Can I get a copy of that?

Here’s how my life is gonna go for the next couple of days. Tonight I have to work on my finance assignment. Tomorrow I have to go to work, of course. Tomorrow evening we’re having dinner at Canoe with CBGB; Saturday I’ll watch the PVR’d hockey game and then we have to run a pile of errands and pick up our new chairs. Saturday evening we have people coming over before we head out to a holiday party. Sunday will be spent recovering, watching another PVR’d hockey game and finishing — hopefully — the finance assignment. It is at that point that I will collapse onto the couch, read the newspaper and give the middle finger to the MBA for two weeks while I focus on Christmas shopping.

Weird to have the next 72 hours of my life planned out like that. Kind of depressing too.


Today’s episode of What The Duck distills the troubling conundrum of “entertainment news” down to a three-panel comic.


I will be going to this:

Whipper Snapper Gallery recently announced an exhibition of Toronto’s top four photo bloggers for the month of December. It’s called The Too-Explicit Injustice of Kind Population! and it runs from the 6th to the 29th. The exhibition title is an anagram of the different website names. Don’t worry… I don’t get it either!

More info.

[tags]canoe, what the duck, whipper snapper gallery, toronto photobloggers[/tags]

Was Anna Nicole 2006? Or 2007?

From OpenCulture: an interview with Stephen King. Normally I have no interest in what King has to say, but this is pretty funny:

STEPHEN KING: So who’s going to be TIME Person of the Year?

TIME: I really don’t know, there’s a very small group of people who make that decision.

STEPHEN KING: I was thinking, I think it should be Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan.

TIME: Really?

STEPHEN KING: Yeah. You know, I just filmed a segment for Nightline, about [the movie version of his novella] The Mist, and one of the things I said to them was, you know, “You guys are just covering — what do they call it — the scream of the peacock, and you’re missing the whole fox hunt.” Like waterboarding [or] where all the money went that we poured into Iraq. It just seems to disappear. And yet you get this coverage of who’s gonna get custody of Britney’s kids? Whether or not Lindsay drank at her twenty-first birthday party, and all this other shit. You know, this morning, the two big stories on CNN are Kanye West’s mother, who died, apparently, after having some plastic surgery. The other big thing that’s going on is whether or not this cop [Drew Peterson] killed his… wife. And meanwhile, you’ve got Pakistan in the midst of a real crisis, where these people have nuclear weapons that we helped them develop. You’ve got a guy in charge, who’s basically declared himself the military strongman and is being supported by the Bush administration, whose raison d’etre for going into Iraq was to spread democracy in the world.


I have to tell you, a Canadiens win over the Leafs puts me in a good mood for at least a couple of days.

[tags]stephen king, time person of the year, canadiens, leafs[/tags]

R.I.P., Richie

There was a power outage in my neighbourhood today…except I don’t think the power went off in my building. I was just leaving work at 7 when the power came back on in the large area that had gone dark so I can’t say for sure, but nothing in my condo would appear to have suffered the ill effects of a blackout. Weird.


Sad news from back home today: my old neighbour Richie Pettigrew died. I’ve known Richie since I was born, as my father probably did. He worked for my grandfather, and his son worked for my dad. My childhood memories are filled with funny stories Richie would tell us, or of being at his (and his wife Margaret’s) house down the road, or of eating freshly-made maple cream off the tiny wooden spoons he’d carved by hand for my dad.

He was like a great-uncle. I’ll miss him.

[tags]toronto blackout, richie pettigrew[/tags]

I'm a real Torontonian now

I’m a little sore right now.

This morning I had to take a cab to a meeting north of the city. As we drove east on Adelaide, moving at a pretty good clip, we approached the light at Parliament. I could see that it was red, but we were driving like it was green. I don’t think the cabbie clued in; around the time that I started to say, “Hey, that light…” a dump truck came into view, heading south into the same intersection that we were about to cruise into. The cabbie jammed on the brakes and tried to curl left around the truck, but he didn’t quite make it. The cab slammed into the truck’s rear tires.

I had plenty of warning; I clearly figured out that the red-light situation before the driver did. I had lots of time to brace, and we were probably only doing 30km/h or so by the time we hit the truck, but I still went into the seat belt pretty hard. Fortunately I didn’t hit my head on anything, and didn’t feel whiplash-y at all. It didn’t even freak me out all that much; I just angrily told the cabbie (who was fine, but clearly a little disoriented) to call dispatch and send me another cab. The front end was pretty much trashed. I crossed the street to the south side and talked to the truck driver. He was fine, obviously, and so was his truck. He was just annoyed at being held up with the accident report. Anyway, I still had to get to my meeting, so I climbed in the replacement taxi and headed north.

Midway through the day some soreness started to set in. No muscular pain or pinched-nerve feeling (which is something that would worry me), just some soreness through my shoulder and chest muscles. Really, it just feels like I lifted a whole bunch of weight all at once, from tensing up and bracing like that. My boss sent me home from the meeting early; I decided against a sitting in the chairs at a walk-in clinic (or even Advil) and just laid down for a while to straighten out. Felt fine after an hour. My back hurts a little now, but I actually think that’s ’cause I don’t have my new chair adjusted properly yet.

Anyway, I guess being in a minor accident makes me just a little more Torontonian, even if I wasn’t driving. Thanks, Beck Taxi #725.

[tags]beck taxi, accident, adelaide, parliament, dump truck[/tags]

If there were a market for sleep, I'd be a buyer

I’m tired. More tired than I should be. We went out for dinner last night with my old friend CBJ and his wife. They swung by to see our new place first, then we supped at beerbistro. We weren’t out that late, but I just couldn’t get my ass in gear today. I’m feeling awfully lazy and run-down. Apart from taking out the recycling and starting some laundry the most ambitious thing I did today was watch Jaws. Nellie, however, went to the One Of A Kind Show with CB; now that they’re home GB will come over to join us and we’ll watch the new Battlestar Galactica movie.

Oh yeah:  an hour ago the Snowbirds were flying around over Lake Ontario, and they actually swung around right in front of us…closer than the air show planes in the summer. I guess they’re here because it’s Grey Cup Sunday.

[tags]beerbistro, jaws, one of a kind show, battlestar galactica razor, snowbirds, lake ontatio[/tags]

Seven lean years…

Thanks, Stephen Harper. Way to improve our image on the national stage.

MUNYONYO, Uganda – Canada appears to have got its way at Commonwealth talks on climate change.

The 53-member organization has produced an agreement stripped of any reference to binding targets for greenhouse gas emissions.

Canada and Australia had been the lone holdouts against an earlier resolution that would have included such targets – and the Australian government has just been defeated in an election.


The home improvement continues. Last night we picked up the framed poster that we bought in Paris (well…saw at a restaurant in paris, ordered here at home and had framed down the street) and hung it on the wall. The drill we bought finally came in handy; this sucker’s about 36″x48″ so we needed to sink some screws into the studs. We moved around some other picture, put up some shelves, through out some old pictures…it’s like we’re moving again.

Today we dropped a bunch of stuff at Goodwill, then picked up a counter-height dining table (which Nellie’s being eying for about a year) and a Herman Miller Aeron chair (which I’ve wanted since about 1999). My ass is firmly planted in it as I type this and I think it might just be the best thing I’ve ever bought.

Next up were some new chairs; a place just down the street had some that we liked so we ordered them in for next week. Time to get rid of that old cushy beige one and get some grown-up chairs. We bought some frames for our  diplomas too; after nine years I guess Nellie figures it’s time to hang hers up.

Now Nellie’s off shopping for a dress for my company’s xmas party next weekend, while I unpack the new stuff and wait for the cleaning service to finish up. It’s been a busy 20 hours!

I think we’re going through this mad decoration phase for two reasons: first, we’re entertaining tonight and next Saturday, which gives us some incentive to finally do something; we’d been too busy and complacent after moving in to finish everything off. Second, we went years without buying any new furniture, or painting, or hanging new art, because we were waiting for the condo to be built. I’ve been sitting on the same $40 office chair since my fourth year of university, so I don’t mind dropping the dough for an Aeron to make up for the 11 years of sore-ass.

[tags]canada, commonwealth talks, climate change, stephen harper, condo decorating, herman miller, aeron[/tags]

Aren't book-banning parents becoming tired of being clichés?

Dear Halton Catholic school board: why would you think that the best example to set for your children would be one of ignorance, censorship and religious intolerance?

Halton’s Catholic board has pulled The Golden Compass fantasy book – soon to be a Hollywood blockbuster starring Nicole Kidman – off school library shelves because of a complaint.

“(The complaint) came out of interviews that [author] Philip Pullman had done, where he stated that he is an atheist and that he supports that,” said Scott Millard, the board’s manager of library services.

I say it’ll be back on shelves in less than a week. Takers?

[tags]halton catholic school board, book banning, golden compass[/tags]

The only day of the hockey season that I don't hate Boston

I got home from work late and I still have to read 25 pages of corporate finance, so tonight’s a link dump night:


This story makes me feel good each November: every year the people of Nova Scotia send a giant Christmas tree to the city of Boston. They do this in perpetual thanks to Boston for sending doctors and medical supplies to Halifax after the Halifax explosion in 1917. However, what I didn’t know until today (thanks, Wikipedia) is that this annual gifting didn’t start until 1971. Not sure why it took 54 years for the tradition to begin. Anyway, it just warms the cockles of my heart. Thanks Boston.

Oh, and thanks for beating the Leafs last night too.

[tags]jellyfish, giant scorpions, edgar bronfman, music industry, cristobal huet, chris higgins, nova scotia, boston, christmas tree, halifax explosion, bruins, maple leafs[/tags]

I wonder how it would handle DeSagana Diop?

Closed captions are funny. Sometimes when I’m studying I mute the TV, and the captions come on automatically. A minute ago I saw a basketball highlight, Tony Parker passing the ball to Manu Ginobli under the net for a layup. However, the speech-to-text software (or maybe it’s still humans?) must’ve been confused by the Argentinian name ’cause the caption read “Parker to a monitor nobly.” Apparently Philip K. Dick was calling the game tonight.


Dylan Reid at Spacing Magazine published what must surely be the definitive guide to the rules governing pedestrians crossing mid-block in Toronto. I specifically avoided using the term “jaywalking” as it suggests an infraction and, as Mr. Reid points out, it’s simply not illegal to walk across the street in Toronto.

It is legal for pedestrians to cross the street mid-block anywhere in Toronto as long as:

a) they are not adjacent to a marked pedestrian crossing, and

b) they yield to traffic.

This legal situation is a combination of Ontario law, through the Highway Traffic Act, and City of Toronto by-laws.

I like this. I cross the street away from crosswalks all the time, and I occasionally even do it right in front of a police car, but I assume I’d never gotten a ticket because the police were too busy with more important matters. Turns out I’m not doing anything wrong. It’s not even very dangerous; I’m very careful about crossing mid-block, and any Toronto pedestrian knows that drivers in this city treat crosswalks as loose recommendations, so it’s not like crossing there offers safety.


Today Nellie did something that made my very happy. She booked the linchpin in our spring trip: two nights at Lake O’Hara Lodge, high up in the mountains of Yoho National Park. We hiked there last year (description | pictures), but we had to take a bus up the mountain at 10 and down at 4. This way we can get a full two or three days of hiking up there. Plus, just look at the view!! Whatever else comes of the trip I’m happy. I’d fly to Calgary just for that.

By the way, it might seem like we’re booking obsessively early (we’re not going until late June) but this place fills up fast. They started taking reservations yesterday and by today they were nearly sold out for all of next season.

[tags]closed captioning, manu ginobli, jaywalking in toronto, crossing midblock, spacing magazine, lake o’hara, yoho national park[/tags]