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December 29, 2003

Headin' South

Well my short vacation in Canada is over. I leave Tuesday morning to spend New Year's with Teresa in her native Virginia. I'll get to visit Washington DC and possibly get harassed by an air marshal on my way there.

It was great to see everyone while I was home (including fellow bloggers Ian, Dave and Ryan), and I apologize to those I didn't get to see (including fellow bloggers Rew, Pete and Rafi).

If you don't hear from me before then, have a happy New Year.

21:16 | Travel | Comments (3)

December 26, 2003

Happy Boxing Day

I'm going to spend the day chilling out with my family and playing with my new toys. Here's a short article for those of you who want to learn the true meaning of Boxing Day.

07:30 | Canada

December 24, 2003

Mad Cows!

Mad Cow Disease has been contracted in the United States. Hope they don't expect Canada to keep importing, especially after the warm reception our beef got last spring.

17:43 | America | Comments (1)

The Sweet Smell Of Salted Roads

I managed to sneak away from a fridge full of nog and 24 hours of A Christmas Story jot down a quick entry.

The flight home was (thankfully) uneventful. The flight to Pittsburg was overbooked, so they offered a free ticket to anyone willing to get bumped to another flight. I would have been all over that, except for the fact that the ticket was only good for domestic flights. Plus, who knows when I could be able to get connected to Toronto?

I caught a connecting flight in Pittsburg, where I sat beside the same person from the first flight. He's a Microsoft employee, a Waterloo grad, and his name is Chris. Freaky, eh?

It's been nice hanging out with family and friends, doing good deeds and drinking coffee. I'm a little disappointed with the lack of snow here. If I wanted rain, I'd have stayed in Seattle. Hopefully we'll get a white Christmas, for no other reason than consistency; I've enjoyed a white Christmas every year I can remember, even in Japan.

17:34 | Travel | Comments (1)

December 19, 2003

Happy Non-Denominational Holidays

I'm flying home to Toronto tomorrow morning. I'll be spending ten days in the fabulous Hotel Lyon, visiting friends and family, before flying off to Virginia to spend New Year's with Teresa.

Blogging will be sporatic, as I still have four people I need to buy gifts for.

09:08 | Stuff | Comments (7)

December 18, 2003

Hit Me

Saturday was the Developer Division's Non-Denominational Holiday Party at the fabulous Westin hotel in downtown Seattle (the one that looks like a giant pair of hair curlers). The party was semi-formal, so in Seattle that means people show up in suits, tuxedos or jeans. There was food, booze, a "casino" (real money not accepted) and music. I took Teresa and the two of us enjoyed ourselves. Except when we tried to play blackjack.

Our dealer was a hotel employee that appeared to only get a 5-minute overview of the game before being thrust in front of hundreds of would-be gamblers. At first it was cute, she would add up the total of your cards out loud, then compare against her total, then double check. After a few hands the novelty wore off. She would pay out to people who busted, and refused to hit on sixteen (until her manager came over and told her to). After taking half an hour to lose 3 hands, we decided to try our luck elsewhere (the dance floor -- and as anyone who has seen me dance before knows, my luck wasn't much better there).

07:20 | Work | Comments (1)

December 17, 2003

Skeletons In The Closet

Wanna know how George W knows Saddam developed weapons of mass destruction all the while committing wanton human rights abuses?

Easy, the US (and the rest of the Western world, for that matter) helped him out! I wonder if Bush wants the Iraqis to try, and ultimately execute Saddam, just so he doesn't talk?

20:17 | Iraq War | Comments (1)

Return Of The King

Today I left work at noon to go see Peter Jackson's final installment of Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings trilogy. What can I say, other than thanks to Microsoft for the ticket and the afternoon off.

Like the other two movies, this one did not disappoint, and actually tempted me to dust off my old copy of The Silmarillion, until I remembered how dreadfully long and boring it was.

19:52 | Entertainment

December 16, 2003

By Bart Simpson

Christmas is a time when people of all religions come together to worship Jesus Christ.

20:35 | Quotes | Comments (1)

Two Years

Yesterday marked year two of One Big Rant: Chris Lyon's narcissism in digital form. Like last year, I forgot. Luckily the site is a forgiving mistress, and I can pursue my non-digital life at her expense.

Thanks for reading. Here's hoping I have another few years before this site is used as evidence to get me deported.

20:15 | Blog

5 = Love

Justin Frankel and those crazy cats at Nullsoft have done it again. Today they released Winamp 5, an utterly fine media player. I've been using Winamp since my first co-op job in 1998, and haven't been disappointed (well, except for Winamp 3, which we will never speak of again).

08:21 | Nerd

December 13, 2003

Mac Shmac

Last night, for kicks, I used Teresa's Powerbook and looked at my blog with IE 5.2 for Mac OS X. Wouldn't you know it, but it looks like crap. The entries are shifted down to under the sidebar. Then I tried with Safari. Looks great.

If I have any readers who use Macs, I apologize and will try to commandeer Teresa's Mac so I can try to hack together something that looks equally good on both platforms. (Little help, Dav?)

Any Linux/UNIX users having trouble seeing my site? (If you're using Netscape < 6, I'm not interested).

10:34 | Blog | Comments (1)

December 12, 2003

Only In Texas

Where was the proofreader when this went to print?

That's it. Party City won't be getting any more of my business for novelty plastic menorahs.

07:36 | Stuff

Jean, We Hardly Knew Ye

Goodbye Jean, and hello Paul.

I truly hope Martin's Liberals will have less scandal, better relations with the provinces, more R&D investment, and generally everything Martin says it will. Yes, I'm sceptical.

I'm not sure, but if the Conservative Party combines the social right of the Alliance with the fiscal right of the Progressive Conservatives, then Canada will have its very own Republican Party.

Then Martin will be unstoppable.

07:11 | Canada , Politics

December 10, 2003

Funk In The News

On Monday, P-Funk leader George Clinton was arrested for alleged possession of cocaine. A funk star that does drugs?! I was shocked too.

In happier funky news, James Brown was appointed Secretary of Soul and Foreign Minister of Funk by US Secretary of State Colin Powell. Maybe I've misjudged the Republicans after all.

21:04 | Stuff | Comments (1)

December 9, 2003

Americans Annoyed By Canadian Pride

According to this story, Americans in a focus group expressed annoyance by Canadians who wear the maple leaf on their backpacks.

This is coming from a nation that plasters its flag on everything from car bumpers to store windows to breakfast cereal boxes. Not to mention advocating replacing the word "French" with "Freedom", boycotting French-sounding companies, going against an international body, then turning around and asking it for help.

Granted, the Canadians who go around shooting off their mouth about how much Canada is "better" than the US are annoying and deserve little respect, but simply wearing a flag on one's backpack shows pride for one's country and its achievements. And last time I checked, Canada was a sovereign and seperate nation than the United States.

We don't wear that flag to show we're not American. We do it because we're Canadian. At least, that's why I wear mine.

07:39 | America | Comments (8)

December 6, 2003

Stupid Amazon

Oh sure, as soon as I buy my phone, Amazon.com has to go and give the damn thing away for free.

14:14 | Rant

December 4, 2003

Probably Just A Typo

I came across a confusing headline as I perused Canadian news sites (Google Canada News is great for that). From the National Post: Harper carries Day's baggage yead [sic].

Having never seen the word yead before, I looked it up online. Every dictionary and thesaurus site I found gave the same definition:

Properly, a variant of the defective imperfect yode, but sometimes mistaken for a present.

For some reason, I wasn't satisfied with that definition. But luckily, the definition came with an example using yead in a sentence:

Years yead away and faces fair deflower. --Drant.

Yup, that's it. That was the only example any dictionary gave. I guess Drant was the only person to ever use this word. After searching some more, I found another use of yead, but this one was even more confusing.

An English majors out there?

19:29 | Stuff | Comments (1)

Bus Rider

Sometimes taking public transportation isn't all I make it out to be. Yesterday morning the bus was late picking me up from the downtown bus stop. By the time we got on the highway to Redmond, there was standing room only. And it was one of those long accordion buses too. Luckily for me, I managed to get a seat, and was just cracking open my book, when the bus driver made an announcement:

"Hello? Uh, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is, you'll all make it to your destinations. The bad news is, we need you all to get off at the next stop and switch buses."

The collective groan of frustrated commuters emerged from the bus. One agitated guy was asking if we'd get the same seats on the new bus. He then threatened an imaginary passenger who had taken his seat.

So we got off our large packed bus, and got onto a smaller bus. I wasn't lucky enough to get a seat this time, so I was wedged between two other gentlemen near the front doors. For some reason, I was reminded of a Tokyo subway ride.

By the time we got to work, everyone was a little grumpy. Even though I was three people away from the front door, seated passengers decided it was their god-given right to get off before me, almost pushing me out of the way.

Anyone wanna carpool?

07:15 | Rant | Comments (2)

December 2, 2003

Political Wonders, Or Blunders?

Ever wonder what happens when politicians fire their speech writers?

Comedy gold.

20:39 | Stuff | Comments (2)