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.

Tags: ,

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.

Tags: ,

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.

, ,

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?

Tags: ,

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.

Tags: , ,

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?

Tags: , ,

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?

Tags: ,

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.

Tags: ,

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.

Tags: ,