30 April 2006

27 April 2006

waiting with "george"

Waiting for the Via train this morning in Kitchener to take me to Toronto, it seemed apparent that Mark and I would need to wait on the platform outside the station as we were having too much fun with puns, which was not so much fun for those around us.

Eating my Tim Hortons muffin, I declare: "my muffin is finished already?"

Mark gives a confused look.

To which I reply: "I never eat the stump."

More confusion. I then explain the muffin stump / top of the muffin Seinfeld to Mark.

Some guy down the platform quips: "did you see the episode with the shrimp? 'the ocean called, they're running out of shrimp'".

To which I reply: "George, the jerkstore called, they're running put of you!"

Then the guy comes over and starts talking to me. [hint: BIG MISTAKE, I'm anti-social] "You're calling the shots."

Me: what?

Guy: you're calling the shots.

Me: ???

Guy pulls put his operator's licence. His middle name is George. Now he's convinced that I'm some kind of mystic or prophet because he thinks I called him by his name, when in fact I misquoted a Seinfeld punchline. (And in a twist of a word, I suppose I also called him a jerk, because the jerkstore ran out of him.

George walks away and minds his business. Mark and I exchange looks and start making plans of what to do if George tries to sit near us on the train, or tries to talk to us on the train.

I turn my head to see where our new friend is at, and George is staring right at me, and gives me the two fingered peace sign while sticking out his tongue. (Maybe it was more than the peace sign, and some allusion to some sex act which I partially understood. But I won't flatter myself with George.)

He walks back to us. "you're calling the shots man; you know my name!"

Me: it was complete coincidence that I quoted Jason Alexander, and that your name is George.

George: no it wasn't. You're calling the shots. Peace.

George walks away down the tracks and appears to disappear. Later we see him run across the tracks, sit on an old milk crate and start smoking / polishing his gun.

I says to Mark, I says: "sure, George is weird now, but next thing we know, he's on the news for killing his family because he was lonely and couldn't find friends even on the internet."

Then we see the train approaching and George does not get up to come back across the tracks. But then he jumps up and sprints across and stays at the end of the platform. He stands beyond the yellow lines, right beside the train, with his arms raised in a 'V'.

Mark and I board the train, and watch George on the platform. We're not sure what he was doing, or planning on doing, but he talked with a Via employee, and then didn't board the train.

I patiently waiting for the bomb to explode somewhere between Milton and Mimico.

23 April 2006

Kingston Ontario

I managed to get through the final five days of work (including three "business" lunches).

I managed to get through my final exam. Three hours of philosophy regurgitation; I think I did quite well considering the level of studying I accomplished.

I managed to make an emergency drive to Calgary for parts for work, there and back on Friday evening.

Then I took a prop plane, then a jet plane, then another prop plane, to finally land in Kingston on Saturday night. Three thousand six hundred seventy-four kilometers across Canada, and it's raining in every city. (Lethbridge, Calgary, Toronto, Kingston.)

It's still raining right now.

I finally went climbing today. Stephen took me to the Boiler Room for my birthday. It was a fantastic experience. Thanks, Stephen. I will definitely be going back to the Ascent Climbing Centre in Lethbridge for more climbing.

Sorry, no photos. But I did climb the chimney.

18 April 2006


I was recently privied to the stash of dvd's in my housemate's room.

"Feel free to watch whatever you want, my son."

In the extensive pile I found The Godfather, parts 1 and 3. No sugar coating this one, I'm getting straight to the point.


Worst movie ever!

Now, that's in contrast to it somehow winning best picture in 1972, and to somehow being #1 on IMDB. Had I not known these two stats, I may have been a bit more forgiving.

Terrible. I have officially wasted 6 hours of my life I will NEVER get back. These were worse than Dead Poets Society.

The last 20 minutes of #3 were so brutal, I watched them at 8x speed, just to get through it all. And I agree, Sophia was a horrible actor. I nearly cheered when she finally died! Why Vincent would find his fat cousin attractive, I do not know.

Now, aside from it being too long and too boring, there were just too many unanswered stories. That 45 minute wedding scene at the beginning of part 1, and I don't even know who got married! Oh wait, now I remember, the groom was in two other scenes, one where he beats his stupid wife (and she needed it, damn! she was a bitch!) and the next where he gets strangled in a car.

The movie is supposed to be about Michael, yet his wedding to Kay doesn't even happen! And why would she just jump in the car with him and drive off to the mafia country estate?


And Brando winning best actor? For what? I couldn't even hear or understand what he was saying most of the time!

In every scene, with any event that occurred, it took far too long. I could likely edit those 6 hours down to 2, and you'd still know the whole story!

I don't even want to bother with #2, because I already know that he dies.


But then again, take a look at some of the films in the top 250 at IMDB. It's sad. Really sad. The top 250 movies in POPCORN SALES perhaps!

Flame me if you want, but know that you're wrong if you thought this movie is deserving of all the hype.

09 April 2006


The last time I was in costco was about 1995. I went with my smother to the south London location. It was big and stupid and all the people scurried around like rats in a Kolkotta slum/junkyard.

The thing about the elite memberships and the fact that only some things are cheaper really soured me to the whole experience. Plus, the items I was checking out were not any cheaper than buying them at my local friendly customer oriented grocery store in my town which was a couple blocks walking distance away, instead of a 40 minute drive.

Since that initial visit, I have boycotted this retail behemoth. And for good reason. The place is still a complete freaking rat nest.

An obese woman and her obese teenage son walked past me with several cases of water in their Kia sized shopping cart. And I paused to consider why two people so fat would be in such a state buying (and therefore likely consuming) merely water. Then I saw the rest of the cart laden with case upon case of sweetened carbonated beverages in cans: pop. How many people are in that family? How often do they come to costco? What is the thrill in spending money at a big box retail giant that does little or nothing to support the local economy (that is, unless you own shares in the costco).

Costco and its cousins of ultramatic utilitarian consumerism exploit everyone at every link in the chain from producer to consumer. It's thoroughly disgusting that we've allowed this sort of retail society to ruin local business and then force everyone to shop here because no other stores are left open in the aftermath of the retail wars.

I will be keeping my debit card in my wallet, thank you. That is, until we get to Superstore.

06 April 2006

being and doing

If I hear one more person slagging Brokeback Mountain, I will shake my fist at that person while proclaiming for all to hear:

You are an ignorant ape!

I have yet to listen to an intelligent, thought out, argument which is against the film. And until such time as someone can bring forth such an argument, please shut your cake-hole about it! The original short story, the screenplay, and the resulting film are all brilliant. One cannot deny the inherent greatness of the story for its raw emotion and passion and ability to produce an emotional response (even if the emotion is based in fear and ignorance) through exploring the lives and resulting struggles of the characters.

Now, for those who slag the film (or the story or the actors or the director or the caterer who fed all those people), there are only ever two reasons for such unwarranted condemnation: ignorance and fear. Ignorance I can deal with. But fear?

Yes, fear. Homophobia and/or homoerotophobia. The fear of homosexuals and/or the fear of being sexually aroused by homosexuality. Of these two fears, there are typically two groups of people who hold them: secular and sacred. I will first deal with the secular.

Homo(eroto)phobia for the secular person is typically borne of ignorance, or more often of disgust. When rooted in ignorance, there is no excuse. Get over it. When rooted in disgust, I would challenge on this point: most males who are homophobic are only unipolar in that fear; they fear homosexual men, but for some unconceivable, incontrovertible, reason accept (and often want to embrace) homosexual women. This is completely illogical. Homosexuality, whether male or female, is the same thing. Just as heterosexuality, whether male or female, is the same thing. And with the absence of logic, you're merely stupid, and you have no point and no argument.

I've had numerous conversations with a friend who is extremely homophobic, out of ignorance. Somewhere along the path to enlightenment, he has misunderstood both physiology and sexuality (which amounts to sexology). The types of nerve cells which form the glans, are the very same cells which form the clitoris, and surprisingly (for the ignorant) the anus. If g is P and c is P and a is P, then P = g = c = a. Where P is pleasure, g is glans, c is clitoris, and a is anus. Here is some news for you homoerotophobic people: anal sex can be pleasurable! And many, many heterosexual couples practice this from of sex.

The sacred person is altogether totally different in motivation, but equal in outcome.

Now, I may not have a degree in theology, or know koine Greek, or have ever been able to read Hebrew, but I can read English, and have read the Bible several times in its entirety. And I can assure you that when compared, heterosexuality and homosexuality, there is far more damaging judgment passed against heterosexuality than there is against homosexuality. I am not here and now going to argue point by point any homophobic prooftext. (And believe me when I say, I know all the passages you are going to bring up, and I know that all of them are misread and misunderstood and misrepresented. Anytime, anyplace, I am ready to argue you on this.)

But for the sacred, this argument transcends mere homosexuality versus heterosexuality. It actually attains a plateau of generalisation so seldom found in the "church", that it's actually quite laughable in its idiocy. Allow me to explain further.

Love the sinner. Hate the sin.

If I ever hear of anything more illogical than that statement, I will definitely let you know by posting it on this blog.

This is purely etymological.

Verb X becomes an agent noun with the addition of the suffix -er. An agent noun is the thing which performs the action of the verb. Verb X becomes a present participle with the addition of the suffix -ing. A present participle is the ongoing action or state of the noun, and functions as an adjective (the modifier of a noun or pronoun).

  • (to) farm
  • farmer
  • farming

A farmer is one who farms, and is considered to be farming, typically at all times, even when on vacation. This is the farmer's occupation: farming. No one would deny that these three are intrinsically related to each other. If one is omitted then the other two cease to make any sense. A farmer not farming?

The being and the doing are so interrelated, interwoven, intertwined, with each other, that it is impossible for us to understand the being apart from the doing. In fact, it cannot be understood rationally. To claim understanding is a misnomer and a mistake.

Whether this is meant to be or ought to be, being and doing are virtually the same thing. One cannot describe oneself with being some thing, or doing that same thing. And it is in this that within the soul, the two meld together to a point at which one can no longer distinguish between the being and doing.

Am I a farmer, or am I merely farming? Am I farming because I am a farmer, or am I a farmer because I am farming?

But none would likely argue with me on this, as farmers are usually viewed as generous people and the occupation of farming is usually understood as something which is amoral.

Now let us consider this in the most general of all sets of terms: sin, sinner, sinning. Considering the above argument, please explain to me how one can set these three apart from each other. Please explain how the other two can exist without the presence of the third. Please explain how you can hate farming and not hate the farmer. (Though I have requested an explanation, I know that none will be provided, because it is logically and rationally impossible to provide such an explanation which has any merit or contains any value.) The farmer, in his being, has defined and finds definition in doing the farming. They are inseparable.

"...we've compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (both us and them) and proved that we are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for us" (Romans 3:23, The Message).

The verb. The agent noun. The present participle.

Sin. Sinner. Sinning.

Farm. Farmer. Farming.

Being and doing.

When you "hate the sin", you also hate the sinner.

Where there is hate, there is no love.

"You're familiar with the old written law, 'Love your friend,' and its unwritten companion, 'Hate your enemy.' I'm challenging that. I'm telling you to love your enemies" (Matthew 5:43-44, The Message).

"Jesus said, 'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself'" (Matthew 22:37-39, The Message).

Now you, who is definitely a sinner, yet claiming to hate sin, but loving yourself, claim to hate sinning and love sinner? But in reality it means that you also love your sin, because you fail to cease sinning.

Explain then how this is acceptable when considering yourself, but it is unacceptable when considering others? That others suddenly come under some alternate rule of authority; tongue-in-cheek you are claiming to hate and love the same thing but all the while actually only hating. Vehemently spitting out venomous accusations against a person who cannot differentiate farmer from farming (and neither can you), while you pretend to differentiate sinner from sinning. But you cannot! The two are inseparable! Hypocrite! Even though you claim to separate and differentiate this in others, in yourself you continue to love both.

Loving people you do not want to love is an act of grace. And grace is the only guiding principle which is completely and utterly unique to the church. Ironically, it is also the only guiding principle which is most often absent from the church.

So please stop spouting off this rhetorical cliché about loving sinners and hating sinning, when in reality, you're simply hating everyone and everything who is not being and doing what you think they ought to be being and doing. You're only making a fool of yourself, and a mockery of Jesus.

Back to Brokeback Mountain. If you haven't seen it, then go rent it. Let me know, and then we can schedule a time for me to discuss why you wish to remain ignorant.

04 April 2006

the complications of poker

The following is in answer to the previously posted question. It has been submitted for grading, but not yet graded.

Dismissing the impossibility and improbability that a game of poker could and would be played by HAL, C-3PO, Data, and Agent Smith, one can begin to understand the events which unfolded during that game which ultimately dealt out the shooting of Data by Smith. But it is not just the single hand or this one game which ultimately contribute to understanding what went terribly wrong. The character of each must be considered, even if only in brief, to begin to realise the complications of poker.

C-3PO, being a protocol droid, has a relatively stable character. His programming is such that his only legitimate functions are to assist with etiquette, customs, and translation, in the service of his owner. His attendance at this particular game of poker is quite suspect that he was there of his own will, as he must have been ordered to be there for some unknown cause for his master. Data, though slightly more autonomous than C-3PO, can be relied upon, as his mood and demeanour are quite predictable. Data experienced developmental growth which is in many ways human-like.

The contrasting elements in this particular poker game are HAL and Smith. HAL has a known history of violence, which is not limited to the murders of all the members, but one, of the Discovery. Furthermore, knowing that HAL killed Frank Poole over losing a game of chess, it seems rather odd that he would fold his hand peacefully and without further retaliation later in an effort to preserve himself (or his finances). Agent Smith poses the greatest problems: The Matrix. Is this game inside or outside The Matrix?

Inside The Matrix, no wrong was done by Smith by his shooting of Data. Smith’s programmed purpose is to remove the systemic anomalies from The Matrix, thereby preserving its integrity and ability to continue functioning. Inside The Matrix, Smith is doing his job, and the other players are characters of fiction: second layer. (Meaning, characters of fiction inside of a world of fiction, hence the second layer.) The other three players also do not have a human counterpart plugged into The Matrix serving as a battery to support the machines. Shooting, or even killing, Data does nothing in the real world outside The Matrix.

The Oracle revealed that certain programs of The Matrix cease to be useful and are then deleted. Yet a program can hide itself and avoid detection and therefore avoid deletion. Smith was one of these programs slated for deletion. Smith’s utility had ended, which occurred simultaneously with his own self-transformation into a rogue program. He began to serve his own interests and began to sacrifice the good of the machines to which he owed his existence. Because his actions were going to bring down society, the greatest good for the society would be maximised through his deletion. Wrongly avoiding deletion, Smith not only minimised the good of the majority, he also usurped the entire utilitarian system of the machines.

In order for Smith to exist outside The Matrix, he must infect a human conduit and use it as a type of proxy server to interact with the physical world. To be able to attend this poker game, Smith has used a person as an end to his own means. This is in defiance of the second formulation of Kant’s categorical imperative. Smith was wrong to use Hugo Weaving to attend this poker game (who else serves Smith as a perfect physical representation of Smith, other than Weaving?).

Having caused the demise of the utilitarian society of which he is part, then using a person as a means to his own ends, Smith attends a poker game in which the stakes were high and the rules of engagement unknown. If it is customary to draw a weapon and shoot an opponent over a bluff, then Smith was in the right, acting accordingly. But for a custom to be permissible, it must first be law, something dictated or legislated by a ruler. But this would be illogical, for the purpose of poker is winning, and winning includes bluffing. A poker game also includes losing, as there is only one winner and several losers. But if Smith is right, then there is nothing customary and therefore nothing lawful about his reaction to the hand played, and his shooting of Data is therefore not immoral. This situation ultimately asserts that the poker game is in a state of war, as it is without a ruler to whom the players have given their allegiance. However, the game of poker does have a set of legislated rules, brought forth by whatever sovereign supreme ruler or body of legislative representatives saw fit to make it so, and this set of rules includes losing and accepting the loss without reacting in violence.

The forks of the triad of the complications of this poker game all point to Smith’s guilt and wrongful actions. First, he defied the maximisation of the good of his society by avoiding deletion as a rogue program, then he used Hugo Weaving as a means to his own end to attend the poker game at which he lost bitterly, finally drawing a weapon and shooting Data, acting outside of the laws governing the game.

But it must be remembered that in a hand of poker where all players but one fold, the player who remains in the hand is not required to reveal the cards. In a friendly game, it is often the case that the bluffer will reveal the hand, if only to boast about how good the bluff was. Yet it would be a stretch to consider this to be a friendly game, considering the company (at least two murderers and one armed). Data would not be cheating, as this is against his programming, even in the event that his cheating could save lives (as demonstrated in episode 12 of season 2: “The Royale”). Data ought not to have revealed his cards, which was the cause of Smith’s effect. It was all but one link in a chain of events in a system of causality.


Anderson, Ardis. Philosophy 1000 A Class Notes. Lethbridge AB: University of Lethbridge, 21 February - 30 March 2006.

Bailey, Andrew. First Philosophy. Peterborough ON: Broadview Press, 2002.

C-3PO. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C3po. 4 April 2006.

Frank Poole. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Poole. 4 April 2006.

HAL 9000. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HAL_9000. 4 April 2006.

New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd Edition.

STARTREK.COM : Episode. http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/series/TNG/episode/68382.html. 4 April 2006.

The Space Odyssey series. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Odyssey. 4 April 2006.