Monthly Archives: November 2002


Some of you probably already know that Canada issued a travel advisory* telling Canadians with a Muslim background to not travel in the US. This is due to the US policy of fingerprinting and detaining all ethnic Muslims, even if their countries had no relation to the 9/11 attacks and there is nothing in their history to suggest a tie to terrorism.

This was spawned in part by the story of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen and an engineer, but originally born in Syria. He was returning to Canada after a vacation with his family, and his flight routed him through the US — I'm sure many of you remember my earlier story about a business associate who was dragged off an airplane and detained in a similar situation. Anyway, agents grabbed Maher — literally grabbed him out of the waiting area.

Weeks passed and no one had any idea where he was. Not even his wife was informed, and there was no confirmation whether it was even US agents or if he'd been kidnapped. Eventually they found him starting to rot in a prison in Syria, where he will now quite likely die.

Maher had been first shipped to New York and imprisoned there. He was held for six days and was then able to make a call. His mother-in-law arranged for a lawyer, who was told that Arar was a terrorist. A single meeting was held, and when the lawyer returned, Maher was gone and they refused to say what had happened.

When the Canadian government intervened and demanded to know where Maher was, they were told he'd been deported to Syria, even though he was a Canadian citizen. Canada has many citizens from “questionable” countries — we are a country built on immigrants and refugees. We even have many refugees from the US (computer crimes and marijuana crimes). In any case, Maher had fled Syria to avoid military service (Syria is a “state-sponsored terrorism” country — Maher literally fled to avoid being forced to be a terrorist), and if he returned, he'd go to prison.

And that is where he sits now.

Even if you don't care about Maher one way or the other, take a look at what this means. This means that your government can abduct people (he wasn't arrested, he was literally in a crowd waiting for a connecting flight to Montreal, was grabbed by agents and tossed in the back of a van), not tell you for weeks where they are (remember, it was only after the Canadian government intervened that we found out he was in Syrian prison), and then basically execute you “accidentally” instead of sending you back home.

Messed up….

(more info)

* The US has since repealed this, saying “Canadians are now exempt”, but with the caveat that they “still reserve the right to” do so. (That is, nothing has been done).


Time to figure out why the winch isn't working

Well duh, it helps if you plug it in

Yay! The winch works! I can save people now!

Next project: the emergency siren and PA system.

I'm heading down to Canadian Tire tomorrow to pick up a few pieces. I'm thinking about putting a CB in the truck if I can find a decent waterproof one at a fair price — part of the purpose of this truck now is to make sure that if there's, for example, a medical emergency, that no matter what there's a path to safety and help.

On other work news, I dug up my IAM to-do list from my old harddrive. Here's the current contents. As always, feel free to give suggestions for new features, either via IM or via the Whatever Forum.

  • Fix privacy statement link in FAQ
  • Allow archiving of outbox messages
  • Experience engine — allow high point reviewers to move experiences between sections.
  • Experience engine — get rid of warning required, but allow high-point reviewers to add them and other editorial comments.
  • Fix events engine so zoom in works for users not logged in (might already be done)
  • Add spellcheck/preview to forum posting
  • Add spellcheck/preview to IM system
  • Add preview button to diary update dialogs (ie. like spellcheck without the spellcheck)
  • Add an outbox icon to each user to show just messages sent to them
  • Add the IAM control words / special functions to the spellcheck dictionary
  • Plug petition engine into broadcaster
  • Fix spellchecker's handling of apostrophe-s
  • Add international support for the spellchecker
  • Spellcheck/update should keep all tickboxes, not just title, as should the “update number of iamges” option.
  • Upload multiple pictures at once to modtracker
  • Fix security issues with search functions and overviews modes
  • When you have multiple messages from one user, show all time stamps
  • Allow accounts to be locked to a specific IP range and/or ISP
  • Allow mixing UBB and HTML in posts
  • Allow you to turn off display of main window on page two onwards
  • Allow users to look at their own log files (logins, postings, etc.)
  • Bring back true non-archiving forums
  • Finish TOS panel archive
  • Ability to embed polls into diary entries
  • Reset button on layout
  • Do something a little better than xxxxxxx for deleted users
  • Add “URL=” to UBB and autoprocess standard URLs and email addresses
  • Rewrite UBB functions to be RegEx based
  • Add delete and/or ban on RSVP entries (events engine)
  • Allow email submission of diary entries
  • Add WAP output
  • Integrate MPEG and MP3 support, both in galleries, forums, diaries, and the IM system
  • Allow images to be sent via IM
  • Allow images to be included in forum posts
  • Edit names of sections in Mod-Tracker
  • Add ability to add comment forums later
  • Add check for tracker warning request to iam.code
  • Turn on custom layout
  • Some kind of top-forums or forums index
  • Public access forums and pseudo-accounts
  • Make it so (aborted) message doesn't happen when you visit a buddy's page
  • Experience engine: try and automatically stop double submissions
  • Experience engine: don't allow “profound” or “meaningful” in the title
  • Experience engine: add “multiplely submitted” to the deny options
  • Add public search form to experience engine for people who lost their experience (it could email it to them)
  • Experience engine should give warnings for common mispellings
  • Solidify fget/fset in iam.code
  • Undelete forum messages by the person who deleted it or admin
  • Add “more…” button to pages so people can quick-add to buddy list, etc.
  • Add complaints / TOS violation reporter to forum delete dialog and to IM viewer
  • If color is set to +, then make it transparent (allowing one to underlay backgrounds)
  • Finish mapping engine: make dynamic zooming, fix multi-name/area issues for international zones, etc.
  • Finish voice engine
  • Add (#) in IAM.alive when you have more than one message from that user — ie. glider (3) or something like that
  • Add nesting to iam.code (ie. {function {function}} etc.)
  • Allow page-blocking to include a person's buddy list as well, with specific user unblocking.
  • Add a (#) after comment forums in diary view mode

Hmmm… Maybe I shouldn't be asking for more things to do. But then again, everyone uses the system a little differently, so I very much appreciate the ideas… Yes, I definitely did the grunt work and kick started the design, but I absolutely think there's shared credit not just for this community but also for the software that it runs on.

Funmail time

Here's a sort of funny set of emails I got recently. I'm sure that Ron will appreciate it since probably the same guys (some idiots living in Nashville, although I doubt they know I know that) have been emailing him as well. I suppose I could just report him, since sending threats across state lines is a felony, but I really couldn't care less:

X-Originating-IP: []
From: "Bill Bush" <>
Subject: is it real
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 14:07:41 -0600

jason price said your stuff is all fake,is this true?

For those that don't know who Jason price is, he's “mrmodifier” on the forums. He's known there for posting streams of hateful, ignorant, and generally oblivious messages. I'd sent him a private message telling him (quite politely) some dos and don'ts of online communication, and then the next day he started posting about how much he hated BME. Anyway, this was my reply:

Jason Price apparently says a lot of stuff.
Of course it's not fake, only an idiot or someone with a real big chip on their shoulder would say that.

Not surprisingly (I'm sure you can figure out who's sending the messages), I almost immediately get back the following reply (I've tried to include his text formatting as closely as possible):

X-Originating-IP: []
From: "Bill Bush" <>
Subject: Re: is it real
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 14:28:59 -0600


That's quite a hostile response, isn't it? So I say,

Well, it's clear that you're a person of quality. Glad to hear a genius like you owns two shops, I'm sure you really care about your customers.

The part that cracks me up is when people use “fag” as an insult. Do they really think I could care less if people think I'm gay? Given that it's pretty clear that I have no problem with homosexuality, it's sort of like saying “You have a Hitachi TV! I bet you like watching movies you sick fuck!” or something like that…

X-Originating-IP: []
From: "Bill Bush" <>
Subject: Re: is it real
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 14:40:19 -0600


You have to love it when someone can't even keep their insults straight.

If I'm a “fag” then I'd be fucking old men.
Get your insults straight Einstein.

What was your purpose in writing me? Was it just to make a fool of yourself?
Oh wait, no, you're too much of a coward to tell me who you really are.

OK, this is starting to get boring… On the forums, people got bored of talking to mrmodifier pretty fast because he just repeats the same tired old insults over and over, without really responding to what you say. It's like talking to a toaster. Yeah, it pretty consistently throws burnt toast at you, but it doesn't really say anything intelligent, and you can't really have a conversation of any value with it.

X-Originating-IP: []
From: "Bill Bush" <>
Subject: Re: is it real
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 18:15:17 -0600

hay bitch,canadins are fags,when (our)group get our hands on you einstien wont be able to help you you have about a month till we meet fucking fag,i cant wait,you fags talk shit on the net see you pretty soon fag…………….

Ah, a threat. Now it's getting funny at least. I'm assuming that he thinks I'm going to SusCon 2002 Dallas (I wish I was, but I'm not). But threatening people or groups coming to the convention for no apparent reason (I literally got the first email out of the blue) probably isn't the best way to ingratiate yourself with the suspension community or with the event hosts. In any case, my reply:

Ooooh! Are you going to beat me up? Put a cap in my ass?

You don't even have the bravery to tell me who you are. You're just a little kid shaking behind an anonymous email account. You know who I am — I'm not afraid to say my name. Too bad you're such a coward. It's real easy to boast about your tattoo shops, your $500,000, and what a tough little bigot you are when you can't even say your name.

Let's not wait a month. How about I send some associates to visit YOU in Nashville? Don't think I don't know exactly who you are.

Silly, I know, but as I said, he's not terribly clever and it just keeps generating the same boring responses. It's like talking to Eliza.

X-Originating-IP: [] From: "Bill Bush" <>
Subject: Re: is it real
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2002 09:54:08 -0600

i can tell by your picture your queer,and ill leave it at that,jason price was right,youll now who i am when you see me fag.

then send them fag,you canadians talk lots of shit,bring it own,but your queer ass better have the balls to come

OK, this is starting to get ridiculous.

Oh grow up. What are you, ten?

Let me ask you a very simple question: what are you trying to achieve with this posturing? What was your point in emailing me in the first place, besides making yourself look like a hick dumbass?

The punchline is that he doesn't even know. He figures the threaten and posture stage comes before the planning stage:

X-Originating-IP: []
From: "Bill Bush" <>
Subject: Re: is it real
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2002 11:06:03 -0600

when jason and our crew get our hands on you youll know

From the IP and a couple other things, it's obvious that this response has been sent from someone else; he's clearly forwarded it to another group member to get a more literate response (you'll notice the distinct lack of font problems). Anyway, I figure this'll really upset him:

As they say in Israel, “zayin al hakuss hamasrihach shel haima hamechoeret shelcha”. Or perhaps you do not speak Hebrew? You do not appear to be an educated man

You do realize that transmitting threats across state lines is a felony, don't you, and that I have recorded every single thing you've said, along with full IP records?

Reading it now I realize that he probably won't have any idea what “IP records” even means, let alone being able to figure out the Hebrew.

X-Originating-IP: []
From: "Bill Bush" <>
Subject: Re: is it real
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2002 11:17:30 -0600

ive done the same,thief,will be up north in dec.see you then,my name is bill bush,this will be my last mail to you fag,your a thief,and its caught up with you

Well this is getting boring. I think it's time to try some “reverse psychology”, don't you?

Wow, thanks for your email! I just wanted to tell you straight up, I really like 2 FUCK! Jason told me u're into fuckin' too. Lets hookup for a juicy weekend (maybe even this weekend) and cum together!

Can't wait to fuck like rabbits,
Big Canadian Fag

Somehow I doubt that he'll stick to his “this is the last email I'm sending you” claim. As I suspected:

X-Originating-IP: []
From: "Bill Bush" <>
Subject: Re: is it real
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2002 11:27:02 -0600

if thats what you like see you in dec.

In the interests of a lengthy funmail, I of course replied. I think I ought to switch over to my Franko Derb persona soon.

So what you're saying is if it's “Elif air ab tizak” (as they say in Saudi Arabia), you're there?
My address in Toronto is 40 College St., Toronto, ON. Stop by any time.

PS. When you said, “this is the last email I'm sending you”, what you actually meant was “I'll be emailing you again in a few minutes”, right?

Instead of replying, he just forwarded my message back to me twice in a row (maybe he thought he was flooding my account, or maybe he was trying to redirect it to someone else)… I haven't heard from him since. I'm sure that there are pranksters far better than me who will have some fun (if you do, and you post it, please let me know, it always cracks me up).

By request…

First I finally put up the cover image I was supposed to put up some time ago to help advertise SusCon. It's not far away now, so if you're going, you'd better register now and get your tickets and all that. First timers are welcome, and there's everything from very fresh beginner stuff to highly advanced stuff. Some of the best suspensiopn artists in the world will be there.

It's snowing very heavily out now; it's practically a blizzard. I really hope it stays (can you tell, I'm acting like a little kid)… It's been well over ten years now since I've spent a winter outside of the city and I'm so looking forward to it (although I'll be in the city a lot still).

Anyway, I was asked for some information on my truck; the how and why of it's “exoskeleton”. When the truck was still red (the unmodified body), I was being pulled over by the police for not having fenders that covered the tires. The “final straw” was one day in the middle of winter on a particularly snowy day (I think this was during Toronto's killer blizzard a few years back). The 44″ Bogger tires that I run are designed to grab whatever they're running on, and then as they rotate, to throw that out of the treads (ie. the tire is self cleaning). So I was throwing slushy snow about forty feet behind me and about twenty feet up when I was at speed.

Needless to say, I was informed that if I didn't remedy the situation before putting the truck on the road (I got away with it because when they ran me through the computer they agreed my other cars were summer cars and I told them I was only driving this in emergencies), they'd impound it the next time.

We narrowed our customization paths down to two things. The first thing we considered was simply doing a “widebody”. That is, cutting the body down the centre, and adding about a foot and a half of sheet metal. One other guy had done that with a similar truck, and it really looks quite terrifying. Very imposing. Anyway, after some doodling, we ended up with the transformation you've all seen before:

It wasn't really too hard to do. We basically just took a sawzall to the fenders and cut off the old ones and some of the bodywork… After that, we just started welding. We didn't even have a bender! All of that is “handstitched”, and the left and right sides are just eyeballed… I think a very good job was done.

The bumpers are just massive pieces of heavy-wall square tube, and the exoskeleton (front guard, sides, etc.) are all straight sections of 1″ square tubing. The roll cage is a stock piece that we welded some extra 2″ tube to, and the tube doors are stock too, with a little bit extra added to them. The paint job was done by grafitti artist friend of mine.


I'll be writing a much longer article on this in an upcoming week, but I sure have been getting some funny hatemail lately from tribbles lately for supporting self-piercing. So let me make my stance on this very clear:

  1. Many of my piercings are self done, and they were without exception safe, well done given the times, and a positive experience.
  2. The entire piercing industry is built on the efforts of self-piercers. It was founded by self-piercers, and most of the early piercers and current “master piercers” are self-taught self-piercers.
  3. Given the state of the modern piercing industry, if a person lives in a mid-sized or larger town, odds are good they have access to a solid experienced piercer. This is usually the best option.
  4. Some people either do not want to be pierced by someone else, or do not live in an area where they have reasonable access to a piercer and therefore will either self-pierce or not be pierced at all.
  5. BME's role in this case is provide information on the subject, not to force one view or silence another.
  6. Supplies are very easy to get from thousands of sources. Many of these sources are disreputable and sell low-quality items.
  7. If someone wants to pierce themselves, they have that right, and I will support them in that right, both politically as well as by offering access to high quality supplies.

So… While on the whole I think most people are better off going to a professional (when I say most I mean 99%), I also recognize both that for some people self-piercing is a better experience and that ultimately as long as I've done everything I can to provide good information, it's up to the individual to choose their own path.

I don't know… I guess some people think that's an unethical stance and that people like me are going to be responsible for killing this industry. But I think that's a ludicrous stance, and I'd put BME's ethics and genuine support both of this community and this industry up against any other site out there.

In any case, I'll have some funny/scary funmail later today for you (unrelated to the above). It snowed again this morning, but it didn't last long this time either. You can sort of see it in these pictures (it's totally gone now):

As a PS., I'm not sure that I would ever trust a piercer who didn't have experience piercing themselves to pierce me. I personally think it's a pretty fundamental step in the learning process (but that's my personal opinion, not my official stance or anyhting).