Categories
pandemic

COVID-19 Vaccine

Early this morning the news broke that people over 40 in Alberta can get the AstraZeneca vaccine starting tomorrow.

I couldn’t get an appointment for after work tomorrow but I signed up Andrea and myself for Wednesday. I’m super excited to finally be getting this huge Covid stress out of my life.

I wrote to my coworkers a mass email about how I was excited to be getting my shot on Wednesday. I expected a deluge of congratulatory messages; instead crickets. Am I crazy? Is this not a huge deal?

I can’t imagine why anybody would want to prolong this pandemic? We’re all in this together and in order to move forward we all need to get vaccinated.

Categories
advertising ethics

Attack Ad Against WordPress

Matt Mullenweg, the CEO Automattic (the people behind WordPress.org among others) posted a response to the recent attack ad campaign from Wix in which they personify the open source software WordPress as an annoying, neglectful, glitchy father and complain about its problems in a confrontational therapy session.

It’s ironic that they would want to point out WordPress as a father figure considering it’s not a point of pride they copied WordPress’s code but haven’t been following the copyleft terms of share and share-alike that one must abide if you’re going to reuse said code.

From Matt’s post, Wix and Their Dirty Tricks:

I have a lot of empathy for whoever was forced to work on these ads, including the actors, it must have felt bad working on something that’s like Encyclopedia Britannica attacking Wikipedia. WordPress is a global movement of hundreds of thousands of volunteers and community members, coming together to make the web a better place. The code, and everything you put into it, belongs to you, and its open source license ensures that you’re in complete control, now and forever. WordPress is free, and also gives you freedom.

He goes on to explain that Wix itself is more fitting to be personified as an abuser. Their investor presentation explicitly outlines their business model of making it difficult to leave by not allowing users to export their data and consumers complain it’s difficult to get a refund. The for profit company knows that once they’ve got you locked in they can continue to charge more each year.

So if we’re comparing website builders to abusive relationships, Wix is one that locks you in the basement and doesn’t let you leave. I’m surprised consumer protection agencies haven’t gone after them.

Is this simply a difference in opinion between the value of open source versus paid software? He continues:

Philosophically, I believe in open source, and if WordPress isn’t a good fit for you there are other great open source communities like Drupal, Joomla, Jekyll, and Typo3. We also have a great relationship with some of our proprietary competitors, and I have huge respect for the teams at Shopify and Squarespace, and even though we compete I’ve always seen them operate with integrity and I’d recommend them without hesitation.

Here is one of the ads in question it feels like a cheap ripoff of Apple’s 2006 Mac vs PC Campaign. You be the judge.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=2JyW4yAyTl0%3Fautoplay%3D1%26modestbranding%3D1

Categories
inspirational

Green Shirt Day

I wore green yesterday to honour the Logan Boulet Effect and to support donor awareness.

From the CBC:

Inspired by coach and mentor Ric Suggitt, Logan signed an organ donor card on his birthday, just weeks before his death. He also made his wishes known to his family.

Logan survived long enough for his organs and corneas to be gathered before he was taken off life support.

“Logan was able to make six people’s lives better,” Toby says. “He basically saved six lives.”

That decision has since inspired an estimated 300,000 Canadians to sign their donor cards in what has become to be known online as the #LoganBouletEffect.

Green Shirt Day on April 7 was created to honour, remember, and recognize the victims and families of that fatal crash and to continue Logan’s legacy by raising awareness for organ donation.

I’m a registered donor — have you thought about signing up?

Categories
books

Brian Sibley’s Signed Books – Adventures of Tom Bombadil

Quite a few Christmases ago, my uncle Dennis gave our family a copy of The Hobbit radio-play on tape. A few years after that I learned that the Hobbit had a great sequel called, “The Lord of the Rings”. I loved the books and enjoyed BBC Radio 4’s 26-part adaptation of that one too.

In the credits of each episode I kept hearing the producers name and one day, on a lark, I decided to look him up. I discovered Brian Sibley’s blog which is full of interesting reading.

During my first reading of The Lord of the Rings, I remember not even liking the parts with Tom Bombadil when I first encountered the enigmatic figure. I didn’t get the weirdness of it all — who was this guy and why was he slowing down what was otherwise turning out to be a pretty great adventure? When I talked to friends who were fans of the book they encouraged me to expand my mind and appreciate the poetry, novelty, and esoteric nature of the character. Hearing that they loved Tom Bombadil made me reconsider my own opinion and I even found myself being disappointed when it was cut from the radio-play and subsequent movie.

But, it appears Mr. Sibley didn’t make the cuts lightly and eventually tried to make things right. From his post about his signed copy of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil he explains:

in 1992, eleven years after the BBC radio dramatisation of The Lord of the Rings, I attempted to make my peace with those fans who had been so outraged at the character’s omission from the original broadcasts. I created a six-part series for BBC Radio 5, based on Tolkien’s shorter fiction and, alongside Farmer Giles of Ham, Smith of Wootton Major and Leaf by Niggle, included The Adventures of Tom Bombadil which was, essentially, the previously-ignored chapters from The Lord of the Rings…

I’m going to add it to my long list of audio I’d like to listen to on my way to work.

Categories
recipe

Fajita Seasoning Recipe

Just the recipe — little or no chit-chat:

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

Directions:

Mix ingredients together and then season as your other recipes call for Mexican seasoning.

We usually double it and keep a jar full in the pantry.

(Via Allrecipes.com)

Categories
recipe

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce with Chicken and Rice Noodles

Takes 20 minutes. Serves 4. I usually double the sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup unprocessed natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons hot chili oil (2 for moderate spicyness — add more to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 3 green onions
  • 2 shredded carrots
  • 1 (14 ounce) package Thai rice noodles

Direction for Sauce:
Combine peanut butter, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, oils, vinegar and honey in sauce pan. Simmer, covered, on low heat for 5-10 minutes or until hot, stirring occasionally.

Directions for Chicken:
Cut and sauté chicken breasts over olive oil, adding vegetables when chicken is almost finished cooking. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Directions for Noodles:
Cook rice noodles in water with salt, according to package instructions.

Serve chicken/vegetables over noodles with sauce poured generously on top.

(Via food.com)

Categories
recipe

Easy Chicken Potstickers with Soy Dipping Sauce

From justataste.com comes a delicious potsticker recipe but I’ve rewritten it here because I want to read recipes without all the unnecessary jabbering and pop-ups covering the screen.

Ingredients for dipping sauce:

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon seasoned rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon sliced scallions
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds

Ingredients for Potstickers:

1 pound ground chicken (See Kelly’s Notes)
1/4 cup sliced scallions, green and white parts
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
25 round wonton wrappers
Vegetable oil, for pan-frying

How to make the dipping sauce:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together red pepper flakes, rice wine vinegar, scallions, sesame oil, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and sugar. That’s it; set sauce aside.

How to make the potstickers:

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together garlic, ginger, ground chicken, sesame oil, scallions, and soy sauce until well combined.
  2. To assemble potstickers, arrange wonton wrappers on a work surface and fill a small bowl with water. Spoon two teaspoons of the chicken mixture into centre of each wrapper. Dip your finger in the water then slide it around the edges of each wonton wrapper. Fold wrappers in half and pinch pleats along the top. Press bottoms of the potstickers to create flat bottoms.
  3. Add two tablespoons of vegetable oil to a large pan on medium-high heat. Coat bottom of the pan by swirling the oil, then add a single layer portion of the potstickers and sear bottoms until they’re crunchy and golden brown.
  4. After potstickers are browned on the bottom, add ¼ cup water to pan and cover. Steam the potstickers until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  5. Remove lid and continue cooking while swirling the potstickers in the pan until all water is evaporated.
  6. Transfer potstickers to paper towel-lined plate then repeat searing and steaming process with remaining potstickers.
Categories
ethics religion

God Doesn’t Give Refunds

James Huntsman comes from a rich and prominent Mormon family in Utah. Because he had a lot of money and because he believed in donating a full 10% of his income in tithing, he gave the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints millions of dollars over the course of his life.

A couple of years ago he decided the LDS church wasn’t for him. Among his complaints about the church was the fact it had amassed a giant $100 billion+ hedge fund instead of using that money for good. So now, Huntsman wants his money back.

From the washingtonpost.com:

In the suit, Huntsman says he wants back millions of dollars he donated and plans to give it to “organizations and communities whose members have been marginalized by the Church’s teachings and doctrines, including by donating to charities supporting LGBTQ, African-American, and women’s rights.”

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, comes 16 months after a former high-level investment manager with the church filed a whistleblower complaint to the Internal Revenue Service. The complaint, which The Washington Post obtained in December 2019, alleged that the Church amassed about $100 billion in accounts intended for charitable purposes and misled members by stockpiling surplus donations using the tax-exempt donations to prop up a pair of businesses.

What he doesn’t realize is, God doesn’t give refunds. But all the same, I’m glad he’s pointing out the hypocrisy.

Categories
life pandemic parody

Pandemic Medley

This two and half minute medley of classic pop songs with Covid-19 parody lyrics is just what I needed to get through this pandemic.

Last week I booked a vaccine appointment for my mom but last night she let me know it had been cancelled. My friends suspect the Alberta government was letting people overbook knowing their wasn’t enough supply and then turned around and blamed the federal government when the shipments didn’t arrive. It’s a bit on the conspiracy theory side for me, but I guess you never know. I was able to rebook her this morning at another location for a day later than the cancelled appointment.

Update: January 27 — my mom got her Covid vaccine.

Categories
life pandemic

Covid Vaccine

My dad got his first Covid-19 vaccine this morning. He’s got an appointment for the second shot next month. I booked it for him shortly after they opened for reservations. I think it’s probably pretty common for “kids” to book for their elderly parents. It feels a lot like trying to get concert tickets—you don’t mess around.