Sunday, December 30, 2007

Fractured, plus Jericho

Yes, I took the kids skating again today. No, I didn't not break any bones, and neither did the kids, thankfully. My mother, however, inadvertently went skating down her driveway and ended up with a broken hip. She is now resting in a hospital awaiting surgery for an artificial hip or steel pins. The course of action has yet to be determined.

Before the accident, she argued with her mother (with whom she lives) about who should venture out and retrieve the blue box from the curb. My mother prevailed. I wonder if she regrets winning that fight.

In other news, I think I hate my template.

In other other news, I have been on a Jericho bender. I downloaded all 22 season one episodes. I know I can watch full episodes on the official site, but that small video box is way too confining. I would happily have downloaded episodes with embedded commercials, but networks are far too conservative to embrace peer-to-peer technologies. Of course, online full episodes are important these days because many new TV programs require committed watching. For example, it's too late to start watching Heroes: you will have no idea what is going on if you start now, so you need a season and a half recap. Instead of the small box on the official website, networks ought to seed official versions in torrent tracker sites. I would like that.

Anyway, Jericho is pretty good. Despite some cheesy plot lines and some mediocre casting, the series has enough suspense and mystery to keep me interested. I have seen 12 episodes and am eager to see the rest, as well as season two, which commences in February. There is a risk of cancellation, but I am used to that since most shows I watch end up dead. The Family Guy managed to withstand two cancellations. It has nine lives. I hope Jericho can make it.

A curious thing about Jericho is the Morse Code used in the opening credits. I just realized that the code is different every time. The Wikipedia episode summary entries decipher each opening message.

By the way, I delete the episodes after viewing them.


Good news. It seems CBC is finally ready to seed one of its programs on peer-to-peer networks.

Friday, December 28, 2007


I took the kids skating this morning. I still have it. In other words, I can still skate. It's sort of like riding a bike, I guess. Never once did my ass hit the ice. Later, I made delicious cocoa with soy milk. It tasted great to me, and the kids complimented me on it.

Sadly, my x-mas break is passing very very quickly. This makes me sad.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Holidays

Hi everyone. I had planned for this post to be my last post ever. You see, I purchased a ticket for Friday night's Super 7 lottery, with an estimated jackpot of $30,000,000. Now that we have cleared up the fraud issues (or so I hope), I felt comfortable enough to splurge on a ticket. Sadly, I did not win, not even a free ticket. So, you are stuck with me for a while longer. In truth, If I had won, I would probably have commenced a blog called "Lifestyles of the Stupidly Rich." I even had the idea to hire a professional comic book or graphic book illustrator to follow me around and draw heroic pictures of me in action. Sadly, this plan will have to be delayed.

Happy holidays to everyone. I am off to sing in my one horse open sleigh.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Best of Zydeco Fish 2007 (see: best of 2006; 2005; 2004; 2003)

I guess it is late enough in the year for my annual best of, since I probably only have a few more posts in me for 2007. I have this overwhelming sense of failure as a blogger this year, which comes from the belief that I did not post very much this year. In fact, the stats say otherwise:

2007 - 125 (so far)
2006 - 58
2005 - 220
2004 - 107
2003 - 42

2007 was my second best year in terms of posts. Nothing can match the golden year of 2005, where I posted frequently and always had something obnoxious or funny to say. The highlight this year was that no one called me a twit. On the other hand, there was that ongoing event that I can't mention for fear it will start all over again.

So here it is:

1) The Boston Molasses Disaster and other Curiosities. I am not sure why I like this. I suppose it just holds together nicely as a post about curious things I had recently read about.

2) The Conference Review. About the Ontario Library Association Conference and a librarian feeding frenzy. I now regret that National Geographic wasn't there to cover it.

3) He'll Be Dead Soon. The topic that cannot be mentioned, but here it is anyway.

4) Today, I Killed a Mouse. Graphic cruelty to rodents.

5) Tube Quest. On a curious trip to a bike store for a new tube.

6) Getting Down in Second Life. Cyberorgies and anatomically-incorrect avatars.

7) Endings/Beginnings, part three. The ongoing history of my family.

8) Endings/Beginnings, part four. The ongoing history of my family, continued.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Keywords Mayhem, part 7

I guess it has been long enough since I have posted something like this. See previous entries: here, here, here, here, here, and here, if you want.

I am still fascinated by the keywords people use to find things, especially my blog. As a Librarian, I want to be able to reach out to some of these people and correct their search syntax; others, I just want to slap. So, here again are terms people used to get here. It makes me wonder what kind of a blog I really have...

sesame street hidden message - yup, there is one.
housewife must strip after lost bet - clearly, a search for legal precedents.
eating kidneys are they good for me - no! in fact, avoid all internal organs.
world record for longest belch (also: longest belch ever, guinness book) - my brother holds that record.
clothing that sucks stomach in - I think it's called a girdle.
britney spears in a thong bidini - that image does nothing for me.
walmart pick-up joint - for the desperate, perhaps, but I did blog about it.
nympho librarian - that one keeps coming up. If I ever meet one, I'll be sure to let you all know.
wild nympho librarian stories - I am sure they are all fiction, but you never know.
hairy breasts - male or female?
Princeton rub - again, about my brother.
rolex ad time travel conspiracy - what?
large nipples video - one man's fetish.
fart on demand - my school friend, Gordie.
writing about what fish look like (also: fish video game) - always lots of fish stuff.
sensuous banana eating contest (also: banana eating sexy) - sometimes a banana is just a banana.
Facebook enemies - we all have them, I think.
can i get herpes from a toilet seat? (also: std on toilet paper) - no you can't.
pussy shaped cake - someone loves cats.
ivanka trump-breasts - Yes, I believe she has breasts.
Anal beads[buying the stairway to heaven] - OK, so I just do not get the connection at all.
male thongs at zellers - that's where my dad buys his.
cold weather fractured penis - yikes, painful.
"natalie portman" pee - hmmm, the beginning of the bodily functions searches.
infantilism breast milk and diaper - I have never understood this.
extreme adult diapers - or this.
adult baby poop diapers - oh, man.
defecating on floors in public restrooms -gay - I like how this person used a - to remove the word gay from his/her search. In other words, s/he only wants the straight poop.
do the chinese poop on the street? - I'd think not.
8 year old feces smeared - what's with all this feces fascination?
wake up with gorgeous hair - I do, everyday.
spiderman speedo - Has movie marketing gone that far?
alice cooper i picked up my guitar to blast away the time someone in the next room said now turn that damn thing down - oh, yes, from Cooper's Teenage Lament '74. About my other brother.

Monday, December 17, 2007

OpenID Commenting

Well, this is very cool. Blogger has just enabled OpenID Commenting, which means that you can comment here using your blog URL from OpenID-enabled services. These include WordPress, Live Journal, and AOL Journals. You can read more about this here here.

I do have one question, however, and that is: what the hell is AOL Journals? I have never heard of this before. I have yet to comprehend why anyone even uses AOL for anything. I mean, there are so many other good ISPs and blogging sites out there. When I think of AOL, I think of landfill sites full of AOL disks sent to every resident on earth whether they wanted one or not.

OK, OK, so I went to AOL Journals to see what it was all about, and then I ended up following a link to AOL News (who knew there was such a thing as that? It sounds as dubious as Fox News), and then I found this story about a giant rat. Really, you have to look, if only for the photo. Go. Go now. Go Look. Please.

By the way, this is absolutely hilarious.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Let it Snow?

You know, I like a good snow storm, probably because it brings back fond memories of school bus cancellations, but I just spent 45 minutes clearing snow and now I am exhausted. So, I am dreaming of a green, or brown or grey Christmas - anything but white. Still, I do like a storm. ..

I am also hungry too and there is a paucity of snack foods. I wonder if I should cycle tomorrow.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

No Country for Old Men

For the first time in months, I finally saw a film at the theatre, the Varsity, if you are interested. Last night, I took in No Country for Old Men, a thoroughly enjoyable violent romp through parts of Texas, complete with a brief appearance by Woody Harrelson. I have no idea what this dude has been up to - oh, yeah, he has been promoting hemp. I thought he must have given up acting for good, but here he is, in a 10 gallon hat doing is best Texan accent.

Yup, there sure is a lot of shootin' in this one. Most people would never have recovered from such wounds, but, in some films, like this and Rambo: First Blood, you can simply sew yourself up. With the right tools, why you can remove gun shot from your shoulder or thigh. For the more serious wounds, however, a trip to a Mexican hospital is the way to go.

I am almost not sure what to say about the film, except that it is grim, but Mister Anchovy said it better: "The world is grim. Life is a coin toss. Most of the characters in the film get killed. You might as well retire, like the Sheriff, because there's no point trying to stem the tide." That's just about it.

There is almost a complete lack of music in this movie, except for the final credits and the short scene with some Mexican musicians. There is no original score. I am not so sure that the absence of music is a bad thing. Many movies today have way too much music, and some feel more like advertisements for music or extended music videos. Maybe because of the absence of music, I paid far more attention to the sound.

Despite being grim and violent, this movie is extremely well-made, with top shelf acting, and a remarkably good screenplay. I felt completely engrossed and did not check my watch once (not that I wear one currently).

PS: I am trying out Blogger's new poll feature. Check it out on the right nave bar.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Food Meme

From Running42K who got it from Andrew who go it from Electronic Cerebrectomy who got it from Byzantium's Shores.

This'll be weird, since I can't eat gluten and I don't eat dairy products.

1. How do you like your eggs?
Over easy or scrambled with bacon. It depends on many things, like the weather, the time of year, and what I am wearing.

2. How do you take your coffee/tea?
Coffee: decaf, black or with a splash of soy milk. I drink Typhoo decaf tea with some soy milk.

3. Favorite breakfast food?
Gluten-free waffles or pancakes with bacon. But, mostly I eat rice cakes with various toppings, like jam, honey, nut butters (not peanut), etc.

4. Peanut butter - smooth or crunchy?
I don't eat it, but when I did, it had to be crunchy. I prefer cashew or almond butter.

5. What kind of dressing on your salad?
Balsamic vinaigrette.

6. Coke or Pepsi?
Neither. In fact, no pop at all, except for maybe one glass of ginger ale every year or two. Well, I might have a rum and coke once a year, or so.

7. You’re feeling lazy, what do you make?
Rice pasta with sauce from a jar.

8. You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order?
Sadly, I cannot eat pizza. When I did, it was always bacon & pineapple. So, the equivalent would be to order in Thai or Indian food, but I can no longer order from the usual Thai food place, because I found out that it is not gluten-free after years of them telling me it was.

9. You feel like cooking. What do you make?
Recently, I've been hopping on the web to try new recipes, rather than reverting to the old standards. I recently made some very hot golden chicken curry and some strange chicken dish with tamari (gluten-free) and almonds.

10. Do any foods bring back good memories?
Roast chicken (or roast beef or roast pork).

11. Do any foods bring back bad memories?
I think I can no longer eat any of the foods that would have brought back the bad memories. But, I would say anything cooked by my mother or the pizza from my home town.

12. Do any foods remind you of someone?

13. Is there a food you refuse to eat?
I refuse to eat dairy products (milk, cheese, cream, etc). I am forced to avoid gluten as I have Celiac Disease, which I have mentioned before on this blog. Beyond that, I would refuse internal organs (liver, kidneys, tripe, brains, etc.). I am not a fan of lobster. To me, it just tastes like rubber.

14. What was your favorite food as a child?
Ice cream, creamed corn, cereal - but not at the same time.

15. Is there a food that you hated as a child but now like?
Sweet potatoes.

16. Is there a food that you liked as a child but now hate?
Well, milk. It is a vile and disgusting substance.

17. Favorite fruit and vegetable:
Can't choose just one...
Fruit: mangos, bananas, raspberries. Vegetables: sweet potatoes, butternut squash.

18. Favorite junk food:
Lays Lightly Salted!

19. Favorite between meal snack:

20. Do you have any weird food habits?
I like bananas on rice cakes with almond or cashew butter.

21. You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on?
I have never been on a diet. I have pretty much weighed the same my entire adult life. I have never felt the need to fill up on anything, and I wouldn't even know what is a good thing to fill up on. I suppose I would say a banana.

22. You’re off your diet. Now what would you like?
Sorbet or dark chocolate.

23. How spicy do you order Indian/Thai?
Medium to hot.

24. Can I get you a drink?
Red wine please. Oh, you mean non-alcoholic? Well, water or apple cider.

25. Red wine or white?
See #24, but I like white too.

26. Favorite dessert?
Lemon sorbet from this cool place in T-Dot. Also, I like Haagen Daz Mango sorbet.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Perplexing Things

#1) The French Department where I just took my French course prohibits the awarding of grades higher than an A, which means I will get an A, according to the instructor. This is ridiculous. If you achieve an A+, you ought to get an A+. This A will bring down my GPA.

#2) My mother sent me a bizarre birthday card that defies explanation. First, on the return address label, she blacked out her middle initial. It's perplexing that she just doesn't get new labels. I know that she hates her middle name, and I can understand that, but simply knowing that her middle name commences with an M does not mean that people will know what her middle name is! One can also see that she has scribbled over the M anyway. So, she is just drawing attention to the fact that there is something wrong on the label. If you ask me, her middle name is better than her first name. This is a sign.

#3) Inside the envelope were coupons for various things, like batteries, etc. I will not use any of these coupons. The most amazing thing is that none of the coupons is expired, as is usually the case.

#4) Inside the envelope was an out-of-focus and badly-composed photograph of some roses her mother received for her 80th birthday in November of 1999. On the back, she printed: "NOV 99 MOTHERS [sic] ROSES FOR BIRTHDAY 80TH". The photo clearly depicts the atrocity that is my grandmother's kitchen, from the heinous wall paper to the nausea-inducing tablecloth. It is perplexing to me that my grandmother has not redecorated in over 25 years of ownership.

Inside the envelope was a folded over piece of paper containing a stamp affixed with glue. My mother scribbled that she wanted me to see this stamp with a pig on it. It's must be from a series of stamps depicting Chinese Astrological signs. I am not a pig. The paper the stamp is affixed to is from a tax receipt from March 28, 2004 which indicates that she gave $20 to the church for the first quarter of the year.

#6) Inside the envelope was half of a birthday card. She simply cut the front off an old card, presumably because the other part had writing on it. She edited the Happy Birthday line on the front by inserting, the word BELATED with a ^ and then wrote my name below. On the back she wrote: "Here is the 1/2 card; Hope you had a Happy Birthday. The check is whole." Why "the" half card?

#7) The cheque was for $30. Also included was a cheque from my grandmother for $20. My grandmother sends hers along in the same envelope to save on postage and greeting cards. My grandmother has given me the same amount for Christmas and my birthday since the day I was born. Inflation means nothing to her. When my first daughter was born, she gave me $5. The Italian lady that lived next door and who could barely speak English - and whom I saw a handful of times in my life - gave me $20. That is perplexing.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Help is on the way!

From the spam files:

Small male machine is not a trouble.

You Dont please with your instrument size.

Chicks laugh at you.

You have marvelous chance to solve this trouble.

Try our instrument e;nlargement and Women will adore you promptly.

I used. My wife is really happy.

Thank you, Dr. Kenny Hackett. I have to say that your name doesn't inspire much hope that this product will work.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Les Chaussures de Zydeco Fish

Some visual stimulation for your Wednesday. Size 9. Imitation Converse, purchased on Yonge Street about 15 years ago. Probably made in China. The only reason they are still in one piece, is that I rarely wore them outside because the soles are so thin, I could feel every pebble underfoot.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Endings/Beginnings, part four (see parts one and two and three)

Some of you will remember the short piece I wrote about one of my brothers a couple of years ago. It is difficult to add to that, but I could begin with the fact that he is now collecting a disability pension and doing some under-the-table taxi dispatching work. He has unpaid bills all over town, but people are still civil to him. After all, he is a celebrity, if a minor one. How many people can say that they know a man who weighs 400 pounds?

The most amazing thing about my brother is that he is still alive. He should be dead. Somehow, his body remembers to function. His heart still goes and his lungs, battered by thousands of cigarettes, still work. He continues to use the cane, but now he has a reason. In high school, he walked with one frequently, arguing that it relived the pain of ambulating with hemorrhoids. His wife, the one he married after the mother of his children was imprisoned and the kids swept away into foster care (it never crossed his mind to take them in and be a father to them) has been placed in long term care with early-onset Alzheimer's. She is in her fifties.

I suppose I should point put that she is much older than he. If you ask me, his attraction to this woman was based solely on the fact that she had daughters that were nearly his age. It was another thing that made him freakish, another thing for people to talk about behind his back. He had no other way of making any sort of impact, so he went for freakish acts, like force-feeding himself into obesity and, if he can manage it, an early death. Some day, he will be found prostate on the ground in his motel room, a half-eaten doughnut protruding from his mouth.

Yes, I see a bad end for my brother, but I believe that he hopes he will look down on his enormous body from above, just as we normal people believe that one day we might observe our own funerals, and delight in the fact that he lived out his childhood fantasy and become the man in the wicker chair.

So, I celebrated my birthday on Sunday by shoveling tons of very heavy snow and coming to the realization that I am older than I once was.

Friday, November 30, 2007


I am stuck in a boardroom all day :-(
At least I am not at work.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Some Interesting Pope Trivia

While browsing the Wikipedia, I came across this fascinating piece of trivia:

Popes who died during sex

Catholic Popes who were said to have died during sex: Pope Leo VII (936–939) died of a heart attack, Pope John XII (955–964) was bludgeoned to death by the husband of the woman he was with at the time, Pope John XIII (965–972) was also murdered by a jealous husband.

Fascinating indeed.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A (brief) conversation with my Six-year-old Daughter

Daughter: Most grandmas tend to be Portuguese.

Me: Is your grandma Portuguese?

Daughter: No...well, if I had another grandma, maybe she would be Portuguese.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I was tagged back in June by Running42k (my old roommate from my undergrad days). Finally, I have answers. I am supposed to write about 8 facts about myself, then tag 8 others.

1. I hate unexpected loud noises. For example, if I plug in the vacuum cleaner and it fires up immediately - because the switch had been left on - I have to turn it off even if it means that I will turn it on again in a few seconds. I have to be ready. I need to know if anyone in earshot is going to turn on a blender or a food processor or hair dryer so I can be prepared. I also hate leaf blowers, but you already know that. If you have one, dump it and buy a rake. Better yet, mulch your leaves with your lawnmower (but warn me before you start up your mower) and then leave the leaves on your lawn all winter so that they make some nice fertilizer. That's why they are called leaves, after all.

2. I have a tendency to count stairs as I walk up or down them, even if I know how many there are.

3. I have only ever sent one text message on my cell phone. I just don't understand the appeal. Maybe that's because I am tethered to a computer for most of the day.

4. I like mayonnaise on my french fries. In fact, I am not a fan of ketchup or catsup or catchup. Speaking of condiments, I prefer to have my salad dressing on the side in restaurants because they always apply too much. Salads are usually soaking in the stuff, making most of them practically inedible.

5. I like my job. It's the best job I have ever had. I hated my last job. It was the worst job I have ever had.

6. I am a huge fan of dark chocolate (dairy-free, that is). If you have no idea what to get me for Christmas, please mail me some Lindt dark chocolate. My birthday is coming up too.

7. My favourite cuisine in Indian. I couldn't live without it. Aside from naan, it is virtually gluten-free, which makes it even more indispensable.

8. I'd like to go to Greece and the International Space Station.

I have no idea whom I should tag, so I will tag everybody.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Chalked Up
Here's an action shot of my daughter drawing another painfully accurate picture of me, this time in chalk. The only problem is that she made my left foot preposterously large, rather than the right as in the previous effort. Notice, however, that I am still afflicted with three-fingered hands. I do like the sun and birds. Please note that I have no shirt or pants even approximating the colours suggested in this piece of sidewalk art.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Hi There

I wonder why it is that when I take a small break from blogging, it turns into a long hiatus? Just why is that? Anyway, I took a recent trip to the Niagara region (St. Catherines, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, etc.). That was cool. I got a couple of bottles of wine and some jam and took in the Falls and the tackiness Clifton Hill. It's always a bizarre sight.

More recently, I headed up to the rural parts of Ontario for my dad's 75th birthday party. The old man is getting older. Aside from the potato overload, it was fine. If you are hosting a potluck, be sure to secure the proposed dishes ahead of time. Otherwise, you will end up with three versions of potato salad.

Other than that, I have been working and sleeping. I have a new article coming out which was co-written with a colleague. And, I have to speak twice at an upcoming conference, once with a colleague and once with a panel. No, I am not prepared yet, but I hope to be by then. The worst part is that one of the speaking days is a Saturday. I hate it when that happens, mostly because fewer people show up.

I am starving and really need some food.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Monday, October 15, 2007

Eating Glass & Other Dreams

OK, so once again, I had a dream in which I was eating glass. The dream focussed more on the after affects of eating glass, like trying to expel the endless stream of it from my mouth with as little damage as possible. To make matters slightly more complicated, I was spitting the stuff out while cycling and trying to keep up with the person ahead of me. This was not your average glass, but that fine thin glass one finds in expensive wine glasses, if that matters. I have had this dream many times over the years. Yes, I have looked at online dream sites, but I am not convinced of the interpretation.

Another curious dream featured David Gilmour (the musician, not the writer), who, while fulfilling his rock and roll duty as main guy in Pink Floyd was also a star member of Britain's National Football club. Aware that he was shunning the queen by not playing in a key match, he put on his guitar and joined Floyd on stage while wearing his football jersey & cleats. By the way, this was the younger long-haired Gilmour. I have no idea if Roger Waters was there or not.


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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Cats & Rats

I was stunned to find that I had a mouse (or mice) in my house. After all, the neighbourhood is crawling with cats. One can't walk up the street without greeting several cats. One has to watch one's step so as not to crush them. Most are friendly and run out to say hi. Just yesterday, I ambled past two lovely kittens lounging on the pavement. Of course, as I am allergic to the little critters, I have no cats in the house, which is bad news when one has rodents. I have been tempted to borrow a cat or two, but I have always been wary of cat curfews and I wouldn't want to be charged with cat napping.

Anyway, I had been cursing these cats for not doing their catly duty of killing rodents in the 'hood. Perhaps I cursed too hard, for one day last week, I discovered a very dead rat on the back porch. The rat had quite a severe laceration to its pectoral region. It lacked a tail, making me consider that it might not have been a rat after all, but a closer look assured me that it was a rat, probably a Rattus norvegicus. Flies had descended in great numbers. I dug a hole in the back yard and scooped up the rat with a shovel, finding that maggots had already invaded the beast and were crawling all over the rodent.

This, of course, reminded me of the intact rat skeleton I once found under the porch of an old house. I left it alone.

I chose a new template in the hopes that it would encourage me to blog more.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Nuit Blanche

I went to Nuit Blanche this year, the Toronto version, not the event in Paris or Rome or Sao Paulo or Berlin or ... Yeah, this was the Toronto-the-Good version. One of the first events I saw -- well, really did not see, because it was too packed with people to see -- was an event at the House of Lancaster II. This is a strip club, for those who are no aware. I squeezed in, noting a number of strollers and baby carriages, which served as a good counterpoint to the usual business of the house. Some dude was on stage making balloon animals. It was too crowded to stay, and it didn't look that interesting.

Down on Queen Street, I ended up in Koma Designs and was surprised to see a bondage scene unfolding. A scantily clad woman was being bound in ropes and hung from the ceiling. I snapped a few photos, as well as a photo of the window, which featured a leather-clad woman in fetish boots and police cap. Later, a mass of people watched the Parkours near the Gladstone.

I think I was asleep by 4:15 AM, after a night of walking, cycling, looking, and photographing. It's hard to say what I liked best. Perhaps, as a friend said, the night was not so much about the art as the festivity, or something like that: I am paraphrasing wildly. I did enjoy seeing so many people on the street, and I enjoyed the out-door exhibits better than those indoors.

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Friday, September 14, 2007


My daughter drew this remarkably accurate picture of me. It's uncanny, right down to the huge right foot and three-fingered hands.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

First day of School

The problem with taking a long break from blogging is that expectations are raised when one returns, sort of like when Kate Bush takes five or ten years between albums and all she can come up with is the Red Shoes. So much for musical genius. Peter Gabriel is usually worth the wait, but I really wonder what Boston was doing between album number one and two, not that I like Boston, or anything.

So, just to subvert all expectations, I will only say that the students are back in force today, and I will be in classrooms several times this week providing instruction on library use and research skills. I have 50 students later today, 200 tomorrow, and unknown numbers later in the week. This will keep going for the first half of the term, or so.

Next Monday, my French classes begin. After that day, I am considering only posting in French.

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Monday, August 20, 2007


I meant to post something today, but I just remembered that I have an all-day meeting. That's probably not the best way to spend the first day back after 4 weeks of fun.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007


Reluctantly, I will go back to work on Monday. It will be a sad sad day.

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Friday, July 20, 2007


Starting today at 5:00 pm (a mere 7 hours hence), I will commence a month-long vacation. During some of this time, I will have no access to the web, so I will be even scarcer - perhaps - than I have been all July.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Searing Pain

I burned myself on a pot.
I poured boiling water onto my hands.
Sleeping was almost impossible.
The next day, it still hurts, but there is only one small blister.
Some skin is red, some is white.
It could be the worst pain I have ever experienced.
It's amazing that I can type.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Getting Down in Second Life

Warning: Contains some adult content.

My foray into Second Life has been fairly uneventful, unlike a colleague. Within ten minutes of logging in, he was hit by a car and propositioned by a Japanese avatar, who uttered a phrase like: "you wanna sucka me?" Sure, a female avatar asked if she could hug me, but she was not in control of her gestures, and she failed to execute the maneuver. I have no idea how to do that either. And so, I wondered on, and then sat on a bench by a strangely calm sea and stared off into the cyber distance.

Later, I ended up in an adult orgy room. I am not sure how this happened, but my search for a night club went awry and I found myself suddenly surrounded by naked avatars, some of them getting it on. I have no doubt that first lifers look nothing like their sexy pieces of anthropomorphic code. So, I wouldn't say that there was anything especially sexual about the place, unless one is into low-grade anime. By the way, why are there no ugly avatars?

I have to admit that the one thing I had been curious about since joining Second Life was what my avatar looked like without clothing. Most of the places I had visited before had strict rules about nudity, and so I had never been able to take off my clothes. I decided, after a few minutes of virtual voyeurism in this club, to take my pants off. I thought that I would just blend in.

This is where the shocking thing happened. Oh, the horror of it all. I discovered that I had no penis! My avatar looks like an anatomically-correct Michael Jackson doll! Why do female avatars have breasts and male avatars lack penises? This is a serious oversight. But, this lack of appendage explained the advertisements for penises on the walls. It appears that they can be purchased from the Second Life penis makers. I have only earned $4 (Lindens, actually) from my modeling job, and I am fairly sure that this is not enough, especially for a big one.

But, I have a fear of getting a penis, because I am not sure I will know how to operate it. I might end up disappointing some cute Japanese avatar - or her 350 lbs male first-life-counterpart. That would be sad for both of us.

And, speaking of penises, I posted a photo of a naked man on my Flickr account taken after the Toronto Pride Parade. This photo has been viewed more than 1100 times in 24 hours, making it second in rapid view accumulation just ahead of a lingerie-clad mannequin and behind a slaughtered pig. What's wrong with the world?

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Endings/Beginnings, part three (see parts one and two)

What does a father say when his 18-year-old daughter announces that she is planning to move in with her boyfriend, a man of 31 or 32 years? On the one hand, he probably wishes that he was the man hooking up with a young woman. On the other, this is his daughter. I guess to preserve family harmony, my dad didn't forbid it, not that he could. "She'd do it anyway," he said to me. And, he was right.

For me, it was a chance to get my own room, and so I was overjoyed when she moved out and I could escape from the room I shared with my brother. My parents awarded me the room, even though I was younger. It was a prize for staying is school while my brother dropped out at age 15

I try to imagine how my sister must have felt when she discovered her boyfriend's secret life, 14 years down the road. He always left early for work, managing some sort of poorly-functioning renovation business, where I once earned a pittance for a summer of labour. He always arrived home very late. It translated to a mere five or six hours of sleep each night. What my sister learned is that much of his time away was spent with his other common-law wife.

He had two places to sleep and eat and shower. His had two lives, opposite, and yet bizarrely the same. He bought two identical Christmas presents each year. I suppose it was easier to remember what he gave if he just bought the same thing twice. He'd buy two bathrobes, two bottles of perfume, two pairs of slippers, two push-up bras, probably in different sizes.

And then she met the women, described as T's wife, a title she claimed for herself. Soon, my sister learned that there were three mortgages on her house; that this woman's father held the third; that a lawyer had perjured herself to implicate my sister; that this women - the other wife - had embezzled money from her own father; that the business was a thin operation, barely holding on, but with big dreams it could never hope to achieve; that someone else held a mortgage on the restaurant and T was just a figurehead owner, not the real man, hardly a man at all.

My sister lost the house. She didn't get a cent from the sale after foreclosure. And who knows where he is now. Part of me wants that information; a part does not.

To be continued ...

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Ice Cream Truck

How many ice cream tucks are there in Toronto? There would have to be hundreds, because the mobile soft-serve ice cream people always show up at dinner, with that infernal music that scrapes against my brain. Years of planning with Euler graphs and computer simulations must have taken place for this to happen in such an orchestrated manner. But, if the mobile soft-serve ice cream people are always at someone's house at dinner, where are the mobile soft-serve ice cream people just before they arrive and where do the mobile soft-serve ice cream people go right after? Does this mean that the mobile soft-serve ice cream people know when everyone eats, and can, therefore, time arrivals accordingly? Where did the mobile soft-serve ice cream people acquire this knowledge? Why is it that when we eat later, the mobile soft-serve ice cream people still manage to arrive when we are eating?

What do the mobile soft-serve ice cream people do in winter? It makes me wonder what the profit margin is in this business.

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Monday, June 18, 2007


I saw it as though it happened in slow motion -- a cyclist, two cyclists ahead of me on College Street, hitting the ground after being struck by a car door. The good news is that no cars were beside him. The other cyclist and I helped him up, made sure he was alright. The driver got out of his car and was seemed relieved that the cyclist was OK and not angry.

The truly strange part is that the driver was perplexed. He repeated over and over that he did not see the cyclist in his mirror, and he wondered where he came from. Of course, we all told him that he needs to shoulder-check because he has a blind spot, the same way you need to shoulder-check when you change lanes. The driver just could not understand that and it seemed to me as if he was angry at his mirror for letting him down. I believe that the concept of shoulder-checking was completely new to him.

I wonder what box of cereal this guy got his driver's license from.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Endings/Beginnings, part two (read part one)

My father took refuge in his darkened room after my mother was taken away to the psychiatric hospital. Later, we ate in silence in the dim dining room and I remember struggling to see the food on my plate. Perhaps he did not want me to see his face. Days later, my mother returned, for a short time, long enough to celebrate Christmas, and then she fled in my dad's car, heading north to the cottage. She stayed there until the money dried up and the car, neglected and abused, died a slow death, but not before her boyfriend stole it and abandoned it in Rexdale.

My dad is no philosopher, though I think he wishes he was. He has opinions. He offers advice, in a fatherly way. But, it's easy to reject advice when it is steeped in conservative dogma and dispensed far too rigidly. Occasionally, the advice is offered up almost as a plea. "Don't work in a factory," he once advised. That was good advice, but I am sure he felt it might be unavoidable for me, the fourth child in a working class family raised in a small town where the majority of the work is the endless tedium of the factory, the only antidote being cases of beer and liquor.

My mother did not return. She found her way into her mother's house, perhaps the only one who would offer her shelter. Ten years on, she works on an endless stream of seek-a-word puzzles and juvenile crosswords while smoking a chain of cigarettes. Her hair is gray-yellow, a shocking change from the deep black she died it for most of her life.

After some time, my father began to speak with mercenary zeal about dating and meeting someone. He announced that he would not be alone by the same time next year. He was confident. He practised driving to a few restaurants in a neighbouring city, something he had never done before. He has been married to his second wife for 18 years now.

Years later, when A. and I split, turning away from an ill-advised union of the young and the younger (I was the younger), my dad had no advice; instead, he blamed himself and I have never been able to figure out why.

To be continued ...

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007


One item in the following list is NOT true.

1) What did I have for breakfast today: gluten-free Mesa Sunrise cereal with soy milk and then two or three rice cakes with jam. When one has celiac disease, one eats many many rice cakes.

2) What am I wearing: jeans and a t-shirt. Yesterday was far more interesting because I was wearing a shirt that is often mistaken for a table cloth. If I were to lie down on the grass while wearing that shirt, people would have a picnic on me and then the ants and pigeons would show up looking for crumbs.

3) What am I reading: Michael Ondaatje's Running in the Family.

4) What is the last CD I bought: Yesterday, I grabbed a some CDs from Sam the Record Man's 99 cent bin, as the store is closing soon. I got: Jon Gibbons - In Good Company; Black lab - Your Body Above Me (not so sure if I like this); and The X-Files: The Album - Fight the Future (just for the Dust Brothers' version of the X-Files theme).

5) Last thing I did to piss someone off: I submitted a formal copyright complaint to Facebook for copyright violation in one Facebook group. Someone uploaded one of my photographs without permission. It even had my copyright statement right on the photo. The photo has now been removed. I would gladly have permitted the upload if permission had been requested in advance. What is really troubling is that the person who did is a librarian and should be aware of copyright law. Incidentally, a photo of mine will appear on an upcoming University of Toronto brochure.

6) Last thing I took a photo of: My penis.

7) A random thing on my desk: An article entitled: "Fetishes and their Associated Behavior," Sexuality and Diversity 20(2): 2002, p 135-147.

8) Strangest reference question I had yesterday: "If I put a stamp on this," said patron holding up one of those large inter-office envelopes riddled with symmetrical holes, "will Canada Post deliver it?" I thought not, but replied "I'll have to plead ignorance on that one." To which he replied, "do you have any envelopes." I sent him to the bookstore. Five minutes later, I was asked for an envelope by another patron. This may seem minor to you, but we are constantly asked for envelopes, tape, glue, scissors, staplers (which we provide), three hole punches (which we provide), telephones, paper clips, liquid paper, post-it notes, paper, pens (which we provide), pencils (which we provide), directions (which we provide), band aids, hand sanitizer, proofreading of essays, correct spelling (which we provide), help in interpreting essay questions, etc. Occasionally, we get a few reference questions.

9) Last TV show I watched: The final episode of the Sopranos.

10) More horrific sight I have ever seen: My dad sunbathing is a thong.

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Monday, June 11, 2007


On Friday night, I had the pleasure of attending the launch of Sandra Kasturi's book of poems, The Animal Bridegroom. It was a well-attended event at The Central on Markham Street. Unfortunately, it was hotter than hell in there, even before the readings began. I saw a few people I hadn't seen in years, most of whom are on Facebook (like, who isn't?).

Sandra published my first poem (two, actually) about 13 years ago. I had two more published in another journal that same year, and then I gave it up and have only written a handful of poems since then. I am not really sure why, but I think that fame was getting to me.

I kept getting demands for autographs and invitations to events I had no interest in attending. I had to retreat to the sidelines. Otherwise, I would have had a Paris Hilton lifestyle, and who wants that? I took a poetry workshop a couple of years ago with Rhea Tregebov, and that was fine, but it did not kick start anything. I have been sticking to prose.

Happy Monday.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Back in the Day

Do you remember the good old days when I had lots to say, some of it even funny or interesting? Those days might be gone.

I think I might be getting another cold. The non-stop cold syndrome is the worst thing about being surrounded with children. At least it's Friday.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Social Etiquette

Caution: this is a boring post, but here it is anyway:

I think that if there's anything that I have perfected, it is standing in a line (or a queue, if you like). There is a delicate balance to be achieved. A socially-appropriate distance must be maintained between you and the person in front. One must be aware of the line as it moves, so as not to leave gaps that are too big, lest someone join the line in the middle. In summary, after so many years on this planet, I know how to stand in a line.

When making purchases, the job is somewhat easier, because one generally has a burden, be it a bunch of bananas, sausages, caviar, or champagne. And yet, when I was in line recently with a container of Baba Ghanouj and two bananas, waiting patiently to pay, an old shriveled woman came up and yelled "are you in line!" at me. She sounded like a pissed off drill sergeant.

I was startled at the volume of the question and because I was clearly in line. I am not sure if it was possible for me to be any more in line. I was as in line as I could be. Any more in line, and I would be in danger of sodomizing the person in front of me. My hands were full, and I had my wallet out, ready to pay. I was in line.

Despite all of the visual clues, this woman had no idea, or perhaps she was trying to force me out of line, maybe make me feel sorry for her and let her in. But, shortly thereafter, I realized that she was a mean old cow.

I was mid way through my transaction when I heard her yell "do you have a smaller bag!" like it was an accusation, that the clerk was holding back the small bags or that she deliberately placed her produce in an over sized bag, just for gags. She probably imagined that the clerks would all laugh at her as she left, and mutter things like, "wow, you really gave her a big bag" and "you win: that's the biggest bag I've ever seen for such a small purchase."

For some reason, the cashier missed the question and the woman let her have it with "did you hear me! I asked if you have a smaller bag ..." She then went on about the size of the bag compared with the size of her purchase.

I hope I don't end up like that.

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Monday, June 04, 2007


Endings are also beginnings. I've often thought that when reading novels or watching films. I believe this because endings are not always satisfactory, especially those children's books that conclude with the cop out "they lived happily ever after." If endings were really endings, we'd have no sequels or prequels or television shows made into films or films made into television shows. The end would be the end and that would be that. In life, the end comes in death, I think. There could be something after that, but I remain to be convinced. For me, that this is the only attractive part about dying: we get to see if there is anything after this life. I suspect that there isn't, but I am not sure I want to delve into religion right now.

There are endings and there are beginnings.

To be continued...

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Friday, June 01, 2007

A Quote

Been a lazy blogger this week, so just a short quote today from Quare Dewd: "Librarians should always get lots of sex, hot chocolate, and cash!"

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Monday, May 28, 2007

A Shoplifter Goes Down

The guy looked like he was moving in slow motion, and I wondered if he was ill, about to have some sort of seizure or simply crumble and roll down the stairs. And then, I realized that the two people behind him on the stairs that ascend from Dollar Rama in the Dufferin Mall had a good grip on his shirt and were holding him back. It made me think of those dreams where all you can do is run in slow motion. Despite his weight, which I estimated to be around 257 lbs, he was unable to free himself from the two female store clerks.

Security had been called, and, seconds later, I watched as two mall security guards sprinted down the hallway and took him down. I turned the stroller away so that my son would not witness the altercation. But, the boy kept craning his neck to get a good look. We strolled past a women with a four or five year old who scooped up her child and said something like: "look, ____, let's go see the guy in handcuffs." She ran over to the growing crowd of spectators, the kid bouncing in her arms. She was unwilling to miss any of the excitement and I wondered if this was an attempt at imparting some sort of life message.

By this time, the perp was face down on the cold and dirty Dufferin Mall floor, his hands locked behind him in silver cuffs. Soon, security had him on his feet and they led him to the interrogation room, probably room 101.

The thing that continues to perplex me is why steal from Dollar Rama?

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Meme Friday (borrowed from Anna May Won't)

Fill this out about your SENIOR year of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be. (And the older you'll feel.)

I don't think anyone in Canada uses the term senior year. For me, the last year was Grade 13, which has now been abolished and left to the history books.

1. Who was your best friend? - Keith O. & Stephen G.

2. What sports did you play? - Track (100 M, 200 M, 400 M, hurdles, relay); also cross-country team for a while.

3. What kind of car did you drive? - my dad's LTD, when he let me; my sister's boyfriend's for several weeks.

4. It's Friday night, where were you? - party, or at a friend's house with beer and movies.

5. Were you a party animal? - I guess so: there were always parties when you come from a small town.

6. Were you considered a flirt? - I have to say no.

7. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir? - not in grade 13, but I was in the Jr band in earlier years.

8. Were you a nerd? - Jesus, I hope not.

9. Did you get suspended/expelled? - Never. I was never in any kind of trouble. I was a model student, obedient and respectful.

10. Can you sing the fight song? - What is a fight song?

11. Who was your favorite teacher? - Johnny L. He made me love history; it's probably fair to say I would never have gone to University if I hadn't taken his course.

12. What was your school's full name? - Well, that's a secret.

13. School mascot? - Falcon

14. Did you go to Prom? - Now, maybe my memory is fading, but I am not sure we had a prom (and, that is a term that is not used as much as it is in the USA). There was some sort of formal dinner, I think, but I am not sure it was school-sanctioned. I recall a formal prom-like dance at the end of grade 12. I went with Lisa K.

15. If you could go back and do it over, would you? - Yes, and I would be much better at it.

16. What do you remember most about graduation? - I remember that it was odd seeing all of these people that I hadn't seen for months at the ceremony. I recall that after the ceremony, we went to J.B.'s for a party. But, after I graduated, I remember feeling like I was broke, knowing that my parents would not or could not not pay for my education. That summer, all I could get was a job planting trees, until I got a job tending bar at a local dive.

17. Where were you on senior skip day? - What the hell is Senior skip day? I remember going to the beach one day when we all should have been in math class. Is that what this means?

18. Did you have a job your senior year? - No, and I didn't want one.

19. Where did you go most often for lunch? - Cafeteria. I ate (a packed lunch) and then played euchre.

20. Have you gained weight since then? - I weigh exactly the same now as I did then.

21. What did you do after graduation? - 1) A summer of bad jobs; 2) University, intermingled with summers of bad jobs; 3) worked for MasterCard; 4) MA, mixed with being a TA and an RA; 5) worked for MasterCard, and then the University of Toronto; 6) Master of Library Science degree with summers of mediocre jobs; 7) employment; 8) I will die some day.

22. When did you graduate? - In October

23. Who was your Senior prom date? - see question 14

24. Are you going to your 10 year reunion? - I don't think my class has ever had a reunion, but I would go if there was one.

25. Who was your home room teacher? - I have no idea.

26. Who will repost this after you? As Anna May said, "Anyone who wants a walk down memory lane."

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Burning Outhouse?

I think that the political correctness movement has gone too far. Whatever happened to the Burning Schoolhouse?

I mean, this was a feature of back yard fireworks for years, the final event, the thing that all the kids waited for. They wanted to see the schoolhouse go up in flames. It capped a great evening of amateur fireworks, like nothing else.

A burning outhouse conjures up the horrible realities of burning shit (if you'll excuse the grammar).

This was taken in my neighbour's backyard last Sunday night. Canada is the only commonwealth nation to celebrate Victoria Day, and it has nothing to do with Queen Victoria. It's all about marking the day when we can go crazy with gardening, and camping, and opening cottages.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Found Money?

Fading memory irritates me more than my generally aging body. The weakening back is predictable as are the occasional aches and pains that arrived unannounced when I passed 30. I am sure that my brain will be spared the ravages of Alzheimer's, but I get concerned when I forget minor and sometimes major things.

I can usually remember how to get home on my bike. And, I park my bike in the same place everyday, so that habit will lead me there. I recall once, when returning from lunch, a feeling of panic when I noticed that my bike was gone, and then I remembered that it was in the shop for repairs. I still expect it to be stolen, 'cause that's just what happens in these parts.

I once posted on the virtues of a fading memory (a guest post on Mister Anchovy). It seems that there are other benefits that I forgot.

So, the other day, I shoved my hand into my pocket and found a $5 bill! I exclaimed to the person next to me something like, "Look, 5 bucks! I love it when that happens. It's like free money." And then, reality set in when I realized that I had worn these pants the day before and it was change from some sort of purchase.

But, this reminded me that I used to hide money in books on my bookshelf when I lived at home so that my thieving, high school drop-out brother wouldn't steal from me. The only book he ever read was the Guinness Book of World Records. I just assumed that he was looking for a record he could break, like the most uninterrupted hours of farting, the longest belch, worst breath in the western hemisphere, and the longest time spent straining on the toilet.

Once, I did find a twenty tucked in the pages of my copy of Marx's Communist Manifesto. It was just the thing I needed on a Friday night with the essay done, and a crew of people waiting for me at a bar, back in the day when a bottle of beer was under $2.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

North by Northwest

Zydeco Fish is heading north-ish to a conference for three days.

Monday, May 14, 2007

On Choirpractors and Homopaths

Every time I speak with my father, I am reminded of the bizarre way in which people from my part of Ontario speak. I mentioned that in a post entitled Dropping the Dialect. In that post, I listed a few key phrases that my father uses. Since his diagnosis with prostate cancer a few years back, he has been seeing a homeopath. He believes that this treatment has helped, and I thinks that's great, even though I am not sure that the stinky tea actually does anything. After all of this time, my father (and my sister, for that matter) are unable to pronounce homeopath.

It is pronounced thusly: 'hO-mE-&-"path

In other words, is has four syllables, including a vowel after hom and before opath. My dad (and sister) continue to say homopath. I suppose that there is a very real possibility that my father is seeing some sort of practitioner with the name homopath, but what kind of medicine or pseudo-medicine this person would dispense is too bizarre to even contemplate so early in the day. Anyway, for some reason, I haven't summoned the courage to tell him that his pronunciation is off.

And this reminds me that my grandmother says sam'ich instead of sandwich. She also cannot say chiropractor. She says choirpractor, which I gather is someone who dispenses chiropractic medicine to large groups of singers.

Anyway, today is conference week. I am at a conference as I type, and will be again tomorrow, when I am presenting with two colleagues. Then, I will be attending another conference from Wednesday to Friday, so you may not hear much from me after today.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

Dreaming of Drugs & Getting Stuff Done

Imagine drug dealers showing up with a dump truck filled with pot. I guess they overestimated the demand, and were quite put out when their buyer only wanted two or three ounces, and not several garbage bags of the stuff. There they were, two dudes in overalls shoveling weed into large bags, like it was cattle manure.

No one could have missed the huge truck stopped in the middle of the street, with these guys offering to sell Mary Jane to anyone passing by. I watched the guys do their business and then noticed a cop heading towards me. I took off and found myself in an appliance store (probably Sears) where I nonchalantly began appraising and comparing refrigerators and stoves.

Mr. Cop started to harass me and grabbed my arm tightly. I protested that watching a drug deal is a sociological event - something anyone would watch - especially given the scope of the operation. I didn't purchase any, never spoke to anyone, and only fled because I felt I had been mistaken for a buyer or seller. This cop had it out for me, and clearly wanted to take me downtown to book me on something or other. The dream ended there.

Clearly, I think the possession and sale of smallish amounts of marijuana should be decriminalized. One ought to be able to cultivate it for one's own use. Forget the wasted time and effort prosecuting small time users. That is crazy.


It's Friday and I have finally finished preparing for my presentation next Tuesday. Next week is conference craziness. I have one conference on Monday and Tuesday, and another Wednesday to Friday evening.

I have almost finished a short opinion article with a co-worker. Hopefully, that will go out soon, and then a co-worker and I have to start preparation for a major presentation for a conference taking place in a few months.

I'll be mostly away next week, so updates may not happen for a few days. Have a nice week. Don't do anything I wouldn't do. Catch you on the flip side.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Ezekiel Klaar

Well, it's been a busy week. I attended a conference on Tuesday, followed by some free food, free wine, and socializing. It was cool. Last night, I went to an association dinner with awards, free food, free wine, and socializing. Next week is conference week. I am presenting at conference that runs on Monday & Tuesday. Another conference takes up the remainder of the week. There will likely be free food and free wine and socializing - at least I hope so.

You might be interested to know that many librarians are early adopters of web 2.0 technologies. Library 2.0 has been a buzzword for a while now. This might explain why so many librarians have blogs, wikis, and are Flickr and Facebook users. Lately, there has been great interest in online virtual worlds, like Second Life. Finally, I have bent to pressure from all sides and joined Second Life. Ezekiel Klaar was born on May 8, 2007. I am not happy with my avatar by any means.

So, to begin with, I visited the McMaster University Library, but the Second Life Librarian was not in. I did access some online resources in this virtual world, which was odd, to be honest. Somehow, I ended up in some sort of adult club, but, with no virtual money, it seemed pointless, so I fled to a beach, and then to some sort of dance club, where some scantily-clad and decidedly curvy female avatar walked up to me, stood silently next to me for a few seconds, and then walked away. A friend here pointed out to me that this was just like real life.

I am not sure that I need another web 2.0 distraction, so my visits will probably be few and far better, but if you are a member, feel free to friend me. I need a tutor, badly.

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Happy Monday & Stuff

I have no plan for this post. It will be truly extemporaneous. It reminds me of the impromptu speeches we had to deliver in public school. I hated speeches and was quite relieved to be free of them, until grade 10, when our aged, decaying, and cranky teacher made us all deliver speeches. There was a mini rebellion along with a petition. But, it did no good. She even rolled out spelling tests, like we were back in grade 4.

Of course, now when I think of school, I think of Facebook, that addictive crack-cocaine site. I have some advice for the women out there: don't change your names when you get married! It makes it impossible to figure out who you are, especially when you use such crappy profile pictures. How am I supposed to know that Deb X is now Deb Y?

And another thing, I am not so sure about the choices Facebook offers to describe friendships. What does "they hooked up" mean? It sounds sexual, but who can be sure? I wish it would provide a fill-in-the-blank option, like: "They had a one night stand in Poughkeepsie 6.2 years ago;" or, "they met when he ran over her cat with his new Volkswagen."

And now, I am off to do some work. Thanks for listening.

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Thursday, May 03, 2007


Well, I am going to be away from my office on Friday. See, these incidental posts really add up. I am on my way to post 1000! ... and might get there in 4 or 5 years :-(

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Deeper into Facebook: Feathered Hair

Someday, Facebook will be banned from workplaces because it has a crack-like effect. I delve into it at lunch or during a break to see if I can uncover some familiar names or faces. There are the inevitable questions of just what exactly constitutes a friend in cyberspace, especially those you may not have seen in 20 years. Just because you knew someone, are they actually your friend? Strictly speaking, if I only added friends, in the true meaning of the word, I'd have about three friends, not the 28, or so, that I actually have at present on Facebook.

In the reality sucks part of life, I stumbled upon a certain alumni group from my high school, in which someone has posted a number of scanned images from one of my old yearbooks. The fashion disasters are rampant, dudes! I am constantly stunned by how we were all so easily duped into accepting certain fashion ideas, like feathered hair.

I had feathered hair and most of my friends had feathered hair. One could even say that, beyond the group of army cadets, most guys and girls in my school had feathered hair. This was one of those rare times in the history of civilization when men's and women's hairstyles were virtually interchangeable. And, we all know who to blame: it was Farrah Fawcett Majors.

The girls wanted to look like Farrah and the guys obviously felt that the only way to achieve any kind of relationship with her was to copy her hairstyle and try to date girls who were copying her hairstyle. But, feathered hair suited me back then: my hair was lustrous and soft and full and rich and feathery, even mellifluous.

There must have been lots of hallway conversations about hair, like:

George: What kind of hair?

Jerry: You know, long dark hair.

George: Flowing?

Jerry: Flowing?

George: Is it flowing? I like flowing, cascading hair. Thick lustrous hair is
very important to me.

Jerry: 'Thick lustrous hair is very important to me,' is that what you said?

George: Yeah, that's right.

Jerry: Just clarifying.

George: Let me ask you this. If you stick your hand in the hair is it easy to
get it out?

Jerry: Do you want to be able to get it out or do you want to not be able to
get it out?

George: I'd like to be able to get it out.

Jerry: I think you'll get it out.

I had planned an extensive discourse on velour, but that will have to wait for another day. OK, off to a meeting.

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Monday, April 30, 2007

I will not celebrate meaningless milestones

I will not celebrate meaningless milestones
I will not celebrate meaningless milestones
I will not celebrate meaningless milestones
I will not celebrate meaningless mi

OK, so for whatever it's worth - and that's probably not much - I would like to announce or point out or draw your attention to the fact that this is post #500. Big deal, you say. So do I. Of course, if I had posted with any kind of regularity, I would have reached this meaningless milestone ages ago, maybe years ago. Instead, I am reaching this magic number 4 years in.

I am not suggesting that there are 500 good posts here, simply that there are 500 posts. Sure, some suck and should never have been published. There are far too many posts that are simply apologies for not posting. There are those insidious posts that manage only to say that I have nothing to say. There are a few posts that announce I am ill. And, worst of all, the posts that repeat the message that I am ill and add absolutely nothing of substance. I should have subtracted them, and kept a real tally of real posts, but the mathematics of this proved too much for me, and so I am simply relying on the Blogger stats, which may be wrong.

There are 30 posts I consider to be my favourites. There are dozens that should be recycled, and a few phrases I would like to put on a t-shirts and sell at overly-inflated prices.

To celebrate this meaningless milestone, there will be gluten-free cake and decaf coffee at 2:00 pm.

Thanks for the get well soon comments. They worked and I am, at last, well, but not well enough to write a real post.

Comment moderation remains on: to see why, read these posts: one, two, three, four.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Still Ill

Yeah, it' sort of like the Smiths song. I am still feeling terrible. This is day three of fever, chills, headaches, etc. This is really horrible. I am beginning to think it is the flu.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Je suis malade aujourd'hui

I've come down with something: I have a fever, chills, etc.

The only thing I can report on, before going back to bed, is that I watched The Last Samurai during the weekend. I think Tom looks way too modern to play that role. He seemed completely miscast.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Rural Childhood, or Death by Automobile

I always chuckle when I remember a friend's recollection that half of his kindergarten class ended up in jail, not as kids, mind you, but later, when they had reached jailing age. It's quite a statistic.

My favourite story is the one in which a certain twin (I am not sure what the other twin was up to that day) tried to rob a convenience store with a garden rake. He had a difficult time even with the rake, for he had lost both thumbs in a motorcycle accident, and had a difficult time wielding the rake without opposable digits. I think the police managed to subdue him quickly and efficiently, before he was able to injure anyone.

That this guy was arrested has always pleased me, for my most enduring memory of him was that he fell in front of me during a cross-country skiing race in grade 8 and used his ski poles to try and trip me. That will never happen again, mostly because I haven't gone skiing recently, but I think a lack of thumbs might make skiing problematic.

One of my recollections of youth in a small town is friends and acquaintances lost in automobile accidents. I have a big list, starting with a major crash between our small town and the next. I think that three of five of the the passengers died in that crash, which was fueled by high speed and drugs. It ended in the destruction of the car and a tree. Seat belts were not really enforced back then.

Over the years, I lost a few more friends, like Callan and Philip and Leon, but these were, I think, sober accidents, the kind that might happen on open rural highways with fast cars. I am not sure if these stats are the result of lax drinking and driving laws at the time, or from excessive speed on rural roads, or from the fact that a driver's license was a requirement of life in rural areas. We needed licenses to get out of town or to transport ourselves to parties where we could drink and try to pick up chicks. Of course, I did not drink and drive, but I did accept rides from those who had too much to drink. That was a bad scene, and I am happy that I made it out alive.

Comment moderation remains on: to see why, read these posts: one, two, three, four.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

I've tried compiling a list of adjectives to describe this film. Here are a few: juvenile, stupid, moronic, disappointing, ridiculous, dumb, boring, idiotic. Should I go on?

I can laugh at humour that is not politically-correct. I can laugh at dumb stunts, like Jackass. I can laugh at weak non-intellectual comedy. But, Borat simply stinks.

The fact is that most of the humour is cruel. I was amazed to learn that most of the scenes were not staged, making this seem extra cruel.

I really wish that Sacha Baron Cohen would have used a fictional country, rather than Kazakhstan. I am sure that had he done so, few people would have even noticed that the country was fictitious, and he wouldn't have slandered an entire nation.

So, there is plenty of low ball bathroom humour, but this is not brilliant film making. It is appallingly stupid.

I am off to the dentist to have my new crown installed. Later.

Comment moderation remains on: to see why, read these posts: one, two, three, four.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech

Shocking news from Virginia Tech today. I am left wondering what it will take to finally convince lawmakers to make some serious changes to gun control legislation. It stands to reason that if you make the acquisition of guns far more difficult, there will be less violent crime and, hopefully, fewer incidents like this. I strongly believe that the right to keep and bear arms should not be entrenched in the US - or any other - Constitution.

Comment moderation remains on: to see why, read these posts: one, two, three, four.

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