Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A Cold Day in Hell

So the other day our fridge kacked out. I was out of town on the great Michigan adventure (see below), so my wife went with her Dad to buy a new fridge.

She picked out a nice one, with no problems except for managing to pay for it ourselves. Her Dad is like a credit card ninja and anytime you pull out your credit card, he's got his out first. So anyway, the parents bought the fridge. Nice gesture? Not so much. There is a high price to be paid for free stuff, at least in their case. So today the fridge arrives and is perfectly nice, but the first thing out of my Father-in law's mouth is "Oh, there's a dent." Sure enough, if you get out the microscope you can find a slight imperfection on the front door. Now this is the kind of bullshit pseudo problem that people like us tend not to concern ourselves with. We are too busy raising a child and living our lives. But some people, it seems, have too much time on their hands. Next thing you know, he's going behind our back, calling customer service to complain, and telling us to expect a call from the fridge store.

Of course, he thinks he has the right because he paid for the damn thing.

If they call we'll just have to tell them that my father in law is f**king batshit insane.

Tomorrow's mission: Go to the bank to get a wad of cash to buy back "our" fridge.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Over Cooked!

I'm getting pretty sick of seeing Dave Cooke as a panelist on TVO's Studio 2.

The other night he was lining up with Sean Conway and Janet Ecchhhh-er defending the First Past the Post system arguing against a guy from Fair Vote Canada. This despite the fact that Electoral reform is a key plank in the NDP platform. He's always trying to distance himself from the NDP and I am sick of it. I remember in the last provincial election he would praise everyone BUT the NDP. What would you expect from the guy who quit his MPP job to take a job from Mike Harris's goon squad.

Bring back Ruth Grier.

In and Out of America

My brother in law and I made a quick trip down to Michigan this weekend to pick up some items from my late Grandfather's estate. There's definitely a weird vibe you get down there just driving on the highways. We saw about a dozen dead deer by the side of the road, plus there are shredded pieces of tires every couple of miles. Add to that a snarky border guard, all the army recruiting billboards, and the fact that every other car has a yellow ribbon sticker on it (ah, the good old yellow ribbon-literally the least one can do to support the troops), and you definitely feel like you are in a less civilized society.

We got out of there as fast as we could.

(On the way back into Canada we had to fill out some ridiculously unecessary paperwork, but at least they were nice about it!)

That's it. No more trips to the U.S. until President Hillary takes over!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Batman Begins to Annoy Me

Went and watched Batman Begins today, which was directed by Christopher Nolan, who made one of my all time faves, Memento. It was quite watchable, but it is really disappointing to see such a talented director wasting his time with something so banal as a Batman movie. Sure, he did an OK job of it, but couldn't he do something original? It seems all too often the reward for filmmakers who make a great breakthrough is that they get to do "big" movies. But bigger ain't often better.

I hope CN can get back to his roots soon. (And please don't follow in his footsteps Shane Carruth...)

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Block the Bloc

The PQ and BQ are in the spotlight this week, with Landry stepping down and speculation flying about what Duceppe's gonna do. Perhaps it's timely then that I jot down a few thoughts (can you jot if you are typing?) about the BQ. For all the talk about the petulant and childish parliament lately, the real elephant in the room is the Bloc Quebecois. I think we need some new rules to enforce some loyalty to the nation for members of what is, after all, the Federal Parliament. It's a sticky area to be sure, and you have to be very careful about not trampling on people's rights to organize, but I think some rule could be cooked up that if you don't run candidates in all provinces and if you don't take the oath of loyalty to the Queen or whatever, that you are not recognized as a federal party. I can't think of any reasonable way to make the Bloc go away entirely, but at least kick them off of committees and stop treating them as a Federal Party.

Treat them as 54 independent MP's. It's still more than they deserve but it's a start.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Darth Side

Check out this! It's a really fun blog for Star Wars fans.

First Post

This is the first real post of my new blog. Who knows if this is even a hobby I want to undertake, but I'll give it a go. I have 3 main topics that I give a damn about: Family, film and politics. The first is most important but probably least interesting for readers (if I get any readers) so I'll probably focus on the latter 2.

It looks like the CPC is playing hooky today from the parliamentary committee looking into democratic reform. Of course neither the CPC or Liberals want any kind of Proportional Representation because they both need the FPTP system to have any chance at a Majority Government. Now is the time for the NDP to push for this. I don't think it even matters how far it gets in parliament as much as making noise about it. Let's face it, with neither the red team or the blue team on board it won't go anywhere until there is major public outcry for it. And of course the Bloc will be against it because it would make Canada run better.

Much has been made of how complicated the voting system would get under a PR system, but I think the real issue would be how Parliament will perform under a permanent minority situation. People point to the current HofC and say it would never work, but my theory is that the relative stability of a PR system would mean each party could count on a healthy caucus but would have to earn gains over the long haul, thus making for more stability and less political game-playing.

As for the voting sytem, here is one workable model:

The first change I would make is eliminate the local ridings for the party leaders. Instead, any party that gets 1% of the vote should have their leader automatically sent to parilament, but without representing any particular riding. The rest of the MP's should be elected as they are now but each party caucus should get aweighted vote in the house. Thus if the Liberals got 60% of the seats but only 30% of the vote, each members vote would only count as half a vote. Conversely if the NDP got only 8% of the seats but 20% of the vote, each NDP's vote in the House would be worth 2.5 votes. If smaller parties such as the Greens got say, 5% of the vote but no MPs, at least the leader would be in the House with 5% of the votes in the Commons.

OK, I'm a nerd. I probably should have just written about Star Wars.

There's always tomorrow.

The Slip Nuts

These guys make an art out of slipping on nuts. When is the DVD coming out? I want to know!