Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Dave Hates This Stuff

What do you think? By the way, Canadians, Mike Huckabee is running for President in 2008. No one supports his campaign more than Rick Mercer.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Poetry Tuesday Three


My stated objective-- the goal of my writing this poem,
is to create something old fashioned; something nostalgic.
I want this poem to be the pocketwatch you pull
out of the breast pocket of your vest,
rubbing its shiny case between your forefinger
and thumb. The case should shut with a satisfying click.
I want it to sew a leather patch
on the elbow of your tweed jacket,
or hem your pants while you stand there
with your mother-in-law pursing her lips
holding that needle. Ideally, this poem
will mend things rather than throw them out.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Keep An Eye on Those Guys...

You know who--those guys. The ones who support attacks on civilians...The terrorist supporters...

From Today's CSM:

Those who think that Muslim countries and pro-terrorist attitudes go hand-in-hand might be shocked by new polling research: Americans are more approving of terrorist attacks against civilians than any major Muslim country except for Nigeria.

The survey, conducted in December 2006 by the University of Maryland's prestigious Program on International Public Attitudes, shows that only 46 percent of Americans think that "bombing and other attacks intentionally aimed at civilians" are "never justified," while 24 percent believe these attacks are "often or sometimes justified."

Contrast those numbers with 2006 polling results from the world's most-populous Muslim countries – Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nigeria. Terror Free Tomorrow, the organization I lead, found that 74 percent of respondents in Indonesia agreed that terrorist attacks are "never justified"; in Pakistan, that figure was 86 percent; in Bangladesh, 81 percent.

Read It:



Thursday, February 22, 2007

Festipus in Boots



Festipus, the Festivus Octopus

Most holidays in the western tradition have adopted bizarre mascots over the years. Easter, for example, features a rabbit that somehow lays colourful eggs and an occasional nougat-filled glob of chocolate in the spring. How we went from the resurrection to bunny-chicken-chocolate hybrids prior to the age of genetic engineering is beyond me.

Now, thanks to Uncle Jay, another mascot joins the pantheon. Jay saw this picture of Sophie on our refrigerator, and asked what it was. I explained that it was Sophie's picture with handprints below it to make a rough 'christmas angel'--.

Jay said "Angel? That looks more like an octopus".

I'm not sure who said it first, but I believe history has been made.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present the new mascot for Festivus:

Festipus, the Festivus Octopus.

What legends and stories should be part of the traditional Festivus story?



Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Poetry Tuesday: Part Two


The glass is half full,
but the clear water contains

Monday, February 12, 2007

Canadian Poetry Tuesdays: Our New Weekly Feature

Today's featured poet: Steve McOrmond

The End of the World

The persistent cough, the routine procedure,
the congenital defect, the faulty wiring,
the fire in the starboard engine, the force majeure,
the mistress in the city, the last spirited thrust,
the little breeze off the coast of Africa,
the apples torn from the trees,
the unopened mail, the paperboy ringing the bell,
the atmospheric anomaly, the snow on the TV,
the hot wind with its tincture of rotting fish,
the wasps-nest of tumors, the drug-resistant strain,
the feeding tube, the shunt, the morphine drip,
the fatigue and general malaise,
the night inventory of the medicine cabinet,
the sleeping pills, the razor blades,
the reversals suffered as a child,
the bend in the road, the patch of black ice,
the telephone pole, advancing in the high beams,
the statistical improbability, the cougar attack,
the stray piece of cosmic debris, the locals celebrating
the wedding of the lovliest girl in the village
by firing their guns in the air.

This poem was originally published in ARC Poetry Magazine #57.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Fungi of the Month

It's February 10th. Shame on you if you haven't looked up Tom Volk's Fungi of the Month yet.

For the first time in ten years, Professor Volk hasn't posted a fungus of the month. He's recovering from heart transplant surgery. A speedy recovery to you, Dr. Volk!

For years, I've read Dr. Volk's entries. Like my brother-in-law Neil, Dr. Volk has a gift for bringing the esoteric down to a level where mouth-breathers such as myself can actually comprehend something scientific.

Here's one of my favourites: Mushrooms on My Money: The Duteromycetes or Fungi Imperfecti

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The Apple Cell Phone: It's Still Not Enough To Make Me Happy

So last month Stephen Jobs made his big pitch for the new Apple I Phone. For technology fetishists, this is white, shiny manna from heaven:

All the power and sophistication of the world’s most advanced operating system — OS X — is now available on a small, handheld device that gives you access to true desktop-class applications and software, including rich HTML email, full-featured web browsing, and applications such as widgets, Safari, calendar, text messaging, Notes, and Address Book. iPhone is fully multi-tasking, so you can read a web page while downloading your email in the background. This software completely redefines what you can do with a mobile phone.

Yay, technology.

It's now official: there is no task in life people in the 18-27 demographic can accomplish without a cellphone.

As for me, I'm still not satisfied. I'm holding out for a phone that can allow me to surf the web and perform my own colonoscopy. I simply won't be happy until I can monitor my website and maintain my rectal health with a phone.

P.S. I've now joined the new blogger, and anyone can post comments once again.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

You Got Yer Money's Worth the first twenty minutes. The next three hours were on the house.

On Saturday, Laurie and I spent a rare night out on the town at the Livery where we witnessed the triumphant return of Kati Durst, our hometown Canadian Idol finalist.

Although Kati is a wonderful singer, nobody thought she'd go as far as she did due to the fact that she's more Lillith Fair/Liz Fair than Hillary Duff/Pop Fluff. By performing songs like "I'm Not Ready to Make Nice" by the Dixie Chicks, Kati sealed her doom as a would-be pop princess but kept true to herself.

The night was billed as "Kati Durst and Friends", and it seems that the pride of Goderich sprang forth from fertile soil. Our town isn't some formaldehyde tank from which pod people like Justin Timberlake and Jessica Simpson emerge, it's a place where skilled musicians hone their craft in barns, basements, and garages.

The show began with country classics played by the Legion All Stars, and ended with classic blues by the London-based TW and the All Stars. Inbetween the respective all stars, Craig Harrison and the Empty Threats played nasty, gritty rock, and Sutherland played the best cover of "Miss You" I've ever heard. Any band can play "Satisfaction", but very few have a bassist willing to tackle the funky bass lines of "Exile on Mainstreet"--the Stones at their sleazy, pimpy seventies best.

When TW and the All Stars hit the stage, my first impression was that I was looking at a blues version of Spinal Tap. The drummer was reminiscent of Derek Smalls with his Fu Manchu,Harley skullcap and Owen Wilson schnoz, the bassist looked like a hyper-annuated Harry Potter, and TW completed the ensemble with his steetstreeper mustache and ratty fedora. All of them looked like they had been drinking burbon since they had been able to hold a sippy cup. But man, could they play--those grizzled verterans produced the musical equivalent of God clearing his throat--which, when it comes to blues, is a good thing.

Thanks, Katie, for bringing the music back home, and for bringing your home to your music!

There's only one band that could've made the show any better...

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