Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

A warrior (Bruno) and a small dragon (Fiona) team up for fun and plunder in this fantasy comic strip.

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Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Counterclockwise on Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:38 am

I get back from Germany, finally, and the first thing I notice is that the last post was what, two weeks ago?
Tsk, tsk, that simply will NOT do!

What say we let this thread be a place for random conversation until activity picks up, what? With the 3 a week schedule back, it should start to pick up a little again once the word gets out, shouldn't it? Mind you, it's quite hard to start a conversation out of nowhere . . .

Yo, I'm a student of Pure Math at Memorial, in St. John's, part of the local quidditch league, executive of the university fencing club, active member of the anime film society, my music is 70's art rock, 70's power pop, 70's power jazz and 70's folk, as well as modern German metal, and I have a sweet "evil DM" cloak.
Personally, I enjoy Ian's comic mostly due to the vaguely Canadian flavour of the comic, or perhaps all the Newfoundland references he puts in. Y'know, seeing as I can recognize them, being a proud Newfoundlander myself, (just in case you didn't catch onto that). (actually, I'm more than likely within walking distance of whereever the heck Ian lives, but I wouldn't know since I don't stalk webcomic artists)

So who are you guys out there?
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Arantor on Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:03 pm

Well, I'm a random guy from England that's trying to transcribe comic strips in my 'free' time, and I'm trying to concentrate on getting Bruno's huge (2,100 strips according to Piperka) archive transcribed right now but each time I settle down to do some more, something happens like I realise I need some more code, or one of a million ways to get sidetracked on the net.

I love the strip because it's a self-contained universe that is at least mostly consistent with itself and later stories build on elements from previous ones. I love the concept of all of the anachronisms too, it somehow makes you wonder what we ever did without those gadgets if they had them in fantasy times.

Big fan of 70s and 80s rock with bits of heavy metal; so, Queen, Meat Loaf, ELO, Iron Maiden... how does that work? Ah...

It's also quite nice to read a comic strip that does bounce off politics that aren't American. See, there is a whole other world out there...
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Counterclockwise on Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:52 pm

It's really that many strips? woah. I hadn't noticed before. I just read them all through a couple of days when I found BtB last april. :p
How'd you start transcribing comics?

As for Canadian politics, I'm still trying to figure out if Danny or Chretien have counterparts in the BtB universe. :p


You're on the same mind as me with ELO. I'm mostly into more obscure stuff, but bands like The Move, ELO, King Crimson, Jethro Tull are in my record collection. Gotta have some names people recognize so they know what kinda music you're talkin' about. :p

Come to think of it, though, ELO went through a number of distinctly different phases. Are you into their early artsy cello music stuff, (like New York Massacre, Betrayal of 1644, Mr. Radio, Kuiama, From the sun to the sky), their early power pop, (Tightrope, Rockaria, Roll over Beethoven, (they did an excellent cover of it), It's a living thing), their later surreal stage, (Mr. Blue Sky, Wild West Hero, Diary of Horace Wimp, Hold on Tight, Illusions in G Minor, Ticket to the moon), or the current, soft rock & electronica stage? (which they kinda always had . . . 21st century man, 'Yours Truly, 2095', Last Train to London, The way Life's Meant to be, Mr. Blue sky, (again), etc.)
If you can't answer that, ignore me. I don't do anything halfway. I can't just listen to music, I have to know it inside and out, and be in bands, even though I can't sing or play an instrument.

(sidenote: i started collecting vinyl 2 years ago. My collection is now around 1200 records and counting, with focus' on Newfoundland Rock, (The Ducats Showband, The Stringbusters, Jerry Barry, etc.), art rock precursors, (The Beatles, naturally, The Lovin' Spoonful, Tommy James and the Shondells, Herman's Hermits), and naturally the music i actually listen to.)
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby mouse on Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:38 pm

well, i'm always happy to see life around the place. which reminds me....let me see if it's still there.....
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Counterclockwise on Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:59 pm

wow.

Frankly, mouse, I am thoroughly intimidated at a 50 page long thread.

Is there a posts-per-page control somewhere on these forums so I can make it appear to be less pages to me?
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Arantor on Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:13 pm

Counterclockwise wrote:It's really that many strips? woah. I hadn't noticed before. I just read them all through a couple of days when I found BtB last april. :p
How'd you start transcribing comics?


Back in February I got sufficiently fed up with the existing search engine for comics that I started to write my own. I figured out a way of storing all the comic information, and wrote a nice way to be able to search it. It's still being developed, mind, as I'm in the middle of adding a major new feature to it, but once that's done I'll settle back into transcribing Bruno; I've done nearly 1300 of them now, not to mention the other 3,300 in other webcomics...

Counterclockwise wrote:You're on the same mind as me with ELO. I'm mostly into more obscure stuff, but bands like The Move, ELO, King Crimson, Jethro Tull are in my record collection. Gotta have some names people recognize so they know what kinda music you're talkin' about. :p


I figure if they don't know what I'm talking about, they can either look it up or ignore me.

I don't have a particular favourite style from ELO, just as I don't have a particular favourite era from Queen (which is just as varied if you go through all the albums like I did), though I know Queen material infinitely better than I do ELO.

I do have a few vinyls myself but I'm of the believer that if I can listen to the music - whatever format it's in - I'm happy.
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Counterclockwise on Fri Sep 05, 2008 4:01 pm

It's neat that you care enough about webcomics to do such a thing. I wouldn't have the patience, myself. That, and i just read through the entire archives and bookmark every particularly neat comic with a nicely descriptive folder and naming system.

Well it's true that they can always look up bands, if you're talking about a style of music, it might not help to look up a band.
It's only kinda nice to have a few examples close by if you're trading records or swapping music and you don't really have time to look up music within the conversation.

I'm a firm believer in analog recorder records. They sound so much better than CD's to me. Honestly, I wouldn't have gotten into half the bands I listen if I hadn't heard them on record. Everything sounds so . . . flat and samey on digital, compared to analog. High quality and lossless digital formats aren't that bad, though, and I accept them as a worthy substitute, but just try to find .flac recordings of The Lovin' Spoonful, eh?

Personally, I lean towards earlier ELO . . . the later stuff is still better than other bands, but I won't chase after it. I guess I mostly like Wood's influence on the band, god knows I enjoy Wizzard, (band he formed after leaving ELO), and Boulders, (his single album).
If you know the Move, they were made of the people who would form ELO. Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne, Ace. (If you don't, I would say you might enjoy checking them out). Anyhoo, I enjoy The Move much more than ELO. And I just traded up two Meatloaf and a Led Zepplin for a near/perfect condition first printing copy of the Shazam! album. I won't get to hear it till I move into an apartment roomy enough to get my sound system over here from my parents house, but knowing how awesome the album sounds when it's scratched, warped, and skipping, I can wait to blow my brains out with the sheer delight of hearing it in good condition. I cannot, however, wait to brag about my acquisition. Could you tell?
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Ian McDonald on Sun Sep 07, 2008 7:19 pm

Believe me, I'd be very happy to see a less quiet board around here! Wish most of my readers weren't so shy! :-?

Musically, my favorites these days are Yes, Rush, Lisa Loeb, and Angels and Airwaves, which my niece introduced me to a little while ago! But my mp3 collection has a little bit of everything, from Tex Ritter to Venom, Charlene (you know, "I've Never Been To Me"?) to Voivod, Ace Of Base to hockey Legend Johnny Bower ("Honky Honky the Christmas Goose"), Louis Armstrong to Sir Mix-a-lot, The Royal Guardsmen ("Snoopy's Christmas") to... well, you get the picture! Don't worry, Counterclockwise, I got a bunch of Newfoundland tracks too! I pity the poor non-Newfoundlanders reading this who've never heard any Dick Nolan (my hero)! "Aunt Martha's Sheep" anyone? :D
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Counterclockwise on Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:27 am

Truthfully, though, i need to DL some Newfoundland music . . . I have it all on records and my records are back home with my parents. I guess I'll start with Great Big Sea and see how obscure I can go before i can't find it on the 'net.
I pity the bys who couldn't sing along to your version of Barrett's Privateers, Ian. :)

By the way, in case you didn't know, the wikipedia article mentions your parody.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrett's_Privateers
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Counterclockwise on Mon Sep 08, 2008 9:37 am

Btw, Ian, if you need an extra hand play-testing that board game of yours . . . . I only happen to be a multi-geek, and I only happen to be in two different board gaming groups.
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Arantor on Mon Sep 08, 2008 10:48 am

Board-game? Count me in!

Oh, wait... I'm not in Newfoundland. I'm not even in the same continent. But if you want me to arrange testing with some peeps over here, I'm sure I can arrange it. I might be able to make some web-version of it if you're interested (but it'd help if I knew more about it... I vaguely remember it mentioned somewhere but can't put my finger on it right now)
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby AisA on Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:24 am

Is anyone here an editor who can update that Wikipedia page to point to the actual story? Right now it just points to the main page.

Ian...seems like you're trying to outdo me for eclectic. Right now I'm spinning, amongs others, ambient music from Magnatune, RZA (especially the Ghost Dog soundtrack), Japanese folk music, Metallica, huge amounts of Tom Waits, and the Motorhead library. Basically, anything I can drive to....

BTW...I've done a game night with Ian and his group, and let me tell you it was great fun from beginning to end. Maybe next time I'm in town, Ian, I can get a chance to playtest BtB with you.

CCW....if you're looking for good Newfoundland music, let me put in a strong recommendation for my favorite, "Peter Kagan and the Wind", a moody song about a fisherman and a selkie (that's right...hot seal lovin'!). The version I have is by Jim Brannigan, but I know there's an older version out there that's just as good, if not better.
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Counterclockwise on Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:39 am

The wiki page DOES point to the story. The one in the paragraph goes to the main page, but scroll down to external references at the bottom and that link points to Bluenose Barrett, Privateer.

I'll see if I can find that online AisA, sounds like good advice. Most Newfoundland music is just as good from one artist to another . . . usually because the only reason they know the same songs is that one taught the other, more like as not, eh?

Just putting it out there, if you're up to board games and live in the St. John's area, I'm always up for it, we'll just have to meet somewhere.

edit: @AisA: can't find it for download at the usual sites, but I have found an American LP by that title by one Gordon Bok on eBay. Same song, I wonder? If I had more cash to spend, or trading records here instead back home of on the PaP peninsula, I'd probably be going around my collector buddies and I'd probably find it. Time to go to the P2P communities . . .

edit2: oops, I read Kegan instead of Kagan from your post. Kagan turns up a nice few results. A well known song, it looks like. Known in Maine, The atlantic provinces, Down to . . . Florida? How'd it end up there?
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Arantor on Mon Sep 08, 2008 1:40 pm

I hate the fact I live in the UK. I have thought about emigrating, actually. The UK's getting more and more hideous to live in with the rubbish the government keeps doing...

If I moved to Canada I'd be able to join in the games!
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Counterclockwise on Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:00 pm

. . . and we still speak an acceptable english, unlike the Americans. :p

Although the Uk still seems pretty nice to me . . . what kind of rubbish are you talking about?
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Arantor on Mon Sep 08, 2008 3:13 pm

Apart from ever increasing prices, increasingly pervasive legislation and more.

E.g. a law was passed in order to monitor terrorists. Which is fine. Except that a council recently invoked the same laws to surveil a family to make sure they lived in the right area for a local school.

London is also the most CCTV-happy place in Europe. You can be snapped up to 300 times a day.

They keep passing laws to deal with apparent loopholes in previous ones, but weren't actually ever exploited. I could go on...
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby AisA on Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:10 am

Arantor wrote:I hate the fact I live in the UK. I have thought about emigrating, actually. The UK's getting more and more hideous to live in with the rubbish the government keeps doing...


The UK gave us Warren Ellis, Alan Moore and Eddie Izzard. The country can't be all bad. Shame about that CCTV thing, though. Seems to me there might be a strong market for laser pointers there somewhere....
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Arantor on Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:48 am

The latest hilarity is a law concerning 'extreme' photographic or video material of a certain carnal nature. Now some of the material covered under the new law is rightfully banned, but the two problems I have with it are:

1) Some of the pictures/video that would be banned are perfectly legal acts. So it's legal to do some things, but not to take or own a photo/video of it. The actual participants themselves are OK to own a copy because they're in it and can claim they were doing so of their own will and without harm, but the cameraman himself could be jailed for up to 3 years.

2) If the picture is part of a series, say a single frame from a film, but the picture itself is fine, the police can bring in the entire series as evidence and convict you on the basis of other pictures in the series, so if the film as a whole were illegal, you could still be imprisoned for owning a picture that was itself legal.

Sadly this has actually been made into law now but the police aren't cracking down on it yet. The best bit is that one person presented the same photo to 5 different lawyers and there was a 3/2 split in whether it would be legal.

This all because one person a few years back viewed said material on the Internet, despite knowing it was wrong, and said material motivated him to commit a violent assault and murder. And the scum tabloids railed at the government for not doing anything about it, and now this.

Gotta love the UK.
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Counterclockwise on Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:13 am

Would you rather live in the US, where they are now repealing many of the laws that prevented laws such as the one you describe from being so ambiguous or wrongfully used?

Or, in Australia, where they get around ambiguity by erring on the side of caution? (a video game with blood? R rating!!!!)

Or, in Japan, where the laws do not allow for imported media, making what laws that are there useless? (Makers of any media could be making it for exporting to other countries, and that's allowed . . . but the same media could then be sold back from the other country to within Japan, and unless they can prove that the creators sold it to another country for the sole purpose of selling it back within Japan, there are no laws).

Would you rather be in mainland Europe, where most countries are arguing against net neutrality on the side of either the gov't or corporations?

Listen, you still have it pretty good in Britain too, alright? Those people may be a little, or perhaps a lot, mis-guided, but by the whole, they're still trying to do what's best for the ordinary citizen.

I don't think we have it too great in Canada at the moment, either, but I'm hoping we'll see a new light this coming Oct. 14.(Federal election in Canada). (hoping for the NDP myself. I don't like the current liberals, never will like anything resembling the current federal conservatives, and believe that the green party aren't the people to be effecting the changes that they want to make. And of the other parties with representatives in my region, the NDP come the closest to what I believe is best for Canada).
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby AisA on Thu Sep 11, 2008 4:04 am

Regarding some of these ridiculous laws, I'm reminded of something that Ian's brother said to me at the time that bike helmet laws were introduced to Newfoundland. As an avid biker and wild-maned bullock, his response was, "Let them catch me."
At any point in history, there's any number of silly laws on the books. Not only do most law enforcement personnel not have the encyclopedic knowledge of each and every law, but they also do not have the time, energy and staff to enforce every law. Knowing the astonishing regularity with which people get away with the big crimes, I would suggest that it's even harder to successfully prosecute the ridiculous small ones.
As people like Bruce Schneier would point out, laws like this are "security theatre"...they give the illusion of safety or order, but they have no real effect. They gain brief attention when they are passed, but as soon as they cease to become a hot issue, they are quickly forgotten by all but the most pedantic of people or professional ambulance chasers. Even now, in Nova Scotia, where nanny laws multiply like maggots on a dead dog's corpse, I daily see people riding bikes without helmets, driving without seat belts, and using their cel phones in the vehicle (and that law's only a few months old!).
My point is that on an operational level, these silly laws have no real effect on the day to day lives of average people unless those people choose to focus on them. I'm not saying that the laws are OK, just mostly irrelevant.
In short: Let them catch me.

Oh, and Counterclockwise...regarding the Federal election: Google "Warren Ellis on voting" for a preview of what you'll get on Oct. 14th.
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Counterclockwise on Thu Sep 11, 2008 5:39 am

what exactly am i supposed to find with that search string?

In any case, we can accept that voting may or may not matter, and that I may or may not vote, which creates four possible scenarios.
(I vote and it doesn't matter, I vote and it does matter, I don't vote and it doesn't matter, i don't vote and it matters).
Trivial outcomes are if I don't vote, or if voting doesn't matter. This eliminates all but one of the possibilities: that I vote, and it matters.

I cannot control whether voting matters, nor know whether it does, but I can control whether or not I vote. The useful possibility may only occur if I vote, therefore I will vote, regardless of any cynical or pessimistic outlooks.
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby AisA on Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:53 am

Counterclockwise wrote:what exactly am i supposed to find with that search string?

In any case, we can accept that voting may or may not matter, and that I may or may not vote, which creates four possible scenarios.
(I vote and it doesn't matter, I vote and it does matter, I don't vote and it doesn't matter, i don't vote and it matters).
Trivial outcomes are if I don't vote, or if voting doesn't matter. This eliminates all but one of the possibilities: that I vote, and it matters.

I cannot control whether voting matters, nor know whether it does, but I can control whether or not I vote. The useful possibility may only occur if I vote, therefore I will vote, regardless of any cynical or pessimistic outlooks.


I won't quote it here, just to keep Ian's board clean, but you can read the quote here: http://www.freethought-forum.com/forum/ ... php?t=1959

My own view, which I have not found any reason to change to date, is that abstaining from voting is as valid a response as voting, in that the abstainer refuses to add support to any of the choices being offered. If I'm offered a choice between a knee to the groin and a poke in the eye, the only sane choice is say, "Neither, thank you" and find someplace to lay low for a while.

Edit: Let me amend that. The choice is really more like: "You're going to get a knee to the groin. Would you prefer if I use my right knee or my left knee?"
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Ian McDonald on Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:55 am

I share much of your cynicism regarding the voting process, AisA, but in the upcoming federal election, I am voting, if only to vote against the Conservatives. Stephen Harper and his gang offend me on so many levels, not the least of which because Harper comes off as Canada's answer to George W. Bush. Much as I love America, and can't wait to go down there again next month, the last thing I want is for this country to become more like the U.S. under the Bush Administration.

Furthermore, Newfoundland's Premier Danny Williams claimed that in a face-to-face meeting with Stephen Harper, the PM told him that the Conservatives don't need Newfoundland in order to form a majority government. Well, at least we know what he thinks of this part of the country!

I suspect the Conservatives will retain power, and if this is the case, my hope is that they'll get another minority government. They won't be able to do quite as much damage that way. :)

Arantor, if Stephen Harper and the Conservatives form a majority government in this election, you'd be better off staying in Great Britain! :grumble:
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Arantor on Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:47 pm

It does sound real ominous - maybe I won't make plans just yet. Hopefully in the next election we'll out the current bunch of jokers and vote the other bunch of jokers in. To think, I used to believe in what the current party stood for.

I guess my comments earlier were unintentionally provocative; I just keep seeing on forums this misguided belief that the UK is somehow better than the USA and Canada combined. We can be even more stupid and introduce several thousand laws in 11 years in power, but it's all right, the electorate who didn't ask for these laws can pay for them.

The one thing I can be sure of is that I can predict the future. I can tell you what legislation will be introduced in 6-12 months time by reading today's tabloids. I love the smell of democracy, it smells like something I remember.
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Re: Aiming for a less quiet board . . .

Postby Counterclockwise on Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:46 pm

I agree with you precisely about Steven Harper and the federal conservatives, Ian.
To tell the truth, I'm starting to get edgy about keeping Danny in office, too, but he's still much better than the other possible replacements. He just has too much support to potentially abuse if he decided to do so.

@arantor: I think everyone just complains about the political state of their own country on the internet. The UK is english while being relatively close to jolly ol' Europe, and it isn't the US, which is 3 good things going for it for most english speaking people. Canada? We're next to the US and many people think we are part of the US. Particularly people from the US. Personally, I think that Canada would still be better than the UK if we had 50 years of the worst politicians possible. :p
Of course, if Newfoundland decided to leave Canada, I wouldn't really care about the remainder of Canada altogether too much. Yeah, it's a nice place to visit, and I have family there, but why would I want to live elsewhere than Newfoundland?
There are an increasing number of Newfoundland separatists, and if the conservatives do get a majority government, Newfoundland might actually begin to consider perhaps leaving Canada sometime a few generations down the road. Maybe.

@AisA: I would say, "Neither knee, thanks, but if it's inevitable, I'll take the left knee" (on the assumption that the person is probably right-handed, and therefore right-legged, and cannot therefore put nearly as much power into a kick using the left leg).
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