Stuff

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Cars I have driven, October 2013-September 2014

Posted by on 13 Sep 2014 | Tagged as: Stuff

… a partial list.

Jeep Cherokee Patriot

Toyota Corolla

Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen Golf

Hyundai Sonata

Dodge Avenger

Mazda 3

Honda Civic

Chevy Cruze

 

Bruce gets his rocket launcher

Posted by on 10 Sep 2009 | Tagged as: Stuff

This amuses me greatly:

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Bruce Cockburn got his rocket launcher – briefly, in Afghanistan.

The singer-songwriter was among a group of entertainers visiting Canadian troops serving in the war-torn country.

He drew wild applause when he sang one of his hits, “If I Had a Rocket Launcher,” which prompted the commander of Task Force Kandahar, Gen. Jonathan Vance, to very temporarily present him with one.

“I was kind of hoping he would let me keep it. Can you see Canada Customs? I don’t think so,” Cockburn said, laughing.

….

As for the rocket launcher, it wasn’t the first time Cockburn was presented with one.

He said he was approached by a fan, in a Washington state parking lot several years ago, who opened his trunk and wanted to give him three rocket launchers.

“It just smelled like entrapment but I just said, `We’re crossing the border and I don’t think Canada Customs would approve’.”

Preposition watch

Posted by on 08 Sep 2009 | Tagged as: Stuff, Toronto

They’re endangered.

From a BlogTO review of Te Aro:

This newish Leslieville cafe may not have a ton of tables to plunk a laptop, but the beauty of the space more than makes up for it.

What is so hard about turning it into English by adding “on which” before “plunk”, or even just “onto” after “tables”?

Preposition watch

Posted by on 31 Aug 2009 | Tagged as: Stuff

Keep an eye on them — they’re disappearing:

National Post, August 31:
Top sites to meet a mate

Hell is other people (in Toronto)

Posted by on 25 Jun 2009 | Tagged as: Stuff, Toronto

I’m not sure how or when it happened, but at some point Toronto residents became the unhappiest and least pleasant people on the planet.

What’s behind the transformation? Is it the sudden growth in population through the last two decades that has made the city so miserable, or the proliferation of Tim Horton’s (Toronto was once almost Tim’s free) since the turn of the millennium?

What is it that makes Toronto residents today so very unpleasant? Well, there’s the extreme selfishness — the belief that each citizen in a large city should be able to get around without any impediment, and that your problem is never, ever mine.

There’s the non-stop intolerance, whether it’s of delayed streetcars, Tamil protesters, crowds —in a city, noise, weather (hot, cold, humid, dry), cyclists, car drivers, unionized workers, and most of all, each other.

And, of course, there’s the whining — or, more accurately, bitching and moaning, which better captures the anger underlying the whole thing — that never really stops, just redirects itself. As Christie Blatchford asks in this morning’s Globe, “who feels stressed out on the third day of any strike, you may well ask? Torontonians, that’s who.” The Star headline on TUESDAY claimed that parents were “desperate”. If one day of scrambling makes you “desperate”, what happens on day 10? In the 1970s, there was a lengthy TTC strike and people picked up hitchhikers to help fellow citizens get around. A walk down Queen St. W. last night shows little evidence of that civic spirit, with discarded coffee cups and food wrappers already, three days in, lining the sidewalks. At some point will Toronto residents realize that they are, themselves, the problem? I won’t hold my breath.

Fast melt

Posted by on 09 Mar 2009 | Tagged as: Business, Current Events, Stuff

The current issues of the New Yorker and Vanity Fair both have good features on the end of Iceland’s short tenure as finance superpower. Both are worth reading, but if you only have time for one, Vanity Fair‘s piece, by Liar’s Poker author Michael Lewis, better captures the insanity that took hold:

I spoke to another hedge fund in London so perplexed by the many bad LBOs Icelandic banks were financing that it hired private investigators to figure out what was going on in the Icelandic financial system. The investigators produced a chart detailing a byzantine web of interlinked entities that boiled down to this: A handful of guys in Iceland, who had no experience of finance, were taking out tens of billions of dollars in short-term loans from abroad. They were then re-lending this money to themselves and their friends to buy assets—the banks, soccer teams, etc. Since the entire world’s assets were rising—thanks in part to people like these Icelandic lunatics paying crazy prices for them—they appeared to be making money. Yet another hedge-fund manager explained Icelandic banking to me this way: You have a dog, and I have a cat. We agree that they are each worth a billion dollars. You sell me the dog for a billion, and I sell you the cat for a billion. Now we are no longer pet owners, but Icelandic banks, with a billion dollars in new assets.

Return of the Pipe Club!

Posted by on 22 Feb 2009 | Tagged as: Stuff

Who knew we were actually ahead of our time at Trinity?

Thoughts for thinking…

Posted by on 05 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: Stuff, Tech

Engrossing piece from edge.org below (linked in aldaily, where I found it), with a large number of thinkers answering the question “What will change everything?”  Interesting for the variety of perspectives as much as the content of some of the answers.  Guaranteed to make your brain get bigger, or at least provide some perspective on the world, for good or bad…

http://www.edge.org/q2009/q09_print.html

Take me to Neverland

Posted by on 04 Jan 2009 | Tagged as: Stuff

Welcome to the TinkerBell economy. If we all believe and clap hard enough, the hope is that it will pull through.

– Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism coins a term for the upbeat forecasts that call for an inexplicably quick end to the Great Unwind.

And now, a word from our spammers

Posted by on 24 Sep 2008 | Tagged as: Current Events, Humour, Stuff

SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR URGENT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP

DEAR AMERICAN:

I NEED TO ASK YOU TO SUPPORT AN URGENT SECRET BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH A TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF GREAT MAGNITUDE.

I AM MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY OF THE REPUBLIC OF AMERICA. MY COUNTRY HAS HAD CRISIS THAT HAS CAUSED THE NEED FOR LARGE TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF 800 BILLION DOLLARS US. IF YOU WOULD ASSIST ME IN THIS TRANSFER, IT WOULD BE MOST PROFITABLE TO YOU.

I AM WORKING WITH MR. PHIL GRAM, LOBBYIST FOR UBS, WHO WILL BE MY REPLACEMENT AS MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY IN JANUARY. AS A SENATOR, YOU MAY KNOW HIM AS THE LEADER OF THE AMERICAN BANKING DEREGULATION MOVEMENT IN THE 1990S. THIS TRANSACTIN IS 100% SAFE.

THIS IS A MATTER OF GREAT URGENCY. WE NEED A BLANK CHECK. WE NEED THE FUNDS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. WE CANNOT DIRECTLY TRANSFER THESE FUNDS IN THE NAMES OF OUR CLOSE FRIENDS BECAUSE WE ARE CONSTANTLY UNDER SURVEILLANCE. MY FAMILY LAWYER ADVISED ME THAT I SHOULD LOOK FOR A RELIABLE AND TRUSTWORTHY PERSON WHO WILL ACT AS A NEXT OF KIN SO THE FUNDS CAN BE TRANSFERRED.

PLEASE REPLY WITH ALL OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT, IRA AND COLLEGE FUND ACCOUNT NUMBERS AND THOSE OF YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN TO WALLSTREETBAILOUT@TREASURY.GOV SO THAT WE MAY TRANSFER YOUR COMMISSION FOR THIS TRANSACTION. AFTER I RECEIVE THAT INFORMATION, I WILL RESPOND WITH DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT SAFEGUARDS THAT WILL BE USED TO PROTECT THE FUNDS.

YOURS FAITHFULLY MINISTER OF TREASURY PAULSON

(H/t The Big Picture)

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