Popular posts (May, 2013).

So a half a forever ago, I made some vague thing about I’d remember to do these more often. Oh yeah, and also that I’d actually write more in this thing in general. Then I promptly flopped on both. But, better late than never, and all that crap. So, a little over an hour before the stuff for June becomes a thing, here’s what you folks found interesting for the month of May, courtesy Google Analytics, as always. I really need to do more of this writing thing.

  • The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) enjoys sticking it to the folks who can’t do much to get themselves off it. In April, I noted the program was killing the startup benefit. And in May, it was the most read post on the site. Not bad for nearly 7 and a half years’ work.
  • Somewhere, probably in Toronto, there’s a fool in an IT office doubled over laughing. In late 2012, Bell canada made some changes to the modem they’re calling “connection hub”. Those changes proceeded to break basic networking standards, and my brain right along with them. Apparently, they broke a few other people’s brains given the trafick to that page. I’m sorry.
  • More on an ODSP front, because clearly it’s still a thing. Back in February of this year, I learned the hard way that ODSP had started up with their cutting costs. They used to pay for your transportation from medical appointments (IE: you’ve been in the hospital overnight and they’re discharging you at 5:30 in the damn morning). They don’t now. Budgetting miracles? Sure, why not?
  • I wrote a two-part series of posts on my rental experiences with Paramount Properties after I moved out of there at the end of January. The short version is they’re crooked as hell and make no bones about showing it–even if they don’t actually admit it. Part two of that series is over here, and was the fourth most popular read in May. I’m still waiting for the lawsuit.
  • And to close things out, we go back to 2010 for a very fine explanation as to why it is exactly I don’t make plans. It takes the form of a month or so spent in Rochester, in which I attempt to schedule it around things that may, then may not, then may again end up happening on this side of the border. I think I may or may not have had a shot of vodka that night.

And that’s May, in a nutshell. I’ll have June’s posted, uh, hopefully before the end of July. And maybe something a tad more original–but let’s not push things. Clearly, this remembering to do this business with any degree of regularity’s hard freaking work. But I’m two for two this week! *bows*

Popular posts (April, 2013).

And now, after much forgetting to do this and much more procrastinating, it’s roughly time for one of these again. Just in time for me to start compiling the exact same list for the month of May. You’d think I’d have this down by now. Well, maybe those of you who just started reading this thing would–everyone else knows better. But that would just be no fun. Besides, this month’s will make up for it when it gets there.

April was fairly busy, with a healthy helping of mockery and an even larger helping of finishing up with the getting my life back in order. But it was the posts from earlier this year that seem to have caught people’s interest. In April, 1418 of you dropped by the site, wasting an average of a minute and a half in the process. I’m sorry. Here’s what caught your eye, as always brought to you courtesy Google Analytics.

  • If I’d known when I wrote in January about my fun with conspiracies it’d still be catching attention 3 months later, I’d have probably done a whole lot more pushing of that post. Because apparently, the Canadian take on a good New World Order conspiracy is a thing. It was the most visited page on the site in April.
  • I’m no fan of ODSP in recent months. Well, if we’re being honest I haven’t been a fan of theirs since 2010, but who’s counting? In February, I discovered the Ontario government’s initial efforts at cost cutting. I wrote about it when I was done dealing with it, figuring that’d be just about it for at least the first few months–especially given the self same government was kind of on pins and needles since Dalton Mcguinty ran off and hid. Yeah, about that.
  • I’m a wee bit of a geek. Okay, so that may be a slight understatement. I tend to like to do fun things with modems and routers and networks and generally not recommended internet things. I like it when an ISP lets me get away with it. Or, if nothing else, when that same ISP doesn’t decide to build road blocks into their hardware to prevent me from getting away with it. So when I found out the ISP I was with near the end of 2012 was doing exactly everything I don’t like my ISP to do, I wasn’t impressed. Naturally I tried to work around it. Naturally, given the ISP in question is Bell Canada, I only came away with a headache. But it apparently proved vaguely useful for a few people, as indicated by the fact the entry still makes the list. Now if someone would just drop by that post with a workaround, that would be amazing.
  • Back on the thread of ODSP things, because apparently people find it useful, I mentioned the government was kind of on a bit of pins and needles. Being a minority government, they needed the support of at least one other party in order to pass their budget for this year, otherwise we’d have been heading for a spring election. That was going to mean compromises that, well, may have ended up hurting more than they help in the long run. Because it’s happened to folks on ODSP before, I wrote an open letter to the province’s finance minister, asking him not to screw it over. I’m still waiting to see if it has any halfway decent result, but first looks aren’t doing so hot. Still, it could be worse, right? Yeah, don’t answer that.
  • Microsoft announced at the beginning of this year it would be making Windows Live things die a death of some sort. And then they only half killed it, leaving some of you to wonder what the hell gives. If you, uh, don’t use Microsoft’s official client for that messaging service, you can still use it. At least until some date to be determined later. If you don’t use a non-Microsoft client, though? Hopefully you’re a fan of Skype.

And that’s the kind of April it’s been, now that May’s nearly wrapped up. Enjoy what’s left of it. And remember to have a couple shots for me–it’s apparently ill advised for me to drink and blog. Not that I won’t try it at least twice.

Popular posts (March, 2013).

So. You’re a me, and you’ve got things to blog. Do you: line everything up in a row and have at them, pile a couple dozen more things onto the list then sort of pluck away at 3, or say screw the whole damn thing and let the posts write themselves? If you guessed C, you spent way too much time in my head. And as you may or may not have noticed, the posts weren’t feeling overly cooperative. But, just because I’ve been slacking doesn’t mean you have. So, nearly a month after I should be, and nearly in time for this month’s edition, the most popular posts of March according to your readership. A few of these are repeats from previous lists. Which… is good. I guess. Means my writing doesn’t suck that hard. either that or you’re incredibly, incredibly bored–but I’ll just hold on to that first one, thanks. Alright, since I fail at distraction, the most popular posts of March, courtesy Google Analytics.

  • Yesterday I expressed a little concern with regards Ontario’s government’s treating of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). Sadly, it’s not without its evidence. The most popular post of last month is just such evidence–in the form of a surprise cost cutting maneuver. And it was actually usefully useful, too. Not to mention easier on the already stretched ultrathin pocketbook. But I never claimed these things made sense.
  • I love a good conspiracy theory. Always have. The unfortunate events in Boston gave rise to several, not to mention the suspects arrested for attempting to derail a train yesterday. I posted a very interesting Canadian take on a common one–complete with New World Order references and everything. Actually kind of adoreable. And enough of you had an interest in such foolery that it’s managed second on the list–again.
  • Bell Canada and I have a thing. I have to use their modem, because it’s the only one actually supported for these internet speeds (I get 25 mbps down). They love to screw with this modem. And I get left with the fixy fixy. Judging by the trafick to this post, I’d guess it’s me and a long line of others. You paying attention, Bell? Didn’t think so.
  • Before I moved to the place I’m in now, I lived in a building owned by Paramount Properties. There is, was, and probably will continue to be a hell of a lot wrong with that company, and I haven’t even gotten to publish the rest of it yet–I really should do that. Part 1 of what I’ve already published, on how much effort it actually took to get them to take their rent already, is still generating interest. If you don’t want a headache or two, you don’t want to rent from this company.
  • I occasionally like to take shots at ODSP. Largely because of things like a ways up the page. You, apparently, occasionally like to read them. Which explains why this post rounds out the most popular list for the month of March.

Once again, the category where I throw everything related to ODSP has generated all manner of interest this month. Kind of making me wonder if maybe I should be on the lookout for something screwed. But, that aside, there’s the month according to you. I have more mockery and other asorted bits somewhere around here. But right now, I have baseball, goddammit. Happy reading. And hey, if you break it, I’ll let you keep both pieces.

Popular posts (February, 2013).

In which, shockingly enough, I manage to do this thing before March is a week old. Is there hope for me? Yeah, don’t count on it. Worth a shot, though. Oh–and I manage to do it in around all manner of technological breakage. Which, of course, just means next time the breakage’ll try a little harder. While I’ve been breaking things, though, folks have been doing the getting busy with the finding trivialities. It’s lead to some repeat performances–and one or two things I didn’t expect, which may or may not be slightly worrying if you’re the type that should be blogging this stuff. I’ll mention those a little later on. As for now, the good stuff. Shush–it’s good, dammit.

For the month of February, 1056 of you wasted 1 minute and 25 seconds trying to find something vaguely useful to salvage from this mess. I’d play the optimistic card and say something about how you might have found something if you’d just have stuck around here a little bit longer, but come on. If I had anything that major to say, folks’d pay me for it. But you found something, anyway. Here’s what most of you were interested in for the month, as always, courtesy Google Analytics.

  • In January, I was introduced to an interesting twist on the whole New World Order conspiracy theory idea. I think it was trying to abide by Canadian content laws or something, as it pretty much outlined exactly how, where and why the government of Ontario, through it’s Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), was out to hang us all. Or maybe just starve us all. Whichever. I mocked it, and nearly two months later it’s still attracting attention. Government attention, no doubt. Is anyone offering witness protection?
  • I call Bell Canada the Microsoft of the ISP universe. If there’s a standard in existence, they blow right past it at high speed. Usually going the other way. In December, they pushed an update to their connection hub modem that blew right past basic networking standards. Again, in the opposite direction. Since December, it’s made the most popular list every month so far–and attracted a handful of comments in the process. And Bell still hasn’t acknowledged they busted their modem. Hey–that also sounds extremely familiar.
  • I barely use Windows Live Messenger these days. Actually over the last few years my usage has pretty much tapered off to around 0, with a few noteable exceptions. Apparently I’m not the only one, as Microsoft has decided this year is a good year for it to die. I warned you that I’d be doing away with it shortly-ish. Admitedly I haven’t gotten to it yet, but largely it’s because I keep forgetting I have the thing. I suppose if it were more annoying I’d remember–but, you know. Eventually, Microsoft will make that decision for me. But maybe hell will freeze and I’ll do something about it before then (*).
  • Daniel Alfredson, as the divine one. It just doesn’t
    feel–well–natural. And yet, Siri says so–and Siri’s never wrong, right? I mean–there was that one time, with that one Nokia phone, but come on. Every electronic personal assistant makes mistakes. Although, it does explain the, uh, lack of playoff appearances since about 2004 from a certain team out of toronto. But–er–Alfredson? Really? Not funny, oh holy one.
  • Sticking with the sports theme to round out the list, spring training started a couple weeks ago. I’m more than a little interested. When pitchers and catchers reported to start things off, I wondered if the things I was hearing–from not just the folks what get paid to say the things I was hearing–might just translate into something useful this year. I’m still wondering. I mean, it *is* only spring training. There’s still a metric ton of baseball to be had–and the Jays aren’t exactly famous for coming out from underneath it without being at least somewhat flattened by around August or September. But, if there’s something to what I’ve been hearing, at the very least it could be an interesting ride to get there.

And that’s February, in a sort of half-baked nutshell. An interesting little sidenote, that may or may not inspire some research when I’ve gotten around to more caffeine. Of the 1056 of you that stopped by to say hi, 214 of you hit my ODSP page directly. You used any number of search terms to get there–which makes me wonder. Should I be keeping my eye out for something to potentially explode? The overly cautious part of me says hell to the yes. The sarcastic part of me says what the hell else am I gonna find to mock. Okay, majority rules. Look for the results of ODSP related digging–just as soon as I dig out some motivation.

*: No, that does not mean I’ll be using Skype full-time. Or even part-time. I despise Skype with the passionist of passions. If I have literally no other choice, then grudgingly, I’ll fight with the thing. But for the most part, if there’s an alternative, I’ll use it. And I still have a few alternatives. Anything to get out of a program that loves to take my system with it upon crashing–which it does about every second or third load. No thank you please, it only makes me drunk. Now, then. I think I was digging for caffeine. And trivial things.

Popular posts (January, 2013).

So. Here it is the last week of February, when folks have up and given me a metric ton of things to sort through for this month’s popular posts, and I’m just now knitting together the same damn thing for January. I blame a move, a possible change in schooling, and general life is happening type goodness. Also known as actual, honest to goodness, justifiable excuses for procrastination. ‘Cuz that’s how I roll. Still, while life’s been happening, there’s been content. And somebody somewhere’s found some of that content interesting–to the tune of 1100 of you wasting about a minute and 25 seconds you’ll never get back. I’m incredibly sorry. Here, finally, is what caught your eye in January, courtesy Google Analytics.

  • Conspiracy theories interest me. Insofar as they give me a whole whack of things to be moderately amused at. From the 80 million of them surrounding 9/11, justification of which I still haven’t seen hide nor hair of (I’m looking at you, Faux Capitalist), to the run of the mill “it’s all a gigantic New World Order scam” paranoia that comes with just about any policy from just about any corner of just about any establishment that rubs your local nutcase even slightly the wrong way. Contemplate gun control? “New World Order!” Raise taxes? “New world order!” *Lower* taxes? “New world order!” Float a trial baloon that has a snowball’s chance in hell of being anything more than just a trial baloon? ” New world order!” Admittedly that last one kind of pins everyone and their dog with the NWO tag, but hey–it takes all kinds. Even nutbars with absolutely no firm grounding in reality. That’s one of the reasons I started this thing–and hell, it finally paid off.
  • Two years on, and people are still finding the letter I wrote to Wind Mobile with regards their fair usage policy that isn’t exactly fair. And some of what leads folks to that particular post leads me to start to wondering if maybe it’s gotten just a little bit more ridiculous. If this is what they’re calling competition these days, I’ll stick with Telus, thanks much.
  • The job market must be some kind of swamped. In the late summer of 2012, I fired off an application to TD Bank–hey, it’s not the most glorious thing to do, but it’d of paid the bills. I then gave it a few weeks and promptly forgot about it. In January 2013, I was reminded. Thanks for the follow-up, guys. But I kind of figured it was a no when, you know, I didn’t get a follow-up. Still, I guess it’s the thought that counts. But hey waitasec–I’m not sure I like that thought, either.
  • Bell Canada doesn’t very much like this whole standards thing. Actually, I believe once or twice I’ve called them the Microsoft of the ISP universe–if there’s a standard out there, Bell waves at it as it flies right past in the opposite direction. So I was both not very surprised and quite very annoyed when, yet again, Bell decided to blow by a standard–this one, in basic networking. And apparently they’re up to some wicked nifty little tricks with their older and, arguably, weaker modems on top of that. Just skim through the comments–what few there are. It’s fun.
  • for those of you what just joined the party, I can’t see my own hand in front of my face. I also, from time to time, can’t get from here to there without paying someone what drives me. Taxis, usually. And more often than not, I’m having to provide them with a less than free–for me, anyway–education on exactly what not to do if you’re a taxi driver and I’m a blind guy. It resulted in this handy dandy reference guide. I have absolutely no idea whatsoever if any of the folks what read this thing ended up being one of the ones what take my money to get me places, but damn if I didn’t notice some differences after I posted the thing. Kind of refreshing, if we’re being honest over here. Found a couple more things to add to the guide, but hey. I like me some work in progress every once in a while. Especially if it clues someone.

And that’s how January happened, roughly estimated and minus a small implosion or six. There’s move and administrative related things to hit the site, just as soon as I’m positive the smoke from the fallout’s relatively behind us. And I’m sure it’ll make a list somewhere or other. But as for right now, I think I need to go find my brain. Rereading that Bell entry I think just voided its warranty.

2012’s most popular posts. Finally.

You should read my 2012 year in review. If you haven’t already read my year in review, go read it. Then come back to this. Because this is my take on *your* year in review, from a what caught your attention on this site perspective. In 2012, I sort of had to run behind the blogging wagon, catch up to it, then jump and hope I didn’t miss the damn thing. From a couple flavours of busy to a couple more of crazy, not as much posting as I’d of like to have seen happened. But, you’ll have that. There was stuff posted, and there was stuff read. So what was most read? Here’s your WTN year, in popular posts style.

  • An odd post to top the list of most read entries in 2012 is a post I wrote in 2009. Specificly, the post I wrote on my second thanksgiving spent in the US. Again, it has to be asked. Were folks looking for a quick answer to a homework asignment? The search terms say probably yes.
  • We’re getting closer, but not there yet. In 2010, I posted an open letter calling out Wind Mobile for their fair usage policy. That generated a significant amount of interest when I posted it. In 2012, it still generated a ton of interest. Which tells me they haven’t given any thought to changing things. Don’t worry–they haven’t given thought to responding to the offending letter, either.
  • Hey look, it’s finally a post that was actually written in 2012. Specificly, one of several posts I published both providing some halfway decent answers to people’s questions while at the same time mocking the hell out of ODSP. Okay, and in some cases mocking the searchers as well–but hey, they did it.
  • Anyone who knows me, and they don’t even have to know me well, knows I’m not Apple’s biggest fan. I’ve criticised their app store. I’ve criticised their, in my opinion, accessibility overkill. I’ve criticised the insistence that a phone, and later a tablet, that was supposed to be what replaced the PC didn’t require a keyboard–I still have no freaking idea who brainstormed that one, but I hope they were fired. And in 2011, I bought an iPhone. Surprisingly, in 2012, people still hit that entry. Bright side. I now know I’m not the only person who uses the term “Appleite”.
  • Back to entries posted in 2012, and back to another that takes a searcher’s questions on ODSP and tries to provide an answer. You can see all of those, and the issues that started people hitting the site for ODSP related things, over here.
  • In August of 2012, I moved everything I own to its own, brand spanking new server. And ran into one or two issues with actually sending email from that server. It came down to a reputation service, senderbase, and the fact they’d decided several of the IP addresses I was asigned were arbitrarily too dirty to be worthy of the privelege of sending email. I called them on it, which didn’t get me very far. Apparently they don’t actually, you know, respond to attempts at communication. Thank vodka for workarounds. That is all.
  • The job market has had it in for me for years. o the tune of I’ve been looking in 2008, and have seen progressively less and less interviews since then. Back in 2009, I would have been happy with even a potential job offer. Instead, I got an excuse to tell off the job market a little bit. Oh, and prove that maybe there’s a guy out there named Murphy who needs a pipe in the face. Bright side: even in 2012, that still produces search queries like “fuck the job market”. Which, okay, I may or may not have said a time or five. But, you’ll have that.
  • I’ve always maintained you are physically incapable of legislating common sense and expecting it to actually do anything but make you and a bunch of other people look like absolute idiots. My favourite example is the laws around distracted driving–usually centering around the use of cell phones and the like. There are laws on the books about that in Ontario, I believe Quebec, and quite a few places in the states. The problem with those laws, as I’ve said a few times, though? They don’t actually work. I had quite a few posts on that topic in 2011, including that one in July, with pretty much the same ending. Statistics in states that possess these distracted driving laws are not all that different, if they’re different at all, from statistics in states without them. But, here they come anyway.
  • More on my chasing after the job market, this time from 2010. I’m used to having to pick up and put things together on 24 hours’ notice–or less, depending on the situation. During one of my trips stateside, I had to tear things down and put them together again sometimes more than once in a day. It kind of served to prove why it is I hate making plans. And it gave me an excuse to write this entry, which I think just got itself another visit a few minutes ago. I guess rules, and plans, really are made to be broken. Who knew?
  • And finally, December of 2012 saw some good news in the geekness front, as a project I’ve kept my eye on–namely, the maintenance of accessibility with the WordPress software that powers this site and a few others–took a turn for the better. There’s still work to be done, obviously, but when they released version 3.5, things that haven’t been quite as useable since about 3.0 were on their way back. I go into detail on what’s been fixed, what could still use to be fixed, and how to work around both if you need to. And then I priomptly fall off a cliff in time for Christmas.

And that’s 2012, from the perspective of what people who dropped by here found interesting. And it only took me about halfway through January to write the thing. Now, speaking of falling off cliffs–and no, not fiscal ones–time to go partake in a nightly tradition. Afterwards, though, if I’m not braindead, there’s a mock brewing. Interested?

Popular posts (December, 2012).

Oh hey look, it’s only halfway through January and I remembered I actually do these! Maybe I’ll get the one for the year up sometime before june, yeah? Could happen.

December was insanely crazy busy for the folks what bring you the occasional broken on this side of the site. From a readership perspective, it was fairly busy for you as well. For the month of December, 668 of you found something to waste a minute and a half on. That’s a far cry from where we were at the beginning of 2011. Not bad considering I fell off the blogging wagon more than usual in 2012. So, without further ramblings from yours truely, here’s a snapshot of what you found interesting enough to stare at, as always, courtesy Google Analytics.

  • I’m a larger than life fan of WordPress. The self-hosted one, to be precise–wordpress.com can go that-a-way, thanks kindly. I wasn’t very enthusiastic when they made some changes to the administrative interface that caused one or two minor accessibility headaches. They could be and often times were worked around, but that didn’t stop me from being quite pleased they fixed some of them in the latest version. I went into detail on what they fixed, and how to work around things in the event the fix doesn’t really apply to you.
  • I tend to push the technical limits of just about anything I can get my hands on. Including the modem provided me by everyone’s favourite ISP (I’ve blogged about them quite”> frequently–yes, they have two categories. Blame the fact they’re desperately trying to get away from the Sympatico brand where possible.) This time, though, Bell/Sympatico’s modem pushed back. Hard, and broke a couple networking standards in the process. I still can’t help but wonder. Did Bell start copying things from Microsoft’s playbook? Just asking.
  • I pay attention to hosting/web resources news. One kind of has to, when one has a couple domain names of his own and hosts a couple more for friends. So when a company like Network Solutions tries to play fast and loose with its customers, I tend to take notice. Just so we’re clear, I get they used to be number 1 in the business. Actually, there used to be a time you couldn’t do much on the hosting side without going through them. Them, and Internic. Pulling little tricks like that right there, though? Mighty fine way to make sure they don’t get back there.
  • We go back to 2010 for this entry. I considered switching to Wind Mobile for cell phone service near the end of 2010. Mostly because, well, I needed a way to hit up the US from the cell should the need arise. Needless to say, the reason for it no longer exists, which is all well and good since their fair usage policy pretty much turned me off of the company. I posted an open letter on the topic. I’ve also given up on getting any actual response from the company. The conversation they’re so enthusiastic about is apparently one-way.
  • And last but not least, I get this one cropping up for a few months right around both Canadian and US Thanksgiving. My entry on the second Thanksgiving I spent in Rochester, back when I had a reason to spend such things in Rochester. Judging by the search terms that bring folks to that entry. my guess is they’re not looking for my recap of Thanksgiving in the US. Sorry to disappoint. Perhaps that’ll teach you not to go looking for your homework on Google, ya lazy sod.

And that’s December in a nutshell. From a what I’ve been up to, and a what you’ve been reading, viewpoint. Now, after I’ve had sleep and then more caffeine, look for a post that tackles the most popular entries of 2012, according to you. Also much more mockery. Oh, and something or other about we actually have a hockey season. Who knew? Until then, unless something miraculous happens before then, happy reading. Oh–and, uh, whatever you do, try and resist giving your kids the internet for Christmas. That crap’s really hard to mock unless you go on a lengthy, poorly written rant where I can see it.

Popular Posts (November, 2012).

It has been way too freaking long since I’ve done one of these. Kind of a slacker type thing on my part–you know, like the rest of this whole blogging thing. But I still remember how, more or less.

You guys have been busy during the month of November, bringing me nearly 600 visits for the first time in this blog’s existence. Go you, or something. Or maybe go me, for giving you something with which to waste 5 minutes? whichever. As before, here’s what you folks found interesting in November, courtesy Google Analytics.

  • Way back in 2009, I wrote an entry describing my first thanksgiving on the other side of the border. Apparently more than one someone needed to borrow it for homework or something? I don’t know. But they found this entry on several dozen occasions. Remember, kids. Plagerism’s bad, mmm’kay?
  • I’ve sworn off the iPhone for years. At least a couple, anyway–since it became an option and everyone said I should go out and get one. Last April, I went out and got one. Yes, you should be worried. Especially given that now it comes with a keyboard. Now if I can just get used to it enough that I can blog from the road.
  • My entries on the ODSP kerfuffle (category page) have been getting a fair bit more attention in recent months. Specifically, the search query kind. Clearly I need more of those type of entries. Clearly I also need to update that category–I got my one more bag of milk for this year!
  • Distracted driving has been a problem since people could drive. People on the phone while driving has been a problem since people could have phones in their cars. It took them this long to decide to start putting laws in place around the latter, blaming that solely for distracted driving. Not that they work or anything. But, hey, we pay these folks for something, right?
  • Wind Mobile hasn’t been on my list of favourite companies since late 2010, after I discovered their definition of fair use is to drop you on your ass after 2 hours of usage. God help you if you spent an hour and a half of that on hold with Bell or Rogers. They were called out on that. It didn’t do much. You’ll note I run in the opposite direction from them now. If you’re smart, you will too.

And that’s the kind of month you folks had on this blog. Not bad, considering I just got into it again. Stick around. There’s mocking to be had. And, hey, I might actually remember to do this next month–and the one for the year. Maybe. Hey, it could happen.

Popular posts (May, 2011).

Something has gone tragically wrong. No, seriously. I’m wrapping up the month of May, which has been insane with a side order of OMG, and it’s only the 3rd of June. Have I finally knocked off this whole slacking thing, or is there perhaps some connection between this and the fact I’m writing this post while sitting on the coutch in my epically awesome living room–which, for the first time in the history of my having my own place, is actually a living room and not half an office? Further investigation may be required. The month of May has, though, been insane busy in the insane. Complete with what might almost be called an OMG right now emergency move for which, after things officially fell into place and didn’t have a gigantic questionmark wrapped around them, I had a grand total of a week to actually arange things. Still, nobody died in the aranging of this move–and we might actually be able, for the first time ever, to save a nickle or dime here and there on ODSP. Bloody miraculous and warranting vodka. And hey look, I have vodka. I also apparently managed to find plenty of content, both mock-worthy and not so much, to post about–before and after the move. Readers found some of it quite interesting, but appeared to still be interested in posts from earlier, most noteably during my small war with ODSP. Here’s a look at what most interested folks in the month of May, as always, brought to you by Google Analytics.

  • We were trying to sort things out with the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) in the month of April, so we could actually manage to aford to stay where we were, nevermind where we are now. ODSP was having none of it, though, and–my case worker, at least–tried to be as vague as possible about it. That resulted in more than a little frustration, and an eventual police threat of sorts. It was never acted on, but it did prove just how twitchy ODSP gets when they’re called out for being a little crooked. I’m still waiting to see how that develops, but am not holding my breath.
  • Every time I’m anywhere near Ottawa, I put together a gigantic list of things to do. And I usually end up getting most of them crossed off while I’m here. I gave it a good start, having not even been here too weeks yet. Not bad for a return to familiar territory.
  • I nearly had a shopping list of hardware issues on my primary machine. Nearly. Except for that part where I didn’t. Turned out instead it was a fairly new virus. It took me the weekend to clean up from, and research showed me it didn’t have time to be fully adapted to, but I’ll be the first to tell you, it very nearly provoked a phone call to Dell–for the second time last month.
  • On the local blog front, I was able to implement a few nifty little changes to the blog in my few minutes free post-move, and they seem to be fairly well received so far. Those changes include updates by email. Go ahead and subscribe–it’s been rather widely tested. Coming soon, updates to particular categories by email. Yay?
  • And finally, it’s not always good news out of the NHL camp. Just ask the owner of a Montreal shawarma joint who owes $90000 in perceived damages after creating an ad for his restaurant that supports the Montreal Canadians. I always said supporting those bastards from Montreal aughta be illegal, but I wasn’t thinking copyright/trademark illegal. Way to go, NHL. I’m still wicked impressed. Except no not really.

That’s May in a nutshell. Now, let’s see if I can remember more of this Rogers TV lineup. On the list of mockery? Protesting the throne speech. That’s 2011 ambission at work. And that’s probably mock-worthy.

Popular posts (April, 2011).

At long last, it’s that time of the month again–wherein I go flipping back through last month’s notes and take measure of exactly what it is folks found interesting to read while life was going on on this side of the blog. We call it April’s most popular posts, as chosen by you, and only two or three days before I should be starting to think about May’s. Hey, it’s an improvement. Still, I blame in no particular order: moving, taxes, moving, family outings, moving, the beginning formation of wedding plans (future entry probably), moving, cleaning up after the move, moving, and oh yeah, moving. And while I was building up to this move, and finding slightly more things to mock than I expected, you folks were busy getting interested. Here’s what you liked, brought to you as always courtesy Google Analytics.

  • I’ve never been a very big fan of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). Yes, in spite of the fact at the moment, they’re the only thing keeping me from living off my family’s already stretched budget. There’s an entire category on the site set aside for my periodic rounds with ODSP. Including when they jump off the deep end and threaten to call the police over one such blog post–they never did, for the record.
  • Keeping on the ODSP theme, you asked what prompted the threat of having the police called on me courtesy ODSP. An admittedly irritatedly written post, prompted by the fact the information ODSP was handing me was pretty well clear as mud. I got a bit of an education during that conversation. And gave one back a while later.
  • If you subscribe to geek theory, and it looks like a lot of you do, you know about April 21, 2011. If you read my blog, and you obviously do, you know about April 21, 2011. Here’s why, in case you’ve forgotten or ignored it. Yep, Skynet is now self-aware. We’re screwed.
  • April was apparently dominated by ODSP related searches. Actually, it was dominated by ODSP searches before ODSP became an issue–only this time, the searches were actually being done by ODSP. I wasn’t the least bit surprised, particularly these days, when employers have been known to request your Facebook, Twitter, blog etc passwords. So long, privacy. You were never really here, but we pretended well.
  • And just to fill you in on what started the apparent month of ODSP dominance in April, we skip back to February, when I got my first taste of ODSP math. Two months later and that post still gets pointed to. One of us isn’t doing something right like.

That’s April in a nutshell. Taken up mostly by government issues that at the end of the day, I only just shrugged out from under. Now, with only a couple days left in May, let’s see what you folks are finding interesting this month. You’ll find out later this week, unless life slaps me in the face–then later this month. Now, then. About the last remaining threads of that damned infection.

Popular Posts (March, 2011).

What do you do when you have a website with a google page rank of 2, and an absolute wealth of complete mockery building up? Why, sit on it and don’t do a whole lot of anything with it, of course. Well, if you’re me, anyway. If you’re anyone else it probably equates to about a million posts per day–but then, anyone else wouldn’t have just gone through February either. The month was largely spent recovering and dealing with personal admin stuff. And yet, I still found things to post about. And mock. And folks still found things to read. Here’s what folks were interested in last month, as always, courtesy Google Analytics.

  • Earth hour was kind of a mock waiting to happen. I’ve mocked it twice on this here blog, including this past hour–when I pointed out I wasn’t going to be the only one being oblivious to the hour. Somewhere in a cold, dark corner of Canada, some PC greenie just fainted.
  • We have to go all the way back to the dust-covered archives for this one. A completely random quiz I did way back in 2006 somehow made the list last month. I don’t even wanna know what the hell kinda keywords brought this puppy back from the dead. Hi, nearly 5 years ago.
  • From the mocked and mocked again department, not everyone takes rejection all that kindly. Some, like the 92-year-old mentioned in this entry, get downright violent about it. I wonder how she’s fairing with the whole jail thing.
  • I actually managed to go a whole month or thereabouts without posting anything here. I dunno how, and I really can’t remember exactly all of why. But I did. My first post in about a month, complete with typoes, exists over here. What I didn’t tell you in that post was it was being done from the laptop–kinda like this one is now. Hence, the typoes while I was getting used to the keyboard on this thing. I still haven’t quite gotten that down yet–I’ve just been slightly better at the whole applying of the delete key thing.
  • I’ve been somewhat unfairly riding Glen Beck the last couple entries. And I’m not done yet if the news I’ve been seeing is true. But, hey, his whackyness has landed him on the popular posts list for two months in a row–you can’t blame me for that, right? Once again, his being convince there’s a gigantic government conspiracy involving Google has managed to interest, and probably amuse, folks who’ve dropped by. Okay, I’ll admit it–I’m still mildly entertained by that idea as well. That’s why I mocked it.

And there you have it. March, or most of it, in a nutshell. And an old post to spice things up. Just when I thought my having moved things around would break me in the search engines. Clearly, I was mistaken. Now, back to finding random bits of trivial to post. Happy lerking, or something like it.

Popular posts (February, 2011).

It took forever and a half, but I’m finally doing the February recap I should have done in March. In April! Go me. February was, er, um, insanely insane. Busy didn’t even describe it. From getting sickly sick, to helping Jessica get moved in, to partaking in a concerting experience. And yet, I still had time to find things to post about–and you guys, somehow, had time to read them. Here’s what you found interesting in the month of February, as always, courtesy Google Analytics.

  • The Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission decided on a whim back in January that there was no such thing as unlimitted internet. I tore into them for that, and they eventually somehow managed to back the hell down. You guys were interested enough to put this at the top of the list in February.
  • I’ve commented before on those whacked out loopies over in Iran and their idea of things like, you know, social progress. Or human rights. They decided to outlaw Valentines day. I don’t subscribe to the extreme ideas of the day, but I still mocked them quite handily for it. So did a few others, actually.
  • I’m nowhere near an Apple fan. Nowhere near. In fact, I’ve called them out more times than I care to admit–yes, even though I kind of had my arm twisted to pick up a freaking iPhone. One of the things I’ve called them out for? Their obsession with being the end point for anything you have to actually pay for. Yeah, this includes music, apps, some of the content you yoink via those apps, whatever. Apple’s a phone manufacturer, not a bloody shopping center. Lord knows it’s trying to be both, though.
  • From the department of whacked out high-profile loopies, you guys had a pretty amusingly high interest in Glen Beck’s latest oopsy. You know, the one in which he brands Google, of all things, as being in bed with the government. Yeah, I kind of snarked at that maybe just a little. And maybe suggested he should retire. But, hey, when you get that senile…
  • I spent the month of February, and part of the month of March, hanging out in rochester–see afore mentioned helping Jessica move and winding up sick to top it off. I threw something together and called it an update. Then the insanity kicked me squarely in the teeth and updates like that became a myth. Well, there’s your myth.

There’s February in the tiniest of nutshells. Hopefully I’ll remember to do March’s recap before April goes and fucks off somewhere. Meantime, I’ll keep posting–you just keep reading.

Semi-related: for the first time since I started broadcasting my posts on Twitter, you folks coming from Google have actually managed to beat them out. And they say there’s no such thing as good search influence.

Popular posts (January, 2010).

Last month was by no means a busy posting month on account of I was way, way, way too busy ducking several dozen different variety of curve ball. Still, I posted quite a bit, and yall found other stuff to read when I wasn’t. Here’s what you found interesting in January, as always, courtesy Google Analytics.

  • Canada Post has recently picked up this nasty habbit of being horribly broken in the accessibility department. It got pointed out to them, twice. They’re still inaccessible–and now, trying for incompitent. Another round may be in our future.
  • Canada’s telecommunications regulator, the CRTC, very nearly broke the internet. They were called out by several thousand in various ways, shapes and forms. I was one of them. I still have yet to deconstruct what happened after the backlash–look for that sometime next week.
  • I don’t subscribe to a lot of the idea behind Valentines day, usually, But even I wouldn’t push to make it illegal. They did in Iran. It’s number 4 on the list for January, but it’ll probably be higher in February. You can always count on a third-world whackjob to generate traffick.
  • My former ISP, TekSavvy, has been on a fast track down hill in recent months. Screwing up activations, delivering misleading information, advertising staffers with more influence than they actually have–they’ve done it all. Including putting customers over a barel in emergency situations–and not much caring that they’ve just put customers over a barel in an emergency situation.
  • Ottawa’s had a 211 call and complain line for like ever. And if there’s even the slightest problem warranting a gentle tap on the shoulder, the locals get all uppity and start bitching at that number. OC Transpo running 5 minutes late? Call and bitch at 211. Don’t like your new higher property taxes (I’ll rant about *that* later.)? Call and bitch at 211. And now, the Pembroke/Refrew area has its very own. Lovely. Give people with no problem bitching a call and bitch number, they’ll call and bitch. A lot. About everything. Good going, Renfrew County.<

Not bad for a niggling little blog who maybe gets 20 readers a day at its very consistent best. February will probably be just as interesting–and I haven’t even been through all my mockery yet. Watch this space–um, next week or so.

2010’s most read blog posts.

I started this latest incarnation of the blog in late 2009 and had absolutely no idea where it’d end up going. Over a year later, I still have absolutely no idea where it’s going. But I have a thousand or so posts to show for it. Here’s what caught people’s attention last year. Now I get to start reminding myself every 5 minutes to write 2011. I hate you, calendar.

  • Last year was a continuation of the year of the geek, started at about the midway point of 2009. And in november, it culminated in the instalation of an OS inside an OS. I had some issues, but nothing a complete reinstall couldn’t fix. Perhaps this year I’ll get around to breaking it.
  • I have the pleasure of having spent the last year on the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). It took me not very long to figure out we’re not a whole lot less screwed over by this system than we were in 2006 when I left in favour of work. I wrote a few open letters to various political figures re: the current situation. I’ll probably write a few dozen more. You can find all of them I’ve sent so far over here.
  • In 2008, Dell closed its Ottawa office, putting an end to several hundred jobs–including mine. The city of Ottawa didn’t do a whole lot to help us out back then. Neither did the provincial or federal governments. Flash forward to March of last year, when an outsourcing call center, convergys, did the same to its Ottawa office. This time, those employees got help. Nearly 9 months later and this post still made it into the top 5 reads. It’s a top 3 read on the year.
  • H1N1 was declared dead in August of last year. And not 48 hours later, they’d picked a new one to replace it. And hey look, the H1N1 vaccination may not apply. Be scared, now. Except not really.
  • American Airlines needs an education in the worst way. In October of this year, a blind traveller had to surrender his cane for fear it could be used as a weapon. Also in October, I asked what kind of crack they were smoking. To this day, people are still asking.
  • Back to the ODSP theme for a second. In September, there was a brief episode of discussion on the blog after ODSP was ordered to make payments to two alcoholic recipients. The human rights tribunal had escentially declared an unwillingness to deal with alcoholism a disability. ODSP had been fighting it for years and, in my opinion, rightly so. Not everyone agreed with me. Fortunately, that’s why I do this.
  • Clive Doucet doesn’t much like me. And with good reason. In 2009, I exchanged a brief series of emails with him over the OC Transpo strike that virtually shut down parts of the city. Since then, he’d been mailing me promotional material re: his position as city counsellor, and later, his platform as mayoral candidate. I asked him to stop. Then, I told him to stop. Then, I ranted. Fortunately he’s no longer a city counsellor. Bright side: he stopped.
  • Everyone who knows me knows I haven’t legally purchased a CD in years. Nearly everyone I know can probably say the same. In May of 2010, with the help of another blog I frequently read, I explained why. I still haven’t heard very many, if any, opposing points of view. And even less of those that haven’t already been disproven 6 ways from Sunday.
  • I’ve been using Linode for some of my interests for a few years. Now, it hosts a small portion of the professional endeavor I’m currently involved in setting up–more on that when we’ve got the groundwork laid out. A very nifty promotion in June nearly prompted me to move everything. Occasionally, I still consider doing so–though now, I may just move it to the afore mentioned professional endeavor. No, you’re not getting details yet.
  • Technology hasn’t been very nice this year. Neither have the various cellular phone cariers. Wind Mobile, champions of the “we’re different” line of thinking, was a little extra naughty in October. I called their CEO out for it. Surprise, I still haven’t heard back. And neither has the customer who commented on that post. Different? Perhaps not.
  • June was a busy, and surprising, month in the James household. Linode promotions, birthday cellebrations, time spent with family, and of course, getting engaged. I’m still not used to that last one. It’s a nice feeling, though.
  • And lastly, my current web host is usually uber awesome. Largely part of why I have yet to pack up and move everything–see above. Sometimes, though, they’re awesome in ways not immediately noticeable to potential new customers. Like when they mistakenly send you an email offering customers who haven’t gone VPS a discount to do so after you’ve already done so. And then, because they can, giving you the discount. You made my year, DreamHost. Now please try not to break things–that’s my job.

That’s 2010 according to the blog. Sadly, or perhaps not so, the year’s been fairly uneventful otherwise–kind of how I like it. There are one or two things that didn’t get posted, or make the list. You’ll see those tonight. Or tomorrow. Or eventually. So how was your 2010?

Popular posts (December, 2010).

Mayhem was apparently the name of the game this month. Non-stop fun–from roommates to financial creativity to parties to significant visits. And oh yeah I think there might have been a holiday or two in there somewhere. Holiday notwithstanding, though, you folks still found something interesting over here. I’m sorry. Still, here’s what brought you to me in december, as always, brought to you by Google Analytics.

  • Sometimes, an iPhone is just an iPhone. Yes, even when it’s in the hands of a blind University of Ottawa student. And sometimes, people forget that. That’s why we have posts like this. No need to thank me–that’s why I’m here.
  • Del.icio.us was scheduled to be shut down earlier this month. Then it wasn’t. Then it was scheduled to be sold. And now, who knows. Until recently, I didn’t know anyone who actually used the service. I’m still holding out for one of those alternatives.
  • Back in 2008, I told Sympatico, my then ISP, to kindly jump off a bridge. I made the switch to TekSavvy based on several recommendations and my own research. Around the beginning of December, I cancelled them. And by the sounds of it, I’m probably not the only one–probably for similar reasons.
  • You could almost call this a sequel to my TekSavvy experiences. In fact, when I wrote that particular entry, I very nearly did. Now, I know I’m not the only one who cancelled for similar reasons. Or at least thought about it. And this guy was new. I still don’t have a whole lot of faith in you over here, TekSavvy. Get with it.
  • Windows Mobile and I don’t like each other. Okay, more adequately put, Windows Mobile makes a regular habbit of summarily flipping me off and I’d like nothing better than to push Windows Mobile off a cliff. It probably didn’t help that it was on one of freedom Scientific‘s Pacmates, but this month, I’m going to stick with blaming Windows Mobile. I mini-ranted about it this past week, after it escentially made checking Jessica‘s email a much more complicated afair than it really had to be. I still feel like ranting about it–perhaps it’ll hold itself over until February.

That’s the blog in December, in a nutshell. Yeah, a little more boring than usual–which in and of itself took some effort. Sorry. Stick around, though–it may or may not improve.

Randomly related: Google used to be my largest source of trafic. Now, it’s Twitter. Thanks, guys. I don’t know what you see over here, but thanks. Now just don’t go running in the other direction and we’ll both be happy.

Popular posts (November, 2010).

Just when you think things are about to calm down, you get tossed into a whole other realm of insanity. Things with the mother calmed down–another entry incoming, and then I go off and land a roommate. Nifty, or something. And while I was doing that, you folks were cruising the site–poor you. Here’s what you found interesting in November, only 2 weeks before I get to do the same thing for December!

  • Any self-respecting geek has done some playing with running an OS inside an OS. I did it. Then, because I could, I did it twice. With minimal implosions, even.
  • I get political. Sometimes, very. My friends are all too aware of that. One of them sent me this, which was promptly snarked at. Repeatedly. And often. I still snicker.
  • I try to find reasons not to fly internationally as it is, mostly because the cost is enough to send my poor bank account into a tailspin. I can now add the Transport Security administration to the list of reasons not to bother with it. Traumatizing little children since 2010. Yeah, I’d still like to know what goes through some of these people’s heads.
  • Back in March, I wrote several open letters to Ontario’s Premier, leaders of the opposition, my local MPP and the minister of community and social services re: the situation with the Ontario disability Support Program (ODSP) and its rather impressive lack of any actual support. Occasionally, one of them will show up on the monthly list. Last month, readers took interest in this one. Anyone surprised? Not me.
  • I had a small problem with former Ottawa city councillor Clive Doucet randomly throwing email at me as a result of what amounts to a thirty-second exchange during the OC Transpo strike of 2008-2009. The problem warranted yet another mention on the blog last month. And apparently, I’m not the only one who’s felt like mentioning it–that entry’s still getting attention.

That’s November in a nutshell. December… may or may not be fun and amusing and otherwise wicked nifty cool. Enjoy yourselves folks, and I’ll throw another one of these up in the new year.

Popular posts (October, 2010(.

Finally, only halfway through this month, I have a chance to take a quick glance at what folks found of interest last month. It wasn’t as busy for me as this month is, but that didn’t mean a lack of the mockworthy. It did, however, mean I actually got this thing done on time. Something interesting of note: through the month of October, it looked like you folks following the blog on Twitter might become my most active readers. Sadly, you lost to Google. So, here’s what you and the googlers read about last month, as always, courtesy Google Analytics.

  • Airlines are paranoid creatures. Justifiably, some might argue, after 9/11 and then the failed bombing attempt on Christmas day. Some, like the young man who had to surrender his cane, might question that viewpoint. I, personally, wouldn’t blame him.
  • The next version of MacOS is said to be coming with its own app store. I suggested, much to the irritation of one reader, that this will more than likely open the door to Apple doing with it what it’s done with the iPhone. I still haven’t seen any evidence to the contrary yet. Anyone?
  • Cell phone companies piss me off. That’s probably the world’s–or, at least, my–worst kept secret. Wind Mobile is no exception–and I’m not even a customer. After encountering one such off-pissing aspect of Wind’s service, and in looking it up, running smack into a much more irritating aspect of said service, I decided to talk to them about it. They still haven’t responded. Hello, Ken Campbell? Anyone home?
  • When I was in school, unless you were really justifiably sick, you were probably using headaches/tiredness/lack of concentration as an excuse to stay home from school. That was your fault. Today, it’s wi-fi’s fault. Not sure in what universe, but any excuse to sleep in. Now where was wi-fi to blame 20 years ago?
  • October has always meant something very special to me. At least, always in the sense of ever since I was old enough to develop an appreciation for it. October meant hockey, which meant many nights sitting in front of the TV, optionally with a large pizza and a coke, with or without alcohol, and cursing my hockey team. I wrote about it about an hour before the first game of this year’s season. And if I could, I’d go back to that day and slap myself for writing it.

That was October, in a nutshell. Now to go find my way through the hellish chaos that is not October. Happy reading, folks. And happy giving of thanks to those of you cellebrating it this month. Those of you not, consider it an excuse to crack open the booze. I am.

Test driving: Clicky stats engine.

I have no problem admitting I’m a bit of a stat nut. Not so much to the point where I do this explicitly to see how many thousands of people come pouring in when I post something, but since I’m doing it, and since it’s publicly available, I might as well get curious re: who takes an interest, from where, in what exactly and for how long. I have equally no problem admitting I’m kind of a sucker for RSS feeds. In fact, I already have. So when you take both of these, slap them together, you get a project I have to play with.

So, enter yet another stats related experiment. I test drove, and eventually ended up, sticking with Statcounter for realtime statistics gathering–I even hooked Jessica up with it not long ago. For the broader perspective, like watching collectively what’s gaining or losing strength, I stick with Google Analytics. But I’ve been curious about ways to minimise the number of places I have to look to get a decent idea of how active things are getting. Since I already live in my RSS reader of choice most of the day anyway–some of that which is mock worthy comes from there, after all, and since I’m not the type to refresh the stats page every 10 minutes just in case someone happens to drop by, when I came across something that would let me slap certain collective stats into an RSS feed, I figured why the hell not. So I signed up yesterday afternoon with Clicky, a realtime statistics engine a la Statcounter that gives me that kind of access.

Like statcounter, and to an extent Google Analytics, it shows you where people are coming from, where they’re going on your site, and what if anything they searched for to get there. Unlike Statcounter, but more like Google Analytics, it lets you drill down to get more detailed access to the specifics of a particular user, including–I’m gathering based on what I’ve seen so far–what they’ve accessed on your site in previous visits, since Clicky started tracking. Unlike either of the two, it supposedly still manages to keep track of certain things in the event folks show up with javascript disabled. And, also unlike either of the two, it gives you the option of not so much as lookiing at their website should you decide not to–by letting you keep track of, in my opinion anyway, the important things in individualised RSS feeds. I’ve only been playing with it for less than 24 hours, but so far, I’m liking what I’m seeing. I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say it’ll replace either or both of my stats packages I currently use, but at the very least, it’s a nifty little distraction. We’ll find out soon enough if I’m still distracted by it. In the meantime, time to go find something mock worthy.

Popular posts (September, 2010).

It’s been a somewhat up and down month, both in what I’ve been up to and in reader activity. In the last few weeks, though, reader activity’s at least been moving in a more upwardly direction–I guess me not being as busy means there’s more up here for folks to be distracted by. Who knew? Here’s what you’ve found interesting since the start of September, as always, courtesy Google Analytics.

  • I’ve been an unwilling recipient of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) since around this time last year. even though I’d much rather be working and off ODSP, I still take an active interest in what goes on with it–particularly to the extent that, at least for the moment, it also affects me. So when two people with alcoholism were ruled by Ontario’s human rights commission to be entitled to ODSP, I was more than a little irritated. I unloaded on the human rights commission when I read of it, and that generated a fairly intense discussion–the most activity the blog’s seen since it was set up.
  • Not nearly as intense a discussion, Ottawa mayoral candidate Clive Doucet gets a spot in the popular posts list for his advertisements based on exchanging only one or two emails with the man–nearly two years ago. He got his very own rant for that. Fortunately, his unsubscribe option exists–and works–this time.
  • H1N1 is dead, and just in time. a day or two after its death, the World Health Organization (WHO) decided it wanted us to know about a brand spanking new superbug. Vaccination manufacturers everywhere just had a collective orgasm.
  • My quest to put my geekery on paper has been placed on a temporary hold, after my college dreams crashed and burned. Bright side: it freed me up to pursue two job opportunities, one of which is still running–the other, at least for the moment, ran off a cliff.
  • And, from the archives, in 2008, Carly Fleischmann made headlines in a larger than life way. She’s an autistic highschool kid who can’t communicate verbally, but can do so more than well enough on a computer to make up for it. I wrote two entries about her–here’s the second of the two–when I read about her initially. More than two years later now, and she’s in highschool, on Facebook, and on Twitter–follow her here. That’s the kind of progress I can get behind.

That’s the kind of month it’s been. Now let’s shove this thing into October, possible future employment, and hockey. Lots, and lots, of hockey.

Popular posts (August, 2010).

Just because I spent a month out of the country doesn’t mean I didn’t find things to blog about. Or mock. Or snicker at. Yeah, it’s been a hell of a busy month. And, once I got back through the door of this apartment, my first thought was “holy shit busy”. It’s apparently been busy for the readers, too. Here’s what folks found interesting in the month of August, courtesy Google Analytics.

  • For some, the time for things to break is on a Thursday. For others, it’s the entire month of August. Apparently, I fall into the latter category. Near breakage, outright breakage, fake breakage, and oh yeah, beyond my control breakage–if it could break, it probably did. Or tried to. And I summarized most of it.
  • Just when you thought it was safe to take off your mask. Not even 36 hours after H1N1 was declared dead, they up and invented a new superbug. And hey, it’s already going global. Yeah, you guys can probably guess my opinion on it. But in case you can’t, there it is in link form.
  • As Canadian as fiddle fest on a labour day weekend–which, by the way, is coming up next weekend if you’re in the area, and nearly as unknown to folks south of the border, Great Big Sea. I wrote about them here, and included a sample video. Really, they’re awesome and must be checked out. Like, now-ish.
  • Twitter is awesome. No, seriously. If you don’t have an account, get one. Also, now-ish. But that having been said, not every thought I have makes it that far. Usually because it loses its context by the time I get around to glancing at Twitter–like tonight, for example. I posted a sampling of them here. I’ll probably do a similar post again later. Or maybe just update that one. I dunno.
  • And making a comeback on the popular posts list, what the hell, Ottawa? I still can’t wrap my head around why they forked over more assistance for convergys than they did when the Dell office went splat. And hey, five months later, apparently I’m not the only one. And I still don’t have any more of a clue.

Popular posts (July, 2010).

Holy freaking busy. And I do mean busy. For a small sampling of what I mean, have a look through previous posts. Or, wait until the popular posts for this month gets tossed up. In the meantime, here’s what caught people’s attention in July–a surprisingly way less busy-ish month, considering.

  • Right on queue, when I was thinking about possibly finding some way to bypass the US only limitations and at least try out Netflix, they go out and bring it to Canada. Well, sort of. About goddamn time we get something folks on this side of the border already have.
  • All the busy in the world doesn’t quite make up for the first week of July, part of it was spent with Jessica. It was during that week that she became my fiance. And she’s not managed to run screaming yet.
  • I effectively and officially started the ball rolling on the whole getting me into college thing around the middle of July. Naturally at that point I had no idea that ball was going to try and roll right over top of me, but it got started then. And even that took some twisting of arms.
  • I have a nasty habbit of screwing up my sleep schedule completely beyond recognission. Sometimes, it ends up resulting in 4:00 wake-up calls. And most of the time it ends up not actually staying stable, even in its screwed up state, for very long. Gotta love the flexible routine–except when it’s way, way too flexible.
  • And in slightly mock-worthy news, Sarah Palin has a thing for occasionally inventing new words, then claiming it’s because everyone else is doing it. I harass her for it as often as I can, much to the dismay of many I’m sure. But, hey, considering the couple months I’ve been having, even minor amusement/mockery can be good.

Okay, so not as entertaining as some of the other lists. What do you want for the middle of summer? Now, back I go to the land of oh my god busy.

Popular posts (June, 2010).

Always up for a party, we ended the month–and began this one–with several smaller ones. If you’re not in a party mood and aren’t up for the whole Canada day thing, sit back with something cold and have a look at what people nearly as bored as me found of interest this month, as always, courtesy of Google Analytics.

  • The line about being a geek in training isn’t exactly an inaccurate one. So when Linode cellebrated its birthday, of course I took advantage of what they were offering. It also reawakened the age old migration debate–and generated some interest among people wondering if they should, and how to do it. In answer to the first question, yes. In answer to the second? If you know, drop me a line.
  • Local politicians are a tiny bit idiotic at times. Specificly with regards the new copyright bill being pushed through in Canada’s parliament. I’ve tried offering them a clue by four. My new favourite to target with it is minister Tony Clement. Sadly, I’m still failing. Oh well, maybe his replacement will catch on.
  • It had to happen sometime, or so I’ve been told. It happened last Saturday. It was posted about on Tuesday. I ended up engaged, just in case you missed the half a dozen announcements we’ve been tossing out.
  • And, because it wouldn’t be my blog without at least two techy entries, here’s your second. Twitter’s reply and conversation tracking features are good, but could benefit from some improvement. I have an idea how that could happen, not that I expect it to go anywhere. It’d still be wicked awesome if it did, though.
  • And making a return to the popular posts list, my attempt to beat an answer out of Ontario’s government re: the current situation with the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) is generating a little more interest. After trying to get answers from folks and getting absolutely nowhere, I resorted to a couple somewhat strongly worded open letters to the premier, and leaders of all 3 major provincial parties. The first one’s over here.

Edit, 3 days later: I fail epically at HTML. Also, I fail at noticing my HTML related failures. I should stop doing that.

Popular posts (May, 2010).

Not even officially summer yet and I’ve had to keep the remote to my AC close by. This isn’t pretty. If you’re sweating it out like I am, here’s a nifty little way to keep semi-cool. crack open something cold–I recommend a bottle of rum–and have a look at what folks were interested in last month, as always, courtesy Google Analytics.

  • The “piracy is evil” camp got a bunch of renewed memberships this month, in the form of our new copyright legislation and its supporters. I wonder what for, and point out the obvious. As long as the pirates offer a better service than the legal alternatives, piracy wins. And no, I don’t lose sleep at night.
  • Administrative bodies absolutely hate making things headache free. Noteably when it comes to certain highschool transcripts. I guess 1995 was a good year–folks are surprisingly still stuck there, at least technologically.
  • Earlier in the month, Ottawa and area received a gift from the phone companies in the form of a new area code. It only took them 4+ years since they enacted ten-digit dialing.
  • Humidity? Here? Nah. Can’t be. If you’re me, you’re probably about ready to call it quits on this whole overly sticky thing already–and it’s only June. And if you’re Xup, you’re probably crazy enough to actually like it. I’m sorry.
  • Speaking of Xup, a debate over on her blog a bit ago left me with an essay in my head, and I’m way too nice to stick the whole thing on her blog in a comment. It got dropped here instead. I keep forgetting to do my follow-up post to this one. Maybe today at some point. Or tomorrow. See? Told you lazy is bad for me.

Popular posts (April, 2010).

It’s been one piece of news after another the last few weeks, some of which weren’t spent in the relative safety of my non-secure apartment building. Still, I found the time in the last few days of April to get one last blog in. So, here, have a late compilation of last month’s interesting reads, according to people who read this thing and Google Analytics.

  • Back in March, I challenged the government of Ontario to actually talk to us common folk about what they’re planning on doing for people on welfare and/or ODSP. The premier sent me back a form letter, and I pasted both here.
  • Convergys closed its doors in the middle of last month. They’re being given a leg up by city and provincial governments, at last check. Possibly even the federal government. My opinion on that is here, but summarized, where was this 2 years ago?
  • Speaking of the provincial government, let’s continue the theme. An attempt to throw sex education at grade 3 students didn’t go over very well in the province–hence Dalton McGuinty’s rather quick retreat within a day or two of it making headlines. It didn’t go over well here, either.
  • And, because themes are meant to eventually be broken, that’s exactly what we’re going to do here. Speaking of broken, Canada is dangerously close to breaking braille. At least if the rumours are true–I still haven’t heard one way or the other. Anyone feel like offering something factual? Google’s got nothin’.
  • Again with the brokenness of things, this time from a tech perspective. I’m still a user of LiveJournal. In the sense that this blog cross-posts to LJ, and I’ve hacked something together to read my friends list via RSS feeds. It wasn’t easy. And, it’s rather quite well documented–including what I eventually decided to do to kind of make it work. So far, it seems to be working.

Hey now. More productive than I thought. Who knew? There is promise in this.

Also: There will undoubtedly be a celebratory hockey post in the next few days, barring a disaster. Montreal isn’t doing so hot. Thank, freaking, God. Yes, unrelated. You’ll live.

Update: Clearly, I fail at HTML and spelling. Tonight, I cannot brain. Fixed. Now, stay pretty, goddammit.

LiveJournal tries to be cool, impresses me in the process. Welcome, google Analytics!

As anyone who’s been following my ramblings for a while knows, I’m a recent and still in progress convert away from LiveJournal. To this day, I still blog on that site as Arinoch, though now it’s more a duplication of the content you’d usually find on this site. One of my big reasons for skipping out on LJ is the lack of control over what you actually have the ability to do with your blog. But, a slightly more important one–to me, anyway–was the lack of an ability to actually see who bothers to read the thing. Until recently, they had absolutely no means of statistical tracking. Which, admittedly, isn’t the primary reason I do this, but sometimes it comes in handy. They tried to correct that minor malfunction with their own, internal analysiss tool, called “My stats”. It was barely useful for more than to see how many of your “friends” continued to check up on you every 20 minutes. So now, they’ve taken the next logical step and gone with the use of Google Analytics instead, giving you the option to get as detailed or not a look at your blog as you please.

I’ve been using the same service on this site, after trying several things to see who would provide me with the more interesting stats–and, after consulting with one well-known expert in the field, Toronto Mike. And all I can say is it’s about goddamn time. If I hadn’t already switched from LJ, I’d probably reconsider doing so now. Particularly if they opened up what you could actually do with the blog you’re optionally paying them to host. Offering this, plus options for advertising on your own–hey, why should LJ-sponsored ads be the only option available–is a good start, though. Now keep it going. I may be tempted to not hang up completely.

What I’d like to see next? StatCounter support, for the realtime stats analytics doesn’t touch. Dunno why they don’t touch it, but oh well. Now, allow me to go play with this for a little.