Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2005

Sorry about the delay--

An eventful week.
Work is still piling on stresses, which I am sure is a contributing factor to my being sick.
I can't remember a six month period that has seen so many people I know fall ill, nor one in which I'VE been ill so frequently.
Today's combo platter features a moderately high fever, fluctuating between 100 and 103, and its attendant chills; oceans of snot; and the perennial persistent hacking cough, a relic of chronic bronchitis I suffered as a child.

The week in my world:

One best friend lost a cat, a member of her family for 17 years. People seem to expect you to shrug that kind of thing off like it was nothing, which is utter bull. I think bereavement leave is only proper for the loss of a pet.
Our cats are getting up there in age as well, and I dread the day I either find them dead...or have to put them down.

My other best friend is getting married at the end of next month. It'll be a simple civil ceremony in Toronto. I couldn't be happier for J…

A GOOD Friday

I can't remember the last time I needed a day off this badly.
This past week has been hellacious.


I was going to work 1-9, but I'd forgotten about the fifth meeting with Children's Aid in what now seems to be a neverending series. That appointment was for 4:30, and we had no idea how long it would go. So, after working 11-4, I made arrangements to do something I haven't done in nearly five years: work a night shift.

I must confess to a growing sense of frustration with this adoption process. We were told at the beginning that there are usually four or five homestudy sessions. Now I find out there are at least two more necessary: the next one is two weeks off. At this rate, we'll be asking our kids to call us Grandma and Grandpa.
Worse, the sense that this might all go for nothing is still with me. Tom keeps plucking objections to our raising adopted children out of his head like so much Kleenex. Each of these objections must be discussed at great length until To…

The Living Will of Congress

In both Canada and the United States, there are quite a few people who are disgusted with what they term "activist judges". According to these people, who are mostly on the right of the political spectrum, the legal system is engaged in a grand experiment to re-engineer society, usually (they argue) to its detriment.
If you talk to people who rail against activist judges, before long you'll hear something like this: "The courts are there to interpret laws, not make them. Making laws is government's job."

Such absolute faith in legislators! This is bizarre coming from the Right, which tends to distrust government and hold it at arm's length as if it smelled bad.

So judges are supposed to keep the hell away from government. Okay. Got it. But doesn't that mean the reverse should also be true...that the legislative branch shouldn't entwine itself in the judicial branch? You'd think so, wouldn't you? In fact, the Constitution of the United State…

Beware the Running Slipknots in the Net...

The Toronto Sun is doing a series, starting today, on cyber-molesters. Reading Part One was enough to chill my blood and numb my mind.
One of their reporters posed as a thirteen-year-old girl and in very short order had a wide variety of men propositioning her, masturbating for her via Webcam, and offering to drive thousands of miles to "make her happy". She stressed that she didn't have to go looking for these perverts...the perverts found her, and in seemingly innocuous online venues. In a few short weeks, she'd made well over a hundred contacts.

I would have found this astonishing had I never been online myself.

I first got on the Internet in early 1991. Cyberspace was primitive back then. The only graphics you tended to see online were ASCII art. Webcams were unheard of, and so were porno sites. When you checked your email, you didn't have to weed through offers to increase your penis size or show you "horny lezzie teens" or "Suzi and her horse&qu…
The kind of books I like to read are about imaginary worlds.
Big worlds, little worlds, it doesn't really matter. What matters (for me) is how well I can relate to the author's vision--do I lift my eye from the page and lament th I'm still here in this universe, in this dimension? Do I sit back after closing the book and fervently wish I could transform words into reality?
The worlds of Harry Potter enchant me, it's true. So do the worlds of Robert Sawyer and Guy Gavriel Kay. The zany universes of Douglas Adams have their charms, and I feel quite at home in many of the alternate realities Robert Heinlein dreamed up.
But the two most inspiring places I've ever visited in fiction--and dearly wished I could stay forever in--are the brainchildren of one Spider Robinson. They are a bar called Callahan's Place and a brothel called Lady Sally's House.
What was that, Ken? Did you, with your avowed hatred of alcohol, actually profess to admire a bar?
Yup. Admittedly, a f…

March Madness

Sweeping out the random crumbs building up in this here Breadbin:

Can anybody explain to me just what it is about college basketball that inspires so much passion in a sizeable subset of Americans?
Better yet, why do Canadians play along?
I can understand rooting for your alma mater: I'm guilty of that myself on occasion. And as an inveterate homer, I can stretch my definition of 'alma mater' to 'school located in or near your hometown' a pinch. But so many people are so wrapped up in collegiate hoops...including people who have always lived hundreds or thousands of miles away from any American academic institution...that there simply has to be another explanation.
Damned if I know what it is.

After a good fifteen years of banging my head against the wall, I finally read an explanation for why the majority of criminals in this country don't serve their full sentences. According to Macleans, the Canadian philosophy is to reintegrate offenders into society before…

Where Great Shopping Lives

VAUGHAN MILLS--All it needs is a foot transplant centre somewhere near Entry 5.
To be fair, this mall has gone further than most to be tender on shoppers' tootsies: there's cushioning, and sometimes outright carpeting, under your toes. Still, by the time you've circumnavigated this mallworld, your feet will be feeling it, guaranteed.
I've always enjoyed walking malls...the big ones, anyway. Sure, many people will tell you they're all the same, that a mall is just a mall, but I don't agree. Every good-sized shopping center has stores, services, and little touches of decor that make it stand out. And any decent-sized mall is a welcome treat for this denizen of northern Waterloo region. They don't know from shopping centers in this city.
When I first heard about the opening of Vaughan Mills, billed as the largest mall in Ontario, I was, predictably, intrigued. Of course, I couldn't just rush out to inspect the place. It's just over an hour from here, for…


Tom from Children's Aid will be here once, perhaps twice more before he decides whether or not he can trust us with children, and if so, what kind of children.
We've finally moved off my childhood, which is a relief. I think Tom has simply given up on trying to understand that period of my life. I can't say I blame him. I don't understand that period of my life.

During a job interview, my wife was once asked, "how do you deal with deadlines?" Her response: "I meet them. I didn't know I had a choice."
I was tempted to answer last session's big question--"how do you deal with your anger?"--in the same flippant yet serious tone. Deal with anger? I just do. But that wasn't good enough for Tom; he kept trying to paint me into a corner. It was almost like he was trying to force a confession out of me. "Yeah, every once in a while, when I'm really pissed, I just haul off and punch people. Then I feel better."

Herewith, my m…






Mayerthorpe. Rochfort Bridge. They sound like quaint English villages, the sorts of places where, on a daily basis, nothing makes a point of happening. News sometimes penetrates the town limits, but usually only in one direction. But every once in an old-timer's lifetime, reporters from all over scratch their heads in the newsroom and mutter "where the hell is that?" Whenever these places are referenced in the national news, always hundreds of kilometres from somewhere the viewing audience might possibly have heard of, you can be sure the event was sudden and horrible.

Those passing through such yawns in the road glance right, then left, and ten minutes later they've forgotten what that sign back there said. Those few who live here, though, feel the heartbeat of the town in their veins afte…

Bonehead Move, Dithers

BMD: Ballistic Missile Defense. Just another in a long series of gaffes by our Prime Minister.
Look, Martin: I know you're leading a minority government, but just how minor do you want to look? Because you're looking petty, petulant, and pointless right now.
There are some people in your party who are cheering you, and I think Layton was considering naming you an honourary member of the New Democratic Party the other day. Way to stand up to those damn Yankee bastards, eh Paul? In pulling your moral support, you stopped the whole thing dead in its tracks.
Didn't you?
Okay, maybe not, but you delayed it, then, right?
So this missile shield is going to be built anyway. At least you saved Canada a few billion dollars that the United States was asking us to kick in.
They didn't want any money?
Hmm. Oh! I get it! Somebody fed you a line about "the weaponization of space".And you know most Canadians are against that.
Well, Paul, I'll let you in on a little secret. …