Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Short blogging vacation.

I'll be quiet until January 3rd, or maybe later.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Well, Christmas is coming and I thought that I should announce what gifts I am giving to all of you who read this blog, even the ones who are too shy to comment. I will be making a donation in your name to the Human Fund. Happy Festivus.

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Monday, December 13, 2004

One day, the Noriega look-alike gave me roses. I think we were coming back from some horrible fast food joint, like Subway. He stopped at a street vendor selling flowers out of large white buckets. You know these people: they get dropped off in the morning, almost thrown out of the back of a white van in strange and no-so-strange places. I didn't know who Little Noriega was buying roses for, but then it all became clear. He turned, a smile coming into to pock-marked face, handed them to me, and then ran away. Seriously. It was almost a sprint. He said something like: "don't say anything."

There I was, standing downtown with a dozen roses given to me by a man who thought that I was his boyfriend (despite the fact that I was clearly interested in women). Anyway, I took the flowers back to my office where a co-worker said: "oh, those need water." He busied himself getting a vase and arranging the flowers. It occurred to me that perhaps he needed the boyfriend.

The next day, Noriega came by and read to me a personal ad had been planning to submit to a paper. He claimed that there was no longer any need, since he had met me. I corrected him and told him that he had jumped to conclusions. In fact, I wrote it down, since I wanted something on paper, given that we worked for the same employer. I worried that he would stalk me. He did show up a few times, but he finally got the picture. The worst part was really enduring Water World on the big screen. The rest was simply an irritation.

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Friday, December 10, 2004

$5 Coffee, Manuel Noriega look-alike, and Kevin Costner....

I am trying to remember when I capitulated, just when it was that I decided that spending $5 on coffee was OK. Yesterday's trip to Starbucks, which happens very infrequently, mind you, amounted to $5.12 for a grande-decaf-soy-no-whip-cafe mocha (laugh if you must). Back in the day, when I consumed caffeine, cow's milk, and gluten, I could get a coffee and a muffin for far less than that price. Yikes. It's a good thing I am not addicted.

Bizarrely, this reminds me of an incident from several years back, wherein a man made the moves on me. I'm not gay (not that there's anything wrong with that). Even if I was, the guy looked far too much like Manuel Noriega for my comfort. Before I knew what was happening, we had been to see Water World. I can't really say why I agreed to go. I put it down to my generally congenial nature. The movie sucked, but I am sure you all know that. Why is Kevin Costner permitted to make anymore movies. I mean, why do they give this man money? Quite honestly, I think I could make a better movie than Mr. Costner.

By the way, the Manuel Noriega look-alike then laid a huge guilt trip on me (after I clarified things), claiming that he was in love with me. He told me that he increased his anti-depressant intake and that he would surely fail an upcoming medial licensing exam.

Recently, I have begun to wonder if my choice of profession has caused people to make assumptions about me. I am not gay, but I am thin and neat. I have lots of gay friends. My father is gay (no, not really).

See: part two of this saga.

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Thursday, December 09, 2004

Wait, I did see one movie recently, on the tele. It was the abysmal About a Boy, starring Hugh Grant. I decided to watch it because I had read the book. I read About a Boy after reading High Fidelity, which was ok, but the movie didn't impress me much. Why John Cusack? He has a mouth like a black hole. His default expression is an "o" shaped mouth, if you know what I mean. He looks mentally challenged, in other words. And people think he is attractive?

I have to admit that I don't mind Hugh Grant too much, although I don't think he is good looking by any means, especially in About a Boy. His hair, in that movie, is far too pugnacious. Anyway, he always plays the same character, which works somehow. I laughed through the fist half of Notting Hill, but the remainder was lame. Who would fall in love with Julia Roberts; she has a mouth like a two-car garage (if you don't believe me, read this).

The boy cast to play Marcus in About a Boy was well-chosen. Somehow, they managed to find a kid with a face like a jack-o-lantern.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Finally, we have justification for sleeping-in. Two studies have reported that people who do not get enough sleep tend to eat more. Finally, we have a diet based on sleep. This explains my slim body type. Now, we just need confirmation that sex keeps one's weight down.

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Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Suddenly, the Rolex spam has become Movado, Dior, and Roger Dubuis spam. Oddly, the sig line of the guy who sent one message identifies himself as "rat-catcher." I think he is the rat. At least these messages are not profane, like others I have received recently. I can't even include the subject lines here without offending someone or making others blush.

I have been neglecting this blog recently. It seems like so much work just to login.

I haven't seen any movies recently. I am half way through Some Great Thing by Colin McAdam. It's OK, but it's not as good as some of the reviews would have you believe. I no longer trust reviews, although I have to say that the review of Eleanor Rigby (by Douglas Coupland) in the Star recently was right on. This link to the review will probably expire soon.

You can tell that this is a slow news day. Oh, today is National Cotton Candy Day, but I am not sure which nation it applies to. I'm just waiting for the National Chocolate Covered Anything Day.

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Friday, December 03, 2004

It's been a sad week. The tragic stabbing incident has been hard to take because we knew these people. I can't really write more than that today.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

What's the deal with shower caps? I mean, who uses these odd creations? I pondered that once more during my overnight at the Hilton on Sunday night. I was out-of-town for a one day conference. And, why are hotel pillows so thick? I don't use pillows in hotels because I always end up with a very sore neck. I just lie flat. In the past, I requested flatter pillows but no hotel could provide one. I have given up.

I feel small in a king size bed. I believe that six people could easily fit on a king size mattress - 12, if you piled them two-deep (that's an interesting thought). You can lie down in any direction and not hang over the edges. It's bizarre. I tried to avoid contact with the top quilt thing after reading that it was the dirtiest object in hotel rooms. I guess there is remnants of sex and bodily fluids and maybe some food. It's not a good thing to think about. I just peeled it back and slid into the sheets.

Since we have no cable, I enjoy channel surfing at hotels. For some bizarre reason, I ended up watching the Fabulous Life of Simon Cowell. The craziest thing in that show was the statement that he pays some dude $500 per week to look after his hair. If true, he is wasting money. He needs a hair intervention big time. He has the most pugnacious haircut I have seen in recent memory.
I saw an old episode of Seinfeld. Yes, I still laughed, even though I have seen that one several times.

And now, I am back and strangely unmotivated.

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Friday, November 26, 2004

I have to go to an all day meeting on Monday. I hope it is interesting.

Have a nice weekend.

“Yes to Yushchenko!”

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Wednesday, November 24, 2004


I am looking out the window of my office, and I think it might be snowing. Really. This is bad news. I prefer summer. Although, when I was a kid, I could hardly wait for the snow to come. One year, my brother and I cheered when we saw the first flakes coming down. I was four, I think. We convinced my mother to dress us in our snowsuits, and then we headed out, hoping to go tobogganing or build a snowman. After a few minutes, we realized that we would have to wait for a lot more snow to come.

Later, I became a cross country skier, until I realized that downhill was much better. I experimented with snowshoeing. Oddly, I haven't strapped on a pair of skis in years. Maybe I should take up skiing again so that winter won't seem so bad. In truth, I'd rather be filthy rich so that I could escape winter altogether.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

I got back yesterday from four days off. It takes a while to get back into the routine. In the midst of the time off was a birthday party, my Grandmother's 85th birthday party. It was very good timing, as I have been researching my family tree. My great uncle was there, still spry and alert at age 90. I've learned that my family is long lived on all sides. My family tree has now expanded to 1300 names. I have found relatives in BC, Calgary, Detroit, Nevada, Florida, etc. I spoke with an aunt as well. The funny thing is that I have a newspaper clipping of her marriage announcement from the 60s. I expected her to look like that, but she was much older, of course.

I also spent some time doing research for a new article. My last one will be out in January. This one delves into new territory and should be quite interesting, I hope. For a few hours, I considered applying for a Ph.D., but then reality hit me and I reconsidered. I am not sure that I have the energy for that. Although, it would be a good way to use my sabbatical, since the part time program requires an eight month residency. Hmmm, maybe, maybe not. Maybe I should just do another masters degree. Is three too many?

At last, the first three seasons of Seinfeld are out today on DVD.

Marginalized is stuck in my head and I can't get it out. It's the best song on the latest Rheostatics CD.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Rheostatics @ the Horseshoe Tavern

Today feels like Friday, 'cause I am taking Thursday and Friday off this week. I am operating on very little sleep.

I didn't get to bed until 3:00 am, after having been to a
Rheostatics concert at the Horseshoe Tavern. If you were there, I was one of the guys taking donations at the door (for the Alpha School and Huron Playschool). I was the slightly taller of the two guys at the door. And, if you are the rather drunk middle-aged school teacher who tried to kiss me, I hope you have a major headache today. I turned my head just in time so you missed my lips. Of course, that was hard, given that you grabbed my head with both hands. Does that count as sexual assault? I think it might, but who really knows.

So, the evening was bizarre. I cycled home at 2:30ish, and crashed at 3:00ish. I couldn't get to sleep, which usually happens after an evening of live music.


Monday, November 15, 2004

Every time someone really devout dies, like the Pope or even a Hamas suicide bomber, I have to wonder what they have found on the other side, if, in fact, there is an other side. I imagine lots of utterances like "d'oh!", or "oh crap."

We rented a car on last weekend. I have mixed feelings about that. I love driving, especially new cars, but I feel like I am always being ripped off. I am thankful for my gold card (speaking of religion), 'cause the insurance part of renting has got to be a scam. The person beside me opted for the so-called peace of mind package at $23.00 per day! They have to be kidding. These cars have to be insured anyway, so what is this? It's a scam. Anyway, I was upgraded. That is both good and bad. I like the bigger car, but then you have to face the gas mileage issues. Anyway, the Impala is a smooth drive. It's not cool in any conceivable way, mind you, but smooth. Oh, and the sound system is pretty good too.

The Impala has that radio volume system I hate. When you accelerate, the volume increases. It decreases when you brake. I hate it with a capital hate. I would never buy a car that had that feature, unless I could disable it. It doesn't really work properly anyway.

It was a weekend of visiting relatives. The less I see them, the more I can't believe that I hail from the same genes. Maybe it's just the rural-urban divide. If I have learned anything one thing, it is that once you have lived in Toronto, you can't go back to the country. Well, it might be ok to go back if you planned to die within a few months. Any longer than that and you'd die of boredom anyway.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

So, Paul Cellucci thinks that Canada's proposed pot law will worsen relations with the United States. This is the same man who complained bitterly that Canada would not blindly follow George Bush in his illegal war in Iraq, which has since turned into a quagmire. Time has proven that our decision to stay out was the right one, even though half of America, for some bizarre reason, appear to agree with Bush.

We should remind Cellucci that he is a visitor here and that it is in very bad form to interfere with the internal affairs of the country to which one is an ambassador. Why haven't we sent him home? He is meddling. As I have said before, the war on drugs is ludicrous. What a waste of money. And, what's with this attention to pot. It's just a plant. Alcohol is far more refined and probably far more dangerous, and yet we have no problem with it. Pot is not a gateway drug. I have smoked pot and I am not a crackhead and I don't snort coke or inject heroin.

I think Cellucci is resigning soon, so hopefully we will get a more respectful ambassador.

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Friday, November 05, 2004

I am passing, once again, on the offer of a free flu shot. The flu vaccine contains, among other things, formaldehyde, aluminum and mercury. It is not guaranteed to work. I won't give you a run down on all of the possible side effects (any Google search can bring up a plethora of real and imagined ones). I do know someone who is now off work permanently because of a bad reaction. My dissent really comes from the marketing campaign.

Ontario, as far as I know, is the only jurisdiction in the world that hands out free flu shots. There is no good reason for this. The campaign is based on guilting you into getting the shot. I worked in the largest Canadian teaching hospital for six years, and during that time, only the elderly, or those with respiratory or kidney problems, were encouraged to get the shot. I hate those ads that try to force me to get the shot, because I might get someone else sick. If someone is so fragile that they could die from the flu THEY should get the shot, not me.

Some health agencies in the USA recommend that children ages 6 months and older get the shot. You have to ask why US agencies would promote a substance that contains mercury to children after the federal government had legislated out mercury from all other vaccines.

The other troubling thing is that no one has bothered to conduct an epidemiological study in Ontario. We are giving out the vaccine willy nilly, but is anyone compiling statistics? Is there any way to even obtain meaningful data on the efficacy of this intervention? The fact is that very few people really get the flu. Often, it is just a bad cold. I don't deny that a flu pandemic would be a horrible thing. I am just not sure that pushing the flu vaccine, which may undermine one's natural immunity, is the best way to go.

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Thursday, November 04, 2004

I guess it's time to review the new Leonard Cohen CD, Dear Heather. The first thing I should say is that I am happy that there is another album and I am happy that I didn't have to wait five years for it to come out. I like this album, but not as much as his others.

Dear Heather has made me appreciate Ten New Songs, an album I had mixed feelings about. I think Ten New Songs is a better album than Dear Heather, mostly because I fear that some of the songs on the new one verge on Adult Contemporary. The production on the last two records is the problem: there really isn't any. But, Leonard Cohen at his weakest is light years ahead of most other artists. It's a treat simply to hear his voice and listen to the words. I hope we get to hear more from him in the years to come. This can't be the last album.

I have had a day of research. Some carefully-chosen music aided me in my chore. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion really helped me to get up the energy for reading several articles. Later, I resorted to The League of Gentlemen when my energy started to wane. There is just something so cool about Inductive Resonance (the live version , from Thrang Thrang Gozinbulx).

The other day, I spoke with someone who thought that I signed out books all day. She honestly believed that librarians spend their days checking out books. I have to say that I have always been bugged by the librarian stereotype and the general lack of knowledge about what it is that we do. Maybe we need to market more. The trouble is that there is a broad range of tasks that we do. Maybe we need new names. But, I have been an Information Specialist, and that was even worse. Public librarians and school librarians do vastly different things from Academic librarians (like me). But, we all have at least one Masters degree. That is not a very well-known fact. Maybe no one cares?

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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

I have to say that I am disappointed with the results of the US Presidential election. It's a good thing that I don't live in the US, or I'd have to pack up and move to Canada. I just cannot understand why Americans would re-elect Bush. The war in Iraq, if you ask me, has exacerbated the terrorist threat. It is clear that the disarray in that country has given more freedom and encouragement to those seeking to attack the USA. Not only that, Bush seems to have given up on Afghanistan, and the fear is that the same people are slowly coming back to power. Not only that, the US missed a glorious opportunity to gain some ground in the misguided war on drugs. Instead, Afghanistan remains a huge producer of opium.

One house on our street gave out a Bic pen and a small pad of Postit Notes for Hallowe'en. What's up with that?

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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Post Hallowe'en, Pre-Election

I'm back after a brief posting vacation. Let's hope John Kerry wins the US election. If Bush wins, it will be like Hallowe'en had never ended.

My horoscope was dead wrong. I thought that I was in for some expenses but, instead, money fell from the sky. Not a huge amount, but some.

I watched the re-broadcast of the pilot episode of Lost. I have a few questions. Why was the jet engine still working after the crash? The plane was ripped into thousands of pieces and yet the fuel lines were still connected? How is that possible? I have read something about plane crashes, and let me tell you, bodies do not look like that after a crash. In fact, investigators often have to put huge chunks of gunk (fused body parts) into vats and boil it so that they can separate the parts for DNA identification. It is unusual for bodies to be found intact like that. How did 48 people survive such a horrific crash anyway?

I'd make this a longer post, but I have to run...

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Tuesday, October 26, 2004

This is why I read the newspaper. Just yesterday's, I read that 65 million guinea pigs are consumed annually in Peru. Not only that, some Peruvian Scientists have bred a super guinea pig that weighs twice as much (and that means they only weigh one pound). They hope that other nations will accept these furry creatures as a new dish. I figure if you eat meat (and I do, after several years as a vegetarian) then anything goes. I really can't see stuffed guinea pig on any menus in Toronto anytime soon. You never know, they could be tasty little guys.

I am not sure what happened, but I have received a flood of Rolex spam. This is no exaggeration: I have received between five and six Rolex ads in my email box every day for the past week, and they are all from different addresses. If I really wanted a Rolex, I think I would buy from a reputable dealer. And, anyway, even if I were fabulously wealthy, I would never buy a Rolex.

Today is the day that the new Leonard Cohen CD comes out. I'll have to run out an get it at lunch.

I have no plans to attend any Hallowe'en parties. I never know what to wear. I guess I have yet to find my perfect costume. I have tried, over the years, a pirate (complete with puffy shirt), dracula, etc. Nothing seems to work. I am happy to entertain suggestions.

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Friday, October 22, 2004

It's Friday. I'm at my desk listening to the Rheostatics. It's the Double Live album from '97. I got a free copy from Dave Bidini a few years back. It's even autographed and inscribed to me. I really like this band. The folks over at the All Music Guide write: "If anyone can lay claim to the title of "Most Canadian Band Ever", the Rheostatics certainly can make a compelling case..." Right on.

Oops, I hyperlinked to another site. Could that get me into trouble? Recently, some people have said that this could be a problem, that there will be litigation on this. I have to say that I do not believe it. There has been no litigation because nobody cares. I think that this might be a make-work scenario devised by lawyers who are under-employed.

To argue that you cannot link to other sites undermines the purpose of the web. What Tim Berners-Lee had in mind was a collection of hyperlinked documents. Now, it is being suggested that we should seek permission. That is crazy. There are millions of links out there.

A link is simply a reference. If you ask me, it's no different than a footnote or a reading suggestion. You do not need permission to add something to a reading list, even if that something is a website. Can you imagine a newspaper seeking permission to include a URL in a story? A link is a reference. Such a law would also put search engines out of business. My theory is, if you put up a web site, expect that someone might link to it.

Update . 8 march 2005

I just visited BoingBoing and I noticed that they have a very concise and humorous linking policy.

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Thursday, October 21, 2004

Did you hear about that law student who got his boss's traffic ticket annulled because the no left turn sign was not in both official languages? I think this stinks. If the person who got the ticket was a French-speaking Canadian, I might agree, but then I might not. I saw her on the news, and she speaks English as well as anyone I know.

Anyway, there was a graphic that indicated no left turn. She has a law degree, and must have passed the LSAT. You never know.
There are 160 languages spoken in Toronto. In fact, French is not among the top 25 languages! I support the official languages act, but I think that, in this case, it is ridiculous to insist that French be added to signs when what we really need is Cantonese, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, Spanish, French, German, Greek, Tagalog, Punjabi, Ukrainian -- all of which are more common here than French.

If our taxes go up to pay for adding French to signs all over Toronto, I am going to be really pissed. Air Canada must have read my last post. They sent me an email that says:

"You and I were meant to fly

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Canada’s very own superstar diva, Celine Dion, has a new song on the airwaves, and I’ve been humming it all day: “… you and I were meant to fly.” The toe tapping is contagious and this new tune is just one part of Air Canada’s exciting new campaign.

Keep an eye out for our revamped aircraft livery: our Maple Leaf, on the tail of our aircraft, is getting a vibrant makeover.

Call it the evolution of Air Canada. And expect it to energize all aspects of our products and services, from seatback inflight entertainment systems, new seats and redesigned aircraft interiors to innovations at the airport, enhanced Internet services and more choices in fares and services.

Air Canada: a fresh new look, more innovative, world-class products and services."

Imagine, a song that is a big advertisement for Air Canada, being played to unsuspecting people all over the world. This is a little more obvious than subliminal advertising. Let's face it, she has a face like a horse and a voice that only the masochistic would like. But, as my dad says, "everyone likes Celine Dion." In his world maybe.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Even more shocking

Celine Dion is the "new face of Air Canada." I may never fly again. Or, I may have to investigate JetsGo (sounds like a 4 year old came up with that name). Robert Milton has said "there is no more successful Canadian symbol...than Celine." What about the beaver? I think that is the most successful Canadian symbol, ever, and it should have made the CBC top ten list of greatest Canadians.

Why would any company choose someone with such a pugnacious face as its new face. It makes no sense to me. Besides that, I am not a fan of her music. And, anyway, wasn't she flogging the Bay not so long ago?

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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

You gotta be kidding!

The CBC's The Greatest Canadian top ten list has just been announced. I can't believe it. Don Cherry is on the list. Say what? The CBC fired him a while back. How is it possible that a list that included Pierre Trudeau, Frederick Banting, Tommy Douglas, Lester Pearson, John A. Macdonald could also have Don Cherry. Apparently, 140,000 Canadians voted for him. I have to say that this is bizarre and disturbing voting behaviour, Canada.

What is he know for? The answer: Ugly shirts and a loud mouth.


Monday, October 18, 2004

Last weekend, we watched The Manchurian Candidate (the 1962 version with Frank Sinatra, et al.). Wow, what a conspiracy theory. This film has some remarkable cinematography. There are some really fabulous shots and scenes. The most amazing thing to me is that Angela Lansbury, at the tender age of 37, looked like she was 57. Boy, how she must have felt short-changed in life. It didn't stop her from pursing an acting career as a person who kept falling over dead people wherever she went. I never understood why people would hang around. Let me tell you, if I saw her coming, I'd run away.

I am enjoying the new Tom waits album, despite the review the album got in NOW. Tim Perlich has never been so wrong. I'd write a letter, but someone already did. Others have reviewed the album more favourably. My favourite Waits album is Bone Machine. It's awesome and it still holds up.

I have been tracing my genealogy. I managed to get back to 1535 (with help from a distant cousin) on one line. The others are proving to be a bit more problematic. I have over 600 names in my database. Why am I doing this you ask? I really have no idea.

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Thursday, October 14, 2004

I saw Napoleon Dynamite. I wondered about the name, but then there was an article in the National Post that said that Elvis Costello referred to himself as Napoleon Dynamite on the credits of one of his albums. I am not sure if that's true, and I am too lazy to search the web for confirmation. So, if you know, let me know.

Anyway, I enjoyed the film. It's funny. It's sort of a cross between a bizarro world Pretty in Pink and Election, with a bit of Rushmore thrown in. It may be a sleeper hit. How's that for a minimal review? If you wanted a review, you'd go elsewhere, so I don't feel bad about that. You can just be thankful that I did not disclose the plot and ending.

For some reason, a recent conversation caused me to recall Divine (October 1945 to March 7, 1988.). You know, Native Beat, and some others. A club I used to hang out in spun his or her discs. The music is really almost disco, but, at the time, it enjoyed an alternative popularity. And, when I say alternative, I mean alternative in the 80s sense, and not the co-opted "alternative" guitar rock thing we have now. What's that an alternative to?

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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I start to panic as I approach the very strange crossing guard who inhabits a corner on my cycling route in to work. I start to panic because my brain will likely become infected by the horrible music emanating from her tinny boom box. Leading the pedestrians across her streets or reclining in her lawn chair, she listens to the music that is infecting the air, clearly believing that all passersby will appreciate her tastes. I do not. I pray for noisy to block out the music.

Today it was Huey Lewis and the News. Let me say, the heart of rock and roll was never beating for that group, despite Huey's assertions. Other days, I have had to endure KC and the Sunshine Band, and even the Bee Gees. I pray that the light will go my way, that I won't have to hang out too long at the intersection. It is almost an invitation to run the red light.

A little further on, I saw a very well-dressed man standing at a bus stop with an equally well-dressed woman. They looked like they were headed for joint job interviews or even a wedding. Who knows, maybe it was their wedding day and they had an early appointment to see the JP. The strange part is that they were toking. I got a good whiff of the stuff as I passed. Another cyclist said: "that smells good," I thought it was a bit early, but who am I to say?

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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

I can't say that I look forward to visiting the dentist, but, on the other hand, I don't hate it. Well, I think I can say with some confidence that I do not like the drill. That definitely sucks. Anyway, my visit this morning was uneventful. The hygienist tried to sell me a $100 electric toothbrush. Se had two models, both $100. I am not sure. Maybe I should buy one. Maybe not.

Have you ever received anything via email that was not meant for your eyes? I mean something that was sent to you in error? It happened to me today. I received a message that was a tangle of attachments and forwarded messages. The result is that I found myself reading a draft confidential review of my performance written by a colleague for a promotions committee. Let this be a lesson to those with less that adequate technology skills: you could end up with a slander suit on your hands.

Right, I have to get some food now.

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Monday, October 04, 2004

I am not a fan of the Toronto Star, but I have to admit that it prints (unintentionally, I think) one of the funniest columns you will ever see. Check out Saturday's New Homes section (well, I think it's Saturday: it might be Sunday). There is a bizarre column in which readers' creative ideas for useless objects are printed along with time-saving or money-saving tips. The winning tip gets a (gasp) $25 prize. If you have ever wanted to know what to do with all of those hockey pucks around your house or used pantyhose, this is the place to look.

I think many of the people who submit ideas must consider themselves to be minor MacGyvers. Speaking of which, I have never seen that show.

I watched Arrested Development for the first time. It's funny, really.

The real news today is that SpaceShipOne has won the $10 million Ansari X Prize.


Friday, October 01, 2004

Friday Ramble

I think my brain has reached its limit. I am not that old, trust me. I can only accommodate more information if I purge something. The trouble is, I am not always sure what to expunge. Writing it down seems like a good method, but I find that notes to myself don't always make sense any more when I review them later. It's not a good means of preserving important information unless I append long descriptions. I'd like to get rid of lots of stuff from my childhood, but that seems to stick. I can't remember what I had for dinner two nights ago, but I can tell you my girlfriend's phone number from when I was in grade 8. That makes no sense.

Yikes, I have to make revisions to my article. It's already 35 pages and has 85 footnotes, but the editor has asked for a few changes. I'll end up with 90 footnotes or more. I think they are making me over-cite. I feel strongly that you can have too many footnotes. It's citation madness out there.

Friday has turned out to be a wonderful day. I can't believe that we are having such a nice fall. The sun is shining; it's warm; it has been a pleasant day at work despite the onerous task of sourcing several things that I had put out of my brain.

Have a nice weekend.

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Thursday, September 30, 2004

Just as I could easily make my blog exclusively about dreams, so could I also make it about cycling. Although it might sound dangerous, I often get my best ideas when in the saddle. My best lines of poetry often come late at night on Bloor Street as I negotiate the space between the parked and moving vehicles. It is faster to cycle on Bloor than it is to drive at times. Believe me. It is often faster to cycle than to take the subway. My best short story opening came on College Street near Queen's Park. I have had to stop and take out a pen and paper to preserve the thought. It's almost like dreams: they fade so fast. On the downside, I often remember all of the things I forgot to do at work when I am cycling home, but that is another story.

This morning, I was riding in along Bloor (not my usual route, mind you), with fragments of a Bill Reiflin CD passing through my head. Ahead of me, I watched a cyclist find herself in that terrible space between a taxi turning right and the curb. Her handle bars, and maybe her hand, hit his side mirror. There was that moment of reflection on both sides. She didn't get angry, well, not vocally. Just the day before, I watched a guy unload on a driver on Bay near Grosvenor, and so I marveled at her composure. The taxi driver sat there, and I sensed that he was hoping that she would just leave and not make his day difficult. A couple of blocks after that, a blue Honda flew by me closer than any car ever has (short of the two that actually made contact). I wonder if she just didn't see me, or if she didn't care. Maybe she was too busy chatting with her two companions in the car. I had the opportunity at the next light of saying something, but I didn't.

A few blocks later, I cycled past the construction at the Royal Ontario Museum. Doesn't it bother them that they have razed a piece of the institution that won a Governor General's award for architecture? It amazes me that they were allowed to destroy it. I liked the part they tore down too. What is someone wanted to burn all of the copies of a certain book that won a GG? No one would stand for it.

And, when did Lenny Briscoe leave Law and Order? Am I out of the loop, or what?

The good news has got to be that Toutatis missed us by 1.6 million KMs. That was close.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Yesterday's post about that guy buying that triple x guide made me think of my local video store. It is run by an ancient couple who drive two or three hours every day to get to the store. The store stinks of cigarettes, 'cause they puff away all day, and it is not air conditioned. Maybe these two factors encourage people to make their choices quickly. The store is ugly, made worse by what appears to be diseased carpeting. But, the store has a good selection of films and it is much cheaper than Blockbuster. The owners are very knowledgeable about film, very friendly, and helpful. What I have never been able to understand is why this mom and pop operation has an adult film section. I just can't believe it.

These people know all of their customers by name, and all of the customers know them by name. And yet, he tells me that adult sex film rental is a very lucrative business for them. Is that not like renting porn from one's parents? It makes me shudder.

By the way, I forgot to mention my dream. (I know, too many dream posts recently). Anyway, I had a dream in which people were disappearing in a rather x-files-ish manner. In fact, some appeared to be vapourizing or combusting. After seeing this go on, I realized that I was not going to suffer the same fate, and so I offered to switch places with a woman. I am not sure how that was to be accomplished, but I made the offer. However, there was soon smoke or steam rising from the inside of her grey trench coat and I felt that it was too late. Despite the offer, I had a feeling that my act was selfish. How bizarre is that?

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Monday, September 27, 2004

I started using Haloscan for comments because Blogger didn't have a commenting system. Now it does. I just discovered that comments older than four months will disappear from my blog unless I pay an annual fee to Haloscan. I have had problems with Haloscan recently anyway. But, if I switch to Blogger's service, I will lose all of the comments. Yikes. What to do? Help.

I made my annual trip to Word on the Street. I like the event, and I think the new location is a good one. At one booth, some dealer was selling off magazines. I got a couple of great mags on black & white photography. There were also selling off huge directories of xxx stuff (movies, places, etc.). It was weird. The chap in front of me flipped through the pages and quickly put down his loonie. I got the sense that he had made a real "find." He looked happy. Well, I think it was happiness that I was sensing.

I have new CDs. I got Fly Pan Am's first CD and, finally, the latest from Do Make Say Think. I am happy now.

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Friday, September 24, 2004

The Politics of Dancing

There are certain things that one should generally not engage in with co-workers. At the top of that list is dancing. Drinking and carousing are ok, but not dancing. Well, I suppose that there could be certain circumstances under which it might happen, say at a dance club where it is dark and there are other people around. I was really thinking about parties or small gatherings that include dancing, like a work Christmas party I went to at my director's house some years ago. There were only 12 or 13 of us, and someone got the crazy idea that we should dance in the living room. I almost ran screaming for the door. The following year's party was even more bizarre because we went to see a belly dancer. Co-workers of both genders got up to dance with her. Not me.

Another is sharing hotel rooms at conferences. This has happened to me twice. No boss should ever make that a requirement. What if you are trapped with someone who snores or who has a chronic gas problem? What then?

Oh, and here is my favourite line from The Family Guy:
Brian to Peter: "You are the Spalding Gray of crap." I mention this because the show has been uncancelled. This is good news.

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Thursday, September 23, 2004

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, or is it? I keep focussing on dreams, for some reason. I should rename this blog the Dream Blog, or something. Anyway, I had a dream is which I was smoking a big fat cigar. This could be because I have watched four seasons of the Sopranos in a very short period of time, or it could be something else entirely. Freud smoke a cigar, did he not? Anyway, I was puffing away, and then the butt end seemed to suddently permit a lot more smoke. I began to choke.

Believe me, I'll understand if no one comments on this entry.


Wednesday, September 22, 2004

LC at 70

I can't believe I forgot to comment on Leonard Cohen's 70th birthday, which was yesterday. People who know me well, know that I am a huge Cohen fan, and have been for over 20 years. Wow, that statement really dates me, but I should add that I discovered him at a young age, a very young age. :-) I have seen him sing in person three times, once from a very very close range. I have his autograph on a CD.

Why do I like him? I would say because he is a poet, a novelist, visual artist, and singer/ songwriter. I like all of his output (although I have some reservations about that Phil Spector collaboration, but so do others). For some reason, his words really connect with me. He is cool. What else can I say? If you don't know his music, check it out.


Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Recurring Dream

I have recurring dreams. In one, I find myself in an old house where my family lived for a while with my grandparents. It is an extremely large house with six or seven bedrooms. It has a grand, curving central staircase in a foyer that has 14 foot ceilings. There is a living room, a parlour, two kitchens, plus a summer kitchen. There was a stream that ran beside the house where, despite the heckles, my brother went fishing and, against all odds, he caught a large trout.

I regret that this house is no longer in the family. My grandparents sold it for a small amount of money just prior to a real estate boom. In my dream, I find myself wandering the house, and discovering new rooms I never knew were there.

I knew the people who later moved in. In fact, I went to school with their son. He told me how they had found "stuff" in the attic - artifacts, books etc. They donated everything to a museum. I always wonder what was up there. I know that a cousin, much older than me at the time, managed to get a steamer trunk out of the attic before the house was sold. If only I had been older.

This reminds me that when my great grandparents moved from their house, they held an auction. Antiques were sold for next to nothing, or so it seemed. I was very young, and I wanted to take away something so badly. A lot that included a plaster representation of the Last Supper came up. I begged my mom to bid on it, because I wanted that plaster statue even though I am not religious and never have been. She went up to $5, and then backed off. To my surprise, she went over and bought the thing from the successful bidder. It sat on a window sill for years. The tragic thing is that my mother sold it at a lawn sale when she thought I had outgrown it.

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Monday, September 20, 2004

I didn't watch the Emmys. In fact, I watched nothing last night. Instead, I got out one of my guitars. I have been neglecting them. I played some of my favourites, like Lazy Flies by Beck and Stories of the Street, my favourite Leonard Cohen song. Oddly, I know some Bruce Springsteen songs, mostly early ones. I played Yellow Submarine, and some others. My fingers hurt a bit. I feel I need to spend more time with my guitar.

Madonna has called for world peace. Who does she think she is?

If you have a Kryptonite lock, like I do, you should be worried. News that a pen can open the lock has spread, and put Kyrptonite on the defensive. I no longer have the receipt for my lock, and may have to shell out cash to replace my lock. I really can't believe that a $60 lock can be opened with a plastic pen.

That's all I need to say today.

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Friday, September 17, 2004

Thursday, September 16, 2004

The Sponge

Continuing my recent theme of sexually-oriented messages...

I remember when I was in grade nine health class (part of phys ed). Notice that I did not say how long ago that was. The teacher asked the students to give him examples of contraceptive methods. Suggestions were offered from the class: the pill, condoms, IUD, rhythm method, coitus interruptus, diaphragm, etc. I offered, "the sponge." My teacher insulted me. He said, very sarcastically: "what does she do with it, put it between her knees?" The whole class burst into laughter. I knew that here was a contraceptive sponge, but no one else was aware. It was embarrassing. Now, we have the term spongeworthy, thanks to Seinfeld - yet another TV reference). Clearly, my teacher was never spongeworthy, unlike me.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I was thinking about Kinsey (the movie, starring Liam Neeson) recently. It is playing at the Toronto International Film Festival. I haven't seen it, but I was thinking about the propaganda war that continues to be waged against Kinsey and his findings. Charles Rice of Notre Dame has stated that Kinsey's research was "contrived and ideologically-driven." Dr. Laura has called it an "assault on our children's innocence." Dr. Judith Reisman is, perhaps, the leading critic of Kinsey. Anyway, this is by way of saying that I want to start a think tank.

There are hundreds of these, and most are fronts and public relations exercises. The Fraser Institute springs to mind. I am sure that this organization believes that it is independent, but the truth is that it blatantly supports a conservative agenda. Its recent report advocating the decriminalization of marijuana might seem liberal, but in fact, it supports the conservative ideology of small government. And, speaking of that, the government should just get on with decriminalizing pot. Making criminals out of tokers is ludicrous.

So, anyway, I want to create my own think tank. I just need to invite a group of like-minded individuals (bohemians, poets, and the sort) and we could publish periodic reports on important issues. For example, I am anxious to release my opinions (in the form of a carefully crafted policy suggestion) on public nudity and arms sales.


Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Reality TV, Churches, and Sex Toys

At the risk of portraying myself as some sort of reality TV junkie, I will mention that I am looking forward to the next edition of Survivor. It is one of two reality shows that I watch, the other being the much maligned and justifiably vilified Canadian Idol. Not that I have seen every episode, mind you. It is far too painful. As I have said before, the early shows are more interesting than the later ones. After a few episodes, it suddenly begins to take itself much too seriously. Someday, people will understand that this was really a comedy show.

Why are so many of the churches in downtown Toronto locked? Last year, I was on a photographic expedition and was amazed to have been confronted with so many locked doors (heavy, imposing wooden doors). More recently, I continue to notice that they are, more often than not, locked tight. Why, just today, a friend and I tried to go in (not for praying purposes, mind you - I am very anti-religious), and the doors were locked. We experienced the same thing a while back too. I thought that churches were places of refuge. What if we had been seeking asylum? Our quest for sanctuary would have died. Who can help me get the doors opened?

Why is it that male sex toys are so ridiculous? In contrast, vibrators are culturally important. They are a sociological phenomenon. It seems that many women are comfortable with others knowing that they own a vibrator. No one seems to care. It is almost expected. And, there is a good deal of time and energy devoted to teaching woman and their partners how to use them. Good For Her is a good example. They have a course called Women's Sex Toys 101. No one would be surprised to learn that there is no corresponding course for men.

Is it because women's toys can be shared? What I mean is that men enjoy helping a woman use her vibrator. Can you image a man asking to include his toys in the love-making? I think inflatable dolls and rubber vulvas aren't really that interesting or fun for the woman. I can't imagine that they would be much fun for me either, not that I know, since I have no experience in that area. I am not suggesting that someone improve sex toys for men. I am suggesting that they are kinda dumb. But, who am I to say; they are probably lots of men who are thankful for that rubber doll.

Suddenly, I am reminded of two songs: Be My Girl Sally (The Police) and Rubber Girl (The Pukka Orchestra).

So that was a weird entry.

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Friday, September 10, 2004

After yesterday's post, I feel that I should take a posting vacation. I am sure that the Freudians would have lots to say about that dream. It's a good thing I am so well-adjusted!

I love this piece of news. George Dubya, in a speech about health care, said: "Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practise their love with women all across this country." I am not sure who is worse: George W. Bush or Dan Quail. It's a tough choice.

OK, I admit that I watched the first episode of Joey last night. I was never a big Friends fan. The show always seemed mediocre to me, although I do remember laughing from time to time. It seemed to me that there were certain plots that were obvious attempts to catch up to Seinfeld. Anyway, I watched, and I don't think I'll bother again. It's just another typical sitcom. The show shares one annoying characteristic with Friends. Joey lives in an apartment that he could never afford.

It was interesting to see Drea de Matteo in a comedy role, after her role in the Sopranos. Incidentally, this is my favourite quote from her: "I love men, and they're who I go out with, but every now and then... well, I can't say I've never been with a woman."

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Thursday, September 09, 2004

A (very strange) Dream

Last night I dreamed that I met Lou Reed in a rather strange manner. I was walking north on Yonge Street, planning to go to an autograph session that Lou was doing at a downtown record store. I know, this seems out of character for Mr. Reed. Anyway, his limo passed by and then stopped. He started signing autographs on the street. I was second in line.

The really weird thing is that, in my dream, Lou had enormous breasts. They were Jayne Mansfield large, and maybe even larger, and covered in a nice crisp white blouse. Suddenly, I feel that I shouldn't be writing any of this... I mean, I like Lou's music, and I am aware of the vague gender phases that Lou has passed through. Perhaps the less said about the gender ambiguity of this dream, the better. Enough people assume that I am gay or bisexual (not that there's anything wrong with that) and this might make things worse.

At first, I asked Lou to sign my watch, but that seemed weird. I discovered that I had one of his CDs with me and asked him to sign that. I remember nothing after that.

Is that strange, or what?

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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

I am Superman?

Warner Bros wants me for Superman the Movie. I just received my personal invitation to "participate as an 'Act' in the induction, casting and making of 'SUPERMAN THE MOVIE' which
will be In Theaters by july 2006." Wow! What luck! But, I hope someone can tell me what this sentence means: "We will acknowledge your altruistic effort and appreciate your recognition. Selection of applicants and first shots of SUPERMAN V" will hold in three locations which includes Spain, London and Grecce [sic]." Needs a proofread, but who cares? I'll be famous soon.

Not only am I invited, I am required to send my CV. Clearly, Warner Bros has recognized that librarians are Super people. I am also required to send a fee of $150, with this warning: "NOTE: Failure to oblige will result to cancellation of your application."

I always wanted to be in pictures.


Monday, September 06, 2004

Is listening to music while grocery shopping anti-social? I often listen to music on my MP3 player while shopping. Recently, someone told me that this is anti-social behaviour (this person has an iPod, by the way). And so, I followed up with someone else who wondered if this might indeed be anti-social behaviour. I am perplexed and I am stunned. I stop listening when I am in line waiting to pay. I see others who keep on listening even while paying for their food. It's not like I know anybody in the supermarket, and even if I did, what's the big deal?

So, when can I listen to my MP3 player? Walking to the store, or maybe not 'cause that, too might be anti-social. Is this not a free country? Can I not listed to music while I browse for avocados or books or wine or lingerie?

Before I had these conversations, I was trying to determine if certain types of music influenced my shopping preferences and behaviours. Does listening to Houses of the Holy make me buy more or shop faster? Does listening to Brian Eno make me linger over the pineapples? Does listening to Leonard Cohen make me consider the despair of the lonely people overcome with indecision in the breakfast cereal aisle? I was working towards a hypothesis, but now I think I am being forced to re-evaluate the whole process. Why, just last week, I bought extra bananas, and I wondered if it was becuase of Bauhaus.

So, my conclusion is that listening to an MP3 player/walkman is either anti-social whenever there is a chance for a social interaction or that you can do whatever you want.

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Friday, September 03, 2004

Here in an old photo, taken with my Holga.
© 1999 Zydeco Fish

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Leonard Cohen has a new album coming out in October. This is the best music news since Leonard Cohen released his last album three years ago. The new album is called Dear Heather.


Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I am Sagittarius

Sagittarius Traits

Optimistic and freedom-loving Jovial and good-humored Honest and straightforward Intellectual and philosophical

On the dark side....

Blindly optimistic and careless Irresponsible and superficial Tactless and restless

I agree with the traditional traits, but I am not convinced of the dark side traits., although I am blindly optimistic and restless. Hmmm. On the other hand, this may be a perfect description of me:

"The Archer is a Fire sign: 'Nuff said, at least where sex is concerned. The initial Sagittarian response where sex is concerned is through physicality, as opposed to emotion or practicality. The Archer is not shy, and like the half beast/half human that he/she represents, is quite the sexual animal. In other words, these folks are always ready! Sagittarians like to enjoy many an erotic experience, in keeping with their outgoing and sociable nature. Their great libido also lends itself best to an artistic and graceful lover, qualities they very much admire. Trying new things is also often on the Archer's mind, and when their lover says sex on the beach, they had best not be referring to a fruity drink. The Sagittarian's thirst for knowledge is often quenched through straight talk in bed, a way to combine two of their favorite pleasures. Sagittarians can also grow to worship a worthy lover, a fitting response to this holiest of acts."

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Monday, August 30, 2004

My head feels (and looks) a bit better.

So, I was in mall recently and this guy walked to the garbage can area to dump the fast food garbage off his tray. He put his pop can into the garbage, even though there was recycling bin a few feet away. What's up with that? I constantly see people doing similar bonehead things. On several occasions, I have carried recycling home with me when I couldn't find a public bin. Near the entrance to some buildings (where the smokers congregate), people fill up garbage containers with recyclable material, rather than finding a recycling bin. I just cannot believe it. I don't want you to think that I am some sort of garbage nazi, but I just can't understand this attitude.

This is not to mention garbage. I have no idea how Toronto maintains its reputation as a clean city. People throw garbage everywhere. The worst is cigarette butts. Why is smoking a license to litter? Those butts are toxic and not biodegradable, and smokers treat this city like an ashtray (I know I have I said this before).

I guess this has been some sort of Monday rant.

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Friday, August 27, 2004


I walked into a door this morning. Yes, it's true. In my defense, the door moved. I was preoccupied, or at least that is my excuse. I just turned around and wham, my head hit the edge of the door. I think the wind moved it or it bounced back from the wall. The worst part is, I have a gash on my forehead. You might mistake me for a pugilist. I think I should start wearing my bicycle helmet around the house. So far, there are no signs of concussion. No headache, dizziness, or vomiting. And, there is no sign of confusion or memory loss, or none more than usual.

We have been watching Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective (on DVD, of course). It is really interesting and unusual.

Happy Friday.


Thursday, August 26, 2004

I Get Spam

Today, I got this:

"Hi, it's me Kimberly... my fiancé is on a business trip
I have a on-line profile you can check it out...if you are looking for a sexy relationship we can meet each other"

Sounds promising. Speaking of spam, I often get strange email messages from Chinese exporters of all kinds of beans. Why me, I ask. I have written back, informing them that I am not a great consumer of beans, but I have gotten no reply. Maybe they know something that I don't?

I have often received those Nigerian fraud messages. You know, I am the son of so-and-so and if you give me thousands of dollars, I will give you even more in return, once I pay something to someone for something. To these people, I have been blunt. I'd post examples of my replies here, but it might offend you. Oddly, they have not replied either.

My favourite spam has to be the one that promises an end to spam simply by purchasing their product. Would you buy spam blocking software that was advertised via spam? I think not.


Wednesday, August 25, 2004

I am tired of work right now. I did take vacation, but it just doesn't seem like it was long enough. I am completely lacking in motivation. Fortunately, I have the kind of job where no one notices if I do anything or not. I wonder if I can smuggle a cot into my office so I can take some naps.


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

I just read that Perdita Felicien fell in her hurdles event. So much for that gold. This is terrible news. Other than that, I have nothing to say today. The truth is, I am too lazy to write anything more.

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Monday, August 23, 2004

Believe it or not, until yesterday, I had been to the CNE only once. That's mostly because I was not born in Toronto, and did not move here until I was an adult. The CNE reminds me of an oversized fall fair, the kind I went to often as a child, so it holds a lot of nostalgia, even if I was never there as a kid.

The other thing that made me nostalgic this year was Destroyer, the KISS tribute band. I watched them do a three or four songs. When I was ten years old, I got my first KISS album. My only defense is that I was ten years old. Now, I find the music very one dimensional. Inexplicably, their biggest single was Beth. I don't get that at all. Why is it that hard rock and metal bands always score huge hits with power ballads? Someone please explain that to me.

By the way, my first album was Goofy Greats. OK, so I didn't always have impeccable taste in music, although I thought I did. Please remember that I was ten years old. It featured these classics:

Snoopy & the Red Baron - Royal Guardsmen
Itsy-Bitsy Teenie-Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini— - Brian Hyland
Bread & butter— - Newbeats
Mule Skiner Blues - —Fendermen
Rockin’ Robin— - Bobby Day
Alley-Oop— - Hollywood Argyles
Loop De Loop— - Johnny Thunder
Yummy, Yummy, Yummy - —Ohio Express
Little Green Bag— - George Baker Selection
The Lion Sleeps Tonight - —Tokens
Surfin’ Bird— - Trashmen
Chewy, Chewy— - Ohio Express
Ahab The Arab— - Ray Stevens
The Name Game - —Shirley Ellis
Green Tambourine— - Lemon Pipers
Simon Says— - 1910 Fruitgum Co.
Mah-na-Mah-Na - —Piero Umiliani
See Ya Later Alligator - —Bill Haley
Beep, Beep— - Playmates
The Birds and The Bees - —Jewel Akens
Nashville Cats— - Lovin’ Spoonful
Mr. Cluster— - Larry Verne
Bony Moronie - —Larry Williams
1, 2, 3 Redlight— - 1910 Fruitgum

OK, so maybe they weren't classics.

By the way, I am not sure anyone could get away with writing a song called Ahab the Arab today.

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Friday, August 20, 2004

The Olympics

I always enjoy watching the Olympics. But, during the past two or three games, I have felt that something is missing. I think that the collapse of the Soviet block has killed some of the excitement. It was far more interesting when the West was up against the East.

The other thing is that there are far too many events now. If it were up to me, I would get rid of rhythmic gymnastics, boxing (it is both brutal and stupid), equestrian (either that, or award the medals to the horses rather than the riders), sailing (what's next, auto racing?), trampoline, synchronized swimming (aka smiling under water and looking goofy), and synchronized diving. Oh, and I would insist that we stop any notion of making golf and ballroom dancing Olympic events. They can't be serious.

I am also irritated by CBC coverage. There is way too much commentary and too many talking heads. I am tired at looking at Brian Williams and I am tired of his voice. Everything is on tape in the evenings, and they just pile on the garbage. Last night, I had to endure a documentary segment on Greek dancing. Why? CBC, please just show the events!

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Thursday, August 19, 2004

I'm a bit surprised by the furor over the bikini-clad dancers featured at the beach volleyball tournament in Athens. Some female volleyball players are offended. I've watched bits of beach volleyball and I have to admit that it's hard to distinguish between the athletes and the dancers, because they are dressed almost identically. Let's compare: dancers; players. In fact, I think if a survey was conducted, you will find that many men really like female beach volleyball. The bikini dancers are just icing. Sorry, but that's just the way it is (I think). Oh, I was not referring to me when I said men.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2004

"Why not take your cat out for dinner?"

Meow Mix cafe has opened for business in Manhattan. Yes, you can take your cat out to dinner in New York. Associated Press reports: "The midtown restaurant serves Meow Mix packets for its feline customers with corresponding dishes to satisfy human palates. 'Deep Sea Delight' mackerel for cats is paired with tuna rolls for cat owners; 'Upstream Dream' salmon for felines corresponds with mini crab cakes for humans." I suppose that this is the next logical step after the launch of those bakeries for dogs, but really. Anyway, I am allergic to cats.

That's all I have to say today.

Oh, wait, I just finished watching both seasons of The Office. This is hilarious. I recommend it.


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Did you know that there is a town in Newfoundland called Dildo? I wonder how it is that I got this far in life without knowing that. This is perhaps the most fascinating piece of information to come my way in the last decade.

I cycled past a street busker playing the violin on my way home last night. Bizarrely, he was playing the Chicken Dance. Now, there is a composition that one normally hears only at wedding receptions, and it is generally those receptions that take place in church basements with very low ceilings. The last basement reception I went to featured the Chicken Dance and the Macarena, along with some pretty funky, and quite rural, line dancing

I've been 647ed. I changed cell phones and providers, for many reasons, and I am now stuck with a 647 area code. Suddenly, I feel like Elaine Benes. You know, she gets a number with a new area code, and then finds out that a woman in her building has died... I could go on, but if I really shouldn't have to explain Seinfeld to you. By the way, it's coming soon on DVD.

Damn, now I have the Chicken Dance playing in my head.

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Monday, August 16, 2004

Smoking on the Sidewalks

I love the smoking ban that is not in place in bars and restaurants in Toronto. There are still those cases of certain bars (like some near my house) which have morphed into "private social clubs", requiring membership. The ashtrays are still out in those places. I never figured out who would ever go into these places near my house anyway. They are filled with men, all older men, drinking and smoking. Women appear not to be welcome.

The ban has forced people out on the sidewalks. One thing that bothers me is that I have to walk through clouds of smoke on the sidewalks. It is really horrible. It seems to me that there are more people on the sidewalk than sitting is some bars on Bloor Street. And, the sidewalks are becoming a big ashtray. I really wish that smokers would not throw their butts on the ground. It is littering and it makes the city look disgusting. Besides, cigarette butts are not biodegradable. I say, we should ban smoking in all public places.

And now, I have the song Smokin' in the Boys Room on my brain.

Elvis died on this day. I always remember because it is my sister's birthday.

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Thursday, August 12, 2004


I really feel sorry for all of those Canadian Idol wannabees. Imagine being forced to sing Lionel Ritchie songs. I can't decide which is worse: listening to the terrible songs or singing them. I had to cover my ears a few times. Oh, the horror. Besides, the whole program was a one hour advertisement for the boring man's new album of soporific disasters.

Bad as it was, it was more entertaining than watching Lionel's daughter, Nicole, make an idiot out of herself with Paris Hilton.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Cheap DVDs

OK, so I was shopping in Walmart for camping stuff a while back and I stumbled on the video section. Man, do they have some cheap DVDs. How does $1.88 sound? It sounded too good to be true, but I bought some anyway. The results were mixed. On the positive side, I got a copy of Kansas City Confidential. This is a surprisingly good film. I faired less well on some others.

Abraxas is a terrible movie, so bad that I did not get past the five minute mark. Oddly, there are some positive reviews of this mess of a movie out there. I should have known. After all, it stars Jesse Ventura! I had hoped for a good scifi flick. Instead, I got a terrible, unwatchable piece of junk. I'd be happy to give this away for the cost of postage.

Honor Thy Father is based on a novel by Gay Talese. That, and the fact that it is a mob film, seemed to suggest that it would be good. The film has aged badly. It gets good reviews, but I found it difficult to watch. Maybe I will watch the rest some other time.

The best thing about Crash of the Moons is the theme song, which utilizes a Theremin. The movie is really three episodes of Rocky Jones, Space Ranger.

I found the camping equipment too.

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Monday, August 09, 2004

The trouble with vacations is that they end. Fortunately, I like my job, and so I really don't mind returning to work. There are certain elements of my job that I love. It would be nice to not have to work. I think that I would make a good multi-millionaire. I have the perfect temperament for it. It really bothers me to hear about those people who win millions and then say that they wish they hadn't, that somehow their life was better before, that the money just gave them stress. Hey, if you have stress after winning the jackpot, just give all of your money to me. I'd love that kind of stress for a change. Besides the long list of things that I would buy, there is the long list of places to go and things to do. What I find even more fantastical is those winners who don't quit their jobs! Although I quite like my job, I'd be outta here in a nanosecond.

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Saturday, August 07, 2004

The Curse Continues

It always rains when I go camping. It never fails. I have considered renting myself out to forest fire fighters. Just put up a tent next to the fire, put me in it, and it will rain buckets. It's so bad that there are people who now refuse to go camping with me.

I went camping last week, and it rained. Beautiful blue sky changed to the deepest scariest black in a matter of minutes. The good news is that I am now an expert in packing away wet gear.

Many years ago, I camped at Cavendish in PEI. It rained so hard that several families were forced to sleep in their cars. Some tents blew down. Later, it rained on my tent in Nova Scotia. In the Annapolis Valley, rain gave way to freezing temperatures. During that trip, we were rained on in Quebec City and in all of the Maritime provinces. It did not rain on the two nights we took refuge in a hotel. I have also camped in the rain in Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, etc. It may be time to sell the tent.


Saturday, July 31, 2004

Former Child Actor Dot Net

Wil Wheaton has a web site with lots of stuff. I am not really sure why I am passing this on. I am not a fan, I did not like his character in Star Trek: TNG, and I don't find his site that interesting. But, he does like Radiohead and the Pixies, so that's cool. And, I guess it's not his fault that the Trek writers gave him such a lame ass character. I often wonder if the sneer was an act, or if that was his default expression.

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Friday, July 30, 2004

Canadian Idol

Let me just say that I know the show is silly. It's ridiculous. My only excuse is that it's summer. I would never watch a show like this in winter. The results show is the worst, mostly because of the opening "number" which is cheesy, juvenile, and profoundly embarrassing. Personally, anyone who wins this talent contest is doomed.

I finally clued in to the show's demographic. Judging by the results, the viewers are either middle aged women or adolescent girls or both. How else can one explain the fact that Joshua Seller, the person with weakest, most nasal voice, and a disturbing resemblance to the Greatest American Hero, has made it into the final eight? On the other hand, Kaleb Simmonds was placed in the bottom three. He is light years ahead of anyone else in terms of voice and musicality. Those 2 million Canadian viewers are voting by looks alone. It's a popularity contest, not a music contest.

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Thursday, July 29, 2004


Since acquiring a DVD player a while back, I have been frequenting the DVD sections of various stores. In case you aren't aware, studios seem to be releasing everything in their archives on DVD. I have heard that studios are raking in buckets of cash from DVD sales. You can fins such things as the season one of the Flintstones and the Jetsons and even Wonder Woman (not that I would buy those, mind you). But, I am happy that Seinfeld is coming out. And, I am happy that the first season of Millennium is out. That was a brilliant show. I still cannot believe that Fox cancelled it, but then they have cancelled lots of shows that I like, such as Firefly, which is also out on DVD.

I recently bought the first season of MASH on DVD, mostly because I got it for an insanely low price. There are few special features on it: no retrospectives, no commentaries, and no other bonus stuff or fluff. The best thing about this DVD set is that you can watch the episodes without that insidious laugh track. Oh, and you get to see the episodes uncut. In syndication, networks cut out bits here and there to permit more advertising space. You will see scenes or parts of scenes that you may not have seen before.

I do think that many of these releases are a bit pricey. If you wanted all nine seasons of the X-Files (and let's face it, who wouldn't) you'd need to fork out about $900 plus tax. That's crazy.

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