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Stuff I didn’t know before…


New Brunswick is a province that is stuck in the Dark Ages when it comes to access to abortions. An abortion must be be deemed “medically neccesary” before it can be performed.

And… that Beelzebub is alive and active in Fredericton.

As for the first new piece of knowledge…

I learned this upon hearing a CBC piece about the Morgentaler Clinic in Fredericton performing the clinic’s final abortions before it closes at the end of this month.

The July 31 closure was announced in April by the clinic, which said it can’t afford to continue performing abortions without provincial funding.

Yet, it appears that good has prevailed over the forces of evil in this Maritime city… Which brings me to the second thing I added to my mental library:

Some New Brunswickers, such as Kelly Seale, want less access to abortions, not more.

“Soon as I walk by there, I feel a very strong feeling of the devil. Yeah,” said Seale, who works at an anti-abortion centre next door to the clinic.

Yeah, the devil.


Gotta love knowledge.


Ten years and counting…

It’s an important anniversary for me today – on February 4, 2004, I smoked my last cigarette.

And that was one of the best decisions of my life.

It was very difficult. But I did it. And I haven’t become one of those rabid anti-smokers; even though I now find the smell absolutely disgusting. Smoking is a chemical addiction and like any dependency, it is very hard to break.

I know. I’ve been there.

Happy Anniversary to me!


Gorge, gorge, gorge…

… on as much as you can! It’s good for ya! It’s the American way!

Well, maybe not for this guy.




The unofficial spokesman for the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas has died of a heart attack. He was the second unpaid mascot to die in the past two years.

John Alleman, 52, suffered an attack while waiting at a bus stop in front of the diner last week. He was taken off life support Monday.

The medically themed diner is famous for its huge hamburgers, extra-fat milkshakes and fries cooked in lard. It uses the tagline: “Taste worth dying for.”

Owner Jon Basso told the Las Vegas Sun that Alleman came to the restaurant daily and encouraged passing tourists to try its calorie-laden offerings.

“He never missed a day, even on Christmas,” Basso said. “People just loved him. He connected with people in a real way.”

Yeah. He’s connecting with a funeral home now…

But this does look yummy, though:


… but EVERY DAY????


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?


Dirty hotel rooms…

… are everywhere!!!

CBC’s Marketplace released some findings of a health study done on a variety of low and high-end hotel rooms across Canada.

Warriner (the researcher) tested common “hot spots” in hotel rooms using an adenosine triphosphate (ATP) measuring device that determines microbial contamination on surfaces.

A scan of any surface gauges the level of contamination with a simple numerical value, employing a scale used in similar tests in schools and offices. An ATP level under 300 is considered a “pass,” while anything between 300 and 999 is in considered to be in the “caution zone.” An ATP level over 1,000 is deemed a fail.

Marketplace’s test found that bed comforters, bathroom faucets and TV remotes were the top three dirtiest spots in hotel rooms.

The article goes on to note how some of the better hotels; the Fairmonts and the Sheratons, for example, scored worse in some categories than lower end places.

Is anyone really surprised by these findings?

The housekeepers have a quota of number of rooms cleaned per day. They have to meet this quota as a condition of their continued employment. So they may not have enough time to throughly clean every room assigned to them; especially if a couple of rooms are especially dirty and need extra attention. The hotel managers are trying to squeeze every last cent from them to lower their own costs, so the chances of the housekeepers being assigned fewer rooms are pretty slim.

In any case, I for one will be a bit extra vigilant the next time I stay in a hotel room… and I won’t be pulling the comforter all the way up to my neck!


So now we give awards to batshit crazy…

.nutbars who terrorise women in abortion clinics?


Look, as an anti-monarchist, I hold little value in those petty jubilee awards, but they are important to some and so should be granted to those who exemplify something, have performed a great service, etc., etc.

Not to freakin’ FRUITCAKES WHO TERRORISE women who are already in states of emotional chaos!

Isn’t the GG’s office supposed to vet these things?


Lifestyle change…

… results after 10 days.

Hey! Psst. Wanna lose 10 pounds in 10 days?

No – this isn’t an ad… I’m just amazed that by cutting back to a 1,000ish mg of daily sodium intake, I have lost so much weight in such a short period of time… just by cutting out crappy processed foods and being really conscious of what I’m eating!

Not only that, I’m sleeping better and have more energy!

Yeah, I do want to one day be able to have a slice of pizza now and then or some Chinese food… but not until Christmas at the soonest and only in moderation after that. Trashy has had an epiphany! Nothing like a bit of a scare courtesy of one’s family doctor to bring on an epiphany.

Maybe this whole high BP thing has a silver lining.


Lifestyle change for Trashy…

… no pizza, bacon, pre-made soup, Chinese food (actually, no restaurants at all). No deli meat. No cheese (that one hurts), nor most salad dressings. No peanuts, sunflower seeds, nor crackers.

Yup. Low, low salt time.

This is gonna be tough.

Any advice?


Well, duh…

…of course teens are going to wander off to the nearest fast food joint instead of paying for a cheese-less, whole grain slice of za!

That’s what I woulda done.

I’m not arguing against the healthy food policy that came into effect this year at Ontario schools. Not at all. But I am hoping that, as this article indicates, schools were prepared for the decline in revenue and students won’t be negatively impacted.

One thing that does worry me a bit is that with the new and more restrictive fundraising directives that will be put into place next year, it may not be permitted to offset declines in revenues with Parent Council fundraising activities.



Ya wanna good beer…

… and give to a mighty worthy cause at the same time?

You might remember some posts a while back about a wonderful young man – my wife’s cousin – who was ambushed by cancer. While Brian is now gone, his friends keep his memory alive by doing stuff like this in support of a charity that was dear to Brian’s heart.

So if you find yourself free tomorrow night and are craving a decent beer, check out the brand new “Brothers Beer Bistro” on Dalhousie Street in Ottawa. It’s run by very good friends of Brian. They are hosting an event where a portion of proceeds will go to the Cedars Cancer Institute, a charity Brian worked very hard to support.

Cancer sux!