Monday, January 31, 2005

Make Mine Winter Diesel Please

Ahhh, the morning run. In the fall I love my morning run. It's anywhere from 6 to 15 kilometres of blissful peace. We have wide, wide sidewalks, crisp autumn air and crunchy leaves under foot. For up to 1 1/2 hours I can leave behind stress, noisy kids (whom I love dearly, please don't email) a barking dog and a dishwasher that is threatening to explode. On run mornings I get up a little earlier, sneak out of the house and disappear into the inky early morning. I return in time to catch an extra 15 minutes of snooze time - often cuddled up to the three-year-old who has moved from his room to usurp my place in the bed. I start my day feeling great. This is the wonder of running in the spring, summer and autumn.

It aint any of those right now. Now, it's winter (or at least a reasonable facsimile thereof). In fact it's that crappy time of winter in Alberta when, during the day snow melts and at night it re-freezes. Our wide, wide wonderful sidewalks so perfect for running become a venue for a prairie bonspiel. I'm not kidding, you could curl down 22 Street. So, you compensate - that's fine. I can take shorter, more careful steps. On side streets I run on the road.

No, the real problem of running at this time of year is that every idiot with a gigantic, diesel pickup truck - like this - feels they need to warm it up at curbside for 20 minutes before they go anywhere. Nothing is worse than coming around a corner on a good clip, breathing deep, moving well and then bam! Right into a wall of diesel smoke. For most people this is merely inconvenient. For me, it damn near stops me cold as I have a (very) slight asthma problem that is aggravated by running in the cold. So, I'm having trouble breathing already and some asshole basically jams a tailpipe up my nose. Gee. Thanks.

It's sooooo unnecessary: A. It isn't that cold out right now and B. It's usually a new truck that has a block heater and has new technology that would prevent it from freezing anyways.

I'm not ranting about running along side of traffic as I have to do sometimes. People have to get places and some cars are smellier than others. I'm fine with that. I could run in cleaner air if I chose. It would just be way less convenient. No, this is directed firmly at people who generate clouds of exhaust that hang in the air at the curb because they don't want to drive 18 seconds in a cold car.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

NIMBY Bastards

I have an idea. It’s radical but from what I’ve been hearing lately, it just might work. Let’s take everybody we don’t like - anybody who is different from us – and send them to the far North (or South or East or West) end of the city.

Have you got people of colour living in your neighbourhood? Maybe they’re new to the country and don’t speak English. Well then, ship ‘em off to their own special place. They’re probably not productive members of society –damn freeloaders.
How about that group home, housing handicapped people? They’re not the prettiest to look at and hey, maybe they’re driving down housing values. Maybe we can get them their own special “developmentally delayed facility” – preferably somewhere we don’t have to look at them.

Are you offended yet? Have I made you furious? Is that one of the most disgusting paragraphs you’ve ever read? You bet it is. It’s disgusting and you’d never think these things let alone, say them. Yet, this is exactly how some small-minded members of our community are acting about the proposed detox centre.

I’ve heard comments like: “These pedophiles will get our children.” Or “How dare you let these people into our neighbourhoods?” Or “I don’t want these people hanging around peeing on our buildings.”

So, let’s explore a few facts. These people are not the enemy. These people are suffering from a disease and, if they’re sourcing out the detox centre, they’re merely looking for the medical and psychological help they need. An addict looking for help is a lot different than a junkie looking for a fix. An addict looking for help most likely has no interest in harming your child. They won’t be hanging around the front or back of the building peeing on the bricks. I’m sure there’s a bathroom inside the premises.

If you’re that concerned about your kids’ safety, think twice about letting them go to a movie or hang out at the mall. Think twice about letting them go to the Farmer’s Market in the summer. There’s a heck of a lot more people in any one of those locations than there will be at the detox centre. If you’re concerned about your kids’ safety, keep them away from their relatives. Statistically, kids are at significantly more risk from family than from strangers.

And as for influence... Give me a break. Kids today are exposed video-game war on TV. They have to put up with the pressure of hard drugs being available to them as young as middle school. Music, videos, movies, video games and television depict rampant drug use. I hardly think that your kids seeing sick people attempting to get some help is the worst thing they will be exposed to.

Think about your fellow man. Show some compassion and respect and above all, grow up and be a positive influence on your kids. Show them how to accept all people and, how to live without judgment.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Shut Up Mike

For 20 minutes that thought ran through my head. "Shut up Mike. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up". And not in the annoying Stacey London: "Shut Up! Your new clothes are fabulous." kind of way. But more like: "Mike, if you don't shut up I'm going to impale you with this curried, egg salad wrap and clean up the blood with a box of Five-Alive".

Really, do you need a hour and a half to discuss something that could easily have taken place via email or conference call? Oh well, free lunch is free lunch although this did prove that there really is no such thing.


Um... $40 million innauguration - done to death on several other blogs and The Daily Show.

Um... Steelers lost yesterday? Oh well, they've not been the same since Bradshaw played there.

Um... Tsunami relief? Iraqi war dead? AIDS in Africa? Geoncide in Sudan? Not to be punny but they've been done to death by me and others.

For now maybe...

Goodbye Johnny.

I like most children growing up in the '70's used to sneak out of my room and peak around the corner to get a glimpse. If it was a really special night ie/ any time Joan Embry and the animals were on, my folks would wake us up to watch.

Thank you Johnny Carson. A pox on those you spawned that don't do it as well.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

It's Not Jealousy


indulge me here for a while. I just need to get this out of my system.

It's January, and you lovely blog readers, haven't yet experienced the joy that is me in January. Deeol has. It ain't pretty.

You see, January is the time of year when I decide I want to go home. Home being the place I grew up as opposed to the place I live now. Don't get me wrong. I like the community, love the people I work with, like my job. We have a good house here, a tonne of friends and it's a fantastic community to raise our kids in. Still... It's January and I want to go home. To the coast. To the smell of the ocean, to traffic, to over priced real-estate, to rain and dampness. Actually, I'm fine here. What I really want is for my brother and his wife to move here. That isn't happening so, I'll be a suck for a few more days, get over myself and shut up about it.

It doesn't help that a job that I wanted while I was at the Aquarium is now available. Had it been open when I was getting finished with my other position I would have applied, probably gotten it and we would still be there. However, the last time it was open, I was in another position that I really liked and wasn't prepared to give it up.

It also doesn't help that the son of a friend of mine just announced that he's spending 13 months at sea on the Picton Castle as crew. Lucky bastard. As I understand it, their heading to Ecuador and the Galapagos, the Cook Islands, Rarotonga, Vanauatu, Pitcairn Island, S.E. Asia, Cape Town and other places. Not that I'd want to leave the family for an entire year, but man, even one leg of that trip would ROCK.

Ah well, what're going to do. This too shall pass and I shall return to my happy, yet jaded self.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

In the Immortal Words of David Spade

Buh' Bye Jackass. Or, don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.

Tucker Carlson is leaving Crossfire. Happy Day. Even better... Crossfire may fold. The CNN website makes it sound like the bow-tied pinhead is leaving on good terms. However, the scrolling news service (text thing that rolls up the tv screen), implied that he was fired over issues such as:

1. Not being able to hold his ground against John Stewart.
2. A litany of Canada bashing comments. The tone was fine with CNN, the content was off.

Read up to see what he had to say (wrongly) about his Northern neighbours (that would be us).

Anyways, while there's nothing more entertaining than a scared, under-informed, paranoid, conservative mouthpiece - I won't mention any more names *cough* Ann Coulter - it's good to see his ass hit the network highway. Watch for him crawling out from under a rock near you.


Speaking of paranoid conservatives... did anybody out there see the swearing in of the 109th sitting of the House of Representatives? I was raised by parents who taught that, when you win you should be gracious about it.

Dubya proved again, yesterday that he's a smug bastard. All I can say to my left-leaning friends in the States is "Good Luck". The next four years are going to be some kind of scary. We've already had 14 years of a party that was ruling - for all intents and purposes - unopposed. And they sort of cared about normal, working people. I can't imagine what living in the States will be like with unopposed Republicans running the show. Say good-bye to your civil rights, any chance of national Medicare and social security. Hello fascism.