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Web Comic - The New Adventures of KurtisMcCartney

Do you ever get the feeling that you've "seen the Internet", that there is no longer any new content that piques your interest. After pretty much demolishing the Random buttons on Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Dramatica there was an awkward moment. In that moment I realized that more Wikipedia was not the answer, I needed more content that was enjoyable. Some of the best humour comes from a couple of my favourite comics online, and it doesn't take an hour to finish a new clip of that.

Looking at XKCD, Real Life Comics, Two Lumps, Questionable Content, Explosm, and Shortpacked I saw a formula. That formula was pretty much the key to spreading new humour. Take something obvious, question it, give it super powers, then blow it up. That may not be exactly what the other do, but it was my best crack at the genre. So for now I've got to find an artist or decent software to get the preliminary sketches of the main characters done.

There will be more about this later.

Maryanne Firth is a Secret Ninja... and Journalist

Ever since adding the official Welland Tribune RSS feed to the aggregator section there has been a number of people jumping back and forth between my site and theirs. I've got some news about news (which does not divide by zero). The Welland Tribune articles with the greatest crossover to KurtisMcCartney.com happen to be those of my former classmate Maryanne Firth.

Maryanne FirthIt does seem strange, since the two of us were probably the most responsible for the better sections of the "Eagle Flyer" a short lived news journal printed at Eastdale Secondary School. I'm not going to joke, it sucked and every article except those of Maryanne, Dave Walmsley, and mine had typos. That was due in most part to the lack of editorial review.

I wasn't even supposed to be a writer, I was just the tech guy brought in to take care of the layout. Most of the other articles were submitted by a Grade 9 English teacher, to encourage her students to develop an interest in writing. I'm not sure it caught, many of them were made fun of after release.

Maryanne was probably the only one outside of the school staff taking it seriously. Even I thought it was going to fail, which it did, one of the many stops on the fail-train. And even when we came back the next year to write for Rob's Eastdale newspaper, that serious attitude was back. That year, the newspaper failed again.

When called about that experience Maryanne responded "Stop calling here, there is no Mary-anne here. Damn, it's one in the morning - I'm calling the cops.". Which also proves my claim that Mary-anne is a secret ninja - the people in her house don't even know she's there.

Good luck Maryanne, even if your articles do make more money than mine.

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Delicious New Year

The New Years Eve party this year took on a life of its own as contributions from guests surpassed the needs of guests as a whole. Among the food consumed there was:

  1. An "Oriental Party Pak" from Alie Balan
  2. A Sushi Building Event commanded by Beth Reading
  • Salmon, Cucumber, Avocado, Crab, Green Onion, Peppers, Shrimp
  • All on top of a Rice and Nori (seaweed) Base
  • A Collossal Pot of Tea managed by Steve Tkachuk
  • Mochi, Pocky, Chocolate and Win - Contributed by All.
  • Chocolate Fondue, with Banana, Strawberry, Brownies and Fail

    It was definitely one of those events to remember among both the KPF and Anime leaders. Some of the games were routine, although they were a welcome refrain from the dangerous ones

    Early in the evening we played a couple of rounds of "TV Game Show King" on the Nintendo Wii. After winning the first round I retired my game show career early. It was good fun and definitely made Alie happy to try playing with more people on multi-player.

    Alie recommended the Snow-Fight, which was brisk and exciting. The number of people and the abundance of natural shielding made it more of an exercise of making balls and ducking fast. Until we entered level two, with nowhere to hide the chance of being hit went up and it continued like this for a while. Didn't get to see the end myself as I slipped and spent some close personal time with the ground.

    During the recovery we were able to watch a couple of episodes of "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya". It was a great way to cap off the night and get people relaxed before going to sleep. Steve and Beth stayed the night, whereas Carleen LeBlanc and Ken Denommee were able to get home easily as they are local residents.

    Happy New Year Everyone.

    New Experiments for a New Year

    Looking into 2009, past all of the doom and gloom, is the opportunity to explore and learn. Among the new technologies that have piqued my interest are unobtrusive hydrokinetic electrical generation, image projection and unlit displays, solid-state replacement technologies (incl. mobility), and a special focus on the human body.

    Exploring the human body, among all of the potential jokes, is actually very important. I'm not about to accept anything like homeopathy or many of the other oddball quick-fix schemes, but understanding our nerve system and the use of energy within the body may be key to eliminating years worth of sorrow, pain, and hunger for myself and the people I will know. This will be an important part of my ongoing "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Challenge".

    Solid state technologies, found in the form of transistors, LEDs, photovoltaic collectors, flash memory, and numerous other gadgets found in most Canadian homes, represents my prefered use of harnessed electrical energy. Without wear and tear the users of solid state technologies can enjoy the use of their devices for years longer without wasting energy on spinning and heating when they do not have to. I might as well declare another challenge, the "Solid State Challenge". An ongoing simplification of our modern commodities.

    The transmission of knowledge in the late twentieth century was dominated by video screens, predominantly CRT technologies. In this decade we have seen the progressive conversion to photochemical (Plasma) and solid state (LCD) display technologies although these are slow and incomplete. Incomplete. They are replacements for a poor technology, time to blank the slate. With solid state projection a user can carry a device the size of a cell phone to enjoy the traditional glow of a lighted display, and the 3M MPro-110 is an excellent start for this idea. The other solid state image technology is the E-Ink display, as it is unlit and monochrome for the time being it has a mixed response from the consumer market. I am confident that the efficiency of the E-Ink display for static content and the Projection technology for video content will improve efficiency and the user experience. Photos never glowed before, and they shouldn't anymore.

    Then that other thing... hydrokinetic. Yea, not exactly solid state. I've got a feeling its going to be huge in Niagara though. I enjoy being involved with a strong project and if anyone knows about any plans for new HK projects please contact me.

    Until next year, stay safe and power up!

    Merry Christmas 2008

    Buddhist Santa Happy Holidays, Chrismahanukwanzukah, Yupyup Xenu Day, or whatever it is that you celebrate I hope you have the best of it. (Add.: Best Wishes to my non-celebratory Witness friends too, no I'm not looking for a copy.)

    This time of year usually means running around to all of the different celebrations to make sure that my cheerful, albeit tired, presence is felt by all. In 2008 I have and will be attending the celebrations of the McCartney (23), Gray (24), Balan (25), Aubin (25), and Gratton (26) families across four days. Each one is distinct and cheerful. Each one promises food and presents.

    The McCartney and Gray celebrations are smaller and usually offer the largest share of food. Ususally followed by sleep, and lots of it due to the turkey.

    The Balan celebrations are new, chaotic, and different. There are very few of the traditions of the other families at the Balan event. Although there are two distinct elements; Christmas snappers and prayer. Very different.

    The Aubin Family Christmas is the largest event with more than twenty people in attendance it dwarfs even the Balan family (Balans had five children, Aubins had seven, and averages 1.7 grandchildren to each of those seven.) Some traditions existed and passed before the time I celebrated Christmas with the Aubin clan; remembering all those things is a part of the current event. Also, the Aubin family is collectively the most technically advanced. Family members have a professional background in photography, videography, construction, heating, plumbing, electrical, digital art, hairdressing (and removal), computer science, and some other interesting skills that add to the fun around the giftgiving season. They still expess sadness at the loss of their patriarch, colloquially known as Papere, and resident party animal Maurice "Mugsy" Aubin both of which passed away. However Mugsy lives on in us and his son Troy Neabel, father of the first great-grandchild in the family.

    The last event of the season is the Gratton family luncheon on Boxing day. This celebration is very refreshing, a refreshing break from turkey and potatoes for a bit of soup and chili while catching up. Just as much a part of Welland's francophone community as the Aubin family they represent a quieter and reserved side of the culture. Since the passing of Grandma Adrienne and Grandpa Leo the family comes together under the direction of one of the aunts or uncles. Special recognition should be given to Madeline Garant, sister of Adrienne Gratton, who has been acting as family elder and laughing all the way through it.

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    Shop Responsibly, Buy More

    At this point I see the valid reasons for people to buy more in the face of tough economic times. The other part that people need to see is how to shop responsibly.

    Shopping for products that are stronger, and better is taken for granted in most situations but before you think that big screen LCD is helping take a look at some of these choices while you shop through the depression:

      Basic foodstuffs

      - buy some flour and experiment with food to both save money and help ease supply overflows closer to the product source. It may have the effect of reducing prices of bread in the long run for both you and the producer.

      Fabric

      - Before you stop reading, this part is actually about NEW commodities. All of the innovation that went into those 200$ pants at the mall can be found for much cheaper at a good shop. I've seen people integrate carbon fibre and kevlar into new clothing and building materials. Finding the right fabric locally may be difficult in some areas - I would recommend pooling resources with other local crafters and buying online.

      Entertainment

      - Diverse entertainment, meaning other than just television, is an excellent way to save some money while setting aside your troubles. Even if live theatre or a dance performance aren't acceptable or affordable yet many simple options remain. Visit a park, host a dinner party or event centred around a shared interest (ex. Anime, Cosplay, Crafting, Cycling, Fetishes, or even Sports).

    The most important part is to just do something, anything other than sitting there accumulating. If necessity is the mother of invention, then get out there and be busy enough that you become riddled with need. The need to feed, is everpresent. The need to procreate (or trick your body into believing it has fulfilled this genetic imperative, for my homosexual peers), is a good go-to for the urban peasant. And remember that fabric part for the next time you want to make things interesting in bed -- because everybody needs to sleep and it is a form of entertainment to utilize your sense of touch with sheets of silk, or bamboo fabric.

    Humans have needs, fulfill them carefully.

    New OPIRG Volunteer Co-ordinator

    Visitors to my website on December 19th 2008 may have noticed a cryptic 'takeover' notice. That post was part of the Drupal training for Julia Kerr, the new OPIRG Volunteer Co-ordinator. She is also an Ubuntu user and open-source fanatic, which could be good for the bottom line at OPIRG.

    The training was a huge success, even though it was supposed to be for OPIRGBrock.org. The real problem is the unacceptable and continued downtime on their hosts' servers. SLHost has given OPIRGBrock.org six complete downtime situations between August 2008 and December 2008. These aren't the kind of gifts that I would want for my operations.

    I have recommended a change of hosts to the Brock branch of OPIRG, possibly even self-hosting if they can secure an energy efficient server. With the network support of Brock University OPIRG could have a liberated, green, effective web presence without skipping a beat. That's the kind of change I'd believe in.

    Be sure to stop by the OPIRG office in the new year to greet Julia. She will be taking over for Jen Coorsh so that Jen can *troll 4chan lololololol, zergrush*. Goodnight sweet prince.

    Kurtis' new friend takes over website!

    I dont know what it is here am i, sitting in the opirg office, learning the ropes of drupal with kurtis.
    here am i, sitting in the opirg office, learning the ropes of drupal with kurtis.
    here am i, sitting in the opirg office, learning the ropes of drupal with kurtis.
    here am i, sitting in the opirg office, learning the ropes of drupal with kurtis.
    here am i, sitting in the opirg office, learning the ropes of drupal with kurtis.
    '
    here am i, sitting in the opirg office, learning the ropes of drupal with kurtis.
    here am i, sitting in the opirg office, learning the ropes of drupal with kurtis.
    here am i, sitting in the opirg office, learning the ropes of drupal with kurtis.
    here am i, sitting in the opirg office, learning the ropes of drupal with kurtis.
    here am i, sitting in the opirg office, learning the ropes of drupal with kurtis.

    Tasks

    • drupal
    • nodes
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    Three Day Weekend for Tough Times

    After hearing about all of the planned production slowdowns and temporary production closures in the auto industry there is a new idea getting around. Rather than closing for a month, how about implementing a three day weekend.

    The three day weekend reminds me of efforts to standardize the 40 hour work week (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday). It's a simple idea that can help businesses reduce the costs associated with labour wages and in exchange gives those people more time to spend with their family.

    Looking at it, if the 40 hour work week was developed in an era of single income nuclear family (Two parents, 2.5 children) then a planned reduction in production might be a good opportunity for those same families.

    I understand the existing drive for some people to work twelve hour shifts for six days a week, but for healthy families the demands for involvement outside of the workplace have been increasing. Extracurricular services continue to be put farther from some neighborhoods as a cost cutting measure for school boards, making it a necessity for parental involvement. Three day weekends, for families, and for the economy.

    Families consume, which is supposed to be good for the economy. Families produce, as a means to support themselves. Families welcome quality of life taxes, that make the world a better place. Increased production and consumption relate to increased tax revenues, even with lower tax rates. So maybe it's time to ask your peers at work if the three day weekend is good for them in this recession.

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