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Showing posts from June, 2005

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike...

I would have been eleven or so the year I was run over by a cop.
It happened off Grandview Drive in London, Ontario. It was the kind of summer afternoon made especially for bicycling--sunny and warm, but with just the right amount of breeze to cool you off without impeding your progress.
I was rip-snorting along Grandview at something close to the speed limit when I decided to make a right-hand turn on to some crescent or other. At the speed I was going, controlling the bike through the turn was somewhat of an issue. I was just starting to straighten up when my eyes picked out a yellow Honda Civic backing out of a drivew--holy shit, right IN FRONT OF ME---
I had enough time to apply my brakes, snapping one cable and actually flattening my rear tire. Then I was rolling on the ground, with no clear idea how I'd got from there to here, and that little Honda Civic was suddenly a very large Honda Civic, a positively ENORMOUS Honda Civic, and its right rear wheel came up over my right leg …

Good Lord, am I a dunce or what?!

I have just discovered how to allow ANYONE TO COMMENT on my blog. You'd think I would have found this out long before now; I've been blogging for over a year. Anyway, things are all set up now; folks, PLEASE LEAVE ME YOUR COMMENTS, positive or negative. I will endeavour to answer all of them.


Here we go again...

God please save me from your followers.

I keep having to stomp this particular fire out. I don't know why I bother--debating these people who are putting aside every critical issue facing this country because, at root, they feel vaguely uncomfortable at the mere thought of Jack and Gil getting married--debating these folks bears an uncanny resemblance to banging my head against a brick wall. But I'll keep trying. Here are 31 "reasons" to vote against same-sex marriage, with my thoughts on each of them. My apologies at the repetitiveness--there are really only ten or so "reasons" here--but hey, the first sign of an argument running out of steam is a resort to repetition.

The government has no authority to change the definition of a religious term such as marriage. They have no right to change the definition of "baptism", "communion", "bar mitzvah", "marriage" or any other religious term.

Okay, right away we've come u…

The Ticketmaster and the Slave

I've already offended one friend in private email with my take on Live 8--essentially, that it's pointless, since zero money will be raised--so I won't expound on that theme any further here.

Now, the actual Live 8 concert, as opposed to the politics surrounding it, was something I had a modest interest in. I mean, I like some of the groups that are scheduled to perform. A few of them--the Barenaked Ladies in particular--hearken back to what I think of as the golden era of Canadian music, before grunge turned popular music into nihilistic noise. If it was possible to strap duct tape over the mouths of any concertgoer under the age of thirty--the better to actually hear the music--and if I didn't have prior commitments, I might have considered "buying" the free tickets.

Now I hear a rumour that this Live 8 concert will be televised--which, if true, would make it possible to watch the proceedings from the comfort of my own home, without braving the colossal tr…

Kenny in Wonderland

Last Sunday, Father's Day, was also Sobeys Family Day at Canada's Wonderland. (Oops, sorry, Paramount Canada's Wonderland--they really get antsy if you forget the first word.)
Last year, Sobeys Family Day coincided with Chinese Day. Half of our store went, and was confronted with half the population of China, or so it seemed. At any rate, some people only managed three or four rides for the day: a huge waste of money, even with the deep discount thrown in. So the interest was considerably lessened this fact, I was the only one to get tickets.
Eva dropped me off on our way back from the in-laws. Note to Paramount: create the drop-off zone so prominently and repeatedly signed as you enter the park off Rutherford Rd. If you follow the signs as they presently read, ("MUST LEAVE LANE BEFORE TOLLBOOTH"), you find yourself kicked out to Jane St. Hobson's choice: pay $7.50 for parking we'll use for four seconds, or walk roughly a kilometer across the par…

To your health

You all would have had my views on the earth-shattering Supreme Court of Canada decision a while ago, but I've had to wait for a suitably empty evening to come along. Now it's here, and I'm here, and you're here, so here we go.
Paul Martin was quick to proclaim "we're not going to have a two-tier health care system in this country". Gee, Paul, if that's the case, you've got your work cut out for you:

QUEBEC, ALBERTA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, AND PRICE EDWARD ISLAND allow doctors to set their own fees and work outside the public health system. ONTARIO AND MANITOBA allow doctors to opt out of public health and refunds patients' monies paid to these doctors.NOVA SCOTIA allows private insurance for private services.So does NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR.So does SASKATCHEWAN.So does NEW BRUNSWICK.In ONTARIO, the Liberal provincial government has, in effect, privatized huge areas of medicine previously covered under the public plan, most notably chiropractic, phy…

Smooth Criminal?

So Michael Jackson got off. Legally, this time.
Really, was anybody even remotely surprised?
Just once, please God, I'd like to see a real case mounted against a famous man. I say "man" because...well, let's see now. O.J. was on trial for murder and was acquitted; Robert Blake was on trial for murder and was acquitted; Michael Jackson was on trial for diddling little boys and was acquitted; Martha Stewart was on trial for lying and trying to save her financial hide--and got nailed.
I think Michael is guilty as sin and nothing the jury said convinced me otherwise. (In fact, one of the jurors said she felt Jackson was a pedophile, while another noted doubts about his innocence.) But the general consensus was that the prosecution's case was too weak for a conviction.
The court of law that exists in my brain is a little simpler. Let's see...okay, he said (on air!) that he shared his bed with children; pornographic magazines were found nearby; he paid off his last a…

One fan two fan red fan blue fan...

I'm having the devil's own time researching my topic for today's entry. Fitting, because the temperature in our kitchen has just passed 31 degrees Centigrade: the only logical conclusion I can draw is that we are slowly descending into Hell.
We have three ceiling fans, three standing fans, and a Honeywell "Twindow" fan currently operating in our home. I've determined that the ceiling fans use about as much energy as a 100-watt light bulb and the oscillating fans about twice that. What I'm trying to determine is just how much energy I'd be using if I replaced all of it with central air. A lot more, I'd suspect.
Not that this is an option for us--at least, not a feasible option. To install central air, you need central heat, and we have electric baseboard heating. Installing forced air gas would cost somewhere between seven and twelve thousand dollars.
I'd do it, except I've asked around to find out what people who have forced-air gas are payi…

Now we're down a Liberal...

On the one hand, I suppose you have to admire Pat O'Brien, the (now ex-) Liberal MP for London-Fanshawe. After all, he stood up for what he believes in--traditional marriage--and forfeited his party and possibly his career to prove it.
On the other hand, you can just as easily argue his gesture was pointless and immature, since his leaving will in no way impede the passage of the same-sex marriage bill and he certainly didn't make any effort to explain himself.
Oh, he said that the government was moving too fast. FAST? Gays have been getting married in Ontario since January 14, 2001. If that's fast action on behalf of the government, I'd hate to see slow.
Moreover, O'Brien didn't say anything--at least not that I've seen--as to why he feels denying marriage to a segment of the population is so important.
I make an effort to see more than one side to any issue. Here, I can't find the other side with both hands and a flashlight. Call me a Liberal elitist if y…

Seven Deadly Political Sins,

Or, Why I Could Never Be A Politician

There's a girl I work with at Price Chopper who is as politically astute as anyone I've ever met. This despite her still attending high school. She has a solid grasp of political history and theory and, most refreshingly, she is resistant to dogma of any sort. Whenever I read oft-recurring stories detailing how today's youth are completely ambivalent to politics, I remind myself that there are many Kathleens out there who are setting out to make a difference in the world.
The other day, in the middle of some political debate or other, she challenged me to put my money where my mouth was and run for office.
I'd like to: I really would. But I don't think it'll ever happen. Here are some few reasons why.

1) I'm not telegenic. I'll put what ought to be the most trifling concern right up front. Lamentably, the electorate increasingly expects movie-star looks out of their politicans. Brains count for little in this era when p…

Shut the F**K UP!!!

There are times when I wish the media in this country would just SHUT UP.
Actually, there seems to be a story nearly every day that I don't consider news and never will: who Paris Hilton (or anyone of her ilk) is/is not screwing; who won/lost the latest installment of any reality series at all; and perhaps most annoying, who wore what to where. I don't know about you, but for me, that stuff was stale in high school.
Then there are the stories that never die, the old stalwarts. Car bombs in Baghdad. Murders and attempted murders and rapes and muggings and child molestations and teenage swarmings and corruption in high places. The names and faces change, but the general layout of the news never seems to.
My wife wonders why I watch it, day in and day out. I have my excuses. Mostly I watch it for the same reason people watch soap operas: I need a daily dose of wow-my-life-is-so-much-better-than-that. Also, and don't laugh, I try to keep a close eye on geopolitical events. If 9/…