Throttle: A Bookmarklet That Removes Turbo From RTH

Raise the Hammer has long been a favourite place of mine for both reading and writing. Unfortunately, in the last few weeks, a determined and apparently unemployed troll named Turbo has been attempting to ruin the discussion there (unemployed or underemployed: the sheer volume of comments leaves no other conclusion).

As a result I’ve had no choice but to write a bookmarklet that automatically hides all of his comments when you click it.

To use it in Firefox or Chrome (probably Safari as well), just drag and drop the URL below (the one that says Throttle) to your bookmark’s toolbar. In Internet Explorer, right click on the link and choose “Add to favourites” (not sure how you get it into your browser toolbar from there, but if you know, go ahead and add a comment below.


Once you’ve done that, all you have to do to use it is click it while reading any RTH article or post. All of Turbo’s comments will instantly disappear and you can go on reading without with his absurd trolling.

P.S. This also just happens to automatically downvote his comments too…

UPDATE: Here’s a version that takes care of Hammy:



Thoughts on O, 2

Oliver is two years and three months old. He’s an amazing little man. He seems to get cuter every day, an impossible feat. He trucks around with determination, his little legs whipping along, always moving from one thing to the next.

He’s curious. When he hears something, he asks, “What was that? What was that noise?” He loves to pick things up from the ground – sticks, rocks, whatever. To his mother’s horror, the other day he scavenged a french fry from the floor of the mall and happily ate it. In other words, he is resourceful.

He is observant. He can spot a sliver of the moon in broad daylight, when it scarcely looks different than a scrap of cloud. He learns quickly and is unafraid of embarrassing himself. I’m in a constant pattern of language instruction with him, introducing new words and asking him to repeat them. He does very well at it. I like to throw some curveballs in there too. “That’s called ‘manipulation’, Oliver. Can you say ‘manipulation’?” “Manish-ship-ship-shun.” “Can you say controversial?” “Con-oh-SERial!”

Although his vocabulary may not have caught up to mine yet, he has already superseded my musical ability. His rendition of Gincle Gincle Little Star is far sweeter to the ear than my best attempts. He is also adept at filling in the parts of songs he doesn’t know with semi-melodic mumbling, which will put him in good stead when he needs to sing the national anthem later on in life.

He loves to be tickled. When he’s had enough, he lets me know: “Daddy, dop!” In general he is not afraid to let me know when I’m being a pain in the ass. “No, Daddy. Go way, Daddy!”

On the other hand, he doesn’t like it when I leave. We have interesting conversations in the front hallway on weekday mornings when he tries to prevent me from going to work.

“No Daddy go!”

“Daddy has to go to work.”

“Why Daddy work?”

“Daddy has to work so that he can make money.”

“Why money?”

“Because we need money so that we can buy food.”


“Because we need to eat.”


Why indeed? I used to believe that when I had a child, I would always try to explain things to that child and never resort to the pat answers I’d hear from other parents (“just because”). My child is only two and he is already defeating this goal. Why DO we need to eat?

You can answer that question, sure, but ask enough “whys”, and you’ll find yourself trying to explain the nature and reasons for existence of the universe – to a two-year-old.

Then again, he’s probably got as good a chance of understanding it as most. In fact, I think he’s taught me far more about the ultimate nature of life and existence than I could ever teach him.


Rare Satisfaction

You’re driving, going at a decent clip. Some jerk is tailgating you anyway. He’s so close you can see his face in your rear view mirror. He looks like a douchebag.

He keeps drifting to the left to see if he can pass. He can’t, which makes him frustrated. He probably has a crap job and a worse family, which are stressing him out. Or whoever he’s talking to on his cellphone isn’t telling him what he wants to hear.

He finally gets a chance to pass. Steps on it to make a point and roars past. “Man,” you think, “I really, really hope that jerkoff gets pulled over a few blocks ahead. I’ll smirk as I drive past. Maybe give him a friendly wave. That prick.”

That never, ever happens. But the other night, I got a tiny glimpse of what it would feel like.

I’m coasting in to an intersection. It’s a four-way stop. Some dude is rolling in to the intersection at the same time, opposite to me but turning left (down the street on my right). That means only one of us can go. We’re going to have to stop together, and then one of us is going to have to yield to the other. Either he’ll make his left turn, or I’ll head straight through.

I don’t mind yielding – I’m not in any rush. But he doesn’t give me the chance. He decides to preempt our little negotiation by not stopping at all. He just keeps going, makes his turn, and heads down the street on my right.

Unfortunately for him, we weren’t the only people waiting at the intersection. A third vehicle had arrived at the same time on the same street this guy just headed down. This vehicle, it just so happens, is a police vehicle, driven by a rather large police officer. At the moment I see him his hand is raised, palm upward, in a gesture that clearly communicates exactly the same thing I’m thinking: WTF?

I pause. The cop doesn’t. He u-turns and heads after the dude.

The moment is over, but the feeling remains: a rare, sweet satisfaction.


Thoughts on O

Our son Oliver is almost two years old (just a couple of months to go). I’ve been thinking lately that I’d like to record some memories from around this time, so here goes.

Lately he’s been learning how to jump, which he does by bending all the way forward, in a full crouch with his chest horizontal to the ground, and then extending upwards as vigorously as he can. This earns him about an inch of air.

In the morning, though, when I get him out of his crib, he holds onto the side of it and jumps up and down like a maniac. This technique gives him a lot more height, and it’s very funny to watch. It makes getting him out of bed in the morning doubly enjoyable. It’s hard to stay irritated with a Monday morning when someone else’s reaction to the new day is this much excitement.

Eating is always an adventure. An activity that I view as one of life’s great pleasures is a mixed bag for Oliver. Certain foods are always in favour (any type of pasta is met with the exclamation “noose!”, which means “noodles”), while the mere proximity of others is offensive, even if no attempt is being made to force the issue (broccoli may not be in contact with any part of his high chair).

His refusal to eat certain healthy foods has resulted in us playing the deception card, a parental favourite, by cutting food up and mixing it in with yogurt (another sure winner). Oliver enjoyed every bite of a wretched mixture of yogurt and chopped asparagus and chicken.

Last night, while at the in-laws, Oliver and I were indoors while the rest of the family was outside, and he shut a heavy door on his finger. He immediately started screaming in pain, stamping his feet in anguish and holding out his hand for me to look at. I could see that he did not understand why it hurt so much. This confusion is tragic to me. Growing up, he will often hurt, and many times will not know why, just like the rest of us.

This morning, although his fingernail was purple, it wasn’t bothering him any more. I’d say that now he’s less likely to play with doors, but I don’t think that’s true. Instead, he’ll probably just be a little better at it. The resilience of children and their determination to get good at stuff is amazing.

As Oliver gets older, our relationship is changing. I used to take care of him as a baby, now, I’m getting to know him as a person. Few experiences in my life have felt this meaningful.


Photoshopped? No!

Some people who saw this remarkable photo of what appears to be a wolf have claimed that it is fake or altered.

I contacted the person who sent me the photograph originally and she was kind enough to provide a full-sized version of the photo, which you can see here:

Wolf, full-size

I’m no photo expert but I think this goes a long way to disproving the critics.

I know it may seem hard to believe that they did indeed have a close encounter with a wild animal that is notoriously shy, but these things do happen. The rarity of the event just makes it all the more incredible.

Life, politics, code and current events from a Canadian perspective.

Adrian Duyzer
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