Archive for August, 2005

There are certain facts about living in Southern Ontario (Toronto specifically) which one must accept about living here. One of these facts is that if it’s raining, it’s more than likely also windy. I’m no ‘scientician’, but I’ll make up a stat and say that there is at least a brisk wind 90% of the time it’s raining. Still, why do people insist on trying to use umbrellas?

This has puzzled me for years. All they do is blow around, and the rain still blows on an angle under them and you get wet. Your hair remains relatively dry, but more often than not, your umbrella turns into scrap in your hands. Personally, I’m a fan of the ‘rain suit’. Gore-tex jacket and pants. That’s the way to go.

Another fact that can’t be ignored is that of all the people with umbrellas, a disproportionate number of those are shorter than 5’5″. By ‘disproportionate’, I mean ‘nearly all’. Who are you people? I can only surmise that being that much closer to the ground, you figure that the slant of rain that would normally soak someone who’s 6′ doesn’t affect you, but you’re wrong.

Even better, it seems that all these people under 5’5″ who use umbrellas all share a common wrist malfunction that causes them to lose all muscular control just as you’re trying to pass them on the sidewalk (having shorter legs, they also walk slower, you see). This results in those of us who are average height or taller (I’m 5’9ish) dodging the metal spokes that are coming at our eyes, ears and noses. This is not as fun a rainy-day-game as Puddle Jumping.

So please, hear my plea… abandon your umbrellas in favour of jackets and rainpants. It’s the only sensible option. If you feel guilty about throwing your umbrella in the garbage, you can use it to commute to work (what with the price of gas and everything).

No More Traffic Jams

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So I’m reading the CBC News online this morning (as I do every morning… like the good Canadian ‘socialist’ that I am… I mean, I pay for it after all), and I’m reading all about how brutally Louisiana and Alabama got slammed by Hurricane Katrina. I mean, whitecaps on Canal Street? Busted levees with holes that are city blocks wide!? Ridiculous.

Then, I read about the Mayor of Biloxi referring to this is “…our Tsunami”. Hold the phone, Jack. Okay, so they both have to do with water… I’ll grant you that, but 55 dead in a weather-related event of which people had warning (and many of those who died refused to evacuate despite being told to do so) compared to thousands of dead in an event that had no warning signs at all? C’mon…

So, that cynicism was already in place when I got a little hook from a song stuck in my head. I couldn’t figure out what it was from and I was humming it to myself for close to an hour.

“Colonel Tom, what’s wrong? What’s going on? You can’t tie yourself up for a deal.”

Finally, I gave in and Googled it. That’s when I realized I am the worst human being on the face of the earth.

“I had my hands in the river… my feet back up on the banks, looked up to the Lord above and said ‘Hey Man, thanks.’.”

Gordie, baby… I know exactly what you mean.

UPDATE!: This guy might be worse (read the last line). Boo. (snicker)

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Phew. Between surveying and bushwhacking, I had a pretty tiring weekend up at the cottage. On top of that, my new office is in total disarray (read “file folders EVERYWHERE”), so posting is going to be light today. If you’re bored, might I suggest tracking Hurricane Katrina as it slowly disassembles the Gulf Coast?

As for the long weekend… two words. ‘Canoe’ and ‘trip’. The southern tip of Algonquin. Mmm. Campfires and mosquitoes. Good stuff.

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My office is moving floors today, so I only have my computer for a little bit this morning, and I’ll be getting set up on monday. That means posting will be light for the next few days. I’m also headed up to the cottage with my mom and the Duncan twins (my dad and his brother) to stir up trouble in the Ottawa Valley.

I got 7 hours of sleep last night for the first time in weeks. It was GLORIOUS! That puts me in good shape for the drive up to the cottage tonight. If you’re in Bancroft, just wait in the Tim Hortons parking lot for me and I’ll be there to blare tunes soon enough. Giddyup!

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To me, it sounds like the evening news is turning into some freaky weather report… and they’re calling for partly sunny skies with a possibility that it will be raining airplanes. The latest (the fifth so far in August… so far) is the plane crash in Peru that (at last count) killed 37.

I don’t even think that number counts the Snowbird crash near Thunder Bay earlier this week, or the CF-18 fighter jet that did some impromptu logging in the Saguenay back on August 16th.

At least we have the comfort of knowing that the gremlins that screw with our planes… be they commercial or military… aren’t discriminatory. I’ll try to remember that as I watch the skies warily while walking down the street.

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We had a goodbye party for our good buddy Mike Brubacher last night. Mike is headed to NYC to do an MA, and since he leaves on sunday, the party was on kind of short notice. Unfortunately, due to the conditions of a confidentiality agreement, I can’t share too many details with you here, but it was pretty monumental.

So Mikey’s headed to NYC… but he’s assured me that he’ll try his darndest to make it to the fall cottage weekend, and I believe him. We need his breakfast cooking skills reprezentin’.

In the vein of departures, I’m presently packing up my desk and office in preparation to move to another part of my building. It’s weird sorting through nearly three years of files, notes and sundry garbage.

Okay. I’m tired and bleary-eyed from dust. I’m going to go now. Sleep. Under desk. Mmmm.

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Today 2:47pm: The fire alarm in my office goes off. I bundle up some things at my desk, lock down my computer and prepare to leave by the fire exit in a neat and orderly fashion. A pre-recorded announcement blares over the PA to stay calm and await further instructions. It also says the alarm has been sounded two floors below mine and is being investigated.

I begin to process all this new information. First, an alarm. Second, a recommendation to remain where I am. Third, the knowledge that the alarm is coming from just below me. Should I stay? Nuts to that. I flee. I push old people and children out of my way (not really. no one else left). I reach street level in safety just as the Fire Department announces that all is well and we can go back into the building.

On the ride up in the elevator, I think to myself that it’s better to be cautious than dead. This is to make me feel better about feeling a bit duped.

Today 3:59pm: The fire alarm in my office goes off. A pre-recorded announcement blares over the PA to stay calm and await further instructions. It also says the alarm has been sounded two floors below mine and is being investigated.

I tune it out and begin writing this post. You know that old saying? “Fool me once, shame on you… fool me twice, shame on me”? Please have them etch that into my tombstone when I’m incinerated in a fire at work. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Shari-Anne and I went to see ‘Broken Flowers’ last night at the Cumberland Theatre (Bay and Bloor… ish). If I had to sum the movie up in one word, that word would be “meh”.

Imagine, if you will, ‘Lost in Translation’ only slower and with no climax or resolution. Granted, it was a very witty and clever film (more so the dialogue), and it’s chock full of long and painfully awkward scenes between characters. Those moments were actually pretty golden. Also, the filming was visually stunning. Still, I’m a plot guy and this movie was pretty hurting.

I’d give it a 5/10. I’d also recommend you see it once, but as a rental… and try to get someone else to pay for it.

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