Archive for March, 2009

There’s a recession on, and at first I thought it was just in my head, but it turns out that it REALLY IS in my head.  You see, I think I got a seed or something jammed up under the gumline of one of my molars and it’s gotten a tiny bit infected.  As a result, my gumline for that tooth has receeded back alarmingly and uncomfortably far.  That, coupled with the terrible taste in my mouth (thanks to the infection) doesn’t make for a happy mouth.

Why did this recession have to affect me so badly?!  What did I ever do to deserve this?!  Personally, I blame the big banks… for forcing me to come and work for them so early in the morning that I need to eat an Everything Bagel with toasted poppy and sesame seeds (whom I believe to be the culprits).  But this isn’t the time for fingerpointing, there’ll be plenty of time for that later.  Now is the time for healing, reconciliation and a return to the crazy days of chewing.

Frankly, I believe that if we buckle down, keep our chins up and make some important changes in our normal way of doing things, we can all weather this recession with only minimal cutbacks and blood-letting.  Yes, we can.  Thank you.

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There were a few tense moments this weekend for my March Madness bracket, but I passed through the weekend without losing a single team, and at the very moment that Michigan won their game, my bracket in our pool became undefeatable.  W00T!  Now I’m hoping that my bracket remains undefeated so I have the highest winning point total in the history of our March Madness pool.  That would be quite the claim for someone who doesn’t follow sports.

Another highlight of the weekend was reading in The Gazette that ShamWow pitchman Vince Schlomi was arrested in Florida for punching a prostitute.  You can read all about it here at The Smoking Gun (thanks to Jon for the link).  This guy will no doubt continue to entertain me with his own brand of accidental humour for years to come.

The final significant highlight of the weekend was attending our friend Louis’ awesome rock show on Saturday night.  He literally brought the house down, along with various special guests.  We followed the show with some latenight poutine and some great conversation in Franglais (with some Spanish mixed in) with a large group of Louis’ friends.  As always, our trip to Montreal did not disappoint when it came to great times.

Speaking of rock, my March Madness win brings the total in the Dave Duncan Gretsch Guitar Fund that much closer to its dream of putting a Gretsch Electromatic G5120BK in my eager hands.  I love it when a plan comes together.

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Thanks to the fine basketball playing skills of the players at Villanova and Missouri, who each unseated higher seeded and more widely favoured opposing teams, I’m now sitting in a tie for first place in my March Madness pool with Ethan.  If today is as fruitful a day as yesterday (where I went 4 for 4), then all the ire of my terrible Roll Up the Rim to Win stats might even disappear.  Might.  Or maybe not.

It’s kind of weird that I get so into March Madness given how generally apathetic I am about sports.  I think a big part of it is that these guys aren’t playing for ridiculous amounts of money; they’re playing for a championship that means something to them.  Sure, they’re also playing for a shot at getting signed to play later for ridiculous amounts of money, but this is about drama.

I think that not having followed the season but still being able to make picks that could hit the jackpot also has an appeal.  Since each game is an elimination, and even good teams have an off-game (like the Habs when they last played the Leafs, to boos from their home fans) even some of my seemingly random picks have played out in my favour thanks to pure luck.  I like luck.

So here’s hoping that Louisville, Michigan St., Oklahoma and especially North Carolina (whom I have taking it all on April 6) have great games tonight, which would leave my Final Four intact.

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Nesteled somewhere between all the national news stories about how bad the recession, how great Canada is doing in the recession relative to everyone else and how high the Red River will crest in the coming days and weeks, there is hidden a news story that’s actually quite important.

Right now, anyone convicted of a crime has their pre-trial custody count as double toward their sentence.  So, someone who has waited 3 months to go on trial and is convicted and sentenced to 6 months walks out of court free.  There are a few reasons for this, but none as convincing as the fact that the pre-trial detention centres tend to be overcrowded, and time spent in there is much less ‘comfortable’ as a result.

More convincing, is the argument to end this practice; namely that these detention centres don’t (and can’t) offer any programs that would aid in rehabilitation like we see in longer-term facilities.  Even worse, defence lawyers and criminals know about and abuse this by dragging out trial dates to make double-use of their pre-trial custody time, clogging up the courts needlessly.

If you want to read more about the loss of the double-time credit, here’s a CBC article that was posted yesterday.

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Today was the kind of day where you just want to give it all up and join the circus, except that if today had been a workday in a big-top, I would’ve been directly involved in an elephant stampede, four monkeys tearing a child apart and a trapeze artist making himself a pothole in the ground.  It was not a good day.

Way back in old timey times, there was apparently a dude named King Midas.  I guess he was more of a king than a dude, but you get the picture.  In recognition of a good deed (returning a horribly drunk satyr home), the Greek God Dionysus granted Midas’ wish that whatever he touched would turn to gold.  If you don’t know it, it’s a great myth/story/fable warning of the dangers of chasing after wealth and finding them meaningless.  You can get the gist of it here.

All life lessons aside, today was the kind of day where I could associate a bit with King Midas, only everything I touched turned into terrible.  Yes, when I touched something, it became ‘terrible’.  Every simple little task blew up on me, and every simple resolution blew up that much more.  I spent part of the day feeling like an idiot and the rest of the day looking like an idiot to everyone who had the extreme displeasure of dealing with me.

As much as I know that tomorrow will be better than today and that there’s not much I can do about it now that my day is done, I’m still not looking forward to having two more days of work left in the week, and another 34 until I retire.  After saying that, I hope the first sentence of this post doesn’t exclude me from any future attempts at contacting the fine folks at Barnum and Bailey, especially those sword-swallowing freaks in Human Resources.

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In the past, I’ve whined and complained about my Roll Up the Rim to Win stats, but this year has been nothing short of a massacre.  I’m starting to wonder if there’s something wrong with me at a genetic level that I can be getting such terrible and unlucky results.

Tim Hortons’ stated odds are 1 in 9, so you can reasonably expect to win a prize (any prize) once for every 9 coffees.  I won twice in my first 21 coffees, so I wasn’t too far out of the odds, but I haven’t won since.  I’m currently sitting at 2 wins in 54 coffees (not including the one I’ve just started).  That means that my winning odds are at 1 in 27 and rising.  I’m losing at three times the listed odds!

I’ve already heard from a few of you who have decided to kick me when I’m down by bragging about your wins (Jon, I’m looking at YOU), but is anyone else faring as dismally as I am?  Or could it be that I’m just a statistical anomaly?  Maybe I’m just due for a big win?  I doubt it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to finish my morning coffee.  Maybe crying my salty tears into it will bring me some luck.

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Well, I made it back safe and sound from a relaxing weekend up at the cottage.  I measured out all the dimensions of the main floor and will spend the rest of the week putting all the measurements into a drafting program to create a 3D model that will serve little purpose aside from looking really cool.

The weather was fantastic up there all weekend, and through little effort, I got the indoor temperature up from 3 to 12 degrees with just a small heater and the woodstove.  It was still quite comfortable for my needs.

It’s kind of sad seeing the old house socked in with snow and ice, but it’s even weirder to hear how much quieter it is up there without frogs, blowing leaves and the countless birds that sing at all hours in the fairer seasons.

It’s also nice not finding the door to the outhouse frozen shut by nearly 6 inches of solid ice, but that’s probably enough said about that.

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You wished for it and now you’ve got it.  The long winter is over today, thanks to the sun reaching equinox, which means today is the first day of spring.  I wouldn’t pack away the snowshovel and winter jacket just yet, but for those of you who couldn’t wait for winter to be over, you don’t have to wait for winter to be over, in name at least.

I’m celebrating the coming of warmer weather by heading up to the cottage to take some measurements in preparation for some minor interior renovations this summer.  We’re hoping to repaint the ground floor and re-do the interior of the kitchen, complete with actual cupboards!  Although we haven’t discussed it, I’m share Danielle would agree with me that also need a 47 inch flat screen LCD and a bar fridge next to the couch.  Even if she doesn’t agree, I’ll measure it out, just in case.

I’m really looking forward to going up there.  It can be kind of sad to see the old house socked in with snow, but it’s been a long winter without spending time up there.  I just hope I can get the heaters up and running.

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