By Ray on December 31, 2005 - 1:04pm
Sometimes, I wonder. But there's quite a lot in it today,
mostly the usual year-end summarizing.
The top story is about gun violence hitting close to home,
and seeks answers. Packing a gun gives one the feeling of
power, bordering on omnipotence, and that leads to a false
sense of security in a world where conflict resolution too
often comes down to who has the most firepower. Among other
solutions, we need to learn better ways of resolving our
differences. We also need stiffer penalties for these offenders.
Politically, the year was a mess. Chretien's sins came back to
haunt his successor, and opposition parties were more anxious
to force an unpopular election than make government work, even
though they know that no single party has enough support to
form a majority on their own. How responsible is that kind
Barbara today asks "What will it take to send the Bloc packing?"
I don't have the answer, Barb, but one step might be to insist
that the Bloc run candidates nationwide, instead of just within
Quebec. No other strictly-provincial party has been granted
national status for federal purposes, and the Bloc shouldn't
be the only exception.
Pete says "It's not all bad news", and he's right, but people
have a morbid fascination for watching train wrecks & disasters.
I don't have to do that, because I'm 73 and there's nothing
wrong with my bathroom mirror. That brings me to today's
By Ray on December 30, 2005 - 9:57am
News: Teacher arrested for voyeurism.
The police from two nations are working on a case
involving a guy with a videocam in a towel, taking
pictures of young wrestlers in their shower.
Meanwhile, back on the streets here, innocent
bystanders are being shot almost daily while
caught in the crossfire of drug wars. What's wrong
with that picture?
News: Former IWA boss paid $81,000 for 9-month report-writing.
It's election time, Folks, but how many of us get
$9,000 a month for writing anything? The Liberals will
have to do better than this to turn over a new leaf.
News: Bad memories could be a thing of the past...
Where were these researchers when the mother-in-law
'Old Fang' was making my life a living hell? And the
answer is: probably still in diapers. But bad memories
serve a purpose. They remind us not to make the same
Arts & Life: Brokeback Mountain one of the year's best.
Even though my oldest son is gay, I can't help wondering
what John Wayne & Lee Marvin might say about this movie...
And it looks like Mariah Carey has the year's best-selling
album. Good on her. I've always been surprised at that
little-girl voice in that big-girl's body...
Have a Happy New Year, Everyone
By Ray on December 29, 2005 - 9:10am
A quick look at the paper, or "today's daily blurb"
from Oldest Living Blogger...
Nissan is putting the Xbox into a concept car, as if we
don't have enough distractions already. That writer yesterday
wanting more railings on Lions Gate Bridge didn't get it.
Traffic is jammed up because we're looking at the scenery
instead of the traffic around us, or we're on the phone.
Experts are predicting that web ads will rise faster than
previously predicted, up 32% for 2005. Electronic media
is the way to go, Folks.
Editorial: Underpoliced Canada no longer a safe haven.
I've been saying that for years - the NYPD probably has
more employees than our whole military, and the bad guys
can probably out-gun our police. But let's spend another
$300-million on another unnecessary election instead of
hiring more cops.
Barbara today: Genial, positive Harper outperforming Martin.
Dear Barb: This isn't a popularity contest, and you ladies
shouldn't be choosing someone just because he wears his
lipstick nicely for photo-ops, or looks better than the
other guy. We ought to be looking for the best people to
run the country, not the best-looking ones. Can't anyone
remember Brian Mulroney and the national debt clock?
Letters: We need another good leader with W.A.C.'s vision...
Speaking of dams, I can find us another 1,500 megawatts of
hydro generation easily. Just build Site C, and then let
By Ray on December 28, 2005 - 12:45pm
Today is obviously a slow news day. Not much to comment on.
Editorial: "How do we know the things we know?"
I'm glad you asked. Far too often, we really DON'T
know the things we think we know. Almost every day,
we're finding out that whatever we thought we knew
wasn't so, and things we thought weren't so really are.
Letters: (One of my favourites) -
A writer from the North Shore complains of being caught
"more often than I can remember" in traffic jams because
of attempted suicides on Lions Gate Bridge, and wants
suicide-prevention railings installed.
First of all, suicide isn't a criminal offense in Canada,
and secondly, this bridge has been re-decked to widen
its lanes several times, adding more & more weight to it,
and it was built in 1937, so there's a limit to how much
we can stress those supporting cables. Thirdly, it isn't
like potential suicides rush to Lions Gate Bridge every
week or even every month. These events are actually quite
rare, contrary to the writer's opinion.
Goofy News Items:
A female viewer claims Letterman has been sending her coded
messages during his remarks on the Late Show. Maybe she
should be tested to see if she can communicate with those
UFOs everyone claims to see now & then flying over.
Like I said, Folks - a slow news day.....
By Ray on December 27, 2005 - 6:57pm
The latest version of Irfanview is now available for download.
Don't forget to download the plug-ins. Some of these have been
changed, and others are new. The latest version is 3.98, released
just before Christmas. This is the world's most popular free
image viewer, and it works like a charm. If you'd like to know
more, just go to www.irfanview.com and check it out.
By Ray on December 25, 2005 - 8:53pm
Well, now, Kiddies, away back in those days, we lived
in a different world. Where I lived, we never had to
worry about whether it would be a white Christmas or not.
The snow always came in late autumn and lasted until the
spring. We played hockey on outdoor rinks, and had a
ski hill on the edge of town.
When I was a kid, I had a paper route delivering the
Toronto Star each morning around town. Near Christmas,
I would take orders from my customers for Christmas
trees. We had a section of bush behind our house where
we cut firewood, and it always had a few nice Christmas
trees in it. I would cut down a tree, load it onto the
bobsled my dad had made me, and deliver it to one of
my customers, when they were ready for it. I sold the
trees for around a dollar each, and used that money to
do my Christmas shopping.
Times have changed a lot since then, and so have I.
Back then, I never dreamed that one day, I'd be writing
about that in a blog available on the internet for
people all over the continent to read. And of course,
those natural Christmas trees are almost a thing of the
past now, and if you buy one, they cost a lot more than
one dollar. But I still miss those long-ago Christmases,
and cutting & delivering real Christmas trees.
By Ray on December 23, 2005 - 11:39am
My wish for us for Christmas is that we all may have
a little more love and compassion and forgiveness in
our hearts, not just over the holidays, but throughout
the whole year.
Merry Christmas, Everyone
By Ray on December 15, 2005 - 12:34pm
Please see "Photos" for a brighter image of it.
By Ray on December 14, 2005 - 5:32pm
If you haven't received a Voter Registration Card yet,
it's because the Post Office will be delivering them
on December 28th.
By Ray on December 7, 2005 - 1:11pm
It seems to have met with less than overwhelming enthusiasm,
possibly because I didn't explain the idea well enough.
Leanne suggested we make a list of the things we like most
about Christmas around here. My idea was to take that list,
and pick out some of the things on it which seem to have the
widest appeal, and then find someone to arrange all that
into the lyrics for a song. Then find someone else to put
music to all that. I hasten to add that I am none of those
people. All I do is think up these ideas. You'll understand
when I tell you that my words might go something like this:
I hear those raindrops falling,
And immigrants calling
"What's the matter with you?"
So I'm telling them the reason
that each Christmas season
I get feeling mighty blue...
And it gets even worse from there on. So it's up to the
rest of you to do better, if you choose to accept this