June 2004 to March, 2012

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To offset my complaints in the entry below this one…

Friend John McCready (upper right) was born in Burundi but grew up and pursued a career in North America (U.S. and Canada). Now he finds himself in a position to use his organizational skills and financial resources to do some worthwhile work in the land of his birth.

John is an interesting guy who, among his other pursuits, recently climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro and rode a motorcycle around South Africa. He’s a fellow WordPresser, too. Check out his site for more pictures and a good story. See these dancers, too.

March 13, 2012   No Comments

It’s ugly out there

Mob rule more civilized?

When organized crime ran gambling, we knew who the bad guys were. Then the government took over, trying schemes the gangsters never dreamt of.

Salivating over the money he hopes to gain, Premier McGuinty’s finance minister notes that “prohibition doesn’t work”. That’s his excuse for promoting gambling with incessant TV commercials, building more casinos and making lottery tickets available everywhere, 24 hours a day.

Our dear leaders see some of us as citizens, some of us as marks.

Just as Fellini predicted

In his 1969 flick Satyricon Fellini included a scene where an audience was entertained by watching a slave have his hand amputated. [Read more →]

March 12, 2012   3 Comments

Ripple Headers Retrospective

Some of these are in the current rotation, but many have been retired for quite a while. Most of the shots are my own, but there are one or two guest shots by Danica and Rebecca.

March 11, 2012   1 Comment

Art explained

March 10, 2012   2 Comments

No more credit card number for Apple

It’s a matter of trust, and frankly, I don’t anymore. The iTunes user agreement is 43 pages long and Apple frequently changes it. Yesterday, when I went to update some apps purchased through the App Store, a dialogue box insisted on my signing the user agreement before I could proceed with the update. Reread 43 pages? You and I know, and Apple does too… ain’t gonna happen. The submissive “I Agree” button is not on page 43, it’s on page one.

Such practices invite us to stupidly “sign” things we have not read (and believe me, the agreement is not for our benefit) or to accept broken functionality. Updates are important because they quash bugs and fix security holes. Blocking use of them is a bad practice.

To prevent Apple from imposing unexpected charges on my credit card, I have taken the data away from them. When and if I choose to buy anything again through the App Store or iTunes, I may give Apple one-time use of the card number. No more one-click convenience, but that’s OK with me.

Here’s how you remove your credit card number.

March 9, 2012   2 Comments

Ulli’s surprise photo book has arrived.

Click to enlarge

Our friend Rebecca Staton makes beautiful pictures of High Park, all year ’round. Ulli is another friend, now living in Victoria and going through rounds of chemo. Ulli grew up around High Park and I thought we might express our encouragement by sending an Apple iPhoto book of a selection of High Park shots. Rebecca agreed, we put the book together, signed it with our best wishes and sent it off. Yesterday, Ulli received what she gratefully called her “wonderful gift”.

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March 8, 2012   2 Comments

Barker Fairley, E.B. Cox and Joe Fafard at the Ingram Gallery

Today Danica and I went to the Ingram Gallery on Avenue Road to see landscape paintings and portraits by Barker Fairley. Our interest in the artist had been reawakened by seeing the John and Ruth Colombo portraits mentioned earlier. Bonus! E.B. Cox sculptures were on display in the same space.

Visit the gallery site for a small taste of what you’ll see, then visit before March 17th. If you like Fairley’s work as much as we do, you’ll see some good ones. We were greeted warmly and enthusiastically by Director Tarah Aylward [I believe it was] and enjoyed a good talk with Jeff Duns who spent a generous amount of time with us. He knows his Fairley.

The Ingram Gallery is a very pleasant space with a wonderful (and probably ever-changing) collection of Canadian art to show and sell. There’s a Joe Fafard horse in painted bronze that was very handsome. The $7500 price tag seemed very reasonable to me for a piece of its size and quality. I’m sure it would be a much better investment than most of the offerings on the stock market… and a lot more enjoyable to own.

Here’s Danica beside a much larger Joe Fafard, one street over from the Ingram Gallery in Yorkville.

March 7, 2012   No Comments

Remember The Mac Store? Remember Gallagher?

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The radio ad, voiced by former CityTV guy Gallagher, celebrates the acceptance of rogue Mac marketer Peter Sever into the Apple fold. What was it Steve Jobs said?… It’s better to be a pirate than to join the navy? Peter was never a pirate, but he saw how Canadians were being ripped off on Apple products and brought them here independently, replacing the Apple guarantee with his own. I heard about Peter’s Mac Store through mutual friend Jay Telfer and beetled on down to the store on Queen East near Broadview.

I loaded up with the mighty beige box you see above. Danica helped with the financial load by springing for the HUGE 19″ monitor I got to go with it. The Mac II ci was the fastest Mac that money ( thousands of dollars) could buy and mine came with a BIG 40 Mb hard drive. That’s right… 40 megabytes! The year was 1991.

Peter shared the old ad today, crediting Jim McNeill (CanClone) for the digital conversion from the old audio tape.

March 7, 2012   3 Comments

A song that the majority of us will like

Thank you, Merrill, for the link to this wonderful song.

March 7, 2012   1 Comment

Toronto Irish Players: The Lonesome West

The Lonesome West from Patrick Hodgson on Vimeo.

Kathleen, Danica and I went to the Sunday matinee and had many, many good laughs watching this dark comedy about two Irish brothers with murderous tendencies. If you are Roman Catholic, and especially Irish Roman Catholic, you’ll get extra added value at no extra cost. Tickets are a bargain, anyway. Do yourself a favour and see it.

There are only 4 players in the cast for this one. All are good performers but I have to give a special nod to Ronan P. Byrne as Coleman Connor. Or does he deserve a special nod? He was so convincing, he didn’t seem to be acting at all… just being himself. What an excellent character! Wicked good fun.

A big thank you to the Toronto Irish Players for another fine show. Put yourself on their mailing list if you want to be notified of their next offering, but you still have a chance to see one of the last performances of The Lonesome West.

March 6, 2012   No Comments