Sunday, January 29, 2006

Would you like a little umbrella in that?

Yesterday afternoon I was standing in line at the LCBO to buy a bottle of Black Seal rum (my fave). I was behind some guy who, from the looks of him, probably turned booze-legal sometime that morning — happy birthday. He was in the process of buying two four-packs of something self-described as "strawberry pineapple hard lemonade". And I find myself thinking, "Jesus, buddy, why don't you wait half an hour and I'll piss in some Kool-ade for you?" And suddenly I had all I could do to keep from laughing out loud. I dunno; maybe you had to be there. :) Anyway, this stuff didn't even come up to that Kids In the Hall "Girl-Drink Drunk" skit. Cut the price in half, sell it in a drugstore with instructions to spit it out, and it would be mouthwash. If you have to disguise booze as Hawaiian Punch just to get it down, maybe you should just stick to Hawaiian Punch.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Six Million Vote Man

Steve Harper. Neocon. A career barely alive.

Gentlemen, we can rebrand him. We have the philosophy. We have the capability to spin the world's first Liberal Conservative.

Steve Harper will be that man.

Nicer than he was before.

Nicer... gentler... kinder.

(give or take)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Interesting result...

The CBC just announced the results for Canada's three largest urban centres. In all cases, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver, most of the ridings voted Liberal; the balance voted NDP. It looks as though there will be no representation in the federal caucus or cabinet from Canada's three largest cities.

I know that, Stateside, CBS canned its rural comedy suite over thirty years ago. But under the circumstances, maybe they should reconsider. Perhaps The Beverley Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Pettycoat Junction could be joined by a new entry called... oh, how about Harper Valley, GTA? Oughta be a hoot...erville. ;)

Onnnne... twoooo... uhhhh... onnnnne...

It's 11:15; the polls have been closed in British Columbia for well over an hour... and for half an hour now, we've been sitting here with one riding left to report: Vancouver Centre, I believe. Who the hell do they have counting ballots there, Clever Hans? Clop once for Liberal, twice for Conservative; nod your head for NDP... Either that or they're counting the vote in a hot box. "One... two... three... uhhh... uhhmmm... pass the M&Ms, man? ...What was I—? Oh, yeah. Ten... elv— no, wait..."

UPDATE: 11:25. Apparently, there were "long line-ups" at some of the polling stations in Vancouver Centre, so they "extended the voting hours". Uh huh. Man... the good stuff reeeeeally does make time seem to stretch on forever, doesn't it...? :)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

How it went...

I've got some well-wishes in reply to my post of the 13th about the new job, and telonjedi very kindly inquired as to how it went. Given the opportunity to gab about myself, hey... what man could resist. :)

First of all, there are two reasons I haven't been around much in the blogosphere lately... mine or anyone else's. The first is my Flickr account. I've been spending a lot of time combing through nine years of up-until-now pointless digital photos I've taken, trying to find ones worth putting up, writing about, and putting into sets. It's been such work, if I were getting paid for it, it would be moonlighting!

Which brings me to my other reason, of course: the new job. A lot of the posting I've done till now was done at my old job, during downtime when I was bored. So far, there hasn't been much of that in the new job. It looks like it's going to be busier, but that's a good thing... except it means I won't be quite as effusive as I was.

It was a good first week. I'm working with peers again, which is something I haven't had for about five years. They seem like a good bunch, and the company atmosphere is less formal and uptight than what I'm coming from. My boss wears jeans, for instance. There's a lot of work there, the possibility of promotion over time, and best of all, it's exactly the same ride to work. I even had some of the old posse meet the new posse at a restaurant on Friday — that went really well. There was even talk of an all-building soccer team, though I don't know if that'll go anywhere. But it would be neat if it did.

Anyway, I'll sign off now with a few gratitous photos from my Flickr account. Y'all come back now, y'hear? :)


Sesame Street sign, close-up

Metro Toronto crest

A look along the bridge southward

Big election

It's funny... tomorrow's election day and I can't seem to make it sink in. I'm more caught up in the new job than the likely change in government. I have to make an effort to remember to vote!

Speaking of which, I know a lot's up for grabs, because it's the first time in my life I can remember getting election collateral from four federal parties... in this case, the Liberals (incumbent in my riding; what a surprise), the Tories, the NDP, and — in a first for me — the Green Party. I always feel sorry for people in parties like that because you just know they're putting themselves through hell for little more than the gesture... the beauty of democracy. But they don't get much to show for it. I don't know; I guess it's an argument for proportional representation. But then there's the counter argument: all those religious right finge parties who want to basically legislate everyone's dick into a jar you'll need official permission to take it out of once a year on your birthday; subject to government supervision to ensure you're not using it in manners offensive to God. Of course, the very same people don't want the government telling them how to educate their kids; oh, no... that's a personal matter.

Oh, am I back ranting again on my blog? Yes, it seems I am. :)

Don't forget to vote. Or, if you're not a citizen yet, scream real loud the name of the candidate of your choice instead. :)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Reflections in transition

What do you say on walking out the door for the last time after having worked at a place for nearly six years?

When I started at the place I worked this morning, I was still sort of "young". Well, now I'm cusp-middle-aged. I took a picture of my work station today and I can't believe, even now, that I've seen it for the last time. I sat in that swivel chair for nearly six years. Or at least five; it might have been my boss's chair and I inherited it from him when he quit in December, 2000.

The guys I worked with were great; I really only knew them about a year, and even then, only fairly closely for about the last six months or so. But I was surprised when I woke up this morning to realize they wouldn't be a daily part of my life anymore. Perhaps a periodic one; I'm literally going to be working right upstairs (yeah, same street, same building, same parking lot... different company! Given there are only two in the building, what are the odds?). But those common elements of the job that our relationship was founded on are now essentially gone. Is there enough to keep going?

I hardly said good-bye to anyone. It's not my style. I'm kind of shy; I never made friends easily and I'm awful with names. I couldn't see the point in subjecting myself to the awkwardness of wandering around, shaking hands with folks I really hadn't said two words to all month in most cases, or people I once worked with but hadn't spoken to in ages. Maybe that seems cold, but it isn't. It's just cowardly. Not the same. I'm really rather maudlin and sentimental. But I just hate being put on the spot. I hope they'll understand. Let's face it, most of them won't give a damn. I don't mean they're inhuman either; that's just how it is.

Monday I start my new job. I'll probably park in the same spot. I think, I hope, I'll be glad. But tonight I'm kind of sad. Mourning, almost, it feels like. Not so much for my friends there -- I'll have ample opportunities to see them again. But my comfy, familiar workstation and my role, my lot there. The simple things I took for granted all these years that are no longer mine. I'm divorced.

I have to confess that my last few months in the job weren't really happy ones. For a lot of reasons; my boss is (I mean, was) the micromanaging type, and that came to mean that my large, one-time achievements were forgotten and overshadowed by small, nit-picking issues (one involving the use of the preposition "in" as opposed to "by" in a sentence where there was no semantic difference between them). So I was looking around. And I did find something. I suppose I ought to be happy I'm leaving on my own terms under my own steam, but the process of landing the other job and then segueing out of this one has been so long that there's no "bang" to it. Landing the new job was a job in itself; it has none of the flavour of a treat or a surprise. I wish it did.

Anyway, I haven't been blogging much, partly because of the logistics of transition — passing on my knowledge to the poor guys stuck doing my job in addition to their own till they hire a real replacement — and partly because I've been spending so much time on my Flickr account, posting my photos there and writing about them. I need to find more time for this. I'll do my best... for those to whom it matters. ...Hello? <:)

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Elway Court, two

Elway Court, two
Originally uploaded by Lone Primate.

I'm just testing my blog-posting abilities out of my Flickr account, folks. But you're welcome to swing by and have a look. This particular photo is one I took about four years ago on a street where half the buildings were torn down in the construction of the Spadina Expressway, known today as "the Allen". The photo's in a set about the expressway.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Was this what Osama really had in mind?

If you don't go and read this post on In Other News (formerly In Cold Blog), the terrorists will win. Actually, the point is, they sort of did, and we missed it...

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Picture this

Happy New Year to all you primates (et al.?) out there. :)

I finally got serious about my Flickr account last night, with just hours to go in the month and the year (I wanted to take advantage of my 20MB monthly upload limit so as not to handicap efforts in January). I have a few sets up so far, but I see I'm limited to three... so I guess to make of it what I'd like, I'll have to pony up. Well, it's only $24.95 US a year. Nickels and dimes.

But, the point is, now I have a place to share my photos with you! Not just a few here and there, but whole sets. I don't know if any of you will avail yourselves, but I hope you will. I love amateur photography, and feel deeply fortunate to live in such an age... even ten years ago, this was essentially impossible. Now it's just a lark for Saturday afternoons, both shooting and posting.

Hope you'll have a look. The link is here, and you will also find it permanently in my links list on the left side of this page. Or try this link to see a really neat slideshow of recently-posted images.