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Pat Dryburgh

Yesterday, I received an email from Vincent W. He discovered a song I co-wrote back “in the days of Audio Galaxy and Napster” but lost the MP3 when an old computer died. After years of searching in vain, he finally found a reference to the song’s title on my personal blog and emailed me to determine whether he’d finally found what he was looking for.

In an effort to make Vincent’s day, I present the world premier of the music video no one but Vincent was waiting for:

Jesse Spano is a Speed Freak!

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  1. The steel drum band that played as attendees entered the auditorium was awesome. Great vibe.
  2. I don’t understand why it was held indoors instead of a park with ample shade. Also… steel drums were made to be played outdoors.
  3. There appeared to be very few chairs available for those who needed them. Maybe they were available and I didn’t notice them, but I wasn’t not looking.
  4. The mic volume for the speakers was way too quiet and at times was difficult to hear.
  5. Meanwhile, recorded music that played as speakers entered the stage was so loud, a few attendees had to leave the auditorium.
  6. There were a few hundred people in attendance (I’d guess 300 and I once won a teddy bear by guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar). I have no idea how many people were in attendance. Please see correction note below 🤦‍♂️
  7. The audience filled approximately 5/8 of the available space. When I decided to attend, I expected there to be thousands of attendees, but they would not have fit.
  8. I saw no police and couldn’t identify any security.
  9. Approximately 4/5 of attendees were very engaged and enthusiastic. The remaining were more reserved—like myself—plus a few dozen wandering teenagers.
  10. Lots of people brought signs and signs were provided. There was a large surplus of signs. Here’s hoping the signs get reused. That should be a law. Also… hemp signs only #makemeyourruler
  11. Almost no one was social distanced. In fact, orange-masked volunteers were encouraging us to move closer to the stage and therefore each other. I refused and made my way to the back of the auditorium in a spot where the radius between myself and all others was at its greatest, made complicated by the teenage wanderers.
  12. Everyone wore masks inside, but there were many, many exposed noses. I would have spoken up but am afraid of teenagers.
  13. I was glad to have an N95 mask because those other masks are dogshit. Go ahead. Put one on, light a match, and see how easy it can be blown out. Of course, having a beard reduces the effectiveness of any mask as does prolonged exposure in a crowded indoor space… 🤦‍♂️ Science is hard; don’t message me.
  14. I resonated with the message that was presented, though I recognize all political parties are complicated and speak to different segments of our population in different ways, some more dangerous than others. I don’t think any political party is perfect, but through my experience with my parents and the values they instilled in me, I am strongly convicted that health care is both a human right and a significant asset for Canadian society and that we need to do more, not less, to expand accessibility and include other services like dental and mental health.

Politics is only one of many methods by which we interact with our fellow humans.

May it never be the most important.

Correction: An earlier version of this post estimated attendance of Saturday’s rally to be around 300 people. Admittedly, this was intended to be a conservative estimate. Upon reviewing video taken during the event and learning the max capacity of the Canadian Convention Centre is 1,600, the author now believes attendance of the rally to be closer to 1,000 as claimed by Ontario NDP. The author realizes now that winning a teddy bear by guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar was a case of good luck and not a skill transferable to estimating crowd sizes. The author regrets the error.

In fact, now I feel incredibly stupid and owe a sincere apology to the Ontario NDP. What I had intended to be a conservative estimate of 300–400 was in fact less than half of what I now believe the attendance to have been.

I apologize to the Ontario NDP, the volunteers who organized and produced the event, and to anyone who read my initial estimate and believed it to be true. I realize lies travel faster than the truth and I am sorry I contributed a falsehood to the story of this event.

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Several days ago I logged into Micro.blog for the first time in a few months. After a bit of scrolling to catch up, I was pleasantly surprised to see I had been mentioned in a conversation between @sod and @pimoore where @sod mentioned he and his girlfriend had been using my Hitchens theme for Jekyll for their book blog, Läslöss. Check it out! It’s a very cool modification of Hitchens. Since releasing the theme, I’ve slowly been compiling a list of cool Hitchens mods that I intend to publish here, but that’s for a future post.

This post is about how @sod’s post led to my discovery that developer Pete Moore (@pimoore on Micro.blog) had recently developed and released a version of the Hitchens theme for Micro.blog! Along with a few tweaks to the theme’s form and function, Pete was able to port my Jekyll theme to Hugo, the software that powers every blog hosted on Micro.blog. And from what I’ve seen over the last few days, people are really digging it!

Back in 2019 when I was first developing Hitchens, I got a really nice mention from Micro.blog founder Manton Reese indicating his interest in having Hitchens ported for use on Micro.blog. I tried a year later to start the work of porting it to Hugo and Micro.blog, but unfortunately other things came up.

By initially releasing the Hitchens theme under an MIT open source license, I created the opportunity for any other developer to build off of my work. On Github, the project has been forked almost two hundred times and, as mentioned above, I’ve seen some really great modifications of the theme over the last two years. (Follow my blog by email, Micro.blog, or RSS to be notified when I post that mods post 😃)

This is the first time software I’ve released has been taken and ported to an entirely different platform and I am honoured that Pete did such a great job of maintaining the spirit of the original theme. If my blog was hosted on Micro.blog, there’s a very strong chance I’d be giving his version of Hitchens a spin.

If your blog is hosted on Micro.blog, check out the Hitchens theme for Micro.blog. And if you’re interested in blogging and aren’t sure where to start, I highly recommend checking out the tools and supportive community Micro.blog has to offer.

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