Archive for January, 2006

And so we find ourselves living the last January day that will ever be in 2006. T’would be sad but that this January has been a rather sucky one. The average temperature for the month has been a balmy zero degrees (which is WELL below normal), the Leafs have been absolutely brutal lately (how can this celebrate a victory that brought an end to an eight game losing streak?!?!), and I still don’t own a Volvo.

Still, so far 2006 has been pretty good to me, so I shouldn’t complain. Of course, I will complain… but I really shouldn’t. ๐Ÿ™‚

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As if I have a shot at attending the taping of this show tonight. Oh, poor CTV… how your fortunes have fallen. I mean, the only reason I’d go is to heckle Muldoon. I’d berate the rest of them too, but they’re just too depressing (and Joe Clark is still too classy, but he gets less so as he signs up for more of these shows). I’d encourage all of you to boycott watching this show… unless I actually attend the taping and it turns out to be funnier than Skating with Celebrity Murderers, or whatever FOX is calling TV these days.

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This should have been a post about how awesome our winter camping weekend was, but our plans to build a quinzhee (snow cave) were dashed by this winter’s weather… or as I like to call it, “Spring Part Two”.

Saturday was sunny and 12 degrees then rainy. That’s not even good camping weather in season, let alone in late January. So, instead of a post about snowshoeing and walking on frozen lakes, you get a post about weather.

Well, that’s enough about the weather. Saturday night I crashed on Neil and Brian’s housewarming (even though they moved in back in May) which was also Brian’s birthday party. It was a blast, and I had a chance to catch up with a bunch of people I haven’t seen in a while. Good times. The TTC ride home wasn’t nearly as eventful, as I got to stand on Dundas in the pouring rain waiting for the streetcar that never came.

Sunday was “remember the burbs” day. Karim picked me up and we headed to Sherway Gardens. There’s one of those big complexes of big-box stores out there and we needed to check out some stuff at Best Buy. If it hadn’t been raining cats and dogs, we probably would have walked around Home Depot for a while and then headed to Bed, Bath and Beyond. Instead, we hit up McDonald’s and then headed back to the Castle to watch some TV.

Did I commit some sort of henious crime that I had to suffer through this past summer only to get a winter like THIS?!?

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Every other friday morning I have a meeting that delays my morning post time by a few dozen minutes. I’m sure that all of you eagerly track my post times, so you’ve noticed this and have been waiting for me to comment. So, there it is.

Q: What has two arms, two legs, long scraggly hair and stands at the corner of Church and Dundas streets?
A: The crazy guy screaming obscenities at me from a distance of 8 inches this morning.

Hmmm, now that I read it, that kind of seems like it’s going to be a joke, but then it’s not, eh? It’s because of moments like those that I am really glad we moved into our new neighbourhood. You don’t get a lot of that up in Forest Hill. All the insane people are high on Xanax and driving BMW sport utility vehicles while their kids smoke pot and drink expensive brand name Vodka (that I can’t afford) in the nearest park. This neighbourhood has much more flavour.

Speaking of flavour, I think this weekend will mark some restaurant ventures in the new ‘hood. We have a few Indian places (all of which look rather dubious… but in my experience, those tend to be the best Indian restaurants) and some Vietnamese too. REAL Vietnamese. As in, no English on the signs, so I’ll have to order by pointing at stuff that looks good… and I still won’t know what it is. Awesome.

It’s perfect that I had a crazy “Through the Looking Glass” moment first thing this morning as today would have been Lewis Carroll’s 174th birthday. Frankly I’m glad I wasn’t invited to his party. I mean, how hard is it to choose a gift for a 174 year-old man who clearly suffered from some sort of dimentia? Maybe the dimentia means I could get away with anything. “Here you go, Mr. Carroll. I hope you like this Magic Pencil”. I’m just kidding. I would never give away my Magic Pencil. It’s magic.

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Have you ever been remotely close to what could be considered a possibly terrifying situation in your job? Regardless of whether your life really WAS in danger, or whether proper authorities were actually in the vicinity and handling the problem properly, you could have possibly been hurt. Clearly, your job requires you to carry a firearm.

By no means do I intend to mock recent circumstances in the news at the US/Canada border, or the guards’ and the government’s response. No, wait. I do. Why do Border Guards (a misnomer, since they’re actually inspectors) need to carry firearms when they have no security training whatsoever? Moreover, there are RCMP detachments at each crossing… complete with armed RCMP officers, believe it or not. Those guys are trained in the ‘whens’ and ‘hows’ of using firearms to deal with situations, and how to enforce the law. Why don’t we leave it to them?

Of course, since crazed murder suspects are running the border twice a day with guns drawn like Yosemite Sam, I guess we can’t stand idly by and leave our Border Inspectors unprotected. We should encase them in bullet and bomb-proof booths. We can install two-way microphones for them to ask us all those fun trivia questions. Yes, that’s a solid idea.

Needless to say, our border system has worked beautifully for decades without armed Border Guards, so why should one isolated incident that was handled without Canadian involvement change all that? Oh, right… fear. I forgot that we’re afraid of more stuff now and that we have to react to that in irrational ways. Can we electrify our Border Guards? Or maybe give them mutant superpowers?

Once Border Guards get firearms, who’s next? Postal Workers? shudder.

*Update: I’ve been informed that some border crossings (esp. in the Prairies) do not have attached police detachments. This is why there are always armed murderers blowing through the checkpoints from North Dakota. That’s okay… those two cops from Corner Gas usually gun them down before they reach civilization (meaning before they get as far west as Calgary, or as far east as Toronto)

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I try to learn something new every day, and today I thought I would pass that along to you.

Marble Cheese is a blend of two creamy cheeses; Monterey Jack and Colby. Colby, although it tastes quite a bit like Cheddar isn’t pressed or aged like cheddar is. This difference is why cheddar is crumbly and Colby and Marble aren’t.

Also, thanks to some serious questions from Dan, I now know that the plural of cheese is ‘cheese’, and not ‘cheeses’. As it turns out, the word ‘cheeses’ comes to English through the earliest settlers on the East Coast of Canada… specifically in Newfoundland. It’s believed that it evolved from sailor-talk on board ship, and loosely translates as an excalmation of pain or surprise.

Well, all of us are a teensy tinsy bit smarter now, and my duty is done. If you’d like more information about cheese, please feel free to visit your local library or creamery.

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Thanks to many pints of Scottish blood coursing through my veins, I can fully appreciate the importance of Robbie Burns Day. I started my day off in fine Scottish Tradition by putting on a skirt, pounding back a few (dozen) glasses of single malt Scotch and killing a few members of a rival clan (at least I think they were from a rival clan… I was a little wobbly from the early-morning Scotch).

Later today, also in fine Scottish tradition, I’ll capture and viscerate some random street vermin (I’m thinking Raccoons), grinding up and packing the ooze into a sheep’s stomach. Then, I’ll boil it and roast it. When it’s done, and it’s become what the Scots call ‘dinner’, I’ll properly address it while preparing to serve it. Then I’ll eat it… washing it down with litre upon litre of single malt from my bagpipes (no doubt to protect my stomach from the vile meat). For dessert, I’ll kill some more people (stabbing them in the back is the preferred method of dispatch at a tradtional Scottish dessert) and then have a Scotch mint.

After dinner, I plan to plant some Scotch Thistle on the grave of a patriarch and then to avenge his bloody murder (whether he was murdered or not). Then, it’s time for bed. I have a busy day ahead of me! Ach… Hoot!

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Ah… a Conservative Minority. First, that means I owe a co-worker a beer and second, that means a changing of the guard up on Parliament Hill. Sure, I’ll be sad to see the Liberals go, but sometimes you need to shake things up a bit and this incoming government is going to be plenty shaky.

With the three largest and most diverse population centres (Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver) pulling all their support from the leading party, the Conservatives will probably have between a year and a year and a half to woo these voters, and to do so without alienating their strong rural support.

So I’m looking forward to a new government, to some reform, and to what will surely turn out to be some exciting television from the House of Commons. Will the Conservatives work with the Bloc? Will the NDP work with the Conservatives? Will the Liberals pout until their leadership is shored up? Will Rick Mercer explode due to the overwhelming amount of comedy material that just dropped into his lap? All these questions and more will be answered in the next 14 months (I’m predicting a March 2007 election).

On a slightly different note, the CBC did a great job of following probably the most exciting election I’ve ever watched and keeping up with the pace. Kudos for having former powerhouses from each party to give some colour commentary, and even more kudos to those men for being funny and engaging… especially Ed Broadbent and John Manley (although Broadbent has long been known for his wit). Don Newman needs to fire his tailor though, and George Stromboulopolous will likely be seen as little more than an insightful and clever waiter at CBC (which is how he was prortrayed last night).

Next up, the Liberal leadership race. Politics are so exciting!!!

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