31 December 2005

as 2005 comes to its final moments...

...I pause to ponder...

is Canada stupid enough to trust him?


If Satan has a cousin, it's likely Martin.

29 December 2005

George from Seinfeld...in REAL LIFE!!!

There is an episode of Seinfeld called The Strike in which George gets a pair of cuff links as a Christmas gift from a co-worker.

Jerry: Nice cuff links, by the way.
George: Office Christmas gift. I tell you, this Human Fund is a gold mine!
Jerry: That's not a french cuff shirt, you know.
George: I know. I cut the button off and poked a hole with a letter opener.
Jerry: Classy.

I went to a nearby liquor store today after work in search of a bottle of wine for the evening.

The place reeked of cigarette smoke, which was kind of odd. Then the clerk didn't notice me standing at the cash for several minutes while he was off staring at a shelf full of liquor bottles.

He finally comes over, some old guy from Britain or Australia, I can never distinguish the accent, and, he's done the George!

I'm not making this up!

This old guy, classy and all, has .... done... the forbidden!!

Wearing cuff links with a shirt that doesn't have french cuffs! He just cut the buttons off and poked holes in the cuffs.

I feel dirty.

27 December 2005

Beauty didn't kill the beast, Jackson did

Boxing Day included going to the mall to watch all the other people in search of bargains, which were not to be found. The only place I seriously looked at anything was Gap. And there was nothing spectacular about their sales. In fact, there were none. Yes, there were the usual and typical sales, but nothing to warrant Boxing Day. Which brings me to the conclusion that Boxing Day is not what it once was: the day when everything is always on sale for that day only. Shit, just even give me an extra 15% off and I will be happy.

I did manage to get to Sears this morning just in time for the scratch & save; only got the minimum 10% that everyone will get, but there was also the 25% discount on Roots bedding, and Doc's 15% staff discount. In reality I got a new sheet set including 4 pillow cases for 50% off, and two new pillows for 75% off (the pillows were at 50% + 15% + 10%).

King Kong.

Waste of time.

Peter Jackson is fat.

Peter Jackson makes bad movies.

This is why:

  1. King Kong = LoTR

  2. The Ape = The Ring

  3. Carl Denham (Jack Black) = Gollum

  4. Jack Driscoll (Adrian Brody) = Frodo

  5. Naomi Watts = Liv Tyler = Useless prop with no purpose in the story

Major flaws of the movie:

  • the use of chloroform to anesthetise the ape; the amount required to render a 'victim' unconscious is quite close to the amount required to kill the victim

  • the senseless and useless extra characters, particularly Mr. Hayes and Jimmy and their relationship; are they lovers? fighters? martyrs?; this relationship comes from nowhere, dominates the plot for a brief hour, then dissipates and dissappears as quickly as it appeared, and with no reason for either

  • it took nearly an hour of film to get the damn ape passed out and "captured", a process which kills half of the cast, yet, it only takes about 3 seconds and white wash to get the ape from the island and onto the boat, then back to New York and in a Broadway show at Times Square; I found this to be completely unbelievable! how does the ape get on the boat? how do they keep the ape drugged up for the four or five day ride back to New York?

  • what happens to the Captain Englehorn and Jimmy? we spend so much time getting to know both of these characters, but then they cease to be useful (if ever they were in the beginning) and are tossed aside to do what? continue on the open seas having more adventures?

  • Naomi Watts did convince me that she was tortured and had an emotional connection with the ape...oh wait, I think I saw that movie already, Gorillas in the Mist; but it's not like they're going to move to the Hamptons and host house parties for other parents from the preschool to which they send their humanape offspring

  • dinosaurs on an island chasing people and trying to eat the people? I've also seen this movie before too, the Jurassic Park Quadology (the fourth installment is being released in 2006)

I knew this movie would suck even before I went to see it. I was going to see Fun with Dick & Jane, but that was showing in the sloped theatre, which has a smaller screen and smaller seats and smaller sound and is the same price as a ticket to a stadium theatre with a big screen and big seats and big sound.

But this also brings me to another problem:

All the Christmas release movies are remakes of old movies!

  • King Kong

  • Fun with Dick and Jane

  • The Producers

Are there no NEW ideas in Hollywood?

24 December 2005

Brokeback Mountain

Though this movie was officially released on December 09, it didn't get released in Alberta until tonight. And only on one screen at one theatre in Calgary. W and I drove up to Calgary this afternoon to see this long anticipated movie. I have not disliked any Ang Lee movie, and I was looking forward to Brokeback Mountain.

As with Mystery, Alaska, not only is it cool to see places in a movie which you've visited, but it's even better when it's the place you live. (No, I've never even been to Alaska, but this was filmed in Canmore Alberta, and I did live there a year after that production.) There is one scene early in Brokeback Mountain where the sheep are on the grassy side of a jagged and peaked slope. It's not quite a mountain top, but it is a unique formation, and a location which I've seen before, twice this summer on my bike. Most of the mountain scenes were shot near where I live.

In the theatre this evening, there were two full rows of fairly young teens who were quite rowdy and downright annoying. Hooting and hollering and all that nonsense. Making odd noises throughout the film. At one point, they all cheered a seemingly useless scene. Then, at the end, they all stayed for the credits (as did most people; that theatre did not clear out like most movies) and cheered...for their friend, Cheyenne Hill, who was not only in the film, but also in the theatre watching herself on the screen. That was kind of cool, in that eery, irony or coincidence kind of way.

I had already read Annie Proulx's short story, Brokeback Mountain, from which the film was written for the screen (if you click on the 'read from the book' link, you will get a pop-up with the full text of the short story). And to be honest, viewing the trailer was pretty much reading the short story. I wasn't all too sure how it would be stretched out into 134 minutes.

But this is Ang Lee!

I think I would discuss themes and memes from this film for hours. However, I'm not quite ready or in the mood to be doing such things at this late hour.

All I am saying is that it was a very good film. If you have a chance to see it, then go see it.

22 December 2005

one step closer

Telus has recently introduced (finally, I mean, years behind both Sasktel and MTS) television over phone line.

Personally, I don't like Telus. I've had history with them, and it's not pleasant. Both personal and business. One time, I tried to get a phone line for the company, and it was going to take 8 weeks to turn it on. EIGHT WEEKS??!!!?? That's just pathetic. That wouldn't happen in Saskatchewan. There's something to be said for crown corporations. And that something is always positive.

However, I'm not here to promote one or the other.

I don't watch tv because I don't own a tv. I can usually find better things to do with my time.

Yet, if I had a tv, I would not like to pay for cable service (or tv over phone line) because of this single reason: I want to buy individual channels, not a broad package of "themes" which Shaw or Rogers or Bell Expressvu have deemed appropriate.

If I want news, I want CBC and CNN. I don't care about CTV.

Anyway, it has always been my contention that I will never pay for tv signals until the time comes that I can purchase by channel, not by theme pack.

Telus has made this nearly possible with their new tv service offering.

It's not perfect. You've still got to buy a base pack of a bunch of channels I would never watch and therefore don't want to support by paying a fee. However, after that base, there is the option of buying individual channels.

Hopefully this trend will continue to a world where eventually all channels will be available individually.

Sure, keep the theme packs, but give me choice!

Speaking of choice...

Don't vote Liberal!!!

Vote for anyone but the fucking Liberals.

18 December 2005

how did they vote?

With the federal election coming up in January, there is much focus on the party leaders and what they say and do. The media coverage of these four (ought to be five) political figures often has the ability to sway a person's vote towards one party or another, often with little consequence or input from the local party candidate in a particular riding.

Though it is important to vote based on a party's platform, or to get rid of an anti-Canadian corrupt government, it's also more important to find out what your local MP does!!

Most MP's have their own websites. (And I would think that most candidates have their own websites too.)

I have found this site:

How'd They Vote?

A very detailed and useful source to find out how your local MP has voted in the last parliament, and what your MP has said in the House.

I don't care how you vote, just don't vote Liberal. It's time for Canada to be Canada again!! A Canada for the hard working people that have built this amazing country.

NOT a canada for enriching the already wealthy Liberals and their friends:
thieves who come to steal and destroy.

16 December 2005

i just vomited in my mouth

It seems that every time this man opens his mouth, I want to vomit in my own.

The guy is a liar. Watching and listening to Paul Martin is like watching Jim Carrey in Liar Liar. The only problem is that Paul is not funny.

I listened to the debates tonight on Radio One. It would have been nice to see the video along with the audio, but I didn't feel like getting out of bed to go to work.

Some points to make here:

  • Duceppe is right: health care is a provincial issue and ministry; Ottawa should only be transferring money to the provinces to administer health care

  • I really hate the Liberals; they've been ruining Canada for far too long; the big problem is that the problems we're facing now are the result of the Liberals from 12 years ago, people are just too stupid to see that they can't bring answers to fix the things which they broke

  • the Liberal party is not credible; all they've delivered in 12 years is broken promises and lies

  • I'm indifferent towards Harper; he's neither good or bad

  • I actually like Jack Layton and his charisma, a type of anglo-Trudeau

  • the NDP agenda would render a Canada that is reminiscent of a 1960's era Russia ~ communist and socialist

  • treason |ˈtrēzən|
    the crime of betraying one's country, especially by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government = Bloc Québecois

15 December 2005

two billion dollars couldn't even save her

"The type of gun you would use to shoot elephants"
~ Laval police chief Jean-Pierre Gariepy

François Pepin was banned from possessing any type of gun for ten years, beginning in 1999.

Yet Pepin was able to legally obtain a high powered rifle...for the purposes of hunting.

This is a direct result of Paul Martin's (and the Liberals') infamous precious gun registry boondoggle.

The Liberals can't even keep guns out of the hands of criminals who are buying the guns legally!!!

I'm certain that $2,000,000,000 could have gone a long way if it had been given to local police forces or even the RCMP or even the military. That would have done far more than that stupid gun registry failed to do. And for what? Dead cops. Gunned down by criminals banned from possessing guns who get them legally.

I'm just beside myself, disgusted once again, by the Liberals.

I've never believed any word of a Liberal to be credible. But I urge you, Ontario, to realise that the Liberals are not only liars, but a lame-duck government, lining their own pockets with your money! They aren't in Ottawa to make Canada, or make Canada better. The Liberals are in Ottawa to get rich off of your hard work.

Every vote for a Liberal kills another cop.

14 December 2005

Ontario: The New America!

Being a former resident of Ontario, I'm interested in what happens there.

And today was a day like no other, the Provincial Legislature was quite busy. Busy being busybodies passing into law a handful of bills which make Ontario the New America!


Harsh treatment for people suspected of growing marijuana. No, you don't actually have to be growing marijuana, just that you're suspected of it. And it's not even the police who have to suspect you, just your power company.

1984? Anyone? 1984!!

Any infringement on the rights of Canadian citizens to exercise their freedoms, including the freedom to run a greenhouse (whether or not for cultivating marijuana), is a slap in the face, a step backwards, and a step to be more american: anti-democratic.

People of Ontario!!! Take this to heart! Watch what your Liberal leaders are doing! They are in bed and in the pockets of Martin and his gaggle of gregarious gluttonous greeds.


The city of Toronto now has near-province status. The ability to tax, the ability to set user fees for services which are actually provincial jurisdiction, among other things. Hmmm... Smells a lot like american style cities.

Many states allow individual counties and cities to set their own sales tax rates. This is the road that Ontario is going down.

Another step closer to being the 51st state.


Fixed election dates.

Whoever thinks that this is democratic is wrong. Fixed election dates are anti-democratic.

Perhaps not as noticable when a real majority government is in place (75 - 80 % of seats), but in the case of a minority government, such as we have right now in Ottawa, fixed election dates maintain poor governments in power. Unless there is some way to have no-confidence motions passed and an election called, then I am 100% against fixed election dates.

Fixed election dates = american style voting = Ontario: america junior.


Though I agree with suspended or witheld operator licences for high school drop-outs, this is already a favourite means of encouraging education in many american states.

So On-terrible, you've got a 30 - 35 % drop out rate? Let me make a logical assumption:

  • your schools suck and they bore students into crime and drugs, or perhaps even working

  • your population is stupid and far too challenged by the secondary school education system

I will offer no suggestions on how to fix this perceived problem; you've already done that by restricting, nay profiling, your residents.


Bush admits that the war in Iraq is his fault.

He's likely making this suggestion to soften McGuinty to sell Bush some water.

Last Call!

Ontario is really shaping up to be more like On-merica.

Good luck bailing out your sinking ship. Hope you don't take the rest of us down too!

(BTW, voting in another Liberal government to Ottawa will likely guarantee the secession of Québec, and soon thereafter, the secession of Alberta as well.)

13 December 2005

i'm a bad 'christian'

# 1

The woman who killed her own grandson by starving him and locking him in an unheated room for most of his short life was beaten in the back of police prisoner transport van by another female inmate on the way to the courthouse. (Toronto Star source.)

This woman deserved what she got. I hope she gets a whole lot more of it. I'm suggesting 5 years worth of beatings while in prison.

# 2

Riots in Sydney Australia suburbs are all the rage. (CBC source.)

I read an article that had quoted a female beach patron who was tired by being called derogatory names by Muslims because she was wearing a bathing suit. Essentially, this is the type of intolerance to which the Muslim community treated the other beach patrons is what initiated the 'riots' [sic; media spin].

I call these 'rioters' the people speaking out in one unified voice trying to get the attention of their 'democratic' state leaders and officials and law makers.

The intolerance is NOT on the part of those who are speaking out against the Muslims (Lebanese mostly). The intolerance is on the part of the Muslim (Lebanese) immigrants who are ungrateful for the better life which Australia has provided for them, and now they take it out on innocent people. Just like a typical Muslim: can't handle a different point of view or belief system, so they mock it and attack it and fly planes into it.

I think a new word ought to be: Musmental.

If you come to my country and tell my sister she's a whore because she's not wearing a burqa, then FUCK YOU. I will throw a brick through your window too, smash up your car with a cricket bat, and perhaps even burn down your house. If your home country was so great with its Muslim, nay intolerant, ideology, why did you come to live here?

I stand in solidarity with the Aussies who are trying to get their unheard democratic voices heard. (As well as get their beaches back and make them safe again!)

To the neglectful government officials, I say: stop allowing the immigration of people whose culture and religion are intolerant of others.

I am intolerant of intolerance.

12 December 2005

Ellis on Psycho

While taking a piss in the men's room, I stare into a thin, web-like crack above the urinal's handle and think to myself that if I were to disappear into that crack, say somehow miniaturize [sic] and slip into it, the odds are good that no one would notice I was gone.





In fact some, if they noticed my absence, might feel an odd, indefinable sense of relief. This is true: the world is better off with some people gone. Our lives are not all interconnected. That theory is crock. Some people truly do not need to be here.

Ellis, Bret Easton.  American Psycho.  Vintage: New York NY, 1991, 226.

11 December 2005


etymology |ˌetəˈmäləjē|
noun ( pl. -gies)

the study of the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history.
  ·the origin of a word and the historical development of its meaning.

Pentecostal |ˌpentəˈkôstl; -ˈkästl|

1 of or relating to Pentecost.
2 of, relating to, or denoting any of a number of Christian sects and individuals emphasizing baptism in the Holy Spirit, evidenced by speaking in tongues, prophecy, healing, and exorcism.


a member of a Pentecostal sect.

fundamentalism |ˌfəndəˈmentlˌizəm|

a form of Protestant Christianity that upholds belief in the strict and literal interpretation of the Bible, including its narratives, doctrines, prophecies, and moral laws.
  ·strict maintenance of ancient or fundamental doctrines of any religion or ideology

Pentecostal + fundamental = Pentemental


1 a person who is both Pentecostalist and fundamentalist, being of the form of fundamentalism which adheres only to those things which are strictly Pentecostalist; this person is very unstable; typically uneducated and subject to fits of emotional and irrational behaviours.
2 rarely, nay never, depicts anything that resembles true Christianity [Matthew 7:22-23].

09 December 2005

7 shades of Zoom!

After spending [investing?] $xxxx.xx at the orthodontist to have my teeth straightened, I was at my dentist for a checkup and cleaning when the receptionist suggested I get professional bleaching.

In comes Zoom!
Unfortunately, because this is a product which is only administered by a dentist, there actually isn't a good web site for it.

Zoom zoom zoom.

And another $xxx.xx to the dentist.

Because I have stolen the batteries from my camera to put in my keyboard and/or mouse, I can't provide any pictures right now, but then again, who wants to see my teeth?

Best yet, I made the Number 1 spot for the greatest number of tooth shades of improvement. There is some standardised scale which dentists use to base the shade increase against. They said that typically most of their patients go up 4 or 5 shades. The previous record holder went 6 shades whiter. I went 7.

And all for what? I'm not married or dating, so no one is actively currently kissing me. I also have no plans to be dating or married any time soon. No one at work noticed. My squash partner didn't notice. I even told a friend who was over for dinner that I couldn't make pasta because I couldn't eat red sauces for 24 hours, because I'd had my teeth whitened. He didn't even say anything or ask to see.

Meh, but at least I have whiter teeth. I think they may actually glow under black light now.

08 December 2005


Egg Nog

I recently purchased two litres of egg nog. Both lovingly prepared / manufactured by Lucerne Dairy, available at Safeway. The first was their 'holiday egg nog', the second was their 'gourmet egg nog'.

You may wonder, what's the difference? Aside from packaging and price, I wanted to know the same thing. That's why I bought both.

Texture: both have a similar viscosity and appearance, complete with little specks of what ought to be considered spices. The gourmet version was slightly darker in hue, under a standard 60 W light bulb.

Flavour: each had its own unique nog-ness. The holiday egg nog seemed more earthy and wholesome, actually tasting like eggs. The gourmet egg nog was slightly sweeter, and perhaps richer, but then the wholesome farm-fresh taste was missing. Slightly less eggy than the holiday version.

Overall: neither came out as suprior to the other. Disappointingly, I would likely be drawn to the gourmet egg nog for the 30¢ more, and this would be related to the same reason why I drink Starbucks instead of Tim's. It's the illusion of wealth. I can afford that extra 30¢ for egg nog, therefore I'm better than that person ahead of me in line who is buying the cheaper egg nog.

Gourmet egg nog does not come in a 'lite' version, only the holiday egg nog is available for the fat conscious.

Banning Handguns

Who's buying this Liberal propoganda? Haven't they already wasted enough money on the gun registry?

The problem isn't guns, it's people who kill people with guns. Need I suggest that the Liberals also ban chainsaws and butcher knives? Because people get killed by those too. Why not ban automobiles? More people die at the hands of other people who are driving cars!!!

Decent people who won't kill other people and have handguns are not something to be worried about, and it's only these people that any sort of control will be targetting, just as the gun registry has done.

If I want a gun to kill someone, I will more than likely bypass all the government red tape and just go buy one.

Seriously, every time Martin opens his mouth, I'm soured more and more by whatever he says. It's just pathetic.

Ironically, gun violence in Toronto is relatively low and has been decreasing since 1991. As well, the 2005 per captia murder rates in Toronto are lower than Winnipeg, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary. I don't know what Toronto is complaining about. (CBC Source.)

John Lennon

Not like I have to tell anyone, but John Lennon was murdered 25 years ago today.

I've been sitting in my living room listening to all the Lennon vinyl I have. The post-mortem album "Milk and Honey" is absolutely...terrible.

I think that if there is a hell on earth, it cannot get much worse than listening to Yoko Ono singing. It's rather bad.

I wonder what it would be like to be rich and not worry about the simple things in life like paying bills and student loans on time and having to maintain a real job in order to pay those bills.

06 December 2005

under the influence

Recently reported by SSS, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind has "fast become one of [his] favourite movies".

Under this heavy influence, I purchased a previously enjoyed copy this evening at my local Rogers Video, utilising my RGC employee discount.

If I could erase someone from my memory, who would I erase?

Unfortunately, I cannot answer that question in due time. The better question to ask would be:

If I could erase everyone from my memory, who would I keep?

I once read Yancey's Where is God when it hurts? In this book, Yancey tries to answer the question for which the book received its title. The only problem I found in the book is this: Yancey only studied physical pain, and suggested remedies based on psychology. This error is tantamount to making the book useless by not answering the question of the title. Physical pain can be erased by bacteria. But this holds no power over spiritual pain. The antithesis of physical pain is leprosy. Yes, to feel no pain at all is basically to be infected with the mycobacterium leprae. The one thing that is available as the answer to not feeling pain is actually the one thing that has been viewed as the lowest of social standing by just about every culture since the beginning.

Spiritual pain. What is the spiritual leprosy to cure spiritual pain? The spotless mind. The eternal sunshine of the spotless mind.

You'd be surprised to find out who is not on the list of people I would actually want to remember. It's quite short.

Don't be surprised really.

Come on! 14 bottles of wine in 5 weeks? You think it's because I like wine?

Why does anyone drink or smoke pot? Because a person hates is not satisfied with where he is at. Unable to remove the source of the pain, the best alternative is to numb it a bit, even if only for a few hours or days.

Joel and Clementine wanted to forget each other, and in the process realised that they loved each other.

I have attempted to love. But I have also been spurned every time. Infinite disappointment. Resurging waves of regret mingled with the desire to have realised from the beginning that no other person can love. All people are selfish and just after their own improvement. I am. I'm not. No, I would have given myself wholy. I've known that many times. Why didn't I? Because eventually I would become boring. Then I would be alone again. I'd rather just be alone. Not alone again.

But, I am alone again. Perpetual. Forever. Ceaseless. Alone.

I would rather be void and empty than carry this burden.

I want to feel nothing rather than everything.

04 December 2005

Sunday evening on 12 Street

This is from the bulletin of a church we attended a few weeks ago.

I like how they don't take any initiative or responsibility. Merely referring the seeker to "ask Jesus first, then contact us". Kind of sad really. In addition to this, no one greeted us, no one talked to us, no one offered to buy us lunch, no one offered to shove the gospel at us. Makes a person think about the modern or postmodern or even the emerging church: how is this relevant?

In preparation for moving, I realised I was past due to return my empties which had been piling up in the storage closet. 14 bottles of wine in about 5 weeks. Does that make me a wino?

wino |ˈwīnō| noun ( pl. -os) informal
a person who drinks excessive amounts of cheap wine or other alcohol, esp. one who is homeless.

Guess not. My wine isn't cheap and I'm not homeless. And what is excessive? 14 bottles in 5 weeks doesn't seem all that excessive to me.

02 December 2005

and she was damned by God as a harlot

To the legions of fans who have been awaiting my voice...I am back!!

I have just finished the most brutal week of moving and work. Well, the moving part was rough, and work was just mostly normal.

Two things to be excited about:

  1. egg nog

  2. federal election

Some opening points I have to make:

  • health care is a provincial ministry; I don't know why it's a federal election issue [this even baffled me in the june '04 campaign]

  • the BQ is not a federal party because they do not run candidates in a majority of ridings; as such, they should not be recognised by media outlets as having equal status with the other three (four?) main national parties

  • perhaps the Bloc should adopt some of my suggestions for campaign slogans:

    • 'tis the season for treason!

    • treasons greetings

    • ...or my personal favourite... fuck les anglophones

Being an Albertan, I think being debt free is the highest priority. Debt free without increased taxes. A socialist government would never be able to produce this while trying to remain a capitalist market. There would never be true pure socialism in Canada, because the government likes to make itself personally rich. (Merely consider the BC government, which after all the cuts to many public service sectors, freezing wages, cutting staff, unanimously approved a 15% pay increase for MLA's. WtF??) The other reason is that rich people want to remain rich, like Mr. Martin. You think Wal-Mart is deplorable for child labour practices in Bangladesh? Never ever forget Paul Martin's own Canada Steamship Lines. The man is highly unethical in his private business dealings, while being a Member of Parliament!!! If this is how he treats people who work for his own company, how and why is he being trusted as the Prime Minister of Canada? This alone boggles the mind more than anything else.
For more information on the extent to which Paul Martin is a sleaze, please visit: PaulMartinTime.ca. For an indepth report disclosing the true depth to which Paul Martin has personally dragged down the word Canada, visit the CBC's Disclosure report.

For the reason behind the title of this entry, go here.

25 November 2005

there's a new Saint Nick in the House

St. Paul....


Who's not disgusted yet by the drama unfolding in Ottawa?

From the latest headlines, it appears that St. Paul is attempting to buy votes. Announcing billions in spending for an assortment of projects all across Canada. Oh wait, except for Alberta. Some how, Alberta doesn't deserve any federal money. Likely because St. Paul knows that he can't sway solid thinking and sound minds by throwing money at them.

If any government in Ottawa wants to spend billions, (of my money), then it shouldn't be on anything but debt reduction. There are surpluses now, and for years, that have not gone to paying off the debt.

My greatest frustration are people in Ontario. I still hear the argument that suggests that the Conservative Party is a "western" party. Consider this: the Liberal Party, in addition to being many other things, is actually just an "eastern" party. The only voice the Liberals have is the Ontario voice. And remember, Ontario is not synonymous with Canada.

There will be an election, and there will be some change. I just hope and pray that the decent hard working people of Ontario will finally realise that putting another Liberal government in Ottawa is the worst thing, the most anti-Canadian thing, that could possibly be given to Canada at Christmas.

22 November 2005

in the house

Rick Casson is my Member of Parliament in Ottawa, part of the official opposition to the ruling authority of the corrupt Liberal government.

I could get political here, but why bother, those who agree with me, those are alive in a knowledge of Truth, would be bored, and those who disagree, those who are ultimately ignorant and whore their votes to the Red Pimp of Babylon, would just be stumped by the mindless drivel that has propagated through the brainwashing machine and rendered them incapable of independent thought apart from what King Paul would have them think.

The Hon. Mr. Casson has introduced Bill C-313, which would essentially increase the legal age of sexual consent from 14 to 16. This bill received first reading nearly a year ago, at which time it was defeated by everyone but the Conservative Party. Oddly enough, apparently, the parties which are representing the "majority" of Canadians, and therefore represent Canadians, are insisting that Canada wants 14 year old "adults" to have sex.

This means that a 40/60/80 year old can legally have sexual relations with a 14 year old, because they are both "adults".

I did some research into this, and basically this is what I've come up with:

  1. There are only two classes a person can be a member of at any time: child or adult.

  2. The age at which a person matures from child to adult is relative.

  3. Because the age of child/adult is relative, a person can be both a child and adult at the same time, but for different purposes.

When 16 (in most provinces), a person becomes an adult for the purpose of obtaining a licence to operate a motor vehicle.

When 18 (in Alberta), a person becomes an adult for the purpose of purchasing and consuming alcohol.

18 is actually the age at which most things become accessible, as the 18 year old person is now considered an "adult". (Except for auto insurance in Alberta and Ontario, where a person is only an adult when 25.)

18 is also the age at which a person can enter, browse, and then purchase or rent materials, from a pornography store.

Ok, wait a tick...

Is this for real?

A person can appear in a pornographic media legally and consentually, participating in sexual relations, at the age of 14.

Yet that same person cannot rent/purchase/view the pornographic media which they are depicted in until the age of 18.

To have sex, I am an adult at age 14. But I am a child at age 14 and cannot watch people having sex on recorded media, even if it is myself.

Pardon the pun, but that's just fucked.

20 November 2005

this is my new church

At a church this morning, the speaker suggested a list of many things which are "not enough".

Seemed a bit odd in the moment, but then he led into his list of four statements which "are enough".

  1. Believe in Jesus.

  2. Accept Jesus as your personal saviour and Lord.
    [What does that mean anyway?]

  3. Connect with a community of people who have already adhered to the above two items.

  4. Obey the Church/their church/the Bible.
    [This was stated rather ambiguously.]

Shockingly, there are three too many statements in this list.

Last time I checked, the only requirement for salvation, for "making it right with God", only consisted of one thing: believe in Jesus (John 3:16, and also further on in v.36).

Yes, this is narrow: it is only considering the New Testamental Christian view of soteriology. But I don't have time for any other considerations at this time, and I think they are stupid anyway.

This evening, instead of the traditional church service, I went to a different kind of religious gathering:


We played Texas Hold 'em. $5 to buy into the pot, then an equal amount of chips to each player, and the winner who takes all the chips takes the entire cash pot. Little blind and big blind started at 50 and 100 respectively, and then doubled every 15 minutes.

Seven players in total.

I bet relatively large on a hand I thought would win. But didn't. Then I was down to a miniscule pile of chips and basically sat back and rode it through the night, watching massive bets and piles of chips being shuffled across the table. I was always able to make the blinds.

And then...

With all the table talk and jabbing and that I was the 'new guy', and I think that most of the other people knew each other already, it was all a bit surreal and a blur.

But I got a full house 6-6-6-4-4, and took a sizeable pile of chips to keep me in the game (at that point only two people were out).

And then I waited a bit more.

Took a few more hands on high pairs.

And finally it was down to two of us: me and the game host.

First hand, I was dealer and he was big blind. I folded.

Second hand, I was big blind and dealer, and the host was little blind. I had more chips than him, but he went all in, so I matched him. He had a pair with the flop; I had nothing. But then on the river, I swept that pile of chips with a flush!!! Taking the glory and the $45 prize!!!

Playing poker is its own type of church. Even if I had lost, I accomplished more playing poker tonight than I did going to church this morning.

  • I connected with a community, and met knew people with whom I was able to develop relationships with, and will continue to do so at future poker nights.

  • I rode the emotional highs and lows and was able to be moved in spirit at the dynamic plight I was currently experiencing through external stimuli (akin to "worship music").

  • I obeyed the rules.

  • I still believe in Jesus.

Oh yeah, and I won too. When was the last time you went to church and put money in the offering plate and they had a 50/50 draw, or simply just gave all the money back to someone in the congregation for no reason at all, aside from being charitable?

This morning, I felt nothing. It was just another service. I wanted to leave immediately afterwards, I didn't want to stick around to talk to anyone or be fake.

This evening, I felt everything. It was essentially unique: my first poker night. I wasn't watching the clock at all, wondering when it was going to be over. At the end, it was affirmed and confirmed that poker night does happen weekly and that I am more than welcome, and that Dave is obliged to bring me back, because I won their money.

I see relevance in poker night. I see relevance in wine & cheese & Jesus night.

I don't see relevance in (a/any) church service.

16 November 2005


23 500 kilolitres.

That's roughly 23 500 000 litres.

Of cream.

And then there is 226 300 kilolitres of milk. 226 300 000 litres of milk.

Purchased in Canada during the month of September, 2005!

Wow! I mean, I had no idea.

But then, I suppose that it would be safe to estimate that each Canadian purchased about 7.8 litres of milk and/or cream in September. I can safely say that I purchase 10 litres of milk and cream every two weeks. Sometimes even 15 litres every two weeks. Therefore I would well above average, which is quite typical for me: to be above average.

To put this in perspective, that's 249.8 million litres of milk and cream...for one month!

If Chuck Guité had a dollar for every litre of milk and cream purchased in Canada in the month of September 2005, he could pay back all the money he stole.

Find information like that, and much more, each and every business day from The Daily. (Not the daily show, but The Daily, from Statistics Canada.)

13 November 2005

the hope of youth
fictitious truth
lays covered in a shroud

~ L.N.

The random blog link typically returns 98% shit, and 2% good reading.

I was hopelessly clicking the other day, when I randomly discovered A Year In Pictures Following The Break-Up. It's a bitterly sad and ultimately uplifting photo blog about a guy who's engagement ended and how he is moving on in life after the 'break-up'. Highly recommended reading. (It has made it to my RSS list.)

Something that hit me hard was said by a friend to the author of that blog.

You're talented but lazy. Wasting time is worse than fucking a baby.
(Search for it in his archives.)

Coincidentally, a friend of mine had recently said something similar...without the baby fucking thing. Perhaps he should have been a bit more abrasive, because I would have listened more attentively.

It's true!

I'm talented.

I'm lazy.

I'm wasting time.

I'm wasting myself.

10 November 2005

i know this because Chuck knows this. these are Chuck's words coming out of my mouth

"If you're male and you're Christian and living in [North] America, your father is your model for God. And if you never know your father, if your father bails out or dies or is never at home, what do you believe about God?"

This is all Tyler Durden dogma. Scrawled on bits of paper while I was asleep and given to me to type and photocopy at work. I've read it all. Even my boss has probably read it all.

"What you end up doing is you spend your life searching for a father and God."

"What you have to consider is the possibility that God doesn't like you. Could be, God hates us. This is not the worst thing that can happen."

How Tyler saw it was that getting God's attention for being bad was better than getting no attention at all. Maybe because God's hate is better than His indifference.

If you could be either God's worst enemy or nothing, which would you choose?

We are God's middle children, according to Tyler Durden, with no special place in history and no special attention.

Unless we get God's attention, we have no hope of damnation or redemption.

Which is worse, hell or nothing?

Only if we're caught and punished can we be saved.

"Burn the Louvre and wipe your ass with the Mona Lisa. This way at least, God would know our names."

The lower you fall, the higher you'll fly. The farther you run, the more God wants you back.

"If the prodigal son had never left home, the fatted calf would still be alive."

It's not enough to be numbered with the grains of sand on the beach and the stars in the sky.

Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club. New York NY: W.W. Norton, 1995, 141.

08 November 2005

twosomes come in threes

  • Twice in two days, two different people thought it was prudent to inform me of the following:
    Les fonctions Bluetooth de votre téléphone et les niveaux de puissance de Classe 1 ne sont pas autorisés pour un usage extérieur en France. Pour éviter toute interférence illégale avec les signaux radio, n'utilisez pas les fonctions Bluetooth en France, à moins d'être à l'intérieur.

    Actually, no one read that in french. I just found the french to be very romantic sounding. Even sexual. But really, what it was is this:
    Your phone's Bluetooth features and Bluetooth Class 1 power levels are not allowed for outdoor operation in France. To avoid unlawful interference with radio signals, do not use the Bluetooth features in France unless you are indoors.

  • As I was reading through my list of blog RSS feeds, I found a comment on a blog that didn't make sense. It was Mark commenting on Luke's blog. Funny thing though, I don't have Luke linked and Mark and Luke don't know each other, but they do both know me. So I ask Mark, how did you find this blog to leave a comment? "I just clicked on 'next blog'." FREAKISH! Someone I know in Ontario clicks for a random blog and ends up on someone else's blog whom I also know, in Regina. WOW! But not only that. A couple minutes later, Mark sends me a link through messenger. Once again, he clicked on 'next' to get a random blog, and gets one that is not so random! We both know that blog author! He was our pastor!

  • Thomas, David, and myself (mostly myself) drank 2 bottles of wine tonight while consuming about $15 worth of assorted cheeses and crackers. Tuesday night is wine & cheese & Jesus night.

07 November 2005

but the half finished bottles of inspiration lie like ghosts in my room

20/20 in the morning

written & performed by Miranda Stone

i do my penance on the playground swing
till all of the bells in my sinning heart ring
driving rain chauffeurs me to redemption
working out my dishonourable mention
too little sleep and too much wine
makes even a bad thing look divine
gotta own up to my own this time
learn what to politely decline

this time is the last time, but this time is the last time

every time i go to get up and leave i get
worn and wasted like the cuff of my coat sleeve
two feet, two hands, two rubber bands
to mend the cracks of a sorry reprieve
broken people, they don't need to keep dry
left my umbrella at home in the closet with my disguise
wind and rain, wash away all the stains
that i spilled on my lap when i closed my eyes

this time is the last time, but this time is the last time
20/20 in the morning, 20/20 in the morning

i'm not like glue - i did not stick to my plans
i did not leave - till it was out of my hands
now i'm talking like this, like i always do
this was not fair to me, this was not fair to you

dollar store lady help me out a bit
i've got 3.95, what can i buy with it
looking for rhymes that are bitter sweet
no, you sold out of all your regret songs last week

this time is the last time, but this time is the last time
20/20 in the morning, 20/20 in the morning

This song has been pounding my ears from the iPod for many months now. It's one of those songs from an album that you don't really pay much attention to, focussing on other tracks instead. Just so much about it, the lines, and the way they are woven together. My favourites are: too little sleep and too much wine even make a bad thing look divine, and the dollar store lady verse.

Things I have learned in the past two weeks about myself:

  • I can drink an entire bottle of wine in one night without suffering a hangover the next morning

  • Fight Club is an awesome movie

  • though I do not blame anyone for my current life circumstances, I do recognise that the failed relationships that I have had with my mother and father(s) have done a great deal to get me to where I am today, positively and negatively

  • like the Foreigner song, I want to know what love is...

  • ex-girlfriends are like herpes: they never go away, you wish you never had them, they keep on hurting you just when you think they're gone, and having Jesus is better

  • I drink pinot noir, because I am a loser, just like the character Miles in the film Sideways

  • Bob Dylan has written many of the world's best songs ever

  • I have never fully loved anyone

  • even on the last glass of pinot noir, I want more; I should have bought two bottles

  • drinking wine is cheaper than beer, and it's legal, unlike smoking marijuana (fucking Liberals and their lies and unfulfilled promises; I'd vote to separate if it ever comes to ballot, just to get the fucking Liberals off of my tax dollars)

And to that bitch. You know who you are.

it ain't no use in callin' out my name, babe
like you never did before
it ain't no use in callin' out my name, babe
i can't hear you anymore
i'm a-thinkin' and a-wonderin' all the way down the road
i once loved a woman, a child i'm told
i gave her my heart but she wanted my soul
don't think twice, it's all right

so long honey babe
where i'm bound, i can't tell
goodbye's too good a word, babe
so i'll just say fare thee well
i ain't sayin' you treated me unkind
you could have done better but i don't mind
you just kind of wasted my precious time
but don't think twice, it's all right

01 November 2005

stupid quizzes

slightly depressing.

This Is My Life, Rated
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

30 October 2005

firefighting chili

Thomas and I kick it back with a bottle of pinot noir from Jackson Triggs.

After that, we decide to head out to Mocha for a coffee. It was all good. Bumped into a few friends we didn't expect to see. Cory was there and coined the phrase: "Thomified". Thomification refers to the score a female receives, from Thom, based on her physical attractiveness. She's been Thomified; on the Thomification scale, she's a 5.

Thom drives me home, and a block away, we see the flashing lights of a fire truck. Come around the corner, and we see, what is likely all the firetrucks in Lethbridge, on my street, with a bunch of firefighters outside my building!!

The firefighters wouldn't let me in. Said something about a pot on a stove on the fifth floor. !!!!! I live on the fifth floor!!! Did I leave something on? I'm looking for smoke. Don't see anything.

Walking back to Thom's car, I notice my neighbours outside on the sidewalk, so I stop to talk with them; it was the greasy rednecks. They were burning something in their flat, and it was stinking up the whole floor, and the fire alarm was going off. The neighbour went down to the super's flat, and all he did was turn off the fire alarm!! The neighbour decided someone should call 911. Hence the fire department. As we're standing out on the street, we see some firefighters on the balcony of the rednecks, trying to get into the bedroom window. ?? Can't they just open the door? Weird.

Just after midnight and too chilly to wait anymore, Thom and I head to Tim's.

Thom's discussion with the server at Tim's:

Thom: "Do you have any chili?"

Server: "Yes."

Thom: "Ok, I will have the chili combo." Turns to me and says: "But I don't want the donut, do you want the donut?"

Me: "Sure, I will have the donut."

Thom: to Server, "I will have the chili combo."

Server: "Would you like anything else with that?"

Thom: "No thanks. Just the chili combo."

Server: "Ok, that's $4.22."

Thom: "How is it only $4.22, when the sign says $5.11 plus tax?"

Server: "You ordered the chili combo, it's $4.22 with tax."

Thom: "But that sign right there says $5.11 plus tax. I'm just wondering why it's almost a dollar cheaper than the sign."

Server: "You ordered the chili combo, chili and a donut. It's $4.22."

Thom: "The combo comes with coffee, right? I want the coffee."

Server: "You said you didn't want anything else."

Thom: "That's right, nothing in addition to the combo."


Seriously, that conversation went on for another 10 minutes. At least. I had to go outside because I was going to burst out laughing!!! And I did!!! I went outside to meet the neighbours from my building coming in to Tim's. Word from the street is: the fire department was gone and the all clear was given. Word from inside Tim's is: if you're going to order the combo, make sure you order everything in the combo as well. Otherwise, you won't get the combo, you'll just get whatever the name of the combo is, without the combo.

Thom asked me if he was just confused, or was the server really messed up. I said the server was messed up. The "combo" traditionally indicates a combination of items from the menu. If I order a combo, but then have to order everything from that combo separately, then it's not really a combo, is it?

Apparently, the server often has customers ordering the "combo", but only wanting the chili, and not the combo, so he asks if they want anything else. Typically, it is his experience that a customer will also order a coffee, not one in addition to the combo, but the coffee which is included in the combo.

When did the world become so complex?

Could I get the chili combo? No coffee. No donut. No bun. Just the chili....combo.

Then Thom fills us in on the rest of the conversation about the damn combo.

Some other person had to come "from the back", to assist the first server with voiding the other combo, to put the real combo on the order. Somehow, they ended up with three Tim's servers getting the fucking combo ordered. At last! Success! The combo is served, but wait...

Server: "Would you like white or whole wheat with your combo?"

Thom: "You have whole wheat donuts?"

27 October 2005


According to the headline of this CBC article, Camrose is a "small Alberta town".


Who did the fact checking on that?

According to Statistics Canada, Camrose is a city, with a population of 14 854 in 2001; an 8.2 % growth from the 1996 census.

This is yet another gross injustice of the lack of attention anyone in the east, nay Ontario, nay Toronto, pays to anything north of St. Clair as having any value.

Looking and seeing. Looking is active and willful, it involves something volitional. Choice. Seeing is inactive and only occurs because one's eyes are open; the images which the brain receives and processes are not there due to choice.

Last night, at the Y, after playing squash, Jeremy and I hit the locker room.

  1. fat man standing at sink meticulously hiding his bald spot with a comb over of horrific qualities; why not graft some of the carpet from your ape-like back to the top of your head?

  2. two men in the hot tub, one old, fat and hairy, standing in the water; the other man, younger and trimmer than the first, "lounging" on the side with a foot dangling in the water, lying on side, leaning on shoulder, knee bent up, exposing genitalia to the room, in what I thought could be nothing other than some type of pornographic pose; this one made eye contact with me: locked in a gaze!

Yes, I merely saw these things. And yes, I did NOT go into the hot tub. And yes, I left the shower room as quickly as possible. Jeremy too thought that whole hot tub thing was just a bit too creepy.

25 October 2005


I've been in Calgary for 4 days now, attending a convention for WABE. It's been good. Technical papers, meeting people for the first time after having only ever talked on the phone or emailed. Bumping into people from college (two instructors and a student from my class).

Staying in a hotel. Not just a 'hotel', but the Executive Royal Inn. I even ordered in room service tonight. Mmmm. Turkey burger and fries, and a bottle of Chilean merlot.

But the reason why I ordered wine was this:

Lynnwood Ranch.

For what reason I thought that this would be a nice place, I do not know. The first night, on Sunday, we had awesome catering of appetisers in a great pub downtown, just a few blocks from the convention centre, the Unicorn.

Lynnwood. Lamewood. Lamejoke.

First of all, I wasn't sure where I was going, aside from "Okotoks".

I took the wrong exit. Drove for a long time, stopping at every sign looking for Limeworm. Drove and drove. Then the road curved. Roads don't usually just curve on the grid without a good reason. And there was none this time. No Lamedumk found.

I pull over, call 411. Get the number. Call the place. No answer. Just some old cowboy on the voicemail telling me to visit their web site.

I fire up the BlackBerry browser to find their web site and find a tiny little graphic of a map to their place. I go back to the highway, drive nearly half way home, before going down some other nearly dirt road to another nearly dirt road that was only wide enough for 1.5 cars and had no signs or shoulders or painted lines to indicate where the road ended and the Sheep River began.

I get to the place...

I was expecting a classy resort type place. Instead, I find horses and a bluegrass band and a barn. A freaking barn. With hay bales for tables and beer being served in cans! molson beer in cans!

It was cold, so I had to get out by the "fire", which was just charcoal briquettes being burned to "cook" the "food" on.

molson products in cans!


Horse shit.


Beer in cans!!! Not even real beer... shitty cowboy beer!

Let me check this out:

  • belt buckle small, too small really; in fact, any cowboy would likely say I wasn't even wearing a belt because my belt buckle was too small (small to a cowboy = tasteful to everyone else)

  • my jeans were not tight; I wasn't wearing jeans at all; I was wearing wool pants, blazer, dress shirt and tie (I was at a convention all day downtown)

  • beer is being served in cans while horses are walking around pulling wagons

  • I know Dawn VTH

These are all enough reasons to make this place hell in the Sheep River valley.

I promptly snuck back to my Jeep and drove back to Calgary and got into my hotel room and ordered room service with a bottle of merlot.

Sorry Miles. Had to see why you hate merlot, and I now know why.

I'm off to the bath tub for a soak and the rest of that bottle of merlot.

19 October 2005

beeswax, squash, wine & cheese & Jesus

I am not hairy, nor am I hairless. I am somewhere in between. Let's call it manageable. Pretty much on a 3 - 4 week rotation. Yes, I do have my aesthetician. Her name is Stacey. I am Stacey's Jack.

Today I was in for the routine eye brow maintenance. However, it had been a few weeks longer than normal because Stacey was on holiday when it would have been our normal time together. I was looking the part of the lumberjack quite well. Eyebrows returned, I ask if she's got time for something else [wink] [wink]. I was her last client for the day. I lift up my hoodie to reveal my second puberty of chest hair. (Relatively akin to a second baptism, and about as Biblical too.)

Chest hair.

Yes, I don't recall ever having chest hair until some time after I turned 25. And in the past few months, it seems to be multiplying at exceptional rates. Sure, a 300% increase will yield 24 hairs, but it's still quite discomforting and an affront to my manhood and masculinity. (Real men are not hairy. Real men maintain themselves to be attractive. Big fat bushels of body hair are not attractive, on men or women.) How can I maintain the look of a 24 year old, if I've got big phat black hairs growing several inches long out of my nipples?

I didn't have enough cash on me due to adding the last minute chest waxing. Therefore I had to go back to my office, where my wallet was, to get my debit card. No worries, it's across the alley.

By the time I'm back, Stacey is already gone, and my bill is waiting with the receptionist. $15.

$10 + $5 = $15.

I had two items waxed. My eyebrow and my chest (meaning, my nipples and the other four hairs in the middle of where my pectoral cleavage would be if I went to the gym regularly).

Eyebrow to eyebrows:


Chest wax:


Now, I'm reasonably inclined towards mathematics and business math. A job is charged at a certain rate, and other jobs are typically charged at corresponding rates on some scale of comparison of work involved.

If my eyebrow costs $10 and my chest costs $5, what exactly does this mean?

Seriosly, I'm asking.

Played squash tonight, as per the regular Wednesday evening schedule.

Sweating and chafing and pink nipples sore from having their hairs ripped out with beeswax and cheesecloth is not a desirable combination.

Unless you're some type of socially acceptable masochist, sexual or non.

But I suppose that the only type of socially acceptable masochist must be deriving said pleasure from a non-sexual masochism, if such a thing is possible. Semantics? Etymological impacts?

Last night I had my very first official wine and cheese gathering.



Aged cheddar.

Whole wheat Bretons.

Reduced salt Triscuits.


A dry red Pinot Noir from the Okanagan, grown and bottled by Inniskillin (I put the link here somewhat unwillingly as the deeper parts of their web site are horribly outdated; I couldn't find any information about the bottle or vintage which I purchased).

We sat and relaxed and drank Pinot and ate cheese and crackers and discussed Jesus.

It was a great night. Which will apparently be repeated every Tuesday as we are fed up with the lame "bible study" (which is actually quite Bible-free most nights) some of us have been attending and are now starting our own rogue 'study'.


18 October 2005

how big is your company?

I work for a rather large corporation which has offices, services, assets, and people in just about every province and major city in Canada.

Now, I often forget how big the Company is, since I'm part of a small "backwater" office with a minimum of staff.

But occassionally, I am reminded of the largeness in an obvious way.

I got an email from someone in the company whom I've never dealt with before. Wanting to know just who this person is, I looked up the properties in the global address list (GAL for the acronym). This person's manager has the title: Director of Innovation & Improvement.

Director of Innovation & Improvement.

Just what is that? What does that person do?

Then again, I suppose that someone looking up my profile in the GAL and coming across the title Engineer may not have any idea what I do either.

Something to think about on a Tuesday morning.

12 October 2005

show me the money


Alberta is rich, and Ralph wants to pay it forward. And apparently there are some tax-loving tax&spend liberals and/or ndp-ers out there who are bemoaning the tax rebate.

That's right, it's a tax rebate.

If you don't like it, then don't cash it. Or give it to someone you know who may need the money.

Should the homeless be getting it? Well, I have my opinion on such things, and it doesn't involve more affordable housing or increasing welfare payments. Yeah, there are a minority of recipients who would benefit, but for the most part, I know from first hand experience that the system is overly abused by people who actually could work.

Q: What will I be doing with my $400?

A: I've got a mastercard and an overdraft. That money isn't being spent on anything other than trying to get me up to zero balance. And it's about time. I pay taxes and I work to support this great and better, nay, best province. It's about time I get some kick-back. If you're envious, then move here.

10 October 2005

happy Thanksgiving

I had 12 people over for dinner this afternoon. But I totally forgot to take pictures until after everyone left. ;(

However, here's the table full of leftovers.

Do you think I cooked too much? I mean, 12 people ate, and that's what's left!! Notice the entire un-touched pumpkin pie.

08 October 2005

are you a boozer?

I decided, quite on the fly, that I would host a Thanksgiving Dinner at my flat for Monday afternoon. This was mostly due to not having any real invitations extended to me to go somewhere else.

And even with such short notice, I've already got nearly ten people confirmed to come.

Then I decide that I should buy some wine for the occassion. Being as I'm not a wine drinker, but I want to become a bit better about knowing about wine beyond what I learned in the movie Sideways, I give a phone call to the only boozer I know: the pastor's wife.

Now, I'm not saying that Carla is a boozer, but she does know her wine, and port, and beer, both domestic micro brew and imported.

On the phone with her, in the liquor store, she asks me what store I'm at. I say I'm on the southside. She says that if I was at a liquor store on the westside, she would be able to explain to me where a specific recommended wine is located on the store's shelves.

Odd, how would she know?

"Oh, not that I drink it often."

Another suggestion she made ended with: "...and it comes in a litre and a half bottle."

To which I replied: "Do they even have paper bags that big?"

It was quite humourous. And remember, this was the pastor's wife.

Going with a Canadian theme for my Canadian Thanksgiving, I bought the 2003 pinot noir from Mission Hill, and the 2004 cabernet from Pelee Island.

05 October 2005

I am the communication man!

I am wired.

I am unwired.

I text.

I BlackBerry.

I blog.

I am the new mullenium man.

Totally on.

Completely connected.

Yet, somehow, somwhere, I lost touch with real live people.

Reduced to a virtual life.

Mediocrity veiled behind technology.

Everyone does it.

I am no e-pioneer.

I am just one bit among a silicon layering of terrabytes.

But thanks for the compliment.

04 October 2005

R E N T !

Alberta is likely the only place in Canada which does not have any sort of rent control at all. The only guideline is with a monthly tenancy, the rent cannot be increased more than every six months. There is no limit to how much the rent can be increased.

I remember living in Calgary with a couple of housemates in an apartment building. The people upstairs were really annoying tenants. However, they weren't really doing anything that could be eviction conduct. But, most of the building had complained about them, in addition to us. The property manager couldn't do anything about them because their rent was paid on time and in full every month. However, I do remember that one time, when the property manager was quite tired of those tenants, she raised their rent from $900 per month to $1150 per month. And they accepted it!!! The property manager thought for sure they would move out. But they didn't! We ended up moving because we couldn't handle the neighbours' sex life.

Just yesterday, I got served notice of rent increase. 7%.

7 %

Considering I won't be getting a raise in salary at work until March, and the raise in rent is effective in January, and my salary raise won't likely be more than 3.5%, I think it's time to move.

The sly thing about this is that the notice was served on Friday, "sometime before midnight". Well, I didn't find the notice in my mailbox until I checked for the regular mail on Monday. I saw the superintendant in the lobby today and I suggested that I should be able to give notice for the end of October. He said no, because that wouldn't be a month.

Waiting until two minutes before midnight to serve a notice of rent increase is kind of underhanded, considering that many people may consider moving, or will be forced to move, because of the rent increase.

I've already started looking. But it is kind of premature: most rentals will be available for November, and I can't move until December.


02 October 2005

Church of Ned

I've got to admit that from time to time, I do enjoy going to a church service. Mostly because it gives me those warm feelings which are reminiscent of when I was a child and life was simpler. Maybe not simpler, just childhood.

I went with Brian and Lynn to their church this morning. Does anyone ever claim ownership to such a thing? I sure wouldn't want to. Not even to the churches I may have donated money to in the past.

Well, this church is alright. The music is predictably low key and, dare I say, bad. However, they still do hymns, + 5 points, and they don't typically do anything with a copyright of 2000 or greater, which means, I know most of the songs, + 10 points.

The other major bonus of this church is that the meeting facilitator, aka pastor, is actually a good speaker. I quite enjoy listening to him. He's vibrant and lively and knows what he's talking about. So often, mediocre and downright horrible people are permitted to speak in public, and they just suck. No preparation, no validation, no interest. I think that if I were to make a list of the five things I constantly and consistently hear, from the pulpit, which cause me to reach for the iPod, are:

  • I'm really sorry, but...
  • ...I have a cold

  • ...the kids/wife kept me up all night with their cold(s)

  • ...I forgot I was speaking tonight, and I'm totally unprepared

  • Bear with me, this is a long passage and some of it is irrelevant to my talk, but I've got to go through it all because you need to hear the context.

  • I really felt God telling me to speak on [insert topic here]

  • I'm not really a public speaker, and I'm really nervous.

  • Does anybody know that story about that guy and the water? Who was that? Where can I find that in the Bible?

And if I don't have my iPod, I'll actually get up and leave. If I hear any of the above, that means that the speaker doesn't respect me enough to prepare. If he's not prepared to speak, why ought I be prepared to listen?

Church leaders (I'm speaking generically here) wonder why no one comes to church. Perhaps this is because your services are irrelevant to daily life because your speakers are so ill prepared. It's just a cascading reflection of the whole outfit.

Anyway, moving on, the speaker at the church this morning has never given me cause to get the iPod or to leave. But this morning, something did happen...

This particular church is quite large, and currently under renovation. As such, the main sanctuary is closed, and the services are held in the gym. For some reason, the city decided to shut off the power to the block the church is located on for some maintenance work. Kind of silly, if you ask me. But at least they had the decency to inform the church officials. It was announced at the beginning of the service that the power may be shut off. It finally was cut off, about half way through the sermon.

And that was when I took my chance to exit right. I needed a restroom break, and I thought I was going to explode.

I get into the hallway and walk around a bit trying to find the restrooms in the dark. I finally find the mens room, and then I realise: this is bad. The door to the mens room is open, and there's a clear view right into the gym and up onto the stage area!

I really have to go, and now it's dark, and there's no fan, and the door is open to let some light in, and also to let some noise and stink out.

I take the stall farthest from the door. I fumble with the latch and then I can't find a hook to hang my suit jacket on, so I hang it on the stall door latch. Then the door swings open. Then I fumble again, in the mostly darkness to maintain my jacket being hung on the door latch while the door remains latched.

Now, typically, when I've been holding something of that size for a long time, it's going to be noisy. And I tried real hard to make it quiet...but sometimes, it's just impossible.

Well, let me tell you, wiping in the dark is not as preferred as wiping in the light. And flushing and making sure that everything goes down is nearly impossible. I was squinting from the darkness and the fumes.

Okay, fine, wash my hands, get out into the hallway again, and the lights come back on. The pastor was in a fervent point, and I didn't want to re-enter the gym, making my way to the second row (which Brian picked for some stupid reason) from the front, on the aisle. So I chill back in the hallway.

A woman comes out of the gym and goes into the womens room. I can hear everything! Seat goes up, bum goes down, pee splashes in bowl, bum goes up, seat goes down, toilet is flushed.

Crap, crap, crap!!

How many people heard me?

01 October 2005

Round St Café

Some days I wish my life was a reality show and that a camera crew was following me around. Seriously, it's just that good being me some days.

I wake Doc up shortly after noon with a call to his mobile (Doc is a real nickname). I convince him that though he only went to bed at 6 am this morning, he should get up and come to the gym to play some squash with me.

We were going to meet at 2 pm at the gym, and I got there first to find that there is a league playing and they have booked all the courts. I call him again to find out where he is: still at home. His new idea: let's go for coffee.

Discussing the options available to two single guys who live downtown and don't own cars, we choose the Round St Café. Neither of us had been there, though we both know where it is.

We get to the Round St Café: a cozy atmosphere and it's very warm inside, which is nice, because outside it's a typical windy Lethbridge day, and quite chilly because of the clouds blocking out the sun. It's the kind of place where you're unsure if you just sit down and someone serves you, or you order at the counter, and then get served, or neither happens and you eventually leave because the staff are completely vile. After a couple minutes of trying to decide what we want, it becomes apparent that we need to go to the counter to order.

Me: I'd like a full sandwich, multigrain, all dressed, with turkey.

Server: Oooh. I've only got enough turkey left for a half sandwich.

Me: Uh, okay, I will have a half turkey sandwich, multigrain, all dressed, with a side of the soup of the day.

Server: We're out of the soup of the day.

Me: What other soup is there?

Server: We have no soup.

Me: Alright, I will have a full sandwich, multigrain, all dressed, with ham.

Server: We're out of ham too.

Me: What do you have?

Server: Yeah, I guess that would be best, for me to list for you what we've got left; it was a busy lunch hour. Let's see [looks into the sandwich making station stock of ingredients]... roast beef.

Me: That's fine. I will have a roast beef, full sandwich, all dressed, and a large mocha with an extra shot of espresso.

Server: That will be $12.52.

$12.52? Where am I? An airport? Geez. Whatever, after all that, I didn't really want to change my mind... or even try to change my mind again; there might not be any roast beef left by the time I speek.

Then Doc proceeds to tell me about his week at work. He's part of the security team at the mall downtown. This usually includes stories of shoplifters and drunks and hooligans and rowdies. And the conversation always ends with...

Me: And that was a white guy?

Doc: [look of incredulity on his face] No.

Me: I don't really care about the politically correct-ness about it, but being an anti-racial profiler is just stupid. Stereotypes exists because the majority of people behave or act a certain way. One can easily categorise this into terms of race/ethnicity and financial position in society. How often do you find a white guy, dressed in a business suit, stealing something from HMV, or drunk in the movie theatre? Rarely, if never. How often is it a greasy/skid/poor native from the reserve?

Doc: 99% of the time.

Me: What a sad state.

This is proof of how small and possibly sad Lethbridge is: both the mall and the café neither have any sort of web presence. Do these business owners not realise the power and potential of the internet?

Meanwhile, there's an old guy sitting at the back of the café whom I have a hard time keeping my eyes diverted from. I was getting a vibe, like in a movie, where there's a creepy guy, like in Breakfast at Tiffany's, that just shows up and follows you around, and then later talks with you. Anyway, he was there the whole time and it was kind of strange. I wonder if I will see him later sometime tonight?

We get our food and coffees, and then Salem comes in to the Round St Café to get a coffee. Salem is one of the enigmas I know (and it's improbable when one considers the high per capita ratio of enigmas I actually know; I'm just one guy who knows at least a couple dozen enigmatic characters). Doc and I wave to Salem, and I lean across the table to Doc and say: "Salem: living proof that there was no famine in Ethiopia."

Salem, in his enigmaticity, is originally from Ethiopia, and also manages to maintain a healthy BMI score of about 29.9 or 30. I'm not too sure if he's overweight or obese, but he's got a huge pot belly, which I suppose some women could find quite endearing. I find it enigmatic and disturbing. He's also half deaf, and that's because he's only got one ear. Serious. One ear. The other...well, the other place where one would expect to see an ear is just a crumpled up piece of skin, like a large belly button, but on his head, where there ought to be an ear. This just adds to his enigmatic score.

Continuing on, Salem comes and sits down.

Salem: Hey.

Me: How's it going? What are you up to? What do you do to keep yourself busy these days?

I'm not all too sure that Salem even has a job. He never seems to be working, and he's usually asking people, his friends, for money in unobtrusive ways: Can you pay for my bill? or rather: says nothing, leaves, and you don't see him for a week, having been left in the restaurant to pay his bill or be embarassed for not paying it. And I'm not joking.

Salem: I'm hanging out with my girlfriend today.

Me: [Looking around the café.] Where is she?

Salem: She's at my house.

Me thinking: [But your flat is ten blocks from here, and you don't have a car, so you're walking, and you don't walk all that fast, due to the BMI, you must have been gone for at least a half hour just to get here...]

Salem: She's watching movies.

Me: So then, because you're here, and she's not, how is that you are "hanging out"?

Salem: I'm buying her a tea.

Me thinking: [I don't even drink tea, yet I have a box of tea in the kitchen cupboard at my flat. You've got to go out to get a cup of tea? Oh wait. You are Salem.]

Me: Well, that's nice of you to hang out with her by not hanging out with her....

Salem: I'd better bring her the tea before it's cold.

Me: See you around....

I'm currently being distracted by a large influx of patrons at the Round St Café, one of which is a rather tall and fat chap who is standing beside the table of the old creepy guy, leaning over his coffee and food, taking packets of sweetener out of the little table top holder for such things, and eating the contents of the packet. ("Chap" = native guy who is either drunk or high or both drunk and high.)

Salem is also gone.

I finish my $5 sandwich, wondering if I should have had the $5 milkshake instead.

The fondue from last night is pushing its way out, and I've got to hit the restroom. There's only two in the back, one with the stick man and the other with the stick woman on the door. The door with the stick man icon is shut. I go into the other restroom.

And this time of reflection allows me to develop this theory of operation:

When in a café, be it the Round St Café or any other similar establishment, and there are only two restrooms, each a fully contained private commode (ie: no stalls, not intended for multi-use), if possible, without offending others or lowering my own dignity, I will choose to use the room with the stick woman on the door. In this, I am mostly guaranteed that no one has been in here standing and urinating all over the seat.

I manage to slip out off the restroom without being spotted by another patron, although someone did try to gain entry to the room while I was occupying it. The other door was still closed. Maybe that's where the old creepy guy went?

Gosh, all that happened in only an hour! I wonder what other excitement will be entertaining me yet on this Saturday?

29 September 2005

Chinese Hamster Ovaries

"Commonly, hamsters are thought of as cute, furry, and disposable pets, but the small, rat-like, Chinese hamster serves a totally different function. These rodents are fairly uncommon as pets because they can be difficult to breed. Ironically, the cells of their reproductive organs are what make them so useful to scientists. The Chinese hamster ovary (often abbreviated CHO) tissue is commonly cultured as individual cells in a monolayer and studied worldwide."

"The majority of animal cells exhibit a finite lifetime when isolated and grown in a tissue culture medium that supplies necessary nutrients, salts, and vitamins. Typical vertebrate cells divide between 50 and 100 times before they can no longer carry on cell division and eventually die. Many theories suggest that this limited lifespan is related to the corresponding life cycle of the parent organism from which the cultured cells were derived."

"Occasional changes in the genetic makeup of cultured cells allow them to proliferate indefinitely, making them effectively immortal. Such lines are said to be transformed, and are often used in research as a standardized cell line. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells were introduced in the early 1960s as a viable epithelial cell line containing twin female X chromosomes. The most common type of CHO cells has a nutritional requirement for the amino acid proline, which makes this cell line an ideal candidate for genetic studies."

(Source for above can be found here.)

Why am I interested in Chinese Hamster ovaries? See below:

In case you are having trouble reading the small print, here it is:

Pulmozyme® (dornase alfa) Inhalation Solution is a sterile, clear, colourless, highly purified solution of recombinant human deoxyribonuclease I (rhDNase), an enzyme which selectively cleaves DNA. The protein is produced by genetically engineered Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells containing DNA encoding for the native human protein, deoxyribonuclease I (DNase).


Purulent pulmonary secretions contain very high concentrations of extracellular DNA released by degenerating leukocytes that accumulate in response to infection. In vitro, Pulmozyme hydrolyzes the DNA in sputum of CF patients and reduces sputum viscoelasticity.

So, that's about the summation of my day yesterday in Calgary at the doctor. Genetically engineered and/or modified chinese hamster ovary cells being inhaled into my lungs. At least there are no preservatives added!

Somehow, I wonder if I would have preferred a prescription for medicinal marijuana.

The other working title I was considering for this post was:

Lung Spores: Episode V - Mortality Strikes Back

My final question: How much is this prescription? Can I get it filled at Safeway on the first Tuesday of the month for 10x the AirMiles?