My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

17 Articles in December 2005

  1. Narnia

    I went to see The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe last night with my father and brother. It was pretty awesome. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    The camera angles were a bit too tight for my liking. It was like they were trying to stuff too much into every scene, or move too close in on a character's face. It just felt unusual. It will be interesting to see how it translates to television.

    I really, really enjoyed the music. For me, music makes a film. When I go to see a movie, I listen mostly to the music. If I ever get a novel published and someone (Zarquon forbid!) goes insane and wants to make a movie from it, it will have to have most awesome music. Frank Herbert's Children of Dune still has, in my opinion, the greatest music of any miniseries/movie. But I do digress.

    I'm posting this, by the way, because my dad told me this morning that he was surprised that I had not posted a Narnia review on my blog. So here it is, Dad. :D

    Unlike Serenity, which was a good movie, I am very open to the…

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  2. Christmas > Election?

    It looks like Christmas wins out over election this time around, which is good. I haven't seen an party advertisement for a little while now. And hey . . . I think I could get used to it. Hard to believe, I know, but I think I just might be able to survive without party advertisements!

    Saw Ken Boshcoff going to his constituency office yesterday while we were driving to Quality Market.

    But soon the New Year shall pass and so it shall come to pass that the leaders will realise 23 days hence remain for electioneering. And thus, the leaders will go forth to the land and spread the Word. And the People will look to the Word, and they shall treat it with disgust, for it shall be the Word of a False Prophet, the Prophet Politics. And so it shall come to pass that on the 23rd day of the 1st month of the 2006th year since the birth of a Special Dead Guy, the People shall elect the Prophet whose Words were least distasteful to their senses.

  3. Digital camera! *drool*

    Okay, eh, so you know that digital camera I talked about purchasing? Well, I bought it! :D

    I woke up at 7 AM to go to CompuSmart for 8, when it opened. There were already many people waiting in the small entrance chamber outside the store. I felt like I was really participating in a "Christmas vulture extravaganza". We got in, found the camera, and there it was! I got a 256 MB memory card to augment the 16 MB that came with it, and my dad snagged some discount CD-Rs and extra AA batteries. Oh, and the camera comes with a free Epson printer (after that insidious mail-in rebate).

    I lack an AC adapter so I'll need to buy one when I can find it.

  4. The meaning of Christmas

    I'm not talking about the religious significance, nor what Christmas represents. Nor am I talking about how retail outlets like to turn Christmas into a commercial venture and media circus. That's been done ad nauseum.

    I'd like to point out that Christmas, however, is quite silly if you think about it. Let's take this "good will" and "Christmas cheer" idea. We're supposed to have extra good will toward people and be extra cheery, eh? Isn't that admitting that we weren't as good willed and cheery as we could have been the rest of the year? I maintain that it would be better to be happy and have good will toward people for one's entire life instead of one month of the year. Really.

    And that's what I dislike about Western culture. Eastern cultures seem to have the right idea. They may seem a bit strict with some things, but they are like that because they constantly appreciate things all the time. Conversely, the West has this weird tendency to go on "binges" of celebrating when they indulge in appreciation of a subject to the excess for a few days/weeks instead of appreciating it year-round. It really underlines a fundamental…

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  5. Merry Christmahannukwanzaka Day Day

    My friends, crazy that they are, combined three major holidays and tacked an extra "day" on the end to make the uber-politically correct version. :D

    Not very materialistic, I hope, I won't list the Christmas presents I got, because it's the thought that counts. . . . But I did like them. Particularly Age of Empires III, and the DVDs Serenity and the Firefly series. Now I need to convince my dad to go for a 14-hour marathon of the Firefly episodes. :shifty:

    Have a very merry Christmas, anyone crazy enough to read this blog!

  6. Cynicism on the rise

    Christmas holidays are here, eh! Two weeks to relax. Since semiformal was last night, and it was the last day of school, few people showed today. We played "Mad Gab" in English and watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in Physics (I know, I know it's "Philosopher's" stone, but my teacher taped the American version).

    I know that Stephen already ranted about this, but I feel a need to vent a little, so bear with me. What is with people these days? Server 13 goes down and people start to spam the InvisionFree support boards. . . .

    I understand that people are upset. Yet apparently they cannot comprehend the fact that spamming and flaming only increase the work for we, the staff, who volunteer their time. Spamming will not get server 13 back online any time soon, nor will it make my life easier. I am quite disappointed to find that my optimism is unfounded: the majority of forum users do appear to be impatient.

    It's not just the initial round of post disabling that I did last night. It's the users who create duplicate accounts to get around these bans. The people who send me immature

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  7. Trimming a tree

    We got our Christmas tree today (a real one, not artificial). So we spent time trimming it. I toyed with the idea of not doing my English homework. "Ms. Burton, I did not do my homework because I was trimming our tree." If she said that was unacceptable, I could claim she was discriminating against my religion. :shifty:

    Here's a picture of the tree taken with my hugely crazily bad-quality webcam. I'm planning on rectifying my lack of digital imaging abilities by purchasing a digital camera after Christmas.

    Our Christmas tree

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  8. How not to stop a bus

    Since the dawn of time, Man himself has puzzled over this very question. How does one stop a moving school bus? Well, take it from me: running at side of the bus wildly with a laptop satchel over one shoulder and a schoolbag over the other, waving papers in the air, is not the way to do it. Trust me, I know. Throwing oneself into traffic may work for Gonzo, but it doesn't work too well for me.

    It started like this: my friends, Vivike and Crystal, and myself were heading for the bus turnaround, where we would wait for our bus. At the turnaround, Vivike picks up a few scattered pieces of lined paper and remarks that it looks like her project. She, Crystal, and our friend Cortney had an English project, and Cortney was supposed to take said papers home over the weekend.

    We look up, and lo and behold, Cortney's bus is pulling around to leave. This is where I take the papers and sort of charge at the side of the bus as it turns out of the turnaround. It literally passes next to me, so I turn to try and avoid it, and I fall…

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  9. Our leaders speak . . . in French!

    I watched the French-language Federal election debates tonight and abruptly lost two hours of my life that I'll never, ever, ever get back. It was unbearable. The translators did a good job making it look like they weren't reading from a script, however.

    t: Jack Layton d: I must say that he didn't do as well as he could have. He didn't speak very much, and I don't really remember much of what he said. Thus, he did not make an impression, and I don't think that anybody watching (aka the old lady and her cat) were swayed by his speeches. t: Stephen Harper d: This guy can't speak French or English. If there's anything funnier than watching Harper make a fool of himself in English, it's watching Harper make a fool of himself in French! He repeated "c'est necessaire" far too many times and evaded nearly every question. In other words, same ol', same ol' Harper. t: Paul Martin d: Martin too remained true to his character. I call his way of talking "Martinical rhetoric," because he says nearly nothing useful. The only difference between Martin and Chrétien is that we (unfortunately) can understand what Martin is saying. He…

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  10. I think our provincial government is run by pigeons

    No, really. Gerard Kennedy wants to stop any high school dropout below the age of 18 from getting driver's licenses. See this shiny CBC News article on the subject.

    As much as I value school, the government is once again showing their lack of problem-solving skills. (Maybe they should go back to school. :D ) Getting kids to stay in school until they are 18 is not to be accomplished via negative incentive. Instead, perhaps the government should offer more positive incentives, such as . . . oh, I don't know, expanding school to include different methods of teaching. Not everyone learns the same way, and this can be difficult, especially if one's aspirations are not to go to post-secondary education.

    But of course, that would cost "money." Darn government. . . . -_-

  11. One Red Paperclip

    Kyle MacDonald is trading his way up from a paperclip to a house.

    How cool is that? Very cool.

    Check it out: one red paperclip.

    It's five minutes of your life you won't regret.

  12. Let's hear it for CompuSmart

    I had a really bad afternoon because I got my computer back after 4 weeks of service and I found it that it still wasn't working. I took it to CompuSmart, and none of the tech support guys were "in," but one guy had popped in for a moment and stayed in to help me with my problem.

    He determined that it was my adapter that was broken and is going to send it to Toshiba for fixing or replacement. He was going to lend me another one, but it didn't charge my computer. The owner of the store had wandered in for a moment and mentioned that he had a Toshiba adapter in his office, so he grabbed that one and lent it to me!

    Now is that good customer service, or what?

    Moral of the story: buy your next electronic equipment from CompuSmart. :yes:

  13. Good news and bad news

    I have good news and bad news today.

    The good news first: my computer is back (and working)! :D I'm so glad I've got cookies back now . . . no more logging in all the time. I'm going to work on updating VSNS Lemon now, since it does have some bugs that could be worked out and features too.

    Now for the bad news: I feel sick. :( Sneezing, snuffling, tired and sore throat sick. I went to school today (idiotic decision, but I hate missing school) and toughed it out.

  14. No more red squiggles

    At 96 pages, Word gave up. It decided that my novel had too many spelling errors for it to mark up anymore, and promptly advised me that I was an idiot and should use spell check. Those red squiggles that underline mispelt words then disappeared. How I miss them. :(

    I don't actually spell many words wrong, but I do make up a lot of places and names. I'm just too lazy to add those words to Word's dictionary. Darn Microsoft. . . .

    Anyway, I'm now up to 100 pages and 57,128 words. And my computer should be back by the end of the week. I'm ecstatic! ^_^ Hug me. :hyper:

  15. Adrenaline rush

    Sometimes I'm running a bit late in the mornings, and I run to the bus stop for fear of missing my bus. Inevitably, the bus itself is late and I end up actually waiting in the cold, after running frantically to get to the stop!

    One would think that after a few of these episodes, I'd stop running, eh? Nope. I live in perpetual fear. :D

  16. Slim Santa?

    Many of you know that Cookie Monster now eats cookies as a "sometimes" food. rolleyes Now, I am as much against rising child obesity as the next intelligent superluminal particle. It is a problem, especially in developed countries like Canada. But this . . . this goes too far!

    The Christmas season is now upon us, and it has got me thinking (yes! :o). Santa really isn't all that different from Cookie Monster; he's this jolly old fat man who likes to eat cookies, yet he can still fit down a chimney even after all of that food. It suddenly occurs to me that if society manages to tone down Cookie Monster, then Santa Claus is the next logical target.

    Anyone for "slim Santa"? A Santa Claus who advocates eating healthy food? Coca-Cola probably wouldn't buy into it (you do know what's in Coke, right? :ermm:) but I'm sure that tons of advocacy groups would have a field day. Slowly we'd see our cultural perceptions of Santa Claus shift from jolly old fat man to young, middle-aged multi-racial male with an average income and mixed religious background. :yes:

    On the bright side, this means that the employment industry for…

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  17. Ice cubes

    I actually meant to post last night (or, I guess, very early this morning would be more correct) but never got around to it. :D

    We've got a set of those plastic ice cube tray things at home. Now, like any good plastic ice cube tray, it has started to break. Portions of the plastic are tearing right where the cube-cup thing joins with the little skeleton along the top. For some reason, this means that the ice cubes don't like coming out any more.

    And for that matter, who designed those trays anyway?! They're insanely hard to use even when they aren't broken. Either the ice cubes don't come out, they come out too quickly and slide about on the floor, or they come out in little shards that embed themselves in your left forearm and require radical emergency surgery to remove.

    I also keep forget to mentioning that Firefox 1.5 is out. Go get it, eh.

    News about my laptop: It seems that the reason they are taking so long with repairing it is quite simple, if frustrating. The laptop requires a new part, which is good, because this means that there must be something wrong with it,…

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About Me

I’m a 26-year-old math and English teacher back in Canada after two years teaching in England. In my free time, I read books! When I’m not reading, I’m writing, coding, or knitting.

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About this site

I started coding websites, in bad HTML on Geocities, in 2004 in a fit of whimsy. Since then I’ve learned PHP/MySQL, coded my own blog software, and rebuilt this site several times. With the exception of the blog, it’s currently running on the exquisite Symphony CMS. This website is hosted by HawkHost

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