Friday, December 31

Mr. Garrity Goes To Charlottetown

or... For Getting Rid Of Bootleggers, Mr. Garrity gets... The Boot

There hasn't been much that the City of Charlottetown has done lately that's impressed me or given me hope or confidence in that government or its ability to decide what's in the best interest of this city.
Kudos, however, must go out to councillor Bruce Garrity and those involved in the effort to get rid of bootlegging.  It's yet to be seen if their efforts will be a long term success, but it's certainly had a positive effect in the short term.
It must have been quite daunting a task to go after an illegal activity that has become an institution here on the Island, and I can well imagine the difficulties associated with following through with this plan.  I would assume the mayor would be thankful to the people who have succeeded in eradicating bootlegging.  Apparently, though, the mayor expresses his thanks by removing Mr. Garrity from his position and placing him in what appears to be in a portfolio whose metaphorical office is quite likely in the basement of City Hall, next to the furnace, beside the janitorial room.

So, before your efforts become the forgotten positive in a council that has so few positives, I'd like to say thank you, Mr. Garrity, for your dillignece and hard work.

But What Of The SuperModels?

I happened to catch, a couple of nights ago, a minute or two of ABC's special report {dramatic music} "Tsunami: Wave of Destruction" {/dramatic music} and am so fortunate that I happened upon it.  Why?  Because of their in-depth coverage of the fate of that Sports Illustrated supermodel who broke some bones in her struggle to survive the disaster.  I am so relieved she is going to be okay.  I'm equally saddened, though, that her photographer boyfriend seems to have perished.  I hope her face is okay.  And her figure.  Let's not be too sad for her, though.  I'm sure she'll find another photographer/boyfriend.
Thank you, ABC, for this report.  I look forward to the million or so other reports on the millions of people who have likewise been affected by this devastation.

Thursday, December 30

Take Your Carrefour A Longer Drive

It's now a bit of a puzzle to get to the road on which the Carrefour school is situated.  One must now either enter the Escher puzzle that is the Hillsborough development, or turn onto the QEH road and travel it around the shoreline past the hospital, the seniors home and the mental hospital. 
It is much more inconvenient (than turning onto the road [Pioneer Drive] which no longer offers access to the bypass), initially, but may turn out to be fine once we get used to it.  Last night was my first foray onto that road.  We took the west-bound-only off-ramp from the arterial highway (the only remaining access to or from that road at that intersection), onto Pioneer Drive, and as we were off-ramping, we were met by a car illegally travelling the wrong way up that access.  I expect that will become a handy illegal shortcut to the arterial highway unless the police make a concerted effort to stop it.

I wonder if what they've ended up with is the best solution.  It doesn't make a lot of sense to me to increase the volume of traffic flow in and around the hospitals, but that's the result.  Anything that increases the perception that the Carrefour theatre is more difficult to get to is not a good thing for those of us in the theatre community who are sometimes faced with the quandry of whether the Carrefour can ever be a viable theatre alternative.

Wednesday, December 29

...The Police, Who Investigate Crimes...

Jerry Orbach has died.

Rest in peace, Lennie.

iLove My iPod

I feel ridiculous and petty and self-absorbed posting on such a frivolous topic as this, in the wake light of the incredible and horrific tsunami disaster, but...

I must add my name to the list of people who love their iPod.  But it wasn't love at first use.  I quickly discovered that it's not so easy to keep your 20G iPod updated when you have 21+ gigs of music on your computer.   You can't just let it automatically synch with the song files on your computer (well, you can but it's too random in the selection of songs it picks and chooses to upload).  So, I spent the first while manually synching; going through my collection, picking and choosing 18gigs of files to upload.  At first, that worked okay, but I realised it'd be too much work to have to keep manually uploading new songs/removing old songs.  There must be a better way.
And I found it.  Now I've instructed iTunes and iPod to automatically synch only the playlists/smartlists I have checked off.  Here's what I've done:

I created a smartlist called "My Favourite 6G's".  This is a playlist that contains 6gigs of songs that have either a 4 or 5 star rating.  I've selected this playlist to be synched between the computer and iPod.  This way, I always have loads of my favourite songs ready to roll.

I also created a smarlist called "Least Played 2G's" to synch as well.  This is a list of songs that, as the title suggests, are the least played songs in my collection.  This way, it ensures that songs I haven't heard in a long time will also be rolling through my shuffle.  Then, when these least played songs get played, they automatically are removed from that smartlist at the next synching and are replaced by other 'least played' songs.

I also have a smartllist called "Last 150 Songs Added".  As it suggests, this list keeps track of those songs I've recently imported to iTunes.  This way, I have access to all the latest songs I've added.
I have a few other usual lists too, specific to genre, mood, etc., and these get synched as well.

Basically, it means that I have loads of great songs, a bunch of songs I haven't heard recently, and the latest additions, all ready to go on my iPod everytime I synch it with iTunes.  My iPod is now just a little over half-full (about 10gigs), with just under half of my total music library.
Had I known about this feature, I probably would have given serious consideration to getting a 4G iPod mini, rather than a 20G version.  It would be no problem to tweak those playlists to smaller sizes, say 2 gigs of Favourites,  1 gig of least played, the last 50 songs added, etc....

If you're thinking of getting an iPod (Matt), you might want to think of this approach, and save yourself some money by getting a mini.

Wednesday, December 22

Tuesday, December 21

A Slinky, A Slinky...

Merry Christmas Everybody!!  Smiles!!!!

I believe it was 1971.  Maybe '72.  December 25.  Christmas Day at the MacDonald Home.  What's the reason for the happy faces?
Well, a certain yellow-pajama'd someone was fortunate enough to receive an original, metal Slinky for Christmas (not to mention the Spirograph in the bottom left corner of the photo), and that same certain someone absolutley refused to let any of his 4 brothers even touch it.
Truth be told, they were all a bit too old for such a childish toy as a Slinky.  Don't you think?  Wasn't that little yellow-pajama'd boy perfectly within his rights to hissy-fit at the very notion of someone else playing with his Slinky?  And aren't those other 4 men a bit to old to be sulky and petulant?
From left to right:  Boots, Rob, Dids, Fritz and Earle.
I think Earle's sour look to me is the only clue that indicates I might be the cause of the morosity and grief.  Otherwise, this could easily be the photo taken just after we all found out our grandmother died.

Thursday, December 16

Sex Offender Registry

From the CBC

I didn't know whether to go with:

A national sex offender registry is now in effect.  So make sure you have your firearms and sex offenders registered.


The sex offender registry is now up and running.  I'm registered at Afternoon Delight, for those thinking of gifting.

In the end, I decided to go with neither.

WotD: Recherche

I hope I never become one of those recherche people who use 'recherche' in a sentence.


Still-stunned quarterback, to his linemen:  Wha' did zhat recherche as he hit me in zhe head an' knocked shree of my teesh out?

Wednesday, December 15

Elimination Dance

How far would you last before being eliminated, in Michael Ondaatje's Elimination Dance (link to text)?

Me?  I'd have to get a judge's ruling on the second item: "Those who have resisted depravity."  If I got past that, I'd definitely be gone by the 7th item down:  "All actors and poets who spit into the first row when they perform."

Here's a Zed link to Bruce MacDonald's short film based on the poem.

Tuesday, December 14

Up On The Rooftop, Drip Drip Drip

'Twas two weeks before Christmas and all through the house
Cam sleeping, K reading, Rob clicking the mouse;
When up on the rooftop, a growing consternation,
Water was landing, Boomer calls it "precipitaiton".

"Oh no" yelled my wife. I asked "What's the matter?"
"Water!" says she.  "It's dripping, pitter patter."
I sprung from the 'puter to inspect where it dripped
And with each falling drop, panic more tightly gripped.

I ran up the stairs to the second-floor crawl space
But it was 11 o'clock and darkness covered the place.
"Where is the flashlight!?" I yelled to my dear.
"Cameron was using it.  It could be anywhere!"

I entered his room and stepped on some Lego,
Then muttered some swear words that will make me to Hell go
I turned on his light, the room illuminated
But no flashlight was there, a fact that I hated.

I ran down the stairs, to the basement so quick
And brought back a work light to elucidate the attic.
Into the space, past clothes and boxes I fighted
Until to the drip-source I finally had lighted.

Ah to hell with it.  Long story short:  We have a leak in our roof, I think from where a couple of shingles blew off.  It drips down a water-soaked rafter, onto some water-soaked support beams and right down into the middle of our livingroom.  It's difficult to catch, because in the crawl space, it doesn't drip anywhere, it just travels down the rafter.  It'll be repaired in a day or two.  Hopefully before any significant rainfall occurs.

WotD: Dulcet

I've always regretted not being able to sing harmony.  I believe my problem is that I overthink it.  I can usually hear what the harmony should/could be, but somewhere between brain and mouth,  it becomes its own beast.  Too bad, since I have a passably dulcet voice.


I have a nice pair of bronze candlesticks which I keep polished.  My neighbour has the same sticks but doesn't bother to polish.  My two candlesticks are bright and shiny.  My neighbour has a dulcet.

Monday, December 13

ExSportiment Awards in the Year 2010

And Major League Baseball's Most Valuable Player is...Magilla Gorilla.
Finally, it's time for our highest award...and the winner of Most Difficult-to-Trace Performance Enhancing Cocktail is... Dr. Benjamin Clamperman.

I am told, by reporters and athletes, that fans don't mind, don't care, that athletes are taking performance enhancing drugs. They (we) just want to see more home runs, faster runners, higher jumpers.  I would be surprised if this is true.  I would hope that fans see this as I see it.  I can only speak for myself, but as a fan, I am absolutley against the practice of enhancing one's performance through means other than hard work and perseverance.
To me, records become meaningless.  Breaking them become valueless.  I find it increasingly more difficult to allow myself to cheer on athletes, for fear of finding out they cheat.  I was so euphoric when Ben Johnson won Gold, so disappointed when I was told he cheated.  My enthusiasm for Donovan Bailey's performances was greatly tempered because I didn't want to be let down again.  I am saddened by that.
Now, when Barry Bonds breaks records, I think "Meh."  So what.

Sports are becoming less about personal achievement and more about experiment.

Let's stop saying these people play sports.  Let's change it to "exsportiments".

WotD: Aborning

My question is this:  When were the three wise men told about Christ's birth?  Was is that night, during the aborning?  If so, then how far did they have to travel to get to the stable?  Were they already in the vicinity?  Were the gifts they gave carefully selected, or just a selection from what they had with them?  How long did Joseph, Mary and baby stay at the stable?  How anticlimatic were her subsequent birthings?


Eben doe I hab a cold, I know dat aborning cup of coffee will be satisfying.

Friday, December 10

Time Now For - What's Been Goin' On?

Here's ten quick updates on nothing in particular, in no particular order:
1) Went to A&W with DaveS yesterday for lunch.  I had two Papa Burgers with cheese and a Root Beer.  Yum, yum and yum.  Was served by an inept trainee who, I'm guessing, has, by now, quit.
2) Watched King Arthur with my son a couple of nights ago.  I didn't like it, he did.  Truthfully, I ended up not watching much of it, what with the occasional walking out of the room to do other stuff, and the falling to sleep while in the room, but what I did see I didn't like.  Too much dramatic nothing in between action scenes of whatever-ness.
3) There were quite a few pretty women uptown today at lunch.  Not all together in a group.  Pretty in a Desperate Housewives kind of way.  I don't watch that show.  None of the pretty women seemed to acknowledge my existence.  In their circles, that, I suppose, is a given.
4) I bought myself an iPod.
5) Currently my favourite quick and easy home-cooked-ish meal is Chicken Tikka Masala.   Go to Superstore.  Get a pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  Get a can of (I forget the brand-name, but it's not the PC bottle of, it's a can of [in the imported foods section]) Chicken Tikka Masala paste.  Rice, too.  Cut chicken into strips, briefly cook, add paste and a bit of water, let simmer.  Cook rice.  Add the one to the other.  Eat.  Yum.  Have bread too.
6) I just walked down the hall at the office like I was on a fashion show runway.  My posture was fantastic.  Make a mental note to walk like a model more often.
7) Last Christmas, we ditched the "get a real tree' tradition and purchased a nice artificial tree with lights already attached.  All the lights, the mini-lights, are white.  This year I replaced one of the white lights with a red one.  Now our tree glows all white, except that one special red light.  I REALLY like that, and I'm not sure why.
8) The back right wheel on our car has a sloooow leak.  Nuisance that it is causes me to refill it with air every 2-3 days.  Does it get fixed, or does it get replaced?  That's the question I'm putting off.  Stay tuned.
9) Apart from the reality show idea "Pogey" that I posted below, I also have one that is much more un-pee-see.  I'm calling it "Tremploited".  An amalgam of "Tremploy" (the local company that does/did hire mentally handicapped people as workers) and "exploited".  Not sure of the format, but I think it's time for a show where consenting mentally handicapped people compete against each other in non-athletic competitions, with one getting eliminated each week.  It would all be done, you know, tastefully.  I won't mention the other idea I had for a sex competition, which I call "Special O-Limp-Dicks". 
10) My football picking on this site is atrocious, and as a way to maintain dignity I stopped posting my predictions a long time ago.  I still predict, though.  I go to The Weekly NFL Picks Page and pick each week.  I am currently at 96-80, or 54.5% correct.  And that's with picking games against the spread, not straight-up.  I'm currently third in my pool and 1247th out of a total of 5065 players.  So, you know, above average.

Wednesday, December 8


First of all, is it "pogey" or "pogie"?  And shouldn't it be "poagey".  How does one ensure the hard-g in its pronunciation?

Last summer, one of our Sketch 22 videos was called Joe Stamps, a take-off of the "reality" show Joe Millionaire.  The video documented the moment in the fake Joe Stamps reality show where the Joe Stamps character tells the three remaining "Tammy"s that he's not actually the catch they think he was.  That he's not, as promised, about to receive maximum Employment Insurance benefits, and therefore, the "winning Tammy" will not be able to live the life of lazy luxury for 9 months as Joe Stamps welfare woman.  Joe Stamps gleefully tells the women that he's not getting his stamps.  He "don't even got no prospects.  So any of yuz that ends up shackin' up with me will be doin' it outta love.  Or whatever."

Well, I think a show like this has real potential.  So, here's my idea for a reality show I call "Pogey!".
The goal is to be the last remaining contestant, to be the one who accumulates 12 weeks of Insurable Wages and will therefore be the only one who qualifies for EI.
The show selects 12 people who have no job, and who currently have no accumulation of Employable Hours or Weeks (or however it's designated now).  These people are Hired To Do Nothing.  They are all paid top dollar to do nothing (to ensure top EI dollars to the winner), and will all live together, in a duplex.  They will be required to perform tasks and challenges as part of their "job", but the majority of their time will be spent doing nothing much.
The tasks and challenges will all relate in some way to the stereotype of the lazy welfare bum.  Even though these contestants will be "working", their job is basically to live as though they are poor and unemployed.  It's really the dream job of dream jobs.
Each week, one contestant gets laid off.  The longer you stay, the more insurable weeks you accumulate.

At the end of the 13 week job, the top two contestants battle to  see who is the ultimate winner... In fact, the ultimate winner does not get laid off, but rather remains hired by the production company and continues for the next three years, to get paid the same wage for doing nothing.  The runner-up gets laid off with the necessary accumulation to begin EI right away.
The show would "hire" all kinds of people from all walks of life.  They all would, however, perform challenges and tasks that might be more suited to, shall we say, the lower class of people.

Some challenges, off the top of my head:
In the first few episode, they'd be divided into two teams.  One challenge would be a relay race of sorts:  The team must bum enough money to afford the money for the following tasks:  Player 1 must go to Kens Corner and buy a tin of tobacco and rolling papers.  Run back to the apartment and roll 20 smokes.  Once completed, Player Two calls a cab which takes him/her to the Liquor Store across town to buy a two-four.  S/he must then take the box back to the apartment without the assistance of a vehicle.  Once completed, Player Three begins to cook up four boxes of Basics Macaroni & Cheese and, once cooked, must eat it all.  Following that, the entire team must then drink the beer as quickly as possible.
First team to finish all 24 beer is declared the winner.  The losing team must decide which co-worker gets laid off.

Another challenge, this one as individuals:  As an example of what will be expected of the person on who eventually wins EI, each contestant is told they will be interviewed by an Employment Insurance Agent.  To prepare, they each must go out and actively pursue work from 5 employers, so that each will have a list of 5 places they looked for work that they can show the agent when asked.
The one who best demonstrates to the EI agent that s/he was serious about finding a job, will remain hired for at least one more week.  One of the remaining losers will be laid off.

Any other challenges or tasks you can think of?

WotD: Perfervid

When That Guy Who's Up On Child Porn Charges apologised for his actions, I don't think he was very perfervid.


Scene: late at night, police officer has stopped a driver...
Guy in car:' annuzher shing, occifer...I think that porn guy is perfervid!
Officer:  And I think, sir, that you are drunk.

Tuesday, December 7

Happy Birthday, My Mom

Mom, Pearl Harbour may have tried to take this day for itself, but to those of us who know you,  those of us who are fortunate enough to be comforted by your love and compassion, December 7 has an altogether different, more relevant and more important meaning.
It's Your Birthday!!
To borrow a phrase from my rap friends:  Mom, you da bomb on Pearl Harbour Day.

Happy Birthday

Monday, December 6

BK: Beefstiality Kink

What the hell is it with those Burger King television ads for their Steakburger, where the guy seems to be having a sexual relationship with a cow?

Saturday, December 4

Electrical Embers

Last night the power went off for a couple of hours in my neighbourhood.  This is not unusual in itself.  Our section of "the grid" seems to lose power quite often, and I'd bet dollars to donuts that we lose power (even just momentarily) more often than anywhere else on PEI.  So, losing power, as I say, wasn't unusual.
What was unusual was that, last night when the power went out, everything shut down, then a moment later there was the faintest amount of power still passing through our home.  The lights that were on a moment before the outage were still glowing, but ever so faintly.  I would guess at 5% of 'normal' capacity.  The televisions and computers, etc all shut down, but the power lights on the computers were still glowing, faintly.
It was kind of spooky.  We turned off all the lights etc, because the weak glowing wasn't powerful enough for us to see properly.  After about half an hour of outage, the faint glowing disappeared, presumably as that lingering electrical enegy drained itself from the grid.  About an hour and a half after that, the power returned.

When the power returned, I discovered that our main computer had lost all its cookie settings, and I am now trying to remember the various cookie-stored usernames and passwords that I use for various sites I visit.

Friday, December 3

NHL: With Simulated Action Flavour

If there was NHL hockey this year, my Montreal Canadiens would be playing the Devils in New Jersey tonight.  Instead, my homepage's sports section shows the game as 'postponed'.

But wait.  What's this?  The NHL 2004/2005 season IS on?  What?  It's a simulated season from the folks at WhatIf Sports.  That'll have to do, pig.  Checking the stats, it looks like the Habs are doing pretty good so far, tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference.

Hey, simulated sports, simulated sex nor simulated Ketchup flavour are as good as the real thing, but when you're deprived, you'll take what you can get.