People Say The Silliest Things

Why the Liberal Party fails part 35452711:

"...But this policy re-thinking and party re-organization and rebuilding must not in any way be“predetermined or pre-cooked by party insiders,” he says. In fact, he notes that Grits want a “culture of change” that focuses on engaging more women and aboriginals, youth and new Canadians – “and with very special and concerted attention to Quebec.”

That means getting rid of the “‘middle age white guys’ like myself,” Mr. Apps writes.

“After churning through four leaders in eight short years, many Liberals expressed resentment and fatigue over the cult and conflict of leadership which many argued, has dominated our party and poisoned our culture for too long, they want to select a new and permanent leader as a united party in as open and democratic a manner as possible, and for the long haul.”

He says Liberals want “generational transformation of the party’s leadership but also a generational renewal of the party’s membership.”

Ergo, what men (who can't jump) can't be transformative figures.

White males need not apply. Sounds superficially specious to me. The the path to the future is making sure we put a Token (see picture) leader so long as they make certain issues a part of the core platform? Is this guy for real? What happens if the best person for the job just happens to be, well, a middle-aged white guy? Is being an old black lady better? A young yellow female?

The logic is priceless.

So what happens next? Shiela Copps - who was part of the entire Liberal machine Canadians rebelled against - wants back in.

*Liberal party takes bow*

Whole Sale Banking

It's interesting how little direct information there is on wholesale banks. A simple Google search isn't enough. You get more on retail banks.

It's a "whole" different world.

Batman Versus Superman

Batman is a dark, powerful sonuvabeyatch. He's a genius. He's self-taught and invents things. The only thing he didn't invent is his money. He inherited everything, like Tony Sparks, from his father.

Superman on the other hand is a simpleton raised on a farm and hails from outerfrickenspace. Hello. So his power is genetic.

I just don't see how a human can beat up an alien with Superman's powers. The guy can throw cars and fly around the earth in minutes if not seconds.

It's interesting to see how DC came up with two iconic super heroes with two completely different personalities and backgrounds.

Movie Sunday

I was watching Rough Night In Jericho earlier. As I watched Dean Marin and George Peppard hammer out a Western, I wondered how many films I've watched in my life.

I estimate about 500 (including those Keaton and Chaplin shorts and international flicks). Maybe it's more. I don't know.

I have no idea if that's low or high for the average viewer.


Degrees Of Racism

I realize discussing racism is a delicate game but I'll take a brief stab here.

Without getting too involved on what exactly defines racism (according to one former liberal colleague of mine there were degrees of racism. For example, the racism perpetuated against Irish, Jews and Italians were different than those of the Natives and Blacks) or however it manifests itself, I can just offer my unrefined personal observances for the purpose of this post.

You can't get too far along a political (or even sports) comments threads in the USA without the issue of race coming up. Before long, as your eyes glaze over, everyone's a racist.

I've seen the treatment of "race" on three separate regions: USA, Quebec/Canada and Europe.

All I can say is, of the three, America seems far more sensitive to the issue and faces it head on. European racism is pretty apparent. One need only go to a soccer game to see how they feel about one another and blacks in particular.
The racist chants are incredible. Stuff we'd NEVER see or condone here in North America.

As for Quebec, let's just say that sometimes things are said on live TV and radio that I close my eyes and believe I'm living in the Appalachians with a banjo on my thigh. Canada itself has a racist past that hardly gets any mention at all.

More interesting to me is whether my former colleague had a point. About the degrees of racism.

What's It Worth Anymore?

Sheesh, that's twice now I hear Buffalo Springfield's iconic "For what it's worth" on commercials and both times I don't quite get the connection.

The first is related to Schneider's All Country Hot Dogs and the other DirecTV.

What the heck? Vietnam protest song on one side, hot dog ad on the other? Connection? I wasn't all that good at Connect Four so someone help me out.

"There's something happening here..."

Yeah. The sweet smell of songs losing their original purpose.

For what it's worth, I bought those dogs. Healthy and delicious. Especially with the Chardonnay Dijon I bought.

I think you'd better stop, watch that sound everyone look what's going down: Schneider on special!

When A Hurricane Destroyed A City

The Galveston tragedy of 1900 from The Cosmopolitan of the same year.

Incidentally, it led to the rise of Houston replacing Galveston.

Government Bond Ratings

In the G7 (still don't regard Russia as an economic power), Japan and Italy have AA2 ratings while the rest of the crew have a AAA debt rating.

Italy is often associated with the PIGS but as I've mentioned elsewhere, it's a little misleading. Unlike those nations, it maintains a high grade rating because it possesses an advanced, developed and strong manufacturing and industrial base. Some of the world's greatest and most important brand names, companies and influence comes out of Italy.

It also accords Italy a higher GDP, stronger revenues and cash flow as a main international issuer of debt when compared to the PIGS. In other words, Italy has cash from other sources other than tourism - and it has that too in abundance. All reflected in the grade.

Bah. Italy so skeptical and cyncial, delicate and intricate of political and economic entities I consider it an accomplishment to be rated as such.

No one seems to be too concerned with Japan's AA2 rating. I wouldn't for the same reasons I mentioned about Italy. In addition, Japan remains a creditor nation.

China, ironically, is is rated lower than the United States at AA.

Italy's main economic problem (politics and social are different matters) has always been labour sclerosis and growth as this article in Moody's explains:

"Moody's placed Italy's Aa2 rating on review for downgrade, saying structural weaknesses such as a rigid labor market pose a challenge to growth. It also highlighted concerns about funding conditions of countries with high debt levels.

"Italy has had structural impediments to growth for some time. However, today, these challenges coexist with a scenario of rising interest rates and fragile market sentiment," Moody's analyst Alexander Kockerbeck told Reuters in an interview."

Big difference from the case we see with Greece or even likely Spain.


American National Debt By Presidential Term

National debt by President.

Interesting to note that in the years where Republican Presidents spent, Democrats held the House and Senate which they did for four decades in the post-war era.

NFL Is King Among Peasants

Or is it pheasants?


The NFL is king of kings.

No new news here.

If comments threads are any indication anyway.

It usually routinely gets into the thousands. Or in the case of the Eagles recent signing of a coveted cornerback, +3000.

*You should know by now I invent words from time to time.

Lacrosse A Growth Sport?

In grade school they gave us some lacrosse sticks and let us play in the gym freestyle.

Try and pull that today with all the fear of injury.

Lacrosse players were considered crazier than hockey players.

Now that's crazy.

Anyway, I hadn't noticed how much the "fringe" sport has grown lately. It remains the exlusive domain of the United States and Canada but that may soon change.

Lacrosse, as some of you may know, is offically Canada's sport and not hockey.


Then again, some of you may be surprised to learn that hockey doesn't generate the most viewers on TSN. CFL football does.

Defending The Public Education Ethos

About public education from The Liberal:

"...It is about the prevailing orthodoxy, the underlying philosophy that has sought to de-legitimise state education since the 1980s. The political narrative that has tightened its grip on our law-making institutions is one that extols the virtues of consumer choice, market competition and efficiency. These concepts, borrowed from the world of private sector management and business, have colonised our notions of democracy, citizenship, public service and the public sphere. The values of these once distinct spheres are necessarily very different: the state model is built on the notion of equality, the private model assumes – as a matter of course – inequality. This is the defining battle of our times and it starts with our schools."

Pelosi To Save The World

I didn't see any live footage but I did come across this quote from my favorite politician Nancy "You have to pass it to know what's in it" Pelosi:

"What we're trying to do is save the world from the Republican budget. We're trying to save life on this planet as we know it today."

Gee, hello Ms. Joan of Arc.

Why isn't this played more in major media outlets like MSNBC, and if accurate, why isn't this woman not treated on the same level as Sarah Palin?

Newsflash: America won't default, the world won't fall apart and the GOP won't eat babies. Real capital markets where private banks trade have already adjusted to the American reality. The rest are just catching up.

Get an effen grip.

USA Soccer Hires Klinsmann

Not surprised by this hire given it has been swirling around soccer circles since 2006. Germany had barely recovered from its semi-final loss to Italy when rumors about Jurgen Klinsmann coaching Team USA began.

It should be a good fit.

Klinsmann was a great striker (close to a .50 goals per game ratio) with stints at Stuggart, Inter Milan, Tottenham and Bayern Munich as well as a brief stay at Sampdoria.

The things I observed with Team USA under Bradley were despite the obvious talent:

1) Lack of tactical awareness.
2) Determination and spirit.
3) But overly aggressive thus exerting too much energy. It's not enough to be "aggressive" on the ball. You have to be selective, coy and smart about it.
4) Couldn't hold on to leads suggesting a combination of a lack of mental toughness, real self-belief and #2.
5) And less importantly, did a lot of complaining about diving on other teams when engaging in it themselves.

In soccer, you have to believe you can stretch out and outlast your opponent.

Progressive Canada

It was right out of a scene in a B-movie.

It was both comical and so sad at the same time.

I had to call Revenue Canada for something. Now, the way it works is because I'm a resident of Quebec, I'm directly sent to the French Revenue Canada. I didn't have the "English" number (I don't know why they just don't use a prompt like "Press 45 for English" or something), so off I was carted to the French side. I could tell by the accent the person on the other line was English-speaking so I dove right into English. She promptly gave me the number for the English line.

And this is where it got all screwey.

"Thanks. I'll remember that. Since I got you on the line can you check for me?'
"If you do, you must ask in French and I must answer in French."
"Do not call here again. Good-bye."

*Cigar drops to ground. Mouth open*

"You're kidding right? I mean, are we this politically up our fucking asses that we can't even use common sense with one another? You're seriously going to make me hang up because some archaic, anti-liberty, provincial law rooted in insecure tribalism ordains it?"

*I didn't say that but that's what I wanted to say*

So. Yeah. Um. I had to hang up and dial the "English" number which by the way is in the exact same office.

Then it went something like this:
"Is it safe to speak English?"
"Can you send me all literature in English please. It's only, like, three times since 2010 I ask. I mean, this is Revenu Canada right?"
"Yes, it is indeed. Says here your settings are in English."
"So why am I getting stuff in French?"
"I don't know. Could be they didn't update until recently."
"Really? I asked for the change in November of 2010."
"I don't know, sir."

And so blah, blah it went on.

So there I was. An agent wasn't able to resend me papers in English nor did he seem to care.

Imagine if it would have been the other way around! Lawsuits and complaints en masse. Like that couple who were compensarte $12 000 because they couldn't get service in French on board Air Canada.

We pay for crap stupidity like that by the way. Then they wonder why...

Welcome to "progressive" Canada.

Our contribution to world philosophy.

Ancient Phoenicia, Iraq, China, India, Greece, Egypt, Rome, Renaissance, Enlightenment, American Constitution....Canadian progressivism.



*Slaps face with palm*

GDP By State

I love stuff like this.

What the heck Arizona? .7 GDP growth? Even Delaware (aka Dupontville or New Dupont) outpaced Arizona.

California looks rather sluggish compared to New England.

As for Canada, Quebec (surprise) trails the national average in per capita GDP. Maybe it's time to nationalize the province.


Are human beings predictable or unpredictable?

Girl On A Bike

I was driving along a small, residential street. So small I had to go under 30 km/h. Little girls on their bikes were practically keeping up with me thanks to the construction around these parts. I was drove along I had to keep my eye on a biker to my right. I calculated well before the stop sign she'd be turning left given the school was on my left. I watched her carefully as she looked straight away not once looking to her left (meaning me) to see if there were any cars. We approach the stop and sure enough that's exactly what she did. Diagonally cut across me a couple of feet before the sign without looking. The only reason she didn't get hit was A) because I don't panic when there are idiotic people on the road because I'm constantly thinking for idiots and B) I slowed down way before the stop taking no chances.

Man, when we were kids it was blitzed and bludgeoned into our heads to constantly look up in all directions while we biked or walked. Today, those damn "smart" phones (ironic, no?) are distracting kids to the point of danger.

Subsidize Me!

In Italy, eating properly is part of their routine, here in North America - as usual - we bend over crying asking the state to step in and teach us "what's right."

And each time we ask for help a new agency is created to provide that help. I've been searching for years for the 'Wipe your ass' bureau.

I asked last year why stop at anything? Just take the whole damn thing over. I'm convinced subsidizing organic food is coming.

And like anything that's subsidized, it will be a waste since unprofitable businesses will get their hands on your money and not lead to the expected results.

I'll keep waiting as I clip my finger nails for people to finally grasp this.

Unless, it can be explained to me why it's logical to do so.


Years ago we stopped off an Italian restaurant in the States. We ordered pasta. The plates were so huge I asked if it was for two. The waiter proudly said no.

Geez, you don't (or shouldn't) eat that much pasta in one sitting. Smaller portions of anything while eating throughout the day is probably better for some people. I know I do that now.

Someone should do a movie. Not 'Supersize Me' but 'Subsidize Me!'


Canada At FINA

Looking over the medals table at the World Aqutics Championships in China, something stood out to me.

Canada has five medals and no gold medals.

No big deal. It's a tough competitive field.

Until we consider how many athletes we sent.  89 in total according to the link to wiki.  That's more than the United States who are a megapower in the pool! The U.S. has 17 medals; seven gold to this point.

In fact, Canada sent more athletes than any country in the world except for China (117)!

Yet we languish in 17th?

I can only speculate on the performance thus far but how is this efficient use of talent? God bless our dedicated athletes but is it fair to them to send them into a position where they may not succeed?


Although historically Canada's record isn't that bad.

NDP Picks Leader

New NDP leader.

Union militant? Separatist? Experienced negociator?

She's perfect!

Should anyone be surprised? Seriously.

Layton had no real choice. He has to pander to Quebec. So it was a shrewd decision politically. Beyond that...

History Of Daycare

A brief history of daycare in the United States.

I found the part about the reason why the Feds got involved was not because they cared for kids but because it needed women to work.

It's all about economics. Same applies to anything public. It's not about "the kids." It's about keeping the system - in whatever design - in motion. To make sure, half the half-wit twits don't defy gravity and fall off earth.

Daycare centers are nothing but empty shells. Like RRSPs (401k's in the U.S. I believe). It's what you invest in them that decides if they render a healthy return.

It is true a daycare worker can never replace a mother or father (duh...mind you, if a parent is neglectful...anway) but the best we can do is create an environment as close to a family setting as we can while ensuring the child is cared for to the best of our moral (and educative) abilities.

That will happen if the values of the owner and its staff are in the right place.


Daycare Update

People would always ask my father what was the difference between a tailor made suit and one off the rack with the former being substantially more expensive.

There's no real way to convince someone who would ask the question to begin with. Sure, some would be swayed but as a whole, in life, there are some who just don't care with one off the rack being good enough.

It's called free choice as I usually say here.

I thought about that after someone (a high income earner at that) asked my wife, what's different between your service at the cost you charge and the public one?

There's a world of difference. Like how a tailor made suit is specifically designed to your body, so is a private daycare best suited for a child given the ability to be flexible and attention to details that can't possibly be met on the public side. Less bureaucratic and more agile too.

These are just general examples. It simply comes down to values.

Around here, we're private oriented me and my wife despite she being in public education. Life is funny that way.

It all comes down to this: How much people are willing to put down for it.


My prices are extremely cheap all things considered. But next to subsidized daycare, I come off looking like a pirate despite tax credits (up to 55%) offered to clients by the government. We're so conditioned to believe paying for things - especially those deemed "essential services" - is a bad thing, any price in the private market, however accurate or more realistic, seems outrageous.

Yet nothing comes for free. After all we pay for all these things through our taxes - often inefficiently. The question is, would you prefer to control your cash flow for services selected, or do you prefer to have no control and leave your earned income in the hands of the state to provide those same services.

I know what I'd prefer.

The Expos Coming Back Talk Begins

I don't know if baseball will ever come back. Certainly Montreal is a "big" enough city with a solid history in the game to support a team in theory.

In theory.

As I wrote back in 2004 when the Expos left (still have the newspaper clipping from The National Post who published my letter) and again not too long ago, Montreal sports fans are lousy when it comes to the grind of supporting anything outside the Canadiens - Alouettes included - and outside a one-day event.

Forgive me if I suspend that part of me that dreams for the sections that give into pragmatism or realism.

Love the Als story because it's so Canadian. No doubt the best run pro team in town but, to me, Montreal is a mature enough city to be able to pack a 50 000 seat stadium. As it stands, it barely gets to 24 000. It always blows my mind to not see CFL games sold out every single game in any part of the country. For a country that blathers on about our institutions, we barely get up to actually support them fanatically. Toronto, a city with NFL aspirations (and by all accounts more feasible than Montreal), is an embarrassment. What, five million Ontarians living around the GTA can't find enough time or interest to go to Argonauts games?  Are they just sitting around waiting for NFL inc. to come in and make them "big time?" This is the wealthiest part of the nation? Average 21 000 per game? Seriously?

Small leagues.

It is rather amusing to hear people claim Montreal is an NFL city. So what we have "many" NFL fans. I see enough Dolphins, Eagles, Steelers, Patriots, Colts and Giants jerseys (curiously no Browns or Bengals. I'm sure that would change with a Super Bowl win or two) around town to know NFL football is popular here. Or back in the day 49ers and Redskins. Or whatever team is winning. But does or can it translate into supporting an NFL team - even if it is for just eight games?

Eight games in the NFL is probably equal if not more (probably substantially more) to having to support 41 games in hockey in terms of financial burden. This ain't Quebec Inc. This is the BIG time. The NFL is the best pro league BAR NONE. They do things American. Not Canadian. It's not just the cash that's needed, but the mentality too.

Sometimes you need to crawl before you can walk and then run. With what happened to the Expos (excuses notwithstanding) and with the plateau of the Als, explain to me how it's possible to have an NFL team here?

Then there's this from The Gazette:

"Montreal ranks eighth among Canadian cities in per-capita disposal income. But we are inclined to spend our hard-earned money on entertainment, bolstering Montreal's rep as the country's No. 1 party town.

Montreal is home to 98 of Canada's 800 largest corporations, ranking the city third behind Toronto and Calgary."
Bold mine.

In a country with 3 1/2 major cities (Calgary being one half on its way to a whole), these are not exactly exciting numbers. Eighth in per capita disposable income? Only 98 out of 800? That's pathetic for a city of our stature. I'm sure 1976 and the cult of the PQ had nothing - NOTHING! - to do with that.

Montreal gave away its position of power on its own accord for culture and politics and high taxes.

Deal with it.

Anyway. Never say never. I suppose we can have MLB return. Maybe even get an NFL team - which I highly doubt.

Let's see how we do with MLS and then let's talk.

Stupid Hyperbole From Espn

'Worst call ever?' Really? That takes some balls to put that out there.

Shit, I've been watching sports a long time and this doesn't even make my top 10 if I could make one. Dunno, the Yankees got some pretty cheesey calls during their reign of terror in the 1990s. Soccer is jammed pack with far worse calls. How about the 'toe in the crease' during the Stanley Cup playoffs between the Sabres and Stars a few years back? Seahawks/Steelers in the Super Bowl?

I know the ball beat the runner by as long as stars have been burning in space, but a case can be made,I guess, the catcher never actually tagged him. Swiping instead.

I see plays at second base routinely be miscalled because a ball beats the player even though by the time the second baseman applies the tag, the player slides in safely.

Even if the call was blown (which is likely) calling it the 'worst call ever' is meant I reckon to appeal to a kid who watched his or her first sports game ever. Surely a seasoned sports fan wouldn't go for it.


"Twitter exploded immediately, with sympathy coming from across the country for America's team."

Equating 'twitter explosion' to confirming a 'wrong' has been perpetuated (hence, proving one's personal point) is so wrong. Who cares if it 'exploded?' Many people can all be wrong at the same time. It happens.

I love these inexact, informal, anecdotal quips about being a country's team. I live in Montreal and screw the Pirates. I speak, of course, as an Expos fans who loathed and will continue to loathe any team from the NL east.

"I simply said the call made me sad."

I mean, buckets of tears were streaming down his face.

Know what makes me sad? In keeping life in proper perspective, given the misery people face on a daily basis, writers who make a lot of money using words like "sad" to describe an effen play in sports. That's what.

Adam Carolla Breaks Record

For most downloaded podcasts stretching two years. Over 59.5 million hits!

Great Historical Films

Yet another "list." This one about the greatest historical films. The criteria and definition for this excercise can be so vast.

Cycling To A Fine Finish

I'm not one to celebrate 18th place finishes but this is a phenomenal result for Ryder Hejsdal at the Tour de France. Just finishing any of the Grand Tours (France, Italy and Spain) is an accomplishment but to be in the top 20 is incredible.

It got me thinking. We tend to glorify the winners, which is fine since you know, they won, but we under value a person who cracks the top 10. Part of the reason is because we've arbitrarily determined "top three" is good enough to win a medal. This conditions us to focus on the top three though most I reckon still only care about who wins "gold."

Nonetheless, I'm just stating that some of these accomplishments are great enough to be celebrated no matter where one finishes.

Nor am I advocating we merely "participate." You have to strive for excellence, and where you did, you can't be ashamed of the result.

Brilliance Shrugged

My was watching a space history documentary yesterday while I entertained my guests. An assortment of rambuctious gnomes, leprechauns, elves, dinks and hopping hobbits. Crazy guys. Finished all my water...and brandy.

Anyway. She asked why the American shut down the Shuttle program. A bunch of reasons I told her, you know, purpose, costs and feasibility being first among them. Maybe it's time to look for another way to explore the universe. Two shuttle accidents didn't help.

Regardless, I do see this as a bit of a closing down of the American experience. I know they're looking at other options while they continue to dream of space but I wonder if that captivates the imagination of an entire people anymore.

During Renaissance Italy, congregated in Florence (and later Milan) was the highest concentration of artist-engineer-scientists in human history. The explosion of willful, dedicated activity so committed to its purpose, was so great its impact remains right until this day. More so even, I reckon, than the legacy left behind from the ancient empires of Iraq, Egypt, China, India, Greece and Rome.

It is there the modern mind was conceived and nurtuted (paying close attention to past human accomplishments where possible) brought to its apex with Leonardo Da Vinci. He was the quintessential universal humanist. Man has not ceased imagining. The difference today is we've cubiclized our thoughts and ideas each independent of one another. We don't have too many "one-shop" versatile minds creating to the degree we once saw. Today, an engineer is an engineer even though he really is an artist. Somehow, we try to eliminate that factor from the equation. Luca Pacioli is often credited with establishing modern accounting principles, yet he was a scientists and artist Da Vinci sought out.

Men in this image do and will always exist. But once long ago, they walked our streets as dinosaurs roamed the great earth. Neither no longer do. Today, celebrities and politicians do. We've mediocritized ourselves permitting just enough brilliance to seep through to keep us going.

The diminishing of our achievements is one of great debate to me.

I wonder how the American psyche, I regard America as Florence since this is where the best and brightest want to flock to, is dealing with the space shuttle shut down. Logically, sure, it may make sense. However, in a greater spectrum of humanity, it has to have some sort of impact about who they are and where they're going as a nation.

Do they even want to lead anymore?

We're Soft

Just an off the cuff thought:

After nearly six years of middling blogging pontificating, I've come to at least one semi-conclusion.

Drum roll, Animal.

Thank you.

I think we're soft. As in, as a society. Look closely. Look at our politics, our sports,  our general overall leanings towards security and safety. Don't mean to sound like one of those "in my day" kinda guy because I'm hardly a tight ass when it comes to this sort of stuff.


It's inevitable that if a player breaks his leg in a freak baseball accident, someone will come and demand a rule change to "protect" catchers - based on ONE play. Someone shoots up a local tavern that sat in peace for, say, 100 years? That's it. No guns and strict cufew for all. Safety first. Terrorists attack? The TSA is created.

Illegal immigration? Can't do anything about that because it would be racist and besides they're great workers. It wouldn't be safe to let them out on the street. Best to give them education.* Bye-bye legal heritage.

Our diet could be better. Our committment to education and athletic excellence as well. Canada is the nation par excellence that exists to provide safety and security above all else trading in excellence for mediocrity.

I'm singling out some precious few examples. I don't jot down everything I read or see. Just an impression.

Everywhere we turn we seem to be seeing someone advocating a "safety" proposal or scholar presenting a thesis on the dangers of playgrounds, soccer or bicycling. All activities we once took for granted looks like.

What was once safe for us to play on or with, has become too dangerous and must be accompanied with a helmet or gloves or whatever. I'm guilty of throwing my kid on a bike without a helmet sometimes. I do have a bit of a wild mentality if current trends are to be used as a measurment. "It's okay. It's just a bruise!"

Ask any parent. Wait, observe parents today and compared to those of the past. One is far more protective than the other and I'm not sure we're any more smarter than our wise ancestors. My mother, for the record, was one of those over protective mothers. We had to hide injuries from her or she'd get mad at us for playing sports. She stopped watching me play soccer the minute it turned hot and competitive.

The first time I blew out my ACL playing hockey, my friend drove me to the clinic. But first we had to go home and get my medicare card. Now keep in mind, I had no clue what just happened to me. The knee was in crazy pain and stiff as a rock. I had to essentially hop and crawl to my room. My mother was passing the vacuum. I thought this was the perfect distraction. Alas, she heard everything. So I wasn't surprised when she asked, "What's wrong?" She always asked what's wrong first as opposed to "what's right." "Nothing" I replied. Just forgot something for the hockey game! My buddy stood grinning at the doorway the whole time. Off we went to get misdiagnosed by the doctor who said I merely strained my knee. Of course, after a few schlock-sounds that felt like I was dislocating my knee, I think something more was at play. Indeed, I eventually got confirmation it was an ACL tear by a specialist. Done by the age of 15.

I digressssssssssssssssssssssssss.

We're afraid to get hurt (can't clog up those public hospitals and clinics. No siree). We soon will be afraid of our own shadows.



*Don't mistake this comment for lacking compassion. All I'm questioning is whether the Americans are enforcing their own immigration laws. Indeed, issues like this can bring out the worst in us (right-wing, anti-immigration hysteria) but that's different from upholding the law.


Halifax Explosion Survivor

Annie Welsh died last year. She was probably the most famous survivor of the catastrophic and mind bloggling Halifax Explosion in 1917.

5 kms and 1600 people wiped out in an instant. Except for Asphan Annie.

Layton Steps Down

NDP leader hit with cancer.

The article discusses why officials aren't releasing what type of cancer.

More Questions

Was - is - Leonardo Da Vinci the most interesting man in the world?

Obamic Socialism

Is there a hidden socialist agenda in what Obama says here?

Compared to European socialism, it ain't much. If Obama is socialist (whatever that means these days here in North America), so was Bush.


Music Question

All things being equal, if you were to make a movie, who would likely sell more at the box office, The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?

For me, it's Da Beatles. They are the Ferrari of music. The Mozart of rock. The initiators and propellers of incalculable influence. They are beyond rock and roll.

Love the Stones. Shit, on longevity alone they blow minds. Some remarkable albums too.

Daycare Update


Anonymous: "We're prepared to make you an offer you can't refuse...We would like to pay..."

T.C.: "I'll take it!"

That's how I've felt these past couple of weeks. Just come and take the king. Just give it away.*Be my knight in shining armour coming to my emotional rescue.

Undervalue me. It won't be the first time.

*SNL reference to Jim Belushi as a hyper chess coach in the Bobby Knight mould.

Another Question

Is it that bad if the U.S. defaults on its debt obligations?


Banks foreclosing on people's homes for default on payments is considered pretty much evil by the accounts of those who feel it to be such. What about when state electric companies who cut off power to people? Does that make the government evil?

Both have you by the you know what.


A Fine Blog Closes Its Doors

Zeus is Watching is calling it a career.

I appreciate things that transmit knowledge and ZIW did just that.

One less quality blog left for us to read.

*Salutes with glass of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo*

Quebec Sovereignty Inc.

Quebec nationalists are indeed right when they complain of paternalism from Ottawa. Problem is, Quebec City would likely be the same - if not worse given the added explosive dimension of culture here - in terms of restricting the rights and choices of private citizens.

Phrases I Hate

Back to back PIH's!

"You're too good."

Hey, I'm a good guy, but don't confuse it with naivete. In fact, I'm pretty damn good at reading people and situations. I just don't react like most people is all. 

Better than the people who say "I'm too good" anyway.

I just don't go around talking about people to other people trying to look like I'm cool at judging others. I've noticed in talking with my staff, they're a little too quick to size up others. 

Phrases I Hate

"It's not like anyone died."

Usually used to justify "minor" theft. Like credit card fraud.

I've been told this by three different people who engaged in credit card fraud in the past. One guy told me, "Visa has $75 million dollars in insurance fraud protection." Ergo, go ahead and steal the money!

Sure. We don't pay for criminal through high interest rates. Sure. Idiot.

Credit card companies and credit lenders have little sympathy from me, but going to the extent of defrauding them and people is plain moronic.

For other 'Phrases I hate' from the past, just search it on my blog search.


Comedy Night

Shit, my posts are starting to get a "so I was" comedian formula feel to them.

So I was washing my hands today at the local mall and there before me were on instructions on how to discretely jack-off in the stalls.

Settle down. Actually, it was worse.

Rather, instructions indicating how to wash your hands (in six steps!) were plastered on the mirror.

Fuck. Are we getting stupider by the day? Why is that being shown?

Step one: Turn facet on.
Step two: Strike comfortable balance between hot and cold. Do not let water run. Waste, want not. Or some bull shit. Canada has more water than its population can ever dream to waste.
Step three: Choose proper amount of soap. Not too much since you will need more water, therefore 'wasting' it, to rinse excess soap. If not properly rinsed, soap will settle in on skin and possibly cause irritation. Please consult family doctor. If you do not have a family doctor, go sit and 'waste' nine hours of your time at either a local CLSC or clinic. We can't help you further.
Step four: Zip your pants.
Step five: Rewash hands.
Step six: Dry hands with ultra powerful (or weak, depending on the shittiness of your facilities) air dryer. We are environmental friendly and do not offer paper. If a Filipino man stands next to you offering a towel ignore him.
Step seven: Turn facet off.
Step eight: Look away from mirror and temptation to look at another man's penis.
Step nine: Turn and slowly walk away.
Step ten: You're retarded if you need these instructions to wash hands.


We have a friend who is, let's say special. So descriptive he is in telling a story we tend to move on and ignore him. "You're still talking about that, Vince? Jesus."


One day, bored out of our heads, we sat in front of an ice-cream place. As Vince - nicknamed Sideshow Bob because he had the same hair. No joke -  went in to get an ice-cream, his closest friend began to read his agenda he left behind. Vince had been a hair stylist since he was 17. As we read it and laughed at the typical Vincisms, one in particular had us howling. "12 PM. Eat."

Man, you need to be reminded when you're hungry?


But he's a character best left for that great "book" I plan to write.

Right out of a movie I tell ya.


What went wrong? Everything at the dinner table at a social function was going great so I figured it was time to pull out the good old joke from high school.

"So there was this rabbit (I meant rabbi) and cunt, whore chick single mom bitch who smelled like salmon and couldn't keep who her snatch closed...."

Man, I never saw so many mouths open like that since Ginger Lynn.

It was soooo much funnier in Secondary five math class.

Advice And Observations

I should make this a theme: Advice and Observations. I like the smell of that.

Observation: A Dream-catcher hanging from a review - rear view. Sorry -  mirror.

Advice: Don't get caught behind a driver with one. A little to relaxed if you ask me.

Daycare Update And Some Other Rubbish

The other day the educators were playing the last half hour of the day by combing and stylizing the hairs of the remaining kids. All involved love that activity.

As I passed by the room, an educator showed me one of kids. I said, "hey, he looks like Richie Cunningham."

She looked at me and said, "who?"

"Richie Cunningham. Happy Days. Sit on it. Bucko. The Fonz. You know? Aiieee!"

It was a met with a blank stare.

"Ron Howard?"

You know when a cat just stares back without a response after you ask if it's hungry?

Same thing.

My educators are between 19-21 years old and have no clue what happened before their birth dates.

I told my wife that while me and my friends were aware of what came before us in pop culture and history, it doesn't seem to be the case with this generation. For us, reaching back was key to present knowledge.

We grew up during a time when books, newspapers TV and radio were still the single most powerful mediums. My wife, the teacher, made the point the landscape is completely different now with technology. We were the last generation that depended and used the aforementioned forms of communications.

Happy Days used to play on cable reruns during supper time during my high school days. Now, it plays on specialized channels. That's probably why no one knows it.

Even a cartoon like The Flintstones, so revered to kids born between 1950 and 1980 (I arbitrarily choose that time frame. Feel free to adjust) is hardly known today.

Which, in part, explains why so many cartoons and shows from the 1980s are being turned into movies now. While we may roll our eyes at the idea of a The Smurfs movie (I always wished Gargamel would eat at least one of those motherfuckers), it's not so crazy from a marketing perspective. Those of us who watched it back then, now have kids who would go and slap down $10 to watch it. Sure enough, my kid wants to go see it.

Anyway. This started out as a daycare update but ended up a pop culture discussion. The gin tonic is starting to set in so...good-bye.

All I Ask

All I ask is that for people to get their simple facts straight. A lot of "facts" are up for debate (like the insane Jewish-Palestine debate that stretches back thousands and thousands of years) but some are not. While listening to a local sports reports playing in the background, I heard the broadcaster say Peru beat Brazil in the quarter-finals of Copa America. Jesus Christ, I screamed, you're the SOCCER ANALYST for a TV station. How hard can it be to fucking fact check that! Man, I keep tabs of over nine sports by myself without much error and I'm just a stupid, lousy blogger.

Paraguay beat Brazil. Makes you wonder if they actually watch the games.

A lot like Leonard Maltin. I always wondered how can any person track and watch that many movies? Finally, I read somewhere he trains a staff to help him out.


Videotron, my cable, telephone and TV provider, is another one. The grammar on the description on the TV guide is so bad I wonder if they even care. Clearly, it's being translated by a non-anglophone who hasn't a clue about what they're writing about. Sometimes it's so bad, they completely miss the description. I mean to write each one when I see it, but that's too complicated.

I have the mind to write them and tell them I'll do it for friggen free if it means getting it done right. I can just imagine an American reading that crap.

Daycare Update

There's a private daycare near my place that I've been observing for the last little while. It so happens the owner is friends with a friend of mine. I found out it took her one year to fill out 75 spots at an average price of $38 in a less wealthy area than me. God bless her was my first reaction. I know how rough and stressful it can be to do it without the drug known as a subsidy.

I thought to myself: Now that's exactly when the government or bank should approach her and say, "Hey, you did a great job. You're offering an important service, you're employing people and paying taxes. Here's what we propose. Here's a loan to go out and start a second one while we reduce your tax load on this one."

I know. Crazy talk on my part but if you think of it that's how it should be done. The best way to prosperity is not to tax the shit out of business but to let them save money eventually leading them to invest further into the economy through other openings. Instead, a lot of the money is drained by statist policies. The combination of superficial supply problems created by the state and the enormous strain on capital to small business people conspire to keep growth down.

It just blows my mind how the system's financial set up is completely illogical and favors creditors way too much.

My accountant once said, "well, you have to see it from their perspective." I get their perspective and they're right to place conditions on money they own and lend. However, it's to the point where someone has to leverage their family to get it. That, to me, is not right both morally and economically.


Someone I know opened a business in a suburb 30 minutes east of where I am. The problems he encountered with the city is stuff of legend and explains why we're seeing a backlash against what I do regard to be excessive state tyranny. Towns in these parts are corrupt to the core but that's not the point of this post. The point is in his municipality his plans were held up because the city turned them down insisting on choosing the materials and colours of his building he bought.

At least, he told me, if they had a reasonable excuse. All they told him is they prefer the look and colour they demanded. It delayed his project one year. Think they're kicking in on the mortgage and tax payments?

If this makes any sense to you. Congratulations. You're a natural born paternalistic tyrant who thinks he or she knows what's best for the greater good.

For all others, it's plain irrational. People listen up: They serve us. Not the other way around.


I was looking at picture of my daycare before the the municipality demanded the owners cover the red brick. Me and my wife were so upset. It was so much charming that way.

Alas, we and the owners had no say. The owner was in the wrong because the law clearly states only two materials are permitted (which is a stupid law if you ask me. As far as I'm concerned laws should be strictly to ensure we don't rob and kill each other not about whether we can use brick or wood on our houses. And if they are, their ought to be some flexibility) so it minimized our disappointment. Nonetheless, the city could have voted for it but apparently the mayor didn't like "red brick."

Even the parents preferred the brick. What can you do but nod in frustration and vote the suckers out?

March on folks. Every obstacle you face is but a mere challenge to be conquered and slayed. I have to admit it plays a tough psychological role.

If only the rules made sense, which most do, but still a lot of it is just plain overkill.

Death In Norway

Nearly 100 people killed in an act of terror in a country with four million people?

Now that's astounding.

Horrific scenes in Norway indeed.

Most of the bloodiest "political" murders in the 20th century came from the left side of the equation. I wonder if we'll see a rise from the right side in the 21st century if early speculation about the killer being a Christian fundamentalist are proven accurate.


Bixi Loan Comment

Bixi 'Too cool to fail.' What didn't I think of that?

Meh. I come up with a lot of crap and no one cares.

Very interested in how all this turns out. It may very well turn out they got a loan because they rode the trendy green times. Or maybe not. But I agree, why are they getting the taxpayers as investors until success (or failure) arises?

I'm in a "growth industry" - daycare - and the banks treat me like I have one fuscia eye, a hunched back and a speech impediment. If only I got a nickel for everytime I was told, "great project! We just can't lend to you."

And we're talking tens of thousands here. Not millions.

It's Different When We Do It

Harper is a controlling, tyrant. Yeah, yeah. Got it. Chretien was different in his benign despotism. Whatfriggenever.

Blah, blah, blah. Wake me when this isn't the norm.

But hang on here. An NDPer being dishonest? Pish posh! Aren't they supposed to be "different?"

I smell a green policy tax thingy coming to divert attention.

Protecting Your Reputation

Worried about your reputation online?

I noticed there's a web service that can help people against unsubstantiated attacks that can ruin businesses and lives.

Unfortunately, in my business my fate is also in the hands of a bureaucrat and how they interpret the law. Not sure if parents can comment on line but I still believe in the process. Each daycare has a parents committee that meets (just like any school would) and in my case, since we're private, I'm always accessible and welcome parents to voice any concerns - or positive feedback - to me directly.

Now, in cases where it goes beyond that, I suppose you can go online and complain. Not sure if it solves anything but if it makes you feel good - and you're being honest and objective - all the power to you.

As for the reputation of this blog - whaddevah - one cannot lose that which he does not possess.


Scully For The World Series!

I'm so on this band wagon.

It's a no brainer.

Sign the petition to have the incomparable (sorry Jackie Rogers jr.) Vin Scully call the world series. There isn't someone better than him in the game. Jon Miller is good but we don't know how much longer Scully will be around.

Anyone remember when he and Joe Garagiola called games back in the 1980s? Man, total baseball bliss. Ken Singleton would go well with Scully.

I always look out for the late games involving the Dodgers - I get a shot at catching maybe 20-25 in a year. If it's Scully I definitely try and stay up.

It would be more only the sports station that carries MLB mixes it up with A's, Giants, Mariners and Padres games. Rogers Sportsnet does a pretty good job of covering baseball on cable.

Super Hospital

Why it's a French super hospital! So it was described on a local news channel.

I didn't realize hospitals should be described along linguistic lines. Dumb, naive me.

Sure health isn't political. Sure.


It's gonna be a mess in any language. I'm just betting.

Coke Is It

When I used to cycle two or three times a week, me and a friend would average anywhere between 60kms and 100kms per ride. Naturally, we'd work up quite the thirst. Along the way we'd stop off some "tabagie" (convenient store) and pick up something. Including popsicles and other items to pump cheap sugar and calories into us. One day we bought Coke in a bottle. We were dying of thirst. It was a Bugs Bunny "water, water" moment.

As we sat there half dazed and exhausted my buddy said, "Cold Coke in a bottle is the best. Fuck the can."And then ran in to get some water.

For that split second there is indeed nothing better tasting than Coke when your mouth is dried out.

It's been years since I've had one.

Phrases I Hate

"Pay your fair share."

Sure, but how does one determine what "fair" is? That's always been the magic question. Generally, people who say this also say things like "how much is enough?"

When we used to play hockey or soccer we'd all pay "our fair share" and it was a straight calculation. It cost, for example, $300 to rent the ice, field or gym divide that by the number of players, say, 15 so everyone kicked in $20. Simple. None of this, well, Herbert you make so much more money than Dudley it's only "fair" you put in $25 and he $15. Plus poor Dudley was molested as a child by Mr. Carlson. I mean, have a heart for the love of Vishnu. Besides, it's not "right" you chose to go work for a profitable ergo evil company that exists thanks to its greedy need to enslave others in far away distant lands.

Of course, then Harry would be upset because he also made less than Herbert but more than Dudley and calculated he owed just $17.43. Poor Herbert ended up paying $42 by the time all was said and done.

But it's ok. You see, it was determined by the others Herbert could afford it. He indeed could ergo making them feel justified.

Paul was subsidized by all given he was unemployed and fallen on hard times. His girlfriend two-timing him with Herbert behind the RC Cola machine, whom he hardly knew, didn't help. So the others simply felt it was better to keep him in shape and off the streets.

Only Motisu didn't agree choosing to go off the grid and find himself a group of like-minded individuals where they operated like the good old days.

Ok. I'm getting a little silly.

Anyway, it was all understood before you said "yes" you had to pay a flat rate. I know it's different to expand this into a complex eco-system like society and its government, but the logic can still be used on some level I reckon.

Did I just advocate for a flat tax?

Obama Bad For Business For Some

I heard Wynn go off on the radio. It was hilarious. To me anyway.

Is Obama is "bad" for business per se? Or is it he just supports different ones from the GOP and others?


I didn't nor do I plan to read Obama's book. The one allegedly written by Bill Ayers. Or was it Roger Waters? 'Freaky Dreams of My Pipe Smokin' Father' was it?

Anyway. I heard on the radio the other day someone quote directly from the book something Obama wrote regarding redistribution of wealth. It went along the lines of "America needing to repay for profiting off the backs of minorities."

Can anyone shed light on this?

What the heck does that even mean?

Dave Van Horne Inducted Into The Hall

Former Expos play by play man Dave Van Horne will be inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame this year. Another member of the Expos family gets a cut into baseball immortality. I guess that leaves Tim Raines. He should get in.

Van Horne is one of the best sports announcer I've heard over the years. Smooth, clear, and descriptive, Van Horne worked alongside Ken Singleton and later the late great Duke Snider (or was it the other way around? Can't remember).

In any event, awesome tandems. You couldn't ask for better voices in the night while listening to late night games or lying around the pool on hot summer days or just kicking back in a park listening to the game from your car radio. Hopefully, his French counterpart Jacques Doucet will get his shot too. Doucet internationalized the game into another language in a unique market all to himself.

The Expos were blessed with a development machine that produced great talent and outstanding colour commentating teams.

Still a crying shame it all slipped away.

If the organization was rotten and inept, that I would get, but it wasn't the case.


They, and you know who you are, say Obama is a great speaker. Listen to Vin Scully and Van Horne and get back to me on that. See the difference in unscripted speech skills filled with melodic imagery.

Never do you hear an "uh" or "um" with those guys. Politics, sports - whatever - it doesn't matter.


It's Gold Baby

All this talk about 'debt' ceilings reminds me of a guy who ran for President at my high school. Part of his `platform` included `raising` the ceilings he figured to be too low and thus unhealthy.

Lemme tell ya, it was something out of Napoleon Dynamite listening to him.

Except it wasn't 'vote for Pedro.' It was vote for Hans.

Poor Hans. What ever happened to him? Gotta be in politics I reckon.


Speaking of the U.S. economy. All this "keep us solvent for another day' crap is useless over the long-term.

It has to be about the dollar. It is about the wicked swings of the U.S. dollar and perhaps the psychological attachment to wanting to be the world's currency. The case for the gold standard is compelling.

Besides, does paper money really exist anymore with the 'swift' system in place?


I remember when I started out in the financial world, the precious metals fund for my bank was $4. I think it's pushing $100 nearly 15 years later. I distinctly remember a couple of guys in my office pleading people "bet on precious metals.' It was heresy to a mindset that preached a "balanced" approach to investing.

Fuck that, chase the money was how they saw it. The philosophy of "portfolio management" is not practiced by all that's for sure.

I think I hear Stephen and Fabio having the last laugh.


I ask: Between Saturday Night Live and SCTV (or any one else you care to inject like MadTV, Kids in the Hall or here in Quebec Rock et Belles Oreilles (which was pretty funny even by American standards I reckon. In the link to the video, there are jokes in there you'd never see on North American prime time. For example, you'll notice in the spoof of Family Feud Quebec style, the word 'Linda' comes up. The question was 'what are things you eat in a hotel?' This is followed by an argument between the two guys who claim her), which comedy group's material stands up better?

SCTV came up with Bobby Bitman and the "incomparable" Jackie Rogers jr., man.


Fill The Census Out Or Else

A few months after sending them out, the government is running subtle threatening adds on the radio about filling out the census. Stuff like "you must fill it out it's the law."

Seems some are not listening.

Don't these people know if they don't do it Canada will cease operating?

Excessive Playtime Safety

Ancient wisdom doesn't need no stinking study to tell us these things.

No shit.

There's even an injury center.

Historical U.S. Tax Rates

Notice the steady decline in federal marginal tax rates in the United States. Look at in 1913, then 1950 and 2009. Amazing isn't it? The first big cut for incomes over $200 000 was in 1964 under Kennedy when it went from 91% to 77 % and then 70% one year later.

I'm not sure if further tax cuts (or increases) are the answer to what ails the U.S. economy since they seem to be at their historic lows. Maybe the problem is elsewhere.

Splendid Mediocrity

Quebec. Duh.

Time To Write

FYI: I may soon begin the process of writing the story of my experiences at the bank. It's better than it sounds. The two years I spent at a particular branch was one for the ages.

Pizza Not Fast Food

Here in North America, pizza is considered fast food. No wonder given the way we make it here - high salt, processed cheese etc.

It doesn't have to the "fast-food" way. Ask any gourmande and definitely any Italian and they'd explain to you it can be as healthy as any food.

The picture you see is pretty much how we make it.

One way I love is making white pizza topped with rapini, onions and sometimes a cold cut of choice. Another is just a straight white pizza with garlic and rosemary.

As for the origins, man has been eating flatbreads with certain toppings for centuries even well before the Greeks. However, there is no arguing the pizza as we know it is indeed a Naples thing.

All You Need Is Love?

John Lennon remains the poster man and torch holder for all things love. He's no Jesus but hey. His legacy and influence remains. Imagine is probably among the most recognizeable songs in history. That and any bluegrass sung on the banjo by Bugs Bunny.

Shit, I imagine a lot. I imagine the person in front of me at the supermarket line gets a kick in the ass whenever they challenge every price or can't find loose change. I imagine people who drive excessively slow but run through a yellow with a sudden Ferrari-like spurt get a ticket for being self-centered assholes. I imagine people who cross the street without once looking up with or without a lousy hand held device would get the ultimate scare of their life by getting hit by a gang of legendary decapitated monsters who speak Welsh. I imagine a world where people once and for all get their heads out of their statist asses and return to the one true institution that keeps civilization together: The family and personal adventure and responsibility. I imagine a world where Beta beatVHS and Apple crushed Microsoft. I imagine a world where there's no tryranny in democracy and no need for reality TV. No more red tape. Free lemonade with mint for all!

Oh, what a world it would be!

All you need is love?

Does love pay the mortgage or rent. For food or clothes? Go and try and get a business loan using love as collateral. See what the Ratio-heads say. Ga'head.

I suppose if you split for a Micronesian island you can live on nothing but love but don't be surprised if Coke, Goldman Sach's and Monsanto beat you to it. Representatives with signs at the port saying, "Welcome, dipshit. Your limo is waiting to take you to indentured paradise. All you need is to do what we say with love!"

It must really piss McCartney off having to constantly watch Lennon be treated as Gandhi and all those old videos at the Queen E in Montreal chanting, "all we are saying is give Pete a chance..."

Writer's Intrusion: "What, ma! I'm busy here! "Peace? Give peace a chance? Oh. Where's my meatloaf? I always wondered who Pete was. All those years researching. Wasted."


Setting: The bank.

"So, you need a loan, eh. Mr. T.C. is it, eh?"


"Rather bold, no? Eh?"

"Not really sir. I believe my business..."

"Silence! What's your collateral, m'boy? Eh?"
"Collateral? Well, I was thinking since you already lent me money and I was already growing an extension would..."

Looks solemnly at bull at his desk.

"Sigh. Nobody thinks anymore. It's just my job, you know?"



"Yes, but Mr. Blankey about the loan. I just need some help..."

"Help! Ha, ha! You think this is the local orphanage! Like some sort of feely-goody charity? Do you?"

"Well, no. I do plan to pay back the loan. I just thought since you already leant me the money and that I'm pretty much indebted to you for the foreseeable future the bank would keep me going rather than watchme sink and seize my house."

"Yes. Yes." People always want something for nothing."

All this time he's been snipping a pair of grooming scissors in mid air.

"What's your collateral I ask again!"

"I don't know, sir. Love? You get the best of my love."

"Sigh. I loved once. Then Gattino went out and broke her neck squeezing through a fence chasing some fluzy. My wife didn't support me in my time in need leaving for the neighbour's house every night at 10pm to help out with the "decorations." I never saw a party or invited to one."


"Please, leave."

"But sir..."


Dejected, T.C. leaves. He gives one last glance in hope of connecting to the banker to no avail. He walks away.

"I wonder if Vinnie is still lending..."


Spending To Survive

This economic logic is like a zombie that won't die.

The creation and maintaining of debt is what keeps the world going. Duh. But not in the sense as this person seems to espouse.

I don't even think Keynes would agree with what has become of his brilliant ideas. I took some economics courses in university, and while I'm far from a competent observer on that art, my impression is he never meant his theories to be a means to an end like it's being used.


Electric Car Company Folds

No working capital plus no demand equals bankruptcy. This story reminds me of the Bixi bike project in Montreal. Bixi isn't bankrupt but it did get a massive loan from the city to keep operations going. In their case, they claim international demand is firm. We'll see.

You know, I find it absolutely astounding that while I can't get access to capital in a growth business with huge upside and obvious demand a person can come along and have a speculative idea related to the environment and likely get funding without much question.

Any engineer will tell you the challenges of making a go of the electric car. That's just one challenge. The next is amassing economies of scale (remember that?) to make it economically feasible to investors and consumers.

Still. Believers in the electric cars do have something to cling their hopes on. Automobiles with combustible engines started out expensive and hundreds of companies across Europe and North America existed before consolidation took place.

We're just not there. Taxpayers shouldn't be roped into the environmental craze. In case anyone hasn't noticed, we're broke - until a green idea comes along that is.

Let venture capitalist do it since something like this demands deep pockets. If they feel there's something to it, they'll put up the cash. If not, that tells you something.

Murdoch's Place

Journalists hacking into people's phones? This is Rupert Murdoch's legacy?


Some unsacred lousy legacy.

And he was about to by Sky! Literally, give him the sky then.

I can just imagine what goes on these days behind the scenes of national media empires.

I mean, even the New York Times - a Magnificent Amberson of a paper - wasted time sending one too many reporters to cover Sarah Palin's lousy emails while once paying a lying fraudster to write for them.

Of Debt Ceilings And Illegal Immigration

"Holy Augustan crap, this place is fucked!"

Anonymous Greek writer commentating on Nero's Rome.

Whenever I read about the debate surrounding America's debt crisis and illegal immigration, some of the logic used blows my mind. What a useless piece of crap mentality to think raising ceilings is a way to manage a major problem. It's a sign either the men and women of leadership are clueless or know the gig is up. It's not even close to any kind of solution.

It's completely retarded, yes I use the 'R' word, to listen to the banal lack of logic people use in disregarding the basic laws of the land when it comes to illegal immigration. They conflate upholding a law with racism somehow.

It's officially acting like a banana republic. I know, Canada sometimes plays the part to perfection.

America has lost its moral and legal compass it seems. Seriously, as a Canadian watching from afar like a Greek did during Roman times, America has lost its fucking mind and balls. It's to the point where they'd argue what flavour yogourt to eat- and that's exactly what the political masters want.

The malaise is not divided along political lines, it's much larger than that.

It's literally a shame to witness.


America was once a republic. Now it defines itself as a democracy. A democracy on its own means jack shit. Like Rome past from a glorious republic to empire giving birth despotic emperors, America has seemed to have crossed a similar Rubicon.

Can a society accept despotic rule without even noticing? I ask you friendly readers.

Can it recapture its once proud eminence?

One may argue no empire has ever fallen and come back. None. Zilch. This is true as far as I can tell. Some manage to remain moderately relevant though: England, France and Italy in particular. Ancient lands that witnessed periods of greatness and Imperial power that have participated in the modern world.

Hoewever, there's one thing America has going for it: Demographics. It also continues to attract immigrants while birth rates are stable, it's also fairly innovative and growth hasn't collapsed just yet. It still has a fighting chance to defy the patterns of history.

Personally, if it doesn't, I'd sooner want to see it go the way of Atlantis (I assume, of course, it existed somewhere between Crete and Southern Spain) rather than watch it whimper and whither into nothingness with the rest of Western civilization.

Go down guns blazing for crying out loud and then, bloop!

Nugent's Law

A relentless piece from Ted Nugent.

Think he's mad?


Copa America Surprises And The Maturing Of Women's Soccer

I've been catching some Copa America games as I collect all physical and mental energies to put me through my week at my daycare.

While the games (it's winter in Argentina) have been rather pedestrian, they haven't come without upsets. On Saturday, hosts Argentina lost on penalties to Uruguay after playing to a 1-1 draw through 120 minutes. Today, after a scoreless match, Paraguay defeated defending champions Brazil also concluded on penalties. Not to be outdone, tenacious Venezuela reached its first semi-finals after knocking off skillful but immature Chile 2-1 in a match that saw some dubious refereeing.

Oh, and Peru beat Colombia 2-0.
What made the result stunning in the Brazil-Paraguay game, was not that Paraguay won (for anyone who follows the game knows Paraguay currrntly presents a competitive side in international football. One in which that knows how to neutralize Brazil), but how Brazil lost. Not one of the four penalty takers for Brazil managed to score. An astonishing thing to witness terrible pitch conditions notwithstanding.

The results for me weren't that surprising. Both Uruguay and Paraguay continue to ride the momentum built on their impressive World Cup campaigns. For the part, Argentina and Brazil are experiencing some technical difficulties.

Clearly, Brazil has a lot of work to do if it fancies itself a favorite to win the World Cup before its people in 2014. I've been reading for years about the steadfast decline of Brazilian soccer. Their performance at the Copa isn't going to help. I don't think they played all that badly, but relative to its magnificent history, perhaps it's a grey age for Brazilian soccer.

As for Argentina, classic case of a team filed with great individual talent incapable of forming a united team. Simple as that. Argentinians play for the top clubs in the world, but haven't won a major tournament in 18 years.

I wouldn't overplay that though. Brazil waited 24 years to win its fourth World Cup and major  in 2002 and 19 years to earn a Copa title. Same with Italy - 24 years between World Cup titles. Germany hasn't won the World Cup since 1990 and last won a European title in 1996.

Soccer is wickedly competitive.


Nor would I go too hard on Lionel Messi either - yet. People wonder how can he be so dominant with Barcelona but not Argentina? Again, the answer is not that complicated. There's a huge discrepancy in the number of games he plays for Barcelona and Argentina respectively.

The engine that runs the tactics and flow of that team is second nature to him and his teammates. It's only normal when you spend that much time together since your days with a youth academy.

It's entirely different when you're asked to duplicate that success with players you haven't had a chance to gel with. It's always the case when you go from club to national play. Huge difference playing 50-55 games over a nine or 10 months span with the same formation and three or four with another in a short two-week tournament with unfamiliar players; so many factors also come into play that can impact performance like a coach's decision to shift tactics.

It doesn't make him a choker or diminish his accomplishments at Barca.

This pretty much goes for all athlete representing their countries. Unless they're a professionalized outfit like the old Central Red Army Soviet hockey team that crushed all amateur opponents between 1960 and 1990, this is how it goes.

It may be Messi is too good for everyone around him, but then again, great players lift their team mates to higher grounds.

The jury, my jury, is still out on him when it comes to international play.


I was thinking. At least I think I was, but how unrealistic would it be to merge the North American and South American federations of Concacaf and Conmebol?

Think of it, it would expand the field of teams and would pretty much demand a qualifying phase much like UEFA does for Europe. It would permanently add the United States and Mexico to the list of nations and possibly include Canada and others. It would do wonders for North American soccer playing South American sides. It would be an all encompassing Copa America.

The exposure would increase as well. Right now, no major sports outlet is showing any of the games let alone trying to get scores. The Score has thankfully stepped out to carry some of the games, but as a whole, Copa America is nowhere near the class in terms of generating interest as the Euro.

I think expanding the format to include North America would help.


Quick word on the Women's Fifa World Cup. The USA, the most dominant team ever, finally met a team that could match its fire and determination. Japan twice came back to tie the USA 2-2 (3-1 on penalties) before becoming the first Asian team to win the title.

Women's soccer continues its maturation process.

Women's hockey has yet to go beyond the Canada-USA empire (with Finland and Sweden slowly catching up), while soccer has already had four different champions and multiple finalists and semi-finalists since 1991.

A Meeting Connecting The Atlantic Divide

I met Mr. Man of Roma and his charming wife this past Saturday. We roamed around Little Italy, had a pizza and espresso, visited my day care and did all we could do to maximize our limited time together. We barely had time to scratch the surface of our discourse.
Ah, the marvels of the blogging world.

As they say in Ancient English, there'll be another time.


If my titles seem to be getting worse or display a lack of creativity or interest, that's because I'm not putting much thought into them these days.

Unesco World Heritage Sites

From time to time, I link to the Unesco World Heritage sites list.

Equipped with nothing but cash and a beanie, I may make it a point to hit some of these sites one day.


Phrases I Hate

"How much money can one person have!"and "how much money is enough?"

The former: Who cares? It's not your business. The latter: Too rhetorical to matter.

Subsidizing Sports

Personally, and I've freely said so on this blog in the past, I don't think sports teams, stadiums, or arenas should be subsidized. 

Speaking of high salaries and Derek Jeter. I have no problem with how much money they make. If the market bears it so be it - even though somehow, someway, athletes' salaries are skewed because of subsidies and the ironic player's union for millionaires.

Don't like it? Stop paying for the Yankees channel or going to games or buying Jeter jerseys.

I stopped paying the going rate for pro tickets years ago; to say nothing of paying for perpetual mediocrity. I get enough of that through my taxes that pay for government sponsored products.

No skin off my back. To me, it hit a line I refuse to cross. Not interested in, say, paying $300 to watch Lebron James and other athletes act like immature boobs, while watching and reading hack sports journalists defend poor behavior trying to convince they're "interesting" personalities.

Mind you, you may persuade me to pay a shot deal to watch football in Green Bay or even a cricket match in India. I'm more interested in the classics anyway.

By the way, if you're over 35 and still wearing the name of another person on your back it's time to reassess things.

Value to society is another matter altogether. 

Jeremy Bentham time!

In any event, determining a person's salary and value is not an exact science I've learned.

What do I think about Jeter reaching 3000 hits? Great accomplishment no doubt. But is he the "greatest short stop" ever? I've lost patience with all these arbitrary milestone figures; especially when it's used to justified putting someone into a hall of fame. In hockey, by the way, it's 500 goals

It's one thing to hit these "magical" numbers and quite another to contextualizing them.

In any event, Jeter has had a solid and great career with some magnificent moments. His 3000th hit was a home run. Typical Jeter.

But was he more dominant than Honus Wagner or even his own teammate Alex Rodriguez before the latter switched to third base?

No, I think.

In fact, by some measurements he's not even top 10.

Personally, I think he makes top five. 

Playing in New York (like Boston and to a lesser extent Los Angeles and Chicago) indeed magnifies his career but if he played in Kansas City or Milwaukee. I wonder how he'd be viewed or does it even matter? He did perform well on the biggest stage of them all after all.

Actually, Jeter is up against this guy in Milwaukee.


Deep Thoughts By Michael Scott

They are now known as a Michael Scottism.

Him I get.

This pretty much applies to people who gush over other people not worth an ounce of gush cast upon them.

Bend It Like Obama

 From Esquire:

"We love Obama — even those who claim to despise him — because deep in our hearts and all over our lives, we're the same way — both inside and outside our jobs, our races, our cities, our countries, ourselves. With great artists, often the most irritating feature of their work is the source of their talent. Obama's gift is the same as his curse: He's somehow managed to be like the rest of us, only infinitely more so."

What the...
I swear, Imagonnadoit, don't tempt me. Ok, I'm bending now...bending. Bending over! There. I did it!

Men Of God

Every once in a blue moon I stumble upon a quote or assertion claiming the Founding Fathers didn't believe in God or were atheists or deists or whatever. Everyone, for political or religious or secular reasons, wants a claiming piece of those dudes.

Frankly, I'm surprised there's a debate about this at all. Seems to me some were pretty clear (even if they changed their minds often like Jefferson did during his life. Hey, they were only human)  where they stood on God, spirituality and organized religion and Christianity in particular. In the context of their times, essentially influenced by classical and Englightenment and even Renaissance and Christian thought, they were rational skeptics about government and religion.

This doesn't translate into being against God. On the contrary, they were not hostile to religion or God; just guarded against it. They questioned; not attacked. Hence, they devised a political system whereby none would encroach on the personal rights of man by attempting to keep things separate.

In fact, they did make some claims that the basis of American sovereignty and power was rooted and therefore flowed from God -as Madison believed. It's all there. Take it for what it is.

I understand for contemporary consumption we pluck out some comments and quotes they made to expropriate and attach it to a particular prevailing belief, but we don't have a right to it. Taking a quote and linking it straight to something is no answer to a question.

It's not that complicated where they stood on such issues. We just don't know how to read history I tend to read them like I'm watching good theater with all the twists, plots, contradictions, flaws, virtues, ironies and themes ever changing before our eyes. It's all very, well, human.

They were that interesting.


Celebrity Trash

I have no issues with celebrity news. What I have a problem with is that it makes headlines. How useless are we that "Portman's baby name revealed?" finds its way on the main pages?

If you stop to listen to the groundhog's fart, you would have to conclude it's absolutely pointless.


How about the CBC dedicating resources in covering wall to wall William and Kate? How much of "he's so kind and she's so pretty" can one digest? Talk about wasting good talent. Talk about degrading any shred of true journalism left on this precious earth!

Years ago I was flipping through channels and anyone associated to the Beverley Hills 9000121001 - or whatever it was called. I didn't watch it. But boy was it immensely popular in France. My cousin would literally leave his post at his restaurant to watch it in his office. I already didn't like it in English, imagine in French! Mon dieu, le morte d'Arthur passe moe l'arme!- would be plastered on those sycophantish celebrity shows. You know, the ones laced with forced laughs to bad jokes and feigned interest in what celebrities think about various issues and other assortment of hilariously dumb comments.

It is with those shows I learned how utterly boring, depraved, unimaginative and insulting they could be when they tried to convince me that Tori Spelling looked good in any style. It came off as if trying to sell a car to a blind guy.

I met a few girls in my life who "had it" when it came to a natural sense of style and one of them was Stephanie M - at miniscule financial fraction of what Spelling had at her disposal.


It's all designed, this idol bull shit, to distract us from true, independent free thought and critical thinking.

Art Heists Not So Glamorous

A Group of Seven painting has gone missing.

Art heists are nothing like found in the movies. From the Vancouver Sun (link above):
"...Ton Cremers, a security consultant for some the world's museums, libraries and galleries, said the illicit art trade is worth $7.8 billion annually — ranking it third behind the drugs and arms trade, which is worth $100 billion.

"It's never like the movies," said Cremers, explaining he's never come across a case in which master thieves are commissioned by collectors to steal prized artwork. The majority of cases in museums, he says, are long-serving internal staff like curators or librarians, who have vast knowledge of the work commissioned for their galleries and museums..."
"...In your country, it's illegal to own stolen property, but it's different in Europe," said Cremers, who explained that complex statutes in Europe can allow a thief to own the work after a number of decades and that less than 10 per cent of stolen art is recovered.

However, thieves can still make a killing if they decide to come forward to return the piece at a ransom price negotiated with lawyers for insurance companies..."

Rental Deadbeats

Oh, Lord the stories we have about deadbeat tenants.

The laws protect them to the point of illogicality.

It's just the way it is for a small portion of people. They feel other people owe them.


As judges become property owners, the more likely they'll at least begin to comprehend just how devious some tenants (and boy do some of them know the law to abnormal levels) can be thus bringing more balanced judgments into the equation.

Who Will Buy It?

Build it and they will come.

Field of Dreams. Where baseball meets Children of the Corn. I babble to confuse.

Years ago I learned a lesson. It wasn't a particularly hard one but educative nonetheless. It was during the Pet Rock craze in the early 1980s. In a bizarre perplexed marketing coup d'etat, the pet rock (a piece of rock with a stick on it) grabbed consumers by the collar and said, "you fucking buy me because I'm too much of a cool trend, got it?"

And people did.

I've always stood by the belief nobody knows, and I mean no one, what will sell or if the movie they make will bomb or take flight.

Hence, I totally ignore people who ask, "who will buy it?" or "who would want to buy that?" You know, so-called realists, wannabe investors, lower level banker-slaves and their credit masters etc.

In fact, chances are, if someone is telling you that you may be sitting on a winner.

We tend to over think sometimes. You know the old adage, the more education you have, the least likely you'll take risks, hence your balls get caught up in theories. I think Socrates said it. Or Babe Ruth. Or was it Mayor Quimby? I forget.

Nike possibly came up with the greatest most prescient slogan in the history of mankind:

Just do it.

Just fucking do it.

Mother Knows Best

My mother has effectively taken control of the kitchen in my daycare.


Food consumption has doubled and waste is minimum.

Today, a simple vegetable soup made from scratch with a high quality "pastene" (tiny pasta for broth), was devoured by everyone.

Not that they weren't eating before with my sister running the show, held back a little by the silliness of strictly following a government guide line (don't care what anyone says, the state will always trail behind the established culinary habits of societies that stretch back centuries. I'll tell you one thing, when we were using a recommended menu it was met with a yawn. Add a balanced and healthy dash of Italian flavor and panache, and presto! Major hit. Here in Quebec, Italian food is enormously popular), but there's something to a matriarch's touch that seems to deliciously cut to the stomachs of children.

My mother (as most are likely apt to do) can rewrite any "guide line" as she slices cheese with one hand, cracking an egg with the other, while magically creating a devine risotto with what I swear to be a third hand.