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Saturday, August 11, 2018

Stratford Year 14


We decided to stay at an AirB&B again. Same building as last year, but different owner. We had a mashup of three different babysitters this time, which wasn't very pleasant. And we had a visit from Jana which was nice. Libby enjoyed trundling around town with us, especially the ice cream.

Thursday evening we saw Ideal Husband at the Avon, which I didn't like at first, but it grew on me and had a strong ending. Friday evening we saw Paradise Lost at the Studio, and it was great, but a little too raw at the end. Saturday morning, I went to a CBC Ideas panel at the Studio. That was lots of fun. They even took one of my questions. Saturday evening we saw The Tempest at the Festival Theatre. It was good, but The Tempest isn't one of my favourites.

Monday, July 16, 2018


I read in The Globe And Mail that an info-graphic was shared around the internet indicating that the tariff relationships between Canada and the USA are unfair against the USA. However, all the data in the chart was egregiously false. My biggest concern here is how easily masses of people can be swayed by blatant misinformation, and even worse, that when The Globe And Mail notified people (the original twitter poster, and the head of a student group who re-posted) who had posted the chart and received tens of thousands of views/likes/etc about the error that these people didn't take down or correct the false data.

This lead me to a discussion with a Canadian, Trump supporting colleague that raised the following questions:

- Is a trade deficit bad?
- Is there a trade deficit between the USA and Canada?
- Relative to other countries, and considering amount of trade, is the Canada/USA border very open to trade?
- Is the trade between the USA and Canada balanced/fair, or does one party get a much better deal? If so, why is that?
- Has Trump actually said things about Canada that are bad/unjust/untrue?

I plan to look into these subjects over the next little while.

Is a trade deficit bad?

According to Investopedia, it is not at all clear that a trade deficit is bad. The article seems thorough and unbiased to me. A search of Wikipedia doesn't immediately reveal any vested interest in Investopedia in favour of trade deficits. In fact the whole first page of google results for "is a trade deficit a bad thing" are explanations from a wide variety of sources on why a trade deficit isn't necessarily bad.

Is there a trade deficit between the USA and Canada?

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Climate Change

Some of my associates are opposed to GHG cap-and-trade. Here's my uneducated opinion. I'd be happy to be told where I've gone wrong.

We have been measuring CO2 in the atmosphere since 1980 at multiple locations accurately enough to make claims about global atmospheric content.

Since 1980 the averaged vector of the fraction of CO2 in the global atmosphere has been accelerating upwards.

We have since 2010 had sufficient techniques for measuring CO2 and methane production from industry to make reasonable claims about global human GHG emission, and this can be back-computed to 1980.

Therefore it is clear what fraction of the CO2 increase is caused by humans.

More than half of the cause of the acceleration in CO2 is human activity.

The increased CO2 and methane in the atmosphere causes climate change.

The climate change represents a direct economic cost to many humans in the same way that the use of arsenic by cotton produces represents a direct economic cost to rice and apple juice producers.

The 1990 levels of GHG in the atmosphere do not pose a major economic threat.

A fair solution is that each living human should be allocated a fraction of GHG production such that the atmosphere stabilizes at 1990 levels. This should be allocated to nation states on a per capita basis each year and regulated by a global cap-and-trade system.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Doug Ford

This was the message on the PC website on election day:

A plan for Ontario

The problems facing Ontario share one thing in common: Kathleen Wynne's Liberal government just doesn't care about you anymore. Her government is untrustworthy. She will say and do anything just to stay in power.

You work harder than ever before and pay more than ever before. Yet Kathleen Wynne and her government continue to waste your hard-earned money and spend your tax dollars on schemes that only benefit Liberal insiders and political elites. There is no respect for taxpayers.

The NDP promise change, but they are not being honest about what their change looks like. The NDP want to double down on Kathleen Wynne's tax-and-spend policies. Under the NDP your gas will be more expensive, your taxes will go up, and your hydro bills will continue to increase. This is because, behind closed doors, the NDP are more about appeasing special interest groups than actually delivering real relief to the people.

I believe you deserve better. You know me. You know what I stand for. You know that I am here for the people. I entered politics to help the little guy. To make life easier for you and your family. Not only so you can make ends meet, but also so you can get ahead and prosper.

We're going to replace Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals with a practical, affordable and responsible government that trusts and respects you.

Ontario is ready for a government that works for the people.

…Not Liberal insiders.

…Not NDP radical special interests.

…But for the people

It's that simple.

No matter what, you can count on me to give you straight talk. I've spent my entire career telling it like it is. I'm going to be up front and honest about what I'm going to do. And I'm going to do what I say I'm going to do.

This also means that I won't make reckless promises. When I make a promise — I keep it. Period.

And here are my promises to you: Five clear, honest commitments you can count on from a government that will focus on the fundamentals and get Ontario back on track.

With your help we can open Ontario for business again; create good jobs; lower your day-to-day costs; bring prosperity back to our province; and restore accountability, respect and trust to Queen's Park.

We will:


Scrap the carbon tax, reduce gas prices by 10 cents per litre, and give real tax relief to lower and middle class families.


Fire the $6 million man running Hydro One and lower your hydro bills by 12%.


Send the message that Ontario is ‘Open for Business’ and bring quality jobs back to Ontario by lowering taxes, stabilizing hydro bills and cutting job-killing red tape.


Order a line-by-line audit of government spending to bring an end to the culture of waste and mismanagement in government.


End hallway health care by creating 15,000 new long-term care beds over the next 5 years and adding $3.8 billion in new support for mental health, addictions and housing.


The PC government will be trustworthy.

The PC government won't say and do things just to remain in power.

In 2021, the average citizen will work less hard than in 2018.

In 2021, the average citizen will pay less tax then in 2018.

The PC government won't waste tax dollars or spend them on schemes that only benefit insiders and elites.

The PC government has been honest about what effects their planned changes will have on Ontario.

In 2021, the Ontario government will spend less than in 2018.

In 2021, gasoline cost will be at least 10 cents less per liter than in 2018.

In 2021, the average citizen will pay at least 12% less for the same electricity consumption than in 2018.

The PC government won't appease special interest groups behind closed doors.

In 2021, life for the average citizen will be better then in 2018.

The PC government won't tell lies or be caught in scandals.

The PC government will "scrap the carbon tax" meaning dismantle the existing cap and trade system thus forfeiting $1.5B/yr and spend $30 million for the legal fight against the federal legislation that requires Ontario to maintain carbon pricing even though it is clear in Section 91 of Canada’s Constitution Act of 1867 that the federal government has this right. (macleans)

The PC government will fire the CEO of Hydro One.

In 2021, there will be more quality jobs in Ontario than in 2018.

In 2023, there will be 15k more long-term care beds than in 2018.

In 2021, there will be $3.8B more in speding for mental health, addictions and housing than in 2018.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Visual Studio

Visual Studio 2017 Customization

Dark Theme

Tools > Options > Environment > General > Color theme: Dark

When you open the IDE it shows a useless startup page which wastes time closing.

Tools > Options > Environment > Startup > At startup: Show empty environment

In code, above each function it shows grey text like "0 references" which wastes screen space and shows annoying popups when your mouse passes over.

Tools > Options > Text Editor > All Languages > CodeLens > [uncheck] Enable CodeLens

Don't get tabs in bat files.

Tools > Options > Text Editor > Plain Text > Tabs > 2, 2, Insert spaces

Don't show "3 references" grey-text above signatures

Tools > Options > Text Editor > All Languages > Code Lens > [uncheck] Enable CodeLens

Don't show the black box at the top center of debugged WPF windows.

Tools > Options > Debugging > General > [uncheck] Enable UI Debugging Tools for XAML

Custom [File > Open] location.

Tools > Options > Projects and Solutions > Locations > Projects location = [your location]