In the News

Ironic Newspaper Layout

Ah, what fortuitous story placement. Here’s one bit of hot man-on-man marriage that I do believe should be classified as some kind of sin:

Photo: Newspaper showing photo of George Bush and Prince Bandar holding hands beside a story titled 'House to ban gay unions'.

“Oh Georgie, it’s not just oil production I’m boosting!” Click the picture to…heh, heh…enlarge it.

It Happened to Me

Apologies to Penguicon

I spent most of this weekend alternating between a groggy wakeful state

and passed out in bed. I felt pretty out-of-it on Friday evening and

decided that it might be best to sit out my burlesque-dancing friend Penny Whistleton’s birthday party seeing as I was driving to Detroit to attend Penguicon the next day.

I woke up on Saturday morning feeling a bit better. I joined my friends George

and Leesh, their son Henry and Leesh’s parents Gerry and Allison for

Dim Sum lunch after which I planned to mosey on down to Motor City. I

began spacing out about halfway through lunch and soon went home

afterwards, where I passed out until about 8 p.m., well after my

schedule departure time.

After trying to see if there was a chance that anyone would drive me in

my car to Detroit — hey, I’d do it if I was free and  someone

asked me — it was clear that I wasn’t going to make it. I gave Bill,

one of the organizers, a call and sent my regrets, and he was quite

nice about it. A couple of days later, another one of the organizers,

Matt Arnold, IM’d me just to say hi.

I’d like to send my sincerest apologies to Penguicon. I was honoured to

be invited as a “Nifty Guest”, the enthusiasm with which my

presentation suggestion was received was flattering and the way with

with you took my cancelleation was very gracious. Thanks for being so


Cory tells me that it was a fun conference, and extremely nerdy. (Yes, “nerdy” is a good thing in our books.)

(Penguicon organizers: Keep watching your mailbox. A package of Tucows swag is headed your way.)

In the News

Smarties, Eh!

Photo: A pack of 'Smarties, Eh!'

Whenever I travel down to the US, I sometimes get “caught” using the

quintessential Canadian expression “Eh?” The expression is so linked

with the stereotypical Canadian image — lumberjack shirt, toque (and

according to South Park, beady little eyes and flapping heads) — that Wendy couldn’t stop laughing when she heard some goths on Queen Street use the word.

Now, according to BlogTO, one of Accordion City’s local-happenings blogs…

Smarties, the candy-coated chocolate candy that has been winning over

Canadians (and Americans with peanut allergies ’cause M&M’s aren’t

peanut free) are finally showing their true colours.


Eh” is a limited edition release of the candy where the pieces are red

& white with little maple leaves stamped on.

As we say in rural Canada: Give ‘er!


Superman: The First "Getting Things Done" Follower

Maybe it’s been part of the “Superman” meme that’s been going around the ‘net lately (for starters, see the excellent online retrospective, Superman is a Dick), but lately I’ve been fascinated by Superman

comics, especially the old “Silver Age” ones (which date from 1959 to

1970). They were oddly, if unintentionally prescient, what with what is

probably the first use of the word “blog” in mainstream media, or their daring-for-the-time repeated use of cross-dressing.

Here’s another instance in which Superman comics unwittingly ride the cutting edge: he’s a follower of the Getting Things Done

(often called GTD for short) methodology! Like any good GTD’er, he’s

taken his undone tasks “out of his head” and put them into a master

list, or what followers of the GTD methodology would call the “Inbox”:

Comic: A panel from 'Superman 162' in which Superman and Supergirl review a list of his undone super-tasks.

Apparently, Supes isn’t an “under-promise and over-deliver” kind of guy. Click the picture to read the comic!

Note that a real GTD Inbox is isn’t ordered — you simply just add

undone tasks to it as they come in. Mind you, Superman’s list must be

unordered, seeing as his primary mission, “Wipe out crime and evil”

come third, after the self-serving “Find antidote to green kryptonite”.

Unless, of course, he’s a dick (which apparently, he is).

For those of you interested in reading the rest of the comic, you can read it in its entirety online! Marvel at the completely ludicrous story in which Superman accomplishes his super-tasks by duplicating himself and giving each duplicate 100 times his original already-super-brainpower! Gasp as how both Supermen’s sattelites of anti-evil rays make Kruschev and Castro give up their evil ways! Chortle at the

super-dumbass solution these two super-geniuses devise to figure out

which one gets to marry Lana Lang and which one gets to marry Lois Lane!

Accordion, Instrument of the Gods It Happened to Me

See You at Penguicon!

Starting tomorrow evening, I’ll be at Penguicon, a convention for both Linux and science fiction enthusiasts…

Graphic: Pengucon 3.0 logo.

AT Penguicon, I will be a “Nifty Guest” as well as a speaker, where I will be presenting the following talk:

Interactive Fiction: Down and Out in the Grue Kingdom

Sun 2:00 to 3:00 pm


Interactive Fiction, also known as “IF” and formerly known as “text

adventure games”, has a history spanning over 30 years and thrives even

in this day of console games. If you are (or hope to be) a game

developer, an author, or both, join us as we show you how to develop IF

using the Inform programming language. We’ll implement a game/interactive story based on a scene from Cory Doctorow’s “Down and

Out in the Magic Kingdom”.


I’m shamelessly borrowing some of Cory’s mojo to get people to come to

my talk. You gotta understand — I’m scheduled at the same time as the Tron Guy.

In addition to making the presentation and quite probably playing the

accordion, I have secured a small number of Tucows T-shirts and the

coveted SquishyCows™ (a herd of which you can see here). I’ll give ’em away at the presentation.

P.S. I’m driving from Toronto to Novi, which is just outside Detroit. Anyone who wants a lift, let me know…

In the News

A Nation Gathers Around the Tube

Outside of a high school prom, one doesn’t often see a guy in a suit begging like this…

Photo: Still from Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin's address to the nation.

Paul Martin, for your performance, I hereby crown you the Prom King. If you’ll kindly stand with the sheltered telekinetic Prom Queen under the bucket of blood, we can get rolling…

If you missed last night’s address, you’re lucky that we live in the age of the Internet. Someone’s posted it at BlogMatrix, who provide both podcasting software and hosted space for your podcasts. Click the photo above to see the video.

(BlogMatrix is developed by my friend David Janes, and the BlogMatrix dudes were the raucous table at Tuesday night’s Podcaster Gathering.)

I was impressed by the skullduggery of the leader of the Loyal

Opposition and the Reeeeeeefoooooooorrrrrrrrmmmmmmm-party-in-disguise,

Stephen Harper. He rightly pointed out that Paul Martin called for an

election last year at a time conveniently before any of the facts about

the scandal would come out — but he did so in the service of calling

for an election before the results of the inquiry come out. Mind you,

were I in his shoes, I’d have done the same thing, possibly topping it

off with my favourite line from Superman: “Son of Jor-El, kneel before Zod.”

Mr. Harper, you get the Machiavellian of the Week award.

As for NDP leader Jack Layton, you get the “God, he reminds me of

Reverend Lovejoy’s wife!” award. Of all the speakers last night, you

made the best points in your speech, sir, but I kept expecting you to

start screeching “Won’t somebody please think about the children?”

(In some bizarre coincidence, one “sean incognito” at BlogsCanada’s e-Group says almost the same thing.)

Gilles Duceppe and the Bloc Quebecois are not contenders for my vote in

the least. Politically, I view them in the same light as this one girl

I had a dalliance with: sexy accent, fond of chain-smoking and kink, best ignored.


Meanwhile, on the Flip Tip…

…while doing some research on the elements of Filipino weddings

(candles / cord / coins / veil), I stumbled across these hilarious —

at least to me — t-shirt designs at (“Pinoy” is a

Tagalog term for “Filipino”).


Click the photo to see the order page for this shirt.


Click the photo to see the order page for this shirt.

…and finally, the Filipino answer to Friendster (as you’ve probably guessed, “kaibigan” (kah-ee-bee-gahn) means “friend”)…

Click the photo to see the order page for this shirt.

Other goodies:

I’m not associated with PinoyMall in any way, except for the fact that I might place an order.