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So this is a thing today:


I don't know how to take that news yet.

Inspired by the Axanar arguments.

"Star Trek fans have always had a developed sense of ownership in the series and its elements. It is a core aspect of Star Trek, and one that Roddenberry himself constantly nurtured."

I fear this will not end well for anyone involved, if it continues in any of several ways threatened.

Also I consider this: it is now demonstrated as a matter of historical fact that CBS/Paramount cannot hope to meet the demand for product by its own devices. And that range of devices is considerable. That they wish to do so, that they wish to be able to do so, is also beyond dispute. But it's not practically possible.

Job Hunting: glassdoor.com

Heard about this from a friendlister on Facebook (also on my friendlist here at LJ), and wondering who else I know is familiar with the company...?

Popularity Contests: The Ongoing "Struggle"

Well, it looks like I'm slowly climbing back up the user ratings. Again. Not a bad thing, I suppose, especially if what's left of the user base here on LJ is resuming better signal/noise ratios again.

I haven't had much to say in this venue over the last week, mind you, so my rise in the ranks - despite having the rules of the game explained to me more than once, and competently, too - still puzzles me somewhat. Your kilometrage will vary. Not "may". Will.

More on other topics as they occur to me...


I understand the Red Wings are moving out of Joe Louis Arena, which is then scheduled for demolition. The successor name is currently set to be named Little Caesar's Arena, after the US-based pizza chain.

This does not sit at all well with me.

Come on, Detroit. You know what the right name for that rink ought to be.

Gordie Howe Memorial Arena.

Don't mess this up. Please.

Yes, I'm grovelling here.

Update: I'm reading about the petition already underway on this issue. Thank you kindly. 

World Refugee Day 2016

This is happening today.

Call it an effort to keep the ball rolling, this one that Canada restarted last October. I can't spare much at the moment, but I can still pass the word along.

More on other matters as the day progresses.

RIP Anton Yelchin

Between this and the second singer from The Voice to be felled by gunfire in a week, and the mass murder in Orlando...among many other things...it's not been a good week, has it?


Father's Day 2016

So I got a text message this morning from my sister wishing me a happy Father's Day.


A son who will be fourteen years past his father's death as of next Christmas (and hers' as well, as they were one and the same person). One who's never become a father, be it by choice or accident.

I know she meant well by the greeting, because she cited several things she thinks I do well as both her brother and as an uncle to her children. So I take that with thanks.

Yet it still seems out of place for me to be greeted in those terms.

And I still miss my father.

Looking at the greeting cards at the stores, the themed sales in the several stores across the city...and I still feel a bit of resentment, too. Sure, there's savings to be had in freedom from that ritual, but I miss having my own best reason for the ritual around.

Those of you who still have one, who are on at least speaking terms with yours...enjoy that while you have it. Please. 

Starting June 15th...

...noting the Eutelsat/ABS launch by SpaceX this morning. 

Acts of Empathy in Toronto and Ottawa

The first of these was already being organized before the shootings this morning. But both are worthy of our attention in any case.



Sad News From Orlando

I've been reading about the shootings at Pulse Orlando this morning.

If you lost someone there, I'm sorry for your pain. 

A Note About a Novel II

One of the things that works about Windswept for me is there's this one aspect to the protagonist, Padma Mehta, that hits home...

Spoilers, I suspect...Collapse )

So there's that.

A Note About a Novel

Specifically Windswept by Adam Rakunas. Thanks to james_nicoll for drawing my attention to it by reviewing its sequel and suggesting to start with Windswept and go to Like a Boss from there. Turns out the Ottawa Library has a couple of copies of Windswept in the circulating collection, so I was able to get a look for myself. Glad I did.

FYI: The reason I include "labour dispute" and "human rights" among the tags for this entry is because of themes in both novels.
We had a bit of a blow-up at a press conference here in Ottawa last week involving Global Affairs Minister Stephane Dion and mainland China's Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi with iPolitics reporter Amanda Connolly. Something to do with whose idea of proper behaviour on the part of reporters should dominate press conferences held in Canada.

In my opinion: one of the more insightful commentaries on the incident and its immediate consequences was written up by CBC's Terry Milewski.

A word he taught me via that essay in the link that I need to remember: hòuyánwúchǐ. Apparently, it's roughly equivalent to the Yiddish word chutzpah.

Noting a few other things for the record...

Starting with the city's announcement of an environmental assessment as a prelude to possibly extending the Confederation Line of the O-Train network to the Canadian Tire Centre(AKA Corel Centre AKA Palladium). If this goes all the way to actually building the tracks and running the trains, there'll be a lot of happier hockey and music fans in this city. Especially out here on the eastern end, owing to the current transit times via the 4xx-series bus routes that feed that stadium on game and concert nights. And even if the Ottawa Senators do end up moving from Kanata's Palladium Drive to Lebreton Flats as many hope, the convenience will still be there for many on the western end of the line.

(Sidebar 1: And I can't see the CTC not still being useful for all manner of major public events for the next couple of decades in any case. Provided the facility is properly cared for by whoever owns it. Yes, that's a piece of advice to the owners I want to see heeded.)

(Sidebar 2: As soon as I see a link to City Hall's page(s) on the matter, I'll set that up here.)

Back to those Unrealistic Expectations held by OC Transpo management.

They're hoping to be rid of paper tickets and bus passes forever, with all regular users forced into the Presto card system. Effective next year.

Not a welcome idea. I want those physical proofs of payment, partly as souvenirs in their own right, partly as tax paperwork documentation. Because tax credits for public transit usage. And because the Presto system requires using the internet to pay the monthly fare. I don't know that I'll be able to maintain my own access to the internet until I'm physically unable to use public transit anymore (hopefully due to extreme old age). More to the point, there are many other people across this city who share such financial uncertainties for any combination of reasons. And even if we can figure that out, internet access can be denied to entire populations due to accident or malice. We've seen an example of the kinds of unexpected infrastructure issues that can pop up today with the Rideau Street Sinkhole Incident.

Better to leave transit users the option of paying for hardcopy bus passes for the long term. Much better.

OC Transpo: Unrealistic Expectations

We now have a clearer sense of how OC Transpo plans to act over the next two years or so as they bring the Confederation Line of the O-Train network online. Some of which makes sense, and some of which strikes me as problematic.

Renumbering of routes, fine. There'll be some weeks of confusion over that, no matter the amount of publicity ahead of time. It can be reduced but won't be completely eliminated. We can cope with this.

Fare reductions for monthly bus passes strike this chronically underemployed citizen as an outright boon. Even though I wonder about the consequences of ending Express routes, it's a financial improvement.

Here's a thing that disturbs me, though, and I ask CBC News to forgive me the direct quotation:

The arrival of light rail in 2018 will save the transit service $14 to $15 million per year in operational costs, Manconi said, because each train will do the job of eight articulated buses, requiring fewer operators.

"There will be a reduction of the workforce. We're just finalizing those numbers now," said Manconi. "We're going to work collaboratively with the union and respect how we do that with our employees and look at various options."

I don't think they fully understand the consequences that many of us are hoping for. Specifically, I'd like to see more trip frequency for local routes within the various neighbourhoods across the city. Also, better connections between neighbourhoods that won't be as well served by usage of the LRT "spinal" routes that we will have starting in 2018. Say, if you want to get from Stittsville to Manotick, or from Orléans to Alta Vista but not by taking the O-Train.

So I can't see a reduction in the work force - drivers, mechanics, etc. - as really being a tolerable option. Logistically or politically. Admittedly, this is an instinctive response on my part, so I expect to see additional information that might answer such concerns.

The Sense of Being Overwhelmed

Quoth Ian Gould:

"Ever have so many jobs to do that you can't pick one to settle on and you end up jumping back and forth and kibbitzing on Facebook as you go?"

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June 2016