Monday, March 31, 2008

Ringo has a Really Big Nose

My daughter, almost 7 years old, has a growing fondness for the Beatles, largely because she recently watched Help! She loved the madcap adventures of the four motley gentlemen from Liverpool very much. But, I now have a suspicion that she thinks Ringo is called Ringo because he was in possession of the sacrificial ring in that film.

We sat down and had a look at some Beatles clips on Youtube and had a wide ranging discussion of all things Beatles. Mostly, she wanted to know who sang what and why didn't Ringo sing more songs. That is not a complex question, but diplomacy won out in the end. I didn't want to slight Ringo in any way. But, then she said that Ringo is a really good drummer, perhaps the best she's ever heard, aside from the drummer in the Doodlebops, perhaps.

I resisted the urge to pass on my favourite John Lennon quote, which was his reply to an interviewer's question as to whether Ringo is the best drummer in the world.

John said: "He's not even the best drummer in the Beatles." Oh, so cutting and so true.

My daughter went on to ask:

"Why does George look depressed?" Hmmm, does he? I thought she would have said something about his ears.

"Why was John shot?" Now that is a tough question, and I really didn't answer it very well. I hardly knew what to say. I remember that day as clearly as it was yesterday, but I am not sure anyone could really answer that question, especially when the person asking is so young and innocent.

I wondered if she was so fond of Ringo because she knows that John and George are dead. Perhaps she is subconsciously aware of the McCartney-Mills fiasco, and so Ringo appears to be the least damaged, but then we did a quick Google image search and she read a caption beneath a photo of Ringo and said "Ringo had a second wife?" Maybe the infatuation died there, because she followed that with "Ringo has a really big nose!"

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Killer Coke is a fascinating site. Just make sure you don't type, or you'll end up in a corporate Coca Cola site. There is a quick re-direct to that most web surfers would not even notice. This stinks, if you ask me, because I am sure that Coca-Cola would never permit anyone to redirect traffic from a URL that is almost identical to to any other web site.

I hope everyone turned their lights out for the hour between 8:00 and 9:00 PM.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Lisa and Brian and Helen and John and Anne and George

It turns out that your name can say a lot about you. Some dude named Richard Wiseman collected the opinions of 6000 people on names and it turns out that some names are poorly perceived. The Name Experiment came to these conclusions:
Least successful: Lisa and Brian
Least lucky: Helen and John
Least attractive: Ann and George
I think this is silly. What about Burritt or Laksmono or Abundie or Nattapong? What about Pornwadee or Thembisa or Berneatha or Mistymarie? You can't tell me that Rupert is more attractive than George or that Chastity is more successful than Lisa.

But, I just realized that this survey happened in the UK, so it all makes sense. Happy Friday.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Bible is Dumb and so is the New Testament

"He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD." -- Deuteronomy 23:1

"When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property." Exodus 21:20-21.

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." Ephesians 5:22-24.

Yup. there are pages and pages of dumb statements in both books. I'd go on, but I have things to do and this would take all day.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New Music

Some music currently in rotation on my MP3 player or stereo:

1) Feu Thérèse - I have been spinning their latest, Ça Va Cogner, and am quite enjoying the dark pop mayhem.

"The Feu Therese mandate of knitting critical and non-conformist elements right into their song structures, instead of having these 'collide' with the music as if from outside, has reached a new level of bizarre sublimation on their new record."

2) Metric - Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? I really like Dead Disco. Metric might best be described as 21st Century New Wave.

3 & 4) Hrsta - Ghosts Will Come And Kiss Our Eyes, a "collection of gently foreboding psych-folk" and L'éclat du ciel était insoutenable - "infused with endless waves of psilocybin pathos..."

5 & 6) Hangedup - Kicker in Tow and Clatter for Control are the 2nd and 3rd releases from this Montreal-based viola & drum duo. Both are sublime.

"On [Kicker in Tow], they prove themselves one of the most powerful, hypnotic and relentless duos currently mining the subterrain of instrumental avant rock. Genevieve Heistek's amplified viola screams through a propulsive blend of drones and doublestops, while Eric Craven's drumming spurts and hisses like an ornate, early-industrial steam engine."

On Clatter for Control "Gen's bi-amplified viola rig, linked to a live audio looper, creates a vortex of jigs, reels and air-raid drones, pummeled along by some of the heaviest polyrhythmic skinbeating we've ever heard."

More later, maybe.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


My mother isn't dying, exactly. She probably has a good deal of life left in her, but you'd never know it to look at her. She's not old, really, but she looks it. Still recovering from a broken hip, she lies in a bed in a home because her mother, about to turn 89, can't look after her and will probably end up in some sort of retirement home herself.

I didn't ask if she is still wearing Depends and I didn't stay long enough to find out for myself, but I did wonder about the mixture of smells emanating from the facility. It was like the smell old, mixed with chicken soup, feet, and disinfectant.

The kids and I hovered by the end of the bed while I tried to communicate with her. No, she isn't quite sure how her hip was fixed, whether the surgeons used pins or not. No, she is not sure when she will be able to give up her walker, or when she will be able to walk farther than a few feet without assistance. "They tell me I'll be able to walk again," but she didn't sound very sure of her statement.

In the room she shares with three other women, there were two TVs competing with each other. The kids, not accustomed to the sight of people slowly dying, turned their gazes to the closest TV and watched a women in the final stages of labour, ultimately giving birth to a baby in a birthing pool. The scenes were tastefully done, but an old woman asked me pointedly if they should be watching such as thing as a woman having a baby. Imagine the nerve. Of course they can watch, I retorted, but I wish I had been blunter. She ambled past me in her walker, out to catch some excitement in the common room, I presume.

After 40 minutes, I could not longer resist the pleas to leave (but part of that probably had to do with the upcoming Easter egg hunt), and I had to admit that any longer might do psychological damage to me as well. We set off the door alarm on the way out, just as we did upon arrival.

My mother is on a waiting list for a bed in a home close to my sister's house. A bed should be free in two to four months, or, as soon as someone dies.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Monday

According to Wikipedia, which is occasionally wrong, "Easter Monday is an official holiday in the following countries:" The list that follows includes Canada. Wrong again, Wikipedia. I am at work today, right now on Easter Monday. Banks, the government, and schools observe Easter Monday as a holiday, but the vast majority of people in Canada have to work.

It's terribly sad, I know, and I would much prefer to be at home, shoveling what I hope is the last snow of the winter.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Stop Whining

Anne Murray, who had turned her back on the Juno Awards for years and years, until she was admitted to the Juno Hall of Fame, is upset that she was left off the ballot for best album. So, now we have six nominees instead of five, leading her to state that: "The person who is not supposed to be in there could conceivably win." So what? The whole awards process stinks anyway. Imagine a system where the nominees are chosen simply based on sales? I can assure that the top five best selling albums are generally not even close to the best albums of the year.

This year, the nominees for Album of the Year include the screaming Celine Dion, the woman who has a voice like Mac Truck and a face like an Afghan Hound. I have never ever seen the appeal of her ear-wrenching noise. Worse, she has two albums in the running. If there is any justice, the award should go to Feist. She deserves it.

Maybe Anne Murray should win a the category of best music for nursing and retirement homes. You know, music for geriatrics, the infirm, the incontinent, and the nearly dead.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fire Destroys Bush Presidential Library

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A tragic fire on Monday destroyed the personal library of President George W. Bush. Both of his books have been lost.

Presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer said the president was devastated, as he had not yet finished coloring the second one.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dirty Butts

Chances are that someone reading this post is a smoker. That's OK. You can smoke. I don't really care, unless you are polluting my air, as my mother did for my entire childhood. I have vivid memories of being ferried around in our car filled with smoke and being unable to roll down the window in winter. Our house stank of smoke. My clothes always stank of smoke. I hated it.

Now, I have a question for those of you who do smoke, and that is why do so many smokers flick their butts onto the ground? In my opinion, that is littering. I realize that not all smokers do this, but it is clear that many do, as evidenced by a photograph in The Fixer's column in yesterday's Toronto Star. Yup, that's a mound of disgusting cigarette butts. It can take up to 15 years for these butts to decay, and while they do, they release toxic crap. Worse, it seems to me that many smokers expect someone else to pick up after them. I would be very surprised if these same smokers throw their butts on their own property or leave them on their living room floors. Why do they think it's OK to throw them on the sidewalk?

At my place of employment, there are large "no smoking within so many feet" signs that absolutely no one pays any attention to. Smokers light up right under them, or they huddle in the doorways to the building and we non-smokers are forced to breathe in their foul effluence. And this, naturally, returns us to the question of second-hand smoke.

There was a time when I called myself a Joe Jackson fan. Those days are done. The man has his head up his ass if he thinks that second-hand smoke is harmless. His argument is an amazing display of intellectual collapse. It fails to cohere and he throws out opinions without any credible scientific fact to support them. Instead, he pokes holes in the articles that suggest that second-hand smoking is harmful, but this is done without sufficient scientific rigor. Mr. Jackson, if you want to attack the weight of the scientific evidence, you need a real study with real controls.

Jackson accuses those people advocating for a smoking ban in public spaces as being part of a "junk science bonanza"! Of course, this is all in defense of his addiction. Besides, even if it turns out that there is no conclusive proof that second-hand smoke is harmless (doubtful considering all of the chemicals in tobacco), I hate smelling like an ashtray after a night in the pub with friends. Thank god for the ban in Ontario. I am so happy that I can breath in bars and restaurants.

I worked as a bartender one summer during my undergrad and I swear the thick fog of smoke took years of my life. Mr. Jackson, if you are really pro-choice, as you say, then you would permit those who work in public places to have a choice too. I choose no smoke.

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patrick's Day

In honour of St. Patrick's Day, I present a brief list of Irish things that I like as well as an anti-list of things I don't like, right off the top of my head. I should point out that I have never been to Ireland, but a great grandmother was born there.

The Good List

1) The Pogues - some really fine music with some punk-like political outspokenness.

2) Van Morrison - "Morrison is widely considered one of the most unusual and influential vocalists in the history of rock and roll" (Wikipedia)

3) Irish (Gaeilge) - I like the sound of the language.

4) Stout - but I can no longer drink it :-(

5) The Craythur, or uisce beatha :-)

6) Leprechaun - I want one to show me the way to a pot-of-gold, or two.

The Anti-List

1) U2 - The Unforgettable Fire was OK, but I think that the Joshua Tree is the most over-rated album in the history of music. All-in-all, I find them to be a very mediocre group.

2) Riverdance - I can see the appeal of the tap dance, but not Riverdance: it's far too upright, or something. Same goes for Lord of the Dance.

3) Green - It doesn't really suit me, unless it's a mossy green.

4) Colm Meaney - The man can't act!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Time Travel

One of the things that has always irritated me about the concept of time travel is the idea that you could go back in time and alter the future. Back to Future is based on this principle, as are a good number of Star Trek episodes, as well as the entire Terminator franchise (movies and the TV series). I have always liked the idea of time travel, but the notion that you could somehow prevent your own birth perplexes me. I mean, if that were true, then you would never have been born in the first place. Surely you see what I mean.

My favorite comment on time travel is from Stephen Hawking, who said:
"So it might seem possible, that as we advance in science and technology, we might be able to construct a wormhole, or warp space and time in some other way, so as to be able to travel into our past. If this were the case, it would raise a whole host of questions and problems. One of these is, if sometime in the future, we learn to travel in time, why hasn't someone come back from the future, to tell us how to do it."
That's a damn good question, Mr. Hawking. He also notes that we have not been "over run by tourists from the future." Imagine meeting your great great great grandchildren. That would be screwed up. So, Hawking has already confirmed my belief that we cannot travel through time.

But, a new study argues that, if time travel does become possible, there will be certain constants that cannot be changed. So, as much as I'd love to travel back in time and prevent the invention of leaf blowers and stickers on fruits and vegetables, the new model for time travel suggests that this is not possible.

Before we talk about this new idea, I feel that I should point out that this so-called new model was my idea all along, but since I am not a theoretical physicist (well, not in the conventional sense), I could not attract any attention to it and no one would publish my idea because I could not support it with proper mathematical formulae.

Anyway, on to the "new" model:
"Researchers speculate that time travel can occur within a kind of feedback loop where backwards movement is possible, but only in a way that is 'complementary' to the present.

In other words, you can pop back in time and have a look around, but you cannot do anything that will alter the present you left behind."
I still don't believe we will ever be able to travel through time, but this model makes sense to me. So, take that Star Trek, and your stupid Temporal Prime Directive.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Zydeco Fish

Isn't this weird? Someone has made a video about me :-) It's even called Zydeco Fish.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Conversation with a Driver

Have you ever had a conversation and later wished that you could redo it? I had one the other day, when a co-worker asked if I still cycled in the winter.

"Yes," I replied.

"Are you one of those cyclists who take up a entire lane?" she wanted to know. Man, her antipathy and fury towards cyclists was so complete, I thought she was going to lose it, but she added a meek laugh at the end to cover up her anger.

I said something like, "occasionally, we have to use the entire lane because of potholes, manhole covers, grates, ice, snow, etc. What I should have said is "are you one of those drivers who park or drive in the bike lane?"

And then, she asked, "are you one of those cyclists who swerve around cars?" I said something like, "I go around cars that are turning right, because it is safer, and I do pass cars that are driving slower than I am cycling. I pass taxis that are picking up or dropping off fares, because, otherwise, you might get doored."

What I should have said was "are you one of those drivers who opens your door without checking to see if there are bicycles coming? Are you one of those drivers who turn right in front of cyclists without shoulder-checking? Are you one of those drivers who pull over to the side of the road without shoulder-checking? Are you one of those drivers who get in their car to take a two minute drive to pick up milk or cigarettes from your corner store? Are you one of those drivers who is contributing to global warming while I freeze my face off in winter while I get some exercise?"

And, I just found this in the Highway Traffic Act:
Use of radio headphones prohibited

215 No driver of a motor vehicle or operator of a bicycle shall, while operating the motor vehicle or bicycle on a highway, wear, on both ears, headphones which are used for the purpose of listening to a radio or a recording.
So, Running42K, you are a law breaker.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Water, or Please don't Flush your Meds!

Some scary articles:

1) Tainted drinking water kept under wraps:

"When water providers find pharmaceuticals in drinking water, they rarely tell the public. When researchers make the same discoveries, they usually don’t identify the cities involved."

2) How meds in water could impact human cells:

"Our research shows mixtures are so prevalent,” said Dana Kolpin, a U.S. Geological Survey water expert who launched a plethora of research in 2002 after finding pharmaceuticals in most samples taken from 139 streams in 30 states. “If there are any cumulative or additive issues, you can’t just dismiss things so quickly.”

3) Pharmaceuticals lurking in U.S. drinking water:

"A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows."

4) How safe is your city's drinking water?:

"Some water systems said tests had been negative, but the AP found independent research showing otherwise. Both prescription and non-prescription drugs were detected."

5) Study finds pharmaceuticals common in Cdn water:

"Painkillers, anti-inflammatories and prescription drugs used to treat epilepsy and blood cholesterol were found in waters near sewage treatment plants across the country, according to the first Canadian study of the problem paid for in part by Environment Canada and obtained under the Access to Information Act."

Thou shall not pollute the Earth

In related news, the Vatican listed new sins recently, and it is interesting to note that one of the new sins is pollution. Flushing your unused medication is pollution. Take them back to the pharmacy, please.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Riders on the Storm

I think it was Wisconsin, home to Eric Forman, where it happened. Suddenly, dozens of tornadoes fell out of the sky: I sprinted to get my camera. I shot some amazing photos of tornadoes ripping up the state. I caught them forming, coming down, destroying, dissipating. Some even looked like mushroom clouds. Some where all white, some black and sinister.

In the distance, I saw a hot air balloon caught in the raging clouds, but accepted a companion's explanation that they were riding the storm. It was some sort of new extreme sport. Soon, the balloon came near, rising and falling like a giant yo-yo (speaking of which, I saw a clip on TV that suggested that the yo-yo was invented as a weapon, but the Wikipedia suggests otherwise). I was almost crushed by the gondola, but I managed to get an amazing photo of it from directly below with an enormous black funnel cloud looming above.

Just then, the tiger cub escaped and so did its lunch, which was a small colony of rats and mice. They scattered everywhere, perhaps alarmed by the storms. In despair, the apparent owner of the cub attached his pick up truck to a hot air balloon, intent on riding the storm in his F350. But, someone lassoed the escaped feline, and everything returned to normal, although the storms continued, inexorably.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Pillows and more on Last Chance U

They looked fluffy, and I was worried, but they flattened out nicely under the weight of my head. Oh, thank you Quality Hotel, thank you. You saved me from a stiff neck. Yes, that has been my curse: pillows that make it feel like I am sleeping on a concrete block; pillows that force my chin into my chest or force my head back so far when stretched out on my stomach, it feels like I am being given slow whiplash; pillows that cause major neck destruction, and every hotel has them, or so I thought. Who can sleep on a pillow that thick? It makes no sense at all. Do you walk around with some brace forcing your head into your chest? Of course not, so why should your pillow be 10 inches thick?

I have actually resorted to folding up towels and putting them in pillow cases to form pseudo-pillows in my hotel travels around North America. On other occasions, I have dispensed with the pillow entirely, like in Edmonton, where the room had 8 pillows, all of them part of a sinister terrorist plot to ruin my cervical vertebrae. The CIA might consider recruiting hotel pillows as part of its torture program against extrajudicial Al-Quaeda captives. I think such pillows would be more effective than waterboarding.

But, thanks to the Quality Hotel, I was able to get a good night's sleep and enjoy my conference at the U of Zero, as a colleague calls the U of O.

Back to the topic of Last Chance U, it could be Lakehead. I recall this university being derided when I was in high school, and so I did a brief web search and found this comment about Lakehead:
i can´t go on with saying that you are the worst in canada because i don´t know all of canadian universities. but i can say you are one of the suckiest in ontario.

you are down there with nipissing/windsor/laurentian. i would personally go to the baby university (uoit) than your crappy school. (link)
Maybe there are several last chance Us. Happy Friday, people.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Late Trains, Ex-Cons, and our own Mr. Bean

I am not sure if I am ever happy to be in Ottawa, especially not in winter. It's so freakin' cold in the nation's capital, which is probably why we have so many corrupt politicians. That kind of weather would make anyone sour and turn them criminal. Just ask our cab driver.

We hopped in a cab at the train station after an extra long train trip. Our four hour trip became five hours because of some delays, like a broken down train ahead of us. It is a little odd to be suddenly moving in reverse, tracking over ground we had already passed so that we could change tracks and skirt the dead train ahead. Anyway, we made it, somewhat later than we had planned. Then, we were off to the Ottawa Market were I had a salmon fillet that cost $29 plus two $8 glasses of Shiraz. Maybe that is why we have so many corrupt politicians.

Our taxi driver decided to be our personal tour guide, pointing our things like the RCMP Headquarters, the University of Ottawa/L’Université d’Ottawa, and the old jail. And then he added that "I did time there in '65." At least we knew it wasn't for murder, 'cause he'd have been locked up for a lot longer than that. He had tats all over both hands, and I assume over the rest of his body as well, which is odd because he looked so clean cut otherwise. I guess he has rehabilitated himself. I regret not asking what his crime was. Maybe he had been a corrupt politician?

And then it snowed again. It snowed a lot more.

* * *

Every time I travel with a certain colleague, he manages to be the source of immense amounts of unintentional hilarity. For one thing, he can sleep anywhere. He slept in the car most of the way back from Brock University (the real Last Chance U, if you ask me, even though Google thinks it's Carleton). He slept in the most uncomfortable chair I have ever seen while awaiting the beginning of a lecture at McMaster University. He managed to sleep for most of the train ride back from Ottawa, even after mentioning that he woke up at 3:00 AM the previous night. And, he blamed it on jet lag after his flight back from Shanghai, even though I assume that he must have slept the whole way back :-) The funniest thing is that he always puts on his coat and wears it like some sort of sleeping bag, with the hood pulled down over his face. I'd post a photo (which I have) but perhaps I better not do that.

Anyway, I can't give you a rundown of this man's hilariousness: that would consume way too much time and space, so I'll just leave you with one: when he stood up from our breakfast table at some dubious and curious breakfast & lunch chain, he managed to spill all of the water on the table, leaving us all baffled but laughing. It doesn't sound funny, but it was. I guess you had to be there.

* * *

I read most of Will Self's Dr. Mukti and Other Tales of Woe on the train ride to Ottawa. He's a good writer.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

the snow is falling

since my left shift key is broken, i am forgoing capitalization.

the snow, perhaps the leading edge of another promised winter storm, is falling in ottawa. it makes me wonder if this will affect the train.

this wireless network at the hotel is anemic and it bumps me off every minute or two, so this will be a short post.

i have to get on my coat and trudge up to the university of ottawa, which some folks call 'last chance u." and i thought that was brock...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Jason Reitman

I was lucky enough to get a seat in a guest lecture given by Jason Reitman last Friday. Don't feel obligated to follow that link (g-d, I hate MySpace). As you know, he directed Juno. My lame ass pseudo-review is here. Don't feel obligated to follow that link either. My literary review of The Squid and the Whale is much better, as is my spectacular and totally hilarious restaurant review. I mean, those were real reviews, written for my reviewing class. Feel free to follow those links.

This dude is hilarious. (I hope I can use the word hilarious twice in one post. The word itself is hilarious). Jason clearly has a natural gift for comedy. His stories were funny and even his jokes were funny. I snapped a few photos during, but shied away from the post-lecture scrum in the lobby, although I did move in and take a couple of photos.

Too bad you missed it. If you ever get the chance to hear him speak, I suggest you go.

On a librarianish note, I was amused to hear him point out a factual error in a Wikipedia entry, not that I am a harsh critic of the site. As I always say, it needs to be approached cautiously, like when you are trying to walk through a mine field. I've said that before, right?

P.S. I am taking the train to Ottawa today. I'll be back to work on Thursday.

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Jerry Seinfeld Moment and Double-Dipping

On my way to a meeting last Thursday, I dropped my pen on the floor of the men's washroom. For a brief moment (perhaps a nanosecond) I considered picking it up, but I was suddenly horrified by what kind of bacteria might have attached itself to it in that short period of time. A recent study on the 5 second rule concluded that whatever bacteria is on the floor is immediately transferred to the object that has impacted the floor, but the authors note that there is far less bacteria on the floor than we expect, except in men's washrooms, to which I have already alluded.

So, I did what Jerry Seinfeld would do and left it where it landed. No, I don't consider that littering. I never litter. I knew that later, some custodial staff person (one day, robots will have this job) will come in to clean and refresh the supplies and this person will sweep up the pen and either throw it away or put it in his/her pocket. Either way is fine with me.

By the way, I dropped the pen at 9:55 AM, and it was still there at 5:00 PM, but it was gone the next morning.

In related news, a study* has concluded that Double-Dipping does indeed spread cooties. The study found that "for every time a bitten cracker went back into the bowl, hundreds, and probably even thousands of bacteria cells went with it." In other words, the dip becomes a bacterial soup. It makes me cringe. I am not, nor have I ever been, a double-dipper because, as Timmy said to George, "that's like putting your whole mouth right in the dip."

*To be published in the Journal of Food Safety, 2008.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

February 30th

Did you know that February, in some calendars - like the Swedish Calendar (prior to 1753), the Soviet Revolutionary Calendar (which was ceased in 1931), and the Early Julian Calendar - occasionally had a February 30th? It all leads to me to wonder we don't have a more precise calendar. Of course, there are lots of examples of calendar reform, but I simply want to know how we can make summer longer in Canada. Moving the planet would be a good idea.

More importantly, I've broken my left shift key on my Toshiba laptop. This might mean that I will need to purchase a new keyboard, and they are not cheap. There is a company in the UK that sells single keys, but not for my model. At least the keys can be replaced, unlike some brands, where you must get a new keyboard. if you know of someone in Tdot that sells keys for Toshibas, please let me know.