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November, 2012:

Friday miscellany…

... unapologetically-a-fan-of-my-MP edition…

I am getting more than a little pissed off about the treatment that my MP, David McGuinty, is getting these days just because he lost his composure for an instant and blurted something that, albeit correct, he probably should have put in a better way.

Here are the facts:

  • He more or less said that Alberta MPs should spend less time cow-towing to the oil and gas industry and see the bigger picture – i.e., the provinces and territories of Canada that don’t begin with an “A” and end with an “a”.
    He was correct in this assessment. Alberta pols get a lot of mileage from slamming us in the East. Who can forget the “Let the eastern bastards freeze in the dark“? I sure as hell don’t!  And do these pols put on blinders and blindly follow whatever is “best” for the tar sands, OF COURSE THEY DO!!! How on earth can this be disputed is beyond me!
  • Hands-up to anyone who has NEVER said something that they would have liked to have taken back.Nobody?

    Yeah, that’s what I thought.

  • Did he “man-up” and apologise? Yes. Unequivocally.And when did we last see a CPC MP apologise for anything? And they have LOTS to say sorry for!


    That’s what I thought.

So lay off the guy. He is a great MP, does loads for his constituency and is a great guy to boot.


Carrying along the same theme, man, some Albertans just love to whine, eh? I know that they are not all like that – I have some great friends who are Albertan born and bred. But this whole horse at the Royal York and Rogers Centre thing is over the top.

The Royal York is a private establishment that was under no obligation to let a flea carry varmint into its lobby. NONE! Would YOU, as an owner of a biz like the RY want a horse in it? Of course not! The hotel did eventually relent to the loud mouthed yokels standing outside the hotel demanding that the nag be let in, but I sure as hell would have stuck to my guns (which I’m sure a few of the Calgarians were totin’!).

And the Rogers Centre will indeed let the mammal named Deep Six (or something) in as well. I just hope that the beast doesn’t get spooked by being in a REAL stadium and not that barn they call McMahon Stadium.

Bold prediction – Argos 31 and the Stumps 10!



Sigh. Black Friday. Whatta fine example of hyper-consumerism. And now it’s here in Canada. Isn’t it enough that store are putting up gaudy xmas decorations and playing that infernal music as early as August?? Do we really need another reason to shop?

I can’t believe how many of we Canucks head to US border towns to pick up goods that may be a few bucks cheaper! Sure, a lot of goods are more costly here but don’t give me that “I’m getting ripped off by Canadian retailers crap. Most of our retail outlets are American-owned or controlled anyways and they set the prices. Plus, taxes are higher here. Those higher taxes go to pay for things like, um, free health care!

For me, today is a “buy nothing” day.


Finally, the weather has been awesome in my corner of the world, but that looks to end soon. Oh well, climate change is making and will continue to make Ottawa winters that much warmer…


“Buy local” Friday!

I am really tiring of the growing trend of Canucks close to the border to travel to the US for the so-called Black Friday sales at the various retail Meccas (i.e., outlet malls).

Seriously, not only are they forcing retailers just north of the 49th to drop their prices ahead of when they normally would in order to compete, but I really cannot see how the savings could offset the costs of getting there, eating there, etc.

And don’t even get me started on the crass hyper-consumerism of this whole thing.

Do your local merchants a favour and if you must shop, buck the trend and shop at home tomorrow!

Oh, and a very Happy American Thanksgiving to my friends and family in the States!


David McGuinty is an honourable man….

… And I suppose he did the honourable thing by apologising for what was spun as an anti-
Alberta slur.

But he was utterly and unequivocally accurate in what he said.

Wasn’t he?

No, as an MP, he shouldn’t have said it.

But I can.

And to all of the CPC hypocrites who jumped all over this misstep: when was the last time a single one if you apologized for anything? ANYTHING?? Even after you have clearly f$$$ed up.

That’s right, you hypocrites.

I’ve been accused from time to time of playing “gotcha” politics. Well, I guess it’s OK when the Cons do it, eh? I don’t see a lot of dissent on Blogging Tories.

David should have chosen his words more carefully for sure but the CPC hypocrites could take lessons from him in honour and humility.


Happy Birthday to…

Sir Wilfred Laurier! The best damn PM this nation has known! A true nation-builder… as opposed to the current CPC PM who can be better termed as a nation-destroyer…

Who else was born on November 20? Well, Bo Derek for one!

Name Occupation Birth Death Known for
Fran Allison
20-Nov-1907 13-Jun-1989 Kukla, Fran and Ollie
Duane Allman
20-Nov-1946 29-Oct-1971 Guitarist, The Allman Brothers
Scott Angelle
20-Nov-1961 Lt. Governor of Louisiana
Robert Armstrong
20-Nov-1890 20-Apr-1973 King Kong
Kaye Ballard
20-Nov-1926 The Mothers-in-Law
Charles Berlitz
20-Nov-1914 18-Dec-2003 Language lessons and specultive non-fiction
Alan H. Bible
20-Nov-1909 12-Sep-1988 US Senator from Nevada, 1954-74
Joseph Biden
20-Nov-1942 Vice President of the United States
Benny Binion
20-Nov-1904 25-Dec-1989 Founder, World Series of Poker
Matt Blunt
20-Nov-1970 Governor of Missouri, 2005-09
John Bolton
20-Nov-1948 US Ambassador to the UN, 2005-06
Carlos Boozer
20-Nov-1981 Chicago Bulls forward
Claude G. Bowers
20-Nov-1878 21-Jan-1958 The Tragic Era
Dan Byrd
20-Nov-1985 Travis Cobb on Cougar Town
Robert Byrd
20-Nov-1917 28-Jun-2010 US Senator, former klan member
Judy Canova
20-Nov-1913 5-Aug-1983 Comic actress, vaudevillian
Thomas Chatterton
20-Nov-1752 24-Aug-1770 Fabricated as Thomas Rowley
June Christy
20-Nov-1925 21-Jun-1990 Something Cool
Henri-Georges Clouzot
Film Director
20-Nov-1907 12-Jan-1977 The Wages of Fear
William W. Coblentz
20-Nov-1873 15-Sep-1962 Infrared spectroscopy
Alistair Cooke
20-Nov-1908 29-Mar-2004 Alistair Cooke’s America
Franklin Cover
20-Nov-1928 5-Feb-2006 Tom Willis on The Jeffersons
James M. Curley
20-Nov-1874 12-Nov-1958 Four-time Mayor of Boston
Mike D
20-Nov-1965 Beastie Boys
Dominique Dawes
20-Nov-1976 Olympic gymnast, Magnificent Seven
Richard Dawson
Game Show Host
20-Nov-1932 2-Jun-2012 Host of Family Feud, 1976-85
Don DeLillo
20-Nov-1936 White Noise
Reginald Denny
20-Nov-1891 16-Jun-1967 English actor and RC airplane popularizer
Bo Derek
20-Nov-1956 10
Douglas Dick
20-Nov-1920 Carl Herrick on Waterfront
Gail Ann Dorsey
20-Nov-1962 Bowie bassist and solo artist
Jeff Dowd
Film/TV Producer
20-Nov-1949 The Dude
Thelma Drake
20-Nov-1949 Congresswoman from Virginia, 2005-09
J. D. Drew
20-Nov-1975 Boston Red Sox
Matt Fong
20-Nov-1953 1-Jun-2011 Strategic Advisory Group
Karl von Frisch
20-Nov-1886 12-Jun-1982 Researched bee communications
Jim Garrison
20-Nov-1921 21-Oct-1992 New Orleans DA investigated JFK’s assassination
Mark Gastineau
20-Nov-1956 New York Jets defensive line
Nadine Gordimer
20-Nov-1923 South African novelist
Chester Gould
20-Nov-1900 11-May-1985 Creator of Dick Tracy
Norman Greenbaum
20-Nov-1942 Spirit in the Sky
Veronica Hamel
20-Nov-1943 Joyce Davenport on Hill Street Blues
Laura Harris
20-Nov-1976 Daisy Adair in Dead Like Me
Davey Havok
20-Nov-1975 AFI
Edwin Hubble
20-Nov-1889 28-Sep-1953 Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble’s Law
Daniel Ernst Jablonski
20-Nov-1660 25-May-1741 Worked to unite protestantism
Don January
20-Nov-1929 Winner, 1967 PGA Championship
Phil Joanou
Film Director
20-Nov-1961 Gridiron Gang
Goodluck Jonathan
Head of State
20-Nov-1957 President of Nigeria
Aubrey Jones
20-Nov-1911 10-Apr-2003 Former MP, Birmingham Hall Green
Richard B. Kelson
20-Nov-1946 CFO of Alcoa, 1997-2006
Robert F. Kennedy
20-Nov-1925 6-Jun-1968 Slain Presidential candidate
Evelyn Keyes
20-Nov-1916 4-Jul-2008 Gone with the Wind
Selma Lagerlöf
20-Nov-1858 16-Mar-1940 First female Nobel Prize for Literature
Kenesaw Mountain Landis
20-Nov-1866 25-Nov-1944 First Commissioner of Baseball
Charles R. Larson
20-Nov-1936 C-in-C, US Pacific Command, 1991-94
Wilfrid Laurier
Head of State
20-Nov-1841 17-Feb-1919 Canadian Prime Minister
Cody Linley
20-Nov-1989 Jake Ryan on Hannah Montana
Sabrina Lloyd
20-Nov-1970 Sliders
Bobby Locke
20-Nov-1917 9-Mar-1987 Won the British Open four times
Princeton Lyman
20-Nov-1935 US Ambassador to South Africa, 1992-95
Benoit Mandelbrot
20-Nov-1924 14-Oct-2010 Fractal mathematician
Richard Masur
20-Nov-1948 Who’ll Stop the Rain
James McGovern
20-Nov-1959 Congressman, Massachusetts 3rd
Joel McHale
TV Personality
20-Nov-1971 The Soup
Theodore R. McKeldin
20-Nov-1900 10-Aug-1974 Governor of Maryland, 1951-59
Richard A. Meserve
20-Nov-1944 President of the Carnegie Institution
David Mills
20-Nov-1961 30-Mar-2010 Writer for The Wire
20-Nov-1963 ER, voice of Mulan
Meredith Monk
20-Nov-1942 Vocalist and “interdisciplinary performance” artist
Toni Onley
20-Nov-1928 29-Feb-2004 British Columbia’s flying artist
Super Dave Osborne
20-Nov-1942 Underwhelming daredevil
Ray Ozzie
Computer Programmer
20-Nov-1955 Microsoft Chief Software Architect
Estelle Parsons
20-Nov-1927 Character and TV actress
Ron Ramsey
20-Nov-1955 Lt. Governor of Tennessee
Rod La Rocque
20-Nov-1898 15-Oct-1969 Braveheart
Russell Rouse
20-Nov-1913 2-Oct-1987 Pillow Talk
Josiah Royce
20-Nov-1855 14-Sep-1916 The Religious Aspect of Philosophy
Dick Smothers
20-Nov-1939 A Smothers Brother
Andre Soltner
20-Nov-1932 Chief chef, Lutece
James Murray Spangler
20-Nov-1848 22-Jan-1915 Invented the upright vacuum cleaner
Margaret Spellings
20-Nov-1957 Secretary of Education
Beryl W. Sprinkel
20-Nov-1923 22-Aug-2009 Council of Economic Advisers, 1985-89
Phyllis Thaxter
20-Nov-1921 14-Aug-2012 The World of Henry Orient
Norman Thomas
20-Nov-1884 19-Dec-1968 American Socialist Party
Jason Thompson
20-Nov-1976 General Hospital
Callie Thorne
20-Nov-1969 Sheila Keefe on Rescue Me
Zeffie Tilbury
20-Nov-1863 24-Jul-1950 The Grapes of Wrath
Josh Turner
Country Musician
20-Nov-1977 Your Man
Nadine Velazquez
20-Nov-1978 Catalina on My Name Is Earl
Pope Pius VIII
20-Nov-1761 30-Nov-1830 Pope for 20 months, maybe poisoned
Joe Walsh
20-Nov-1947 Life’s Been Good To Me
David Walters
20-Nov-1951 Governor of Oklahoma, 1991-95
Lewis Waterman
20-Nov-1836 1-May-1901 Fountain pen
Edvard Westermarck
20-Nov-1862 3-Sep-1939 The Origin & Development of Moral Ideas
Judy Woodruff
20-Nov-1946 PBS newscaster
Hu Yaobang
Head of State
20-Nov-1915 15-Apr-1989 Chinese Communist leader, 1980-87
Sean Young
20-Nov-1959 Replicant in Blade Runner


Things that I won’t bitch about again…

… until I’m 50. Really.

  1. From the Ontario government website:
    Whether on a city street, highway or county road, and regardless of the speed limit and the number of lanes, motorists travelling in both directions must stop when approaching a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing. A flashing stop arm will swing out while passengers are boarding or leaving the bus. (The only exception: on highways separated by a median, traffic coming from the opposite direction is not required to stop).

    Coming back from dropping the kids off at daycare this morning and driving south along St. Laurent. A school bus with lights flashing is stopped in the northbound lane. No median.

    And of course cars travelling in both directions stopped, right?


    And not only that, 5 cars sped by me straddling the centre line and honked at me as if I was doing something wrong! Only one driver stopped behind me! Man, the cops should put an unmarked car behind a school bus just to catch these creeps!!!!

  2. The CPC culture of evasiveness.

    Yeah, yeah, Trashy is off on another anti Harper rant… blah, blah, blah…

    Conservative candidate Joan Crockatt was noticeably absent from Sunday’s Calgary Centre byelection debate.

    Mayor Naheed Nenshi appeared unimpressed, calling it “the elephant not in the room.”

    He quoted a tweet he received from Crockatt confirming she would not attend.

    “I hope tomorrow you remind the crowd about all the good things the Conservatives have done for cities.”

    And they have, Nenshi said.

    “But as I said to her, ‘Gee, you could come and tell them yourself,'” he said. “I don’t think it’s the mayor’s job to do the candidate’s job for her.”

    So CPC candidates are SO proud of themselves for having been anointed by the Chief Robot to stand as a candidate that they feel no need to present their platform in an open forum? All-candidate debates don’t really mean “all”. They mean only “some”.

    The arrogance of this government is astounding, isn’t it?

  3. Air Canada sux. It really does.

    Get this – My spouse trying to book flights for our trip to Cuba in March. I have Aeroplan points I want to use against it plus I have a $500 flight credit given to me for a past bad flight experience. Tried to book said flights using the credit and was informed that because it was Air Canada who issued the credit and not Air Canada Vacations – who handle all trips to Cuba – that the credit couldn’t be used…. didn’t even get to discussing the Aeroplan miles.

    Needless to say I will be following up on this and if not pleased with the outcome with unleash the full fury of this blog, Facebook, Twitter, ya-da-ya-da-ya-da.

  4. Finally, a big fat “who gives a shit” goes out to the NHLPA and the owners. You’ve lost me and will be hard-pressed to get me back. Both groups are little more than a bunch of greedy and selfish bastards!

And that’s it! No more bitching until I’m 50.

Tomorrow: bitching about turning 50.




École Marie-Curie…

…is a small school in Ottawa (close to my ‘hood) that desperately needs a new playground. Well, any playground for that matter, cuz right now it ain’t got nuthin’ except for an small aging play structure, a sandbox and asphalt… lots of asphalt.

No trees. No shade of any kind, in fact.

When I think that the playground at my school – a zillion years back – had way more equipment, trees, shade, places to sit than this school has, I am gob-smacked! That was in the Middle Ages, people!

But hey, don’t take MY word for it!, here’s a screen shot of the school. The play area is to the left and yup, lots of asphalt, eh?

But what École Marie-Curie DOES have is a very concerned, active and motivated school Council and they have launched a drive to fund a new playground through the AVIVA Community Project funding competition. There are a number of rounds of public voting and the top 10 from each round go onto the next until winners are chosen – by votes – in each of the project categories (large, medium, small).

All you have to do is register and vote each day for the project. Everyone can vote once in a 24 hour period and we are now at day 4 of the 2 week-long round.

Here is the link.

Yes, you give them your email, but I registered during last year’s campaign and didn’t receive a single soliciting email… so they don’t spam you!

Please consider doing this. School Boards don’t fund these things anymore. Fundraising by parents and the help of generous corps like AVIVA are the ONLY ways to pay for what the kids need.


John McCain…

… and Republicans like him?

They are unquestionable, prime, grade A assholes.

Yup. These morons are even more partisan than the Harperites.

Democracy sucks, eh Tea Brains?


Beautiful sunrise…

… in Ottawa this morning…



I once cut my leg up with a chainsaw…

… so we must ban chainsaws!

Look, as a Dad with a daughter who is allergic to fish and a son allergic to tree nuts, I totally “get” why parents get hyped up about their kids being exposed to substances that may result in a severe reaction. But I also “get” that I cannot eliminate the risk 100% of the time! I’m not going to the Loblaws store Manager demanding that cashews be taken off the shelves or isolated in a “nut-only” secure room on the off-chance that a bag could split open while my kid is in the general vicinity.

No I’m not going to do that.

And I think that this parent is going a little over the top in demanding that an oak tree be removed from her child’s school because of acorns – which she perceives to be a threat.

One parent’s bid to remove four oak trees from a park straddling her acorn-allergic daughter’s elementary schoolyard has generated fresh debate over what lengths authorities should go to eliminate childhood risks, and when the line between reasonable accommodation and overreaction is crossed.

Donna Giustizia told Vaughan, Ont., city council that the saplings dropping tree nuts onto school property pose a threat to young students with anaphylaxis-inducing allergies and are infringing on their right to a nut-free space.

But the request is being met with broad skepticism, as city councillors are forced to mull the tricky business of altogether removing something that might be a risk for a small segment of the population.

Skepticism, indeed.

Besides, after a couple of minutes of searching the Interweb, it seems as though acorns aren’t tree nuts at al! At least not from an alergen perspective.

This is courtesy of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology

Both acorns and chestnuts are a member of the plant family called Fagaceae. This family is different from those of tree nuts (almond, walnut, hickory, pecan, cashew). The substances that produce allergy in acorns and chestnuts are therefore different than those that produce allergy to the other tree nuts. To my knowledge, there is no risk of a patient with nut allergy having a reaction to contact with acorns or with leaves of any sort. I could not find any evidence for such risk on an Internet search.

The only allergy reaction to acorns that I am aware of occurs in areas of the world where they are eaten, and occurs to the ingestion of the acorn. In this instance the allergy is separate from nut allergy.

Now how about those chainsaws?


Look out Yankees!!

Right on AA! You did done good.

Now maybe the Jays can once again contend in the AL East!