Previous month:
February 2004
Next month:
April 2004

Kamloops' First Ever Digital Carnival

I am feeling a little tired these days, but I don't mind because the reason is that I am part of an incredible group of people organizing the First ever Digital Carnival Dinner and Dance.

digitalcarnival_header.jpg

This event offers a great opportunity for people who are interested and/or work in technology to get together and have a big party. We are also raising funds for Digital Valley, the Kamloops Technology Industry. We are half way through selling out this event (max capacity 300). As well as the social aspect, there will be some amazing demos and giveaways of hot new technology.

Its great how much enthusiasm and energy the organization of this event is creating. It really bodes well for the future of tech companies working together in our area.

Digital Carnival will be held at the Colombo Lodge in Kamloops on Saturday, April 17th 2004. For more info or straight tickets, email. You won't regret it.


Saddam Hussein's Lawyer...maybe


Quoted from an AP story on Yahoo News:

On Sunday, Jacques Verges, a French lawyer who claims to be representing Saddam at his family's request, said he expects that a trial is still some time away. Verges has not met with Saddam and is trying to act as his lawyer from afar, a U.S. intelligence official said.

The BBC:

The French lawyer set to defend Saddam Hussein at his trial has forged his reputation at the side of some of the world's most notorious figures.


You need to stand up and be counted

Just finished reading a post on Doc Searl's blog today about how active Christian broadcasters are in growing their reach in the United States. Doc writes:

I think Christian broadcsters have every right to do their thing. With this post I'm pointing out that their prevalence, espeically on FM, is way out of proportion to their actual appeal, and that they're continuing to pack the dials with signals while secular noncommercial broadcsters with far more listener appeal continue to lose ground in a range war that isn't because only one side shows up.

With national elections this year in both Canada and the United States, Doc's point is one worth noting. Unless you make your voice heard in participate in the messy conversations of a democracy, you have much less chance of having your views represented.

A lot of this world doesn't even have the right to have their voices heard. We should value what we have in democratic countries and participate in the process. Otherwise, someone somewhere might think we don't want it.


The Media Doesn't Get the Net

I don’t really want to make Ken Hoshowski the subject of this post. I wish his friends and family heartfelt condolences. And, may Hoshowski’s soul rest in peace.

Hoshowski, a Langley resident, was murdered on Tuesday, killed by the estranged husband of a woman he had met through an online dating service.

The reason I am making Hoshowski my subject here today is that I do not believe the media reports on this tragedy do justice to this gentleman’s memory.

In fact, the media has focused on entirely the wrong factors here.

CBC British Columbia’s Headline: “Online date connection leads to murder”

The Vancouver Sun: “Internet romance ends in US murder of BC man”

The Calgary Herald: “Internet date proves to be kiss of death”

What these headline suggest is that it is the Internet that is really at fault here. And I am having real trouble seeing the connection.

Hoshowski unfortunately landed in the middle of a nasty domestic dispute, a relationship gone seriously sour.

He could have easily thumbed through the newspaper classifieds, answered an ad with a letter rather than an email, and met the very same tragic end.

All too often, the media negatively and sensationally portrays the Internet. I guess it is an easy target.

Yes, the Internet can be a tool for criminals and bad people. But, as much if not more, it is a conduit for great positive things.

I wrote a whole column last August about the wonderful woman I met through the Internet and eventually (not soon enough) married.

Some would say that the main purpose of a newspaper or TV news broadcast is to sell advertisements.

Seen in that light, the more negative and sensational, so much the better.

But, we need journalists who are so much more than that. We need stories that portray a fair and accurate picture of our world.

The Internet is not an easy topic to cover. I know. But, it is imperative we keep trying to explain it well.

The Internet had nothing to do with the murder of Ken Hoshowski. In fact, it may have brought him love and companionship in what he did not know were his final days.


Happy International Anti Racism Day!

On March 21st 1960. Apartheid era police opened fire on a peaceful protest in the Sharpville township near Johannesburg, South Africa.

The world stood stunned.

And March 21st, forever forward. was proclaimed by the UN as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

When I think of racism, what comes to mind is not cross burnings or widespread anti semitism committed by other people. What I try to concentrate on is the bias that I hold, the racism that sometimes I can feel trying to rear its very ugly head within me. This often starts off as stereotyping or generalzing, but can lead to some pretty bad stuff, within us all.

Start local, and then go global.

I have had the great opportunity in the past year to work on Anti Racism and Anti Discrimination issues locally, in Kamloops, in partnership with these folks.

I also will be doing presentations to local organizations, in the next month, around a new tool for people who want to report racism or racist incidents in Kamloops, even if just because they may need someone trained and friendly to talk to.


UCC Becomes a Special University

Rah Rah Rah Badaboom...Premier Gordon Campbell, a bit but welcome player in this story, announced today that Kamloops' University College of the Cariboo will become a "special university" with some type of broad responsibility for distance education all across British Columbia. Some preliminary thoughts:

- the campaign style announcement is now over. The hard work and struggles continue.
- must keep teaching as primary focus. Research is prestigious, but excellence in teaching is incredibly important.
- Whenever Gordon Campbell tries to sound visionary, he comes across really flat.

I will probably have more to say about this later.


Blog Day: Celebrating a Birthday

On Saturday, my mother in law turns an unknown age. Significant but unknown. So, we just finished a wonderful evening, an early celebration; a deeelicious dinner cooked by my wife and her sister, dinner conversation that for some hilarious reason often drifted dangerously into topics related to sex, and a great orange cake.

My mother in law Smiled and laughed almost the whole evening. Way to go Marsha and Anne Marie!


Blog Day: Calling Clients

I have made a policy this year that I will personally call all of my clients every month. They hear from me through email every week, but can't beat a phone call on both sides of the relationship. Just finished half hour of calling. Had a great conversation, for example, with one of Kamloops' experts in property appraisal, Mark Anderson. Mark is still very much a great guy, even though he gave up tennis quite a while ago and I don't get a chance to kick his butt on the court.


Blog Day: Another Great Rotary Presentation: Chris Rose at the Kamloops North Rotary Club

One of the best things about a Rotary Club meeting is the incredible presentations that take place each week. It's part of the standard agenda to have an educational speaker as the highlight.

I am a "visiting Rotarian" today at the Kamloops North Rotary Club.

Today, Chris Rose is presenting on a short term overseas assignment he went on to Armenia, set up by the organization CESO. Chris is a very well known community person in Kamloops, first as a school principal working with special needs students, and now as a school trustee at School District 73.

Armenia seems to be a very entrepreneurial place which has had more than its fair share of hardship. Earthquakes, hostile neighbors are being noted in the presentation.

Interesting to me, Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity in 300 AD.

Chris went to work with an program that works with children with things like epilepsy. But, they also classify what we would consider normal as "special needs".

Chris is trying to raise valuable funds to bring a young Armenian girl to Kamloops. The young girl only has one arm. A Armenian journalist who interviewed Chris when he was there wondered why the girl wasn't 'exterminated' because how would she ever be able to make love with one arm. Chris has been motivated to bring this girl to Kamloops so she can be fitted with a prothesis.

Amazing the overall spirit, hospitality that Chris experienced.