gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for January 2010

Reality television shows

January 29, 2010 @ 18:13 By: gordon Category: General, Reviews

Reality television shows have been around for a few years. Usually (but not always) unscripted, they allow viewers to observe the lives of others as they go about their day to day routine. Some of them are completely artificial situations, such as Big Brother or Survivor, while others are based on a slightly more tangible version of reality, such as American Chopper. There are also some based on celebrity families (The Osbournes, Growing Up Gotti, Hogan Knows Best, Hammertime, and Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels) but in many cases these shows tend to show just how incredibly disfunctional these families are and consequently most are short-lived. (Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels is one of the rare exceptions to this rule.)

The latest batch of reality shows includes a number that are based on businesses, which I tend to find more interesting than the look-how-amazing-I-am-and-you’re-not reality shows that are out there.

Here’s my take on some of the reality shows that are on the air right now.


When your life resembles a chewing gum commercial it’s time to get a second opinion on things

January 16, 2010 @ 08:09 By: gordon Category: Seen on the 'net

IMG_2333 There’s an ad for Excel gum that been on tv here in Canada lately. Two guys are sitting on the couch, watching tv. One guy has a big red maple leaf outline on his face, which the other guy asks about. The first guy replies “what better way to show one’s support than by having a giant red maple leaf on your face?”. The other guy comments that Excel gum has put a maple leaf on each piece of gum. The first guy responds “which would you rather have? A small red maple leaf on a piece of gum or a big red maple leaf tattooed on your face?”. The second guy responds “That’s a tattoo? Dude, I have to be honest – I’d choose the gum.” (Well, duh, right?)

So, no one would really tattoo something like a big red maple leaf, a bunch of stars or …. Oh, wait… there was that girl who had a bunch of stars tattooed on her face a few months ago.

Ok, but no one in their right mind would have fake glasses tattooed on their face, right? And they definitely wouldn’t upload a video of it to YouTube, right?

Whoops… wrong again…


Ottawa pirate radio station has its plug pulled

January 15, 2010 @ 12:34 By: gordon Category: Amateur radio, Current affairs, General

Pirate radio station antenna being dismantled (Kenneth Jackson/Ottawa Sun)

Pirate radio station antenna being dismantled (Kenneth Jackson/Ottawa Sun)

The Ottawa Sun just posted a story that after two cease-and-desist orders the RCMP and Industry Canada showed up at the Saadé International Hotel at 11:45 this morning where Jayhaed Saadé has his illegal radio station set up.

Apparently, Saadé Junior is still acting like a spoiled brat and not cooperating with the authorities because he has apparently hidden some of the equipment and isn’t telling anyone where it is, even his father. And he’s not taking it very well, either:

Jayhaed was mad, yelling at the police and was crying at one point, [Georges Saadé] said.

Tracking down the hidden equipment shouldn’t be that difficult because everything will have to be connected via cables. If the cables are hidden, then I imagine there could be some collatoral damage.

According to the story, Georges Saadé (the father) was told there wouldn’t be any charges, just that Industry Canada wants all of the equipment. That is incredibly generous of Industry Canada, who are probably considering the fact that the equipment they’re confiscating is worth about $80000 as punishment enough.

So, it sounds like the plug is finally being pulled. Hopefully, Saadé Junior will learn from this experience and realize that he’s subject to the same rules as everyone else.

Update: The Ottawa Citizen has a story on it, too.

A tip o’ the hat to one of the participants in the Digital Home forums who posted a link to the Ottawa Sun story.

2009: The year in review (version 2.0)

January 08, 2010 @ 13:04 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, General, Meta, Travelling

I’ve been working on a summary of 2009 for a while, but version 1.0 just did not come together the way I wanted, so I’ve abandoned it in favour of version 2.0.  Hopefully this one works out a bit better.

2009 was a busy year for me on a number of different fronts.


According to my calculations, I posted 116 entries to my blog in 2009.

The Great OC Transpo Bus Strike provided almost limitless things to write about and generated a lot of traffic for my blog.  I almost had a bunch of buttons with my anti-ATU logo made so that I could hand them out to people. Fortunately, the union more or less saw the light and returned to work just before they were legislated back by Parliament.

I wrote about dragon boating, chasing weather balloons (and here), Rogers’ decision to remove WPBS from their lineup and their subsequent decision to not remove it and celebrity deaths. Climbing, photography and the weather also featured among the things I wrote about.

Jayhaed Saadé The year ended with a couple of entries about the pirate radio station run by Jayhaed Saadé, a fourteen-year old spoiled brat in Greely. After being presented with not one, but two, cease-and-desist orders from Industry Canada, he pulled the plug on his illegal radio station, put the equipment into “third party storage” and posted an apology on his website. However, within a few days, he was back on the air and the apology was removed from his site. He’s back in the news as a result of being back on the air, but the media coverage is not as flattering and fellow amateur radio bloggers Bob and Darin have both written about him. (Bob is even quoted in the Ottawa Citizen on this matter.) Sooner or later, Industry Canada is going to confiscate the $80,000 worth of equipment and probably levy some pretty stiff fines, too.


When I think about the travelling I did in 2009, I find myself thinking about the trips I took for work. I went to Montreal in February for a couple of days to observe focus group testing and then headed straight to Toronto for the weekend to visit my relatives. During the summer, I headed up to the cottage a few times. October saw work take me to Sturgeon Falls, Sherbrooke, Halifax and Winnipeg. The first two were just before and after Thanksgiving, while the last two were in the same week. I was able to head to Halifax a couple of days early and had a great time visiting Peggy’s Cove while I was there. In early November, I ended up in northern New York state while chasing an amateur radio weather balloon. The last trip of the year was to Mississauga for Christmas with my relatives.


It was a busy year at work, too. My first survey report was release in February and I had a couple of other articles published, too. I also did a fair bit of travel, with the five trips I mentioned above. Most of the trips were to monitor telephone interviews for my survey – I was the person who was “monitoring this call for quality purposes”. (It’s not quite as creepy as it sounds.)


But 2009 wasn’t all work (even though it felt like that at times), I had some fun, too. I steered the Singapore Slings at three dragonboat festivals last summer and I’m looking forward to the upcoming season. I went climbing at the climbing gym about once a week and went climbing in the Gatineaus a few times, too.

I logged 55 geocaches in 2009 and went to two Go And Get ‘Em events. I hid my first geocache in about 3 years for the fall GAG.

April saw me replace my faithful 2002 Tracker with a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe. Up to then, I had been a dyed-in-the-wool GM owner, but with all the chaos in the North American auto industry, and the fact that the GM vehicle in the same class just didn’t compare, led me to stray from the flock and look at Hyundai. I don’t think I’ll be back any time soon.

ARRL Field Day 2009 was held at the end of June and the Manotick Amateur Radio Group set up a station at Long Island Marine. I headed down on Friday and operated one of the radios for most of the weekend. The weather was great and a good time was had by all.

I went to a couple of days of the Bluesfest last summer and saw KISS in concert for the first time. Though I wouldn’t classify myself as a die-hard KISS fan, I have to admit that the show was pretty impressive. I even posted a few pictures online, too.

Speaking of music, I also took part in Ring To The World, a biennial handbell festival that was held at Carleton University in June. I had the privilege of playing some amazing music conducted by some top-notch conductors, who just happened to have composed the pieces we were playing. Lots of fun and I’m looking forward to the next one.

Looking ahead to 2010

There are lots of things I’d like to do in 2010. I’ve already committed to steering for the Singapore Slings, which can’t come soon enough. Climbing in the Gatineaus (and elsewhere) more often is definitely on the list. It would be nice to do a little more geocaching. I got out golfing quite a few times last summer and I recently got a new set of hybrid irons, so I’m really looking forward to get out more often in the upcoming year.

I’ve been wanting to visit my friends Rob and Yuki in the UK for a couple of years now. There’s a geocaching mega-event being held in Scotland at the end of July, so I might just combine the two and visit them in Cambridge before going to the mega-event. Time will tell… 🙂

So, what are you looking forward to in 2010?

Happy New Year!

January 01, 2010 @ 00:00 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, General

Welcome to 2010! I hope that everyone has a safe, happy and prosperous new year as we enter the new decade. Happy New Year!!!