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Showing posts from May, 2009

North Country

I'm headed up to my dad's for five days of R and R. A blog entry is extremely unlikely, as (a) it's dial-up up there and (b) I'm shutting the world off...or at least turning it down.Have a good week, everyone.

The Long Arm of the Law?

See, every now and again there appears a story that gives me gibberbrain.
Here's today's.
Briefly, Michael Mineo, 24, is suing the NYPD for $220 million after cops allegedly beat him and sodomized him with a baton in a subway station.
You can almost scratch the 'allegedly'...Mineo's DNA was found on the baton, and one of the cops faces charges of aggravated sexual abuse. Two others are charged with obstruction.
When I first heard mention of this on television, I joked to my wife that for $220 million, I'd pull my pants down and assist the police in their inquiries. She answered "yeah, but I don't think they offered him $220 million beforehand." Then I researched it, because gibberbrain kept stuttering "ya g-g-gotta b-blog this!" Google's first link (and mine, above) is to the New York Post, which makes the Toronto Sun look staid. Despite their scandalous reputation, they tell this story straight. Beyond the actual incident--which, I rea…

Hit list

If I had magical powers...
ONE PRODUCT I'D ELIMINATE:
Bottled water, in anything less than water-cooler-jug size.
Right off the bat, that'd make me mighty unpopular in these Tri-Cities: we consume more bottled water than any other area in Canada. One sip of our tap water will tell you why. But there are alternatives much more environmentally (and economically) friendly than those damned plastic bottles. I'm thinking Brita filters. Or water coolers.
ONE COMPANY I'D ELIMINATE:
Depends how selfish I'm feeling. On my do-the-world-a-favour days, it'd be Monsanto. On my do-myself-a-favour-days, it'd be a shady outfit called Universal Power. These guys come to my door at least every other week trying to sign me up for electricity at twice the rate I'm paying. No matter how many times they're rebuffed, they keep coming back. Sometimes they pretend they're from my legitimate energy supplier and ask to see my bill (at which point they'd get my account nu…

The Name's Prufrock...

I am sooooo predictable.

Up in the morning at 5:13. Why the odd time? It gives me a minute to rouse myself enough to find the TV remote, switch on the television, and select channel 958 in time for 5:14, which is when 680 News recaps the top three things that dared to happen while I was asleep before launching into the sportscast at 5:15.
As soon as the sportscast is over, I roll out of bed, hop in the shower and set it to "parboil"...and then usually just stand there, bovine-like, for what always seems to be eleven minutes exactly. Then I'm out in time to catch the weather forecast and a little more in-depth reportage on those pesky news items while I get dressed. Then I'm downstairs for two cups of coffee (and I'm given to understand the unit of measure called a "cup" bears no resemblance whatsoever to an actual cup of coffee). And so on and so forth. I can even set my bowels by the freakin' clock.

My day proceeds as if on rails, and anything getting…

Take Me Out To The...Shell Station?

That day did not go exactly as planned.
In related understatement news, a car with no transmission fluid doesn't travel very well.

So my friend Craig and I decided to attend the Jays-White Sox matinee today. He's a huge White Sox fan, there being no accounting for taste, and Roy Halladay was starting, and it was Alex Rios bobblehead day, and hey, I haven't seen the Jays live for something like twelve years. I was really looking forward to spending some time with Craig, and then rubbing in the Jays' inevitable victory all the way home.
Before we left, Eva gave me her cell phone "just in case." We hardly ever use the thing...in fact, it took some effort to find it.

JUST IN CASE

Things started out great. We got out of town in plenty of time to be two of the first ten thousand fans into the Rogers Center (can you say bobblehead, boys and girls? I knew you could!)

So could the car. Craig's car chose the moment we hit the 427 to enact its best bobblehead imitation, b…

So here's today's question

Is there, or ought there to be, a minimum standard of living to which everyone should be entitled, simply by being born?
I say yes. There are quite a few out there, it seems, who say no.

I got to debating this the other day. Probably shouldn't have bothered, but then, I'm a masochist. I set forth my position, which is that food, clean water, and some kind of shelter should be granted everyone and anything beyond that subsistence level should be earned. A man calling himself "ScottSA", with whom I've locked horns before, retorted

People's "birthright" is to be born, Ken. Nothing more. Everything else is situational.

On the issue of clean water, he expounded:

The people who don't have clean drinking water are acclimatized to not having clean drinking water for the most part, Ken, which explains why the terms "Delhi belly" and "Montezuma's revenge" came to describe the intestinal problems unacclimatized visitors have when visit…

A Day at the Hospital

Please pardon the ick.
My wife, Eva, has been suffering for some time now from persistent, excessive menstrual bleeding.  Since that comes with the usual array of symptoms, not to put too fine a point on it, but I've been suffering too. PMS is a real joy, particularly when the P stands for Permanent. We've long suspected various hormonal imbalances a hysterectomy would correct, but it turns out there aren't any significant imbalances and a hysterectomy is horribly invasive, especially for women like Eva who have not had children. 
So today Eva had an endometrial ablation.

Her surgery was scheduled for 2:30. We were told it's a simple eight-minute procedure. So of course we were at the hospital from 10:30 until almost 5:00. 
There is so much about the world of health care I don't understand. I don't know why our health care system continues to swallow entire stimulus packages worth of money without any noticeable effect on wait times. I saw probably a dozen computer t…

Gary Bettman can go puck himself.

In his five-hole
Full disclosure: Inasmuch as I can be said to hate anyone, I hate Gary Bettman. He embodies nearly every human trait I find detestable: colossal arrogance; pigheadedness; a marked inability to perceive reality; an equally marked inability to admit failure. Bettman's only saving grace is that he's the commissioner of the NHL and not, say, a former U.S. President.
Still...as a lifelong fan of the game of hockey, I despise Gary Bettman. So far as I can tell, every questionable development in the game, from the FOX puck to shootouts to teams where teams have no business existing and a host of others besides--every single questionable development can ultimately be laid at Bettman's feet. And the good that still exists in hockey can be said to be there despite Bettman's best efforts. 
Take Alex Ovechkin, for instance. This guy is a walking, talking (or perhaps more like jiving and high-fiving) billboard for the NHL. He's comparable in talent to Lemieux an…

So THAT'S what I have...uh...wait a minute...

"The Essay" in today's Globe could have been written by me, if I was a mom, that is. In "Mom Without Wheels", Bonnie Goldberg describes what it's like to be a mother with a debilitating driving phobia. Awkward, it comes down to. Play dates for the kids are considerably more difficult to arrange. Questions abound, none of which are particularly easy to answer. Feelings of envy, bewilderment and inadequacy mix uneasily.
I can relate.
The envy and inadequacy are self-explanatory, when one lacks a skill the rest of the world takes for granted. The bewilderment is hard for people who take that skill for granted to appreciate. Do you driving people have any idea how complicated a simple commute actually is, how mindbogglingly insane you'd have to be to careen down the highway with thousands of strangers, most of whom aren't paying more than a smidgen of attention to the world around them? No, of course you don't. You just drive. And--here's what rea…

ROTFL Old School...

The Singing Bass
Click to hear him sing...