Friday, August 31, 2007

10 years

Okay, I will be really predictable with this one.

Question - do you remember wher you were when you'd heard the news princess Diana was dead?

I will always remember the moment and place, with a surreal clarity.

My friend Rob and I were driving along BC's Hwy 93 in my old pick-up truck. We'd been hiking in Kootenay national park but couldn't find a campsite at one of the backcountry spots - it was the long weekend, after all. So, we decided to head south, towards Radium Hot Springs, to grab a camping spot or at least put the tent up somewhere in the ditch. It was already fairly late, getting dark, and I was slightly paranoid about hitting an animal; lots of coyotes, wild game, even moose and bear on the roads in this part of the country. We turned the radio on; Rob's a guitarist and can't help but have tunes on while driving...I started to search for a local station or perhaps something on CBC radio. And there it was, on the news.

I think we were initially incredulous, maybe even said something to the effect of "holy s#$&!". Later on, we fell very quiet and just listened to the journalist's voice as he described the scene and the world reaction. It was heavy - despite the fact I had never been a big Diana fan or a watcher of any celebrities, nor was I particularly interested in the Royal family.

The absolute clarity with which I remember the evening speaks to the basic fascination us, humans, have with big, ditiniguishing markers in time, particularly when the event involves a tragedy of some sorts. And by "tragedy', I don't mean a loss of a friend. I mean a public event, on which strikes at a collective consciousness and which rearranges one's picture of the world...even to the point of shattering a long-held belief, illusion or impression.

When I was little, my schoolmates and I were all big followers of Formula 1 racing. And the driver we loved the most was Gilles Villeneuve. When he died in a crash in April 1982, my buddies and I held a minute of silence. We also held it the next year, and if I remember correctly, the year after. I was ten years old and the death of my favourite 'celebrity' affected me, no doubt.

The death of Princess Di probably did not strike at the same chord as that of a Formula 1 star. But I do think about her incredible life and her battles with the almost saint-like status, and about the fact she continues to hold this fascination for many people around the world. At the same time, how much has the world changes in the 10 years? How much less - or perhaps more - relevant would have Diana become? Would she be in politics now, like Hillary Clinton or Sonia Gandhi? What would she have to say about British troops in Iraq? I do wonder...and I do think about her remarkable effect on the world, at least on the anniversary.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bang bang (the drum)

Seems the Ottawa Congress Centre can't seem to get its story straight over whether they have a policy banning rap and hip-hop, artists that promote gun violence or just a blanket ban on concerts altogether. To be honest it sounded like they're just as unorganized and indifferent about their work as pretty much any other place that has a spirit crushing environment. Also, university aged males tend to want confrontation and to be right all the time so I'm sure neither side is totally coming out aces in this one.

Still, I find it quite disgusting that a vice president will just outright lie because he doesn't understand rap and hip hop. The second veep did a wonderful back pedal claiming he was only expressing a personal opinion and not official policy about artists and gun violence. I wonder if there are any free ridings for the Tories in the October election? I smell candidate, here!

But this morning on CBC the president was on, and granted I only heard the beginning and the end because I had to take a shower, where he explained that he decided that the Congress Centre just shouldn't hold any more concerts because it's not the right venue, it doesn't make good business sense, the staff isn't properly trained for that type of event and more along those lines. They all make perfectly good sense to me. It just looks really bad when you need 24 hours to prepare and answer that makes sense. May as well get a black t-shirt with white block letters that spell GUILTY across the chest much like a sixties batman thug had THUG spelled across his. Also, good policies are only good policies if you, and here's the important part, actually tell other people about them.

As for Mr. Gun Violence, I'm wondering if he has any Johnny Cash at home because that song Cash sings about tying up his wife and shooting her really has nothing to do about gun violence. Or that song about Folsom Prison, or A Boy Named Sue and many others. Same goes for the 1812 Overture, and pretty much any opera is about killing and raping. But they don't glorify it do they? Not with all the opulent productions, not at all.

And finally, don't try to screw with someone who is working on improving voter turn out. You're just asking for trouble then because not only are they an activist, they're probably actualy good at getting things done. Like embarassing you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Congratulations Ottawa

You've managed to prove me right.

I keep mouthing off about how by being incredibly selfish you've managed to vote in an incredibly selfish mayor who would pretty much make this city a beige wasteland. It has come to pass. Remember his very clear promise that "zero means zero"? Apparently he's using base 12 math or something else I don't understand. Perhaps he forgot to carry a five or something because now "zero means five."

That's right, it looks like there will be a minimum 5% tax increase. Yes, he said he supports a 2% tax increase for something that doesn't involve "council vanity projects," council already voted to increase at the rate of inflation 1.4% and the police service will be giving a minimum 1.6% increase to the budget. That add ups to 5% if you follow me. Then again I don't understand how 5 and 0 are the same number. I'm a bit dubious of my 95% in advanced math in high school now.

On a side note I'm wondering what the heck a council vanity project is? Are we funding their self-published novels or something? Are there full length mirrors in the council chamber or a bunch of marble statues in their homes that I don't know about?

On top of this there will be between 500 and 1000 jobs cut. This to me is the most disgusting aspect of our new mayors reign. Those are the types of job cuts that decimate towns where the mill closes. We just sort of roll our eyes and think "oh yeah, I've had nothing but positive experiences when dealing with the city because there were just too many people there to help me out. It was like a harrem of city employees there to take care of all my parking ticket needs."

Way to ensure people like me are looking for the next job out of town.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

More Ottawa stupidity

Hello Ottawa Beige readers,

Recently, I moved, from one of Ottawa's decent, fairly central neighbourhoods, Sandy Hill, to the most central of them all, Centretown. Now, most things are better here. But one thing that gets me at all times (particularly late at night) are the lights I can see from my bedroom. You see, I'm afforded an excellent view of l'Esplanade Laurier's East Tower. It houses the Ministry of Finance and the Treasury Board Secretariat. Apparently, because they deal with money, bringing it in, and how it's spent, they're allowed a little bit of profligacy. For example, it is a rare evening when there is only 1 or 2 floors lit up in that building from my perspective. At 11:40 on Sunday night, I have a view of the top 10 floors. Of which 5 are very brightly lit up (this is a quiet night, I guess - sometimes it's 8 of them). That's your and my tax dollars that are being wasted so that nobody in their right mind has their floor well lit (that's assuming that nobody in their right mind is in the office at 11:40 on a Sunday night). Neighbouring buildings may have one or two floors lit.

Apparently, someone else is trying to get the message across to them; as I was passing the building yesterday, the flipping billboard across Laurier St. from the building turned to the David Suzuki powerWISE ad. I had a bit of a chuckle.

I wonder if the building managers will get the message. Probably not, given what the Wikipedia entry says...

Friday, August 24, 2007

No Comment, No Comment, Um, Yeah They're Ours

So it turns out those masked men were actually cops. I'm not entirely shocked. My guess is that a few things will happen because of this. We'll find out from the Quebec Provincial Police that these three men weren't acting under orders or were somehow on their own so no body in the organization is directly responsible for their actions other than the three men themselves.

Stockwell Day will manage to screw something up in response to it. Shocking, I know.

Retired police officers are really kind of funny and will be trying to get Hollywood consultant gigs out of their interviews surrounding this incident. All the retired officers I've heard from were making fun of the upper eschelons for choosing people who don't fit in as agent provocateurs. They all seem to tell reporters how they'd have done it "properly" by getting thinner and mangier looking people to blend in with the crowds without raising suspicion

Everyone in Canada knew they were cops when the police force never released the names of the three men arrested. We're cynical, not dribbling idiots.

Someone will blame former RCMP Commissioner Zaccardelli at some point.

It seems to me they wanted to start a riot in order to justify spending so much on security and, well, it just seems like such a waste to get all dressed up with all that wonderful new (and expensive) riot gear to not use it or justify the expense.

This will help fuel the constant yammering about sixties culture and how they had to deal with this kind of crap when they opposed the Nam. Somehow, this will add to more glorification of revisionist baby boomer history.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

You Can Buy Me This

Seriously, it's my birthday in a couple of weeks. I'd be more than happy to get a Lego building kit that is all these violent and mish-mashed creations like a candy catapault, paper-airplane launcher, lego brick gun and something called a high voltage vehicle.

This is all the stuff your parents got mad at you for making while loving the fact that you were at least being creative. It's all been created by the Lego designers to kill time, much like animators who worked on Teddy Rupkin used to put up drawings of TR in various nasty states.

What I don't need to hear anymore.

Already I'm tired of this story on the news. Now, this will be a bit hard to write about without ending up sounding like a total ass but here goes.

I don't want to hear about how dead soldiers from Quebec can cost Harper a majority. It makes it feel like soldiers from Quebec are more important. Harper should have lost any right to win votes after he extended a dangerous mission with little to no support from any of the alliance members in NATO. I know I've on really dealt with war in a game of Risk but I think I know what an alliance is and how they're supposed to work.

I guess I'm just saddened by the soldiers who have given their lives being overshadowed by political predictions and a reliance on the idea of two solitudes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Triptophan Haze

I was watching television the other night, never a good thing if it doesn't involve hockey or soccer in my opinion, and I saw this commercial that had this cool black co-worker making fun of this nerdy bespectacled white guy who is trying to dig his way out of the office with a spoon much like The Great Escape or The Shawshank Redemption. The cool black guy looks down on the white guy and smirks out the belittling phrase “Looks like somebody missed snack time.”

This has been bothering me ever since. At first glance it’s just some smartass that’s making fun of his co-worker who needs an energy boost. But you scratch the surface and you see a deeper meaning here. Warning: A lot of the following text will make you want to tell me to chill out and stop reading so much into things.

So what are the bigger issues I see here. Well, first of all it’s the black guy who is eating the fast food which immediately ties into the American stereotype of “black people like fried chicken.” It’s a chicken wrap sandwich thing. At the core of this assumption is the truth that a lot of the overweight population in America is urban black culture simply because when one cannot get an office job like the people in this commercial in a society without a social safety net your limited income leads to unhealthy lifestyle choices because they become more affordable and less time consuming. Take a look back at the Katrina disaster to see what I mean. There were countless images of poor black Americans left stranded, many of whom were overweight. Never once was there discussion about the lack of social safety net in light of Katrina.

So not only is it the cocky black guy eating fried chicken he’s making fun of someone who has pretty much been driven insane by the mind numbing banality of his office job. The solution isn’t to help the guy come to terms with his situation or consider new ways of engaging employees. The solution to deal with this situation is to jam a chemically laced piece of deep-fried chicken down your gullet so your body releases endorphins and you’re complacent because you’re digesting hormone laced bird-like product.

Yes, that’s a great message. Complacency through fried food.

Am I reading too much into this or seeing what was intended? I guess you can be the judge. But for the rest of us who appreciate Dilbert and the general mind-numbing bullshit of office politics, here's a great little airplane safety type card for workplace revolution. There are naked cartoon people in it near the end so be warned.

Monday, August 20, 2007

3 Things I take ironic pleasure from and a game

The Liberal Party, especially former Liberal Party members of parliament.
These guys are great. Whenever there is anything in the news involving politics it’s pretty much a guarantee that a former Liberal will show up on tv or the radio and explain that this was a Liberal initiative or how the Liberals started it but did it better.

They generally fail to mention that whatever the news of the day was something they failed to mention when they were actually in power. But man, wave that TV makeup brush in front of a Liberal and you’ll find out who birthed the next savior of mankind if you ask one.

Conservative task-forces.
I love how whenever there is campaigning the Liberals will make a promise about “issue of the day.” The NDP will follow on their heels saying they can do it faster or cheaper or simply give you more money. The Conservatives always have a task force their waiting for, unless it’s an issue they actually care about.

I just don’t imagine they are the kind of task force I’m thinking of with guys in black jumpsuits that hide your body heat, kung-fu training and night vision goggles. I imagine they’re a bunch of guys whose sole feature is their hair turning into a shark fin every time there is a cross-breeze on the street as they wonder why bowties aren’t quirky enough to be hip and, you know, impress the ladies.

Nothing says informed masses like a marching crowd containing enough petuli oil to be an environmental disaster. I noticed a lot of red communist flags in the Sunday march protesting the free-trade agreement and the potential loss of jobs to Canada.

I don’t think the communists like it when you point out that a bigger problem is the amount of jobs being lost to Communist China, which is a workers’ paradise from what I’m told.

Lombardo Liquor Pig drinking game.
Ever since the U21 world cup a few of us have been really disgusted by this Andrea Lombardo guy. He missed goals I could have scored. While wearing my glasses and work clothes. I’m pretty sure his future doesn’t lie in Canadian Soccer but in developing out space program. Every time something came near that guy he launched it straight up and the only conclusion I can come to is he wants to put something in orbit.

So not one to be satisfied with complaining about an athletes performance amongst friends, I decided when the Toronto FC play we need to take a drink every time he screws up. But to be fair, if he actually does something good, or get close to scoring, the first person to say “Good job Lombardo” (or some agreed upon compliment) unironically is safe, and everyone else needs to drink. If he scores, you all drink in celebration. Don’t worry about that last one unless you count scoring as putting the ball high over the net. A lot.

Make sure you have a lot to drink.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Question: What happens if you're a Nazi and you and your fellow Nazi stumble across Sgt. Rock while on patrol?

Answer: This...

Then he picked up a bazooka and blew up a tank. You are now freaking out. My work here is done.

Sasquatch suit holidays

Just when I'd thought it would have been an original idea, some guy in Manitoba has already donned the hairy suit and scary mask and has been freaking out unsuspecting campers..

And, because this is Canada, we take care to take the fun out of it - as we eventually take the fun 0ut of everything. The 18-year old 'sasquatch impersonator' even got arrested by the cops. I wonder what the warning would have been..."next time, sir, make sure you dress up as an antelope"?

What I also love about the story is that the fellow was a regular at that provincial park, has been camping there repeatedly and truly enjoyed his surroundings. The sasquatch thing was just a little lark on the side. Very mellow, very quaint. It's not like it's five or six drunken fratboys donning these suits and rampaging through a campground.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Already he's making me angry

Okay, so I was trying to find out a bit about the upcoming hockey season and it turns out that finding the Senators' broadcast schedule is about as easy as finding out the broadcast schedule for the English Premiership. In otherwords, it's time to find religion and pray you can find one as some point before it's too far into the season.

In my search I find a few rumoured reports of Brian Murray trying to sign Peter Forsberg. I find that interesting in that Mr. Forsberg can be paid less if he's playing for a team based in a country with subsidized healthcare because, man-o-man is he ever breakable. Then I read that Murray is no longer shopping Redden around and is actually thinking of extending his contract beyond this year. WTF? Seriously?

I hope they get Forsberg and strap him up with some Wile E. Coyote type rocket-skates and just send him out onto the ice towards Redden - a lot. I know Redden is a nice guy and all, but we need someone who can actually stay up on their skates and, you know, try to win the game.

Peter Forsberg with ever more absurdly cartoonish ways to be propelled at Redden, though - I'd pay money to see that. I'd even be willing to pay for level one seats.

Three Cabinet Monty

Does anyone else feel like Harper is just a scam artist shuffling a deck of cards and we're supposed to guess which one is the ace of spades?

I'm glad that he's managed to solve all our healthcare problems, we live in a pristine country and there's no lagging military commitments killing off our troops for the forseeable future. I'll sleep better tonight knowing there's a new cabinet that'll be making new priorities.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

One of Karl Rove's Nicknames

Sometimes President Bush Jr. would call Karl Rove "Turd Blossom."

Just thought you should all know that.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Middle of, wait, Resolute Bay

A little travel article for you all good people...I just came back from the high Arctic. One of the several work-related trips this year, and by far the weirdest...

"The most striking impression, when we land at Resolute Bay, is the wind. It sweeps the almost uniformly grey-brown surface with an unceasing pressure. Sometimes, the base staff tell me, these windstorms last four or five days in a row. It is blowing at 40 knots now, hard to walk against.
By the time we've arrived in Resolute, we have been in transit for over seventeen hours; delays are a constant feature of flying up north. Ross (my colleague) and I are giddy with fatigue and crack goofy jokes. Although the flight has been at times incredibly scenic, we are impatient to get on firm land and fall asleep for at least a few hours. Daylight lasts 24 hours a day in this season.
I have mentioned the wind as the strongest impression from the onset. The other aspect that immediately starts to dominate the senses are the stark colors. It is a perfect polar desert scheme - light browns and slate grays of the land, an icy blue and turquoise of the sea. The water in Lancaster Sound is churning in the vicious wind today, whitecaps rolling onto the pebbly shores in rapid succession. Once we leave the base for a two hour hike, all signs of human activity disappear. All that is left is the uneven scree and gravel field, crunching under our feet. Low, elongated, steel-gray clouds render the panorama even more horizontal.
The small water bodies - ponds, marshes - dot the desert here and there, and are responsible for the meagre vegetation. I find small clumps of saxifrage, mosses, even the odd specimen of yellow Arctic poppy. "Trees" are, by taxonomic definition, still present here but what that means in reality is the occassional flat, 1 cm high, nestlike tangle of arctic willow branches. Even to grow a patch like the one we saw, 1 by 1 foot, may take a century.
On the way up here, the joke was that Resolute Bay is like Mars with bears. I'd like to replace that with "Mars, only with water", since the bears are - fortunately - away from the land, hunting seals on offshore ice. There had been some polar bear sightings several days ago, I am told. But we find no evidence of any large animal on our beach hike. The only animal lifeforms we encounter in the two days are seagulls and a flock of Arctic terns. They seem to be catching something in the sea, we are not sure what.
The land is so uniform, it would be easy to simply dismiss it as a giant gravel pit. But a closer look at that gravel reveals all types of geological oddities and frequent fossils. There are imprints of small shellfish, millions of years old, locked in the stone. There are strange metamorphic rocks surrounded by what looks like breccia, a compressed matter that may have been sand or silt at some point. There is heavily eroded, scoured limestone and other rocks I can't find names for. Whatever is here today, it has been squished, ground up and transported by glaciers. Cornwallis Island where Resolute Bay is located does not have a permanent ice cap. Most of the other islands around here do. At any rate, the snowpack lasts up to 9, 10 months in northern Nunavut, melting only in mid-to late June.
To speak of summer here seems a joke to southerners. However, those two snow-free months mean that all kinds of activity can take place...for instance construction or fixing up buildings. Not to mention that the place depends heavily on the 'sea lift', a yearly delivery of heavier supplies like fuels which can be shipped in the short window of time while the sea ice breaks up. With climate change, there is supposedly more of an open water season. But by anyone else's standard, it is still an extremely short and unpredicatble season.
During my short stay in Resolute, I have learned to appreciate shelter and abundance of good hot meals, more than ever before. The Polar Shelf base is a capsule-like microcosm of comfortable life, seemingly adrift in the otherwise barren land. If you stay here, expect three tasty, nourishing meals a day, a bed and a warm shower. This is a transit point, a staging ground for field work by many a scientist. I rub shoulders with geologists, grad students, with a glaciologist from Edmonton, and I listen to an a Scot and an Irishman describe their work on arctic bird colonies. There is an air of shared international interest in this area, an area which is still a hostile frontier.
Brad, the glaciologist, and I pass time by playing what must be the northernmost pool game in the world, on the slightly crooked table. We devour literature and we go walking on the Mars-like landscape. There are not a lot of stimuli here - and yet this is the busy time of the year.
Logistics completely dominates the proceedings at the base. The flights getting in and out, the servicing of equipment and trucks, the tracking and accounting for supplies. The far North depends on air transport; it is still a frontier-style flying experience, on very old aircraft. Hawker Siddleys, Twin Otters, the occassional Hercules, anything that can land on dirt airstrips and won't break down in the intense conditions. Even the helicopter by the base has that 70s vintage look about it. I have gained the utmost respect for the guy who flies this thing for a living.
Resolute Bay is not a holiday spot. It is, however, a striking and fascinating setting, a window into a truly alien landscape and into extraordinary human efforts. My joke about Mars finds a real-life reflection - there is an experimental set up on neighbouring Devon Island where Canadian and NASA researchers simulate would-be operating conditions on Mars.
As we leave Resolute, the weather has finally cleared. Wind has died down, large patches of blue sky have opened up . I was a little mad earlier at this twist of fate, but now I am feeling just a tinge of sadness.My stay here was too short for serious exploration, yet long enough to gain an appreciation for this amazing part of the world. It has left me wanting to see more. When I reach green, summertime Ottawa, this will seem like a sleepwalking episode or a strange dream."

Yay and merrily there was much celebrating

Newcastle United is number one in the Premiership.*

This is cause for much celebration and bragging - not least of all that is coincides with me being number one in my fantasy football league (fantasy soccer to those of you not interested). In second place in that fantasy league - my wife. Truly, this is a wonderous age in which we live.

*Until Tuesday at the very least.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I'm torn

It appears that the English Premiership is going to get more coverage in Canada than it ever has before. In fact every single game will now be broadcast in Canada for the first time ever this season. The Score will be broadcasting the Sunday game (usually involving Man U or Chelsea, which were never draws for me so I never really missed them), but Sportsnet has been reduced to one game at 10 a.m. on Saturdays rather than their usual triple-header. What happened is that Irish pay-per-view television network Setanta has won the rights to broadcast all the other games. So they have the Saturday triple-header, with Sportsnet given the chaff (expect to see a lot of Derby County and Wigan). Setanta will also be broadcasting the weekday games and some Champions League and UEFA Cup games as well as some Scottish and, I think, Dutch League fare.

Sounds great, right? Is it $15 a month good though, because that's how much it will cost you to watch soccer in Canada from now on.

Yeah I'm torn. Finally Newcastle United is putting together an impressive team but I'll have to pay $15 a month to watch 90 minutes of football (if I remember or get lucky that their on a time delay). I don't want to watch every single match, I just want to watch Newcastle United. And while I'm happy at the prospect of being able to finally be able to watch every single game they play (in theory) I'm not to thrilled at the prospect of paying $15 a month for the privilege.

Is it okay to head to the pub and drink at 7 a.m. on a Saturday? What if I just stay up exceptionally late on Friday? I mean, comfort of your own home is one thing but in public? I'm going to miss having my coffee or tea with eggs on toast watching some footy on Saturday mornings. I'm hoping this is such a collosal loss of revenues for Setanta that they drop their stranglehold on the Premiership rights in Canada and I'll have my free triple-header back on Sportsnet.

Or I'll just give up basic cable (although the Sens are on that) and just buy the Setanta channel instead. Or maybe I can just give up comic books and transfer that money into a soccer account.

Fuck it, I'll be at the pub on Saturdays from now on like a proper fan.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Trust me on this one

You are not impressing anyone, at all, by wearing your government or departmental name tag to the pub. Seriously. The only way a government name tag will be impressive is if you're the National Polar Bear Kung-fu Trainer to help protect our Arctic Sovereignty. If your government job doesn’t involve teaching kung-fu to polar bears (or possibly piloting insectotrons) then you’re just a boring-ass government employee.

I seriously don’t get it. When did name tags become macho and used to pick-up and impress the ladies? Is there some hang-over from working at a fast-food outlet that I just don’t understand? I know both professions are rather soul crushing and exceptionally juvenile. Is that it? Or are you convinced that jokes about secret sauce are actually funny?

You know those people you work with that are at the pub with you? They don’t like you. They’re just tolerating you and they would rather use the zippy cord on your name tag to strangle you than listen to your riveting tales of meetings with the DM, but, y’know, you’re buying the beer.

Of course, they’re regular human beings and haven’t felt the creeping taint of the one true profession, but if they spend too much time under the gaze of the lidless eye of the Peace Tower they too will be corrupted and fall as all do who are exposed to the dark bureaucratic arts for any length of time. The first signs are thinning hair and a reluctance to part with the name tag, the only object that confirms your connection with something more powerful. By donning the one-true tag you get to be the vessel of that power. However, as all who are corrupted by the dark handcuffs you will be discarded when the dark lord Harrp’air doesn’t need your services any longer.

There is only one way to remove the taint of dark bureaucratic infection. The first step is to remove the nametag. The second is to shut up already. The third is to talk about anything else. Anything. If you collect Iron Man action figures, talk about why you like them because it’s less painful to those around you than to constantly hear your wankerish exposition of a day at the office. We all have jobs, and we don’t bore people with them by pretending they’re actually important or exciting. Unless you’re an underwater shark fighter.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Stop "it"

This has to be said to everyone out there who is thinking of writing anything. Stop abusing quotation marks. They do not add emphasis. Italics or underlining adds an emphasis, as does bolding text. Although bolding is generally reserved for titles.

Quotations marks have their usaged defined in their name. You use quotation marks to show quotations. You don't use "quotation marks" to show "quotations."

I blame the use of air quotes - people making ironic or actual quotations and wagging their fingers to emphasize this fact.

I know it is a hard fact of life, but written text and conversational speaking are totally separate things. I mean, even when I "write" for this "blog" I try not to "abuse" "punctuation." Please do the same.

It doesn't make you look clever. It makes you look like a jackass.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


Yeah I'm totally ripping off another website, but hey - new content!

Here's a list of 5 words or phrases that remind me of eighties cartoons.

1 - Synergy. This was the computer that helped Jem and the Holograms. It is not a business practice or team building word.

2 - Prime. Optimus, not rib.

3 - Yo. Joe!

4 - Transformer. I don't care if lighting can strike them and cause the power to go out, I want them to turn into fighting robots.

5 - Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.