Housing costs are killing a generation

sdfsdfsdfsdf By evan on Feb 23, 2016

I’ve been pondering this for a while, looks like someone with credentials actually put something out.  I just came across this article about how income equality is being driven by housing costs.

It’s simple really.. Housing has been capitalized. 1/3 of my labour is directly and immediately spoken for by rent-seekers.. It’s a direct transfer of wealth.

My last several apartments have been owned by investment trusts. I’m stuck sending 1/3 of my income to be split between a few rich guys in Ontario because I can’t save a down payment for a house because I’m pissing away 1/3 of my income…. Repeat ad nauseam.

I don’t know that I even have a solution.

An Open Letter to the NS Liquor Commission

sdfsdfsdfsdf By evan on Feb 23, 2016

Re: http://novascotia.ca/sns/pdf/agd-liquor-sale-of-growlers.PDF

On what basis is there a regulation prohibiting the sale of growlers after 10:00 PM?

You can imagine my frustration at 10:15 PM hearing about this regulation for the first time. I hope you understand how ridiculous this is:

  • I can legally sit in the bar, drink beer, and then drive home (as long as my BAC is less than .08);
  • can drive to Dartmouth and fill a growler with a different brand of beer, from at least the Moosehead cold beer store if not others
  • I can’t buy the same beer, fill the same growler, drive it home, and drink it at home.

Of course, simply not buying alcohol is certainly an option, but an unreasonable one.

From a public safety point of view, it’s literally encouraging drinking and driving, by creating restrictions on the safe consumption of alcohol, after an arbitrary time of day.

If the intention of the regulation is to add red tape and/or prevent the legal, safe consumption of a regulated beverage, it has succeeded. Otherwise this regulation needs to be repealed.

XKCD nailed it.

sdfsdfsdfsdf By evan on Feb 18, 2016


Enough said.

Your expectations are your problem

sdfsdfsdfsdf By evan on Feb 15, 2016

Stephen Fry was just bullied off of twitter. Where’s the trust and safety council? Oh, right he’s not a disabled woman of colour.  I’m sure some people would find that statement offensive, though factual. I’ll defer to Ricky Gervais:

Just because someone tells you they are offended by something you said, it doesn’t mean you have to do the slightest fucking thing about it

I’m glad the pushback against extremists is becoming mainstream. If twitter allows this to continue, they’ll become another tumblr. An echo chamber where dissenting opinion is censored. It’s become ‘cool’ to stand up for perceived offence, and where none exists, to create it.

Offence by proxy is ludicrous. I’ve lost a job over it. Just this week people are calling for a weather forecaster to be fired for stating someone, who is in fact not a weather forecaster “is not a weather forecaster.” How dare she?

People are offended. So. Fucking. What?

I strongly encourage watching this south park clip. They nailed it.



Avengers Paintings

sdfsdfsdfsdf By evan on Feb 15, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 1.33.00 PMI was looking for someone to paint a few mockups so I can have some awesome decorations that match the living room (my wife gets final say, and if it doesn’t match it doesn’t go up)

It’s surprisingly hard to find someone to hand money to paint something, especially considering we have an entire university full of artists. I ended up doing it myself. Traced the image on computer via the TV onto a canvas and filled it in.

First of three seems to have turned out ok. Doing Iron Man, and Thor next.

On a more amusing note, it took a few tries on a scrap canvas to get the drops right. I’m considering donating it to value village just to see how much they charge for it. Abstract art, or epic troll?


Gold is not a currency

sdfsdfsdfsdf By evan on Feb 11, 2016

The latest bit of derp is that Canada is selling off half our gold reserves.

So what? Its a commodity, not a currency. It holds its value, but certainly doesn’t appreciate.

I have to agree with the feds on this one.

What I’m finding really amusing is the comments online

Trudeau is bankrupting our country

Trudeau sold off half our gold!

And so on. To be fair, it was the minister of finance, but people are too busy being outraged…

Here’s where it gets funny:


Canada’s gold holdings by year. Notice the giant dip in the 80’s and early 90’s, and remember who was prime minister?

Mulroney, and Campbell. Both conservatives. Sold 800x as much gold as the liberals just did.

In short, people are ignorant.

RIP Twitter; 2006 – 2016

sdfsdfsdfsdf By evan on Feb 10, 2016

It has been reported that Oceania Twitter has appointed a Ministry of truth trust and safety council.

As if that’s not ungood bad enough, it’s spearheaded by none other than Anita Sarkeesian, of Feminist Frequency, well known for her fair and impartial views utter bullshit.

Jack must be insane.

Twitter will be tumblr with the year. A psychotic echo chamber where trigger alerts and perceived offense trump reality. Where mental disorders foxkin are celebrated. Where objectivity and reason are unallowed strongly discouraged.

At the risk of invoking Godwin’s law, I’ll leave it on this note.


Bulk Deleting Folders based on existing git repos

sdfsdfsdfsdf By evan on Feb 08, 2016

I have a system set up where testers can ‘check out’ a feature branch to test. It sets up a full web environment (at var/www/test/branch_name), for an arbitrary feature and customer. It works great, but a problem quickly arose where we had to manually delete stale test environments.

Since repeating something twice means automating it…

There’s a way to delete all folders except a and b.

shopt -s extglob
rm -rf !(folderA|folderB)

shopt lets you use !(a|b) to not rm a or b.

Then we need to get a list of folders to not delete; this command will get every branch, that starts with “test/”, remove the prepended , replace newlines with |, and remove the last |.

git branch | grep 'test/' | sed 's/\ \ //g' | tr '\n' '|' | sed s'/.$//'

to use that in a shell script,

DIR_KEEP=`git branch | grep 'test/' | sed 's/\ \ //g' | tr '\n' '|' | sed s'/.$//'`
shopt -s extglob
rm -rf !($DIR_KEEP)

In this case, it expands to

rm -rf !(test/FEAT-1|test/FEAT-2|test/FEAT-3|test/FEAT-4)

Success! Throw that on an hourly cron job and it will cull the test directories as the feature branches are merged and deleted.

Downtown: A pipe dream.

sdfsdfsdfsdf By evan on Feb 01, 2016

10636648_490576524413041_1907798131637067021_oWhy downtown?

Usually I’m told “because downtown,” “there’s better restaurants,” and “better shopping” That’s debatable, but I’ll get back to that.

I’m told I should sell my car and move downtown. Well, my (luxury) car + insurance + rent is less than the equivalent rent downtown. If I sell my car, I then lose mobility. This is arguably a car centric city, and province, contrary to what The Coast wants to think. So if I move downtown, I have to sell my car, make up another $200 a month, for a smaller apartment and losing the ability to travel and visit family.

Not going to happen.

Even worse, I’m technically ‘middle class’ and can’t afford to shop downtown. I’ll go to Walmart, thanks. If I want fancy food I can go to dhaba in Bayers Lake and pay the same thing for more, better food since their rent is lower.

Not only that, I don’t pay the parking tax. But of course, I’m just lazy for not wanting to walk two blocks. If only I could ever find free parking within 10. Oh but I should pay for parking. Why? When there’s a free alternative, why should I pay for parking?

Because downtown.

I’ve leased office space downtown. I worked downtown for several years… I noticed a marked decline in tenancy in those few years, I saw convenience stores closing because they had no customers. I saw the rents stay the same, or raise for the same 80 year old units crawling with mice, 25% vacancy rates, and borderline inhospitable heat in the summer. All the offices are owned by guys out of Ontario, they have no skin in the game. Supply and demand doesn’t even seem to apply. They’re happy to lose money hand over fist because lowering the rent would be crazy!

It’s caused massive outmigration to industrial parks. Hell, HRM’s own tax policy has driven people to industrial parks, they they own!

Back in the day, being ‘downtown’ and close to other businesses mattered. Now? No. Teleconferencing, remote work, email, technology, email…. You know; all those modern things that mean people can be anywhere and do the same or better work. The burbs are closer to highways, to the airport, etc. Many people even work from home!

Why commute downtown for the sake of downtown when the benefits aren’t easily measured, but the downsides (higher rent, longer commutes, more noise, etc.) are obvious.

The people that want to be downtown are there. Those who get something out of it are already there.

To get more people downtown you need to convince me, and the other 100k people that don’t work downtown, and don’t want to, that it’s worth putting up with the commute, and worth paying the extortionate rents, because ‘the restaurants and shopping are better.’

Or change.

The only way that’s going to happen is rents dropping and a transit overhaul, both of which are pipe dreams.