Sunday, February 27, 2005

We all make mistakes

  Blogarama, The Blog Directory, offers this list of the Top Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Blogging. I'm sure The Blogfather has mentioned all of these at some time or another, but here they are, all gathered together in one place, so we can ignore them as a group, instead of one at a time. 
  You don't need to go very far down the list, in fact you won't get past the first item, before you find the one I'm most guilty of: having no theme to your blog. I don't believe I have a theme to my blog. Do you guys think I have a theme to my blog? If someone out there feels that they can pin point a theme to my blog, please let me know.
  Although...check out number four on the list: don't stray too far from your blog's theme. If you do manage to come up with a theme for my blog, I'm going to have to start worrying about that one. And number eight: Using too much insider or regional talk; I may be somewhat guilty of that one, eh?
  A few of those rules, however, seem to me to fall into the category of DUH! I mean, posting libelous material on your blog, doesn't that kind of go without saying? And unexplained time gaps in your blog? I have recently removed several blogs from my bloglines subscription because they haven't been updated in months. If their writers return, they will find their readership dramatically compromised, much like the inevitible consequences of the NHL lock-out. People will just find something else to watch, or in our case, read.
  Of course, trying to avoid those unexplained time gaps commonly results in pointless posts, like this one. Don't you think that should be somewhere on the list?

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Weekend assignment #12?

(John says:)
So, you ask, how did we get from Weekend Assignment #48 to Weekend Assignment #12? Well, seems like I skipped #12 at some point (probably around the 12th week of the assignments, I'd wager). And needless to say, we can't have that. So: It's Weekend Assignment #12! And all is right again with the world.

And since we're going back in time a bit to do Weekend Assignment #12, I thought we'd expand on that there:

Weekend Assignment #12: Thanks to time travel and invisibility, you can be on the spot for any important event of the last 100 years (1905 onward). Which important historical event do you choose? As a twist, if you actually were at an important historical event, you can't pick that one. Why? Because you were there already. What, you want to be there twice? Think of the paradox!

Extra Credit: Think of a piece of now-dated slang that should be brought back into circulation. Make it reasonably clean slang, please.

  John has got me thinking about landmark events. The twentieth century was full of them. Just think, in 1903, the Wright brothers made the world's first powered, manned, sustained flight. (Interesting that they had to cram three different modifiers in there to justify using the word 'first.') In 1905, Albert Einstein published his Theory of Relativity, thereby giving high school science teachers easy fodder for future messing with the heads of their students. In 1941, penicillin was first used in the treatment of human beings, extending the careers of hundreds of thousands of prostitutes. The list goes on and on.
  Frankly, I really cannot see myself being all that excited by the prospect of being a fly on the wall at any big twentieth century events. I am far more interested in the idea of witnessing the crucifixion of Christ, or the Trojan War, or a Byzantine chariot race (go Scortius!) We already know virtually everything there is to know about the previous century. Although...I wouldn't mind sitting in on the strategy meeting in which Orville and Wilbur's spin doctors worked out exactly how they were going to claim primacy in the flight thing.
  What John has done, however, is send my mind spiralling off down the coils of history, looking for significant events. Maybe not 'giant leap for mankind' significant, but 'small step for man' significant. I came up with a series of important dates in the development of Twentieth Century Man.
  How many times did the good wife of the first decade of the 1900s have to listen to her man say, "damnit, woman, you've let the ice all melt, and now my beer's warm again?" Alas, some questions have no answers. Many have solutions, though. In 1913, the first electric home refrigerator was introduced. Many people never saw the benefit of light bulbs over candles, but was something they could get their heads around. Cold beer, even on weekends. It may not be clear to all, but the development of the electric fridge also led directly to the creation of Sam's Club.
  Unfortunately, man had only six short years in which to enjoy the cold beer from his new appliance. In 1919, prohibition was ratified, and he was left scratching his head, wondering what the heck that confangled new technology icebox was good for anyway. Man was forced to sneak down dark alleys, through locked and guarded doorways to get a beer after work. In doing so, he was subjected to all kinds of horrible experiences, like cigars, gambling, and dancing girls. Oh, the humanity!
  Life proceeded apace for several years before technology once again raised its angelic head into man's living room. In 1927, television was invented, and very shortly afterwards, the rerun. In 1933, prohibition was repealed, and two great things came together in living rooms across America. It was also about this time that the white, sleeveless undershirt appeared on the scene, an event for which Marlon Brando was eternally grateful.
  Only three short years after the end of prohibition, the Anheuser-Busch brewery introduced Budweiser. For many American men, 1936 is a year seared into their memory. Actually, it is seared into somewhere else. Bud farts are the worst!
  Nineteen thirty-nine is a year of revolution in the American household. That summer saw the first ever televised sporting event, a college baseball game between Columbia and Princeton. Six years later, the Boston Red Sox began televising their games with another first: beer commercials. The telecasts were sponsored by New England's Narragansett Beer. The beer has not survived, but the proud tradition they began lives on.
  In 1948, the Polaroid camera hit the market, not important to our story, but years later, a young man by the name of Gene Simmons would appreciate it. Our next significant date is 1951, when television became coloured. I could find no truth to the rumour that it took longer to catch on in the southern states. In 1962, another major stride forward was taken with the first ever international satellite television broadcast. Now Americans could annoy the rest of the world with impunity.
  All the events described above have led, inexorably to one point. Surely you know what it is. No? Think about it; televised sporting events sponsored by beer companies...
  Yes! On January 15, 1967, the first ever Superbowl was played. Man could sit on his dilapidated couch, in his wife beater shirt, one hand wrapped around a cold beer, the other hand down his pants, and say, "Life is good!" The American Male had reached its zenith.


Extra Credit: having not actually completed the work as assigned, I do not see that I qualify for any extra credit, so I am not at all pained to say I would prefer that slang that has fallen out of circulation remain out of circulation. There is always some new stupid expression waiting in the wings. We certainly do not need to resurrect any old stupid expressions.

And that is all I have to say about that. Oh, except one short message for John: (ahem) #34?

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Rock and roll ain't noise pollution

  My ten year old son, Matthew, wants to make a mixed CD to play in his room or in his CD Walkman. Last night he sat down to make a list of songs he wants on the CD. This is what he has so far.


  He didn't like For Those About To Rock (We Salute You). Said it was too repetetive. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

Nothing to see here.

Today is the 118th birthday of the Toronto Humane Society.


Move along...

Ten things I've done that yada, yada, yada...

  John Scalzi found one of those silly meme things floating around the Live Journal kindergar- er, community, and thoughtlessly turned it loose in AOL J-land. It is now spreading as mercilessly as the Melissa virus. Even blogs I previously thought I could count on to be well balanced and mature have jumped in with both feet.
  Now, credit where due, it is one of the more original meme ideas I have seen. Everyone who has participated has had at least one eyebrow raising item on their list, and for the most part, I believe you have all done what you have claimed. I must say though, that there have been one or two lists I have seen that seemed to me somewhat, er, exaggerated shall we say.
  With that in mind, I herewith present to you my (slightly exaggerated) list of Ten Things I've Done That You Probably Haven't.

1) Tasted the Buffalo style chicken wings in every bar in Buffalo, on the same day.

2) Talked Neil Armstrong out of running for President of the United States.

3) Ordered cat in a restaurant in Kowloon, and had it served to my wife without telling her.

4) Spent a night at Stonehenge hiding from security guards.

5) Water-skied behind a US army patrol boat above the Arctic Circle.

6) Left a cake out in the rain.

7) Turned down an invitation from Spinal Tap to appear onstage with them during the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at Wembley Stadium.

8) Won a bet with Mark Messier by eating just one.

9) Checked my wife out of the local hospital just before it was locked down due to the SARS epidemic.

10) Started the feud between Britney and X-tina.

  Because I am an honest person at heart, I have to tell you that most of that list is an absolute crock. In fact, only one of those items is true. Can you tell which one? The reason I resorted to such an egregious falsification of the facts is that my life is rather more boring than yours. My original list, a truthful list, of ten things I've done that you probably haven't looked like this:

1) uh...

Not exactly riveting entertainment. OK, the truth now...which one of you exaggerated your list?

Monday, February 21, 2005

Beat this!

"That the allele for small fruit is partially dominant to the large fruit allele suggests that the genetic alteration between the two alleles is involved in the regulation of floral development, ultimately determining carpel number."

Best. Silly. Meme. Response. Evar!

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Astrology: hit or myth?

  Richard Rockley writes the blog Skeptico. His most recent essay discusses astrology, and he cites no less than 37 scientific trials attempting to demonstrate the validity of the practice, including these two:

  "In 1979 Michel Gauquelin put an advertisement in Ici-Paris offering a free horoscope. Recipients were asked to reply saying how accurate they and their friends found the horoscope. Of the first 150 replies, 94% percent said it was accurate as did 90% of their friends and family. Unfortunately, they all got the same horoscope, that of Dr. Petiot, a notorious mass murderer."

  "On June 7, 1989 on American television, James Randi offered $100,000 to any psychic or Astrologer who could prove the truth of their claims. An astrologer who took up the challenge was given the birth information of twelve people and had cast their charts. He interviewed the twelve without knowing who was who and was to identify them by matching them with horoscopes. He got none right."

  I quote these two because of their humour, but most of the studies cited are of a serious nature, as are their results, which speak for themselves. Astrology cannot be demonstrated to have any accuracy in describing or predicting an individual's personality traits. I encourage you to visit Richard's blog and read for yourself.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Figaro, figaro, figaro...

  At some point yesterday...I remember, it was when I was yelling at him to go have a damn shower, look how dirty your hair is...I noticed that Matthew's hair was not hanging in his eyes. This is the kid who has flat out refused to get a haircut for going on eight weeks now. Shortly afterwards, my wife came out of the bathroom asking why there was hair all over the place. The little chigger cut his own hair.
  I guess it was bothering him, hanging in his eyes like that, but he wants to grow it long like his thirteen year old cousin, so he didn't want to go to the barber. He took the scissors and trimmed, rather jaggedly, his bangs.
  Oh well. This falls, rather firmly, into the he made his own bed, he can lie in it category.

  More things.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Damn you, spyware!

  I have spent the better part of today, and will probably spend a good part of tomorrow, reloading software onto my fresh, clean hard drive. Somewhere, I picked up some seriously tenacious spyware/adware. It wormed its way into my start-up files, so no matter how many times I ran Ad-aware, or Spybot Search & Destroy, it simply re-installed itself every time I restarted my computer. I was running Ad-aware  two or three times per day, and finding 20 odd 'critical' items each time.
  It completely hijacked IE. Every time I opened Internet Explorer, it changed my home page to some search page, and bombarded me with ads. It even went so far as to remove any trace of IE from Windows' add/remove programs screen. I couldn't even un-install it. After spending days trying to track down and quarrantine whatever the heck it was, I gave up and nuked the whole thing. I now have a new clean hard drive partition, and several more hours of work ahead of me.

  Also, I added more things to the 100 things about me entry.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine's Day music

Preview  Maybe you have a hot date with your girlfriend, or a romantic evening in with your wife planned for tonight. The key to making it successful is atmosphere. Go for subdued lighting; candles are good. Aroma is important. Try a delicate floral potpourri, or make the candles scented. And the third leg of the atmosphere tripod is sound. You must play the right music to set the mood, or to put her in the mood, so to speak. Let me give you my suggestions:

There is, of course, value to be found in the classics. I like to start with the old AC/DC standby:

Let me put my love into you, babe
Let me put my love on the line
Let me put my love into you, babe
Let me cut your cake with my knife

Also falling into this category is the Black Sabbath classic:

Lady evil, evil
She’s a magical, mystical woman
Lady evil, evil on my mind
She’s queen of the night

Many prefer a more eclectic selection of music. For them I suggest this offering from Iron Maiden's self titled album:

Charlotte the Harlot show me your legs,
Charlotte the Harlot take me to bed.
Charlotte the Harlot let me see blood,
Charlotte the Harlot let me see love.

Or, from the Number of the Beast album, the far more sophisticated sequel to that song:

Beat her mistreat her do anything that you please
Bite her excite her make her get down on her knees
Abuse her misuse her she can take all that you've got
Caress her molest her she always does what you want

And, finally, always remember the immortal words of David Coverdale, of Whitesnake:

If you don't like it,
Spit it out.

You can thank me later.

Happy Valentine's Day

Shadow wants to give you his heart.

(actually, he just wants to trick you into playing tug-of-war, but don't tell him I told you)

Saturday, February 12, 2005

100 things about me

  Lissa (who is married to Jay) has a list of 100 things about herself. I commented that I didn't think I could come up with 100 things about myself. Lissa encouraged me to try. "Go slow," she said.
  Ok, let's start with what we already know:

1) I like music
2) I'm married with children
3) I usually stay up too late


4) I am Canadian
5) When I say 'children' I mean Matthew
6) There is no sixth thing
7) I drive a coupe while my wife drives a sedan
8) They are both Honda Civics
9) Mine is black
10) My cell phone number ends in 2000
11) I keep my CDs alphabetised
12) I haven't skied since I took up curling 25 years ago
13) My son wants to learn to ski
14) That last one wasn't about me
15) Yes it was
16) I have a poster of a Picasso drawing titled 'Sleeping Woman' hanging on my wall
17) It reminds me of drawings made by John Lennon
18) I have a small pen and ink portrait of John Lennon in my family room
19) I am pretty opinionated
20) I am trying to learn to be more skeptical and less opinionated
21) My hands and feet tend to get really cold a lot
22) My wife hates that
23) My favourite comic book superhero was always Ironman
24) Followed closely by Captain America
25) I keep a 30 gallon tropical aquarium
26) The live plants in it are of equal importance to the fish
27) There's one fish in there that I almost never see
28) Now I always tell people, "don't buy a clown pleco"
29) I don't walk as much as I should
30) I look stupid in sweat pants
31) My tennis elbow is almost better
32) I have a small collection of inexpensive antique cameras
33) My cat hates my dog
34) My dog loves my cat
35) It is not an ideal situation
36) I mostly read science fiction and fantasy
37) But I'm really picky
38) I've always thought Sherlock Holmes was pretty cool
39) I think Sean Connery was the best Bond
40) I think Roger Moore was the worst
41) I think Adrian Paul would be a horrible choice for the next Bond
42) I just switched to Firefox by Mozilla
43) I love it
44) Ihave read the Bible cover to cover
45) I kinda skimmed the begets
46) My favourite writer is Guy Gavriel Kay
47) My favourite Kay book is Tigana
48) I didn't finish University
49) I'm the skip of my curling team
50) Which means I get to yell, "Hurry Hard!" really loud if I want
51) I've never lost my voice from yelling, "Hurry Hard!"
52) I like to golf, but it's too expensive
53) My wife is a wine person, but I am a beer person
54) As of August 29, 2005, I have reviewed 110 different beers at
55) That puts me in eighth place
56) I'm only 326 beer reviews behind the leader
57) My favourite so far: Fuller's London Porter
58) I feel guilty that's not a Canadian beer
59) I have seriously considered driving to Buffalo just to buy beer
60) I certainly can't think of any other reason to drive to Buffalo
61) Many people do not 'get' my sense of humour
62) I have always disliked the word 'Huzzah'
63) I like Peter Jackson's film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings
64) But then again, I liked Highlander, so what does that say
65) I have small feet
66) I took piano lessons as a child
67) For years afterwards I could play The Entertainer from memory
68) I've since forgotten how
69) Though I'm Canadian, I have never played organised hockey
70) I was always invited to the street hockey games because I had a goalie stick and a net
71) My favourite food is beef
72) OK, specifically, a nice, thick, rare steak
73) Really rare
74) Pasta runs a close second
75) I tend to prefer function over form
76) I will spend as much on lighting as any other aspect of a room's decor
77) I think my TV is too small
78) I think my subwoofer is too small
79) **this sentence deleted due to reference to The Incredible Hulk's genetalia**
80) That's a bit of an inside joke
81) I used to hate Reggae
82) I went to Jamaica on my honeymoon
83) Now I love Reggae
84) I'm a mediocre golfer
85) I have broken 100 once...on a short course
86) I didn't play at all last year, due to my tennis elbow
87) I have high hopes for this year
88) I suck at poker
89) That doesn't stop me from playing
90) I can't believe there's only ten to go
91) Dog ownership has its rewards
92) Picking the remains of doggy biscuits out of thebottom of the washing machine isn't one of them

93) I enjoy watching a good movie on my home theater system
94) I'm afraid
95) One of my favourite songs is 'John Barleycorn Must Die' by Traffic
96) Also: Last Resort, Deperado, Wasting Time...flip a coin
97) Fatherhood has its rewards
98) Picking the remains of doggy biscuits out of the bottom of the washing machine is one of them
99) I stole the next one from Simon
100) There. Are. Four. Lights.

List to be updated as time and insight allow. (updated June 13th, 10:02pm)

Isn't that amazing!

Preview  Derren Brown is a British television personality. Calling himself a Psychological Illusionist, Derren has a television show in which he performs apparently remarkable feats of mentalism, mind reading, and mind control. Much of what Derren does is reminiscent of The Amazing Kreskin, but where Kreskin always made sure he told people what he was doing was not paranormal, he left it at that, maintaining a level of mystery. Derren Brown takes it one step further. Actively championing the causes of skepticism and critical thinking, Derren often bases his demonstrations on common methods used by alleged psychics and fortune tellers. He follows every demonstration with a thorough explanation of exactly how he does the astounding things he does. Here is a page of video clips that will amaze and entertain you.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Weekend Assignment #47

Weekend Assignment #47: Reveal Your Teenage Celebrity Crush! Oh, come on. We all had one. Share yours, and tell us why that particularly celebrity tripped your teenage trigger.

Extra Credit: Tell us: Do you still have a little teeny bit of a crush on that celebrity? Yes? No? Maybe so?

  Oh my. Where to start? I must say, that as a young teen, and even pre-teen, I had a pretty strong crush on virtually every pretty, female celebrity to cross my short attention span. Some of them were pretty embarrassing, upon review through the filters of time.
PreviewFor example, there were the girls from The DeFranco Family. Although, a little bit of googling turns up pictures of them taken more recently, and schwing, they are babelicious.

PreviewToni Tennille, from The Captain and Tennille. I have no explanation for this one. Must have been chipmunk love.

PreviewAnd, oh my God, I had completely forgotten about Lindsay Wagner, The Bionic Woman! Who wouldn't love a woman with no memory, who could lift your car out of the ditch with one hand, while flipping her hair in that alluring manner with the other?

PreviewThese were all early celebrity crushes for me. More recently, I remember looking at Britney Spears' first music video, Baby One More Time, and commenting that I didn't like her. When asked why, my honest answer: "she makes me think impure thoughts."

Preview  The ultimate celebrity crush for me, though; the one that was the first to occur to me when I sat down, closed my eyes, and cleared my mind, was Olivia Newton John. I remember seeing the movie Grease and being in love. And let's be perfectly honest, ok? Any woman who can pull off both of these looks is every man's fantasy


Thursday, February 10, 2005

Spirit photography

  The other day on a message board I was accused of ridiculing somebody for my reply to their post offering spirit photography lessons. I wrote a fairly long and detailed reply offering up my expertise on the subject right there on the board, without people having to resort to taking some kind of formal lessons. Apparently, I stepped on somebody's toes, because my post was taken down by the powers that be in short order. A lesson learned. Far be it from me to impinge upon somebody's ability sell themselves and their 'talents' on AOL's message board system.

  Here, however, is an entirely different matter. In my personal journal, I can chose to make my expertise available to all for free if I so choose.

  I so choose. Herewith, find attached evidence of my mad spirit photography skillz. I have 'em. You can have 'em too. This entry shows the evidence. If there is interest, I will do another entry detailing my methods.

  An introductory note: All of the photographs in this entry are (with the exception of one) taken by me, and, other than some cropping and resizing for editorial purposes, unmanipulated. No photoshopping here. These are pictures of actual phenomena.

  First, let me introduce you to Matthew. Many of you, if you have been reading me for a while, have heard me mention his name. You may even have seen a picture or two of him here from time to time. Little known to us, Matthew has a guardian spirit who helps him with his homework. I have taken hundreds of pictures of Matthew before, and never before seen anything like this before. However, I had never before taken a picture of him doing homework before. Yesterday I did, and got this.


  It looks like, in this picture, there is a spirit of some kind hovering over Matt's head as he does his homework. In fact, if you look close enough you can see what looks like fingers reaching out to touch his head; almost as if some kind of otherworldly knowledge were being imparted to him. This may explain many of his teacher's comments regarding Matthew's homework assignments. Obviously, the answers he is providing are simply beyond her ability to comprehend.
  I enhanced the above photo with specialty software to reveal this:


  You can clearly see the otherworldly violet aura surrounding the spirit manifestation. It is in stark contrast to the more earthly colours of the rest of the photograph. You can even see that aura impacting on the hanging, potted plant in the background. I always wondered why that plant grew so well.

  A photograph taken a moment later reveals that this spirit falls into the famous spirit photography category of a vortex spirit. This appears to be a rare double vortex. Or a close up of the ghost's elbow, I'm not sure.


  One night I was in my basement, trying to take a picture of my cat. She didn't want to sit still for the picture, and was very restless. Later, when I looked at the pictures, I saw this:


  Look very carefully at the left hand side of the picture, and you will see the visible manifestation of spirit orbs. There are several to be seen in the picture, but the clearest one is right near the top of the frame. orbcloseupI have enlarged it to bring out more detail. You can clearly see a face, not unlike that of the man in the moon, on the close-up of this orb. These orbs are obviously ghosts. Due to the similarities in appearance, it is also quite clear that the moon is a ghost, too.
  I have hypothesized that these ghosts were attempting to protect my cat, when she did not want to have her picture taken by me. Due to my frequent sneezing at the time, I suspect that these were the ghosts of cats, thereby causing my allergies to flare up. On a related note, we have been erroneous in using the terminology 'the man in the moon' all these years. We should have been saying, 'the cat in the moon.'

  I was outside the other night, and happened, entirely by accident, to take a picture of the tree in my front yard. When I looked at the picture later I was amazed by the amazing colours of the colourful lights I saw.


  Look at the colourful illumination of the snow on both sides of the street. And the colourful lights in the background, behind the tree. None of these colourful lights was colourful like those colours to my eye. Obviously, the spirit world is at work here. There must be many ghosts of painters around the Aurora area.


  Look how the lights in this close up appear to be dancing around the telephone pole. In colours.

 What AWV entry would be complete without a picture of the redoubtable Shadow? Here he is with a piece of garden edging in his mouth. Somehow, he managed to tear this up out of ground that was frozen solid during our -30 degree cold snap a couple of weeks ago. It was originally about twenty five feet long. This is what is left. As you can see, of any member of our family, Shadow attracts more spirit attention than any other. They are drawn to the young, and cute.
  This picture shows Shadow surrounded by ghostly orbs. There are dozens of them in view, maybe hundreds, and remarkably, every single one of them unique. Not a one exactly like any other. (It's because they used to be people, and people are all different).


  Finally, here are two astounding pictures of spirit phenomena. I have saved the best for last. I have elected to link to the pictures rather than post them here so I could show them at a larger size, the better to view fine details. The first example is a picture I took in my back yard one January evening. I was standing there, doing nothing, minding my own business, with a digital camera in my hand, when I inexplicably started feeling cold. I suspected there was a spirit, or ghost nearby. Breathing heavily with fear, and fear, I raised the camera and snapped a few frames.  The first picture is here: . In this picture, one can see the bio-thermal pulmono-exhalatory cloud as it coalesces. If you look very carefully, you can just make out the outlines of a face.
  The second picture was taken a moment later, but still slightly too early. The carbondioxygenic vapourous apparition had not yet fully formed. Yet, the image is unmistakable. It is still quite fuzzy, but you can clearly see that this is the spirit of a young woman wearing a hat. .
  I am left to wonder; who was this woman? When did she walk this earth? What is she doing in my back yard?

  I would like to close this topic with a short statement. We at Aurora Walking Vacation are on a quest for the truth, and are interested in an open minded examination of these phenomena. We invite all discussion, as long as it agrees with our views. Be advised that anyone who suggests there are rational, scientific explanations for our results will find their closed-minded comments immediately deleted, and their rude, harassing asses banned from making subsequent comments. Furthermore, we may complain about them on the message board and threaten to report them to AOL, the police, the F.B.I., and our Alien Overlords. Remember, open minded means, "in agreement with my point of view."

Monday, February 7, 2005

Superbowl hoopla redux

Of course, in this internet age, who needs to worry about catching the Superbowl ads during the actual Superbowl game? Here they are on the internet the very next day. All the fun and frivolity that billions of dollars can buy, without the bother of having to subject yourself to a third rate sporting experience along the way. My favourite ad? Anheuser Busch's Thank You spot. Heck, I'm not even American, and I had a tear in my eye watching that one. Bring the Boys (and Girls) back home!

Friday, February 4, 2005

Words of wisdom

Joey DeVilla, A.K.A. Accordion Guy, has these words of wisdom about how best to live one's life. Seem about as good as anyone else's.

Thursday, February 3, 2005

This weekend.

  There is, of course, something taking place this weekend that is of significantly more importance than the Superbowl, and anything else that might reasonably be expected to occur on any other weekend of the year. I'll say no more.

Weekend assignment #46

  It is the weekend once more. Not just any old weekend, but Superbowl weekend, or as the American media would prefer to see it announced:


  As if there were actually something taking place this weekend of more importance than what might take place on any other weekend of the year. Nevertheless, John Scalzi had to present us with a weekend assignment, and if it didn't have anything to do with the Superbowl, nobody would have paid attention to this one. So, John's weekend assignment for the weekend beginning February 4th, 2005 reads thusly:

Weekend Assignment #46: Make one new rule to apply to the Super Bowl. This new rule can apply to any aspect of the Super Bowl, from the game to the spectators, to the halftime show, to the commercials. If it's got something to do with the Super Bowl, you can make up a rule about it.

Extra Credit: Your pick for winner of the Super Bowl. Naturally, don't bother doing the extra credit if it's Sunday evening.

  Well, I live in Canada, where we still play football by men's rules. No fair catch. Only three downs. Bigger field. Goalposts over goal line means missed field goals are live, and can be run back for a touchdown. You know, just an all around more exciting game to watch. That's why we don't need a monster song and dance show to wake up the spectators halfway through the game. Whatever.

  Anyway, John is looking for a rules suggestion. Personally, as I alluded to above, there is no single rule change that could improve the American game. I would like to propose a rule for the Canadian media; a rule that would make the game at least moderately interesting to a Canadian audience.
  Allow me to start with a little background. In Canada, the game will be available via the American broadcasters, FOX, or the Canadian broadcasters, Global TV. The Canadian network, of course, will show their own commercials, and not the American commercials everybody wants to see. The American network's commercials, the ones advertisers paid a super-gajillion dollars to show during the game, will be shown on FOX.


  You knew there was a but. Why the hell else would I be going on like this? Canadian cable TV and satellite companies are required by law to remove the commercials from the American broadcasts they provide to their subscribers, replacing them with Canadian ads. So, the only way a Canadian can see those wonderful ads, is if they receive their television signals via antenna, and live close enough to the border that they can pick up a FOX affiliate. I don't need to tell you, that's not a shit-load of people.
  Ok, ok, I'll get on with it. I propose a rule that all Canadian TV viewers be allowed to watch the American broadcast of the Superbowl, with the commercials intact. Because, let's face it, that's the only reason anyone's tuning in anyway.

  The extra credit question? Let me ask you this: what about all that you've just read gives you the impression I give a rat's ass?

I wish I had a camera.

  Today I had to run into the grocery store to pick up some veggies for the chili I'm making tonight. Just outside the entrance to the store, up high on the wall, were two signs. One read: No Loitering. The other was the classic red circle with a diagonal bar through it superimposed over a picture of a cigarette: No Smoking. Directly beneath those prominently displayed signs was a group of about eight store employees, just standing around, with lit cigarettes in their hands.
It's not Ironic, but don't tell Alanis that.