The Summer Break is Over

Well all good things come an end, and Summer time is no different. It was a good few weeks, although I worked my regular job through it and all, I, at least gave the brain a rest. I was thinking about how I should spend more time on my website, particularly this Blog. But of course, everyday, something new and important comes up like the discovery of new and amazing graphics software that I thought I would never have again, just fall across your path… Hey, stuff takes priority you know! So, I spent the last hours of freedom until classes start (tomorrow) playing with my graphic software: sad eh? But like I said, “all good things come to an end,” and free time in the evenings is one of them.

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Some Excitement in Tom’s World Today

Yes, nearly after 5 months of living without my GUI modeler for Provray, a Ray tracer tool for creating really cool graphics, I finely got it going! Yes, on the newer version of LINUX Fedora Core (FC), 3 and 4! It was a bitter sweet battle of installing each new version of K-Pov-Modeler, and having the endless streams of errors as I tried to complied, configure, and install it using the latest FC 3 and 4 Operating Systems.

You see, FC 3 and 4 have the new security features that FC 2 did not have. However, in the official read-me document, Redhat was excluding any software that did not use the GNU agreement. Sadly, somehow, K-Pov-Modeler was mistakenly left out, because it neither change it’s GNU agreement nor did it change any thing with which the KDEGraphic bundle was supposed to carry it. Well, after many months of trying and giving up, I finely went to the developer’s website and went through the endless list of Emails on their Email archives, I found what I was looking for, buried under whole pile of garbage. One sole found a way to circumvent this oversight and fixed the problem! I was so grateful. I sent an Email to the developer to post this on the K-Pov website so other LINUX users could fix this problem!

Oh how nice it is to use PovRay once again on a LINUX machine! Windows just doesn’t cut the grain when using graphics like this, it is just way to unstable for what I do with it. Heaven, once again…

The Long Weekend Blues

Getting out of bed was so hard this morning. Last night I spent a few hours working on my hot water tank which had to be replaced because the old one sprung and leak and caused some water damage around it. Then a friend from school needed some stuff moved from her apartment because she was moving (or had moved on the 1st), and her original plan fail because of mechanical problems. That took about 2 hours and some elbow grease to luge her stuff up to her new “3rd floor” apartment. And then lastly, I made some phone calls to family, one of my sisters just had a birthday on the 31st of August and I wanted to say hi: that phone call took over 3 hours. So naturally, when daylight poked through my window blinds, I tried to rollover and ignore the new day, but once I was up, that was it. Now I’m grumpy and wished I had stay in bed. I think it is going to take a few cups of coffee to get my body moving and at least try and make this a productive day.

Slamming the Scammers

A friend of mine from my work today told me of his story of greed, deception and manipulation, something that got me thinking for rest of the day of how our world works in retail. Now, I’m going to type a few thoughts of his story. This story is of a person from depths of the minimum wage job as a video store clerk by night and a struggling laborer by day, hoping to get on full time with us.

He works as a clerk at night, or more precisely: as a cashier in a video rental company, somewhere near your little coroner in the suburbs. He waits while you walk around the store looking at something to rent, a good movie that you can take home and enjoy. So far so good. All you want is some cool yet cheep entrainment, probably something for the whole family or guests for the evening? As you approach him, waiting at the till, you noticed that between him and you, are piles of advertisements, asking you to protect yourself from accidental liability of damaged videos, DVD, possible stolen product that “it” says you are liable for in it’s total value to the store. He smiles, you hand him your selections of movies and you pull out your money, interact card, Master Card, etc… and then something else will happen just before he accepts your money? He will ask you if you wish to pay an extra $0.25 per video as a insurance policy against any of the possible mishaps that could occur to the materials you are renting?

You see, he is frustrated because his boss has told him that he must “sales-pitch” these and other “extras” onto every costumer that rents a video! He must sell these “extras” and maintain an average of $20.00 per day or per shift, and ultimately, drive up the amount of spending of each costumer to: get this: $60.00 per visit! Instead of just being a video sales clerk, he must peddle faulty insurance product plus entice the costumer into buying more than they wish to. This could cost him his lowly paying job if these newly placed quotas are not met. The employees are shown videos and given sales classes that last about an hour that are designed to capture the costumer and hold them hostage without the costumer even knowing it. They are given sale-pitch lines and how to pretend that they are holding up the line-up of other costumers who are dieing to cash in on these great deals. Of course, only the weak minded costumers fall for this while others get pissed-off and mad, causing possible safety problems for the store employees.

The whole thing stinks. And that smell are scams. Don’t get suck in!

The Last Days of Summer

Just to kill everyone’s Summer happyness, I’m going to talk about the first signs of Fall, and alert all of you that you better enjoy these last days before they are but a distant memory. But before I get into that, I would like to say, I have had the most enjoyable conversations with my oldest niece who is now 15 and is growing fast. So just to let everyone know, Sinead is doing very well, and is getting ready for the next school year. O.Kay, she really didn’t say she was looking forward to it, but I can tell she was psyching herself up to the challenge. Grade 10 is a big step and I’m sure she is going to do very well in it and hopefully stick with it pass grade twelve.

Now back to those early signs of Fall I was talking about. Some say it is the latest heat-wave we are having? Some are saying it is the pollution in the air? I say we are going into a early Fall! Leaves are already falling and the nights have started cool off rapidly. The weather patterns look like we are heading into a a very wet Fall, something we call the Pacific North Western Monsoons Season. Usually around the end of September, but not too uncommonly it starts right at the beginning of the month. So look at the photo I just took! Leaves falling by the dozen. Sure it is supper hot right now. But I have noticed that our Walnut trees are usually the first to loose their leaves. They are doing it about 3 weeks early this year. So proof that possibly, the Summer has (or is about to) ended and the soggy weather will start. I know, I’m such a party-pooper, but I just can’t stand people who say that “oh no, global warming says that our hot Summer like weather will make heat-waves last until October…” I say, get a life and read about the subject rather then watching some lame-ass news cast that did next to no research before they aired their stupid segment that was designed to shock and aw you into watching their program only to be enticed into also viewing their commercials! *take deep breath now*

Lastly, the classroom that I hope to never ever step foot in again! Yes, the dreaded 3054 G building was my last class of the Summer semester. What a killer 14 weeks that was. I was very relieved that I earned my B+ and thus places me into the third year program, never to look back at it again. When I decided to put this photo on this web site, shivers went up my back as I remembered all the hours spent in this room. I will never forget those long days. But I have to say, I did make some great friends while studying there. Now, what does the future hold for me….. looking into my crystal ball….

Money Talk and Walk

How come the total amount of the bills, or legal tender is $ 44,115,085,795 in circulation and all other assets of the Bank of Canada Totaling (including money in circulation) adds up to $ 46,234,795,573, while adding up the total number of money loaded by just the three of the largest Charted Banks in Canada adds up to over $350,000,000,000: BMO, CIBC and TD Canada Trust? Is it true then that Fractional Debt Lending is alive and well? For example, every dollar in circulation these Banks lend out 10 dollars in loans. What would happen if those ten people were to call in their accounts for cash? Boy, would the Banks be screwed?

Where your tax money goes. I have always kept an eye on how well our government is spending our money. One of the things that irks me is how we are taxed. I have always had arguments with friends who are business owners. They complain about the high cost of doing business in Canada, particularly in the way they are taxed. I argue that they should be taxed even more because of the huge profit margin they procure while working class people wages are less than a third of all the corporations’ profits added up in Canada. Of course, the argument always ends with the same rant: “then business will simply move to other off-shore jurisdictions.” And I always end with: “no they won’t, there are only about 6 other jurisdictions that corporations will go to in order to sell their goods,” do you honestly think that they would deliberately shut themselves out of their bread and butter markets? Not! I say tax the living shit out of them and reduce personal income tax so we can spend money on their products!

I am Alive and Kicking

Alive and Kicking and very busy! I have been going like mad catching up with all the stuff I procrastinated on when I was ill last week. I’m just starting to catch up with my Emails and other on-line issues. I just squared up a pile of bills and letters that were way pass due and about fifteen personal letters and Email that needed answering too. So, sorry everyone if you were expecting a reply from me sooner than now. Today, I should be caught up. My weekend plan is to get my vehicle maintenance done: I’m looking at about $1200.00 for all that, but breaks and reliability are key things when owning a vehicle that you need to get to work with: Right Cam!