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Giants Win, Bonds Rages? Bush – Ranger Danger Quiz, Expressed Written Consent, and Another CFL Improvement Thought.

November 2, 2010 8 comments

Congratulations, San Francisco Giants on winning the World Series.  You guys had the guy with beard, and the young guy with the long hair… I mean with that cast of characters, and the storyline of ending your championship slump (doesn’t the slump notion seem like a reoccurring theme every year now when someone wins?) you were destined to win. 

I can’t help but think that, somewhere, Barry Bonds is spinning in his grave though. Wait, he’s still alive? Well, surely he’s jealous at least; probably a little mad too that the Giants put him out to pasture right after he was done showing off how many homeruns he could hit. Can’t you just hear the Giants brass’ sarcasm laced speech to Bonds,

Thanks for everything over the years Barry.  Ok now that you’re done doing YOUR thing (you know, the thing with the ‘alleged’ steroids, and the history/record tarnishing thing), WE’RE gonna go win the World Series. Yeah, remember that big shiny trophy that all the baseball teams try to win every year?  Yeah, we decided that winning it is actually important now that we don’t have you around to hit baseballs into the harbor and boost ratings and ticket sales.”

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Did having George Bush Sr and Barbara skew your results? How about the allegiance with MLB legend Nolan Ryan? Does hanging out in the public eye with people that are actually historically liked make W more likeable now that he’s no longer collapsing the stability of his country? Explain your answer.

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MLB is sure sticking to their guns on that “expressed written consent” requirement, aren’t they? Still to this day in 2010, broadcasters make that announcement, mid-game. Must it be pen & ink? Is text or email ok? If I write in now and get permission, I should be able to see the World Series in 6-8 weeks, best case scenario.

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Dear CFL,

Just move the upright post in the CFL from the front to the back already, seems like a no-brainer to avoid injury and embarrassment.  I get it, you’re different than the NFL, that’s fine, but why not try my idea?  Structurally sound?  I can’t prove that, but I think we have smart enough people out there to make it work somehow.  Just don’t let Shaq hang on it, and we should be fine. 

 

 

Serenity Now Mailbag: Should We Help Home or Haiti?

January 24, 2010 8 comments

From time to time, I get people who write me ideas to blog about, so I’ve decided to start a “mailbag” section.  Our first one deals with the emergency and relief in Haiti, after the recent earthquake.

Dear Dave,

 We all send money in an instant when a disaster strikes somewhere. Well what about our own people?  They live on hard cold concrete yearly and they all have mental problems and need something more than what our government is doing.  Our government sends millions of dollars over there [to Haiti], and ships other supplies, and we hear about it on the news.  It breaks my heart to hear [that the earthquake happened], and it sucks, but it is a natural disaster, and we should be looking at why we didn’t help them [with other situations] before this happened and you started hearing all kinds of cool things that are going on there now.
Great, but what did these people do before the disaster who are giving [their] money and time?  Did they wake up and have a brain fart and go, “I’m [just] going to send money.” ? That’s great, but do they help our Canadians who are in need?  I don’t mean the food banks that are helping single parents on income assistance and such; [but] here in Canada people charge money to their cell phones [to donate to Haiti relief], but why don’t they do the same for the people who are in dire need here at home?  Same with the government, who do nothing for them.
Lots of celebrities like to make a big deal about how much they are donating, but I say the people that count are the people that do it and say nothing at all.

-Adrian

An interesting point of few, that reminds me of a similar story in recent media.  On January 14, controversial Florida-based radio DJ, “Bubba The Love Sponge” (whose show is broadcast on Howard Stern’s Sirius/XM Satellite Radio channel), made the following comment via his Twitter account:

I say fuck Haiti. Why do we have to take care of everybody [else], our country is in shambles.”

He then clarified his controversial statement in a series of “tweets” three days later: 

When we don’t have kids that are on the streets here in America, and we have a surplus of money, and we have paid China the 60 or so trillion we owe them, and we are no longer losing American troops’ lives over a religious war that has been going on longer than we have been a country, and we have most of our own working again (unemployement is over 10% now btw), then we can start worrying about other countries and natural acts beyond our control. Where were all these people we are helping when we had the Midwest floods, or the 5 Hurricanes in ‘05 that hit Florida, or Huricane Andrew or Katrina? Take the money you want to send to Haiti and go to a Big Brothers or Big Sisters and mentor a child that doesn’t have a dad or mom; and give that little boy or girl a chance and a hope of being something great that would benefit our country more than Haiti relief. Bubba.”

Unfortunately for Bubba, it was too little, too late; as he got a face full of fists from Awesome Kong shortly after (a legit fight).

Surprisingly, I’ve heard other opposition to Haiti relief as well, and people are entitled to their opinion on the matter.  A lot of people have concerns about if the money actually makes it to Haiti (or any country that is in need of relief), or whether their money is making someone on the other end richer than before, and not at all helping the people it was intended for.  If that is something stopping you from sending money, the Government of Canada has provided a searchable database of registered charities that are sending money and supplies to Haiti that you can lookup any charity that you are questioning legitimacy.  Sure, there are scammers out there; but there are people and organizations genuinely trying to help as well, and they shouldn’t be overlooked.

Our Government has also announced it will match all donations made by Canadians to the effort.  AND you may not know that they also forgave Haiti’s entire monetary debt to us last July.  Check out that little tidbit here.  Let’s just hope that other countries are that generous to us if we find ourselves in a similar situation in the future.

I think both Adrian and Bubba raise an interesting point though; which is that there are plenty of people at home that are in desperate need of assistance as well for altogether different reasons.  I just can’t say that giving money to help Haiti is a bad idea; but maybe if you are still considering making a donation, or can still afford to give more, why not match or give a little to a local homeless shelter, or food bank, or something in your own city?  Not everyone can afford to give money, and that’s fine.  Lots of people think of creative ways to raise money, and there’s always different ways besides giving money to get involved in this charity and others.  If you are able to, you should get involved.  

            “Give to the poor.”

                        -Jesus: Matthew 19:21; Mark 10:21; Luke 12:33

What about you?

Also, on behalf of Christians everywhere, I’d like to apologize for tele-evangelist, Pat Robertson’s comments on January 13 that insinuated that the earthquake was a result of Haiti being under a curse from making a pact with The Devil to oust the French from their country in the 1700’s.  Even if there was someway to actually prove that, the comment was untimely and out of line at best.  He should’ve kept his mouth shut; making that comment served no positve or reasonable purpose imaginable.  Sorry.

Christmas Correctness, Head Protection Paradigm Shift, and The Santa Trust Betrayal.

December 22, 2009 3 comments

A few wintery-Christmas thoughts to tide you over for the yuletide season…

They look cool, but my heart tells me different.

I went up snowboarding for the first time this season with my older brother and my cousin.  Not for the first time recently, I, a non-helmet wearer, was outnumbered by helmet wearers.  It seems head protection is actually becoming popular, though helmets have been associated with lameness since social interaction was invented.  When I was growing up, the kids who had to wear helmets while riding their bike were always the brunt of jokes.  I was supposed to wear a helmet.  Usually though, my green head-shell would end up dangling off of my handle bars soon after I was out of house sight.  So despite all the bike safety workshops, jamborees, and parents trying to make it seem “cool” for kids to wear helmets; we all fought it tooth and nail.  Hockey, baseball, and contact sports?  No problem.  Everyone else has to, so no big deal.  Riding a bike near irresponsible motorists, or screaming down a hill at car speeds and taking jumps off of small cliffs… what are you insane? What if one of my friends saw me wearing a helmet?   

Protect my head? Wow, you’re a real loser man. Hey everyone, come look at the loser!

So here we are 1/10th of the way into the 21st century, and the paradigm has begun to shift.  I pose this question to you:

Are you a helmet wearer, or non-helmet wearer?  Why?

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Except for the real-life Scrooge’s out there, everyone loves Christmas.  Whether the religious background, the gifting giving/getting, time off work, family visits, or whatever, we all get wrapped up (pun) in the holidays somehow.  The whole Santa Claus thing is great fun, but have you ever stopped to consider what adults may be doing to children, psychologically, by lying to kids about a magical being that rewards them for being good at certain points in the year? 

Between Santa and the Easter bunny, we’ve created a whole folklore of deception around these  made up holiday icons; and then as the holders of kids’ established trust, we go and straight up lie to them to make them behave better.  The Easter Bunny’s pretty cut and dry; just the bunny hopping around with a basket of eggs.  But Santa’s got a home at the north pole, a workshop, wife, transportation, method of delivery, you can write letters to him and have “him” write back, “he” comes to the mall and you can sit on his lap and ask him for stuff (the good ones even have real beards), and even the local weatherman will report on the location of Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve as the Doppler radar “picks it up”.  Movies, TV, and other media outlets all present supporting evidence for kids teetering on non-belief like, “of course Santa is real” or Santa himself saying that he can’t fly his sleigh because not enough people are believing in him these days.  I don’t blame kids who believe in them way longer than they should. 

Look, don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of fun and kids love it.  But isn’t it just at least ironic that as adults of all denominations (moms, dads, uncles, aunts, older siblings, etc) work so hard to establish characters of these kids, we, the most trusted figures in the childhood, go and betray that trust so very early in their lives, for such a long period of time?  With the stigma attached to the stereotypical “rebellious teenager” who hates their parents, is it possible that some of their issues have something to do with broken trust?

I’m not saying shut down the whole Santa thing, but maybe there’s a better way to present the notion.  Ideas?

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The whole PC holiday greetings are getting a little out of hand, aren’t they?  Stores are actually banning their employees from saying Merry Christmas to customers; fearing offense and public backlash, leading to a drop in sales.  I grew up in Western culture, with North American institutions, celebrating Christmas, so Merry Christmas is natural to me.  Though the true meaning of Christmas is centered in Jesus Christ, you don’t necessarily have to be a Christian to say it.  I have no problem wishing someone a Happy Chanukah, Kwanza, or whatever they may be celebrate if I’m aware of it.  Quite frankly, I just don’t know/haven’t met anyone who celebrates those other holidays.  I’m sure they’re very nice people.  So am I supposed to only wish “Happy Holidays” as a blanket term in hopes of not offending people? 

Here are my questions to you.  What holiday do you celebrate over winter vacation?  What greeting do you prefer to say to others, and what would you prefer people to say to you?  Does someone saying “Merry Christmas” to you, actually offend you?

Merry Christmas / Happy (your winter occasion here)  everyone!

Cabbie Courtesy, and Lemon-Aid for Lemonade: Pun Intended.

November 5, 2009 3 comments

I ordered a Lemonade with my lunch the other day at Boston Pizza.  The glass came equipped with the lemon-wedge adorned rim.  Immediately upon squeezing my lemon into the lemonade, I wondered, doesn’t this seem a little overkill?

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What’s so bad about intending a pun, anyways?  Why must everyone disclaim “No Pun Intended,” once they’ve spoken one, making it clear that they didn’t mean to do it?  You can make a case for the stinkers, and the “Grandpa jokes,” but is it really that bad to insinuate a little humor into your speech patterns, now and then?

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Charlie and the Great Glass... cab driver enclosure.From time to time, everyone needs to take a taxi.  Perhaps you’re going to the airport, too drunk to drive, or have other reasons.  One question I have is, where are you supposed to sit?  TV and movies make it seem obligatory to sit in the back seat.  I think in some larger cities, the driver actually sits in a glass box of sorts for protection, and back seat is your only option.  Is it so crazy to grab for the handle of the front seat?

Lets work with 5 seat cab theory; that is, 3 seats in the back, one shotgun passenger, one driver. If you’re riding with an equal amount of people to seats ratio (in this case, 4 total), then it seems obvious.  If you have 3, you have the option of a back-row bunch-up, or sending one to the front to allow a buffer zone for the cheap seats.  If you have 2, it would seem awkward to sit one in the front and one in the back, so I would say you gotta both bunk in the back.  But what about the solo act? 

If you head directly to the back, then you conform to all social presuppositions on the subject.  You then also indirectly insinuate that your cab ride is serving an “a to b” purpose; in that social interaction with the driver is not something you’re going to initiate (perhaps this is fine with you).  However, this may cause the driver to talk to you more, in hopes of earning a larger tip (not applicable to Asian cabbies).  It may also lead to a very silent, and awkward drive.   

If you select the front seat, you’re likely comfortable sitting unusually close to someone you don’t know.  You’ve indirectly broken the social code norm, but now you’re not sure how to behave in the position.  You feel obligated to talk and to maintain conversation; but at least you can do so face to face, rather than face to back.  You can also keep an eye on the meter to mentally calculate what you’re going to leave on top.

front seat cab

Good points on both sides.  So what do you do?

Extreme Makeover: SDC Blogs Edition

November 4, 2009 Leave a comment

We here at “Serenity Now… The SDC Blogs” (by we, I mean, me) pride ourselves on looking good.  We’re experiementing with a new look.  Please cast your vote below and let us know what you think!

 

Categories: Polls

H-O-V? Not for Me: The Ongoing Ordeal that is Kelowna Traffic.

September 21, 2009 1 comment

My hometown of Kelowna, BC has decided to adopt HOVHOV_lane (High Occupancy Vehicle) Lanes, aka carpool lanes. It’s the stupidest idea our local government has come up with in a long time.

On paper, in an ideal environment, HOV Lanes are a good idea. They
promote carpooling, which theoretically sees less cars on the road, which theoretically leads to less traffic congestion and less pollution. I get that. It’s a great idea. On paper.

It works in big cities like Vancouver; they’ve got a zillion highways for an equal amount of residents, and plenty of places to divert traffic to. Kelowna simply does not have the extra space on its ONE main highway to allow only a select group of people to occupy 1/3 of the traffic space, not to mention in the area of the highest traffic volume in the city. If we had a 4 or 5 lane freeway complete with exit ramps, this might work, but we only have 3 lanes with normal traffic-light controlled intersection turn-offs. Every HOV Lane I’ve ever seen is located in the far left lane; Kelowna decided that the far right lane was the best option. This forces drivers to make potentially dangerous lane changes into the HOV lane to make right turns before crossing through an intersection, amidst the absurdly short distances between our lights.

Citizens watched, waited, and anticipated all summer while construction crews built an additional lane onto Highway 97. Everyone believed there was relief in sight for the gridlock traffic that resides on Harvey Avenue. I have not encountered one person in the city yet who was happy when they heard, “Suprise! Only some of you get to use the extra space! And if you dare use it without having people in your car, or you’re not a bus or semi, we’re going to give you a ticket! Oh, and also, we’re introducing a new tax called the HST! Enjoy!”

Everyone who gets up early to go to work on their own, who doesn’t live anywhere near anyone else who they work with, and lives too far away from their place of employment to bike, and doesn’t have a bus system near them better leave some extra time in the morning to get to work. Wait, that’s pretty much everyone in the city? Oh. Better get to bed early tonight then. Like I said, it’s a good idea on paper, but our city simply isn’t accessible enough by means other than our cars to allow for such drastic changes in our commuting schedules.

HOV_lane 2A problem once easily fixed by a simple lane change now becomes an 8 block headache if you’re driving alone. Sweet.

Another feather in the cap of the cluster**** that is Kelowna infrastructure and traffic. They better not use taxpayer money to buy the staggering amount of paint thinner they’re going to need to take the white paint out of that lane in a few months.   On the lighter side, I can’t wait to see the first person driving with a dummy seatbelted into their passenger seat to avoid a ticket.

Just Say “No” to Sharing Toothbrushes.

August 31, 2009 3 comments

If I had not caught her doing it, my wife may never have admitted to “sharing” my toothbrush.  I use quotations around sharing, because I feel that if one side has not consented to the share, then the share is null and void, and becomes borderline theft.  It’s a form of deceitful borrowing; using and giving back, so technically not stealing, but still using without authorization. 

The problem arose when my wife bought us matching toothbrushes.  Sensing a future issue, we had used identifyingtoothbrushes1 markings on each brush, marked with a “permanent” pen.  The thing about permanent ink is that even it is not impervious to daily moisture and friction when applied to a plastic surface.  So the ink was no longer visible after a few weeks, but I could still see the indentations of the mark if I looked for it in the right light, at the proper angle.  This was enough for me to sleep in peace; to know that I was still using my own brush.  When I really think about it, I don’t know what’s worse: someone using your toothbrush (purposefully or not) and not telling you, or using someone else’s toothbrush and not telling them.  Either way, it’s a germaphobe’s field day.  That night I entered the bathroom, picked up my toothbrush, readied the toothpaste, and noticed at the last second that the bristles seemed oddly moist for having not been used since the morning.  I didn’t take me long to realize that something had gone very, very, awry. 

So is this absolutely insane, to be grossed out at the notion of sharing microscopic foodstuffs and saliva with your significant other?  My gut tells me yes, but it’s also told me that my whole life.  You’re taught at a very early age not to share beverages in any container because of the backwash potential; especially if the Sharer is a known bottle sucker (not a pourer, but a full lip-sealing, liquid siphoner).  So is all that warning waived when you start kissing someone?  If one’s significant other becomes ill, should they then not even put up a defence against acquiring that same infection?  Should they just phone in the pending days off work they will have to take due to illness?  Should the medicine cabinet be permanently stocked with Cold-FX, NyQuil, DayQuil, and every other product that seems to eradicate sickness at the same speed of natural healing?

Not limiting this story only to my wife’s devices, I have heard of, and seen, other instances of chewing gum, lollipop, and various care-free, saliva sharing methods.  I’ve seen something like this go down before: 

“Hey, can I have some of your gum?”

“Sorry, I’m chewing the last piece I had.”

“Oh, well that’s alright, just give me half of the piece you’re chewing now.”

“…….”

“…….”

“…are you serious?”

So, since I enjoy a good poll like anyone else, I am leaving this debate to the very same voting device that I subjected Lululemon to.  Readers, to the Polls!    

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