Tuesday, April 25, 2006


1.) What was the last thing that made you laugh?

2.) Who is the goofiest person in your family? (C'mon, every family has at least ONE.)

3.) What's one thing that you've always wanted to do? What's the thing that's holding you back?

4.) What's something silly that you did as a kid, and you still do today?

Usual rules - don't feel like you have to answer all of them, and go anonymous if you feel you have to. Cheers.

Monday, April 24, 2006


I haven't blogged lately. I could say that it's because I've been busy, but the only thing I've been busy with lately is playing Fable and reading Stephen King books that I've read once already. So I haven't been busy, and I haven't been blogging, either.

I've been spending too much time procrastinating, and not nearly doing the things that need to be done. To begin with, I need to start running again, or at the very least start taking my bike to work. I've had pretty solid success changing my eating habits, but it's not going to be enough without regular exercise. That, and I need to stop having a half-pot of coffee each morning in lieu of, you know, water.

But, hey, at least I'm eating whole wheat pasta with turkey instead of some of my previous favorite dishes, such as butter fries or sugar pudding. (I'm not kidding. I used to eat these things. Butter fries are french fries fried in butter, and sugar pudding is chocolate pudding with extra sugar in it.)

I feel the need to travel, but I'm not feeling the draw of any particular destination at the moment. I also lack the motivation required to plan a trip. I have a feeling this will change within another month or two, but it could just signal a temporary hold to my previous unabated wanderlust. Call me old-fashioned, but I think that if you're going to travel, the place you're going to travel should pull you like some kind of nuclear-powered super magnet. And I'm not feeling that at the moment.

It's probably because I've visited most of the places that held appeal for a week-long trip. As I get older, I may come to appreciate new destinations, but I have less and less desire to participate in the degrading and uncomfortable procedure that goes with modern air travel, nor do I enjoy the stretch of highway between Ottawa and either Toronto or Montreal. Thirty hours of return-trip travel to get away for a week? Uh... not so much. Clearly, I need to find a new destination... or start thinking about taking a two-week-long vacation.

What is appealing to me is the resumption of cottage season. As much as I whined about how badly I wanted a job, there are certain aspects of cottage life that got into my blood and have stayed there in a big way. I miss having a leisurely breakfast on the porch, where I wash down eggs and English muffins with a mug of coffee and a few puffs on a pipe. I miss looking up from a book to see a sunset so stunning that I have no choice but to run outside with my camera, and start snapping photos like an idiot. I miss hearing the loons while I'm sleeping. And I really, really miss spending sunny afternoons gently flowing out to the centre of the lake with a cigar in one hand and a beer in the other.

This made me laugh really hard. A family in the U.S. was told that they couldn't put up a six-foot-tall privacy fence as it didn't fit the "look and feel" of their township, so they opted to protest the decision by putting up legal (and really gaudy) decorations to protest. Boo to cronyism! Yay for skeltons on toilets!

I watched CTV's question period the other night, and one of the things that came up was the accusation of "price fixing" against Canadian oil companies by the NDP's MP featured on the show. I used to like the NDP, but am a little scared of the way they're genuinely hostile against business interests. I can see being pro-worker, but it should be at the cost of being anti-business. Anyhoo, the NDP MP seemed convinced that Canadian oil companies were part of some big price-fixing conspiracy to stick it to Canadians, and demanded an investigation.

This, to me, is pretty damned ridiculous. Okay, I could see if there were some massive multinationals buying oil futures, how that would restrict the supply and create an artificial price hike. But CANADIAN firms? It's a little like blaming the neighbourhood's obnoxious six-year-old for flipping your car. He may have thought about it, but I doubt he had the means to do so.

Supply and demand works thusly: when demand increases and supply is inflexible (ie. You can't just ramp up production overnight), price goes up. Demand is also rather inflexible (ie. there are no ready substitues for gasoline, and people still need to get from A to B), so prices remain high. Canadian fuel prices have certainly risen, but not out of line from what's happened in the U.S. and Europe.

Conspiracy theories may be a good way to score political points, but I shall quoth some of Jerold P. Maguire: "Show me the money." If a first year university student has to use citations, the NDP should be no different.

So, how do we handle the looming fuel shortage? Well, perhaps if we had a more robust foreign policy, we could actually work to mediate the situations in Iran and Nigeria. Failing that, how about we tax high-consumption vehicles and subsidize low-consumption vehicles? Why not levy a tax on Escalades and 94 octane gasoline? It's not as though these things are a necessity. Perhaps this is hypocritical from someone who drives an SUV, but then again, I'd be willing to pay the taxes to subsidize the clean technology...

Dropping the tax on fuel in general is a bad idea. The lower price is going to just increase demand, which in turn is going to worsen the shortage. If anything, they should be adding an additional tax on fuel, then giving tax relief or other subsidies to low income Canadians.

Okay, I'm sleepy now and done spouting off for one night. Time to put out the recycing and crack open "The Stand" for a little late-night reading...

Friday, April 14, 2006

Brain-Death in Venice

Jay Pinkerton posted a short essay on the slow slide from intellectualism. It's fantastic, and it can be found here.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Bedroom: Before

Here is my bedroom, as it was when I first arrived...

Bedroom: After

Bedroom, currently... still in need of a few more wall hangings.

Bedroom: Before

The other half of the room. Note the big pile of crap that contains all of my worldy possessions.

Bedroom: After

Not quite the same view, but here's the other half of the room, post-decoration.

Living Room: Before

The living room, immediately after moving. Not very bright, as there is no light fixture in the room. That posed a problem before I had furniture...

Living Room: After

Bless you, little Ikea Elves. Bless you each and every one.

Living Room: Before

Bare-ass living room, as it faces the bedroom.

Living Room: After

The same corner, aftewards. For once in the past two years, I actually have room for all of my DVDs.

Living Room: Before

The opposite corner... the previous occupant was kind enough to leave a desk for me. Uh... thanks, previous occupant!

Living Room: After

My new home for The Bar. No matter how many times I try to destroy it, it keeps living on... it's like a tapeworm, attached to my credit card. Don't cry, my pretty. I was only kidding. Shhh... Daddy's here.

Living Room: Before

Thanks to my l33t f0togr4fy ski11z, I managed to get both the crap AND the desk in one wide shot. Neat!

Living Room: After

Despite everyone's best predictions, I now actually own curtain.

Living Room: After

The view towards the door to my apartment. (Sorry, that's the end of the before photos...)

After: Poster and View into the Living Room

One of the things I did when I was pining for a job was to browse AllPosters.com to drool over all the beautiful things that I could put up on the walls of my new place. Well, there we go... this is the largest (and, to my way of thinking, the best) of the posters that I bought from them. Vintage cars... it makes my inner Old Man very happy.

After: Poster!

This Sandeman's poster is a close second for "largest poster". I first tried Sandeman's port because I thought the bottle looked cool. Turns out, it's actually not a bad port. And the poster? Rockin' out.

After: Persian Carpet

I need to give Andrea a lot of credit for the decorating of my new place... I may have chosen the larger pieces of furniture, but she picked out a lot of the accessories. This is one example (of many)... a beautiful Persian carpet. Thanks again, Andrea!

After: Bathroom

Obligatory bathroom photo!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Inspirational Music

Here are the lyrics from "Underwear Goes Inside the Pants" by Lazyboy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Why is marijuana not legal? Why is marijuana not legal?
It's a natural plant that grows in the dirt.
Do you know what's not natural?
80 year old dudes with hard-ons. That's not natural.
But we got pills for that.
We're dedicating all our medical resources to keeping the old guys erect,
but we're putting people in jail for something that grows in the dirt?

You know we have more prescription drugs now.
Every commercial that comes on TV is a prescription drug ad.
I can't watch TV for four minutes without thinking I have five serious diseases.
Like: "Do you ever wake up tired in the morning?"
Oh my god I have this, write this down. Whatever it is, I have it.
Half the time I don't even know what the commercial is:
people running in fields or flying kites or swimming in the ocean.
I'm like that is the greatest disease ever. How do you get that?
That disease comes with a hot chick and a puppy.

Masterminds are another word that comes up all the time.
You keep hearing about these terrorists masterminds that get killed in the middle east.
Terrorists masterminds.
Mastermind is sort of a lofty way to describe what these guys do, don't you think?
They're not masterminds.
"OK, you take bomb, right? And you put in your backpack. And you get on bus and you blow yourself up. Alright?"
"Why do I have to blow myself up? Why can't I just:"
"Who's the fucking mastermind here? Me or you?"

Americans, let's face it: We've been a spoiled country for a long time.
Do you know what the number one health risk in America is?
Obesity. They say we're in the middle of an obesity epidemic.
An epidemic like it is polio.
Like we'll be telling our grand kids about it one day.
The Great Obesity Epidemic of 2004.
"How'd you get through it grandpa?"
"Oh, it was horrible Johnny, there was cheesecake and pork chops everywhere."

Nobody knows why were getting fatter? Look at our lifestyle.
I'll sit at a drive thru.
I'll sit there behind fifteen other cars instead of getting up to make the eight foot walk to the totally empty counter.
Everything is mega meal, super sized. Want biggie fries, super sized, want to go large.
You want to have thirty burgers for a nickel you fat mother fucker. There's room in the back. Take it!
Want a 55 gallon drum of Coke with that? It's only three more cents.

Sometimes you have to suffer a little bit in your youth to motivate yourself to succeed in later life.
Do you think if Bill Gates got laid in high school, do you think there'd be a Microsoft?
Of course not.
You got to spend a long time in your own locker with your underwear shoved up your ass before you start to think,
"You'll see. I'm going to take over the world of computers! I'll show them!"

We're in one of the richest countries in the world,
but the minimum wage is lower than it was thirty five years ago.
There are homeless people everywhere.
This homeless guy asked me for money the other day.
I was about to give it to him and then I thought he was going to use it on drugs or alcohol.
And then I thought, that's what I'm going to use it on.
Why am I judging this poor bastard.
People love to judge homeless guys. Like if you give them money they're just going to waste it.
Well, he lives in a box, what do you want him to do? Save it up and buy a wall unit?
Take a little run to the store for a throw rug and a CD rack? He's homeless.
I walked behind this guy the other day.
A homeless guy asked him for money.
He looks right at the homeless guy and says why don't you go get a job you bum.
People always say that to homeless guys like it is so easy.
This homeless guy was wearing his underwear outside his pants.
Outside his pants. I'm guessing his resume isn't all up to date.
I'm predicting some problems during the interview process.
I'm pretty sure even McDonalds has a "underwear goes inside the pants" policy.
Not that they enforce it really strictly, but technically I'm sure it is on the books.

I omitted a verse that wasn't quite as punchy, but you get the idea. Good song. You should request it on the radio, or perhaps acquire it some other way.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Angsty poetry!

As promised, here is angsty poetry that I wrote in High School.

A Toast

This is for everything
That makes the world go round
And the way it can stop
With the smile in your eyes.

Raise up your drinks
And bless the lass
Never to be seen
In the world that is yours.

Remember her name
If you thought to ask
Remember her face
If you thought to look.

What do you fear, lad?
Do you fear the drink
Or its bitter taste
Stale in your mouth?