Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Vancouver riot: no charges

10 weeks after it happened and incredibly there are still no charges laid from Vancouver riots. shameful. In Britain within a week the courts are running 24 hours a day and already over 1000 charged. Like I said below, rioting pays.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I had a follow up dentist appointment today so I took a vacation day. The dentist went ok it was follow up to part 2 of the periodontal graft, the right side this time. Except for a final follow up visit in October that's finally done now. I guess next will be the long deferred visit to the optometrist but that can wait a bit more I need some relief after the car repair and this dentist. I'm glad benefits came in at 50% but that still leaves me out a lot.

So with the afternoon off I went to catch the matinee of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Like I hoped the theatre was not too full. Around 10% I would estimate.

It was a good movie. A worthy part of the Apes history. I've never seen the original 1969 movie I would like to see that some day. This movie to its title is the story of how Caesar and the other apes rise to rule the earth. In the movie Caesar gains enhanced brain abilities due to taking an experimental Alzheimer's drug under development. Eventually Caesar is able to give other apes the drug and organize a breakout from their cages. It wasn't too long, coming in after the 15 minutes of promos at the start under 2 hours.

car repair

I had my car in the shop this week. Last time in the mechanic reminded me it was time for the timing belt. At 150,000 km its as long as it should have been left.

So I got timing belt and the stuff that is also usually changed at that time: water pump, other engine belts. He also did a bearing repair.

All together it was over $1100. ouch. This is the first time in a while I've had significant work on the 2005 Civic so it's a reality of older and high mileage cars. It was nice after I got back on the road the ride was noticeably smoother. At 6 years old with 150 k, the car has consistently put up around 25,000 km a year. So hopefully it will be good for 2-3 more years that would get me to the low 200s. We will see I guess. I'm not status conscious about how my car looks so I just want to run this car as long as it will run.

I've got a pretty good idea where I will get my next vehicle. Right now the front runner is an O'Regan's dealership. I appreciate that O'Regan's sponsored my son's baseball in Dartmouth North so as a carbuyer I will remember that and be inclined to do business with them when it comes time to buy.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Short History of Nearly Everything

I finished up another book. I read A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.

It was ok, good in parts. It's basically the history of science and the history of humanity. He talked about geology a lot in the first sections. At 478 pages I kind of wished his "short history" had been a bit shorter. It was a bit of a slog. It's hard because the subject is of course vast. Still with a bit tighter editing I think about 50 pages could have been cut and still get the same essential content across. I gained a new respect for biology after reading it. I hadn't realized how scientific biology is.

So now I should do some lighter reading, some easier fiction perhaps. I don't have anything lined up to read at this time. I got this book for Christmas so my reading productivity has been pretty poor so far this year. Been busy with other projects which are getting closer to wrapped up. So that should free up some time for reading and other priorities.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Wealthy West Burns

Toronto, Vancouver, and London. Three of the wealthiest cities in the world. 

Also the site of recent riots.

So what to make of all this. There seem to be some emerging trends.

contemporary rioting is safe and fun. in the G8 rioting is like the high tree-go, a six flags roller coaster, skydiving, bungee jumping. there's thrill, excitement and an illusion of danger but overall it is actually pretty safe for participants. We hear terms like "riot tourist", "recreational rioter", "sportriot" to describe modern rioters and they are all accurate.

rioting is profitable. in addition to the fun and excitement of being there for the smirnoff moment. if anything does happen to a rioter then the rioter benefits. look at the upskirt Vancouver riot kissing couple. ooohhh she was, gasp, knocked down during the Vancouver riot. now they are famous. 

plus if the cops or citizens disrupt rioters in the act then now the rioter can sue. this is in addition to whatever they can grab during the looting spree

cops and shopkeepers won't act. there is a new unspoken rule that the safety of rioters is of paramount importance. trumping protection of law abiding citizens, protection of property, and the supremacy of the rule of law. I was shocked during the Toronto riots the criminals were walking up to shop windows and smashing them. I was thinking "where's the shotgun blast from inside?" 

why can't or won't the cops act? consider this soft judge acquits Toronto rioter. Puddy Tatt shows up at a "peaceful" protest with a 9 inch knife. cops actually arrest him and lock him up. now a judge has dismissed the charges and said the cops were "too aggressive". I wonder what the judge would think if the riot came to his wealthy neighbourhood. would he be so concerned about police "aggression" if there was a mob of people packing 9 inch knives outside his big expensive house looking to loot and burn it? but as long as the mayhem stays out of their neighbourhood judges and the media will side with the rioters

by the way, the difference between a peaceful protest and a riot is when people start showing up with 9 inch knives. the cops kept it peaceful by disrupting the likes of Puddy Tatt but the judge and the media don't want to hear about that. look at the Toronto aftermath. as far as I can tell the only significant arrests, charges and public enquiries have been onto the cops who finally acted to restore the rule of law and prevent the entire city from being burned and looted!

so what's next

given events in London this is the new era of "rioting for fun and profit" in the G8. here at home is Halifax at risk? yes it is. Halifax has the combination of high murder rate, neighbourhood criminal gangs, pockets of a high sense of entitlement, a large university population. so a major riot in Halifax is definitely possible. possibly a 10% chance something in the next say 12 months. and as we saw in Vancouver (lost a hockey game) it sure doesn't take much of an excuse to light up a riot

so the law abiding must think about how to be prepared for this real possibility. how to defend ourselves and our property

This is a start. San Francisco had the right idea. disrupt communication. For once they put the welfare of the general public ahead of criminal opportunists.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Captain America

I saw Captain America in the theatre this week with my older son. It was a good movie. The theatre was around half full on a Thursday night. Which is about how I like it, I prefer to see movies when they've been in for a while.

I noticed a few movies this summer. I missed Bad Teacher but that was kind of a borderline DVD anyway. Horrible Boss looks good plus Planet of the Apes and Conan all look worth seeing there.

I don't go to the theatre a lot. Before this week I think it was Star Trek and then 2012 before that.