Saturday, November 30, 2013

Cross-Rexie Check-Up


First, from Dan Healing of the Calgary Herald:

LAKE LOUISE — A words-weary audience jumped to its feet with an enthusiastic ovation for broadcaster Rex Murphy after he urged pipeline builders Friday to stop being ashamed of the multibillion-dollar projects they are trying to build.

The enthusiastic presentation by the outspoken CBC veteran capped a full morning of pipeline industry leaders using careful phrases to warn that opposition to energy pipelines is a danger to Canada’s economic well-being at the public portion of the Bennett Jones Lake Louise World Cup Business Forum...

Next, from the schedule of said 'Forum':


That sure was some line-up of finest of the fine folks who shared the same stage (and the same audience, and the same organizers, and the same minglers, and the same financial backers of the event) with our man Rex.

But here's the thing...

Was the good Mr. Murphy paid to talk to and mingle with all those same fine folks he supposedly 'covers'.

You know, covers as a 'journalist' and unbiased, 'commentator', I mean?

Hey!... Then again....Isn't there a Senate seat or three soon coming available?


What Is The Greatest Carol Ever?


There are lots of great carols out there.


But, in a very weird, twisted upside-down 'It's (Not Such) A Wonderful Life'-type world, I'm not sure there is one better than The Pogue's 'Fairytale Of New York'.



Advent is coming....

And while I can't give each of you a 'chocolate-a-day' calender I probably could give you...


You know.

(stay tuned)


Thursday, November 28, 2013

This Day In Snookland...You Want Numbers? We'll Give You Numbers!


The folks from Texada island are steamed about the massive sailing cuts to come from BC Ferries.

In response, the finest of the fine folks working for Snooklandian Transportation Minister Mr. Todd Stone told the islanders that they have no choice because they have to cut costs, especially on routes such as theirs where the ship is running at below 20% capacity on some sailings.

Sounds reasonable, kinda/sorta I suppose.



As you may have already surmised,  convenient/useful terms like 'capacity', and the numbers associated with them, are not always what they seem:

...(R)esidents pointed out the original vessel on the Texada route was the Tachek, which has a much lower vehicle capacity than the North Island Princess (NIP), the vessel that currently provides service on the route. No one asked or consulted with island residents when the NIP was put on the route, but now it is being used in calculations designed to show low usage. If the Tachek had been used instead, utilization rates would be much higher...


The finer then possibly finest of the fine folks can ever be institute a massive increase in useless capacity and now the regular folks who actually use the over-capacitized system have to pay for it.

Sounds like the perfect Snooklandian solution to me.

And where is the good Mr. David Hahn these days anyway?...Perhaps the very good Mr. Baldrey could do a follow-up fawning to help us avert our eyes (and attention) from the dismantling of (what used to be) our ferry system.
Oh, and case you missed it, the Tachek was built for the Ministry of Transportation which would make it part of 'what', exactly?


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In The Midst Of All This Plenty...A Decade Of Children Going Down



We all know that British Columbia is a 'have' province.

So, given all that, why do we keep 'having' the following?

A coalition of advocacy groups says British Columbia's child poverty rate is the highest in Canada, at almost 19 per cent.

First Call says the most recent Statistics Canada numbers peg the rate of child poverty at 18.6 per cent in 2011, up from 14.3 per cent in 2010.

The coalition of provincial and regional child, youth and family advocacy groups notes that one in five B.C. children, or 153,000 kids, is living in poverty...


Of course, the question above was rhetorical.

Because the answer is as completely clear, although it can only be seen if you are willing to dive to the bottom of a very deep pool that is filled to bursting with corrosive, cretinous, not to mention obfuscatory, codswallop that has been mass-produced up by an army of slithering PAB-Bots, Think-Tank Quislings and Twit-Wits since 2001.

And now, as a result, our most vulnerable are now being forced by Ms. Clark and friends to live with the destroyed social safety net that Mr. Campbell and his 'Golden Era' cronies ripped to shreds, on purpose with malice aforethought.

Which is the real reason why last May's provincial election really, really mattered.



Here's to the lies of the Era's Spinners. 
In the midst of all this plenty, a decade of children going down. 
The seniors who need our help most, are shuffled round and round. 
The helpless and most vulnerable are shouted down by clowns.
Here's to the land that you tore out the heart of. 
Era's liars find yourself another Province to be part of. 

Tip O' The Toque to Tom Hawthorn via his Twittmachine feed.


Monday, November 25, 2013

If A Ferry Sailing Falls In The Forest...

...Will Anybody Hear?


Given that there is an empty Ledge in that forest, my prediction is no.


Because it would seem that, unless something extremely unusual happens (i.e. like, say, a USRovian/Colbertian-style  SuperPAC pumps a few hundred thousand into an advertising blitzkrieg and/or a stupid stunt-o-meter that wipes issues that matter right of the TeeVee screen), the Lotuslandian proMedia will pretty much play it as it lays (ie. ignore any and all things that aren't raised by the Opposition in Question Period).

And, just in case you were wondering, based on the past performance of the Snooklandians and their enablers, there is absolutely no snarkolepsy in that last bit.



This Day In Snookland...Real Lackeys Don't Jump...



Update: Had the messenger and the jumper backwards in original version...Thanks to persey for the heads-up on my dundatorialness.

A small CP wire-type item from late last week that generated little more than the tiniest of ripples on the otherwise placid Lotuslandian proMedia waters:

VICTORIA - The chairman of BC Ferries board of directors has announced the resignation of a board member.

Donald P. Hayes gave no reason for Guy D. Johnson's resignation, which took effect on Friday...


I have no idea if the good Mr. Johnson jumped ship for all the right reasons given the recent decisions of the BC Ferries board.

But, in the eyes of the ever manipulative media mavens of Snooklandia, I'm pretty sure that, regardless the true reasons, the timing of Mr. Johnson's resignation alone was enough to get his name scratched out of any and all rolodexes marked 'lackey' with permanent marker.


And, if you have a moment or three to spare/absolutely nothing better to do, check out the comments attached to the wire fluff on the CTV site linked-to above, or those attached to, essentially the same bit o' fluff posted on the VSun site...The overwhelming cynicism mixed with ignorance seemed to have resulted in a total inability of most commenters to even begin to contemplate what actually might have gone down (i.e. the possibility, given the timing, that the good Mr. Johnson may have resigned for all the right reasons) is simply astounding...Then again, if the proMedia just floats out press release codswallop/announcements without digging?...Well...What should we expect?....Of course, such low expectations coupled with high ignorance are precisely what those manipulative media mavens mentioned above count on...Right?


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Real Girl Power, Personified.

The Rockford Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, circa 1950, in their dugout.

Of course they weren't girls.

They were women.


There is so much that is fantastic about this image on so many levels (click on it to enlarge).

I especially dig the 'F-you mentality' from a few of the players who appear to be letting the owners know exactly what they think about being forced to wear those stupid skirts.

And then there is the Bull Connor/Barney Fife hybrid over on the right, at the end of the tunnel.

From the always fantastic '90 Feet Of Perfection' (although the girls only got 85....damned owners).


Monday, November 18, 2013

The Golden Era's Long, Rusted Tail....What David Hahn Wrought.


Update Monday Evening: Norm Farrell explains where our Sparkle Ponies marked 'BC Ferries' are really going, here.

But wait!

There's more...

This from Christy Clark's Minister of 'Transportation' Todd Stone, as reported by the CBC:

"...Stone also announced seniors discounts on the routes will be cut.

"As of April 1, 2014, the current 100 per cent passenger fare discount received by B.C. seniors (65 and older) travelling Monday to Thursday will be reduced to 50 per cent on major and minor routes..."



As we noted on the weekend, there is absolutely no need to wait until 2046 for LNG-bred Sparkle Ponies to start falling from the sky to pay for stuff we actually need right now.

Instead, we could just stop giving them away for free (or worse) to the cronies with their hands out.


Of course, this is not something that should be discussed in the Legislature that the the Snooklandians have battened down tight for the duration, right?
And recall, if you will, just how much some Lotuslandian proMedia folks appreciated Mr. Hahn's 'approach', especially when it wasn't all encumbered by crazy stuff/concerns/issues raised by superfluous, stubborn people like, say, the people's representatives that kept said proMedia folks waiting occasionally.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

At The End Of Every Hard Earned Day, People Need Some Reason To...


As the inimitable Mary Fitzgerald, sometimes of the Irish Times, reports (tweets, actually)...

Basketball is huge in the South Sudan, at Sunset, under the Palms.

The message?

Life really does go on.


Despite what they would have you believe on the TeeVee.

Meanwhile....It's that damn Hansard....Again.
Finally...What Norm said.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

This Day In Snookland: A Sparkle Pony Here, A Sparkle Pony There, And Pretty Soon You're Talking...

....Real Unicorns.

What am I on about this time?


First off,  have a gander at two graphs (among many) that Norm Farrell has generated recently by combing through publicly available government databases:

Firstly, please note that the numbers above are for each and every single one of us per year (and, as Norm's other graphs show, this has been getting worse, year by year, since 2001). Thus, if you want to figure out how much we are losing and how much extra we are paying collectively you have to multiply the differentials of each graph by the latest provincial population projection, which is 4,581,978. 


Here's the thing.

We don't have to wait until 2046 for Pamela Martin's LNG fantasy of faux sparkle ponies raining down from on high for things to get better around here (i.e. so that we can spring for crazy stuff like training programs, child and family development program improvements, paramedics and courtrooms).


Because the real sparkle ponies are right here, right now.

The only problem is that they are being stolen right out from under our noses for no good reason at all.



I would be willing to cut this strategy, which was Gordon Campbell's and Martyn Brown's raison d'etre right from the beginning (and Mr. Brown was still kinda/sorta copping to it not long ago), some slack if it actually worked.

But, as the business friendly Progress Board (originally set up by Messr's Campbell and Brown) that Christy Clark killed in the run-up to the last election clearly demonstrated...

It does not:

Which, in my opinion, leads to only one conclusion.

Which is that all this largess that is being given to the cronies while rank-and-file British Columbians are forced to pay more has nothing whatsoever to do with Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! or Economy Strong -type Newspeakian codswallop.

Instead, it is all about said cronies and the various and assorted hangers-on and sundry pay-to-players.

And all those on the margins that do the cheerleading while they collect and cash their cheques from said cronies, etc.


And you thought the Golden Era was over.

No such luck...

Again, the tune above, from E and me, is a re-worked version of Phil Ochs' classic that he himself would re-work when warranted.


Tiny B...The New Kid At Our House.


And the Whackadoodle isn't sure how she feels about that.

Regardless, it's the perfect time for one of the few songs about cats that is written from the perspective of...

The cat.

(and, yes, this is a preview of the next Sunday SetList that's coming soon)

B. is for 'Benny'.


Friday, November 15, 2013

It's Sweater Day.


Term's not far from over...

Which means today is the day I stand in front of the class wearing my favourite sweater, pictured above, that my Grandma knitted for me back when I was still in Gradual School.

Which is a long time ago now.

All is explained here.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

I Hope That Someone Gets My...

...Message In A Bottle.

You can find the entire story of how someone did get a little kid's message, many years later, at this link from the good folks at CBC's 'All Points West':

And, ya....The original message was written by 'that' kid.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

This Afternoon In Snookland...Two Wrongs Make Right! 1997.


That is all.

For now.

And, for the record, I would vote for Joan Sawicki, like, forever.


This Day In Snookland...Two Plus Two Equals Five (Again!)


No matter how often Norman Spector tweets it, there is no agreement, framed, working, or otherwise, as long as there is a total capitulation on the fifth condition.


And, as an aside, what's with this governance by 'neener, neener, neenrer' anyway?...Sheesh.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sarah Palin's Healthcare Plan...Are The Twisted Logic Pretzels In The World Salad A...

....Pre-Existing Condition?

Ms. Palin, pretzels-in-salad on full display, now:

...“The plan is to allow those things that had been proposed over many years to reform a health-care system in America that certainly does need more help so that there’s more competition, there’s less tort reform threat, there’s less trajectory of the cost increases, and those plans have been proposed over and over again. And what thwarts those plans? It’s the far left. It’s President Obama and his supporters who will not allow the Republicans to usher in free market, patient-centered, doctor-patient relationship links to reform health care. “...


A patient-centered, doctor-patient relationship?

I guess, perhaps, that explains Ms. Palin' previous pretzellian-salad, with a faux irony-laced garnish on the side, then:

“We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada,” she said. “And I think now, isn't that ironic?”


And, if twisted logic pretzels that are capable of killing irony, dead, forever, keep getting caught in a word saladarian's windpipe and thus require repeated, cost-enormous surgical interventions of the most baffling kind...

Can that result in personal bankruptcy if one is not covered (and/or doesn't live close to the hustleable flow that is the Canadian border)?

Tip O' the Toque to Driftglass who, together with his partner BlueGal, have their kids, but not yet themselves covered as they wait for Republican attempts to destroy Obamacare to recede...


This Afternoon In Snookland (Northern Division)....Who Loves The Pimminator?



Apparently, not his constituents.

At least not so much.

Because, according to Elections BC, in the last campaign individuals and businesses donated a grand total of $9,175 directly to Mr. Pimm, $8,525 of which came in dollops of more than $250.

Which means that the little guys and gals of Peace River North (i.e. folks who gave Mr. Pimm $250 or less) donated a whopping total of $650.



How did Mr. Pimm make the nut?


As you may have already surmised, the Snooklandian party gave him $106,126 (i.e. 163 times that donated by the little guys 'n gals).

Guess that explains who Mr. Pimm is really beholden to, eh?

Went on this little hunt to see if there was any evidence that the fine fellow who wants to build the rodeo gave big money to Mr. Pimm...Could find nothing whatsoever that was overt/explicit...
And where do the Snooklandians get their money....Well, you know...
Of course, Mr. Pimm's asymmetric fundraising is not the exception...Which is why Vicki Huntington's re-election as an independent was so impressive...


This Day In Snookland....The Pimminator!


The first report indicating that the recently appointed Snooklandian Minister of Agriculture has no business making decisions about the future of the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) came from Charlie Smith in the GStraight, with an assist from Dermod Travis of Integrity BC, on the weekend.

The following is the money quote which is a strongly worded rebuke from the ALC to Mr. Pimm and the mayor Fort St John Lori Ackerman for attempting to politically influence its decision not to pull a chunk of land out of the ALR for a rodeo park in the Peace region:

..."In our respectful view, those representations were not appropriate," the commission stated in its ruling.

"They could create the impression for both the Commission and the public that these officials were attempting to politically influence the Commission. Where, as here, those officials began their representations before the Commission had even received a reconsideration application and involved unannounced personal attendance at a Commission site visit, and when those representations made no reference to the requirements of the legislation, the perception is even more concerning."...

And, today, the Dean more fully details Mr. Pimm's (and Mr. Pimm's staff's actions) in the matter before he states the following in his VSun column:

...To recap, Pimm lobbied the commission in person, plus he and his staff made four other approaches...

In the very next sentence, however, Mr. Palmer pulls his final punch when he concludes:

...He (Pimm)thereby created an inescapable impression that he was trying to politically influence the commission...


Given the evidence, as detailed by Mr. Palmer himself, we are left wondering what, exactly, a powder-puff qualifier like 'impression' still has to do with any of this - particularly when it is linked, by sleight-of-hand late in the round, to 'political influence' rather than the ALC's initial haymaking reference to inappropriate 'representations' from Mr. Pimm and friends.



Saturday, November 09, 2013

Hey Rich Kinder!....Are You Hiding Our Sparkle Ponies Under Your Bed?


From Dina Elboghdady's WaPo blog:

Two CEOs received upwards of $1 billion in fiscal 2012 — a record for a single year, according to the 11-year-old GMIRatings pay survey. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook landed in the top slot with $2.28 billion, and Richard Kinder, co-founder of the energy pipeline company Kinder Morgan, followed with $1.12 billion...


I guess some of those boys from Enron really were the smartest guys in the room.

And all those smarts sure were on display when the predecessors to the Snooklandians currently running things in Victoria kept the public (and the BCUC) at bay just as the giving away of said Sparkle Ponies first began in earnest.

Tip O' The Toque to Merv Adey on the Twittmachine for the heads-up.


This Day In Bobby Orr.


Robert Gordon Orr retired way, way too early on Nov 8th, 1978.

Which makes today the day after (35 years ago) the end of the greatest decade for any one defenseman ever.


End of all stories.

And, in the numerical coincidence department...Thirty-Five was also the number of that other Espo brother that Mr. Orr played with in the city of broad shoulders.
Finally...In one more example of how blogging is not hockey, Ian Reid is still plugging away...Go read what he has to say, both about politics (ALR/ALC dismantling and the real agenda of the Snooklandians) and all that other stuff too.


Friday, November 08, 2013

Gonzo Harperism...Wither Nixon?


"Conservative MPs and their staff are, almost invariably, nice, decent people who get along great with journalists."

Kate Heartfield, Ottawa Citizen, Nov 7, 2013,  commenting on the private side of Harper Conservatives after ripping them apart for for their public words, deeds and actions.


"Fear And Loathing In Washington: It was a nice place. They were principled people, generally..."

Hunter S. Thompson, Rolling Stone, July 4, 1974, commenting on the private side of the Nixon Conservatives before ripping them, and Bebe Rebozo, to shreds for not having the decency to invite him into their Key Biscayne compound for drinks and polite conversation befitting a Southern gentleman of the press come calling.

You want more 'HSTFridays' from the archives?....We got 'em!....Here.


Will Local Pols Be Able To Do Anything To Stop A Dismantling Of The ALR?


Frances Bula has a post up wherein she suggests that local Lotuslandian politicians may try to stop any planned dismantling of the ALR on the Lower Mainland.

The ringleader for such an effort will likely be Harold Steves who lays out how such a thing could be done in the Hume/Bula follow-up in today's Globe.


A couple of thoughts on this....

First, if I'm reading this right (and those in the know, please correct me if I'm wrong), it would appear that the Snooklandians are going after Northern/Rural (i.e. Peace region) land first, for carbon extraction purposes.

Second, when the edges of the envelope marked 'Kill The RedTape-Wrapped ALR' have been pushed way wide (more on that later) and the urban fight begins in earnest I am not convinced that local pols will not fade away in the end.

Not because real fightin' folk like Harold Steves or even Andrea Reimer will give up.

But rather because others (i.e. the majority) will.

Heckfire, it's not like this hasn't happened in Metro Vancouver recently, right?

And in that case it was actually a park, not farmland that will be bulldozed, paved over and developed.

And that particular 'fight' which was all kabuki from the very beginning was staged as being between a golf course and a park.

And the park lost.


My opinion?

Money - with a 'B'.



The Real Story About The De-Regulation Shuffle


In case you missed it, Ian Reid is back.

And this time he's talking de-regulation:

"...(The proMedia seems to have just) woken up to some of the small problems associated with thirty years of deregulation. But it sounds so sexy to pop off those little red tape items: like shooting the teddy bears at the fair as your boyfriend grips your arm a little harder each time that pop gun goes off.

But let’s get real. People dead? A town destroyed? Isn’t that just a bit too high a price to pay to make it easier for the private sector to make more money?..."


Here's hoping for many, many more posts from Mr. Reid.


And one more thing.

I owe Ian something, for which I apologize in advance (especially for making it more like Tweedy and less like Bowie)...

Paul Willcocks has the details on what happens when you take de-regulation right to the end of the line...
Off topic, but....Honestly herd-media of Lotuslandia...When it comes to so-called framework 'agreements' can you not figure out that 2+2=4 (not five)?...In other words, either Ms. Clark caved massively on the five points for pipelines thing or she was making stuff up from the very beginning....Of course, those two things are not necessarily mutually exclusive when it comes to the utterances of our 'Say Anything' Premier.


Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Setting Of The Ford/Harper/Harris/905 Nation's Sun...What's Schadenfreude Got To Do With It?


Somehow I think that, if Mr. Moore were to read what Sooey has to say on this he might actually understand (if that is ever his real, true intention) that schadenfreude has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with it.

Instead, it is so much more:

James Moore, Minister of Whatever, tweeted the other day in response to those of us who would like Rob Ford to face justice for his criminality, which may include murder, that “schadenfreude is so very ugly”...

{snippety doo-dah}

....(I)t’s not schadenfreude you’re witnessing. Millions of Canadians just don’t like you, we really don’t like you. And we really don’t like you because you’ve been such sore cheat-to-winners, very sore cheat-to-winners. Mean, nasty, underhanded, below-the-belt dirty little shits to the two thirds of Canadians who never bought your oily schtick because, unlike your stupid and greedy supporters, we aren’t stupid and greedy....

I leave it to you, and maybe Mr. Moore himself (and/or one or two of his minions who may or may not like to drop by here occasionally), to go and read everything that Sooey has to say on this matter.

As for those folks in the Nation who hang on every word the Ford Bros have to say on their weekly radio show that soon may be no more...


They could do worse than listen to Mohammed's.

His radio I mean.

Excitable Boy's version of Moe's Radio Show above....My littler e. interrupted version is still.... here.


The ALR And He...


...“Nothing that the core review process could potentially do would reduce the protection for farmland in British Columbia,” he said. “Bottom line. There is nothing that we would contemplate that would reduce or undermine the central principle of the Agricultural Land Reserve, which is the protection of farmland and the sustainability of farming.”...

The quote above is from former turdstorm starter Mr. Bill Bennett and it will be one to remember as the deals start to go down.


Because the quote comes from Mark Hume's most excellent Globe piece on an apparent cabinet level plan to dismantle the Agricultural Land Commission so that the Snooklandians can let their paymasters run wild under the protective guise of the Oil and Gas Commission.

Yes, you did read that correctly.

The Oil and Gas Commission.



I know I've been pretty snarky lately when it comes to Ms. Clark et al. and what she and hers (and those that pull their strings) are up to.

But this, the selling off of the province to those that have done the playing to pay (i.e. not you and me), really does appear to be their true agenda.

And it is not a new one.

New agenda, I mean.



Tuesday, November 05, 2013

This Afternoon In Snookland....Sparkle Pony Down!


Via the MoCo:

Canadian natural gas giant Encana says it will cut its workforce by 20 per cent and close its office in Plano, Texas.

At the end of the last fiscal year, Encana had 4,169 employees, so a 20 per cent reduction would work out to just over 800 people...

That is all (for the moment we will leave all this last minute/on-the-fly 'five things that are really only four' photo-op as 'framework' business with that Redford woman to Ron Obvious and friends [aka 'The Herd'] who initially got things way wrong but suddenly, apparently/allegedly, now have things way, way, wayer right...Or some such thing).

Tip O' the Toque to Koot for the heads-up in the comments way earlier...


This Day In Snookland...Did The 'Director' Just Punk The Boss?

At first I had no idea what this wee bit of non-breaking news/ pretend-media flim-flammery was actually about.

And then I remembered that, way back in the darkest of dark times for the Snooklandians (i.e. before the last election), the Boss actually showed up at an advance poll in Burnaby.



Something happened that clearly demonstrated that the Boss has what it takes to be our fearless leader beyond a shadow of a doubt.


Hey...I see by her Twittmachine feed that Ms. Martin is no longer the 'Director of Outreach'...Instead she is now 'Director of Engagement and Liason' to the Boss.


Monday, November 04, 2013

This Day In Snookland....The Return Of The Sacred, Bleeding Sparkle Ponies!


When you first start reading the latest report on the Lotuslandian LNG fantasy in the Financial Post by Claudia Catteneo it almost (but not quite) seems like the true reality of situation is starting to sink in:

...Asian customers have been demanding lower prices than they have been paying in their markets, while Canadian LNG backers have been looking for higher Asian prices to justify spending tens of billions on liquefaction facilities and pipelines. The standoff has made it difficult to nail down long-term contracts...

But then Big Rich Coleman starts to bloviate, and his words are stenoed-up without comment:

..."We believe the numbers are going to work," Coleman said

"They seem very comfortable with the return on investment, the actual resource (size) we are talking about in B.C., and the cost structure and the delivery structure, which are all important pieces for us and for them."...

And finally 'the province' gets to have its say, completely unchallenged.

...At least 10 LNG projects have been proposed for the north coast of British Columbia and three have received export licenses from the National Energy Board. 

If five of the proposed facilities move forward, the cumulative gross domestic product benefit could add up to one $1 trillion by 2046, create more than 100,000 new jobs and new government revenue, the province says...

A trillion?


Isn't that the number that Princess Pammy pulled out of thin-air back in the days when she and the other Minions of Snooklandia were making things up hand-over-fist (e.g. during last spring's election campaign).

Why, yes, I believe it...


And as for that '2046' year business...Is that not a tip-off to what's really going down here?


What Tea Party (Northern Branch Plant Division) Monster This Way Comes?


How long until some little known Bo-Weevil from Wetaskawin pops up out of nowhere on AilesTeeVeeNorth and starts accusing Tommy the Beard of palling around with crazed Dutch arborists who are actually dirty hippies that hug trees and hate both freedom and Tim Hortons.

Or some such thing.


Sunday, November 03, 2013

Who Says (Almost) Meeting Your Heroes Has To Be A Disappointment?


I don't remember exactly how, or even why, it happened.

Although I'm pretty sure it had something to do with my Dad.


I first read Kurt Vonnegut's 'Slaughterhouse Five' cover-to-cover the summer that I was twelve by flashlight enveloped in the orange glow of a pup tent cocoon.

And by the time I was fourteen I had read just about everything Vonnegut had written up to that point.

Including my still all-time favourite, that compendium of short stories/old-timey magazine sci/lowfi fiction called 'Welcome To The Monkey House.'



There are a lot of things I remember about reading Vonnegut as a kid.

But the thing I remember most was how it made me feel.

And I'm pretty sure it was exactly the same thing that a bunch of kids in Ms Lockwood's english class at Xavier High School in New York City felt when they received the following letter from a by then very frail Mr. Vonnegt after they asked him to visit their class to talk about his work:

November 5, 2006

Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood, and Messrs Perin, McFeely, Batten, Maurer and Congiusta:

I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don't make public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what's inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you're Count Dracula.

Here's an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don't do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, butrhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don't tell anybody what you're doing. Don't show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?

Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what's inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

God bless you all!

Kurt Vonnegut

Fantastic, no?

The feeling you just got from reading the above, I mean.


I think I've gotta go find me a pup tent and a flashlight and a book or seventy (no wi-fi required).

The letter came our way from the fantastic 'Letters of Note' via one of his readers, JT.
The image at the top of the post is the street sign for Schlachthofstrasse in Dresden...You can find recent images of the real #5 here....You know, the place where the young Billy Pilgrim waited out the bombing with his friends and later lived to tell about because it did all happen, more or less...The war parts, anyway.


Hey, Weather Network!.....Stop Scaring People.


We're hiring where I work.

More specifically, we're looking for a couple of full on science geeks of the young and impressionable variety.

Which means that we had a kid come up from the Bay Area  this afternoon that I had to meet for dinner so that I could calm his nerves/prepare him for the onslaught to come over the next two days that will include 15 one-on-one interviews, a formal seminar, a chalk-talk/grill session to talk about research goals/plans, and an exit interview late Tuesday.



This is not a big deal for me as I'm an old hand at this kind of thing.


Last night I got a panicked E-Mail from him about all the terrible/awful/no-good/disaster weather we apparently had coming.

And while it had been sprinkling and a little windy when I walked the Whackadoodle a few minutes earlier there was nothing really untoward going down that I could see.

So I checked around, and....

Apparently, this fear that gripped the kid (who is, admittedly, used to the extreme benignity that is San Francisco weather) came from codswallop like the following that he obtained from 'credible' interwebzy-type sources:

10 'additional' millimeters of rain?

In Vancouver?

And this is unusual/problematic how, exactly, in early November, particularly when it is backed with the beautiful day we had today?



Saturday, November 02, 2013

Saturday Night's Alright For (NoUkes!) Cover Fighting...


First, the Original, by the real original...

Next, the Cover, by those Timmins kids that slow everything to it's most essential essence of essences...

Last night, when the Geezers slipped this one in during rehearsal for our coming holiday shows, they accused me of trying to junkify it...They were right...But then again.... I try my best to do that to pretty much everything.
About the parenthetical part of the header?....It's the flip (not wilson) side of an old Saturday night bit 'round here.


What Is This Thing Called Curling?


Had fun on the Twittmachine this morning with B. von Schulman and V. Jobson gently dissing the ever increasing blandness of 'The House' on the MoCo's Radio One.

B. v. S. decided to switch to a documentary on Elizabethan England.

Me, I figured that a Coronation Street marathon would be more interesting and/or valuable.

And then V.S. told us to get off his lawn (!) and stop talking politics while the curling was on the Tee Vee....



Freaking curling?!

The following is pretty much all I used to really know about curling...

When I was a kid it was the only 'sport' that actually encouraged smoking while playing (remember those tin ashtrays that sat in those wrought iron stands next to the benches where you sat when you weren't sweeping?).

And then.


The Weakerthans educated me...


Friday, November 01, 2013

How Long Has Our Frummy Been Making Plans For Nigel?


From May of 2013, parroting a whole lot of other Confolk doin' the 'talking points lock-step'  schtick on the Twittmachine (as compiled for you by Kady)...


Why does the Prince of Darkness-lovin' Mr. Frum hate Canada so much?

Header earworm buggin' you?.....This!
Why do I write these things?....Well...I have a memory and I'm going to use it.
Oh, and then there's the remote, yet somehow distinct, possibility that I could (perhaps/maybe) be just another one of those 'idiot' bloggers who should be 'ignored' by those that really matter...But more on that later.