Mar 252008

Ever notice how the fundamental well-being of a small company is usually directly correlated with the quality of the admin person? They smooth out the bumps, connect the dots, provide assistance small and large and generally act as a cheering, competent, soothing presence that keeps chaos at bay.

Well, if you need somebody like this, I know somebody who will be available soon. And if you ask me very, very nicely (via a comment) and pass a rigorous battery of tests to prove that you are worthy, I might put you in touch.

Edit: Note that I manually approve all comments, so you can add a comment with your contact information and it will not be published on this site.

 Posted by at 11:58 am
Mar 202008

Via clusterflock: “Pick up the work of fiction closest to where you are sitting right now that has 123 pages or more, turn to page 123, find the fifth sentence, then post it and the next three sentences.”

From Kim, by Rudyard Kipling:

‘When first I dealt with Sahibs, and that was when Colonel Soady
Sahib was Governor of Fort Abazai and flooded the Commissioner’s
camping-ground for spite,’ Mahbub confided to Kim as the boy filled
his pipe under a tree, ‘I did not know how greatly they were fools,
and this made me wroth. As thus -,’ and he told Kim a tale of an
expression, misused in all innocence, that doubled Kim up with
mirth. ‘Now I see, however,’ – he exhaled smoke slowly – ‘that it
is with them as with all men – in certain matters they are wise,
and in others most foolish. Very foolish it is to use the wrong
word to a stranger; for though the heart may be clean of offence,
how is the stranger to know that?’

 Posted by at 2:11 pm
Feb 042007

…or the other way around, not sure which. In a room in an Odessa hotel that is frequented by gangsters and prostitutes (the hotel, that is, not the room). Social research:


– evening prime-time
– 74 channels

Content observations (in channel order):


military drama (guys in uniform, weeping women) … street racers and their pimped-out cars (with background Russian rap soundtrack) … a two-minute commercial for fur coats (guys in fur coats look totally silly) … football … overdubbed cartoon bears and mice – oh wait, it’s Garfield, in a FLAGRANT Bugs Bunny rip off, they should be ashamed … a commercial that is either selling kitchen renovations or haute couture, not sure which … Strepsils, Maybelline … women-in-prison drama, the warden is a profiteering lesbian – wait, the innocent female inmate with a black eye is cutting pictures out of Playboy magazine; this is apparently character development, moving on … talking head – ahh, “Victor Yushenka”, this is Ukrainian news … whale sharks, gentle giants of the deeps, being harrassed for their own good and our viewing pleasure by bronzed, sun-bleached scientists … more military drama (seems to be a theme) … home-improvements how-to (hey, I like “before” better than “after”) (cripes, what’s the appeal of these shows – “look, it’s a drawer” “look, a sink” “look, a vase of fake flowers”) … military drama, woah, this is a big deal here … a day in the life of a champion wrestler (luckily the children have not inherited the father’s prominent cranial ridges) … cripes, don’t these people have any sit-coms? no wonder they’re so depressed … weight loss commercial, “you too can have this ass” … overdubbed movie … football – oh, wait animated football, like in a video game … video-game style animated warrior battles … oh, hey, this is more like it – kids in folk costumes doing pop song-and-dance numbers with an aging 5 piece band in the background, emcee in white shoes, oh yeah, Euro-Vision here we come … leopards having sex, isn’t nature wonderful … violent psycho murder scene, good guy speeds away – wait a minute, that’s Vancouver! … sixties Bollywood movie, only the dialog is overdubbed into Russian, not the song-and-dance numbers …

Everywhere in the world is starting to look exactly the same.

 Posted by at 4:16 am
Nov 182006

Mayhem in the streets! Emergency services collapse! Looting, raping and pillaging spread!

Call out the national guard! (Wait – does Canada have a national guard? shite, why didn’t we think of this earlier…)

All this because Vancouver is under a boil-water advisory due to landslides caused by heavy rains that have increased turbidity in the tap-water supply. (Vancouver’s newest fave word – “turbidity” – rolling luxuriously off tongues everywhere.)

A crazed man, obviously in the last stages of dehydration, panting, glassy-eyed, ran over a reporter’s toes at Costco with a shopping cart full of bottled water.

A woman standing nearby, watching the water scrum, with a cart in which water was noticeably absent, laconically remarked to the reporter: “It’s raining. Put out a bucket.”

The fundamental social structure is breaking down. The survivalists were right – head for the hills and claim your hollow stump while you can.

Pete McMartin in the Vancouver Sun: “This emergency message is to inform you that you possibly may not die of thirst.”

“For many of us the emergency meant no change to our routine, since we continued to do what we have always done, which is drink wine.” ibid.

27,694 people will call into work sick on Monday with gastrointestinal disorders. 27,546 of them will be lying.

1,275,983 people have had their chicken-little beliefs in immanent doom validated.

 Posted by at 11:39 am
Oct 072006

Canadian Penny
Originally uploaded by Kasia/flickr.

I was in Brussels recently, and ran across a good little scam. Euro five-cent pieces look sort of like Canadian pennies. When I arrived in Brussels, I transferred all of my Canadian change to a bag in my backpack so I wouldn’t get it mixed up with my euro change. After I ran some errands, I found that I had a few Canadian pennies in my change. I assumed I’d missed a few coins, and got rid of them.

Euro Five
Originally uploaded by pajp.

Then I went out again and bought a few more things, and again found that I had a few Canadian pennies. Where were they coming from? Ah – people slip Canadian pennies into a handful of change and, unless you look closely, you don’t notice that you’ve been ripped off. The scammer makes about four Euro-cents in profit each time he / she pulls off the scam.

Somewhere in Brussels, there is a lively market for Canadian pennies. I wonder if there are penny smugglers; given how widespread the scam is, people must be bringing Canadian pennies into the country, rather than relying on the few that would show up on their own. And I wonder if the penny smugglers sell Canadian pennies for, say, two Euro cents.

And I wonder if the Bank of Canada has considered the opportunities for our monetary policy.

 Posted by at 8:48 am
Aug 102006

As seen on digg:

“I don’t have Web 2.0. I’m still on the old Web 1.0. When was the upgrade and who do I contact to get the upgrade files? I don’t think my ISP is set up for Web 2.0 yet. “

 Posted by at 4:06 pm
Dec 292005

I lied to a border guard recently for no good reason other than I didn’t want to have to try to explain why I’d driven to Seattle and then turned around and driven back to Vancouver. (“Well, I was supposed to be meeting friends – no, I don’t know where exactly – exit 68, I think, in a Denny’s or Shari’s or some ghetto place like that – no I don’t know where they are currently – they live in Vancouver but they’re from the states – they sent me an email and I didn’t see it before I left so when I finally called I found out they had a personal emergency …” Yadda yadda yadda.)

I knew the border guards would be suspicious that I’d only been across the border for 2.5 hours, but I figured that that true story sounded so flaky that I’d get called in *for sure*. So instead I lied and told the border guard that my Mom had called and that there was a family emergency so I had to turn around and come back to Canada.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 3:38 pm