Monday, July 30, 2007

Dear Mr. Prentice

The Economist tells us that it's a stupid thing to build on a flood plain. This is kind of self-evident, when people are swimming in their living room in sewage. So, of course, when it becomes necessary to rebuild a community because it's on a flood plain, you'd think, "Hey, let's move the community off of the flood plain!"

Apparently, the memo wasn't understood at the political level at INAC.

This doesn't have much (or anything) to do with Ottawa as a city, but with the stupidity that exists among policy makers of all kinds in this city.

I should have known better because I listen to The Clash

I fought the law, and the law won.

Just so everyone in Ottawa knows. Or at least the person who reads this blog knows and can spread the information - there is a 3 hour parking limit applied to the entire city of Ottawa whether there is a sign posted or not. I hate when beaurocrats manage to write bylaws that have catch alls. Jerks.

So whether or not there is a sign posted if you park somewhere over 3 hours, you'll get fined. Whether or not you're, you know, actually taking a parking space from someone, blocking a fire hydrant or within a meter and a half of a driveway (funny how that one never gets ticketed). Fair enough, I saw their little by-law and I paid the damned $30. I should have gone to the bank and got them to give me $30 in pennies which I could deliver unrolled, alas I only just thought of that. But I give it to you to use any future parking endeavours you undertake.

I don't feel justified here because I got ticketed on a practically empty street in The Glebe. It's not like my car was in the way or taking up space during a local event or something.

The place you go to fight these things is not exactly centrally located either. I chose Nepean because it's by Algonquin College (which I could locate) and I don't ever want to go to Orleans which is the other location. Oh I'm sure you like it, but like Kanata I need something like the Senators or a really good bbq-pool party plus transportation provided to get me there.

When I first showed up there were no people in line to pay parking tickets so I got my forms to fill out and an info sheet. I sat down to fill them out and when I read the info sheet I discovered the whole 3-hour limit thing so I got up to begrudgingly pay the fine. Naturally there were two people ahead of me and the woman at the counter was insane. The attractive woman behind the counter was getting more and more frustrated and none of us could really blame her because the person "paying" the fine couldn't really finish a coherent sentence. She wanted to see the guy who gave her the fine. Claimed she spoke to him on the phone and he was cancelling the ticket. Then she wanted to go to court but she had missed a few court dates. Then she wanted to pay the fine but wanted to know if she could get her money back if they cancelled the ticket. It went on and frickin' on. So by the time I got my turn I was really nice to the woman at the desk who seemed to have suffer just a bit too much at 4pm on a Friday.

I hope I never get a noise violation.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Does anyone else agree with me that Brian Burke should shut his big yapper?

Every time I hear the man speak, I feel like punching him in the face. He's an arrogant, yet whiny, arsemonkey.

Didn't sign Penner for less? Want to keep him? Deal with it.

Just about everything the man says drives me up the wall. I'd love to lock him and Bobby Clarke in a soundproof room so I never have to hear their idiotic ramblings again. I think the both of them belong on the list of 101 people who are screwing up Canada, even if they work in the U.S.

Friday, July 27, 2007

News flash - nothing worthy of news coverage happened!

Is it really news that Barry Bonds didn't hit a home run? So what?

Let me know when he hits one. I don't care that he didn't, and hasn't since whenever. There is too much coverage of this one. Supposedly, the Giants played a game against the Braves, and there were runs scored - but all I saw on Sportsnet this morning were Bonds' at-bats, not the run-scoring plays.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

So Long Facebook

I will be deactivating my Facebook account on August 1 because I don't need that many people interupting my life.

If you have anything important to tell me, I have a phone and e-mail.

Time to crank up the Public Enemy

Because I'm about to fight the power, fight the powers that be, G!

Having just gotten back from my eastern vacation I have the good fortune of having my aunt's car being lent to me for two weeks. Being as I live in the Glebe and can walk to work I actually have little use for it during the working week. That, on top of crowded streets and restrictive parking policies at both my, and my wife's place of employment means I had to find an alternative.

That alternative came in the form of Second Avenue between O'Connor and Queen Elizabeth Drive. Why? Simple. THERE ARE NO SIGNS ABOUT WHAT THE PARKING REGULATIONS ARE. So naturally after two days of having a car parked there I got a parking ticket for violating a 3 hour limit. Since there was no posted limit on this street I jumped into action. Okay, first I cursed the whore of a mother who gave birth to the piddly little weiner that gave me a ticket, then I jumped into action.

I've taken pictures of the car and the street to show there are no parking signs anywhere in sight. Yes, the north side of the street is littered with no-parking signs but the south side has nothing whatsoever. I also used the video function on my camera to record a walk down the street from end to end proving there are no signs in sight. So, yes, I'm going to fight this because I wouldn't have parked there if there was a time limit for parking posted. Since nothing is posted I'm a bit pissed that I now have to interupt my life to deal with this.

If I had blocked a fire hydrant, driveway or even parked beyond the posted limit I would have simply paid the ticket. I can afford it. But this is utter bullshit.

The topper for all of this, is that in order to fight the ticket I need to either go to Nepean or Orleans. So, to fight a violation of convenience I need to be able to travel to the most inconvenient places. Lovely. I can only imagine what will happen if I have to actually go to a court to fight this. It'll probably be in Kanata on a Monday morning a few months from now when I no longer have a car to get there.

This feels like a quick grab for $30-$40 by the city of Ottawa because the car has Quebec plates. Well fuck you, I'm going to take this as far as I can baby. I'm going to keep everyone updated on this blog as well. As soon as I get the photos and video off the camera I'll post them up here as exhibits A and B.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Oh-oh-whoa that sinking feeling

Hello loyal reader, I'm back from vacation and the co-conspirators have done well in my absence.

I'm now going to explain a metaphor ad-nauseum. Enjoy!

Having just seen the Tall Ships in Halifax, including the remade Bounty for the movie starring Anthony Hopkins and the Anti-semite I don't talk about anymore from Australia, er LA now I suppose, I'm of course talking about rats fleeing a sinking ship. It's just one of those sayings that gets bandied about when people swarm away as fast as they can from some enterprise these days. Well it used to be true. You see, in old wooden sailing ships they all had rats. When they started to sink the rats did what they could to reach higher ground. Sailors would scramble after them if a wave of rats ran by because it usually meant the water was rising fast. You've seen Titanic so you'll know what I'm talking about.

Here's the thing about rats. They're actually kind of smart and a lot like people. Sure they're pestilent but have you listened to anything John Tory has said recently? It's why rats are used in experiments. They're a lot like us in intelligence and genetic make-up.

So, sailors take notice. The rats are fleeing. When the best candidate moves on, and the only one I respected from my time there who improved as a candidate and deserves to win, not on privilege or ideas but on hard work, for greener pastures a watery grave can't be far behind.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Apparently, St. John's likes mayors who are morons.

I have never been to St. John's. I'm sure most people in St. John's are lovely. Actually, I'm pretty convinced of it, from the many Newfoundlanders I've met in Ottawa. But, unfortunately, they keep a moron like Andy Wells in the Mayor's seat.

So what does this have to do with Ottawa? Well, nothing really. Except that maybe "Those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones". Why do Canadian cities so often pick morons for Mayor?

Monday, July 16, 2007

A little bit of brilliance in the beige

Last night, myself, Jan and a couple of friends went to the brilliant under-20 football match between Argentina and Mexico, down at Frank Clair stadium. These two teams were very classy, and diving and gamesmanship (the bane of my football watching) were not rampant. The fans were fun (especially the Mexican fans; whenever the Argentinian goalie was taking a goal kick, they would cheer, gradually raising their voice, and once the ball was kicked, they'd yell "Puto!!!" If you don't speak Spanish and are easily offended, don't translate it.)

The final result was 1-0 for Argentina - a fair result, given that the Argentines were just a little more creative than the Mexicans. Both teams were very well organized in defense (it's not for nothing that Argentina has let in one goal all tournament).

After the match, the Argentinian fans engaged in a prolonged drumming and dancing session outside the stadium. It was very intense, and a brilliant semi-spontaneous party. Very unbeige. I will miss this tournament.

If I were an Argentine, I would wear this shirt around Mexicans today.

2007 has shown Ottawa to be very unlike what I expect out of the city. Perhaps there is some life to the city, life that can turn the beige into something more colourful.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

How to make something important, glib

The Ottawa Citizen has a profile up of Richard Warman. The only thing they left out was that he was the guarantor on my last passport.

The only thing I really knew about the guy before I suddenly found out he's one of the most admirable people in Canada is that when he ran for the Greens the first time his signs were printed Richard War Man.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I was walking to work today listening to my lifebubble (ipod) and things just sort of all managed to coalesce into something beautiful. I had The Arctic Monkeys singing ‘Because you people are all vampires’ as I walked by the Tim Hortons that had people lined up out into the street.

You could hear their colons hardening. I should take a picture to document them in extreme weather days to prove to the world how sad our Capital is when our workforce will submit itself to extreme heat, cold, smog and rain to eat overpriced donuts and sub-par coffee.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

File Under "O" for Obvious

Or possibly under "N" for "No shit Sherlock."

The CBC website has managed to come up with the biggest, well, duh! headline I've ever seen.

Roman Catholic Church only true church, says Vatican.

I hope this is a running series of bleedingly obvious stories. Future Stories include:

  • Dinosaurs Still Extinct.
  • America is the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave, says Anthem
  • Canada Only Spelled with Three A's, says Dictionary

I expect this sort of journalism from the Daily Planet, not the CBC. I mean they can't tell Superman and Clark Kent are one and the same person, plus, I've read way too many Jimmy Olsen comics so I've seen some of their headlines reaffirming the dinosaur extinction.

Buddy Guy...can this guy ever wail on that guitar or what? At the age of seventy one (yes, folks, 71!), the blues legend played a showcase set last night, ripping through classic tunes, improvising a bit, cracking the odd joke or two, even a bit of impression of other performers, basically a smokin' hot electric Chicago-style blues. Buddy put on a clinic and demonstrated where other amazing guitarists, from Clapton to Jimmy Page to Johnny Lang, have learned their licks.

You know a show is good when the middle aged lady in front of you who normally would have no signs of rhythm is dancing and bopping along, while your normally reserved and quite buddy is shouting at the top of his lungs. You know you're seeing something special, a legend in the proper sense of the word, when the guy can get away with letting the band do most of the hard work, most of the "filler" and still shows up to deliver the stand-out bars and a huge applause, of course. And you know that it's a good show when this old dude in a ridiculous shirt is playing faster and harder blues chords than Led Zep played in their time (but wait, they are younger than Buddy Guy...).

Monday, July 9, 2007

For some reason the title feature isn't working today. So make up your own. It's interactive!

Every morning I’m laying in bed listening to the CBC trying to wake me up. It’s usually at that time of the day I come up with an idea of what I should write a blog post about. Today was a real doozy. I had a hard time deciding between why certain media and elected officials have a hard-on for Canada to be a victim of terrorism and the people in lawn chairs at Bluesfest.

So I went with why we’re crap at soccer again.

Yes, I watched the game last night. Okay, not all of it because I was reading some Green Lantern comics for my other blog and I knew they’d lose. But I did watch some of the start, and when my wife flicked back to it about five minutes later Canada was already losing, and I watched the last forty minutes. Here’s the thing. For the most part we have a decent team. It’s the strikers that are absolute garbage.

There were all these images of this Lombardo kid upset when, really, he should be upset. If this was Columbia he’d best sleep with one eye open if anyone remembers the 1994 World Cup. It’s like he was on LSD and was hallucinating that the ball was a flaming vampire bat trying to eat him so he’d kick it as far away from his as humanly possible (mostly at a ninety degree angle to the earth). There’s no other way I can explain how horrible that guy was other than he was trying to start the Canadian Space Agency by kicking balls really high in the sky.

There were empty net headers that I could have made. While wearing my glasses. But our strikers managed to put the ball really high up over the net.

While they weren’t putting the ball really high over the net, they were just sort of watching the defenders kick it away when they could have easily run up to it and either taken a shot on goal or at least avoided Congo clearing it yet again. I know they must have been feeling utterly defeated but come the fuck on you bunch of babies. Suck it up.

There was generally solid defending. There was good long ball play and a bevy of crosses to make anyone proud but when you have strikers that are utter crap and have given up – no wonder the only record we set is shameful. First host nation to not score a goal.

Ironically, after the keeper got sent off for what I can only assume was the fact he decided to get drunk while the rest of his team lost which caused him to play the ball well out of his area – there was his Adidas commercial about his dedication to the sport. Unintentional hilarity.

I feel bad for guys like David Edgars who didn’t give up and played solidly. But I’m a biased Newcastle fan. Still, he deserved better than to watch the rest of his team waste the opportunities he gave them

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Uh... is this for real?

So, do I understand this correctly? Are there lots of Greens against wind power? I'm not sure if that's what M. Viau is getting at here. If so...

I'm going orange.

This is pure regressiveness. While we still could drastically reduce energy consumption, especially on transport (by changing how we build our infrastructure and making some decisions on lifestyle), we're not going to have our lifestyles and quality of life without energy. And there are too many extremists who stand against all options that are environmentally reasonable for generating power and providing energy. Nothing is perfect, but wind and hydropower (moreso in temperate climates than in tropical climates) are the best options we have right now.

Friday, July 6, 2007


Last night I went to an hour long car/US forces commercial that was filmed and acted like that Pearl Harbor movie but it ended with a great Transformers fight. Yeah, it was a stinker that would have been as bad as Pearl Harbor if it wasn't for the awesome robot fight scene. The robots are really done well and the free-way fight was totally awesome.

Otherwise it was a very long commercial for American Made Automobiles and the US Military where they eschewed standard movie protocols like "dialogue" in favor of "explaining things in excessive detail to the audience as if the actor were reading from a textbook." Which helped stink up Pearl Harbor - well it's back, en masse here.

But the robots are cool, even if you can't really tell them apart except for their colors and maybe size. If I was the age I first discovered Transformers and saw this movie I would have loved it. As an adult who just wanted to see robots punching each other I had to wait entirely too long with too many meat puppets reading textbooks at me about phosphorous ammunition - but they never explain why the Transformers actually, you know, transform (or for that matter why names like Bumblebee and Jazz are popular on Cybertron).

If you have a young son who likes the toys - go. If you like awesome 3D animation of robots - go. Otherwise, brace yourself for episode one.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Bob Dylan is playing the Bluesfest tonight. There is a 60% chance that A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Under 20

Or, How Many Goals Canada Has Scored in Soccer During Our Illustrious International Crusade

Okay, I realize we’ve probably managed to score more than 20 goals by now but I can be forgiven for making the assumption we’re a crap side on the pitch after watching that debut game against Chile. Heck, if a blind man was miraculously granted sight for ninety minutes and watched that game, seeing soccer for the first time ever, even he would have been able to tell the difference between a dominant team that was comfortable on the ball and a team that just didn’t belong there. Maybe that’s a bit harsh on Canada but they were absolute crap in that game. I do hope they turn it around because I’d like to see them do well, I’m just not holding my breath.

When you look at our FIFA ranking, you’ll understand my sense of futility here. We’re in the same group as all the other nations that have had massive genocides, famines, and other horrible disasters (natural or man-made) as well as some of the worst possible living conditions found on the planet. The only other “Western” nation of similar rank is New Zealand but I think they’re low ranking is because of all the trolls and orks raiding any human gathering. Well at least that’s my impression of New Zealand after watching The Lord of the Rings movies a few times.

So why are we crap? It’s the talk of my household and immediate vicinity. I keep hearing that it’s because we only have about 2 months where humans can kick a ball around outside during the year. While that makes a bit of logical sense, I don’t think that’s really it. That is a part of the equation, granted, another part is money – in that we don’t give any to sports (well I guess we give it to parents who enroll their kids into sports until the next election). Nope, the answer is that we’re a hockey nation (as long as Pat Quinn isn’t coaching).

Sure we don’t actually get medals at the Olympics anymore, but our junior teams are consistent performers. Pretty much any guy on the street can rattle off their favourite players, plays and all time favourite goals and how to improve their team (trade Redden). There’s nothing wrong in this, our team is more or less where it should be.

But seriously, don’t ever rag on our players for NOT playing for the Canadian team when they are eligible for teams like England and the Dutch. It’s like getting mad at a hockey player for abandoning his Junior B team for a gig in the NHL. We’re crap, let’s not hold back our talent. I mean didn’t we cut Owen Hargreaves? And now we’re all pissy that he won’t play for us. Gimme a break, he’s where he deserves to be.

I am happy to see the MLS taking off and supporting more local talent. Eventually we’ll be better contenders and hopefully get out of the FIFA group that contains countries that don’t have enough electricity to show up on a nightime map of the Earth. It might even happen in my lifetime.