gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for February 2008

I don’t want one and neither should you

February 09, 2008 @ 12:00 By: gordon Category: Seen on the 'net

I saw this on the ‘net and I have to say I actually do not want one. And neither should anyone else.

His name is Edward, not Edwin!

February 09, 2008 @ 11:47 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Seen on the 'net

While surfing the ‘net last night, I came across the plight of Philadelphia resident Edward Stanley Harris.  It seems that Edward has a twin brother named Edwin Shelby Harris and about seventeen years ago Edwin received 8 moving violations worth some $1500 that he never paid.  Since then, Edwin has moved away and Edward rarely hears from him.

Every time Edward went to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) office to renew his license, they told him he had outstanding tickets and thus couldn’t renew his license.  And every time he would faithfully trot himself down to the Philadelphia Traffic Court and explain (again) that he was Edward Harris, not Edwin Harris and the tickets weren’t his.  Each time the traffic court judges would listen, realize PennDOT didn’t know what they were talking about and rectify the situation (until the next time his license came up for renewal).

Except for Traffic Court Judge Willie Adams.

Traffic Court Judge Willie Adams apparently had no interest in hearing the facts or reviewing the ample documentation and ordered Edward to pay the outstanding fines –now worth a little over $1800 — at the rate of $100/month, or go to jail.

He started paying this while off while he filed his appeal because he didn’t want to go to jail.

Sanity made a brief appearance during the appeal hearing and the payment order was withdrawn and someone suggested to Edward that he go back to Traffic Court to get his money back.

At some point, Edward contacted Ronnie Polaneczky, a reporter at The Philadelphia Daily News.  The reporter in turn contacted attempted to contact Traffic Court Judge Bernice DeAngelis, but wasn’t immediately successful and wrote about Edward’s story in the newspaper.  Two days later, Judge DeAngelis contacted the reporter and couldn’t apologize enough for the travesty Edward has been subjected to.

The judge couldn’t, however, explain how the situation got to the point it did, nor why Edward had to resort to calling a reporter who ultimately shamed the Traffic Court system into fixing the problem.

As for Judge Adams, the idiot who really should go before the Judicial Conduct Board to explain his actions, Judge DeAngelis is quoted as saying “I wasn’t in the courtroom.  I don’t know what was said or not said. Judge Adams is my colleague. It’s not my place to comment on his actions.”  There’s really no need to, eh?

It’ll be interesting to see what happens next time Edward goes to renew his license.  Will PennDOT get things right or will he have to go to Traffic Court again?

New host and nothing appears to be broken

February 09, 2008 @ 10:37 By: gordon Category: Meta

I moved my blog and photo gallery to a new server last night.  For the most part, it was a fairly painless process, though I had to beat the webserver with a stick to get the permalinks working properly.

If you happen to find something I missed, please let me know. 🙂

National Capital Area Crime Stoppers

February 07, 2008 @ 23:19 By: gordon Category: General

National Capital Area Crime Stoppers is a locally run program that helps police solve crimes through cash rewards given to those who have confidential and anonymous information that will help the police solve crimes.  I’ve added a widget in one of the sidebars on every page in my blog that will display the most recent entries on their website.

If you’re in Ottawa, you can submit an anonymous tip at 613-233-TIPS (8477).  Anyone in Canada can call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) and be connected to their closest locally operated Crime Stoppers program.

A tip o’ the hat to my friend Eric who donates his time and skills by volunteering on the board of the National Capital Area Crime Stoppers.

700-year old mosque built without permit scheduled for demolition

February 06, 2008 @ 13:07 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Seen on the 'net

There’s a mosque in Umm Tuba, which is near Jerusalem, that was apparently built on a Sunday 700 years ago. You need a license to build things on Sundays and the mosque in question is alleged to not have had such a permit 700 years ago, so Israeli authorities have decided to demolish it. (Ma’an News Agency story and the blog entry I stumbled across)

This immediately reminded me of the destruction of the giant Buddha statues by the Taliban in 2001 (see also Wikipedia). As you may recall, the Taliban destroyed several huge sandstone Buddha statues as part of their campaign to rid Afghanistan of everything they did not approve of.

If there’s any truth to the story about the mosque, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) needs to step forward and prevent the destruction of this mosque, which is arguably a cultural heritage site.

Upgrading to WordPress 2.3.3 using Subversion

February 05, 2008 @ 08:47 By: gordon Category: WordPress

I’ve been using Windows Live Writer to compose my blog entries for about six weeks now.  It’s an amazing program that lets you write blog entries offline in a robust editor and then upload your entries to your blog painlessly.  Very slick!

When I upgraded to WordPress 2.3.x at the end of December, I also started using Subversion (svn) to manage the upgrades.  People with access to a shell on their webhost can use it to check out the latest version (or any version) of WordPress and it’ll handle downloading just the files that have changed since you last upgraded.  (Instructions on how to switch to using Subversion to manage your WordPress installation can be found here.)

Chances are good that you won’t encounter this problem when upgrading to 2.3.3, but if you do, hopefully this helps.

WordPress 2.3.3 was released sometime overnight and so I went to upgrade using Subversion.  After making a backup and deactivating all of my plugins, I followed the instructions and encountered the following error:

   1: [gordon@mon WORDPRESS]$ svn sw http://svn.automattic.com/wordpress/tags/2.3.3/
   2: svn: Working copy 'wp-includes/images/wlw' is missing or not locked


Snowplows in the night

February 01, 2008 @ 22:03 By: gordon Category: Photography

We had a fair bit of snow today in Ottawa, so the snowplows are scurrying around clearing the streets and sidewalks.  I worked quite late this evening and on my way home I took a few pictures.

Salt trucks were on Holland Avenue…