Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The Fact of the Matter

Yeah it has been a while, but this kind of crap is enough to pull anyone out of retirement. I am actually scared now. I didn't believe it when I heard it, but I went and checked online, on several sources, and it seems to be true. Astonishingly, stupefyingly, true.

We all remember back a month or so when the Conservatives had this brilliant idea to make the long form census optional. Never mind that everyone who is anyone (who isn't the government that is) says that this is a terrifically bad idea, the conservatives will not stand idly by while Canadian's rights are being trampled on. They are on the side of the thousands of Canadians who don't want to answer intrusive questions like how much you make... no wait, that is still legit... how much you pay in child support... no wait, that is still there too... like how much you spend on drugs... no... hmmm. Anway never mind that, there are still those thousands... well 3 documented by StatsCan, and Stockwell Day said he heard DIRECTLY from 3 people as well, so that is fully 6 documented people who have a problem with the long form. So clearly 6 out of 30 million is enough to go against the facts... ah, I think I see the issue.

Fast forward to today. The government is building jails. Billions of dollars worth of jails. Why? To combat the rampant crime in Canada. Never mind that jails don't do anything to combat crime, in fact they often breed more crime. That is ideology. But the facts show crime rate is down you say. It has been falling for years. Pfft! Facts again! The Government has decided crime is *actually* on the rise, people just aren't reporting it. of course Mr. Day doesn't have facts to back that up, because, well, I guess they just don't do that kind of thing.

http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2010/08/03/canada-economy-stockwell-day.html

Kidding aside, this is quite terrifying. For a government to decimate one of the key tools for trending in Canada, and then to simply outright ignore other well documented and official statistics in favour of other, more ideologically aligned "facts", is at best dangerously misguided. I am not a fan of the slippery slope angle on things, but when a government starts ignoring facts that are inconvenient, and cripples the ability to gather more actual facts, then I think we need to question the motivation and where that is taking us.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Willing spring

We participated yesterday in one of those classic Winnipeg rights of spring: ice cream. And not just any ice cream, BDI ice cream. We were not alone. The lineups were very long, but we waited. There were even people there in short selves. Now, the actual outside temperature did not correlate strongly with the clothing worn or the need for ice cream, yet we were all there. I think if you told someone from Florida that we were lining up for ice cream in our short sleeves at +5 they would think we were crazy, but you must understand the context. Our summers are great, but short, and I think these premature ice cream runs are just part of our way of willing spring to come. In the same way that our ancestors brought pine branches inside to in dead of winter and made offerings to gods to ensure the return of the sun, we buy our ice cream and dress for summer in an effort to actively bring about spring. I am pretty sure it works. So sure that I think we will go for ice cream again tonight.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Juiced

First things first. And for future reference and context, one should not be writing blogs posts at 5:13 in the morning when one is hopped up on the juice. In this case the particular juice I am currently hopped up on (given that juice hopped-up-ness is not generally my normal modus operandi) is Prednisone. This is pretty significant juice for the afore mentioned up-hopping, and does not have any of the pleasant side effects normally associated with hopped-uped juiciness.

This little experiment I am on is to see if I can in fact smell anything (see previous post: “superpowers”), like at all, like ever, and to see if breathing through my nose on a more than intermittent basis might be possible. Prednisone was the drug of choice as it seems to pretty much cure everything… of course it kills you in the process, but whaverever. Again, for context, it is kinda like putting a picture hook in the wall with a wrecking ball. This is wicked stuff, but does actually work. Of course the olypmics are out. That is a bummer.

The nice thing is that I can breathe. And I actually gotta say that it is strange to walk around with my mouth closed all the time… which I needed to do for the whole breathing thing, as opposed to the talking thing… I still seem to need to do that a lot still.

So back to smelling… I haven’t actually lo9dsa l9i

Ok seriously. Cat. Licking hand whilst typing. Not functional.
[removes cat]

Sorry. Smelling. I am getting whiffs of the possibility of smells, but nothing serious. I was kinda hoping that this would actually allow the whole full-on smell thing that everyone keeps talking about (I still have my doubts that smelling actually exists), but so far it is just teasing me. I have a few more days on the juice so maybe something will come of this. Right now though it is mostly a bizarre feeling of standing right here beside myself – slightly to the right and back just a touch - and of course a bunch of no-sleep. I am not sure how people actually function on this for any real stretch of time. I am quite wiggy.

Did you know that there is nothing on the internet at 5:13 am?

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Allergies, I has them


IMG00085
Originally uploaded by adamgerhard
Went to the allergist the other day. Go tired of this whole not breathing, not smelling thing. We did the classic pin prick test. For those not familiar with this joy, here is the drill: They make a little plot on your arm in pen. Then they take all sorts of known allergins, and dab them on your skin above the pen marks (so they know where they put them, just in case you don't reacy - ha). And then they prick the dabs. Fun ensues in the form of not scratching for 20 minutes. Then then rate all the dabs on a scale of 1 to 5 (or something). I won - in the same way I win at golf: I get exceptionally high scores. So now I am hopped up on some new juice to see if we can't mash a path through my nose and let some air through on a more regular basis.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Smart

If there is one thing I can’t stand… actually there are lots of things I can’t stand, and there seems to be getting more and more all the time. I should maybe check that. Anyway, amongst the things I can’t stand is technology that thinks it is smarter than me. There is much of this out there: The entire Apple product line for one thing – but that is an argument for my brother and I for another day. My most recent encounter with this kind of thing happened when I was driving home from class on Saturday. Saturday, by way of context, was a crappy weather day. It was March in January in Winnipeg: slush and ice and yuck. Getting out of the parking pad with the Smart car was sketchy at best, and parking at the university was even sketchier. But I got there. The car ended up stopped in an area near the parking lot in a configuration that was not completely unlike a parked car, so I figure I would deal with it later. Leaving class, much of the roads had been ploughed and there I managed to trundle home rather easily… until the back lane. Our parking pad (which you can actually see of you do street view on google maps – complete with the Smart car parked there. I am not sure why, but it is our back lane that shows instead of the front street. Weird) is perpendicular to the back lane, which means one needs to turn 90 degrees off the lane to park. Normally this is no problem. Combine the aforementioned slush and general crappiness with a Smart car without winter tires (I don’t think they make then in “little red wagon” size) and pretty much you are doomed before you start. But I figure, I could just gun it and get somewhere near parked. Nope. I cranked the wheel, the car turns and get half way off the road and stop. So I floor it. Now I admit, that “flooring it” on a Smart Car is like “rock out” on a Kazoo, but still, it does have some jam. However, the boys at Smart really took to the name and added many “safety” features including traction control. Of course they failed to install an off switch. So here is me attempting to floor it on the Smart car in the slush and yuck and what happens? The smart car freaks out and de-powers the wheels – you know, for safety. So that doesn’t work. I fwip the thing in reverse and try again, more freaking out – but we do move a bit – although due to the high tech safety features, it is mostly sideways. I fight with the car for a few minutes but ultimately end up smack dab in the middle of the road, facing sideways, with no ability to move anywhere. Totally Stuck. It is hard to position a smart car to block anything, but I managed. The safety features of this advanced vehicle have now positioned me square in the middle of traffic with no hope of moving. If there was just a freaking off switch I could rock the car and get out – it just needed a wee bit more oomph to make it over bump of snow and into the spot, but alas no. Why? Because the car is smarter than me. Alas the scourge of unintended side effects. I don’t mind smart features, usually they are great, but please please include an off switch. Sometimes I need things to be dumb, so they will work.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

lookin' at a guy in a truck

It is funny what people find and what creates buzz on the internet.

checkout 1398 elgin in winnipeg on google street view.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Superpowers

I had my physical today. Wee. Not too much poking and proding - apparently I am still "young" (note appropriate use of quotations to imply irony regarding the term young). However we did have a conversation about my lack of smell (being a comment on the functioning of my nose, not a comment on the odor of my body). I have always though of this as a disability: we have 7 senses, losing an entire sense would seem to me somewhat disabling. However there doesn't seem to be any special treatment for this particularly disability since it really isn't all that dis-abling. In fact, and in light of my current role as Manager of Outputs for Matthew, it is actually somewhat a plus. I would go so far as to say that I have a distinct advantage over most other humans - you could even classify this as a superpower. Granted, not particularly flashy, and I can't really use it to fight crime, or save the planet or anything, but I tell ya, I am completely impervious to diaper smell. I can stick my head in that bucket-o-dirty-diapers and breathe deeply with no effect whatsoever. I can change a babies diaper with stank so nasty it makes normal mortals recoil and gag uncontrollably. Me: nothin'. Zip. Nada. I can change that diaper as if it smelled like a grassy meadow after the dew - which I imagine would smell lovely, although I admit to having to frame of reference. Maybe it smells like diaper. You get my point. It sometimes takes a while for people to fully understand the power they have. I am beginning to understand mine. And I promise you oh internet, that I will only my power of no-smell for good.