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Showing posts from March, 2010

Are you looking for a job?

Are you a lazy s.o.b. who can't be bothered to put in even a half-day's work for a full day's pay? Do you habitually show up late, knock off early, and take three hours for lunch?
Have I got a place for you. Go and "work" in Britain.
Apparently, "hard-working" and "reliable" are unacceptably discriminatory across the pond. "Must speak English" is also a no-no (in England!) unless you include "for health and safety reasons".
Reading further, this appears to be a case of one woman's political correctness ran amok. The Equality and Human Rights Commission says "this is in no way in breach of any discrimination law." Big but here: so many people seem to think it is that there have been multiple lawsuits. Which tells me the culture's nearing a tipping point. Even if the judges haven't quite caught up with this galloping idiocy, chances are good that a few are gaining on it. Hope this doesn't migrate over h…

Seeing Red

You know, I wouldn't be so dead-set against conservative ideology...if it worked.Oh, let's be honest. I'm pretty much against any ideology as government policy. Governing unrelentingly from the left or the right is a recipe for disaster; doing so in ignorance of reality is, quite simply, insane.
This editorial from today's Globe and Mail has me seeing red. Liberal red, to be precise: oh, Iggy, if only you placed the interests of the country ahead of your party's, I'd be prepared to vote for you tomorrow.
Stephen Harper is increasing our prisons budget by 36 percent. Corrections Canada is hiring 5300 new workers. All this while our economy is still fragile--and while the crime rate has been falling for years.
The part that really unnerved me:
Ottawa has never said how many extra prisoners it expects the federal prisons to hold as a result of its changes. A cabinet confidence, the government says, bizarrely.
Bizarre is one word for it. Scary might be another. Becaus…

Canada Day, 102 days early

It's probably a silly thing to be proud of one's country. Neither I nor anyone I know has had anything to do with creating or maintaining the things I love about Canada, for instance. I certainly didn't create the great natural beauty that's virtually everywhere you turn in this vast land.
(That brings to mind one of my favourite quotes, from the renowned astronomer Carl Sagan: 'To make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.")
I love how the oven predates the universe!
Nor have I done much to sustain what to my mind is the equally magnificent "human-ness" that is Canada. Indeed, the sheer scale of the country and its occasionally cantankerous climate probably had a lot to do with that. Better minds than mine (Margaret Atwood's, for instance) have mused that we are still a people huddled in our little villages for warmth against hostile Nature. As such, we have a collective instinct towards community. Hardly individualism a l…


"A 2005 'study' determined the temperatures of Heaven and Hell. First, citing Isiah 30:26, which says that in Heaven "the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days," they did the math and found that Heaven would be 525 degrees Celsius, or 977 degrees Fahrenheit. For Hell they used Revelations 21:8, which describes a "lake which burneth with fire and brimstone". Their calculations determined that a lake of molten brimstone (sulphur) must be at or below its boiling point, around 445C (833F). The study's conclusion: 'Heaven is hotter than Hell'. --found in Uncle John's Curiously Compelling Bathroom Reader, p. 43
On the same page: "Myth-information: the actual communication from Apollo 13 was 'Houston, we've had a problem."
If you don't have a few of Uncle John's Bathroom Readers around, more's the pity. If I had to pick just one set…

Coulters of all shapes and sizes

I've got a new bike--a 21-speed Schwinn Frisco commuter bike, with the all-important fenders. It rides like a dream. I've been to work with it a couple of times this year, but in the mercurial spring, riding isn't yet a pleasurable option. You've got to pick your poison. If rain is forecast for sometime after I get to work, I'll ride with no problem...I can always ride home in the rain, but going to work in a fridge/freezer soaking wet is not exactly advisable. Likewise if it's zero or below in the morning, as it often is this time of year--it doesn't really matter that it's plus fifteen at four in the afternoon: I won't ride. And let's not forget the wind. I have no interest in riding into a gale. I didn't ride in today, and I unfortunately forgot the iPod that makes the bus trip home a good deal more bearable. I gotta have something on those buses to distract me from the pseudo-air I'm breathing. A book, music, something. Otherwise it&…

A Punch In the Face

Please copy and paste to your status if you know someone, or have been affected by someone, who needs a punch in the face. People who need a punch in the face affect the lives of many. There is still no known cure for someone who deserves a punch in the face, except a punch in the face, but we can raise awareness!!!
--found floating around Facebook
The first, most obvious group of people who deserve a punch in the face are the Republicans in the United States. This passel of moroons is all het up that America has gone and joined the rest of the civilized world. Damnit, those poor people are going to LIVE longer now! How dare the government try and legislate insurance company scams out of existence? Seriously, they're actually wheezing about repealing Obamacare as soon as possible. Not because of the flaws in the bill (many of which they're responsible for themselves!), what pisses them off is that there's a government health care bill at all. You just want to, oh, I dun…

A Lot of Night Music

Last night, we went with friends Craig and Nicole to see Valery Gergiev and his Mariinsky Theater Orchestra. Before I give you my impressions, I thought I would perhaps turn the blog over to Mrs. Breadbin for hers. Without further ado:---------------------------Music speaks to me.I’m so atttuned to music, I can do just about anything with it – relax, energize, calm, soothe, excite – whatever. Since I was small I always allowed it to move me.Because of this I have a very eclectic music taste.On my iPod I have everything from David Banner (A truly dirty, dirty song called Play) to Eminem, Metallica to Vivaldi, The Charlie Daniels band to Black Eyed Peas.You get the idea.My favourite song in the world is "The Devil Went Down To Georgia".I remember racing down to my father's workshop whenever I heard it on the radio as I was growing up.He used to laugh and turn it up.I love that song.I’ve been lucky in my life to hear songs and have some of them tell me stories, and very lu…

Suicide, okay, whatever. Got a problem with murder, though.

Nearly every day, I read or hear about somebody who qualifies for a Darwin Award: "evolution in action", as it were.The why in these tales is often missing. May of these stories of witlessness are witnessless; in any event, the guy who so considerately removed himself from the gene pool isn't in a position to explain himself. So most of the time, reading these things, I simply shake my head in disgust and move on. Every once in a while, though, you get a story like this, where "only" two people die and several of the survivors, the lucky buggers, actually defend the activity that killed their friends. And I'm left absolutely agog.
Turns out in this case I'd made some erroneous assumptions. I had assumed, for instance, that anyone engaged in a non-sanctioned contest to drive his sled up a hill as far as possible, while the risk of avalanche on that hill was "high"--I'd assumed such a person would not have heard the warning. Not true. They wer…

RIP PC Vu Pham

Provincial Constable Vu Pham likely saved at least one life when he sacrificed his own.
That isn't mentioned in most news reports of the tragedy, but it is nevertheless true. Fred Preston was on his way to his estranged wife's sister's place, had a gun, and was obviously prepared to use it: PC Pham was shot as he got out of his cruiser.
When I read that little detail, I immediately flashed back on a vivid vision my father unwittingly implanted in my head back in the eighties. I was out on patrol with him when he pulled over a speeder. Before he got out of the car, he told me "now, if anything happens, hit this button. It'll connect you with North Bay. [Incidentally: well over two hours away.] Give the cruiser number and describe the situation." Nothing untoward happened, but it didn't stop me from worrying incessantly forever after. I'll admit it: I was glad when my dad retired from active police duty. Selfish of me, I know. Like Vu Pham--and most offic…

O, Canada...

So apparently this is why Harper prorogued Parliament: to recalibrate--not the economy--but the national anthem.
Whatever. The supposedly "offensive" part, which we heard no fewer than fourteen times lately (sorry, really, I will get over this Olympic high, sometime around, say, Sochi) goes like this:
True patriot love In all thy sons command
They're looking at changing back to the original lyrics, which went "in all thou dost command"...and were supposedly changed themselves to facilitate enlistment for the First World War. This would be gender-neutral. It would also be pretentious as hell. Thou dost? Who talks like that any more?
(Rocketstar, you might be interested to note that, while our Conservative government is not likely to look at removing the single reference to God--a reference that's lacking in your anthem, by the way--that seems to be a change more people are inclined to consider, at least if you go by the comments to this article.)
I know that, as …

Still Behind The Times...

My mom is in the process of joining the world of high-speed Internet.
She was one of her ISP's first customers, back in the day of dial-up. Remember those times? Remember waiting five or more minutes for a given webpage to load, and not minding, because there was no realistic alternative? Kind of similar to an even more ancient time, when you loaded your computer games off of cassettes. I still remember typing "CLOADM "WIZARD" on my dad's TRS-80 Color Computer...and then wandering upstairs to contemplate the universe for a while. Maybe have lunch, maybe a wee nap--and then the game will be all ready to go. That was back when "wait" wasn't a four-letter word.
The dial-up era is finally ending chez Maman. Once again, I'm ruefully reminded of Spider Robinson's assertion that we are all time travelers, moving into the future at a rate of one second per second. Not my Mom, oh, no. She's just gone from 1990 to 2010 in an eyeblink.
Most of us n…

How do you people do it?

This is addressed to all you folks out there who live by the phrase "I'll sleep when I'm dead".
I'd try that, except (a) I like sleeping and (b) I'd like to live a good long while yet. If I adopt that particular philosophy, I think I'd be dead within a week.
As far as I can remember, I've always been this way. Most kids I've seen hate the very idea of bedtime...I don't think I ever did. Oh, sometimes I might have wanted to play a little longer, but once I got tired, I don't recall ever trying to convince myself, let alone anyone else, that I wasn't.
I stayed up until 11:45 on Sunday night, watching the closing ceremonies with a wistfulness that forestalled fatigue. I was up at my usual 5:15 Monday morning...and soon after that the trouble hit. The only thing that saved me was that practically everybody was at least as bad off as me, probably worse. Canada had itself a mass drunk on Sunday night, after an amazing 80% of the population watc…

Brian Williams: You're Welcome

After tonight's broadcast and after looting our hotel mini-bars, we're going to try to brave the blizzard and fly east to home and hearth, and to do laundry well into next week. Before we leave this thoroughly polite country, the polite thing to do is leave behind a thank-you note.
Thank you, Canada: For being such good hosts. For your unfailing courtesy. For your (mostly) beautiful weather. For scheduling no more than 60 percent of your float plane departures at the exact moment when I was trying to say something on television. For not seeming to mind the occasional (or constant) good-natured mimicry of your accents. For your unique TV commercials -- for companies like Tim Hortons -- which made us laugh and cry. For securing this massive event without choking security, and without publicly displaying a single automatic weapon. For having the best garment design and logo-wear of the games -- you've made wearing your name a cool thing to do. For the sportsmanship we saw most…

Going Moldy....

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