June 25, 2004

Oh Baby! Webmonkey comes back to life!

The chimp with the wrench is back baby!

EEEEEE! EEEEE! EEEEEEE! (John's simian-style shrieks of pure joy!)

Wired magazine has brought it's popular "Webmonkey" site back to life!

From the Wired Web site:

"We heard from a lot of you after Webmonkey stopped publishing earlier this year. So, by popular demand, Webmonkey, the pioneering how-to guide for Web developers, is back. Wired News editors will work with Webmonkey writers to publish two articles a month. As before, these will include tutorials, software reviews and commentary by people who know their stuff. In the near future, Webmonkey will be more closely tied to Wired News, so readers can expect to see the latest on design, engineering, security and culture.
-- The Editors "

The power of being friendly...

A chance encounter with a friendly dog in New Brunswick made a man reconsider his plans for the day. He had planned to begin randomly shooting people.

He had come to Toronto from New Brunswick to kill "happy people". Being a dog lover (apparently more than people, according to reports), the happy dog must have convinced him that people had some redeeming value as well.

He turned himself in to a local policeman and was charged with multiple weapons-related offences, and will undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Thank goodness for that friendly dog.

June 14, 2004

Karma is not currency...

A few days ago, coming home from work, I saw a young man begging for change at the Commercial Drive Skytrain Station. This in itself is nothing new, and no big deal to me, but this particular person struck me as a bit different from other panhandlers I had seen before.

He was sitting on the pavement, with a little cardboard sign that said "Karma - 25 cents". I looked at him and when he noticed me, he looked away. I think it was in shame.

His beard was trimmed, and he looked clean and fed to me, with reasonably new-looking clothes. I think this was a person who could do much better for themselves than wasting their time and other's people's money in this way.

I walked away wondering about his guilty-sounding little solicitation. I think he intended to ask for money in exchange for extra karma for me, but I believe that he could as well have been saying "Please give me some of your good karma."

As if my quarter would help him, and as if karma could be treated like a form of currency.

Dude, I hope you know that you can earn your own karma. And then, once you have lots of good karma, give some of it to someone else who really needs it. That's how it works, in my humble experience.

June 07, 2004

Oh, those poor twins...

Not long ago, I was in the lineup at Safeway, waiting to checkout. The front page of the Star or the National Enquirer caught my eye, featuring a certain teeny-bopper flavour-of-the-week sister-act.

Overheard behind me:

Woman: "Oh no. They're picking on the twins again!"

Man: "What? The Sedins?"

Woman (slightly irritated): "No! Mary-Kate and Ashley!"

At which point, the man immediately lost interest in the conversation, and I snickered into my sleeve.

Ah, priorities...

June 03, 2004

Quoth Homer: "Mmmm... Sushi..."

Ooooohhh... This is totally edible art....

Mmm... Sushi... (John drool's all over his keyboard...)

Repetitive stress syndrome, anyone?

Well, not exactly... but I did click a button named "Preview" and another one named "Publish" well over 500 times in the last two days.

Such is the life of a webmeister helping his boss to update/republish vast numbers of web pages. It's an honest living, and it's all good.

Our web site (Vancouver English Centre, www.vec.ca) was also rated #3 in the "Languages" category for the Vancouver Sun's "2004 Top Picks" of the web. I really must admit to some pride in that.

Homelessness and a provincial politician...

(John clears his throat and self-consciously steps up onto his wobbly soapbox...)


In an article published not too long ago (I think in the Georgia Straight), Bill Teilman (sp?) wrote about Lorne Mayencourt's proposed bill for tougher penalties - fines - against agressive panhandlers. I believe Bill (go Bill) said essentially said that taking this position made Mayencort essentially a hypocrite, since Mr. Mayencourt had been bankrupt twice and had had a loan or two forgiven in his day. My impression is that it was for more than mere pocket change.

Mayencourt's position is, IMHO, too extreme and counter-productive, punishing the poor without offering any contribution towards a long-term solution.

For all his own idealistic promotion, at least Svend Robinson spent a night in a homeless shelter to bring awareness to the homeless problem in Vancouver. And that was years ago, when I think it was not as bad as it is today...

Care to get your sleeping bag out Lorne?