Thursday, December 21, 2006
I hope you all have a fabulous holiday, if you get one, that is. This is my last day at work until early January. I may or may get around to posting during the holidays, but you are all used to that anyway.
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, etc.
Technorati Tags: holidays
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
In a recent dream, evolution took a strange twist. The giants insects that invaded my house were half spider and half cockroach. Imagine a cockroach that could spin a web. Unfortunately, this evolutionary change was not such a good one for the poor roach, because half the bug wanted to hide when it sensed danger, while the spider half really didn't care. So, whenever I entered a room, the cockroach side tucked itself away, leaving the spider half exposed. So, I was able to easily step on the enormous bugs, leaving a gelatinous bloody pool on the floor.
Dream interpretations are welcome.
Technorati Tags: cockroaches, spiders, insects, bugs, dreams
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
I like Reggae. I really do, and I have one Bob Marley CD to prove it. I have a UB40 LP too - you remember vinyl, right? - and some English Beat on cassette if that counts. But, I am getting ahead of myself.
I've been noticing that New Year's Eve is coming up. Xmas too, but that's another issue. In my youth, I would stay home on New Year's Eve while my parents went out and drank somewhere with friends. Later, I suspected that some serious wife-swapping was going on, but I had no proof. At home, my brother and I (and sometimes my sister) would stay up late drinking pop and eating chips. Well, that was until my sister was old enough to go out with boyfriends in their cars and my brother hooked up with his ex-hooker girlfriend.
On occasion, a friend might come over and we would watch Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. Evidently, the man is still alive. Until Dick had his stroke, I assumed that he was some sort of robot, never aging and always boring. But, that is not what this post is about. This post is about Reggae music: Bob Marley, Eddie Grant, Mighty Diamonds, Musical Youth.
Maybe it was the fact that I was in Waterloo at the time. I went to University there for two years once, but before that, I knew very little of the place. One New Years' Eve, we ended up at a strange and small party filled with the socially-desperate. It's difficult to say why that happened. Wait, it was because of the woman I was with. She attracted the social misfits, not that they were necessarily bad. Some were fascinating, but not this bunch. They were ostracized for good reason.
So, some dude showed up with a boom box and some CDs. He put on a Reggae disc and we chilled. Somebody broke out the Dubonet on ice (I can't think of that without reflecting on Berlin), but I stuck with beer as this was back in the days when I could drink beer. I drank; I chatted - as best as I could with the socially-challenged, or maybe they were socially-desperate.
A full two hours after the dude put on the first CD, some sharp cookie (and it wasn't me) realized that no CD could really be that long. Here's the punch line, in case you are scanning for it: he had hit repeat. But, we didn't listen to the same CD twice or maybe three times. We had two hours of the same Reggae tune. It took two hours for someone to notice! Not even the dude who brought the CDs noticed.
Ok, so this story is not as funny as I thought it was.
Technorati Tags: New Year's Eve, Reggae
Monday, December 18, 2006
OK, so here's a new template. I was sick of the old one. I haven't migrated to the new version of Blogger, because Blogger says I can't. I may choose a new template when I do shift over. Happy Monday.
Technorati Tags: templates
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
A few weeks ago, I went through the laborious chore of choosing new eyeglasses. And that reminded me that if I were an optician, I would install a digital camera tethered to a computer monitor so that people can take photos of themselves and then see what they look like in new frames. Otherwise, one ends up in the undignified position of being a few millimeters from the mirror, squinting like an idiot, trying to discern if the frames are an abomination. It's not a good scene, and I often worry that I will end up looking like Woody Allen or Bono. Happily, I made a decision and was comforted by the thought that I would, for the first time in my life, have a back-up pair of glasses. Oh, the luxury.
Perhaps I was day-dreaming or maybe I was just walking like a bored automaton the next Thursday evening, still wearing the old frames. I headed down the hall to my evening class, about to turn left through the door when it happened. A door came flying open and smacked me in the face. My glasses shattered and landed on the floor in more than one piece. I had a searing pain in my head.
The dude who walked through the door, a little too aggressively, I would say, looked mortified. He helped me find the pieces and apologized. I thought about taking him down with a solid left hook, but my eyesight is so bad, I couldn't see more than a few inches in front of me.
Somehow, I managed to reassemble the frames, and if I didn't move my head, they would stay in one piece. After class, I found some glue at a nearby store and did a quick repair on a bench under a streetlight. I worried that a passing cop might think I was shooting up, 'cause I was hunched over and looking far too intense. Despite getting super glue on my hands, I managed to glue the glasses into one piece amd I cycled away.
Thankfully, I like the new glasses, which came in a couple of days later. I make sure that I keep well away from that door.
Technorati Tags: glasses, eyeglasses, doors, accidents
Friday, September 22, 2006
OK, so I just found a cockroach in my office! I put my hand in my drawer to get something, and my hand came out with a cockroach on it. Yikes! I may need to move my office higher in the building. I have lived with these little bastards in two different places, and I hate them. I have a few choice cockroach stories, but I'll leave that for another day. The good news is, the exterminator is coming. That means we will be seeing lots of dead and dying insects, since an infestation was recently discovered in the staff room. I guess they migrated to my office.
On my way to give an instructional session to 25, or so, engineers yesterday, a bird shat on me. I hear that's good luck, but, not on a black shirt. I had to find a bathroom and try to get the shit out, but when there are no paper towels, that is a hard thing to do. That's the trouble with hand dryers. Damn the hand dryers. I hate the noise they make anyway, but they can make your hands nice and toasty.
When I got to the class, I discovered that the TA was missing and, after a few minutes, I realized that he probably had a better offer. So, I had to collect the assignments, introduce myself, and then thank myself. I did a good job, of course.
Technorati Tags: cockroaches, roaches, insects, vermin, pests, TAs, teaching
Monday, August 28, 2006
I guess it had to happen. Survivor (starting September 14th) is pitting the races against each other in the upcoming season. The four tribes are African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic, and White. I have no idea why the last two aren't Hispanic-American and White-American, but that's another story.
Survivor already did the gender wars and the old versus young, and, since the rating were low last time out, they needed some new and controversial angle. If the series can hang on after this season, I have plenty of other controversial ideas, like:
lawyers vs comedians
gay vs straight
dwarves vs librarians
cops vs ex-cons (when Richard Hatch is released from prison)
porn stars vs nuns & priests
obese vs skinny
children vs adults
drug addicts vs alcoholics
Canada vs USA
Bloods vs Crips
farmers vs chefs
pilots vs bakers
presidential interns vs rent boys
And that's just off the top of my head. Feel free to add yours.
It just occurred to me that it feels like Monday, and then I realized that it is Monday.
Technorati Tags: Survivor, reality TV, TV
Friday, August 11, 2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
This is about my mother. She is fragile, in her late 60s, vacant - the doctor said so. He said she was empty, but the meaning is the same. She stares a lot, says little, except when she remembers to take her pills. On those days, she speaks with hypermania. It's a challenge to keep up.
Her red skin is contoured with blue veins, just like her father's. She wears a red and blue map on her face. Her grey hair is tinged with yellow from 50 years of cigarettes, 50 years of exhaling into emptiness. I remember her portrait softened by smoke, stinking of stale tobacco. She is old now, older than her years.
She found her way into the bathtub, managed to lower herself with her frail arms. Bathing is out-of-fashion in the house she shares with her mother. They prefer to stand over the sink and sponge bathe. Installing a shower is too expensive, not that there is any shortage of money. The bank accounts are full, the house paid, but my grandmother still buys her clothes from thrift shops and lawn sales as though it is 1935.
I try not to picture it - my mother clawing at the side of the white enamel, failing to achieve any kind of grip, her feet finding no purchase in the slick tub. She calls for help from her 87 year old mother. Maybe she can lift her out, but my grandmother is too weak herself, with her two plastic knees and two plastic hips. She looks as strong as ever, kind of like an ox or a streetcar. She is thick, heavy, with fingers that point in all directions of space at once, thanks to her arthritis.
The next thing to do is call to the neighbour to free my mother. I am reminded of that old folk tale, the Enormous Potato. They will form a chain: my grandmother, the neighbour all pulling. Soon, there will be a dog, a cat, and a mouse all lending a hand. Instead, the neighbour fails and they resort to contacting Emergency Services. Someone dials 911. An ambulance arrives with two paramedics. They hoist her from the tub, leave the stretcher by the door, and retreat to talk about that one with their colleagues. This is the one about the woman who couldn't get out of the bathtub. It's not an urban legend.
Technorati Tags: mother, grandmother, bathing, bathtub, 911, emergency, trapped
Friday, August 04, 2006
And, or some reason, it gives me a great sense of satisfaction, like I actually accomplished something important, rather than doing the obvious, expected and mundane. But, I am feeling buzzed anyway. There is white space (actually taupe space) on my desk, new places to put things, ample room for paper expansion. On the downside, I have created more files in those ubiquitous manila file folders, now hung in my filing cabinet, where they will probably languish for years before being dumped in a big blue bin with the final words "sweet fancy Moses, why in god's name did I keep this junk?"
What ever happened to the paperless office? I have more paper than ever, and a growing file of electronic documents and email backfiles cluttering my computer, not to mention music and photographs. It's seems like I am going crazy digitizing the analog, and analogizing the digital, if that makes sense. Talk about duplication.
It's a long weekend for me, and the other Ontarions out there, who are granted the first Monday in August off to celebrate Simcoe Day. John Graves Simcoe was the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada (now Ontario).
Wow, that's two posts in two days, but don't get excited.
Technorati Tags: cleaning, offices, my office, files, paper, Simcoe
Thursday, August 03, 2006
I must be seriously ambivalent about blogging, for I let this blog's 3rd anniversary pass without comment. Right now, it's too hot to blog. A while ago, I was too busy. Today - despite the heat - I am blogging, but without any kind of enthusiasm. But, here's a post anyway.
The other day, I was reflecting on the fact that many of the really cool inventions recently were my idea, I just never had the money or the technical expertise to make them happen. For example, I had the idea for the Blackberry about 13 years ago while sitting in a Research Methods class. I thought that it would be really cool to have a small device that I could use to send an email message to a person sitting across from me. Of course, I didn't call it a Blackberry: I referred to it as a "Pocket Email Device", or PED, for short.
I had the idea for MP3s and MP3 players long before the technology was "invented." I never liked Walkmen (or is it Walkmans?). Carrying around all of those cassettes was really awful. Same goes for the CD Walkman. I had a huge CD collection, and I thought, wouldn't it be great to carry around all of my music, if I could someone compress it and put it on a tiny computer. Of course, I didn't think of the term MP3: I referred to it as a "Pocket Music Device", or PMD, for short.
I also had the idea for laptop or notebook computers. I thought it was ridiculous to always have to use the computer in one place. Wouldn't it be better if you could carry your computer with you, if it could be made smaller, like the size of a binder? Of course, I didn't think of the terms laptop or notebook: I referred to it as a "Mobile Computing Device", or MCD, for short.
I had lots of other ideas that were usurped too, like the cellular phone (Portable Talking Device, or PTD, for short), the Digital Camera, Compact Discs, DVDs, Digital Camcorders, Goldfish Crackers, Soy Milk, and the Mullet.
Here's a new idea, and one I hope someone will get on with. I really hate power cords. I hate batteries more, but power cords are so restricting. Let me ask you this: wouldn't it be great to be able to place your appliance (fridge, stove, stereo, personal massager, etc) where ever you want, without having to be concerned about outlets and plugging it in? I am talking about wireless electricity. The power is delivered to your house by cables, but then power outlets are replaced by new power distributors that send the electricity through the air to any device requiring power. One outlet per room should be able to power all devices in a typical room. I call it Wireless Electricity, or WIEL, for short.
In other news, I found out a couple of weeks ago that I won an award from Johns Hopkins press for the best article appearing in one of the Johns Hopkins Press journals. I get a plaque, a nice letter, and $500 US. Congratulations to me.
Technorati Tags: blogging, inventions, mp3s, Blackberry, computers, electricity, awards
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
I was amazed to learn that almost one month has passed since my last post. Yikes. I have no good excuse, so I won't even try to come up with one. Along the way, I had a few good ideas for posts, but they were lost, usually while sleeping. Of course, after a drink or two, I have lots to say, but little that anyone would want to hear (unless they have also had a drink or two). I still think a good idea for a blog would be a drunk blog in which the person certifies that he or she will only post while drunk. Maybe one already exists. After all, there are blogs about virtually everything else.
I have lost track of LeafGirl77. Her blog seems to have been dismantled. Where did you go, Leaf Girl?
Hey, why don't I answer another question?
Chris Nolan.ca asks:
Where do you work? See for some reason I always thought it was UofT, but something recently made me thing Ryerson.
I'll reserve my answer for a later date. Someday, I will tell you. I promise. I may be close to retirement when it happens, but I will make an announcement.
Oh, and who was your third grade teacher? Tell us a story about that.
That's not very interesting, but it's all I can come up with right now. Sorry to give such a disappointing answer.
Sadly, I will not be able to blog tomorrow or Friday or on the weekend, but I am sure you expect that now.
Technorati Tags: blogging, leafgirl, answers
Monday, May 29, 2006
Well, not panic, but mayhem. The ride in today was very unpleasant because of all of the extra cars on the road. Of course, there were extra bicycles too and more pedestrians. It makes me wonder why these people can't walk or cycle every day. Transit should be shut down from time to time to get people off of their asses.
All of that extra exhaust was really disgusting. Oil production may have peaked, and I am not so sure it is a bad thing.
Technorati Tags: Toronto, transit, TTC, oil, cycling
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
About two weeks ago, I lost my cell phone. As some of you might know, when one loses a cell phone, one is in for a major expense. You can't get a new one for that insanely low price you pay when you activate it. No way. That Motorola Razr you can get for either $49 or $99 costs $450! What really pisses me off is that when I called Bell Mobility to say that I lost my phone, the first thing I was told is that I am still responsible for my contract. I called to have my number cancelled, and I got phone discipline. I know some people would happily pay for a good session of phone discipline, but this was terrible customer service. Of course, I could activate an old phone, but none of the phones I acquired will work on the Bell network. I either have to come up with $299 to cancel my contract, or pay an unreasonable price for a phone that is a piece of crap. Bell sucks.
I got a flat tire on my bike while riding on Dundas Street. The only good thing about it was the fact that the tire made a satisfying "pop!" when it was punctured by a sharp piece of metal.
I have to pay $500 in income tax. When I was on leave last summer, no Federal tax was deducted. I realized after the fact. Taxes suck.
I think I am complaining too much. In the good news department, I attended part of the International Photobloggers Meetup in Toronto last weekend. That was cool, and I met many photographers from all over the map (like Florida, Wisconsin, and Liverpool).
Technorati Tags: blogging, dreams, cell phones, Bell, cycling, flat tire, taxes, photobloggers
Friday, May 12, 2006
Technorati Tags: all work and no play makes zydeco fish a dull boy
Thursday, May 04, 2006
So, I started to write my trapped in the women's washroom story, but it is not going well. It is far too long and not as interesting as I had remembered. So, I am sitting here, working and listening to Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Slow Riot For New Zero Kanada. Well, not really working, 'cause I am typing this, but it is lunch, and so I am diverted from work, which is a good thing. Oh, the CD is over ... let me change it to ... let's see ... how about ARC. Okay, ARC it is (this is the Aidan Baker ARC, not the other ones). OK, somehow, it is now 4:12. How did that happen?
You see, this post is going nowhere, but - trust me - it is far more interesting than my attempt at desrcibing the time I got trapped in a women's washroom. Okay, here is an exceprt from the draft:
I am not sure why that sounded like a good idea. I suppose I assumed that this would have been a small washroom with one stall. Years later, I wondered if it had to do with an experience I had when I was 12 or 13. I had a part-time job doing some custodial work for a local idiot. I tidied up, emptied ash trays (a skill that came in very handy when I later worked as a bartender), and some other mundane tasks.As an aside, I will say that I have many many drafts in Blogger that will probably never see the light of day. Do you?
The highlight came when I went into the women's washroom after some event. What a palace! The men's room could only be descibed as dirty, ugly, utilitarian, and boring. You know, there were urinals, toilets, sinks, paper towels, mirrors, etc. In contrast, the women's washroom had bizarre dispensers on the wall, better colours, and get this - a sofa! I had never seen a sofa in a washroom before. What luxury. What decadence. Even at that age, I knew that women tended to go to the can in herds, and now I knew why. They sat on the sofa, smoked, chatted and generally lounged about. But, what did they talk about?
Link of the day: http://zydecofish.youaremighty.com/
Technorati Tags: washrooms, gender, music, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, ARC, Aidan Baker
Monday, May 01, 2006
I have been absent from the Blogosphere for a few days. I can't really say why, other than to say that perhaps I was afflicted with some sort of blogging malaise, or blogging indifference, or blogging boredom, or blogging fatigue. You get the idea.
On Saturday, I checked out the opening of Toronto Squared, a photography exhibit by Rannie Turingan (aka Photojunkie). It runs until June 6th at Le Petit Dejeuner, 191 King Street East, Toronto. Of course, I did not know anyone there, but then I found out afterwards that two of my Flickr contacts were there - I just did not recognize them. Also, the Accordion Guy was there, but I don't know him either. And, I got an email today from someone else who was there. We sort of cyber-know each other but we had never met in person.
I spoke with Rannie for about 5 seconds. We had never met before. I am considering passing along the URL for my photoblog. If that happens, my anonymity is completely blown.
So, I guess I will start posting again. Coming up: Trapped in the Women's Washroom: A True Story.
Technorati Tags: blogging, photography, photojunkie, Rannie Turingan
Thursday, April 20, 2006
So, I had this dream last night in which both my mother and father had been committed to the same psychiatric hospital. It was scarier than One flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. It just seemed darker and grittier, like they were in some sort of Victorian poorhouse. My dad even wore a ratty old bath robe with yellow stripes.
I was not so surprised that my mother had ended up there, but my father in that situation makes no sense. He is far too grounded and aware to ever lose it in that way. Besides, I am not sure he could handle the embarrassment of being committed. In the dream, he kept prodding me and pinching me and I felt that at any moment, he would strike me, perhaps lethally. Again, I find this very odd because he is essentially a pacifist. When I was a child, the strap that hung in the closet was only ever used by my mother. She wielded that half inch thick leather strap with great craft.
Two days ago, I found out that my mother requires dialysis three times per week, but I am not sure that this information led to that dream.
Later, I had a dream about a visit to a strange farm that featured disconsolate chickens, an angry goat, and a dyspeptic pig. Now that was entertaining.
Technorati Tags: dreams, mother, father, psychiatric hospitals, farms, chickens, goats, pigs
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Doris Night asks: "how much is that doggie in the window?"
1) If you go to a Humane Society, you can get one free, or almost free. I think that there is some sort of administration fee. Let me check...yes, the Toronto Humane Society charges $25 for a cat, $50 for a dog, $20 for a bunny - I am not sure if that comes with a recipe - and $4 to $65 for mice, birds, gerbils, guinea pigs, and ferrets (in other words, food for your pet snake). So, come to Toronto with $50 and you can walk away with a vicious killer of your choice. OK, just kidding: I am sure that there are some very pleasant dogs at the Humane Society. They may be anti-social, but I am sure they just need love. I guess the Humane Society of New York would be closer, right?
2) Do you really want a dog that has been on display behind some glass? I have heard that these kinds of dogs may not be so healthy, and that some come from puppy mills. I say, forget about the pet shop dog.
3) I did a Google search for you and found out that you can get a puppy for as little as $50 - as you already know - and as much as $1500. How much money do you have to spend?
Technorati Tags: dogs, pets, Humane Society
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
So, I was cycling in, minding my own business, when I saw this Asian lady crossing the street. I know that many Asian people are very fashion forward. Why, just the other day, I saw an Asian (perhaps Korean?) girl wearing a yellow coat with orange rubber boots and a pink handbag. It was very colourful. However, when I saw this lady crossing Harbord Street, I thought, my God, that has to be the most grievous fashion error since parachute pants.
She was wearing, and I have no idea what to call them, boots that were like sandals. I guess you could call them sandal boots or boot sandals. But, let me explain. First, they were a most horrid shade of beige. Very little good comes out of beige (as proof, I remind myself that every room in my ex-in-laws' house was painted beige - but that was years ago, and maybe things have changed). Each boot also had two brown stripes that only added to the travesty. Are you getting this? OK, so they were low boots, kinda like the ones my grandmother would wear, but they had open toes! This can't be a good look for anyone, and I have to say that I was slightly nauseated. Mind you, I refused to expose my toes in public until I was in my mid-twenties.
I did go to the beach and swam in pools, but you would never catch me wearing sandals in public. Even now, I am very careful about that. And, I can never see a movie while wearing sandals because the damn air conditioning is way too intense in summer.
In other news, I am back from my long weekend. Actually, I was back yesterday, but I had no energy to post anything. That's all I have today. I need more sleep.
Technorati Tags: boots, sandals, toes, fashion
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Kyahgirl has a few questions. I will tackle two in this post:
Have you met any blogger buddies in real life?
Why, yes I have. I know a handful of bloggers in real life, but only two that are listed in my blogroll. I have known Running42k, proprietor of Musings of Middle Age, for many years. We were roommates in our first year of University and we were next door neighbours the year after in the same residence. Here is a picture of him from back-in-the-day.
As it happens, in the second year, I was the only person on our floor - aside from the House Advisor - not to get an "Incident Report." I believe Running42K's came when he threw some heavy object out of his window and nearly hit the Hall Advisor. Talk about bad aim. If I am not mistaken, that was the same night that I put R42k's phone in his freezer, but I am not really sure why. It just seemed to fit. I could go on and on about residence life, but that is probably enough for now. By the way, there was an incident or two that probably deserved an Incident Report, but I was smart enough to keep out of harm's way.
The other person I know is Katherine, from Wabisabi, which is in many ways a blog about knitting, but also more. She and I went through the Master of Library Science program at a large North American University. I have certain opinions about that program. She is also my ex-girlfriend (I hope she doesn't mind me saying that so publicly). She was the first urban cyclist I met, and I soon decided that cycling in Toronto was a good idea.
Have you been out West?
Yes. I went to Edmonton in February several years ago. I was flown out for a job interview. I was not entirely taken with Edmonton, but it was February and something like minus 55 degrees. The sky was very blue, however. I spent some time on Whyte Avenue, and that was cool.
I went to Vancouver about 6 years ago, where I presented a paper at a conference with a co-worker. I loved Vancouver, even though I mistakenly walked right through Junkieville. That was interesting.
If I keep answering questions, I'll never have to think of an original idea again for this blog.
Technorati Tags: bloggers, friends, residence, Edmonton, Vancouver
Monday, April 10, 2006
Next, Super Happy Jen of Super Happy Jen's Super Happy Blog, asks a complicated question. I should really ask her why she is so happy. I mean, what's that all about? She lives in some sort of super happy world. Everything about her is happy. It's all happy, happy, happy. If you want a happy little blogging diversion, visit Super Happy Jen for a little happiness. She says, "Most people think I am the most hilarious girl in the world - even when I'm trying to be serious!" I can't believe that she is both hilarious and happy.
So, here is her question:
So you know those Klingon warriors from Star Trek? Not the Original Series.
Yes (so far, so good).
I'm talking full bumpy forehead, crooked yellow teeth, armor, bat'leth, lots of cleavage.
I am secretly wondering why she knows how to spell bat'leth.
Anyway (we are getting close to the question), say you were hanging out in the 24th century and one of them asked you out on a date. What would your response be and why?
I think my answer would be, what the fuck am I doing in the 24th century? And, perhaps more importantly, why am I in a fictional 24th century? This would presuppose that I have either gone completely insane or that time travel is real and that one could move into fictional universes. So, I can't see any way that I would ever be in such a situation, without the influence of something like hallucinogenic drugs or complete mental collapse. OK, I know that this is a scenario question, so I will play along.
If a male Klingon asked me on a date, I would say no: I'm not gay, not even for Klingons (not that there's anything wrong with that). Now, supposing a female Klingon asked me on a date, I would say no as well. I'd be worried that she would accidentally kill me. Now if a green woman asked me out...
Does that answer your question?
Technorati Tags: answers, Star Trek, Super Happy Jen
Friday, April 07, 2006
Liz, from Library Tavern asks: "If you were a nut, what kind would you be?"
Well, that's a tough one. If you had asked me what my favourite nut is, I would probably have said the almond. You know, if you split in half just right with your teeth, you will notice that they are delightfully smooth on the tongue. I am also a fan of almond butter, despite the hefty price. What kind of nut would I be is a far more difficult question.
I like cashews, but they are not nuts: they are seeds, although some people persist in arguing that they are nuts. Anyway, I don't think I would like that kidney shape. I can rule out the coconut - not a true nut either - and the peanut, for it is far too common (not to mention that it is not a true nut either). Walnuts are over-rated and bitter and the Brazil nut is far too much work to get into.
I considered the filbert and the hazelnut (close nut relatives). In the end, I would have to choose the pistachio.
Why? Well, just read this sentence from the Wikipedia entry: "When the fruit ripens, the shells split open partially. This happens with an audible pop, and legend has it that lovers who stand under a pistachio tree at night and hear the nuts popping open will have good luck."
That is cool.
By the way, if you want to ask me a question, do it here.
Technorati Tags: answers, nuts, pistachios
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Dear Mr. Richler,
I deleted the first letter I wrote to you because it was filled with profanity. The letter was excessive and most probably cathartic at the same time. I am sure I can get through this letter with far fewer expletives.
I read with great interest your attack on cyclists in yesterday's National Post (p. A10). If I understand you correctly, you are pissed off because you got a parking ticket and now you think that the law should come down on all cycling "freeloaders" because we use roads "built on the hard-working backs of motorists, and who get around without contributing gas taxes, or helping the local automobile industry or anything useful at all." Mr. Richler, many cyclists own cars as well as bikes, and we pay our fair share of taxes.
I pay a huge amount of taxes: I pay property taxes, sales taxes, and income taxes. I support the local bicycle industry and my local bicycle repair shops too. I do this while not polluting the air with exhaust fumes, or by supporting the environmentally-damaging petroleum industry, and the wars waged on its behalf. Your statement that cyclists don't contribute "anything useful at all" is both ridiculous and ignorant.
Your run-in with that cyclist on Yonge Street is regrettable, but would it be fair to characterize all automobile drivers by the behaviour of a few? There are some cyclists who ignore the rules of the road, and who ride dangerously. I have no problem with fines for dangerous cycling. The tone of your opinion piece is negative to all cyclists. You refer to bicycles as "monsters on two wheels." Clearly, you have no respect for any cyclist and, despite what you claim, it is obvious that you hate them.
The next time you get a parking ticket, just remember that the parking laws are there for a good reason: that is, so you can have a place to park. If everyone was permitted to park wherever they wanted, there would be SUVs on the sidewalks in front of Starbucks all across the city.
I suggest that you park your car for a few weeks and try to navigate the streets of Toronto by bicycle. (I would have suggested that you try the TTC, but I remembered that you hate the TTC. And, I also recall that you hate the Green Bin program as well. What is it with you and progess?). Anyway, get on a bike and you will quickly learn that the streets of Toronto are very dangerous to cyclists. I'd like to read a column about how well you did on a two wheeled monster when surrounded by a sea of 2000 pound automobiles.
Technorati Tags: Jacob Richler, cycling, bicycles, taxes, cars, parking tickets, National Post, Toronto, petroleum
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
OK, here is your chance. I am finishing up a long report and have no time to post today. (By the way, that was an April Fool's joke: I am not sure I have the discipline to become a monk of any variety). So, I invite you to ask me questions. I know, other bloggers have done this, so I don't claim that it is original in any way.
Go ahead. If you are dying to know how tall I am, how much I weigh, what colour my eyes are, the last book I read, the last movie I saw, my favourite food, etc. Ask, and I might answer.
Technorati Tags: questions
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Friday, March 31, 2006
This is post #399.
Update (3 hours later): OK, so that was a lame post. I changed the comments section, 'cause I have received somewhere in the range of like, 1000 spam comments recently. I was doing domain registration look ups and emailing customer support addressed on various web pages, all to no avail. The bastards kept it coming. So, I opted to edit this template to accept the original Blogger comments with word verification.
Technorati Tags: blogging, spam
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
My interest in blogging comes and goes. That is, it fades and then reappears. I think I am in a relatively unenthusiastic mode at present. It's hard to say why. It could be the change of seasons, the alignment of the planets, or the amount of work I have. I have a lot of competing interests, and it is sometimes difficult to make time to post entries and to visit other blogs.
I recently started a photoblog, and that has diverted some of my attention away from this blog. I have other online projects, which all require some time.
Today, I wore a nice shirt. It's a favourite, but it is barely long enough to cover my midriff. If I have to reach up, I will expose parts of my stomach, which is ok, because I have a well-formed abdomen. This reminds me of my high school days. I used to do 500 sit ups and 500 pushups per day (Currently, I only find the time to cycle to work and back, which is roughly 11 KMs round trip). In high school, I would ask people to punch me in the stomach as hard as they could. I borrowed that from another guy - Craig - who gained some sort of popularity from the act. If your stomach muscles are strong enough, all manner of fists will just bounce off.
So, this shirt is a little short, but not too short. It's just a tad shorter than I would like. I'll spend the rest of the day doing the Picard maneuver.
Technorati Tags: blogging, exercise, muscles, shirts, feats of strength, photography
Monday, March 27, 2006
Well, I am posting blind today. I can't see my blog. I tired a few others and they are down too. Others seem to be working. This is actually good since I have nothing to say. So, that is all I am saying right now. Happy Monday.
Technorati Tags: Blogger
Friday, March 24, 2006
As I previously mentioned on this blog, the Soup Nazi is here. I took this rather bad picture of the kiosk in the Eaton Centre. They were distributing free samples, but I did not take one, since I would have had to ask tons of questions about the ingredients.
The Spam keeps coming. I have had about 250 spam comments on this blog recently. Unfortunately, this template does not support Blogger's keyword verification, so I really might have to change templates to those boring Blogger ones. In other spam news, I got this bizarre email:
From: jennifer aniston
Date: Mar 21, 2006 8:57 PM
Subject: hi honey
Just wanted to make sure you got those anal beads I sent you, those fuckin' couriers can be so nosey.
Note: My real name is not even Vinnie. I guess this is some sort of Vince Vaughn joke.
Technorati Tags: Soup Nazi, Soup Man, Blogger, spam
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Taste the whip, now plead for me
Favourite Albums, #4 (previous entries: The Clash - London Calling, John Cale - Music for a New Society, Beck - Mutations)
Apparently, Brian Eno once said something like: "only about 1,000 people ever bought a Velvet Underground album, but every one of them formed a rock and roll band." This may have been an overstatement, but it speaks to the enormous influence that the VU have had and continue to have on music.
The Velvet Underground & Nico, the first release from John Cale, Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison, Maureen "Moe" Tucker, and Nico, is a fine album. The AllMusic Guide says: "Few rock albums are as important as The Velvet Underground and Nico, and fewer still have lost so little of their power to surprise and intrigue more than 30 years after first hitting the racks."
Cale's droning viola and unusual keyboards, combined with Lou Reed's inventive and provocative lyrics, make the music stand out from most other music. There has really been nothing else quite like it.
Technorati Tags: music, Velvet Underground, Nico, John Cale, Lou Reed
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Somehow, by some odd turn of events, I have to endure hours of meetings today. Weeks go by with few such events, aside from the weekly - and partially dysfunctional - Council meeting, and then I get stuck with a day just chalk full of group dynamics and opportunities to learn and share with colleagues. I should be grateful, but I know that I will end up with a sore ass. I have thought of taking along my office chair, but that seems like too much work.
Besides, the longer I am away, the less time I have to read email, and I learn so much from email. For example, today I have already learned a great deal about Filipina women:
Sexy Filipina GirlsNow you know too.
Why choose a Filipina? Women from the Philippines are noted for their beauty, grace, charm and loyalty. With their sweet nature and shy smiles, Filipina's posses an inner beauty that most men find irresistible. Filipinas are by their nature family-orientated, resourceful and devoted. What's more, English is one of the official languages of the Philippines, so communication is straight forward, and as the majority of Filipinas are Christian, cultural compatibility is easier than some other Asian countries. With the help of our website you can find a filipina in your area
I have been a bad Blogger, and have failed to visit many of my fav blogs recently. I apologize for that.
Technorati Tags: meetings, my ass, Filipina Girls
Monday, March 20, 2006
- I have 28 cameras.
- I hate Fabricland. I hate everything about it, from just being in the store, to the acres of unappealing fabric. I feel nauseous and weak, especially in that one at Yonge & Bloor in the basement with the low ceilings and bright fluorescent lighting.
- I make tons of typos. In fact, let me just type a coupld of sentences to demionstrate how many typiose I make. It;s beacause I never learned how to tyupe properly in schoo.. I guiess IO figured that I;d never need to know how to type, so I didnlt take the couirse. Thanks heavens for spellc heckers. I think I typs with six fingers and I use the thumbs f rthe space bar, like verybody else. even fater I run evertthing through the spell checker first, I find errors. It's ok to let me know if you see one.
- Here is a picture of my bike.
Technorati Tags: Fabricland, typos, cameras, bicylces
Friday, March 17, 2006
I planned to post a picture of my lunch every day this week, and always forgot. I forgot again today, so the best I can do is the empty container. You'll have to guess what was in it.
Yes, I am part Irish. My great great grandmother on my mother's side was born in Ireland. She married an Englishman and then they moved to Canada. In last year's St Patrick's Day post, I discussed imperialism and invasion and being oppressed. I really liked that post, but it seems few other people did.
The problem with St. Patrick's Day is green. I do have some green in my wardrobe, but I always make sure that I avoid it on St. Patrick's Day, except for that day in grade 5 when I forgot it was St. Patrick's Day and I wore a green shirt. I'll never forget it. There'll be no green from me on St. Patrick's Day.
What the hell is going on with Blogger? I don't know about you, but it's being very uncooperative. Hey, Jeff's blog is back now. Wait, it was for about 5 seconds. Some Blogger error killed his blog for hours and hours. That's all I have to say today. It's Friday and I am tired.
Technorati Tags: St. Patrick's Day, lunch, Blogger
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
A colleague recently told me that she knew I was not from Toronto by the way I spoke. I am not sure if it is the accent or the word choice. Whatever the case, I am aware that people from my part of Ontario speak strangely. I only have to visit my rural relatives to be reminded of that.
It is not uncommon to have a conversation with my dad and hear him say:
"I done steaks on the bar-b-que last night."
"I ete an hour ago and I'm still hungry."
"We haven't ate yet."
"She don't like it."
"We have boughten bread."
"That's as useless as tits on a bull."
"I'll have a double-double"
"Let's go to Kentucky Duck" (That's KFC, or Kentucky Fried Chicken)
Listen to a few sounds files from Ontario here: International Dialects of English Archive - Ontario. They allow people to submit recordings, so maybe I will.
Also, people in my hometown are fond of the expression "fuck the dog" or "fucking the dog," which means slacking off or doing nothing. I am from Buttfuck nowhere, so I am allowed to say that.
Technorati Tags: dialects, rural Ontario, slang
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
In 1945, you could buy 2 pounds of cabbage or 2 pounds of carrots for 11 cents, a dozen oranges for 32 cents, and a head of lettuce for 15 cents. Light bulbs were 15 cents each and you could get a tin of Flusho for 21 cents or Sinko for only 25 cents. Now, these are prices I could live with, even though I am only guessing at what Flusho and Sinko were used for.
A colleague recently found stacks of newspapers in his kitchen walls during his renovation. He found two pages from a paper published in my hometown in May 1945. Aside from the shopping deals and endless lists of auction sales, there were two other interesting bits.
The reverend that baptized me - not that it did any good, for I never attended a church service in that church (or any church, until I was an adult, and then only under serious pressure from another person) - was mentioned. He is the man who performed the marriage ceremony at my parents' wedding. I even have photographs of this man.
And then, there is mention of a meeting of the Presbyterian Young People's Society. A certain individual, whom I cannot name, is said to have been presiding. He was the Vice President. Let me just say that this man, a family friend - now thankfully dead, was never brought to justice for years of child molestation. I have good evidence that he and my brother (then about age 13 or 14) were fond of the Princeton Rub, and probably a few other rubs as well. I knew other people who fell victim to this freak too. It's a shame he was never thrown in jail.
Technorati Tags: cabbage, pedophilia, church
Friday, March 10, 2006
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Although it really requires an in-person demonstration (no, I will not be demonstrating it), I will attempt to describe the complex manoeuvres of the Paranoid Side Step. Imagine a teenage boy, part way through high school, attending a high school dance in the mid-1980s. No, this is not me. He might be wearing white high top running shoes with laces untied, jeans, and a t-shirt. His hair is long enough to cover the ears, but not so long as to be too hippie-ish. He spends most of the dance hanging out in the shadowy fringes talking to his male friends. When a slow dance comes on, he circles the high school gymnasium looking, but not too obviously, for someone to ask for a slow dance. The song might be Babe or Stairway to Heaven. He may or may not have success. Eye contact might be accomplished and then lost quickly. In 10% of the cases, he may end up in a tight embrace with a girl he knows or does not know. He is unsure if she is taking pity on him.
The bravest of the boys take a turn at fast dancing (the opposite of the slow dance). Well, they are either brave or gay or latently gay (not that there's anything wrong with that). The more macho guys quit the dance floor when the back-to-back slow numbers end. But, in later years, these macho guys realize that if they want to get chicks, they have to dance the way of the ladies. And so, with reluctance, they take to the dance floor and adopt a rather interesting dance style that I call the Paranoid Side Step.
Dance styles come and go, and it is possible that in the high schools of today, the Paranoid Side Step is a thing of the past. But, in my high school days, it was the dance adopted by most guys (except for the gay and the almost gay: they were far too fabulous on their feet).
Perhaps you should try this on your own. Stand with your feet parallel, about ten inches apart. Hold your arms close to your side so as to keep any motion of the upper limbs to a minimum. Wildly flailing arms and any sort of jauntiness could be trouble for the adolescent boy. Now, slowly bring one foot and place it beside the other and then put it back where it was. Do the same with foot number two. Repeat.
As you do this, keep your arms to your side and your head on a slight downward incline. Without turning your head, have a good look around you, just to make sure that no one is actually watching you. To do this, you need to dart your eyes right and then left without moving your head. You don’t want to let on that you care that people are watching you: you just want to give the appearance of nonchalance and that you are only doing this for points with the ladies. Of course, it would be better if you could avoid looking around with those darting eyes that make you look quite paranoid. But, for some reason, you cannot stop looking.
This, ladies and gentleman, is the paranoid side step.
Technorati Tags: dancing, adolescence, paranoid side step, 1980s
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
I love reviewing the keywords that people use to find this site. Here are a few recent ones:
1) hairy breasts
2) zydeco font
3) girls in diapers
4) can 2 tamagotchis with same sex marry
5) FARTING POST
6) Banana eating contest
7) true poop stories
8) upturned handlebars drunk
9) percentage of people who pee in the shower
10) date your cousin
11) an explosion between the legs
12) her soles
13) SURFING MICE
15) lyrics to franklin the turtle theme song
16) canadian tire "start with you"
17) canadian tire RADIO JINGLE DOWNLOAD "I'LL START WITH YOU"
18) Canadian Tire tv commercial jingle mp3
19) elliott moose song
20) tv show elliot moose theme song lyrics
Technorati Tags: keywords, web searching
Thursday, March 02, 2006
For those of you that missed this, and I assume that is everyone, a new study says that librarians suffer more stress than firefighters, police officers, train operators, and teachers. Say what?
How could my job be more stressful than firefighters who may, at any time, be asked to pull people from burning buildings? How could being a librarian be more stressful than a police officer, who may be fired upon by all sorts of nasty criminals? This makes no sense to me. There is very little stress in my job. In fact, I rather enjoy my job. There is essentially no supervision and I have complete academic freedom. What's stressful about that?
Alright, I have to go upstairs now and try to teach some research skills to a few undergrads. It promises to be very very stressful.
Technorati Tags: librarians, stress
Monday, February 27, 2006
Were my parents on drugs? Why else would they choose a tree that looks like this monstrosity? I remember the day we got this tree very well. I scratched my head then, and I scratch it now. It makes no sense. I know it wasn't the last tree on the lot. Why they didn't prune the bastard, I have no idea.
I'd like to know if there is some sort of rate-my-Christmas tree website, 'cause this would surely win in the ugly category.
I have decided that I either have to stop looking at old photos, or come to terms with the fact that my family is full of weirdos.
By the way, the cage at the upper left was home to the two dead budgies.
I'll pass on the opportunity to comment on the interior decorating.
Technorati Tags: Christmas, Christmas trees, family
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Yeah, I painted that.
(By the way, I did post another painting last year)
In other news, I am thinking about changing my template again. I am kinda tired of this one and far too many other people are using it. I may go for all black. Too bad I am too lazy to make my own.
I did another one of those tests, and now I know I am going to die at age 84. Fortunately, that's a very long way away. My grandmother is 86 and still very much alive, so I am holding out hope that I will live past 84. I have a lot to do, like gain advanced degrees in astrophysics and neurology, write a novel, and go into space.
Technorati Tags: paintings, art, templates, death
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
I suppose it could have been worse.
In other news, I had a dream about Doris, the blogger behind Diary of a Pissed-Off Asian Woman. I have never met her. In fact, there are only two bloggers on my Blogroll that I know in "real life." In my dream, she showed up at my place of work and gave a speech. The funny thing is that she was neither Asian nor pissed-off. In fact, I would have described her as a Happy Irish Woman.
So, I dashed off to the Dream Moods, an interesting dream interpretation site I learned about from Super Happy Jen. I discovered this:
To hear a speech in your dream, suggests that your inner feelings are being made conscious to those around you. Consider what is said in the speech. If you hear a politician give a speech, then it represents egotism and deceit.Hmm, I am not so sure. I can't remember what was said in the speech. I tried other dream concepts with no luck, except for:
To see a group of women talking in your dream, refers to some gossip.There was only one woman talking in my dream, but I have to say that this seems sexist to me. And, finally:
To see a chalkboard, represents the classroom and the difficulties you may have experienced in school. There is a lesson to be learned from this dream. You may feel that you are being put to the test. Consider what is being written on the chalkboard. Alternatively, it signifies your debts.There was nothing written on the chalkboard. The good news is that I can now interpret that dream in which I was smoking a cigar.
To see or dream that you are smoking a cigar, represents luxury and a relaxed state of mind. You are in control of your own emotions and passions. According to Freud, a cigar is a phallic symbol and is representative of masculinity and raw energy. This dream symbol may also serve as a symbol for someone you know who smokes cigars.Technorati Tags: nerds, dreams
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Did you know that there are two winter Olympics events that women cannot compete in? They are ski jumping and Nordic combined (ski jumping and x-country skiing). What's up with that? This seems very unfair to me. And, here's another thing that's unfair. I think that there ought to be same sex couples in pairs and ice dancing. That would be fascinating.
There are signs that I have been spending too much time watching the Winter Olympics:
1) I think Jeffrey Buttle's parents made a big mistake when they named him: I kept hearing Jeff Rebuttal
2) I think that part of the scoring for figure skating should be based on the costume. If this were instituted, Stephane Lambiel would never have won the silver medal. He would have placed last for his costume offenses
3) Points should be awarded for truly spectacular falls in figure skating. If you slide head first in to the boards, break a limb, or draw blood, you should get some benefit in the technical components
4) Some summer events should be modified for the winter games. For example, I'd like to see the 100 metre dash run on ice, winter triathlon, and maybe soccer in the snow.
Technorati Tags: winter olympics, olympics
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Running42K just sent me an email and guilted me into getting back to my blog, which I have been ignoring. I have no good excuses, really.
OK, I confess: I really don't know when that picture of me was taken, beyond it being December of some year when I was a child. So, everyone who guessed December sometime in the 1970s, you win! Good going. Too bad for you that the prize was only useless points. But, if I ever win the lottery, I'll convert that to dollars (Canadian ones).
In other news, I am distressed to say that I have to cycle past Fonzie's cheesy grin every day on my way to work. It is in a TTC bus shelter on Wellesley Street. You may remember that I met the Fonz once, when I thought the concept of The Fonz was cool.
In later years, I have come to realize that the idea of The Fonz in idiotic. How did Happy Days get away with it for so long? I don't like Fonzie. Fonzie sucks.
Technorati Tags: Happy Days, The Fonz
Monday, February 13, 2006
At last, I am posting an undistorted picture of me. All of the others have been seriously manipulated or generally out-of-focus. Those days are gone. I am ushering in a new period of openness and sharing.
The only thing missing is my real name. Oh, and when this was taken. But, I will entertain guesses. Let's see, I'll award 100 points to the person who gets the year right, 30 points for the correct decade, and a measly 10 points if you can guess the month.
Don't I look happy? Oh, I am the one receiving the gift, not the fat guy with the beard.
Technorati Tags: Christmas, photography, Zydeco Fish
Friday, February 10, 2006
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Dear Specky (aka Radar Bob, Sonar Bob),
I am sorry that I made fun of you behind your back in high school. Yes, we called you Specky, because of your geek glasses, and Radar Bob, after the library installed security gates. The truth is, I now realize that you were so cool. You wore those heavy plastic geeky glasses long before anyone had ever heard the names Drew Carey or Cory Doctorow. And your short pants, hovering above the ankles, allowed everyone to see your stylish brown leather shoes. They were so worn in, they must have been very comfortable. I also liked your plastic pocket protector. Ink would have ruined those expensive white shirts with those long tails puffing out of the back of your pants.
Was that really Brylcreem in your hair? I thought the wet head was dead, but you said otherwise. Ah, defiance rules.
Thanks for teaching my how to search for articles in magazines and journals. I am still amazed when I encounter 4th years students who do not understand the difference between a peer-reviewed journal and a web page. Hell, they can't even distinguish a book from an article. You may have looked funny but I think you knew what you were doing.
I always wonder why you decided to become a librarian. In High School, I thought that Librarianship was one of those professions of last resort, like the lunch lady and the custodian. I have changed my mind. I need some new clothes. I think I'll head off to the Salvation Army Thrift Store for some pants that are too short, a pair of well worn shoes, and then to the closest drug store for some wet hair product.
Technorati Tags: librarians, high school
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
(Self Portrait #4)
I survived the Conference. It was good and bad. You know, I really hate it when the abstract in the programme is completely at odds with the content that is presented. These people should be banned from ever presenting again. It's false advertising and a huge waste of my time.
I am sitting down today to write a book proposal. It's only a proposal, so this might not happen. I am giving myself until the end of August next year to have it done, providing that the idea is accepted. I work better under deadlines.
First, though, I have to clear off my desk. If my office is messy, I can accomplish nothing. That means I have to move: a napkin (clean) from the last time I got some Thai food, some paper clips, a receipt or two, Michael Stephens' Who Are the Blog People? survey card (by the way, I am in this picture, but good luck trying to find me - no, I am not the dorky looking guy in the suit), about 1000 Midwest books slips, chopsticks (still wrapped in paper), a pen knife (mostly for opening oranges), old newspapers, an issue of Choice, two draft articles I am working on, publishers' catalogues, a piece of paper with RD533.5 .M35 2002 written on it, a plastic spoon, a cell phone battery, a Palm Pilot, MasterCard bill, about two pounds of paper, a print out from Scotland's People that tells me that my grandfather was illegitimate, coupons for HMV, and a bunch of other junk.
Technorati tags: self portraits, photography, conferences, book