With Great Power…

Okay, so you’re a superhero, let’s say. Your super abilities are not really important to this discussion, except that they must include an ability that comes into play in the scenario below. Also, because of the nature of your abilities, and the community you live in, it’s somewhat important that your secret identity remain secret.
Let’s say that you’re on the bus back home, after a long day at work. By work I mean the “normal” job you get paid to do in the real world, where your superhero abilities don’t *necessarily* come into play.
Okay, so you’re on the bus back home. The bus is moving along at a good clip. All of a sudden it stops short, causing people on board to lurch forward. Most passengers are able to compensate to the shifting physics. The eager newspaper reporter, with the camera at the ready, has compensated. So, too did the girl or guy upon whom you have a secret superhero crush. But one passenger, a young child, a young boy, let’s say, a happy young boy, he cannot compensate in time. He’s sitting in such a seat on the bus that causes him to fly out of his seat, fly forward, towards a pole on the bus. A dangerous, hard metal pole. Now, because you have the ability to suss out the situation, you see that he’s going to fly face first into the pole, and probably do some serious damage to himself. You also know that if you act quickly enough, you can use your abilities to catch him. You can stop him from smashing face first into the pole. Problem is, if you do, your quick action will more than likely cause people to wonder how you did this. Some of the more clever passengers will likely piece together that you’ve got superhero abilities. If they do, then it may very well become more difficult for you to perform your superhero obligations (whatever they are for you).

So, the question is: Do you save the child and risk revealing yourself? Or do you let the child suffer the accident and save your identity for more *important* moments?

Personally, I allow the child to smash his face into the pole.

I’ll Give You Five Dollars To Stop Playing

All morning long, I’d been looking forward to going outside for lunch on this beautiful end-of-summer day, getting a slice of pizza (from Jack’s), taking it to the Confederation Centre concrete lawn, sitting down and eating it.  I was looking forward to listening to my iPod, sitting and eating a slice of pizza, and watching the people walk by.
It was all ruined by a bagpiper.  Yep.  I got my slice, went to the Confed Centre, sat down, all the while listening to various songs on the iPod.  Then the bagpiper started.  Or, more likely, continued. And wouldn’t stop.
Let me tell you right now that I enjoy a good bagpiping.  In its proper circumstance, there’s nothing more lovely than a piper piping.  Okay, well not “lovely”.  How about stirring?  I’m of Scottish heritage and have a special place in my heart for the pipes (not so much with haggis), in its place. There’s nothing more stirring (yeah, “stirring” works) than a piper leading a regiment of Scottish Highlander soldiers off to battle, for instance.  Or the image of a loan piper, kilted the whole nine yards, playing out in the glade on a misty, foggy morning.  It’ll get me every time.  Or, at least, once in a while.
But when I hear the pipes in unexpected and unwanted places, such as by the round benches in front of the Confed Centre on Queen Street, in the middle of a work day, I don’t long for the hearth and heather.  I long for a poisoned dart.  The problem with the pipes is that the sound travels so far.  You can be hundreds of yards away, and the sound still pierces your ears like a banshee’s scream pierces the night.  Like the news of Jon Bonet’s not-murderer’s capture, there’s no escaping.  Especially when the piper isn’t very good, as this guy was (or is it “wasn’t”?).  It sounded like he was hitting random notes.  Random high-squawking notes of no particular melody.  And of no particular rhythm.  And it travelled all over the community, on the wings of the fresh late-summer breeze.  Ugh.  Not even Rob Zombie’s Dragula through the headphones could dilute the noise.
Go ahead and busk.  Just use an acoustic guitar is all I ask. Or juggling pins, if you must.  Or get white-faced and mime (can’t believe I’m longing for the silent busking of that mime guy!!) and get caught in an invisible box (outside the box – see previous post).  Just do something that limits your range of influence.  Don’t go and spoil the whole neighbourhood.
So, anyway, thanks, bagpiper.  Thanks for ruining my anticipated lunch hour.

Butch, Sundance & Pamela Anderson

You may remember a couple of months ago, I was approached by a sort of grassroots marketing company and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing the newly released DVD of Pamela Anderson and posting it to my blog.  Of course you remember.  This blog is very important to you.  Anyway, I said I’d be delighted to do that (no qualms here about being a shill for the Hollywood machine).  So they sent me the DVD and I watched it, and posted what I thought was a fairly un-shill like review.  I’m not going to bother to find the post and provide a link to it, because somehow that implies these posts have worth.  And while I suspect a number of readers get disconsolate if I don’t post something fresh for them to read each day, and they would argue that these posts do have worth, at least to them, I prefer to think of these posts as empty vessels.
So, I reviewed it and that was that.  Until today, when the same company emails me and asks if I’d be interested in presenting another review.  Whereas last time I had to trek through the sludge of comedy that focused far too much on Miss Anderson’s gaping beaver (alleged)  (Alleged gaping, not alleged beaver, because I think we’re all pretty sure she’s not got dangling participles down there), this time I may have struck gold.  I’ll be sent a DVD of a new collector’s edition of one of my favourite movies:  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

And just now, having re-read those last couple of sentences, I realise how sad and pathetic it is to create a post about how one is excited about the anticipation of receiving a free DVD in return for being something of a corporate whore.
No.  I will not allow myself to fall for that kind of talk.  I am a valued member of the critical press.  My opinion is cherished.

It is also for sale.  If anyone else wants to send me stuff in return for my honest opinion of it, I’ll gladly listen to your offers.  Perhaps you have a photo you took, and you have no idea if it’s Art.  Send it to me, and I’ll tell you.  Maybe you’re in charge of soliciting low-ranking bloggers for their opinions on how well the latest video iPod works.  Send me one, and I’ll tell the world what I think.  Maybe you sell frozen beefsteak from the western provinces and are trying to get a foothold here in Eastern Canada.  Ship some steaks my way and I’ll cook ’em up and eat ’em.  Then I’ll tell the great multitudes of readers (conservatively estimated now at at least tens of ones) whether they’re worth purchasing.

My April Fool’s Joke On You All

Oh my god, did you hear the news?  Well-Known Celebrity died last night.  That is so sad.  And I was so looking forward to Well-Known Celbrity’s upcoming movie and/or song and/or book  (okay, well, not book, because, seriously, how many authors can be classified as a W-K C?)
Sorry I don’t have a direct link to the news item, but I’m sure if you look on the front page of any news website, you’ll find out all the details.  Apparently, it was a drug overdose, which is so unexpected coming from Well-Known Celebrity because of all the charity work s/he’s done.

Okay, can’t keep it up any longer!  You guys are all so pwned!!!  I made it up!  Well-Known Celebrity isn’t dead at all!!  Ha Ha!!  Ummm, do you remember what day it is today?  It’s April First, otherwise known as April Fool’s Day.  And I can definitely say that YOU are the fool for being hooked into believing such a ludicrous story.  As if Well-Known Celebrity would ever die from a drug overdose.

Huh?  Whattyamean I “gave the joke away in the post’s title”?

Oh.  Shit.  Guess the joke’s on me then, isn’t it.  There, you happy now?  With that superior, contemptible, pitious look on your face right now.  Yeah, okay, laugh at me.  I don’t care.  You always were such an asshole!

Huh?  Whattyamean I “can delete and change the title of the post before I click on the ‘Publish’ button”?  What Publish button?  Oh, you mean *this* Publish button.  And you’re saying I should click on it?  Okay, if you say so…

I Want My SUV

Okay, I’ve been away for a few days, but I just got back from wherever I was, and I read all this kerfuffle about a kid who found a Tim Horton’s cup in the garbage and asked another kid to help roll up the rim, as the contest is wont to have you do.  Turns out the kid wins the top prize, an SUV.  Okay, great, but the another kid who helped roll up the rim claimed entitlement to share in the prize, for helping to roll up the rim.  Okay, personally, I think that’s bollocks and it should all be awarded to the kid who found the cup.
Now I hear that the the person who threw out the cup in the first place is demanding a part of the action.  Again, that’s bullshit.  But, it got me thinking.

If these people are able to make their claims based on baloney, then I should make my claim too.  And here it is:  I demand a portion of the prize, because, you see, I was in line just in front of the person who bought the “winning” cup.  Amazing, I know, but as true as true can be.  Now, normally when I’m at Tims, I buy two coffees (one for right away and the other to nuke later at work), and that day, for some strange reason, I only bought the one.  So, by rights, since I usually buy two cups, the cup that the guy bought should really have been mine.

No?  Okay then.

Free Nucular Missiles For US Children

Here is a link to a video of one of George W. Bush’s State of the Union addresses.  Well, okay, perhaps he didn’t say all of those words in exactly that order, but a little bit of judicious editing of the video gets to the real subtext of his agenda.

"Our first goal is to show utter contempt for the environment. I have sent you a comprehensive energy plan to devestate communities, kill wildlife, and burn away millions of acres of treasured forests."
"One by one, the terrorists are learning we are building a culture to encourage international terrorism."

Did You Try Rebooting Your Vehicle?

I guess I never posted the outcome of my stalling vehicle problem from last week.  How could you all go on with your lives without knowing the status of my car?  I am so sorry for leaving you in the dark.

So, last Monday, we called Dave’s Auto Electric.  They had, on Friday, put in a new alternator, and still our car was stalling pretty much all the time.  We suffered through it through the weekend.  On Monday, Dave’s Auto Electric tell us they can’t see us on Monday, maybe can squeeze us in on Tuesday.  We get tired of their apparent lacksadaisacal disinterest in our car and call up Walter Piccott Chev Olds.  Usually, I’m reluctant to take a car to a dealer for service, but this being third option, seemed like a good time to try them out, service charges be damned.  They can’t take us on Monday, but if we drop by, say 7:45 on Tuesday, they’ll look at the car almost first thing.
So, Karyn takes the car in for 7:45, and heads off for work.  I stay home, because last week I was a bum.  At around 10am, the phone rings and it’s WPCO, and the car is ready to be picked up.  My father graciously offers to take me there and I go to the service area.
They tell me, that because the new battery we got, the car’s computer system "wasn’t reading the codes right" and so they basically reformatted the computer, put in all the correct codes, and the car should be fine now.
Uh huh.  I’ve heard that four or five times in the previous week, so I’m skeptical.  I pay the 44 dollars (basically it cost me an hour of labour, or there abouts, no parts, so that’s good), and get in the car to drive it away.  As I’m driving off the lot, the car stalls, just as it had so many times in the past week.  Totally frustrated, I prepare to park the car, get out and try to be rational and calm as I tell them they’ve missed the problem, just like everyone else.  Instead, though, I decide to drive it a bit, to see if it works itself out.  I go to my parent’s for a tea, and when I leave the car stalls again.  Before I take it back to Walter Piccott’s, I decide to drive it around for a bit.  So, I take it on yet another drive around the north shore to see it the long drive allows the computer to reset itself.
Not once during the long drive does the car stall.  It still doesn’t sound so great, though.  I don’t allow myself to get any hopes up.  I decide to drive it around in town, a real stop and start test.  It doesn’t stall once, yet it sometimes sounds like it wants to.  That’s not enough of a reason to take it back to Walter Piccott’s though, so I decide to wait until it begins to stall again.
So far, knock on wood, it hasn’t stalled again since.  And each day, its idle sounds more and more healthy.
Maybe it’s fixed.

Talk Like A Pirate Day

Today is Talk Like A Pirate Day.

Just like last year, I choose to speak like a pirate who is a bit more educated, and has a better grasp of the English language, than your more typical (one might say "stereotyped") pirate.

So, in my finest pirate voice, I say:  a good day to you all, my friends.

Also, today is my 40th birthday.

I’m Feeling A Bit Sensortive

Sunday – One week ago today:
My wife calls me (I was at home) from church and tells me the car won’t start.  Ignition won’t turn over at all, car clock is dead.  Surmised that the battery’s dead.  Can’t boost it because she can’t (nor my father in law) get the hood open.  A couple of years ago, the plastic hood release latch next to the driver’s side seat broke, and it’s been more and more frustrating getting the hood opened, to the point in the past couple of weeks, where it’s almost impossible.  In fact, I think I am the one who knows how to open the hood.
So, her parents give her a ride home from church and take me in to see if I can open the hood and start the car.  Getting the hood open involves cutting the carpet on the floor and stipping the plastic cording around the release wire.  After about ten minutes, I get the hood open, put booster cables on the car and it starts immediately.  Drive to my in-laws and borrow their battery charger.  The charger tells me that the battery is basically fully-charged.  Hmmm, I think, doesn’t sound like a dead battery problem.  Assume, though, that it is.
Car starts no problem in the morning.  At noon, I drive to pick up DaveS for lunch.  Get in the car, and ignition won’t turn over.  Swear a bit and get Dave to get his car and boost it.  Starts no problem.  I decide to take it to our mechanic.  I do, and tell him the problem.  We both agree that a new battery will likely solve the problem.  So, on Monday, the car gets a new battery.  Driving home on Monday evening, after picking up the car from the garage, it stalls at every intersection I come to.  I swear a bit at this new development.
Take the car back to the mechanic, who says he’ll look into it.  I leave the car there all day.  Pick up the car (no charge for the second look) after mechanic’s gone home, and the same problem.  Car stalls at every intersection.  Plus it starts to stall if I’m driving down the road without my foot on the gas.  Zen training keeps me from swearing much.  Plus I was pretty much expecting it to be not solved.
Take the car back to the mechanic.  Says he’ll look at it again, but admits he’s puzzled. If he can’t solve it, he suggests I take it to a place where they can run computer diagnoses on it.  I come back around noon and he says he was talking to someone at Dave’s Auto Electric.  He suggested that the computer needs to reset, and to do that, the car needs to be taken on a good long drive (he suggested 45 minutes).  Not allowing myself to believe this would work, I nonetheless go for a lunch-time drive around Brackley, the north shore, Tracedie, etc.  Car is driving better, but once I get back into town, it begins to stall again.  No swearing at all, because I knew the outcome and was prepared for it.
Call early in the morning to Dave’s Auto Electric (the place our mechanic suggested we go), but they say they’re booked up on Thursday but would try to squeeze us in on Friday.  Because my wife and I had places we needed to go on Thursday and Friday, and were totally frustrated by driving a car that continually stalls, my father graciously offered to loan us his car.  He says it sounds like a faulty sensor.  I agree and expect that’s what Dave’s Auto Electric will find. We leave our car at my parents.
Drop car off at Dave’s Auto Electric, but because my wife and I are both busy all day, I ask my father if he’d be the contact.  Mid-afternoon, he goes to pick up the car.  They’ve installed a new alternator (that and labour = 225 dollars), they take it for a test drive and it’s still stalling.  They suggest to my father that we take it for a good drive to reset the computer.  There is confusion from them why they were not able to check the sensors.  I am totally deflated at this point and do not press the issue, so  we take the car for a drive.  No change. Still stalling.
Drive the car into town to do the things I had scheduled.  Car stalls continually.
My wife drives the car to church.  I didn’t ask her, but I assume it’s continually stalling.
Monday (the day after today):
I don’t know whether to go back to Dave’s Auto Electric, or to take the car to a certified GM Chevy dealership and let them gouge me with their exorbanent labour charges.  Of if I’ll be able to make an appointment at either or any place.

If the car doesn’t get fixed at the next place we take it, I’ll be officially pissed off.