Friday, August 31, 2007

Politics: SPP and What It Means for Democracy

There are many writers on the web who are far more intelligent than I. One of them is Zapagringo, whose very intelligent look at the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (commonly referred to as SPP) gives a lot of very good reasons why we as citizens should be taking note and fighting very hard against it.

Please read it.

My reason is this:

Any time the Prime Minister engages in making agreements on behalf of the country with another government nation or national leader without consulting Parliament and the people of Canada, that Prime Minister is deliberately flouting the democratic process which forms the basis of Canadian society.

Before a democratic nation chooses to enter into an agreement with another nation, that agreement must be made public to the people, and scrutinized by the people's elected representatives. Anything else is contradictory to the spirit of democracy.

If you haven't already, now is the time to start taking action. Call or email your local MP and demand the government create a clear, transparent process for SPP in Canada, including full Parliamentary and Senate scrutiny of all previously signed agreements, and votes in the House of Commons on all agreements to be signed in the future.

Another great link (Hat tip to Zapagringo):

Integrate This

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

No Time

Busy day, no time to blog.

Floor half done.

More news soon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Lunchtime Blogging and Big Dragon Moon Press News

Haven't got my office set up, so I'm putting this in while I'm finishing my lunch.

Got 1/3 of the second layer of times up out of the study, and 1/4 of the third layer (they tend to come up together). So far, looks promising. With luck, I'll be seeing hardwood by the end of tomorrow night. Without luck, I'll be shopping for laminate.

And my hands are killing me from all the prying and ripping and shoving of tile. I mean, typing hurts today. Still, getting near the end, which is all that matters. I have promised myself I will not look under the plywood until all the tile is off. Otherwise, I might lose heart.

Now onto Dragon Moon Press!

Dragon Moon Press, publisher of my book, Small Magics, is pleased to announce that it has partnered with Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, making them together the largest independent publisher of Sci-Fi and Fantasy in Canada. Hooray!!

Good on ya, guys!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Renovations Continue

So, I got three quarters of the first layer of tile off in just under three hours. Not bad. Of course, I nearly dehydrated myself into trouble, which was extremely stupid.

For the next round, a friend of ours brought over a heat gun and the rest of the layer was gone in 30 minutes. Got to love doubling your pace.

Also got the washer and dryer installed and I have to say that making sure the damn washing machine is level side to side as well as front to back would be made a lot easier if you didn't have to adjust the heights of the feet from inside the washing machine. Good thing Ive got long arms. I'd hate to try to do it if I was short. Anyway, it's up and running like a dream. Too bad one of the hoses leaks but, eh, what you going to to do?

We've got the bedroom set up (mostly; still need wardrobes and thinner bedside tables), the kid's room set up (she likes it, too) and hte kitchen mostly done. Not bad for a weekend.

Now if I can just get those other two layers of tile off in the next couple of days, I can get the office set up and have my computer back!

Small Magics news and Dragon Moon Press news coming soon!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Movers Come in Eight Hours

With luck, I'll get to sleep for five of them. Unlikely, but I can hope.

We're packed for the most part, but we're at the stage where we can't tell anymore because everything is surrounded by boxes. I was going to take down the computer tonight, but after all the trouble I'm having with the damn washing machine (bloody front loaders), I may just head for bed early.

Early. Yeah, right. It's 12:30 AM as I write this.

Anyway, once the move is underway I will have no comuter access for at least 2 or 3 days, so have a good weekend, and when I get back I'll tell you how pulling the rest of the goo off the study floor went.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Renovations Begin: The Study

Know what happens when you assume? Major renovation projects, that’s what happens.

The hallway and master bedroom of our new home is covered in laminate flooring. The room that’s going to be our daughter’s room is good old-fashioned hardwood flooring. Nice hardwood, too. The room that is going to be my study/workout room/library was carpeted. And I wondered why.

I asked the old owners what was under the floor of the room that is going to be my study. The old owners told me linoleum. Interesting.

I went looking through the second floor and discovered in the hall closet that, in fact, there was linoleum under the laminate floor as well, both of which ended in the closet, and underneath both of which was hardwood. Nice hardwood.

Now, I don’t want carpet in the study. I want hardwood. And with that in mind I decide that, if there’s hardwood under that linoleum, I want it.

So Sunday night, I went over to the new house and pulled up the carpet. Not a hard job at all. A pair of pliers and some elbow grease got the carpet up. Used a utility knife to cut it into strips, rolled it up, put it in a corner.

Getting up the under-padding took a little longer and if you’re going to do this wear kneepads and work gloves. Eye protection is a good idea, too. Those staples can spring out at you. Pulled up the under-pad easy enough then went over every inch of the floor looking for staples. Got them all up. Some people recommend going over the floor with a scraper to look for other staples. I used my hands – remember those work-gloves – and ran them over every inch of the floor. Got them all and swept the debris out of the way at the same time.

Next step: the tack strips. A tip from a friend of mine saved me a lot of time. Instead using one pry-bar and a hammer, use two pry-bars. Once you’ve got the first one wedge in, wedge in the next one beside it, pull up, move the first one over, and keep going. Got all the tack strips up in about five minutes. Then I stood back to survey the work.

That is the ugliest linoleum I have ever seen. Ever. And it wasn’t put down properly. And it has paint on it. Good thing it’s coming up.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Packing...

Packing, packing, packing, packing, packing, packing, packing, packing, packing, packing, packing, packing, packing, packing, packing, packing, packing, packing...

Taking break to complain about it on my blog...

Packing, packing, packing, packing, packing, packing, packing, packing...

I'm moving this week, so you won't hear much from me.

Small Magics is in the hands of the printer, and as soon as it is available on Amazon, I'll let everyone know.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

Body Weight Exercise

Just a quick note tonight (I'm supposed to be working on Cold Magics and my website) to talk about a website I've been visiting fairly regularly these days: Body Weight Culture.com.

I prefer working out with body weight (push-ups, burpees, sit-ups, etc.) instead of weights, and this website is completely dedicated to the concept. Very cool people there, and some great information. I'm enjoying myself there, picking up some good tips for my workout, and learning some excellent things from the folks in the forums. I am also fairly stunned at how strong some of these guys (and gals) are. There's some great wokout advice there, and some good folks to talk to and answer questions.


And now, got to work that website. And write.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Another Day Packing

Got all the kid's spare clothes packed away, and a bunch of ours. The goal is to trim ourselves down to just enough to get from now to the 23rd (moving day). Should be all sorts of no fun, but the majority of it is nearly done.

The worst for me is the day before, when you look at all the odds and sods you still have left over, and wonder what the heck to put them in.

Got the gas and power ready to be switched over, too. God, I'm a homeowner. In Toronto. Who would have thought?

Anyway, time to get some work done. I've been promising to update the website (www.erikbuchanan.ca) for about a year now, so let's see if I can manage it.

And there's all that writing to do.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Small Magics First Review!

I've been reviewed! Yay!

The review is courtesy of Jeanette Cottrell, herself an author published by Dragon Moon Press, and appears on Simegen.com.

The review is overall very positive and complimentary, and she rates the book at 4 stars!

Yay!

You can read the full review here, but this is my favorite part:

Small Magics is beguiling entertainment. Character motivations are understandable and compelling, whether they agree, conflict, or are in deadly combat with each other. The color provided in village and festival scenes are as lively as that shown in a mob rebellion or sneaking into a cemetery at dead of night. This is a good read. Sit down with a cup of coffee, put up your feet, and read Small Magics. You'll be glad you did.

Sounds great, doesn't it?

So, hey, if you haven't already, why not buy Small Magics?

Moving!!!

The great struggle has begun. We packed about 2/3 of the main floor over the weekend with the help of our friends Chet and Kim (Thanks, folks!) and are up to our quickly sinking necks in trying to figure out when to pack the rest.

Back to packing. Miles to go etc., etc.

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