February 2005 Archives

Thank you! Oh! Thank you! I can hardly conjugate verbs! I feel so blessed! And this statue - it's so suspiciously phallic! Oh, thank you again! I just want everyone to bow down before me and accept that even in my wildest quiet times, I never would have imagined that this could ever happen to me. And to the other second-rate nominees, I want each of you to know how totally wonderful your jealousy makes me feel right now!

You know when they first told me I was nominated, I just had to take a Xanax and obsess about how great my fans have been. I guess it all just makes me feel kinda special.

You know, there are so many obsequious little people to thank! First off though, I want to bitch slap the senile old bats of the Academy, who looked deep within their cold, black hearts before giving me this fantastic award! Also, I want to thank Charleton Heston, for being such a powerful force in my life. And to my sister, who taught me to take life by the balls. And finally, to all the personal assistants I fired - I couldn't have done it without you!

Thank you America, and good night!

Be prepared - get your acceptance speech here.

Out of the mouths of babes

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My nephew Simon, who is three and whose sister, Elizabeth, is pretty much brand new, asked his dad why Elizabeth has no penis. Zip told him that because Elizabeth is a girl, she has a vagina instead.

Simon, whose other auntie has just returned from the Far East, now thinks that if you're a girl, you have a "China."

As is, the Great Wall of China.

Company's coming - get out the good china. It's in the china cabinet.

This china's been in the family for generations - it used to be my grandmother's china...

Made in China.

You get the idea.

I had nothing to do with the name, I swear

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Romance novels reimagined
For those of us who can't help but giggle at those Harlequin covers, this.

via Shatnerian

Culled from this morning's headlines

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Convicted felon from LA hospitalized with frostbite - the gentleman in question was attempting to walk from North Dakota to Winnipeg in order to take a bus to Quebec to meet a woman he has fallen in love with over the Internet.

Of course! Beer school! About time, frankly: "The Labatt Beer Institute, which officially opened in Halifax's Brewery Market complex on Wednesday, will train students on everything from the history of beer to matching beer choices with different foods, to how to pour it properly."

Apparently he plans to embarrass them to death - Lindsay Lohan's father, according to the divore papers: "O.J. Simpson has nothing on me," [he] allegedly told the family's security guard last year. "I know exactly how I'm going to kill (them). I know when I'm going to do it, and I'm going to enjoy it."

Police help victim bite dog!

It's official - Jlo and that guy who isn't Ricky Martin are indeed married. After months of speculation on the part of the very few people who still care, Jennifer has finally admitted it. Maybe they were waiting for the media to come up with some way to refer to the couple - after all, 'Marc Anthoniffer' just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it?

And the discovery of the day: Mary Ellen Lang, a self-described "mom, grandma, writer, teacher, gardener, and equestrian," is now writing a regular column on education for CBC on-line. Her latest topic is the decline of punctuation.

Information! Get yer information here!

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Interesting things are afoot down south.

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, have introduced new legislation concerning the Freedom of Information Act - including a special mention of bloggers:

The Cornyn-Leahy legislation is not just pro-openness, pro-accountability, and pro-accessibility - it's also pro-Internet. It includes a hotline enabling citizens to track their requests, including Internet tracking, and grants privileged FOIA fees for bloggers and writers for Internet outlets, providing the same status as traditional media.

Great! Now hand over them Nixon tapes, please.

Link schmink

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OK, the link has been changed to one that actually works. My apologies.

And in case you were wondering, we (the new guy and I) are very happy together. Think meadow scenes, daisies waving in the breeze, blue skies, etc.


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Congratulations, Lisa and Paul, and welcome to the world, Jack.

As for Jasper, just remember to keep your chewy toys separate from Jack's.

Well, that's one way to solve the problem

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Regular readers (strictly in the "you come here often sense") will no doubt be familiar with my trials and tribulations when it comes to my laptop.

Phase I - all is right with the world, birds are singing, everything is shiny and new, etc., etc.
Phase II - ok, things are not so shiny and new, and are frequently not visible at all
Phase III - hope springs eternal
Phase IV - hope, not so much. Maggie vs FutureShop and emachines and the whole evil empire, just about

Then there was a part number, then there wasn't, then the part was ordered, then it wasn't...

Last week, a colleague's student confessed to working at FS - and said that emachines has been taken over by Gateway, and as far as he could tell, it would be relatively easy to get a part, and that he'd bring it to my office and install it!

Which is why, I assume, the hard drive crashed without warning yesterday morning.

Well, the heck with that :P

My name is Margaret

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Literal meaning
"The big tree next to the other equally sized tree."

Taken from the underworld slang for "Stop kicking me to death, I left the money with friends" on the eve of a Tuesday, the name Margaret was originally used ineffectually to refer to unsettlingly enthusiastic night soil collectors, before undergoing surgery by Government linguists.

Famous Margarets
1. Margaret Nightdodge, exposed in the press as having swapped a child for the world's sturdiest box; first holder of the office of Queen's Own Loan Shark;
2. Margaret du Happenstance, who discovered the lost consonant of Atlatis;
3. Margaret F Lilly Li, BA, MD, champion of a nice cup of tea;
4. Margaret M de Millington, first victim of the self-propelled gardener;
5. Margaret du Jesus-Thews, aroused by demanding money with menaces;
6. Chief Scientist Margaret Tube, who could never shake an early association with the definitive manual on drowning; first holder of the office of Gross Miscarriager of Justice;
7. Margaret Tidecatcher, of the generation which fondly remembers Britain's standards; first holder of the office of Chancellor of the Eggs Checker;
8. Margaret du Tinkermouse, who lost a fortune on several of the more violent gypsy curses;
9. Margaret Sprokes, opponent of the concept of acceptable losses;
10. Margaret de la Grating, named in court as holding compromising material concerning Paul McCartney's Wings; ghost-writer of Lady Macbeth's poorly bound autobiography, FEAR MY MOP; first holder of the office of Lord Mayor's Official Stenciller.

Typical Margaret motto
"A draughty child is always better shut up."

The Name Meaning Generator, via Dina

In lieu of content...

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...please allow me to totally creep you out.

Give the page a few seconds to load.

Via Blork, who actually went to the site for research purposes.

More journal entries

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Journal two - reflections on the Cegep system - includes link to new Ministerial suggestions for making the system better.

Journal three - reflections on Marcia Baxter Magolda's theoretical framework of knowledge - obviously, I can't reproduce her work here, but I have included a link to a review of the book in question.

Elizabeth Claire Moore-Main

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My sister, Kathryn, has finally produced a female for the next generation! She already has two boys, and I have two boys, and I think my mother was beginning to lose hope. But Elizabeth Claire has arrived.

Ellie was born Monday evening, weighing a healthy 8 lbs 2 oz, and as you can see, she is definitely not bald.

Adding to his collection

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Yesterday was former PM Jean Chretien's turn on the witness stand in the Gomery Commission inquiry into the 2003 sponsorship 'scandal'.

"Chrétien ended the day by taking a theatrical shot at inquiry commissioner Gomery, who said in a controversial year-end media interview that he found the fact the Prime Minister's Office had golf balls made up with Chrétien's signature to be "small town cheap."

Former prime minister Jean Chrétien holds a golf ball during his testimony at the Gomery inquiry. (CP photo)

A smiling Chrétien proceeded to pull from his briefcase golf balls that he said he'd received from people from small towns, including U.S. President George W. Bush and former president Bill Clinton."

One might say he now has a pair from Mr. Gomery, too. Gomery did try to stop Chretien, who refused to stop because "it's too much fun."

As part of his testimony, Chretien also said it was misleading to refer to the ad agencies who allegedly benefitted from the affair as "Liberal-friendly" - he claims the agencies are in fact "federalism-friendly" and that the alternative would have been "separatist-friendly" companies.

Ah, well, that's alright then.

Six more weeks of winter! Or not!

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Phil says six more weeks of winter.

Willie, however, disagrees.

It's sad when rodents are at odds, isn't it?

Granted, math was never my forte

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Ok, math is hard. Goodness knows, I'm not stellar when it comes to personal finances, as Dr. T will attest (most likely while clutching his heart and becoming even paler). But even I can't lose $9 billion US. This is no doubt why I haven't been recruited by the "U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority, which governed Iraq after the invasion up until mid-2004."

The $9 billion whoopsie was discovered in a recent audit of the CPA. One particularly interesting finding in the audit shows that "funds went to pay the salaries of 8,206 Iraqi guards, yet the audit could verify the existence of only 602 guards."

The other side of this potentially missing coin is the issue of so-called combat pay. Alternet reports that not only are front-line soldiers earning a mere $225 a month - which is about$7.50 a day - for their part in G.I. Joe, the Reality Series, but that other military personnel, hundreds of miles from the action, are making the same wage. So the soldiers who are getting shot at, blown up, and stoned in the streets are making the same as the ones who are polishing the general's shoes, somewhere that isn't in the streets.

I suppose one could argue that front-line soldiers are there because that's where they were sent, and the same is true for those holding down the fort miles from the danger zone. This is true - so perhaps the front-liners shouldn't be making more, since the fort-holders didn't choose not to fight. But $7.50 a day? How is this justifiable?

That's exactly what I asked myself, and these are the answers I found:

According to Military.com, those qualified for "Immanent Danger Pay" are also exempt from taxes on that pay. Also, the IDP is paid on top of the minimum $1,142.70 per month earned by an enlisted soldier with less than 4 months experience. Militarypay.com also reports that "Most soldiers... get more than just basic pay. Those on active duty are given an allowance for housing and subsistence, incentive pay, medical and other benefits." Incentive pay is given for things like speaking foreign languages, flying, diving, and so on.

So it's essentially misleading for Alternet's reporter to suggest that the US soldiers are earning $7.50 per day - the truth is, the $7.50 is a bonus for being involved in the conflict. There are also allowances for clothing, housing, education, and, for the soldiers in Iraq, a special allowance for the families they've left behind.

It's still not much - you certainly couldn't get me to slip into fatigues and dash off to the streets of Bagdhad, not even for an additional $7.50 a day.

Now, for $9 billion, I'd consider it.

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