Friday, February 29, 2008

Matt & Sarah & Ben & Jimmy

These two videos, in case you somehow missed them, are totally hilarious. That's all I'll say. Just have a look, if you like...or you can read yesterday's post, 'cause I like it very much.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

George W. Bush vs. Dan Quayle

It's really amazing how my mind wanders when I am cycling. Some of my best ideas occur while cruising the streets. Here's an example from yesterday.

Somewhere on Bloor Street, I concluded that George W. Bush could take Dan Quayle in a wrestling match, but only if it were Greco-Roman style. In the WWE format, I predicted Dan would prevail, probably because he would bring out a chair and break it over Dubya's head. And, that made me wonder about other combative events:

Boxing - I'd put my money on Dubya. Single-mindedness is key, and Georgie has that in spades.

Pistols at Dawn - Bush, probably because Dan would run away and most likely trip and fall in the dirt.

Fencing - Quayle, because I think he has a touch of flamboyance that would suit this sport well and I think he is probably very light on his toes.

Kick Boxing - I'd predict a draw.

Judo (or other martial art) - Bush. In fact, I'd wager that George could split timber (and possibly concrete blocks) with his forehead.

Oration Contests - Like kick boxing, I predict a tie. I mean, who could decide between:
"Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child."
- The Quaylster
"Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their love with women all across this country."
- Dubya

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Blog Scraping

I've had it with the blog scrapers. These people scrap (steal) the content of your blog, even if copyrighted - as mine is - and put in on their splogs for erectile dysfunction or casinos or other dubious ventures. It is the stolen content that gets people to these blogs and we don't get a cent of revenue. This practice is illegal.

It makes me wonder why I don't place ads for Viagra on my blog. I don't even have Google's AdSense, so it's not my thing, really. Sadly, SplogReporter is dead, so the best that you can do is flag the blog (if it belongs to Blogger), and hope that they can take it down.

Here is an example (and I refuse to provide the link to the thieves):
-ne The fact that Arthur Koestler has faded into relative obscurity, while contemporary authors, such as George Orwell, are well-known, has always baffled me. Some may remember that the Police used the title of Koestler's Ghost in the Machine for one of their albums.I had high hopes for David Cesarini's biography (Arthur Koestler: The Homeless Mind). While it does cover Koestler's life in detail (some of it excruciating), it renders Koestler as a sex-obsessed drunk and possibly a rapist. Edinburgh University moved his statue to a safer location, fearing vandals would deface it after having reading about Koestler's attitude to women.In hindsight, I regret not tallying the car crashes and the mistresses. It's probably the best book we will get on Koestler for a long time.Tags: Arthur Koestler, David Cesarini


This was stolen, word-for-word, from my post (but they edited it down to only one paragraph). Sure, they provide a link back, but it is my content that brings people to their sites. I wish the web had a detonate or bomb button so I could blow up these blogs that are stinking up the web.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

February 26, 1991

On this day in 1991, Tim Berners-Lee introduced the first graphical web browser, called WorldWideWeb. This is all great and, Lord knows, I appreciate the web immensely. My problem has always been with the letter W. How many times have we had to say double-u double-u double-u? This is one of the few times when I can see the wisdom of George W, when he says dubya, I mean, he has eliminated a whole syllable. Suddenly, my nine syllable utterance could be reduced to six, but I still can't bring myself to say it. A colleague simply says "world wide web" instead of the Ws. Damn the person who came up with this addressing nomenclature. This is a 3D map of the web, from

Monday, February 25, 2008

Peter Heater, Redux

I still wanted to believe, despite comments to the contrary on this post, that the notion of a Peter Heater was bizarre and rare. But, intrepid web searchers keep landing here in quest of "peter heater patterns" and "crocheted peter heater." Wow, dudes. It's true and I am wondering if I should be selling such patterns.

I am growing accustomed to the bizarre terms that bring people to this blog. All I have to do is use words like coprophagia and get a flood of traffic, especially if I couple the term with fetish or sex.

So, here is another review. It always makes me laugh:
china adult diaper ring
open slit diapers in china
best off the shelf adult diaper
females with bloody tampons
i'd rather pee in my adult diaper than use the toilet
See, crazy bodily function searches. And;
"second life" clitoris
nympho librarian
'Leather clad Bondage scene'
my sister hidden porn
masturbating with fish
Now, is that with fish, as in you invite a few fish friends over and watch each other, or is this using fish as an aid in the act? I did stumble upon my sister's porn collection once, and she was in it, so that scarred me for life.
Is that a fetish too?
fish dresses to ice skate in
fish that tastes like rubber
snack food shaped like a fish
Yup, the other more predictable fish searches, but I wonder why anyone would to find fish that tastes like rubber.
How to feather hair on the sides
There was a time when I could give you precise instructions, but those days are gone.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oscars, Part 9

Oooooooh, the dead person part. I don't know most of these people but, of course, they ended with Heath Ledger.

And with that, I am going to bed... I tried to hang on longer, but I am tired and must get my beauty rest. Good night.
Oscars, Part 8

Renée Zellweger looks as if she has no eyes. What's with the perma-squint and the downcast look? She creeps me out.

Nicola Kidman looks like a mannequin. Seriously, she's all plasticy and yellow.

I don't understand Robert Boyle's white scarf. It makes him look a bit like Elvis in that famous come back concert, wherein he sweated a bit on each scarf and then gave the out to screaming ladies in the audience like it was manna from heaven. But, maybe Robert thinks he's about to pilot a plane somewhere.

I am attempting to determine my maximum stay up late time. I need a calculator...
Oscars, Part 7

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Quelle surprise! I didn't see that coming. Wow.

And another thing, when will the Academy recognize comedy? Serious films always win the major awards, to the detriment of some fine comedic performances. I can't think of any right now, but why are there no categories for comedy? I think they need to get on with that.

OK, so I forgot about the song from Once. I saw this film and really thought is was great, but Glen Hansard always looks pained when he sings (especially the chorus) and I worry that a coronary event is not too far off. He has the same beat-up guitar from the film. Cool.
Oscars, Part 6

Best Supporting Actress: I wonder when the Academy is going to stop using the word "actress." Is it not sexist, like the word poetess, or waitress, or stewardess? Anyway, Tilda Swinton looks more and more like a cross between Annie Lennox and David Bowie. Maybe it's partly because her dress makes her look like an android, or something.

OK, so we are three songs in out of five nominations, and I am not enjoying any of them. Why is movie music typically so bad?
Oscars, Part 5

OK, so tuxes with that shiny stripe down the leg are stupid. They are like classed up track pants. But, John Stewart's monologue was funny despite the pants, or maybe they helped?

Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem deserves this Oscar. His performance was fabulous and deeply disturbing. I wrote this post before it was announced that he won.
Oscars, Part 4

I have no idea if it's just me, but Hilary Swank seems to look a lot like Jamie Lee Curtis, but with bigger teeth. I have a craving for grapes... It's a good thing I have some.
Oscars, Part 3

I decided to skip the Barbara Walters special and now I discover that Regis Philbin is doing his red carpet thang. I have to say that Regis is a great name. I wish my parents had named me that. I am serious. If that isn't enough, his middle names are Francis Xavier. Astounding. What a lucky man.

A few observations:

- John Travolta's hair looks like a helmet.
- Laura Linney reminds me of Helen Hunt (but with a smaller forehead).
- Javier Bardem scares me, even when not in character and even without the worst haircut in movie history.
- Wow, I didn't realize that Daniel Day Lewis wears such serious earrings. I am not sold on them, though.
- 1 Billion people will be watching the Academy Awards, which is about 999,999,999 more than are reading this blog.
Oscars, Part 2

Speaking of noses - and I guess that I was subconsciously as I was looking at Jeanne Becker's face - Steve Carell has a big one. And, it just occurred to me that maybe that's why Jeanne is wearing a low cut gown? You know, to draw onlookers' eyes away from her nose?
Oscars, Part 1

Thank G-d I am unable to find the horrid red carpet show hosted by that walking corpse, Joan Rivers. She is not funny, and I cringe whenever she opens her mouth. But, it means that I am watching Ben (Benedict Martin Paul) Mulroney and Jeanne Becker, whom I usually call Jeanie Beeker. Jeanne is a lousy interviewer and what is clearly worse is that she is showing altogether far too much cleavage, and it's not even nice cleavage. I am all for cleavage, but it has go be good cleavage, and hers is not.

Benedict just congratulated George Clooney on his hair, but I have to say that mine hair is better. George has the same haircut my dad sported for half a century, so it can't really be that good.

The really irritating part about the whole red carpet phenomenon is the "who are you wearing?" thing. That is dumb.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Royal Bank Double Speak

I really wish the Royal Bank (or RBC) would have the guts to tell it like it is. In a recent piece of correspondence to me, some genius in the art of evasive writing wrote: "As of May 1, 2008, we will be changing the monthly fee for the RBC Signature No Limit Banking (TM) account to ..." What they really mean to say is that RBC will be increasing the fee.

What's more, the unlimited transactions the letter refers to are not at all unlimited. For example, there are strict limits listed in the first three items. After the two or three free transactions, a fee applies. I have no idea how that can be described as unlimited.

And then, they use some bizarre math to suggest that the savings could add up to $502.44 annually, but, to get those "savings", I would have to use American Express Travellers Cheques, rent a safety deposit box, obtain 12 bank drafts per annum, order cheques, get a specific RBC Visa card, etc. etc. In other words, the letter is full of half truths or pseudo lies.

But, I think all banks are guilty of such subterfuge. That's why they rake in obscene profits.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Hip Hop

I am tied up in an all-day meeting, so here is a song I heard about 500 times during a long weekend in Barry's Bay in 1988.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Just Say No!

Imagine paying for your groceries, and the cashier says: "we've experienced lots of shoplifting recently, so we are going to add 5% to your bill today to cover our losses." That sums up what the Songwriters Association of Canada wants to do in its proposal to add a $5 monthly fee to all internet subscribers' bills in Canada. In return, music file sharing on peer-to-peer networks would become legal. I say, no freakin' way!

I do not download music illegally and I fully support the music industry by purchasing compact discs from retailers such as HMV, Sunrise, Sonic Boom, Soundscapes, Penguin Music, etc. There is no way I am going to pay a penalty or a fee for something I do not do. It's bad enough that a levy has already been added to blank media (cassettes and various CD formats) under the false assumption that they are all being used for illegal copies of music. It's not comforting to know that when I back up some photos I am again giving money to the recording industry.

As I have said before, downloading music sucks. However, I do download some music legally from net labels and I have downloaded free tracks from artist websites. I do not participate in the sharing of music on peer-to-peer networks. This proposal will penalize me as well as those who don't even know how to download music, like most of the geriatrics in the country. Someone has to kill this proposal.

The recording industry shot itself in the foot as soon as it launched the CD format. The costs of producing CDs is, and always has been, less than the costs to produce vinyl records, but in a greedy frenzy, designed to increase profit margins, the Industry collectively hiked prices and alienated music buyers. If CDs were priced at $6.99 or $7.99, we might not have such a huge problem. Don't forget that in the United States the Federal Trade Commission investigated compact disc pricing and concluded that American consumers overpaid $480 million for music purchased between 1996 and 1999. Evidently, record labels exerted pressure on retail outlets to keep prices above a certain level.

I have already emailed the Songwriters Association of Canada to express my opinions. If you hate this idea as much as I do, why not send them an email as well? I am sure iTunes, etc. will have something to say about the loss of its entire Canadian market. Their address is: Better yet, go to Ryerson University at 7:00 pm this evening to tell them what you think. A public forum is being held at Oakham House. Unfortunately, I cannot attend.

Let's squash this unfair idea before it spreads any further and before it infects other sectors. I can only imagine what's next:

$5 per month in compensation for file-sharing of TV programs;
$5 per month in compensation for file-sharing of feature films;
$5 per month in compensation for file-sharing of computer software;
$5 per month in compensation for file-sharing of porn films ...

etc etc etc ....

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Political Detour
"Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran" - John McCain

The American presidential primaries are a fascinating spectacle. There is a part of me that sympathizes with a couple of Russian journalists who once said that the entire world should be permitted to vote for the president of the United States because the actions of the US government affect almost everyone in one way or other. That is very apparent in Canada, considering our deep personal, cultural, economic, and political ties. After all, the USA is our largest trading partner. Unfortunately, we also have Stephen Harper, who seems bent on becoming a puppet of the American President.

I am absolutely dumbfounded by John McCain. In case you missed it, he started to sing the line "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran" to the tune of the Beach Boys' Barbara Ann. Of course, that was last year. What I also recently learned is that he was singing a parody that had been written and performed by Vince Vance and the Valiants, who wrote the song in the midst of the Iran Hostage Crisis in 1979. Here are the lyrics:

Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.
Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb, bomb Iran!
Let's take a stand, bomb Iran.
Our country's got a feelin'.
Really hit the ceilin', bomb Iran.
Bomb bomb bomb, bomb Iran."
Gone to a mosque,
Gonna throw some rocks.
Tell the ayatollah,
Gonna put you in a box! and
bomb Iran. Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb, bomb Iran!
Our country's got a feelin'.
Really hit the ceilin', bomb Iran.
Bomb bomb bomb, bomb Iran.
Now, I can sympathize with this parody in light of the Iran Hostage Crisis. Sometimes, we need to show our anger, rattle some sabers, and show some solidarity.

This is one of the videos of John McCain breaking into song:

Of course, I immediately recalled Ronald Reagan's live microphone accident (August 11, 1984) where he announced that bombing of Russia would commence in five minutes. This summed up Reagan's sheer intolerance, misunderstanding, and total hatred of a political system that differed from the American system. No, I am not a fan of authoritarian governments and clearly the Soviet Union was not a model to be emulated. As we all know, Reagan presided over the largest peacetime military buildup in American history, a buildup directed at the former Soviet Union and its allies, rather than address the possibility of arms control. MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) was mad.

Reagan also signed a drug enforcement act as part if his War on Drugs. I think we can conclude that the war on drugs has failed and has resulted in glaring racial disparities in prison populations, mostly because of the different sentences handed down for crack cocaine, a lower class drug used by mainly African Americans and other impoverished ethnic groups, and powdered cocaine, an upper class drug used mainly by white folks including George W. Bush. Yes, he refuses to deny that he has used it. But, I am getting sidetracked.

I was fully in support of the American action in Afghanistan, but the USA virtually quit Afghanistan to hunt Saddam Hussein and walked away from Osama bin Laden. The effect has been very clear in Canada, the nation that is currently in charge of military operations in the Kandahar region. With the US military more interested in Iraq, many Canadians understandably have a hard time distinguishing between Canada's NATO role in Afghanistan and the US war on terror. Our troops effectively freed-up American forces to move to Iraq, and so we have become part of the problem.

John McCain is on record as suggesting that he would not be opposed to American troops staying in Iraq for 100 years! His argument is that Americans would not object to such a deployment either. What they will object to, he argues, are casualties of war. It's clear that McCain, the Viet Nam veteran, is a war hawk. What I find even scarier are those who argue that McCain isn't "conservative enough." I can only hope that the American public will not endorse a man who wants to take their nation into another pointless war that cannot be won. My choice, given the American political landscape, would be anybody but McCain...well, maybe that's going too far.


As we all know, blogging about politics is no-win situation. You either attract comments from those who revile your political views and simply tell you that you have no idea what you are talking about (usually offering only dogma and unsupported opinions to counter what you have said) , or you receive congratulatory comments from those who accept everything you say with the hopes that a few of the undecided will be convinced to join your side of the ring.

This, of course, reminds me that Ethan Zuckerman advised us to resist homophily in social networks. I have read lots of right wing blogs and left wing blogs and I think that we are all guilty of promoting our opinions at the expense of impartiality. Such is the polarized landscape of the self-important amateur political blogger. My experience from previous political posts (especially this one) is that I had been surrounded by a few like-minded people (the homophilous, if you like) and our opponents (another homophilous group). In the end, I would describe the bloggers, the commenters, and our statements with such words as intransigent, intractable, recalcitrant, and belligerent.

Blogging has given me a new appreciation of the difficulties in writing without bias. So, the preceding is biased, but what can you expect from a Canadian who routinely votes for the NDP?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Man in Black (and red)

I asked for and I received another picture of me, drawn by my daughter. Again, we have asymmetrical feet and even legs this time. I now have two-fingered claws on each hand with arms as disproportionately short as a Tyrannosaurus Rex :-) I like my rosy cheeks and my rose coloured glasses.

She has developed a new style of mouth, one that is off to the side and rendered in a cartoonish style. I really like that. The oddest thing is that she gave me a red belt. She said that she knows I wear a black belt (in truth, I don't generally wear belts), but she gave me a red one so it wouldn't look like I was wearing a suit.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I Hate it When Things are Broken

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Knight Rider

I just have to ask why? Of all of the second rate TV shows that could be made into a movie, why why why Knight Rider? It makes no sense.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Video for a Saturday Evening

For some reason, I paid no attention to Bob Dylan until a couple of years ago. Well, I had a copy Highway 61 Revisited, but that was all. Now, I have have about 20 of his CDs, so it's safe to say that I was an immediate convert. This is a great clip of Subterranean Homesick Blues from the Biopic Don't Look Back. I love it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Add it Up

Here are some interesting numbers:

2 - the number of times a car has hit me while cycling (both were slight brushes really).
3 - the number of times I have hit the pavement (once because of a reckless driver; the other two times because of clumsiness, or the rotation of the earth)
4 - number of bikes I have had since 1993.
7 - the number of flat tires I have had in the past 15 years.
10 - the number of consecutive winters I have cycled.
27.50 - the number of dollars I save weekly by not taking public transit.
30 - the time it takes me in minutes to cycle to work, including locking up the bike and walking to my office.
5,000 - the approximate number of kilometers I cycle per year.
50,000 - the approximate number of kilometers I have cycled in the past ten years.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle

I am relieved that Yahoo has rejected Microsoft's takeover offer, but I realize that this may not be the end of it. I am often amused by the search engine battles on the web. Google gets most of the search traffic, with Microsoft, Yahoo, and others lagging behind. So, theoretically, a merger is a good way to catch up.

There must be a better way. Google's ambitious goal to index the entire web is an impossible one, and I would argue that it is a stupid goal as well. Searching Google certainly gets lots of results, but so much of it is garbage. The same is true with Yahoo and Microsoft's Live Search. What we really need is an intelligent search engine that can distinguish between searches that appear to be identical.

For example, if I am searching for Juno, I think the reply from the search engine should be:

Select what you are looking for from this list: the movie, the Japanese model, the Juno Awards, Juno Records ...

When you click one of the terms, the search engine should add some search terms and construct a proper Boolean search, like: juno and (movie or film or theatrical release or motion picture). Most people have no idea how to construct a nested Boolean search, and only Yahoo supports it on the web anyway, but there are advanced search techniques in Google than can give you the same results.

The problem with search engines is that huge numbers of results come back at you, and research has proven that most people look only at the first two pages: the rest is irrelevant. I think we ought to be looking at smaller, better engines, like the human-powered Mahalo. It's database is slowly being compiled by humans. Don't run out an Mahalo yourself, because you won't be there, but you can add yourself. You might be a little underwhelmed at search results but I think, in time, search engines like this might prevail over the giants.

Oh, and the real reason I don't want Microsoft to take over Yahoo, is because then the evil empire will own Flickr, and that would be bad news.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Juno is an awesome film with a stellar script written by ex-stripper Diablo Cody. My least favourite thing about the film is Jennifer Garner. I think she was fine in Alias, but I was not really impressed with her in this film. Of course, I was constantly reminded of Arrested Development, even though Jason Bateman and Michael Cera do not share a scene.

Some of the songs on the soundtrack have a quirkiness that reminded me of Daniel Johnston, and for a while, I wondered if this was intentional, coincidental, or just me. It's a short film, clocking in at 96 minutes, but the length seemed right.

There, that's the end of my lame film review.

The only other thing to report is that I have discovered that there is a Japanese bikini model called Juno, although sometimes she doesn't seem to wear a bikini at all, if you know what I mean. I accidentally discovered her while searching for information about the film. I considered giving you a link, but I am sure you can all figure out how to find it yourself.

Oh, and one other thing. It was really refreshing to see Jason Bateman doing his thing at the Grammys. It is often difficult to determine if comedic actors are truly funny, or if it's just the scripts. I was happy to see that he is genuinely funny and a pleasure to watch.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I just cycled home in a blizzard.
Dexter, Feist, & Kate Bush

I have watched the first four episodes of Dexter and I have to say that I like it very much. It features Michael C. Hall (of Six Feet Under fame) who plays Dexter Morgan, a blood pattern analyst for the Miami Police Department. He is also a serial killer. So, Dexter is not your typical police procedural or forensics show. The show is based on Darkly Dreaming Dexter, a novel by Jeff Lindsay, a book I have never read and probably never will. Dexter will be broadcast on CBS & CTV, but will suffer at the hand of the censor.

I like reading letters to the editor, and very often I find one that irritates me. Usually, these are political letters from those whose views are antithetical to mine. I am sure we have all had those experiences. And then there are letters about culture or music, like a letter in yesterday's Toronto Star.

A certain Diane Walton wrote: "Hasn't anyone realized that perhaps Feist is a clone of the indomitable Kate Bush?" I wonder why she said "perhaps." Anyway, I disagree. If you are looking for Kate Bush clones, you need look no further than Tori Amos. She even looks like her. But, as Kim Hughes once said, Tori Amos is a poor man's Kate Bush. I couldn't agree more. Anyway, Feist and Kate Bush are miles and miles apart. I think that are very few artists like Bush because her music is eclectic, experimental, and maybe surreal.

The letter also has this statement: "Let it be know that [Kate Bush] set the stage for so many sound-alikes in the 1990s and the new millennium and should be getting the credit." Kate Bush released her fist album in 1978! And, only one album was released in the 1990s: the mediocre Red Shoes in 1993. Since then, we have had Aerial in 2005. In other words, most of Bush's music has been released prior to the 1990s.

I think that Kate Bush has influenced many artists, and I think that the most obvious musician would be Bjork (or even Joanna Newsom), even if the music doesn't really sound the same. And, I don't think we should expect musicians to state their influences, although most do freely and openly. I think that's enough credit.

Feist is a folkie and is closer to people like Cat Power than Kate Bush.

OK, time to eat.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Grammy Awards #7

As an illustration of just how out of touch I am with pop music, I will admit that I have no idea who Taylor Swift is ...brief interlude while I Google the women... See, that's just my point. It turns out that she's a country singer not a pop singer.

Amy Winehouse is on a roll, man. I have never understood the difference between record of the year and song of the year. She won both for the same song. Hmmm.

As is usual for awards shows, they drag on too long. I am going to skip the rest and go to bed.
Grammy Awards #6


1) Man, Kanye West is conceited.
2) Ah, Feist has such a good voice, and I enjoyed her arrangement for this eve's show.
3) As for the Foo Fighters, well, I was never a big fan. They seem so yesterday.
4) Alicia Keyes has some junk in her trunk.
5) Who cares about Country music?
Grammy Awards #5

OK, so I like John Paul Jones, but that brief calm musical interlude in the midst of Foo Fighter angst is completely out-of-place. It is jarring and silly.

Oh, man, the country music has been unleashed. "I'd like to check you for ticks"? Good god. If you think that was bad, how about this part:
Every time you take a sip
In this smoky atmosphere
You press that bottle to your lips
And I wish I was your beer
In the small there of your back
Your jeans are playing peekaboo
I'd like to see the other half of your butterfly tattoo.
It's so bad, it's smelly. I can't believe that's the best Brad Paisley could come up with.
Grammy Awards #4

I really wish Cher had done that X-Files episode, rather than that stand-in. It would have been so much better. That episode also features the best use of the Post-Seinfeld John O'Hurley.

Those short pants do not suit Beyoncé. What's worse is the song/intro for Tina Turner. It's frankly embarrassing. I also hate medleys.

Amy Winehouse wins Song of Year for Rehab. I have to say that I like that song. I even own the CD.
Grammy Awards #3

...and Let is Be is probably my least favourite Beatles tune. Or, it could be the Long and Ponderous Road. This gospel version of Let it Be is ridiculous. I think it takes itself far too seriously.

Although I felt that Feist should have won Best New Artist, Amy Winehouse is a good choice. I was surprised by how good her album is. I didn't expect that 50s kick and that really resonant voice.

Kanye West looks ridiculous. And, what a stupid Lyric: "You can be my black Kate Moss." I am not sure this lyric can be read as racist (as some have), just dumb.

But, Kanye is full of dumb lyrics, like this stinker: "You fixed me up something that was good for my soul / Famous homemade chicken soup, can I have another bowl?" It's so awesomely bad.

And, oh my god, Fergie cannot sing. I had never really paid attention to her before. It's painful.
Grammy Awards #2

Of course, there are rumours that Jacko the Wacko might show up. This in itself ought to have been enough to keep me away, but maybe it's the idea of a live TV appearance from a known loony that makes me want to keep watching. In the Toronto Star recently, I read a piece about how awesome Thriller is. That is so wrong. That album stinks - always has, always will.

Why is Tom Hanks there? But wait, he is talking about The Band, an amazing Canadian band. Now they are a good choice for that lifetime achievement award, but that lasted about 15 seconds. That's kinda of dumb.

Now, A Day in the Life is my favourite Beatles tune, but I am not sure about this disastrous stage event. It has nothing to do with the song, if you ask me. This looks more like the 1950s meets West Side Story and Cirque Du Soleil.
Grammy Awards #1

I hate the Grammy's and I never watch, but I have collapsed in front of the TV and lack the requisite strength to move or to change the channel (a very complicated thing to do, as I have the most bizarre "TV" setup I bet anyone has ever seen). Just like the Academy Awards, the Grammy's award mediocrity. There is absolutely no way that the awards given out tonight represent the best music of the prior year.

I caught the last of the red carpet show, enough to conclude that Cyndi Lauper looks like hell. But, I really think that Alicia Keyes has a nice voice. Of course, that reminds me of this:
I was thinking about Alicia Keys, couldn't keep from crying
When she was born in Hell's Kitchen, I was living down the line
I'm wondering where in the world Alicia Keys could be
I been looking for her even clear through Tennessee
Of course, everyone knows who sang that right? Uh oh, here comes Kerri Underwood. I guess it's time to get a snack

Friday, February 08, 2008

2:31 of Hilarity

This is why everyone should watch 30 Rock. It's the funniest show on TV right now.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

"Tanned and Crazy"

I was hoping that the blizzard would close down the city so that I could have another day off, but everything settled down by this morning. Foiled again.

Anyway, I have French class this evening. I just read that my professor is "popular," according to a University survey. I can see that: he is funny but he speaks way too fast. On, someone even called him hot, though I find that hard to believe. Another description - "tanned and crazy" - I can live with. In fact, that might be the perfect description.

He has a thick Parisian accent and I imagine that he spends his evenings surrounded by red wine and female undergrads, but I could be wrong. Anyway, I am getting hungry and am now going to devote all of my mental energy to food.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


I had no idea that today is Ash Wednesday, until I read about it elsewhere. Even though a friend's status on Facebook indicated he was having pancakes for dinner on Tuesday, I didn't clue in. Clearly, I am not religious. But, I did a quick search to remind me of what it is all about, aside from gorging on pancakes the day before.

So now I know: today is the first day of Lent, a liturgical and fasting period. I am reminded of a person I knew in my undergrad who gave up alcohol for Lent, and then got totally hammered 40 days later. This made absolutely no sense to me then or now. I mean, if we are truly speaking of self-denial, shouldn't the sacrifice be much greater than booze? I realize that one is expected to give up a vice, but I find the whole thing laughable. This is yet another reason why I think organized religion is a sham. The concept of the Pope and churches are perverse.

Years ago, I knew some people who followed the rule of "fasting" on Christmas Eve. This loosely translated into feasting on anything, provided it did not contain meat. So, there would always be apperatifs, fois gras, cheeses, lasagna or something else like it), lobster (or shrimp, etc), wine, champagne, rich desserts, coffee, liqueurs. I am fairly sure that is not what fasting is supposed to be, but the Catholic church has a far different interpretation.

But, back to Lent. According to some writings (which are most likely fiction), Mister Jesus spent some 40 days in the desert where he endured the temptations of Satan. Let me just say for the record that I would fail at this. I mean, who could resist Satan and all of his taunting?


I am taking another sick day, but I think I'll be back to work tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Poor Me

I am sick today, so if you don't mind, I am going back to sleep now.

Monday, February 04, 2008

It Wasn't Me! Honest!

OK, so I just went into the bathroom at work and had to hold my nose at the stench. I'm not passing any judgments here, but, man oh man, someone really smelled that joint up. The trouble is that when I was washing my hands, another fellow came in and I realized that he thought that I was responsible for making the place smell like a sewage treatment plant.

I wanted to say that it wasn't me, but such a course of action might have reinforced his belief, so I didn't say anything. Of course, this has happened before, and I guess it is best not to say anything.

Speaking of smelling the place up, the Patriots did an excellent job of that. They stank. In an interesting piece of trivia, the last Super Bowl I watched was Super Bowl XXXI, in which the Patriots lost to the Packers.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Tyrannosaurus Rex

A recent picture from my daughter. Why is it that her drawings of dinosaurs are more accurate than her drawings of me?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Session Two

Today's session was fabulous, if I do day so myself, and I don't have to because lots of people told us so at the end. I am happy that it went well and happy that I can now relax.

When we proposed this session almost one year ago, we had no idea what it would look like at the end and if it would be a good session. Things came together nicely. I have to say that having so much lead time is both good and bad. One gets plenty of preparation time, that's true. But it really plays on your mind, when you don't have time to work on it or are, as is more likely, procrastinating.

Also, speaking twice at the same conference is probably not a good idea. Perhaps I will go to this conference as an observer next year, not as a speaker. Suddenly, I am very very hungry.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Session One

The bad news was that half of the panel got snowed-in and didn't make it to the conference. The good news is that the two remaining presenters (a colleague and I) did a great job of it without them. No one walked out, and there were questions after, and even applause.

I am presenting tomorrow with a another colleague on a far different and much more scintillating topic.