West Boulevard Veterinary Clinic

Posted on Feb 4, 2009 in Blog, Freelance | 1 comment

This was a little site I wrote last year for my girlfriend’s Veterinary clinic which today, finally, finally went live. We’re a terrible bunch of procrastinators at heart. I’d almost totally forgotten about the site!

It’s uses a simple CSS-based layout with a jQuery-driven accordion menu nav. WordPress is used as the CMS.

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Canadian Politics Gets Less Boring

Posted on Nov 29, 2008 in Politics | 0 comments

Stephen Harper just made an uncharacteristic political blunder this week. Yesterday, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced that as part of their upcoming economic program they were going cut public financing of political parties, ostensibly due to the economic woes currently smack-downing the planet. Even though it was clear to anybody with an IQ of a carrot that this was simply an attempt to financially undermine the opposition, Harper figured they didn’t have the cahones to call another election so soon after the previous one – just two months ago. Hell, that one was unpopular enough.

But it all went terribly, terribly wrong. The NDP, Liberals and Bloc Quebecois called the Conservative’s bluff and are now in discussions to form a coalition to depose the government. Nobody seems sure about what sort of structure this thing would take, but presumably Dion – the only leader with federal party pretensions – would take the helm in one form or other. Or perhaps Ignatieff or Rae would be permitted to step up on behalf of their party.

Harper, fearful of a no-confidence motion being passed today, managed to delay the sessions in which it could be registered. A few thoughts:

  • First off: Haaha in your FACE, Harper!
  • When even right-wing propagandist rags like the National Post place the blame for this on the Conservatives, you know they’ve overreached.
  • Harper’s need to destroy his opponents has apparently undermined his judgement. Despite his overwhelming asshole-ness, he’s a political animal, and mistakes are few and far between.
  • The Liberals have a duty to Canada to get their sodding act together, pick a new leader (NOW! Not next May!) and rally behind him/her – and on that score, they should pick Ignatieff. He’s a smart man, despite his leanings to the right. Plus he’s a leader, something which has been conspicuously absent from their party for some time. Inevitably I think he’ll drive the Liberals further to the right, but I’m not convinced that’s a bad thing: it’ll dilute the right-wing vote and drive the more reasonable of us to vote NDP.

So what to watch out for in the coming days?

  • Will Harper stubbornly refuse to change his position?
  • Will Harper finally, finally realize that it’s in everyone’s best interest to try to play well with others? Or will politics continue to trump the interests of the country?
  • Will the other parties decide enough is enough and push ahead with the coalition?
  • If the coalition goes ahead, with the Governor General allow it or call another election?
  • Will someone, anyone, please, stick Stephen Harper’s head in a toilet and flush?

My personal theory is that in the coming days we’ll find out what Harper really planned to do the $30 million saved: he was going to build a giant spaceship, to be filled with all the Liberal, NDP and Bloc MPs and fired directly into the heart of the sun. If Harper would be willing to include seats for himself and his party, I wholly advocate such use of my tax dollars.

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John McCain and the Lying Game

Posted on Sep 18, 2008 in Politics | 0 comments

An interesting article from Time Magazine:


It calls out McCain for his lack of integrity these last few campaign-saturated months. We’ve all come to expect a degree of disingenuousness from politicians – I’d argue that to some degree it’s part and parcel with being in politics in the first place – but recently McCain has stepped waaay out of bounds, so much so that Time, the New York Times and other news organizations are flatly calling labeling him a liar. You’d think this would be enough to sink his campaign, but not so.

How on earth has this become acceptable to Americans? What’s genuinely troubling is that truth and facts no longer seem to matter enough to decide the result of an election. American politics itself has become so undermined that it’s who puts on the better show; who captivates the voting public for long enough to cinch the votes. Say one thing and do the other? No problem. Dumb down the population enough into thinking in terms of blue and red and politics just becomes entertainment – content be damned. With few exceptions, every online news story with a positive or negative statement about one of the nominees is filled with comments by enraged Democrats and enraged Republicans. God it’s tiring.

Still, exciting times coming up! US Election, Canadian Federal Election, even a municipal election (from most to least exciting… I’m a lousy Canadian). I’m throwing a Election Barbeque/Booze-up for the first. I figure it’ll help dull the pain.

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BC Climate Action Dividend

Posted on Jun 27, 2008 in Blog, Politics | 0 comments

I swear the BC government is being run by monkeys.

They just sent every resident a $100 “Climate Action Dividend”. One may wonder what has this got to do with the environment? Good question: absolutely NOTHING. Accompanying the cheque is a short statement by Gordon Campbell saying it’ll make it easier for British Columbians to “choose a lower carbon lifestyle”, and a link to a very thin website outlining some suggestions on how to be green.

Personally, I’m going to take this $100 and fill up the gas tank of my hummer.

(I joke, of course: it would barely fill up a quarter of the tank).

Why on earth couldn’t they just characterize this as what it clearly is: an economic stimulus package? Are they afraid it would freak out the consumers, rushing from McDonalds to the mall? And why the need to falsely brand it in a green vein? I sure as hell hope this cash doesn’t come out of the total funds allocated for province-wide environmental pursuits. That would make me angry. And Gordon Campbell wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

But like everyone else, it’s kinda hard to complain when people hand you money for no reason. So I’ll just shutup and put it towards my student loans. But I will say this: if I ever see Mr. Campbell in the street, I’m gonna bitch-slap the man.

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Black Sheep Web Software

Posted on Oct 22, 2007 in Flash Image Scroller, Form Tools, Freelance, generatedata.com, Open Translate | 3 comments

The first draft of my company site is finished, so check it out! It’s all Ajax-driven right now, without any non-JS fallback, but in time I’ll add the static HTML option.

Right now the site is nothing much more than a catalog of my main scripts, but in time I’ll expand it to include my other scripts – as well as a location for future releases. I’ve been working on a invoice generation script which I will be releasing there in the next couple of months.

Next, I’ll be re-branding my other scripts under the company name.

Visit the Black Sheep Web Software website.

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Vancouver Pro Musica

Posted on Aug 14, 2007 in Freelance | 0 comments

This was a small job I did for Vancouver Pro Musica, a local non-profit group, at the behest of a friend who sits on the board. I was familiar with Vancouver Pro Musica for over a decade due to their yearly Sonic Boom festival, held in Vancouver, BC. I had attended several of their concerts during my music degree at UVic and was quite pleased to be given the opportunity to update their site.

Vancouver Pro Musica was originally formed in 1984 as a group of local composers with a chamber ensemble-in-residence. After two years as a performing ensemble, the organization took a new direction and became mainly a presenter of contemporary BC music. By 1987, the first “Festival of Composers”, now known as Sonic Boom, was initiated. Over the years, this annual festival has become not only the centrepiece of Pro Musica season, but also a fundamental catalyst for the development of emerging and experimental composers in British Columbia.

Due to the wide ranging requirements for the site, I picked Drupal as the content management system (CMS) as the main engine. Drupal is a highly extensible platform written in PHP and MySQL with hundreds of modules available to let you do just about anything. There are many advantages to using Drupal over other solutions, but most importantly, it always leaves the door open for future expansion.

These were the features that were realized for the website:

  • Full content management through a simple UI
  • Options to upload PDF, MP3, images and more
  • WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor to let the client add HTML code without actually knowing any HTML
  • Image Gallery
  • Streaming media (MP3)
  • Mailing lists (internal and public)
  • Contact Us page
  • RSS Syndication of articles
  • Archiving option to hide and catalogue old articles
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2008 Presidential Election Candidates on the Issues

Posted on Jul 25, 2007 in Politics | 0 comments

Some kindly soul has condensed the views of all the presidential candidates on a number of hot button issues into a single table for easy reference. So if you feel particularly strongly about something – like immigration reform or same sex marriage – and want to see how a particular politician sizes up so you can make a rush to judgment, look no further! Chris Dodd wants to ban assault weapons? Bloody hippy. He just lost MY vote.

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