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Showing posts from February, 2013


I'm sorry if you've heard some of this before. Sometimes I feel like I'm writing the same things over and over again in slightly different ways. But the topics that tend to recur in this here Breadbin are important to me. Central to my life, actually. And so one of the first blogs I ever wrote makes a thematic return.

Stumbled across this quote in THE WEEK just now and it made me sad.

We have become a nation of phonies, writes Richard Cohen in the Washington Post. We love everyone. We don't merely like them or respect them or hold them in some esteem. We LOVE them. Performers on the stage shout that they love us. Politicians love us. Acquaintances love us. We lack all formality, all distance. I do not want others to kiss me, which is starting to happen. I say goodbye and they pucker up. No! This is reserved for love and by love I mean real love, not the silly xoxo stuff that clutters the Internet with false, saccharine intimacy and emotion. I want to shake hands. I do n…

Sex vs. Violence

You know, people have been asking for over a generation now about our society's predilection for violence and aversion to sex. George Carlin riffed rather memorably about this the year I was born:

In the middle of this 'Seven Words You Can't Say On Television' routine, Carlin says

"People much wiser than I have said 'I'd rather have my son watch a film with two people making love than two people trying to kill one another'..."

Where are these wise parents, anyway? Forty one years on, they'll still a distinct minority. Or so it seems.

What brought this on? A post by Mark Frauenfelder on regarding my favourite television show, Game of Thrones, the third season of which is coming up in a little over a month. Apparently there are multiple censored versions out there for the pirating. One of them has the sex and nudity removed, as well as the "extreme" swearing. No word on whether the occasionally graphic violence has been  …

Lost In Translation

So I'm taking French.

Over the past ten years or so, there have been an endless series of self-betterment ideas that have bubbled up out of my brain, popped out my mouth...and evaporated. How shall I put this? Discipline, to put it mildly, is not my strong suit. I'm great at spouting off about all the things I should do to make myself a more well-rounded person, but not so great at following through. Given the choice to shit or get off the pot, I'll ask you kindly to refrain from such low language. See, to make that cuss word palatable, you need only drop one letter. Thank you: now let me sit in peace.

I'm not getting any younger, though, (he said, in full recognition that the cliché seems to imply that somewhere in the world, there are people who are getting younger...) The realization of my advancing age has stirred up something of a gastrointestinal festival, and I'm thinking I might be putting this here pot to its intended purpose.

Why French? Pourquoi pas? It …

Apparently I Can't Buy Me Love

...because, quite simply, I can't afford it.

Good thing I'm not shopping for love, eh? Almost forty four grand just to get to the honeymoon? Thank you, Eva, from the bottom of my bank account heart, for not being the sort of woman who believes that the depth of my love is best measured in dollars and cents.

What exactly is the point of articles like this? I gotta say, this one made me feel like a cheap prick. Was that the intention?

For the record, and I've detailed some of this before, our wedding cost something like six grand. That included the honeymoon. Now, that was thirteen years ago; the handy-dandy Bank of Canada inflation calculator informs me we're looking at about $7520 in today's dollars.

Apparently we were supposed to spend almost four times that. None of our guests mentioned this to us; either they were too tactful or that figure's full of shit.

I've only been married thirteen years, as I say. That's not long, by my lights, anyway: my mom…


Well, everybody, we lived through another kyag. And while you may have kissed your ass goodbye at the repeated urgings of the Weather Network, my ass is still here and only slightly winded.

My Weathereye app first flashed red on Tuesday. The white lightning bolt on red used to mean a warning had been issued; now, like as not, it's a warning that some Weather Network minion has penned a story he or she thinks everybody should read. It might not have anything to do with my area at all.
In this case, it did...sort of. An Alberta clipper was forecast to float by on Thursday into Friday. Now, clippers are rarely such of a much, as the link notes. The real problem for us folks living in the Great Lakes tends to be the aftermath, when colder temperatures bring snowsqualls.

Forecasted accumulations varied wildly between 10 and 40 cm (roughly 4 and 16"). Such variance is typical for this area: the Great Lakes are among the most difficult regions on the planet to forecast accurately. A…


"Does it bother you," asked Eva last night, just before bed, "that you're turning 41?"

I thought about it a while. "Yeah, a little," I admitted. "Not for the reason most people would give, though..." and then I stopped dead. "It's hard to articulate," I said. "I'll have to write it out tomorrow."

And now tomorrow is today and I'm seemingly no closer to getting a handle on these alien thoughts.

No worries, folks, I'm not having that midlife crisis.. On the contrary: I'm reasonably happy with most aspects of my life, ecstatically happy with others, and the niggling sense I'm feeling is certainly not overtaking my rational mind.

It's there, though: no denying it.

Oh, the accepted narrative is well known. I'm supposed to be asking myself IS THIS ALL THERE IS?, eventually deciding that no, it isn't/shouldn't be/can't be, and then throwing away all I have in search of some illusion, w…