gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for September 2005

Good geodata are hard to come by

September 30, 2005 @ 12:35 By: gordon Category: Seen on the 'net

BBC News has an article about fake digital maps and GPSs being used in Shanghai. Apparently, people are getting lost because the maps are actually quite inaccurate.

Incompetent spammers

September 19, 2005 @ 22:44 By: gordon Category: General, Seen on the 'net

I receive waves of spam in my blog from idiots trying to use my blog to sell their crap. Top topics are online casinos and various pharmaceuticals.

Wading through the “holding tank” this evening, I found the usual stuff, and then a few that caught my eye because the pattern was wrong. If you look closely, you can see that the idiot who’s controlling the network of ‘bots neglected to actually include the topic of the spam in their messages:

Name: Anonymous | E-mail: j8yt3ot4wa3@see.to | URI: | IP:
In your free time, take a look at the sites on- Tons of interesdting stuff!!!

Name: Anonymous | E-mail: 6i8l3k7lvce@mail.nu | URI: | IP:
Please check out the sites dedicated to… Thanks!!!

Name: Anonymous | E-mail: 86np@usmail.com | URI: | IP:
You may find it interesting to check some relevant pages on…

Name: Anonymous | E-mail: 6aehkbraf3srm5@usmail.com | URI: | IP:
Please take a look at some information dedicated to- Tons of interesdting stuff!!!

It would be a shame if those IP addresses disappeared off the face of the Internet, wouldn’t it…

What am I?

September 16, 2005 @ 07:39 By: gordon Category: Seen on the 'net

I am:

an Ibico® KomboTM lever-operated punch for making a row of rectangular holes in a stack of paper and fitting a plastic “comb” binding into them

If you haven’t seen one in use, you’d probably have no idea what it is.

Which office supply are you?

Who am I?

September 16, 2005 @ 07:37 By: gordon Category: Seen on the 'net

I am:

Isaac Asimov

One of the most prolific writers in history, on any imaginable subject. Cared little for art but created lasting and memorable tales.

Which science fiction writer are you?

Off-roading and geocaching

September 12, 2005 @ 23:42 By: gordon Category: Geocaching

Kathy and I checked up on the cache we placed south of Richmond (GCP93C) on Saturday and then headed off to do a couple of nearby caches. One of the caches was a multi that is apparently 11km from start to finish. The forest access road we needed to use is closed to motorized vehicles until the 15th of September, so we headed on to another nearby one, also in the Marlborough Forest. This time, the forest access road was just a “use at your own risk”, so we chased a bunch of mountain bikers along until we found the trailhead about a kilometre into the forest.

The cache was called Inukshuk’s Treasure (GCB9FF) and it was guarded by a small inukshuk the owner had built. We found the inukshuk quickly enough and didn’t spend too long looking for the cache container. We took some pictures with the inukshuk and then headed back to my Tracker.

On our way to the next cache, we took a short cut that ultimately ended at a point where we decided to turn back because the road disappeared into the trees — literally. Naturally, we could see the back of a sign about a hundred metres away, but there was no way we could get through without seriously scratching the paint.
So, we backtracked and made our way to the second cache, Road Forgotten – Beckwith (GCMDWE). We drove along an old road that was the old boundary between Beckwith and Montague townships and found the cache about 100 metres away from where we parked (in the middle of the forest, of course).

All in all, we had a lot of fun doing the two caches, and getting a lot of mud on the Tracker.

Recalling September 11, 2001

September 10, 2005 @ 10:36 By: gordon Category: Current affairs

My friend Darin wrote about his memories of 9/11 in his blog recently and that got me thinking back to that fateful Tuesday…

I was still living in my first condo on the 9th floor of the other building at Holland Cross. It was a sunny day and I had been standing on my balcony looking down Holland towards Tunney’s Pasture to see how long the lineups were at the PSAC picket lines. (PSAC had been striking every Wednesday for the previous couple of weeks.)

The radio was on and I heard a snippet saying an airplane had just crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. That prompted me to turn on CNN on the tv and watch for a bit. At this point, no one knew that it was a terrorist attack, though that went through my mind the moment I heard about it because the chances of a commercial airplane hitting a building like that by accident are extremely small. It’s one of those things that just doesn’t happen (here).

There was a closeup on the impact site on the screen. The width of the tower almost filled the shot with just a little sky on either side. Suddenly, something flicked through the background of the image and I thought “no, that couldn’t have been another airplane”. I pondered that for about 20 or 30 seconds before CNN confirmed that an airplane had just hit the other tower.

I watched for quite a bit longer before finally deciding to head off to work and try to cross the picket lines. Walking through the mall in the commercial complex at Holland Cross, I paused to watch the tv in the dentist’s office for a few seconds. I think one of the buildings had started to collapse and everyone figured it was just a matter of time before it completely collapsed.

Continuing through the mall and walking around the edge of Tunney’s Pasture to the Parkdale side, all people were talking about was what was going on in New York City. At some point, someone said that one of the towers had collapsed completely.

The picketters were still preventing people from going in, so I continued north along Parkdale, stopping to chat briefly with an assistant director I knew. One of the strike line captains had a walkie talkie and I overheard someone on it say that all military personnel were to be allowed to cross the lines immediately. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach as I thought “oh, that can’t possibly be a good sign”.

I continued north along Parkdale and stopped to chat with an assistant director I knew who was one of the management representatives. She and I talked about things for a bit and I continued around the north end of the Pasture where the strike line didn’t exist. (Tunney’s Pasture is quite large and it would have taken more people than they had to completely encircle it.) I made my way to the building I worked in and had a fairly unproductive day.

At some point shortly after I made it into work, PSAC ended all the strike activities because of what was going on in the US. There was a tv set up in one of the conference rooms and people stepped in and out of it all day to check on the latest.

I don’t remember exactly when I heard about the plane that hit the Pentagon building or the one that crashed in the field when the hijackers were overpowered by the passengers. I do remember being awed by the passengers’ braveness and hoping that I’d act like them if I ever were in such a situation — which I pray I never am.