*Not my actual brain
The Things In My Head
For so long I have wanted to write a page full of my opinions and grandiose thoughts, but there was never really any way to structure it nicely. Until now. I have realised that it does not need structure. So here it is, a dated outpouring of things that occur to me, as they occur to me. Just basically, things in my head....
BIG NEWS! I've moved this "blog" to an actual blog! lol
Read all the latest bullshit here....
Find crap by date:
December 2, 1998 (01:13) | December 2, 1998 (01:51) | December 2, 1998 (01:55) | December 2, 1998 (01:58) | September 2, 2000 (11:52) | December 25, 2000 (13:20) | February 13, 2001 (12:54) | February 13, 2001 (01:17) | May 28, 2001 (17:19) | August 21, 2001 (08:04) | November 24, 2001 (02:24) | November 24, 2001 (02:33) | January 18, 2002 (18:43) | May 16, 2002 (14:37) | May 17, 2002 (08:44/18:13) | May 31, 2002 (01:16) | September 7, 2002 (11:31) | September 12, 2002 (22:22) | October 1, 2002 (22:23) | November 2, 2002 (11:42) | November 2, 2002 (11:58) | November 8, 2002 (13:50) | December 13, 2002 (11:19) | May 25, 2003 (12:10) | June 14, 2003 (0:18) | June 14, 2003 (0:43) | October 15, 2003 (23:48) | December 8, 2003 (20:22) | August 5, 2004 (09:47)
Find crap by title:
All The Spikes I've Known Before | Bad Reviews That Aren't | Coke | Definition Of Irony | Dolly Commercial | Driving In Vancouver (Part One) | Dumb | Enough Already!!! | Everything Loses Its Value | Football | God Part One | Gray Hair | Humane vs. Human | I Don't Get It | More Death Penalty | Much Ado About Nothing | Name-Calling | Natural Selection | News | News Bulletins | Newspapers | Racism vs. Tradition | Stupidness | Stupid Re-visited | Suicide | Survivor | What Is Spike Lee Thinking??? | When Is A Network Not A Network | Words | World Famous

December 2, 1998 (01:13) ... News

News, as in the 6 o'clock, the 11 o'clock, that which you get in the morning paper. What is it good for? Simply put: conversation. Think about it. Without the news, you would have nothing to talk about. But that's just you. I have no tolerance for news and I have plenty to talk about. Of course, there is no one to listen to me, so I mutter to myself. And now to you. I make a point of not watching TV news at all. I only listen to the news on the radio because, in between the music, every half hour or so, they feel the need to inform me of what's going on in your world. (Yeah, that's right, your world. It's not my world. None of those elected officials were elected by me.) As for newspapers ... well, there are two in my town. Both are owned by the same company and both come out in the morning. Now, I've already told you how I feel about news, but what about sports? Well, most sports are over by the time I go to bed, so I can turn on Sports Page at 11PM and find out all the scores and sports news I need in five to ten minutes. All the entertainment news was covered the previous evening as well on such TV programs as Entertainment Tonight. The only thing the newspapers have going for them, as far as I can tell, is comics. That's the part of the newspaper I read. And I could probably do that online ... but it's just not that important.

But the news that really bugs me (when I am inconvenienced enough to hear it) is that which tells nothing. I am of the mind-set that there are three types of news: 1. Oh My God How Horrible!; 2. Oh Isn't He/She/It Adorable; 3. ...And Nothing Happened. You know what the first two are, but the third one is the one that really annoys me. (And yes, even the sports folks deal in this form of news.) I will give you an example of something I heard this very evening. It concerned a prisoner in Texas who had been on death row, or something, and who had escaped yesterday or the day before or last week or last year or something (how do I know? I don't watch the news!) Anyway, the story came up and the news reader said something like "So-And-So, a convicted really bad guy from death row is still on the loose, blah blah blah. Police are still looking, but haven't found anything. Yadda yadda yadda. Et cetera." This amounts to "Police were looking for a bad guy ... and nothing happened." Another example, from sports: "On the Pavel Bure front, Canucks GM Brian Burke today announced that no trade was imminent and that, although he had talked to fifteen teams around the league, no deal had yet been made." Again, nothing happened. THIS IS NOT NEWS!!! It is a comedy routine, straight out of Monty Python:

{eerie music} "June the fourth, 1973 was much like any other summer's day in Peterborough and Ralph Mellish, a file clerk at an insurance company, was on his way to work as usual when {big burst of scary music} nothing happened. Scarcely able to believe his eyes, Ralph Mellish looked down. But one glance confirmed his suspicions: behind a bush, on the side of the road, there was no severed arm, no dismembered trunk of a man in his late fifties, no head in a bag. Nothing."

It goes on, of course, but you get the idea. I can't help but laugh at news stories that tell nothing.

December 2, 1998 (01:51) ... Stupidness

Yeah, OK, that title is a little vague and/or broad and, in fact, I'm sure I will revisit it frequently in coming days, weeks, months. But right now I'd like to address a part of the above-mentioned news story about the escaped really bad guy from death row. At the end of the non-story, the news reader said he was the first to do so since a really long time ago (oh, come on, you read the news, you probably know the exact date, you don't need me to spoon feed it to you). And this most recent guy did it with a hacksaw. OK, I just have one thing to say about that: It sure was nice of those guys to let the really bad guy have a hacksaw in PRISON!

December 2, 1998 (01:55) ... I Don't Get It

Why is there a death row anyway? People waiting to die. You are sentenced to die, now do it. Why are you (or they - certainly not me) paying to keep this guy alive for so long only to kill him? And why do they sterilize the needles for lethal injections? And do lethal injections make the internal organs contaminated for transplant? Might there not be a better way? Like, if you're sentenced to death, we'll keep you alive until we have harvested all of your organs for transplant, then we'll give you the lethal injection. How's that?

December 2, 1998 (01:58) ... More Death Penalty

Why not? Why not make every crime against another living being punishable by death? Never mind castrating a rapist - kill him! OK, I know that's never gonna happen, because people are stupid (that'll be a common theme on this page, you watch). But could we at least punish these guys? I mean, why do they get food and shelter and all the perks of home and we still have people getting kicked out of the alcoves they are sleeping in, getting yelled at for digging through garbage for a tiny morsel to eat, turning into human popsicles on the side of the road? Let's punish the bad people. And no more protection. You do the crime, you do the time with all the other morons. So what if you're notorious? You should be able to take care of yourself, shouldn't you? And if you can't, well it's no loss to me, scumbag. Take away everything they have. It's not right. Put them in their itty bitty cell, and let them sit there, twenty-four hours a day. There is no reason they need to be let out of their cells. Visitors? Reading material? Writing material? NO! You were a very bad person and you don't deserve it. When you were a kid (or maybe still are) and you were sent to your room for being bad, what happened? No TV, no dinner, no telephone, no one to talk to, nothing until the next morning. Is it right to treat our prisoners better than our children? (Wow, that was pretty good. The other stuff has been burning my brain for a while, but that last analogy I just thought of.)

September 2, 2000 (11:52) ... Survivor

OK, this show has been over for a couple weeks now and I am still reading and hearing about how everyone thought Rudy was going to win. To all the people who actually thought Rudy was going to win: were you not paying any attention to the game, the way it was played and the dynamics of the group at all or are you just stupid??? Yes, I would have loved to see Rudy win. He was my own personal favourite and I would have been very happy if he would have won. But anyone who had been watching that show for any length of time should have realised that he was going to be voted off as soon as possible for exactly that reason. People liked him, despite his anti-social manner and if he was one of the last two, out of the "final four", he would have won. Everybody on the island knew that and that is why there is no way (barring immunity) that he was going to win.

Now, of course, it's easy for any idiot to come along after the fact and say they knew who was going to win and who wasn't. But I'm not going to do that. I'll tell you right now that, from the final four, I thought Kelly would win (unless she was paired up with Rudy). If, somehow, the final two ended up being Richard and Susan, I thought Susan would win. I honestly thought that Rich had wronged so many of the "jury" that he had no hope of winning. Clearly, they respected the way he played the game. I do too.

I may have been wrong on some of the earlier votes, but I was 100% (barring immunity) correct every vote after Gretchen to the final four. I thought Susan's big mistake in the final four vote was not voting for Rudy. Here's how I called it, and why: I thought Greg would be the first to go, but he got the immunity, so Gretchen went away. Greg was next - he bothered Susan too much and I felt that she was pretty much calling the shots in the alliance. Jenna was not necessarily the next choice (Gervase was), but then Sean started mouthing off about his alphabetical voting and the alliance decided to use him as the "swing vote". The next obvious choice was Gervase, again because he annoyed Susan. I figured Colleen would be next, simply because she was the last of her tribe. From what I understood of Richard's comments on voting for her, the alliance was going to vote Kelly off, but she won the first of her four immunities. I would have been wrong, then, as I called Colleen from the start. That left Sean as the only non-alliance member left and he was gone. Maybe Kelly would have taken the hit again this time, but she again won the immunity. I still predicted Sean. When it came to the final four, I thought Richard and Susan would team up to vote Rudy off first, then Kelly, because both of those people posed a threat to Rich and Sue. But I was wrong. They turned on each other instead. At that moment (the tie), Susan knew she was gone because she knew she was not going to be able to sway Rudy. She didn't try and she was gone. She has only herself to blame. With only the three of them left, Kelly had to choose which of Rich and Rudy to delete. The obvious choice was the crowd favourite, Rudy. She (and I ) figured she had a better chance against the openly manipulative and conniving Richard than against a lovable old curmudgeon like Rudy. It was neither Susan's speech to Kelly, nor Greg's almost Sean-like voting tactics that won Richard the money. It was the way Richard played the game and, although the others may have hated him for it, they certainly respected it and believed that, although it's not the way they would have played (obviously), it was clearly the way to go to win. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next edition of Survivor - if anybody uses Richard's strategy and tactics or if there will be so many using his tactics that they get voted off right away!

December 25, 2000 (13:20) ... Football

I am a huge CFL fan. (For those outside of Canada, that is the Canadian Football League.) I watch every game, regardless of who is playing. But when the CFL season is over (at the end of November), there is no football to watch except NFL. (For those outside of Earth, that is the National Football League - the Nation being USA.) I've tried and I've tried to accept NFL as football, but it is difficult. They always portray their athletes as so tough and talented, but they give them rules that do not put that on display.

My major problem with NFL vs. CFL is that they use four downs. In Canada, we use three. I won't say which is better, but when I watch an NFL game it seems to take longer because of the extra down. I saw a game the other night where it was 3rd and 9. In two downs, the team only achieved one yard! In the CFL, they would be kicking it away because they failed. In the NFL they get another try. It makes it seem longer. Of course, the games are both 60 minutes long, so it's not longer - it just seems like it.

Speaking of kicking it away - what did the NFL do before the Fair Catch? Was a kick more entertaining? A punt "return" in the NFL is about as exciting as icing in the NHL. I believe the word is anti-climactic. Unless you get a CFL-style team, like the Titans, who actually run back a punt. Imagine this, NFL fans: your team is receiving a punt from a team that is up on you by six. Instead of signalling a Fair Catch (boring!), your receiver runs the ball back for a touchdown. Isn't that more exciting? It happens in the CFL, because we don't have a Fair Catch! Of course, our field is wider, so there's more room to run. (How many times have I seen a player in the NFL trying to get around a defender and if the field was CFL width he would have made it, but instead he goes out of bounds?) More room on the field means more players on the field. We have twelve per side. Does that make it a better game? Not necessarily. Just different.

The only entertainment the Fair Catch ever gave me was the few occasions, during the CFL's expansion into the US, that American players signalled a Fair Catch (not knowing it is not a valid signal in the CFL) and were promptly tackled. Very funny.

Still on kicking. I couldn't believe it when I saw one play where the kick receiver jumped for the ball, touched it but missed the catch, watched it roll around on the ground for a while and then the kicking team came in, picked it up and ran into the end zone with it - and there was no score! Hello!?!?! That's a touchdown in the CFL! Or the times that NFL players just stand around looking at the ball bouncing around. In the CFL, you cannot do that. Even if no one on the receiving team has touched it, the kicker can run down the field and take possession of a bouncing ball. By comparison, then, the NFL rules make their players look lazy. (This rule also made for some funny moments during the CFL's US expansion.)

I cannot for the life of me figure out why the cover team in the NFL keeps running towards the receiver after he has made a Fair Catch signal. The play is dead at that point, isn't it? Even if he drops it, it's still their ball. The kicking team has no chance to recover possession, right?

In the CFL, we adhere to the clock. If there is time left on the clock, we play it. In the NFL, it seems, if the time runs out before the ball is snapped, the quarter is over. Not so in the CFL. Which means that a team trailing with one second on the clock still has a chance to win. Now that's exciting! (I'm not even going to go into the play clock, which is something like 45 seconds in the NFL and is exactly, every time, 20 seconds in the CFL.)

There has been a lot of talk lately about the XFL. Every "expert" I have heard talking about it believe it will fail. They compare it to the USFL and other failed leagues. I believe it will succeed. The main reason I believe it will succeed is because of TV. More specifically, NBC. NBC owns part of the XFL, so it is in their best interest to promote the game to death. It also has a lot of money behind it in the WWF. With these two factors, this league will be big. It won't be huge. And I think if they are going to expand, they will have to wait longer than they think. Their recent resolve to not poach players from the CFL will gain them fans in Canada as well. Despite our lack of impact on the TV ratings, they will need Canadian support if they expect to expand into Canada, as they have said they do.

I, for one, am looking forward to the XFL and I hope it is as entertaining as the CFL. It can't help but be more entertaining than the NFL - they've already killed the Fair Catch!!!

February 13, 2001 (12:54) ... Gray Hair

I was sitting here right now with my cat. Petting my cat. Now, my cat is eight years old. According to my vet, that's old. He eats geriatric food (the cat, not the vet). But as I was sitting here petting my cat, I began to think about how he does not now, nor will he ever have grey hair. Granted, he is a grey tabby and has fur and not hair, but that is beside the point. (Or is it?) What I guess I'm poking at is that animals just don't get grey hair. Do they? I mean, an eight year old cat is not ancient by any means, but I have met some pretty old animals in my time and not one has "gone grey". Why? Are animals somehow superior to humans in that way? Or has it something to do with their breeding?

Which makes me wonder if animals inbreed. I mean, animals are stupid, right? They don't have the knowledge that humans have, so they are not likely to know that they are not supposed to do that. Or can they? Has millions of years of inbreeding given animals the genetics to properly utilize their own siblings' DNA for good? Maybe humans' lack of inbreeding is what makes the freaks that are the result of inbreeding. Or are animals smarter than we give them credit for? Maybe they have some kind of instinct that tells them when not to mate. Maybe they don't know why, they just know they shouldn't oughta mate with that particular animal, because it's family. Maybe that's why it's so difficult to breed wild animals in captivity. Maybe we stupid humans are putting brother and sister in a cage and expecting them to mate, when they're going on a blind date and, oh crap, what are the odds, huh?

There are a lot of human deficiencies out there and they are alive and kicking, possibly even propagating the species. In the wild, this doesn't happen. How often have you seen a squirrel born with three legs? Or a blind rabbit. Or a deaf bat? It must happen, but you are rarely - if ever - going to see it, because nature has its way of getting rid of these abnormalities. I expect that most animals will kill their crippled young. Those species that do not kill them will likely leave them on their own to die. Animals without their full functions are not going to live too long. Predators make sure of that. But where is man's predator? We are ourselves. Man is the only natural predator of man. Ironically, it is usually the fit and healthy that we dispose of and attempt to save the unhealthy and crippled. That's human nature. Is there anything wrong with it? I guess not, as far as human nature goes. But when it comes to natural selection and population control, something is way out of whack. In the animal kingdom, in the wild, if you can't get your own food, you die. If you cannot defend yourself, you die. In the human world, if you can't get your own food, others will get it for you. If you cannot defend yourself, others will defend you. Compare this one species, human, to every other species on earth and you can quickly see that we are outnumbered in our humanity. Clearly, human nature is not natural at all. We are freaks.

Let's go back to pets for a minute (that's how I started this). If your pet is ailing and there is nothing that can be done to save it, we don't think twice about putting it out of its misery. (Yeah, OK, we think twice, thrice, whatever, but the right thing to do is to euthanise the animal, so we do.) Interesting that we often use that phrase: "put it out of its misery", even though we cannot communicate with the animals, we know they are suffering and we do the humane thing. Humane. From the word Human. But when it comes to humans - animals that actually can tell you that they are suffering and would indeed like to be euthanised - we are not allowed to take that life. We have the choice to not be saved, but we cannot be "put to sleep". Do the humane thing for the animal that cannot tell us they'd rather not die, but we can't euthanise a human who is begging for it! Where is the humanity in that?

February 13, 2001 (01:17) ... Suicide

Please do. Stop whining and go ahead and off yourself.

Why is there a law that says it is illegal to attempt suicide, but committing suicide is completely legal? If you attempt suicide and actually die for a minute and then are brought back to life, do you escape the charges? After all, you succeeded, if only for a minute.

Here's the part I hate about post-suicide: the family and friends all gather round and call the deceased inconsiderate and selfish for taking his own life. But isn't it really they who are inconsiderate and selfish, for thinking the deceased owed them anything? It's his life. Nope, the ones who are inconsiderate and selfish are the ones who expect someone to continue living his life even though it causes him great pain or anguish, just so he won't upset the friends and family. Yeah, I don't think so. If you can't live this life, then go ahead and end it. At the very least, it's a law that should be stricken from the books.

May 28, 2001 (17:19) ... Name-Calling

There seems to be a degrading term for every ethnic group in the world - except caucasians.
There seems to be a degrading term for every gender in the world - except males.
There seems to be a degrading term for every sexuality in the world - except heterosexuals.
As a straight, white male, I demand equality! Where are my insults?!

August 21, 2001 (08:04) ... Stupid Re-visited

People are stupid. That is something I have come to see in the past five or six years. People are just plain stupid. But I have to ask: are people actually getting stupider? I mean, when you start out stupid, how can you get more stupid? This little revelation comes on the heels of two, back-to-back incidents of "unclear on the definition". The first was a book I saw that had as its title, clearly printed right there on the cover, Standard World Atlas Deluxe Edition. What? The second was a trip I made to McDonald's the other day, where I ordered, among other things, a "large fries". Sorry, I was told, they don't have large fries anymore. Only small, medium and super-size. What?

Maybe it's not that people are getting stupider, but that stupid people are advancing further in the business world. Do I even need to give the example of a hockey team signing a player with a history of concussions in a sport known for its brutal body contact? I don't know who's stupider: the usually smart general manager for signing a glass doll or the player - whose brother retired from the sport years ago after his own history of concussions - for continuing to play.

Apparently I am not alone in my observation, as Harvey Danger told it in their song "Flagpole Sitta": "I've been around the world and found that only stupid people are breeding."

I don't usually resort to quotes on this page, but this one seemed appropriate: "Some people, like me, are born idiots, but many more become stupider as they go along." - Forrest Gump

And along those lines, that's all I've got to say about that.

November 24, 2001 (02:24) ... Bad Reviews That Aren't

I am so sick and tired of hearing, reading or watching reviews - TV, music, movies, books, anything - in which the reviewer decides that the subject is not valid in this time of crisis. Prior to September 11, movies were critiqued based on their plot, story, script, lighting, directing, acting, music, cinematography, and a good number of other things. Now, it seems, the movie could be top notch in all of those categories but still receive a D, thumbs down, one star, or any number of unflattering ratings, simply because it is not enjoyable in light of the events of September 11. What does one have to do with the other, I ask. I say, if reviewers feel the need to validate a movie in light of a tragedy, there should be two reviews. One that says, "Hey, this is a great movie, go see it." And another that says, "... but not if you are still affected by the events of September 11."

Think of it this way: in ten years, when someone looks at your bad review for a great movie, they aren't going to remember that you thought it was insensitive in light of the events of September 11. They're just going to wonder what the hell movie you were watching!

November 24, 2001 (02:33) ... Enough Already!!!

I cannot tell you how much I do not ever want to hear anything more about September 11!

I am also sick of reading things where the author feels the need to do a partial recap when referring to it. You know the ones: "... the events of September 11 ... the World Trade Center collapse ... the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington ..."

Ya know what? Let's just call it "The Thing". Everyone will know what we are talking about.

"They postponed the start of the television season because of The Thing."

"People are scared to fly lately because of The Thing."

"They are finally going to release Schwarzenegger's terrorist movie that was delayed because of The Thing."

If someone you are talking to doesn't know what you are talking about, give them a look and they will either catch on or you should probably hit them over the head with a cast-iron skillet.

On a related note - do we even really need to talk about it anymore? I'm sick of hearing about it. I'm sick of talking about it. People say that watching too much movie violence makes kids numb to real violence. Guess what? I've seen and heard so much about The Thing that I am numb to it. I just don't care anymore. I'm sorry. It's a great tragedy, but it happened over two months ago. Get over it already! (And to Mark McGwire, who urged people to get back to normal but refused to play baseball because that wasn't normal: yes, it is! What you do on a day to day basis is normal, Mark. Don't be an ass!)

I don't mean to be insensitive to people's feelings, but come on! People die every day and there are no memorials for them. Police and fire fighters die every day, but they get no recognition. Why is this different? Just because a lot of them died at once? That's no reason. And now that you've got me started on the topic - where is all this money going? No, I'm not that guy who's accusing people of skimming it or stealing it or whatever. I seriously wanna know: How much money do they need?!?! And who is getting it? I mean, if there is no stealing, who is supposed to get the money? And why do you feel compelled to give money to this charity and no other ones? Or why do you feel it is better to give money to complete strangers who have lost a loved one in another city, another country, but refuse to do so on your home turf? If you heard that someone who lived three houses away from you, who you didn't know, had died, would you be going and knocking on the door and offering up some cash to the widow? What if he was murdered in his home by a terrorist? Would that make it different? One person? Or does it have to be a plane or two, driven by terrorists, causing the world's tallest buildings to collapse?

I don't mean to belittle the cause. Maybe there really is a legitimate place for the money to be going. But didn't I read somewhere that more money has been donated to this Thing since September 11 than to all charities combined in the year 2001? Shame on you.

Now I've got that out of my system, let's not ever talk about it again. It bores me.

January 18, 2002 (18:43) ... Dumb

Actually, I don't really have anything to say at this moment. But I just read a statistic that said about 75 people die each year playing Twister and I had to share that with you as another wonderful example of how stupid people can be. I mean, I can understand how someone might pull a muscle or even, in a full collapse, how someone could break a finger. But to die playing Twister? Wow, you gotta be pretty stupid!

May 16, 2002 (14:37) ... News Bulletins

These things have been the bane of my television watching life for all of my existence. As you know from the above, I don't have any use for the news, so when I am watching television and they cut into the programme with some big important news bulletin, it drives me nuts.

Let's go back to the olden days, when this sort of thing first made itself known to me. Back then there were only a handful of channels and if the viewer was interested in the story, s/he would still have to wait until the 11PM news to find out more. Hey, since you're waiting until the 11PM news anyway, why don't you stay out of my show and tell the news then? Why must you interrupt my show to tell me? Always there are teasers during commercial breaks about what's coming up on the news anyway.

Journey back to the now, when there are approximately a gazillion channels. When you break into my show to tell me some breaking news story, all you do is make me upset because I'm missing my show. The people who actually are interested in this breaking news are going to switch over to one of the all-news channels to hear more. So there go your ratings! So tell me again, what is the point of this? Loyal viewers miss their shows and casual viewers switch off. Sounds like a bit of a dumb idea.

But never mind that. Have you ever noticed that they will never interrupt a commercial to bring a news update? They always wait until the show goes back on to interrupt. Just watch next time. The break comes either shortly after returning to the show from commercial or ends just before a scheduled commercial break. No commercial is ever harmed by a news break.

May 17, 2002 (08:44/18:13) ... Words

I like to listen to the way people talk, and the way people use words. It's not pretty. And, in keeping with the above theme, it's also pretty stupid. Take for instance the prefix "pre", meaning "before". People have begun using it in the strangest places. Want to order a product before it comes out? They say you "pre-order" it. Sure, you've heard it and thought nothing of it, right? But wait. "Pre" means before. Before order? Do you order it before you order it? I'm unclear on that concept. How does that work exactly? When you pre-order something, they usually expect you to "pre-pay". So you order it before you order it and pay for it before you pay for it. Does this mean you have to order it twice? And pay for it twice? In the medical insurance business they talk about a "pre-existing" condition. A condition that existed before it existed? The condition itself exists. How can it pre-exist?

In hockey now, they are using the same sort of logic in calling some penalties. It is a penalty if you hold up your opponent if he does not have the puck (Interference). It is also a penalty if you trip your opponent (Tripping). However, if you trip your opponent when he does not have the puck, it is called Obstruction Tripping. It is not a double penalty - two minutes for obstruction/interference and two minutes for tripping. Wouldn't it be just as acceptable to call Tripping and be done with it?

On dish soap I see that it "cleans grease". What a silly thing to do! Don't consumers want their dish soap to clean their dishes? Who cares if your grease is clean??? On shampoo it says "for oily hair". Other shampoos say "for a clean, vibrant shine". So which one are you going to choose?

I hear things like this on the radio quite often: "If you want to go to the show, tickets go on sale tomorrow." But if I don't want to go to the show, the tickets don't go on sale tomorrow? Don't they really mean "If you want to go to the show, you can buy tickets when they go on sale tomorrow."

Of course, we all know what they mean, but is that really enough? If we all start expecting people to know what we mean, we are going to stop saying what we mean. But then, we already have that, don't we?

May 31, 2002 (01:16) ... Coke

I was just wondering, what is that stuff that Coke Canada puts in the Coke cans? It's not Coke. You can tell just by tasting it. If you can't, do this: serve yourself a fountain drink of Coke (from McDonald's or 7-11 or whatever) and also get a bottle of Coke (2 litre or 600ml or whatever) and get a can of Coke. Sip from each one. Which of these is not the same? Therefore, it can't possibly be Coke in the can.

For further comparison, procure a can of Coke from an American store. Compare the taste of what's in the American can to what's in the Canadian can. You will see that the stuff in the American can is similar (if not the same) as what's in the Canadian fountain and the Canadian bottle of Coke, but is not the same as what is in the Canadian can of Coke.

What's up Coke Canada? Still got some New Coke left over? (And people wonder why I've switched to Pepsi!)

September 7, 2002 (11:31) ... World Famous

I just finished watching ... uh, well, it doesn't matter what it was, because this little brain expulsion applies to a more broad area anyway. But at the end of this particular programme, in the credits, it said it was taped at the "world famous Apollo Theater". The question I have is this: if it's "world famous", why do you have to say that it's world famous? In this particular instance, for example, if you haven't heard of the Apollo, then maybe it's not so much "world famous". Of course, without adding the phrase in front of it, and just saying it was taped at the Apollo Theater, doesn't the viewer automatically think to himself, 'oh, the Apollo Theater, I've heard of that - it's world famous'. Instead, they have to tell you it's world famous, thereby implying that maybe it's not so much world famous.

It's very similar, in my mind, to the phrase we have all seen at the top of at least one email sent to us by our well-meaning internet friends: "this is true", or some variant. We always see this in the introduction of some chain letter or list of TRUE FACTS, that usually turn out to be complete fabrications or, at the very least, urban myths. A duck's quack doesn't echo, my ass.

Because such things are perpetrated on the internet, usually by morons (check the spelling and grammar on some of these missives!), it's very easy to generalize and say, if it starts out saying that the following is true, it most likely is not. However, I don't know how to categorize something like the claim made by the Apollo (or, at least, the people responsible for the credits). I could say that the phrase is redundant, but then I would have to define "world famous" as meaning famous throughout the world, which one would logically conclude, simply by the words used in the phrase. But if we dissect it a little more, couldn't we say that, if I have heard of it, living here in Vancouver, Canada and the establishment is in New York, U.S.A., then is that not an international recognition? And does not international indicate worldly? Since I am relatively young and have never been to New York, I can guess that there must be a number of people from countries around the world who have been to New York or have heard of the Apollo Theater. Therefore, if it is known in many countries around the world - even if only by a select few people - does that make it "world famous"? Just because not one single native Afghani has heard of it, does that negate its claim as being world famous?

Truly, this is a stupid discussion, and I can't believe you are still reading. As it lies, my stand is that using the term "world famous" to describe anything is redundant. If it truly is world famous, the people you are talking to already know it! (Another thought occurs to me. The people who live in Harlem. The people who live in Harlem and have never been outside of Harlem. This would be an interesting tidbit of information to them to find out that their Apollo Theater is known around the world. Maybe even a source of pride. Do they get HBO in Harlem?)

September 12, 2002 (22:22) ... God Part One

God is omnipotent. That is what the Jews and Christians would have us believe. God is omnipotent. Yet, we need look no further than the Holy Bible itself to see that he couldn't possibly be.

I'm not gonna bring God into present life. He wasn't created for that. I want to look at the God portrayed in the Bible. And I'll start right at the start or, rather, In The Beginning.

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."* Before this of course, there was nothing. Nada. Time itself began when God created the heavens and the earth. Think about that for a minute and you'll realise you cannot. After all, who can imagine a time when there was no time? No stars, no planets, no light. Can you imagine that? Science tells us that at the earliest days of Earth, there was no oxygen, yet there was animal life. Even that's difficult to comprehend, but this is not a discussion I want to muddy with scientific facts. At least not yet. (Hey, this is only part one in what I expect to be long series of headtrips on this mythical being. Eventually, science is gonna sneak in.)

"[H]e separated the light from the darkness." This implies that light and dark co-existed at the same time. I know that phrase is redundant, but it's there to emphasize the incomprehesiveness of the whole.

But never mind all this creation-of-the-universe stuff. This is just God passing the time. After all, what else are ya gonna do when there is no light and no time and nothing actually exists? Come to think of it, where did this God come from anyway? We are to believe that he created everything in the universe, but what exactly begat him?

Wait, what was the point of this again? Oh yeah. God's so-called omnipotence.

So the sixth day seems to be the busiest day of all. Not only does God create all the animals of the world, but he also creates man, who he apparently names Adam. Then he brings each animal to Adam and Adam names each one. (I'm guessing he's giving them names like wildebeest, titmouse, and tse tse fly, rather than Fred, Garth, and Leslie, though it doesn't really specify.) It's too bad he didn't write it all down. Scientists are still discovering new animals on this earth. It would have saved them a lot of trouble - especially in the naming department - if Adam would have put pencil to paper. But I guess God didn't think of that.... Then God decides he should make a female form of this human.

Let's backtrack a bit. (The Bible does, why can't I?) When God creates all the animals of the world, he tells them to "Be fruitful and multiply." This implies to me at least that he had the foresight and ability to create both male and female animals from nothing, but when it came to humans, he either forgot about the woman or didn't realise a woman would be needed. This is why he has to put Adam into a deep sleep and yank out one of his ribs, to create a woman around. (I'm not really sure why he couldn't just poof a woman out of nothing as he had man, but maybe it's one of those broke-the-mold things.)

At any rate, this does not sound like the actions of an omnipotent being.

That's a fairly obvious example of God's lack of omnipotence. And hey, we might even cut him some slack because he was new at this God thing. But let's scoot along a little further.

Eventually, the sins of humans pisses off God so much he decides to kill everyone with a flood. Wait. Hold on. Shouldn't he have known the humans were all gonna turn into sinners? Wouldn't that be a big, red, flashing light on your omnipotence screen?


And then he had to send his son (oh don't even get me started on that!) to Earth to see what humans were really like. Apparently the scope of his omnipotence didn't reach that far....
* Any and all quotations from the Bible are taken from the New International Version.
* Common belief is that Adam and Eve ate an apple. Historians believe it was a quince. Given everything you now know about me, who do you think I'm gonna side with?

October 1, 2002 (22:23) ... Humane vs. Human

I was recently asked to take a cat to the veterinarian. No one was fooling anyone, everything was all up front. The cat was eighteen years old, frail and dying of kidney disease. I was taking him to the vet so they could euthanize him. I told him that and he seemed fine with it. I dare say, he was looking forward to it. It still hurt. Me, more than him, I'm sure. It was quite painful to leave him there, knowing I would never see him again. Even the doctor with whom I left him could not perform the procedure as it was just too upsetting for her.

But everyone knew that this was the right thing to do. The humane thing to do. I know I've mentioned this before, but I just have a hard time dealing with the fact that we apply our humanity to animals that most feel are beneath us, but allow our own sick, dying humans to live on in pain and agony, just so we don't have to face the fact that we put them to sleep. Let them die on their, that's OK. But god forbid we should put them out of their misery. Even if they beg for it.

I received an email today that has nothing to do with the pain and suffering of humans, but everything to with the pain and suffering that humans thoughtlessly inflict upon animals. Please read it.

November 2, 2002 (11:42) ... Driving In Vancouver (Part One)

I always knew I would go on a rant about bad drivers, of which there is quite an abundance where I live, but I never thought it would be about this. I've titled this "part one" because I fully expect to re-address other aspects of driving in Vancouver at a later date.

The other day, a man was acquitted of three counts of dangerous driving causing death and two counts of dangerous driving, by a judge who said there weren't enough signs on the road. Here's what happened: The man was driving a dump truck with a "piggyback" trailer on a highway where the posted speed limit is 80 km/h. The trailer had faulty and defective brakes - they didn't work. He came upon a stoppage of traffic and plowed right into it, causing an eleven car pileup. Three people were killed. He admitted he was "inattentive". But he's not guilty at all, because there were not enough signs in the area, according to the judge.

The main reason, according to the judge, there should be more signs is because this happened in the morning, at a time when a "counterflow lane" is in effect. Basically, this means that the southbound traffic must all merge from three lanes into one. This always causes a slowdown or stoppage of traffic. There are numerous lane closure signs along this stretch of road, up to at least a kilometre away from where the merge actually happens. It really doesn't take a genius to figure out that if all the lanes are closed except one, there is going to be a bottleneck.

The judge concluded, however, that it does take a genius to figure that out, and there should be signs telling drivers they should be prepared to stop. I am always insulted by the roadwork signs that say "Prepare to stop" because, as a good driver, I am always prepared to stop.

But hey, look at the bright side of this judge's decision: at least now, if there is no sign saying that traffic might stop, you can plow into anybody and it won't be your fault! Isn't that great! Heck, why waste all that money on brake repairs when this judge says it is not a factor in your ability to stop? My question to the judge is this: the guy admitted that he wasn't paying attention - how could he have seen any signs?

November 2, 2002 (11:58) ... Newspapers

Sometimes I get phone calls from telemarketers trying to sell me a subscription to their daily newspaper. I always end up arguing with them about the value of their paper, full of news I could have seen last night on TV, if only I gave a crap. But these people are relentless. They won't let you go just because you tell them you have absolutely no interest in ever reading their paper. They try to convince you that it's a valuable thing.

I once had one guy offer me the following deal: subscribe for three months, money back guarantee, and be entered into a draw for a sports car. Then he asked if I thought that was a good deal. I said I thought it was a good deal. Then he passed me on to his manager, to sign up. Wait. I only agreed that it was a good deal. I never said I was interested!

But now I think I've come up with the quickest way to get rid of these persistent annoyances. (Our two local dailies are morning editions, printed around 1AM or 2AM Pacific time; the two national dailies are also morning editions, printed around 1AM or 2AM Eastern time, I guess, since they come from Toronto.) I just ask them what their front page headline was on the morning of September 11, 2001. Then I ask them what their front page headline was on the morning of September 12, 2001. Then I ask them if they think any of their readers didn't already know....

November 8, 2002 (13:50) ... Everything Loses Its Value

When I was growing up, I was taught to protect the family jewels. Now it's just junk ... or garbage. Thanks for that.

December 13, 2002 (11:19) ... Definition Of Irony

I suppose the people of today can be forgiven for not knowing what irony is, given that their teacher on the subject was Alanis Morissette's song, which would have been more aptly titled "Coincidence".

Recently MTV Canada held a contest in their Becoming series in which one lucky fan would get to dress up as, and emulate the moves and behaviour of, Avril Lavigne, to make a carbon copy of her video for "Complicated". The following is a sample of the lyrics from that song:

You know you're not fooling anyone
When you become....
You're trying to be cool
You look like a fool to me
I see the way you're acting
Like you're somebody else
Gets me frustrated....

Am I the only one who sees the irony in this?

May 25, 2003 (12:10) ... Natural Selection

This one's gonna get me in trouble, but do try to think about it a bit before you send me hate mail.

When I was a little StickBoy (TwigBoy?), I used to eat peanut butter & jam/jelly sandwiches all the time. We used to take them to school for lunch. I understand that nowadays, kids are forbidden in many schools from bringing anything containing peanuts to school. Why? Because so many children are allergic to peanuts to the extent that it causes anaphalactic shock and the person could die. Die! From an allergy! This is ridiculous.

Animals don't die from allergies. They may vomit or get diarrhea, but they don't die. Why? I say it's due to natural selection. People, you see, don't believe natural selection should be applied to humans. And some of these people believe that, by interfering in the animal world, they may be able to eradicate natural selection altogether.

Of course, they'll never admit that's what they are doing. They are simply being humane. Take, for example, the recent story of the baby gorilla that was shunned by its tribe and sent off to live on its own. Now, everybody gets all weepy because it's a widdle baby gorilla and he's so cute. But by taking him from the wild and raising him to an age where he can fend for himself, the humans are actually doing a disservice to him and to his species.

If people would just leave it alone, the baby gorilla would likely have died and the inferiority that caused him to be shunned would then be put to an end. But now, thanks to the "help" of humans, this gorilla will grow up in the hands of people, coddling him, then be freed into the wild to reproduce and continue his messed up genes, thereby actually weakening the gorilla species, rather than strengthening it, as the humans seem to think they are doing.

Consider all the negative or debilitating aspects of humans and ask yourself, why don't animals share these characteristics? Have you ever seen a big fat cheetah that can't fit its fat ass in one airline seat? Cheetahs are cats. Have you ever seen a big fat house cat? You see, house cats are fed by stupid humans who think obesity is OK. Cheetahs, on the other hand, don't get handouts from humans. A fat Cheetah would actually starve to death because it wouldn't be able to catch its own food.

An animal born blind or deaf would perish very quickly in the wild. In humanity however, we adapt to their needs. In the wild, the animal does not get a chance to pass on its deficient genes. Humans get every chance to do so.

When did you last see a stupid animal in the wild? Stupid people abound, because they are given everything they need to survive and propagate. Stupid animals die.

A baby animal born prematurely will die. Such humans are treated medically and given every chance to survive.

Humans are worried about populations. They worry that certain animal populations are too small and that human populations are too big. But instead of culling the human species through natural selection, they allow the weak and deficient to dilute the gene pool with their shortcomings. Whether it's a fatal allergy to everyday peanuts or a retarded couple championed for raising their own family. It may make a heartwarming Hallmark movie of the week, but it is actually a very real threat to the human species.

At the risk of sounding hypocritical or diluting my message, I personally do not believe we should start enforcing natural selection in humans. I just wanted to put this out there as something to think about.

June 14, 2003 (0:18) ... All The Spikes I've Known Before
or, What Is Spike Lee Thinking???

When I first heard that the white trash / redneck channel was changing its name from TNN (The National Network) to Spike TV I thought, "Why do they want to name their channel after a world-reknowned, respected black director?"

Oh, wait. Hang on. No, that's not what I thought. Not at all. Not even close. That's the last thing I thought. Well, no, that's wrong too. That's not even on the list of anything I thought. For the record, the only mental picture I got when I heard that, was of the big bulldog in the old Warner Bros. cartoons.

Strangely, Spike Lee seems to think that TNN is trying to capitalize on his name to sell their channel by renaming it Spike TV. He is so confident of this that he has taken them to court to stop them from using "his" name. He has laid down a $500000 bond, in case he loses. Which he must.

But this really opens up a can of worms, doesn't it? I mean, if you do a search on IMDb (the Internet Movie Database) for Spike, it will give you the Most Popular Searches first. Guess what? Spike Lee ain't number one. Spike Jonze is. Also on the list are Spike Jones and Spike Milligan. Interestingly, there was an actor from the 1930s who went by the name of Henry "Spike" Lee. Now who should be getting sued? And what about the (presumed) porn actor, who goes by the one-word name of Spike? Shouldn't he have more of a claim than Spike Lee? After all, if we are talking about Spike TV and it's not solely Spike's porn movies, isn't that false advertising of a sort?

But if you want to get really silly - and Mr. Lee's filing of this lawsuit clearly indicates that he does - then we must remember to include William The Bloody, a character from Buffy The Vampire Slayer and its spinoff Angel, because William is better known to millions of Buffy fans as Spike, the vampire. So one might expect creator Joss Whedon to get in the lawsuit line, since this is intellectual property we're talking about now, and not just somebody's name! And, extending the silly line, we must remember that as a vampire, Spike has been around for over a hundred years, so he supercedes Mr. Lee.

June 14, 2003 (0:43) ... When Is A Network Not A Network

A bit of a spinoff of the above thread. It is increasingly galling to me that so many television channels are calling themselves a network. Folks, a network in the television sense is a collection of television stations that broadcast the signal of one company. ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, UPN and WB are all networks. They are central companies that feed their signal to hundreds of TV stations across the United States and those stations then broadcast that signal to the local market.

Taking the above example of The National Network (though they are not the only offenders), we see that if you do not have cable, you cannot receive this "network" over the air. Why? Because it is not a network. It is a cable channel. It sends its signal to a satellite and beams it down over the U.S. and cable companies then send the signal down the wire to subscribers. That is not a network. It is a channel.

As long as I am talking about TNN, I'll just extend this a bit more. They are billing their new Spike TV brand as The First Network For Men. (Or, at least, they were, before Spike Lee made them stop using "his" name.) We've already established that the morons in marketing think that "network" and "channel" are synonymous, so I have to argue their claim that they are the first channel aimed solely at men. I cannot speak for other countries, but I know for a fact that Canada has had MenTV for over a year. There is also a radio network (an actual network) in Canada called MOJO that is for men. So don't say you are the first when you're not.

October 15, 2003 (23:48) ... Dolly Commercial

I saw a commercial on TV the other day. I don't know the name of the doll that was being advertised, but it's available in the "large doll aisle". That's not what's on my mind.

The commercial was like many other doll commercials aimed at little girls. Feed the doll, change the doll, put the doll to sleep. But for some reason I noticed that the girl in the ad was alone. I don't recall every doll commercial I've ever seen, but it seems to me that mostly, the girls are playing alone with their doll. So why I hit on this strange revelation now is beyond me but here's what I gleaned from this - not only the ad but the actual, real-life, alone playtime for girls: dolls are the earliest training women in our society get for being a single mother!

I wonder if certain former vice-presidents might now rally against dolls because they encourage single motherhood....

December 8, 2003 (20:22) ... Racism vs. Tradition

Why is it that when a white father won't let his daughter marry a man of a different race, he's a racist but when an Indian father won't let his daughter marry a man of a different race, he's traditional?

August 5, 2004 (09:47) ... Much Ado About Nothing

All right, I give up. I wasn't going to say anything about it, because I'm sick of hearing about it, but with recent developments, I have to.

Janet Jackson showed her boob on TV at half time at the Super Bowl and apparently I was the only one expecting it.

I don't generally watch NFL football, but I was bored that particular Sunday so I turned it on. All through the first half, CBS ran promos of Janet Jackson saying things that inferred the half time show was going to be shocking, something you've never seen on television, etc. My first thought was: she's gonna get naked.

That may seem like a huge leap, but think about this: in a concert special Janet Jackson did for HBO in recent years (and her last television appearance), she pranced through the Hawaiian jungles topless. This being Janet Jackson, her back was to the camera, but the point is, what could she do that was more shocking than that, except ... turn around?

So when Janet Jackson stepped aside at half time to make way for Kid Rock, I kinda went: "that's it? yawn". I didn't even really notice when she returned to the stage with JT, but I did see him yank her top off and I did see a pale fleshy protuberance flop around for half a second before the director cut to something else.

What I didn't see was nipple. In fact, I didn't even see any shadow or colour change that would indicate nipple. Honestly, I thought she was wearing a body suit.

The next day, in the local newspaper, they printed a nice, closeup picture of her breast, with the sun piercing thingy. And her nipple in full view in the middle.

But it was CBS that bore the brunt of the complaints. Complaints that came from viewers who couldn't possibly have seen anything! The newspaper never got a complaint.

Maybe the point is that I was expecting to see something and didn't; most people were expecting not to see something and did, even if it was in their own imaginations.

After this, of course, the FCC decided to crack down on obscenity or whatever. I'm sure they'd enjoy Canadian commercial programmes like the Trailer Park Boys. But I digress.

The reason I must revisit this annoying piece of television history is because this week I received one of those advertising envelopes in the mail. You know the ones with ads on the outside and full of useless coupons. So right there, on the outside of the envelope, is an ad for Laser Hair Removal for Men & Women. Underneath, a picture of a man's back and a picture of a woman in lingerie holding her arm up. Folks, despite the focus of the ad, the woman's nipple is clearly visible through the top. Why? I don't know. But I can tell you this: without even trying, I saw her nipple clearer and easier than I saw Janet Jackson's on the Super Bowl. But nobody's crying about that.

As something completely aside, I can tell you with all honesty that I have no idea who won that Super Bowl. Or who lost. Basically, I don't even remember who was playing. But I'm sure it was a good game....

Janet Jackson, as seen on TVJanet Jackson, as seen on TVActionPak pornActionPak porn - closerActionPak porn - closest

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