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Public Service and the art of flossing

While lying in the dentist’s chair at lunch today, having my teeth ground, picked at and prodded, I was thinking about how lucky I am to have the job that I do.

A lot of folks go through their lives never really finding anything positive about the daily tasks they perform in order to earn money to pay for the mortgage, bills and their daughter’s $40 baseball caps.

I am happy to say that I am not one of those souls.

Sure, there are days when I have to drag myself into my cube… meetings that are intolerably long and mundane… people who make me wince… but by and large, I like what I do and think that it is important- both to my country and to those who use the information that I am in part responsible for generating.

“Oh wow!” You say. “Where is this Shangri-la of cube life? This Valhalla that takes me a way from la vie quotidienne? This Paradise of careers? Trashy must be an adventurer! An Indiana Jones in search of fine wines and treasures in wild and magnificent locales!”

Can tell ya exactly where but suffice it to say that I’m a voyeur of sorts. Not the ilk that peers out their 14th floor window into the windows of strangers. Rather, my voyeurism is of a deeper character – much more insidious in a way than those that involve field glasses.

Yeah – real exciting. Not as scintillating as a frosh discovering that the apartment across the street from his is home to three Norwegian female exchange students who are really into “naturalism”.

But the stuff that I ask about nonetheless “matters” in a more global, social-good sense. For the abovementioned frosh, it’s more a of a “how-can-I-get-them-to-one-of-my-keg-parties” sense.

(Gee – I sound like an insurance ad.)

Not only do I have all of this power (woo-hoo!), but I work with interesting, highly intelligent and highly motivated people who really do give a shit. And they frickin’ MEAN IT!

I guess that is the one drawback . We are all painted with the same cynically-tipped brush that is used on the politicians . But the vast majority of the Canadian public see all of us in same the dim light that has illuminated a few individuals that do not hold the same high standards that I and those with whom I work consider to be proper.

But this negative is far overwhelmed by the positives…. like a dental care plan… which is why I had to put up with a lecture given by a 20-something hygienist on the virtues of flossing.

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The Liberal Convention

I was going to write about the speeches the other night, but have decided against it.
Old news now.
But for the record, I thought that GK blew everyone else outta the water.
But that’s old news.
Now the question is: can Dion beat Harper?
I don’t think so – but I am open to surprises.
More on this in the coming weeks and months.

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Where is that damned Green Party application form?

2:12 pm.
The blogosphere and the Mothercorp, and Mercer and Kinsella are all saying that this is Dion’s to lose now.
I believe them.
The 3rd ballot results should be out in the next 30 minutes or so.

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Liberal Convention

I’ll talk about the speeches later, but here some observations as of noon on Saturday:

Iggy has stalled.
Rae has the momentum.
Betting the farm that there is going to be a Dion – Kennedy alliance and an Iggy – Rae coupling.
Kennedy will be able to deliver delegates to Dion better than Rae to Iggy.
No idea how this going to turn out – but Iggy is toast unless Rae can deliver more than seems possible.
Man, I can live with Rae as a leader – prefer Kennedy of course… but I really don’t see the winnability of another QC leader.
Here’s a question – where will Dryden’s delegates go?

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Ottawa – whatzup? I really don’t "get" why many of…

Ottawa – whatzup? I really don’t “get” why many of the fine citizens of Ottawa – or Canada for that matter – despise the Toronto Maple Leafs to such a degree. Has Paul Maurice done donuts on someone’s lawn in Barrhaven?

Doubt it.

Has Mats Sundin poisoned the soup at one of the Tim Horton’s in Kanata?

Don’t think so.

Did Tie Domi make an indecent proposal to someone’s daughter out in Navan? Might have – but no evidence of it.

Ottawa can be a funny place to live… even if you put the whole politics things aside for a moment (which is admittedly pretty tough to do). Sometime it seems like the town is just that – a town – not a major city that happens to be the capital of the ol’ true North Strong and Free. Having grown up in a place that would make Mayberry seems almost chic, I can see the similarities between Bytown and Humphrey. Don’t misunderstand me. I’ve lived here for 9 years and love Ottawa. It is my home and I plan on staying here for the foreseeable future – but the sportz fans here really do have to snap out of the small town mode.

Don’t diss T.O. so much. Torontonians don’t care. They really don’t.

Stay at your games at least until the middle of the third period. There IS a second half of the period. Forget about how packed the 417 will be. Sit back. Mellow.

Don’t assume that just because someone is a Leaf fan that they are by definition a fan of Toronto in general. This is often not true. Growing up 150 miles north of the Big Smoke in cottage country, we learned to despise those from the South. It was taught in high school.

Above all, learn to live with the painful truth that the Senators will never, NEVER defeat the blue and white when it counts – in the playoffs.Sorry – had to get that dig in. Next time on Trashy’s sportz: Soccer – why Canadians suck at the Beautiful Game

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Programmable thermostats and Big Brother


A colleague told me a story today that kind of freaked me out.
As part of the Ontario smart meter program, he had one of these devices installed in his home. You know – the smart meters are the ones that monitor your electricity usage through the day and will serve as a householder,s guide when we Ontarians begin to be charged for our consumption on a scale based on the time of the day.
Well, the folks at Ottawa Hydro or Ontario Power Generation or whomever is responsible for this program had another “gift” for my colleague. They would receive a brand new programmable thermostat free of charge and accessible over the web by you off PC so you can adjust the programming remotely,
But there is a catch.
You are not the only one who can access the controls to the thermostat. To receive the free gift, you must sign a waiver agreeing that the power authority can access your household’s thermostat from THEIR computers and adjust YOUR household’s temperature. So, on a scalding hot day, they can reach into your system and lower your consumption to reduce the loads on the grid.
Is this for real?
Of course, my colleague declined the offer but who in their right mind would consent to it?
What a Big Brother move.
Wow.
Here’s the link to the program: http://hydroone.apogee.net/smartstat/

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A waste of oxygen

Oh goody.
The ideologues are pandering to their 19th century roots again.
The Harperites are bringing up same sex marriages.
Again.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/yourview/2006/11/tories_plan_december_vote_on_s.html
Let it go and stand tall in knowing that Canada is one of the only enlightened democracies that does not limit its definition of a legal life-long commitment only to those of opposite sexes.
We should and do have better things to debate.
Like our role in Afghanistan maybe?

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Addy and the Blue and White

She’s not yet 3 years old – but already has her loyalty attached to the right colours!

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Canada is a nation. Quebec is not.

Unbelievable that this issue is receiving so much air and debate time.
Strictly as a political maneuver – first by the Bloc taking advantage of Liberal leadership disagreement and then by Harper to score political points in QC.
But he treads a fine line here – but I don’t think he cares because like the Bloc every move is calculated to better their electoral fortunes with scant regard to the future of the country and what may be at stake.
Thank-you Mr. Kennedy for taking a gutsy stand and welcome breath of sanity.

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Been away for a while


I don’t know why I abandoned this for as long as I did. I DO like to spout off and I by and large DON’T care much about which unfortunate soul may be at the receiving end of my blah-blah’s.

Lately, I have noticed a marked change in strategy for the Conservatives. They have gone from the PMO command and control mode to the “holy crap! We’re still the government! what the hell can we screw up this week!” approach.

First it was the Rona show at the Climate Change conference last week. What an opportunity to try and sell the Conservative commitment to, uh, climate change emission reductions!

But, uh-uh – she takes the opportunity to bitch about the Liberals and how they screwed things up for the good guys – the Conservatives!

Being named after a popular Canadian home supply store can’t be easy and it must from time to time impede on her ability to jump out of and run around that 6m x 4m spruce plywood box, but, shouldn’t she have at least acknowledged something along the lines of a step in the right direction?

Saw a great Fifth Estate last week – this show never ceases to amaze me.

This time it was about the so-called climate change “deniers”… turns out there is a group of academics who use their credentials to poo-poo a number of contentious subjects like climate change, the effect of cigarettes on health and the notion the earth is round. Many of these scientists have migrated to the Conservative crowd screaming out to anyone that cares that climate change is (take your pick) : not really happening ; is happening, but is completely natural and human activities have nothing to do with it, or; is damned fine since we’ll soon be able to grown bananas in the oil patch!

Anyhow – Steve and Rona are taking their cues from these yahoos. They have to be. Right? I mean, we wouldn’t have knowingly elected a Prime Minister and Cabinet who would whine about how the neighbourhood bullies messed up the planet, tables “air quality” legislation that completely ignores climate change and then turn to flat-earthers to back them up. Would we?

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