Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saint Thomas-de-Kent


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Veronica so feels his pain.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

The smartest show nobody's watching.

Every Sunday afternoon at 1 pm ET, on CNN, Fareed Zakaria hosts a program called GPS, which features thoughtful, insightful commentary with a global perspective, interviews with significant players in some of the world's hottest trouble-spots, and erudite panels of international experts debating some of the most pressing questions of our time.

And as far as I can tell, nobody's paying the slightest attention.

The show is never covered in the blogsphere, left or right; its content is never fodder for follow-up review in the other American talking-head programs the following week; its discussions and interviews never analyzed or discussed in the print media. I read about two dozen news sources throughout the week, and as many blogs. I've never seen the show mentioned.

Most of the 'problem', I assume, is that GPS is, in the era of Dick Cheney showboating and Sean Hannity and Keith Olbermann and Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly YELLING, boring. Relatively speaking, GPS is dry and probably percieved as numbingly cerebral.

And yet it's the only show I know of that steps outside the "narrative" - the story the mainstream media writes about issues and then follows slavishly. The most notable being, "Arab countries and their leaders are all nuts".

Zakaria's panel today discussing the Israel-Iranian-Palestinian problem was smart and deeply interesting and featured a bunch of people whose names would not be bold-faced in any American newspaper. So we may never hear a word of follow-up about what King Abdullah of Jordan and David Miliband, the British Foreign Secretary, dubbed "the 23-state solution"; or Iran's role as a potential 24th fly in the ointment of that solution. Or not.

No educated, intelligent person should consider the show unapproachably cerebral. Trading in informed subtlety, however, unfortunately, is unfashionable.

Too bad.



Monday, May 18, 2009

Advanced Cat Yodeling [UPDATED]

Hot on the heels of The Engineer's Guide to Cats comes a new educational and instructional video from the same crack scientific team: Advanced Cat Yodeling.

Practice is Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7 p.m. at our place. Polysporin® and bandages will be provided. Please bring your own safety equipment and booze. I think we'll all need it.

UPDATE: Sherwood points me to an extended remixed edition of this video with a lot of value-added content: An Engineer's Guide to Cat Yodeling (with Cat Polka). International cat-yodeling goodness with 40% more win! and awesome.



Saturday, May 16, 2009

How to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you.

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

Knowledge is power. And forewarned is forearmed.



Sunday, May 10, 2009

Primordial urge

The modern housecat, as all cat owners know, compulsively buries their scat in the litter box, which we helpfully accesorize with sand-like kitty litter. Why do they do it? Because thousands of years ago, in the wild, their forebears buried their scat so that predators wouldn't be able to find them.

Are there predators in the modern North American household? No. But cats do this, because this is what they do. It's hard-wired, as they say.

The modern Canadian, as all Canadians know, compulsively watches Stanley Cup playoff hockey, which is helpfully served up to us on both basic and enhanced cable. Why do we do it? Because for a hundred years, we've been raised and nurtured on The National Game.

Does the NHL make sense any more? Does the average Canadian know what the hell the Columbus Blue Jackets are? No. Or the - god help me - Carolina Hurricanes? No. But Canadians do this, because this is what we do. It's hard-wired, as they say.

We're especially vulnerable if there is one nominally-Canadian team left in the playoffs. A team based in a Canadian city. Carrying the flag, as it were.

Which is why we stayed up insanely late last night watching the Vancouver Canucks lose to the Chicago Black Hawks. (Being in Van, the game didn't even start until 11:30 pm local time.)

The best-of-seven series now stands at 3 wins for the hated Black Hawks (in the 1970s, when I was a real fan, they were despised rivals of my beloved Habs) and 2 for the Canucks. And tomorrow's game - when Chicago can wrap the series up - will be played in the Windy City.

To be a fan, it has been said, is to have your heart broken. My Habitants (the nickname for the Montréal Canadiens) - a team which turns 100 years old this year - didn't even make the playoffs. So, belatedly, I shift my allegiance to the Vancouver Canucks.

I'll prolly still get my heart broken. But what can I do? It's a primordial urge.



Friday, May 08, 2009

Flying-V Ukelele? Srsle?

Accompanied Husband downtown last night on his usual rounds, which included the local music store.

Saw this.

Me: "Is that... a flying-V ukelele?"

Husband: "Yes. Yes, that's what it is."

Me: "Someone wants shootin' for that."
Husband: "Yeh."


Friday, May 01, 2009

Gloomy weather on the Miramichi