So there’s an election Monday.  Let’s get this over with first:

This blog endorses Diane Freeman for the riding of Waterloo.

I’m making this endorsement for two reasons.  One, I honestly think she’s the best candidate for the job.  And two, C-51.

Also the TPP, which has come along recently, but that only helped reaffirm my decision to vote NDP this time around.  We’ll get back to that.



C-51 is a travesty of a law, enshrining secret trials and creating secret police, eviscerating any remaining Internet privacy protection.  It needs to be repealed.  It can’t just be amended, slapping on a little bit of oversight.  It furthers the Conservatives’ agenda to criminalize dissent and flies in the face of our Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It cynically exploits the murder of a Canadian soldier to strip Canadians of the rights that our soldiers supposedly died for. Soldiers that Harper so dearly loves to talk about. Soldiers Nathan Cirillo was standing guard over.

It makes me so fucking angry.

I’m appalled that the Liberals supported this bill and even more shocked that they’d choose to defend it in this election campaign.  For that reason alone, I can’t vote Liberal this time around. Strategic voting be damned.

Two parties have pledged to repeal C-51: the NDP and the Greens.  So those are my choices.

More background reading about C-51:

Continue reading #elxn42

Getting Married

Yup.  Ellen and I are getting married. This Sunday.

I’m nervous.  Not about the being married part—I’m totally at peace with that. I’m nervous about how the day will go, will it meet everyone’s expectations, and so forth. Which is probably normal and it’ll be fine and you’re probably going to counsel me not to worry about it, except I do worry because I want Ellen to be happy with things, or at least not disappointed.

I think she feels similarly, in different ways, about me.

I don’t talk about Ellen much here, or elsewhere online. A long time ago she asked me not to, so I’ve stuck by that. That’s part of why I’ve posted less, and what I’ve posted has been less personal. As Ellen’s become more and more of my life, it gets harder and harder to talk about my life and leave her out of it. So I’ve just talked less.

Wedding planning in general is stressful. And we’ve crammed it in a shorter-than-traditional amount of time. Neither of us, though, really wanted the wedding planning stage of our relationship to consume our lives for longer than necessary, and it’s been pretty consuming. So we’re a bit crunched. And it’s not the expertly planned and executed extravaganza it could be. But I do hope it will be a nice day with friends and family as we publicly affirm our commitment to one another.

That’s what I’m shooting for, at least.

Also, I get to wear a nice suit.


If I can get my suit in time.


Finished season 1 of Sense8. It is not a good show. It’s self-indulgent and nonsensical, brimming with melodrama and an unearned sense of its own importance.

I loved it anyway.

I think because I really just like the characters.  You spend a lot of time with them.  They all lead improbably complicated and dangerous lives.  You’ve got a Chicago cop, kick-ass Korean MMA fighter lady, Kenyan bus driver (which, it turns out, is more complicated and dangerous than it sounds), Icelandic DJ in London, trans-woman computer hacker in San Francisco, Indian research doctor and bride-to-be, German jewel thief and Mexican telenovella star.  And they can each channel each others abilities.  It’s a 90s or 2000s graphic novel quasi-superhero story.

And the fact that one of them is a telenovella star is the subtle hint that tells you how to frame this thing.  It’s supposed to be a crazy fantasy story.  So just go with it.

I do wish it spent more time digging into the science fictional premise.  But that’s my taste.

So much of this show is utterly ridiculous.  Bits of it are pointlessly gratuitous (in various senses).  I can’t justify liking it as much as I do.  But I do.


I’m enjoying reading George R R Martin’s take on the drama that is the 2015 Hugo awards. I’ll link to the boingboing summary as a launching page not because I think Cory has a clear-eyed, unbiased view of the situation (he doesn’t, even though I agree with him), but because it also links to an interesting set of blog posts by Bruce Schneier’s posts on voting systems, and I kinda love that stuff.

I’m a one-time Worldcon member who didn’t vote for the Hugos. I’m occasionally tempted to join as a voting member because you get free ebooks of all the nominees, but then I remember I never bother to read the pile of books I already own.

The Hugos are a clique. The clique is Worldcon. People who are popular regulars at Worldcon by and large get the nominations and win the trophies. But the Hugos are Worldcon’s. It’s their award. It’s weird to be in the room where they’re handing them out, because you kinda feel like you’ve crashed somebody else’s prom when they’re handing out prom king and queen awards. If you don’t go to prom or even to that school, I don’t really see how you’d expect to win those particular popularity contests.

I mean, they nominate stuff like video tapings of the previous year’s Hugo awards ceremony. Everything except for the fiction awards is kind of a joke. A good-natured joke, generally, but I’m not going to be looking to the Hugos to tell me what’s a good comic to read or movie to watch.

Now, you could argue whether the “most prestigious science fiction literature awards” should go to the prom kings and queens of Worldcon, but Worldcon is the hub of science fiction book fandom. Very good writers go there. If you’re a serious science fiction writer and you’re not going there, one has some justification to question your dedication to the field. And they do care about the quality of the work. And the Worldcon people do actually take the fiction awards very seriously. So I feel a bit sad that they’ve had this happen to them. Because the people rushing in to vote don’t care about the Worldcon community or history or whatever. They’re doing it for the lulz.

2014 Waterloo Municipal Elections

With minimal ado, this blog endorses the following candidates in the municipal races I get a say in:

I’d love to endorse some school board candidates, but I have to admit I’m not well-enough informed to publicly commit to endorsements. School board is really important and I wish I had time to dig into it. Good, critical evaluation of candidates would also be really valuable because it’s so hard to come by. But I don’t have it. I suck, basically.

As if to contradict myself, I have some less well-informed opinions of other races around the region. If you’re interested in them, check out my Sticking My Oar In section.

Continue reading 2014 Waterloo Municipal Elections