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January 31, 2005


Congratulations to the Iraqi people on their first free election in 50 years. As much as I disagree with the war being fought there, I'm glad to hear the election went off relatively well. I hope the future is brighter for Iraqis.

22:18 | Iraq War | Comments (3)

January 29, 2005

Campaign Promises Not Legally Binding

An Ontario judge has found that anyone who expect politicians to be accountable for their campaign promises is naive about the democratic system, after the Canadian Taxpayers Federation tried to sue the Ontario Liberal government for breaking their no new taxes campaign promise.

On the one hand, yes, you can't take a politician's word at face value, on the other, how are voters supposed to make informed decisions, if there is no accountability until the next election?

15:04 | Canada , Politics | Comments (5)

Good Photo Blog

Kendall Anderson is a good photographer with some really interesting subject matter (including abandoned factories and psychiatric facilities around Toronto). Definitely worth a peek.

13:42 | Stuff

RSS Feed News

For those of you subscribing to my RSS feeds, please note the feed locations are at //cplyon.ca/blog, not at //cplyon.ca. I've set up redirects, but be sure to update your feed readers.

13:01 | Blog

January 28, 2005

Skinny Grande Canadiano

Once again it's crunch time at work, which means long(er) hours, putting time in on weekends and waking up in cold sweats in the middle of the night. But there is a bright side: the espresso cart is back. Every Tuesday and Thursday the cart dispenses the black ambrosia just down the hall from my office. My drink of choice for that mid-afternoon jolt: double tall Americano.

Every once and a while, while getting coffee with my American friends, I get some static for ordering an Americano, even thought I'm not in fact American. Thinking themselves very clever for making such a lame joke, I usually retort with a lame comeback. I tell them I would gladly give up my Americano, if Starbucks would make a decent Canadiano: one shot of espresso, milk, and maple syrup.

That usually shuts them up, but there's always the one guy who asks if I'm serious.

08:08 | Stuff

January 25, 2005

He's Right You Know

The most thought-provoking graffiti I've seen in a long time was stenciled on the side of an abandoned building in downtown Toronto. It read:

Ironic Nostalgia Does Not An Artist Make

No argument here.

18:24 | Quotes | Comments (1)

January 24, 2005

Int'l Teriyaki

Walking around downtown Toronto with my brother this Christmas, I got to see parts of Toronto I never spent time in before. I was particularly impressed with Portuguese Village. Here in Seattle, we have a deceptively-named "International District" which is very multicultural... as long as the cultures are East Asian. Toronto's various ethnic districts seriously impressed me, and reminded me that although Seattle has a kick-ass Little Japan, there's sadly no Little Italy.

The weirdest thing I saw in Toronto's Portuguese Village was the unfortunately-named "Spic and Span Laundry". You would think that the owners would at least get their ethnic slurs straight.

22:40 | Stuff | Comments (1)

January 22, 2005

Better Late Than Never

I guess I still need to work on that New Year's resolution to get photos up on this website in a timely manner... So without further ado, New Year's Photos!

22:27 | Gallery | Comments (6)

January 20, 2005

A Kinder, Safer Devil Stoning

Today thousands of Muslims took part in the stoning of the Devil ceremony as part of the holy pilgrimage known as the Hajj. Last year 250 were trampled to death during this ceremony, so this year, the Saudi government deployed security forces and radical safety measures, including fenced-off walkways and a "larger stoning target".

21:06 | Stuff

January 19, 2005


For those of you who blog, be sure to check out the new NoFollow ref tag attribute for comment links (Bryant has a good write-up).

Basically it allows you to specify which links should be indexed by search engines. One of the reasons for comment spam, is that the more sites that link to the spammer's site (though comments left by spammer scripts), the better ranking it gets in search engines. This new tag will take away the incentive to leave spam comments (although the effects probably won't be felt for a while).

The Movable Type plugin installed seamlessly, and while I was installing it, I decided to do a little cleanup of the site. I've been fixing dead links to archived posts (a long overdue job), but still have about 20 posts to go. Next, fix the broken image links.

Isn't my life exciting?

22:39 | Blog | Comments (2)

January 18, 2005

Don't Give To Mercy Corps

There should be a special place in Hell for people like this guy:

A Pennsylvanian man has admitted sending more than 800,000 e-mails purporting to be from a charity appealing for funds for victims of the Asian tsunami—funds that would instead have ended up in his PayPal account.

22:21 | Stuff

Snow Squalls

Me: "They're calling for flurries this afternoon."
T: "Did you say flurries?"
Me: "Yeah. Is that another Canadian word? Do you know what flurries are?"
T: "I think so... are they those people who dress up as plush snowflakes and have sex?"
Me (applauding): "Bravo."

07:35 | Stuff

January 13, 2005

Unconstitutional In Fact, Not Theory

A federal judge in Georgia declared stickers on school science textbooks that stated evolution "a theory, not a fact" unconstitutional.

The issue came down to that the school board who has put the stickers on the books was implicitly endorsing religion (Creationism). Note the stickers did not call out any other scientific theories, only evolution. Although this ruling is encouraging, there are still battles to be fought:

Officials in Alabama said they do not think Thursday's ruling affects the several-paragraph evolution disclaimer in the front of that state's science books.

A work colleague of mine went to a talk on Intelligent Design (basically Creationism without mentioning the Bible or God). He even lent me a DVD on the subject, which I will watch. It's one thing to make an informed decision about a theory, it's another to knee-jerk react to it. Especially since the ID supporters' main argument is that students should be taught conflicting views. I agree, as long as the views have scientific merit. Maybe I'll even post a review of the DVD...

21:35 | America , Politics | Comments (2)

January 12, 2005

A New Food Pyramid

The US government has revised their food pyramid to include more whole grains, less sugar and encourage exercise in an attempt to stem the growing rate of obesity.

I think the new plan is great (although I wonder how effective it will be). For about six months now, I've been trying to eat more whole grains, less saturated fat and less sugar to help lower my cholesterol. Despite the strange looks I get from my coworkers in the cafeteria when I bust out my turkey taco salad, wheat berries and chicken, or some of Teresa's home-made hummus, I'm loving my new eating lifestyle. I haven't lost any significant weight, but that's most likely because I don't exercise much.

If you're interested in learning the benefits of a diet rich in vegetables, grains and exotic-sounding soy products (like tempeh), I recommend reading Eat, Drink and Be Healthy from the Harvard School of Medicine. I may never want another burger again.

19:48 | Stuff

Search For WMD Over

Yes, the Bush Administration has abandoned its search for WMD in Iraq.

The Seattle P-I has a good contrast of Bush Administration statements before and after the war with respect to the non-existent weapons.

19:40 | Iraq War

But Honey, It's Only $500...

I'm so tempted to buy new Mac Mini, for no other reason than it's an affordable Mac, and I know nothing about Macs. And it's so darn cute!

I don't care much about the new iPod shuffle (except that according to the web page, you shouldn't eat it). Speaking of eating, it looks like John Gruber is going to have to eat his words.

07:41 | Nerd

January 11, 2005

Look At The Liberators

I don't know what's worse, the torture of Iraqis by Americans at Abu Ghraib prison, or the justifications used by the soldier's defense attorney.

Thank goodness Saddam is gone so he can't torture any more of his people. I mean, why should he get all the fun?

Update: For those of you who have seen the photos and think the abuse "wasn't that bad", take a look at some of the victims' testimonies (registration required). It includes beatings, threats to rape their wives, forcing them to eat pork and to make statements against their Muslim faith. Remember that not all these prisoners were insurgents; one was imprisoned for stealing a car.

Sorry, but shit like this really makes me sick.

07:56 | Iraq War | Comments (1)

January 9, 2005


Defying forecasts calling for snow all last week, the snow has finally arrived in Seattle. There was only a centimetre or so of accumulation that has since melted, but it raises hope that the roads will be sheer ice tomorrow, and I'll have to stay home from work since Seattle only has one snowplow.

13:54 | Seattle

January 6, 2005

The Long Commute Home

It's been hovering around freezing the past few days here. There's been frost on the grass, and puddles are iced over. The weather report is forecasting snow starting this afternoon, and going until Tuesday. The City of Seattle has taken the precaution of closing steep city streets in anticipation. Sounds like we're going to get a repeat of last year.

What would really suck is if it starts snowing while I'm at work today, in which case I should expect a long commute home. I'm packing snacks.

07:39 | Seattle | Comments (3)

January 3, 2005

2004 In A Blogshell

Apparently the thing to do when you have a blog is to recap the year in pithy self-centered bullet points. Always one to join the bandwagon, here's Chris' 2004 in no particular order (unless you consider chronological to be an order):

I'll add to this list if I think of anything else.

20:28 | Stuff

A Return To Normalcy

Happy 2005 everyone!

Tomorrow I go back to work after two and a half weeks of vacation (ok, I did work from home today, but I stayed in my pyjamas until 2pm so it still felt like vacation).

December 17th until the 30th, I was in Southern Ontario visiting my family. My big (actually, it's quite small) Christmas gift this year was an iTrip FM transmitter for my iPod. Since I don't spend much time in the car I've rigged my alarm clock radio to wake me up to my own music. There are still some kinks to work out (waking up to Beethoven's 1st Symphony is not conducive to getting up on time), but I think this situation may just work. Anything to not wake up to morning personalities.

I spent my last week in Ontario staying in downtown Toronto at my brother's place. He took me out for some great food (including Ethiopian), and a trip to the AGO. It was also great to see friends and family I've neglected the past year.

I was back in my apartment for one night before heading off to Whidbey Island, to spend New Year's in a cabin with eight nine (sorry T) other people.

It was a great holiday, and I'll post some pics soon.

20:04 | Stuff