Friday, September 30, 2005

on Rhetoric

I just flipped on CNN. I'm not a big fan but at 1:50 p.m., what is there to watch when you are getting ready to go to work. The CBC is still in lockout mode so the pickings there are thin. So… Kyra Phillips it is.

The Bill Bennett spectacle is ongoing.

Two guests, were there to opine about the matter. Of course, they held diametrically opposed viewpoints. In a silly way, it was kind of funny. One fellow suggests that Bennett's words are not inherently the problem but that the vigourous reaction to them by blacks will create the impression that blacks can't understand rhetoric.

The other fellow, a pending talk show host who was kind enough to plug his show which starts on Monday, stridently insisted that he didn't know what rhetoric was.

It was comical.

Of course, Mr. Savoy, that's all I caught of his name, is not alone. There are others who missed the point as well.

Myself, I don't think much of Mr. Bennett. I have yet to hear anything come from him, ever, that gave me a single, small reason to respect him and if someone deserves a load of crap, he'll do. In a way, it is probably a measure of just desserts. As someone who overflows with falseness, it just seems fitting that he be hoist up on the hook of misinterpretation. Of course, that's just the petty side of me thinking that.

I wonder if the backlash will break his public persona. He could become more popular of course. Everybody is capable of misunderstanding his words. Many are insistent.

I have heard or read three people defend him. Bennett himself, this fellow on CNN and Brad DeLong. Only the latter did it well.

I fear Mr. Bennett is too smart for his own good.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

C'est Moi

I have acquired a new picture of myself. It is probably a better likeness, at least it is current.

On Energy and Industry

David Ramsay is the Minister of Natural Resources in Ontario.

I'm watching him on TV on Studio 2, Fourth Reading.

He can say nothing with the best of them.

Uncommonly however, he isn't evasive. When asked if he had just said yes or no to a question, he replied, "I don't believe I answered either way."

To be fair, his ministry is planning a major announcement next week and he wants to remain quiet for the moment.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

On Chief Justices

I don't know much about the U.S. Supreme Court nomination system. It seems to be a real generator of light and noise.

I am curious though, why a Judge who doesn't have a substantial history would be chosen as the Chief Justice.

While I wouldn't doubt that Mr. Roberts has been busy these past years, I have yet to see where this shows up. It appears that some of his handiwork has been covered up by the administration.

Why not have Roberts appointed and choose someone else as Chief Justice?

New Stuff

I just bought some stuff for my PowerBook.

A new mouse, a Mighty Mouse. It's okay so far.

I also picked up a copy of Disk Warrior. I used to have a copy of v2 although I don't remember where I got it. This copy is bought and paid for. It's slow but uniquely amongst the various disk utilities, I trust it.

I have been mulling over purchasing it for the past few months. The store I bought it, had a single copy on their shelves for months. It stated what version was in the box. I had no clue as to whether it was current or not. Today when I visited the store, I found a whole shelf full of new boxes with a new version. The old box was $10 off.

While meandering through the store, I looked up the Alsoft website from a Mini. I learned that this new version was the most current release and would even work on Tiger.

I don't have Tiger yet but the last thing I want is to have to screw around with versions. I bought it.

I've used it on my primary drive as well as on an external 120GB. I kept get a message indicating that its speed was reduced due to a lack of memory. I have 512 MB of RAM.

Maybe I need more. I may write Alsoft to ask them what the heck that message means.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

On academics and manner of speech

I'm watching a show called Big Ideas on TVO.

There is a scholar named Liam Kennedy, from Queen's University in Belfast who is speaking about the Irish famine of the 1840s and comparing it to The Holocaust. On February 3, 2005 he spoke here in Toronto on his book, Cry Holocaust.

The speaker seems knowledgeable (but I wouldn't know) but he has some speaking traits that form barriers to listeners.

In discussing a historian's work, he stated something along the lines of, "Bleep makes a great point here, albeitly implicitly." Why add the needless, complicating comment at the end?

He says things like, "Bleep puts this eloquently," and then launches into a quote. If it's eloquent, we'll hear it. Why state it thus when you aren't actually trying to make a specific point?

There are many amongst us, and I might be one, who have an urge to be precise and complete and specific in our speech, our communications. In some, it is an overwhelming urge. What is rarely considered is that our audience neither needs nor wants our qualifying statements. We don't really make them for others, we make them for ourselves.

As we speak, we consider the words that we use then the correctness of them. Not everyone of course, but….

Saturday, September 17, 2005

On Mac OS X

While there are many well implemented functions on a Mac, there are a few holes that should have been resolved by v10.1. When I wish to select a batch of files, I should be able to click on the first and then shift-click on the last to select them all. This works about 33 percent of the time. How can this still be a problem?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Funereal Procession

After a late night out Friday, I ventured out again to see Cirque du Soleil's Corteo. It was quite a show.

A group of us from work made the trek. Some of us ate at Milestones on John St. before the show. Food was decently good. Good enough to eat there again but not good enough to run back for.

At Ontario Place, the big tent stood tall. Bright yellow and blue, it was surrounded by lesser tents serving other purposes, like food and Cirque merchandise. We took two cabs to get there.

We arrived exactly at 8 o'clock. As we took our seats, I noticed that the place was mostly full. There were still people entering the tent, including some of our crew.

As I looked around, I saw members of the circus working the aisles. They were equipped with the water squirters, just like any good clown should be. They must have been carrying four gallon drums hidden somewhere under their coats because they were soaking a lot of people with a lot of water.

One pair of spectators passed them and got doused. This couple wasn't sure where their seats were. So… moments later they went back and got soaked again. They ran off. They got chased. Fun for the whole crowd.

The actors were all physically talented. There were musicians, singers, tumblers, trapeze artists and more. They put on a really big show. The singers weren't the best but they weren't bad.

Two of our group had seen the show back in August. One interesting thing they noted was that the mistakes made were identical in both shows. She felt that they were planned, like when the highwire walker, working her way up an inclined rope, slipped but caught herself. Both shows, same slip, same time, same place.

All in all, a good time. It caters only to certain parts of the brain but that isn't a bad thing. I am thinking of checking out another show of theirs should one present itself.

C'est Moi

C'est moi, I'm forced to admit…

From a Mac

I always wonder, when first attempting to use a web-based application or site, how it looks and works from Windows. My assumption is that something will not work from a Mac.

I Canicus

Yet another blog. Will this be worth reading?