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“Aces & Asses” Volume 3: All Ass Edition.

October 29, 2009 2 comments

This edition features a double dip of despicable.

Recently, my friend Jeff (http://jeff-bourne.webs.com/) had an accident in his wheelchair that lead to an infection in his toes so bad that they needed to be amputated (I’m just going to sum up the story; for a more detailed account of the ordeal, click here: http://www.jtbourne.com/jeffs-ordeal/ ).  So Jeff took it like a man, and entered surgery for the procedure that removed the pinky, ring, and middle toes of his left foot, in hopes of not having to remove his entire foot due to a spreading infection.  The amputation occurred, but Jeff’s body struggled to adapt; he lost nearly 2 litres of blood, began seizuring, and quite soberingly, almost died.  Thankfully he came around, and is recovering now.

Now, here’s the Ass part.  Jeff had a backpack on the back of his wheelchair.  Inside the bag was a laptop; a great hospital time-passer.  Sometime between the initial amputation, room changes, and the life recovery episode, Jeff’s bag went missing. It was later recovered—minus the laptop.  Some jackass (speculatively a drug user looking for pawn collateral) walked into the hospital, and stole the laptop of a man in a wheelchair who was undergoing an amputation, and a life-saving episode.  Is this maybe the most unbelievable thing you’ve ever heard? 

We’ve since learned that Kelowna General Hospital will write it off as an insurance claim, and get Jeff a new computer.  Tip of the cap, KGH.

I don’t wish harm upon many people, but I can think of a few laws I would like to break if I ever ran into the culprit.

                                                                *************

Some people don’t believe in monogamy, and that is their choice.  But some people take this right to opinion a little too far, in my opinion.  I’ve been married for over 2 years now, and I believe marriage to be the definition of love, trust, and commitment between a man and a woman.

The people at the Ashley Madison Agency have created a service that facilitates extra-marital affairs.  Basically a dating site for married people.  You may have seen the ads on TV, or heard them on the radio.  One of their taglines is, “Life is Short.  Have an Affair.” They also offer a 100% money back affair guarantee, bordering the whole service on prostitution.

   I don’t feel like promoting traffic to their website, so I won’t even post a link, but this is all for real.  Oprah, Larry King, Fox News, CNN,Ellen, Dr.Phil, Howard Stern and others have all ran stories on it.  A YouTube search will show you Ashley Madision President and CEO Noel Biderman, a married man and father of two, being lit up by hosts and studio audiences all over the country while trying to justify his service and stance.

Whatever Mr. Biderman uses as a smoke-screen, this is a despicable service.  It promotes infidelity in the hopes that sleeping with someone besides your spouse will provide the happiness in your life that you’ve been missing.  Not only is this an abomination, it’s a flat out lie.  Somehow their guaranteed level of “discreet” will make sure the fallout of families, psychological impact on childen, divorce implications, and every other facet that is attached to cheating on your spouse, will somehow not be an issue. 

These people are making money in one of the most shameless methods I’ve heard to date.  Why don’t terrorists go after these kinds of people (I’m not promoting terrorism)?

“Aces and Asses,” Volume 2. The Stupendous and the Stupid.

August 20, 2009 2 comments

 

Welcome to the second edition of the column that takes a closer examination of the stupendous and the just plain stupid that I’ve seen, heard of, or witnessed lately. 

Let’s get right to the Asses category.  Whilst slowly driving home from work through rush hour today, in the far right lane of a three lane highway, I noticed an East-Indian woman walking on the sidewalk.  She wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary, just walking on her way.  As we crept up to the traffic light around 20 km/h or less, we overtook a late 80’s, primer gray Dodge pickup.  The ass-ish part is this: the Caucasian jackass riding shotgun in his buddy’s work truck decided it would be hilarious to imitate an East-Indian accent, and mockingly speak to this lady, who had done absolutely nothing to provoke such a racially slurred exhibition.  You can use your imagination as to what it was said, but it was somewhere in the ballpark of a crude Apu from the Kwik-E-Mart impression.  With any luck, the lady may have been out of earshot.  She, at least, did not qualify the volley.  It’s really hard to believe that as far as we have come as a society in terms of racial sensitivity, there are still people who just don’t get that things like this aren’t acceptable anymore (not that is was actually ever acceptable per se, more just common practice, albeit ignorant and still racist) and/or just refuse to make any changes in their thought process in lieu of just entertaining themselves with disrespectful, vulgar remarks. 

                                                          *****

Coming in as this instalment’s Ace, is “Insane” Usain “Lightning” Bolt (can a person have two nicknames like this?).  With newly acquired world records of 9.58 seconds in the 100 m sprint and 19.19 seconds for the 200 m sprint, this guy is the fastest man on the planet.  He’s also destroying all conventional schools of thought that say a person of his size should be running like an elephant.  In response, he seemingly effortlessly gallops like a gazelle, and obliterates world records.  And he does it with a smile on his face.  And he’s entertaining to watch, and he makes people actually want to look in their TV guide to see when track meets are on.  AND he’s (currently) drug free.  What track star has been able to make all of these claims at the same time in the last 10 years?  Ben Johnson didn’t exactly leave a positive impression on the running world, Donovan Bailey was cool (especially when embarrassed Michael Johnson at a 1997 150 m “World’s Fastest Man” showdown in Toronto), but he didn’t have staying power, and there have been a few American runners who set records in the last few years, but frankly no one cared about.  Bolt’s got all the makings an athlete that should be a star for a long time.  As long as he keeps not failing doping tests, he’s an Ace In my book.     

In a Canada vs. USA showdown, Bailey obliterates Johnson in '97, as the American pulled up lame.

In a Canada vs. USA showdown, Bailey obliterates Johnson in '97, as the American pulled up lame.

Bolt rules the running world.

Bolt rules the running world.

“Aces and Asses,” Volume 1. The Heroes and Zero’s of the recent Kelowna forest fires.

July 22, 2009 6 comments

Welcome to my first instalment of “Aces and Asses,” where I take some time to point out some top notch people (aces), and some that I currently don’t think so highly of (asses).

For the second time in six years, my hometown (Kelowna) has been subject to home evacuation level forest fires.  This time is was West Kelowna that was subjected to threat.  After learning how to deal with such a disaster in 2003, our city really pulled together and got through the worst of 2009’s version, which featured not one, not two, but THREE simultaneous forest fires; all in danger of connecting with each other and causing a single fire that could’ve enveloped our whole city, if it hadn’t been attended to promptly (inaccessibility for firemen, water bombing cut-offs at dark, overnight winds, and unrelenting summer heat all could’ve made that happen, luckily it never got to that point).

Kelowna Fire 2003

an actual picture of the Okanagan Mountain Park fire in 2003 (photo by Steve Devries, used by permission. http://www.sayvee.com )

Who I’d like to recognize as Aces are quite an easy selection: the Firemen. Ever since our society redefined the “hero” after September 11, the fireman has gotten a lot of spotlight. I believe they deserve every watt of it. The civil servants that work on a volunteer basis, are on call at all times, answering 4 am calls to rescue cats in trees, constantly training for that one big fire that no one hopes ever comes. When it inevitably does, the grounds crews lug around heavy, sweaty gear and equipment, into dangerous environments conducive of death on multiple levels, literally putting their lives on the line so that Johnny Bravo, driving a $100,000 car, looking out for number one, living in his million dollar home on the mountain, won’t lose his abode. Granted, there are many other very kind people and their homes that are saved too that are much more deserving of such service. The air crews drop water and fire retardant from planes and helicopters thousands of feet up in the air with pinpoint accuracy. And NONE of them go home until the job is done. Good on ya firemen, and thank you, you’re Aces in my books.

Now, onto the Asses. First off are the idiots who still haven’t figured out that lighting a campfire in the middle of a forest that has been subject to heat levels that have dried the trees out to resemble a matchstick factory, is a POOR idea. “Sure,” they say to themselves over a campfire, “we might cause a blaze that could burn down the ENTIRE forest, spread to a residential area, burn down homes, destroy or damage property, maybe kill people, and incur millions of dollars in fees for the crews to put it out, also put said fire crews in mortal danger, and possibly get fined ourselves if we’re caught, buuuut I really do need these marshmallows toasted.” Nice going morons, accidental or not, you guys can never repay the debt to society that you’ve generated by your ignorant and idiotic actions.

Second are those who have decided that a home evacuation epidemic is the ideal time to loot the homes of the evacuees. This is the absolute lowest level of humanity that I’m aware of. The selfishness, greed, and desensitization of the people who decided to do this is absolutely staggering and appalling. It really takes a special kind of individual to take advantage of people in this manner. Not only are the victims already homeless, but now when they return home, they will find themselves possession-less as well. I hope that if these people are caught, they are charged the same, if not more, than the people who started the fires in the first place. Despicable.

In a time where a community has really come together, shown it’s true colors and helped each other to overcome such distress, it’s just plain unfortunate to find out there are such lowly people are among us. But on a side much more worthy of attention, there are still some incredible, selfless people, who really show what it means to “love thy neighbour,” and to have real pride in one’s community. From the fireman on the front line, to the lady who goes around her neighbourhood and knocks on doors to make sure everyone knows there’s an emergency and to help them prepare, to the guy who gets out of his car and helps direct traffic for the thousands of cars trying to flee, there are still plenty of good people left around here.

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