Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Uh oh. All your references are baboons...that not good.

I've been advised that one of the most exciting new growth industries is "hobo." Perhaps I should explore that field this summer.

The U of C S.U. Council just censured its President. Between that and the elections being overturned, I sort of wish something similarily dramatic would happen here. Perhaps I should cause such a thing.

Heather Wallace has been kind enough to provide me with some constructive criticism on this blog, in the form of "Dude, your blog sucks." Perhaps I shall take this criticism more seriously as soon as Heather herself stops visiting on a near-daily basis.

Tomorrow, I am definitely going to figure out if I have any finals or anything this term. In other exciting academic news, a perusal of the U of A calendar from the year that I entered business indicates that I'm allowed to take up to eight years to get my B. Comm. This is amazing.

Finally, everybody - especially all the Young Liberals I've known - should read Paul Wells. It has sometimes seemed like he and I were the only prominent commentators sufficiently lucid to recognize that Paul Martin, to lapse into slang for a moment, got nothin'.


Tuesday, March 30, 2004

It's the way you look to a distant constellation as it's dying in the corner of the sky...

At the top of today's news, it appears that, after forty years, the Paul Simon Songbook is being released on compact disc. On the one hand, this is good news, since it is a very good collection of music that has escaped most listeners because Simon decided that he hated it and refused to allow it to be rereleased. On the other hand, it calls into question my rationale for buying a vinyl copy on ebay a few years ago. On final analysis: meh.

Next up, today is a special day because it's approximately the one year anniversary of the day that I swore off red wine forever. In news that may or may not be related, tonight is the Students' Union Involvement Awards Night.

To close, I bring you the story of how I need to finish (and also start) the work I'm doing on GFC Policy for the University Secretariat by tomorrow. Doing this is part of my ongoing efforts to avoid running out of money. Next step in these efforts is to find employment of some kind for the summer.

Finally, a topic to initiate some discussion. Cabbage: an important source of nutrients, or Satan's vegetable?

Webboard moment of the day: Duncan Taylor and I argue about whether "Stairway to Heaven" is about masturbation. Truth be told, I was only joking when I made the claim in the first place, but once Duncan called me on it I was prepared to defend it to the ends of the Earth.

Oh, and I've added a couple more quiz results to the "Everything about Steve" popup, if anybody cares. Among other things, I've discovered that I'm only moderately anti-social. Huh.


Monday, March 29, 2004

The Elephant: A Federal or a Provincial Responsibility?

It's double blog post day, you lucky bastards.

It's been suggested to me that this should be my campaign photo in any future elections in which I run. Thoughts?

(If you're wondering about the moustache, click here.)

Spring Break this week, which means that my mother is home, which means that I need to leave the house before noon. This could be problematic.

Finally: cough! My doctor says I'm not allowed to drink Buckley's anymore (come to think of it, so did that judge), so does anybody know how to get rid of a cough? The last major one I had lasted thirteen months, so I'm obviously no authority.

In other blog news, Duncan Taylor has jumped on the "Let's Imitate Steve" bandwagon. Alexandra Taylor has also started a blog since I did, but since I'm pretty sure that she doesn't like me, let alone want to emulate me, it's probably unlikely that she's as much of a bandwagon jumper as the rest of them. Roman Kotovych claims not to read my blog, so I'm just going to say that he's a child molestor and if he sues I'll know he's a liar.

Joke of the day: Knock knock...

Thank you for the items that you sent me; the monkey and the plywood violin

Note to self: pick up milk.


Sunday, March 28, 2004

No time for the killing floors...

On the way back from the airport today, I heard the Guess Who's "No Time" for the first time in a while. I'd forgotten how much I liked that song.

Today wasn't good, which I anticipated, but it wasn't really that bad, either. I'm likely going to attempt to get hypnotized tonight - I've done so a couple of times before, and I find it provides a good excuse to act like a ninny on stage outside of election time.

On the blog front, yesterday was a terribly low day as far as bloggery goes, but I now have a bunch of other blogs to add to my links. Points of Information is a general hack blog which had been dormant for a couple of months until something I posted here prompted Mustafa to revive it. Chris Samuel has started a blog of his own - while he has requested that nobody look at it, I've never been one to listen to Samuel. Janet Lo has a blog which hasn't been updated in months, but perhaps she'll find time to post on it once April 30 rolls around and she has more free time (then again, I suspect that Janet will find a multitude of new ways to fill that free time, so perhaps we ought not to count on it). Finally, Spencer Keys, King of the UBC Hacks, also has a blog, whose addition to my links list makes this site a veritable Hub of Hackishness - three institutions and counting.

A number of people who started a blog to emulate me haven't posted in a while. Pale imitations be they, the lot of them.

On topic with this post's first line: "No time for a summer friend, no time for the money you send."

Distant roads are calling me,



Saturday, March 27, 2004

Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans

SCENE: A Friday afternoon on the U of A campus, during Steve's MGTSC 405 class. Steve is playing soccer in quad.
Enter Gary.

Steve: Gary, you want to play?
Gary: No, I can't, sorry. You want to go to Calgary?
Steve: When?
Gary: In twenty minutes.
Steve (thinks for a while): Yeah, sure.

It turns out that engineers at the U of A and the U of C have some sort of "Engineering Cup" which travels between the two cities. Whichever city is in possession of the Cup is entitled to call up the engineers in the other city and require them to show up within three and a half hours to reclaim the Cup. I'm not sure how long this has been going on.

I like Engineers, because they tend to be socially inept males who like math and think that flatulence jokes are funny - in other words, my kind of people. So I hopped in the car, and my planned trip to Vancouver was replaced by one to Calgary. It was good times indeed (thanks be owed to Jen Smith for a most enjoyable tour of the U of C S.U.'s Executive offices) and, though I never did see this alleged "Cup," I do now know most of the rules to the fabled "Hoedown." The first one, and the only one which I can disclose to you, is that you don't talk about the rules of Hoedown.

In blog-related news, I'm pleased to report that this one's descent into obscurity was halted, as yesterday saw more visitors than either Wednesday or Thursday. Also, people have found their way here via Google for the first time, one my searching for ' "Mustafa Hirji" ' and one by searching for ' "Chris Samuel" blog '.

Chris Samuel does apparently have a blog, incidentally, but he has yet to give me the url


Friday, March 26, 2004

Do you ever get the feeling that your day is starting out like some sort of formulaic comedy, probably starring Will Ferrell?

Well? Do you?

Yeah, today's not looking so hot on the "perhaps things will improve" front. Though I did find my self-respect this morning, which was exciting.

Also, from Paul Simon's Graceland: "She said that losing money is like a window to your heart/everybody sees you're blown apart."

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel indifferent.

So I was scanning through all of the blogs to which I've linked on this site, and nobody seems to have updated in a while. This was vexing me, until I realized that, as the late Jesus "the Christ" of Nazareth used to say, "Let he who has posted recently to his blog cast the first stone."

Today, meaning Thursday, has not been the best of days. No details to follow. Perhaps tomorrow will be better. Or perhaps it won't be. Either way, the suspense is killing me.

Things are looking up, though, since I'm about to do my Management Science 405 assignment. 405 is about forecasting, and it's a really cool course (though, admittedly, I've only actually shown up for it once) that brings out the business geek in me. The other day, I actually found myself delivering the following comeback: "Oh yeah? Well at least I can deseasonalize data!" And the hell of it is, I think it worked. I was going to say that things were also looking up because I was about to eat perogies, but I have just discovered that these aren't the potato cheddar nuggets of deliciousness that I'd anticipated.

Also, I'm not going to Vancouver this weekend after all, which means you should all check back regularily throughout the weekend, so that we won't experience more than four consecutive days of readership recession (that's right, Thursday was number three). Speaking of which, who the hell is reading this from England? Get a life! Or, failing that, some fish and chips. Wrapped in newspaper.

Do you know what's fun? Find a song whose lyrics prominently feature the word "love" used as a noun, and replace it with the word "money." Some of my favourites are the Beatles' "All You Need is Money," Jackie de Shannon's "What the World Needs Now (is money)," and Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Money." Actually, in the case of the last one, you can replace "Love" with pretty well everything and have it remain cool - "Crazy Little Thing Called Compound Interest," "Crazy Little Thing Called Glasnost," and "Crazy Little Thing Called Cell Biology," to name just a few.

Webboard highlight of the day: Noted resume-padder Chris Samuel attempts to add "pimp" to his work experience.

Don't do anything Pierre Trudeau wouldn't do,



Thursday, March 25, 2004

She told me that she just couldn't understand me, so I promised to speak more clearly from then on.

Regular readers of this blog, if any, will notice a new addition to the sidebar: a link to a popup which, when clicked, will tell you more about me than you could ever want to know.

With this accomplished, I'm going to bed.

Kelsey, Kelsey, wherefore art thou, Kelsey?

I seem to have picked up a reader from MacKenzie Hall somewhere along the line, leaving Kelsey as the only member of the Lister Complex unrepresented among my readership. I'd issue a call for you Kelsey folk to visit but, as we've just established, none of you are reading this. If any of you who are reading this know anybody in Kelsey, get him/her to visit this blog. Or just visit this blog yourself from her/his I.P. address - either solution will make me happy.

In other blog news, the number of visitors to this one fell for the second consecutive day, after four straight of growth. Either we're entering a recession, or I'm getting duller. My intelligence indicates that those of you who are still visiting are visiting rather often, which I suppose counts for something. Also counting for something (nice segue, Steve!) is that fact that Webboard folk continue to emulate me by starting blogs of their own, with the latest being Scott Abbey. Yes, that's right - they all want to be just like me. Little do they know how many failed election attempts that takes.

So I'm feeling somewhat better (and a whole lot less tired after sleeping for most of the day), though I seem to have lost the power of flight since I ran out of Buckley's Mixture (suggested new motto: "It tastes awful, but wheeeeeee!"). The audit didn't go badly, nor did the General Meeting at which I presented the audit ("Ladies and Gentlemen, it has been suggested to me that I say a few words about my methodology. Truth be told, I just sat in the Engineering Students' Society's storage room and drank Buckley's until the numbers started to audit themselves." They only thought I was kidding.).

Council was less super-fantastic, with nothing truly exhilerating on the agenda, though it did mark our first meeting without anybody taking minutes, owing to the introcution of some spanky new transcription equipment which we lost no time in naming Sarah Kelly. Chris Samuel's Vice President (External) report was a highlight, not just because it mentioned this blog but also because of his succinct summary of the University of Lethbridge Students' Union elections ("the current President ran for re-election, and finished last.") and its use of the phrase "neck-face." In other Students'-Unions-to-which-I-don't-belong-but-to-which-I pay-creepy-amounts-of-attention news, the U of C S.U. will be appealing the decision of its Review Board (yes, the U of C, as a corporation, is party to the action of its own tribunal) to its higher tribunal, known, enigmatically, as Tribunal. If the latter agrees to hear the case, which most observers seem to consider likely, it will probably be heard in early April.

Two budgets, one provincial and one federal, have come down in the last two days. Both, I am told by high-placed sources, contain a great diversity of numbers. For comment, see somebody else.

Finally, I shall be in Vancouver this weekend. Don't wait up


Tuesday, March 23, 2004

A partial list of the stunning array of substances coursing through my veins right now

1. Codine
2. Aspirin
3. Buckley's Mixture
4. Cold-FX
5. Caffeine
6. Sugar
7. Fatigue
8. Numbers
9. Euphoria
10. Ego

When Othello's poor wife
Becomes stabbed by a knife
That's a Moor, eh?

Well, colour me neglectful and stuff a live ferret into my sinus - with all the excitement about the audit (now entering its fourteenth hour, by the way) I completely forgot to mention that the University of Calgary Students' Union Review Board has thrown out the results of their election. The decision is appealable (and will probably be appealed) to the Tribunal, so there will certainly be more to come in this story. I'll post it here, unless I'm distracted by another audit.

On the topic of the audit, is it bad when you become personally attached to certain cheques and start referring to them by number? Because I'm developing a real affection for that rascally number 760, which keeps wreaking havoc with my trial balance.

Also, Krista "Buxinator" Watson has now started a blog. My influence spreads...



Monday, March 22, 2004

When an eel bites your hand
And it's not what you'd planned
That's a moray...

So I recall reading several years ago that a study of North Americans working in white collar environments had indicated that there was a very strong inverse correlation between people's assessment of their own levels of competence and their co-workers assessments of their levels of competence - the ones who were widely considered incompetent never had any idea that this was the case, while the really competent ones always had some doubts about their job performances. I bring this up because I've always considered myself to be a pretty competent guy - sure, I assume that most deadlines are flexible, and I have a memory like a sieve, but generally when I set out to do something I wind up doing it well. Unless that "something" is being comptroller of the Engineering Students' Society.

I'm not sure what it is about this particular position, but I miss appointments, fail to complete tasks, and make mistakes. It's like I've conserved my lifetime supply of incompetence just for use in this one position. This is relevant because I am presently sitting in the offices of the E.S.S., trying to audit their books in preparation for tomorrow's General Meeting. This will not be an especially credible audit, especially since I've consumed an entire bottle of Buckley's Mixture in the last hour, and am spending a good portion of my time rocking back and forth, giggling to myself and singing lines from showtunes. Thank you very much, I'll be here all night.

In non-sinking-rapidly-into-the-depths-of-insanity news, there is a lovely discussion on blogs going on here. Of course, most of you probably already knew that, since that thread is how you got here in the first place. Also, Steph and Ross have both started blogs (and they both mention me fairly regularily). I'm such a trendsetter.


Sunday, March 21, 2004

My Seventh Post

Well, I'm going to turn it i early-ish tonight on account of being high on both codeine *and* herbal supplements. Before I do, though, there are a few points that I need to deal with.

From looking at people's answers to my quiz, it appears that many of my so-called "friends" think that I have no aversion to hard feelings. I don't want to give away any answers here, people, but I don't like hard feelings any more than anybody else does. I would prefer it if I could, in criticizing a fellow Councilor's arguments, imply surprise on my part that that Councilor was able to put his pants on correctly in the morning, without having that Councilor than hold a grudge. It's not my fault so many people are hypersensitive.

It has been brought to my attention that I don't include enough details of my life on this blog, so here's an approximate summary of the day: I slept, took some drugs, slept some more, read the newspaper, slept some more, sent my regrets for a Board meeting of the Gateway Student Journalism Society, tried to finish typing up the minutes for the last meeting of this Board, failed, slept some more, watched the Oilers game, slept a little, engaged in some internet time-wastery on my webboards and frequently read blogs, and am now posting here before sleeping more. Now that I've provided this scintillating level of detail, I shall expect to see my number of loyal readers multiply accordingly (though not necessarily with each other, except in a couple of notable cases, which I shall not bother noting).

A common theme in Jen's blog is frustration at the number of people who visit and never identify themselves. I always thought that was a little weird, but now, as I look at my list of visitors, I'm starting to understand. I mean, I think I know who my readers in Schaeffer and Henday are, but do I even know anybody in Pembina Hall? Identify yourselves, blog-stalkers.

My comments on politics and current events have been pretty limited in this blog's brief history, so I shall attempt to rectify that with this post. Here is a (non-comprehensive) list of the things that are bothering me at this particular moment about each of the major federal parties:

1. The Liberals:
- Paul Martin
- arrogance
- smugness

2. The Conservatives:
- their entire body of policy
- that they were born of deceit and baptized in Joe Clark's blood.
- smugness

3. The New Democrats:
- proportional representation
- smugness

4. The Progressive Conservatives:
- that they no longer exist

5. The Bloc Québecois:
- their attachment to ethnic nationalism
- their confusion of the distinction between the concepts of a nation and a state

Okay, so ends this post.

Most recent CD listened to: R.E.M.'s "Automatic for the People"
Book currently being read: Judy Blume's brilliant "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing," for at least the tenth time in my life but the first in at least the last decade.

When all is said and done, a lot more is said than done

You should all click here immediately, because sometimes not even your own blog is self-indulgent enough. If you make one of your own, don't forget to include my e-mail address (steve.smith@ualberta.ca).

Also, Stephen Harper won the Conservative leadership today. It feels like I should have an opinion of some kind on that, but I don't.


Saturday, March 20, 2004

So then I sez to the Premier...

First of all, let me acknowledge right off the bat that that title doesn't make any sense within the context of the rest of this post, or indeed within any context at all. It's just been running through my head, so I put it as a title. That's right, I'm deliberately wasting your time by posting stupid titles that you'd have been better off not reading - what are you gonna do about it? Huh? That's right, nothing.

Right, so on to the subject of the post. I've been wondering as to the advisability of posting while inebriated, but my blog consultant appears not to be online right now. A very wise person probably told me at some point to hold off if I thought there was even a chance of regretting whatever "it" was in the morning, but whoever this wise person was isn't here right now. If you'd like, you can leave a message after the beep.

Anyway, this was intended to be a post about the fact that I won my Councilor election ("won" in the sense of finishing first, and not just in the sense of getting elected), which should then inspire all of you to leave me nice congratulatory comments. Then I realized that that might be self-indulgent, so I decided to instead as you my favourite joke:

Q: How do you ask a man who's hard of hearing if he wants to buy a chicken?

It's funny, because the guy's hard of hearing, not outright deaf. Belive me, open with that at a forum and you'll soon be the kind of electoral juggernaut that I am.

It's probably unfortunate that the aforementioned very wise person wasn't here right now.


Friday, March 19, 2004

So a priest, a rabbi, and a man with a parrot on his shoulder walk into a bar...

Things I overuse when writing (in the order in which they occur to me):

1. The word "however"
2. The word "frankly"
3. The dash
4. The semi-colon
5. The word "so" at the beginning of paragraphs
6. The phrase "moose semen"
7. The phrase "that said"
8. The word "incidentally"

And who by fire?

I have a nine am meeting tomorrow morning of the U of A General Faculties Council Facilities Development Committee - The Most Useless Committee in Existence TM, but the novelty of bloggery has yet to wear off, so I'll make one more entry before packing it in.

Before I forget, defeated Vice President (Operations and Finance) candidate Josh Bazin now has a blog, which he admits that he started after reading mine. Copycat.

Do you know who really intrigue me? People who are simultaneously highly logical and deeply religious. It seems to me that faith and logic are antithetical - one demands that conclusions be reached on the basis of established fact and observations, while the other is content to justify itself with nothing more than claims of a mystical sense of certainty, but I know plenty of people - including, arguably, the most logical person I've ever met - who manage. My tendancy has always been to assume that religion is a crutch for those unwilling to face the more logically likely scenario which includes no god, but is it possible that it's me who's defective, missing the faith lobe of my brain? Discuss. Or not.

Oh, and apparently the U of C S.U. Review Board has forty-eight hours to reach a decision, so I'll probably know the verdict of the U of A's undergraduate business students before I know the verdict of the Review Board.

And now to sleep. . .


Thursday, March 18, 2004

My second post

Day one of voting, done with. This is always the longest night. . . last year was different, because I was almost sure that I'd win my Councilor election (Failed Exec candidates not running against other failed Exec candidates always get elected) and equally sure that I'd lose my Presidential one, so there was no suspense. The year before was different because, even though there was plenty of suspense, there wasn't much at stake - a defeat in the VPOF election would just mean a continuation of the status quo, in which I held no elected office. Running for re-election while uncertain of your chances is worse than any of the others. The closest parallel might be my high school Presidential election, though voting only took one day and the general consensus seemed to be that I'd win, even if I was less sure.

Wow, I've been reduced to reminiscing about my high school political career - time for a subject change.

Yes, a change in subject. . . to U of C S.U. elections! As I write, the Review Board is meeting to determine whether the irregularities in the online voting system were affected the election materially enough to justify running the whole thing again. I'm on pins, or possibly needles, waiting to find out. Because I'm a hack.

Watched last night's Survivor (the only television worth watching) tonight. Ethan went off. I'm sure Lex knows what he's doing, though. And Rupert - I'm sure that he knows what he's doing too. That is, I'm sure Rupert knows what Rupert's doing. I doubt he has the vaguest idea of what Lex is doing.

Anand called. He wanted to know what voter turnout had been like. There are nine of them (arts candidates) running for nine positions, and he's a little worried too, even though defeat wouldn't alter his status quo. I guess it's because we're former Exec, and the S.U. is still (malgré mes efforts) pretty Exec-centric. We're the titans, we shouldn't lose. What a beautiful system it is, though, that forces the self-perceived titans to throw themselves annually before the masses, who are unimpressed because nobody has taught them to identify a titan. But I said I wasn't talking about the election any more.

Is it the thinkers who make history, or the actors? Is the actor the puppet of the thinker, or the one with the courage to implement the thinker's ideas?

Last CD listened to: Paul Simon, "Songs from the Cape Man"
Book being Read: Andrew Cohen and J.L. Granatstein, "Trudeau's Shadow" (which, despite my six year long fascination with Trudeau, I have somehow managed not yet to have read).

I should go for a run.

My First Post

. . . and so it came to pass that Steve Smith, without fully understanding why, began to blog. Assuming that "to blog" is a verb.

Well, actually Steve Smith had begun to blog covertly some time previous but, to the best of his knowledge, only one other person had read this covert blog, and it seemed a crime to rob the world of his penetrating insight into frivolous matters. What if he were to perish in a tragic accident whilst attempting to separate some firmly affixed powers? Sure, there would always his thousands of posts on the Students' Union Webboard. And there would always be the legendary M. Mustafa "Mustafa" Hirji, who always seems to steal Steve's best ideas before Steve himself even thinks of them, but somehow this isn't enough. . . no, there are still thoughts that Steve hasn't published online, and he can't bear the thought of them being lost forever. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the dregs.

. . . and so it came to pass that Steve Smith started talking in the first person.

I don't know how to start a blog. I don't even know the point of this blog. My two favourite blogs to read are Nick Tam's and Jen Smith's, which both follow very different styles. Nick is a brilliant writer, who posts beautifully crafted (though all together too infrequent) treatises on movies, language, student journalism and, of course, hack. But I don't write as well as he does, and would probably find forcing myself to consistently write competently on this medium more tedious. Jen writes more stream of consciousness, such that she sometimes switches topic mid-paragraph or makes entire entries that are incomprehensible to the layman. But, alas and/or alack, my own consciousness streams more ponderously than hers, and considerably less interestingly.

On final analysis, my philosophy going into this blog can probably be summed up in the same way as my philosophy towards politics and interior decorating: throw a bunch of shit at a wall and hope that some of it sticks.


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