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.

Technorati tags: , , ,

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!”

Technorati tags: , ,

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.

Technorati tags:

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.

Technorati tags:

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.

Tags: , ,

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.

Tags: ,

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.

Tags: ,

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?

Tags: ,

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?

Tags: , ,

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...

Tags: ,