Friday, February 29, 2008
You have a civil "servant", a Mr. Pierre Baillargeon who works for the Ministry of transport. He's in prison for fraude right now.
The government was expropriating people to build a highway. Mr. Baillargeon inflated the value of a friend's property to $285,000 from the $55,900 it was actually worth. When the government found out (in 2003) they fired the guy and took him to court. He was condemned to six months in prison a week ago. Which means he'll be out in about a month.
Now here's the good part. The gentleman has initiated several greivances against the government, and his union is doing its utmost to help him:
1) He is contesting his firing. (Dude, on what grounds? Fraude!! OK, not a huge fraud, just a few hundred tousand, but seeing as you put MY money in your pocket you owe ME! And firing is just too good for the likes of you you slug.)
2) He is demanding payment of overtime hours for the time spent travelling from his home in Drummondville to his workplace in Trois-Rivières. (The goverment closed its Drummondville office, forcing him to work in Trois-Rivières. You know, there is such a thing as finding another job. You chose to stay, the government, um... I do not owe your overtime because you chose to travel and hour to and from work. I do it on the bus every freaking day. Get the hell over yourself you putz)
3) His third demand is that the government pay for his lawyer. (Well hell, why not? Perhaps the taxpayers can also have your meals catered and a call girl provided while you're spending your month in prison?)
It'll be interesting to see how this pans out. If the "Tribunal du travail" (Labour Court), where this will be heard - along with the Government's demand that he pay back the money he stole plus interest, comes down on this creep's side, I'm finding a desert island to retire to, because humanity is just too damn stupid.
Of course, even if he loses and the Government wins, the taxpayers will no doubt never see a bloody penny of that money again.
Monday, February 25, 2008
"The steroid Pollyannas of this world are only like that until they go postal. So if she suddenly gets a fixed, grimace of a smile and a glazed 1000 yard stare, watch out. Check her desk for long thin packages stained with gun oil. ;o)"
I can't help but wonder if it's bad when the CFH sits at her desk giggling maniacally. Then stops. Then starts up again a couple of minutes later (and no, she's not looking at her email and a great joke she just got).
Although logically I suppose she was trying to get me to ask what was so funny - which I wasn't about to do because a) I wasn't interested and b) I didn't have the time for a convoluted 10 minute explanation of a stupid joke still, I'm beginning to wonder whether I should start looking for a hiding place.
Or place the mutant bamboo on her desk and hope it eats her (à la Rachel's Little Shop of Horrors comment.
And for the record, Blogger still hates me. Or maybe it's Photobucket. I've been trying to upload the more recent awards to my sidebar and blogger keeps telling me that Photofucket has moved or deleted my images. Which is a load of doodoo because they're right there and I can upload pics to my blog.. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor:
She said, "If you were my husband I'd give you poison,"
and he said, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."
A member of Parliament to Disraeli:
"Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease." "That depends, Sir," said Disraeli, "on whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."
"He had delusions of adequacy."
- Walter Kerr
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
- Winston Churchill
"A modest little person, with much to be modest about."
- Winston Churchill
"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."
- Clarence Darrow
"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."
- William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).
"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"
- Ernest Hemingway (about William Faulkner)
"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."
- Moses Hadas
"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know."
- Abraham Lincoln
"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."
- Mark Twain
"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends."
- Oscar Wilde
"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend.... if you have one."
- George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one."
- Winston Churchill, in response.
"I feel so miserable without you; it's almost like having you here."
- Stephen Bishop
"He is a self-made man and worships his creator."
- John Bright
"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial."
- Irvin S. Cobb
"He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others."
- Samuel Johnson
"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up."
- Paul Keating
"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure."
- Jack E. Leonard
"He has the attention span of a lightning bolt."
- Robert Redford
"They never open their mouths without subtracting from the sum of human knowledge."
- Thomas Brackett Reed
"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily."
- Charles, Count Talleyrand
"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him."
- Forrest Tucker
"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?"
- Mark Twain
"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."
- Mae West
"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."
- Oscar Wilde
"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather an illumination."
- Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
"He has Van Gogh's ear for music."
- Billy Wilder
"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening But this wasn't it."
- Groucho Marx
Friday, February 22, 2008
Kelly Joe Phelps - How I love his music. His latest album - well, it does date back to 2006 - Tunesmith Retrofit, is great. The guy, his guitar and the Blues. It doesn't get any better than that. There are many others on You Tube.
River Rat Jimmy
Portuguese grilled chicken cooked on a braseiro. It's the best pre-cooked chicken you can buy, done to perfection, seasoned just right. It's heaven on a drumstick it is.
Grapefruit - It's just wonderfully sweet and juicy this year. I can't get enough of it. Does anyone know why they call it grapefruit? Why grape????
My Mutant Lucky Bamboo - That plant on my desk has grown so much it's actually beginning to fall over. Why haven't I managed to kill it? I always kill plants. Something must have gone horribly wrong!
Vacation - In a bit over a month I'm off to Australia again to see friends that haven't been seen in a couple of years. The world is a small small place now. I'm getting to the point of wondering if I'll actually make it to the end of March before causing grievous bodily harm to someone other than myself. The CFH* is driving me insane.
The Family Markowitz by Allegra Goodman. I am loving this book.
Getting through this Friday to the blessed weekend. That will indeed be wonderful. Hopefully this won't turn into a "metric day" with 100 seconds in every minute and 100 minutes in every hour... That would not be good.
*AKA the Colleague From Hell. The woman is basically Pollyanna on steroids. With a bit of delusional neurosis thrown in. She's a bit disturbing really.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
But today I must step on my pride, bury my cynicism and do just that.
The SAQ (Québec’s liquor board) are getting rid of single use bags in their stores. Beginning in September, customers will be charged if they want bags. By the end of the year single use bags will be phased out altogether.
The SAQ have made reusable bags available since 2005, and they replace worn bags for free. Bravo to them for being the first to step up to the plate. Well bravo from me anyway, I’ve been using reusable bags for ages now, so I won't have to be making any changes in my habits.
Wait! Wait!... there is a bit of cynicism that refuses to be hidden away… it’s pushing at my fingers… I’m sorry, I can’t help it… The evil little voice must have its say. It can’t help but wonder how much money the SAQ will save on bags and what proportion of those savings will be passed on to the consumer.
Friday, February 15, 2008
And closer to home the Quebec "language police" is cracking down on an Irish pub because they have English only signs on the walls. Beer ads and such. It's called DECOR you morons!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Don’t get me wrong, I’m as romantic as the next girl – well ok, no, I’m probably not. Actually I’m probably as romantic as the average guy – well, perhaps a little less so.
Let me start this again. My beef with Valentine’s day:
It doesn’t seem all that romantic to me to give your lover a gift because you’re obliged to because "it’s that day of the year". To me, that simply smacks of :
(Thank you xkcd.com - it's great)
I’m cheap and flowers cost double, restaurants have special Valentines day meals that cost a fortune for nothing more than you'd usually get and it’s the day when service is absolutely at its crappiest because of all these couples who feel obliged to go out for dinner while they'd both rather be elsewhere. Because of the overload, the waiters are overworked and surly.
I simply don’t see the point of it. Why, if I love my partner would I tell him out of obligation on February 14th? Isn’t it much more romantic to surprise him with a gift or flowers or dinner just because at any other time of the year? I much prefer when Mr. Jazz comes home with something he thought was perfect for me. And he does. And it's lovely. Mr. Jazz and I are not into the obligatory romance thing; we have our own "rituals" that have nothing to do with Valentine's day.
I might feel more well disposed towards the day if it were in summer – as it is I see nothing to celebrate during the cold nasty snowy days of deep winter.
But if you’re into it, more power to you, and remember:
Nothing says I love you
like saturated fat and slutty lingerie
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
- Can they arrive at the airport nekkid?
- Will they have a separate gate so the rest of us won't be subjected to the look of 200 overweight, out of shape, naked suburbanites... (Seriously, Ewwwwwwwww)
- If their gate is not secluded, will they have to take off their clothes in the "tunnel" between the gate and the plane?
- Or in the plane?
- Or will they take it off at the gate regardless??? (pls refer to second bullet and insert an long repulsed shudder)
- And.... why on earth would you want to put your naked butt on an airplane seat that has seen thousands of asses and must be one of the most filthy things in existence? I can't get my mind around that... Words desert me at the very thought - and I'm not overly fastidious. I can deal with filth but, well... yuck. (As for sitting on the seat after the naked ass has been there, well, whatever. At least I have clothes between me and whatever amount of skin flakes or bodily secretions remain on the seat).
Links to the English version of the story and to the French version, which, obviously, is complete with picture. 'Cause we Quebecers - we don't go for prudishness... Somehow though, I don't think the passengers will all be young and firm and appealing.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Imagine if you will a winter Friday. Moving furniture on a winter Friday. Moving furniture to a cottage at the top of 40 stairs at the top of several hills on a winter Friday.
That’s exactly what we did last Friday. A friend of ours moved, and had extra furniture to get rid of. We figured that since the 70s couch at the cottage was nearing the end of its useful life (i.e. it was disintegrating at an accelerated rate), taking the friend’s eminently nappable couch and loveseat off his hands was, well, the charitable thing to do. We’re nice like that. Charitable we are, yep.
So Mr. Jazz called the friendly neighbourhood car rental people to reserve an Econoline van. Jazzmo (the Matrix) might have the most amount of storage space in her class, but clearly, this was beyond even her.
So we picked up the van, we drove it to friend’s place. Mr. Jazz and I loaded the furniture into the van. Yeah, verily, Ms Strongarm I am. Then we pootled off to the cottage.
All this had happened at a good clip, so we were in fine shape timewise when we got to the road leading to the cottage.
Which is where all hell broke loose. Of course. Because a) I’m obviously not going to tell you a story about the perfect move and b) Murphy’s law had not yet come into play and it was getting late in the game so it had to be there or not at all. And we all know that Murphy’s law just can’t resist fucking with me.
You see, despite being in Quebec, with Quebec winters of snow and ice (surprise!) rentals have four season tires. Every Quebecer knows that four season tires are useless during that mythic fourth season. But waddaya gonna do. It’s not like they actually offer winter tires on rentals. Though the government has just passed a law that starting next year all vehicles will have to have winter tires in winter – even rentals. About time. Especially since most renters are tourists from Europe come to see the exotic Canadian winter who have never driven in winter conditions. Snow. Ice. 4-season tires. Inexperienced drivers – a recipe for disaster… Of course, you also have the Quebec drivers who are so good at driving they don’t need winter tires. Hell, they don’t need tires, period. Because they have testosterone. But I digress.
Not only does the van have four season tires, it’s also rear wheel drive. In short, it’s a piece o’ shit rental. So, yeah, you see where I’m going with this. In the curve, on the way up one of the hills, the wheels start spinning, the thing fishtails and embeds itself in a snowbank. Finally, with the help of two friends, one a neighbour and the other the friend who was spending the weekend at the cottage to help us move the furniture in because I might be Ms. Strongarm but hauling a couch up 60 steps is somewhat beyond me, I’m sort of like Jazzmo that way, there are limits to my capacity (and how’s that for a digression) – we get it out of there, start backing it down the hill… and into another snowbank it goes. If I didn’t know better I’d swear that stupid white truck was trying to hide from us and the next hill we would have kindly requested it to climb. Because the thing was sentient. And it hated us. Perhaps for taking it out of its warm garage and onto a snowy country road.
I'll spare you the details but eventually we had to call the area superman (you know him, every neighbourhood has one, he’s the one who knows how to fix everything, who owns every tool known to mankind and knows how to use it and is more than willing to show you how it should be done). He came over with his kick ass 4-wheel drive pick-up truck and a chain, and hauled the van out bodily. No more nonsense. No more trying to hide, no snowbank camouflage. The gig was up. Once in a while I love those oversized gas guzzlers. I guess superheroes need more equipment than the rest of us. And Gilles was definitely the superhero Friday night. Jack Bauer has nothing on him. Except perhaps a willingness to kill everything that moves. Which hopefully is not Gilles' case. That would be bad. Seeing how Murphy's law and I get along. And stuff.
Finally, it took longer to drive those 600 meters to the cottage than to leave Montreal, pick up the furniture and get to the point where the whole mess morphed into a blog post.
Once Mr. Jazz and Mr. Mawwwk got the van emptied and the furniture up and the old couch into the van I figured the cottage no longer looked cottagey enough and told them to put everything back the way it was. Somehow, they didn’t think it was such a funny joke. Me, I thought I was hilarious. Go figure. No sense of humour these men who went above and beyond to get this done… tsk tsk.
Of course the next morning the truck had to be returned to Montreal so Jazz sat up half the night, doing the hellish anxiety thing, plotting the road out by the millimetre reviewing where we could get stuck and how everything could, once again go horribly wrong (that's for you Mr. Jazz). I finally fell asleep about 5:00, after which Mr. Jazz woke up and repeated the whole exercise. Had I known I would have told him not to bother because I had been excessively thorough in my anxiety. There was really no way he could one-up me on this. None.
The way out, obviously, was a total anticlimax.
It went swimmingly, probably because we had karma-ed all the nastiness out of it. Nothing could go wrong because it had all gone horribly wrong (again for you Mr. J) at least 652,469 times the previous night.
Did I ever tell you how much I hate winter?
Friday, February 08, 2008
Yeah, I suppose your working conditions seriously suck. Not being a bus driver, what do I know. And I know you have a strike mandate and that once again this year, we, the users are going to get shafted. And I know that - albeit unofficially - pressure tactics are being used. How else to explain the seriously late trains and busses that arrive jammed and pass right under your nose?
Oh? It's just coincidence? All of a sudden, now that you have a strike mandate. But of course.
Thing is, see, do you really think this annoys your bosses at all? They don't use public transport, remember? They wander around in SUVs and such - just like you probably do. So actually, the people getting shafted are, once more, the users.
You don't have my sympathy, especially at an annual average salary (including benefits) of $77,514. And fucking me over while I'm trying to get home ain't going to gain you any.
Dear Ladies (you know who you are)
Stop infantilizing yourselves!!!!
Have you any idea how annoying it is to hear "oh, I can't have chocolate, I have to be good" when someone passes out Belgian chocolates?
Or, "I was a bad girl this weekend, I had ice cream"?
You were not good, you were not bad. You made a choice to have the cookie or not. Get the fuck over it!
You aren't 15 anymore, it's not cute anymore, it's utterly ridiculous. You are in your 40s for chrissake. Get over the stupid "treat" obsession, and just have the damn piece of chocolate without excuses or half an hour of justification!
You make women look like half-wits.
Wholewittedly and liking the chocolate,
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
The Q-Tip of DEATH! (Sorry, the link is in French only...)
Last year, a 43 year old Montrealer woke up one morning with a horrible pain in his ear. Off he went to see his doctor who diagnosed an ear infection, and, I suppose prescribed some sort of medication.
The gentleman felt a if his ear was blocked, and in order to stop the sensation, he stuck a Q-tip in his ear. He perforated his eardrum, the infection wormed its way to his inner ear and from there to his brain. He developed meningitis. Two days later he was dead.
In my opinion, the man was an idiot.
Now they want Health Canada to force swab makers to show on their boxes that the swabs can be dangerous. I dunno, maybe a huge ear on the box with a barred red circle around it?
Now there are a few things I would like to know:
- Statistically, what are the chances of my killing myself with a cotton swab?
- What percentage, among all users of cotton swabs actually eventually perforate their eardrums?
And if you don't realize that, I'm not going to give you a lesson on the use of said instrument.
Granted, doctors are always saying that we should never stick anything smaller than a finger in our ear and that we should clean our ears with a washcloth.
But between that and asking Health Canada to force manufacturers to put disclaimers on their packaging?
If you're an idiot, live with it. Or die with it.
You should read this. And open your mind.
So, like the close minded person I am, I went to the website and checked it out.
I read the post this link brought me to. For the record, I know thin people who are unhealthy, who can't climb a flight of stairs without being completely out of breath. And I know large people who are active and healthy and can run up that same flight of stairs without batting an eye. I know thin doesn't equal healthy. That wasn't my point, Anonymous.
Then I looked at the rest of the site. Which, for the record is very interesting and well done.
The jokes regarding the Lane Bryant shooting* are absolutely sick. I'm honestly shocked that anyone would actually make jokes about something like that. Because it has nothing to do with the fact that these women were overweight and twisting it that way is completely sick.
The BMI index - well duh. Most athletes, it seems are at least overweight, not far from obese according to that thing. Why people lose sleep over their BMI is beyond me. People, check out the BMI Project which illustrates just how riduculous the BMI actually is - and this very interesting article.
Well, Anonymous (I hate it when people don't have the courage of their convictions enough to sign their comments, even with a pseudonym as most of us do on the internet), this close-minded blogger was quite happy to check out the link you gave me and the rest of the website. I learned stuff, I saw stuff I already knew. I know it's hard to be fat in a society as look obsessed as ours. I don't hate fat people, I don't have anything against them, hell, I'm far from "thin" myself. But I still believe that if you are physically incapable of doing a job, you shoudn't be doing the job. Period. God knows, I could never be a firefighter - there is no way I could handle the physical aspect of the job. I have the upper body strength of a kitten. I also know there are tiny women who are firefighters and can handle it. More power to them.
OK, that's it. I'm done.
* all links from http://kateharding.net/
Monday, February 04, 2008
'Cause true to form the Jazzer chopped up various appendages yesterday afternoon. Seriously, what's the point of being close to something sharp if you can't use it to slice and dice? Preferably slice and dice humanoid body parts.
In the time now known as ATFI (after the furnace incident), soot abounded in the Jazz household. So Jazz, who is not usually known for her housecleaning abilities, decided something must be done, starting with the kitchen. Idjit.
The Jazzer, you see, has a few glass fronted cabinets. The glass was greyish with soot. "Eureka! Jazz shouted, I shall venture forth and cleanse the cabinet glass of its soot!"
You see where I'm going here dontcha?
So she proceeded. One glass was taken out and cleaned. Well hey, huge discovery, the edges of the glass weren't sanded down. The Jazzer must be extra careful!
Glass 1 - cleaned and reinstalled
Glass 2 - cleaned and reinstalled
Glass 3 - ditto
You must realize by now that the legendary Jazz luck regarding sharp objects was quickly waning...
Glass 4 slipped. Jazz caught it and saved the day... well, except for the blood that had to be cleaned up.
Because the Jazzer? She um, sliced off a good part of the pad of her ring finger (or so she found out this morning). Oops...
Actually, I'm surprised I've made it to 46 with most of my body parts reasonably intact.
Said finger was wrapped repeatedly throughout the evening in several layers of gauze. As the bandage was bloody again this morning, it was decided that a visit to the clinic was in order.
When the doctor saw it, she said, "Well, it's too late for stiches". Then after cleaning added, "Not that there's anything to stitch... the flap of skin is gone..."
I can't help but wonder if it's sitting in a wine glass, unobserved, and that eventually I'll serve someone some wine, and there, floating on top will be the missing finger part.
So I was cleaned up. A pressure bandage was put on to stop the damn bleeding already, and I was sent on my merry way to return tomorrow so they can have another look at the wound.
1) Peroxide is way cool for cleaning hurts. It doesn't hurt and the frothing action... well it looked like my finger had rabies...
2) The nurse said I was strange becuase 90% of people turn their heads away, rather than leaning in for a closer look. But seriously, I have a little crater in my finger now! No it's not disgusting, it's actually quite interesting.
3) Any idea I had of leading a life of crime are now on the back burner forevermore. I'm going to have myself a very distinct finger print there from now on.
4) typing without a left ring finger is hell. I'm getting a cramp.
In other news:
I have been awarded an E for excellence.
From BB and Ian and Dumdad no less (sorry, no links, typing is annoying enough - and slow enough - already).
I'm supposed to award it to 10 people - isn't that usually five? Are you doing this on purpose?
But I'm going to hold off until not so many words necessitate left handed typing - or I get a smaller bandage... The idea of setting up the links and telling my nominees all about it is more than my fingers can handle right now.
And yes, this is simply laziness diguised as a shamelss bid for sympathy.
And if you're not sympathetic enough, I might just post a pic of the mutilated finger. Sans bandage... Heh.
Friday, February 01, 2008
HOW TO FUCK WITH PEOPLE'S MINDS
1. At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.
2. Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.
3. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.
4. Put your garbage can on your desk and label it "in." (Damn, I’d love to do that)
5. Put decaf in the coffee maker for three weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.
6. In the memo field of all your checks, write "for smuggling diamonds"
7. Finish all your sentences with "in accordance with the prophecy."
8. Don't use any punctuation
9. As often as possible, skip rather than walk.
10. Order diet water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face. (While looking for a picture I wondered what "diet water" would turn up... who the hell knew. Only in Japan)
11. Specify that your drive-through order is "to go."
12. Sing along at the opera.
13. Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don't rhyme?
14. Put mosquito netting around your work area and play tropical sounds all day.
15. Five days in advance, tell your friends you can't attend their party because you're not in the mood. (To be done only if you don’t really want to stay friends with them)
16. Have your co-workers address you by your wrestling name, Rock Bottom.
17. When the money comes out the ATM, scream "I won! I won!"
18. When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot, yelling "Run for your lives, they're loose!!"
19. Tell your children over dinner. "Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go."