Expanding Our Vocabulary

Well, if you’re Canadian, you’re probably aware of what’s been going on in politics. We got a majority right-wing Conservative government, who got a majority with a whopping 39% of the vote (hooray for archaic electoral systems!).  And they’ve been going to town, too. They’ve invoked this little thing called “closure,” where they limit debate on a bill, a record number of times, and they were only elected in May. Basically, it means, “We’re not going to listen to you anyway, so shut the hell up, and let us ram our legislation home so we can break for Christmas.”

Somehow, over the years, the Conservatives have managed to become known as the party of fiscal responsibility. The irony is that they are exactly the opposite. For example, this “fiscally responsible” party has showed us how responsible it is with our money by creating the largest cabinet ever. Really, being a Tory who isn’t a cabinet minister is like being a CFL team that didn’t make the playoffs. Oh yeah, they’re also adding seats to the house. 30 new seats, in fact. That’s 30 new MP’s (and 20 new cabinet ministers if they’re Conservatives), complete with their salaries, expense accounts and other assorted benefits.

But what’s most interesting is the latent meanness that seems to be surfacing in our country now that we have this party in charge. Christie Blatchford who – well, who really redefines the word curmudgeon; seriously, crabby old men everywhere are wondering what’s up with her. Anyway, after the death of Jack Layton, she goes and writes an article of such unbelievable callousness that the cast of 22 Minutes coined the term “blatch,” as in, “shut up or I’ll blatch-slap you.”

Which brings me to the point: these guys (and a few women in there somewhere) are actually changing the vocabulary of the country. We now have “blatch.” And the other day I saw a great one on twitter about something being a “piece of Kent.”

I’d like to propose a new word, mackaytion. A mackaytion is when you’re on business and you put through a couple of questionable expenses because you know the company will pay for it without questioning you.

hmm…may have to start a new wiktionary to keep track of all of these new words…

Published in: on December 15, 2011 at 10:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Talk About yer Crappy Positions

So the other day I was helping one of my kids with something – doing something related to scorpions.

I learned a lot about scorpions. One interesting thing I learned was when I was looking at a diagram of the different body parts of the scorpion. A scorpion, of course, has that little stinger on the end of his tail, called a telson, don’t you all feel smarter now for knowing that? Anyway, right above the stinger, there’s a little pointer and the word anus.

A scorpion has what’s called an exoskeleton – man, this is starting to sound like science class, isn’t it? Bear with me a minute…an exoskeleton is a fancy word for a shell. So that tail and stinger, and ANUS of his is hanging there right above his head, all the time. All the time! No wonder why they’re running around trying to poke things with that stinger all the time. I’d be a little annoyed at having my anus right above my head, too.

Published in: on March 3, 2011 at 4:28 am  Leave a Comment  

What did I Eat?!?

Y’know what’s weird? When you eat beets and then the next day you go to have your daily constitutional. You get up from the toilet and look down – because we all do that, right? Who out there doesn’t take a look after a good dump? If you don’t…you should. Seriously, if you’re crappin’ and it’s black or green or something, get yourself to a doctor! Unless it’s purple, of course. You get up, look down and think “my god! I’ve become radioactive!” and then you realize, with relief, “oh yeah, I ate beets yesterday”

Published in: on November 23, 2010 at 11:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Design of Everyday Things

So, I was just out shopping at the local co-op grocery store, and I noticed that they’ve decided that they no longer care about customer service. How do I know this, you ask? I know this because they now have those new self-checkout machines. And, in addition to that, they have one cashier working. Maybe that was to ‘encourage’ people to use these new checkout machines that they probably spent a whole lot of money on.

They work fine for something like an express lane, where you may have only one bag of items, and you’re happy to use the plastic bags they seem to be so willing to give away at these self-checkout machines. Go two rows over where there’s someone serving you and those bags suddenly cost 5 cents each, but go to the self-checkout and they’re free. go figure.

But, if you’re like me and tend to do a lot of grocery shopping at once, there’s no way you’re fitting it all into one bag. I go to the grocery store for a jug of milk and come home with 50 dollars worth of groceries. It’s because I have these things at home…what do you call them? Oh yeah – kids! Kids really like to eat, and eat, and eat and eat and eat. So there’s no way I’m every going in a grocery store and coming out with just one bag of stuff.

And, if you’re like me and bring your own cloth bags, you’re really screwed, people. See, if you push the start button on the screen and then put your cloth bag on that little itty bitty tiny bagging space, it senses the weight of the bag and starts screaming at you. So what you have to do is press start, scan the first item, then put it in the bag while the bag is on the ground at your feet, THEN put the bag on the little itty bitty tiny bagging space. But only once. See, once you’ve started the transaction, the machine then constantly WANTS to have something on that little itty bitty tiny bagging space. So when your first bag is full, you can’t repeat the same process as last time – oh no – that would make sense. See, call me crazy, but when I scan an item and put it in the bag and see that the bag is full, I think “oh look, the bag’s full. I better remove it so I can scan another item” Nope. You have to think “oh look, my bag will be full in one more item. I better scan this item, then, while holding this item in my hand, I’ll remove the bag and put a new one one and then put the item I’ve already scanned and am holding in my hand into the bag.” yeah, that’s the sensible way to do it! And the best part is that if you do remove the bag and have no weight on the bagging shelf, it doesn’t really tell you anything, it just stops scanning your items. It’s kinda like one of those classic male-female relationship cliches, where the guy says “what’d I do?” and the girls says “if you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you!”

Why do they even have those stupid weight sensors? How stupid do they think the buying public is? “okay, I scanned the item, now what do I do? Oh my god, I’m so confused!” Do they think it’s going to reduce theft? If so, I got some news for you, sunshine. Ain’t gonna happen. Besides, there’s that one clerk hovering around all the self-checkouts like an eagle soaring over a prairie dog colony. If she doesn’t catch a thief, there’s no way some stupid weight sensor in a goofy little bagging tray is going to do it. Really, if they’re worried about theft, they should do it like this: have a great big counter area that I can scan and stack all my crap on. They’ll know how much it all weighs…they know as I’m scanning it through – 400grams of this, a pound of that. Scan it all through and then weigh the whole lot at the end. If it matches, then you’re good to go – round up those dogies and get on out outta there! If not, then a red siren can go off and that hovering clerk can come and slap the cuffs on any would-be thieves.

Yeah, that’s how they need to do it…

Published in: on November 18, 2010 at 5:37 am  Leave a Comment  

A Labour-saving Device (?)

It’s truly ingenious, how companies keep coming up with supposedly labour-saving devices, and people keep buying them. We LOVE the idea that something can save us a bit of time, don’t we? Who doesn’t, really? Who out there would turn away something that might really make their life simpler and save them some time?

The catch, of course, is that very few of these devices ever actually save you time. Often they cost you MORE time than the way you were doing it before.

For example, I have a food processor. It has this wonderful little device that is supposed to knead bread. It can only handle one loaf at a time, but that’s okay. It sometimes works, when the gods are smiling and I get the mixture exactly right. And when it does work, it’s lovely. It speeds up bread making because I don’t have to stand there for 10 minutes kneading dough – my little machine does that for me. Instead, I get to spend 20 minutes afterward cleaning up the machine. You ever used one of these to make dough? It gets everywhere. Place you wouldn’t think stuff could get into gets clogged with snotty, sticky little bits of dough.

I guess what I’m doing is not actually saving time, but trading time. I save a few minutes beforehand so that I can spend more time afterward, when the pressure’s off and time’s not so critical.

But, of all of the supposed labour-saving devices out there, there is one that is the grandaddy of all ruses. We all have one – they’re everywhere – and we think we can’t live without it. Yes, that device is the dishwasher.

Dishwashers are truly puzzling devices. They don’t really WASH the dishes, they just kinda gently RINSE the dishes. My wife – I love my wife, she is a fabulous lady, but she’s very naive and trusting when it comes to dishwashers. She actually believes that a dishwasher will wash dishes, like there are little magical dishwasher’s elves – you know, like the Shoemaker’s elves but different – inside the thing that will clean your dishes when it’s running. Unfortunately, there are no such elves. Anyone who owns one of these machines knows that, in order for them to work, you have to wash your dishes BEFORE you put them into the machine. That’s the only way they’ll come clean. It’s like cleaning the house before the maid arrives.

Yet we all have fallen for this, and we all keep washing our dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, because it saves us time…?

Published in: on January 26, 2010 at 1:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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What object stuck to the underside of a park bench are you?

Anyone tired of Facebook quizzes yet? Don’t get me wrong, I like Facebook. I just think they should implement SOME kind of minimal IQ test that prohibits the truly stupid from creating quizzes. That and a spelling test. There’s nothing to instill confidence in the quiz creator like seeing questions and answers misspelled:

“Who said ‘Louie, I think this is the begining of a butifull relaishenship’?”

And there are quizzes now for EVERYTHING! Pick a subject – there’s a quiz for it. I haven’t gone to look, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if there’s a quiz just like the title of this post.

I did one the other day (yes, I admit that every once in a while, the title of the quiz intrigues me and I fall for it and click the link). It was “what decade fits your personality best?” – you know, like the 20’s, 50’s, etc. I don’t know how far back it goes – if you could be the 1830’s. By looking at the questions, I’m guessing not.

So, what happened? Well, I was the 80’s. And it describes me to a T. I’m spunky (you better believe it, baby!), and a rare combination of conservative ideologies and cutting-edge attitude.  Now, I did a different quiz, ages ago, about political ideologies and, when my score was plotted out, I was nestled right up against Nelson Mandela, who, really, is the first name that pops into your head when you think of conservative ideologies. So, I’m not sure how this came about. I think the tipping point was the movie list. I looked at that and didn’t find much to pick from, so I picked Back to the Future because I get a kick out of walking around saying “1.21 Gigawatts?!” Who doesn’t? Seriously, watch the movie and you’ll be doing it too.

Published in: on November 16, 2009 at 10:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Talking to a Yam

So, I see Grant Lawrence has Mamma Yamma guest hosting on his excellent CBC Radio 3 show. For those of you who don’t know about R3, what’s wrong with you? If you’re into finding out about all the cool Canadian music that’s out there, it’s THE place to be. [Edit: Oops! misread the post. It’s actually a podcast he did. It’s still an audio-only thing, though, so the basic question still stands, ‘cept it’s only an hour instead of 3. And, I suppose, they can start again and edit and such before we hear it. Other than that, though, it’s entirely the same thing!]

But that’s beside the point, really. It’s got me wondering…

If you’re guest hosting a radio show with a puppet, how do you do that? It’s a puppet, and – we’re all adults, here, we know how puppets work, right? – so, really, if it’s radio, is there a point in Ali Eisner, who is the puppet master behind Mamma Yamma actually showing up with the Mamma Yamma puppet? Nobody can see it except those two because it’s radio. For all we know, Grant does his show wearing nothing but boxers and an old tank top.

It’s a bit of an odd situation regardless, isn’t it? If she shows up and actually uses the puppet, then Grant’s talking to a puppet character for 3 hours when nobody can actually SEE that he’s talking to a puppet. If he’s not, then he’s co-hosting with a woman who’s going to be talking to him like a Yam puppet for three hours.

I’m not sure which is stranger, but I do know that obviously these people are professionals because I don’t know if I’d be able to keep a straight face talking to a woman who is talking to me as a giant yam for three hours.

Published in: on November 6, 2009 at 4:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Eat our own dog food?

Sometimes, a saying comes into popular use that I really don’t understand.
“Eat our own dog food” is one of those sayings.

i had to go and look this up on the Internet. Theoretically, it comes from an old Alpo dog food commercial with Lorne Greene, where he claims that he feeds Alpo to his own dogs. Okay…anyone notice something there? Yeah, he said he FED IT TO HIS DOGS! He didn’t anywhere say “this Alpo stuff’s so good, I eat it myself!”

Evidently, someone in Microsoft used this phrase internally, and now we’re stuck with it. Eat our own dog food. Makes absolutely no f’ing sense whatsoever, does it? “eat our own cooking” – now that would make sense, wouldn’t it? We made it, we have to eat what we made. Hands up, anyone who’s actually MADE dog food? And by that, I don’t mean you grabbed a can opener and opened a tin of it. Hands up if you’ve,  oh I dunno, ground up liver and kidneys into a mushy paste and then maybe mixed it with some grains like rice or barley, all getting ready to feed it to your dog. And then, who among you has then thought to yourself, “Gee, maybe I should eat some of this crap!” Anyone?

So, someone misunderstands an old dog food commercial and uses that in an email, and now we’re stuck with a world full of people talking about eating their own dog food. And I’m not sure what’s worse – that this can happen, or that the rest of the world seems okay to just go along with it.

“Eat our own dog food? hyuk, hyuk – that’s a good one!” Nobody says ” Eat our own dog food? WTF is wrong with you!” Nope. Instead it’s “hyuk, hyuk – good one! PWN!”

There’s another little gem, eh? PWN. Some dumb ass makes a typo and the world has a new word. Because some huntin’ and peckin’ nimrod can’t hit the O (by the way, for those of you hunters and peckers out there who may not know, the O and the P are right beside each other on your standard North American keyboard), because this doofus can’t type and, evidently is unaware of tools like spell check, my kids are now sitting in the basement playing on the Playstation and yelling things like “oh yeah, I pwned you! PWNAGE!”

thanks, man. I appreciate it…

Published in: on November 2, 2009 at 4:29 am  Comments (2)  
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The Express Line

Sometimes I see the point in the use of the word “express.”

The Express line at a grocery store. Makes sense. In theory, you are supposed to get through the line up more quickly. This is usually the case, too, as long as you’re not in line behind me. I have this knack for grinding any checkout line to a complete standstill. Don’t know what it is about me, but that’s how it is. I’m used to it now. When we first met, my wife didn’t believe me. She thought I was exaggerating. She doesn’t think that anymore. She now has me stand in a different checkout line as a kind of decoy for the checkout-line gods.

Anyway, grocery “express” – good. A fast food express – not so sure. Seems a bit redundant, doesn’t it? This is, after all, FAST food we’re talking about. How do you “express” fast food? Maybe they unwrap it and shove it in your mouth for you or something.

But there is one use where I really don’t understand it at all. A hotel. A hotel with the name “express” in it. Why on earth would I want to stay at a hotel that sounds like it’s in a rush? I’m not going anywhere. I’m spending the night – it’s a freakin’ hotel, after all. Don’t rush me! Are they planning on putting a drive-through window in the place or something?

Grocery store express – good. Fast food – not so sure. Hotel – definitely not.

Published in: on July 9, 2009 at 8:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Puking Sex Toilets??

Interesting, if you look at my tag cloud right now, the words “puking sex toilets” are all on the same line and in about the same size font. Wouldn’t that be an interesting topic?

Maybe I need to do some bits and tag them with travel. Then I can have sex & travel in my tag cloud. Then, if someone’s getting on my case (‘cuz hecklers are such an issue with a comedy blog), I can say, “hey – read my tag cloud, buddy! yeah, that’s right. Two words for you – sex & travel!”

Sorry for the lack of posts. I’ll get back to it shortly.

Published in: on July 7, 2009 at 3:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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