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Showing posts from October, 2006

Procter and Gamble do not have anything to do with the Church of Satan

Most of the questions I ask myself are trivial. Stupid, even. But they share one thing in common: they start with with word "why". No wonder: "Why" is the fifth W, the one usually forgotten. In a fast-paced world, it's the W most people seem to discount--after all, you often can't answer it in four words or less.
Last night, watching Hockey Night In Canada, I found myself wondering why do Montreal Canadiens fans chant that annoying "Ole, Ole" nonsense as if they're at a bullfight? I went so far as to check that out online, unsuccessfully.
Why are so many people, from so many places, anti-Semites?
Why do so many people, from so many places, have dragon myths? Flood myths?
Why do drivers in car commercials invaribly break speed limits and other traffic laws?
Why, why, why. Here's a big one:
Why is there so much bullshit floating around the Internet?
I'm not talking about spam. I know why that's there: because some people are evidently gul…

Censorship? Sure looks like it!

I try to read stuff from all over the political spectrum. It's par for the course considering I can't be pigeonholed politically. Many have tried: I've been called a "neocon warmonger" and a "pinko pantywaist" for the same post.
I like to read people who put forth their points persuasively and with wit. Michael Moore used to do this well on the left; he has since degenerated into diatribe. A few TorStar journalists cut the mustard, in my view, most notably Richard Gwyn and Michele Landsberg. On the right, which is generally at least as strident, there are still some voices of (relative) reason. The best by far of these, I have found, is Mark Steyn. He makes no bones about his biases, but unlike many other pundits, he makes some effort at backing them up. And no matter the topic, he's funny.
He's written a book: America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, a portion of which was excerpted in Macleans magazine recently. It made for a fascinat…

IT HAPPENED AGAIN

Next time we want to go adopt something--a road, a tree, a new attitude--somebody, please, slap us silly and remind us how pointless it is.

There are a lot of really needy dogs out there in the big wide world. We saw quite a few of them. We met big dogs and little dogs and puppies and old dogs. What we learned is that Tux does not want a brother or sister. And after Tux meets a potential sibling the 'adoption' people do not want Tux to have a brother or sister, either. It's been a long hard day for all concerned, and one we would just as soon forget. So George remains simply a toy, and Tux can be an only child. 'Tis ok, he really is a needy boy, and we certainly don't want to traumatize any other people or dogs...

We tried our humane society first, on the grounds that they let us have Tux. Of course, Tux had a date with the canine version of Dr. Kevorkian; we represented a last-minute reprieve.
Problem: Kitchener's rates to adopt a dog have climbed well into…

The Saga of Wasaga

I've often thought of buying a cottage. While sinking into sleep, I conjure up the sounds of wind soughing through pines and waves rolling against a shore. The waves fill my bladder; after that's attended to, I lay me back down, close my eyes, and visualize my cottage as seen from the shoreline. Up near the road, a sign informs all comers they've reached Decimal Point. The driveway meanders through evergreen woods until it stumbles on a modest seventy-thousand dollar three room wooden bungalow, which sits empty eleven months out of a year. The lot is worth half a million dollars, at least. As I drift further into sleep, a loon calls out on Lake Lethe. I turn and try to spy it gliding along the water, but can't quite find it. Whirling to regard my lovely cottage once again, I find that vandals have been and gone while my back was turned. Windows are shattered, boards have been peeled off the frame, and inside is a shambles. The mailbox is overflowing with tax assessment…

The Mother of all Memes

On my way out to a cottage with our friends Lisa and Craig and their boy Jake. This marks the middle of the "Big Vake" and the point at which I hope to get my most strenuous relaxing in. So before I go, I will shove all the mental clamor ("blog me! BLOG ME!!!" out and fire off this meme I found while trolling around the blogs of friends.

The phone rings. Who do you want it to be?

At this point, any time the phone rings, it's a telemarketer. So the only answer, really, is "anyone who's not a telemarketer".

When shopping at the grocery store, do you return your cart?

Yes. I work at a grocery store. (I've worked at a variety of fast food outlets, too, therefore I always dump my tray, including the placemat. It's amazing how many either leave their crap on the table or dump the tray and make a point to leave the paper placemat. What, did you think they re-use those?)

In a social setting, are you more of a talker or a listener?

Depends on my mood and…

Lockdown and Breakdown

There have been several incidents at local high schools lately that show Waterloo Region is trying hard to keep pace with the world as it goes to hell. In the past two weeks alone,
One secondary school went into lockdown upon the sighting of what were widely rumoured to be guns and machetes--but turned out to be steel pipes. Seven teens were charged.Another school was locked down for three hours when somebody spotted a man with a handgun on the grounds. The man was never located.Two neighbouring schools in Cambridge were locked down when someone was stabbed nearby.A teenager was arrested when a 'hit list' comprised of 25 names was discovered on MySpace.com.To this litany we can add the cases that made national and international news because they turned out tragically: the Dawson College shootings, the Amish schoolhouse massacre, a mass shooting in Great Britain. Troll the news with a fine-mesh net and a day rarely passes without a school lockdown somewhere.What the hell is goin…

Book hunting

(NON FICTION READERS...that's both 'people who read only non-fiction' and 'people who don't read much, period'...WILL WANT TO SKIP THIS ENTRY


I must confess to an eccentricity.
Another one? Jeesh.
Yes, another one. I read the same books, the same authors over and over.
Not consecutively, you understand...I'm not that nuts. But my reading tends to cycle through probably fifty or so books. Some drop out of heavy rotation, others get added; but by and large my reading list is pretty static.
I don't know why I do this. It's not like I have forgotten how the damn novels end. I guess it's because generally, I'm not a risk-taker. I don't like risk: it tends to explode in my face and leave scars. This seems to extend all the way into mundane things like the books I choose to read.
Also, I'm kind of picky.
I've tried reading quite a few historical novelists. Pierre Berton (dry). Wilbur Smith (bloated). Clavell (boring!)Edward Rutherford (enjoyab…

Sweeping the desk clean

As I embark on this blog entry, I am officially three hours and sixteen minutes into my vacation. True enough, it actually started on Friday as soon as I left work. But although I have been working weekends over the past several months, I'm not required to be at work on weekends. I am, however, required to be at work on Mondays. Except this one. And next one.
I was able to relax a good deal sooner than I thought I could, largely because there's been no pressing reason to get out of bed in the morning. Did you ever notice how much better you sleep when you know the alarm isn't set? On some level, my sleeping brain is endlessly preoccupied with counting down the minutes until the TV lights up the room with its infernal glare. If--no, when--I wake up in the middle of the night with a bladder swollen to the size of a football, my first glance is always to the left, where the clock determines my mood. Is it before, say, 2:00 in the morning? Excellent, I have three or more hours…

State of the Union

I said a lot on my last anniversary about my love for my wife and the lives we have built so far and continue to build. We're six years into our formal marriage, now (we pretty much considered ourselves married at the end of the third date), still happy in that boring sort of way that nobody wants to hear about. Good marriages make for sleep-inducing reading. People want to know when the dishes start flying and the screams of rage echo for hours. The dialogue alone is worth the price of admission: lots of profanity, spiked with oh-so-creative insults designed to find every button on your spouse and just hammer away.
There's none of that in our marriage. We've had arguments, sure--who hasn't? Aside from the desire to reach consensus as soon as possible (I really hate confrontations), there's nothing more conducive to settling an argument than a dog who cringes if you start to so much as raise your voice. It's enough to make me wonder just what sort of home our Tu…

Countdown...

Holidays tomorrow!
One more sleep!
Yay us!
"I hate shaving. I prefer to have shaved." That's me. Likewise, I hate hate hate the run-up to going on holidays. I'd prefer to just jump ahead to 4:01 tomorrow afternoon. I'm sure I don't have to explain this--wouldn't everyone prefer to be OFF?--but I'm going to anyway: I'm ultimately responsible for my department whether I'm there or not.
People have shaken their heads at me over the past week. I've spent very little time on the floor working. Instead I've been drawing up floor plans for three different ads, determining how much stock should be brought in, devising order and delivery schedules so that my assistant can hopefully keep his head above water. Four different people have asked me why I bother, their attitude being 'you're on holidays...forget about it!' Sorry, that's not me. I could get all selfish and say I don't want to come back to a store in chaos, but that…

On Giving Thanks

It's like the first of January. Everybody and her pet Gila monster does a blog on the first of January detailing New Year's resolutions. I've always bucked that trend, on account of (a) not seeing anything in my life as a problem requiring a solution (or worse, a "re-solution"); (b) if such a problem really did exist, I could just as easily move to correct it in the middle of July, or on October 8, for that matter.
At this time of year--if you live north of 49--the obvious blog topic du jour is how thankful you are for the things you're thankful for, which things of course you are then required to detail.
I try to be thankful for everything that shows up in my life, because everything--even the really icky stuff, and sometimes especially the really icky stuff--offers an opportunity for self-evolution and self-expression. I don't always succeed at this. Sometimes I'm caught up in the illusion that shit just happens to happen: I can forget that on some le…

NHL part 2: Leaf Preview

Okay, about those Leafs.

I'm saying they won't make the playoffs. I'm not saying they can't. It'll be a stiff challenge for Maurice's squad to better the 90 points they got last year under Quinn, and in the Eastern Conference an eighth playoff seed should have 94 points.
The Leafs have two advantages that might help them. One is their coach. Several Marlies have made the squad, and Maurice knows them intimately. More important, Paul won't accept a bullshit effort from anyone. It's well past time we got this team a kick-ass coach. When you're lacking in talent (and let's face it, the Leafs are lacking in talent), hard work and determination can carry you further than people expect you to go. As the Leafs have already discovered, Maurice insists on both.
The other advantage is in their style, which is markedly different from the style most other teams use. The Leafs have built their entire offense around defensemen. You go down this defense roster fr…

A Monkey Might Do Better

Just try to predict the NHL this year.
I'm telling you now it can't be done. We'll all look like fools, each one of us who dare to progno-stick-ate. All that can be said with any certainty is that sixteen teams will make the playoffs and one of them will win the Stanley Cup. Which one? Pucked if I know.
Oh, yeah, and Washington will suck. (Sorry, Anthony. Is it any consolation that I'd watch any game featuring Alexander Ovechkin?)
So, because I've never been afraid of looking stupid, here are my thoughts on what will transpire over the next nine months.
1) SORRY, OTTAWA, THIS AIN'T YOUR YEAR EITHER. Oh, they'll make the playoffs again. And they might even go a round or two. But the team that's perennially missing just enough to miss it all will still be missing in action when it counts. Offense they've got in abundance. Defense is still adequate for a playoff run, despite the loss of Chara. With apologies to Ray Emery, they've got a real goalie for …

Tie Domi, game misconduct for spearing and deliberate intent to injure

The Belinda Stronach/Tie Domi brouhaha is just the sort of thing I try not to concern myself with. I'm not a fan of people's messy divorces/alleged affairs/personal lives in general being broadcast the world over. But one has to admit it's fascinating playing sex degrees of separation with these people...they certainly do get around. Stronach's been linked to Bill Clinton (but then again, hasn't everyone?); she's also, famously, dated and dumped Peter Mackay (who himself was reported to have been acting like the Minister of Foreign Affairs he is, right, Condi?) And now her hands are Tied. Domi, meanwhile, is supposed to have had an affair with Tia Carrere, best known as the girl Mike Myers was besotted with in Wayne's World. No word on who else inhabits his sin bin. But his soon-to-be ex-wife Leeanne has made all manner of rather disturbing accusations. She alleges that Tie disconnected the family's security system in order to engage in "poolside …

Going Moldy....

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