Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Another Survey

Click here to take's Star Trek Quiz.

I feel the test had some inherent biases and the author had bad grammar.

The test did not give any weight to the idea of watching Star Trek merely because some of the chicks are hot. That might have pushed me up to an Admiral. Question: Exactly what do you think of Seven of Nine's Ass.

Sorry, I did'nt mean to be rude. I'm just saying...

Update: That should have been Seven of Nine's Ass. Possessive. Not Nines. We strive for a high level of quality. Please recommend this post

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Alberta & Eugenics

Alberta is celebrating its 100th year as a Province, so naturally there is a lot of discussion around about Alberta History. Mostly its silly stuff about cowboys. It is not widely known that from 1919 until 1972 Alberta had a Eugenics law. This law allowed the Government to sterilize people without their consent if they deemed them to be inferior in some manner. This was usually applied to people (wards of the state) who had something like Down's Syndrome, but many others were sterilized also, some merely because they had low IQ's or behavioural problems.

Peter Lougheed repealed the law in 1972 when the Progressive Conservatives swept to power ending 30 or so years of Social Credit Government. In the 1990's Ralph Klein's government began paying out damages to people who had been sterilized without consent. Of course Klein's government fought long and hard not to pay anything. In the end the victims got very little in return for having their reproductive ability taken away by a government they had no means to resist.

To be fair, many governments practiced eugenics in the 1920's and 1930's but most stopped after the ideas of the eugenics movement were discredited, and the German Nazis showed the danger of this type of thinking. I've always wondered why Alberta kept up the practice into the 1970's. Probably because the Social Credit movement was anti-intellectual and anti-science. This leads to a more general question: What science is the government currently resisting or distorting that may lead to a future disaster?

For further reading, Dr. Jana Grekal, a UofA Sociology Professor did her Doctoral Research on Eugenics in Alberta. You can read about her research here. Please recommend this post

Monday, April 25, 2005

Political Compass

Take a trip over to Section15 and do the Political Compass test. And then there's a vigorous (Incoming! Duck!) discussion going on in the comments section. I wish I had a vigorous discussion going in my comments. How does one even get a vigorous discussion? Do you have to be smart?

Click on my topic title to go there...

I surprised myself:
Economic Left/Right: -5.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.67

And I live in Calgary...what the hell? Please recommend this post


I am nerdier than 54% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

This survey has been floating around the web for a while. I thought i would score more nerdy but some of those science questions were tough and I could not remember my IP address. Please recommend this post

Sunday, April 24, 2005

election theme song 2

Sung to the tune of Paul McCartney's Band on the Run

booted from the east block, booted out forever,
never seeing good news,
i'm blue, mama i'm blue.

(sorry, could'nt do anything with the second verse.)

well, gomery exploded with a mighty crash as we flew into the sun,
and the first one said to the second one there i hope you're having fun.
paul's on the run, paul's on the run.
and the calgary sun and david frum were sneering just for fun

for the paul on the run, paul on the run, paul on the run, paul on the run

well, their pollster drew a heavy sigh seeing nothing to be won,
and a bell was ringing in the village square for the cabinet on the run.
paul on the run, paul on the run.
and the calgary sun and david frum were sneering just for fun

for the paul on the run, paul on the run, paul on the run, paul on the run

well, the press was galling as the liberal world began to spiral down.
in the town they're searching for him every where, but he never will be found.
paul on the run, paul on the run

and the enquiry judge, who held a grudge
will search for evermore
for the paul on the run, paul on the run, paul on the run, paul on the run

Am i getting better at this? discuss among yourselves. Please recommend this post

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Election Theme Song I

Sung to the tune of Paul McCartney's Hands Across the Water/Admiral Halsey

We're so sorry, justice gomery,
We're so sorry if we caused you any pain.
We're so sorry, justice gomery,
But there's no one wants to vote
i doubt i'll run again.

it's so gory but we haven't heard a thing all day,
we're so sorry, justice gomery,
but if Kinsella lays it out
you'll be sure to give a ring.

we're so sorry, justice gomery,
we haven't bribed a single soul all day.
We're so sorry, justice gomery,
an elections on the boil
were're so eas'ly swept away.

slaps across your forehead, boots placed up your ass,
slaps across your forehead, boots placed up your ass,

firewall harper notified me,
he had to have a vote or he couldn't get to sleep.
i took another poll and i had a cup of tea and a butter pie.

("couldn't put it in something else
So i pulled it in the pie, alright!")

slaps across your forehead, boots placed up your ass,
slaps across your forehead, boots placed up your ass,

lie a little, be a tory, get around,
get your ass up off the ground,
lie a little, get around.

lie a little, be a tory, get around,
get your ass up off the ground,
lie a little, get around.

slaps across your forehead, boots placed up your ass,
slaps across your forehead, boots placed up your ass,

...well it was worth a try. I'll keep working at it. Please recommend this post

Friday, April 22, 2005

my one (and only) pope story

In 1984 the Pope visited Edmonton and at the time I was working in a downtown Hotel. The Pope stayed at the Sisters of Providence facility across town so the Nuns got booted and had to stay in the Hotel where I worked, along with a whole entourage of Papal tour people which included some Swiss Guards and a couple of Cardinals one fairly obnoxious and the other quite nice.

One of the Sisters was quite old and frail and the Hotel staff took a liking to her because she was very friendly and went around every morning asking people how they were doing. One morning she stepped off the elevator and made her way across the lobby and out the front door of the Hotel. On either side of the doors were full length glass windows which had no markings on them and had just been cleaned. Instead of going through the doors she walked smack into one of the windows and bounced backwards onto her ass. A bunch of us all saw it happen and ran like crazy over to see if she was okay. The Concierge got there first and leaned over and said to her Jesus Christ! Are you okay? She was okay, but Concierge got a little talking to later that day.

The next morning the Cardinal (the decent one) was talking to a desk clerk and said ...that was something about the sister walking into the window was'nt it... (or something like that) and the desk clerk said blandly yeah...Jesus that must've hurt. I thought I was going to die right on the spot.

By the time they all left the Hotel's General Manager who was Catholic was pretty much over the edge and a lot of people had red marks on their rear ends.

Okay, the Pope was not in this story, that is true. But the Pope caused the story by dislocating the Nuns. And the story occurred with me being within 3 miles of the Pope, which is the closest I've ever been to a Pope. As far as Pope stories go its not one of the best ones. If you can do better lets hear it. Please recommend this post

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Minor Changes

I've updated my links on the right hand side. I've decided not to link to heavy traffic super well known blogs like Daily Kos or Juan Cole for example, because I know you can find them on your own. I still like those sites a lot its just that the space in the right column is limited so I want to reserve it for the grassroots bloggers who might need the referrals more. Not that I think they need help - the blogs in my links section are far better than this crappy little blog. Of course Socialist Swine got himself mentioned by Howie Kurtz so he may become Alberta's Daily Kos.

I added 3 of my favourite cartoons sites so you can have a laugh or two in these dark times. Its hard hard work. I found The Dog Judo cartoon over at Daveberta. Even though I'm a Judo Purist I find it hilarious. You should know that in the real Judo world you never have to practice with people like that.

I added a link to a French translation of this site just below the Maple Leaf. This is a machine translation so it really mangles a lot of things. Try it out and let me know how the French is. (It takes a while to load and it does not translate Haloscan) Its also a FREE machine translation which means its crappier than the machine translations you can pay for.

The url to play with their translator is They do all the Romance languages. One time wasting task is to take a phrase like "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" and daisy chain it through all the languages, then back again to English. See what you end up with and where the translator got lost. Ok, so I don't have much of a life what's it to you. Please recommend this post

Non Coherent Papal Musings

Wednesday morning was surreal with the announcment of a new Pope. CNN Screamed out with "GERMANY'S RATZINGER IS 265TH POPE" in 30 point, a font size normally reserved for Terror Alerts or Britney Pregnancies. The annoying CBC morning program was interupted by a 20 second announcement by Michael Enright. They cut into the show with one of those high alert ding a bling a ling musical alert things. Michael Enright was almost fired from the CBC a few years ago when after he did an interview with the Globe & Mail and said the Catholic Church was the largest criminal organization in the world. He was forced to apologize and kiss the ring. So it surprised me that they hauled him out of bed to make the announcement, even if it was only for 15 seconds. Not long after that they went it to full tilt Ratzingerpalooza. The Bishop of Calgary rushed to his media outlet of choice to endorse the new Pope. I guess the Chief Inquisitor's job is open now. Let the gay bashing resume.

I'm briefly watching a bit on TV. There are a large group of Nuns in the Plaza outside the Vatican jumping up and down like they just saw the Beatles, or as my friend who is an Evil Bastard puts it, its like they just spent an hour riding their bicycles on cobbelstone roads. After what we saw last week with the 8 day funeral, maybe this should not surprise us. Is religious hysteria bipolar? A Dark night of the soul followed by a feast day?

I suppose you could take exception to the claim of being the 265th Pontiff. I believe they made every effort to correct the counting error introduced by two different Schisms in the middle ages, which is why there are two John XXIIIs. And in at least one of those schisms there was a Benedict which makes it even more complicated. Maybe he's really Bendict XV and just won't admit it.

I'm unsure about the Hitler Youth thing. The Israeli foreign minister is already baiting him on the Catholic-Jewish anti-semitism issue. As a Catholic Priest in the Nazi era surely he must recognize or know about the issue of Catholic complicity in the Holocaust. At least, he must know about the allegations against Pius XII, sometimes referred to as Hitlers' Pope. What does he think of all that? Its an issue not likely to go away anytime soon.

What does a Pope have to do to get fired? Talk about annexing Poland? Kill an Ambassador to the Vatican? And why do countries send Ambassadors to the Vatican. In Canada's case it was so the Pope could lecture the Canadian Ambassador on the evils of Gay Marriage. Should we be sending an Ambassador to the Moonies? I'm sorry, I'm confused.

Do they send out letters to the losing candidates?

Dear cardinal x,

We write to inform you regarding your application to be the next Pope. Unfortunately the position has been filled. Although your credentials were impressive the selection committee decided to go with someone who had a unique set of skills to match the needs of our client. We will keep your resume on file for future reference. Thank you for your interest.

S. Spinoza, S.J.,
Vatican Human Resources

Whether its fair or not people judge you buy the words you use. Please try to drop a few of the following words in conversation:


If enough of you put in the effort we can get these words in the next OED.

And before I forget, A cartoon from Mike Williams, a favourite.

Please recommend this post

Saturday, April 16, 2005

The Puppy Dog Look

Finally, our long national nightmare of balanced budgets, peace, prosperity, and social tolerance is coming to an end. Please recommend this post

All Our Weird Tomorrows

What a week. The never ending but largely repetitive Gomery stories are taking their toll on everyone, not to mention the back to back Schiavo-Pope melodramas that sucked the life out of everyone's emotional attention span for a good month. I notice that the Calgary Sun has taken a break from their freakish and maudlin dead Pope coverage. How many angles can you photograph that corpse from? Now the Sun is getting caught up on local true crime stories and rolling into wall to wall coverage of the Anniversay of Terry Fox's cross country run. Now that's something I can get behind, and it comes at a good time. It reminds Canadians that we produce some genuine heros now and again. Sure the Sun's coverage is over the top and exploitive, but it's for a good cause. The CBC replayed an old interview between Barbara Frum and Terry Fox. Frum was known to eat her guests and spit them out. In her interview with Terry Fox she was kind and respectful. Terry Fox was humble and optimistic, and talked about his faith in God. At that time he had not long to live.

My once proud sense of being a Canadian now lies in tatters, the victim of multiple conflicting polls, gloating what-if punditry, and an every widening aura of Conservative self-righteousness. We stand on the edge of God knows what cliff waiting for a strong wind or a push. We are now mentioned in the same breath as Mexico and Zimbabwe. You are tempted to make fun of some third world buffoon government or the latest Bush ineptitude but you catch yourself in an akward moment of hey thats us. It may be a long road back to self-respect. For Liberals and Progessives this is the nightmare of nightmares. For Canadian Conservatives its a glorious dream come true. The yapping hyenas of self-loathing anti-Canadianism get to chew on a carcass they stumbled upon while wandering around in the bush.

I'm a believer in watershed events. Canadian Politics is like the earth's crust. It creaks and groans, and every decade or so throws out an earthquake to release the tension. In the late 80's Brian Mulroney ended his political career and his party at the same time. What would cause a party with two back to back record setting majorities to lose everything except two seats? In Mulroney's case there were constant allegations of influence peddling and corruption, the shocking pictures of him humping Ronald Reagan's leg, and at the same time Western Right Wing Alienation and Quebec Nationalism reaching new heights. In what seemed like the blink of an eye the Progressive Conservatives, the Party of Diefenbaker and John A. MacDonald disappeared into a black hole.

Is it possible that the same deep collapse could happen to the Federal Liberals? It is hard for me to imagine the key battlegrounds of Ontario and Quebec to radicalize as conservatives. Its hard for me to imagine the Conservatives governing as a minority government with only 30%-40% of the popular vote, and no other conservative parties in Parliament. So now the media will begin to work on us, manufacturing a mythology about how the Conservative Party is centrist and moderate. The next election will be dirty and divisive and many people will truly not know how to vote. Many will probably want to sit this one out. Those people need to be reminded that the wing-nuts always vote no matter what. So if you hear someone say I'm not voting this time around, give them a good slap, a pair of nose plugs.

(Editor: can you clean this up a bit, it seems to be lacking in cohesion. Thanks.) Please recommend this post

Friday, April 15, 2005

Meaningless Update (4th try)

Between the i'm lying down now nature of and the flaky wireless hub, I'm coming due for a good Stephen Harper like chair kicking. Please recommend this post

Their Next Bold Moves

My day started off with recycled news about things I'd rather not think about: the collapse of our current federal government under the weight of an influence peddling scandal and the Alberta Provincial budget which shows we have more cash than it can ever possibly spend, but little or no vision. Talk about juxtaposition. The weather in Calgary is sunny and warm but on the radio they're issuing winter storm warnings for all of southern alberta. This is not uncommon for this time of year. As it turns out they were exagerating. A little rain and clouds. Now its sunny again.

And so I headed over to the sandwich artistry place to escape my pressing work tasks. There were two British women ahead of me discussing whether olives were fruit or vegetable. They were stout and yeomanish looking and I had a brief (thankfully) image in my head of stout yeomanish women swinging heavy axes, busoms heaving, at marauding vikings or maybe some hapless Scot looking to snag some Sheep bladders. Would you say the Vikings were neo-conservatives in their foreign policy? Why could'nt they just stay home? Why all this marauding? Now they make Volvos and Pine Furniture. That's progress. This will stick with me and I'll have to check on the historical accuracy of this particular mind trip. Eventually they will document a new syndrome: "Irrational hostility to marauding nordic pricks characterized by acute historical revisionism." Everyone will get it, or recognize that they already had it and just did'nt know. Pfizer will come out with a pill and a neat commercial.

To gain the upper hand, the one woman says to the other (about olives) of course there's a difference between the botanical classification and the culinary classification, drawing out the vowels in culinary just enough to be precious. There's no comeback to something like that, except possibly shut the fuck up its just small talk, or, of course there's also a cuuulinary difference between your ass and your head. Some people take great delight in their own pedantry and its better to resist snappy comebacks. The sandwich artist kid was glaring at everybody mostly the two axe swingers but also the dude off in the 12th century. He was probably thinking about the Calculus exam he has tomorrow. It occurred to me that olive classification was going to be the least of our national problems in the coming months.

The sandwich artist kid reminds me of how hard it must be growing up now compared to when i did. We expect them to work three jobs to pay for University and get good enough marks to be successful. No wonder they drink so much.

The morning news is still floating around in my head about Michael Jackson being accused of licking kids heads. Licking their heads! what do you do with something like that. And then i remembered a story about a guy in the Netherlands who was arrested for surreptitiously licking women's toes in public places. He was released after his lawyer argued that this behaviour was not really violating any particular law. There was some public outrage over this so some rightist party drafted a bill specifically outlawing non-consenting toe licking - I swear I'm not making this up - and the frigging thing passed. The rightists lined up with the feminists to stop the toe lickers. What would Ayn Rand say? If only Adscam could be about mere head or toe licking.

I can't shake that image of Michael Jackson vibrating into court late in his pajamas because i think he is really just very very crazy, and i doubt he'll get the help he needs. He made me think about Bogart in the Caine Mutiny and how they put him on the stand and pushed him over the edge. He just went totally batty, furtively fondling those ball bearings in his hands and babbling about how everyone else was conspiring against him. That was one of Bogarts finest moments in acting. Queeg was crazy and all you had to do was push the right buttons. Sooner or later they'll put Michael on the stand and he'll just go off the same way. With any luck he'll lean over and lick the judge's forehead and scream incoherently. And then the retards on that celebrity justice show will have to re-enact it for their moron viewers. Justice is unpredictable by definition which is why some conservatives hate judges so much. They can't control the outcome. They live in an angry world where punishment is more important than accuracy or fairness or inalienable rights. Papers are released showing John Negroponte was intimately involved with Central American right wing death squads and his career prospects in Government service are brighter than ever. But, Judges who ruled on the Schiavo case are being openly threatened by law makers and a wide assortment of other demented goons. Analyze that.

Thus I wait anxiously for word on how all this will turn out. Yawn. Please recommend this post

Sunday, April 10, 2005


If you're male and over 40 you may want to head over here and take this survey.

The ADAM test (Androgen Deficiency in Aging Men) is a tool used to screen for symptoms of low testosterone in men over 40.

It's a simple first step toward finding out if your symptoms could be related to andropause. Answer the questions below, print the results, and discuss them with your doctor.

Looks like the Province of Alberta is not participating in this particular survey. There are no Alberta resources listed for follow-up. It could be that they are very very busy reforming Health Care to be a model for everyone else.

Andropause often correlates directly with depression, particularly if you are a liberal living in Alberta. Or, just a Liberal.

Seriously though, take the test. Please recommend this post

Saturday, April 09, 2005

twelve more songs

another twelve songs from the dj/pimp in my laptop, along
with gratuitous commentary:

1. cat stevens - the first cut is the deepest

I still want you buy my side
the yanks gave me a rough rough ride.
i'm sure gonna give it a try
and if you want i'll try to fly again

2. avril lavigne - he was'nt

well...she ain't no juliana hatfield.

3. bruce cockburn - waiting for a miracle

somewhere out there is a place that's cool
where peace and balance are the rule

4. the white stripes - hello operator

where did this come from? who are these guys? not bad but they sound a little drugged.

5. natalie merchant - ophelia

i would like to see her live. in concert, i mean.

6. bob dylan - tight connection to my heart

I remember the video. Nothing like writing a love song and packing it with 10 layers of meaning.

7. monty python - philosophers drinking song

Yes, Socrates, himself, is particularly missed,
A lovely little thinker,
But a bugger when he's pissed.

Shame on M.Python for disparaging our western intellectual tradition in this tawdry manner. Malkin should get on them.

8 lisa loeb - stay

Its such a sad song. I remember the video because all the girls started dressing like her. Is she an singer/actor or an actor/singer?

9. beach boys - do you want to dance

Classic. My sister Buffy and I used to play this over and over again on our Electrohome Hi-Fi until Mr. French would come in and make us stop. Buffy always said Mr. French had a sordid past. More on that later.

10. donovan leitch - mellow yellow

Electrical banana
Is gonna be a sudden craze
Electrical banana
Is bound to be the very next phase

Except in Alabama, where it is still very much illegal.

11. skydiggers - toss & turn

One of the most under-rated canadian bands. I saw them live a while back but I think they've broken apart now.

12. mae moore - nothing but the truth

Another totally under-rated Canadian artist.

Yeah, I guess its time to get some new music into the club. Please recommend this post

Monday, April 04, 2005

Twelve Novels

Twelve novels that i've read in the last few years that i enjoyed reading for one crazy reason or another, in no particular order:

1. anthem by ayn rand
2. a midnight clear by william wharton
3. slaughterhouse-five by kurt vonnegut jr.
4. catch-22 by joseph heller
5. the hobbit by tolkien
6. war in heaven by charles williams
7. the quiet american by graham greene
8. the power and the glory by graham greene
9. dracula by bram stoker
10. who has seen the wind by w.o. mitchell
11. hitchhikers guide to the galaxy by douglas adams
12. fugitive pieces by anne michaels

Actually, this is also part of my living will project. If I end up in a persistent vegitative state, you can read from one of these novels to test my sentience. if i don't give an eyebrow cock or spit up some schmutz then i'm probably long gone. Please recommend this post

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Grim Reaper's Latest Rant

You people are really pissing me off. Everythings has to be such a big production with you folks. I have a fairly simple job to do but every time I turn around there's some kind of circus going on. Why can't you just be adults instead of freaky drama queens. And you Americans have got to stop electing Republican Presidents. I can't keep up with all the war and pestilence they cause. Do you know how hard it is to hire and train associates?

And stop writing me about Falwell. If I went around all day just taking out the assholes I would'nt get my real work done and it would'nt be fair.

By the way, you may want to throw out that Salmon Mousse in your fridge. Its free advice but don't get cocky. Please recommend this post

Friday, April 01, 2005

Day of Infamy

A college student threw some Salad Dressing at Pat Buchanan yesterday while he was speaking on Western Michigan University Campus. Luckily Buchanan was unhurt in the incident. The FBI began an immediate investigation to determine what type of dressing was used in the incident, and how best to get the stains out of Buchanan's shirt and tie. An FBI agent, on condition of anonymity said he thought it was some kind of low fat cucumber flavor.

Later, a shaken President Bush reads a statement:

Today, millions of Americans are saddened by the throwing of salad dressing at Pat Buchanan.

Laura and I extend our condolences to Pat Buchanan. We don't know yet if that tie can be cleaned.

I appreciate the example of grace and dignity he has displayed at a difficult time. I urge all those who honor Pat Buchanan to continue to work to build a culture of food where all dressings are welcomed and valued and protected, especially those that fat and may not taste so good.

The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak.

In cases where there are serious doubts and questions, the presumption should be in the favor of eating the food.

The most solemn duty of the American president -- come on up, guys -- is to protect the American people from Salad Dressing, or um, any food really, being thrown.

Since September 11th, 2001, we've taken bold and vigorous steps to prevent further attacks and overcome emerging threats.

We face a new and different kind of enemy. The threats today are unprecedented. The salads of our citizens are at stake. To protect them, we need the best intelligence possible, and we must stay ahead of constantly changing intelligence challenges. "
Please recommend this post

twelve songs

this morning i flicked on the windows media player and got the following 12 songs.I picked 12 because its a more magical number than 10, and divisible by more numbers that i find esthetically pleasing.

1. matthew & son - cat stevens
2. trickle down - bruce cockburn
3. forgiven - alanis morrissette
4. because I told you so - jonatha brooke
5. throng of blowtown - mary lou lord
6. creation dream - bruce cockburn
7. she loves you - beatles
8. just in me - holly narn
9. capsized - sarah harmer
10. try - nelly furtado
11. she's a fool - leslie gore
12. ahead by a century - tragically hip

hey look, we exceeded the can-con quota without
having to play any celine dion or cory hart!

i have to point out for our younger readers that holly narn can be a bit dirty. i had to put my hands over my ears a few times when she sang about mommy/daddy stuff. Please recommend this post