Better late then never

In June of 2011 ( just shy of five months ago ) I saw a clip of Krista Erickson interviewing Margie Gillis – this is a clip of what aired on the newly launched Canadian Sun TV Network ( Fox News North as it’s sometimes called ). You can see the clip here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrUfKrQpQbg

I don’t watch Sun TV – in fact I no longer watch anything on cable, I only watch shows I like via Netflix and the like. I abandoned cable TV because I hated commercials, I hated the amount of time in my life it sucked up, and more or less was bored to tears with the programming. I get my news online, so I don’t miss cable TV at all and I’m probably more informed now than I have ever been trying to get news and information off of the television. I abandoned cable because of stations like Sun TV.

So I did not watch the original on ‘TV’, I watched the digital version on YouTube – and after watching it I sent a complaint to the CBSC ( Canadian Broadcasting Standards Council ) about the whole thing.

Here is what I sent, way back at the start of June:

I just finished watching the Krista Erickson interview of Margie
Gillis as an online version of the original interview on June 01, 2010.
It was my understanding that Canadian Broadcasters were to act with a
minimum level of decorum and decency towards their guests.

This was disgusting. This was not an interview, this was a steady and
constant attack on a guest under the thin guise of being a tax spending
watchdog. It was sick. It was wrong. It should never happen again on
Canadian television.

Facts were twisted and distorted to the point where they were pushing
lies. They were not full-out-right-lies but they certainly bent the
spirit of honesty in journalism that is part of Canadian media
legislation.

Very sad. Very pathetic show.

Here is the response that the CBSC sent me today, which I think is fully reasonable. Hopefully they levy an appropriate punishment as they see fit, whether I find that punishment suitable or not remains to be seen, but it is interesting that they are so swamped with complaints about this issue that they have had to change policy on the complaints process. That makes me happy, that Canadians are standing up and saying there are limits to what we will tolerate – a rarity in a nation that passively tolerates just about everything.



Thank you very much for sending your email to the CBSC regarding the Krista Erickson interview with Margie Gillis on an episode of Canada Live.  The CBSC appreciates your use of its public process for dealing with concerns about that television broadcast.
 
It is the customary practice of the CBSC to send an individually oriented response to every single person who takes the trouble to send us such a complaint.  In this case, though, the volume of complaints has made such personalized responses impossible.  Hence this more impersonal response to all those who filed complaints re the Margie Gillis interview.
 
In any event, the CBSC will deal with the substance of the broadcast via the Councils normal process and a decision will be released publicly in due course.
_________________
 
Let us add a few clarifying and useful bits of information re the CBSC and its process.
 
1.  The CBSC’s complaint resolution process normally begins with a dialogue between the complainant and the broadcaster. The Council initially forwards all complaints it receives to its broadcaster member who then responds directly to the complainant, copying the CBSC on their response.  Over time, the results of this process have been extremely positive; moreover, they are quantifiable.  Consider that over 75% of complaints are customarily resolved through this dialogue which requires that broadcasters consider their programming choices in light of the standards which they, as CBSC members, have agreed to respect.
 
In the present case, because of the overwhelming number of complaints, not only is the CBSC not replying individually (as mentioned above), it is not asking the broadcaster to do so either.
 
2.  Once again, in general but not in the present case, it is only where differences cannot be resolved through this dialogue that the CBSC’s “dispute resolution mechanism”, i.e. a Panel adjudication, is triggered. At this point, the Panel decides whether or not the broadcast itself has breached one of the Codes administered by the CBSC.  In the case of the Margie Gillis interview, the CBSC will render a decision, even in the absence of the broadcaster-complainant dialogue.
 
3.  Regardless of how many different complaints we receive about an individual broadcast, a single decision is taken based on the actual content of that broadcast. Nor is that decision influenced by the number of complaints received.  In fact, the CBSC requires only a single complaint to trigger its complaint resolution process.
 
4.  We should also tell you that the CBSC cannot deal with online content.  The Codes that the CBSC administers apply only to content broadcast on traditional radio and television, so we cannot deal with complaints about clips found on YouTube, Facebook or similar media-sharing sites.
 
5.  It is also the case that the CBSC limits the complaints with which it deals to those that are made by persons who have actually seen the broadcast.  In this case, though, it appears that some complainants did not see the Krista Erickson interview with Margie Gillis on an episode of Canada Live themselves; they may have, understandably, based their complaints on the circulating social media reports concerning the interview in question.  While that would normally have affected those complaints, in this case the CBSC will be bringing this broadcast to a Panel adjudication in any case.
 
6.  Finally, some complainants have requested that the station that broadcast the Krista Erickson interview be removed from their basic cable package. Cable bundling does not come within the purview of the CBSC’s mandate, nor do we deal with cable or satellite TV companies. We deal exclusively with the content broadcast by our member stations.
 
Please note that all of the CBSC Panel Decisions are public and are posted on the CBSCs website for your information. You are welcome to visit our website at <www.cbsc.ca> at any time to view our most recent decisions.
 
Sincerely,
 
Mrs. Solange Courteau
Communications Coordinator
Canadian Broadcast Standards Council

The CBSC is a national voluntary self-regulatory organization created by Canada’s private broadcasters to deal with complaints made by viewers or listeners about programs which they have seen or heard broadcast on a member station.  The CBSC administers seven industry codes covering various issues relating to ethics, violence on television, equitable portrayal, journalistic ethics and cross-media ownership, which set out the guidelines for television and radio programming. For more information on the mandate of the CBSC and the codes it administers, visit our website at www.cbsc.ca.

Goodbye Safari…

I have a low tolerance level for browsers crashing. Up until the last few weeks Safari was my browser of choice. But lately Safari has been unstable, almost childish at times, when I use Google products. Gmail rendering issues, constant crashing, and just general productivity killing.

Today was the last straw. Four crashes in one day is unacceptable in a browser. So until the next major revision of Safari comes out she is now relegated on my dock to fringe browsers for testing… like Opera.
Primary browser for dev: Firefox.
Primary browser for surfing: Chrome.
Being a witty fellow, I also sent a bug report to Apple. In the form of a haiku.
bye-bye-safari.png

Animal Farm

So I finally read Animal Farm, unlike a lot of other school programs my public schooling did not include this Orwell classic. I bought it at a used book store on Wednesday after going out for sushi with people at Chaordix/Cambrian House. It is smaller then I expected, I’ve gotten used to the monolithic sized books that are common place these days, and a 115 page book seems so small. There are chapters in a Robert Jordan book that long. There is much to be said for a shorter book, about being succinct and to-the-point.

Unlike 1984 I did not come a way with such a bleak feeling, just a sort of ironic sense of the inevitable. Clearly I am most like Benjamin, so let it be written, I am an ass. Animal Farm was neat, I can see why it is such an important book for grade school classrooms. It points people to think about the world around them, though it does seem to have a certain defeatism to it. A notion that people will always end up in the same sort of bondage that they have always existed in, just under a different guise.

It certainly was a fitting book to read in these economic and political times, where we are bombarded with the ceaseless failures of the multinational corporations, and the steady shortfalls of open-ended capitalism and globalization. An age where our leadership hands out money like water to people who have shown they are not worthy of our trust. An age, in Canada at least, where our political leaders are incredibly weak and petty. One can see why Orwell’s vision of dictatorships and despotism as an inevitability rings true.

I do know that Orwell intended this as a commentary on Communism, particularly the brands of Leninism and Stalinism that ruled in his day. But one can certainly begin to see the parallels with certain events in contemporary Democracy…

Anyhow, neat book, I’ll have to read it again…

Music right now: Sinnerman – Felix da Housecat’s Heavenly House Remix. Oh sinnerman, where you gonna run too?

MetaRasa Personality Radar

And that folks is my MetaRasa Personality Radar. I am an INFJ / INFP which basically means I am an introverted intuitive / introverted feeler. Makes sense to me!

And this my friends is Katy Perry at about 140bpm. Everything sounds better when it’s happy hardcore, even Katy Perry.

What do they have in common? Today I spent some time on the phone with Patrick Lor today about a job that I applied for at Fotolia. We had a great discussion about what they are looking for ( Superstars with passion about what they do ) and how right now I seem to be… waffly. I’m not coming across as passionate about design and art, or project management, or startups, or myself. I think Pat is right, it is a good observation. What I am coming across as is really fucking desperate to get a job because I am, and that isn’t what he needs right now.

Somewhere along the way, since moving from Calgary to Vancover and back to Calgary I seem to have lost that crazy-in-the-eyes spark for all things creative. Or at least I have in my portfolio and resume. I’m still not sure if it is because I have gone all crazy-in-the-eyes for startup companies and cool web applications, or if it I am in a funk, or what. It could be all of the above.

So on Pat’s advice I’m taking some time to think. Doing some personality profiling, and listening to happy-hardcore remixes of terrible pop songs. Trying to find out what I can get behind and do for 40-80 hours a week for the next 3-5 years.

An open letter of condemnation on climate change policies in Canada

Good Morning Leaders of Canada!

I am writing to you this open letter today on climate change, and most importantly some of the bad that has crossed my RSS feeds and inboxes. The very intelligent people at MIT have revised their best guess of temperature rise by the end of the century if we continue with business-as-usual… they are now projecting a 5.2ºC increase ( average across the globe ), with a 9% chance of a 7ºC increase in global temperatures. These numbers are being independently supported by the International Energy Agency ( IEA ) which warns of a 6ºC increase, and the Hadley Centre which are projecting 5-7ºC increases. You can find the reports and more information at: MET office’s Hadley Centre & International Energy Agency (IEA) & MIT’s centre for Global Climate Change Science

For the last twenty years the scientific community has been sending increasingly dire warnings to the human species about the risks and dangers of a 3ºC temperature shift. Changes that included the melting of the polar ice sheets, large scale melting of antarctic ice sheets, the possible failure of the Atlantic currents that keep Europe warm, increases in ocean depth of up to 6 meters in some areas of the world, North America being hit hardest. Temperature changes like these do not cause a linear level of damage to our world, one degree increase does not equal 2 meters in ocean depth. Rather it is an exponential growth in change. Think of it like the Richter scale, but for our weather. Doubling the temperature gets you four times the change, or 24 meters of ocean depth increase and the full melting of both polar ice caps. All by the end of THIS century.

Lets put some costs to this sort of climate change, keep in mind that these are napkin calculations based on information that is not 100% complete, so I am erring on the side of conservative. I will base my projections on what is increasingly looking like the ‘best case scenario’ of a 6 meter ocean depth increase by 2100.

A 6 meter increase in ocean depth will displace roughly 4 million Canadians. Their homes will be under water. The majority of these Canadians will be in British Columbia and the Maritimes particularly hard hit will be the Vancouver area and the communities in the Frasier Valley delta. All ready parts of the Metro Vancouver Area are below sea level, notably Delta and Richmond, where some 300,000 Canadians live. At the current average price of a home in Canada ( $274,000 as of January 2009 ) the estimated cost, in loss of buildings, would be around $1,096,000,000,000. Yes, that is just over one TRILLION dollars. This is just the cost of replacing the lost homes, not relocation of this massive amount of people, nor does it cover the costs of replacing the commercial and industrial components of the coastal areas of Canada. I will not hazard a guess on to the costs associated with replacing 30-40% of Canada’s commercial and industrial complex, which is what we would lose along coastal areas.

At a 6 meter increase in ocean levels we would lose every major ocean port in Canada. The Vancouver port would be under water, as would ports in Victoria, Prince Rupert, the Montreal port, Halifax. All ports besides those in the Great Lakes would be under water. I have no way of knowing the full extent that sort of change would cause to the Canadian economy, or the cost of replacing such key elements of our infrastructure. What I do know is the Vancouver port has a Gross Domestic Product of $4 billion per year ( making the Vancouver Port the 149th largest economy in the world, just slightly larger then the nation of Malawi ), and handles $43 billion dollars in cargo each year, and represents $8.9 billion in direct economic inputs. This would ALL be under water. Gone.

In places further inland the changes are just as devastating. For example the lumber industry across Canada, particularly in BC and Alberta, are getting hit with devastating attacks of the Pine Beetle. This damage is so extensive you can now see it from space. Millions of hectares of forest have been destroyed all ready. What controls Pine Beetle populations are fire and cold. You need to have the temperature highs stay below -30ºC for a minimum of a week for the Pine Beetle larva to be killed during the winter. ( Or 24 hours of temperatures at -40ºC ). These sorts of low temperatures are becoming increasingly rare TODAY, if you add an average 5.2ºC to temperatures… Well, I suppose we can just burn the entire province of British Columbia to remove the infestation. Pine Beetle currently costs the forestry industry $2.4 billion dollars in timber, and it looks to be getting worse each season.

In Alberta, where I live, the problem is water. We are a dry province, and getting drier. As the temperatures increase we will see southern Alberta turning from ‘dry land’ farming to ‘desert’ farming. All ready the main water sources in Southern Alberta, the Milk River and the Bow River, are shrinking. It is projected that by the end of the century the Bow will be 25% of its current size, and the Milk will be 20% of its current size. These are glacier and run-off fed rivers. Without the winter snows these rivers are running lower and lower each year as the runoff shrinks and the glaciers disappear. This is going to cripple southern Alberta’s agriculture sector. The bread basket of Canada will collapse, putting thousands of farms and ranches out of business and doing untold damage to our economy and food supply. Northern Alberta and the Tar Sands, the most important part of our country for politicians these days, will also be in jeopardy. Tar Sand extraction requires a lot of water. The Athabasca River is projected to shrink by up to 50% as the glaciers and snow-falls that feed it vanish, putting the multi-billion dollar tar sands projects at risk.

In a nut shell climate change is going to cause economic and social upheaval that makes the current ‘economic downturn’ look like a cake walk. Right now we are talking about problems that are costing billions to solve, climate change is going to cause problems that cost TRILLIONS to solve. Many many TRILLIONS of dollars that will also be linked to massive systemic failures in our core infrastructure. What I have outlined above is the tip of the iceberg,  we are looking at disasters of unprecedented proportions in Canadian history.

What is our government doing about these problems? Nothing. The current ‘plan’ is to ‘wait and see’ what the ‘Obama administration’ is going to do. I am uncertain as to when Canadians started voting for the President of the United States of America. At my last check I was voting for Canadian politicians, and we had a Prime Minister who is supposed to lead a government and the House of Commons on issues surrounding Canada and Canadians… did I miss a referendum?

This inaction is the total epic failure of not just the current Conservative government, but the entire political spectrum in Canada. Instead of sitting down in the House of Commons and working together to find a solution, or even a very sketchy plan, our House of Commons is filled with childish bickering, partisan rhetoric, and a whole lot of wheel spinning. Instead of reaching across the floor to his opposition our Prime Minister is running smear campaigns and hate ads. Instead of rational discourse the NDP leaders are ranting and filibustering. Instead of effectively calling the government to task, the Liberal opposition is waffling and struggling with their personal branding and image. My email inboxes are filled with requests for donations from all the major political parties, from the NDP to the Conservatives to the Liberals and the Greens. Donations to pay off DEBTS from the last election. Now tell me why the heck I would donate to, or vote for, people who are so fiscally incompetent that they run their entire party into debt?

We are staring down the barrel of a gun here. We are facing the biggest environmental, political, and social problem of the century. My children are the
ones who are going to suffer through the challenges of climate change. They are going to face the brunt of our poor decisions, and my grandchildren will live in a Canada so radically different from mine that it is impossible to comprehend. A Canada without Vancouver, Victoria, and Halifax. A Canada where our coast lines are completely different, where places like the Bay of Fundy no longer exist because they are under water. A Canada of deserts in Alberta, and bald treeless mountains in British Columbia. A Canada where there is no ice caps, where Polar bears are extinct, and the permafrost is gone.

I am a staunch Canadian patriot, and to see the leadership of our country, be they political, social, or economic, fail so badly, so consistently is heart breaking. You should all feel a great deal of shame for leaving a world worse off for your children, I know I do.

Regards,

Marcus Riedner

on religion

Anyone who knows me knows that I love religion. I came inches away from having a religious studies minor in university, and am happy to lug around a hundred kilos of religious studies books where ever my wife and I move. I love learning about religions, I love writing about religions, and above all else I love arguing in the defense of religions. I’m pretty sure I am one of the very few people outside of the Scientology community who goes around defending the right for Scientology to call itself a religion. Most people call them cultists or lunatics, I call them in tune with the Force.

There is a very clear reason why I am a fan of, and supporter of, religion. In my opinion as society has become increasingly consumer and secular we have lost a lot of the cultural, ethical, and moral history that used to guide us. I see this as an incredibly dangerous thing that leads to horrific things like industrial pig farms, science without ethics, and culture without depth. These are all things growing out of an increasingly secular and industrial consumer society, and religions with their traditional values and morals provide important fiber to society.

This is not to say that I condone the horrific acts done by people in the name of religion, far from it. Nor is this to say that religion is a cure or provides a solution to the horrific lows human behaviour can reach. When I defend religion I am defending the power and importance of traditions and culture along with the beneficial impacts that religion has on a society. Human beings do horrific things whether they are religious or not. Human beings do honourable things whether they are religious or not. What religion provides us is a context for understanding and dealing with the highs and lows of the human being, while providing a method of instilling traditional moral and ethical behaviour. And this is important.

Without something firm and solid adding much needed cultural fibre to our world we find ourselves in a moral and ethical wasteland, where semiotic debate and self serving hedonism serve as a focal point for life. This leads to people who act in the most hypocritical ways, screaming about tolerance and justice while at the same time oppressing anything that gets in the way of their pleasure instincts. It leads to huge acts of ignorance that are in many ways worse then the ignorance that is increasingly associated with religion in contemporary society. People, cut adrift from traditions and cultural heritage are left to pursue base desires, all the while acting superior to those who follow more ‘archaic and less scientific’ paths. Yet at the same time these people often hold up science, and the scientist, as the key source for guidance in society, as the new religion, believing in science with a blind faith. Question not the scientific process, for it is the be-all-and-end-all. Empiricism as religion.

But the role of science is not to grapple with matters of ethics, morals, social structures, faith, life, or death. You can not measure ethics. You can not put together an equation to measure what is ‘good’ and what is ‘evil’. There are no devices sensitive enough to measure honour, or honesty, or tolerance. These are all elements that are normally defined and guided by religion and traditions within a culture. Without guidance on these huge components of the human social being we as a species are in trouble. The purely rational mind can rationalize anything.

Now with all things I believe there is a balance that must be struck. When it comes to fundamentalism, and fundamentalist religions, I am incredibly wary and distrustful of their motives and actions. I do still support their right to exist, I support their right to faith and the traditions they hold true. But fundamentalism easily leads to the sort of closed minded thinking that breeds suicide bombers. What is most interesting about the force of fundamentalism is that it is a force that cuts across society. There are fundamentalist atheists who go around trying to end all religion out of dogmatic desire. There are fundamentalist Christians who go around trying to bring about the end times. There are fundamentalist Buddhists who go around abusing the peasant class to support lavish monastic organizations.

Fundamentalism, not religion, is the real danger. When one closes the mind off to other opinions, excluding all other potential ideas and concepts completely to the point of not even seeing them… that is trouble for the world, society, and the individual. It is a good thing that fundamentalism is so very easily dealt with, all one needs to do is educate.

In the end, without a balance between the social, scientific, secular, and religious components of the human being we as individuals and a species run the risk of falling into dangerous modes of operation that lead to very sad, dark places. Without traditions we become lost in the now, at the whims of others looking to manipulate us. External forces have an easy time buffeting around someone without an anchor in something with legacy, with tradition. It is easy for someone lacking religion to fall into complacency, anger, and cynicism. It is easy to succumb to despair, sorrow, and antipathy.

In terms of what I define as religion, I include theistic and non-theistic religions, as well as animistic and humanistic faith systems. I define religion based on guidelines set down by Irving Hexham, whos lectures and writings have played a key role in how I view and understand religion. And for the record, I am what I like to call a Christian who doubts like Thomas and rants like Job. I typically introduce myself as Presbyterian.

geek culture

So the geek-o-sphere is a buzz with the latest attempt to market what is and isn’t a geek, and what is and isn’t geek-chic. Already the arguments rage across twitter and the blag-o-sphere. The big beef seems to center around Ashton Kutcher and Shaq claiming to be of geek persuasion, as well as various comments about Magic and DnD. Apparently this is bad, this whole notion of breaking down the geek stereotype.

And I think that is the real objection that a lot of people are having towards this whole Geek Advancement ( dot com! ) project. It breaks down the a set of stereotypes that are critical to the self definition of a lot of ‘geeks’. Placing people of high blankness in positions of cool, geek, chic, hot, and athlete all at the same time certainly denigrates the social tribe that is geekdom. But in a way what I find interesting is that this is exactly what geek culture is about. Geeks, like any of the artificial tribes that populate our connected-disconnected world, have various tiers of authority and worth. Wil Wheaton says the people over at Geek Advancement ( dot com! ) missed the point, that they should have been focusing less on the ‘Cool Kids’ and more on the gods of geekdom. But who honestly wants something like that, which speaks only to the ‘in tribe’ members of the geek world?

Not even geeks, if you ask me. For what else is more ‘geek’ than being argumentative and engaging in debate? It is what we -DO-, it is how we -LIVE-. Be it arguing with our DM over applicable uses of the Cantrip spell or griping about how Blizzard nerfed some-class-or-another, geeks live to gripe. And then gripe about the gripers. Ad infinitum. What sort of value would there be in having the gods and heroes of geekdom droning on about things that most geeks don’t get? It is of value only to the ‘in’ members of the tribe, those outside the phyle are left confused.

I am sure what we are seeing is the early stages of the geek tribe fragmenting much like the Goth tribe did, blasting itself into groups like Glitter Geeks, Mama Geeks, L33T G33K5, Art Geeks, etc. Quite frankly being a ‘Geek’ is a spectrum ranging from moderate to hard core, and sure, maybe Ashton Kutcher is pretty low on the geek-o-meter, but he probably has a bit of geek in him. Maybe not.

Suckit down landowners in Alberta

Bill 19, a contentious piece of legislation here in Alberta that gives carte blanche rights to ministers to appropriate land in ways that go even further then the current Expropriation Act has passed third reading. Basically, for those who don’t want to sift through government legalese, Bill 19 allows any minister to expropriate a land owners land for any purpose. This purpose does not nessesarily require full public disclosure. This purpose does not need to be for the ‘common good of the people’ ( those specific words were voted against ). It can be used for an oil and gas pipeline, a well, a tar-sands bitumen dig, a strip mine, an irrigation canal, a highway, or for crown holdings. Compensation to land owners is defined at ‘fair market value’ but no proceedures or methods for determining that are outlined.

In a nutshell, the man can come take your home, farm, ranch, or acerage and do what ever they want, and all you get is 30 days notice to try and stop them.

Here is my response to the Premier of Alberta and my MLA:

Honourable Premier Stelmach,
MLA Alana Delong,

I am absolutely stunned that this bill has passed third reading, in any form, considering the negative media coverage and the solid unrest of the constituents of rural and urban Albertans. Even with the current amendments and alterations the bill is yet another example of how this government absolutely does not care for Alberta land owners or residents of Alberta. I am absolutely furious at the utter lack of respect being shown to landowners, as if the Expropriation Act wasn’t bad enough, Bill 19 makes it even easier for a farmer or rancher to be stripped of their land, livelihood, and family legacy. Between this bill and the rights and powers given to oil companies and landsmen the oil industry have near carte blanche to lay more pipelines, sour gas wells, and dig up more dirty tar sands. This is another fantastic example of ‘not using the brakes’, a phrase and way of thinking that has come to epitomize this government. Don’t think. Don’t plan. Don’t care. Definitely don’t slow down.

Regards,

Marcus Riedner

I have been adamantly against this bill since I heard about it in January. The current land expropriation legislation is loose enough to be a pain to land and home owners, this just makes it worse.

honestly, why not chickens?

So there is a bylaw in Calgary that says you are not allowed to raise any livestock in the city limits, and that includes Chickens. You see, apparently they are too noisy, smelly, and can get diseases. Because of those factors the city of Calgary is refusing to let people raise small flocks of chickens in the city limits.

So what is this stuff about noise, smell, and disease? I don’t know about you, but in my neighborhood there are a lot of dogs. These dogs like to bark, we have a lovely old Boxer on one side, an older Golden Retriever on the other, and some sort of giant dog that looks like a bear cub across the street. They all bark. Chickens cluck, they are a lot like pigeons, not exactly noisy, and certainly quieter then a dog. Roosters are the noisy ones, but they are only good for impregnating chickens and looking pretty…

The smell… well, yes, chicken poo stinks. But it is no more smelly then the goodies that dogs leave in parks and in my back alley. Certainly chickens smell better then the fumes that come off of the jazzed up 4×4′s that roam suburbia around me.

And the disease? If you are caring for your birds and don’t cram them into confined spaces chickens are pretty disease resistant. It is only when you shove them into pens with 25,000 other birds that they really start to get sick, but then that happens with people too. Dogs get rabies, cats get feline leukemia, children get chicken-pox ( har har ). If you are not being stupid and are respecting your animals things run tickety boo.

Now you might ask why would anyone want to raise a chicken? Well, for me, there are a number of good reasons. First off eggs. I love eggs, and I can think of no better way to get fresh eggs then to have chickens in my back yard happily laying a few dozen eggs for me a month. Think of the fresh scrambled eggs, and the awesome omelets, and the great baked goods.

Second I think it is important to know where your food comes from. I am increasingly getting keen on the idea of the local food chain and knowing who is growing my food. I don’t trust Safeway. And I certainly do not trust Cargill or Monsanto to deliver me safe healthy food that has been produced with any semblance of respect. Even trusted brands like Maple Leaf scare me now, so I am starting to look to local farmers and ranchers to provide me with food. What can be more local then my back yard?

Third I think it would be good for the garden. Chickens eat bugs, keep the lawn down, and drop some of the best nitrogen fertilizer you can find. Just have to keep them out of the bits of garden reserved for crops so they don’t kill the veggies. Not only is it good for the garden, I think it is good for the soul and the chickens. They get a happy life, I get to connect with my farming roots, any kids Sarah and I have get to enjoy the cycle of life… all boons in my book.

Excitement level, zero

This is turning into a day of unending frustrations.

  1. Wifi issues in the morning.
  2. Power issues on my laptop shortly after as my AC adapter dies a slow death.
  3. Issues logging into MT4 forums.
  4. Issues with password recovery on above forums.
  5. Problems uploading files to the admin back-end of Sharing Books.
  6. Problems with getting PDFpen to open some PDF files from Sharing Books. ( thank goodness for their tech support, a solution was found within 15 minutes ).
  7. Shortage of non-packed food in the house.
  8. The predicted rain has turned into unexpected snow.

Looks like it is going to be one of those days where problems pile up and keep me from getting my todo list shorter. Ah well, cest la vie.