Saturday, June 26, 2010


I am one serious procrastinator. I have worked to find anything that will keep me from needing to work on my overdue assignment (an online course through UBC). Just the fact that I am posting here must give a sense of how valiantly I am trying to find things other than my work to be doing.

I read recently (on a friend's blog, no less) that blogs should be about what you're passionate about. Perhaps mine is: By not posting, I am sharing my passion for procrastination. :S

Of course, despite consciously choosing procrastination over responsibilities, I feel guilt for doing so. That means I can't give even my procrastination the time and attention it deserves. So now, I will try to return to my assignment and I guess this post on procrastination will have to wait 'til later.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

More Cross Country

As per usual, I've forgotten what I intended to write about following my last post. Bah!

In lieu of writing, here is the latest video of Samara in the Prelim-level Cross Country event at the Green Mountain Horse Association Horse Trials:

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Lots to write about. Just got back from a trip to Nunavut. But, at the moment there's no time. All I have time to tell you is that I just saw a commercial trying to draw people to join a class-action lawsuit. You too can join the lawsuit, you just have to be suffering from "popcorn lung". Yes, "popcorn lung". Not to make fun of those who I'm sure have suffered greatly, but really... Popcorn lung?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I look at my blog and think: "where have I been that I haven't posted in more than a month". When I consider that the answer is: often in front of a computer, it doesn't really explain why I haven't had anything to say here. The reality is that I have been online and active but it hasn't trickled-down to the blog. Instead, it has made it everywhere else that I am active online. So next time you visit the blog and don't think anything has changed, try following one of the first batch of links on the left-hand side of the screen. There you'll find links to my accounts on Flickr, Twitter, YouTube and Delicious. I can't guarantee that I'll have much more going on there but hey, it's worth a try. That and there will definitely be more photos in the offing as I'll be in Nunavut in less than 48 hours. :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cross Country Redux

Here is the point-of-view (POV) of Samara riding the Prelim Rider Class Cross Country course at Red Hills Horse Trials in Tallahassee, Florida.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I may not be capable of being an olympic pessimist but I may qualify for the Quebec Major Junior League of Pessimism. Case in point, I can be pessimistic about the value of this post due only to it's not being as timely as it could've been. That aside, today I'm writing about my pessimism with the Conservative Party of Canada that represents our current government. I realize that, to many, that could be a never-ending source of pessimism but I am interested particularly with their announcement directly following the Olympics that they would consider changing the lyrics of Oh Canada, our national anthem.

I, for one, don't believe for a second that there was any government interest in making the lyrics to Oh Canada more gender-neutral. Rather, it was an opportunity to be shrewd politicians.

By stating an intention to do something that they knew would gain minimal public traction, right on the heals of the Olympics they can put on a show of having an interest in gender issues without having to do a thing. The immediate public response (and acquiesing by the government) allow them to then leave the issue with minimal (if any) political fallout.

It frustrates me that the Conservatives have managed to come into power and stay there by learning to play a game (see proroguing parliament) rather than by being true leaders. Of course, I'm not so naive as to think any other party would approach it differently. And therein, lies the pessimism.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Have AIG and Lehman Brothers irreparably harmed the human race?

I contend that yes, investment houses that were in the midst of our recent economic crash are partially responsible for the continually declining state of the human race on the planet. Of course it is never so simple as to blame individual companies or people, but I do feel that they had a part to play.

This is not part of some nefarious plan to undermine us all. Rather, their economic mis-steps help precipitate a crash which so completely shifted people's focus onto jobs and the economy that all else was effectively silenced. Investment and concern for the state of the environment full under the tires of concern for the economy. The latest proof of this is the Canadian Government's latest budget which "puts climate action on ice."

I was hopeful that the investments in stimulus would see more efforts to bring us to the forefront of environmentally improved (hard to find a fitting word - conscious?) technology. Alas, that does not seem to be the case.

And so, we continue to slide further down a hill which, by the time we decide to start trying to climb again, may be too slippery a slope to return to the top.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

More Sharing

I may not be sharing my own thoughts but that doesn't mean I don't have anything to share. In fact, if webziens were limited to sharing only their own thoughts, it would be a much quieter place. In any case, I'm following up on my very-much-enjoyed Ok Go videos with a new one. Maybe the best of the bunch?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rocking Horse III - Prelim

While I absorb Canada's Men's Hockey win, I thought I'd share with you another win. It is from Samara's recent equestrian eventing competition in Florida. Check it out below or see it in HD on YouTube. You can also see just the final portion.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Google street view has finally arrived in Kingston! Let the search begin for people doing silly things in public! Me, I was just walking through the middle of Queen's Campus. Silly? Maybe not.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Has blogging changed? A study was released today showing that young people have been moving away from blogging in droves and have settled largely in social networks (particularly facebook). It would seem that the focus is on somewhat-controlled circles of friends instead of the infinite range of the web or the twitterverse.

I find that interesting, considering it is oversharing that seems to be such a concern when it comes to kids use of technology. "Sexting", or sending sexually explicit text and multimedia messages is getting a lot of attention in the media as it seems to be getting plenty of young people into trouble. Perhaps the expectation of privacy with "sexting" does not apply to the open models of blogging and twitter (at least for those who don't protect their tweets). Does this show a level of technological savvy or naïveté? I'd venture that it may represent some level of self-control but is nonetheless a naive approach considering anything online is likely to enter the public sphere. This has been proven time and again by political candidates whose careers end before they begin due to the publicizing of ostensibly private information. Naive though it may be, awareness of privacy issues is a good place from which to start when developing media and technology-savvy youth.

All this leads back to the blog that you are reading. Why do I bother? That's not something that I have an immediate answer to. It may have been as much of a chance to put on a particular public face as it was to have an outlet for my thoughts. I continue to work to find the time and content that is best suited to this medium and not one of the other sharing tools that I use to represent me in the digital sphere. I guess as long as you've got something to read, I've got something to stay and for me, at least, there is still a place for a blog.

Friday, January 29, 2010

So, the iPad, eh? Well, it remains to be seen how well it does in the market but I think it's a start. Hell, rumours about what will actually be included when it is released to the public, or at least in a future iteration are already eclipsing the details that were announced.

It may not be the world-changing tool that they were hoping for, but I think it stands a chance. That is especially true if more media providers that used to produce magazines and newspapers choose to pursue this type of platform to invigorate and more effectively capture the market that they have lost to the web. If they sit back and leave their websites as is, change will roll over them. I feel like they're best chance is to design content suited to the go anywhere, always-connected tools like the iPad. That, and their own applications will be much more like having a subscription than visiting their website in the infinite internet. If that happens, then the iPad may just be the game-changer Apple was looking for.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tablets, pads and paper

In a little less than an hour Apple will begin an announcement that is likely to include a few new things, but one has gotten plenty more press than the rest.

It is widely believed that the announcement will include a tablet-style computer (imagine an iPod Touch or iPhone that has miraculously grown). In and of itself, it might be interesting but is just another computer (albeit one that looks different from the ones you're used to). Where the excitement comes is what has been developed to encourage it's use.

The iPod had iTunes to make it easy to (legally) get plenty of music to carry around with you. The iPhone (and iPod Touch) had the "App Store", part of the iTunes store dedicated to programs that would run on the iPhone/iPod Touch to turn it into all range of products (from GPS tool to dog whistle).

Rumour has it that the latest introduction from Apple will use the existing App Store. This ensures over 100,000 programs would be available for it at launch. But to me, 100,000 programs designed for something else aren't nearly as good or interesting as a few designed specifically for the new system. I like gadgets, and Apple gadgets doubly-so, but if this is just a large-scale iPhone then I can do without. I'm interested to see what they have in place to make people say "I need to have that." Rumour again has it that Apple has been in discussion with publishers who, in turn, are designing new approaches to their newspapers, magazines and books for publication electronically. This is where it gets exciting for me and where it's likely to influence the way we all consume media.

We're used to having access to huge quantities of information from "trusted sources" through the web. Some of these same sources have experimented with requiring subscriptions (and some are planning to return to that model) to allow you access to their online resources. Many others have offered the information for free and relied on advertising revenue to support their efforts. I get the feeling like this new system will provide a new avenue for publishers to monetize their product and whether you buy Apple's Tablet/Pad/Slate, you will see the online environment change as a result of its introduction.

While I expect this will all eat into the sales of hard copy media (just as iTunes did for music), I think that publishers have already dealt with that reality as the web became so pervasive. This may just be their way back if it provides a more effective way of monetizing their product than the ad-supported model that many have been relying on.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

More video. In this case the winner of a Nikon-sponsored 140-second short film contest.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

OK Go is a band with a great history of quirky and entertaining videos (at least if you're me). Their popularity as a band has been catapulted by the viral success of their videos and their record company is now trying to more tightly control the message. The result could be more press and more interest because of the conflict, more videos watched, more songs,albums and ads sold (since you can be sure ad sales are part of the music company reality when so much is available online. It could also be a negative in all or some of these areas. In any case, I thought I'd do exactly what the record music company doesn't want me to do and embed the video on my little blog.

OK Go - This Too Shall Pass from OK Go on Vimeo.

Other videos and further on the conflict can be found here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ahhhh, tradition

I may have previously mentioned a little trick that I use for my homepage where it is set to bring up a random Wikipedia page each time I open a new window. (If you don't know this little trick, and want to see what I mean, set your homepage as:

Anyway, I learned about the Eton Wall Game today thanks to this little trick.

The Eton Wall Game has some aspects of rugby to it, but the description is such that I couldn't help but wonder whether it was all made-up. Not in the way that everything is made-up, but rather all a lie to catch gullible North Americans out. Despite having Oppidians, a calx, a bully and players trying to score a shy, this would appear to be a real (if somewhat... unique) game.

It is helpful though to remember the numerous times that I've tried to describe baseball to someone who has never seen a game in their life and how "off-the-wall" it sounds. Did I mention the Eton Wall Game includes an old brick wall? Well, it does. In any case, it seems that as humans we develop an understanding with those with whom we have shared experience. Our shared experiences are part of what form our cultural context. Though we all have a shared humanity, the multitude of human experiences ensure that we are bound to find many people in our lives who do not share our frame of reference. That means that we will grow accustomed to many things in our lives (ie. which direction traffic [or even pedestrians] travel on, sports and accepted ways to interact with others) but we're best not to be complacent as there are many more people in the world with a different wealth of experience than there are those that share our perspective.

And so I come back to the wall game. Here a game that most regularly ends in a 0-0 draw with lots of raw elbows (you'll have to read about it to understand) makes perfect sense and plays on the traditions and shared experiences of many. I just so happens that I'm not one of that group. But ask me the rules of baseball and I've got you covered. That is, as long as you don't ask me about the balk rule. I never did get the hang of that.
I have been reminded that (few) people actually do keep up with my blog. A thousand apologies for not holding up my end of your online procrastination bargain. I should be preparing for work so don't expect this to be my shining return to long, well thought-out posts. Instead, this is proof of life. I am here, and I am wondering whether I will have the interest to muse on issues that seem too unwieldy for Facebook or Twitter, or whether I'll fade away again.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Visual Art, Music and Parkour

I found this video on, a site that I just learned about today. Plenty of good stuff there, by the looks of it. I really have been letting this blog rot of late. I'd apologize, but at this point, I don't think there's anyone to read the apology. Microblogging via twitter and facebook has seemed to supplant my rants. Maybe that'll change.

parkour motion reel from saggyarmpit on Vimeo.