Monday, January 31, 2011

This Could Be The Last Time

Well... maybe not the last time I post here but could be pretty close.

By now most of you have heard about the CRTC's decision to allow user-based billing (UBB) This means internet providers can charge their  customers on a per byte basis (like minutes on a cell phone). If Shaw imposes the same kind of plans as Bell, it is possible I will have to give up my internet connection completely.

It's not clear if new charges will replace the current charges of if they will be added to them. If it's added to them I will be forced to cancel my internet service. That's the bottom line. So if I disappear you'll know what happened.

Just in case you don't know about UBB here's a clip from my "boyfriend" George Stroumboulopoulos.

Since watching this I've found out that some people on the CRTC board used to be Bell Canada employees. If that's not a conflict of interest I don't know what is.

There is a movement trying to get the decision reversed. Check out AntiUBB to find out what you can do to stop this stupidity. You can also sign online petition.

I spend hours yesterday getting the email addy for every MP and Senator. I sent them all a very long email about why I think UBB is a bad idea. So far I've gotten a few "we got your email" messages and one personal reply thanking me for my "interesting and thoughtful" email from Stephen Greene.

I hope this decision is reversed but if it isn't I'll adjust. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordful Wednesdays

Atlantis could have used a Starbucks.

In 2008 I went to the Stargate: Atlantis set (which they were slowly changing into the Stargate: Universe set) I borrowed my friend's camera but I hadn't had time to learn how to use it. I took crappy pictures like the one above. In case you can't tell, it's David Nykl dressed in his Radek Zelenka costume. He's asking someone to get him a coffee - that's a coffee container in his hand. He's standing in the "gateroom" in front of the main gate panel.

It would have been so much better if I'd figured out how to "zoom".

If you're wondering why Nykl was in his Zelenka costume it's because there was a "photo op" where everyone got to take a picture with Zelenka behind an Atlantis panel.

At the time that I visited the studio there were still rumors of an Atlantis movie. Now that Universe has been canceled that's been put on hold indefinitely. For the first time since 1997, the Stargate sets and offices are empty. I didn't like Universe but I'm sorry it got canceled. I'm sorry that some of my friends who worked on all three shows are now out of a job.

I'm also sorry I didn't take more pictures on set. Even if they would have been crappy it would have been nice to have them.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Taz Still Needs a Home

Taz has been waiting for adoption since November. We were supposed to meet potential adopters yesterday but they canceled. If you know anyone who can give a home to a great little dog, please pass this on to them. Thanks.

Taz, one year old neutered Pug/Cairn Terrier cross. Taz came to PADS over the summer as a young adult rescue with an unknown history. Taz loves people and can be a real sweetheart. He takes to training energetically and loves working with any kind of food reward. PADS recommends that Taz goes to an adoptive family who is willing to take him to clicker training classes to build on his strong desire to work for a reward as Taz learns quickly and easily this way. He is resistant to being trained using any kind of force or dominance, and on one occasion bit his handler's hand when they tried to get a down by pulling his collar towards the ground. Because of his resistance to physical handling we will not consider a home with small children.

Taz would do best in a home with active adults who are home during the day. A securely fenced yard is not necessary but is preferred. Taz plays like a terrier, very rough-and-tumble and can be quite vocal when he really gets going. Taz enjoys fenced in dog parks, however because of his age when he came to PADS he does not yet have a reliable recall, so unfenced parks are not recommended. Our suspicion is that Taz was not well-socialized to other dogs as a puppy before he came to PADS as though he is friendly to all dogs he believes that all dogs want to play with him even if they are showing clear signs that they want him to go away.

Taz would do well in a household with another high-energy, friendly dog who is happy to play for hours.

The adoption fee for Taz is $500.

If you are interested in receiving an adoption application please e-mail Jackie Clark: Applications are considered on a first-come basis, and will be followed by a personal interview at which point potential adopters will have the opportunity to meet Taz.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Last Chance To Sign The Bradley Manning Petition

It doesn't matter if he's guilty or not. He's still a human being and he deserves to be treated like one. 

The petition will be delivered this weekend. Click Here to add your voice.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King Day Should be Celebrated Everywhere

The first interracial kiss between fictional characters on TV*
I didn't know what day today was. I'm Canadian so it's not a holiday for me. I think it should be. I don't know all that much about Martin Luther King. We don't study a lot of American politics in school up here. What I do know is that he was an intelligent man struggling for rights he should have had automatically. If the world was a fair place.

I have no idea what it's like to have dark skin. I'm "whiter than sour cream." On top of that, I grew up in the Canada's Borscht Belt. A lot of my neighbours had last names that ended with "ski" or "vich". This may come as a shock to some people but I didn't actually see a black person in real life until I was in grade 10. I had seen them in TV and movies but not "live".

Now, before you think I was raised in the 20s or something, I was in grade 10 in 1980. It's not that Canada didn't have black people. A lot of ex-slaves ended up in Atlantic Canada but very few of them moved to the prairies. I don't blame them. It's damn cold. There probably were black people in my town before 1980 but I never came face to face with them.

Not until a young boy, I'll call him Bobby, showed up at my Catholic high school. Bobby was given a locker two down from mine.  He was from Jamaica. His dad had been transfered to Canada so there he was. I really don't know how the other kids related to Bobby. By grade 10 I'd learned to shut out 99% of my fellow students. I loved Bobby's accent (I'm still a sucker for them) and I loved to hear him talk about Jamaica.

photo: Tourism Saskatchewan
I remember that I felt sorry for Bobby. The weather must have been a huge surprise. I'm talking minus 20 with a minus 30 wind chill. You get used to hearing "human skin will freeze in less than ten minutes" on the radio. Poor Bobby looked like the Michelin Tire guy. He had a big puffy coat, a scarf, a toque, two pairs of mitts, and 3 sweaters. It was exhausting just watching him get undressed. He lasted one semester. Last I heard the family had moved to Vancouver Island where it rarely ever gets below freezing.

I never thought that Bobby might have other problems besides the weather. I never cared that his skin was black just as I'd never cared that 40% of the kids in my elementary school were what we called Indian. I really didn't wonder why most of the Indian kids never made it to high school. Oh to be young and oblivious again...

I'm not sure when I first understood what racism was. I just know that I've always thought it was stupid. Many of you know that I'm a huge TrekNerd. I was two years old when Star Trek first appeared on our television. I didn't know what a big deal it was to have Lt. Uhura on the bridge of the Enterprise. I just took it for granted that there would be women in the 23rd Century so there would be women on the bridge.

In the video below, Uhura actress Nichelle Nichols talks about how MLK influenced her career:

It was important for Ms. Nichols to be the first but is also important to make sure there is never a last.We all need to remember MLK and strive to make his dream come true. It isn't just an American issue. It's a planetary issue. It's a human issue. Until everyone is valued equally the fight goes on.

Right now the focus is on LGBT teens who are being bullied into suicide. I think Dr. King would be appalled by the lost potential. I think he'd give a damn. I also think he'd be sad that we still have such a long way to go before we are all equal. We all have to keep up the fight. I think it would do this planet a world of good if we all remembered Martin Luther King and what he stood for, not just on one day a year but all year long.

Okay. I'll get down off this soapbox now.

*Screencap from the Star Trek episode "Plato's Stepchildren" is "fair use" under US copyright law.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weird and Wonderful

The other night I finally watched Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. I've always said that I'd love to ramble around in his head for a day or two. I'm also a Johnny Depp fan.

I'm sure that this movie looked great on the big screen of a theater. I didn't go see it because I refuse to give Disney any more of my money (long story.) I borrowed the DVD from Vancouver Public Library.

One of these days I'm going to have to read the Alice books. I'm afraid I'm quite behind on my "classics of children's literature." I was not read to as a child. My mother left school in the fourth grade. She have very little skill at reading and writing. She thought it was a waste of time.

I can only remember reading two children's books: E B White's Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web. Both books were school assignments. I have a feeling I missed out on a lot of good books.

I did see the Disney animated version of Alice. It has been years and I don't remember that much of it. I knew Alice, the Red Queen ("Off with their heads!"), the Cheshire Cat, The Mad Hatter and the White  Rabbit. I knew about the "eat me" and "drink me." Everything else is kind of fuzzy so I don't know how true to the books this movie is.

I don't think it matters. I think the movie is fairly easy to follow - after you get past the part where a girl finds a bottle labelled "drink me" and she does. Some might think she deserved everything that came after for being so careless but that's another blog post entirely.

I've always loved the look of Tim Burton movies. The bright colors and out of kilter shapes. There was so much to look at in Alice that I got distracted. More than once I had to stop and go back because I missed something. The costumes in this film were amazing. I found myself coveting every hat the Hatter made. All of the characters in this wacky world looked wonderful. I'm always amazed by how well thought out and executed Burton movies are.

I was glad the soundtrack was also wonderful. I'm not always enamored of Danny Elfman's work. I thought his Mars Attacks! score was annoying. Alice's score was just right, quiet when it should have been and exhilerating when it needed to be.

I also loved the featurettes on this DVD. I'm always interested in the process (as long as I don't have to do it!) I was surprised that Johnny Depp did not know the origin of the phrase "mad as a hatter" until he began work on Alice.

****** SPOILER ALERT*****

Alice was a thoroughly enjoyable movie. I think I'd like living in Wonderland. Which reminds me, the MOST fantastical thing in the movie was at the end. She tells everyone she won't marry Hamish and Lord Ascot asks her to be his apprentice. Then he takes her advice about China and in the last scene she's on a ship (called Wonder) heading out to sea.

In  1878? Never happen. If I only had the life of a woman in the19th Century to go back to I'd stay in Wonderland.

Alice in Wonderland
Through the Looking-Glass