Diogenes's picture

Black Screen of Death II


It was a little over one week ago that I was finishing off the homepage renovations when my notebook computer completely locks up - not even a mouse or keyboard response. I have to press on the power button for about 10 seconds (this is like 10 minutes in internet time) before the laptop shuts down. I power up again.

MBR error appears in white letters on a black screen. I try again.

Disk read error comes up this time, in white on black. This is a bad sign,very bad.

Us old-timers call this the Black Screen of Death (BSOD). It is a sign that either the hard disk has failed or the operating system has been corrupted.

This is my 3rd BSOD in five years. Dealing with BSOD's on a Microsoft Windows system is a royal PITA.

Diogenes's picture

Home renovations

All is good!

We have been doing more home page renovations, experimenting with different backgrounds and colors and stuff, when I decided I really do like orange. I must be losing my mind! So I go back to the original orange.


Then MLW says, that's not orange, there's too much yellow! I think you have color blindness issues. So so then I end up repainting all the rooms again! Typical home renovations.

A new section has been added, The ABCP Crusades, for all the blogs written about the topic.

Last Friday the retail investors of Canaccord Securities got their money back, bringing a happy close to an amazing saga.

Diogenes's picture

Beware of the experts

My friend Brian sent me an email with this little gem of a quote. He had received it in an email from a stockbroker.

marx (5K)

"Owners of capital will stimulate the working class to buy more and more of expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable. The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks, which will have to be nationalized, and the State will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism"

Karl Marx, Das Kapital, 1867
Diogenes's picture

Point & counterpoint

Do we need a national regulator?

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach

The government of Alberta has stated that it will oppose the establishment of national securities regulator. They argue that it is a provincial responsibility, accorded to it by the constitution. They have offered few other reasons why this should be an exclusive right.

Canada has had many expert panels and commissions over the years that have consistently recommended replacing Canada's patchwork of 13 regional regulators with a single national regulator. The latest panel was chaired by Tom Hockin, the one before that by Purdy Crawford, architect of Canada's recent ABCP restructuring.

Purdy Crawford

Economists and other experts on these matters have almost all agreed that a single regulator in Canada would be a good idea, both for investment and protection of investors.

Why then, the resistance?

Diogenes's picture

Mad as hell, again

purdy2 (3K)

I'm mad, mad as hell, over Alberta's resistance to a national security regulator.

I have rejoined Facebook under a new name and rejoined their group "Canaccord and Other ABCP Clients". An internet activist is reborn.

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach

The ABCP fiasco is coming to a close after 18 months but retail investors will not be celebrating until the money is in a mattress, so low is the trust in lawyers, committees and banks.

Diogenes's picture

Disgraceful - Alberta's Stand on Securities Regulation

I'm mad, mad at the politicians in my home province of Alberta.

There are a number of blogs on this site that have touched on the need for a single national securities regulator in Canada.

By constitution, Canadian securities regulation is a provincial jurisdiction. So we have 13 different securities regulators! Only one other country in the world (out of 191 tallied) has this curious, provincial arrangement.

Securities regulation in Canada

Prosecution of white collar crime and securities fraud in Canada is a bit of joke. It's not hard to understand why.

Our most famous white collar criminal, Conrad Black, serves his sentence in an American prison for deeds similar to what he had practised and mastered in Canada over many years. Any legal action against him in Canada was brushed away without much trouble, like the chalk lines on his finely tailored suits.

John Felderhoff of Bre-X manages his ignominious seclusion from his Bermuda estate. He does feel very badly about the billions that investors lost; but how was he to know?.

Diogenes's picture

Never say never

purdy2 (3K)

Back in June 2008, I wrote what I said would be my last blog on a ABCP.

Until then, I had been an active and vocal member of the Facebook group Canaccord and other ABCP clients. I had written blogs about the group and the topic, posted links to news articles and sent e-mails to a whole gaggle of MP's. I was consuming every story I could find on Goggle News.

I was a Facebook ABCP group junkie. Worse yet, I didn't even own any of toxic paper or live in Canada at the time. It was a vicarious life.

Why would I care, you ask? Because I am Canadian! This curious connection to home was my nirvana. Does that make sense? Take off eh?

Diogenes's picture

Gelukkig Nieuw Jaar

hoarFrost (57K)

There have been exploding noises throughout the neighbourhood for the last two days. They happen more often now, and with darkness coming early, we have been treated to the odd burst of color sparkles appearing here and there.

dec31a (46K)

I love the noises here. The air is moist and heavy and carries the sound like the sea. Holland is densely populated and though we are in a quiet neighbourhood, every now and then we hear a big BANG or explosion.

One of us will say "What the HELL was that?" (usually me), and we go to a window or the balcony to look. But we never see anything and it never seems to be of consequence.

Diogenes's picture

Heathrow Revisited

I absolutely dreaded coming back through Heathrow because if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong at Heathrow. When they opened the new Terminal 5 not long ago so much luggage was lost they had to sent it to the Italians to get it sorted.

But here we are. As far as I can tell, we landed on time and with minimum fuss. Off the plane, down some stairs and on to a waiting bus. The bus departs soon after we seat ourselves and a TV announces that we will be at terminal 1 in seven minutes. We are. We breeze through security. No queues. Security staff are pleasant and speak perfect english. I don't even have to remove the laptop or charger from the backpack.

We have a cup of coffee. I have this great smoked salmon and crayfish salad while we are waiting, did not care for the beet salad prison food served on the plane. Everything is on sale here. The £ is $1.70 CDN and almost at par with the Euro. I'm astonished. I buy a pair of Reluctant Traveler shoes, the kind that will handle a walk in the park in 100km winds after freezing rain. The shoes are a great price!

The world is upside down. I am enjoying Heathrow, I am buying stuff in London at the airport and it's a great deal. I am impressed with the efficiency and experience of this airport. Have I died? Perhaps this is limbo?

Diogenes's picture

Year end blogging

sandCastle1 (50K)

Picking up where we left off, in our last episode, our reluctant traveller is thinking about packing for another trip…

Monday, Dec 15

Tomorrow I go for an MRI and the day after we leave for Calgary.

As I write this it is -28°C in Calgary, but this is set to improve. By the time we arrive, all things going as forecast, it should be a balmy -18°C. and sunny.

Pack the sun-screen honey, we're going home!

Tuesday, Dec 16

Had the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) today, a weird experience. Forgot to remove my wedding ring but it wasn't a problem. There was this pump running in the background throughout the session that made me think of the car in the Disney movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang".

I was given a pair of ear muffs to deaden the sound and a rubber bulb to squeeze if something was wrong. They attendant tells me "No one can hear you if you yell".


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