I'd like a gallon of the "Quietude" please

My wife just arrived home with enough paint samples to tile our floor. I’m having trouble deciding between “hidden peak”, “nature retreat”, “amphibian” and “paramount”. All four are shades of gray, by the way. In fact, there are about 50 different gray samples sitting on the counter right now, all with equally helpful names.

[tags]paint samples[/tags]

Take that, polar bear cub

It’s the cutest of all animals cranking up the cute meter even further. Set your adorable threshold to high for otters holding hands.

Between that video and sites like i can has cheezburger, apparently anthropomorphization of animals is my entertainment of choice these days.


The shingles have moved on to the “throbbing pain” stage. This would explain why the doctor offered me Tylenol3. Guess I should’ve taken that.

[tags]otters holding hands, shingles, trobbing pain[/tags]

Going long on the Basque

For some reason today I can’t stop thinking about the proposal a few years ago by DARPA to create a futures market for terrorism. When the idea was first announced I had the same reaction as most people: it was too macabre an idea. In recent months, a few years on from the project being scrapped, I started to see the good points behind it. The free market tends to bring out any information that someone feels will be profitable, and so the rationale was that a potential informant would be swayed more by the lure of shorting a terrorist attack stock than the prospect of doing the right thing.

However, the free market also entices people to cheat, and so the next worry would be that terrorists could manipulate the futures market by, well, causing more terrorist attacks. In the “legitimate” investment world this untoward behaviour is monitored and punished by the likes of the SEC; in this case I think it’d be tough to get terrorists to subscribe to such governing bodies. So this market would be both macabre and prone to manipulation…manipulation in the form of people dying. Not going to win you any policy awards, that one.

I don’t know what’s been making me think of this lately. Nothing I’m reading or working on is even remotely in the neighbourhood of either terrorists or futures contracts, but…there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. My brain.

[tags]darpa, terrorism futures market[/tags]

Well…it's not flesh-eating disease…

It’s shingles.


Because, apparently, I’m 72. What the hell?


I’m staying home the rest of the week because my co-worker, who I sit next to and probably have the most contact with in the run of a day, has never had chicken pox (which is the virus that causes shingles) and there’s a chance I could give it to her. This sucks, because I have a very busy week of stuff that I was looking forward to, including tomorrow night’s Rheostatics concert, their penultimate show.


This just seems weird to me. Not the shingles themselves; apparently it’s not at all uncommon. Anyone who’s had chicken pox can get shingles, but it’s usually triggered by something. Here’s WebMD’s list of typical triggers:

  • Have a weakened immune system (such as people with cancer or HIV)
  • Are over the age of 50
  • Have been ill
  • Are experiencing trauma
  • Are under significant stress

Cancer: nope; HIV: nope; over 50: nope; ill: nope; experiencing trauma: nope; under significant stresss: not that I’m aware of. Honestly, the best that I (or Nellie) could come up with is that my body might be rather weakened by the recent drastic shift in diet. Whether that’s it or not, I can’t ignore the fact that I’ve been sick more in the past three months than I had been in the past three years. Maybe that’s coincidence, but when you consider that we haven’t done a great job of adjusting our diets (I know we don’t get enough protein, for example), it seems to be something that I have to address. So, reluctantly, I think I shall have to start eating fish again. Temporarily, until I can adjust my eating habits enough to be vegetarian and be healthy about it.



OK, changing gears now: is it wrong that I want to eat Jesus?


The proposed 60-story condo on the southeast corner of Yonge & Bloor has become a proposed 80-story condo. Any new development on that intersection would be an inprovement. As (city councillor) Kyle Rae put it, “I sorely would like to hide the Royal Bank building on the northeast corner. It’s brutal.”


There’s so much stuff in the new Harry Rosen magazine that I want that my wallet has begun to glow, kind of like Frodo’s sword when there’s an orc nearby.


I’m with Serge Savard: hockey should be banned from fighting. It has nothing to do with the game. No other pro sport allows it, let alone condones it. If you’re excited about watching two guys fight, there’s another sport called boxing which I believe would be right up your alley. If I’m watching hockey I prefer skill plays and hard bodychecks to pre-arranged fights and tough-guy posturing.

[tags]shingles, chocolate jesus, toronto condo, yonge and bloor, harry rosen, serge savard, hockey fighting[/tags]

Sold for a smile

I love how music will just unexpectedly yank me back to specific moments. My nomad played “Waiting For Something To Happen” by The Gandharvas this morning on the way to work, and I could suddenly remember sitting in my friend Ken’s car, in the parking lot of a beer store on Victoria Park, on the way to a party at our friend’s apartment in the beach. We must’ve been listening to the CD, or maybe it came on the radio…not sure. That must’ve been in 1998, and I haven’t thought of that moment since  — why would I? Beer store parking lots aren’t very exciting — but hearing that song this morning dragged me back.


It'd better not be flesh-eating disease

I have a doctor appointment tomorrow, since whatever it is that’s affecting me is getting worse. The sunburn-like pain on the left side of my face and neck has spread to my shoulder blade, as well as to the back and top of my head. In some places it’s actually turned into a rash or something. The thing (it’s too small to call a lump) on the back of my head is still there, and rather painful. My wrist is also really sore, but I think that’s ’cause I had to sleep funny to stay off my left side and jammed it somehow.

I took some off-the-shelf allergy medication today but it didn’t do anything, so the doctor it is. I didn’t sleep well either, between the pain and the partying asshole neighbours, so I now have a tired-headache. I’m going to bed right after the hockey game. Then the doctor tomorrow. The jammed wrist can wait. One thing at a time.

[tags]allergic reaction[/tags]

The dreaded cheese-lump

Is it possible to have an allergic reaction to cheese? That lasts for several days and causes (among other things) a lump on the back of one’s head? ‘Cause if it isn’t, then I don’t know what the hell’s happening to me.

[tags]cheese, allergy[/tags]