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Showing posts from July, 2009

If I hear one more person

complaining about the weather, I just might snap.
Every weathercast leads off with the news anchor accusing the meteorologist, "Where's my summer?" Now, before I get going on my main rant, indulge me in a little mini-rant against these people who seem to think the forecaster has something to do with the weather. Yeah, buddy, that guy sitting next to you performed a shamanic rain dance before he came to work today. He's personally responsible for the cool and cloudy conditions. (Actually...ssshhh!...there's a global cabal of meterologists uttering arcane incantations and stirring hailstones into bubbling cauldrons so as to ruin your summer.) Shut the $%^ up, already.
Yes, I have a visceral hatred of the kind of weather conditions it seems most of the rest of you are pining for. Once the thermometer starts edging much above room temperature (20C, or 68F), I get bitchy. If the humidex hits the thirties--86F and above--I'm abjectly miserable. I know how much of a fr…

Why I Hate "Reality" Television

Well, I always hated reality TV because it quite simply isn't reality. But now I have a whole 'nother reason to loathe it: because even when good intentions are present, the execution is fatally flawed.I'm referring to the show "More to Love", which is, not suprisingly, from FOX. From the blurb on the cover of the current STARWEEK, More To Love is a "new reality show [which] gives hope to plus-sized women who have had a hard time finding a mate". It does no such thing. Turns out it's a Bachelor-style show where the bachelor in question is 6'3" and over 300 lbs--presumably because they couldn't find a non-obese man who's interested in plus-sized women. He gets to go on dates with a variety of women, some of whom are a size twelve. If you wear a size twelve, by the way, you're too skinny to shop in Pennington's, Canada's premiere plus-sized chain. So he goes on a bunch of dates and then selects his prize...humiliating all …

Things your kids may never know about...

From Wired's Geek Dad column:

Audio-Visual Entertainment

Inserting a VHS tape into a VCR to watch a movie or to record something.
Super-8 movies and cine film of all kinds.
Playing music on an audio tape using a personal stereo. See what happens when you give a Walkman to todays teenager.
The number of TV channels being a single digit. I remember it being a massive event when Britain got its fourth channel.
Standard-definition, CRT TVs filling up half your living room.
Rotary dial televisions with no remote control. You know, the ones where the kids were the remote control.
High-speed dubbing.
8-track cartridges.
Vinyl records. Even today’s DJs are going laptop or CD.
Betamax tapes.
Laserdisc: the LP of DVD.
Scanning the radio dial and hearing static between stations. (Digital tuners + HD radio bork this concept.)
Shortwave radio.
3-D movies meaning red-and-green glasses.
Watching TV when the networks say you should. Tivo and Sky+ are slowing killing this one.
That there was a time before…

Pardon my dust

Excuse me for a minute...
Okay, I feel better. A little.
The renovations are proceeding apace. First let me make this abundantly clear: the man we hired is doing a good job. A very good job. With the "after" pictures, I'll be putting a word in for him. So the problem is not Dan. We'd be having the same problem if Dan was Stan or Yann or Fran. The problem is this: my wife and I are quintessential homebodies, the both of us. If it was at all realistic, Eva and I would never leave home; we always feel slightly on edge past the edge of our property. It's compounded when we invite what's Past The Edge....inside with us. We feel...compromised. Have you ever been laying in bed and you suddenly get to thinking, I wonder if I locked the side door? Like that, except all day and all night.
(It just occurred to me that friends, reading this, will conclude we'd rather you never darkened our door. Please don't think that. Friends are gr…

Tomorrow, it starts

Our current abode was built in 1969. The bathroom's original.
That should be all the explanation required for the upcoming "week the washroom went." But I'll give you a little more anyway, superfluous words being something of a trademark of mine. By "original", I mean "puke-green", as in "hey! A toilet, sink and bathtub that's puke-green! That's original!" And "1969" coupled with "puke-green fixtures" immediately suggests a piss-yellow floor, right? I mean, what other colour could possibly go? We chose, sadly, not to continue the body functional theme with a shit-brown shower curtain and accessories, but trust me, the room looks perfectly terrible without them. And the mould that's undoubtedly gained a toehold thanks to my continued insistence on boiling hot showers just adds a certain je ne sais yuck to the whole affair. Oh, and my unique talent of breaking things caps the whole thing off. Not three months a…

Seems pretty disharmonious to me...

I don't usually put links to petitions in the Breadbin. In fact, this will be the first one in my five plus years of blogging. But I'm going to sign this one myself...something else I don't usually do. Petitions, to me, are beyond useless. I mean, so you've got a hundred squillion signatures on something. Great. Now why, pray tell, do you think the government gives a fart in a high gale? This is Canada. Governments have nothing to fear from us, no matter what they do. Not when the first reaction to absolutely any misfortune, no matter how large or small, is the government's gotta do something!
So why am I signing this one? Because (a) I strongly agree with it and (b) I'd like to get some small psychological boost from saying I did. I'm under no illusions that "my voice will be heard"...I'm just, to reach for the low-hanging cliche, mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore....

Here's a small sampling of what the Harmonized Sales T…

Best Computer News I've Heard In A While

is right here, folks: the Google operating system!
I bet Microsoft's shitting peachpits right about now.
I use Chrome almost exclusively: it's by far the best browser I've ever seen, and I've tried a few. Yes, all the power users out there employ Firefox, and I don't blame them: it's endlessly customizable and it runs quickly. If you're the kind of brainiac who loves tweaking things, Firefox is tailor-made for you. I'm not that kind of person. My computer life has three overarching principles. In order of importance: simplicity, stability, and speed. Chrome embodies all three. Simplicity: the home page. It's simply clickable thumbnails of your top nine most visited sites. Which is only can't surf the web by staying "home", after all. This home page is unique in my experience, and highly desirable after just a couple of sessions. One of my father's friends sent me a link to the latest version of Safari; immediately after …

This is why I can't vote for you, Mr. Harper

It's not that you're a control freak. Chretien was a control freak before you; he was just a lot better at masking that aspect of his personality with le p'tit gars de Shawinigan charm.It's not because of any of the little scandals that have bubbled up here and there under your watch. Scandals come and scandals go, and all of yours put together don't even approach AdScam, as far as I'm concerned. It's not even that you're Conservative. Although I don't vote Tory by default, the way I did when I was younger and had a more black/white view of the world, I can still be swayed to. It just might take a little swaying, is all.
No, the reason I can't vote for you is because of your mindless hatred of anything and anyone that doesn't share your philosophy of the world. That doesn't play well in a country that itself embodies most of the world.
It started with the round of attack ads on Mr. Ignatieff. You'll forgive me, first of all, for missing…

Three Quick Hits

First of all, a Happy Fourth to my American friends.
Going through the papers today, I find a few things worth remarking upon.
1) Tim Hudak, the new Conservative leader in Ontario, is supposedly the second coming of Mike Harris. The Star is, predictably, full of vitriolic letters to this effect. Mike Harris. Remember him? Architect of the "Common Sense Revolution?" A politician hated so much that he...won back-to-back majorities? Whose party only lost its grip on power when he left politics in the middle of his second term and was replaced by the much more moderate Ernie Eves? How convenient it would be to forget a lot of people liked Mike Harris, and before him, Brian Mulroney. The two are held in such low regard by the punditocracy, after all. I'll give Hudak some advice, gratis, unlikely as he is to ever see it: maintain the integrity of Harris--say what you'll do, and then do what you say--and try to be a shade less confrontational than Mike was...and you'll wi…

Canada Day In Hockey

[Note: Everything I've said here...and here...and here...still applies. As I posted on Facebook, to all Canadians, a happy Canada Day, and to all those not so lucky, maybe in the next life...]
For a hockey fan, the draft (last week) and free agent day (today) are the equivalent of Christmas and New Year's, respectively. On draft day, you unwrap shiny new talent that hopefully makes your team better; on free agent day, your GM makes some resolutions public and (hopefully) gives your team an even more tangible sense of renewal.
Thirty GMs wanted John Tavares. Only one team--the Leafs--made a point of announcing, weeks ahead, they wanted John Tavares. The Islanders had no intention of dealing the first overall pick, much less to Toronto. Burke's strategy was thus immediately questionable. Another plan, also trumpeted with some fanfare, was to trade up two or three spots and acquire the services of one Brayden Schenn, brother of Luke "The Human …