The price of: rice-a-roni; parking; aiming high

Bob Barker’s been hosting The Price Is Right longer than I’ve been alive, but he’s decided to hang it up next year. I bet he’ll be really good at grocery shopping.


Richmond upon Thames is one of the nicer neighbourhoods in London, and has decided to triple (or treble, depending on where you’re reading this) the parking fee for SUVs. I can’t imagine a Toronto neighbourhood like Rosedale or Hogg’s Hollow trying this.


The latest evidence that people are dumb: more of them watched CSI: Miami than watched Studio 60 (which has now been canceled). Thanks a lot, dull squishy middle.

[tags]bob barker, richmond upon thames, suv parking, csi miami, studio 60[/tags]

(3 x 0.4) + (3 * 0.08) = 1.44

We watched a movie called Layer Cake (imdb | rotten tomatoes) last night. It was pretty good; I described it to T-Bone as a movie Guy Ritchie would make if he was off speed. Not that I have evidence of Guy Ritchie doing speed; it was just an apt description.


Sir Nicholas Stern’s report on the economic impact of climate change reminded me of a story CB told us on the weekend. She described a conversation she’d had with someone else where she was told, because she’s both an atheist and very passionate about environmental causes, that environmentalism is her religion. I don’t think the person who said it was pulling a Hugh, though I don’t think it was said in a malicious way either. I wish I’d been there; I’d have pointed out (’cause I love a good debate) that the statement was backward. Environmentalism is the opposite of religion; it’s how we conduct ourselves in response to a set of facts and theory based in science, as opposed to faith in a fictional work. Passion, zeal, overreaction…these reactions are common to environmentalists and depletists just as it does to atheists and theists, but the basis and foundation for religion and the basis for environmentalism couldn’t be further apart. The “_________ is your religion” canard is just a way of deflecting rational debate. And, sadly, we usually fall for it.


Today in line at the grocery store we were behind a guy buying candy for Hallowe’en. I don’t think he’d done it before, though, ’cause he’d just filled a plastic bag with chocolate bars. Not the bulk treats you can buy, mind you, but the full-sized versions. They weren’t in any order, and he didn’t know how many he had, so the cashier had to scan each one of them individually. Well, she didn’t have to; she could’ve scanned one kind several times, but she was a kid, so she shouldn’t have had to figure that out. Anyway, after 50 bars or so she finally finishes up…and the guy starts arguing about the price. He claims that they were on sale — 3 bars for $1.44 — but the cash register said $0.48 each. The cashier may have failed speed-checking, but she knew enough math to explain that $0.48 cents is the right price. The guy persists and goes to fetch a flyer. Finally, between the cashier, her supervisor and the withering glares coming from my wife, myself and the poor woman in front of us who only had a pear and some cheese, he got the message and paid. Then my wife decided to get her funny on:

cashier: Hi there. Double bag?
dan: No, that’s ok, we can put everything in our backpacks.
nellie: By the way, we also have 40 loose chocolate bars.
cashier: [cold look of fear]
nellie: Just kidding.
cashier: [nervous laughter; color returns to face]

[tags]layer cake, sir nicholas stern, global warming[/tags]


F**king Firefox just f**king crashed and I lost a huge f**king post that I’d been writing for half a f**king hour. I’m not writing that f**king thing again, so you’re getting a point f**king form version.

  • Five Doors North at Yonge & Eg isn’t very good.
  • Death Of A President was pretty good, maybe a little better than I was expecting (but not quite as good as I’d hoped)
  • Irreversible, while expertly shot, was extremely hard to watch. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you can sit through graphic violence and/or prolonged rape scenes.
  • Moleskine doesn’t make a Citynotebook for Toronto, but they should.


[tags]five doors north, toronto, death of a president, irreversible, moleskine[/tags]

Pepsi sounds kinda like peptic. Coincidence?

I just can’t get over American political attack ads. Check out this example from the Globe and Mail:

“If Brad Miller had his way, America would be nothing but one big fiesta for illegal aliens and homosexuals,” the ad says, as mariachi music plays in the background.

Of course there was some fuss earlier in the week about a racist attack ad aimed at Harold Ford Jr., since pulled. It also got a lot of attention north of the border as it took a swipe at Canada staying out of the Iraq war. It didn’t really bother me that much, especially once I saw the rest of the ad. Why should it? Since when should we care what a racist, or someone who’d stoop to racism, thinks about our military record?


NBC will not show ads for the new documentary about the Dixie Chicks, Shut Up And Sing, but the speed with which the production company jumped on the story…I don’t know, it just smells like a publicity play to me.


So, I think I might have an ulcer. Or maybe just really bad heartburn; I’m not sure yet. Basically I’ve had heartburn since I got back from the Rockies three weeks ago; a couple of days ago I started watching what I ate and have drunk only milk, and the heartburn’s gone. I even had some hot sauce on my eggs this morning and a Diet Pepsi around noon and I feel fine. I was under the impression that ulcers were caused by stress, but that’s not the case…which makes sense, ’cause I never feel stressed. I’m a very happy guy, despite what some people think. Anyway, I’m fairly certain the cause is the 3-can-a-day Diet Pepsi habit (or more; in my Delano days I got so little sleep that I drank 4 or 5 a day just to stay awake) I’ve had for several years now. Obviously, and probably for more reasons than just stomach acid, it’s time to give that up. What’s really going to suck is that I’ll now be giving up meat and Diet Pepsi at the same time. Worse yet, I need to lose weight, so chocolate’s probably off the menu for a while as well. No meat, chocolate or DP; November’s gonna be a fucker of a month.


In happier news, we’re gonna go see a movie tonight (D.O.A.P.) with CBGB, it’s my nephew’s birthday, tonight our clocks fall back and it’s less than 8 weeks ’til I’m back on the farm for the holidays. Sounds like my whole family (including the afore-mentioned nephew and my nieces) will be there as well. I’m looking forward to it since we weren’t all together at the same time last year.

[tags]attack ads, harold ford jr, nbc, dixie chicks, ulcer, diet pepsi, death of a president[/tags]

I told everybody when I came out the wilderness

The new Be Good Tanyas disc Hello Love is good. The new Walkmen disc “Pussy Cats” Starring The Walkmen, a tribute to the Harry Nilsson album, is not good at all (unless you’re a Harry Nilsson fan, maybe). The new Bonnie Prince Billy disc The Seedling is good, but not great. If you can, find the stripped-down demo version of the title track; it’s much better than the final studio version. Raw = better.

[tags]be good tanyas, hello love, walkmen, pussy cats, bonnie prince billy, the seedling[/tags]


I just won tickets to a screening of Babel next week. All I did was list my favourite scary movies in a comment on Toronto Life’s Screening Room blog.

Just for the record, mine were:

  • The Exorcist. I watched it for the first time just a few years ago, but it still scared the bejeezus out of me.
  • The Blair Witch Project. I saw it in a theatre full of shrieking people before all the hype.
  • Ringu. Upside down eyes = unsettling.
  • Requiem. From this year’s TIFF, it was haunting and creepy for all the reasons The Exorcism Of Emily Rose wasn’t.
  • Haute Tension. I was, as advertised, hautely tense.

[tags]babel, scary movies[/tags]

"My two lovely friends"

It’s true: Deal Or No Deal is the dumbest game show ever. It’s so dumbed-down, and requires so little brainpower from both contestant and viewer, it makes Wheel Of Fortune seem like a Mensa chapter meeting.


Speaking of the addle-minded, I have a new name for Leafs forward Darcy Tucker: SuperPussy. On Tuesday he was so pissed about his team getting crushed (final score: 6-2) by Ottawa that he started beating on Patrick Eaves, who’s probably never fought in his life. Happily, Ottawa didn’t retaliate tonight by going after Kyle Wellwood or some similar non-combatant; instead they blasted the Leafs 7-2. Between that and Montreal’s last-second (well, almost…they scored with 1.2 seconds left) win over Boston, I’m a happy guy.


A co-worker pointed out last night something I would never, ever have guessed: many of the Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits outlets here in Toronto serve halal chicken. When she first told me I thought she meant the entire chain, and I thus deemed her insane. But in fact, it appears to be true, so…yeah. That’s pretty weird. Of all the places I expected to serve halal meat, Popeye’s isn’t one of them.

[tags]deal or no deal, mensa, darcy tucker, patrick eaves, leafs, senators, popeye’s, halal[/tags]


The new TV On The Radio album Return To Cookie Mountain and Viva Voce‘s Get Yr Blood Sucked Out are both very good.

[tags]tv on the radio, return to cookie mountain, viva voce, get yr blood sucked out[/tags]