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Showing posts from February, 2010

Courage and Pride

'Cause sometimes you feel tired, feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up.
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
and just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up
and not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.

--Eminem, "'Til I Collapse"

If Team Canada loses today, the sun will still rise tomorrow. Really, it will.
I'm not going to get into all the "our Canadians are better than your Canadians" b.s. that gets thrown around whenever these things are contested. I remember it from when the Blue Jays won back-to-back World Series: our Latin Americans are better than your Latin Americans! Whatever. It's a hockey game. There's going to be a winner and there's going to be a loser. If Team Canada wins, hey, great. If they lose, it's not going to diminish the 2010 Olympic Games in any way for me.
These have been, without a dou…

Chile: Perspective

"To the world, you may be just another girl "But to me, baby, you are the world" --Brad Paisley, "The World"
"We are the world We are the children We are the ones who make a brighter day so let's start giving" --Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, "We Are the World"
"I believe in the power that comes from a world brought together as one..." Alan Frew, "I Believe" (Vancouver 2010 Olympic theme)

I saw it scrolling across the CNN ticker and actually recoiled. "The strongest aftershock so far measured 6.9".
Story here, in case you've been incommunicado all day.
8.8. Wikipedia rates it the seventh-most severe quake ever recorded. It occurred in the same subduction zone that spawned the strongest temblor in history, the 1960 Valdivia quake that measured 9.5. A tsunami from that quake went around the world, covering 10,000 km in hours and devastating places as far-flung as Hilo, Hawaii and the coast of Japan. Both those pl…

I Am Not A Man... least, not a normal one.
Reason #1: the remote control. Not only do I not hog it in our house, at least half the time I can't get it to do what I want it to. Seriously. I'll go to put the TV on channel 800 and somehow end up on channel 50 instead. Then when I try again I'm on channel 80. I have to search an unconscionably long time to find the 'mute' button, or the 'recall' button, or damn near any button. I jokingly attribute this incompetence to having spent five years without a television. Perhaps I should say that my clicker-klutziness stems from not missing a television at all over that five year span. To this day, I can take or leave TV. Yes, even the hockey games...which are, after all, on radio. I don't listen to radio near as much as I used to, but if push came to shove, I could quit television without very much of a qualm. Only books surpass radio as an invocation to the imagination, in my experience. Radio--mostly public radio--is where t…

Olympic Musings At The Half

Well, here we are at the halfway point of Vancouver 2010 and I Believe if I hear that CTV theme song one more time I just might take a running leap into an Olympic cauldron.

Catelli said it first, and I will duly echo: CTV, you stink. I realize it's your first time in the Big should also be your last. It's become a running joke around this here Breadbin that these Olympics don't actually have any sports in them. There's athlete profiles galore (and as I get older I do appreciate those a lot more than I used to)...but then there's Brian Williams, then a rerun of something that happened yesterday, then a promise of a sport, upcoming...then more profiles, more Williams, more reruns...could there be some competition at the end of this tunnel? We've developed our own sport of remote-grabbing. Eva's got five gold medals so far.
You don't know what you had 'til it gets bought out. I posted this in 2004:
The CBC is annoying for entirely different rea…


Every now and again I find myself in a mental rut wherein everything I see and hear simply reinforces my preconceptions and prejudices. Sadly, any species of happiness is extremely rare when I'm in such a state: predominant emotions include anger, despair and disbelief. I look at the world around me and my confusion and disgust swells in my brain like a malign tumour, pulsing and flexing until it simply must escape by any means possible, and thus I blog. The words on your screen are blister-born, shaped by pressures just behind my forehead and ejected, at times, with fearful force.This blog has served over the years as my relief valve to the pressure cooker of life lived in a world gone mad. Sometimes it seems as if the words themselves form a tightrope over a gaping chasm of insanity.
There's probably a pill for that. If there isn't, there soon will be.
In fact, that's part of today's nasty cranial carbuncle. We read in the Times Online that there's a good chanc…

Deal With Reality Or Reality Will Deal With You

That's the slogan over at Life After The Oil Crash, which is an interesting site to browse if you're feeling a little too at peace with the world. Or if, like me, you're interested in the 'realities' that just might be lurking behind the headlines.
It's not a conspiracy site like, say, Global Research. It will occasionally link to places that are a little more fringe than people like to go, but the majority of its articles are from mainstream sources such as the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and Atlantic Monthly. And it doesn't deal exclusively with Peak Oil...far from it. In fact...well, a quick tour of their Breaking News for February 16, 2010 is instructive.
Just a few of the articles you'll find: From Yahoo!, this: an article called 'Kiss that V-Shaped Recovery Goodbye: the U.S. is Worse Than Greece, Says Economist';
From the New York Times, Wall Street Helped Mask Debt Fueling Europe's Crisis; "From CBS News,The Coming Fore…

Things I Can't Do

Oh, there are thousands. Millions, more like. But the ones I'm thinking of today are the kinds of useless skills that are mastered by the time you're in your teens, if not earlier.
I can't blow bubbles. I've had probably a dozen people try to teach me how that works, and I'm no closer to learning how than I was the first time I popped a stick of gum into my mouth.
For the longest time, I couldn't whistle, either. I still can't perform that piercing shriek-whistle that carries for a mile or more. But one day, without warning, I found myself whistling a tune, and then I was off and annoying. After a great deal of practice that drove everyone around me nuts over a period of years, I can perform a fair imitation of this:

(That's Roger Whittaker, whose songs filled my childhood. Yes, I was old before my time.)
Another thing I can't do: solve a Rubik's Cube. I'm lucky if I can get one side of the damn thing solved--my mind deals much better with w…


I have to say I was wowed by the Olympic opening ceremonies last night. Over twenty three million Canadians tuned in, making it by far the most viewed program in Canadian television history. Truly incredible when you consider this country has a population of only 34 million.
I watched the NBC coverage exclusively. Partly because I was very curious to see how the Americans would cover the event (would there be endless U! S! A! U! S! A! boosterism? Would they come off cheesy and dumb this country down for their viewers, as they did in '88?) I'm happy to report that the NBC coverage was first-rate and kept a truly international focus. In fact, I was surprised at just how little of the American team we saw. Doubtless that'll change...I can't remember which comedian it was who said, upon watching Canadian Olympic coverage for the first time, that he was "surprised to find out the other countries stuck around for the events".
The other reason I watched NBC was in p…

A dark pall

...has been cast over the 2010 Olympic Games, and by extension over my country, after the death of Georgian luger Nodor Kumaritashvili on a training run today. He's only the second Olympian ever to die in training at an Olympic venue, and his death raises disturbing questions.
By now there's probably video on YouTube, and if you want to see it, you're going to have to go there yourself--I won't link it. Suffice it to say that Kumaritashvili was going an estimated 88 mph (141 km/hr) when he missed the final turn in the course, flew free of his luge and up and over the wall--and into an unshielded metal pole.
It's the adjective there that shames. If a metal pole just had to be where somebody could conceivably hit it, it should have been padded to a fare-thee-well. I'm far from the only person whose first thought was what the almighty hell is that pole there for?
I'm not a racer. In fact, I'm not much of a competitor, and certainly not in anything dangerous.

I feel that olympicitis coming on...

So the rumour is that Wayne Gretzky will be lighting the Olympic flame tomorrow to open Vancouver 2010.
Pardon me while I roll my eyes theatrically.
Look, I've got nothing against Wayne the hockey player...arguably the best the world has ever seen, and all that. I've also got nothing against Wayne the person. Everything I've heard over the years suggests the man oozes class.
There are two things that bother me about this selection. The first is that it's oh so predictable. Hey, let's cater to the Canadian beer-swilling hockey-nut stereotype and get a shinny player to light the flame, shall we? And the other thing that bothers me is that the guy or gal who has this honour should, ideally, be a Canadian.
Oh, did I type that out loud? You're not supposed to say this, and it might be a crime to even think it, but Wayne Gretzky--for all he's done for our national winter pastime--is Canadian in name only. He's lived outside this country for decades and even his …

God vs. Science

From the mailbox today, and Rocket, I'm curious if you'll rebut this the way I did:

GOD vs. Science
A science professor begins his school year with a lecture to the students, 'Let me explain the problem science has with religion.' The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

'You're a Christian, aren't you, son?'
'Yes sir,' the student says.

'So you believe in God?'

'Is God good?'
'Sure! God's good.'

'Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?'

'Are you good or evil?'
'The Bible says I'm evil.'

The professor grins knowingly. 'Aha! The Bible!' He considers for a moment. 'Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'

'Yes sir, I would'

'So you're good...…

Left, Right, Left, Right, Marching Off To War

Very interesting article here, from Gerard Alexander at the Washington Post, posing the question "why are liberals so condescending?" I went into it ready to eviscerate it and came out somewhat meeker on the other side. Yes, liberals are often extremely condescending, and sometimes the conservative viewpoint is the correct one, more or less by default and by definition: this will work because this has always worked. So why am I often so quick to discount most anything a conservative says?
I'd argue the condescension runs both ways. Just as many liberals dismiss conservatives as ruthless moneygrubbing ignoranuses, liberals are often called lazy pinko commies and/or threatened with eternal damnation. Speaking for both sides, it's hard to think critically and objectively when your core values are mocked as subhuman.
Can we at least agree that all of us, liberal and conservative alike, want to make the world a better place? Can we keep that at the top of our minds while w…

Was going to post on Burke's Leafs makeover...

...but won't now, out of respect for the passing of his son Brendan, whom I just wrote about, it seems. Matters of mortality really put things like a hockey game into perspective. Here we are, us fans, said to be "living and dying" with our team...yeah, right. The Leafs played 57 minutes of solid hockey tonight. Then, as if somebody told them what had happened to their GM's son, they abruptly stopped playing and lost the game.
The game.
It's only a game. That's all it ever was or will be, and it seems hopelessly silly to be concerned about a couple of black rubber disks in the wrong net when real life and real death interrupts. Trolling the Leafs forums on the Net, you can see the switch from fan to human being occur the instant somebody conveys the news. From elated cheering to prolonged cursing to (slap!) the sober reflection in a heartbeat.
Brendan Burke struck me as a son to be proud of. Brian Burke is undoubtedly a father to be proud of. I will leave the e…

Yes, we have one. No, it's not recalled.


I haven't felt much like blogging lately. The good ship Breadbin was hit by a bit of a rogue wave this week, as Lady Breadbin found herself downsized. Prospects for recovery are good to excellent, however, as her skill set is very much in demand. She's already lined up a job interview.Well, I did say this year would bring some changes, didn't I?
Is it the winter blahs or something? I can't find it in me to get too worked up about anything, not even Stephen Harper shuttering Parliament for the second time in a year. I know I should be outraged, but I just don't have the energy. Besides, have you ever actually watched Question Period? Believe me, it's not like we'll miss it. (Still find it rather amusing that Harper's trying to kill the spring break because "there's a lot of work to do". I haven't seen that level of two-faced audacity since, well, Chretien. That's a depressing thought.)
On the tech front, news is out today that we'l…

Going Moldy....

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