Wednesday, October 31, 2007


...from Newsguy BOO!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Thanks, Ma. Yer da bestest

I just KNOW that you had something to do with making Blackburn Hamlet, where I live, a better place.
Construction is starting on the Hamlet's first Tim Hortons. Word is that it will be open in four weeks, which I believe, after seeing how fast several of them went up along the Highway 11 corridor a few years ago.

So thanks, Ma. Now do you think you can do something about getting us a beer store, or at least an LCBO that sells cold beer?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Mark's making me do this

My buddy Mark, who lurks here but has never commented, has shamed me into reporting that finally, after six months living in my new dee-luxe apartment, Canada Freakin' Post is delivering my mail here! Mark says it's only fair for a cranky old fart to report such things.

Anyway, all my bitching and moaning was for naught. The only reason the mail is finally being delivered here is because there is finally one layer of asphalt on the parking lot.

My MP's office wasn't a lot of help, either. After registering a complaint there, I got the phone call from Mr. Pisshead Bullshit, the Canada Post regional supervisor or whatever the hell his title is. I was not satisfied with his answers and let him know. Then, not hearing back from the MP's office as promised, I called again last week. The girl I originally dealt with wasn't there, so I had to talk to a guy who said he could look into a follow-up on the problem. But then HE was making excuses, and tried to tell me that Canada Post isn't really government. I reminded him that it's a Crown Corporation under contract to the federal government to fulfill every Canadian's right of mail delivery. He said he would try to go over Mr. Bullshit's head, but I could tell he had no intention of doing anything. Just wait and see if I ever vote for his boss, Conservative MP Royal Galipeau.

All that aside, I'm happy to finally be getting mail service. Time to move on to something else to bitch about, as a cranky old fart.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Why is common courtesy surprising?

I was raised to respect everyone, regardless of sex, race, creed and anything else that makes people individuals. Sure, we learned a lot of jokes that you would consider racial and/or discriminatory, but we also learned that there's a time and a place, and no real malice should be intended.

We were also taught manners: please, thank you, may I be excused from the table?, and so on.

So why is it that when you display those good manners and do things like holding a door for someone, you are greeted with surprise, albeit pleasant surprise?

Case in point from today: I had an appointment for a tuberculosis test, in connection with some volunteer work I'm planning to do at a hospital. There was an accident on the Queensway, so I called from my cellphone, and left voicemail saying that I might be a bit late, and apologizing for it. When I did arrive about ten minutes late, the nurse who gave me the test immediately thanked me, expressing delight that someone would be so thoughtful. I hope it didn't show how surprised I was, that she would be so surprised.

Another time, when I was still living in Timmins, I met Little Bro Dan, his mom and sister at the mall ("The Square" as it's known locally -- official name, Timmins Square) after work one Friday night. The guy at New York Fries thought that both Dan and Chantal were my kids, and told me how mannerly they were, always saying please and thank you, and how rare it is in kids. Rather than the entire explanation that they weren't my kids, I just thanked him for saying so, and passed along the word to their mom, who was even prouder of them than I was.

Common courtesy and the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I guess it is a rare commodity. Sad.

Anybody into symbolism?

What does it mean when you're walking down the street at almost 2:30 in the afternoon, on your way to work, and you see a rat walking along the same sidewalk?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The colourful season is over

Yesterday: 26C and sunny. Today: Relentless rain and 11C. But for once, I did not waste the beautiful weather yesterday, and actually got off my ass and went for a walk with my camera.
Unfortunately, the autumn colours around Ottawa have passed their peak. But I did get this rather interesting photo that illustrates that. I guess there's no denying that winter is indeed on its way. This is Canada, after all. And being a native Northern Ontarian, I know how to cope with it. It beats the Hell on Earth happening in Southern California right now.
Have a good rest of the week.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Peoples is weird

Okay, singing a song slightly under your breath is one thing, but a woman I encountered in Dollarama today was trying to outdo Lionel Richie on "Say You, Say Me" which was playing throughout the store. Honestly, I heard her from one aisle over, this fairly sane-looking woman pushing a stroller. First thing I thought was what would Simon Cowell say? and the next was that subjecting her poor baby to that awful squawk is child abuse.

And yes, I sometimes shop at Dollarama, when quality is not an issue. All I was looking for was a cheap picture frame for this great pic of me, Little Bro Dan and Pretty Christine, that was taken at the 25th anniversary party for my sis and bro-in-law. Christine is the one on the left.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I take back what I said about Drew Carey

They're into Showcase Showdown #2 as I write this, and he's not bad at all. As usual, he laughs a bit too much and too heartily at his own jokes, but I think he'll do alright on The Price Is Right. Actually kind of refreshing from old Bob Barker.

I do wish, however, that he would lose the horn-rimmed glasses. Sure, it's part of his schtick, but he's beyond that now.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

This is kinda disturbing... but I love it!

A fellow weekend news producer at Citytv in Toronto sent me this link. The whole subject arose out of our Barrie station doing a story on hunting safety today, and our London story asking for the story, saying there are a lot of Elmer Fudds in that area, too. That led to me sharing my knowledge of the Elmer Fudd language tool available on Google.

Click on ‘Language Tools’ on the Google home page, then scroll down to the language list. There’s also “Bork, bork, bork!” and Klingon. Don’t ask how I discovered all of that.

I hope your weekend is vewwy, vewwy quiet. Heh-heh-heh-heh. Elmer Fudd RAWKS!

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Pox on Canada Post

...and may the fleas of a thousand camels infest your letter carrier's skivvies.

I have lived in this new building for almost six months now, and still, no mail delivery. I was so p.o.'d about it last week, I went to my MP's office. This morning, shortly before nine o'clock, I was awakened by a phone call from Canada Post (hey, I work until 11:30 tonight and have to be back in at 9:30 tomorrow morning, so I was still sleeping, okay?). This -- ahem -- gentleman tells me that he was at the building this morning, and still won't approve mail delivery, because the parking lot isn't paved yet. He goes on and on, telling me how under new legislation, if the letter carrier gets hurt, he could be sued, blah blah blah. I remind him that I have been living here for almost six months, and know of no one who has been hurt on the property, and how his answer is unacceptable. He replies that until the parking lot is paved or someone above him orders him to start delivery, it won't happen.

Good gawd, one of my neighbours on the ground floor uses a walker, and my next-door neighbour walks with a cane because of bad knees, and we all get into and out of the building fine. Mr. Canada Post A-hole says it's dangerous for a letter carrier to carry trays of mail into the building. TRAYS OF MAIL?!? There are twenty apartments in the entire building!

What's worse is that we don't simply have to go to the Shoppers Drug Mart about a kilometre away to get our mail. Because of the postal code we're in, we have to go to the Orleans post office, which is about five kilometres away.

I do agree with Mr. A-hole that it's about time the parking lot was paved. The tenants have been bitching to the landlord about that. In fact, I have left a message for the building manager this morning, after talking to Mr. A-hole. Regardless, I refuse to accept claims that it is unsafe for a poor little letter carrier.

The Canada Post attitude is stereotype government/crown corporation arrogance. Competition -- as impractical a concept as that is -- would certainly pull a few heads out of Canada Post arses.

In the meantime, I have now vented, and feel better for it. BUT I'M STILL NOT GETTING MY F**KING MAIL DELIVERED!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Seven things about me

My gawd, my life has been rather unremarkable. I come to this conclusion after being tagged by Kitty for this "Seven things about me" thingy, and trying to come up with a list. I've never shot a man just to watch him die; I've never climbed Mount Everest; and my name is not on the Stanley Cup. I'm slightly bashful about the list that I've come up with, but here goes:

1. I was on Reach for the Top in high school -- in Grade 11 and again in Grade 13. I was captain that last year, and we made it all the way to the national final representing Northern Ontario, before losing 340-315 to Manitoba. We were closing the gap during the final snapper questions, but ran out of time.

2. While in Grade 9, I was in our high school's production of Bye Bye Birdie. I had the most minor of the starring roles. I was Randolph McAfee, the 12-year-old brother of Kim McAfee of Sweetapple, Wisconsin, who was chosen to get one last kiss from Conrad Birdie, before he was inducted into the army. I could still sing then, because my voice hadn't completely changed.

3. The summer I was in college (1984), I had a total of eight jobs. The only full-time one was as maintenance man/painter/grass cutter at the sewage treatment plant in my home town of Iroquois Falls. Hey, it paid $6.04 an hour and all I could eat! (Ba-doom-boom!)

4.I hate canned peas. It's because when I was about three, I gagged on them and puked all over the supper table. My parents never made me eat them after that. I do, however, love fresh, uncooked peas right out of the pod.

5. I don't own any teddy bears at the moment. But when I was news director at CKGB/CFTI Radio in Timmins in the late 1980's, I spearheaded the project to put two teddy bears in every OPP cruiser between Timmins and Hearst, Chapleau and Matheson, and the radio station paid for them. Coincidentally, the first two kids to receive the bears were kids of friends of mine, when they were in a fairly serious car accident.

6. When I was 20, I sold real estate in Timmins and Iroquois Falls for about five months. Long story short, there was a definite credibility problem involved in a 20-year-old trying to sell homes to people in their 30s and 40s. From there, I went on to become a management trainer at two S.S. Kresge stores: first in Sudbury for about eight weeks, then Toronto for another six. After that, I got my first media job.

7. I am named after my maternal Uncle Bob and my paternal great-great-Uncle Tom. My full name is Robert Thomas McIntyre.

That's it. Try not to be too underwhelmed.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

iPod advice, please

Okay, fellow Bloglodytes, time to help Newsguy out here.

I'm planning to buy a good MP3 player before going to Dubai, cuz I'm gonna be spending a lot of time in the air and in layovers in Munich, Frankfurt and Toronto. (iPod has become the generic name, like Kleenex, Xerox, Coke and aspirin, hasn't it?)
I've bought cheap ones in the past -- three times, I think -- in the 25-to-60-dollar range, and have finally learned that you only get what you pay for. So the advice of anyone who owns a good one is needed and appreciated, please.

Chuckle if you wish at some of my questions, but at Newsguy School I learned that the only stupid question is the one you don't ask. So here goes: If you buy an actual Apple iPod, you can still download music from a PC, right? Can I download some of the music I already have on my computer and/or from my extensive CD collection (the remastered Nelson Eddy and Jeannette McDonald collection is amazing!)?

A friend at work whom I plan to also consult says not to waste money on iPod, cuz you pay for the name, and some of the other models/generic brands are as good if not better. True?

Please, help out a Cyberpal here, will ya?

And if you live in Ontario and haven't voted yet, get off your arse before 9pm/8 Central time. I voted last week at an advance poll, cuz I'm working tonight as part of A-Channel's election coverage. If you don't vote, you can't bitch about the provincial government.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Big Brother (Orwell-style) is watching me!

First, Happy Thanksgiving. No, I did not have turkey dinner. Let's not go there, shall we?

I'm not sure if it's a product of now working for a much bigger company (CTVglobemedia), but all of a sudden late last week, the stupid net-nanny, WebSense, quit letting me post comments on blogs from any computer at work. Milky, are you having the same problem? Heck, it won't let me on to t's blog at all. Frustrating, especially when I have an especially clever comment, and can't use it! It's like bein' all spruced-up and splashing on the Aqua Velva, but no date except the inflatable lady who lives in my closet.

Well, we had a surprise party on Saturday night for my sister and brother-in-law's 25th wedding anniversary. My nieces, 17 and 20, did a great job of setting it all up and keeping it a total secret until their folks arrived. We had it at second cousin André's house. His super-organizer wife, Jen, gets a lot of credit for opening her home to us, and guiding Caitlin and Michelle along the path to party success.

Here's a couple pics I took. I'm waiting to get some from the girls. One of Michelle's friends was official photographer for the evening. The joke is that she's Asian, so you know the shots will all be good. I haven't seen any yet, but hear from sources that they are, indeed, well done.
Tomorrow is the actual date of Dale and Den's anniversary. They're leaving for Italy for ten days tomorrow night. (By the way, Dale is my sister; Den is short for Denis, my bro-in-law).
The party was wonderful. A super bonus for me is that Little Bro Dan and Pretty Christine dropped in for an hour or so. When I get the photo of the three of us, I'll share it. Man, I love those kids.

And, okay, here's why I didn't have turkey dinner: Dale was supposed to cook one yesterday, but was too tired from the party to cook, so we ordered pizza and wings instead. To be honest, I was a bit peeved, because if I had known sooner, I had been invited to Christine's parent's house for turkey, but declined, because I had already been invited to Dale's. However, Dale did not know of the other invitation. I'll survive -- I'm a tough old goat.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

You Might Be A Part Of The Taliban If...

...You refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to beer.

...You own a $300 machine gun and $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can't afford shoes.

...You have more wives than teeth.

...You think vests come in two styles: bullet-proof and suicide.

...You consider television dangerous, but routinely carry ammunition in your robe.

...You've ever been asked, "Does this burka make my ass look fat?"

...You were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs.

Thanks to my buddy Chris for this. The answer to the burka question is "No, why don't you go to Giant Taliban and buy some bit of bum pads?"