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Feb. 7th, 2017


Offline for a while

Ice storm knocked out power to the neighborhood. Will catch up with lj when it is restored. Only able to check email briefly at local restaurants.

Feb. 6th, 2017


Canada's Cabinet Ministers

realinterrobang posted a quote:

"Canada also noted last year that it had more Sikhs in its cabinet than India did.
-- Nicholas Kristof, "Canada, Leading the Free World," The New York Times"

Canada has four Sikh Cabinet ministers, twice as many as India, and 17 Sikh Members of Parliament.

This reminded me of a discussion that gonzo21 and I had recently, about how surprised I was when I learned other details about Canada's Cabinet Ministers.


Our Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship is an immigrant, who was a refugee from Somalia before becoming a Canadian citizen.

Our Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food is a farmer.

Our Minister of Health is a medical doctor.

Our Minister of Transport is an astronaut.

Our Minister of International Development actually did international development work on the ground overseas.

Our Minister of Veterans' Affairs is quadraplegic due to a gunshot wound (although he was not injured while serving in the Forces)

Our Minister of Defence is the first Sikh-Canadian to command a Canadian regiment.

Our Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities is a competitive swimmer who is visually impaired.

Our Minister of Science is an actual scientist.

Our Minister of Status of Women is *gasp* a woman.

.... it's as if they actually read people's resumes before handing out cabinet positions, instead of just handing them out to key fundraisers.

Jan. 31st, 2017


(no subject)


This is my next-door neighbour's apartment. In summer, lots of stench comes from here, as the tenant (the former property manager) always leaves the door open. I told my landlord that I thought the smell was coming from the raccoons going inside and peeing inside at night. He investigated, and said it wasn't from raccoons.

Jan. 29th, 2017


(no subject)

When reading a news site, I had to answer a survey before I could see an article. The survey asked some questions about government infrastructure funding in Ontario. An example question:

Biased survey on Ontario infrastructure.jpg

"How does it make you feel when you think about the monetary investment that the Ontario government makes towards new infrastructure projects?"

- Skeptical
- Surprised
- Angry
- Distrustful
- Disgusted
- Confused
- Neutral

Looks like there is going to be a biased press release coming out attacking Infrastructure Ontario, with "facts" pulled from this survey. I wrote to Infrastructure Ontario and sent them a screenshot.

Jan. 28th, 2017


How I know I am rich

I have four old towels. Two of them are more than a decade old. The edges are frayed, and they are shedding fibres. Every time I do laundry, I have to spend half my time brushing towel lint off my clothes. Every time I shower, I leave towel lint on my bosdy. But the towels still work at drying me off, so I've been putting up with them.

My grandmother gave me a new towel from Christmas. Normally I would save it until my other towels disintegrated, and only then start using it.

But today, I'm dropping the old towels into the donation bin on my way to visit Sandy, and will only use good, non-shedding towels from now on.

Jan. 14th, 2017


Free Stuff

Does anyone in the Toronto area want any of this stuff?

Stuff to give away.png

- Two rolls of white Contact shelf-liner paper (one partially used)
- Power meter - see how much electricity your appliances are costing you (needs new button battery)
- Yeast Flakes - a low-fat alternative to sprinkling cheese on your pasta (missing one scoop. Does taste like cheese, but doesn't melt like cheese)
- Kickstand for bicycle - missing the fastening hardware
- Panda mini-washing machine - for parts only. The motor doesn't work any more, but the tubes and other parts are fine.
- Plastic drop sheet - 10' x 25' - still in bag
- Insulation made from recycled denim - three rolls still in bag - each 2x16x48" (plus one leftover scrap)

Dec. 30th, 2016


(no subject)

Recently, LiveJournal moved all its servers from the US to Russia.

I don't know if this will have a negative impact or not.  But, just in case, I've imported all of my LiveJournal entries over to Dreamwidth.  "Resonant" was taken, so my account name is "armiphlage".


I'll still be using LiveJournal as my main site, but it's good to have a backup.

This entry is also posted at http://armiphlage.dreamwidth.org/504017.html

Dec. 8th, 2016


Anyone want to meet with the Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism?

Still 300 posts behind in reading my friends page!

A few weeks ago, I posted about a company that provides landlords with resumes of prospective tenants, including their photos and social media links. I was concerned that this might lead to discrimination.


Tomorrow afternoon, I will be meeting with the Ontario Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism (and head of the government Anti-Racism Directorate) for an unrelated topic. While I am there, I will check with his receptionist if he has time for a brief meeting in the new year to discuss ways of preventing such companies from enabling discrimination. Is anyone in the Toronto area interested in joining me in such a meeting?

Dec. 4th, 2016


Carbon monoxide detectors save lives!

In January 2008, a family of four died when a blocked chimney allowed deadly carbon monoxide gas to build up in their home. After seven years of lobbying, their relatives managed to get a law passed making carbon monoxide detectors mandatory in the province of Ontario. Every home with a fuel-burning appliance or garage is required to have at least one detector.


My friend its_raining_jen just heard some odd beeping. She found it was coming from the carbon monoxide detector. She immediately called 911. As she was opening the windows and pulling on her jacket, the carbon monoxide detector in her bedroom started beeping too. When the firefighters arrived, their personal carbon monoxide alarms went off, and they had to back out and put their masks on before returning.

Jen and Leo are safe thanks to the detector.

If you don't have carbon monoxide detector, get one now. I am adding these to my list of free things for my friends, so if you can't afford one, I'll buy one for you.


Nov. 27th, 2016


A comment on movies

Movies are starting to have key characters who are living with mental and physical issues, and who are not the villains. It's not a vaguely-patronizing approach focused on their disability, but treats it as just something about who they are. I think this is a very positive thing, and hope that more movies follow this trend.

[minor spoilers]

In "The Accountant", Ben Affleck is an accountant who does taxes,financial analysis, and assassinations, and is also someone living with autism. It plays very much like any other mainstream movie, and he is not treated as either pitiful or evil because of his autsm- it's just a fact about him. Interestingly, the movie also throws away the usual boring romantic subplot. Usually, if there is a female co-star in a movie, they sleep with the male star. In a shocker, they act like most other co-workers, and manage to be friends and professional acquaintances without needing to fall into bed with each other.

In "Finding Dory", Ellen Degeneres is a fish trying to find her parents. She also is suffering from short-term memory loss. Her memory loss is part of the story, but the movie is still focused mostly on the search. Interestingly, the movie also has no bad guys! Everyone is working towards positive goals.

In "Fury Road", Charlize Theron is a truck driver with a missing hand. She still drives her rig and earns the respect of her co-workers, and the writers do not define her by her missing limb. This is an excellent film about the transportation industry in modern Australia.

In "Deadpool", Ryan Reynolds has cancer, and develops a chronic skin condition as a side effect of his treatment. His girlfriend doesn't make a big deal about his changed appearance.

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