Thursday, March 15, 2007

Attention Paramount: The Real Trek Awaits

You may have heard recently that Paramount intends to "reboot" the Star Trek franchise, with the producer of "Lost" at the helm. I am, as all good Trek fans are, terrified at the thought. Matt Damon as a young Captain Kirk? I don't think so. No, not even Kiefer Sutherland... who I suspect would be the best possible name-brand choice for the part.

The best and cheapest move Paramount could make? Buy up the film rights to "The Secret Of Vulcan's Fury," a computer game that was almost released in 1998. It's directed by an old-school Trek director, written by classic series author D. C. Fontana, and (best of all) features the voices of all the original cast.

Add CGI and stir...

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Pants Of Paranoia! (UPDATED)

There is an RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) chip somewhere in my new pair of jeans, and everywhere I went yesterday the alarms went off whenever I entered or left a store. This is the doing of either an underpaid Old Navy employee or possibly The Government. Logic would dictate that it's the former, rather than the latter.

"Perfect paranoia is perfect awareness" -G. Gordon Liddy

I went out again to do my consumerly duty, and wore completely different clothes other than my jeans, and didn't take my cell phone. And once again I set off every alarm I walked through.

Here's the punchline: I realized while I was out today setting off alarms that I've had these jeans about a month and a half. I've warn them and washed them a few times. They didn't start setting off alarms until yesterday.

My reading on the Internet would seem to indicate that the only RFID-style identification Old Navy uses is a passive system... one that doesn't store data, but simply sits there in an on/off mode. You buy the thing, they deactivate it, end of story. Besides, that thing is a big square patch that you'd find soon enough. It wouldn't be there after repeated washings if you had somehow missed it.

And what the hell would turn a deactivated RFID device BACK ON? I don't recall being electrocuted recently...

I have a long history of electronics karma. And as the world advances, this sort of thing seems to come up more and more often.

I may have discovered The Disability Of The Future.

Day Three:

I found the RFID tag rolled up in a seam in the inside left leg of my jeans. Yes, it's a passive-type anti-shoplifting/inventory control type RFID... on/off only.

This still doesnt explain how the thing became charged again... or maybe is doesn't explain why it became discharged for a limited period of time, if you prefer.

I must call Old Navy about this. I'm sure they have a phone bank of intelligent customer service people who are dying to answer this and any other Old Navy questions. Like, for example, why do they have the lighting in there so damned bright that you'd think you were having a near-death experience?


August 27/07: I still have no idea why an RFID chip would re-start itself. It remains an interesting question. Mostly, these days, I save my paranoia for the government. And squirrels.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Heart Of America: 1941-2007

Captain America is dead.

For all the screaming I do about the shape of things in the US, part of me loves the place beyond words. Not because I grew up in Vancouver and went down to Seattle a lot, not because I can genuinely say I've liked most Americans I've met, but because of one man: Steve Rogers. Captain America. The Living Legend of WW II. The guy other superheroes look up to.

When I was young enough to read comics without putting them in a Mylar bag when I was done, Cap was my hero. Sure, we could all empathize with Spidey, and Batman was cool... but Cap was the only one who could preach about civil liberties while punching a Nazi.

From now on, America is going to have to punch its own fascists, which is scary: I've always been half-convinced that's really The Red Skull wearing a Dick Cheney mask.

Please rise:

Monday, March 5, 2007

Ann Coulter: Born To Suck

Some self-destructive people drink themselves to death, or cut themselves, or binge out on drugs. Me? Every once in a while I read Ann Coulter. It did my heart good to read her February 28th column, though. No, I'm not going to link to it, because I don't want to contribute to her hit count in any way. Here's the quote:

"There are more reputable scientists defending astrology than defending 'global warming,' but liberals simply announce that the debate has been resolved in their favor and demand that we shut down all production."

Global Warming isn't my field of expertise, but I certainly understand it well enough to know we are in trouble. Don't "believe" in Global Warming? Look it up for yourself. But, Astrology? That's MY ballpark, baby.

Ann Coulter (Born December 8, 1961, time unknown, New York, New York) has a Sun-Mercury-Mars conjunction in Sagittarius, all squared by Pluto... with Pluto squaring Mercury within two degrees. This as any astrologer can tell you, makes Ann a raving bitch.

Don't believe in Astrology? Again, look it up for yourself. Here's what says:

Mercury Square Pluto:

"The square can give you a harshness of temperament and expression, where your direct, blunt style can often create conflict and confrontation between yourself and others. Even though you prefer to reflect yourself as one capable of handling the 'real situation', you tend to lack a sensitivity towards possible reactions to your potentially penetrating insights. You rarely 'wrap' them up in socially acceptable packages for consumption, but offer them raw. "

Sun Square Pluto:

"The Pluto tendencies of ambition, force, power, domination, aggression, and extremism can also stimulate similar tendencies in an assertive Sun, and will exist as motivating and compulsive factors in your character."

...And Mars Square Pluto? Don't get me started.

Ah, the simple pleasures of reasoned political debate...

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Ann Coulter: Crazy, Disease-Riddled Whore (UPDATED)

Yes, you heard Ann Coulter right. Democratic Presidential Candidate John Edwards is a FAGGOT.

In all fairness, THEORETICALLY she could be correct. John Edward's wife -- recent survivor of cancer -- COULD be "a beard" (I suppose). And their two surviving children (one was killed in an automobile accident) COULD be the result of a turkey-baster proceedure.

Ann Coulter is not married, but she has dated men... more than just one! And don't forget that in 2005 she was investigated by officials in Florida... a place notorious for vice (Miami Vice, CSI: Miami)... for filing an inaccurate voter registration form. Further, she has been publically called out on numerous factual errors, and is in perpetual denial about them -- which can be a symptom of mental illness.

So, in the same fact-crazed spirit as Ms. Coulter, and with an even greater degree of truth than she herself usually applies, let me propose the title for her next book...

Ann Coulter: Crazy, Disease-Riddled Whore.

UPDATE: August 27/07: Ann Coulter is still a crazy, disease-riddled whore.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Undesirable Fumes From Telus (UPDATED)

Old news:

This is TELUS letting you know during the lockout (over a year ago) that moving calls overseas is a temporary measure to keep things up and running, because TELUS loves you and loves your country, and wants to keep your bill money in your community.

Historical note: Income Tax was a "temporary measure" to fund the First World War.

...And here's a video of all the happy shining faces in the Philippines who are STILL answering your calls and interrupting your dinner to panhandle for Call Display:

(God Almighty, as if Nickleback wasn't bad enough to start with...)

Okay. Now that you KNOW you've been lied to, and now that you KNOW Western Canada's largest telco is sending your money out of the country to avoid paying you or a neighbor a decent working wage... what's stopping you from switching your service?

Not that I'm recommending anyone else, but every time I've called Shaw, I've gotten someone in town. On the other hand, I've spent THREE DAYS trying to get through to Telus HR about my T4s... and I'm still getting a message that HR has been evacuated due to, I swear, "undesirable fumes." The stink of hypocrisy, maybe?

I tried telling a human about this... but Corazon hung up on me.

Does it sound like I have some kind of personal axe to grind? You bet I do. But remember this next time your bill is screwed up. Or you stand in line for an ATM instead of a teller. Or the next time you're looking for a job. As a Canadian, you are a target for advertising and a source of income. And that's ALL. If you're dumb enough to keep taking it, they'll keep doing it to you.

And in the event you are reading this from the Phillipines: you are being exploited. You are being paid a fraction of what you should be paid, and TELUS is not contributing anything of lasting value to your country. If TELUS can find someone in India to do your job for less, they will. They did it to us.


TELUS makes huge money, but it's from the cell phone end of things. I swear I know this in my bones: there is a plot afoot to drive the land-line end of things into the ground so it can be sold off cheap. And if/when that happens, do you really think it's be a CANADIAN company buying it out?

Finally, a shout-out to all the brothers and sisters of the TWU:

UPDATE, August 27/07: Telus is now openly admitting that they are sending jobs to the Phillipines. Also, since this post was first written, Telus has manipulated Youtube into pulling anything that doesn't match the PR image Telus wants you to buy.

As for the TWU... I keep shouting. I don't heat them shouting about this sort of thing nearly as much as you'd think. I've said it before and I'll say it again... hmmm.