Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fucking Depressing

And all Harper can do is sit there with his thumbs up his ass muttering about "ethical oil".

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Renewable Energy - Totally Possible and Absolutely Necessary

That's right. It isn't that hard.

And No matter what spin they try to put on it, the tar sands are not "ethical oil". They are a blight on this country and need to be stopped immediately.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Praire Music

I was at home last weekend and we had a nice bonfire and weenie roast. I stayed out afterward to watch the meteor shower, but unfortunately due to the full moon and some clouds, I didn't get to see any shooting stars. The coyotes were out though. Nothing makes the hair on your neck stand up like being alone in the dark on the prairie and hearing the coyotes howl.

Here's a video I took a couple of summers ago while hiking in the coulees at dusk. We had spotted a mama and her cubs earlier, and this was the sound of the mama telling her cubs to get a move on.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

CWB Vote

Check out the Canadian Wheat Board Alliance. Show those bastards in Ottawa what you really think of their plans for us. Stephen Harper and his band of conservative yahoos don't give a good goddam about farmers. Don't let them fool you. As far as they're concerned, rural communities can just dry up and blow away. Makes it easier to get at the oil.

H/T to Impolitical.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Heatwave 2011

This is happening people. Whether you like it or not. It's amazing how well these idiots on the right, with their "deny, deny, deny" strategy have actually managed to persuade people, or at least seed doubt in people's minds, about the reality of global warming. I know very intelligent people who say they don't believe in global warming, or are "on the fence". And here's us with a stupid Conservative government that hasn't done a goddamn thing to address it, or any other environmental issue since they took office. They spend all their effort on campaigns about how wonderful the oil sands are. We are so fucking screwed.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I try hard not to show my disgust

I've been going to the gym a lot lately in an effort to lose some extra poundage, and by the gym, I mean Curves.

I have mixed feelings about Curves. On one hand, it's a good workout, and you know you're working all the major muscle areas, and you just go do it, you don't even have to think about it. Half an hour, and boom, you're done.

But, I hate the way they're constantly trying to get you to buy Curves crap. They've always got displays with bags, and nutritional supplements, and shirts, MY GOD, the shirts (how many workout shirts does one person need?), basically a whole bunch of crap which you MUST buy in order to lose weight! And I also hate the overly friendly staff who are always asking you how you are, and what are your plans for the weekend. Yes, there is nothing I like better than to divulge the intimate details of my life to a stranger while sweat drips off my forehead and I gasp for air. Strangely enough though, now that the staff know me, I don't get those questions anymore. They learn quickly. And then there's all the lame gimmicky games they try to encourage people to play. Wear purple socks on Monday, and you can enter to win a prize (which usually consists of leftover Curves merchandise which they couldn't unload on anyone). Oooh, yay. Sign me up.

But here's the thing. In addition to all the usual things that annoy me about Curves, I now have to deal with Sweaty Arms Lady (SAL).

SAL has unfortunately taken to coming at the same time as me. And when I say this Lady has sweaty arms, you have no idea. Her arms glisten in the fluorescent lights. I have seen rivulets of moisture coursing down over her elbows. I have never seen anything like it.

To her credit, she does haul around a towel with her and sometimes gives the machine a wipe when she's done. Unfortunately, on the two arm machines, you insert your arms between two round pads which are not made of easily wipeable vinyl, but instead are made of a spongy substance. This of course cannot be wiped off, and merely absorbs SAL's sweat, only to ooze it out later on whatever poor girl uses the machine after her (and probably anybody who uses it for the next hour... her arms are really sweaty). So I'm totally disgusted and I'm sure I cringe whenever I slip my arms in the the machine. I feel bad about it, because it's great she's working hard, but why her arms? I sweat too, but it's mostly confined to my forehead and between my shoulder blades and thus does not get on any of the machines.

So I'm not sure what to do. Due to their stupid hours, I can't really change my workout times, but I'm not sure how much longer I can keep doing this. Perhaps it's time to find an alternate venue.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Damn you Firefox...

Why did you have to switch around the order of "Open in New Tab" and "Open in New Window"? Now I have to totally retrain myself! Gah!

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Think Happy Thoughts

Well, that wasn't what I was hoping for. It was exactly what I was not hoping for. Sure the NDP are now the official opposition, but I'd have honestly rather had anything other than a Harper majority. If he'd had a minority, an NDP opposition could have been a wonderful thing. As it is, we've got four more years to look forward to of Stephen Harper riding roughshod over our parliamentary democracy, the rights of the Canadian people, and putting his ultra-conservative ideology ahead of all other considerations including common sense and common decency. I'm going to lay the blame squarely at the feet of hyper-partisan and/or right-leaning liberals who voted Conservative rather than see an NDP government. Well congrats peeps. You reap what you sow. I'm also going to lay some of the blame on Bob Rae. Ontario is the place where the Conservatives gained ground. They either held steady or lost seats everywhere else. I wonder why Ontario was so reluctant to vote NDP?

Oh well. I guess I'm going to try to spend the next four years meticulously documenting every travesty committed by the Conservatives. I think the list will be a long one. In the meantime, here is a video of my kitty to cheer you up. He always cheers me up.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cool Tools

Here's some good tools for the folks who are voting strategically:

How did your neighbourhood vote in 2008? - an overlay of 2008 election results not just by riding, but by polling station on a google map. Interesting to find out how your neighbourhood leans politically.

Project Democracy - It's all well and good to vote strategically based on the 2008 results, but what if the current polls mean that another candidate would be better to vote for? This site's your answer. Seat projections in every riding based on the available polls and the suggestion for which progressive candidate you should vote for in order to stop the Cons.

Happy voting everyone.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Go Jack, Vote for Nettie

I'm not an official member of any party, but all I can say is, Go Jack Go!

Also, if you're from the Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar riding, please consider voting for Nettie Wiebe. She is an amazing, intelligent woman and she lost in 2008 by less than 200 votes. So hey all you Green and Liberal voters, consider backing someone who can actually challenge the Cons. Remember your ABC's boys and girls.

Stephen Harper Hates Women

Over the past couple of weeks I've been looking south of the border and shaking my head at those idiotic Republicans and their plan to cut funding to planned parenthood, because apparently all they do is abortions! All the time!! And I wondered how the American public could let them get away with the lying and the bullshit.

But it's happening here too. Brad Trost, the Conservative twit from Saskatoon-Humboldt let slip that the Cons are cutting funding to Planned Parenthood here in Canada. This was followed by fierce denials from the Cons, but I wonder how Brad got that idea? Maybe because the Harper Conservatives have shown their contempt for women's issues time and time again. I was surprised they would think of going this far, but I really shouldn't be anymore. The difference between the Conservatives up here and the Republicans down south is becoming less discernible by the minute.

So for anyone who thinks the Republicans/Teabaggers are crazy loons and then turns around and votes Conservative up here, I just want to know, how do you deal with the cognitive dissonance? Your brain must be doing some incredibly acrobatic self-justification in order for you to be able to sleep at night.

You know what else is a great pick-up line? "I would never vote for that twat Stephen Harper or any of his fellow bible-thumping, homophobic, misogynistic brethren." That's music to my ears.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Stephen Harper and the Alliance Church

I was recently reminded of the links that Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party have with religious fundamentalism. Let me tell you a little story about the Alliance Church, the Church that Stephen Harper has belonged to for years.

I grew up in a very small town. There were only four churches: the Catholic, the Anglican, the United, and the Alliance. My family was first Anglican (Catholicism light) and then United (quite possibly one of the easiest going churches in Canada). When I was confirmed, our minister was a bubbly divorcee who was also a certified yoga instructor. Church was less about praying and more about meditating.

One of my very best friends belonged to the Alliance Church in town. When I was in Gr. 7, I started attending the church's youth group with her. It was a lot of fun. We did scavenger hunts, bowling nights, movie nights. The group was run by Pastor Jeff, who everyone called PJ, and he was a fun, easygoing guy. I was having a great time. Until one night, when PJ sat us all down before the evening's activities to have a discussion. And the discussion was about why gay people are bad. PJ said that we don't hate the people, we just hate the behaviour. And I looked around at everyone in the room, and saw all the nodding heads, and I realized that there was something very fundamentally different between me and the people in this room. I didn't say anything since I was shy and not really sure how to articulate my beliefs at that age anyway, but I knew I didn't agree with what they were saying. I went a few more times after that night, but then my friend moved away and I stopped going. And I never really felt 100% comfortable around those people after that.

My sister also had an Alliance Church friend. And on New Year's Eve, 1999, she declined to come to our New Year's Eve Party. Her family wanted her with them, just in case God decided to rapture them up to heaven on the Eve of the Millennium. That was when I realized that the people in this church were not just bigoted, but actually kind of nutty.

And the head of our government believes in this stuff. I don't want someone who thinks that the earth is only 6,000 years old in charge. I don't want someone who thinks gay people are evil in charge. I don't want someone who believes that hey, it doesn't matter what we do to the environment now, because we're all (at least the people who matter) going to be raptured up to heaven soon anyway. Harper's government is full of people who think this way. If you believe that government policy should be based on research and evidence, and not religious doctrine, then do not vote for these people.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Tim Minchin at his best

I've seen him perform this before, but now it comes with a cool animation.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tech Support is Not Supportive

I have phoned SaskTel Webhosting Tech Support twice now. And both times, I think they got more out of the phone call than I did.

Let me be clear. I am probably more advanced than your average web user. I do have a good understanding of how a website works. I can code basic html and css. But I'm mostly self-taught, and by no means consider myself an expert in that area. Hence the calls to tech support.

First they make you wait on hold forever and then when someone answers the phone, they don't know what the hell you're talking about. I mean, I'm not an expert as I said before, but by golly, you'd think the people who they have working on Webhosting Tech Support would know something about their own webhosting service.

My first phone call, which took place a couple of months ago, I wanted to know how to create a secure area on my website. The first guy I talked to didn't have a clue what I was talking about. He put me on hold and asked somebody. They apparently didn't know either. He said he didn't even know if that was possible. Maybe it was something that you had to buy extra? Then he transfers me to sales so that I could ask them if it was included in my webhosting package. Right. If the tech support guy doesn't know what the hell I'm talking about, like the sales guy will? Luckily, sales guy was on lunch, so I left a message. Fiddled around some more, still couldn't figure it out, and decided to try tech support again. After more time spent on hold, I finally get another guy. Second guy seems quite a bit brighter and better informed than first guy, and after several consultations with other people, we finally figure out my problem. Woo hoo. And it only took me about 2.5 hours combined time of being on hold and trying to explain a very simple problem to the so-called "experts".

Then today. I decide to install Wordpress. I have never done it before, but the instructions on the website are fairly straightforward, so after some mucking about, I finally get it downloaded and then uploaded to my website, and then I muddle through setting up a new database on the server (something I've never done before) and I begin the installation process. But the software wants the name of my database host. I don't know it and don't know where to find it, but the instructions say that my web host will know the answer. Time for tech support once again. This time they are apparently so busy that they don't even bother to keep me on hold. I have to leave a message. They don't get back to me all afternoon. I phone again. I finally get someone who, surprise, surprise, doesn't know what the hell I'm talking about. He asks someone else who also apparently doesn't know what the hell I'm talking about. I direct him to the instructions on the Wordpress site. He throws out a few suggestions which don't sound right, but which I try anyway, to no avail. He finally puts me on hold again and goes to consult... his Magic 8 ball for all I know. I finally get frustrated after about 15 minutes and start googling the shit out of my problem. Another 5 minutes, and I've found the solution. On my own. 2 seconds after I find the answer, Tech Support Boy picks up the phone again and says "I think I found what you're looking for." I then had the immense satisfaction of telling him that I had already found the answer myself. Thanks for nothing losers. (I only said that last bit in my head).

Anyway, I guess I should be proud that I solved my own problem. But it really kind of cheezes me off that the SaskTel webhosting support guys don't seem to know their products, their own customer interfaces, or how their own service works. Every time I talk to these guys it's like I'm speaking a foreign language. They get PAID presumably to know this shit. And every time I phone them, I end up teaching them something about their own business.

Unless it's some sort of plot to make their customers more self-reliant and less likely to bother tech support. In which case, bravo, well-played. Believe me, I'll try my damnedest to solve my own problems first next time, since that seems to be what happens in the end anyway.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Icky Sticky

I can't stop watching this. And it's not because of sweaty, naked, male chests either.

Or at least it's not only because of that.

Meat Glue??

Interesting. Does anyone know how prevalent the use of this is in Canada? Like if I order a steak from a restaurant, or buy one in the grocery store, how likely is it that it's been meat-glued?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Does anyone else remember this show?

It's kind of sad how cheesy and awful all those shows from the 80s that I loved as a kid seem when I watch them now.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Should I Try Bleach?

I came home for lunch today, and it was really warm out and all the snow was melting. And I sat down on my couch and noticed that there were brown streaks of liquid running down my living room wall. So I phoned my landlord, and he came and shoveled off the roof, but now not only does my living room look like a scene from 'The Shining', but it smells like the basement of the old house I spent my early childhood in. The one where we used to regularly encounter mice, snakes, bats and carrion beetles.

This, coupled with the fact that about a month ago I discovered the lovely 'gift' of a desiccated mouse corpse that one of my cats had left for me IN MY BED, has led me to think that...

It may be time to move.




Thursday, January 20, 2011

David Anderson still hates teh gays

Well this isn't surprising. There's no question the court made the right decision. If you're a government employee refusing service to people based on personal prejudices, then you're in the wrong business. Period. If you're too bigoted to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony, then by all means, join the priesthood.

It's not surprising to me however, that Cypress Hills-Grasslands MP David Anderson has a different opinion. I'm acquainted with the family, and the phrase "religious nutbags" just about covers it. We're talking young earth creationist levels here. It makes me so sad to think that there are people this ignorant living in Canada, and even worse, that they can get elected in the riding I grew up in.