Friday, December 23, 2005

Knives out For Anders

You would never know there was an election going on. Here in Calgary West there are not a lot of signs up yet. While driving down 32nd Avenue yesterday near Shaganappi I saw these huge Rob Anders signs with hisself staring westerly with a dull empty gaze. That sign scared me. The face must be at least 3 feet high. There ought to be a law.

A few hours later I drove by again and some creative vandal had surgically cut out the faces from the sign and left them laying in the grass. Just laying there staring upward with that dull empty gaze. That must have taken some great eye hand coordination. Probably a pre-med student. I thought it was quite funny since it put Anders in the proper context: faceless and headless. A good work of art does not always have to be legal. Although I can't condone vandalism, still my spirits are raised by a once in a life time opportunity to use the word defacement in its most proper meaning. I'll bet the vandal artist escaped in an Audi A6. Watch out for roving bands of toothless vigilantes driving around in old boogie vans looking for Librals to beat up.

The Liberal candidate in Calgary West is Jennifer Pollock, a former Public School Board Trustee. On her blog she gets off a few good cracks on Anders. I like the cut of her jib, but I'm not quite sure what to do with her boss.

The Green Candidate in the riding is Danielle Roberts, a University of Calgary student. She ran in 2004.

The NDP candidate is Teale Phelps Bondaroff, a University of Calgary Political Science student. I like the fact that somebody can take Poly-Sci at the University of Calgary and not get sucked into the Calgary School BS.

Any one of these candidates would be a better MP than the incumbent.

Rumors persist that a large Blueberry Pie will join the race representing the Delicious Desserts Party. This rumor has the Conservative campaign wringing their hands because they know from experience how easy it is to split the inanimate object vote. Please recommend this post

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Gimme, gimme, gimme

Last week I was totally in the giving mood, even though I was not entirely sure who to buy what for, but I went ahead anyway and bought a couple of damn fine gifts that anyone would be humbled to receive. This week I decided I wanted to focus more on getting than receiving. Screw the virtues its all about me now. Thus I've prepared my wish list what follows:

1. I wish Debbie Travis would come over to my house and help me paint. We could start in the Kitchen. Who knows where we'd end up. [Makes Roy Orbison Pretty Woman Growly noise]

2. I want to be credited with inventing the word finguary (fing-you-airy), which I will explain later.

3. I want Anne McLellan to come over to my house and read to me from the Constitution Act of 1982. (Please omit the amending formula stuff. That's all such crap.) If its not too forward of me, I'd like to lie down and place my head upon her lap and listen to her soothing soothing voice.

3. I wish all the best for my friend Kate in 2006, since 2005 was kind of a rough one.

(I've just been informed by an alert reader that I have two item #3s. I wish I could number lists properly. Now my numbering is out by 2.)

4. I'd like to travel to Japan for a year or two and study Judo while I'm still young enough to take the physical pounding. While there I'd also like to study many other aspects of Japanese culture which I find interesting. I figure this would cost around $100,000. Maybe less if one stays away from the woman, the sushi, and the beer. I can't earn $100,000 overnight so it may have to be stolen. Keep in mind I'm getting older by the day. Let me know what you can throw in.

5. If Anne McLellan does come over to my house I hope she will bring some Beer and Popcorn, paid for by that big mouth dude who started the whole Beer and Popcorn thing. Although, having visited Calgary's Red Mile and Edmonton's Whyte Avenue many times I would point out that Beer and Popcorn do not always make a good combination as evidenced by the puddles of Beer and Popcorn lying inertly on the sidewalk having been rejected forcefully by their consumers.

6. I wish for the best of luck to my neighbors who are moving to Qatar soon.

(I've just been informed by an alert reader that the above item should have been number 8.)

7. I hope that there is an earthquake in Iran and the President and his collection of Mullahs can magically be transported to 300km below the Antarctic ice cap. There, they can rant endlessly about how the holocaust did'nt occur and wipe Israel off their make believe maps while the Mullahs lecture the penguins about proper conduct[2]. Every couple of hundred years we could launch a rescue effort to see if they've grown up at all. In the meantime the people of Iran could get on with the political and social reforms that we all know they want.

8. I don't ever ever ever want to see Tom Cruise on Oprah's couch ever ever ever again. Television, by its nature is supposed to pound away at our innocence and naivete. I thought I had seen everything. But that couch hopping thing stripped away the last remaining sense of humans are ok that I had left. I'd rather listen to 3 hours of Aristocrat jokes.

9. I wish for another year of NOT seeing the Passion of the Christ. May I never give in to the temptation to watch that horrible degrading sadistic blood flinging piece of crap.

10. I want to meet those guys who stole Edvard Munch's the Screamer from the Museum in Oslo. They got away in a really sharp Audi A6 which I wrote about here. They finally got arrested this week. I can't bring myself to see them as common criminals. They were driving a freaking Audi A6. I see them more as Art Liberationists. The painting was probably set in an ugly frame from Ikea. What's a person to do? It gave me this idea for Art Galleries to fake robberies in broad daylight to raise interest in the works being shown. But they'd have to flee in really cool cars. Performance Art, that's the ticket.

11. I definitely need more Ginch[1]. The brand I prefer is called Prodige Athletik, available at Costco and other fine purveyors of men's underwear. The attractive model on the front cover of the package might turn weaker men gay but definetly not me, although I do freely admit, in an abstract sort of way, his intense beauty. That guy's body fat is measure in micrograms. Thats another thing I want - a much leaner body - damn, I wacked the numbering scheme again.


[1] Ginch. A pejorative term used throughout western Canada to denote men's underwear.
[2] The Mullah's will be shocked to learn the Penguins have a high rate of homosexuality.

Update: fixed some of my sub-optimal spelling. Please recommend this post

Monday, December 05, 2005

Christmas Gift Buying

For the nth year in a row I'm left hanging trying to figure out who I'm supposed to be buying for this year. We had a big Thanksgiving dinner this year and everyone (around 30 people) in our family were there. After dinner for the nth year in a row the woman started trying to make up crazy rules about who buys for who and what the gift theme is this year. They tried the first draw of names off little chits. That worked well for about 5 seconds until everyone started throwing out reasons why x should'nt buy for y. (Variations on the theme that men are stupid gift buyers.) The second draw went soooo much smoother because half the family walked away from the table with their little chits not knowing that there was a redo. When I got home I had three little chits in my pocket. Inevitably I had to ask who I was supposed to buy for. I thought someone was in charge. All I got was a perfunctory civil servant answer about referring to the chit I was assigned. Could I please speak to your supervisor? Its worse than Adscam.

Anyway, I'm heading down to 17th Avenue S.W. in Calgary tomorrow. There are some really nice shops in that area. If someone asks me if they can help me find anything, I'll say, yeah, I'm looking for a suitable gift for someone between the ages of 20 and 84, possibly male or female. Then I'll get the do you think I work in retail because I want to deal with Schmos like you look. Its the same look when you go into a Lounge for your first drink and order a highball.

Now that I remember Thanksgiving dinner it seems to me that the teenagers sat in the basement all evening on their fat asses because apparently they're too good to socialize with the adults. Is this common? I hope and pray every day that those girls get some post-secondary education to broader their perspectives rather than sitting on their fat asses in the basement for the rest of their lives. It's probably the only way they'll meet some decent dudes.

I just know that when the gift exchange thingy takes place on Christmas day there's going to be people who get 4 gifts and others who get none. Tears may be shed. Reputations ruined. Every year I say document it in a spreadsheet, but no one listens. I feel like Christmas is being organized by FEMA.

I think this would make a fine gift. Please recommend this post

Saturday, December 03, 2005

West Voting Base

In the bucolic days of July when time moved slowly and when I should have been doing other things I put together this excel spreadsheet. It summarizes the last four election totals in the four western provinces. You are welcome to download this file and take a look. Let us know what you think the trends are. Does anything surprise you? What jumps out at me is the fact that the Western Media is no where near reflective of the right/left composition of Western Canada. There's no rule that says they have to be in a free press, but it is interesting. There are other things I find really puzzling about these numbers and am still thinking about. Remember, just as in investing and girlfriends, past performance is no indication of future gain. Or pain.

I'm still tweaking this spreadsheet and verifying the calculations. If you notice anything odd let me know. Please recommend this post

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Reactionary Ranting Resumed Reflectively

Alternate Title 1: 90 odd days
Alternate Title 2: Chicken inspector #23

It has been 90 odd days since my last post. A week or so ago I was riding my bike around town and sitting out on the patio. But a few days ago winter fell on Calgary like a bad movie. I'd rather be stuck in an elevator with a bunch of incontinent seniors and some colicy babies. Which reminds me: I was in Stoppers Shrug Mart® today and the Muzak was screeching out Lennon & McCartney's Revolution. And I mean screeching. That was the most ridiculous thing I've heard in a long time. It stuck out in my mind because of its sheer evil, but also because earlier in the day there was a Lennon Retrospective on some radio show somewhere and they were talking about how far ahead of the curve that song was. Is this how it will all end for my generation? Will I be sitting in a nursing home dribbling while my room-mate bangs out Hey Jude on his Bazouki? Hopefully the Progressive Conservatives will still be running Alberta because then there will at least be the possibility of being scalded to death or denied basic human dignity until you just float away. Patient 32 is floating away, quick, get him to sign his invoice!

I wish it were May. I'm not mentally prepared for winter as evidenced by my reckless driving today. I nearly took out a Sun box. Had I hit it it would have been bad. It would have been like Opium. I would have had to run over all the rest of them, unable to stop. I'd end up stealing cars just to support my habit of running over Sun boxes. Don't judge me till you've felt that high.

As 2005 crept along careening and gyrating like a stoned CFL cheerleader, and looking at the constant unfolding of this weird world, both inside and outside, I began to feel mute. I feel more like listening than talking, more like reading than writing, and more like contemplating than fighting the mental fragmentation that occurs in the typical day. I feel like I've been drowning in information and data but starved for knowledge. (I stole that quotation and can't find the source.) And if there is one thing I do know clearly, it is how much I have to learn. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but I find it has become a major fight to get into a focused brain zone which is so essential to my type of work, and everyone's really. I suspect it has a lot to do with the way media and technology push us these days. But that is a whole other post.

Anyway, I plan to start writing in this blog more, at least much as I can. I can't predict where it will all go. On many days I find myself incredibly unhappy, but on other days I'm laughing my a** off at something I came across. Not to mention the upcoming (or coming up) Federal Election. Yes, I'm really interested in listening to a bunch of fucked up liars smearing each other for 30 or 60 or 90 days. I have some interesting statistics on the fucked up liars that I hope to post sometime soon. But for now, lets just all accept the premise that they are fucked up liars.

Speaking of laughing, if you get a chance listen to this clip on the BBC site. Woody Allen talking about S.J. Perlman. Its worth a listen.

Good night and good pluck. Please recommend this post