Thursday, May 26, 2011

Help wanted

Tim Hudak says that if he’s elected he’ll make prisoners work.

He could save time and effort and take a page from Stephen Harper’s playbook, and just hire the prisoners as campaign staff.  Two jailbirds with one stone, as it were.

Painted ladies and a bottle of wine

Just back from six days in Las Vegas.  A nice "happy 20th anniversary" trip to a place we would never go with the kids.

A few things I noticed:

  • I still don't have enough tattoos to blend into the crowd around the pool.
  • Every street corner has a few people handing out "Girls! Girls! Girls! Direct to your room in 20 minutes!" cards.  These people are quite persistent, and seem very offended if you don't take a card from them.  They have an interesting marketing strategy - they find absolutely the fugliest people to hand out the cards.  This way, the girl on the card looks really good.  Although, I doubt that what you end up with in your hotel room even remotely resembles what's on the card.  The best street salesman I saw spent five minutes talking to a couple with a stroller.  This guy just would not take "Fuck off!" for an answer.
  • There was another guy on a street corner trying to entice some young men to come to a particular nightclub.  "No cover charge!" he yelled.  "Half price drinks until 10:00!"  One of the young guys says, "That's pretty good."  The nightclub guy says, "Yeah, there are a few people worried about this Zombie Apocalypse coming tonight so they're trying to get folks into the club."
  • The best way to walk up and down The Strip on a warm evening in late May is with an ice cold beer in your hand.  Or a piña colada.  Or both.
  • The show Le Rêve at the Wynn hotel is absolutely spectacular.  Their tagline is "It's like dreaming with your eyes open."  That is the best way I could describe it.  Stunning.  Highly recommended.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What if…

What if drivers were hired like software developers?

Good to be back

Back from vacation.

90 unread email in the Inbox.  Not bad.

However, when I left there were probably 20 total email in the Inbox.  All read.

Today there are 7,483.

Thank you, Lotus Notes.  It’s no wonder the windows here don’t open.  People would be falling from the sky all day long.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

So long, Senate

So, were you excited to see a Conservative majority, thinking that now we’ll get rid of that evil Senate?

Friends, let's be clear.  Stephen Harper has gone on the record many times concerning the Senate.

"We don't support any Senate appointments."
(Stephen Harper, Winnipeg Free Press, January 29, 1996)

"Despite the fine work of many individual Senators, the Upper House remains a dumping ground for the favoured cronies of the Prime Minister."
(Stephen Harper Leadership Website, January 15, 2004)

"In the 21st century, those who want to sit in the parliament of a democratic state should have a mandate from the people."
(Stephen Harper, February 7, 2006)

"A conservative government will not appoint to the senate anyone who does not have a mandate from the people."
(Conservative Party website during 2006 election)

"As everyone in this room knows, it has become a right of passage for aspiring leaders and prime ministers to promise Senate reform – on their way to the top – but once they are elected, Senate reform quickly falls to the bottom of the Government's agenda. Nothing ever gets done."
(Stephen Harper, Speech on Senate Reform before Senate Committee, September 7, 2006)

"I don't plan to appoint senators; that's not my intention."
(Stephen Harper, Cornwall Standard-Freeholder, January 14, 2006)

"Stephen Harper will cease patronage appointments to the Senate. Only candidates elected by the people will be named to the Upper House."
(Stephen Harper Leadership Website, January 15, 2004)

"I challenge Mr. Martin, once he becomes Prime Minister, to turn a page on the past, and appoint only elected Senators to the Upper House."
(Stephen Harper, Canadian Alliance Press Release, July 4, 2003)

"Canadians from Newfoundland and Labrador to British Columbia remain ashamed of Canada`s senior legislative body. They are ashamed the Prime Minister continues the disgraceful, undemocratic appointment of undemocratic Liberals to the undemocratic Senate to pass all too often undemocratic legislation."
(Stephen Harper, Hansard, March 7, 1996)

What, then, to make of this?

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is sending three of his losing Tory candidates to the Senate, including two men who quit the upper house to run for the Commons.

Welcome to the new Canada, where telling the Truth is so yesterday.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Conversation of the day

The seven-year-old brought home an identification kit from school.  I think it was part of the Mad Science program.  There was a place to put a lock of hair, a fingerprint card, and a place to fill in some identifying details.

J [reading card]: Identifying details...?

Me: Passes gas a lot.

J: I can't write that!  Ok, next question.  Blood type?

Me: No idea.  I don't even know my own blood type.

J: Fi, what blood type are you?

F: Blood type?  What, like, cold blooded or warm blooded?

J: Never mind.

F: I'm not a reptile!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Welcome back, Blogger

Eating your own dog food is good.  Eating your own poisoned dog food is not so good.

Ah justice, thy taste is sweet

The shoe, as they say, is on the other foot.  Instead of the fans vomiting, it was the Biebster.

Justin Bieber vomits during 'My World' tour concert.

Friday the 13th

The seven-year-old was busy in her room, writing something on the calendar.

She called me in to take a look.  This week’s entries included:

Wed., May 11 – Mom and Dad’s anniversary

Fri., May 13 – Be careful!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Headline of the day

Apple patents keyboard that knows what you'll type before you do.

Another day, another patent, this one from Apple for a very curious sort of keyboard that might be easier to type on because it'll know in advance which keys your fingertips want to hit.

What's this?  Someone has finally patented the neural implant?

Oh no, nothing that exciting.  Still a neat idea, though.

Sound fiscal management

More sound fiscal management from the Conservatives.

Or not.  They couldn't have been lying to us, could they?

The revised 2011 budget that the government will present next month will not show a surplus by 2014-15 as promised in black and white in the Conservative campaign platform.

[J]ust a week before the election campaign began, Mr. Flaherty released a budget that would balance the books in 2015-16. That budget forecast a tiny deficit of $300-million in 2014-15. It also promised a plan would be drawn up later this year to see if further savings of $4-billion a year could be found.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Cloudless every day you fall upon my waking eyes

Twenty-one years ago I dropped out of university.  I was in theatre school, you see, and had just snagged a real job.  A degree is useless in theatre - experience is what counts, and my work stage managing the university shows and at two local radio stations had landed me a job as the sound technician at a well-known summer theatre festival.

So off I went, ready to live out of a suitcase (actually, a hockey bag).  The trick to making a living in Canadian theatre is to move.  Every six months, if you're lucky.  A long-term job usually runs nine months.  When you're twenty-one and ready to see the country, it's pretty cool.  Four months in Vancouver, two months in Calgary, four months in Charlottetown, six months in Toronto.  Fun, no?

On the night of the first preview show in June, the call came to the sound booth - the House Manager's headset wasn't working.  The stage crew uses headsets to communicate from the booth to the backstage areas and with the front of house staff.  Headsets fall under the "sound" category, so I went downstairs to fix the problem.  I met the House Manager and was, as they say, smitten.  I don't mind saying that she was totally swept off her feet as well.

Three weeks later we were engaged.  Suddenly I wasn't so keen on moving every four months.

We were married the following May, twenty years ago today, as a matter of fact.  I am still smitten, and she is still swept off her feet.  I still got it.  Sometimes I forget where I put it, or what it's for, but I still got it...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More open, honest, accountable government

More open, honest, accountable government. Or not...

When it comes to access to information, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has received a failing grade, says a new report that also urges Canadians to remain vigilant on their freedom of expression.

For the second year running, the report by the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression has given the government an F minus, saying delays in the release of information lengthened and what was eventually released was less complete than before.

"More than half of the federal institutions surveyed for their performance on access to information ranked below average and five failed outright. The governing party was ruled in contempt of Parliament for failing to produce information about major spending programs"

Friday, May 06, 2011

That's what you get for pretending the danger's not real

Good thing Stephen Harper says climate change isn't real.  As we all know.  He’s never told a lie in his entire life.  Nobody would elect a liar as Prime Minister, would they?

[Global warming is] a scientific hypothesis and a controversial one.
    - Stephen Harper, Toronto Star, 2002-09-05

[Kyoto] is designed to address the so-called "greenhouse gas" phenomenon, the hypothesis that the increase of certain gases — not necessarily pollutants — contribute to a long-term global warming trend.
    - Stephen Harper, Address at the Ottawa Leader’s Dinner, 2002-11-20

As environmental policy [the Kyoto Accord] is a fraud.
    - Stephen Harper, Address at the Ottawa Leader’s Dinner, 2002-11-20

Otherwise, this would worry me.

The ice of Greenland and the rest of the Arctic is melting faster than expected and could help raise global sea levels by as much as 5 feet this century, dramatically higher than earlier projections, an authoritative international assessment says.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Conversation of the day

The seven-year-old has had a snaggle tooth for quite a while.  She was sporting a matching pair for a couple of months, but one finally fell out on its own.  The second one, though, was really hanging on.

Last night, in a sisterly altercation of some sort, the ten-year-old managed to knock the tooth out.

This morning, the ten-year-old was checking to see what the Tooth Fairy brought.

V: What!?!  You got an extra dollar because your tooth was knocked out?!?

F: Yup.

V: I should get that dollar!  I knocked it out.

F: You threw a doll at me!

V: Huh. Not even a thank you...