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March, 2009:

Thanks!!!!!!

Thanks Newfoundland and Labrador – for joining Confederation 60 years ago!

Canada is a richer, funnier and more interesting place because of you!

Raise a glass to another 60!

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(465)

Help! I lost my freakin’ phone and I can’t get up!

Yeah, I know only readers of a certain vinatge will catch on the the title of this note.

Anyway, Trashy has lost his cell phone. I liked my Razr. It was light. Had a big keypad for my stubby fingers. The volume was great. I miss her.

Dunno where I went wrong. I’m pretty anal about where on my body I carry my phone and am usually aware of its presence. My best guess is that I lost it on the #86 or at Elmvale Acres plaza. Yeah – I called both OC Transpo and the plaza… and got zilch.

So, it is looking like Trashy may have to get a new one – much to my chagrin. I am holding off until at least the weekend to see if it turns up, but if not, it’s off to Rogers I go. I’m finding it very inconvenient and frustrating not being plugged in while at a meeting or on the bus.

To the purpose of this scribble.

I am soliciting opinions on what I should spend my hard-earned shekels.

These are my specs:

  1. It has to be Rogers compatible.
  2. I like to send pics from time to time.
  3. It has to have a clear and preferably large display.  My vision ain’t what it used to be.
  4. I’m not hung up on surfing the net on my phone, but I would like to access my email once in a while.
  5. Good volume (I don’t hear so well either – too many chainsaws and bulldozers as a younger guy – with no hearing protection)
  6. I’m not a heavy user of voice or text. I send less than 100 texts per month and am always under my 200 minute limit. I point out my usage patterns only because some phones are available only if one signs up on a specific plan.

I might just get another Razr – but maybe I’m ready for a change. Any advice would be appreciated. Do you already have a phone that would seem to meet my requirements? Are there any cell phone phanatics out there that may be able to help?

My old phone. May she rest in peace.

My old phone. May she rest in peace.

(1375)

And if ya can’t play with it properly, then you don’t get to play with it at all.

The Government of Québec has made the wise move of pulling all of its police force’s Tasers out of the field after some of them were shown to be malfunctioning.

Hopefully a full ban is next and the rest of the country follows suit… if our cops can’t use it with respect, then they should not have this weapon.

Are you listening, RCMP???

(1511)

Keeping the Harperites on track – good for the Grits

The Grits have come up with a pretty clever idea… setting up a website in the name of holding a government to account on specific promises is not new – but it is indeed novel here in the land of the ice and snow.

onprobation.ca is exactly what the name implies – keeping the neocons in line and to account. This is especially useful since these same purveyors of all things Victorian have campaigned on the sacred notions of transparency and accountability (too bad the budget watchdog -an independent and non-partisan office – is not towing the company line…. though the government of the day is going to suffocate this useful initiative through underfunding).

I especially like the timeline on the site. It points out the dates of release of key economic indicators and other dates that are of importance when assessing the Harperites’ (non) progress in mitigating the worst effects of the current financial shitstorm.

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A not-so-squishy post about a real waste of taxpayer $$$’s!

Back to ranting.

Check this out. In times where everyone in the Public Service is being asked to tighten their collective belts, the miliatry sees fit to give their slightly wacky ex-Grand Poobah a VERY expensive going away party!

$270 K to be exact! And $6,600 so his Holiness could track off into the sunset on a frickin’ tank!

Off into the sunset... and to get 20K per speaking engagement!

Off into the sunset... and to get 20K per speaking engagement!

Yeah, yeah – I can hear the military folks bleating (this is your cue, Squiddude) that this pomp and ceremony is an integral “part” of the military and is essential to maintain morale! But from my angle it seems that buying some new equipment for the soldiers may do even MORE for morale with the added benefit of helping them not get, uh, killed in that quagmire we like to call Afghanistan!

Gee, I wonder if Nortel threw a magnificent party for those thousand of folks that they laid off?

(5352)

In the (hic!) night garden

Continuing along my new theme of bringing out a new and cuddly Trashy – instead of constantly haranguing against (or is it “at”) Conservatives, religious loonies, stoopid people and things that acutely annoy me – I present to you today a critique of a children’s show entitled “In the Night Garden”.

I discovered this gem one morning at about 5:30 a.m., whilst lying on the bed in my spare room with my 5 year old who had woken way too early that day. Surfed through info-mercials, sports, etc. and came across this vaguely Dali-esque example what’s hot for the under 7 set.

I instantly realised that this was a kid’s show unlike other kid shows. For one thing, I first thought that I was suffering the effects of one too many Merlots the night previous and that I was finally experiencing a true visual hallucination.

But I looked beside me and my dear daughter hadn’t transformed to some nightmarish, shape-shifting robot, so concluded that this was indeed a real show and not a figment of an overindulgence.

The makers of the show bill it as existing in a child’s imagination – somewhere between waking and sleeping.

If I were given the job of inventing a tagline it would be:

“MAJORLY MESSED UP FREAKY CHARACTERS DESIGNED BY A TEAM OF SCIENTOLOGISTS HOPPED UP ON A COMBO OF ‘SHROOMS AND ACID!

Or something like that.

Allow me to introduce some of the characters:

This is Igglepiggle:

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He’s the bad boy of the cast. At the end of each episode, after everyone has gone night-night, this rascal is still romping (naked) in the obviously pesticide-enhanced garden. He does eventually climb into his boat with a blankie and falls asleep while the boat sails away.

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This cutypie is Upsy Daisy.

Upsy, clearly suffering from a sleep disorder, spends her time either sleeping – or dragging her bed along with her through The Night Garden in search of rocks that have gone missing – or chasing after Iggle Piggle. There is a definite sexual tension at work here folks that is just beneath the surface.

Her name also happens to be the title of one of the most underappreciated albums of all time:

album-upsy-daisy-assortment

Had to put that in.

Makka Pakka (below) seems to represent the adventurous part of the human condition. Or the hallucinagenic one.

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He (or she – tough to tell) likes to teach valuable life lessons to the others. But the tragic part of Makka Pakka is that his vocabulary is limited to – wait for it – Makka Pakka. As in, Makka Pakka, Makka Pakka, Makka Pakka, Makka Pakka… etc. Because of this distant cousin of that wacky “Conehead” family, I now have to watch this show with the sound turned off.

One last character worth noting is the Ninky Nonk.

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While looking like your average train ( “average” in the THC context, that is), it is quite unique in that it appears in and leaves scenes doing little more than making electronic beeping sounds and, uh, farting.  No useful role other than that of a beeping, farting, stoned train. Is this what CSNY meant by the “Marrakesh Express“?

In short, I strongly recommend this show if your supplier has become “unavailable” or you’re a frat boy or girl that needs a new idea for a drinking game.

My kids? They love this thing. Must be subliminal stuff going down.

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(1899)

Fish, boats and bikinis

Now that I am in blog writing mode, I am periodically looking for new and interesting things to talk about. I can only go on for so long about idiocy, ignorance and incompetence (see my blogs about the Pope, Stephen Harper and the transit strike) before that starts to get old and I feel the need for a change. So here goes.

My Mom in the Parry Sound area got tired of seeing my family and me but a few times a year so she got a bee in her bonnet about renting a cottage from a friend of theirs for my clan for a week in the summer.  And we said, “why not”?

With double daycare this year, we cannot really afford a holiday to the Caribbean or really anywhere remotely tropical (Barrhaven doesn’t count) so this might be the next best thing.

The cottage is on the same lake that yours truly grew up beside from the ages of 5 through 18 – those ol’ formative years.  My days as a youngster were spent lifting rocks in search of crayfish to use as bait or catching frogs and digging up worms for the same reason. Yup, my brother Jim and I did a lot of fishing. Well, I fished. I think Jim talked a lot and scared the fish away.

From what I remember, it was a great lake for fishing. Big Whitefish Lake is about 2 km by 4 km at its widest points and is connected to two other lakes – making for quite a large marine area.  Lots of fishing spots. Landed lots of bass, the occasional trout. Perch. And even a snapping turtle on occasion.

When I became a teen, I was much more preoccupied with “cruisin” in the search of females rather than baiting hooks. And we did find quite a few – females that is. I, along with a childhood friend, Bill – and of course little bro’ Jim – motored around in our 12 foot aluminum boats with the 7.5 hp Mercury outboards clamped to the transoms. We’d see a boat full of bikinis and quite shamelessly pull up alongside to start a conversation and share a smoke or a beer. We met lots of other kids that way who were on the lakes for the same reasons as we were. To meet other teens and to have fun.

Yeah. Speaking of beer. We did lots of stupid things too. Things that would merit my eldest groundings of unequalled proportions. Like, returning from parties at 2am. In the pitch black. With no running lights aside from a Bic lighter. No lifejackets. And we were never drinking, uh, Diet Coke at these parties.

But we met many, many new friends on the lakes. Friends that we would retain throughout our teen years. Summer people mostly. Cottagers. They would be around for 3 or 4 months and then we’d lose touch with most of them until the next summer. I’ve lost touch with all of them now. My “cruisin’ the lake” years happened between, oh, 1977 and 1981. One tends to lose touch with lots of folks over 30-odd years.

But what an idyllic life it was!  A life that none of my kids will get to enjoy. Although my eldest was born in Parry Sound, she’s an urbanite and my two youngest are destined to be so as well. I like city living And as an adult, I prefer it to country living by a mile and would never move back there or anywhere else that didn’t have a half-decent all-you-can-eat sushi spot. But I can’t help but wonder what my kids are missing that I was fortunate to experience.

They will never spend their summers looking for frogs or trying to keep their sibling quiet while trying to nab a bass. And they will never experience tying 4 or 5 boats together and partying the afternoon away under a cloudless summer sky.

But that’s all OK. This summer, they’ll get a little glimpse of what I took for granted.

(1301)

Nortel, AIG and the culture of corporate entitlement

So the suits at Nortel are asking for permission to pay bonuses to its top executives because they have done such a damned great job.

Check it out:

Wow! There is a list of accomplishments if I ever ever seen one! If my annual performance review ever looked like this, I would not only lose my job, but my employer would haul my sorry ass in front of a judge and I’d end up making license plates while enjoying the company of my new bunkmate named “Bunny“.

What gall! It’s the Canuck version of the AIG fiasco.

Give us our bonuses ’cause dammit, we drove the company and our shareholders right smack into a platinum coated wall and then left the scene with our wallets intact! After all, we are entitled to this compensation!

But hell, since y’all seem a little pissy about this, I tell ya what – we’ll “ask” our trough feeding execs to give HALF of the bonus back! Does THAT keep you quiet?

The crass greed of these guys and those inhabiting the soon to be sold exec suites at Nortel are the best (and worst) examples of the odour of corporate entitlement that has permeated much of corporate culture. Now, I am not at all against paying those who are in charge of large companies (or governments, for that matter) a considerable amount of coin when it comes to their compensation. BUT, when these same captains of industry let the wheel goes free and the ship head butts an iceberg… well, they don’t deserve anything.

They merit even less when the said ship is raised again using public funds and those same Captains of that same ship clamber back aboard, raise the sails and raid the treasure chest that have most thoughtfully re-stocked with public money.

Shameless.

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Pope cartoon in the Globe and Mail this morning

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The Popey-Dopey – redux

This – well, it says it all, doesn’t it? Every sperm is sacred

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