Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yesterday was my birthday and I had a blast. Saw Moliere at the Tarragon Theatre, which was a fantastic performance, brilliantly directed. Then we went out for dinner and had a nice evening with my wife while my mother looked after our daughter. Life was good.

And here, by coincidence is a video my daughter spotted on YouTube, which I found hilarious:

So to everyone whose birthday it is or was, happy birthday. Enjoy the song.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Work Meme

I got tagged by Chet. Every paying job I've ever had:

  • Babysitter
  • Dickie Dee Ice Cream Sales
  • Security Guard
  • Hostile Situation Training for Conservation Officers
  • Armed Forces Reserves
  • Martial Arts Instructor
  • University Orientation Coordinator
  • Warehouse Worker
  • Door to Door Canvasser
  • Usher for a play about male strippers
  • Data Entry
  • Actor
  • Fight Director
  • House Painting
  • Stockboy for a women's clothing store
  • Office Manager for the PLS theatre company
  • Equipment Coordinator for a health charity
  • Tele-recruiter
  • Fund-raising Clerk
  • Instructor for SAT Prep
  • Fundraiser for Health Charity
  • Writer
  • Corporate Communications

That's all I can remember at this point. Don't have anyone I want to inflict this one on, but if you've done something extremely odd, let me know. I'm curious...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

My little girl is in bed, the gifts are wrapped, and all is in readiness for the morning.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Night...

And the living is easy. Kid's in bed. Got some time to write before my wife gets home. Life is pretty darn good.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Quick Note:

Glenfiddich and chocolate chip cookies go very, very good together.

And Tonight, I Get to Write

Talk to you later...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Two Days In...

And the going is good. Nice people, good atmosphere, lots and lots and lots to learn and even more to do.

For example, two days in and I'm already in on a brainstorming session for a major event. And that's just the tip of the iceberg! Large organizations mean lots of communications so I'm going to be a busy, busy bunny.

Meanwhile, I've been cramming for my final exam in my Media Relations course and am almost ready for it, which is good because the test is tomorrow. Oy. Must do it, go drinking, and relax.

Thursday is the start of the final push on Cold Magics.

And I know you've all heard that before but Dragon Moon Press has told me that they want to publish it and that I need to get editable copy into their hot little hands very, very soon.

Very, very happy making.

We're looking at a 2010 publishing date, which I requested ,despite DMP's willingness to publish in 2009. I've got to finish my Communications Certificate at Humber College (job and bill-paying, don't you know) and that's going to take up too much of my time for the next 10 months for me to do a proper edit on Cold Magics.

No rest for the wicked, as they say.

So,Thursday is the countdown to the finished draft. I'll keep everyone up to date on what's going on...

More later.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Night Before...

The big day comes tomorrow. That's right -- I start my new job.

All sorts of excited. It's exactly the sort of job I wanted, and working with some people who seem quite nice. Lots of exciting goals for us to reach, and lots of exciting projects to work on.

Can't wait.

And now, to get some sleep.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

And What, Exactly, Have I Been Doing?

Not bloody much. Been studying, got a new job that starts Dec.15. Writing the latest book as fast as I can, and planning my next couple of projects.

Did you know, someone at a party today actually asked me where I got my ideas from. It was funny, because my stock answer (from the dark savage insane recesses of my subconscious and soul) while amusing enough, doesn't quite cover it.

Ideas come from everything. Everything you see, everything you hear, everything you read, becomes fodder for a story or play or screenplay.

And yes, everything you blog, which is why I am making my semi-annual commitment to blog more, because I don't have enough to do right now and dammit, I like blogging.

Speaking of things to do, got to see if I can come up with a new ghost story this Christmas.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Barack Won


And the man gives a damn fine speech.

Well, back to real life now. Be interesting to see what happens.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Barack Obama's Infomercial

Wow. He is good, and he has good people working for him. This video is a great peice of work.

America, a lot of us north of your border would very much like to see you vote for Barack Obama.

I hope you do.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Post Election Numbers

Well, the election is done, and while the new parliament looks suspiciously like the old one, it's once more a case of the majority of the people not getting the government they want.

As everyone probably knows, Canada uses a first-past-the-post system -- whoever gets the most votes, wins. This works well when you only have two parties running, but not so well when you have multiple parties. Here are some numbers from Fair Vote Canada. showing how many seats everyone got, versus how many they should have gotten.

Number of Seats in Parliament:
Conservatives - 143
Liberals - 76
NDP - 37
Bloc - 50
Greens - not 0

Actual Percentage of the Popular Vote Each Party Received:
Conservatives - 38%
Liberals - 26%
NDP - 18%
Bloc - 10%
Greens - 7%

Now, if we were using a system of proportional representation, twe would still have a minority government, but the seat distribution would look quite different:

Seats in Parliament based on Popular Vote
Conservatives - 117
Liberals - 81
NDP - 57
Bloc - 28
Greens - 23

To put it another way:
- If you were a Conservative supporter voting in Toronto, your vote didn't count.
- If you were an NDP supporter voting in Quebec, your vote didn't count.
- If you were a Liberal supporter voting on the prairies, your vote didn't count.

Proportional Representation is a much better syetem than the one we are using because it means that all Canadians get represented, and reflects the true political make-up of the country, both nationally and regionally. It also, because it usually results in minority governments, forces all parties to work together to make laws and policy. Not a bad thing, really.

So, if you haven't yet, I encourage you to learn about Proportional Representation, and ask your MP (and MPP) to support it.

Fair Vote Canada is a good place to start.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Best. Review. Ever.

Go read.

More Politics - Proportional Representation

There's a post over at a friend of mine's blog about strategic voting -- when it works and when it doesn't. It's a good post and something to ponder in these days of faux democracy that we live in.

Meanwhile, got an email from Fair Vote Canada asking me to read their open letter to strategic voters and vote swappers. It's a good reminder that there is the possibility for a better system, if we can get enough people to agree on it.

Here's the letter. Have a read.

Me, I'm a whole-hearted supporter of Proportional Representation myself. Makes sense in a multi-party system and it really isn't that hard to implement.

If you are a supporter and haven't signed the petition calling for proportional representation, here's where to go.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A Little Violence, Because It's Tuesday

So I'm sure I've mentioned that I'm a fight director, right? Been out of the business a while, what having a kid to pay for and a Toronto mortgage to feed. Even so, I like to keep a hand in now and again.

So a friend of mine in Japan is doing Richard III, and he was wondering about fight stuff. He's trying to convince me to go and I'm trying to explain exactly what that would cost. Even so, I put something together for him to give him some ideas.

Now, what you see here was done after only 1.5 hours of rehearsal. It is not performance quality. Instead, it is beginning to take it's first shape. For this fight scene, I'd want at least 10 hours more work to make it passible. 20 hours if I was working with beginners.

Anyway, here it is. Enjoy it for what it is, and my thanks to Alex who took the time to shoot it and put it together, and to Dan who loaned us his space.

You want to see some good film work? Check out Alex's website.

And for some of the best in stage combat, check out Dan's website.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Welcome to Gilead

Posting a lot of political stuff this month. Must be all that election in the air.

Anyway, here's an interesting post from truthout on the rise of Sara Palin and the parallels in her character to the aunts in A Handmaid's Tales. Scary stuff.

Welcome to Gilead, Governor Palin

H/T to Suzanne, who is not a blogger but is frightfully well informed.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ordinary Canadians on the Arts

Here's a message from some ordinary Canadians about Stephen Harper's arts funding cuts.

I'm going to keep moving it to the top, because I think it's important.

Some thoughts on this current market turmoil.

This is part of the letter I got today from my finacial adviser.

I thought I'd share it because it is a reminder that things in the market are not as bleak as Dubya says they are. All he's doing is one last giant money grab.

Hi everyone,

In light of recent market conditions some of you may have some concerns about the state of the markets. Here is some information that might help to put things into perspective.

It may shock you but history does repeat itself...

Decade   Market Return World Events
1950’s 12.7% Korean War, US Seizes Steel Mills, Russia Explodes H-Bomb, Suez Crisis, Recession, Castro Takes over Cuba
1960’s 10.0% JFK Assassinated, Berlin Wall Erected, Cuban Missile Crisis, Vietnam War begins, Mao in China, Newark Race Riots, USS Pueblo Seized
1970’s 10.4% OPEC Crisis, Terrorists at Munich Olympics, Watergate, Largest US trade deficit to date, Steepest market drop in 4 decades, Tangshan Earthquake kills 240,000 people, American hostages in Iran.
1980’s 12.2% Interest Rates at all-time high, Worst recession in 40 years (Markets hit new highs following year), AIDS discovered, Black Monday (DOW drops 22.6% in one day)
1990’s 10.6% Y2K, Persian Gulf War, End of Cold War/Berlin Wall Fall, Oklahoma City Bombing, Global Recession, Asian Flu, Mad Cow Disease, Euro introduced
2000’s6.2% (as of Sep 15, 2008) Tech bubble burst, Largest market correction in Canada & US since the Great Depression, September 11th, Enron, World Com, Iraq / Afghanistan War, Credit Crunch, Income Trusts, Oil & Gold at record highs, Bear Sterns & Lehman Brothers collapse

Four things you need to keep in mind about Bear Markets

1. Bear Markets are an essential, immutable, constant element of the economic cycle. Human nature drives the economy, and the economy drives the stock markets. People tend to overshoot and then undershoot the long term growth trends of the economy. This type of behaviour leads to unpredictable returns in the market place which is precisely why markets earn high returns over the long term.

2. Bear Markets are as common as dirt. In the 63 years since the end of WW2 there have been 13 bear markets. These bear markets have averaged a decline of 29% and lasted on average 15 months. On the flip side, bull markets last on average 26 months and average +71%. I am very confident that the prices we see for common stocks in the market today are low and when the market takes off again, we will never see these prices again.

3. Bear Markets are a temporary interruption of a permanent uptrend. The advance is permanent over the long term and there is over 100 years of data to certify this.

4. Bear Markets are why equity returns are what they are. It is the volatility in the market place caused by investor behaviour which allows people to get wealthy over the long term.

Here's the info. for my financial guy. He's good, so he deserves some publicity:

Paul Lambe, CFP, FMA
Financial Consultant
Investors Group Financial Services Inc.
700-295 The West Mall, Etobicoke, ON M9C 4Z4
(T) 416-695-8600 ext. 261 (F) 416-695-4480 1-888-397-5795

Letter from Michael Moore about the Big Wall Street Bailout

Well worth reading:


Let me cut to the chase. The biggest robbery in the history of this country is taking place as you read this. Though no guns are being used, 300 million hostages are being taken. Make no mistake about it: After stealing a half trillion dollars to line the pockets of their war-profiteering backers for the past five years, after lining the pockets of their fellow oilmen to the tune of over a hundred billion dollars in just the last two years, Bush and his cronies -- who must soon vacate the White House -- are looting the U.S. Treasury of every dollar they can grab. They are swiping as much of the silverware as they can on their way out the door.

No matter what they say, no matter how many scare words they use, they are up to their old tricks of creating fear and confusion in order to make and keep themselves and the upper one percent filthy rich. Just read the first four paragraphs of the lead story in last Monday's New York Times and you can see what the real deal is:

"Even as policy makers worked on details of a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry, Wall Street began looking for ways to profit from it.

"Financial firms were lobbying to have all manner of troubled investments covered, not just those related to mortgages.

"At the same time, investment firms were jockeying to oversee all the assets that Treasury plans to take off the books of financial institutions, a role that could earn them hundreds of millions of dollars a year in fees.

"Nobody wants to be left out of Treasury's proposal to buy up bad assets of financial institutions."

Unbelievable. Wall Street and its backers created this mess and now they are going to clean up like bandits. Even Rudy Giuliani is lobbying for his firm to be hired (and paid) to "consult" in the bailout.

The problem is, nobody truly knows what this "collapse" is all about. Even Treasury Secretary Paulson admitted he doesn't know the exact amount that is needed (he just picked the $700 billion number out of his head!). The head of the congressional budget office said he can't figure it out nor can he explain it to anyone.

And yet, they are screeching about how the end is near! Panic! Recession! The Great Depression! Y2K! Bird flu! Killer bees! We must pass the bailout bill today!! The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

Falling for whom? NOTHING in this "bailout" package will lower the price of the gas you have to put in your car to get to work. NOTHING in this bill will protect you from losing your home. NOTHING in this bill will give you health insurance.

Health insurance? Mike, why are you bringing this up? What's this got to do with the Wall Street collapse?

It has everything to do with it. This so-called "collapse" was triggered by the massive defaulting and foreclosures going on with people's home mortgages. Do you know why so many Americans are losing their homes? To hear the Republicans describe it, it's because too many working class idiots were given mortgages that they really couldn't afford. Here's the truth: The number one cause of people declaring bankruptcy is because of medical bills. Let me state this simply: If we had had universal health coverage, this mortgage "crisis" may never have happened.

This bailout's mission is to protect the obscene amount of wealth that has been accumulated in the last eight years. It's to protect the top shareholders who own and control corporate America. It's to make sure their yachts and mansions and "way of life" go uninterrupted while the rest of America suffers and struggles to pay the bills. Let the rich suffer for once. Let them pay for the bailout. We are spending 400 million dollars a day on the war in Iraq. Let them end the war immediately and save us all another half-trillion dollars!

I have to stop writing this and you have to stop reading it. They are staging a financial coup this morning in our country. They are hoping Congress will act fast before they stop to think, before we have a chance to stop them ourselves. So stop reading this and do something -- NOW! Here's what you can do immediately:

1. Call or e-mail Senator Obama. Tell him he does not need to be sitting there trying to help prop up Bush and Cheney and the mess they've made. Tell him we know he has the smarts to slow this thing down and figure out what's the best route to take. Tell him the rich have to pay for whatever help is offered. Use the leverage we have now to insist on a moratorium on home foreclosures, to insist on a move to universal health coverage, and tell him that we the people need to be in charge of the economic decisions that affect our lives, not the barons of Wall Street.

2. Take to the streets. Participate in one of the hundreds of quickly-called demonstrations that are taking place all over the country (especially those near Wall Street and DC).

3. Call your Representative in Congress and your Senators. (click here to find their phone numbers). Tell them what you told Senator Obama.

When you screw up in life, there is hell to pay. Each and every one of you reading this knows that basic lesson and has paid the consequences of your actions at some point. In this great democracy, we cannot let there be one set of rules for the vast majority of hard-working citizens, and another set of rules for the elite, who, when they screw up, are handed one more gift on a silver platter. No more! Not again!

Michael Moore

P.S. Having read further the details of this bailout bill, you need to know you are being lied to. They talk about how they will prevent golden parachutes. It says NOTHING about what these executives and fat cats will make in SALARY. According to Rep. Brad Sherman of California, these top managers will continue to receive million-dollar-a-month paychecks under this new bill. There is no direct ownership given to the American people for the money being handed over. Foreign banks and investors will be allowed to receive billion-dollar handouts. A large chunk of this $700 billion is going to be given directly to Chinese and Middle Eastern banks. There is NO guarantee of ever seeing that money again.

P.P.S. From talking to people I know in DC, they say the reason so many Dems are behind this is because Wall Street this weekend put a gun to their heads and said either turn over the $700 billion or the first thing we'll start blowing up are the pension funds and 401(k)s of your middle class constituents. The Dems are scared they may make good on their threat. But this is not the time to back down or act like the typical Democrat we have witnessed for the last eight years. The Dems handed a stolen election over to Bush. The Dems gave Bush the votes he needed to invade a sovereign country. Once they took over Congress in 2007, they refused to pull the plug on the war. And now they have been cowered into being accomplices in the crime of the century. You have to call them now and say "NO!" If we let them do this, just imagine how hard it will be to get anything good done when President Obama is in the White House. THESE DEMOCRATS ARE ONLY AS STRONG AS THE BACKBONE WE GIVE THEM. CALL CONGRESS NOW.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Geek Link!

Because science is fun:

Top 10 Amazing Physics Videos

The videos range from hilarious to strange to all out informative. Check out the "Large Hadron Collider Rap."

H/T to Sara, my lovely wife, who spotted these.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Slacker Uprising

Michael Moore has a new movie out, and it's free!

You can get the entire movie as a free download on September 23 by going to the website and signing up. It documents his campaign to get the youth vote out in 2004, and looks like it should be fun.

Here's the trailer:

Friday, August 29, 2008

Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech

Have to echo the sentiments of Chet at The Vanity Press. Wow.

I don't have TV so I didn't see Barack Obama give his acceptance speech, but it looks mighty impressive on paper.

My favourite quote:

"Individual responsibility and mutual responsibility, that's the essence of America's promise."

A politician who actually understands democracy. Nice change.

Read the whole thing here.

H/T to Chet at The Vanity Press

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Geek Link!

Been a while since I've done one of these, which is sad, really, because my inner geek wants to spread its geekiness to any who come near. So here's two cool archaeology articles from ScienceDaily.

Virtual Archaeologist' Solves Ancient Puzzles

Stone Age Graveyard Reveals 'Green Sahara'

Neat stuff, eh?

Now must go. Applying for yet more work, and I'd love to get some writing in tonight.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Done the Interview!

Phone interview for the job. This is round 1 as they attempt to create a short list. Hope I make the cut. I'll find out next week.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Job Interview Tomorrow!!!

Not saying much more, but it's a phone interview and the first step. Hope I get it. It looks like a cool and very challenging position.

And tonight, off to see Batman!

And Cold Magics is moving along nicely, too. Another 4000 words today. All in all, not a bad day.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I have been staring at a computer for four days straight...

Time to take a night off. I'm curling up with a book.

Speaking of books, Cold Magics is coming along nicely. Had hoped to be finished by now but life, as usual, interrupted. High hopes for the end of August, though.

And maybe popcorn. I could use some popcorn.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Stress Days

We did our household budget last night, and things are not looking exactly shiny at the moment. Need to magically come up with a couple of million dollars so all my pains and cares can be washed away.

Unfortunately, I already checked the weekend's lottery tickets and for some strange reason, I didn't win. I am stunned. Stunned, I tell you.

Money is one of life's big stressors, especially if you haven't got enough of it. Coping with money stress in in fact one of thebiggest problems couples have to deal with, according to some studies. Unfortunately, I manifest stress in lack of sleep, so I'm feeling mighty baked this morning.

Anyway, working away at finding work, as well as writing and organizing and budgeting and retraining and all the other fun stuff that makes unemployment such a joy. Had my first coffee in about a month and a half this morning, which is why I'm functioning to type this.

The plan for the rest of the day: more of the same, plus cooking dinner. Orange Pork Stir-fry. Yummy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Back On the Set Again

Feels mighty odd, let me tell you.

My good friend Daniel Levinson, Stunt Coordinator, Fight Director, Firearms Wrangle and all around good man, was asked to supply some bodies for Paradise Lost and here I am, doing three days on set as "Abducting Man #2." We're doing some fill in stuff now, and on Thursday, there will be a big fight scene. Lots of fun.

It's odd, being back on TV. Been a long time and I never really did that much before, but who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth?

Being an actor on a TV or film set means a lot of standing around while the director and crew work like demons to get everything set up. Really, all I was in yesterday was four short shots, and the amount of work that goes into creating those moments is incredible.

I'll be back there again tonight. More fun and games, and this time, there will be car driving and handing over of prisoners.

I'm having a hoot.

And best of all, today's schedule allows me to get some writing done, which is very happy making.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Polaris Day 3

So it's all done for another year. I had a blast.

Only had one panel on Sunday: designing magic systems. The sum total of all our opinions: you can get away with anything as long as you are consistent. Inconsistency can drive readers nuts.

I taught my Instant Kung Fu workshop, which went well, but more importantly, had my first official BOOK SIGNING!!!

It was so cool! I sold ten books and signed them, plus signed another from a woman who was at Polaris last year and bought my book when it first came out. It was brilliant!

I'd like to give a special thanks to the folks at the Indigo table, where the signings were who, despite not actually carrying my book, were gracious and helpful and a lot of fun.

Sales total for the weekend: 15 copies!!!


Spent a lot of time talking to people (still didn't see any actors) and hanging out. Finally got Tanya Huff's autograph in one of her books (Blood Price) though I had to run from one thing to another.

A note about Tanya Huff: She is a gracious, wonderful, friendly woman, who is nice to everyone and even trats us juniors in the business with respect. May I grow up to be just like her.

And I managed to snag my poster off the wall. It now hangs on my bulletin board. so cool!

All in all, a good time was had by all.

Oh, apprently the fire alarm went off at the hotel three times Sunday: 6 AM, 8 AM, 9 AM. The last two they had to evacuate the hotel. I'm so, so sorry I was at home in bed and missed the excitement.

Really. I'm sorry.

A great time, and hopefully I'll see you all next year.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Polaris Day 2

I had forgotten how much fun panels are to do. Yesterday I did panels on avoiding procrastination when you write, getting from writing to being published, and an expertise panel, where those of us who know something offered info for those who don't.

I also taught my "Things That Make You Go EEEWWWW!!!!!" course which was all about joint breaks and eye gouges and all that fun stuff. A good time was had by all three participants,


But I heard a rumour the "Instant Kung Fu!" if going to be fairly well attended. I hope so. I want to give the convention their money's worth.

Also held a reading and had more than twice as many people attend this year as last year (that means five people came). And three of them bought the book right there! Yay! I sighed them and then people asked to have their pictures taken with me. It was so cool!

And then I went home.

I should have attended the constellation awards but God's truth I was exhausted, and the house was empty so I ate homemade pizza, had a beer, and watched "One Upon a Time in Mexico."

All right, I watched most of it. Then I fell asleep. So I went to bed. Ain't I exciting?

More to come...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Polaris 2008 _ Day 1

Alright, evening 1. Went to the Blastoff Party and had... well, a blast.

Tanya Huff was there and we got to talking along with a whack of other people, and actors drifted in and out, getting cheered by the fans while we writer types smiled and nodded and pretended not to be at all jealous.

And I got my picture taken by several people who liked style and wanted a picture with a guest.

And much to my annoyance ay my own stupidity, my wife has the camera so I've got to go buy a disposable one if I'm going to get any pictures out of this weekend. ARGH!

Now (lying follows) not being much of a fan myself, I acted very cool (read: scared to talk to them) when the actors came in (lying ends).

But I saw him:

Cliff Simon (Stargate SG-1)

...and I saw him:

Gareth David-Lloyd (Torchwoord)

and I saw her:

Ellen Muth (Dead Like Me)

But I didn't get to talk with Gareth because he was talking with all the girls who were absolutely swooning and I didn't get to talk with Ellen because I was talking with Tanya Huff and some other folks about the annoyance of having other people in the house when you are working but Cliff did say "hello" but it was the end of the evening and he was heading out and they all seemed like really nice people.

No, not a fan at all, eh?

More to come today.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Stop a Stupid Law

Jim Prentice has come out with a new copyright bill for Canada.

It sucks.

Help stop it.

Copyright for Canadians is the first place to visit to understand what is going on. Here's a quote from the front page of the website:

Forward-thinking reform to copyright is possible: laws that recognise the growth and importance of the Internet, open source software, and new business models for creators. Canada could take the initiative, and lead the world.

Instead, new legislation proposed by this government is a sell-out to the United States’ government and media’s demands. C-61 includes wholesale import of the worst provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act — a law that the U.S. passed in 1997 and has been widely seen as a damaging failure. Instead of inviting a new era, the current government is intent on repeating all the mistakes of the last decade.

This is not be a copyright law for Canadians. It is a copyright law from entrenched U.S. lobbyists and politicians. Join us, and fight back!

Get the information and send a letter to your MP. This bill is stupid and needs to be stopped.

For more detailed ananysis, go here.

To read the bill in its entirity, go here.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Notes on Self-Discipline

A little lunch-time blogging.

I hang out at BodyweightCulture a fair amount (being an exercise junkie) and came across this thread today, which lead me to Steve Pavlina's blog articles about self-discipline.

The articles are well-laid out and give an interesting perspective into the elements that you need to become a self-disciplined person. For him, they are "Acceptance, Willpower, Hard Work, Industry, and Persistence."

Self-discipline has always been an issue with me. I tend to be a dreamer, and that can lead to procrastination and avoidance and other issues, all of which are most unwelcome in a writer. Hard to finish that next novel when all you're doing is dreaming of a beach or mountain somewhere.

I found these articles useful and recommend them for anyone who is wanting to improve their self-discipline. I plan to re-read them later this week and then start applying some of the principles and see if things improve.

And now, back to lunch. Yummy pasta with bacon. Mmmm.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Time to Dig for the Truth

This week, a group called the Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared (FRD) held a press conference outside the Indian Affairs office in Downtown Vancouver to announce the formation of a non-government inquiry into the deaths and disappearances of children of the First Nations who were put into the residential school system between 1840 to 1990.

They have chosen a non-governmental inquiry because they do not the government or its officers to let the truth come out.

As part of the investigation, they have presented to the press and the public a list of 28 mass graves across Canada that hold the bodies of the children.

This is one of those moments that we as Canadians should find horrifying. Horrifying because of the atrocities that may have happened; horrifying because, if the atrocities did happen, they happened with the the implicit and possibly explicit knowledge of the authorites; and horrifying because they have been so long ignored.

And please note I use the words "may" and "if" not to express disbelief, but only because I don't know enough about this to say what is the truth.

But I do know the way to find out.

If there are graves, dig them up. If there are bodies, examine them. Learn who they are, learn how they died, and return them to their families and Nations for proper burial.

There are a wealth of archeologists, forensic pathologists, and many others across Canada whose skills could be utilized here. Exhume the bodies, collect the evidence, and let the truth come out.

Of course, I believe our current government will do its damnedest to sweep this under the rug, and I believe the media will mostly ignore it. But I hope I am wrong.

As South Africa showed us, there can be no healing without truth. So let the digging begin, and let the truth come to light.

H/T to The Vanity Press

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I are so smrt!

Free IQ Test Score - Mensa IQ Test

So there!

I is smartlike!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Getting Closer...

Got another couple of pages on my website done. The HOme page, writing page, Appearance page, bookstore main page contacts page and dragon moon press page all work, as do all the links from those pages. Yay!

The Obsessions and Links pages are still a mess, so don't go there.

But I'm getting close...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

You know you're in trouble...

When you're the only parent home, you want to do some work on the computer and youtube is down.

Another step forward...

The bookstore sections of my website are pretty much complete. I need to test all the links and stuff, but so far, looks good.

So, in addition to buying my book, now you can buy a bunch of others off my website and help me pay for the thing!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


All right, is there any free website design software out there that doesn't suck?

Page breeze doesn't recognize CSS so I can't see what the pages actually look like. NVu has decided that my pages are no longer editable, and since I'm dealing with the links from I kind of need a working WYSIWIG to make things go properly.

Annoying as all get out, this is.

Anyway, if anyone has suggestions before I fork out $600 for a copy of Dreamweaver that I really don't want, that would be appreciated.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

It's slightly more alive!

I've got the "Writing" page of my new website up. Very happy making. Not all the links from it work yet, but it's getting closer.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's Alive.... Well, almost, anyway...

Working on the website at long last. Got the homepage up and running, and am working on the many other pages.

With luck, it will be fully functional in the near future. Just having some image and link issues on almost all the other pages.

Not sure which would be cheaper. Buying a copy of dreamweaver or just hiring someone to do it for me...

Meanwhile, I think the "Under Construction" page is very nice...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Truth, Lies and Weight Loss

I don't blog at work. It's bad for one's keeping of one's job, but this post is important.

A friend of mine just sent me a link to Junk Food Science and one of the best articles I have ever read about the science of obesity, starvation, and weight loss. The information in it comes from the Minnesota Starvation Study and published as Biology of Human Starvation (Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis, 1950), begun in 1944, led by Ancel Benjamin Keys, Ph.D., as part of the effort to assist the millions who were starving in Europe. It is the definitive study on the effects of starvation on the human body.

Here is the link.

If you have ever dieted, or are thinking of dieting, read this article first. It, and the study which it uses for backing, puts to rest a lot of the myths about diet, and the myths of post diet behaviour.

I went on a diet once. I gained 20 lbs. Now I know why.

Eat healthy foods, exercise and sleep. The rest will take care of itself.

Read the article.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Struck down by the plague

I'm hoping this is like close to seven now, because at this rate, I'm pretty much expecting a rain of frogs.

We have been sick long and often in the past few months, and we're sick again. God a nasty cold bug that caught us both today. Knocked my lovely wife for a loop. I kept going, and thank God for drugs is all I can say.

So in case anyone is wondering where I've been, that would be it.

And by the way:

Absolutely not what I was expecting, but I'll take it.

Hat tip to Chet

Monday, January 21, 2008

I'm Not as Think as People Dumb I am!

Free IQ Test Score - Free IQ Test

H/T to Chet

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Defining Liberalism

Chet over at The Vanity Press has a great post defining Liberalism, and given how the conservatives are constantly attacking the concept (more so in the USA than here, where they are too busy attacking the Liberal Party and just work on undermining liberalism without noising about why it's bad) it's good to remember what liberalism is and why it's worthwhile.

Have a read.

It's a good definition. Thanks, Chet.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Geek Link!

By way of Dymaxion World.

Harvesting the Sun's Energy with Antennas

If they can find a way to transmit the energy they collect, these little guys could could literally solve almost all of our energy problems.

Cool, eh?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!

Hope your New Year's eve went off as well as ours did. We had a couple of friends over and served what can only be described as a wonderful dinner. My wife and I took turns cooking, and everything went off perfectly. Our friends brought excelllent wine to compliment the meal. Couldn't have asked for better.

Here's the menu (just to make you jealous):
  • Tomato Bocconcini Skewers with Basil & Olive Oil
  • Roasted Tomato Soup with Lemon & Basil
  • Seared Scallops with Jalapeño Crème
  • Warm Spinach Salad with Pancetta Dressing & Asiago Cheese
  • Strip Loin Steaks with French Mustard Sauce
  • Mandarin Praline Trifle
Now that was a dinner.

Good friends, good food, good conversation, good evening. What could be better?

Hope you had the same, and look forward to spending a fair bit more time here this year.

In other news...

...Started putting up the new website. Running into major problems, of course, so don't go visiting just yet. It will look good, though.

...Cold Magics is ticking along, which is good.

...And I'm back to work tomorrow. And it is a sign of why I took this job that I'm looking forward to it.

Happy New Year, everyone.

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