Thursday, October 26, 2006

Don't Vote

The AARP (American Association of Retired People) has this ad campaign on promoting "Don't Vote..........(long pause)...until you know the issues". Personally, I think it's a great slogan - though it seems that the only issues the AARP care about are social security and medicare drug coverage. I was raised in an environment that had no love for the age of retirement. My parents get angry at restaurant staff who try to give them a senior's discount. They like to pay full price for their entrees and don't try to talk them out of it. If you ever want to have the crap kicked out of you, just mention "early bird discount" to my dad.

I'm not even voting in this election.

(Silence from the audience)

Yeah, yeah - I know. "How can you not vote? Don't you care about democracy?" I do care about democracy, I just forgot to email in to get my absentee ballot. So i'm shit out of luck. Still, it feels weird voting for elections in a country I don't live in. I'm even in the district where Mark Foley was a congressman. Also, contray to reports, did not molest me at Ultima Fitness in downtown West Palm. I'd vote here in Waterloo if I had the vote, but I don't - yet. Don't worry, i'll be sure to get my absentee ballot for the next presidential election. Who i'll vote for? I'm writing in Arnold. Hasta la vista.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Soured your sheeps milk






The trailer for season six of 24 dropped today - i'm probably the 1,000,000,000,000th person to post a link. That's the power of the internet - inundating you with the same twenty of so links every day. I have to say, as much as I love 24 - i'm not sure how I feel about the season coming up. From what I can tell, some terrorists are making threats and the only way they'll stop is if they get to kill Jack Bauer. For some reason, the Chinese buy into this and send Jack back to the states (he was on a slow boat to Bejing at the end of last season). I think Jack mentions sacrificing himself at least three times in the promo. Isn't that what he does every season? He is the ultimate team player. If he worked in an office, he'd be the guy who'd always make sure the water bottle was changed. He would fill the paper towel dispenser with towels when it was empty. Sure, in the fictional world of 24 - Jack takes a beating at the hands of a random bad guy every season. Jack in the office world would replace the toner in the copier - and check that the letter paper tray was full.

Everyone who's ever worked in an office can relate to being under appreciated at some time in their career. It sucks - but most of the time, it's just one person in the office who doesn't get what you do, and well - you really don't care anyways. Jack goes through this on a much larger scale. His coworkers have occasionally shot at him, gave him up to the bad guys, and hit him up for a coffee when they were short on change. Yes, the world of CTU is just like your office, except they have video phones. Video phones are creepy anyways - and they always seem to have their cameras pointing up your nose. In retrospect, your office is probably better.

On a completely different note - i'm excited because I got rid of my phone and DSL service and went with Rogers Home Phone and cable internet. It's much faster and cheaper and in only a way i'd appreciate, the cable modem is way cooler looking than the DSL modem. Geek. Geek.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Dinner at Loblaws

We saw "The Killers" perform on Friday night at The Kool Haus in Toronto. The only place to eat near the Kool Haus is a Loblaws supermarket. Fancy dinner and a show! Ok - on to the concert. First - awesome performance. The band sounded better live than on CD - which is damn impressive. I honestly hadn't listened to their new album "Sam's Town" too many times - but hearing it live made me run home and throw it on. Their set consisted of two new songs, then two old songs, and so on. They didn't play "Andy, you're a star" which is my favourite song of theirs - but hey, what can you do? When they played "Mr. Brightside", I felt like I was in an episode of "The O.C." - which was scary because I kept thinking Micha Barton was lurking around the stage. Chills.

Last night was the third night of hockey school. The coach says I finally got the crossovers down - which is great news because I thought I was still screwing that up. I fell down a lot - which is good - because if i'm falling, that means i'm trying really hard.

Falling down = trying hard? Go figure.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Rules

I've learned two things from Patrick Swayze. First and foremost, i've learned how to defend your town from Soviet backed South American communists who invade Texas. Second, i've learned the rules to life (From "Roadhouse" of course). These rules are:

All you have to do is follow three simple rules. One, never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. Two, take it outside. Never start anything inside the bar unless it's absolutely necessary. And three, be nice.

Tonight we're going to see "The Killers" at the Kool Haus in Toronto! I'll post more about that tomorrow. For now - it's off to a hard days work. Keep on truckin'.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Smack that

If hockey is Canada, then i'm the recently added province of Nunavut. I'm two weeks into the developmental hockey program at RIM Park. This is the first year they're doing this program - the idea was to have an introductory hockey program for people who aren't at the skill level to join a regular league (this describes me perfectly). The program is great and suprisingly, I'm actually able to keep up with what's going on. It's full gear on ice too - so I finally get to wear my Hartford Whaler socks. No one can stop the Whale.

In other hockey related news - my company had it's annual Thanksgiving food donation road hockey tournament over the last two weeks. Thanksgiving is in October here. Anyway - you bring in $20 bucks worth of food in order to play. It's five on five in the parking lot. This year, we had three teams. I was on the same R&D team from last year (because we rock). We don't rock enough to win though - but we did get to the final game, so that's something to be proud of. At least, that's something my mom would say. That's me in the green hoodie. It was fucking cold out there. It actually started snowing as soon as we got outside. Snowing on October 12th - hopefully this means it will be a good winter and i'll have enough snow to build that half pipe in my backyard.

The last two weeks also had the amazingly fantastic Kitchener Waterloo Oktoberfest. Now, I didn't win the Molson Oktoberfest VIP contest this year - which was probably a good thing because the second time is never as good as the first. This year, we went to Ruedsheimer Haus at the Waterloo Rec Centre. It's typically the university crowd joint - but there were people of all ages there - good times. It also helped that we know all the security people - they're all from the same dojo where Lara goes. Knowing security is a damn good thing.

But getting back to not winning the same contest again this year. I'm happy I didn't becuase spontaneity is extremely important - and winning the contest again and then going to all the halls wouldn't have been the same as the first year. This is different than overhyping something. For instance, we're having a New Year's Eve Eve party again this year - and i'm not hyping it up - because I want it to be a good time. That party was spontaneous - it was planned and just ended up being a fun night. The impromptu after party that was thrown after the work Christmas party was spontaneous - therefore, if we plan one this year - it won't be as good. That sucks, because it was a good party. We'll just wait and see.


Monday, October 02, 2006

I have no illusions about me being Wayne Gretzky

Here is a short list of things I learned about myself when it comes my knowledge of hockey fundamentals. It also more than likely describes my ability to the aforementioned fundamentals.
  1. While skating forward is easy enough, skating backwards is not.
  2. I'm no so good at doing cross-overs while walking sideways.
  3. The secret behind the two feet stop eludes me.
  4. The secret behind the one foot stop eludes me.
  5. I can stop fine if I just skate into one of the boards.
  6. Dropping your gloves and pulling another players jersey over their head at a hockey fundamentals class is not acceptable behaviour.
All in all, it was awesome to finally get out on the ice. There are two weeks before the next class, and I know what I have to work on (see list above)....so I have my work cut out for me. Good news - we're getting jerseys, and jerseys count as swag - and I live for swag. Until next time sports fans.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

That's not logic, it's paranoia

I've lived in Canada for almost three years and to this day, I still don't completely grasp how the health care system works. From what I understand, there was national health care across the country. It turns out that each province (provinces are like states for those unaware) runs their own health care system. Here in the #1 province Ontario, the health care system is called the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. On the streets, the cool kids call it OHIP. Anyway - something like 70% of our taxes in Ontario go to funding the health care system. This includes everything from local hospitals to paying family physicians.

I'm bringing this up because we had a mini-crisis here yesterday. The local hospital (and my front yardneighbor), Grand River Hospital announced that they would be temporarily closing their emergency room due to a lack of staff. The closing had been planned for a while, but just announced yesterday - and it seemed to take the Ontario health ministry by surprise - so much so, that they came in and have appointed some type of overseer to run the hospital and deal with the staff shortage.

Now, I'll be honest - I have no idea what any of this means. I could barely understand the West Palm Beach hospital system - and they had their own problems. A few years back, a private company bought both local hospitals and started closing programs in each of them...which sucked because of course the quality of care went down. The problem here was that - if Grand River did shut their emergency room, the other local hospital (the not uniquely named) St. Mary's Hospital's E.R. would have to take in the patients who usually would go to Grand River. That would put an added stress on that E.R. and then, well, all hell would probably brake loose. If Dr. Venkman was here, he'd probably start shouting about "dogs and cats living together" - that level of mass hysteria.

Just to be clear, I'm not bringing this up because I think the health care system in the States is better. You can't compare them - they are two entirely different systems - and they both suffer from bureaucracy and lack of funding in certain areas. There have been emergency rooms in the states that had to close due to lack of staff and/or funding too.

Now thankfully, the emergency room at Grand River won't be closing down. The local TV news thinks that this will bring attention to the health care issues in Ontario - just in time for elections

Just as in the states, the issue of health care coverage and funding is continuing to be a career ending political issue. Hopefully leaders on each side of the border can look at each system and see what things work and what things don't - and use that knowledge to build better systems - rather than using the other system as a political red herring. Like Communism.