Apparently I never blogged my “don’t talk to strangers” experience.

A couple of years ago a group of us went on a day trip to Niagara Falls. While wandering around lookig for photo opportunities, I saw a small child (4 or 5?) climbing on rocks near the river, on the wrong side of a fence. So I walked over and told her it was dangerous to climb there, and that she should come back to the right side of the fence.

Her parents noticed this and rushed over, scowled at me, and scolded their child for talking to strangers. They didn’t, of course, scold her for climbing on rocks near a fast flowing river…

posted at 4:42 pm on Friday, June 24, 2005 in Personal | Comments Off on strangers

Talk to Strangers!

I think “Don’t talk to strangers” is stupid advice.

So does “Bruce Schneier”: .

And I bet “Brennan Hawkins and his father”: do now…

posted at 4:32 pm on Friday, June 24, 2005 in Links, Rants | Comments (1)
  1. Darren Campbell says:

    Success in adult life coincides with talking to strangers… You have to get to know lots of the right people to make anything happen!

book tracking

“Holly Lisle”: has three new books out, and I missed them all because all of my usual book tracking sources stopped tracking new books at the same time! I happened to visit her website the other day and discovered this. Now I have to go track down all of the other authors I like and double-check that I haven’t missed anything else…

posted at 11:48 am on Sunday, June 19, 2005 in Books, Personal | Comments Off on book tracking

bad drivers

I despise people who shove in front of me, cutting me off, when I’m already too close to the guy in front *and* there’s at least 500m of open road *behind* me.

I must have a sign on my car that tells people to do this or something…

posted at 11:48 am on Sunday, June 19, 2005 in Personal, Rants | Comments Off on bad drivers


Taking 6 boys (and a girl) to Wonderland is a new form of insanity with which I was not previously acquainted.

Fortunately, it was an unbusy day, so we let them run from the exit to the entrance of several rides, allowing us to catch our collective breath :)

posted at 8:05 pm on Friday, June 17, 2005 in Personal | Comments Off on Wonderland

Global Warming: This Time It’s Personal

Global Warming: This Time It’s Personal

bq. By now, you have to be a fucking idiot not to believe in Global Warming. […] It’s like not believing in the sunrise.

Go read…

posted at 7:12 pm on Monday, June 13, 2005 in Links | Comments Off on Global Warming: This Time It’s Personal

Top Ten Data Crunching Tips and Tricks

Greg’s posted an article derived from “his pragmatic programming book”: over at O’Reilly:

O’Reilly Network: Top Ten Data Crunching Tips and Tricks

Go read it. Go buy his book. :-)

Small World sidebar:

“Andy Hunt”: (of “Pragmatic Programming”: fame) and I used to work together! We (Alias Research) bought a company where he was the sysadmin, and he and I spent many idyllic hours debugging !%#&%) email connectivity problems…

posted at 10:59 am on Friday, June 10, 2005 in Links | Comments Off on Top Ten Data Crunching Tips and Tricks


So Ipsos-Reid called me yesterday. I love giving them my opinion, because it tends to be different from the herd’s…

Speaking of herds, the big question series was about BSE. One pair of questions was:

* If other countries want to require that we test *all* cattle destined for export, should we?
* If we are testing all exported cattle, would it be acceptable to continue to spot-check domestically sold beef, or should we test all domestic cattle too?

I think that if we’re doing more testing in one arena than another, unscrupulous distributors are going to dump all suspect beef on the domestic market (instead of simply destroying it), thus *increasing* the risk to our food supply. So while I support full testing for export (because our economy requires exports), I believe it follows that we have to test all of our cattle (even though the scientific community believes that spot-checking is “safe enough”). C’est la vie, I guess.

The other thing they asked me about was waterfront property taxes in cottage country. The issue: Market Value Assessment means that when the market value of your house rises, so do your property taxes. Unfortunately, there’s been a boom in waterfront cottage prices, and so people who have had properties in their family for generations are suddenly unable to afford the taxes. It’s gotten so skewed that in many municipalities, 5% of the land is providing 50% of the tax revenue…

Now I don’t think pure, free-market MVA is a good way to set property taxes. (Of course, the old way of *not* adjusting for market value didn’t work either). So I came down firmly on the side of existing property owners in that part of the survey…

They also asked me about the relative social responsibility of Bell Canada and Telus, and about steak restaurants. Since I usually visit my local mom ‘n’ pop steak place, and haven’t been to The Keg in ages, I was able to skew those results too :-)

posted at 10:53 am on Friday, June 10, 2005 in Personal | Comments Off on surveyed!