Archive for October, 2007

Dune: House Atreides

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

Dune: House Atreides by Brian Herbert w/ Kevin J Anderson
Publisher: Bantam Books (Sci-fi)

This is the first book in the Dune trilogy written by Brian Herbert with Kevin J Anderson. The story line begins about forty plus years before the Dune book that started it all. I should note it here that the story is written completely in threads. The chapters are short. After each chapter you are taken to a different location and a different time. The characters are also changed. Some people have a great dislike to this form of story telling. It is necessary with this trilogy because you are covering a wide panorama of future history. Hmmm… future history? The re-telling of stories that haven’t occurred yet?

The story opens at a time when Baron Harkonnen was actually fit and healthy. When Paulus Atreides, Paul’s grandfather, was Duke of Caladan and his son Leto was a teenager. When the evil emperor ofร‚ย  the “Dune” book was only a manipulating prince. There are so many other characters and their stories are also told. It is enjoyable to read and get the background that made Dune possible.

It is a great “on the bus book” or “coffee break book.”

Capital One Commercial

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

I use to enjoy the Capitol One commercials on television. Usually it was a couple wanting to use a credit card and a horde of wild men would charge the couple only to be foiled when the couple pulled out their Capitol One Card.

Recently Capitol One has changed the horde of wild men to a scurrying bunch of bankers. They were like mice or rats burrowing through walls or hiding in dark places. Damaging the home and destroying property in the pursuit of a few dollars or fighting over pennies. I am certain that the people at Capitol One believe the commercial to be humorous. That their intended victims of the funny jabs are bankers.

Since they first aired I have found these commercials to be offensive. They are stereo-typing bankers. That alone does not bother me. It isn’t wrong to make bankers the butt of jokes. This is what I see:

A clean cut man coming to the rescue. He wears a baseball cap and wears a brown shirt. His intended foe are those who control the wealth… bankers. The bankers are portrayed as vermin to be eradicated. The white people look to the brownshirted fellow as a helper. He says he could trap them, the bankers. But the best solution is to get rid of them once and for all. Then he pulls out a Capitol One card.

So far? Doesn’t seem to be so bad… not really.

Sadly, I see another stereotype at work in the commercial. Nazis! I remember seeing brownshirted young men wearing baseball caps. They fought against the supposed Zionists. The Zionist bankers, and therefore the Jews, controlled the wealth. I remember seeing the famous propaganda film that talked about the Jew and yet showed rats scurrying in darkened corners or running in the sewers. The poor white Germans needed a saviour. Not to worry, someone in a brownshirt and baseball cap shows up and says that he has the final solution to this infestation of people.

Capitol One wanted me to see bankers being eliminated by their final solution. I hope they didn’t make the parallels with Nazi Germany’s final solution on purpose. Yet that is what I see everytime I see the commercials. It bothers me. If it bothers you say so. Perhaps we can get Capitol One to change their commercials to something a little less offensive to the few of us who are offended.

Here is their contact page:
Capitol One


Fall Webworm

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Fall Webworm

Yep, you guessed it. I was walking through the RBG’s arboretum and noticed that many of the trees had caterpillar nests at the end of their branches. I took this shot of an enterprising fellow out for a walk. As best as I can tell it is called a “Fall Webworm”. Latin name for the intellectually fussy is: Hyphantria Cunea.

Dune: House Harkonnen

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

Dune: House Harkonnen by Brian Herbert w/ Kevin J Anderson
Published by: Bantam Books
Science Fiction

Dune House Harkonnen is the second book in a trilogy. Although this book continues in the tradition of the others it does spend a bit more time covering the characters and history of house Harkonnen. If there is to be evil in the Dune saga you can always count on the Harkonnen’s to lead the way. Though I did find that Abulard, the Baron’s relative, to be the only example in the family line that was nice. Wouldn’t mind having them as neighbours. The torture, the treachery, the total disregard for human life, by the rest of this family cannot be equalled by anyone else.

The trilogy covers a period of about forty years. This book covers the middle twenty plus years. It is interesting how quickly paced the book covers history. Quite a few characters found in the first book die in this book. Since I have read the other two books in the trilogy I might as well say here that I found the saga of the early years, from old Duke Paulas to the birth of his grandson Paul, to be a highly interesting read for those who love sci-fi.

Unlike me, you should read the books in sequence. The order of this Dune trilogy is:

  1. House Atreides
  2. House Harkonnen
  3. House Corrino



Friday, October 12th, 2007

Reprinted from: RunningPastor: Volunteering

Joe said…

I have been in churches where the pastor talks about a need in the church and asks for volunteers. I have been in churches where someone believes that something should be done and decide to do it… and enjoy the control.

Personally, I find volunteering for ministry a bit difficult. I suffer from depression and know that I may be up one time (so much so that I feel normal) and down the next (you don’t want to go there). Yet I find the need to do something for God and his people. When I am brave I ask God to open a door for ministry. He has always been faithful to provide an opening. Though I seem reluctant to get involved and take time to warm up… I do appreciate the gift of ministry that God gives me. When I feel normal it is a somewhat pleasant task… when down, my mind groans but my spirit is encouraged.

Crossfire? Everytime I pray, either Roy or Patti, mysterioulsy, create an opportunity for me to minister. I am grateful to God that he moves when I pray and I am thankful that our pastors have ears to hear what God tells them. Sometimes it is a struggle to do the work but I always remember that it is a gift and deep down, in my spirit, I thank God.

…from a reluctant volunteer who desires and needs to minister.

Liberals Win

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

There should be no surprises that the Ontario Liberals have won tonight. It can be put down to the biggest electoral gaff done by John Tory and his Conservatives. What was the gaff? To extend educational moneys to religious/private grade schools.

I remember back when Ontario was called the big blue province. It was simply a matter of calling an election and watch the Bill Davis government win again. Then Bill decided to dust off a promise he once made. He decided to extend funding separate schools from grade ten to grade twelve. This was Bill’s parting gift as he was about to step down as leader. It passed.

Shortly thereafter a election was called. The Big Blue machine was soundly trounced… by the NDP. Voter backlash for extending money to separate schools was the death knell that sounded riding after riding.

When John Tory promised to extend money to religious/private schools I heard the same tolling of the bell that defeated the PC’s the last time around. I was shocked that he didn’t think that it would be much of an issue.

So what really happened? From my perspective the Conservatives lost election because of this faux pas. What could have been done after an election was to bring the issue up and have an open debate and an open vote… near the end of the mandate. To give people plenty of time to discuss the issue.

I believe it is only fair that if you tax people to educate children then the tax money should go to the schools those children attend. That would be the fair thing to do. But then who said Ontario politics was fair.

Liberals for four more years…


The Referendum

Wednesday, October 10th, 2007

Reprinting my post from another location.

I like the mixed member option for the referendum. I have been hoping for some form of implementation for decades. At least now we have a chance to vote for its existence. I doubt though that it will pass. There has been enough bad reporting about what it actually is that most will stick to the “tried and true” of first past the post. It would be tougher to get a majority with the mixed but unlike the past, my vote would actually count, everytime. It would give me representation. It would also give everyone else who votes representation no matter who gets elected in a riding. It would also better reflect the will of the people. Would it make it tougher to govern? You bet it would. But it should be hard for governments to turn our world upside down. It may even inspire people to get involved in party politics so they may have a voice in who gets on the published list for the 39 seats.


Monday, October 8th, 2007

May God give you
Of the dew of heaven,
Of the fatness of the earth,
And plenty of grain and wine.

Happy Thanksgiving to One and All.


Sunday, October 7th, 2007

I was checking some of my log statistics for my site and discovered that many people have tried to leave a comment. Sadly over the past week there have been attempts to crash part of the internet. It affected not only my site but everyone from the backbone carrier down to individual sites.

I want to apologize to those who became as frustrated as I have been over the past week due to this problem. My server host, as well as the backbone carrier,ร‚ย  are taking steps to remedy the problem but some delays can still be experienced.

Labour Day Weekend

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Sooo… it is the Labour Day Weekend. It was nice to spend a bit of time with Linda. We managed to get out a couple of times. On our travels we went to the beach strip for a walk. Parked by Hutch’s and didn’t go in to eat. They are a far cry from what they were. We have another favourite fish place these days.

An Icon at the Beach

So, went down the beach breathing in the air and soaking in the sun. We almost played at the water’s edge. It was a good walk but it was a bit far (for us). Our bit far is probably your just getting started. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Joe Laughing

The next day we drove north on the #6 highway. Again, didn’t go too far but enjoyed the sites. It has been a few years since we drove out of town for leisure. One hour out and one hour back and that was about as much travelling as my bones and butt could take. It surprised me how much the area changed in the last five years. I got to get out more. Overall, a rather enjoyable time.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend.