11 on Top

I finished Janet Evanovich’s latest book last night. I liked it a lot. It took care of some of the more glaring problems in the series (basically there’s only so much mahem one person can encounter in one job, the Kinsey Millhone syndrome if you will) and ended it within the first paragraph. She got Stephanie doing something new and different and I am thanking God for that fact. The last book was really beginning to stretch the fabric of plausability in my mind. Sure most serial character mystery fiction has an element of the improbable. But once the implausable starts to happen you’re in trouble. Bernie Rhondenbarr went on vacation to a nice little Englishesque place. Matt Scudder climbed out of the bottle. Sid Halley never really did enough to warrant a change and I’m running out of characters I remember off the top of my head. The point is you can only have the utter insanity that generally follows one of the these characters happen for so long before you have to invent something utterly ridiculous to have anything new happen. Evonvitch has made that happen for Stephanie. She’s breathed new life into the series and I really believe that there are now at least three to five more Plum novels left.

History of Canadian Immigration


Forging Our Legacy: Canadian Citizenship and Immigration, 1900-1977

Buried deep within the bowels of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website lies a book made into a website that will save the life of high school history students desperately trying to finish their homework assignment on the history of Canadian immigration. Created to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Canadian Citizenship Act, this book details both the history of immigration from 1900 to 1977 and how immigration has changed Canada. The introduction states:

In the years leading up to 1947 and beyond, Canada’s identity has been developed and shaped, in large part, by the contributions made by successive waves of immigrants. These waves are described in this book, which also shows how immigration, along with other key events in the country’s development, contributed to the growth of Canadian nationalism and Canada’s sense of identity, both of which culminated in the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1947 and the Citizenship Act of 1977.

While some might consider this to be a lofty thesis worthy of an academic paper the book manages to convey its ideas in language that is accessible to someone with a high school reading level. The layout of the book further removes it from the realm of academia as there are few footnotes and no attempt at any sort of historigraphical introduction. This is not to say that this site is not authoritative. Not only does it come directly from the federal ministry directly responsible for the topic but there is a full list of sources at the end.

Locating this document is so difficult that I have yet to actually duplicate my original efforts. Since the phrase history of immigration does not actually appear in the text a standard search using google or yahoo will not find it. In fact, searching for those terms in the federal government search engine will not bring the title up in any reasonable length of time, if at all. The book is barely listed on the CIC website and can only be found by patient browsing. Where in that browsing you find the link is now lost to me. Thankfully I located this through a reference question for a staff member’s child and the url was still in my email.

In all, this is a highly useful resource that, especially given it’s inaccessible nature, is probably rarely used. I strongly recommend taking a look through this beforehand since it can also answer reference questions surrounding some of the key players in immigration history such as Clifford Sifton (responsible for the first wave of immigration) and Frank Oliver (responsible for changing the definition of who was allowed into Canada).

learning all over again

My father-in-law lent me a guitar a few weeks ago. I’ve been spending my time strumming away with all my old chords just messing around and learning a few songs (well, Seraph doesn’t call them songs but seeing as one of them is a Brittney Spears (come’on it’s E-D-C-F-G) song I don’t really blame her). Last week, however, I went and did something stupid. I bought a book on playing the guitar. Today I tried it out.

Damn I’m out of practice.

The first batch of exercises were simply playing a simple note, high E. Not that hard right? Try adding the fact that you remember squat when it comes to timing. Now it becomes for interesting. After about an hour of flubbing up bits that varied where you put the eighth note (1 & ah 2 & ah, 1 e ah 2 e ah) I feel I’m slowly getting back into the way I probably should have learned all those years ago.

You see back in grade three about six of us would go to the library on our lunch hour and take guitar lessons from a guy with longish black hair who wore blue jeans in the school. He was the cool guy. None of us really knew about rocking out and when it came time to go to the Christmas concert he sang away at the mic with us strumming in the background, turning around after every reminding us that we could sing too. I sang along when we did Rhimestone Cowboy. That was the cool song since it had a quick G-A chord switch just after the opening line of the chorus. “Like a Rhimestone Cowboy, strum, strum.” I remember sitting on that stage in Shannonville thinking this is the coolest thing I’d ever done. I lost a pick inside my guitar that night. I remember because our teacher specifically told us not to fish it out. He lent me a bright yellow one that I kept for a few years. It, along with my interest, disappeared after a few family moves. With no real lessons and the piano taking up much of the (admittedly little) practice time the guitar faded away, riding off into the sunset. Picking it up again has brought back a lot of fun memories from my childhood, something I don’t get often enough.

Rhinestone Cowboy
By Glen Campbell

I’ve been walkin’ these streets so long
Singin’ the same old song
I know every crack in these dirty sidewalks of Broadway
Where hustle’s the name of the game
And nice guys get washed away like the snow and the rain
There’s been a lot of compromisin’
On the road to my horizon
But I’m gonna be where the lights are shinin’ on me

Like a Rhinestone cowboy
Riding out on a horse in a star-spangled rodeo
Like a Rhinestone cowboy
Getting cards and letters from people I don’t even know
And offers comin’ over the phone

Well, I really don’t mind the rain
And a smile can hide all the pain
But you’re down when you’re ridin’ the train that’s takin’ the long way
And I dream of the things I’ll do
With a subway token and a dollar tucked inside my shoe
There’ll be a lot of compromisin’
On the road to my horizon
But I’m gonna be where the lights are shinin’ on me

Like a Rhinestone cowboy
Riding out on a horse in a star-spangled rodeo
Rhinestone cowboy
Getting cards and letters from people I don’t even know
And offers comin’ over the phone

Like a Rhinestone cowboy
Riding out on a horse in a star-spangled rodeo
Like a Rhinestone cowboy
Getting cards and letters from people I don’t even know (fade)

learning-all-over-again

My father-in-law lent me a guitar a few weeks ago. I”ve been spending my time strumming away with all my old chords just messing around and learning a few songs (well, Seraph doesn”t call them songs but seeing as one of them is a Brittney Spears (come”on it”s E-D-C-F-G) song I don”t really blame her). Last week, however, I went and did something stupid. I bought a book on playing the guitar. Today I tried it out.
Damn I”m out of practice.
The first batch of exercises were simply playing a simple note, high E. Not that hard right? Try adding the fact that you remember squat when it comes to timing. Now it becomes for interesting. After about an hour of flubbing up bits that varied where you put the eighth note (1 & ah 2 & ah, 1 e ah 2 e ah) I feel I”m slowly getting back into the way I probably should have learned all those years ago.
You see back in grade three about six of us would go to the library on our lunch hour and take guitar lessons from a guy with longish black hair who wore blue jeans in the school. He was the cool guy. None of us really knew about rocking out and when it came time to go to the Christmas concert he sang away at the mic with us strumming in the background, turning around after every reminding us that we could sing too. I sang along when we did Rhimestone Cowboy. That was the cool song since it had a quick G-A chord switch just after the opening line of the chorus. “Like a Rhimestone Cowboy, strum, strum.” I remember sitting on that stage in Shannonville thinking this is the coolest thing I”d ever done. I lost a pick inside my guitar that night. I remember because our teacher specifically told us not to fish it out. He lent me a bright yellow one that I kept for a few years. It, along with my interest, disappeared after a few family moves. With no real lessons and the piano taking up much of the (admittedly little) practice time the guitar faded away, riding off into the sunset. Picking it up again has brought back a lot of fun memories from my childhood, something I don”t get often enough.

Rhinestone Cowboy by Glen Campbell
I”ve been walkin” these streets so long
Singin” the same old song
I know every crack in these dirty sidewalks of Broadway
Where hustle”s the name of the game
And nice guys get washed away like the snow and the rain
There’s been a lot of compromisin’
On the road to my horizon
But I”m gonna be where the lights are shinin’ on me

Like a Rhinestone cowboy
Riding out on a horse in a star-spangled rodeo
Like a Rhinestone cowboy
Getting cards and letters from people I don”t even know
And offers comin’ over the phone

Well, I really don”t mind the rain
And a smile can hide all the pain
But you’re down when you’re ridin’ the train that’s takin’ the long way
And I dream of the things I’ll do
With a subway token and a dollar tucked inside my shoe
There”ll be a lot of compromisin’
On the road to my horizon
But I’m gonna be where the lights are shinin’ on me

Like a Rhinestone cowboy
Riding out on a horse in a star-spangled rodeo
Rhinestone cowboy
Getting cards and letters from people I don’t even know
And offers comin’ over the phone
Like a Rhinestone cowboy
Riding out on a horse in a star-spangled rodeo
Like a Rhinestone cowboy
Getting cards and letters from people I don’t even know (fade)’

Heh.

Society of Hardware and Information Technology Helpers, Executive Administration Division

Are you a member?

someone else’s stuff

If you haven’t read Lance Storm’s commentaries in a while (or ever) I strongly suggest you check out July’s postings. He has put up some amazing pieces of work on the night Kayfabe (pretending wrestling storylines are ‘real’) died, steroids, and his final day at OVW. Despite being hit on the head for a living Lance is an extremely well read man and his commentaries are works that I think should be credited with being just as good as, if not better than, his in-ring abilities.

Weeks of insanity

For the better part of three weeks now my life has been turned upside-down thanks to acute epiploic appendagitis. Basically some of the fatty tissue surrounding my bowel decided to become twisted. This hurt. Like a mofo. To make matters even more interesting the only other pain in that area is pancreatitis, which can be fatal. So between the pain and the worry and the subsequent testing and drugging up with pain killers I’ve kindof lost a couple of weeks. I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled rants soon enough. Unlike the rest of the Canadian blogging world, I am not going fishing.

Wish I was though.

heh heh

Right. Didn’t forget what my password was for the blog. Nope. Not me.

News of the Day

Royal Canadian Mint Secures Contract to Produce Currency Coins for the Dominican Republic

Did you know we made money for the Dominicans? I sure as hell didn’t. It’s amazing what you find if you randomly look at press releases.

And to just to make international matters a bit clearer the Prime Minister of Iceland is visiting tomorrow. Given the recent buildup of troops in the arctic between Canada and Denmark this should have great consequences. Too bad the only place the visit is mentioned is the governement’s own website. The Icelandic government has squat. The major newsies? Nothing.

So much for being that middle power.

GTA: San Assdreas

Apparently the House of Representatives has decided that the Federal trade commission should investigate the “publication of the video game “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’ to determine if the publisher deceived the Entertainment Software Ratings Board to avoid an ‘Adults-Only’ rating. ”

First of all, the rating went from 17 and up to 18 and up. I’m so afraid that those 17 year olds are right now being turned to a life of depravity. We should pray.

Second of all, the content in question can only be accessed if the player modifies the game (that is, they modify either their save file or the game code itself) which will allow you to open up various aspects (including how to put 40 cars into the garage). The fact that it is still in the game (hackers? Please.) means that Rockstar wrote it, decided the game shouldn’t be released as an 18+ and went on to publish. Chances are it was an upstairs decision made with limited time left. You don’t remove coding. You simply don’t access it. What happens if they wanted to release an adult only version (given the nature of the series and the game it shouldn’t be unexpected)? Why redo a bunch of work when you have already done it.

Third, Rockstar execs are being dumbasses. They were probably shooting off in their pants at what the programmers did months ago and when they realized that the ESRB wouldn’t let them sell at Walmart they said take it off.