You can't chop down a symmetry

A hot night in Charlottetown. Too hot.

Escape to Tim’s for a cooling ice capp. This is the first day we’re really, really glad we have a car with air conditioning. Briefly consider running the car all night and sleeping on the back seat. Just like they do in Alaska to keep the engine blocks from freezing in the winter. Ohhh, Alaska, cool…

Stop at A&W for a Mozza Burger on the way home. Traffic, traffic, traffic. Everyone is out on the streets for their last taste of traffic freedom before the parade in the morning block everything in.

Home to pay bills left over from February (still can’t pay my Island Tel Internet bill online, #$@#$%!). Mozza burger has some sort of foreign congealed mass of boiled bacon fat — or something — in the middle and must be disposed of. #$@#$%!

Off to SDM to buy stamps and skin creme. The special skin creme they keep behind the counter we only know by its price: $2.22. I ask the pharmacist for “some 222 creme” and she looks at me weirdly and goes to the cupboard. They don’t have large bottles. But she can sell me two smaller bottles. The smaller bottles cost $1.11. This makes me very happy. My happiness is all lost on the pharmacist.

I forget to buy juice for Oliver for the morning, so take the long was ‘round to Ken’s Corner. Notice that Ken’s Corner, which used to be called Green Gables is now called Needs. Realize that all Green Gables stores are now renamed Needs. Ponder the demographic reasoning behind the corporate renaming decision. Reach no conclusions.

Ken’s Corner is hoppin’. There’s a dance across the street at the Curling Club. The band, Phase II, is playing a cover of I’m a Believer. The architecture in the Ken’s Corner neighbourhood serves to whirl the sound around into a frenzy.

Inside Ken’s Corner there are lots of people buying cigarettes and gum. There’s a lot of talk of Tyne Valley and people getting their heads smashed in. The woman in front of me has a large flaming tattoo on her shoulder. It sounds as though she, herself, is not from Tyne Valley.

I pay for my juice and marvel at the shapely singularity of the cashier’s nose; it is a work of art.

Back into the car. Turn on Magic 93 and the air conditioner. The Smashmouth cover of I’m a Believer is playing on the radio.

Home to frantically work while the traffic’s still good.

You can’t chop down a symmetry.

Another LaserJet

Readers have snapped up all of our late-summer housecleaning items quickly. I’ve received word of another LaserJet (this one a IIIsi, and this one in “fine working condition”) that’s fee to a good home. If you’re interested, drop me a line to and I’ll connect you to the seller.

Items for Free / Items for Sale

We’re have a midsummer cleaning of the World HQ and have the following items to clear out:

  • GONE HP LaserJet III laser printer. Parallel interface. About 12 years old. Paper feed needs repairing (may be helped by a solution here or not). A good solid battle tank of a printer that needs some attention. FREE.
  • SOLD Xerox XJ8C colour inkjet printer. Good working order. About 4 years old. Drivers available for Windows versions up to and including XP and 2000. $15.
  • SOLD CalComp DrawingSlate II graphics tablet. 5” by 4” drawing surface. Plugs into a PC’s DB9 serial port. Drivers available for Windows versions up to and including XP and 2000. Includes Fractal Dabbler software. UPDATE: missing a power supply. $20. $15.
If you’re interested in any of these items, please email

Meteors Raining Down

When you call CBC Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown and ask the operator to connect you to someone, you’re briefly put on hold. While you are on hold the “hold music” is CBC Radio One which, more often than not, is audio of people talking.

This morning I called CBC to talk to Mitch Cormier and while I was on hold for a brief few seconds, I heard only the phrase “meteors raining down.” Then Mitch answered the phone.

If you assembled an audio montage of these micro soundbites you would have an interesting, and perhaps terrifying product.

By the way, Mitch actually used the phrase “XML staging area” in our conversation. That was frightening.

RSS Feeds

I talked yesterday about NetNewsWire and RSS versions of websites.

To this end, I’m now making two RSS feeds of this site available:

The first is simply the current news items as they appear on this page (“this page” assumes you’re reading this in a browser, of course). The second is a reverse chronological list of the discussion from readers about items that have appeared here; this is a much easier way (I’ve found, in the 5 minutes I’ve been using it) of following these items.