Wednesday, February 28, 2007

MasterCard Sucks

I liked the fact that I could pick up the phone, order food, and give my credit card number and expiry date without having to read the digits off my credit card. I had that card so long, I even knew the security code on the back. Of course, I have also memorized my banking client card number, driver's licence number, social insurance number, library barcode, an array of PIN numbers, as well as my phone numbers, shoe size, date of birth, address, age and IQ.

And then, it all fell apart. MasterCard sent me a new card with a new number because they were sort of sure that someone might have gained access to my number, but they couldn't say exactly how or when, but that it didn't happen at MasterCard.

Hey, MasterCard, I used to work for you, right in the credit department of the very same institution that issued this card. Let me just remind you that two people were terminated when I worked there for fraud. I don't think you can be so sure of that statement.

Now, you might say "fine, just memorize the freakin' new number!" It's not that easy. You can't teach an old dog new tricks. If I commit that number to memory, a process that could take months or years, I will have to purge other numeric data from my memory.

To prove this theory, I made an effort to memorize the new number. Just as I had mastered the first 5 digits, I got another letter from MasterCard with yet another new card and a new number for the same reasons with no explanation. What's the point of memorizing a new number if I am going to receive 12 new cards per year? My brain can't deal with that.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Dead Bloggers

I am not planning on shuffling off this mortal coil, running down the curtain and joining the bleedin' choir invisible, but I have been wondering about what happens when bloggers die and go to heaven or hell or whatever. There are well over 100 million blogs, most of them inactive, and it makes me wonder whether these inactive blogs are run by chaps who are off pining for the fjords, or if they have passed on, gone to meet their makers.

Should I leave my password to someone so that s/he can post my obituary, written by me of course? Should I just fade into oblivion, leaving legions of people to wonder just what happened to me? Should I blog from the other side? Should I will my blog to someone and hope that they will be as funny as me?

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Monday, February 26, 2007

From the Archives

Some time ago, my mother began bequeathing things on me. There was, of course, the bedpan, and other associated goodies. My favourite item was an old letter from a great uncle that recounted in a very detached and matter-of-fact manner that his house had just burned down and that the family had lost everything, less the clothes on their backs.

I am always surprised that she has anything left to give me, because she relentlessly turfed everything that had no utility over the years. She even threw out music if she didn't like it. So went one of my Van Morrison albums, because she objected to the song title TB Sheets. A Jethro Tull album met the same fate, because of the lyric "snot is running down his nose" (from Aqualung). All of the toys went in lawn sales so that she could buy cigarettes. There was no way to stop her and so no one tried.

I was surprised when she gave me this item that I made when I was five years old. By the way, the last line translates to "I love you because you are taking me to Miami." I used some invented spelling there. Clearly, I was happy to have clean clothes and food.

I am sure lots of people have things like this from their childhood, many of which are unintentionally funny. I say, share them with the world.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Have a Great Weekend

I am out-of-the-office all day Friday at a board meeting. So, instead of a real post, here are some keywords recently used to find my site. This always makes me chuckle.

virility restored
found my budgies dead
"more thoughts on medieval farting" (some chap from England)
cybil sheppard and elvis
cybil sheppard naked
beauty ass filipina
where the snow come from?
i am tired of work
is super glue bad for fish
Trump' wig hair ? lol
photo of fractured penis
nice box
to hell or connaught with you cromwell
canadian tire jingle
Xaviera Hollander + ontario
sexy banana eating
"open toe boots"
+"didn't have a penis"
"wee in the bath"
ivanka trump breasts
dating your 1st cousin
embalming fluid in soda

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

I suppose I should tell you where this comes from. You can make your own card on John's Blyberg's card generator. Just don't ask me to provide you with any subject headings or call numbers. I've lost my Cutter table anyway. It even lets you add those scribbles.

While at, I discovered that John has left AADL and is going to Darien Public Library. Of course, if you are not a librarian, this will mean nothing to you. If you are, you will already know that AADL has received lots of attention for its innovative web design.

I didn't mind cycling in the very heavy snow this morning. It was like a winter wonderland. Those huge flakes remind me of my childhood and it was a very pleasant ride, until I realized that most of the roads were covered in sheets of ice. That was OK too, until I fell off my bike, while stopped, no less. Then, it began to rain, and I was no longer a happy winter cyclist.

I'd write more, but I have to go off and interview someone for a job. Such is life.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Reading Week

It's quiet around here, and by here, I mean the Library. It's reading week, and most of the students have scurried away. I suspect that some are actually reading or studying, but I know that others are skiing and drinking and cruising the beaches in Florida. I regret that I never once went to Florida for a week of excess.

Of course, I was never entirely sure how these students could afford that, since I was barely scraping by during my undergrad. After eight years and three degrees, I had an $18,000 debt. I know, many people had much larger debts thanks to OSAP, so I consider myself to be lucky.

But, it is quiet and the reference desk is quiet and I am getting stuff done. You'd think with all of this quiet, I'd be able to write an interesting or funny post. The fact is that Linwood Barclay stole my idea, and now I have writer's block or blogger's block. In a recent column in the Star, he wrote about the Telus porn plan. I'll never forgive him. We even had the same jokes. You can read it here.

Update: I just got a haircut. Thought you'd like to know.

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Monday, February 19, 2007


Let's leave the issue of plagiarism aside - just for the moment - and concentrate on the film itself. Zoolander sucks. It stinks. It's boring. I'll never get that 89 minutes back. I am thinking of suing the bastards.

I recall that a vague chuckle emanated from my throat once, but it was decidedly less than hearty. I was completely and utterly bored, but I persisted, assuming that it would get funny soon. It never did. Stupid stupid stupid film.

OK, so maybe I am some sort of statistical outlier, but I really do not think that this is a funny film. I should point out that I enjoy films with dimwits as much as the next guy. For example, I usually like watching Hugh Grant films. Owen Wilson is usually good for a laugh too, but not this time. I'd even go as far as to say that any film with that Adam Sandler is probably better.

Apparently, Bret Easton Ellis has claimed that the film was plagiarized from one of his novels and that he reached an out-of-court settlement. Who knows if this is true?

Perhaps this is a love it or hate it film. I hate it.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

It's Friday

... and I have a cold. Another cold. I am cold man. I just keep getting colds. It sucks. Because I have a cold, I have very little to say. I'll just report on some news. Super Happy Jen had a baby. Photos are here. He's cute.

From CNN: "In parts of China, black ants are sold by the bagful to be steeped in tea or soaked in liquor as a natural remedy for ailments such as arthritis." I can tell you which option I would choose, if someone held a gun to my head, that is. Who would want to drink anything that contained ants. It makes no sense at all. Someone please explain this to me.

Have a happy Friday. I'd like to take a nap, but I can't.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Lesser Way (or Why I Hate the TTC)

I didn't cycle yesterday, having struggled through the snow late the previous night. I should have, because every time I take the subway, it is a disaster. There's the mad rush across floors covered in pools of brown salty dirty water. Or, I get stuck behind someone who is ambulating so slowly, it's like they are in reverse.

At my subway stop, I had to wait ten minutes for a train to show up. When it did, the train was packed like a can of sardines. I had to let that one go. The second train, a further ten minutes later, was also overflowing. I thought when the doors opened, people would spill out onto the platform. I let that train go. But, a few eager frottagers squeezed into the melee. I chose to wait a further eight to ten minutes for train number 3. Sadly, it was also full.

Finally, when train number four arrived, I walked into a car with serious amounts of space, and then a wall of people behind me forced me into the centre. I was swept up in a mini hurricane of people, and when the doors finally shut, I was face to face with a man who smelled of rotten ham.

So, today, I cycled in minus 20 degree Celsius weather. It was refreshing (despite the stench of an occasional tail pipe). I reminded myself that I am getting fresh air, sunshine, and exercise. I am also not burning fossil fuels, or risking death by crushing in the tunnels below the city. I am also saving money. The damn TTC is way too expensive.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Meetings, Bloody Meetings

OK, so I reused this title. I can't be expected to be original every day, can I?

Today commenced with a meeting, two hours long, and then I had lunch, not two hours long, and then a meeting, one hour long, and soon I have another meeting, two hours long. In the few minutes I had to spare, I did some work, but I am seriously behind. I have things to do and not enough time to do them.

Sorry, I have to run.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007

Dear Moron

If you are going to insult me, at least do it correctly. I deleted your comment because you are a coward and posted anonymously. If you had been man enough to sign in, I would have left your profane and intolerant comment for everyone to see what a microcephalic imbecile you are.

I am not gay, even though many people assume that I am. So, the beginning of your comment: "Listen up you nerdy faggot" is way off. I do have lots of gay friends, and I think that all gay people should be treated equally. By the way, I am sure you will be happy to hear that Ontario's Health Minister, George Simtherman, has announced that he will be marrying his partner, Christopher Peloso.

You must really hate gay people if the first thing out of your mouth is an anti-gay statement. You are a coward and a homophobe. I can't quote the next part of your ungrammatical comment in which you reference a certain sexual act that many people (both men and women) enjoy. The first two things you can think to use as insults are anti-gay?

You remind me of a famous organization that was eager to promote its cause by hiding behind white gowns and masks. I imagine you liked to hide behind your mamma's skirt too, right?

I have to hand it to you though: you do have a way with language, although you forgot the punctuation. Let's take this example: "so you ass licking poofter with no bollocks watch your step." Watch my step, or what? Are you going to get on a plane and track me down? It's a really long flight, you know. And "poofter"? - another anti-gay reference. How tiring.

The truth is, I know who you are and if you ever leave a comment like that I will post your URL for everyone to see what a total bastard you are.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Cockroach Dreams

Help. I've been dreaming about cockroaches, again. The first time, they were somehow crossed with spiders. This time, I had a dream in which I was swimming in some sort of indoor stream. It was refreshing and cool with gentle flowing parts. I remember coming up for air and seeing a dying roach flailing in the water just inches from my face. I tried to swim away from it, but it just kept getting closer, seemingly drawn by the current. Worried that I would end up swallowing it, I back peddled, but it did no good. Oddly, I was quite relieved when I realized that I had swallowed it, because it meant that I no longer had to fight to get away from it.

I looked up what it means to dream about cockroaches. From Dream Moods:

"To see cockroaches in your dream, signifies your need for renewal, rejuvenation and self-cleansing of your psychological, emotional, or spiritual being. You need to reevaluate major aspects of your life."


"To see roaches in your dream, represents an undesirable aspect of yourself in which you need to confront. Alternatively, it may be a pun for smoking marijuana. On a positive note, roaches may also be symbolic of tenacity and longevity."

I'll go with tenacity and longevity. Another site suggested something about finances. I have yet to find an interpretation about eating a cockroach. Maybe I was just hungry?

P.S. You can thank me for not posting a photo of a roach.

Listening to: silence

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Corporate Sponsor

If you have watched The Corporation, you will have learned that many corporations are evil, and even considered by some to be psychopaths. It's a fascinating film and well worth viewing.

Despite the portrayal of the corporation as an obnoxious world citizen, I couldn't help but be fascinated by the two college dudes who managed to secure corporate sponsorships enabling them to fund their university education, complete with a BMW. Evidently, there are some corporations who will pay people to wear it's clothes.

I've been waiting for this. I generally make it a point to avoid logos and trademarks on my clothes: hence, I own no Tommy Hilfiger rags. But, that would all change for a few bucks here and there. For enough money, I would even wear pink and a jaunty hat.

I have often reflected that a sponsor for my photoblog would be swell. If only Canon or Nikon would slide some equipment my way, I would happily embellish my site with a corporate logo.

So, I will close with an open call to the various corporations out there to please consider sponsoring me. I have a few restrictions, however. Your corporation can't operate any sweatshops or utilize child labour (sorry Nike, GAP, Nestle, Wal-Mart, and Levis - you're out). Your corporation must have an excellent environmental & human rights record (sorry Chevron, Coca-Cola, Dow, DynCorp, Monsanto, Suez-Lyonnaise Des Eaux - you're out too).


Zydeco Fish, Inc.

Listening to: Brian Eno - Another Day on Earth

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Three Youthful Misconceptions

( 1 )

As a young child, I thought that royalty spent whole days sitting on their thrones. Oh, and this is not an oblique reference to the toilet. I imagined them sitting on large ornate jewel-encrusted chairs dispensing orders, wisdom, and armies, while receiving important visitors, taxes, and the heads of traitors. The thrones - I suppose in the throne room or thronery - were surrounded by pools of gold and silver and precious stones, just like many of us are surrounded by piles of laundry and dust.

I recall being stunned at the sight of Prince Philip in a suit, just like my dad's. Well, no that is not entirely true: Philip's suit had a nice cut and a modest tie, unlike the graphic mayhem on my dad's tie and his regrettable experimentation with the leisure suit. By the way, let's abolish the monarchy. It's a useless anachronism.

( 2 )

When I was ten years old, I felt that we had reached the end of war. Sure, there were a few local battles, mostly in the developing world, but the major western powers seemed to have overcome their war lust. I honestly remember thinking that there would be no more veterans, that the last would die off, and then it would all be a distant memory. I wondered how difficult it would be to rally any kind of support for Remembrance Day with no one left to describe the horrors to us. As a child, Vietnam was behind me too. Boy, was I optimistic.

( 3 )

I thought that my parents had good taste in music.

Listening to: Pete Namlook & Peter Prochir - Possible Gardens

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Conference Review

I wish I had taken a photo of the carpeting at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. It is the ugliest, most disgusting, and nauseating carpet I have ever seen. I have to think it was some sort of sick joke. There are two varieties: the first in the open areas, although ugly, retains some dignity in it's restrained geometry. In the meeting rooms, all hell breaks loose. I still haven't determined if the design is supposed to resemble a plant - perhaps a pea pod - or a pupal casing.

Late Friday, after the AGM for a division I am a member of (or, of which I am a member), I headed to the reception, a few minutes late. I asked a colleague when the food was coming, as all I could see were lengths of empty tables, laid out with white hotel table cloths. "Oh", he said, "the food is gone already." In the twenty minutes that had expired, while I lingered over the last half a glass of wine and chatted with friends and colleagues, hundreds of librarians had devoured all of the food. In the distance, I saw a man, dressed in white wielding a knife, presiding over a hunk of beef the size of a Smart car. I thought it might have been a mirage.

I gravitated to him, found a plate, and he hacked off a piece of bloody beef. I declined the bread roll, as I cannot eat wheat, and looked for cutlery. Finding only a fork, I attempted to cut the flesh with the blunt side of the implement. Failing in that task, I picked up the bloody meat with my hands and ripped at it with my teeth. I was thankful for the dim light, for I think I looked like a lion gnawing on the belly of some unfortunate ungulate. I wiped away the juices flowing down my chin, took a sip of wine, and reflected on the fact that I used to be a vegetarian. How things change.

Listening to: Beck - The Information.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

I Have Returned

During the one day mini-conference that preceded the Ontario Library Association's Super Conference, I sat behind a woman who spent most of the day knitting. Now, I am sure that knitting is a wonderful pastime. One must get an extraordinary sense of accomplishment out of giving useful form to something shaved from the hide of the Ovis Aries. Still, it was a bit odd, to me anyway. And, she never even offered to make me socks or a sweater.

The guy next to me looked exactly like Abraham Lincoln, only much much greyer. Whenever I think of Abraham Lincoln, I have a visual image of him in a top hat and tux. I think that might have something to do with a Star Trek episode I once saw.

But, the worst thing about this event was the chairs. Clearly, they were designed by some sort of Sadist. I have never been so uncomfortable. Well, there was that time in the Hummingbird Centre after 4 hours of Wagner, but that was to be expected. I kept looking over at Lincoln, expecting him to be all presidential and to veto the chairs, but he looked so peaceful and relaxed.

I'd like to say a few things about the conference, but I am off to a long meeting (2 hours or more), so it will have to wait until tomorrow.

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