Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Smart as a box of hair

Look in the comments section of this post - I have a celebrity commenter!

News from Steve's hit tracker

Steve, it's been a while since you've posted. . .

Why, so it has been, Blog-Conscience! I should rectify that!

Indeed you should, Steve.

Unfortunately, I have no ideas. Have you any?

I am Blog-Conscience, Steve, not Blog-Inspiration.

Of course, my mistake. I'll just have to summon Blog-Inspiration, then.

I'm afraid that won't do, Steve, for Blog-Inspiration has deserted you. Had you not noticed?

What? Oh, woe! To what manner of mistreatment had I subjected it for me to be deserving of such a fate?

It was sick of the way that you disregarded all of its ideas in favour of inane posts about gay marriage and your tracking statistics.

Hmm. Well, I suppose that's fair, really. And, on that note, tracking statistics. . .

Steve, you make me sick. But, before I exit the scene, allow me to provide the exciting news that Nick fowler, your comrade in arms from DJSR, has started a blog.

Really? Well, oh. . . what's the opposite of "woe"?

Blessing, consolation, gift, godsend, solace, bliss, euphoria, pleasure, happiness, joy. . .

Joy. That's the one for which I was looking, I believe.

Anyway, here are some of the latest lovelies from the old hit tracker:

1. Telus unreliable This one wouldn't be all that remarkable, except for the followup e-mail that I received a couple of days ago:

Hi there,

Let me introduce myself I'm a 40 y/o male maried wife and four kids. I came accross you blog by typing in Telus unreliable in a search engine.
We are located about 35 km north of Fox Creek Alberta, on an farm. We have had nothing but problems with Telus as a phone company and supposedly internet service provider.
I would like to hear from you as to what kind of problems you have had with this asshole outfit.
The problems we have had were: 1. no phone line at all and having to wait for over a week to get service restored.
2. noise on the line causing all kinds of problems with modems and our fax machine. 3. unreliable bit rates and drop offs fluctuating rates 28.8 kbps to 21 and lower.
Telus has done nothing to try and solve these problems. They don't blink an eye about insulting people, but when you tell them off they threaten with actions.
One of the stupidities that they had suggested was in regards to the laptop that I use. I had explained to them that I could go some place else from my own residence and use the dial up server with a reliable and fairly fast bit rate, however at home I have nothing but problems. These idiots than suggested that I'd purchase an external modem to solve these problems.
I was wondering if you know of any others who have had grief with Telus. Maybe it's about time that some of us started a class action suite against Telus, for neglecting to provide reliable and reasonable services that we pay for.
I hope that you are willing to share your experience with me.
Please forgive me for being so bold as to contact you this way, but I'm more than fed up with Telus. I look forward to hearing from you.


Ronald M Rijken
Fox Creek, Alberta

Well, Ronald, I find it quite remarkable that you not only went far enough down in the Google results for that search to find my site, but also went through the trouble of locating my e-mail address once you were here, but that it was too much effort for you to actually read my blog and note that nowhere do I say anything about Telus being unreliable. I assume Telus *is* unreliable, mind you, I just lack any sort of authority on the matter. Have fun with your class action suit anyway, though.

2. Why did Martin Mulroney finish being a Prime Minister? Was it because a election or retirement or something else? The answer to this question - that he resigned in 1993 when electoral defeat seemed certain and imminent, leaving Kim Campbell to pick up the pieces - is pretty well-known among anybody who knows the first thing about Canadian political history. Of course, it's probably not as well-known as the fact that Mr. Mulroney prefers to go by his middle name, Brian, so perhaps I'd best refrain from assumptions of basic knowledge on the part of wahoos who stumble across this space through random web searches.

3. fuck luann If this is an expression of opinion on the strip, I am quite in agreement. If this is a fantasy of yours, seek help.

4. Mackenzie Bowell's accomplishments As Prime Minister? He really didn't have any, except for acquiring the dubious distinction of being the only PM in Canadian history - and, very possibly, the only PM in Commonwealth history - to be ousted from office by his own cabinet (which he appointed). It's quite coincidental, though, that he would come up in my tracking statistics at the very time that my history prof and I are experiencing a slight disagreement over what *prompted* this cabinet revolt, with me saying that it was a result of his dithering over, and subsequent decision on, the matter of remedial legislation to disallow Manitoban legislation widely perceived to be discriminatory towards the province's sizeable francophone minority, and him countering (in the margins of my paper, in red pen) "actually, this isn't true".

5. renee levesque quebec kidnapped Really, now, how much sense would it have made for the FLQ to kidnap one of the politicians the most sympathetic to their cause? Do your research before Googling me, fool!

6. mackenzie bowell's promises to Canada What's with the suddent Mackenzie Bowell fascination? I mean, really, there have probably been more forgettable figures in Canadian political history, but I must have forgotten who they are because I can't think of any.

And now a couple of non-hit tracker related items:

1. If you ever want to get somebody drunk without his/her knowledge - and if you do, please tell me in advance that I might contact the proper authorities, you sick, predatory, fuck - I can suggest no better drink than gin and grapefruit juice.

2. In what I swear is unrelated news, does anybody know of a libel lawyer who might be willing to do some pro bono or discounted work for a good cause?


Friday, February 18, 2005

Steve reiterates a point he's been making repeatedly, but on to which Paul Martin doesn't seem to have yet caught

Martin warned that refusing to let gays and lesbians marry could threaten Charter of Rights and Freedoms protection for all minorities. He suggested failure to pass the civil marriage act would be counter to the values of Canadians, even though polls show Canadians are deeply divided on the issue of gay marriage and Parliament voted in 1999 to uphold the traditional definition of marriage [guess how the PM voted on that one? - ed.]

The Prime Minister, referring to a string of court rulings that said it is unconstitutional to deny marriage to gay couples and a Supreme Court statement that gays and lesbians have the right to marry claimed that Parliament would have to override the charter to avoid extending marriage rights.

How can a side that should so easily occupy the moral high ground slip into the moral low ground? Well, the two bald-faced lies identified above can't help.

One more time, Paul: either the Charter guarantees the right to marry people of your own sex or it doesn't. If it does, the vote on the Civil Marriage Act is pretty much irrelevant, since the Supremes will be forcing the issue pretty soon anyway. If it doesn't, defeating the Civil Marriage Act will have absolutely no effect on the Charter's protection of minorities. You are misleading Canadians and it makes me sick. Thank you.

In more upbeat news, Jen is the VP-elect (External) of the U of C Students' Union. Awesome.


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Marinated Rice, Like Revenge, is Best Served Cold

In my house, we take the comics pretty seriously, and I don't mean in the way that we take, for example, Survivor seriously. We love Survivor. We love some comics, too, but those aren't the ones we take seriously. The comics we take seriously are the ones that we hate.

For example, I've got some pretty serious hostility towards Sally Forth. Not because it's not funny - that I can live with. Plenty of comics aren't funny, and most of them don't keep me awake nights feeling the kind of hostility that Sally Forth does. It's also not the fact that, as my mother is fond of pointing out, Hilary looks like an adult male with a growth defect and pigtails - certainly more masculine than Ted. No, what pisses me off about Sally Forth is that all characters are always smiling. Always. This is especially obnoxious during punchlines, when the characters appear so repulsively self-satisfied with what they apparently believe to be clever remarks. I don't know how many of you poor souls read it, but remember the recent storyline where Ralph got fired? Did it strike anybody else as odd that everybody was smiling for that entire episode? I'm hoping that a future storyline will feature Sally falling into an operating rock tumbler (smiling, natch). I hate you, Sally Forth: please die.

We're also none too fond of Luann, which is a soap opea-ish comic about a post-adolescent girl. Again, this is not a terrible thing in and of itself. What's truly bad about it is that it's written by a fifty or so year old man who is clearly even more clueless about the lives of post-adolescent girls than I am. Greg: stop being so creepy. Write what you know.

Oh, and does it upset anybody else that the creator of One Big Happy apparently believe it's funny when Ruthie or Joe misunderstands a word? I mean, Oscar Wilde was a funny man, but man oh man - a small child using a word incorrectly in a sentence while practising for a spelling test? Whew!

When I've got more time, I plan on coducting a research project to determine exactly when For Better of For Worse started replacing punchlines with sap. Because I was going through some old strips - like, fifteen years old - and they were actually funny. Not sidesplittingly funny, mind you, but more Baby Blues than Rex Morgan, M.D. Now? I can hardly read the damned thing without having a great urge to bat my uvula around with my index finger.

Still, though, I have to admit that our home's champion of comic-hating is my sister, for the absolutely visceral hatred she aims at Hi and Lois. I don't want to draw crude comparisons, but there are Catholic Bishops who hate gays less than Heather hates this strip. She wants Trixie to experience SIDS.

My point in bringing this up was going to be our amazement that yesterday's Hi and Lois strip featured some pretty blatant sexual innuendo, which shows some promising new directions for the strip. However, that point no longer seems relevant, so we'll end this.


Sunday, February 13, 2005

Two things that are presently concerning me

1. Somebody found my blog by searching for "Buckley's Mixture recall". If there was a recall of any batch of the stuff, chances are I've had some of it.

2. Daneil Igali falls in with a bad crowd. He always seemed like such a nice boy. . .


Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Ye Olde Blogge Entry (Entrye?)

Chapter 1: in which Steve reveals the location of his Webboard press conference on his political future

Yes, I've made my announcement. It's here.

Since then, I've been asked to run a referendum side, serve as campaign manager for a candidate, and front a joke candidate. This must be the S.U. equivalent to the lucrative offers politicians get when they retire.

Chapter 2: in which Steve relates how he almost got into a fight at the Smith/Bazin birthday bash

Random Tough #1 (staring at the broken towel dispenser in the washroom of Scholar's): What the fuck is with this?
Bazin: Just wipe your hands on your pants.
RT #1: What did you just say to me?
RT #2 (emerging from the stall): Are you disrespecting my friend?
Steve: No, no, he was just suggesting an alternative method of hand-drying.
RT #2: So we're just talking, here?
Steve: Well, I am.
RT #2: Okay, I'm okay with talking. But if anybody disrespects my friend, I kick their ass.
Steve: Seems a reasonable policy.
RT #3 (entering bathroom): What's going on here?
Steve: We're just talking.
RT #2: Everything's cool.
(RTs #1 and #2 exit the bathroom. RT #3 does his business.)
RT #3 (staring at broken towel dispencer): What the fuck is with this?
Steve: Just wipe your hands on your pants.
RT #3: Yeah, good idea.


Later in, RT #2 and RT #3 came over to our table to further discuss what happened in the bathroom and to hit on the girlfriends of those attached males present. Charming lads, really.

Chapter 3: In which Steve continues his wildly unpopular "Stupidity About Same-Sex Marriage" series

So Ted Morton has suggested that Alberta allow only religious institutions to perform marriages. The legality of the proposal aside (the Constitutional law prof quoted in the article says it wouldn't stand up, though I don't see any reason why not), I am eager to see what Morton's reaction will be once the United Church, a religious institution that would presumably be allowed to perform marriages under Morton's proposal, begins to marry same-sex couples.

Chapter 4: In which Steve reveals that it's his birthday

It's my birthday.


Thursday, February 03, 2005

I turn to my blog for legal advice, because I'm a moron.

So I saw the Truman Show last night - not for the first time - and I got to thinking: under the Canadian Criminal Code, with what could Christophe have been charged during the Truman Show's first thirty years of production? I can think of plenty of civil offenses with which Truman could have nailed him, but that would sort of require Truman to know what was going on. What could the state have done? Anybody?


Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Sail on, sail on, oh mighty ship of state,
To the shores of need, past the reefs of greed, through the squalls of hate

So, some time ago, I was poised to offer my analysis of why Paul Martin would be stupid to call an election on same-sex marriage. When it became clear that Martin had never threatened to do any such thing, I decided not to bother with the analysis, but I'm still going to throw a piece of it out here. Paul Martin would be stupid to call an election over same-sex marriage because the greatest threat to Erwin Cotler's same-sex marriage legislation is the same Liberal MPs whose re-election Martin would presumably be urging during the campaign of the election, nominally over same-sex marriage.

Consider that the current standings in the House of Commons are as follows:

134 Liberal
99 Conservative
54 Bloc
19 NDP
2 Independent

All parties except the Liberals are pretty much united on this issue - the Conservatives will vote against (with the four exceptions of Gerald Keddy, James Moore, Jim Prentice, Belinda Stronach) with the New Democrats (minus Bev Desjarlais) and the Bloc (minus half a dozen MPs of whom you've never heard) will vote in favour. Both independents (Chuck Cadwell and Carolyn Parrish) are expected to vote against. That puts the standings, assuming a full Commons (ha!), at 70 Yes, 104 No. This is, of course, before the Liberals come into things. It will take at least 85 Liberals - or ~63% - voting in favour to guarantee the Bill fair passage. In other words, anything better than an even split in Liberal ranks will let the Bill pass. Martin should get that, since even the most pessimistic reports don't have more than forty-three Liberals voting against the legislation (noteworthies on that list include cabinet minister Joe Comuzzi, former cabinet ministers Wayne Easter, Roger Gallaway, David Kilgour, and Lawrence MacAuley, Speaker Peter Milliken - who will be unlikely to actually cast a vote, what with him being the Speaker, and all - and raving space loon Tom Wappel). But if, for some reason - and I can't think of any such reason offhand, since absences are much more likely to benefit the Yes side than the No side - an election on the issue did occur, it would be a little rich for Paul Martin to simultaneously urge Canadians to elect him PM to legalize gay marriage and to elect several dozen anti-gay marriage Liberal MPs, no?

Hopefully, this will convince some voters of the absurdity of "voting the party".


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Fie on thee, Paul Wells! Fie! Now, dammit!

So Paul Wells is stealing my lines. I mean, first of all he, within a few days of my own use of it, titled a post "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave". Now he's using the whole "regular readers, if any" line, which is totally my thing.

Granted, it's possible that he, like several other people on the planet, has heard "Hotel California". Granted, it's possible that he, like the several dozen other people on the net who have made use of the "if any" joke, merely noticed that it's a cheap and easy way at self-deprecation. But I'm pretty sure he's lurking here for creative inspiration.

In other news, the press conference has been rescheduled to Thursday at four. Also, here's an exchange that occurred in Safeway recently (I was there to buy more Buckley's) between Gerry the Hobophobe and me:

Steve: Hi, Gerry! Look, I cut my hair!
Gerry: Do you want your job back?
Steve: No.


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