gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for July 2008

Well, that didn’t take long

July 30, 2008 @ 12:12 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Geocaching, Seen on the 'net

I posted my latest entry about the perils of using an ammo can as a geocache container just last night.  This morning, one of my news alerts sent me a story from Midland, Texas.

According to the story, three young people carried a package out to the mesquite grove next to a University of Texas building at 4 p.m. and then left the area.  Someone reported this to the police who investigated.  The Midland Police Department robot, Andros, X-rayed the package that said “10 blasting caps” on the side and found several toys inside. Investigators from the sherriff’s office said they’re going to be taking fingerprints from the container and looking for the people involved.

How many more incidents is it going to take before people learn?

Ammo cans in the woods

July 29, 2008 @ 23:32 By: gordon Category: Geocaching

ammo_can_croppedIf you are wandering through the woods and come across a metal box painted army green with a handle on top and bright yellow letters stencilled on it with the words "cartridge", "26.5mm", "10 round clips" and so on and maybe even an orange warning sticker with the universal explosive pictogram on it, what would you do?


Sometimes spammers DO die

July 28, 2008 @ 10:11 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Seen on the 'net

Unfortunately, in this case the spammer killed his family before killing himself.

U.S. Attorney Troy Eid summed it up best…

“What a nightmare, and such a coward.  Davidson imposed the ‘death penalty’ on family members for his own crime.”

Young children in movie theatres at late shows

July 27, 2008 @ 03:20 By: gordon Category: General

Saturday evening, I went to the late showing of Hellboy II: The Golden Army at the AMC theatres in Kanata with Ken and Brian.  The movie was quite good and most people will probably enjoy it.  But that’s not what this entry is about.

Rather, it is about the father who brought his two very young sons with him.  One was maybe 6 or 7 years old and the other was 4’ish.  Very young kids to be in a move with a rating of 14A in Ontario and that contains a fair bit of violence, but even that wasn’t the real problem.

The problem was the fact the show started at 9:50pm, meaning the actual movie started sometime around 10:15pm or so.  For the first part of the movie, I didn’t notice the kids because they were watching the movie quietly.  But at some point the youngest kid fell asleep and started snoring.

Yes, snoring.

After a couple of pointed glances from myself and other patrons, the father nudged the sleeping kid who stopped snoring and started coughing up a lung.  After a bit, he settled down and then fell asleep again and the cycle repeated itself for much of the rest of the movie.  When the lights came up at the end, the father woke up both of his kids who staggered bleary-eyed out of the theatre.

We were talking about this on the way to our cars after the movie and Ken raised the point that it was late and what was the father thinking bringing his kids to such a late show.  The movie ended around midnight, which is probably too late for them to be out.  Both of them were asleep at the end of the movie, so it’s not like they got anything out of it.

There’s also the question of the suitability of the movie for such young children.  This movie has a rating of 14A in Ontario, meaning it has, among other things, "occasional upsetting scenes that will tend to be more frightening, intense, disturbing – particularly to younger viewers", and there were scenes in Hellboy II that definitely fell into that category.  I recall another movie that was even more violent and inappropriate for young children that a parent had brought their young child to.  The child became scared by the movie and ended up begging their parent to leave, though they ended up staying until the end of the movie.  I don’t recall which movie it was, but I think it was another comic book that had been made into a movie.

So, what’s the solution?  Some theatres offer matinée shows specifically for parents with kids, so maybe they should also offer late shows for adults only.  It was getting to the point that I almost complained to the theatre management on the way out.  It was very inconsiderate behaviour on the part of the father to take his young children to the movie, one of whom seemed sick (one really can’t blame the kids because they’re young and it was late).

If you’re thinking about taking your young children to the movies: Please think twice.  And if you do decide to take them anyway, please be considerate of the other people in the theatre and leave the theatre should they start to fidget, talk, fall asleep or snore, so as not to ruin the movie for the people unlucky enough to be sitting close to you.  And don’t take them when they’re sick.

Geocache causes bomb scare in Ottawa

July 26, 2008 @ 11:36 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Geocaching

Thursday’s Metro Ottawa included a story that opened with the following:

A suspicious package attached to a pole forced the closure of Riverside Drive and a section of Ottawa’s bus Transitway for several hours yesterday.

That description made me think "I wonder if it was a geocache", so I popped over to the OttawaGeocaching.com forums to see if anyone had posted about it and sure enough, it looks like Dead End Cache (GC1DT9M), now archived, was destroyed by the bomb disposal robot.  At least it was "not deemed hazardous".

GC1DT9M_cropped Pictures of the geocache from some of the logs show that it was a flat metal container with a green "official geocache" sticker on it.  In other words, another opaque geocache container on a bridge reported to the police as "suspicious".

While the hiding spot probably wasn’t the best choice (on a bridge over the Transitway), this incident probably could have been avoided if the container had been transparent.  Chances are that the person who reported it to the police wouldn’t have been concerned about it if it was a Lock ‘n’ Lock full of trinkets they could see into, and even if they did report it to the police, the police would very quickly have been able to determine there was nothing dangerous in it without having to open it.  Instead, the police ended up closing a section of the Transitway, and parts of Riverside and the overpass it was on for several hours, and paramedics, firefighters, the bomb squad and the Hazardous Materials Unit were tied up while it was being investigated.

So, let’s start using more transparent containers.  And, let’s stop placing geocaches in locations where people looking for it could be mistaken as doing something nefarious.

Mind versus Body

July 26, 2008 @ 10:27 By: gordon Category: Statistics, Wii

The results of a question asked on the Wii Everybody Votes Channel recently suggest that we Canadian Wii players are an intellectual bunch.

Question: Which is more important to exercise daily…

  …your mind? …your body?
Canada 52.5% 47.5%
Males 51.0% 49.0%
Females 55.5% 44.5%

National prediction accuracy: 41.7%

Implosion of the South Side stands

July 20, 2008 @ 11:10 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Out and about, Photography

Before1Shortly after 8am this morning, the lower section of the south side stands at Frank Clair Stadium in Lansdowne Park were demolished in a controlled implosion.  I was heading over to my apartment to meet up with the painters, so I stopped off along the way to watch the show.

I parked on Bristol Avenue, near Echo and Riverdale and joined the growing crowd on Echo.  We could hear the three-minute and one-minute warning sirens and then the countdown of the last few seconds.  After zero there was a pause and then a series of booms, kind of like someone taking slapshots at the board in a hockey rink, without any visible effect on the part of the stadium we could see.

After a few more booms the east end kind of folded up and dropped into the growing cloud of dust.

Closeup1 Closeup2

Very cool!

I posted some pictures in my gallery.