10 months in the hole

Wow, it’s been a while since I posted; my most recent entry was about the shockingly bad decision Ontario made back in June. Thanks for that, by the way; move over Detroit, here comes Ontario!

Anyway, there has been some good news in the meantime: I got engaged to my wonderful fiancee Katrina on July 1st in our nation’s capital, right after the magnificent fireworks display. I’m happy to say she didn’t even hesitate before saying yes! The wedding is in October 2016, so we have plenty of time to save up for it. With all of the tax increases coming our way courtesy of Dear Leader, we’ll need all the time we can get.

Also, we went to Toronto Animal Services at the end of November and adopted a wonderful 3-year-old brown tabby named Pepper. She’s a friendly girl, most of the time, and settling in well in her new home.

ANXIETY is coming along well also; I had some false starts, largely involving getting started with AndEngine and issues with synching the project to GitHub, but I expect it to be in playable alpha very soon! The bones of the game are there: scene and sprite creation, player movement, NPC pathfinding (although that seems to break every time I add a new feature), I just need to go ahead and add the real gameplay features. Once it’s ready to show off, rest assured that I’ll be posting screenshots (and hopefully gameplay videos!)

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Feeling anxious?

Well, the election went about as badly as it possibly could. Oh well. Nothing we can do but make the best of a bad situation, and press on.

Which is why I’m happy to announce the start of my latest project: ANXIETY. It’s just a working title, and no, it’s not political. For the next god-knows-how-long, I’ll be working on an Android game that I hope will be as popular as Flappy Bird when it’s done.

Stay tuned for updates!

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PC support, from a surprising place.

We’re eight days out from the Ontario Election, and the public sector is still making a tremendous fuss over Tim Hudak’s plan to reduce our number of civil servants back to the number we had in 2009. They want you to think that we’re going to lose valuable front-line emergency services workers, like firefighters, police officers, and EMS. This simply isn’t true.

I’d like to share with you a Facebook conversation I had with a friend of mine, who works hard saving lives in EMS. I’ve agreed for them to stay anonymous, so I’ll just call them Sam here. Have a look.

Sam, 10:50 AM
So we pvr’d last nights debate, just finished watching it and I can’t believe I’m saying this but I really liked hudak, he’s the only one that was straight forward about what he was going to do. I’ve also read his platform and it makes sense, thanks for sharing that link. I’ve spoken with our union rep and he’s assured me that front line jobs like mine are safe it’s middle management that’s in trouble. All this to say I’ll be voting conservative, which is against my unions wishes, hence why I’m pm you instead of regular Facebook.

Me, 10:54 AM
You just made my morning. Glad to have you on board! And don’t worry, I won’t mention your name in anything when I’m trying to convince other people.

Sam, 11:08 AM
Thanks!! I’m not worried about my union per say but I do have to work with them, they are my co workers after all. That being said I’ve never been a big fan of unions, I think they cause more problems than they solve, but without my union, medics would be screwed here in toronto, we get screwed by the city and the province already, without cupe we would be up shit creek.

Me, 11:10 AM
Would it be alright if I anonymously quoted your reasons for voting blue in a blog post? It might help convince other people to see “a front-line emergency services employee” supporting Hudak

Sam, 11:12 AM
Yeah, no problem with that!!
The reason I want to share this is to show that what a lot of us see as Big Union is actually made up of people, with their own consciences and their own opinions which are often stifled by whichever agenda “The Union” happens to have from moment to moment. I also wanted to show that there are front-line emergency workers who understand that the PC party is Ontario’s best hope to avoid the problems that killed Detroit and are killing Greece.

Sam continued the conversation with one more fact about Toronto’s medical community, which I’d like to use to close off this post.

Sam, 11:17 AM
Here’s an interesting tid bit for you. Toronto ems has a community paramedicine program, it’s an awesome program that needs to be expanded, we have 4 people working there, 1 manager, 2 supervisors and 1 paramedic, that’s a 3 to 1 ratio of management to employees, wtf!!! And that’s public info


If you haven’t yet, I suggest you read Tim Hudak’s Million Jobs Plan. Read it through, and you’ll see it’s so much more than just a much-needed cut to the size of our public sector. You’ll see how it will benefit you and the rest of Ontario to go to your polling station and vote PC on June 12th, or earlier if you’d like to take advantage of the Advance Polls like I did. If you need information on where or how to vote, Elections Ontario has a simple informational website here.

Remember: Ontario needs YOU to get out and vote BLUE.

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Election time, 2014

Those of you reading this blog who live in Ontario, there’s a very important opportunity coming up on June 12. We finally have another chance to put an end to the scandals, damage, and mismanagement of the past eleven years. Of course, I’m talking about our chance to stand up and vote the Liberals out of office.

This is why I’m asking you to take a look at Tim Hudak’s Million Jobs Plan. A lot of people have been screaming and complaining that the plan involves a 10% cut to the public sector; not only are most of those people employed by the public sector and afraid that their free ride is over, but that 10% cut is less than 10% of the plan.

The plan, which also includes an increased focus on financial literacy in the math curriculum so that our next generation of leaders know how to balance a budget, focuses on making more tax dollars available for making our lives better and paying off Ontario’s debt while also lessening each person’s share of that tax load. When you have more people working, it means less people on welfare and more people paying taxes, after all.

If you really are worried about the public sector cut, think about all the increases in government spending over the past eleven years. Which have you experienced when you walk into Service Ontario: Better and more efficient service, or larger and more complicated bureaucracy?

Once again, please take a minute to read the Million Jobs Plan, and find out exactly how you and the rest of Ontario will benefit by voting PC on June 12.

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Lucky Lookout has gone LIVE!

Alright folks, this is it! You’ve heard me talk about it, and Lucky Lookout is now live and available for purchase on Google Play!

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Lucky Lookout: Privacy Policy

Lucky Lookout is nearly ready for release, and the Google market is asking for a privacy policy, so here we go:

Lucky Lookout stores all data locally on your device. At no point will your data be sent to a central location or cloud, unless you do it yourself, but then that’s not really the app’s fault then is it? We don’t track you, your data, or anything else. Your sex life is your business, and Lucky Lookout respects that.

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Lucky Lookout – Coming soon!

How many times has this happened to you:

You’re at the drugstore, picking up toothpaste and soap and other such mundane items, when the sign for the Family Planning aisle catches your eye. “Eh, I don’t need to pick those up today,” you say to yourself. “I have plenty at home.”

You go about your day. That weekend, you tumble into bed with your partner, or spouse, or that appealing stranger you met at the bar. You reach into your bedside drawer for protection and…… you and your companion sit on the couch in frustration and watch Game of Thrones to pass the time.

Well, no more! My app, LUCKY LOOKOUT, is there for you to keep track of whatever you use to practice safe sex to avoid the situation I just described. No more running out unexpectedly, just check the app and see how your supplies are doing.

Lucky Lookout, the brand new and inaugural app from Robinson Software, allows you to quickly and easily manage your supply of 15 common items used in safer sexual practices, including non-latex items for those with allergies. It also lets you set a discreet weekly reminder to keep your counts up-to-date and head to the store if you have to.

Lucky Lookout is also private, sending no data about your habits back to Robinson Software and storing all data locally.

So, keep your eyes on this space for the launch of LUCKY LOOKOUT coming within the next week!

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Apartment woes

What precisely am I doing wrong?

Looking for an apartment, I’ve been mostly relying on Craigslist, Kijiji, and ViewIt.ca. Out of the dozen or so emails and calls I send or get Katrina to make each day, I maybe get one or two appointments to see a place. Out of all those places, not one has even gone so far as to call my references or, as far as I know, contacted my office to see if I really work here. Further, not one person has actually had the decency to get in touch with me and say they’ve gone with someone else; I’ve had to find out myself while following up on my application status, and one guy was downright nasty to Katrina over it.

So what am I doing wrong?

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Long time no see

First off: If this show up in the CDOT planet, sorry. I’ve still got to log in and take my feed out of the list.

Anyway, my glasses disintegrated on my way to work today (oh yeah, by the way, new job!) and I’ve only got a month and a half to go until I’m eligible for benefits. And while I do have an old pair I could wear until then, it got me thinking.

I’ve worn glasses since I was about ten, and never really questioned that I needed them. But it seems like since I took more charge of my own health, a lot of the problems that were always hanging around when I was a kid have just dried up and blown away. For example, I had huge breathing problems when I was little, but other than coughing pretty much out of habit a few times a day, those seemed to disappear when I stopped taking the pills I was being given for them. Did I just grow out of it, or were the pills holding me back? Who knows.

My thinking is, maybe my eyes are the same way. Any of my friends who’ve “borrowed” my glasses could tell you, my prescription isn’t that strong. I definitely don’t need them to see close up, and tend to take them off if I’m using the computer or reading anyway. So I’m going to try just going without them for a week and see how that works out for me. Who knows, maybe it will turn into two weeks, maybe I’ll bump into stuff a lot more and thankfully put on my old pair next Tuesday. We’ll see, won’t we? Well, you will. I might.

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Watch your language!

New item of business in BigBlueButton! The dropdown box that lets the user select their language now uses a new parameter in locales.xml, so that each language looks the way a person who speaks that language would expect to see it. So English still appears as English, German appears as Deutsche, and Korean appears as 한국어.

Thanks, Wikipedia and Omniglot.com!

Anyway, the problem now is that screen readers no longer like the dropdown box. Using the arrow keys doesn’t let you traverse the list, and selecting anything manually causes a different set of problems; NVDA can’t figure out how to read the non-English strings correctly, and follows each of them with “Not available, Not selected.” Of course, it could be that this has been around since before I started playing with the localName property, so maybe it’s a deeper issue. We’ll see.

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