kurtismccartney's blog

Brock Budget Time

Schmon TowerIt is budget time at Brock University. The administration and BUSU review last years numbers to what the plan is for the present future.

After filling in for Sohail at the Senate BAC meeting I had an opportunity to see where funding at Brock is headed over the next year. Normally there have only been opportunities to see the enormous numbers that come out of the IT and Infrastructure Committee - this was a refreshing break to see the less costly activities going on at Brock. Senate members also bring a dose of humour when good news is consistent. Good times.

A couple of years ago I held a position on the Finance Committee of BUSAC. It was an uneventful year with the exception of funding the Learning Commons project from a capital account created using ancillary funds. It was temporarily amusing and I am glad to have worked with them at the time. Good times.

Congratulations Port Colborne - Welland Transit

WellandStudents of Niagara College and Brock University should be glad to hear that the City of Port Colborne has entered a contract with Welland Transit to take over the "Link" as well as implementing two more buses for riders within the city.

These new routes, as well as the Pelham route, as reported to be accessible to all students via the UPass system. This is also a great victory for Environmentalists of Niagara that had hoped for public transit to have a greater presence in the region. The only way that these changes could be better is if everyone carrying a transit pass was given a solid gold card to access the Transit system. Or alternately if there were a Unified transit pass for residents of the Niagara Region to access all of the routes.

Welland Open Source and Linux Campaign

Kurtis at a ComputerPutting the pieces together for an Open-Source Campaign in the City of Welland. Welland benefits from a heritage of superior infrastructure and it continues to be its greatest draw. Fiber-optic systems already in use by major services vendors can fuel the intellectual rebirth of the city and improve its offerings to the world and its citizens. Businesses, Municipal/Regional Government, Schools, Niagara College and the Unemployed of Welland benefit from the freedom that the software would provide to the creative minds of Welland. I could go through a couple more short lists to point them out but the first step is clear - to get the software and affordable hardware out to as many people as possible.

Welland Wi-Fi is a great initial step and I hope that it will continue to benefit the residents of Welland as I spread CDs and provide assistance to individuals looking to make the swap in the Downtown Core. The new Civic Centre and Library would be a great place to start provided that I can work with the staff and the city to find the space to get this work done.

Look forward to this - it is going to be phenomenal.

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Cold Winds and The Bear

Sifting through the stone has become much more difficult with the cold winds that have come this weekend. The stone has to move though, and we are already one third (by Mondays end, 2/3rds) of the way through the pile. Other than that I am enjoying the little break for Victoria day. My arms, they hurt.

Last week before Anime North, and I have very little in terms of assignments. Spring courses are a mixed blessing though as tougher material will begin to arrive shortly after the big event. The convergence of the Internet and the real world has been a little troublesome, as I discover that it was funnier when only a select few knew what I was talking about and that the things I know have become passe somehow. (Note: Apparently this bear is no longer funny, so I present a lifelike variation sure to haunt childrens' dreams). No need to correct on the name, this website is not about PB - he's just a joke, like Micheal Jackson. (Note - Has been augmented to not appear until post reaches page 2)

Also, I have started planning an Ubuntu/Linux/Open-Source awareness campaign that will be held in the City of Welland. i will be contacting local vendors, shops, civic services in the hopes of making Welland into a Linux behemoth as its low cost of residency and easy access to fibre-optics and... I'll make another post about this as a formal announcement.

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Over 9000 Pounds of Rock

Kurume Icon It has been another lovely week only to swap over into the "failure weekend". This long weekend involves a shipment of "Traffic Bond" likely found at the bottom of the Grand River. This shipping error means that my household will be manually sifting all materials through a one centimeter screen screen before hauling the loads to their destination. Why are we doing this is not the concern but it has been deemed a top priority otherwise the materials will harden and an even greater failure will be declared.

Since I lack images of the reported failure I have included the humorous mashup of the Coloniel Sanders with "V" style Guy Fawkes Mask. This has been adopted as the Icon for Kurume. I cannot explain Kurume without destroying it... Happy Victoria Day Weekend.

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Pelham Transit Run

Welland Good news for residents of Pelham living near Welland, the transit authority will be extending a route across city boundaries. This bus is said to half a half-hour route making it easily accessible all day long, as opposed to once every other hour as the former link operated. This route will be a trial and if ridership levels are high enough it will be available as an ongoing service to the residents of Welland and Pelham. It is still unclear if students from Brock University will be able to use this new route with their UPass (See. Port Link) although I do hope that it reduces the number of student complaints about the UPass from Pelham residents. Niagara college will be the drop point for Pelham residents coming in with that bus.

Not much else in terms of news about what is going on in the Niagara Region this summer.

Gaming Update

Coming to Brock on the bus daily has provided ample time to try out some new games for the DS/GBA. The favourite of the month is a little old but still holds replay value, Final Fantasy Tactics (GBA). It differs from the old PSX game in that you are a resident of a modern town by the name of Ivalice that makes a wish among friends to make the world more like "Final Fantasy". Otherwise the game is pretty much the same. Oh, there are a couple of minor twists in gameplay come to think of it.

Laws are a new component of the game that cause a great deal of frustration. Some techniques or items can be barred from a match and each match comes with a new set of laws that one can check only once at the begining. If you disobey one of those laws in passing you receive a yellow card, second offence gets a red card and that unit is sent to jail. Apparently you are reassured that this is ok, because the monarch is crazy and laws are not taken seriously. That is the part that I found odd, I hope my character is involved in some kind of anti-crazy rebellion to... It is a game.

Heckuva game

Successful Conversion

gOS Desktop
After spending the better part of the last week tearing apart my network, moving machines, desks, cabinets and many wires the conversion is done. Only two systems remain, the host and the client. Sure, people can still hop onto the wireless network and my "client" really doesn't draw much energy as a laptop that I try to charge at school or when held over at the transit terminal. The point is that just about anyone looking to free themselves from the desk is easily able to do so. Ampache is up and running as my main music library manager and player, using a flash tool I have foregone the need to even have the mp3 codec/plugin on any given system.

One downside has emerged. It is really creepy and quiet inside now, and the LED lighting is not helping. The LED lighting is good, don't get me wrong it just takes a little getting used to - it hardly looks the same as it used to, doesn't sound the same as it used to and the smell is different. It smells like the cold in November just before it snows. No problem.

*Addition: Torrentflux has been swapped to TorrentFlux-B4RT which allows users to view video and steam it to either VLC or Windows Media. Good news.

Edorad - Espada

Beth Reading as Orihime Anime north is quickly approaching and I still have not had the time to post pictures of the costume mockups for Edorad. It is looking good and I hope the outfit can stay together until the convention. For the time being thereare photos of Beth in her Orihime outfit in my Picasa Photo Album for the second Anime prep-work event.

The convention will be going on from the 23rd to the 25th and will involve a world of strange landing on the doorstep of our group. Luckily Tay has been on the Anime North planing committee before and understands the intricacies of the competitions and events. Definitely looking forward to this even though I will be dressed up as Edorad. (Note: Costumes Designed by Cat Caira in the style of the Espada.)

Addition: Beth Reading (President of Brock Anime 2007-2008) is modeling an Orihime Costume for the cosplay component of Anime North.

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