Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Belated Halloween Tips

I've been around the block a few times with this Halloween thing, so I thought I'd offer a few suggestions to make things go a little smoother:

1. If you knock on someone's door and a toothless old hag answers and starts pronouncing all kinds of satanic curses on you don't take it too seriously. Just say, 'Thank you Mrs. Dinning, have a nice evening.' and move on.

2. If you bite into an apple and there's a razor blade in it don't go running to your mother. Remember, she told you not to come running to her if you bit into an apple with a razor blade. Go directly to the nearest emergency ward and line up with all the other retards. While you're waiting 12,24 or 48 hours to have the razor blade removed from your mouth, you might be tempted to ask your parents a smart ass question about why they voted for Ralph Klein, but you won't be able to because you have a razor blade stuck in your mouth.

3. Don't wear your halloween mask if you go into a convenience store. Under Mr. Harper's new tough anti-crime bill a convenience store clerk can now shoot you dead if you're wearing a mask. As an additional burden, you now have reverse onus to prove that you should'nt have been shot dead.

4. If you have a religious experience of any kind its probably just some Ecstasy that's in your candy. It does'nt mean your profound or deep or anything. The Jesus you see is'nt real and does'nt love you.

5. If you are carving out a pumpkin and you find yourself getting a little too jabby-jabby with the knife and then just out of the blue you shout out someone's name, please Orenthal, get some help. This is not a good sign.

6. If you're one of those lucky children who get to trick-or-treat at the Prime Minister's house plan your schtick ahead of time. If the Prime Minister asks you about your costume, a witty reply will be appreciated. Something like...Well quite frankly this is the costume that the people of Canada have frankly been asking for. Frankly the Liberals had 13 years to help me with this costume and frankly did nothing. Either you like this costume, or you're against Halloween and Children. Frankly its that simple. Candy please.

7. Remember, dressing up in a weird costume and asking strangers for candy is just another way of preparing you for the rest of your life as an employee. So is stealing candy from another kid.

8. A lot of couples met at Halloween parties. Its also a good time to break up. Just think of badly you could scar someone if you were dressed up as a disney character and you told them you did'nt want to see them anymore.

9. If you come home after trick-or-treating and your parents have had a bit of drink and they 're arguing, it is the only time you can tell them to shut the f* up, because you're cute in your costume. Give it a try, you'll see I'm right. Please recommend this post

Friday, October 27, 2006

Friday Night Weird Dream Blogging

There are a lot of stupid things on the internet. Ranking near the top is Friday Night Cat Blogging. I am proposing a new tradition. On friday nights bloggers everywhere should post the details of their last weird dream. Stupid pictures of stupid cats are out. Weird dreams are in. Feel free to leave a brief synopsis of your last weird dream in the comments to this post. But its my blog, so I get to go first.

Okay, here is the inaugural Friday Night Weird Dream Post:

I'm watching this Star Trek espisode, and then I find myself in the middle of the episode. Some aliens have taken on human bodies but they are having problems getting the bodies to work properly. They are bitching a lot but I keep telling them I don't really want to know the specifics of what's wrong. Kirk and Spock are just sort of lolling around like they are stoned not really doing anything. One of the aliens tells me they have to get the bodies working because they have a convention to go to in a couple of days. At some point Kirk turns into Peter Lougheed. He's carrying around a big computer that looks like a microwave oven and keeps telling me not to touch it. Spock finally shows up with some kind of ray gun that makes all the alien's bodies work properly. Everyone ends up kind of happy.

Bet you can't top that. Please recommend this post

DMAA YouTube Mixer

If your interested in Media and in Calgary on Nov 1, 2006, the Digital Media Association of Alberta is having a mixer. They describe it as:

YouTube.com was recently bought by Google for $1.7 billion. Calgary entrepreneurs and leaders in digital video creation with many decades of experience in the personal, corporate, web, and broadcast space will discuss where digital video is going, and what they see as potential business opportunities. Why did YouTube work, and what lessons can be learned. What mistakes did YouTube make, which could sink other online ventures.

Usually their speakers and events are pretty good. Being digital media, its not the usual collection of geeks. This is a much cooler crowd.

I'm dying to get a couple of video blogs up on YouTube before Google ruins it.

Check their website for more information. Please recommend this post

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Five Things Feminism Has Done For Me

Why should a man write about benifiting from feminism? What could I possibly say that could be taken seriously? I feel men should take feminism seriously for the same reason heterosexuals should take gay rights seriously. By sticking up for other peoples rights you decrease the chances that yours will be taken away arbitrarily. I'm not sure I'd like living in a society where people don't stick up for their fellow citizens because they don't belong to the group being wronged.

As a result here are five things feminism has done for me:

1. A lot of other bloggers have mentioned the work-place. I have benefited directly from working with a lot of highly qualified smart women who in another generation may have had to stay at home and apply their large brains to meaningless tasks. Unfortunately, there are still not nearly enough women in science and technology. The other day I added up all the different computer programmers and database people I have worked with over the years. It came to about 17, but only two of them were women. As recently as 5 years ago I worked for a VP of Technology who absolutely refused to hire female programmers. He claimed they could not do the job. Clearly certain people are lying when they claim feminism has run its course and reached its goals.

2. Feminism helps me form an historical perspective of the social and political changes I've seen in my life. I have my own view of how we got into the current debacle of Harper vs the Status of Women Canada: Mulroney believed that Trudeau ruined Canada and that it was his divine calling to save Canada. Everyone is entitled to their delusions of grandeur. Mulroney was so obsessed with re-writing Trudeau's constitution and negotiating NAFTA that he accomplished very little for women or families. Without trying to over-explain it, I think it can be argued that Mulroney killed the progressive wing of the Conservative Party, alienated Western Conservatives, and made it possible for Harper to merge the two parties and remove the word Progressive from the name, and more importantly, to remove Progressive ideas from their policy. No wonder Harper claims Mulroney as his mentor. That's my explanation of how we got to 2006 and a government that wants to cut funding to the Status of Women.

3. Feminism has helped define the type of women I admire and want. (Pause for Drooling). My ideal woman ought to committed to defending her own and other women's gender rights. I think its pretty important for women to be independent and able to look after themselves. If through some unfortunate series of events her honour is besmirched in some weird way I would like to think she would kick ass and take names. (I've got your back sweety.) I don't think I'm capable of buying into the idea that men are the higher beings in the social order as per St. Paul and others. There are many things St. Paul wrote in the New Testament that I cherish, but his views on women, marriage and homosexuality can be discarded without much second thought.

4. Feminism has largely driven the redefinition of the family so families now take many different forms. It will never be the same again in spite of the rantings of tradionalists. The is no such thing as a traditional definition of a family or a marriage. Any group who claims they own the traditional definition of marriage and the family are egotistical power crazy liars. It can be two women, two men, a single mother, working, not working, whatever. I benefit from this because I can feel free to form my family any way I want without feeling guilty. There is a side benefit of knowing people you care about can do what they want and what works for them. Now if only we could get Canada's New Government to mind its own business and let people decide family and marriage issues for themselves, we will all be better off.

5. Feminism has made me more aware of the problems in our society with domestic violence and poverty, both affecting women and children far more than men. I read the other day that Alberta has the highest rate of domestic violence in Canada. Part of this is attributable to the frontier town mentality that goes along with the boom cycle of the Oil & Gas economy. The question is: Why would our Government want to defund women's groups knowing there is still a huge problem with violence towards women. That puts their attitude in a whole new light: immoral and dispicable. Pro family my ass.

Note: This is a first draft. I'm not overly happy with it, so I may make some edits.

Update Oct 25, 2006 6:50pm mst - I fixed some typos and minor changes to grammar. I used to be a good speller. And thanks for all your feedback so far. Please recommend this post

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday Night Cat Blogging

This is my first try at Cat Blogging which seems to be a tradition for many bloggers on Fridays.

I hope I did'nt upset anyone. Please recommend this post

Oilers 6 Sharks Not 6

I was all set to watch the Oilers vs San Jose game last night then I got to working late and forgot about it. By the time I tuned in the Oilers were down 4-1. No worries, I thought I'd just tune in again later after they caught up. So I went and checked on the people I have tied up in my basement, went to Dairy Queen, saw some funny drunk UofC students. Is'nt it a bit early in the week dudes? Then I went and worked a bit more. When I tuned back in it was 4-3 for San Jose but the Oilers clearly had them by the throat.

The Oilers finally won 6-4 and Ryan Smyth got a natural hat trick. He set a new record for the fastest hat trick at 2:01. The previous record of 2:18 was held by Wayne Gretzky. I had thought it unlikely that any of Gretzky's records would be broken. Smyth also went over 500 career points. I'll bet his wife had a nice cake baked for him when he got home.

San Jose coach Ron Wilson is a pretty sore loser. After the game he called Ryan Smith lucky. No compliment. I think that's a little unprofessional. He was like that during the play-offs last year also. Even after the Oilers won the series he just could'nt say anything nice. It was all the referees fault, bad luck, etc. San Jose has a pretty good team with some excellent players. The Oilers announcers, although they're obviously homers, always manage to note the talent of the other teams. That's probably because they have some class. Ron Wilson is just a sore loser and an ass-hat. Is ass-hat hyphenated? Maybe just Asshat.

In other hockey news the Calgary Flames bored 18,404 fans to near death beating the Senators 1-0. Several people were taken to hospital with acute drooling and stuperous related symptoms. Please recommend this post

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Blog Now Post Short

I just listened to Bruce Cockburn's new CD Life Short Call Now. I bought it last week sometime. In keeping with my ongoing meditation training I left it on my desk for a week without touching it. They tell me this is a good exercise to help you overcome an inordinate desire to do something. I walked by it multiple times every day for almost a week thinking this is ridiculous lets just pop it in the player. When I finally did listen to it for the first time I really enjoyed it.

I rarely like an entire CD but I liked most of these songs.

The title song, to me is a sort of love song about the shallowness of life and how short it is. The final verse:

you've no idea how i long
for even one loving caress
for you to step into my heart
without deception or duress

The third song on the CD called Mystery is a beautiful song that I could listen to over and over again, and probably will until I get really sick of it.

Peace March is another wicked guitar instrumental that Guitar players will be trying to figure out. Good luck with that.

Tell The Universe is a song about war. Probably one particular current war:

tell the universe what you've done
out in the desert with your smoking gun
looks like you've been having too much fun
tell the universe what you've done

This is Baghdad is a song that probably came out of the author's trip there:

Carbombed and carjacked and kidnapped and shot
how do you like it, this freedom we brought?
We packed all the ordinance but the thing we forgot
was a plan in case it did'nt turn out quite what we thought

The last song on the CD is another Guitar Solo called Nude Descending a Staircase. It has a unique sound. I can't quite put my finger on it. Sort of Fried Green Tomatoes/American Grafitti.

Ani DiFranco and Ron Sexsmith, two other favourites of mine, sing backup on a few of the songs.There is a lot more instrumentation on this CD compared to previous Cockburn CD's.

Thanks for the tunes Mr C. Please recommend this post

Friday, October 06, 2006

Music To Walk Around With And Or By

I finally got around to updating some good music onto my player. The weather in Calgary last night was beautiful. Hot and sunny. I walked by the Bow River on the way home and the Sun was playing on the yellow leaves of the Poplar trees. It was kind of breathtaking when you add in the sun bouncing around on the water. And it was'nt just the poplars. It was also the Giant Redwood, the Larch, the Fir, the mighty Scots pine, the lofty flowering Cherry, the plucky little aspen, the limping rude tree of Nigeria...[1]

The soundtrack for an October walk in the Sun:

1. Eve of Destruction - The Turtles

I like the Turtle's version better than Barry McGuire's original. I was standing on the corner of 7th and 8th...or maybe it was 8th and 7th...anyhow...I was singing aloud to this song until I noticed that a bunch of banker suit types were staring at me. I felt like the town Witch that accidentally walked into the Knights of Columbus meeting. Or the Knights of Columbus dude walking into a meeting of Witches. I could'nt decide which was funnier.

2. Kind and Generous - Natalie Merchant

My favourite song by her. Whenever I hear it I always think of the same person.

3. Rebecca Martin - These Bones are Yours Alone

She's got a really nice voice. Really really nice.

4. Closing Time - Leonard Cohen

and i lift my glass to the awful truth
which you can't reveal to the ears of youth
except to say it isn't worth a dime
and the whole damn place goes crazy twice
and it's once for the devil and once for christ
but the boss don't like these dizzy heights
we're busted in the blinding lights,
busted in the blinding lights
of closing time

5. Hard Headed Women - Cat Stevens

Yeah me too. I banged foreheads with this chick one time trying to exchange a kiss. She sure had a hard head. I rolled around on the ground for a while pretending I was in the World Cup. At some point in a relationship you have to find out if they buy into your theatrics. What does the former Mr. Stevens mean by a hard headed woman? I never got that.

6. Silence is Golden - The Tremeloes

Generally I like music from the early 60's even though it is long long before my time. I vaguely remember this song on the radio. If you're an older person you may have seen them live.

7. What It Is - Mae Moore

we take for granted this life we know
a few possessions we have to show in the end
i'll keep my peace of mind
make love the bottom line
i've got everything i want ever since i found out
what it is that makes my world go round

8. Anthem - Leonard Cohen

can't run no more
with the lawless crowd
while the killers in high places
say their prayers out loud
but they've summoned up
a thundercloud
and they're going to hear from me

The song comes on just as I'm walking by the Dinning Shack. They'll be hearing from me too.

9. Here She Comes - The Mahones

I read an article about them and the author kept saying they were Celtic Punk. That did'nt really sound right to me. More like Irish Canadian Uptempo Cabaret Rock. Songs about how much you love your girl is'nt exactly punk to me unless they reference heroin, vomiting or train spotting. They remind me a lot of the SkyDiggers. Where are the SkyDiggers these days anyway?

10. Lodestar - Sarah Harmer

out in the night, out on the water,
we pull the boat back to shore.
breathing the air in the stillness of the bay.
intensity of stars reflected in the water,
silently ignite.
the oar dips in to oil like water and we,
are away.
under the moon,
in the great black night with no lodestar,
in sight.


[1] List as taken from Monty Python's Lumberjack sketch. You can't have a music list without somehow bringing Monty Python into it. Please recommend this post

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Mennonites Start Relief Fund For Amish

A quick post. Just in case you don't know about this, the Mennonite Central Committee has set up a special fund to assist the Amish community in Nickel Mines.

Click here for the MCC's special webpage.

The MCC always makes me proud to be a Canadian. Please recommend this post

Monday, October 02, 2006

Balls in Escrow Please

A completely surprising development in South Carolina:

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - A City Council member, reacting to a video store holdup believed to have been carried out by children, says parents who can't properly care for their kids should be sterilized.

"We pick up stray animals and spay them," Larry Shirley said in a story published Saturday by The Post and Courier of Charleston. "These mothers need to be spayed if they can't take care of theirs. Once they have a child and it's running the street, to let them continue to have children is totally unacceptable."

Surely you're not advocating eugenics? Of course I am, please call me Larry.

Generally, I've been trying to ignore the trailor park boys that get themselves elected then feel they need to talk out loud.

I'm not an American, but I don't think your local town council can sterilize you. That sounds more like the domain of Homeland Security or maybe Faith Based Initiatives.

I'm disappoited that the Canadian Press and the CBC both referred to "parents" in the headline when clearly Adolph was talking about mothers. There is an important difference which has to do with attitudes to women. Don't you feel the outrage of Welfare Queens and Crack Whores stealing your sweat soaked tax dollars?

Since we can't shut these creeps up and people won't stop voting for them I came up with a solution while walking down fashionable 7th avenue today. We should required all male politicians, before running for public office to sign their balls into public escrow. Its just like if naked pictures of Miss America turn up. Certain things have to happen to restore the dignity of the office.

Should they, during the course of their tenure, say something that is derogatory or hurtful towards mothers, compare them to dogs, or advocate for forced eugenics, the state will require them to either resign or surrender their balls in a very public and a very painful manner.

Also, Canadians should be aware of the fact that the Stanley Cup is currently residing in that part of the world. We want it back. We don't want our national treasure around creeps like that.

And thats one more reason why you all (y'all) should be cheering for the Edmonton Oilers. Please recommend this post