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Progressive Bloggers

I would like to give a quick tip of the hat to Scott (of Scott’s Diatribes) and the others behind the scene who make the blog aggregator – Progressive Bloggers – plug along year after year… And now in its TENTH FREAKING YEAR! 

Older than the Harperite nightmare, it is!

Quite an accomplishment, indeed.

For those of you not in-the-know, PG accepts applications from like-minded progressive bloggers to be included on its site. It is THE collection of blog posts that promote, to one degree or another, the belief that progressive policies and thinking should be the cornerstone of public policy decisions. I’ve been a member of this site for, um, about 6 or 7 of the ten years (I think) and will often click on the PG posts to see what crazy shit is the talk of the day.

Now, the blogs that feed into this site vary pretty widely on the political spectrum from centrist to the far left. And we don’t always agree with one another. But, unlike the vitriol that is often spat from similar regressive conservative sites, we progressives are usually respectful of our differences and civil in our dialogues.

Keep up the great work, Scott! Have a nice celebration today… I believe a chai latte is on the menu, no?


The “what I would like seen thrown into the Ottawa River”…

… page has been updated.

Check it out.


I’m thinking about setting up…


… a separate photo blog. I’ve become much more interested in iPhone photography lately using Instagram and would like to have a platform to post them to. I have tried Flikr but haven’t been impressed so maybe a blog is the way to go.

Upside is that I’d have a more focussed site and would feel freer to post all the pics I wanted. The downside would be that I wouldn’t post anything that could identify anyone. No faces. Especially those of my family. I can and do control access to family photos on Instagram and Facebook, but it is more difficult to do so on a blog unless I want to make it password protected.

Gotta give this some more thought.


Website maintenance

I’ve been told that there will be some work on the server that hosts this blog so don’t be surprised if you try to come back later and get nuthin’. Hopefully the work will be completed today.


Sometime last week…

… I went over 100,000 page views!

Yeah, I know that’s small change for some big-traffic sites, but still… pretty cool.


Year in review….

can be found here... interesting stats.


An example of how things can get outta hand…

… on the Interweb thingy…

An innocent post by a fellow Ottawa blogger – and pretty cool person – has caused a storm of sentences! A cacophony of curses! A maelström of meanness! And an onslaught of overreactions!

Seems Zoom (The Knitnut) put up an innocent post soliciting opinions about whether or not they should adopt a certain type of dog from a rescue organization. She said the following: We’re not crazy about the look of poodles. She’s not ugly, but she’s not drop-to-your-knees heart-meltingly cute either. I think we’re both feeling guilty about this. Is it terribly shallow of us to reject a sweet little dog on the basis of her looks?

Um. No. I don’t think so.

Well, some self-proclaimed do-gooder forwarded this on to the owner of the rescue group and the group immediately disqualified Zoom and her family from adopting the varmint… judging their suitability as pet-owners solely based on these couple of lines from a blog post. That’s it. Here’s how Zoom put it:

Yesterday’s blog post, Should we adopt this puppy? has had some completely unexpected and bizarre repercussions.

Someone forwarded the post to Kim Knapp, founder of Friendly Giants Dog Rescue, and she hated it. I don’t understand what her problem with it is, as she doesn’t seem to be able to articulate it, but she really hates the post.

Not only is she not allowing us to adopt the puppy in question, and barring us from adopting any dog from FGDR, but she claims to have contacted all the other dog rescues in the Ottawa area. She says we should not be allowed to adopt a dog. She says “The rescue community is a very tight-knit family and stuff like this travels like wildfire.”

What I want to know is, STUFF LIKE WHAT? What have we said that would make anyone think we’re unfit to adopt a dog?

She’s also threatening to sue me.

Personally – I don’t see the big deal. So what? You make a throwaway comment about the looks of a dog. Don’t we all make comments of the appearance of one thing or another? But it’s a dog, you say – looks shouldn’t matter. The hell it shouldn’t! I’m sorry people, but it is human nature to use attractiveness – whatever the criteria may be – as one element of decision-making! If you don’t recognise that then you are being incredibly naïve.

Anyways – lots of comments on the post. The rescue org is threatening lawsuits if Zoom does not take down the reference to the organization – which is total BS. There is nothing libelous in this post. In fact, FGDR posted several times on its FB site about this whole travesty using terms that COULD be considered actionable (since taken down after they were reported to the FB gurus). Eight-two comments on her blog later (she has had some primo traffic lately) and the morons at the FGDR have been trolling and have adopted different aliases (same IP address – newbies!) to post defamatory comments, and have claimed to have banned Zoom from the animal rescue community and managed to get much of the Ottawa blogosphere into a titter. All over an innocent blog post.

Two things to conclude.

  1. The peeps – as least some – who run that organization are extremely judgmental, thin-skinned, extremist and shallow.
  2. They are bullies, pure and simple. As one commenter pointed out: This is how the values of an entire country are being corrupted. Bullying is the pith and substance of the present government. From there it’s been seeping downwards, into the media and to the grassroots. What you’re experiencing is bullying, pure and simple, and I’m glad you’re standing up to it.

I’m not a dog person, and never will be and will never understand why some people are so attached to animals… but, Zoom, I hope you and your family can find a pet without ever, ever having to go through the bullshit that you have had to endure because of this incredibly cowardly bully.

Happy Christmas!


Bye-bye ads…

… you’re not for me.

I have been experimenting with Adsense ads on my site for a while now. I figgered, “what the hell”, I get half decent traffic so maybe I can make a few bucks. Maybe enough to get extra toppings for my pizza!

But no, I’m going back to the no-ads policy. They clutter up the site too much and aren’t worth the few bucks you get back… eventually.

I guess you need daily traffic in the thousands and not hundreds to make it worthwhile.



New link

More and more I find myself wandering over to Pushed to the Left and Loving It… so I thought I’d add a link to the site in my sidebar.

Worth a read if you’re a like-minded progressive thinker.


Blog of the week: the-O-dot

I have been getting a laugh-a-minute from this Ottawa-based satirical blog called the the-O-dot News Update. It’s sort of a lower budget version of The Onion – but just as funny and it’s mostly about Bytown!.

Take the post that is on the front page today:

Florida Seniors Stoked For Another Spring Break

“We’ll keep our eye on the Spring Breakers and make sure no one gets hurt or causes problems.” explained County Sheriff Gus Harding. “Last year we had an impaired senior on a Rascal scooter so we’ll be cracking down on the seniors as well as the students.” Harding replied.


But what I really like about this blog is its focus on Ottawa. In fact, Westboro in particular is often a target of the author’s wit.

Check it out:

City Approves Segregated Stroller Lane For Wellington/Westboro

“I think it’s a great idea.” says Wellington Village resident Dave Shindle who suffered a lacerated ankle from a stroller last year. “The strollers will be off the sidewalks and allow us non-baby people to enjoy shopping and getting our lattes without fearing injury or slowdowns trying to get around the slow moving stroller people.

Or this one that quite a few folks took seriously at first before realising that this was really satire:

Westboro To Use Artisan Sea Salt On Icy Roads

Imported from the south of France, the new artisan sea salt will increase road salting costs by 475%, but Hobbs sees the benefits far outweighing the increased costs. “My ward residents are quite happy to pay extra taxes if they can enjoy the benefits of the artisan salt.” Hobbs replied. City Hall passed the motion put forward by Hobbs, and Westboro residents should start seeing the application of the sea salt as early as next week on their neighbourhood roads. Discussions are also underway to have area sidewalks plowed with organic bamboo shovels instead of the regular metal scrapers used by current sidewalk snow removal units.

I know lots of folks from Westboro, and this was, well, more than slightly believable!

The blog also takes the expected shots at OC Transpo, the Feds (though this is a true story and not satire), and other Ottawa institutions… all in good fun.

Whether you are from Ottawa or not, I highly recommend adding The-O-dot to your feed and to your fave lists if you haven’t already done so…