Saturday, December 29, 2007

2007 - A Pictorial Retrospective Part III

Cheney's Latest Technique For Winning Hearts And Minds

"Waterboarding is so 2006", proclaims US veep Dick "The Love Machine" Cheney. "We simply force feed anyone we dislike terror suspects plate after plate of Bush's Beans, then lock them into the aroma chamber. I haven't had this much fun since burning ants with a magnifying glass".

FEMA Rolls Out Latest Emergency Trailer

Answering critics of the cramped conventional emergency housing,
FEMA agency Administrator R. David Paulison states "There are those who maintain that those who work within the Washington DC beltway have a sheltered view of the world. This design proves once and for all that we have the proper perspective."

New Statuary Unveiled at Tennessee Courthouse

After the removal of all artwork with references to Judeo-Christian themes, concept artist Jorge-Wolfram van Schwellingberg won the commission to replace them with more more belief-neutral images. "She is called 'Justicia' ", declaimed van Schwellingberg. "She is blind, cold, rigid, and has small tits".

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2007 - A Pictorial Retrospective Part II

Exxon Mobile Chairman Defends Bonus

Oilman Rex "Slappy" Tillerson defended his $3.36 M short-term incentive for 2007 before his annual shareholder's meeting. "It's a mere bauble compared to the killing we are all going to make from our long-term price manipulation strategy".

It's Retro Rehab for LiLo

Unimpressed with designer rehab clinics such as Promises and Wonderland Center, Lindsay Lohan checked into the ├╝ber-trendy Speakeasy clinic in Las Vegas. "I want to connect with my inner flapper", gushed Lindsay.

US Minutemen Go On The Offensive

Finding it a tad boring sitting on the north bank of the Rio Grande, a break-away faction of the Minutemen have decided to take it to the enemy. Dressed incognito, they slip south of the border for a little pre-emptive action, breaking down doors of random Mexican houses and delivering this friendly advice: "Although we still play with our GI Joes, our arsenal of Nerf weapons is gonna seriously fuck you up!!"

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

2007 - A Pictorial Retrospective

Rudy Giuliani on Patrol
Ever vigilant against terrorists of all stripes and colours, Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani is pictured here walking the beat late at night, making sure all liberties are kept under lock and key.

Vladimir Putin Seeks Image Change

Tired of being portrayed as a power-hungry modern day Tsar, Russian Premier President Putin has decided to star in "art films". "All those days training in the KGB gymnasium haven't been wasted on Vlad", enthuses Putin's agent Tom Cruise.

Disgraced Idaho Senator Releases Rebuttal Family Pix

To bolster his assertion that he has a "wide stance", former senator Larry Craig released this picture of him learning at his father's knee the appropriate cubicle position for #2. "I always knew he was telling the truth", stated Tom Cruise.

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

'Tis the Season

Ah. I can feel the gloom lifting. Today, for the first time in six months, the days are actually getting longer albeit much colder. But I'd rather live at minus 40 in daylight than pass another day in the twilight of fall. Sure, by New Years Day we will only have gained a mere 12 minutes of daylight, but I'll take them. At least it is a step in the right direction.

On another subject, and not being able to think up an appropriate segue, I will simply report that a mental health society in the UK has published a list of Christmas carols for the mentally disturbed. This has caused a stir in the press and there have been accusations of extreme insensitivity on the part of the agency responsible for having it published. However, the editorial board apparently is made up of "users" of mental health services themselves. So if they find this amusing, who am I to argue?

So, without further ado, here they are:
  1. Schizophrenia - Do You Hear What I Hear?
  2. Multiple Personality Disorder - We Three Kings Disoriented Are.
  3. Dementia - I Think I'll be Home For Christmas.
  4. Narcissistic - Hark The Herald Angels Sing About Me.
  5. Manic - Deck The Halls And Walls And House And Lawn And Stores And Office And Town And Cars And Buses And Trucks And Trees And...
  6. Paranoid - Santa Clause Is Coming To Town To Get Me.
  7. Borderline Personality Disorder - Thoughts Of Roasting On An Open Fire.
  8. Personality Disorder - You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why.
  9. Attention Deficit Disorder - Silent Night, Holy Oooh Look At The Froggy, Can I Have A Chocolate, Why Is France So Far Away.
  10. Obessive Complusive Disorder - Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,.
Your homework assignment is to add, via the comments, your additions to this list. I'll offer the first:
  1. Megalomania - Joy To The World, For I Am Born.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Little Richard and Me

Eons ago, some friends and I caught Little Richard at the old York Theatre in Montreal before it met with the wrecker's ball. I can't remember much about the actual show, but I'm pretty sure he played Tutti Frutti and the rest of his standards.

After the show let out, we were hanging around the front door of the theatre on Ste. Catherine Street, thinking about packing it in when a huge stretch limo hove into view and parked itself right in front of us. Right on cue, Little Richard himself came out of the theatre towards the open door of the black Lincoln Continental.

"Do you mind giving us a lift?" one of us said just for the hell of it.

"Sure, hop on in" he replied.

We were stunned for a moment since none of us actually needed a ride. But being teenagers it took only a few nanoseconds before images of wild rock'n'roll parties emboldened us to jump on in.

"So where are you kids going?" he enquired. Having not thought it that far ahead, we replied "Wherever you're going".

"Driver, pull over please and let them out", he said, though not with too much rancour, and we got out of the limo.

Some people measure their brushes with fame in terms of time. I measure mine in distance - approximately 75 feet down Ste-Catherine Street.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Let them pick, then simply click

Sorry about the paucity of postings lately, but I have been down south in Montreal doing my annual Santa Claus run for seven hominids, two canines and a variety of traditional Christmas spirits. Do the math and you can see it has been quite a drain on my energy as well as my bank account.

I did quite a lot of my shopping in advance on-line this year, and so far everything has worked out quite well even factoring in the shipping costs and duties on purchases from the US and UK. E-commerce has been a particular boon to shopping for the females in my household. With the males, shopping is easy - just buy them a tool, any tool will do, and don't worry about the size, colour, make and model. Even duplicates of existing tools are appreciated; after all, a man cannot have too many hammers.

But buying presents for the girls and my wife has always been a great source of tension. You see, they have no hobbies to speak of other than collecting clothing and then either shrinking them in the wash or changing their own dimensions. So when I walk into the the women's section of any department store I start to sweat, what with all the possible permutations of style, colour, material, branding and the like. Not to mention sizing, the standards of which seem to have been set by psychotics with a strong sadistic streak.

But now with many clothing outlets having on-line catalogues, I just let them mouse through the selections, and then all I have to do is edit their shopping carts, add my credit card number, and click. Sure, it takes away the surprise element of opening presents on Christmas morning, but unless they start taking up snowmobile mechanics or woodworking, I'll be forever at a loss to buy them something they'll use or appreciate.

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Seemed Like A Good Title At The Time

I always had my suspicions about Christopher Robin.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Nation within a Nation within a Nation?

Today hopefully marked a seminal milestone here in Nunavik, the top third of the province of Quebec. The governments of Canada, Quebec and Nunavik signed an AIP in Quebec City to give us even greater autonomy in terms of our governance. A tad less than self-government, we will acquire many of the powers to establish a pretty comprehensive administration which will direct most of the aspects of our life up in northern Quebec.

What strikes me as bizarre is the use of the word "nation" here in Canada. Quebec has long contended it is a nation, which is offensive to many people living in TROC (the rest of Canada) who feel that the province is verging on declaring itself as a sovereign country, or at least demanding a special status within our confederation. And within Quebec Nunavik, as well as some of the more militant First Nations communities see themselves as nations, with special rights (the Indian Act notwithstanding) not afforded to other residents of the province. And this too is anathema to some Quebecois who feel that they should have the same right of hunting, fishing, and commercial activity as a disadvanted people who have lived here for millennia. Yet here are three levels of government agreeing to establish just such an structure.

I earnestly hope that Canadians, Quebecois and Nunavimmiut can start to see different models of building relationships between peoples other than 19th century political concepts and get behind this unique framework for regional/ethnic administration.

I know most of the Nunavik negotiators for this agreement, and I really want to take my nassak off for their decades of hard work and smarts in forging this deal. I know that many have had to back off from entrenched and heartfelt positions, but their willingness to compromise in order to move this process forward has been courageous.

To be sure, there will be many missteps along the way. But at least those missteps will have been of our own making.

Now if we could only get some subsurface rights in this mineral rich territory.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Dark Days Are Upon Us

Being south (a tad) from the Arctic Circle, my town never experiences the 24 hour night at this time of year. But ever since the summer I have been aware of a relentless slide into darkness.

Today the snow-obscured disk of the sun rose after I arrived at the office and slunk away into an abyss of deep, ominous gray well before my mid-afternoon break. This descent into ever-lengthening night will only conclude on the morning of December 22 when the sun touches the Tropic of Capricorn and begins its all too slow march back towards the equator. On that date we will have 5 hours of sun, though to be quite fair we will have extensive 90-minute twilights on either end.

On a sunny day, at "high" noon, my shadow extends a good 40 feet along the ground, pointing almost due north. The sun simply skims the horizon, and there are areas in our town which don't get the sun's disk for a couple of months due to the high hills nearby.

And the sun is a frigid one, yielding no warmth at all, like one of those strange LED bulbs. Even in February, when the mercury dips to minus 35 celsius, the sun is high enough on still days to melt a little bit of snow from the eaves and form icicles. But in the Arctic December the sun is only a disk, casting pastel pink light around the landscape.

I've heard of some southerners taking light therapy at home to stave off the affects of seasonal affective disorder, that physiological condition that carries the appropriate acronym SAD. Myself, I've never felt the need, but as I grow older I am beginning to notice an increasing coincidence between the dark days of November/December and health complaints.

I've had a cold I just can't shake which has left me feeling more than a little aguish. I have had to cancel two roadtrips for work simply because I was concerned with really descending into sickness. But so far I've been able to fend off the more serious medical complaints.

So why, I ask myself, do I live here?

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

And Where Do You Live?

Having been ill for the latter half of the week, I have to drag myself into work all weekend long since I need to clear the decks before leaving town for the following ten days.

By way of appeasement for not having posted anything of late, and possessing a still wooly head capable of being amused only by immature humour, I offer you this guide to rude street signs of the UK.

Snicker away.

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