Wednesday, August 31, 2005

a thing of the past...?

It seems the current obstacle in our automobile-obsessed society is the price of fuel. Gasoline prices in Toronto were approaching $1.20 per litre this morning, but are expected to back off some as the day progresses, and the aftereffects of the devastation created by hurricane Katrina are more fully understood. Just like the stock market, of which the energy sector is a large part, speculation on what might happen is the major influence on what does happen.

Now, I don't want to get off on a rant here, but does it make any sense to you that a possibility of a shortage in fuel supplies causes the price of what is already in the tanks at gas stations to rise, often dramatically, and then fall, all in the same day? That'd be like charging a dollar for a newspaper in the morning, doubling that later in the day because there was a forest fire raging near a paper mill, and then lowering it again when the fire gets put out. I realize there are intricacies to the oil business which I don't fully understand, but how smart do you have to be? George W. Bush is in the oil business, and he calls it "oal"...

People in North America have still got no real reason to bitch, kvetch, piss and moan about the price of fuel when they refuse to give up their gas -sucking behemoth SUV's and pickup trucks with V-8 and even V-10 engines, and then drive alone to Costco to save a nickel on a 45 gallon drum of relish. We have an unreasonable sense of entitlement on this continent that will become our undoing. Just look at the crime in Toronto right now, or the general rise in terrrorism in the years before 9-11... We also do nothing about it. Canada is worse than the USA in this regard. In other countries, if you don't like what the government is doing, you stage a demonstration, or start a revolution. Here, we stage a Tim Horton's whine-fest (20 minute maximum at the table, please) and demonstrate only if it doesn't cut into our TV time.

Get used to some of the things we take for granted being under fire. this is only the beginning. All I can say is pay attention - and make mine one cream, one sugar.

Monday, August 22, 2005

"yar - a technophobe i be, says i "

Boy, is it way too easy to while away hours of your precious time sitting behind the computer. I've been thinking about the purpose of this blog, and all I know is it'll be a work in progress. I may ditch the political content altogether. It's boring as f***, and so many learned (thanks to Homer Simpson for the correct pronunciation) folks are doing such a terrific job filling up cyberspace with wearisome political ranting, that I believe I'll leave it to the dullards. Have at 'er, boys!

I think best outside at night with no distractions, and usually get all kinds of great ideas for entertaining and enlightening posts. I then get behind the desk and the ideas have magically vaporised. Lousy brain! Good for nothin'!

So right there I've come up with today's topic (thanks, Bob & Doug MacKenzie - coo roo coo coo coo roo coo coo). This technology thing, while great on the surface, is pretty much all sizzle and no steak. I have in my possession a cell phone that takes pictures - why? I dunno, came with the plan. Do I need it? No, not really. Does anyone really need to be in the rutabaga section of the grocery store with a phone stuck to their ear? What kind of decision is so momentous in the vegetable aisle that you need to make a call home? Act unilaterally, dude!

Somehow, man has survived eons and progressed for centuries without the aid of tri-mode, colour display digital bric-a-brac. I wish I had the cojones to really make a statement and ditch all superfluous electronic shite, but alas; poor Yorick, it is not to be.

Don't get me wrong - I do love all this stuff, but I'm realizing that it infringes heavily upon my do-nothing time, which, as a somewhat typical male, is sadly important to my well-being. I must divide my time between TV, frittering away the day at the computer, stereo, stereo in car, stereo in garage, the cell phone has to be at welded to my side at all times in case of a grocery-related emergency, and; oh yeah, dealing with the real world. To compensate, I actually don't watch TV. At all. Come fall and the colder weather, that may change, but right now in the middle of reruns of shows we didn't watch the first time, nah.

Something my wife says to me from time to time is the old expression "anything for a simple life". I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment, and aim to start simplifying right away.

First just let me pick up my voice mail, check the email, get that last text message from someone I don't talk to in real life, check the posts on my music site, finish burning copies of a few CD's after I convert them to .mp3, make sure I set the VCR for Corrie (not for me, I swear), and call my wife from the store to see if she knows the difference between a turnip and a rutabaga. Hey, I'd look it up, but I don't have time right now.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

"be-londa stronach" - bimbeaulx du jour

Source: The Globe &

Stronach spent $4-million of her own on race


Saturday, August 20, 2005

OTTAWA -- Belinda Stronach, the Liberal government's Human Resources Minister, spent $4-million of her own money on her failed bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party, records released by the Tories show.

The money ponied up by Ms. Stronach, daughter of car-parts tycoon Frank Stronach and herself a former $12-million-a-year executive in the family's Magna International Inc. empire, amounted to more than three-quarters of the $5.5-million she raised, according to the documents.

The belated filings from the March, 2004, leadership convention were released yesterday. Tim Powers, a member of the leadership organizing committee, said the timing was due to long delays in filings partly caused by the 2004 election, not by any desire to embarrass Ms. Stronach since she crossed the floor to the Liberals in May.


Ok, the red flag went up for me when Ms. Stronach was touted as the "bright young face of the New Conservatives" a year-and-a-half ago, but I think all she really needed was to get out of her multimillion-dollar house and get a real job. Talk about being born with a silver spoon - hers was platinum. She could have done almost anything else with that money and have made a difference - donate it to a charity, build a wing on a hospital, go on a gambling binge at a casino, thrown it into the wind from her Aurora rooftop. Thank God she lost the leadership race. Hopefully Peter MacKay isn't still pining for her from across the floor. Remember, she's now an actual Liberal cabinet member: the Rt. Hon. Minister of Shoes & Purses; a title you may recall she had to fight Adrienne Clarkson for in a hot oil wrestling match.

Hey, Paul Martin, buddy; I quit my job, - can I be a cabinet minister too? Pretty please? No? Guess I'm not rich enough...

my "raisin" d'etre - what's the deal?

First of all, why a blog? As you used to say to your parents, everyone else is doing it; to which the standard reply used all around the world (with the possible exception of Saskatchewan) is always: If the other kids jumped off a cliff, would you? Also, it's easy as sin. Even Phil Q.Technophobe could do this.

But the real reason is I'm tired of the political bullshit on all the other blogs that I've read. Partisanship is a vessel I try to avoid at all costs. It killed the career of Dennis Miller, still one of the smartest comics of all time. Besides, what's the point of yet another Liberal or Conservative posting how crooked / bad / smelly / ugly the other side is? It's always the other side's fault that things aren't working out. To that I say horse hockey, to paraphrase Col. Sherman Potter.

The gist of this bloggage is poking holes in the stupidity that goes on around us in such large numbers. I'll have to tread very carefully there, as I've been known to indulge in more than my share of dumb-assedness. It goes with the territory. Sarcasm, parody, satire, acidic rants; it's all good stuff and more than welcome here.

Music debate is always fun, and new bands that you actually like are hard to discover at age nearly-forty. So, if you're an American or Canadian Idol fan, please leave now, 'cause there will be talk of Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, Terramara, Joe Jackson, Ben Folds, John Hiatt, Sloan, The Tragically Hip, and other actually talented people, as well as my own struggle to get a band together.

(We even have a crappy, homemade CD that we self-produced and there are exactly two copies in existence - one for me, and one for my partner in musical crime, who we'll just call Lister for our porpoises. I'm sure he'll show up here from time to time...)

Yeah, it still hasn't happened. Yeah, I know I should give it up. *Sigh*

However, you can visit us at

I will encourage some political and / or social debate as it relates to people who live in the real world and how it affects them. I guess I'm going to wing it, as I have everything else in life thus far. i will mkae mistakes and stupid comments. Of that you can be assured.

What's the deal with the title? I needed one, and it seems to me that most of these gripe-fest blogs are always dealing with the current obstacle to getting what they want, whether it be a sunny liberal free-for-all, do-whatever-you-want world, or a conservative blue-suit-and-tie fest hosted in part by some gigantic corporation that grinds baby seals into a fruity-smelling shampoo that leaves your hair feeling vibrant and touchable. Hey - I should be in marketing... or not.

As a general rule, many people always feel that there's just one thing standing in the way of their true happiness, be it an ex-wife, a lottery win or a raise at work. It's common knowledge that as soon as you remove one obstacle, another quickly pops up to replace it. I don't think I want my life to be obstacle-free; what the heck would I do with my time?

So it's a reaction - I'm gonna run with it.