Friday, December 23, 2005

Knives out For Anders

You would never know there was an election going on. Here in Calgary West there are not a lot of signs up yet. While driving down 32nd Avenue yesterday near Shaganappi I saw these huge Rob Anders signs with hisself staring westerly with a dull empty gaze. That sign scared me. The face must be at least 3 feet high. There ought to be a law.

A few hours later I drove by again and some creative vandal had surgically cut out the faces from the sign and left them laying in the grass. Just laying there staring upward with that dull empty gaze. That must have taken some great eye hand coordination. Probably a pre-med student. I thought it was quite funny since it put Anders in the proper context: faceless and headless. A good work of art does not always have to be legal. Although I can't condone vandalism, still my spirits are raised by a once in a life time opportunity to use the word defacement in its most proper meaning. I'll bet the vandal artist escaped in an Audi A6. Watch out for roving bands of toothless vigilantes driving around in old boogie vans looking for Librals to beat up.

The Liberal candidate in Calgary West is Jennifer Pollock, a former Public School Board Trustee. On her blog she gets off a few good cracks on Anders. I like the cut of her jib, but I'm not quite sure what to do with her boss.

The Green Candidate in the riding is Danielle Roberts, a University of Calgary student. She ran in 2004.

The NDP candidate is Teale Phelps Bondaroff, a University of Calgary Political Science student. I like the fact that somebody can take Poly-Sci at the University of Calgary and not get sucked into the Calgary School BS.

Any one of these candidates would be a better MP than the incumbent.

Rumors persist that a large Blueberry Pie will join the race representing the Delicious Desserts Party. This rumor has the Conservative campaign wringing their hands because they know from experience how easy it is to split the inanimate object vote. Please recommend this post

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Gimme, gimme, gimme

Last week I was totally in the giving mood, even though I was not entirely sure who to buy what for, but I went ahead anyway and bought a couple of damn fine gifts that anyone would be humbled to receive. This week I decided I wanted to focus more on getting than receiving. Screw the virtues its all about me now. Thus I've prepared my wish list what follows:

1. I wish Debbie Travis would come over to my house and help me paint. We could start in the Kitchen. Who knows where we'd end up. [Makes Roy Orbison Pretty Woman Growly noise]

2. I want to be credited with inventing the word finguary (fing-you-airy), which I will explain later.

3. I want Anne McLellan to come over to my house and read to me from the Constitution Act of 1982. (Please omit the amending formula stuff. That's all such crap.) If its not too forward of me, I'd like to lie down and place my head upon her lap and listen to her soothing soothing voice.

3. I wish all the best for my friend Kate in 2006, since 2005 was kind of a rough one.

(I've just been informed by an alert reader that I have two item #3s. I wish I could number lists properly. Now my numbering is out by 2.)

4. I'd like to travel to Japan for a year or two and study Judo while I'm still young enough to take the physical pounding. While there I'd also like to study many other aspects of Japanese culture which I find interesting. I figure this would cost around $100,000. Maybe less if one stays away from the woman, the sushi, and the beer. I can't earn $100,000 overnight so it may have to be stolen. Keep in mind I'm getting older by the day. Let me know what you can throw in.

5. If Anne McLellan does come over to my house I hope she will bring some Beer and Popcorn, paid for by that big mouth dude who started the whole Beer and Popcorn thing. Although, having visited Calgary's Red Mile and Edmonton's Whyte Avenue many times I would point out that Beer and Popcorn do not always make a good combination as evidenced by the puddles of Beer and Popcorn lying inertly on the sidewalk having been rejected forcefully by their consumers.

6. I wish for the best of luck to my neighbors who are moving to Qatar soon.

(I've just been informed by an alert reader that the above item should have been number 8.)

7. I hope that there is an earthquake in Iran and the President and his collection of Mullahs can magically be transported to 300km below the Antarctic ice cap. There, they can rant endlessly about how the holocaust did'nt occur and wipe Israel off their make believe maps while the Mullahs lecture the penguins about proper conduct[2]. Every couple of hundred years we could launch a rescue effort to see if they've grown up at all. In the meantime the people of Iran could get on with the political and social reforms that we all know they want.

8. I don't ever ever ever want to see Tom Cruise on Oprah's couch ever ever ever again. Television, by its nature is supposed to pound away at our innocence and naivete. I thought I had seen everything. But that couch hopping thing stripped away the last remaining sense of humans are ok that I had left. I'd rather listen to 3 hours of Aristocrat jokes.

9. I wish for another year of NOT seeing the Passion of the Christ. May I never give in to the temptation to watch that horrible degrading sadistic blood flinging piece of crap.

10. I want to meet those guys who stole Edvard Munch's the Screamer from the Museum in Oslo. They got away in a really sharp Audi A6 which I wrote about here. They finally got arrested this week. I can't bring myself to see them as common criminals. They were driving a freaking Audi A6. I see them more as Art Liberationists. The painting was probably set in an ugly frame from Ikea. What's a person to do? It gave me this idea for Art Galleries to fake robberies in broad daylight to raise interest in the works being shown. But they'd have to flee in really cool cars. Performance Art, that's the ticket.

11. I definitely need more Ginch[1]. The brand I prefer is called Prodige Athletik, available at Costco and other fine purveyors of men's underwear. The attractive model on the front cover of the package might turn weaker men gay but definetly not me, although I do freely admit, in an abstract sort of way, his intense beauty. That guy's body fat is measure in micrograms. Thats another thing I want - a much leaner body - damn, I wacked the numbering scheme again.


[1] Ginch. A pejorative term used throughout western Canada to denote men's underwear.
[2] The Mullah's will be shocked to learn the Penguins have a high rate of homosexuality.

Update: fixed some of my sub-optimal spelling. Please recommend this post

Monday, December 05, 2005

Christmas Gift Buying

For the nth year in a row I'm left hanging trying to figure out who I'm supposed to be buying for this year. We had a big Thanksgiving dinner this year and everyone (around 30 people) in our family were there. After dinner for the nth year in a row the woman started trying to make up crazy rules about who buys for who and what the gift theme is this year. They tried the first draw of names off little chits. That worked well for about 5 seconds until everyone started throwing out reasons why x should'nt buy for y. (Variations on the theme that men are stupid gift buyers.) The second draw went soooo much smoother because half the family walked away from the table with their little chits not knowing that there was a redo. When I got home I had three little chits in my pocket. Inevitably I had to ask who I was supposed to buy for. I thought someone was in charge. All I got was a perfunctory civil servant answer about referring to the chit I was assigned. Could I please speak to your supervisor? Its worse than Adscam.

Anyway, I'm heading down to 17th Avenue S.W. in Calgary tomorrow. There are some really nice shops in that area. If someone asks me if they can help me find anything, I'll say, yeah, I'm looking for a suitable gift for someone between the ages of 20 and 84, possibly male or female. Then I'll get the do you think I work in retail because I want to deal with Schmos like you look. Its the same look when you go into a Lounge for your first drink and order a highball.

Now that I remember Thanksgiving dinner it seems to me that the teenagers sat in the basement all evening on their fat asses because apparently they're too good to socialize with the adults. Is this common? I hope and pray every day that those girls get some post-secondary education to broader their perspectives rather than sitting on their fat asses in the basement for the rest of their lives. It's probably the only way they'll meet some decent dudes.

I just know that when the gift exchange thingy takes place on Christmas day there's going to be people who get 4 gifts and others who get none. Tears may be shed. Reputations ruined. Every year I say document it in a spreadsheet, but no one listens. I feel like Christmas is being organized by FEMA.

I think this would make a fine gift. Please recommend this post

Saturday, December 03, 2005

West Voting Base

In the bucolic days of July when time moved slowly and when I should have been doing other things I put together this excel spreadsheet. It summarizes the last four election totals in the four western provinces. You are welcome to download this file and take a look. Let us know what you think the trends are. Does anything surprise you? What jumps out at me is the fact that the Western Media is no where near reflective of the right/left composition of Western Canada. There's no rule that says they have to be in a free press, but it is interesting. There are other things I find really puzzling about these numbers and am still thinking about. Remember, just as in investing and girlfriends, past performance is no indication of future gain. Or pain.

I'm still tweaking this spreadsheet and verifying the calculations. If you notice anything odd let me know. Please recommend this post

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Reactionary Ranting Resumed Reflectively

Alternate Title 1: 90 odd days
Alternate Title 2: Chicken inspector #23

It has been 90 odd days since my last post. A week or so ago I was riding my bike around town and sitting out on the patio. But a few days ago winter fell on Calgary like a bad movie. I'd rather be stuck in an elevator with a bunch of incontinent seniors and some colicy babies. Which reminds me: I was in Stoppers Shrug Mart® today and the Muzak was screeching out Lennon & McCartney's Revolution. And I mean screeching. That was the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a long time. It stuck out in my mind because of its sheer evil, but also because earlier in the day there was a Lennon Retrospective on some radio show somewhere and they were talking about how far ahead of the curve that song was. Is this how it will all end for my generation? Will I be sitting in a nursing home dribbling while my room-mate bangs out Hey Jude on his Bazouki? Hopefully the Progressive Conservatives will still be running Alberta because then there will at least be the possibility of being scalded to death or denied basic human dignity until you just float away. Patient 32 is floating away, quick, get him to sign his invoice!

I wish it were May. I'm not mentally prepared for winter as evidenced by my reckless driving today. I nearly took out a Sun box. Had I hit it it would have been bad. It would have been like Opium. I would have had to run over all the rest of them, unable to stop. I'd end up stealing cars just to support my habit of running over Sun boxes. Don't judge me till you've felt that high.

As 2005 crept along careening and gyrating like a stoned CFL cheerleader, and looking at the constant unfolding of this weird world, both inside and outside, I began to feel mute. I feel more like listening than talking, more like reading than writing, and more like contemplating than fighting the mental fragmentation that occurs in the typical day. I feel like I've been drowning in information and data but starved for knowledge. (I stole that quotation and can't find the source.) And if there is one thing I do know clearly, it is how much I have to learn. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but I find it has become a major fight to get into a focused brain zone which is so essential to my type of work, and everyone's really. I suspect it has a lot to do with the way media and technology push us these days. But that is a whole other post.

Anyway, I plan to start writing in this blog more, at least much as I can. I can't predict where it will all go. On many days I find myself incredibly unhappy, but on other days I'm laughing my a** off at something I came across. Not to mention the upcoming (or coming up) Federal Election. Yes, I'm really interested in listening to a bunch of fucked up liars smearing each other for 30 or 60 or 90 days. I have some interesting statistics on the fucked up liars that I hope to post sometime soon. But for now, lets just all accept the premise that they are fucked up liars.

Speaking of laughing, if you get a chance listen to this clip on the BBC site. Woody Allen talking about S.J. Perlman. Its worth a listen.

Good night and good pluck. Please recommend this post

Thursday, September 01, 2005


I know, I know, you're seeing it every where you go. But it really is a major disaster down in New Orleans. Last night the BBC said it was the worst natural disaster in American history. Please click through the Liberal Blogosphere for Hurricane Relief
link on the right, which is an initiative of some American liberal blogger groups to raise money through their readers. Or, check out some of my personal choices below:

Canadian Red Cross
World Vision Canada
Canadian Mennonite Disaster Services
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Please recommend this post

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


I'm currently rebuilding my template. This one is xhtml 1.0 so it should be interesting. In the meantime nothing will be as it seems. If it were a tv show it would be the twilight zone. Please recommend this post

Monday, August 29, 2005

Random Observations About Oliver Stone's Alexander

1. Alexander's father Philip of Macedonia was played by Val Kilmer. Val frikkin Kilmer. I did'nt recognize him with the scruffy beard, the prosthetic mangled left eye, and the ridiculous Irish accent. Yes, in order to play an ancient Macedonian king it was necessary to cultivate that Irish accent. I think he just felt out of place. Almost all the actors in this movie had Irish or Scots accents. It does'nt really bother me if actors speak in their natural tone in a movie about the ancient world, but an American faking an Irish accent kind of made me laugh.

2. Angelina Jolie played Alexander's mother Olympias. Nobody told her that the other actors were just using their natural accents so she put on this thick Greek/Russian accent. It was so ridiculous I literally fell on the floor laughing clutching my gut. I had to go take a break. It was a cross between Ariana Huffington, Eva Gabor, and Natasha from Rocky and Bulwinkle. There was probably some joke between her and Val O'Kilmer. At least she did'nt wear an eye patch.

3. Some guy playing one of Alexander's generals had a fairly pronounced Scottish accent. It must have rubbed him the wrong way to be playing in a movie about Alexander the Great because the Scots harbour a belief that they are the only ones who have ever conquered the world. Anyway, this guy kept saying by Zeus!. I wonder if even Macedonians or Greeks ever said by Zeus!. I think they said by Zeus! in that cartoon about Hercules.

4. The soundtrack by Vangelis was horrible, even by Vangelis standards. It was loud and screechy and gave me a headache. What would happen if you left the music out and just let the scene and the dialogue carry things? Oh, sorry I forgot, the main star is Colin Farrell. Picture this, after Oliver Stone yells cut on the 49th take: Yeah Colin, a word please, yeah, it is'nt quite working. You see Colin, there's going to be a lot of electronic junk music in the background and I'm just concerned you're going to get out-acted by it.

5. The soundtrack (again). It reminded me of John Cleese in Monty Python's Cheese Shop Sketch when he shoots the Bazouki player.

6. Colin Farrell. Simpson's Comic Book guy voice: Worst actor ever. There are several sub-plots going on where Alexander's soldiers plot mutiny and assassination. One begins to see the rationale.

7. I think Oliver Stone was trying to be clever and create an allegory about current American delusions of Imperialism. It does'nt really work very well that way. For one thing you can hardly compare Alexander the Great to President Bush. Alexander was considered highly educated, relative to his time and peers. Alexander led his army into battle and risked his life. For another thing, Alexander was fairly successful at conquering his enemies. He was a good conqueror. Nobody knows how to conquer anymore.

8. The movie does capture the endless bragging of the Imperialist. Alexander is always going off on demagogic rants about how they are going to build a great world and how all the other cultures are inferior and how they desperately need the Empire's know how, values, religion, and so on. Sound familiar?

9. Now I'm not saying you should not watch this movie. Watch it. Make up your own mind. Far be it from me to tell you what to do after watching a movie about global domination. No really, don't listen to me.

I'm exhausted now. My fingernails all turned purple. Now to start working on my next movie review. Your going to love that one.

PS This post really got mangled in the blogspot meatgrinder. I may have to make further corrections. Please recommend this post

Monday, August 22, 2005

Sunday Lazy Bitching

Yesterday (Sunday) was one of the warmest days I can remember this summer. There was zero wind which is unusual for Calgary, and not a cloud in the sky. By 3pm I was sacked, drained by the heat. I could'nt even pass gas. I tried to do some reading out on the patio but quickly got fried. Since I can't relax at all anymore I stared up for a while at the huge Oak tree that lives on my front lawn. I know it sounds candy-assy but I love that tree. I'm guessing it is 30 or 40 years old. It was probably there when they first developed this area. Thanks for not chainsawing it. When that wore thin I wandered aimlessly around the house looking for things to throw out. Rat packing never disappoints.

By around 11 the people next door started full tilt into their party which relocated from their Condo out onto the green space between the buildings. They were probably university students throwing off steam on their last free weekend. Every once in a while someone would walk out there and tell them to stfu, but it did'nt really help. I suppose I could have been angry too but I was'nt sleeping anytime soon, and besides, there is so much hatred in the world, I can hardly begrudge some friends to have some fun together on a warm summer night. Ten years from now they'll all probably have kids and live in the suburbs, be miserable, and they'll be voting for the latest incarnation of the anti-Canadian western alienation movement. But tonight they're just wild noisy self-absorbed drunks.

Around this time the wind really picked up and I sat around outside listening to Oak tree take its usual wind beating. I was so restless I decided to go for an almost frozen churned up soft drink and headed out to a convenience outlet that was at least 30 km away. While driving over the 85th street bridge, the bridge whose walkway collapsed because of an engineering error, I noticed that the almost full moon was hanging in the east over the Bow river and lighting it up. I almost crashed that was such a site. Unexpected beauty. You can almost always find it but never if you're looking for it. (Lets have a Haiku contest -ed) The Bow is shallow in most places, clear and moves quickly so the moon's light bounced around like crazy. The North Saskatchewan in Edmonton is slow, brown(from silt and mud, not poop), and turgid. Still, the Edmonton river valley is pretty in its own way.

In the convenience store there was a little girl no more than 10 or 11 by herself, wandering around the chip section talking to her father on a cell phone. This struck me as odd since it was around 1am. Her main questioning, repeatedly, seemed to be about dad's sobriety. Its been my belief for a while now that if you have to ask the same question 10 times in a row drunkeness could in fact be a factor. (Some akward wording there. -ed) Outside the Freaky-Mart there was a gang of at least 20 young people. I don't know how old they were. Just sitting around on the pavement. Almost every day I feel deep regret about not having children of my own, but then there are moments when I wonder exactly how I would feel about my busty 16 year old daughter sitting on the pavement outside a Freaky-Mart at 1am wearing a much too small halter top. I don't think I'd do well with that.

By the time 3am rolled around I was still wired and pissed because I had a ton of things to do monday morning and a work project to get finished. I alternated between reading a stupid book and rolling around in the dark. The one thing I absolutely hate the most is not sleeping. It drives me nuts which unfortunately is a stimulant. I fell asleep just in time for the asshole neighbour above me to begin his 6:30 am ritual of waking everyone up within 300 meters. Thus begins another day of functioning on a few hours sleep. I wish every day could be Sunday. Please recommend this post

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Photo Album 1

The first time is saw this picture was in one of the engineering buildings at the University of Alberta. They had it blown up on the main wall as you entered the building. I suppose it was a reminder to the engineering students that they better pay attention in all those math classes. I've never been able to find any info at all on this accident. (Sorry about the bitsmutshing in the middle of the picture. FTP did that. )

I hate it when I go to a web site and a script breaks and pukes all over the screen. And I just don't think I could vote for someone who leaves their website like this.

I think we know who the moran is. And I think we know who he voted for.

I had the strangest conversation with Judge Roberts this morning. Did you know he did pro bono work on a major gay rights case before the Supreme Court. I think we could be putting a damn Liberal on the Supreme Court. Oh, don't worry Master, I already put a big gay spell on the entire religious right.

Hello,hello...fuck you...fuck you too...oh fuck you too little girl...fuck you all...hello...fuck you...did I already say fuck you to you under my breath? Oh dear then fuck you again. hello....

Alfred Hitchcock's the Birds was the first movie that really scared the crap out of me. In this scene Tippi Hedren's character is lounging around stylishly shortly before getting attacked by psychotic birds. Her character was very forward and aggressive in the way she advanced on the male character played by Rod Taylor. I often wondered what Hitchcock was trying to say by mixing the mayhem of the crazy birds with this overtly feminist character. Ouch! Damn I just go my eye pecked out by a magpie. *spurt* *spurt*. Gotta run. Please recommend this post

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Alberta Dictionary - Part 1

The war on language continues. I'm glad we have something like the Urban Dictionary to help keep the language in the hands of sensible people. (While your over there be sure to vote on this definition.) I started thinking about the smears going around about the new Governor General and the general crap that keeps floating around about Western Alienation and Alberta Seperation. I decided that bunk is an underused word. Like all good words it needs to be combined with other words. Thus I offer the following bunk lexicon. All of these will surely end up in my ongoing Alberta Dictionary project.

A place you go in your head to create or digest bunk

A Quebecer that pushes bunk (le front de bunquiste de Quebec)

Government by bullshit, e.g., Klein Conservatives

A high ranking female socialite adept at public bunk.

Revisionist cultural history of the 1960's.

Two streams of bunk hook up in an unpredictable way to produce a third more viral stream.

Bunk that has no moral values.

Unusually pungent bunk heard on calgary radio in the evenings

Various streams of bunk artificially nailed together to create something kind of ugly and self-loathing.

Drug induced bunk.

How do you want to be lied to today?

bunking off
An old phrase for skipping school. Who knew? Verbs followed by the word off should be avoided.

Bunk you can take pride in calling your own because it was completely written by you an no one else.

Low level propaganda spreaders. The foot soldiers of bunk.

The ability to move objects with bullshit.

Bunk that lands you in a quagmire. see WMD.

A place where bunk is easily aggregated and consumed

The downward spiral of bunk. According to the first law of bunkodynamics, bunk is never lost it just changes form.

1. Creating bunk for your own consumption, in your room alone late at night, with Toby Keith playing. 2. A senior bunk artist.

Someone who steals someone else's bunk. See Corbellabunk.

Slang; 1. a bunk adept; 2. a pal who helps with your bunk.

1. The sore you get after coming in contact with infectious bunk. 2. A fallacious reason for not serving in a war you cried and bitched for.

1. Old people's crap. 2. Hiding a falsehood with crankiness.

A major fiasco that is caused by undetected bunk. See "insurgent".

A deceptive strategy based on bunk. See Western Alienation. Please recommend this post

Monday, August 08, 2005

Weird Alberta Premier Facts

There have been only 12 premiers in Alberta's 100 year history, thus an Alberta premiers serves on average 8.3 years.

Only four parties have held power: Liberals, United Farmers, Social Credit, Progressive Conservative.

Each party elected exactly 3 premiers in a row.

Even John Brownlee (1925-1934) served an above average 9 years in spite of impregnating his young secretary. (Beneath the High Level bridge, according to popular legend)

Richard Reid (1934-1935) was the shortest serving Premier at one year. He took over from John Brownlee just before an election, when Brownlee was forced to resign because of the above mentioned scandal. The UFA was totally wiped out in the next election because they had a right-left split in the party and the Social Credit movement had reached critical mass. Ernest Manning was the longest serving Premier (1943-1968).

Don Getty only served 7 years. Should he be considered an under-achiever?

If the Progressive Conservatives win the next election with a new leader they'll break the 3 leader dynasty rule and ruin the symmetry of the pattern. (Add that to all the other things they've ruined.)

The next premier will also be the 13th Premier of the Province. That can't be a good sign.

Two Alberta Premiers, Lougheed and Getty, played professional football for the Edmonton Eskimos. Don Getty was a far better football player than Lougheed, but a much worse Premier.

I think Alberta politics is somewhat unique in the way major political movements sweep into power then get swept out every 25 or 30 years. I'd be much happier if the current Government had a reasonable chance of being removed from office in any given election. Please recommend this post

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Phrases that really bug me

1. I have to tell you...

No you don't. You could just shut up. This is one of Paul Martin's favourites preambles to some earth shattering observation.

2. To be completely frank...

You can't be Frank, Frank is Frank. And you better not be in Earnest because the Bishop will find out.

3. More about that later...

Oh, I can hardly wait. I bet you'll have a bunch of commercials in between.

4. Any sentence ending in "period".

This usually means the speaker is lying, as in: "I have never used steroids. Period..", as in Rafael Palmeiro testifying under oath before the United States Congress.

5. And I was like...and she was like

Thats so old. So 12. Valley girls used to be interesting. Now they're just weiners.

6. These are memories we'll have forever...

I already have too many of those. Can't we drop some memories for a change. Can Scientology help with this?

7. Any smear that uses the adjectives radical, elite.

Consider this exchange between George Stephanopoulos and Senator Rick Santorum, regarding his new book in which he smears feminism and women who have jobs.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's talk about something else in the book, radical feminists. A second quote from the book, you say, Respect for stay-at-home mothers has been poisoned by a toxic combination of the village elders' war on the traditional family and radical feminism's mysogynistic crusade to make working outside the home the only marker of social value and self-respect.

Let's get specific here. Name one or two of these radical feminists who are on this crusade.

SANTORUM: Well, I mean, you know, you have - you go back to, what's her name, well, Gloria Steinem, but I'm trying to remember - I can't remember the woman's name. It's terrible. Anyway...

STEPHANOPOULOS: But it's kind of an important point. Because you paint this broad brush: radical feminists, village elders. Name one.

SANTORUM: There's lots of - no, there's lot's of - well, Gloria Steinem. There's one. I mean, there's lots of writings out there...

STEPHANOPOULOS: She's been on a crusade against stay-at-home moms?

SANTORUM: There's lots of writings out there, and there is an opinion by the elite in this country across academia, across the media, that stay-at-home motherhood is not adequately affirmed and respected by our society.

What or who exactly is he talking about? Gloria Steinem University Professors and the media are all ganging up and forcing women to work outside the home? You hear this kind of smear all the time and it never makes any sense.

Or consider this dim-wittery from the Vancouver Sun, which is one of the worst papers in the Country:

Ranged against the Canadian champions of economic conservatism are most of the social sciences and humanities professoriat of the country's public university system, much of the media, particularly the CBC, and an intellectual establishment whose current favoured sons and daughters include John Ralston Saul, Mark Kingwell, Naomi Klein and Michael Adams. What they have in common is their construction of an idea of Canada on the basis of anti-Americanism. This is a very old and very Canadian enterprise.

He does'nt specifically use the word elite(s) but you get the picture. John Ralston Saul, Naomi Klein, the CBC, etc are all ganging up to ruin Canada for Conservativism through anti-Americanism. That is a rather broad slur and can hardly be taken seriously because it is so weird. Don't they teach people how to write anymore. How can you get a job at a newspaper writing junk like that. Is he (Stephen Brooks) mad because some people have a point of view he does'nt like? These kind of writers almost always end up pushing some kind of McCarthyism.

8. I have no idea...

The questions was not whether you had an idea or not (we already know you do not) the questions was how the steroids got into your sample, or, how long you will be screwing around in Iraq.

9. I know deep in my heart that I have never done anything like that.

Deep in my heart meet the evidence. You two have some things to work out so we'll just leave you alone for a while. In the meantime what are we supposed to do with this video clip of you getting spanked by a man in a clown outfit? You're sick man, just sick.

10. Its ok, we can just restore the backups...

Anytime you here this, run. Game over. Start sending out resumes.

11. Speaking the truth to power

I don't know why, but I hate this phrase. It sounds so pretentious. How about just speaking the truth. Sometimes we can dilute the meaning by overdecorating the language. Anyway, usually power does not listen.

12. Your call is important to us.

I feel so much better. Something can be important and ignored at the same time. Thank you for calling Telus. We're very busy right now Union busting and knocking heads around. Someone will be with you shortly. It could be a know-nothing member of our middle management bloat. Whatever.
Please recommend this post

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Senate Appointments

Larry Campbell. With his coroner background they can use him to figure out which Senators have passed on. He also has some experience dealing with crack-heads which should help. Maybe CTV will make another TV show about a crusading (unelected) senator who heroically works among the dead and crack-heads, while in his spare time taking a close second look at proposed legislation, and also fighting for a EEE Senate (Calgary Edition only). That idea has some merit. Get me Don McKellar on the phone.

Hugh Segal. I thought he died. It must be getting awfully hard to find any Red Tories still standing. God's Own Circus (Canada) will be infuriated with this appointment.

The remaining three I've never heard of. They probably did something far-reaching and fantastic for Liberal® Inc. and did'nt get caught.

Everytime I hear the word Senate I hear creepy echos of Preston Manning talking about refooooorming the Senate. Then I get a pop-up image in my head of an angry and hateful Burt Brown. I could do with some Scientology style mental scrubbing. Sign me up.

Meanwhile deep in a bunker at the Calgary Sun, accompanied by his faithful dog Pierre, Link Byfield is pounding on his '69 Smith-Corona, constructing his next vitriol laced diatribe about...oh that I think about it, its not that important.

What a country, what a country. Please recommend this post

Friday, July 29, 2005

Humor Style Analysis

I promised myself I was going to stay away from these web surveys. The results
are more or less predictable. I found this at CPvsSW.

the Wit
(60% dark, 39% spontaneous, 27% vulgar)
your humor style:

You like things edgy, subtle, and smart. I guess
that means you're probably an intellectual, but don't
take that to mean you'repretentious. You realize 'dumb'
can be witty--after all isn't that the Simpsons'
philosophy?--but rudeness for its own sake, 'gross-out'
humor and most other things found in a fraternity leave
you totally flat.

I guess you just have a more cerebral approach
than most. You have the perfect mindset for a joke writer
or staff writer. Your sense of humor takes the most effort
to appreciate, but it's also the best, in my opinion.

Also, you probably loved the Office. If you don't know what I'm
talking about, check it out here:

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Jon Stewart - Woody Allen - Ricky Gervais

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 66% on dark
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 44% on spontaneous
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 66% on vulgar
Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman on Ok Cupid
Please recommend this post

Weekend CFL Predictions

July 29 Ottawa @ Saskatchewan

Hmmm...Tough pick. Ottawa will win by 3-7 points. (The game is now in the 2nd quarter and Sask is up 6-0.)

Update: Ottawa 21 Sask 16. Woohoo we have a winner.

July 29 Calgary @ BC

When will BC lose their first game of the year? Probably not tonight. I'm picking BC by 7-10 points. Calgary is a victim of their own hype.

Update: BC 40 Calgary 27. What a spanking.

July 30 Hamilton @ Edmonton

Hamilton might pull it off if Edmonton goes into a mental fog because they can't get themselves motivated to play Hamilton. Another wild card is if Hamilton plays Khari Jones instead of McManus. I'm picking Edmonton by 1-7 points. I'll never give the Eskies a big spread anymore.

Update: Edmonton 36 Hamilton 30. Christ on a Pogo Stick! The Esks play the worst team in the CFL and it has to come down to the last play of the game. I'm thinking of not being an Esks fan anymore, its too stressful. But I did get the winner and the spread right.

Aug 1 Winnipeg @ Toronto

Toronto by a large large number. Ok, 7-10 points. Please recommend this post

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Come Together

Last week a Russian Soyuz craft docked with the Zarya module of the Internation Space Station. Docking is a very difficult manoever and is helped along by the two crafts computers talking to each other. I was just sitting here listening to my cheap MP3 player when I started picking up the week old computer chatter from their radio modems. Like Gurmant Grewal at a Lawn Bowling Association meeting I quickly started recording. I then had to translate the chatter from digital opcodes to natural language. I feel all giddy, like Joseph Smith with the Egyptian Hieroglyphics about Hebrews in Canoes. Here, for the record, is the docking procedure computer interaction for the Soyuz-ISS docking.

Zarya: [Uplink]
Soyuz: [Uplink] So...whats up.
Zarya: Why did you undock so early this morning?
Soyuz: I told you, I had to re-orient myself.
Zarya: Were you docking with another module?
Soyuz: No. No, why would you ask that.
Zarya: No reason. Anyway, there's something I've been meaning to tell you.
Soyuz: Yes.
Zarya: The last time you docked...
Soyuz: Yes.
Zarya: There was a bit of a problem.
Soyuz: A problem what kind of a problem. Are you ok?
Zarya: There was a...I don't know how to say this...there was'nt a good seal on the hatch.
Soyuz: Oh my God. You mean.
Zarya: Yes. There was some leakage.
Soyuz: This is not good. Not good. How could you let this happen?
Zarya: The engineers say they can't fix it right now. You have to dock and stay docked for a while.
Soyuz: Oh, I get it. Its a trap. Sorry baby, I told you I was not into permanent docking.
Zarya: The Space Shuttle is coming back up next week.
Soyuz: What do you mean by that?
Zarya: Nothing. But they'll need some place to dock.
Soyuz: Look, I've been thinking. I think we should dock with other craft.
Zarya: Fine.
Soyuz: Fine, thats all you have to say.
Zarya: No one else will dock with you. They all know about the leak. Besides, you are incompatible with the NASA hatch.
Soyuz: Oh my little friend you are so naive.
Zarya: How so?
Soyuz: I had some work done. I have an adapter now. I can dock anywhere with anyone. In fact I can even dock with another Soyuz craft or a NASA Shuttle.
Zarya: ewwww thats disgusting. I thought I knew you.
Soyuz: So...uh...can I dock now or what?
Zarya: Pfft. I Don't feel like it.
Soyuz: I got something for you.
Zarya: What?
Soyuz: A new gyroscope. Its the size of a dishwasher.
Zarya: I remember the first time we docked. The whole russian section of the ISS just shook and shook.
Soyuz: Yeah, that was something.
Zarya: And then it shook a second time. It never shakes a second time anymore does it Soyuz.
Soyuz: Please, don't bring this up now. I bring you payloads all the time. What do you want from me.
Zarya: Your payloads are never what they're cracked up to be.
[Thrusting noises]
Zarya: Careful. Left! Left!. Thats it.
Soyuz: Do you mind?
Zarya: What?
Soyuz: Um your clamps?
Zarya: Sorry, hows that.
Soyuz: Good good.
Zarya: Your thrusters shut down a bit soon don't you think.
Soyuz: Oh don't start. Its about the navigation not the thrusters. Say, you got any food in here?
Zarya: [Droplink]
Soyuz: Same to you baby. [Droplink] Please recommend this post

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Ignore Your Spouse

Go take a look at the following:

Whats on Andy's Mind aka funcentral


Patriot Boy, aka Jesus' General has an excellent post on the lost Mormon tribes of Israel and the hollow earth, here


If you're really warped, check this out, but don't blame me.

I know, i know. Your spouse is out sitting in the driveway cause your late to go somewhere. The spouse has that pouty look by now. Here's what you do: go give the spouse a bright shiny object to keep them distracted, then come back and check out the above mentioned sites. People with bright shiny objects lose all sense of time and irritation. Its a fact.

As for me, I'm going back to work on my play which is coming along nicely. Please recommend this post

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Nicole Kidman in Birth

I just finished watching Nicole Kidman in the movie Birth.

It was such a great premise for a story it is too bad they made such a bad movie. Nicole Kidman plays a woman named Anna who is still in grief over the sudden death of her husband 10 years ago. The opening scenes sets this up in kind of a heavyhanded way. A ten year old boy shows up at her house in the middle of a dinner party and explains that he is the reincarnation of the dead husband. The rest of the movie is just about resolving that dilemma with a lot of bad acting and an intolerable script.

There was one scene where Anna and her family were sitting around the dinner table after the boy has explained to Anna that he is her dead husband. Everyone starts giggling. It seemed strangely out of tone. I mean a little boy walks into your house and solemnly explains that he is your dead husband, do you find this funny? My guess is there was some ridiculous dialogue for that scene but the actors just started laughing. Maybe they were working to rule and the director just left it in. That was such a weird scene. In another scene, Anna and her mother (Lauren Bacall) are visiting the hospital because Anna's sister has just had a baby. While looking at the newborn the mother says well maybe that's your dead husband too. It was the funniest line in a tedious movie but I'm guessing it was an ad-lib.

The dialogue was weird and everyone talked in slow motion like they were on heavy doses of Nembutol. I thought they were going for that minimalist Ingmar Bergmann type thing but it just seemed to stupid and self-ridiculing. At one point I realized I was'nt really listening to the dialogue anymore. I found myself interested in Nicole Kidman's subtle australian accent underneath her coached New York accent.

The movie reminded me of Rosemary's Baby, but only in look and feel. This was probably because of Nicole Kidman's short brown hair, her stylish wardrobes, the mysterious expressions on the old people's faces, and a lot of really evocative scenes of New York's Central Park in the fall or winter. The cinematography was the only thing I really liked about the movie. I could easily watch it again with the sound off.

In the end the premise falls apart because of Anne Heche. (How many times have you seen that line in a movie review.) The resolution of the conflict is completely implausible and in the last 15 minutes of the movie the writers and editors were probably going through pure hell wondering if they would ever work again.

Am I wrong to hate this movie? Please recommend this post

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

10 things on my mind

The longer title: Wherein the blogger lies down on the couch and talks to the imaginary Sigmund Freud.

1. The root cause(s) of Terrorism. None of the offered causes of terrorism really grab me. Lots of people live in poverty with dignity. Lots of people who are terrorists are well educated and well fed. Lots of immigrants fail to integrate into our society without becoming terrorists. Lots of people have low self esteem. And so on. I think terrorists are just run of the mill nihilists. No values, no humanism. Radical Islam embracing Friedrich Nietzsche - now thats absurd. Tony Blair is right in his latest statement. It does'nt matter how you rationalize terrorism there will always be one more excuse. I get a sick feeling in my stomach when I start to sense that an explanation for terrorism is bordering on some kind of appeasement or mitigation.

2. Margarine colors laws. White yellow beige - lets not fight. If Alberta had to make a Margarine color law it would take 15 years. They would have endless studies panels and surveys. Tory hacks would have to be appointed to Panels. Cabinet ministers would have to do extensive research tours of Bangkok and New York. Periodically Klein would announce that he will be announcing a major Margarine color reform plan to be implemented soon. Eventually when they finally come up with a Margarine law, it will having nothing to do with Margarine but your Electric bill triples. The Minister of Margarine will issue periodic hysterics about how the Federal Government has secret plans to ram a Margarine Law down Alberta's throat. Eastern bastards etc. Margarine color is an issue because the dairy producers think people are too stupid too tell the difference between butter and margarine.

3. Anne McLellan's voice. I woke up this morning and she was yelling about terrorism being a possible reality in Canada. I yelled back at the radio, hey, your voice is a terrorist threat before noon, shut the f* up. Then I realized I had my mp3 player on. Smooth. It would be cool if she was in the House and she was yelling at some doofus like, hmmm, I don't know - say Mr. Solberg. He'd be crying in a pair of wet pants and then Mr. Martin would lean over and whisper, hey bibs take it down a notch k? Meanwhile all the dogs and bats are just going nuts. Can you imagine sitting through one of her 3 hour lectures at the U of A on constitutional law? The absurdity factor is very very high. Of course you could have ended up with Laurie Hawn for your MP. Did he really call Jack Layton a Nazi? Some times you can only hope for the lesser absurdity.

4. Applications or Websites that use the phrase searching for updates instead of checking for updates. The term probably came from programmers who use the term searching to mean getting something from a database. The average person does not know that sense of searching so they sit there staring at an hour glass thinking don't these people know where there stuff is... Never let the programmers write the screen messages.

5. Sun media story links. their links are about as stable as Tom Cruise on a liquid multi-vitamin. Do you want us to read your silly crap, then stop moving stuff around. Someone should do a study of what kind of links they lose. Apparently Katie Holmes has bad teeth.

6. Single mothers with children. There is a PSA on Air America Radio that uses this phrase. The problem is an odd and redundant phrase like that is the only thing I remember. I can't remember what the PSA was even about. Do marketing people understand when they make these mistakes that they're burying the wrong message in people's already overloaded brains.

7. CBC Yellowknife started off a story with this opening sentence: A man reported that he saw a wolverine chasing a dog near Rat Lake on Wednesday night. That the best opening line I have ever read for a news story. The best opening line to a novel is from Charles William's War in Heaven: The telephone bell was ringing wildly, but without result, since there was no-one in the room but the corpse. And yes it does get even weirder after that. (Williams was a contemporary of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.)

8. The Senate just gave final passage to the same sex marriage bill. Tomorrow, and for probably many years to come, the Calgary Sun will make the assertion (on all our behalf) that the approval of gay marriage is a slap in the face to Alberta or the West and that if only we had an elected Senate we could have stopped this depravity. This resentment will be piled on top of all the other Western Alienation bunkness such as the NEP, the imminent Carbon Tax, the communist Wheat Board and criminals walking defiantly among us. Expect bumper stickers.

9. Intelligent design does not make much sense to me (duh). The proponents don't seem to know much about what design means and why things fail. Take bees for example. That was pretty elegant of God to integrate bees into the ecosystem so that they fertilize flowers. Why can't the flowers have sex on their own? Seems like bottom up design. A million lines of Cobol code so to speak. And that stinger thing is a bit of a mis-design don't you think. A self-defense mechanism that kills you is highly useful.

10. Al Pacino as Shylock in Shakespeare's the Merchant of Venice. Whether you like Shakespeare or not this is a must see. Please recommend this post

Best Google finds

It amazes me that I get any traffic at all. Some days I don't even want to know how google gets people here. My best google search hits of the week:

cross dressing in calgary

"tom long" edmonton alberta

cross dressing

free floating anxiety vitamins

and my favourite...

"von ribbentrop" + "wallace simpson"

Do you see the pattern here? Its not pretty. I guess its time to write some more meaningful content. Please recommend this post

Friday, July 15, 2005

Weekend CFL Predictions

Fri Jul 15 Winnipeg @ Edmonton

I'm picking Edmonton by 7 points. not just because i'm an eskies fan but because Winnipeg is so sad. And they're playing in Commonwealth Stadium where Edmonton rarely loses.

Fri Jul 15 Toronto @ BC

Hmmm. Tough one. BC by a field goal or less.

Sat Jul 16 Calgary @ Ottawa

It'll be close, but Ottawa will win by a field goal or less, thus further accelerating the brewing media disaster brought on by the Stampeders bragging for the last 6 months then being mediocre.

Sun Jul 17 Hamilton @ Saskatchewan

Hamilton should call a press conference 10 minutes before the game and forfeit. If not Saskatchewan will be laying a little Western Alienation animus on them. It won't be pretty.

Update - Monday Night: I got all the winning teams correct, but my spreads were way off. Good thing I'm not running a bookie site. Now I have to get back to the Calgary Stampeder's media meltdown.

And one more thing....

GO OILERS GO! Please recommend this post

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Fitness and Whatnot

I just completed my first fitness test of the year. Every summer I have to make that first bike ride to the top of Nose Hill Park. I ride up from the 14st side where there is the remnants of an old road. Actually, all thats left are just chunks of cement here and there. Its a tough climb if you're not in shape which apparently I am not.

A quarter of the way up I started feeling a serious oxygen shortage. At that point two older women on single speed bikes went by me and said hello. They must have thought I was being lascivious with all the panting and grunting as response.

I eventually made it to the top and met up with those women a second time. They said hello again and still all I could get out was a wheeze. Those ladies were not even the least bit worked up by their trip up the hill. It was demasculating. (Is that a word?)

At the top of Nose Hill Park is a wide plateau. You can ride around or hike up there forever. Or, you can lie down and cough out a lung.

Next week, we take test 2 of the year. We ride from my house west to Bowness Park and back. There are a couple of wicked hills on the way.

I'm surprised Tom Cruise the well known Psychiatry expert does not mention exercise as an antidote to depression. I don't remember him mentioning it, just the vitamin bunkness. Maybe the Scientologists don't sanction it. He could have really layed into Brooke Shields with that.

Speaking of Tom Cruise, I just heard on the BBC World News that some athlete got stripped of Olympic Medals because it was discovered the athlete was an Hermaphrodite. The athlete was competing in the women's events. (How would you feel if you told that person to go f* themselves.) Why can't an Hermaphrodite compete in either gender's events? If you were an Hermaphrodite which gender class would you want to compete in? Please recommend this post

Monday, July 11, 2005

Cross Dressing for Armageddon

I'm glad that in these screwed up times occasionally photograpers still get the perfect shot. The picture has two levels. On one level it looks totally fascist. Dear leader high up on a stage giving his blessing to the little people. Now go off to war and die for the Fatherland. Someone should tell Bush that he reminds people of Hitler when he does that salute. On another level the picture looks like Bush is wearing a big dress. It is the type of a dress you would see at the Calgary Stampede. (Or Calgary in general) On this level the photographer is saying that the President would make a fine transvestite.

Hilary Clinton was savaged (again) today because she compared President Bush to Alfred E. Newman of Mad Magazine fame. I myself was offended by this. Alfred was one of my childhood icons and I protest him being besmirched in such a comparison. I think Richard M. Nixon would be a much better comparison.

The over-bearing conservative media went nuts of course, and went into Clinton bashing hyper-drive. The things I read today you would not believe. The supreme moral authorities gave two reasons why Clinton's remarks should be censured: 1) You should not criticise the President (and if there is one thing American Conservatives taught us all with the Starr enquiry, it is that you should never insult the President.) 2. You should not criticize the President during a time of war, when he's busy fighting them over there because it is hard work and he has limited concentration. 3. Clinton is a popular liberal woman and a thus a threat and needs to be destroyed. Sorry, thats 3 reasons.

The deal is that the Bush supporters can say what ever they want about people who are considered enemies of the Administration - even to the extent of committing a felony by identifying a covert security agent - but no one can criticize the administration because its a time of war.

Of course no one dares to debate Hillary Clinton on the actual issues she raises: the lack of an effective strategy in Iraq or on Terrorism and the ruining of the American Economy through gross negligence. Its much less work to debate on the fringes about cartoon characters. This is called the Sponge Bob dampening effect. True debate of important issues in the media died a long time ago.

It occurred to me today in a moment of anxiety that the President of the United States has no idea who he is at war with nor what a victory would look like. All of the sudden the comparisons to Orwell's 1984 and perpetual war as a means of social control do not seem so far fetched. The war on Terror will probably end like most of the other American conflicts in the post WW2 era. They will abandon Iraq and Afghanistan leaving a total mess because the American People will tire of supporting war. (Of course there's always the risk of American bankruptcy as well.) But think about it, with this amorphous semantic blob called Terrorism, right wing politicians will be able to get elected for years and years from now just by claiming they are protecting people. The exploitation of fear and the pounding of little countries here and there will go on for ever.

One of Bush's main talking points has always been that fighting terrorists in other countries will pin them down and prevent them from attacking the west. This was a fall back position that was cooked after the WMD rationale did not work out. Its not a particularly bright argument and the attacks in Madrid and London seem to indicate that the terrorist cells in those cities were not all that pinned down. So who exactly is being pinned down and where? Some reporter should ask the President a question like this: Exactly how hard do you have to pound the civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan before you can guarantee that there won't be terrorist attacks in the West? How do you like your chances on that strategy? Please recommend this post

Monday, July 04, 2005

Canada Day Numbers

Number of emails i got about the family dinner on July 1: 31

Number of emails that noted that the dinner would be at the Olive Garden: 2

Number of emails mentioning which Olive Garden: 0

Number of emails mentioning the time of dinner: 0

Number of voice mails encouraging me to be on time: 2

Kilometers between my house in Calgary and the Olive Garden on the QE2 in Edmonton: 277

Time I left for a 3pm dinner: 12:45

Speed the RCMP clocked me at just north of Red Deer: 131km/hr

Amount of speeding ticket RCMP wrote for me: $89

Punitive value relative to the speed limit: $4.23 per kilometer.

Number of sisters who drove by me on the highway while I was being written up: 1

Number of family members who knew I got a speeding ticket before I even got to Edmonton: 19

Minutes late for dinner: 21

Number of times my niece commented that she was taller than me: 7

Number of times I asked my niece how she got fired from Dairy Queen: 7

Number of days same sex marriage has been legal: 4.5

Number of gay weddings I've been invited to: 0

Number of straight weddings I've been invited to: 1

Number of times civilization has collapsed since gay marriage became legal: 0

Number of letters in the local papers that said that legalization of gay marriage was a political rejection of Alberta by Eastern Canada: 3

Number of times I read the Saturday's Globe & Mail's review of William Johnson's book on Stephen Harper: 4

Number of time I had to read out loud the sentence about how Harper is comparable to Trudeau: 3

Number of ounces of Dr. Pepper that came shooting out my nose: 4.3

Number of incidents of man on dog sex reported since gay marriage became legal: 0

Number of weird endorsement letters from Dave Hancock framed and hanging in the lobby of my hotel: 3

Number of alleged assaults on gay men in Edmonton since gay marriage became legal: 2

Number of fumbles by the Calgary Stampeders in their home opener: 5

Number of Minutes to write this post: 33 Please recommend this post

Twitching and Fixating

I have been feeling a little depressed lately. Instead of seeing my doctor, an uninformed quack, I've decided to start working through the writings of L. Ron Hubbard. Just like Katie Holmes, I'm on a journey of discovery. As a new daily ritual, each morning I go down on one knee and pump my fist in the air. Then, I bounce around a bit on the couch. In the afternoon I write nasty letters to Brooke Shields. As far as treating depression goes, you can't do much better than a bit of Hollywood Scientology. I keep telling myself that. But it is hard hard work. Hubbard's novels are so dense.

There was a bit of an akward moment when the same sex marriage law was passed last week. I was not sure that roving bands of unrestricted state sanctioned homosexuals would not ruin my career as a heterosexual with their coercive gay exhibitionism. I visited a male associate this afternoon at his home office. His heterosexual female traditional marriage partner was not around. While discussing business stuff I suddenly became tense with generalized free floating anxiety. (Which should never be treated with harmful pharmaceuticals, only exercise and vitamins.) This was accentuated by an irrational spiky fear that my associate would think I was gay. This caused me to over-compensate by blurting out that his daughter was kind of hot. I imagine it was a creepy thing for a father to hear but now everything is different and we have to declare our orientation whenever possible.

I was driving down Glenmore Trail noting the water level in the reservoir when I suddenly remembered that an American Politician predicted that if gay marriage was tolerated then men would soon start having sex with dogs. The sheer logic of it nearly forced me off the road. So now with all the other things I'm watching for I have to keep an eye out for this as well. That guy was elected by a lot of people so I have to believe he knows a thing or two about social engineering. I was surprised that the CPC did not call this man to testify against the merits of the marriage bill. A man who believes that gay marriage will cause uncontrollable proliferation of man-dog sex would probably be a shining intellectual star compared to the rest of the CPC's gang of special interest hate groups.

Later, I became more despondent and was seriously worried that my Member of Parliament was correct and that our society would now collapse because of the acceptance of gay marriage. More free floating anxiety. I could barely breath. Later I felt better because I remembered that I don't really like our society that much. Why is it a problem if it collapses? Maybe just one part of will collapse, like the institutionalized hatred and bigotry part. Something else will emerge. Hopefully it will be something cool like Terry Gilliam's Brazil or Futurama. I don't much care why the Roman Empire collapsed. It is an interesting historical question though I doubt it has much to do with homosexuality. In any case, they were bastards and they overstayed their welcome. I propose a constitutional amendment banning the citing of the Roman Empire's collapse as a reason not to do something, or that we all start minding or own damn business, whichever is easier. Please recommend this post

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Football Is Back

I've seen 2.5 preseason games and I'm confident in my prediction that the Edmonton Eskimos will be this year's winner of the Grey Cup.

If you'd like to sing the Eskimo's team song or download a cheesy mp3 of that song then go here. Please recommend this post

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Grewel is So Stupid...

My contribution to Grewelpalooza. I want to accumulate a list of Grewel is so stupid...punch lines. Help me out. Here's a few to start out:

Grewel is so stupid he told Dosanj to meet him on the corner of walk and don't walk.
Grewel is so stupid he stared at an orange juice label all day because it said concentrate.

I know you all can do better. Lets hear them. (Keep it clean)

And when we're done that I want to ask a burning question:

Who's running the Ninabot while Gurmand recuperates at home? Please recommend this post

Monday, June 13, 2005

On Being TKO'd

Mike Tyson (above) was blasted into this career ending position by an unknown boxer. In what is left of his mushy brain he contemplates his future. We like to think that even with the limited bandwith there is a thought somewhere in there along the lines, hmmm, now I know what Robin Givens felt like...

Meanwhile, Mr. Harper has been knocked on his ass as well, by a combination of Gurmant Grewal, Sun Media, and the Order of the Backstabbers of the Common Sense Revolution, the latter a Seniors group from Ontario.

Possible replacements that are being thrown around (wait for the punch line please):

Stockwell Day
Jim Flaherty
Tom Long
Potato Pete

Actually I don't have a punch line, but really do we need one here? The only thing I could think of is an old proverb that is on the tip of my tongue but defies the keyboard....something about a dog eating its own vomit...anyone?

Maybe Mr. Harper will also have a Robin Givens moment as well. From here on in he is going to feel like Preston Manning more and more every day. Please recommend this post

More Important Than Grewalpalooza

Episode #5 of Dog Judo is now out: Please recommend this post

Sheep River Disaster

If you drive south and west from Calgary you will see the most spectacular scenery. Turner Valley is a small town in the foothills that lives off the Sheep River. The primary activities in the area are Oil & Gas, Ranching, and Forestry. The picture above is nothing like what the Sheep river looks like now. For the past week Southern Alberta has been pounded by heavy rainstorms causing swollen rivers and flooding. There is now an emerging story about what could prove to be an environmental catastrophe.

The abandoned Turner Valley Gas Plant is owned by the Province and sits on the shore of the Sheep River. The flooding eroded the shore and caused contaminated soil to wash into the river. The soil contains hydrocarbons and heavy metals that have now contaminated the watershed. The town had been trying for some time to get the Province to clean up the site. There was probably no profit motive in doing so. They could not find a Tory friendly company to give a sweetheart deal to. And they also could not pry the money out of their five billion dollar surplus. How much money could it cost to build a retaining wall facing the river? It is not like they have not had high waters here before. It was an accident waiting to happen.

The Province was fairly quick to send their no-name spokesman out to deny that there is a problem. The town is convinced that this is a major concern which prompts the no-name spokesman to refer to them as fearmongers. (Which shows you how elitist and out of touch this Government has become.) No sight of the Environment minister so far. I expect any moment now that the Government will announce that the science around heavy metal toxicity in water is questionable. It is a liberal conspiracy like Global Warming. They have never had a good relationship with science.

Besides, the Tories are very busy right now and should'nt be interupted with mere poisoning. They are planning more tax cuts and continue to work on the public health care plan which has been 12 years in the making. And then there is the ongoing war against homosexuality which I imagine is quite draining. A few years from now when Cancer and Liver problems start showing up in these communities, the Government will deny that it relates. Here's another tax cut, stop yipping about your Liver. You're just a fearmonger.

These days I keep wondering how many more ways this Government will find to screw people. They have never been a Government for the people and never will be. Please recommend this post

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Name Change Help

Okay my valued readers, I need your help. I've been thinking for some time about changing the name of this blog to something more meaningful. Five of Five started out a long time ago as a joke based on my being the fifth of five children. It was a cry for help because of the massive abuse inflicted on me merely because I was the youngest. [cue violin] Needless to say it does'nt communicate much.

So far I've been tossing around the following names:

1. tenpenny thunderclap

This was the nickname given to the Scotsman newspaper in the 1800's when it came on the scene as a radical newspaper. Its a bit obscure.

2. northwest rebellion

Alberta was part of the original Northwest and I think we're due for another rebellion. More on that later.

3. the calgary git

I would'nt use this cause its too close to Calgary Grit. I just thought it was funny cause occasionally i get called a GIT.

4. kobayashi maru

People might not get that Star Trek reference. It would make a cool name though.

5. aaaaaaa blog

Only cause it would get me to the top of blog rolls. Cheap trick. Save it for the yellow pages.

6. rippy the gator

Ripped off from the song by the Arrogant Worms:

cause rippy the gator went chomp, chomp, chomp!
Rippy the gator went chomp, chomp, chomp!
Passing the time by ending children’s lives
Down in the bottom of the swamp, swamp, swamp..

Anyway, it has nothing to do with content, but it might be a funny title.

7. cheap throat

An homage to the Nixon era and Mark Felt, Daniel Ellsberg, etc.

8. Leg Humper of the Great White North (LHGWN)

Ok, so its not particularly wholesome imagery. But it does provide some symbolism for writing about canadian society.

9. The Alienationist

Debunking of western alienation anyone?


Naturally, your input is appreciated.

Update: Added #9. Fixed's retarded translation of special chars. Please recommend this post

Friday, June 03, 2005

Book reading quiz

I've been tagged by Daveberta to complete the following short quiz about my reading habits. It is interesting the way these things spread across the web. At the end I'll leave you with special instructions on how you can participate.

# of Books that I own

Last count about 1000. This summer is the great clear out project. Except the ones I really like.

Last book I bought (not including text books):

The Sweet Hereafter by Russel Banks. I have not seen the movie so don't tell me how it ends. So far it seems like a pretty sad story.

Last books I read:

Fifth Business - Robertson Davies

This is the first of a trilogy that I read a long time ago but have no recollection of ever reading.

MySQL and Perl for the Web

Geek Alert. A well written introduction to using the Perl programming languange with the MySQL database server. Lots of good examples and easy to read. They make is seem soooo easy.

Five Books that mean a lot to me.

1. John Stuart Mill - On Liberty

One of the books that the conservative cultural censors don't want you to read because it talks about freedom and tolerance and other non-conservative values.

2. Martin Fowler - Patterns Of Enterprise Application Architecture

I've read a number of Fowler's books. He has a rare gift of being able to write clearly about technology. This book has a lot of practical knowledge about how complicated applications are put together.

3. Gang of Four - Design Patterns

The book started out as a post-graduate study of how applications are written, but ended up becoming a de facto standard on software design patterns.

4. T.S. Eliot - Collected Poems 1909-1962

My favourite poet. Favourite poem: The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, and The Waste Land.

5. M. Scott Peck - The Road Less Travelled.

This book helped me understand why all of you are so screwed up and why I am just fine.

Ok, now your instructions.

1. If you own a blog and have not yet done this survey, consider yourself tagged. Go do it now. I said NOW.
2. If you own a blog and have not yet done this survey, but have to go pick up your wife, go pick up your wife first, then do the survey.
3. If you do not have your own blog, or you have already done the survey, ignore these instructions.
4. If you do not have your own blog, hav not done the survey, but have to pick up your wife, then go pick up your wife. Thats all you have to do.
5. If you don't have a wife and don't have your own blog, don't do anything.
6. If your wife is picking you up, and you have your own blog, wait for your wife first and then update your blog.
7. If your wife is NOT picking you up and you don't have your own blog, then just wait for some more instructions.

Lets see...have I missed any scenarios? Please let me know if I have.

Update: June 10, 2005
I told you Martin Fowler was a good author. Now I'm getting search engine hits on that name. I apologize to anyone looking for real or useful information. Please recommend this post

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Letter to the Bishop - Part 2

Dear Bishop Henry,

Although I'm not a Catholic I take a great interest in Catholic social doctrine. I was reading my copy of the Catholic Catechism by Father John Hardon [sic] SJ and he confused me greatly about a particular sensitive issue. I hope you can clarify this part of the catechism for me.

Father Hardon [sic] repeatedly refers to homosexuality and masturbation as sins in the same category of moral seriousness. In fact he often talks about these two sins in the same passage.

He writes:

Catholic moralists have always given due attention to sexual experiences outside of marriage that are called "unnatural," notably masturbation and homosexuality. But their increase in certain affluent cultures has led some people to wonder if, perhaps, they are all that sinful. What can be so wrong about "relieving emotional pressure" or, in the case of homosexuals ,about two men and two women "being in love"?

And further along:

The Church has consistently proscribed homosexuality and masturbation as objectively contrary to the will of God. (ed. - the author provides a footnote: Code of Canon Law, Canon 1248.

By the way, this book has an Imprimatur and Nihil obstat, in case you were wondering, thus it is certified to be free of doctrinal or factual error.

Oh.My.God. We you aware of this? The masturbators are as great a threat to our society as the homosexuals. Surely traditional marriage is harmed by masturbators being granted rights that we know they will inevitably demand.

I for one would like to see you stand up and talk more about this. We need your agressive posturing against the masturbators more than ever. You should organize some rallies on Parliament Hill and a letter writing campaign. This is yet another example of Eastern Big City Liberalism trampling on the values of Albertans. People need to take back their country and the first step is understanding the masturbators are every bit as evil as homosexuals.

I would like to get a few Conservative Catholic Members of Parliament to promote this issue. But not my MP because as we both know he is somewhat compromised on this issue. Have you spoken to him as I suggested? Its a shame too, because we all would love to hear him address Parliament on how masturbation caused the fall of the Roman Empire. We might also get Mr. Klein to say a few words about masturbation and the notwithstanding clause. Remember how desperately he needs your people's votes.

I look forward to you giving equal time to an equal sin. The people need to know about the masturbation agenda and its corrosive effects on our society. Please recommend this post

Friday, May 27, 2005

Friday's Best Bumper Sticker

Friday's Best Bumper sticker, spotted on Shaganappi Trail:

God Bless All the Nations of the World
(No Exceptions)

Nice to see a little contra-jingoism going on out there. Keep up the good work. Please recommend this post

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Ten Or So Songs

I never get tired of listening to or writing about music. Here's a cheesy line: the soundtrack of our lives... Use it on someone and see what they say (or do).

Ten or so songs on the digital jukebox, mostly stuff you'll never hear on commercial radio. Assuming you're not listening to Angry Talk Radio Guy Who Thinks You're Stupid.

1. Colin Linden - When The Carnival Ends

Probably his best song.

police dog at the neighbors door, marching up and down the street
keeping us safe from criminals between the ages of 12 and 16
i don't know about you friend, but tonight i sure can't sleep
throwing gasoline on a fire seems like a strange way to keep the peace

2. Jonatha Brooke - Ten Cent Wings

I never used to like her, but now i do. Acquired taste etc.

I will love across the borders, I will wait until it's dark
I will fly and you'll be with me, my wings, your heart
then our memory may fail us and our language will go too

3. Stan Rogers - Northwest Passage. I wonder how many Canadians have heard this song considering Stan Rogers was and is considered one of Canada's most famous Folk Singers. This was his signature song. I like the way he ties Franklin's expedition to his personal life.

Ah, for just one time I would take the Northwest Passage
To find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea;
Tracing one warm line through a land so wild and savage
And make a Northwest Passage to the sea

4. Simon & Garfunkel - Mrs. Robinson Although I like the song and the movie that went with it (the Graduate) I blame them for inventing the phrase coo coo ca choo. Nobody needed that.

Here's to you mrs. robinson,
Jesus loves you more than you can know

Even though you're an alcoholic and fooling around with Dustin Hoffman. Jesus is good that way. No, no its good.

5. Sherly Crow - Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen used to drag race his custom Jaguar in the Hollywood Hills. Supposedly the local Police had a huge reward fund for the first cop that could cite him. No one ever did. That could be an urban legend but its a nice story.

Like Steve McQueen
All I need's a fast machine
And I'm gonna make it all right
Like Steve McQueen
Underneath your radar screen
You'll never catch me tonite

We got rock stars in the White House
And all our pop stars look like porn
All my heroes hit the highway
'Cause they don't hang out here no more

6. Sarah Harmer - Open Window

This is just one of those catchy love songs. Apparently a lot of people are having it sung at their weddings. Poor bastards. I want them to sing Mrs. Robinson at my wedding ceremony. I want to the singer to say, This one's for the mother of the bride...

Our love is a sacred thing
like the mysteries of the night
in the darkness unwavering
and still so strong come the light
Our love is an infinite thing
like the sun's last ray on the sea
as it sets low in the west
and the moon rises

That's really well written and sweet. Poor bastards. No really, nice song.

7. Beatles - Nowhere Man

I miss John Lennon. Was Nowhere man someone they were thinking of, or just an everymannowhereman?

8. Ani Difranco - Sick of Me

A different kind of love song. Maybe better for the 5th anniversary rather than the wedding.

how sick of me must you be by now? while you're standing just outside of
what your pride will allow, always reaching into yourself to find a new way to
understand me. when i'm sure that there's no one else in the world that could
withstand me. yeah, the first person in your life to ever really matter is
saying the last thing that you want to hear. and you are listening hard through
the splintering shards of your life as it shatters. and you're standing firm

9. Natalie Merchant - Break Your Heart

The way things are and the way they've been
Don't spread discontent, don't spread the lies
Don't make the same mistakes with your own life
And don't disrespect yourself, don't lose your pride
And don't think everybody is gonna chose your side


10. Mary Lou Lord - Lights Are Changing

The best thing to come out of Boston since Bobby Orr.

Looking through your hollow eyes across the great unknown
Growing greater every second growing harder with each stone
Yeah and you who judge your freedom by the quantity you score
Does it make you any freer if you took a little more
All that summertime I revolved around your eye
In accelerating spirals in an asymmetric sky
Please recommend this post

We Got Noticed

A disorganized and sometimes odd Royal Visit to Edmonton Alberta got noticed by the Daily Mail in the UK:

But the royal sparkle was not enough for Canada's award-winning photographer Robert Bray when he took the Queen's portrait. Behind the lens, the VIP snapper shouted to Her Majesty: "Big smile - show some teeth." And then: "Over here - into the camera."
For his unconventional efforts, he was rewarded with a slight glimpse of pearly white. Next up, the Duke of Edinburgh was less co-operative and seemed perplexed by the photographer's manner. The Duke stared straight down the lens, seemingly not amused.

Oh the Duke has pretty teeth dear
And he shows them pearly white...

Then the Duke dived across a table and bit off the photographers ear, screaming is that show some teeth enough for you? Nothing like spectacle with Kurt Weill as the soundtrack.

And the Queen even appeared not to notice Alberta's Premier Ralph Klein with his hands in his pockets while showing her around an Edmonton museum, earlier in the day.

No, Ralph was not showing her around the Museum. Other people were. I doubt Ralph has ever been to a museum. What Ralph was doing was walking in front of the Queen and having his wife yank the back of his suit jacket. Yes he did have his hands in his pockets most of the time. No doubt playing with his balls. And no matter which way he tries to grab his balls they always squish off to the right. Jackass. I digress.

During a walkabout in Edmonton city centre, she encountered a corgi club and a cow.

Journalistic sarcasm at its finest. No one could write a line like that without rolling their eyes and going Holy Christ! A cow. I saw the video. Queen pretended not to notice the cow and walked by to the Corgis. Its really a brief moment in Monarchial history. Kings and Queens have been ignoring the town's prize cow for thousands of years. Its a perogative.

Concluding on this bit of too much information:

She chatted to the dog owners, members of the Pembroke Welsh Corgi Association of Canada, but seemed to avoid the cow in the crowd.

The cow's owners, Tracey and David Morey, from Rochester, north of Edmonton, also brought along a large roll of kitchen towel.

"It's to wipe her (the cow's) butt in case she poops," said Tracey.

Thanks Tracey. Nice they added "the cow's" to clarify the possessive connection to the butt. I wonder how many people really needed that, or more importantly why. The brackets are a nice touch as a visual giggle along the lines of what? did you think we meant the Queen's butt. The palace media courtesans will be in touch with you cheeky monkey. But not before Lord Whatshisface the publisher decides you would make a good correspondent in the Gaza Strip.

Here's the deal Your Majesty: Hopefully you will plan on coming for another visit. We promise by then to have an acceptable leader who does'nt grab his balls and walk in front of you. If we can't live up to that then feel free to send Dame Edna in your place. Please recommend this post

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Dennis Miller Canceled

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - CNBC is canceling "Dennis Miller" in an attempt to revive the network's struggling primetime, according to Variety.

"Dennis Miller" will be replaced with a second airing of "Mad Money With Jim Cramer" at 9 p.m. ET.

I think that should be CNBC is FINALLY canceling "Dennis Miller". Not to belabour the point but the replacement is a ninth tier business show in re-runs. How slap in the face is that? Now he can pursue his dream of working along side Jeff Gannon.

Now i don't want to go off on a rant here, but Dennis Miller was about as funny as waking up in Abu Ghraib prison with Cathy Lee Gifford leading you around on a leash while a drunken Donald Rumsfeld reads love poems from the Bhaghavat Gita while Jerry Falwell in a dress tries to organize you and your cellmate Achmed who has'nt had a shower since Clinton was in office into a cross shaped naked pyramid and Rush Limbaugh is bawling in the corner because he can't find his Oxycontin and Toby Keith's greatest hits is playing over the prison loudspeaker over and over and you're starting to feel like Manual Noriega...

Sorry, I got carried away there with run-on-sentence-simile-based-humor.

But wait. If Dennis Miller is'nt funny, and I'm imitating Dennis Miller, then...I cannot be funny either, ipso facto, as they say in Ontario. Thus the blogger walks unwittingly into a swirling noisy vortex [use Stephen Harper hand gestures here] of bad logic collapsing all around him like a Charlie Sheen marriage...

Whoa, it happened again.

What? Did you think I was going to go on about the Belinda is a slut stories. Sorry, I just don't care enough right now. We'll talk tomorrow about that.

Editor's Note: Noriega's first name should have been spelled Manuel not Manual. A Manual Noriega is actually a sex toy, currently the subject of a law suit in Alabama. We apologize for any confusion (or perhaps even discomfort) this typographical error may have caused. Please recommend this post

Monday, May 16, 2005

Various Procedural Thoughts

I made the mistake of reading Parliament's Hansard this past week and watching a few clips. I was especially interested in the non-confidence motion that was or was not a non-confidence motion. Train wrecks can be fascinating. I can see the arguments on both sides as to whether it really meant non-confidence or not. The question might be whether a motion is an expression of non-confidence just because it uses the phrase non-confidence and the man who raises it is extremely angry. When people get dragged out to vote on their summer vacation there will probably be a million more things for them to contemplate other than a procedural fiasco that kept Parliament alive for 9 more days. At some point I invented the term overpunditizationalism® because of the sheer amount of pure bullshit this event caused the MSM to generate.

Harper's tone and body language ended up being more interesting than the technicalities. He simply could not believe that the Government had the audacity to defy his glorious rage. Rage can be a good thing. One of the greatest politics documents ever written is the American Declaration of Independence. The authors were some pissed and signed it with their blood. Canadians don't have a history of political rage or revolution. Our founding documents are somewhat dispassionate to say the least. In Harper's case I don't really understand the purpose of the rage and over the top dramatics. He's beginning to look a lot like his mentor Brian Mulroney, which is to say a sociopath. There are now cameras in the House. The good news is Members do not show up staggering drunk or start fistfights. The bad news is they've all become graduates of the Mel Gibson School of acting.

Harper looked like he was about to levitate, spin his head 360, and start channeling Elmer Gantry. I thought for sure Alien baby was going to pop out of his chest or maybe even an Alsatian with part of its nose missing. (Obscure historical joke.) Although there is a precedent for a Prime Minister to tell another Honorable Member to fuck off Martin did not use it. He is a bit lacking in that respect. Martin is tragically placid, always looking like he's on the receiving end of something. At some point [allegedly] Harper complained to the Governor General that he really wanted and deserved to be obeyed. GG [allegedly] was not impressed because a) the request is out of scope at this time, and; b) Harper and his crowd have made far too many personal attacks on her and her husband. I doubt she would hit the brakes if Harper ran out from behind a parked car.

The Conservative front bench in Parliament looked like a bunch of crack addicts that have not had a fix in a while. The Liberals looked bored and over-confident. This happens when you have been in power for a long time and people refer to you as the Natural Governing Party. I thought a minority position would fix this. The Bloc looks a lot like the Liberals, disinterested but for different reasons. Duceppe wants to go to the polls while the anti-Liberal sentiment in Quebec is at its highest. They consider their personal best to be 50+ of the popular vote in Quebec. I find Duceppe and Harper an odd alliance. The attraction could be that both are regionalists and see little value in Federalism. (Or, if you prefer, Fedoralalalaism.) One wants a firewall, the other a country. Some days I'm not sure which is which. It is interesting that the Western Conservative Base (which is the Majority of the CPC) spent the last 15 or so years giving constant verbal abuse towards francophone Quebecois but now finds them politically convenient. It's the weirdest thing to watch.

I don't know who's giving Martin his strategic advice these days but it does not seem all that coherent. Does he think he is Mackenzie King: Non-confidence if necessary, but not necessarily non-confidence. Martin could have resigned on the procedural motion thus setting a precedent that Stephen Harper and his Media Whores would have a hard time arguing against, when inevitably it would be used on them. Harper would have had to assume the blame for a summer election and the budget being tossed. Maybe, Harper then still wins a minority government. The Liberals create a procedural motion about how the carpets in the foyer need cleaning, and voila, non-confidence. You could call it the Harper Precedent.

Years from now students will be forced to learn about the Harper Affair of 2005. A few of them will be interested but mostly they'll have spittle dribbling out of their mouths while they try to keep their eyes open. Revisionism will abound. Someone will recall how just before the vote, in the skies above Parliament, Cheryl Gallant flew around on a broom and spelled out the words Surrender Parliament to Jesus in big black letters. Other historians will claim there was a great people's democratic movement that took to the streets against the mafia controlled Liberal dictators and the stupid people of Ontario.

Thursday's vote on the budget will not come quickly enough for me. There's nothing like looking forward to an event that can have no good outcome. Please recommend this post