Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Every doctor should be compelled to read Dr. Andrew Malleson's "Whiplash and Other Useful Illnesses." This is a fascinating book by a true skeptic. I, like the vast majority of others, thought that whiplash and the other "fashionable illnesses" were real and serious. This book opened my eyes.

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Friday, November 21, 2003

The Decline of Radio

Do you remember when radio was good? Maybe you are not old enough. I remember when there were lots of independent radio stations. Now, national or multinational companies own something like 80% of North American radio stations. Corus Entertainment owns 24 radio stations in Ontario, 13 in Quebec, and 16 in western Canada! (plus 13 television stations).

This cannot be good for radio. I remember when Q-107 and CFNY (now totally eviscerated and renamed the Edge) used to be very different stations. Today, very little separates them. The so-called Edge spins "new rock" (usually pointless and wrongly categorized as alternative) while Q-107 delves into oldies and occasionally, some rather terrible rock.

Fans of CFNY should visit the Spirit of Radio fan site.

I rarely listen to the radio, but when I do, I usually listen to the last remaining independents, like the University of Toronto's CIUT and Ryerson CKLN.

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Friday, November 14, 2003

The architect is coming. The library is planning a reno. If we can only get more windows, I'll be happy.

In the darkroom last night, I developed two rolls of Kodak HIE. Later, I printed a few images. I am pleasantly surprised with the results. The next step will be to make some large prints. 8x10 seems really small for landscapes. This film gives far better results than Konica's pseudo-infrared film.

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Thursday, November 13, 2003


I've noticed that people with blogs often list their favourite stuff -- movies, books, music -- and other important stuff. Here's a small effort.

Movie: too hard to narrow it down.

Book: Hmm, tough one - maybe "Gargantua and Pantagruel" or "The Brothers Karamazov." There are so many to choose from. I am currently reading "Black Dogs", by Ian McEwan.

Music: my favourite singer/songwriter is Leonard Cohen., with John Cale being a close second. I like Nike Drake, Tom Waits, Richard Thompson, Billy Bragg, Bruce Cockburn, Beck, Adrian Belew, David Bowie, Bob Mould, Lou Reed, Neil Young, Jeff Buckley, and others. I am a fan of Brian Eno, Labradford, Bill Laswell, Set Fire to Flames, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Fly Pan Am, Do Make Say Think, Harld Budd, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, as well as XTC, Rheostatics, Velvet Underground, Bauhaus, Radiohead. I am missing people.

Colour: black

TV: Alias, DaVinci's Inquest, Simpsons, Star Trek...

Time of year: spring

Food: Indian

In case of fire, what will I remember to take with you: my old journals, photos

What's under my bed: dust

How many times have I been in love: what's love?

What's on my desktop: Mondrian painting

First car: Pontiac Ventura

I cycle year round. I like toy cameras. I hate Microsoft.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Politics and Music

I guess I should never discuss politics with co-workers. That is, if I am not sure where they stand on the political spectrum, I should avoid it. Today, I learned that a colleague voted for John Tory. I voted for David Miller. In his email, he said: "Miller is an NDPer....who would in their right mind ever want to vote for the NDP?" I told him I would and did and have in the past. He also wants the Olympics to come to Toronto, and he bought into Tory's right wing law and order campaign. We disagree about music too, so I guess I should have expected this.

Speaking of music, I finally acquired a copy of Tabla Beat Science - Live in San Francisco. I also picked up a Set Fire to Flames CD. It is awesome. I think the Montreal scene is fabulous. Do Make Say Think, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Fly Pan Am, Exhaust, and others are making some really interesting music. Check out Constellation Records for great music and some really artistic packaging.

I recently dug out a couple of Quarkspace CDs from my collection and had a listen to Spacefolds 6 and Spacefolds 7. It's been a while since I gave them a spin, and I have to say that I still like most of their music. There are bits that don't do it for me, but I really think that they made some cool music.

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Friday, November 07, 2003

It's Friday. I know that it comes once per week, but it seems to take forever for it to arrive. This weekend, I am heading into High Park with my camera and some high-speed black and white infrared film. I am in the midst of photographing trees. I processed three rolls of Tri-X last night, and I like the results. I think I have some good images. I also spent some time in the studio, experimenting with lighting.

The Pentagon has begun recruiting for local draft boards. This is unbelievable. The US military is stretched thin by the stupidity in Iraq. I am not overwhelmed by Bush's intellect. I am not sure he has any. The US is getting bogged down in Iraq, and there is a notice on the defence department's Defend America website asking Americans to serve on draft boards. Is Iraq becoming another Viet Nam? Hopefully, a new US president will do the right thing and get the hell out of Iraq.

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Thursday, November 06, 2003

I do not work in a libary, or a lieberry. I am not a libarian, or even a Liberian. Is library such a hard word to pronounce? I sat through a three-hour presentation and the instructor, from a major telecommunications firm, kept saying lieberry, as if it were some sort of fruit.

Does anyone else think that it stinks that John Tory received an endorsement, which he accepted, from the Toronto Police Association? This is in contravention to the Police Act, and probably illegal. He wants to hire 400 policemen at a time when crime rates are dropping. We don't need another tough on crime campaign. It stinks. His ties to Mike Harris are so clear, I am amazed that anyone in Toronto would even consider voting for him.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Last night's Mayoral debate proved once again that John Nunziata is a goof. He should have taken the money. John Tory has the perfect last name. He is such a tory. I don't understand why he is running second in this campaign. We just got rid of the provincial conservative government! Some people in this city can't get enough abuse, it seems. Barbara Hall is boring. I am still going to vote for David Miller.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Dolly for Dinner

The FDA thinks that cloned meat is safe. It's already hard enough to buy real food. We have irradiated food, genetically-modified food, foods soaked with pesticides, and animals pumped up with antibiotics. In the future, it seems that we will have cloned meat in the stores.

I imagine that the specials interest groups will try their best to avoid labeling, just as they have done with GMOs. I think current food labeling legislation sucks. Ingredients of ingredients aren't labeled. Ever wonder what is in such innocuous sounding items like spices, natural flavouring, artificial flavouring, etc.? Even some manufacturers don’t know because they purchase these products form other suppliers. Since they account for less than 5% of the product, there are no disclosure requirements.

One of my favourite sites is Truth in Labeling. It focuses on the MSG, and how it is hidden in many foods. Gluten, a toxic substance to those suffering from Celiac Disease, is also hidden in many products.

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Monday, November 03, 2003


When you have a kid, Hallowe'en is different. It reminded me of my childhood. I am also reminded of the parties I went to in high school and University. Those were the days. This year, our two-year-old ventured to a few more houses. She quickly clued-in. "Let's go trick or treating at that house," she said, and "let's knock on that door.". At the beginning, it was fine to visit the houses of people we knew. They learn fast.

My other enduring memory of Hallowe'en was wearing a winter coat over my costume. It snowed many years. This year, we had fabulous weather,. I walked around with her in a short-sleeved shirt.

We got the pumpkin early and, of course, the little one couldn't wait to carve it. The first face was too scary, so we added a second face at the back. As Hallowe'en approached our Janus-faced pumpkin started to decay and rot. In my mind, we had the perfect pumpkin. The insides had turned black, the rear face collapsed and looked like an eighty year old with no teeth. It was the scariest pumpkin on the street. My fingers punctured the sides when I picked it up to carry it to the composter the next day.

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