Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Friday to All and to All a blah blah blah blah blah.

Well today is Friday, and it's the Friday before Christmas. Yes, I am at work, but what can I say, I have been staring at the screen for too long this week... So I'll take a break and stare at the computer screen instead.

So I've been pretty busy lately... Showing the house to some people who seem interested in it... Potential bidding war??? Would be kind of nice right before Christmas... I probably shouldn't say things like that over the internet though eh....

Also, my lovely daughter just turned 3, and my handsome devil of a son turned 7. Scary stuff that is... Truly scary. So December becomes a pretty expensive month around the Amon household.

I was reading a little review about the new Disney movie about the princess and the frog, I can't remember the name of the movie (it very well may be "The Princess and the Frog" but I don't know... Note to Disney people, it wasn't driven down our throats enough)... And the main critique was that the princess, Tianna or something like that (see: Note to Disney above) isn't a good role model for young girls as she's still the same run of the mill princess that they've been feeding us since Snow White. While Snow White was allowed to stay with the dwarves because she cooked etc (ie servant girl), Tianna is a waitress (ie servant girl), but at least she gets paid for services rendered. And she is saving up to open her own restaurant. And she's black... sorry of African decent, not from the whites in Africa, but from the other, non-white people in Africa.... (see why I hate political correctness, there are white people in Africa too.... and I thought that we all originated somewhere in Africa anyway... yes I know, the debate gets confusing. Bugger it.) So Disney is trying to appeal to the, ummmmmmm, people who... I am confused now... and now I cave in... trying to appeal to the black community. but then I am forced to remember Aladdin, I didn't realize that Aladdin's chick was white, I thought her skin was rather dark too, oh sorry, she was Disney's attempt to appeal to the Indian (not Native Americans) population... Maybe Disney was trying to break into Bollywood? Never saw that coming did you. Didn't think so.

But, what my original point was, was that Tianna is a bad role model for little girls because Disney is portraying women as servants and princesses. But the article I read really focused on her appearance in all the princessely attire that will be marketed, and not her working outfit (ie apron and waitress garb). And the article said that this was a bad thing. I don't see why.

Sure, Disney will make a mint and possibly find a way to pay off Wall Street and end the economic crisis which Obama will then get credit for (he IS the first black President of the United States (crap I said it again)) from all the little girls wanting to by princess clothes and toys etc... Take my daughter for instance. She LOVES princess stuff. Her bedspread, toys, clothes etc etc and the list even goes farther than I know. But she loves it. So why is this so bad? Why is it bad that little girls are wanting toys etc of women that are dressed well and in good shape. Unreal expectations for their own appearance?

Which is worse, providing our daughters with role models (albeit cartoon) who are in good shape and physically fit, or having the media tell us that we are all fat? On the one hand we have health professionals etc telling us that we need to start looking after ourselves better by eating right and exercising, etc so that we don't gain excess weight; and then we have critics telling us that princess etc are bad role models because most girls will never attain that appearance (because we are an overweight society)... To put in other words because I like to see myself write, Doctors say we're fat, Disney throws us skinny princesses, critics say that's bad to show our daughters.

I think someone's dumb.

I chose the positive modeling...

Let my daughter love the princess, she likes to dress and is happy.

It is possible though, that I completely missed the point of the whole article though. In which case, sorry about that... But my idea stands on its own. Do the math. You'll agree....

I've missed you blog. I've missed you for too long... Let's never fight again...


Friday, November 27, 2009

I'll keep this short

Hello all, and I know that you have greatly missed me. So sorry for the long absence, but I have been pretty busy with stuff and the like...

I will keep this short, but I would like to let the blogosphere know that I will be moving back to Australia as soon as possible in February of 2010. I have accepted a job working with my old department in Sydney, Australia and I am honestly excited for this next stage. I have enjoyed working and living here in Nova Scotia for the past two years, and our time here will be remembered fondly. I will, as it should go without saying, really miss my family here, as well as the friends I'll be leaving, again.

The real-estate agents are coming by our house tomorrow and we will then decide who we wish to sell the house with, and then it will be on the market as soon as possible after that. So, if you're interested in buying a house, please let me know and I will point you to mine!

I have to run back to work, but I thought that I should at least let all my readers know this.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Beware of Zombies.

I know, I am a scientist and I am writing to inform you about the very real threat of Zombies.

More specifically, what to do if they attack.

I am taking this directly from a real scientific and published article too.

For referencing:
Authors: Philip Munz, Ioan Hudea, Joe Imad, Robert J. Smith? (Note that the "?" at the end of Smith?'s name is real and supposed to be there... That's part of his name.)
Journal: Infectious Disease Modelling Research Progress
Editors: J.M. Tchuenche and C. Chiyaka
Pages: 133-150

The paper (Introduction section) starts off by defining the zombie as:

"A zombie is a reanimated human corpse that feeds on living human flesh"

and then proceeds to give us a run-down on their historical concepts and development into what we now know are zombies as:

"slow moving, cannibalistic and undead"

and that once a susceptible human is bitten by a zombie,

"it leaves an open wound. The wound created by the zombie has the zombie’s saliva in and around it. This bodily fluid mixes with the blood, thus infecting the (previously susceptible) individual."

As this article is written by Math guys in Ottawa (Ottawa and Carleton University), there is some pretty convincing looking graphs and mathmatical bits to show that they know what they're talking about. They assess whether quarantine, or finding a cure quickly would work in preventing a zombie take-over... And they don't.

The discussion of this article starts with drawing the conclusion:

"An outbreak of zombies infecting humans is likely to be disastrous, unless extremely aggressive tactics are employed against the undead."

Which I would agree with. Especially the extremely aggressive tactics part.

The article concludes by saying that:

"In summary, a zombie outbreak is likely to lead to the collapse of civilisation, unless it is dealt with quickly. While aggressive quarantine may contain the epidemic, or a cure may lead to coexistence of humans and zombies, the most effective way to contain the rise of the undead is to hit hard and hit often. As seen in the movies, it is imperative that zombies are dealt with quickly, or else we are all in a great deal of trouble."

Lesson learned.

For further reading on this article, please follow the link ZOMBIES.

For further viewing, I would recommend....

Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Knight of the Living Dead
Shaun of the Living Dead (I liked this one alot)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Too funny...

Rebecca was just looking at some stuff on youtube, and she found this... We watched it over and over again... yes, it's that funny...

Friday, July 17, 2009

A fine day indeed

Well, there's no special reason for today being such a fine day... I'm ultra far behind in my analysis of the last 2 weeks' experiments, with no sight that next week I'll be able to do any more analysis. Which means that I will be three weeks behind in my data analysis when I take 2 weeks off for holiday... And I wish I could say that I could catch up in a week. But alas, my experiments are too big and require too much time to get all the information that I need out of them...

So I succumb and write to you.

Feel special because despite my mounting mountain that threatens to crush us all in its inforgiving weight and bulk, taking with it much of my poorly deserved sanity and dwindling patience, I choose to converse with you.

So I started playing my guitar again a while ago. And I have also put a nice Baha'i healing prayer to music which has taken me a little while, not so much on how to play it, because I had written most of the music a while ago but was struggling with words. So I opened a prayer book that was given to me as a gift from another Baha'i, and right on the inside of the cover, there was a nice and short healing prayer. How to sing it is what has taken my a little while though. I try to get through the prayer twice in the song, and the second time I sing the "verse" a bit different, maybe a fifth or so higher. I struggle with the change. I have started to record it as well, and if I could find a decent place to post it, I would. So if you find a place, let me know.

So what else is going in... My wife's parents and youngest sister are coming up from Sydney Australia in ONE WEEK!!! How awesome is that!?! We really can't wait as it's been about a year and a half since we last said good-bye, and it'll be another 3-4 weeks until we get to say good-bye again. But I assure you that the time leading up to that 3-4 week point will be well cherished. They've never been to NS before so it'll be nice to show them around a bit. We'll go down to Yarmouth to meet my parents and show them where I lived. And I think that they wanted to go to Sydney NS, to see what their Sydney lacks. And we'll see what else comes up. I am really just looking forward to even having a coffee with them. A nice chat over coffee. Just like old times.

Well, my day is now slipping away and I realize that I still have alot of crap to do before I can even begin to think about the crap that I have to start on Monday....

BUT, I would like to say that I am glad to see that my dearly beloved Aunt Marsha has written again on her blog (check the link to the right.. Couch Potato). Welcome back! facebook only has so much that it can offer you, and honestly, I now only really use it for some of the slightly addictive games that it has. If you are a friend of mine, and you look on my profile, you'll see that I have a fair number of friends now. Honestly though, I only really have about 4. and they're probably annoyed and have given up on me for my lack of contact with them (yes Mom, you are included in the 4, and the annoyed with me bit too!) The rest of the "friends" are people I require for gaming purposes. I don't know them.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Remember when...

Just a quick note to draw your attention to something that has been really bothering me infrequently..

I went to McDonald's the other day to pick up some supper because I was running late from work for one reason or another.  I went in, ordered etc as per usual.  Then I watched as they scrambled to get the orders filled.  It wasn't really busy, but I had to wait alot longer than one would expect from a place like McDonalds.  There used to be these ads on TV where it showed how well the front-end of McDs was laid out so that everyone could move fast and get things done.  But now, with some of the stores renovations and lay-out, this is impossible...  All the burgers and fries etc are at one of the far sides of the cash registers so that, while pretty much everyone who goes to McDs orders some kind of burger, all the workers have to crowd around a tiny little area at the far side of the front end and wait to get their customer's order.  The rest of the front end is covered with things that not many people order.  I understand the logic of placement though: since everyone is coming to buy a burger, we don't need to show them the burgers... we want people to come and try our coffee, or our McFlurrys, or our apples, or muffins etc.  

So prime space behind the cash registers is filled with product that only the rare few purchase, and forces the cashiers to congregate at the tiny little area where the burgers etc are delivered from the people heating them up at the back.  It looks terrible to someone coming in when you see a line of people waiting to be served because the cashier has to literally leave the register to actually see if the previous order has been made yet...

Another flow-on from this product is that there ends up being (the other night) 3 different people putting your order in the bag.  Mistakes happen because of this.  It was like watching a highly disorganized group struggle to get you your food because the higher ups appear to be so far removed from the front end work of their company that they have effectively made a place that gets so many complaints from those in line waiting for their food that I now avoid McDs because of the wait and that I have to check to make sure that I get everything that I ordered... 

Burger King on the other hand...  I love them.  Great front-end layout, not more than 2 people fill  your order and they work together, and the wait is short.  I think that McDonalds really should take a page out of their book because they are losing business (at least mine).

I know.  I tackle the big issues eh?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A word on hockey

Well last night the vancouver Cunucks were eliminated from Stanley Cup contention.  I am truly sorry at this as I really would have liked to back a Canadian team for the cup.  Even though....

I am a Calgary Flames fan.   What I mean by the "Even though..." above, is that during the regular season, whenever Calgary lost a game, the Canucks fans seemed to have a field day slamming the Flames saying how much they sucked.  Pretty harshly too.  I think friendly rivalry is healthy, but man, the level of slamming was a bit harsh.  But what I would like to point out though, is that despite being in a slump at the end of the year, the Flames fell to the Blackhawks 4 games to 2.   Last night, the Canucks fell to the Blackhawks as well, oddly enough, 4 games to 2.  They were well fought games I will openly admit.  And this is not an I told you so, because I never said anything to that effect... As I said before, once the Flames fell, I really would have liked to have a Canadian team still in contention, although the Flames smashing would have likely increased etc etc... 

I just find it kind of funny that both the Flames and the Canucks fell to the same team in same number of games.  Ah well...  Maybe next year.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I wish...

I'm a simple man, with relatively simply wants and needs... healthy family, food on the table, and a roof over our head. But what I really wish right now is that I had something interesting to say. I've read somewhere that someone of note (who's name I never committed to memory as it was likely someone of note in their own mind) said that they really enjoyed talking to men over 30 as they had opinions and could carry on some sort of conversation.


I just thought that I would let that sink in... So here I am. A 32 year old male, haven't really written in months.. And I still have nothing to say.

I guess my opinions in a nutshell are that the economic ... "downturn" was an inevitable event when you have such extremes of wealth and poverty based on capitalistic greed. No. I'm not a communist, but I believe strongly that those in power (power being defined as elected officials) should act as PUBLIC SERVANTS who's sole desire is to serve the public's best interest, ie those who put them in their position of "power", with no regard for their current salaries and/or future pensions. Take Obama for instance. At present, he seems to be working for the greater good, which is why I think he's still so well liked. Unfortunately though, I have my doubts as to whether he will be able to effectively alter the situation as much as he hopes. He is still a newbie as far as politics are concerned. And while he'll do much to improve the global opinion, I don't think that he will be able to change the problems inherent in the system. You can't change the game by playing it (ie, change it from the inside). You play a new game.

Anywho... On to other topics not related to politics.

6 months of winter. What was the deal with that!! The first snow fall was in November, the last snow fall was like April. I thought that there was supposed to be 4 seasons, say.... 3 months each. So now that we have 6 months of winter, there is now 3 seasons left for 6 months, leaving 2 months for each season. I was really hopping for a nice summer, but we'll see.

I got my fishing gear all ready for fishing this season. Got my boy Alex a reel as well. Last year he had one of those fishing rods that launches the bobber and hook like a rocket launcher. It worked well, and he was able to catch some fish and everything... But he kept wanting to use my rod and reel... I couldn't let him cast mine like he wanted to. Something about a 5 year old throwing a nice rod and reel with a sharp hook attached to it near me. Call me paranoid but... And maybe he's ready for it this year. I guess we'll see soon enough!

I have missed the blog though. It's something that I have wanted to do for a long time, but I just haven't had any time. I've been pretty flat out at work with little time for spare anything. It's been going well though. I have more freedom to do what I want and follow roads that I want to follow. It's taken a while to get here, but I feel that it's going well. I would like it to go a bit faster, but I find that sometimes the analysis takes a bit longer than I would like to hope.

I should really go now, and I will try, I will try hard to write in you more ofter. I have wanted to write here around my one year anniversary back in Canada, for my kids birthdays, for my wedding anniversary in which we went to Montreal, and earlier today for no apparent reason.

Well, that's about all the crap that I can think to write about at this moment in time. So smile as you kiss that time good bye.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Ya ya ya

This won't be long, but I just finished watching some hockey.  and since I haven't gone to sleep, it's not the 26th.

So in loving memory, I bid A'Dieu to my late brother Chris.  You're loved, remembered, and still cherished.  Even if you are a rat bag.  

I have to keep with some sort of tradition here don't I!  And it's my blog, so I'm entitled to it.  But you're more than welcome to judge me.  

Not a day goes by, still, that you are not thought of.  And fondly I might add.  Fondly indeed.  I know that you watch (over?) us and hopefully laugh at our follies.  And because of this, I know that you know we miss you.  It would have been nice to have you hear though, and maybe you could have played a bit more of an active part in our life.  But as it is, I'll accept.  As long as you at least welcome me when my time comes. 

Well, goodbye and goodnight Chris.