Thursday, November 29, 2007

And so it begins.

The Nova Scotian Christmas season officially begins with the lighting of the Christmas tree in Boston.

Sound like an odd statement?

Well, for over 30 years, each year, Nova Scotia donates a huge Christmas tree to the people of Boston as a thank you for their assistance following the 1917 Halifax Explosion. This year it was a a 45-foot white spruce, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Hamilton of Granville Center, Annapolis County, Nova Scotia

I was happy to hear Mayor Menino say 'Christmas' tree, instead of that 'Holiday' bullshit of 2005. Tree-huggin', politically correct, assholes decided that the tree should be called a 'Holiday' tree. The logger that cut it down said he wouldn't have cut it down had he known and if they didn't want it they could bring it back. People were pissed.

If someone sends you a gift, you don't PC the fucking thing, either accept it or decline it. It's just rude.

I blame Oprah.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The math just doesn't seem right.

How much would you pay for a three-legged dog?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Can you say 'KICK-BACK'?

My mother is in 'the home'. You may remember that she almost died in May. Since then she has been doing quite well. So well that she has been walking more. If you know anyone who is 75+, you know that this is important.

So, she has been walking more but this has wreaked havoc on her feet. Dr. GodQuack, referred her to 'orthotics'. We were not sure what that meant, so we asked our sister-in-law (we will call her Darling), who is a nurse to take my mother for this 'orthotics' appointment.

Turns out orthotics means she needs something for her feet. I understand this, I have flat feet and have to wear arch supports. I figure it is pretty much the same thing, from the information I got, although my mothers problems would be bunions.

Darling takes our mother to this orthotics appointment. The first thing she notices, is that it is not at the hospital. It is in fact a glorified shoe store on the main drag in town. The sign outside says something like, "CAN'T STAND? COME ON IN" or something equally as retarded. You will also notice, its a two story building.

The next thing Darling notices is that there is no wheelchair access. Surprising, since this place is supposed to cater to people who have problems walking. She gets my mother through the door without the wheelchair and is confronted with not one but two (albeit short) flights of stairs and that is just to access the first floor. I kid you not. Dr. GodQuack sent my mother here knowing full well she could barely walk without a walker.

Here is where it gets even better. They inform Darling that it will be ninety bucks just to look at my mother's feet and when they are finished it will cost $400. What? None of this is covered under the health plan. My mother lives in a home. The home takes all her pension and gives her $100 per month as comfort money. My mother is expected to pay for this out of that.

Clearly she cannot do this. But she has 6 kids, we will work it out. She needs it, we will find a way to get it. The kicker is, the $400 is just for the inserts. No shoes, just these stupid inserts.

My question. What part of this shit is $400 dollars? The placing of the feet in shoe boxes full of foam. By, I am sure, trained professionals? The pouring of the rubber/plastic into this mold. Teamsters? The fancy stitch work. Sweatshop? Are they hand stitching this shit with silver thread? These fucking things better be pretty damned impressive is all I can say. I paid fifty bucks for my arches and they are not that impressive looking.

It will be interesting to see what four hundred bucks gets ya. And how much does Dr. GodQuack get kicked back to him?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Brain-dead bylaws.

Recently a local constituency added a bylaw making it illegal to smoke in your car with a person under the age of 18. Score one for the tree huggers? Nope, sorry. It's a pointless law, created to appease high profile anti-smoking groups. Lip service if you will.

Just like the law they passed making it illegal to sell cigarettes to persons under the age of 19. Businesses who are caught (and by the way they have lots of 17 year olds on the payroll that do nothing but try and entrap local smoke store owners) face huge fines. (Payable to the government) It is not, however, illegal for persons under the age of 18 to smoke. It's just illegal for someone to sell the cigarettes to them.

Look, if you don't want to smoke, don't smoke. If it bothers you I won't smoke around you. But don't tell me I can't smoke. I am a grown woman. The government is not on your side, if they were, they would ban tobacco, but they are not and they never will. The only thing you have on your side is propaganda, junk science and general bullshit! Get a life, or just fuck off somewhere.

Don't get me wrong. I realize that smoking is bad for me. I am not an idiot. I am breathing in a burning substance directly into my lungs. But they are my lungs, fuck off. I am also breathing in the exhaust from your car, the smoke from your chimney and your ghastly perfume. Drop dead. Just don't get me started on second hand smoke.

Oh but they are trying to protect the estimated 400,000 people who die prematurely each year in smoking related deaths. Bullshit! There is no credible data that says second hand smoke really does hurt people. There are, however, dozens of studies that say they couldn't prove it has any effect.
Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Morbidity, and Economic Costs Software, Release II (SAMMEC II) has been developed for the Office on Smoking and Health, Public Health Service, to permit rapid calculation of deaths, years of potential life lost, direct health-care costs, indirect mortality costs, and disability costs associated with cigarette smoking.

Sounds impressive, don't it? If you are going to quote this piece of software, you should really find out how they come up with their numbers.

Some interesting articles on the subject:

Blowing Smoke About Tobacco-Related Deaths Just look at the chart on this one. How is dying at 85+ years premature?
The Facts About Second Hand Smoke
The Blunders of SAMMEC (1) 400,000 Killed by Smoking!? This article is written by a retired mathematician, its a little dry but you can't dispute the numbers.
The BIG LIE That Smoking is an Economic Burden to Society
Name Three James Repace did supply three names. However, of the three he named, One could not be verified. One had been ruled against by a jury. One was rejected by a jury.
The EPA Report

Governments keep passing laws banning smoking here and banning smoking there, but if they were truly concerned with it, they would just ban tobacco.

Oh wait! They can't ban tobacco, they make too much money on it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

And I paid for the privilege.

We went out tonight so I could show The Boy how to put air in the tires. A useful skill considering that every one of my tires has a slow leak.

As we pulled up to my regular gas station I saw that the air filler thingy was otherwise occupied. This sucked because this is the only station I have found that actually has free air. I kid you not, you have to pay for air now.

Oh, they do have one of those pay machines but if you ask them they will flip a switch and turn it on for you free of charge. This is good for me because of the aforementioned slow leaks, otherwise I would have to take out a second job to pay for air.

So, since that station was out of the question I decided for this outing I would go to one of the others and pay. It's 50 cents, The Boy needed to learn and I was interested in just how much air 50 cents buys you. In the interest of science, we pull into the Esso and are greeted by this.

The first thing I noticed was the hose. It is retractable. Interesting. I start to pull on it and it seems to be pulling back. I must have to pull it out all the way, like a vacuum cord? I try this. Nope, I have to hold it while The Boy puts the air in the tire otherwise it will yank him back off his feet. Exactly how do you get this done without a buddy?

We manage to get two tires to the correct psi and wrangle the hose around to the other side of the car. I am holding the hose while The Boy takes off the valve cap. Just as he applies the tip to the valve stem the air stops.

The Boy then lets go of his end of the hose. It starts to retract faster than I can grab it. So fast that it is literally burning my hands. I look up to see the nozzle coming at me at a pretty good clip. I have to tighten my grip on the hose, burning my hands further, to avoid having my head cracked open by the fucking thing.


I have to fight with the hose, pay for fucking air and it doesn't even stay on long enough for all four tires? What a racket. I am at a slow burn as I enter the station. I tell The Boy it is to get rolaids for him, but I just have to voice my opinion to the attendant.

My hands stinging, I enter the station. "I can't believe I just paid 50 cents to fight with your fucking machine only to get cut off before I actually got air in all my tires."

"You had to fight with it?"
He is maybe 16 and clearly not the sharpest tool in the shed.

"How else do you keep from getting dragged across the parking lot on your ass?"

"Uh, I just step on it." Not something they printed on the instructions. They were more concerned that I only put quarters in the machine. Not enough space to put actual helpful information on the signage.

"How much money did you feed it before you came up with that brilliant solution?"

Blank stare.

"Well, my solution is to never frequent this gas station again. Period."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Queen of Canada.

During the rebroadcast of the April 2007 re-dedication ceremony of the newly restored memorial at Vimy Ridge, I hear the old girl introduced as the Queen of Canada. Like that is all she is. Can't believe this is the first time I am hearing about it. Usually the the queen will express her displeasure over shit like that. Like the time some Australian politician actually touched her, you would think they punched her in the throat or something.

But I digress. If you haven't seen this monument in France, it is quite impressive.
The Canadian National Vimy Memorial is one of Canada's most important overseas war memorials for those Canadians who gave their lives in the First World War. It was constructed as the national memorial for Canada's 66,000 war dead and is located in France, on the site of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The memorial stands atop Hill 145, near the towns of Vimy and Givenchy-en-Gohelle, in the Pas-de-Calais d├ępartement of northern France. In 1922, the Government of France granted "freely, and for all time, to the Government of Canada the free use of the land exempt from all taxes," as an expression of gratitude. It is ceremonially considered Canadian land, but unlike an embassy, it is subject to the laws of France.[1] The entrance to the park bears a sign that reads, "The free gift in perpetuity of the French nation to the people of Canada."

She mentions that there were 4 Victoria Crosses awarded to Canadian soldiers for conspicuous bravery during this battle. Very impressive considering there remains only about 100 awarded to date.

Most impressive was the actions of Captain Thaine MacDowell. Something to keep in mind today.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Same shit, different day.

"Thank you for calling the Undisclosed Internet Service Provider™ my name is blah blah blah..."

No hello, just starts right in, flipping out.

"I don't think that I should have to pay for this shit if it doesn't work!"

"I agree, what's the problem."

"Well I try and get on the internet and everything is sideways. It's been like that for a month."

"I see that you do have connection to the internet, so the modem is online and working fine. Do you mean all the web pages are sideways or everything on the computer screen is sideways?"

"Everything! I am not paying for this! Your internet does not work!"

"Can you do something for me? Can you hold down the Control key, then hold down the Alt key and hit the right arrow key?"

"You mean I have to do this every time? This is ridiculous! I want my money back for this computer."

"Sir, we did not sell you the computer, we only provide the internet connection."

"Fine, I will call the phone company, that is who I bought it from."

It's a DELL.

"Thank you for calling the Undisclosed Internet Service Provider™ my name is blah blah blah..."

"When I start up my computer it says 'connecting to Lindsay' but my name is Leanne."

"Where is it saying that?"

"On the little picture at the bottom."

"Are you sure it says Lindsay?"

"Let me check.....I guess it says Linky. But I don't know anyone named Linky either, I think someone is hacking me!"

"Could you look a little closer, does it say L-I-N-K-S-Y-S?"

"Ya, it does. Who is that?"

That, my friends, is job security.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

According to Google and the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy I should be the answer. (I might just try and watch that again tonight. I was never able to sit through the entire thing, either I was too stoned or not stoned enough each time I tried.)

How does 42 make me fee? I feel good, maybe not the best I have felt but do I wish I was 24? No.

When I was 24 it was 1989. Not a great year for either me or Ted Bundy. That was the year my father died and it wrecked me.

Others had a great year, Colin Powel for instance and George Bush Sr. for another. And of course those people who had to stare at that retarded wall in Berlin for years on end wondering what was on the other side.

Then I start thinking, what was a good year for me? If there was one I could go back to, what would it be? I don't mean be a teenager now (you couldn't pay me to do that) I mean literally go back to a specific year in my life. I will have to think about that one.

Do you have a year in your life you would like to visit if you could? Tell us all about it.

And another thing...

Tracey and Andrew were here for my birthday and brought me a cake.

Death By Chocolate!

Friday, November 2, 2007