This is some of the stuff that appeared on the front page when first posted, and then ended up on the newsy stuff page.




March 28, 2006




A trip to the laundromat is always an adventure. Yesterday's was mostly in dodging the nail clippings of the old woman as she sat listening to some elevator music station on her portable radio.

Now I can't get the tune for Up Up and Away (In My Beautiful Balloon) out of my head.



March 27, 2006



If you had stopped by here on Saturday afternoon, you could have bought yourself a seriously stupid Golden Retriever - slightly muddy and horribly reeking of a dead animal that he found and rolled around in.


It was either sell him or kill him.





March 24, 2006



Open Letter to Tim Hortons:

Congratulations on the IPO you're announcing this week. I hope that you use some of that newfound money to train your counterstaff a bit better than the guy who was baffled this morning by my request for 'double cream, no sugar'. Baffled, as in 'needed to be told twice before he served me and a third time after he gave me my sweetened black coffee'.

All the best,


j

PS: my condolences on the loss of your apostrophe. Not sure when it happened, but I do recall that your name never contained the letter 's'.

March 13, 2006




I'd just like to take a moment to thank all those wonderful drivers of Toronto who made getting around the city such an exciting challenge this weekend.

Especially those who felt that making a right turn from the left lane (ie. my lane) would add to the fabric of how much I hate everyone else on the road in this city.

At the same time, I'd like to throw out this nugget of wisdom about how to make a left turn from Bloor onto Balmuto to the guy in the SUV I was stuck behind:

That left turn lane -- just to the left of the lane I was in -- is not, as you clearly have surmised, a mirage. It was placed there so you could turn left from there without impeding my way along Bloor, as you so cluelessly did.

I'd also ask that the next time I blare my horn, pointing out your dip-shittity at operating a motor vehicle, please don't perform that "wha? What the f --- why are you beeping at ME?!? I'm a GOD behind the wheel so fuck you, asshole prick" dance, like I'm the one who doesn't understand how to turn left.


In closing, I apologize for all the the big words in this posting. I sincerely hope that you find someone who can read this message to you.



July 29, 2005:


I guess it's pretty much official now:


You actually have to be an idiot to be appointed the media spokesman for the striking Hydro One workers here in Ontario.


It wasn't bad enough that the union announced Hydro One had put the public at risk by stranding riders upside down during a power outage at Canada's Wonderland (never happened) or that passengers on the TTC were forced to walk through darkened tunnels during another power outage that shut down the subway system (never happened).


But now there's this:


After a downed pole at a downtown generating station cut power to two area substations, parts of Toronto were left blacked out for up to 19 hours on Tuesday.

According to yesterday's Toronto Star, "Striking Hydro One workers issued a statement saying the blackout wouldn't have happened had they not been on strike."


I guess because the workers could have stopped the lightning that destroyed the pole.





July 22:

You Know Things Aren't Looking Good When ...


... You walk into a neighbourhood Burger King at 10 in the morning (Like Sandy and I did yersterday), looking forward to sinking your teeth into a Croissandwich and some coffee.

And as you make your way to the cashier's line, you see a queue of 4 other people in front of you.

And as you settle behind the last person in line, you see what you presume to be the cashier/order-taker waddle her way to the coffee machine and then spend at least 30 seconds opening the pre-measured package of coffee and dump it into the pre-measured filter. And then you watch as she brushes off a few stray grounds of coffee off the countertop. And then you watch as she carefully places the empty coffee grounds bag into the garbage can next to her.

And just as you expect her to turn around to acknowledge the people in line, she waddles over to the rack where the fresh orders are delivered and carefully picks up two breakfast items and gingerly carries them to the counter and gently deposits them on the customers' waiting tray, and then waddles to the hashbrown warmer, and meticulously picks up two fresh (?) hashbrowns and unhurriedly waddles back to the customers' tray with them. And then without ever having made eye-contact with anyone in line, she waddles back to the coffee maker, at which point the first person in line says:

"What the fuck?!? Fuck! Fuck this! This is fucking ridiculous," as he storms out of the restaurant. At which point you realize that the order that Flash was working on wasn't even his. But with him leaving, at least you're now fourth in line.

And then you turn to your breakfast companion (Sandy, in my case), who tells you "I only have an hour before I have to be at work, so maybe we should just leave."


So you do.





July 5:


Last night, within moments of her prison release, Karla Homolka found herself in a television studio, presumably there to explain why she wanted an injunction imposed on the media so she wouldn't be mentioned on television


She did the interview in French, because according to the Toronto Star, "(Homolka) refused to grant any English-language interviews, including to the CBC English network, saying she felt the anglophone media in general has treated her unfairly."


See, if you put aside the whole drugging-her-sister-using-stuff-she-stole-from-a-vet-clinic, letting-her-boyfriend-rape-her-unconscious-body, oops-she-died-of-those-drugs-she-gave-her thing, followed by the whole kidnapping-two-15-year-old-girls, filming-and-participating-in-their-rape-and-torture, being-complicit-if-not-entirely-guilty-for-their-deaths and the helping-dismember-their-bodies-and-dispose-of-them issue, she's not really a bad person.


Too bad the anglophone media can't understand we all make mistakes.





June 29:

Well, it seems that some have concluded Canadians are idiots.

To wit:


1/

Stephen Harper -- leader of the Conservatives, our official Opposition party -- stated that the same-sex marriage law (which passed by majority vote yesterday in the House of Commons) would not be accepted by Canadians because it would pass with the support of Quebec.

"Because it’s being passed with the support of the Bloc (the Province's Separatist party), I think it will lack legitimacy with most Canadians."

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but the esteemed Mr. Harper had no problem accepting the support of the Bloc when his party tried (unsuccessfully) to overthrow the Liberal government in a non-confidence vote a couple of weeks ago.


2/

According to the Canadian Press in a story that will appear in today's Toronto Star, Karla Homolka is seeking an injunction to prevent the press from reporting anything about her after her release from prison. Remember -- she's served a ludicrously lenient 12 years for her part in the kidnapping and murders of 2 Ontario teenagers.

(Let me point out that she has not 'done time' for the drugging and subsequent murder of her own sister, or of the drugging and assistance in the rape of a woman known as 'Jane Doe' -- all of which was videotaped by Homolka and Paul Bernardo, her partner in these crimes, and presented as evidence in court)

Homolka is seeking the injunction as an act of self-perserverance. Seems she's running a bit scared of being killed after her release from prison. "I believe some people wish to do the public a favour by killing me," she states in an affidavit she filed because she fears for her life.


Dear Karla: cry me the same fucking river you turned your back on when you helped kill those three girls. Two of them didn't go quietly.



3/

Don't even get me started on the headline "Iraq war 'worth it,' Bush tells Americans"






On a more positive note, we started the day by heeding the warnings of Ontario Hydro (or whatever they're called now). We set our air conditioner to the low 70's to help our dog feel comfortable, while at the same time doing our best to reduce our load on the fragile electrical grid during this heatwave here in Toronto.

So you can imagine how lucky we felt not to be one of the thousands of homes that suffered power outages as a result of lightning strikes north of the city.

And on hearing that all these homes were now 'off the grid' so to speak, we cranked our AC down to about 44 degrees for the rest of the night.

It helped cool down the heat from the oven we turned on and opened, just for the hell of it.





June 8:


Before we go any further, I wanna send a few shout-outs to some folks celebrating birthdays today.


Like architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who would have been 138.

Happy 69th to James Darren. While Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes turns 43.

Vicky Powell (star of Cocks and Throbbers, and Toys 'R' Ass) turns 22.

Dilbert's creator, Scott Adams, celebrates his 48th.

Boz (Lido) Scaggs is 61.

jaxstuff.com favourite Joan Rivers, master of the red carpet, turns 72.

And last, but by no means least -- my favourite milf Nancy Sinatra (who can still take those boots and walk all over me) is 65 today. And still not ready to retire!


Enjoy your day, kids.




June 6:

Our former neighbour Mike and I successfully completed the Ride for Heart yesterday, taking on the gruelling 50km Don Valley Parkway route on our bikes.

The most humbling moment for me was probably when 3 or 4 wheelchair athletes passed me.

Considering that they were on motorized wheelchairs, I may have to rethink my extensive training regime for next year's ride.





Mini Film Review – June 2


We saw an advanced screening last night for Batman Begins.


Finally -- a Batman movie that rocks.





Thoughts From Da 'Hood – June 1
Sightings, musings and more. Neighbourhood Incidents -- all 100% True.


As we walked to her office yesterday morning, we took a detour through the University grounds so Sandra could discreetly pluck some Lily of the Valleys from a hidden patch for a coworker.

As she bent over to pluck from the first plant, we saw a few leaves move. "Look," Sandy said, "a mouse!"

I glanced up to where she was pointing and saw the rodent standing there. I was just about to comment when the thing started running away.

"It's not a mouse," I chuckled, "it's a rat."

Sandra's coworker got considerably fewer flowers than originally planned.



May 27:


It was supposed to be a day of celebration.

Just after noon yesterday, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) announced their 25 billionth rider.

Twenty-five billion! As they've noted in recent advertising, that's more than 4 times the population of the globe.

But instead of joining in on the celebrations, I feel like shit.

See, back when I was 11 or 12, I snuck onto the subway system without paying. Shuffled right past the collector while he was distracted by some fat person buying tokens, and ran. And today, my juvenile act of defiance comes back to haunt me, because I threw off their whole count just so I could save a dime.

So yesterday, while Mouris Moussa was being showered with gifts including a first-class VIA rail trip for two to any Canadian destination, a year's worth of free TTC Metropasses and a TTC jacket, I can't help but think that his reward is undeserved. Because he is actually the five billion and oneth rider.

It's purely my own selfishness that prevented Doug Barton, an unemployed guy from Scarborough, from winning. And it's because of my actions all those years ago that Doug, who got on the subway yesterday morning to head downtown to the Human Resources office and desperately look for a job before he loses his home, got shafted.


Aw crap.


Apr. 25
Thanking You For Your Thoughts and Prayers



I'd just like to take a moment to thank all those who sent along their condolences these past few days.

Although I held out hope for as long as I could, in the end, only the inevitable could happen.

So, rather than face an empty future with anger or resentment, I would rather we all take a moment and remember the happy times we shared. Because not even a tragic passing like this can erase the great memories we will forever hold.



Today, I pour one for my homies at Creemore Springs.


Peace out.




Thoughts From Da 'Hood - Apr. 7
Sightings, musings and more. Neighbourhood Incidents -- all 100% True.


OK - I'm pissed. Because there's nothing I hate more than a fat-fuck old spinster and her two gerbil-sized mop-dogs who feel it necessary to march over to me in the neighbourhood schoolyard just to give me her thoughts on my attempts to discipline my 75 lb. golden retriever.

Seems she was upset by the fact that I don't allow my dog to "run free and enjoy his life". (Seriously, this is what she said.) Instead, I give him such Draconian commands as 'come' and I tell him to 'drop' his tennis ball. She didn't like the way I raised my voice every time I had to repeat a command. She was particulary shocked at my willingness to be 'phyisically violent' with my dog.

(I guess swatting my dog's snout with my index finger is somewhat akin to the treatment suffered by the prisoners at Abu-Gharib.)

Her lecture to me about how I'm "the strictest in the neighbourhood" when it comes to letting the dog have his freedom, or how I speak angrily to my dog was bookended with her saying, "but then, I don't know anything about larger dogs" AND "Of course I could be a bit more strict with my dogs."

She said this last gem over the incessant yapping of both her little fucking rats. They were barking at my dog.

During her lecture, I was holding Creemore's tennis ball. He jumped on me three times. And I mean jumped. Full body blows as he tried to get the ball from my raised hand.

The third time, I pointed this out to her and explained about why he needs to be spoken to with authority. She replied, "Well -- you're holding his ball, of course he's excited. But then, it's probably my fault because I'm standing here talking to you." I shook my head right in front of her, hoping that she actually heard what she just said.

The point I made about the importance of my dog not leaping like this because he's already knocked over a couple of kids was met with her repeating "Of course, I don't know anything about larger dogs."

Her biggest beef with me was that I don't allow my dog to have fun.

I guess I disappointed this self-appointed maven of dog-rearing because I don't allow Creemore to roam freely with the other dogs in the neighbourhood. And when it does come to playtime, he has to enjoy it on my terms. Or else. I should have explained to her that this is what fascism is all about.

Or maybe it went over her head that when Creemore is among a group of other dogs, he really has no interest in playing with them. He is transfixed with the idea that there is a tennis ball in my pocket. He knows this. It's his heroin. And I've heard that the drug dogs in airports are actually trained and rewarded with a tennis ball when they find a stash. That's all they crave in life. They are that focused. Nothing else matters.

Unfortunately, Creemore is an idiot. He seems to forget that part of being a Retriever means that he has to drop what he just went out to bring back. Sometimes, it takes a quick swat on the nose with an index finger to convince him that I'm the one in charge, and that he should drop the ball to continue the game. Otherwise, he wouldn't get any exercise.

As Ms. Dog-Show walked away in a huff, Creemore and I continued with playtime. He just seemed relieved that he got to play some more. Or maybe he was glad that those two yappy furballs were finally gone. I was certainly relieved the big one was


Right now, as I'm putting the finishing touches on this rant, Creemore is under my desk. He's exhausted and he seems happy. He's lying on his side, panting heavily and pawing at the tennis ball next to his nose.

Poor, mistreated guy.







Mini Film Review, Mar. 18, 2005 :

Sandra and I went to see The Ring 2 tonight.


If you're REALLY interested in seeing the movie, wait for the DVD. To paraphrase the Beatles:

"Now I know how many plot-holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall"





March 18, 2004

AN OPEN LETTER:
To the two guys in front of me in line last night at the beer store.


Dear first guy,


I'm guessing that last night wasn't the first time you've ever used a debit card. Although, you wouldn't know it by watching you.

I don't have a debit card. But the two times I have been lent one, I discovered something: the handheld reader the cashier gives you actually has a little drawing on it that shows you how to swipe the card through it.

So, for next time, don't swipe the card through the wrong way, then stand there looking stunned not knowing what to do next. Those of us in a bit of a hurry might not be as understanding when this happens again.




Dear second guy,


Obviously, you know you look a bit young. That's probably why you were holding your ID at the ready in case the cashier asked to see it.

(She did.)

But there's a bit of a difference between looking young and acting inexperienced.

You made this clear when you ordered those 15 tall cans of Heineken.

I guess it came as a bit of a shock when the twenty dollar bill you were also holding wouldn't cover the total amount.

I mean, why else would you spend the next couple of minutes fishing through every pocket as well as peering into your change purse looking for those elusive loonies and twos to make up the difference?

(By the way, I'd lose the change purse. But that's just me.)

Yeah, it was pretty funny, standing in line behind you while you finally counted out the $13+ in coins to pay for your grown-up drinks. While I was still in a hurry (see my letter to the first guy).

Didn't that make you look all mature, huh?

(Oh yeah, the crowning touch – borrowing the last dollar from your friend – made me laugh.)

Perhaps next time, you could remember that Heineken, AN IMPORTED BEER is probably gonna run you more than a buck thirty. For a large can. Each.


SIncerely,



jaak



PS - nice touch, guys, arranging for the both of you to be in line in front of me like that last night.

Did I mention I was in a hurry?


j






From the Wires:

March 14

Mouse Hair Research Offers Hope for Baldness Cure


— WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hair follicles may carry a special type of cell that has the potential to grow into various types of tissue, a finding that could lead scientists closer to a cure for baldness, U.S. dermatologists said on Sunday.

Researchers found stem cells in mice and when they transplanted them, hair sprouted where none had been before.

Careful work showed the cells were stem cells, George Cotsarelis of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center and colleagues reported.

The cells found in the mice could perform a few tricks, proving they were true stem cells. Not only could they give rise to hair, but to other types of skin cells.

Writing in the April issue of Nature Biotechnology, Cotsarelis said the stem cells had certain genes activated that were not activated in other hair follicle cells.

The downside is that among the genes activated using stem cells from mice are the ones responsible tor eating through wires, nesting in walls and shitting in kitchen cupboards.





March 12

House Cracks Down on Radio, TV Indecency


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved legislation imposing sharply higher fines on television and radio broadcasters who violate indecency limits.

Sadly, the article makes no mention of programming like Survivor, Fear Factor, The Bachelor or Bachelorette, Average Joe, The Apprentice, Dr. Phil, Train 48, Mike Bullard, or anything on Toronto 1.

I guess we're still fucked.


(UPDATE! I don't know who to thank, but about 12 hours after I posted the above, I heard that the Mike Bullard Show has been cancelled. All I can say is DON'T STOP NOW -- FINISH THE LIST!)







March 11, 2004

Drivers Spot X-Rated Films in Other Cars

DETROIT (AP) — More and more Americans are buying vehicles with DVD players, usually to keep the kids entertained. But an increasing number of other people on the road are catching a glimpse through the windows of more than just "Finding Nemo" and "SpongeBob SquarePants."

Nowadays, you might just find the passenger in the car next to you watching "Finding Reamo" or "SpermSponge SilkPants"

A driver in Schenectady, N.Y., was arrested last month after rolling past police with a DVD titled "Chocolate Foam" playing on the passenger-side sun visor in his Mercedes-Benz, authorities said. The movie also was rolling on screens set into the car's headrests.

"The detective had a clear view of what was playing through the window. Anyone walking by on the street could have seen it," Schenectady police Lt. Peter Frisoni Jr. said of the nighttime traffic stop. "If he had dark, tinted windows where you couldn't see in, that wouldn't be a public display."

"But we saw it. Then later, when we impounded the car, we saw it again and again. Over and over. One screening after another."

"For evidence."

Lt. Frisoni added, "Hey, this is Schenectady. "You find it, you take it."






March 5, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) Bud Baedeker, the horse racing handicapper who helped pioneer the business of selling tip sheets to fans at California racetracks, has died. He was 90-1.






March 4, 2004

Nice to see that our Ontario government has decided to take action and slap a 'Restricted' label on the video game "Manhunt".


Good move.


That, and the press conference they held to announce this, will certainly take away any attention the game may have generated if they had just left it the fuck alone.


(I swear, if you even show an inkling of having a clue, they disqualify you from public office.)


In other news, if anyone's looking for me, I'll be buying a copy of Manhunt for my PS2 and inviting all the neighbourhood kids to play it during recess.


Tumblers of tequila for every successful head shot.