Sunday, February 24, 2008

Bigger. Better. Best. Perfect.


I feel like I can be ruled by those four opening words. I try to avoid "keeping up with the Jones'" but I covet all too often. It is not a pleasant place to be as it implies that the status quo isn't good enough. I think that's the biggest problem for me.

Interestingly, I can those four words out of my life in some circumstances. Sports are usually something where competitiveness comes a distant second to playing well and enjoying myself. Clearly I need to start taking lessons from myself and apply that constructive context to the rest of my life.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Uhhh... Somebody left their air conditioner on and their door open. It's -20 degrees celcius outside. That is one mean air conditioner.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Another one for the "Duh!" files

Botox linked to severe side effects, deaths: FDA.

While the most severe cases seem to focus on a less common use of the drug, why should it come as a surprise that a form of the botulism toxin would result in side effects?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Things that have caught my eye

- Two articles about a Canadian inventor who has developed something as yet unexplained by the laws of physics. Perpetual motion?

- Exxon wins freeze on Venezuela assets. In response to the "nationalization" of oil production in Venezuela under Hugo Chavez, Exxon went to court and got a hold put on $12US Billion worth of assets in hopes of getting more of their investment back from the government. A part of me thinks that's good as Hugo has made a mess of things by being heavy-handed with these dealings. Still, it reminds me of the immense power of multinational corporations. Canada could face it's own similar challenges as it increases the cost to oil companies to exploit the oil sands in Alberta. And this, when Canada (and Alberta in particular) doesn't seem to be truly looking toward the future. Norway seems to be looking toward the future while taking care of itself and it's citizens today (at least with respect to oil).

- While deemed "accidental", I find it sad that Heath Ledger had prescriptions for oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine. Sadder still, is the amount of time and attention dedicated to this admittedly sad situation in the face of the truly horrible things going on in the world (as was highlighted well by a friend of mine).

- It's the Year of the Rat.

Monday, February 04, 2008


That's a whole 'lot o' zeros! It's also the proposed U.S. Budget (in US dollars) for the fiscal year ahead. By the way, that represents 3.1 trillion. Split amongst every citizen of the United States, everyone would get $10,000! Instead, increases are inline with defence concerns: 7.5% for the Defence Department, 11% for Homeland Security and 17% for customs and immigration. Yow! All this while trying to cut $200 billion dollars (over 5 years) from Medicare and Medicaid. I think you can pick up that I am not a big fan of U.S. government priorities. Then again, I'm not a big fan of Canadian government priorities for the most part either. Thankfully they're not throwing the same amount of money around.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Again with the apologies... I find that I can spend ridiculous amounts of time in front of the computer but can't always bring myself to stick around when it comes time to write in here. Maybe it's 'cause it's cold around my computer. Maybe it's 'cause I'm lazy. Meh.

The world presents us with only what we can process. No. The world presents us with everything. We choose what to process and how to process it. Whether we wear rose-coloured glasses or walk a mile in someone elses shoes, how we perceive the world is entirely dependent on our state of mind and the capability of that mind to interpret what it senses. I believe that the world is much more than we perceive in our little human pea-brains. I also think that every once-in-a-while we get a glimpse into a part of the world that we haven't experienced before but are usually so set in our own reality to understand it. It is this belief that brings me to the snow pickle. I mean, what other explanation is there for a pickle, pleasantly iced, presumably crunchy and definitely green, sitting on the sidewalk in the midst of my walk to work? I, for one, believe that Bicks Canada was trying to do us all a service by educating us and sharing with us a different reality through their recent series of ads. I believe that the poor frozen creature that I saw on the sidewalk was a pickle that yearned for freedom, for a life outside of its jar. Success was in its grasp. Its inability to check weather reports and lack of understanding of Canadian winters alas, were its downfall. And so the pickle ended its short life on the sidewalk with its last crunch not being between our teeth, but rather underfoot on a blustery January day.

It didn't need to be that way. The world presented another glimpse into other life. This glimpse leads me to believe that the snow pickle may have had support. You see, I had occasion to witness the common fire hydrant in its natural environment. While ostensibly a tool for our protection, this particular hydrant inadvertently shared a secret. As the light shone with the rising sun, my walk allowed me to witness the hydrant wearing a hat. Knit, and not unlike a toque (commonly worn by Canadian humans in winter - save for those of us too vain to mess up our hair), this hydrant's headgear let me know that it too felt the cold of winter. I realized that it too was in the process of escaping. Unlike its crunchy green friend, the hydrant had a good chance of surviving as it knew the conditions to expect and dressed appropriately. I can only believe that it is far from Kingston now. Perhaps it has joined the ranks of the few, the proud, the train-travelling hobos. It may be far from here now, but I will always remember it, and thank it, for helping me see outside of my life and my experience (and for reminding me that if I don't want to be green and crunchy, I had better not forget my hat).