Friday Bullets For Yet Another New Year

Why do we moan about another birthday but not New Years? Consider the alternative. It’s me and the cat this week and I have been inordinately busy. The electrician has been in. The stash now has a light switch thanks to the electricians coming in on Wednesday. One wall has one coat of light sandy old paper sort of colour instead.of a grey plummy tone that looked like great auntie’s lipstick. I changed the furnace filter. I bought a toilet flap. I need to watch it. Handy is not a word associated with me.

♦ Paying a consultant to edit wikipedia to remove bad things people say is a bad business strategy.

♦ These new stats lead me to ask… what if Mr. Harper is not the economic wizz he admits he is?

“…she’s upright…”

♦ What did you learn from Iowa? Can you even name the states that border Iowa?

♦ My in-laws are looking much better all of a sudden.

There. Caught up with the week. Tonight I strike a greater blow against plummy lipsticked walls. Viva! Viva!!!


Friday Bullets For The Last Election For A While

Apparently the lesson of yesterday’s election is that Ontarians are sick of elections. Well under 50% voted. I just about nailed the seat count, however, so that is something. It’s status quo for Canada this week. The real story is there is no Tory surge just a fed-upped-ness with the whole thing. Wonder why. Bracing for recession, too.

Update de les chiens chaudes … is it steam-ays? Whatever it is, it is a movement pure righteousness!

Speaking of Ontario, did you know the state supplier of booze airbrushed beer labels?

Withe the Rays and the Yanks making early exits, we can confirm the AL East is not the hotbed of champions we thought it was.

Yet Morton still leads and the Leafs won. Mad.

The war in Afghanistan began 10 years ago today.

I love the way that Palin took the powerful leadership stance of bailing on a fantatically weak bid to be anything other than a self-promoter.

That is it. The week that was. Sunny weekend coming. Shed, I hear you calling…


Friday Bullets For Getting Up At 6:43 AM

I don’t set the alarm as the house lives on the rhythm of pre-schoolers. If I am up at 5:15 am, that is life and if the stars align like last week and there is quiet well past a sensible hour, that is life, too. Like last week. When I get a string of good sleeps I start to ask why there isn’t more activism for early to bed, early to rise. Government programs. That sort of thing. I mean of we can get tax breaks for kids activities, why not for jammies if both are key to good health? What else? I am not against taxing soda pop like cigarettes but I would rather see it extend to the prepared food aisle. If you can’t cut a carrot and put it is a pot as part of making something, you should pay the same premium for health that a ciggie toker pays.

  1. Wed Design History Update: Where have all the .gif files gone… long time ago…
  2. • I would not exactly use the words royal newlyweds parasites but a do see a glimmer of the point. I pay for my own holidays. And I do appreciate that the young couple facing a life of nationals service does try live a relatively “go to worky” life. But I pay for my own holidays.
  3. Holy Division of Powers Action, Batman! I want a Supreme Court ruling on the meaning of the Senate as well as the role of the provinces in defining the Constitution.
  4. • It’s not that I don’t care about a postal strike so much as I am surprised by the extent of my not needing to care. No one sends me cheques I have to have by mail. No one sends me chatty letters. I wonder if there is a twitter hashtag to follow the strike.
  5. • Dear Ratko. Rot in hell.
  6. • 2,197 calories for nachos? I went to a US somewhat fast foodie place that had calories listed the other week and found that I paid more attention to that than the prices. I was stunned that equally priced and relatively equally interesting alternatives ranged from 400 to 1,000 a sandwich. But 2,197 calories for a plate of nachos?

There. Posted early. Before I was awake last week. No rushing. Why don’t I do this all the time?


Your Friday Bullets For Queen Victorian’s Birthday!

May Too Far. May Two Four. May Two For. I have to admit I was sorely tempted by a bottle of Pimms at the power house after work yesterday but, unlike last year, the weather is not yet co-operating so far – as far as I can tell at least. Pimms needs a certain type of stinking hot. What else can make a burly man make a drink with strawberry chunks and cucumber spears? Grey with showers and sunny breaks in the low 70s? That’s not really enough. Even with the prospect of mowing, gardening and maybe a little concrete work, Pimms is for summer not spring.

  1. • I decided to make manual bullets as “ul” is no longer rendering for some reason. Like it?
  2. • One is tempted to say this is obvious but one would have to get off the sofa to make the point.
  3. • This is a really interesting case. On one hand, life is a gift from God. On the other, we have no control over when your number comes up either.
  4. • Very interested in when this book comes out.
  5. • We went to a baseball game in about 1973 with my Boston cousins. I was ten. Got there in the light and left in the dark. It was at Fenway. It was summer. Tiant pitched. Sox won by one. Sat just to the right of this picture at the top of the bleachers. This tool may let me narrow down the day just on the facts I remember.
  6. • Last week’s Doctor Who was one of the best. Here is a Q+A with the author of the scrpit.
  7. • Fabulous. Sinking the Libyan fleet is a fabulous idea. I believe my right fielder may have had a hand in it. Living in a military town has twists. My pitcher apparently called in the Snow Birds last night. Arch day today at RMC. Hope to get pictures.

Four minutes to do. Luxury. A leisurely pace this morning. Tonight? Hedges shall be trimmed. Oh yes they will. Fear me, hedge. Fear me.


Friday Bullets For World Cup Starts Today!

It’s now been a few years since I played soccer. Last World Cup I was all still in the, you know, idea that me and – like – slide tackling was… errr… not stupid. I thought that it was very healthy to have rolled ankles, sprained kneed, black and blue shins not to mention aches and pains. Not just aches. Aches and pains. Fortunately, I have embraced non-fitba member me since then. I’ve found a life after exhaustion, hot baths and aspirins all weekend. And looking like a bee. It’s a great game, though.

  • France and Uruguay this afternoon. I have always liked Uruguay and not just because of the abundance of the letter “u” in the name. Blues v. Blues. Hope the blue team wins.
  • 6 Ways To Overcome Social Media Burnout“? Doesn’t it start with not being a nerd when you are six?
  • Nigel Barley?
  • Canada Posts bans dog treats. Bite, doggie, bite… but aim for management.
  • Someone doesn’t like “food bloggers with their wankerish little digicameras”! And it’s that most useless of creatures – a newspaper food critic. Remember: those who cant’ complain a lot and do their best to keep available funds to themselves.
  • New UK PM apparently is having a hard look at Jean Chretien’s masterful decision to take a stand eighteen or so against deficits. Will he seek Steve’s advice as to how Jean did it?

Wish good luck for South Africa. I have cousins there, grew up in a boycott house, have a great pal who was in the Army and then got away before the changes, lived in towns with Boer War monuments. We should be closer.


News About Meat (AKA Meat In The News)

Is there any better word than “meat”? Sure “pie” has a claim but you can’t eat meat every day. But you can eat meat. So, happy I was to read an interview / review of the author of Steak: One Man’s Search for the World’s Tastiest Piece of Beef in the Globe this morning:

His search for a sublime piece of meat starts in Texas (disappointment and despair, and a lungful of fecal dust from the state’s endless feedlots). He makes his way to France (where he visits the cave drawings at Lascaux – “pictures of steak” – and feasts on ersatz aurochs, a Nazi-inspired reintroduction of cattle first domesticated 10,000 years ago); to Scotland (terrifying details about scrotums and artificial insemination, and inspiring grass-fed Highland cattle steaks); to Italy (yum), Japan (double yum) and Argentina (an education in open-fire grilling); and then back, by way of Fleurance (whom he raises with the help of chef Michael Stadtlander, on grass north of Toronto, finishing her with lots of apples, acorns, Persian walnuts, and carrots, to name just a few of Fleurance’s excellent taste notes). Finally, he lands in Idaho, at the Alderspring Ranch of Glenn Elzinga, with whom he ate the steak that finally transported him to heaven.

The article is written by Ian Brown whose contributions to culture include an article a few years ago about fried clams – good Lord, it was 2004 – and also wobbily leaning to his right a lot when he talks on the TV. He is very clever and describes food well. Consider this line: “the Wagyu smells darker and richer, like a sexy girl at a dangerous party.” Food TV has almost destroyed the description of food through its use of cheap pornographic techniques, slow music and low cut shirts. Go read Hemingway’s “Big Two-Hearted River” and the breakfast of coffee and tinned apricots – that’s food writing.

Anyway, now I want meat. The statement I can make 24 hours a day. Now I want meat.


Where Do They Eat The Candied Yams?

Great bit of mapping of information in the New York Times Times morning setting out regional Thanksgiving dinner preferences based on search engine results:

It is hard to draw very many conclusions based on search trends. The fact that cooks in the Southeast rarely look up crust recipes could mean that they are not interested in pies or that they bake so many that no one needs to be told how to do it. And what of all the searches for “cheese ball” in the Midwest? Do people in Indiana just forget how to make it each year, or are cheese balls winning new converts? We may never know why cooks in North Carolina show more interest in sweet potatoes, their most-queried side dish, than people in any other state. Or why a broccoli casserole belt extends through Appalachia and ends in Florida.

I have been interested in how regional and even local US food is for years. New York white hots, Maine Indian pudding, Indiana chicken noodle. All comfort and all about the neighbourhood. We’d never do this in Canada. The other day at work I was mentioning how I was over in upstate and picked up Vermont and Wisconsin cheddars, how different they were. One scoffed response was “well, I’m sticking to Canadian.” Doesn’t matter who produces it, what it tastes like, where it comes from – that person eats “Canadian” apparently.

It’s pretty funny how out national false superiority tells us tales. In a land of homogenized, standardized and nationalized food units, in a nation that researches how to make mild cheese more mild, we strangely assume that we are more diverse and interesting. The generic theory of national character that never fails to disappoint. It’s too bad as there are no doubt many local patterns in history, culture… food. But we’re not interested. There’d never be mapping of Canadian food patterns presented as a positive and interesting. It’d have to tell us again that there is beef in Alberta – never mind PEI’s fantastic “Easter beef” thing when you get to eat the cattle raised for prizes at the previous fall’s Royal Winter Fair or other blue ribbon winners. We are told that fish comes from the sea without consideration of the fried Lake Huron perch shacks or that smoked splake they make there, too. We’d never want to know where the hunter’s mystery pies are to be found.


Friday For The First Stinking Hot Weekend

It’s the meteorological chitchat that keeps you coming back. I know it. We spend so much time looking forward to a bright hot day that you would think we would record them in binders like family albums, categorized by how nice the breezes were or how long the evening seemed to last. Tomorrow bodes very well. Perhaps 80F in April on a sunny Saturday. 70F this Friday evening. This very day. It’s the anti-blizzard weekend. The one you wanted on a Tuesday in late January.

  • I sure love it when people who accuse others of having no moral compass then have to admit that the guy was pretty much right. Oh, what a giggle we will have in the next era when we look back on these times.
  • I would have thought the whole “eating a replica of our bodies” might have been a bigger issue than the name.
  • I thought this was pretty funny. When to worry about the IT geeks planning to control your lives? When they say “…people are passionate about your product…” or “IZ: You mean enhance civilization, make it even better?” you know someone is quite enraptured by an impending cash-in.
  • In the same vein, when someone says “Can we just retire this stupid line of questioning once and for all?” after referring to “the straw man” you may need to realize they are facing an argument they don’t want to admit is lost due to the weight it places on the possibility of being enraptured by an impending cash-in.
  • Sometimes the things that got cashed-in die and, quite surprisingly, take 675 employees. Can you believe GeoCIties was bought for 2.9 billion ten years ago?
  • Not necessarily my deepest love with a french fry van – I reserve that for Colburne’s of Pembroke, Ontario – but certainly my first. Sitting on the wall at the Halifax central library having a Bud the Spud was a big part of my youth.
  • Why are we not hearing news item after news item about how Ford saw this coming, may well never ask for a penny of public money, is about to crush its competition through sheer prudence and actually makes cars people buy?

And you may ask yourself how do I work this BBQ? You may ask yourself where is my suntan lotion? And you may ask yourself where does that garden path go? Is this my beautiful yard?


Out! Out! Damn Tiny Substances!!!

We live in a time of great fear. Terrorism. Financial instability. Food security…or is that now “nutrisekur”? Well, here’s one more – tiny substances:

A blue-ribbon scientific panel has waved a yellow flag in front of a rapidly expanding number of products containing nanomaterials, cautioning that the tiny substances might be able to penetrate cells and interfere with biological processes…Their small size, the report says, may allow them “to usurp traditional biological protective mechanisms” and, as a result, possibly have “enhanced toxicological effects.”

Yeeouch! Bad enough that they may have toxicological effects but these ones are enhanced! I really hope this is not all about the industrial dusty cheesy coating on snack foods. That stuff is really tiny but tangy and tasty, too. Note that one conclusion of the study is that “there are inadequate data to inform quantitative risk assessments on current and emerging nanomaterials.” Hmm. So they may not really know. Note, too, that there is no apparent reference to that Wired magazine article from before a few bubble economies ago called “Why the future doesn’t need us” in which Bill Joy argued that 21st-century technologies like genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics (GNR) would be so powerful that they can spawn whole new classes of accidents and abuses. It’s always a good bit of reading for those wanting to get scared out of their skins what with sentences like: “if our own extinction is a likely, or even possible, outcome of our technological development, shouldn’t we proceed with great caution?”

Yowza! But what about my cheese dust? If we are witnessing the end of life on earth through our own incompetent worship of the blind progress of science, I want cheese dusty snacks on the way out.