Daniel Kligerman

Me, on the web

Archive for Media

Back in Calgary

I write this tonight from my suite at the Mariott in Calgary, where I find myself for a few days to meet with some of my fellow network team members at our Calgary data centre, and tommorow to meet with one of our customers.

Today I discovered that I have been to Calgary enough to be able to navigate my way through the city with little need of a map.  This surprised me, considering how easily I used to get lost.  I think my sense of direction has improved over time.

On the flight over I finished Davies’ “What’s Bred in the Bone” and started Martell’s “Life of Pi”, which I finally received from the library after being on the waiting list for a number of months.  I’ll have to read it fast–in three weeks or less–since I won’t be able to renew it due to the next person on the waiting list eagerly awaiting its return.

Conan in Toronto

This week Conan O’Brien has been hosting his late-night talk show in Toronto. I find it a little embarassing how Torontonians seem to be so in love with Conan, and more specifically overjoyed any time he mentions something Canadian. Are we, as Canadians, so insecure that we need a big-name American to mention our attributes to make ourselves feel good?

Work has been busier the past couple weeks since my group has re-taken responsibility for the hosting centre networks, in addition to the outsourcing customer networks. Lots of politics and disfunctional processes to try to iron out.

Movies

Since I’m on vacation this week, and we don’t have many plans, Merita and I have been watching a bunch of movies that we’ve saved up on the PVR, or have come on the movie networks.  We’ve watched Angus, One Hour Photo, The Pianist, and Rules of Attraction.  We also saw The Last Samurai and The Return of the King in theatre before leaving for Jamaica.

They were all very different works, but I enjoyed them all to varrying degries.  All this movie watching has given me the idea of creating an on-line list of all movies I have seen, and all movies I would like to see.  I could do the same for books.

Cookie was at the vet today, and had her eye opened up.  It looks better than I thought it would, and the vet was pleased.  A few more weeks of recovery and we should be able to take the cone off her head.

A Song for Arbonne

I recently finished reading Guy Gavriel Kay’s A Song for Arbonne. I have always enjoyed Kay’s novels, and this one did not disappoint. Short of doing a complete book review, I will say that the plot was intricate and engaging, the characters were unique and vividly described, and the themes were powerful. It did drag at times, but that’s probably more because I read it over so many months. Recommended to anyone who likes fantasy novels.

Now I have started Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. So far it is extremely engaging, and hard to put down. The writing style is very simple, almost child-like, which is refreshing after so much of Kay’s eloquent style.

Speech Writing

I am in the process of trying to write a kick-ass wedding speech.  It’s harder than it seems.  Of course I want it to be articulate, insightful, funny, and maybe a little tear-jerking.  But where to begin?  There are so many things I could speak about, but the hard part is forming all my thoughts into a coherent whole.  With less than two weeks until the big day, I don’t have much time to polish it into the masterpiece I would like.

One of my favourite shows, The West Wing, has always had excellent speech writing.  I has also always been impressed by the famous speeches of the past, offered by presidents and other important figures.  Maybe this contributes to my difficulty in getting this speech written: I’m holding myself to their standards.

I think the best approach is to get all the words out, and then worry about arranging and molding them into the final product.

Time to get busy!

Weblog as Autobiography

Reading The Globe and Mail, as I do most days, I came across an interesting column on the often-fascinating back page of the front section. The author, Daniel Johnson, was commenting on the evolution of the autobiography. You can read the column here, but the gist of it is that while in the past an autobiography consisted of letters written on a page at a static point in time, the innovations of modern technology, including computers, the Internet, and web logs, have transformed the autobiography into something much more dynamic. Authors of autobiographies can now keep up-to-date accounts of their lives, and include not only text but images, video clips, and even scans of other printed media.

Although I have toyed with weblogs in the past, the concept of weblog as autobiography never occured to me specifically. Keeping a live, multi-media autobiography is appealing; being able to browse through your life in the future and remember so vibrantly the details of the past is an exciting prospect.

So, thus begins my live, digial, multi-media autobiography.

Hockey Parents

Last week, the Canadian Hockey Association (CHA) launched a public service campaign designed to educate the public about obnoxiously overenthusiastic hockey parents, entitled “Relax, it’s just a game”. The gist of it goes like this: Some kids have parents who come to their hockey games only to scream and swear at them, at the referees, and at the coaches. Apparently the motivation behind this behaviour is the parent’s deep-down belief that their kid is surely to be the next Great One, if only the proper dosage of motivation is supplied.

Don Cherry, on Coach’s Corner last Saturday night, claimed that this campaign is merely the CHA’s way of justifying its existence, and that hockey parents are “the best people in the world”. As Grapes sees it, there are a few “kooks” who exhibit the behaviour the CHA warns against, but to imply that hockey parents in general behave this way is just plain wrong.

The resulting debate has consumed an astounding amount of time on the airwaves and space in the newspapers of the country.

Meanwhile, in Nigeria, hundreds died and a thousand were injured due to riots spurred as a result of issues surrounding the “Miss World” contest, originally scheduled to be held there. In one incident, an independent newspapaer’s offices were burned to the ground because of a controversial opinion they printed regarding the contest.

How’s that for overenthusiasm?

There are two lessons I think we should take from this: First, we should consider ourselves fortunate that in our country, a “serious” issue is distasteful and counter-productive hockey parents, and that we are able to debate the issue in a mature and non-violent way. Second, perhaps we should keep in mind that because of our good fortune, we could dedicate a little more of our time, thought, and energy to do what we can to improve matters in parts of the world where “Relax, it’s just a game” doesn’t fly.

That Night in Toronto

“I remember Toronto, how could I forget?” –Gordon Downie

What a show.

Playing to a packed Hummingbird centre in downtown Toronto, The Tragically Hip thrilled their fans with a mix of classics and material from their new album, In Violet Light.

There was dancing in the aisles, there were psychedelic rants from Gord, there was screaming from the rooftops.

The set list was well constructed to smoothly turn up the intensity, let it down, and then bring it up again. And there were gems sprinkled in like Springtime in Vienna, Bobcageon, and Blow at High Dough. Not to mention 50 Mission Cap,
which brought out the Leaf fan in everyone.

As the last stop on the Canadian tour for In Violet Light, the show had a sense of nostalgia to it, as the band prepared to head across the border, and then to Europe.  There were two encores, the second consisting of the mellow Wheat
Kings, and concluding with the fist-clenching Poets.

I looked up to the Gord above, and said: Hey man, thanks.

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