March 2005 Archives

New quiz

Thanks to the ikeapunk, here's a good quiz for a Monday morning, when the brain is still in start-up mode and the coffee is just kicking in. Take your time with this one - and you may want to turn down your sound, at least after the first seven or eight hundred times of the loop.

Another true test of Canadianness


So we stayed up 'til midnight last night, listening to the final list of CBC's 50 Tracks feature.

In brief, the three-month feature asked several panels and then listeners to nominate and defend the top 50 quintessential Canadian singles of all time (or at least the last century).

We started listening around 7 o'clock, and got hooked...

This has nothing to do with the fact that the host is the eminently scrumptious Jian Ghomeshi. Just because he's smart, funny, musical, melifluous and generally yummy? Please. Give us some credit.

Besides, it was a radio broadcast.

Anyway, the final list is now available. There were a few surprises, not least of which for me was a total absence of April Wine. What about Just Between You and Me? For goodness sake, there's even a French bit. English Montreal was well-represented by the likes of Sam Roberts and Leonard Cohen, and thankfully abberations like Corey Hart and Gowan didn't make the list. There was no Pagliaro, however; in fact, the only franco on the list was the 40-year-old Gilles Vigneault single Mon Pays.

Also, while Gordon Lightfoot had two songs in the top ten (as did Joni Mitchell), personally I would have chosen If You Could Read My Mind instead of Early Morning Rain, but that's a matter of personal taste, I guess.

Another surprise was number 2 on the list - not that this song doesn't belong on the list. I was just surprised to see it at number 2, edging out American Woman, which frankly should have been number 1. American Woman not only rocks, it reflects a Canadian perspective lyrically, and not just by dropping place names.

Having said that, the song that did end up in the top position, while it might not reflect a quintessential Canadianness for me, certainly does separate the Canadians from the pretenders. I guessed it before the lovely Jian revealed it, and Dr. T, who was with me right up to that point, said, and I quote, "who?"

This is because the one track that, according to CBC voters, best represents the best of Canadian music is Ian & Sylvia's Four Strong Winds.

While Dr. T tried to figure out just who the heck these people were, I took a little trip down memory lane - I can remember watching Ian & Sylvia on TV. I remember when they broke up. I remember my mother, guitar in hand, singing Four Strong Winds, and it was beautiful.

Maybe the Guess Who put Canada on the map musically, but Ian & Sylvia are so very Canadian.



The Cat Translator

via Davezilla, from whom I also found Spell with Flikr.

Update: Oddly enough, the spell with flikr thing seems to be making my page flikr. It was a lovely image, but an annoying side-effect. I left the link in, so you can go there yourself and spell to your heart's content (or any other phrase you prefer).

Congratulations! You're entry #300

You would think that an entry of such historic significance would be more exciting.

The thought that woke me up this morning

Forty or so years from now, will we be surfing through a slew of websites with names like "Granny's Blog?" Will commenters have to gently tell posters "um, you've already told us this. Six times."?

When my grandmother was no longer able to live alone and we moved her into the 'Villa,' my dad mentioned the idea of a computer - we have friends and family across the country, and it might be nice for her to have e-mail capabilities. The answer was an emphatic "no." She has a phone, and a large TV, and her newspapers, so she's in touch.

My parents, on the other hand, are both computerized (I don't mean that they're robots. I have no proof of that.). So when the time comes that one or both of them need the kind of living arrangement that my grandmother has, I assume we're going to have to make sure there's a DSL connection in the room.

When it's my turn, my antique laptop computer will no doubt be a source of amusement for the strapping young orderlies, whom I'll probably bore to tears with my tales of yesteryear, when we thought OC-768 was the height of technology.

"It used to take upwards of five minutes to download a file that big, in my day. Now, about that sponge bath..."

Maybe I should make a list of this stuff...


So my office is very tidy.

My plants are watered and all dead leaves have been trimmed.

I have despammed my blog.

I have discovered that I am silver.

Now, I am seriously considering the following must-do projects:
1. update the blog template, cuz it's spring
2. clean up my blogroll, cuz some of those people never post anyway
3. come up with something pertinent and deep to add to the debate going on over at Martine's
4. clean my boots
5. create a list of all the little activities I engage in when I really should be marking essays.

One down...

Hiho Silver, Away!

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Ag... Silver
You scored 45 Mass, 46 Electronegativity, 67 Metal, and 0 Radioactivity!

Congratulations, you are one of the only things that can kill werewolves. In addition to that, you are socially-minded, constructive, and pretty hard to corrode. You, like iron, are a cornerstone of any collaborative effort. You tend to be a bit set in your ways, but you're also pretty good about sticking up for yourself. All this is well and good, but most people just like you because you're shiny.

Link: The Which Chemical Element Am I Test written by effataigus on Ok Cupid

Via Clare

Balls! Torches! Chainsaws!

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You are 'juggling'. Jugglers, tumblers, and other street performers were a very popular sort of entertainment once, before movies and talkies and online quizzes supplanted them.

You like to put on a show for people, and they like to watch. You are friendly and well-liked, particularly for your sense of humor, although you sometimes play with people's heads. You are frequently the center of attention, and you like it that way. However, you have to realize that the world does not revolve around you. Furthermore, you have to learn that your light-hearted antics are not appropriate to all situations. Your problem is that juggling has been obsolete for a long time.

What obsolete skill are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

via Magnificent Octopus

It's obvious that Sam Roberts is a Montrealer, and there's no metaphorical or philosophical meaning to the lyric "and there's no road that's not a hard road to travel on."

True Montrealers are familiar with our annual pothole festival (Les nids de mars, perhaps?), featuring 'pockmarks' in the asphalt that are measured in feet, not inches - there are several reports in various forums of people sustaining damage to wheels, rims, tires and even axles.

According to CAA Quebec, this year may be the worst yet. As always, the CAA has a special section on potholes, including a form for reporting new hazardous holes - so far this year, with more than 1,000 holes reported, we're beating last year's number by a landslide. In fact, the roads are so bad this year that the CAA site started the pothole section a month early.

There is, in fact, no road that ain't a hard road to travel on.

I can't believe it's not butter-coloured

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Just in time to respond to Bruce's comment, this article, about the ruling from the Supreme Court which states that the colour ban on Quebec margarine stands.

Journal Entry IV: Indentity and Integrity in Teaching


The fourth journal assignment for the course I'm taking asks us to reflect on a teacher who acted as a mentor - we're supposed to think about what this person did, how we felt, and how we've grown as a result.

A few years ago at a one-day motivational teaching seminar, the group leader asked us all to imagine a dinner table, around which were the people who've most influenced our lives. He then asked 'how many of you had at least one teacher at the table?'

Everyone raised their hand - except me.

Maybe it's just a question of what you think a mentor is - for me, a mentor is someone who makes you feel as though s/he has taken a special interest in your development. While I've had many great teachers, for whom I am thankful, there is no one teacher that made me feel as though I was a special project, as it were.

After much soul searching, however, I came up with this reflection.

May I recommend:


from 'Old Time Advertising'

Dover Cards - discovered when I Googled "tasteful e-cards".

Try to keep up with me here...


recent updates and changes

The Montrealer list continues to expand - so I've chunked it into an extended entry. Additions to the list are always welcome!

I've also updated the entry on the "I'm Julie" ad. Google has revealed that many bloggers and other online writers have responded to the ad - and the Gazoo, among others, has now pulled the ad.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

You know you're a Montrealer when


(please note, many of these apply specifically to anglo Montrealers (see point 4))

you pronounce it "Muntreal."

you have ever said anything like "I have to stop at the guichet before we get to the dep."

your only concern about jaywalking is getting a ticket.

you understand and frequently use terms like 'unilingual,' 'anglophone,' 'francophone,' and 'allophone.'

you agree that Montreal drivers are crazy, but you're secretly proud of their nerves of steel.

the most exciting thing about the South Shore is that you can turn right on a red.

In other words, I'm a talented BS artist


Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence
You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well. An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly. You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view. A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

What Kind of Intelligence Do You Have?

via Clare

In like a lion, methinks


It's snowing now. It's been snowing pretty much non-stop since Saturday evening. The weather people are calling for somewhere between 20 and 30 centimetres* of snow in the current 24-hour period.

Any bets on how long before Canadian Tire sells out of snowshoes?

*That's 8 to 12 inches for the Imperialists.

Happy International Women's Day


Yes, today is International Women's Day - is that why the Gazette chose to run a quarter-page ad today, urging people to "ask your doctor" about weight-loss methods?

Not just any old weight-loss ad, either.

The first two lines of the ad are "I am Julie. Last night, I did a striptease for my husband."

Then comes the picture - a woman's body, from just below the waist to just above the knee, dressed in black garter belt and panties, turned slightly to one side.

Finally, the big question - "what would you do with a few less pounds?"

Where do I start?

On International Women's Day, here's an that takes up 25% of the page, in which (a) women's bodies are reduced to specific parts, and (b) women's body images are strictly understood in terms of women as sexual objects.

We've come a long way, baby.

The Gazette, and others like it, have pulled the ad in question due to generally negative reactions from readers. Although the ad does not specifically name a product, the ad comes from a pharmaceutical company, which cannot directly advertise a weight-loss medication, but can urge you to "ask your doctor" about "methods" for weight loss. Oh, and the medication in question is not just a weight-management drug, it's available through prescription only in cases of clinical obesity.

For balance, may I suggest Barbara's Story.

Break with tradition

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So Colin and I are both off this week - or rather, Colin is off, and I'm putting a lot of effort into my procrastination.

So far, our time has been spent riding the rails - Colin's fascination with the Metro has not waned since last year, although now he's added the Underground City to his list of must-have experiences. So we've walked the Underground City, we've shopped, we've been to the cinema (The Incredibles), and today - as per Colin's request - we're going to the museum of fine arts.

Colin says that he's been once, but he didn't get to see everything.

We also lunched with Dina and Bill, and Colin has already extracted a promise from me that we'll do that again next year. I assume he wants to relive...

The Duck Jokes

1. A duck walks into a pharmacy and asks the pharmacist "Do you have any duck food?" The pharmacist says "No, sorry, no duck food." The next day, the duck comes back, and asks "Do you have any duck food?" The pharmacist says "No, as I said yesterday, no duck food." The next day, the duck comes back again, and asks "Do you have any duck food?" The pharmacist says "No, we have no duck food. I'm getting tired of you asking me for duck food everyday - if you do it again, I'll nail your feet to the floor, buddy." The next day, the duck comes back, and asks "Do you have any nails?" The pharmacist says "No, we don't carry nails." So the duck asks "Do you have any duck food?"

2. Different duck, different pharmacy - the ducks says to the pharmacist "Do you have any Chapstick?" The pharmacist says yes, so the duck says "Great - put it on my bill."

3. A man walks into a doctor's office. The man has a large duck perched on his head. The doctor says "What seems to be the problem, sir?" The duck says "Well, there's a guy on my ass."

4. (not a duck joke, but the one that made Colin laugh loudest) Two English muffins are in a toaster oven. The first muffin says "Wow, it's hot in here." The second muffin says "Oh my God! A talking muffin!"

Yes, I'd say the education of my son proceeds apace.

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