Friday, December 31, 2004

Google Press Center: Zeitgeist

Google Press Center: Zeitgeist

Just for your entertainment, the top most searched terms on Google over the past year.

Apparently pizza was the most searched popular cuisines. Apparently the ability to order pizza online is catching on. Perhaps I can order a pizza for when I return from work accross town online.

Further, Britney Spears was also at the top of the most searched terms. To think I thought she was losing popularity. Apparently she is still number one in the computer world.

Well, to everyone have a happy new year!

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!

Thought of the day...

"Time is unlimited, days are not." -- my sister's MSN Messenger tag line.

Hmmmm....makes sense *Homer Simpson moment*

I always seem to know how to procrastinate. Take the marking I was going to do this week. I have some of it done but not as much as I originally thought I would. Why is when I come home for a holiday that I never seem to get as much as I thought I would?

Thus "Time is unlimited" would seem to mean I can waste time and procrastinate on the important things. While "Days are not" is the self imposed deadline for most of the marking seems to get closer and closer.

Hmmm...Makes sense.

New Years Resolutions

The only New Year's resolutions I promise to make:

Not to make any more New Year's Resolutions.

I guess I have already broken the New Year's resolution by making a resolution not to make New Years Resolution. And to think it is not even the new year yet! DOH!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Got this funky little e-mail card sent to me (Yup it felt like a Hallmark moment except less expensive!) and thought I would share it with everyone. It is pretty exciting after you pop all the balloons over top of the seemingly poor little bear you expect to fall and go splat. Does he? Pop all the balloons and find out!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Ottawa Sun Online: NEWS - Spend in the clowns...

Ottawa Sun Online: NEWS - Spend in the clowns...

Based on this article can I get a grant to start my own ant farm? So how 'bout it?

Talk about money being wasted. Who would have thought the clowns in Ottawa actually were trying to replace themselves?

INN from the Cold Newmarket Ontario Canada

INN from the Cold Newmarket Ontario Canada

Inn From the cold program in Newmarket is a program that just opened its doors in order to help out the homeless. I have been following this program's development through the local newspaper's website for quite sometime. I just wanted to scream when they were having problems finding a space in Newmarket to hold their homeless programs. First, the programs. The programs are designed to allow the homeless a warm place to sleep and eat when the temperature gets cold outside.

Now they finally have a home in a Newmarket church. However, before the program found a home at the church, every place that offered up a home was rejected either by the region's board of health or the town's fire department over various problems. Why my screaming? Well my church in Aurora (not far from Newmarket) had an Inn from the Cold program a couple of years ago supported by the region and the city of Toronto. Then the city of Toronto pulled the funding because the program was geographically located outside the city of Toronto's borders. This funding was pulled, even though, many of the homeless were were bussed up from Toronto.

So now I was seeing that the program in Newmarket was having problems getting off the ground. So I wanted to just scream that my church had already passed the fire inspections and health reports required before and still probably would pass considering there is a YMCA Nursery school in there as well as many other non-profit organizations use the facility on a constant basis. However, the nights that the homeless program was going to be run would have been fine since the church had no problem holding the programs on a Saturday night. Adding the Friday nights wouldn't have been a problem either. Volunteers from Newmarket could easily make the short trip to Aurora as well as adding more volunteers from the church and other churches in Aurora.

The fact that the program did not have any people to serve the first weekend is perhaps not surprising. According to the newspaper article in the local paper, the last weekend nobody showed up to use the Inn from the Cold's services. Perhaps this there are two issues that needed to be sorted out. The first is that the program had just found a spot to house the homeless before opening and thereby not allowing enough time for the word to get out to the homeless that this service was being offered at a certain time and place. The other problem might have been the group focussed on the homeless of the Newmarket and immediate area. When my church ran their program, they had drivers and bus tickets available at Finch Subway station to bring people up to the Aurora in order to take part in the program. This program had more people show up than there were beds and quite often had to turn people away due to the numbers allowed.

Thus I propose in the interest of spending the money raised wisely and to ensure the volunteers time is also used wisely that the Newmarket program open their shelter up to homeless from all of York Region to start and then to Toronto in order to generate the numbers.

All in all though, it is a good idea to provide support for the homeless of the area. Therefore I wish them the best of luck.

Google Language Tools

Language Tools

Did you know you can get Google's main webpage in Elmer Fudd language? Or how about Klingon?

Seems to me the guys and gals at Google.com have a little too much time on their hands in order to make their website Elmer Fudd and Klingon freindly.

I hope since the release of their stocks the computer programmers at Google have used their time a little more wisely than translating language into Fuddian and Klingoian. But non the less the entertainment value is priceless.

Democrat & Chronicle: Business

Democrat & Chronicle: Business

On demand publishing is a very interesting concept. I could write an entire novel today and instead of trying to get the major publishers to even look at it, I could go to lulu.com and have the entire manuscript uploaded and for sale in less than a day. This article gives an overall great description on how the industry works. Not only that they interview my uncle (part of the reason I read the article but not necessarily the reason for this blog entry).

It seems the digital world, which has already cost the music industry billions of dollars, is now eyeing the publishing industry.

Could Bob Young help create the next J.K. Rowling in the book business? Perhaps.

But this new industry may also increase the number of authors out there as well. Therefore, the amount of money each author is likely to make will probably decrease. Why is that? You increase the number of anything without increasing the market share the less each author is going to get. The non increase in the market share is highly likely to happen since there are so many reading choices now for people to take interest in (e.g. internet articles, newspapers, books of various shapes and sizes, etc.) that the traditional reading purchases may decrease over time.

Anyway, lulu.com and other such websites merely help to expand the reading choices we have out there as well as providing a way for people to publish their material without having to go to the major publicshers or after being rejected by the major publishers.

Rejection yet possible success you say? Just ask J.K. Rowling whose Harry Potter series was rejected time and time again until she found a publisher that was willing to take a chance. Question: Between Rowling and the publishers that rejected her, who is laughing now?

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Sockman Calculator

Sockman Calculator

Um...like how many socks have you warn in your lifetime?

Gee whiz I never thought I would ever know. Someone has taken the time to figure out how many socks you have warn in your lifetime. However, variables have not been taken into account like panty hose (I hope women only), sandals, and of course the many sock puppets our hands have warn.

It's amazing what people are counting these days...so hurry up how many socks have you warn?

CANOE -- CNEWS - Tech News: Internet Interested in setting up a blog? Expert tells you how

CANOE -- CNEWS - Tech News: Internet Interested in setting up a blog? Expert tells you how

Surfing the internet aimlessly and came up with this funky story on blogs and how to set up blogs. Seems that everyone suggests blogger.com as a good way to set up your own blog. Then they give a good selection of blogs to visit.

Even blogger gives you a good way now to surf aimlessly blogs on the internet. I just click on the top right hand button saying "next blog". Pretty interesting what people use blogs to do. I have run accross some wackos who should never touch a keyboard, to a day care using a blog to update parents on the latest happenings. If you think about it blogs like the ones on blogger.com provides the user with a good way to set up cheap webpages that can easily be changed without knowing too much html.

Back to the article. It seems that CNEWS (of the Canoe network) has started adding advertisement links in the middle of their article. In this article there are at least two selections ("web developer" and "customer service") that link to an outside website that appear to be links to other articles. It seems that advertisers on the internet just keep getting worse and worse in trying to get you to visit their websites. But that is another story that I have already dealt with in the comment section of my website. I just can't wait until they start advertising on the blogs this way.....wait...forget it no...then I will become aggravated! It makes me aggraveted to even think about it! ARGH!

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

TheStar.com - No pucks, but still plenty of bucks

TheStar.com - No pucks, but still plenty of bucks

What is the effect of no Hockey in the Toronto area a.k.a "Leaf Nation". Apparently nothing much except on the local bar seen. But even that is debatable since new provincial no-smoking law is kicking in.

Other hockey teams are now seeing an increase in attendance. Considering these teams are usually hard pressed to draw fans and maintain revenue, this can only be a good "CHA CHING!" for them. This is true considering the Aurora Tigers Major Junior A team barely draws 500 plus fans a game even on a Saturday night. This after a championship run that saw them win the Royal Bank Cup National Championship.

So just remember, go out to the bar and eat some food and swill some beer. Then all will be good again even without the Leafs, Rangers, Senators and the like. That would be truly socking it to the millionaire players and owners considering they will be the ones not making any money and having to maintain the large arenas and the like. Remember it is both the greed of the owners and the players that is keeping the players off the ice.

Until then, enjoy the teams like the Aurora Tigers and the Newmarket Hurricanes.

Take that you millionaires! The fans will go someplace else.

Just remember the heavy decline in attendance following the 1994 baseball strike....

Just something more for the owners and the players to worry about....

Monday, December 27, 2004

bob young's Blog - Lulu.com

bob young's Blog - Lulu.com

Duly noted that my Uncle even has a blog. Now if I could only understand what technical gobldy gook he is talking about I would be farther ahead. How did I find the blog? Easy, just googled Bob Young blog (no quotes around Bob Young). Now if only he had a Hamilton Tigercats owner's blog. That might make for more easier reading....

Perhaps there should be a cut in coming up with an Owner's blog for the Hamilton Tigercats.... so what do you say unkie?

It's cold!...and other musings of the holiday season.

It's cold outside. Left 20 degrees celcius on Thursday December 23rd in New York City to come home to Aurora and currently it is -14 celcius. What was I thinking? Brrrrrrrrrrrrr......shiver!

Right, home for the holidays with the family. Good times were had by all. Except there was conversation that came up with my cousin's girlfriend who noted a bird called a "McPuffin". Here I thought it was a McDonald's meal that came with fries and a coke. But apparently, she claims, that is what Puffins are called in Cape Breton. Who new?

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Michael Suddard's Homepage

Michael Suddard's Homepage

Yup finally updated my website. First time since August 8th 2004 that I have updated. Give me a break already, I haven't had time since I landed in New York City to update the website. Your lucky I get enough time to update this here blog.

Well, back to work, gotta go!

TheStar.com - Slippery thief rubs $15,000 of road salt in city's wound

TheStar.com - Slippery thief rubs $15,000 of road salt in city's wound

Um...like did the thief steal the road salt by hiding it under his shirt or something?

Another question/query: How do you steal 300 tonnes of road salt without anybody noticing? Where would you keep it?

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Funny Road Signs

Funny Road signs on my travels in and around New York City:



Say why can't I make a right hand turn again? CAUSE IT'S A ONE WAY STREET! If you are dumb enough to make a right hand turn onto a one way street going the opposite way you are, YOU SHOULDN'T BE DRIVING!


.

Hollow sidewalk? Then why hasn't the sidewalk fallen in yet? If the sidewalk is dangerous, then why did the city approve it's building? One of those signs that make you go hmmmm...what were they thinking?


.

The good old "standing under the 'No Standing' sign" gag never gets old!

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

Finally got access to where I store my blog pics. So here is the christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in NYC:

Christmas Eve

Yuppers. I swear I'm an idiot!

I was requested to read Isiah 9: 2-7 at the Christmas Eve Service at my church. Everything was going well until I picked up my bible at end of verse 7 and read to verse 9. I feel sooooooo stupid! Ah well...the nobody noticed except the ministers.

The minister came on after I did and said he was just giving you a taste of what there is further on. We joked afterwards that my additional reading will mean people will want to go out and buy more bibles. YA THATS THE TICKET! That was exactly what I wanted to do... so it wasn't me messing up after all!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

TheStar.com - Subway's open-door policy just leads to confusion

TheStar.com - Subway's open-door policy just leads to confusion

Check out the bottom of the page update on the linked page above.

Right, a flaw. Why was the entrance not checked for accessibility issues so that a person would not have to buzz into a brand spanking new station. I can see on the older subway lines in Toronto the possibilty of not having enough physical space or the equipment installed yet to allow full accessibilty. But this is the Sheppard line the station is on. It has been barely open two years! The system should have been installed then tested then fixed to allow better accessibilty without requiring someone to watch a camera or an employee to be there. Its called fiscal responsibilty folks! Make the station accessible to those in wheelchairs without requiring paying a TTC employee to stand there or be buzzed. Yet another great example of brillance at it's best!

Amusing insights into New York City life...

Went out adventuring in Manhatten last night looking for a good place to eat. On the way there the following things happened...

Passed a car pulled off to the side of the road with a NYPD cruiser behind it. Standing behind the car was a lady, I presume the driver of the car, holding her complete bumper. Yup...the whole bumper including the license plate.

Walked past a store with a sign out front saying "Business Sucks Sale Fri, Sat & Sun" Gee thats one way of putting it.

Thats all for tonight... except to say, sidewalk on Joralemon still not fixed and no law suits that I know about yet....

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

TheStar.com - Busted TTC card reader side-swipes the disabled

TheStar.com - Busted TTC card reader side-swipes the disabled: "Somebody at the TTC. Bolton says she'll take the flak from disappointed riders. Her number is 416-393-3741."

It always seems that bureaucrats never know who is to blame for a faulty piece of machinery that should have been replaced a long time ago. Now the media relations departments of the governments are fielding reports so that the manager's voice mail doesn't see the light of day and all the angry customers trying to make sure something happens. It really only seems when the media starts to get involved do issues seem to be taken care of in a snappy way. Shame really, for it should have only taken one phone call to the TTC to have this turnstile taken care of.

Better yet, why isn't there two of the turnstiles in case one goes down? This station is new within the last five years. So didn't somebody think of it since the TTC has been around for over fifty years? Wait a minute, these are the same people who leave a turnstile broken for six months and many phone calls later.

The above bureaucratic bumbling reminds me of a certain broken sidewalk that still exists in New York City since September....(see below)....by the way it is still not fixed. When I get the time I might have to take pictures of its location....wouldn't that be fun to send to the city and a media establishment. That may actually get the city moving...well maybe not...but at least it would be amusing.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Toronto Sun: NEWS - Target: Telemarketers

Toronto Sun: NEWS - Target: Telemarketers

About time...

But I doubt whether I would ever add my name to the telemarketers list. I take great pride in asking so many questions of telemarketers and then telling them I do not want their product. Nothing like after ten minutes of conversation saying, "sorry I don't want your stinkin' product, GOODBYE!".

Then again, the Do Not call list might save the telemarketers that call me from harassement....

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Update!

Update on the 311 call I made to the city...

Sidewalk is still not fixed....

stay tuned.....

More updates!

I walked over the broken sidewalk again and noticed right next to the Parking lot entrance a fence off garden with a sign on it stating "Columbus Park". I wonder how Commercial this section of Joralemon street really is?

Let's see how governmental in nature it can get:

Borough Hall (home of the Brooklyn's Borough level government),

a parking lot for New York State's Supreme Court (complete with a Court Officer appointed to make sure the car's don't move and make sure the sidewalk only deteriorates even further as more chunks go missing),

Columbus Park (A city of New York Park's Department specialty),

4 access points to MTA's Borough Hall Subway system (2 on each side of Joralemon Street),

Municipal Hall (yup more offices for bureaucrats to work in and not worry about fixing sidewalks).

A University faculty hall (can't remember which one).

And last but not least, around the corner is 65 Court Street the home of the Department of Education for the City of New York.

About the only noted "commercial activity" on this section of the street is a small shoe repair shack and two newspaper stands.

The fun continues...I wonder if the media would love to get ahold of this one?

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Calling 311...this is supposed to be easy?

Walking home from work I realized the "dodge the broken sections of the sidewalk" stretch was a good reason to try out New York City's 311 service.

The 311 service, in case you are unfamiliar with it, is a central clearing house for information from the city. All you have to do is dial "311" on your phone and talk to a person about your problem.

So I described the situation as being "Missing and broken sidewalk blocks on Joralemon outside Brooklyn's Borough Hall right near where the Court House parking lot entrance crosses the sidewalk near the corner of Adams street."

I talked to the first person and told my story to her twice. She then transferred me to Buildings Administration who said that I got transferred to the wrong department. I told her that I was just letting the City know of the problem so that it could be fixed and that she should send the proper paperkwork to whatever city department that does this type of thing in order to have it fixed. She protested and I said deal with it as I am only a concerned citizen.

I hung up and then dialed 311 again. The guy refused to hand me over to a supervisor to look into the situation. So I told the above story again to him. He put me on hold and then looked up some ridiculous law saying the sidewalks in New York city are inspected every five years in commercial areas and that this sidewalk was suposed to be repair the sidewalk. He told me this twice.

I basically wouldn't let him speak again saying that this is a heavily travelled area and that if you were to walk the block around 5 P.M. that you would pass at least two hundred people while walking up Joralemon from Adams to Court Streets. I responded by saying that this section is not commercial it is totally institutional. How much more governmental can you get when the Borough President might walk on this sidewalk right outside his office? Bottom line, I told the guy on the phone, "this isn't rocket science," have someone sent out to assess the situation and have it repaired as soon as possible. Otherwise somebody will trip and fall and sue the city. I also added my taxes don't need to go up because of someone suing the city for a simple repair job. I then said that was it.

The guy asked "is there anything else you need to talk about" in his bureaucratic way. I said, no, just fix the sidewalk, thanks, and hung up on him.

If 311 is supposed to be easier to contact the city and get things answered and fixed, then why the run-around and idiocy. Just take my call, record my complaint on your computer and send it off to the department responsible, no need to transfer me. All you need is the location of the incident (in my case) and send someone out to look at the situation and ways to remedy the situation. But that would be too simple wouldn't it?

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Sunday afternoon musings....

Why is it 12 degrees celcius on a December afternoon in New York City? Is this normal? This canucklehead wants to know why the heck it is so warm here!

Why do I find helping out lost tourists so amusing?

Why is the New York City Subway system stations all concrete and girders? It makes the subway stations look like an unfinished building project with signs slapped up.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Rockefeller Center

Last night I headed out to Rockefeller Center to pay homage to the biggest Christmas Tree in New York City.

My goodness it is huge! I just hope it doesn't fall over onto the skating rink and kill thousands of tourists!

I took some picture for my blog, but do you think I can upload them for your viewing pleasure? Nope, ACI back home in Aurora won't let me log in despite having files on their server still active...argh!

Will post them when I figure out what is going on.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The trip home...

The trip home from Thanksgiving in Toronto was horrendous.

My flight with JetsGo from Lester B. Pearson International Airport to Newark's Liberty International Airport was awful. First the plane never arrived from Newark that was supposed to be refueled in Toronto and sent back to Newark. So a plane had to be brought out of a hangar in Toronto and security cleared. We finally boarded the 6:50 P.M. flight around 8:00 P.M.

Next we sat out on the taxiway for fifteen minutes more so that JetsGo could find a window to land in Newark. Then when we finally lift off and get to Newark, at least in the air, we have to circle Newark Airport for another fifteen minutes. But wait didn't JetsGo find a window to land in Newark back in Toronto? What changed.

Considering my flight down to Newark in August was "also a fun adventure", I doubt whether I will be flying JetsGo anymore.

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