lost (and taken) in Iraq and the financial reasons behind the war.

Criticism #2
Towards the end of the movie, Moore talks of a conference to which government officals were invited. The hosts? Well all the footage shows Halliburton employees. Yet when he introduced it, Moore said “DHL, Microsoft, and others”. If you have issues with these companies Moore, save it for the proper documentary. The last time I checked, oil was not shipped through the mail, and machine guns do not run on Windows. Furthermore, if these companies were really responsible for the conference, why was there absolutely no footage of them?

Commendation #2
Another thing Moore did well was to point out the facts that might have been missed by other documentaries focused on the Bush agenda. He took the time to find out and tell us that only one Congressman has a child serving in Iraq. Only one. You also see some other interesting things, like how Bush authorized a flight to take members of the Bin Laden family out of the United States AFTER the FAA had grounded all flights.

Criticism #3
When he starts talking about the war in Iraq, Moore states that Bush attacked a country that had not harmed America, had not threatened America, and had not killed any Americans. When it was said, it was quite powerful, and I overlooked it until after the movie. Then I thought, what about the Gulf War of 1991? No Americans killed? No violence against America? I mean that is hardly justification, but just goes to show that if you watch this movie, keep in mind that Moore is a sensationalist (albeit a damn good one).

Yes I have more criticisms than I do commendations. Another would be that Moore only showed footage in Iraq that served his purpose – no toppling the statue and cheering that Saddam is gone in this movie. For me at least, the movie just confirmed a lot of the things I already knew or believed I knew: that the best thing that could have happened to Bush was 9/11 to unite the country, that the war in Iraq was for oil (though nice to be rid of Saddam) and the money that goes along with it, and that Bush doesn’t really know what the hell he is doing.

Proof enough for me that the war in Iraq was about oil is North Korea. Here we have a country that has made threats against the United States, that does have a nuclear weapons program and flaunts it, and which does perform crimes against humanity, and yet there are no plans to “liberate” the North Koreans or protect us from the threatened nuclear attacks.

Bush has done a great job of making the world hate America, driving the American economy into the ground, and making money for himself. I have always said that Kerry is nothing spectacular either, but really, can he be as bad as Bush? The one thing I have always liked about Bush is that he is not afraid to take action. Unfortunately, he should have struck Saudi Arabia instead of Iraq. There is something to be said for thinking first.

After watching the movie I can’t help but be grateful that I live in Canada. Adscam really pales in comparison to the Bush scandal presented in the movie. Yet we cannot forget that we are greatly impacted by the United States. As a Canadian, I would really like to see Kerry get into office in the upcoming election. And even then, I don’t think things will be all that great. Until Bill is allowed to take office once again, or Hilary decides to run, or the next excellent Democrat comes along, I guess we just hope for the best.

All in all, an interesting movie, but not as ground breaking as it was made out to be.

Minority Rules in Canada

Well that was an interesting election don’t you think? Especially since the Liberals and NDP did not win enough seats to form a majority, and so must seek the support of the Bloc (Duceppe has pledged support). All in all, I think we’ll be back at the polls sooner than the party leaders are willing to admit.

And while Martin pointed out that there has been successful minority governments in the past, such as the government led by Pearson that adopted our Maple Leaf flag, the average lifespan of such governments is about a year and a half. Especially taking into consideration the party leaders we have today, I give the new minority at best a year and a half of existence. During that time period, I am willing to bet nothing (relatively speaking of course) will get done.

In fact, I think the only thing that might get accomplished is another referendum in Quebec. I say bring it on, and I hope the separatists win. If you don’t want to be in Canada, get out you ungrateful bastards!

Now the real question is this: will the drama of this election finally be more interesting than the corresponding American election? Not likely!

Election Day 2004!

Today is election day, get out and cast your vote! I suppose I was one of the 20% undecided when I went to vote this morning, so it was kind of a decide on the spot sort of thing. I decided to ignore my local constituents (would have voted Conservative) and to ignore party platforms (would have voted Green) and instead based my vote on who I would want as the next Prime Minister of Canada.

Go Team Martin!

My New App – PostInk!

One of the things I have been working on lately is my own application for posting to a blog using a Tablet PC! I did some searching and really only found two applications that do this so far; BLink! which has no website or download to try and to my knowledge has never been released, and WebCamNotes which worked well but didn’t do what I wanted it to. I also don’t think WebCamNotes was really designed to be an ink blog tool.

I now have the application working with .Text blogs and hopefully I can make it work with others sooner rather than later. Soon as we get the whole server situation figured out, I will create the website and make PostInk! available to download.

Posted using PostInk

Indecisive Canadians

Among the many commonly held stereotypes about Canadians, one of them is that as a whole, we are an indecisive country. We are fence sitters, unwilling to go entirely one way or another. Well tonight, after reading about Monday’s election, I discovered that our indecisiveness could select our next prime minister!

Did you know that the Governor General could decide who the next prime minister is? Neither did I until I read this article. It’s quite extensive, so I recommend you read it. Basically it says that if no party wins a majority, the Liberals can seek the confidence of the House, even if they have fewer seats than the Conservatives. Yet if Martin’s government is then quickly defeated in a confidence motion, Adrienne Clarkson could choose to either call another election, or appoint the Conservatives the task of forming government.

Interesting indeed. And all this time I though the Governor General was just a figurehead left over from the days of British rule.