Geez, are we that hard up for controversy? Wednesday, Apr 26 2006 

This Britney Spears Giving Birth sculpture debacle is yet another indication that America has too much time on their hands. Can you believe that this has caused controversy with the pro-lifers? I quote from the CBC:

Pro-life advocates “thought this was degrading to their movement. And some pro-choice people were upset that this is a pro-life movement,” David Kesting, co-owner of Brooklyn’s Capla Kesting Fine Art Gallery, told AP.

So we have the pro-lifers angry for 2 reasons: 1) degrading to their movement (huh?), and 2) because the sculptor considers it a “new take on pro-life” (double huh?). I think if pro-lifers want to be considered reputable in any way, they should stay as far away from this fiasco as possible. But then again, one might be dead wrong in assuming these organizations want to be reputable.
My observations are:

  • why would a gallery take in this piece of ‘art’ except primarily for money and publicity? I find it hard to believe they would have any other motive.
  • what “artist” would create this work except for money and publicity? Again, what other motive?
  • who commissioned this endeavour (it wasn’t the model btw)?

It’s good to see that art does reflect reality: Money makes the world go round.

It is re-assuring that the gallery will be hiring extra security while the display is on because who knows what could happen to it.

Final thought: why did they put Ashley Judd’s head on the body of a pregnant Britney Spears?

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Ryder sends the series into Deja Vu Monday, Apr 24 2006 

The Habs have just scored in double OT to take the win 6-5 and now a 2-0 lead in the series vs the Carolina Hurricanes.  The Habs have come into the playoffs red hot and are definitely a scary 7th seed to contend with.   Courtesy of Ryder, who leads the team in goals this season, they are in a great position taking 2 games on the road. (more…)

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Speaking of Consistency…. Monday, Apr 24 2006 

This past weekend, due to consistent routine we’re building with Olivia, I’ve noticed that Treehouse and Family stations also follow a routine. This is obviously intentional. Nonetheless, I am already sick of the following shows:

  • Blues Clues
  • Big Comfy Couch
  • Dora
  • That stupid red-headed kid (No not you Chris): “Daniel Cook”

So, out of sheer annoyance, and since Olivia is hardly every watching the TV anyway, I flipped it to Family in time to catch “Spiderman” on both Saturday and Sunday. Now that is quality cartoonage! I ask you this, how did they make those funky sounds? You know, those different sounds made when Spidey flings his webby gook from his wrists? Or whenever Spidey clobbers or is clobbered by a villain? I can’t find anywhere on the web that describes how the sound effects were made for that show. Maybe I should ask “Smilin’ Stan Lee” (check out the credits at the end of the show sometime ;) ).

Despite the fact, or maybe because of the fact that the creators loved to use the same footage over and over and over and over for different episodes, this show is great! Spidey is so sarcastic it makes me laugh. And have you looked closely at J.J. Jameson? Is that a little Hitler moustache he’s sporting?

If you haven’t watched it lately, shame on you! You best check your schedule for the next showing.

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Consistency is key Monday, Apr 24 2006 

Last Saturday was officially the 1st daddy daughter day!  Sonia was off on a well-deserved personal day so I had the honour of sharing my day with Olivia:  from 8:30 to 5:30!

What’s the #1 thing I needed to be sure of?  Consistency.  Sonia has educated me (as well as “The Baby Whisperer”) that babies are creatures of habit.  They need routine and if/when at all possible, do not stray from that routine.  Simply put, I needed to follow the E.A.S.Y. routine (Eat, Activity, Sleep and then Your time).  With that in mind, it turned out to be far from the crazy day I thought it was going to be.  In fact, as you all would have likely suspected, we had a wonderful day. (more…)

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Angry Tax Payer Wednesday, Apr 12 2006 

I am not happy.  I received an ‘amended’ T4 from work the other day for 2004.  When I punch the updates in, I discovered my return should have been $550 less than it was.  Thus, I need to have a re-assessment done. 

I found out that the paperwork isn’t so bad since you can apply for an ‘ePass’ at ccra.ca that allows you to view lots of your government goings-on including previous years income tax assessments.  A click brings you to a re-assesment area where you can punch in the corrections and they will calculate the new balances online and then mail you an official document. 

Of course, any overdue tax payment is subject to interest and penalties.  As of April 30th, I’ll be a year overdue on the payment.  This equates to about $40.  You can be sure that the company will be footing that bill considering it was their blunder and tardiness.   I wonder if I wait long enough to inflate the penalties…..I’d better not go there.

I initially considered not paying it at all and feigning ignorance.  But further research highlighted to me that the government doesn’t allow ignorance as an excuse.  They’ll ding you anyway.  So, I have to assume eventually the error would have been noticed and to avoid the possibility of an unwanted audit, it’s in my best interest to cough up the coin.

Why is it I live in Canada again?

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Hazy ponder Friday, Apr 7 2006 

This week’s adventures put me in a susceptible state of mind. Earlier this week, somebody was wondering what it’s like to drive in a country where you’re on the left side of the road. I was able to provide input since I’ve had the privilege of driving a car in Australia and a scooter in Bermuda….the latter being a little more harried than you’d think. Yes, the speed limit is 50 kph EVERYWHERE on the island, and yes, my 50cc could only top out at 45 kph with a passenger (I could get it to reach about 60 if going downhill and wind-assisted), but the experience can be dicey nonetheless. The roads are winding and many of curves are blind. And Hamilton is large enough to provide a reasonable amount of traffic. But what a blast it was to drive around the island.

Since it’s very small, yet surprisingly long, there are miles of winding coastal driving, single-lane traffic and you can go from tip to tip in no time at all. Nothing like being able to see the ocean and beautiful landscape with the salty seabreeze in your face. Once you get over the initial learning curve of driving a scooter on the wrong side of the road with a passenger, it is a blast. And very convenient since it can be parked any and everywhere. All the little coves and beaches are accessible. Beats the transit and taxi system hands down and for about $100USD a week. Drive up to the pub, park it on the sidewalk and away you go. Now that I think about it, I think I have a bunch of pictures I’ll post that depict our scooter days on the island.

But I seriously digress. Like, way seriously. Back to this driving on the left side of the road. For some reason, I felt it to be incredibly intuitive. After the 1st couple minutes, it’s as easy as 1-2-3. I’m not kidding. The first time I had to drive was smack in the middle of Sydney. And the car was a manual (Aside: the stick shifting pattern is identical to North American cars except that you’re using the left hand instead – i.e. 1st is still top left, etc. etc.). The first time I made any mistake was early one morning when there was no other traffic to remind me. Yes, it is actually easier to drive when there’s other traffic around. Each time I’ve come back from a trip, I find myself longing for the left side of the road. It just feels right, I mean left.

That got me to thinking (remember, I’m in a susceptible frame of mind here): why is it that it seems so natural? And for that matter, why is it that certain places drive on the left and others on the right? This has been sitting there rolling around in my brain for a few days now. Yesterday I thought I was on to a plausible reason for why I like it: because I’m right handed! And therefore I like the action to be to my right when playing sports or doing manual tasks. It’s just advantageous that way and I’m more co-ordinated. So my mind must be conditioned to be comfortable with movements and layouts that are geared with a right hand in mind.

And then things got strange. I was relaxing in that place where I like to relax and I opened the Uncle John’s Reader to a random page and POW! what do I see: “What Side Are You On?” – a bunch of tidbits about driving on the left vs right!

Historically it appears that left-side was the first side: examining well-worn Roman roads going into stone quarries showed that the wheel ruts on the right side were deeper than on the left. Assuming the carts came in empty and went out full, that would mean they approached on the left side and left on the right (huh?). Even pre-cart days, as in walking and riding of horse, it is pretty much a given that people walked/rode on the left side of roads in order to keep their sword arm between them and oncoming threats. So, I think this adds to my right-handed intuition. Since most people are right handed, it therefore was natural that left-side was the way it all started.

So, why did some places shift over to the right? Lots of theories there but it seems to boil down to who was ruling your country at the key point in time: Britain = left-side, France=right-side because Napoleon was left-handed. Again, this satisfies my hunch! USA is an oddball – although British influenced, they moved to the right side because the drivers of wagons found it easier to see the oncoming wheels of other wagons (because the seats on the wagons where traditionall placed on the left side of the wagon).

And then there’s Canada. Oh, the confused peoples we are. French provinces (I guess that means Quebec and to the East??) were on the left, the rest were on the right. But thanks to the US dominance of the auto industry, everything went right including the Newfies – but they resisted until 1947. Good for them.

In total, according to Uncle John, 168 countries drive on the right and 75 on the left. That’s like 2-1. Too bad. I liked driving on the left side.

Anyway, that’s what was crawling through my conscience this week. Strange.

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How is it possible….a cold and a hockey game in spring? Wednesday, Apr 5 2006 

To catch a cold in spring?  Well, it happened to me.  For the first time in I don’t know how long I actually took a sick day from work.  But with Olivia and Sonia just on the tail end of their colds, it was not a stay in bed kind of day.  The good news is that I was able to catch some Z’s in the morning, but it was standard excitement after that.  Yet another eye-opener that as a parent, there’s no time to lay down and sleep it out from now on. (more…)

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